SHOP YOUR HOUSE & A RADIATOR COVER CONSOLE TABLE

If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut with the way your home is looking, taking a moment to shop your house is a great way to stir up new ideas and open your eyes to new possibilities you hadn’t though of. Sometimes I get bored with the way certain spots in my house are looking and a quick rearrange helps to brighten things up and satisfies my urge to buy something new (my husband and my wallet appreciate that too!)

Our living room has been pretty much the same for a while now and I’ve been itching to switch things up a bit but wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go so, instead of heading to the store, I decided to shop my house in hopes of coming up with some new ideas. It wasn’t that I was terribly unhappy with how things were looking but I also wasn’t completely satisfied. Here’s a look at the front wall of our living room before: shop your houseIt wasn’t terrible but I felt like it was lacking a bit. The symmetry of the windows on either side of the accent wall was nice but overall it felt a little bit empty and the storage ottoman on the left was kind of just stuck there with no real purpose other than holding a few extra blankets.

I wanted to cozy things up a bit and use the space a little bit better so I decided that we should move the window on the left over to the other side and hang the two together as they would be if they were installed in a home. I thought this would work well and create a cozier reading nook area while also creating the illusion of another large window (since our rowhouse obviously only has windows on the front and rear walls.)

shop your house & a radiator cover console table I love the way it fills out the nook wall and really cozies up that corner.

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableAnd since no home update photography session is complete without a good old Berkley photo bomb…there’s that.

So now that this corner was nicely updated I was left with an empty left side to deal with and some more house shopping to do. I decided the faux-leather ottoman needed to go and the large fake potted plant had seen better days. (Look, here’s my take on fake plants. Some are great and if you have a black thumb, like me, and you’re prone to the occasional plant murder, sometimes fake is the way to go. It all depends on the space and the quality of the fake plant and while this one did it’s job well for quite a while, I had grown tired of it. They leaves were a constant collector of dust and it generally look tired so off to the basement it went. Sorry large fake tree, you treated us well for a long time but it’s time for you to bow out. Take a rest.)

So, with a blank slate to work with I suddenly remembered a project we had brought home a few months ago. We saw this great, but very dirty and rusty, metal radiator cover at Construction Junction (remember? One of my favorite spots during our thrifting trip this weekend!)

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableThis was back in October when the grass was still green and the sun would occasionally shine…seems like a distant memory! It was definitely looking rough but I was envisioning a great entry table or something. I loved it but didn’t really plan on using it in my own house. I figured I would fix it up and sell it or save it for a future client project.

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableIt looked like this old radiator cover had previously been painted white but had really chipped and rusted over the years. It could definitely use a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. I was thinking gold.

After a rough sanding to prepare the surface more for paint, I started painting the base of the radiator cover with Rust-Oleum All Surface Metallic Champagne Mist. It was going to definitely take a few coats to really cover up the rust stains but luckily, as I began coating the bottom, I started to see the top in a different way. The gold painted bottom made the rough and rusty top look almost like leather and I decided to cover the top and leave it as is while I gave the bottom a shiny new finish.

I’m so glad I made that decision because this is what we got:

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableI was so happy with house this radiator cover console table turned out but I hadn’t had any use for it until now! I figured it was just waiting in the basement to find a new home. Luckily, this was the perfect size for our blank slate nook on the left side of the living room and I was so excited to haul it up from the basement.

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableSeriously with that rust stained top though! That along with the fresh gold paint kind of makes me swoon.

Now that the table is in (and I can’t stop staring at it) I have been coming up with some ideas to style it and something to hang on the big wall above.

I played around with some things but definitely haven’t found a permanent solution yet.

shope your house & a radiator cover console tableNotice the brass lamp we picked up while we were gettin’ thrifty this past weekend? (I’m still looking for a new shade for that) Joe kept getting nervous after I had moved it downstairs. He kept asking if he still got to use it on his desk and I assured him that it was only temporarily downstairs. It definitely got me thinking about finding another brass lamp to put there.

I also have some old empty frames that I’ve been wanting to use. I’m thinking about maybe hanging some of my grandpa’s old antlers in a frame up on that wall (well…my grandpa doesn’t have antlers he just has some antlers for me…) Imagine something kind of like this:

shop your house & a radiator cover console tableBut I’m still throwing some other ideas around too.

So…all of these changes were made without purchasing anything but simply shopping my house. Moving one thing around opened up the opportunity to use something I hadn’t considered before and allowed me to see a whole new layout for a space. It’s funny how a little change can lead to so much more.

Do you find that rearranging a room gives you a whole new perspective? Try it yourself. Look around your house and rearrange a few things to freshen the place up. You never know what it may lead to…

NO-SEW PILLOW COVERS

Does anyone else cringe at the high prices of throw pillows? Maybe it’s just me but I have a really hard time justifying the high prices of certain household goods, particularly the ones that are just for show. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love making homes look beautiful. Much of my life has been devoted to educating myself on interior design and implemented that in peoples’ homes…so I can really justify a lot when it comes to that…but for certain things, e.g. throw pillow covers, that really just act as some jewelry for your sofa, it’s hard for me to swallow the high price-tags.

(On a side note…can we also talk about garbage cans?? Buying a decent garbage can for my kitchen literally pains me. I put garbage in you. You get stinky, smelly and gross. Why are you so expensive?!)

But, I digress…back to pillow covers. I’ve been looking around for quite some time now for new living room throw pillows. (I’ve still been using our Christmas ones. Don’t judge.) It’s been so hard for me to find anything that I even kind of like for a price that I can even partially justify, so in the meantime, I’ve looked for an inexpensive alternative until I find something that works for me. Unfortunately I am not the most skilled seamstress, and while I can sew a mean button on when in a bind, I definitely don’t have the goods to whip out some fancy pillow covers..so my options were limited. After doing some thinking, I came up with a way to make some DIY no-sew pillow covers on the cheap that will tide me over until I find the right ones at the right price.

DIY NO SEW PILLOW COVERSI went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought a couple yards of fabric that I thought would look nice. Since these are only temporary pillow cases (and because I wanted to keep costs down) I went with the classic cotton fabrics but if you wanted a higher quality more permanent pillow cover, there are some beautiful Home Decor fabrics to choose from that will give you a thicker, more durable cover. But, for my purposes, the less expensive cotton fabric would work just fine.

DIY no-sew pillow coversI also picked up some Unique Stitch fabric glue. While I am new to fabric glues like this, I did some research and after reading some reviews, this one seemed like the right choice for this project.

I have been saving some old throw pillows sans covers just for this reason (we had a few left over from old bedding and I even had some leftover from my childhood room. Even though I knew the old pillow covers wouldn’t work for me, I was more interesting on what was inside so they’ve been living in a storage closet for the last several months.)

DIY No-sew pillow coversUsing a T-square and a white colored pencil, I measured out 3 different rectangles depending on the size of the pillow insert. For this one, I had at 18″ x 18″ insert so I cut one 19″ x 19″ square and two 19″ x 14″ rectangles from my material.

DIY No-sew pillow covers(Try to avert your eyes from the wrinkles. I wasn’t sure how this first pillow was going to go…it was truly a blind experiment at its best, so I wasn’t trying to be perfect in case things went terribly wrong, because let’s face it… the chances of that were high! I would, however, suggest you iron your fabric panels before you construct the covers and avoid the wrinkles.)

The large square panel would be acting as the front portion of the pillow. This should be cut to fit the size of your insert plus an inch or so on each side to account for the space where you will be gluing. The smaller rectangles will be the back panels that will overlap to create a sort of envelope where you can stuff in the pillow. You want to make these larger than just half of the front panel though, so that they can overlap each other while covering the pillow insert. Then, glue the outer edges of each of the panels together (make sure the side of the fabric you want to be showing as your pillow cover is facing the inside. Once your glue is dry, you will be turning the fabric inside-out to create the pillow cover, so all patterns or finished “pretty” sides of the fabric should be hidden until the final flip of the fabric. Does that make sense?)

DIY No-sew pillow coversThe arrows show you where the glue should go and where you will be attaching the fabric.

The glue says to allow 30 minutes to dry but I would suggest waiting overnight since you will really be pulling at the fabric when you stuff the inserts inside. I’m really bad at waiting so the first pillow came unglued a bit at the seems after only 30 minutes so I forced myself to wait longer with the others. After a good waiting time, the glue really held well. I was surprised at the hulk like force I could pull at the seams without it coming apart.

DIY No-sew pillow coversOnce all was said and done, I had 5 pretty nice pillow covers that cost me about $15, no sewing required, that will satisfy my need for sofa jewelry until I find the right ones at the right price. They aren’t perfect by any means and a skilled seamstress would probably shake her head in dismay at my use of fabric glue but they certainly get the job done at the right price for the time being.

Have you substituted sewing for fabric glue in any projects lately?

 

GETTIN’ THRIFTY

Despite the anticipation of yet another winter storm headed our way, I was determined to get out and about this weekend which led to a day devoted to gettin’ thrifty! Last week I got the bug to pick my way around a few Pittsburgh area thrift and antique stores hoping to find some thrifty treasures, and if anything, at least find some inspiration for future projects. So after mapping out a few of our favorite hot spots (or the honeyholes, for all of you American Pickers fans out there) we headed out to a day of thrifting.

Here’s a peak at some of the thrifty treasures we found and a look at what made it home with us…

gettin thrifty A thrifting trip for us always starts at Construction Junction, our favorite place for all things old, rusty and perfect for a little spiffy treatment! This is the best spot to find old and recycled building materials on the cheap that are just begging for some TLC! So much around our house (trust me…there’s a lot) has been purchased here. From our bedroom headboard to some living room window decor and alternative art piece in our dining room and even some goodies for our very own wedding designs (check those out here and here), CJ is always our go-to spot for project ready materials.

gettin' thriftyLike this painted panel door. I have big plans for this baby and I can’t wait to share the deets with you later on this week. He’s looking a little rough right now, but trust me on this one…

gettin thriftyOld spindles and columns are a great way to add some character to a piece of furniture or a lonely corner in your home. I’ve used my fair share of Construction Junction spindles around our house (you can see them placed in the corners of our dining room shelves to add character to the simple shelving design and give it a real built-in feel.) Sometimes the rougher the better and other times a good sanding and coat of . I love these old spindles and finding uses for the when the time is right.

gettin' thriftygettin' thrifty

gettin' thrifty

I love browsing through the old doorknob collection and it makes me want to make some DIY towel hooks like this..

Red White & Blue Thrift led us to an unexpected new addition for hubby’s desk in our home office makeover. While I wasn’t particularly searching for a new lamp for him, as soon as I saw this bronze lamp base, I knew it was perfect.

thriftin' itThis masculine shape in a brass finish is bulky, heavy and perfectly tall to nestle beside out new office shelving. It’s tall enough not to need anything on the wall above the left side of his desk (which is good because I was thinking that would make everything feel a bit cluttered along with our new shelving) and it more than doubles the task lighting he already had.

Someone must have sent out a memo to everyone in Pittsburgh saying it’s time to get ride of all brass lamp fixtures because, boy oh boy, we saw them everywhere during out thrifty day! Some brass can feel a bit dated but pairing the right base shape with a more modern drum shade brings everything into this century and adds a nice rugged feeling to a space (see how Emily updated her $1 brass lamp here!) I’m telling you… brass is back, baby!

gettin' thrifty

gettin' thrifty

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is definitely one of my favorite spots to hit up, especially when I’m looking for some solid furniture in need of a little updating.

gettin' thriftyLike this sweet little dresser on casters…

gettin' thriftyOr this solid dresser that is screaming for some new hardware and a little paint & stain. Imagine it could be something like this.

gettin' thriftyMy favorite of all was this charming little desk for…get this…$14.99!! I mean, come on! I went back and forth with whether or not it should be mine but since our basement is stuffed to the brim as it is (is it a surprise that procrastination sets in when you need to reorganize your cluttered unfinished basement?) the rationalist inside of my passed on it and hoped this would prove to be motivation for a basement overhaul. Imagine this after a fresh coat of white paint though. Dreamy.

When it comes to quirky home decor and the thrifty home decor that I don’t find anywhere else, Zenith is the place to be. This thrift shop located inside of a vegetarian cafe has everything from antique china sets, charming shelf decor and lamps full of barbies. Wait…what?

gettin' thrifty While this lamp might not be quite my style, check out some of the other goodies I found…

gettin' thrifty

gettin' thriftyBook sets that would look perfect on any set of shelves. Anyone who loved decorating with books could appreciate this set of The World Book.

gettin' thrifty

gettin' thriftyI’ve been regretting leaving this green horse figure behind since we left the store. I might have to head back this week to snag it. Should have gone with my gut. Thrifting lesson learned.

Overall, our weekend trip was a success and we had a blast gettin’ thrifty. We came home with the goods for a new and exciting project (more to come on that one) and the perfect lighting addition for our home office makeover.

Did you get thrifty this weekend?? What are some of your favorite spots to go thrifting?