September 2, 2014

How To: DIY Ikea Hacked Shelving Unit

Hi friends! I hope you all had a wonderful and long holiday weekend. My parents came to visit us from North Carolina, and Nick and I had so much fun playing tourist to our first visitors since moving! We walked the monuments at night, went to a few outdoor markets, visited the waterfront, drank beer on a rooftop, and ate way too much delicious food. It was a great weekend!

Today I want to share with you the details of my DIY Ikea Hacked Shelving Unit

I am loving it more and more everyday, which I didn't think was possible! I am so glad we did it, and it gets so many compliments any time we have someone over. 

So, just in case you want to build one yourself (you should!), here's what you'll need:


brackets // boards // stain

We lucked out with this project, and didn't have to cut any boards. We purchased the 10 ft. boards for four of the shelves, which fit this blank wall perfectly. I knew that I wanted to add a mirror to the shelving unit somehow, so we just bought one 1" x 12" x 4' and mounted it in the middle.

The great thing about these brackets (other than the price!) is the fact that they can be mounted two different ways. We used a mix of the two (sideways on the bottom shelf and longways on the rest of the shelves) to accommodate for the baseboard on the bottom and also to visually fill up the spaces between the shelves. We also chose to mount the center brackets off center on the longer boards so that they would line up with the shorter board's brackets (since the 4 ft. board wasn't quite half the length of the longer boards). Once the brackets were mounted, I simply stained the boards with two coats of English Chestnut stain, and polished them with Murphy's Oil after they dried.

The project was fairly easy, save the fact that we had a tough time getting the brackets to sit flush to our textured walls. We might be crazy for putting that many holes in our rental apartment walls (we got permission!), but we don't plan on moving any time soon and it seems worth it for the mean time. What's a little spackle, anyway? I might regret saying that.

The whole project came in at right under $150. Since we didn't make any cuts, it only took about an hour and half to mount the brackets and attach the boards (plus staining and drying time). So basically, it was the easiest project we've ever done, with the biggest impact to such a small space. I'm in love!

See the whole shelving unit reveal here.

Make sure to pin this post so you can remember how easy it is to create your own shelving unit in just three steps!

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August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites.

Happy almost long weekend, friends! I am so glad that it's Friday. My parents are coming to visit us for the first time since we've moved, and I'm excited to show them our new place and to play tour guide in the city! Here's what I'm loving this week.
friday favorites
1. I love this cobalt blue iPhone case from J Crew. It's already on sale, and you can save an extra 40% with code WEEKEND. Great deal!
2. Since posting about finding a beauty vanity the other day, I've been on the hunt for the perfect table. I love, love this white and gold beauty from One Kings Lane.
3. EVERYTHING at Old Navy is 50% for the holiday weekend, and I'm going to order this Holy Chic tee. (PS- it's only $6!)
4. I must have a thing for cobalt blue this week, because these babies are speaking to me. (PSS- they're also on sale!)
5. I love this patterned jute rug from Anthropologie. (PSSS- it's an extra 20% off, too!)
You may have noticed a theme with this week's picks...they're all on sale! And who doesn't love things on sale? It's one of my favorite parts of a holiday weekend. ;) Here's a round up of the best sales I could find!
Anthropologie | take an extra 20% off sale items (price reflected in cart)

Asos | up to 75% off dresses, plus an extra 10% off with code SAVE10

Nordstrom | Save up to 40% off on clearance items

Old Navy | Entire store up to 50% off (in-store and online)

ShopBop | Up to 70% off select items, plus free shipping
J Crew | Extra 40% off sale items with code WEEKEND

GAP | Everything up to 40%

Lulu and Georgia | 25% off sitewide with code LABORDAY25

Kendra Scott | 15% off everything plus free shipping

Furbish Studio | 15% off everything with code ENDOFSUMMER

C. Wonder | 30% off all full-priced items

Zhush | 20% off everything with code LABORDAY2014

Have a great long weekend!
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August 27, 2014

The ingredients to a beautiful vanity.

Let's talk vanities. Do you have a designated space for getting pretty? I didn't until we moved into our apartment. I know that sounds counterintuitive...moving from a large house to a small one bedroom and finally having room for a vanity area? It's true. Our bedroom is narrow but long, and it has the perfect little spot behind the door for a small vanity table. I've been working on our bedroom makeover, and am currently busy creating a space that is 100% mine, with its sole purpose to make me feel pretty. Here are a few spaces that I'm taking inspiration from...

You know, setting up a vanity space is not significantly different than setting up a work space. Both areas need a clean, roomy surface, lighting, storage and organization, and comfy seating. Switch that monitor out for a mirror, and you're good to go! I like my vanity area and my work area to be completely different. For work spaces, I prefer moody, colorful, and stimulating surroundings. For my vanity, however, I prefer light, bright, calming, and feminine. Here are a few pieces that you need to give your own vanity space that very feel!
Vanity Essentials
1. Lighting. Every vanity area needs to be well lit. You don't want to apply makeup in a tiny dark corner and then walk out into the sunlight wearing clown face, do you? Didn't think so. The Ikea Ranarp is a budget friendly task lamp that gets the job done.
2. Words of affirmation/ encouragement. I chose a print that says "Keep it Simple" from Parima Studio. I think it's a phrase that every woman needs to hear when getting ready. Keep it simple. Don't try too hard. Be yourself. 
3. Easy storage. I know that I need to corral my jewelry and small items in little bowls or else Fritters will push them around on the floor, usually at the very moment that I've fallen asleep (he totally knows what he's doing). I love this gilded bowl from Canvas Home.
4. A large mirror. I say large because it can do so many amazing things for your vanity area, no matter what the size! Large mirrors mimic windows and bounce light around the room, they allow you to really see your full reflection, and the larger ones really balance out the size of the desk below. I'm a fan of mounting my mirror on the wall as opposed to leaning it (which I think looks equally as good), so I can have all the counter space that I need. This round mirror is absolutely perfect.
5. Pretty accessories. I'm a firm believer that the prettier the accessories, the better you feel when using them. These brushes are pricey, but they are beautiful. And if you've ever used a well-made makeup brush, you probably know that they're worth their weight in gold.
6. Clear storage. The acrylic tray is the must have of any good vanity. They are great for storing necklaces, laying out makeup, corralling all small items, or even stacking (and you can see what's inside!).
7. Yummy candle. I love lighting a candle when I have the time to get ready. I have three of these candles. I'm obsessed.
8. Beautiful and comfy seating. I know that I shared this bench with you last week, but I love it. It's the perfect way to add a splash of color and pattern to an otherwise neutral area.
9. Brush storage. There is no reason that the tools that you use shouldn't be out on display! All you have to do is find a pretty vessel like this julep cup, and throw your brushes in. Easy to get to, and beautiful!
10. A vanity or desk with drawers. I prefer for my vanity table to be white, so it's easy to clean (and to see if it's clean). I love the parson's desk from West Elm because it's big without being cumbersome, and there are drawers for storage. And if you love beauty products as much as I do, drawers are a must!
So what do you think? Tell me about what you have on your vanity table!
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