03.2.2015 / DIY Book Planter

swap it like its hot

As I mentioned last week, we had around $10 to go thrifting, then send those treasures to another blogger for an awesome makeover.  The time has come to reveal what I’ve done with the treasures that Jessica at Decor Adventures sent me!

#swapitlikeitshot treasures

Of the 4 items sent, the frame and the book called out to me.  The task was to transform these thrifted items.

#swapitlikeitshot frame and book before

The frame was the simple transformation.  From the moment I saw it, it said “tray” to me.  What does a frame need to turn into a tray?

#swapitlikeitshot tray feet via Year of Serendipity#swapitlikeitshot tray spray paint via Year of Serendipity

Feet (which are actually IKEA knobs) and a little spray paint, clearly.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY frame tray via Year of Serendipity

I put some scrapbook paper in place of the photo.  You could also easily put a fun fabric there or switch it out with your decor.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY frame tray via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY frame tray via Year of Serendipity

My pet project, though, was the book.  I’m addicted to styling with books if you haven’t noticed.  My first thought was to hollow it out and create a secret ‘safe,’ but that project, while useful would have been, well, safe.  And let’s face it, plants are always more fun.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

This was such a simple project but was more time consuming than I anticipated.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

The most tedious part of this project was hollowing out the book.

page.  by.  page.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

I cut a hole to fit the tupperware, then trimmed the tupperware to the height of the book.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

Once cut, I glued the interior, put a piece of parchment paper between the pages and cover to prevent it all from getting glued together, then I clamped.

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

While waiting for the glue to dry, I made a big mess with succulents.  Fingers crossed that if I ignore these, they’ll stay alive!

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

With the book dry, I put everything together and started swooning.  Why didn’t I do this sooner??

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

#swapitlikeitshot DIY book planter via Year of Serendipity

Thanks Jessica for the challenge!!  Head over to 58 Water Street and check out what Colleen did with the items that I sent her!

There will be a week full of these awesome projects, today’s the first day, but you should head over and check out what these other lovely ladies are doing!

Day 1



02.23.2015 / Meanwhile at Copper Dot

In the midst of dealing with this crazy winter and my flipping frenzy, I’ve also been keeping myself busy(er) with my design business, Copper Dot Interiors.  I did a dining room install over the weekend and snapped a few quick shots as I was on my way out that I’m eager to share.

My clients hadn’t really touched the dining room at all since moving in a little over a year ago and the previous owners clearly hadn’t done much since it was built in the 90s.  Don’t you just love builder-grade brass chandeliers??


My clients weren’t sure what their style was, but they knew it wasn’t this.  Turns out they were looking for a quirky yet sophisticated room with some color that could be used by the whole family (including small children).

There are still a few small tweaks to be made and I’ll be getting better pictures when I’m there next, but what a contrast!


The trim color stayed the same off white since it runs throughout the entire home, but aside from that I was given a blank slate to play with.



In just switching out the maroon walls for Benjamin Moore’s St. John’s Bay, the room feels instantly about 5 thousand times brighter.  It’s amazing what a swift injection of color can do to a space!


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10.31.2014 / Millie: Week 10

I hope you enjoy these weekly updates as I learn to navigate through the business of flipping houses.  This flip, Millie is the most challenging and most exciting yet! You can find more about this house and about my 3 previous flip houses here.

After 10 long weeks, the exterior of the house is almost done!  If we just look out here, I can pretend the whole house is almost done!  I’m throwing a lot of before pics into this post because they really show how far this house has come.

When we bought her, Millie was an overgrown gray box, remember?


Aside from a few minor touch ups, painting is done!

Millie week 10 painted house front via Year of Serendipity

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, as I uncovered the house from the weeds, I realized that the side was intended to be the curb-appealed front, so I treated it as such.  You never would have known before-


but this was hiding underneath.  Wow I took out a lot of trees/bushes.  Now I just need the grass to grow there! (The painters also painted my yet-to-be-installed new garage door as you can see leaning on the garage)

Millie week 10 painted house curb appeal via Year of Serendipity

I’m ridiculously happy with the new fence that my contractor installed on this side.  The old fence spanned the length of the yard,returned to the front porch stairs and was about to fall down.


The new fence extends only to the end of the back deck, letting the sun room and front porch become the ‘front’.  And it’s pretty.  And has a gate so you can actually get a lawn mower to the back yard.  What a novelty!

Millie week 10 craftsman fence via Year of Serendipity

If you haven’t noticed in the front yard pics, new mulch has been spread throughout the entire yard.  66 bags to be precise, and my back is tired.  BUT the result is so worth it.  I apparently don’t have any pics of this view of the back yard before we started attacking weeds, but even from this week 2 progress pic


there’s a little bit of a change.  Looking a little less jungle-like in my opinion

Millie week 10 back yard transformation

And just for effect, let’s look at the side yard again.  The side yard was wholly unusable due to weeds before.


It’s almost hard to believe that the overgrown holly at the corner of the deck above is the same nicely groomed one below.  Not pulling your leg, I swear.

Millie week 10 side yard

The other side of the house, or the lanai as I like to call it


also got some new fencing (to replace rotten fencing) and more mulch, but nothing drastic.

millie week 10 lanai

Traveling inside, I was destructive once again.  In the kitchen, I pulled up the top layer of linoleum and it’s accompanying plywood and started to remove about 5 kagillion staples.  I know it doesn’t look like much since there are still 3- THREE!!- layers of vinyl tile that still need to go away to reveal my hardwoods underneath.

Millie week 10 kitchen floor

And in the anticipation of my plumber getting started next week, I smashed more- this time in the icky basement bathroom.

millie week 10 basement bathroom

But since the outside is far and away the prettier view currently, I’ll leave you off with that view.

Millie week 10 curb appeal via Year of Serendipity

Still left on the exterior is fence completion on the lanai side, trim and door repair on the garage, exterior lights, growing grass (or sodding, we’ll see), fixing one broken pane of glass, replacing door knobs/locks/deadbolts, repairing the front door, installing a screen door on the back door, and adding house numbers.  Seems like nothing compared to how far she’s come already!!

Happy Halloween and have a great weekend!!

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