Decor

How to make an upholstered panel for a DIY headboard or banquette bench

When I built my banquette seating for my dining room, I made an upholstered tufted wall panel for the back. I really love this project because it could also be easily modified to make a tufted headboard by making the panel larger and adding legs and it’s really easy and inexpensive to do! The video below shows how I made it but I’ll also outline the main steps in this post.

Materials: for this project I used pegboard (2 ft x 4 ft), a furring strip (1 ft x 10 ft), foam (1” thick x 2ft x 3 ft), batting, and fabric (canvas drop cloth). You can use your own buttons or you can make your own. 

step-30-buttons-cushion-done-web

Step 1: On the pegboard, mark the location of where you want the buttons to go. It’s fine if they don’t all match up to existing holes, you can drill extra holes if needed.

step-1-draw-circle-web

Step 2: Spray a light coat of spray adhesive to the front of the pegboard. Make sure you put down something to protect your work surface because the spray will go through the holes. Then attach 1 inch foam to the pegboard.

step-3-spray-adhesive-web

Step 3: To make the panel thicker and sturdier I screwed furring strips on the back along the edges.

step-5-screw-furring-strips-web

Step 4:  I used canvas drop cloth to cover the panel to keep costs down and you’ll want to cut your fabric 3 1/2 inches wider than the panel and the batting cut 2 inches wider. Staple the fabric to the furring strips, starting from the middle and making sure to pull tightly as you go.

step-7-staple-canvas-web

Step 5: For the corners, cut away the excess fabric and batting and then tuck it in, stapling the fabric for a nice crease.

step-8-cut-corner-webstep-8-perfect-corner-web

I decided to use vintage buttons that I spray painted a nice champagne gold color. However it is really simple to make your own buttons with the fabric you have using a button cover kit. You can find one at your local craft store and they come with everything you need. Here’s how:

Step 6 (optional) Making buttons:

Use the template to draw out the size of the fabric circle that you need and then cut it out.

step-9-draw-button-circle-webstep-10-cut-fabric-circle-web

Place the circle of fabric inside the form with the button front on top of the fabric.

step-11-button-in-form-web

Tuck the fabric into the button and place the back of the button on top of that.

step-12-tuck-button-fabric-webstep-13-place-button-backing-web

Place the cap centered on the button and press down using something hard until the back pops into place.

step-14-place-button-cap-webstep-16-backs-in-place-web

Remove the button from the form and there you go!
step-18-buttons-done-web

Step 7: Whichever route you go, to thread the buttons, double up on a strong nylon or wax thread so that it’s about 8 inches long. Pull the end through the button loop and then pass it back through the loop thread. Pull tight.

step-20-thread-thru-loop-web step-22-pull-thread-tight-web

Step 8: To mark the location of the button on the front of the fabric I use a long upholstery needle to pierce through the fabric from the back. Where the needle goes through the fabric I place a pin in the front to mark the spot.

step-23-mark-on-back-web step-24-mark-front-panel-web 

Step 9: To put the buttons in I use the long upholstery needle to pierce the spot where the pin is in the front, making sure to remove the pin before pulling the thread all the way through.

step-25-needle-to-thread-button-webstep-26-button-thru-front-web

Step 10: Pull very tightly on the thread from the back to push the button all the way in. Make sure to keep tension on the thread and then staple it in a zig zag pattern. I tied a knot in the end as well to make sure it stays taut. If the staples don’t go in all the way in, you can use a hammer to make them tighter. Repeat this process for all the buttons.

step-28-pull-button-tightly-web step-29-staple-thread-web step-29-tie-knot-web

Step 11: To hang my panel to the wall I used a french cleat. You’ll want to secure it to a stud or use anchors appropriate for your wall.

And there you have it! A gorgeous upholstered panel which makes my banquette bench the the most comfortable place to sit in my dining room  and that could also be easily turned into a  DIY headboard!

finished-banquette-web

When I built my banquette seating for my dining room, I made an upholstered tufted wall panel for the back. I really love this project because it could also be easily modified to make a tufted headboard by making the panel larger and adding legs and it’s really easy and inexpensive to do! The video below shows how I made it but I’ll also outline the main steps in this post.

Materials: for this project I used pegboard (2 ft x 4 ft), a furring strip (1 ft x 10 ft), foam (1” thick x 2ft x 3 ft), batting, and fabric (canvas drop cloth). You can use your own buttons or you can make your own. 

step-30-buttons-cushion-done-web

Step 1: On the pegboard, mark the location of where you want the buttons to go. It’s fine if they don’t all match up to existing holes, you can drill extra holes if needed.

step-1-draw-circle-web

Step 2: Spray a light coat of spray adhesive to the front of the pegboard. Make sure you put down something to protect your work surface because the spray will go through the holes. Then attach 1 inch foam to the pegboard.

step-3-spray-adhesive-web

Step 3: To make the panel thicker and sturdier I screwed furring strips on the back along the edges.

step-5-screw-furring-strips-web

Step 4:  I used canvas drop cloth to cover the panel to keep costs down and you’ll want to cut your fabric 3 1/2 inches wider than the panel and the batting cut 2 inches wider. Staple the fabric to the furring strips, starting from the middle and making sure to pull tightly as you go.

step-7-staple-canvas-web

Step 5: For the corners, cut away the excess fabric and batting and then tuck it in, stapling the fabric for a nice crease.

step-8-cut-corner-webstep-8-perfect-corner-web

I decided to use vintage buttons that I spray painted a nice champagne gold color. However it is really simple to make your own buttons with the fabric you have using a button cover kit. You can find one at your local craft store and they come with everything you need. Here’s how:

Step 6 (optional) Making buttons:

Use the template to draw out the size of the fabric circle that you need and then cut it out.

step-9-draw-button-circle-webstep-10-cut-fabric-circle-web

Place the circle of fabric inside the form with the button front on top of the fabric.

step-11-button-in-form-web

Tuck the fabric into the button and place the back of the button on top of that.

step-12-tuck-button-fabric-webstep-13-place-button-backing-web

Place the cap centered on the button and press down using something hard until the back pops into place.

step-14-place-button-cap-webstep-16-backs-in-place-web

Remove the button from the form and there you go!
step-18-buttons-done-web

Step 7: Whichever route you go, to thread the buttons, double up on a strong nylon or wax thread so that it’s about 8 inches long. Pull the end through the button loop and then pass it back through the loop thread. Pull tight.

step-20-thread-thru-loop-web step-22-pull-thread-tight-web

Step 8: To mark the location of the button on the front of the fabric I use a long upholstery needle to pierce through the fabric from the back. Where the needle goes through the fabric I place a pin in the front to mark the spot.

step-23-mark-on-back-web step-24-mark-front-panel-web 

Step 9: To put the buttons in I use the long upholstery needle to pierce the spot where the pin is in the front, making sure to remove the pin before pulling the thread all the way through.

step-25-needle-to-thread-button-webstep-26-button-thru-front-web

Step 10: Pull very tightly on the thread from the back to push the button all the way in. Make sure to keep tension on the thread and then staple it in a zig zag pattern. I tied a knot in the end as well to make sure it stays taut. If the staples don’t go in all the way in, you can use a hammer to make them tighter. Repeat this process for all the buttons.

step-28-pull-button-tightly-web step-29-staple-thread-web step-29-tie-knot-web

Step 11: To hang my panel to the wall I used a french cleat. You’ll want to secure it to a stud or use anchors appropriate for your wall.

And there you have it! A gorgeous upholstered panel which makes my banquette bench the the most comfortable place to sit in my dining room  and that could also be easily turned into a  DIY headboard!

finished-banquette-web

13 clever ways to give plain mirrors a new look

For small and dark apartments, using mirrors is an easy way to give the illusion of more space and at the same time reflect more light to brighten up a space.  Looking for some inspiration for my apartment, I found these amazing DIY mirror makeovers on Hometalk:

makeover_mirrors

I especially love the use of rope for a nautical theme and the creative sunburst mirrors – you can find out more details about the projects on my hometalk board, including my own mirror upgrade using rhinestones. I hope this will give you lots of ideas for your own mirror upgrade! 

Embelished-mirror-close-up 

For small and dark apartments, using mirrors is an easy way to give the illusion of more space and at the same time reflect more light to brighten up a space.  Looking for some inspiration for my apartment, I found these amazing DIY mirror makeovers on Hometalk:

makeover_mirrors

I especially love the use of rope for a nautical theme and the creative sunburst mirrors – you can find out more details about the projects on my hometalk board, including my own mirror upgrade using rhinestones. I hope this will give you lots of ideas for your own mirror upgrade! 

Embelished-mirror-close-up 

Easy door upgrade with moulding

Many apartments have basic builder grade finishes that can be pretty plain and boring, and my apartment is no exception. I have very inexpensive hallow core doors that have zero character or architectural detail and they were screaming for some moulding detail. But being a renter, I had to figure out a creative way to do install it without making any holes or permanent changes to the door. The solution? Removable double sided tape!

Door-moulding-before-and-after

Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Cut the molding with a miter box and saw to make your design (cutting the moulding at a 45 degree angle makes nicer joints at the corners). For my door, I made 3 squares roughly 20″x20″.  Update: you can skip the cutting part and buy the moulding ready made here – huge time saver!

Easy door upgrade step 1

Door-molding-step-2

Step 2:  Place Glue Dots HybriBond Repositionable Mounting Tape on the back of the moulding and remove the liner

Door-moulding-step-2-part-1

Door-moulding-step-2-part-2

Step 3: Place on the door, and reposition until all the pieces are nicely aligned, then press firmly into place. Using tape to mark out the outline of where you want your moulding to be makes it a lot easier to install.

Door-moulding-step-3

Step 4:  Fill in the gaps at the corners with wood filler, let it dry and sand until smooth before painting the moulding to match the door or a contrasting color, depending on the look you want.

Door-moulding-step-4

Now my doors have a lot more personality than before and it was a mess-free, nail-free project!

Door-moulding-close-up

 * This post was sponsored by Glue Dots – all opinions are my own *

Many apartments have basic builder grade finishes that can be pretty plain and boring, and my apartment is no exception. I have very inexpensive hallow core doors that have zero character or architectural detail and they were screaming for some moulding detail. But being a renter, I had to figure out a creative way to do install it without making any holes or permanent changes to the door. The solution? Removable double sided tape!

Door-moulding-before-and-after

Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Cut the molding with a miter box and saw to make your design (cutting the moulding at a 45 degree angle makes nicer joints at the corners). For my door, I made 3 squares roughly 20″x20″.  Update: you can skip the cutting part and buy the moulding ready made here – huge time saver!

Easy door upgrade step 1

Door-molding-step-2

Step 2:  Place Glue Dots HybriBond Repositionable Mounting Tape on the back of the moulding and remove the liner

Door-moulding-step-2-part-1

Door-moulding-step-2-part-2

Step 3: Place on the door, and reposition until all the pieces are nicely aligned, then press firmly into place. Using tape to mark out the outline of where you want your moulding to be makes it a lot easier to install.

Door-moulding-step-3

Step 4:  Fill in the gaps at the corners with wood filler, let it dry and sand until smooth before painting the moulding to match the door or a contrasting color, depending on the look you want.

Door-moulding-step-4

Now my doors have a lot more personality than before and it was a mess-free, nail-free project!

Door-moulding-close-up

 * This post was sponsored by Glue Dots – all opinions are my own *

DIY Nightstand: IKEA LACK table hack

On one of my very frequent trips to IKEA, I found inexpensive LACK tables that were the perfect color to work as nightstands in my bedroom .  The only problem was that they were too low for my bed. At $13 each, it was worth trying to find a way to make them work. My solution? Cut the legs of one table and stalk another table on top it!

This is a very simple project that took about an hour – all you need is a miter box and hack saw, a speed square, some masking tape and “Liquid Nails” glue:

Step 1: Put masking tape around the legs of the bottom table, where you want to make your cut (make sure you measure from the top of the leg down). It helps protect the finish when you cut the leg. I made my bottom legs 4″ tall.

Step 2: Using a speed square, mark the exact measurement on each side of the leg.

Step 3: The legs are hallow so they are easy to cut with a miter box and hack saw (you’ll want to use a fine tooth saw to minimize tearing of the finish). I found that cutting one side at a time helps to get a straighter cut.

 

Step 4: Check that all the legs are exactly the same height. You can use sandpaper stapled to a piece of wood to make any minor adjustments

Step 5: I screwed the legs into the bottom table and then used liquid nails to secure the legs from the top table to the top of the bottom table.

And just like that, I was able to have my nightstands that are the prefect height and colorful for my bedroom, all for just $26 each! 

 You can see all the steps to make the nightstands and how I made the headboard, in this video:

 

 

 

On one of my very frequent trips to IKEA, I found inexpensive LACK tables that were the perfect color to work as nightstands in my bedroom .  The only problem was that they were too low for my bed. At $13 each, it was worth trying to find a way to make them work. My solution? Cut the legs of one table and stalk another table on top it!

This is a very simple project that took about an hour – all you need is a miter box and hack saw, a speed square, some masking tape and “Liquid Nails” glue:

Step 1: Put masking tape around the legs of the bottom table, where you want to make your cut (make sure you measure from the top of the leg down). It helps protect the finish when you cut the leg. I made my bottom legs 4″ tall.

Step 2: Using a speed square, mark the exact measurement on each side of the leg.

Step 3: The legs are hallow so they are easy to cut with a miter box and hack saw (you’ll want to use a fine tooth saw to minimize tearing of the finish). I found that cutting one side at a time helps to get a straighter cut.

 

Step 4: Check that all the legs are exactly the same height. You can use sandpaper stapled to a piece of wood to make any minor adjustments

Step 5: I screwed the legs into the bottom table and then used liquid nails to secure the legs from the top table to the top of the bottom table.

And just like that, I was able to have my nightstands that are the prefect height and colorful for my bedroom, all for just $26 each! 

 You can see all the steps to make the nightstands and how I made the headboard, in this video:

 

 

 

Decorating idea for a big blank wall: gallery walls

When you have a big blank wall to decorate but don’t have a large painting or work of art to fill in the space, it can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re on a budget. Putting together a gallery walls is a great way to fill in a large blank wall without having to spend lots of money, which is what I did in my LA apartment living room.

Having zero budget, I looked for things to use that I already had on hand, selecting items from my travels and that had special meaning to me. I used the largest item as the focal point and then hung the smaller items around it.  To make it easier to visualize how everything would look on the wall, I placed all my items on the floor first and played around with them until I found a pattern that I liked.

With that many frames and items grouped together, it’s easy for something to get out of alignment over time. There’s a quick fix for that using a Glue Dots® Respositionable Dispenser : just add a few dots on the back of the things that you’re hanging! The dots will stick to the wall to keep everything straight but they come off cleanly without leaving any residue.

There’s really no right or wrong way to put together a gallery wall – here’s another example of a gallery wall that I did in my NYC apartment, using a different combination of things to fit the narrow wall. The only rule to follow is to use items that you love, so give it a try, have some fun and experiment!

* This post is sponsored by Glue Dots. All opinions are my own

When you have a big blank wall to decorate but don’t have a large painting or work of art to fill in the space, it can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re on a budget. Putting together a gallery walls is a great way to fill in a large blank wall without having to spend lots of money, which is what I did in my LA apartment living room.

Having zero budget, I looked for things to use that I already had on hand, selecting items from my travels and that had special meaning to me. I used the largest item as the focal point and then hung the smaller items around it.  To make it easier to visualize how everything would look on the wall, I placed all my items on the floor first and played around with them until I found a pattern that I liked.

With that many frames and items grouped together, it’s easy for something to get out of alignment over time. There’s a quick fix for that using a Glue Dots® Respositionable Dispenser : just add a few dots on the back of the things that you’re hanging! The dots will stick to the wall to keep everything straight but they come off cleanly without leaving any residue.

There’s really no right or wrong way to put together a gallery wall – here’s another example of a gallery wall that I did in my NYC apartment, using a different combination of things to fit the narrow wall. The only rule to follow is to use items that you love, so give it a try, have some fun and experiment!

* This post is sponsored by Glue Dots. All opinions are my own

How to conceal vertical blinds with curtains

Vertical blinds are my least favorite type of window treatments but I decided to keep the ones that I have in my dining room because they are pretty useful for blocking out the strong California sun in the afternoons. I still don’t like looking at the vertical blinds, so to minimize their presence, I came up with a quick and easy way to partially conceal them with a curtain:

I used a 3/8″ wood dowel to hang a curtain panel by placing the dowel inside the plastic supports of the existing vertical blind valance. That’s it, no tools or hardware needed!

 

You can see how easy and quick it is to do in this video and you’ll also see how to replace the vertical blinds entirely with curtains using drapery hooks and the existing clips!

The curtain panel hides the slats completely when the blinds aren’t being used and helps to soften the overall look when I do need to use them. It’s not prefect but it’s way better than always having to look at those vertical blinds! The curtain panel I used is a light beige thin fabric which is prefect to go with the rest of my dining room  but because it lets a lot of light through, you can still see the blinds a bit when the sun is shining. Using a thicker curtain panel would take care of that.

Vertical blinds are my least favorite type of window treatments but I decided to keep the ones that I have in my dining room because they are pretty useful for blocking out the strong California sun in the afternoons. I still don’t like looking at the vertical blinds, so to minimize their presence, I came up with a quick and easy way to partially conceal them with a curtain:

I used a 3/8″ wood dowel to hang a curtain panel by placing the dowel inside the plastic supports of the existing vertical blind valance. That’s it, no tools or hardware needed!

 

You can see how easy and quick it is to do in this video and you’ll also see how to replace the vertical blinds entirely with curtains using drapery hooks and the existing clips!

The curtain panel hides the slats completely when the blinds aren’t being used and helps to soften the overall look when I do need to use them. It’s not prefect but it’s way better than always having to look at those vertical blinds! The curtain panel I used is a light beige thin fabric which is prefect to go with the rest of my dining room  but because it lets a lot of light through, you can still see the blinds a bit when the sun is shining. Using a thicker curtain panel would take care of that.

DIY Decorative Wall Panels

Big blank white walls can be a challenge to decorate, especially if you’re renting and can’t paint the walls. One solution to add both architectural detail and color is to build simple wall panels – you can paint them, or add wallpaper and even install lighting and shelves on them. They dress up the wall, while adding color and function at the same time.

Materials:  hardboard panel (1/8″ thick x 4 ft x 8 ft ~ $9 per panel) or 1/4″ thick plywood, 1″ x 2″ x 6 ft pine boards (~$2.50 each), paint or wallpaper.

Step 1: Cut your hardboard panel to size (you can have this done at the hardware store also) and cut your 1″x2″ pine boards so they make a frame around the hardboard with the narrow side against the edge. You’ll want to select pine boards that are perfectly straight on all sides, otherwise, they won’t work well for this project.

Step 2: Apply wood glue to the narrow side of the 1″x2″ and clamp it to the rough side of the hardboard, flush with the edge – you’ll want to use several clamps and using a scrap piece of wood like a furring strip  on the other side of the panel will help transfer the force of the clamps more evenly while using less clamps.

Step 3: Reinforce the corners with screws: drill pilot holes with a counter sink drill bit, put in screws and cover up the screw head with wood filler.

Step 4: Sand and paint panel or add wallpaper.

Step 5: Add a french cleat at the top of the panel to hang on the wall

Additional customization ideas:

a) You can add a shelf or a coat rack to the panels. You’ll need to glue in place a piece of wood to the back of the panel so you can attach these with screws.

b) You can also add wall sconces by drilling a hole using a hole saw bit (1 1/2″ diameter) – the cord for the wall sconce goes through the hole and runs behind the panel and you can control the on/off switch using a receiver and wireless wall switch.

The possibilities are endless with these panels! They’re perfect to add color and can create an organized and functional entryway like in this apartment by adding DIY coat racks, a message board and a DIY shelf/charging station:

And they can also add architectural interest and texture to an otherwise boring room, like I did here by creating a wall that incorporates banquette seating in my dining room:

Big blank white walls can be a challenge to decorate, especially if you’re renting and can’t paint the walls. One solution to add both architectural detail and color is to build simple wall panels – you can paint them, or add wallpaper and even install lighting and shelves on them. They dress up the wall, while adding color and function at the same time.

Materials:  hardboard panel (1/8″ thick x 4 ft x 8 ft ~ $9 per panel) or 1/4″ thick plywood, 1″ x 2″ x 6 ft pine boards (~$2.50 each), paint or wallpaper.

Step 1: Cut your hardboard panel to size (you can have this done at the hardware store also) and cut your 1″x2″ pine boards so they make a frame around the hardboard with the narrow side against the edge. You’ll want to select pine boards that are perfectly straight on all sides, otherwise, they won’t work well for this project.

Step 2: Apply wood glue to the narrow side of the 1″x2″ and clamp it to the rough side of the hardboard, flush with the edge – you’ll want to use several clamps and using a scrap piece of wood like a furring strip  on the other side of the panel will help transfer the force of the clamps more evenly while using less clamps.

Step 3: Reinforce the corners with screws: drill pilot holes with a counter sink drill bit, put in screws and cover up the screw head with wood filler.

Step 4: Sand and paint panel or add wallpaper.

Step 5: Add a french cleat at the top of the panel to hang on the wall

Additional customization ideas:

a) You can add a shelf or a coat rack to the panels. You’ll need to glue in place a piece of wood to the back of the panel so you can attach these with screws.

b) You can also add wall sconces by drilling a hole using a hole saw bit (1 1/2″ diameter) – the cord for the wall sconce goes through the hole and runs behind the panel and you can control the on/off switch using a receiver and wireless wall switch.

The possibilities are endless with these panels! They’re perfect to add color and can create an organized and functional entryway like in this apartment by adding DIY coat racks, a message board and a DIY shelf/charging station:

And they can also add architectural interest and texture to an otherwise boring room, like I did here by creating a wall that incorporates banquette seating in my dining room:

DIY Driftwood Art

I needed some beach inspired artwork to finish off my dining room makeover but having no money left over in the budget, I had to get creative! Looking around the apartment for something to use, I found this piece of plywood leftover from a project which was the perfect size, but what to put on it?  After looking on Pinterest for some inspiration, I found my answer: Driftwood! It’s free and it meant a trip to the beach which I love. So I headed to the shore and after exploring a few beaches, I had my driftwood to get started on my DIY driftwood art project:

What I used: Driftwood, 1/4″ plywood (20″ x 22″), liquid nails glue, sandpaper

Step 1: Arrange your driftwood in a pattern

Step 2: Staple sandpaper to a piece of wood and sand down a flat surface on each piece of driftwood.

Step 3 : Add wood glue and place on the plywood, wait for it to dry.

And voila, after a trip to the beach and just 30 minutes, I had my free DIY driftwood art that reminds me of the ocean, the beach and the sun. It turned out to be the perfect finishing touch to my dining room makeover. 

I needed some beach inspired artwork to finish off my dining room makeover but having no money left over in the budget, I had to get creative! Looking around the apartment for something to use, I found this piece of plywood leftover from a project which was the perfect size, but what to put on it?  After looking on Pinterest for some inspiration, I found my answer: Driftwood! It’s free and it meant a trip to the beach which I love. So I headed to the shore and after exploring a few beaches, I had my driftwood to get started on my DIY driftwood art project:

What I used: Driftwood, 1/4″ plywood (20″ x 22″), liquid nails glue, sandpaper

Step 1: Arrange your driftwood in a pattern

Step 2: Staple sandpaper to a piece of wood and sand down a flat surface on each piece of driftwood.

Step 3 : Add wood glue and place on the plywood, wait for it to dry.

And voila, after a trip to the beach and just 30 minutes, I had my free DIY driftwood art that reminds me of the ocean, the beach and the sun. It turned out to be the perfect finishing touch to my dining room makeover. 

Dining Room on a budget: IKEA’s INGO and IVAR get a facelift

Having left behind most of my furniture when I moved from NYC to LA, I was basically starting from scratch to furnish my dining room. Being on a budget, I decided to go with an inexpensive pine table (INGO – $69) and pine chairs (IVAR – $25 each) from IKEA and give them an upgrade.

I painted the chairs the same blue as in my kitchen (Behr, sailboat), and upholstered the seats with 1″ foam ($7 for 4 x 16″x16″ pads), batting ($5) and a fun striped fabric ($5). For the table, I stained the legs with a semi-transparent stain from Behr in a color called pinto white ($4 – 8 oz sample).

I love how the chairs add lots of personality to my dining room, and for additional seating, I made a banquette by building a simple bench out of 3/4″ MDF and making an upholstered panel for the back. Now it’s time to have a dinner party!

Having left behind most of my furniture when I moved from NYC to LA, I was basically starting from scratch to furnish my dining room. Being on a budget, I decided to go with an inexpensive pine table (INGO – $69) and pine chairs (IVAR – $25 each) from IKEA and give them an upgrade.

I painted the chairs the same blue as in my kitchen (Behr, sailboat), and upholstered the seats with 1″ foam ($7 for 4 x 16″x16″ pads), batting ($5) and a fun striped fabric ($5). For the table, I stained the legs with a semi-transparent stain from Behr in a color called pinto white ($4 – 8 oz sample).

I love how the chairs add lots of personality to my dining room, and for additional seating, I made a banquette by building a simple bench out of 3/4″ MDF and making an upholstered panel for the back. Now it’s time to have a dinner party!

DIY Temporary Kitchen Backsplash

I’ve always admired those colorful glass backsplashs in new kitchens. So when I moved into my new apartment, I knew I wanted to find a way to install one to add some color and personality to my very white and boring kitchen. But because I live in a rental, I had to get creative and came up with this temporary glass backsplash solution:

It was so simple and really quick and easy to do, and required no power tools at all, just some scissors and a stapler with staples. Here’s how I did it: Step 1: First I bought fabric that had the look of tile and stapled to a 1/4″ piece of plywood cut to the size of the wall I wanted to cover. I had the plywood cut at the hardware store to make things easier. You could also use mdf or hardboard and you could use paint to add color instead of overing the board with fabric.

Step 2: I slid the fabric covered plywood so that it wedged between the tile and the fan.

Step 3: I then slid a custom piece of 1/4″ tempered glass I ordered online, wedging it between the fabric covered panel and the fan, using gloves to minimize fingerprints on the glass. The glass will protect the fabric from getting dirty and from the fire of the gas stove.

And voila, a beautiful colorful backsplash that’s temporary and will be easy to remove. If you don’t have a space between the wall and the fan like I do to anchor the backsplash, you can use corner round molding screwing into the wall on either side to keep the glass and fabric panel in place.

It was the perfect way to add some color in my kitchen and it was the jumping off point for the rest of my kitchen makeover, which you can see here.

I’ve always admired those colorful glass backsplashs in new kitchens. So when I moved into my new apartment, I knew I wanted to find a way to install one to add some color and personality to my very white and boring kitchen. But because I live in a rental, I had to get creative and came up with this temporary glass backsplash solution:

It was so simple and really quick and easy to do, and required no power tools at all, just some scissors and a stapler with staples. Here’s how I did it: Step 1: First I bought fabric that had the look of tile and stapled to a 1/4″ piece of plywood cut to the size of the wall I wanted to cover. I had the plywood cut at the hardware store to make things easier. You could also use mdf or hardboard and you could use paint to add color instead of overing the board with fabric.

Step 2: I slid the fabric covered plywood so that it wedged between the tile and the fan.

Step 3: I then slid a custom piece of 1/4″ tempered glass I ordered online, wedging it between the fabric covered panel and the fan, using gloves to minimize fingerprints on the glass. The glass will protect the fabric from getting dirty and from the fire of the gas stove.

And voila, a beautiful colorful backsplash that’s temporary and will be easy to remove. If you don’t have a space between the wall and the fan like I do to anchor the backsplash, you can use corner round molding screwing into the wall on either side to keep the glass and fabric panel in place.

It was the perfect way to add some color in my kitchen and it was the jumping off point for the rest of my kitchen makeover, which you can see here.

New apartment, new floor plan

Before I moved into my NYC studio apartment, I made a detailed plan of it to help me figure out how to maximize the space. I used a free space planning software called Sweet Home 3D to draw it – it’s really easy to use and allows you to draw a plan to scale and to add furniture (you can specify the dimensions). This allowed me to try out different layouts with my furniture before moving to see what would fit and to see it in 3D. It was great to be able to visualize my bookcase diving wall before committing to the idea! With this most recent move to LA, I left just about all my furniture behind, which meant I had a blank canvas to fill with from scratch. So I used  Sweet home 3D again to make a plan of my new apartment to help me figure out what furniture I needed and possible layouts:

This apartment is much roomier that my NYC apartment with lots of closets and an actual bedroom (which is so exciting coming from a studio!). You can see the good, the bad and the ugly of my new home in this video. Among the top things that required the EYS treatment were the vertical blinds that just had to go, and you can see how I did it in this episode of EYS. There’s many more projects I tackled from the kitchen lighting to my balcony to getting the most out of this tiny entryway and camouflaging that unsightly A/C unit, so stay tuned!

Before I moved into my NYC studio apartment, I made a detailed plan of it to help me figure out how to maximize the space. I used a free space planning software called Sweet Home 3D to draw it – it’s really easy to use and allows you to draw a plan to scale and to add furniture (you can specify the dimensions). This allowed me to try out different layouts with my furniture before moving to see what would fit and to see it in 3D. It was great to be able to visualize my bookcase diving wall before committing to the idea! With this most recent move to LA, I left just about all my furniture behind, which meant I had a blank canvas to fill with from scratch. So I used  Sweet home 3D again to make a plan of my new apartment to help me figure out what furniture I needed and possible layouts:

This apartment is much roomier that my NYC apartment with lots of closets and an actual bedroom (which is so exciting coming from a studio!). You can see the good, the bad and the ugly of my new home in this video. Among the top things that required the EYS treatment were the vertical blinds that just had to go, and you can see how I did it in this episode of EYS. There’s many more projects I tackled from the kitchen lighting to my balcony to getting the most out of this tiny entryway and camouflaging that unsightly A/C unit, so stay tuned!

A California Christmas, IKEA Style

This is my first California Christmas and I wanted to do something a little bit different for a Christmas tree, and I found just the perfect thing at IKEA: this pine tree wall decoration called LIAMARIA:

It’s essentially a pine tree with snow drawn on a piece of cloth, and it glows in the dark. But when I saw it, I had visions of adding lights and ornament to make it more festive and here’s the result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to decorate the tree like this by putting in silver grommets, about 50 of them, spread out over the entire tree and then I used paper clips to secure the LED mini-lights (50 warm white lights with white string) and the ornaments.

I hung the panel on the wall with threaded metal rods I had on hand – this worked well enough, though having the lights and ornaments made it difficult to get the fabric to stay smooth. It’s not perfect but all in all, I’m happy with the way it turned out. It added just the right touch of Christmas in my dining room and I can’t wait to see what my family thinks when they come visit me for the Holidays!

I wish you all the best in 2014 and hope you’ll stay tuned for new episodes coming in January!

This is my first California Christmas and I wanted to do something a little bit different for a Christmas tree, and I found just the perfect thing at IKEA: this pine tree wall decoration called LIAMARIA:

It’s essentially a pine tree with snow drawn on a piece of cloth, and it glows in the dark. But when I saw it, I had visions of adding lights and ornament to make it more festive and here’s the result:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to decorate the tree like this by putting in silver grommets, about 50 of them, spread out over the entire tree and then I used paper clips to secure the LED mini-lights (50 warm white lights with white string) and the ornaments.

I hung the panel on the wall with threaded metal rods I had on hand – this worked well enough, though having the lights and ornaments made it difficult to get the fabric to stay smooth. It’s not perfect but all in all, I’m happy with the way it turned out. It added just the right touch of Christmas in my dining room and I can’t wait to see what my family thinks when they come visit me for the Holidays!

I wish you all the best in 2014 and hope you’ll stay tuned for new episodes coming in January!

Simple wall art: framed door knocker

I’ve always loved door knockers – they come in an infinite array of designs, as you can see in this roundup of gorgeous and unique door knockers, and they add a touch of personality and fun to a front door.

I have a beautiful door knocker that was given to me as a gift, and it’s been sitting in a box for years because like many renters and condo owners out there, rules and regulations have prevented me from installing it on my front door…. Then recently, this idea popped into my head: why not hang it on a wall instead of a door and frame it with an old vintage frame? Instant wall art!

 I love the way it turned out – it’s the perfect addition to my eclectic gallery wall of memories and now I get to enjoy looking at my door knocker, whether I can put in on my front door or not.

I’ve always loved door knockers – they come in an infinite array of designs, as you can see in this roundup of gorgeous and unique door knockers, and they add a touch of personality and fun to a front door.

I have a beautiful door knocker that was given to me as a gift, and it’s been sitting in a box for years because like many renters and condo owners out there, rules and regulations have prevented me from installing it on my front door…. Then recently, this idea popped into my head: why not hang it on a wall instead of a door and frame it with an old vintage frame? Instant wall art!

 I love the way it turned out – it’s the perfect addition to my eclectic gallery wall of memories and now I get to enjoy looking at my door knocker, whether I can put in on my front door or not.

Simple DIY coat rack

I was looking for a simple coat rack to install on wall panels I was making for an episode and I couldn’t find anything affordable that I liked in the stores. So I decided to design my own coat rack using a piece of 4″ x 1″ pine board (less than $1 per ft) and simple wood knobs (~$1.20 per knob).

It’s really simple to build and easy to customize to meet your needs:

Step 1: Cut the piece of 4″ x 1″ to the length that you want your coat rack to be, sand the edges and stain or paint the color of your choice. I used Minwax classic gray stain.

Step 2: On the back of the coat rack, mark the location of the knobs  – using a speed square makes this part easier.

Step 3: Drill a hole for each knob using a countersink drill bit – this will allow the heads of the screws to be set (countersunk) into the wood.

Step 4: Install the screws that come with the knobs, making sure the head of the screws are flush or just below the surface of the wood. You’ll want to raise the 4″ x 1″ by about an inch or two while doing this to give enough room for the screws to go all the way through to the other side.

Step 5 : Install knobs

Step 6: Drill pilot holes with a countersink drill bit on both sides of the coat rack for installing it on the wall.

And all that’s left is installing it on a wall or a wall panel like I did here. Make sure to use anchors strong enough to support the weight of whatever you’ll be hanging on the coat rack. Coats can be heavy! And if you don’t like seeing the exposed screws, you can use wood filler to conceal the screw heads. If you want to see how I made the wall panels, take a look at this episode.

I was looking for a simple coat rack to install on wall panels I was making for an episode and I couldn’t find anything affordable that I liked in the stores. So I decided to design my own coat rack using a piece of 4″ x 1″ pine board (less than $1 per ft) and simple wood knobs (~$1.20 per knob).

It’s really simple to build and easy to customize to meet your needs:

Step 1: Cut the piece of 4″ x 1″ to the length that you want your coat rack to be, sand the edges and stain or paint the color of your choice. I used Minwax classic gray stain.

Step 2: On the back of the coat rack, mark the location of the knobs  – using a speed square makes this part easier.

Step 3: Drill a hole for each knob using a countersink drill bit – this will allow the heads of the screws to be set (countersunk) into the wood.

Step 4: Install the screws that come with the knobs, making sure the head of the screws are flush or just below the surface of the wood. You’ll want to raise the 4″ x 1″ by about an inch or two while doing this to give enough room for the screws to go all the way through to the other side.

Step 5 : Install knobs

Step 6: Drill pilot holes with a countersink drill bit on both sides of the coat rack for installing it on the wall.

And all that’s left is installing it on a wall or a wall panel like I did here. Make sure to use anchors strong enough to support the weight of whatever you’ll be hanging on the coat rack. Coats can be heavy! And if you don’t like seeing the exposed screws, you can use wood filler to conceal the screw heads. If you want to see how I made the wall panels, take a look at this episode.

DIY Decorative Shell Dresser Knobs

A quick way to revamp an old dresser is to change out the knobs for some new decorative ones. Here’s an easy and budget-friendly way to make your very own DIY dresser knobs using shells – perfect if you’re looking to add a little bit of the beach to your decor:

What you’ll need: shells (I got mine from the Dollar Store), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

Step 1: Cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and make a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Step 2: Insert the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

Step 3:  Pour epoxy glue into the shell cavity, making sure to have enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

Step 4: Place 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 move the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

Step 5: When the bolt is placed properly, use a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double check 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 place the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. This will allow the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt. Let the epoxy harden.

And voila, you have beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to your dresser!

 

 

 

 

A quick way to revamp an old dresser is to change out the knobs for some new decorative ones. Here’s an easy and budget-friendly way to make your very own DIY dresser knobs using shells – perfect if you’re looking to add a little bit of the beach to your decor:

What you’ll need: shells (I got mine from the Dollar Store), nuts & washers, bolts (about 1 to 1.5 inches longer than the thickness of the shell), scrap rigid cardboard, rubber bands and epoxy glue.

Step 1: Cut a piece of rigid cardboard so that it’s the width of the shell and extends past it by about an inch, and make a hole in the middle. It will act as the flat surface of the dresser drawer to set the bolt in place.

Step 2: Insert the bolt in the hole of the cardboard

Step 3:  Pour epoxy glue into the shell cavity, making sure to have enough glue to cover the head of the bolt.

Step 4: Place 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 move the bolt around so it is perpendicular to the cardboard.

Step 5: When the bolt is placed properly, use a rubber band to secure the cardboard in place, double check 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 place the cardboard on the edge of 2 glasses. This will allow the epoxy to settle on the bottom and cover the head of the bolt. Let the epoxy harden.

And voila, you have beautiful shell knobs ready to give a new look to your dresser!