I have one more quick project to share from building the breakfast nook in the kitchen. See that big ole chalkboard above the new bench and table? Figuring out how to fill that space proved to be one of the hardest puzzle pieces with this entire project.
I love the final solution and it has already been a fun spot to share family messages (like Liv’s 2nd birthday!) but it took me a while to figure out how we would temporarily cover that massively large gap (and old window that’s hiding behind plywood and needing repair – on the list for this summer) that was left in the kitchen when the bench was finished.
We brainstormed ideas ranging from framed fabric wall art (one of my favorites), finding actual wall art, hanging a whiteboard or cork board, creating a faux roman shade (very clever, Mom) to a chalkboard. Nothing too permanent because we may end up opening up that window again this summer or trying something brand new with the space.
I thought a cool piece of fabric (like a remnant, silk scarf or even a chunk of something random like a tablecloth) framed would fit the bill, but then struggled to find a fabric that I wanted to hang as a focal point in the room — and one that also played nicely with the new tufted bench seat, pillows and bar stool cushions. No luck. I love me some mixed patterns but there were just too many in that little space.
My back up plan was an awesomely large frame to house a chalkboard. You can never have too many of those.
I made the frame first because it was such an awkward size. It had to be tall enough to cover the window and wide enough to look like it’s supposed to be there (and is not just covering up a flaw in the wall, which it actually is).
I could have built a frame from scratch, but that felt very, very daunting. I priced out purchasing a custom frame at that crazy size. Waaaaay out of budget. Then I stumbled again upon these giant Ribba frames at Ikea:
This frame is the same poster frame that I used on my semi-DIY fabric canvas artwork in the living room (my local Ikea doesn’t carry the birch version anymore ). It’s SO big at just over 28×40″, and at $25 it’s a killer steal in the framing world.
One would have not looked purposeful, it would have oddly sat above the breakfast nook and would not have tied in in the two Rifle prints to the right of the seating area. The chalkboard needed to go big. After carefully measuring, I purchased two of the Ribba frames with this plan in mind:
First disassemble both frames, next reassemble one giant frame using just the longer 40″ edges.
Disassembling was actually quite tricky! You would think that an Ikea frame would pop easily apart. Oooohhhh no. I assumed I could pull out the staples that held the perfectly mitered corners together (the hardest part of building your own frame) and re nail gun the edges. But after a little sawzall action late at night and about 20 nail gun holes later, I managed to reassemble my giant frame.
I wish I had pics of that night! Me, my red slippers, an air compressor and the power tools (don’t let anyone try to fool you – power tools are just larger versions of the craft tools we ladies know and love).
But it looked something like this when I was done:
Except that if you’re ever over at the house, don’t look so carefully at the corners. They are not so pretty with their wood glue remnants (who knew it wouldn’t dry perfectly clear?) and nail marks. I just keep telling myself it’s a great temporary solution.
For the chalkboard on the inside, I headed down to my local Lowe’s, found a sturdy and flat piece of particle board and gave the nice milling guy my dimensions.
Three coats of chalkboard paint later and we were done! Also don’t look too closely at the black paint either – you might see an accidental footprint. For the record I also added three coats of magnetic paint under the chalkboard paint but the finished product is not quite strong enough to hold anything up. Ah well.
Hanging the frame and board was a bit of a challenge… the Ikea frame was not sturdy enough to hold such a large board (even particle board) so I reinforced the entire frame by driving a few nails directly though the chalkboard and into that plywood window that we were trying to cover up. Very convenient that it was there! An alternative might be to use a much lighter type of board (perhaps even plexiglass?) or to build a much sturdier frame to support so much weight.
And that’s the story behind the giant chalkboard .
These days I love how the black paint looks against the black of the botanical frames and the grey floors, it really is the perfect solution for this spot.
PPS Thank you so much to Calico Corners for including my breakfast nook project in your most recent newsletter! Such a big honor, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, DIY Art, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Featured In, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »
Have you had a chance to check out Lowe’s Idea Exchange? on their Facebook page? It’s actually pretty cool and it kind of reminds me of the Project Gallery tab for this blog (check it out, too!). Full of ideas from other folks on fun and simple DIY projects.
Can you spot my contribution above?
PS, you can upload your project at any time to PDB’s gallery to share your inspiration and to drive a little traffic your direction! I know that submission is only open to bloggers at the moment… but I am trying very hard to fix that and open the gallery up to all readers.
Happy crafting! (or cooking, designing, building… whatever it is that is your thang.)
Posted in Crafty Solutions, Featured In, Project Gallery, Project Lowe's, Tips & Ideas | 4 Comments »
I went to bed last night thinking that the morning would bring a brand new Friday. But alas, that’s how long this week has felt (poor Liv had a 103 degree fever all through the night and day Tuesday and work has lately been getting the best of me). Instead though, it is a beautiful Thursday and one that I’m more than happy to embrace. Especially considering that tomorrow is Friday!
Before I share my latest room update, a BIG thank you to Kate for featuring me in her Best of the Blogosphere round-up at Centsational Girl! Her every-other-Friday posts are among my favorites because they share some serious talent and new bloggers to explore and follow. I near fell out of my chair when she linked a recent project of mine up, check it out here.
I have a little room progress to update you all on today! This room has admittedly become the hardest and most challenging room to get right in our house. And being that it’s my woman-cave, I’ve been working extra hard to make sure that it feels right, that it feels like a space that I would happily spend most of my day in (my company is up in Northern California, so I really do spend most of my day at that desk and on those computers).
The office was on a serious roll back in 2011 when we knocked down the old kitchen (rebuilt it on the other side of the house) and turned that space into my work zone. But then half way through the new office design process, my ideas and inspiration fell apart and the room came to a halt. For quite a long time. (I’ve never been a fan of finishing a space just to get it done, I figure that new inspiration will eventually come and I’ll be all the happier with a result that is right on.)
But I have made a few changes along the way! And I’m really happy again with how everything is coming together.
Among the new changes, a new bedding set from Target in a neutral, cozy tan, an awesome bamboo Craigslist chair find, amazing bookshelves (same Craigslist sale) with the most wonderful, original campaign-style handles ($100 for two huge bookcases!), moving my favorite Ballard Design gold medallions to either side of the window (plus one on the bookshelf in the above pic), and finally stealing a rug from the dining room and swapping out the below trellis version in the office (an all jute rug is the way to go in there – and doesn’t the organic shape in the above photo look much better than the rectangular one below?).
Often shopping is not necessary. A space can easily be refreshed with a bit of shopping the house! Amazing how moving one bright vase to a new room or exchanging accent chairs with another bedroom will give those accessories a new life.
The new white dressers are making a huge difference in the room as well. Previously, I had found a neat mid-century modern wood credenza that fit in the space, but I quickly out grew it storage-wise and have been on the lookout for something fun in a bright color. When these dressers popped up on Craigslist I went to check them out and knew they were immediately right.
That crisp white look makes all of the difference! And the original handles and pristine shape these vintage guys are in is perfect for this home.
All of that storage! It’s wonderful.
My desk (which is actually an old dining room table) is usually covered in notebooks and computer screens and glasses of water… but occasionally I put away all of the clutter and find this:
I’m still on the search for the perfect velvet to recover my chair in – perhaps a navy blue? and the rest of the wood could use a new coat of stain (in a non-cherry color). It’s worth noting that I love to be organized but am not a sparse person – I really, truly enjoy staring up at those tall bulletin boards (made back here) and finding dozens of pictures of Olivia, our family, my favorite tear sheets, work docs and a few quotes and prayers that help to focus me. Even if it means that above my desk might feel a bit crowded. A well-organized file bin is helpful, a stack of unsorted papers on top of that is usually the regular.
The room is slowly embracing my initial color palette as well, now it’s time to add a few pops of coral and pink (I’m thinking in the form of a bit of DIY art, a new lamp? and a few new pillows):
(Just for comparison’s sake, here’s what I first identified as these particular color plans in the room back in February):
Pretty close, right? I would have bet that my ideas would have changed quite a bit in the last six months, and while they did – they didn’t travel too far from the original.
Next up, art for these walls, a bright coral or pink pillow for that chair (might recover the cushion? Did I mention I scored it for $25?), a new fabric roman shade for the big window over the dressers and a reupholstered office chair. Maybe more? Time will tell.
For more Office Makeover posts, check out: a new tufted headboard for the guest bed, our floor plan, color inspiration, a new trellis print rug, stuck in a rut, designing and sewing the curtains, diy fabric bulletin board panels, handmade capiz pendant light, organizing the bookshelves, wall collage part 1, part 2, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nook, finding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress, inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.
Tags: Bedroom, Decorating, Green, Home, Office, Teal, Turquoise
Posted in Featured DIY Project, Featured In, Guest Post, Home, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »