Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DIY: a coffee table

In the interest of saving money, filling this house with furniture, and creating some sentimental pieces that we can look back on with warm fuzzies, Tanner has been busy sharpening his furniture making skills. After his success building a bed for our master bedroom (which I realize I haven't blogged yet...I.am.terrible.), we set our sights on a new coffee table.

We chose this beauty from Restoration Hardware as our inspiration. I love RH. Even though many of their pieces tend to feel a little heavy and masculine to me, I think they do a good job of blending our styles.

Tanner started the project by drawing up a design based on our inspiration pictures and making a shopping list.

Our original plan was to use reclaimed wood from a store a few towns over, but for one reason or another we just never could make it there on a day they were open. In the end we went with pine boards from Lowe's. Though we've since learned that these probably weren't the best choice for this project (due to pine being a soft wood), this was a learning project and we went with what we knew and what was affordable. 

We also had a really hard time finding balusters for the legs. Anybody know where to find these suckers? We searched everywhere--notta. In the end, we decided to go with some solid, chunky candlesticks we found at a Pottery Barn outlet. 

Our original plan was to age and/or stain the wood, but first we needed to remove the paint from our PB candlesticks. This did not go well. In fact, it went terribly. We tried sanding, we used a drimel, and we bought every paint stripping product we could get our hands on. N o t h i n g worked. Nothing. After about two weeks of trying to scrape bubblegum smelling orange goop out of the grooves, we gave up. Tanner was ready to throw away the sticks and find something new, and we actually spent a weekend shopping for replacement legs...without success. In the end, we decided to keep our candlesticks and go with paint. 

We went with Annie Sloan chalk paint in country grey. I'd had some success using Annie Sloan paint with other projects and thought it would be a good option for the look we wanted.

Please excuse the messy garage...I'm blaming it on the not so recent move.

One of the great things about the Annie Sloan paint is that is doesn't require any sanding or priming before you begin painting. And it's quick drying! It's perfect for people like me who are too impatient to deal with lots and lots of steps. After two coats of the country grey, I covered the wood in one coat of clear wax and one coat of dark wax. 

There are so many great Annie Sloan tutorials out there (this one and this one were really helpful) that it really doesn't make sense for me to break down each and every step here... In summary, it's pretty simple. Just stay with the grain of the wood and you can't screw it up. 

I am ridiculously happy with the final product and so proud of my boy! Who knew my green, techie husband was such a handy man?! 

It was definitely a learning experience, and we have a running bet on whether or not it is sturdy enough to stand the test of time...we shall see. Regardless, we are feeling really excited to try more projects (console table, anyone?), and I can't wait to start decorating this room! We spend so much time here that I really want to make it a beautiful, functional space that reflects both our styles. Pretty sure there's a new rug and side tables in our future.

Linked up to these parties:

Monday, May 6, 2013

life recently

We made it to May! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, y'all. In special education (and maybe just education in general) spring is definitely the busy season, and I'm spending most of of my days keeping my head down and trying to power through these next few weeks to that blessed summer vacation. It.is.so.close.I.can.almost.touch.it. !!!

I've felt very lucky this year that I haven't had to bring a lot of work home in the evenings or on the weekends. It's been nice to have that time free to spend on other things--like nesting. and gardening. and meals with friends. and episodes of the office.

We've been rocking the art of furniture making over here lately (we being Tanner), working hard on creating our backyard oasis, and soaking up all the warm weather we can stand. I'm excited to share some of our projects in a bit more detail soon.

Until then here are some photos, courtesy of the iphone, of life around here lately.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

the husband wishlist

My husband has a knack for finding random interesting things on the internet that he insists we must own. He keeps an updated gift list on amazing ready and waiting for that random person who contacts me asking for gift ideas. I thought it might be fun to post some of the things he's currently pining after for those of you with a fella in your life as opinionated as mine.

Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp - $4.62

Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - $129.95

Weber Grill Out Grill Handle Light - $24.14