Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mini Makeover Challenge

Today's Mini Makeover Challenge is probably one of my favorites to date! I challenged Nicki from Sweet Parrish Place to participate and she has wowed me at what she accomplished without spending a penny. 

In case you aren't familiar with the challenge, here are the rules:
*Makeover an area of your home without spending a penny! Using items you already have on hand, create a fresh look for your space. *Shop your home and yard for items you love. *Choose a space to makeover. Could be a reading nook, bedroom, foyer, anything you want! * Remember, you can't spend one penny!

Take it away, Nicki!

Hi all!  My name is Nicki, and I blog over at Sweet Parrish Place.  I am so thrilled to be guest posting today at Cultivate Create, and I hope you enjoy the project I am sharing!  If you like it please, hop on over to my blog and take a look around.  I love to DIY, and share my projects, so I would love to have you!  A Couple of months ago, I was invited to participate in a Mini Makeover Challenge by the lovely and talented Amanda, who is the voice behind the blog Cultivate Create.  For this challenge, I was required to make over an area in my home without spending one penny, and I had to use things I already had on hand.  As soon as I received the invite, I knew what my project would be, and exactly the spot in my home that was going to receive a makeover, my upstairs hallway!  I am happy to report that I succeeded in this challenge.  I did not spend a penny, I used all materials that I had on hand, and I made over my hallway.  I completely transformed the look and feel of my hallway with this project, and created character where there pretty much was none, so it was a big win in my book!  Behold, my DIY rustic wood wall that I made out of salvaged fence posts!  Here is the hallway before my makeover.

And as you already saw above, here it is now!  I am so psyched about the end result!  I could not be more pleased, so I want to share with you how I did this, because you can easily do this in your own home!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

Last summer, my next door neighbor tore down a section of her fence that was in need of replacement, and of course, when I found out she was going to do this, I begged her for the posts.  Now, LC (my blog nickname for my husband- you can read more about that on my about me page) was none too happy that I wanted these old things.  But I persisted and forced him to help me collect them, and we piled them up out back for some unknown future project.  I knew I wanted to use them on a wall, I just didn’t know where in my home they would end up.  I think this wall in my hallway is the perfect place for them, because when you turn to go down this hallway, which leads to three bedrooms and a bathroom, the rustic wood makes a huge impact.  There is no way you can not take notice of it!

So the pile of wood sat out there for about a year, until this summer I finally had time to get to them.  The first thing I did was to measure the wall to find out how tall and wide it was.  Next I measured the fence posts to make sure I had enough.  I decided to use one fence post per row, and to just go from top to bottom.  That seemed to be the simplest thing for me to do.  Before I started cutting the fence posts though, I needed to clean them.  I laid them all out flat in our driveway, brushed them off really well with a broom, and sprayed them down with a power washer on both sides, then I stood them upright in my garage over night to dry.  That is all the prep I did to them.  I loved the way they looked after they were dry, and I went with that. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

After some debate in my mind, I decided to paint the wall before I hung the wood so that it would be less noticeable if there were any gaps.  And I have to say that I am so glad I did.  I did not purchase any paint for this part, I just used paint that I had on hand in the closest color that I thought would disappear beneath the wood.  This color happens to be on an accent wall in my bedroom.  I actually hate the color now, but that is another story.  I only painted on one coat, and I did not trim out around the edges.  However, when I started to hang the wood, I regretted that I did not trim out, because it was noticeable beneath the wood, so I paused and went back and trimmed it all out.  I even took a tiny paint brush and trimmed out in the places where I had already hung the wood. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

I received a circular saw from my dad for Christmas, and this was the first time I have used it.  The wood was a little too wide for the circular saw, so I had to make two cuts on each piece to go all the way through the wood.  This was not difficult.  I just made my first cut, turned the wood over to the opposite side and made one more cut.  As luck would have it, this wall that we were hanging these on did not have any studs, can you believe that?  But these posts are not heavy, they are very thin, so we thought it was fine to go ahead and hang them.  We started out by using four nails- 2 on each side, but because some of the pieces are warped, that didn’t work out for every piece.  So we ended up using jut two nails on the warped pieces, one on each side- right in the middle.  Thank goodness I had LC to pound all of the nails in for me, because that was the hardest part.  I cleaned and cut the wood, he nailed it all in for me.  You could use a nail gun for this part, which would make it much simpler, but unfortunately we don’t own one.  I am adding it to my list of things I need though!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

Here is a close up of the wood, and you can see the nails on the left, and how some of the wood is cracked and warped.  This did not bother me.  It only added to the character in my opinion. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

I debated back and forth whether to remove the white trim and take the wood all the way down to the floor or not, and I decided to leave it.  That is a personal preference, you can do whatever you think will look best.  I am glad I left it.  When I got down to the last piece, it was a little too wide, and I did not have any power tools that I could use to cut it, so I simply measured how wide I needed it to be, marked on the wood with a pencil, and used a chisel and a hammer to split the wood to the right width.  This was very easy because the wood was very brittle.  You can see the wood right at the trim below.  It worked out perfectly. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

We finished this project shortly before we left to go on vacation, and when we got home, I was taken aback yet again at how much the rustic wood wall adds to the character of our home! 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

There was one dilemma though.  How to hang the white mirror back up on the wall.  We couldn’t just hang it on the wood because there are no studs in this wall, so the wood is not super secure.  And remember, for this challenge, we were to use things we already had on hand, so I couldn’t go out an purchase anything special.  We decided that no one would ever see what was behind this mirror.  Even if we decide to remove it one day, we will replace it with something else, so we used a drill to drill a hole big enough to fit a drywall anchor, and we then hung the mirror back up.  Easy solution!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

This rustic wood and wicker box is not a table.  It is actually a laundry hamper.  And it is a necessary object because we don’t have a lot of space in this house.  So this is where we throw our dirty towels and washcloths that are used in our master bath and the boys bathroom.  It works. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

Have you noticed yet that there is handwriting on the white mirror?  I wrote some of the words to the song At Last by Etta James, using a white paint marker.  This is a meaningful song for LC and I , because it was played at our wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  It is not super noticeable in pictures, but much more so in person, and it just adds a touch of meaning and interest to the mirror.  I like having a mirror on this back wall because it reflects light.  This hallway tends to be on the dark side, especially because both of our boys like to keep their bedrooms closed most of the time. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

The vintage vanity case that is sitting on the hamper was a Trashtastic Tuesday project of mine last Fall.  It has moved around my home several times since I painted it. 

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

DIY Rustic Wood Wall- For Free!

So, what do you think?  Huge impact in this little space, right?  I hope you enjoyed this makeover!  If you have any questions that I did not answer in the text, please ask away in the comments and I promise, I will answer!  Thank you so much for having me today Amanda, it was a pleasure to participate in this mini makeover challenge!  I love a good challenge to get my butt in gear! 

Isn't that quite a feat, given no money was spent? Amazing! Be sure to go check out Nicki's blog! You won't be disappointed. Thanks so much for participating, Nicki!

Want to see more Mini Makeover Challenges? Check these out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Late Summer Window Box

A feature that's unique to my home is a brick, built-in window box on the front exterior. It's just to the left of our front door, nestled under a crepe myrtle. It gets dappled sunlight, but stays pretty shady for much of the day. Back in the spring, I planted white vincas there and that's all I did. Now, late in the summer season, I was ready to add in a few extras to carry me over into the fall season. Here in south Alabama, we don't start getting consistent cooler temps until around early October.  Adding in a few other textures and shades of green will provide a little variation to hold me over until those fall mums show up in my local garden center. 

My local Wal-Mart has tons of plants from the spring growing season marked half off. I decided to keep everything really simple, opting to buy various textures and shades of green foliage rather than trying to grow flowers this late in the season. Many flowers are already spent this late and wouldn't do as well as foliage would. I chose sweet potato vine, hostas, and dusty miller. Also, I added in some Fox Tail Fern that I transplanted from other  pots. When I get ready to plant a fall window box, I can transplant the hostas into the landscape and possibly carry some of the others over into the fall season.

Before: The white Vincas are pretty, but it was plain. 

I started by placing each plant, still potted, where I thought it would look best so that I could get a visual before actually planting. Once I get the look I'm going for, I planted each one. This window box is really narrow, so it can be difficult to get a lot in it. Since this particular grouping won't be in there for long before it will be time for a fall redo, I really packed the plants in there as much as I could. There isn't any reason to leave space since they won't be in there long enough to spread and grow too much.

The end result is subtle, but that is what I was going for this late in the season. I absolutely love the color of the sweet potato vine and the beautiful vincas!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

DIY Dough Bowl Succulent Planter

A few days ago, I was searching video tutorials on Youtube and I happened upon a channel called Garden Answer. (Seriously, go check it out and subscribe!) I watched one video and I was hooked! I have since devoured most of the videos on that channel. They are so inspiring and informative, and it's every plant lover's dream! There are so many projects that I want to try, but I was so inspired by the succulent planter by Garden Answer that I just had to try one for myself.  While Garden Answer's antique dough bowl planter is much larger and has a lot more plantings, I still love my smaller version. (You can check out Garden Answer's video tutorial HERE.)

Succulents have made a major comeback in the last couple of years, but I haven't seen them as popular as they are now. I have admired them for a while now and couldn't wait to try to grow some myself. When I found that all of Wal-Mart's succulent selections were half off, that gave me the spur to go ahead and try my hand at growing some.

What you'll need:
*Assortment of succulents. I used Echeveria, Seedum, Dracanea, and a couple of others that I'm not sure what the names are. Adjust the amount of succulents depending on the size and depth of your vessel.
*Cactus, Palm, and Citrus potting soil
*Antique dough bowl or another type of vessel
*Hearty plastic (to line your dough bowl to keep it from being damaged)
*A nice, cold glass of lemonade to sip while working

Place your plastic over the dough bowl, making sure to overlap the plastic over the ends. This will be cut later. Then, add your potting soil.

Starting with the tallest plants first, start adding your succulents. If you want to create a definite back and front, put your taller plants toward the back and layer the shorter ones to the front. I wanted mine to be able to be seen from all angles so I put my taller ones in the middle and then added the shorter ones all around. That way, the planter looks somewhat uniform from all angles. Next, add in a few decorative rocks. I used what I had on hand, using only four larger ones for the entire planter. But you could add smaller pebbles or a variety of sizes if you wanted.

Now, cut your plastic to just cover the lip of your vessel. Then begin adding moss, tucking the plastic under as you go. Make sure you don't tuck your plastic too far. You want it to stay under the soil so that it doesn't touch the wood bowl directly.

The finished product is stunning! The photos just don't do it justice. I'm telling you, it is so pretty! I had a few plants left over, too, so I'm going to make another succulent planter. My oldest daughter has been wanting to make a fairy garden for over a year now and that's what we'll use it for. We found some adorable fairy garden accessories at Joann's. I'll post photos on Instagram and Facebook once we get it finished. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

10 High Style Ikea Hacks

In the home decor and diy world, Ikea is almost this magical fairy land where prices are low and possibilities are high. While you can go to Ikea, pick something up off the shelf, take it home and use as is, many like to try to re-imagine and make things their own. With the prices as low as they are, you can definitely afford to do so. It's a creative's dream, a blank canvas of wood and veneer, and a virtual green light for anything you can dream of.

I'm heading to Ikea next week, and have been studying their products a bit to use for a client, and I have come across some beautiful "hacks" that will make you want to head straight to the store and get started on your own project. Here are ten high-style hacks that caught my eye! The links below each photo will take you to the original post.

These first three are all variations of the Rast dresser (pictured above). It is an unfinished, wood dresser that only costs $35! That's a great deal!

//Via www.addicted2decorating.com//
//Via //

4. These next two photos are at my own home. These photos that I shared on Instagram show our media console made from Ikea Billy bookcases. I always have lots of comments and questions about it so I thought I would show it. It was simple to make and was very affordable.

I got the idea for this "built-in" look on iheartorganizing.com. You see the post that inspired us HERE! We took the instructions there and made it fit for our home.

5. Here is another hack that showcases the Billy bookcase, as well as the Besta.


8. And the Hemnes was used to create this cute "mudroom" area.
9. A library cart made from spice racks.
10. Beautiful window seat and shelving. Looks like built-ins!

I am so inspired by these projects and can't wait to get to Ikea next week. (The closest one to me is in Atlanta, four and a half hours away.) I don't get to go often so I am stoked! Do you have Ikea near you? Have you ever attempted an Ikea hack? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment!

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