Ask your dear old Mom to pick up a few things from your Ikea shopping list for you before your parents drive out to visit, that's what.
So I was super-stoked when I saw the items that they ever-so-nicely bought and traveled all the way out here with from up close. 'Cause when you're picking out big-ticket items off a computer monitor you never really know, ya know? And it's not like I could just drive down the street and return the stuff. I'm usually a I-need-to-see-this-in-person-before-I-know-it'll-work-and-if-it-doesn't-I-can-at-least-return-it-to-the-store kinda person, so I was silently hoping and crossing my fingers that the things I asked my Mom to pickup for us was everything I was hoping they would be.
I was wrong.
They were MORE.
Guess what I had in mind?
Picture ledge shelf things (I'm totally a master of words, huh?).
I had long be debating on what to put on the blank wall behind our dining set. We already had a mirror up, so we couldn't do another one, and we didn't really have any big pictures or huge artwork that I'd like to stare at as I was eating every morning/noon/night. All. The. Time.
I LOVE shelves. Okay, so I don't really like dusting them (who likes to dust, anyways?), but I love the versatility of shelves and being able to change out the decor whenever I wanted. With whatever I wanted. Pictures, knick-knacks, heck, I could even throw some glasses or dishes on there if I wanted! So the shelves were PERFECT.
They even have a little lip on them to make sure nothing tumbles off.
First, we eyeballed and measured exactly where we wanted them to go by marking the wall with some painter's tape (which we ran out of and had to resort to regular masking tape).
To hang them, we studied the instruction pictures (There were no words! Are all Ikea products like that?), then measured for studs in the wall to make sure they'd be super-sturdy, marked out where the screws would go, picked up some sturdy hardware, and hung them. Easy peasy. I wish all home improvement was that easy!
But the hard part? Decorating them. I swear I spent an hour or two running around the house looking for the perfect things to put on there. I wanted it to have a harvest/fall neutral kind of vibe, but yet work with the rest of the house - hence the slightly tropical leaf pictures.
To decorate the shelves, first I gathered possible decor items from around the house together, usually keeping to a common theme of natural textures or white/light colored items. Things like candles, coffee mugs, tealight lanterns, and glass vases with natural fillers were the bulk of my possible decor findings. Then I added/subtracted each item to/from the shelf until I was satisfied with the arrangement.
I snatched a few glass display items that I had stored up in decor cabinet, poured in some coffee beans, inserted a candle, and wah-la! Instant, charming, and free decorations. And let me tell you - they smell AMAZING.
And our cheap-but-frustrating-fake-coral decor even made the "shelf cut" (check out the how-to here).
All in all the shelves really add alot to this previously barren dining room...er, dining area. And the best part? I can change it up whenever I want! Gotta love how versatile shelves are.
And because everyone loves a good before and after, let's go wayyyy (or maybe just 1.5 years ago) back, to what the dining room looked like when we bought our house:
Ahh, much better. Gotta love DIY.
So what do you think? Major improvement? Or how about Ikea? How far have you ever gone to get your Ikea fix?
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