Simply Mrs. Edwards

{just the life of a new wife}


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Mega-Desk

It is my pleasure to introduce something so profound, even Dwight Schrute has one.

Two words: Mega. Desk.

You know when you start a project with a hope and a dream of it looking like something you imagined or were inspired by? And typically it falls a bit short, but every once and a while you hit a home run? Well this is that outta the ballpark home run for us!

(Sorry for the not so stellar lighting in these photos. I tend to only have time/remember to take photos at night…blerg)

Pretty awesome, right!?

We started with a room that has uh-mazing natural light and a small-but decent amount of space. We had great intentions for it to be an office, but it never really lived up to its name.  It was more of a catch-all room. When guests would come over, we tended to throw everything that didn’t have a home in here. Let’s just say, after a year and a half of living here it was about knee deep in junk. We had mismatched desks, two disorganized bookshelves and zero organization. It was ugly. In fact, so ugly that I didn’t take a before picture (whoops!)

These photos are after we relocated the junk-n-stuff to our dining room/living room/anywhere we could stash it.

As you can tell, this room is small…7ft x 11ft to be exact. Though its small, it is the perfect size for an office/craft room. We had to get creative in order to turn this baby into something that was functional and appealing to the eye. So, to Ikea we went! We picked up four Vika Amon table tops  in white (two of the 39 3/8″ x 23 5/8″ and two of the 47 1/4″ x 23 5/8″…crazy Swedish sizing!) We also picked up twelve of the Vika Curry legs in the silver color (we had 4 from another desk to make the 16 we projected using, but we only ended up using 10. Anyone want some legs??). The combination that we settled on came to a grand total of $87.00. That still kind of blows my mind…$87 for a room sized desk!? Yes, please!

We painted the room a color called Spring Hill in eggshell enamel by Behr. We stick to Behr paints because it’s what we know and love and we haven’t been let down yet! The color is a nice mellow green in the sunlight and has a muted greenish/blue color at night. These photos don’t do it justice at all, but trust me when I tell you its nice :)

We figured if we were going to put some good time and a little bit of money into this space that we should do it right. Enter: ridiculous wall-to-wall shelving above one side of Mega-Desk.

We picked up these three Ekby Gallo brackets at Ikea for a whopping $5.00 each and three 1″ x 12″ x 8′ white board planks at Lowes for about $12.00 each.  Josh sized the boards to fit our space and a few wall anchors and a whole lot of patience later, these puppies were on the wall (lets just say that three 7ft. boards + 3 brackets + working after 12 AM isn’t always the best combination. Yet, my husband is ever patient and loves me more than I deserve).

One thing we kind of splurged on was the under shelf lighting you can see in the pictures above and below. We figured it could only make the space better and that we would be thankful we spent the extra $ and time on it. And yep…we were right! Its so so nice to have good lighting on my main workspace!

One of my most favorite parts about this room is that I can have my sewing machine and crafting supplies at my fingertips at all times. It’s already proven to be motivating and super handy (see those organizers to the right on the desk? Made outta 3 cereal boxes and less than a yard of fabric. Tutorial coming soon! :) )

(Again, not the best lighting…sorry!)

Josh put a few nails next to my sewing area to hang my cutting mats, rulers and straight edge.

On the other side of the room, we condensed all of our books into one bookshelf that hides behind the door

And the closet looks…pretty much the same as it did before. A whole lotta stuff we need to find homes for. Our plan is to install a hanging rod in half of it to serve as a coat closet and build some permanent shelving in the other half for various items that don’t need to be accessed or seen all the time (board games, air mattress, wrapping paper, etc.). We’ll finish it off by adding a new curtain to cover the space.

We’re slowly but surely getting there! This room still has a long ways to go and quite a few more little projects, but it is WORLDS better than it was a few weeks ago! I am giddy with excitement of how well this turned out. My next project in here is to turn some plain-ol’ mini blinds into roman shades. I found this tutorial (among many others) and we have a friend who has done it successfully. Here’s to hoping I come out with the same results! Next time you see these window’s they’ll be clad with some fancy new dressings :)

Budget Breakdown (so far):

  • 4 Table tops: $52
  • 10 table legs: $35
  • Wall brackets: $15
  • 3 wall shelves: $36
  • Under shelf lighting: $40
  • 1 gallon of Behr Spring Hill paint: $22
  • Behr Swiss Coffee trim/door paint: already owned
  • Total: $200

This was the first time I added everything up and I’m definitely surprised myself! I think $200 for an entire room makeover isn’t too shabby at all…

Here are a few other things I’d love to knock out in the next couple of weeks:

  • Turn cheap mini-blinds into roman shades
  • Acquire another office-like chair & two chairmats
  • Create a station with some cork pieces, hanging organizers and a calendar for paying bills (maybe looking something like this, or even this)
  • Add some mason jars, cause you can never have too many (I really like this idea)
  • Add some additional overhead lighting
  • Organize the heck outta that closet. Sheesh, it needs some lovin’.
  • Work on better organizing my craft supplies on the shelves.

I think that to-do list will keep me (and hubby) busy for a little while! I’ll be back with more (better) pictures of the progress and a tutorial or two.

Loving this room,
Mrs. Edwards


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Free Turned Fab

Before Josh and I got married, neither of us had much to offer in the furniture department. I had a bed, a desk and a dining set. Josh had a desk, a camping chair and not much else in the way of home furnishings. We were super blessed by friends who let us use their furniture while they were out of the country (yay Kit!) or while they were living in furnished staff housing (yay Callan!). For about a year, we were able to use these items ( a couch, chair and dresser), all the while knowing that at some point we would need to become adults and buy our own furniture. Well, that point came just a couple of weeks ago and I needed to find a dresser ASAP. This is where Abbott’s Thrift Store comes in. This place is quickly becoming my favorite place ever! Some friends of mine (hi Megan and Jean! :) ) were taking a trip to Abbott’s so I asked them to see if they had any inexpensive dressers. Megan texted me 3 or 4 pictures of different items, but none of them seemed to catch my eye- and their price tags didn’t either. And then, she sent a picture of this beauty:

A little rough, right? Looks like it was teleported from the 70’s, right? Looks like it’s been neglected, right?

FREE! My heart did a little pitter patter when Megan told me it was free. Ahh…a match made in thrifting heaven.

Admittedly, this thing was kind of gross. THICK lacquer, missing hardware, random stickers, mis-matched drawers, thrift-store-smelly drawer liners. Gross…but free.

Along with all of the visible stuff, there was quite a bit of damage to the guts of the dresser. Most of the bottoms of the drawers had moisture damage and were bowed and/or falling out. Along with that, the drawer rails and tracks were loose or missing completely. We definitely had our work cut out for us! Thankfully, Josh was up for the challenge! :)

Josh took charge of fixing the mechanics of the piece while I was in charge of the appearance. First, he started by fixing the loose rails by nailing, gluing and clamping them back in place:

If you notice in the pictures above, the center top drawer doesn’t match the others whatsoever. We think the original might have gotten damaged so the previous owner replaced it with something that was similar. It was super wonky so we put our thinking caps on to figure out what to do. I can’t remember where I’ve seen it done before, but my idea was to take the drawer out completely, build a shelf to replace it and place a basket or two for storage in the space. Josh happily obliged and built one out for me using some leftover wood from our bathroom shelf (seen over here)!

After he finished that up, he went and bought a $10 sheet of 1/8″ mahogany plywood to replace the bottoms of the drawers. A friend and co-worker gave Josh great a tip on how to make the drawer bottoms extra sturdy: make sure that the grain of the wood runs perpendicular in the bottom of the drawer (basically, make sure it runs left to right, not front to back in the bottom drawer.) This adds extra strength and will help the replacement bottoms last even longer!

After the bottoms were replaced, J replaced the drawer tracks as well. He was able to use some scrap wood and used a table saw to do a dado cut (don’t worry, I had no idea what that was either).

Because the lacquer was so thick, we thought we might need to strip it off. Oh BTW, Josh had some funny interactions while asking the clerks at the local hardware store, “Where do you keep your strippers?”…haha, oh husband. We found that the stripper didn’t do much to the finish, so we resorted to sanding the whole thing. It took some time and made a bit of a mess, but in the end did the trick.

After we finished our sanding adventure, it was time to paint! I did quite a bit of research on how to best paint over a sanded lacquer finish. Turns out, the best solution is to use an oil based primer and then a latex paint on top. We picked up a gallon of Kilz Oil Based Primer, Sealer and Stain Blocker (I just found out that they make an odorless version of this. I wish we had known that earlier!). This stuff REAKS. No matter how much ventilation we had, the smell was enough to knock you over. BUT, it covered well and that’s all that matters! Here’s my handsome hubby working away on priming the dresser:

For the finish color, I decided that I wanted to do a robin egg blue color with white hardware. I got my inspiration over here on Pinterest. P.S… my name is Terra and I’m addicted to Pinterest. For realsies, it’s bad. I cannot get enough of it! It is the best/worst distraction ever, but offers so much inspiration! Anyways…back to paint colors. We went with Eucalyptus Leaf by Behr from Home Depot. I loooove it! It’s calm and cheery at the same time. Too bad the dresser has to live in our closet…maybe someday in a future home it’ll be a featured piece. Here’s to dreaming! :)

For the hardware I wanted to keep our cost as inexpensive as possible, so I chose to keep the original brass drawer pulls and spray paint them. Spray paint is quickly becoming one of my favorite things ever! It is the quickest way to make something look new and is so affordable! We picked up some Rustoleum Universal White Gloss Paint & Primer in 1 at Home Depot for $6.50ish (not bad for paint and primer!). First off, I soaked and scrubbed the heck out of those drawer pulls! I soaked them in Dawn soap and warm water for 30ish minutes and attacked them with a Scotch-Brite pad. Boy, oh boy…those things were nasty! The top is after scrubbing and the bottom is before:

I learned a fun trick before I started spray-painting the pulls (thanks to the helpful interwebs): To reach all parts of the pull, wedge a toothpick in the hinge:

That trick saved so much time and potential messy screw ups!

If you’re going to try painting brass hardware, or any type of metal for that matter, make sure you do multiple light, even layers and be sure to keep your can moving the ENTIRE time you’re spraying to avoid drips (thanks hubby for the painting tips :) )

After I got the first coat on the drawer pulls, we pried open the can of Eucalyptus Leaf in semi-gloss and ahhh….so relaxing. We poured some of that soothing color into a paint tray and I got started on the drawer fronts!

I tried something new on this dresser; I used a small foam roller like this one from Home Depot. SUCH a good purchase! The density of the foam helped the paint go on in thin, smooth layers. Again, I cannot stress this enough…do multiple THIN coats to achieve the best finish!

Are you ready for some fantastically-amazing-blow-your-mind after photos? Ok!

Ta-da!!

(The color in these photos is a little more vivid than it is in real life because we shot them outside as the sun was going down. The closest to accurate color would be the last photo, the close up of the drawer.)

Pretty amazing, right? I’m super proud of our accomplishment and so happy to call this dresser mine! Again, Josh amazed me with his carpentry skills and is so helpful to me as I’m learning the ins and outs of painting and furniture re-dos. For a free dresser, this thing sure cleaned up nicely!

Budget breakdown:

  • Dresser: FREE! (from Abbott’s)
  • Mahogany plywood: $10
  • Wood for drawer tracks: Free (already owned)
  • Wood for drawer-turned-shelf: Free (already owned)
  • Kilz Oil Based Primer: $20
  • Rustoleum Paint and Primer in 1: $6.50
  • Behr Eucalyptus Leaf semi-gloss paint: $24
  • Ultra-dense foam mini roller: $5
  • Total: $65.50

Not bad, right?! We really only used about a quart of both the primer and paint, but we’ll count the entire gallon into the cost of this project. I still need to buy a few baskets for the shelf to hold scarves, jewelry, accessories, etc. But that’ll come later. Right now, I’m just giddy to have an awesome dresser holding my clothing! :)

Happily,
Mrs. Edwards



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Bathroom Remodel Reveal: The Spaceship Has Landed!

Remember a long time ago when we first tackled our bathroom remodel? Remember when we had a run in with some crazy house invading ants? Remember when I gave you a sneak peak and said I would be revealing the finished product soon? Well, long story short, I’m lame. Summer started and all of my hopes and dreams of getting that post finished went out the door. Part of it was that I literally couldn’t find any spare moments to work on a post (we work at a Camp, a very very busy Camp); another part was that because of the busyness of summer our bathroom was hardly ever tidy. And there was no way in heck that I was going to share pictures of our messy bathroom!

Well, the time has come to unveil the masterpiece! What better way to showcase a reveal than to remind you of the bathroom purgatory we were recovering from. Our previous space can be recapped in just a few words: spaceship gone wrong. Let me remind you with a few awesomely terrible photos:Praise the Lord, these pictures are now just a distant memory. Although we ran into problems like ants (read about that over here), disconnected vent pipes, doors in the wrong place and plumbing issues (all over here), in the end we were victorious! Lots of work went into this project and it was a huge learning experience for both of us. My husband is seriously amazing. He worked his tail off on this remodel! From re-tiling the floor to learning how to re-route plumbing and electrical to building an awesomesauce shelf for our bathroom stuff! I’ve got a keeper! (p.s. Mr. Edwards has some blogging tricks up his sleeve…I’ll keep you updated!)

Here’s a look at the NEW and IMPROVED view to the left as you walk into our bathroom:Josh built that shelf from scratch! He got his inspiration over here on Ana White’s blog (where we also got our inspiration for our outdoor patio set…more on that in another post). It’s perfectly sized for the space and holds all of the essentials that wouldn’t fit under the sink. The baskets are courtesy of my Mother-in-law’s garage and the items on the top shelf are things I’ve collected in the past few years. I love the simple look of the shelf and how it looks like it’s leaning against the wall. The best part is that because of the tiered design it doesn’t feel crowded when you walk in the door. Way to go husband!Ok, side note…take a look at these hydrangeas! They’re from our friend/neighbor/co-worker Carol Ann’s yard. She was super sweet and let me cut a few from her hydrangea bush. Nothing like having some fresh blooms to cheer you up!You’ll also notice a brand spankin’ new toilet! We got that ivory beauty at Home Depot for just $99! It’s a dual flush, low flow toilet (I’ll let you figure out the dual flush part…) and is awesome. Is that weird to say a toilet is awesome? Oh well…I just did.

One of the biggest improvements in our new bathroom is the increase of leg room between the toilet and the vanity. I never thought I would say this, but goodness gracious, its nice to not feel cramped while on the throne. (TMI?)

Remember how much leg space the old one had?  Never good when your knees touch the vanity while you’re gettin’ business done…And look at the new leg room…(oh, and we now have a toilet paper holder! Seriously, the Edwards’ are movin’ up in the world!):Next up, our new vanity!!

A little closer look…
The color is absolutely amazing. It’s a warm chocolatey brown that makes a bold statement in the room! It’s a great size and is the perfect height for both of us (as opposed to the too low version in our old bathroom). The sink is fairly narrow and pretty shallow, but is fantastic! I wasn’t too sure about the depth at first, but I’m definitely sold on it now. It adds a cool modern(ish) element to the space. The total cost for the vanity: $120…yep! That’s right. Originally priced at close to $200, we were able to get this pre-assembled floor model at an unbelievable discount. We are definitely pleased with our purchase!

Now let’s chat about the floor: I’m in love with the tile! It is, (a) new and clean & (b) not spaceship silver. We decided to put 12×12 tiles in place of the 16×16’s that were in there. The smaller size makes the floor space look bigger. It’s super easy to keep clean and is so so nice.

The mirror came from Target for about $25. I was having a really hard time finding something that didn’t look too heavy or gaudy. It works for now, but the jury is still out. I’m not completely sold on the stark white, smooth finish. I’d love to thrift or craigslist an older mirror with an interesting frame and maybe paint it or something. We’ll see…

I was also on the hunt for a new shower curtain, so I took one of our towels with me shopping. I searched Bed, Bath & Beyond, Kohls and HomeGoods and wasn’t able to find anything I liked for under $25. Not willing to spend anywhere near that, I wandered into Ross crossing my fingers hoping to find something. Well, the shower curtain gods were on my side…I found this one for $7.99! Best part, the blue is an EXACT match to our towels! Double score!

We also installed a curved shower curtain rod. It’s fantastic! It gives us almost an extra foot of space in our shower without sticking out into the room too much. At around $32 (with coupon), we think it was a worthwhile investment

We found this light fixture at Home Depot and figured it fit our space really well! Unlike the old nasty bare bulbs that were on our previous fixture, this one has really nice creamy glass shades. We hesitated buying it because it was a little more than we wanted to spend (around $60), but after some deliberating we figured it would be a good investment for the space. Welp, we were right!Previously, we had two towel bars straight out of a hotel that were attached to the back of our door. I had quite a few close calls with those things, they seemed to be right at head level, but somehow I narrowly escaped any gouges in my forehead. We picked up a double towel rack  and some over-the-door hooks at Ikea to solve the problem. So far, so good!(sorry for the wonky lighting in this picture)So, our Spaceship Bathroom has finally touched down. It has come back into this atmosphere and boy, oh boy is it better. We’re so thankful for being able to do the work ourselves (with the help of my fantastic Dad) and that we were able to do it within a very decent budget!Budget breakdown. We actually lost the receipts, so these are educated guesses (whoops!):

  • Vanity: $120
  • Toilet: $100
  • Materials to patch doorway: $30
  • Tile and materials: $80
  • Paint and primer: $50
  • Light fixture: $60
  • Mirror: $25
  • Shelf supplies: $35
  • Towel holders: $11
  • Shower curtain: $8
  • Curved curtain rod: $32
  • Miscellaneous accessories: $30
  • Total: $581

A total bathroom makeover for less than $600? Yeppers. Goes to show what you can do with some savvy shopping and a little do-it-yourself work! We still have yet to install the last puzzle piece…the bathroom fan. We’re working with some crazy old-house wiring so it’ll be a little while before we can get that in. But, other than that, we are in l-o-v-e with our new loo! It is such a nice feeling to wake up and spend your morning getting ready in a well lit, clean and comfortable space!

Loving the simple things,
Mrs. Edwards


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For the Love of Thrift Stores & Spray Paint

A week or so ago, I took a trip to browse the aisles of Abbott’s Thrift store here in Felton, CA. This is a place of many gems, including an extremely eclectic staff and a resident cat. Yep, a real live cat that likes to sleep on the furniture that’s for sale. One of the most interesting things I found was this:

Awwwwwkward!

Anyways….Our living room is quite unique. The walls and ceiling are a dark, dark redwood and there are only two windows in the whole room. To some, it may evoke a sense of a homey cabin, but to me it’s more like a cave. To say the least, it’s a challenge to light and decorate. There is one overhead light and then we’ve attempted to add lamps around the room, but something was missing.

Maybe I’ve been watching too many DIY shows, but I had been itching to break out a can of spray paint. Right after I saw those awkward babies and said hello to the cat, I came across the gaudiest, brassiest lamp you’ve ever seen. Straight out of an 80’s hotel- including a nasty stained and disintegrating shade. BUT, it had a fantastic shape, the electrical worked, and I could see potential in it (as well as my reflection). I snatched that sucker up for a whopping price of $8.00! I figured that even if my attempt miserably failed, it was worth a try.

After a trip to Home Depot and the craft store, I was ready to start on my project! I chose a simple white satin Rust-Oleum spray paint and a fabric with a subtle floral print. When I got home, I realized that I didn’t think about priming the metal before I painted it. Whoops! Thankfully, the hubs had me covered. He pulled out his secret stash of spray paint and found a grey metal primer that he used when he was restoring his ’54 Chevy. Although it says it’s for automobiles, it worked perfectly fine for this project! Before I painted the lamp, I used steel wool to clean away the years and years of who-knows-what. A final wipe with a rag and I was ready to paint!


After the first coat of primer:

After the first coat of the satin white:

**not pictured is the lamp-harp, nut and the top of the shade- which I painted white as well. Definition of a lamp-harp: the metal wire lamp part that typically mounts below the lamp socket and supports your lamp shade. I had NO idea what the heck that thing was called, thanks Google!

Already looking a million times better, right?!

While the paint was drying on the base of the lamp, I pulled off the fabric on the old shade. Underneath the gross fabric, I found a metal frame as the guts of the lampshade. The old shade was basically 2-inch ribbon wrapped vertically around the frame. I had originally thought that I’d do the same thing, but with my new fabric. But when I started pulling the old stuff off, I realized I would need WAY more fabric than I had if I wanted replicate it (the frame is 12″ tall). On to plan B. I looked at the shade on one of our other lamps and realized that I could totally re-create it with some poster board and spray adhesive. Whoo hoo!

I traced the outline onto the board and cut it out. I actually had to use 2 pieces because the circumference of the shade was larger than one single piece. Lining them up and taping them together with wide packing tape solved that problem!

Because the frame is smaller on the top than it is on the bottom, the poster board ended up being curved.

I then sprayed the poster board with adhesive and smoothed my fabric down, trying to avoid bumps or wrinkles.
**If you’re going to try this, make sure to spray the adhesive outside in order to avoid over-spray on your dining table! :)

Hubby then helped me wrap the new shade around the frame and tape it down. His extra hands made this much, much easier!

When we wrapped the shade, we made sure to line the bottom of the poster board/fabric up pretty well with the frame, so all of the excess needed to be trimmed off the top. Josh threw in a helping hand with this, too!

After the top was trimmed up, I hot glued cream colored grosgrain ribbon to cover the seams.

**after gluing the ribbon over the vertical seam, I realized that I should have done the top and bottom horizontal ribbons first so that the ends would be hidden by the vertical one. I ended up having to pry up the glued ends of the vertical ribbon to place the ends of the other underneath. Oh well, lesson learned! Next time I’ll do it in reverse order :)

Here’s a look inside the shade. You can see that I attached the shade to the frame by using clear packing tape over the frame. It’s definitely not ideal, but it works. I wish that I had covered up the metal from on the inside, but I’m not sure how I’d do that. The only way you’re able to see the tape and metal supports is if you look straight down from the top of the light…I doubt that many of my guests are going to inspect my work that closely!

Here’s a look at the finished shade!

The next day, I sprayed the lamp with another coat of white and impatiently waited for it to dry. After a few hours of the waiting game *drumroll please*…Here’s the final product!

And because everyone loves a good before & after photo, here you go:

This just makes me so happy! It adds a ton more light into the room and gives me the satisfaction of creating something awesome. The shade has subtle detail, but enough to catch your eye. One thing that I wish was different was that you can see the supports of the metal frame through the shade when the light is on. It’s definitely not the end of the world and most won’t even notice, but I do. Oh well…maybe someday a different shade will find its way to this lamp :) For now, it does the job well!


Budget breakdown:

  • Lamp (from Abbott’s): $8
  • Primer (already owned): $0
  • White satin paint (from Home Depot): $4
  • Poster board (already owned): $0
  • Spray adhesive (already owned): $0
  • Fabric (from Beverly’s): $7/yd. I only used 1/2 yd in all, so about $3.50
  • Grosgrain ribbon (from Beverly’s): $2
  • Hot glue/gun (already owned): $0
  • Total: $17.50

Pretty good for my first lamp re-do, I’d say!

Feeling capable,
Mrs. Edwards