Making Our House A Home: DIY Shelves.

Making Our House A Home: DIY Shelves.

A few months ago, I had the crazy idea to build shelves in our living room. Four simple, white shelves on each side of the fireplace. I was excited and I was nervous. I had never built anything that didn’t come with instructions. Not even the catapult required to pass Mr. Storrick’s high school Physics class. (Shout out to you, Mike Myers.) But, we were determined to make our house feel more like a home, and we thought shelves would be just the thing.

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I scrounged up a measuring tape only to discover that our fireplace is 10″ off center. So, with two different measurements and a ton of ideas in mind, we headed off to Busy Beaver.

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Two months, one quart of frozen paint, one shipment of wooden brackets from Ikea, one paint-stained pair of Under Armour pants, one brand new drill, and six packs of whatever kind of screw we needed to stick into our drywall-covered-brick walls later, we were ready to begin actually hanging the shelves.

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This is the part where I completely passed the baton. It took forever to get four shelves hung perfectly, which I now attribute to the fact that not only is our fireplace not centered in our living room, but the walls themselves are crooked. Pittsburgh homes. I tell ya. Gotta love ’em.

Fortunately, I know a few handy people, and my shelf dreams came true. (Disclaimer: Half of my dreams come true. Somebody managed to score tickets to last night’s playoff game, so our shelf hanging timeframe was minimized. We’ll get the other half done… eventually.) Check out the fruits of our labor… and Lauren Graham’s “Those shelves look amazing!” face!

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Even Buxton is happy with the upgrades!

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Home Improvement: Let Me Upgrade Ya.

Home Improvement: Let Me Upgrade Ya.

For a few months, I have been mentally redesigning our home. I have a pretty hefty list of upgrades I want to make in order for it to feel more like, well, home. After an embarrassing number of hours watching HGTV and scouring Pinterest, I decided I was ready to begin on our living room.

A few weeks ago, when two of our roommates moved out, taking the living room television and entertainment center with them, we began our overhaul. A quick shopping trip for a big screen TV, sound bar and wall mount allowed us to make better use of the floor space where the entertainment center once lived.

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Our next project: upgrading the faux fireplace. Centrally located in our living room is a purely decorative multicolor stone fireplace. Not the worst eye sore, but definitely something we wanted to put a little elbow grease into. So, we headed to our local hardware store, stocked up on some paint and supplies to build our own shelves (coming soon!), and I was all set.

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We chose a dark grey paint to cover the stone, because we knew it would look great with the floors we’ve picked out from my dad’s flooring business to span from the entry way and living room into the kitchen.

I let the grey paint dry overnight, and tackled the mantle, grout and the interior of the fireplace the next day. For this, I chose a simple, lightly grey-tinted white paint, and voila — a refreshed fireplace!

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Next on our list: building shelves on either side of the fireplace to give us extra storage with some style!