Pendant Light Above Island Without Seating

Long title. Easy concept. Can you put pendant lights above an island with no seating?

We are slowly working through our impromptu kitchen renovation. A few weeks ago while plotting improvements, I wondered if we could move the pendant light in our kitchen to the space above the island even though it’s small with no seating.  The pendant light in our kitchen was originally a fluorescent light box (yuck) which we quickly replaced less than a week after moving in.

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While I liked the pendant that we selected, the positioning felt awkward right above the cabinets in such a slim place. I wondered if there was a way to push the pendant above the island which I’d never seen for an island as small as ours or an island without any seating. I obviously took to Pinterest and discovered it was possible.

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Source: (Pinterest)

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Source: (Pinterest)

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Source: (Pinterest)

It was possible! While we were going to move the light above the island, minnaswhale freshen the light to a new fixture and add the recess lighting that Marcus was dreaming of living in here.

So I took to the internet to hunt down a pendant light. I wanted one that felt retro, fun but also special without clashing with any of the colors we already had (though several will change). Apparently that was a tall order until I saw the Melrose pendant from Serena and Lily which was love at first sight. Hubba hubba. But with a $998 price tag and a 19″ diameter, this lady love was out of my league.

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Knowing how much I loved this pendant though gave me a really great starting point for what I actually wanted. Which leads me to our actual pick, the navy pendant depot light from Pottery Barn Kids for the low low price of $50.99 each.

white-depot-hanging-pendant-o.jpg I constantly tell people not to sleep on Pottery Barn Kids and Teens. if you look at many of the pieces out of the context of the great children’s room styling, its possible to enjoy them in adult spaces. Especially since them being children’s purchase usually means instant whimsy. I instantly added two to the cart and didn’t look back.

Confession time: this was not a DIY project. I have no problem doing electrical but when it come to complex projects -which I consider adding four canned lights to be- we hire out. And boy do I have no regrets. This is a project that Marcus managed while I went to work and the installers were there from 9am to 2pm. If it took professionals that long, how long would it have taken little ole me by myself?

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They got the lights in and it feels like a brand new space. We get pretty good natural light in the kitchen, thanks to a really great bank of windows in the breakfast area in here, but  its never felt this bright and light in the kitchen. The bulbs that we previously had on the 3-light pendant were sleepy, warm Edison bulbs while these recessed lights are bright white and clean. I gotta say, Marcus pushing to have this added to our project list was a brilliant idea. It isn’t one that I felt moved to do. I wanted new pendant lights but I certainly wasn’t plotting on recessed lights. But Marcus was totally right and this came out better than I expected. So there you have it, a before and after that we had no plan for. You can add pendant lights about an island with no seating. We may evaluate that later on but for now, we are thrilled with the change.

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Small Laundry Room Tiling and Make Over

DIY Tiling Laundry Room 

A follower recently gave me a (very gentle) reminder that I never posted the laundry room reveal. Consider this me giving you a look as well as a laundry room tile DIY from someone who had no idea what they were doing.

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Before of the Laundry Room

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Removable Subway Tile Wallpaper // Ikea Kallax Shelf // Woven Basket // Tabletop Ironing board // Globe Sconce

If you are thinking to yourself, the before and the after look very similar (especially that blue shirt), you would be correct. The before is actually the “middle step” of our laundry room; a simple fix that was done just to carry us through to the “renovation”. The before of the laundry room is an excellent and simple “apartment fix”.

With removable wallpaper, an Ikea Kallax shelf propped on a ledge that once held a wire shelf, and a sconce, this laundry room was an easy fix until the renovation to come and would have been a great stopping point if we never decided to do anything else in here.

The Redo Process

Remove the “Removable wallpaper”

I was really excited about this step because I have always wanted to know if removable wallpaper actually came down without ruining the walls. Clean walls after would make removable wallpaper a renters dream. Plot spoiler: Not.

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These grainy stills give you some idea of what the wall looked like after I removed the wallpaper. The removable wallpaper was not so removable. It shredded the paint that was on the wall. In the wallpaper’s defense, the paint felt incredibly low quality. There was no base coat beneath it and it felt a bit like nail polish when you fail to put a base coat and a top coat, if that makes any sense at all. Whoever painted our house must have done it quickly and inexpensively in an effort to get the house on the market. But consider this your warning if you have ever desired to do removable wallpaper.

I removed all the wallpaper, the shelf, the ledge and the machines and got to work.

Tiling the Wall

Now for why you more than likely came here. I tiled this wall in one afternoon and grouted it the next. As someone who has never tried tiling but has done some diy work before, I found it to be two hammers on a five hammer scale after reading many blogs and watching many videos late at night.

Shopping List 

Bucket(s)

Safety Glasses

Pencil

Level

Rags aka T-shirts

Caulk gun

Caulk

Sponges

American Olean Gloss Subway Tile

Grout Float

11 in flooring trowel

Snap Cutter

Tile Cutter

Grout Maximizer Additive

1/8in White Plastic Spacers

Type 1 Mastic

Sanded Powder Grout– For spacers 1/8in-5/8in

Drill Attachment Spiral Mixing Arm

Tiling the Wall

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Before beginning, it’s best to think through what pattern you want. I wanted the traditional pattern so I buttered the wall with the premixed mortar along the base board. Then I placed a tile in the first position and went all the way across. If you look at the bottom row, you can see spacers placed between the starting row and the base board. I inserted those after doing the first row to make sure that there was a proper amount of space between the first row all the way across.  If you ever watch any tiling videos (which I highly recommend) they say spread the mortar like peanut butter on the back of the tile and the wall then press the tile straight on to the wall so you don’t smear the pattern the trowel made.

After doing the first row, I smeared enough mortar on the wall to do two rows. For the second row, I placed one half a tile that I cut using the tile cutter (unseen) into the first position to begin the staggering pattern. After going all the way across, I did the third row. I made sure with each row that the row was level horizontally but also vertically by making sure the vertical rows were aligned.

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I went up the entire wall avoiding obstacles like plugs. I stopped halfway up the wall to scrape out the grout lines and prep the wall for the closets I planned to put in the laundry closet.

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From this photo, you can see that around the plug, I completely left this area open. I planned to go back in with a single tile that I used a wet saw with to complete the hole.

You can also see if you look in between the empty grout lines that mortar got in. I used a metal nail file and a screw driver to scrape that out.

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For end pieces. I measured the space for the finishing tile by placing a loose tile next to a row. I made a mark on the tile where the tile in the wall end and then used the tile cutter to cut there. Then I could use the long piece to match up to this row and the short piece to place in the row above.

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Once I reached a certain height on the wall, I installed these unfinished wall cabinets by finding the studs and drilling a screw into the top and bottom of the cabinet. If you look closely in the below cabinet you could probably see the screw. A better way to do it (in a less stressed and exhausted hindsight) would be to place the screw right below the shelf so its less visible. Without boring you with the nitty gritty details, I installed this cabinet by myself by screwing a 2×4 to the wall at the height that would be below the cabinet. I then rested the cabinet on it as a brace so I could screw it into the wall. And you can also see the whole from that screw below the cabinet in the below photo..

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After finishing up the wall, I realized I had some extra space below the cabinets and scored these little pieces to fill the gap. They came in a pack of 12 and fit nicely in this area. After letting the wall dry overnight, I followed the direction on the grout package to a T and smeared this wall. You can see the pattern that I used to fill the wall by the smears. For the small tight spaces, I used the caulk that I purchased which was the same brand and therefore color as the grout. Most major grout brands sell this caulk. Jackpot!

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It look about five buckets of clean water, two sponges and two cut up college t-shirts to smear the haze off the wall. I started with a piece of cut t-shirt to rub off the excess, then a sponge filled with warm water. And another sponge of warm water. Then another sponge. Seeing a pattern here? Followed by another cut up t-shirt. ED192CF8-367B-4FB7-918C-FF3C9B127913F90406F3-17BA-4930-88F4-00755EC664C4

Until finally the wall was clean. If you look at this photo, you can see there are still gaps around the outlets that I still hadn’t solved by cutting out a piece of tile with a wet saw. In case you are wondering, those are still like that. I have been sooooo busy since Christmas (when this project was done) that I have yet to complete this. I will I promise! It looks a bit unfinished like this.

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I painted the walls a hydrangea blue-purple that changes color with the light and patched up the wall where the previous shelf once lived.

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The middle section of the all looks a bit wonky, but its level in person. I checked while loading these photos because I didn’t realize quite how strange the angle looked.

Styling The Laundry Closet

We specialize in hanging a ton of our clothing so we knew we needed both a hanging rack and shelves. We brought in the same tension rod that we had before because by this point we were beat and some Ikea hangers that we picked up one weekend.  We also put it two pieces of unfinished polar as shelves. We left them unfinished and unstained because we quite liked the way they looked with the hangers and the wicker baskets.

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The Reveal

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The laundry area got a few more tweaks for functionality like hooks for the stool, tap lights under the cabinets (that’s what that glow is) and something to hold brooms and mops on the other wall. As you can see in the photo above, I need to go back and correct that rogue tile around the outlet. Overall, I am happy with the project and would certainly tile again. Just not in the near future. Except for that little gap. I’ll tile that. Also, feel free to ask any question that I was way to vague on in the posts 🙂

“Impromptu” Kitchen Renovation

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How I Planned an Impromptu DIY Kitchen Renovation

Usually I am all clothes all day, but let’s stay on the house roll for just a second, shall we? If you follow closely enough on instastory (Side note: I am going to be better about blogging here in this space instead of lazy real time post on instastories. Hence this post), then you saw that I began covering cushions for the sweet little built in window seat we installed in the kitchen. The fabric that I am using is a remnant and goes perfectly with our kitchen. Only problem is, I just don’t love it love it. You know?

I keep finding myself saying, “I wish this was a blue and white ticking stripe instead of this gray”. But blue and white wouldn’t go with our overall kitchen especially not the painted kitchen floors that were a labor of love about a year ago. I found myself saying, if only the floors were blue and then I realized; literally nothing is stopping me from making the tile floors blue.

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Hubby and I have been debating the merits of “real tile”, meaning ceramic or porcelain tile, almost since the day I finished painting our dated vinyl tile the gray and white color. We knew the painted tile would never be a permanent fix  -we just hated our vinyl tile enough that we couldn’t live with it.  But I definitely didn’t think the strong desire for a different kitchen cushion color would be the thing to propel me towards a kitchen reno. *Slaps forehead in exasperation emoji*

Why it’s okay for me to design in stages

It’s neither here nor there that I have to change the floors because we want, what we want. And don’t worry about the time wasted on the painted floors. The way I design is in three stages “Before”, whatever the house looked like when I originally set up shop, “During”, the temporary fix to get us through and “After”, the final renovation. If you fell in love with an intermediate step, “thank you, bless you” and I am so glad that you loved it as much as I did. The bright side is that those middle steps are usually really great “apartment fixes”; what you could implement in an apartment or rental property. They also do a great job giving you time to decide on more permanent fixes and to really get to know a space and see what would be most efficient and functional.

All that to say, here is where we are doing with our temporarily updated kitchen to get it to our permanent fix. As things get done, I will check things off this master list. I am working from top (ceiling) to bottom (floor) in our kitchen so here’s the order of services and some inspiration pics.

How I Plan To DIY Our Small Kitchen Refresh

  1. Add second layer of cabinets to our kitchen cabinets to form double cabinets. This was prompted entirely by having extra materials from our built in living room project. 
  2. Change hood about the stove
  3. Install quartz countertops and farmhouse sink
  4. Remove temporary wallpaper backsplash and Install permanent subway or hex tiles
  5. Change vinyl tile floor to blue and white ceramic of porcelain tiles
  6. Cover bench cushion in blue and white ticking stripe.
  7. Add move pendant light above island and add recessed lighting*

*Was added at the last minute because it just made sense

And there you have it folks, a look into my convoluted and yet organized thoughts. This will definitely take a while. We are regular people with regular 9-5s who pay for our projects out of our actual pockets (which is zero shade to people who blog full time with sponsored post. This is simply an explanation for why our project train will pull slowly away from the station). So there you have it. Anything I should be adding to this list? Or any post you are particularly excited to see so I can remind myself to actually blog it?

P.s. Here’s the blue and white tile inspo since that prompted this whole spree.

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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //

Guest Room’s Final Form

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If you’ve been following along on Instagram then you know I’ve finally finished the thorn in my side; our downstairs guest room. Our guest rooms have gone through various uses from housing younger sisters, short term roommates to finally being devoted to actual guests. As our friends begin to mature and some of them marry off, we wanted our guest room to be an adult oasis. Several people weighed in on Instagram saying they loved the first iteration of the room, especially the white Ikea bed against the navy wall, and we did too but it no longer served it’s purpose or felt like us. This one feels more like we do now- romantic, refined with just the right bit of whimsy. Anyway, all that to say, we are finally happy with our guest room and happy to share it, and what sources we can, with you. Sources are sprinkled throughout the post. Below is the “before” shot by the way. I like to think of it as “another version” of the room instead.9296b2f2-dcce-483f-87c4-febf672cfb75

And now, back to the after, what we are all here for anyway.

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Desk (Habitat for Humanity store) (similar) // blue boxes // stripe vase (old) (similar)// Thrifted desk chair (similar) // Rug // Hummingbird print // square ginger jar // Remnant leaf fabric // frames

I purchased this stunning “Hummingbird” print from Janet Hill Studios as something to add to the cart when I bought a bunch of other prints. When she arrived it was love at first sight and she became the design inspiration to pull together all the mixed portions of the room. I even toted a photo of her to the store to color match paint and fabrics in this room to match sure everything was shaped around her. The photo below is from an Instastory where I allowed a vote between the Valspar colors, “Malted Milk”, “Romance” and “Crystal Pink”. Hubby and I fell in love with Malted Milk while Insta fam fell in love with Romance. We ignored and went with our gut and feel great about it.

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Bed (vintage) // Delft chandelier (vintage craigslist)(similar) // DIY Pheasant pillows// Harry Potter Letter Pillow // Scallop duvet set // Ticking Stripe Duvet Set // Stripe throw (old) (similar)// Ottoman // Young Woman with Peonies print and frame // Tassel lights // White Sconce // Cord hide // Wall color // Wall mirror//

I wish you could have seen me in the store when I purchased these ottoman. Talk about sparks joy. Marie Kondo anyone? I pretty much had a fit  about the bug pillow fabric that I passed on, come to light in a pretty little stool with “X” legs. I threw the display in the cart and my friendly neighbor Red Shirt went to pull its twin from the back. I considered taking them back to the store but the cream mirror tied them together nicely, if I must say so myself. I won’t even lacquer the mirror a funky color like I originally planned. And speaking of bugs, I found these cutie little bee clips at Ikea and had a similar fit of joy. Nothing, and I mean nothing, seems to make me as happy as little bugs.

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I wish I could offer you guys better sources but between lucky thrift finds and things we’ve had over a decade like the cane chair. This is the best I can do. A happy happy decorating to all of you and thanks for sticking around long enough for me to finally get this post out.

 

Remove Carpet from Stairs to Stain

How To Remove Carpet from Stairs

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Here’s a quick post recapping my carpet removal adventures before I forget the entire process. Let’s get right to the point, what you are actually after; the before and after.

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Now that that’s over with, more detail. I’ve had my eye on this project for some time. The stairs are the heart of our home. In our little house, you can see the living room and the kitchen from the stairs, all while yelling up them to anyone who may be in the bedrooms. Plus it’s one of the dogs’ absolute favorite hang out spots so we spend a lot of time on them. And you can only imagine the amount of dog hair and dusts these stairs have accrued.

I’ve been wanting to rip of the carpet for ages and last Friday evening, I impulsively followed through after spending the ten minute car riding from a restaurant researching what other bloggers have done. One of the pieces of advice given was that if you have rounded caps on your stairs, you may actually have hardwood underneath and from memory, I thought we did. So when I arrived home, staple gun in hand just in case there was only plywood, I peeled back a piece of carpet with a pair of needle nose pliers.

 

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See how the stairs have that rounded little lip on the tread? That’s how I knew there might be some sort of flooring under there instead of just plywood. 955C55D4-F067-4023-8CBE-1F3A9B146155

 

I continued pulling up the carpeting using some combination of the a razor blade to cut the carpet away from the way, the needle nose pliers to tug with to avoid staples, and a back of the hammer to pull the tacking up.

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Some of the tacking was particularly stuck so I wedged a flat head screw driver under it and tapped with the hammer.

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The bottom portion of the stairs were individually done but once I got to the top, it was all one piece so I started from the top and ripped all the way down. In total, it took about 4 hours to pull up all of the carpet from start to finish because I had to be extra specially careful about picking up all of the nails after each step because of the pups. I wasn’t sure how long this would take me so I removed almost all the nails in one fell swoop. 62385570-F355-4F79-AC4F-B9359CC00872

Remus, my trusty night guard and diy partner in crime, manned the project from his usual spot at the top of the stairs well into the night. Looking at the stairs, there is clearly over spray on the baseboard and on the stairs. Knowing I wanted to stain the steps, I picked up this stripper that a colleague at work recommended. It felt less toxic than any stripper I’ve used before and had a great citrus scent. Would absolutely recommend if you have pets or small children because I didn’t feel like I was gagging them with this product especially since Remus insists on sitting so close to the work zones.

20FDD455-FA77-4655-8077-E63E0FB2DB1E I started my way at the bottom painting each stair with a cheap chip brush with a heavy hand and worked my way right to bed. It can be left on for 24 hours so I left it over night. 5A7DF75A-9D6C-4EB9-A1ED-3BAE9589864B

The next morning I scraped it off relatively easily and wiped up the remaining ashy coating with mineral spirits that I had lying around as recommended by the product label. I then started patching up the stairs with wood filler and began painting the backs of the stairs white after it dried.

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I sanded by hand with a 300 and 800 grit. It’s just what I had on hand, there was no particular rhyme or reason. I am really glad though that I sanded by hand because there was a lot of staples that I missed. People aren’t joking when they say it feels like a million staples. Thankfully most of them were against the backs of the stairs and underneath the rounded part of the tread.

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After painting the backs white, I repeated the process of painting my way up to the tops of the step only this time with stain. I used a thin coat and painted my way up around 9pm. It takes at least 6 hours for stain to dry to the touch which was fine because we didn’t come downstairs until around 6 am the next morning. This is the first look of the stain with no rubbing or smudging off.

170BA1EA-9244-4866-9CEA-173CAD69ED79I gave it a second coat, smudging this time and making my way to the top of the stairs for another night. The next morning I pulled out the caulk gun to touch up the edge. See the next two pictures from the difference between before caulk and after.

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See how the edges are all filled in. Also notice how light the stairs are now after the smudging process. I am thinking of giving them another coat and leaving it but I actually quite like the patterns that have settled in here. Plus I am tired of dealing with the stairs. Later on this week I will go in and do more touch ups like to the wall where it meets the stairs but I want to wait to figure out what color I want to paint this hallway. What ever color I paint will wrap around the entire downstairs and the upstairs hallway because there’s no true break in the walls. So I want to choose wisely. In the mean time, I am just going to enjoy this “completed” project.

Sitting Room Refresh

A65761D6-FEF3-47DE-975A-987E499F07FDYou’ve definitely seen this room before from the post about the sitting room. I spent the majority of the weekend giving this little room a refresh. We’ve been popping in and out of town for the month of June and this is where everything lands between and during trips. So most of the changes are unseen organizational like the complete re-working of the closet which I will space you. Most of the other changes are small especially to people who don’t live here but they made a huge difference to the usability of the room. The major change in this room is that I decided to mount the tv. I put this task off because I wasn’t committed to the room’s layout and I was pretty sure I wanted to pay a professional for this. This weekend, I just decided to go for it and can I tell you it was just one of the simplest task ever. By doing so, I freed up so much desk space.

9F08CDD8-A208-472A-A5D1-A1491221CEA527559060-72BF-48E2-810F-3E8DB72BBF32Mounting the tv meant dangling cords though. I tucked most of the cords behind this paintable cord track. I didn’t run it all the way to the floor because I needed to hide the Apple TV in this drawer. The drawer is directly across from and eye level to the sofa so it’s a great hiding spot. I also brought this Kate Spade lamp from somewhere else in the house because the other one was too tall.

EFF6E9FD-4D27-42D0-AC90-0404565626B2My favorite change is the presence of a new ceiling fan. We tried this room without one for a while and it just doesn’t work. It’s the highest point in our house and gets a ton of light (these photos were taken at like 8pm) so it gets warm and because of its size, it gets stifling. We decided on this low profile, minimally invasive fan and we love it. It does the job with very little noise and a very low profile remote which I mounted to the wall because I can definitely see it growing legs and walking off.

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Other that that, the room got a few simple styling changes, mostly by shuffling things around the house and from the closets. 10BAF294-ECD5-4FA8-9D7A-DE4443AA3DD179256D90-01DE-47D4-84FB-767B8328DA33Very happy with the simple functional changes here. Thanks for following along,

Prepfordwife

Kate Spade Inspired Bridal Shower

ECD0E5C5-0114-43C2-8647-EACA1192D724One of my best gals in the entire world is getting married and I took point on the bridal shower as her joint matron of honor. We had the actual party in a restaurant where I took very few picture both for the privacy of the guests and because I wanted to actually enjoy the shower and not stress about shooting for the blog. So I redressed the party right at home on my deck as a “what to do for a small backyard Kate Spade inspired bridal shower”.

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I went for simple crafts that could travel well. This welcome sign, poster board layered in polka dot wrapping paper, which doubled as table runner at the actual event. I layered it on top of a scalloped pink disposable table cloth and at the end of the party, we just rolled the entire table up in a big ball and threw it away. Not good for the planet but good for timing. Here since my deck table set is pink (hubby’s idea), I just brought out the pink table runner from the house as well as these striped outdoor Serena and Lily pillows, the Kate Spade library pillow from our bed and the polka dot pillows.

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I collected these bottles of varying sizing and dressed them as centerpieces. Removed any labeling and adhesive (shout out to hubby for the tip that vinegar followed by warm soapy water dissolves adhesive) and then styled them. Since the actual party was bigger than my backyard table, I used the polka dot cups here as extra vases. I chose these Gerber daisies because they were simple, whimsical and the bride loves them. Plus you can snag them the morning of at Trader Joe’s. Couldn’t pick up anything before the day of; y’all know my thumb is black.01B38E85-B2DB-4E1B-9936-517752ED3BBA406C3E93-CFD9-48D2-B048-D700E970C35EThese little nail polishes with tags that say “Mani-thanks” were used as party favors. First of all, no one is more excited about a good pun than I am. Initially, I planned on wiping a store out of Sally Hansen’s “Pink Cadillaquer” because my bride sells Mary Kay but I couldn’t find enough of them so these neutral pinks had to do.

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The straws are either Target or Homegoods, who knows after all of the shopping around I did, but the tags are from a word template. There were two options for tags “Soon to Be Mrs B” and “Heeeeeey Mrs Parker” with a Bee on the other side since she’s queen B.

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I think most wedding games are incredibly cheesy. Who cares if the bride said I love you first or if the groom asked her out? Honestly, no one. Instead I corralled games from Pinterest that actually looked fun and would break the ice. “Find the guest” and “what’s in your phone/purse” are some of my favorites because everyone can enjoy them and they don’t  pry too much into the bride and grooms lives if they are a more private couple.

A53DE8B9-19CA-4A86-A0DA-D3175E4E13C7The pom under the umbrella are made from all of the pink/white/gold tissue paper I had lying around the house. This diy is actually one I learned from my mother many moons ago. At the party, my co-matron of honor asked if I used a pom kit for these and I said “THERE’S A KIT?!” Could’ve saved myself some time.3BB3D562-BDDC-4A66-947E-CE098D42157B

For the actual party, I made a large ombré pink cake and placed it on this stand but none of it made its way home to me (for which I am eternally grateful). Because of that you get to see these little trifle beautifies, also a diy courtesy of my mom. You simply layer frosting/whipped cream, fruit and cake. This is funfetti cake with almond cream cheese frosting, a call back to family dinners with Brooke in our undergrad years.3DB484BB-C274-4CA2-B6A9-7EE509DE9878

Last but not least what’s a party without a selfie frame? In 2018 with millennials? Nothing, that’s what it is. So there you have it. A quick and easy Kate Spade party. Sure, I had to vacuum my deck from glitter but it was totally worth it. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it sparks some idea for a future something you may be throwing.

XO Prepfordwife

P.S. I may add sources for everything later on today.

Our Sitting Room

FFA597FA-7366-4B4E-B070-869583EA0674This room is on the second floor, right across from the guest bedroom that we claimed as the master. This room has given us the ability to sprawl out and essentially turn our entire floor into one master suite. We use it for everything from relaxing to working  from home and telecommuting, hence the tv. We almost passed on the tv and got the biggest iMac but decided the tv would give us the most bang for our buck. I can just hook it up to an HDMI cable for days where I need an extra screen for data mining.

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Half of the time, it gets used for work from home and marathons of One Tree Hill. I play it in the background the way people Spotify; something I can listen to but not watch because I’ve seen it so many times.  Another pro-tip from a constant work from home-er; wear real clothes. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked to add video to a call, I could pay for the decor in this room. Anyway, this desk is one hubby snagged in our last home that’s followed us here. Mostly it gets used by Remus Lupin who loves having a covering over his head (No one was more thrilled than him when we got a bedskirt in our room since it gave him somewhere to hide).  I mostly just work from the couch.

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The other half of the time, this is a guest room. The couch is yet another World Market win. You know I live and die by the World Market sword. It’s a fantastic couch and one day, I’ll do a full review of it but it’s a fold out sleeper which helps this room double as an extra guest room on nights where we have multiple groups of guest. It’s super firm and great on the back and even better, it’s super easy to fold out.

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Out of all of the rooms in our house, this one is most authentically us. It includes so many pieces of our life and our relationship; the Harry Potter books gifted to us over the years by respective family and friends, the book ends from my father in law who had a chuckle at the two black dogs, the globe that doubled as a guest book at our wedding, the quirky book clock gifted by my best friend when I went to college, the first drawing of me from April Heather over on instagram, a map of our town that we found in a thrift store long before we ever moved here and went back to get years later and the woman who owned the shop remembered us. This room is a sign of a life well lived and well loved.

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This room is a small one, but it’s home. I’ve sourced as many things as I can below but honestly so much of the things in here are one of a kind, vintage, gifted or thrifted that I’ve just had to post similars. Thank you for reading!

Shelves: World Market Etagere

Sleeper sofa: World Market Nolee

Geometric Painting: Hubby, Similar from Crate and Barrel

Wicker: Nate Berkus for Target Turtle Shell

Pug Book ends: Similar

White pots: Ikea

Wicker baskets: TjMaxx, similar

Desk: Josephine Desk from World Market

Lamp: Kate Spade from Homegoods, Similar

Custom Fashion print: April Heather Art

Poufs: Target Outdoor Pouf

Rug: World Market, similar

Dog Beds: TjMaxx, similar

Book Clock: Sold-out 

Bumble bee figure: target, also comes in beetle and dragonfly

Colorblock blanket: sold out

Ampersand Pillow: DIY, Similar

Curtains: TjMaxx, similar 

Chair: Thrifted with DIY seat, Similar

Agate Tray: Sold out, Similar

New York Times Square Print: Old Ikea, Similar

XO Prepfordwife

DIY Mini Hunter Boots

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You’re welcome in advance for one of the cutest DIYs you’ve ever seen. It’s not mine. It’s adapted from Devon over at Girl in Gingham (adorable name) who adapted it from Rachel from Something Delightful. Doesn’t this just feel like an old school game of Telephone or Whisper Down the Lane? Either way, you can consider this me whispering one of the best kept preppy diy secrets to you.

I picked these boots up from Oriental Trading just like the other girls. They come in a pack of six pairs (12 total boots) for a grand total of $19.99! That was the only item I needed as I had the other supplies at home already. Full disclosure, I ran out of the high gloss project paint and use valspar lacquer to finish the rest of the boots.

Supplies

Boots

Gloss Spray Paint

Gloss Top Coat

Acrylic Paint for Hunter logo (red, white, black)

Fine tip paint brush

Tarp (aka cardboard box to cover surfaces)

40BEC7D3-3C26-4722-9431-C0D85F8DB13EC0E47234-7E1A-4E29-8990-2D8CB4819129These boots can be made in a few easy steps. Spray paint with the color of your choosing. Wait at least one hour for the paint to dry and spray a second coat of color. I waited overnight (only because I got sleepy) for the color coats to dry before following up by painting the Hunter label. Seal with one or two coats of high gloss clear and your off to the races.

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I ended up making five of the six  pairs as you can see and saving the last pair for when I am sure of what color I’d like best. This little project would be fabulous for a nursery if you are having a little one. We sent a happy little blue set off to a friend for nursery bookends.

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They’d also be great as a happy little edition to a barcart or a table setting to hold something dry like these straws or artificial hydrangeas. I don’t recommend using these as real planters unless you intend to put holes in the bottoms as they have no form of drainage.

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And voila, you’ve got yourself an easy and cute DIY. Hardest part is the ship and dry time.

XO Prepford Wife

Painting Kitchen Floor: A Saga

I wanted tile floors but I didn’t want to tile floors. Queue DIY music (or Macklemore’s Thrift Shop. Loathe as I am to give them props on anything, that song is my life all summed up).

In the interest of giving the goods up front. Here are before and afters of my kitchen.

Very Blurry Before Still Shots from A Video Before We Moved In:

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Before Painting:  Note counters already prepared with goodies to paint with

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After:

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So there’s my floors all done with my own two hands. In the interest of full fledged honesty, which I encourage round these parts, this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. I use to participate in technical theater as a scenic charge in high school and painting floors was apparently my jam. Proof? Exhibit A: 100 lbs lighter and 10 years younger version of me coated in paint.

So when I decided to paint my floor, I had all the confidence that I could get it done and come out alive with less paint coating my clothing. I checked the internets and yes! It could be done and has been done, in exactly the floor I wanted no less, by the lovely Mysha of Remington Avenue. And praise be to God she posted a tutorial which I sort of followed. Here are the steps that I took. But definitely stop by her site to see the one that started it all and to avoid my lack of structure.

Our floors are of the laminate peel and stick variety and I knew down the road that I wanted to replace them with tile. I know my style is rather distinct so I try not to make too many of “those kinds” of specialized changes that won’t add value for when we decided to sell in the distant yet foreseeable future. So it only made sense to give those peel and stick tiles an affordable face lift and then keep real tile in my wayfair cart ‘less I messed up heavily.

Supplies

  • Foam Rollers -small to give more control and not be bigger than the stencil. Foam to avoid lint and shedding of fibers.
  • 220 grit sanding block
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Painters tape- feel free to get the delicate but pro tip: just stick it to your sweater a full times and pull off to soften the stickiness
  • Exacto knife
  • Mylar sheets or transparent poster board
  • Foam brushes
  • Paint
  • Polyacrylic sealant
  • Plastic shopping bags (you’ll see, promise)
  • Bucket
  • Degreaser
  • Kilz 1-2-3 Primer
  • Dry Swiffer or other mop with electrostatic cling

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  1. We have these beautiful bistro chairs that I snagged for a steal before we moved from a consignment shop (when has your fave ever?!). I knew I wanted the floor to be a close match to the color so I toted this picture into Lowe’s. As the human color match machine. I picked out the colors I thought were the closest and brought them home with me to look at them in different lighting. IMG_9573.jpg
  2. Gathered supplies. (including unpictured supplies)IMG_9575.jpg
  3. Emptied the floor of everything, dry swiffered, dry swiffered again, dry swiffered again. See a trend here. It’s really important to make sure that you get as much dust and particulate up from the start so it’s not caught in the floor. We have dogs which means that even though they have never been allowed in the kitchen, that I found dog hair in the cracks and crevices of the floor. Scrub floor with a degreaser. I used a bucket of hot water and blue Dawn dish detergent followed by a wash of clean water to make sure no soap was left behind. You could also probably use a cap full of bleach in a bucket of hot water. This step is really important because you need a good base to begin with. IMG_9577.jpg
  4. I taped off the floor with blue painter tape. Note that I got the thick tape. I’m not usually very careful with painting since old habits die hard butI knew I needed to protect the cabinets. Usually I skip this step (repeat: not careful) but I really wanted to get this right ‘less my husband blow a gasket.IMG_9579.jpg
  5. Rolled my table into the way so the dogs wouldn’t shake close to the kitchen boundary line (looking at you Sirius), tied up the curtains and primed the floor with the Kilz. We had a leftover can in our garage from previous projects and it has never let us down. While the primer dried I went and picked up paint. IMG_9829IMG_9830
  6. My favorite colors turned out to be Valspar Bleached Slate and Iron Frost which I got in Signature. I painted the floor and while waiting for it to dry I got started on a stencil. Top pictures are of iron frost while wet at night and the other photo is dry in daylight. It’s a very close matched me the chairs. IMG_9581.jpgIMG_9582.jpgIMG_9586.jpg7. I purchased sheets of transparent poster board from Michael’s. You can purchase Mylar Sheets on Amazon if you decide to make a stencil yourself or just purchase it like a regular person. I didn’t have the patience to extend this project to more days so I got to work. These tiles in my kitchen is 18 x 18. I’m lazy so to measure I just laid the transparency on the floor and traced it. IMG_9589.jpg
  7. Then I measured to find the halfway mark on the transparency both length and width and drew a line. IMG_9591.jpg
  8. I repeated the action by finding the half mark of the half mark and making a dashed line. This split my stencil into fourths so that I could turn one tile into four smaller tiles with the pattern I was making. IMG_9594.jpg
  9. I then used some of the extra sheet outside of the stencil to cut out a square the size of one of the smaller squares. From that I bent the square in half and drew a little curved and then cut that “little football”.IMG_9596.jpgIMG_9597.jpg
  10. I traced that it into the small squares and then labeled where to cut with an exacto knife. IMG_9600.jpg
  11. I laid the stencil onto a cutting board/mat and exacto-knifed the placed where I traced the football. IMG_9602.jpg
  12. Finished stencil. IMG_9603.jpg
  13. I started near my back and worked into the house. I taped the stencil down with the painters tape, made gentle by tapping it to my sweater.IMG_9604.jpg
  14. Rolled over stencil with a clean new foam brush brush. At this point I realized there was still residual dog hair in my kitchen so I snagged a swiffer cloth and began running it over the squares before I rolled over them. IMG_9605.jpg
  15. I scattered the pattern so that I could still walk around the kitchen. I made sure to do no two side by side so that the stencil wouldn’t overlap and smudge. IMG_9606.jpg
  16. After the initial squares dried, I went back in and started filling in the squares that I skipped.IMG_9608.jpgIMG_9609.jpg
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  18. I completed the vast majority of the kitchen and then doubled back to do the edges. because this happened on day two, the stencil was completely dry so I just taped it to the wall and rolled in the empty space. IMG_9648.jpg
  19. After the vast majority of the squares were completed, I went back and completed touch ups using the foam brushes. IMG_9820
  20. Once touch ups were complete, I rolled three coats of polycrylic sealant on, giving each coat 2 hours of dry time before touching/walking and 24 hours before the next coat (Coat +24 hours, coat+24hours, coat +24hours). I used polycrylic instead of polyurethane because the polyurethane will yellow over time. Make sure that you are dust free. Between coats I used the sanding bar to loosen any grit and scratch up the coat so the next coat would adhere well. I then wiped the grit with the microfiber towel so that the towel wouldn’t leave dust.  IMG_9652.jpgIMG_9653.jpgIMG_9658.jpg
  21. After the coat dried, I carefully removed all of the tape using the exacto knife to make sure it didn’t pull up any of the sealant. IMG_9772.jpg
  22. Once the floor was complete and had 72 hours to dry, I put in this art deco gold vent cover for only $5. #winningIMG_9773.jpgDSC_0979

 

So tada that’s that. Well sorta. I need to pull out the appliances and paint underneath but I’m giving the floor a second to rest a bit more and cure before I put them out. So that’s it. I tend to freestyle when I paint (and when I live, honestly). I always describe myself as a “measure half a time, cut three times” kind of girl which means I plan in my head and then fling headlong into a project. So something here may not be clear. Gotta question? Let me know.