Designing a Budget Living Room

Saturday mornings include the following: drinking coffee on the sofa, enjoying the fact that Charlie gets to watch tv on weekend mornings so he needs me NOT ONE BIT (like he doesn’t even look at me), and then I just pin and pin and pin. Recently, as I was doing so, I found some strangely cheap but good things (as I always do) and it occurred to me that we, as “design experts” should start creating full room designs on a budget for you to order and decorate with (if you are into it). So I tasked Mel (from our team) with the challenge – see how cheap you can design a living room for, one that you really like, but REALLY cheap. Here is what she came back with:


Budget Living Room Boho Anthropologie Hippie Casual Emily Henderson Moodbaord Roundup 2


Flower Art | Horse Print | Green Velvet Sofa | Floor Lamp | Orange and Green Pillow | White Pillow | Black Side Table | Orange Side Chair | Woven Pillow | Rug | Coffee Table | Rattan Chair | Pink Pillow | Pouf | Brass Table Lamps | Black Mirror | Credenza | Basket


I loved it a lot. It is happy, fresh, modern, and yet full of personality. But I wanted it RUHL cheap. Nothing in here is particularly high end, but a couple things, the credenza and the rug, and even sofa could be less expensive (although I loved them). I told her “What is the cheapest you can possibly furnish a mid-century boho living room for? Now go!!”


She came back with this:


Budget Living Room Boho Anthropologie Hippie Casual Emily Henderson Moodbaord Roundup 1


Flower Art | Horse Print | Green Velvet Sofa | Floor Lamp | Orange and Green Pillow | White Pillow | Black Side Table | Orange Side Chair | Woven Pillow | Rug | Coffee Table | Rattan Chair | Pink Pillow | Pouf | Brass Table Lamps | Black Mirror | Credenza | Basket


You can’t deny how cheap and wonderful that is. While three thousand is a lot to spend in one day, over a couple months it would be a really great way to guarantee that your living room looks good. Or hell, put it on your credit card.


But I wasn’t able to buy a $1200 sofa until I had my own TV show when I was 30 years old, so I sourced a few cheaper sofas that could look good in this world and we got the price down even further….then we got greedy and brought the price of the pillow, chair, and pouf down.


So without further ado a midcentury boho inspired living room for $1,878:


Budget Living Room Boho Anthropologie Hippie Casual Emily Henderson Moodboard Roundup 3


Flower Art | Horse Print | Blue Sofa | Floor Lamp | Orange and Green Pillow | White Pillow | Black Side Table | Orange Side Chair | Light Blue Striped Pillow | Rug | Coffee Table | Rattan Chair (similar: we love this one just as much) | Pink Pillow | Pouf | Brass Table Lamps | Black Mirror | Credenza | Basket


Unless something becomes unavailable in the next few days, all of these pieces are purchasable online with the sole intention that this living room could be yours – no vintage or custom this time. If anything sells out, leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to help you find something of similar quality for a comparable price. So what do you think? Are you into these posts? We might typically JUST do the cheapest version now that Mel knows how cheap I was thinking but at the same time I love the most expensive one the best and I’m so glad it’s included here. Thoughts?


Check out our other round ups: Best Affordable Vinyl Tile, Why Matte Brass Might Be The New King Of Metallics, Shag Rugs Roundup, How To Zen Out Your Kitchen, Favorite Pastel Paint Colors (For Grown Ups), 48 Budget Friendly Kitchen Hardware Knobs & Pulls, How To Mix Multiple Rugs in the Same Room, 63 Favorite Temporary Wallpaper Patterns.


The post Designing a Budget Living Room appeared first on Emily Henderson.

Box of Sunshine

Hey friends! It’s Melanie and Steffany from Find it, Make it, Love it. We’re so happy to be here sharing Memorial Day with you! What are your Memorial Day plans?! Camping? BBQing? Working in the yard? Maybe even swimming? Memorial day is the kick off to summer. I gotta say though, here in Utah it hasn’t felt much like May yet-we’ve had rain, cold, and more rain, but there is sunshine in the forecast! Hallelujah! Today we are matching the sunny forecast with this cute Sunshine in a Box craft. Sunshine in a box (2)


Isn’t it bright and cheerful?! It’s also a breeze to make! Here’s what you need:

    • Stain
    • Paint
    • Vinyl
    • Brushes

First step, place the pieces in the box and take note which side of the pieces you’ll be painting. Then take out the pieces and set them aside. Sunshine in a box (4) Start by staining the box. You’ll stain all the sides and the inside bottom. Set it aside to dry. Sunshine in a box (1)


Now, time to paint the sunshine. Sunshine in a box (3)


Paint the pieces as shown in the picture below. We used 3 colors of yellow (Straw, Crocus Yellow, Custard Cream) and white. Be sure to paint the sides of each piece too. Two to three coats is just right.


Once the circle piece is dry, apply the vinyl. We decided to do a custom vinyl for ours using our Silhouette, but the Wood Connection has vinyl for this project that says “You are my sunshine.” We love both options! Sunshine in a box (5)


When everything is dry, place the pieces in the box. You can glue them in place if you choose using wood glue, or even hot glue. Now, sit back and welcome the summer sunshine with your bright and cheery sunshine in a box!Sunshine in a box (6)


We weren’t kidding, that was quick right? It’s just perfect for Spring and Summer!


For lots more crafts and some great Spring and Summer ideas head over to our site and we’ll hook you up with things like:


Campfire Apple S'more-Gluten free s'more (2)


Apple S’mores




Easy lollipops to make with kids using Jolly Rancher candies and lollipop sticks! Easy and fun, perfect summer activity


Jolly Rancher Lollipops


We hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day!


The post Box of Sunshine appeared first on The Wood Connection Blog.


4th of july signHello everyone, Jenn here from Housewives of Riverton and I’m so excited to show you how I created this 4th of July Wooden Plank Sign. I love how it turned out and think you’ll want one too!


To create this sign you’ll need the following:


4th Letter Set



Framed Plank Sign



Wood Stain


JULY wooden letters


Happy wooden letters or sign


Foam Paint Brushes


Red/White/Blue Paint


Black Vinyl for “of”


Small Banner Pieces


Wood Glue


Sanding Block



You’ll start your project by staining the 4th letters and the entire framed plank sign.


wood sign


wood numbersWhile waiting for the stain to dry you’ll want to paint Hello red, July blue, and cut “of” out in black vinyl (you can also write it with a sharpie if you don’t have the vinyl once the stain and paint is dry).


Once the stain is dry paint the planks white.


4th wood signI didn’t want a solid white paint so I watered it down a little and did a bit of a white wash on the planks. Once it was dry I slightly distressed the paint where the planks came together. I also distressed the letters for JULY.


Once everything is painted you can start laying out your words/letters until you have things just how you want them.


4th signWhen you have things laid out how you want using a pencil or a small pin mark the planks so you know exactly where to place them once you have glue on the backside.


4th of julyThis sign makes me so happy whenever I look at it. To add a little extra fun I added a little red/white/blue banner that I picked up in the Target dollar spot, it adds just the right amount of extra cuteness. You can also make your own banner easily, The Wood Connection has a wonderful collection of red/white/blue paper that would make a darling banner.


Head on over to Housewives of Riverton, we’re giving away a $25 Wood Connection Gift Card which will help you make this sign yourself!



The post HAPPY 4TH OF JULY appeared first on The Wood Connection Blog.

End of Bed Benches

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 7

Having the right bench is like having a nice belt – it’s not something you want to spend money on, but you need it. Every day when you get dressed, you grab for it, feel it missing, and wish you had one. The amount of times I say “you need a bench at the end of your bed” is insane. If you don’t have room, that’s one thing, but otherwise it’s the most perfect way to put a finish on the room, add seating, and create that ideal plop and drop spot for the 9 different outfits you try on a day before you settle on the same striped boxy sweatshirt and skinny jeans that you wear every day.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 2

What we have found to be the biggest challenge is making sure that the scale is right. Having a dinky little short dude at the end of the bed throws the whole room off (as does a bad belt). So you need to make sure it’s in scale, mostly in length. We rounded up these benches based on size and all different prices points.  While there are many more out there, these are some pretty great options.


You officially have no excuse.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 3

I love that bedroom (hell, I have that rug and those pillows, practically). That bench at the end perfectly punctuates the bedroom.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 4

I like giving them a little bit of breathing room on either side – 6 – 8″ is enough. And the seating can be lower (like this one) if the top of the bench (the arms) is high enough. The back of a bench can be higher if you wanted to go that route, but otherwise the seat of the bench should definitely not be much higher than the mattress.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 5

It doesn’t have to be an upholstered bench, certainly. Just something sturdy enough to sit on. I realized after we rounded these up that we didn’t include any storage benches (typically they are a lot less wide) but if you can find a long enough one that is both storage and seating, good on you.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 6

My friend Amber is the “end of bench” queen (the first photo was hers, too). Nice job, friend.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric 8

This bench is more like a sofa and if you have the space and budget for it, please snag it. The level of comfort it can bring into your room is just so valuable.

Emily Henderson End of Bed Bench Roundup King and Queen Size Wood Fabric

The key to all of these is the length. If you have a king bed (80″ wide), make sure the bench is at at least 60″ (but 65-70″ is even better). If you have a queen bed (60″ wide) make sure that your bench is at least 45″ wide. The key here is having the bench be around 3/4ths the length of the bed. Feel free to combine two short benches as well or I’ve even done a bench and a stool or basket – it just needs to equal that 3/4ths rule.


Without further ado, here are a lot of benches sized for your beds. Get to shopping. Your bedrooms are desperate for it.


End of Bed Bench Roundup Emily Henderson Bedroom Design Queen Size


1. Navy Burmingham Bench | 2. Wayfair | 3. Pennie Bench | 4. Healy Teal Leather Bench | 5. Orange Block Party Bench | 6. West Elm | 7. Leather Director’s Bench | 8. Matilda Upholstered Bench | 9. Shelby Rubber Wood Bench | 10. Henderson Upholstered Bench | 11. Offi Momo Bench | 12. Larson Bench | 13. Bank Bench | 14. Whitaker Bench | 15. Coral Lexington Bench | 16. Moller Model 63A Bench | 17. Chinese Chippendale Bench | 18. Jaques Bench | 19. AllModern | 20. Luxe Fur Bench | 21. Alexa Brass Modern Bench


End of Bed Bench Roundup Emily Henderson Bedroom Design King Size


1. Conan Bench | 2. Jasper Studio Sofas | 3. Emerson Reclaimed Wood Bench | 4. Velvet Edlyn Bench | 5. Torrance Bench  | 6. Lucia Bench | 7. Tufted Linen Bench | 8. Knox Upholstered Bench | 9. Cruz Bench | 10. Safavieh Talita Bench | 11. Response Fabric Bench | 12. Dexter Bench | 13. Rosco Bench | 14. Eliot Bench | 15. Angled Iron Base Bench | 16. Henri Leather Bench | 17. Segis U.S. Lambda Bench | 18. Carrie Oyster Leather Bench | 19. Welles Bench | 20. Dixon Bench | 21. Heathcoat Brass-Tipped Bench | 22. Bentwood Upholstered Settee | 23. Fleur de Glee Bench | 24. Bonhill Bench


Want more roundups? Check out these: Where to Buy Cement TilesWhy Matte Brass May Be The New King Of MetallicsShag Rugs, 48 Budget Friendly Hardware, How To Zen Out Your Kitchen, Favorite Pastel Paint Colors (for grown-ups), How To Mix Multiple Rugs In The Same Room, 63 Favorite Temporary Wallpaper Patterns, 32 Beds I Almost Bought For My Bedroom, Best Online Fabric Stores, Best Online Art Sources, Best Online Wallpaper Roundup.


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Should We Paint Wood Paneling?



Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Makeover 1


Hey all, it’s Ginny here with another design agony and this time we’re talking about painting wood paneling. Our client Mickey emailed us with the following question:


Should I paint our den/office? I know it’s ugly paneling, but the built-ins are beautiful solid wood and very high quality. I cannot decide what to do! I’ve been contemplating this for 3 years now. I feel like the room is dark (the curtains aren’t helping), and I haven’t put any style/decor effort in because I don’t love the space. My husband LOVES this room just the way it is (of course, men love that gross paneling!). So, my question is, should I paint it? If so, do I have to paint everything (paneling, built-ins, and trim)? Or can I simply paint over the paneling and leave the trim and built ins? And if I leave the built-ins as is, do I paint the paneling that’s behind them – you can see it in the shelf space. Also, if I paint the room do I have to paint the section of ceiling in the bay window that is wood (last picture). Finally, if you do think I should paint it, do you think I should go light or with a cool indigo or bolder color? I need help!!!!


The rest of our house is painted in whites or very light greys/beiges, with white trim. I would say the style of the house is cottage-y. We live in a rural setting in Pennsylvania.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign BEFORE 1


From the before photos you can see that the bones are pretty good, and the cabinet doors are simple in style with no fussy flourishes. But the main issue here is definitely the color – it’s just way too orange. We narrowed it down to two main design directions (white vs blue) that Mickey could follow, and in both instances we recommended painting all of the wood work in the same color, including the shelves, framing and back wall.  By doing that it would feel more cohesive and impactful. Let us be clear – if you have a beautiful wood den, or wood paneling in any color in a pretty tone that you love, KEEP IT. We love beautiful original wood as much as the next guy. But if its orange and dated then you do have some options.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Option 1


Paint Colors: White Dove by Benjamin Moore | Cabbage White by Farrow and Ball | Wevet by Farrow and Ball


This is what we sent to Mickey along with our recommendation:


With what you have said about the rest of your house being light and airy it might be nice to bring that theme into this room too.  In option 1 we are suggesting that you paint everything in a soft white, something that it not too stark but has a calming feel to it.  You could also add some other pops of colour in here on your seat bench, and we’d suggest that you paint the underside of the window seat ceiling to match.  It will feel super fresh and compliment the amount of natural lighting you have coming in through the windows.  We suggest to remove the drapes and instead do simple roman shades.  We also think that you could do away with the window treatments altogether, unless you need them for privacy.  With either drapes or shades, you’re going to lose some light because they are mounted on the inside and will end up covering part of the window. This is another reason for us suggesting to remove them.  We would paint out the room first before tackling the windows.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Option 2


Paint Colors: Cooks Blue by Farrow and Ball | Stiffkey Blue by Farrow and Ball | Lulworth Blue by Farrow and Ball


Our second option is to go for a dusty blue colour.  We feel this is the one we would suggest you go for, because it’ll bridge the gap between you wanting to repaint and your husband wanting to keep it dark. Whilst we love the idea of the white, it might be really fun to bring in some colour to your house if you mainly have whites, greys and neutrals elsewhere.  This could be a super cosy reading room, and you already have the leather chairs that would look amazing against the blue.  We’re also suggesting to do the fabric on the built-ins blue too, with maybe a stripe or pattern to give some texture.  We would take the drapery advise above and get another great blue that works with the wall colour.  You could always do a white shade to keep the windows feeling white if you didn’t want to go full on blue. Accessorize with leather, white and greys.  We are actually very excited by this route and I hope you go for it! 


We also suggested that they replace the hardware to something that would pop more against the new colour. Take a look at what we got back from them after they painted.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Makeover 1


They wasted no time at all in painting the room and sent us some progress shots along with a note:


We absolutely loved the design and went with the stiffkey blue. I started priming that same day. I was able to restore the existing hardware. I attached some pictures, but the lighting isn’t the best. For the decor I used pieces around the house that we already had and will continue to refine as time and budget allow. It is still very much a work in progress.


Thank you for all your help. Our den is a million times better now and we LOVE the blue – even my husband is glad we made the switch 🙂 I couldn’t have done it without your help!


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Makeover


We love the leather and wood accents that are in here now.  And I think swapping out some of the wood photo frames to black on the shelves will help them bring in another colour to the room.  I think a mix of blue, white and black pillows would also look awesome in here too.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Brass hardware


Look how amazing her knobs came out that she restored. They are super fun and full of character and well worth keeping. They pop off the cabinetry way more now and accent the wall colour beautifully.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Makeover 2


Even though I don’t love the idea of blocking the light, I might be tempted to hang roman shades on the windows just to add some softness for the colder months.  I also like the pop of white from the seat bench but I’d still love to see a patterned fabric on here or even a throw blanket draped over.


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign Makeover 3 copy


Mickey Menichetti Wood Clad Paneling Home Decor Painting Redesign BEFORE and After 2


Considering Mickey pulled together a few things she had from around the rest of the house, it’s looking really cute.  I’m actually really glad they went with the blue because it makes it feel like a cozy library and really modernizes the paneling. If it were my space I’d totally want to hang out here and read a book with a cup of tea.


Interested in having us help you out with a room layout or full redesign? Visit our services page for more details.


***Design boards by Melanie Burstin for EHD with design direction by Ginny Macdonald, overseen by Emily Henderson. Post written by Ginny (with a few additions by EH). 


Want more Design Agony and E-Design posts? Check out some of these: How To Lay Out A Narrow Living Room, Master Bedroom Refresh PlanKitchen Nook RefreshCures for a Maple Orange Kitchen, Rustic Mid-Century Family RoomNeutral California NurseryMoonrise Kingdom Kid’s Room.


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Our Studio Refresh with Devine Color

Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization-4


We are growing out of our studio and, until last week, every corner of it looked like an explosion of people, cords, props, and boxes. The design team was suffering. Samples were piling up everywhere, catalogues were getting lost, and paint decks were getting destroyed. When Devine Color reached out about doing a post, I thought maybe it would be a good excuse to make at least one corner of the studio look really cute before we move or find a new arrangement. (Spoiler: As of this morning I rented another space out back for storage/the flea/conference room – so yeah!!). They had a few new patterns (and paint colors) that we loved, and we were happy to throw them into the space to add some corner cheer.


Here is what it looked like before; after we removed all the insanity.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization Before Photo


Brady got to work hanging the temporary wallpaper which was EXTREMELY easy to do; way easier than we thought it would be. It took him about 3 hours to hang that whole space – although he did have help from our trusty PA.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization Process 10 copy


The process is super easy. You peel, stick, and the cut off the excess. Brady found it easiest to apply the paper at the top then let it hang with the backing on it and just peel it off as you are sticking it. We were all super shocked at how easy it was. If you mess up, it was easy to remove and rehang, and this pattern in particular didn’t even need to match, so there was no obsessing about that – at least we didn’t notice that it didn’t match.


I can’t tell you what an immediate difference it made in the studio.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 1


Instantly that corner became the happy, bright, and like it had a real intention behind it. We bought that storage piece at Ikea and painted it with Devine Compass, which is a color I’ve used before (in this bedroom) and I LOVE it. Every time I see that color or use it I think, MAN, that color is good.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 7


That one piece of storage isn’t enough for the whole design library but it’s a good start. After we styled this all up we decided that the rest of the room should be this happy and that we need more space. I called my landlord and asked to rent the back storage space (it came up for rent last week) and I’m going to really try and make this office more pulled together and happy for everyone who works here. When I first rented this space 2 years ago, there were only 3 of us (Me, Ginny, and Brady). Now there are 7 and it feels too small. But the problem is that I really like this office – I like the location, the light, the neighborhood, the price, the fact that it’s on the bottom floor but has south facing light (so many offices are floors up which can be difficult for us). And I obviously like that its only 12 minutes from my house. Also with the job and the two kids, I just can’t organize a huge move right now. But it’s been embarrassingly messy and crowded lately. So we are officially committed to redesigning the whole space (new desks, more storage for people’s personal things) and a big (much bigger) proper design library.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 8 copy


We love the Speckled Dot Wallpaper in Black (shown) enough to continue it around to the rest of that half of the room. I was afraid it was going to be busy, but it’s really just a pretty texture in person. The pattern is small enough to create this really fun vibe that is easy to layer on. They also make it in silver and gold which was SO pretty and at first I preferred it, but then we realized that it wouldn’t photograph as well (which is how I determine way too much in my life).


They have a few others sold at Target that I love:


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization Wallpaper Roundup


1. Speckled Dot Karat Paper | 2. Bouquet Floral Mirage Paper | 3. Dots Karat Paper | 4. Beluga & Mirage Weave Paper | 5. Painted Chevron Mirage Paper | 6. Speckled Dot Sterling Paper


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 2


We borrowed those absolutely amazing chairs from Amsterdam Modern for the shoot. They are $1100 for the pair so we won’t be keeping them, but MAN I WANT THEM. They are the perfect color of mustard.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 9


That color of that blue against the black/white is pretty amazing. Some of you might remember that 3 years ago I didn’t love the color black for myself – I would opt for navy or charcoal every time. Some of you commented how important the depth of black was/is to a space and I listened. Well either that or the zeitgeist got a hold of me and I joined the national trend toward black.


Here I am happily blogging about my experience with said trend:


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization 6


We’ve used a few of the Devine Colors and have loved them all. You might remember Pirouette from Nicolette’s makeover. I started rounding up all my favorites when I realized it was almost 2/3rds of them, so instead you should just head over and feel confidant that they are all pretty good. And you can get them at in the Home Improvement aisle at Target, which I know seems weird but it’s actually wonderful. Not having to wait for paint to be mixed is a very good thing. All 18 colors are available in sample pots in store, so you can try them out and decide on your favorite before picking up the 2.5L cans in store or online.


Here are my favorites:


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization Paint Color Roundup


1. Sterling Metallic | 2. Lightning | 3. Petal | 4. Pirouette | 5. Horizon | 6. Mirage


I haven’t used this chalky finish paint color before, but I’ve seen it on pieces of furniture and its super pretty. This is for a matte finish that can have a vintage feel.


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization Chalk Finish Paint Color Roundup


1. Honeysuckle | 2. Bluefin | 3. Lace | 4. Flagstone | 5. Eucalyptus | 6. Rosebud | 7. Seaglass | 8. Shadow | 9. Oceania


Emily Henderson Devine Color Tempaper Temporary Wallpaper Studio Makeover Blue white and black Organization-21


That yellow, blue, black, and white is my new favorite color combo. And that wallpaper is a huge, enormous, genuine hit with all of us in the office.




There you go. The easiest wallpaper that you don’t need to hire an installer for (as seen in the above GIF). It’s perfect for renters, inside cabinets, your cute corner design library makeover or just about anywhere.


*Photos by Jessica Isaac.


**This post is in partnership with Devine Color. Thank you for supporting our sponsors who allow us to bring original content to you.


Enjoy this post? Here are some other great makeovers we’ve done: Brady Gives A Refresh to His Vintage BathroomA DIY Kitchen Redo Under $400Scott’s Bedroom Makeover With LeesaA Rustic Mid-Century Family Room, Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – The Reveal, The Easiest Guest Room Makeover Ever, Brady’s DIY Peel and Stick Kitchen Flooring (For Under $50), How To Layout A Narrow Living Room, New Kitchen Project and Design Plan.


The post Our Studio Refresh with Devine Color appeared first on Emily Henderson.

A Custom Daybed Story

How We Designed This Custom Daybed Emily Henderson Kids Playroom Construction Makeover


We are making more and more custom pieces of furniture for clients (or myself). While it looks like a really simple, fast process where we just show a cute, hipster furniture builder a photo from a magazine and say “Hey, Wilson, can you make this but smaller, bluer, and deeper?” it is actually so much work. Every single tiny detail has to be specified, not just width, height, and depth. You have to think about the joints, the finish, the dimensions of each piece in every way, how those pieces are put together, what direction the grain or fabric should run and of course ensuring that it is the most functional, comfortable as well as stylish possible. Going “custom” isn’t cost-effective or time-saving, no, but what you get is exactly what YOU want and something that should be unique and perfect for your space.


Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom BEFORE


We needed a seating area in this playroom and while a sofa in that niche would have been fine, a wall-to-wall custom daybed would maximize the function of the space which was for reading and cuddling. Plus, I had serious canopy and pillow styling dreams that needed a daybed to be fulfilled.


First step was finding inspiration. Melanie and I (Mel was the project manager and design lead on this job) scoured Pinterest for our favorite low slouchy built-in daybeds.

Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Inspiration Grid
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I knew that simple would be better both stylistically, budget-wise, and to help maximize the space. We wanted it to feel chunky, heavy, and solid. I loved all of the above for different reasons. I showed them to my builder and he said all were doable for roughly the same price. I ultimately decided on doing a version of #1 (design by Alexander Design and Build) because it felt the most right stylistically. The feet felt too “furniture-y” and I really wanted it to feel permanent. The fourth one (plywood on both sides) felt to scandy and minimal for the house. So I was down to #1 and #3. One thing that I thought they would want is a ledge to hold drinks. It was mom-to-mom advice as I know that I’m always struggling for a safe place to put my coffee or wine in the family room out of reach of those Go-Go-Disaster-Arm children. So I thought I could do a version of #3 that had a ledge on top.


Option #1 was based on that first inspiration pic with some changes – no back, cute bolsters instead, etc.


Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Plan Option 1


Here are some things you probably didn’t know you needed to think about – if you say 4″ cushion that probably means a total of 6″ height because the cushions are higher in the middle. I’ve gotten that wrong before and the cushion has been too high. Also foam and feather/down also affect the height so make sure to specify that as well.


This option allowed for the drink ledge that I secretly want:


Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Plan Option 2


Ultimately I thought that the first option was so much prettier and I was worried that the drink ledge would look REALLY stupid. I realized that putting a back on the daybed would potentially decrease the comfort as the height of the back could hit in the wrong spot on your back or neck. Ultimately, the second rendering was a way worse design. I think it could have been tweaked and salvaged but we all loved #1 so we moved forward with that.


Custom Daybed Design Wood and Red Emily Henderson Kids Playroom


The next step was getting quotes on building that bad boy. Our budget was decent (I prioritized this piece into the budget) but timing-wise we were on a rush and needed it within 10 days. So I found Colin who quoted us $1600 for all materials, labor, delivery, and install. If you think that is a lot of money, you are right. If you think that is over priced, you are wrong. Hiring skilled people who maintain a shop, who will source materials, build, perfect, finish/stain, load up, transfer, install, and sign off on a piece is a hefty price tag. Now this piece is simple and I think that many of you could make it yourself – maybe not as beautifully, but if you can then you should. I couldn’t so we had to pay for it.


Custom Daybed Design Wood and Red Emily Henderson Kids Playroom 2


Of course the daybed also needed that cushion which wasn’t included (I KNOW).


We had to source the fabric. Mel went sourcing downtown for a couple of hours and we chose this super cute, poppy coral. The original plan was gray – something quiet so the pillows could pop, but at the last-minute we shifted gears and went coral. After doing this daybed I advise that one should always shift gears to go coral.


Once the fabric was chosen we had to specify how it was going to be sewn. There are too many seam, stitching, tufting, welting and thread options out there.


Again, the drawing:


Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Plan Option 1


We wanted a boxed cushion but no boxing on the front, which sounds weird but it’s what my sectional has and it’s a new trend in upholstery. It’s like a waterfall on front but on the sides its boxy and firm (not a knife-edge).


That drawing isn’t to scale so I kept thinking that the legs were too close together or the frame was too high (see how the frame says 3″ which is about the same size as the 6″ on the legs?) If it had been for a paying client, we would have rendered them up properly for their ultimate sign off and approval, but I could see past these issues and we moved forward (plus we were in a huge hurry).


All in all, the daybed took a lot of man hours to spec, draw, design, coordinate, and install. But once it was done, it truly was perfect. Lets talk numbers:


Daybed construction and materials from furniture builder: $1600


Fabric: $251.79 (10 yards I believe)


Cushion materials and labor: $380


Total: $2231.79


Type of wood: cab pine. Colin gave us some options but we loved how it looked and it was relatively affordable.


Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Pink Red Wallpaper Canopy 3


Who would have thought that something so simple would be so time-consuming and expensive? Answer: all designers. Custom work costs money for good reason. I’m really big on valuing skilled labor, which you would think would be a common thing, but it’s not. Because mass retailers manufacture sofas for $1500 doesn’t mean that a one-off should cost the same. It shouldn’t. A small artisan operation should charge more than the manufacturer that makes 25 or 2500 of the same piece. Now that I’ve written this post I’m sure that there will be many-a-less-expensive mass retailer imitation of this piece (hopefully), but when you are producing one thing with specific measurements and materials, it’s custom, special, and expensive but worth it.  Daybed Construction Target Weekend Makeover Kids Playroom Pink Red Wallpaper Canopy 1


In case you missed the whole playroom reveal, go here.


Let me in on what you are thinking. Are you SHOCKED that something so simple is $2200 or after I broke it down does it start to make sense? I think there is absolutely a way to do your own version of this on a budget but we didn’t have the time to experiment nor the manpower to do that. Thoughts?




Yellow Polka Dot PillowWooden Architectural Blocks | White Flower Applique Flower PillowDip Dye Bed CanopyPom Pom Pillow | Panda Head Throw Pillow | Pink Book Shelf | Pink Stripe Area Rug | Multicolored Tassel Throw Pillow | Corduroy Bean Bag Chair | Flower Bear Throw Pillow | Ice Cream Cone Throw PillowHooray Throw Pillow | Flamingo Throw PillowOh Joy Tassel Pillow | Party Hedgehog Figurine | Crosby Swing Arm SconceMy House Charcoal Wallpaper


Liked this post? Check out these others: Sara Updates Her Childhood Bedroom – The Reveal, Playroom Makeover With PillowFortThe Easiest Guest Room Makeover Ever,Brady’s DIY Peel and Stick Kitchen Flooring (For Under $50), A DIY Kitchen Redo Under $400, Who Pays For Design MistakesHow To Layout A Narrow Living Room, New Kitchen Project and Design Plan.


*Photo by Tessa Neustadt


The post A Custom Daybed Story appeared first on Emily Henderson.

Notes from the Road (6) – Ivan eats Real Fried Chicken (RFC)

As we headed south out of Virginia, the warmth of the southern sun and the allure of real home cooking got us off the interstate. Ivan was hungry and not particular, but I wanted him to experience The South. As we passed fast food joints one after another, I explained that we were on a mission to find real southern food. And then I saw it.


The square 1950’s plastic sign by the road said “MARY’S DINER”. The building looked like an old shut-down business of some sort, but I saw what I was looking for…lots of cars parked out front. As we ambled in, past the gum ball machines in the front entryway, I knew we had found heaven. The smell of real southern fried chicken mixed with the clink of forks on real plates instantly set my mind at ease and my stomach into overdrive.


I gazed across the restaurant, ascertained that this was a buffet-style eatery, and the line was at the back. We tried to appear nonchalant as we made our way back, but the folks at each table scrutinized us as we passed and instantly recognized us as strangers. Thankfully, the first waitress we met smiled and asked sweetly, “Ya’ll want menus or buffet?” I could have kissed her.


As we reached the line, a literal feast of freshly-fried love met our eyes, and the steam of hot mashed potatoes and collard greens filled our nostrils. The first hostess, a charming young lady of 75 or so, asked what we would like. Knowing that we had a long drive ahead, I opted for a light lunch…fried chicken and pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, collard greens, carrots, green beans, cornbread, biscuits, and a huge slab of pecan pie. All with about three huge glasses of sweet, sweet tea to wash it down. Ivan followed my lead exactly. The last thing I remembered was him muttering “Vedy gud” a dozen or so times between bites.


We came to an hour or so later in the front seat of our rental car. Next stop, Atlanta, Georgia.




We hit Atlanta at five o’clock, which was the wrong thing to do. Fortunately, we were headed in, and everybody else in Northern Georgia was headed out. Just as we hit downtown, the GPS told us to exit and we headed a few blocks north. In about a half-mile, we saw Carlton McLendon Rare Woods and Veneers, navigated across a few lanes of traffic, and pulled the car up behind the building.


The owner of the business, Richard Kuehndorf, met us at his back door. I had met Richard online through my wood collection efforts, and he had invited us to stop by. The business was a simple affair, just a couple of small brick buildings from the 1920’s. He led us to the back building first. What I saw next, it is fair to say, blew me away.


As Richard opened the door, the delightful, distinctive smell of old wood engulfed us like a warm wave in the Gulf of Mexico. From the concrete floor to the rafters, old planks and timbers were stacked loosely by species. This is one of those points where I really miss the video I shot, because the stories Richard shared with us over the next hour or so overwhelmed my feeble brain and all I can recall was Wood Everywhere. But the one thing I do remember is that Richard showed an obvious love and respect for the original owner of the business, under whom he had learned the business himself. From the company’s website…


Carlton McLendon is well known around the world as the founding father of the Victorian reproduction furniture industry. Even though he sold his operation in 1970 to retire, you can still see his furniture actively sought after in the antiques markets today. 

After a short while he realized he didn’t like being retired and decided to share his knowledge of wood. He naturally had active resources and made them available to the local craftsman and do-it-yourselfers. In 1976 Carlton decided to go full blast into the retail environment with the purchase of a historic building in midtown Atlanta. Only a few years later he bought the building next door to expand further. We have grown with Atlanta and are proud and prospering in the same buildings for 40 years later.”

Mr. McLendon passed on a few years ago, but his spirit lives on in Mr. Kuehndorf’s mindful stewardship of the business. If you’re ever in the Atlanta area, and you’re a true wood lover, pass up all those tourist traps and hit Rare Woods and Veneers. It will be one of the best days of your life. Tell Richard you know me and he’ll give you the Go Wood discount, which is a free cup of coffee.


As good as this day was, this trip was just starting to warm up. Ivan was about to find himself in the swamps of Northern Florida.


Everyday Mini Banner

I love the idea of hanging a banner in your kitchen window, but I wanted one that I could leave up all year round.  So I came up with this “SIMPLIFY” banner because it’s always a good reminder.  And to make it even better I made it reversible!  So anytime I have reason to celebrate anything…birthdays, graduation, good grades or whatever it is you want to celebrate all I have to do is flip it around!  No digging through a drawer or box to find it.  It’s already there and super convenient!
Supplies needed:
lots of paint
alphabet stickers or Cricut
2 yards bakers twine
First use your sanding block to smooth all rough edges on all sides of the banner pieces.  Then paint them white on both sides and all edges.  I did 2 coats where the letter would be showing through.
If you have a Cricut you can cut out your own letters (this is what I did), but you can also buy alphabet stickers at your favorite craft store.  Starting with the “celebrate” side, stick your letters on and paint a light coat of white paint over the top of them.  This will help prevent bleeding when you paint your next color.  That way you will have nice clean lines when you pull up the stickers.
Then paint each banner piece a different color.  Here is the list of colors I used:
Bittersweet Orange
Crocus Yellow
Apple Green
Kelly Green
Sea Foam
Tahiti Blue
Navy Blue
The paint colors I used for this side are Sea Foam and Charcoal.
When you flip your banner pieces around to do the other side make sure you do it the right way.  The “E” on the end of “CELEBRATE” should become your “S” at the beginning of “SIMPLIFY”.
Now for the “Simplify” side.  Put your letters on first and apply a thin coat of white over the top to help create clean lines.  Then paint your top color part way down.

Next, tape off the top and again apply a coat of the Sea Foam blue this time over the tape line to again help create a clean line.  Then paint Charcoal over the whole top, making sure you don’t paint on the sides.  Once it’s dry you can peel off the letters and the tape.


For the end pieces apply your favorite paper with the wood glue.  String the whole thing together and you’re done!  To help string it together, I used a wide eye needle to pull it through.  It makes it much easier!


Now I have a cute banner that stays up all year long and I can just flip it anytime there is a reason to celebrate!  I love it!!!


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