DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

DIY Pallet Wall

After watching all of the home design and remodel shows, you feel like you are ready to take on any project that comes along – I mean they make it look so easy, right? While in reality, most of them have a crew of people working that they don’t show us on the half hour show, but, there are some ideas that you can in fact, do yourself! One of the most popular design techniques that has come up from these shows is the concept of “shiplap” or pallet walls.

This is a technique that repurposes old boards to create a statement wall in any room – whether kept in the rustic unfinished boards condition they were found or repainting them for a fresh new look. Although it provides a big punch in a room, it is actually relatively easy to DIY. Step one is gathering the materials. So, to start, decide if you are shooting for the more rustic look of weathered, old boards, or the fresh look of a painted finish. If rustic, go on a hunt for boards in the color/style you want – check out yard sales, thrift stores, even big box improvement stores now sell – “vintage style” boards. If you are going to paint, start at the home improvement stores to save some time – no one will know what is underneath the paint anyway. Once you have gathered them, you’ll need nails and a saw.

When picking the wall, keep in mind you must work around whatever is there – so try to pick the wall with the least windows, doors, and heating elements, because it honestly just makes the project easier. And then start at the top. Make sure to cut the boards into different lengths – you don’t want to make it look symmetrical. Just nail the boards into place and continue lining up row by row until you get to the bottom of the wall – if necessary cutting the bottom row in height to finish evenly at the bottom of the room. While a hammer and nails would suffice, a nail gun will definitely make the job go quicker and easier.

When you are done, sit back, enjoy another home design show and get thinking about next weekend’s project!!

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DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Layering Old and New

It’s always the smaller details that bring comfort and coziness into your home. Whether it’s a soft, patterned pillow against your solid color sofa or a handpicked chandelier over your tabletop; the smaller touches add more of you to a space than the bigger ones.

However, sometimes it can be overwhelming decorating a place. Your first goal is always to get the bigger items, such as a rug,  sofa, or an accent table. But once you get those items in place, you realize you need more to add and finish up the space. And most of the time, you’re over budget. So what can you do to reduce this feeling?

If you’re renovating or remodeling a room, keep in mind that you do not need to throw everything away and start from scratch. It may be best to get rid of that beat up loveseat and get a new one but you do not need to throw out your existing accessories and accents if they’re in good condition. Don’t throw away that basket you keep your snacks in. Don’t throw away the tray you keep your magazines and remotes on. Reuse those items back into your newly decorated space. And don’t be afraid of layering them with other existing items you may have or new ones you’ve picked up. Layer your existing tray with new accent colored candles that fit the new space. Put some colorful potpourri in that old but still in good condition basket and leave it on a side table. Keep that painting you have and reframe it with a metallic paint finish or a color accent that complements your space. Spray paint your existing vase to fit the new décor and put in some fresh flowers.

And when you’re done integrating the new and the old, you will realize the space will feel much cozier, much more you in it than buying everything new.

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DIY General Tips and Advice

DIY Mirror Upgrade

More likely that not, you have one of the generic full-length mirrors somewhere in your house. If you are like me, it is hanging on the interior of your closet door, because although it is very useful, it is also very unattractive. However, for the $5 it cost we shouldn’t expect anything glamorous. Turns out, there are a bunch of nice and relatively easy ideas for upgrading your mirror – and then maybe it can be a decorative piece in your room too!

The concept is essentially the same as creating a picture frame – for those of you that make them – and do not buy them premade at the store like me. To start out, you need to decide the color and the material you want. Working with wood is the easiest, just by the nature of it, and comes in a wide variety of widths, designs, and textures – all ready to buy off the shelf. The thicker the wood you chose, the more sturdy the frame will be – key if you hope to use the mirror as a “leaning” mirror rather than hanging it up. If you don’t find the exact color you want premade – its easy enough to either paint or stain it to match your space. You will also need wood glue, mirror clips (easy to find online or at the home improvement store), a saw, and a staple gun.

Remove the cheap frame that comes standard with the mirror you already have – it will snap off pretty easily. Arrange the pieces exactly how you want them, and then cut them to fit the shape of the mirror. You can cut them at the four corners at an angle, or just line the pieces up square (much easier to do) and gives it a slightly more modern look. One everything is the correct size, glue the joints together with the wood glue, let dry, then staple the pieces into place for reinforcement. One stapled, add the small mirror clips to the back of the frame. If you are going to further stain or paint the wood, do it at this point, before you attach the mirror.

Attach your mirror into place, and instant upgrade! You now will have a mirror that you are happy to display somewhere other than in your closet!!

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General Tips and Advice

Spring Check List

Spring Check List

With spring here it’s finally time to get outside!!! But that’s not all; its time to get to all those projects you have had in your mind all winter long. When I start to think about these task I start to get overwhelmed, because I had so many fun and impactful projects on my mind all winter, so what I do every spring is sit down and start jotting them all down. When starting I always just list everything on one big list then I start to prioritize as well as break them out into different categories. Below is an example of how I tend to keep myself organized and busy now that I can get outside and really enjoy the weather.

  1. You want to make sure when you are planning your projects they aren’t just all things that you need to be outside to do. As much as we would for every day to be beautiful and sunny, what I like to save for these days are things that I can either do in the garage like re painting or staining a piece of furniture or re thinking storage space in a closet. (Specially one with all the big winter coats, gloves and hats).
  2. I like to break out yard projects, things like mulching the beds, weeding which unfortunately needs to be done more than once a year… and planting new annuals and other plants/trees. One thing I do each year is I pick a specific flower bed in my yard or spot I want to make into an herb garden and really focus and setting it up so that when next year comes I will still need to mulch and weed but it should already be good to go and start blooming as soon as spring comes back!
  3. Lastly are over all events and projects can do with the kids. I like to set up a scavenger hunts, or find other little DIY/Gardening projects that they can do with me.

You want to prioritize the projects in the categories each to fit what’s most important to get done before the summer as well as what you think will be the most fun! One of my favorite times of the years is spring and because you finally get to get back out side and just attack all those projects that you haven’t gotten to do this winter. If you have any questions let us know!

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piggy bank DIY General Inspiration

Yard Sale Lookouts

Finding and incorporating retro or vintage items can finish off or start a whole new décor scheme for a room in your home. Some things you can find new that are meant to look old or weathered other you can actually find and a lot of the time you will pay less. And when you can’t find that perfect item to finish off a room or be that focal point you can use some tricks to weather and DIY them yourself!

One of the places you can find a lot of great items for that farm house feel or vintage looking pieces is actually Target. I know what you are thinking why would target have it? Well they partnered with HGTVs Joannah Gaines to carry her Hearth and Home Collection. This collection has a ton of great pieces that are both affordable and stylish.

One of my personal favorite places to find these type of items is at estate or garage sales. You can really find anything at these sales and normally pick them up very cheap because people just want more room. You can find a lot of old items at these types of sales, weathered wood that you can repurpose to make into tables or accent signs, and thing to keep an eye open for are cool little knick-knacks that you can use to fill console tables or shelves. These items can very quiet a bit and be personal to your style, for example skeleton keys candle sticks interesting sculptures and even old typewriters and cameras whatever you see and can’t live without! Estate and garage sales are normally limited to the weekends and if you are looking to get a great deal earlier in the week you may want to check out some thrift or antique shops. As they say, one persons’ trash is another persons’ treasure.

And if you can’t find that perfect piece there are some great easy ways to weather metal and wood. A lot of these are explained in some great tutorials online but are as simple as soaking the metal in lemon juice to give it a nice patina and aged look. Whatever the look is its most likely you can spend some time and make it yourself and then you will truly have a one of a kind piece that you can be proud of.

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Utilizing Extra Rooms

Having multiple bedrooms are great, it allows you to have a spare bed when friends or family visits. But the best part about them is to have multi-functional rooms. When doing something like this it is important you don’t alienate the space and make it unusable. You want to think what is the purpose of the room? Does it make sense? And how will it be used in everyday life?

When thinking about the purpose of the room you want to keep in mind that this room will have a split purpose a Guestroom and a …. what? Some of my favorite are combined this room to make a craft room or an office these functions allow you to split the purpose of the room in a great way while not making your guest feel like they are staying in a random room on a random bed. This is so because with a craft room or an office you are still able to normal bedding and side table in a room while having enough space to perform the secondary function. With the space requirement of an at home office isn’t a lot, while a craft room can take up a the whole room or even a few rooms (depending on how much you love to DIY) most of it is storable and you can use a table that you could also store away or allow to be used by your guest when they come.

Guest rooms are great because the fact that they are used only for its intended purpose when someone comes. What you don’t want to happen though is to use it as just “Extra Storage” that is because it really isn’t if you want to be able to house a guest this room shouldn’t be looked at as a spot holder you should keep it in your weekly life so you don’t just use it as storage and forget about it until it’s too late, because you will need to find room for that stuff or your guest will feel like they are staying in a closet.

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DIY General Tips and Advice

Instant Room Changers

At this point, we have been stuck inside for months now!! I can’t be the only one getting a bit sick of these walls and am aching to get back out side, but for now still too cold and the sun just isn’t out as late as it needs to be. So what can we do? Well, if you are getting sick of your current rooms (as I am) here are a few ways to really make a difference and help you out:

  1. Accent wall: if you want to make a bold change to a room adding a new color or texture is a great way to really get a new feel on your living space. Be careful when choosing colors though; going to dark (especially in a low light room) will make the space feel even smaller and eat the light that comes into it. Textures or wall papers have really come back in style and some of the new patterns are a lot of fun and sure to make a statement in any space.
  2. Window treatments: We know window treatments and we know that they can affect the whole style of the room, you could instantly change any room with a new window treatment. You can add some roman shades, cellular, wood blinds, drapes, or curtains. Each of these will change the feel of the room and a lot of them come in modern colors and patterns.
  3. Furniture: a bit of flare you could choose a bold accent chair that really makes you feel better – something bright and airy; or you could just want to change up your sofa and go with a new color for the room all together.
  4. Re-arrange: one of the biggest changes that you can make (and it won’t cost you anything!) is to re-arrange and flip around your furniture. The room will feel new and different and you really just need to invest in a few man hours and time to rethink the layout.
  5. Throws and pillows: simple but effective; just changing the throw blankets and pillows you have on your chairs and sofa or cushions on your kitchen chairs can make a huge difference and be the thing that ties a whole room together.
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DIY Tips and Advice

DIY – Princess Bedroom!

Not every little girl dreams of being a princess, but if they do, guaranteed they will want a princess bedroom! The dilemma is, how to do it on a pretty low budget, in case she grows out of the princess phase next year!!

Nothing embodies a princess more than pink and glitter. For starters, a coat of paint will instantly transform the space. Keep in mind, pink paint always looks brighter on the walls than at the paint stores because it reflects around the room. Another way to bring in the pink in through bedding, blankets, and pillows (all reasonably inexpensive thing to change out). We suggest looking at big box stores, and discount home good stores for a good variety of princess related bedding. Curtains are also a great way to change up the room, because the light shining through them will give an accent to the room. Fun tip – get a variety of inexpensive princess jewelry (think dollar store) – and use them as accents, for example exchange a holdback hook on your curtains for a crown!

To bring in some glitter, a great place to start is to use existing accessories and accent them with a coat of glitter. You can update light switch covers by coating them in modpodge and sprinkling them with glitter! The same can be done to any other small items around the room – ceiling fan pulls, door knobs, etc. Another simple change is handles/knobs on dressers/nightstands. A lot of home improvement stores sell princess themed pulls (just keep the old ones somewhere safe in case you ever want to switch them back).

A great accent piece is some wall décor featuring either a picture of a favorite princess, or a print out of a favorite quote from a princess story or movie. You can bring in both color and style through the print itself as well as the frame you chose to use. They are an easy accent to create and change, so add a few, and decide how big/small you need them to be based on the wall space you are looking to fill.

Remember, you may only have a princess for a couple of years – so enjoy the moment!!

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Care Tips DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

Cleaning Tips-Spring

Cleaning Tips

BTG Store 151
1. Shoe organizers for cleaning supplies

Does your cleaning supplies cupboard look a lot like mine– bottles and bags all jumbled up together? I can never find what I’m looking for. Using a hanging shoe organizer to store cleaning supplies is brilliant!!

2. Alphabetical Spices

The spice cupboard is another troubled area in my house. The solution? Cut off bottoms of empty cereal boxes, then label them using washi tape and organize your spices in alphabetical order. They’ll be a breeze to find and you’re going green as well.

3. Give the old sock dust

This one has been a game changer for me. I rarely dust, and I just don’t have time to. But I do have time to swipe a dirty sock (not too dirty) along my dresser and night stand before I toss it in the clothes hamper. Sock dusting is amazing–try it!

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DIY Tips and Advice

DIY Costumes

DIY Costumes


As Halloween quickly approaches, and you realize this year it falls on a Saturday, chances are you are going to need a costume.  Whether its for a party, an outing, or just for the kids coming by to trick or treat, it’s always fun to get in the spirit – but really who has the time (or the money) to spend on a costume?   Luckily, there are a few go to costumes that are timeless, easy, and never let you down.

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