DIY pipe curtain rod for LONG windows

DIY pipe curtain rod for LONG windows

pipe curtain rod

Our house has HUGE windows. It’s one of the reasons we loved this house so much.

The only problem we ran into was finding curtain rods for the 15 foot & 25 foot wide windows. We used wire to hang curtains in the this front window (IKEA sells one wire ‘rod’) but you can also use wire like we did to fill this wall with art.

This is what it looked like when we bought the house.

living room


And a year later:





On the other side of the fireplace is our dining room with another wide set of windows:

dining room


We decided to try pipes as a curtain rod here. Home Depot will cut and re-thread the pipe for you (for no extra charge!?! Yes, you read that right!).

We put an extra piece in the center to help support the pipe since it is about 15 feet long in total. It came in at under $25.

pipe curtain rod

So go wander around the plumbing section like we do and you might come up with some other ideas! We have a pipe foot rest (at our kitchen island) in the works and thinking about some wall shelving too.

Can you ever have too many pipes in your decor?! Probably yes! Someone. Stop. Us.

Instantly increase your homes likability–get rid of these 5 brass items!

Instantly increase your homes likability–get rid of these 5 brass items!

brass lightfixtures

I show a lot of houses that were built or updated in the 90s and they usually have one thing in common.


And I’m not talking about that nice, naturally aging, warm Hollywood Regency-type brass (I’ll save that for another post since it’s making a come back).

I’m talking about this super shiny, fake, builder’s grade plated brass.

It shows up in a number of places including (but not limited to):

Door Knobs/hinges, Kitchen Faucets, Bathroom faucets, cabinet door pulls, shower doors, light fixtures, fireplace doors… [Read more...]

Jumbo Chevron Dining Table (#003)

Jumbo Chevron Dining Table (#003)

Table 003: Jumbo Chevron

Check out our new dining table! We needed something really long (and I had more patterns in my head that needed to come out). We have a long, narrow dining room so we designed this to be 8ft long (x 36″ wide).

I love it.

Biggest problem: I’m afraid to let the kids eat at it but it’s too pretty to cover up with a tablecloth.

Good problem to have, i know ;)

We are also working on some back yard projects and rented a dumpster to dispose of the ugly awning on our garage. Not sure if we will have a ‘how to’ or ‘how-not-to’ post, but either way we’ll all learn something, right?!

Wood pattern dining table top by Built Concrete Close up of dining table Table close up Table 003: Jumbo Chevron


Stunning PureBond Plywood Dining Table

Stunning PureBond Plywood Dining Table

wood chevron dining table

Hi Everyone! Hope you had a GREAT weekend. Between hunting for Easter eggs and playing outside, we’ve been busy working on custom orders from our Etsy Shop!

If you follow our facebook page, then you’ve probably already enjoyed a sneak peek of this GORGEOUS dining table that is headed out East!

wood chevron dining table

Pretty great, right?!

Don’t worry, we’ll show you how it’s done in another DIY FOR THE BRAVE type of post.

Now that we are regularly painting, staining, sawing wood etc…we are becoming more aware of how important it is to use the safest products and protective equipment while building. So we’ll be sharing some of the things we are doing/using to keep everyone safe.

To start: We recently discovered an eco-friendly, formaldehyde-free plywood at Home Depot called PureBond. It’s beautiful, priced competitively and most importantly safer to work with and live with! Woohoo! We also need to mention the Minwax Express Color Water-based stains that allow us to work indoors and are so convenient. And of course all the endless “behind-the-scene” 3M products (from sanding sponges to dust masks).


Let’s Begin:

Creating a super sweet wood patterned dining table top all starts on paper (at least for me).

We knew that it would be some variation/coloring like this art piece:

chevron dining table inspiration

So I started sketching some quick ideas until we came to a variation of these:

chevron sketches chevron sketches2


Then we were off to Home Depot to get our 3/4″ PureBond Plywood.

They were SO nice there and cut it to size for us which made it easier to transport and one less step to worry about at home!


Picking up PureBond and having it cut at HomeDepot

Picking up PureBond

We love these convenient squeeze containers and low odor that these Minwax stains provide. It’s the only way could could continue working indoors all winter here in Chicagoland. We even made our own ‘Espresso’ Color by layering Walnut and Onyx…oh yay!

Delivery from Minwax (waterbased stains)

Delivery from Minwax (waterbased stains)

Let’s get started! I put my husband to work cutting 1 1/2″ strips. He actually did most of the labor this time. Hey, someone has to be the photographer, right?! You’re Welcome :)

Strips are cut and starting the layout

Strips are cut and starting the layout


Having a square is a must.  And get ready to do some math.

more math :)

more math :)

Sanding and Staining

Sanding and Staining

Coming together

Coming together

Dry fit

Dry fit

Lots of gluing

Lots of gluing

Lots of nailing

Lots of nailing

Admiring (while drying) then Framing

Admiring (while drying) then Framing



Tack Cloth

Wiping Dust off

Glossy Poly

Glossy Poly for protection and a little shine

More admiring and sanding and poly

More admiring and sanding and poly

And more sanding and poly

And more sanding and poly

And FINISHED...add favorite legs and enjoy!

And FINISHED…add favorite legs and enjoy!



wood chevron dining table

It’s a time consuming process for the brave DIYers…but I love every step of the process.

If you aren’t up for the challenge then just purchase one on Etsy…Watch for more designs (art and tables) in our online shop!

Here is another one we made and blogged about recently: Herringbone Desk

Thanks for reading!

-Kelly (and Dave)

5 Unique DIY Flooring Ideas

I’m always on the lookout for unique home improvement ideas. And I especially love them if I can save some dollar bills.

There are solutions for those of you with plywood subfloors and those of you with concrete. I’m happy to see those floors just smoothed out and sealed but if you want to step-it-up, you’ll love these.

In fact, I’m not sure which I love more. ALMOST makes me want to rip up my flooring just to try out a few of these ideas

Check out these flooring alternatives below…


1) Paint/Stencils:

Click the link below to see a whole round up of stenciled floors. They are SO great:



2) Concrete Floor Full Paint:

I love concrete floors and they can be sealed, or stained/sealed, or THIS:

via –


3) Lath:

Yes, you read that right.



4) Plywood strips:

I totally love this idea. Might take some time to rip those boards down, but you will save big $.



5) Paper Bag floors:

I saved my new favorite flooring option for last. Seriously: paper. glue. stain/seal.



Those were Crazy Awesome, right?! Have any other interesting flooring options?? Please share!


Herringbone Dining Table or a Work of Art?

Herringbone Dining Table or a Work of Art?

wooden herringbone dining table with hairpin legs

Functional Art!

How awesome is it to have a piece of furniture so pretty that you just want to stare at it and touch it all day?!

Well, let me tell you about my latest creation/obsession:

A herringbone (or call it chevron or arrows) dining table so fabulous that you could hang it on the wall as a piece of art if you wanted to.

[That gives me an would make a great spare table that you store on the wall as a piece of art and take it off for big parties?! (Someone stop me I have Too. Many. Ideas.)]

I wanted to share a few pictures of the process:

It started out with a LOT of 1/4″ strips of plywood that we ripped down and cut into little slats to stain…

staining wood slats for

slats of wood stained in different Minwax colors

The we did a dry fit of the wood slats over the 3/4″ thick board that we used underneath the wood slats.

slats of wood to make herringbone table pattern

Time to attach the slats. You could GLUE them or NAIL them. OR BOTH!

If we were going to leave the table finish as-is then I would have glued and nailed. I like the look of the nails and we were planning to attempt an epoxy finish so we decided to just nail them with the nail gun and skip the glue since the epoxy would be sealing them all together.

using nail gun to attach wood slats

hammer and herringbone pattern

Then it’s time to cut the slats off that are hanging over the edge of the table. You could use a table saw or circular saw.

Then attach a frame! We used 1×3 boards to frame our table. Just glue and nail…and clamp!

framing a table

We raised the frame up about 1/4″ to help keep the epoxy that we were going to pour from spilling over.

framing table

Sand down the corners and edges of the frame so they aren’t so harsh.


Stain the frame in any color you choose:

table frame stained

attach legs. Seriously easy. Just screw them in.

attaching hairpin legs

Then we poured a coat of EPOXY! (I think we’ll save those details for a separate post…). But I couldn’t resist sharing a pic of the torch.

epoxy coat on dining table

72 hours later we had THIS: *sigh*

herringbone, chevron, arrows dining table

epoxy table

herringbone desk on hairpin legs

You could easily do this on a thin board instead to make it lighter and use it as a headboard or art piece:

herringbone headboard

I know, that was probably exhausting to watch but I’m ready to do it again!

Do you know anyone that wants a new dining table, desk, coffee table, art piece? (check out our other wood slat projects here and here).

Check our Etsy shop here and we’ll make a custom size just for you!

If you like our artwork/furniture please use those little buttons below to SHARE on Pinterest or on your Facebook or Twitter pages. We’d appreciate it!




I’m making wooden art!

I’m making wooden art!

wooden arrow art


Here are a few pictures I snapped while making art this weekend.



wood arrow art 6

[Read more...]

5 DRAMATIC brick fireplace makeovers

5 DRAMATIC brick fireplace makeovers

5 DRAMATIC brick fireplace makeovers

I show a LOT of ugly houses. (Did I mention that I’m a real estate agent?! more about that here)

Almost every ugly house (and many perfectly nice houses) have dark, dingy, dirty brick fireplaces. My clients get a creepy feeling from the room. I totally understand…especially when the room has all wood paneling and no windows in sight.

Call me crazy, but you will usually find me following behind with a little twinkle in my eye because I have this crazy ability to see the AMAZING potential that most people are unable to imagine!

I’m blinded by sweat equity potential that a simple paint brush can achieve (and the proof is in the before and after pictures that you are about to see). [Read more...]

How to Whitewash Your Brick Fireplace

How to Whitewash Your Brick Fireplace

whitewash fireplace brick

Last week I posted some fireplace makeovers that may inspire you to throw (or rather brush) some paint over your fireplace bricks to give the room a nice CLEAN look.

And some of you are probably SCARED to do that. I know, I know, it’s a SIN to paint brick, right?!

Well, I love to break the rules! You should buy/do/have whatever makes YOU happy. But for those of you that aren’t ready to take that plunge, I offer up this more natural option:

WHITEWASH those bricks!

whitewash before and after

It’s not complicated. You just mix water and white paint (or I suppose you could do gray or tan, but would that still be called WHITEwash?! hmm…). Use whatever ratio you want depending on how transparent you want it to be. 3-4 parts water to 1 part paint would be a good place to start.

Then apply to your fireplace. Try rollers, brushes, rags…whatever works for you!

Here’s a great example of what I forced inspired my mom to do at her house:

Here it is BEFORE (cute room despite the dated fireplace brick, right?):

fireplace before whitewash

DURING: Whitewashing in process–

fireplace makeover

Time to take a step back and decide if you want to do another coat or make the mix thicker–

white washed fireplace

Whitewashing Complete…now we just need to help her cover those floor tiles with some nice concrete! (of course)

how to paint brick

I think it keeps the CHARM of the original brick but tones it down so it’s not an eye sore.

And here are a couple of other GREAT examples of white-washing. (I guess the secret is out that I didn’t invent the idea!):

What do you think? Would you dare touch your fireplace brick??

Know anyone that has been talking about fireplace updates? Please SHARE!

Fireplace and Living Room BEFORE & AFTER

Fireplace and Living Room BEFORE & AFTER


Our house:

Living Room & Fireplace Remodel.

Here are the BEFORE pics:

I know they are ugly BUT we loved the HUGE window, Large fireplace wall, recessed lighting and endless opportunity!

living room [Read more...]