Category Archives: Home Decor Projects

I hate to pay ridiculous amounts of money for artwork, so I like to make my own. Custom artwork makes your space more personal, and you will appreciate the piece more than any store bought, overpriced item.

It’s Time For Another Vintage Suitcase Project!

A few days ago a friend and I were at a local thrift shop when she spotted a vintage suitcase for me. I took one look and fell in love. It’s not intricate or beautiful in the same way that my last one was, but it is unique. It looks like it may be from the late 40s to the mid-50s. It is most likely of German origin. I purchased it, not having any clue as to what I was going to do with it.



Yesterday, as I was contemplating what to do with my “new” suitcase, I remembered a post I recently saw on Leah’s Confession Closet. She posted a picture of her Ikea Vanity table, which lit my creative imagination.  Then I did what any normal Diyer does–I went to Pinterest. It’s not that I need a tutorial or further inspiration, but I do love to look at what others have done so that I can improve upon my own ideas. I also wanted to see what kind of legs would look best.

Here are a few of the Vintage Suitcase Vanity Tables that I came across on Pinterest.

The first two are from Mrs. Hyde’s on Etsy. Click on the pictures to visit her shop.

suitcase vanity table insp
From Mrs. Hydes

I just love the long tapered legs on this vanity table.

suitcase table 2

I love the idea of turning a smaller suitcase into a table top or dresser top vanity. Her work on this one is beyond me. I love the fabric that she chose.

This one is from Optimize Design. I found the picture on Houzz.

I love the vanity lights, but I don’t think that they will look right when the vanity is closed.

I really can’t wait to get started on this project. I will have to contemplate the leg style. I would love to use hairpin legs, but they are quite expensive. I do think it would look good with angled tapered legs though. In the mean time, I have to finish the other projects that I already started.

Progress Report

I had a nasty respiratory infection last week, so I did not get much done. But I did manage to drag myself to Ikea this last Saturday to purchase a few items. Mostly I shopped for my son’s bedroom. We bought his Malm bed. Here’s just a ew pics of what I accomplished this week.

I put together 3 Billy Bookcases in the office. Two of them are the 40 cm by 202 Cm and the one in the closet is 80 cm by 106 cm. I did manage to do a lot of organizing in the office, so I’m quite pleased. I also put the new cover on the Beddinge Lovas futon.

One of the Billy Bookcases
One of the Billy Bookcases

Liberty Belle loves the pile of pillows!

Liberty tests out the new Beddinge Lovas Cover
Liberty tests out the new Beddinge Lovas Cover

We did manage to put together the Malm bed and mount his lamps today (Sunday), but it was late and I did not get a picture.

I printed out a few pictures from our Berlin Trip and put them into the Nyttja frames.

Pictures from Our Berlin Trip
Pictures from Our Berlin Trip

I put Thomas’ art print into the large Ribba frame. This was one of his B-day gifts from us. Since Thomas has taken to calling my husband “Salty” whenever he is in a bad mood, we thought this was appropriate.

Salty Tolerance
Salty Tolerance

These are Ikea prints that my son absolutely loves. He bought the phone print several years ago with his own money.

Ikea Art
Ikea Art

I’ve done a bit more around the Living Room and in the pantry as well, but since I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t take pictures. I should have a blog posts for the Living room and office soon.  Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Project Progress

Saturday was a very busy day for my daughter and me.  We went to the Nurnberg/Furth Ikea to pick up the majority of the items on my Ikea Project Mood boards.

Mostly Ikea Living Room
Mostly Ikea Living Room

From the Living Room Mood board, I purchased two Ektorp love seats, the Hemnes TV Console, 2 narrow Billy Bookcases (and doors), and the Hemnes side table.  The design has changed a little from this original mood board. and I can’t wait to show you the finished room!

Ikea Office Design
Ikea Office Design

For the office I picked up the two Billy Bookcases, a new cover for the Beddinge Lovas Futon, and the remaining part of my desk.

We also picked up some legs for a dining room table and bunch of small miscellaneous items that we either needed or wanted. We also picked up dinner in the Ikea grocery section–meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy mix, and lingonberry sauce.

This was our haul.

Ikea Shopping Trip. Does not include the Ektorp Boxes
Ikea Shopping Trip. Does not include the Ektorp Boxes
Loaded by me and my daughter.
Loaded by me and my daughter.

When we got home, my husband and I assembled the Ektorp love seats.  After he went to bed, my daughter and I assembled the Hemnes TV console–not easy! Sunday I worked on the bookcases and the room arrangement. It’s not perfect, but we have an odd and small space, so we made it work as best we could.


THis next picture is all of the parts for the Hemnes TV console. My daughter came up with the idea, and it made the assembly SO much easier!

Hemnes TV console Parts
Hemnes TV console Parts


Maggie certainly likes the sofa. We need to re-train her.

Black dog, White Sofa--Oops.
Black dog, White Sofa–Oops.

This is what we’ve  done so far…just a sneak peek.


More to come soon!

Designing for a Teen Boy

When I ask my son, “how do you want your new room to look?” his reply is, “Meh, I don’t care.”

And yet, twice now he has shown me concept rooms and artwork at Ikea that he likes.  Decorating for this boy has been a challenge because he has so many interests. He loves WWII history, Science, Comics, some new weird music that I don’t get, and Formula One racing.

It doesn’t all fit together, and he seems to prefer an industrial/modern style with bright (mostly) primary colors.

So, I took his lead by creating a design using his favorite piece of art that he purchased with his own money from Ikea about 2 years ago.

IMG_20140604_100231 (1)

From this one item (and a similar print from Ikea that he likes) I came up with this room design:


The Items

1.  Inspiration Art work from Ikea.  The telephone picture is no longer available, but the Solmyra (I call it Shhh) is sold at most Ikea stores.

2.  Task Lighting. The rooms here are DARK! The ceiling lights do little more than cast a dull glow.  My son loves to read in bed, so I will mount two of these Kvart wall lights above each night stand.

3. Malm Bed. Though the photo shows the white twin bed, it is also available in gray–which is what we will buy (eventually). Malm beds come with either a high or low headboard.  We want the higher headboard so that he can lean against it comfortably.

4 and 5. Malm dresser and night stand.  Ikea has several styles of dressers available in the Malm series, but my son only needs a small one.

6.  Micke Desk.  We love the Micke series! They are durable, yet cheap inexpensive. It’s the perfect desk for a small room.  He will be getting his first computer in September, so this is a must have item.

7.  Ikea PS magnet board. This is another must-have…simply because he requested it. This PS magnet board is an inexpensive way to display pictures, memos, or doodle ideas.

8.  Snille desk chair.  These Snille chairs are very affordable, and surprisingly comfortable.  They come in several colors including  basic black or white.

9.  PS Vago chair.  My son absolutely LOVES this Vago chair.  He said that all it needs is a comfy pillow and he could sit in it for hours.  I had trouble removing him from this chair on the showroom floor and felt kinda bad that I didn’t buy it immediately. Besides, doesn’t every teen boy need a “lounge” chair of his own? The chair comes in red, blue, yellow, black, and white.

Other Items

Some other items that I want to add are a picture rail, colorful frames, and the Bygel rail series.

pizap.com14018777917281bygel series


I’d like to throw in one or two of these, but that might be pushing it a bit…

LichtensteinLichtenstein Pillow Cover

On the plus side, my son hasn’t said “no” to any of my design ideas, on the down side–he hasn’t seen my design ideas.

Crossing my fingers & toes that he likes it! And I hope you liked it too!


Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home: The Coffee (and tea) Station!

As promised, here is the long-awaited article on my Coffee Station!

Welcome to the second post in the series: Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home! As noted in the series introduction and the first posting of this series, I am a coffee fanatic and am lucky to have the perfect area for a Coffee Station. Here is my first general draft drawn up on my Galaxy Note.

2014-02-20 17.49.45

As much as I would love to hide or move the water cooler, it must stay for two reasons: 1) There is nowhere else to move it that makes sense. 2) We use this water for making coffee and tea and for hydration.  I am looking into some creative ways to at least “hide” the ugliness.  You can read more about my ideas for the water cooler here.

Notice that my Idea drawing said “Wallpaper?” WELL…I couldn’t find any of that removable wall paper that was either cheap affordable or in my style.  I am seriously trying to avoid painting, but after taking over 60 photos of this area, I realize that it NEEDS more panache. Therefore, I will consider this space almost finished.

Organizing the Coffee Station:

I used Ikea’s Grundtal Kitchen shelving system instead of a separate shelf and hook system because it offers more versatility.

Grundtal Wall Shelf




The hooks are Fintorp hooks. I used these because they will not come off without unscrewing the Grundtal rails and the hooks have a sort of knob at the tip–which prevents the cups from falling off easily.

Fintorp Hook
Fintorp Hook


Grundtal Also has great storage add-ons for the shelf system

Grundtal Hanging Containers
Grundtal Hanging Containers


One of the things I love most about this area is the storage!

Here is the Coffee Station Cabinet–I hope it stays this organized!

Top Shelf in the Cabinet



Bottom Shelf
Bottom Shelf


Loving the Organization
Loving the Organization

I purchased these Krus storage containers at Ikea as well, but they are only available (as far as I can tell) at the Ikeas in Europe. They feature removable dividers and come in 3 sizes.  As you know from my Family Command Center post, I LOVE organization!

Which brings me back to my Grundtal storage containers–which by the way feature an airtight seal…

Coffee Beans & Tea
Coffee Beans & Tea


Adding Style:

These lovely airtight containers store our loose leaf teas.

Pretty Storage for Loose Leaf Tea
Pretty Storage for Loose Leaf Tea


And these lovely ladies are for brewing that perfect pot of tea.

Blue Ceramic and Brown Betty Tea Pots
Blue Ceramic and Brown Betty Tea Pots


It took me a few days to figure out where to put the sweeteners for tea and the coffee filters…but then I remembered that I had this cute little basket in my bedroom.

Storage Basket
Storage Basket


It was important that the cups we use every day were readily accessible–Hence the hook system.

Hooked on Coffee
Hooked on Coffee

Yup, those are Ikea cups…50 Cent Euro each 🙂

Magical Machines:

And now for the magical machinery that makes my addiction possible.

The Magical Machines
The Magical Machines


Because the only outlet in this area is a 220, we had to buy a new coffee machine, water boiler, and coffee grinder.  I prefer a mill, but can’t spend the 89 Euro just now. So, the tiny  grinder that you see peeking behind the coffee maker is our temporary solution.

I LOVE this coffee maker! If you a photographic memory, you noticed that the coffee maker in the first photo of this post was black and red. So what happened? A teenage boy, a ball, and a dog. Yup. The boy somehow managed to shove my coffee maker off of the counter and it slammed against the Command Center wall. After that…it didn’t work. So, we bought this one. And the bonus is that we now have two carafes! For some unknown reason the carafe was not inside the coffee maker when the boy had his little spaz moment.

So there you have it, my Coffee (& tea) Station! Simple, practical, and down right awesome*!

*Not tooting my horn–I am just so excited to have this in my kitchen!

 Coffee Station Reveal



Coffee and Tea Station Main


Cost Analysis

cost analysis

Now come on over and enjoy a hot cup of java or a lovely pot of tea with me in my little sitting room.

The sitting room will be next week’s project 😉