Decor

DIY Furry Ottoman and more IKEA Hacks

I needed a new coffee table/Ottoman for my living room after redecorating it and I saw a cute furry pouf I really liked but couldn’t afford ($350!!) so my solution? An IKEA hack involving the ubiquitous LACK table which costs $8!

Here are the main products I used to make my DIY furry Ottoman for my small living room:

IKEA lack table (21.5”x21.5”)
Gold vinyl/contact paper
2” foam
1” foam
Batting
Fur fabric

Spray Adhesive

Tools I used:
Miter box
Hack saw
Staple gun

I needed a new coffee table/Ottoman for my living room after redecorating it and I saw a cute furry pouf I really liked but couldn’t afford ($350!!) so my solution? An IKEA hack involving the ubiquitous LACK table which costs $8!

Here are the main products I used to make my DIY furry Ottoman for my small living room:

IKEA lack table (21.5”x21.5”)
Gold vinyl/contact paper
2” foam
1” foam
Batting
Fur fabric

Spray Adhesive

Tools I used:
Miter box
Hack saw
Staple gun

How to hang curtains to conceal vertical blinds

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. However when you live in a rental apartment or in a condo where you’re not allowed to remove them, it can get a bit tricky, especially if you can’t drill holes in the walls to hang a curtain rod. So when I came across these nono brackets on Amazon, I had to give them a try.

outside mount nono bracket

The brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, so if you have a plastic valance that covers the track, you will need to take that off first.

Taking-off-the-valance

Then you slide the brackets onto the track, adjust the bottom piece so it fits tightly against the track and then you tighten the screw on top. Since this particular track is very close to the ceiling, I ended up using an offset screwdriver to do this. 

No-No-bracket-outside-mount-on-track

The curtain rod is then placed on the brackets. It’s that simple and there’s no need to make any holes in the walls! 

putting-on-curtain-rod

The curtain rod held up well without a third bracket in the middle but I used very light weight curtains so if you’re planning on hanging heavy drapes, I would definitely recommend using 3 nono brackets

Putting-on-curtain-wide-view

Hanging curtains completely transformed the look of this bedroom, and it literally took just a few minutes. Plus hanging the curtains had the added bonus of hiding the A/C unit when not being used and brining in lots of color in an otherwise very white and boring room. 

Krystina's bedroom before and after front view

Hope this was helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing your window transformations!

And FYI, the curtains were just one thing I did in this bedroom makeover – I also revamped a bookcase for more storage, installed a hanging jewelry box and I also made a DIY makeup organizer. You can see all the projects I did in this video:

 

 

No sew DIY Striped curtains and other easy DIY home decor accessories

To save some money when I did my latest project, a very ambitious basement renovation, I made a few DIY home decor accessories, including no sew striped curtains perfect for non-sewers like me.

What I used to make the curtains:

IKEA curtains

Burlap 14” panels 30 ft

Fusible tape

Pins

For the vase project, I used Cricut vinyl

Like the sofa in this makeover? It’s Slim Furniture’s modular compact line of modular furniture with integrated storage:

Watch how to make the side table/stool here:

To save some money when I did my latest project, a very ambitious basement renovation, I made a few DIY home decor accessories, including no sew striped curtains perfect for non-sewers like me.

What I used to make the curtains:

IKEA curtains

Burlap 14” panels 30 ft

Fusible tape

Pins

For the vase project, I used Cricut vinyl

Like the sofa in this makeover? It’s Slim Furniture’s modular compact line of modular furniture with integrated storage:

Watch how to make the side table/stool here:

How to make DIY barn door hardware

I’ve always wanted to make my own DIY Barn door hardware, and I finally figured out how! It was actually a lot easier to make than I thought and I only used off the shelf items I got on Amazon (you’ll be surprised to see how I used stainless steel straws ) and at the hardware store, and I only used hand tools to build everything!

Here’s what I used to make the hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels)

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long)

Stainless steel straws (for spacers)

I also used a drill, a hammer and these other hand tools:

Hacksaw

Mini Pipe cuter

If you want to compare what regular barn door hardware looks like, here’s some you can find on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

I’ve always wanted to make my own DIY Barn door hardware, and I finally figured out how! It was actually a lot easier to make than I thought and I only used off the shelf items I got on Amazon (you’ll be surprised to see how I used stainless steel straws ) and at the hardware store, and I only used hand tools to build everything!

Here’s what I used to make the hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels)

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long)

Stainless steel straws (for spacers)

I also used a drill, a hammer and these other hand tools:

Hacksaw

Mini Pipe cuter

If you want to compare what regular barn door hardware looks like, here’s some you can find on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

My Top 10 favorite Christmas Tree ideas for small spaces

 I’ve always lived in small apartments so when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I’ve tended to not have a traditional Christmas tree because they take up a lot of floor space.  So I thought I would round up my favorite ideas I’ve seen on the web for Christmas trees that you can either hang on a wall or from a ceiling and don’t take that precious floor space.
 
This one is made with pallet wood which gives it its rustic charm. Though you could saw all the boards you need for this project by hand, a circular saw is definitely handy to cut all the wood, especially to get the right angle.
 
DIY_Huntress_Pallet_Wood_Christmas_Tree-3
DIY Pallet wood Christmas Tree by blogger: DIY Huntress
Image credit: DIY Huntress
 
This next version of a wood Christmas tree is also made with pallet wood but is simpler in that you don’t need to cut the wood at an angle. And I love the paint treatment with the snow flakes – adds a bit of whimsy to the design!
 
diy-wood-pallet-christmas-tree-tutorial-1333x2000
 

DIY wood pallet Christmas Tree by blogger: Vintage News Junkie
Image credit: Vintage News Junkie
 
This is a different take on a wood Christmas tree – I love the 3 dimensional design and the irregular outline, which is more like a real tree. This design does also require making different angled cuts with different lengths so it’s a bit more involved than making straight cuts like the previous design. 
 
Ryobi-Rustic-Christmas-Tree-3-572x1024
Rustic Christmas Tree by blogger: Her Tool Belt
Image credit: Her Tool Belt 
 
I’ve made a few decorations with driftwood and I love the look so I immediately fell in love with this wall mounted Christmas tree made with driftwood and rope. The building process is very simple and doesn’t require any tools, which is nice, and the space between the pieces makes it easy to hang lights and decorations.
 arbol de navidad con palos lalole stick christmas tree 1
Driftwood Christmas tree by blogger LALOLEBLOG.
(Image credit:LALOLEBLOG)
 
If you want more color for your tree, this one is a great option, plus it reuses something that would potentially end up in the landfill: an old screen. You could make many different sizes and get really creative with how you want it to look by choosing different types of ornaments.
 
ORNTREE3
Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Into Vintage.
(Image credit: Into Vintage)
 

For a more realistic looking tree, this version of a wall mounted tree uses pine garlands and glue dots tabs to recreate a tree hung directly on a wall. I’ve done this 2 years in a row and everyone that sees comments how real it looks! And since the tabs won’t leave any marks on the walls , it’s also great if you rent.

Christmas-Tree-Finished-side-view-daytime_edited-1

 

This next idea is such a simple way of using pallets – no need to remove all the boards, cut them, reassemble, etc.! I love the rustic look with the lights and decorations. I couldn’t find the original source for this project so if anyone knows who made this, please let me know in the comments!

wall-mounted-xmas-tree-unknown-source

 

This next design, “Pines in line”, is from Domino and it’s prefect for those wanting a more minimalist look that also brings in nature – and this one also requires no tools, bonus!

 

christmas-tree-alternatives-for-small-spaces-christmas-tree-alternatives-ideas-for-small-spaces-lined-pine-56422f7b84cc6e023ab9727e-w1000_h1000

Pines in Line by: Domino.
(Image credit: MICHAEL WILTBANK)

 

This is a more modern and colorful take on a wall mounted Christmas tree – all you need in terms of tools is a hand saw to cut the dowels and the rest is very simple to put together.

 

modern+christmas+hanging+tree+inspired+with+bing+smart+search

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Jenny Batt.
(Image credit: Jenny Batt)
 

Last but not least is this impressive  Christmas tree hung from the ceiling. It only requires a jewelry crimper to make it but judging from the tutorial, you’ll also need a bit of patience. But the end result is definitely worth it!

2_greentree

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Not Martha.
(Image credit: Not Martha)
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these ideas and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

 I’ve always lived in small apartments so when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I’ve tended to not have a traditional Christmas tree because they take up a lot of floor space.  So I thought I would round up my favorite ideas I’ve seen on the web for Christmas trees that you can either hang on a wall or from a ceiling and don’t take that precious floor space.
 
This one is made with pallet wood which gives it its rustic charm. Though you could saw all the boards you need for this project by hand, a circular saw is definitely handy to cut all the wood, especially to get the right angle.
 
DIY_Huntress_Pallet_Wood_Christmas_Tree-3
DIY Pallet wood Christmas Tree by blogger: DIY Huntress
Image credit: DIY Huntress
 
This next version of a wood Christmas tree is also made with pallet wood but is simpler in that you don’t need to cut the wood at an angle. And I love the paint treatment with the snow flakes – adds a bit of whimsy to the design!
 
diy-wood-pallet-christmas-tree-tutorial-1333x2000
 

DIY wood pallet Christmas Tree by blogger: Vintage News Junkie
Image credit: Vintage News Junkie
 
This is a different take on a wood Christmas tree – I love the 3 dimensional design and the irregular outline, which is more like a real tree. This design does also require making different angled cuts with different lengths so it’s a bit more involved than making straight cuts like the previous design. 
 
Ryobi-Rustic-Christmas-Tree-3-572x1024
Rustic Christmas Tree by blogger: Her Tool Belt
Image credit: Her Tool Belt 
 
I’ve made a few decorations with driftwood and I love the look so I immediately fell in love with this wall mounted Christmas tree made with driftwood and rope. The building process is very simple and doesn’t require any tools, which is nice, and the space between the pieces makes it easy to hang lights and decorations.
 arbol de navidad con palos lalole stick christmas tree 1
Driftwood Christmas tree by blogger LALOLEBLOG.
(Image credit:LALOLEBLOG)
 
If you want more color for your tree, this one is a great option, plus it reuses something that would potentially end up in the landfill: an old screen. You could make many different sizes and get really creative with how you want it to look by choosing different types of ornaments.
 
ORNTREE3
Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Into Vintage.
(Image credit: Into Vintage)
 

For a more realistic looking tree, this version of a wall mounted tree uses pine garlands and glue dots tabs to recreate a tree hung directly on a wall. I’ve done this 2 years in a row and everyone that sees comments how real it looks! And since the tabs won’t leave any marks on the walls , it’s also great if you rent.

Christmas-Tree-Finished-side-view-daytime_edited-1

 

This next idea is such a simple way of using pallets – no need to remove all the boards, cut them, reassemble, etc.! I love the rustic look with the lights and decorations. I couldn’t find the original source for this project so if anyone knows who made this, please let me know in the comments!

wall-mounted-xmas-tree-unknown-source

 

This next design, “Pines in line”, is from Domino and it’s prefect for those wanting a more minimalist look that also brings in nature – and this one also requires no tools, bonus!

 

christmas-tree-alternatives-for-small-spaces-christmas-tree-alternatives-ideas-for-small-spaces-lined-pine-56422f7b84cc6e023ab9727e-w1000_h1000

Pines in Line by: Domino.
(Image credit: MICHAEL WILTBANK)

 

This is a more modern and colorful take on a wall mounted Christmas tree – all you need in terms of tools is a hand saw to cut the dowels and the rest is very simple to put together.

 

modern+christmas+hanging+tree+inspired+with+bing+smart+search

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Jenny Batt.
(Image credit: Jenny Batt)
 

Last but not least is this impressive  Christmas tree hung from the ceiling. It only requires a jewelry crimper to make it but judging from the tutorial, you’ll also need a bit of patience. But the end result is definitely worth it!

2_greentree

Ornaments hanging from a screen by blogger Not Martha.
(Image credit: Not Martha)
 

I hope you’ve enjoyed all these ideas and I wish you all Happy Holidays!

How to do a white wash treatment on natural wood

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

Easily Reversible Basement Renovation

Damaged walls and a worn out stained carpet were just some of the challenges in this makeover but with lots of creative and inexpensive projects that are also easily reversible, is was transformed from a dark and neglected basement into a bright and inspiring creative space where I can experiment and test out new design ideas.

Here are more links to some of the products I used in the various projects from the video:

Carpet project:

IKEA floor mats

Carpet tape

Wall panel lighting

LED lights

Corrugated transparent plastic

Unfortunately, the furniture (Slim sofa) is discontinued.

Damaged walls and a worn out stained carpet were just some of the challenges in this makeover but with lots of creative and inexpensive projects that are also easily reversible, is was transformed from a dark and neglected basement into a bright and inspiring creative space where I can experiment and test out new design ideas.

Here are more links to some of the products I used in the various projects from the video:

Carpet project:

IKEA floor mats

Carpet tape

Wall panel lighting

LED lights

Corrugated transparent plastic

Unfortunately, the furniture (Slim sofa) is discontinued.

Get more storage out of a plain bookcase

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

I’m a big advocate of making what you have work for you, especially when you can repurpose something without spending too much time or money. This bookcase is a perfect example – it’s very useful to store beauty products and clothes but it’s kind of plain and not very interesting to look at and it could use some more organizing. So to make it work better in the room and get more storage space out of it, I gave it a few upgrades.

Small-bedroom-before-right-side

The first thing I did was to pretty up the back of the bookcase. I used removable double sided tape to secure beautiful wallpaper remnants I had on hand from a previous project. You could also use contact paper, but I find it can be difficult to handle at times to get a smooth finish so I prefer this wallpaper/removable double sided tape. 

Putting-in-wallpaper-with-double-sided-removable-tap

Next I made some small shelves out of scrap wood  – I cut 2 smaller pieces to make the supports, painted them white and used the same removable double sided tape to secure them to the sides of the bookcase, at the back. Then I simply placed the top of the shelf on the supports. 

Putting-in-shelf-support

Putting-in-the-top-of-the-shelfI had some wallpaper left so instead of painting another smaller shelf, I covered it with the wallpaper using Mod Podge. if you didn’t want to make yours, you can buy shelf extenders, most often used for pantries.

Covering-up-the-shelf-with-wallpaper

Smaller-shelf-with-wallpaper

Having those smaller shelves not only makes it easier to see what’s there, it also uses up more of the vertical space. As a result, I was able to free up a shelf and use it for shoe storage. The easiest way to make a shoe rack in a bookcase is to use tension rods.

Putting-in-tension-rods-to-make-a-shoe-rack

I put one in the back and one in the front, with the back one being a few inches above the front one.

Tension-rod-shoe-rack

The tension rods are so simple and they work great!

Shoes-on-tension-rods

The last thing I did was use some inexpensive cloth boxes that fit the depth of the bookcase (about 11″) to store clothes and other nicknacks.

bookcase-bottom-view-with-cloth-boxes

Now the bookcase is much more organized with everything easy to find, all for less than $25!

Bookcase-and-jewelry-storage-small-bedroom-makeover_square

Quick and affordable rental bedroom makeover

Many small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging curtains over vertical blinds, storage ideas for shoes, jewelry and more! All these ideas are quick to do and affordable and here are some of the things I used to make it happen:

Hanging Jewelry Organizer
NoNo brackets
IKEA Curtains
Curtain rod
Tension Rods
Glue Dots double sided tape

(Optional: offset screwdriver )

Want to see how I made my hanging picture frame jewelry box? Watch this video:

Ep.2- how to make a hanging jewelry box organizer

Want to see how I made the makeup organizer? Watch this video:

DIYB-makeup-organizer-featured-image_edited-1

Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram

Many small bedroom ideas for renters in this makeover: hanging curtains over vertical blinds, storage ideas for shoes, jewelry and more! All these ideas are quick to do and affordable and here are some of the things I used to make it happen:

Hanging Jewelry Organizer
NoNo brackets
IKEA Curtains
Curtain rod
Tension Rods
Glue Dots double sided tape

(Optional: offset screwdriver )

Want to see how I made my hanging picture frame jewelry box? Watch this video:

Ep.2- how to make a hanging jewelry box organizer

Want to see how I made the makeup organizer? Watch this video:

DIYB-makeup-organizer-featured-image_edited-1

Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram

Budget Rental Kitchen Remodel That is Easily Reversible

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality in a generic rental kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

Tessa's-Kitchen-before-side-view-square

Now, first let me say that this is a perfectly nice kitchen as it is in it’s original state. It’s all a matter of taste – if you like white than this is great. If you like more color and pattern, then this isn’t going to do it for you.

Smart-Tiles-tile-close-up

The mission was to inject some fun and personality and to do that, I chose these beautiful peel and stick tiles (Smart Tiles VINTAGE in AZUR) to “redo” the backsplash by installing them over the existing tiles. The colors and pattern in the tiles are full of life and perfectly match the eclectic quirky sense of style that I was going for.

Smart-tiles-cutting-them

The tiles are easy to cut with a utility knife and a ruler so getting around outlets and window frames is really easy and fast.

Smart-Tiles-tile---installing-them

To install the tiles, you just remove the backing part way to start and then keep peeling it off as you stick the tile onto the wall, or in this case, the existing tile. Doing it this way is so much easier than having to remove the existing tile, which would make a mess! Plus it’s easy to change you mind after – All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loose up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles.

Cornice-made-from-wood-scraps

I used the colors in the Smart Tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood. By using some brackets on either side of the cornice, it simply rests on top of the cabinets so I didn’t have to make any holes in the walls to install it.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

On old IKEA kitchen cart also got a revamping with new wheels and a new top. I made the top with pine boards and furring strips and stained it with a semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called wedgewood.

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

I also made the kitchen cart even more functional by incorporating a spice rack on one side. It’s now the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles. 

Image_2_Tessas_kitchen_side_view_of_corner_with_island_horizontal_web_watermarked

I love how this turned out and the best part is that everything is easily removable when moving out, including the tiles. All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loosen up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles. This is also perfect if you don’t want to commit to a look like this for the longterm.

Image_4_Tessas_kitchen_wide_front_view_horizontal_high_res_watermarked

Tessa's Kitchen side view of window close up high res watermarked

The entire kitchen remodel came in under budget at $446, including the plants. You can watch the entire makeover, including how I installed tiles, made the window cornice and the IKEA kitchen cart revamp, in this video.

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality in a generic rental kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

Tessa's-Kitchen-before-side-view-square

Now, first let me say that this is a perfectly nice kitchen as it is in it’s original state. It’s all a matter of taste – if you like white than this is great. If you like more color and pattern, then this isn’t going to do it for you.

Smart-Tiles-tile-close-up

The mission was to inject some fun and personality and to do that, I chose these beautiful peel and stick tiles (Smart Tiles VINTAGE in AZUR) to “redo” the backsplash by installing them over the existing tiles. The colors and pattern in the tiles are full of life and perfectly match the eclectic quirky sense of style that I was going for.

Smart-tiles-cutting-them

The tiles are easy to cut with a utility knife and a ruler so getting around outlets and window frames is really easy and fast.

Smart-Tiles-tile---installing-them

To install the tiles, you just remove the backing part way to start and then keep peeling it off as you stick the tile onto the wall, or in this case, the existing tile. Doing it this way is so much easier than having to remove the existing tile, which would make a mess! Plus it’s easy to change you mind after – All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loose up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles.

Cornice-made-from-wood-scraps

I used the colors in the Smart Tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood. By using some brackets on either side of the cornice, it simply rests on top of the cabinets so I didn’t have to make any holes in the walls to install it.

IKEA kitchen Cart before

On old IKEA kitchen cart also got a revamping with new wheels and a new top. I made the top with pine boards and furring strips and stained it with a semi-transparent exterior stain from Behr in a color called wedgewood.

IKEA kitchen_cart_top_view_close_up_web

I also made the kitchen cart even more functional by incorporating a spice rack on one side. It’s now the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles. 

Image_2_Tessas_kitchen_side_view_of_corner_with_island_horizontal_web_watermarked

I love how this turned out and the best part is that everything is easily removable when moving out, including the tiles. All you need is a hair dryer to heat up the tiles a bit to loosen up the glue and the tiles come off cleanly without leaving any residue on the existing tiles. This is also perfect if you don’t want to commit to a look like this for the longterm.

Image_4_Tessas_kitchen_wide_front_view_horizontal_high_res_watermarked

Tessa's Kitchen side view of window close up high res watermarked

The entire kitchen remodel came in under budget at $446, including the plants. You can watch the entire makeover, including how I installed tiles, made the window cornice and the IKEA kitchen cart revamp, in this video.

** This post was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Easy ways to upgrade your rental bathroom

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Reversible Rental kitchen remodel on a budget

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality into this generic white and grey kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

The star of this kitchen makeover? The peel and stick VINTAGE smart tiles in AZUR – they are full of life and color, and perfectly match the fun, eclectic sense of style of the renters: Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog. I was able to install the peel and stick smart tiles right over the existing subway tiles so this project was quick, easy and mess free, with stunning results. I used the tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood, and the IKEA kitchen cart revamping that I did: I gave it new wheel, a new top and made it even more functional by incorporating a space rack. It’s not the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles.

The entire kitchen remodel, including the plants came in under budget at $446 and by doing it as soon as they moved into the house, Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog will get to enjoy their new kitchen for the next 3 years while they live in the house and work on their LA-based tiny house business, the LATCH collective, making the investment well worth it.

Here’s a cost breakdown for the makeover:

Total cost: $446

Backsplash: $368

VINTAGE Azur Smart Tiles –  46 tiles @ $8 each 

Window Cornice: $10

$6 wood and corner brackets

$4 paint (custom color)

IKEA BEKVAM kitchen cart hack/revamp: $48

2 ½” casters w/ brakes: $14

Wood: $15

Stain: $8

Plants: $20

Click here for the tutorial on how I revamped the IKEA kitchen cart and for more rental kitchen decorating ideas, you can watch how I gave a makeover to my LA apartment kitchen in this video.

** This video was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality into this generic white and grey kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

The star of this kitchen makeover? The peel and stick VINTAGE smart tiles in AZUR – they are full of life and color, and perfectly match the fun, eclectic sense of style of the renters: Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog. I was able to install the peel and stick smart tiles right over the existing subway tiles so this project was quick, easy and mess free, with stunning results. I used the tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood, and the IKEA kitchen cart revamping that I did: I gave it new wheel, a new top and made it even more functional by incorporating a space rack. It’s not the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the tiles.

The entire kitchen remodel, including the plants came in under budget at $446 and by doing it as soon as they moved into the house, Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog will get to enjoy their new kitchen for the next 3 years while they live in the house and work on their LA-based tiny house business, the LATCH collective, making the investment well worth it.

Here’s a cost breakdown for the makeover:

Total cost: $446

Backsplash: $368

VINTAGE Azur Smart Tiles –  46 tiles @ $8 each 

Window Cornice: $10

$6 wood and corner brackets

$4 paint (custom color)

IKEA BEKVAM kitchen cart hack/revamp: $48

2 ½” casters w/ brakes: $14

Wood: $15

Stain: $8

Plants: $20

Click here for the tutorial on how I revamped the IKEA kitchen cart and for more rental kitchen decorating ideas, you can watch how I gave a makeover to my LA apartment kitchen in this video.

** This video was sponsored by Smart Tiles – all thoughts and opinions are my own **

Outdoor furniture perfect for any patio or small balcony

I’m always on the lookout for outdoor furniture that’s easy to move and that will easily adapt to new spaces, so I was really excited when Slim furniture asked me to try out their new line of flat packed outdoor furniture – I was amazed at how light it was (it’s made from rust proof aluminum frames) and how easy it was to put together without ANY tools, take apart and to move by myself! The whole process was way easier than putting together furniture from IKEA. And every piece of furniture has storage built-in – so useful for smaller outdoor spaces like small balconies! You can only purchase Slim furniture online: it’s available on Amazon.com and you can also check out Slim Furniture’s website to find out more about their furniture and purchase it there.

* This video was sponsored by Slim Furniture – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

 

I’m always on the lookout for outdoor furniture that’s easy to move and that will easily adapt to new spaces, so I was really excited when Slim furniture asked me to try out their new line of flat packed outdoor furniture – I was amazed at how light it was (it’s made from rust proof aluminum frames) and how easy it was to put together without ANY tools, take apart and to move by myself! The whole process was way easier than putting together furniture from IKEA. And every piece of furniture has storage built-in – so useful for smaller outdoor spaces like small balconies! You can only purchase Slim furniture online: it’s available on Amazon.com and you can also check out Slim Furniture’s website to find out more about their furniture and purchase it there.

* This video was sponsored by Slim Furniture – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

 

How to organize kitchen cupboards to display china

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

A couple of weeks ago I helped my mom move into a new apartment. It’s a wonderful apartment but a bit smaller then where she used to live, so there isn’t enough space for her beloved china cabinet. It housed an exquisite collection of fine china my parents had accumulated over the years, and it was very important to my mom to find a new way to store and display the collection. When I saw the big kitchen plenty of kitchen cabinets, I got an idea to use some of the cabinet space to display some of the china.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-2

I used an inexpensive tension I got at the Dollar Store and placed it about a couple of inches above the shelves, and about an inch away from the back.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-with-tension-rod

Then it was just a matter of wedging the plates behind the tension rod to make them stay upright. They make a pretty backdrop and this also leaves room in front of the plates to either display more china or to store other things.

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-full-view-1

Now my mom gets to enjoy looking at her beautiful collection of fine china every time she opens the cupboards – another win for tension rods!

Kitchen-cabinet-fine-china-display-china-close-up

 

 

dc296f1ea217849a68afadce55eb17d473c8fbfc9efbef98ee

How to make knobs or drawer pulls

When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, the cost of changing out the knobs can add up very quickly. The same goes when sprucing up a dresser with new drawer pulls. So I experimented with a couple of different inexpensive ways to make my own, and turns out it’s pretty easy to do! 

First option: Stones

Stone-knob-on-drawer-close-up

For these knobs, I ended up buying river stones from the dollar store – I live in LA and though there are beaches nearby, finding stones that are smooth and the right size proved to be too challenging!

rocks

To turn the stones into knobs, all you need are these nifty things called connector caps (or barrel nuts) and bolts. 

hardware-for-knobs

You can get connector caps in different finishes, like the bronze ones in the picture and you can get bronze bolts to match but since you don’t see them, I went with regular ones to save some money. If you do this, you just want to make sure that the bolt and connector have the same thread size and to stick with either metric or imperial (mixing the two won’t work). The length of bolts you will need depends on the thickness of the drawer face. In most cases, 25mm (1”)  long bolts should work well. 

I found these silver colored Barrel Nuts and bolt sets on amazon.com (20 for about $5) – they work great as well but the only thing is that the bolts are a bit too short (20mm instead of 25 mm), so I bought longer bolts (I had to get metric because the barrel nuts are metric) to make them work.

Knobs-silver-cap-nuts

Wether you use the connector caps or barrel nuts, the steps are the same. The first thing I did was find rocks that have a flat side and I sanded it down to remove any residue and have a better surface for the glue to grip. I cleaned off any dust and also cleaned the connector caps.

sanding-rock

I mixed epoxy glue, and dipped the top of cap to cover it with glue and then placed it at the center of the stone. 

stone-knobs-mixing-epoxy Stone-knobs-Putting-epoxy-on-the-caps

I placed the knobs on a bed of gravel (I had that from another project – it’s actually for aquariums!) so they could be flat during the drying process. You could also use sand for this.

Stone-knobs-letting-the-glue-dry

Then it was just a matter of using the bolts to secure them to the drawers.

Putting-in-knobs

And that’s it – my bathroom vanity got a whole new look thanks to these stone knobs. 

Rock-knobs

Second option: shells

For these drawer pulls, I used shells from the Dollar Store (same issue as with the stones), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and made a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Next I inserted the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

I poured epoxy glue into the shell cavity (I used the type that mixes together as it’s poured), making sure to mix the glue with a tooth pick and that there’s enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

I placed the head of the bolt so that it touches the bottom of the shell cavity, while making sure the cardboard is flush to the back of the shell. Then I moved the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

When the bolt is placed properly, I used a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double checked that the bolt is still touching the bottom of the shell cavity and still straight (it doesn’t have to be perfect but the straighter the better), then I placed the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. You could also place the shells in sand like I did for the stone knobs. This allowed the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt.

Another way to make these knobs is to use oven bake clay (I used Sculpey) and barrel nut and bolts like I used for the stone knobs. I filled the cavity of the shell with the clay, pressed the barrel nut head into the clay to make an imprint, making sure the bolt sits straight, and then baked the shell in the oven as per the manufacturer specs (I baked mine for about an hour @ 275 degrees F). Then I used epoxy to glue the barrel nut to the shell. 

Shel-knobs---oven-backed-clay-method

For either option, I let the epoxy harden and voila, beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to a dresser or a cabinet!

You can use these ideas to make knobs out of just about anything, all you need is a little imagination – I hope you’ll share what ideas you come up with!

When renovating a kitchen or bathroom, the cost of changing out the knobs can add up very quickly. The same goes when sprucing up a dresser with new drawer pulls. So I experimented with a couple of different inexpensive ways to make my own, and turns out it’s pretty easy to do! 

First option: Stones

Stone-knob-on-drawer-close-up

For these knobs, I ended up buying river stones from the dollar store – I live in LA and though there are beaches nearby, finding stones that are smooth and the right size proved to be too challenging!

rocks

To turn the stones into knobs, all you need are these nifty things called connector caps (or barrel nuts) and bolts. 

hardware-for-knobs

You can get connector caps in different finishes, like the bronze ones in the picture and you can get bronze bolts to match but since you don’t see them, I went with regular ones to save some money. If you do this, you just want to make sure that the bolt and connector have the same thread size and to stick with either metric or imperial (mixing the two won’t work). The length of bolts you will need depends on the thickness of the drawer face. In most cases, 25mm (1”)  long bolts should work well. 

I found these silver colored Barrel Nuts and bolt sets on amazon.com (20 for about $5) – they work great as well but the only thing is that the bolts are a bit too short (20mm instead of 25 mm), so I bought longer bolts (I had to get metric because the barrel nuts are metric) to make them work.

Knobs-silver-cap-nuts

Wether you use the connector caps or barrel nuts, the steps are the same. The first thing I did was find rocks that have a flat side and I sanded it down to remove any residue and have a better surface for the glue to grip. I cleaned off any dust and also cleaned the connector caps.

sanding-rock

I mixed epoxy glue, and dipped the top of cap to cover it with glue and then placed it at the center of the stone. 

stone-knobs-mixing-epoxy Stone-knobs-Putting-epoxy-on-the-caps

I placed the knobs on a bed of gravel (I had that from another project – it’s actually for aquariums!) so they could be flat during the drying process. You could also use sand for this.

Stone-knobs-letting-the-glue-dry

Then it was just a matter of using the bolts to secure them to the drawers.

Putting-in-knobs

And that’s it – my bathroom vanity got a whole new look thanks to these stone knobs. 

Rock-knobs

Second option: shells

For these drawer pulls, I used shells from the Dollar Store (same issue as with the stones), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

The first thing I did was cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and made a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Next I inserted the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

I poured epoxy glue into the shell cavity (I used the type that mixes together as it’s poured), making sure to mix the glue with a tooth pick and that there’s enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

I placed the head of the bolt so that it touches the bottom of the shell cavity, while making sure the cardboard is flush to the back of the shell. Then I moved the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

When the bolt is placed properly, I used a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double checked that the bolt is still touching the bottom of the shell cavity and still straight (it doesn’t have to be perfect but the straighter the better), then I placed the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. You could also place the shells in sand like I did for the stone knobs. This allowed the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt.

Another way to make these knobs is to use oven bake clay (I used Sculpey) and barrel nut and bolts like I used for the stone knobs. I filled the cavity of the shell with the clay, pressed the barrel nut head into the clay to make an imprint, making sure the bolt sits straight, and then baked the shell in the oven as per the manufacturer specs (I baked mine for about an hour @ 275 degrees F). Then I used epoxy to glue the barrel nut to the shell. 

Shel-knobs---oven-backed-clay-method

For either option, I let the epoxy harden and voila, beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to a dresser or a cabinet!

You can use these ideas to make knobs out of just about anything, all you need is a little imagination – I hope you’ll share what ideas you come up with!