Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sneak Peek: Gallery Wall

I've been drooling over all the pretty gallery walls on Pintrest for some time.  So I've finally taken the leap and started one going up my staircase.  Here's a sneak peek!

Like the custom artwork? I designed them myself...more to come on that.

Some of my favs:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Behind the Pretty: Lighting

I was inspired by Emily A. Clark's "Real Life" blog post about her home behind the pretty, styled pictures she posts on her blog.  I always post about my completed projects, but never about pain-staking thought, time and research that goes into these projects.

So I thought I'd start a little franchise here at Living Lovely....Behind the Pretty posts.  First up, my lighting dilemmas.  I'm currently working on two lighting projects in our house: updating our kitchen ceiling fan and installing a drum pendant light above the dining room table.

Ceiling Fan: BEFORE
I admit, a ceiling fan in a kitchen is a little weird {and gross, I dust this thing like crazy in the summer}, but it gets very hot in here so it's a necessary evil.

 So if I must live with it, then the gold had to go.  I started by spray painting all the brass with a brushed silver. I was too lazy to take the whole thing down, so I taped off the ceiling and gave the rest of the fan a coat of white spray paint.  Now the dilemma, what to do with the light??  Glass replacement shades at Home Depot and Lowes are about $10-20 each...way too expensive.  Maybe a drum shade, but I haven't figured out a good way to attach it yet   

Drum Pendant: BEFORE
Ok, so there is really no before since we don't even have a fixture!

I purchased this large drum shade at the Christmas Tree Shop for $11!  The challenge: how to create a pendant without hardwiring an electrical switch?

My first idea was to use a plug-in socket, but this one from Ikea is too short and I'd prefer a cord with a switch.  I could rewire the socket, but maybe there's an easier way.

Then I found this wireless switch/socket set online, but it cost $40 and I would still need a pendant fixture.  So the research continues!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wedding Invitations

I'm feeling really accomplished today!  With just under 3 months to go until our wedding, we finally sent out our wedding invitations yesterday.

I took my inspiration from La Belle Vie {Designs} and designed my own invitations.  It was actually super easy and saved a ton of money.  Then, I purchased pre-cut white linen card stock and colored envelopes from Paper Presentation, ran them through my ink jet printer and volia! instant invitations.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Colorful Doors

I love the look of these painted doors. From bright to muted shades, these colors add a fresh punch of color. I am totally trying this on the back-side of our exterior door!

Punch up an entry

Yellow door, yellow frames, yellow chairs.

Aqua door and amazing light fixtures.

Elegant purple door with gold hardware.

Black door, bright walls

Friday, January 27, 2012

Painted Black Trim

I love the sophisticated look of painted black trim, and combined with more casual furnishing like the above farm table and antiqued pendants, it can still feel comfortable and homey.

Sophisticated black & white

Just a black door is a good compromise

Or maybe just the staircase?

One day I hope to be brave enough to do it in my own home!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Acrylic Tray Trend

If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed that many of my latest pins have been on home offices.  After two years of our laptop sitting on our dining room table, we've  finally decided to furnish our home office!  I am beyond excited, and while searching for organizational ideas I came across this office look from one of my favorite bloggers, Rashon Carraway aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting.  I love the juxtaposition of the modern acrylic serving tray with classic leather wingback and tartan.  I just may have to add one to my office!

I'd love to find a $2 thrifting option, but in case not, here are some lovely acrylic trays I found.

Big box option from

High-end option by Jonathan Adler

Personalized option from Etsy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nifty Recessed Cabinet

It's been  awhile since my last post {I know, I'm a bad blogger!}, but I've been meaning to share our completed bathroom renovation and the details on our custom-made, recessed cabinet!  Remember, here's the before....


...and he's the after.


The difference is night and day! And, although we didn't technically gain any additional square footage, we tried to incorporate small changes to make the room feel more spacious.  

We replaced the awkward white cabinet above the toilet with glass floating shelves, which take up much less visual space.  We refurbished the existing recessed medicine cabinet to match the new dark chocolate vanity.  At first, I was concerned about the openness of the vanity since storage space was already limited, but the trade off was building this nifty, recessed cabinet, which we tucked behind the door.  

It's neatly hidden between two wall studs, and the custom door we built to match the wall treatment makes it virtually disappear! Now all the products that were stored beneath the old vanity {and then some!} are concealed.

Here are the instructions in case you want to tackle this project too!

 (3)  1'x6' primed MDF boards
 (3)  Concealed cabinet hinges
 (1)  17" wide pine board
 Shelf support pegs (4x per shelf)
 Drill & drill bits
 Wood screws
 Any matching wall trim (we used wainscot to match the wall) 
 Pegboard (to use as a guide for drilling the adjustable shelf holes)

1. Obviously you'll need to open the wall between two studs (our walls were already open since we gutted the entire room). Prime and paint the now exposed backside of the drywall from the adjoining room.

2.  After paint drys, measure and cut 2 pieces from the 1x6 MDF for the top and bottom plate of the cabinet. This should be roughly 16" or the width of your studs.  (We decided to make the cabinet 12" deep even though it protrudes from the wall slightly. This allows for a toilet paper roll to fit inside, but you could rip down the 1x6 board to sit flush with the wall.  If you choose to do this, just make sure to accommodate the width of the door.) 

3.  Now is the time to paint the boards if you choose to do so, but we left them factory primed.   

4.  Install your top and bottom plate with screws. (You may need to move or install cross supports between the studs to secure your top & bottom plate if they do not exist. We made our cabinet the height of the existing cross supports which was about 5'.)

5.  Now, measure and cut the sides.  Use the pegboard as a guide to drill holes the length of each side board for the shelf support pegs.  Follow the manufacture instructions for the peg supports to determine the size of the hole.

6.  Secure the side boards to the interior of the wall studs with screws. 

7.  From the remaining MDF, measure and cut you're shelves.  Install the peg supports and shelves. 

8.  Cut the pine board to the height of the cabinet. Add any trim and/or paint.

9.  Install the hinges to the manufacture instructions and mount the door.

Happy DIYing!