Pinterest Picks

By Friday, April 17, 2015 4 No tags Permalink 0

How to tell if you’re too busy: you accidentally forget to do your favorite blog series for six weeks. Our last jaunt through the best of Pinterest was in FEBRUARY and I can’t believe I let it go that long. Remember when I used to do this every week? Sigh. Between a couple of clients with long-term design projects, a handful of virtual design jobs, our own house fixing, and the endless to do list that comes with being a functioning adult, this poor blog has kind of gotten pushed to the side. (And let’s not even mention the Etsy shop.) I’ve known for a while that I need to streamline my professional life and maybe it’s all coming to a head. I have that nagging feeling that something needs to go, but I don’t really want to drop anything because I like it all. But then I end up doing too much and the cycle continues.

So, I’ll have to get that sorted out. But not right this minute because it’s going to be sunny and 75 today, and I actually remembered to do Pinterest Picks, so let’s feast our eyes upon them.

First of all, why aren’t there more pink houses around? Actually, I bet they’re common enough in some parts of the world, but why aren’t they where I can see them? The roof tiles and dormer window are delightful, too.

pink house


While we’re on the topic of houses, Hubsey and I are thinking about building some more storage in the dining room. A full wall of built-ins is probably a little ambitious for our skillz, but I’m contemplating anyway. He wants an area for a bar and I really want to get my books out of the basement, so it will have to be a mix of shelving and cabinets with some kind of countertop. Decisions! If this one could just appear downstairs one day, that’d be super:

built-in bookshelf


I’m about to buy what they’re selling here with these culottes, which might be crazy because they’re basically wide leg Capri pants and that SHOULDN’T work, but I am so excited. I even like the crop top.

goucho pants


Fun fact: we don’t have a paper towel holder. We throw the roll into a cabinet like a couple of barbarians and then we always forget to buy more because we can’t see them. This tutorial would obviously solve the problem:

DIY paper towel holder


Hold the tomatoes, but otherwise give me the delicious egg and avocado bagel!

avocado and egg toast


So what are you doing this weekend? I’m checking on a client’s kitchen early tomorrow, then we have a dinner with friends in the city, and Sunday will hopefully be Put The New Vanity Top In The Basement Bathroom Day. We also need to go to the grocery store somewhere in there, and I’d like to be outside for a while because the weather is glorious. Whatever you end up doing, have fun and I’ll catch you back here on Monday!

Spring = DIY

By Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8 No tags Permalink 0

spring diy projects

planters  //  chairs  //  house numbers  //  front door  //  ring  //  room scent

Let me tell you why spring is the best time for DIY projects. For one thing, we’ve been released from the snowy prison of winter and it’s time to celebrate! Get me the power tools! Secondly, the weather is perfect for painting, if that’s your jam. Not too hot, not too cold, and no suffocating humidity that will leave your project sticky for three days. Finally, most of our yards probably look like wastelands of dead grass and stray twigs. Might as well make something cute while you’re out there cleaning up.

My biggest reason for DIYing this time of year, though, is that I just feel more inspired than I do all winter. I never totally lose my mojo, but it comes back full force in April and I get a lot of things done. It turns into mild chaos around here while I jump from room to room to yard. Are you the same way? I just want to MAKE THINGS.

As for what’s above, gimme those chairs. We still don’t have any additional seating for our monster of a deck, and those would be an affordable way to seat a crowd. I’d even keep the chairs white! Yeah, they might get dirty, but our deck itself is espresso brown and shows every speck of dirt. There’s no winning. Another great project is the modern house numbers in the bottom corner. Want to guess what they used for the mounting plate? PAINT STICKS. High-five to that brilliant person. Finally, we don’t need to paint our front door again but in case some of you plan to, I threw in the happy yellow for inspiration. That’s a beginner project that can be a huge upgrade in curb appeal.

What have you been making lately? I know I’m not the only one who gets ants in their pants come spring. (In fact, I had a hard time sitting down to write this because computer things are boring right now.) Do you focus more on outside projects this time of year? Which of these tutorials is your fave?

DIY Bourbon Barrel Candle Holder

By Monday, April 13, 2015 14 No tags Permalink 0

Did you know that bourbon barrels are only used once for the making of actual bourbon? Yep. They get sent off to other booze makers to be used again, or they’re taken apart and people like us buy the pieces and get our DIY on. We bought a stave, one of the skinny pieces of wood that makes up the barrel’s side, at one of the distillery gift shops in Louisville. We debated adding hooks to it first, but in the end we went with FIRE:

bourbon barrel candle holder

Not only is this another easy project, but it’s much faster than the bench–the last undertaking for which Hubsey and I joined forces. We didn’t track it to the minute, but this was about half an hour of active work. BONUS INCENTIVE: when you drill into the wood, it smells like bourbon. Who’s ready?!

Here’s what you need:

— barrel stave (easy to find by Googling if you’re not in bourbon country)
— drill
— 1 1/2″ spade drill bit
— tape measure or ruler
— pencil
— gloves
— clear finish
— tea lights


First, we found the middle point on the stave and marked the side with a pencil. At first we considered being all scientific and dividing each side by three to mark the additional spots, but that got into some weird fractions so we went the easy route and made all of them 4″ apart.

Anyway, after the holes were marked, Hubsey busted out our fancy new drill bit. A couple of things to keep in mind for this part of the project. One: wear gloves. Bourbon is aged in barrels that are charred on the inside, and that soot will get alllllll up in yo’ business (I got some on my hands and then pushed my bangs out of my face–you can probably guess how that went). Two: keep that drill vertical so the holes are flat on the bottom. You may have to do a couple of passes as you get the hang of it.


We ended up with seven holes that are about 1/8″ deep. You could drill down a little more if you wanted the candles to sit lower, but I like them being perched near the top. Either way, you’re in for a lot of sawdust, so do this outside or in the garage.


When the drilling was done, it was time to add a finish so that pesky soot wouldn’t get all over the house. I did three coats of Rust-Oleum’s clear matte finish on the top, and then flipped it over and did three more coats on the bottom. If you prefer a glossy look, they also make that version and I think it would look equally cool.


(Yes, the candle holder is on the ground. #fancy)

It was dry to the touch in a few minutes, but I let it sit in the garage overnight to air out. I’ve tried to bring spray painted goodies right back into the house before and all they do is blast you with fumes. Save yourself the chemical exposure and wait it out.

After the candle holder cures and the fumes are gone, you’re done! Rescue it from the garage and sprinkle it with tea lights! Wheee!

bourbon barrel candle holder

This thing is actually pretty big. I’m not sure where it will live yet, and I tried it in several places, but for now it’s chillin’ in one of the family room windows. OBVIOUSLY, I won’t light the candles so close to the curtains.

bourbon barrel candle holder

Oooh! Before you go, let me do a quick budget breakdown. The barrel stave was $10 at the Buffalo Trace gift shop, the drill bit was $4.79, and the spray paint was $3.50. We already had the tea lights, but you can easily find those for a couple of bucks if you don’t. Another gift shop was selling these pre-made for $70, so I feel like a bargain huntress with ours.

Have you made a candle holder? Or used part of a bourbon barrel? (Or a wine barrel?) Do you buy things on vacation to make into your own souvenirs?