Saturday, March 8, 2014

Off the Shelf

After transforming the smallest bedroom into my dressing room, and organizing all my clothes along that fab closet wall, the teeny tiny (barely 25" wide!) closet in my bedroom didn't really have a purpose...  I didn't need the narrow bit of hanging storage it provided, and not much would fit on the one little shelf up top.  Eventually, it became a black hole of random things...  the junk drawer of closets!  Fortunately, I forgot to take a 'before' pic until it was all cleared out...

clean slate - even the closet rod & shelf are gone

(Check out the boxed-in chimney taking up half the closet, as well as the awful 'pea soup' paint someone used here & in the entryway.  Who would ever choose this colour?!!)

Anyway, I'm always on a mission to maximize storage in such a small house, so I thought this closet would be more useful filled with shelves.  When 'the Boy' moved in, this project became even more important - I felt kinda bad that he had to keep his clothes in the little armoire out in the hall for months (ok, over a year...)

testing the fit of the new shelves...

After a couple coats of paint, the pea soup colour is gone, and the closet transformation is complete (and yes, I regret not painting the walls until after the shelf supports were in.  They made it pretty tedious!)

all done!

I love the look of a nice chunky shelf, so we added 2" faces to the front of the shelves.  They cover the mdf edge, and hide the shelf supports.

chunky shelves!

The best part is that this whole closet makeover was essentially free.  For the paint I used leftovers from previous projects (the taupe paint is the hallway colour, and the shelves were just leftover white semigloss), and all the mdf was left from an as-yet-unblogged studio project (stay tuned!). 

The shelves hold a surprising amount, too.  I'll spare you the current view of stacks of black work pants & an extensive collection of Bike Week t-shirts, but all of the Boy's clothes are in there now!  There was even space to sneak some of mine in (but just my painting clothes & some pjs, I didn't want to get greedy!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

On the B Side

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, painting of the second side of the house was on the agenda for this year...

behr pewter ring exterior paint

Mission accomplished! So happy for progress! :)

I'm also pretty glad that my arms get the winter to recover from the scraping/painting marathon, before we get back to it next year!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Take it Outside

Finally back to working on the house, and have some outside progress to reveal! 

A little reminder, here's what the front side looked like when I moved in (2009):

A major improvement (the deck!) was made the following summer, and now this:

behr pewter ring

We're finally in the process of repainting the siding, and changing it to the grey colour I'd envisioned all along (Behr's Pewter Ring), and I LOVE IT.  So much.  Love how the thick white trim pops now.

behr pewter ring

Only the front side is painted so far (hence the strategically angled pics!), but we're hoping to get a second side done this year before it gets too cold, and then finish up next summer (basically only two sides can be seen by anyone who isn't trespassing in the yard, so I'm ok with waiting to finish!).

Don't mind the ugly 'under the deck' view.  I still haven't figured out what to put there to screen it - I really don't want to resort to boring lattice, but haven't come up with a DIY alternative yet.  Suggestions are welcome! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2nd House-iversary

I couldn't let today pass without formally marking the occasion - it's my second house-iversary!  It amazes me how quickly two years have flown by. 

I haven't been able to get much work done on the house lately (both time and money being in short supply), but I wanted to celebrate today's milestone with a little project.

This is the 'infamous' key I told you about a year ago, on my first house-iversary.  I've held onto it (despite changing the locks right after I moved in), because for me it's symbolic - not just of buying the house in the first place, but of some of the obstacles I had to overcome along the way.

So today I mounted it in this frame (sans glass, and sporting a new coat of black paint), which I plan to eventually include in a gallery wall of frames (you know, some day...).  But for now, at least the key has found a proper home.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Tiny Update & Happy New Year!

Now that most of the holiday hubbub is over, it occurred to me that I never did follow up about the front of my house.  I told you about finishing the deck, but at that point that awful front wall was still bare and ugly.  So just to prove I'm not a total slacker (even though I kinda am, since I took so long to post about it)...

Ta da!  I finally caught a break in the foul Fall weather (before Winter set in for good) and got it primed and painted.  MUCH better!

And in case you're wondering what all the fuss was about, here's what it looked like before (and why I had to bump it to the top of my to-do list!):

peeling paint

someone's brilliant attempt to cover missing paint with caulk. WITH THEIR FINGERS.

Oh, and while I was at it, I finally decided to just throw caution to the wind and remove this 'who-knows-what-it's-for-or-why-it's-there' piece of awesomeness:

And nobody died.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Giveaway

Ok, so this post isn't exactly 'house-related', but everyone loves getting something for free (right?), so I wanted to share... Thrifty Little Blog is hosting a great big Christmas giveaway, and one of the handmade items I sell is part of it!
Check out the giveaway here. You only have until Nov. 23rd at noon (Central time) to enter, so don't wait!

And because no post is complete without something to look at, here's a shot of the item I'm giving away (so you don't have to play Where's Waldo among all the other great prizes!)

Cashmere Gift Card Holder - Lotus

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fabric Deliciousness (& Storage!)

When I was a kid, I had a Charlie Brown book called Happiness is a Warm Puppy.  Every page started with "Happiness is..." and ended with something awesome.  Like a warm blanket.  Or an umbrella and rainboots.  Anyway, I think the point was to enjoy the small pleasures in life, so I want to share one of mine...

Upstairs in the room I refer to as my studio, I make things. Christmas is coming, and these things I make make great gifts, so lately I've been making A LOT of them. Which means things like this happen:

(AKA bliss in yummy fabric form*)

Just having all these pieces cut and laid out ready to sew makes me very happy. Having the space to work this way - even happier!

(*wondering what those rows of fabrics turned into?  Many of them are hanging out right here)

A long time ago, I posted a little studio organization project I completed, and promised to post pics of my fabric storage... Well, it happens to be fairly neat right now, so here you go!

This is an antique piece my family used to use as a cabinet in our dining room.  Usually I'm more into 'vintage' than 'antique', but this cupboard works really well for storing lots of pretty fabric in plain sight.  (I also love that it has room on top to store all my shipping supplies!).  And yes, it's upside down, but it's been used that way for as long as I can remember - and personally, I get more storage out of it like this!

Unfortunately, it's still not sufficient for storing the ever-growing collection of a fabric hoarder like me...

it's a sickness, people! There really should be some kind of a 12 step program for this! 
As you can see, the bottom shelf of my rolling rack is full, too.  I've gotta say, though, even on a makeshift shelf like this the sight of such fabric abundance makes me happy. :D

As Charlie Brown might say, "Happiness is.... many organized stacks of yummy fabric!"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

For My Dad: A Deck-laration

O happy day, it's finally finished!!

As I think I've mentioned before, I don't usually like to write about unfinished projects. And currently the front of my house is a bit of a mess as I work to scrape (and repaint, before it gets too cold) a section of it. But at long last, the new front deck is finished, and I've had a special request from Dad (without whom this deck would never have been possible!) to post pics of this project that's taken up much of the past two months of both our lives.
And I can't really argue with him - after so much hard work, it's time to show off the fruits of our labour!

In case you need a refresher, here's what the front looked like when I bought the house:

notice the original deck: tiny, rotten, and utterly useless

I wrote about a bit of an update a year ago (at the conclusion of another long project with Dad), and (drumroll please!) here's how it looks today:

please disregard the unpainted wall! :)

Ooooh... Ahhhhhh....You should see it at night, when light from inside shines out through the slats. Love it!

Since I moved in, three new houses have been built beside mine (all are to the right in the above picture), so one goal with the deck was to maintain a bit of privacy, so that I'll actually want to use this new outdoor space. (It's a good size - the main part is about 9'x11' - so I want to enjoy it!) Another goal was not to look too 'cookie-cutter', or like all the boring decks on new builds like the ones next door. To that end, I designed a railing that I think is a bit more modern and unique, and does a great job of screening the deck from the street and nearby houses.

Obviously I've still got lots of landscaping and clean-up to do (after that wall gets painted!), but this was another major step in converting what used to be the back of the house into a proper front entry. Plans for next year include moving the front door - we positioned the new stairs right in front of where I want it to go!

So, Dad: once again thank you. I learned a lot, and definitely couldn't have done it without you! And now that we're done, you've got to admit - it was at least a little bit fun, right?! :)  Love you!

As for everyone else, what do you think? I really like that it looks unique, but do you think anyone else will (ie. future owners of my home)?  Does it look more like the front of a house now?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

It's been a long time since I've made any updates to my dressing room, so I wanted to share a useful little project I recently completed.

Before:  no place to store my jewellery (of which I admittedly have a lot, but I make jewellery - I've gotta model my own product, right?  That's what I tell myself, anyway)

fun fact: I've had this full-length mirror for as long as I can remember. The frame's been painted many different colours over the years, and painting it was one of my earliest 'decor' diy projects. (That first pre-teen attempt was to paint it blue with a black zigzag. No explanation for that one)

But after some sketching and building (and, ok, maybe a little re-thinking and re-building...) I came up with this:

After: Problem solved!  Lots of room for rings, earrings, and necklaces, and the mirror doesn't have to lean against the wall anymore - I even found a mod wallpaper remnant to pretty it up a bit (just $5 for almost a full roll at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Have I mentioned how much I love the ReStore?!).

Rings are stored on pieces of wood dowel set into the pine framework, earrings hang from a metal bbq grill found on clearance and spray-painted brown, and S-hooks are used to hang necklaces from lengths of thin metal rod.

And as much as I love my jewellery, my favourite part is how it all disappears.  As you may remember from here, this room has just about everything else stored out in the open, so I wanted to keep this part of it looking sleek and un-cluttered.  I also think this piece will look even better when I get around to painting over the blah beige on these walls, but I haven't been able to settle on a colour yet. (Suggestions?)

Anyway, though I'm reluctant to think about just how long I've been picking away at this project (it looks simple, but it definitely tested my problem-solving skills!), I think the lesson here is that eventually any project can be finished. Timely, because remember my goal of completing that project I recently gave you a sneak peek of? Yeah, it didn't exactly materialize this weekend.  :(  A few significant steps closer, but still not finished.  One day, it too will be complete!

So, what do you think of my storage solution?  Do you prefer to keep your jewellery out on display?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's a glimpse of the 'little' project that took over my life about a month or so ago...

lumber yard? or front yard?

Fingers crossed that by the end of the coming long weekend, the end of this project will also be in sight!