The UpSkill Project Community Workshop

Three weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending and documenting The UpSkill Project Community Workshop which was held at the Warren, Michigan Lowe’s on a stormy Saturday. It was my 30th birthday weekend and I could think of no better way to celebrate than to be doing what I love…DIYing of course!

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The workshop was set up to be a hands on learning experience for homeowners wishing to pick up basic home improvement skills and I can’t express enough what an amazing opportunity this was. I love that Lowe’s is inspiring and educating homeowners through this platform! I learned so much from the Lowe’s experts that day and I’m so excited to share some of that with you in this post. Shall we dive right in?

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Drywall

Drywall dings and dents are a common household issue with a very simple solution. Lowe’s has this nifty drywall repair kit that comes complete with spackling, a putty knife, and a sander. All you need to do is gently spread the spackle over the hole until it’s covered. This particular spackle is made to go on pink and turn white when it’s dry so you know when it’s time to sand. For larger holes, you will need to place the self-adhesive mesh patch over the hole before covering with the spackle. Once you’ve sanded the surface until it’s smooth, you can go ahead and paint over the patch up. It’s that easy!

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Painting

Painting is something we’ve done quite a bit of for our home renovation projects but it wasn’t until this workshop that I realized I was doing it all wrong. Prior to this workshop, I would paint the wall with a roller first and then use a brush to finish the corners and edges. I learned from Ray that it should be the other way around: paint your corners and edges first then go over with the roller. Oops. I definitely see this method resulting in a much more professional-looking paint job. It looks like I might have to revisit some of my old paint jobs!

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The other important thing I learned is that the quality of the brush really matters! Ray, who is a passionate paint manufacturer, said he would actually advise sacrificing the quality of paint over the quality of the brush. He went on to show us the difference between the two brush’s bristles and let participants see for themselves as they got to paint a kitchen cabinet.

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Let me tell you, the Purdy brush we got to test out was amazing! All those times I was frustrated with my paint job and I thought it was just me. Now I know it was the cheap brush I was using and I can’t wait to implement these simple tips for my next paint job!

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Tiling

Tiling is another skill we are familiar with as we have renovated our basement, kitchen, and bathroom in the past. Of course, that doesn’t mean we did everything perfectly so I’m sharing some of the useful reminders I learned. One of the cool resources Lowe’s had on display was this cross-section of the wall and tile. Many of the participants didn’t know that you couldn’t just tile over existing tile so Andrew, one of The UpSkill Project teachers, explained what subflooring was and the importance of the cement board under the tile. I learned about something called self-leveling concrete which you can pour to create a smooth, even surface for tiling. I wish I had known about this when we were tiling our basement!

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Participants were able to practice laying tile spacers, backsplash tile, tile adhesive, and grout. 

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The Lowe’s experts recommended a pre-mixed grout for an even finish and stressed the importance of wiping the tiles consistently with a grouting sponge to prevent a hazy film from forming. The pre-mixed grout is something I wish I had used in our bathroom because of the variability in grout color that can result from small changes in water content.

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Plumbing

Plumbing was probably one of the more intimidating skills for participants, me included. I’ve always let my husband handle that part of our renovation projects. After this, however, I think I’m pretty confident I can swap out a vanity and sink. You’ll just have to remember to disconnect the water supply lines prior to starting and to keep a bucket under the sink during the P-trap removal. If you don’t, let’s just say you’ll find yourself in a very messy situation.

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Aside from learning these four skills, Lowe’s had a table set up with lots of useful pamphlets covering everything from tool buying guides to DIY laminate floor installation. You better believe I walked out of that workshop with a stack of pamphlets. I also really enjoyed meeting the other UpSkillers and watching them bond over sharing their DIY projects with each other.

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To be honest, I had been in a creative slump up to this point but after this workshop I was so inspired to find a new DIY project to tackle! What about you guys? If you’re getting ready to take on a new home project, we would love to hear about it in the comments below. If you have specific questions about any of the skills I discussed, you can also leave them in the comments below and we will point you in the right direction. You can always go into your neighborhood Lowe’s and ask a Red Vest associate for help as well. As always, if you loved this post and found it helpful, we would appreciate it if you would like it and share it.

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This post is sponsored by Lowes. The thoughts and opinions are my own.


How to Build a Paved Patio with The Upskill Project

Back in May, I wrote about The UpSkill Project Contest where homeowners could submit a short video describing a DIY project they needed help with. Five local residents would receive $2000 in Lowe’s credit to purchase supplies along with a team of experts to help get the project done in just two days!

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This summer, I got to partner with Lowe’s to document one of the resident’s project transformations. And not just any project…a paved brick patio! You all know how much we love gardening and the outdoors so being able to learn how to do build a patio from the ground up and share it with you was a dream come true.

Meet Hattie and her mother, Dr. Tyra.

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Hattie was actually called to help her aunt record her UpSkill Project Contest entry when her aunt convinced her to submit one herself at the last minute. Knowing that her mother had been wanting a patio for the last two years, but would never justify spending on herself when she could help others, Hattie felt her mother deserved a space to entertain and have friends and family over. You can imagine just how excited her mother was when she found out she was finally going to get that patio. Dr. Tyra LOVES cooking and entertaining; so much so that she cooked the team a dream breakfast on the second morning of the project.

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We all love a good before and after, so here’s what the space looked like prior to the start of any work. Nothing fancy, just an empty patch of grass.

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Leading the team through the patio building was Andrew who is a carpenter by trade and has his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. How cool is that?! The Red Vests Eric, John, and Zach were from a local Lowe’s in the Gardening and Outdoor Department. Everyone worked so well together and by the end of the project I felt like I was in the company of friends.

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Of course it wasn’t all fun and games so today I’m sharing some of the important things I learned about building a paved patio:

You can’t just wing it!

The first and most important step when it comes to building a patio is design and planning. Settling on a design (how large the area should be, what shape, what kind of pavers, etc.) will dictate how much materials you’ll need which in turn will determine your cost. The materials are quite heavy so you’ll want to have everything calculated in advance to prevent any running back and forth to the store picking up heavy materials.

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Touch things once.

This very valuable advice was given to me by one of the Red Vests, Eric, when he saw that the materials were delivered to the front of the garage instead of to the backyard. To save yourself time and energy, have your patio materials close to your work site so you’re not having to haul things more than you need to. This also includes clean up. It’s important to have your tools for removal and your method of disposal arranged prior to starting your project so the process runs smoothly and you don’t have to move debris twice.

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If you see rain in the forecast, abort the mission.

Or simply wait until the weather clears up. A wet ground can really interfere with the compacting process which is super important for a level and solid patio. The rain on the first day of this  project threw us a serious curveball and delayed the completion of the patio. There is a silver lining to the rain, however, if you’re not in a hurry to finish your project. A wet ground makes it much easier to pull out the grass so if it’s raining you can still begin the sod removal phase of your project. Just be sure to let the ground dry sufficiently before moving on.

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Assemble a team.

There’s nothing overly technical about building a paved patio but you should know that it is very labor intensive. From stripping the sod to pouring and compacting gravel to laying the pavers, each step requires quite a bit of upper body strength. If you want to build a patio in the shortest amount of time without burning out quickly, you’ll definitely want a team of 3-5 members to help spread out the workload.

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Compact, Compact, Compact.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to begin with a sturdy and level foundation. To achieve this, you will need to compact several times at each of the following stages:

  1. After you’ve dug out the grass for your patio
  2. After you’ve poured Paver Base Step 1
  3. After you’ve poured Paver Base Step 2

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Start by building a retaining wall

The first pavers you’ll want to lay are the outside ones along the perimeter. More importantly, you’ll want to secure the wall with glue and recess framing to prevent the bricks from extending outward as you continue to compact the gravel and sand. The retaining wall is two brick pavers high and must take into account sloping to prevent water from collecting in your patio. Once the wall is built, you can begin setting the pavers down working toward the middle of the patio area from one end to the other. 

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Don’t forget the landscape fabric.

This is pretty self explanatory. If you don’t want weeds bursting through your patio then this is a crucial step that you’ll want to do once the earth is level just before you begin to pour paver base step 1.

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Once you begin to install the pavers, it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there. All you have to do is make sure to tap the pavers with a rubber mallet and periodically check to make sure they are all level. You also want to leave a space about 1/4 of an inch wide between the pavers for the polymeric sand to be poured. Once you’ve filled all the cracks with polymeric sand, you’ll mist the patio to harden the sand and join the pavers together. Once it’s dry, you can finally furnish and enjoy your patio!

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Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?! If you’re thinking of doing a paved patio yourself, here are the materials and tools you’ll need to get the job done.

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Materials

Paver Base Step 1
Paver Sand Step 2
Paver Set
Brick Paver

Tools

Tamper
Box Beam Level
Knee Pads
Steel Pick Mattock
Kobalt Long Handle Shovel
Smooth Rubber Mallet
Landscape Fabric
Kobalt Tabletop Saw

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If you want to see behind the scene footage from the project Do Days, you can check out our Instagram story in the highlights entitled “DIY Patio.” If you loved reading about how to build a patio then you’ll definitely want to check back for our upcoming post on the UpSkill Workshop where I’ll share lots of helpful home DIY skills that I learned. And if you found this post helpful, we’d appreciate it if you would like it and share.

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This post is sponsored by Lowes. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

 


Our DIY Home Journey + The Upskill Project

This probably should have been the first post on our blog but I figured it’s never too late to share our rather interesting DIY home backstory. You see, the idea of renovating our home ourselves never even crossed our mind. I mean don’t get me wrong, we are pretty handy and creative (heck, we DIYed our wedding) but we just assumed that home repairs were way out of our league. So like every clueless new homeowner, we called contractors to help us with the very basics and then some. Things went pretty smoothly until one day the contractor working on our basement announced that he had a family emergency overseas that he needed to attend to. I think he saw the panic in our eyes because he calmly responded, “Look, I first learned this trade by watching others in a very short amount of time. You don’t have to be a genius to do this line of work, anyone can do this.” He then spent the next few days before his departure demonstrating and explaining how to put up studs, mud drywall, and lay tile. He even left us with his tools! Those simple words of encouragement and instruction were enough to spark something within us. Although, it took us some time to finish our basement, the internal transformation happened immediately.

That’s how we got a taste for home DIYing. Every year since, we have tackled a major home project and we even started this blog as a way to share our home journey because we are passionate about DIYing and home life. When we experienced the joy of confidently working together on our home, we wanted to share that with YOU because we truly believe that ANYONE can do these things. We are living proof. Just take a look at the pictures of our home from our first showing compared to what it is today. Doesn’t it make your DIY senses tingle?

That’s why we are super excited to share that we are partnering with Lowe’s for The Upskill Project contest running in Detroit from May 7th-21st. So if you have a home project that you’ve been wanting to undertake but are reluctant because of the costs or because your skills leave much to be desired, then this contest is for you! Lowe’s is offering up to five lucky people the chance to win a $2,000 Lowe’s gift card for their project along with expert help to guide and teach the skills needed to complete your project. We know from experience just how crucial a little bit of guidance is and that is why this movement resonates with us so much. It’s all about empowering homeowners and giving them the skills, confidence, and inspiration they need to tackle any home project.

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To enter, all you need to do is submit a video answering the following questions:

  1. What is your project?
  2. What skills do you need to complete your project?
  3. What would having those skills mean to you?

Simple enough, right?! We’ll be there to help and document one winner’s project progress along the way.  And if you’re not a lucky winner, you’ll still have the opportunity to learn the skills you need at a free workshop hosted at a local Lowe’s on August 25th. This workshop is an invaluable opportunity to learn important homeowner skills such as painting, tiling, plumbing, and general tool use. Did I mention we will also be there too? So mark your calendars and get ready for a date with your new DIY BFFs.

IMG_6067If you’re not in the Detroit area and want to enter the contest, don’t fret because The UpSkill Project is coming to a number of cities across the country throughout the year. You can click here and scroll down for a full list.

All right, what are you waiting for?! Want to enter this contest? Start brainstorming and share this contest with your friends! We want to see what cool projects you have envisioned for your home! Maybe you want to build a rain garden? Or renovate your peach 1950’s bathroom? Whatever it is, may the odds be ever in your favor.

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Disclaimer: NO PURCH NECESSARY.  Homeowners and renters (with property owner’s permission) in eligible ZIPs only.  Rules/Entry details here: http://bit.ly/2Gvud8k. Ends 5/21/18. 

This post is sponsored by Lowes. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 


DIY Upcycled Tea Tin Planter

 

February is coming to an end and we are a tad bit in disbelief. I know, this seems like a reoccurring theme over here but during this busy season of our life it’s difficult to fully grasp how quickly the time is flying. We did take some time off for a family vacation (there’s a post in the works) in January and it was just what we needed to reset for this new year but when we came back we dove head first into our semesters and it took some time to get back on our feet. We are now back in the groove of things and excited to share what we have been working on. Last month I was lucky to be a part of Salvage Dior’s January Creative Team on Instagram where each week I, along with my four teammates, were responsible for creating something new for our homes that fit within the following themes: 1) Upcycle, 2) On the Wall, 3) Child’s Play, 4) Coffee Table Decor. In this post I’ll be sharing the project I completed for the first week, an upcycled tea tin turned planter.

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Loose leaf tea is something we drink quite a bit of in our home and I’m always left wondering what to do with the tins once they’re through. In the past I’ve used them as storage for spices and knick knacks but this time I wanted something a bit more creative. At the time we were also revamping our plant corner so I thought it would be nice to make some new planters for the Pothos and Sedum I was growing hydroponically. I was inspired by the recent trend in natural fiber textiles and wanted to create that woven look to contrast with the industrial shelving we chose for the plant’s display. If I wanted to buy what I was looking for, I could have easily spent anywhere from $6-25 a pot depending on the size. Instead, I was able to make this tea tin planter and some tin can planters for $0 because I had everything already on hand. The only thing that you would probably need to buy if you’re not DIY nerds like us is the bundling twine but that itself is very inexpensive ($3.98 for 525 feet). Alright, let’s make a planter!

 

 

If you are an avid DIYer, you most likely have a glue gun in your arsenal of crafting tools.

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DIY Upcycled Tea Tin Planter

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Materials
Tea tins or tin cans, washed and dried
Bundling twine
Hot glue-sticks
Milk Paint (optional)

Tools
Glue Gun
Scissors
Drill (or a hammer and nail)

Directions

  1. Heat your glue gun and in the meantime use your drill to place drainage holes in the bottom of your tin. You can also use a hammer and a nail to do this or you can skip this step and just make sure to include a layer of small rocks beneath your soil for water drainage.
  2.  Glue the end of the bundling twine to the side of your tin at the very bottom and begin wrapping the twine around, making sure to glue the first 3 coils to the tin and to each other. As you wrap the twine, be sure to push the coils down tightly to close any gaps and give your planter a neat, elegant look.
  3. Continue wrapping the twine around, stopping midway to glue the coils down. Wind the twine around the tin until you reach the top and then cut the twine to length.
  4. Uncoil the twine a couple turns, then rewind it tightly against the tin using hot glue to secure the top two coils to the tin and to the adjoining coils.
  5. Take your scissors and trim off any noticeable twine hairs sticking out (see the time-lapse video below). At this point you can paint the planter and let it dry or go straight to planting and styling it!

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If you liked this post and found it inspiring, we would love if you shared it. For more related content, you can find us on Instagram where we share more of our day-to-day and Pinterest where we share our ideas and inspiration. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this DIY project, feel free to leave a comment below. And as always…

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DIY Upcycled Brown Paper Bag Gift Wrap

It’s finally the holiday weekend and that means we are inching ever closer to the start of 2018. We recently hit our 2 year blogging anniversary earlier this month and we thought it would be nice to celebrate with a short reflection and a makeover of the first post that ever went up on this blog. Why? Because sometimes, in the nitty gritty of blogging we can find ourselves questioning it all and in our tunnel vision of self-pity and negativity, we forget how far we have come. Comparison isn’t so bad when you’re looking at yourself and everyone loves a good before and after so here is ours.

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As you can see clearly, our styling and photography has drastically improved in the last two years. Our first post was written in 2015 just a week before Christmas and right before I was about to dive into a week of hell taking my PhD qualifying examinations (a 7 day, 40+ page writing endeavor). Since that first post, we have connected with some wonderful bloggers, participated in two One Room Challenges, built a small but amazing community, and even wrote our first sponsored blog post.  There have been many times this year when we would feel frustrated with our engagement or turn-around time and even question what kind of blog we were aiming to be but looking back to our first post, I think the answer has always been there. DIYing is obviously something we are very passionate about as well as striving to live as simply and sustainably as possible and that’s exactly the commitment that our first post embodies. In this post, we will be sharing our revamped post with a little twist; using stencils to create beautiful gift wrap designs. For those of you who waited until last minute to wrap your gifts, you’ll want to hold off on that last minute Target run because this is such a simple way to add a personal touch to your gift wrapping and for next to no cost at all (depending on what your craft supply stash looks like). The wonderful thing about this gift-wrap is that it’s not just for Christmas; you can customize it to fit any holiday or occasion year round.

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Supplies
Brown paper bag
Scissors
Stencils
Metallic Paint Marker, paint pens, or sharpies
Twine
Embellishments such as eucalyptus, flowers, pine cones, etc..

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Directions

  1. Flatten your brown paper bag and cut down to the size you need.
  2. With a metallic paint pen, stencil in the blank side of the bag using the pattern of your choosing.
  3. Place your thoughtful gift inside and wrap nicely.
  4. Embellish with rustic twine, eucalyptus, pine cones, or holly.

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As you can see, I was going for a minimalist/bohemian look (surprise, surprise) with the copper and white pattern, twine, and eucalyptus accent. It’s almost too pretty to open!

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So what does 2018 hold for us? It’s been really hard to answer this question because life is pretty busy with two kids and graduate school on our plates. We do know that we love what we do and we love sharing it with you. We hope that we can continue growing; growing ourselves, our skills, and our blog and hopefully inspiring you all along the way. We can say for certain that we will definitely be sharing more DIY projects, simple family recipes, our simple living journey, and parenting adventures but whether we can keep up with our 50 blog posts/year productivity will remain to be seen. If there are topics you would like to see more of here on The Cozy Home Chronicles, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below. And for those of you new bloggers, those considering starting blogs, or even veteran bloggers wondering “what’s the point?”, keep on dreaming and working towards those dreams with your eyes on the journey and not solely on the destination.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”-Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist

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One Room Challenge: Week 2 | Primed to Paint

Hello Friends and welcome to Week 2 of our One Room Challenge Office Makeover. It’s been a busy and rough week (our son got sick with some kind of stomach bug and we are running in the Detroit Free Press Marathon on Sunday) so we are a bit behind schedule. Because of the relatively small scale of work needed for this room, we are not really worried about finishing on time.

ORC GPHosted by Lisa of Calling It Home,  The One Room Challenge™, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October in which twenty design bloggers take the challenge of transforming a space in just six weeks. Every Wednesday, the designers document their progress while sharing their sources and professional advice. On Thursdays, guest bloggers, like us, can play along and support other guest bloggers that are also tackling a room renovation.

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As far as this week’s progress goes, we did manage to have the room emptied and primed (thanks little bro). Although it’s hard to tell in the pictures above, the primed walls give a small glimpse of how light paint will transform the feel of the room. And speaking of paint colors, after much deliberation at our local Home Depot, my sister in-law and I decided to go with Behr’s Ultra-Pure White. I think it will offer the blank canvas we need to build a space that is inviting and inspiring to work in. To get an idea of what this might look like in a room, you can read here about this once “color of the month.” All rightie, here’s what the rest of the schedule looks like now:

WEEK 1: Empty office, tape around the walls and windows, and paint

WEEK 2: Paint walls, install shelving and organization systems

WEEK 3: Change light fixture

WEEK 4: Install window treatments

WEEK 5: Organizing, styling, and decorating

WEEK 6: Cleaning and Final Reveal

Be sure to check back next week for more updates on this fun office project! And as always, if you liked this post please follow us and share!

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DIY Garden Lattice Light Fixture

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After finishing our crazy and exhausting 6-week bathroom renovation challenge in May, you would think we would wait just a littttle bit longer before DIYing again. But, nope. We just can’t help ourselves. It seems there is never a shortage of problems that need creative solutions and for us one of those problems has been the lack of adequate lighting in the living room. For the last four years we have made do with two lamps on our end tables and let’s just say, the amount of light they offered left much to be desired. Making our own light fixture has been a goal of ours and so we have been mulling ideas over for quite some time. All we knew was that we definitely wanted something that gave off rustic, jungalow, boho vibes. When I thought of inspiration that embodied these elements, my mind always went back to the same place: The lobby of a hotel in Philadelphia where I stayed for an anthropology conference.

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We also wanted something inexpensive; something we could make out of upcycled and thrifted materials. It didn’t take long for us to settle on the garden lattice sitting abandoned at the back of our garage. Not only did it give us the look we were going for but it also helped us solve another design problem: what to do with the overgrown arrowhead vine taking over the living room. And then, almost in what could only be described as divine intervention, something possessed my husband to stop at a garage sale where he found this set of 5 really cool Edison bulbs for $5 (normally they would go for around $7 a bulb). A few Home Depot trips later and we had settled on how to hang our new fixture. The funnest part of this whole process was seeing our random ideas become a reality. We are just so happy with the finished product and we love that it feels like a rustic garden in our living room. We like it so much, we just may consider putting another one up above the dining table 😉 Alrightie, here’s what you’ll need to make this fixture:

Supplies
Pressure Treated Lattice
(6) Ceiling Hooks – VersaHook
(10) Heavy Duty Cable Ties or Loop Wire and clamps*
(6) Metal Bolt – Everbilt 3/8 in. Eye Bolt with Nut
10 Vintage or LED Edison light bulbs
10 String Light socket
Faux Foliage

*Important: For safety purposes, make sure to use commercial cable ties with a tensile strength of at least 40 pounds or you risk the fixture falling down.

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Directions: 

  1. Cut the lattice to the desired size (we did 3ft wide by 5ft long) with a hand saw.
  2. On the lattice, choose 6 symmetrical points for hanging support and drill a hole for each. Secure the 3/8in eye bolts in each of the six holes.
  3. String the cable ties through the eye bolts and loop until completely secure. This is very important. You must not be able to open the loop or slide the tie back through the head.
  4. Measuring according to the location of the eye bolts on the lattice, drill 6 corresponding holes into the ceiling.
  5. Insert drywall anchors into the ceiling holes and secure the ceiling hooks by twisting.
  6. Just for a test run, install your fixture base by hanging the cable tie loops on the ceiling hooks. If everything looks good and sturdy then take it down and proceed with the next steps.
  7. Now for the fun part! Weave your string light sockets through the lattice and secure the wire in place with the remaining cable ties (you can use more if you like).
  8. Decorate your light fixture by arranging your faux foliage around the lattice either by weaving the stems through the lattice or using glue or a staple gun for a more permanent fix. Make sure to place the foliage a good distance away from the light bulbs or they can burn.
  9. Install your completed fixture by hanging the cable tie loops on the ceiling hooks.
  10. Finally, screw in your Edison bulbs, plug in the light, and enjoy the beautiful view!

 

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With the lattice and the Edison bulbs as the base, you can customize this fixture for any home decor style with just a coat of paint and greenery of your choice. You can hang flower stems, eucalyptus, lavender, air plants, etc… The creative possibilities are endless. If you do attempt to make this, be sure to share and tag us so we can see 🙂

If you liked this post please follow us and share!

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One Room Challenge: Week 6|Bathroom Renovation Reveal

Yesterday marked week 6 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge™ and that means it’s reveal time! We are so excited to share the results with you and see what other awesome bloggers have done. Seriously, after you’re done with this post go check out some of the other transformations. You will not be disappointed!

ORCI wasn’t able to take pictures sooner because we were out of the house yesterday and we have guests staying with us but I finally got around to it this morning. We thought we would have a little more time to decorate but time is up! There are still a few things we will be finishing up this weekend including installing the glass shower door, putting in the toilet paper bar (which will be back in stock at IKEA on May 14th), and staining the new window sill moulding but the bathroom is fully functional and oh so awesome. We also realized that we had not been properly linking up our posts to the Calling It Home site and we were a little discouraged that we had done all this work for nothing. But this renovation isn’t for everyone else. It’s for us.  All the sweat and blood (literally) that went into this project was for our family’s comfort and so before we get to the reveal, we thought we would recap our six weeks of hard work.

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Week 1 | Bathroom Renovation Preparation

IMG_1590Week 2 | Bathroom Renovation Demolition

IMG_1597Week 3 | Laying the Foundation for Tile

IMG_6453Week 4 | Mudding and Tiling a Bathroom

IMG_6526Week 5 | Tiling and Decorating a Bathroom

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we ran into some issues that cost us precious time. Because of that, we literally spent every day this last week working well into the early morning hours in order to finish on time. In just one week, we grouted and sealed the entire bathroom, primed and painted the walls, assembled and installed the vanity and storage cabinet, installed shelving and lighting, cleaned and caulked everything, and had the plumber come and connect the plumbing. Was it worth it? Totally! Although some features were not our first choice, we are very happy with the results. As you will see soon, our bathroom is unrecognizable. The white subway and Carrara marble tile totally brightened up and opened up the space. It looks so much bigger! Our favorite part, however, is the accent wall in the shower. We cannot wait to bathe the babies and enjoy the beautiful view. Without further ado…

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What do you think of the transformation? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for other fun DIYs and projects. Up next is our summer garden 🙂

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One Room Challenge: Week 5|Tiling and Decor Inspiration

Today marks week 5 of Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than one week away from the final reveal. We thought we would have a little more finished this week but with a grant application deadline that my wife needed to submit for, things got pushed to the side. As of now, all the tile has been laid on the floor and walls and we are getting ready to grout tomorrow. We have had our fair share of cuts and bruises (not to mention fatigue) but we are finally nearing the finish line and are so excited to share with you.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Grout and clean the haze

3. Prime and paint the non-tiled walls

4. Install vanity, toilet, storage cabinet, and other accessories

5. Decorate and style

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Progress:
Einstein was really on to something when he came up with his theory of relativity. It’s seriously hard to believe that we have been working on this project for a month now! To recap: We demoed and gutted the bathroom, installed the new bathtub and had the pipes replaced, installed new cement boards and insulation, mudded and tiled everything. Tiling was not hard but it was tedious because of all the cuts I had to make. The good news is that grouting shouldn’t take more than a few hours (if we can actually settle on a grout color). After that the plan is to do minor touch-ups to the drywall and then prime and paint. If all goes according to schedule, we hope to install the vanity this weekend and get the bathroom ready for the final photoshoot.

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This past weekend we went and picked out our bathroom furniture from IKEA and it was a bit more difficult than we had anticipated. The vanity series that we really liked only came in two depths: 11″ and 19″. Both of these were on the extreme ends of what we wanted. Ideally, we were looking for something around 15-16″ to maximize storage efficiency and spaciousness. We found exactly that but in a color that we weren’t so sure about. In the end we had to make the sacrifice and go with this one in black-brown. The major upside to this was the vanity sink. Every single thing about the sink that comes with this vanity series is beautiful and perfect. Okay, I know I’m talking about a sink here but it truly is a thing to behold.

lillangen-sink-white__0381414_PE556140_S4The light fixture was something else that we had to settle on this week and we went with an inexpensive bath bar light and these awesome filament globe bulbs. It might look simple but with the specific lightbulbs we chose,  it looks really cool.

Decor Inspiration:
We put together a mood board of inspiring decor items from IKEA, Target, Etsy, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie. We are not going to necessarily buy all of these things but creating this helped us decide on the look that we are going for: something earth-inspired, calming, and with a splash of color.

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At the center of the mood board is a quote art that my wife made herself. It’s something our son always says when he’s splashing around in the bath and we thought it would make for a nice bathroom wall decor. We are also providing it to you as a free download printable. Think of it is a gift of appreciation for putting up with us and our crazy projects all this time 🙂

Printable Wall Art: splishsplash

Anyways, we could have shown you more progress shots but we will save that for next week. There’s nothing worse than a trailer that gives away a movie’s plot. The accent wall turned out more amazing than we could have thought so we will just let you revel in that thought until you can see it for yourself in next week’s final post.

Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

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One Room Challenge: Week 4|Mudding and Tiling a Bathroom

We are hitting week 4 of  The One Room Challenge™ and that means we are less than two weeks away from the final reveal. Yikes! All the cement boards are completely up on the floors and walls and we are mudding as I speak (type). In other news, our accent wall tile arrived! And boy are we happy with the product. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we were torn about what color to go with for our planned accent wall in the shower. We had to order it online and we made the split decision to go with the mint green arabesque from Home Depot. It was a gamble to order online because pictures can be very deceiving but luckily these Merola tiles are more gorgeous than we could have imagined.

All right! Here’s what we have left to do:

1. Tile and grout
2. Install the vanity
3. Install the medicine cabinet
4. Connect the toilet and sink
5. Decorate

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Progress:
I know it’s been a slow first few weeks but we are feeling the fire now and desperately trying to finish on time. This past week was spent cutting and installing cement boards on the floors and walls. We also got rid of the debris from the demolition over the weekend. The city that we live in opens the dump to the public on the third Saturday of every month, which is awesome because you can dump all types of material except hazardous chemicals. It’s super convenient and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. On the down side, I managed to get a nice scar on my jaw when a mesh wire from the cement boards caught my skin. Ouch!

Once the mud dries we will sand and then thoroughly remove all the dust so that we can begin tiling tomorrow. We will start with the floors first and then do the walls. Next week, we will be sharing a design board of some decor ideas and a fun little printable we have been putting together for wall art. Until next time 🙂

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Would you like to see our progress as it unfolds? You can also follow along on Instagram @thecozyhomechronicles for behind-the-scene videos!

If you liked this post please follow us and share!

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