My Favorite Painted Porch Floors in Blogland

By | Craft & Create | 2 Comments

I shared my newly striped front porch on the Angie’s List blog last week (did you see it?).


I wish I could claim credit to the idea, but the reality is, the painted (and patterned) porch floor has been an ‘ole parlor trick in the DIY blogosphere for a long time. Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a RSS feed that’s 100+ DIY blogs-deep, so yea, I guess I see a lot. And then copy it for myself. :)

There are some porch floor classics in here that I’ve loved for a long time, so let’s take a little walk down memory lane. The first striped painted porch I ever saw was in Spring 2009 a la Young House Love. Seven years later and the desire to recreate this striped dream is still alive and well, so that’s saying something!

My next favorite painted porch is another oldie, but goodie. While not stripes, I loved this green “rug” Nicole at Making it Lovely created on her front porch. Both projects were the same year… I think maybe they were even in the same challenge together? What’s funny is all the lime green. Was 2009 the year of lime green? I don’t know, but I like it. Lime green is such a good outdoor color.

OK, next on the list is this saucy little number from Julia at Cuckoo 4 Design. She did these black and white stripes very recently and OMG… the impact! Also, painting stripes on a textured concrete porch is not easy (hello, bleed!), but she used an awesome trick to ensure her lines stayed crisp.

Another favorite is this geometric painted porch floor by Jenny of Little Green Notebook. I imagine walking over the optical illusion after a few frozen margs is comical and also slightly terrifying. Ha!

And last, but certainly not least, is another painted rug, this time done by Laura for A Beautiful Mess. Ok, so technically not a porch, but so good, and look at those colors! If Lisa Frank had a patio floor, this would be it. And that is a good thing!

So there you have it. I’ve essentially downloaded my brain’s file on “painted floors.” Now I have a little more freed up brain space to file away other important things, like wallpaper and paint colors and lighting tutorials.

What’s your favorite painted floor? Show me what you go!



DIY Window Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

By | Craft & Create, Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 8 Comments

I’ve gotten pretty good at tackling house projects during nap time. The key is to pick the projects that need just an hour or so to complete, otherwise I feel frazzled when time is up because I know my evening to-do list just got longer. And this past weekend, this pelmet box project was exactly that. A big thanks goes to my friends at Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus for helping me get things done as fast as possible, because while I do have time to staple my heart out, there is no way ironing the finished product was going to happen for these photos.

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

I happened to stop in at Goodwill a few months ago and stumbled across this near-perfect window pelmet box. I was shocked. I haven’t found anything at Goodwill in ages. As far as the box goes, I had no idea if it was the right size for any of our windows, but it was $6 and 50% off and that alone was worth the risk.

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

Now obviously the fabric had to go, but I had a solution for that. I had picked up two of these shibori-style CB2 curtain panels from the Crate & Barrel outlet in Illinois and they had been sitting patiently in a drawer, waiting for their time to shine. I bought them super long–120″—which means I had a bit of extra fabric to play with. Essentially my plan was to use the curtain panels to both reupholster the pelmet box AND act as the actual curtains underneath.

To get started, I removed the old fabric finishing piece from the back of the pelmet box, but left the red fabric. 

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

The CB2 curtains are super sheer, so it wasn’t as easy as laying the new fabric over the red and stapling away. I needed an interim step to mask the red. Enter the canvas drop cloth. Drop cloths are a supply I always have on hand for projects. I use them for everything! They’re often just $11-$14 for several yards and very heavy duty. Count me in. 

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

I just used a standard staple gun (we have this one) and wrapped the box with drop cloth like a gift, adding several staples as I went. It took just a few minutes to do and it provides an instant solid color background so the new fabric can shine. 

Next came the exciting part. It was time to start stapling on the new fabric.

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

It became a little tricky—I had to be very careful about measuring to ensure I had enough for both the pelmet box AND for the curtains, which needed to reach the floor. In the end, I needed 20″ to cover the pelmet box and the remaining 100″ to act as curtains, which still left me a little wriggle room (about 4″) for hemming. It worked, but it was cutting it CLOSE! Here’s the back after adding the first curtain panel. Sooo close!

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

So let’s talk the two-curtain panel thing. Why two? Well, the width of the curtain is actually a lot shorter than the width of the box, but two panels made it possible to cover the full width. You can notice a little bit of a seam off to the right, but is relatively undetectable unless looking closely.

To finish off the back, I added some leftover fabric to each arm, just because the inside arms are a little more visible versus everything else. I didn’t want my guests to look up and see a whole jumble of staples and fabric. Here’s how the inside arm looked before:

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

Yeeesh, right? Here’s the after of the back. Again, I just used leftover pieces to make it look a little more finished. 

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

Here’s the newly re-upholstered box looking super fresh in its new home. I hung it by added D-rings to each arm and hung it like I would a picture frame using this method

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

Now for the finishing. At this point, I had just 15 minutes left of nap time to prep the space and take photos for this post. Both the curtains and bedding were crazy wrinkled, so I grabbed my trusty Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Time was of the essence!

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

The brand sent me these bottles, but honestly, I keep this stuff stocked anyways. I mean, I’ll do anything to get out of ironing. Ha! I use it all the time prepping a space for blog photos, but also for work in the morning. In this case, I needed these curtains to look nice and smooth for the photos.

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

Ahhhhh. And full disclosure, I also used Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus as a fabric refresher, considering these curtains sat on a stinky porch for a good hour as I was working. Oops. That also applies to stinky work clothes. Double oops.

Here’s how the room looks from the hallway and I’m absolutely loving all the blue and pattern on the wall now. Love simple projects like these that make such a big impact with low time and money investment. This project cost me about $35 total, which was mostly the purchase of the panels and pelmet box.

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

This sweet little boy joined me at the end, just as I was finishing up. He was inspecting my handiwork. (Gosh, isn’t he the sweetest thing?)

DIY Pelmet Box Using Goodwill Find

I loved all the time I saved on this project, finishing up right as naptime ended. Thank you Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus for making it easy on me!

What some time back in your day? Here’s a coupon download so you can grab some Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus of your own. And follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for lots of tips and tricks from the Downy crew. 



This post is sponsored by Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus but all opinions are 100% my own. 

Around the Haus – Vol. 2

By | Random | 3 Comments

I actually started this “Around the Haus” series 2 years ago and it amounted to a grand total of…. one post. Ha. But the premise is the same. There’s a bunch of random projects/stuff happening at the house, so I thought I’d lump it all together, along with a healthy dose of real life.

The Entryway

This project is on hold for a bit because the mirror I ordered is on backorder til late July. Boo. Hiss. The look I’m going for is the classic “giant round mirror with bench underneath” set-up.

Source via my Pinterest

We have the bench (remember this one?), but now I’ve just got to get the mirror here and hung. This will live in the spot the low bar cabinet is in currently (see below), which will move to the Stikwood wall.

This above set-up will move to the Stikwood wall…

And then I’ll have to paint that bar cabinet because wood on wood on wood is just not a great look. If you give a mouse a cookie…

Anyways, the shipping delay is a blessing in disguise because it’s forced me to move on… to the outdoors!

Front Porch

DIY Striped Front Porch

I’ve somehow convinced myself that the front porch needs a super makeover. We all spend a ton of time out here and the boys love playing in the yard. If you follow me on Snapchat (emilykmay1), you’ll see I’ve already gone crazy with the porch floor, which is content I’m creating for the Angie’s List blog. Also… I should mention that signing up for that content contributor gig is the best thing I ever did. Talk about adding some much-needed motivation to get. shit. done. You can’t make excuses when it’s your job! Relatedly, it is possible to paint a porch in the dark of night, in case you were wondering. *wipes forehead, chugs gin and tonic*

Outdoor Project #2 Meets Twin Life

We’ve been slow to start work on the backyard project (we are going to need the help of a deck company… know anyone?) because 1.) $ and 2.) $ and 3.) $. Some of our backyard money went to this much-needed purchase (sorry so blurry, it’s from my snap)…

FullSizeRender 2

That would be four convertible car seats. Two for my car. Two for Aaron’s car. I tried to think of so many ways around buying FOUR seats, but Aaron drops them off at school and I pick them up. There wasn’t a way around it that wasn’t a big pain in the butt. Aaron and I are both nervous about this change from infant seat to convertible seat mainly because infant seats made twin transportation so easy. For example, for a single person to get two babies into school by himself/myself, we would remove the infant seats, snap them into the greatest twin carseat stroller in all the land, and wheel them into school all happy and carefree. Now, with the convertible seats, we have to figure out how to hold one baby while unbuckling and picking up another baby, grabbing backpacks, scanning our key fob, etc. Aaron’s car is especially an issue because his back seats are so deep, making kids really hard to reach. It’s just going to be a big change in our routine, and as you moms out there know, routine is EVERYTHING, especially with two kids. It will get better when the boys are 100% walking, but we aren’t quite there just yet.

In case you were wondering, we bought 2 Graco 4Evers (for Aaron’s car) and 2 Diono Radian RXTs (for my car). I’m afraid to tell you how much time I spent researching. Information overload, to say the least.

So Much Design Work

I’ve always done design work for people in the past but there must be something in the air, because my nights and weekends are FULL with design work. It’s actually been really fun, but stressful in a “Why did I agree to this!? But thank goodness I did! This is my thing!” kind of way. I’m at capacity now (many of them are ongoing) until late Summer, but it’s always fun to create and shop for others. Here’s part of one I just did for my sister’s home office.


I’m constantly tweaking my process and I’ve learned a lot of good things along the way. It’s more than just “this looks pretty together.” It’s “this looks pretty together” and “this scale is right” and “this will fit there with 1 inch to spare” and “if you add this, you’ll have a 20-inch walkway” kind of thing. I use a SketchUp-based program for all the floor planning. I’d love to learn AutoCAD but I’m not there yet. It’s all good, but intense.

Anyways, that’s what’s been going on in my project world. Now you’re all updated. :)