2013 Gets Me Every Time


Goodbye 2013. You were good to us. You gave us lots of snow.

You gave us a chance to get together & remember a wonderful man.


You gave me a clearer vision.


You gave us burgers. (And a grill to cook them on.)


You gave us tiny DIY upgrades.


And huge DIY upgrades.


You gave us a bigger world view.

HomeTour_GMET_1And an even bigger reason to hurry home.

Now on to just as great adventures in all sizes. Come at me, 2014.


Kitchen Updates Get Me Every Time


It’s ready for primetime—the kitchen! But more importantly, it’s ready for dinnertime. As you can see from the above “split screen” photo, the biggest change is paint. And lots of it. 

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Athena and the cabinets Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. We also added new hardware including drawer pulls, cabinet handles and hinges. Let me tell you, those little guys start to add up quickly. Regardless, we love the look.


If full disclosure, we did hire a painter to refinish the cabinets for us. BUT… he got a little sloppy and we were not happy with the results at all. So, we repainted them ourselves. Over many weekends and nights. (He had already gone over his timeline and we were beyond ready to have our house back.) I found a few resources online, but stuck pretty close to the step-by-step over at Young House Love. Especially since their cabinets looked pretty similar to ours.


The other big change that we made was adding some more airiness to this side of the room. We removed that double cabinet to the left of the sink to allow more light to stream into the kitchen. The photos were taken at different times, so it’s not best to judge these two against one another in terms of natural light flooding in.


We picked up the brackets at IKEA and had two pieces of wood cut to fit the space. Then, they all got a coat of Chantilly Lace paint and we mounted them on this little piece of wall.


Here’s a closer look. There enough room for the glasses that we use daily, a big serving bowl and a cookie jar that’s just waiting to be filled with something sweet. We did a lot of holding up random pieces of cardboard and scrap wood to determine the depth, which is just under 8 inches.


Another big change was filling that empty hole right there. The previous owner took the fridge, but that was OK with us.


Because now we have a gorgeous stainless steel one. It’s lower profile than the previous owners. Plus, it’s got water and ice in the door! You guys, this is a first for me and I couldn’t be more excited.


The other appliances are all staying the same for the time being. I mean, let’s talk about a serious expense. But we don’t mind. After living without a dishwasher for three years, I’m just happy there is one at all.


This is the view from our “family room,” which a reveal of is coming soon, don’t you worry. We still need some art over there to the left of the cabinets too. All in time. All in time.


Lastly, the floor. It’s not exactly our taste, but it’s in good shape, is durable and easy to clean. So, we’re sticking with it for now. Who knows what the future will hold. So, one last look. Above: before. And…


After. Coffee brewing. Dishes cleaned. All is right in the world.

Two Tiny Tables Get Me Every Time


If moving and unpacking and getting settled isn’t enough for a summer, I decided we would throw a few projects into the mix. The first of which, was relatively simple and inspired by this IKEA hack. And by inspired, I mean, it was such a great idea I pretty much replicated it. Only twice. (Thanks, Katy!) We had two of these old IKEA laundry bags/stands. And since we’re not schlepping our clothes to communal laundry any longer, we no longer need these eye sores in our bedroom.


So, how exactly do we get from seen-better-days laundry bag to modern, sleek end table? Well, I’m so glad you asked. First, you measure your metal stand. Then you measure it again. Just to be sure. And write down the measurements while you’re at it. Then, if you’re like me, you go to your favorite hardware megastore and find a nice piece of wood that’ll show wood grain on all sides. Finally, show your measurements to the guy (or gal) near the big fancy saw and have them cut to your exact specs.


Before heading home, pick up some stain in a color you like and some spray paint too. Efficiency, people. We chose an almost natural color stain and we picked this brand because it was ready for a top coat of poly (which we already had) in only an hour. Love that.


For spray paint, we went with an oil rubbed bronze because it added a little something more than just your plain old black. Yeah, it’s getting fancy up in here. After a couple light coats of spray paint, I let these bad boys dry in the shed overnight, just to make sure they were cured and the spray paint smell was completely gone.


The next day, we all came back inside and got to gluing. I just used Elmer’s wood glue to attach the stained and sealed boards to the painted laundry stands. I grabbed a couple of heavy wood planks we had around to add some pressure—you could use clamps, if you’re really advanced and fancy, or books or a sleepy old cat, whichever you have.



And that’s it! A simple project that reuses an almost forgotten laundry bag. That is how you IKEA hack, my friends.

A Dresser Do-Over Gets Me Every Time

It’s time for a post long in the making, the out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new, dresser-to-TV stand DIY. Need a refresher? Let’s go way back here and remember how we (yes, that includes you) were sick and tired of that IKEA TV bench.

All caught up? Alright. So, Mr. Gets Me Every Time and I scoured the old Craigslist till we came up with a dresser at the perfect size, price and location. That’s how we ended up with the above beauty. I know. As much as we too loved those pretty princess decals and butterfly knobs, the paint was just a little too chipped up for our liking. Before we say goodbye, you know you want those close-ups.

The previous owner was a young girl turned teen who had outgrown the girly pink accents—the family was on their way to a soccer game when we picked up the piece. Lucky for her, and us, we knew just what to do to transform this dresser. Since there are plenty of posts about dresser reno on the interwebs, I’ll just get to the in-progress and after shots.

We went with Benjamin Moore’s Peacock Blue for our paint color. Looking at the color palette online, we figured it perfectly complimented our new gray couch, plus it was just the pop of color the room needed. We needed a place to stash our DVD player and cable box, so we knew the top row of drawers* wouldn’t be making it back in the picture, for now. But, we did need to create a shelf where the top drawers were. (*We still painted them, in case this dresser ever is a dresser again.)

Armed with measurements in hand, we went to Home Depot where a friendly, and helpful, employee helped us pick out a piece of wood heavy enough to bear the load of the entertainment necessities. Once it was home, it too was sanded & painted. Then we drilled bunches of holes to help with some air circulation. Holes were also drilled in the back panel of wood for the same purpose. And, here we go!

Ta-da! Here’s the finished piece, and Louise inspecting it. We loaded up the middle drawer with DVDs and CDs, freeing up tons of room on our bookcases. And in the bottom shelf we store extra remotes plus all of our board games. We couldn’t be happier. We fixed up the entire dresser in the comfort of our own apartment. No worries, the paint was low-odor and drop cloths and sheets covered everything else until we were finished.

As you remember from last week, the knobs were crucial to this project. So we went to IKEA last weekend and picked up two sets of SVEP knobs. We really liked their traditional shape and liked the look of the black against the blue—especially with the other black furniture in the apartment. (We also grabbed a set of the SVEP handles too, in case we ever decide to put those top drawers back in place.)

Have you refinished any furniture recently? Did we miss any steps? I’ve heard about a wax finish you can put on furniture, but I didn’t read much into it—oops! No matter, we still are proud of a job well done.


Weekend Plans Get Me Every Time

The weekend is near, folks. And I’ve got some links for you that I’ve gathered over the past several days. Plus, a few weekend activities, Mother’s Day aside, for those in or around the Boston Area.

First, West Elm is having a pop-up flower shop tomorrow at their Fenway store. Stop by & pick up flowers for mom (or yourself, either way.)

OR, if you’re on the other side of The Charles, check out The Art of Craft in Cambridge. An indoor/outdoor market with free parking!

Or, if you’re trolling the internet, here’s a few too many things to check out:

• Succulents, at IKEA.
• Parmesan Cheese Spread, at 101 Cookbooks.
• Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad, at Budget Bytes.
• From blog to brand, at Design Love Fest.
• (Greater) Boston is getting it’s very own Shake Shack, via Beckie over at Cubicle 57.
• IKEA hack hanging garden, at JILLM. (perfect for us city dwellers and even more reason to hit up IKEA this weekend.)
• Custom storage ottoman, at Paper N Stitch.

And that’s it. I’ll be back soon with more on Mom’s day among other things. Until then, have the most fabulous weekend, internetland!


IKEA Hacking Gets Me Every Time

A while back, Mr. Gets Me Every Time and I purchased two Billy Bookcases from IKEA. Billy is a popular boy and can be spotted all across the Interwebs posing as a built-in. But, as you may already be able to tell, we didn’t go there. Billy was originally supposed to serve as storage for wedding gifts and office supplies.

But it didn’t take long to see that one closet in the bedroom didn’t quite measure up to the task of holding the clothes of these happy newlyweds.

$29.99 @ BB&B

So, since we had enough time, we trekked to Bed, Bath & Beyond to harvest some supplies. Actually, all we needed was this tension rod with optional screw mounting.

We used the existing holes drilled in Billy’s interior (I know, sounds dirtier than it is) that hold the adjustable shelf brackets to mount our tension rod in. And yes, we did utilize the optional screw fitting to make sure it could carry the weight of our clothes.

Then, we simply removed the fixed middle shelf and rearranged the adjustable shelves to leave room for shoes, bags, accessories and folded jeans.

A super simple IKEA hack that doubled our closet space. All in a day’s work!