Sunday, January 24, 2016

Master Closet Reno

I wasn't planning to redo our master closet this soon. I mean, I definitely did not love the master closet, but there are so many other things to do in this house - painting, raised garden beds outside, new chicken run, kitchen reno, etc. Plus, after making the doggie room under the stairs, I was planning on taking a break before tackling the kitchen this spring. But when Jon complained about the state of the closet, that was a good enough reason to go ahead and get it done. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing about closets...they need to be functional AND look great.

The first house that Jon and I bought (the one in Cordova) had an incredible master closet. It was huge - about 8 feet wide by probably 15 feet (or more) long. Our second house's (in Oakland) master closet was just a tiny bit smaller, but still quite big. Our current house's master closet is pretty small compared to the last two (8ft x 5ft), but it's still big enough...just needed to make better use of the space. Since our current home does not have a linen closet in the master bath, one of the closet shelves was designated for towels and bathcloths. The first thing I had to do was make a new place for those. I made a pullout drawer for one of the bathroom cabinets - instant linen closet!

This is what it looked like before. These shelves were made out of pressboard. They looked ok, but the surface was rough in a lot of places. Each side had double hanging rods with a small space for long hanging clothes at the back. The long hanging was hard to access because the shelves were so deep. There wasn't much space for shoes, so the closet floor was always covered with shoes. The last pics are what bugged Jon...screws and holes all over the place and the carpet.

Demo on this closet was awful! All the screws were 3 inch screws, and most of them were stripped and had been painted over. Jon had to help me on some of the demo, because some of those screws just wouldn't budge. After everything was removed, I patched the holes in the walls.

I built the drawers first. They are the same width as the previous shelves, but they are not as deep. Scarlett was my little helper when I was building the upper shelves.

I love a nice, white bright closet, but I decided to line the walls behind the clothes with cedar planks. The main reason I went with cedar is because it's a natural insect repellent. Our bedroom is on the side of the house near the woods, and we found several brown recluse spiders on our bedroom floor shortly after we moved in. Getting rid of the overgrown flower bed outside our bedroom (and pest control) helped a lot with spiders - I haven't seen any for some time now. But one can never be too careful...I have a fear of spiders crawling into shoes....
Cedar also absorbs excess moisture in the air. Our closet is between our bathroom and the laundry room. We don't have a problem with mold/mildew on our clothes, but I figured it couldn't hurt anyway.

Since the closet shares a wall with the laundry room, I was able to put in a little laundry chute below the upper shelves. It's just a little window into the laundry room...there's a laundry basket on the other side of the wall to catch the dirty clothes. No need to keep a laundry hamper in the closet anymore :) I still need to make a door to cover it...the draft that comes through there is cold!

I will probably redo those drawers someday. This was only my second attempt at ever making drawers, so they aren't exactly perfect. They work just fine for now though.

My side has long hanging and double hanging rods. Jon's just has double hanging rods all the way across. And yes, this closet is staged. I didn't put all our clothes in for the pictures - it looks neater when it's not packed full.

Shelf for hatboxes and a new floor to replace the old carpet.

Jon's side has a valet rod and a shoe tower all the way up. No more shoes on the floor!

I love our new closet! I didn't think I'd ever get it finished, but it was worth it. Jon was very patient living with all our clothes all over the bedroom while I worked on this.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sliding Barn Door

I have another finished project! I've been wanting to make a sliding barn door for the laundry room since we moved in last year. The swinging door that was there blocked a closet in the laundry room when opened. For convenience, I took the old door off, planning to put up a sliding one. Now - a year later - it's done!

Making this barn door was pretty simple. It took much longer to measure, decide on the style, and paint than it took me to actually build it. Since you can find instructions on building your own barn door all over Pinterest, I'm not going into detail on how I did it. Here's the door before painting.

And here is the finished/painted door.

I absolutely love it! I don't know why I waited so long to get this done.

The sliding door hardware I ordered online from Home Depot. It was much less expensive than anywhere else I checked, and it works just fine.

Now on to the 300 other projects on my list.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Before and After

I finally have our first before and after photo for the new house! We have been working on several things - especially outside - but this is the first room that is completely finished. I absolutely HATED the tile in the girls' bathroom when we moved in. It was plain, stark white square tiles, and the grout (which used to be white) was pretty stained. But after tearing out the old tile in our rental last fall, replacing it was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Here is the only real before pic I have (it's from the listing).

So I decided I'd try to work with it. The biggest problem was the grout - after a thorough cleaning, it was still gross. As a last resort, I tried Grout Renew from Home Depot. That stuff is amazing...the grout was white again! Then I painted the walls white. At this point, Savannah started complaining about all the white. I believe she said, "You paint EVERYTHING white!", but I convinced her to give it a chance. So here is the new girls' bathroom.

It sorta reminds me of a gas station bathroom now...

I love the "vintage" sign.

New cabinet pulls

A battery operated essential oil diffuser

It glows and changes color in the dark.

Savannah insisted I replace the toilet seat with a new light-up one...didn't take a pic of that though.

Next we will be finishing the outside before the weather gets too cold. After that I'll be doing more of the inside stuff - and there is LOTS of stuff to be done.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Renovating the Tardis

We have been SOOOOOO busy for the last few months! We've been working on renovating a little rental house, AND we have a new house for ourselves. Today, I'm posting before and after pics for the rental.

Here's what it looks like from the outside. I love this little neighborhood with all the old trees.

We've been calling it the Tardis because it looks a lot smaller on the outside than it feels on the inside. It actually has 3 bedrooms!

The living room and hall

The kitchen really didn't need any work, but it was just so cramped and the layout was all wrong.

The angle on the first pic makes the kitchen look ok, but you can see in the next one just how tiny the space was. That little bar stuck way out into the walkway. The refrigerator was supposed to be right beside the stove, so there wasn't even room to open a fridge door all the way.

Dining area. The kitchen/dining floors were ceramic tile. The living, hall, and bedrooms were peel and stick vinyl planks.

Bathroom before. There were ceramic tile floors in here too. The bathroom was the only room where we didn't replace the flooring.

We ripped out the pantry closet and bar, all the cabinets, and the tile. Some during photos....Savannah and Scarlett had fun helping break up the tile.

That was a LOT of work! All that was left was sheetrock and concrete. We replaced the flooring in the entire house (except the bathroom) with wood look tile, and it is gorgeous! We actually hired someone to put down the new tile, because neither one of us has tried it before.

Kitchen - after

All the plumbing stayed in the same place (sink, washer, and dryer). The fridge also stayed in the same place, but we put a cabinet style pantry in the spot where the stove was. We moved the stove where the old pantry closet was, had a vent put in, and installed a brand new range hood that is now vented to the outside.

The cabinets are all new...bare wood stock cabinets that I painted white. Jon hung the cabinets on the sink side. I did the pantry cabinet, and I built the fridge cabinet beside it. We replaced the old formica countertops with a very dark granite. I wish I'd gotten pics from more angles, but we were literally finishing up the kitchen as our new tenants were moving in!

I made these floating shelves, and I think they turned out great. And I love the white subway tile backsplash!

The dining area is now open to the kitchen. The window was just a little too low to fit a standard stock cabinet under it, but the kitchen really needed more counter space. So I built the white cabinet to fit below the window. That was my first attempt at making cabinet doors, but it turned out ok. Ignore the hole in the ceiling over the stove...we didn't have time to patch that yet. And that hanging light fixture is gone now...Jon replaced the dining and kitchen lights with white spotlight style fixtures.

I made this island too, and I really like it. It's counter height and the top is granite, so it can be used as workspace. It also functions as the dining table (there's plenty of space for barstools).

We kept the bathroom vanity cabinet but replaced the countertop with the same granite that's in the kitchen. There's also a new sink and faucet. And we replaced the old tiny mirror with a large one from home depot.

That's it! It turned out great, but it was a LOT of work....especially since our own house sold in the middle of renovating this one. There was quite a few more things we intended to do the the Tardis - redo the bedroom closets and build a deck out back - but when ours sold, we had to put all that on hold. Now I'm trying to get unpacked and situated in our new house, and there are plenty of projects to do here!