Wood You Be My Neighbor? DIY Modern Privacy Wall

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In the back of my mind I’ve been searching for a way to create some privacy between our back patio and our neighbors kitchen window since we moved into this house 4 years ago. I figured any solution would cost us an arm and a leg, and didn’t seriously look into it until about a month ago.

The only thing dividing the barely 25ft distance between our house and neighbors was the fence. Visually, there was no detatch. Don’t get me wrong, we love our neighbors, but we feel privacy doesn’t have to be a favorite pastime! And this is very much needed when it’s possible to see the spinach in their teeth while they’re eating dinner.

Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.

What isn’t an exaggeration is how well we can hear amazing piano playing coming from their house when they practice. True story.

Searching (you guessed it) Pinterest, I found this beautiful gem.
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via The Brick House

Holy smokes! How gorgeous is that privacy wall. I’m totally digging the modern/art deco feel of the exterior. It’s so crisp and clean lined, but that wall warms it all up. A total exterior focal wall!

Me likey.

It didn’t take too much sweet talking to convince my husband either. :)

We decided to paint ours. We LOVE the natural wood look, but for our house, which is brick and painted siding, we felt it needed to be painted as to not detract or conflict with the brick. But it may have looked nice either way!

I knew we could accomplish this and spend very little money doing it.

First, we did a price check on some things at Lowes to make sure we could swing it this month. Finding the 1x3x8’s we wanted to use at only $1.26 a piece, that sealed the deal.

Hello impromptu weekend project!

Let’s view this lovely “before” shot.
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Welcome to our sad patio.

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IMG_3667[2]2 It’s very neglected, rarely used, and embarrassing. It’s a virtual frying pan in the heat of the Texas summer. No shade by trees. No protection at all from the heat. The sun sets to the west, which is this side of the house, so in later afternoon it gets roasty-toasty from the sun. It really warms up the main living area of the house too. No thank you!

Not only was the sun a big issue, there was also this little thing…
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Oh, hello!

I like my neighbors as much as the next person. We’ve made some pretty awesome friends! But in an attempt to make our “little box” fit our lifestyle, this privacy wall falls very much under the “need” category. The closeness of our houses is so tight that if we both stand outside on our own respective patios, it’s very awkward to try and continue doing your own thing, without feeling like you have to say hi every time. Welcome to the suburbs.

<<< >>>

We cruised to Lowe’s, and grabbed up 4 contractor packs of 1x3x8’s (6 in a pack), and had them cut down to 81.5 inches. IMG_3678[2]

We started above the molding at the base of the pillar, made sure it was level, and nailed both sides into place. Then from there we used a 2×4 to keep the spacing equal. It was really smooth sailing! Without stopping, it took under an hour to hang all the boards. That’s including going back and putting in second nails, counter sinking them, and changing out a few boards that had flaws.

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Luckily we didn’t have to worry about attaching the boards to brick since this nice trim piece was there. It lined up perfectly parallel with the outside of the pillar.

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Can’t you feel that shade relief already?

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Done! Now I just have to paint!

Since it was getting dark, I left the painting for the next day.
It is no joke when I tell you those little boards made a HUGE difference the next day as the sun beat down on the house all afternoon. I was able to leave that window shade and the door blind open all day. The kitchenette corner of the house wasn’t 10 degrees warmer, nor was it radiating heat if you happened to walk by it. AND the porch was a little cooler. I’d say it’s a complete WIN.

I bought Valspar outdoor satin paint in Garden Stone. Which is also my guest bathroom color. Apparently that color is no longer in their system, but thanks to a little number on my old can, they were able to mix it up manually! IMG_3714[2]

It’s a nice soft gray color. Nothing too flashy, and will blend nice with the rest of the house. I will be using the leftover paint to paint my front porch pillars too!

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We used 20 boards at $1.26 a piece which is $25.20. The paint was around $30 for a gallon which will be used around the exterior in other places(front pillars, front entry way walls, back patio door(?)…). I only used about 1/5th of the can on the privacy wall. So $6 worth of paint, brings my total to $31.20.

Here’s a quick before and after shot of my patio chairs. IMG_3733[2]
We bought these two chairs with a matching table, a 3 piece set, as a floor model from Lowe’s last year. They came with these striped cushions… sat on by many, faded by the sun, and ugly as the day is long. They had to go. I’m ashamed to say it’s taken this long to replace the cushions. I got 2 new ones for $13 a pop at Home Depot! Not too bad! Then I added these colorful yellow chevron outdoor pillows I found on Amazon.

And of course you need accessories…
IMG_3798[2] Pillows are from here, and the lanterns, here and here. I got the fish from Michaels last fall on super clearance for $6! The candles are from a friends wedding, and the round placemat was from the holiday decor at Bed Bath & Beyond.

IMG_3772[2] Here she is in all her glory!

Private, shaded and cool(er).

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Now, to add some more accessories.

More plans for our little outdoor space:

  • New light fixture(maybe remove existing and install a ceiling fan?)
  • Hang an outdoor decorative thermostat on that bare wall
  • Maybe hang some little bud vases above the table
  • Paint the door (Gray? Yellow?)
  • Paint all the trim white (as well as the rest of the house)
  • Build a planter from leftover wood and plant ivy to climb the privacy wall.
  • Install a sun shade for more relief from the sun
  • Landscaping around the patio

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This awesome rug we bought on sale last summer. It is made out of recycled bottles, and cost only $30 for a 4×6! You can get it here, although it isn’t on sale anymore. From afar, it looks like it has so many colors, but the weaving is only blue, green, red and yellow. It reminds me of spot printing, where CMYK spots are printed so close together it gives the appearance of a different color. Such a trick for the eye, its amazing!

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What neighbors? I need to get some vines started to really fill in this wall.

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One step closer to an outdoor oasis in the middle of a Texas heatwave!

One more before.. IMG_3667[2]2

 

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After

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Guest Room Do Over (what what!) & DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

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Firstly, so terribly sorry to anyone who reads my blog, I’ve been absent for quite some time. Family emergencies are never expected and I was gone for a good 4 months since around Christmas time. But all is well again. I’m just now getting back into the swing of things at home in Texas.

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I’ve been having some fun with decorating again. Moving accessories around, playing a process of elimination with ideas that I have, and then changing it around again after I stare at it for a week. Takes me a few tries before I get it right!

No one said I knew what I was doing!

The Home & Garden channel helps too :)

So we’re getting ready for some guests!
And, in thinking about what I like and want in a guest room… being a guest in someones home, the first thing I hope for is comfort. An inviting space you can be comfortable in, and a bed you can sleep well in away from home. If you’re a couple visiting someone, you most likely appreciate sleeping in the same bed. Well that wasn’t an option at my house. A nice big couch and a day bed with a trundle was what was in my guest room. And the mattresses weren’t comfortable at all.

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Here is the room after it’s first time I had to throw together a guest room. This was way better than a storage room with no floor space, and white walls. :) That little sewing table is now out in my living room.

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photo-12[2] Working with things I already had in the house, it really wasn’t horrible. But I eventually got sick of it because it really wasn’t what I wanted, and now that we have guests coming soon(we don’t get many of those!), I decided now was the perfect time to switch it up!

So, I sold the daybed and couch on Craigslist. $400.00 for both, which means I had that to spend :) They both sold within one day of posting! That was really helpful in getting this room on it’s way to being done on time.

I’m always selling things on Craigslist. You might look around and wouldn’t think you have anything to sell until you start asking yourself, when was the last time I used this? Or, am I going to really miss that? That has really helped me get as far as I have with my home decorating. I usually end up selling something in the house first, so I can make room and get the money I need to get what I really want. When we first moved in, we needed a kitchenette table, so we sold Pete’s Grandma’s outdated dining room set on Craigslist. A few days later, we bought a very cute, antique pub style kitchenette table for the same amount we sold the his Grandma’s table for. An even trade, and we got something we would use. We went out and purchased a dining room table we both liked a few months down the road. Moral of the story, sell the things you dont need, for the things you do! I didn’t need a couch in my guest room taking up space and never being used. So I sold it, and the daybed to make the guest room of my dreams… or the dreams of whoever sleeps there.

Provided we share the same style.

And love of burlap.

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After those big items were gone,
the room looked like this…

IMG_3350[2] About a month ago we got a new dresser from Ikea on the cheap-izzy, so we put our old one in here. It really is quite a small room which is why I can’t get a wider angled shot. 11’2″ X 9’11”, just barely enough room for furniture, let alone walking space. It’s definitely a challenge for me.

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AHHHHHHH MESS! It cannot stay like this, thank you.

So I took down the wall decor, and moved everything to the middle of the room.

Then I painted. $0.00 spent.

I mixed together 3 different colors I had left over from other parts of the house, and came up with this soft, warm gray color. I hate paint going to waste. And I’m cheap. I also have a very large cabinet in the garage filled with leftover paint and wouldn’t have been able to fit one more paint can in there.

I may need to go to paint can counseling. No one needs 13 cans of different colored house paint.

A girl needs options I guess.

So anyways, turns out a coffee can works great for mixing paints together. I was able to do the whole room with one coffee can full of paint.
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A person can do a lot of thinking while painting.

So sleeping arrangements were in the back of my mind the whole time. We had a queen bed in this room once before but my husband was dead set on getting rid of it because he didn’t think it fit. So we got rid of it.

Men.

We really couldn’t make it fit the last time. I also was against putting it in front of the window then. My style has changed quite a bit since… I’ve become a little more enlightened on what you can get away with. Well guess what. I wanted that queen bed back so I could stick it in front of the window. BAM!

So I hit Craigslist. I lucked out and found a very clean, nearly new queen sized bed and boxspring. The owner had purchased it 2 years before for $2,200, and was selling for $450.00.

Heck no, I didn’t pay that! Crazy crazy.

They needed to get rid of the bed by May 29th because they were moving. I emailed and said if they didn’t get rid of it for the price they were asking by moving day, I would take it off their hands for $200.00. They agreed, and sure enough, the bed is now ours!

I gotta say. I’m certainly impressed with how nice of a mattress it is. Comparable on the comfort scale to our sleep number. Which is a tough act to follow.

Obviously buying a secondhand mattress from someone you don’t know can be sketchy, especially on Craigslist. But they lived in a rich area of Austin, and the owners appearance and apartment was very clean, so I wasn’t too concerned. Gotta do some profiling when it comes to this stuff. :)

I washed the mattress cover with bleach on the sanitize setting, and sprayed the bed with lysol.

Done, and done.

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This photo was taken after I gave the lamp a makeover, here, and painted the cute little end table, here.

The lamp makeover was $0.00. I had the jute rope, and the lamp already. The lamp was bought at Walmart last year for ten bucks.

The endtable, with the cute wood cutouts, was on Craigslist listed at $28, and I got it down to $22.00.

A metal bed frame didn’t come with the bed, so we had to find one. We lucked out, and found one at a garage sale and got it for $10.00! Everyone else on Craigslist was selling them for $25 and up.

The total up to now:
$400.00
-200.00
–  22.00
–  10.00
———-
= $168.00 remaining!

NOW, on to my most exciting project for this room!
The HEADBOARD!!

It’s amazing, and a total beaut.
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Here’s the story,
of a burlap fabric,
that was waiting for just the right spot…

But really, how gorgeous is it!

5 items are needed for this project.

  • 1. Plywood. For a queen bed, cut down at Home Depot/Lowes to 62″x35″, and two legs cut out of the scraps. $20.
  • 2. Twin mattress pad, $13 from Target.
  • 3. Fabric of your choice. My gray burlap fabric that I had was $7 a yard, and I used about 2 yards.
  • 4. Upholstery nails. I used extra long silver ones. $1.30 for 20 at Home Depot. I used about two packages because they kept bending when I would try pound them in.
  • 5. A staple gun and staples.

Total spent: $35.00

$168 – $35 = $133 left!

IMG_3400[2] Lay everything out like this.
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Staple down the pad first. Don’t worry if it looks like it wont fit. They have a little stretch to them, and will wrap perfectly around the sides, just pull tight!
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Then staple the fabric. I didn’t use batting like I maybe should have, but it really wasn’t missed.
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Once you’re done stapling, flip it over and find the center of the headboard. That’s where you will nail in your first upholstery nail.
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I marked the first one with tape and a sharpie, then nailed it in. Now work out from there.
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From the center nail, I measured the middle point between the first nail and the edge, but just on the short side of the headboard. Do not do this for the long ways, because they will be staggered, and that will screw up your pattern. To work out from this point, I measured the center points between each nail and the nail to the edge. In this case it was half of 8.75″, so 4.325″ roughly. From those center points, I measured out either side 8.75 inches, and that’s where I tacked in my upholstery nails. Maybe this illustration will clarify what I mean.
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Keep with that measuring system until your finished!

Your measurements might be totally different than mine as far as where you place your upholstery nails. This is just what I liked visually. I didn’t just pick a distance between nails out of thin air obviously, that’s what I kept finding the center, and it worked out.

Because I had burlap, I was able to poke the nails through the weaving which made it easier to line them up before I nailed them into the wood permanently.
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Continue on your merry way until you have this…
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TA DA!

Now, at this point, I grabbed my hubby and had him help me put the legs on. We made it so the legs fit into the metal bed frame, so we can bolt it to the frame itself. IMG_3424[2]

IMG_3436[2] It’s so rich looking! I’m in love with a headboard and I’m not afraid to say it!
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Now, to get my bedding I ordered from Target. Waiting very impatiently on it!

Anxious to take final pictures :)

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*One small update already! June 4th
Snagged this chair off Craigslist on the cheap! It’s probably the biggest splurge besides the bed. It was posted for $50, and I got him down to $40. It’s so cozy and cute. Don’t you just want to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee?
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It’s the perfect size for the small corner.

From before, we had $133.00 left over to spend. Minus $40.00, leaves me with $93.00!

Stay tuned for an update to this post with final room pictures!
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FINISHED GUEST ROOM PHOTO UPDATE & GRAND TOTAL SPENT! June 10th

It took longer than expected, but my bedding finally arrived! No sooner did the boxes hit the front step, they were whipped inside, unpacked, and in the washing machine. I was antsy waiting for those few loads to get done so I could fit everything together in its place. It was already set in my head, but seeing the finished product was going to be the icing on the cake.

By the way, this room makes for very good naps. We’ve tested it :)

First lets start with the Grand Total!
Starting with a $400.00 credit from items sold on Craigslist…

$400.00 Credit
-200.00 Mattress & Box Spring
–  22.00 End Table
–  10.00 Bed Frame
–    0.00 Paint
–    0.00 Lamp
–    0.00 Accessories & Wall Art
–  35.00 Headboard
–  40.00 Chair & Ottoman
-129.00 Bedding (Sheet set, down comforter, 2 sets pillow cases, king pillow, and skirt)
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= $36.00 out of pocket!

Now if that doesn’t say “SCORE!”, I don’t know what does.

On to the photos.

Here is a quick collage I threw together since I couldn’t get the whole room in one shot.
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Click to see larger.

IMG_3522[2] I liked the eclectic feel and asymmetrical look of the mismatched side tables/lamps. I felt it was okay because the square black framed print on the left, balanced out the square black floor lamp on the right. It also could be looked at from a gender point of view.. more masculine on the right, more feminine on the left. Either way, it’s asymmetrically balanced. And that seems to be more pleasing to my eye than something so perfect, it’s one half is a mirrored image of it’s other half. I also need to accessorize that floor lamp a little.

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At the other end of the room we have the little chair. The quilt I have on the bed really pulls together the room with the accessories I already had. The print on the wall pulls from the quilt. Do you see the connection between the pillow and the quilt? The smallest similarity like their right angle design is all you need to have them go together. And it works!

IMG_3512[2] This watercolor, Pete’s mom painted for us as our wedding present, and I’ve always loved it! It’s been in our guest room since we’ve gotten it, but now I feel it’s really set off by the rest of the room. It’s more showcased, instead of hidden in a room that had a lot of distractions which is what it felt like before. 

IMG_3506[2] And of course, a little pull of color on the little end table with some framed art and a little greenery.

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I
‘ve learned over time that it is very much okay to mix patterns. I also learned, you need a solid neutral to mute it and to break up the patterns so it doesn’t become a busy mess. Which is why I chose to do gray stripe pillow cases, the simple patterned pillow cases that came with the sheet set, and a pair of crisp white pillow cases. You still get the great look of the patterns, but the white pillow cases and white comforter is a break for the eye.. gives you a chance to relax before looking on to the next piece of eye candy. Make sense?

IMG_3560[2] On to the other side of the room! My plans for this dresser are eventually changing out the knobs. As you can see one is missing. Maybe some glass knobs, or even a pop of color! As for the mirror collage, I was debating on spreading out the smaller mirrors to other parts of the room, but putting them together makes the room feel less cluttered, and I love how the collage makes it feel like one big mirror.

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IMG_3581[2] I may re-accessorize the dresser, but this will work for now!

Once more with the before shot..
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After
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guest room

The best $36 bucks I’ve ever spent!

 

Lamp Lamp Revamp

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Fo fanna fanna fo famp.

 

So there’s this lamp.

It has a really nice bod.

It’s totally up my alley.

But, I’m so over the blue.

*sad face* Sorry Lamp.

IMG_3374[2] As you can see, my idea was to wrap this jute rope around the whole lamp base.

I was inspired by this adorable lamp from Target. Mine is just a heck of a lot cheaper!
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I whipped out my hot glue, and got down to business.
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The process was tedious at first because it had to be glued the whole way around the very bottom to keep everything in place. But there were areas I could just wrap and wrap and wrap without much glue and it was just fine!

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I love the texture it adds! Pottery Barn-esc

IMG_3390[2] So cute, and much better than the blue color.

That’s all she wrote! Super easy. You can get different colors of jute rope online. JoAnn Fabrics has a big roll of it for $7, which is what I bought. I only used half a roll for this whole lamp!

Cheap, and rich looking!

Update A Craigslist End Table

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This little gem, I found on Craigslist.

This is the photo from the ad, which gives a better idea of what the color was when I got it. Not terrible, but the black painted cut-out was very sloppy.

I knew I wanted to paint it from the start, but I had to get it first!

She had listed it at $28(cheap already!), I offered her $20, and she countered with $22.  Well I wasn’t going to let two bucks stand in my way of this cute thing, so I went and got it. I’m all about low balling when it comes to buying on Craigslist. And it’s paid off in the past! If you find an item you want, low ball the owner and find their rock bottom price. You never know until you ask!

Literally started painting it the second I got home.

I was way too excited.

About an end table.

But stay tuned, it gets weirder… I’ll confess my love for a headboard soon enough.

I found a light color I already had, and went at it.
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You can see I was so excited I started painting the top before I took a “before” picture. So let’s just call this a “progress” picture.

Had to get rid of that messy black, so I just covered the whole thing.
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I definitely wanted to paint the cut out, so I rummaged through my craft paint and found a light gray chalkboard paint, and a metallic gold.

Did a few coats of the gray paint, and then put a quick coat of the shimmery gold on top.
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You can kind of see the shimmer in this pic.

It turned out just how I wanted, and will compliment the scheme I’m going with for the room.
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IMG_3389[2]2 The architectural detail is my favorite. Adds that little extra bit of character. And those clean lines on the end table, paired with the rustic lamp… they’re total opposites, but look so good together!

Now I’m off to find some accessories to add a bit of “pop” to the room!

Check out the rest of the finished guest room makeover, and the DIY lamp update here!