Sep 30, 2012

{Turning IKEA into Custom Built-Ins!} PART II

We’re finished! 

custom built in

We have successfully turned two IKEA Hemnes glass door with drawers cabinets into custom cabinets.  In our PART I post I explained how we removed the base molding on our wall, attached the two cabinets with carriage bolts to make one cabinet, added a new backing, crown to the top, and wrapped the whole thing with new base moldings to give it a custom built-in look. 

Essentially we turned two of these…

HEMNES Glass-door cabinet with 4 drawers IKEA Solid wood; gives a natural feel.…into custom!

Here’s a look at the finished piece:


And here’s how we did it!

Once the cabinet was placed in it’s permanent position, and molding was added to the base, and crown was added to the top, this is what we did to add the finishing touches:

1.  Added lattice to the perimeter of all the drawers.  This gave each drawer a much chunkier, custom look.  It was amazing how much we loved the cabinet even more when we added the drawers.  This was exactly what we did on our IKEA Rast side table hack.  Once the lattice was added, we caulked and painted the drawers with Sherwin Williams Extra White in satin (which matches all of our existing trim and woodwork).


2.  We then added new hardware.  We found great oil rubbed bronze latches from Rejuvenation.  We thought these were pretty pricey, and looked for similar products at other places, but we just couldn’t find what we really liked.  So, we splurged and purchased the latches from Rejuvenation.

We did almost choose these from Pottery Barn, which I liked, but didn’t love.  They were a considerable savings, but since this is going to be here for a long, long time, I went ahead and purchased what I loved.  Pottery Barn did have an oval knob latch, like Rejuvenation’s, but by the time I got to it, they were sold out.  Defeated.

Icebox Latch

The drawer pulls are from the Home Depot and they are actually found in the window hardware area!  They are sash pulls, and can be purchased in oil rubbed bronze.  They were cheap at about $2 each!

The knobs were purchased at Lowes.  They were about $2 each as well.


Here are some pictures of the finished cabinet!



Summer 2012

Speaking of kitchen updates…

Thanks to all who voted on the chandelier vs. school house light decision we need to make.

We went with…


…the Graham Chandelier from Pottery Barn with the burlap shades.

We still have plans to use those school house lights, and we are thinking about adding two over the island!  We had the builder install two light hook ups, so now it’s just a matter of saving some money to make that change!

Here is a before and after of our kitchen updates so far…

October 2012

The changes are subtle, but we are liking the direction we’re heading!

Take care, everyone!

Be Well,

Sep 15, 2012

{Schoolhouse Lights}

I’m obsessed right now…over schoolhouse lights. 

I recently purchased Pottery Barn’s Graham chandelier for over our kitchen table with six burlap shades.  Although, I like it, with its nice oil rubbed bronze finish and classic chandelier lines, I’m thinking I missed an opportunity. 

View in Room


So, I think the chandelier is coming down, and will be swapped for something like this…


It’s the Rose City with the 16 inch classic schoolhouse shade from Rejuvenation. 


or this…

Schoolhouse Pendant

Restoration Hardware’s 15 inch Schoolhouse Pendant.  (source)

Schoolhouse Pendant


Or Schoolhouse Electric’s Rhode’s 6”

So, I’m asking you all for some advice!  I really need your help on this one.

What shall it be?  What shall we have hang above our kitchen table?

Option 1:

Graham Chandelier with Burlap Shades (not the shades shown):

Graham Chandelier

Option 2:

A schoolhouse light with a 15 to 16 inch diameter glass shade:



Go right over there to the right, and vote! 

Thanks for your help!

Be Well,

{Turning IKEA into Custom Built-Ins!} PART I

We’ve hacked IKEA, and we are loving the results…so far.  This is part 1 of how we did it!


For this project, we used the Hemnes furniture line from IKEA, again.  This time we used two Hemnes glass door cabinets with four drawers.  Simple and plain…just my style.

HEMNES Glass-door cabinet with 4 drawers IKEA Solid wood; gives a natural feel.

We love working with this line of furniture because it is solid wood.  It’s not particle board foiled over with plastic and paints beautifully!  (We don’t prime this stuff, just usually give it one coat of our trim paint; Sherwin Williams Extra White in satin).

First things first.  In order for this to be a “built-in” we needed to remove some wall baseboards. 


We used a Dremel multi-max to cut the baseboard straight down.  Then we just pried it off in one section.  Cutting with a blade usually makes this a lot easier.

We replaced the backing (cheap fiber board) with painted bead board.  We had the hardware store cut the bead board to the size we needed and then we painted it Ancient Marble by Sherwin Williams.  It’s a very soft gray green.



Then we placed the two cabinets side by side on the wall where we wanted it.  Justin used carriage bolts to bolt and attach the two cabinets together.

Once they were attached, it was time to make them beautiful!

We added crown moulding to the top.  Lowes has an awesome produce called Flip Face Crown Moulding…you make your compound miter cut and just flip the boards to have perfect corners.  It was perfect for this application and take a look at those corners…perfection!


Then we picked out our bottom trip.  We chose a window moulding from Lowes that came pre-primed.  It wasn’t wide enough to cover up the entire bottom of the cabinet, but we had a solution for that (read on).

First, we coped the trim.  We traced our wall baseboard’s design onto the cabinet molding.  Then just used his Dremel and cut the shape out.  It was like making a puzzle piece.


In the next picture you can see how nicely the coped edge fits against the wall base, but that the cabinet moulding isn’t tall enough to cover the open bottom.  We have a solution for that!


To cover the gap between the wall in the cabinet and the gap above the cabinet trim, we simply added lattice.



Miter your cuts and you will have a great looking base for your cabinet.

This is where we are at this point with our built in!  We have some painting to do, some finishing touches with hardware, and a few drawer upgrades!  So stay tuned, and I will keep you updated!  I’m off to have a great weekend!

Before I go, I have one question…is it “molding” or “moulding”? 

Be Well,

Sep 3, 2012

{Your Charming Questions}…answered

A lot of people have been sending me questions about how and what we do around here, so I thought I would take this time to answer some of your questions…

And {A Charming Nest} blog is closing in on a MILLION hits!  I can’t believe it!  Amazing!  And to all you charming peeps that keep stopping by…thank you! 

Mudroom Questions:

Did you sand the consoles before you painted them?
Nope.  We didn’t sand any of the Hemnes furniture before we painted the consoles.  We didn’t even prime.  Since it was already white, we essentially were just adding another coat of latex paint.  We did prime the wood pieces added on top of the bench to make the lockers.  All of that was either unprimed pine boards, or pre-primed MDF.  We love Sherwin Williams Adhesion primer (if we need a primer) and all Sherwin Williams paint…we used Pro-Classic in the color Extra White in satin finish.  We also like SH’s Cashmere line.

How did you paint the piece? Brush, Roller, Sprayer?

Brush and Roller.  I like Purdy brushes…they leave very little marks.  Make sure you add Floetrol by Flood to latex paint.  It is found at any hardware store.  Just ask anyone, and they will know what to get you.  It’s great to get that factory finish without a sprayer.  Personally, sprayers scare me.  They clog, get splattery, and just cause a mess.  I like to use a good old brush and roller.

This is fantastic! How is the white paint holding up? We're looking into doing our mudroom/lockers and I'm concerned about the white paint not holding up to the abuse.

The paint has held up great!  Actually, there are no dings or anything on the paint finish.  I’m somewhat of a perfectionist about this, and I love it still!

I would like to put a dark stained top on my Hemnes bench too. Did you remove the original top? How did you attach the pine top?

Nope. We pre-stained pine board and then just nailed them in place right on top of the existing tops.  We then wrapped the edges with 1x2  pre-stained pine boards and mitered the corners.  I used 1 part English Chestnut and 1 part Special Walnut to stain and a satin finish poly.  

Do you still have the plans and or dimensions for the locker/storage unit you have on your site?  My wife wants to make something like this and this is the best DIY unit I have ever seen and would be perfect for the space we want to put it in.

Check on these posts {Mudroom Bench} and {Mudroom Storage Reveal}.

Great looking mudroom storage "tree". Was wondering what kind of wood you used for the project?

We used a variety of paint grade un-primed pine boards in a variety of sizes.  We also used MDF for a few pieces as well.

Late to the party but did you use an orbital sander or was it hand?

We used a orbital sander by Black and Decker and a belt sander for bigger jobs.  I recommend a hand sander.  They are handy!

Have you figured out what to do with the space between the drawers and the bench area? We are doing this soon in our back entryway but I'd like to make the most of this space---any ideas?

Nope!  I haven’t even found baskets that I LOVE and that fit!  That was poor planning on our part.  I thought I would used some IKEA baskets (Branas small)…but I just don’t love them and don’t want to spend the money to buy them.  So, I’m still hunting.  As far as the small space above the drawer, Justin may be building me something to fit in those spaces.  You’ll be the first to know!

Paint Color Questions:

Please share the paint color used in your bedroom? It's perfect!

In the old room in our old house, it was light blue/green/gray called Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore.  Right now, our bedroom is Nomadic Desert by Sherwin Williams…that’s going to change!

I realize that you probably get tired of answering paint color questions, but is it really Nomadic Desert that is in all three rooms in the very last picture? (Where you can see three separate rooms- table/dining area, entryway, and sitting room?) It looks like three (or four) separate colors, and if so, what are the other colors?! If it really is just Nomadic Desert, it amazes me how much light can change things! on {DIY Door Casings}…the easy way.

Yep!  Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert was what was available by our builder and that’s what we got…in our WHOLE HOUSE!  It was also in our old home, so we knew we liked it.  We plan on painting the dining room and front room a different color in the future.  Yes, LIGHT makes a HUGE difference!   

Transoms Questions:

Where did you get your transoms? We want to add to our 1920's California Bungalow but want a good price. Your transoms look great!

We made ourselves!  {It takes time…} using our tutorial for the casings from this post {Door Casings}…the easy way.

General Questions:

I have a question though. I don't have access to a saw. Do you think I could have Lowes/Home Depot cut all the lattice and molding if I had it all measured out for them? Would that work not having the dresser there?

I bet if you got them on a “not so busy” day they might do all those cuts for you.  You may have to bat your eyelashes…but I recommend a saw.  I have short eyelashes.

What do you use to fill your nail holes, caulk? Window glaze? drywall spackel? Wax stick? It all looks so seamless, and I have a really hard time filling my nail holes so they are completely invisible.

We used Elmer’s Glue Putty.  It’s thick and dries fast.  We goop and glob it on over the hole.  That way when we sand it sands smooth and you don’t get an indent.

Happy Labor Day!

Be Well,

Sep 2, 2012

{You are my Sunshine…}

Do you ever make something and immediately have the urge to run around yelling “Look at what I made!  Look at what I made!”?  Well, that’s kind of the feeling I had when I finished my “You Are My Sunshine” copy cat wall art.


I was inspired by charm this time…and I’m not ashamed to say that I was a total copy cat. 

Of course my sign is a little different…but definitely a copy.  My version was made by simply using 1/2 inch maple plywood, “fill it” strips (1x2 knotty pine boards, from Lowes in bundles of 6), and left over paint and stain I had in my craft closet.

Simple and easy…so much so, I’m not even sure you need a tutorial, but here’s the run down on how I made it.

  1. Trace the sun.  I used a bucket.
  2. Tape the rays. 
  3. Paint around the sun and rays in red (or whatever color you choose). IMG_3430
  4. Lift the tape.
  5. Tape around the red lines.
  6. Paint the inside of the rays with different colored paint.  I used shades of blue.  Why?  Because that was what I had laying around.  I left some of the thinner rays without paint.  I wanted some of the wood to show through after the stain step. IMG_3434
  7. Let the paint dry.
  8. Sand lightly.  ***Be careful sanding craft paint.  It seemed to gum up in a hand sander and smear on the painting.  My red paint made all sorts of messes.  I ended up having to sand again and paint over.
  9. Frame out the plywood painting with the pine fill it strips.  Just nail them in place.
  10. Stain.  I used a 1 part dark walnut and 1 part English chestnut stain color.  That’s my formula for everything I stain.  I just buy small Minwax cans and mix my own. IMG_3468
  11. Add a hanging thingy on the back and hang on your wall.
  12. Run around your house yelling “Look what I made!  Look what I made!”  (It feels good, doesn’t it?)IMG_3480

I’ve hung this in “The Kid’s” playroom (our morning room/bonus room off the kitchen), because, he is my sunshine, after all.

Take care!