Master Bedroom Update: Display Shelving

So I am gonna keep it real.  I have a lot of sh*t.

Yeah.  I went there. 

Honestly, I love collecting stuff and have accumulated a vast assortment of odds and ends from my travels across the US and abroad.  Between masks, dolls, textiles, carvings and pottery I have a nice array of artifacts that I had nowhere to display.  Redecorating the master bedroom gave me the perfect opportunity to put many of these wares on display, especially since one side of my bedroom was bare (there was a reason I only shot the room from one angle!).

I wanted a set of brass shelves and searched high and low for an either one long console or two shelving units that could span between 60-70 inches.  Everything I found was either out of my price range or simply ugly (imagine shiny 80s tubular brass).  So I waited and figured I had time on my side with this scenario, but then Nate Berkus and his crew called and I had to accelerate my timeline in getting the room to at least a presentable point. 

Panicked, I literally was scouring the internet, Craigslist and all the junk shops in a 50 mile radius looking for something to fill the space.  Surprisingly, I found my savior at Ikea in the form of two display cases they were liquidating.  They had the frames only on sale for $9 each, and when two were combined, they were the perfect length at 65 inches.  The only caveat was that they were white and came with no glass or shelf inserts.  However, that didn’t deter me as I had a plan.

Enter Phase 1 of the plan…spray paint…

This is the frames with one coat of metallic bronze spray paint.  You can see the original white color on one of the legs still. 

After three coats of spray paint, the frames are looking okay but it would eventually take 5 thin coats of paint (about 3 cans) to get the final look I wanted.

Enter Phase 2 –  I replaced the shelf inserts with glass I had recut from existing panes I found at the junk yard.  Here is a helpful tip that I recently discovered – many glass shops can recut existing glass panes to fit your new projects for less than what it costs to get a new pane cut.  As I mentioned, I found the glass I used as a junk shop for $5 a pane, so for about $30 plus another $40 to have the glass recut, I was able out my shelves.  To get new glass cut, I would have spent $40 per pane or over $240 for this project– score one for  me!  Just be sure that the glass is the proper thickness and has no defects, otherwise your glass shop may decline your request.

However, even with the snazzy paint job and new glass, there was still something bothering me about the shelving.  There were these random sets of holes in the cross beams that instantly drew my attention and I hated……

I desperately wanted to plug those suckers up and frantically brainstormed how to make the holes “disappear”.  Fortunately, inspiration came from the nailhead trim I used for my bedside tables

Through some wine induced brainstorm/haze, I realized that by hot glueing a brass nailhead to a drywall anchor, I could create the perfect plug for those random holes.  Why I thought of this combo, I don’t know but surprisingly, it worked!  The drywall anchors fit perfectly into the holes and the nail heads were the exact shade of brass as my spray paint, so it was clearly meant to be!

So for under $100, I was able to get over 5 feet of display space for my collectables and perfectly fill what had previously been unused spaced in my master bedroom.  I just now have to decide on a wall treatment, art and bedding and the room will be “complete”. 

(Complete.  Yeah right…like that is ever an option to someone who loves design.)

The one caveat is that the addition of the shelving with all my collectables has moved the room from modern trad to more global traditional — not a bad thing per say but it does impact the art I intended to use for the room.  But alas, change is always the constant in design.

So have you found any awesome furniture deals?

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I Got Nailed: Nailhead Trim Nightstand

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put a quasi-dirty lead as my post title. For those of you who are offended, you should never come to one of my dinner parties as double entendres flow like the wine. But in any case, I finally got around to doing something about my master bedroom nightstands.

I bought them from Ikea over 6 years ago for $10 each and they have served their purpose well. If I remember correctly they were part of the Expedit line but have since been discontinued. In any case, for $20, they have been dutiful servants in supplying beside storage and a flat place to rest my evening tea.

While functional, they weren’t fun. I was positive there was a happy medium where the two could meet. I toyed with a variety of ideas ranging from painting them to covering them in wallpaper. However, I finally bit the bullet and decided to go with a simple nailhead treatment on the front for two reasons. First being that it was quick and inexpensive – these are not my “forever” nightstands so I wanted something that could jazz them up without forcing me to dip into my future furniture budget (what….you don’t have one?). Second, I figured if I screwed up and it turned out horrible, I could simply turn them around and no one would be none the wiser.

I initially started off buying 10 packs of individual nails and quickly found out that (a) it was going to take a really long time to do the project, (b) I can’t nail in a straight line even with the assistance of several other nifty upholstery tools and (c) it was going to take a CRAPLOAD of nails to do the simple design which translates into $$$. So like any good DIYer, I shoved the mess in the corner and let it sit for a week. Then I caved in and bought a roll of brass nailhead trim…

I was able to score an entire roll off eBay for $5.99 plus shipping. Doing the individual nail route would have cost me well over $25. Once the roll arrived, I got to work and finished both tables in less than an hour.

Do I love it? I really like it but would have preferred the look of the individual nail heads but at a grand cost of $8 for supplies, I can’t complain especially since it completely changed the look of the tables.

While not dramatic, it’s just enough to get me through until I find the perfect bed side tables. So tell me…..what piece of furniture in your house are you itching to replace?

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Tree Stump Planter: Super Easy Tutorial

As I mentioned on Monday, the patio is moving along at a nice clip.  The only two things that were remaining was installation of lights and making a decorative planter.

Well yesterday I knocked one of those off the list….can you guess which one (for a hint look at the title….)?  So using a tree stump that Scruffy found (yes my dog has an uncanny eye for design if you also include the mirror he found) I was able to create this……

And this is how I did it……

As I mentioned, Scruffy found this great tree trunk on one of our afternoon walks that was marked “FREE – PLEASE TAKE”.

Immediately on seeing the piece, I knew it had potential as a table.  The organic form and interesting knot hole put me in the mind of burled wood.  However, I knew that I had no place for such a piece in my home, but outside it could make the perfect side table.  So I hightailed it home, got my truck and snagged the piece I had seen on the walk. SCORE!  Total Cost: $0

I inspected the piece when I got home and saw that it was pretty much dried out with a majority of the bark coming off easily.  Using a hammer, I simply knocked off the remaining bark and cleaned out the knot hole.  And then it sat for a week as I tried to figure out what to do with it. I tossed around some ideas and finally decided on a planter rather than a table. because I had an area on the patio that was barren.  It was initially going to hold a small sculpture but that plan was scrapped, so the planter was the perfect alternative.  It provided a place to house more plants plus added an organic form to what was becoming a rather grid heavy patio.

So set with a plan, I started to work.  From start to finish, this project took me about 30-45 minutes.  As I mentioned, I had previously cleaned the stump and the knot hole.  However, upon cleaning the knot hole, its bottom came out, so I needed to find a way to hold the soil in.  After a quick scan of the garage, I settled on using the plastic netting that previously packaged my decorative rocks.  The netting is strong, flexible, water can easily flow through it and non-biodegradeable.  So with a few staples, I attached the netting to the tree….

I wanted to elevate the stump from the ground not only for esthetic reasons, but also because I didn’t want the wood sitting on mulch creating a damp playground for who knows what.  So I turned to Ikea and their Besta legs – a pack of 2 plastic legs runs $5.  I had the option to go with the more sleek shiny metal legs, but at double the price and the fact that in my design, the legs weren’t going to be seen I opted to go the cheap route.

I used a Sharpie to draw on the stump where I wanted the legs,  With an 7/32 drill bit, I eyed the center of each leg and drilled a pilot hole for the screw.  I then followed with a 1/4 bit with a flared head which was the perfect size for the screw.  With a little pressure, the legs were screwed in….

Total cost of legs: $10 + tax.

Flipping the  stump over, I added a layer of moss over the netting to stop soil erosion since the netting holes are large.  The moss also helps regulate moisture, so it’s an added bonus.  Tally for netting and moss: $0 (already owned the moss from the terrarium project).

Now with the stump upright, I did a quick sand with 220 grit sandpaper and wiped it down with damp rag.  I then rubbed the top of the trunk with tung oil to bring out the wood’s color and help protect it from the elements.  I initially thought about putting a coat of poly on it, but it didn’t look right when I tested it on the underside.  It looked too shiny and manufactured.  The tung oil turned the wood a deep dark brown and brought out a natural glow – perfect for a modern rustic planter in my book.

I applied three coats of the oil in rapid succession – the pic above is after one coat.  Total cost for tung oil – $0 (I use the oil on the patio furniture so I already owned it).

With the stump all oiled up (gosh – I never thought I would utter a phrase that could have such a double meaning…) I got to work on the plants.  I decided to stick with my beloved succulents for 3 reasons — (1) succulents come in a variety of sizes, textures and colors, that could look great against the color and form of the planter, (2) they don’t need alot of water which is perfect when dealing with a planter made of organic material and (3) I haven’t killed any yet so why ruin a good streak.  Oh there is a fourth reason too – since I wanted the planter to have impact year round, succulents were a perfect option since even in the winter, they are alive.  I chose two plants to fill the knot hole – Blushing Beauty and String of Pearls. 

The String of Pearls provides visual interest and a nice trailing factor while the Blushing Beauty provides texture and color since it will turn shades of cream, green and red as the season changes.  Total tally: $15 for the two plants at Home Depot.

And there you have it.  The actual execution was quite simple and easy.  The hard part is waiting for the wood to try out and cleaning it off.  Other than that, it was smooth sailing.  But here is the planter in its home on the patio…..

Now for the grand total for this project: $20 – Yup folks, I spent a grand total of $20 on this project thanks in large part that I already owned many of the items I needed and I found the tree stump for free.  However, if you had to purchase everything (including the stump) the project would run you about $45-$50. 

And then there was one — the final project for the patio is lighting.  I am hoping to finish that by the end of the month.  As usual, I will let you know how it all goes!

PS: You can see the stages of the patio renovation here, here and here.

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