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DIY Custom Closet: IKEA Kallax Hack

Custom fitted closets get expensive… really expensive. I contacted a few companies for the all singing, all dancing fitted closet for the Twins’ room, and to be honest I’d rather spend that kind of money on a family vacation to Mexico. So, DIY custom closet it is. I’m putting my mom muscles into action, and taking on this project to create an attractive, practical and affordable solution. This IKEA Kallax hack has turned out great… the only trouble is I now want to do the same in my daughter’s room!

 

**This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.**

I’ve been talking about getting started on the Twins’ room for long enough, so I thought I’d better get on with it and break the seal. It’s a lot to take on at once, especially when you’re at home with three kids. So I’m breaking it down into manageable pieces, starting with their closet.

DIY Custom Closet: BEFORE

The existing closet and it’s sliding mirrored doors have likely been there since the house was built in 1987. We have these closets in three of the rooms in our house and it’s tempting to just leave them. But I find the sliding doors limit access to the full area of the closet, and the open shelving ends up a jumble of falling socks and crumpled t-shirts. I can not stand using the closet they currently have, and I’m pretty sure the one in their new room is even worse. 

DIY custom closet before mirrors
Before: Sliding mirrored doors with open shelving and hanging poles.

So… time to take action and rip it all out. It really is amazing how much material comes out when demolishing a fitted closet. I’ll be honest, I haven’t yet dealt with disposing of all the shelves and doors. What I didn’t consider, was the fitted system that was there ran down to the floor and the closet had been carpeted around it. This meant the carpet had to come out too, such a pain! I didn’t have any matching off-cuts of carpet to fit, but I did have a little leftover oak flooring from when we installed downstairs, so oak flooring it is. A blessing in disguise, as I think it looks fab, despite the extra work.

DIY custom closet during demolition
The flooring and base boards needing renewing after demolition.

Before I could get started on my IKEA Kallax hack, I had to:

  • Strip out what was there;
  • Fill holes, sand and decorate walls;
  • Install new flooring;
  • Install and decorate new base boards.

Shop EasyClosets Online

IKEA Kallax Hack

The IKEA Kallax system has been a best seller for years, and over time new nifty additions have been offered to make the system even more versatile. I knew I wanted some drawers for the Twins’ closet, and although the drawers offered for the system are small, they will be perfect for socks, underwear etc. I am very aware from their existing closet, it is difficult to keep clothes eye pleasingly, OCD tidy; so I wanted some cupboards/boxes to hide things, especially as I decided to leave the closet open. You can mix up your Kallax unit however you want, you may want to just keep it simple with some storage boxes. And if you live nowhere near IKEA, you can buy your Kallax unit on Amazon (although the middle man pushes the price up!). There are alternatives to IKEA… ClosetMaid and Better Homes & Garden also make cube storage units.

IKEA KallaxIKEA Kallax
ClosetMaid CubeicalsClosetMaid Cubeicals
Better Homes & Garden Cube OrganizerBetter Homes & Garden Cube Organizer

 You can just leave your Kallax unit on the floor, but I felt lifting it up on feet gave it a wardrobe feel, and a more ‘finished’ appearance. It also gave me a little more height for fixing my clothes rail to either side. The unit is quite heavy, so I do recommend heavy duty legs with a decent fixing plate to spread the weight. I used IKEA Capita brackets, which are designed for holding up kitchen shelves/worktops rather than furniture feet, but they worked out perfectly. Then, all that’s missing is a closet rod and brackets.

 

IKEA Capita BracketsIKEA Capita Brackets
Oak Closet RodOak Closet Rod
Closet Flange SetCloset Flange Set

Closet Mural

A little while ago I posted about murals for kids rooms that do not need a fine art degree… and this mural was simple, but time consuming. It requires a streak of the perfectionist and a bit of patience, but it does not require any special skills. You don’t need to paint a mural behind your DIY custom closet, but if you’re going to go custom… go all the way, right? My friend Jillian, from heyjilliankirby.com, recommended sealing the masking tape with the background paint, to get extra crispy lines on the mural. I tried with and without this extra step, and I can confirm it is 100% worth that little extra time. If you’re painting smooth walls, you’re probably OK, but with textured walls, that coat of paint fills the gaps beneath the tape, preventing edge bleeding. If you can’t quite face a complex pattern, how about a bold feature color as a backdrop to your closet?

So… to prevent babbling instructions on the mural and the IKEA Kallax hack, I made a video:

 

DIY Custom Closet: AFTER

I’m really pleased with how the closet turned out, and the symmetry is perfect for the twins, because as I have mentioned before, I like to keep their clothes separate. George and Arthur will get a side each, and there is plenty of space to spare if I want to pop a laundry basket or storage trunk on either side at floor level. 

This DIY custom closet cost me a total of $250 (not including repairs/flooring after demolition), which is a fraction of the cost a closet company would charge. And if you went with basic cube boxes, instead of drawers and cupboards, and kept the unit on the ground, you could pay as little as $150… feeling like a thrifty mama right now! 

 DIY custom closet AFTER

DIY custom closet portrait

I’d love to hear what you’ve done with an IKEA Kallax system… the possibilities are endless!

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**This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.**

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Colorful Planting Ideas: Naptime Makeover


It been some time since my last Naptime Makeover, but it’s time to make the most of those sleeping babies. The Twins are down to one nap a day now, but it’s a good two hour event, so that leaves plenty of time to get stuck into some colorful planting ideas. It’s that time of year when everyone in the northern hemisphere starts exploring their garden again… unless you live in Arizona like me, and in that case you’re into pool terriority. Yes, it is officially 100°F today on Cinco de Mayo, so it’s time to splash about, party and lounge poolside. I had a good tidy up and weeding session earlier in the week, but our poolside seating is still lacking a punch of color. I needed a little inspiration before I headed to the garden centre…

colorful-planting-ideas-fb

Although I love gardening, since we moved from the UK to Arizona, the knowledge I had built through experience with my English garden felt like it was useless in my new desert habitat. I swapped rambling roses and gooseberry bushes for bougainvillea and cacti. I’m no planting expert, but it’s a hobby I really enjoy, and I’ve found some great resources through Monrovia that help make planning and buying the perfect plants for your garden easy. They even have a new ‘Grow Beautifully’ blog which I’ve had a good dig through to consider colorful planting ideas for my patio spruce up. There are many different ways you can bring splashes of color to your yard, so before you get started consider some options:

5 Colorful Planting Ideas:

Traditional Flower Beds: What I love about good sized flower beds is you can mix heights, colors and textures to create the ultimate planting backdrop. It’s quite the skill, I’m not sure I’ve nailed it yet, but it’s fun to browse for plants that compliment each other in the garden centre or online. I’m one of those people that get asked if they need help a lot in the garden centre, because I move pots about repeatedly, standing back with a confused look on my face. 

Trees: In a sea of green, a colorful tree can make all the difference. Our neighbor in England had a Japanese Red Maple, and I was always eyeing it up mid summer when spring flowers had finished for the year and we were left with only green planting.

Decorative Pots: What I like about pots is they are easy to weed. I find flower beds higher maintenance, although mulch or pebbles helps. I also love that they’re mobile to change up the look quickly. The pots I’m filling today used to be along the pool fence, but I’m moving them poolside. Not only can colorful flowers create an instant splash of color to the centre of a patio, the pot itself also brings color and style to your yard. Don’t be afraid of mixing pots for an welcoming, eclectic look like this beautiful garden below.

colorful planting ideas monrovia
Source: Monrovia Grow Beautifully Blog

Hanging Baskets: If you’ve read my post on hanging house plants you’ll know I’m a fan of keeping plants out of reach of children and pets… neither can be trusted! Hanging baskets are the perfect way to bring color to your patio, especially if you have a covered area as they can run along the edge of the canopy.

Vines & Climbers: What I love about climbers is they cover unsightly structures or divides. In England we had a huge scented climbing rose that covered a trellis that separated the pretty front half with the practical back half with the shed, greenhouse and veg patch. When we moved into our house in Arizona, we immediately installed a safety fence to divide the pool half from the lawn half, and now I plan to grow a climber to improve the unsightly steel bars. Useful and pretty, you can’t go wrong with that!

Colorful Planting Ideas: Naptime Makeover

We finally got round to buying ourselves patio furniture last summer and were so excited about sitting on it, we never really thought about dressing it up further. But the poolside patio is looking a little sad and beige, and it’s calling out for a splash of color. This truly was a naptime makeover… a small project you can tackle while babies sleep – instant satisfaction. Pots are an easy, almost lazy, way of bringing colorful planting ideas to your yard, I even had time for a cup of tea and take some photos before the boys woke up.

colorful-planting-ideas-makeover

This is the sweet spot… although you need ice tea today. It’s 100F!!

I went for the lazy option and popped to my local Lowe’s in the morning to browse the Monrovia plants and flowers. If you’re more organized, and want to make sure you find the perfect plant for your pots or beds, you can search the Monrovia shop site for what is available in your region, and they will ship the plants for free to your local garden centre for pick up, such a great idea!

colorful-planting-ideas-pool-flowers

These Asiatic Lilies are bringing just the colorful detail I was looking for to the poolside, and they can handle a little sun so hopefully they’ll do just fine in my pot.

colorful-planting-ideas-cactus

And you know I couldn’t leave without a cactus, right? Is it sensible to plant a cactus in a bathing suit zone?

Let me know if you have any spring/summer planting projects on the horizon, and do have a browse of what Monrovia have to offer at your local Lowe’s. They also have a lot to offer online, including their shop, blog, and even a newsletter. Get stuck into a naptime makeover, whatever it may be, you really feel like you’ve achieved something for the day!

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Cactus Inspired Color Scheme: Bedroom Makeover


As you can probably tell from the Twin Pickle logo, I’m a bit cactus mad. As a Brit living in Arizona, the obsession was inevitable. I’ve been meaning to makeover our bedroom for some time, so when I needed ideas, it was only natural a cactus inspired color scheme was the way to go. My Instagram feed has started to catch up with my spiky friends… but how do you turn your favorite plant into a color scheme? I could paint the room green and decorate the walls with protruding toothpicks, but as a designer I’m ready to think outside the box a little… get ready for a makeover!

cactus inspired color scheme title

If you’ve read my previous design posts on accent walls or colorful bathrooms, you’ll know I’m not afraid of a bit of bold color. Although I love our bright red nightstands, they were not working with the yellow feature wall we had painted when we moved in. When creating a new color scheme, it’s important to consider what you already have, or your shopping list is going to get very long. 
Immediately I’m struggling with cactus green and red nightstands, because I don’t want my bedroom to look like Christmas. So I start to think about the broader spectrum of colors associated with cacti. A quick “cactus colors” search on Google or Pinterest will show you some fabulous colors these native beasts can express. At that point I knew I had found my cactus magic, I just needed to find the perfect paint shade to put it into action.

cactus inspired color scheme mood board

Putting my cactus inspired color scheme into action:

I booked a free color consultation with Dunn-Edwards Paints; this was not my first visit to the store, so I knew it was the place to get the right advice on such a bold color scheme. Plus, the store has a giant cactus out the front so we were already a match made in heaven.

cactus color scheme dunn edwards

I took with me some pictures of my existing bedroom, a few cactus images, and my helpful assistant, 7 year old Elsie. Despite being told in advance she was there to take photos, she had a lot to say on the subject of color, and insisted my lovely color consultant show us some very unrelated shades of deep purple.

cactus color scheme purple

Once satisfied, we could continue with the cactus inspired color scheme. Luckily for me, my consultant didn’t gulp in horror at my ideas, and was happy to find and discuss a selection of color cards to home in on a scheme. After leaving with some samples to try at home I felt ready to let my imagination run wild.

A color scheme means more than just paint:

I had quite the range of colors in my mind, and felt a little disheartened leaving the green succulent tones behind. My color consultant made some suggestions on how to incorporate these color accents into the room: using pictures, bedding, cushions… or pretty much anything else you may have in your bedroom. We all want a cohesive color scheme, but that doesn’t mean when I paint the walls pink, everything else has to be pink too. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to pick up a scatter cushion in the store and think “that’s the exact shade of pink I have on my walls.” Step away from the cushion and go back to your color scheme.

Stop all the chit-chat and show us the results already:

Those of you who have been following Twin Pickle for a while will know my seven year old daughter Elsie is in charge of my YouTube account. Well step aside girlfriend… Mom is breaking the seal. Yes, my face and delightfully Downton Abbey accent, are debuting video social media in the name of Dunn-Edwards’ exceptional quality paints. Enjoy…

Joanna Gaines eat your heart out. You know when you hear yourself on your answerphone message and cringe… that’s what I’m feeling right now. Onwards…

The finishing touches:

I’m hoping you love my cactus inspired color scheme as much as I do. I did take a trip to the local nursery (plants not children) in the hope of getting myself a giant cactus for the bedroom. Not only did the chap insist we left the building to talk outside because he couldn’t understand my accent, he also looked at me in total horror when I asked how one of his beauties would do inside. “These are desert plants that need full-sun.” he said. So he totally bummed my idea; but I did get myself some smaller succulents which I will desperately try not to kill. Once the paint was dry and my micro-cacti were in place, my cactus inspired color scheme was coming to life. I had a feeling for the exotic; an adventurer heading across the desert to lands unknown. This idea sparked the wall baskets and the large multi colored cushion; small touches that really finished the scheme for me…

cactus inspired color scheme before

cactus inspired color scheme front

cactus inspired color scheme portrait sm

Get the ball rolling for free!

Find out more about booking a free Dunn-Edwards color consultation here. You can also download a coupon for a free 8oz sample of paint to get your makeover juices flowing!

A final word on Dunn-Edwards Paints:

While I was in line for my paint order pick-up, I scanned the room to assess the type of characters that might buy their paint from Dunn-Edwards. Not surprisingly, I was the only one stuffing my cans of paint under a twin stroller that particular afternoon. The store was a 50/50 mix of homeowners and professionals, which is a really good sign. Not only do homeowners want the quality and color range you get with Dunn-Edwards Paints, but Professionals understand it’s a selling point for their business to offer these products. I even heard one lady say to a couple of guys in overalls “I’ll take your card, you’re buying the best paint so that’s a good start.” And as for the environment, I will let Dunn-Edwards speak for themselves:

‘At Dunn-Edwards, our mission has always been to provide the best performing paint, in an environmentally sound manner to protect the health and well being of our customers. We were a disciplined leader in the concept of green product manufacturing long before it became popular.’

cactus inspired color scheme dunn-edwards paints
Chosen colors: DET452 Gypsum Rose & DE5178 Aloha Sunset

cactus inspired color scheme landscape side

So whether you’re looking for a cactus inspired color scheme, or any other wacky idea that comes to mind, book yourself a consultation and feel inspired. I would love your thoughts on the scheme, although I will take white lies over brutal honesty any-day… haha, not true, tell me what you really think!

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DIY Murals for Kids Rooms That Do Not Require a Fine Art Degree

Last week I started designing the Twins big boy room, and shared my options for beds in shared rooms. This week, I’m taking things a step further and thinking about the walls. I would love the boys to have a mural wall, and it’s something I’ve always fancied having a go at. Despite being fairly artistic, the idea of embarking on an epic mural is more than daunting, and I don’t want it to end up so awful that my hard work is painted over with ten layers of tasteful pale grey. So, let’s be realistic, and consider some DIY murals for kids rooms that all of us can achieve.

DIY murals for kids rooms facebook image
WARNING: The mural shown above may require a fine art degree… read on to start with something basic!

I can draw, but I’m pretty rusty and I don’t have much time. The last thing I want is to make life difficult for myself, after all, I’m a big believer in ‘keep it simple stupid.’ So… I’ve searched high and low, and this is the best selection of easy peasy murals I’ve come up with. And remember, you can always paint over it and start again!

Draw like a Child…

Leo's Room contemporary-kids

 

This cute mural is the work of designer Jane Reiseger, and although there is no doubt in her talent, I believe we could all have a go at this simple style. Pick a color and have a look through some of your favorite children’s books. Come up with a simple child-like drawing and go big! 

Cityscape

Nursery & Guest Room Re-Design contemporary-kids

 

A cityscape doesn’t need to be complicated. Use masking tape and straight lines to make a simple skyline. If you’re feeling really brave you can even add a few windows for that finishing touch! 

Mountains

Modern Nursery transitional-nursery

 

This masterpiece is the work of Eclair Decor. I love the colors and really… how hard can it be? All you need is some masking tape and loose arm for those rolling hills. Create a makeshift compass with string to get that perfect sun circle!

Chalk Board

Eclectic Kids eclectic-kids

 

For the lazy parent everywhere… just let your kids create their own mural! 

Simple Trees

Violet's Nursery contemporary-nursery

 

Okay, so you may need some artistic skills for this, but keep the design super simple and the colors abstract. I love the grey accent leaves on the white branches!

Washing Line

PebbleKids_Cross Lines modern-kids

 

OK, this one looks is a little complicated, but notice the simplified shapes, it’s totally doable! Go on… have a go!

 

And when DIY murals for kids rooms don’t work out… cheat!

 

Wallpaperflower wallpaper DIY murals for kids rooms

This wallpaper is so pretty, and works perfectly in this room! Floral Coloray on Etsy have quite the selection for those wanting to wimp out on the mural skills. And with designs like this, I don’t blame you!

 

Stick on Decals

DIY murals for kids rooms decals teepee cactus
Available at KennoSatoDesigns on Etsy

If all else fails, there’s alway the total cop-out option of wall decals. There are loads of fantastic ones about now… I’m particularly crazy for these cactus and teepee stickers from Etsy.

 

So, I’m feeling inspired… yet slightly terrified to bring brush to wall. I quite like the idea of mountains because we are surrounded by them here in Phoenix. But if we go local, you know we have to include… a cactus or two! Here are my current thoughts…

desert mural twin pickle

I feel the Twins’ big boy room design brewing – what do you think?

**UPDATE!!!** I tackled a DIY mural in my twin boys room… check it out here!

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Ideas for Laundry Rooms: Naptime Makeover

It’s not sexy and exciting, but most of us have one. It’s easy to ignore, but you’re probably spending more time in the laundry room than you would like. When was the last time you stepped back and thought about design ideas for laundry rooms? For me it’s been a while; although I did have a client about 4 years ago who was very particular about a jam making station in her utility room – safe to say she was more domesticated than I am.

ideas for laundry rooms

I have a crisis going on in my laundry room, and I’m pretty limited on space, time and budget. But, I like to dream a little, so lets see what fancy people with time and money are doing and get some inspiration before I get stuck into another Naptime Makeover.

Ideas for Laundry Rooms

Jumbo Scale:

Caliterra Parade Home - Dripping Springs, Texas
 
This is one serious laundry room, designed by Texan based Architects, Geschke Group. I love the herringbone floor, it makes all the difference to this space; and you can’t go wrong with traditional shaker cabinetry. Do notice the barn door in the foreground with the black hardware, perfect.

Small Scale:

Living Spaces
 
We don’t all have Texan scale laundry rooms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be tidy and stylish. This is a laundry cupboard – double doors, a modern counter top, a couple of cabinets and a little bit of bling with the backdrop… and why not.
 

Traditional

Holley Residence
 
If you love traditional, country, beachfront homes, check out the rest of this gorgeous house designed by Geoff Chick & Associates. The painted shiplap and open shelving bring a cosy comfort to a luxurious pad. And don’t forget the traditional laundry baskets.

The Clean Look

Courtsfield Ave.

No room in my house has ever been this clean, however the look is enhanced by the shining white work surfaces and the bright white mosaic wall. This more sensibly scaled room is the work of Barlow Reid Design. I love the idea of having a hanging rail, and there’s something wonderful about a ridiculously neat pile of folded fluffy towels. Or is that just me?

For a more Masculine Look

Clean Lined Transitional Home
 
If you need a bit more bachelor pad into your laundry room, go dark cabinetry, stainless steel, black countertops and tiling to match. But hang on… these guys have double machines – yes, people actually do that! Not so bachelor pad now are we Mr Practical Family Man?

For the dog lover

Roswell Home
 
A bit like jam stations, I had no idea this was a thing – a dog washing station in your laundry room – it sound dangerous to me. Just make sure you’ve put away the clean laundry before you get the dog wet. I absolutely love the blue subway, it goes perfectly with my pooch’s eyes. I can’t resist, here’s just one more…
 
Home in Toronto 8
 

Ideas for Laundry Rooms – Naptime Makeover

**This post contains affiliate links**

However mundane it may seem, the laundry room is the first room I see when I get home and the last thing I see when I go out. We, like many, have a laundry room that connects the garage to the rest of the house, so it’s essentially our welcome lobby. This is what I, and any guests arriving from the airport, see when they enter my house…

laundry room ideas

“Welcome to my humble abode… did I tell you I have a Architecture degree?”

Yes, in the 18months we have lived in our home I haven’t even managed to remove the efficiency sticker from our washing machine. Time for an intervention. I have a very tiny space, a timescale to match, and a pretty non-existent budget, but surely anything’s an improvement on the above?

I decided my main problems with the space were:

  • Clutter. Since I had the Twins, my organizational skills have gone out the window, and I’m suffering from a major case of Chaotic Mom Syndrome. I definitely need to do some sorting, it’s a mess.
  • The Cabinets. They are the cheapest, most basic cabinets you could get in 1987, complete with plastic handles.
  • Lack of anything pretty at all.

In de-cluttering I also thought about storage. I had a good browse of various storage boxes, baskets and bags – things that would be practical, yet bring some style into the space. Then I had to tackle the cabinets. I decided the only advantage of the crappy cabinets I had was that they were flat, so I decided to alter them to create a shaker style cabinet door. Here’s how I went about it:

Creating Shaker Cabinet Doors from Existing Flat Doors

DIY cabinetry

  1. Cut 3 inch planks from 5mm plywood. I used a ‘project board’ piece which costs less than $10.
  2. Fix the plywood strips to the face of your cabinet doors using cabinet tacks (tiny nails). I tried using ‘heavy duty instant grip adhesive’ and it was a nightmare. You need so many clamps to hold it while it sticks and it peeled off overnight anyway. Nails work… although as you can see by the picture, you curse a lot because those tiny nails bend easily! And I lost my tape measure so was stuck using the one from my sewing kit.
  3. Fill the cracks between planks and the tiny nail holes using wood filler. Sand when dry.
  4. Prime and paint.

To be honest, I surprised myself with the outcome. They looks great, and it cost a total of $30 by the time I had bought primer, paint and wood filler. I even had a couple of new handles left over from our kitchen remodel so that cost me nothing.

Nap time Makeover Results

This was a bigger makeover than one nap time, especially because I had paint drying time to account for. But I did finish over a couple of days and it’s totally worth it. Here’s the result:

laundry-room-makeover

It’s not high glamour but it is tidy, and the splash of blue with the storage baskets makes all the difference. I even have somewhere to hang my bag, which is needed now the Twins enjoy pulling everything out of it. The cabinets are quite the transformation, although difficult to see in the pictures due to our fluorescent light – I think I’ll look into changing that and get myself a prettier light fitting to go with my prettier laundry room. I spent very little and picked up the extras bits to finish it off from Target. I even used my Red Card and saved an extra 5%, winner winner chicken dinner.

Total $98

laundry room makeover

 

For a couple of hours work and less than $100 I think it went pretty well. What do you think? Feeling inspired to do something about your laundry room?

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DIY Coffee Cup Hanging Planter

In my post ‘Hanging House Plant Ideas‘ I explore a number of options for creating impressive plant installations, out of the reach of little ones and somehow suspended from the wall or ceiling. Through these ideas I came up with my own project for the wall above my blog station… the Coffee Cup Hanging Planter. 

coffee cup hanging planter

It took a little longer than I had hoped, not because it was difficult, but because I wasn’t prepared with all the right materials and tools. I thought I’d save you the three return trips to The Home Depot and put together some instructions…


DIY Coffee Cup Hanging Planter: Materials 

coffee-cup-hanging-planter-materials

 

  • Wood planks for shelves. I used 2 x pine planks (3ft/5.5″/0.5″) which cost less than $5 each.
  • Wood stain (optional). I used ‘MinWax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain – Classic Grey 271’ which cost less than $5.
  • Steel cable. I used around 14ft of 1/8″ cable, costing under $5 in total.
  • Screw eyebolts. I used 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ eyebolts, the two pack cost $2.
  • S-Hooks. I used 1/4″ x 2″ hooks, the two pack cost less than $3.
  • Wire rope Thimbles. I used 1/8″ to fit the cable I chose.
  • Ferrule and stops sets. I used four sets at a total cost of $6.
  • Stackable coffee cups. I bought two sets from World Market at a total cost of $26. There may be cheaper vessels but personally I feel the coffee cups make all the difference.

Tools needed:

  • Swaging Tool;
  • Wire cutter (alternatively, get your cable cut into two equal length in store);
  • Drill and drill bits;
  • Hole saw drill bit (size to match coffee cups);
  • Stud finder;
  • Sandpaper;

DIY Coffee Cup Hanging Planter: How to…

  1. Cut holes for coffee cups in the wooden planks and sand the holes to a smooth finish.
  2. Drill a small hole at the corner of each plank using a drill bit just a little larger than the thickness of your steel cable.
  3. Stain the wooden planks (optional).
  4. Cut your cable into two equal length pieces (mine were about 7ft each).
  5. At the mid point of the cut cable install a wire rope thimble and a ferrule using a swaging tool. If you have no idea what I’m talking about have a look at this youtube video. NOTE: We want the loop in the center of the cable, not the end as the video shows.
  6. Feed the two ends of the cable through the small corner holes in the planks and use the swaging tool to apply a stop beneath each hole. This step requires careful measuring as it not only affects how low your shelves will hang, but also whether they will be level.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other length of cut cable.
  8. Attach the additional shelves below the first using the same method. Remember, measuring accurately is key!
  9. Use a stud finder to find the joists behind your plasterboard ceiling (unless you have lovely exposed beams of course). You need a good solid connection to hold the weight of the planter. Drill a pilot hole for each screw eyebolt and install by twisting it into the ceiling.
  10. Connect your S-hooks to the eyebolts, hook your hanging planter onto the S-hooks and drop your coffee cups into the holes in the wooden planks.

Complete… Do let me know if you’ve tried it!

coffee-cup-hanging-planter


‘Hanging House Plant Ideas’ if part of a series of naptime makeovers… including these:

Accent Wall Ideas
How to Arrange Pictures Creatively
Modern Interior Door Handles

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Modern Interior Door Handles: Naptime Makeover

Modern interior door handles – sleek, sexy, cool – everything my current door handles are not.  My home was built in 1987 and I am unsure whether my existing handles are original to the house or lovingly installed sometime in the 90’s. Either way, cheap faux bronze with a Celtic twist is not a good look in 2017. It’s one of my interior design pet hates- bad door handles – so today we’re going to sift through some serious hardware porn and get the creative juices flowing.

modern interior door handles FB

Where do you start if you are wanting some modern interior door handles? I started by doing what most people might do… I went to the Home Depot for a browse of the door hardware isle. I’ll save you the trip, the selection is awful. I’m pretty sure they haven’t updated their shelf stock since my faux bronze Celtic numbers were on sale. They have a much better selection online but if you’re going to shop online we might as well do this properly… Let’s see what’s really out there:

Modern Interior Door Handles: 

Brushed Brass:

brass-lever-handle
Image source: remodelista.com

Brass may be what you’re replacing, but don’t underestimate the available designs in this finish. A high quality brass fitting will bring warmth and class to your home, and with all the mid century brass light fittings and lamps around, why not keep up to date with your door handles too? I’ve picked out this beautiful handle from Japanese architect Uno Tomoaki. For more of his bespoke hardware designs check out this article on minimalist glamour from Remodelista.

 Crystal Knob

crystal door knob
Design and image from emtek.com

I few years ago I would have never considered installing crystal knobs on my doors. But with the explosion of the Art Deco revival, those glass fixtures are back on trend. The simplicity of this ‘Modern Disc Crystal Knob‘ with square rosette from Emtek is perfection.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless-steel-handle
Image source: dezeen.com

You can’t go too wrong with stainless steel hardware. It’s what people expect to see in an updated home, and there is a vast selection of modern interior door handles in brushed and polished finishes. I particular love this design by MAD Architects, based on the design of their Canadian skyscapers. More on that here at Dezeen.

Matt Black

Square black lever handle
Image source: thelockandhandle.com

The Thor Square handle is oozing bachelor pad to me. Boys, you’re going to feel like a real man grasping the ‘Thor’,.. I can’t help myself, apologies. Aside from Thor, I’m a fan of the matt black finish because it’s modern, yet works with a farmhouse style too. I see it as an upgrade on the ever popular antique bronze finish. It’s also suggestive of all the dark iron details you see in industrial loft apartments, so it pretty much works anywhere!

Wooden

wooden door knob
Image source: modknobs.com

Mary & Jeff of ModKnobs say “Down with lame door knobs”, and I’m totally with them. This delightful walnut knob is the tame option… ModKnobs make these in rubber in a spectrum of colors! You just have to see them, they were featured here at Better Living Through Design.

Something with Flair

sculptural brass lever handle
Image source: pittella.com.au

Let’s not play it too safe… If you have a super cool oversized white washed apartment, these handles are perfect for you. The ‘066’ handle designed by Architect Sergio Asti is featured in the MoMA Museum of Modern Art. Go on, you know you want them.

 And maybe just one more…

polished stainless steel lever handle
Image source: pittella.com.au

Proving stainless steel still looks great polished, the ‘H5023 ViceVersa‘ is designed by Italian Architect Cini Boeri. It’s playful yet simple; modern with a touch of mid century retro. When I win the lottery, I think I might fill my swanky pad with these.

Naptime Makeover: 
Modern Interior Door Handles

Going from the large scale last week with ‘Accent Wall Ideas‘, I figured I had it easy this week. “I’m just going to swap a door handle” I thought. However, I did decide to go with the matt black finish, which meant the existing hinges didn’t match. I considered replacing the hinges with new black ones, but what a waste when I have perfectly good hinges already. So I sprayed them, it worked a dream, and will save me a bunch of cash as I work my way round the house replacing the others.

So… here we go, it’s time to get some modern interior door handles for myself:

handles-makeover

black-door-handle

black door handle baby
Arthur wanted a piece of the action…

I went for the Schlage F10 V LAT 622 which I consider modern, affordable, yet fairly classic in it’s shape.

I’m pretty pleased with it… what do you think?


If you missed my other naptime makeovers, take a look at:

Accent Wall Ideas
How to Arrange Pictures Creatively

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Accent Wall Ideas: Naptime Makeover

There are limitless accent wall ideas that can bring contrast, texture and detail into your home design. An accent wall allows a room to look highly styled with little impact on the rest of the house; no need to move out, or cover your entire home with dust sheets. Despite being localized, the transformation to the feel of your home can be quite spectacular. Let’s take a look at some inspiring accent wall ideas…

Accent Wall Ideas for Home Makeovers


Accent Wall Ideas I Love:

1 – Wallpaper

Rosedale Attic Bedroom transitional-bedroom

 

There are some pretty bold and impressive wallpaper options on the market now. I love this print from Schumacher, it feels whimsical yet modern. Birds and butterflies are trending at the moment and this light wallpaper is perfect!

2 – Planks

Potrero Hill Bohème southwestern-living-room

 

Unless you have never watched HGTV, you are very familiar with the current craze for shiplap and reclaimed pallet walls. Behind, the headboard, in the bathroom, around the fireplace… it seems to work everywhere. Go painted shiplap for the farmhouse feel or exposed weathered boards for the rustic upcyled look. Alternatively, for an ultra-sleek modern take try spacing thin planks like this house in Denver…

Rowhouse modern-nursery

 

3 – Painted

Maneli Wilson Interiors contemporary-living-room

 

Dark contrasting shades of blue, grey and black have been a staple for the accent wall for some time, and don’t look like they’re leaving us anytime soon.

4 – Decal Mural

Gioi Tran contemporary-kitchen

 

Unless you have a skilled artist handy, you probably want to install your mural in the form of a vinyl stickers. Wall decals are big business now, from adorable nursery designs to serious stuff for grown ups. Check out the watercolor murals from Pixers.

5 – Exposed Concrete, Brick or Stone

Brick Wall scandinavian-bedroom

 

I am not promoting the installation of faux brick walls, however much it’s scraping for a come back from the 70s. However, if you are blessed with concrete, brick or stone construction, have some fun and expose some of it. 

6 – Tile

Park St contemporary-bathroom

 

It’s OK to mix up your tiles and have a feature wall in your bathroom, play around with colors and patterns! The tiled fireplace is all the rage at the moment too… I’ve got to say I’m not the biggest fan. Some trends just don’t float my boat.

7 – Stenciled/MURAL

Bruce House transitional-nursery

 

If you’re a bit more Arts & Crafts than polished concrete, stenciling or creating a mural with masking tape may be for you. If you haven’t quite got the skills, think about hiring a professional!

8 – Living Wall

A Sacred Space to Bathe by siol and Habitat Horticulture contemporary-bathroom

 

Oh go on… impress all your friends with a fantastic vertical garden! I would love to do this but don’t have the best history with house plants, and I’m pretty sure it’s outside the realm of naptime. I said I’d give you accent wall ideas, I did’t promise they were all going to be easy.


Accent Wall Ideas: Continuing Naptime Makeovers

Following the success of How to Arrange Pictures Creatively, I got a little more ambitious this week. I confess, it took a little longer than one naptime. We (I called in husband help to hold the ladder) started at morning nap and finished during afternoon nap. It’s a tall large wall…excuses excuses.

accent-wall-results
Why is my new lamp wonky?
accent wall
Excuse the animals… they are sleeping, not taxidermy.

That’s it for this week. I think I need a nap…

What do you think? Too bold? Not bold enough? Totally disappointed I didn’t go for a whole wall of ferns? I’d love to hear from you!

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How to Arrange Pictures Creatively: Naptime Makeover

Have you ever really considered your options for how to arrange pictures? You spend hours browsing shops and online galleries for the perfect picture for your fancy pants living room. You double the cost of the picture by framing it so it looks just so. Then what? You nail a hook at eye height and stick it centred above the mantle? You’re so pleased you finally got round to hanging it you haven’t even noticed you’ve completely missed it’s potential to transform the room. Steady there… let’s look at your options for how to arrange pictures creativity.

how to arrange pictures

Introducing Naptime Makeovers

I aim for this post to become the first of a series that will encourage me to get off my butt and start dressing my home as I want it. These posts will also allow me to pluck up the courage to start blogging about something I’m formally trained in – Architecture and Design. We have been living here for 18months and other than getting the house neutrally painted from top to bottom and installing wood flooring, we have done little work on styling and finishing it. I was pregnant with twins when we moved here so cut me some slack… but the boys are now one and I should probably start chipping away at those spaces that are somewhat lacking.

Because I have no family or childcare available, and don’t want my children to lose a finger or an eye in the name of renovation, I will be making these interventions during the Twins’ Naptime. So, what little makeovers can you get done during the 90minutes babies sleep? We’re going to find out… and we’re starting with how to arrange pictures. Wish me luck and I hope you’re feeling sleepy babies!


How to Arrange Pictures:
Some Creative Options

The Gallery Wall

gallery-wall-brooklyn-loft
Photograph taken by Julia Robbs. Sourced from gravityhomeblog.com

This industrial loft apartment in Brooklyn really works the gallery wall. The textured brick, double height end wall is perfectly organized with an off centre collection of monochrome frames. The frames are similar enough to hold together as a uniform group while varied enough to avoid formality. Abstract photographs in shades of greys and blues are warmed by the rustic backdrop of the brick, it really is marvellous.

For more photos of this fantastic apartment visit Gravity Home.

Overlapping on the Mantle

mantle-pictures-fireplace
Sourced at countryliving.com

This cosy but cool home is a few minutes from me in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Designed by Linda Criswell, the white washed tones are offered in a number of textures, bringing a country feel to the desert. The informal arrangement of the mantle delivers a welcoming warmth and teams with the animal furs and casual scatter cushions to place the house feel like home.

For more pictures of this Paradise Valley home and other design by Linda Criswell, visit Bungalow Furniture.

The Modern Picture Rail

picture-rail-gallery
Photo taken by Earl Carter. Sourced from oconnorandhoule.com

Whether you’re in a historic restored home or something more modern, everyone can make use of a picture rail. Once installed you can swap and change your pictures around easily without damaging walls, perfect for the indecisive amongst us.

This Victorian terrace in Melbourne has been renovated to make the most of traditional style with a contemporary palette. The choice of pictures and placement breathes modern, without overwhelming the original features of the house. 

For more pictures of this house and other projects visit O’Connor and Houle.

Oversized Floor Picture

large-floor-picture
Photo taken by Grace Alyssa Kyo. Sourced at thegracetales.com

If you’re cool enough to not even bother putting your picture up, take a look at the country home of Kristy Withers in Sydney. The casual lean of this oversized print is purposefully informal, softening a whitened space to avoid sterility. The simplicity oozes class and the horse image and the cow hide rug and perfect together.

For more images of Kristy’s home visit The Grace Tales.

The Picture Ledge

monochrome-picture-ledge
Photo by Anna Truelsen. Sourced at mylovelythings.blogspot.com.es

Welcome to the home of fellow blogger Anna Truelsen. I’m presuming all the mess is shunted out of the photo, because this place looks immaculate. This simple double photo ledge not only looks refined, but also means you don’t need to worry about measuring and lining up your pictures… it’s made for the lazy perfectionist. I’ve seen some great photos of spaces using ledges to overlap a number of different sized pictures, similar to the mantle shown above, but I love the clean look of these identical monochrome frames.

Find more pictures of Anna’s home at her Swedish blog My Lovely Things

Floor to Ceiling

floor-to-ceiling-pictures
Photos by Peter Fehrentz. Sourced at dwell.com

Just to show you don’t have to go big to go floor, welcome to Peter Fehrentz’s apartment in Berlin. His picture gallery wall runs ceiling, creating a waterfall of small frames that seems to tumble down the side of the wooden chair. And who can’t notice that perfect pink picture that matches the paint work…

To see more of Peter’s apartment, this article from dwell.com tells you all about it.


Today’s Naptime Makeover

Now I’ve browsed high design until my eyeballs fell out, I had better get on and decide how to arrange pictures in my own home.

I may not live in a whitewashed art studio warehouse, filled with people that make money out of being ironic. I may not own any original Rothko canvases that I can strategically place on the floor so that my children can add to it with a Sharpie. However, I do have a home lovingly built by a mass housing developer in 1987, a bunch of pictures and around 90minutes to myself. Lets see what we can do…

Before Naptime:

brick-fireplace-pictures
How long has that frame been wonky?

After Naptime:

fireplace-picture-arrangement
ah… that’s better.

brick-fireplace-picture-arrangement

Naptime makeover complete! It really has made a difference, and I can confirm that small interventions like this can be done during naptime. The twins even slept for an extra 30mins, even though I was nailing hooks into the other side of their bedroom wall… what a success.

So go on, look at your walls. Have you considered how to arrange pictures creatively?

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