Renting Redo: Skirted Sink

I know I know, enough with the striped fabric, right? I've got my final use for it, which I gave a peek to last week when I was talking about all the ways to use the stuff! Today, I'm sharing and easyyyyy Renting Redo for sinks and cabinets without doors. 

Here's what you'll need: a naked sink (as seen below), heavy fabric (I used this!), a hot glue gun, pinking sheers and some trim (which is optional). Here is my very naked sink before - 

I had some trim on hand that I found super discounted on Fabric.com. I've used it on curtains before and had just enough to round out this skirted sink.

I didn't even take process pictures because this is a fairly straightforward project. I just sat down with my hot glue gun and slowly made my way around the sink, cutting slits where I ran into towel bars and making a simple pleat (just by folding and hot gluing) in the front. Here are a few ways to make this even easier:

  • Rather then hemming (or fake hemming with stitch tape or hot glue), use the natural edge of the fabric that hasn't been cut. The line is perfectly straight and it gives the illusion of being hemmed.
  • Use pinking shears for any cutting to avoid fraying.
  • Cut splits where towel bars or any obstructions may be, then just go around.
  • Use trim to clean up your top edge

As you can see, not the most beautiful edge (you can see hot glue, eek!) but it's fine for what it is. This dainty white trim added a subtle little detail that was definitely needed.

Here's the after!

Seeing the skirted sink now makes me realize how totally naked it looked before! It makes the sink feel more substantial and interesting. Also, don't be jealous of our super cool linoleum floors. #realliferenting

Now, you may not have a naked sink like I did, but this same concept could be used for naked kitchen cabinets, a laundry room or a kitchen sink. Check out these fabulous skirted sinks + cabinets around the web:

Rosie's 1st Birthday and a little DIY

Rosie turned 1 a few weeks ago! Hard to believe a year has gone by - but I'm sure every new parent says that. I always think hosting a party a few weeks/months after you move into a new house is the BEST way to get your shiz together. We had family coming in and some staying with us, so it was the perfect motivation.

I tried to keep things simple with her 1st birthday and make sure it would be fun for the adults. Basically -if I couldn't buy it at Target or Trader Joe's then I didn't buy it. Our plan had been to host the festivities in the front yard, but we got rained out. So the porch and the kitchen it was! 

We put all the drinks on the porch - everyone could grab something as they walked in. We kept it very simple out here - TJ's Sparkling Lemonade + White Wine spritzers and BLL + Shiner for the adults. 

Labels make everything feel a little more on purpose. I used the free online app Canva (an idiot proof version of photoshop) to label everything.

I love party favors! But they can add up quickly. I raided the dollar aisle for bubble wands at Target and picked up 3 packs of dark + milk chocolate from Trader Joe's and tied everything with a neon bow. Ribbon from walmart of all places!

Trader Joe's just happened to have bunches of pink peonies for a couple of bucks. I bought many bunches :) Reminded me of when peonies made their way to the bodegas in New York. You can't help but pick a few up! I placed these all around the house, some as bunches, some as singular flowers.

My mom sent this to me as an idea -pop corn in party hats! It's a thrifty party snack that works as part of your decor.

Using the IKEA fabric I mentioned last week, I made bunting that we used on the porch and the fire place. I used pinking shears so the edges didn't fray and strung them together with twine I had.  Also used hot glue to assemble the whole thing.

More popcorn party hats in the kitchen! 

Earlier in the week, I made strawberry cakes. They are basically out of the box with a little help from fresh strawberries and strawberry jello mix - they. are. the best! My go to baker friend, Laura of Uprising Cakes, advised to bake ahead and freeze them! She said all cakes taste more moist and dense after that. She was totally right. Not only did it speed up my day of prep, but the cakes were sooooo tasty! My mom whipped up cream cheese icing with a little left over strawberry jello mix and viola, some pretty pink party cakes! 

I heard Ina Garten say recently on one of her shows, "The key to hosting an easy party is to only make 2 things." Hey - If Ina limits herself to two things, then I'm with her! The only two things that were prepared (rather then poured into a bowl or sliced) were the Watermelon Feta & Mint Skewers and the Pea Mint Ricotta Crostini -both created by sweet Anna Watson Carl, of the Yellow Table. 

Both recipes were SO tasty and really easy to make. We've worked together in the past for an HGTV project and a Brooklyn Baby Shower - so anytime I get the chance to whip out one of her recipes, I know everyones in for a treat. All the other non-recipe items were from Trader Joes - watermelon, cheese straws, guilt free brownies and chips & cowboy salsa.

Simple recipes and a few DIY projects made for fun and easy party. Most importantly, it let us celebrate our sweet and spunky girl Rosie Flo!

Yard to Table // Making your own flower + greenery arrangements from the yard

I've probably mentioned this a thousand times by now, but my mom is the queen of making what she has work. Her latest bent has revolved around pulling greenery from her yard and using it around the house. Sounds simple. And potentially unimpressive, right?

Soooo not the case. She was just in town for Rosie's 1st birthday and had fresh little arrangements from the yard sprinkled around my house by the time she left. So I asked her how she did it?! Lets be honest - I don't see ANY potential when I look at my front yard and yet, she threw together simple, fresh and cheerful little arrangements in, like, a minute! So what does she look for? How does she concoct her petite bouquets? She came back to me with her top tips for crafting arrangements from the yard:

A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

A sampling of the arrangements she has pulled together from our yards!

Mom's tips for creating arrangements from the yard:

  • Look for firm leaves, interesting structure and varied color. Buds, blooms and berries are always wonderful! 
  • I'm drawn to using a bunch of one thing in an arrangement - like a large bundle of branches, or a hearty handful of leaves in a jar.
  • Don't be afraid to put the smallest stem or single leaf in a tiny little bottle or bud vase. It's the perfect way to spruce up your sink or nightstand, especially when you're expecting overnight guests.
  • Teeny tiny arrangements made up of a few buds and greenery make for a great "pick me up" for a friend. The tinier the better. Everyone needs a little happy sometimes. 
  • Speaking of friends - if you are at a friends house and see something interesting, don't shy away from asking for a small cutting.  Chances are your friend won't miss a small branch or a handful of leaves. 
  • Scavenge your cabinets for pitchers, jars and tiny votives. I hardly ever use a classic vase.
  • Before having guests over, have a trial run with your pickings from the yard. Some wilt more quickly the others - you'd rather they wilt for you the day before then when your guests are arriving!

I'll will be capitalizing on these tips the next time we host a dinner part or get together at the house. Fresh arrangements always brighten up a home - and they don't have to cost you a thing! Head out to the yard (or the sidewalk, you New York folk) and start trimming!

Thanks Mom! 

One Fabric - 5 WAYS!

I'm always more inclined to do a project around the house when I have the proper supplies already in place. Having scrap fabric is one of my staple supplies. But not just any fabric. IKEA fabric :) This to be exact -

I have a longtime love of IKEA and many of there products. It started 20 years ago on family road trips from Dallas to Houston. I remember begging my parents for one of those loft beds staged in one of the 750 square foot mock apartments. Who would have thought this would have been foreshadowing of my 7 years in New York. Never needed the IKEA loft bed, but the Brooklyn store sure became a staple for me while I lived there! I also had the unique opportunity to produce a handful of IKEA photo shoots, as they were one of the clients I worked on while I was at Ogilvy. Needless to say - I love IKEA, but REALLY love this fabric they carry!

It's heavy and hearty and looks way more expensive then $7.99 a yard. I originally bought it to use as a table cloth for a baby shower. The stripes where sharp and striking. I wrote about that shower here. But since then I have used it in countless other ways. This fabric can do wonders! 

From the top left moving clockwise: Simple Sink Skirt (materials: hot glue gun and pinking shears) // Table runner // DIY Bunting // Table Cloth // Beer Box Liner

And just for kicks, I'll throw in a 6th way to use this great fabric - as a photo booth backdrop!

This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

This was taken about a week before I had Rosie! 

Go getchyourself some of that fabric! 

Renting Redo's

About a month ago, Brooklyn boy and I were driving home from church and noticed a FOR RENT sign in front of a big beautiful OLD house in downtown Franklin. Remember, we live in Nashville, ahem . . . Franklin, now. We stopped and grabbed a flyer, because hey, we love looking at houses and are secretly always scrolling craigslist for other rentals. The flyer listed out a few goofy details that intrigued us enough to call the owner. 15 minutes later we were touring the house and going crazy over it! It's big and really old - built in 1840! But has fantastic character, wood burning fire places and so much history. Lord willing, we were able to slip out of our old lease and into the new one fairly painlessly. 

This house has been a gift. We are so tickled to live here for the time being. We'd love to buy one day soon, but for now we are enjoying the simple (and sometimes odd) world of renting! 

Now, having lived in New York for 7 years, I know the challenges that renting can bring when it comes to making your apartment or house into a home. Over the years, I've picked up a few tricks to making our apartments feel owned, loved and lived in. Let's call them Renting Redo's. It's either that or Naptime Revamps. I.E. my baby is napping, so I have 10 minutes to do something creative.

All this to say - we are finally settled into the new house and I've been hit with a new wave of inspiration. I've got a handful of pieces we've been moving around the past few years that are in major need of a facelift. I've also got some major house quirks to contend with. So lets jump in with the first quick and easy Renting Redo DIY.  An ottoman overhaul. 

 I don't know where we got this ottoman. But it's been in the last 3 places we lived. It's brown and old and I'm tired of it looking so sad! So, I took inventory on what I had - 

 I don't know where we got this ottoman. But it's been in the last 3 places we lived. It's brown and old and I'm tired of it looking so sad! So, I took inventory on what I had - 

 Blue and white Waverly fabric left over from our DIY headboard & bright turquoise paint.

 Blue and white Waverly fabric left over from our DIY headboard & bright turquoise paint.

Blue and white Waverly fabric left over from our DIY headboard & bright turquoise paint.

I sprayed the legs twice and didn't take time to protect the fabric since I knew I would be covering it.  

I sprayed the legs twice and didn't take time to protect the fabric since I knew I would be covering it.  

Then I positioned the fabric on the ottoman. 

Then I positioned the fabric on the ottoman. 

I made sure the pattern was centered correctly. While keeping the pattern in place, I flipped the ottoman over to make stapling the fabric easier. 

I made sure the pattern was centered correctly. While keeping the pattern in place, I flipped the ottoman over to make stapling the fabric easier. 

Using my staple gun, I made my way around the underside of the ottoman - stapling back and forth and side to side, making sure the fabric stayed in place. I also had to snip a little bit around the legs so I could cleanly fold the fabric (like you'd fold a sheet on the end of a bed) and staple it securely underneath.  

Using my staple gun, I made my way around the underside of the ottoman - stapling back and forth and side to side, making sure the fabric stayed in place. I also had to snip a little bit around the legs so I could cleanly fold the fabric (like you'd fold a sheet on the end of a bed) and staple it securely underneath.  

I flipped it right side up for the big reveal! I love the classic fabric accompanied with the shock of blue.  It certainly freshens up the piece!  

I flipped it right side up for the big reveal! I love the classic fabric accompanied with the shock of blue.  It certainly freshens up the piece!  

Right now the ottoman is living underneath the desk in our bedroom, which Id show you if our room wasn't covered in piles! Next Renting Redo will address our front porch! Hope you'll join us for the next round!