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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.

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Thrift Shop Find, Updated

September 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Remember how I am a terrible painter? If you missed my last attempt at painting, here is the link. You should look at it if only to laugh at how bad of a painter I am. The thing that is ridiculous is not that I’m a bad painter because painting is hard, but that I keep trying when I know I’m not good. I’ve just always loved painting, so it’s hard to give up the dream that I could be good too. There is always the hope that next time I’ll be better.

So I tried again and my latest attempt was less of a ‘major fail’ and more of a ‘eh’ (which is how a lot of my DIY/craft projects turn out).

A few months ago I showed you guys this painting I found at a thrift shop (more about it here):

It was only $2.99! And it’s pretty big at about 14″ tall and 18″ wide. I love a good deal and I also like things that are just slightly ugly. This scene, while quaint, isn’t the best painting ever or anything. But when I saw it I really liked the frame and what the scene evoked. I also liked it because I’ve been wanting to do a ‘re-painting’ project. I’ve seen a lot of projects lately that take old thrift shop paintings and update them by painting over or accenting the original (examples here, here, and here).

So I did it!

And it looks… eh. It’s just so… ‘eh’. Why do I keep attempting painting projects??? That is a question that I just can’t answer, but swearing off of painting has done me no good in the past so I highly doubt it will make a difference now.

Not sure what I’ll do with this painting. For the last few months it’s been on my dresser leaning against my Scratch Map so it will probably remain there.

Have you attempted any re-painting projects? I’m a huge fan of them, but apparently they aren’t quite as easy as they look.

Updated Faux Sofa Table

September 23, 2013 — 3 Comments

Remember my faux sofa table? I made it a few months after I moved in (more about it here).

Here is a refresher of what it looked like behind the scenes:

It worked great for over a year, but then BOB happened:

He was all like, “Hey, thanks for putting this special shelf here just for me!” Not cool, Bob. Since the home tour was coming up I had grand plans of making an actual table out of wood for back there, but like a lot of things, it didn’t get done. But, I couldn’t just leave it like this for the tour so I decided to get creative again.

Though I have more tubs like the bottom ones they were being used elsewhere so I pilfered only the lids and set them on top of the cardboard boxes. Obviously, this is a bandaid to a bigger problem, but you know… it is what it is.

Little known fact about me: I don’t use a top sheet. I find them unnecessary so I have like 10 top sheets that I never use so I grabbed two white twin top sheets and folded them over the tubs.

Voila! Not a long term solution but it worked great for the home tour (and beyond, it is still holding up nicely). One day I would like to build a simple table for back there but one day at a time.

New Blinds, Finally

September 16, 2013 — 2 Comments
Happy, happy day! I finally got new blinds in the living room!
Soooo goood right?? While I was grateful that my house came with blinds on every window (seriously, that was amazing), they were all of the $4 vinyl variety. Not my favorite obviously, but they kept sun and people’s eyeballs out. That is until Bob systematically destroyed the blinds in the living room. He kept getting his paws caught up in the cords and yanking them down. After buying four new blinds for the living room (it was only $16 but still, they are ugly and I hate buying ugly things as place holders) I said enough was enough and I refused to buy more. When he broke two more a few weeks later I held my ground. And then… well, a year later I still only had two out of four blinds in the living room, but Bob totally learned his lesson.
But, my long game paid off because when I finally decided I had enough money to buy the ones I wanted (it too me a loooong time to decide what I wanted, here is a post about that) they were on sale! $140 later (sounds like a lot but it totally isn’t for blinds, trust me on that!) and new blinds were at my house. Of course, it didn’t occur to me until after they came that I would have to hang them, boo. Thankfully, they came after my cast came off (oh yeah, my cast is off!!!!) but my wrist was/is still really stiff so I wasn’t sure if I could do it myself (drilling is hard for me on a normal day). I asked my brother to help me hang them some time and he said yes, but in typical Jasmin style I randomly decided one day that I couldn’t wait another second and that I was going to hang them that moment. And I did! The process required a lot of cursing and two-handed drilling but the end result was totally worth it. Now, let’s revel in their glory shall we?

They are also thermally lined (not sure what that means, but it sounds good) so they provide great coverage at night.

Needless to say, I’m extremely happy that my wait is over.

As much as I love IKEA, I haven’t been to an actual IKEA store in over a year. The closest one to Indianapolis is in Cincinnati which is not close by. It is definitely a day trip plus you have to have the right vehicle to be able to bring home furniture. But despite the fact that I haven’t been in a while doesn’t mean that I don’t online window shop at IKEA all the time.

I’ve previously listed out all of the things in my home from IKEA (it’s actually still accurate even though it was written last August), so this is a list of the things I love from IKEA that I would buy if I had more money and space (and a big enough vehicle to bring it all back from Cincinnati).

Originally this was just going to be one post but I found that I liked way too much stuff so it became a two parter!

I have a great front porch and nicely sized back yard but I have yet to invest in any patio furniture. I like this classic wicker deck chair. Perhaps four of these chairs around a brightly colored round table would look nice? Available here for $34.99 each.
I am one of those people who go through dish towels like candy. I use a new one like every day, mostly because I do not like soggy towels. For this reason, I am always on the look out for a cool new dish towel. Available here for $2.99.
I only have curtains in my dining room but lately I’ve been considering them for my entry way window and even in my living room. I’m still on the fence but these subtle grey linen ones are lovely. The pair is available here for $49.99.
Is this rug too crazy? I kind of love how crazy it is. I also love how super Swedish it is. Available here for $49.99.
I’m not an artist but if I were I would want this rolling filing cabinet. I guess you wouldn’t have to be an artist to use it but I can just imagine using it for large pencil drawings or something equally cool. Available here for $119.00.
I actually have this lamp in the floor lamp size but I think the table lamp size is adorable. Available here for $29.99.

Large graphic prints are definitely my thing so this bold striped throw is right up my alley. Available here for $19.99

My West Elm shower curtain is still my favorite but this simple black and white shower curtain is lovely too. Available here for $14.99.
I am always on the lookout for a good light fixture because there are still several in my house that I would like to replace. I love the bold yet simple look of this light fixture. Available here for $69.99.

This mod pendant is so delicious, I want to lick it. It is a massive and bold piece that would be a great statement piece in any home. Available here for $49.99.

I’ve been thinking about replacing the credenza in my dining room for a while now. Maybe this simple yet unique locker cabinet would be a nice upgrade? Available here for $99.00.

I’m not normally big on patterned curtains since they can look dated fast but these curtains may just be cool enough to change my mind. The pair is available here for $24.99.
This light fixture is probably a little bold for most people but I think it is so cheery! It would look awesome in a bathroom or a closet. Available here for $14.99.
I’ll be back Thursday for Part 2!

I lurve paper cranes. My obsession began in the fourth grade when many of my great obsessions began. Having taught in Japan the previous year my teacher made it her mission to teach us all about Japanese culture including how to make paper cranes. Like riding a bike, I’ve never forgotten how to make a paper crane.

A few months ago I saw two images on Pinterest that got me thinking…

Can I incorporate paper cranes into my home’s design? The obvious answer is YES.

This corner of my bedroom was pretty empty and in need of some love so I went for it.

I really like it! When I have more time I would like to add more cranes to make it an even bigger statement but for now I’m very happy with this simple and cheap project.

Here is what I did:

Made some paper cranes
Strung them with fishing wire
Push pinned them to the ceiling

Easy!

Here is a link on how to make a paper crane. I just used white computer printer paper, but origami paper would probably work better. I think I made eleven, but like I said, I may make more to make the installation bigger and better. The best part about making paper cranes is that it is extremely soothing. If you’ve never made one before the first few will take some thinking, but after that your brain takes over and does it for you, sort of like typing.

The only thing I bought for this project was clear fishing line which was surprisingly expensive at $7.99. Thankfully, it was the only thing I had to buy for this project so I guess $8 isn’t too much. If you have a friend who fishes you could just ask to borrow 20 yards or something since there is no way I’ll ever use 300 yards of fishing line.

The way the paper crane is folded creates a natural hole at the bottom of the crane so I used that as a starting point for stringing up the crane.
In order to string the fishing line through the crane I had to make a hole in the top of the crane. Before the hole:
After I jabbed the smaller end of the scissors into the top:
I started to make the holes bigger after I took this picture because stringing wire through such tiny holes was difficult to say they least. If you look closely you can actually see through to the other side, but it was a very tight fit!

I strung the string through the top hole first and then through the bottom hole and then I wrapped it around each wing and then knotted it on the top. Of course the string is clear so taking a picture of this process was sort of impossible, but you get the idea.

I left about two to three feet of string attached to each paper crane because I wasn’t sure at what heights I’d be hanging them.

My plan for hanging the paper cranes to the ceiling was to knot the fishing wire to a push pin and then push it into the ceiling. This would have been simple if my ceiling was dry wall, but the hanging process was much more difficult than I had anticipated mostly because my ceiling is plaster. Plaster doesn’t like push pins, this I learned. Instead of giving a huge amount of detail about the process I will just tell you that I used a hammer to get the push pins into the ceiling and also, I broke a lot of push pins.

Below, you can see that the push pins aren’t very noticeable at all. Is it a bad thing to make so many little holes in the ceiling? I don’t know. I didn’t even think about it while I was doing it. I guess whenever I leave I’ll just fill them with a little bit of putty or something. But it’s so pretty, who cares?
It was sort of hard to photograph because they gently sway in the breeze created by my fan. I find it very soothing. It’s like having a adult mobile! This would look adorable in a kids room but I personally think it looks very nice in a 27 year old woman’s room too. Although, I am positive that my fourth grade self would be super proud of this project. 
 
What do you think? Do you have a childhood obsession that you would like to incorporate into your home’s design? My advice: Do it.

I’ve been doing this thrift shops series for twentysomethingindy.com which means once a month for the past few months I’ve been spending hours driving around trying out thrift shops for research. Best research ever! But also worst research ever because it’s so tempting to buy stuff. So far I’ve written pieces on thrift shops on the east side, north side, and the downtown. Of those three research trips I spent $16, $30, and $15. Not terrible, but it’s still money spent every month.

This past weekend I was out on the west side researching and I came across a globe. Globes are crazy trendy and since they are easy to find and generally affordable they are a great trend to jump on. So I was not surprised that I found a globe since they are everywhere but what was surprising was how cheap it was at $12.50. The globe in my entry was about that same price when I got it about a year ago, but lately I’ve been seeing them listed for $20 and up so I was pleasantly surprised to see one that cheap. But I still probably wouldn’t have bought it if it weren’t for this:

Shut. Up. It’s a light up globe. I nearly squealed when (after asking the store manager where an outlet was) I plugged it in and it worked! For $12.50! Seriously, you can’t buy a lamp for under $40 let alone an amazingly life changing globe lamp. Love.

For locals I found this at Trader Baker’s Vendor Mall in Avon (or you can wait until my west side thrift shops article is published for more info!). Seriously, though, how amazing is this light up globe?! Have you ever seen one like this? If this had been at a cooler store they could have easily charged $50 for it.

Tip of the day: The further you drive away from any downtown area the cheaper the thrift-able goods get.

My painted fabric ottoman is finished!

For a refresher, I bought the ottoman here for $25 and then in Part 1 of this makeover I re-attached the lining and re-stained the legs here. For part 2, I opted to paint the fabric.

It’s hard to capture the difference, but in person this ottoman went from a dingy and faded blue to a super-saturated bold blue (it isn’t as purple as it looks above).
When I first saw this ottoman hiding in a dingy corner of a thrift shop I knew it had major potential but I sat on it for a few weeks because I was unsure of how to make it over. I considered re-upholstering it but then a friend suggested I paint it. Which reminded me that a year ago I pinned a fabric painting tutorial (here), but I hadn’t thought much about it since. Then I saw that it was time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge and I knew it was the perfect time to just go for it!
via YHL

Here are the materials and the steps I took to paint my fabric ottoman:

Materials:
1 Quart Latex Satin Paint
1 Spray Bottle for Water
2″-3″ Paint Brush
Fabric Medium (I used 4 – 2 oz bottles)

1) Prepare the paint mixture. I found different ‘recipes’ online but the one I chose to use was:

1 part fabric medium + 1 part latex paint + 1 part water

I found that two 2 oz bottles of fabric medium are exactly a 1/2 cup so I went with that as my starting point and then added 1/2 cup latex paint and a 1/2 cup of water. It doesn’t look like a lot of paint (it’s only 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid) so I wasn’t sure it would be enough but I went with it and figured I could mix up more if I needed to.

To show you how ‘soupy’ it is here is a visual aid:
The top is the mixture of water+fabric medium+latex paint and the bottom is just latex paint. I’m showing you this to explain that painting fabric like this doesn’t cover up major flaws or stains in the fabric. So if you are trying to decide if you want to paint that chair with the huge stain on the seat, this won’t cover it up. If anything, I found that this process was more like tinting the fabric not painting it. Thankfully I was just going from dingy light blue to a more saturated dark blue so it worked for me. The point is this: You need to start with a fabric that is lighter and that doesn’t have major blemishes.
2) Wet the fabric.
I used this large industrial sprayer that I have and it worked great. The wetter the fabric the better the paint goes on so don’t be shy with the amount of water you spray on. See how I have newspaper down? That was a very bad idea, don’t use newspaper! I didn’t realize how much water I would be using and the newspaper just got soggy, for the second coat I used a garbage bag and it worked much better.
I wet the ottoman in sections (about a foot in diameter). And then brushed on a small amount of the paint mixture.
It was pretty simple and it went super fast. I wasn’t sure I would have enough paint to cover the whole thing but the 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid did a whole coat on this ottoman (it’s about 2’x4’x1′ for reference).

I was nervous about how hard it would be to paint all those tufts, but it was really pretty easy. I just jammed my brush into all the crevices (there’s a dirty joke in there) and I tried not to let too much paint and water/paint gather in the holes and folds.

Though it’s slightly blurry, you can see from left to right it’s dry, wet, and painted.

After the first coat:

It only took me 45 minutes to do the first coat! I thought it would be a much longer project. I let it dry overnight and then repeated the whole process. The second coat didn’t use nearly as much paint so I actually ended up doing a third coat right after the second just because I had the paint already mixed.
After two coats:
Cost Breakdown:
Ottoman: $25
Latex Paint: $14 (I only used 1 cup of this so there are lots more projects left in this quart)
Fabric Medium: $10 ( 4 – 2oz bottles at $1.99 each)
Sanding blocks, foam paint brush, regular paint brush, spray bottle, stain: $0 (I had all these times already)
Total: $49
Considering that similar ottomans sell for well over $250, I am completely satisfied with this price. And amazingly, I sold my old glass coffee table on craigslist for $50 so I basically broke even!
I highly recommend painting fabric, it was easy, quick, and it looks great! My only caution is that you pick the right piece to paint. You want a piece that is fairly light in color (or at least a simliar color to what you want to paint it) with no major stains or blemishes on the fabric.
I’m crazy in love with this ottoman!