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8 In DIY/ Interiors

DIY Floating Media Cabinet: Before & After

DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

As soon as Miss Sylvia made her debut, we knew we needed to address the toy storage (or lack their of!) in our living room. We’re a one-hangout-space-household, so when we hang out as a family it’s in this room. This room is also the first space you walk into from the front foyer, so this area needs places to hide all our crap, I mean…stuff when people come over. Needless to say, this old train cart, though ruggedly handsome, just wasn’t cutting it. I’m a little embarrassed showing you what this used to look like, but here it is!

DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

I searched for months for a cool old dresser or Bombay chest that could double as a media console/ toy storage chest, but it always came down to the width not being long enough for this wall, and it just not having enough storage. The more I looked and couldn’t find anything that suited our needs, the more I became excited about the idea of a built-in, floating media cabinet. We decided to design one from modular cabinetry from Ikea.

As soon as Miss Sylvia made her debut, we knew we needed to address the toy storage (or lack their of!) in our living room.

The Cabinet

Below are the general specs we used for the media cabinet. I can’t find my ‘parts list’ print off from Ikea, otherwise you know I’d upload it. If you’d like to recreate what we have here, I’d recommend going to the Media Cabinet Department at Ikea and working with them to help you pull together everything you need. Beyond picking out the cabinets there are several parts and pieces, like drawer slides, door hinges, soft close mechanisms, wall-mounting rails, shelves, etc. that you’ll need too. We worked with a sales person to compile a print out of the parts we needed, and they made it so much faster, not to mention gave us peace of mind we wouldn’t be running back there for additional parts. This is not a sponsored post–it’s just the easiest way to round up the cabinet supplies.

  • Ikea Besta Cabinet Frame – One – 47-1/4″ (double) + One – 23-5/8″ (single)
  • Door style: Sektion
  • Color: White
  • 2 Doors + 2 Stacked Drawer
  • Wall Mounted (no legs)
  • Soft Close Drawers
  • 74″ Barkaboda Walnut Top

  DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

We centered the cabinet between the archway and the corner and wall-mounted it using the recommended wall brackets from Ikea.  It’s installed 6.25″ above the floor at a height of 31.5″ (33″ once the top is installed). To determine the height, I taped out the TV placement with washi tape, and looked at height specifications for other similar media consoles for sale around the web. Also, being that it’s right next to the front door and coat closet, it also functions as the key drop + mail catch, this was another consideration for height placement.

In terms of installing the cabinet, we just followed the enclosed instructions. Though it’s a two person operation, it wasn’t necessarily difficult. The only tricky part was getting the drawers to catch on the slide mechanisms.

We left a 9″ leap between the cabinet and the bottom of the TV. I’d like to tell you I went with the recommended Industry Standard for the height of the TV, but honestly, this was the height that just felt right for TV watching, and looked proportionally “right” on the wall too.

DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

The Walnut Top

Once the cabinet was installed, we started in on the walnut veneer top by double checking the overall length and width of the cabinet, which was 70-7/8″ x 15-3/4″. The counter top is 74″ x 25-5/8″, and we didn’t want an overhang, so it needed to be cut down. Since the walnut top is real veneer it has variation in shade and grain, so I made sure to inspected and determine which long edge of the counter I wanted to use, and which side would be cut off.

Then we set up the saw horses, marked out our dimensions on the countertop with a pencil, and clamped a 2×4 down the length of the board so we’d have a straight edge guide when making our cuts with the skill saw. DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

After cutting down the walnut top, we tried it out on the cabinet to make sure we like the sizing (fingers crossed!). It’s at this point we marked out “center” for the 2″ grommet positioned just below where the TV will hang to help manage cords. We used a 2″ round drill bit on our standard electric drill, and found a 2″ black grommet cover at Home Depot.

For disguising the raw, cut edge, the countertop comes with self-adhesive veneer strips that you cut to size with a utility knife. Then we attached the top to the cabinet with screws running up through the cabinet top and securing the walnut top.

Hardware

It took me a little bit to decide between oil-rubbed bronze and natural brass, but I ultimately went with brass because I liked the warmth of the metal with the walnut top. We have some oil-rubbed bronze elements coming in elsewhere in here which I think will compliment nicely. See hardware source links at the bottom!

  DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial! DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

Last, but not least, the TV. It was hung with this articulating mount and the cords were hidden on the wall with this cord cover.

Additional Things to Consider:

At some point, we may also apply a matte polyurethane finish to the walnut top to help prevent scratching and wear.

Sources:

Drawer Pulls  |  Door Knobs  |  TV Mount   |  Besta Cabinet System (See My Notes Above!)  |  Walnut Top  Cord Cover  |  Tassel Wall Hanging  |  Ollie Eksell Print  |  Bone Inlay Box  |  Face Vase

I think media cabinets are the hardest thing to style, because of the big black box at the center of it all, so if you need styling tips, check out this post.

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DIY a built-in floating media cabinet for storing tv accessories, kids toys, and beyond. Click for the complete tutorial!

18 In DIY

A Very Valentine 1st Birthday Party + 5 Planning Essentials

I’m awestruck as we round the corner into February; our little valentine is turning one! Though the weeks were sometimes long, year one somehow flew by. I look at Sylvia and think, ‘You’re not my baby anymore!’ Okay, okay, she’s still a baby, but not the teeny, tiny 7lb swaddled peanut she was a year ago. It’s amazing what a year can bring, and nothing highlights the passage of time more clearly than watching your child grow. Kelly from The Greenspring Home graciously invited me to join a talented group of bloggers in a ‘Valentine’s Day at Home’ Blog Tour, and it was perfect timing as I was just starting to scheme on Syl’s 1st birthday party plans.

Get scroll-happy here with lots of party prettiness and make sure to read through the 5 planning essentials at the bottom of the post. I used these as my go-to for pulling everything together.

Sylvia came into this world just over a week late on February 15th 2017. As she gets older, unless she specifically asks for it, we probably won’t do Valentine’s Day-themed birthday parties as we want her to have her own day that doesn’t get lumped in with V-day shenanigans. Let’s be honest though, at one year old, birthday parties are really more for parents and close family than they are for the babe-of-honor. Sylvia will love the spotlight, + her first real sugary experience, but whether we have a Valentine’s Day party or a Batman party, she won’t know the difference just yet.

Since her actual birthday party isn’t for a few weeks, this is a dry-run. Syl isn’t making an appearance today because I’m 100% sure she’s going to destroy her highchair party decorations, and call me a buzzkill, health-conscious mom, but we’re going to hold out on the sugar-overload until her actual party!

5 Party Planning Essentials

Let’s talk through the 5 party areas I spelled out for myself while working through party details. I found it helpful to define these areas up front so I could use them as a guide to keep me on track when knee-deep in the seemingly endless number of adorable decorations out there. Hopefully this is helpful if you’re planning a party too and aren’t sure where to start!

  • Theme. I don’t like the word theme for a party or in general, but I guess that’s what this is! I landed on a light pink, red, and white color direction + heart motifs and an overarching idea of simplicity. Then as I was hashing out the party details, I made sure to refer back to these specific elements.
  • One Statement Decor Feature. I created one cool decor statement, or as I was calling it in my head, An Instagrammable Moment, with the paper party fans. I used removable wall hooks and overlapped the paper fans at the left side of the room’s arch. Originally, I was going to do the entire arch (which would have been AWESOME!), but decided to show some restraint. I really like how it came out!
  • Party Food. We focused on sweets: cupcakes, fruit, and festive candies. To keep things affordable and easy, I made the cupcakes from a chocolate cake mix and used white pre-made frosting piped onto the cupcakes with a large nozzle/piping bag.
  • High Chair Swag. I wanted the gal-of-honor to have a fun spot to chow down on her birthday sweet, so I had a heart balloon filled with helium at the party store and tied it to the back of the chair, added a simple ONE banner to the front of the chair and made a party had from patterned paper + fuzzy pom. The banner is just cardboard letters that I found at Target Dollar Spot years ago taped onto string, and then taped to the chair’s tray front. Not a lot of fuss, but still festive and fun!
  • Supporting Decor. So after the first four bullet points were covered, I rounded things out with a few smaller details: A heart banner (Target Dollar Spot again!) on the table front, a white impulse buy cut-out bunting draped on the table, cute napkins, and a bouquet of flowers. We used the cake stands and plates from our wedding and our everyday silverware.

A. Heart Balloons  |  B. Coral Party Fans  |  C. Red Party Fans |  D. Striped Runner  | E. Faux Flower Bundle |  F.  Glass Cake Stands  |  G. White Folkloric Banner  |  H. Gold and Glass Vase  |  I. White Cake Stand  |  J.  Felt Hearts  |  K. Smiling Heart Napkins

Thank you for visiting! Your next stop is Meaningful Spaces! After checking out Laura’s post, be sure to visit all of the talented bloggers on the tour.

Tuesday’s Post

Francois et Moi (Me!)  | Meaningful Spaces  |  Rachel Elizabeth Creates  |  Tuft and Trim  |  Alyse Warren

 Wednesday’s Post

 

Thursday’s Post

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In DIY/ Interiors

DIY Medicine Cabinet Makeover

This post was created in partnership with KILZ®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s a new year, and I’m teaming up with KILZ to give a new look for the spot in our house where we start and end each day: the bathroom medicine cabinet. Since this little spot is so deeply embedded into our everyday routine, I figured it was high time to make it prettier and all around more functional for Ken and me.

A Medicine Cabinet Makeover: Refresh the spot in your home where you begin and end each day. Continue Reading →

2 In DIY/ Interiors

A Perfectly Plaid Holiday Table

After an insanely fun media console styling session last month, Tasha from Tchotchkes Interior Design and I have teamed up again to bring a little nostalgic yuletide inspiration to Holiday gatherings this season.  This time we’ve brought Retro Wanderlust (the shop in the Minneapolis area for all things vintage home) along for the ride and challenged ourselves to think beyond the quintessential red and green palette and instead focus on less ‘in-yo-face’ festive cues like greenery, Holiday motifs, cozy textures, and candlelight to bring home the warm, merry appeal. Below we’re talking through how we arrived at this look, so you can recreate for your own gathering!

Inspiration for a non-traditional, yet nostalgic Holiday table in collaboration with Tchotchkes Design Studio. Christmas entertaining at its finest! Continue Reading →

3 In DIY

How to Hang Heavy Garland Without Damaging Your Walls

I’m popping in quickly this weekend to share how to hang garland in your house without permanently nailing it to the wall. This is not sponsored; I’ve just had a lot of questions on my Instagram about how I’ve hung mine, so I thought I’d share what really works. I’ve tried several different hooks that never seemed to be strong enough to hold a full garland. In years past, there were so many mornings, I’d wake up to a sad garland on the floor and cedar flakes everywhere. When I finally discovered temporary hooks that were strong enough for the job, I did a little happy dance. Here’s what we do:

  What I use to strongly, but temporarily hang garland in my house without damaging the walls.

We use big daddy 3M Command hooks. The ones that hold up to 7.5 lbs each. They’re damage free and the packaging has a photo of the hook with a step ladder hanging from it, so you know they’re strong! For the arch pictured, we’re using 3 hooks one on each side plus one in the middle. In years where we have an especially full garland, I’ve doubled up the hooks at each location just to be safe, but looking back it was probably overkill!

What I use to strongly, but temporarily hang garland in my house without damaging the walls.

The hooks are white, but don’t worry if you don’t have white walls. The hooks are nearly completely disguised by the garland.

The hook mounting instructions (that come with the hooks) are kind of fussy. They involve mounting the hook, then sliding off a portion of the hook, pressing the hook base firmly to the wall, waiting an hour and then re-attaching the hook. It seems kind of unnecessary at first, but following the instructions make for a super strong bond. I’ve tried several different hooks, and have found these to be the strongest by far. They also come down damage free when Christmas is over. Win!

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Hope this little Holiday decorating tip is useful!

What I use to strongly, but temporarily hang garland in my house without damaging the walls.

Want more Holiday decorating tips? Get the inside on using a basket in lieu of a skirt to disguise your Christmas tree stand. Read more HERE.

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2 In DIY/ Interiors

How-To: The Nordic Style Christmas Tree Basket

How to get the Christmas tree basket set-up in lieu of a tree skirt. Plus! Nordic-style tree inspiration!

As I was naming this blog post yesterday, it occurred to me just how simplistic and all around ‘common-sense-esque’ it sounded. How hard can it be to put your real Christmas tree in a basket? The truth is I’ve been trying to figure out how to use a basket (in lieu of a tree skirt) for my real Christmas tree for the last few years, and I finally figured out a set up that works. So here we are!

You see with real trees the stands are often 20″-24″ at their widest point, making it difficult to disguise in a basket without the basket being MASSIVE. I recently came across a 16″ diameter plastic tree stand that holds a 6′ tree. Our tree this year is a real Fraser Fir, known for its more “open” Nordic feel. The top of the tree thins to a single branch with a few small off shoots. Technically, the tree is a 7-footer, but considering the sparseness at the top of the tree, I decided to give it a whirl with the 6′ tree stand. And SPOILER alert…it works great!

The 16″ tree stand diameter makes the basket so much more doable. Here I’m using an 18″ round sea grass basket from Target’s home storage section. Placing the tree stand in the basket is a snug fit, keeping the whole set up nice and stable. For good measure, I thought I’d detail our whole tree setup this year. See sources at the bottom!

How to get the Christmas tree basket set-up in lieu of a tree skirt. Plus! Nordic-style tree inspiration! How to get the Christmas tree basket set-up in lieu of a tree skirt. Plus! Nordic-style tree inspiration!

S H O P  T H I S  L O O K

Glitter Star Tree Topper  ||  Fraser Fir Real Tree  ||  Finial Ornaments ||  Candle Clips  ||  Candles  ||  Black and White Striped Ornaments  ||  Danish RowHouse Gift Wrap  ||  Black Plaid Gift Wrap  ||  White Plaid Ribbon  ||  Black Border Ribbon  ||  6ft Plastic Tree Stand  ||  Sea Grass Basket

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5 In DIY

DIY Holiday Tassel Garland with The Forest Fern

I have a handful of Holiday decorations that I look forward to bringing out each year. (We’re big on Scandinavian traditions at this house.) That said, I do also try to add new pieces into the mix each year to keep things fresh and festive. Last year, the cedar archway garland was the main event, and this year, I’ve teamed up with incredibly talented fiber artist, Sara Banner of The Forest Fern, to share a fun and easy project for Holiday decorating.

DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree. DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

Sara is a devoted macrame + tapestry genius and a wealth of knowledge in all things fiber-related. I’ve been a fan of Sara’s beautiful work for over a year now and was lucky to meet and work with her while she was in Minneapolis last Summer. Together we created a modern tassel garland tutorial for draping across windows, the fireplace mantel and even the Christmas tree. Let’s get tasseling, shall we? Read on for the how-to on this smart, easy project!

DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree. DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

Materials:

  • Single Strand Cotton String – we used 6mm Black Cotton from Niroma Studio
  • Scissors
  • Hair brush, pet brush or wide toothed comb
  • 3-4 various colors of yarn
  • Thin cotton string (such as baker’s twine)
  • Tapestry needle

1. Construct Tassels. Cut 6 pieces of cotton string roughly 20″ long. Divide the 6 strands into two groups of three. Tie one laynard knot via the video explanation. The video clip details the knot using just two pieces of yarn for demonstration purposes. You’ll use all 6 strands of cotton when tying the knot.

2. Gather the strings in your fist just below the laynard knot and start your first Wrapping Knot. Use a different color yarn of your choosing to form a “U” shape at the base of the knot leaving one tail end out at the top of the “U”. Place your thumb midway up the “U” shape to hold the yarn in place while you wrap the other end around the tassel in a clockwise motion, keeping your rows spaced next to one another.

3. Continue tightly wrapping the yarn around the base of the knot forming a band of color. Tie off the yarn by threading the end through the loop created in Step 2. Then while holding the yarn end with one hand, pull the upper yarn end that was formed in Step 2 with your other hand. As you pull the upper yarn, the loop will eventually disappear underneath the wrapped yarn band. Trim yarn ends close to the tassel.

4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 to wrap additional color bands around the tassel.

5. Gather the tassel string ends in your fist and trim to a uniform length.

DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

6. Use a brush to separate string into individual yarns. Keep on brushing until the strings separate and are straight (yes, this can take some time!). Then give the yarns an additional trim for uniformity.

7. Repeat Steps 1-7 for additional tassels.

8. Measure the length of your window or fireplace mantle and double this measurement. Cut baker’s twine to this length, and thread the tapestry needle.

9. Thread tassels onto the baker’s twine through the center of the tassel head. Space them out evenly on the string, and hang up your garland!

Follow Sara on Instagram for loads more inspiration and info on her upcoming events + flash sales.

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DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree. DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

DIY an easy tassel garland with Sara of The Forest Fern for Holiday decorating. Great for hanging across windows, the fireplace mantle and the tree.

1 In DIY

DIY Holiday Card Moodboard (Video!)

OMG. I can’t believe I’m already writing this, but I’ve got HOLIDAYS on the brain!  Our Gold Foil Christmas cards from Mixbook arrived in the mail, and in the spirit of sending out cards, I’ve also been thinking about a way to display cards at our house.

Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook.

You see, I love giving + getting Holiday cards, but what I haven’t so much loved is hanging all of them up in my house. Until recently I couldn’t find a way to collectively hang them that fit cohesively with our seasonal decor. Usually we designate a basket for them on our dining room china cabinet, but let’s be honest, we rarely look in that basket once the cards are opened. So basically the cards just sit there collecting dust, and where’s the Holiday spirit in that??

This year? This year there will be more card enjoyment and less dust collection at this house. I’ve taken the idea behind the inspiration mood board (you know, the kind you hang at your desk and pin collected snippets to) and created a Holiday edition–a spot for corralling cards from loved ones, patterned paper that’s too pretty to toss, special ornaments, fresh greenery, etc.–all the little things that inspire you throughout the season. Check out this little video on how I made it.

Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook.   Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook. Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook.

What You Need:

Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook. Watch the short and sweet video on making a Holiday Card Moodboard for displaying season's greetings from friends and family. In partnership with Mixbook.

1.Hang the grid on the wall with two nails, or lean it on your tabletop against the wall.

Mood Board Styling 101: Create layers which add depth and interest to your board.

2. Start with a base layer of decorative paper and/or fabric with clothespins. Use larger than greeting card size paper/fabric so that it’s still slightly visible once cards are added.

3. Attach greenery for texture.

4. Begin hanging cards. To help curb the chaos, hang cards straight up and down and not at an angle.

5. Next tie on ornaments and feathers in open spaces or layer them on the cards for additional dimension.

6. Lastly, drape Christmas lights on one side of the board, and add additional Holiday cards as they arrive in the mail!

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Here’s a look at our family’s Holiday card from Mixbook we’re sending out this year. About a month ago, we set up a tripod with a timer on the side of our house, just before the sun was about to set, and snapped these pictures of the three of us. We tried alot of takes, and this was the ONLY one where Sylvia was actually looking at the camera. Ha!

Something new this year with Mixbook is their real foil cards. We chose the Holiday Glitter Frame Card, and the gold foil is SO pretty and tasteful in person. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Not quite ready for Holiday stuff yet? Pin this project for later!

Sylvie’s Outfit Sources: Penny and Lila Head Turban  ||  Tea Collection Christmas Sweater

This post was created in partnership with Mixbook. They’re my go-to for Holiday and announcement cards (Remember these?). All ideas are my own.

 


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