I've been meaning to post this for a while, but as the school year got back underway... I've been a bit on the lazy side with the blog. This summer, I spent my time with two main projects: a window seat and a dining table. The dining table was actually built first (post to come), and after it was built, I felt like the space behind it needed to be filled. I'm actually really happy with the way the window seat turned out, but FYI - it was definitely more expensive than I thought it was going to be.
So my original idea was that I would salvage microwave cabinets from Habitat ReStore and create the window seat from those, however after some major searching and lots of driving to five different ReStores, I was only able to find one microwave cabinet (I snagged it for a whopping $12). I decided instead of searching for more, I would just spend a day and build two others. I happened to have enough scrap wood and plywood to get this done for (almost) free. The cabinets are 30" wide, 14" tall, and 12" deep.
After building the boxes, I then had to frame up the floor and the wall behind the cabinets. The reason for the wall frame is simply to make the window seat larger - a 12" window seat would definitely not work in the space, so I built it up without having the make the boxes deeper. I tried to use as much scrap wood as possible for the frame, hence the million pieces. I also built a box within the floor frame to help direct the air out of the air duct. I did this by ripping a 1/4" off of a couple 2X4's, then attaching a piece of luan to the top. I also cut out a rectangular piece so the air could escape.
The moulding around the floor also needed to be cut to allow for the air to escape. I measured it out, cut the rectangle with the jigsaw, and then used a small piece of moulding to frame out the edges on the inside. I debated on routing the inside instead of adding the extra moulding, but decided against it. I then bought a piece of decorative metal from Hobby Lobby, cut to size, and stapled it to the inside frame.
Instead of building my own doors, I went to a local building materials shop in town and found pre-made oak wood doors for a whopping $5 each. I primed, painted, and attached the doors using hinges I bought through Woodworker Express. They had exactly what I needed and were the cheapest place around! The top is made out of 3/4" plywood with a piece of moulding glued to the unfinished edge. The pulls are from Amazon and are leftover from my kitchen cabinets.
I made the cushion on top TODAY (maybe this is why I'm posting so late....). Although I had a student volunteer her time to sew me a top (I am NOT a sewer), I'm simply too impatient to wait and used the "no sew" technique demonstrated here (sans the spray adhesive). The fabric is a green heather canvas that I found at a fabric outlet for $15 while on vacation in Virginia. I still have an entire ROLL leftover, so if I do ever decide to have my student sew me a top, I'll have plenty for her to tackle the project.
Can I get a sigh of relief? It's finally finished! And look who loves their new seat!!!!!
After 4 weekends, the first floor bath is *officially* (but not really) finished. I know, I know, you're probably wondering at this point "What do you have left to do?" Honestly, I swear I am almost done; just one more coat of paint on the baseboards and moulding! Just as a reminder of where we started two years ago....
I love, love, LOVE the shiplap walls, but I felt like the white walls needed some color somehow. I went on a search to find a colorful shower curtain and World Market had the winner! The bird shower curtain was about $25 with a coupon, and I replaced the old tension rod with this $8 one from World Market as well.
I put down the floor almost two years ago, but I tried my best to really clean it up. I scrubbed away the grout haze and swept, vacuumed, and scrubbed the floor some more. I also spray painted the rusty old floor vent cover oil rubbed bronze.
One of the smallest (but biggest) changes in the room was the shower fan. New fans are pretty expensive, and mine was working perfectly fine but it was pretty gross. A couple coats of spray paint and it was as good as new!
Brian's grandmother painted the watercolor on the wall. Its so beautiful and fits right in with the beach theme! I love it! We picked up the frame from Marshall's for $10, and spray painted it oil rubbed bronze. The original color wasn't great, but for ten bucks, I decided it was something we could easily change.
I ordered both the hand towel ring and the toilet roll holder from Amazon. The mirror is from Lowe's, and the vanity and light are from the Home Depot (although I'm not sure I would recommend the vanity anymore). The vanity is beautiful and sturdy, however the laminated wood is peeling off in some areas on the doors and drawers. This vanity literally never gets used so I don't understand why it is peeling off.
The adorable shelf above the toilet is from Hobby Lobby. I snagged it on sale for $25. I love it!
And look at those plinth blocks! No more giant gaps!!! Woot woot!!
I have to admit, I LOVE this bathroom! I am so happy it turned out so well, and I am so happy that it is finally done. So, what do you guys think?
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!
Mr. Boots especially loves the new (AND WORKING!!!) kitchen faucet. He can't help but be super adorable!
My floors were finally installed this week. I used a local company, Styron Flooring, who have done a fabulous job! They are awesome and my floors look great! Having my floors professionally installed was probably the best decision I have made regarding my house so far. Brian and I tried (and failed) installing the floors last year, but my subfloor was so uneven that the floors bounced whenever you walked on it. We tried leveling, but obviously we failed. Now, the floors are stable (having poured about 50 gallons of leveling cement on them), and I know they will hold up in the long run. The guys were even able to install them so that there was no transition strip in ANY of the doorways (except in the bathroom). It looks flawless and I am SO HAPPY!!!
Look at the back bedroom - all of that leveling cement!!!! No wonder my floor was so bouncy!
I suppose I am getting a little ahead of myself. The installers still need to add toe moulding, finish the back bedroom closets, and I need to clean (and clean, and clean). Regardless, I'm in love. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Styron Flooring. You guys are awesome!!!!!!!!
So this has been a long time coming, but I've finally taken pictures of my stairs. I have to say I am SO HAPPY with the way they came out. A few things real quick and then I'll get to the pictures:
The Stain: I used Mixwax prestain for all of the stairs because they are pine. Next, I applied one coat of Minwax Honey, let that dry for a few hours, and then applied a mixed stain of Minwax Special Walnut and Minwax Dark Walnut. I tried my best to match it to my laminate floors, but I'm not sure I made it a perfect match. Oh well - they look great anyways! I applied three coats of Minwax polyurethane to finish them off.
How to Attach: I used Liquid Nails on the stringers and the plywood risers, and then predrilled (with a countersinking bit) two holes per side and attached the wood with 2.5 screws. I then bought and stained plugs that fit the holes and hammered them into place. For the curved stairs, I just applied a TON of liquid nails, used sandbags for extra weight, and then used a nail gun to securely attach them.
There's a fat man on my mantle, and for the time being, I'm OK with it - because it means I actually have a mantle!
One of my first projects in this house was building my own mantle. I haven't written about it, but I've had the mantle for about a year now (yikes) and it has been sitting in my basement collecting dust... until this weekend! Before we begin, let me recap how (and why) I built my own mantle.
I had a major dilemma with two of my fireplaces (master bedroom and the living room). They are stone, obviously, and when they were installed, the owner never thought to have a couple pieces of the stone protrude out for a mantle to sit on. Or maybe they just never thought, "Hey! It would be a good idea to split this GIANT PIECE OF STONE up with a mantle so that it's not just a GIANT PIECE OF STONE! Let me make sure in my design I incorporate some flat pieces for my mantle to attach to!" Yeah, that never happened. The stone is uneven, thick, and very few places are actually flat enough to attach any sort of anchor. So what to do? Make my own!
I really wanted a wooden, rustic, reclaimed look for my mantle without the price of reclaimed barn wood. To get around this, I bought a piece of 2" x 8" x 12' piece of new lumber, cut it into two 6 foot sections, glued and drilled the two pieces together, and sanded the edges down so they were flat (which was a LOT of sanding. A table saw would have made this much easier). What I got was an approximately 3" x 7" x 6' mantle! Brian and I then beat the mantle with nuts, screws, hammers, saw blades... basically anything that was sharp and could cause destruction... and stained it for our finished product. It's awesome (and cheap!!!).
The question then became, "How do I attach this to the fireplace?" Great question, which is why I then turned to my trusty friend, Pinterest. I was first inspired by the picture below, and actually went as far as making the attachments, spray painting them black, and attempting to attach them to the fireplace (with the advise from the guys at the Depot). The problem arose when we tried drilling through the stone to attach masonry anchors. Brian and I tried a hammer drill, then we tried a different hammer drill. We drilled about a quarter inch into the stone in about 20 minutes. Simply stated, it wasn't working so we abandoned the project for a year.
This weekend, for whatever reason, we were inspired again to attempt what seemed to be our futile project. Brian did some more research of hammer drills, and he stumbled across this YouTube video about the differences between a hammer drill and a rotary hammer. Needless to say, we decided to make a trip to the Depot and rent a rotary hammer and attempt the project again. It was like drilling through butter. Yeeessssssss!!!!
I also ended up changing my design with the attachments. I decided to go with a simpler design which would allow me to change the mantle easily in the future if I should ever choose. My inspiration picture is below. Basically, the wood just sits on the plumbing nipple instead of being attached to a flange.
With a few more trips back to the store to stock up on more things we needed, we were finally able to securely attach both flanges and hang our mantle. Although I think it might be a little high (we were hoping to put the TV on top of it - not anymore) this is a real wood-burning fireplace and I'd rather err on the side of caution and not worry about my mantle catching on fire.
Yesterday, after 10 long months, carpet was finally installed upstairs! No, this does not mean that the entire upstairs is finished yet (sad face), however it does mean that I can move in! Yippie!
Take a look at these before and after pictures!
Well friends, my first project is officially (kind of) complete! Although this probably shouldn't have taken this long, it's okay because I think the result is great! First, let's recap what the first floor bathroom used to look like:
Brian and I then went to Lowe's (I know, Home Depot - I miss you too), and found something a little different - groutable vinyl tile. It didn't match the vanity top either (big surprise), but it was my favorite looking tile by far and Brian's favorite as well. Terry-the-painter-turned-decorator also told us that if the tile didn't match the top, just match the paint to the tile, and that the vanity top should be neutral enough to go with anything. True dat Terry. True dat.
After a long debate about if we should use vinyl or not, we went with it, and I think the results are amazing! Bonus - I was able to install and grout the tile all by myself! BOOM!
You can't really notice the terriblegrossrottingfloorunderthetoilet in this picture, however you can admire my 30-in tall melamine cabinets! After we repaired the subfloor, I attempted to remove the wallpaper - but failed. It. Would. NOT. Come. Off. So, my philosophy was if it wanted to stay - it will stay. Terry-the-painter told me not to worry - a little oil primer over the entire surface and spackle on the joints should seal the wallpaper to the walls, so let's hope he is right!
After we primed and spackled the joints, it was decision time on the floor tile. This is really what held up the bathroom for so long. I probably took home about 20 floor tiles trying to match something to the vanity top. The tiles were either too dark or too light, too busy or too boring, too brown or too pink... you get the idea.
Finally, we reinstalled the floor molding (and did some molding repair), officially installed my vanity (found on clearance from the Depot), hooked up my new faucet, hung my new curved shower rod ($12 at Marshalls), and installed a new soft-close toilet. I still need a mirror, shower curtain, towel racks, etc., but as for the big stuff, I'd say this bathroom is complete! Hurray!
Hi! I'm Lauren! I'm a twenty-something teacher and homeowner in North Carolina. I love math, decorating, and getting down and dirty learning new things about home renovation and repair.