More IKEA Adventures

Ok, so I took more than a week off.  It’s full on cold and flu season here in Minnesota and I’ve been feeling a little under the weather.  Plus, I finally had an appointment with an Endocrinologist right before Thanksgiving.  She supported the first Doctor’s conclusion that my wacky thyroid was only a temporary/viral thing but ran some more tests (have I mentioned I HATE needles? This fall has been miserable) and found that in body’s attempt to fix the situation it had over compensated and now my thyroid levels are too low.  So now I’m being medicated for that. Yeah, it’s been fun (and hopefully, still all temporary… I go back for still more blood work after Christmas and will hopefully be able to stop the drugs).

Now onto the house stuff! If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen me have a small IKEA breakdown a couple weeks ago.

Basically we’re putting the hallway work on hold for the winter.  It’s too cold to work on the porch and I don’t relish the idea of stripping and staining inside with no ventilation.  Instead we’re moving on to Matt’s study.  It’s a bit of an anomaly in the house–I think the floor, the radiator, and the door are the only original elements remaining.  The ceiling is the same gross acoustical tile that we had in the dining room, the walls were paneled (and possibly skim-coated?) at some point, and all the trim was replaced with boring, modern, builder-grade trim…. then painted matte-black.  The closet door is also missing.  Pretty much, I have no clue what in the hell happened here, but it’s not pretty.

This weekend we started moving all his crap into my study (we need to empty out the room in order to basically gut it).  His study will be uninhabitable for quite some time so we’re trying to make my study functional for 2 people.  We tried a few layouts for 2 desks, but ultimately liked the idea of shoving them together… the only problem was my existing desk was a smidge shorter than Matt’s.  Yes, I was neurotic enough to care. Plus, we figured a quick trip to IKEA for a (cheap!) matching desk would solve the problem.

Unfortunately, this particular desk was discontinued.  There were however 3 different models from the same line, and we assumed the one with the closed shelving would be the same size.

Wrong.

We got it home and it was six inches too short.

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We brainstormed a few different options, including trying to hack the new base onto my old desk top, except the top was too deep.  Finally we agreed to suck it up and go back to IKEA for a matching one since it’s a pretty cheap desk.  Neurosis for the win!

Apologies in advance for the crap-tastic photos… this lack of daylight during the week is killing me.

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Matt also hung artwork while I was taking a nap.  To his credit he googled the correct height to hang artwork…. unfortunately google is wrong.

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Or at least Google is wrong if you search “how tall to hang pictures.” How tall? I’m not a grammar nazi, but that just sounds wrong. I googled “how high to hang pictures” and got an answer of 60″ to 66″.

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My go-to height for art work is 60″ on center. If you’re taller than average you may want to go a little higher, but I wouldn’t go lower unless everyone in your household is incredibly petite.  Matt caught me glowering at the too-low artwork (my desk is the one facing them) and insisted that he is not adjusting them for two inches.  Fine, I understand.  Really.  But someday when I’m bored, I’m sure I will re-do all of them.

Because I’ve already shown I have no qualms about embarrassing myself online… here’s what the other half of the room looks like.

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Yup, this is my life.  Just keepin’ it real, yo.

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Friday Favs: IKEA Hacks

One of my favorite things about living in St Paul is that we’re about 20 minutes away from IKEA.  The good news for anyone who doesn’t live close to an IKEA is that they’ve started offering a lot more of their furniture for purchase online.

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IKEA has some great basic pieces, but sometimes they need a little extra oomf so your house doesn’t end up looking like an IKEA catalog.

 

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Via Young House Love

Young House Love turned an Expedit (now Kallax) into a stylish changing station for their baby, but this same look would make a great credenza or TV stand too.

 

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Via In My Own Style

Card Catalog style drawers + secretary desk?  I can hardly think of a better upgrade for a TARVA dresser.

 

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Via House of Hawkes

If paint is more your skill level it can still make a huge difference and transform a simple shelf into something a little more glam.  A VITTSJO unit was used here, but you could also ramp up a $15 HYLLIS too!

 

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Via Cleverly Simple

The RAST dresser is one of the most hacked IKEA pieces I’ve seen (I’ve hacked it myself too!).  I love how it’s been turned into a fabulous little nightstand here.

 

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Via Money Saving Sisters

Another simple paint upgrade, this time with a SNILLE chair.

 

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Via The Makerista

I think these built in BILLY bookcases are one of the most divine things ever!  And the addition of a  library ladder?  To DIE for!

 

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Via Oliver & Rust

Need some extra storage for the kitchen?  This island looks fancy, but is really a pretty simple hack, needing just some paint and a new top.  This one used a BEKVAM kitchen cart, but if you want a little extra storage you could use a FORHOJA too.

 

Weekend Assemblage

We’re getting down to the wire now… not that we’re on any actual schedule, but I’m eager to get another room knocked off my list.

Our new light fixture arrived on Thursday and was breeze to put up since there was actually a properly installed electrical box AND modern wiring already in place.  Madness!  The only issue was the electrical box protruding out of the ceiling about 2-3 inches.  We just ran with it and added a collar to make it look a little more intentional.*

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I also tackled some IKEA assembly.  I picked up 2 BRUSALI cabinets to use as buffets flanking the window.  They were inexpensive, a good size, and provided useful storage for some of our extra kitchen gear.  Only problem?  They’re not actually white. WTF Ikea? You call them white, couldn’t you call them “distressed white” or some such thing so people don’t get a nasty shock?  Ugh.  I wish IKEA would keep it’s finishes more consistent, this is just as bad the Stockholm series that’s a funky dirty beige color.  Oh well, that’s what paint is for, right?

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It’s also what IKEA beer is for….**

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These are one of the more obnoxious IKEA I’ve ever put together, and to put that in perspective, I think the MALM dressers are pretty easy.  We managed to slightly damage both in the process, nothing (too) visible, but it wasn’t hard to do.  That and the fact that they’re fairly wibbly-wobbly does not make them one of my favorite IKEA pieces ever. Scale-wise they fit the room pretty well though and they were pretty darn cheap so ultimately I’m feeling pretty good.

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After I got them in place the distressed-ness of the finish wasn’t terribly obvious so I’m holding off on painting them for now.  I am on the hunt for some fancier hardware for them though… although I can’t find anything with the same hole spacing (and I’m sort of in love with these) so I may have to paint them just so I can the patch the holes…

What’s left now you may ask?  The final prettifying*** is yet to come.  I need to pick up some final accessories, our rug should arrive sometime this week and then it’s just styling and staging.  And the room’s not really done until it’s properly accessorized.  If all goes smoothly we should be done within the next  week!

 

 

 *Not gonna lie, the fact that the seam on the shade is on the most visible side ever drives me a little bonkers.

**Ok, so 1) It’s not really IKEA beer, they just styled the labeling as an IKEA spoof and 2) I’m not a beer drinker so wine was my comfort of choice.  It was too fun not to pass up!

***Whoa, spellcheck says this actually a word!  I thought I was making it up!