A Daybed in the Office

Remember the cool daybed and trundle the Hubs built for the Foster room?  Like I often do, I changed up the plan – deciding to do bunk beds in that space instead.  The trundle idea was cool, but would be annoying to pull out every day if we had siblings placed with us and it was a tight fit so it would be difficult for younger children to manage.  That left the daybed ‘homeless’ until I had the brilliant idea to move it to the office as an extra seating.

This corner was originally my backdrop storage and set-up space, but I found that I’ve only used it once as I typically go to clients’ homes for shoots or use outdoor locations.  Sometimes the Hubs sits in the office with me to chat while I work on photos but it’s not very comfy to sit in an office chair for long periods.  Having a little daybed where he could stretch out and relax a bit seemed like a great idea.  I moved my backdrops to the guest closet with a fun little hack I’ll share sometime soon and that opened up the whole corner for the day bed.

Luckily, the bunk bed we got on the buy/sell page came with one mattress so I could keep the mattress I had on the trundle frame with the daybed when it moved to the office.  It was also the perfect opportunity to test out a bedding set I’ve been considering getting for the Foster room, called Beddys.  It’s an all-in-one set that includes the blanket, bottom sheet plus top sheet and zips closed on either side, making it easy for young children to make their own bed – especially on a bunk bed.  They are a little pricey, but I found the set I wanted on sale and considering that they include all of those items in one unit it’s not a bad deal.

The inside blanket is made with this plush minky fabric that is super soft to the touch.  You just zip down the side of the mattress to pull down the sheets and then zip it closed in the morning when you get up.  It’s a great option for the Foster room so I’ll be buying those sets in the fall when we finish up some other projects – although I’ll be watching for another good sale since this time I’ll be buying two!

I added some big fluffy pillows I picked up at Home Goods during our recent trip with the heart pillows I got from the Dollar Spot at Target back around Valentines and my favorite button monogram pillow to make it cozy.

 

It turned out to be the perfect little nook to hang out in and put the space to work since it wasn’t really being utilized before.  I’ve even used it a couple of times for my weekly Skype dates with my family.   Plus it’s an extra spot to sleep if we ever had a big group come visit and since this room now has the barn doors, it’s got enough privacy to function as a temporary bedroom if we needed – although there are no window treatments so guests would need to keep that in mind. 😉

I’d love to hear what you think of our little multi-function daybed made from an old industrial cart, so leave me a comment below!

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Barn Doors for the Office/Studio/Craft Room

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I’m so excited to share this project with you guys now that it’s finally done!  It’s been a long time in the making, but I’m so so so happy with the end result and as it usually goes – the delays that occurred along the way made the end result better than the original idea.

From the moment we found our floor plan and decided the formal dining room would be my office/studio/craft room I knew I wanted barn doors instead of the french doors the builder offered.  But that wasn’t one of the priority projects when we first moved in so it had to wait.  In the meantime I pinned ideas and the Hubs and I drafted out a basic plan for the project so we could start gathering the supplies as we found good deals on them.

We originally purchased barn door hardware at Tractor Supply when we were in VA visiting my family over a year ago and shipped it back to ourselves in AK.  It was nickel, but we planned to paint it black to better fit our style.  Although we had the hardware, we still had other more pressing projects so they sat for several months.  Eventually the Hubs purchased a piece of metal box rail to create the track and then built the barn doors, which I stained.  We now had all the pieces we just needed to install them, so we dug up pictures of the house during the framing stage and quickly realized we didn’t have any of the header over this opening to determine where the studs were!  Thinking back I remembered that because we opted not to have the french doors, the builder didn’t frame in the opening at first.  We noticed this during one of our site visits and made sure he would add framing between the two walls so we’d have a spot to install the track.  Apparently the next time we came back that had been added and drywalled over already.  We could guesstimate where the studs were based on the screws in the drywall, but the Hubs wasn’t sure there was enough support for the heavy track and doors.  I was pretty bummed and started thinking I wouldn’t get the barn doors I’d been envisioning.

A few weeks later we saw a friend’s barn door project they had just installed and as the Hubs discussed the install with his fellow DIY-All-The-Crazy-Things-My-Wife-Thinks-Up husband, a new option was discovered.  Their track and hardware was less bulky and not as heavy, so it didn’t need as much support as the system we had.  They had purchased the kit on Amazon and really liked it so we were pretty confident we would feel the same way.

The Hubs drew up a new plan and determined we needed to build new doors that weren’t as heavy as the ones we’d already prepped.  It was a little disappointing, but I was excited to finally have the project back on track and feeling good that it was actually possible.  I posted the track and the hardware we already had on the buy/sell page and the Hubs ordered a similar kit on Amazon.  The kit arrived quickly, but life got crazy again and the project had to wait.  Over the Christmas holiday the Hubs got things rolling again starting with installing the track in the office.

tracktrack2He had to drill a few new holes for the support rods so we’d hit the studs but he made it work.  And then he built two new doors out of cedar planks using the same design as the original doors he’d built (which became backdrops for a recent show display and are now posted for sale).  Although they were pretty in their natural state, the cedar had an orange tone that clashed with the other wood tones in the space.  I’d been envisioning weathered, rustic doors like something Joanna Gaines would salvage and use.  So we decided to stain them and see how I liked that.

doorA coat of stain later, they were looking much more in line with the other elements in the room, but it was still too much wood for me so I decided to paint over the stain and then distress them so the bits of stain and wood would show through.  The Hubs picked up white paint at the store and I planned to paint over the next few days.  But then I saw the perfect color on a dresser one of my favorite bloggers was redoing for a remodel/flip house she’s working on and I knew that was what I needed.  Unfortunately, she was using Maison Blanche’s Printemps chalk paint and there are no retailers for that brand here in Alaska.

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So I did some research and found a similar color in Annie Sloan’s chalk paint line (which said favorite blogger also uses often) that was available locally.  It’s called Chateau Grey, but it’s really a greenish grey color.

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Now that I had my perfect paint color I set to work.  Since the weather has been in the negative temps and the doors were so large I set up shop in the garage with the doors propped up on various plastic totes.  The Hubs joined me in the garage to organize and clean up a bit from several recent projects.  We left the door to the house open so the kiddos could be with us as well, but they weren’t staying out of the way enough so the Hubs rigged up an impromptu baby gate for the doorway.  The ensuing pitiful faces were hysterical.  They whined and paced and made a few attempts to thwart this annoying obstacle.

pitiful

This was the easiest painting ever, because they recommend you brush in all directions for a rustic finish.  Which means paint like no one’s watching.. except those sad little faces behind the gate!  I cranked up the radio and boogied my way around the doors swishing my brush, and my bottom, to-and-fro.   The end result was two very pretty greenish gray doors.  Both the Hubs and I were really liking the color but my heart was set on that distressed look so he dug out the sander for me.

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As I got ready to sand I noticed this heart wrenching little face.  While her siblings had given up and wandered off to nap, she sat like this for hours, sighing every so often just to remind me that she wasn’t pleased with being detained.  Unfortunately for her, it was time to sand so we removed the gate and closed the door to keep the dust out of the house.

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A light sanding brought out so much texture!  Just look at how different the one un-sanded panel on the right looks from the rest of the door.  I had to hand sand in a few of the tighter spots but that went quickly as well.

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Because I was using a chalk paint the next step was wax to seal everything in and protect the finish from those slobbery children of ours.  Although this wasn’t the first time I’ve used chalk paint it was the first time I’ve used it on a project big enough that required sealing, so this was my first experience with wax.  I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax so it would work well with the paint.

wax

Using the “boogie while you brush in all directions method” it went on very quickly although it was a bit straining on my hands because you ‘push’ the wax into the grain.   A little pain was totally worth it because it really highlighted all of the texture the sanding had created.  Just look at the difference between the waxed half on the bottom right and the un-waxed section on the top left!  And up-close it had so much detail!

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To give you a better sense of how much the wax changed the look, here’s a shot of the difference.  The door on the right has been stained, painted, sanded and waxed while the door on the left has not yet been waxed.

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I got the front of both doors waxed and was going to wait a few hours to flip them over and wax the back side (yeah… just think on that for a moment…) but the Hubs made a great suggestion – why not hang them and I could wax the back while they were on the track.  He’s seriously brilliant sometimes – which is one of the reasons I keep him around. 🙂  So up they went.  The rollers on the hardware just sit on the top of the track and are very easy to install – it’s just a matter of lining them up and setting them on the track.

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I love how the black hardware looks with the green!  And it’s got an industrial rustic style that fits our home perfectly.

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Here’s a few more shots of the doors installed on the track and ready to glide back and forth.

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Seeing the green next to the white cabinets makes me so glad I didn’t paint them white.  It would have been too much and this color really makes them look reclaimed rather than new.

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I could have stood here and stared at them all day.  They look awesome open.

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And closed – although the fur babies weren’t fond of this option!  After we had them installed we noticed the door on the right sits at a bit of an angle from the other door creating a small space at the bottom of the seem between the doors.  The Hubs thinks he may have installed the hardware a little crooked which is causing this issue.  We’ll correct that at some point, but since the doors will be open 99% of the time that can wait a bit.

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Here’s how the doors look from the other side when closed.  It’s not as dramatic as the office side, but like I said – it will be very rare that these doors are closed.  I’m sure the fur babies are appreciative of that.

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In order to fill the whole opening we did have to make the doors a bit wider than the side walls, so they stick out just a bit.  It’s not really noticeable and it actually works well because it provides just enough room to add handles so the doors are easier to move from this side.  I haven’t picked out hardware for that yet, and since it’s not a priority I’ll take my time to find something I really love.

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There’s also a bit of extra room between the doors and the cabinets.  We built the desk when we were planning to use the original barn door hardware which would have hung away from the wall a bit further, so we left extra room for that.  Now that we chose a more flush mount system there’s more room.  I think it still works well and it’s just wide enough for me to sneak the broom in there when cleaning.  Plus on the craft cart side it leaves  plenty of room to reach back for my paper cutter without scraping your knuckles on the doors.

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I’m so happy to have this big project done and I smile every time I look at these beauties.  They really give the space a finished feel and add so much character.  In fact they were looking so good that my craft shelves were feeling a bit “womp, womp” next to them, so I’ve been changing things up over there to create a more cohesive look.  I will share that update soon. 🙂

installed

I’d love to hear what you think of the end result, so leave a comment below.  And if you have questions about anything I didn’t cover send those over too.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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Wall-to-Wall Work Space!

Hi everyone!  The hubs and I were so busy working on projects last week that I didn’t get a chance to write about any of them, so this week I’ll be playing catch up and have a lot to share!  Up first is the biggest project, our wall-to-wall desk in the office!

Finished

It’s come a long way from the first DIY set-up we did with two filing cabinets and a freebie door when we were in the rental. I started to get a sense of how my dream workspace would function when we expanded the desktop after we moved in to the new house and the recent addition of the industrial style shelves took it up another notch.  Next we stained the raw desktop to match the shelves, which made the desk visually ‘heavy’. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to take a picture of this stage, but even the hubs agreed that the darker desktop made the entire unit feel a bit big and bulky. Luckily, painting the cabinets was the next step.  To prep, we removed all the hardware and gave the surfaces a light sanding. The hubs taped off the areas around the cabinets and I painted them white. It took a couple of coats, but it definitely brightened the space.

DeskDuringPaint

DeskDuringPaint2

I wasn’t loving the white at first, but decided to live with it for a while before I made any final decisions. A few days later the hubs installed the new hardware we’d purchased to match the pulls on the cabinet nearest the door and that made all the difference. Suddenly I LOVED the white. Maybe I couldn’t see past the displaced clutter before then or maybe I just needed some contrast so they didn’t feel like big white blobs. Whatever it was, I did another happy dance when I saw them together with the white.

Three of the four cabinets went all the way to the floor, but the cabinet nearest the door had legs. Not only did this not match the other cabinets, it was the perfect place for dust bunnies to collect which meant they had to go. The easy option would have been to cut off the legs, but that would have made the cabinet too short, so instead we opted to install molding around the legs. We picked up a plain baseboard molding with a small curve at the top and cut it to size. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tall enough to cover the entire height of the legs, so we got creative.

Molding
A piece of scrap wood filled the space between the legs, but because the legs stick out from the body of the cabinet a bit, there was a gap between the filler board and the molding. The hubs solved this with a paint stick and some wood filler. Genius! Once everything was painted you’d never notice.

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FinishedLegs

The hubs also rigged up a shelf for the printer in the middle cabinet. He added a small platform on tracks so it can be pulled out when we need to replace ink cartridges or clear a jam.

FinishedShelf

FinishedShelfOut

Because the space where the shelf was had previously been another drawer there were some odd supports on either side of the interior of the cabinet. Once again the hubs flexed his thinking muscles and came up with a solution. A thin panel attached to the supports made everything flush and quarter round hid the supports from the front.  Luna made sure to inspect his handiwork and apparently approves.

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I swapped out the blue bag the local shred company provides for a much prettier basket I picked up at Target. The grey material has a bit of white, which plays off the cabinets nicely. I keep the bag tucked behind the basket so I can fill it when I need to take it in, but since we typically use our shred file for fire starter and filler in the fire pit that’s not very often.   This change was also approved by Luna, who loves her new hiding spot. 🙂

LunaBasket

I also stained the cord box so it blends in more with the flooring and is less noticeable. Now that everything is finished, I cleaned up the wires and will soon hide them in a channel that can be painted to match the wall so you’ll never even notice them.  Now that the printer is tucked away, my Silhouette sits in the middle of the desktop and both of us have plenty of room to work.

CordBox

I’m still finessing the accessories on the desktop and shelves, but it’s pretty much done. The top shelf is strictly for photography props (including some room for new items!) and we each took a third of the bottom shelf. The center third is home to models of the planes the hub’s dad flew when he was in the Navy.  On my side, my photography guides and smaller extra gear fit in two decorative storage boxes, which also hide the driveway monitor speaker. Next to that are my books and a basket for a few magazine style guides I keep.

Finished

The hub’s side became home to his cookbooks that had previously lived in the pantry. I gave him a storage box and canister so he could also store all of the cords and miscellaneous gear he wanted to have handy. And that means the tub of “stuff” that has sat on the other side of the room since we moved in is now gone!

Finished2

I’m loving the industrial farmhouse look the whole project has and the storage it provides has created so much space in this room. Now it really functions as an office, craft room and studio with style. And that make me very, very happy!

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party and

TDC Before and After

We Have Shelves!

6So remember way back when I told you we planned to add shelves above the wall-to-wall desk in the studio?  Well it’s finally happened.  Although the desk itself hasn’t had any additional progress since you last saw it, the finished shelves give you a sense of what the whole thing will look like when we’re done.  And now that we have some extra storage space, we can organize and move things around to finish the rest of the pieces while we continue using the space.  Here’s a quick recap of how they came together.

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After much debate and a good deal of Pinterest browsing, I decided to go with the rustic industrial shelves you see everywhere these days.  Yes it’s trendy right now, but both the hubs and I love the look, plus it compliments the craftsman style of our home so we’ll be happy with it long after others move on to the ‘next’ thing.  The first step was gathering enough supplies, which sound simple, but turned out to be a little difficult.  The hubs had to visit several stores and event shop online to find enough of the pipes, nipples and flanges in the right sizes.  And even when he did find enough, it wasn’t always the same color so we ended up painting all the parts to match.  The metal supports start with a flange which screws onto the base of a piece of pipe.  The other end of the pipe is capped with a nipple, which also screws on.  The hubs attached the supports with extra long screws, directly into the studs for additional strength.  You might notice that some of the pieces seem higher than others in the picture above.  That’s because he initially attached each lower support with just one screw and we made them pivot on the single attachment to decide which height we liked best.  We ended up going with the higher option just to give ourselves a little extra space when sitting.

2

Once we had the lower supports lined up and screwed in, he moved on to the top supports, directly above.  We didn’t have a specific height in mind, so we just eyeballed it to decide what would work best with what we planned to have on the lower shelf.  It looked a little strange from across the room without the boards, but this is how it sat for several days while we searched for wood that wasn’t split, bowed or cracked on multiple trips to various local hardware stores.

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Eventually, the hubs found two decent boards in the right size, length and most importantly, price range.  He set them up in the garage and I got to staining.  I forgot to take a picture before I started, but you get the basic before and after idea.

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I had originally planned to stain the boards, then do a white crackle paint over top and randomly sand areas to create the faux reclaimed barn wood look described here, but once we saw the color of the stain and how it brought out the grain of the pine we fell in love with it and decided to leave it as is.  Realizing that the stain we’d used was a primer, stain and sealer all in one, helped reaffirm that decision – especially when we considered that we wanted the same finish on both the desktop and the shelves.  I was secretly relieved that we wouldn’t be painting and sanding in the house, because my allergies would have kicked into overdrive if that had happened.

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When the boards were dry the hubs cut them to size and I helped him carry them in.  All we had to do was set them up on the supports with the cut edge hidden against the wall.  It was at this point that I broke out in my happy dance.  Literally.  I’m just giddy with how it turned out.  They provide a TON of storage space for my photography props, which until now have been piled up against the opposite wall.

You might notice that the far end of the shelves don’t go all the way to the wall.  That’s by design.  We will eventually add sliding barn doors to the inside of this doorway so we needed room for the doors to slide open next to the desk.  Since the space is on the hubs side of the desk I rarely even  notice it.

I’ve started organizing things on the shelves and will share the final set up when it’s done.  It’s a process to decide what goes where, but it’s already making the desktop clearer and the room feels larger without the pile of props in the corner.

The next step is staining the desktop, which should happen this week.  After that will be setting up the pull out shelf for the printer and then we’ll move on to finishing the cabinets with paint and new hardware.  And finally, I’ll add some decorative finishing touches to pull it all together and make it cozy.  So stay tuned to see each step in the coming weeks! 🙂