Hemnes Hack

Wednesday, October 10 2012

If you remember, we were pondering some customization details for a HEMNES dresser purchased recently for Miss Jada’s room.

We started with this.  A dresser that was too tall for her to see in the top drawer, while the bottoms of the rest of the shallow drawers were caving out due to the repetitive shoving of clothes that did not fit.

For our needs, this IKEA HEMNES did fit in many ways; large and short with deep drawers.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.

The drawers are extra deep and the bottoms of the drawers are a rigid, colorful yellow and white stripe board; a pleasant surprise that matched our room perfectly!  Overall this dresser is very heavy-duty.  So much so, that I never did fully complete my idea of dipping the legs in pink…once this thing is put together, there is no moving it! ( I write this in case anyone is considering the purchase of this beast of a dresser, not because anyone told me to.)  For us, beasty dressers are good.

Here is our simple customization of our HEMNES dresser.

Jada loved the look of the shapes around the knobs in one of the inspiration photos,  and we decided together that it would be fun to add a pattern to the outside, as well.  She commented on how she really liked the boys’ curtains and thought we could glue some of the left over fabric to the outside…”maybe?” she asked, hopeful.  Of course, I had some other ideas up my sleeve.

Instead of taping off 12 perfect squares in the exact middle of the drawer and making them all level (which they would have never been), we went vinyl!  The squares are simple vinyl squares 4″ x 4″ and the chevron is a 4′ x 3′ vinyl sticker as well.

Jada chose the yellow knobs and it really makes that color pop in the room.  Such a sweet and personalized touch, especially because she choose the look of  the dresser on her own.

We are really pleased with how it turned out.  Now, if she would just clean her room so we could reveal the rest of it!

Dresser: Ikea HEMNES

Small Vase: Ikea

Mod Flower Poster and Frame: Ikea

Square Tray: CB2 (spray painted silver)

Vinyl squares and chevron stickers: Uppercase Living

Yellow drawer knobs: Myknobs.com


Images: 1, 3-6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 2) Ikea.com

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Friday, September 7th 2012

Today I purchased this dresser for Miss Jada’s room make-over.

HEMNES 8-drawer dresser IKEA Extra roomy drawers. Smooth running drawers with pull-out stop.


It is not exactly what we had planned, but this HEMNES from IKEA is roomy and straight; two of our main criteria.

We are considering adding a bit of personal touch to it, somehow.

What do you think?  Do you see any inspirational ideas below?

cg dresser left side

Think design ideas.  Jada is all about Pink!

Furniture Trends | perfectly imperfect | painted furniture

Perfectly Imperfect

I have a feeling that there might be a bit too much pink in this room after it’s all said and done.  But I also have to remember it’s not my room.

Below is my top inspiration picture.


Those HEMNES legs might have it in them to add a bit of pink to that bad boy.  The dresser will sit against a Graceful Gray (Behr) wall.  Yellow looks great with grey.  Maybe a pop of an unexpected color like turquoise will win out?

Honestly, we are still pondering it all.

~ Laura

Inspiration Link~DIY Headboard

Thursday, August 23 2012

Have you checked out the ‘inspiration link’ to the right of this post?

If not, it’s time to get inspired!  We did!

Design Sponge

We are currently working on a similar headboard for Jada’s room, and are almost finished.  Can’t wait to put that puppy up on the wall and share the results!

Of course, there are two methods of thought when it comes to decorating a room, such as the bedroom:

1. Buy the bed with the matching headboard (and, possibly purchase the matching side tables  dressers, or armoires).  This is a great way to get a room furnished all at once.

American Furniture Warehouse

2. Find furniture pieces that balance out the room by complementing each other and add texture and visual interest to the room without being too matchy, matchy.

I choose the latter approach.  (This does take me quite a bit of time, however).  Mixing new pieces with older ones, and modern pieces, such as the small table, with traditional, can add visual interest to a room.  And, if we can put our personal touch on something in the house, consider it done!

You may remember Jada’s room idea shared awhile back.

Gray & Pink Room
So far, we’ve purchased the bed, the duvet, some wall art and painted the walls.  It’s coming together nicely as we pull pieces together from various sources.  But, as mentioned earlier, this method takes me a long time…it’s not one stop shopping!
So, in the mean time, here are some more great DIY Headboard ideas!
tufted headboard final
We hope to have our headboard up shortly.  Have you thought of trying a DIY headboard?  Or, maybe you were just a little bit inspired?  I hope so!
Images: All Image sources linked below picture

Simple Wall Art Ideas for Kids’ Rooms

Tuesday, July 24 2012

One of my son’s favorite features of his newly decorated room, (which, by the way, is almost finished…), is the art on his walls.  I am not talking about the individual cars that I painted, each taking two hours (x 15)! Nope. He loves the simple art that I framed.  He has thanked me multiple times.  He thinks it looks, “so cool, ” and I had equally as much fun pulling the pieces together.

The best part for him, I think, is that he can relate to the pieces on his wall.  It can be easy to find wall decor for bare walls.  Here are just a few ideas that we used to ‘spice up’ his walls.

See the Potential 

Take an ordinary photo, from a special occasion, or one that highlights something special to the child, and get creative.  Play around on a free photo editing site, such as picmonkey.com and see how cool it can turn out!

 Wrap it Up

Using fabric, simply wrap a canvas, which can be found pretty inexpensive at local craft stores, with fabric. I found this cute grouping of canvases wrapped with IKEA fabric and thought it looked so cute.  

I just happened to have two old canvases and some of the same fabric from IKEA, so I thought I’d give it a try.


Have you jumped on the animal head bandwagon?  Although faux animal head decor can be pretty pricey, the idea of having an elephant on your wall is pretty cool, at least for my two boys.  Not only does this art add another dimension to the walls, it is super fun to put together!  (Search Amazon.com for your favorite animal head)

Pick your Subjects

This was a fun photo shoot.  Take your child’s favorite toys and see their eyes light up (your kid’s eyes, not the cars!) when those favorites are in a glossy 8×10 on their wall!

Go Random

Sometimes the best art is not ‘art’ at all.  We have found great framable pieces from magazines to clothing tags, and fabric swatches; all looking great behind a crisp, white mat.

Pulling it all together got us this great bedroom gallery wall; kid style!  Hope you found a little inspiration!


Images: 3) Just Bella Blog, All other Images) Laura for monkeysonmyback

Grandma’s Dresser Update

Thursday, July 19 2012

Grandma’s dresser” is coming along nicely..

A few coats of polycrylic and some fancy handles and she’ll be ready to go!  Aris chose the stenciled numbers along side the drawer fronts, as opposed to simply numbering each drawer (01, 02, 03, etc.).  I think it’s looking so cool.  We can’t wait until it’s finished!


Image: Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Planning a Shared Room ~ Hunk-o-Bunk Progress

Tuesday, July 17 2012

Looking at this before picture again gets me really excited for what I have been seeing lately in our shared room.  Here is the refresher picture:

And our current view, a sneak peek:

I truly feel like screaming, “The bunk beds are done!  The bunk beds are done!” Which, around here, is quite an accomplishment.  I don’t recall what inspired me to try out my spray paint gun on a typical hot and gusty Colorado afternoon, (p.s. Not a good idea to spray paint in 55 mph wind gusts!) but I did, and I’d say it turned out okay.  We love the color and how it mutes the bright green background walls.  We are working on the final tweaks of our shared space as the room comes together, nicely..and, slowly.  Celebrating this small feat of spray painting bunk beds (each board individually) triple coated, of course, is surely necessary.  After finishing this hunk-o-bunk, I swore I’d never spray paint again…  Of course, that was short-lived! (Dresser reveal is on its way).

But I am proud of my accomplishments, including hauling the air-compressor to the back yard without tipping over the wheel barrow and breaking my toes!  And, the end result is oh so much nicer than the once honey-oak.

Paint color: Benjamin Moore’s Arctic Shadows 1559

Images: All Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Grandma’s Attic

Wednesday, July 11 2012

I recently acquired this lovely piece of  furniture from a local thrift shop.  I love this mid-century modern look.

Buying thrift and non-profit, I was justifying my purchase in my head at the time.  Since their area of expertise is rescuing injured or endangered wild life, after the Colorado wildfires, there has been a lot of rescuing needed around here.  Justifying too simply because it would have been much easier to buy a new dresser, however much more expensive and I could not find anything I liked enough to spend the money on.  I knew this piece needed some work, but in this case, my donation helped out a worthy cause and Aris may finally get a dresser!  Remember this plastic disaster?

With his pajamas in a bundle on the top (and his undies too because his pajamas don’t fit in the drawers) we need some kind of replacement.

And, although Rory’s first comment when he saw this ‘new’ dresser sitting in the garage was, “Where did you get that?  Grandma’s attic?” I was not disheartened.

Instead I quickly dug around the internet for some inspiration.

House & Home

Original Source Unknown


Ombre perhaps?


So many possibilities!  We are leaning towards a light gray outer finish with some pops of orange or turquoise somewhere, yet to be determined.  I think it will turn out great, but at our snails pace, let’s hope that happens before summer’s end!


Images: 1) Laura for monkeysonmyback, all others linked as known

ps.  What do you think of the new page design?  Honestly.  I have been wanting to change things up for a while now, but wasn’t quite sure how to accomplish what I have sketched in front of me.  It does look better.  Much easier to see the post with a lighter background for one.  It could still use some work.  So, don’t be surprised if there are more changes!  

Easy Chair Update

Saturday, June 16 2012


Ooh la la, isn’t she pretty?  This is Crate&Barrel’s Petrie chair.   You may remember that I added this chair to our Cozy Living Room Plans a while back, but dishing out the dough for this beaut (x2) with three sticky kids is simply NOT a good idea.

Which is where this, equally fantastic chair from IKEA comes into play.

KARLSTAD Chair IKEA Soft, hardwearing and easy care leather ages gracefully.

This is of the KARLSDTAD leather series.  These chairs are super comfy, and did I mention leather!  Well, we bought two of them, even though we did not like the look of the chair legs at all.  The legs look a bit, well, naked, or something.

Above is the IKEA version sitting in our living room.  I think they look much better in person, creamy, not stark white.  But those naked legs kept staring at me as I walked into the room.  I wanted to pretend I bought the Petrie chairs because I loved the look of them at first sight, so I decided to simply change out the chair legs.  I didn’t even know if it was possible at first, to switch them out.  Having googled the question, I found specialty sites on the web related to this exact issue.  The chair legs on the specialty sites were not exactly what I was looking for,  too ornate and colorful, but overall inspiring.  Heck~ I decided to just go for it after I found an Ebay seller, Wholesale Upholstry Supply, who sells similar chair legs to C&B’s; only not black.

I ordered the 6 inch legs, tapered.  After two rounds of spray on Zinsser Primer, and two coats of Rustoleum spray on semi-gloss Black, we have this:

And,  I love KARL’s new legs!

We are happy with the new modern, dark look of KARL’S legs.  The chairs look so similar to the C&B version now, too.

Oh, and did I mention they have easily wiped clean of all messes, from syrup to peanut butter  to markers, that the JAZ team has escaped the kitchen with?  This was certainly an easy update for our cool chairs.


Images:  1) Crate&Barrel, 2 &3) Laura for Monkeysonmyback 4) Ebay seller Wholesale Upholstry Supply, 5&6) Laura for Monkeysonmyback

Planning a Shared Room ~Some Window Progress

Wednesday, May 16 2012

Did you ever get those Highlights magazines when you were little where you had to look at two pictures and try to find the differences?

My highlight is to report that we are actually making some progress on the shared room plan.  Mostly because our sleeping arrangements are not quite working, read that here.

If you forgot, here is our pistachio green car room before,

and we have some major differences to report!

Yes, this photo above was taken at night-time. ( Can somebody please tell me how to take a picture of a West facing window without getting glare?  I am not very camera savvy,  but there must be a way.)  

Anyway, I really needed to take away those short-crop drapes, although they did their duty making the room very dark, the blue on the green was too intense for me.   The actual window blinds, which are ‘glared out’ above, are the white, slat cut-to-order kind from HD.  Now, as convenient and inexpensive as these can be, they are really frustrating when your child manages to twist every string making it nearly impossible to open them.  I replaced them with another inexpensive HD product, bamboo blinds.  In an effort to maintain extreme room darkness, I glued the back of these bamboo bad boys with some blackout fabric…so far so good.   And, how about those zig zag no sew curtains!?  Aris said it looks like superhero lightning and so I went with it.  No sew, who knew!?  (Would have been much faster with a sewing machine though).

We think they are pretty sweet.  And, I am really liking the calming gray color.

If you noticed, the bed frame is also missing in the picture above.  We don’t always make our children sleep on the floor, however, it is surprisingly comfortable.  The bed has been taken apart, sanded, primed, and sanded again in an effort to paint over the honey gold wood.  I must confess that I bought myself a Mother’s Day gift this year; a paint spray gun.

I am excited to use it.  I am sure there is a learning curve, so I am starting with something that doesn’t have to be perfect; the boys’ bunk beds.

Well, we are bending over backwards about our bed room progress!

There is much more to do and will be more to report soon!

Images: 1,2, & 4) Laura for Monkeysonmyback, 3) Google Images

Mother Theresa Quote DIY Wall Art

Friday, April 27 2012

Have you seen this Mother Theresa Quote?


Originally, I saw it over at I Am Momma – Hear Me Roar!   So, I contacted Cheri through her Etsy site and ordered my own JPEG file.  I had a heckofva time getting it printed at Staples.  It was supposed to be 24×36, but their machine could not handle such a large print with so much black.  Oh well.  I don’t know exactly how big mine is; 20 x 30 maybe?  Big enough for us, for now.

I did not mount it on wood like I had planned.  It just felt like too much work to me.  The print actually sat on a shelf in our office for like 2 months before I came across this brilliant idea on Sugarbeecrafts.com; spray glue and styrofoam!  Perfect!

In all my brilliance, I painted the edges black AFTER I spray-pasted the quote on the styrofoam.  I realized, afterwards of course, that it would have been much better to paint first.  But it still worked and it was super easy.

Here is a close-up of the sides, painted black, and the edges, which I sanded with a 220 grit sand paper, to give it the worn wood effect.  (Um, after the glue and paint was dry)

It is very hard to see that it is just paper, unless you look really really closely.

It hangs above the little music corner of our ‘nothing room’, or as the kids call it, ‘The Tackle Room’.

Just a friendly reminder…

(Never mind that I can’t take a straight picture!)

Be Happy.

Do Good.

Give Your Best.



Images on Quote Laura for Monkeysonmyback, #2) Sugarbee Crafts