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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Updating the Lighting

We recently updated several of the lights in the main living area of the house and I’m totally in love with them all.  The change all began with the dining room light.  I’d been wanting to change it out from the fixture we chose when building the house for some time.  The original fixture was a secondary option because the one I’d wanted was at a local antique store and was far too expensive.

Last year I spotted a very similar fixture to that antique one at one of my favorite local boutiques.  It wasn’t in the budget at that point but when my bonus check came in at work I decided to treat myself and go buy it.  Unfortunately, in the many months that had passed it had sold.  The shop owner told me they could order another one just like it when they did a supply order in the coming month so I prepaid and anxiously awaited news that it had arrived.

Unfortunately when the call came the shop owner informed me that their vendor no longer offered that light or anything similar enough to it.  So they refunded my money and I started looking online for other options.  The next day we made a trip to Lowes for a few projects and I decided to browse the lighting section, where I spotted this beauty.

I had seen this same fixture used in a house remodel on the Jenna Sue Design Blog and really liked how it looked in her space.  I showed it to the Hubs and he liked it too and it was less expensive than the boutique option I’d planned on!  It makes the room look much more open and the round shape contrasts the many square features in this room.  We will eventually swag the light over to be centered above the table, but for now it hangs from the original location.  Although it came with bulbs we decided t get LED Edison style bulbs instead which create a warm light, perfect for a dining room.

While I was browsing the lighting aisle I spotted another fixture I liked that was marked for clearance.  I’d seen similar fixtures on my favorite show Fixer Upper as kitchen island pendants, but I love our DIY insulator pendants so I never considered looking into them.   But at $43 it seemed too good of a deal to pass up and I thought it would be a good size for the entry way.

The fixture we had picked out for the entry way during construction was a nice large drum chandelier but it just wasn’t jiving with my style anymore and it hung lower than I liked.  With the LED bulbs we got for the new fixture it’s brighter than the old one and because it sits higher and is see through it creates an illusion of more space.

Plus it’s got good classic farmhouse style, which you know makes my heart go pitter-patter!  It’s going to look amazing with the update I have planned for the wall where the mirror is, but that’s still a bit on the horizon.

I also spotted another farmhouse style light while browsing at the store and knew it would be a great option for the laundry room.  We’d selected a simple flush mount bowl style light during construction because we wanted to spend our lighting allowance in spaces that saw more traffic, but it had become a bug collector and didn’t fit with the style I’ve curated in this space.

I really loved the seeded glass detail and because it’s a closed flush mount it won’t become a trap for bugs, unless they’re some sort of Houdini!  We used LED bulbs in this fixture as well, but got the antique Edison style so the light is more yellow than the entry way bulbs but it works fine for this space.

Doesn’t it look great with the other industrial metal accents in the room?  And the new yellow tone of light makes it more cozy opposed to the stark brightness of the old fixture.

It’s been so exciting to see all these recent little changes make such a big impact.  Even though we got to choose the finishes while building our house didn’t come ready set with all the details that fit our style.  That’s what you create over the years of living in the house and with each passing year it becomes more and more ‘our home’!

A Simple Change Makes a BIG Impact in the Dining Room

Two weekends ago the Hubs was in town shopping for some project supplies while I was home cleaning.  He texted me a picture of several large area rugs on sale for half off at one of the stores and asked if I liked any.  I certainly did and he said that was the only one like it that they had, so he swooped it up and headed to the cashier.  When he got it home I noted that it was more grey than the beige it had looked in his text but I actually liked that even more.

We had been in sore need of a new rug in the dining room after the jute rug we had in there had taken the brunt of Brinley’s teething phase.  We had moved the rug from behind the island over under the table as a temporary option but it was too small for the space and the pattern didn’t work there.  This option fit perfectly, had a lovely neutral yet traditional pattern and is so soft and cushy I could probably sleep on it quite comfortably.  Even the Hubs has commented how nice it feels underfoot!

The lighter color brings a whole new look to the space, and coordinates with the other grays and neutrals we already have in this space.  It was a great change for spring – making the whole area light and bright.

Although I probably wouldn’t have picked this pattern if I’d been shopping online, in person it’s just enough style without being over powering.  Plus it lets me have the lighter color I like to incorporate to combat our long winters but in a way that masks the dirt which collects in this high traffic spot – at least from what I’ve seen so far.

Now that we know how plush it is I’m on the hunt for a similar one to replace the aging rug that moved back to it’s original spot behind the island.  We call that space the “playroom” because it’s were the dogs romp and usually take their toys to play with in the sunlight from the slider doors.

It’s surprisingly low profile for how soft it is.  It literally feels like there’s a foam mattress hidden inside!  It also seems fairly tightly woven which should help with my allergies, as things won’t be able to build up between the fibers.  And the packaging says it was made in the USA which we can fully support.

I’m so in love with this new look and smile every time I see it.  There are also a couple of other updates in this space you might have noticed in the photos.  I’ll be sharing more detail about those changes soon, so stay tuned!

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The Finished Laundry Counter

I’m so giddy to be able to share this finished project with you all!  Remember way back to No-Spend January of 2015 when we installed this cabinet where the plastic sink used to be?  We’ve been living with a plywood top and no faucet for the sink since then which you’ve seen in a few posts like this.  It functioned for what we needed and there were higher priorities to tackle but it secretly drove me NUTS.

So why did this project take so long to finish?  We had a remnant piece of granite to match the kitchen and bathrooms but needed it cut to size and finished with the sink opening.  I’d attempted to barter the service with no luck and every quote we had gotten was insanely high – like in the range of you’d think they were selling us brand new marble counter tops rather than finishing material we provided.  So the hunt continued.  Until the Hubs found a vendor who was willing to cut the granite using a template we provided for just a couple hundred dollars!

He used a gator board political sign that had been left out on the side of the road long after the elections to trace the plywood top.  I was pretty proud of him for being genius enough to recycle material and help keep the roads clean!   Once he had the template traced he cut it down and marked where the sink would be.  The vendor said he did a great job and made it easy for them to layout the cuts.  They also complimented him on the A-Frame he built to transport the slab to them and the finished counter home.  Have I mentioned how I love having a spouse who can get things done?! 🙂

Miss Luna was not to pleased to have “her” space disturbed while we were installing the finished top, but she seems pretty ok with it now.  Especially since it gives her another inch or two above her doggie siblings.  Here, she does an excellent job of showing just how deep that sink really is!

The finished top makes all of my existing decor and laundry products look even better.  On one side is the vintage iron I picked up at the antique store and our DIY laundry soap container.  On the other is the last of our mason jar soap pumps – which I’ve been saving for this spot – and a simple little faux succulent planter from my recent spring project for a bit of greenery.

We did have to replace the faucet because we discovered that the one we’d saved from the original plastic sink didn’t have long enough posts to reach through the granite and the pull out nozzle required an extra line that we didn’t have space for.  So the Hubs picked up a bargain faucet for around $50 and got that installed quickly.  I took all of these pics last weekend with the old faucet standing in for the photo op, but the new one looks very similar.

Since we did the install ourselves, our total cost with the new faucet came in around $400, which was 100% worth it!  I still haven’t really used the sink much since I’m still getting used to having a working faucet in this spot, but I really love having the option and seeing this clean, finished space each day when we come home.

Tobacco Baskets in the Laundry Room

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Today I’m sharing another quick project that came together after our trip to Portland in the fall.  I found these amazing reproduction tobacco baskets on a decor website I frequent and purchased two sets of a large size and a small size.  Unfortunately the distributor wouldn’t ship to Alaska, so I had them sent to the Hub’s Mom’s house in Portland knowing we’d be visiting soon.  I told the Hubs that these were part of the “must come back” pile and he made it happen, even with their fragile construction.  Have I mentioned recently how much I love that man? 🙂

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I’d been on the hunt for tobacco baskets for some time when I found these and knew exactly where I’d use them when I bought them – in the laundry room above the board & batten we installed earlier this year.  My vision of having one large basket in the middle of the wall flanked by the two smaller ones worked out perfectly.

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It’s just enough to finish out this wall in farmhouse style without being too heavy and it adds a bit more texture to the space.  Plus the fact that I was able to put them up all by myself with a couple of finishing nails made the whole project even simpler.

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Here’s how things look from the dining room.  I ended up selling the other large basket so my total cost for this project, including shipping to Portland was around $55.  Not bad for three good sized pieces of art.

We also brought back another large piece of art I had to ship to Portland for pick-up.  That piece ended up in the dining room and I’ll be sharing it here soon, so stay tuned for that!

Our New Media Cabinet

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Today I’m sharing our fantastic new media cabinet.  This is another piece created by Anne-Tiques who refinished my family heirloom hope chest and did our dining room sideboard.  If you’ve been around the blog a while you know this is what our previous media cabinet looked like.  It was nice, but seeing all those DVDs made it feel cluttered and I was way over constantly cleaning dust bunnies out from underneath it.  Once we’d found a piece to refinish we posted this one for sale and it sold instantly.

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Unfortunately, the new cabinet wasn’t ready yet so we lived like the Clampits for a few weeks using a Rubbermaid tote as a stand for the cable box.  We’re classy like that… 🙂

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I knew I wanted a printer cabinet style piece for this spot and had Anne on the lookout for one, when she suggested we consider reworking a piece she’d picked up a while ago but had been buried in her stash.  It originally had drawers so she removed those and made doors with faux drawer fronts and created a panel at the bottom to continue the faux drawers all the way down.  She also closed in the sides so I didn’t have to worry about dust bunnies!  Here’s a great before & after shot she did.

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It’s got a completely different look now and works perfectly in the space.  I love how the grey grounds the area without being heavy and the distressed finish is perfect for my crazy household.

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It was fate that we ended up with this piece and requested it when we did because Anne had just purchased the exact amount of handles we needed and they were the style I requested.  I wasn’t sure about the brassiness at first, but I like a mix of metals and it gives a good contrast to the panels.

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The top drawer became an open shelf to house the cable box, DVD player and Wii.  Now that they each have their own space we can put them all on risers to help with the heat these types of electronics create.  Inside she created multiple shelves where the drawers used to be so we have plenty of storage room.  And because there’s no dividers inside it frees up extra room that we can utilize.

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She also created a secret compartment at the bottom where we can store our Wii Fit board and accessories.  It’s a great spot for all those larger pieces that I want handy but not out in plain sight.

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And of course it look absolutely fabulous combined with my favorite show, Fixer Upper!  I think it looks like something Joanna would use in the houses she designs.  It’s gone from an Asian style to farmhouse chic with this revamp.

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Luna was quite interested in the piece when it arrived, and had to check out every nook & cranny to see if she could fit in any of these new hiding spots.  Luckily they are just a tad too small for her and because they are higher than the last piece it’s too awkward for her to try to squeeze into.  Although that’s what I thought with our last set up and she proved me wrong with this sneaky little move so who knows what she’ll attempt.  So far, she’s content to sit on the top and block the TV.

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This was the first of a couple changes I have planned for this room.  We’ll be switching to a sectional sofa and that rug will move out to the deck we’ll be building next summer so I’ll be replacing it with something else.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect option for both of those changes, but there’s no rush.

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For now I’ll just enjoy the handiwork of my idea and a great local maker’s skills.  Remember this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, so shop small and support your favorite local shops.  Doing so can have a big impact on your community!

My New Jewelry Rack

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Today I wanted to share a little change I mentioned when I showed off the new bench I added to our Master Closet.  My mother-in-law gifted me this cool rusty rake head after I’d sent her some gardening organization ideas using some.

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We used it in the dining room over the summer to hang cut herbs as they dried which worked quite well.  But when I was purging my jewelry for an upcoming consignment sale and wanted to rearrange the larger pieces I keep next to the jewelry cabinet I thought using the rake would work much better than the thumb tacks I was currently utilizing.

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So the rake head moved from the dining room to the closet, where it gives a much cleaner look.  I reused those thumbtacks to hang the rake head, but I might swap them out for smaller finishing nails to make the look even cleaner.

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I like that I can hang items using one tine or multiple depending on how heavy and wide each piece is.  And it’s easy to grab an item when getting ready and just as simple to put it away at the end of the day.  But the best part is that the update didn’t cost me a single dime **cue heavenly music** and took less than 5 minutes to do!

5There’s room to add another if my jewelry collection grows, so I’ll be on the watch for both a second rusty rake head and more pretty large jewelry!  Like I said, there’s some big consignment sales coming up! 😉