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IKEA Lenda Curtain Hack | DIY

I like working wall-by-wall.  It's a little less overwhelming than trying to tackle an entire room at once, not really knowing where in the heck to start.  So, during the current #letsroomtogether challenge, I really wanted to chip away at the to-do list for the whole living room but in three weeks?  It wasn't all going to happen.  You should see my list.  HA!  But, I knew we could probably hammer out this one wall.


And we did...ok, we almost did.  There's still some german shmearing and a new mantel to be had but, we made good progress in three weeks and are even farther considering what it looked like before we moved in:


Within that year and a half, we scraped and painted the popcorn ceilings, painted trim and walls, and hung some curtains.  It looked like this a few weeks before we started the challenge:

A Shady Ordeal

I recently played musical lamps and moved the big lamps from our living room (one was currently living on the piano) into our bedroom.  (I thrifted them years ago and we've had them in each living room ever since.  One year, I even painted them!)  We've had mismatched lamps in our bedroom for a good long while now and I just got to the end of my tolerance with it.  In the past few months we've acquired new (to us) curtains, a new rug, new pillows, and a new quilt and if you're anything like me, you'll understand that you can't make everything else look good and not remedy the lamp situation.  It'd be a travesty.  ;)

So, lamps?  Moved.  Great except they had these massive shades on them that didn't look so bad in a living room but in a bedroom on a side table?  They were just too big.  The hunt was on to find some smaller shades.  But, it wasn't an easy one and only took me oh, a couple of months.  Sure, I could've gone to the nearest retail store and grabbed a pair for whatever price they were but that's just not how I roll.  I kept my eyes peeled at Dirt Cheap forever but two of the same just never turned up.   

Within those couple of months, I also went to TJ Maxx, Walmart, World Market, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, Marshall's, and Home Goods but the store with the best prices and a selection that blows the rest out of the water?  At Home.  (Pssst...this post is not sponsored by them.  They don't even know I'm writing it.)

I went out to ours last week and came home with three different shades because I couldn't decide in-store which would look best.  (Thankfully, they have a good return policy so I'll be able to return the ones I decide against.)  If I were smarter, I'd have just brought one of my lamps into the store with me.

I always seek out clearance first and at At Home, much of their clearance is mixed in with their original priced stuff.  Such was the case for the first shade I found.  It was the perfect size and color and it was 50% off at $8.99...but there was only one.  *womp womp*  I cried for a little bit and then put myself back together to keep looking.  Looking, looking, grab a couple of other shades, more looking.  Wait, what is that shade up there with the clearance sticker on it THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE CLEARANCED SHADE I JUST WALKED AWAY FROM TWO AISLES AGO?!  Could it be????  It's on the tippity top shelf and I don't see any store employees around so I'll just run to the stool aisle quick and grab one of those so I can reach.  If anyone touches either of these shades while I'm gone, I will...they will...well, hurry Sheena.  RUN!  *grabs stool, uses stool, runs to put the stool back, runs to grab the first shade annnnnnd...YES!  THEY ARE THE EXACT SAME!  Dear Jesus, you love me.

I checked out with my plethora of shades and headed home to try them all on.  

Shade #1

Pity Project

Sometimes our lives are so busy with keeping kids alive and thriving that we don't have time to take on or even complete any in-progress bigger house projects...like right now.  Although I will admit that there are a hefty amount times when I really have to convince myself to vacuum/cook/wash when what I really want to do is paint something.  When the imprudent thing is to project big, that's when I start to get antsy and seek out little ten minute projects I can do to satisfy that hunger.  This is one of them.  We'll call it a pity project.  :)

A couple of months ago, our coffee maker broke.  If you're anything like us, you love your morning coffee.  It's a routine; a ritual even.  For us, it's about the taste and feel of those moments when you can sip in peace in the morning before everyone wakes up (until they do and you're still sipping, just not in peace).  Maybe it's a little bit about that slight jolt caffeine gives you to start your day too.  So when our coffee maker breaks, well, uh-oh.  Chaos.  Shame too because it was so cute.

Ok, ok, there's really no chaos that follows a broken coffee maker.  It's really just a small thorn in the side.  We weren't left completely hanging though because we have a french press* we pull out once in awhile and it got pulled out daily until we got a replacement.  But there is nothing like the simplicity of an automatic maker, right?  But french press coffee just tastes so much better.  I know.  I've heard.  I drink my creamer with a side of coffee though so I really couldn't tell you the difference.  Anthony however, the black coffee drinker, will tell you that's true.  That's why we splurged a little bit this time around (we usually go for the $17 maker at Walmart or Target) and bought ourselves this coffee maker*.  I found it on Amazon awhile ago and saved it to one of our lists.  It has a shower sprayer, which we've heard is the best way to brew and a reusable filter which doesn't steal all of the oils in the grounds.  (Our friends run a coffee shop and I learned a ton about coffee this past summer talking with them!)  Well, when I went to buy, the red option was the cheapest (as compared to the white* that we really wanted) and there was a one like-new, on Amazon Warehouse for $35.  I jumped on it because I knew that I could probably either deal with the red for a lower price or remedy it.  Enter this pity project.

Here's our month-old maker:  


Except now it looks like this:

Frame a Builder-Grade Mirror - DIY

I'm no Chelsea, but I'm going to write up how I built a frame to trim out the mirror in the kids' bathroom.  It was a pretty simple project that I was way more intimidated than I needed to be about.  I wanted to do it all by myself without any help from Anthony and huzzah (or is it phew...), I did just that!  So, I'll just say it, "If I can do it, you can do it!"

I'm also no pro interior photographer so I apologize that the mirror trim is enveloped in a ton of light from the plethora of light bulbs we've got on our vintage fixture up there but you can still see it, right?

Here's what the same mirror looked like a couple of weeks earlier (along with the same toddler in a different mood):

Builder grade, big, and boring.  You might've seen them.  You might even have them in your own house!  If you do, follow along closely.

I wanted to trim this thing out and I wanted a simple, thin frame.  I looked into companies that specialize in making custom mirror frames (and was even very tempted to write them asking for a sponsored post, I'll admit it).  But the price tag to frame out our mirror started at over $178 for a slim frame and I knew I could probably make one myself for a whole lot less.  (Spoiler alert:  I was right.)

Spotted: Goodwill

The four-year old and I made a quick trip into a local Goodwill here while out running errands last week and we found some STUFF.  I hadn't planned on going in and taking pictures to show you the treasures because I haven't had much luck finding things at thrift stores recently but after I spotted a few great things, I thought "why not?"  (If you're reading and you're local to the Mobile area, these were all seen at the Goodwill in Semmes.)  

I know it might be disheartening to you for me to show you what I found here - things you can't buy there since they're here, but my whole point of these "Spotted" posts is to show you what potential lies in those little (and big) things laying around inside thrift stores around the world.  You just have to open up your mind a tad and picture those things somewhere besides on a thrift store shelf surrounded by a random assortments of objects.

I didn't take notes on the prices of what I saw but everything was under $5, with the exception of the lamps.

It took a fair amount of back-and-forth mind conversation to convince myself I didn't need this wallpaper:

(I was juggling things in my hands so I struggled getting a good picture of the whole roll.)  If it were the modern peel & stick kind, I would've pounced.  But, having torn loads and loads of wallpaper off the walls in this house within the last year, I'm still raw about the idea and so pasted wallpaper isn't on my list of things I would like right now.  However, this pretty roll that mimicked a beautiful blue sky with wispy white clouds would look dreamy on the ceiling in a kids' room, inside a closet, on an accent wall, just anywhere.