QUICK KITCHEN TABLE MAKEOVER

There are a lot of areas in our home that I’m dying to makeover, but our kitchen is likely at the top of my list. However, I’ve done an estimate for how much it will cost to transform the room into what I want, and it’s way too much money for us right now. So the kitchen makeover will have to wait. There is one area of our kitchen that simply can’t wait though…

This is our kitchen table in the breakfast area. There’s a lot wrong with this table! The style is boring, I’m tired of the color, and then there’s the broken chair (on the right). Yeah, there’s nothing like inviting friends over only for them to sit on a broken chair! This table makeover couldn’t wait! And fortunately, it would be an easy and affordable transformation… or so I thought.

My plan was to replace the broken chairs with some stylish new modern ones, and then do a little DIY project on the old solid wood table in order to transform it into something much more classy. After about a month of sanding, altering, staining and sealing the old table, my transformation was complete!

MY OLD TABLE (UPSIDE DOWN)

I moved the table back into our breakfast area… and within 24 hours it was ruined!! The dog jumped on the table (something she’d never done before!) and somehow when my son went to get her down (I don’t know how this happened I wasn’t there to see it) the table BROKE! Like totally unfixable, throw in the trash broke!!! Ugh! There went the past month of my life… wasted!

But I put the whole situation into perspective (aka I realized the world was not ending because of a broken table), managed to not yell at my son or the dog (that’s a win), and moved on to find a solution!

The metal hairpin legs were just fine and still usable so all I needed was a new wood table top. I considered making one myself from 2x4s, but while I was weighing how to fit yet another project into my busy schedule, we had a fire in our garage! Thank the Lord it was contained to the garage and no one was injured and the rest of the house is fine! But everything in the garage was destroyed by the smoke damage. I no longer had any tools, supplies or even a place to do my DIY work.

So I guess I wasn’t going to be making a table top myself!

Instead, I turned to a craftsman who works out of a local salvage store. He was able to build me a nice reclaimed wood table top for a very reasonable price. We discussed the details of the look I was going for, I picked out the exact planks of wood I wanted, and he showed me how they would look sanded and assembled. (A big thank you to my dear friend Emily who was willing to tag along with me on this trip even though there was no air conditioning in the building and it was the middle of summer!)

About a month later, my table top was finished!

TIPS + ADVICE FOR DECORATING A TEEN/TWEEN BEDROOM

As I mentioned a little while ago, I am giving my tween daughter’s bedroom a makeover. My apologies for how slow this project is coming! The delay has been a result of a combination of many TOTALLY unexpected things, including dealing with a fire in our home (yes, we had a fire in our garage and thank the Lord no one was hurt but it’s taking forever to get cleaned up!), our hot water heater bursting in the attic and damaging our ceiling, prepping for my son to go on a mission trip to Haiti this summer, me getting distracted by other design projects, my son accidentally destroying a DIY project I was about to photograph and post about last month, and last but not least, not being able to find the right used furniture piece to start my first project for her bedroom (all the equipment I needed to make this project was in the garage and it’s ruined now so I wouldn’t be able to do this project for awhile anyway so I guess it’s kind of a moot point). Throw in my kids’ activity schedules and the regular responsibilities of life, and it’s been an exciting past couple months! Okay, it’s been a FRUSTRATING past couple months, but c’est la vie! As soon as I can get the items in my garage replaced, I’ll be back in business and hope to share some progress on her room with you!

In the meantime, I’m going to share some tips for redecorating your teen/tween’s bedroom.

Maybe you’ve been considering giving your teen/tween age child a bedroom makeover for a while, or maybe your child has been nagging you for a cooler room for over a year now and you can no longer come up with an excuse to put it off (I’m slowly raising my hand for the latter option here). Either way, you’re not super excited about the prospect. After all, it’ll take lots of time, some money, and even worse you and your teen will have to make lots of decisions together and you’re not sure it’s even possible that you can actually agree on something… anything! I am the mom of a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter so I get it! Parenting teens and tweens is a challenging task in general, and the idea of decorating your teen/tween’s bedroom successfully can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to! Here’s some advice to help you navigate this process with ease…

come up with a plan

Your current plan for your teen’s new bedroom may simply be to spend a day shopping together and let them pick out whatever they want. But this is not the best way to end up with a room that you and your child both like. Instead, I recommend coming up with a plan before you hit the mall. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or involve learning how to draw a floor plan in AutoCAD, just a little brainstorming and a few thoughtful ideas is enough to help you create a room that works for your child.

I suggest starting by sitting with your teen in his/her bedroom. Have a quick conversation about what’s working and what’s not working for them in the room. What’s important to them? What items do they feel they’ve outgrown? What items do they never use? What areas of the room feel overcrowded? Is there too much furniture and storage or not enough? I suggest having a pad of paper handy and jotting down your child’s answers so you can remember them.

Discuss how your child will be using the room. Will they do their homework in there? Practice music or sports in there? Do their hair or makeup in there? Regularly host friends in there?

It’s important to design a room around its functional needs. If they’re doing homework, they’ll need a desk and chair. Hosting lots of friends? They’ll need lots of seating options. Practicing an instrument every day? They’ll need a designated space for a chair and music stand. You get the idea. Write down things they’ll need in order to accomplish their desired tasks in the room.

Now that you’ve finished brainstorming what’s needed, you can focus on coming up with a room theme and/or color scheme. Browse Pinterest or online stores like Pottery Barn Teen for some great ideas and color options.

If you have the time and want to take it a step further, go visit places of inspiration for your teen’s room. For instance, years ago when I redid my son’s bedroom, we visited a sports museum. Since he loved sports and wanted that to be a part of his room, I took notice of the displays, colors, and decor in order to help bring that same vibe back to his bedroom. Does your daughter love horses? Go visit a local horse farm then take note of the colors, textures, and items around the farm. Try to incorporate those types of things in her room.

Once you know what you need and have a general idea of what styles and colors your teen/tween likes, it’s time to let the shopping begin!

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This teen girl’s room covers lots of current design trends including pastel colors, lots of texture, and hanging furniture.

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This teen boy’s bedroom includes storage space for all of his hobbies and interests.

let them express themselves

Remember this is your teen/tween’s room, not your room. Since you are in charge and are likely paying for this makeover then you get a final say in what goes in the room, but it’s important to give your child as much freedom as possible to express themselves in the one place that’s really all theirs: their bedroom. In case you haven’t noticed, teens love to express themselves any way they can and here is a safe environment for them to do it. So if your son wants the theme of his room to be some trendy rock band you find weird then let him do it, just keep it in moderation (see tip “don’t overdo a theme” below). If your daughter wants a hot pink zebra stripe theme that you find annoying, let her do it… again, just have her keep it in moderation. Your teen likely needs to feel some ownership to what happens in the room, so let them make as many decisions as they can while you give them some general guidance and boundaries.

It’s also important to personalize the space to your child. You’ll want to include things that are important to them like a place to display photos of their friends or room to store all their art supplies. Create an area to display their collections, hobbies, or trophies. My daughter was big on having her initial somewhere in her bedroom. All of these things put your teen’s personal stamp on the room and define it as theirs.

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I love the way the teen’s trophies are neatly and prominently displayed in this bedroom.

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This teen girl’s bedroom has lots of seating options which is great for hosting friends,
and the gallery wall puts a personal stamp on the room.

TUTORIAL: DIY BATHROOM DOUBLE VANITY

the old vanity in my kids’ bathroom

As you all should know by now, I recently gave my kids’ bathroom a renovation on a budget, and one of the biggest challenges of this reno was figuring out what to do with the old builder grade vanity. I hated the vanity, but my budget limitations made me consider keeping it and just altering it to look better. I considered painting it, updating the hardware, adding some faux feet, and installing new faucets. But that still just felt so blah to me. If I was going to spend some time and money changing the vanity, I wanted to make it something I LOVED! My goal with all of my makeovers is to bring a major transformation to the room creating a space I truly love for an affordable price. My goal is NEVER to create a room that’s just acceptable or slightly better than what was there. Altering the existing vanity would have made this slightly better than what was there, not something I LOVE.

Based on my boho modern design for this bathroom, I felt like a vanity like this (in a different color) would be something I love:

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However, the $1275 price tag (and that’s on sale!) for this vanity was most of my entire budget for the whole bathroom reno! Yikes! Plus I wanted my vanity to be a different color, and I also wanted it to be a little shorter than the standard 60” length. I realized the only option that would fit my space, style and budget was to make a vanity myself from scratch. I couldn’t find a tutorial online for a double vanity that I liked so I made my own tutorial. Follow along to learn how you can make your own custom bath vanity for a fraction of the price! This cost me about $200 for materials!

elevation of vanity wall in bathroom

 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS VANITY IS YOU CAN MAKE IT WORK IN ALMOST ANY STYLE BATHROOM

—RUSTIC, FARMHOUSE, TRADITIONAL, MODERN, BOHEMIAN, INDUSTRIAL—SIMPLY BY CHANGING

THE MATERIALS AND DETAILS.

important notes before you begin
  • My vanity was designed to be used with vessel sinks which will sit on top of the countertop. I have made this vanity 30” tall because my countertop is 1 1/8” thick and my sinks are 5 1/4” tall, giving a total height of nearly 37”. If you are going to use drop-in sinks with this vanity then you will definitely want to adjust the overall height of your vanity in order for it to feel more ergonomically correct. Try 36” tall or whatever feels comfortable for you. (That’s the great thing about making your own vanity, you can customize it to what you like!) Also, if you’re using drop in sinks the top row of drawers in the vanity will not be usable because the sinks will be in the way. You can turn the top drawers into faux drawers with fixed in place drawer fronts.
  • Note that the enclosed area of this vanity (where the drawers are) is 16 3/4” tall. I specifically made it this tall in order to fully enclose all of the plumbing so it’s not visible. Since everyones plumbing can vary, it’s a good idea to verify that 16 3/4” will conceal all of your plumbing (the bottom of the enclosed area is 13 1/4” from the floor). If not, you’ll want to adjust that dimension on your vanity.
  • This tutorial is for a custom 56” long double vanity, but this can easily be turned into a standard 60” vanity by adjusting the length. You could also adjust the length to turn this into a single vanity (it would actually be an easier build 🙂 ).
  • My countertop for this vanity is solid wood because that is what goes best with my design. I have not tried using this vanity with a very heavy countertop like marble or granite. I assume it would be sturdy enough to hold the weight, but if you are planning to use a stone countertop I suggest verifying it is able to hold the weight before installing an expensive countertop. Like I said, it should be fine but I’m just letting you know I haven’t tried it.
  • I personally wanted plain front drawer panels to create a minimal modern look in the room, but you could easily add molding or reclaimed wood to the drawer fronts to change the style of the vanity. What I love about this vanity is you can make it work in almost any style bathroom—rustic, farmhouse, traditional, modern, bohemian, industrial—simply by changing the materials and details.
materials list

(8) 2” x 2” x 8’ boards
(1) 1” x 2” x 6’ board
(2) 1” x 6” x 10’ boards
(1) 1” x 6” x 6’ board
(1) 1” x 8” x 10’ board
(1) 4’ x 8’ sheet 3/4” thick plywood
(1) 4’ x 4’ sheet 1/4” thick plywood
4 sets of 14” drawer slides
4 drawer knobs or pulls
2 1/2” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” wood screws
1 1/4” nails
Wood filler
Wood glue
Sandpaper
Primer/paint or stain

tools list

Circular saw
Miter or chop saw
Jig saw
Drill
Kreg Jig
Electric sander
Nail gun
Carpenter’s square
Level
Measuring tape
Pencil
Safety glasses

cut list

(6) 2×2 @ 53” — long rails
(4) 2×2 @ 30” — legs
(10) 2×2 @ 19” — short rails and braces
(2) 2×2 @ 13 3/4” — stiles
(2) 1×2 @ 25 3/4” — mid-rails between drawers
(16) 1×6 @ 12 3/4” — drawer sides
(8) 1×6 @ 9 3/8” — drawer backs
(4) 1×6 @ 6” — drawer backs
(4) 1×8 @ 25 1/2” — drawer fronts
(1) 3/4” plywood @ 53” x 19” — lower shelf
(2) 3/4” plywood @ 13 3/4” x 19” — side panels
(4) 1/4” plywood @ 24 3/4” x 13 1/2” — drawer bottoms

FRONT

BACK (WITH DRAWERS REMOVED)

The open back of this vanity leaves room for the plumbing.

step 1: ASSEMBLE BOTH SIDE PANELS

If you don’t do carpentry projects often, then let me begin by stating the following:

  • All pocket holes drilled are made with a Kreg Jig and should be facing away from the visible side of the vanity. 
  • Test that the vanity is level as you go. 
  • Use your carpenter’s square to make sure all connections are at a 90 degree angle. 

If your connections are not at a right angle or your rails are not level, then your vanity could end up lopsided and pieces may not fit together correctly… and no one wants a lopsided vanity 🙁 !

Use 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue to connect two of the 2”x2”x30” legs to the top 2”x2”x19” rail.

Then attach the plywood panel to the legs and top rail using 1 1/4” pocket screws and wood glue. Be sure to keep the plywood flush with the back face of all of the 2x2s. This will make the front face of the plywood recess 3/4” from the outside face of the 2x2s giving it a recessed panel look.

Now slide in the lower 2”x2”x19” rail and attach it to both legs (using 2 1/2” pocket screws) as well as the bottom of the plywood panel (using 1 1/4” pocket screws).

Next, attach a 2”x2”x19” rail with 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue exactly 3” from the bottom of each leg. This will be used to support the lower shelf.

Just a note here to say that after my messy kids started using their bathroom I discovered lots of trash, missing socks and lost clothes underneath this vanity (yes, my son is super messy!). I discovered it’s kinda hard to get everything out from under the vanity with only 3″ of clearance. In retrospect, I wish I had made the lower shelf a little higher so it would be easier to clean underneath it. So if you think this is something that will bother you then you may want to raise your shelf a little higher. If my kids weren’t so messy it wouldn’t be a problem!

Repeat all these steps again to make the other side panel.

5 QUICK BEDROOM REFRESH IDEAS

Wishing you could give your bedroom a whole new look? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to make a difference. As little as a hundred dollars and a couple hours can make an impact.

Here are some ideas! Just choosing one from this list can go a long way in changing the overall look and feel of your room…

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01. CHANGE THE BEDDING
If you want to give your bedroom a refresh while only addressing one area, it might as well be your bed. After all, you probably spend most of your time in the room using your bed. Treat yourself to some luxurious new sheets, a comforter and fun throw pillows to give your bed a whole new look. There’s nothing more satisfying than falling into a bed covered with fresh new bedding after the end of a long day.

Use your bedding to introduce new colors, patterns and textures to your bedroom and it will likely end up feeling like a brand new space. There are lots of fun and trendy bedding styles out now at very reasonable prices!

Some ideas…

Plum & Bow Soukay Delicate Comforter  |  Coastal Stripe Blue Pillow
Nate Berkus Sheet Set  |  Pia Medallion Quilt & Sham


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02. CREATE A SITTING AREA
You don’t have to have a lot a space in your bedroom to make this happen. If you can’t fit a large chair or a group of seating in your room, then try a small bench below a window or at the end of your bed. Even a small chair in the corner can create a nice retreat to relax and curl up with a good book. Whatever you choose, make sure you add beautiful pillows and/or a blanket to dress it up and make it more comfortable.

Adding a special sitting area can not only expand the use of your bedroom, but it can also make it feel more tranquil and luxurious.

Some ideas…

Boston Loft Lindley Storage X Bench  |  Campground Throw Blanket
Safavieh Marcella Bench  |  Poang Chair