My First Before & After!

I am so excited to share my first finished Pinterest project with you all. All I have to say is thank goodness my lovely boyfriend was willing to help with this one. Definitely couldn’t have done it without him!

My “pinspiration” was this beautiful wood headboard from aka design.


And also this one from House*Tweaking.

But since we won’t be living in this same Chicago apartment forever, I decided that we needed to construct ours a little differently. I didn’t want to attach it to the wall for two reasons. 1. I didn’t want to have to patch the wall when we decide to move in a year or so and 2. I didn’t want to have to re-attach it at the next place we move.

I came up with a little game plan on how we needed to construct this. My (very old) bed frame already had metal posts in the back to attach a headboard so I thought that would work perfectly. I’ll just attach the entire thing to those. We’ll see how it holds up! 🙂

After I took all the measurements, Evan and I headed to Home Depot. I’m not a Home Depot fan for many reasons, but unfortunately there isn’t a Lowe’s close to me. I even had a 10%-off coupon for Lowe’s that I couldn’t use. I’ve been in a hardware store numerous times but for some reason this particular trip kind of overwhelmed me. I didn’t really know where to start to get all of the things that I needed.

First up was the stain. Originally I was thinking either Minwax’s Special Walnut (used on the first headboard above) or their new color Classic Gray. I didn’t know if I wanted mine to be as dark as the Special Walnut and then I didn’t know if the Classic Gray would look good against a light gray wall. Basically I crossed both off and went with their other new color, Weathered Oak. It was lighter and actually kind of had hints of gray in it.

Next, we decided to gather all of the wood that we needed. Let’s just say I think I failed at this (or we, since Evan was there to help me with this decision). I should have done a little research or even asked the workers there on the differences in the woods and how to purchase/cut the wood that we needed. Basically I needed (5) 1″x6″x4’6″ boards and (2) 1″x4″x4’6″ boards – but had no idea how to get the cheapest or most for my money. It was a learning experience because we walked out of there with Poplar wood, we had to make the exact cuts on every single board, and I paid by the linear foot for each board. Which is not what you’re supposed to do. It was definitely a time when I needed my dad there with me! Later I find out that Poplar is actually really nice wood, and if you purchase by the linear foot (I think that’s the only way Poplar is sold at HD) it’s going to be pretty expensive. Instead, I should have gone with the less expensive Pine and bought it by the board. With a 10′ board I could have just cut it in half almost. Oh well – lesson learned. I now have really nice wood.

We get it home and begin the staining process. I decided that only one coat of the stain achieved the look that I wanted (and we only let it sit on the wood for 10 minutes before removing the excess stain). It took a little less than 2 hours to get everything sanded, stained and set out to dry. Not too bad. We let it dry overnight and then we applied the thin layer of the Polycrylic finish. We let that dry overnight as well.

Next came the construction, which was probably the hardest part. I’ll spare you all the details (if you really want to know, leave me a comment and I’ll explain) but after a few hours of measuring we finally got to this point. Everything was ready to be nailed together. This was it, no turning back after we started. I’m clearly a rookie at this kind of stuff so I was definitely nervous when Evan started with the first board.

But we got through it…thank goodness. And I love it! I only have Evan’s iPhone 4S camera so these pictures aren’t the best. As soon as I have a chance to do some research about DSLR cameras I will be buying one…and then learning how to use it! Any suggestions are welcome too!

Okay, here is the messy BEFORE picture of the room.

And here is the AFTER.

It’s so much better. Don’t pay attention to the nightstand, that is getting replaced very soon. Or the styling (ha, or lack-there-of). This is just the start to the guest bedroom. I still have a long way to go.

Here is the budget breakdown of the project for those of you that are interested. Also, keep in mind, I did not know what I was doing as far as the wood goes so that could definitely be done much cheaper!

Stain & finish: $16
Staining materials: $7
Wood: $68
Other miscellaneous items (nails, bolts, etc): $6

Total: $97

Oh and a little story about the my new lamp that I purchased yesterday at HomeGoods. I was absolutely in love with it at the store, but I didn’t know how it would look once I brought it home. It was a little wide and short (short & stubby) and the color had brown tones that I wasn’t sure would look good with the yellow/gray pillows and white bedding.

See, I have this problem where I like modern things. And I like rustic, vintage looking things too. But I have absolutely no clue how to mix them together. Nada. I really need Emily Henderson to come in and give me a style diagnostic to help blend my own two styles together. For those of you that don’t watch her show, Secrets From A Stylist, she starts with a couple (usually, sometimes she changes it up on me) and gives them each a “style diagnostic”. From there she takes each partner’s style and blends them together to design a room. It’s brilliant, and it’s exactly what I need…for myself. Apparently I have split personality disorder – just kidding. But I do need help blending both styles.

Anyway, back to the lamp. I found my perfect little lamp at HomeGoods, bought it and attempted to take it home via Chicago public transportation (aka – the train). For those of you that have never taken the EL in Chicago, well let me explain. Everyone seems to leave work around the same time, or rush hour, and when that happens you get anxious people that try to sqeeze by you pushing you out of the way. Well that’s exactly what happened to me. Some kid ran by me and shoved me a little into the stairwell in the train station. Didn’t really think anything of it, but when I got home and uncovered the lamp, there it was. A large crack covering almost half the glass. Perfect. If it didn’t work in the room I already couldn’t take it back. I’m stuck with a cracked lamp.

Luckily it’s in the back where the cord is, so I can turn it around and hide it, kind of. Still makes me mad! Guess that’s what I get for trying to take something very breakable home on the train.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of the guest bedroom as I continue to finish it. Next up is to finish the wood shelf I made out of scrap wood. Stay tuned!