Renovating 407: The Laundry Closet

The washer and dryer fit in a nook in the hallway. The other side of the nook is the master bathroom. This closet even had plastic accordion doors (and came with the washer and dryer).

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The washer and dryer came out (and sold). Leaky water line everywhere. Which included a fun story about having to turn off the main waterline to the whole house and stopped us being able to work on the tiling that day. I got really lucky that the plumber that came for the leaky hot water heater (for the shotty work done after the inspection) put a new valve on here for me. A valve that was supposedly changed after the inspection, but it was stripped.

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Once this fiasco was fixed and cleaned up, the shelves came down, the doors and slider for it came down and everything was patched. Then the linoleum was scraped up and vacuumed and I then painted the walls in there the same color from the bathrooms. Then my parents tiled in there, making tile baseboards as well.

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My brother came over and hung up the upper cabinets he had scored for me from his work. Aren’t those baseboards lovely?

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All that was left to do was put in my LG washer and dryer. (We left the outlet and the light switch in this space alone because I thought they wouldn’t be seen.)


I love this light so much. Here is what the hallway and laundry closet look like today. I like to put frames over eyesores so that they look more stylish.


I also decided to do something with all the empty frames I had gotten from Michael’s years ago for some project I was going to make in bulk and sale. I stained the frames. Printed out some pictures on cardstock and glued them inside.


I think I need a shelf over the washer and maybe a rod in the space between the wall and the cabinet. I really want to put barn doors over the opening but they would have to both slide to the left and not sure that is even enough room. (See picture of light above, that is how big the space is for them to slide.)


The before and after side by side. Much more modern.


Sharing at the Snickerdoodle Link Party and at Sundays at Home

Re-imagining a Piece of Fence into a Spooky Gate

A mostly DIY Halloween exterior.

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When my parents built a fence to have a garden area where the dogs couldn’t get in, my mom left a section aside to hide the fireplace vent on the outside of the house. She then let my 2-year-old son paint the fencing. One day they were out of town. And I had this hideous, gothic candelabra like light fixture I had picked up at a thrift store after seeing some other project I wanted to try and duplicate. Or something. I took the thing apart and got a lightbulb in my brain. The ants go marking type of thing. A creative mind never sleeps.

I painted the fencing black. Then painted the candelabra pieces a dark purple. I strategically screwed the pieces onto the fence. Added some of the chain from the light fixture. And made a ‘beware’ sign I then attached. I decided it also needed a spider and back then made one out of a Styrofoam ball and pipe cleaners. But it had to be replaced a few years ago. It’s got an orange bat now. I actually thought I did a post on this when I was still over at Blogger but I guess it didn’t make the transfer over to WordPress.

spooky gate

I turn those lights on on Halloween night. I also added a nose to the black cat last year and can’t decide if she needs paws or not.


Yesterday I also threw together a witch with black mesh and a tomato cage. I think I will attach the mesh better later but for now she works. And lights up. (The rug is losing it’s paint so I was thinking of painting it black for Halloween.)



Sharing at the Talk of the Town Party and Waste Not Wednesday



Renovating 407: The Creative

I was thinking yesterday I should have called it The Updating of 407. Because that is what most of it has been. My dad had to put tar on the dryer vent on the roof the other day, it was raining into my torn up shower. When they put up the new roof, right before I bought the house, they missed that whole spot. Good thing I still had the shower torn up. More on that later.

In this renovation/updating of my house, there are many things I have done that I never thought I would be able to do. My dad and I found a rhythm and what worked best on this ceiling to scrape off the popcorn from 3 bedrooms, a hallway and the living area, in the least amount of time. Still was a neck breaking job but well worth it when you look at it. And we only painted over what was left, thinking the imperfections from the scraping look quite cool.

My dad and I tried to redo all the electric and light outlets ourselves but ran into an issue in the master bedroom when one outlet wouldn’t work. It all worked out in the end having to call an electrician because he also put in light/fan boxes in 4 rooms for us. We then installed the fans ourselves. And my dad also removed a florescent light from the den and we installed a fan in there. He did a great job patching that ceiling to match what was already there too.

After I (and whoever helped me) removed all the carpet, padding and nail strips, my parents then tiled 2 bathrooms, the hallway, the laundry closet, the living area, the kitchen and the den. I love them so much. I ended up having to go back and fill in the nail strip holes in the 3 bedrooms with a self leveler because Home Depot was going to charge like $200 to do that. The cement stuff was like $20. I wanted to tile the whole house so that is why I had removed all the old nail strips. My son wanted carpet in the bedrooms.

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Beautiful tile

I cut 4 pieces of conduit (3 of which came out of the closets, they were the poles) to use for curtain rods. In 2 of the bedrooms, I even used pipe pieces to make the brackets. Cheapest and sturdiest curtain rods I have ever had. I just can’t figure out the best way to hold a drawer knob in the end of them without having to buy a dowel big enough to fit inside.

curtain rod

In the kitchen, I decided to use napkins as curtain. Napkins that I already had. (I love my farmhouse lights so much.)

napkin curtains

I think my most creative endeavor, was the big vent under the furnace closet. A new vent cover is not a pretty price, but it also had to become DIY after we put in the new baseboards because a vent wouldn’t fit. So after a lot of playing around, a little cheap molding and some decorative metal from Michael’s later…

So much better than a slated vent cover

My den was once a garage. It was built as a 2 car garage house and the previous owners converted half into another room. Thank goodness they had that done professionally. The room was more like a lanai and it had this particle board closet that I think was kind of like their pantry. It came down really easy, with no damage to the wall at all. It left the electrical box exposed though. And it did have patches of duct tape on it that made it look really old and gross for being in such a used room inside the house. So we built a frame around the whole unit and hinged this cabinet door (free from my brother) to the frame (nothing is touching the electric box itself). And viola. (It doesn’t shut tight either so it doesn’t get hot in there.)


And isn’t that poster the coolest? My mom had gone to that restaurant and they were giving away the posters. I like the tractor in a watercolor effect.

That’s all for today folks. Hopefully tomorrow I have a new project to share.

Sharing the vent cover at The Creative Corner Link Party

Renovating 407: A Pantry was Born

You may wonder what building a pantry has to do with redoing, recycling, upcycling. And really it doesn’t other than it has to do with the renovating of the house. My mom had the bright idea that I needed a pantry (I really did) in the corner where the previous owners used to have a hutch. There really was no closet that could be turned into a pantry.

This is what the space looked like after I had moved in. As soon as the carpet was put in the bedrooms, my son and I decided it was livable and the rest of the work could be done while living there. We had torn down the wall, removed the carpet and lining and hadn’t gotten to the lights or anything yet. But my parents had gotten their new fridge, so the plumber had been here to replace my old one with this beauty and install the water line to it.

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For the pantry, we had to work around 2 light switches (and left an electrical outlet inside the pantry) but the size is perfect.

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My parents had the cabinet part complete with sections and shelves built within a week or so. It even has room for my vacuum.

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It took us a little longer to decide on what to do about doors. We finally decided on sliding barn doors and my mom came up with this double closet door track idea.

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My parents helped me with the beginning of the doors, making sure we got them the right size. We started off with a thin piece of plywood and then used the tongue and groove wood on top of the plywood. From there, I measured, cut and glued 1x4s to frame around the front of the doors and make a design. Considering my fear of power towels that can harm me, I think I was pretty vigilant in this work. I also filled in all cracks and whatnot with wood filler and sanded everything down.

pantry door

After getting the doors installed, complete with those large handles I found at Lowe’s for under $10 each, my brother and I framed in the cabinet. (I started painting it and didn’t like the color or sheen, so it sat like this for upwards of 6 months and I might have wished I had stained it at times).

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I finally decided I wanted to try navy blue out. I had seen the back of an island and loved the navy blue on it. And really just went with a color I liked at Home Depot. This time making sure I got semi-gloss.


I am thinking the handles need to be gold to really pop off of the blue. And eventually we will be taking that slider out and filling in the wall so the baseboard will be finished then. I even got a light installed up there but think maybe it needs to go the other direction to be parallel with the pantry.

litchen work
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Sharing at the Handmade Hangout Party and at the Snickerdoodle Link Party


Renovating 407: The Kitchen Island

I opened up the kitchen by taking out that wall as you may recall.


I really didn’t want such a closed in kitchen and I though a sit at island would look awesome. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to take that wall down and how I was going to create the island until my brother had brought me some free cabinets.


He set them once we had them exactly where I wanted them. They are on the tile, so if the next owner doesn’t like them, they can remove them (after cutting away at the glue). We got a piece of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators and we cut it to size. After I smoothed it up (a lot), I then treated it with Waterlox because I wanted to be able to use it with food if I needed to. The boys set it on top of the cabinets with some glue that is made for countertops.

Then we covered the back up with that locking shiplap wood (for the life of me I can’t remember what it is called). (Tongue and groove, it came to me.)

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I then stained the wood panels, and grey washed them (I have yet to seal it and keep thinking I might paint it the same navy blue as the pantry). My dad then added the metal corners and brackets he spray painted with flat black. This was to give it a more finished/industrial look. I added the black drawer pulls and door knobs after. I LOVE my kitchen island. And it is the only cabinets in the kitchen that open and slide correctly. Some day all those other cabinets will be gone. But for now they will do.


Refreshing a Little Wood Stool

It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful a little paint can be. Such a cheap way to refresh a room, a piece of furniture, a thrift store find.

About a year ago, I found this little wooden Eddie Bauer stool at a thrift store across town. One of my favorite places to go but it isn’t really that close to me.

Some months back, I won a contest and got a little can of Mountain Haze chalk paint from Fat Paint Co. That stuff is awesome. Goes on so smooth. Perfect consistency. I had tried painting it before with a different chalk paint and it didn’t go on so well at all.

I gave the little stool a refresh (with two stripes of grey). (I never took a before picture.)


Of course I had to throw on some fall decor. The flower bundle is from Michael’s summer collection, but to me they scream fall with that cabbage bunch.

Sharing at the Show and Tell Link Party


A Patriotic Scrap Wreath

I don’t normally like the bohemian look. But I was sitting there one day thinking about something that made my brain wonder to this idea for a patriotic wreath. My mind drifts a lot. Sometimes it keeps me awake. Since I don’t have a chance to sleep 8 hours a night anyway, this can be rough.

I had a pair of jeans I had thrown in the fabric pile, so I started cutting them up, concentrating on getting the pocket off in one piece big enough to cover the wreath form I had. I searched trough all my ribbons and grabbed all the white and red ones. I also had this off-white fabric that I ripped a few strips from. And went to work.

I stapled the fabric around the back of the wreath and then tied all the ribbons on to the bottom half. Then I found the USA at Hobby Lobby while checking out and decided to glue that on there and added the flowers to act as the stars.

I must have deleted this picture after I uploaded it to Instagram and it won’t let me crop it on here so I at least know people can’t take you pictures, on their computers at least.

Renovating 407: The Hall Bath

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Maybe I wouldn’t be so loathsome of wallpaper if it hadn’t been on every wall in 4 rooms. 7 different wallpapers. This is the hall bathroom. In great shape. Beautiful porcelain tub. But bathes do not stay warm in it. Great marble sink. But the vanity is plastic. The tiles are also in great shape. The toilet leaks somewhere around the base. No one noticed this in the inspections. That is carpet on the floor. (Luckily, the ceilings aren’t popcorn.)

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Removed the toilet. Removed the mirror. Removed the light fixture. Removed the wallpaper. Removed the tile baseboards. Removed the carpet and padding (I also had to remove a large amount of this tar like substance from the front of the tub that was left behind by the plastic strip that protected the edge of the carpet). Painted the walls and then put down this beautiful wood looking tile. Installed a new farmhouse style light. Installed a new toilet (this was done by a plumber). Put in a new vanity. (Still need to put up a back splash.) Hung a new/oval mirror.

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Put in a curved shower curtain rod and hung up an old curtain I had but left the window bare (you can’t see through it). Painted the door and hung it back up with silver hinges and a new solver doorknob. Put in new baseboards, wider than in the rest of the house to try to cover up all the way to where the old tiles were.

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I also made towel hooks with plumbing parts.

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Products used in this room:

  • Paint for ceiling, door trim, door and baseboards: Behr Premium Plus, semi-gloss, in Solid Opal
  • Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra, semi-gloss, in Serene Journey (it’s a lot like Sea Glass)
  • Tile, toilet, light and vanity are from Home Depot
  • Mirror is from Lowe’s

Resizing a Kitchen

There used to be a “closed in” kitchen. Only thing missing was a swinging door where I am standing. All that seventies. Even a boob light. 

My dad went into the sauna like attic and found the wall wasn’t weight bearing. I got me a hammer and saw.

Only problem was, those 2x4s were completely attached to the ceiling and not coming down.

What else to do than to cover it up and make it look like a beam was always there.

We continued a 2×4 along the entire length of the ceiling. Beat up some 1×6 and 1x4s, stained them and shellaced them. Someone didn’t measure and cut right so there was a bad gap between the set of boards. I ended up making a tie in that blended the gap rather well.


Sharing at the Talk of the Town link party


Renovating 407: 2 Years Later

I didn’t plan to do this much to the house. I didn’t plan on this much money going into it either. And I couldn’t even sell it tomorrow if I wanted to move again (which I don’t) because I have yet to get the shower in the master bath finished. LOL.

I thought I would go back and do some before and afters of the finished spaces. The befores were all taken with my iPhone so some aren’t very good, or in focus for that matter.

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This is 407. That light wouldn’t turn off. The bushes and yucca had never been trimmed. Even the swamp cooler was original to the house. Which means, 40 years old. My dad basically told me he wasn’t starting up that bucket of rust. Luckily, I complained about working with only floor fans for a few days and a friend from college sent a plumber my way. He started up the cooler that day and got to work on getting me a Master Cool.

Meanwhile, I removed the light that would never shut off and put a solar light in the freshly spray painted pole. My mom put an empty lantern over it to make it look more proportional. I removed the bushes by the front door and put brick pavers down in the dirt spot. We replaced the front door and screen door. I painted the front door (and later the mailbox to match). And lots and lots of time, two broken tow ropes, a truck in the yard, and a bobcat later, the big bush and that stinky yucca were completely removed. Man, did that yucca stink. Fun times on that was had. The really big tree you see to the left of the cooler, it was also removed. The roots were way too close to the house. My dad and his friend cut that sucker down, and it might have taken me a year to get it all hauled away.

Come, step inside with me. I promise it is cooler now. We walk into the front door and stop about 15 paces into the middle of the room. Turn back to the front door. (I laughed so hard opening this picture just now, I had never noticed the arm at the door before.) When I viewed the house, I saw all this 1970s going on, but it was the cleanest house I had looked at. (The new roof and the completed landscaping was the final selling point though.) livingroom wmThe house was still completely furnished, so the 1970s Harvest Gold carpet actually looked much better. Something I thought I might be able to live with for a little while. See the popcorn ceilings, arched cutouts, huge mirror and slightly blue tinted white walls? Next turn around towards the other direction of the room. The second set of heavy curtains covers the sliding glass door that opens onto the screened in porch. The little corner of wall on the right, is the wall that separated the kitchen. livingroom2 wm

EVERYTHING came down. The curtains, blinds, curtain rods, the chandelier, even that wall. The popcorn ceiling was even scraped. The carpet and padding came up. There was 40 years worth of sand in there. The baseboards even had to be replaced because some were rotted out. I had a termite inspection (you would think in a arid climate that wouldn’t be necessary and many people probably think that). I think the other (only) owners went too long since treatments because they were a bigger problem than the inspector had thought. He fixed the places he saw, but he couldn’t see behind the wallpaper in the master bath or behind the tiles in the master shower. I digress.

Let’s continue towards the table. Turn to your right and there is the kitchen. That stained glass plastic door divider doesn’t open. I guess they wanted a closed in as possible kitchen. Where we are standing is the only way into the kitchen. This shelving unit held all of her Faberge and acted as a wall I guess. The carpet in here is blue. I thought the florescent light was kind of cool. It looked a little like it was a wood box.

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From here we step down into the den. This is where the other garage once was. I think it was her lanai.

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There was a plywood closet covering the utility box, 3 different wallpapers, a different carpet than even the kitchen, many plant hooks, and the doors to the garage and outside weren’t outside doors. I think they wallpapered on top of the drywall too because it was really hard to come off (except the depiction of a patio) and left the walls in bad shape. More so on the bottom half where it had a textured wallpaper. Luckily the ceiling wasn’t popcorn. The florescent light came out (and a fan was put up instead). Both doors were replaced and the carpet came out. Drapes and rod and hooks also gone. And tearing down the closet was fun. In fact, it didn’t even leave marks so it wasn’t put up to last.

Now I have a cleaner landscape

There’s no more harvest gold carpetThe kitchen is wide open 

And there is a nice den instead of a linai with proper outdoor doors and no closet.

(I really need more and better pictures, coming soon)

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