Projects galore

20 Oct

The list of projects that we are currently working on is long. And by working on, I mostly mean we think about them, spend time on Pinterest doing research, discuss them, and save money. It seems that DIYing and remodeling comes in bursts for us. In one period of time we’ll do 15 projects and then the next we’ll do none. This is mostly due to the fact that we are both extremely busy. Alec goes to school full-time (to become a machinist-in case you were wondering) about 30 miles from our house. That’s right, he’s made a career change. And boy, is it a good one for him. I think he’s found his calling. He also works part-time. I work full-time and do freelance work on the side.

OK, enough with the excuses. What projects are we working on/stewing on/planning for? Well, I’ll tell you:


Months and months ago we lucked into a fireplace mantle that was just beautiful. It is heavy, quality, and has a medium stain. We don’t particularly love medium stains, we tend to gravitate more toward really dark or white. It was also a corner fireplace. And the planned home for this fireplace is not a corner. So this has taken some wood working skills by Alec to get it transformed into a non-corner fireplace. Unfortunately, we don’t have all the tools we need for these type of projects (yet), so whenever Alec got some time to work on it, he had to haul the whole thing to my parents, which is about an hour from us. We found a dirty, beat up electric fireplace that is almost big enough for the mantle. We bought it off KSL for $10 and Alec cleaned it up, changed and a fuse, and it is good as new! We figure an electric fireplace is going to be a lot more cost-effective for the situation we’re in than running a gas line. We’re practically done with this project but have come to realize we need to find some sort of shelving solution that will look built-in to go on either side. However, we’ve been enjoying the fireplace since the weather turned cold almost immediately after we got to this point. That white strip above the fireplace is a cement board. We’re going to put tile there as soon as possible.

Any ideas on cheap (I mean SUPER cheap) shelving for either side? We’ve been tossing around using thrifted drawer cabinets and those stairs that lean against the wall and decrease in size as you get to the top. Whatever the solution is, it can’t be much wider than two feet and has to help us conceal our cord problem. Also, it would be great if we got a new TV in the deal too. No? Ya well, I thought I’d try it. Maybe Santa will bring one.

This picture shows it in perspective with the room and indicates the need for shelving.

This picture shows what it looks like while on. It is so cozy to snuggle up to right now. I am loving it!


Our upstairs bathroom is tiny. Seriously. Picture this: I go to the store to buy a vinyl remnant (give me a break OK, I’d use cork if it was worth the investment for the house we’re in!) and get a 6×7″ piece. It is HUGE. Our bathroom is probably about 40 square feet. So I don’t have a lot to work with here.  But we’re replacing the flooring, we get a new sink, vanity, mirror, and light fixture. The inspiration is coming from a shower curtain we got at Sears. Previously, the towels used hang on an over-the-door hook on the back of the door, but it is so heavy the door keeps swinging shut. I find this really annoying when I’m getting ready in the morning. I know, I should have posted some more in-progress pictures but I was just too anxious to get this done to think about it. While it was in demo we had to share the other nasty bathroom with the cat we just adopted, who was seriously stinky the first few weeks we had her. It was awful!

New light. The only shot I could get of it was out of context with the rest of the bathroom. When I stepped out the door to take a wider angle shot the light just turned into a blur.

IKEA Godmorgon vanity and sink. We love the thick look of the sink and the fact that it is one piece, as opposed to a ceramic sink dropped in ugly laminate counter top. The faucet is also from IKEA. This was quite an ordeal and we went to Lowe’s at least 8 times that day. The plumbing pipes that came with it didn’t fit any standard size that we needed for extensions. Trust us, we tried every single size available. Alec eventually ended up shaving it down with a knife. How’s that for DIY?

Any suggestions on accessories would be appreciated. I plan to paint the tissue box, soap dispenser, etc. I wanted to put art above the shelf but I’m getting the vibe from my advisors that they think it would be too busy.

And finally, my favorite touch, the mirror. I bought it for on clearance for $8 at Lowe’s on Labor Day and spray painted it yellow. It was quite the learning experience. All the little grooves in the mirror create a lot of surface area, which meant I got carried away with the spray paint, which meant the first few coats I put on were way too thick. Then, I got over eager to hang it. This resulted in way too many imperfections in the paint. I did a lot of sanding and repainting while we lived without a mirror for over a week. It still has a few imperfections but I am satisfied now and I’ve learned my  lesson. I also put a clear coat of spray lacquer on after I finished with the yellow.(excuse my lovely image in the mirror, this was the best shot I could get).


Bedside Tables

Like the bathroom, we also need more storage in our bathroom. So the situation we have for bedside tables just isn’t cutting it. But I’ve seen a whole bunch of amazing IKEA Rast hacks recently and some of them are amazing! The Rast only costs about $30, so win/win. I feel bad that I’ve walked past this little guy so many times without even looking twice. In fact, I thought it was downright ugly! But see what they’ve done here and here? Wow, I am picking my jaw up from the floor.


One Response to “Projects galore”

  1. Nicolette October 31, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    Great progress with your house. I love it all. Great work!

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