Monday, November 28, 2011

Coming soon...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bathroom Sink and Faucet

One thing I didn't touch in my recent bathroom overhaul was the sink and faucet. I tackled that this weekend!

Above is my sink before. The faucet is one of those lovelies with plastic round knobs. It also is a bright shiny silver (or it was when it was new) and I wanted a satin nickel faucet that would match the knobs on the vanity.

This really is a saga. I first purchased an American Standard faucet at Home Depot, which Mike wasn't a huge fan of from the start, but we decided to try it. It was relatively easy to pull off the old faucet and set the new one in place, but then came the tough part--putting in the new drain.
The silver part of the drain that rests in the sink is supposed to twist off "easily" according to instructions and videos we watched online, but in this case, the pipes were so corroded that that wasn't possible. After many rounds of trying to unscrew it, we ended up using a hack saw to cut the pipe. We finally got the drain out! We're almost done! so we thought.

We installed the new drain, gave each other high fives, and then turned on the faucet to see how it worked. And oh, it leaked. We tried tightening everything that could be, applied some more teflon tape, etc, but to no avail. 
It looked pretty at least?

Lastly, we noticed that the hole in the sink that the drain went in was so corroded that there was no way we could get a tight seal--in other words, it was always going to leak. The sink had to be replaced.

The dirty details

 So then I had this:

Early Sunday morning we made a trip to the Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if they had a suitable replacement sink, and we were in luck! Not only did they have several that were the right size (in many colors! Mike vetoed the pink one), they were all in great shape.

After the ReStore we headed back to Home Depot (I always say its not a project unless it involves at least 2 trips to a hardware store) to exchange the leaky faucet. I ended up getting a Moen facet that is rather similar to the previous faucet. 

The new sink has no corrosion! And its poreclain, not cast iron, so it shouldn't rust quickly. We easily put her in place, and now my bathroom looks GREAT! Next up...replacing the light fixture?




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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bathroom Bathroom

The bathroom has to be one of my favorite rooms in my condo. Let me explain. It [was] wallpapered, and the previous were very serious about their wallpaper. The light switch plate was wallpapered to match, as was the SCALE.

See, I'm not joking. Unfortunately they did not leave the scale for me (I took this picture during a walk through)

Here's a view of most of the bathroom and I inherited it- the same cabinets as the kitchen, the ugly brown counter, the wild west salon doors on the window...

The shower doors...

I think my third day in the condo involved ripping out those shower doors. It was easy, really. It was held to the wall with 3 screws on each wall and some glue. Once I removed the screws, the doors came off really easily, and then I just had to pry off the tracks.  Then I just had to remove the icky leftovers.

I started using "professional strength goof off", which worked OK, but then I pulled out the big guns- 

Motsenbocker's Lift Off- Caulk-Silicone Foam Sealant Remover. This stuff worked like a charm.You put some on the offending ook, let it sit for a minute and then scrape it off using your favorite scraping tool. Shortly the bathtub edge was clean.

The next thing I did was pull down all the wall paper, and luckily for me it came down really easily. I also got wild and pulled down the mirror that went across the whole wall!

 I thought it would look much better with a smaller mirror centered over the sink, like this one (borrowed from my living room)

I painted the walls with the same paint that I used in my previous apartment- Martha Stewart from Home Depot "precious metals" collection "Bone" paint color matched in semigloss latex. I really still love the color, and I love that it looks slightly different in this room.
I then actually got another mirror almost identical to the test one, at Walmart for just under $30. It wasn't the color I wanted, but that didn't stop me as I knew a little spray paint could fix that.

See the shower curtain!

Below you can see I removed the "wild west salon doors" in favor of a mini blind. Much more my style!
Next up- what to do with this empty space on the wall? Some sort of storage I think, but I can't decide if I'd like open shelves or a cabinet.

Linking to:
 you are talking too much

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coffee Tables

One of my neighbors recently offered me a retro coffee table she had in her basement. Like the true hoarder I am, I couldn't resist, even though I had a coffee table already.
Now I am totally torn about what to do. I am slightly attached to this light blue, $20 coffee table from Ikea (was black, I painted it) 

but I also LOVE this 1960s Mersman coffee table.

Which one should I keep?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kitchen Progress

I'm kind of torn about whether to show progress pictures or wait until its all done, but here they are.
One of the first projects I dove into upon moving in is painting the kitchen cabinets.
The cabinets were actually wood, but they were a medium brown that really didn't look great with the faux-butcher block counter tops.


I immediately knew I would be painting the cabinets white and adding some brushed nickel knobs and drawer pulls. So I was super anxious to start that project once I moved in.

I don't have a lot of "process" pictures, but here's what I did:
- washed the cabinets down really well with lysol or something similar
- did a light sanding 
- used Kilz oil based primer-- for most places I just did one coat, but where stains bled thru I did a second
- Then I brushed on a coat of Valspar paint called "Dove White". I didn't have a strong opinion about which white color I used, and I liked how this looked on the swatch so I just went for it. No planning.
-After the first coat I did another light sanding. Maybe a little heavier in places where there were imperfections or drips.
- Brushed on a second coat of Dove White.
- Let the doors dry for a couple days
- drilled holes and added knobs

At the same time, I was taking care of the hinges. I decided it wasn't in my budget to buy all new hinges, but the ones I had needed some work. They were like a dirty bronze color. I took them all down and gave them a scrub, then I spray painted them with Krylon's Satin Nickel spray paint. It took about thin two coats on each side to get them looking great! (Anyone else a Young House Love fan? Every time I started spraying I heard " If you’re a-sprayin’ your arm better be a-swayin" but its good advice!)

I started with the top cabinets ...because I wanted to.


You can see the swatches behind the sink. I had the darnest time picking a color. At first I thought I would use Wild Aster, as I did in the living/dining areas, but after painting just a small portion (as seen on the wall behind the coffee maker) that color just wasn't doing it for me in this space. Next I thought maybe yellow, and picked up two samples from Lowes- I can't remember there names but one was a light yellow and the other a light greenish-yellow. Too pale.
Next I got a little more crazy and picked up the two samples at the other end of the paint chip from the first two yellow colors, which you can see in this picture.

Neither color was what I wanted. Both are too...yucky. So then I pulled out the samples I had used in my bedroom, and low and behold, I liked one! And even better, it happened to be the one I used in my bedroom! (The grey on the bottom right) So I went with that. The color looks totally different In the kitchen, I think.

In the midst of all this painting, I also installed some under-cabinet lights. So here is my final "progress" picture of the kitchen, walls painted, most cabinet doors installed, and some drawer hardware showing plus the under cabinet lights....
Other lights off

Other lights on- ignore the mess!!



Can you believe that is the same kitchen? I am super, super excited about how good it is looking! And it will look even better when I get pictures with the remaining doors installed and get the mop out of sight!

Linking to:
 you are talking too much />

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Closet Crazy

What happens when you have leftover closet organizer pieces, and a poorly designed hall closet?
Another closet redo!
My hall closet had that same crazy backwards hanging system, and just one shelf about 2/3rds of the wall up the wall--which seems like a waste of space. I would have loved to put in rows and rows of shelving, but I do actually need a little bit of hanging space for my coats and those of any guests I have over. 
I decided to do half and half. One side would be a hanging bar and the other would be shelves.

I followed a similar process to my bedroom closet- I cleaned out the closet and this was what was left. This closet is over the stairs that lead to the basement, which is why the floor is strange, I think. Even with the sloping floor, my long coats hang freely so it's fine.

I again ripped out that strange shelf and put a coat of paint on the walls and the bottom (its yellow in the picture above). I gave it a few hours to dry, and then I had this:

That bottom portion still looks kind of yellow, but it is definitely much better. Looks much cleaner for sure!

I then set out hanging the closet system. I did have to buy a new horizontal rail for this, and also a 2-foot hanging rod, but I had all the shelving and vertical rails left over from my first closet. So in all, I spent about $20 more to finish up this closet. That brings the total to about $150 for the two closets--or $75 each. But, I STILL have other pieces left over that I can use in another closet--the second bedroom perhaps.

Putting in the railing system is quite easy. Find how high you want it (ClosetMaid recommends 84 inches, I think), find the studs or use anchors, and secure it about every foot. Then you hang the vertical rods on the horizontal one, and screw those in the same way.

You cant really see the vertical rod on the left, but its there I promise. Also, since I knew I was only going to put a hanging rod on the right side, I didn't use a full length vertical rail. I can always add an extension to the right side if necessary.

Now comes the fun part-- putting in the actual shelves and rods! I put a shelf across the whole top of the closet, and then another 3 shelves down the left side.(the hanging rod overlaps about 2 inches because my closet is just under 4 feet wide- really, like 3 feet 10 inches, but I think this will work out fine.)

Next I loaded the closet up with the things that were in it previously, plus some more. I decided I would keep my cleaning supplies (that aren't kitchen-specific) in here, because its a centrally located closet. I also have my winter coat collection and some spare hangers for guests, plus my hats/mittens/scarves for winter.

The shelves are really almost too short, so I may adjust them down one slot later. That way my spray bottles will fit easily. One thing I learned by putting all my cleaning supplies in the same place is that I have an awful lot of redundant supplies! I guess I won't need to buy anything new for a while now.

These new and improved closets are just making my day. Every time I open them I get happy. I could not be happier with this system! It's so easy to put in and rather inexpensive, but still attractive enough.

Have you ever redone a closet like this? Am I the only one who is closet crazy?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Punch List, November 6th

House Punch List, November 6th:

Here is my room-by-room list of things to do as of today...I think this list will probably grow before it gets any shorter!

Throughout whole house:

  • Replace lightswitches and outlets with new, white ones 
  • Replace lightswitch covers and outlet covers

  • Paint Cabinets (in progress)
  • replace counter tops?
  • replace floor
  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • paint trim
  • Install under-cabinet lights
  • Replace Fridge, Dishwasher, Range
Living Room
  • Paint Walls "Wild Aster"
  • Paint Trim
  • Replace carpet with laminate!??
  • Hang Curtains
  • Get new Couch
  • Hang Art, mirrors
  • Hang curtains
  • Hang blinds?
  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • Paint Closet
  • Redo Closet system
  • Hnng Curtains
  • Hang art, mirrors
  • Remove shower doors
  • Hang shower curtain
  • paint vanity
  • paint trim
  • Replace or Frame mirror
  • Remove Wallpaper
  • Decide on color and Paint walls
  • Clean grout or regrout?
Second Bedroom
  • Decide on color and paint walls
  • Paint trim
  • Redo closet?
  • Paint paneling white
  • fix water damaged walls (probably a contractor will do this)
  • replace carpet
  • Finish basement bathroom (what a nutty set up!)
  • organize and set up sewing area
  • replace washer and dryer?

Closet of my Dreams

One of the tasks on the top of my to-do list was my closet. My closet had this funny little contraption for hanging clothes that required that you hang your hangers backwards. This was really aggravating to my type-a personality. 

Who invented this travesty??

So I did a little research (aka looking around Lowes/Home Depot) and decided I wanted to build a "custom" closet- with double rods and shelving and rainbows!
I decided upon this kit by Rubbermaid, sold at Lowes:
I liked that it gave me the option of having double rods, shelving and full length hanging space!
I didn't take tons of pictures, but I started with emptying my closet onto my bed, and then taking out the existing shelf. It came out after about 2 minutes and very little effort. Then I discovered my closet actually had a light! The string for the light had been hiding, I guess, so I hadn't ever seen it. So check that off my to-do list!
The inside of my closet was due for a paint job. I pulled out some leftover white paint I had from repainting my old apartment (standard apartment white, nothing too fancy) and gave it a coat. I didn't bother giving it a second coat-- the first covered pretty well and I didn't think anyone would spend time judging the paint job in the closet. I did something else for a couple hours to let it dry--probably something I'll be blogging about soon--and then set out to put up this system.
I was a little scared by the weight of the box and the general complexity of the system that I might have trouble doing this myself, but really, it was a breeze. Within maybe 2 hours (not including a trip in the middle to the hardware store for drywall anchors) I had an awesome new closet of my dreams! 

Wouldn't this look better if the clothes were arranged by color?? Ahh type-A

The closet is basically divided into thirds. There is a rod across the top of the whole closet. The first third of the closet on the left has a second rod in the middle, the second third has a shelf in the middle, and the last third just has the top rod. This allows me to maximize my hanging space for tops, skirts/pants and dresses. I'm using the shelf in the middle for my jeans. I'm going to have to get some pretty boxes for my purses and scarves so it looks more like the picture above.

I have many pieces of the system left--I will either add in some more shelves in the middle or perhaps use them in another closet. Lowes sells many components of this system individually, so I can buy just the pieces I need to customize any closet I want. I'm thinking maybe my hall closet will get some shelving shortly.

Perhaps you can see in these pictures that I have also been busy painting other areas of the condo, like bedroom walls. Details shortly!