Pipe Dreams

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Since moving back to Spokane from Denver, I have really only had one thing planned — spend time with family. I definitely missed them while we were away, and summer was the perfect time for Connor and I to return (most everyone was on vacation from school and work). Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end. Everyone is preparing to get back to the daily grind, and even Connor started working again. All of a sudden, I found myself sitting at home by myself, left trying to figure out what’s next for me.

All of this was already in motion when I got an email from Kabbage* asking me to take part in their campaign. Kabbage* is a provider of small business loans, and their campaign is all about sharing dreams. They asked me — “what are your goals for the future?” and “how do you plan to fulfill them?” Well, I’d like to think that everything in life happens for a reason and after a fairly disappointing letdown while job-searching, I was left pondering what I planned to do to move forward. A lot of ideas had been bounced around, but I feel like there is nothing better than an essay or blog post to really think deeper and make those thoughts and ideas become a reality. So for that, I would like to thank Kabbage* for reaching out to me because their timing couldn’t have been any better in giving me the push I needed to re-evaluate my dreams.

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

“You’re an artist, man. Your job is to break through barriers. Not accept blame and bow and say thank you, I’m a loser, I’ll go away now… You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make ’em wonder why you’re still smiling. That’s true greatness to me.”
-Claire from the movie Elizabethtown

So, I didn’t get the job, but was that meant to be? I have always wanted to have my own business. Maybe this situation is a blessing in disguise, telling me to get started now, rather than the alternative: it never happening. After much thought, I realized starting my own interior design business could potentially solve all of the dilemmas I have recently been facing. I have been so sucked in to what is normal to society (i.e. the 40 hour work week) and I have become less and less happy with such little time I am able to spend with my husband and family. My dream business allows me to break free of society’s “norm” regarding hours spent at work (working from home to be around my family), having flexibility when business is done (scheduled around family time and vacations), and having passion for each of my hand-picked design projects. I want to be the one determining how my life is spent. I don’t need much, but my hope is to grow my business just enough for me to provide my family a home, enriching adventures, and a life full of life!

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Pipe Dreams | The Urban Pig

Steps to Reach My Dreams:

  1. Build a Brand & Business Model
  2. Invest in Myself: Purchase software, supplies, and equipment <—Kabbage* can help with their business loans!
  3. Network: Get my name out there, build a client base.
  4. Nail It: Put my heart into every project I have the opportunity to work on.
  5. Market It: Use projects to advertise and gain interest from potential clients.
  6. Grow It: Continue to build and define my brand, invest in what I need, network, nail it, and market it!

I definitely realize it will be a lot of work at first. But I hope to hit the ground running and have it a bit more refined in a few years. I think the initial sacrifice will prove to be more than worth it in the end. It’s about realizing a necessary part of life (work) doesn’t have to take over our lives. In fact, I hope for it to be a pathway to more simple living. More family living. More life at home living.

*Non-affiliate link. Thoughts and opinions shared are ALWAYS 100% my own.

Craft Projects With Logs

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Clean up from last month’s wind storms is finally wrapping up around here, including the giant pine that fell behind our house. The men of the household have been busy with the chainsaw, cutting it down into pieces and loading it up in the truck. At the same time I have been inspired by the craft projects I have seen on Pinterest using wood logs. The first one I wanted to make was these wood bookends, so I snatched up one of the logs from behind the house and had Connor cut it into quarters. Then, I used a chisel to remove the bark (much easier than I was expecting, thankfully!). I let the wood sit out in the sun for a few days to dry out, as the bark had left a mushy residue behind. Now that it is all dried out, I just need to put on a clear coat to protect the wood from bugs and crumbling over time.

(The same day, I was re-potting some overgrown plants, so I took some photos of them using the wood, and it inspired me to use them as plant stands as well!)

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

Craft Projects With Logs | The Urban Pig

A few of my favorite wood projects that I am hoping to do in the future!
1. Stump and ink prints…Absolutely stunning!
2. Wooden Christmas tree ornaments…So cute! It reminds me of an old tradition we had where every year my dad would paint a wooden piece like these with a mural from a vacation or big event from the year. It was a great way to reminisce each year while setting them out for display!
3. Log planter…Love the two natural elements being used together.

New Kitchen Floor!

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! Connor and I decided we were ready to take on the next big project for our house, and boy was it a bigger project than we had anticipated. We wanted to replace the linoleum floor in our kitchen and powder room with porcelain tile. I found a really pretty one for a discounted price, so I took the first step in purchasing it, as well as the tools we would need (wet saw, grout and mortar, trowel, spacers, etc.). I had only a slight hesitation thinking about what we were getting ourselves into.

Two weeks later, the tile has been set, but we still have to seal the grout. We just finally got our kitchen put back together on Monday, as our appliances and pretty much everything was sitting in our dining room out of the way. Tiling the kitchen floor and not being able to walk on it meant crawling across the counter to get food or eating out more often then I would have liked. It was tough. I was literally so excited to finally step on that tile just so I could catch up on dishes for the next hour.

Anyway, a little run down of the process:

1. We started by prepping the floor and laying down the cement backer board. Despite what some people say, the backer board is incredibly important. And just as the prep for most jobs is the worst part, it is like others, long and boring, but important for quality. After doing some research, we found out that in some cases, like ours, we could lay it down right over the linoleum floor. In other cases, it is not suggested. I also learned that you should stagger the backer board so that there are not four corners touching.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig2. Next, it was time to mix the mortar and start laying the tile. This made me so nervous, as I wanted it to be just perfect. Connor didn’t like this part so I did most of the spreading of the mortar. What helped us prepare for this part was looking at YouTube videos, especially on channels such as Lowes do-it-yourself projects. It made me feel a bit more confident in what I was doing. A couple tips learned along the way–(a) Life is easier when the mortar is the right consistency (b) Don’t let the mortar dry where you haven’t placed a tile unless you want to spend hours chipping away at it to get the surface even again (c) always check with a level to make sure you are flush and even with the surrounding tiles (d) work from the center of the floor to the perimeter so there aren’t any weird cuts in the middle, and make sure to do a quick layout before you actually start laying the tiles in mortar.

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig3. Grout the seams: This was all Connor, because by this point I was so burned out and tired of the project I just couldn’t deal with it any longer. Besides, you need some strong wrists for this, as well as a lot more patience than I had at the time. It requires a lot of cleaning to keep the tiles clean, and that seemed to be Connor’s favorite part throughout the process.

4. Seal the Grout: We are still waiting to do this part, as after each step, you must wait a few days for it to dry and set. We will be working on this tomorrow, but it seems like (hopefully) the easiest part of the process. Here is what the flooring looks like now (almost done after we seal it and lay down an area rug)…

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

New Kitchen Floor | The Urban Pig

I am so relieved to have this project wrapping up. There are parts of tiling I like, but when it is a big space like this (kitchen with lots of jogs and corners around cabinetry, powder room, and back entry), it just takes way longer than I would ever want to do again. Something at a smaller scale, like a small bathroom or backsplash, it would be much more doable. Unfortunately, we figured this out AFTER we bought a super awesome wet saw.

Have you tiled a floor or backsplash or wall yourself before? I would love to hear your tips if I ever decide to go round two!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table

P.S. Delay of this post is directly related to my dear husband cutting the cord to the circular saw in half and setting us back in schedule of building our table the last two days. :)

We are so close to completing our dining table, and it is funny how excited I am to finally have a dining set! It may sound silly, but it makes me feel a little more grown up. Connor and I have been eating dinner on the stairs or on the couch for the last two years of living together (except a short period of time of living with our friends). Before the table was even complete, a few nights ago, we had our first dinner at our home-made table.

This project has lasted a few months now because as we worked, we were designing and figuring out the steps as we went along. Although it still isn’t complete, it is much closer, and besides the final details, it is pretty close to being done, so I wanted to share.

The idea first came when I found these 2×4 furniture tutorials, and I was shocked by how much money you can save with some simple handiwork. I started looking for dining tables, and then different versions of different styles. I finally came across Ana White’s tutorial for a farmhouse table, and that’s when I began my own, with Connor’s help of course. I used her tutorial as a guide, but changed some things, such as the sizes, our plan for the tabletop, and the breadboard ends, mainly because I was planning on having a table with an extendable leaf. However, after building our version of the table base, we struggled with coming up with a solution to do the leaf, and in the end, we decided we would rather have a sturdy table then a table that is a hassle to change around. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the process of building the table base.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigOne of my main goals for building our own table was because I wanted to do something special for the tabletop, and what I had in mind, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford if I didn’t build it myself. After doing some research on how to do this pattern, I came across this tutorial from Wit and Whistle, and again, I altered the instructions to fit our project. For a project like a dining table, I wanted to use a material for the table top that would be easy to clean. I knew that using actual wood would be a lot of work getting the stain and colors right, and it would have to be sealed or I would need a glass piece on top. Neither of these ideas appealed to me and gave me the look I was wanting. After a lot of debate, we found a click and lock laminate flooring from Lowes that was really inexpensive. We cut the pieces at an angle and put them together like a puzzle.

Doing the chevron pattern was NOT an easy task, especially with the tools available to us. It’s not a project for a perfectionist, and even though I will admit to being one, early on in this project I decided I would be okay with it not being perfect. There are gaps where the ends of the wood meet, but this table still feels special to me, despite its imperfections.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigThe last steps that remain for us is staining or painting the base (I am thinking white!), securing the table top, and finishing the edges where the laminate meets the plywood. We plan on getting metal (maybe a powder-coated black steel) to hide the unfinished edges. Although this table ended up costing more than expected (from the original 2×4 tutorial), I feel like it has been well worth it. Not only can I say I built my own table, it is a special design that would have cost so much more if I had simply bought something like it. Although, I can’t say I have seen anything like it in the furniture stores!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigSo, what is my next 2×4 project I will do? I am thinking this outdoor sectional so we can enjoy our little backyard patio this spring and summer!

Bedroom Makeover

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

It took us a while to really get going on our bedroom, because I guess the main floor seemed more important, or other rooms were in worse shape. But the outcome of our personal space made me wonder why we hadn’t started sooner. It’s like a retreat from the world and it has a calming feeling that relaxes me right before sleep. It’s perfect.

It took us a few tries to get the paint right. And by a few tries, I mean 5. All except one of these tries we were smart enough to get the little sample size paints, the other time, we were dumb enough to buy 5-gallons of a color that turned baby-blue (Next time, I will think twice about buying the clearance mis-tints). The color we ended up with though is pretty dynamic; it changes a lot with the all the natural daylight in the room. During the day, it is a light grey, bright and neutral. At night, it darkens and feels like I am being wrapped in a cozy blanket.

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

We worked hard to find savings for this room, as we hadn’t really budgeted much for it besides the cost of paint. We got all of our bedding on Black Friday from Target, we got clearance curtains at IKEA for $4.99 each, and we did a lot of research for the best price on a new mattress and bed frame. We kept our nightstands and lights from our previous apartment, and we plan to refinish our dresser. I’d say it pulled together pretty nicely. But before I show you the final product, ready for the “before”?

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

The bedroom was painted dark brown (like the rest of the house) and it made the giant room feel small and closed in, despite the vaulted ceilings. We knew from seeing the previous owner’s furniture that a tall bed also made the space feel small. There was a ceiling fan, but no lights. Overall, it just felt dark and small.

We chose a color that reflected the natural daylight and emphasized the tall ceilings (they go up to like 13′-0″!!). Later, we might add a painted high-gloss white wood ceiling. A low bed gives the ceiling more room to breathe. Bright white curtains draw your attention to the window and light and really help to brighten the space. We  plan to change the ceiling fan to one with a light to get better lighting. We still need to hang some art as well.

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

Bedroom Makeover | The Urban Pig

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