Deuce Cities Henhouse

Wintery Exterior Decorating

Winter Decorations
What up pals? It’s winter now so you should make your house pretty on the outside. Every year I get a little better at this winter decorating thing. It takes some practice, but once you figure it out it’s fun and easy. Imma tell you a few things about what I know, cause this is a blog about house stuffz and thats what you probably come here for ;)

Winter Decorations
The first rule is don’t get all crazy with the decor. Adhere to a simple color palette bros, use one or two colors ONLY. Common winter colors are as follows; red, green, white, and tealish-bluish. Once you decide on a color theme, pair it with white black or a metallic – gold and silver can easily be used in place of white. If you want to get all granola-E like I did, pair it with something brownish and for a real slam dunk – made of burlap. Pick a style, as in country, modern, classic and stick with it. This is where you can use accents that represent your style. You’ll find these cool accents at the garden center covered in glitter or at craft stores like Michaels.

You’ll want to have some texture in your containers. Achieve this by mixing it up. Use a few different greens and your box will be looking highly festive. It’s all about the layers as demonstrated in the cool gif above.

Popular Greens for Window Boxes and Containers:
Dogwood Branches red or green
Spruce Tips
Pine Boughs
Cedar Boughs
Oregonia
Red Huck
Eucalyptus Silver Dollars
Winter Berry
Hydrangea
Sedum Flower
Pepper Berry
Rose hips
Holly
This is what I used for my boxes:
20 stems of 1′-2′ Spruce tips
20 stems of Cedar boughs
8 stems of cotton
8 pinecones
12 1′-2′ Birch branches assorted sizes.

 
Cotton Branches in Winter Window Boxes

Pro Tip: Don’t install your container arrangements on super cold days, you want the temp to be just around freezing so you can easily push the stems into the soil. After you have placed your arrangement water the soil, this will freeze up and keep your winter greens in place for the season.

Paper Star From Ikea
Cool paper stars from Ikea. I got three to put in my front porch, they’re pretty and they flat pack at the end of the season for easy storage. The best.

Simple Wintery Window Boxes

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in Decor, Outdoor

I’ve Got Two Side Tables and A Microphone

Wallpaper & Night Stands
Who doesn’t like an excuse to look at gratuitous photos of pretty nightstands? Good, glad I’m not alone. It goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway. I wasn’t going to take the time to make our bedroom all pretty without doing something about the bed side tables. We were getting new nightstands.

Of course this girls working within a budget, so the world is not my oyster. It is in fact more like some sort of mussel or clam. With my budget in mind my original plan was to purchase two of these Stockholm tables from Ikea, paint them white and add some pretty hardware. I needed something petit in size, capable of storage and low in cost. These Ikea tables would have run me a hair under $200 bones, and would have done the trick.

Then a sale happened and I couldn’t resist the Penelope nighstand from West Elm. I was able to get these tables for the same price as the Ikea tables! Here is how I reasoned this into being. These side tables retail for $199 each for a total of $398. My buddies over at WE were having a 20% off sale a few weeks ago, which if you do your math is a savings of $40 per table. Now I’m down to a cost of $318 for two tables, I also had a West Elm “Design Dollars” from my bed purchase a few months ago, this save me an additional $100 bucks. Now these tables are down to $218, which was good enough for me to go ahead and pull the trigger on. However, West Elm charged me incorrectly and I called to straighten it out, in doing so they took care of the tax and shipping which put me well under $200 bucks. I would describe that as a win. I feel like I should be on an episode of Extreme Couponing or something.

Also, I sold my old Heywood Wakefield side table for $80 bucks on Craigslist. Thank god for Craigslist.

I love these nightstands because they are the perfect size, 18″ diameter, anything bigger would have overwhelmed the space. They have a drawer which is perfect for remotes and notebooks and stuff like that. I always need drawers in my life! I love the tapered legs, giving it a nod to that mid-century vibe without going all in, and the antique brass is the perfect compliment to the metallic flowers in the wallpaper.

Nightstand Styling
I’m no stylist or anything, but I like to pretend I am for fun. When it comes to styling a nightstand it’s just like anything else. You want to create a composition, a still life if you will. You need height, texture and color, plus it has to be functional. I used a small bouquet of flowers to add a pretty smell and soft texture. Books are my go-to when I need to create height but don’t have any tall objects. Stick a few books under anything and you’re on your way to creating a pretty tablescape. For my lady side table I included a small tray to set my jewelry (ha) and glasses on, and then a clock to tell the time. Of course none of us use clocks anymore because we have computers in our pockets, but whatever, we’ll pretend I might look at it to tell the time of day.

Wallpaper & Night Stands

Isaac Sconce School House Electric
Did you happen to notice something was missing? If you guessed lighting, then pat yourself on the back. We need lights on this side of the room because you can’t have a bed without a light, and frankly its just dark as eff over here. We will be adding sconces (specifically these ones from SchoolHouse Electric) someday when we find the perfect deal again – since we are shy on table top space adding a sconce to each side of the bed is the perfect solution. I heart them bad. So you hear that SchoolHouse, I need a deal? A cyber Monday sale would be perfect for me right about now.

Wallpaper & Night Stands
For Jeff’s side, I kept it much more simple. A few basketball books and a photo of us guys being young tiny teens. He also gets a simple paper white in a small coral (not pink) cup. Ta-da.

Nightstand Styling for a Guy
So are you sick of hearing about my bedroom yet, hang in there, it’s almost over. I am hoping to be wrapping up by the end of the year. I still have to construct and build a corner shelving unit, get sconces, replace ceiling fans, strip the door hinges, touch up the paint, decide what to do for art on the “big wall” and then I will be done. Hang in there, we’re getting close.

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in Around the House, Furniture

Attic Finds


Hey Guys, long time no see. I was just in Vegas for a long weekend with my lady friends. Have you ever been there before? It was my first time, basically it was what I expected it to be, a shit show, but way more expensive. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Before I left last week I did some hunting up in my attic. My attic appears to have literally nothing in it. There are no awesome long lost secrets to find up there, just old rafters, 4 windows and emptiness. I still find myself going up there on occasion in hopes of finding some sort of long lost relic. Then, last week when I was up there snooping around I realized that what I thought to be a couple of boards leaning up against the wall were actually old beveled mirrors! I was so excited to find something old and original to the house, and best of all it was something that I could potentially make useful again!

Then right next to the chimney, I kicked around what I thought was an old brick and realized it was lightweight and hollow, not a brick at all! It was totally a box. Oh my god, was this it, the key to the mystery of my house, some long lost time capsule? Alas, it was just a melamine box with some old keys, some pins and a pay stub. But the pay stub has some dudes name on it, so I’m thinking I might start up my ancestry.com subscription again to do some ancestral stalking of people who may or may not have ever lived in my house. Someday I seriously just need to cut to the chase and go down to the Hennepin History Museum to see if I can find any old photos of my house.

Also, whenever the day comes that I leave this house in like 50 years, I am totally hiding a secret hidden time capsule for other folks to find. They will love me for it.


Anyway, what should I do with this mirrors? There are four that I have found up there total. A long mirror which probably went on the back of a door, a medium sized rectangular mirror that I’m guessing went in the bathroom (might be a little newer in age) and then two victorian mirrors that are super lovely and feminine with etched floral motifs. One of the mirrors (the round one) I found in the attic a few years ago, in the same location where I found the others. I didn’t see the other mirrors then, cause like I said previously, they were filthy and gross and I thought they were boards. The mirror with the white frame is totally from Ikea and I was considering arranging them all together in some sort of formation (shout out to colz) on the wall near the newly painted dresser. I don’t know though, I need to dig around for some inspiration on the old net. They would do a great job of reflecting some of the light from the sunroom back into the bedroom.

What do you guys think? Any awesome ideas for what I could do with these mirrors?

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in Around the House, My House

Bob Dylan and Stuff


Wut up buddies? Last week I got the opportunity to see one of my favorites, Bob Dylan, perform at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis for a three night stint. If you’re not familiar with the Orpheum it’s a small intimate 2,600 capacity venue. To have the opportunity to see Bob in Minneapolis, in such a small venue was not to be missed.

I go to Bob Dylan shows with my dad exclusively. It’s just this little father daughter bonding thing that has become a part of our lives. The first time I saw Bob was at the Des Moines State Fair August 10, 2001 with Jeff, I was hooked. The second show in Fargo North Dakota, and almost all of them after were with my dad. I was 19 at the time of the Fargo show and he let me drink beers with him in the back of the station wagon before watching Bob play outdoors on a minor league baseball field while the sun set. It was at the 2004 show in Rochester MN that I was introduced to my first bloody beer while ‘tail gating’ in a Mayo clinic parking ramp. We got up close to the stage when the fair-weather-fans ran for cover because of the rain, got to see another memorable show, and coincidentally the bloody beer is now one of my favorite weekend beverages. We’ve also become very familiar with Bob Dylan’s band, the songs played on tour, Bob’s harmonica playing, and the subtle nuances between each show. We get and adore Bob’s oddities. Something as subtle as a funny pose or ad-libbed “woow” will get us reminiscing for hours after the show. We understand that the experience comes from the audience and the venue as much as from the music and band, and sometimes everything comes together perfectly for a very memorable night. That’s what keeps us coming back, not wanting to miss out on those perfect nights where everything is just right.

Not everyone gets a kick out of old Bob, he’s an acquired taste live, but if you like him, you really like him. The Minneapolis shows were going to be my 11th 12th and 13th shows, and I’m hopeful there will be more. Bob’s on a never ending tour, which started back in 1988, because of that there has only ever been a year or two that have floated by without us seeing him. Lets hope old Bob keeps on kicking.

Going to shows is an important past time that Jeff and I as well as our friends and family share with us. It’s an extracurricular activity that we prioritize on our list of things to do. I’m sure there could have been another vacation to be had in lieu of all the shows, but seeing the bands is what makes us happy.

There are a few bands on a short list that I would go see night after night. On the top of the list is Bruce Springsteen, and I have seen him multiple nights in a row, he’s amazing and being apart of one of his shows is one of the best experiences ever! We’ve dubbed it “Inclusion Rock”.

Bob Dylan obviously makes it on the list, although the set lists didn’t change at the recent shows in Minneapolis, I think I’d do it again.

Patti Smith is my idol, I’ve only seen her twice but if she went on tour I would follow her around and see her everywhere she went. I love her.

The most recent addition to this list is Pearl Jam. For the last two years I have been a card carrying member of the Pearl Jam Ten Club (Peej’s Fan Club) hoping there would be a time when I could actually see the band. Just a few weeks ago I got to see Pearl Jam for the first time. Although we had some sweet tickets, Jeff was able to interview Jeff Ament (the bass player) for Rolling Stone, (see here and here) and we were able to get some back stage passes out of the deal. I felt like I was skipping right past GO not paying my fan-dues. I’ll admit it wasn’t fair that I got to go back stage (or even be in the pit) on the first time through, but it was awesome. To be clear, I would go see Pearl Jam again and again even if I had to sit up on the last seat of the second floor.

I’m curious to know what you guys are into? Music is such a big part of my life, I don’t talk about it a lot on the blog, but I’m wondering if there is a band that you would see more than once? For all you local folks, I know Garth Brooks is in town and so many people are seeing him night after night, are you one of those people? I kinda wish I would’ve gotten tickets just to see what all the fuss is about – I have a tiny place in my heart for country music.

All this show seeing and late nights has left me burning the candle at both ends. This girl is sick sober and sorry and I’ve spent the last few days in bed battling a massive cold. Hoping to be cured by the weekend, I have big plans in the works…

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in Music

Hiding the Bedroom TV

Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage
Remember back when I was debating moving the bed a few weeks ago? I’m sure you guys are just on the edge of your seat waiting to see what we decided to do. Well, after living with it for a few weeks we decided to go ahead and move the bed to the wallpapered wall. You guys were right, I really love it this way.

There were pros and cons for moving the bed, one of the biggest cons was where to put the tv. This was a big issue for us because we L O V E our tv. We’re addicted and we’re not afraid to shout it to the world. We watch a few shows almost every night before bed, so we just needed to have a tv. Our bedroom is long and narrow so putting the tv on the far wall opposite the bed would’ve been strange. The tv would’ve been so far away that I’m not sure we could’ve seen the picture clearly or heard the tv from that side of the room. There was also the option of hanging the tv on the wall next to the bed, this wasn’t ideal because we’d have to crane our necks to watch our very important shows. Plus it would be the first thing you saw when you entered the room and it would scream, “look at me I’m a big ugly dumb life sucking black box hanging on your wall”. There would’ve needed be some sort of cover contraption built for the tv so that it could be tucked away when it wasn’t being watched.

Then there was the long shot option. This option involved some eye rolling from friends and family.

With the bed in the new position we needed to have something at the foot of the bed because the room is so long and narrow. Having a piece of furniture in this space elongated the bed and connected it to the other end of the room, dubbed the ‘dressing area’. Whether it was a bench or small chest of drawers, something needed to rest at the end of the bed to have the room all make sense spatially. Get it?

So why not take our old credenzay-buffet-style chest of drawers, paint it white, remove the top, chop off the legs, add a new better top on hinges, and hide our tv inside of it!

Jealous?

Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage

Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage
This was a hard project, I thought about scrapping it a half dozen times. However, I had a few things going in my favor, I didn’t really care about this piece of furniture too much. It was an old piece from Ikea, it was all fiber board and was sagging in the middle, plus one of the legs was on the verge of falling off. It had seen better days and the risk of ruining it didn’t weigh heavy on my mind.

The main challenge of altering Ikea furniture is that for the most part you aren’t dealing with solid wood, 90% of any piece of furniture is going to be veneered MDF which doesn’t even remotely perform the same way hardwood furniture does. You can’t just screw things together, you need special anchors to lock the furniture together. That was a challenge. After removing the top, I was able to stabilize the whole piece using standard drywall anchors and screws although I’m sure it’s not the most sturdy way to go about it. Then I chopped the legs off, they were made of solid wood and it was easy to cut them evenly using a jig I made on my compound miter saw. I used the remnant leg pieces to create two new legs that I attached in the center of the piece. No more sagging frame!

The next hurdle was painting that thing. If you’re familiar with ikea furniture most of it is veneered. You can’t just paint it, it needs to be primed and then painted. So, with that in mind I decided to go to my go to Rust-oleum universal paint in satin white. I used the same thing to paint my outdoor furniture last spring and it held up great over the summer, no chips or blisters. So I figured it would probably work well on this ikea furniture too. It did! A few coats later and I had a nice even white finish on my credenza.

I needed a sturdy piece of wood to use for the top, I was after all planning on attaching a tv to it, particle board just wasn’t going to cut it. I was able to find a piece of solid pine at the Home Depot. I had used the same wood on the fauxdenza top in the sunroom. I had the wood cut in half so that I could insert a piano hinge attaching the pine board to the interior of the cabinet. Then I added a right and a left locking lid support allowing the top to swing upwards and be secured in place.

Installing the hinge and lid support was so hard. I almost lost it, pretty sure I cried. Because I wanted the top to have a half inch lip it couldn’t swing up at a perfect 90º angle. It was highly frustrating. I did a lot of trial and error until I found the sweet spot. Then after my hard earned success with the piano hinge came the task of installing the locking lid supports which happened to be just as difficult and ape-shit-inducing as the hinge. I’m sure there is some super slick way to do this, but I have no idea what it is. I couldn’t get the supports to line up evenly, they would open perfectly and then I would try and close the top up and everything would shift dramatically. Again, I worked the old trial and error method until I found the magic spot. Sorry I don’t have any helpful tips on this, but if you have helpful tips for me, please share.

The last piece of the puzzle was the tv. Our bedroom tv was really old and archaic. It’s had a flat screen but its 24″ screen with bezel was gargantuan and I think it protruded from the wall a good 10″. We spent a little cash and bought a new 28″ smart tv with a sleek 2″ profile. Since we’re comcast free, we don’t have to worry about clunky cable boxes or outlets. This super smart tv hooks us up with all the netflix, hulus and amazons that we need. I just plugged that baby into an outlet and it was good to go. We ran a cord right under our bed to the wall outlet so it’s all pretty seamless.

Overall I’m really happy with how this all works. There may be a few adjustments made down the road. I would consider getting a soft close lid support so that I didn’t have to worry about the lid crashing closed too quickly. Maybe someday I would replace the piano hinge with a fancy piece of hardware that accounts for the half inch lip, there has to be something like this that exists. There is also the tv mount, it’s at a good height right now, but ideally it could pop up a few inches. We could always replace our static tv mount with something that could articulate. I also worry that the pine top being too soft and will warping over time. The way I see it though, all of those things can be altered if need be. For now, I’m happy that it all appears to be working just as I had planned.

Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage

Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage

Here are the tools I used to make my credenza into a secret tv hiding spot.
1: Brass Lid Support | 2: Piano Hinge | 3: TV Mount | 4: Pine Board | 5: Rust-oleum Spray Paint

 
Transforming Furniture into Hidden TV Storage

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in Around the House, DIY, Furniture