BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

do it yourself

I don’t know if there’s anything better than sitting around a bonfire eating toasty marshmallows and listening to crackling wood. My unlucky soul, however, lives in an apartment and can’t enjoy such pleasures unless someone else is throwing a party. I’ll keep dreaming though. Here are just a few inspiring fire pits I can’t keep off my third-floor-living mind.

1) Do you have a unique landscape feature that goes unused? Convert it into a fire pit! Lucy couldn’t keep the fish in her koi pond because of predators. Instead of constantly restocking, she let the water-feature dry out. Now it makes a beautiful addition to her patio.

Image via: Lucy’s Lampshade

2) This DIY brick fire pit saved blogger Jim a pretty penny, costing only $1.35. Most of the materials were leftovers scrapped from project sites. Check out Jim’s step-by-step guide on how to create this unique inground fire pit.

Image via: The Perfect Garden Hose

3) This tabletop fire pit is so neat. Karen shows us the detailed steps for making this portable fire pit on her blog, The Art of Doing Stuff. She goes as far as creating the glass enclosure and teaching us a cool trick with a spaghetti noodle.

Image via: The Art of Doing Stuff

4) If you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, this project is for you. From Man Made, a postmodern male’s hands-on creativity blog, Chris shows readers how to create a concrete fire pit from scratch. Those who take on this project will really enjoy Chris’s detailed explanations and images.

Image via: Man Made

5) Morgan Satterfield of the Brick House needed to replace a failed attempt at a DIY cinder block fire pit. Testing out a new skill she picked up from friends, Morgan explains a basic welding project to create this sleek, square fire pit.

Image via: The Brick House

6) This artistic DIY mosaic fire pit is perfect for the bold-color lover. Kristy O, of 3 Peppers, provides detailed steps of laying the pavers, creating the pit, and choosing the mosaic tiles for her Florida backyard project.

Image via: 3 Peppers

7) Giving old items new purpose is an art form. Sarah, creator of House and Fig, has that art mastered. She shows us in just seven steps how to turn a washing machine drum into a DIY fire pit. Talk about an upcycle.


Image via: House and Fig

8) Making a fire pit multipurpose isn’t something you’ll hear too often. Robin and Mike from All Things Heart and Home had a stellar idea to use their fire pit for not one, not two, but three purposes! Check out the how-to on this fire pit/tabletop/game board.


Image via: All Things Heart and Homes

Greet the heat and get started on building these DIY fire pits so you can enjoy their flames all summer long and well into the fall. Have a marshmallow or two for me!

Until next time,


Hi there! I’m Vanessa from the blog At the Picket Fence, and I’m so thrilled to be here with you today sharing my DIY Plate Rack, which is featured in the “I Did It!” section of this month’s issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I’m still pinching myself that a simple afternoon project for my kitchen is featured in my favorite magazine!

Do you ever have projects that you put off for … oh, say about five years? In our kitchen, there is a narrow wall that you pass by on your way to the dining room. Or if you are coming from the dining room, you pass it on the way to the kitchen. You get the idea! I liked to call it “the forgotten wall,” just something you pass by on your way to bigger and better things, like coffee.

Sure, I made half-hearted attempts at giving it some attention. There was a chalkboard that looked fine, but no one ever stopped to read all of my beautiful quotes carefully written with hopes of encouraging and inspiring. It is a wall you just pass by after all.

Well, I think it is safe to declare that “the forgotten wall” is now my favorite part of my entire kitchen. It is forgotten no more! It only took me five years and one afternoon to make a very basic wall rack and help the wall fulfill its destiny .

How to Make a Wall Plate Rack

1. Build a simple frame using the size of wood appropriate for your space. Because this is a narrow area, I went with 2×1s. I had Lowe’s cut the ledges to fit within the wall area, as well as two additional pieces for the top and bottom.

2. Cut molding to add trim to the top and bottom and add detail to the frame. Attach with wood glue.

3. Cut two rows of screen molding to size and attach with nails or wood glue to hold the plates in place.

4. Paint it in the color of your choice and attach it to the wall on both the top and the bottom of the rack using L-brackets. Because of the length, it could have a tendency to pull away from the wall, which is why it’s so important to attach it at the bottom as well as the top.

Download a FREE detailed plan for this project.

I think I might have actually heard the wall sigh when the plate rack was installed. It was a sigh of relief, of satisfaction. It finally looked the way it was always meant to look! This incredibly simple and basic plate rack that only took five years and one afternoon to make looked like it had always been there. It looked like it belonged; like it was special, remembered. And that’s really what we all want, after all, isn’t it? To know that we belong and that we’re special. We don’t want people to just pass us by without really noticing us. Because we all know how absolutely amazing it is when someone recognizes our capacity for great things and our ability to truly shine. And we also know (or we should know!) that it feels even better to be the one to recognize the potential in someone else, to speak it into their life, and to watch them shine! Who knew that I would learn such a great lesson from something as simple as a plate rack?

I hope you will come and visit me At the Picket Fence where you will not only find great ideas for your home but a little bit of inspiration for your heart too!

Hi! I’m Courtney, one half of the couple behind the DIY home renovation blog, Gray House Studio. I am excited to be here today sharing more details about the large floor-to-ceiling industrial shelves we built in our library for around $450.

My husband, Brent, and I like to think outside the box when it comes to updating spaces in our home that sit empty or get little attention. We love dreaming up ways to make a room work for us so that we will want to spend time in it and enjoy the space. This was the case with our formal dining room in the front of our house, which sat empty for an entire year.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves Before

It is a little scary to go against the grain and invent an entirely new purpose for a room, but we feel like it is necessary to get the most enjoyment out of our home. We are book-lovers and both grew up dreaming of a home library so it made sense to us to transform our formal dining room into just that.  And what is a home library without a huge wall of shelves filled with books?

Because our large display of books and collectibles would be one of the first things our guests see when walking into our home, we wanted the shelving to be eye-catching and unconventional. Plus, we needed it to fit with the industrial, rustic, and eclectic styles found throughout our home, so we decided to build the support system out of pipes. Using pipes and large boards required less tools and allowed the bookshelf to be put together more quickly.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

One specification we had for the shelves was for the boards to be nice and thick. We decided to use seven 2″-x-12″ boards in 10-inch lengths. This is because we wanted the shelves to be sturdy both in functionality and appearance. It was a tough workout to move all those boards around, but the pay-off now that they are up is worth it!

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

In addition to the lumber, we needed all the pipes and fittings that would connect the boards. We opted to go with black pipes for aesthetic reasons. Believe it or not, the hardest and most time-consuming part of the entire project was collecting all the necessary pieces of black iron pipes and fittings. Each store only carried a small amount of each piece at one time so we pretty much wiped out every hardware store inventory, and it took about a month to gather all the pieces our shelves required.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

Once we purchased all our supplies, we got to work assembling the shelves. Our process consisted of staining the boards with Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Kona, cleaning the pipes, drilling holes in the boards for the pipes to run through, and drilling pocket holes into the boards so they could be attached to wall.

We made sure each board was level, then fixed each one to the wall by securing it into studs through the pocket holes. We built the shelves board by board, adding the next row of pipes as we went up the wall.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

After the shelves were installed, we were finally able to unpack all of our books and collectibles. We thought we had a lot of books between the two of us, but we didn’t have nearly enough to fill up the massive shelf space we now had in our library, so we incorporated family heirlooms, old family photographs, our favorite record covers, cool thrift store finds, and some unique plants.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

After a few weeks, we realized there was just one thing missing. How were we supposed to get those books off of the top shelf? We needed a ladder! The photo above is when we were testing the ladder before we stained it. Hanging a ladder in a library has long been a fantasy of mine, so when we built this final touch for our industrial shelves, it was a dream come true.

I Did it! Industrial Shelves

Finally, our industrial shelves in our home library felt complete. We are so pleased with how the shelves transformed the room into a personalized and cozy space. We know we will enjoy spending time in this room now, whether we are reading, chatting with guests, or hosting a game night. The shelves make for a great conversational piece, and they are a project we are proud to say we built ourselves.

It was such a fun and exciting experience to have Better Homes and Gardens come to our home and photograph our industrial shelves for the October 2015 issue.

If you are interested in following along with our home renovation journey, feel free to stop by our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also find a download with detailed instructions for this project here.

Hi there! I’m Kristin and I write the DIY/design blog Bliss at Home where I share my Do It Yourself projects and my obsession with all things home. I love to share how to achieve high-end looks on a budget.  I think no matter what you can afford there are things you can do to make your home personal and comforting. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger on Style Spotters today to share with you more about my “I Did It” Library Wall.


Being creative has its faults. Let me explain…


My husband and I bought the house I grew up in and have been taking on the challenge of remodeling it from top to bottom. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, an exterior overhaul…and the list goes on and on. I have a million ideas floating around in this creative head of mine. So, when I decided we needed to have built-in bookcases in our living room, I shook the piggy bank and not a lot came out. This is a creative hiccup, but one I felt I could overcome.


I priced out building materials so we could build our own custom library wall. The cost was way out of what I was comfortable spending at the time. It came out to be over $2500. My library wall dreams seemed to fade.

Since I  like to get the look for less, it was Ikea to the rescue! I started to hatch a plan to get that library wall. The Ikea Billy Bookcase was the perfect answer to my library wall woes. Four Billy bookcases, good hardware and quality wood to make them look built-in, paint and painting supplies, brass library lights on remote, and installing a sound system and speakers all came in under $600!!


We picked the bookcases up on a Saturday and got to work. It took the rest of the weekend and four evenings that week to complete the library wall. Don’t you love how I was already playing around with styling the shelves before they were even finished!?! It’s a sickness, I swear!


Once we built the frame to attach our wood panels, we went ahead and wired up our speakers and placed them on the top of the bookcases. The speakers run to the sound system that is cleverly hidden on a bottom shelf. We left the top panel open to the ceiling and it is great for sound quality.


We also made the center panel a pop off panel so we could access the cords to the speakers and the library lights in the future. Roller ball and hinge hardware made that possible and just a side note here– we use this to hide presents from the kids too!


The brass library lights were a great online find. They are actually brass picture lights and were only $14 each. The cords all run to a power strip that is hidden in the pop off panel. We purchased a power strip that came with a remote and VOILA! – lights on remote!


By adding details like baseboard and crown molding, the bookcases have a built-in look. To finish it off even more, we chose to fill in the pre-drilled shelf holes. We used a product that can easily be removed if we ever choose to change the configuiration of our shelves. Details like this really finish off the bookcases.

 You can see every detail on how we made our library wall here:  DIY Library Wall

To date, this is one of my favorite projects. It has enhanced how we use our living room. The kids love to read their books in here. My husband and I have coffee and listen to music here on the weekends. When we entertain, it is our go-to room. The library wall adds charm to our home. The shelves hold our memories and favorite things. Definitely time and money well spent!


Having one of my favorite projects featured in Better Homes and Gardens is definitely a dream come true!  Getting that first email from editor Kit Selzer saying they would like to feature it was a pinch-me moment for sure. Stylist Lindsay Berger and photographer Greg Scheidemann were a joy to work with and I would gladly have them back anytime. I loved seeing them in action and it is an experience that has made me more and more passionate about what I do. I’d like to thank the entire BHG team for all their work!  It was an awesome experience!


Hi, Everyone. My name is Danielle Driscoll and I blog over at Finding Silver Pennies. I live in a coastal New England town with my English husband, two little boys and our rescue dog. The blog is dedicated to our life by the sea, redoing our historic home, treasure hunting at the beach & yard sales and fun family ideas. When I’m not running after my little guys then you can be sure I’m down in the basement painting furniture. It was a dream come true to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens. All the more special that my sons, John & Conor, could take part in the fun.

From a very early age I got hooked on Yard Sale-ing and antiquing. Since before I could walk my mom had me by her side looking for treasures. Most weekends you can find us out sale-ing before we hit the beach.


We discovered the drawing table I created for my boys at a friend’s yard sale. The table is quite big and super sturdy. I absolutely love the turned legs, and oak paints so nicely because of the grain of the wood. BUT I almost passed on it thinking it was just too big!


How could I resist the bargain of a $5 table?!?


My sons LOVE to draw and I thought what better way to repurpose an old and unwanted table for years (and I mean years) of enjoyment?!? We completed this table back in September 2012 and it is still going strong and has provided many, many hours of fun for our whole family.


I shared the tutorial on my blog here. My oldest son had just started kindergarten and both Conor and I missed him so much. We decided to paint the table together to pass the time.  Here is the before:

I first sanded down the surface because there were scratches, and then I painted the top in Valspar chalkboard paint I had left from another project. I applied three coats with a Purdy XL Glide brush. You can also use a paint roller. The vibrant green is Antibes Green Chalk Paint®, decorative paint by Annie Sloan. I applied two coats of the green and did two coats of clear wax to seal it (no wax on the chalkboard top).


As you can see, Conor started young with Chalk Paint®. Here he is painting at the age of 3!

He was so proud of himself, carefully brushing the paint on. He kept saying, “Mommy, John is going to be so proud of me. He’s going to be really surprised.” I guess it goes to show that you’re never too young or too old to breath new life into an old piece.


The boys haven’t tired of this table or the other ones I’ve painted for them in Chalk Paint® including a subway sign chest, a decoupaged sailor dresser, a grain sack dresser and a union flag bureau.

I hope you can pop by my blog to say hello and see some of the other painted pieces.


I’ve also shared a behind the scenes post of BHG visiting my home. This photo was taken while the crew was setting up and the kids were drawing:

The crew came through a blizzard! The snow was falling and the kids were drawing but you’d never know from the image in the magazine that the weather was so bad. Thank you to BHG for including our fun project in the magazine and on this blog!


Trend: Hand-Lettered Artwork!

I’ve long been an admirer of pretty penmanship (it was my favorite class in second grade–I still have a secret stash of the blue-line, wide-rule paper at home!), but even I can barely read my own to-do lists. I blame my sloppy script for why I’ve been coveting all of the gorgeous posters and prints covered with beautifully illustrated words.

Laura Graves for Society6, Oh My Deer, Mary Kate McDevitt

And while I want to buy them all, my wallet thinks otherwise…but, good news! With a few free fonts and a normal word processing document, you can create a chic, on-trend poster of your very own.

It’s really simple: Find a favorite font or fonts (free for personal use) at, Font Squirrel, or by doing a search for “free handwritten font.” (I used Mighty to Save, Fragment Core, and KG Two is Better Than One.) Download it to your computer, and add it to your fonts. Next, open up a new document, and play around with alignment, fonts, styles, and placement. Try mixing a serif and a sans serif or regular and italic, or keep things classic with one font. It’s up to you! Finally, print out your newly created wall art on a sheet of 8.5×11-inch card stock. To make it even more custom, use washi tape to mount your new masterpiece on top of a larger mat. Frame, hang, and be inspired!

–Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor

© Copyright , Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Data Policy | Terms of Service | AdChoices