Month: February 2015

Exciting news! (and a few secrets)

There are plenty of unglamorous and annoying things you deal with when running your own home business, especially one involving large pieces of furniture yet to be “de-uglied”.


I love wood. I try to re-finish and stain wood as often as possible.  That is not always an option for a lot of the pieces I get.  When properly finished, stained and sealed wood is not only beautiful, but durable and timeless.


This means I sand.  My husband sands, my kids have even sanded.  Sanding is the devils work.  I can’t even go into my garage without instantly getting sinus pain and an earache from all the sawdust.  Did I mention it’s cold in there?  Another reason to hate the sanding.  Want one more?  I think it might be aging me.  You know, like getting “all up” in my pores. When I give myself a good look in the mirror in the morning, I usually blame sanding for a lot of what I don’t approve of.


But when you see a gorgeous re-finished top, it’s worth it.


I won’t even go into how gross a painter/re-finisher/builder like myself can be.  (and I can only speak for myself)   I have had paint in my hair for 3 weeks. I’m not kidding.  It is DURABLE paint.  It’s survived at least three showers.  And the stain is worse, it absorbs into your skin, and no matter how many times I convince myself that I don’t need a glove for this “quick little project”, I always do.  I’m stingy with the gloves.  Meanwhile my fingertips are brownish, scaly and literally catch on my clothes. I don’t dare stroke the cheeks of my husband, children and hairless dog, for fear of making them bleed.

I’m sure they really miss my gentle caress.

If you caught that last paragraph above, about the three showers in three weeks, it might be an exaggeration, but not by as much as I would like.  I have a full time job at NDSU (GO Bison!) and as you can imagine, I’m busy!  Working 40 hours/week, having two kids who somehow want to be in sports AND do stuff with friends (the NERVE!), and keeping a house that, at the very least won’t soil your clothes when you enter it, is challenging. As you go further and further back into my home, you will see where the cleaning has left off entirely.  You better have a strong immune system. And stomach.

Case in point, this last Monday, my  powdered facial bronzer popped out of its container, and shattered on the floor of my bathroom.  (the bathroom WAY in back) It’s Friday today (can I get an AMEN).  So that’s 5 days….. Not only have I not picked up the bronzer, but I may have dipped my brush INTO the bronzer, on the floor, and dabbed it onto my face  (on more than one occasion), cause I got to give myself a killa glow.


So that happened.  Or, keeps happening.


I know what your thinking, “Jessie, why would you need bronzer when your skin is so beautifully golden, year round?”


Did I mention that eventually, all my clothes will become my painting clothes.  Once I get an idea, I get so excited to start something, that I have sanded/painted in my church clothes, my snow clothes, my bathrobe,  and my work scrubs.  Sometimes I find myself still wearing my winter jacket inside up until bedtime.   Bedtime…..  So soon. 


Ok, now that I have convinced you that my little side business is messy, and may affect my appearance and judgement, I’ll get to the final challenge.  There are actually many more than three  But here’s a biggie.  And that would be… the serious lack of space.


It’s a problem.


As of today, I have a washer, dryer, dresser and hutch IN MY KITCHEN.  In my kitchen!

I have climbed my furniture to get to other furniture.  Like a mountain.

I have spent hours, looking for a hammer, sander, tool of some sort amongst the disaster. Hours.

My car, has never seen the inside of my garage.

This is because, my garage has furniture.  My kitchen has furniture, multiple rooms in my basement have furniture.  And then there is “Mom’s special room”.  This room is reserved for the finished pieces.  And while the room is clean and nice for keeping my finished stuff in pristine condition, I will never make you see it, because you have to pass the wreckage of my basement, only to enter a room that may convince you that you are not at my house purchase furniture, but to be MURDERED.  Yes, it looks like a room from a horror movie.  I think it’s the wallpaper.

It's scary right?
It’s scary right? I think it’s the wallpaper.  Or the paneling?  Both.


Sooooo, the piece of furniture gets hauled upstairs for a showing, then back down.  (if you are crazy enough not to buy it)  Up and down, up and down.  You get the idea.




A few months ago, I got an unexpected email from Leanne Sucrow.  I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with the name.  She is the owner and designer of “The Studio” and “The Green Room” in Fargo.  Her work (and she) have been featured on Valley News Live, and several publications including the Fargo Forum, and Design and Living Magazine.   As it turned out, she was looking at adding some new artisans to her already fabulous store and had seen de-uglied designs pop up several times on Facebook.  (That’s because of you!  Thanks for liking, commenting, and sharing my posts!)   We ended up getting together at the Red Raven where I got the most delish coffee that also involved steamed milk and honey.  Heavenly.


I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it was to “talk design” with the brilliant and creative Leanne.  I love my job at NDSU, but find I can’t incorporate design talk into any of our weekly meetings.  It was so much fun.  I absolutely fell in love with Leanne’s vision for the Studio, and felt that we shared the same love of mixing textiles, woods, paints and other unique media, and creating something that was somehow cutting edge, yet classic at the same time.  Leanne is also very passionate about using environmentally friendly products, and re-purposing existing materials.  That is something I could definitely get on board with.


So after lots of back and forth, it was decided…. de-uglied designs will be having some choice pieces exclusively at “the Studio”  I officially AND finally have a place to put these pieces that I am truly proud of, the ones that were sanded in my dusty garage, painted in my kitchen, and stored in my murder room. And no more up and down!  It is so very exciting to me be able to show them in a proper place amongst many other extremely talented and unique designers.


Now I just need to deal with the dust and piles of unfinished furniture.  Someday…

One more very important thing, I will still have a booth at the Junk Market coming up May 8-9 at the Fargo Fairgrounds.  The Eco Chic team is working diligently to make this event bigger and better than ever (while still providing plenty of walking space!! Don’t worry)


In the meantime, check out the GRAND RE-OPENING of the Studio February 19, 20, and 21!!  As Leanne put it, be prepared for more artisans, more creativity, and more shopping space.

And to add to that list, you better be prepared for some great pieces that have been de-uglied by me!!


Paint mid century hutch with penny tile back, by de-uglied designs
One of my favorites, heading for “the Studio”.  Isn’t she a cutie!


ps.  whoever likes and shares this Facebook blog post will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to the Studio!


As always, thanks for reading.  You guys are the best!



Headboard tutorial, Part 2

After a few weeks of feeling a combination of holiday burnout, winter laziness, and flu I was left with an unfinished headboard that, for some reason, completely refused to build itself.  So I thought I’d put to rest my nightly “honey, we should really finish that headboard……..” and dragged my still slightly feverish self and husband downstairs into my other “shop”  (gross carpeted basement bathroom) and we got back to work.

One of the biggest challenges was connecting all those staggered boards.  Attempting to make everything tight and secure had left  the back of the headboard looking like quite an eyesore. But that’s no thang… the front is gorgeous, so give her a good flip, admire the view for a moment, and add a few coats of polyurethane with adequate dry time in between.

so ugly
so ugly

The next challenge was figuring out how do configure the lights.  I knew I wanted to do something a little different than in the tutorial.  I decided to go with a fun industrial look so I headed back out to Menards.  Here’s what I got.  The light kit was around $6, the rest of the hardware came to around $10.  I bought two of everything since I was making two lamps.

DIY industrial wall light by de-uglied designs


So let’s assemble these bad boys.

Pretty easy! Use the white bushing and threaded rod from the lamp kit, shove it into the 1/2" nipple.
Pretty easy! Use the white bushing and threaded rod from the lamp kit, shove it into the 1/2″ nipple.
Next add the 1/2-3/4" coupling.
Next add the 1/2-3/4″ coupling.
Now add the 3/4-1" reducer.
Now add the 3/4-1″ reducer.
DIY industrial wall light by de-uglied designs
See how we just thread the bulb socket onto the threaded rod? yay!
DIY industrial wall light by de-uglied designs
Go ahead and thread the socket nice and tight. There it is!

Now, take it all apart because you’ll want to attach it to the bed.  Here’s how.  Measure where you would like the lights to be.  I chose 4″ from the top, 6″ from the side.  Drill your hole.  You really don’t have to go that big, as long as you can get your cords through, you’re solid gold.



Attach the flange…. poke the cords through…. attach the elbow…. poke the cords through…. attach the nipple that contains the bushing and threaded rod….poke the cords through.  You get it.  It’s much easier to poke the cords through one or two pieces at a time then to try to get them through the whole fixture at once.  You’ll end up with something like this.  Don’t be intimidated by the wiring.  It’s almost impossible to mess this up.  But.. it is still a little possible, especially when your nine year old gets a hold of it when you aren’t looking, and shorts out much of the kitchen.

DIY industrial wall light by de-uglied designs


Now, tighten it all up and plug that baby in!

DIY industrial wall light by de-uglied designs


Don’t get too excited.  You have to do it again on the other side.  So do it.


Now comes the easy part.  Cut a 1×6 into two 12 inch pieces.  Stain them.  (I chose Minwax’s Dark Walnut)  Let dry.  Give them a few coats of polyurethane with adequate drying time in between.  Now attach the shelf brackets.  I used a handy spacer that I had laying around.  This drives my husband nuts. (especially when he saw me take a photo and he realized I was going to include the Lincoln log spacer in my tutorial)  I pushed the other shelf against the back, to make sure the brackets would eventually be flush against the headboard.

Good old Lincoln Log makes a great spacer.
Good old Lincoln Log makes a great spacer.

Do both shelves and attach to the frame.

Oh my... is it done? Yes. It is.
Oh my… is it done? Almost

And that’s almost it.  We decided to go with a French cleat to hang it.   If you don’t know what that it, it’s just a 2×4, cut at an angle.  Attach one side to the bed frame, the other to some studs in the wall.  Then just set the bed frame in like a puzzle piece.

You get it!
You get it!


Here is the final result.  My one regret is not making two.

diy 1x4 pine headboard with built in lights by de-uglied designs

if you want to see part one of this tutorial find it here.

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