Office Makeover: Chop It Down, Chop It Down

Hope you had a great weekend! We’ve been busy over here c-l-e-a-n-i-n-g. If there’s one thing I hate about a project it’s that after you tear everything out of a room and transplant it to the garage, you have put it back into the space when you’re finished (on the plus side – our office is finished enough to begin putting everything back!).

You might remember that I found a dining table for the office that would work perfectly as a new desk. Well, a couple of weeks of functioning as a desk and we’re realizing the table is too big. I was originally hunting down a desk that was bigger than average, but my Craigslist dining table sticks out pretty far into the room when it has a chair pulled up to it (it’s a pretty narrow room). Bummer.

So the solution? Chop it down. We took the dining table out to meet the table saw and after flipping it over so that the table was legs side up, smoothly cut off several inches along the back side. Table liposuction.

Here’s a nice angle showing off our alley and trash cans. The newly cut side received a quick sanding to get rid of any rough edges or large splinters.

The front was left untouched so that we didn’t have to stain any raw wood. Then we brought the table back in and pushed the newly cut edge tight up against the wall.

While a few inches doesn’t sound like much, it made a big difference once the table was back in place as a desk.

Can’t tell the difference? I know… it’s not too exciting but it goes to show how easy it is to modify a Craigslist/antique/thrift store find with a little help from the power tools.

Check out these great souvenirs from our recent trip to Iowa:

Don’t they just scream Iowa? Just kidding. They’re the most unlikely to be picked up on vacation but I saw them in an antique/garden shop in little Woodward, Iowa (where Kevin’s Dad’s family is from) and found a way to stuff them in my suitcase. That’s a white ceramic lounging bird there on the left and an old flower pot on the right. The first accessories for the new space :). And those fabrics are just the start of what I’m gathering for the room.

So cutting down the desk was no big deal – a quick one hour project including moving the piece of furniture, cutting, sanding and putting ‘er right back where we had found it!

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nookfinding 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.

Going Green: Diapering On The Go

Today’s post is a quick follow up to my last cloth diaper follow up ;) from Monday. I had mentioned that we don’t cloth diaper when we travel, but being huge proponents of the whole Go Green thing, we found a simple solution that’s still earth friendly (I’m such a fan that on days when Kev takes Liv out for errands, I happily hand over these disposables, too).

Biodegradable diaper

They’re called Broody Chick Diapers and they are fully compostable and completely biodegradable (GroVia makes a version as well). What a great combination! We roadtrip tested these and they receive an A+ for zero issues (you know, the usual issues that might make you nervous with a plastic-less bum hugger).

But – and that’s a big but – for that sweet earth friendly combination to work out, you must dispose of them in an equally biodegradable bag or your entire mission is foiled. See, what a lot of people forget is that when you wrap a diaper (or anything for that matter) in a traditional plastic grocery bag or trash bag, it’s now a plastic diaper ball encased in a material that won’t allow it to break down, even if the diaper is a compostable one.

Biodegradable Diaper Bags

That’s why when we travel I also tote around a small roll of biodegradable sacks (the same kind you probably use when you take your dog for a walk) so that I can seal up a dirty diaper and then dispose of it in a dumpster (rather than a trash can which is also lined in a plastic bag). When on long journeys, such as a recent week-long family trip to Sedona, I keep a 3 gallon BioBag in our bathroom which I slowly fill up with Broody Chick dipes – and then toss into the dumpster upon leaving. Just like you might throw away a diaper pail’s worth of normal disposable diapers.

If you’re a CD momma, then you know that a second option for traveling would be hybrid diapers, or diapers that allow you to use a cloth or disposable insert. My choice for a hybrid solution is a WeeHugger diaper cover plus a biodegradable gDiaper insert (gDiaper medium cloth inserts work great with these as well). PS cloth diapers make great swim diapers! So they get two points for their space in the suitcase.

Diapering on the Go

But you kind of end up in the same dilemma – unless you’re tossing that biodegradable disposable insert into biodegradable bag (or flushing it or composting it), you’re thwarting all of your good intentions. The plus is the bags are readily available and super duper hardy – we’ve experience no breaking or splitting that you might expect from a cornstarch sack. Yes, degradation of an insert in a biodegradable bag in a landfill will take longer than composting, but it’s a whole lot quicker than the 500+ year alternative.

And as for the non-biodegradable disposable inserts, my thought is you might as well use a disposable diaper OR a cloth diaper and a small travel wet bag (to carry your dirty cloth diapers) since chances are you’ll be toting around a soiled/wet diaper cover by end of day (disposable inserts mean you can use the cover two-three times with a wet diaper before needing a new one, but the possibility of  a dirty cover is always there).

By the way, if you’re new to and interested in cloth diapering, check out Dirty Diaper Laundry’s AWESOME Cloth Diaper Finder tool to search through hundreds of diapers for your preferred style, size, material, closure and more. Such a great tool – wish I had known about it six months ago (Thanks, Elle, for sharing).

And there you have it – I tote a small wet bag and extra CDs when running errands around town, and Broody Chicks or WeeHuggers + gDiaper bio inserts and biodegradable bags when it comes to long trips for business or play!

Living Room Update: Plain, Safe White = Boring?

The living room is secretly getting an overhaul without us even realizing it. As we’ve been concentrating on the new office/guestroom, I’ve casually found items to diy, that are on sale or while Craigslist shopping that happen to be on my ‘living room list,’ and have slowly added them to the mix. But without meaning to, really!

It started with this new mantel, then I jazzed up the new mantel with the mirror from the dining room and decor from the garden (more on that soon…), then added these new cloth napkin throw pillows, after that was a new lamp for the office – but it came in pairs so one ended up in the living room, and just this week – a new rug! For a mere $75, including the super sweet rug pad.

The rug came about quite accidentally. We’ve had the same chenille jute rug since moving in about three years ago and it definitely has seen better days. In fact, I can tell you with certainty which stain on the rug was associated with which unsupervised Bodie incident. Now Bodie is a great dog – never was a chewer and is usually quite obedient around the house. But if we leave him for an extended period of time and there’s, say, See’s candy on the dining room table, or an irresistible bowl of faux orange pumpkins for Halloween, he’ll help himself, settle down into the rug and create a ridiculous mess. Stomach issues aside, he’s inevitably ashamed when we get home and discover the new carpet spot. Bad dog.

This photo is pre-spots – but the circles show where the pumpkin and See’s suckers became engrained in our rug for all of eternity. We tried steam cleaning but it’s not recommended nor really possible on a natural fiber rug. We tried flipping the rug to hide the stains, but low and behold we had already used that trick for a spilled something a couple of years ago.

SO with Liv now crawling I’ve been on the look out for a new rug that would meet some criteria:

  • Cheap! (we’re not ready to shell out $500-1000 for the traditional 8×10 rug)
  • Soft and plush (no more jute – even though chenille jute is soft, we want something softer for little knees)
  • Must be a cut pile rug (Bodie’s shedding gets caught in flat weave or dhurrie rugs which is such a shame, plus the cut pile rug means we can use a carpet cleaner on it, something you just can’t do with jute. And for us that’s huge.)

I really wanted something with a little interest and I have kept my eyes open for a great patterned rug.

But finding one on a small budget was tough. That plus a pattern that I thought would work well in the room.

And then I fell in love with stripes. How great would a striped rug be?

The above striped rug (in the Bower Power living room) is on sale for $159! Alas it’s a flat weave rug meaning Bodie’s shedding hair will be forever embedded in the fibers and your random stains won’t come up with a steam carpet cleaner (our favorite friend). The above right rug is from and while it’s cut pile, it was still to pricey for us right now.

I decided the CSN Nate Berkus chevron rug was perfect before I discovered it was both sold out and flat weave.

Time was a ticken’ (who knew Liv would crawl so soon) and I needed to find something that would work well in the space while meeting all of our criteria. Then I discovered this living room on Houzz:

Maybe a white rug wasn’t so boring after all? Maybe it was a great neutral that would both brighten up our living room and meet all of our needs in terms of cost, ease of cleaning (if it was cut pile we could use a shop vac and water to get those stains right up – it works wonders on white!) and could be found in a soft material for crawling?

I reached out to the designer of the above room on Houzz (a very cool feature, by the way) and this was a pricey pricey rug. But! I decided to track a cheaper version down anyway. It wouldn’t have that beautiful diamond pattern but heck, I needed a kid-friendly rug.

My first instinct was to see if Craigslist offered any options that were still in great shape. Low and behold! An Ethan Allen white cut pile rug for $100. The seller offered $75 if I picked it up right away, and to my surprise, it came with a really thick rug pag (Note: rug pads are awesome. Rug pads should never be skimped on, they make the biggest difference in softness and help to plump up even the cheapest, thinnest of rugs to help pass as the more expensive version!).

When the rug was home and rolled out it looked surprisingly like the carpet we had just installed in the new office. As in identical. Then I began thinking… we actually have remnants left over from that installation that would probably be the right size. A little research revealed a measly $2/foot will get you a brand new, bound carpet rug from a remnant shop.

So when this lovely gets too many baby & dog stains to keep up with, it’s replacement is waiting in the garage. And the price? Probably around $60 to have the edges bound.

Bodie digs the new rug and couldn’t wait to try it out.

You can’t beat perfect-condition, $75 rug that comes with a rug pad (probably more than $75 itself) that is both pet and baby friendly. One day we may get that striped or patterned rug, but for today this is a great solution.

The coffee table is missing in the above shot, for the moment we have it pushed up against the front window so that there’s premium crawling/entertaining space for Liv.

My main focus is still the office/guestroom – man I can’t wait to have that finished, though I do love the process. But as new little treasures are found for the living room, we’ll see what design ideas grow!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...