Adding Function to the Laundry Room

Today I’m sharing a quick addition I made to the laundry room.  Now that we’ve got the counter top finished and the sink operational I found that we needed a spot for a hand towel to dry your hands.  I’d been eyeing this vintage industrial style shelf and towel bar for a while so when I spotted it for a good price I ordered it quickly, figuring it would either work in here or the guest bathroom.  Due to shipping costs I had to have it sent to my Mother-in-Law’s house and wait to pick it up until our trip earlier this summer.

This spot has had several variations since we moved in.  First I had some DIY decor here, then there was a rustic laundry sign, but I decided to sell that and have a different one made for the wall above the board and batten on the other side of the room where the tobacco baskets are currently.  Those will move to the guest room above the new headboard.  I plan on making that change this winter, when there’s not so much going on in the yard.

The metal look ties in perfectly with the DIY drying rack the Hubs built me above the window.  I styled it with one of my faux succulent planters and a blue mason jar that I’ll be filling with vintage clothespins.  I may add a few other little things, but will let those “find” me in the coming months.  You can’t tell from this angle but the bottom of the shelf is an open style wire so whatever I use on it will have to be big enough that it does’t fall through.

As you can see from the winkles in the towel, it’s been getting plenty of use and it’s just the right size for the wall without blocking my DIY soap pump in the corner.  One more project done, and you know functional decor is my favorite kind! 🙂

Going Farmhouse in the Kitchen

I’ve been switching up the decor in our kitchen for a more simple, farmhouse style and had this idea for a sign over the pantry.  Everywhere I looked I saw “EAT” and “KITCHEN” but I wanted one that said Dry Goods, because that’s what’s in the pantry!  I considered making one myself but life has just been too busy for that project and things won’t slow down anytime soon.  So when I spotted the style of sign I wanted for a great price at one of my fave local shops, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, who you may remember from the recent vintage market, I asked the owner if she could do a custom version.  She said yes and because she’s awesome she even kept it at the same price as the other signs she already sells!

It turned out awesome.  She made it to the dimensions for my specific spot and gave me a choice of colors so it was just what I wanted.  It’s the perfect addition to the cabinet top decor changes I’ve made so far.

On the right side the large white platter stayed where it was, as did our personalized cutting board, but the fruit basket was swapped out for this large breadboard and a vintage wicker wrapped jar.  I picked both of those up at an antique shop outside of Portland on our recent trip for a great price.  I’ll be sharing more of that shopping trip soon.

The other side kept several of the same pieces as before, just rearranged.  The wine rack I had in the corner was sold and I picked up this cute copper bucket that I’d been eyeing at Target for months for just $2 on the local buy/sell page.  That’s a 90% savings from the original price!

It sat empty for a while, but when I won an Amazon gift card at work I ordered my favorite purple pens and several bunches of faux lavender.  As soon as they arrived I knew they belonged in the copper tin.  I love the contrast of the colors and textures and am even happier that it’s something that can stay up year round.

I still may rearrange a few things as I find other items just right for this space, but for now I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking.  I’d love to hear your suggestions on moving things around or items to add, so leave me a comment if you have ideas!

Herb Rack Update

I promised to provide an update on our indoor herb planter once we got some real plants in it, which proved to a be a bit more difficult than I anticipated.  It took a while to find what I was looking for at the various stores in town and then several of the plants didn’t do well so I replaced them.  As you can see below that still didn’t keep a few of the plants from failing again.

I think they just weren’t getting enough full or direct sun to thrive.  There were a few that seemed to do ok.  The bay plant did pretty well and the sweet basil did better than the spicy basil.

After replacing several of the plants 2-3 times I gave up deciding that the location just wasn’t getting enough light for herbs.  I moved the remaining viable plants outside on the deck to a raised planter (which you may remember from last season) so they are still nearby for use when cooking or grilling, but stay out of reach of the dogs.

They seem to be doing pretty well out here, and both varieties of oregano have grown since I moved them out here.  The basil and bay have stayed about the same, I think just from the shock of transplant.

I’m a little bummed that the indoor option didn’t work out as I was pretty excited about having fresh herbs all year long, but I’ll be sure to preserve some of these so they can be used throughout the winter instead.  I’ve already got a new plan for the space in the dining room where the rack was – but I’ll have to wait until after our trip back east this fall to put it together.  I’ll be sure to share that once I do.  In the meantime I’ve filled the rack with faux succulents left over from another project since all the IKEA plants are now in use in other spots.  Find me on Instagram to see how it looks today.

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A Daybed in the Office

Remember the cool daybed and trundle the Hubs built for the Foster room?  Like I often do, I changed up the plan – deciding to do bunk beds in that space instead.  The trundle idea was cool, but would be annoying to pull out every day if we had siblings placed with us and it was a tight fit so it would be difficult for younger children to manage.  That left the daybed ‘homeless’ until I had the brilliant idea to move it to the office as an extra seating.

This corner was originally my backdrop storage and set-up space, but I found that I’ve only used it once as I typically go to clients’ homes for shoots or use outdoor locations.  Sometimes the Hubs sits in the office with me to chat while I work on photos but it’s not very comfy to sit in an office chair for long periods.  Having a little daybed where he could stretch out and relax a bit seemed like a great idea.  I moved my backdrops to the guest closet with a fun little hack I’ll share sometime soon and that opened up the whole corner for the day bed.

Luckily, the bunk bed we got on the buy/sell page came with one mattress so I could keep the mattress I had on the trundle frame with the daybed when it moved to the office.  It was also the perfect opportunity to test out a bedding set I’ve been considering getting for the Foster room, called Beddys.  It’s an all-in-one set that includes the blanket, bottom sheet plus top sheet and zips closed on either side, making it easy for young children to make their own bed – especially on a bunk bed.  They are a little pricey, but I found the set I wanted on sale and considering that they include all of those items in one unit it’s not a bad deal.

The inside blanket is made with this plush minky fabric that is super soft to the touch.  You just zip down the side of the mattress to pull down the sheets and then zip it closed in the morning when you get up.  It’s a great option for the Foster room so I’ll be buying those sets in the fall when we finish up some other projects – although I’ll be watching for another good sale since this time I’ll be buying two!

I added some big fluffy pillows I picked up at Home Goods during our recent trip with the heart pillows I got from the Dollar Spot at Target back around Valentines and my favorite button monogram pillow to make it cozy.

 

It turned out to be the perfect little nook to hang out in and put the space to work since it wasn’t really being utilized before.  I’ve even used it a couple of times for my weekly Skype dates with my family.   Plus it’s an extra spot to sleep if we ever had a big group come visit and since this room now has the barn doors, it’s got enough privacy to function as a temporary bedroom if we needed – although there are no window treatments so guests would need to keep that in mind. 😉

I’d love to hear what you think of our little multi-function daybed made from an old industrial cart, so leave me a comment below!

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The New Guest Room Headboard

 

Another quick update we did after our trip to Portland was switching out the guest room headboard.  While the old one the Hubs DIY’ed back when we lived in Kodiak was nice (see it here), I was ready for something a little brighter in this space.  I still wanted something upholstered and had a few earmarked online but they were ranging from $200-600, which was a bit more than I wanted to pay for something that’s only going to see use a few times a year.  Luckily I stumbled across this one at Walmart as part of their Better Homes and Gardens line for $90!

It was only available online but I could do site to store shipping.  Unfortunately they didn’t offer that for Alaska stores so I had it shipped to the store near my Mother-in-Law’s house so we could pick it up while we were visiting back in May.

It’s definitely not perfect.  The nail heads don’t line up quite right in a few spots, but it’s hardly noticeable.  And at a third of the cost of similar ones I was considering I’m ok with the little imperfections.  I plan to sell the old one, which will likely pay for this one, so the change will be low – no cost.

We got it set up just in time for my sister’s visit last month along with the new dresser we added in here.  The two pieces work well together and give the space a calm, simple tone.

Because it’s neutral I can change up the bedding or other furnishings without an issue.  I’ve got plans to add faux shiplap to this wall like we did in the dining room but that’s a project for the spring when it’s still to cold to be outside.  Once we do that I think the headboard will really pop against the white and the space will be even brighter.

Now I just need to get the laundry room sign I want made so I can bring the tobacco baskets currently in it’s spot in here to decorate above the headboard.  Then once I refinish the dresser this room will be about done.. for a while anyway. 🙂

New Dresser for the Guest Room

Although I’d recently picked up an antique sewing table for a nightstand in the guest room it just wasn’t working there for me, so I continued the hunt for a small dresser.  I spotted this sweet little piece on the local buy/sell page and jumped on it quickly.  It came with a large mirror that sat on top.  It was pretty but not the look I was curating in this space, so I sold the mirror and kept the dresser.

It’s got lots of pretty little details, from the key hole trim to unique handles on the drawers and it’s solid wood so it’s super sturdy.

It’s the perfect size for the spot and the height works well as a nightstand while providing a bit of space for guests to unpack and stash things away if they need.

I plan to eventually refinish it similar to the other nightstand which was originally a sewing table, but it’s not a high priority right now since that’s something that can be done indoors during the cold winter months when we don’t have outdoor projects.

Although I like the current layout of the room because it gives guests room to come in and access the closet, I’m considering swapping the dresser with the smaller nightstand on the other side so the larger dresser is in the corner.  I might give it a try after our guests leave and live with it for a bit to see how I feel about it.

I also have a plan for something new above the bed but have to change up another area of the house to pull the materials and I’m not quite ready to do that yet, so it will remain blank for now.  Our guests don’t seem to mind as they are more interested in the Alaskan scenery and wildlife than what their room looks like anyway! 🙂

Flipping the Door

We recently made a very simple change in our master bedroom that had way more impact than we ever imagined.  We’ve wanted to flip the direction our bedroom door swings since we saw the model of our floor plan.  In fact, it was one of the two changes we requested of the builder, but by the time we noticed it hadn’t been done how we asked it was too late to change it before the final inspection because it would cover the light switches if we did.  So we lived with it for the past 3+ years.

It drove us nuts to have to come in and move the door to get to the closet every time we came home or pulled the hampers to do laundry.  It’s such a minor, trivial thing but it was an every day thing which made it seem even more annoying.  The Hubs decided he’d had enough and did some research online to figure out what he needed to do to swap the direction of the door.

He used a template he picked up at Lowes to chisel away the spots where the hinges would attach, starting with an outline of the spot and then creating slices he could work out little by little.

Soon he had three indented spots ready for hinges.  He also had to change up the hinge locations on the door itself so he took the door off and chiseled those areas too.  I was working on another project while he was doing this and occasionally held the door steady while he chiseled, so I don’t have any pictures of that step.  Once he had the new hinge locations prepped and swapped over the hardware we went from this….

…to this!  Look how much more open it makes the space feel!  Now the door swings back flush against the wall, leaving nothing blocking the entrance to the closet – just how we always wanted it.  We left the light switches right were they were because we rarely used them thanks to the remote for our overhead fan/light combo.  We also have switches for the overhead fixture by the bathroom door so we can always use that instead.  The Hubs relocated the holder for our light/fan remote to the open side of the door so we have easy access to that if we want to turn the light off as we leave or on as we enter.

Luna wasn’t too impressed with the change because behind the door was one of her favorite hiding spots, but she’ll just have to be upset because we love it.

We still need to paint over the old hinge locations to make them blend in, but it’s not a huge priority since you barely notice it.  We plan to leave the old indents on the off chance that SHOULD we ever sell this house the next buyer has the option to change it back – if they were crazy and wanted their life to be more difficult that is!

So there you have it.  One very simple change made the room feel twice as big – and pissed off the cat until she realized she can just hide in the closet instead. 🙂

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