Storage Solutions: Underbed Real Estate

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Underbed Storage

If you follow me on instagram you’ve seen #loftlife plenty. I love it. Really its been a challenge in the best way to adapt to loft living. One of the challenges we’ve come across is how to live(realistically) in an appealing space when everything is so open. It takes very little to clutter up this loft so finding hidden spaces to use for storage has been crucial. Obviously those “hidden” spaces are scarce in the loft. But everyone has at least one great hidden space for storage: underbed real estate!

The number of underbed storage boxes and bins available is nuts! You can find them in nearly every color, size, and shape so if you have ANY space under your bed you can take advantage. We have a fairly low bed so it took a bit of extra online searching to find a set that would really utilize the whole space. I came across these and decided to give them a try. I could fit 6 total under our king size bed and they were totally affordable.

Underbed Storage Solution

After living in our loft for a few weeks we had weeded out the items we wanted to keep with us but didn’t use very often. Some of the items that made it into the bags were spare linens, seasonal clothes, and bulky beach towels. With 6 full bags these are totally life savers for our closets and cutting clutter. This is basically the equivalent of half a closet people!

Underbed Storage Solution

After living with the bags for a while I was completely happy with their usefulness. Their visual clutter…. not so much. We don’t have a comforter that reaches to ground so being able to see them under the bed was obnoxious. Enter my search for a bed skirt that didn’t remind me of something from a victorian home. Also, am I the only one that thinks of Bunny and the dust ruffle argument when bed skirts are brought up? Didn’t think so!

Underbed Storage Solution

Again, our bed being lower than average meant finding a suitable product took a little extra searching. If you have a standard height bed you can use one straight out of the package. Unfortunately this was not the case for us. They simply do not make bedskirts the right size for our height. So I ordered the closest size, trimmed, and hemmed it to fit. Hemming is one of the simplest sewing skills but easily one of the most useful for DIY projects. If you haven’t mastered this I promise its worth looking up a tutorial and/or practicing. It will open up the products you can use for projects significantly.

Underbed Storage Solution

With the 6 underbed bags and and 1 custom fit bedskirt we have completely upped our storage! The fact that you cant even tell we are using the space for storage is a total bonus as well!

Underbed Storage Solution

So what spaces have you used for secret storage? Have you converted your underbed real estate into useful space? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Underbed Storage Solution
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Lazy Gallery Wall

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Gallery walls are classic and I’ve used them somewhere in nearly every place we’ve lived! But all the measuring and math involved in the traditional way of hanging them is more work than I’m ever willing to do. Ever. Even the day I hung my thesis for our Senior Show I brought my paint stick(half this hack!) and finished hanging in minutes. And guess what? Not a single professor or photographer suggested any adjustments! So be lazy. Im giving permission. Ha! Or just consider yourself a bit more efficient because this guide to a lazy gallery wall will help get your art up in no time!

Lazy gallery wall

The wall beside our bed is totally basic but the space is open and perfect for something a bit oversized. After going through the stacks of canvases and framed photos we have left to hang I decided on a set I took in school. The photos are pieces of Q in his uniform a few years ago and they are still some of my absolute favorites. Plus, all the navy works perfect with our new palette! #winning

Ok, so the only measuring this requires is setting the mid-point. Which, I know(thank you art school) always gets placed at 58″ from the floor. I couldn’t tell you the science of why this is so esthetically pleasing but it works so I don’t mess with this measurement. This means the middle of your collection as a whole is placed at the 58″.

Lazy Gallery Walls

Once you find that midpoint(58″) slap a piece of painters tape up long enough to line your grouping. Use a tape the same width you want between your images since this is essentially your hanging guide. Add a piece that intersects your first guide at the horizontal midpoint(creating a T). Using a laser level to make sure these two pieces are well set and level. A little attention to detail on the first two will ensure the rest of the group is lined up well.

Lazy gallery wall

Use the old paint stick trick to hang your first frame. Start with the ones you want in the middle as you will be working your way out. This method of hanging makes it super easy to line up the edges of your frames with the tape guides. Once the first frame is set add your next piece of painters tape to the opposite side of the image(pictured). Again, these are your spacers! Continue working your way out and up. I promise your wall will come together in minutes. Really, minutes!

Lazy gallery wall

Before you pull the tape off your finished wall use a small amount of Blu-Tack to keep everything in place. Blu-Tack is a repositionable adhesive that will keep your frames perfectly lined up without leaving any residue on your paint or holes in your drywall. This really keeps your frames tightly lined up and it only takes a few seconds to place a dab behind each frame.

Lazy gallery wall

When everything is set simply peel off that painters tape(so gratifying!) and enjoy your perfectly placed gallery wall!

Lazy gallery wall

Lazy gallery wall

So have you installed a gallery wall lately? Used any tricks for hanging quickly? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Painted Fabric Chair

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We bought this chair from a Habitat For Humanity ReStore for dirt cheap. It was goldilocks scenario since the chairs that are most comfortable for me are rarely comfy for Q but somehow this one fit both of us! Only problem was the color. It was a really unattractive mauve with green dots and that just wasn’t going to work with everything else in our place. We bought the chair thinking we were going to reupholster it and quickly decided that was entirely way too much work. After a bit of research I planned on painting it… and then a whole year and a 3,000 mile move happened. Since I was getting down to business with the decor in the loft it was time to finally tackle the ugly pink chair. Luckily this painted fabric chair turned out better than even I expected.Painted Fabric Chair

See, if you search painted fabric chair(or furniture) you will get a ton of results and nearly all of them are done just a bit differently. Being that I’ve never painted any fabric furniture I just wanted to make sure two things happened. First, I wanted the fabric to stay soft and pliable. I mean whats the point of a comfy upholstered wingback chair makeover if it ends up a stiff mess? No point! Second, I wanted full coverage on that awful pink color! Side note: if this color is your jam and you make it work in your house more power to ya! But this is just simply not the case in the loft.

After pulling from a handful of tutorials I did the following to get some pretty fab results:

-Vacuum the chair thoroughly(esp. all those nooks and crannies!).

-Mix 1 part fabric medium with 2 parts interior paint.

-Spray the area you are painting with a light mist of water.

-Use a stiff brush to paint light coats over the entire chair. A smaller bristle brush is also helpful to get into all the creases and corners.

-Sand the surface in between coats(once completely dry) with fine grit sandpaper.

[After the first coat. Yes, it looks patchy and scary but just keep painting!]

Now comes the fun part! If your chair has a distinct texture like ours you can layer your paint to keep the textured design. This idea came to me after sanding the first layer. Because the sanding is what keeps the chair from getting stiff you always end the layer with sanding. This will expose a layer below the current top layer of paint and in doing so you will also accentuate any raised pattern or texture in the fabric.

 

Painted Fabric Chair

I started with a couple coats of classic silver and hand tinted the paint for the remaining layers. I went darker by adding a couple ounces of black paint which I measured out on a scale (so I could replicate it if need be). Once the final coat dried and I sanded it down the texture really popped. And still no sign of the ugly pink!

[before & after sanding]

This does add a more rustic or even shabby chic feel(which isn’t typically us) but in this space its going to fit right in! All the wood in our bedroom is raw or unfinished so another perfectly imperfect piece is totally making us happy!

So have you painted a fabric chair? Or any other fabric furniture? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Copper Pipe Plant Stand

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I recently saw a meme that read: plant lady is the new cat lady. First, I think this is hilarious. Second, Im absolutely on a path to crazy plant lady. I love my plants and our loft is slowly being converted to jungle status. No regrets! But having all these plants and pots around the house means I’ve searched and shopped just about every plant stand I can. I’ve bought a few locally, ordered a few online, scavenged a few, and now of course Im starting to DIY a few. And I started with this awesome copper pipe plant stand.

When we moved this last time we had a LOT of supplies left over from our home renovation. Some items we gave away, others we have been able to sell, and still others are lingering. This was the case with the copper pipes. We had 2 lengths of pipe left over from a water heater project and I’ve been waiting for the right DIY project to use them up. Which is how these two dilemmas came to be the perfect solution: copper pipe plant stand!

If you search Pinterest for plant stand DIYs you will find them made out of every material imaginable. But after reading through a couple pipe specific tutorials I kept coming up with the same issue…. no one uses the the entire lengths of pipe! This seemed nuts to me so I adjusted the measurements slightly and came up with two plant stand sizes that both use the entire 5 foot lengths of pipe.

Copper pipe plant stand

Each plant stand requires:

-1 5ft length of pipe

-8 tees

-8 caps

Glue(optional)

I measured, marked and cut the following lengths:

For the original stand:

-4 pieces 2” for inner frame

-4 pieces 2.5″ for outer frame

-4 pieces 3″ for top support

-4 pieces 7.5″ for legs

 

For a taller/slimmer stand:

-4 pieces 2″ for inner frame

-4 pieces 2″ for outer frame

-4 pieces 3″ for top support

-4 pieces 8″ for legs

Once everything was cut I simply connected the pieces with tees and added the caps to the ends. I read a couple tutorials that used glue or crimping tools to keep everything together but my pipes and fittings were pretty tight already so I skipped this step. Obviously if the fittings are loose or separate easily using a bit of glue is necessary. Lastly, I polished the whole stand with a cotton rag and a mix of lemon and salt. This mix really brought a shine back to the copper and helped remove the last bits of sticker residue. With the stands polished they are right at home with all the rose gold in the rest of the bedroom.

The measurements for this DIY can be rearranged and adjusted to accommodate any pot size and/or pipe length which is super convenient! Once you get the basic shape of this down I promise you will start thinking of other possible versions! So what plant stands are you loving at the moment? Have you gone DIY on your plant stands yet? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

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Rose Gold Accents

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Are you tired of hearing about rose gold yet? Trick question, thats not actually possible! I’ve been adding small rose gold accents to our master bedroom to tie together the last bits and I thought I’d share two quick projects.

First is a set of throw pillows. I bought these at Michaels before the new color palette for the loft bedroom had come into play. I still love the design and with a small tweak I knew they’d work on our bed.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I tackled these with a couple coats of acrylic paint by Martha Stewart Crafts. The color, of course, is Rose Gold. It might seem a little daunting to hand paint all the coral(or any other intricate design you have) but I promise its worth it! I turned on an audio book, poured a glass of wine, and painted these two super quick. If you like the adult coloring books that have recently become so popular you will love the repetition and mindless creativity of simply filling in the shapes.

Being that these were already printed in gold the change is not crazy drastic but I think you can see the difference in the side by side. I realize this is not the most innovative DIY you’ve probably ever seen online but thats not the point. Sometimes you have pieces in your home you love but they need updating or just a small creative tweak. Nine times out of ten, for me, this happens with a coat of paint. And these pillows are the perfect example of that.

 

Speaking of paint…. the second project is also a painted update! We’ve had these lamps for some time. They were inexpensive and simple and they have served us well. But they’re nickel/silver and you know the metallic in this room is (all together now!) ROSE GOLD! Ha! So I figured with a coat of paint they could stay and got to work.

   I cleaned these really well with a rag and some surface spray, masked off the important parts, and sprayed them in my favorite shade of Rose Gold. These took a good 3 coats but I spray super light to avoid drip marks. Once they were completely dry I fitted them with new lamp shades and … voila! New(to us) lamps that match our bedroom color palette!Rose Gold Accents

So what have you transformed with paint lately? Whats in your home that could use a painted makeover? You know I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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Bouquet Boxes

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Bouquet Box Before and After      Keepsakes. Memorabilia. Trinkets. Call them what you want but us sentimental types all agree they have personal value for so many reasons. I used to spend a large portion of my free time scrapbooking and obviously as a photographer my pictures and images are especially important to me. But what about the other “stuff”? Say… maybe… a bouquet from a special occasion? This last year Q and I renewed our wedding vows and I’ve been hanging on to my bouquets knowing I wanted to make them into more of a keepsake. I’ve seen several versions of shadow boxes out there for wedding bouquets but I wanted something more open(no glass) and stand alone(no stationary/invitations). Moving around some old canvases I noticed the frames are essentially the perfect size and shape for my version of a bouquet box!

Bouquet before.

The bouquets I put together myself(very long story) using artificial flowers so they’ve held up extremely well. And the real touch… sigh… if I had only known about this at my actual wedding! I tell every bride about these flowers because I have been that impressed. These are some next level blooms y’all!

*Side note: if you had a real flower bouquet you could still do this project! Just preserve the flowers first and take a little extra care when assembling and cleaning. Preserved flowers can be a bit fragile but absolutely gorge so totally worth it!

Bouquet Blooms

I stripped the blooms off the stems and separated most of the foliage. Once I had the blooms cut I just flipped over the canvas to see how many would fit and/or how many canvases they would fill. My bouquets filled two canvases(10″ and 12″). Obviously these were some well loved canvases…. Ha!Bouquet Box Canvases   I slapped a couple coats of Navy paint(sticking to my Navy/Rose Gold palette) on both sides of the canvases. No need to be concerned with any brush strokes, lumps, or bumps as the majority of the canvas is actually just  covered in flowers or facing a wall. These two were covered in hot glue, tags, and super thick coats of acrylic from a project too old for me to remember! But hey, extra points for upcycling old supplies right?

Bouquet Box Assembly    Once the paint dried I simply hot glued the blooms into place. I anchored a couple blooms to the sides and the rest were attached straight to the fabric. Also, I added in the shell picks and some faux coral. Which, of course, I hit with a couple coats of my favorite Rose Gold spray paint. Our master bedroom has a few beach touches (and we renewed our vows on the beach!) so I liked sneaking in a few extra beach elements.  When everything was set and dried I just cut a couple lengths of rope, knotted the ends, and tacked them on with tiny finishing nails.

The corner of our loft/master bedroom has a small sitting area which is totally a work in progress. I’ve slowly been adding pieces and testing items… but Ive got a few big ideas brewing so I’m sure this will be changing. For now, the bouquet boxes were the perfect wall art for the area. They have only been hanging a couple days but they make me smile every time I come up the stairs!

So what keepsakes have you decorated with? Did your wedding or renewal bouquet get upcycled? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! Happy Friday peeps!

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MALM Nightstand Hack

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I used to hate that old saying “better late than never”. Well, to be honest, I truly can’t stand when people aren’t punctual(thanks Pops!) but when it comes to hacks I’m all for it! Ikea hacks that is. I know, I know, people have been hacking Ikea goods for probably as long as the place has been churning out affordable furniture but I’d never joined the party. And while I’ve bought plenty of Ikea furniture over the years its  never been with the intention of pulling off a hack from the get go. That is, until this move. Until this Ikea ‘As-Is’ section. Until this MALM nightstand hack.

NightstandBA (3)

If you’ve been reading these posts a while you will remember our Ikea haul that maxed out our Prius packing capabilities(above). Hidden in that pile of discounted goods were two beat up MALM nightstands priced at a whopping $27. We may have knack for finding crazy as-is deals(what can I say?!). These guys are normally around $55 each and seeing the pair marked down so much with what I considered strictly cosmetic issues I threw them on our cart as quickly as possible.

After rolling around a few color schemes for our new bedroom space I decided on a Navy // Rosegold // Beachwood combo. With that in mind I skimmed the chalk paint color selection and grabbed a container of FolkArt Home Decor in the color Nautical. The label looked pretty close to the shade I was going for but after I swatched it I realized it was way too light(closer to a royal blue?). So I grabbed the  container of Rich black and started mixing. After 2 coats of paint, 1 coat of Wax, and 20 minutes of elbow grease buffing these looked good as better than new!

KreatingHome_Nightstand-3

*Side note: if you’re mixing a custom color its really helpful to weigh it as you go. I use our little digital kitchen scale and and write down the “recipe” as I go. This way I can mix as I go and when you’re covering larger areas like furniture you can duplicate your shade over and over again as needed. The final color came out to about 3 parts blue and 1 part black.

Now to the hardware! I’ve used these simple pulls for other projects in the past and loved them. I knew I wanted to use them again to keep the look pretty clean. Plus, you cant grab the multi pack of 10 which is great because I have plans for the other 6 handles(more on that later). I’d been lusting after all the gorgeous rose gold hardware floating around Pinterest for some time but after seeing a couple price tags(who pays this much for handles??) decided I could get the same look with some good ol’ spray paint.

NightstandBA (1)

I started off with the Valspar Rose Gold since it was so highly recommended online. This was great on coverage and it did have a rosey hue but I like my Rose Gold pushing the line on Copper so I went in search of something else. Now looking at the Dusty Pink by Krylon you would think this is going to come out straight Pink sans any Gold but NOPE! It came out in my dream color mashup of Copper and Rose Gold(que the spray paint angels singing! Ahhhhh!). You can see the difference pretty well below. The right has just one coat of the Valspar and the Left has the additionally coat of Krylon:

NightstandBA (2)

I know I have been blowing up my social media with a lot of #chalkpaint but I’m still totally in love. Get used to it peeps! Any product that has this kind of coverage and staying power without me having to sand a single square inch is here to STAY! This covered all the scrapes and scratches these floor models had and made it look like part of the wood grain. And again: NO SANDING!

KreatingHome_Nightstand-8

We talked about adding feet/legs(and we may still) but for now we are loving these new-to-us nightstands! So have you intentionally hacked any Ikea goods? Done a nightstand makeover? Tell me all about peeps!

MALM Nightstand Hack
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