A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Houzz // Vinegar and Voilà: Clean Your House the Natural Way

Many homeowners strive for a healthier home — whether that means choosing ecofriendly materials for a remodel or greener products for everyday life. For me, finding healthier, more effective and budget-friendly cleaning alternatives is at the top of my list. Fortunately, effective nontoxic options have been around for centuries. Many of these cleaners, including vinegar, are already in your closet.

Vinegar is one of the most versatile and effective household cleaners. At pennies per ounce, it's also one of the most inexpensive cleaners on the market. Simply mix 1 cup of water and ¼ cup distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. This basic mixture can be used for most cleaning chores, with additional natural elements added to tackle tougher jobs. 

Check out my latest Houzz ideabook for a full rundown of ways to use vinegar in every room of your home and feel free to share your tips in the comments section.

Disclaimer:  As a Contributor for Houzz, I have been compensated for any Ideabooks featured on Houzz, although I am not compensated for sharing Houzz Ideabooks on Revamp Homegoods.  All opinions expressed here are that of the writer and are in no way influenced by Houzz.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Curb Appeal // DIY Porch Columns

Talk about a slow transformation - the front of our house has gotten little attention until recently.  We replaced the posts and porch before we moved in but didn't give the front a second thought until a few weeks ago when I updated the porch lamp, stained the new/old porch and painted the exterior.  There's still a lot to tackle, so I took an overcast day to scratch one of them off of our to-do list.

We have two treated 4x6 posts supporting our porch roof.  Since their installation, they've just been the orange-reddish shade of treated lumber and it looked absolutely awful.  A few weeks ago I gave them a coat of white paint, which made them look better from afar, but not so much up close.  I've been wanting to wrap the posts to cover the punctured look of the treated wood and beef them up to create two architectural columns but was putting it off until we stained the porch.  With that out of the way, I was finally free to get this project started.  Unfortunately, I was on my own because Josh is in Alaska for the next few weeks.

I'm not always the safest DIY'er - I'm a little spontaneous when it comes to projects.  As soon as I think of something, I want to get started on it right away and I don't want to be hindered by having to run to the store for safety equipment like eyewear and masks.  Luckily, I had everything on hand from 3MDIY.com to safely transform our support posts into beefy columns.

Here's what I used:

First, I removed the gutters from the posts and set them aside, along with the mounting hardware.

Using a pry bar, I removed the old header board which was too small for what I wanted, plus it had seen better days.  Look at me being all safe and serious...lucky for me that I wore the safety glasses because there was all sorts of dirt and debris falling out from underneath the header.

I kept the old header handy to use as a template for the new header, then used the miter saw to cut the angled ends.

Making sure the header was level, I secured it in place with a nail gun.  Next, I started on the post wraps by measuring each side from the top of the post to where the post meets the porch.  I leave about 1/4" gap between the end of the wrap and the porch for drainage.  As I mentioned, our posts are 4x6s so I started with the widest sides first.

Then I attached the front and back boards, which overlapped the sides leaving a slight reveal.  The following photo shows a finished column on the left and the post on the right.

I finished up the second post and then added a 1x2 board to the header.

Since I was using primed wood and planned to paint the columns white, I used 3Mwood filler in white and filled all of the nail holes.  I also caulked the spaces where each board met to seal it against water.  After the wood filler & caulk had dried, I lightly sanded each spot using the 3M™ sandpaper to smooth it out and remove any extra filler.

Lastly, I broke out the painting supplies.  I used the drop cloth to save our porch from any wayward drops of paint and used Scotch Blue tape around the bottom of each column.

A few hours out of my day and our porch is starting to look amazing!  I'm still thinking of adding trim to the bottom of each column just to give it one more detail.  And I still need to finish painting the porch ceiling, gutters and rafters - and plant those dang plants!  So many things to do...

There's still lots of work to be done out front - add window boxes & shutters, replace our street numbers with a larger more contemporary style, paint the door, and add landscaping, plus....I really need to mow again!  But check out the before and progress...this little house has come a long way.

So what about you guys?  Do you keep yourself safe when working on projects?  What ways are you sprucing up your exterior this summer?

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This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Linking Up:
Liz Marie Blog


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Flea Market Decor Magazine Feature: DIY Ottoman Revamp

There's something very fulfilling about taking a discarded piece of furniture and giving it new life.  Remember that thrifted ottoman I revamped with some spray paint and new fabric?  No, well grab the latest issue of Flea Market Decor for a refresher.  That's right!  This girl is back in the pages of a magazine!

There's also something equally fulfilling about seeing yourself in print.  I guess that's why Oprah puts herself on the cover of her mag every month...good thinking Lady O.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Move Over Big Brother: Shared Bedroom Inspiration

With less than four months until baby #2 makes its arrival, I am in full-fledged nesting mode.  Our kitchen/nook is nearly finished and will be the perfect space for our growing family, however we still have work to do on Luke's room.  He's going to be making some room for baby brother (yay!  we're having another boy!)

I love the idea of shared rooms where the boys will laugh, fight and bond together - although, the kids may not agree.  At one time growing up, my sister, brother and I all shared a room.  It was always a disaster with our ninja turtles, barbies and matchbox cars cluttering the space but some of the fondest memories were made in that overcrowded room.  How will we make it work for two children that will be roughly 39 months apart in age?

Our plan is to build a bunkbed which will give us maximum amount of floor space perfect for playtime.  The bed will also transition from baby to big kid as our newest little bundle grows so the top bunk will be reserved for Luke and the bottom bunk will be replaced by a crib during the first year.  Here's a few of the inspiration shots that have me doing the truffle shuffle which is pretty much the only dance I can manage at this point.


{VIA - Roberto Gil Furniture Design}


Monday, July 8, 2013

Curb Appeal // A Porch Makeover - A Year and A Half In The Making

Our front porch finally got a makeover and oh boy, what a difference it made!  I'm sure it would have looked great with just a fresh exterior paint job, or new stain on the deck, freshening the lamp or adding some greenery and an updated rug, but the combination of all of them made it all that much more pleasing.

Sometimes there are projects that I think of and get to work on immediately - others sit in my mind for years before I start on them.  Our porch is definitely one of the latter.  We replaced the old rotting front porch when we moved into the house (actually, before we had even closed...it was a weird situation where we had to do some updates before our bank would sign off.  I'm still frustrated that WE had to do the work, but whatevs.)  Our new porch was a pretty cedar that, once built, was pretty much neglected.  No stain, no paint - nothing.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Luke's Room Featured on Apartment Therapy

Man, I love room transformations - and this is one of my favorites.  Remember when I took Luke's room from boring to fun last summer?  Well, it's being featured over at Apartment Therapy today

I still love this room - and it's still exactly as it was a year or so ago (after I mounted the magnetic board) but that's all about to change.  Our two boys (yes, there's another fun little boy on its way!) will be sharing this room.  We have some fun updates in the works (like a bunkbed similar to this or this) to utilize the space and make it perfect for both an infant and toddler, so stay tuned!

Until then, just jump on over to AT and see Luke's room in all its glory.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

How To Pick The Right Exterior Paint Color For Your Home

These days I feel like I have a paint brush and roller glued to my hands...oh, what I wouldn't give for bionic painting hands!  I'm hard at work putting the finishing touches on our mudroom/kitchen reno and if that wasn't enough I decided to paint the exterior in my downtime.  Why did I decide to take on two massive projects at once?  Well, I'm crazy....and impatient.  Plus, I picked up my Clark + Kensington paint a few weeks back (in Ace Hardware's Seal Point) and it's been calling me from the shed ever since.

Exterior Paint "Seal Point" by Ace Hardware - Progress...still have trim and a few walls to finish.

Ace Hardware offered me the opportunity to try out their new line of premium paint - Clark + Kensington.  Picking the project was easy - the paint color, that was another story.  Choosing paint colors is a daunting task.  It's one thing to make the wrong decision and have to repaint (like I did here), but it's a whole 'nother problem when it's a huge project like the exterior of your house.  Knowing what will work for your home and style and making the right decision will save you time, money and a few gray hairs.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beadboard / Board & Batten DIY Reveal & How-To

This bathroom started as a basic builder's grade shell with beige tile floors, beige tile shower and beige walls.  We are still rocking the beige but we've added a fresh update to break up the monotone color and give the room a bit of texture and character.

Let's just go back in time a bit - back to late 2011 when we stepped foot into this little fixer upper, looked around and thought...yep, this one is it.  Our little house was pretty boring - actually extremely boring.  The walls and ceilings were a cream color - the carpet, brown - and the bathroom...well, the bathroom was nearly beige from floor to ceiling.
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