Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10 The 2018 IKEA Catalog: Items iHeart!

Some folks go gaga for the recent Nordstrom Anniversary sale, while others count the days to the release of the best home catalog of the year. #thatsme #IKEAcatalogcraze

I have been stalking my mailbox daily starting the first week in August with great anticipation of the colorful and idea filled pages. The annual IKEA catalog is a reliable page turner, filled to the brim with eye candy and small space storage solutions galore.

The moment the catalog touched my hands, I pulled out the page flags and post-it notes and flipped through all 326 pages. I marked everything that caught my eye and then went through all of the pages a second time. And then also checked out all of the new for 2018 inventory online as well. I receive a lot of home related catalogs throughout the year, many of which provide me with ideas and color inspiration, but none seem to be as exciting as this one? Come to think of it, I never know when any other catalog will just pop into my mail pile, so is it the once per year release that just builds and builds the anticipation? What about it generates so much internal excitement?! The prices? The storage ideas? The lived in styling? Whatever it is, I do these posts annually (you can check out last year's post here). And I am always questioned if they are sponsored but unfortunately for me, they are not. This is just me picking out my favorite new IKEA products and sharing a little bit about why each one made my list.

So much pretty, right? And that is just the beginning! Let's dive deeper and look at all 30 items that caught my attention. Oh! And after pulling everything from the IKEA site to put all of this together, I realized that I duplicated a few items from last year. There are definitely products that repeat from year to year in the catalog, and apparently, I reeeeaaaalllly liked a few specific things. Can you guess which ones they are? And hint, I purchased one of the items twice already for around our home, so there's that...

EKET CUBES // These would be really great nightstands in a boy's bedroom. Great storage/display space and I especially love the wooden leg detailing.

STOCKHOLM TRAY // Trays are great for organizing collections around the home and this walnut option comes in such a wonderful finish. I can picture it on the counter with cooking condiments or on a coffee table with remotes and greenery.

KLIPSK BED TRAY // I believe this is actually an old product, and I am wondering how I missed it. This tray could be so convenient in so many ways. From working from the sofa or in the car to eating breakfast in bed, it definitely could serve a variety of purposes... And it is especially fantastic that it includes a groove to hold techy gadgets.

STOCKHOLM CABINET // Woven storage that is sophisticated, modern and brings so much warmth into a space.

GODMORGON BOXES // Product repeat number one, these acrylic storage boxes work on shelves and in drawers and are ideal for toiletries and small household items. Simple, stylish and versatile always wins!

STOCKHOLM OTTOMAN // I have had the opportunity to see this item in stores, and I was shocked at how heavy and substantial it is. It is decorative and soft and a really great option for kids and resting tired feet.

STOCKHOLM VASE // Blue, beautiful and about as brilliant as can be. And what is that you say? It can also be flipped and act as a tealight holder? I'll take two!

FÄRLÖV SOFA // Can we talk about the single seat cushion for a minute? I am not sure I can pull together the words to describe how much admiration I have for this sofa. How nice to only have one seat cushion for lounging and snuggling! Plus, it is slip-covered, streamlined (those arms!) and a really great price.

RÅSKOG STOOL // These stools could work in just about any kitchen that is in need of a extra counter seating. They have great lines and the black color is perfect for adding just the right amount of drama that every kitchen desires.

GLATTIS COASTERS // A beautiful brass finish that would look chic on a counter, coffee table or desk! Yes, please!

BILLY BOOKCASE // This is product number two on the duplication list. I just love it that much! Navy is pretty much my favorite color on the planet, so to see such a stunning navy cabinet with glass doors? I can't help but picture these being built-in wall-to-wall somewhere with some dazzling hardware. Someone get on that and then send me the pictures, OK?

KUBBIS HOOKS // I absolutely adore the simplicity in this rail of hooks. It could easily be painted to match any room or decor, or left white because that works everywhere too! Garage for cleaning tools and yard supplies? Check. Bathroom for towels? Check. Entryway for jackets and backpacks? Check and check!

FLÅDIS BASKET // DING DING DING! Purchased two of these storage baskets last year and could go back for even more. They are light weight, fit on shelves or on the floor and can be decorated in endless darling ways. They really have become my favorite storage baskets for so many household items and purposes.

KARTOTEK HOOK // I am really into hooks that have attached labels! If you think about it, one single item allows you to conquer two organizing tasks at once!

PUDDA BASKET // I "felt" this was a good pick because it has special brass details!

TUVALIE THROW // Ikea's throw blanket game is generally pretty strong, and this striped and fringed version does not disappoint!

KORKEN JARS // Jars like this work great in bathrooms, craft rooms, and offices. But I sort of want to pick up a set and make some jelly and jam and yogurt parfaits for our weekly Sunday brunch.

TILLAGD FLATWARE // All I can say about this is, FINALLY! I don't think brass is going anywhere anytime soon, so it is great to see IKEA recognize this in the kitchen.

SKUGGIS HOOK // These don't look like traditional hooks which is 100% why they caught my eye. And I am guessing the wood finish would bring a wonderful natural element to any room.

FÄRGRIK DINNERWARE // This dinnerware is such a bold color and it would be a really fun mix with another dinnerware item I am about to talk about in 3...2...1...

FABRIKÖR CABINET // I picture this cute little cabinet in a bathroom stocked with towels and daily grooming essentials. It would definitely be a great way to elevate the items that generally just clutter up a small space.

ENERYDA CABINET PULL // Very PotteryBarn-esque, these beauties also come in a great polished nickel or black finish.

TILLSTÄLLNING NAPKIN // Did I really add $2 paper napkins to my list? Why yes I did! Think playdates, picnics, and parties; you can't beat the price and they have a way of taking the table up a notch with absolutely zero effort required.

INTAGANDE CARAFE // I love everything I picked for this round-up, but this carafe is really high on my list. Except, I have zero need for another carafe. I use these lovelies for bedtime water and sometimes as vases and on the table at breakfast and dinner and this particular option comes in a pretty pink! #sigh

BEHAGA BOWL // Now picture this bowl with the dinnerware I mentioned above. The combo would make for a talked-about tabletop. I absolutely love the organic patterns and swirls in each piece! And even better, there are also coordinating plates!

MYRHEDEN FRAME // My college-aged self would have done just about anything to sport something this cool on her walls. And now IKEA is here to make sure every dorm room and teenage bedroom is always on point.

DRAGAN BOXES // Although you think you are purchasing a set of two, the lids become trays so you get double the storage! And that wood tone pulls at my heart once again. Not only are these boxes good looking, they could work hard in the living room for tech and cords, in the office for bulky supplies, in the bathroom for toiletries and counter clutter or in a bedroom as a charging station or jewelry organizer.

GURLI PILLOW COVER // I believe that blush pink can be considered a neutral. Try and name a single color that it doesn't pair well with... Yep, I couldn't think of one either.

BAGGANÄS PULLS // I am BAGGANÄS for these pulls (see what I did there?). They have optional washers that really elevate the look and they also come in a few different finishes. My boys love black hardware and I can already think of a couple of pieces in their spaces that these would compliment nicely.

PAX WARDROBE // I know that the PAX system is far from new. In fact, we have one of the combinations in our home already. But what is newer is the fact that they now offer shorter frames which could fit the seven-foot ceiling height in our dressing room! And even better is that they also offer some really great new doors. And endless interior fittings and organizers. My organizing obsessed brain is in overdrive just thinking about how much this system would change our daily routines for the better. Pennies are officially being saved. Come to mama, PAX. I promise to give you a good home!


This is always such a fun post to write! But now for my very favorite part which is hearing all about your IKEA selections this year. Do you also spend a few hours of quiet happy time flipping through the pages over and over again? What did you flag, circle and star? Or have you already gone right to the store to snag something new and fabulous for your home? I would love to know if there is something else I should add to my love list!

Psssst! IKEA does not sponsor or pay me for these posts. It is just annual fun for me and you!

Monday, July 31, 2017

13 Do It Yourself: Window Planter Box

Every summer I swear that we are going to focus on making some major changes to the exterior of our home, and then every summer flies by and boom, we are buried in multiple feet of snow again. It was time to do something outdoors, and a sad little garage window was calling our names. Plus, we always like to do small things that make a big difference, and today's project is definitely one of those!

We have a small window on the side of our garage that I rarely think about, however, I really should give it more attention because it is street facing.

As much as it always pains me to show our embarrassing before photos, I feel it is necessary in a world of picture perfect online photo streams. So there you go. Overgrown yard, neglected window, Craigslist items piled in the garage...

There were two goals for this little window; the first was to add shutters that match the ones installed on the front of our home, and the second was to install a bulkier planter box filled with more blooms.

We no longer had the specific details on the shutters that were installed when we built 16 years ago, so I searched around online and found some that were almost identical on this website here. After measuring the garage window, I placed an order for two gray shutters that were a total of $35.00, and held my breath until they arrived.

In the meantime, I also began looking for window planter boxes that were as wide as the window and had some sort of decorative detailing. Sticker shock set in and I knew we could whip some up on our own vs. buying new and custom. We decided to start with this garage window, and if we liked the outcome we would also eventually build more for the front of our house as well.

Window measurements in hand (our window is 48" wide), we went to our local home improvement store to look at wood options. Knowing we would ultimately be painting the wood with exterior grade paint, we decided on some inexpensive 1" x 8" x 8' common boards. Two to be exact. We also purchased some decorative trim pieces, this one for the top of the box and this for the bottom and corners.

To create the box, we built a simple "u" shape that we capped on each end.

We cut the two common boards with our sliding miter saw and nailed them together using our brad nailer and some 1 3/8" nails. We also used wood glue to be sure everything was nice and secure.

We get a lot of questions about the type of compressor we use with our brad nailer and it is just a small 2-gallon option that we purchased quite a few years ago. Ryobi now offers a cordless/compressor-less brad nailer that we are considering, but in the meantime, we are OK toting this small compressor around as we work on our home projects.

Once the box frame was built, we moved on to trimming it out with some decorative moulding.

Measure and mark...



Nail (this time with 5/8" nails)...

Same steps were followed for the corner trim and some lattice trim we added as a strip down the front center.

Once everything was assembled, we caulked all of the holes and edges. We did this twice in spots to be sure everything was sealed and moisture resistant.

After sanding it down smooth, I gave the window box three coats of exterior paint in Behr's Marquee Ultra Pure White.

To mount the planter box below the window I used some brackets found at Home Depot. They came in a black finish so I spray painted them white so they would disappear under the box.

Above you can see that I also added a couple of decorative corbels to the bottom of the planter. I had been saving these specifically for this project from our previous laundry room shelves. We had a total of six corbels which means we can still do two more window boxes on the front of our house to match. I painted the corbels in the exterior white paint and we affixed them to the bottom with some screws. They are not for structure, just for looks.

My biggest concern was drainage when we water or there is rain, so we did two things. First, we drilled small drainage holes in the bottom of the planter near the front half. Secondly, we mounted the box angled in a way that the water would drain away vs. toward the house and down the siding. However, the angle is minimal enough that it isn't noticeable unless you are very up close and personal.

Although, up close and personal is just what I want to be! I absolutely love the planter box and all of the bright and colorful blooms now growing inside.

The shutters ended up matching almost perfectly; there are some very slight and minimal differences but no one would ever notice unless they were held side by side, and even then the variations would be challenging to spot. And considering this is on a completely different side of the house, that will never happen. I couldn't be more thrilled that we were able to find something so inexpensive to help add some oomph to the little window.

The tools and paint were items we had on hand, as were the corbels, so the window box was the cost of the wood ($10) and some detail trim ($12) and the mounting brackets ($10). For under $70 we were able to add shutters and a large decorative flower box! Two small changes that really took this side of the house to a new level. It is almost good enough to distract from the fence that needs staining nearby. Almost...

To be fair, removing the broken screen, washing the windows and mowing were also helpful updates.

So many more projects like this that I would love to get crossed off of our list this summer, including building two more of these guys. Fingers crossed we still have a few more months left before the frost starts covering the ground again.

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