Billy the Chewer

I love our new little dog Billy, but I HATE that he chews up everything.  I know he’s a puppy and that’s what puppies do, and when he chewed up two pairs of heels, my flip flops, my rug pad, my rug, my carpet (that now needs to be replaced, thank you Billy), and countless stuffed animals, I had patience, but when I saw that he chewed up the new upholstery job that I just did on the guest bed, I saw red!

RippedNeedless to say, Billy is now banned from the basement.

After I calmed down, I fixed the spot that was chewed to hell and since I had lots of practice it looked better than the original- I’m stretching for that silver lining!   It really does look fine now… I wish I could say the same for my heels :(.

Fixed Upholstery

Can’t even tell that it was a slobbery mess an hour ago

Also in the guest room I found that my mirror habit is alive and well and try as I could to find something for above the bed that was not a mirror, I just couldn’t.  So, mirror it is!  I like this one since it is the same wood style as the dresser so it goes well together.  It’s from World Market, btw.


I also installed one of the lights over the nightstands- only one because after waiting for MONTHS for the lights to come in, one was defective and I had to return it.

Light Fixture

(Hello, I see you!)

 I still have to find a way to hide the cords that run down the wall from the light fixture and the clock.  Because eventually an electrician will hard wire the fixtures, I just need a quick fix for now.

WiresThe rug that I found ties into the pillows on the bed:



And other than painting which is not high on my list currently (and wire hiding), this area is done for now!

Whole Room

Basement Guest Room

With guests coming for visits all summer and in the fall, I’ve been busy getting our guest area (I can’t really call it a room since it’s just an area in our basement) ready.

Here is the ugly before:

Ugly Before

And although I have big plans for the space, here is where I am currently:

Whole Room Side Whole Room

I really liked the idea of getting an inexpensive bed and upholstering it like Julia did at, so I followed her tutorial and the bed I got off of Craigslist went from this:

Ikea Bed

To this:


I won’t post a full tutorial since Julia (and Daniel) do a great job of it and this post is so long as it is, but here are the highlights:

The bed was listed for $80, but I asked if they’d take $40 which they did.  I tracked down army blankets at an army supply store 40 minutes from my house and made sure to get 2 just to make sure I had enough.  I didn’t want to make the drive again.

Initially, I left the two top sticking out pieces on the bed and thought I could just upholster around them (being a complete novice, I didn’t know better).  They stuck out like a sore thumb after the upholstery job:

Sore Thumb


So, I undid a small portion of the upholster job I’d already done and cut the pieces off using my Dremel saw.

Cut off piece2

Cut off piece


After cutting off the pieces of wood, I re-upholstered the spots and it looked much better:

Finished ProductI left a little of the red stitching showing on the bed rails and also the bed feet.  I also painted the bottoms of the legs gold since they were initially white.

I love the way the bed turned out.  Every time I look at it, I think that it looks like a bed wearing a sweater because it looks so cozy.

Bed Leg Detail

I dug through what I already had on hand for wall art and found these animal heads in my basement that I’ve had for a few months knowing that I wanted to use them somewhere in my house, but I wasn’t sure where.  After painting one of them gold (it was a light wood color):

Deer Head

hanging them above the dresser turned out to be a perfect spot for them.

Animal HeadsAnimal Heads DetailWe’re vegetarian and my kids were a little spooked by them at first, but I plan on decorating them for various holidays a la Rudolph for Christmas to make them more cute than creepy.

The dresser and the nightstands are from Home Goods.  The dresser is an artisan piece made in India and is super solid.


The nightstands have slate tops and my Home Goods only had one so I called three others in my area and finally tracked down another a half hour away which I promptly snagged.


There is no closet in this area (or at all in the basement), so I got this hanging laundry rack from IKEA, painted all the silver metal parts gold, and hung it in a corner so that guests would have somewhere to hang clothes.

Clothes Rack

The plants came from Home Depot.  I think that something green and living belongs in every room and this space has two.

I’ve ordered a couple really cool light fixtures for above the nightstands.

Gold SconcesThey’re from Etsy and I got them with birthday money from my mom and sister (thanks guys!).

I ordered them to plug into outlets since I didn’t want to hire an electrician to install them although the overhead fluorescent lights have to go at some point and when that happens, I’ll have the electrician hard wire the lights into the wall.

I also found a cute kilim rug on Amazon and am waiting for that to come in:


I’d also like to paint the area which would make a big difference, but I still have to finish up the deck before I pick up another paint project.  I plan to use a paint color that I already have on hand… I’m thinking a light gray color like Revere Pewter by BM.  That’s down the line though.

What still needs to be done is to add some accessories and also hang something above the bed (I’m trying find something other than a mirror since I’m trying to kick my mirror habit).  I also need to find a couple more solid color pillows and also a throw blanket to add some color to the bed.  For now though, back to work on the deck (meh!).

Model Home Furniture Steal!

I have been looking for a while for dining room furniture.  I’ve looked online, at Craigslist, in stores, in consignment shops, and at thrift stores only to find NOTHING that I liked and that was reasonably priced.  A friend of mine told me about a warehouse in my area that sells model home furniture at rock bottom prices, but you have to stand in line for an hour or more starting at around 7:00 in the morning.  They don’t sell any other time during the week except for on Fridays from 8:00 to noon and if you’re not standing near the front of the line when the store opens, forget it, you’ll end up with nothing.  You have to be in the front of the mad dash.

Clearance Center Outside(It’s in a totally nondescript, easy to overlook building that I’ve passed dozens of times)

So, I stood in line for an hour and talked to a couple who’ve been coming every Friday for the last 3-4 months because they’re “addicted” to this place.  They told me the ins and outs of how to get what you want and where to run to in the warehouse to find the dining room sets.  In short, I got a primer on how to score at this place.

When the doors finally opened, I did what they said and made a mad dash to the dining room sets only to find that I didn’t like any of them enough… womp, womp.  BUT, they were right, the prices were insane.  I found one set that I liked (not loved) that had 6 chairs and a table with a leaf.  The wood was SOLID and the set was priced at $750.  I couldn’t find that type of deal even on Craigslist.  And the brands that they had for the dining room sets were Broyhill, Hooker, Thomasville… good brands!

So, after the adrenaline subsided, I casually strolled the warehouse not looking for anything in particular and SCORE, I found Tuscan’s bedroom furniture which I wasn’t actively looking for… Not the bed, but I found two end tables, a chest, and two lockers for $300.  Five pieces of heavy metal furniture for $300!  Tuscan and I were just pinning some bedroom ideas onto his board last night, so I guess that was a sign.  And with that, Tuscan’s room renovation just moved to the top of the list.

4 Drawer Locker Chest Red Lockers

You can’t tell from the pic., but these are full-sized lockersBlue Metal Locker Night Stand Red Metal Locker Night Stand

The tops of these nightstands have laminate wood which is perfect for kids

I also found a beautifully upholstered chenille headboard in gray that would’ve been perfect for my bedroom except that it was queen sized and I need a king.  But man, I almost snagged it anyway thinking that it would look great in our basement guest room but I’m not even close to starting that project so I passed with great regret…

I also got a picture frame and vase that I really liked for $7.50 each that will go in the foyer for now.




As I was checking out with my goodies, the same couple that I met in line high-fived me on my first buying experience and I even got a “You go girl!” Ahhhhhh….the camaraderie of getting a good deal…  So, I am now officially addicted and will be back next Friday!  Their furniture turns over weekly, so hopefully I’ll find the “one” dining room set I’ve been searching for and our dining room will be empty no longer.  In the meantime, I’m working on Tuscan’s new sports themed room which means that I have to purge the snot out of his toys and clothes first, so it may be a while before I get to the fun stuff like painting and decorating.

Hanging Egg Chair

I finally hung Trajan’s IKEA egg chair in his room and he loves it!  And, I like how the gray and red tie into his room beautifully.


Egg ChairThe installation wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, but I did have to make a Home Depot run to get the huge eye hooks for the ceiling and luckily I picked the right ones the first time (that doesn’t always happen!).

Egg Chair Hardware

I had to go into the attic to find out where the joist was to screw the eye hook into.  The attachment had to be really secure since I know Trajan isn’t going to be the most gentle in the thing.

After I measured where the joist was relative to the recessed light that was also in the attic, I just measured the same length from the recessed light in Trajan’s room to the point where the joist was supposed to be.  I then drilled a small hole in the drywall just in case I miscalculated.  I didn’t want to patch up a huge hole.  Thankfully, I hit the joist so I drilled a much bigger pilot hole and screwed the eye hook in.  I had to put a screwdriver in through the eye hook and use that as a lever to screw the hook in all the way since it was tough to do otherwise.

After I installed it, I tested it by hanging on it super gently at first then adding more weight until I could hang on it without my feet touching the floor.  I’m confident that if f it can hold me, it can hold my 11 year old!

Trajan helped me a lot by bringing me tools, steadying the ladder, and generally being my “gopher,” but for the last portion of the installation, he was downstairs taking his piano lesson and told me, “Don’t let anyone sit in it first, okay???”  I didn’t, even though I was tempted to sit in it first to give it a “dry run.”  I’d rather fall on my rear and fix it then for him to fall on his then think that his mom actually isn’t the best egg chair installer ever, but I resisted the temptation.

He ran upstairs after piano and immediately sat in it (and didn’t fall–> important!) and he had a big smile on his face.  That’s what I wanted to see!

Egg Chair Dresser

The only thing left to do in his room is to paint his window frame and door. That’s only about 2 hours worth of work, then his room is D.O.N.E.!