Baby Boy Galaxy Far Away Nursery

::thump thump thump:: Is this thing on? 

Hey folks!! It's been a minute, huh?

Well, I know many of you have been keeping up with the progress of Tracey's Kitchen and Bathroom remodels on the Facebook page, but have you been wondering what's up with Ali's Hulett House?

Well, have no fear. There is a big project in the works in our next of the woods. 

So big in fact it's nine months in the making...

We're welcoming a little boy to our family some time in May!! 

I know many already know this, but if you're like me, when I'm not pregnant I often forget that others ARE pregnant, for like ever. Seriously, pregnancy seems like a never-ending condition and then suddenly (or not so suddenly) one day you're holding a baby and wondering when you're ever going to sleep or shower again. But I digress...

One of the most thrilling and perhaps maddening parts of being pregnant however? The Nesting. For the uninitiated, Nesting is a common occurrence in pregnancy in which you must conquer all home projects and scrub everything and essentially "ready the nest" for the arrival of the new member of the family. 

Some mamas must scrub every inch of baseboardss in their home, others must paint All. The. Things. And still some, like me, decide that it's time to reorganize and redecorate every single room, and make an adorable space to hold all the new baby's crap (cause let's be honest, to get any substantial amount of actual sleep, baby will be in our bedroom for at least six months). 

Since it doesn't sound very "design-y" to call it the Baby's Crap Room, we shall henceforth refer to it as Baby Boy's Nursery. 

I'm not huge on theme nurseries, as in, every item contains an owl or a sports team or a cartoon character. That feels a little dated and heavy handed to me. As does overdoing the "gender" of the room. Meaning, yes my kiddos have a hot pink chair and Radiant Orchid ceiling, that may scream "girly" to some, but if feels a bit more vibrant and glamorous than just "girly". 

That being said I wanted something cool and space age-y, where I could add hints of my favorite fandoms without being a theme room. Does that make sense?

For this project I've already created a Polyvore Inspiration Board because I was literally dreaming of the space. One night I couldn't sleep until I got it all out of my head so I just whipped this bad boy together. 


One of the biggest inspirations was this campaign-style dresser I found on my local Craigslist. I've always kept my eye out for these pieces (and even made some Ikea Hack campaign-style nightstands for our master bedroom) and just about died when I found one that would perfectly fit in the space. It's a bit worse for wear right now. The handles need some shining up and one of the corner brackets needs to be replaced. And the drawers and glides need to be tightened. So yea, a bit of a project. But it's going to be a fabulous blue shiny awesome piece when we're all done with it. 

It's no secret I'm slightly obsessed with navy, and was envious of Tracey's navy blue lower cabinets she had for a hot second. Seriously, my love of navy is edging into my love of turquoise. So it was a no-brainer to dream of painting this campaign dresser a high glass navy as a kind of colorful anchor for the room. 

And to go along with the navy? Plenty of cool, soothing gray, some softer cozy textures and a whole lot of fun metallicy tones to keep everything playful and space-y. 

We have narrowed it down to two paint colors but still haven't made a final decision. The color on the left is WAY too greeny gray, so that's out. The one in the middle is my favorite. It's a warmer, comfy gray, I feel like it will make the space feel like a cozy cocoon. The one on the right is my husband and Tracey's favorite. It's lighter and brighter and should make the space feel bigger than it is. At the end of the day, either one will be fine. I guess I'll just make the call when I'm standing at the hardware store with paint chips in hand...

I'm adding a lot of y's to my words today, aren't I? 

Couldn't wait to add a few fun moments too, like these kick ass reimaginings of the classic Star Wars triology posters, the Han Solo Warhol-esque print, Tardis night light and Ewok terrarium. See, it's still cute and kid-like with some of my favorite fandoms, without being a full-on theme driven room. 

triology prints .jpg

That's why we're calling it The Galaxy Far Far Away Nursery. 

Thanks to a sale at the local hardware store I was able to find the perfect navy blue for the dresser and some potential wall color candidates. 

Initially me and Tracey discussed doing really thick horizontal stripes in light/dark gray on the long windowless/doorless wall where the crib will be situated. But it seemed like a whole lot of work, even to my nesting self. 

Since I know I want to hang the trilogy prints above the crib, I imagined something cool and textural on the wall behind them, a kind of free form star galaxy shape. And since we had a blast with the gold polka dot decals we decorated the girls' wall with, I figured maybe star decals would be perfect. 

But then Tracey had one of her genius inspirations (as she is prone to doing), and came up with doing horizontal rows of decals, as opposed to my lazy idea of just sprinkling stars in a random pattern. It may take a bit more work and planning, but really would be cool, wouldn't it? Here are some of the decals we would love to use for it. 

I think I'm perfectly settled on this gorgeous velvet glider. Doesn't it look smooshy and comfy? For a nursing mom, smooshy and comfy is absolutely essential. 

Now to find the perfect rug. Something with a soft texture under foot and for a little one to roll around on, that still has plenty of style. I'm loving these rag-rug styles, but not sure if they're as sumptuous in texture as what I'm envisioning.

And last to hunt down, a few lamps and an awesome overhead light. Currently there is a broken ceiling fan in the room, and while I know babies LOVE ceiling fans, I just think we need to part with the fan and put up a cooler fixture that we can put on a dimmer. We also need a floor lamp for next to the glider, since I get all my good reading done while nursing. And a table lamp for the dresser/changing area, since no one needs an overhead light while changing a diaper in the middle of the night. 

And since it wouldn't be a 2 Sisters project without a little bit of creative DIY, we are going to think of a way to turn these hanging solar system models into a cool mobile. Using rings and shit. I think that's how I described it to Tracey, lol.

Much of this we will gather over the next couple months from thrift stores, the Mega Mall (Lansing-area super flea market) and Craigslist. But it's just fun to look at it all together as one cohesive piece, isn't it?

And as soon as this weather breaks we will haul all of the guest room furniture out, paint the walls and paint the dresser and things will really feel 'started'. 

But for now, on this snowy winter's day, I'll just keep dreaming of the the fun little accents to add to my sweet boy's room. Like this R2D2 trash can...I die from the creativity and cuteness of this!

So, what do you think? What's your favorite aspect of this inspiration board? And more importantly, what would you do differently? Any rugs you can recommend? 

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!! 

It's a disaster

It's been about six weeks since my last post, and for good reason. What started as a small leak from my refrigerator's water line ended up becoming a wet-and-mold filled disaster that resulted in a near-complete tearout of my just-renovated kitchen.  


So how did such a small leak cause such a huge problem? The answer is water and time. 

It turns out that even a small, slow leak can cause major damage if left unchecked for a long period of time. And a couple pin-prick leaks from a 20-year-old piece of plastic tubing that runs from the kitchen sink to the fridge? Chaos. Frakkin' chaos, man.  


To make (financial) matters worse, none of the repairs are covered by insurance. It's complicated why this is so. Trust me when I say I exhausted every option. Suffice it to say, if you are about to buy a home--even if you already own your home, please do yourself a solid and review your insurance policy very carefully. If you don't have good coverage for mold, add it. 

So here's what the kitchen looked like after my remodel: 


And now.  


That slow leak led to nearly the entire kitchen floor being torn out and a total loss of all the cabinets on the east side of the wall. A remediation team was brought in to safely remove layers of wet, moldy flooring and drywall, which caused my house to look like this...


...for a week and a half, they discovered a secondary leak stemming from the same water line on other side of the kitchen. So the rest of the cabinets all had to come out. Which is good news (in a sick and twisted way), because it turns out that all my plumbing is completely shoddy and not even remotely up to code. 


So screwy that the cabinets that I so lovingly painted and added custom made doors to were built AROUND the plumbing. This, apparently, is the worst thing ever. Total loss on that side too. All sorts of fuckery going around here. 

All this patchwork plumbing will be moved to the crawl space below house and made to meet building codes. Yay?

Then, of course, there's the living room. It shares a wall with the side of the kitchen where the majority of the mold happened. Turns out that the mold had seeped into the drywall on the living room side too. So my living room ended up like this. 


And now it's like this.  


The floor looked like this.  


And now looks like this.  


There is good news. However bleak the situation is now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be a tiny flicker of a speck of light at the end of a tunnel filled with drywall dust, air scrubbers, power tools and plumber's butt crack paved with every dollar I have, but it's there. I've hired a general contractor and have put my trust in him to deliver me from this hellish nightmare. As we speak, two very nice gentlemen are adding new drywall to the kitchen and living room areas.


A sigh of relief is building in me. It won't be released until this whole thing is over. But for now, there's a wall where there wasn't one two hours ago. And for that, I am grateful.  


Creating an Eclecticlassic Guest Room

If you live in Michigan like we sisters, chances are good that you've been "Up North." Basically, Up North is anywhere in Michigan more than an hour north of where you live that's not near a major city. We're talking lakeside, woody, third coast, cabin-in-the-woods kinds of places. Heading up north for a weekend or, if you're lucky, a chunk of weeks in the height of summer, is a well-earned right of passage for any Michigander (Michiganian? Michiganite?). We're lucky enough to have a few family cabins just yards away from beautiful Lake Huron.


One or the major influences of the time I've spent up north over the last few years is on my personal design style. I've always loved vintage style, but as I get older, that vintage love has evolved from the quirky (wacky vintage ashtrays and tourist souvenir plates) to the slightly more refined (amateur oil portraits and mid-century bar ware). The great pieces I've discovered in Northeastern Michigan's vintage shops, antique markets and thrift stores have honed my tastes from IKEA dressed up in quirk to what I've coined "eclecticlassic." What is exactly is that, you ask? "As I see it, eclecticlassic is a mix of furniture, textures and finishes from a wide variety of eras and styles all tempered with a classic design feel. Classic style is defined by balance and symmetry. The color combinations are simple and neutral. Clean and refined." I'm quoting myself here from a 2Sisters post about my bathroom makeover.

Every great room needs a great jumping-off point. And I found it in an amazing lamp and shade combination from an antique shop in Tawas, Michigan. The shade features a farm scene, complete with cows, sheep, a stream and a white fence. It's like a painting. I've never seen anything like it.


Yes it is country. But also, kind of weird and totally unique. These two factors outweigh the country factor in my eyes. At least it's not 80's country. This thing is fifty years old at least. The lamp itself, a thin wooden spool, was sold separately, but works perfectly. This lamp could go with any shade in any room and work just fine. Together, it's favorite my favorite lamp ever. Perfectly eclecticlassic.

I'd already decided to redo the guest room, which looked like this when the old family lived here before I moved in:

...and this for the next eleven months after that:

I decided to paint the room and moldings the same bright white as most of the other rooms in the house. Covering the weird green wall was incredibly satisfying.


I even hung some curtains I'd bought ages ago and never used. 


The walls? So much better. And yet... I hated the curtains. They are far too juvenile and cute for my taste. Plus, the cheap IKEA fabric is weird and stuff and I just am not a fan. Maybe in a kid's room they'd be okay. 

I went into a short creative slump while trying to figure out what direction to take. The ceiling and top part of the walls still needed to be painted. Then I saw this photo while pinning and I was sold:

I tried very hard to track down the source of this image, but could not. Sorry!

I tried very hard to track down the source of this image, but could not. Sorry!

I was absolutely taken by this rich emerald tone. I thought it would be absolutely killer on the ceiling. In the end, I skewed a bit darker because I wanted a really deep, saturated tone. 


This is Behr's Vine Leaf. It is every bit as rich and saturated as I wanted. One of the best paint choices I've ever made. It's a very grown-up color and, with the addition of a schoolhouse-vibe light fixture (this one from Home Depot with a coat of gloss black spray paint), the look of the room quickly turned from juvenile to sophisticated. Of course, too sophisticated and it could turn cold. I wanted to warm it up a bit. When I discovered the lamp, the rest fell into place. 

I started with these elements: a $10.00 chair from the ReStore, one of a set of three dressers that wasn't being used, and this IKEA lamp (a relic back when I thought every room needed a touch of red) I knew I'd be relinquishing to the garage. 


I worked on the dresser first, adding 11 1/2 inch legs to bring it up off the floor.  


I painted the body and legs classic black and the drawer fronts the same Vine Leaf.  


Oooooohhh. Pretty.  

Putting the rest of the room together was a snap. I made two coat racks from a piece of aged lumber from Goodwill and a pack of hooks from Walmart while the paint on the dresser dried. 


I hung one high and one low for my nieces when they come to visit.  


The dresser exceeded my expectations.  


I started playing with styling. The rusty toolbox was a bit too red for my taste. 


It didn't take long to put together in the end. Everything here was snagged from other rooms in the house.  


The striped blanket is from IKEA ten years ago. The pillow was a garage sale find from 2003. The baskets that hold guest towels underneath the dresser are IKEA and used to hold winter hats and gloves in my entryway. The fake plant and planter is also IKEA. The stool, portrait, horse head vase, and other accessories are all thrifted... much from up north spots. 

The set of four prints are special. They hung in the entry of my grandparents' house. I love them dearly.


I found the curtains at Walmart. They have a crinkled texture I really like, but I'm not totally sold on the color. Hopefully they grow on me. 


I sprung for a new comforter, sheets and bedskirt for the bed. All from Target, all on clearance or otherwise cheap. $55.00 for all of it. The painting I bought when I was 19 at a thrift store in California on a road trip. The lamp is Target, and the green blanket is so old I have no idea where it came from. 

So there it is. My new eclecticlassic guest bedroom. It's inviting, warm and welcoming. Come spend the night why don't you? 

Real-time Redecorating

To say I've been in a design and decorating rut lately is an understatement. The truth is that outside of a few small projects I've half-finished and a few big ones I've started then stopped abruptly (that pesky kitchen island) and some necessary ones (taking down light fixtures in my windowless bathroom completely before realizing I need to hire someone to put the new ones up), it's been a whole lot of sleeping, Buffy watching and procrastination. The doing has ceased. The energy and inspiration have gone south. The well is dry. You get the idea.

Much of this has to do with the combination of two major losses in out family in a six-week span. Also my new day job with Habitat for Humanity is just as rewarding as it is demanding. Add a 90-minute there and back commute to the mix, and suddenly I'm Busy Barbie, crazy all over the place. Just enough energy to make dinner and crash in front of the TV. 

In a rare free moment, I entertained one of my favorite people, Mandy, this past Saturday. And when I say entertained, I mean "fed salad to on the living room couch because my dining room was in such a terrible state I simply couldn't abide anyone even SEEING it, let alone using it." I even rolled my bar cart into the living room to avoid even walking into it to get refills. I knew I had to jump on it this project.

Today as I finally rolled the bar cart back into the dining room after another long-ass work day, I realized how sad it was to roll all my favorite booze into such an ugly, unfinished corner. It was right then that I decided to do something about it.

The small corner nook I keep my bar cart in would undergo a real-time makeover captured step-by-step on Instagram. A challenge that might keep me motivated enough to finish. And free, since I won't be running out to shop for supplies or decor items. I must shop the house. Ready, set, go...

*7:28pm. Post first pic on IG. The gauntlet has been thrown.


7:33pm. Assess the situation and remove bar cart and other junk from the area.

7:35pm. Realize I need to paint. And spackle before I paint. I pulled out a built-in desk when I first moved in and spackled a bit back then, but there was plenty more to fill in. Head to garage for supplies. Also grab a paint brush, paint (the actual color I'd been planning on using for the whole dining room), sandpaper and a grout float, because that's all I could find to spackle with on the quick.

7:40pm. I turn on my favorite Spotify mix, then start spackling with the grout float to surprising success. And yes, it only took me five minutes. It's just a corner, about 16 square feet total, and I glopped it on because I knew I was going to sand really well. Plus, more of it was grouted earlier than originally thought. 

7:45pm. Second IG pic posted. 


7:48pm. Started blog post while spackle dries.

8:01pm. Check spackle. Not dry yet. Remembering that I glopped it on. Consider blow dryer to help the cause, then realize I have no idea where I put it since I haven't blown out my hair in two ears.

8:04pm. Shit. I forgot to feed Sailor. He's glaring at me. And by glaring, I mean looking at me with an adorable, sleepy neediness. 

Nice spackle all over my feet!

8:07pm. Cat fed. Spackle still not dry. Contemplate what art I'll use to fill the space and remember I have a set of amazing Tarantino art prints ready for the taking. I can also snag a floor lamp from my bedroom, and thinking about putting up an IKEA shelf to display something else really cool. 

8:14pm. Post third IG pic of Tarantino prints. Come on spackle! I'm gettin' antsy.


8:18pm. Decide to kill time changing into painting clothes. Can't find painting clothes. Shit.

8:23pm. Discover a box in my closet while searching for painting clothes. It's full of a bunch of bar decor, decanters and glasses I thought I lost in the move. This is fate. 

8:26pm. Post fourth IG pic of awesome bar decor.


8:30pm. Spackle still not dry. The sun is rapidly descending. Suddenly thrilled I don't have to work until 1:30pm tomorrow! Dare I turn on the TV?

9:21pm. Watching the second in a soon-to-be marathon of "This American Life" episodes on Amazon Prime. SPACKLE STILL NOT DRY. Also, I'm about 1 1/2 whiskey-sodas in. 

9:25pm. Spill the beans about the "something else really cool" and post the fifth IG update of this AMAZING Schlitz given to me by my grandmother. Gotta figure out how to hang it.


10:35pm. FINALLY the spackle is dry! Sanding commences.

10:55pm. A wipedown to remove all dust, then start cutting in. 

11:10pm. First coat on. Sixth IG post of paint cut in. 


11:20pm. Seventh update on IG. First coat done! Decide not to go to bed until the second coat is finished. Get "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" stuck in my head for obvious reasons.


11:30pm. I think about all the things I could be doing while literally waiting for paint to dry. Dishes, clean the toilet, read, pay bills, organize shit. What do I do instead? Have another whiskey and soda and start in on Season Two of Buffy. As if I haven't seen it fifty times already. I don't fight it anymore. The heart wants what the heart wants.

12:00am. I've fallen asleep in front of the TV and wake with a start. Have a small snack for a quick energy boost.

12:15am. Finally ready for the second coat.

12:30am. The second coat is finished. I vacuum again and try out the rug I want to use. Post eighth update.


12:59am. I'm restless thinking about what it' going to look like when it all comes together. Soon, my thoughts drift away and I'm out like a light.

7:30am. Up and at 'em. I decided during sleepy time to use the pair of IKEA shelves that used to hang in my bedroom to hold the Schlitz sign and other bar accessories. Spend the next twenty minutes tracking them down, then another ten gathering my shelf-hanging tools: Drill, driver, screw/anchor set, hammer, tape measure and small level.

8:03am. The first shelf is up! I'm loving how the gold brackets and white shelves play off the deep charcoal walls. Ninth IG post added.


8:15am. The second shelf is up! I try out the Schlitz sign. All is right with the world. IG update ten is posted.


8:32am. The art is hung. I'm in love. Update eleven is up.


8:40am. Tragedy strikes! While trying to straighten the super-crooked shade on an old Urban Outfitters lamp, I inadvertently broke the entire bulb portion of the lamp right off the top. Shit. That was the only spare lamp I had skinny enough to not take up too much space on top of the cart. No Plan B in sight. I make breakfast and decide I might need to make a quick Target run. Will decide for sure while I shower and get ready for the day.


9:30am. Fully breakfasted, showered and dressed, I've decided NOT to replace the broken lamp. This corner may end up a little dark, but I'm hoping the neon sign throws enough light to make the difference. I really wanted to keep things free, so going out and getting another lmp just doesn't seem like the thing to do. Moving forward...

9:40am-10:30am. With all the major elements in place, I put on my fave playlist again and start styling. I add a few small pieces of art under the shelf to compensate for the lack of lamp leaving a big gap between the shelf and the to of the bar. After lots of tweaks, it's done!

10:31am. Thirteenth and final IG update posted. 


Fifteen hours later, and this former eyesore is now an instant favorite spot. And I didn't spend a single dollar!

After it was all over, I did a quick photo shot with my actual, non-iPhone camera. Though to be fair, I'm not much of a photog. You may probably won't even be able to tell the difference. Oh well.

You can see a snippet of the (messy) kitchen through the French doors on the left. The doors will eventually be painted the same color as the walls.

These Tarantino prints by Adam Juresko really knock my socks off. If you like movie posters but, like me, think the ones released by the studios are garbage, check out his Etsy store. He has some STUNNING stuff. I have eight of his prints and planning on grabbing a few more. Plus, they're really inexpensive. And not Domino "inexpensive." Like, actually cheap. About $15.00 a print. Cheaper if you buy more than one.

The "print" on the left is actually what was already inside this gorgeous frame I scored at Salvation Army for $1.99. I attempted to design a piece of word art to replace it this morning, but I actually couldn't get the frame open. It's one of the ones you have to dismantle to get into. But then, I realized that I actually like this weird pen drawing. It's like a bird flying into the sun. The other print is a small shadowbox frame with my favorite Barbara Kruger piece inside. I cut it out of a book with her art (I know, that's sacrilege). I didn't get a great pic of it, but in the tiny text box, it reads CRAM LIFE INTO DEATH. You can see more of her art here.

The shelves I used have been in so many different rooms in so many different houses for so many years, I lost track of when I actually got them. I have about eight in total. This pair, however, I updated with gold-toned Run 'n Buff to hand in my bedroom. I took them down in the winter and have been wanting to hang them somewhere else. I'd like to go in and use the Rub 'n Buff to cover the silver screws, but, it's not real high on my list of priorities.

The little silver bulldog is actually a bottle opener. I got it on clearance from Willams Sonoma a few years ago. It is literally the only thing I've ever bought there (it was $10.00), but I still get a catalog three times a year and feel fancy as I look through $200.00 kitchen gadgets.

The small stemmed glasses were a gift Ali brought back for me from her Honeymoon in Italy. There used to be six of them. Now there are five. :( The orange footed jar came from my late grandmother's massive candy dish collection. I love the rich orange tone. It will remind me of her every time I walk by. The souvenir glasses are something I've been collecting just within the last five or six years. Ali is AMAZING at finding them for me!

The Swiss cross glass set was a Salvation Army find (in tiny print at the bottom they say "Thirst Aid"), and the ice bucket was found at a thrift shop in Oscoda, Michigan, where our family vacations.

The bar cart itself was a $15.00 find at an incredible, super-secret St. Vincent DePaul whose exact location I will never reveal. The tray on the bottom is what I eat off when I have dinner in front of the TV. Looks like I'll be finding a repIacement!  The ice bucket was from the Target clearance section (I think it's Threshold).

For those concerned that I painted the baseboards, don't worry. They will be painted in the same color. I just didn't feel like taping off carpet last night. 

The small tray is from IKEA, the set of wood-handled bar tools also came from my late grandparents. I always have a little dish on the bar to collect beer caps. I have quite a collection going. I'd like to epoxy them on a tabletop or something one day.

The bottom is where all the practical stuff goes. I did take a minute to put the Mr. Planter peanuts in a decorative jar, but other than that, this is purely functional. The rug is from H&M, but no longer carried. They have a great selection of housewares for a good price and low shipping costs. Check it out. The wine glasses and beer steins are from Dollar Tree. 

Not to boast, but I'm very pleased with my efforts. It's always a wonder to me how much cool stuff I've managed to collect over the years, and I love being able to style my space with things I already have. I hope you've found some inspiration in this real-time transition. Maybe you'll put yourself through a design challenge of your own making. From experience I can tell you it's a lot of fun to get so much done in such a short span of time. The time you put in may be missed in the short term, but the benefits last forever. Or at least until you decide to paint the walls again!

*all times approximate, as I didn't realize I'd be clockwatching until I sat down to write.

Catching Up (We've missed you)


So it's been awhile, old friends. Neither sister has been able to blog for some time. Other than just general life chaos and the like, our grandmother passed away recently.  Ali wrote a beautiful and moving tribute to her on her personal blog. Please give it a read.  

For the moment, I'm back with updates on my ongoing projects...  and the start of a brand new project (or 10). So let's shake dust and pick up where we left off.


When I posted my last kitchen update (way back in MARCH!), I was busy putting the major elements in place. It looked a bit like this:


I spent a large chunk of April and May getting the rest of the big projects out of the way, then even more time organizing, bargain shopping and styling. Now, it looks a bit more like this:


What?! Exactly my reaction each and every time I walk in. I still can't believe it. Much, much more in the kitchen update (coming very soon I swear). But for the moment, it's always fun to look back on where it all began:


So even though I plan on covering this in the kitchen update post, I just gotta show you a sneak peek of the floors.  The shit is bananas. 




If you're not following the 2 Sisters Instagram, here's a quick update of the goings on over there. 

I finally got my dining room into decent shape after being a holding area for kitchen-makeover-related chaos.  


Even managed a little styling on my beloved Mid-century buffet.  


My brand-new appliances, a late housewarming gift from mom, arrived with much fanfare.  


I began the seemingly impossible task of cleaning out my office. This project is still a work in progress.  


But this living room gallery wall, tackled during an insomnia-laden evening, is actually finished. Love it! 


Remember to follow us and obsessively like EVERY ONE of our pictures. We promise we won't think it's creepy.


And the last bit of catch up is letting you in on my final big kitchen project: the island. This is the project that has threatened to take over my every waking moment.

It began with a very small budget and an idea to use old kitchen cabinets attached together with a handmade wood countertop to serve as much-needed extra prep space in the unused side of my kitchen. I don't show it in photos much because it literally is empty. Just a window and sort-of hallway that connects the living room and dining room. 


This was taken as I was laying the new flooring. The living room is to the right, the dining room off to the left. The island will sit right in the middle. 

I was inspired by a ton of different online DIY island projects, but this one really spoke to me:

Until I saw this, I was unsure if my idea to use existing base cabinets would actually work. Then, I found these at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and suddenly, I was halfway there with my materials!


Originally I planned to hold off on this project until the fall, when I'll inevitably have more time and money. But once I purchased these three cabinets, a steal for $40.00 and exactly the size I needed, I decided to move forward and start planning and gathering the rest of the materials. 

I saw this pic and decided on a wood-plank top: 

Then this "planked" finish detail brought it all home. It's even the right color!


And here's where I'm at with it now:


Materials gathered and the basic cabinet structure is complete. I'm trying hard to keep track of what I spend so I can give you guys a realistic idea of exactly how to compete a project like this. So here's what I've spent so far. I'm not quite finished gathering materials though. 


  • 3 used base cabinets: $40.00
  • Plywood for base: $13.00
  • 5" steel legs: $46.00
  • Primer: $8.00
  • Spray paint for hinges: $6.00
  • Wood for top: $21.00
  • Cabinet pulls: $15.00
  • Screws, bits & bobs: $10.00
  • Extra wood for pull-out build: $5.00
  • Brackets for pull-out build: $16.00

TOTAL SO FAR: $180.00


  • Circular saw
  • Palm sander


  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Driver
  • Clamps
  • Handsaw
  • Straight edge
  • Borrowed Kreg Jig

UPDATE: Here's the latest pic. The island is upside down on the garage floor with pretty new brushed nickel legs attached. 


Much much more to come on this one! Stay tuned as I plan on blogging much more frequently as the summertime weather keeps me inside working on fun stuff!  

See you soon!  

Tracey and Ali while on vacation "Up North." 

Tracey and Ali while on vacation "Up North."