...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Yesterday you caught a glimpse of what caught my eye on a recent antiquing adventure. Today I’m sharing what made it home with me. The bad news is I didn’t find what I was looking for. (More on that in a future post.) The good news is I did find a few things that didn’t break the bank.

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First up is a vintage wool blanket ($35) in a color palette that had me at hello. Immediately, I thought it would be a fun color burst at the foot of our bed during this cold, cold winter.

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The red-orange, deep coral and heathered brown color scheme ties in to other pieces in the room. Namely, the striped duvet, the embroidered pillow on the bed and the kilim pillow on the chair. It’s difficult to see in the pictures but there are thin mint / seafoam stripes in the blanket, too, that pick up on the wall color. The scraggly poms on the corners sealed the deal for me.

The blanket is HEAVY and warm. Steve asked why I bought a horse blanket. (He thinks he’s hilarious.) But guess who is pulling said horse blanket up over their down comforter when it’s, like, 0ºF at night and they’re shivering in the fetal position? Yeah, the funny guy.

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Stripes on stripes are a-okay in my book. Gimme all the stripes!

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Most likely, I will remove the wool blanket from our bed come summer when we don’t need extra layers to stay warm at night. But for now this brightly striped find is a welcome addition at the foot of our bed.

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There are more new old things in our bedroom, too. I’ve been on the hunt for a porcelain glove mold for a while. They always look so pretty draped with necklaces and bracelets. I came across a few glove molds at the Heart of Ohio Antique Center but couldn’t justify the $45-$80 price tags. Imagine how happy I was when I found one at the Springfield Antique Center for just $12! I politely asked for a cash discount and ended up scoring it for $10. Bam. Mine.

It needs a good Magic Eraser cleaning session and I’ve yet to untangle my necklaces and put them on display but that should be a quick and easy styling project one day when boredom strikes.

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The wooden spools came from the Springfield Antique Center as well. There was a booth full of them and I was drawn to all the different shapes, sizes and wood tones. At $1-$3 a pop, I thought they would make for some great inexpensive, kid-friendly tabletop decor. Seriously, my kids can’t hurt these. They’re cheap and they create a fun little vignette bunched up together. I feel a collecting habit coming on. Buddha heads and wooden spools are my jam?

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The Heart of Ohio Antique Center had bins upon bins of vintage hardware. Knobs, handles, hinges, door knockers, etc. You name it, they had it. From the minute we switched up the media cabinet, I’ve been wanting to dress it up with a pair of knobs or handles. I dug through dozens of knobs and was able to find a matching pair of mid century brass knobs ($1 each) that ended up being the perfect jewelry for the cabinet. They’re like little gold stud earrings! I love how they tie in to the gold task lamp and gold frame in this corner of our living room.

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The threading on them ended up being metric which threw us for a loop. But (I know I’ve mentioned this before) we could run a well-stocked hardware store from our garage. Wouldn’t you know Steve had metric screws on hand? Don’t ask.

The knobs show some patina and wear which I like. They give the new media cabinet some personality and life. Adding the knobs instantly upgraded the cabinet. Gotta love $2, 5-minute upgrades.

There you have it. The fruits of my cabin fever antiquing which rang in under $60 total. What have you been doing to curb cabin fever? (I’ve found chocolate no-bake cookies mighty comforting, too.)

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

12.06.13 / Cabinet Lighting

It’s snowing here today and when it snows it sorta makes our skylights nonexistent. From inside, all we see is snow-covered glass. I’m so happy we decided to put those four skylights in during renovation. We’ve grown accustomed to living with them and don’t realize how much natural light they let in until they’re buried in snow. Gloomy days like this also make me thankful that our electrician-in-law talked us into installing cabinet lighting.

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I’ve been meaning to post about the cabinet lighting for a while but keep forgetting. Thank goodness for dark and snowy weather to jostle my memory!

We hired our electrician-in-law to help us update the electrical in the house. I cannot stress enough how important his knowledge was to us. He made several suggestions about where to install new lighting and which type of lighting to use. For instance, in the hallway that leads to the bedrooms and bathrooms, our EIL recommended installing a few recessed can lights staggered along the ceiling so that they would wash areas of wall space. Genius! We totally would have lined the cans straight down the center of the hall.

Another idea our EIL had was to install quality over- and under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. We had overlooked cabinet lighting assuming lighting from other sources {skylights, pendants above the island, sconce above the sink, lamps in the living area, track lighting along the apex of the vaulted ceiling, etc.} in the open kitchen / living space would provide us with all the light we needed. But after the idea was mentioned, HH and I bit.

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Our EIL suggested a Kichler cabinet lighting kit. It’s a linear lighting system that houses 12V / 10W LED’s which put off warm white light. New electrical had to be run to supply the cabinet lighting. Our EIL handled that and to save money, HH installed the cabinet lighting system himself. The track is screwed into the cabinets, a cable snaps into the track and LED festoons snap on top of that. To disguise the track from the front, HH screwed slim white PVC trim from Home Depot along the tops and bottoms of the upper cabinets. The PVC matches our cabinets close enough so we didn’t have to paint it but you could if necessary.

The system was not cheap but considering how much we use it, it was a worthy investment. In the evenings and early mornings or on dreary days like today, we have the cabinet lighting on. It gets used on a daily basis and provides warm ambient light that beats rope lighting or fluorescent undermounts any day. {We’ve had both in previous houses.} HH and I both have a thing for good artificial lighting. A house can be as stylish as ever but if there isn’t enough lighting when it’s dark, or worse yet, when lighting is harsh or blue-ish, we both notice it and it’s bothersome. Spending money on good lighting goes along with #9 on Belinda’s list of things she learned while renovating her previous home.

“The amount you spend on a project should reflect how much you use it.”

I couldn’t agree more. If lighting isn’t your thing, then by all means put your money elsewhere.

We do have one complaint about the cabinet lighting. Every once in a while one or two bulbs won’t light when we flip the switch on. A gentle tap is all it takes to get it working so apparently there is a connection problem. It’s not a huge deal but when the bulb that is out is over the cabinets, then someone has to climb onto the counter to tap it. Plus, we paid good money for this system. HH recently contacted Kichler about the problem. They said the problem is known on their end and they are sending us complementary replacement LED’s to fix it. We’ll see…

UPDATE: Here are links for the lighting system and bulb / socket we have.

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It’s difficult to convey warm artificial light in a photograph but hopefully you get the idea. {Please forgive the blank desk area. It’s a work in progress!} I like that the cabinet lighting helps warm up the kitchen at night when we’re hanging out in the adjacent living room. By nature, kitchens have a lot of slick and shiny surfaces that make them feel cold and industrious in an open concept space. Anything we can do to warm ours up makes for a better atmosphere in the open living / kitchen space. Often times at night, we will utilize only the cabinet lighting and a few accent lights {floor lamp, task lamp} in the living area and forgo the track lighting along the ceiling and the pendants above the island. It makes for some very cozy mood lighting.

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We’re in for more snow this weekend so you can bet our cabinet lights will be on. Here’s to a warm and cozy weekend!

P.S. – Another lighting project suggested by our EIL.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Remember the secondhand media cabinet I bought back when we were in the throes of renovating? It was the perfect size for our needs but after living with it for a year and a half, it was clear that something lighter in color and design would work better.

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This little number fits the corner of our living room like a glove. I like that it’s white with solid doors and a leggy base. HH bought and installed this sensor back when we had the old cabinet because we were having problems with our universal remote not working properly. The sensor worked great then and now it allows us to control the media equipment through the solid doors of the new cabinet, too. It’s a crowd pleaser. I like that it lets us keep the ugly black boxes under wrap. HH is comforted by the fact that he can control the TV from any room in the house, including the bathroom. Men. The kids no longer become frustrated trying to point the remote just so. Everybody wins!

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This corner of the living room is pretty dark at night but Nate’s new task lamp does the trick. I’m trying out a few accessories – potted jade transplanted from an outdoor planter, books, a wood back massager and a black and white print. All things I had on hand. But you know me. I can’t guarantee the little vignette will stay this way for long.

Oh yes, little corner, I am going to have fun tweaking you whenever boredom strikes. Beware!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

01.15.13 / DIY Fauxdenza

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If you follow me on instagram @housetweaking you may have been witness to some behind-the-scenes footage of the photo shoot. Like the image above where HH is kindly staying up waaaaay past his regular bedtime to help me with a gallery wall. {More on the wall in another post.} You may also be wondering where in the world that floating credenza came from. As much as I would have liked it to, it didn’t just appear over night. HH built it after I sweetly suggested the idea whilst batting my eyelashes and ever so slightly bending over.

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Hehe. Not really. He was on board the minute I showed him my inspiration. So, yeah, I canNOT take credit for this idea. I stole it. Technically, I guess I tweaked it a little by using different stain and hardware. Thanks Chris & Julia! And thank you worldwide interwebs. My house wouldn’t know what to do without you.

For a brief and satirical DIY overview, see below. For a more thorough and less cray-cray tutorial, see Chris & Julia.

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DIY Fauxdenza

1 – Pick up three 24″W x 30″H AKURUM wall cabinets. Don’t forget the doors, hinges and soft-closing hinge dampers. The hinge dampers will rock your world. You will forget how to close regular doors and you will not like them. Also, pick up…

2 – …a coordinating suspension rail from IKEA. Actually, you have to ‘see an associate’ in the kitchen section for these items. Now you know. Then proceed, no, run to the checkouts. Do not even glance at those pillow covers. You have too many already. And forget about the as-is section. It’s all a bunch of crap. Cheap junk is still junk. Back at the ranch, build your cabinets and hang them via the rail system.

3 – Use Minwax’s special walnut to stain…

4 – …some furniture grade birch plywood that you: 1) have lying around in your woodworking shop {what are you? a lumberjack?} or 2) picked up at a home improvement store.

5 – Oh, but wait. Let’s back up. You’ve already cut-to-size and veneered your plywood using a self-adhesive veneer and iron. Go you. Then you sanded everything with a random orbital palm sander working from 180 to 220 grit. Then you conditioned the wood. THEN you stained the wood. Four times. Now seal as desired. {HH used a satin poly. Two coats. And sanded with steel wool in between coats.}

6 – Attach the finished top and sides using cabinet screws, screwed in from the inside of the cabinets. Finish it off with hardware of your choice.

Bam.

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Fauxdenza? Fo’ sho.’

My favorite part is sweeping under it without having to move anything.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking