Archive for the 'personal' Category

If you haven’t seen our previous DIY post, I suggest you check it out before scrolling any further. Otherwise you’ll be a bit lost… ya know, like missing the first part of a movie!

We bought this leaning wall mirror over 4 years ago and originally loved the dark black wood. Sadly it was never fully utilized during our remodel and basically became a dust collector. Ever the recyclers, we decided to keep the sucka and give it the life it deserved. Prior to moving into the new loft, Eric sketched up a furniture placement and found the perfect spot for it. Unfortunately the black color just wasn’t working. This was a pretty easy fix, after all we’ve gotten quite good at painting dark frames a lighter color (if anyone has seen our huge frame wall at the work studio you know what we’re talking about). You could say we’re PRO’S!

Left – ‘Mr Black’ (Original), Middle – ‘Mr White’ (Primed), Right – ‘Mr Blonde’ (Michael Madsen).

Each stage was photographed throughout the day so please excuse the lighting difference.



Wa-lah! Madsen now has a new home and provides us the perfect location to indulge in our vain tendencies. We placed it at the end of our (almost) faux hallway and slapped Mr. Cardboard Moose-head above it. I think he needs a better name but we’re still working on it.

Our white walls are the perfect backdrop for this POP of color. You’ll also notice our killer industrial work stools we scored at MAST. They fit perfectly. Like to take a stab at who’s is who’s?


Remember those industrial letters? Here they are, anchored and re-imagined. Always knew they’d be bad-ass.


Remember those credenza’s!  Here they are in all their glory… well almost. We placed the two units smack dab next to each other to get the length we originally needed/wanted. The smaller unit hides our entertainment equipment and the larger unit houses our other crap. It’s the perfect amount of storage.

***UPDATE – TV is now mounted on the wall and we’ve added a few more modern vignettes.

These three brass owls were found at Social Science Junk Shop for $18. SCHWING! The 1939 GE Art Deco three blade fan was accidentally found at an unassuming antique store in Phoenix for $40. BOOM!



A few more vignettes of some recently found objects (shot on the iPhone for Instagram). We are a little obsessed with Instagram. If you are too, you can follow us @ casiafletcher & unluckyscholar. Look forward to it!


We still have a ton of finishing touches for the loft and desperately want to finish them. It doesn’t quite have the cozy-mod (as we like to call it) feel we’re looking for. Next up, massive artwork, a sweet wine rack, RAD shelving and some soft textures.

BTW, if anyone knows of/has found a dope 5×8 Chevron patterned rug in navy or black PLEASE TELL US (insert humungous thank you).


So happy to FINALLY be posting these DIY projects we did in the fall for our loft. For months we had been hunting for a mid-century modern teak or walnut credenza to use as our tv stand. We didn’t want to buy anything that was in excellent condition because we knew we’d be drilling vent holes in the back to hide our entertainment equipment. It goes against our design morals to de-value a great vintage piece, who’s with us on this…? (Don’t all raise your hand at once now). So when our friend Chelsea (an avid Craig’s lister by night) emailed us snapshots of a piece her husband picked up, we literally dropped what we were doing & hightailed over to check it out. Another perk to being your own boss. To our surprise she had two different sized (but matching) units. They had the sexy lines + simple details we were looking for and with a little elbow grease they’d be stylin’ in no time. SCORE!

Larger unit – ‘BEFORE’ shot.

See… we told ya they had great bones! We classified these as the ‘Sam Levitz’ of mid-century furniture. Meaning not the $4K kind, but awesome none the less.



Smaller unit – ‘BEFORE’ shot.



Found this GEM inside (we fo-sure kept it).


Old water ring stains = character!


The tools needed to complete the job…


Complete all steps in a well vented area or outside, NOT WHEN WINDY!!! (Do I really have to tell you this?)

Step 1: Sand ever so lightly with a super fine 150 grit to remove old wax.

Step 2: Wipe dust off with non-linting towel or cheese cloth.

Step 3: Clean surface of wood with Murphy’s Oil Soap, go with the grain!!!

Step 4: Brush on Watco Teak Oil Finish, go with the grain!!!
(Side note, if you have the time please order Pure Raw Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Co., non-toxic and doesn’t require a cancer warning).

Step 5: Let dry (30 mins or so) and repeat step 4 to achieve desired color.

Step 6: Let dry for at least 2 full days before placing anything on top surface.

Step 7: Apply Feed-N-Wax wood polishing conditioner to shine/protect. (We have yet to complete this step and honestly not sure we want to).  

Eric applying the first coat of Teak oil. (Holy hair!!!)



The wood was so thirsty that the teak oil went on like a wood stain. After drying it lightened up a bit.


Extra bonus with these pieces… removable feet!


Smaller unit ‘AFTER’ shot – three coats of teak oil. Look at the killer legs on her!!!


Eric decided to paint the interior shelf white to give it a modern, clean feel – SCHWING!  


For some reason I never photographed the larger piece? Very odd. But hang tight cause in a few days you’ll see the lovely lady inside the loft.



Next up, we found these salvaged store front metal letters (up in Phoenix of course) @ Modern Manor. Guys, if you’re local and haven’t been there yet, shame on you. Totally missing out! We actually went back twice for these irresistible guys because I had non-buyers remorse… I HAD TO HAVE EM’.

Maybe this is a good time to clarify our home decor style. WE love all things modern, mid-century, industrial, salvaged and/or handmade.

We call it COZY MOD. Ok good, moving on…

HEY (hopefully it’s obvious what we wanted to spell out). Boy these things were filthy. But after mama gave them a bath they shined right up. Nothing a lil grease remover couldn’t handle.

All ‘BEFORE’ shots. Removed heavy-ass-transformer-thingy inside the ‘h’. Cussing was had.


Left – ‘E’ front, Right – ‘E’ back


Red ‘Y’ front, White ‘Y’ back.


Maybe I’ll get the next post up (sooner rather than later) showcasing where and what we did with these suckas! Crossing fingers tightly…


Eric and I thought it would be a great time to share some snap shots of our new place + the brand spankin’ new platform bed project! Wait? What do you mean your new place? Many of you may or may not know but we packed up, sold a bunch of stuff and MOVED DOWNTOWN!!! (Hence the lack of blog posts… sorry). Not only is the new place located downtown, it’s only one mile from our studio. Double brownie points… YEAH!!! Most of you are probably asking yourself… what the heck happened to your home remodel project??? Well, to be quite honest it sucked the life out of us. It’s very important for us to maintain balance in our lives and we were simply ready to downsize and eliminate the stress it was causing. A very hard choice indeed, as it was our pride and joy for many years. But life has a funny way of changing directions on ya!

SO HERE ARE SOME SPECS:

The Ice House Lofts (where we live now) were once home to one of Tucson’s ice manufacturing plants until it closed in 2002. It was re-configured + designed by the bad-ass Architect Rob Paulus. (He lives there to)

It contains 51 distinctive units ranging from studio size (which we have) to multi bedrooms (which we hope to get) + patio/balconies.

We are in a 615 sq ft studio space (very cozy) with a red brick north facing wall + balcony overing looking the Catalina Mountains and train tracks.

It has one full bathroom, with OMG a tub and a roomy closet + laundry (considering the size of the studio).

Oh and the best part, a functioning kitchen!!!!!!!! (I’m pretty easy to please)

Here’s the big ol’ sliding door that leads to our cantilevered balcony. (BTW the following images were documented with our tiny pocket camera so excuse the pixelation).

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20′ ceilings make the space feel wayyyyyyyy more open and not so claustrophobic.  We of course LOVE the exposed wood/steel trusses and large white walls.

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Because the space is pretty small, it presented a few (interesting) challenges. Eric immediately started conceptualizing how we would arrange the wide open space to include our living room, dining area and bedroom all in the same room! (See Eric’s Sketch Up concepts below) The most interesting challenge was how to separate the bed from the rest of the space without actually sectioning off the area with a tall wall.

That’s when the PLATFORM BED/PONY WALL was born… I think the design is brilliant! ONE, it hides the bed from view when you initially walk into the space and TWO, it allowed for a pony wall to place the sofa against. Here’s a quick view of the overall design (minus a killer head board Eric designed… you’ll see that later).
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The next step was to start building the thing!

Here we are prepping the soft felt liner to go underneath the platform.  It was VERY important for us to protect the floors.  Since we’re renters, we designed the whole concept to be removable and non-destructive to the space.

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On the left is a ‘before’ image of the space. On the right is the ‘beginning stage’ showcasing the scale of the platform + the two 3′ walls flanking the platform structure.

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This thing is a beast so it will not warp, bow or creek.  Since we would be walking, sitting and catching some zzzzzzz’s on this thing it had to be built this way.  You can also get a glimpse of the kitchen space beyond.  The left white closed door is the bathroom and back right door is the entry to our space.  Told you this place is COZY!!!

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A different angle before the plywood subfloor goes on.

purple nickel studio . extra extra

purple nickel studio . extra extra

We sooooooo wanted to veneer or laminate the entire structure in high gloss white Formica (or similar product), but it just wasn’t in our budget. So after numerous hours of research, samples, and shopping around we found a possible solution at, you guessed it, IKEA.  Arg!

Because we’ve been burned by IKEA way to many times (stuff is always out of stock) we called ahead to make sure the flooring we were interested in was indeed there and exactly what we wanted, a ‘white matte finish’ with no visible wood grain. Most white floors are really a white wash treatment.  The staff member assured me it was a flat bright white with no visible grain.  So like most people who don’t have an IKEA anywhere nearby we made the 1 1/2 hour trek to Phoenix from Tucson just for the flooring. Boy were we discouraged.  SHOCKER RIGHT! The white flooring was in fact a white wash treatment. ANOTHER IKEA FAIL… There was a 30 second glimmer of hope we when realized they also sold a ‘white wide plank high gloss’ flooring. But in typical IKEA fashion, it was being discontinued and they only had 3 boxes left. We needed 5 (insert angry face). Feeling defeated, we were ready to walk out when we made the well-debated (probably 1 hour long) choice of purchasing the ‘white wash matte finish’ as a back up incase we couldn’t find anything else.  After a few more days of searching nothing compared to the price of the IKEA flooring, so we decided to roll with it. We hate to admit it, but the flooring is actually not too bad.  You have to get pretty close to see the grain and overall it worked out nicely.

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Flooring is installed and the 1″ x 12″ wood base boards get attached.

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Since Eric is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to anything design/construction related he decided the corners must be mitered. He said this would allow for the cleanest possible reveal. Needless to say it took a whole day to measure, cut, nail, sand and puddy corners.

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Mitered corners get wood filler + sanded in preparation for white primer.

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Drywall and corner-bead goes on. This took much longer then we wanted.

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purple nickel studio . extra extra

First layer of drywall mud is up!  Two more to go.

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Corner edge detail with 1″ Fry Reglet ‘Z’ metal reveal.  We didn’t want the standard baseboard effect. Instead we wanted the wall to appear as one single plane. This is a technique Eric wishes was used more often in homes to eliminate the typical baseboard ‘bump out’ look.

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Drywall texturing is complete! Now on to the primer/white paint.

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Annnnnddddd the structure is DONE!!!  Well… except for our headboard concept which you’ll see in the Sketch Up drawings below.

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purple nickel studio . extra extra

TOTAL BUILD TIME: 2 WEEKS (NOT STRAIGHT) / TOTAL COST: RIGHT AROUND $700

As promised… here are some views of the Sketch Up model Eric created. It’s just a guide at this point and many of the final touches do not appear. That’s where the real fun is!!!

A couple overall views. You can also check out this fly by video Eric created… it’s RAD!!!

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purple nickel studio . extra extra

None of this currently exists on the wall, so we can’t wait to start building it!

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Our living room…

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Here’s the head board idea we talked about earlier… I assure you it will be blogged about once it is done. We are also thinking of building this dope wood wine rack Eric designed.

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We’ve already got the moose head and are in the process of painting our existing mirror a sweet bright yellow.

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The proposed view as you walk out of the bathroom. That’s normally the face I make when Eric comes out…

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We have tons of wall space, so we plan on filling it up with a bunch of artwork/graphics. This is one idea… (Eric’s favorite of course) but we’d love to hear what you think!

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Below are several different concepts for the same location. Do us a favor and leave a comment with your favorite number. It will go a long way in helping us chose.

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Phewww! Thanks for hanging on with this extra long blog post. We look forward to hearing which one is your favorite! AND stay tuned for a separate Tumblr where we will continue to document all the cool stuff we have planned!


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