I built this floating bench and it was super easy and you should build one too.

Old houses were built for people without hoarding tendencies, I have inferred.

I have hoarding tendencies, and have material goods all over the place, which invariably turns into a pile. For me to climb upon and slumber like a dragon on her riches and spoils.

And apparently, it’s genetic, because my dragon child insists on leaving her pile right at the front door, as soon as she walks in the house.

The room doesn’t have a closet, or a place to make a closet/closed storage. So, I hung up some hooks, and that was a start. Then, things kind of turned into a clusterfuck of shoes, coats, backpacks under the hooks?

The logistics baffled me though. There is a bump out for the vestibule and a radiator, too. But a replacement radiator, that wasn’t as big as the original one, so there is a pipe along the floor.

One day, I was staring at the whole area with contempt, as I’m wont to do, and then it occurred to me that I could use the same method for floating shelves to BUILD A BENCH. WITH ROOM FOR BASKETS UNDERNEATH. THAT WOULD FIT THE GAP BETWEEN THE WALL AND THE RADIATOR.

And the heavens opened and I went out to get 3 2x4s and some plywood.

First: Locate the studs in the 3 walls and mark them. Bonus tip: don’t have plaster walls. It’s so frustrating to find the studs. The most accurate tool that I have is one of those cheapy magnet tools, but it’s a slow process.

I knew that I wanted my bench frame to be 16″ deep and span the whole length of the wall.

The 2×4’s actual dimension is 1 1/2″, so 16″ – 3″ (front/back frames) left me with 13″ long middle pieces. I cut 6 of them, because, idk that’s what happened. The front and the back ended up being 74″ – give or take some for out of plumb walls.

I marked off the stud location on the back 2×4, so I didn’t inadvertently put a middle piece there. Then I attached the middle pieces with some 3″ long deck screws. Except the one on the radiator wall (I wouldn’t be able to screw the front piece to it) and the side piece (couldn’t find a stud and had to use a toggle), if you don’t have this issue. Then ignore that and do all the middle pieces.

I read on the internets to have the bench height, including the cushion, be 18″ off the ground. I made mine slightly higher than that, to accommodate 11″ baskets underneath. I’m wild like that.

Once you have your total height decided, minus the thickness of the cushion and 3/4″ for the plywood, mark a level line on the wall. Take the back piece with the attached middle pieces, line it up level, and use those same 3″ deck screws to screw it into the studs. Side pieces, too.

Hold up the long front piece and then screw that into the middle pieces, et voila. Super sturdy. I was a little skeptical, but I stood on the frame and that shit isn’t going anywhere.

I cut a piece of sanded plywood 16″x74″ and put that on top. I used some small cabinet screws to attach it to the 2×4 frame.

Since the side of the 2×4 is ugly, I used a piece of 1×6 poplar and my nail gun. I created a 1″ lip above, to keep the cushion from sliding off.

It got primed and painted the same color as the trim, to really add to the whole floating thing.

For the cushion, I chose the Augusta fabric from Tonic Living. It has this beautiful cream and gold marbling thing going on.

I don’t sew, but I found someone on etsy who does. Jessiya on etsy did a great job, it is flawless.

Baskets! For shoes! That will most likely sit half empty, with small shoes kicked off and left in front of! They have good intentions, though.

Let us bask in this, it will never be this clean and organized again.



Updates on the front room 1/20/2018 and some feelings


I’m posting again! HI TO ANYONE THAT CARES!

I’ve been pretty active on Instagram, for me, and I might be bordering (or fully surpassed, idk) on annoying with my insta stories. They don’t really have anything to do with DIY or projects and are more about me/life.

But, I don’t have a different Instagram for that? And my momma told me that it’s ok for me to be more of a person on it. She doesn’t have Instagram, but I would totally follow her if she did.

If you’re not following, and annoying stories about my cat interest you, you can follow me. Tempting, I know. I really enjoy the messages and conversations from them!

Speaking of Instagram, I had to unfollow a lot of well-known DIY home bloggers.

Most real people cannot keep up with the pace they set for DIY projects and large home renovations. Then they write a post with a budget breakdown and what? They didn’t actually have to pay that?

No one is going to give me $15,000 worth of appliances or materials or come do the work for free. It feels unrelatable.

And I’m not saying that I DO want any of that. But, it gives an unrealistic expectation of what my house should look like 5 months after moving in.

Then I get frustrated that I’ve been in my house for 5 years and I only see the things that I haven’t finished.

Thennnnnn I pull up ‘before’ pictures and realize that I have made a ton of progress. And I remember that it’s for the best for this process to be slow, thought out and organic. Otherwise, I end up making a lot of decisions that I regret and will change.

And I’m like: lmaoooooooooooooo remember how in the front room, the previous owners had blown insulation put in with big holes/wooden plugs AND THEN LITERALLY PUT SQUARES OF WALLPAPER OVER THE HOLES WITH GLUE!? OMG FUN TIMES.

I removed the drywall, skim coated the walls, and painted the trim white.


And moved the original wood door, to replace the horrible steel exterior door.

I forgot my point of this post? omg do I ever shut up?


Quick snap before it was installed

Last time I hung (hanged? English language, you so crazy) a door with my husband, it turned into an explosive fight and I vowed never to experience that again. It would likely end up in a homicide/suicide situation. Best to avoid that and hire it out.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a professional who knew how to simply mortise the new door for hinges and install it in the existing door jamb? When I would call for an estimate, they usually told me that they only installed pre-hung doors. So I gave up for a few years.


I called a handyman service and explained to the nice lady what I needed and she told me that would be fine and she would schedule their carpenter.


So I repeated the situation about 7 times to make sure I was clear, and she clearly thought I was unwell mentally.

He did a great job and it cost $165.

I opted to install the door hardware myself to save money.

He really, really, did not want to let me. He kept asking me if I was sure that I wanted to do it. It wasn’t mean but also fuck off because I said that I did already like 45432124 times and I know that I am a woman but I am still capable of using my hands?

I hadn’t ever mortised a door before, so cue the stress sweating, but it went pretty well and it only cost me $5 for the drill bit.

I am not saying that I am a door knob, but if I were, I would be this door knob and thumb turn combo.

I still haven’t finished scraping off the paint from the glass. I’ll probably do an update post on that in about 2 years. THE ANTICIPATION MUST BE KILLING YOU.

The color is from Ace, OPI ‘Care to danse?’ in exterior satin.

Still a stupid name and I hate asking for it. I quite literally cringe.

That fucking wallpaper. I still love it so, so, so much.

A few months ago, I built this floating bench for this odd little nook.

Andddddddd I bought this mirror from Anthro last year (20% off sale for the win!) to go above my campaign dresser. It doesn’t seem to be available anymore. 

I really struggled with lamps? The scale baffled me. That was until I saw these ones from CB2 and I was like YASSSSSSSSSSSS GIMME.

Ignore that bright orange extension cord ok? I almost  moved it and retook pictures and then I was like nah. We are bright orange extension cord people in this household. And lazy.

These guys are always lurking. 

Seriously, how do I use so many words for nothing?

SO, the point. Yeah, it’s taken me 5 years to get this room here. BUT I AM COOL WITH IT. YOU BE COOL WITH YOUR PROGRESS, TOO.

Also, as always, I appreciate all of you wonderful people for your support, comments and inspiration.

What I’m on: January 2018

Look at me kind of sometimes blogging! I haven’t done this kind of post in a long time and I thought it would be nice to start up again.

Making: Nothing at the moment! I am drafting plans up in my brain to remove the drawers in my hallway and create a more efficient linen closet.

Cooking: Vegan meats. I haven’t eaten meat since November and I need to figure out an alternative. I found a vegan meat shop called The Herbivorous butcher and have been experimenting. Their Italian sausage is delish in spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers and shallots.

Drinking: Vodka Soda. I’ve been trying to drink less wine/sugar? idk. It’s watered down vodka, lets not make it more than it is, not bad though!

Reading: Behind her eyes – YA’LL THE ENDING WILL HAVE YOU FUCKED UP.

Wanting: This or this mirror for my living room? My husband is straight up appalled that I want a mirror in every room. WHO IS HE, MEDUSA!?

Enjoying: Sleep overs with my daughter in our finished guest room! It’s so dark and cozy. I haven’t co-slept with her since she was 4 months old (she’s 7 now), but, we have been enjoying piling all our pillows and blankets in there and sleeping in late when my husband is working overnights.

Listening: Oh wonder – so chill.

Needing: At least a 20% coupon for CB2 for those potential mirrors.

Smelling: The last bit of pine smell from the Christmas tree, which finally got tossed out.

Wearing: Nothing but sweats. It’s been in the negative temps for several weeks now, and through a combination of vacation and working from home, I have hardly left the house.

Watching: Planet Earth II – I love this show. So beautiful and it puts so much in perspective for me.

Feeling: Contemplative. This past year was really difficult for me with some deep emotional avoidance and depression. I have been trying to do some reflection on changes that I can make. Expanded post drafted, it’s hard to write it all out and put it on the internet. I feel it’s important though. Mental health is so taboo and way underrepresented, especially in this age of perfect Instagram and blog lives. I’m not perfect, and I know that I’m not alone in that (no offense).



I want to gut my bathroom and remodel it, but, I am poor.

Bet ya’ll thought I was going to pull the ol’ ‘disappear-for-a-year-then-blog-for-the-ORC-then-disappear’ act again?

I wouldn’t blame you.

I admit, I did take a few weeks off from house remodeling to recover from the fall one room challenge. I read some books, went to the gym again, slept. Normal activities that don’t require respirators and chemicals.

On one of those mornings, I glanced into my tiny little 5’x10′ bathroom and decided I needed a change.

I had painted the tan tile black, and that was a few years ago. It’s held up basically as well as paint in a bathroom can hold up? Which is to say, that it’s peeling in chunks and looks pretty badly at this point.

So, then I thought of just updating the tile. Which, of course, transitioned to a plan to gut the whole bathroom within minutes.

One of my biggest points of contention with the tiny room of plumbing, is the so called ‘bath tub’. When the bathroom was remodeled before we purchased the house, they put in this stupidly shallow drop in tub.

I did the only logical thing to be done: went on craigslist.

Continue reading “I want to gut my bathroom and remodel it, but, I am poor.”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Dark and cozy guest room reveal

Wooooooooowwwww. Even with an extra week, I almost didn’t make it.

When I first started, I thought this small room was going to be a breeze. I even thought it wasn’t worth doing the ORC for, since it wasn’t going to be that big of a change.

Then the ORC gods were like ‘lol, this girl.’

Ok. OK. Some of it may have been self inflicted. Why did self decide this was the time to learn how to build a bedframe and headboard from my brain and upholster it? In the last week. Oh, self, you’re a real pain in my ass.

But, you know what? It’s week 6 7 of the One room challenge and my guest room no longer resembles a crack den hovel!

If you’re wondering what my almost incoherent ramblings about what an ORC is, it’s a biannual event created and hosted by Linda, from Calling it Home. Designers, bloggers, whomever wants to join the madness; choose a room and have 5/6 weeks to complete the refresh/remodel/arson (JK. DON’T DO THAT) and blog weekly with their progress.

Fall 2015 / Spring 2016

I’m not a designer, and I’m barely even a blogger, but, I rate high in neuroticism and I like to spend money. So I’m pretty qualified.

Here’s where the room started: Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Dark and cozy guest room reveal”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Week 6 and we finally have paint.

It’s week 6 of the One Room Challenge and normally this would be the reveal post, but, I am so relieved for the extra week this round! If you’re new to the One room Challenge, it’s a biannual event created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. It’s usually the kick in the pants that most of us need to finish a project that we’ve been dragging out. Or is that just me? Thanks for creating this event with me in mind, Linda!

Anyways. We have 4 relatively tiny bedrooms upstairs. I chose to work on the guest room in my house for this round. I love my house, I chose it because I saw the potential and it desperately needed someone to love it. But. The walls are fucked up badly.

For this one tiny bedroom, I had removed the drywall and drywall screws to expose ugly green faux finish and make a planremove the faux finish, repair the walls with joint compound, stripped down the trim and sanded the walls, and then finally primed everything.

Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Week 6 and we finally have paint.”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Deferred gratification and a boring post

Welcome back to week 5 of the fall One Room Challenge! Created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. This is a bi-annual event for designers/bloggers/adrenaline junkies to choose a room to remodel/refresh/etc and blog weekly about their progress for 6 weeks. For the first time, it was extended a week to remove some pressure and stresses on participants that are dealing with fall out from natural disasters.

And, dang. Last week, I was ALL UP in my feelings.

My mood has improved much this past week because of PAINT! My god, what a essential thing visual progress is to the soul.

I had previously removed the drywall covering the plaster and all the drywall screws before I started the ORC.

For reference of what this room needed before I could even get to paint:

I introduced the room, that had metallic green faux finish on the walls. Next, I scraped off the faux finish with razor blades, to expose the state of the plaster underneath. I patched holes with drywall and cracks with joint compound. Finally, I sanded the walls and stripped all the trim to prep for primer/paint.

Here’s how it looked last week: Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Deferred gratification and a boring post”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: My progress is an even UGLIER room than last week.

My finger prints are gone and I’m starting my career as a bank robber. Or perhaps a jewel thief.

I’m pretty much going to have to if I want to keep bankrolling these projects.

It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home, and this week has been tough. All the kind words of encouragement are what keep me going though, and that’s why I’m so appreciative of the challenge. THANK YOU!

Where it started: Here’s where I left it last week:

I am so, so tired and discouraged and I’ve either been wearing the same gross project clothes or the same sweater for several days because I’m too tired to care and I haven’t had a chance to do laundry. I have layers of paint under all my nails, blisters and super sore muscles. Project dust always makes me break out. I’ve been waking up at 3:00 am to double check my calendar on how much time I have and thinking about what needs to be finished. My alarm goes off at 6:00 am, so, that ain’t cool.

My body keeps threatening an ugly cry when I’m at work. Body, you fucking traitor.

To catch you up on what led me to this disastrous state: I previously showed the room I was working on, made fool hardy claims of ease, repaired the walls (much to my chagrin) and decided to strip the woodwork.


JK. Even if you tried to stop me, I’d still do it.

Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: My progress is an even UGLIER room than last week.”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (if you’re new to this blog, then it’s sure to be a riveting story): we bought this house from some house flippers that covered all the plaster walls with drywall. The walls looked nice, but projected farther than the baseboards and it irked the hell out of me. A few years ago, I started removing drywall, room by room, to expose varying horrors underneath.

This guest room is the 7th room in the house that I’ve been repairing in earnest and for some reason, although I have gotten a pretty good handle on it, I felt serious avoidance to putting the work in. Like, I found all sorts of other activities to do instead of work on those walls. Working my actual job longer days, watching kids movies (Hocus Pocus for the win) and idk, my fucking taxes? Basically, anything seemed better.

I removed the drywall and screws, and introduced the room.

But not myself? Which should be the biggest indicator of who I am. My name is Madeline, I am not a designer or real blogger (as evidenced by my many posting faux pas) and I am renovating my 100+ year old home as a hobby. I do all these projects by myself because my husband has no interest in them. I love hyperbole and pink.

Now back to the room.

Last week I scraped off the faux finish. What I was left with was the room with the least amount of cracks on the ceiling and walls, although I was still gifted with some huge chunks of wall/ceiling missing, cracks and tons of screw holes. And a seriously growing hatred for all the previous owners. The worst. Whenever I would get my dusty clothes on and mix up some mud, I barely worked on it and would abandon the walls for wine and justifications that I still have weeks.

That is the beauty that is the One Room Challenge though. Thanks to Linda, from Calling it Home, for creating this event. And all the amazing and inspiring participants! I can’t give ya’ll an ugly and crumbling room and I am running out of time.

Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.”

One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Procrastination is expensive and also my default setting

Welcome back!

To brush you up, the One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event that is hosted by Linda from Calling it Home which facilitates bloggers choosing a room in need of love and 5 weeks to share progress and then a reveal. It’s such a great opportunity to GET SHIT DONE, and there’s so much support from fellow participants. It gives me all the fuzzies.

As per my routine, I announced that I would complete this project in a short amount of time, then I went and did other things – not related to my project.

And there I was, minding my own avoidance business and I was like “Oh shit! The roman shades!”

You see, I purchased the last 4 1/2 yards of Rose Gold Regency fabric from Tonic Living (here’s the gold version) a few months ago, and then it sat in it’s packaging.

Sometimes (all the time) in my head, once I have made a decision about something in my brain, it’s done? But not actually in reality.

So I reached out to someone on Etsy about sending the fabric and having shades made, and the price was reasonable and I was like great! Then I went to purchase the listing and the estimated time was 6-8 weeks. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Continue reading “One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Procrastination is expensive and also my default setting”