Some News! And Some More News!

Long time, no post. Sorry, fam! Fell into the black hole that is Bar exam prep.

But I'm back

and with plenty exciting news to share!

My first bit of news has me over the moon: Oxford Invitation magazine will be featuring a piece on my blog and my renovation over the past year! I completed the interview portion, and they will be photographing my house next week. (Squee!)

As for the second development, I am excited (and admittedly a bit nervous) to be moving soon! Very soon. Like really, really soon. As some of you may know, I have been battling some health problems since early December. Ultimately it became evident the source is likely the black mold in my house. I informed my landlord several months ago, and while she has continually repeated that it would be taken care of, nothing has. Therefore, I have to move out of the house for the sake of my health and the health of my dogs. My parents have offered to let us stay with them in Bay St. Louis. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!)

Now, for the interactive portion of the hour! In preparation for the move, I am liquidating my belongings as much as possible because I am lazy and don't want to move it all. I plan to have a big yard sale next weekend (March 25-27). I will update with specifics later. Additionally, I will be posting some bigger items, such as furniture here for you to scrutinize, decide to purchase, and come make my move a little easier. 

Moving and shaking. Things will be crazy for the next few weeks, but I am confident that only good things lie ahead. 

Onto the next chapter!

Be well, my friends.

FKJ

Remix + Rearrange to Refresh

Bring New Life to Any Room—That Will Cost You Nothing

NOW THAT I'VE REARRANGED MY BEDROOM IN ITS NEW LAYOUT, I WISH I HAD DONE THIS MONTHS AGO! I FREED UP SO MUCH FLOOR SPACE AND IT STILL SOMEHOW FEELS EVEN WARMER+COZIER (BUT STILL VIBRANT AND INVITING).

FKJ Quarters.

Before

I was originally inspired just to turn my bed. And then I thought…

Before, I had my dresser too far to the right on the wall, as it prevented my bedroom door from opening all the way, which made it feel a little more cramped.

Can't believe I endure this setup for that long! For shame.

No bueno.

It's made even worse by the closet door, which is only another two feet away and swings open in the same direction. Major traffic jam! So, I took the chair away that was to the left of the dresser in order to scoot it down some. 

Now—what to do with the chair?

I decided to place a serving tray on it and make it into a nightstand. It houses a few books, an alarm clock, and a floral arrangement.

But I already had two nightstands, ugh! What now? I took away the ladder bookcase that was previously on the left side of the bed and allowed my mirrored nightstand (which was on the other side of the bed) to take its place; and the chair+serving chair took the vacant spot of the mirrored nightstand. 

Anything you want can be a nightstand, as far as I'm concerned.

Trays and Candles and Succulents--Oh My!

I opened my bedroom door (which should really stay open at all times anyway, as these old doors have been known to jam on me and hold me captive in a room or two..) and in front of the door went the ladder bookcase.

 

 

 

 

After angling the bed in the (more or less) center of the room, it created a dead space in the triangular nook behind the headboard and nightstand. Solution: I dragged in my 6' tall Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree. It's very full too, so it did an apt job of filling the visual space width-wise, as well.

 

 

 

 

A few more shifts and swapping of accessories (I pulled accessories from rooms all over my house—living, dining, and even the foyer) and decor, and I am very pleased with this [zero-cost] revamping. Hopefully this will tide me over for a while.


Freshen Up Where You Freshen Up

Your bathroom should make you feel clean, make you feel fresh, and make you feel relaxed. Think "Spa" (but for budget).

Your bathroom should make you feel clean, make you feel fresh, and make you feel relaxed. Think "Spa" (but for budget).

Okay, here's where we started:

Hi, Mom.

Hi, Mom.

My new found love are these vinyl stick tiles. Weighing in at only $0.69 per square foot. So easy. No mess. So cheap. So easy. Did I mention easy? 

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Because the commode and vanity had to be removed In order to do the floors, we went ahead and decided to update those as well. 

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Demolition day. Ripped that vanity off the wall and was never so happy to be so exhausted.

Before you can begin installing the floor, it must be clean as a whistle in order to stick. After several mops with no luck, I poured paint stripper over the entire floor. 

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And voila. 

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Knocked the floor out in no time. But the tone/style of the tiles (not my first choice but within my landlord's budget) desperately warranted a change of wall color. Instantly I knew I wanted to go for a slate blue.

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Not ten seconds into looking at the wall color choices, I landed on Behr's Dark Winter Sky Blue.

I also decided to rip out the old, rusted medicine cabinet. Good riddance.

Instead of purchasing new light fixtures, I simply painted the old ones.

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More painting.

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This was a terribly lonely hour:

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There was also this questionable shelf above the commode, which had been painted over and over approximately 17,000 times. Had to go.

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I made a new floating shelf, which really freshened it up.

If I were the owner and it were my choice, I would have opted for a larger vanity; there is plenty space for one. However, because it's not very big, I utilized other options for storage.


Rolling towels versus folding creates more storage. Hooks are also especially useful, and I prefer them to towel racks. The option of using several hooks versus one towel rack is far superior.

Rolling towels versus folding creates more storage. Hooks are also especially useful, and I prefer them to towel racks. The option of using several hooks versus one towel rack is far superior.

I put a small cabinet in the corner. It was just wasted dead space before and now provides plenty of storage, not to mention a shelf, which is great because the vanity has limited counter space.

I put a small cabinet in the corner. It was just wasted dead space before and now provides plenty of storage, not to mention a shelf, which is great because the vanity has limited counter space.

There are still a few things I need to address:

I'd like to give the door another fresh coat of white paint.

I'm still undecided (mostly tired) on whether I should paint (yet again) the top portion of the wall space.

And the boring wall space to the left of the floating shelf needs a little something, likely a set of multiple small art pieces/mirrors.

Minor detail, but I switched out the old [painted over] brass knobs on the door for glass ones. Class up the joint.

I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out.

Happy Drilljoying, and Stay Fresh,

FKJ

DIY Metal Leaf Coffee Table

Transform an ordinary cofee table into something eye-catching using metal leaf. 

A glass coffee table is timeless and is particularly useful in making smaller living rooms look bigger.


I snagged this pretty generic one off Amazon for way cheap. I do like the extra shelf at the bottom.


Prior to assembling, I spray painted the metal legs gold (just in case I missed any spots in applying the metal leaf). I recommend Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Color Spray (in Gold).

After it has dried completely, you may assemble and begin applying the metal leaf.


You shouldn't need more than just a few sheets of metal leaf. Most can be purchased with 25 sheets per pack, which is plenty.

I originally intended to just do gold, but I had some copper and silver left over from some other projects so I applied all three.

 

 

You also need metal leaf adhesive. I sometimes like the spray, but it can get everywhere. You may be able to avoid this problem by placing a drop cloth under the table as you work.


Using a paintbrush (or foam brush, sponge, etc.), apply the adhesive to the legs. I suggest waiting a couple minutes for the adhesive to get tacky before applying the metal leaf.  

To apply the gold leaf, take one sheet at a time, wrap it around all sides of the leg, pressing down. 

Be prepared for it to tear, which is fine; tears will give a more antiqued and, quite frankly, beautiful look. You can use the smaller pieces that tore away to fill in any gaps.

Repeat this process until the surface area of the legs are covered (to your liking). 

Once dry, I used a soft brush to wipe away any excess metal leaf.


Last step is your sealer. Like the adhesive, this is available in spray form as well.

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And there you have it! A totally awesome and custom coffee table!

From this to this!

Unique Finds Serve(d) Here

Because the dining room is such a focal point in this house, I have enjoyed finding antique or unique serving dishes.


This has got to be the coolest, most beautiful butter dish on the planet, right? It comes from Alison Evans (Ae Ceramics) of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, who creates one-of-a-kind dishware using a two-step process that produces crystals in the pottery.


A gift from a house guest and dear friend, this piece is particularly meaningful to me. It has the added bonus of being locally made by a widely praised artist. Additionally, it ties in some of the peacock-like colors found in the adjoining living area.


Spotted at a garage sale, I thought this was such a uniquely beautiful plate, and at only $6, couldn't go wrong.


My heart stopped when I saw this pineapple salt and pepper shaker set. Rose bud-studded and metallic gold accent make these one of my very favorite thrift store purchases ever.


Made in Portugal, I find this oversized serving dish is perfect for cuddling up in and taking naps post-meal.


A contender for score of the decade, I still can't believe I snagged this 6-piece set of china on eBay for the bargain price of $15.


Though not technically in the dining room, this bright wall-mounted fish plate in my kitchen echoes the fish bone painting in the living room. 

Nice Stems

Upgrade the look of your furniture by adding legs, which can go a long way in making inexpensive pieces look like they cost way more than they did.

Unfortunately I don't have a good before photo, so we'll have to go with the stock image from my mother's order confirmation email. Did I mention this piece was a housewarming gift?

And to go with each leg, you'll need the proper accessories. Added six Heavy Duty Top Plates (model #2755) to my cart.

After the paint has dried, you are ready to begin the fun [read: use your drill].

Start by rolling the piece of furniture onto whichever side will allow you to work most easily. While holding your top plate, mark the spots where you are to drill. (The top plates usually come with screws.)

After making your holes, simply affix the plate using the screws. Then attach the legs to the top plate, which screw in.

After you have installed all four, six, or seventeen furniture legs, flip your furniture right side up, and ta-da. Fancy schmancy. And that wasn't so tough.

Enjoy getting leggy and happy drilljoying!

 

FKJ

Spray Painting 101

Seeing as how I've painted over 99% of my home at this point and at least half of that has been in the form of spray paint, I figured I'd pass along a few pointers on how to make your spray paint job look its very best.

Safety first! For any spray paint job, you need to be working in a well-ventilated area and wearing one of these bad boys—a respirator. Mine is by 3M.

Plus you look really cool wearing it.

Before I start, I clean the object with rubbing alcohol. Especially glass! (Did you know you can spray paint glass?) 

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I never spray paint anything without tack cloth on hand! In between coats it removes the fuzzies. 

A nice smooth surface us the difference between looking homemade versus professional. Tack cloth is the answer.

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If you're doing a big project, these spray grips will save your finger. It turns your aerosol can into a spray gun. Genius. And at less than three bucks a pop, why would you not utilize this awesome accessory?

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And finally, I always have cans of this stuff around. Rust-Oleum's general purpose clear gloss seals your paint job and gives a glossy finish.

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Nailed It

My love for nailhead trim on upholstered furniture rivals that of my love of the color gold. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to add nailhead trim to your own furniture for just that oh-so-elegant bit of detail!

I highly recommend using the nailhead trim strips. Hammering them in one-by-one is miserable, so this is a much superior alternative, I've found:

You can pick up 5 yards of nailhead trim for around $15, depending on the color:

I personally hated this gold when it arrived, so I decided to alter it. I found a genius way of spray painting the nails--by holding them in place using an air filter:

After it has dried, place furniture on on its back to begin applying the nailhead trim:

It's incredibly easy—all you have to do is hammer in a nail every 5 spots.

For this chair, I chose just to do the arms.

And there you have it! This chair only took 2 yards, or about $6 worth of trim! I have enough left over to do another.

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Small effort, big difference.

Wifi The Way God Intended It

Wifi is to be used--tirelessly and shamefully, yes--but never to be seen. At least in my opinion.

If you too are in the eye-sore-hating business, I may just be your new best friend. You can use a document box (or cut out an old book) to hide that ungodly router.

Game-changer.

All you have to do is cut a nifty little hole through the back, through which you'll feed the cords, and ta-da!

Never to be seen again. Doing Jesus's work here.

Happy hiding,

 

FKJ