DIY Paver Planter

Recently I announced my partnership with The Home Depot for the 2015 Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops Program. Today, I'm sharing the first DIH project I will be demonstrating live at 6:30pm this Thursday at The Home Depot in Orion Township Michigan Click Here To Register.  During this free workshop Home Depot professionals will show you the steps required to make a Planter Box out of simple materials using easy to operate power tools. I will be there to co-host, share ideas on how to put your own twist on the project and show off my version of the Paver Planter. (If you are not local, no worries. You can attend your local Home Depot workshop instead).

Here is a sneak peek of my customized version of the DIH Paver Planter…

To make my planter I followed The Home Depot's Paver Planter instructions, but I made a few tweaks to customize the look.

Before I show you how I made my version, let me introduce you to The Home Depot's version and show you how to make it…

Tools you will need:
A circular saw
A power drill and bits
A caulking gun
Utility knife
Sand paper block
A paintbrush 
Two 48"Bungee cords
Tape measure
Safety goggles

Materials you will need:
Four 12x12 pavers, any color
Two 8ft 2x2s
A bag of moisture control soil
A small roll of landscape fabric
A box of 3" exterior screws
Stain and polyurethane
Construction adhesive

Start by putting on your safety goggles and cutting the 2x2s into four pieces of 16" and eight pieces of 12". Using a sheet of fine grit sand paper sand each piece until it is nice and smooth. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove sanding dust. Apply your stain and polyurethane finish according to the instructions on the product and allow it to dry.

Next, pre-drill and countersink the 2x2 pieces together with the 16" pieces forming the legs and the 12" pieces forming the support between the legs. Apply construction adhesive and then screw in the 12" support pieces in so that they sit at 12" down the legs. This will allow for the top of the pavers and the top of the legs to sit flush around the entire top. Then, grab your remaining four 12" 2x2"s, pre-drill, apply some  glue, space them evenly across the bottom and screw them into the frame. Place a thick bead of adhesive along the inside edges of the frame. Gently place each paver into place from the front to direct any adhesive seepage to the inside of the planter.

 Once the pavers are all in place, wrap your bungee cords tightly around the planter. Allow at least 12 hours for the glue to set and form a strong bond before removing your bungee cords. Now your ready for some planting! Line the planter with landscape fabric, add planting soil and arrange plants or flowers however your heart desires. 

Now that you know how to make The Home Depot  DIH Paver Planter, I'd like to show you what I did to put my own twist on the project…

1. Instead of staining the 2x2 strips of wood before assembling my planter, I painted them black along with all sides of each paver using Rustoleum Satin Enamel. I gave the wood and the pavers two coats of paint, allowing 12 hours of dry time in between coats. 

2. Once my black paver planter was fully assembled and cured, I personalized it with our family Monogram. To create the monogram, I applied DecorArt Metallic Lustre Wax in gold to a wooden "M" purchased from the craft store. I attached the gold monogram to the front of my paver planter using Liquid Nails Adhesive. 

3. The last step I took to customize my paver planter was to embellish it with decorative finials. I purchased two sets of Martha Stewart Curtain Rod Finials and painted them black to match the planter. Then I attached one to each corner by pre-drilling a hole in the top of each post and screwing the finial into place. 

I'm so happy with the way my planter turned out. I'm in love with how it looks on our porch with a live Arborvitae planted inside. As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I am making another one to create a pair flanking our front entry. One tip I'd like to offer if you are going to be making this project, is to prepare all of your supplies in your work area, but move everything to the final location before assembling your planter. I recommend doing this because once it's fully assembled and filled with dirt, it is very heavy. My friend Kelly at LiveLaughRowe gave me this advice and I greatly appreciated it.

For more tips please visit your local Home Depot this Thursday, April 16th from 6:30-8:30 for a live demonstration on how to make this project. These free, hands-on workshops are held the third Thursday of every month at all Home Depot locations. Each month will feature a different project.

Local folks, I would love for you to come out this Thursday and join me for the live DIH Paver Planter Workshop in Orion Township! Please be sure to pre-register here. 

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. 

**The Home Depot partners with bloggers such as me for DIH Workshop program. As part of the program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot's policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. 

Join Me For Free Live DIY Workshops At The Home Depot!

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. 

It's finally spring! As of today, the last of the Michigan snow has melted.  I can't wait to haul out the patio furniture and start creating our 2015 backyard patio oasis. Part of the reason I'm especially inspired to get started now is due to something I am making in collaboration with my brand new partnership with The Home Depot and their Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops. 

In case you aren't already familiar with The Home Depot DIH Workshops, they are FREE, live, in-store workshops held throughout the country for Do-it-Herselfers of ALL ages and skill levels. These workshops offer step-by-step instructions on how to make simple home improvement projects with easy to operate power tools. Whether you are an experienced DIY-er or have never touched a power tool in your life, these interactive, demonstration-style workshops are a great opportunity to pick up tips and advice from the pros! These workshops are held on the third Thursday of each month at all Home Depot locations. Throughout the year I will be co-hosting live DIH workshops at various Home Depot stores. 

The April workshop will feature a demonstration on how to make a gorgeous planter from simple materials (wood and concrete pavers). 
Check it out...

(To see the other workshop projects planned throughout the year, please click here)

Isn't it cool, I can't wait to finish mine!
In addition to demonstrating how to make this project, I will also be sharing my very own customized version of the Paver Planter.  I'm still working on my top secret plan for this customized version, but once it's ready I'll be posting about it here on the blog as well as featuring it live at my local Home Depot.  The first DIH Workshop featuring this project will be held April 16th from 6:30-8:30 at your local The Home Depot Store. For more information on upcoming workshops and and to pre-register for the first "Paver Planter" workshop please click HERE

If you are local to the Detroit area, you will be able to find me at the Orion Township, Michigan store located at 2600 S. Lapeer Road Lake Orion, Mi 48360 on Thursday, April 16th! Hope to see you there!

*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

DIY Dollhouse From A Bookcase

I'm always excited to share a good DIY project here on the blog. Today's DIY project is extra special. Not only because it turned out so cute or because it was so much fun and also very simple to put together, but because it's going somewhere very special. A few weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity to partner with and Wayfair to create a DIY Dollhouse to be donated to our local children's hospital. 

Instead of starting from scratch or using a pre-fabricated doll house kit to create the structure, I ordered this simple white Bookcase From Wayfair (Wayfair generously provided a gift card for the purchase of this bookcase)...

To make the bookcase look more like a house, I hit up the craft store. To give the structure character and architectural detail I picked up a bag of miniature moldings, a package of mini-windows and a doll-house fireplace.

I grabbed an assortment of scrapbook papers to use as wallpaper and Modge Podge to use as my wallpaper paste. 

I also picked up some craft fur to use as carpeting and a battery operated locker chandelier (that really light up). 

After the craft store, I headed to the toy store for furniture and figurines. I selected a line of dollhouse accessories that are completely plastic, therefore they could be cleaned and sanitized as needed. The bright colors of this collection were the perfect complement to the neutral decor I had planned for the inside of the house itself. 

Once I had all my supplies and a game plan, it was time to get to work. 
The first thing to go into the bookcase was the scrapbook-wallpaper. Each room got a different pattern. Once the Modge Podge wallpaper paste was dry, I began installing the architectural details. The mini-moldings, windows and fireplace received a coat of white spray paint. Then, I attached them to the structure using a hot glue gun. 

I mounted the chandelier using Command Strip Velcro Fasteners. This will allow it to be easily removed and put back into place when it comes time to change the batteries. I cut the craft fur into four sections to fit each room. It made the most perfect shag carpeting.  

The plastic dollhouse accessory kits I purchased to go along with the house include a family of four (Mom, Dad, Sister and Baby), a kitchen set, dining room collection, nursery outfit and a new mini-van for the garage (bottom right compartment). I left the furniture kits and accessories in the packaging so that the new recipients could have the fun of opening them and arranging the furniture inside the house. As a child, I would have loved to be able to do the arranging myself. 

I'm excited to deliver the dollhouse to Detroit Childrens Hospital (DMC) next week. Please visit my facebook page, twitter and Instagram for updates and behind the scenes pics of the delivery. 

My friends at Funky Junk Interiors, Makely Home, A Bubbly Life and Lia Griffith also participated in this partnership Porch and Wayfair. You have to stop over and see their versions of the DIY Dollhouse Project...each one is so unique and totally amazing!!!

Thank you for giving me this opportunity Porch and Wayfair.
Thanks for stopping by!

My Living Room Re-Fresh~A New Look For Spring

Hi there! It's so nice to be back behind the keyboard. I've been away from the blog for a little while working on some very exciting projects. I have lots of new online designs to share and also a few dramatic room makeover reveals!  Now that these projects are complete, I can get back to blogging about them! Starting today...I recently completed a "Re-Fresh" of the main level of my own home.  What is the difference between and room makeover and a re-fresh? As opposed to a full blown room makeover, a re-fresh is a way to give a space a new look with just a few tweaks. 

I was able to give my home a fresh, new, style for spring with only five simple changes.
Take a look...

After a long, cold, Michigan winter, my living room requested some bright, cheerful color. I obliged by bringing in a new area rug. This singular change instantly livened up our space. Adding this rug felt like a breath of fresh, spring air.

I fell in love with this rug so much that I added it to my shop. I'll warn you thought, there is a limited quantity available so it's at a high sell out risk...

To allow as much of the beautiful new rug to show as possible, I switched out our large, black, heavy, wooden coffee table for a lighter, smaller scale, glass top table. This coffee table has been in our storage area since we were first married. It belonged to my husbands Great-Grandmother. It's nice to have this piece of his family history in our family room, not to mention I am in love with the way it looks. 

To complement the new rug, I added a few apple green toss pillows to the sofa's and chair. These beautiful, linen pillows are simple in design, yet they add so much to the space. The injection of color is just what our white, slip-covered sofa's needed. The solid green linen pillows provided a nice break from the patterns found in the zebra print chair and striped toss pillows. 

These pillows are the PERFECT companion to the new rug! If you would like to purchase a set, they are available in my shop along with the rug for a limited time...

Speaking of taking a break in pattern...the next element that I changed up was the drapery. Over the last few years, I've enjoyed my DIY Bold Striped Drapes in this space. When I started this re-fresh, I decided it was time for a change. Something a little simpler in design would allow my new rug to be the star of the show.  A tutorial on my new black and white DIY No-Sew Color Block Drapes will be coming soon. You won't believe how easy and how budget friendly these were to make!

The fifth and final change I made in this Re-Fresh was a new paint color, Sherwin Williams "Anonymous". It's a dramatic, deep, moody gray. I love how it provides contrast to all of the white in the space. This is a great example of how a dark wall color doesn't always make a space feel darker. It can actually have the opposite effect by highlighting the lighter elements in the room. 

Since we have an open concept floor plan, I carried the same "Anonymous" wall color throughout most of the main level. In the kitchen, this color really showcases our painted cabinetry. I added a smaller version of the rug in the living room to the kitchen as well. This helps to tie the two spaces together. 

This little area rug had a big impact on our small kitchen. The bright, apple green color and large scale pattern brought a ton of personality and energy to the space. At the tail end of a long Michigan winter, I'll take a little energy anywhere I can get it. 

This rug is a great choice for a kitchen for a few reasons. The first reason is that it is 100% wool. Wool is naturally stain resistant. The second reason this rug is great for a busy family kitchen, is that it's reversible! It looks exactly the same on both sides. 

This rug is available in many sizes, I found the 3'6" x 5'6" rectangle to fit the best in my space. To see the other size options available, please click here...

With just five changes; fresh paint, new rugs, new "old" coffee table, new toss pillows and new DIY drapes, our main level has a fresh new look for spring...

If you would like to bring this look home, here are some of the product sources:
Zebra Print Upholstery Fabric~Hobby Lobby
Garden Stools~Sams Club
Sofa Slipcovers~Sure Fit
Entertainment/TV Cabinet~Ethan Allen
Hall Tree~Ballard Designs
Monogram and Silhouettes~DIY Projects
Gold Orbs~West Elm
Wall Color~Sherwin Williams Anonymous
Coffee Table~Family Heirloom

*I'm now available for new online design projects. Please click here for more info. 

One Day Flash Sale~Three Piece Collection


Hi there! Today I'm working on a very exciting room makeover install. The reason this particular project is so exciting is that it is a very simple room "refresh". Just a few key pieces of merchandise are coming in to give a living room a whole new look and feel without changing the existing key pieces of furniture. I'm absolutely in LOVE with the transformation and can't wait to share it with you next week. 

Speaking of LOVE...

In honor of Valentines Day,  I thought it would be fun to have a flash sale. After all, who doesn't absolutely LOVE an incredible deal? Especially one that includes home decor! I have curated a little collection of high impact items in a romantic, deep red color palette for an amazing price. 
This three piece collection normally retails for $481, but for the next few hours I'm offering it up for $119 plus shipping.

*Extremely limited supply available.

This 3 piece collection includes one extra large art canvas and two coordinating pillows. 
Rodney White "Seek Happiness" 36" x 36" art on stretched canvas features a gorgeous crackled finish and warm pallette of tans, blacks, deep red and white. Amazing texture and rich, deep red color can be found in these luxurious, 100% felted wool, flower petal detailed, 18", down filled toss pillows. 

If you would LOVE to make this collection yours, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

*Flash sale items are final sale. 

*Now available for new online design projects. Please click here for more info. 

Details~Custom Kitchen Makeover

I haven't been blogging as much as usual lately because we have been in the design studio working on some very exciting online design projects. I'm humbled by the response I received at the beginning of the year when I announced we are available for new clients. We still have openings but anticipate a spring rush very soon, if you would like to make a reservation now is the time (please click here for more information).

This weekend, I was able to sneak away and put together today's post on a recent on-site kitchen makeover project I worked on here in the Detroit area for my long-time clients; Sara and Erik. 

Last week I shared with you before and after pictures of this project along with the story on the "old" kitchen. Today, I'd like to take you on a tour of the new space and share all the details on how this brand new custom kitchen came together. 

This makeover began by weighing the option of custom cabinetry versus pre-fabricated cabinets. After discussing their wants and needs for the new kitchen, Sara and Erik decided the custom route was best for them. This approach would allow them to incorporate some amazing custom details that would give their home a look of it's own. Not to mention, it would function perfectly for the way Sara, Erik and their two children use the space. 

One of the first things you'll notice in the new kitchen is this gigantic custom vent hood featuring a deep ledge and chunky corbels. It provides an amazing focal point. For now, we left the ledge undecorated to celebrate the simple beauty and fantastic craftsmanship of this architectural feature. Sara will have the option of adding seasonal accents or decorative accessories to the shelf as the mood strikes, but in the meantime it stands beautifully solo. 

Under the gourmet cooktop, large, deep, soft close drawers provide perfect storage for pots and pans.
If you take a close look, you will notice that the section of cabinetry to the left of the of the cooktop features a set of doors and in the section to the right of the cooktop small drawers were incorporated. The overall look of this row of cabinetry is symmetrical, yet the variation in the cabinet type lends visual interest. The smaller drawers on the right are perfect for cooking utensils and spices and the large cabinets to the left are great for large stock pots.

In addition to traditional family dinners throughout the week for Sara, Erik and the kids,  weekends in this kitchen are dedicated to entertaining and cooking for large groups of family and friends. These new high end appliances will allow Sara and Erik to do just about anything their little gourmet hearts desire. Big, home cooked family meals will be easy to prepare, serve and store with these extra capacity, state of the art appliances. To break up the look of twin stainless steel refrigerators, one glass front door and one solid stainless door were paired together.  

Speaking of entertaining, the new, extra grand island is an entertainers dream. The multilevel countertop does a great job of providing a bar-height eating area large enough to comfortably fit three adults with plenty of counter-height working/serving surface to spare. Sara had a special request when this project began for an undermount farmhouse sink. Hats off to her for this idea, this is one of my favorite looks of all time. It gave her the charming farmhouse character of an apron front sink along with the sleek sophistication of a seamless undermount.

The base of the island features custom storage on both sides and plenty of leg room under the bar area. For the stools, we went with the amazingly comfortable barrel back, upholstered bar stools from Restoration Hardware. These barstools are extra sturdy and insanely comfortable. They are perfect for everyday use by the kids as well as weekend game days for the men in the family. The upholstery is a performance velvet fabric that is stain resistant and family friendly.

The granite we chose has the most amazing depth and movement. At night, small metallic, crystalized flecks literally sparkle. As soon as we saw this slab at the granite yard, we knew it was the one.

We used the granite as our color guide in choosing the greige (a gray based beige) backsplash. We weighed a few different options before deciding on this shiny, textured glass subway tile. Warm white grout provides contrast and really makes the color of the tiles stand out. The texture of the highly reflective finish makes it dance with natural light. It's hard to capture in a picture how this glimmering backsplash makes this kitchen come alive with light and movement.

I mentioned in my original reveal post that the long wall of built-in cabinetry conceals a few secret areas that make this kitchen perfect for a young, busy family...

A beverage station was incorporated in the center, next to the swinging door leading to a walk in pantry. 

To the right of the beverage station, glass front pocket doors open to reveal the kids play room...

All the way to the opposite end of the play room is a family command center with self housing pocket doors. The doors remain open during the day for easy access to the family computer, mail, sticky notes etc. 

At night or while entertaining, the pocket doors close for a neat clean look. 

Sara's Dad (Rob Toth) helped out a lot during this kitchen renovation. He is a talented craftsman/carpenter and took many of the projects that needed to be completed on himself. One thing that is really a special addition to this new kitchen is the new dining table. It is actually an heirloom piece that was given to Sara years ago by her parents and has been kept in storage until now.  

While the cabinet makers were busy in the kitchen, Rob was busy in the workshop refinishing this beautiful pedestal dining table. The top was stained a rich chestnut color to coordinate with an existing Potterybarn Benchwright Console table in the space. He painted the base of the table white to match the cabinets. The contrast of the dark wood tone and white base really makes this piece stand out against the soft grays and turquoise found in the new area rug.

The color palette of the new kitchen was determined by the colors used throughout the rest of this home. I'm in the process of creating a full home tour post sharing some of the other spaces we've worked on together. 

This has been one of my favorite projects of all time. In addition to being a beautiful house, what I love most about this home, is that it really tells the story of the family that lives here. It's a home that is filled with life; family photos, art, children, family, pets and happiness. Being able to assist with this kitchen project and help Sara and Erik's vision for a dream kitchen come to life has been a wonderful experience. 

Wall Color~"Drizzle" by Sherwin Williams
Cabinet Color~"Snowbound" by Sherwin Williams
Backsplash~Ciot Custom Tile
Countertops~ColdSprings Granite Genesse Stone

Pendant Lights~Curry and Company
Cabinet Hardware~Restoration Hardware
Barstools~Restoration Hardware 
Dining Table~Family Heirloom
Dining Chairs~Wayfair
Tiered Serving Tray~HomeGoods
Dining Area Rug~Potterybarn
Rug Runner~Ballard Designs
This brand new custom kitchen is the collaborative work of myself, Architect Christopher Macklin, Custom Cabinet Maker Chad Gladding from Gladding Custom Cabinetry, Carpenter/PM Rob Toth and homeowner's Sara and Erik.

*Now available for new online design projects. Please click here for more info. 

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