Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Shell Frame

My favorite kind of DIY Projects are the quick an easy kind. These are the kind of projects that require very few materials and no prep work. They are completed in less than an hour and does not require much clean up.

My project today is one of these types of projects. In less than an hour I took a boring white Ikea frame and helped it become something beautiful: a Shell Frame.

First, I gathered my materials:
The Frame
Sea Shells
Hot Glue Gun
Paper Towels.

I laid out the paper towel and spread out the sea shells. I laid them out on the paper towel because I have a dog that sheds like crazy and I didn't want dog hair on my frame. I also laid out the frame and had my hot glue gun heating up. Most of the shells that I had were from a package bought at Hobby Lobby. A few, however, were shells that I had picked up on our different cruises. I had already cleaned them by letting them soak in a 50-50 solution of bleach and water, so they were ready to go.

While my hot glue gun was heating up, I laid out a layer of similarly shaped shells to form a base layer. Then I glued them into place one at a time. After I had the base layer, I worked on filling in the gaps using one shell at a time. There is no science to this process. I just played with the shells until I was happy with the look of the frame. I picked a couple of larger shells that I had to create some focal points.

When I was happy with my frame, I cleaned off the strings left behind by the glue gun. (I hate those!) I put the white place keeping paper back in for now until I pick a picture to go in my new shell frame. Now I just need to find a home for it in our beach themed guest bedroom.
                       What do you think of my shell frame?

Have an inspired day!

Kelsey Noll

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shelves in the Closet: What a Happy Thought Indeed!

For any other Jane Austen nerds out there, you may recognize the title of this blog post as a quote from Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett expressed this statement dripping with sarcasm at Mr. Collin's excitement over shelves in the closet. She would probably utter the same statement to me if she had been in my home the past week as hubby and I installed shelves in one of our closet.

We are blessed to have a lot of closets in our home, especially considering it was built in 1955 which was an era that they did not put a lot of closets in homes. We actually have two closets in each of the three bedrooms. This is especially wonderful because I have 15 boxes of children's books that were given to me by my aunt when I graduated from college. They are for my classroom, but I do not have room to store them  at school. The pile of boxes not only made it difficult to find the books I wanted to take to school, but I also hated the fact that our guest bedroom was cluttered by a huge pile of boxes. Plus, why have a pile of boxes in the room when you have a closet like this! Empty space crying out to be used efficiently. There is a second closet in this room that can hold a few coats and have plenty of room for guest's clothes and suitcases when they come to stay. So why not make better use of this closet?

We started by measuring the closet and deciding how many shelves I wanted. I decided I wanted six shelves and we would put them 10 inches apart. We multiplied the length of the shelves (which was the same as the width of the closet) by six to figure out how many boards we would need. We went with 1x12 boards in 8 ft long sections. We ended up needing 3 boards to make our shelves. Then we bought several 1x2 boards for the braces on the shelves and on the walls to hold them in place. We originally bought more wood than we needed, but we were able to return them after we finished the project.

My hubby cut the shelves and braces using his circular saw and chop saw. He loves any project that lets him use his power tools. Then I helped him put the braces on the shelves using the nail gun! Yes, I have discovered the love of a nail gun. I'm pretty sure that I will steal the nail gun in any future projects!

Once the shelves were finished, hubby installed the braces in the closet that the shelves will sit on. Then we put the shelves in to let them acclimatize to the space before we painted them and the closet. After they had acclimatized for several days, it was time to paint the shelves and the inside of the closet. We had painted the closet when we moved in, but there was a gross looking section where the old shelves had been attached to the wall and the plaster had been damaged by pulling the old shelves off the wall. So after hubby patched the wall and sanded, it was time to paint!

I totally took advantage of a glorious spring day to paint the shelves outside

After painting the shelves and the closet, a couple of the shelves that had been a super tight fit no longer would go in. Since the hubby was at work and I wanted to get to work on putting books away, I attempted chopping a sliver off of the shelves by myself. I'm not gonna lie, the chop saw is a bit scary, but I did it and it was awesome!
The finished shelves!
So after a day of alphabetizing and putting away hundreds of children's books, here is what the closet looks like now:

Isn't it beautiful! And I can easily find any of the books I want for school and the guest room can be reclaimed! So yes, Elizabeth Bennett: What a happy thing to have shelves in this closet!

What spaces in your home could use reclaiming? I'd love to know what you are working on and what you think of my new book closet!

Have an inspired day!

Kelsey Noll

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Home of the Nolls

On July 31, 2012 we closed on our very first home. It was so exciting to own a home! We had been looking for many months and put in multiple offers on different homes. I am so glad that we didn't get any of those (even though that is not how I felt at the time). I am so in love with our home and fall in love with it more and more every day, especially as we put our own stamp on it. As I have not posted anything about our home on my blog, I thought I would take an opportunity to share pictures of the home as it was when we signed the papers. That way, when I post about projects we are doing, any readers (and myself) will have a good point of reference as to where we started our journey.

Without further ado, I present:

The Home of the Nolls!

We were so excited to unlock our very own house for the first time! (Excuse my hubby's finger in the picture). We have a beautiful front yard with mature landscaping and lovely (note my sarcasm) boxwood hedges. I dislike boxwood hedges, but for now they can stay.

 The first view is our living room from the front door. The opening you see is into the dining room. The second view is from the hallway leading back to the bedrooms. I absolutely love the huge windows in the front of the house. I also absolutely loved the light fixture left by the previous owners (no sarcasm here). It is a beautiful chandelier style with crystal pendants. Hubby says I can keep it as long as we can spray paint it bronze since it is currently copper and doesn't match the rest of our decor.

Moving on: Next up is the Dining Room

In the dining room is yet another of these beautiful pendants. To the left of the dining room is the door to the kitchen and to the right is a door into our family room. Throughout most of the house, there are wood floors that are in pretty good condition. We do plan to refinish them at some point in the future, but our money did not allow for it when we first moved in.

Next we will head into the Family Room. Now I must prepare you, when we first moved in, this room was pretty hideous. It was the first room that we dealt with:

Look at that lovely carpet! And wood paneling! And light fixtures! EWWW! It was so full of brown that you could not even appreciate the beautiful brick on the fireplace and the wall leading back into the dining room. Even the blinds were copper... ick! When I say that this was the first room we dealt with, what I mean is that the night we closed on the house, we went in and ripped up that delightful shag carpet. Instantly better! The following weekend, we painted the wood paneling white.

Next up on our tour is The Kitchen:

Can you say scrumptious 50s?

Look at that tile and floor! And notice the gap of the missing cabinets in the corner shown in the photo on the left?

We did really like the amount of cabinets. We also liked that there was a pantry in the kitchen. (We didn't have a pantry in the town home we had been renting.) We also liked that the cabinets were real oak. They don't make them like this anymore! More on what we have done to the kitchen later. For now, just take in that beautiful linoleum and bumble bee tile!

Next up: The Hallway and Guest Bathroom

There it is: our hallway. Lovely right? Right! It leads to our three bedrooms and guest bathroom. It also is home to a wonderfully oversized closet. Did I ever tell you that I love closets? Well I do and we have a lot in this house! Okay, enough about the hallway.

Our guest bathroom is also covered in 50s yellow and teal tile. Lovely color choices, but it is a nice size with a great built in cabinet.

Now on to the bedrooms:

They pretty much all look the same so I wont bore you with pictures that you look so similar you can't even tell them apart. The master and 3rd bedroom have double closets with sliding doors while the Guest bedroom has double closets with hinged doors. The master is the largest and has an en suite bathroom while the 3rd bedroom is the smallest and is my craft room, but pulls double duty as a guest room when needed.

Any finally, The Master Bath which is also known as the smallest bathroom I have ever had: It also has 50s tile work. It does have a shower to the left which is basically a box covered in the same tile work. It works for us although we do plan to update it. At least it won't cost as much money to update this bathroom!

Last but not least, I will leave you with a shot of our beautiful backyard. We also have a shed and a laundry room, but as they are just cinder block rooms, they don't really need pictures at this point in time.

That's our home! I can't wait to share our house projects with you as we finish them!


Kelsey Noll