January 26, 2015

Ticking Stripe in the Bedroom

Now that all three bedrooms are complete at our Cabin Up North, I've been itching to get them decorated and complete.  It's not that easy though, three full bedroom remodels will take a decent amount of cash.  Money isn't the only hurdle either, I also really want these rooms to feel well worn and lived in.  I don't want them cluttered with stuff, but carefully curated to include items that are useful, while providing a since of history and comfort.  Less is more up here, and I want all the things we include to feel like they've been up here for decades.  

You may recall this is the plan for the Bunk House Room, otherwise known as our new third bedroom.
We've got our new window, but the bedding is currently stark white duvet inserts.

My Mom and Dad stay in this room primarily, and they've both made it clear to me that they don't want any stuffy bedding.  My Dad instructed that I couldn't even use a light weight cotton duvet over this white insert, as it gets too heavy.  I figured that the resolution was layers.  Layers not only look pretty, but they're very useful.  You can layer up for cold winter nights, and peel back to a lightweight blanket in the summer. 

My mood board highlights ticking stripe bedding, which I love for it's soft but strong utility and vintage look.  What I don't love is the price I was finding at West Elm & Pottery Barn.  So armed with a handful of coupons, I headed to the fabric store to pick up 6 yards of ticking stripe on sale at half price, plus an additional 25% off.  It was like stealing.

My plan was to make 2 shams and 2 large throw blankets to place at the end of each bed.  For the shams I used this tutorial.   For the blankets I found a soft navy blue fabric for the back, placed the right sides together and basically sewed a giant pillow case.

Then I flipped the blanket right side out, and pinned all around to sew 2 hems, a half inch from each other, to finish it.


The hardest part was just keeping all my fabric flat and smooth.  It was pretty simple over all, and I love how the double hem on the edge turned out.
 Which brings our room from this:

(Pre-window install- I'm so glad that door got the boot!)
To this:

We folded over the throw on each bed to show a little navy and a little ticking stripe. 

We grabbed a couple of navy throw pillow from the screened in porch, which look good in front of our simple sham.  I still need headboards for this room, but I think you're starting to get the idea.


You may have also noticed that we added a couple of roman shades to the room.  These Real Simple wireless roman shades add the privacy, darkening and thermal lining we were looking for, all with a really clean design.  They look great in both windows, even though the windows are both really different, tying them together.

The coolest part is how they raise though.  You just give them a slight tug, and they go up slowly by themselves.  We tricked the kiddos into thinking it was magic.  Because lying to your kids for entertainment is fun.

So we're making progress.  Next up is headboards and artwork, and then down the road we'll work on doing a fun paint treatment to those nightstands. 

So that's how I got ticking stripe blankets and shams at a fraction of the price of one duvet.  It's starting to come together!

January 21, 2015

Rustic Console Table Build

At a year and a half in, I'd say we're a little over the half way point in our Cabin Up North reno.  The first half is always the worst.  You're working your tail off, but there's so much work to do, that it looks like you've hardly accomplished anything.  It's exhausting and a little deflating.  All chips, no cheese on the nachos.

The second half is all cheese.  That's when I get the wind back in my sails.  Every time I look around I marvel at what we've accomplished so far.  You can start to see the finished product coming together, and items that have been on your list for months are finally starting to get ticked off.

Take my little console table project- which I included in the Big Cabin Plan over a year ago.  The idea has always been to define the Living Room space a little better by building a console table to place behind the love seat.  I saw it so clearly in my mind, but I'm not sure the family saw my vision. 

So the minute the holidays were over, it was time to make that little nugget of an idea a reality.  I was itching to build something again, so I used this table project from Ana White as a guide and adjusted the dimensions for a love seat size. I spent a few days of holiday break out in the garage with the boys building. 

Until we had this:

I love the sturdiness of this table, built with 2x4s and 2x6s. For a contrast to this beefy simplicity, the ends feature this pretty X detail.

I used a little bit of scrap that I already had, and the rest of the wood cost just $25!

With the knotty 2x4s, I wanted a really rustic finish that made this piece look like an antique handed down through the years, so I followed this tutorial on how to oxidze wood.  I had everything I needed already in the house!  I started by pouring some vinegar in a mason jar, placing some #0000 steel wool inside, and letting it sit for a couple of days.  Once it was ready I made a pot of strong black tea, which is supposed to add natural tannins to the wood. 

It went on just like water.

And didn't change the look much either.

I let it soak in for the suggested 6 hours, and then came back to paint the vinegar solution onto the shelf.  I didn't take very many pictures, because to be honest, I was freaking the hell out.  When you paint on the vinegar it goes on really light, and then almost immediately begins changing the color of the wood.  In seconds I went from beautiful fresh wood to this aged and splotchy mess.

It was late and I was freaking out, so I went to bed.  Everything is better in the morning.  And in fact, it was!  In the light of day things looked much better.  I gently sanded the whole piece, which dulled my splotches into a nice gradual variation.  When I was happy with the look I rubbed Paste Finishing wax on the whole piece with a cloth baby diaper, because that's how this Mom The Builder rolls.

I brought the finished product up to the cabin this weekend- tahhh dahhh!

 I love how the wood took on all these gentle variations of color.  A little red, a little gray, a little brown, a whole lot of gorgeous.

 Here's the view coming from the hallway, just look at that sexy X.

If I step back you can see how the table helps define the space.  If I look real hard I can almost see a beautiful fireplace flanked by built ins.  It can't come soon enough.

It's one project at a time though- right?  And at just $25, this one is one of my favorites.

January 16, 2015

Cabin Living Room Planning

Hello there old friends.  You may have noticed that I've slowed down a bit in the past month or so, and that's because, well, this blog is about reality, and in reality, I slowed way down.  After a long year of renos up at the cabin, work got busy, then the holidays got busy, and we took a little break from building.

But like most of the time, I can't stay away for long.  There's nothing like cold weather and cabin fever to draw me towards a project. (Last year at this time we built the third bedroom and the year before that we remodeled the basement.)  I mean, you can't go outside anyway, so why not tear apart the inside of your home? 

So I've got the itch, and it's time to start planning the cabin Living Room reno. We've already come a long way- remember this guy?

We spent hours and hours of my life that I'll never get back removing the wall paper and painting, and then adding the wood floors to get to this fresh, clean slate.  Not to mention removing the couch from hell.

And then late last fall I removed the small window.


Why you ask?  To make room for this:

 We'll build a gas fireplace in the center with a TV mounted above it and flanked by built in shelving. I'm not usually a TV above the fireplace kind of gal, but sometimes you really don't have a choice.  (We could choose to loose the television all together, but I've been overruled my friends.  The family has decreed that the TV will stay.) 

If you prefer a floor plan to get your head around it, here's what we have now.

With the addition of the shelving we'll loose the large slipper chairs that you see in some of the photos above.  We'll center the couch on the larger picture window, put a smaller lounge chair tucked between the bookcase and window, and build a console table for behind the love seat to push that over and increase the opening into the room.

And for those of you that prefer a visual, here's some inspiration I'm working from.  I love the solid cabinets at the bottom for concealed storage of games and blankets, and the crisp white shelves above.

  Initially I really loved this more rustic approach with the reclaimed wood mantel and wood paneling.  In fact, we have wood just like the rustic blue pieces just begging to be used.  But now that the TV needs to go above the mantel, I'm not sure that we'll even see the wood, and it may be used better elsewhere. 
Which lead me to this look.  Painting the back of the shelves a deep, rustic blue really helps the items on the shelves pop and bring character to the space. And even though I know it will be a lot more work, I'm really intrigued with the idea of hiding the TV behind a pair of bi-fold doors.  This inspiration seems like just the right combination of rustic cottage yet crisp and white. 
So that's where we're headed, and I can't wait to tell you all about it.  Luckily we have a little practice building a wall for a fireplace insert and rocking a fireplace face. I literally can't wait to get up North and get started!