Archive for the ‘DIY Projects’ Category

We’re pretty proud of this project being that it was all DIY (except the granite installation)!  Since we had already installed dark flooring throughout most of the house we decided to go with white for the kitchen cabinets and oil rubbed bronze for the knobs & pulls.  After living with only a fridge for a few months (we bought a foreclosure and the owner had taken out most of the cabinets and all the appliances except the broken stainless steel fridge – which we got fixed) we were so happy to have our brand new kitchen!

So without further ado, here are the before and after pics of our kitchen!







Here’s the breakdown:

Cabinets & Faucet – Home Depot
Paint – BM Nantucket Gray
Granite – local stone yard (Peacock Verde is the color)
Knobs/Pulls – Lowes
Backsplash – Lowes (white subway tile)
Appliances – Sears

Any specifics you want to know just ask!

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A big thank you to Jen for putting this together for me for our master bath reno that we’ll hopefully get to do in the near future.  I haven’t had any time to look into details (except found that cute vanity from costco for a great price) and she has such a good eye for this stuff!  What do you guys think?

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We did a lot of DIY projects in here and I plan to share all of them and post pics of the finished nursery this week (just put cute new knobs on her dresser last night) but here is a teaser for now.  The bedding we chose didn’t come with art for the walls so Len created these in photoshop and we painted the mats and framed them (details to come in a later post).  

And a pic of the munchkin in the glider in her room:

More details and pictures of her nursery to come soon…

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I just sent in our info to HGTV’s Renovation Realities.  I really wanted to submit our info to Hammer Heads or Carter Can, since they actually help with projects, but they only want people in the LA area.  Boo.

Well, the reason I submitted our info to them is because we have a major master bath reno that we’d LOVE to do in the near future.  We need to save up a little more money first but it’s definitely high up on our list of home improvements.

Here are a few pics of the master bath when we moved in:

vanity area

left wall

back wall (sink)

right wall (shower)

We haven’t done much to it except paint it a super light ivory color (which we hate) and put in a new light fixture.

This pic is looking from the master bedroom… there is an archway into the vanity/closet area and then a pocket door into the actual bathroom:

Here is the layout how it is now…

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Here is the new layout that we came up with… after many ideas on what to do:

We are going to be on a strict budget so moving plumbing and electrical too much isn’t an option.  What do you think?  Do you think not having a tub is a bad idea? We never use it (in the last 2 years I used it once for 5 minutes when I was in labor!) and we have a guest bathroom with a nice tub.  Oh and keep in mind we have NO linen closet right now which is a huge pain, we keep our towels under the sink!

We’ll take any input you guys have.

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Wouldn’t you love to live here for a while?

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With this as your backyard?

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Or here?

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With your backyard looking like this?

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And your bathroom like this?

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We just loved our honeymoon to the French Polynesian islands (Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora)!  The sunsets were gorgeous and we wanted to display a few photos around the house so we decided to take this photo that we took of a sunset on the island of Moorea:

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And split it into three separate photos (using the crop tool in shutterfly) to frame:

ry%3D400[7] by you. 66545 by you. 66545 by you.

We used white frames from Target and hung them at the entrance of our master bedroom:

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My inspiration for this was from This Young House.  They framed three sunset photos from a trip they took and hung them in their bedroom and we loved the idea.  Thanks TYH!

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A while ago (in our Grout Dilemma post) we asked for your opinions on what color grout to go with the white subway tile that we picked out for our kitchen backsplash.  The majority of you went with white grout, which is what we ended up choosing!  Thank you for all your input. 

We went to several different tile/kitchen places for the subway tile and most places wanted between $2.50 and $3.50 per tile (for 3×6 white subway tiles).  We finally decided to go check out Home Depot to see if they had them and they didn’t, but someone there told us to go check out Lowes.  We are so glad we did because we got the tiles for $0.22 cents each!  This entire project with all the supplies cost us less than $85.oo! 

Here are a few before/prep shots:

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We spent one entire day installing the backsplash (about 7 hours), which was a little longer than expected.  Putting up each tile with the spacers and making all the cuts for the edges was really time consuming.  It’s a very messy DIY project too!

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We waited a full 48 hours before grouting, but that was quick and painless and we are very happy we went with the white grout!

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And finally everything is back in order and the only thing left to do now is the moulding on top of the cabinets.  Once that is done, a big kitchen reveal post will come!

Backsplash by you.

Subway Tile backsplash by you.

Backsplash by you.

Backsplash installed by you.

We’re extremely happy with how it came out!  What do you think?

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I had posted recently (here and here) about storage under the stairs, but I wanted to share the wonderful idea my grandpa had for his home many years ago using space above the stairs.

They had a totally empty wall in their kitchen and needed more storage for pots and pans so my grandpa cut a hole in the wall and used the empty space above the basement stairs.  He built the entire thing himself… drawers, doors, shelves, frame… and also installed lighting inside:

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Look at the storage he created!

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Now if only I could get them to replace the wallpaper… no, I have to say though it goes with the rest of the house.  It’s the cutest little upstate NY house you’ll ever see!

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Since today is my grandpa’s birthday, I thought this was the perfect time to showcase how handy and creative he was (and still is).

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I already posted about storage under the stairs a few days ago, but I came across the best idea yet for this space.  It’s from the popular mechanics website and was published in the March 2007 issue.

Since our foyer is small we were thinking that maybe a storage bench would take up too much space.  I love that this design provides drawer storage and a place to sit to put shoes on that are both built right into the wall!  We’d be able to keep the foyer as uncluttered as possible:

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Karl Champley (who wrote the article) said this, “Before doing any demolition, I checked to see if any mechanical systems ran through the walls—and found an air-conditioning return to watch out for.”  The only way I can think to do this is to cut a small hole and peek around with a flashlight to see if any plumbing or electrical lines are in that space.

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Since we’ll have leftover wainscoting from our guest room makeover we can definitely use the idea of adding it on the drawer and inside the seating area shown below: 

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Thanks Karl and Popular Mechanics for this wonderful spacesaver and storage idea!  We can’t wait to get started on this project.

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We’re hoping to finish this makeover in the next couple of days just in time for our guest who will be staying for the weekend.  We started on Saturday and have already finished painting the walls and putting up the wainscoting.  This is what the guest room looked like “before”:
 Guest Room "before" by you. 
 Guest Room "before" by you.

It looked like this for a long time and we actually were mainly using it for storage until we finished other projects and could get around to fixing this room up.  We painted the room BM Sweet Pear:
 Guest Room "during" by you.
 Painted BM Sweet Pear by you.
 All painted by you.

We got the wainscoting from Home Depot and since we wanted 4′ and not the standard 3′ that they sell already cut, we decided to get the 8′ planks and cut them in half:
 Wainscoting cut to 4' lengths and ready to be put up by you.

We started on the wainscoting over the weekend and finished up most of it tonight:
  Wainscoting by you.   
Chair rail installed by you.

We just have to finish installing the chair rail, caulking and painting the wainscoting and then we can move on to decorating the room.

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Who doesn’t need more storage?  We definitely do (we’d like someday to actually be able to park our car in our garage) and have been talking about adding it under our stairs in the foyer.  We’d have to somehow see how much room we have under there, but we’re thinking of a cute little door or some drawers or even an open area with shelving.  It would definitely be a time consuming DIY project but well worth it I think.  

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Hidden doors…
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Or even wine storage…
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Maybe some storage IN the stairs…
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Do you have storage under your stairs? 
Did you take on this DIY project?  We’d love to hear all about it.

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