Monthly Archives: February 2010

Weekly Plans


Is it really March tomorrow? WOW! It doesn’t seem like it’s March, but that means warmer weather isn’t far away! This will be my first full week without having some sporting event to attend at school. I’m excited because that means I can work on a couple of projects during the week. Although, I know Al is excited to have me at home, he isn’t loving that his “honey-do” list is growing. 😉 One project we will for sure get started on is the back bath. In fact, we picked up the paint this weekend after a delish sushi dinner (where I saw my oldest, best friend in the world!).

Dew Drop

Dew Drop

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The Mysterious Hutch

Before I even began thinking about the laundry room redo, I started looking for solutions to our storage problems. The bathroom that is attached to the laundry room currently serves as our main bath. The original bath in the house is severely outdated and tad bit scary. Plus, after some piping issues this past fall, the water isn’t at full force. So, we use the shower in the back/newer bath. Yes, it is on the other side of the house and not really convenient, but to us it really isn’t a big deal. What did drive me crazy is that there isn’t a linen closet in the bathroom and the closet in the laundry room has two giant rods without shelving. I resorted to the  trusty shelf I bought (and put together all by myself) in college. It wasn’t even close to right size, but it served the purpose.

At least the clean towels aren't on the floor.

If you’ve known me for very long, you know I have serious issue with things being “even” (i.e. the ends of a towel when you fold it, papers on a desk, magazines in a stack. I know, I’m a weirdo.). Clearly these towels were causing me to have fits every time looked at them. Something had to be done. The previous owners had a HUGE cabinet, that was way too big for the space, to solve their storage problems. I knew that wasn’t the route I wanted to go. I felt like if we put a decent piece of furniture with storage back there people would be a lot less likely to notice the missing linen closet. Of course, I wanted something cheap. I checked IKEA’s site and a few of my other favorite bargain spots, but I just couldn’t find anything that screamed “BUY ME!” A few times I spotted a piece I thought would work at one of my favorite second hand stores, but it still wasn’t ideal. This hunt went on for about 6 months before we were saved by another A-MAZING grandmother (how blessed are we to have all these incredible grandparents?)!  This time Alex’s Grandmother Guance came to the rescue. She had decided that she no longer had a need for a light colored, I guess you’d call it maple, hutch. At first I couldn’t really see how I could use the piece, but as soon as I gave it a once over at Christmas, I knew it was perfect. Since I had to work a basketball tournament almost every weekend in December, Alex and Mitch (Al’s step-dad a.k.a Best Father In-Law in the world!) did all the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, during the move there was an accident and the middle drawer jumped to an untimely death. It probably would have survived if a stinkin’ truck didn’t smash it to smithereens. But once I got to thinking about it, we didn’t even need three drawers. If we had a fake drawer in middle I could store taller things in the section below. Good ole’ Mitch is making a new face to match the other drawers, so problem solved.  Before

Mrs. Guance has the cleanest house I have ever seen in my life, so I was not surprised to find the hutch in great condition. I loved the sliding doors that appeared to be drawers on the middle shelf, but I felt like if I left the back on it may make the room look even smaller than it aleady is. So, I opted to leave it off. No worries though, it’s heading the garage since more than once person told me they have done the same thing and years later wished they had kepth the top portion of the hutch. This was also a good call because I eliminated the amount of wood that would need sanding. As I have gone through my DIY projects I’ve learned a couple of things. For instance, when you are sanding you don’t have to sand all the way down to the orginal wood grain. Of course I found this out after I had spent forever sanding the hutch to the very bottom. Live and you learn! Anywho, the top of the hutch is made of laminate and did not need to be sanded down but it would need a special primer. A quick trip with Diana to Eade’s solved this problem. She had used a primer called Zinsser for laminate before, which worked great for the this job too.

The rest of the piece could be primed with plain old Kilz and of course we seem to always have a gallon or two of that laying around. I used a 4″ sponge roller to apply the primer and a 2″ brush to get in to all the little crevices. Once the primer dried  I used a 4″ sponge roller again to apply a couple of coats of Porter’s white high-gloss paint. The sponge roller gives a nice smooth finish when you are painting furniture and a hi-gloss will give it that shiny sheen look. Once everything had dried I applied a a coat of hi-gloss lacquer which I found in a spray (gotta love anything that comes in a spray can!), just to give the hutch a nice smooth finish and to protect it from nicks. Next, I moved on to hardware. The old hardware was just that, old.  We’ve gone with brushed nickel on all of our fixtures because it is modern and traditional at the same time. Sticking to this pattern we headed up to Lowe’s to find a two single knobs and three 2.5″ inch handles, but we ran into a huge problem. Almost all of the handles came in 3″ and not 2.5″. There were only two choices – 1.) a hunk-in piece of metal that I could spray to match the knobs or 2.) a very slim rounded version. I went with choice number 2, even though I thought it was too thin to be put on anything. Hinges come into play when you are replacing hardware, but we already had a can of gray metal spray paint  that we had used when we redid our kitchen cabinets, so I just sprayed those down to match the handles and knobs.

Not only do I have a work space on top of the hutch, but I have  two drawers (one fake drawer), and two shelves below that are perfect for storing our towels. And the best part of it is is SUPER cheap!! The whole project came in around $40.00!

Before

Before

After

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Special Delivery

I love when you come home and find something really great in your mailbox! I was so excited when I got home today and found this:

With our trip to Lowe’s tonight,  I can get started on one of my final projects for  our office this weekend!!! Yippie!

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I love Sarah Richardson!

Sarah Richardson is definitely one of my favorite designers!!! How weird is it that Sherri from Young House and I posted the exact same picture on the exact same day from Sarah Richardson? I posted this before I even looked at their site. I guess thats good for me on the taste meter!

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The Laundry Room – Part 2

If you’ve been keeping up with the laundry room progress you know that we went from reject purple to preschool lime green within a weekend. If you haven’t been keeping up, check out our earlier post to hear the rest of the story.

Alex is one of the kindest, big hearted people I have ever met. I knew we had a color disaster on our hands when he said “There just isn’t any other way to say – it looks awful.” I went straight to the fridge and grabbed the primer roller and began erasing that hideous color. So, within 48 hours I had primed and painted the space twice. I wasn’t so much upset that I was back to square one with the room, but I was upset that I hadn’t gone with my gut instinct on my  original color choices. Sure, I’m the worst person east of the Mississippi at picking out movies, but I’ve had a pretty good history with paint color (Mom was right, always go with your gut.).  As soon as I put the primer roller back in the fridge (just in case), I made an impatient trip to Wally World.  It was about 11:00p.m., Lowe’s was out of the question, and my perfectionist nature had taken over. Although, the Wally does have some el cheap’ o paint, they do carry a few decent brands like Kilz  and we are talking about the laundry room after all, I’m the only one that spends any length of time in there.

Since I knew I was going with something similar to my original selections – cool grays and neutrals- it didn’t take me long to make my choices. Base coast – Clean and Crisp; Stripes – Khaki Taupe. I was in and out as about as fast as you can get in and out or our Wal-Mart. By the time I returned with my new paint selections the primer had dried and I got straight to work. Before I was even finished I knew that Clean and Crisp was p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

 I promise, it is a drastic difference.

I was pumped! Things were going in a much better direction. Now all we had to to was mark and tape off our stripes. Easy Jeezy (rap singing). Depending on how well you know me, you may know that I am a math reject to the max. Luckily, though I had “being better at math than I am” as one of my marriage requirements and Alex is a little mathematician. I had checked at Young House and the had a “how to” devoted to painting stripes. Perfect!  I may have mentioned before that our laundry room is part of a fairly recent addition to the back of the house. We’re not 100% but we’re pretty sure the previous owner went DIY on this additional square footage. Which we love, but things were exactly even. Every single wall was different height. Using Young House’s formula was not going to work for us. Instead, we made it as simple as possible. We took the height (80″ )and divided by how many stripes we wanted (12) to figure out the height of each stripe (80/12= 6.6).

I had also noticed that all of the blogs I frequent kept going on and on about this “Frog Tape”. Of course I had to try it out if the entire blog world was in love with it. After we had marked off all the stripes, we slapped up the first piece of Frog tape. Yeeeeaaaaah, it was about as straight as a cooked piece of speghtti. Frusrated to no end, we went straight to our emergency contact – Alex’s mom. Diana, in all of her DIY wisdom, told us we could just use the chalk line we had to snap out straight lines and as always she was right. We ended up with 12 perfectly straight lines.

Straight lines!

With all of the lines taped up, I spent a snow day and used a 4″ roller to fill- in all the stripes with Khaki Tuape. Sherri and John at Young House reccommended taking the tape off as soon as you finished with a wall, before the paint even dried.

I’ll have to admit the Frog tape and it’s chemical blockers did a nice job of keeping the paint from running. But when I ran out, I used regular old blue painter’s tape and had just as much success. So, after 1 gallon of primer, 4 gallons of paint, and a couple of snow days, we had a fresh, updated laundry room!

Mysterious Hutch

So there you have it. One annoying laundry room transformed into a place that doesn’t annoy me! There are still some minor changes to be made. But as always, you’ll have to check back to see what I’m talking about! 😉

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Where have we been???

First and foremost, I want to apologize for just now updating. I actually set down to write this post on Sunday afternoon, but I received a phone call from my dad with some very scary news. My Grandmother Florence had suffered a “modest” heart attack on top of pneumonia and things were not looking positive. Alex and I rushed out to the hospital and sat with my family until we learned she was going to be moved to ICU for the next few nights. I swear to you, I have never seen someone so ill in my life. Although, we were all prepared ( or so we thought) for the worse, through the strength of God she made an incredible turn around and has since been released from ICU and is resting in a normal room. She still has a way to go, but the woman could fight a running saw mill and win. I hope I have half the strength she has when I’m her age.  One major positive was the family was reunited, even if it was in the midst of a difficult time. Thanks for all the prayers!

My STRONG Granny Florence

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I am feeling it! SPRING!!

Tulips from Al!

Is today a great day out or what? The warmer weather gets me very excited about all of our outdoor plans! We do have a few projects (one massive project) to finish up indoors before we move on to our big outdoor projects. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

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