Happy Hour Friday – Will’s Office Reveal

You know Will, the Hubster, (if you don’t read about him here).  He’s a hard working guy, one of the most generous, selfless men that I have ever met.  Sure he’s particular and quirky, but he also has strong character and a higher perspective on life.  I could go on and on with the list of commendations, but that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about Will’s new office!  It was my surprise gift to him as a reward for all his hard work.

here is, hard at work in his new office.

We are only renting right now.  We have thought about buying a house, but the time just isn’t right.  Nor have we seen anything we’re crazy about.  Honestly, we like the idea of building a house… if you’re going to spend the money, get what you want, right?  All that rabbit trail was supposed to say is that our home isn’t really ours.  And honestly, sometimes it didn’t really feel like it was ours, hand-me-down, hodge podge little honeymooner bungalow that it is.  We put a fair bit of effort into it when we first moved in, but not much since then.

Before-ish:  Right after we replaced the bed with the futon

Before: Will's old, squeaky twin bed.   It "doubled" as a couch/Izzy's perch while Will was on the Computer

Before - The desk that was left here

Now, 2 years later, I decided that it was time to give Hubster his own space.  A room that reflected him, where he could work and relax.  You know that feeling when you have a space, and it just feels like it has your DNA woven into it?  That’s what I wanted for him.  He deserves it.

Now, if you have read any of Will’s posts about budgeting then you probably are wondering how I did this as a surprise.  Well, when we bought the futon a few weeks prior Will told me he was fine with using some of our savings for putting a little effort into our home (furniture & décor) to begin investing in things that we like, we want, and we will keep with us.  So…. I took that as permission to redo his office.

My original intention was to post tutorials on all the little DIY elements first, BUT I just can’t wait any longer to share this office with the world!   I have already waited a month.  But you can find tutorials on the bookshelf, the Marquee Letter, and the curtains on the projects page. =)

For Will’s office I really wanted something baseball themed because he has a lot of Cincinnati Reds/baseball paraphernalia (there’s still more that isn’t being used yet).  The problem with a baseball theme is that I didn’t want it to seem like a little boy’s room or some meat-head baseball jock room (nothing against jocks – I still am one).  I did a lot of thinking, happened to receive two pallets from my neighbors, and saw this coffee bar on a blog I follow.   Those things all got the wheels spinning and brought me to envisioning this room.

Emma letting out her inner hoodlum, and spray painting the heck out of random odds and ends I collected.

Will's Office  (6)

the painting process.  and yes we had to leave everything in there so he wouldn't see it in the morning when he stopped by the house.

I can’t take all the credit by any means!  I had a ton of help from my sister, my little sister Carrieli, and my good friend Emma.  Without them I would still be working on this room, and probably have had about 7 mental breakdowns.

The other confession I have is that I did have to kick Will out of the house for a night… and I still didn’t quite finish even with Emma being over till am, so he had to finish building his own desk…. BUT it got done! AND HE LOVES IT!

Replaced the bookshelf and made this cool wall display:

the bookshelf is made from crates that I got with coupons from Michael's, and the Chain link on the wall is from a coworker.  It was rusty so Emma spray painted it with Chrome Rustoleum Spray Paint.

Recovered the futon to go with the new room and because Izzy was getting the black too dirty.

I recovered the futon with a massive drop cloth.  It matches the curtains.

made new curtains that stick with the new brighter colors in here to play up the natural lighting that pours into this room.  Also made them floor to ceiling to help the room feel bigger.

there are the curtains =)

Here’s the redone filing cabinet that I added because I knew he really wanted one and before he was using milk crates to house our papers.

Emma did excellent work on this piece! Look how shiny those chrome drawers are@

I actually got this little gem for free from someone who had extra.  It was originally a weird grey color, but I wanted to use it to contribute to the scheme of the room and be another pop of color, so Emma painted it for me while I painted the walls.

Some other items from around the room:

that was originally a cheapo, black plastic organizer.  Awe the magic of Chrome Spray Paint.

the Bobble heads, UK newspaper clipping, and our mini Louisville sluggers =)

Some pictures from his old room before we got married and the collages of all of our baseball adventures so far that I made him for his birthday.

And finally, the desk!

These next few are of the desk.  The pallets were free, the ductile iron plumbing pipe leg was expensive, and the desk top boards were pretty cheap!

Dara and I came up with the design for the Desk, and Will made it work.

it's the details that matter.  we put little boards in the pallet to create a recessed shelf for office supplies.

would you believe the desk top and the pallets are stained with the same stain?!

DIY Marquee Letter

Continuing with the affordable, DIY projects that I started with the Crate Bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, today, this is also a cheap and easy DIY.

I had been seeing these marquee letters ALL OVER on pinterest. I first saw one around Christmas time and knew instantly it was one of the projects I pin that I actually was going to make sure happened.

The letter P was the obvious choice.

Before I tell you how to make this happen for yourself I have to give a shout out to my little sister Carrieli and my good friend Emma who did the majority of the work on this eye-catching letter.  I skimmed several different tutorials to see how people made their’s, and found out there was a wide range as far as quality & price goes.  Some people made very sturdy, time and money consuming letters from wood and outdoor lights. Me on the other hand being on a time and money crunch decided to go the cardboard and Christmas lights route. Before this Marquee P Will’s office had this lamp…. he loved(s) that lamp. But now it’s hiding in the attic. I will give him props for his taste in the lamp stand, but not the lamp shade.  It was olive green and khaki gingham. Not attractive and definitely did not match the office.  Will happens to be an ambient lighting sort of guy anyway, so I knew this Marquee P was the perfect solution – cool lamp relocated until a better looking lamp shade materializes, AND hubster still gets his ambient lighting.

Some mood lighting right above his desk.

What you Need:

  • a large piece of cardboard (I took mine from a paper box)
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Scissors or Xacto knife
  • Hot Glue
  • Spray paint
  • White Christmas lights.
  • paper clips or twisty ties

Here’s how to make assemble it:

  1. Draw out your letter.  This is where Carrieli helped me.  She is very gifted.  Draws us pictures at Christmas and handmakes cards all of the time.  I would had to redraw this letter about 5 times, but Carrieli drew it up in one quick try.  This one is about 18 inches tall.
  2. Cut it out.  the base letter and then measure and cut out the strips that make it three-dimensional. My edge pieces stick out 2 inches.
  3. Glue on the edge pieces.  Marquee Letter (2)sorry for the blurriness.  It's hard to hold the camera still while gluing things together.
  4. Paint it.  Emma handled the painting and the light bulb placement.Before Emma Painted It
  5. Count how many lights you need to fit into the letter and then make the appropriate number of holes, evenly spaced around the letter.  Since we had a lot of small lights Emma did two rows of lightbulbs sticking through.
  6. Use paper clips or twisty-ties to hold all of the extra cord together behind the letter, so it doesn’t show anywhere and you have a clean, professional looking marquee letter.there it is!  2 rows of lights poking through and none of the excess cord showing.
  7. Ta Duh!  It’s not very heavy so you can use the clusters of cords on the back side to hang the letter up.  Ours has an extension cord running to it so that we can easily plug it in.

this is what it looks like not lit up.  Still awesome!

Marquee Letter (1)Marquee Letter (9)

DIY Crate Bookshelf

I am going to be posting some inexpensive, easy projects that you can do to spiff up a space over the next few days!

20140720_170453 (2)

Before I begin, let me just say that I am sorry I get so excited about projects that I forget to take step by step photos and, in this case, before and after photos.

When it comes to décor, I am honestly not sure what label to put on Will and I’s style.  The important thing I do know is that we both like distressed cabinets.  So someday when we are turning a house into our dream home I know we will be buying or DIYing some distressed cabinets for the kitchen.  I have to start somewhere, right? Lol.

Currently our home décor style is a hodgepodge of handy-me-downs and gifts.   Seriously.  If it is in our house (up until this last weekend) then  it was either a wedding gift, a wedding decoration, a hand-me-down, something borrowed long-term, or the coffee table that we made for ourselves almost two years ago.

Our coffee table with the coffee filter flowers I made.

So going off of that knowledge, I suppose that our style at the moment is crate furniture.  There’s enough of that stuff floating around Pinterest for it to be its own genre.  A genre that we really like because crates are pretty cheap and you can make paint them, stain them, add designs, stack them, cover them, and build them into something cool that fits your needs – like this bookshelf!


We want to keep the old book shelf that was in the office.  It is a decent bookshelf that Will brought with him into our marriage.  It’s just that it did not match anything else in the spare room (not that much in there did match as it was just full of spares).  Plus the spare room was always on the darker side, and I wanted to brighten it up a bit.

Here’s the old bookshelf.  Sorry for the terrible photo.  It is a cropped portion of the only picture I could find that even had the old bookshelf in it.



Stay tuned for some other projects that I have had going on, and at the end of it, the whole picture put together!  To make sure you don’t miss any of the good stuff over the next couple of weeks you can subscribe to the blog. Either subscribe via the box below our picture on the left side, OR just click the link in the yellow banner at the top of the page.

Step 1) Gather your supplies.

As for how to make this bad boy.  First you will need to gather your supplies:

  • The crates,
  • finish of your choice,
  • and a brush for applying it.

Yep, that’s it!  You could get some 1”x4” to make a frame for extra support and stability, but I did not go that far because I was not sure if I was going to need to add to the bookshelf or not.  Plus, hubster is better at those things, and this was kind of a surprise for him.

You can find the crates at Michaels and larger JoAnn’s stores (heads up, the one in Lexington does not carry them last I checked).  Also, I just saw a bunch of these on sale at Home Depot the other day as well. The base price for them is about $13 each.  BUT Michaels always has coupons on their app, and they accept competitors coupons so if you have a coupon for JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby. I usually have at least a 40% off coupon so I get each crate for around $9 after it’s all said and done.

Step 2) Finishing

I used Minwax Golden Pecan (bought it at Home Depot of course).  I applied it with a standard paintbrush.  You don’t want to apply it heavily because you will end up with runs and drips all over.

I find that it is best and quickest if you start with crate setting on its side as these are in the bookshelf.  Stain the top, and then stain the bottom, back, and sides of the inside.  Carefully turn the crate around and stain the back and then the outside of the two side pieces (the solid pieces with the handles).  If it is dry enough you can flip it over and stain the two sections that you are missing, if not just begin staining your next crate and come back to it.

I applied a second coat of stain to the outside of the crates.  That wood had been sanded more smoothly and looked much lighter than the inside after the first coat.

Step 3) Assemble

I didn’t opt to put any cool logos or transfers onto this bookshelf.  I just wanted something simple.  But that depends on your space.  Depending on your space and storage needs you might opt to have the crates standing up so that they are tall rather than wide.  Or you might want a mix of both directions.  Originally I had wanted to make the book shelf look like our coffee table, but on its side.   However, I did not trust myself to put it together so Will got this simple arrangement instead.

Step 4) Fill and Enjoy!

Fill ‘er up and be proud of yourself!  You just made an awesome, unique, inexpensive bookshelf all on your own!


Also, only 6 days till our two year anniversary!


what is a project that you are really wanting to tackle at the moment?