going up

We're going to the top of the Empire State building!

Right in the middle of this photo, at the V, is the Flatiron building.


And to the left is Times Square..

Here's the beautiful Chrysler Building!

Here is how small we look from Williamsburg!

And this is how high we are, looking up from the bottom of the Flatiron!

I hope you enjoyed the view! Have a great weekend :)



Adventures With Beadboard Wallpaper

Spring break is always a great time to catch up on quality time with family, friends and projects. And last week I did a lot of all three! It was so nice to spend time with my parents, siblings, cousin, boyfriend, best friend and a few others! I can say though, by the end of the week I was tired of going out to eat! I'm thankful for all the good meals though. It really beats my college cuisine.

I have to give a special thanks to my incredible boyfriend who searched for my missing kitty in the dark while it was freezing cold. He also helped me work on projects! I tell ya, I really lucked out with this one. I'm also happy to report my cat came back after a few nights out in the cold. I think I'm turning into a crazy cat lady even more so after that event.

Anyway, back to the project I want to show everyone!

It all started when my best friend, Rachel, texted me and wanted to  hang out. I told her I was down for anything fun and cheap! So we decided to tackle a project she had been wanting to do. She's my partner in crime when it comes to DIY projects a decorating and we always have a blast when we work on projects together. 

Enter her grandma's stair/entry way and lots of bad, bad wallpaper:



Rachel's grandma wants to slowly update her home so Rachel jumped at the chance to help out. She's already redone her bathroom and it turned out awesome! The steps are the first thing you see when you enter the house and we decided the wallpaper had to go.


Tearing down the old wallpaper was the majority of the work. Someone had wallpapered over wallpaper! So it was twice as hard. We scored the wallpaper with a special tool and then began soaking it with a 50/50 mixture of water and fabric softener. It's the magic solution.


Here's a small portion of the mess we were making. It got worse. A LOT WORSE.


After hours of this we finally made it down to the plaster and paneling that was underneath. Because of the weird set up we decided to paint the top portion, use chair rail in between, and beadboard wallpaper for the bottom part. We chose wallpaper because it was easier and we were on a budget!

We'd never done wallpaper before so Rachel's handy cousin Abby came over with some tools and showed us how to do it. You have to soak the prepasted wallpaper in this tub of water to activate the adhesive.


Then you put it on the wall and smooth out the bubble with this handy brush. Once we got the hang of it it wasn't too bad. We were wallpapering around steps which I wouldn't advise for your first wallpapering project, but we managed!


We spray painted the hardware for the handrails in a charcoal gray color and also did the light switch cover to match. Rachel's dad helped us by cutting the chair rail. We painted the upper portion a really pretty blue/gray. I can't remember the name but can get it from Rachel if anyone is curious!


It was tricky in the little parts but any imperfections were covered with caulking.



I had to show our little helper, Charlie. We tried to get her to sit pretty for a picture...


But this kept happening instead!


Here's the view as you enter.



And here's a little side by side comparison. We love it!


Next to go is that checker wallpaper in the hallway!

So what do you guys think? Has anyone out there ever used beadboard wallpaper before? Would you ever consider using wallpaper this way?


PS Linking up to:
 Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
 Beyond The Picket Fence

black & white admirers

My friend, Olivia introduced me to this artist a couple of days ago and I had to share his work with you! His name is Nicholas Nixon. You can see more of his work here.









There is so much intense care and love in each piece. My family is coming to visit this week and so I thought this was appropriate for the time. Absolutely stunning. Wouldn't you agree?



Sheet Metal Memo Board

A few months ago I was thrifting and happened upon a frame with broken glass. I wasn't sure what I'd use it for but I figured I'd think of something so I threw it in the cart. Up at the counter I asked for a discount since the glass was broken. I can't remember the exact number but I know I walked away with that frame for less than $2. This was an incredible deal seeing as I knew I didn't need the glass anyway. 

I brought home my find at it sat in my parents basement for a few months. Here's the broken beauty:


After Sarah sent me the calendar she designed {you can find it here} inspiration struck. I wanted something clean and a little more modern. I've used sheet metal in frames before but I've always painted it. This time I thought leaving it raw would be interesting.

I primed and spray painted the frame with a semi-gloss white enamel. Then I picked up this piece of sheet metal from Home Depot. I usually use scrap that my dad has at his machine shop because it's free, but he was busy and I didn't feel like making him dig some up.


I think I paid about $6 for this piece. I had my dad trim it down for me with a band saw but since it's thin you could easily do this with snips. Then he used the orbital sander to buff a nice finish on it. You could probably do this with steel wool or something similar.


I used plain magnets to keep it simple and add to the "industrial chic" look. My mom liked it, and it looked nice hanging in her bedroom, so I let her keep it.


Frame- $2
Sheet Metal- $6
Spray paint- $4
Magnets- Left over from a long time ago
Total: $12

Mom, don't say I never made you anything!

Anyway, you still have time to download a hi-res calendar for April if you'd like. You can find that here!

Let me know what you think!


PS Linking up to:
Domestically Speaking

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia



pencil & paper

Sketching in NY is so great. There are so many places to people watch around here...the subway, at the museum, in coffee shops or bookstore. I need to draw more. I miss it.

Curious to see earlier drawings of mine?








You can see more on my student portfolio site, http://ccad.digication.com/SarahEDeford!

I'll be posting more soon!
Happy Monday :)

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