Gersby Bookcase IKEA Hack

Hello! I love a good Ikea hack and I’m so excited to share one with you today! I’ve been admiring Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs decorative storage systems for years!

Pottery Barn Samatha Cabinetsvia Pottery Barn


via Pottery Barn Kids

Whether they function to organize shoes and coats and backpacks in an entryway OR toys and crafts in a playroom or craft room it doesn’t matter–I love them all!  I haven’t met one I haven’t liked but I also haven’t met one that I can afford.

Unfortunately, these organizing beauties come with a hefty price tag.  The one below was the inspiration for this Ikea hack costing $899 for the set of 3 and $399 for just one compartment!

Ballard Designs Beadboard Entryway Cabinets

via Ballard Designs

Sadly, they are too expensive for me.  Since I already turned my hallway closet into a “mudroom” I don’t need one for the entryway but I’ve been dreaming of a decorative storage system for our basement playroom (and boy does it need one).

A Glimpse of our Hallway Closet turned “Mudroom”:-)

Light Fixture for Hallway


In mid-Summer I got a chance to stop by the Ikea in Cincinnati.  It was there that I happened upon the Gersby Bookcase for only $25!

IKEA gersby-bookcase-white

via Ikea

In the heat of the moment I threw (actually I had 2 nice Ikea customers help me put) two of these babies into my cart not knowing what in the world I was going to do with them.  But for $25 a piece I knew I would figure something out!

Well, here’s the result which can be used in an entryway or in a playroom or craft room (and you can imagine how lovely multiple ones would look lined up in a row)!


Entryway Version

Ballard Designs Entryway Cabinets Knockoff

DIY Entryway Storage

Shoe Storage

DIY Entry Storage System


The Play room/ Craft Room Version

DIY Toy Storage

Gersby Ikea Hack

DIY Playroom Storage

I’ve made one so far and have one to go but couldn’t wait to share this tutorial! It’s a simple hack! Ready to make one??


1.   First, put the Ikea bookcase together following the instructions in the package (it is very simple).  At this point you can leave off the removable shelves.

2.   Next, you will begin making the box part that attaches to the bookcase so you will need to get the box pieces cut.

Below are the measurements I used for each side of the box (not including the top).  I used particle board which is very sturdy but less expensive than wood.

Board Sizes


3.  Hold the left side piece of particle board next to the bookcase as shown below and with a drill screw a screw into a small piece a wood or MDF so that there is a screw in the particle board and one in the bookcase holding the two together.  Do one on the top and one on the bottom.

Create Cubby Storage System


4.  Repeat the above step for the right side particle board piece.  After the left side and right side boards are attached it will look like the photo below.

Inside Shot

Optional:  If you want your cabinet box to have a bottom now is the time to slide it in as shown above.  Otherwise the bottom will just be the floor surface it is resting on.

5.  Next we will be attaching the front of the box.  We will do this by using L brackets or corner braces on the inside front corners of the box.

L brackets

Position the front piece against the sides pieces and place a bracket on the inside corner and screw it tight making sure the corners line up well.

Corner Bracket

Repeat on both sides.

6.  Now comes the top of the box which will be how the box opens.  This piece will be 24″ x 23″ (I got 24″ x 24″ inch particle pieces at Home Depot for only $1.28)!  The top piece will slide to the back of the bookcase so it will need to be trimmed on the sides as shown below.


Top of Box

I used my jig saw to cut the top piece particle board along the cut lines I had made with my ruler and pen.

7.  (Optional) I added a piece of old baseboard trim to the bottom front of my box for decorative purposes.


8.  Apply caulk to where all of the different pieces of wood meet.

caulk edges

9.  Lastly, paint it to your heart’s content.  The bookcase is a cream-ish off-white color.  I happened to have a cream paint on hand that matched the bookcase so I painted the box the same color.   The color is Valspar Del Coronado Tequila in case you would like to match the bookcase too.

If you are using it in an entry way then don’t add the removeable shelves but instead add a 1′ x 3′  horizontally to the top back of the bookcase and install a hook to hang coats, purses, etc. on.

Add Hooks for Hanging

I made a label for the front of the box out of cardboard and paint but I will likely buy metal frame label pulls at some point down the road.

When all is said and done I want to have created a set up in the basement somewhat similar to the photo below.

Pottery Barn Cameron Wall System

via Pottery Barn Kids

I have a whole lot more to go but I’m off to a good start (baby steps).  I hope you enjoyed this Ikea hack!  As always feel free to ask questions if you have any!!:-)

Oh, and just in case you missed it I was at Remodelaholic earlier this week teaching how to ‘Faux Stain’ with paint.  You can check it out, Here.   Thanks for being here!!:-)


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Gersby Bookcase Ikea Hack

25 Home Décor Items, Under $25

As you know I’m a huge believer that you can achieve a magazine beautiful home on a budget.  Here are 25 stylish home décor items (all under $25)! Hope you enjoy!!:-)  ***Prices indicated are from 8/22/15 and are subject to change.



Stripe Throw Blanket (3 Color Options)- $24.99

 Blue and White Striped Blanket

via Target

Plaid Throw (5 Color Options)- $19.99

Plaid Target Throw

via Target

Woven Throw Blanket (5 Color Options)- $19.99

Target Tan Throw

via Target

Jersey Sheet Set (6 Options)- $18.99

Target Jersey Sheets

via Target

Farrah Drape Panel (4 Color Options)- $16.99

Target Farrah drapes

via Target

Shadow Flower Drape Panels (Pair)- $21.50

World Market Drapes

via World Market


Light Blocking Basketweave Drape Panel (5 Color Options)- $24.99

Target Light Blocking Drapes

via Target

15″ Trista Seagrass Tote Basket- $11.24

World Market Basket

via World Market

23.5 Inch Tall Artificial Fig Plant-$9.99

IKEA fejka-artificial-potted-plant

via IKEA

16″x16″ Pillow Cover with Buttons- $6.99

(even less with 40% off Hobby Lobby Coupon)

Linen Pillow Cover with Buttons

via Hobby Lobby

18″ x 18″ Decorative Ikat Pillow Cover- $9.99

(even less with 40% off Hobby Lobby Coupon)

Decorative Ikat Pillow Cover

via Hobby Lobby

ARSTID Wall Lamp- $14.99


via IKEA

RANARP Wall Light-$19.99


via IKEA

Sea Urchin Ornamental Wall Décor Set- $19.99

Sea Urchin Wall Decor

via Target

Rectangular Emma Sconce- $17.59

Wall Decor

via World Market

9 Inch Earthenware Vase- $5.98

Target Vase

via Target

Square Wall Plaque Mirror- $7.50

Wall Plaque Mirror

via Hobby Lobby

8 inch Antiqued White Resin Wall Décor-$6

White Resin Wall Flower

via Hobby Lobby

Unframed Wall Poster Fluidity IV- $19.59

Flower Artwork

via Target

Jute Knobs, Set of 2- $7.98

Jute Knobs
via World Market

Blue Villa Stripe Table Runner- $9.74

Striped Table Runner

via World Market

Ocean Blue Plush Chair Cushion- $11.24

Chair Cushion for World Market

via World Market

Beryl Green Chevron Chair Cushion- $12.74

World Market Chevron Cushion

via World Market

Pineapple Jacquard Kitchen Towel (Also in Pink/Orange)- $7.99

Pineapple Kitchen Towel

via World Market


Striped Kitchen Towel, Set of 2- $9.98

Cute Kitchen Towels

via World Market

I love these all but the throws are really calling to me (they look SO cozy)!   Are any of the above home décor items calling to you??  For more home décor deals and ideas click, HERE.  I can’t wait to share the DIY knockoff I’m work on right now.  Til next time!:-)


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25 Home Decor Items Under $25


My Friend’s Gorgeous Home

Hello!  We just got back from a 2 week adventure to the Wild West.  The West was the destination the adventure was taking our 4 young children 4,000+ miles by car!:-)

familycarfunNobody was smiling by the end of the trip!

We started in Ohio, then Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and back.  It was a crazy adventure but worth every minute of the time we got to spend with my husband’s side of the family (and the $1500 + we saved by driving).


Now comes the adventure of getting the kids immediately back to school and getting back to a routine.  Never a dull moment!:-)


I have a real treat for you today!  My friend, Erin, kindly agreed to let me take pictures of her home and share them with you.  Erin’s home has inspired me in so many ways and I’m excited to pass the inspiration on to you.


I would describe Erin’s decorating style as simple, classic, timeless, beautiful, elegant, and comfortable.  Whenever I’m in her home I feel at peace and tranquil and like I want to stay there ALL day (don’t let that scare you, Erin).:-)


Even though Erin’s budget is well above my own I have found several ways to cater her amazing taste to my much smaller budget.  I will share some budget friendly options in the ‘Tip’ sections as I take you on the tour of her home (or if you just want to look at pretty pictures skip the tips).:-)


Let’s begin!





 Erin's Entrance


Tips- To get the elegant look of her stairway paint hand rails on your stairway espresso or black and the spindles white (like I did, HERE) 


Living Room


Home Tour Living Room


Living Room Vignette


Home Tour Living Room Chairs


Home Tour Entrance


Tip- Much of the art in Erin’s house was bought on  Then save money and frame it yourself!


Family Room


Erin's Family Room Full Shot


Green Chair


Window Treatments




Firsplace Surround


3D Basketweave Surround


Family Room


Comfortable Family Room Couch


Gallery Wall


Tips-  You can find inexpensive drapes, Here (it’s an older post so some of the drapes may be discontinued but you will still be able to see what stores I shop at for inexpensive drapes).  You can find wooden blinds  like in Erin’s family room for a good price at Lowe’s.




Kitchen Final Shot


Erin's Kitchen



Erin's Kitchen Fridge


Marble Countertops


Kitchen Barstools


Sink and Valance




Sliding Glass Door Wood Trim


Erin's Kitchen Table


Tips- For white cabinets, paint them like I did, HERE.  The white subway tile is super inexpensive at Home Depot.  Install the backsplash using my tutorial, HERE.  Inspired by the cornice over Erin’s sliding door, I made my own cornice with a tutorial found HERE.


Master Bedroom


Master Secretary Desk


Master Bedroom Sitting Area


Note:  Sorry I didn’t get a photo of her bed.  I think I couldn’t because the sun was so bright from the two windows planking it (OR I was so enamored with the secretary desk in her room that I forgot).:-)


Master Bathroom


Master Bathtub


Tip- Frame fabric as inexpensive art as discussed, HERE.  There are some amazing vinyl tile options that are easy to install that I discuss, HERE and one that I installed, HERE.


Tween Girl’s Room


Girl's Tween Bedroom


Tip- Buy an inexpensive brass chandelier off of craigslist for $7 and spray paint it like I did in my daughter’s room, HERE.


Girl’s Room


Girl's Pink Bedroom


Sitting area


Girl's Bed
Girl's Dresser Vignette


Girl's Room Desk


Tip:  Upholstered headboards are all the rage.  DIY an upholstered headboard like I did for $20, HERE.  I love how she had the bed skirt made in the same fabric.   Google how to make a bed skirt and you can find a tutorial that will help you achieve the same look!
The adorable circle tree art could be replicated with scrapbook paper, modge podge, and a canvas similar to what I did, HERE.


Boy’s Room


Boy's Room


Boy's Light Fixture


Bedding and Book Holder


Boy's Room Desk


Tip-  Create a kid’s desk out of shelving for under $20 as shared, HERE.


Powder Bathroom


Powder Bathroom


Tip:  Install your own chair rail like I did, HERE and paint the bottom a high gloss white with a foam roller to get a professional look. I LOVE how she used a large scale picture for the bathroom wall by the way.


You know how much I love before and afters so I had to share some of the befores with you!


Entry Before
Living Room Befores
Great Room Befores

A Kitchen Before

Big difference, right?  I’m amazed at Erin’s vision for her home and admire her keen eye for design!  What is your favorite room or feature in Erin’s home?


It’s hard for me to choose but if I had to pick it would be her two story family room with the 3D basket weave fireplace stone surround as well as that comfy linen couch.


I hope you felt inspired by this post! Have a wonderful week!:-)



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Painting Cabinets with Chalk Paint

When James from Homey Improvements contacted me hoping to share a step-by-step guide for painting cabinets with chalk paint my answer was a resounding, heck ya!

I’ve used chalk paint to paint a couch and to paint my DIY pedestal table but never to paint cabinetry. I hope you find this tutorial as helpful as I did!

Bio:  James is a kombucha tea-sipping blogger who focuses on DIY projects and sustainable living via his family blog Homey Improvements. He enjoys pilates and loves his job as a green construction builder.

Take it away, James!

Are you looking for a way to renovate your bathroom or kitchen cabinets without hiring a contractor? Hate priming even more than you hate sanding? Then this is the project for you.

Chalk paint is a DIYer’s best friend, so grab a screwdriver and start taking apart your cabinets. It’s time for a cabinet makeover!

 Chalk Paint Cabinets

What’s the Big Deal?

Is it really that wonderful? Well, chalk paint sticks to just about anything. We’re talking:

  • concrete or wood
  • metal
  • matte plastic
  • already painted surfaces

Remember your last painting project and the loads of sandpaper and bucket of primer you had to use? Chalk paint does away with all of that. No sanding, no priming and it dries quickly. That’s a big time-saver.


Let’s Paint Cabinets!

Before you take a screwdriver to your paint can and get to work, let’s make sure we have our essential supplies:

Chalk Paint for Painting Cabinets

  • Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, Country Chic Chalk Paint or homemade chalk paint
  • Paint brush for chalk paint
  • Wax brush – yes, this is different from a paint brush
  • Soft Wax or Finish
  • Soft rags; think old jersey sheets
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Paper plate

Let’s get started!


Step 1: Prep Your Painting Area

If you’re painting inside, this is the time to tape newspaper to the floor. Really, painting outside in natural light would be ideal, but I know taking the entire cabinet off the wall wasn’t an option for me, so it probably isn’t for you.


Step 2: Basic Maintenance

While the whole point of using chalk paint is to save time, we still have some basic maintenance to do on our cabinets before we paint them. Check the following:

  • Wipe down the cabinets and make sure all the gunk is gone. Tip: Toothpaste clumps will ruin your paint job.
  • Remove the hinges on the cabinets so you can easily paint the doors. Tip: Store hinges and screws in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware.
  • Don’t sand – unless you find a rough patch. This paint isn’t actually magic, it’s just close.


Step 3: Paint Can Dance

Sure, you can open the can of paint and stir it with that plain old wooden stirrer they give you at the paint store, or you can work those arm muscles and do a shake dance with the paint can.

If you plan on making your own chalk paint, you’ll need to go to a store to get the paint can with the powder (either calcium carbonate or plaster of Paris) in it professional shaken.


Step 4: Start Your Engines

Just like that, it’s time to paint. From my experience you’re going to need two coats of paint. I’ve heard of people using more, but that was plenty for us. The paint’s overall texture is thicker than normal latex paint, so be careful.

The good news, though, is that even though this a fast-drying paint, you’ll have enough time to spread it out without fear of leaving brush strokes.

Don’t panic if you see brush strokes in your first coat. They’ll disappear in the second coat.

Chalk Painted Cabinets

If you want a shabby chic look, use sandpaper after your paint dries but before you apply the wax coating.


Step 5: Apply the Wax Coating

There’s no way around it — applying a wax coating sounds weird and difficult. Don’t worry, though; this step is a snap.


Why wax? We might love the look of chalk paint, but the feel of the paint without the wax is actually chalky. The wax does several things. It:

  • forms a protective seal over your paint
  • removes the odd, chalky texture of the paint


To apply, scoop a small amount of wax onto your paper plate to prevent contaminating your canister of wax. Smoosh your brush into the wax, but make sure you don’t get too much. How much is too much? Treat the wax like you would foundation on your face. A little goes a long way; you don’t want your face or your cabinet to melt halfway through the day.


Work the brush with the grain of the wood/paint and not against it. You should see the color brighten up just a bit, but not enough to alter the color, so don’t worry about that. Once you’ve applied a fine coating, grab your soft rag and brush the surface. Think “Karate Kid” for this one. Wax on, wax off.


It’s important that you don’t leave too much wax on the furniture. Wipe with the grain of the wood, and if you touch the wax and come away with any residue on your fingers, keep wiping.


Just like paint, the wax has to dry. Give it at least 24 hours to dry and then you’re ready to go.

How to Paint Cabinets with Chalk Paint


If you’d like a visual, watch this tutorial by Paula Driesell from Locksley Lane.


Use wax sparingly – you can add more, but you’ll struggle removing excess. I accidently applied way too much to the first cabinet and realized we were actually leaving fingerprints on the cabinet because of the wax. Since wax easily shows fingerprints, you might want to consider using polycrylic (though it changes the look of the chalk paint slightly).


Once the wax has hardened, your cabinets will look just as good as mine.

DIY Chalk Painted Cabinets


And they do look amazing, James!  Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us!!

There is so much to love about this bathroom–the soft greenish-blue paint on the walls, the marble countertops and undermount sink, the lanteen-styled wall sconce, the espresso framed mirror to add contrast, the L-shaped cabinetry, the sleek cabinet pulls, and of course the flawlessly painted cabinets!

Excellent work!  You can head over to Homey Improvements and check out James’ blog HERE.

As always thanks for being here!!!:-)


Step by Step Tutorial to Painting Cabinets with Chalk Paint

Easy Chalk Paint Recipe

Interview with Tori Toth: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick Sell

I am so excited to share an interview today that I got to do with Tori Toth, a New York City based home staging expert!  I have always found the process of selling and buying a home fascinating.

I am one of ‘those’ people who will look online to see which homes in the area are for sell.  I am always curious to see the photos of the homes, their features, and their asking price.

When looking online you can usually tell which homes have been staged for sale and which haven’t.  My first experience with a stager occurred 3+ years ago when we sold our condo.

My realtor felt so strongly that a stager was integral to the process of selling a home that she personally paid for a stager to come to everyone of her client’s homes before they put their home on the market.

I learned a lot from my stager about how to market my home to potential buyers and I’m excited to share Tori’s words of wisdom on the topic!


 Tori Pic

Tori Toth is a home staging expert, author of Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell, Founder of The Stage 2 Sell Strategy, and Owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc. a NYC based home staging company.

So let’s begin!


Provident Home Design:

1.  Of all the home improvement projects one can do (and there are a lot), when it comes time to sell which improvements make a house sell faster?   



I always find that home improvement projects that make the house sell fastest is when you paint, update the flooring, and replace light fixtures.

Paint can instantly update a tired old space and make it look, feel, and smell like new again – especially if the walls were covered in wallpaper.

The same goes for flooring, wood flooring that’s scratched can be refinished with a top coat for an instant shine and if you have outdated, stained carpet it’s best to get rid of it and replace with a more affordable material. For details on those check out this video:

Light fixtures are an easy way to tell if the home has been maintained throughout the years and can show the home’s actual age. So, if you have older fixtures, spend some money on replacing them.


Provident Home Design: 

1b. Which DIY projects increase the home’s value the most?



If you have some money to spend, I’d say make sure to update the kitchen, then the bath, and then curb appeal. The kitchen, as we know, is the heart of the home and it should feel light, bright and spacious with updated appliances and countertops. Most bathrooms get used and abused. They should look white glove clean, so replace old tile, vanities and tubs. Curb appeal and adding landscaping can give you a 215% return on your investment according to Homegains 2012 Top 1- DIY Home Improvements for Sellers. This is an important area because it’s the first thing buyers will see and sets the tone of what to expect inside.


Provident Home Design:

 2.   What are the best paint colors for selling a home?  Do you have any go-to-favorites?    



It’s important to stick to neutral tones on your walls, unless you know your particular buyer will like a splash of color. You find this out by researching your neighborhood and putting together a buyer profile. Neutral tones are not just the “blah” real estate beige — here are some of my go-to colors:

Halo, it’s from Benjamin Moore’s off white collection and it’s not only sophisticated but has endless possibilities when it comes to playing up other colors. This color is so versatile…



Benjamin Moore Silver Fox – it’s not really silver, but actually looks more like a gray-beige which is a good color combination to use in a room that you want to feel warm and cozy. When you put this color on your walls it’s almost as if you’re wrapping a blanket around you, so get comfy.



The next color is a blue gray and its called Eternity from Benjamin Moore. I absolutely love this color and I’ve recommended it at least a dozen times to use in bathrooms, bedrooms, and even family rooms. It’s in my bedroom now and it’s a great color because it changes depending on the light being reflected. It’s a great color for southern facing rooms.




Provident Home Design: 

2b.  I’ve always wondered, if you have a kid’s room painted in blue or pink or purple is that a turn off to potential buyers?



Kids’ rooms are usually secondary rooms to be staged and don’t affect the sale as much so you can have colorful kids’ rooms — unless the color is making the space look smaller than it actually is. At the end of the day we want to showcase maximum square footage. If you have a darker color on the wall, make sure the furniture and accessories in the room are light and bright.


Provident Home Design:

3.   In your book you touch on the emotional side of buying and selling a home.  What are some of the simplest ways to illicit a positive emotional response from potential buyers?



If you’ve researched your potential buyer, you’ll have a better idea of what they like, collect, and spend time doing. Once you know this you can use that to display moments in time that the buyer can emotionally connect to. So maybe it’s showcasing a place to entertain a sports fanatic in the basement or where you can spend time reading to a child.


Buyers like to envision themselves in the space and are really looking for how they’ll utilize it, so try to physically display these moments. Overall consider the buyer. Would the buyer want to step over your mess on the floor to see the bathroom? Or see your dirty dishes? Be considerate of their time and have clean, organized spaces that they can actually consider living in and that will instantly put them in a better mood as they tour your home.


Provident Home Design:

 4.   We all have our personal styles when decorating our home but are there certain styles of decorating that sell better?



The design style of your home depends on the architectural style of the space, what you already have in the home, and what your buyer would like. It’s usually a combination of styles because you need to stay true to the home’s architectural style, but not all colonial homes need to be traditional. I would say the overall design style that sells better is transitional because it mixes the traditional with modern/contemporary style.



 5.   You’ve mentioned curb appeal, how important is curb appeal?  Do you have any tips for increasing curb appeal?



 First impressions can make or break a sale, and curb appeal is the first impression being made with the buyer so it is extremely important.


Curb Appeal

  • Stay on top of your front landscaping, mow the lawn and trim bushes.
  • Power wash the home and sidewalks.
  • Add a welcome mat and potted plants around doorway.
  • Paint your door to update the look of your home, update the hardware.
  • Place a wreath or arrangement on your door.
  • Remove all toys, figurines from the front yard.
  • Clean all your windows.
  • Update lighting and house numbers. Make sure they match.
  • Repair the roof, gutters and update exterior paint if peeling.   


Provident Home Design:

6.  When you go to sell a home do things behind closed doors (like closets and cabinets) need to be staged?



One of the first things buyers look for in a home is space, especially more storage space. It’s ideal to go through all your closets, kitchen cabinets or any cabinets that are provided in built-ins. Buyers are nosey and they want to know what they’re buying so focus on organizing and packing up items you won’t need while on the market.


 Provident Home Design:

6b.  What would you like people to know about the importance of staging a home?



Today’s home buyers are looking for move-in ready homes and that’s what home staging does. It gets the home prepared for sale and the next homeowners. Home staging will help you stand out amongst your competition if you live in a competitive market. It also makes the home easier to market because it will provide amazing photos to show online, which is where most buyers go to search for their next home. Home staging can also get you more offers and can increase the price of the home or, at the very least, justify the price the home seller is looking for.



A big thanks to, Tori, for letting me interview her and allowing me a sneak peek at her book coming out August 4th!  If you have any interest on the topic of home staging and/or how to sell a house quickly then you will definitely enjoy her book!  You can check it out HERE and HERE!

Book Cover



If you know anyone getting ready to sell their home feel free to share this post with them!

The stager I used suggested having fresh yellow flowers in the home or on the porch because psychologically the color yellow indicates value or that you are getting a good deal.  Our condo only had 5 showings before it sold, who knows?

Do you enjoy getting online and looking at homes for sale too?

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a great weekend!  Til next time!:-)


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Top Paint Colors to Sell a Home

Home Staging Secrets