Archives For plants

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.


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.

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

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My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs 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!

New Plants, Part 4 of 4

September 9, 2013 — 2 Comments

Last but not least, my little elephant planter from an antique store got a little succulent love (parts 1, 2, and 3 if you feel so inclined to catch up).

Previously, the elephant planter was filled with aloe, but after using too much of the aloe (sue me! it’s really fun to use your plants for practical things!) the plant all but disappeared.
At this point, I only had one succulent left, so it isn’t a big improvement but it is at least a little less empty.

Love this planter, it makes me smile!

So that is the end of my succulent planting saga, I know, it was riveting. Thanks for sticking it out!

New Plants, Part 3 of 4

September 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

I managed to make 20 succulents stretch into four planters (Part 1 and Part 2) and here is the third one!

I had this little glass dish/jar/bowl (?) from something, maybe a flower arrangement or something? I kept it because it’s hard to just throw away a nice glass thing so it’s been in the back of a cabinet for a long time. Anyway, I thought it would make a cute little mini-terrarium (its about 6″ tall x 5″ in diameter).

Yeah, I’m aware how blurry this pic is, 
but give me a little a credit, I was still be-casted at this point.
Like, the brass planter, I went rock-finding in my backyard to aid in the drainage of this non-planter turned planter.
Remember my little greenhouse? Well, I’m happy to report, that even though my baby greenhouse did not have a home or any occupants for a few days, it does now! Baby terrarium meet baby greenhouse.
Happy, happy plants!

New plants, Part 2 of 4

August 30, 2013 — 3 Comments

If you are anything like me you sometimes often buy things that you don’t need or have a place for because you just really freakin’ want them. Well, that was the case with this brass planter I bought last summer.

It was filled with fake ivy, but I saw it’s potential and for only $2 I needed it. Except, that I actually didn’t need it. It’s floated around my house for the last year. Sometimes it is on the built in shelf in my kitchen cabinets and sometimes it’s in the linen closet holding random crap, but the dream was always to put plants in it. It is the perfect size for planting a lot of small plants since it’s about 18″ long and 5″ wide.
So, I finally did it using most of the 20 succulents I bought online (more about that here).
My first step was to get rocks or stones for the bottom of the planter for drainage. I looked at the store but couldn’t find any so I went rogue and got rocks from my backyard (have I mentioned my backyard is a mess?).
After rocks came soil and then plants.
I really like it! I’ve seen a lot of planters like this online filled with succulents, actually most of them are just loaded with succulents, but I spread mine out a little because I still had a few other planters I wanted to fill. Now *fingers crossed* that I resist the urge to over water them!

New plants, Part 1 of 4

August 28, 2013 — 5 Comments

I love houseplants. I like how they look and the health benefits I’m told they provide. But my love for houseplants is in no way related to how well I can care for them. I suppose I am better than some since several of my plants have been alive for many years (the oldest is seven years old) but some aren’t so lucky. I planted a terrarium (my ‘how to’ here) about two years ago and since then all but one of the succulents have died. What can you do? Plant new ones, I guess.

I purchased a set of 20 succulents on Amazon. It was weird to buy plants online and even weirder to open a package full of styrofoam peanuts and plants, but it actually worked out great. At big box stores succulents can be $3-4 a piece, but my set of 20 succulents was (including very expensive shipping) $39 which makes each plant $1.90… a pretty good savings! BUT since I have an Amazon rewards card, I had points to put toward the purchase and my total price was only $17! Which makes each succulent only $.85! I got really excited about that, especially since plants are fickle, living things that sometimes die.
First up for a makeover is my terrarium, which has seen better days.
BEFORE: It was a baby deer massacre in there.
 AFTER: Ah, everyone is alive and well.
Much better! This is part one of four of “What I did with 20 succulents” so stay tuned. Also, if you are wondering, yes, I did do this project while still in a cast. I know, dirt/plants/water + a cast sounds like a really bad idea, unless you are a genius like me and you invented this:
Recycling and resourcefulness at their best!

A Baby Greenhouse

August 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Okay, it’s not a greenhouse for babies (although that could either be adorable or horrifying depending how you interpret the meaning) but it is a tiny greenhouse and it’s freaking adorable. Let me start at the beginning. I’ve been obsessed with this greenhouse from IKEA since I first saw it online a while back (I gushed about it here) but I haven’t been to IKEA in about two years so I was satisfied with admiring it from afar. That is until my parents made a trip to IKEA and asked me if they could pick anything up for me. A day later, this baby was in my house (and it was only $19.99!).

Of course, the hitch in the plan was that I was attempting to assemble something from IKEA with my dominant hand in a cast, but dang it if I am not obsessively determined/this thing was actually easy to assemble.
I like that it has three settings:
1) Propped open

2) Open

3) Closed

Alright you got me, I am guilty of buying something that I don’t have a place for or anything to fill it with, but I kind of don’t care because I like it so much.

I envision it filled with little baby plants and other little objects, but one step at a time. For now, I am just enjoying having a tiny greenhouse on my dining room table.

Let me be upfront, I do not like being outside. I know that isn’t a popular thing to say but I am one of those people whom insects flock to. I’m like Pig Pen except I shower.

Actually now that I look at this character I’m not sure those are bugs, but if they were that is what I look like when I go outside. So apart from mowing my grass I avoid spending any time on my yard.

I do love indoor plants though. They are so much easier to care for, they look great year round, and they give rooms a certain breath of fresh air.

Currently, I have four house plants. When I was in college someone told me that caring for a houseplant is a good way to improve your emotional well being. That sounds silly but I think it actually worked for me. I once kept an orchid alive for two years!

But this post isn’t about my emotional health, it’s about houseplants. I don’t know the first thing about plant species, I mostly just pick whatever I like. Whichever plant you do choose I would highly recommend reading the card that comes on the plant. Some plants have very specific care instructions. Also, I’ve found in my six years of houseplant experience that plants don’t need watered half as much as you’d think. I water my plants every Saturday except for my succulents which I water every two weeks.

If you’re new to the houseplant game I’d suggest going to a nursery because they will have a much bigger selection. I wouldn’t recommend buying planters in the garden section though because they are usually overpriced and generic.

Here are some cheap and uncommon planters that would look awesome around your house:

I love this! You can find vintage pyrex at just about any antiques shop and most of the time it is reasonably priced. I love this idea because unless you have a lot of open shelving these beautiful bowls are often hidden away behind closed doors.

I’ve seen plants planted in tin cans before but I really like these dented cans… it’s like that extra texture really gives it something. The best thing is that this project would be free because you can use any can you have and whatever paint is lying around.

This cracks me up. Plants in a bread tin! This is so smart because even though I try not to over buy kitchen gadgets I somehow always end up with way too many pans.

This is adorable. Also, who doesn’t have 14 extra mugs lying around?

Hilarious and cute. Maybe a little young for my house but it would be cool in a fashionable teen’s room.

This isn’t an uncommon pot but it is an elevated one. By dipping the bottom of the planter into paint and then turning it over and letting it dry is a cool and easy way to make the planters you already have look unique and textured.

So many cool ideas! What uncommon planters have you tried out? The possibilites are endless!