Wednesday, March 25, 2015

basement planning and primping around the house

 Things have been pretty quiet at home lately...we just hung around for spring break...I use the term spring break very loosely because it still feels like winter this year.
 Now that the kids are back in school I am trying to get the house back in shape. I came across this table on a classifieds app the other day for just $60 but I couldn't for the life of me figure out where it could go, we are pretty full as far as furniture goes...but we are starting to think about finishing our basement and I figured it could go down there when the time is right...but I gave it try up on the main floor first... turns out it looks pretty great right by the front door with a few adjustments...I just shopped the house and it all came together with a little time and effort $0 besides the table. It will look great when I finally get that wainscoting complete, hopefully really soon.

 It sure is easy to go back to my beachy ways with all the accessories I have around the house.


After saving up I finally dragged my butt out to Ikea and bought the white ottoman I have been wanting for some time...so happy with my purchase. 

While I was at Ikea I saw some of the new kitchen line, I was in love with this huge island with all the drawers...it was dreamy. Although I truly love my kitchen it's hard not to get sucked in when you see another amazing kitchen...I think that's one of the problems when you truly love interior design...there is always something new or different to fall in love with.
 After my little furniture re-arrangement I was inspired to map out this paneling today...this spot really needs some attention, this poor wall gets so beaten up. It's almost warm enough to get out to the garage and rip some MDF down to size and get some projects underway.

 Like I mentioned we have been thinking it would be nice to have a completed third level...we could use a media room, a small bar with a small fridge and a microwave, a washroom and a gym space as well as enclosed shop and furnace room for function and storage...here is what I have come up with just a quick sketch. I am envisioning this area to be kind of industrial contemporary with a traditional touch. Lots and lots of pot lights for sure.
Wish list chair...we love a nest chair and it would be perfect for a media room.



 I love the idea of leaving the floors concrete and finishing them with a stain or etching finish...I would like to get a nice area rug for the media area but the rest of the space makes sense to keep concrete. I want the basement hard wearing and not precious, we have teens so...that makes sense.

What do you think of a dark sprayed ceiling...I think this is actually a really reasonable option. I hate to lose any height so just painting it out black is a great option... but we'll see, at least we can spray it and if we need to add some insulation and close say the ceiling above the media room in we can always do that later.
 I like these two small bar/kitchenette areas...I have some veneer brick I will be incorporating somewhere and I want some shiplap or planking for sure.

I am going to see how much of the basement I can do myself I think we can handle some framing and finish trim the built ins and cabinetry as well as some tiling and perhaps some plumbing installations like sink faucet and maybe the toilet....but the rest I will leave to the professionals. Not to sure when this will get started but it is officially on the list now.
Should be interesting...although we would love to have an amazing backyard to enjoy it makes more sense to put some money and effort into finishing the basement as it can be used year round and honestly our yard can be used about 5-6 months a year...as well as for equity I think this is a safe bet to add another bathroom and two spaces that with little effort can become two additional bedrooms (the gym and the shop) which would could make this house a 6 bedroom 4.5 bath house.

We have never had a finished basement so this sounds like a fun project to me...a little scary too...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dutch door DIY plus basic tutorial


I finally took the plunge and tackled some uncharted territory...DIYing dutch door.
We have always wanted a dutch door just because they are charming, but it became obvious that a dutch door would be the perfect solution for our laundry room. We need to separate our dogs during feedings and we have been using a gate for a little over a year and it worked but the gate was always in the way...being beside a door we would have to actually tie the gate to the door knob which was less than ideal.
I had had enough with the gate being in the way so I listed the gate for sale so that I would have to make the existing door into a Dutch door, it sold within the day and then I was off tackling this DIY project.
Dang, it looks legit.




 One thing that held me back for a while was the issue of the door knob, well it was on the upper portion so what could I do about that? when I found this pocket door insert and it fit the knob hole perfectly I knew it would all come together.


Clearly the dutch door is so much better than this gate solution
 We also use the gate when we go out to put our older dog in the laundry room to keep the two dogs from having a fight while we aren't here and to prevent any accidents as he is a senior and accidents can happen, better safe than sorry.
Having a dutch door will allow us to keep the dogs in or out and will not block the light from making it's way into the house, I am all about the light.
 I marked out where the cuts would go on the door while it was still hanging so I could see how it would look. You need to cut out enough space for the wood ledge that will sit on top of the bottom section of the door and a gap so the door will properly swing open and close without rubbing on the bottom section.
Before you take the door down to cut it make sure you mark where the new hinge(s) will go on the bottom section of the door. Our door had three hinges because it is 8 ft tall but for 7ft doors you may only have two hinges so you will have to add 2 more hinges, you will want to mark those out with pencil on the door and jam while it is still hanging and then notch those out while the door is down.
 Even hollow core doors are heavy especially 8ft doors so I asked my husband to carry it out to the garage so I could make the cuts and adjustments I needed to make. I used a straight edge and clamps to help guide the circular saw I was using to make the cuts.


 It cuts very easily. I was left was the hollow cavity that I needed to fill. I  just marked out the width I needed on some scrap pine I had in the scrap pile and I used the table saw to cut the filler pieces, I held them in place with the clamps and nailed it through the door from either side with my brad nailer.


I picked up a piece of 1x3" pine board to use as the ledge to sit on top of the bottom door section.
It needs to be the same width as the door...I cut off the side that is near the knob on a bit of an angle and sanded the whole piece until it was nice and smooth. I glued and nailed it to the top of the bottom door and caulked under the wood where it meets the door. 

The 1x3"

After the ledge was installed I then filled in the hole where the door knob was with this bronze metal plate, I glued it in place and drilled new holes for the knob to be installed below the ledge and re-installed the strike plate lower on the door jam which left me with a big hole to fill which I did with spackle. No big deal.

 I needed to cut the jams so that the ledge would clear and so that the door could close. I used a japanese saw, you can use a multi tool or a trim saw.
 I also had to install a locking sliding latch to attach the upper and lower portions together for when the door will be closed.
I will admit I had a little issue or trouble when we re-installed the upper door, it wasn't sitting square and in fact it wouldn't close, so I added a third hinge to the upper door thinking it would help but it turned out the top hinge which I didn't install was off. I had to notch more material out to bring the hinge closer to the door stop to straighten out the door...but then my screw holes were all wrong. I took some sawdust and wood glue and mixed it together and filled all the hinge screw holes on the jam with this mixture and let it dry overnight and it worked perfectly to allow me to then drill the new holes I needed for the hinges and the second time we installed the upper door section it worked perfectly. Happiness.
One more last detail I didn't think of, how do you keep the upper part from swinging out into the room and stop it from hitting the wall behind the door??? I honestly couldn't come up with anything until brain storming with an associate at Home Depot we were both stumped....but then on my final visual scan of the hardware lock section and I saw it....this magnetic door stop...that is it...the solution.





So there we have it...I gave it a try and lucky for me it turned out fabulously....I can't express how happy I/we are with this new/old door... Let's hear it for Dutch Doors.
Cost around $30...

Who is with me...who is making a dutch door this weeked?





Monday, March 9, 2015

3 years later...the living room

 The living room is a room that has been on the back burner as far as any significant renovations go. I have painted, hung drapes, installed blinds and added a nice light fixture but I have been avoiding the bigger projects like the floor and ceiling. I know most people leave rooms until they can be done properly but since I have had so many rooms to do I just tried to make this room nice enough so that I would be happy to use it in the mean time.
There was one structural flaw or issue that we resolved with the builder early on...there was no proper door way framed in here where this room leads to the front hall, it was in the drawings but it was somehow missing and we didn't catch it until we lived here for a little bit. Our builder was kind enough to frame it in and drywall the one side to create proper separation from this room to the hall, I went and bought the matching trim and framed it out properly, it needed to be done.
 I love that our house has a nice open flow but that there is also separation between room to be able to change color from room to room and it also allows for me to easily stop design features like wainscoting and ceiling treatments.
The only new purchases for this room were the sectional which we got on clearance, the two cube tables the small side table with the glass top and the floor lamp.
 I recently moved the cabinet that was in this room to our bedroom so that I could mount the TV on the wall and use this antique dresser for storage under it. I like it much better this way.
 I love having a sectional in this room, it works perfectly for this corner and although I like the wood cube tables I find them a bit small so I am looking into getting a white ottoman for this spot. I like the idea of being able to pull the ottoman up to the sofa to create a chaise style of seating...now do I go with the Ikea Kivik one with the storage or the one from Bouclair without the storage...I do have a lot of storage in this room already. I think I am leaning towards the Bouclair one as I like the fabric better but I don't know if the cover is removable...a white slip covered ottoman needs to be able to be washed.
 Ikea
Bouclair
I recently moved my DIY art to this spot above the sofa, be silly, be happy, be kind
you can find it pinned here , I always try to shop the house first before shopping for something new if a decor item isn't working for me.

 Let's just say this room is leaps and bounds better than it looked 3 years ago with just a little decor ,some new furniture and some re-located furniture and a little bit of paint...it was just a dumping ground for miss matched furniture...
I sold the coffee table recently, I sold the striped sofa and that wing chair...I'm thinking of selling that brown chair too as it is currently without a home and sitting in storage in the basement. I am a strong believer in selling unused items online instead of keeping them in the basement and they extra money can be put towards something new and that's always great.
You can see here how the entry wasn't properly framed in, it was so off balance I am so happy with it now being framed in properly.

So there we have the 3 year update...still to do is to rip out the carpet and install wood floors and I am considering another coffered ceiling at some point. 
What room is on the bottom of your to do list?