10.26.2013

DIY Laundry Storage Shelves

When we started working on the laundry room in our new house, I wanted to figure out a better way to utilize the space. In our last house we had a laundry closet, not an actual room, so this extra space seemed like such a luxury that we should take advantage of.

Originally, our washer and dryer were spaced out toward the sides of the room, with extra space in between.


Those shelves near the window were incredibly flimsy, so those came down immediately. We decided it would be better to shift the washer and dryer toward the interior wall to free up that space under the window to be something functional.

When we told discussed what sort of functionality we'd like to have in the space, I told my personal carpenter sweet husband I'd like a countertop under the window for folding clothes. I figured we could just run a shelf from wall to wall that would occupy the space in the niche. 

After doing some measuring, we decided we could fit two shelves in the space to give us double the storage. I told the husband that I didn't care what materials he used (other than I wanted the shelves to be made of wood), but that he should try to do it as cheaply as possible. After all, we were going for function over form with these shelves. 

He went to Home Depot to figure out what supplies he might use, and he came home with 4 shelf brackets and six cedar pickets. I wasn't surprised he came home with cedar because he has loved the smell ever since he built the cedar fence at our first house.

DIY Cedar Shelves

All in all, the supplies for these shelves cost us about $28.

Three planks were placed next to one another and braced on each end with a horizontal plank, like so:


.


Once they were mounted to the brackets, we didn't feel they were sturdy enough so we reinforced them with wooden bracing underneath using the cedar scraps.


To make the shelves look a bit more finished, he added some 3" trim around each shelf using extra cedar from the planks.


For $28, we were able to maximize the functionality in our laundry room by making the dead space into something useful. Once the thrift store baskets and DIY dog silhouettes were added, they became an even better feature!


I normally do laundry on Saturdays, so today was my first time to use the shelves and hanging rack for their intended purposes. I am so happy with the functionality.


Also, how cute are the artificial pear stems I found for $2 at Target? You know I have a thing for pears (see: pear tablescape and pear painting), so of course I couldn't resist. 

That wraps up our laundry room project! I'm taking a business trip to NYC this week, so forgive the silence on the blog. Have to pay the bills! :)

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10.25.2013

DIY Dog Silhouettes

When I found these small vintage frames at the flea market, I originally planned to replace the art with a few of our favorite Instagram photos. But then I spotted these dog silhouettes over at the Little Green Notebook and knew that would be even better for these little frames.

I recruited my best friend to help me take a profile picture of each pup, which proved to be harder than I thought.


There were dog bones involved. And lots of patience.


Because I'm a bit lazy and wanted to do this project quickly, I chose to freehand the silhouettes once I [finally] had decent profile views of both. However, this great tutorial from Park House Love shows you a way to do it if you're not confident in your drawing skills.

I studied each dog's photo to figure out what the differences were between the two, making sure I could emphasize them in my sketch. That way it would be obvious– and obvious as it can be when your pups are similar looking– when people saw the silhouettes. What did I conclude? Both Rory and Shiner has similar snouts and ears, but Rory is a big heftier and has a thicker neck/chest. And this whole pet silhouette thing would be easier if our dogs had ears that showed from the side!

I used a white colored pencil to sketch the faces on black construction paper. Once I was satisfied that the sketches looked accurate, I cut them out with scissors and glued them on top of a piece of scrapbook paper with subtle texture. Then I put them inside the vintage frames I had already taken apart and cleaned out. (They were beyond dusty and pretty gross. A thorough cleaning was in order.)


To say that I love these silhouettes is an understatement. They are tied with the striped tile floor as my favorite touch in the new laundry room. I just love to see my little furbabies looking oh-so-classy on the wall. So dignified, those two.




So what was the cost for this artwork? I payed $2 for each frame at the flea market, and the paper used for the silhouettes was from my personal stash. I think $4 is pretty great for some custom artwork that makes us smile every time we grab our car keys!

What do you think? Would you frame your pet's silhouette as decor, or do you think we're overly obsessed with our little nuggets? (Yes, we call them nuggets. And yes, you're allowed to roll your eyes. But what's not to love about these faces?!)

DIY Dog Fence Window

I'll be back soon to explain how the husband built those storage shelves in the laundry room from cedar fence planks. Stay tuned!

* Nuggets Go Classy *

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10.21.2013

Laundry Room Makeover Reveal

I put the finishing touches on the laundry room makeover this weekend!

How about some before and after pics? Those are always the most gratifying part for me. We've come a long way in this small room, that's for sure.

Before:

After:

Before:

After:
 
 Before:

After:

Before:

After:


Here's a quick run-down of what we did in here:

Phase I
• Put down new flooring (We are loving the striped tile!)

Phase II
• Paint the walls, cabinets, doors and trim white (Behr Polar Bear)
• Replace the hinges and hardware
• Paint the garage door and window frame dark grey (Valspare Hematite)
• Replace two light fixtures
• Replace the baseboards

Phase III
• Build shelves for storage and to provide a surface for folding laundry
• Hang artwork
• Hang drying rack


We still have to replace the doorknobs, but we're waiting until we decide what doorknobs we want in the entire house before we replace these. I want the doorknobs in the entire house to match, so we'll be patient on that decision.

Do you remember these $2 vintage frames I bought at the flea market?

 
Well I took them apart, cleaned them up (man, were they dusty and gross) and replaced the drawings with some personalized new artwork. I was inspired by Jenny @ The Little Green Notebook to frame silhouettes of our furbabies.


I am absolutely in love with these silhouettes. They might be tied with the striped floor as my favorite touch in the room.


I will post a tutorial on these later this week, although there really isn't much to it!

One of my other flea market purchases found a home in the laundry room, too. Scott hung the vintage window on the wall for me, and I added some fun touches with paper bunting and a dry erase marker.



This is our main entrance to the home, since we park in the garage. One of the things I didn't like was that I would walk right in to see our keys and my purses hanging on the shelf by the washing machine. I thought the keys looked particularly junky, so we relocated those to a hidden wall right inside the door.


Do you like the bathroom towel bar on the ceiling? I wanted a way to hang dry certain clothing items instead of draping them across the washer and dryer like I normally do. We have an overload of towel bars in our master bathroom for some reason, so we took this one and hung it from the ceiling. It works perfectly, and I think it's better looking than your average dowel rod.

Can you believe I found these storage baskets at the thrift store for $5/each on Saturday?I was actually out shopping at Target and Walmart for opaque storage baskets I could use on these shelves so that it didn't look junky when I stopped by the thrift store. My best friend actually spotted these hidden under a shelf, and they are perfect for this spot! I love the leather handles and that the woven finish fits nicely with our cedar shelving.


I asked the husband to build me some shelves where we could fold clothes and store little random items like dog leashes, sunglasses and gum that we pick up as we walk out the door. He whipped out these shelves using simple L-brackets and cedar planks. I'll explain it in further detail in another post later this week.

Although this room took way more time and effort than I expected, it's totally worth it. As probably the most-trafficked room in our entire house, it makes us feel so much happier to walk into this new space than the drab, dirty and dysfunctional space we started with. It's a nice welcome when we come home, which is exactly what we wanted.

Perhaps I'll even want to do more laundry now? Eh, let's not get carried away...

* Monday Night Football *

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10.16.2013

Progress Report: Laundry Room & Master Closets

Our home improvements have been progressing at a turtle-like pace ever since football season started, which is to be expected. (The hubs is a football coach and works long hours this time of year.) Combine that with a mild case of home improvement ADD, and you get what we have right now: several different projects that are started but not finished. Sigh. 

I thought I'd pop in today to show you the progress we've been making on two ongoing projects, the laundry room makeover and the custom wardrobe closet for the master bedroom.

First up, the laundry room. When we moved in, it looked like this:


That white tile was the bane of my existence. This is our main entrance to and from the house, so that white tile was constantly dirty. We laid down some fun tile in a striped pattern and painted the walls white, which instantly improved everything. We also painted the door and the inside of the window a deep grey and installed new baseboards. Did I mention what a pain it was to paint the trim and doors white? (This room has two other doors besides the one in this photo.) Oh, it was a BIG pain!

I shared some details from that process during Phase I and Phase II. After Phase II, it looked like this:


The laundry room has now entered Phase III, slowly but surely. We've installed new lights, hung up my flea market window and started to build a laundry station beneath the window.


The husband still needs to reinforce the shelves for the laundry station (more details on that coming in a later post, once it's finished), and we are going to add a place to hang-dry clothes. We also need to find laundry bins to fit the shelves he built, so that's still on our list. Plus we need to replace the gold door knobs and hang more art.

Slow and steady wins the race, right? That's what we keep telling ourselves.

Remember the custom wardrobe closet the husband was building during the summer? It was a beast of a project, and it's still not completely done. This project has involved a lot of complicated carpentry work so far. I'm so impressed that my husband with no carpentry training has figured out how to build this closet. He has more patience than I could ever dream of having!




The good news is, the closets have been functional for about two months now. They work perfectly for his clothes and have relieved our storage problem. The husband has been working on the finishing touches sporadically over the last month, adding trim to the doors and window seats. 

Right now, the closets look like this:



See that gap between the wall and the side cabinet in the above photo? That's one of the things that still needs to be finished. He also wanted to add some trim to the bottom of the cabinets to really polish them off. 

The GREAT news is that our painters are coming soon to paint these cabinets and the entire room, as well as our master bathroom. I can't tell you how ready we are to say goodbye to the yellow walls. I can't wait to see these cabinets painted a fresh white, and I'm excited to add the door hardware we bought a couple weeks ago.

Our grand vision for the room still looks like this:

Master Bedroom Inspiration II

Sometimes we get discouraged with how slowly we're moving on these projects, but we all know how life gets busy. We both work full time and are involved in all sorts of things, so sometimes it's hard to carve out time for projects. It may not be going as quickly as we'd like, but we're still encouraged by the progress we've made so far and excited to keep going. As soon as football season is over and the husband has more time and energy, we're going to pick up the pace again!


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10.11.2013

Randoms & Happy Weekend

Have you seen the new "Emily & Merritt" line at Pottery Barn Teen? Emily Current and Merritt Elliot are celebrity stylists who created the Current/Elliot denim brand. I'm quite a bit past my teen years but I still love some of the items from this new collaboration with PB Teen! Those ladies have great taste. Here are some of my favorite picks:

Emily & Merritt


***

You may have noticed that bed is very similar to a much more expensive Anthropologie bed that's always been really popular. Anthropologie's Italian Campaign Canopy Bed is $1,000 more expensive than the PB Teen version. I might even like the PB Teen bed's design slightly better!

Canopy Bed Comparison


It's a lot like the gorgeous bed in one of my favorite pins. Is this not the coziest bedroom ever?

Full House
 ***

While I'm talking about the look for less, how about this vest I scored from Target? It's similar to a JCrew vest that's been all over Pinterest. My best friend and I were looking all over DFW for this Target vest, but it was sold out.  I ended up ordering it online for $35.


I compared the two vests on my Instagram account (@jordang106). I'm happy to report the quality of the Target vest seems pretty nice! I love that the fur-trimmed hood can come on and off, making it more versatile. Now if only the weather would cool off a little so I can wear it!


***

Yesterday I swung by the Salvation Army near my office to see if they had any good stuff. I was admiring some crystal candlesticks that were star-shaped crystal candle holders (exactly like this) when a random woman asked me, "Are you a witch?" I was a bit stunned, but then I figured she was kidding. I said, "Me?" She nodded. "No," I said, confused and trying hard to figure out why she thought I looked like a witch. (I was wearing a navy t-shirt and grey jeans, by the way.) 

She proceeded to tell me that I shouldn't buy the candle holders unless I was a witch because the "those pentagram stars" are a witchcraft symbol. I didn't really want to chat about witchcraft with this lady, so I gave her a fake laugh and walked away. I counted the points on my star (9) and googled what that meant. I came back to look at the candlesticks again, and the woman came up AGAIN to tell me that only a witch would buy those. I was so annoyed. Leave me alone, lady! I just like stars, not witchcraft.

Long story short, I wanted to get away from that lady so I left quickly without my star candle holders. It was just so bizarre. I can't believe she thought I might be a witch!

Meanwhile, I did buy a $10 brass task lamp, a $15 oval mirror and a $2 basket. I really love the curve of the lamp!


***

 What do you have going on this weekend? The husband's team has an important game and I'll also be spending some time with my parents. Hopefully we'll get a few house projects done, too!


* Have a great weekend! *

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10.07.2013

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!

How's this for some fall inspiration? Totally realistic for your front porch, right?









If you ever get the chance to visit the Dallas Arboretum during this time of year, I would highly recommend it! The Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch is simply a must-see. 

* Orange is the New Black *
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