basement update {hopefully the last!}

There has been a lot of progress on the basement over the last week. After some heavy rains we had some water which was totally unrelated to the flood in the summer caused by a loose valve. Luckily we had not put the floor down yet before this latest bit of water. We decided to avoid this situation in the future by installing a sump pump. A hole was dug in the corner where water always seems to be a problem. The three foot deep basin was then installed. The next morning when our contractor went to work on it again there was already 9 inches of water inside! The sump pump has a backup battery just in case our power goes out so we feel pretty covered. 
The floor was then put down which right away made it feel like a lived in space again. Everything was covered and taped up for the board and batten and built-ins to be sprayed. They sprayed one coat and will come back today to spray the last one. 

After that all that is left is a good thorough cleaning and my basement is done!

the sectional versus sofa debate…

After our basement flooded we lost everything down there. We were able to salvage some photo albums and our Christmas ornaments, which were really the only things I was concerned about. Some sentimental toys were lost but everything else is just stuff that either won’t be missed or can easily be replaced.
One item we really need to replace is the sofa. While work is still ongoing down there I’ve started shopping for some comfortable seating and find myself going back and forth between a sectional and a sofa. 
via Pottery Barn
Sectionals look so cozy and comfortable. We are a family of five so all of us could fit on one. Movie nights would not mean a mad dash to the basement to claim a seat! The only problem with sectionals is that they are huge and not very versatile. You pick your configuration based on your room and then you are stuck. I like moving things around so I’m not sure if this would be the best solution. I’m not even sure I could find one that would fit.
via Pottery Barn
Sofa’s are a safe option. I could add a chair or two, move the sofa around and not be boxed in with a configuration or setup. Since rearranging is my thing I could rearrange to my hearts’ content. A polyester fabric is a must since this is the family room. Don’t even get me started on the “to slipcover or not to slipcover” debate. One step at a time. 
Have you recently furnished a family or living room. Did you go the sectional route or the sofa route. I’d love to hear some pro’s and con’s!

DIY Magnetic Board

After painting over my kitchen I was left with a blank wall next to the back door. My kids love to draw and are always hanging things up on the side of the fridge. We have a stainless steel fridge that is not magnetic which is fine with me. The only problem is you can’t see their work on the side of the fridge and it always falls off as someone brushes by it. I wanted to create a magnetic board so they could show off their latest accomplishments from artwork, to good grades to swimming awards. I contemplated using magnetic paint but read too many reviews where it just didn’t seem to work. 
I settled on galvanized steel but wasn’t too thrilled with the look of it. I didn’t want the new magnetic board to scream cold hard metal. First I thought I’d cover the steel in fabric but nixed that idea since it would busy up my new rustic industrial kitchen look. On the off chance that my busy creators got a little less busy I didn’t want an empty board sitting there. I decided to blend it in with my wall. I’d be spray painting it white so the magnetic board would not be too visible.
I picked up a 24 inch by 36 inch sheet of galvanized steel at the hardware store for about $17. This would be screwed directly into the studs in my wall. I located the studs and marked them with pencil. I then pre-drilled into the studs in three places across the wall, making sure it fit the galvanized steel first. I also made sure the holes were straight and level. 
diy magnetic board
diy magnetic board
I then lined up where the holes in the studs were and marked one inch down on the steel. I double checked that the marks were level again. I would be predrilling through the steel as well. 
diy magnetic board
Once I had the three holes marked I used my drill bit to drill through. I choose to do the top row first. Since it was so easy to drill through, I would add whatever other holes I needed once the board was up.
diy magnetic board

I then took my galvanized steel outside and started multiple light layers of white spray paint (meant for metal surfaces). I must have done about 4 coats total. 
diy magnetic board

diy magnetic board

Once it was dry I attached the magnetic board to the wall using stud screws with white tips. After the top three predrilled holes were secured I added some more. It was very easy to use the drill bit and drill through the galvanized steel and the wall stud all at once. Within 10 minutes I had my magnetic board up and secured.

diy magnetic board

diy magnetic board

diy magnetic board

It blends in well with the wall and keeps with the look of the rest of the kitchen. I can have just one item up there and it doesn’t like like a big old empty board. 

My kids then went to town adding their latest and greatest. In my mind it was supposed to be a colorful but not too cluttered magnetic board. Something like this…

diy magnetic board
diy magnetic board
It actually looks a bit more like this. Busier, colorful and constantly being added onto! My kids love that there is plenty of room to add whatever they are proud of at the moment. 

diy magnetic board
The next project is going to have to be some magnets. We always get a magnet when we go on a trip somewhere but I’m looking for some great ideas for magnets to make with kids. Feel free to leave some ideas in the comments below!

Holiday Entertaining and a $500 Wayfair Giftcard Giveaway!

With the holidays just around the corner it is time to start thinking about guests. Whether someone is staying overnight, for a party, or even just for five minutes you want your home ready. With some help from Wayfair I am highlighting some items that keeps your guests happy and your parties hopping!

1. Starting at the front door, greet your guests with a gorgeous wreath. Add your own personal  
    touches with ribbon or ornaments to show your style.

2. Decorate your mantle or tabletops with anything from candles to bells. Get some more great
    decorating ideas here.
3. Add a tabletop tree to your front entryway, your buffet or anywhere it can be admired.
4. Don’t forget the big tree! Select some new decorations and blend them in with your old ones.
5. Festive throw pillows are an easy addition to any chair or sofa. 
6. Of course, no chair or sofa is complete in the wintertime without a cozy throw!
7. Bring your guests in from the cold.  Serve them something a hot drink in mugs that are just for
    the holiday season.
8. Make your hostessing duties a little easier with the addition of a Keurig coffee maker. 
9. Since the Keurig can make hot cocoa as well get some fun mugs for the little ones!
10. Are your guests staying overnight? This beautiful headboard is a great addition to any guest
11. Let guests feel right at home with some cozy slippers left in their room.

12. Last but not least, send them home with a personalized gift for their own home.

Wayfair is in the holiday mood and offering a giveaway in the form of a $500 Wayfair Giftcard! Enter the Rafflecopter below and include a link to a Wayfair product, maybe even one of the examples I’ve shown you above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! This giveaway ends on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Wayfair. All opinions are my own.

eye candy {sunken rooms}

I might not have plans to finish my kitchen anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about how I will do it. Besides the kitchen I’m hoping to finish off our three season porch and make it part of the kitchen by extension. In my head it is a multifunctional room. It would have a work area with computer and storage as well as a sitting area. You could easily chat with the person at the sink, curl up and read a book, or access the back yard. This new room even has its’ own Pinterest board.  
The sunroom is currently raised off the ground with no foundation underneath. I’d love to rebuild it closer to the ground since we will probably need to add a foundation and insulation. This would then mean that you’d have to take three or four steps down from the kitchen to the new sunken room.  Sunken rooms add an unexpected twist to a floor plan. They can be a cozy spot in any area of the house. Here are some examples…

via cote de texas

via decoist

via decorpad

via decorpad
via hgtv

via homebunch

via house & home

via houzz

via houzz

via houzz

via houzz

via houzz
via IKEA

via molly frey design

via nj estates

via sf girl by bay

via smitten studio online

via south shore decorating

another basement update…

So I stated a while back that my basement would be done by Thanksgiving. I was wrong and I jinxed myself. It still looks like this…

As I wait for a visit from my contractor to finish up the flooring and some minor details I have made some behind the scenes progress. A sofa has been selected along with an ottoman. Pillows are on the way as well. I’m going with the gray for the sofa, the striped teal fabric for the ottoman and the pattern for the pillows. Much more information on that to come.

In addition to the furniture this rug is currently rolled up in my dining room…

So I’m chomping at the bit to put it all together. I’m not giving out any more completion dates although I have one in my head. I just won’t say it out loud. Ho, ho, ho.

gray sofa on a gray rug…

The basement is still not done (yes, I jinxed myself) but I am planning ahead. I get to start all over with the loss of all the furniture we had in that room. For now this means a new rug and sofa. I’m starting to pull together ideas for what I’d like it to look like. I don’t want a sofa that dictates the room and I want to make sure the rug follows those rules as well. I’m leaning towards a gray sofa on a gray rug. Sounds boring, right? 
With the addition of accent pillows, accent furniture and other accessories, you can keep that combination from looking too bland. Here are some of the rooms that I’ve been looking at for inspiration…

via bassett furniture

via bdg style

via decor pad

via houzz

via my home ideas

via the every girl

via white house black shutters

kitchen table ideas…

My new project to make a large kitchen table all began with this…

via Lorimer Workshop
I did a search for tables with metal bases, found this and was hooked. My version will be DIY and hopeful stay within a realistic budget. My end result might not be exactly that table but in the general area. I was doing some shopping with my sister in law this weekend and saw this…

It is the Rialto Table from Boston Interiors and is perfect for the look I’m going for. Rustic wood top with an Industrial black metal base. They wouldn’t just sell me the base. I asked.

Rialto Table via Boston Interiors

Then there is the Wayfair version…

Stone County Ironworks Ranch Dining Table
or the World Market version of what I’d like…
World Market Jefferson Table
West Elm has one too. A little more geometric than what I’m looking for but the same idea…
West Elm Geometri Base Dining Table
You can see some more of what I’m thinking on this Pinterest board or even this one. I have a couple different options for the base between Craigslist, IKEA and Etsy. For the wood top I’m going back and forth between planked wood and butcher block. Something that will take the wear and tear of breakfast, lunch, homework and dinner!  I’d love some opinions…

installing baseboard molding…

After I painted my entire kitchen over with a nice refreshing shade of white I had another addition to make to the walls. Since removing the kitchen cabinets in order to create a family command center I had some walls in need of baseboard molding. 

installing baseboad molding

I started by removing some additional molding at the outer corner. With the help of a chisel, a hammer and a crowbar this was a quick and easy job. 
installing baseboad molding

installing baseboad molding

installing baseboad molding

installing baseboad molding

installing baseboad molding

There was some messy crumbling of cement and plaster but with some new tall baseboard it would be easy to hide. I bought some 4 inch primed baseboard to cover all those little holes and measured out my cuts. I needed three separate pieces so I measured each making sure to mark where the 45 degree angles for the corners would be.  Then I used a tool. That’s right, I now own a tool. 

installing baseboad molding
Black + Decker kindly sent me a Lithium Battery Circular Saw to try out. It was very easy to use considering I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to power tools. I made the angled cuts for the corners as well as the straight ones for the ends. You can easily adjust the angles and depth of your cut. I loved the size of it as well. Not too big and not too small. It is the perfect start to my DIY tool arsenal!
installing baseboad molding

installing baseboad molding
installing baseboad molding
Once my three pieces were cut I used a nail gun to set them into place. Any gaps and holes were filled in with wood filler. I then added a coat of paint (I used the same paint as the rest of the trim in my kitchen) and let them dry. 

installing baseboad molding
installing baseboad molding

Here is a before and after to show the difference some baseboard molding can make!
installing baseboard molding
installing baseboard molding
…and after

This corner has one more project left. Since my basement is being worked on and electricians will be on hand I’m having them recess the outlet into the wall. This will hopefully be done next week. Then I can say my kitchen command center is officially done!

Thank you to Black + Decker for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.