April 24, 2015

Painted Paddle Art

While I was stranded up at the cabin for Spring Break, I not only spent time working on the big cabin fireplace wall remodel, but I also took the time to check a few of the little projects off my list that have been nagging me for awhile.

Just a few...

While most were of the smaller, more annoying variety, (i.e. paint the radiators, fix the screen door, etc...) there were a couple of fun ones, like this oar arts-n-crafts project that Ryder and I did together one afternoon while Bo napped. We started with these seen-better-days row boat oars that my Mom found.

As you can see the old paint was hanging on for dear life, so the first step was to take them outside and sand them down completely, first with a heavy 60 grit, and then with a more fine 120.

We didn't need to get them perfect, I wanted them to still look rustic.  I just wanted to get all the previous paint off. Once that was done we wiped them down and I taped off a design.

Then we simply took some craft paint and I put on the first color while Ryder played paparazzi.

Ryder claimed the blue colors, so he painted those very carefully next.  I immediately pulled the tape off in case any of the colors bled.  Success!

We let those colors dry while we taped off the next one.  I was actually really surprised how quickly the paint dried, and it wasn't long until we could come back with another line of tape on top of our previous paint job to add more colors.

By the time Bo woke up, we had two complete and dry oars.  I drilled a pilot hole in each oar, and then hammered a nail through the hole, into the stud of the wall behind it.  Taking the wall from this:

To this:

I love how the colors work perfectly with our West Elm duvet. Just a couple of fun pops of coral in this otherwise cream and navy room give it the perfect mix of masculine with a pretty touch.

The oars seem like the perfect item to fill this big blank space above that wall, without completing with the shelf next to it our the big headboard that will eventually go on the wall directly across from this one.  Remember this plan?

I left on the hardware that used to connect these oars to the boat, mostly because I couldn't get them off, but also because I like the rustic detail.  #IDidItOnPurpose.

I ended up lightly sanding each paddle slightly once the paint dried to give the paint more of a worn look.  With the condition of the rest of these oars, the paint couldn't look too perfect.

So in one nap time we've made a big step forward in this room.  But not only that, Ryder and I also got to do a fun project together, and he was so excited to hang his masterpiece on the wall.

Now if I could just master getting better photos of the cabin for you guys.  With my time up there so limited, I'm finding that I can't wait until the perfect light conditions to get these shots for you.  Not to mention I think I need to read up on how to use my camera better.  You know, in all my spare time.  If you can hang with me in the meantime, hopefully I'll get a chance to get up there and photograph the whole space in optimal lighting for you soon. 

April 14, 2015

The Cabin Fireplace- Part 5

I know, I know. Part 5.  This project is dragging on in a big way.  But there is so much to do.  So let me jump into the recent progress.

We have shelf decor! (Or a start on it anyway, it will evolve.) We have cabinet doors!  We have cabinet hardware!  We have curtains! And of course we have the TV mounted on that glorious barn wood wall. 

We also have this super-fly rug.

I scored a big deal on this sisal rug from Rugs USA during a recent clearance sale. The 7'6" x 9'6" rug is usually $649, but I got it for just $129 plus free shipping.  It's soft underfoot, but not too perfect that we have to worry about dirty feet or accidental spills.  And I love this subtle orange touch on the edges.

But sometimes the smallest details take the most time.  In order to get it right, I spent a lot of time trimming out each of the built ins.  First adding trim to the side and top, next adding the toe kicks, and finally caulking and painting every seam and nail hole.

Here's the left side in action:

And the right:

 The right side tried to kick me while I was down, as I had to use a coping saw to perfectly trim around the existing wainscoting molding.  The result after a long period of time I'm embarrassed to confirm, is this crazy, weapon looking piece of trim.

It fit in pretty rough.

But caulk and paint make it what it 'aint.  #NailedIt

That wasn't the only tricky part- I had to remove the ceiling molding on both sides to cut a perfect inside corner where it meets with the built in.  Hello again small glimpse of ugly wall paper.  We meet again for the last time.

I also had to cut perfect outside corners where the built in molding went back to the barn wood wall.

Thank God for painter's caulk.

So after all that work, we finally had this:

 Right? We've got a no joke, real deal, this-is-actually-my-living-room, living room!  Sure, we still need to officially install the fireplace (it's just sitting in there now), install the rock around it and build a mantel, but we're on the home stretch people! Who would have thought that this little wall with one, off center window could have so much potential? 

Next step- let's get the fire burning baby!

Pst- Want to follow along on the big cabin fireplace wall project from the beginning?  Or jump straight to the end?  Here you go:

Removing the Window
Part 1- Framing The Fireplace
Part 2- Building the Built-Ins
Part 3- Finishing the Built-Ins
Part 4- Installing the Built-Ins & Building Barn Wood TV Wall
Part 5- Triming Out the Built-Ins (to make them look "built in.")
Part 6- Creating a Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround 
Part 7- Building the Fireplace Mantel 
The Big Cabin Fireplace Wall Reveal 

April 8, 2015

The Cabin Fireplace- Part 4

When we last left the cabin fireplace project, I had just built and painted the bookcases that would frame either side of the fireplace.  So while we were homeless up at the cabin for a week, it was the perfect time to get those bad boys in.  We started by placing in the base cabinets.  Piece of cake.

Even the little man helped out.

And played Hide and Go Seek in them.  As you can see he's an exemplary hider.   I don't want to say he's a genius, but...

The left side took a bit more care as I had to cut out for the outlet and cable jack behind it.  We specifically planned for these outlets here so that we can plug in the equipment inside the cupboards and hide all of the wires.  A small hole in the top of this base cabinet will allow us to fish a wire through so that the cable box can sit on top of this cabinet, accessible via remote without having to open the door. 

Once the base cabinets were in, it was easy to place on the uppers and secure them through the 1x4s at the top and bottom of the back panel.  Then we filled, sanded and painted the screw holes.

Huzzah- Progress!
Next it was time to hang that big bad TV, of which there has been much debate.  As you may recall, we went back and forth on whether or not to cover the TV with custom cabinet doors that could open and retract for TV viewing.  In the end it came down to cost.  I found that the hardware alone for these doors was over $300, not to mention all the wood (and time!) to build them.  In the end we decided that the doors would be open (or left open) most of the time, and would likely be more of a hassle than they were worth.  I focused instead on making the wall really interesting looking, so that the TV didn't stick out like an eyesore.  

Luckily my Dad found and purchased some old barn wood from a nearby farmer, which fit the bill perfectly.  First I needed to create a wall to attach it, and our TV mount to.  I wired an outlet on this wall so we didn't have to string the cord through to the outlet in the left base cabinet. 

From there it was pretty quick and easy to cut my boards to length and attach them with my finishing nailer.  Just look at this beautiful barn wood- already making the messy space look like a million bucks.

In under a half and hour I had this:

The tape on the top and bottom was just to mark the studs so that I could hang the TV mount.  I left off the last piece of wood at the bottom intentionally.  I drilled a small hole just above the outlet, and dropped the HDMI cables from the TV down through it. With the bottom piece of wood off, I could easily pull these cords over to the left through a small hole in the side of the built in where my cable box and Blu Ray player were waiting.  We'll screw this bottom piece in instead of nailing it, so if we ever need to replace or add more HDMI cables we can do so easily. 

And once the TV was up... magic.

Obviously there was more to do, but I'm in love with it so far.  The wood is beautiful and interesting, and the TV on top of it doesn't feel as huge and ugly as I imagined.  It sort of blends, no?

It's not done, but we're miles ahead of this:

More fireplace fun to come!

Pst- Want to follow along on the big cabin fireplace wall project from the beginning?  Or jump straight to the end?  Here you go:

Removing the Window
Part 1- Framing The Fireplace
Part 2- Building the Built-Ins
Part 3- Finishing the Built-Ins
Part 4- Installing the Built-Ins & Building Barn Wood TV Wall
Part 5- Triming Out the Built-Ins (to make them look "built in.")
Part 6- Creating a Stacked Stone Fireplace Surround 
Part 7- Building the Fireplace Mantel 
The Big Cabin Fireplace Wall Reveal 

April 3, 2015

Please- Help Me Choose Cabin Art!

While I'm Up North this week happily homeless, I've been itching to make this place feel more like home.  So I was thrilled when Minted reached out and asked me to take a look at their custom art collection.  I've heard about Minted before, and although I've never used them, I think they have some really adorable invites and announcements.  I wish I could get these super sweet moving announcements, but alas... we're not there yet.
Compass To Home

What I am ready for is some beautiful, unique and original artwork for our bare walls and shelves at the cabin.  The problem is that I fell in love with so many prints - I need you all to reign me in and help me decide!  

There's the very literal boat/cabin themed ones:
On the Docks
Let's Get Paddles

This one would look great in The Knots Room:
Oh Buoy

Or this group of rustic, woodsy prints.  

Serene Forest
This fun moose print that would look great in the Bunk House Room.

The Morning Walk

It could look great with this piece (one of my favorites) as a part of a group or gallery:

No 1-A

Then there are these barn/Midwest ones that feel very quaint and peaceful, and seem to fit with the landscape around us.

Once Home

Rural Midwest
Rolling Plains

Golden Country
Glass River

But what I think I like most are these seasons images, since in my personal opinion there is no better place on Earth than up at this cabin to watch the seasons change.


Autumn Explosion

Forest Snow


Field of Sunshine

And then there are just these sky/landscape/sunset prints with great colors.

Sunset Fade No 1

This one is just stunning.  I think it's my favorite. 

Gentle Tempest

So what do you guys think?  If you could buy one or two, which would you get?  We have so many spaces that could use some love, but especially the bedrooms and those big, beautiful Living Room built ins I made and can't wait to get installed.  Please vote in the comments for your favorites- I need you guys!