7th House on the Left

The Big Bang Theory has always been one of our “favorite shows”, but we’ve never watched all of them in order or kept up with the big story line (aside from Penny and Leonard’s on again/off again relationship, I know nothing – so no spoilers!). Last Black Friday, Greg and I snagged seasons 1 through 5 on DVD for around $35. Even though we bought them over a year ago – 14 months ago, according to Instagram – we’re just now starting on season one.

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

The other night, we had a mini Big Bang marathon and, as usual, I was habitually studying the furniture, accessories and such on the set – specifically Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment. It’s so eclectic yet masculine and has a fun mix of textures (which seems to be a common thing for a lot of my favorite TV show sets). During one episode, I made a comment about the card catalog that’s near the back of the apartment set looking similar to the one we have in our dining room. That’s when Greg suggested an “On the Set” post. Why didn’t I think of that first?

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I love Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment because no matter how many episodes I’ve watched I always notice something new in each episode. Everything is so busy and covered with geeky paraphernalia like action figures, comic books, vintage radios and, of course, dry erase boards. The show has a resident professor of physics and astronomy who checks scripts for scientific accuracy and provides the mathematical equations and diagrams that you see on the dry erase boards throughout the show. Even though Salzberg has a good handle on the physics, he actually calls on Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler on Big Bang, and previously the main character on the early-90′s show Blossom), who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, for help from time to time.

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

In the back of the living area is a little alcove with another desk, more science equipment, robot toys and that great card catalog I mentioned earlier. It looks out on a nice “view” of Pasadena.

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

There’s a small hallway that goes to Leonard and Sheldon’s bedrooms and a bathroom. Of course, the doors in the hallway don’t actually lead to anything. They’re just “dummy doors” with a small standing area for the actors to walk into during scenes.

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory / 7thhouseontheleft.com

To the right of the apartment (from the viewer’s point of view) is a kitchen that’s open to the living area – complete with a Battlestar Galactica toaster, cereal organized by fiber content, and an Adam West era Batman lunch box for lunches on the go.

During my last trip to LA, we had the chance to see the Warner Brothers Studios lot. We didn’t get to see the Big Bang set because they were in the middle of rehearsals that day, but we did see Jim Parsons (who plays Sheldon) leaving the set. He’s my favorite character on the show, so I was a bit excited to see him and geeked out a little. We also saw Chuck Lorre (the show’s creator, executive producer and head writer). He was really nice, and for some reason, he really reminded me of  from Criminal Minds. By the way, did you guys know Jim Parsons is turning 41 in March?! He totally does’t look like he’s even near his 40′s yet.

On the Set: The Big Bang Theory // 7thhouseonthelft.com

Telescope / Take-Out Food (of course) / Captain Future Poster
Manhattan Leather Sofa / Stripe Throw Pillow / Ektrop Chair
Card Catalog Cabinet / Dart Board / Field Radio / DNA Model

Set images from here, here and here. For more information about the show, check this out. So, now it’s your turn… what is your favorite TV show set?

You know when you have those projects that you start on and you’re all gung-ho on getting that sucker done, then an obstacle comes out of nowhere and you’re back at square one? Well, that’s sort of what happened when we decided to finally get around to tackling the half bathroom. We were all like, “This is what we’re going to do, we’re so excited! Yada, yada, yada…” and then, bam. An obstacle by way of an unforeseen wiring problem with the exhaust fan. We’re still working on that issue (well, my dad is, since he’s our designated licensed electrician). Until we get that figured out, we’re going to move on with another project in this space – more specifically, do something with the 41.5-inch wide wall behind the toilet.

Half Bath Layout / 7thhousentheleft.com

Our initial thought was to put a large piece of artwork on the wall, but after thinking it over (and getting opinions from my family when they were in town last week), we decided that adding shelves would balance the tiny space out and make it feel more “finished”.

Restoration Hardware Inspiration / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Needless to say, there are thousands of shelving options available for purchase out there. Since time was on our side during our 3-day weekend, we decided to tackle a DIY option. While scrolling around Restoration Hardware’s website, I stumbled on these reclaimed wood wall shelves. Greg and I both loved the modern meets rustic vibe and thought it could easily be replicated with some DIY action.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Seeing as how this room is really small along with the reflections from the mirror, it’s really hard to get good photos of the space, so bear with us. Before we took a trip to the hardware store, we mapped out where and how long we wanted the shelves to be with a few pieces of painter’s tape (seriously, we use this stuff for everything but painting). The shelves ended up coming at 30 inches long (leaving 5.25 inches on either side) and 12 inches apart. We decided to go with 10-inch-deep shelves so that they wouldn’t be in the way while using the facilities, but they’d still be functional. At that point, we grabbed our measurements and parts list and headed to the hardware store!

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

We purchased a 10-foot piece of 2″ x 10″ pine and had it cut into four 30″ pieces (even though we only needed three, we’re hanging onto the fourth piece for a possible future project). We also bought six 10-inch-long pieces of 3/4″ galvanized pipe, six 3/4″ floor flanges and six 3/4″ pipe caps for the shelf brackets. Other necessities included a small can of Special Walnut stain, a sponge brush (we bought a few just because) and a can of spray paint (we’ll get to those details in a second).

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

First, Greg made the “brackets” for the shelves. All he had to do was take a 10″ pipe piece and attach a floor flange on one end and a cap to the other. We went with galvanized pipe (you can find it in the plumbing section) because we wanted a good, chunky, industrial-looking pipe. However, for a more inexpensive version, you can go with EMT conduit (which is over in the electrical section).

How to Make Faux Wrought Iron // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once all six brackets were assembled (which took only about 2 minutes), I spray painted them with a light coat of Rust-Oleum’s textured spray paint (in Aged Iron). Once they were dry, Greg covered them in a coat of flat black enamel spray paint we already had on hand.

How to Make Faux Wrought Iron // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The textured base with the combination of the flat black enamel spray paint made the pipes look extremely similar to wrought iron – a tip we’re going to remember if we ever want this look for a future project.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

As you can see, we picked out the ugliest piece of 2×10 framing board we could possibly find because we wanted the shelves to have as much character as possible. Before we started the staining process, we sanded the boards and rounded the edges with a vibrating sander and 120 grit sandpaper. We weren’t looking for perfectly round edges–we just wanted them to look a bit worn.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For the stain, we used Minwax’s Special Walnut, which we already had in our stain/spray paint stash. Greg applied the stain using a sponge brush to ensure it would get down into all of the scratches and nicks we made during the distressing process. We decided not to seal the planks with polyurethane because we really didn’t want a glossy finish of any kind, and we wanted it to look as close as the inspiration shelving as possible, which isn’t sealed. Since a clear coat wasn’t in the plan, we made triple sure the stain was thoroughly dry before we put the shelves in place.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

In the photo above, you can really see the awesome character from the “ugly” wood coming through the stain. Greg was lucky enough to hit a stud for some of the right-side brackets. For the other 18 holes, he used toggle bolts to hold everything in place. These puppies definitely aren’t going anywhere.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For us, the weight of the shelves and the texture of the pipe are enough to keep everything nicely in place. Greg mentioned that if you wanted to make these a little more child-/accident-proof, you could take one extra step during the bracket-building process and drill two holes all the way through the pipes using a drill bit meant for metal. You might need a few extra tools (such as a vise–to keep the pipe from turning–and a higher-powered drill). At that point, you’d just need to attach the shelves with screws through the holes in the pipes.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

We really love the finished product, and it definitely makes the tiny space feel a bit more on the “finished” side. The shelves really help balance out the vanity wall on the opposite side, and we’re thrilled to have some storage to be able to showcase some pretty things.

When it came to adding accessories, I mainly just worked with what we already had on hand, but also took a quick trip to Tuesday Morning. That’s where I found the wire basket, mercury glass lantern and faux greenery ball. It’s probably obvious from the empty mercury glass vase that I’m not quite finished finding a combination of accessories that I’m in love with – so, I guess you can call this a work in progress. I didn’t want to wait until it was “perfect” to post it because I was anxious to show off our new shelves. Oh and the topiary on the top shelf looks like it’s hitting the ceiling, but it’s really just the angle of the photo. It’s actually about 2″ from the ceiling. I hope to find a more modern (and slightly shorter) one in the future.

Aside from switching the accessories around here and there, without making it look too busy, I also plan on adding something to the top of the toilet tank so the shelves won’t appear as being top-heavy for the wall.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Shelving / 7thhouseontheleft.com

On top of helping the space feel more finished, we’re also pretty thrilled with the price, which was a fraction of the inspiration shelves. If we had purchased these from RH, it would have cost $683 including shipping. All of the supplies for our DIY version turned out to be around $100. Not too shabby.

SNOW DAY

posted by Ashley  /  15 Comments

It’s official. Schools are closed, the grocery stores are out of bread and milk and the hardware stores are bare of salt bags and snow shovels. Yep, RVA is having a snow day, people!

If you live in our neck of the woods, or anywhere near it, you’re well aware that Winter Storm Janus is headed our way today. Obviously a lot of the country has gotten tons of snow this winter already – which makes our measly 4 to 8 inches look like nothing – but here in RVA, all we’ve had thus far is a dusting that melted within an hour or so. Needless to say, today’s Winter Storm Warning makes my snow-loving heart extremely happy.

Let It Snow Spoon by Jessica N Designs // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I’ve always been a huge fan of snow days and getting snowed in. Growing up, my dad would put a yard stick out on the deck, right outside the living room window, so we could see how much snow had fallen. My mom would make a big pot of chili, clean the house, make sure all of the laundry was done in case the power went out, light some candles, put on a good old movie for us to watch, and open all the blinds so we could watch the snow. My mom is in California right now and totally missing out on all of this fun. She’s super jealous.

Snow Day Essentials // 7thhouseontheleft.com

comfy sweatshirt / cozy blankets / a classic movie / mom’s chili / a few candles.

Now that I have a house of my own, getting ready for snow days is very similar. Though Greg and I normally don’t do the yard stick thing – however, now that I’ve mentioned it, I’m tempted to go put one out on the patio. While I was taking some photos of our latest project (coming later this week), Greg ran to the grocery store for me this morning and picked up a few snow essentials like bread, milk, soup… and hot chocolate and marshmallows, of course. Greg’s working from home today, so while he’s in his office I’m tidying up the house, finishing a few loads of laundry and getting the chili ready for dinner (even though I follow my mom’s recipe, it never tastes as good as hers). Even if we end up getting less snow than what they’re predicting, it’s still a fun way to spend the day.

So, how about you guys? What do you do to prep for snow days? Are you expecting snow today, too?

Snatch up a Let It Snow spoon here and check out our favorite hot chocolate recipe from Barefoot Contessa here.