Category Archives: DIY

Posts about projects we DIY at home

Moving Along in the Master Bathroom

Projects seem to take us forever around here.

The speed at which Young House Love hammers out projects (see what I did there? har har) always amazes me. I know, I know, it’s their JOB and we have other jobs and responsibilities, but I wish we could get things wrapped up a bit faster. What I am showing you today isn’t even a totally finished space. But, we have made progress so a big thumbs up to us!

Alright bloggy friends, I need your help. Remember when I asked your opinion on shower curtains? Well, we eliminated one right away and for a very good reason. I could see a lion face in it…

shower curtain 2

Do you see it?! Our oldest daughter saw it right away without any prompting. As I type this I sort of see a dragon too. ha ha

Anyways, you will notice in the following updated photos I have the other two shower curtains making appearances. I like them both for different reasons and would love input on which one works better overall. So, please leave me some comments all you smart people!

Just for a reminder, here is where we started:

master bathroom before

And here it the work in progress today:

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SO? Which shower curtain??

I like the softness of #1 because the water closet has a softer feel to it and I think the lighter print of the curtain helps balance the brighter wall color. BUT, I LOVE the print of curtain #2. But, I am not sure it works as well with what I have going on in the water closet, which I love.

There are parts of this room I love:
Board and Batten
-Wall colors – Eddie Bauer Linden and Martha Stewart Chinchilla (links for color ref only)
Mirror Frame
-Towel Hooks – we bought them from Lowes and I can’t seem to locate them online. Here is a photo for reference. Simple, but I like them.IMG_6883

And then there are other areas that are still on the to-do and wish list:
-Wall decor and accessories
-Solution for hand towels
-New rugs
-I would LOVE to change the flooring. The tan/brown tones are throwing everything off (this is a wish, not currently on the to-do list)
-Light fixtures. There is large boob light in there. Nuf said.
-And a BIG to-do that I can’t wait to get on is this:IMG_6867

I love this window and the view of the backyard. I don’t love that it gives the neighbors and anyone walking the trail behind our house a large view into our bathroom. HELLO!

What’s so stylishly covering the window right now is a shower curtain tension rod and some old white curtains. I know, you want to pin that photo. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

I’m leaning towards a bamboo/woven shade (with privacy backing) to add some texture into the room and to tie the color of the stained vanity into another place. It would also be nice to tie in some yellow like I have with the grey in the water closet. Decision, decisions. I would LOVE your ideas and advice!

Alright…this is turning into a novel. Let me know about the shower curtains and any ideas you have for window treatments! I love to hear from you!

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Pinterest Challenge – Laundry Basket Dresser

Today is the day of the show, y’all! (name that movie)

By the way, if you can name that movie, we’re like long-lost BFFs.

But really, today is the day!

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If you’re stopping by via any of the lovely hostess’ sites – Welcome! I’m glad you’re here! Please look around, stay awhile, and come back soon. I’d love it!

SO…I’ve been so excited to show you what the hubs and I came up with for today’s challenge. As soon as I saw the challenge posted by Katie and Sherry, I knew I wanted to join this party. But, deciding what to do wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I didn’t want to do something just to do something, ya know? I wanted it to be something I really wanted or needed. As I perused my pins on Pinterest, I realized that a lot of them seemed big picture design-related and nothing was standing out as something I could tackle AND finish before today. I was not feeling inspired. So, I had to do a bit of browsing to find THE project to do. Friday evening, I finally found something that had me excited and I am so glad we went with it.

Laundry Dresser by Ana White

Pretty slick, right? I don’t know about you, but our laundry room was in need of some major organization. Something I love about our laundry room is that it’s on the second floor with the bedrooms. It’s super convenient. BUT, something I don’t love it that it’s really more of a laundry closet than a room. It’s TINY. As we toss dirty laundry in, even if it is into baskets, the floor gets so full you can’t get the door shut. Kind of like this:

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Yes, I just showed you our dirty laundry. A picture says a thousand words. We needed the laundry basket dresser…stat.

We used the plans from Ana White’s site as a guide, but we had to switch up the measurements to make it the correct size for our space. We opted to not put a back on the dresser and added 3 support boards instead. It made the entire unit feel less bulky in the tiny room. Lastly, instead of using the metal angle for the basket “hangers” like she suggests, we created the hangers out of leftover boards.

And here’s how it turned out!

Laundry Basket Dresser

I am so happy with it! It’s going to get the dirty clothes off the floor and will keep me organized. You guys, I can easily shut the door! An added bonus is being able to set my laundry supplies on the top which keeps the dryer cleared off for a place to fold clean laundry. Score! Oh, and the top of the dresser needed something cute. No reason not to have something nice to look at while doing one of life’s less than glamorous chores.

Laundry Sign, Laundry Print

Nothing like a good pun to get you in the mood to scrub stains. 🙂

I highly recommend pinning this as a must-do project to give your laundry room some organization. If we can build it – you can too!

Laundry Room

Let me know how you keep your laundry room organized! Do you think a laundry basket dresser could be a good solution for you? If you’re here and a fellow blogger who has linked up to the hostess sites, say hello and give me your link!

If you haven’t, be sure to stop by the hostess’ sites to see what everyone else has been up to!

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Megan from The Remodeled Life.
Katie from Bower Power.
Sherry from Young House Love.
Michelle from Decor & The Dog.

Coming to a Blog Near You! The Pinterest Challenge!

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Hope you had a good one!

We had a great weekend. We managed to do some relaxing and resting, but the hubby and I spent a good chunk of time working on a fun project. I am very excited about what we’ve done and can’t wait to show you on Wednesday. Why on Wednesday? Because this project was born out of the Pinterest Challenge (said in a booming, echoing microphone voice).

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What is the Pinterest Challenge you ask? It was created by Katie Bower so that she, along with Sherry, would turn a favorite pin into reality. They have turned the Pinterest Challenge into a super fun link up party complete with awesome blogger hosts.

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Megan from The Remodeled Life and Michelle from Decor and The Dog are hosting along with Sherry and Katie. It’s like a big party on the web. A party you can attend in your pjs! A party you don’t even have to be invited to! HA!

If you’re a blogger and want to know the details on how to participate, check out the scoop here or here. The short version is, turn one of your pins on Pinterest into a reality. Blog about it giving credit where credit is due. Link up to all 4 of the lovely hostess’ challenge posts. Take the time to look at what everyone else did and be INSPIRED. Blogging is fun.

I’m going to keep our project a secret until Wednesday, but I will tell you it required multiple trips to Lowes, power tools, and my Hubs to act as carpenter instead of Creative Director which he loves hates and scored him major brownie points.

So, come back on Wednesday! Tell your friends! If you’re a blogger, get busy and link up!

Master Bathroom – Mirror Frame

Whew! It’s been a tough week for me and the ole’ blog. The combination of being busy and having a touch of writer’s block when I have had time to write has kept me from getting a post up, but today’s the day! Happy Friday!

It occurred to me yesterday that I still needed to tell you about the mirror frame “Bob Vela” built for our master bathroom. I mentioned it in my paint post and now it’s time to give you the details. I’ve tried to write this about 10 different times. It was a really easy project to do, much easier than trying to explain it for you! I want to tell you about it though because if you have a plain-jane mirror, you should considering framing it in! All 3 of our bathrooms have large builder-grade mirrors. I love the size, but not how they look. So, we got inspired from a variety of places on the web, specifically The House of Smiths framed mirror tutorial and did our thang.

Before building the frame, we had to take a few things into consideration in order to decide 1. the best way to attach the frame to the mirror and 2. how we wanted it to meet up with the board and batten we added on the wall to the left of the vanity/mirror.

master bathroom

As you can see from the above photo, the mirror meets up with the backsplash of the counter top. This meant we were going to have to attach the frame directly to the mirror across the bottom. But should we attach the frame directly to the mirror all the way around? Also, what to do about the clips holding the mirror?

If we attached the frame to the mirror all the way around, the horizontal boards of the board and batten would have had to stretch over the counter a bit to meet up with the mirror. It made everything look very uneven and strange. So we built a base around the 3 sides of the mirror so that everything could line up. I’ll let the next few (horrible iPhone) pictures do the talking.

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Frame1

See what I mean? I really hope so because I can’t seem to explain it any better. ha ha The space to the right and left of the mirror were even (thank you builder for centering the mirror) and were the exact same size as the boards we used for the battens. (Aka, we had extra so we had the materials we needed. Hooray!) Aside from making the spacing better, I liked using the base because it made it so we didn’t have to cover up as much of the mirror surface as we would have if we attached it directly to the mirror.

With the base built around it, “Bob” noticed the mirror wiggled in and out a bit when you pushed on it, so this is where we got super fancy. Insert folded cardboard here:

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He shimmed it with folded cardboard and now it doesn’t move. Ta-da! (that little piece between the base)

Ok, for the frame itself. It’s built from trim and quarter round. We had to add the quarter round to the trim so that it was wide enough to cover the base and overlap the mirror a bit. I actually prefer it with the quarter round because it added a bit more detail.

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To make life easier, my man attached the corner round to the trim with liquid nails so he could make clean and even cuts just like he did with the board and batten. Then he cut the 4 sides to size – measure twice, cut once!

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Looks good on the floor….not how about on the mirror?

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The bottom, which had to be attached to the mirror, got some liquid nails. It was also secured by a few finishing nails on the corners where it overlapped onto the base on the sides. The rest of the pieces are held into place with finishing nails. Oh, and those clips on the mirror? They didn’t end up being a problem. We just put the board right over them. We thought we might have to notch out places for them to fit into the trim, but we didn’t have to!

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A little painter’s tape helped us hold pieces in place while we worked our way around. Looking at the above photo, I guess we used liquid nails on the other pieces too. This baby isn’t going anywhere! (The wall color looks like it matches the tape – it doesn’t!)

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This is the edge where the frame meets up with the board and batten.

Mirror Frame

And here she is in all her (unpainted) glory! SO much better!! We’re planning to build these for the other 2 bathrooms in the house.

Next step is filling the nail holes and seams and then giving it a finish coat of paint along with the rest of the board and batten. We’re getting closer!!

I feel an IKEA hack coming on…

You guys, I totally wish we had an IKEA near us. It would be so handy. So convenient. So DANGEROUS. For our bank account.

My first IKEA experience was with a group of girlfriends and we all kept looking at each other and saying things like, “shut up!”, “are you kidding me?”, “this is ONLY a DOLLAR!”. From the room set-ups, the smart designs, and those yummy meatballs, my first trip was a blast and I was hooked.

We’ve taken a few trips since then and have bought some pieces that work really great in our home. Furniture is expensive and when you have rooms to redecorate or a new house to furnish, it’s nice to find pieces from IKEA that are affordable and good quality. Ok, this post is not supposed to be an advertisement for IKEA, so let’s move on to the good stuff. 🙂

Do you know Kate? Ok, I don’t KNOW Kate, but I LOVE her blog. Centsational Girl has been a favorite of mine for the last couple of years and I am always inspired by her projects and design and what I want to talk about today, her DIY. Feast your eyes:

ikea-besta-billy-bookcase-combo

I love me some built-ins. She has done other built-ins with IKEA shelves that impress me, but this one has me really excited. We have been trying to figure out what to do in our living room to house our TV and electronics and at the same time add some interest and design to the room and I think we may have our answer.

I’ve been drooling over Pottery Barn’s Logan Media Suite in Antique White since we moved in.

Pottery Barn Logan Media Suite

However, at a starting price of $2700, that baby will have to stay at Pottery Barn. I’ve been keeping my eye out for something similar, even checking Craigslist and other pre-owned furniture stores to see if we could find the bones to build one ourselves.

Insert Centsational Girl’s post and I’m feeling really excited. With a slight modification to Kate’s plan, we can have a functional and super stylish solution in our space. Our plan is to use two Billy bookcases, a Besta cabinet with the underframe, and the Besta height extender to act as a bridge between the Billy bookcases. (Instead of the Besta shelf on the cabinet) This way, we have an opening to put our television. We’ll stagger the pieces for dimension like Kate did and trim it all out so it looks all finished and purty. While I won’t be painting the backs of the cases pink, I am tossing around an accent color or maybe fabric?

I’m going to spare you the Photoshop rendering we did over the weekend so we could see what it might look like. It’s just not blog worthy. I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of my expansive group of readers. (Hi Mom.)

I really hope we can head to IKEA soon (the Besta pieces are on sale through February 3rd). I want to get this project started!

Board and Batten – Master Bathroom

I’ve admired board and batten on Pinterest and on other blogs for the past couple of years and knew it would be a great addition to our master bathroom. The main floor of our house has a great trim package with crown moulding and a more traditional picture box wainscoting in the dining room. Hubs and I read over tutorials here and here and felt it was something we could tackle on our own. This is a HUGE step forward from where we were 3 or 4 years ago when it came to DIY. I’m so glad my man has gained confidence and that we can tackle these projects just the two of us. A warning about the following photos: they are horrible. All were snapped with my phone, at night, in our less than ideally lit bathroom. Forgive me.

After studying the tutorials and looking over our walls, we decided two things:

1. We didn’t need to put up panels to cover the walls because the walls are smooth and only have a thin coat of flat paint – very easy to paint to look like a panel. Priming didn’t even need to be exact, just high enough to land behind the shortest piece of trim that would go up.priming

2. We could work with our existing baseboards because not only are they flat across the top, they are deep enough for the battens to rest on them. This was a huge time and budget saver.

After some measuring and calculating, we picked up the materials and got started. I primed all the boards prior to installation so that everything would have 1 coat of primer once it was all up. We were able to jump right in with the battens because the boards we chose were the height we wanted, so they didn’t require any cuts. Score!

Install

Putting up the battens was fairly easy. Once we decided the spacing and placement, we confirmed it was level and marked the wall so we had a guide. We added liquid nails to the back of each board, lined it up with the mark we made and then stuck it on. Once it was in place, we finished it with trim nails. Not many of them landed in studs and we wanted those bad boys to stay.

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We had a few hiccups as we went along (hiccup is DIY’s middle name). You can see from the above photo that with a bit more planning, the three boards could have been shifted to the left allowing that far right batten to end just before the outlet, eliminating the need to trim the board to fit around it. We had actually planned to do it that way, but got a little trigger happy getting started and while we knew the spacing between the battens, we forgot to confirm the space from either end. Oh well, it could have been worse.

The second hiccup was when we went to put the first horizontal board up and discovered that the center batten was a little more than an 1/8 of an inch taller than the other two. This created a teeter-totter effect and larger gaps than we wanted to fill with mud or caulk. So, we did what any DIYer does and got inventive.

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Yes, we cut away the excess with a blade. I might have gotten a strange look when my husband found me shaving the board away with his utility knife, but it worked pretty darn well and we ended with high-fives all around when the length was right and we could move on.

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We attached the horizontal board with liquid nails and with drywall screws into the studs. We will be attaching hooks for our towels into this board, so we wanted the extra reinforcement.

Next up was adding the trim piece that lays flat to create a small ledge, as well as the inside cove piece we chose to give a more finished look.

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upper trim

We assembled these three pieces individually on this section of the wall. Since they require straight cuts, it was easy to get them all to line up. However, as we moved into the smaller, toilet room of our bathroom, we did things a bit differently.

Bathroom corner

toilet room

This room has two corners that needed to be cut at 45 degree angles. We knew it would be a nightmare to try to fit together 6 pieces correctly, so my man was smart and glued and clamped the horizontal piece, the flat ledge piece and the cove to make one large trim section. Then, all he had to do was make 2 cuts for each corner (1 for each side) instead of cutting 6. I now call him “Bob Vela”. The large trim piece was attached with liquid glue and finished with trim nails.

After everything was up, we had to fill the nail holes and mud up a few places that didn’t fit perfectly. Our motto around here is “Caulk and paint make it what it ain’t”! It’s waiting for it’s final coats of paint.

This was a fun first step in Project Master Bathroom. Can’t wait to show you when it’s finished!

Have you added any board and batten to your home? Tackled a bathroom project recently?