New Laundry Room Storage

The storage over my washer and dryer looked like this

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for months.  You can see that in addition to not being sturdy, that shelf wasn’t pretty either.

I’ve been searching for cabinets for a year now and haven’t found any second hand that I liked and I’m too cheap to pay full price for new so I lived with that shelf.

My dad has been in the hospital in Denver for the past few weeks undergoing his last cancer treatments (hence the sporadic blogging-sorry!) so I have been making a lot more trips to that side of the state.  One day while I was hanging out with him he told me to go find some cabinets.  I searched for thrift stores around the hospital and set out.  I couldn’t find any of them.  Some were closed down and some were only donation sites so I found myself driving further and further from the hospital in search of a thrift store.  I didn’t find one.  But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I found IKEA.  🙂

And at IKEA, in the “as is” section, I found this:

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I was willing to throw some elbows to get that thing but luckily that wasn’t necessary.  I looked it over and it was in excellent condition (and already assembled!) so I bought it.

I really wanted two cabinets over the washer and dryer but there wasn’t another one like this so I went looking for another solution.

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I cracked open the box and found that this cube was white so I bought it too.  So, for $30 I found my solution!

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You have no idea how hard it was to hang these alone.  I was sweating like I had run a marathon-between holding the cabinet up, keeping it level and getting the screws into the studs, I was ready to give up!  I had to walk away several times and call my dad for advice but I finally got it!

The cabinet didn’t have a shelf with it so I had to buy some pegs and cut down a board I had.

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I did that!

It took me longer to style that cube than it took to hang it.

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No, not right.  I hate that you can see the screws on the back and it just seemed off.

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So I dove into my scrap booking paper stash and found this navy blue stripe.  I just stuck it up there with some clear tape and it seems to be holding!

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I got the aloe plant from Trader Joe’s and I think it’ll be okay up there.  I’ve had other succulents that seemed to be happy in my laundry room so I have my fingers crossed that this will be too.

The frame has this printable.  I wanted a little something on that shelf but didn’t love any of those cutesy quotes that are all over Pinterest.  I really love it-and I’m hoping I’ll use it and save some of my clothes!

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And here’s a view of the whole laundry corner now!  The cube needs to be moved up slightly (but I need another set of hands to do that!) and I need to replace that light bulb and I need to actually shorten those lights and finally get rid of the zip ties!

But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the hard work I’ve already done!

-A

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What I’ve Been Up To

I covered for our usual graveyard guy at work for the last two weeks.  Working while everyone is sleeping is really hard.  While I still only worked 8 hour shifts it felt like I had no time to get things done around my house-let alone take pictures and blog.  So, sorry about that.

To catch you up, this is what I’ve been doing:

1.  Mourning the loss of one of my pumpkin plants

4Squash beetles.  I hate them and I’m currently researching how to get rid of them (fun fact: one article says to put something big and yellow somewhere in your yard away from the squash and pumpkin plants-they’ll go there and stay away from your plants!)  I’m afraid my plants are goners for this year but I’m determined to make sure this doesn’t happen again next year!

2.  Turning a dresser into a bench

1My friend just moved into her dream home which has huge walk in closets in every room so she gave me this dresser.  And I’m turning it into a bench for my laundry room.  My lack of a table saw has me stalled here….I think I need a table saw.

3.  Small craft projects

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The above friend has two teen aged daughters and she wanted pinboards for them to hang stuff on in their rooms.  She (and I) loved these from Pottery Barn but holy price tag!  I was confident that I could make something similar so I’ve been working on those.

4.  Small decorating projects

6When I redid my mantel I had my big old window that needed a new home.  I wanted to hang it over my bed but it’s really heavy.  And I like my head so I had to make sure it stayed where I put it so I screwed right through the frame and my hand.

3Okay, through isn’t exactly accurate.  But it hurt(s) and bled a lot.  (PS-anyone read palms and want to tell me my future??)

5.  Car shopping.

My beloved Jeep has finally broken for good so now I’m on the market for something new.  Luckily my parents have loaned me a car so I don’t have to rush but my goal is to be in something new by September.  Right now I’m thinking a Rav4 or a Jeep Patriot.  Any opinions?

6.  Loving my new trashcan

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Yep, it’s pink (but you would already know that if you followed me on Instagram: @awize)  I traded my standard grey one with my friend’s son.  He didn’t love the pink.

7.  And cleaning.  And sleeping.  And keeping up my lawn and the plants in my garden that evil little bugs haven’t eaten.  And getting ready for a trip to Durango for a reunion next week!

-A

When in Doubt…

…put it on a shelf.  Seriously.

Here’s my tip to people who either A) love old houses or B) are indecisive: put up shelves.  Plaster walls are awful to patch and paint-no matter how meticulous you are, you can still see the spots that were patched.  So, if you’re like me and have to move things around a million times before you like them, put it on a shelf.

For example, take this wall in my kitchen.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve changed it up in here:

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Bad beadboard and unfinished walls

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Here it was in it’s post-beadboard-freshly-painted state

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and then I put up the painted blue frames with vacation pictures in them

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then it got a small laminate shelf

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and then the pallet wine shelves

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and now, finally, some narrow shelves/wide picture ledges.  They were in my bedroom until it occurred to me that they’d be perfect in here.  Now I can change stuff as often as I want without putting more holes in the walls.  You better believe that these will be going up in my bedroom and the laundry room (just as soon as I can get to IKEA!)

-A

Bathroom Progress

Do you remember back in 2013 when I wrote this post?  My plans have changed in the last 7 months but one thing hasn’t-I want that beadboard in my bathroom!

This week I got it-but not without some problems.

Here’s what happened from the beginning (just a warning-the pictures aren’t awesome-this room has no natural light and is small and hard to get a good angle):

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This was where I started

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I knew I needed to get the baseboard in first and I thought it would be a breeze.  It wasn’t.  I’m sure you’re surprised but I did use a level which only showed me how out of wack this room is.  I started with the baseboard on the floor by the door but by the time it got to the bathtub it was more than an inch off.  I wanted to do this project right so I put it up level and will find trim to put on the bottom to cover up the space by the floor.

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The level problems only started at the floor.  Yikes.

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And then there was those boards holding up the surround to contend with.

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I got the beadboard up and then installed the picture ledge on top.

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Whomp whomp.  The ledge was too wide and I couldn’t open the door wide enough for people to get in or out.

So I took the ledge down.  Lowe’s is 30 minutes away and I really didn’t want to spend the time driving up there and trying to find a something else.  So I scoured my house and finally found some trim from another project hiding out in the old chicken coop.

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With this happy find I also came across another problem.  Nails are impossible to use in these plaster walls so I had to use a few screws to hold everything in.  I know that’s not the right way to do it but it was the only way I could get this stuff to stay on the wall!

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I painted that strip of wood on the side of the tub to try and blend it in with the surround until I can figure out another solution.

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Finally!  A dream realized!

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I had these hooks in my craft closet and I love them so much more than a towel bar.  I’m anxious to get more decorations up and I need baseboard in the rest of the room (and something to cover that gap by the floor) but I’m feeling like I’m finally able to mark this off the original to do list!

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Spending a gift card

My Aunt Louise sent me a gift card last month and I only hesitated for one minute when it came to spending it.

To m the perfect gift is one you wouldn’t buy for yourself so I tried to think of things I really wanted but kept talking myself out of.

Enter Hobby Lobby.

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I’m not usually one to hang Biblical sayings around my house but I really liked this one.

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Just to be clear, I don’t know if this is true but I really love it!

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Finally this one is hanging above the closet in my entryway but I don’t know if it’ll stay there.  I’m thinking it might also be cute above the arch in my living room or on the wall between my laundry room and kitchen.

So thank you Aunt Louise for brightening my home from so far away!

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On another note-this is my 70th post!  I’m thinking of something big for my 100th but you’ll only be in the running for it if you comment on any post between now and then!  🙂

-A

Getting Rid of a Death Trap

If you read that title and knew that the scary half wall in the laundry room is gone, I love you.

If you don’t remember, it looked like this:

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A. not pretty

B. not useful

C. not safe (a person falling quickly would have just taken the wall down those stairs with them.)

Here’s we got rid of it: (starring my mom and dad)

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1.  Take out all the screws.  For a rickety death trap, it actually had quite a few screws!

Image2. You would think this very important wall would be heavier, seeing as, in theory, it should save lives, but no-my mom moved it out of place and took it to the driveway!

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2.5.  Remember how bad that tan was.

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3. Sweep up the dust (after taking pictures…)

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4.  Find a dad who will make a custom, packed with storage, sturdy bookcase to take the place of the death trap.

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4.5.  Realize that this bookcase makes you want to repaint those stairs and finally tackle the basement.

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6.  Sit and stare for a while

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7.  Quickly realize that people are coming over in a few hours and you still need to cook, shower and set up.  Put stuff on the shelves (knowing you’ll have to take it right off to paint it.)

Image8.  Okay, one more picture won’t hurt

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So that’s how we turned this drop-your-crap-and-get-to-a-prettier-room room into a nice, more welcoming area.  While I don’t see myself hanging out in the laundry room on the regular, I do see myself eager to show it off.  It’s also not embarrassing to have people hanging out in my kitchen looking into this room anymore.

Next up for the laundry room:

1. making the lights permanently shorter

2. putting in a bench to cover the recycling bins

3. add more art

4. paint those stairs

5. get a washer and dryer

Obviously you can see my priorities!

-A

Painting the Laundry Room

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this was the worst room to paint.

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I think the worst was probably the super tall wall right over the stairway to the basement.  This put my mom balanced on the ladder (which was very sturdy) trying to get a perfect line between the ceiling and walls.

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To keep her from having to lean too much I taped my mom’s edge brush to a knitting needle.  Safety first!
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I didn’t think the creamy white I chose would make much of a difference…until I saw it going over the primer.  It ended up being crisp and bright and exactly what I wanted!

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I just love this view!  The bright green in the kitchen goes perfectly with the mint and cream in the laundry room!

The curtains are done and I’m putting up art!  I can’t wait to show you on this week’s wrap up!

-A