Our Current House
Ding dong, the bare spot above the TV is dead.
Remember how it used to look like this for a few years?
And then we graduated to a bigger tv and kept an eye out for the right media cabinet for another year or so.
And then we finally got here with the help of a $59 cabinet that we found at a thrift store…
Whew. So glad it’s NNM (nekkid no more). Don’t mind that power strip on the ground, I’ve since shoved it behind the media cabinet to hide it.
Dang it feels good to
be a gangsta have a shelf there.
We actually debated a bunch of options for above the TV (hanging frames/art, something 3D in the “wall decor” category, hanging a ready-made shelf, making one of our own so we could pick the length, depth, and the brackets, etc). The last idea won out thanks to keeping an eye out for anything in any of those categories for the last few years, not finding anything that worked/we loved, and finally taking matters into our own hands and making something that fit the wall perfectly.
The good news? It only took us a few hours and around $20.
As for how we made it, we picked up a 10″ wide poplar board from Home Depot and just cut it to length and supported it with some store-bought brackets, also from Home Depot. Oh and the overall finished shelf length is 56″ since the media cabinet under it is 60″ (we thought that was a nice compatible length).
When it came to the color of the shelf and the brackets, we primed and painted them both white (the brackets were originally silver), just because we didn’t want the shelf to be bold/contrasty (we wanted it to layer into the room like the white frames over the sofa, the white mirror over the desk, etc).
We also decided that putting the brackets on the top of the shelf instead of under it would keep everything on the same plane – instead of having potentially distracting brackets poking out from the bottom of the shelf and encroaching on the TV. It’s totally one of those to-each-his-own things, but we like the brackets up top in here since we have brackets under the shelves in the kitchen (Ikea sells some shelves with brackets on top, so it’s apparently a pretty common thing).
We just didn’t want the shelf itself stealing any attention from any zombies, white walkers, or dignified Brits that we might be watching on the TV below it (feel free to guess what three shows we just referenced). #nerdsforlife
Then we just used heavy duty anchors that were guaranteed to support a lot more weight than we’d ever put on that shelf to secure each of the brackets. We also added some extra strength adhesive to the bracket bases before screwing them into the face of the shelf for added insurance. Many people screw and glue things from above and it holds nice and firmly, so it’s not necessary for the brackets to be under the shelf in order to support it. Let’s just say that at least three Clara’s could theoretically hang on it…
Oh man. Could you lick these flowers, or is that just me? They’re called
I can’t tell you how much better it is to sit on the sofa without having weird “ugh, this wall has been blank for years! Dude GET ON THAT!” thoughts.
Now I can just sit with my feet up and dust my shoulders off, Jay-Z style.
As for what’s living it up on our new shelf, I leaned a few frames that we already had up there (and even used poster putty on the base of them to keep them nice and secure). Inside of them we have:
- a “squeeze the day” page from an old Boden catalog that I’ve always loved
- a blue botanical print from Ikea a while back
- a polaroid of John and I at one of our book signings (we realized we didn’t really commemorate those in any way – and I even used some Clara art to make a cheerful yellow mat behind it)
Of course there are also those pretty fresh flowers that’ll die in a week or two and then I’ll find myself sitting on the couch thinking “ugh, those flowers are dead. Dude GET ON THAT!” – but the good news is that I’m now the proud owner of pretty West Elm paper flowers (more on that here) so those’ll hopefully pick up where the real ones left off.
And then I’ll just get to sit on the sofa and concentrate on the zombies. As it should be.
Oh but before I go, blam:
Can you believe that’s how this wall of the living room looked on the day that we moved in?
Now it’s all “look at me now.”
And speaking of look at me now, if $herdog could rap like Karmin I’d just walk around dropping mics. Seriously, there would be at least ten mic drops a day.
Which might take up a fair amount of time, so maybe it’s for the best that I’m a terrible rapper. Leaves me more time for DIY.
What do you guys have over your TV? A mirror? A plant? A zombie action figure (you know, to complement the real ones on TV)?
Ok, not the whole world, but a good smattering of it. For those of you who watched our house tour video yesterday, you’ve seen a shot of these babies in action (and by these babies, I mean eight freshly framed prints that we hung in our hallway above the board & batten that we added). But here are some close ups with all the how-we-did-it deets.
It was a really easy project actually. First, we bought an awesome calendar at Anthropologie on sale after the new year for $13 (gotta love how calendars go half price the second that January begins) but we had zero intention of using it in the traditional sense since we make a quirky little homemade calendar each year.
We just loved the awesome illustrations of each city. And we knew they’d look nice in a collection of frames on the wall. Psst- It’s still for sale here, if you’re in the market for one.
At first we debated hanging all 12 of them in a grid in the guest room, but we’ve been craving something large (as opposed to a collection of smaller frames) for the big bare wall above the chairs in there.
And then when we finished the board & batten hallway project (here’s a pic from before we painted the walls)…
… it dawned on us that they might look cute spaced out as you walk down the hall.
Turns out they do.
As for how we hung them all at the same height, we just shot our laser level down the hall, and marked two dots for each frame that were 5″ apart (there are 10″ of space between each frame).
Then we just hammered nails into those two dots for each frame.
Why two nails for each frame? Well, since the back of these Ikea ribba frames rest on a nail to stay up, two nails about 5″ apart are nice and sturdy – and you’ll never need to straighten the frame like you do when it hangs on one nail). Plus you can slide the frame a bit from the left or the right, so it helps make the spacing extra easy to control, even if you pre-measure it all with the laser level like we did.
Then when you pop a frame onto them, it looks like this:
Since the eight Ribba frames are from Ikea, they’re just $9 a pop (and we already had four, so we just had to buy four more to complete the collection). So that’s how we got an entire hallway full of art for $49 – which breaks down to $36 for frames and $13 for the calendar.
Not bad to go from here…
… to here in about a month.
Especially since we walk up and down that hallway at least a dozen times a day. And although we’ve only been to one of the eight places: NY (do we get extra point for living there for a while?) John has already started calling this our travel bucket list. So here’s hoping we get to visit Rome, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney, London, Amsterdam, and Rio De Janeiro someday.
Odd confession of the day: I have three favorite spots in this house, and two of them aren’t rooms. They’re:
- the frame hallway that leads to the living room, kitchen, and our master bedroom
- this hallway that leads to the other three bedrooms
- Clara’s big girl room, just because I’m beyond thankful that it no longer looks like this…
What are your favorite areas of your house? Are they unusual, like a closet or a bathroom or a specific nook (the wall o’ penny tile in the kitchen is up there for me too)? Or are your picks more traditional like the living room, the sunroom, or the bedroom?
Psst- Wanna see how we spent our Easter (and how Clara liked the little egg bowling set that I made for her)? Here’s the rundown over on Young House Life.
It’s been over half a year since we shared our last video house tour, and since a bunch of you’ve been requesting an update, we finally
cleaned the whole house shoved everything into our closets and made an all-one-take video. At first it seemed like we didn’t have that many new things to report, but then we realized that there were tons of changes since our previous tour (a freshly redone hall bathroom, a storage-room-turned-playroom, new lighting in the living room and dining room, lots of sunroom updates, a new fireplace facade and a fresh color in the kitchen, hallway board & batten, etc). So without further ado, let’s walk around the house together. I’ll chat while John mans the camera (you don’t want me holding the camera, trust me).
A few notes:
- We filmed this on our Nikon D3200 (we mainly use it as a digital camera, but occasionally make videos with it too).
- I’m not sick this time (I was for the last two video tours, so I’m breaking that stupid tradition). Huzzah!
- Why a towel falling to the ground as we made this video was so funny to me, I’ll never know. Watching it back, it’s not even remotely entertaining. Maybe I’m just a hyper/nervous tour giver? Yes, probably that.
- Are the in-yo-face brassy doorknobs in the laundry room making you itch? I ORBed every other knob in the house, but dude I haven’t gotten on those yet…
And now, I thought I’d end with our last video tour from September, just because it’s fun to watch the evolution. I always drag my feet when it comes to making these videos, but then when I look back on them I’m so grateful that we make them because they’re like little bi-annual time capsules.
Do you guys ever videotape your house, just to see how it changes over time? Would your hubby ever walk around with you and hold the camera while you jabber on right next to him? That’s totally our method. Yes, John and I stroll around the house together while he holds the camera and I talk. I think he deserves 65,790 man-points for coming up with that insane technique, but somehow it works. Because if he were narrating it would sound like this: “this is the dining room (long pause) and this is the office (long pause) – ok we’re done.” And if I was chatting and holding the camera, 7 out of 10 people would lose their lunch while watching. Hence the four-legged video house tour tradition. Yeehaw.
Oh and if you’re watching our most recent tour and wondering what we still have on our to-do list, here’s a somewhat updated rundown that has all that info for ya. I smell a guest bathroom update along with some porch and carport projects. Can I get a what what? No? A high five then? How about good old fashioned talk to the hand?