Thursday, May 21, 2015

What a sham!

So the plumbers are finally here to install our vanity and toilet in the powder room, a project that we started all the way back in February! 
Excited would be an understatement and I will share an update of the space very soon.

In the meantime, I'm sharing a little update in our master bedroom.
It's no surprise I love re-purposing things and recently did just that when I turned a geometric tablecloth from Home Goods into new pillow shams for our bed. 

Here's what our bed looked like before:

And here is it now:

Confession: I didn't actually sew the shams (surprise, surprise). My mom did. 
I'm starting to sound like a broken record at this point but I'm still waiting to learn how to really sew. 

Anyway, I love how the shams look and think they are a fun and inexpensive change to our bedding.

Have a great day!
- Caitlin

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Turning 2

Things have been busy around here which is probably why I didn't realize that it has been exactly 2 years since I started The Picket Fence Projects!

While I definitely don't post as consistently as I did in year one, I still enjoy using this blog as a creative outlet from time to time and hopefully I'm inspiring some of you out there!

Anyway, for this new year of The Picket Fence Projects I am following this mantra below in our home and life:

Have less.

Since we have moved into our house, I have been feeling bogged down with too much unnecessary stuff. We acquired a lot of it going from a smaller apartment to a bigger house and now I just want to simplify it all.
Some of it is stuff we needed but a lot of it I realize we can definitely do without. The clutter, the stuff I was saving for "well maybe one day I will use this" situations, and things I don't love has been making me feel disorganized, overwhelmed, and for lack of a better word, gross.
So, I've been tackling it little by little, tossing the worthless stuff in the garbage, selling and donating what we don't love or need, and buying smarter. I already feel calmer (until I look in our garage--we will for sure de-clutter in there)!

Do more.

There will always be a laundry list of items that need to be done around our house. And while I enjoy our DIY projects and decorating, it can eat up a lot of free time. Since having Charlie, I've become even more aware that the days go by way too quickly. The house projects can and should be put on hold from time to time so that we can do more together outside of the picket fence (which is exactly why only half of our hallway is painted).

Be more.

I guess this part (or really any part) of the quote above can be interpreted in different ways. To me, it means to be more in the present. Like I mentioned above, time goes by so fast and I don't want to spend too much of my time not being here in the moment. So that means turning off the TV and instead putting on a fire and spending time together. It means (as addicting as it can be) taking a break from pinning on Pinterest and more closely watching our baby accomplish his milestones. I want to be more of a mother/wife/friend/sister/daughter/you get the idea.

Ok, that concludes my one "deep" post for the year!
Cheers to a new blog year :)

- Caitlin

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I've joined the Ikea Ektorp club

We've finally said goodbye to our old living room couch!
It was definitely time.
We bought it secondhand off of Craigslist in 2009 and it had survived two moves, too much bad reality TV watching, lots of guest sleepovers, and some dog abuse.

Before we got rid of it, I did a bunch of research on what to get next and kept finding myself going back to the Ikea Ektorp sofa as its replacement.

There was this convincing blog post (among many other blog posts) and the notion that we are approaching the "our child and future children will probably destroy all of our nice things" stage that made me decide it was the right choice for us right now.

We also wanted to try for a sectional as it would offer more seating in the room and for those watching TV, you can comfortably face it rather than having to turn your head.

Even though the Ektorp sectional is pretty affordable, I didn't want to pay full price. 
So luckily I was able to find one off of Craigslist for half the price. 
A few loads of laundry and some bleach later, it looked like new.

It's been a couple months since we got it and I'm still happy with the sofa.
It's white (one of my favorite colors), washable, comfortable enough, and will get us through the spills and accidents of the child-rearing phase without compromising style.

It's also good to know that a slipcover replacement is only $99! 
At that price, I can just buy a fresh one every year.
There's also this website called that makes custom slipcovers for Ikea furniture. 
It costs more but something to consider!

As for the throw pillows, I purchased this geometric fabric and made three pillows (actually my mom sewed them for me--I'm still waiting for her to really teach me how to sew).

Next up for this room is a rug.
I'm considering this one!

- Caitlin

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Powder room planks

Well, we are moving right along on this mostly DIY powder room reno.
I last shared how we had tiled over the existing tile (you can read about that here).
Since then, the tile has been grouted and the bottom half of the walls have been planked.

We did this planking job a little bit differently than the one we did in our master bedroom (read about that here).
Since we only planked halfway up the walls in here, we needed to add a trim at the top.
We picked out a simple one because we felt like there is already a lot going on with the hexagon tile. A fancy elaborate trim would probably have been too much.

Also, since we tiled right up to the existing woodwork, we added quarter rounds to it so that it would have more of a finished look.

Unlike our bedroom which has perfectly spaced planks, I wanted to try a more rustic and less uniform look in here. Some planks are practically touching, some have a penny-sized gap. They are all a little different and I like it that way in here.
You can see the variation in the pictures below:

We also installed these planks a little differently than we did in our bedroom.
Because we live in the Northeast and there are temperature extremes (freezing cold in the winter and hot in the summer), we experienced some expanding and shrinking with our bedroom planks. That resulted in some cracks between planks and some bowing. To fix that, we had to re-caulk some spots and add extra nails here and there after the fact which was a little annoying.

This time, in addition to nails, we also glued the planks to the wall.
So, these babies hopefully aren't going anywhere!

All in all, it was a pretty quick DIY job.
Chris measured and cut the planks.
I glued, he nailed, I painted.
We both spackled the nail holes and caulked the corners and the edges.
Charlie cheered us on from his pack 'n play!
Bam, done in a couple of days.

Next up for this space is picking a paint for the top half of the wall. 
Will share more once it is done!

- Caitlin

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bringing the built-ins back to life

Lately, I've been refreshing the look of our living room built-ins. It started with a much needed fresh coat of white paint. Then, we added simple doors to conceal the TV. Now it's all about the accessories. 
Due to a clutter-free/less is more mood, I've been keeping it simple with a few photographs on each shelf and a couple accessories here and there.

Below you will find a look at some of the shelves that are feeling complete and a source list at the end of the post sharing where everything came from.

I like how this clock is big enough to fill up the space on the top shelf.
The price can't be beat either!

I've wanted to have more photos displayed around our home and the built-ins are the perfect place for them. I needed about 7 of these gray stained frames so it was a good thing that just like the clock, the frames were cheap cheap cheap.

Any Donovan Frankenreiter fans out there?
This wood crate holds some of our favorite records.

Paint is an amazing thing.
I was about to get rid of the large frame pictured below on the left because it was an odd blue color that didn't really fit in any part of our house. 
Instead of tossing it, I painted it white and now it fits in perfectly.

Source list:

galvanized clock: Target
large gray frames: Target
camera: garage sale
books: garage sale
galvanized tins: Michaels
crate on wheels: garage sale
topiary: garage sale
large white frame: Home Goods
gray wood and metal frame: Target
3 white photograph frame: garage sale but found here from Pottery Barn
large suitcase: garage sale
small suitcase: Home Goods

Thanks for stopping by!
- Caitlin

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recent bargain buys

Today I'm sharing a few recent purchases of mine that didn't break the bank:

clockwise from top right:

I've been making over my living room built-ins for what seems like forever now and needed some larger pieces for some of the shelves. So, I bought this clock to fill up one of the shelves and make a statement. I love the way it looks and will share pictures of it in the room soon.

I recently ordered this fabric to have some pillows made for our living room.
I know, more throw pillows?

These days, I definitely do more clothes shopping for baby Charlie than for myself (and I'm perfectly fine with that)! I picked up these t-shirts and this anorak for him for so cheap. Use coupon code 2963 for 20% off your order of $60 or more!

Apparently pineapples are in (just see this blog post). I love them because they make me think of summer! So, I bought this pineapple jar for my kitchen to hold cell phone and computer chargers.

Have a great weekend!
- Caitlin

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Daily Bubble: Copy-cat cocktail glasses

Check out how I turned ordinary glasses into knock-off versions of these  J. Crew ones:

Have a great day!
- Caitlin