Bedroom Shelving

Ok folks, time for a little master bedroom update. As you know we got ourselves hooked up with the ever popular PAX system from Ikea. Ahh! Guys… it’s so good! But I think we can get this working for us, even a little better.


So, as you can see, we were in such a rush to get using the PAX closet that –– there she sits, middle of the room, surrounded by the original paint colour on the wall. Sooo… I guess we’ll be painting around it then?

Mmk. So. That big block of PAX has created these two unusable cubby-type things on either side of it…


See what I mean? Kind of weird. But… then I got to thinking. Seems to me it’s the PERFECT size for some shelving. Yeah! Awesome idea! So… where to start…?


Paint. Paint, is always a great place to start. And urgh, I’m so not a fan of this pinky-beige muddy colour we’ve been living with for over a year.

I found the perfect white to match the Ikea PAX as close as possible.


Already… so. much. better! –– Man, I have got a real white paint addiction happening here lately.

Ok. So the plan is shelving. Preferably floating, or hidden bracket shelving. Flush to the walls. All custom and beautiful… but, with as little a price tag as I can manage. Right. The whole budget thing is always getting in the way. However, it is great for the imagination!

So here’s what I came up with. I found right angled lengths of metal from Home Depot to create my custom brackets. I cut them down to about 7″ lengths per bracket and planned for 4 shelves per side, with 2 brackets each.


I used a drill press to punch 2 holes on each bracket, to take the screws, for hanging on the wall.


How cool is this thing? I also added 1 smaller hole on the bottom of each bracket, just in case I wanted to screw it upwards into the wood shelf itself. You’ll see what I mean in two shakes…


Here are all my brackets. Can you see there? 2 holes on one edge for the wall, and one small hold on the other edge for the shelf.


Ok. Here is where this project got ridiculous. Between the sidewalls of the PAX, and our old uneven 1970s walls, absolutely NOTHING is square in the corners of the room. Oy! So, each shelf was trimmed to match the exact location I wanted it to fit.

I may of got Steve helping with that step as to not, y’know, lose my mind.


So bam! Look at this. Here they are all in place. The level was my very best friend during this process. Small adjustments to makes sure my odd walls didn’t ruin my plan. Level and measure placement for each bracket, and level each shelf. It was all a little finicky, but once you get on a roll, it actually goes pretty quick.

Now for a fun trick. I purchase strips of hobby wood from the hardware store to face each shelf. This does two things… hides the brackets from view, and makes your shelves look 3 inches thick! Awesome!


Cheap pine shelves purchased for around $10, look custom and rich, and heavy. Perfect.


See what I mean? My power stapler also takes brad nails, so I just popped a few into each shelf, to hold everything in place. Pretty cool, right?


Here’s a better look at the hobby wood before I attached them to the shelves.


Next, stain!


Stain x’s 8. It got a little smelly up in here.


And, here we’ve got all 8 shelves in place. And, yes, I only painted the cubbies so I could build my shelves. Shorcut! … but, you’ll be happy to know I got my rear in gear and the entire bedroom is painted now. Fancy that.


Let’s take one more closer look…


I have a plan to add trim to the top of the Pax unit to polish it off all the way to the ceiling. Ya? I think that will do the trick.

No more awkward cubbies for me! Now to stock those shelves and add some pretty up in here! I’ll be sure to share that too.

Thanks for checking in! Got any weird spots in your place that you’ve conquered with a little clever thinking? Tell me about it!



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Vintage Camping Trailer

If you’ve been following along, you know this trailer project has been around for a few Summer seasons. It all began here with an epic exterior paint job.

Here it was pre-paint… pre… anything. My how things have changed!


The original interior was packed with upper cabinets all the way around. Did I mention this is a 14′ trailer. We could barely stand inside and snap a picture (hence, the terrible pics coming up!).


Space was tight, and not very functional for our little family of 3. We decided to ditch the oven for a fridge, as we do most of our camping meals on the fire, or on a gas, picnic-table stove.


And, after we got ripping out a few of the unneccessary items, we found… treasure! wood rot! Yippee. So, the demo continued and the rebuild began. New studs, new walls, new paneling. The upside is, it made wiring the new electrical a lot easier.



And, the new vinyl flooring went down with nothing to get in its way. Looking on the bright side!


New construction continued with new bench frames, with storage. Here is one side, using the dining table top to create a twin size bed area.


And a sliding, pull-out bench seat, on the opposite side of the trailer, makes room for a queen size bed.


This super easy tape adhered back-splash, from Home Depot, finished off the kitchen area.


All of those second-hand cushions got all new fabric. ** Here is a tip for an easy zipper addition. Cut the old zipper from the old covers leaving a couple of inches of fabric around and just sew your new fabric cover right onto the old fabric. As easy as adding a hem. **


Of course we visited the exterior paint, here




After aaaaaall of that… we are ready to finish off the inside and make things a little more pretty.

I made new curtains in this adorable Joel Dewberry fabric. (The same fabric in the Kiddos big girl room, just a different colour scheme).

Here is the queen size fold-out bed, with some cute new sheets and blankets in yellow and teal.


And here is the same cozy spot folded up as a bench seat. It pops up very easy, perfect for those rainy camping afternoons, hiding out with a few friends, playing a few rounds of “go fish”.


A homemade “Keep Calm and Camp On” print, popped into an Ikea frame finishes our bunk off and keeps it feeling homey.


We reassembled the kitchen with the back-splash. We were able to keep the original upper and lower cabinets, after a quick sanding and fresh coat of paint.


The dining table is perfect for our little family. And a cheery place to grab some Cheerios and coffee in the morning.


And how about that gorgeous steel cabinet? A one-of-a-kind find from this awesome antiques shop! Ever After, love this place! Perfect as our pantry-on-wheels.


Our last finishing touch? A custom decal to greet our fellow happy campers…


Have a nice day, indeed!



She’s finished y’all. How about that. Its looking pretty welcoming in there… we are ready for some quality family time!

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Foyer Makeover

Oh my… this has been a doozy. It’s been going on for nearly a year. Ideas have changed –– a few times. Things have come, and been returned. Kijiji finds found, and sold.

But… that’s how she goes sometimes. And, now the pay-off seems extra sweet.

This is how we started out, way way back…


And, here it is now… Right?! Uhhh…. so! much! better!

Ok, but let’s back up. So — this all started because this closet was not working for us. Two, large, heavy, mirrored doors. Why didn’t they work?

1. The doors, when fully opened, only ever exposed half of the closet. It made it hard to organize/see/know what was in there.

2. The closet, wasn’t our style. Doors were outdated ( –– like, Jack could come walking through the door any minute, trip over a rug, go flying over the back of the sofa, and overhear a conversation between Chrissy and Janet sending the entire house into an uproar over a complete misunderstanding… but, we’d all kiss-and-make-up in the end. *sigh*).

3. Heavy, screechy, and not toddler friendly…  P.S. – ugly.


So how did we get here? First, closet doors went bye-bye. And, Mmm-k, granted, this step did not improve ‘the pretty’. In fact, it was good encouragement to keep it moving…


Next, I ditched the idea about keeping shoes in the closet at all. You can see more on that here, with my snazzy copper shoe rack. And, then I improved the sterile flooring situation, with a much warmer, more modern option, which you can read about here.


The closet got striped down to bare bones. Everything gone. Clean slate. That worked up a sweat — but it was only the beginning. So. Much. To. Do. Too much to cover in a single post. So… I think it’s best to start with that gallery wall.

I know what you’re thinking… how do you use the jacket hooks over all those photo frames without them falling down?  These babies, that’s how!


Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips. Think Velcro-type hold. (And, no, this post was not sponsored, I just love them).


The small, extra light, items, got one set of strips. The larger, heavier pieces got at least two sets. They are so secure. No pivoting side-to-side, and no lifting from the wall. It’s how it would be if I screwed the frames into the wall, but without all the wall damage. Change my mind? Want to change an image? Simply peel it away, make my change, and pop it back into place using the same strip set.

Where can’t I find a place for a gallery wall? I think I may have an addiction.

There’s so much more to share! Like, how about that bench — that floral bird fabric?! Don’t worry, I’ll share it all soooon. For now… I’m just so happy to have our foyer back.

**This project has been featured on the Motivational Monday Link Party over at the DIY Mommy. Check out all those other great ideas!**

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Old Oak gets (a little more) Glam

So, waaaay back, when we first moved, we made the journey with our original dining room table. One that fit great into our old dining room… a large square table (when the leaf is open), in a large square dining room.

But the new place is loooong and narrow. Like, really long. Which means we could fit a fantastic long table, but a new one was most certainly not in the budget.


Buying second hand was the answer, and the cheaper the better.

Enter Kijiji! Loooove me some Kijiji. I found this monster 7 foot table (when the leaf is in) for $120 — It also came with 4 Windsor chairs which come in handy for big dinners (and are awaiting their own makeover).

Some good energy was attached to this table too… the family shared their memories of many years of family dinners around the table, and I was happy to take that home with me.


But… all that love meant it needed some work. The finish on the table top was pretty rough. And, the old oak yellowish stain was showing her age. Time to give her a modern facelift. The table top got sanded aaaaall the way down. Yep, I was living in the garage for a couple days. But the new Skil Sander, (a gift from last Christmas), sure came in handy with those curvy edges. Loving those fancy attachments!


The base got a quick hand sanding, to scuff up the shiny surface, to prep it to hold paint.


The perfect matte, soft white, completely propelled this “dated-and-too-country” finish into today! So clean, and I appreciate the curves so much more now.


The table top was lugged upstairs (thanks Steve!), so I could stain it indoors, and away from the dusty garage.


Already, so! much! better! The bare wood against the white base, already had me feeling really happy, and I was excited to get staining!

“Friday” the cat needed to supervise, as usual.


And on goes the stain… Every time I strip wood all the way down, and start applying stain, I can almost hear the wood saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you! I was so thirsty!!”


It really is as, “good as new”.

All damage completely removed, and the new supple wood ready for its new life… for years to come!


Here it is after two coats… looking pretty proud…


And after 3 stain coats, (in Jacobean), and 3 Varathane coats, she was ready to go…


This old table is looking better than ever! Young and fresh.


The best part? We can seat 10 for the big family dinners, and with our breakfast bar adjacent to it, everyone is together, with no need to set up extra plastic tables! A proper family table. Are we grown-ups, or what?!


The kiddo was pretty sick of eating at the breakfast bar, so it was extra cruel, waiting for the extra time waiting for the Varathane to cure. Let’s just say, she enjoyed her first meal, and has been choosing a new seat for each meal and snack, the last few days! Ha! She keeps me laughing.

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Mid-century Goodness (Part 2)

So last we saw my mid-century beauty, she was looking about like this…


Right. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Oh look at me… those buttons are perfection! Mmm Hmm… then, came the arms. There are two of them, you know. Double trouble.


But once again, it was time to plow ahead. Do what you can, and the rest will follow. This was proving tricky, because I wanted to obviously keep the wooden arm detail, AND the separate upholstered arm cushion, but I was not completely deconstructing the chair. This meant nothing (i.e.: screws and stapes), could be hidden within the wooden construction of the chair. Hmmm…

I needed to get creative about hiding my staples. After removing the old arm pads and wooden pieces, I covered the entire arm with fabric.


And repeated on the other side…


Here is the top view of the arm…


Then I took my fabric, and ironed down a hem, right-side up, and stapled it down the length of the arm (you’ll see what I mean, in two shakes)…


Here you can see the fabric pulled back, viewing the wrong-side of the fabric…


Now, it was ready for the arm padding…


I tucked the fabric, right-side up, over the arm padding, ironed a hem, and stapled along that hem on the other side of the arm pad. I made sure that on both sides, the staples were tucked underneath the arm pad. That way, when completed, the arm pad sat flat, and actually hid all of the staples.


Here is the finished, outer, stapled seam along an arm pad. When you lift up on the arm pad you can see my stapled seam hiding there. Worked like a charm.


That, was by far the trickiest bit of business to take care of with this chair. Next, I pinned the back panel in place and was able to wrap the two side lengths with the recycled metal tack strips.


The tack strips worked like a charm and hammered easily back into place, top to bottom.

The original chair had a paper tack strip along the top. But I opted for decorative upholstery tacks (I already had some on hand from another project), I thought they added a little personality…chair-back-tack-strip

All that was left, was making sure the fabric was pulled straight and taut through to the bottom of the chair frame… and staple the heck out of it!

The wooden pieces were reapplied with an existing double ended screw attached to the frame of the chair, and hidden finishing nails. Done.

And, here she is…


I think that will do just fine, ya? Let’s have a little refresher of how she started out…


Yep. It’s a keeper. And, how about a sneak peak of what it will be paired up with in the new nursery?!


Fun right? Pretty gender neutral I think. And I adore anything grey and yellow. I plan on using that Ric Rac Rabbits fabric to make a baby blanket to help pull together the red details — so glad I found those little guys, they are really earning their keep! And you can’t beat a chevron curtain panel… at least, not in my world.


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