Month: September 2012

This Is the Bed That Chris Made

 

UPDATE! Please click here for the DIY Bed Frame PLANS!

Our local IKEA has some great Saturday Shocker events, and a few weeks ago, we picked up the SULTAN king-size latex mattress for just $300, reduced from $700. I think IKEA may be discontinuing this mattress, but we were pretty happy to snatch up a king size mattress for this price.

Chris and I have found that just because a mattress is expensive, doesn’t mean it is comfortable. We tend to prefer firm foam mattresses for optimal back alignment and minimal movement transfer. Before this one, we had tried two queen memory foam mattresses. We like the memory foam, but they always tended to break down in a year or two, leaving large depressions in the foam. The latex foam mattress isn’t quite as firm at first blush, but it feels denser and you don’t sink in as far. I’m hoping it will last a little longer than the memory foam mattresses, but at $300, it’s not too bad of a risk.

Well, since we had a king-size mattress, we needed a king-size bed frame. Unfortunately, most nicer options were out of our price range, and the cheaper options (IKEA) were too cheap. So being the intrepid DIY-er that he is, Chris decided to build a bed frame for us.

The platform itself was simple — Chris just used a framing nail gun to nail a bunch of 2x4s and 2x6s together, exactly like framing a floor or wall. Then he used 2x8s to make the legs and frame. We decided to keep it simple and modern with two 2x8s butted up against each other for the legs. Chris connected them at right angles by drilling pocket screw holes using this Mini Kreg Jig Kit that we got on Amazon.

Before putting the frame together we sanded, stained and sealed the wood. We used Minwax Classic Gray for the stain, which is a beautiful weathered gray, one of Minwax’s newest colors. After it dried, we brushed polyurethane over top and let the frame off-gas in the garage for a few days. Finally, Chris brought it into the room and screwed all the wood together by using long screws (3″) drilled through the inner frame into the outer frame. He also screwed two pieces of plywood on top of the frame to form a solid base for the mattress.

If you’re planning to DIY this bed frame, remember that the structural integrity comes from the inner frame. This bed frame is probably quite a bit sturdier than it needs to be (basically it’s a floor frame) but it doesn’t creak, wiggle, or flex at all =). It will be a good thing to crouch next to in the event of an earthquake.

If you’re interested in building your own, check out the plans and dimensions!

And here it is, in all its delicious king-sized glory.

It’s not perfect. The gaps at the seams area tiny bit wider at some areas than others. But that just adds to its homemade charm, I think.

I love the weathered gray color. And we used a polyurethane with a satin finish, so it’s not too shiny.

Here’s a better look at that leg. I love how solid and rustic it feels.

It sure feels good to be up off the floor. And the clearance under the bed is just tall enough for me to fit the Dyson underneath…a nice unexpected plus…

Slowly, bit by bit, the master bedroom is starting to come together!

Pssst! If you like this, you might like the DIY Dining Table we built!

UPDATE! We built an upholstered headboard! Check it out!

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Living Room Progress!

We’ve been hard at work on getting the living room livable (mostly because I’m sick of having all the junk that was IN the living room scattered about the house), and I’m pretty happy with the progress thus far:

There is definitely a lot of work to be done still, but it is starting to come together! Remember, it used to look like this:

In the last week we have:

1) Painted the ceiling, walls, and wainscoting
2) Finished installing the recessed lighting
3) Moved in a sofa, rug, two side tables, and a rocking chair

Not too bad considering we had a 6-month old in the mix and we had to do most of the work during her naps or after she went to bed! Let’s look at it again!

We found the sofa on Craigslist for $225. Not super cheap, but it’s almost new. The rug is from IKEA. It is the VALBY RUTA, and it is in our opinion one of the best deals at IKEA — it is soft, feels pretty thick, has a beautiful pattern (not too floral but still pretty) and it’s almost 6×8 all for just $79.99!

The Moroccan-esque side table was an estate sale find, and the mid century modern table in the center is one of the best things we’ve ever found thrifting! You can’t really tell from this photo, butI love how the sides of the table top swoosh up on either side. And it was just $15! The rocking chair is the one I used to have in the nursery. This is not its permanent home; it’s just staying there until we get a couple of chairs for that area.

The biggest challenge with this room is that it is super super long. To give you some perspective, here is the other end of the room:

Can you say awkward? Our eventual plan is to put two armchairs where the rocking chair is, and to put an upright piano where the armoire is right now. We definitely need more storage though (see how unsightly our recent Costco purchases are, sitting in the corner?), so we’ve been throwing around the idea of a large cabinet or buffet somewhere.

The room would lend itself well to being a combination living-dining room, but we have no need for a formal dining area, and we already have a nice breakfast nook in the kitchen. Oh, and also, we can’t put anything big against the wall to the right (not pictured) because it’s the walkway between the kitchen and the front door.

Oh well! There’s progress as well as a few challenges! That’s fine with me. I’m just happy the room doesn’t look and feel like a cave anymore!

 

Latest Art Love

I’m always finding beautiful pieces of art online.  I rarely buy them because with all the work we’re doing on the house, I’m not sure where to put them.  But at least, I can file them away for future reference, right? =)

Lately I’m loving the art prints on wood veneer by Lorena Siminovich. I love how Scandinavian they look and how unique the print looks on wood.

Lorena Siminovich via Anthology

Lately, art and illustration that has a childlike, whimsical quality to it has really been appealing to me. It just makes me feel happy and makes me think to the simplicity of childhood.

Grace cut her first tooth yesterday. Or at least, we noticed it yesterday. We could feel the little tooth coming out of her gums. Makes me realize how short her babyhood is and how I need to treasure these moments.

We’ve been working on the living room…

For a while after we had the baby, we didn’t really do any work on the house. It was livable, and we were too busy trying to survive being hit by the bus that is having a first child. But Grace has since gotten easier to deal with. She sleeps through the night, is happy and playful during the day, and is a great napper! (Crossing my fingers in hopes that I didn’t just jinx myself). So we’ve started working on a few other things that needed attending to…

Such as the cavernous living room that had hitherto been a repository for all of our moving in boxes, Chris’ tools, random bags of junk, old shoes, and a couple of wetsuits. It was kind of embarrassing because it was the first room people saw as they walked in the door, and it was full of junk. But because the lights didn’t work (the previous owners had installed can lights but they were not wired yet!) and we were planning to paint, the room had fallen by the wayside as we got engrossed in more pressing matters.

What pushed us to finally get started on the room was a microfiber sectional that we found on Craigslist. I had been scouting for armchairs online, and when I saw this couch, it was in such great condition and was such a great price that I jumped on it. I’ll show pictures of it once we put it back in the living room. But it was a shame to have a beautiful couch in the living room and SUCH a mess, so we got our butts in motion and started on this room.

This picture gives you an idea of how cavernous the room truly is.

It is a super long room and there is only one window, so it already lacks light. To make matters worse, the walls and ceiling had been painted a really dark mocha color, which made the ceiling look really low and the whole room rather claustrophobic.

You can’t really see in these pictures, but the whole room, including the ceiling, was textured with very very thick, gloppy wall texture. So it really did feel like you were in a cave. The lack of working electrical lights didn’t help either.

I like the wainscoting though, and I thought with a fresh coat of light paint, this room could really look great. So we hauled our butts over to Home Depot and came back with several gallons of primer, ceiling paint, and a gallon of Behr Silver Drop in eggshell.

I really wanted to do the complete opposite of what the room looked like before. We painted the ceiling a bright white, and the walls a very pale gray to bring some more light into the room.

We still have to paint the wainscoting (it was primed but not painted), and then we’ll be ready to move the furniture in!

I’m a little bummed that the window has that wooden valance over the top of it. It wouldn’t be so bad if it only didn’t stop right at the width of the window, but as it is, any curtains hung there would completely obscure the window. I’d love to remove it, but the wall is not textured underneath and we’ll have to match the molding…too much work right now, so window treatments will have to wait.

Anyway, there’s your sneak peek of our living room situation. Can’t wait to start furnishing it! We’ve got the tan microfiber couch to move in, a Persian-esque rug, and a couple of side tables that I love. I’ve also got my eye on a couple of leatherette club chairs from IKEA, but may have to wait a couple months before we get those…

I just love seeing progress, don’t you?

 

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