Patio furniture that won’t cost you your first-born child

$500 for a patio chair? SERIOUSLY? It’s ludicrous how much patio furniture, let alone patio sets, cost nowadays. As always, the fiancé and I weren’t willing to spend our hard-earned money on something we could make ourselves for a fraction of the cost.

So, I did the research and happened upon the world’s most amazing DIY site. Ana-white.com is a candy story for DIYers. This is where I found the step-by-step instructions for the Simple White Outdoor Sofa and its sister plan, the Simple White Outdoor Chair, which we are currently building.

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Bench in progress - fiancé removing a stripped screw (which leads us to lesson learned #1 - use square head screws!)

All in all, building the sofa, which seats four, and the two chairs, which each seat one, we are spending around $400 (including a hard-learned lesson about the inefficiency and high cost of spray paint). Click here to read the post I wrote about the project, including lessons learned, on Ana-White.com.

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The finished outdoor sofa with the slate coffee table turned chevron outdoor table (I’ll post about this table soon)

VERDICT: save yourself TONS of money and build, build, build. It’s even worth spending the money to buy special tools, since you’ll be able to use them for future DIY projects. 


Let me know if this inspired you to build…and of course, post photos if you do!

New chandelier or chandelier makeover?

With our upcoming nuptials, the fiancé and I have a limited interior design budget. For most couples, that wouldn’t be an issue, but see, we decided to have an open house the day before our wedding so that family from around the globe can stop in, say hi and see our new home. So, as we emerge from the flurry of wedding plans, we’ve started looking around our house and seeing…well…room for improvement. 

Starting with the dining room chandelier. When we first moved in, we were just happy to have a beautiful chandelier! However, our taste is markedly more modern and quirky than the gold, scrolly chandelier with ivory shades we inherited.

As it turns out, chandeliers ain’t cheap! My modern, quirky self had to find another solution. So, I decided to change the shades and give the chandy a spray job. Not so fast - chandelier shades ain’t cheap, either! Bummed was I, sitting there in front of my old chandy full of disappointment.

Then, it dawned on me: I can make the shades! After visiting the Lampshade Lady’s wondrous blog, I felt completely assured that I could make us some drum shades for our new(ly sprayed platinum) chandelier. I got all my supplies from the Lamp Shop (great customer service) and made lampshades out of burgundy linen fabric I got from Jo-Ann’s. Also, notice I made a new chain cover out of the leftover fabric.

Et voila! A new (looking) chandelier for a grand total of $70!

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VERDICT: BUILD! This fun project will take you half a day and won’t break the bank. Plus, you can go as crazy as you want with colors and fabric for an ultra-custom look.

Materials snapshot

Lampshade wire (top wire with clip and bottom wire without clip)

Pressure sensitive styrene

3/8” grosgrain trim

Specialty glue from the Lamp Shop WITH applicator bottle (makes things way easier)

Clothespins (the secret to DIY lampshade success)

Fabric

INTRODUCING OUR “WOW” WALL
The fiancé and I have wanted to spruce up our dining room since we moved into our first home together…over a year ago. We looked into a plethora of options, including 4x4 blocks of wood, 3D wall tiles, stones and tile, but we just couldn’t find something to fit our budget and our style.
Then, fiancé introduced me to Google SketchUp. I started playing with it, and before you know it, I had designed the photo you see above. I did the research and calculated the cost at less than $150! WAY doable. 
The project took us a total of about 20 hours (thanks to not having a compound miter saw to cut those accurate 45 degree angles…we now have a compound miter saw). For 20 hours and $150, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.
VERDICT: before you hire someone to add a chair rail or wood paneling to a wall or two, take a crack at it. You’d be surprised at how simple and affordable this DIY is! One thing’s for sure, you need a reliable way to cut those 45-degree angles.
Materials snapshot:
3.5” preprimed molding from Lowes
Wallpaper of your choice (I chose Nottingham from Graham & Brown and stapled it to the wall, since we didn’t want to ruin the walls with paste)
White satin indoor paint
Paintable caulk or wood filler (creates a professional, finished look)
Nail gun and compound miter saw (both tools highly recommended to make this project a breeze)

INTRODUCING OUR “WOW” WALL

The fiancé and I have wanted to spruce up our dining room since we moved into our first home together…over a year ago. We looked into a plethora of options, including 4x4 blocks of wood, 3D wall tiles, stones and tile, but we just couldn’t find something to fit our budget and our style.

Then, fiancé introduced me to Google SketchUp. I started playing with it, and before you know it, I had designed the photo you see above. I did the research and calculated the cost at less than $150! WAY doable. 

The project took us a total of about 20 hours (thanks to not having a compound miter saw to cut those accurate 45 degree angles…we now have a compound miter saw). For 20 hours and $150, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.

VERDICT: before you hire someone to add a chair rail or wood paneling to a wall or two, take a crack at it. You’d be surprised at how simple and affordable this DIY is! One thing’s for sure, you need a reliable way to cut those 45-degree angles.

Materials snapshot:

3.5” preprimed molding from Lowes

Wallpaper of your choice (I chose Nottingham from Graham & Brown and stapled it to the wall, since we didn’t want to ruin the walls with paste)

White satin indoor paint

Paintable caulk or wood filler (creates a professional, finished look)

Nail gun and compound miter saw (both tools highly recommended to make this project a breeze)

Everything around you that you call life was made up by no people smarter than you.

Steve Jobs