7th House on the Left

Way back when, we bought this Hemnes dresser from Ikea for the guest bedroom. Despite not being much of a home decor geek at the time (I’m still not, but I’m learning), I really liked the simplicity of it and the clean lines.

Ikea Dresser Before / 7thhouseontheleft.com

When we got it home and put it all together, the dresser looked great, even with the blue walls. Once we ditched the “nursery blue” and painted the walls the second time around, the dresser looked even better…

Ikea Dresser Before / 7thhouseontheleft.com

The rich gray walls made the dresser stand out even more, and it turned into an even better statement piece. The only problem was it wasn’t really making as much of a personality statement as we wanted. It added plenty of visual weight and great function, but it just craved something to make it “us”. Rather than trying to compensate for its lack of personality by putting a bunch of clutter on top of it (though Ash is still looking for something for the top), we decided it would be better to personalize the dresser itself with some new hardware. After searching two hardware stores and several sites online, Ash ended up ordering 12 shiny new pieces of hardware from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot.

How to Switch Out Dresser Hardware / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For the top four drawers, she picked out four brass 1 3/16″ button pulls (these), and for the bottom drawers, she went with eight brass 3″ cup cabinet pulls (these). At the time, both types of pulls were on sale, and we were able to get all of the hardware for around $35, including shipping.

Changing out the hardware on the top drawers was a piece of cake. All I had to do was unscrew them, replace the screw with the one that came with the new pulls (the screws were different sizes and lengths), and screw the new pulls on. Easy peasy. As for the bottom drawers, since we were changing a 1-screw piece of hardware out for a 2-acrew piece of hardware, it was a tad more involved.

How to Switch Out Dresser Hardware / 7thhouseontheleft.com

At first, I thought I’d have to drill four holes, one on either side of each of the existing holes. Before I started measuring and drilling, though, I decided to line the new pulls up with one of the existing holes just to see what it would look like. As it turns out, it looked a lot better than I thought it would. All I had to do was put a straight edge across the center of the two existing holes, measure three inches toward the center of the drawer from each of them, mark the spot with a pencil, and drill away.

How to Switch Out Dresser Hardware / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Some of the holes ended up being just slightly off, so I widened them slightly to allow for more adjustment. Once that was done, I attached the hardware using the provided screws, and tightened them up with my handy-dandy ratcheting screwdriver. (Seriously–for small house projects, you owe it to yourself to grab a ratcheting screwdriver. I’ve had this one for years, and it just makes everything slightly easier.)

About 20 minutes of drilling and fastening time later, the new hardware was in place…

How to Switch Out Dresser Hardware / 7thhouseontheleft.com

The dresser is much more “us” with the new hardware, and I think it makes the statement we always wanted it to. Because of where the bed is placed, it’s hard to get a straight on shot of the dresser, but here’s a slightly better angle to see the hardware spacing…

How to Switch Out Dresser Hardware / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Oh, did I mention I’m kind of obsessed with cup pulls right now? Every time we go to the hardware store, Ash has to stop me from dreaming up things to put cup pulls on. I know that sounds weird coming from me and that that’s saying a lot coming from this non-home decor geek. I just like them. This project has scratched the itch for now, but keep an eye out for more of them in the near future. It’ll be like an Easter egg hunt. Too early?

I’ve been a fan of Rodney White prints (particularly this one) for what seems like forever. His work is so fun and being a fan of the modern/rustic vibe and having a special place in our hearts for all things vintage, it’s our cup of tea.

Rodney White / 7th House on the Left

Last week, I was shopping with a friend at Garden Ridge when down in the corner of the sea of gobs and gobs of wall art, there she was…

I noticed some damage here and there, which is why it was marked as 50% off, bringing the price down to $40. Ordinarily, I would pass it by and think “Aww, man. I wish it wasn’t damaged”. But for some reason, that day I was feeling a bit ambitious and was pretty confident I could fix the damage. So, I snatched it up and brought it home.

Bringing Damaged Art Back to New / 7th House on the Left

Large 36″x36″ Rodney White art for $40? Yes, please. Now, time to tackle the damage…

Bringing Damaged Art Back to New / 7th House on the Left

You can’t really see it from a distance, but there are some pretty bad small tears and places where the art started lifting from the wooden frame. It was also pretty dirty from being stacked up in a warehouse-like store for who knows how long.

Sprucing up Damaged Clearance Art / 7th House on the Left

To spruce it up and bring it back to new, started by cleaning it up with a soft cloth a a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. Then I grabbed some red and green close-matching craft paints, matte Mod Podge and a some Q-Tips. The edges were easily fixed with a bit of Mod Podge. I ended up using my finger instead of a brush to get it in the creases evenly. I applied little dabs of paint here and there with a Q-tip them rubbed it in with my finger so it wouldn’t look too shiny or new. After about 15 minutes of doctoring it up, it was just like new again. Woot!

How to Repair Damaged Clearance Art / 7th House on the Left

We hung the art in the laundry room over the green dresser (which we use for tool storage, extra light bulbs, batteries and all that jazz).

Key Tray & Dog Treat Container / 7th House on the Left

Since this is our “hub” for going in and out everyday, I wanted to keep the top of the dresser relatively empty to have room for stuff like mail that needs to go out, things that need to be returned, etc. So, all we have on the dresser is a small key tray, a faux Ikea plant (the best kind because I can’t kill it) and we moved the white ceramic bee container from the foyer to here – and yes, it is now holding dog treats for Bentley. He always gets his way.

How to Repair Damaged Clearance Art / 7th House on the Left

I guess it was a good thing I was feeling extra confident that day in the store because you really can’t see the places where I repaired the artwork unless you look reeeeeeealllly hard. It’s nice to have a piece of Rodney White in the house, plus the $40 price tag isn’t too shabby.

Pictures of Rodney White prints found here.

Between the late night coding sessions and last minute tweaks for the new blog design, we managed to take the first step in sprucing up the empty foyer by hanging the new light fixture. The flush mount fixture we had before (this one from Home Depot) was doing the job, but it lacked personality and didn’t bring anything special to the space…

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

Even though we still aren’t completely sure about the plans for this area (we’re just going to let it evolve over the next week or two), the light seemed like a good place to start. After narrowing down our favorites to the fab five, we finally decided on the Olivia Star Pendant.

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

As we unboxed the fixture, we knew we’d made the right decision. It’s fun, different and classic all in one. The black iron will tie in with the new dining room light fixture, too. Don’t worry–you haven’t missed anything. It’s still in the box waiting to be hung. In other words, it was perfect.

We’ve installed many a light fixture in the almost three years of owning the house (wow, has it been that long?!), but we weren’t sure what the process of going from a flush mount to a pendant light was going to be like. The main concern was we couldn’t remember what was under the flush mount when we replaced the old fixture (a dated brass beauty with ducks etched in the glass). Normally, we wouldn’t be too concerned about this kind of thing, but the builder (or maybe a previous owner) cut a few corners when installing a few of the light fixtures in the house. They just poked holes in the drywall and fed wires through it. We’ve fixed most, if not all, of these spots, but there’s always that little bit of worry in the back of your mind.

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

Come to find out, we were in luck! The flush mount came down like a charm and the only evidence was a light gray ring on the ceiling which was easily covered up with a light coat of white ceiling paint.

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

For starters, Greg held the light up to the ceiling to get an idea of how long we wanted it to hang. It needed to be high enough to clear the front door, the closet doors and the top of Greg’s head (he’s the tallest person around here, including all of our friends and family, so it seemed like a good gauge to go by, haha). We ended up with 5 or 6 links of the chain left after we trimmed the links and the wires.

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

As usual, we made sure all the switches were off before we started messing with the wires. Greg is pretty comfortable with this sort of thing by now (he’s worked with my dad on projects like this around the house enough to know what’s what), but as the light fixture instructions said, don’t mess with this sort of thing unless you know what you’re doing.

While I held up the weight of the light fixture, Greg screwed the canopy in place. Greg originally thought he could handle this on his own, but this part was a two-person job. You need one set of hands to hold the fixture, and another set to hold the canopy and the screwdriver.

How to Install A Pendant Light Fixture / 7th House on the Left

Totally painless! And here she is…

Installing a Pendant Light / 7th House on the Left

You can still see a very faint circle where the old light fixture was. We just need one more light coat of ceiling paint. …and a rug… and maybe a coat of paint on the inside of the front door? And here’s another shot with the front door open…

Replacing a Flush Mount Light with a Pendant Light / 7th House on the Left

Seeing this big pop of red in the space has me excited and eager to add furniture, accessories and color to this space in the very near future. Stay tuned for more foyer-related news in the coming weeks!