If you're a mom, you probably spend a lot of time in your laundry room, at least more than anyone else in your family. Especially if you're a mom of little ones. I'm in the process of teaching my girls to at least get their darks in one basket and their whites in another, although really, if the clothes make it to a basket at all instead of the floor, I'm a pretty happy camper!
When we first moved in to our new house, the laundry room quickly become my pet project. It's probably one of the first projects we actually did in the house, but for some reason, I just haven't blogged about it until now. It's not 100% complete, but it's WAY more functional that it was when we first got here.
And a lot prettier...
I knew when we moved in that I needed a space where I could store cleaning supplies, fold and iron clothes (though ironing doesn't really happen much in our house!), and store the cat food and litter box. The laundry room came complete with a weird little alcove space that was screaming for a DIY project that fit all my needs. So, I went on an internet search for the perfect design and came upon Ana White. If you're not familiar with her and you like to build, you need to check her out! While I perused her designs, and she's got loads, I tried not to get distracted from my job at hand. I mean really, we needed all kinds of hand-made new stuff for the new house, didn't we? And I had all the time in the world, right?
When I saw this beauty, I knew I'd found a match made in heaven.
I loved the idea of having hanging baskets, and I knew I could modify the design to fit my space, house my cat's litter box and provide some extra storage. I downloaded Ana's plans, then went about measuring my space and playing with drawings. I had a grand idea in mind, I just needed some help with the execution.
Now, I am not an architect or a woodworker/furniture maker, but I like to think that I'm pretty good at figuring things out, or at least I don't mind going through a lot of trial and error to finally hit upon the right product. And it was a good thing that my dad and Uncle Tony were in town for a while. They were the perfect people to bounce ideas off of, and to enlist in the cutting and building! Here's an example of part of the plans Ana had on her site. She is REALLY good at detailing tools needed, cut lists, including diagrams and more.
My modifications required tweaking the measurements so it fit my space; creating a top storage shelf so I'd have two hanging baskets, instead of three; and making one space large enough for my cat to do her business. I also didn't care about having a back on the unit, but did need to have some extra support to maintain the structure without wiggles and jiggles. I have to admit, initially the measurements seemed easy enough. But then there is so much to take into consideration! I had to go to check out new laundry baskets and see what sizes they came in to ensure I was leaving just enough, but not too much, space for them to slide in and out properly. I also wanted to be sure that everything lined up properly and looked symmetrical, and that I could slide the unit into the space without leaving big gaps on the side.
After multiple measurements, five different drawings and schematics, various conversations about new issues or concerns that would come up, and a light-hearted argument or two, we finally settled on a cut list and design that suited my needs and felt realistically doable. Of course, we then decided that 9 o'clock at night was the right time to do a Home Depot run! We got started the next morning and, over the course of the day, built this lovely new addition.
We were able to get most of the cuts done at Home Depot, which left very little to do at home. We started by building the box and decided to keep it all one piece instead of separate pieces like Ana had done. This saved space by leaving out an extra inch or so between boxes. After we screwed all vertical pieces into the bottom, we flipped it over and the screwed the top into the verticals. Then I went over all the screws with wood filler and sanded to make sure it was a smooth, even surface.
Once the box was built, we remeasured to make sure the shelf pieces were the right width, then installed some inexpensive 1x1's that we cut to size. These served as the support for the shelves and also for the hanging baskets. The metal angles Ana used were nice, but more expensive and not as easy to install, so we stuck with wood. I initially thought that I'd use four baskets, but really, three is enough and this way I had room for a garbage bin, too. The space farthest to the left we adjusted to leave enough room for the cat to get in and out, and luckily, it fit her litter and food perfectly! Once everything was pieced together, wood-filled and sanded, we carried the entire piece up the laundry room and slid it place. Voila! It fit!
Then I realized I still needed to paint it...
We left it in the laundry room since I figure I could just slide some newspaper underneath and paint it there. And now was the fun part for me...prettying it up! Since most of our house is a lovely shade of cafe au lait, I wanted to punch it up with a dramatic color. And I seem to be a bluesphase, so I stuck with that, got myself a stencil and a lighter blue, as well as some polyacrylic protective finish to seal the deal.
I painted the entire unit first with 2-3 coats of the blue. Once it was dry, I pulled out my stencil, brush, and got to daubbing. Stencils are kinda funny. I'd never used one before, so I was curious to see how it would turn out. I learned very quickly that daubbing in straight up-and-down motions is best so as not to smear the paint under the stencil. I started with the wall, since I had to stand on the box to get up there. When I switched colors, I just washed the stencil in my bathtub because it was too big to clean in the sink. Once the wall was complete, I workedon the surface of the laundry organizer until I had something I liked. I played around with the placement of the stencil before applying any paint, and eventually came up with something that looked random, but not too sparse. When everything was dry, I did two coats of Minwax ploy over the entire unit. I did the inside as well, since I'd be sliding the baskets quite a bit, and the cat litter is rather grainy and would eventually start to wear away the paint.
As I filled the shelves and slid my perfectly-fitted baskets into place, I realized I need to make space for cleaning supplies. After some thought, I bought a few 3M hooks and started hanging. Now everything fits nicely, nothing is laying around, and everything has a place to be. It feels good.
I've still got big plans for this space!
1. Add some pull-down drying racks for sweaters and delicates
2. Install an easy to mount door hook that can hold multiple shirts at a time
3. Put up a cute lint bucket so I can save it to make fire starters for camping this summer
4. Add a wall-mounted jar to collect change and other random pocket discoveries
5. Replace the washer dryer...eventually
6. Do something with this space. It's the step-sister of the cute opposite side. Ideas anyone?
What are you doing to make your laundry room a function, pretty space for yourself? Share a picture and your ideas in the comments!
If you're anything like me, you get this great idea for a project. You go out, get all your supplies. You might even get started and be going along a happy pace. And then someone wakes from a nap, or needs a drink, or has a diaper in need of changing, or just wants to play hide and seek for the twelfth time that day. But like any great idea or project, the potential of it coming to fruition totally has a shelf life. Which is why I needed to get this project finished. And because my MIL gave us a deadline, which, I'm happy to say, we made...kind of...well, a third of the project was finished by Sunday. Does that count?
When we left off with these pallet shelves, we had finished painting them and were trying to decide the best way to anchor them on the wall. We also had to figured out how we wanted to place them. I had made four shelves, but that felt too crowded for the space. The wall itself was 115 inches and each pallet shelf was 40. Here is a look at some of our options with a little color behind them to make them easier to differentiate.
The last one kinda looks like the little face that pops up saying "Aww snap!" when there is something wrong with your computer, no? We didn't want the shelves too high or too low (little hands) so the middle option didn't make sense for use. I can't reach top and our littlescould too quickly reach the bottom. The first just looked a bit unbalanced to us. The third was our winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Now, how to anchor these lovelies?
My husband and I are not your most seasoned home owners. We used to live in a condo so the HOA took care of all the outside stuff. I'm pretty handy, but a condo doesn't need much. Then we bought our first house and quickly learned how many leaves can fall on half an acre, along with many more home-ownership lessons. However, I'm a pretty good researcher and he trusts me, so there ya go. After lots of trials and errors, I'd like to think we've finally learned how to think through a project before getting so far in that we look at each other and say "shit".
After looking more pallet and shelf hanging tutorials than I care to admit, I found these Ook mirror hangers that work like a French cleat. If you haven't used one before, I highly recommend them. They are so easy to install and can hold a lot of weight. I picked them up from Home Depot for around $15 for the 200 lbs capacity cleats and $10 for the 100 lbs capacity cleat. Do I really think that we were going to put 200 lbs on the shelf? No, but I figured better to err on the safe side than have a little one get conked on the head by a falling shelf. One side of the cleft attaches to the shelf, the other side to the wall, and then they slide into each other.
We used painters tape to get an idea of the height at which we wanted to hang them, then measured everything out to be sure there was some sort of symmetry. Remember, these are rustic, uneven shelves, so they were bound to look a little off anyway due to varying widths of the wood and such. We hung the lowest shelf first, installing the first part of the cleat to the back of shelf.
Then we found the center of the wall, placed the wall anchored cleat up, and marked the holes for the screws with pencil. To be even safer, we decided not to drill into the drywall itself, which these DO say you can do. Instead we used drywall anchors. Now, we had the kind that you hammer in. Probably not the best idea since we were doing this at 8:30/9-ish with the girls sleeping upstairs. I made such a racket I couldn't believe they didn't wake up. Not a peep on the monitor! Parental win there. With the anchors hammered in, we put the cleat back up, placed the first screw in the middle, then level out the cleat before drilling in the rest of the screws.
Pretty simple, right? Now, the moment of truth. Would it turn out as we intended? Would my MIL like it? I'd say yes, on both accounts.
I went ahead and marked out the remaining two wall cleat positions while my husband drilled and prepped the two shelves. That meant today all we needed to do was hammer in those anchors, screw on the cleat and hang them right?
Things always pop in project, don't they? We don't own a stud finder, though I like to take a spoon and pretend it gets crazy beepy when I point it at my husband, but that's a whole other conversation. As I was making dinner,and our stinker belle was crying about a owie tummy, and my husband was trying to get those screws in the wall
he kept hitting something
in more than one hole
We're not sure if it was a stud or perhaps (our bad) an air duct or something important behind the drywall. However, we were able to readjust the placement of the screws and get those cleats on the wall. And take care of stinker belles tummy. I'll share that on another post!
And so, one day off our Sunday deadline, we were able to hang our three shelves.
Three? But I thought there were four! There are and the fourth one is getting a new home soon. ! For the meantime, we are deciding what to put in our new shelves, and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. Definitely saving the upper shelves for wine and other libations, maybe another plant or two. I love how each one is just a little bit different and I adore the pop of green life I can hang on the wall now. Any other suggestions for what we could fill them with? And G'ma, what do you think?
Sometimes, a project just needs a good kick in the pants from an unbiased person who has absolutely no investment or care for the outcome.
Last post I shared how I was creating some shelves for our dining room. The wall we want to put them on is fairly wide, but not super deep. When we saw the DIY pallet shelves, we knew it was the perfect fit for our space. Plus, we loved the look and feel of them. So, I got right to work cutting, sanding, nailing. All was going swimmingly...
until I realized I had to get more wood off the second pallet to put bottoms on the shelves
Now, this might not seem a huge problem and, with hindsight, it wasn't. But it sure seemed it to me when I first tried tackling it. See, pallets, especially these weather beauties, are made of hard wood that can get really dried out. These lovelies were nice and dry, and brittle. Every attempt to pry off a piece of wood ended in a split piece with chunk flying off and the rest still nailed to the frame. Talk about frustration!
Thankfully, over the holidays we had visitors...lots of visitors. We were fortunate to be three weeks straight with friends and family in the house. The day one left, another showed up. It was pretty fantastic. Our girls love having friends in the house and saying goodbye is no fun, though luckily for us, it hasn't ever ended in tears...yet.
My good friend and teaching comrade, Carmen, stopped by with her daughter and another friend, A. These three individually are pretty dang good problem solvers, and together, well, you can just see the wheels turning. Plus, A carries tools with him. I mean really, that's problem solving right there! So, like the good host I am, I put my friends to work to help me solve me problem.
And they did.
He took one look at the nails and pointed out that they were coil nails. They have a screw shank, which allows for greater holding power in hard wood. They are also a b$*%* to get out because of that, which is why I was having so much trouble. See those little swirls on the nails? It's like a mini screw. I'm sure they are great for making pallets, but for taking them apart? All I can say is I shake my fist at you!
Using a crow bar and a hammer, A was able strip off more wood from the extra pallet. What worked best was to knock it off from the other side with a hammer. Because the wood was so hard and brittle, we (A) had to bring out a drill to pre-drill holes, then he and Carmen proceeded to assemble and finish the remaining three shelves for me. This was such an unexpected gift! It also enabled me to keep moving forward.
So, we got to painting.
Yup, we decided a paint wash was the best bet for us. I experimented with a few different colors and dilutions, then used a craft sponge to sweep it on. Here's a look at our options.
The far left was mix of Down Pipe and Black Blue by Farrow & Ball we used in the office. I watered it down A LOT. It doesn't look too bad on the picture, but it just looked dirty in real life. The middle board is Black Blue watered down. It looks kinda bright here, but it turns out actually really nice. The board to the immediate right has watered down Down Pipe on the top, which was a really pretty dove gray wash. Below is a watered down Cypress from Behr. Went on super chalky white at first, then toned down as it dried. The boards to the farthest right were variations of Black Blue and Cypress mixed with varying amounts of water.
After hemming and hawing, getting multiple opinions, we finally decided to go for the Black Blue watered down wash. I made a big batch in a paint cup to try to ensure at least some kind of consistency. I also had some helpers for this project. I figured I wasn't really going for perfection, since this was a rustic looking shelf, so I enlisted my two girls to get their DIY on. My oldest, who I call my little bird, has a longer attention span, so she did more of the work, but my youngest, my stinker belle, gave it her best shot, too.
By the way, winter in Colorado is AMAZING. I do not miss Minnesota winters, not one bit. The paint wash worked out well, until I turned the shelf up to rest on the bottom. Can you see the drip marks?
Note to self about paint washes. Long, smooth strokes are best and, while little helpers are fabulous, make sure to check what they are doing, at least a bit! This was pretty easy to remedy though. I just went back over it with long strokes, then added a few thinner sweeps for "depth and texture" but really, the wood itself had so much, it didn't need any help! Here's how they turned out.
I included a before and after pre-paint wash and post. What a difference, right?! I used the exact same cup o' paint for all four shelves, but I love how different they turned out. Totally didn't need to think about trying to add depth or texture with paint because the wood really did it for me. Needless to say, I love them and can't wait to get them up. We've narrowed down our options and my MIL is expecting them up by Sunday. So, that means updated post sometime early next week!
Have you used a paint wash before? How did it turn out?
I know lots of people are fans of the Elf on the Shelf. When I was little, my mom always put up these red and green elves up. We didn't have a fireplace, but they would sit on shelves, hug candles, climb up the tree, you name it. She got them sometime in the 60's or 70's before elves on the shelf as we now know them were popular. For all I know, they may have been handed down from my grandma. They look so innocent, don't they?
They always freaked me out.
I'm not sure anymore if it was their pointy noses, overly chubby cheeks, weird little grins, or just my over-active imagination. Probably the later. I'd always think they were following me with their eyes, sneaking around the house at night, that sort of thing. Hence why we don't own an Elf on the Shelf. That and I don't like the idea that someone is watching my girls and reporting on their behavior...for one month...feels a little Big Brother-ish...and a little false. We want them to be well-behaved and nice to each other for more than a month, right? It's possible I'm overthinking it, but whatever. To each their own, right? I will admit, I do LOVE the pictures people post of the crazy antics their elves get into.
But I digress.
This post is not about the Elf on the Shelf.
It is about shelves. And pallets.
I picked up this beauty, and a second, from Silver Sage Garden Centers. We went looking for the perfect Christmas tree and found not only the perfect place to purchase one, since they had so many great options for kids to do and play with, but also the perfect inspiration for new shelves for our dining room. Seriously, if you live in the Littleton area, this is a fantastic place to bring your kids to find a Christmas tree. They had tricycles to ride, toys to play with, hot chocolate and cider, and fab trees imported from the Midwest! They had me at hello.
They also had some great, DIY, rustic shelves that my husband first noticed. I took a look and thought, PALLET PROJECT. Sure enough, the woman who had made them was there and confirmed all my DIY suspicions. She also offered me pallets for $5 a pop. Sometimes pallets can be expensive, depending on where you find them. Sometimes they can be free. $5 each seemed like a great deal to me so we managed to squeeze two in the back of Pammy the camry and, with tree on top, off we went.
Now, pallets are pretty rough, pretty dirty, and need some love before you can actually put them in your home. I pulled out my rusty, trusty electric sander to give them a good rub down, remove lots of dirt and dust, and get rid of any sharp edges or potential slivers.
A couple of passes and light pressure left me with a nice, smooth wood and still a good rustic look. Now to figure out how to cut these down. At first I started with the big guns thinking this would be the easiest way. A Skilsaw is an incredibly versatile tool that allows you to control depth and angle fairly easily. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite deep enough for me to get through the cuts I needed. Or maybe it was just user error, cuz that's been known to happen ;)
So I old-schooled it instead.
This little lovely we bought a few years back to help with cutting and prepping the Christmas tree. It definitely took some muscle, and patience, but in the end, it worked really well and got me exactly what I wanted, which was this.
I liked the curve in the pallet and so I cut it to keep the curve and have a backing with taller ends and middle. One pallet left me with four shelves; two had taller backs and sides, and two shorter. None had bottoms at the moment, which for shelves is, of course, a problem. Don't want our books or wine bottles falling out the bottom!
But that was soon to be remedied. For some reason, I had some extra pallet pieces which fit perfectly for the bottom. I also had some old, rusted nails on hand, which fit this project perfectly! Just nailed it on to the bottom and created my shelf!
Now all we need to is decide how to paint them, stain them, or a bit of both...and finish the other three! Here are three ideas via Pintrest. Vote for your favorite and help us make a decision! Just comment below with your vote, 1 - stained, 2 - painted, 3 - a bit o' both.
know this song came out in 2013, and that there was a bunch of controversy around it, but it was such a good summer driving song, and it relates so well to our painting project...in a round about way...that I couldn't help but include it here. Close your eyes, pretend it's sunny and 80 degrees, and you're feeling pretty dang good.
But back to the Greek yogurt painting project.
When we left off we had finished painting two-thirds of the walls Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. And, we had tried to ensure a nice, crisp, not blurred, line between Down Pipe and the new color, Black Blue. This is an incredibly rich, intense, deep color. I wasn't so sure about when my husband first showed me his selections. I wasn't so sure about either of them individually, let alone both of them together, to be honest. The office is not large by any means and aren't dark colors always supposed to make rooms feel smaller? Luckily, it's got lots of light...
...and I loved the colors once they were up on the wall!
After taping off the level line where we wanted to divide the wall, we painted a strip of Down Pipe just along the bottom edge of the tape to create a seal between the tape and the wall. With textured walls, this is super important because there are so many variances in the wall that bleeding is almost a given. Here again is what it looked like before we added the Black Blue. Above the tape is the wall we wanted to remain Down Pipe. Below is the area we were going to bathe in darkness.
The first coat again left more what felt like a color wash, but that's to be expected with dark colors. It almost looked like it had a green undertone to it when we first put it up, and more so when it dried. I'm getting a bit of deep teal here! Definitely needed two coats.
I got the job of taking off all the tape around the trim and doors. My husband wanted to do the big reveal of the crisp line.
I have to say, I'm really impressed with how well this turned out. There were only two tiny spots where there was a little bit of bleed through, but all in all, not a blurred line in the bunch!
Here's a close up, which always makes the colors look a bit off. But check out that line! If you've got textured walls and are going for a bi-color room, or adding accent lines, shapes or stripes, this will definitely save your sanity, and leave you feeling pretty darn proud of yourself at the same time. Can't beat that!
We liked the Black Blue so much, we're thinking of putting in other places in the house. In the office it's time to put some art and such on the walls. Any suggestions?
And, if you have done a project like this, or used some deep colors on your walls, tell us how it turned out!
I love me some Greek yogurt.
The first time I ever had it was back in the early 2000's when I was in undergrad at UW-Madison. I worked on State Street at The Soap Opera, which if you've ever been there or you're going, is a delicious place to spend an hour or so just smelling all the lovely soaps, lotions and oils. If you go, say hi to Chuck and Chuck for me!
Anyway, across the street was a Greek restaurant and every so often I'd pop in to get something to keep me going while working my shift. They had the most amazing yogurt I'd ever tasted; thick, creamy, vanilla-ish and, best of all, topped with honey they collected from the baklava. I mean really, the baklava! I was in heaven.
Our most recent house project involves painting my hubbies office. After much debate about what he wanted to do with it; exploring paint colors, referencing Feng Shui guides, choosing then nixing wainscoting, and more, he finally made a decision.
Enter Farrow and Ball.
Farrow and Ball is an English company that specializes in paint and wallpaper. The company was started in 1946 and since then has used natural minerals and high levels of rich pigment to create some amazing colors...and some amazingly thick paint. Seriously, this stuff is the Greek yogurt of paint. It's the thickest of the Greek yogurts possible. You kinda almost want to try it, but then remember it's paint. Weird, huh?
Depending on where you live, and when your house was built, you might have textured walls. It seems that in some places they are more common for hiding tape joints. Texture can also hide dirt and other imperfections better. In some places it's considered an upgrade. In others, not so much and definitely not typical. Our current home has texture...everywhere. The walls and the ceilings throughout the ENTIRE house are textured. The paint color is also the same, everywhere except the basement. From wall to ceiling we have a lovely, inoffensive, very light cafe au lait color. Oddly, the basement also has the same floor to ceiling color, but it's more of a tan with pink undertones. Not my fave, but that's too big of an undertaking at the moment.
Have you ever painted textured walls? It's not the same as a nice, flat wall. Until now, I've only ever painted flat walls. They are fairly straightforward. Don't have to think too much about the roller and such. Textured walls are different. There are all these nooks and crannies you have to get paint into and a regular roller just won't do. Want to see the difference?
Here is the first wall we did with Farrow and Ball Down Pipe. This is a gorgeous deep gray. We initially used a regular roller, 12 inches and probably a 1/4-1/2 inch nap. Nap refers to the length of the fiber on the roller. This did not cover well at all. Please excuse the night time shot, but we tend to paint during nap times and after bed time. If you've got young kids, you feel me here! See how thin it is? It almost felt like a color wash, and this was with super thick paint.
Now check out what happened when we changed to an 18 inch, 3/4 nap roller. By the way, an 18 inch roller is mammoth, as is the paint tray that comes with it! But the difference was obvious really quickly. (That's my hubs. He's great with a roller) The extra length in nap made a huge difference getting into the nooks and crannies of the textured wall, and the coverage was so much better. Lesson learned. Textured walls means longer nap...or many extra coats!
Our second coat really made all the difference. It amazes me the way color changes from night to day, or even wall to wall in the same room! The second picture shows a more true color given I took it during the day.
Now, you may be wondering why we only painted the top two-thirds. Originally the idea was to install wainscoting like this, or this. However, as we looked into the process of installing it on textured walls, it seemed a bit daunting to us. So instead, my husband opted for a change in color with a sharp,distinct line. We read a couple tutorials about how to get that crisp line and here is where we are so far...
Figuring out the laser level to ensure a good line.
Taping off a bit above where we ended the Down Pipe.
Painting over the bottom edge of the tape with Down Pipe to seal the tape before adding our new color. Sealing the tape with the old color is suppose to prevent any bleeding when you add the new color. We finished the first coat of Black Blue tonight and tomorrow will do coat number two, then, with fingers crossed, slowly take off the painter's tape and hopefully reveal a lovely, crisp line. Stay tuned! And eat some Greek yogurt...and baklava while you're at it!
Dear Golden Oak,
You are wonderful in so many ways. You're a super strong, high quality, dense hardwood that makes great cabinets and floors. You last a long time. You're also a horrible color. I'm sorry, but you're just not cup of tea. And I really like a good cuppa!
However, you seem to follow me everywhere. Welcome to the kitchen in our new house. If you saw my previous posts you know that our last house had loads of this lovely color. Our new house was no exception. Thankfully, the trim and doors were white. My dad always says you should live in a house for at least a year before you make any major changes. I think that's definitely true for a first house. You're so excited to be home owners for the first time and the learning curve for taking care of a whole house and a yard is pretty steep. But the second time around? I think we got this now.
Those golden oak floors and cabbies had to go...quickly.
Now, historically, it takes my husband and I awhile to actually come to an agreement about house changes. The man has strong opinions, likes, and dislikes in this area which, while perhaps not typical, is actually quite nice. I don't feel like it's just my house or my choices, rather ours. However, it does mean that negotiation can be fierce, at times both of us has given in...or even
...admitted that the other person was right. Boy, that's a tough one, hey?!
The floor was an easy choice. We knew we wanted to go darker and, since we weren't moving in until about a week after we closed on the house, it was perfect timing to get 'er done before we had to deal with furniture or kiddos around. After calling around for quotes, we got everything scheduled, came down to look at four stain options on the floor, and then tried to pick one. How do you pick a stain for your whole floor by looking at a small patch? Close your eyes and point? Eenie meenie miney mo? Quite possibly! We ended up selecting something not too dark, but definitely not golden oak. We love it.
That project was a priority because of the timing. Sometimes our home projects are guided by timing or time commitment, sometimes by budget. Other times they are guided by necessity and a few times by my itch to do something artsy. Sometimes by all of the above. Jackie Hernandez over at tealandlime has some great ideas for prioritizing home projects. Check her out!
The cabinets were also a pretty easy compromise. We knew we wanted white on top to keep everything light, but wanted to go darker on the bottom. Apparently in design terms it's now trendy to call that a tuxedo kitchen or tuxedo cabinets. We are in our blue phase and narrowed it down to Old Navy or Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. Ultimately, Hale Navy won out. It was a little grayed out and not so blueberry.
The cabinets were prioritized by budget and available time. After getting a few quotes, we decided NOT to spend $3000 plus we'd been quoted, but for me to do it myself. I mean really, $3000+? It's not like we have a massive kitchen. Seventeen doors and 6 drawers, not counting those not-quite-drawers under the sink. I was gobsmacked, to use one of my favorite English terms, at the quotes we got. I guess the positive end of it is that it provided even more encouragement to jump in and do it myself. And you know those moments where you step back and look at something you worked really hard and long at and think, "dang, why did I ever doubt myself? That is marvelous!"
This is totally one of those times.
I'm not going to write another tutorial about how to paint your cabinets. There are loads out there on the web and I really like this one if you're looking for some guidance. I will tell you that I spent:
Is this entire project for the faint of heart? Or those with little time or interest? Probably not. Kids, jobs and life commitments are why other people get paid to do this. However, if you can swing it, you can save a ton of money. And feel pretty dang good about yourself in the process!
And learn something new
I've drilled holes and put on hardware before, but I've never had to countersink. Everything we've previously purchased has always been flush to the cabinet or drawer. But then we found these beauties.
Ah, weathered nickle, you stole my heart. Not at first mind you. These were my hubby's pick and I wasn't sold initially. But I came around and I'm so glad I did. These cup pulls are gorgeous in person. They were exactly what we wanted.
But they needed countersinking
Luckily I've got great neighbors...who were having a porch put on their house...and their contractor was amazingly helpful. Mr. Bud, as we came to call him, popped over more than once to answer a few questions I had. This one in particular. In the end, the process was not as hard as it first seemed.
See those little legs sticking out? Those have to go inside your drawer face. However, the screw still has to go all the way through. What's a girl to do? Use two drill bits of course. First, after measuring five times with my handy dandy guide tool, I drilled the screw hole all the way through the drawer face. Then, I put a little painter's tape over the hole before drilling the larger countersink hole. Supposedly it helps to prevent splintering and peeling of the wood. Worked for me!
Then I drilled the larger hole about half way into the drawer face. This allowed the leg to sit properly in the face and keep the cup pull itself flush. The screws that came with the pulls weren't quite long enough to go through the drawer and the face, so we bought 1 1/2 inch screws to solve that problem.
Now we've got a fully functional tuxedo kitchen. We're thinking we might just break out the formal wear and have ourselves a little dance in there!
Now for some art on the wall above the cabinets. Any suggestions for things I don't have to dust?
Sometimes the idea in your head is brilliant, but the execution or end result just doesn't quite match up. Somewhere in the process, or maybe somewhere between my brain and my hands, something goes awry. Most of the time it means I've got a mess on my hands. But sometimes, once in a blue moon or so, it results in a little happy accident.
Enter more golden oak. If you read my previous post, then you know that our old house had a TON of it, everywhere, all over the place, in every room. Including these chairs.
Anyone else have these lovelies?
One was stationed at the desk in our old kitchen. Yep, we had one of those. All that was missing from our 1988 build was a dial telephone mounted on the wall! We didn't use the desk much, though it did have a short stint as a beverage counter for holiday parties. But still, we packed up the chairs, and moved them, and stored them, and unpacked them again.
And I'm so happy we did.
Because one of those golden oakies made a fabulous transformation via a happy accident.
Our current master bath also has golden oak cabinets, as did our kitchen (those are gone now! more soon). It also had an extra vanity for which I can only assume is make-up, primping and the like. If you are anything like me, that maybe happens for a date night or special event, both of which are extremely rare these days! But still, it begged for a chair. A non-golden-oak-chair.
Enter Rust-oleum Universal Paint & Primer spray paint. Can I just say Robin's Egg is my new favorite color? Cuz it is. I kinda want to put it everywhere. The bathroom is light and bright and I wanted to keep it that way. At first I thought white chair, but then that felt too boring. I went to pick up supplies, spent a few minutes perusing the color options, and hit upon Robin's Egg.
The perfect non-country light blue with a touch of greeny-gray.
And that 's when the idea was born. White legs and back rest, Robin's Egg seat. Mix it up a little, but keep it light and airy feeling. Kinda like this. Isn't the distressing on there pretty? But the idea in my head, and on the screen, did not come to fruition, probably due to lack of planning.
I tend to jump into things, projects, classes, recipes, etc. I guess I assume I'll intuitively get it or just figure it out on the way. My husband tends to be more process-oriented and planful. I like to think we balance each other out nicely. Needless to say, I thought I had thought of everything; sandpaper, paint, drop cloth, vented garage to work in, topcoat and paint brush at the ready. But after I painted the white legs and back rest and went to town on the seat, I realized I was getting Robin's Egg on places I didn't want Robin's Egg.
Then I took a step back and Tim Gunn's voice popped into my head. Except instead of "Andre" he was saying "OMBRE!" And so the ombre chair came into being. I went back over the seat and slightly up the back and down the legs to make it look more intentional. After letting it dry over night I went back over everything with a coat of Minwax Polycrilic Water-based Satin topcoat. This stuff is so easy to use and the result is fab. Just make sure to do thin, even coats and watch for drips. I let it dry, sanded with 200 grit, then applied another coat, and let it dry over night. And here she is!
I love how it turned out! Not too boring, just a bit of color, but still light and bright and fresh feeling. And no more golden oak. Lessons learned?
** Any mention of products I use for my own projects have no affiliation with the company nor do I receive any compensation or incentive to use any specific product. All opinions are strictly my own. **