Closet complete + How to make your own clothing rods for under $20

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After filling in holes to the crawl space, learning to tile, and learning to drywall, our guest bedroom closet is complete!

The closet started off as somewhat of a dungeon…

Beautiful cheap wood paneling that smelled of old house, especially in the rain thanks to the leak we discovered later in the roof.

After demolishing the entire inside, we discovered holes in the floor and all those boards that are pulled up, yeah those weren’t even nailed down. Some things I will never understand.

Thankfully we were able to complete the laundry closet and get that hooked up again after about two weeks without it. I was down to wearing random frilly lingerie that I don’t actually like, but for some reason keep.

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CREATING INEXPENSIVE CLOTHING RODS

Once we finished drywalling and painting the other side of the two closets in the bedroom, I went to work making the hanging rods.

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I think the total I spent creating these was about $20.

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STEP 1: CUT RODS

STEP 2: SPRAY PAINT RODS (I had paint left over from another project)

STEP 3: HANG RODS AND ADD CLOTHES!

This was one of the easiest and cheapest projects ever and I feel like I was able to maximize the space for hanging my clothes. I LOVE my new closet and can see everything in there so much easier now!

*Stewart helped me build shelves to fit my boots and accessories and we spray painted them a fun color because why not?

*I completed this project a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to write about it because I was rushing to get started in on the kitchen! Stewart and I are both officially over having our house be in total chaos and baby Emilia is soon to arrive, so everything is going a quicker pace now. Thankfully, I am not officially done with work for the time being, so I have plenty of time to dedicate to completing this renovation!

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July = Fun month

Well this last month we got to play a lot! We started off with a trip to Denver and ended with a road trip through North Carolina. We got to meet my bestie’s baby girl, celebrate six years of marriage, and had my baby shower in Tennessee! Needless to say we got a bit less done on the house than we were hoping, but it was totally worth it.

So, here are the updates…

  1. I decided to paint the ceiling blue

I always test a bunch of colors because you just have no idea how a color will look in your space depending on lighting. The color I had seen in a magazine looked terrible when I tried it on my ceiling (more gray than blue). I painted half of the ceiling one color of blue and then slept on it so I could see how it changed throughout the day. It looked basically white at night. So, I finally went with the middle color from my testers and love it!

Yes, my neck was very sore…just in case you were wondering :). It still needs crown molding, but that will be one of the last things that is done in this room.

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The door has been fixed (see picture above)! This stupid break in set us back $490. Blah! So, just add that to the random things you cannot possibly anticipate. I refuse to consider it part of my remodel budget…

2. I have a new light fixture and its not florescent!

Before: I hate florescent lights. They are super ugly, completely utilitarian, and they make your skin look gross no matter how good your makeup is.

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After: It took me about a week of research to find a light fixture that was a) low profile (our ceilings are super low) b) affordable (ish) c) provided lots of light (there are no other light sources other than the light above the sink). Sorry for the poor quality of the picture.

Kichler Alton 18 1/2″ Wide Chrome 3-Light Ceiling Light ($206.40 on sale)

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I love how it gives off so much light and gives the kitchen a much needed update.

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3. The cabinets are turning white finally! 

I have been prepping and painting like a mad woman for about a week and they are going to be done curing and back on the cabinets tomorrow!

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I cannot wait to post a picture with them all reassembled with their new hardware.

If you want to try to refinish your cabinets make sure to set aside a full week to do it. It will take the whole week.

Day 1: prep (disassembling, deglossing, sanding, priming the MDF pieces with oil based primer, then sanding those pieces) and building molding at the tops of the cabinets up to the ceiling

Day 2: Paint cabinet surrounds and backs of doors and drawers (2- 3 coats)

Day 3: Touch up paint for cabinet surrounds and backs of doors and drawers (1-2 coats)

Day 4: Paint fronts of doors and drawers (1-3 coats)

Day 5: Paint fronts of doors and drawers (1-2 coats). Paint coat of protective enamel.

Day 6: Reassemble and add hardware

Day 7: Touch up any spots and enjoy!

I used the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit ($70) in light tinted to “Pure White.” I still haven’t decided if I would recommend this or not. I ended up having to buy 2 kits (total of $140) because it did not cover in the two coats that the kit said it would. My best friend painted her cabinets using the kit at her old house using a darker color and said it worked well. So, I’m guessing that it took a lot more because it was white, which always takes a bit more to cover in my opinion. I even called the company because I felt like it was taking so much. The lady I spoke with was surprised. I am going to email them the information and pictures, but be forewarned, if you want to paint cabinets white with this kit, you will need two kits. I will decide how I feel about the kit after I’ve used the kitchen for awhile because I want to see if it holds up to my destructive habits. I’ll let you know!

UPDATE: I contacted Rustoleum and they completely refunded the second kit! I was very impressed with the quickness and kindness of their response. That being said, I would definitely recommend using this kit because even if you do have issues, the company will stand behind the product.

Finally a big thanks to my little bro, Daniel. Who drove all the way down to Florida, helped me get rid of all the construction garbage with his truck, and transported some furniture to my parents’ in Tennessee, so that I could start putting baby Emilia’s nursery together!

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One step forward and 3 steps back

It is the end of June and I just wrapped up my year of teaching with the end of summer school. I am so excited to be able to work full time on the house now! So, at the end of June, when I originally thought I’d be done lol, here is what has happened.

Kitchen floors removed:

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Washer/Dryer closet complete!:

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(The gap in drywall is remaining open just in case plumbing needs to be accessed in the future).

Drywalling is hard and miserable. I have decided it is the hardest home project I have ever taken on. I am sooooo happy to have our washer/dryer out of the kitchen and hooked up in the back hallway! It was a dream of mine from the first day I walked through this house to move it someday, so this feels like quite the accomplishment :).

Now we have the kitchen layout how it will be!

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Sorry, its super messy! Even though its crazy looking, I already feel like it looks so much more open. We decided to forgo upper cabinets and do all open shelving up top.

Unfortunately, one night we went out to dinner with friends and came home to this…

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Thankfully the thieves did not get in because the turning part on our deadbolt always falls off. We are so thankful for God’s protection over our home. Replacing the door is still in the process, which has put us back on floors by 3 weeks :(. That seems to be how renovations go though. You take one step forward and three steps back. Its really hard to figure out the order to do things in until you are doing them.

This whole experience has made me really appreciate craftspeople. Every job is hard and doing it well is even harder. At this point, Stewart and I have both decided this is a never again sort of event in our lives. Its really hard and time consuming. All of your weekends get spent working on the house and living in the chaos is a bit overwhelming at times. So to survive we eat things like this…

Getting out of the house is a must and I really miss cooking! Like I said, I am really excited to have more time to work on this project this month and cannot wait to see it all completed!

 

 

Quick Renovation Update

This renovation is stressful. I never fully appreciated the peacefulness of a home that is not in complete disarray. It’s similar to how I feel about my pregnancy in that I never fully appreciated having a nice, toned body until it was replaced by my current pregnant physique. There have been multiple setbacks and surprises.

During the demolition of our back closets, we discovered a giant leak in the roof. This led Stewart to become a roofer for an entire weekend and he was peeling off tar for about a week. I am so thankful we found the problem now rather than it slowly rotting our house for years, but it was still disheartening and cost $500 to fix. Goodbye money to something not fun.

Next, we found some old, crazy wiring in the closet which had to be fixed by the electrician. Again, so thankful to have found it now before it burnt our house down, but again goodbye money to something not fun.

For the past two weeks we have been tiling the closets or drywalling them and pulling down the remainder of the kitchen cabinets and rearranging them. It has been tedious. At one point our entire home was so overtaken with renovation that we were eating on a corner of our couch together takeout Chinese because there was literally nowhere else to go. This was compounded by the reality that we still have no laundry and there is beginning to form in my back hallway the Everest of clothing piles. I bought Stewart new boxers because he literally ran out of his rations.

To add to the craziness, we had some friends from church give us some extra premixed thinset and thought,”Great! This will be perfect for the laundry room side of the closet!” Three days later the grout had still not set…NOTE TO SELF: Never buy premixed thinset ever. Also, I broke two tiles in the closet and had to pull them up and replace them.

This weekend my goal is to grout the tile in the laundry closet, tape and mud both closets and sand. I want to have the laundry closet painted by the end of Sunday so that we can hookup the washer/dryer and have a huge laundry party. Then next week I can add molding, shelves, caulk, and paint the other closet and maybe even get to put all of the washed clothes away and regain the back of our house from the reno monster!

Basically this post is to update you in the middle of our renovation, so that you know how frustrating it can be, and to put my goals out there so that I have some added accountability to keep me going! I am currently so over this renovation that it’s not even funny.

We will be done by July 31st. I originally thought we would be done by the end of June, but since I am not a general contractor and have never done this before, that was probably fairly optimistic. It takes about 3-4 weeks for countertops to turn around and about 2-3 weeks for replacement cabinet doors to come in the mail. I wish I had ordered these things earlier, but I didn’t know, so oh well!

 

Here is what really matters…

 

This renovation has been difficult, but on the scale of things in life that really matter it is basically at the bottom of the list. After two of my best friends had complications related to their pregnancies this week, I realized how stupid it is to let yourself get too caught up in anything decor related. Yes, it is fun. Yes, it can be a challenge. No, it doesn’t really matter. People are what matter and what count. It may be nice to host them in a pretty house, but at the end of the day great people don’t really care what your house looks like, they just want to spend time with you.

What lies beneath…the closet floor

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This is not a before and after post. This is a holy guacamole/do all renos start this way/oh dear post. So, please enjoy…

In order to makeover our kitchen, we have to move the washer/dryer to a new location. I thought it was weird that the washer and dryer were in the kitchen when I walked through this house the first time and nothing has changed. The only place it will fit in our house that makes sense is a hallway closet, so that is where it is going!closetbefore2

Unfortunately, this closet is not quite deep enough, so I am stealing some space from the guest bedroom closet that backs up to it (aka Stewey’s closet).

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A friend saw it at this stage and asked if that was all of his clothes…definitely not lol. I think my husband may actually have more clothes than I do! I had already redistributed his clothes into my closet and onto the bed and into random drawers, basically wherever they would fit.

Finally, I was able to achieve my dream of ripping out a wall! I’ve always thought it looked sooooooo fun on TV and could not wait to get started!

It began rather slowly with me unscrewing all the smelly old boards…

Then, tada! It opened up!

Finally, I got to use my sledgehammer and crowbar. IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously, everyone should do this for stress relief.

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Unfortunately, when I took out the floors I discovered some interesting problems.

  1. There was a random hole
  2. 5 of the boards weren’t nailed down
  3. There was no support under parts of the boards

Thankfully, these are all easy fixes with these babies (joist hangers.

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I added in a few extra joists and put down new boards and now I can finally continue with the rest of my destruction!

I will update the pictures as soon as I get the cement board down.

P.S. Lowes has been awesome for helping me with everything. Like when I couldn’t fit the cement board into my little car and they cut it for me so that I could get it home. I am so thankful for the little kindnesses that people have shown me along the way so far!

Hallway/Antique Door Makeover

I hate flat paneled doors. 

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I have tried to think of ways to reuse them, but I just can’t. So, these were donated to a local salvage store. If you have ideas, please let me know!

I love antique doors!

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Antique doors add so much character to a house. My house was in desperate need of some brightening and character when we moved in, so I decided that I would replace all of the doors. This turned out to be the hardest DIY project I have ever done. Hanging doors is NOT easy!

When we bought our home, the hallway looked like this…

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The doors and molding were all dark and none of the wood was high quality. It was just yucky and dated looking.

Step 1: Patch and sand wood

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I couldn’t believe how many dents and holes there were!

Step 2: Paint

Make sure to sand all of the trim first so that the primer will stick. I always use Kilz2 primer because it is the bomb.com. Then I painted three coats of Sherwin Williams Highland White in eggshell. I normally love glossy trim, but this house is old and it would just highlight the dings, so I went for less sheen.

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So much better than before!

Step 3: Repeat on all trim until finished…

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My hallway looks so much brighter than before! (being cleaned up also helps the appearance a little)

Now, I must admit something rather embarrassing. Although my post will look as though this project occurred overnight, we may or may not have lived without doors, including the bathroom, for over a month. My reasons/excuses for this are:

  1. I bought a door that didn’t work
  2. Finding doors that did work was time consuming
  3. I got temporarily sick of the project

When I resumed the project, these were my three “new” doors.

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I forgot to take a before picture of this one, which is for the bathroom.

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Step 1: Remove hardware

Soak all hardware in a crockpot on high heat with a little clothing detergent. This loosens all the old paint and it is very easy to scrape off without hurting the metal.

I decided to spray paint some of my hardware that was really damaged with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. Its a fairly good match.

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Step 2: Fill holes and sand (are you noticing a pattern?)

Step 3: Prime and paint

All three doors took four coats of paint. This was a weeklong process because you have to let each side fully dry before flipping the doors so that the paint does not chip or peel.

Step 4: Replace or change out hardware before installing doors

I ordered these glass knobs off of Amazon.com for $7.99 a piece.

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I forgot to document frosting the glass on the bathroom door, but literally you just tape around the windows and spray paint with frosting spray you can pick up at Lowes until the windows are opaque enough.

Step 5: Install doors

It took FOREVER to get them to hang properly! There were many angry remarks and possibly some frustrated tears over these doors getting attached to actual doorways.

This is a project that although I love the results, I hope to NEVER ever do again. In the distant future, when we hopefully have a larger bank account, I will definitely hire a professional to hang doors. It was miserable. I am so glad its over. Please don’t take on this project unless you are secretly a door hanging pro or would like to electively pick a fight with your spouse.

All that being said, I LOVE the look of my hallway now!

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I still want to take out the old floor furnace and there is still no door on the back right doorway because that is where my washer/dryer are being moved to very soon!

 

Kitchen Reno : DAY 1

I am sooooooooo excited to begin this project! I have been planning and dreaming of tearing this kitchen apart for almost two years now.

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Granted, its not the worst kitchen I’ve ever seen, but its definitely not inspiring. I love to cook and entertain and this kitchen kills my mojo, so it must go.

It has always felt a bit cramped and the golden oak shelves are so 1988 to me.

My favorite feature by far (read sarcasm) is the appliance wall. We have always thought this was a strange arrangement and refer to it as our European kitchen, because the laundry is included in the same space.

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We decided to lose the peninsula so that we could add a full size dishwasher and because I think it traps people in the kitchen.

So excited to say goodbye to all of these lovely features…

Literally, linoleum is the worst. Not only is it cheap and ugly looking, but it is NEVER clean. It doesn’t matter how much you scrub; it always looks dirty.

We are expecting our first baby this fall and I have been really wanting to install a dishwasher before she arrives. Yes, I have NO dishwasher. This will be my first dishwasher since being married…6 years in July. We have hand washed all of our dishes for almost 6 years and thrown large dinner parties and served on real dishes because I love to entertain and my husband loves me :). Last Friday, my dreams of kitchen destruction began to come true.

I have been diligently looking for a good deal on a dishwasher for almost a year. I finally finished the budget for our planned kitchen renovation on Wednesday and expected to pay around $450 for a dishwasher and delivery. I went to the mall to get some goodies at Sephora (my favorite store of all time!) and ended up walking in through Sears. I happened to walk by the appliances and saw this…

dishwasher price

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It was basically love at first sight.

I went home and read about 100 reviews, talked to Stewart about it, and decided it was worth going back to ask more questions. On Friday, I returned to Sears and the price had been further reduced to $284! I couldn’t believe this deal. I asked the salesperson a million questions and started sweating profusely because I got so nervous about buying it. Then I took 15 minutes to pray and ended up calling my dad. He helped me research a little bit more by looking it up on Consumer Reports and said I should definitely go for it. Fifteen minutes later and I became the proud owner of my first dishwasher!!! It is arriving in less than a week for a total of $378 with delivery.

When you buy an appliance at Sears, you have thirty days to return it. So, this means I need to get it hooked up and working within that time frame, just in case something is strangely wrong with it. There shouldn’t be any problems, it is just a floor model and the model is being discontinued, but I don’t want to risk it.

Saturday morning our renovation began…

Step 1: Clear cabinets…boring and takes forever

Step 2: Take cabinets apart (aka contort your body and hunt for hidden screws)

Seeing it start to open up is thrilling!

Step 3: Marry someone handy, who also happens to be super cheap and is determined to save your countertops. (Although, I would love new countertops, its just not in the budget at this point and this is not my long-term home, so I’m ok with these.)

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He is soooooo handsome.

Step 4: Have said cheapo handyman peel back the edges of the countertops using a 3 in 1 painter’s tool and heat gun.

Step 5: Cut countertop using circular saw and straight edge saw guide. (We have no pictures of this because it was a two-person job)

Step 6: Admire your hand work and rip out a few other things! (This was obviously after we cleaned up.)IMG_3445

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This is the end of day 1! I already like the layout better. Now we are waiting on the plumber and electrician for our next steps.

Stay tuned!

Personal Notes:

  • Starting a DIY kitchen renovation is terrifying.
  • Its not as bad as you would think.
  • Knowing what order to complete the renovation in is challenging.
  • This Old House will become your favorite website.