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“Big Boy” Room Makeover with Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart

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My youngest son recently asked me to turn his room into a “Big Boy” room so he could be more like his two older brothers. I decided to make his room more sleek and modern in a few ways. First, I wanted to update his wood herringbone feature wall behind his bed. I originally installed the feature wall several years ago but the wood had a very rustic feel. To make the wall more sleek and modern I painted it a dark satin black. It was actually pretty fun and easy to do.

black wood herringbone bedroom feature wallblack bedroom wood herringbone feature wall    

Next, I decided to upgrade some of his furniture and decor. He previously had a lot of hand me down furniture from his older brothers, so he was super excited when I told him he was going to help me pick out some new big boy stuff for his room. I’ve always been a big fan of the Better Homes & Gardens line at Walmart because it’s well designed but still very affordable. It makes a lot of sense to have budget friendly furniture and decor in a kid’s room so it can be easily changed out as he/she matures. I knew I wanted an upholstered bed to compliment his new sleek black wall. The Knox Upholstered Platform Bed has clean simple lines giving the bed a masculine look, but the upholstered headboard gives it a soft feel that’s perfect for a little boy. The bed is also a great size. It adds dimension and texture to the room without taking up a lot of space.

 
bedroom with black wood wall and white bedding

Then I switched my attention to his rug. I wanted a rug that was soft for him to play on but also strong enough to handle some 7 year old punishment! I also needed the rug to be a neutral color with a simple pattern so it didn’t compete with the other colors and textures in his room. I went with the  Trellis Shag Area Rug which has a great soft raised pattern that works well with the bed.

 

Another area of my son’s room that gets a lot of use is his reading nook. He has a thin cabinet for all of his books that fits tightly up against the wall. He also has a comfy leather chair to read in. I wanted to dress up this space so it stayed comfy and functional. While I was shopping I found this cute 28 inch Round Metal Wall Mirror  to hang above his book cabinet. I added a few hanging plants to add in some life and greenery, as well as a cute little sign to fill out the space. This was a really fun and easy weekend update that we were able to complete as a family. We spent one day prepping and painting the feature wall, and another day putting together all the furniture and decor. Travis even did his best to help since he was so excited. Now he has a “Big Boy” room that his older brothers will be jealous of for years to come.

                   pipe shelves and black cabinet in kids bedroom                    leather chair in reading nook of kids bedroom

-Grey Birch Designs-

This post is sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart

Easy Holiday Wreath Update with Krazy Glue

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Each year when the holidays roll around I always find that my seasonal decor style changes a bit, but I really don’t want to invest in all new decor year after year! Last year I wanted flocking on EVERYTHING, this year not so much. So when I opened up my holiday storage bins and found just about every faux greenery covered in flocking I knew I had to come up with an easy solution that wouldn’t break the bank!

before photo of flocked holiday wreath        After photo of updated flocked holiday wreath              

I had these really nice pre-lit Holiday wreaths I love to hang over the windows in our sunroom, but I wanted to add more natural elements and greenery to balance out the flocking on the wreaths and give them a more natural organic look and less of a white Christmas farmhouse look this Holiday season!

I found some faux greenery stems and mini pinecones that worked well with the flocked wreaths to give me the look I was hoping for! All I needed were some zipties, wire cutters, and Krazy Glue for this project!

Step 1:

First I took my plain flocked wreath and pushed back all the branches so I could get to the metal frame of the wreath. Then I laid down these faux pine leaf stems with baby pinecones (they are larger of the two I picked out for this project) and attached it to the frame with a couple zipties.

attaching faux greenery to a flocked wreath

I repeated this step on the opposite side on the wreath, overlapping the base of the greenery stems just slightly so they flanked the bottom of the wreath and traveled up towards the top.

Step 2:

Next I took my second style of faux stems  (a thicker pine with small berries on it) and layered them on top of the ones I already attached to the wreath. I did the same thing using just a couple zipties to secure the branches to the frame of the wreath.

attaching faux greenery to a flocked wreath and trimming off the extra pieces.

Since the faux greenery I used is traditionally used in things like vases and containers, they have long stems on the bottom that I didn’t need in my wreath. I took some wire cutters and simply cut off what I didn’t want!

Step 3:

Now that I had the greenery secured it was time to fluff the wreath. I wanted the flocked branches and the new stems to look like one so I bent and moved the branches as needed to blend them together in the wreath.

fluffing and styling the flocked wreath

Step 4:

Next came the icing on the cake, that took the wreath from plain to Wow! I cut up pieces of faux frosted eucalyptus and placed then randomly in the wreath. To keep them in place I used the Max Bond Krazy Glue. It works awesome because is has a quick grab time, about 20 seconds, and it bonds to anything!! I placed a small bead of  Krazy Glue around the frosted eucalyptus and held it in place until it grabbed!

using glue to attach faux branches to the flocked wreath

Step 5:

I loved how the faux greenery with the baby pinecones looked in my wreath but it needed more of the little pinecones, so I took more of Krazy Glue and added a handful of these little pinecones around the wreath to bring in a more organic look. I added a pea size amount to the bottom of the pinecones and attached them to random branches in the wreath!

gluing pinecones to the flocked wreath

This was a super easy project for the holidays that I tackled in an afternoon and it completely changed the look of my old plain wreath! Thanks the the versatility of Krazy Glue I was able to get the look I wanted for my holiday decor this year without having to go out and buy all new wreaths!

before photo of flocked holiday wreath         After photo of updated flocked holiday wreath

 

-Grey Birch Designs-

 

 

Our Basement Build Project – The biggest project we have tackled to date!!

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 This is a project that I didn’t think we would ever see finished. When the plans we had to build a new home fell through (thank you COVID) we decided to finish our basement! Throughout this huge project I’ve been asked the question “Are you happy you didn’t move?’ and I can honestly say it was the biggest blessing in disguise!! It was hard to see at the time, but now sitting here I feel so incredibly happy for where we are!!

For our basement we knew we wanted to build 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a living room, and a game room! It was a bit overwhelming to think about all the work but also super exciting. We knew it wasn’t going to happen over night, but I’m excited to say we are officially finished with phase one of our basement build!

 
 

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DIY Wool Dryer Balls

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I have been super interested in the benefits of replacing our fabric softener with wool dryer balls. I love the idea of it being chemical free because a couple of my kids have very sensitive skin. I also love that you can add a few drops of essential oils to give your clothes a fresh smell!

I set out to make my own and give then a shot! They are super easy to make and there is a good chance you already have what you need around your home, making this a very affordable project!

To make these you will need any color yarn as long as it’s 100% wool. This is a very important part of this project! I found it a little hard to find 100% wool yarn from my local craft store so I ended up ordering this yarn and it worked great! You will also need some nylon pantyhose and I found these one to be quite cheap!
There are only a few steps to the project and it’s super simple! First you want to start the base of your ball. Take three fingers and wrap the yarn around them a few times, I did around 5-6. Then remove the yarn from your fingers and wrap the yarn around the middle of the loop you just made 7-8 times. Next, wrap the yarn around the base you just created until you get the size dryer ball you like! Remember to slightly turn your ball while you are wrapping so that it will stay a round shape.
          
Then cut the yarn and tie off the end. Now you are going to put your wool balls in the nylon pantyhose and tie a knot. Repeat this step until all your wool balls are inside the pantyhose.
     Now it’s time to make it all come together! Wash them with hot water in your washing machine. I use my Samsung Flex Washer and Dryer. With the smaller washer on top I can do this project without running a full load of laundry or wasting water by running the washer with only the dryer ball project in it.
It’s super easy to use and has the same settings as the main washer! I set the top washing machine to do a quick wash with hot water and that’s it! I never realized how much I would use this feature until we replaced or old front load washer and dryer with these new Samsun FlexWash and FlexDry

Once the cycle is finished in the washer throw it in the dryer on high. Then remove them from the pantyhose and you’re done!! I made this project with my daughter and we had a lot of fun. It was also a great opportunity to teach my daughter how to do laundry and all the awesome things our Samsung appliances can do – the top feature being the duel washer and dryer. Fingers crossed this little laundry lesson will make her want to do her own laundry from now on!
     

-Grey Birch Designs-

DIY Faux Pottery

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 If there has ever been a DIY project that I have been obsessed with it’s this one! I have lost count of how many ugly containers I have turned into modern vintage looking faux pottery, and I still want to do more! It’s such a fun project that you really can’t mess up and will always turn out beautiful!

Supply list

You can use this technique on practically anything. I have used ugly pottery, glass vases, plastic pots, even a set of lamps!! Click here to see how my lamps turned out. I’m completely in love with them! 

I love checking my local thrift store for cheap pieces to transform! Don’t be scared of the color or design of a thrift store piece, if it has good shape and is the size you like it will be perfect for this project!
Check out the first piece I did this faux pottery makeover on. Talk about a night and day difference!!
      

Let’s Make Some Faux Pottery!!
  • The first step is to cover your piece with a texture spray, this one by Rust-Oleum is my favorite. There’s no wrong or right way to do this. You can see the texture overlaps when you spray it and that’s completely fine. This step gives your piece the truly authentic look of pottery so be generous with the texture spray!
       

  • Let the texture sit until it’s dry to the touch, about 10-15 minutes. Next, spray paint it any color you want. Make sure the paint is a Flat/Matte finish. If you use spray paint with any kind of a gloss finish it won’t give you the same look. For this project I used this medium grey color. I love it and it gives my planter a little bit of a concrete look!
     
  • Now comes the fun part. Grab some dirt from your backyard and add just a little bit of water. You don’t want to add too much water to the dirt, think somewhere in-between dry dirt and mud! Now rub it all over your project and let it completely dry!
     

  • After the dirt is dry take a clean cloth and rub some of it off. You can take off a little or a lot, it’s up to you! If you have trouble removing the dirt, it may be because your dirt was too wet. Get your cloth damp and carefully rub the dirt off that way. If your cloth is too wet and you completely remove all the dirt you will need to repeat the last step to get some of that dirt back on your project.
  • The last step is spraying the project with a matte sealer. This is optional but I do find that it preserves your project better, and because the finish is also matte it won’t change the look or feel of your project!!
          
This style of decor is so popular right now and you can find it all over from Pottery Barn to Arhaus but by DIYing it you can have the same look for a fraction of the price!
      

-Grey Birch Designs-




Tall “X” DIY Mirror

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I am frequently asked about my living room mirrors and everyone is always surprised when I tell them they are actually a DIY project I did a few years ago. When we first moved into our new home I realized the living room needed a statement piece. I tried to find tall designer inspired mirrors but just couldn’t bring myself to spend a chunk of money on them, so I set out to try and make what I had envisioned for a fraction of the cost!!

Supply list:
Cut to 57.5″ x 23″ 
This can be customized a bit depending on the size mirror you get
TIP: If you don’t have a large saw to cut the plywood some Home Depots will cut it for FREE or Lowe’s does cuts for a small fee.

I found mine on a local classifieds page but Home Depot sells wood that looks similar
They come in a few different sizes so you can pick the size you like best, I used the 2.5″ size

– Wood trim
1.5″ wide and .25″ thick

– Wood Glue
– Black paint
Tool List:
– Miter saw
– Sander or sand paper
– Clamps
– Nail gun or hammer & nails
STEP 1:
The first thing you want to do is paint your cut pieces of plywood that you will attach your mirror to  as well as your trim pieces, let them dry while you make your other cuts.
STEP 2:
Next cut the barnwood to frame out your piece of plywood. Remember to cut the corners at a 45 degree angle. Frame out all sides of the plywood.
STEP 3:
Then cut the trim pieces to make the X’s on the mirror. Divide the height of the mirror into 3 equal sections. Make three equal size boxes with the trim. Don’t glue anything down yet.
STEP 4: 
Now to make the X’s you will need to measure each box on a diagonal (do each one separately because the boxes can vary in size slightly). Cut the diagonal trim pieces so they fit into the corners of the boxes. The best way to do this is to trace the angles on the wood and cut them on the saw. Repeat this step for all three boxes.
STEP 5:
Now it’s time to put everything together!! Lay out your wood trim pieces on the mirror. Once you get them how you want, take some clear silicone adhesive and glue each piece down to the mirror. Depending on how tight fitting your wood trim pieces meet up you may want to fill the small gaps with wood filler.
STEP 6:
Then attach your mirror to the plywood. Use the same adhesive on the back of the mirror and glue it down to the middle of the plywood.
STEP 7:
Next attach your barnwood frame! Take each piece you have already cut and attach it with some wood glue. Then take your clamps and clamp the wood down while you secure each piece with a few nails.

STEP 8:
When the glue has dried, sand the wood filler (if you used it) touch up the paint and add the flat braces to each corner. The final step is to add the hanging hardware. There are many ways you can do this. I like to drive 2 screws several inches apart into the back of the wood and connect them with picture hanging wire.
          
That’s it, your done, and now you have a beautiful custom mirror without the designer price tag!!
-Grey Birch Designs-

Creating a Backyard Dining Space

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One of the biggest projects we tackled this summer was creating an outdoor dining area on our back deck. We built this deck about 3 years ago out of redwood and it just didn’t hold up well against the elements. We knew it needed some repairs, but we decided to make it bigger and better than it previously was.

My goal was to create a cozy outdoor dinning area that fit in with the flow of our backyard design. I had a vision for a sleek looking deck with a simple, modern style pergola on top.

First we removed all the old warped and scratched redwood deck boards. We replaced them with Trex, a composite deck material that is able to stand the test of time and weather. This was the best choice for the deck because it’s requires no maintenance. We went with the pebble grey color and I absolutely love it!
             
After we finished the decking it was time to design the pergola! I knew we would have to make a custom size pergola because the deck is an odd size to fit the back section of our house. 
I came across the Toja Grid system and it was the perfect solution to the design I had in my head. Toja Grid makes heavy duty metal brackets that fit wood posts to create a modern looking pergola. The brackets can be purchased in many different kits. For our project we used the 4×4 double pergola with 2×4 roof rafters. This kit made the daunting task of building a pergola from scratch a lot more achievable!
It’s a super easy system and basically fits together like a puzzle. We used 4×4’s for the posts and 2×4’s for the slats on top. We cut our vertical 4×4 posts to fit just under the eves of our house, giving it a true custom look. Each piece of wood fits nicely into a bracket and then they all attach together with the provided screws.
                     
It took us a few hours to get the Toja Grid put together and boy was it worth it!! From the moment we stood it up and attached to the deck I was in love. It completely transformed the whole deck and gave it the cozy feel I was hoping for. 
Finally, we moved on to the finish work. We used a semi-transparent black stain that doubles as a wood water sealer. We then added some beautiful outdoor furniture, outdoor decor, plants, and some string lights across the top.
            
This was a big project but the the result was better than I could have ever imagined. We will enjoying this space for years to come!

  
If your backyard is screaming for a Toja Grid like mine was I have a great limited time discount offer to pass along to you all. Use code: GREYBIRCH to save 10% off your entire purchase from July 7th- July 21st!!
Before
After

-Grey Birch Designs-



Master Bathroon Vanity Remodel

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I wanted to create a more updated modern farmhouse feel to our bathroom vanity and with just a few changes I was able to completely transform this space. It seriously doesn’t even look like the same bathroom vanity!

The first step was to do a little demo. We had the standard builder grade mirror that had to go! These can be a little tricky to remove but the best and safest way is to tape the mirror, a lot!! This will help keep the mirror from shattering and flying all over the place in the event it breaks. You can’t use too much tape on this step so go crazy! After that take a pry bar or something that you can slip in-between the wall and the mirror to carefully pry it off the wall. Typically these are glued in a few different spots with a strong adhesive. This can damage drywall, but in our case we were putting up shiplap so we weren’t too concerned about any drywall damage.
After we removed the mirror we started the fun part, shiplap! For a more modern spin on the traditional shiplap I decide to do vertical seemless shiplap. We used true MDF shiplap boards These are easy to work with because the spacing is already done for you and will line up perfect every time. By using MDF instead of real wood you get a more smooth uniform finish without all the wood grain. We attached the boards to the wall with instant grab construction adhesive and a couple nails in the top and the bottom. To accommodate the vanity light wires coming out of the wall we drilled a one inch hole in the shiplap and pulled the wires through.

Once we finished putting up the shiplap we trimmed it out with PVC trim. This gives it a more clean finished look and hides all the raw edges and nail holes. Then came my favorite part, the finishes and decor!!

                 

I love the look of mixed metals so I picked these brushed bronze sleek vanity lights. They are truly a show piece and the focal point of the vanity. To compliment the vanity lights I added some brushed bronze faucets with a modern look and feel. To finish the look I added the round mirrors in matte black and two different size cabinet pulls. I put the larger size pulls on the doors and slightly smaller size pulls on the drawers in the matte black finish to compliment the black in the mirrors! I kept the decor simple with a wood vase and some greenery

This was a fun and easy update that made a huge difference in our bathroom! I couldn’t be happier with how this project turned out!!
-Grey Birch Designs-

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