Welcome to the Woods is a blog for the homemaker in you. It features decor, DIY projects, crafts, and design tips for your home on a miniscule budget. It also has many ways to save money, financial advice, and parenting tricks to improve your overall life. If you're a DIY-er, a decorator, a parent, or just like to save money, you will love this blog.
Well guys, I have surprised even myself with this project! With our renovation, there were a few changes I wanted to make in our kitchen (see moving the stove from blocking a window) that would require new counters. More details on exactly what I changed coming up later in my full kitchen remodel reveal. Anyway, I reached out to solidsurface.com and they were gracious to give me the material to fabricate my own counters for free. However, I couldn’t find anyone in my area to actually cut and install them for less than $2,000. So, I decided to DIY. I learned solid surface countertop fabrication and now I am sharing how with you!
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosures and policies here.
Most of what I learned was from the resources on solidsurface.com. They had a plethora of information on what to do, but I figured I would detail the process by video so it’s easier to learn. This project will be split into two parts and I will add both videos here.
Solid Surface DIY Counters
In this project, I learned many aspects of countertop fabrication. Here is what I will cover in the first video tutorial:
Routering a flush under mount stainless steel sink
This project took me 11 full work days and was a big job! One of the hardest parts was actually getting up the old laminate counter. It’s unlikely anyone trying to DIY like I did would have such impossible counters to replace. They sure built things to last in this old house.
Now that our new solid surface countertops are in, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how smooth, durable, and modern they are! If you were impressed with this project and want to support my blog, please pin this to Pinterest!
I will be back soon with details on our sink and faucet install!
This post contains affiliate links and/or paid promotion. All opinions are my own! To read more about my disclosures and policies, click here.
Bertazzoni Master Series Range
Since our Bertazzoni Master Series 36″ professional range was delivered and installed, everyone has been drooling over it! Even a member of the delivery crew was convinced she needed to buy one after taking a look at how gorgeous and powerful it is.
I did have a few specifications to meet when looking for my new range. Since I cook a lot, I was excited to have gas. When we moved in, this old house only had an electric stove. The five burners and multiple size options on this gas range are a huge upgrade! I love cooking on gas! Here are all the best qualities about our new range:
5 gas burners ranging in power from 750 BTU/h to 19 000 BTU/h
Baking options including Regular, Broil, and Convection
HUGE oven capacity of 5.9 cubic feet
Easy to clean grates!
Those are the main attributes I wanted in a range. The convection baking has been a big game changer – everything I make comes out perfectly now! There are more features I could gush about, but you can look up all the information here.
Above the range, also from Elite Appliance, is our vent hood. I wanted a vent to help with cooking smells and oils. This one has a powerful 440 CFM blower and 3 adjustable speeds. It’s really quiet and the integrated LED lights are perfect for spotlighting the stovetop.
THIS WEEK ONLY Elite Appliance is running a promotion if you buy a Bertazzoni range, you get the vent FREE!
The other thing I wanted to mention about getting our new range is that the whole ordering process was a lot less scary than I thought it would be. I was a bit worried about ordering online for something so important and nice.
However, Elite Appliance was a step above the rest in customer service and availability! They are actually one of the original online appliance sales websites and by now they’ve really got the process figured out. Shipping is white glove and incredibly fast! When you call the customer service number you get all your questions and concerns answered by a real person. They even have an A+ BBB rating! I would recommend anyone order from them without worry.
Now you know what the kitchen’s focal point is, the rest is coming soon! I can’t wait to show you guys next week how I fabricated my own countertops from solid surface and the amazing sink and faucet we had installed. Thanks for reading about our Elite Appliance range, I’ll be back soon with more details on our modern kitchen remodel!
Hey everyone! Things have been such a whirlwind around here with the renovations on our new(ish) home. Between fabricating countertops, caring for my children, planting a hedge, fixing broken toys, and end of the school year activities, I haven’t had time to catch my breath. This project today is something I actually made a couple weeks ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting it! If you want to keep more up to date with my day-to-day, don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Now on to my modern DIY fire pit!
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You might remember last spring I built a cement fire pit at our house. Since we moved, I was sad we won’t get to enjoy it anymore! I decided to build a new version, but this time I was a bit smarter.
DIY Fire Pit | Modern Square Fire Ring | Easy Outside Project - YouTube
Modern DIY Fire Pit
As you can see, I did things a bit differently.
I didn’t include a sand bottom because it wasn’t necessary. Dirt works fine.
Normal cement blocks were used to build the square shape instead of fancy bricks like my last pit. Maybe you could even find some discounted at the hardware store to build your own?!
I added a liner. The other pit did not have a circular liner and in reality I should have added one. The cement won’t last long without discoloring or cracking if you don’t have a fire pit liner with steel coating in there to protect it. The liner I bought was not that expensive! You can get one here.
It’s so much fun to relax by the fire and burn stuff. It’s cathartic. Since we have so many pallets and cardboard packaging attached to all our renovation items (front door, new range, etc) I’ve been using the fire pit a lot!
This past Friday we also hosted an end of the school year grill out and enjoyed time around the fire with our friends. It is such an enjoyable and beautiful aspect of our yard! Plus I feel good in knowing I build it all by myself in just a few hours!
I’ll be back soon with another blog post about our new range. It’s seriously amazing – I can’t wait to show you!!
Don’t forget to pin this post in case you want to make one of these in the future!
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosures and policies, click here.
Step 1. Cut Wood
It started with a simple piece of lumber. I had leftover pieces of 1″ x 10″ pine from framing this huge mirror. First, I cut the lumber to a square with my table saw. My husband’s grandpa helped me cut circles out of the center by using his scroll saw. He drilled a hole in the middle, stuck his blade through the hole, then cut it out slowly.
Step 3. Paint!
Next the wood was painted black inside and out. Just a note of how big the holes should be – just measure the size of your tapered planter at about halfway up and that’s what your hole diameter should be. Mine were about 9 inch squares and 5.5 inch diameter circles.
Prep heavy duty string for hanging. I chose black nylon rope, so I had to burn each end where it got cut to prevent fraying. Cut two pieces of equal length.
Then of course just string the rope through and tie it in a big knot.
I tied my knot three times and pulled very tight to secure. I only tied one end of each string on during this step.
Step 5. Install Screw Eyes
Now it’s time to install screw eyes in the ceiling! Be sure to measure far enough away from any wall for your wood square to move freely. Also you must screw into wood – find the ceiling joist with a stud finder. I got screw eyes rated for 30 lbs because I knew these planters would be heavy when wet.
Step 6. String Planter + Tie Off
Alrighty, now string the loose end of your two strings through the screw eye loop.
Next you can thread the loose ends through the remaining holes and tie your knots. Be sure to pull tight and check if your ropes are equal length so the wood hangs level.
Modern Hanging Planter
When you’re done it should look like this! You can gently place your potted plants into the holes now.
When deciding which plants to hang, I chose a spider plant and a pothos. Both of these are extremely tolerant of sun or shade and like to spill over their containers (beautiful for hanging!).
Be sure to pick a plant that is very tolerant of wet soil because I don’t usually put pots with drainage in hanging planters. If you water once a week just a bit, these plants will thrive without root rot.
This is one of those projects I am overjoyed with the end result because it turned out just like I envisioned it in my head!
I absolutely love the way these hanging plants look in our newly renovated bathroom! The modern hanging planter set I made match the minimalistic black and white style of the whole space.
Please pin this tutorial if you want to make these in the future or you were inspired by this easy project!
I hope you’re all having a great spring and enjoying the plants both indoors and out.
Back in January, we were finally finishing our big bathroom addition from the empty space that was upstairs in our new house. We ran a wall between the two windows and one side became this beautiful bathroom. The other side I’m finally ready to reveal to you today: a colorful kids bedroom for my two oldest, Lily and Nick!
These are the two windows we built a wall between to cut the space in two.
This half became the bathroom.
It is hard to believe this shell of a room was being used by our home’s previous owners. The OSB plywood walls made me feel unsettled and anxious every time I went in the room.
We began removing the OSB, but found that task very difficult. Instead we ended up drywalling over it. Obviously new electrical outlets and light fixtures were just cut out before the drywall was hung.
I did do all the taping, mudding, sanding, finishing, priming, and painting of the drywall. It was a month from Hell. But, it sure feels good to have it done!
This video I recap how I decorated the room and made it the most functional for our family. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to catch my weekly videos.
The point where we were finally able to move the kids in this space and have furniture set up was really wonderful. Before then we didn’t even get to have a bedroom – we just slept on a mattress on the floor in a main area. Since the kids now have a finished room, we get to enjoy our own master bedroom, too!
I hope you’ll pin some of these colorful images and decor ideas for a colorful kids bedroom!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more big renovation updates, before and afters, and craft inspiration from me.
The house we moved to in the fall is slowly coming together one room at a time! Today I am sharing a sneak peak of our kitchen so you can see where we are at with all the changes we’ve made. The biggest change had to be the lighting! The house is really old – 130 years actually – and it used to be a farmhouse with acreage. Now the interior is updated it’s hard to imagine it was once a true farmhouse, but a few design choices still pay tribute to what once was. The sliding barn door was installed by the previous owners of our house. To go with this farmhouse style, but bring in my own modern industrial aesthetic, we installed new lighting!
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This modern style pendant perfectly marries my industrial vibe with the modern farmhouse aesthetic. I really think this light could fit in with a plethora of decorating styles! I’ve received SO many compliments on them, too.
So, this light came from a wonderful local store in Minneapolis named Creative Lighting. I am so fortunate they helped me modernize the lighting throughout my home by providing numerous pieces for free. Their family owned company has been in business since 1926 and they only sell high-quality lighting their consultants can get behind. When you buy their products, trust you are getting a piece that will last decades!
Modern Lighting Kitchen Pendants
Three of these high-quality pendants hang in our updated kitchen. Two above the kitchen island and one above the sink.
They are vastly improved from what was there before: rainbow colored mini lights that were way too small for the space!
It’s so satisfying to look at the before pic!!
My favorite thing about these pendant lights is that they are opaque matte black with a brushed nickel finish. They stay clean and look great with the other hardware in my kitchen! Plus they use normal bulbs so it’s very easy to switch them out when they need replacing.
Three Blade Modern Ceiling Fan
The other item I received from Creative Lighting to drastically modernize our home is a ceiling fan. There’s a room off our living room that had no lighting wired to the ceiling. This is not unusual to find in old homes with plaster ceilings built before electricity was common. Even thought there was no light in this room (or light switch), there was an old ceiling fan.
Creative Lighting saved the day with this handsome three blade modern ceiling fan! It has a built-in LED light to brighten the room at night. It also came with a handy remote we could mount on the wall so it was just like having a switch! One thing I love about this ceiling fan besides its design is that the light is warm, not too yellow and not too blue at 3000K. Another big bonus is that it’s extremely energy efficient!
This ceiling fan isn’t like what you’d buy at the local home improvement store; it’s heavy duty and perfectly balanced. Even my electrician was admiring it during installation!
I guess the purpose of this whole blog post is to say that I love Creative Lighting and you should check them out if you haven’t yet!! Their products will be an upgrade to at least half of what’s installed in your home! Don’t forget to pin these beautiful light fixtures as inspiration for your next remodel.
Modern Farmhouse Pendants Kitchen Update - YouTube
Also, if you’ve been wondering how I decided to go with pendants that were larger than what was installed, watch the above video! I share all the secrets to designing a kitchen island and the lighting above it to scale.
Look for my next blog post about the lawyer’s desk I turned into a kitchen island coming next week!
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosures and policies here.
This is what the bedroom looked like when we moved in. The crown molding along the top of the wall was backlit (oh joy). Plus it was mounted six inches below the ceiling in some places because the ceiling is curved. Needless to say, that was the first thing removed.
The other side of the room featured a wood-wrapped chimney and old trim/doors that didn’t match. I overviewed everything in the video if you’re too lazy to scroll down. It’s okay, I won’t judge.
Master Bedroom Makeover | Before and After | DIY Design - YouTube
The Master List
It might be impossible to list every single thing I changed in this room, but I’ll do my best.
Remove crown molding and backlit LED strips
Washed down all the walls and blinds
Painted walls semi-gloss white
Painted ceiling flat white
Replaced old oak trim around the windows with 1″ x 4″ pine lumber I primed and painted semi-gloss white
Organized the closet by hanging a rod and adding a second dresser. Psst… if you want to see inside the closet and more behind the scenes footage of my room makeover, support me on Patreon.
Added a few decor pieces (plants + lamp) so the room stayed very minimal
Made my bed!
I’m pretty sure now it’s time to bombard you with photos from every angle of all my hard work!
Pin My Minimalist Master Bedroom Makeover
The white trim throughout really makes a big difference in how modern your house looks! I hope you’ll pin my clever hack of using 1″ x 4″ lumber to save at least HALF on changing molding in your house.
Thank you for visiting our minimalist master bedroom makeover. This post has a lot of pin-worthy content, so spread the love before you leave.
The last piece of the puzzle for our new master bedroom is this huge mirror! If you follow me on Facebook, you have already seen me paint watercolor for above the bed and refinish the midcentury dresser set. I have been waiting for years for the perfect spot to put this mirror I got off Craigslist for $25. Finally I have a master bedroom where it fits and I built a frame to make it really luxurious. Learn to frame large mirror for your home, too!
Frame Large Mirror DIY Project - YouTube
This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosures and policies, read here.
This white washing technique I also used on the chimney that runs through the bedroom. The previous owners wrapped it in an orange stained wood. After the white washing it all blends together without robbing the wood of its beautiful texture and grain pattern.
See more details of our bedroom makeover coming Friday!
Really everything I had in my stash of supplies/tools except the lumber and the mirror. Those materials together cost me only $40! I am so happy to have such a luxuriously large showpiece in my bedroom!
Frame Large Mirror
Do not forget to pin this to Pinterest! This tutorial is useful for any framing project, you could use the same technique for picture frames!
Now I have completed all the painting, furniture building, window treatments, etc, I can not wait to show you the whole room put together.
Oh, one last thing. I recently started a Patreon page. This is a vehicle for me to earn money by inviting my readers to support me financially. If you enjoy my blog and want to become one of my favorite fans, click to visit my patreon page. Thank you for reading!