My parents came up and stayed with us over Memorial Day weekend and helped us out a ton with projects around the house! To prepare for their arrival, we bought a bed frame, to finally create a proper bed in our guest room.
We also dressed up the nightstand/dresser to help pull the room together more. Google “Rast hack” and you’ll come up with all kinds of different ways that people love to dress up these little $35 untreated wood Ikea dressers. We put a whitewashed finished and silver cup pulls on ours.
While we hadn’t originally planned for the weekend to revolve around making home improvements, the lousy weather meant that we were stuck indoors anyway, so ended up using our extra manpower to tackle a number of annoying tasks that we had been putting off. Here’s an inventory of some of the things that got done:
– painting stair banister and trim throughout the first floor
– spackling and painting the stair risers
– switching out our old outlets with much prettier and safer white, GFI outlets
– cleaning out our bathroom heating vent and replacing the grate on top
– fixing old yucky closet knobs and replacing with fresh knobs
– removing our ancient phone jack on the middle of the dining room wall
-adding our cabinet doors back on in the kitchen (finally!!) and attaching our new pulls*
None of these were the most glamorous of house projects, but they are all the little things that add up to a house that looks a lot more “finished.” Doing all of these would have taken us months on our own!
My mom also helped me to learn how to use my “new” sewing machine, which I got for my birthday last year but still didn’t know how to use. We made a few pillows using some fabric that I bought almost a year ago at Brimfield Antique fair to make these new throw pillows for the guest room.
The patterned side of these pillows is from an old linen fabric sample. The other is made from an antique Hungarian grain sack that is around 100 years old.
A little history lesson: families used these handmade flax and linen sacks for filling up on grains at the local mill. The stripes and the initials on the sacks (hard to see in this pic, but there is a U and an R at the top of the pillow on the right) was to identify the family so that their grain piles wouldn’t get mixed up.
My dad also took stock of our lawn and gave some advice on how to plan for our next big project: our back deck; as well as where we can plan on building a patio and fire pit someday, and where to put some new plantings. We have lots of grand visions for our backyard now!
After they left, I was feeling inspired from all that we got done, and went ahead and took part in the great American suburban tradition of lawn care on Memorial day–I pulled out a bunch of weeds and put in some new little plants in some of our flower beds out front, like these shade-loving ground cover plants around the base of our crabapple tree.
This was definitely the most productive Memorial Day weekend I’ve ever had!