Built In DIY Closets

Man – ladies, gotta come out and say it – I’ve got quite the catch 🙂 He went up a solid 10 points in my book after he helped to bust out a built in DIY closet from heaven. See, old house = small closets = hair brained pregnant woman without enough places to store baby stuff. Why do baby’s come with so much stuff – it’s sorta ridiculous.

So one afternoon, I started sketching up some built in closet solutions for our Master Bedroom. A whole lotta work, and more money than desired later – we now have this!


AND this!


Which equals a whole lotta storage! Here are the insides of our built in DIY closet project. One side just for Jay.


And one side just for me!


Although it’s not much space (and it’s pretty high up) there is also a shelf at the top of the built in closet that I’ll get some baskets for down the line. I figure it’s a great spot for seasonal stuff I don’t need on a daily basis.


In other news – my life is pretty much complete now that these little beehive handles have made their way into my house 🙂


Nothing like adding some more storage to make me happy as a fool on a warm summer’s day. Here is a final view of our built in DIY closet project. Love the storage, y’all!!


Organizing the Obsession

Ok, now that I know my little fetus has boy parts I’ve been a little gung ho in the clothes buying department. Like, every few days, I’m coming home with another bag full. Shamefully bad, I know.

BUT – my obsession thus far has been centered around a marvelous little thing called the goodwill quarter bin. Which is a bin, where you get baby clothes, for a quarter.

I know, right? 

How to Save on Baby Clothes

I mean, you have the look. A lot of it is stained, or ugly, or girl clothes. And don’t get me wrong, I’m so tempted to grab the super cute girl clothes, ya know – just in case I have a little lady some day. I mean – it’s a QUARTER!

But for now, I’ve trained my mind to focus only on polos and plaid, since I’m looking to stock up this little guy’s wardrobe on the cheap.

It’s really,  more or less, become a giant game for me to see the swaggest baby gear I can find for a 4th of one georgie porgie.

Buying Baby Clothes for Less

Your eyeballs are not deceiving you. That’s a Lacoste Shirt (retail value $40), some Tommy Trunks, and Polo board shorts. Man, Henry, you’ve got it made, kid.

Not that I’m really a huge name brand wanna be or anything, but ya know, I’ll take it!

Michigan Sleeper

Jaybird is a Umich grad, so when I spotted this sleeper, I had to add it to the bundle. Disclaimer: I’m NOT a Michigan fan (au contraire, GO GREEN!) so this was actually a sorta big deal. Made my man smile though, so I guess it was worth the twenty five pennies I spent 😉

So, as I’ve added to this collection, I’ve realized I need a way to organize the madness, and keep everything ready to go for when little boy gets here in Spring.

I came up with this system to organize all his clothes!

Organizing Baby Clothes

I just sorted out all the clothes I’d found by month. Nice and folded, laundered and ready for our little guy.

When it gets to be a few months out, I figure I’ll load up his closet with 0-6 months, so that everything is ready for him to wear. Depending on how big of a chunk he is, we’ll just rotate out to the new gear as he grows.

How to Save on Clothes

Mama’s first little guy really liked this activity. I think it had something to do with warm clothes out of the dryer and big boxy bins to jump into 🙂

Kitty Helper

Truth be told, I loved this activity so much, that I went out and bought another bag full 🙂

Buying Childrens Clothes

For now, the skyscraper of baby clothes sits in the corner of our room, just waiting for my next haul.

Organizing Baby Clothes

Any one else have any tips and tricks for finding little people clothes on the cheap? Do share!

Stacking Up

Don’t know where it came from, but Thursday afternoon I got a legit burst of energy. For someone who’s days consist of barely being able to get out of the bed in the morning – this was a BIG deal. And as I was stumbling along past the laundry room to start my morning, I thought, you know, it just might be time to start switching things up and making our room look a bit more sprucified. Get things in there a bit closer to my light bulb laundry moment vision.

Since it was looking like this and all.

Washer Shaking on Second Floor

We knew we wanted to organize the storage along the left side of the room, to optimize the flow in this little space.

This was the general layout we were thinking about before we went out to buy the wood.

Laundry Room Storage

Since we had to first get up and around all the plumbing and electrical that runs along the floor, we decided to raise the base shelf 8 inches. We just used a 2×4 base to do that – so it was super cheap, about $6 to build out the base.

Building Base for Storage

For building out the shelves, we decided to use a combination of (1) 4×8 piece of 1/2″ MDF and 1″x12″x10′ pine shelves. Here was our complete source list

  • (4) 2×4’s
  • (1) sheet of 1/2″ 4’x8′ MDF
  • (2) 1″x12″x10′ pine boards (made 4 shelves)
  • (1) sheet of 5mm thick underlayment, 4’x8′

Total cost: $109.87

Alright, here’s how it came together – it was actually pretty quick, took about (3) full hours to get the shelf to the point it is at the end of the post (pre-paint).

For our side panel, we had to use a few more 2×4’s, to give the side something to connect on to. We had to get a bit creative with this, but in the end we created a mini little framed wall, to attach the mdf directly to.

We popped in some mdf onto both of the bases we had built, and then started in on the shelving. This is where we used the pine shelf. It was a little bit more sturdy than the MDF, and we wanted to prevent the shelf from bowing as we added additional weight on it with our storage down the road.

Adding Shelving to Laundry Room

We used a 1″ piece of pine for the shelf to rest on. We just screwed it right into the side of each panel (of MDF).

About 20 minutes later, we had all the shelves up and you could really see the direction things were headed in!

Floor to Ceiling Storage

We had some serious storage, y’all! Jay and I were both like kids in a candy store by this point. Man, did it feel good to have an actual, legitimate shelf adorning our tiny little laundry room. So much more functional!

At this point, we realized we’d need to run back to HD to grab a small (thin) piece of wood to come through and finish off a few extra details. Like our base, which still needed some attention.

Adding Custom Storage to Laundry

We also knew that we’d have to add a skin panel to the front of each of the shelf brackets, to help cover up the ugly fugly little brackets we used to prop up our shelves 😉 The front of the shelves were a bit rough looking, too (knotty).

Creating Floating Shelf

After day one, and our custom little veneer numbers we added on the fronts, we had this!

Built in Storage in Laundry

Not done, but definitely closer!

Now our list looks something like this:

  • Add trim
  • Add a surround to the area around the stacked washer/dryer
  • Patch the side wall
  • Paint the built-in
  • Grout the floor

Laundry Storage

Laundry Living | Guest Post

Y’all know how crazy I am about Zillow (ahem, house hunting addict) so when Jennifer approached me about putting together a guest post for you guys, I was down! This isn’t a sponsored post, I just thought it would be fun for y’all to get some tips and tricks from the masters of real estate themselves. Here she is!

The laundry room isn’t exactly a favorite space among homeowners, and it sometimes lacks the interior style reflected in other areas of the home. Perhaps the laundry room goes ignored because it’s less frequented by guests. Or, owners might be hesitant to incorporate fixtures and accessories vulnerable to spills. Luckily, practical equipment and designs exist to create efficient, fashionable laundry spaces.

To create useful and beautiful laundry rooms, consider the following five tips.

1. Add Workspace

Laundry Counter
Source: Stephen Alexander Homes

Sorting clothes, pretreating stains and folding clean laundry is difficult without proper counter space. Small laundry rooms benefit from freestanding tables and carts that easily move out of the way, while larger laundry rooms can incorporate built-in cabinets with accompanying counter space. Add freestanding countertops above front loading washer/dryer sets as a budget-friendly solution.

2. Create Storage

Laundry Storage
Source: Zillow

Most homeowners use the laundry room for more than just washing and drying clothes. Laundry rooms are home to batteries, tools and linens, depending on available square footage and storage. Designate different baskets or containers for extra towels and sheets, home improvement accessories and household products. Make sure to label each bin for easy access. Laundry rooms appear brighter and more inviting when organized, and homeowners won’t have to struggle searching for what they need.

3. Replace Machines

Energy-efficient appliances are more common in homes on the market today than in the past. For current homeowners, replacing old washers and dryers is a great way to save money on energy and water costs. For sellers, new appliances always attract potential homebuyers looking for modernized abodes. More advanced models even have steam-cleaning options and other features to best care for delicate clothing items. Stackable sets work better for small closets since they free up floor space for storage units. Front-load machines are preferable as tops provide folding and sorting spaces, and owners don’t have to move garments aside when opening or closing appliances. Plan laundry layouts based on personal routine and available square footage. For instance, stacked machines are best for tight spaces and second-story laundry rooms are ideal when most bedrooms are upstairs. Choose the best-fitting models and styles accordingly.

4. Upgrade Flooring

Laundry Floor

Source: Sue Adler Team

Laundry floors must be highly durable, water and stain resistant and easy to maintain. Further, homeowners should steer away from floors with slippery finishes, especially since laundry areas tend to get wet and accidents might occur. At the same time, opt for a stylish finish that matches the rest of the home’s décor. Vinyl is an inexpensive option for homeowners on tight budgets, and ceramic tile is known to be an extremely appropriate option for laundry spaces due to its ability to resist harsh chemicals and water damage. Sealed brick is a rustic option sure to withstand everyday damage. Although aesthetically pleasing, genuine hardwood floors are susceptible to water stains and permanent warping. Limit hardwood floors to living spaces and bedrooms without plumbing access.

5. Repaint and Decorate

Laundry Decor

Source: Zillow Digs

A fresh coat of paint can illuminate even the darkest spaces. Consider bright, clean colors for the laundry room walls, such as pastels or neutrals. Don’t be afraid to go bold with eclectic, modern or contemporary design. Hang artwork or window treatments to complete the space. Although primarily utilitarian, the laundry room is a part of the home and should be a reflection of personal taste. With a pleasant room to work in, homeowners might even be inclined to wash clothing more frequently!

We all have to do the laundry, so why not make it a more pleasant experience? Remember to do ample research before completing any large home improvement project, and talk to professionals about plumbing and electrical connections to avoid do-it-yourself damage.


Amore for our Amoire

Ahhh, to have a mud room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m counting my lucky stars that we’ve got a laundry room these days but thing is, it’s on the second floor, so it’s definitely not functioning as a space to schlep our goods. Just a washing locale, which I’m well and good with, but ya know, I’ve definitely been starting to notice that the side of our Living Room has morphed into a legit dumping ground for all our junk these days.

Since it’s closest to the driveway, we tend to come in the side door, which has been lending this location to being the spot where we kick off our shoes and stash our backpacks.


Shoe Storage at Back Door

We have an amply sized side porch off of this door, which Jay and I have toyed around with converting to a screened in porch years down the road. A bit torn on that one, since it’s our only outdoor space where we can hollar a hello to our neighbor’s passing, that’s totally open. This is what it looks like now.

Side Porch

Now all these shoes and crap everywhere was starting to drive me absolutely bonkers, so I started my normal craigslist prowl, in search of the next accessory to outfit our space and stash our stuff. I actually landed up spying lots of contenders, but we had one limitation, the size of our little Prius that could. In the name of not wanting to go out and rent a truck from Home Depot or the U-haul location, I wanted to find a piece of furniture that could actually fit in our car, to avoid that extra cost.

And ladies and gentlemen, we found ourselves a winner that just fit.

Coat Storage At Door Nice, right? I mean seriously, this thing is definitely my new best friend 😀

One thing we noticed off the bat was that we needed some reinforcing in the toddling department though. Since we knew we’d be opening and shutting the doors on this often, we wanted to make sure it had sufficient weight to it. So although it made me a wee sad at the thought of putting holes in the wall, when Jay suggested screwing it right into the wall, I was game.

We found a scrap piece of wood from the garage,

Attaching Furniture to Wall

Measured the distance we’d need, and attached that baby right to a stud in the wall.

Measuring Back of Furniture

Before we (quasi) permanently affixed it, I made sure that the armoire was centered on the wall. We had about 5 inches on either side, so the armoire takes up most of the wall to the left of the window.

Mounting Furniture To Wall

Now that we’ve added some storage to the room, this side of our living room currently looks like this. We’re looking to add a large 12×15 rug in the next few months that will come out to 3 feet, or so, in front of the armoire. Looking at this vantage point also reminds me of how much I want to add window treatments to this space – but window treatments are expensive yo, so I’m just going to have to sit on my hands and wait for that.

Armoire for Coat Storage

In the other corner of the living room, we have a little antique plant stand that we nabbed for $5 on craigslist (it was in rough shape), and refinished. I plan to sell it to make generate some dough to pay for the window treatments (waste not, want not), but for now, it’s a fancy plant stand. 😀

Barley Twist Table

Everyone in the house loves the new armoire we’ve added for storage, but there is definitely an orange member of the household that is particularly partial. 😉 It’s like one big box – he can’t even handle himself around it.

Cat Getting Into Furniture

Next up, a little switcheroo is in order for these plain jane knobs. I’ve got my heart set on these guys. Or maybe these guys.

Adding Hardware to Furniture

Anyone else living in a tiny little house and have to get creative with storage? I can’t tell you how much of a difference this little guy is already making for us to keep this part of the house organized. In love. 🙂

Put in it’s Place

Really this post should be labeled all the little things we never did, that we were forced to do abruptly before selling our house. It’s amazing what you can accomplish under a bit of pressure 😀

If there is one thing I’ve learned from listing our house for the second time now is that people are nosy and when they are walking through your house, they are going to open up the most random things. Bedside tables, any of your kitchen drawers, closets – anything, everything. Be prepared for it to be opened. I knew off hand that there were a few too many junk drawers in our house, so I decided that before we listed, we should also take a bit of time to spruce up and make sure nothing jumped out of our drawers at people.

Let’s start with our nightstands, which typically looked like this. Every night it was an epic battle to find the chapstick, which seriously irks me, because living through winter’s in Michigan, I’ve got perpetually scaley lips.

Organizing Nighstand

No more my friends. Look what I spotted at HomeGoods for $6.99 each. As luck would have it, each of the organizers I found fit exactly into our petite little bed side tables. Must be fate.

Organizer for nightstand

After throwing out half of the contents and reorganizing the rest, we finally had a compartmentalized storage system. Now if that’s not a slice of apple pie, I just don’t know what is. In addition to being able to find my chapstick, I can now also find my bobby pins, another historically elusive item in the Sell Household. 😉

I’d show you Jay’s side, but it’s pretty matchy matchy so I think y’all get the drift. Mission organize nightstands – DONE!

Organizer for Nightstand

Our next check on the organize/clean this place list was the basement storage closet. Just like the laundry room, this place was a hot mess. At one point you can tell we kinda sorta tried to organize this space (see the baskets!), but that nose dived real quick into this abyss of cleaning supplies, paint cans and screw drivers.

Organizing Storage Closet

Nothing pretty. Since this is a well utilized space, my only goal with this chunk of the house was to get rid of anything that we didn’t need anymore (some MAJOR purging is going on right now, I’ll tell you that much) and group all the other items together with like stuff. So, baskets seemed like a good place to start, and y’all know that if I’ve got basket brain, the best place to cure that ill is a trip to … wait. for. it. …. HomeGoods.

Do I have a basket problem? I think I have a problem.

Best Place for Inexpensive Baskets

But I’m only addicted to basket buying since it makes such a difference! If only I could organize all of my life by buying more baskets, I’m telling ya. Once I reconfigured a few things and gave the heave ho to anything old or non-usable, we were left with this.

Organizing Paint Closet

Added bonus, now when we move we can just grab the baskets with the stuff we’re taking, and pack them just like that. Annnddd their already organized that way, too! It’s pretty important round these parts to always know where our cans of spray paint are. 😀

Another small detail we hadn’t checked off the to-do list was adding hardware to our lovely little closets upstairs. Now, normally I would get hard-core analysis paralysis about a decision like this but being that we installed these the day before we listed our house I just let the Jay bird pick out a set during his lunch break. You know what, I trained that man good. Look what he came back with.

Antique Brass Hardware

Just to go with something different, I decided to pick the antique brass finish. Plus, they were cheaper. Sa-weeet. Immediately after we put them up, I realized we needed to group them in sets of (2), but we ran out of time and the house got listed before the hubby had another lunch break run to the hardware store. At least the people coming through the house could open the doors now. Meh. Done, check it off the list.

Hardware for Bifold Doors

Another thing I’d been itching to do for-eva was to put some more permanent pads on the bottom of our chairs. Especially with lots of people coming in and out of the place, I thought it would be good to have something along the feet to keep everyone from scratching the floors up and making it look janky as potential buyers were inspecting the place with a fine tooth comb.

See, we tried going the cheapster route and getting the normal pads that you just stick on the bottom of the legs – but then this kept happening. Subsequently, we started seeing scratches on our floor as the chairs went in and out.

Pads for Bottom of Furniture

Sooo … we sprung a few extra bucks and decided to buy ones that more or less permanently affix to the bottom of the chair. They’ve got little metal grommets on the bottom, so you just grab a hammer a tap a few times to get them so that they’ll stay as the furniture gets moved around over time.

Permanent pads for furniture

Along those same lines, when we were on our organizing kick pre-listing, we thought that this time provided a good opportunity to do some deep cleaning, too. Our basement carpet in particular had seen better days so we decided to clean out that room and have the pros come through and give it a quick deep clean. We considered doing the whole shabang ourselves by renting a Rug Doctor, but we read some mixed reviews online indicating that the DIY route can leave your rug wet and musty, and since musty basements are generally not a selling feature for houses, we decided to leave this one to the pros. We found a coupon a week earlier that sweetened the deal as well, so it only cost us about $10 more than what we would have spent to do it ourselves.

With some quick furniture moving action, we were ready!

Cost to have carpet cleaned

Now if that wasn’t the biggest hodge podge of house to-do’s I’ve ever put together, well I just don’t know what is. 😀 Devil’s in the details, my friends. 🙂

Hello Half-Bath

Now I know you guys have seen glimpses of the half-bath, but I thought it was high time for a grand reveal and cost breakdown. Ready? Let’s do it.

If our attic conversion was a big old ice cream sundae, than our little half bath would most definitely be the cherry on top. And when I say little half bath, I mean little. Now on paper, the space doesn’t appear super small for a half-bath (it’s 25 square feet), but in reality the slanted ceilings in this space make it quite the petite little loo. We had a family friend come over with his 5-year old right before we listed the house, who confirmed for us that it was the smallest bathroom he’s evvveeerr seen. 😉 #TimetoCallGuinness

But given the crazy, crazy timing we’ve been facing with our totally unexpected out of state relocation, our decision to only do a half-bath vs. the full-bath we had planned was without a doubt the right decision to make. Here is the layout we had planned initially.

Attic Bathroom Layout Someday my friends, someday. We’re moving in the right direction though, since the en suite on our first house looked like this! You could simultaneously brush your teeth and use the loo. Efficient.

Small Bathroom Design

This time we were able to achieve a space where the toilet is at least spaced out enough to not be touching the vanity. 😀 Here is a shot of the room from the bedroom. Hello, toilet! I read online that it’s bad feng shui to have your toilet facing directly at the door but ya know what, those old Chinese dudes must not live in 1940’s homes with converted attics.

Installing Toilet against knee wall

I finally found a spot for our new etsy artwork, too! (Along with a print we’d had stored away from our last move – oye)

Etsy Art

I’m cuckoo for cocoa puffs about our new floor. SWOOOONN. I’m totally replicating this bad boy in every house until I’m 97. You can quote me on that 😀


As chronicled earlier on the blog, we decided to install a pocket door in the space in order to save some room and make things a little less awkward as you transition from the bedroom to the bath.

Installing Pocket Door

Fanciest feature in my humble opinion is our porcelain potty. Dual flush people. We have arrived.

Dual Flush Toilet

I’m loving our Home Decorators vanity we snagged, too! I actually had a few people ask if it was custom made, so I’ll take that as a $500 well spent 🙂 $500 is still a lot of smackaroos for a bathroom vanity, but we are so, so happy with it! Sometimes you’ve just gotta pull out the wallet to make the magic happen.

White Marble Vanity

Largely due to our major time crunch, we opted to install a generic (neutral) oval mirror. For our next house, I’d love to add some more character to our bathrooms by finding some more ornate antique mirrors for the space. We had to go the safe/inexpensive route with this house though, since getting this guy on the market was our main concern.

White Granite Vanity

Thinking along the sell this house fast as lighting vein, we also decided to stage things a bit by putting a nice big (HomeGoods, of course) basket in the corner with some fresh white towels. We found all these items on the clearance rack, so my total cost for (4) towels and the basket was only $30. Shhhaazzzaaamm.

Staging Bathroom for Sale

So, y’all ready for the cost breakdown to build a bathroom from the ground up? Here it goes:

  • Wall framing: $74
  • Pocket Door and hardware: $65
  • Door: $70
  • Vanity: $518
  • Mirror: $28
  • Faucet: $139
  • Marble Floor (including backerboard, grout and mortar): $212
  • Paint: $18
  • Board & Batten: $20
  • Toilet: $168
  • Sconces: $82
  • Art: $12
  • Basket and Towels: $30
  • Plumbing for Second Bath: $690
  • Total: $2,126

Now that’s a LOT of money in my book. Not cheap at all!! But, just on a dollars and sense appraisal of the house, this investment will pretty much provide double the value for us as we go to sell. Plus, I think that buyers really like the fact that the loo is right off the bedroom, so they won’t have to tromp down the steps if nature calls in the wee hours of the night. Overall – I think it’s a pretty solid investment.

New Year, New Projects! | January Recap

You know it’s been a busy month/beginning of the year, when I don’t get around to the monthly recap until mid-February. Fail.

It’s pretty exciting to think that for the next monthly recap, I’ll be able to include a FINISHED attic. Omeergggauuud. That makes me feel like chest bumping the next stranger that walks down our street. Pumped, I am. (Yoda talk)

March Blog Sponsors

I’m also SO excited to announce that the month of February/March will be chock full of some pretty sweet giveaways thanks to some amazing new sponsors for the blog! Think personalized address stamps from Blush Paperie, Artwork from Eva Juliet, Jewelry from Junghwa Jewelry, and some sweet etsy finds from Hearts Beat Electric. I know, right?! Get excited blogosphere, it’s going to be epic.

But before we get all pumped about the future, let’s dwell in the past and see some of the projects the Sell household got done in the fine month of January.

Raise the Roof

How to property insulate attic

In the month of January, we finally bid farewall to our insulation fun fest and installed our final round of foam. Can’t say it didn’t feel good to finally have a completely insulated and air tight upstairs.

Plus, we got our DTE bill this week and it looks like all that insulating is paying off, too. For the month of January, our bill was only $158. Last year, even with our brand new high efficiency furnace, we were at $190! Anddd it’s been considerably colder this year (polar vortex, anyone?).

House Hunting with Mary

Durham Real Estate

I’ve got a  new Thursday tradition round these parts with the start of my house hunting with Mary posts. Cause really, couldn’t we all use some real estate eye candy every once and a blue moon. For serial house hunters like me, the only way to get my fix is to pretend I’ve got a million dollars lining my pockets and go out and find that next beauty. Ahhh, to have a dream.

USA for Jesus’s Day

We set a pretty lofty goal this year and tried to have a completely China Free christmas. For those that actually check tags before you buy something, I think you can agree that this is a harder task than initially imagined. In the end, we actually did pretty good and tried to buy as many locally sourced, USA made products as possible. I definitely think this is a tradition we’ll be looking to keep!

Gifts Made in the USA

Mission Organization

Chalk it up to the new year, but we’ve been I’ve been on an organizing kick the past few weeks. Closets, drawers, my underwear. Nothing is safe. 🙂

Plus, who doesn’t like having an excuse to search for cute organization bins? Count me in!

Inexpensive Basket Locations


Drinking in some Drywall

Ah, yes. I’d almost wiped the drywall saga from my memory. Two contractors and way more money than I wanted to spend later, we finally had a finished attic. Finished, in your dreams Mary!! We had an attic that had drywall kinda sorta up, that needed a decent amount of elbow grease before it’s day in the sun. Even though the drywall install did not go as planned, it was a pretty exciting moment to finally, FINALLY, have walls up in our attic!

Drywalling Attic

Picking La Paint

After we slaved for a weekend or so and fixed up all the jankiness that we fondly refer to as our drywall, we decided it was high time to paint this joint and make it actually look like a room instead of the bunker it had been for the past 3-months. I don’t know about all of y’all, but I do have to confess that painting has to be my favorite part of the room transformation. On this room in particular, the addition of paint really took it from ugg to on it’s way.

Best Greige Colors

Board and Batten

For $20, this project was without a doubt my favorite home renovation DIY to date. I just can’t get enough of this stuff, it just makes such a difference on the wall that was kinda meh before.

Here’s how everything look post install. Yummerlicous.

Twenty Dollar Board and Batten

Plumb De Dumb

What better way to close out the month of January than with the install of our lovely marble floors in the bathroom. Just like your favorite go-to little black dress, err leggings in my case 😀 I’ve gotta say that this new pattern is going to be in my back pocket for future homes. A bit trickier than a traditional subway tile pattern, but only incrementally. And by George, I’d say the look is leaps and bounds sexier. Am I right, or am I right. 😀

Marble Subway Tile Herringbone Pattern

Organized Life, Happy Wife

With our new closets going in upstairs, I’ve been re-evaluating our downstairs storage situation and moving a few things around. And … patching a few things up. Remember when we re-did our floors, last July. Yeah, as in 8 months ago. 😀 Well some of the trim still had splash of dark stain messing with their mojo. Like this

How to fix ugly closet

Not very handsome. Since we’ve been hauling a lot of stuff out of these closets as of late, I’ve been able to see these blemishes a bit more up close and personal than I’d like. So, since we already had the paint brushes out to tackle all the upstairs trimming that was happening, we decided it was high time to spruce these bad boys up again. See how much better it looks with a coat of paint? (two, actually)

Painting Trim in Closet

Alas, when you start to improve one area, it can make the others suddenly look a bit dismal. Like the closet walls. Dingy dive, I tell ya.

I looked around in our basement and found the wall color (Behr, Wisdom) and decided that if it was good enough for the room, it was good enough for the closet. Plus, I had just enough left of it to paint the closet while leaving a dash behind for any future touch ups.

Organizing Small Closet

Now that the closets were all painted and pretty, I felt the tug of homegoods calling me. Baskkeettss – I need basskkeetts. Am I the only basket fiend around here? I see a blank space, and I see a basket. I think I have a condition.

See? Baskets galore in this joint.

Baskets for Kitchen Storage

Since this room is used for our Airbnb guests, I decided to mix it up and get a larger hamper like tote for visitors that stay a bit longer and might want to do some laundry while they are here. Plus, it’s cute to boot and only set me back $12 at HomeGoods. Holla!!

IKAT Laundry Bag

Our front closet was also looking a bit bare in the storage category, so I came back with this multi-use tote to schlep our extra winter essentials in. Our cold weather grab bag. Helps that it’s got summer stripes adorning the side. Almost makes me feel like spring is right around the corner 😀

Striped Storage Tote

And shiver me timbers, when I was sorting through the basket aisle at HomeGoods I found something that looked familiar sitting there just asking me for the taking. Why yes, those are our pillows from down in the basement. 😀 Jay was like, but don’t you already have those, and I was all like, yeah, but ya never know when I might want more and by that time Homegoods won’t be selling them and I think I should grab them just in case, so I’ll have them next time I need them! #Horder

IKAT Pillows

See, look how cute they look adorning our cane chairs. At $8 each, I had to grab them for future accessorizing needs. 😀

Pillows Made in USA

Now, since my urge to fill a cart at HomeGoods is never ending, I’ve developed a little sly system for keeping myself from going broke. First, my mantra is if I don’t see myself using it (i.e. if I don’t know where I want to put it), I don’t get it. William Morris holds the key to my heart – “Have nothing in your house that you don’t find to be beautiful or useful”.

Ok, yes. The pillows may have broken rule #1. Dang. But, in my defense, I can see them in my future, so I got em. Plus, they were a steal…. 😀

My second cost saving tip – shop the clearance racks! I.E. steal of a deal pillows! Although things are already marked down at HomeGoods, I try to check out the clearance sections first, to see if there is anything that catches my fancy.

My final mantra, use dem’ credit card points, baabbbeeeyyy. Now, Jay and I are pretty low to moderate spenders, but non-the-less, we accumulate some bonus points from time to time. Instead of just letting them sit there and collect dust, I usually get a gift card to a store I know I’ll enjoy shopping at. And yes, that store is 90% of the time, HomeGoods.

Next up on my organization hit list.

Organizing Small Entry Way

Mmm… yep. In need of some HomeGoods assistance if ya ask me 😉

From Bland Bi-Fold to BAM

Guilty as charged, I’m a board and batten fa-reak. Can’t get enough of this stuff. Bathrooms, bedroom walls, and now – closets 🙂 I just couldn’t handle the 80’s builder grade look we had going on with the bi-fold doors so when I saw some extra scrap from our wall adventures in the side of the room I started to think about jazzing up these little dudes.

Here is how they looked after we had them installed. Definitely better than the gaping holes we had there before, but definitely kinda meh.

Adding Closets to Attic Knee Wall

So in an attempt to spice these bad boys up, we added some board and batten action into the mix. Since the doors are quite a bit more rectangular in shape than the wall and bathroom, we decided to ditch the square though and go a bit more oblong for this DIY.

We didn’t even bother to take the doors off for the install. We just grabbed our scrap pieces, cut them to size and starting nailing them in.

DIY Bi-fold Doors

Since the boxes that we were creating were quite a bit smaller than the other walls we had done, we also thought it would be prudent to trim down our wood sections a bit to make them a little skinnier. Instead of the 3″ pieces that we used for the wall, we used 2″ for the doors.

We also knew that we would want to have equal sections for each box that we created, so to determine our height on each box, we just took the total area of the door and divided it by three. Easy enough! Here we are measuring the first piece for our horizontal striping. You can see Jay pointing to the location for the first piece of trim.

How to add trim to bifold door

After measuring, we just cut a piece to size and nailed it in to create the bottom of each rectangle.

Adding Trim to Bifold door

Then we did that a few more times, and we had this! Yummy! 🙂

Board and Batten on Bifold door

For those trying to recreate this look at home – it’s so darn simple it’s crazy. Now, for those without a table saw, I’d advise just grabbing 2″ pieces of trim, vs. cutting it to size. Since we only used (1) board of plywood, our total cost was $20 for this DIY. If you’re purchasing trim, it will most likely be just a tad more expensive…

The dimensions for your door will dictate your measurements, but here are the proportions we had for each of the boxes.

Trim on bifold doors

After we had a bit of primer on it, you could really see the board and batten look coming together. I knew it was going to look mighty swanky 😀

And here are some of the after shots with a coat of simply white on it! We still need to add some hardware and trim, but I can tell that these babies are going to be show stoppers already.

Adding trim to bifold doors

Another side angle shot looking out toward the board and batten wall. Love, love, love it! We’re just waiting on our carpet (it’s been ordered!) and this room will be d.o.n.e. Can I get a heeelllll yeah!

Bifold doors with trim

Now to figure out the hardware … here are some of my top contenders!

  Antique Brass Door Knobs

1) Knob 1

2) Knob 2

3) Knob 3

4) Knob 4

5) Knob 5

6) Knob 6