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Friday 5+1 {5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don't}

Happy Friday!

I hope you've had a great week, and are ready for the weekend!  The weather has been glorious here this week, and the forecast is calling for more.  Love it!

Let's get to it!

Unique Wall Treatments
I spotted this gorgeous dining room created by Maria over at Live Beautifully, and had to share.  The walls are upholstered with a beautiful crewel fabric.  At first glance, I would never have guessed it was fabric - judge for yourself.  If you're like me, you won't be able keep from perusing the rest of her designs - so pretty!  And I saw on her Instagram feed that she just had a new baby, and could not be a cuter new mom. :-)

Panera's Autumn Squash Soup
I'm a little embarrassed to admit how obsessed I am over this soup.  If there is such a thing as a Soup Stalker, I am one.  But it is so. darn. delicious!  I may or may not have ordered two bowls when I went through the drive thru, so that I could have one for lunch and one for dinner.

Pumpkin Bars
In keeping with the fall food theme, I made these delicious pumpkin bars this week.  They did not disappoint!  If you love pumpkin, you'll love these.  Pumpkin + Cream Cheese Frosting = Autumn Goodness.

Productive Days
I tackled a bunch of items on my to-do list yesterday, and it felt so good to get. things. done.  Some days I'm just lacking in the motivation department, and I love it when I have a day where I actually feel like I made some forward progress!  (Yes, that desk is from over a year ago, but let's celebrate the small victories, shall we?)

Dustless Sanding
On last week's 5+1 wrap up, I mentioned how obsessed I am with Traditional Painter, and all of their beautiful hand painted kitchens.  Well, in the midst of my research, I read about how they do a lot of dustless sanding, making cabinet prep and clean up a bit easier by eliminating a lot of the dust.  So, I picked up a starter package, and put it to work on the desk in the above photo.

I used the Mirka Abranet Vac Block and the hose that goes with it, and picked up the sanding pads at our local Woodcraft store.   You hook this baby up to your Shop Vac, and it sucks away all of the dust while you're sanding!   

I would love to get one of their orbital sanders, but they're a bit more spendy. Until then, I'm really happy with how well the hand sander performs.  I went to work on the desk that had been sitting in my garage, as I was having a hard time stripping off all of the paint.  The hand sander works great!  You can see the big area on the right where I used it in the photo below.  It cut through the junk that I was struggling with removing.  The sanding pads are like no other!

For the one thing I don't like, I have to laugh at this one.  My husband played in a golf event last weekend, and came home with a couple of "prizes".  This being one of them.

Don't be fooled - it's not just a large plastic beer can.  It's a mini-fridge.  Jealous?  We agreed that it is the modern-day equivalent of the "Leg Lamp" from 'A Christmas Story'.  

Am I a lucky woman or what?

Have a great weekend!


Customizing Store-Bought Furniture


If you remember my 5+1 post (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don't) from last week, I included Bargains and Buyouts (again), and shared this little beauty that I scored for the low, low price of $70.

I did some ottoman shuffling, and put the new addition in the family room.

I had thought about painting it gold, and after seeing some dings on the frame, I decided to do something about it.

So, I got to work.  Originally, I started taping it off, planning to cover it in plastic before painting: 

But then I discovered how easy it was to just unscrew it from the frame.  Much better.

Propped up the frame on my handy dandy paint pyramids, and I'm ready to go.

These things are so handy and so smart - I use them for cabinet painting all the time, but they're great for projects like this too.

I picked up some Rustoleum Universal Metallic paint in Pure Gold.  Love this stuff - by far, my favorite paint for metallics, and this color is spectacular.

A couple of coats later, and I'm done!

Much better, don't you think?  

Who says it needs to stop at furniture?  Look at these customized store-bought drapes at SAS Interiors.
Source: SAS Interiors
I've seen a lot of IKEA Billy Bookcase customizations out there, but look at this amazing library wall from Bliss at Home.  Are you even kidding me right now?  Stunning.
Source: Bliss at Home

Or this super-functional built-in cubby system courtesy of IKEA Hackers.
Source: IKEA Hackers


Reader Feature: Custom Pantry, Organization + More!


I'm so excited to share a great reader project with you all today!  You may remember Kelly's kitchen from awhile back, after it was transformed with paint.  Let me refresh your memory.  


Absolutely gorgeous, right?

Kelly emailed me asking about some paint changes that they had made, and others that they were thinking about making.  In the process of sharing photos, I was (once again) blown away by their DIY projects.

First things first - they painted the pantry doors to break things up a bit, since there are a lot of white doors going on as you make your way into the kitchen.  They painted them the same color as the island - Kelly wasn't sure if she liked it, and was thinking maybe they should have kept them white, whereas her husband liked the contrast.

What do you think?

I'm a fan of painted pantry doors, and I think the color looks great with the whole look of the kitchen, and gives it a little more depth and interest.

Then she proceeded to show me what was behind the pantry doors.  Are you sitting down?

Her husband built them.  These used to be the old school wire shelves that drive people crazy.  As Kelly said so well - "No more wire shelving!"  Amen!

You can kind of see what the pantry looked like before in these photos.

And yes, Kelly has crazy canning skills too.  If she lived closer, I would have her teach me to can, while I put her husband to work building me an awesome mud room bench with lots of cubbies.

I had to pick up my jaw off the ground when I saw these glorious pantry photos.  And the organization makes it even more swoon-worthy.  Shut. UP.

Another, more subtle, improvement was made to the space, but it has made a big change in how the space functions.

"My husband has ripped up the existing tile in the laundry room/garage door entrance and replaced it with a beautiful cream colored tile in a great pattern.  He also moved the garage door entrance into our kitchen back a few feet by building an alcove (and we really didn’t lose that much space in the garage to do this).  It was a huge improvement because we no longer hit the pantry doors (which the kids often leave open) when we come in through the garage door."

Here you can see how they pushed the entrance into the house back into the garage.

Along with the pretty tile they installed.

So now when they come in, there isn't a cluster of doors to deal with anymore!  

Even space for a family calendar.

And here you can see the door leading to the garage.  So smart!!

As is this all wasn't fantastic enough, she also fed my DIY addiction by sharing an update to that void of space that you have underneath the staircase.

Before (well, more like, in progress):


So, there you have it!  I love hearing from readers who share their DIY projects with me (and even better when they allow me to share them with you!).  Have you been working on a big project?  Please share in the comments, or send me some photos if you don't have a blog.  

Sadly, neither Kelly, nor her husband have a blog.  Believe me, I asked.  More than once...

Linking up:
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday