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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

I Love Ceramics

October 15, 2012 — 1 Comment

Excuse the absence friends my blog just escaped my mind this weekend.

My birthday was last week and among other things I got these as a gift:

Love at first sight. These Greyhounds are from the Threshold collection at Target. I moved them around to different places around my house before I found the right place for them. I had them on the TV dresser, but they kind of blocked the view and come one, the TV is too important to be blocked!

I love them on top of the bookshelves in my bedroom. They look so good against the blue walls! I’m sure these little babies will move around a lot because things don’t stay in the same place for long around here.

So this is just a short post to say I’m alive and well and that there are two new dogs at my house just hanging out being all ceramic and such.

Thanks for the Support

September 26, 2012 — 4 Comments

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called ‘Pets as Interior Designers,’ a sort of tongue in cheek look at all the cool pet related design items for the home. One of the shops I featured was Diesel & Juice. This Etsy shop is adorable. Seriously, adorable. Well, to my surprise and delight the owner of the shop, Michele, found my post and commented on it*. In my post I had I mentioned that I loved her custom dog portraits but they were out of my price range so she kindly added a new option for a more ‘budget-friendly’ custom portrait. Isn’t that awesome?!

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These amazing custom pet portraits are only $60 which is perfectly affordable. So this is just a public ‘thank you’ to Michele from Diesel & Juice for reading this blog and for responding so kindly. I hope you guys go visit her shop and buy something because it’s all so cool.

*This is the coolest thing that has happened to my blog so far!

Pets as Interior Designers

September 12, 2012 — 3 Comments

This week I introduced you all to my pup Bob and it got me thinking… I have all these pictures of my friends and family around but only one of Bob. I don’t know about your pet but my dog is pretty hard to photograph. I have one good one that I love and it hangs on my dining room gallery wall:

But most of them turn out like this:

I got inspired the other day browsing around on Etsy when I saw this:

The shop is call Girl + Parrot and she offers these custom watercolor pet portraits for only $35. I love them! I just told my mom I know what I want for Christmas.

Finding this inspired me to dig a little deeper and see what else is out there. If you have a pet or if you are just obsessed with dogs or cats or whatever, then here are a few ways to tastefully incorporate them into your interior design.

This puppy profile is from Printable Wisdom and is only $10.

I love this quirky little portrait from Diesel and Juice. Unfortunately, their custom portraits are expensive ($225) but they have a lot of pre-made portraits in a wide range of breeds. So if you have a Boston Terrier the chances that he looks like this portrait are high and for only $18 I think most people will believe you if you tell them it’s custom.

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Aren’t these throw pillows adorable? I want to just squeeze them! They aren’t super cheap at around $40, but what a great thing to ask for for your birthday or the holidays. There are a ton of other animals to choose from over on Design Public.

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I can’t for the life of me find the source of this wallpaper but I’m in love with it! It’s amazing and I want it in every single room in my house (you think I’m joking but when I win the lottery I’m going to have a whole house of dog wallpaper). I’m sure it’s crazy expensive but here’s what I’m thinking… a stencil. Find a stencil and then use it to create a wallpaper effect. I just did a quick search and found several for only a few dollars (hmmm maybe I’ll be doing this soon…).

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How adorable are these fabrics? I can see them as pillows or even curtains if you’re bold, but I think the cutest thing would be to make a bed for your pet.

That is all for this random edition of pets as interior designers, maybe next time I’ll show you cool accessories for your pets because there is some awesome stuff in that area too. Thanks for reading!

A Formal Introduction

September 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

Today I realized that I have forgotten to make an important introduction. You all come here to read about my adventures at my little house, but there is something in my little house that I haven’t shared about yet… my dog! Yes, I have a dog, his name is Bob Wiley. He is named after this guy:

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Yep, that’s Bill Murray as Bob Wiley in What About Bob? my all time favorite movie. Have you seen it? If you haven’t you should go watch it right now. It does not disappoint.

Here is my Bob Wiley the day I got him:

OMG, right? I adopted him when he was seven weeks old. He is a beagle/English bulldog mix. He was so freakin’ tiny!

Seriously, he was such a cute puppy. I’d wanted a dog of my own since I graduated from college but I couldn’t afford one or justify leaving it home all day while I was at work. But when I moved back to Indiana and started working out of a home office I knew that getting a dog would be a little more feasible for me (I bring him to work with me now).

Like most things in my life I acted impulsively when it came to buying a dog (it’s how I ended up with three tattoos). I decided one day that it was just ‘the day’ to get a dog so I went to an adoption event at a pet store and I came home with Bob.

He is now about 11 months old and he is a serious pain in my butt.

In the past 10 months we have accomplished the following things:
potty training
crate training
puppy class (he sits and lays down on command… most of the time)

In the past 10 months we have repeated failed in the following areas:
jumping
scratching
leaving me alone (he is constantly in my business)
digging through the trash
stealing my stuff (he nabs it then runs and hides under my bed)
shedding (isn’t there a magic cream to just make. it. stop. ????)
walking on a leash

Ugh… he is a total pain but I do love him and he is really cute. Plus it is nice to have a living thing to keep me company at my house. So that is Bob Wiley. You will occasionally see him photo bombing my pictures, like so:

But mostly you will just see his dog hair everywhere (It’s a full time job keeping up with hair removal). Do I regret getting a dog? Uh… 50/50, but I do love him and when he escaped a couple of weeks ago I swore to God I would be a better dog owner. One time a friend gave me a certificate for being impulsive (it was a joke) and the caption said, “Bad Decisions Make Good Stories.” Honestly, having a dog has taught me so much about myself and it has humbled me more than I thought possible. Do you have a naughty pet? Please tell me all about it because I need all the encouragement I can get!