Archive of ‘Kitchen’ category

Kitchen: Demo

As I was going back through old pictures, I realized I hadn’t shown you all the process that brought our kitchen from abandoned-forclosure-house to what we know and love as home.


It was in really rough shape…  The fact that all the pipes in the house had frozen in burst meant that we had to totally gut the bathroom and kitchen.  While we knew we were in for a lot of work, it turned out so much better than if they hadn’t caused such a mess!  It forced us to start from scratch and we got the house for a great deal because of it!  Yay for good deals – especially ones that become your home!  🙂



Refinishing a kitchen floor at

First things first – The demo part of things!  Who knew a hoe would be the tool of choice whilst ripping out dorky square ceiling tiles??

A Kitchen remodel at

Imagine my excitement when Handsome Man found a fantastic brick chimney behind all that lathe and plaster!!!

A Kitchen remodel at

You’ll notice I’m excitedly ripping out the lathe and plaster…. Shortly after this I’m pretty sure I was kissing the chimney.  I love exposed brick.  It’s as simple as that.

A Kitchen remodel at

Amazing how much junk and mess one gets into when ripping into lathe and plaster.  Seriously.

Can’t wait to show you what the previous layout looked like and how we totally changed our kitchen!  (AKA: Which walls came down! 🙂  )

Refinishing the kitchen wood floors…

Another project that when I say “we,”  I actually mean mostly Handsome Man.


So yeah… “we” refinished the kitchen floor finally!




Refinishing a kitchen floor at

Naaaaaasty!   We totally wanted to get this done before this munchkin started crawling!


And judging by her current level of desire to not stay in one place for very long, I have a feeling she’ll be an early crawler! 😉


Refinishing a kitchen floor at

We initially thought this white stuff was simply paint and could easily be sanded off.

Handsome Man thought it was some kind of leveling stuff.  Apparently it was wicked stuff to remove.


Refinishing a kitchen floor at




Refinishing a kitchen floor at

It was pretty nasty floor.


Refinishing a kitchen floor at

But my man knows how to work floor magic!


Refinishing a kitchen floor at

But since this is DIY in Real Life, gotta show you what the rest of my main floor looked like.

Refinishing a kitchen floor at

Amazing how when you work on one spot, the rest toooooootally goes to pot!  Ha!



Refinishing a kitchen floor at

This stain looks alarmingly pink in real life before the sealer is applied!



Refinishing a kitchen floor at

We actually used a water-based poly sealer…  A actually really liked the stuff!  NO smell!  YAY!



Refinishing a kitchen floor at

I love wood floor when it’s refinished!



Refinishing a kitchen floor at


Cheap 80’s Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off…

What do you do when you’re drooling over Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware’s light fixtures but spending that much is totally not in the budget???


Make a knock-off!!!! 🙂



Say hello to my little friend!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Here’s the run-down.




All I needed was a bolt of this….



It lasts foooooorever….  Probably coulda done 30 lights with this! 😉



One of these did 2 lights….



And 2 lights that looked something like this.  Not a fan of the 80’s brass myself and kinda prefer the black look!  I paid $15.00 each at Habitat for Humanity.

I just hand painted all the brass with some black latex paint I had on sale.  You can actually take some of these lanterns apart, take the glass out, and spray paint them.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t with these, so I just hand painted and then scraped any extra paint off the glass with a glass scraper.


After the paint dried, Handsome Man installed the lights for me.  They looked pretty good but I didn’t like the chain.  Still a little too 80’s for me.


So… That’s when I twisted rope around the chain and I TOTALLY LURVE it now!!!!  Looks like something from Restoration Hardware or Ballard Designs without the hefty price tag!  😉  I think it was easier to wrap the rope after it was installed, even if my arms WERE killing me by the time I was done! 🙂

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

I simply looped the rope around the top hook and used a white cable tie to secure it. (Otherwise known as zippy strips.)   Then I wrapped the rope REALLY tightly around and round the chain securing it at the bottom with another white cable tie.  Then I used the thin sisal string to cover up the cable ties by wrapping it around and round on top of them top and bottom.


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

All said and done, each one cost less than $20.00 and some time!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

I kinda love the reflection that shines up on the ceiling too! 🙂


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Yes…  Try to ignore all the dust I didn’t bother to scrub off before I took the picture… 😉


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

(Observe the “mood lighting” (AKA: rope lighting) that Handsome Man installed above the crown molding.  It’s kinda awesome at night for just a low light!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Not a bad price when you compare to these favorites from Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware.

T_WithoutZoom{Ballard Designs}



{Restoration Hardware}

On sale for $569.99


{Restoration Hardware}

Between $150.00-$350.00

So yeah.  Pretty happy about my very inexpensive knock-offs!!! 😉

Check out the original Dining Room Post.

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real


Home Stories A2Z

Beyond The Picket Fence

Dining Room Table and Mismatched Chairs

You’ll notice a lack of BEFORE pictures in this post.  2 reasons for that:

I tend to JUMP into projects with abandon… Much too anxious to get started, I forget all about things like cameras and how people might want to…. You know… Actually SEE what my piece of junk looked like when I started.


Secondly…  This was before I started my blog… Or even seriously thought about *maybe* starting a blog.  Therefore… Not really on my radar screen at all.


So anyhoo…  Since we’re skipping BEFORE… On to the DURING and AFTERS!  🙂


Imagine this…

Free dining room table…. Large… Screamin’ 80’s… with a damaged laminate top.  This thing was uuuuuuuugly!  🙂



Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Went to Menards…. Bought 7 – 2×6’s…    We arranged them on the tabletop… Not an easy task, because even if you spend forever picking out the straightest boards… They’ll still be a wee bit crooked.  So we arranged and rearranged and rearranged till we found they fit the closest.

To attach them,  Handsome Man just screwed them in from underneath.  He had me use my weight to our advantage… Ummmm yeah…. That’s code for… He had me sit on the table while he drilled!  😉   Whatever works, right????


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

A little leftover stain from the wood floors….  and 6 coats of high-gloss poly sealer…


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Looks AWESOME, right?!?!!?  Love it!!!


I suppose you’re wondering about the base/legs too, right?

Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

I painted the legs with several coats of various gray paints… and just for good measure, I sprayed flecks of black spray paint.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

Sanded the living daylights out of the edges to distress…


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

And then glazed the whole base with this miracle stuff.  Seriously?  Love what magic this glaze can preform.  😉



And the chairs!   My pretty little white mismatched chairs.  Again…. No before picture.  KICKING myself, of course!!! 🙂


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

I did, however… Get 3 random pictures of me recovering the seats with this awesome gray vinyl I had on hand.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real

LOVE these chairs actually!  All mismatched but painted the same.  Kinda adore the look and the price makes it even MORE attractive!!! 🙂  Especially since friends gave them all to me for freeeeeeee!   All it cost me was the paint, people.


Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real




Inexpensive Dining Room Table Re-do by DIY in Real


Anyone else in love as much as I am?  And cheap!  Sweetness!!!



Check out these other mismatch chairs I loooove!









Check out the original Dining Room post….


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Guess what caaaaaaaame today??! Cabinet hardware, baby!



DIY in Real

Just placed an order with D. Lawless…

I’ve never ordered from them but so far so good!!!  I’ve always heard great things about them from other bloggers, but had never even visited their website.

Last week I did.  That was mistake #1 the best choice I ever made!  My kitchen cabinets are going to love me when I put on their new jewelry!

D. Lawless has TONS of pulls, handles, and knobs for really really great prices!!!


DIY in Real

For instance… These cup pulls?  (My favorite style of cabinet hardware)

They are from Williams-Sonoma and are originally $19.87.  I did not pay that, of course.  I am admittedly WAY to cheap for that! 😉

I paid $4.10 each.

Can I get an OH YEAH?!?!?!

That’s an awesome price for cup pulls let alone ones that are so nice and solid!  I’m totally in love!  They’re a brushed satin silver finish and they’re the perfect blend of brushed satin so they won’t show finger prints as much, yet slightly shiny enough to add some bling to ‘ma kitchen! 😉

The knobs are also the brushed satin silver and I also scored those for a mere $2.00 each.


Can’t wait to get these babies onto their new homes!!! 😉

Yup.  Love.

I was in no way compensated by D. Lawless for this post…  

However if they’d like to, I’d be all for that!!! 

This Old House…

I was just sitting here going through pictures from over a year ago.  Last August when 2 nearlyweds bought a house.  An over 100 year old house.  A house that was foreclosed on and had been vacant for quite a while.  A house that had once-frozen pipes that had burst causing mold in the basement and making it necessary to replace all the plumbing.  A house that had been on the market for quite some time.  In short, it was the house no one wanted.

But we saw something very different when we walked in the side door that had no glass and was instead all boarded up.


We saw a solid house with good bones.


We saw a house with wood floors throughout.    ….Even if they did need refinished.


We looked past the nasty plaster walls covered in numerous layers of paper bag-like wallpaper.  (Who does that??!)


And saw what could be an adorable breakfast nook.



A spacious kitchen if we re-arranged…


… And tore out walls and plaster encasing the brick chimney.   😉


It could be an incredibly functional space….


With a guest bedroom…

A master bedroom….

And an office….


If only we could trim all the trees and bushes and pull all the vines that were smothering the old girl….

Then we could have a house.  Not just a house….  A HOME.  Our home.   And slowly…. Very slooooowly….  We come closer and closer to that vision that no one else had for the house no one else wanted.

Breakfast Nook Re-Do….

When we bought our foreclosure house, things were pretty rough….   The little breakfast nook was no exception.  I think this is the only picture we have of it pre-demolation.  All the pipes had burst in our entire house so we had to tear out the ceiling to re-do all the plumbing.

{Handsome Man hard at work…}

Little did we know…. Behind that simple flat ceiling with cardboard-like tiles was a ceiling with character!!

It angled up up to a peak, so we added wainscoting and a pennant light.

We’re still working on it and I CANNOT wait to show you the finished project!!!


Here are some of my favorite breakfast nook inspiration pictures!  Eye candy for your Wednesday! 🙂











DIY Tutorial of Curtain Rods Made From Plumbing and Electrical Supplies…

How’s THAT for a hefty title??!

DIY in Real Life - How to make curtain rods out of plumbing and electrical supplies


Okay…  So I always love me a little industrial.  Not a lot.  Just a touch here and there….  So when I saw THIS….   *Insert a little Emperor’s New Groove – BOOM-BABY!*




I fell in love.  Deep passionate love.  And I soooo wanted them.

Entrance: Handsome man.


The decision went something like this.

Me: I’m not sure what to do about curtain rods.

Handsome Man: What are you thinking?

Me: Well….   I-saw-an-idea-on-pinterest-and-I-really-really-love-it-but-I-don’t-know-how-much-it-would-cost-or-how-much-work-it-would-take-but-did-I-mention-I-really-really-loved-it??!

Handsome Man: Can I see it?

{Showing of inspiration photo}

Handsome Man:  Yup. No problem.

{This was the abridged version}


And so it began!



For every window, you need:

{2 of these}

{2 of these}

{And measure how much of this you need.  Some stores will even cut it for you!  We got 10 ft. lengths and each one did 1-2 windows of varying sizes.  We did our whole 1st floor with these curtain rods. We got all 3/4 in. fittings and 3/4 in. conduit.  We found that the conduit fit tightly enough that it almost threaded snugly into the street elbow fitting.  Friction fit, baby!}

You’ll also want curtain rings.  I got these from Menards as well… Once the curtain rods are up, they’re up.  4 screws on each side makes it problematic to take them down.  Obviously, you don’t want to do that every time you want to wash your curtains.  I found these to be the perfect solution!!

As to needed tools…



Tape measure

and a pipe cutter if you did not have them cut at the store

This project was a total B-R-E-E-Z-E~ ~ `~ ~ ~

First we removed the labels.

 Super easy… Just ran some water over it in the sink for a few minutes.  

Okay… Okay….  As long as we’re being “REAL” here….

This is what it really looked like.

I was too excited to get the new curtain rods up.  I totally didn’t want to do dishes.

*cough cough*

Moooooving on….

Your pile of fittings will look something like this! 🙂

Just thread the street elbow tightly into the floor flange.

The conduit will twist tightly into the street elbow.

Before twisting the 2nd side onto the conduit, put your curtain rings on. I’m not even going to admit how many times we had to take off the other end because we forgot to put them on.  Ha!

{Handsome Man concentrating deeply.}

Just put one screw in the first side to keep it there…  I chose to mount my curtain rods 4 inches wider and 6 inches taller than the window casings.  Normally I would go even higher/wider to show off more of my windows, but we. have. so. many. windows.


Measure the 2nd side to insure that it’s level…. and start fastening!  With a grand total of 8 screws, I wonder if I could do pull-ups on these things??!

Probably not.  Who am I kidding.  I don’t do pull-ups on anything!! 😉

TAAAAA-DAAAAA!!!!  Finished Product!!!!

Are they not the coolest thing ever???

Let’s add this up:

2 street elbows = 2.72 total


2 Floor Flanges = 6.78


Conduit = 1.58 to 3.15

Seeing my man lift the curtain rods like he was the heavy lifting olympic champion….


That brings the total of each curtain rod from $11.08 to $12.65.

Which is a REALLY great price for curtain rods!  At Menards, the dinky, scrawny ones start at 19.99.  And with as easy as they all were to put together??!   I couldn’t be more thrilled!

They went in on our whole main floor since it’s all very open and they totally tie everything together.  Love that!

Dining Room


Living Room


A knock-off of West Elm’s version!!

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