Thursday, February 23, 2012

DIY Kitchen Part 3: Lighting + Stool

Today is a super exciting day for me! I mentioned last week that I wasn't able to get my traditional Valentine's Day tattoo because the block where the shop is located lost power. I was so bummed! John and I have the same artist and we really love him. I absolutely love what he drew up for my latest ink and TONIGHT I get it!!! Yay! We're going right after ballet class (which, by the way, I *finally* found my ballet skirt, after making THREE replacements). Maybe I'll share my latest body art tomorrow. I don't think I've ever posted any pictures of them before. 
Before I jet off, though, I want to show you a couple more DIY projects from our kitchen. If you live in an apartment, like we do, you know that there are limitations with what you're allowed to do. It can be frustrating at times- especially when it comes to painting. However, I want to show you a few ways that John and I have made our kitchen more customized, despite small spaces + regulations. YESTERDAY I posted the cabinet makeover- completely reversible, cheap and easy. Today I'll show you some inspirations from Ikea.
While browsing the Swedish giant about six months ago, John fell in love with some LED lighting they displayed underneath the kitchen cabinets. It had to be installed, though, and for Ikea it was extremely expensive.
We recreated the same look for $9, and again, it's completely reversible. 
I bought 6 LED touch lights from AMAZON.COM and used 3M command (more about this at a later date!) strips to attach them to the undersides of our cabinets. The 3M removes completely with no residue. They aren't beautiful, but unless you bend down, you can't see them underneath our cabinets. 

I love the way they look, they have a very gentle, pretty glow and are great for using at night. John especially loves them because he hates our florescent lighting and avoids using it whenever possible. They definitely aren't bright enough for cooking, but they're wonderful for a light night snack, or just to use to add a little luminosity to your abode. 
The second inspiration also came from Ikea. They were selling these step stools in various colors, but we chose the unfinished version for $12.99 (now $14.99). This was a big deal for us, we needed a  step stool for our kitchen, and it needed to be easily accessible as I use it all the time. I also wanted it to match, though, and not be in the way.
I ended up painting it yellow (two coats, acrylic paint) and it looks so bright and wonderful! These stools are easy to paint, and if you're talented you can always give it a base color and then stencil on a fun design. I may go back and add in white stripes, now that I'm thinking about it. Actually... let's do it now!
(1) Base it. Paint your stool in the base color- in my case that would be yellow.
(2) Tape it. Tape off your design with painters or masking tape, or use a stencil. I striped mine with varying widths of white. I did that by starting with widths of 3 pieces of tape and then 2 and then 1 (on the top).
(3). Paint it. Paint again and again til your color is achieved. If you want it to be easier, paint the stool with your LIGHTER color first and then layer it with the darker shade. I didn't know I'd be adding stripes when I made this :)
(4) Dry it. Once the color is achieved, allow the stool to completely dry and then remove the tape. Voila!
We also needed to make it accessible without being in the way. In the end, I put it in front of the oven. I also put a peace lily (from my Grandfather's funeral) on top of it to add aesthetic value and make it more useful. The plant needed something to sit on! The oven had been a real eyesore when you walk into our apartment, but now it's really quirky and somewhat reminds me of my favorite German homes. 
SO there you go! Two quick, little customizations for your home... whether you're an apartment dweller or not! Yesterday was so gorgeous, I thought for sure Spring was here. However, Michigan dashed my hopes with a fresh crop of snow this morning. I can't complain, though, the weather has been AMAZING so far! Before I rush off, I want to remind you to LIKE OUR FACEBOOK page and be automatically entered to win one of 10 prizes. Odds are pretty good and there are only 5 more days to enter, so you should rush over and get in on it! Have a great day, and as always, thanks for reading. 


  1. What a great blog! I can't wait to read your posts more often. :-)


    1. Thank you so much! and thanks for reading!


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