Thursday, April 11, 2013

These Eyes Have Seen A Miracle.. [Remove Water Rings & Restore Wood Finish]


I have witnessed a miracle and I'm here to tell y'all about it.

I have this chest that we use as an end table. 
 I got it for a SONG years ago from Pier 1 - it was hugely marked down for what the clerk said was "water damage".
 See those little dots across the top?  That's what they called "damage".
I thought it looked weathered, so I didn't mind.  But over time, we used and abused this piece, and a few misplaced glasses from parties here, a drippy sippy cup or two there, and all of a sudden, this cool piece had REAL water damage.
 I have been DREADING having to sand down the top and restain it.  So, when I saw this product hanging out on the shelf on a recent trip to Home Depot, I figured it was at least worth a shot if it would save me that pain in the patoot.
 I just followed the directions on the back of the can.  Seriously, Restor-a-finish couldn't be easier.
Are you ready for this?
Clean the surface.  Wipe on.  Wipe off the excess.
Let dry.  DONE.
 It sounded too good to be true, but check this out:

Take a good look here:

I used NO OTHER PRODUCT other than the Restor-a-Finish.  I didn't sand, didn't condition, and didn't have to go through the lengthy staining process.  I just cleaned the surface, used the product and called it a day.  I was floored by the results!
It's a miracle.  Of epic water ring proportions.

And just for the record, I was not asked to review this product, nor was I compensated in any way for this post.  I found the product, tried it of my own volition, and will happily vouch for its success to anyone who will listen. :)


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

DIY Updated Hurricanes

When I was putting together my recent post about updates in the basement, I came across this little project that I had totally forgotten about.

Back before we had even started finishing the basement, I had snagged these simple glass cylinders on mega-clearance at Pier 1, convinced that I would/could somehow use them once it was finished.

Fast forward to after the basement was finished…..and, nope.
Just wasn’t working for me.
[the picture’s kind of blurry but you get the idea]

 Unadorned, the cylinders were reading just too contemporary for the casual, relaxed space.

I played with other things to fill them with, but nothing was working out.
Until I made a trip to Target and it hit me:

I was admiring these hurricanes from the Nate Berkus collection and thought “I could totally do this myself.  I just need a plain glass hurric…wait a minute!!!!!”

Thanks Nate Berkus!

So once I got home, I snagged some jute rope that I knew I had buried somewhere in the basement, and got to wrappin’.

I added some candles that I already had, and 10 minutes later, I had a rustic, textured set of hurricanes that worked perfectly in the space!

Gotta love that.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Basement Decor Updates [Finally!]

We had some family over recently to visit, and heading downstairs to check out the kids playing in the basement, our niece commented “Oh!  You’ve done so much down here since I’ve seen it last!”
It wasn’t until then that I realized she was right – I shared this post when we first finished the space about two years ago. 
Since then, I’ve been adding touches here and there, but as with most projects you don’t realize the difference so much when you’re making little tweaks along the way.

So here’s what the basement has been up to lately:

When you last saw it, we were so thrilled to have it COMPLETE that all we wanted to do was watch basketball and revel in the additional space.
I could have covered the entire space with pink, floofy girliness and Mr. V. wouldn’t have batted an eye, as long as the TVs were functional.

Once we settled into the new space, though, he gently asked if the space wasn’t a hair too… girly?
Remember, his idea of “perfection” was something that looked like a Sports Authority explosion.
I conceded he was probably right, and went about finding a middle ground that we could both enjoy.
The compromise: Vintage Sports.
I love sports, but I didn’t want the place covered in Hawkeye Gold from head to toe.

First step was this gallery wall above the sofa. 

It’s devoted entirely to our favorite team and my alma mater: the University of Iowa. 
The elements have all been collected over time – the postcard with the vintage Herky logo that I got in my campus orientation packet many many moons ago,
A vintage aerial photo of Kinnick Stadium Mr.V. had saved from childhood,
and some of our autographed memorabilia, including one we got as a wedding present
signed by my CoachCrush, Kirk Ferentz.


He’s dreamy. : )

On the wall kitty-corner to the gallery wall, I framed some newspaper covers and special editions I had saved over the years (even before I met Mr. V).

Having something professionally framed is awesome, but ungodly expensive.

Since these weren’t super sentimental to me, we did it quick and dirty (read: cheap).
Here’s the quick way to getting custom-looking art without the custom price tag:
I bought these frames (half-off, natch) from Hobby Lobby, removed the matte they came with.  Then I took my newspaper pieces and my frames to Michael’s and had them cut custom mattes. 
When I did the math the price of my frames + custom mattes ended up costing exactly 16% of what it would have cost to have them professionally done.  
 I’d say that’s a win.

On the small wall by the bar, I hung up these awesome vintage baseball bats, that were my Dad’s from when he was a kid.  

I call this my “WonderBoy wall” 
(anyone else love “The Natural” like I do? : ) )

The frame above it is a classic little league pic from Mr.V’s childhood.

That’s him in the middle… so sweet and nerdy, so serious about baseball.
I love it!

Elsewhere in the room I just added some vintage sports memorabilia here and there

I updated the slipcovers and swapped out the smaller ottoman for this larger, upholstered cocktail ottoman.
It fits the room and how we use it perfectly.

So that’s what’s been happenin’ in the basement lately.