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!!
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!!
The beginning of the year for us, like so many others, started out looking very different. We had decided to sell our home and move to the next city over and build a cute farmhouse in a fun community. That all quickly changed largly due to the pandemic that hit us hard in March. Although at the time it was hard for me to see, I soon realized this was a HUGE blessing in disguise!!
I was always a little sad about the thought of leaving our current home because we put our blood, sweat, and tears into making it what is is today. The one area of our home I always wanted to make changes to was our kitchen. I originally picked out off-white cabinets but they always looked a little yellow to me.
Fast forward to late March – I’m not going to lie, I cried like a baby after we found out we weren’t going able to get the new house. But I have the world’s best husband and he knew my heart was broken. So he said to me “how about we do a kitchen remodel and turn our current house into everything you wanted” Seriously this made me cry happy tears way more than sad ones!
This project was mostly cosmetic. I love the layout of our kitchen – it was one of the big reasons we choose to build this model home back in 2015. What I wanted to change was the cabinets, countertops, and of course a farmhouse sink!!!
I had all my cabinets painted bright white (this is just the white base color without any additional color added in). I find this to be the truest bright white. We had the island painted Nevermore Grey by Sherwin Williams. We then had new white quartz countertops installed and modified the sink cabinet to accommodate the most beautiful farmhouse sink I found from BLANCO.
I chose the IKON® 33″ sink for a couple reasons. It’s a granite composite material that is stain and scratch resistant, which is super important with 5 kiddos in the house! It’s also a matte finish which gives it a more modern feel. This fits in perfectly with the new modern farmhouse design I’m going for in this kitchen remodel. I also picked out this gorgeous MERIDIAN™ faucet from BLANCO. It’s design makes me feel like a professional cook even when I’m not!! In all seriousness it’s not only beautiful but one of the best faucets I have ever had!
We took our sink cabinet doors to a custom cabinet maker to have the doors cut down to size. My farmhouse sink has a 10″ apron but our older sink was just a basic drop in. That meant our doors were too tall and didn’t fit under the sink anymore. We also had to change the support braces to hold the sink properly. We built small brackets inside the cabinet for the sink to sit on and lowered part of the horizontal cabinet face. Now my dream of having a farmhouse sink is a reality!!
This kitchen remodel is the largest project to date that we have done on our home and easily the most rewarding!!
BLANCO is a fantastic company and we have been extremely happy with their products. Our BLANCO farmhouse sink and faucet can be found here:
I recently gave our loft/playroom a refresh that fits our growing kids and their needs. I loved how the room came together but the TV wall bothered me. When we replaced our old TV with this larger TV the photo wall didn’t look right anymore. I needed to come up with a different design.
I had a vision in my head and for a certain type of picture shelf but I couldn’t find it anywhere – so that meant I had to DIY it! The TV wall is long and I wanted one large shelf, not two put together.
Since the wall is 12′ we cut the board down to 10′, which fills the wall but leaves a little bit of space on the sides. We used a circular saw to make the straight cut and then stained the wood with black wood stain and cloth rags
I found the best was to apply the stain evenly was to work in smaller areas and wipe off the stain quickly after applying it. If you have an extra set of hands it’s quick and easy to have one person apply the stain while the other follows right behind wiping it off!
I let the stain dry for a few hours before I put it up on the wall. To install the shelf we held the board up on the wall where we wanted it and used a level to make sure it was straight. Then we drew a level line on the wall across the top of the wood. This makes it easier to attach the brackets to the wall without having to also hold up the wood shelf.
Next we found and marked the studs. For this long shelf we used 4 of the metal brackets. We pre-drilled the holes and then attached the brackets to the wall with 2
inch screws. Once that was done we simply slid the wood into the brackets and then it was time to decorate!
I used a mix of large black and white family photos, hand cut silhouettes of our whole family, and some new house plants I picked up from Trader Joe’s.
I’m incredibly happy with how this simple project turned out. Finally I love every aspect of our new and improved loft/kids hangout room! To see this project in action check out this video of us putting the whole project together!
This month we tackled a big home project, one that I have wanted to do for some time now. We ripped out the carpet upstairs and installed new laminate flooring! I was a little nervous this was going to be more than we could handle, but this product from Creative Surfaces made the installation super easy!
We chose the Riverside Oak Laminate Plank and the color is perfect! It’s a beautiful medium brown with a subtle grey undertone. There are beautiful variations in the planks, giving them the look and feel of real wood but with the benefit of being extremely durable.
One thing that makes this flooring so easy to install is the underlayment is already attached to the planks. If you have ever installed laminate flooring before and fought with a big roll of underlayment then you know what a huge time saver this is. The planks also have SurfaceLoc system making it easy to snap and lock the boards together to form a solid surface floor.
There are a few things that are important to remember when switching out your flooring from carpet to laminate. First you will need to remove your baseboards. This is important because the thickness of carpet is much less than laminate, so you will not be able to slide your laminate under the baseboards. A tip to save a little money is to reuse your old baseboards instead of replacing them. If you use a hammer and a pry bar you can carefully pull the baseboards off the wall without damaging them. If you choose not to remove your baseboards you have the option of using quarter round moulding to hide the gaps for a clean finished look.
When you lay the floor you want to make sure you stagger the boards. If any of your seams meet up then your joints won’t be as strong and could shift over time. Install your floor like a typewriter by starting at one end and working your way left to right. When you get to the end, cut your board to length and use the left over pieces as the start of the next row.
I wish I had done this project sooner because it completely transformed our upstairs! Now my flooring is not only beautiful but is also super easy to clean, which is awesome with 5 kids and 2 dogs!!
You can find this laminate flooring at your local Walmart or check their website Creative Surfaces to see when it will be available in your area!
Most people keep their coffee maker out on their countertop, but it’s not the prettiest thing to look at! I wanted to create a countertop coffee station that was compact, functional, and appealing to the eye. I challenged myself to come up with a different kind of DIY. I didn’t want to have to build anything, buy a bunch of stuff, or spend a lot of money, so upscaling items was the perfect solution!!
I made a list of the must have items in my coffee station:
-A cup holder
-A tray big enough to hold everything
-A place to hold my coffee pods
-Some decor to make it cute
I went out hunting for things that would meet these needs but were as budget friendly as possible. I knew the colors of the items didn’t really matter because I could change them. The main focus was the right size and functionality.
I found the perfect size canister for my coffee pods, a large enough tray to hold everything, a mug holder, and the perfect size sign to make it cute and also hide those ugly power cords! I got all this for under $40. The only problem was none of the items were the ideal color or matched my style. My next step was to figure out my color scheme with the help of all the amazing paint colors available from ColorShot
I wanted a distressed look for my tray so I first painted it with Blackout Once it dried I painted it with Marshmallow and sanded it to get some of that black paint to show through, giving it a great distressed look! For my mug holder and coffee pod canister I wanted to bring in a copper color so I used Lucky Penny on both of these!
The last thing I did was create a cute coffee sign. I popped the wood board out of the frame, painted the background with Blackout and laid down my stencil. I sprayed the stencil with Marshmallow and then I pulled more of that pretty copper color into my sign by using the Lucky Penny-Paint Pen to color in the coffee cup. I wanted it to have a vintage look, so before the paint dried I blotted it with a paper towel. I repeated this step 3 times to get the look and depth of color I wanted. Check out this video for more details on how I made this fun sign!
This project made such a difference in our kitchen!! I set out to make something functional, compact, and beautiful all on a budget and I think I hit all those points!
All ColorShot paint products are available at Home Depot
To watch this whole project from start to finish check out this link to my DIY video!!
Wallpaper is one of my favorite things to use to bring a pop of color or pattern to a space. After recently painting my bathroom I knew it needed a splash of pattern to bring the space alive! I also knew I didn’t want to introduce a new color. I found the most gorgeous wallpaper from Milton & King and I knew if would be the perfect fit!
There are a few different types of wallpaper on the market, This kind is called paste-the-wall wallpaper, meaning the wallpaper itself is un-pasted and not sticky. To apply this kind of wallpaper all you need is some wallpaper paste. I picked this kind up from Home Depot and it worked great!
You simply apply the paste on the wall with a roller, just like you would if you were painting, and then apply the wallpaper. After you smooth it out, trim the excess and continue!
I have been super pleased with the quality of Milton & King wallpaper. One of my favorite features of this wallpaper is it’s cleanable!! It’s protected with two coats of a specially formulated glaze, making the non-woven base and paper top layer very durable and easy to clean. Dirt, dust, and other marks can be simply cleaned using a damp cloth with soapy water.
This was a fun project with a big statement!! It only took a couple hours to do and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It’s the perfect pop of pattern I was looking for in my master bathroom refresh!
Check out my YouTube video below of this project!!
It’s a new year and I’m ready for a little refresh!! New paint is one of my favorite ways to give new life to a space without having to spend a bunch of money on a full room remodel. You can transform your room in just a weekend with a few gallons of paint. I fell in love with the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams 2020 Color Collection of the Year, Simply Blissful. I wanted to do something a little more bold so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and picked 3 colors from this collection that weren’t grey. Can you believe it?! The result is something I’m so excited about!
The shiplap wall in our master bedroom is one of my favorite feature walls and I wanted to try something a little unexpected. When I saw the color Blue Endeavour (HGSW1451) I instantly knew it would be the perfect moody color for this wall.
I wanted this color to be the focal point of the room so I painted the rest of the walls with Fundamental White (HGSW4001). It’s the perfect bright white and a wonderful contrast to the Blue Endeavour (HGSW1451), giving the room a clean, crisp feel while letting the blue be the show stopper!
Next, we moved on to our master bathroom. We originally had a dark grey color in here. I really wanted to brighten up the space but still have it compliment the new colors in our bedroom. I landed on the Gristmill Greige (HGSW2485). It’s the perfect compliment to the throw pillows on my bed and ties both spaces together perfectly!
I couldn’t be happier with how my bedroom/bathroom update turned out. These three paint colors from the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Simply Blissful Color Collection are perfect together and completely take the guess work out of picking your colors. You can choose your pallet with confidence knowing that all these colors will work well together and give you a designer inspired look every time! The end result turned out even better than I had imagined!!
Bedroom – After
Bathroom – After
HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Simply Blissful Color Collection is exclusively available at Lowe’s. All painting supplies used for this project are by Purdy, also available at Lowe’s