A Mirror like a door

door plate and mirror

I’ve wanted a floor-length mirror in my room for years and I had an idea of how I wanted it to look. A long time ago I saw a photo in a magazine of a mirror that was decorated with hardware to make it look like a door; that’s exactly what I wanted to do.

mongstad mirror in white

I love vintage hardware. For months I went to antique malls and hunted on ebay looking for just the right pieces for my project. I wasn’t able to find the door plate and hinges in the finish that would match the fireplace frame near by so settled for getting reproduction pieces. Still, I’m very happy with the result.

I found my pieces at House of Antique Hardware for reasonable prices. Here’s a closeup of the door plate and crystal knob. It would have been neat to install a lock in that keyhole but that would have made the project a lot more complicated.

door plate and crystal knob

The hinge can swing away from the door if I want to hang something off it, such as a hangar. I’m not sure if I’d ever do that, but I like that one portion is not fastened to the frame.

decorative door hinge

The mirror is an Ikea Mongstad mirror, though wouldn’t you know it, they don’t sell it in white anymore, only in brown. Luckily we had this mirror hanging in the entry way and moved it. I’ll replace the now empty spot with another mirror.

The Mongstad is just perfect for altering. I wonder if I can find a letter slot plate in brushed nickel. I might keep an eye out for that.

Mongstad full length mirror

While my husband and I were putting this up, I had flashbacks to when I refinished my Ikea cabinet for the kitchen. I love how if you choose, you can make Ikea furniture into something that uniquely fits your living space.



Cork board makeover


I wanted a cork board for displaying V’s and T’s art, somewhere in the kitchen. The only spot it really could go would be next to the hutch by the small kitchen nook table.

I found a style of cork board that I liked but I knew I would have to change the color to match the hutch. Not a problem since we still have half a paint can of the stuff. I did some sanding and painted it in one afternoon while T was sleeping.

I don’t particularly like the look of cork. I knew I wanted to cover it with something and thought about using some kind of material, but I didn’t want anything too busy. I eventually went with burlap in a nice cream color.

cork board redo

How did I get the burlap on there? I wanted to remove the frame and staple the burlap on to the cork board but the frame wouldn’t come off. So plan B was using a butter knife to wedge the burlap under the frame. I glued on the material first and then did the wedging. That was the hardest part.

Now I just have to think about changing out those ugly blinds and I’ll be done in this corner of the house.


A Hutch cabinet for the kitchen nook

Leksvik buffet grey

Just before we moved from our apartment to our house, I bought a piece of furniture from the clearance section at Ikea. It was a Leksvik buffet with cabinet originally priced at $249 on sale for $99. Why so cheap? This model is being discontinued at Ikea. Three were left.

I had been secretly looking at buffet tables and hutches on and off for a little while. IM doesn’t care for non-essential furniture in the house and wouldn’t have gone for the idea, but I love the way they look and their usefulness.

Well, since this buffet was on clearance and I was by myself with no one to influence me, I decided on the spot to get it. It was an ugly brown color and wouldn’t have matched anything in the house/kitchen so we decided to paint it the same color we have our mural wall in the living room, a dark grey. I say “we” at this point because I bought it and IM had to move it when we moved into our new house. Then he sanded the pieces down for me, and by then, well, it wasn’t just mine anymore. It was ours. Still, he hadn’t seen what it looked like assembled yet.

Here’s the before and after.


I painted it, papered the backing behind the hutch glass, and when IM assembled it it fit right in with the house.

matching grey

I also painted a bird on a branch on the lower cabinet just to make it a little more interesting and have it work with out trees theme in the living room.

bird on a branch

I have to say that I didn’t have the idea to so completely change this cabinet until I saw this picture of the same piece of furniture done in a beautiful blue. This convinced me that I could customize our own.

Since it’s in our kitchen nook area we use it mainly to hold V’s craft tools, coloring books, etc. Above in the hutch I’ve got a few things that make me happy to see. And front and center I’ve got my painter’s box on display.

hutch with painter's box

Lastly, I’ve got my favorite key hanging off of the handle. It’s my Helason key from Austria. The tassel I found in my grandmother’s box of buttons. It works well here.

Helason key Vienna

A Forest for the living room

tree wall decals

As soon as I saw the large blank wall in our living room, I knew I wanted to do something with it. I thought let’s paint it another color to contrast with the white. And then I thought, lets paint something else entirely on it.

birch decals

We painted it a dark grey and then found decals of trees. On etsy there are plenty of graphic artists that print many kinds of decals in any color you want. I found birch trees that I thought would look good printed in white to contrast with the wall color.

wall decals

The leaves are a very dark green. It’s a bit harder to see in the pictures but it looks nice on the wall.

decals birch leaves

What’s next? I’m not sure. Probably the bargain Ikea cabinet. It needs to be painted and stenciled. I’m liking the grey colors around the house so I might stick with that.

Adding details to the kitchen

tree decal

I’ve slowly begun adding some personal touches around the spaces I am most often. I suppose that it’s the kitchen shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

In the kitchen there is a very large counter space. It looks especially vast because there are no cupboards on the wall to the right of the window above the sink.  Since the counter also delineates the divide between the kitchen and the dining area, I wanted to put something on the wall that would be even more of a marker. I didn’t know I wanted this tree in that space until I bought it originally for V and T’s room.

It’s a simple decal of a tree in silhouette. I found it in Target for $24 or so. It comes as many pieces  of branches and leaves, and you have to peel off the pieces as you want to construct your tree. It goes up to 5 feet high and had a ton more branches and leaves, but I wanted it pretty sparse and simple.

tree decal dining area

I wonder if I should decorate it at the holidays? 🙂

My clock is still so important as it is the only clock V can understand. It goes in a prominent place in the kitchen and can be seen from the living room and dining area too.

butterfly clock

I like having a window behind the kitchen sink.

kitchen window

I didn’t want to put too much on the sill but a few things worked for me. The mini birdhouse that V painted and decorated, and a little Slovak-made vase with colorful flowers.

kitchen window sill

And I don’t care that my little flowers are plastic and fake. They are colorful and cheerful, and make me happy when I glance up at them.

Ikea flowers