Jumping on the Fauxdenza Wagon

We have a big wall in our dining room that used to hold a picture rail.  That somehow always bugged me, this picture rail hanging in the middle of no-freakin-where.  Anyways, we FINALLY made a trip out to Ikea (its like a 2 hour drive!) and we got ourselves some Besta units and got down to making our fauxdenza.  Now any one in the blogging world knows that fauxdenzas aren’t new – they’re basically floating Ikea cabinets topped or wrapped with wood.  Honestly they are a great and inexpensive way to get a large picture of furniture to anchor a room.  Tons of storage is also a huge plus!

So here’s what we got:

Putting the Besta cabinets together were a breeze – Ikea actually has decent instructions for those.  But then again I guess its kinda like putting a box together.  Anyways, once you have your Besta built and hung on the wall with the suspension rails, its time for the fun part!

We had Home Depot cut our plywood to size for us.  For reference, we used a 3/4″ furniture grade red oak plywood.  3/4″ in a good thickness, anything less than that would look weird in my opinion.  Iron on your veneer edging to all exposed sides.  Something to note that there are different types of veneer.  Since we used a red oak plywood, we opted for the red oak veneer for consistency.  If you use a birch plywood (our other option), look for a birch veneer edging.

Then we sand everything down using an orbital sander with a 100 grit sandpaper and gradually move our way up to a 220 grit.  Be careful when sanding the edges of plywood, make sure you sand from the top down to the sides to avoid splintering the wood.  Lesson learned for us.  Then its time to stain.  We used a preconditioner (very important especially for plywood) followed by 2 coats of Minwax’s Special Walnut stain.  Follow that on with 2 coats of polycrylic seal sanding with steel wool in between each coat.  Bam we’re almost there.

Then attach the sides and top with cabinet screws.  As an extra precaution, we predrilled holes to make sure we didn’t split the plywood.  We didn’t miter the edges of the plywood but kept it simple and perpendicular.  Honestly I like it better this way.

Then  finish it off with hardware if you like.  We haven’t quite decided on hardware yet so for now its just staying naked.  Style and there – you’ve joined the fauxdenza club too.




Cleaning Green – Refilling A Swiffer Wet Jet

Cleaning in a green way is something that is very important to me.  Years ago, in an attempt to sanitize the bathroom, we mopped it with Pine Sol and that made our cat Lily who would walk on the bathroom floor and lick her paws very sick.  Thankfully for us, we used a very diluted version of Pine Sol and after a quick trip to the vet, Lily was ok.  Lily has since passed away, she died last December, but that first incident with her made us vow to use only pet safe cleaning products on our floors, counters and literally anywhere a pet might come into contact with.   After all, our pets (and children) are literally crawling on these spaces all day and what goes on their paws/feet often make it into their mouths.

Our weapon of choice when it comes to cleaning floors is the ever popular Swiffer Wet Jet.  I would imagine this is true for most American families but if there’s something I hate about the Swiffer Wet Jet is the fact that you HAVE to buy their refills.  There are conflicting arguments around whether or not the Wet Jet is harmful to pets and children and that’s definitely not something I want to get into.  Point is, I want to be able to choose what I clean my floor with.  I personally like the Naturally Clean Floor Cleaner and I want to use it with my Wet Jet.  So I did some research and learned that there was a way to get those Swiffer Wet Jet refill caps off so that you could well, refill them!

Functionally the cap on the Wet Jet refills are self-locking – there are little plastic prongs on the inside that latch onto the bottle and this is why you can’t refill them.  But all you need to get rid of these pesky prongs is some hot water and a pair of nail clippers!

Step One:  Bring a little pot of water to boil.  Once it is boiling, place the Wet Jet refill cap first into the water.  The goal here is to soften the plastic enough to be able to twist it off.  Hold it in the water for about 2 minutes, then take it out, and use a rag or pot holder to grab the cap and twist it off.  It should come off really easily.

Step Two:  Once you get the cap off, look for the little pesky locking prongs and snip each and every single one of them off.  I used nail clippers because its easiest plus they kind of look like errant nails that could turn into ingrown ones anyway!  I know they are hard to see in the picture but once you get the cap off, you’ll see them!

Step Three:  Once you get all the prongs off, its just a matter of filling your now refillable bottle with a cleaning solution you like (and is good for children and pets), sealing it back with the cap and inserting it back into your Swiffer Wet Jet.  And then its back to mopping.  🙁

And there you have it – a refillable Wet Jet safe that is safe for all!  And to be clear, this post was NOT sponsored by P&G, the makes of the Swiffer Wet Jet.









DIY Light – Kitchen Sconce Edition

We recently axed our top kitchen cabinets in favor of open shelving.  Oooo I could dedicate an entire post to open shelving – they look beautiful, they are practical, they make grabbing and putting dishes back so easy and they are great for getting much needed artwork into the kitchen.  I now know why so many interior designers favor open shelving – who wouldn’t??  We decided to only have one long shelf (its about 10 feet long) instead of multiple long ones.  Given that this side of the kitchen was darker (the refrigerator and the wall hides a lot of the natural light, the idea was to keep this area open, airy and 2 shelves would have just made the wall heavier.  This however left us with a huge area above the

Darlin’ Leave a Light on for Me – How to Automate Your Porch Lights

Remember that Belinda Carlisle song Leave a Light On?  Boy does that bring back memories…

“Darlin’ leave a light on for me, I’ll be there before you close the door to give you all the love that you need…”

Ok maybe you don’t – I might have just dated my musical tastes. I don’t know about you but I love having my porch lights on when I come home in the evening or just for security reasons when we’re not home or even if we are!  Thing is, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to turn them off only to have them on the entire night and day!  In fact, truth be told, my neighbor has her porch lights on 24/7 and the little eco-monster in me just wants to help her automate her lights to save some electricity!

Realistically, who wants to remember to turn on and turn off their porch lights everyday?  I certainly don’t.  Enter the Honeywell Light Switch Programmable Timer.  There are a bunch of other brands of programmable light switches – I personally went with this one because it was only about $20 and Honeywell is a pretty reputable brand.


Lighting up the hallway – DIY Globe Light

We’re on a mission, a mission to banish all boob lights from our builder grade home.  Let’s see, we have 1,2,3,4.. ok many boob lights in this house – so many that replacing them all with beautiful lights from Cedar and Moss (like this one!) would be way too expensive or it would take too long!  What’s a girl to do but to make her own DIY light!  Introducing our very own DIY Globe Light for less than $50!  Let’s get started!