Kitchen Project – Part Two

Part two begins with some demo!   If you missed Part One, go check it out!
Our first order of business was to tear down the wall separating the kitchen and the living room.

And here is the view without the wall there!

Next, we began chipping away at the tiles that ran up the wall. They are your typical four inch tiles that everybody went crazy for in the 70’s and covered their houses with, except these magical things were plastic, and they were glued onto the plaster by somebody who had to be a masochist. “A bottle per tile? Sure!” Somebody did not want those tiles to come off. Ever. So hubby and I spent days chipping away at them. Finally, they were off.

I had to make that photo black and white because it’s from my cell phone and it has the dreaded red/purple tinted syndrome that apparently plagues all HTC One’s eventually. But you can get the jist. We also ended up having to remove the upper cabinets on this wall, because we bought a new giant fridge and it wouldn’t fit.

And then with trying to separate glued tile from plaster and lathe, we managed to destroy parts of the wall and had to have a professional come in to smooth it over.  In the area pictured above we actually had to replace with dry wall 9notice the holes?), but luckily the pro guy is also a mud n taper, so he got it all done in one shot.

That’s the same wall. New uppers are in, taped to protect them. I hate them. They’re too perfect and not crooked for my taste.

We finally took a break from the hard work and went to look at fun stuff. I just love home improvement stores! I could walk around them all day. We started with tile, and once we found what we wanted we then grabbed what seemed like a gazillion countertop samples to find one we liked. Here are the winners!

We also bought a new stainless sink (yay!) and new faucet.

Josh made quick work of putting the counter, sink and faucet in.

It’s an inch higher than the last one, which makes a huge difference for us tall people!

The glass backsplash went up next and got grouted.

I have also always dreamed of having under cabinet lighting. My hubby made my dream come true!

It’s a night time cell phone shot, sorry, but it was the only way to really give you a hint of the coziness it brings to the space.

The next few things on the agenda are to find some new flooring, get the peninsula installed, find some paint, pick out new hardware…  We’re getting there, but we have a lot of work left to do!  Stay tuned.

In case you missed it, check out Kitchen Project – Part One!

Armoire Wardrobe – Part One

I have a minor clothing problem.  I don’t even like shopping, but I am a bit of a collector of hoodies and sweatpants and t-shirts.  I also have a problem doing laundry.  Well, the doing of the laundry isn’t so bad, it’s the putting away that I’m terrible at.  I tend to allow a basket of clean clothes hang out in it’s basket and then just rummage through it when I need something.  Because apparently that’s easier than trying to find something in it’s own spot?

I have been on the hunt for a wardrobe for a long time.  I wanted just the right one, but I wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on it.  It is amazing what people are asking for these things!  Finally, I found it.  It’s a Broyhill Fontana Armoire, knotty pine (which we love) and he wanted $129 for it.  I asked him if he’d take $100 for it and he agreed!

wardrobeI tried to come back to the Craigslist listing to grab the image, but he had already pulled it down.  But it is exactly like this one.  The only problem with it going in, which we knew when we bought it, was that it’s set up to act as an entertainment center, not a wardrobe.  I needed a place to put my hoard of clothes, not a place to store the TV.

Luckily, I married an incredibly handy man (who looks totally delicious in a tool belt if I do say so myself!)

The first step was to rip out the two pieces that were in my way.

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Turns out, some of the screws holding them in were behind the backing that holds the piece together. Temporary problem. Josh and I looked at each other, shrugged, and ripped the backing off. Take that!

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I love when our minds come to the same conclusion. We made a pit stop at Lowe’s and picked up a sturdy piece of 1/4″ plywood to replace the backing, and a new bar kit that would allow me to hang clothes in the wardrobe. Josh went about installing the bar.

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Meanwhile, I needed to figure out what to do with the plywood sheet. The uglier they are the cheaper they are, so we went sturdy but ugly. I didn’t want to see that every time I opened up the doors.

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At first I was thinking paper, since I had so much of it. But since I’m now her owner and I can be hard on things, durability needed to be a factor, so I decided on fabric. I still had a length of fabric leftover from the Lamp Shade Makeover. It was the perfect length and width, and I didn’t think I’d use it for anything else anyways, so on it went.

I laid the fabric out on the board and smoothed it out, then took my staple gun and began carefully stapling it down around the outside.

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Sorry about the quality of the images here. I went full on cell phone photography for this!

With the completion of the gut job and the new bar successfully installed, we took the plywood and attached it to the back with a combination of screws and nails. The next hurdle was getting this monster out of the garage and into the house. It’s a BEAST. It took three of us to load it into the truck at the seller’s house, and Josh and I barely managed to get it out of the truck ourselves. The new plywood backing added another 15lbs to it. So we called up our buddy who owns a hardware store in town and he borrowed us his heavy duty dolly. We strapped her in and spent the next hour getting it into the bedroom, where we discovered how huge she actually was. We decided on the spot that either we’d sell it with the house if we ever sold it, or if we didn’t want it anymore, we’d be taking sledgehammers to it. I can’t even begin to describe how heavy this piece is!

I am already semi regretting it. You can’t tell how tall and how wide it really is until you get it into the bedroom. Once in, I started having a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is too big. But my wonderful husband had just spent a good chunk of his day going to get it with me, helping me load it, taking it apart and putting it back together, and then busting his butt to get it in the house for me. My word, my hubby is amazing. There was no way I was changing my mind now!

So here it where it stands now. This is literally the ONLY place for it.

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Here’s the finished fabric background.

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OH!!! I almost forgot about the drawers! The other day, I found this awesome gray and white chevron adhesive paper at Wal-Mart. WALMART! It was $5 and it’s beautiful! It was perfect for the drawers in this beast.

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I call this post ‘part one’ because I have plans for it down the road. While I love the knotty pine, the piece is a little beat up. There are areas where it almost looks like somebody shot it with buck shot or something. It’s interesting. I’ll need to fill those with wood filler, then probably paint it. But that’s a project for another day (or another year!) For now, it’s functional as a wardrobe and that’s all that matters. I’m taking the bedroom back!

DIY Lamp Makeover

This is a popular project around the blogosphere recently. Lamp makeovers!

Last spring while on a DIY/Thrift Store/Garage Saleing trip with my sister in law, I came across this lamp and shade for $3.00.

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Both were a dingy white, but the shade was in good condition and the pattern of the lamp base was kind of neat, plus we needed a new lamp in our guest bedroom anyways.
So I picked it up and brought it home.

It’s been sitting in the bedroom since. Now that we’ve finally gotten around to dealing with that bedroom, it was time to deal with the lamp as well.

I took it apart so that the bulb, shade and base were separated. The base got wiped down to remove the grunge and I sprayed a couple of coats of this glossy grey on it. I wasn’t sure about the color, but it grows on me a little more every time I look at it.

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With the base handled, I needed to decide if I had the energy to try a shade cover up. I’ve always wanted to, but I’ve read too many stories of bloggers really screwing it up their first go around. After a trip to JoAnn’s, I came home with two different fabrics and after some debate with the hubby, we settled on this white and light grey paisley. I LOVE the other fabric, but I have a new idea for it. The lamp is actually needed for light, so keeping a lighter, whiter fabric on the shade would allow more light to pass through.

I used this tutorial to make my pattern.  It was incredibly detailed and my shade redo went off without a hitch because of it.  I highly recommend it!
I used Christmas gift wrap for the pattern because it was handy.

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Then I laid the pattern the back side of my fabric and lightly traced that with pencil.

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I used Elmers spray adhesive to attached the fabric to the shade, as well as to tuck the corners in on the top and bottom. It holds up pretty nicely!

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Oops, crooked picture!

Oops, crooked picture!

This project took all of about 45 minutes of hands on time. The holdup only came from waiting for the paint to dry!

And because everybody loves a before and after…
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Now that I’ve completed my first lamp makeover, I’m jonesing to tackle the rest of the lamps in my home!

Keep Calm & Party On!
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Guest Bedroom

Our latest indoor project at the moment is our guest/spare bedroom.  For the first couple of years, the room was actually just a storage room.  Then, when my Grandpa moved down south, we were given a full size bed and put that into the room.  So, at least there was a place for people to sleep if they ended up needing to stay the night after having one too many or some such!

Unfortunately, more often than not, the room still wasn’t even suitable for a person because the bed would be buried in stuff.
Actually, since we’re here and I want to be honest, this is what it normally looks like:

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Ugh. Yeah. That’s embarrassing.

Can you even locate the bed in that disaster?

So, hubby and I spent last Sunday moving stuff out and rearranging the furniture. My sister in law is coming to stay here in a couple of weeks to house and dog sit while we go up north, and I want her to be comfortable in the room she will be using. Not afraid to turn the lights out because she might be consumed by the ‘stuff’ that has taken over the room!

So far so good. The deadline we’ve given ourselves is ten days from now so that we aren’t waiting til the last minute. Hopefully I’ll have some after photos of the finished project within the week!