Home Owning

The Den and Loft {Before & After}

It’s finally here! The FIRST before & after post on our house. LET ME REMIND YOU. Back in September we closed on a sweet little fixer upper. The first time we saw it, it was full to the brim of the previous owners’ belongings. They were the original owners when this home was built in 1949, and after they passed away, the house sent without occupants for nearly two years. Finally, it was sold…to us!

We have done A LOT of work. Some Many pieces are still in progress. The first section I want to share with you is our den and loft. This space was originally a garage, and sometime in the late 1970s or so, it was converted into a den and loft, complete with dark wood paneling. Let me show you, and then I’ll tell you…


Den B&A2


Loft B&A1


Den B&A1

What we did:

  • My husband did ALL the demo while I stilled lived in Ohio, which included tearing out wood paneling, plaster walls, Berber carpet, and itchy insulation.


  • Leveled the den floor. Because it had been a garage, the floor was at about a 30-degree angle…and they hadn’t fixed it when they converted it.
  • Wired surround sound. New electric work. New insulation. New drywall. New paint.
  • We laid the wood floor ourselves, the day after Thanksgiving.


  • Removed the railing (don’t worry, we will get a new one someday), popped off the steps, and made new steps. They are dark grey to contrast the light grey on the walls.

steps B&A.jpg

  • Painted the loft floor, which had previously been covered in carpet. AND completely on his own, Jonathan painted all the dark brown beams in the den WHITE, which meant about three coats…but they are beautiful and I am so grateful!


We are loving both of these cozy nooks in our new home…it’s really starting to feel pretty homey! What do you think?


Columbus Adventures, Creative Crafting

The 614 Studio

Yes, I know, we’ve all done a million of these “wine and paint” classes. But still, I do really, truly enjoy these now and then. So when The Ohio State Alumni Association recently sponsored this class at the brand-new-better-than-whole-foods Giant Eagle Market District, I was totally in. The 614 Studio is a traveling version of these wine and paint studios, which is sort of cool since you can book them to host a party anywhere. And I really liked all the girls working with them!

Me and Tareya, rocking both the painting, and the wine-ing.
Me and Tareya, rocking both the painting, and the wine-ing.

What were we painting? Well, the Shoe, obviously. What else? And yes, the outline was sketched out ahead of time. VERY smart, if you ask me.

And here is the almost finished version of mine…I think it turned out pretty okay!

Not too shabby.
Not too shabby.
Creative Crafting, Daily Notes

Piano Bench Upgrade

I’ve been perusing craigslist lately in hopes of finding an inexpensive bench that I could upgrade into a sweet and function piece for our home. Finally, I found the perfect thing… a piano bench that someone gave up stripping part way through. Because it was so unfinished, it was incredibly cheap. BUT, it wasn’t pretty…



However, I love its charm and I knew I could work with it. And here’s what I upgraded it to:



Now, it’s a cushioned bench that still opens for a little extra storage space. It’s far from perfect, but it really only took a few hours total, and I love it!! Want to do something similar? Here’s what I did.

You’ll Need…

For painting:
A bench (obviously)
Sanding block
Primer + paint
Roller brush and detail brush

For the cushion:
Foam Padding (I used 2″ thick)
Fabric of your choice
Staple Gun

First things first. Whip out your screwdrivers (sorry I didn’t include that on your equipment list) and undo the hardware on the top of the bench. It’s so much easier to work with when you’ve removed the lid.


Painting time. I thought about experimenting with chalk paint and whatever other stylish paints are out there, but at the end of the day, it’s just simplest to sand, prime, paint. Trust me, it’s tried and true. So unless you’re just messing around for fun, stick with what you know. I did a quick sanding job, but thankfully my bench was pretty much already stripped to its bones. I used a spray paint primer in a gray color, since my final color was a gray-blue. After letting this dry, I moved my project inside due to weather, where I laid down my tarp and got painting.


I recommend a roller brush simply because you can cover a lot of ground more smoothly than with a bristle brush (is there a technical name for traditional brushes?). Then take your touch up brush and get into all the crevices and hard to reach places. Give your bench a solid two coats until you are 100% happy with how it looks. I also painted the inside of the lid.



For the cushion top. I am a homegrown DIY girl, and most things I just figure out as I go (truth). I’m sure I could have made a very fancy cushion somehow, but that’s not how I role. Instead, measure out your padding and cut it down to size (you can use an exacto knife, or even a scissors). I used two 2″ thick pieces of foam.

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Next, lay your fabric face down, and center your padding on it.


Then lay your bench top on it, so the “inside” of the bench top is facing up. Now, go steal your husband’s staple gun. It is just so, so much easier than any other cushion-making method I can think of. Wrap your bench top like a present, securing with staples along the way. Make sure you don’t cover up the holes for your hardware, which you will need to put back on next. Make sure you know which pieces of hardware go where! This is important, obviously.

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Time to put it all together. This is the best part! Attach the bench top back to your bench, being sure to put the right hardware in the right places. Voila! Are you thrilled?? I’m thrilled. You did a great job.



Creative Crafting, Daily Notes

House Craftings

I had a great weekend of getting little projects done around the house. I hung a few more things on the walls, worked on organizing the office aka “room where I have thrown everything I didn’t know what to do with.” You may recognize a few things here…and please forgive the iPhone photos. (Let’s be honest…in the age of the iPhone, it’s just so much EASIER than getting out the heavy equipment!)


Like my window pane, which doubled as a seating chart at our wedding. I decided it needed a pop of color but I’m not ready to commit to painting the frame itself, so over the weekend, I made a little trip to JoAnn’s and picked out some pretty little teal and white fabric. And then I broke in Jonathan’s new staple gun.

IMG_1177 IMG_1176 IMG_1179 I have to admit, it was kind of fun. And now my window pane is so much more colorful!


I also added a little (matching) color to a small mirror and chalkboard I hung in our breakfast nook. I’ve really felt like the kitchen needed some color, so this is just one step in that direction.



For now, I sort of love having little wedding memories around the house. This chalkboard is one of those memories…I will wipe it off eventually, but for now, it’s a very happy reminder of a fabulous day 🙂

Creative Crafting, Daily Notes

Canvas Art {DIY}

This weekend, I finished a little canvas project I’ve been brewing up. I wanted to create something new for the living room wall, and these two canvases were part of that effort. It was really quite simple – I painted the two canvases gold, stuck on acrylic letters and cheap paper doilies, and gave it a good solid spray paint. There are so many variations you could do with something like this…

I’m pretty happy with the results! The edges of the doilies were impossible to lay flat, so that resulted in a little bit of a fuzzy edge, but I still think that it’s pretty! This is a favorite verse of mine, and I thought it would be a good reminder right in the middle of the wall.

Here are a few visuals of the project for you!

Creative Crafting, Daily Notes

Picture Frame Weekly To-Do List

I saw this idea somewhere out there on the interwebs, and realized that I had everything I needed to make this project – I didn’t spend a single penny! From college, I had this eight-photo picture frame collecting dust under my bed. I also had white paint, brushes, scrapbook paper, and dry erase markers. Having this hanging next to my closet makes for the perfect place to jot down notes for my week when I’m getting ready in the mornings or regrouping on Sunday nights.

This was really quite simple. I removed all the old photos (nostalgia…) and painted my frame with white paint.

While it dried, I cut out 4×6 rectangles from some of my favorite scrapbook paper. I tried to coordinate, but you can really do this however you want – solids, patters, brights, pastels. I reassembled the frame with the scrapbook paper, hung it on my wall, and voila! I used my dry erase markers to make some reminder notes for my week ahead, and to start a list of things I need to get soon.

What do you think? Like it?

Creative Crafting, Daily Notes

DIY Chalkboards (for any age!)

K and I stumbled on pink chalkboard paint at Michael’s one day, so duh, I splurged. I had some thin wood at home, so how could I resist! One paint job later, and voila…Perfect for our fridge!


Note the chalk we added magnets to as well!! Just paint, let sit for 24 hours, and there you go 🙂

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It also makes a great chore chart!!