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Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be back with a new project Im so excited to share: a brand new podcast! For two years (and 100 episodes), I hosted my own radio show called After the Jump. Those interviews were what inspired me to change the way we write here at Design*Sponge, and ultimately led to our most recent book project, ...
DIY NETWORK BUILDING OFF THE GRID CASTING NOTICE
Were looking throughout the United States for folks who will soon start to build an off grid home and plan to complete the build before April of 2019. We cannot consider builds that are already well underway.
If you are selected for the show, you will receive compensation of up to $10k upon completion of filming and building.
**Please note, in order to be considered for the show, the home must primarily be built on rural land where it will ultimately exist (as opposed to being 100% built in a warehouse and then transported to the land)**
Please email margaret.halkin AT warmsprings.tv or call me @ 415-828-5828 if interested. I will be happy to answer all questions and fill you in on all the show details.
Here is a sneak peek link to the show:
The post 5 Craziest Projects at the Nepal, Kathmandu Mini Maker Faire appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
The last seven years of my life have been punctuated with unexpected adventures. The farm The donkeys! Almost buying a ton of farmland and then not buying and ton of farmland and being a little devastated about it! Then, being glad I didnt buy all of that farmland because of this
Backstory: A couple of years ago my mom said she really wanted to retire up by the farm but not, like, at the farm. At the time, she was looking at all of the nearby farm properties and possible land I could build a house for her on, but at some point last winter when I was working on the upstairs bath she said to me, Its taken you 3 years to finish this bathroom, theres no way youre going to be ready to build me a house before I retire in seven years. Which fair point, Mom.
So then we started talking about the lake. Its just a half mile down the road from the farm. Not a huge lake, but big enough to be all-sports. And, also, almost impossible to get a house on.
I was not worried about the impossible part because we had seven years. Surely something would come up in seven years.
Except my mom got this idea in her head, and then immediately sold her condo and moved into an apartment (so shed have her money free in case something came up) and started checking Zillow for potential lake houses every single morning for the last two years. You guys, all Im going to say is that SHE HAD A SPREADSHEET. You know Im serious about building some shit when Ive made a drunk sketch on the back of a junk-mail envelope. You know my mom is serious about some shit when she makes a spreadsheet. Just saying.
A great little house did come up a year ago, but the asking price was higher than we thought was reasonable (and that we could get a loan for) so I thought, well just wait this out and when they realize that is an unreasonable amount of money for a 900sf house well make an offer. And then in sold for cash above the asking amount in 24...
Madeline Hemingway and Michael Pollak admit that they have a certain groove they get into when theyre working together. They both work for Heyday, a brand of facial shops that offer skin care and facial services along with educating clients on taking care of their skin; Madeline is Director of Store Design and Michael is Chief Brand Officer and co-founder. When the two were looking to open their first location in Los Angeles the other five locations are in New York Michael made a serendipitous discovery.
Michael was driving down Beverly [Boulevard] with his partner (who is also Heydays real estate broker) Nick Cowan, whod been obsessed with finding a corner, auto-body style building and saw the For Rent sign, Madeline says. They immediately saw its potential and inquired to see if it was available. The second Michael showed me the photos, I got so excited to transform the space! The corner lot, the covered patio, the parking lot, and great bones made it such an enticing location for our first shop in LA.
Madeline and Michael got to work designing the new location and reconfiguring its layout remotely not an easy task to do all the way from New York City. Anticipating all the functional needs of the team and the flow...
Since this is now Hurricane season, and NC, SC, Va got pelted with over trillion gallons of water in 3 days and floodwaters exceeded historic levels, what would you do if your area got hit by tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes? Do you have plans? Here are some ways your 
The O-Wind is made with vents in the exterior so that it can catch city crosswinds and spin accordingly. This means that city dwellers might be able to generate their own electricity with the typical swirling winds found in cities. You can read more about this interesting design at www.goodnewsnetwork.org
When Ailbhe and Izzy Keane were kids, Ailbhes heart would break when shed see her sister Izzy, who was born with spina bifida and paralyzed from the waist down, become discouraged. Growing up she found it very frustrating and upsetting that there was nothing available for her to personalize her wheelchair, Ailbhe remembers. Her chair was the first thing that people noticed about her, but it wasnt a [reflection] of her bright and bubbly personality.
The inseparable Irish sisters would team up to decorate Izzys chair for myriad special occasions, projecting onto it the colors and bits of pizzazz that so aptly encompassed Izzys personality.
So it was a natural move for the two to found Izzy Wheels in 2016, a brand of stylish wheelchair covers that initially sparked as a final-year art project for Ailbhe when she was finishing her visual commu...
Many people feel that an adequate supply of clean water will be one of the most significant issues of the future, and I have no reason to doubt that. The United States has been blessed with an abundance of good water, and we have gotten used to having it at the twist of a faucet handle. It can be a shock when water supplies diminish and water has to be rationed, or if the supply gets contaminated and is no longer available for potable use.
Water agencies always advise conservation; they know how precious and limited the supply is. In fact, many plumbing codes now require that new installations of toilets be low consumption models and that showers be fitted with restriction diaphragms to limit the flow of water.
Other strategies for conserving domestic water tend to be rather controversial. The reuse of gray water, using rain water catchment systems and composting toilets all conserve water but may be frowned upon for various reasons, mostly to do with health concerns. In many places these practices are flat out illegal, even though they have been shown to be safe and effective when utilized carefully.
Recycling gray water (from the drains of baths, showers, washing machines and bathroom sinks) is very tempting because it seems so benign and obviously of value. Black water waste (from toilets, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals and dishwashers) is more clearly of dubious value because of all the organic material it contains and the potential for bacterial contamination. About 2/3 of all the water used inside a typical house could be diverted for the use of watering plants, flushing the toilet or washing clothes.
Here are some guidelines for gray water use: never use for direct consumption; dont use directly on anything that might be eaten; dont spray it; never reuse water from washing diapers or cleaning meat or poultry; occasionally water plants with fresh water as well to leach away any buildup of toxins, and use biodegradable soap.
Because of continuing drought, California legalized the use of gray water in 1992. However, it was only legalized for subsurface use, either with drip systems or mini-leach systems. Drip systems require the use of a surge tank to clarify the water, where leach systems may use the gray water directly. In either case the water must be introduced at least eight inches below the surface.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 443 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Happy weekend to ya! Sorry for the slightly late post. It was scheduled but it didnt post. NO idea why. Isnt that comforting for next time?! Anyway, while I didnt pull off a traditional DIY on the blog this 
The post Gordon McComb, Father of Hobby Robotics, Has Passed Away appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
Back when we first toured artist Bari Ackermans home in Scottsdale, AZ last year, she shared with us a dream about eventually updating her familys kitchen. There wasnt anything disastrously wrong with it, but it was 22 years old and not exactly Bari if youve seen the rest of her house youll get the gist. The space simply longed for a few practical updates and needed to represent its f...
The post This Meter Long Steampunk Angler Fish Is Comprised Mainly of Scrap appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
In this video we explore and learn how to use shipping containers as strong, durable and mobile building blocks to create amazing structures of all kinds, like a house, addition, office space, or cabin; and we feature a few stunning projects to get you inspired! Anthony Ruggiero from Storstac Inc. (http://www.storstac.com/) showed us around their yard in Toronto, Ontario and took the time to teach us about the ins and outs of building with shipping containers.
The post Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers! appeared first on Natural Building Blog.
This peg board wall treatment is perfect for any house! Because the wooden pegs are interchangeable you can mix, match, and customize to your hearts content, its the decor equivalent of the 80s staple Units! This oversized pegboard can be used as shelves, to hang art, and as a place to store you backpack and purses. This pegboard is one of the projects I created in Aspyn Ovards house, you can see the entire makeover here!
The entryway wall in Apsyns was HUGE. Its tall and wide and dwarfed anything she tried to put there. Do you ever feel like that in your house? Nothing like a 44 piece of art looking like a postage stamp to deflate your decor dreams. If youve got a huge space to fill but are wondering exactly how to pull it off, this pegboard project is for you!
(1) 4x8x1/2 sheet of plywood per panel
(1) 4x8 sheet of normal peg board (total)
(4) 1x2x3.5 per panel
1 wooden dowels
1 Forstner Drill Bit
Philips Head Screwdriver
You can see all of my tool recommendations here!
Start by figuring out the spacing of your holes, you can do them as close together, or as far apart as you want! I figured that my holes needed to be 6 apart to get the look I wanted.
For Ellen and Matt Godfrey, nothing compares to getting back to your roots the place where you grew up. Dating since Ellen was in high school and Matt in college, the couple both grew up in Birmingham, AL. After college, they moved to Los Angeles, where they lived for eight years. While there, Ellen worked for Sugar Paper, a stationery line, before starting her interior design business and Matt was a working actor, recording audiobooks on the side. The couple became certified foster parents while in Los Angles, taking in twin boys first. The boys were reunited with their biological family, but then Irene came into their lives. After the adoption of Irene was final, the couple felt the pull to get back to Alabama, and back to raising their daughter around family and the hometown that they missed.
Now Matt and Ellen both work from home in the 1928 bungalow they found during a whirlwind trip to Birmingham to look for houses. They made an offer the same day they saw it and the next day, it was theirs. After a three-month renovation, which involved redoing the kitchen and bathrooms and adding millwork that kept with the style and time period of the home,...
Once upon a time, waaay back in 2013, you may remember when my blog underwent a revamp. The blog design you see today was made up from elements I took pictures of. One thing at a time. The little tag tied with twine and the clipboard were from two of my photos. Then they were 
If theres one thing that is next to impossible to find without plastic, its crackers. Before I went plastic-free, Id buy packet upon packet of crackers usually with the plastic tray, then wrapped in plastic and with a final plastic or cardboard outer. Packaging overload! These days I do things very differently. I either 
We built the cutest end table for around $80 including the legs! Check out the video! How cute is this table guys?? Before we get started, you need some legs! Here is the link to the legs we purchased for our table. We used 24 height and 12 length! You can also download and print
The post See Your Favorite DIY Content Creators at Maker Faire New York appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
When Pinterest first launched, I will admit, I was not enthusiastic. I saw it as an example of so many of the problems we were facing as bloggers (a lack of crediting, the devaluing of original content and moving traffic away from original independent sources) and, to me, it represented a larger change for which I felt wholly unprepared. But over the years Pinterest has become the main way most people find, share and use design imagery online, so Ive gotten more used to it and have honestly enjoyed seeing how helpful it is for people looking to create meaningful spaces of their own. And while I expected it to be a useful design tool, I didnt realize it would end up helping me better understand myself, what I wanted from life (and home) and how to be more appreciative of the present.
Ive kept plenty of Pinterest boards for myself over the years, focusing on things like shoes and clothing and jewelry. But I never really used them to shop I just wanted to catalog things I thought were beautiful or fun to look at. Id check in on them every now and then and marvel at how much my style or interests had changed and laugh at myself for being so prone to huge style shifts. But it wasnt until I started a Pinterest board for my one day dream home (below) that I noticed a more meaningful change.
You can build this DIY Platform Bed in literally 3 steps. Do you have a Saturday afternoon? Good, because you can make this bed and still have time for a leisurely stroll through Home Depot.
When I was designing Macies room, (and lets get real here, any bedroom) one of the nagging problems is that of the box spring/bedskirt. Its just not my favorite. So I decided that a DIY platform bed would be the perfect solution.
The was a little bit of criteria that it had to have. It had to be normal bed height, without using a box spring, it had to be sturdy, and it had to be pretty. I had already finished the Macram headboard, and felt like it needed something behind it other than the wall to make it feel more headboard-y and less wall hang-y. That is where the giant wall panel comes into play.
(2) 48 pieces of premium plywood. I recommend using the 3/4 thick pieces.
(3) 8 pieces of premium 1x4 pine.
(5) Heavy Duty Top Plates (available at Home Depot)
(5) 15 Parsons Table Legs (available at Home Depot)
Please note these measurements are for a standard twin size bed.
Pro Tip: Have the plywood cut at Home Depot before you bring it home!
Painting furniture is one of the simplest DIY projects on the planet. However, it is also one of the easiest things to mess up. Trust me, Ive painted more furniture than I care to remember and have learned so much it will make your head spin. Today Im passing all of my wood painting info along to you! Ive teamed up with my longtime partner Sherwin-Williams, who sponsored this post to give you THE BEST furniture painting information available!
There are a million different sites telling you different (and conflicting!!) info. No one wants to learn to paint furniture the wrong way, or the hard way. So today I am sharing with you my absolute foolproof way to paint furniture. I have hundreds of reader questions at the ready and Im going to answer all of them! (Its a good thing that most of them are the same, see the most common at the bottom of this post!)
Paint for some reason has this catch all mentality. How is it that we as humans have 15 different types of moisturizers, but paint is only allowed to have one formula? NO!! Regular latex paint is not designed for hard surfaces that get a lot of usage like a kitchen table.
If youve ever painted something and had the finish turn out tacky like its never cured, or had it peel off in sheets (so satisfying but not when its on your kitchen table) chances are GREAT that you went to the paint counter and told them the sheen and color but nothing was mentioned about the product type or project right?! Do you know how I know this?! Because Ive done ita few times! DANG IT!!!
Today were thrilled to have Corrie Beth Hogg share a DIY project she made just for us, inspired by her new book, Handmade Houseplants: Remarkably Realistic Plants You Can Make with Paper! Take it away, Corrie! Kelli
I love the challenge of figuring out which of my trusty art supplies will best replicate my current plant obsession, and then sorting what Ive learned into teachable steps. Right now, Im totally smitten with all the cultivars of Colocasia. You likely know them as elephant ears, and its a fitting name, as the leaves of these plants can get huge!
What Ive made here is inspired by mojito or Colocasia esculenta, a stunning variegated variety that was only just discovered (or engineered) in 2007! I am beyond thrilled to share this tutorial with yall just look at this dreamboat, and all its splatter! You can make an entire plant like I have, or craft just a few leaves to place in vases or gift to friends. You can tell them to come visit, and say youll have a mojito waiting fo...
The post Grow Your Makerspace: 6 Tips For Building Positive Maker Culture appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
In this collaboration between the popular Braille Skateboarding YouTube channel and Autodesk, Aaron Kyro and gang meet up with industrial designer Paul Sohi to test out a set of generatively designed, laser-sintered titanium skateboard trucks. The crew is wowed by the trucks diminished weight said to be 45% lighter 
The post Braille Skateboarding Tests Autodesks $1300 3D Printed Titanium Skate Trucks appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
Stunning eco-friendly shed has been crowned Shed of the Year 2018 George Smallwoods Bee Eco Shed has won the coveted title of overall winner in the 11th annual Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition Environmentally friendly shed beat musical boat-shed and Irish pub to the top spot After a nail-biting competition, Bee Eco Shed from
Think about the people that you know and ask yourself how many of them fit into the single family model of chosen lifestyle. Perhaps you know an elderly person who doesnt want the responsibility of maintaining a big home and would rather live with other folks in a similar situation. Maybe you know someone who doesnt want to be married, but does want to live in a relationship with other people. How about a young person just starting out on her own, who is ready for some independence, but is not ready to take on homemaking on her own? What about a several generational family that wants to be close to each other, but not necessarily live in the same house?
In general, the zoning for developing residences across much of the United States is classified as single family; only one family may reside on any given lot. So what is a single family in the United States at the beginning of the 21 st Century? The definition of what constitutes a family has gotten rather vague.
I sense a yearning among many people to experience life at home in a more communal way; they want to be able to share their lives more intimately with friends or like-minded people. They want to be able to share some facilities, and not be responsible for every aspect of a house unto themselves. They want to be able to find and afford their own place, which may not necessarily be a large house.
I feel that it would be much better to recognize and accept the great diversity of people around us, and actually provide homes for all of us, legally. This would mean making available small rental units, mother-in-law apartments, co-housing projects, cluster housing projects, multi-unit dwellings, along with the single family homes. Embrace the diversity!
This would not only be good for people, but it would also be good for our environment in that sharing facilities and leaving more open space is a more sustainable approach to living. Less redundancy means more efficiency in energy and materials used.
Co-housing is a particularly interesting concept, in that it provides for the needs of individuals or small family units, while at the same time giving them access to each other as a close-knit community. A typical co-housing project will have space for six or more living units which are private from each other, and then there will be common space to be shared. This shared space might include a large kitchen and dining hall,...
Ive always been curious about the process of hand crafted pottery. When I visit The Back Porch located in Harrison Hot Springs, BC, its always so fun to gaze at their rows and rows of beautiful hand crafted pottery creations. And I love the fact that when I purchase some antiques or freshly roasted coffee, I may 
As Design*Sponge grows and evolves, were always trying new things, paying attention to what resonates most with you, and adapting as a team and a platform. Were about to kick off a new era (and a redesign upgrade to focus on what you want to see most) that includes launching new types of content and bringing back some old favorites weve heard many of you miss.
Grace is back from her creative sabbatical and shell be writing features dedicated to our Good Company ethos. Since we launched Good Company Magazine in May of this year (an extension of our book, In the Company of Women), weve been seeking out and telling the stories of underrepresented people in the creative community. These inspiring stories will also have a home on D*S now bringing us weekly business and entrepreneurial content that bridges the worlds of creativity and business.
Were also happy to report that Graces podcast is back! Stay tuned t...
When it comes to stories about interior renovations, the conversation tends to center around homeowners updating their space to fit within a trend. For some families, though, deeply personal factors end up influencing the evolution of their spaces way more than whats populating their Pinterest boards. Maybe their kids are getting older. Perhaps a parent has started working from home. No matter the reason, these familial ebbs and flows have just as much of an impact on their spaces style as whats #trending amongst the forward-thinking Instagrammers they follow.
Molly Magill and her husband Bens home in Oak Cliff, a neighborhood in Dallas, TX, is one such place. Over time, their 1920s-era Craftsman has seen changes brought forth by the birth of their children, career moves, and their kiddos varying interests. My goal is to always shift our style with our life. Our family is always changing, so what tells our story will continually evolve (too), Molly says. These adjustments have brought with them new art, the addition of various vintage pieces, and landed the couples home in what I call The Sweet Spot. Its a space occupied by houses that have been curated over time with layers as attractive as they are personal.
One room in particular serves as a prime example of how changes in their family have influenced the look of their space: Their daughter Olive Graces room. While the blue stripes on the walls seem purp...
The post High Tech Meets Traditional Skills At The Ozarks Mini Maker Faire appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 442 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Happy fall, folks! It started to rain here so now it REALLY feels like a BIG season change overnight. And just in time because I have officially launched 8 new stencils, 7 of which are Fall themed! Look-it me 
The post World Maker Faire New York, Where Digital Fabrication Cant Be Missed appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.
Someone hand me a tissue.
I am so excited to share with you today a video reveal of phase 1 of the Merc reno!!
Almost exactly 2 years ago I walked into the Merc for the first time. I cant even fathom how these years have passed by so quickly. They have been some of the most rewarding and difficult years of my life. Renovation is no joke, but man would I do it again in a heart beat.
Thanks for following along, and caring about our journey, we are beyond grateful for each and every one of you!
And if youre feeling sad thinking that the Merc saga is at an end, let me assure you (with a manic laugh and crazy eyes) that it is in fact not even close! Weve still got Phase 2 and the Tithing Granary.
If youre new and have miss any part of the renovation thus far, you can follow along from the beginning here!
So without further adieu, The Merc Phase 1 Reveal!!
I got word from Thailand yesterday that Owens health is improving. The email I received says, Oh he get better very much. He can breath by himself. Today he eat first meal. He try to talk but still no voice.
I think that all of our thoughts and prayers have contributed to this. Thank you all!
Moving to Brooklyn, NY after living in London for four years is a big shift for a family of four, and rooting into a solid community that will generate support systems is of utmost importance when it comes to finding a new home across the Atlantic. For a hardworking couple, their two young daughters, and their dog, they relied heavily on the advice of friends in their new Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood to point them in the right direction. They needed their new home to be kid-friendly and be near a park and great public schools. Once they sought out those must-haves and found them all checked off in a building that is in a row of nine identical Renaissance Revival townhouses that were built in 1893 the family brought in Homepolish designer Liz Lipkin to pull it all together.
The client wanted a home that was elevated, but still family-friendly, Liz begins. In the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas, I wanted to create spaces that were vibrant and welcoming, just like the clients. There are plenty of kid-approved pieces in the living room where the family gathers with friends and relatives. I opted for two upholstered ottomans instead of a coffee table here. Theyre so much more functional and fun. They [serve as]...
There are group shoots for nearly every major TV show, movie, and game. Many of the creations incorporate 3D printing, LEDs, casting and molding, and other maker techniques to bring their vision to life.
Without a doubt, the entry hallway is truly the core of decorator Whitney Jones home. Not only does every guest pass through it upon coming inside, but it leads to a corridor that connects every room in her New Orleans, LA house. Even though its an integral part of her space, unfortunately, it went ignored for years while Whitney focused on redoing other areas of her home.
Its days of playing second fiddle are over though, as it recently got a refresh courtesy of Whitneys big-and-bold Maximalist style. To give the space a new look, shes paired her love for mixing patterns and colors with pieces that nod to her African heritage, creating a deeply personal design in an area often forgotten when people decorate their homes. I highly doubt anyone will be able to stroll down her entry hallway now without stopping. Its extremely eye-catching given its hand-stenciled walls and colorful accessories. Keep scrolling to learn how she crafted the look and cleverly made Maximalist style work in a tig...
This DIY A-Frame Ladder Shelf tutorial is a quick weekend project that adds some crazy style to your home. These ladder shelves are completely customizable, you can build 2 or 7, depending on the space you have to fill!
The reason these shelves are so doable is because were creating the first ladder and using it as a template for the other two so they are exactly the same. Let me show you.
The first side of the ladder that we are building is the long side, see how it extends past the shorter side? The measurement for the long side of the ladder is 104.
Take your first board and measure down 4 and mark. This is where the first rung is going to sit. I wanted enough space between each shelf that I could put things that are a little bit taller inside, the space between each rung measures 14.25. Measure and mark for each of the 7 rungs on your shelves.
Once that is done, find the 1/2 way point between marks 2 and 3. This is where the short side of your ladder is going to connect. Mark this spot for drilling as well.
There isnt a piece of furniture that we love building more than a dining table! We have built so many over the years and this DIY Fancy V Dining Table might just be one of our favorites! We built it for under $100 and only 14 boards! Grab a cup of coffee and come build
The post DIY Fancy V Dining Table for under $100 and a Tool Giveaway appeared first on Shanty 2 Chic.
The apple is the fruit that says autumn to me the most, and I learned from cookbook author (and wife to Grace!), Julia Turshen, that when dipped in honey, apples are also most closely associated with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year (which begins this year at sundown on September 9 and ends at sundown on September 11).
Fittingly, Julia made an Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese + Honey Frosting based on those celebratory apples dipped in honey in her new cookbook, Now & Again. Its a soft, moist, one-layer cake that requires no special utensils or special ingredients to make. True to Julias popular cooking style, its also made in one bowl (or two if you count the frosting bowl). Ill admit that while I can almost always resist layer cakes when I see them in bakery windows, its the single-layer cakes like this one that get me every time! Try this recipe out to usher in autumn or as a delicious addition to your Rosh Hashanah traditions. Kristina
Every morning at 6 a.m., Derek Lavender would kiss his wife LeAnne goodbye, hop on his motorcycle and head to work. Even though hed been an avid biker for years, he never failed to text her when he got to the office. She had to know hed made it safely. On June 15th, 2016, however, his text never came. LeAnne recalls, At 7:13 a.m., I received a call from the local hospital explaining that Derek had been in a serious accident, and I needed to get downtown as soon as possible. I remember the neurosurgeon handing me Dereks helmet, and a tooth fell out of the head mask. Although Derek had on a full-faced helmet and all the gear, he still managed to break seven bones, his spine and collapse his lung.
For months the couple lived in Chicago, a three-hour drive from their home in Indianapolis, while Derek underwent rehabilitation and familiarized himself with how to use his new wheelchair. Then, upon their return to Indy, the two put their home on the market so they could move into a more-accessible rental close to Dereks job. And so began their new life.
Many things changed on that day in June, but the twosomes shared passion for design and DIY didnt wane in the slightest. In April of 2017, after several months in the accessible rental, they were ready to dive into a new project and set out to find a new home to renovate. It didnt come easy, though. LeAnne and Derek toured over 50 options in hopes of finding one that would accommodate De...
Theres a new member to the stencil family, and I had a boring TV tray that was calling its name! Im so glad I hung tough on the tray until now. Because I am digging the new look which was all too easy to create. Isnt it sweet? Well, hello there TV tray Ive had 
Many of the regular readers of this blog have probably been wondering why Owen has not been posting here for the last few weeks. The reason is that he has been ill and is now in a hospital.
About three weeks ago I got a message from Owen that he was doing a serious worm cleanse and was weak, asking me to take over making regular posts. That is the last I have heard directly from Owen.
When he stopped answering my emails after several days I did some research to find out where he was staying in Cambodia. He was there because of problems in maintaining his visa in Thailand where he has been living for the last 13 years. I also contacted his adopted Thai family to see if they knew anything about him. They soon answered that they had located Owen and one of them was on his way to Cambodia to assist.
Owen was very weak and was transported via ambulance to a hospital where he was given fluids. More ambulance rides brought him back to his home town in Thailand, where he now is recuperating in a hospital. He is being fed via a tube and has assistance with breathing because of a lung infection.
Owen could use our prayers and blessings at this time.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 441 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Hellooo! And, I dont even know where to start with this past week. EVERYTHING is different, and its all so unexpected and good! Remember that free journaling course I was taking? Im taking it again to join some of 
In America we build our houses with wood. It has been that way since settlers from Europe arrived and needed to clear forested areas just to plant crops. The forests were so vast, it was hard to conceive that the day would ever come when we have cut almost all of the original trees. Only about 2% of the virgin coastal forests now remain in North America; over 90% of the rest of our forests are gone forever.
But wood is a renewable resource, right? We just need to plant more trees. The problem has been greed, an insatiable appetite for more wood, and lack of foresight. Timber companies, aided and abetted by the Forest Service, have gone after trees so voraciously that enormous ecosystems have been devastated, all across America (and in the rest of the world as well). Realizing that the source of their wealth is diminishing, the timber companies have finally started replanting trees in clear cut areas, but it is a hard go for the little saplings out there, baking in the sun.
The way we have treated our forests has negatively impacted biodiversity through loss of suitable habitat for plants and animals. Ground water is compromised, because forests attract atmospheric water and hold it in the ground. Top soil is lost through erosion, and the silt clogs our waterways and leads to flooding and declining fish populations. It becomes harder for new forests to take root, because the nutrient base is diminished. Forest fires become more prevalent because of all the logging debris that is left and the brush that grows in place of mature trees. The access to the forests through all of the logging roads further degrades these areas through the pollution left in the wake of people and their machines. Deforestation leads to global warming, because trees utilize the carbon dioxide that creates the greenhouse effect. And much of the oxygen that we breathe is generated by trees!
Selective harvesting to maintain a healthy forest is still a rarity. Instead we have tree farms that masquerade as forests. It is estimated that there are eight times as many miles of logging roads in our country as there are interstate highways. Long stretches of the Pacific Crest Trail now winds through tree stumps, or in some cases detours around clear cuts to try to avoid public outcry. The new trees are cut as soon they have potential value, usually way before they are mature; so many products are now made with wood chips or pulp, why wait?
In the end, we are all losers. As Rene Dubos...
This post is sponsored by Zabitat. All opinions are my own.
I just realized that several of my recent posts have included the word "budget" in the title. Can you tell we are trying to squeeze a LOT of home improvements out of a small budget? So I'm all about ways to get the most impact for the least amount of money. If you're thinking about replacing exterior doors, one awesome hack that you should definitely look into is Zabitat. They offer decorative glass inserts for steel or fiberglass doors, so instead of buying a brand new door, you can replace the glass on your existing door for a whole new look at a fraction of the cost. Our first idea was to upgrade the glass on our front door, to increase our home's curb appeal and let in more natural light. But as I was scrolling through Zabitat's site, I came across their door glass inserts with enclosed blinds, and I knew these would be PERFECT for our French doors in the back.
There was nothing technically wrong with our old French doors. They weren't damaged or anything. But with all that glass, we didn't have much privacy in the back of our house, and we felt kind of exposed at night. Also, French doors in the dining room + one messy toddler meant daily smudges on the glass, which was hard to keep up with. The Zabitat insert has an internal grille, so instead of cleaning the individual panes (and inevitably leaving a little dust and grime in the corners of each one), I can just wipe down the whole surface continuously. Sounds like a small thing, but when it's a everyday type of chore, it makes a big difference.
I was really intimidated by the idea of messing with our exterior doors, but I needn't have worried. This truly was an easy DIY project that anyone with a few basic tools can handle. There's an installation guide here, but it's pretty basic: you unscr...
One of my favourite things about living with less waste is that there is never a single solution. There are always lots of solutions. Different options work better for different people and different situations, but there will always be a way. In Australia, 40% of our landfill bins consist of food waste. Trimmed off bits, 
The Starlighter 1, built by Bob of Showme Tiny Homes in Missouri, is very nicely put together. It features radiant floor heating, reclaimed items throughout, folding deck, off-grid ready, folding bed, and many more well thought out things.
The post The Starlighter 1 Is The Perfect Forever Tiny House appeared first on Natural Building Blog.
Hey guys! We have the cutest and most simple DIY Herringbone Hairpin Bench to share today! I built this one for my entryway, and I couldnt be more pleased with how cute it turned out! Before we get started, be sure to check out our DIY YouTube video HERE or below! You can get the
As many of you know, I recently came back from a lovely hiatus in Maui. It was a long spell to heal up from some life changes. Once I got home, I was surprised to find myself in a state of what I referred to as Builder Grade Beige. I was neither happy nor sad. 
I received an email from Professor Sunny Cai, who teaches architectural design at a college in Beijing , China. He mentioned his interest in ancient Chinese architecture, especially the earthen buildings called tulou, and he sent me some pictures of these rammed earth buildings. I had never seen anything quite like them, so I queried him further about how they were made and used. He replied, The foundation was built with rocks, 2 feet high all around. The juice of glutinous rice and some lime is mixed into the earth for strength, and then sliced bamboo, reeds, and sometimes pieces of wood are also used.Tulou is a kind of special building, located in remote areas. People worried about bandits invading their home (before 1950); thats why tulou were built so big and strong. Inside the building are many families (most of them of blood relation) sharing the space, with as many as 200 to 300 people.
I did some further internet research and found out more about these interesting structures. Tulou are traditional communal residences in the Fujian province of Southern China , often of a circular configuration surrounding a central shrine. Some of these vernacular structures were constructed of cut granite or had substantial walls of fired brick. The end result is a well lit, well-ventilated, windproof, earthquake resistant building that is warm in winter and cool in summer.
There are more than 20,000 tulou in southern Fujian , and these were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment.
Actually the Tulou were built by a minority called the Hakka, who were originally Han who fled south to escape war and famine during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC). As they gradually moved they changed the local architecture by incorporating Han styles and that produced the tulou. Not only were the high walls built for defense but they were also the...
Who has ever stood at the edge of a renovation and tried to peer into the future to see what trends were sticking around for a while and what was on its way out? Im sure in 1971 no one predicted the fall of Avocado green appliances, or 1998s faux Tuscan vineyard memorablilia, but guess what?? It happens. When it comes to kitchens especially, there are some heavy commitments made, both monetarily and to the style of the space. Its no big deal to repaint a wall, its significantly harder to renovate a kitchen. Its really easy in the heat of the moment to default to classic (aka boring) because its a lot of money and you dont want to be the house that is remembered for the blue kitchen sink in a bad way. But what if you have your heart set on a blue kitchen sink!? What if its everything youve ever wanted and you talked yourself out of your one true desire to appease the potential future owner of your home?
Whew, that was quite the lead in.
In all seriousness, are you guys ready to witness the most epic thing to happen to kitchen design since the invention of soft close drawers?!! Elkay is getting ready to release a kitchen sink that you can change. YOU with no tools, no plumber, no renovation, in just a few minutes. Do you know how I know this?! Because I was lucky enough to put the first prototype in the Merc!!
Guys, meet the sink that is going to change everything: Elkay Crosstown Stainless Steel Farmhouse Sink with Interchangeable Apron Front
This month Design*Sponge turns 14 years old 14!!! I started reading D*S over a decade ago, and quickly became a devoted fan. This online space is where I escaped from work when I needed to recharge and find inspiration; Id spend my lunch breaks in the newsroom at my desk, scrolling through and virtually touring beautiful homes. Almost five years ago, to my fangirl disbelief and excitement, I joined the Design*Sponge team, and the magic of this job has truly not lost its luster for me.
As a then-fan and now Executive Editor of this site, I am grateful Grace sat down at her computer 14 years ago, seeking a creative outlet. I am grateful that she started this blog that once was a place for her to keep track of trends and styles she loved, only to morph into a site that covers incredible homes, motivating Before & After transformations, real and thoughtful discussion, recipes, DIY projects, and more. Most of all, we are always in pursuit of what home means to all people, and find endless wonder and appreciation for each different iteration.
We are always working to improve and grow and learn, and we want to both thank you all for coming back here year after year, and also thank you for lending your ear, sh...
In a way Purple is like a modern wizard, transforming old trash into useful treasures for his off the grid homestead. After being gifted an old Bedford bus by a friend, he has been restoring it over the years and its now a wonderful off the grid tiny house in an upcycled homestead. Purples house bus home is a perfect example of how old items can be repurposed and upcycled for unique and useful purposes. You can also achieve a lot with very little money. Purples home allows him to live a simple, off the grid life. With all his needs met, he is able to focus his efforts on his creative work as an audio engineer and create beautiful and useful things from old items. I hope you enjoy the full tour of this special tiny home and off grid homestead.
The post A Bedford House Bus In An Off-The-Grid Upcycled Homestead Kingdom appeared first on Natural Building Blog.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 440 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Happy party day! So, it may not seem like a big week if you scroll my feed due to (ahem) no posts but its actually been a pretty life changing one. So much so, I need headlines I took 
Every morning, I enjoy my first cup of brew on my outdoor patio overlooking the mountain view. Theres just something about nature that pulls me outdoors, no matter what the weather. Unfortunately, our BC skies have been filled with forest fire smoke lately, creating an eerie pink glowing sun. It just seems that our summers 
The post Reversible DIY reclaimed wood Flower and Apple Farm crate with video appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.
From time to time, were asked to check out new products and we always perk up when the product enhances whats already in our homes. When Soraa Home reached out to us to let us know their professional lightning technology was now available to everyone with their new line of full spectrum LED light bulbs, we were excited to see them in action. Soraa has made a name for itself as a leader in the commercial lighting world using innovative technology to light some of the best and brightest spaces in the museum, gallery and retail worlds.
The technology were talking about comes down to this: standard LED bulbs have major color gaps and that means the light they cast tends to add a flat, dull luminance that skews the colors in the spaces where theyre used. The newly available Soraa Radiant LED bulbs bring colors to a whole new level because of their full (color) spectrum technology that fills in all of those color gaps, allowing the hues to really come to life especially two of our favorites, reds and pinks.
Bonnie Christine will never forget the first meal she cooked for her young family in their 1962 Airstream Overlander. She and her husband, David, had just reached Colorado in their new-to-them Airstream trailer with son Bear (4) and daughter Ollie (2) in tow a far cry from their stationary home in Franklin, NC. Bonnie whipped up a modest stir fry using veggies shed brought along for the trip, still fresh from the familys garden at home in North Carolina. The distance traveled and experience underway as a family were not lost on her, nor was the pinch-me moment of gathering around the 150-square-foot trailers table and taking in the magnificent views out the window.
It was all a dream realized for Bonnie, a surface pattern designer and fabric designer, and David, a fly fishing guide one that was a decade in the making. Ever since we got married, David and I have dreamed of owning an Airstream, Bonnie begins. For 10 years, we casually looked, sometimes more serious than others. This past spring we decided it was the right time for our family to do some traveling, so we made it our mission to find an older Airstream that had already been updated (we werent quite up for a full renovation), but something that I could still update to make our own. On Easter weekend, we found the perfect match. A 1962 26 Airstream Overlander. The previous owner had done a complete shell-off restoration, so it already had new axles, updated plum...
The late Malcolm Wells was a writer, artist and architect who was a vocal advocate of underground building since the early 70s, having written nearly twenty books on the topic. He wrote in a humorous, personal, eloquent and inspiring style. His books are completely written by hand in pen and ink, and are liberally illustrated with both photographs and watercolor sketches.
Two of his books that I found most intriguing are titled Recovering America: A More Gentle Way to Build and Infra Structures: Life Support for the Nations Circulatory Systems. The first one is based on a trip he took across America with camera in hand to document the extent to which our country has been covered with concrete and asphalt, killing the wildness of nature that is always attempting to erupt. The other book documents how the roads, bridges, ports, airports, etc. are all disintegrating, and in need of more than repair: they need to be re-conceptualized. Malcolms solution to these dilemmas is to put it all underground!
In response to these books, I wrote to Malcolm, I have been wrestling with the whole question of how to remediate the architectural and infrastructural atrocities that have been committed in the name of progress, prosperity and domination over nature. Your vision of putting it all underground certainly has its appeal, but to me it brings up a slew of other concerns. Could we afford the enormous acceleration in the release of carbon dioxide? (They say that the manufacture of every ton of cement releases another ton of this gas into the atmosphere) The embodied energy in your suggested remake of America is truly staggering: fuel to make all that concrete and steel, dig up the earth, make the supporting structure and then cover it all back over with soil. The structures themselves would have to be extraordinarily massive to sustain the loads you envision. I know it is possible, but would it be worth it? Would the resulting increase in vegetation absorb enough carbon dioxide to make the proposition a net gain for life on earth? Is there enough fossil fuel left to do this?
Another concern is aesthetic, and is not directed at you personally, but at the whole direction of western architecture over the last century or so. If you look at most of your lovely drawings of how it will look after the whole mess is put underground, it is instantly obvious where the man made stuff is. It is obvious because it...
Dude. How would you feel about my lovely self showing up at YOUR HOUSE overhauling a space that has you feeling generally bad feelings about?! Cause itishappening. Im teaming up with Sherwin-Williams for an epic room overhaul for one lucky reader!! Friends, welcome to the first ever Sherwin-Williams Save Me!! room makeover giveaway!
If you live within a 7 hour drive of St. George UT (Salt Lake, Phoenix, LA etc.) and have a room in your house that is in desperate need of an overhaul I would love to have you enter!! Please keep in mind that were talking cosmetic changes here (Im not pulling down walls or moving plumbing!) The focus of the space will be the transformative power of Sherwin-Williams paint, but we will also be providing new furnishings! Were going full on Vintage Revivals here folks, its going to be incredible!
Just a few months ago, I had the chance to go to Mexico City, a city Ive wanted to visit for years and years. My love for Mexico City began when I discovered the work of beloved painter, Frida Kahlo (1907 1954), when I was in middle school. Ever since, Ive dreamed of visiting Fridas home city, seeing the architecture, tasting all the wonderful food, and trying my best to immerse myself into the city. The entire trip transformed the way that I have looked at design and color since returning, even in such a short amount of time. Now I find myself looking to infuse a little Frida into every bit of interior design that I do.
On the trip, we were able to visit a few places of significance to Frida such as The Frida Kahlo Museum or The Blue House, as its called, for the bright cobalt blue that its painted which was her home with her husband, painter Diego Rivera, as well as Casa Estudio Diego Rivera, designed by Mexican architect...
If theres one brand thats consistently been with me since very early on in my plastic-free living and zero waste journey, its Who Gives A Crap toilet paper. The thing about Who Gives A Crap toilet paper, is that it isnt just about the toilet paper. For me, it isnt enough for a company to 
We are back with the final episode of our sisters Shanty House Crash! Our final project in this series was to tackle her pantry doors. We wanted to give her a sliding barn door for the pantry doors because they are visible from so many rooms in the house and giving this space a custom
The post How to Replace an Existing Door with a Sliding Barn Door appeared first on Shanty 2 Chic.
Huge thank you to The Home Depot for partnering with me on this post. All product choices and opinions are my own.
It's finally time to reveal our finished guest bathroom! I've got the before & after pictures, nitty gritty details, and all the sources below. We were lucky enough to partner with The Home Depot on this project. They were a dream to work with, and I'm thrilled with how this bathroom turned out. It went from boring builder beige to bright and beautiful! I'm honored to have our bathroom featured on their blog here.
We rented our previous homes, and neither of us grew up with parents who did much DIY home improvement, so we came into this project with very little remodeling experience (besides watching HGTV, which we all know is super realistic--ha!). We also had a pretty tight budget of $5,000. I love looking at high-end bathrooms for inspiration, but I think finding inexpensive alternatives is a fun challenge.
In order to make the most of our limited budget, we tried to make decisions with future resale in mind. I've heard a lot of people say, "it's YOUR home, do what makes YOU happy," and I agree with that sentiment whole-heartedly...but a bathroom remodel is also much more expensive and permanent than a painted wall or a patterned rug. Even my own tastes change over the years, so rather than being brave with trends that I love right now, I decided to choose pieces that are classic, neutral and timeless--and that I still LOVE. So yes, I'm hoping this bathroom will appeal to a wide range of buyers in the future..but even more importantly, I'm hoping that I will still love it in two, five, ten years--however long we stay here. A few years ago, we bought a bright blue bed and I loved it at first, then I got sick of the blue and wanted to switch things up. We moved that be...
Stick around Acheron, Victoria long enough, and youre bound to run into one or two members of the Leckey family soaking up the sprawling vistas of the tiny Australian town they call home. On most days, dad Will runs sheep and cattle across the familys land while 14-year-old Hugh farms. Just as busy, 16-year-old Eliza oftentimes rides horses around the lake, and when she isnt heading up her companies Heatherly Design and Two Rivers Green Tea, mom Georgie tends her familys garden. Its a bucolic life for this brood and one theyve come to cherish for its simplicity and charm.
When the day is done, the foursome all reconvene back at their farmhouse, a retreat theyve lived in for 20 years but thats been in Wills family for over 40. All the celebrations, holidays and the occasional heartbreaks it has played host to over the years have soaked into the land it sits on and given the space that indefinable coziness that only comes with time. It truly feels more like a nest than a home; a place so familiar and dear to the Leckeys its become an extension of themselves.
Its easy for homes that have been in families for generations like Georgie and Wills to slip by the wayside and go untended. Thi...
As high summer comes to an end, were ready for some cool evenings to enjoy outside with friends and family. Ive always dragged my feet when it comes to picking out outdoor furniture because I just couldnt commit to any of the set aesthetics. When Arhaus reached out to us to introduce their online shop and well-designed pieces for both indoor and outdoor settings, we were delighted to find styles and looks that went beyond the garden variety. Think lovely teaks, generous cushions and enough styles to satisfy just about anyone.
The one outdoor collection we really wanted to see...
There has been a lot of publicity about 3D printed housing lately, and it is not surprising because the notion seems almost unbelievable. What is not to like about being able to almost instantaneously convert practically any plan into reality for very little money? This article from fastcompany.com describes such housing that is being developed for masses of poor people in El Salvador and other third world countries. They claim that this can be done for under $4000 per house!
So, is this for real? Well, not quite when you check into the details of what is being accomplished. They say that the walls can be printed in less than a day, but then that still leaves fabricating a roof, adding windows and doors, and all of the standard utilities (plumbing and electricity). It is not clear, but it appears that the $4000 price is just for printing the walls, which require the massive machine that is assembled at the building site.
Then there is also the question about how sustainable this approach really is? The walls are printed using some proprietary formulation of cement, the manufacturing of which is one of the most polluting and energy-intensive industries around.
And then how well insulated are these houses? They claim that they are very energy efficient because they are composed of lots of thermal mass. Well, thermal mass and insulation are two different things, and thermal mass alone will not provide a well insulated house. If you look at the printing of the walls in action you can see that they are composed of truss-like patterns of interior braces between the inner and the outer walls. This pattern alone will not provide much insulation because of all of the thermal bridging.
It is possible to print houses with cellular lightweight concrete that can provide up to R1.6 per inch. At this rate an 8 thick wall would be about R-13, which wouldnt provide enough insulation for most energy codes in the U.S. The formulation that they are using with the technology described may not even be that good.
So my attitude about all of this is that there is real promise in the 3D printing technology, but one needs to be careful to evaluate many of the claims that are being made about it.
Nicole Gibbons has been carefully planning the launch of her business for the past decade now making sure each career step taken along the way would bolster her future and embolden her expertise. With a resounding debut last month, its easy to assume her new paint brand, Clare, is an overnight success; but the meticulous variables around building a paint company and the capital needed to do so confirm Nicoles path to founding Clare was anything but.
Nicoles experience is a perfect melange of all the tools needed to arrive at this point: she spent nearly a decade as Global Director of PR and Events for Victorias Secret, and thus refining skills needed to best package and sell a product through various channels. While working that job she planned and eventually made her transition into interior design, where she brought her expertise to platforms like HGTV, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, TLC, and in publications li...
When Paleny Toros, a data analyst, first started dating her husband Hrayr he lived in Orange County, CA and she in Los Angeles. A year into seeing each other mainly on weekends, Hrayr landed his dream job as an engineer at SpaceX in Los Angeles, finally ending the couples weekly back-and-forth routine. Shortly after getting married in 2016, Paleny and Hrayr began looking for a home of their own. While house hunting, Paleny realized that she was drawn to older homes that had not been flipped or extensively modernized. I felt that the older houses had more character and the ones that had been flipped were never in my aesthetic style, she explains. I have a strong sense of personal style and wanted the opportunity to be able...
What could be more basic to life on Earth than mud and straw? The dirt beneath your feet brings forth grasses that become straw. When you combine these two elements with loving care you can create an enduring beauty that will thrill your soul, and a home that will embrace and protect you. We have been experiencing a renaissance in the use of natural materials for building throughout the U. S.
To make an earthen floor you need to add about 25% of finely screened clay to 75% sharp sand or crusher fines, with enough water to make something the consistency of a thick cake batter. Once this is thoroughly mixed, then several handfuls of chopped straw (several inches long) can be mixed in to help bind the material together and give the final floor some beautiful flecks of gold if desired.
This wet mixture is poured over a prepared base of thoroughly tamped road base (gravel and sand). The layer of adobe can be as thin as about inch, but usually it is more like about 2 inches. The first stage of pouring an adobe floor is similar to pouring concrete, where the wet material is roughly screed to get it uniformly level. With concrete, however, you must do all of the finish work within a few hours, before it sets up. With adobe the curing and finishing process can go on for weeks, or even months.
Once the initial pour has been leveled and troweled to get it roughly smooth, and it firms up enough to carefully put weight on it, the process of reworking the adobe with a steel trowel to press it further can begin. The reason for this is partly to force the pour into a monolithic mass, because the clay will shrink as it dries and form a network of cracks that must be sealed. Other reasons to press the surface of the adobe is to harden it for durability, and to bring the clay content to the surface where it can be polished (or burnished) to a lustrous finish. You can pour the adobe over in-floor radiant heat tubes, so that you can control the rate that it dries out; this can hasten the completion of a project by several weeks.
It is possible to add thin layers of pure colored clay to the surface, and work this to a fine polish. Such a coating is called an elise, and this makes the process even more of an art form. The elise can be a swirling mix of colors, each of natural origin. It is also possible to add oxides or stains to the adobe to get a desired color.
Pressing an adobe floo...
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 439 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Howdy! Where did the week go?! Oh I remember now. I started a zillion things that didnt make it to completion, so it looks like I did nothing. But hey, I even got out the ol saw! You can check 
Sheet cakes remind me of those back-to-school days of summer when I was in elementary school, which seemed to creep closer and closer to the beginning of August each year I got older, shortening my summer break. The beginning of the school year, however, meant birthdays and birthdays meant cake whether it came from the Kroger deli or someones mother made it. The cakes of my childhood were always piled high with frosting. I only ate the the frosting if it was dotted with sprinkles or jimmies, as we called them otherwise I scraped it off. The chocolate jimmies were the best.
Natural building has become a catch phrase for a variety of building techniques that generally employ unprocessed natural materials, such as earth, stone, and straw. The focus is mainly on the material itself, and to some extent the methods that are used to work with the material, rather than the architectural design or other aspects of building that might be explored. If the phrase is reversed to building naturally, this opens up a whole new level of consideration. Just what does it mean to build naturally , or to build with nature?
If we use the natural world as a guide for how to build our homes, we could look to other animals and see how they do it. Whatever they use to build with will be found locally; they dont waste energy carrying things great distances. Beaver cut saplings along the creek bed to dam the stream and create a fortified home. Birds collect twigs and grass to make their nests. Some wasps gather mud to form protected space for their young. Many animals dont carry materials at all; they simply convert an existing hole or niche as a suitable home, much as our ancestors used caves or rock overhangs for shelter.
Some animals do process the materials they find to render them suitable for building. Certain termites mix the soil with saliva to make a hardened shell; some wasps make a thin paper-like material to fashion their nests. But they always start with the materials at hand, and they process them minimally. This processing is done without tremendous expenditure of energy, and employs no complex technology.
All of the housing that animals (other than man) create is biodegradable. Given time, the sticks in the dam will rot, as will the birds or wasps nests. There is no build up of waste materials that would litter or pollute the environment. Sometimes things are recycled, such as a hermit crab claiming a castoff shell for a home. Furthermore, the homes that animals create are inherently non-toxic, because they build from entirely benign natural materials. The use of toxic materials would clearly not be appropriate for a species over time....
When my greyhound Hans moved into the house (in July 2016), it was important to me that I didnt suddenly start using heaps of plastic, or begin sending stuff to landfill. Theres bedding, toys and food to consider and also what to do with dog poo. If a dog goes to the toilet twice 
Hey friends! We are here with another project in our sisters shanty house crash project! As many of you remember, we recently drove to our sisters new house in the Houston area and fixed it up for her. We spent two days knocking out several projects to make this house feel more like a home!
So, I still have not ordered a new light for over our dining table because...Ben and I cannot agree! My husband, who hardly EVER voices an opinion when it comes to interior design, really wants to keep a ceiling fan there. I timed this project very poorly, as it was 107 degrees last week. So yeah, I have to admit, we've had the fans going nonstop and they have been nice practically speaking. But duuuude, the dining room is the best opportunity for a beautiful pendant or chandelier! I'm not even one of these people who is against ceiling fans on principle. I know they're nice for moving air around and keeping energy bills down, and there are a lot of options nowadays that look good. I'm totally cool with fans in other rooms...but I'm just not a fan of them over the dining table! Ahaha. Puns aside, after a couple heated arguments, I decided to look for inspiration photos to see if I could get onboard with this idea. I definitely hate the fan we have right now. But if we got a prettier, sleeker, more modern fan, could it look okay? I had a hard time finding examples of this, but I did round up a feeewww visuals that aren't bad. What do you think? Are ceiling fans a huge no-no in the dining room? Will they fling dust all over our food and cool dinner down way too fast? Would it be a travesty to waste that space where we could have put an amazing light? Or should I give in to my husband for the sake of marital peace, since he is kind enough to let me decorate however I want for the most part? Do any of you have a fan in the dining room?
via Beacon Lighting
via Elle D...
Ive recently become obsessed with plants. Thats not to say that I havent always really liked plants, but a conversation this summer changed the way I saw them. A few months ago I had my friend Shane from Moss and Timber (if youre local to So. Utah you MUST check it out!!) come by the Merc and check out the window lighting. I knew I was going to invest pretty heavily in some large plants and wanted to make sure that I was getting the right kind for each place. Ive always heard about how important the right lighting conditions are, but never really cared all that much.
Maybe that is why they always died?
Over the last few months Ive collected quite a few. My favorite one being a tall rubber plant that I put right in front of our north facing window. Almost immediately it sprouted new growth, and hasnt slowed (16 new leaves and still going strong!) It makes me feel like a freaking rockstar, even though Ive done nothing differently. I was in Moss and Timber bragging to Shane about it and he said something Ill never forget. Plants can either be an accessory or a friend. If you treat them like an accent piece they probably wont survive, but if you treat them like a friend, chances are youll have a lifelong companion. WUUUUUT. Once that little phrase was shared it was like one of those moments in a movie where all of your past comes rushing back and I could see plant after plant that had mercilessly suffered at my hands because it was more important to have it styled in a place where I wanted, than to give it a home where it needed to be.
Im such a jerk! RIP little buddies!
24 shed-hot finalists from around the UK set to battle for top honour of Cuprinol Shed of the Year Cuprinol has announced the long-awaited Shed of the Year shortlist for 2018 celebrating this years most eccentric, exceptional, and extraordinary sheds Public voting is now open to decide the eight category winners Now in its 11th
The post Shed of the year 2018 finalists announced Vote now! appeared first on Shedblog: We Love Sheds.
Finding cool door hardware isnt hard, especially if you like clean modern designs, but what if you want something that is positively vintage? Finding antique door knobs (or replicas for a fraction of the price!) is something that can be tricky. Most of your normal door hardware companies dont hit the vintage door knob out of the park, but I found one that totally does!
Obviously being the most special building in the entire world, the Merc couldnt have just normal hardware. I mean the doors themselves were such a statement, I needed something that was the perfect companion for them. My search came to an abrupt end when I fell down the design rabbit hole that is Nostalgic Warehouse with their massive combinations of vintage style door knobs and backplates. If you can dream it, chances are theyve got it. I couldnt have found a better partner for this important design decision at the Merc.
Each door knob can be configured to reach your anticipated antique level. They have hundreds of combinations, from the long simple New York backplate (the one we went with!) to the heavily detailed Egg and Dart plate. They have got so many options, and then you throw in the knob selection and your mind sort of explodes. Precision cut crystal, smooth porcelain, and perfectly finished metals make up almost 30 knob options. Imagine the possibilities folks!!
Theres this advertised app that comes up every so often when I scroll my Instagram feed called Calm. It always has these super soothing sounds such as a heavy rainfall where you can hear each raindrop hit leaves, along with washed out toned dreamy photos that really are lovely. And yes, calm. Every time I 
The post Can a midsummer forest trail bike ride compare to Hawaii? (with video) appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.
I visited Mesa Verde in Colorado near the Four Corners. This was my first encounter with the ruins of the ancestral Puebloan people, progenitors of the Pueblo and Hopi nations. I had heard about Mesa Verde since I was a kid, but nothing could prepare me for the awesome reality. Despite the influx of tourists, there is a peaceful and spiritual quality that persists.
The most famous aspect of what was left behind there are the cliff dwellings, which are certainly magnificent. These finely crafted rock structures emerge from huge alcoves within the cliff faces, and from a distance resemble swallows nests, fitting into the surrounding rock just as naturally. Actually the cliff houses represent the culmination of about seven centuries of habitation at Mesa Verde. Then around 1300 AD the people abruptly abandoned their homes and moved south and southeast to establish other communities. There is much speculation about why they moved, but the most likely cause was a prolonged period of at least 12 years of drought.
The cliffs were only occupied for the last two centuries at Mesa Verde; before that, all habitation was on the mesa above. At first the people made rectangular pit houses that were dug partially into the ground and then built up with poles and sticks plastered with mud. The entrance was via a hole in the roof with a ladder descending to the floor below. Archeologists believe that from this simple pit house both the freestanding masonry pueblo and the underground circular kiva evolved. The cliff dwellings combined both interconnected pueblo apartments and kivas, which were used for ceremonial and community functions. Some of the larger cliff dwellings may have housed over a hundred people. Most of the Mesa Verdeans lived in this communal way, but there were also many smaller housing units scattered throughout the area. It is obvious that they were a very cooperative society.
Little did they know that their style of architecture would become so enormously popular many centuries later. Pueblo or Santa Fe style building can be linked directly to them. The Spanish introduced modular adobe blocks that make the construction go faster, but the simple stacked rectangular shapes with protruding vigas is native American.
These people were primarily farmers, growing squash, corn...
As part of publicizing my new Essential Earthbag Construction book I spent some time answering questions about earthbag building in general at www.permies.com where they gave away several copies of the book to those who participated. As I spent more time at this site I realized that it is one of the most informative and valuable forums I have ever seen. It is enormously popular with permaculture enthusiasts from around the world. Topics covered include: gardening, farming, building, homesteading, energy, life styles, community, wilderness, resources, education, artisans and publishing. In other words, they cover a lot of the same topics that we do here at Natural Building Blog, so you might check them out. The folks who hang out on this forum are very knowledgeable and helpful.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 438 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Happy summer! This past week weve had quite the little heat wave in our area. As luck would have it, I have a downstairs computer which has proven to be the place to hang by day. So I put my 
When we were demo'ing our bathroom, Ben mentioned that it felt wrong to be tearing out something that functions perfectly well just because of aesthetics. I reminded him, that's exactly what we said we wanted: a house that's structurally sound, but with room for cosmetic improvement. And yet, it did feel weird! It's one thing to renovate an older house with obvious damage and wear; it's quite another to remodel a relatively new house with no underlying issues. But if I thought remodeling our (less than 20 year old) house felt a little funny, here's an account that is way more extreme! I recently found @philip_or_flop through Instagram, and I'm totally intrigued. There are plenty of people who are renovating old houses or building custom new houses. But Philip and his wife Jenni took a different approach: buying a new construction builder house and immediately changing things to make it their own. Yep, they started ripping apart their brand new spec house as soon as the builders were done! Now, that might sound totally crazy and financially unwise, but Philip explains the reasons why they're doing it this way, and I have to admit...it makes sense. Custom homes are really expensive, and by choosing a house in a preplanned neighborhood, they were able to get a brand new home without the huge expense. They're also in a location they prefer--within walking distance to their daughters' elementary school, close to a historic downtown area, and not way out in the country (so their commutes are reasonable).
So why not an old house? He doesn't say, but I will speculate based on our experience. I have always loved the look of old houses, but after house hunting ourselves, we quickly realized that most old houses just aren't the right size or layout for how families live today. Many of them have small closed off kitchens, short sloping ceilings, and tiny kids' rooms, and almost none of them have master bathrooms, A/C, or main floor laundry. Plus, unless someone else has renovated before you, they'll likely have either outdated electrical and plumbing, foundation issues, asbestos ceilings, an old roof, or some combination of those--all of which which are expensive to fix and not DIY-friendly. For those reasons and more, a lot of Americans (including us!) live in developments with builder homes. If you're in the same boat, I think Philip's account will be really inspiring. He shows how they are making a boring builder home look WAY more custom and high-end. Instead of splurging on expensive upgr...
Im often asked about the various places I find different items or products without packaging or single-use plastic, and it occurred to me that Ive never sat down and written a list of ALL the places and ALL the things. It also occurred to me that creating a list like this would be rather useful. 
We are back with another project in our sisters ShantyHouseCrash series! This week we are moving back into the kitchen and showing you how to build this DIY Round Hairpin Table! You only need a few tools, 5 26 boards and 4 chunky hairpin legs! So, grab a cup of coffee and lets go
When I ventured to Maui this last round, it was out of more need than desire. My goal was to recuperate from life for a spell, then to feel out whats next. The length of my stay helped to pave all the steps I knew I had to go through. Its my hope that I 
This post is in partnership with American Express Personal Loans.
Project. Financing. Dun dun duuuuun! What happens and what are your options when youve got a big project ahead and need some money? As were slowly ramping up to get started on Phase 2 of the Merc renovation Ive been diving pretty heavily into the financing options. If you remember when we bought the Merc we put a huge chunk down and financed the remainder of the purchase price + renovation costs through a local bank. Because of the uniqueness of the Merc property there were a lot of out of the norm things we had to do. So, as were in the planning stages of the second phase of renovation (you can see what that is here!) Im trying to figure out exactly how this is going to shake out. As a way not to add to our mortgage loan, were going to take it nice and slowly, and use an American Express Personal Loan for bigger expenses like the roof. I think the first option people go to is refinancing their house and taking equity out, but today were talking about something with no origination fees (!!) and a super quick application process!1
Who among us hasnt spent hours on Pinterest planning the perfect project? Maybe its a bathroom remodel, or a deck + pergola in the backyard. What if you find your dream vintage trailer on Craigslist!?? Sometimes even with our best DIY budgeting efforts, we still need $$.
Taking on a big project is exhilarating, and also a little daunting right?! We spend hours and hours planning for and pricing things out. Then it comes to financing. Youve found your dream floors, now how are you going to pay for them? GAH! A personal loan can be a great option to consider.
We are moving onto our next project...the dining room! This room is still untouched from the day we moved in. There's no art on the walls, the light fixture has not been replaced (it's actually a fan, and not a cute one), and we are using the same furniture from our old place. I still love our old dining table, but it's too big for this dining room (plus Ian keeps bumping his head on the corners, ouch). SO we are getting a round table instead and turning this space into more of a breakfast nook. I still like a long rectangular table for when we have people over, so we are moving our old table to the back half of our living room and turning that space into our "dining room." This was my intention all along (from the first day we toured this house!), but I was going to wait until we knocked down the wall between the living room and kitchen. Well, the kitchen remodel is still a ways off, but we decided to do it anyways. It might seem weird in the meantime, but it will all make sense eventually--and this way we can get our dining spaces functioning how we want them to, while we continue to save for the kitchen.
I have spent the last month or so shopping for round dining tables (which will go with the Eames chairs we already own) and new dining chairs to go with the rectangular table, as well as a new chandelier to go over the table (finally!). I just pulled the trigger on the table last week, and I thought I'd share all of the options I considered in case one of you is also looking for a budget-friendly round table.
My criteria was: under $1000 (the cheaper the better), with a smooth top, and a pedestal base so we don't have to fit our chairs in between the legs. I wanted it to seat 4-6, and be no larger than 50" in diameter. I envisioned more of a simple, modern table for this space, and I wanted something that would be easy to wipe down since we'll be using it for family meals with young kids. See if you can guess which one of these we bought! As a reminder, here is what the room looks like currently.
Many people make mistakes with wood chip gardening and then run into problems. This video would have helped me so much when I started out with Back To Eden gardening. Here is the original Back to Eden video.
I had to watch lots of woodchip gardening videos to get all the
details straight, so was glad to see this excellent summary.
Back to Eden garden tour
Pre-composting wood chips
The best woodchips are ramial woodchips.
The post Wood Chip Gardening: What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Back To Eden Gardening appeared first on Natural Building Blog.
Jerome Osentowski spoke at Bioneers in Boulder November 8, 2013 on Indoor Forest Gardens Using Low Energy Climate Battery Technology. He spoke about how to grow your own food year-round, even tropical fruits, using Climate Battery Technology a greenhouse design with an emphasis on perennial polyculture and making the most of the space.
The post Indoor Forest Gardens Using Low Energy Climate Battery Technology appeared first on Natural Building Blog.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 437 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Hi all! I am finally, finally home! Busy recuperating from jet lag and the time change no doubt. However Ive already ventured out on the bike trails and boy are they pretty right now with all the wildflowers in full-out 
Hi! Not quite Aloha any longer since I am officially back home in Oh Canada! Where did the time go? I had meant a million times over to post more while on vacay and show you a few sights, however each draft just never made it to completion. I call that a small success I 
The post Taking in the stunning Wailea Beach Path (with video) appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.
Well guys, we hit the one year mark of living in our house (we
moved on July 16th last year)! I wanted to do a tour to show you
everything we've done in the first year, but honestly, it's pretty
messy on a daily basis (that toddler life) and the thought of
cleaning and photographing evvverrryyyy single room seems
intimidating. Overall, blogging and Instagram have really slowed
down for me this year, even as we continue to work on improving our
house. That's partially due to the cute/busy/exhausting little boys
that fill my time, and partially because when I do have
time to blog, I've been trying to make each blog post more
substantial and use my own photography instead of images pulled
from the internet. But I realized that I kind of miss the
quick, casual little inspiration posts, and I miss posting more
frequently like I used to. Not sure if any of you miss hearing from
me (ha!) but I thought I'd try sharing more of the things that are
inspiring me currently, even if I don't have time to write long
posts about them. The pretty photos are really all we need
sometimes anyways. Amiright?
Speaking of pretty photos, I think I've found my "spirit designer." I recently came across Jkath Design Build + Reinvent, a husband-wife team based out of St. Paul/Minneapolis. Every one of their recent projects is so dreamy, like EXACTLY what I want in my own home. From the overall look down to the nitty gritty details. All of it. Gimme. Check out these beautifully designed spaces, and tell me you love them too!
Love the linear pendant and those black Windsor chairs...we are thinking of getting very similar ones for our dining room.
I am obsessed with t...
This week I headed off on my six-monthly journey up to the Swan Valley, which is the other side of Perth, to stock up on some bulk products that I simply cant get anywhere else. It made me think: theres plenty of places I talk about often, because I use them often (such as my 
You guys! Todays project is easily one of our favorite before and afters to date! We recently drove to our sisters house in Houston to crash it and give it a little shanty makeover. We have already shared so many of the other projects with you, and today we are showing you how we gave
The Merc is definitely the coolest 100 yr old building in town, and it recently became the smartest. Who says you cant teach old dogs new tricks?! You can read all about the simple smart home upgrades that we made here, but there is one that I want to highlight even more. Cause its my favorite and hopefully your first real step into smart home upgrades.
Raise your hand if youve got an Amazon Echo ?? More than 16% of the people living in the US have one (how crazy is that!?) Theyre wickedly useful and extremely approachable tech. Echos are great, but their magic really shines when they integrate with other smart devices in your house. The first upgrade should be your lighting.
Casta by Lutron is the gold standard for smart lighting. Smart lighting comes in a few forms, switches (like the Casta) and bulbs. Ive tried both and hands down prefer the switches. Especially if youve got more than one light bulb in a light (for instance a chandelier like the one in our entryway with 9 light bulbs) or have more than one light connected to a switch (like our kitchen with 8 can lights that come on at the same time)
Oh, hey, look what were talking about again the second longest running bathroom remodel in the history of houses Ive owned. (Technically there was a bathroom in my first house that didnt have trim around the door for four whole years, so I have a little while until I beat that one. But at the rate Im going this room may not have an actual door for another year or two.)
This bathroom is not done. But hey, guess what? It does have some very pretty mirrors.
Mirrors that can only be picked up at the store (not shipped) from Home Depot Canada.
Turns out there are thousands of styles of mirrors you can get all over the US, but not this one, and for some reason this is the one I had my heart set on. (In fairness, there are a few options like this, but they go for $236 per mirror. The Home Depot Ca has them for $83 Canadian each, which is like $63 USD right now.)
Heres the good news: I only live about 90 minutes from a Canadian Home Depot. So I did what any normal person who hasnt had a functioning bathroom upstairs for three years would do
I legitimately made my mom update her passport so that we could go to Canada together to get these mirrors. (And, since we were going to Canada anyway, do a few other fun things.)
First, when I changed jobs a few months ago I actually started working for a company that you all know is very near and dear to my heart. So near and dear, they actually quoted me on one of their T-shirts that came out earlier this year
Thats actually wholly unrelated to the work I do at Carhartt, just a fun little side-note. The other fun little side note about my new job is that I get an employee discount, which means on the way to Canada I took my mom to the flagship Carhartt store in Detroit for...
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 436 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Aloha Friday! Thats a big saying with the locals in these parts where Im currently hanging out. Im not sure why, because every day youre in Hawaii is worth celebrating in my option! My apologies for not hosting a 
The pubShed posts are one of the most popular on shedblog see here and here, so here are some Pub Sheds from 2018 of this fine form of shed. Hope you get some inspiration for building your own Pub shed show me your photos on social media. The Uk Americana Bar Pub/Entertainment from Bottom of garden #shedoftheyear The
The post More amazing 2018 pub sheds, that you would love to have in your garden appeared first on Shedblog: We Love Sheds.
The world can be a stressful place sometimes. With the rush of the 9 to 5 life, the horror of rush hour traffic, getting the kids ready for school and preparing meals for the household. At times it feels like an achievement if we get a moment to breath and escape from the world and
The conversation around reducing single-use plastic and working towards zero waste often begins with reusables. These are the tools we often need to avoid the single-use and wasteful packaging alongside getting the habits in place to actually remember and use them, of course! Today I wanted to talk about reusable containers. Its a big 
One of our top questions we receive on an almost daily basis is How do I paint my kitchen cabinets? There are a ton of ways to paint cabinetry, as well as a ton of products. We have recently found lots of success using this method here! Come check out how we gave our sisters
Smart Home upgrades can be intimidating, at least they were to me. There is just so much tech and it changes so quickly! I nervously dove into the smart home space with the Merc, knowing nothing and learned a ton. So here I am, passing my knowledge on to you.
It seems like there is a smart home product for almost everything right!? Except folding your laundry. FOR THE LOVE, can someone PLEASE figure that out?!! Like I mentioned before, I have had very little smart home experience and the thing is, it can be as easy or as complicated as you want. I started off by asking our electrician during our electrical walk through about it and he told me about these huge expensive integrations that had to be hard wired into the walls, had a master control panel, and seemed like a HUGE commitment for something that could be outdated very quickly. So then I did what I always do when Im wrestling with a decision. I went to Home Depot. Most of the smart home products that they have there are aftermarket, meaning you can install them in a house that is already built.
The first thing that I want to touch on was the most confusing, how to get them all to work together. All smart home devices come with their own software/app (thats what makes them smart!) but it can be kind of clunky trying to find the right app, so this is where a Hub comes in. A hub is basically the heart of your smart home. All of the apps and devices sync into the hub that in turn puts them into one app. Brilliant! The hub that we chose was the Wink 2. The thing with hubs is that none of them work with all devices, so we chose ours based on the smart home tech that we wanted.
The first and easiest upgrade to your smart home is definitely your thermostat. If you dont have one yet, its a quick fix that will sav...
Thank to Bali Blinds for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are my own. I have used Bali window treatments for years and highly recommend them.
We're not quiiite ready to officially call our guest bathroom done...but this sneak peek is pretty dang close!!! The walls are painted, the vanity's installed, the light fixture is up, the mirror is hung, and we even have a new window treatment! Hooray! It feels sooo good to have a finished bathroom on the main level again. Running up and down the stairs every time I had to pee was getting old (good thing we didn't do this while I was pregnant!). Since this was our first time remodeling a bathroom, I did lots of research for every aspect of the room (I really wanted to get everything right). One of the elements that I looked into was window treatments. I was curious, what type of window treatments are best for the bathroom, considering the high level of moisture and the need for privacy? So I turned to the experts: the good people at Bali.
Here's what they recommended, ranging from the least expensive to the most.
1. Aluminum or Vinyl Horizontal Blinds - A versatile and hardworking window treatment, horizontal blinds are easy to clean, resistant to moisture, and easy on the wallet. They are very durable and low-maintenace, but the style is basic and no-frills. If you're considering them, I think 2" slats look the most up-to-date, and I prefer vinyl over aluminum.
When I first arrived in Maui, the two big aloe vera plants beside my outdoor lanai had seen better days. Ive frequented this condo many times over the years and honestly, their current state shocked me. They were both orange and dry. I honestly thought they were on their way out. So I decided to 
We LOVE giveaways!! We have teamed up with Ryobi Landscapes to giveaway THREE 40-Volt Brushless Self Propelled Mowers! This guy is the BOMB! Its super quiet runs on a 40 volt battery, so you dont have to mess with gas! Dont worry about the power, it has gas-like power and will cut up to 1/2
We are back with the next episode of our sisters Shanty House Crash series! Last week, we added height to her cabinets and this week, we are showing you How to Make Builder Grade Cabinets Look Custom! Builder Grade Cabinets Most builder-grade cabinets have a blank space at the end (if they arent between walls).
Is it worth hiring out drywall work? In a word? Yes. Lets Recap.What It Looks Like To Hire Out Drywall
Up to this point, all of the interior work on the Merc has been done by subcontractors. Because of the commercial zoning for the Merc, there are rules that we have to follow that dont apply to regular homes. For example we had to have a Commercial Architect do our plans. We are required to have a General Contractor. We have to have licensed contractors do our plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. I believe when youre building a regular house you have the option of doing all of those yourself, as long as they meet code. We also hired out our framing (which was SUCH a good idea because there is not an existing wall in the Merc that is straight or plum.)
Hiring out sheetrock was something that Court was on the fence about. It definitely would have saved us some cash (our bid came in at $16,000 for installation and texture). And when youre faced with that large of an expense (hello 10x what my first car cost) its definitely something you want to pause and think about. We decided that wed rather do other work ourselves, like painting and tile work, and not get burnt out just trying to install the sheetrock, so we hired it out.
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 435 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Hi all! Things in my little La La Land in Maui continue on and also continue to change. Im now rested, however am now feeling restless. This is stage 2 btw. Stage 3 is getting productive in the 
This post is sponsored by BEHRPaint. All opinions expressed are my own.
Are you thinking outside this summer? Behr asked me to take on the Think Outside the House Challenge, which was to to use BEHR Exterior products to complete a weekend DIY project within a budget of $1,000. Weve been needing an outdoor dining solution for our small deck.
When space is limited, I always first think up. This trick applies to tables too - a bar or counter-height table with stools generally takes up less space than a standard dining table with chairs or benches.
Unable to source the perfect outdoor table that wont blow away in the wind (or blow our budget), we decided to DIY one. For about $50 in lumber, we built this!
We love how it turned out! And with the help of BEHR MARQUEE Exterior Paint. -
This post was sponsored by Travelers Insurance; all opinions are my own.
Hey guys! Whether youre working on a renovation like the Merc, building a new house, or having some plumbing updated, your contractor is probably THE singular most important decision that you can make. Going into the renovation I wouldnt have thought that, but after almost a year of working with our amazing one, and seeing first hand what happens when you have a crappy one, I stand by that statement.
For those that arent fully immersed in the home building/renovation world a general contractor is the guy that runs the show. He hires the sub contractors (like plumbers, electricians, drywallers etc.) and makes sure that everyone is showing up, doing their work, and getting paid. Most subs are pretty loyal to their general, so just like like things attract, if you get a great general, youll have great subs.
Like I mentioned earlier, Ive seen first hand what its like when you have a great contractor and a not great one.
Being the unconventional space that the Merc is and unconventional level of DIY that needed to happen, we werent sure how to even find a general contractor. The bank and the city told us that we needed one. But where do you even start?! Funny thing, we were initially working with a different one at the beginning of this whole journey. At the last minute he decided to bow out, which at the time seemed pretty devastating, but like everything else in the Merc turned into a huge miracle.
As most of you know, my in-laws recently built a new house (you can see it...
Its now been 6 years since I first took the Plastic Free July challenge (all the way back in 2012) and made the decision to make this plastic-free living lark a way of life. What an adventure it has been! It completely made me re-evaluate the way I think about waste, the types of products 
We are back again with the third part of our sisters Shanty House Crash series! This project is all about How to Make Cabinets Taller! We are taking Leashas builder grade cabinets and adding height! This was a cheap and great alternative to buying completely new cabinets and/or cabinet doors! With just a few sheets
We all know that there is loads and loads of planning that goes into a renovation/new build right? There are always budgets and big expenses involved. Its SO easy to go over budget on renovations because what looks like a few hundred here, and a thousand or two there turns into tens of thousands seemingly overnight. its really easy to find your dream tile and think Ill just take money from something else and put it here. But where can that extra money actually come from?
That approach, Ill save on the things that dont matter, so I can spend on the things that do, seems really logical. But my eyes were opened to what that actually looks like, so lets talk about it!
Ive got a bunch of experiences to pull from. My in-laws just built a new completely custom home. My sister built a new house with a builder that gives you a base price with limited finish options and you pay for upgrades. My other sister bought a house mid construction, and we have the house we were never meant to build + the Merc. So this isnt just pulling from our one experience, it seems that everyone has this problem.
When we were planning on building (before we found the Merc, you can read about that journey here) I had never walked down this road before. Everything that we had done to our previous house was on a project by project basis and never really required a huge chunk of cash. At most a few thousand for our biggest projects, but nothing that we didnt save for. One of the realizations that I came to when we were working on the budget for the build was that we were going to spend a ton of cash and I still wasnt going to get everything that I wanted. In fact, I felt like I was compromising on almost everything. We didnt make it far enough along to have concrete bids,...
I've had a few friends ask me how we afford to travel "so much", especially now that there are kids in the mix. I actually don't think we travel a TON (following a bunch of travel "influencers" has probably skewed my perception). But I counted it up, and in the last three years we have gone to: Iceland, Italy, France, Canada, four national parks, and ten states--including Alaska and Hawaii. Not too shabby for an average middle-class couple! I still don't feel super qualified to give advice on this topic, but there are certain things we do to make our trips more affordable. And I'm happy to share those tips. I would also loooove to hear how you guys travel on a budget! I bet some of you are doing smart things that I've never thought of.
1. Travel during off-peak times. Summer is peak season for practically every destination, due to kids being out of school. So we always plan our trips for spring or fall, when the weather is still good but the crowds are much less. And it's not just the crowds that are less. Everything tends to cost less in off-peak times, from lodging to car rentals to tourist activities. We will continue to do this until our own kids are in school. Flying on off-peak days can also save you big time on plane tickets. I think Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to fly.
2. Stay in vacation rentals (most of the time). We generally prefer vacation rentals, both for cost savings and because we can find more unique places! Vacation rentals are especially worthwhile if you're traveling with a group or as a big family (most hotel rooms have a maximum occupancy of 4). Having a kitchen can also save you a lot of money if you cook your own meals. As a caveat, the cleaning fees and service fees can be hefty sometimes, so it's not always worth it if you're only staying a night or two. But for a week or more, a vacation rental is almost always more cost-effective than a hotel (unless you follow tip #4!). I'm sure most of you have already tried Airbnb, but if you haven't you can get $40 off your first rental through this referral link.
3. Ask for discounts. At hotels, you can often get discounts if you're a member of AAA, AARP, the military, or even Costco. We've also messaged the owners of vacation rentals and gotten discounts such as weekly rates for longer stays. One time, the best place we found was a 3 bedroom but we only needed 2 bedrooms...so she gave us 10% off and locked the door to the third bedroom. Win-win: we didn't have t...
Everyone has a front door, some people might even have 2. But we got extra lucky at the Merc and have 3 front doors! Updating your front door with paint is one of the quickest ways to bring some serious curb appeal to your house, but you have to do it the right way and you have to use the right kind of exterior paint.
Remember how weve talked about finding the right paint for the job and that paint is not a one size fits all type of product? When you are painting outside doors, you MUST use exterior paint. Want to see what happens when you dont? This is at our family cabin. This door was painted with regular latex just 2 years ago. Can you see how much its faded and discolored? That friends, is why you need exterior paint.
We are finally moving from the construction phase of building into the design phase! In this episode of the Dream House Build we take you through the initial design process of our dream kitchen, from picking out our appliances to designing our custom cabinetry, and we pour the back walkout patio which is destined to be another awesome space.
Dont forget to subscribe on YouTube and for sneak peeks of our upcoming projects be sure to check out Our DIY Life on YouTube, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Also, follow me on Pinterest to get tons of projects plans from all around the web!
Weve been steadily chipping away at our kitchen design from day one. One of the starting points of any kitchen design is the appliance selection. Knowing the appliance specs and the locations is required before you can start planning out the cabinets. We also needed to know this info for the plumber and electrician.
When it came to appliances we didnt want to skim...
Welcome to DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 434 Every Friday, 7 PM through Wednesday 11 PM Pacific Aloha all! I am totally adoring my tropical surroundings, still running from beach to pool to walks to a little shopping and eating out here and there. Ive blogged about my first week here you can read in THIS post 
Things are moving along in our guest bathroom remodel! I shared the plan (and the before pictures) here, along with all the questions we were debating at the start of this project. One of the biggest considerations was whether we should DIY and build up our own skills, or hire it out and feel more confident that it was done right. In the end, we decided on a mix. We did the demo ourselves (except the tub) and hired out the shower installation and tiling. One day, I want to learn how to tile, but it seemed unwise to have my first project be a floor to ceiling shower where mistakes could mean expensive water damage...ya know? The contractors we hired did an AMAZING job and I think we made the right decision for us (just watching them install the shower door convinced me in and of itself...that thing was a beast!).
They finished the floor tile, wall tile, and shower door in one exciting week (it was fun to see all those changes happen so quickly!) then passed the baton on to us. Aaaaaand things slowed down majorly--ha! I envisioned us being like a cute HGTV renovation couple, working as a team and getting things done while we chatted and flirted and played happy music. But in reality, Ben worked on the bathroom while I watched the kids and peeked in every so often with a critical eye. I'm sure you can guess how well that was received. ;) There are a few things I'm not loving, so it's going to take us a little bit longer to get all the final pieces done.
The first thing is the paint (gah). This is all my fault for choosing a paint color without testing it out in the room first. I got the same white as we used in the rest of the house. It's a true, pure white and I love it everywhere else. But in the bathroom, the bright white walls make our subway tile look grey! I'm trying to decide if that's fine, or if I should repaint in a softer white that matches the tile. And I chose a semi-gloss finish (which was recommended for high moisture areas) but it really highlights any imperfections and looks super shiny to me. I wish I'd have gone with eggshell or satin, but in order to paint on top of semi-gloss you have to sand it first to give the next layer of paint something to adhere to. That sounds like a pain in the butt, soo I'm leaning towards keeping the paint color and hoping that it grows on me!
When it comes to tackling single-use plastic bags, it isnt just plastic shopping bags that we want to be replacing with better, reusable alternatives. Plastic produce bags (the extremely thin, colourless, clear bags we see in the fruit and veg aisles at supermarkets) are just as problematic difficult to recycle, very difficult to reuse 
We are back again to share our latest update that we did in our sisters Shanty House Crash series! We took a road trip this summer to her home in Houston, Texas. The goal was to transform her outdated, builder-grade home a custom update. This DIY Driftwood Backslash was our first project to tackle in
When you come to the Merc for a tour, we show you all of our favorite things. The custom wood floors, all of the potential in phase 2, our cool cabinet hardware, and this weekend we added another thing to that list. Our new Moen GX garbage disposal (video proof of Courts obsession at the end of this post ?). Id never given garbage disposals much thought except in that stressful moment in the middle of the night when you cant remember which switch on the wall is the disposal and which one is the light over the sink. But after our latest project installing a Moen GX I feel fully qualified to have an intelligent conversation all about garbage disposals.
With the GX, Moen has solved the eternal debacle, Why do garbage disposals not come with the cord installed? Not only that, but you have to buy extra parts, just to wire it. Not any more guys, the GX comes, just as it should, with the power cord connected.
We have an ongoing laughable but always frustrating struggle at the Merc where projects take 9x longer than they should. So when I said we could have this thing installed in 10 minutes I really meant an hour and 1/2. BUT GUESS WHAT?!! It only took 10 minutes!!
Week one here on the island is already a wrap. Can you even believe that?! Right now, Im kinda running to all my familiar hotspots and just getting a lay of the land once again. I attempted a journal blog post. It was fun and rather therapeutic, however Im not sure where something that detailed 
Plastic Free July comes around on the 1st July and for the entire month of July, millions of people across the globe try to avoid as much single-use, unnecessary and wasteful plastic as they can. Its a pretty amazing movement, built on the idea that we can all do something, and if we all do 
There have been multiple times during the Merc renovation that I said aloud MY GOSH. How do normal people do this?! By normal I mean, not the type of people that think/talk/dream about design all day everyday.ya know, people with hobbies. ? There are just so many decisions to make! And they domino, so you cant screw it up or the whole thing turns out horrible.
Hi. No pressure.
Picking out tile for the Merc has hands down been the hardest thing. Heres the problem, I love everything. Also I love color. Also pattern ??. Which lead me down a rabbit hole of colorful patterns that were super fun and very thrilling. (Did you know that homedepot.com has got some CRAZY cool tile? You can see some of my favorite patterns here!) But I kept coming back to the authentic style of the Merc. It was built in 1928 and the goal was to keep it in that era, and guess what? Crazy patterned tile wasnt part of the world in Santa Clara UT in 1928. So Id scrap those ideas and bring myself back to black and white. But then my mind would start to wander again and Id get caught up in the crazy fun tiles all over again.
What finally broke this vicious cycle was deciding first and foremost what THE MOST important tile related design was. Was it the backsplash in the kitchen? The bathroom floors? The hallways? If youre in this cycle that seems to never end, use this trick because it totally worked. Ultimately I realized that it was the Merc logo on the floor in the entryway. It was the single most important tile situation in the whole building, something I was unwilling to compromise on. That was an easy decision, and like it does, everything dominoed from there.
The clarity that I needed to keep the Merc true to her roots came once I stopped looking at allllll of the options and really thought about what was right for the space.
Hey friends! We teamed up with Enterprise on todays awesome build! We rented a truck and drove to our sisters new house in Houston to fix it up for her! We had so much fun! We built her a TON of stuff, but our favorite project has to be this awesome DIY modern farmhouse dining
The post DIY Modern Farmhouse Dining Table The Leasha Table appeared first on Shanty 2 Chic.
I finally finished my Kauai trip recap! Are you ready? It's a long one. The funny thing is, Hawaii was not at the top of my travel bucket list before this trip. However, we had a companion pass and some flight credit that we could only use on domestic flights, plus Ian was still under two (barely) so he could fly free as a "lap infant." We knew June would be our last chance to take advantage of that before we'd have to buy him a full price ticket, so we decided it was a good time to visit one of the Hawaiian islands. So many friends of ours have raved about Kauai, and after a bit of research, it definitely seemed like the island that would align most with our travel style. Annnnnd...we loved it! It was SO beautiful and much less crowded, touristy, and clich than I expected Hawaii to be. We didn't have the best weather (lots of rain), but we still had the best time, and we already can't wait to go back. And now I want to see the other Hawaiian islands too!
This was our first time flying with kids (we did a road trip and a cruise the last two years), and our first vacation as a family of four. So I was nervous for sure, and skeptical of how relaxing it would really be. I'm not gonna lie, it was exhausting at times and certainly a different kind of trip than if it were just Ben and I. But so worth it!!! Some of the best moments that I'll look back on fondly were watching how much FUN Ian had, whether he was playing with sand toys on the beach, throwing a coconut in the water, chasing chickens around, or eating shave ice. When we're at home in our normal routine, we have to cook, clean, do laundry, wash...
This post is brought to you by Varathane. All opinions expressed are my own.
Do you have a piece of finished wood furniture that you love, but wish it was just a little "grey?"
Weathered grey tones are a neutrel way of adding texture and dimension to a room, without cluttering a space with different wood hues. It's no wonder the grey trend is so in right now.
Last year, I built the Two Tool $50 Farmhouse Table, and finished it with a natural wood finish.
We love the table and it's still very sturdy and useful. But I felt the color was a little too matchy-matchy to our wood ceiling, and wanted to add a grey tone to it. But didn't want to sand down the finish and start all over again.
Here's how I turned this -
Into this -
In an afternoon.
In one simple step that also adds a protective top coat.
And cleans up with soap and water....
When it comes to reducing our personal plastic use, and also tackling plastic pollution, its not a case of targeting everything at once. For most people thats overwhelming and a recipe for giving up. A more realistic approach is choosing one thing to focus on, or maybe a couple of things, and work towards making 
I spent the better part of last year trying to convince myself not to build a climbing wall out in my barn, and then in October, I finally gave into the impulse and started, well, this
(That is not the appropriate way to climb on a climbing wall, by the way.)
I built the wall in 3ish sections, and you can read more about framing and building the first part of the wall here.
By the time winter came last year, there were two sections of wall to climb on, including a nice little overhung section
Instead of putting the patio furniture away for the year, I just moved it out to the barn to make a nice little seating section around the wall
And I snagged one of these patio heaters on sale at Lowes, which came in handy when trying to climb in six-degree weather
I literally climbed in my Carhartt bibs.
(Also, yes, we did have a little Christmas tree out in the barn because why not?)
To be honest, the wall didnt get a ton of action between January and March, but as soon as the weather swung back in our favor I started planning the next sections of wall.
First, the easy section of wall with no overhang. This is my mom, on Mothers day, helping me drill holes in 3/4 plywood for t-nuts
The more furniture you build, the bigger your scrap pile becomes! We love a good scrap wood project and this DIY Shiplap Wreath Frame is the perfect solution to getting rid of those scraps! You get a cute, free piece of art on your wall and you empty your scrap pile at the same time!
Oh man have I been waiting to share this video with you guys!! Are you ready to dive into the kitchen at the Merc?! WAHOOOO! There is just so much goodness to share! Were kicking off this part of the Merc reno with a fun video. Check it out below and then make sure you come back for all the details over the next little while!!
It only took six years, but I think Ive finally figured out how to manage spring on the farm without completely losing my shit, and it only requires two things:
(For all of my friends and family who keep sending me pictures of baby goats TAKE NOTE.)
Truthfully, things are really good on the farm this year. A lot of the work Ive done in previous years to build new spaces (like the pergola, the bonfire pit, and the veggie garden) is paying off in that I have beautiful spots on the farm to enjoy with just a little maintenance and upkeep (and upgrades of course, but minor ones this year.)
And Ive established the things like the orchard and vineyard (with tons of help from my mom) that now just need a few years of maintenance and care so they can flourish. Which, if were being honest, is still a ton of work (and a pain in the ass) but its not lets-build-200-ft-of-grapevine-trellis-and-plant-30-vines-in-one-spring kind of work.
Heres what things look like these days
First, I still have not re-built the greenhouse since it blew over last spring (sigh), but I did spent some time last year putting in a really good foundation for it , so a lot of the heavy lifting is done. Now I just have to resign myself to repairing and re-assembling all of the pieces. (I hate doing re-work, so Ive been avoiding it, but Im committing to have it done before fall of this year.)
In an effort to give myself plenty of excuses not to start re-building the greenhouse, I have been adding more raised beds to the garden this year.
With plastic bag bans increasing, and the awareness around the issue of plastic pollution growing, it seems that plastic bags are on the decline. Which is great news, except it begs the question what is a good alternative to use to line the rubbish bin? How to line a rubbish bin without a plastic bag 
Every summer I have told myself that I would build a DIY Outdoor Day bed! I always see them in magazines and they are so darn expensive some of my favorites can run upwards of $4,000! Well, this summer I finally broke down and designed/built one! Spoiler alert I LOVE IT! And, I
When youre designing your home, the first place you start is with paint. Paint has a power that is unlike anything else. It can define a style, create a mood, and transform a space. Paint is everything!! If you need a refresh, paint is the jumping off point. But guys, paint is SO MUCH MORE than just color.
Weve talked about picking colors, and my recipe for the perfect white paint. Weve talked about how to prep new walls for paint and get all of the drywall dust off. Weve talked about practical application and how to paint. So today were diving into using the right kind of paint for the job.
Its really easy to stop into your local hardware store and buy the cheapest paint theyve got right? Before you do that, there is so much more that you need to know!! Different paint lines have different formulations for use. If you use the wrong kind (or a lower quality formula) youre potentially setting yourself up for a world of hurt. Im here to make sure that doesnt happen!!
First things first, go to . The folks behind the counter know EVERYTHING and have saved me multiple times from making big mistakes. Like the time I called and asked about painting vinyl exterior moulding and found out that 1. it shouldnt really be painted, and 2. if I painted it black the heat from the sun would melt it. Did you know this?! I didnt! But Sam from Sherwin-Williams sure did. Can you imagine putting all of the exterior trim up on the front of the Merc, get it painted and watch it distort and droop? Gah!!!
Depending on what youre painting (walls, trim, furniture, doors, exterior, interior, cabinets, floors, etc. etc.) there are different types of paint. Paint is not one size fits all, and if youve ever had a paint fail from using the wrong type, you TOTALLY know what I...
Weve already built a Farmhouse Dog Bed and we found it only fitting that our next addition to this Mans Best Friend collection should be a DIY Dog Bowl Stand! Of course, we couldnt build any dog bowl stand we had to take it up a notch and model it after one of our
We are so excited to introduce to our friends and blog family our newest addition.
Everly Rose White was born on May 10 at 11:11 AM - coincentally her look-a-like sister was also born at 11:11, eleven years earlier.
One day shy of two weeks late, we are thankful we were able to bring her into the world naturally and in good health with the assitance of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center, where our two older children were born as well.
It's been a whirlwind three weeks of adjusting, but everyone is doing well and happy - though very busy. We will be taking a little more time off before getting back to work time.
Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers and kind words and paitience.
Much love, The White Family
Hey friends! We LOVE how this latest project turned out! We found some really inexpensive and cute legs online, and decided we needed to design a hairpin leg coffee table! Before we get started, be sure to watch our YouTube video tutorial on this build HERE or below! Check out how cute this square hairpin
In this episode of the Rogue HQ series we get into the process we took to prepare our floor for the hydronic heating, pouring the concrete, and grinding and polishing it for a killer finish. Oh and we got some pretty dope garage doors too.
Dont forget to subscribe on YouTube and for sneak peeks of our upcoming projects be sure to check out Our DIY Life on YouTube, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Also, follow me on Pinterest to get tons of projects plans from all around the web!
The first step in the process of pouring the concrete was to grade the ground inside the barn. With a Bobcat and a laser we got the grade pretty close and then fine tuned it with a hand rake.
To be fair, Im not sure that getting a project 90% of the way done in this house is a miracle by any stretch, but this bathroom in particular has been sucking the life out of me one rotten layer of subfloor at a time for the last three years.
So the fact that it looks like this?
When it used to look like this
Yeah. Kind of feels like a miracle.
Its been a little while since I last checked in on this because back when it was still snowing (that was literally just a month ago, because Michigan) I took a small (3 day) break from life to climb some very big hills, camp on a beach, and then I started a new job for the first time in a decade. So April was kind of a month for me.
Not a bad month, just intense.
(You cant tell, but there are 35MPH winds trying to take down my tent in this picture, which is pretty much a metaphor for my life over the last few months.)
And just as soon as I got back from the beach and got settled in to my new work routine, spring finally happened on the farm. Which means we went from snow to foot-high grass in about 3 weeks. Weeds. A garden that needed to be planted. All the fun stuff.
Which is why the bathroom made it to about 90% finished but, you know, still doesnt have an actual door.
Heres what it does have though.
1.) A new tile floor.
2.) A working shower.
We are always looking for ways to create extra storage spots that are not only functional but beautiful! We have designed this DIY Modern Farmhouse Hall Tree that will do just that! Its an easy build and it only cost us about $50 to build! Weve got the how-to video for you! Just click HERE
Shed of the year 2018 entry has now closed. Unfortunately the competition will not be on TV this year. Weve had some amazing entries so far and there will be great prizes from Cuprinol and of course the glory your shed being crowned. Here are some of the quirkier sheds entered this year The Meditation
The post Shed of the year 2018 Some of the more quirkier sheds appeared first on Shedblog: We Love Sheds.
The folks over at IG Builder Challenge reached out and asked if I could be a guest judge and come up with a project plan for season 5 of the IG builder challenge. So here you have it, a X leg coffee table with shelf, and you can build it for about $50.
Big congrats to the winner Da Kine Designs! There so many great entires and you can check them all out here. I was absolutely blown away by the craftsmanship and creativity put into these projects. If you want the opportunity to participate in the next challenge make sure to follow IG Builder Challenge on Instagram so you wont miss out.
It's been 2 weeks since my last blog post (oops!) but I've
actually been quite busy behind the scenes. Besides taking care of
our sweet new baby and our busy almost-two-year-old, I've also been
working on the itinerary for our upcoming trip to Kauai and making
plans for our first real remodel project--our guest bathroom! I
never realized how indecisive I was til I started trying to plan
out this bathroom. I feel like there are sooo many decisions, and
it's just one little room! Decorating is so fluid, and can be quite
inexpensive to change. But a remodel is much more permanent AND so
much more expensive. Plus, most of it we can't take with us when we
move, so there's the added complication of considering resale
value. My design-loving side and my money-saving side are at war!
Please, if you've done a bathroom remodel before, I would LOVE your
advice. We are total newbies, and we're feeling intimidated by all
the decisions! Let me talk through everything we've decided so far
(mixed in with some lovely before photos) and you tell me if you
think we're making a mistake anywhere, k???
We have three bathrooms in our house, and all three look very similar: beige walls, builder-basic tiles, 90s oak vanities, and tub/shower combos with plastic surrounds. The light fixtures are dated, and the bath accessories (towel bar, etc.) are the same honey oak as the vanity. The rooms are in decent shape, but they could certainly use some cosmetic improvement! We hope to update all of the bathrooms eventually, but with a limited budget we can only do one right now. We went back and forth on which bathroom to start with, and finally decided on the guest bath since it's on the main level and everyone uses it when they come over. Selfishly, I would also like to make the master bathroom feel more luxurious, but for now we can live with it since we're the only ones that use it. I do think an updated master bathroom might be better for resale, but since we plan to do them both eventually that doesn't really matter.
Next, we debated over doing another tub/shower combo or a walk-in shower. We went back and forth on this sooo much. At first, I thought it would be nice to get a deeper, soaking tub for Ben since he's fairly tall. But then he pointed out that it's a guest bathroom, and guests will rarely (if ever) need to take a bath at our house. Plus, an extra-deep tub means extra-tall walls for guests to step over (not ideal for older people including our parents). So we decided to save that idea for the master bath. But it felt like a waste to rip out a perfectly decent, workable tub just to put in another standard tub...
The sixth annual Maker Faire was held at my school last week,
and I was urged to have a display.
For me, "making" is personal, and intentional, and inspired. I won't equate it to the work of an artist by any means, but I find it hard to create something for the sake of creating something. I mentally went down the list of anything I may be able to bring in to display at our Maker Faire, but I could only come up with stuff that's currently being used and not very interesting (furniture, planters, etc.) or Halloween props.
I nearly went with Halloween props...
And then I ran across a piece on display at our local Woodcraft. It was a pixel Mario, made like an end-grain cutting board where all of the wooden pieces were glued together, and different types of wood were used to create the different colors. The artist also used a router to round over the edges of the pieces, making them dimensional and amazing.
I was inspired.
This discovery occurred with five days left before Maker Faire, so I had to find a quicker route to create a similar effect.
We have built all of our kids multiple bed, throughout the years! We realized we have been neglecting Mans Best Friend! We couldnt just design any dog bed, it had to be Shanty Style so here it is a DIY Farmhouse Dog Bed! We designed this dog bed to fit this large dog mattress.
Hey friends! You are going to LOVE todays build! We are sharing the cutest farmhouse DIY Barn Wood Cart Coffee Table! Before we get started, be sure to check out the YouTube video tutorial HERE or below! DIY Barn Wood Cart Coffee Table Be sure to download and print the FREE PLANS HERE! How cute
This post is sponsored by Bali Blinds. All opinions are my own.
The last few weeks have really felt like spring around here, and I am lovvvving it. Not only is the sunshine a mood lifter, but it also means I can let Ian run around in the backyard. That's been a lifesaver for me, as I get adjusted to life with two kids. I've been thoroughly enjoying sitting on our deck with a popsicle in my hand, the sun on my face, and Emmett in my arms, watching Ian play. We're working on getting our backyard ready for summer (we just got these outdoor chairs, and are making more plans for the deck), and we're also making a few tweaks inside the house. I recently updated our family room for spring...no major changes since this post, but I added some storage for toys, new decor for spring, and (finally!) some window treatments. These windows had been naked since we moved in, so it was about time we got them decent! I went with Roman shades again, but this time I decided to get the Tailored Roman style, with a thermal liner for energy efficiency. I was fed up with how much heat we lost through these windows over the winter! I love how they look, and I'm looking forward to smaller utility bills in the future too.
I feel like my tastes have gotten simpler over the years, at least with things like window treatments that I don't want to switch out anytime soon. When I was ordering swatches to consider, I skipped right over the patterned fabrics (even though there are some pretty ones!) and scrolled right past the deep colors...straight to the neutral solids. I ended up choosing the Colletti Blizzard fabric. It's the one on the bottom right below: a polyester/linen blend in a pretty ivory color.
In this episode of the Dream House Build we walk through the process of getting our home insulated with spray foam and soundproofing the interior spaces with mineral wool. We also talk about hanging the drywall and how we poured our rear retaining wall to create a unique little cove for yet another cool place to hang out.
Dont forget to subscribe on YouTube and for sneak peeks of our upcoming projects be sure to check out Our DIY Life on YouTube, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Also, follow me on Pinterest to get tons of projects plans from all around the web!
Since we wanted to create an air-tight envelope for our home, we opted for open cell spray foam insulation on all sides of the house. The exterior walls get the entire 26 cavity filled with foam, as well the rim joists and basement walls get 4 of foam or more.
When it came to insulating the attic space we decided to go with a cold roof. This means that, after the drywall was hung, the insulators came back out...
This post is sponsored by RugPadUSA. All opinions are my own.
Some purchases for the home are fun, others are more functional. I'll be honest, today's post mostly falls in the latter camp. But the functional stuff is important too! In fact, it often makes the biggest difference in how good you feel in your house--whether you realize it or not. So what am I talking about today? RUG PADS. Ohhh yeah! Ok, a new rug pad is obviously not as exciting as finding the perfect new rug. It won't make a difference visually, or pull the whole room together design-wise. But practically speaking, the right rug pad can really affect how a room functions and feels.
When you're dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new rug, it can be hard to add on yet another purchase. You may wonder, is a rug pad really necessary? The answer is yes, it really is. A good rug pad protects your floor from scratches, spills, and stains. At the same time, it protects your rug from getting crushed by furniture and foot traffic. In addition, it holds your rug in place, preventing slips, facilitating vacuuming, and saving you from constantly readjusting your rug. It also keeps your rug cleaner, by allowing more air flow between the rug and the floor, which prevents mold, mildew, odors, and bacteria buildup. Finally, a rug pad adds cushioning and softness that feels great underfoot and dampens noise.
But once you know you need a rug pad, you still may wonder which one is right for your space? RugPadUSA has a handy guide that gives you recommendations based on your flooring type and the size of your rug. Here are some of the factors to consider.
1. Rug size. Small throw rugs and runners need rug pads with a strong grip to keep them in place. They tend to be placed in high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways, where door clearance can be an issue. As such, a low-profile non-slip pad is usually the best choice. Large rugs, on the other hand, are more stable on their own and often anchored by furniture that keeps them in...
|The Box Truck at Tiny House Summer Camp!|
|The near empty room- we could fit 1.5 Pods in here!!|
Hi folks! We've got some exciting news today! For the past year - yes, I've been keeping this under wraps for a year! - I've been working hard with my good friend and fellow maker, Jen Woodhouse on an exciting new project. We are thrilled to finally get to share it all with you today!
We are launching a brand new website Spruc*d - www.sprucdmarket.com
Spruc'd is the first of it's kind - a marketplace just for premium furntiure plans. Spruc'd is a new and exciting platform that connects creative designers with thoughtful consumers - where the best creators can turn their project plans into opportunity and discerning customer can discover only the best, most reliable plans that will set them up for project success.
WHY PREMIUM PLANS?
Builders are asking for better plans, custom plans, complicated plans, plans with support - but plan designers can't always meet these needs on dwindling advertising revenues. A platform for premium plans will give builders more and better options.
START SELLING ON SPRUC'D
Are you a maker, builder, woodworker, designer? We want to work with you! We value your time and design talent, and want to see your work recreated around the world - but in a way that helps you make passive income for life. You can learn more about being a vendor here.
And if you need help creating a plan, for a limited...
This post is sponsored by Bali Blinds. All opinions are my own.
Today I'm sharing some photos of Emmett's nursery! He's not actually sleeping here at night yet, although I have put him in the crib for a couple naps. If you're thinking it looks familiar, it's because I used the same stuff from Ian's nursery in our old apartment...just rearranged in a different space (thankfully, a bigger room this time, without the ugly carpet!). I still love all the nature-themed decor that I collected for Ian, and we're trying to save money for bigger house projects so I figured I should be frugal and use what we have (especially since we have two boys--I probably would have been tempted to get some new decor if we'd had a girl). I was also fortunate to work with Bali Blinds on a new window treatment for this room! Since it's a nursery, I chose a blackout Roman shade, with cordless lift for safety.
I'm super happy with the shade! Check out this post on Bali Blinds for detail photos and more information on choosing blackout window treatments. You gotta see how well it blocks the light...and how lovely this grey fabric is up close!
Thank you to Panasonic for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are my own.
Last week, I posted my all-time favorite products for newborn babies, including a video baby monitor. You can get really inexpensive audio monitors, so a video monitor with all the bells & whistles is not technically a necessity...but it's so nice to have. If you're currently in the market for a video baby monitor, then you are in luck because I have a really great one to give away at the end of this post! It would also make an amazing baby shower gift if you have a friend that's pregnant.
The Panasonic Long-Range Baby Monitor is new on the market. It's the first video baby monitor to use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology, providing up to 1500 feet of secure, interference-free range (that's more than 4 football fields--double the range of comparable monitors!).
The cute crib sheet is by Rookie Humans, by the way.
Aside from the extra-long range, the Panasonic Long-Range Baby Monitor features long battery life, clear night vision, 2-way talk, and the ability to play lullabies & white noise. You can pan, tilt, and zoom for a clear view of your baby. The monitor minimizes background noise, so you can hear even the quietest baby noises clearly. My favorite feature is the customizable smart sensors & alerts, which detect motion, temperature, and sound changes in the room. You can set the paramete...
As much as I would love to be showing you a finished project
right now, I have been out of my library for a few days. You see,
in Arizona (as with a few other states) public education is
failing. Not for lack of trying from those involved, as our schools
are filled with people who love what they do. It comes down to
something as simple as lack of funding.
(if you aren't in the trenches with us, or haven't heard of it, a simple google search will let you know what I mean)
My district closed on Thursday, and I've not been in my library to get the measurements I would need to build appropriate hutches. We won't be back Monday, either, so I'm putting this out there so you can hold me to building it. :-) I already have step-by-step plans drawn up, but those may change depending on the measurements I'd need.
Tomorrow Im setting off to France on my big walking-across-Spain adventure. Im hiking to Santiago de Compostela (in Spain) from the town of St John Pied-de-Port in France. Its 800km in total, along the Camino Frances (most commonly known as the Camino de Santiago). Im expecting it to take about 5 weeks. The biggest difficulty 
My lovelies! This past year-and-a-half has been nuts. Baby Goats
went to school, so I did, too! Got a certification, dived into
Special Education, and then landed pretty much the best job at a
school dedicated to creating Makers. I'm now the school librarian,
and I get to set up my own Maker Space in our media center.
Do we know what this means?
I GET TO BUILD!!!
This blog is my DIY space, and I haven't been doing much DIYing (unless you count sewing my own wardrobe because clothes are expensive!). That gets to change!! To get started, I'm drawing up plans for maker-oriented storage so that I can have a stylish Maker Space that is accessible and meaningful.
As of now, I'm thinking a lot of gears and circuits will be peppered into the design. And now, I don't think this is a bit much
This post contains some affiliate links, and I received some of these products for free. All opinions are my own.
I haven't been blogging much this month because I'm trying to really soak up this time with Emmett as a newborn and Ben on paternity leave (it's been awesome!). But today I thought I'd pop in with a list of my favorite baby products that we've been using a lot over the past few weeks. These are the things that we loved with Ian, and still love this time around. A lot of baby products sound helpful or look cute, but are ultimately unnecessary. In my opinion, a designated changing table, nursing pillow, baby detergent, standalone white noise machine, and diaper pail all fall into this category. I bought some of those items for Ian, but eventually found that it was easier to just use the floor, a regular pillow, free & clear detergent, an app, and the garbage can. Some people might disagree with me on those, but overall I've learned that you pay a huge markup for baby-specific items, most of which you don't need anyways (plus then they take up room in your house). But the baby products below are all worth it to me. They may not be MUST-haves, but they're certainly nice to have!
1. The best nursing cover. I tried a few different styles of nursing covers...these are my favorite by far. The 360 degree coverage makes it so much less awkward to feed your baby in public. And it doubles as a car seat cover for blocking the sun (and nosy strangers) when you're out and about.
2. Cute & comfy onesies. As precious as little outfits with button-up shirts and knit cardigans can be, I prefer putting my babies in basic onesies. They're easy to put on & take off, comfortable for baby, and they'll wash up easily when he inevitably spits up or has a blowout in them. You can find baby onesies in lots of design-y patterns, or with punny sayings on the front like this one from The Neighborgoods.
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