Farmhouse Industrial Laundry Room Renovation Round-Up

Y’all – we have moved beyond the paint brush. Call it our inaugural home renovation, but we’ve moved on to mortar and tile and whew – it feels good (like I knew that it woullllddd). It also felt tiring and hard and smelt like sweaty arm pits. But hey – it’s done! Well, actually, it’s started. 😉 We officially have a farmhouse industrial laundry room happening and it makes me oh so happy!

As a reminder, here is our mood board inspiration for our farmhouse inspired laundry room renovation. Simple, and industrial chic.

Laundry Room Mood Board

I’m waiting for a mega sale on the washer/dryer combo and unfortunately just missed the Memorial Day sale spritz, so I think I’ll have to hold off until Labor Day (boo!!!). I’ve got my eye on this LG beauty and I’m not will to pay over $899 each (which is what they were Memorial Day weekend), so I sit, and I wait to add these cherries to my farmhouse laundry room renovation, le sigh.

We’ve certainly made some progress since you last saw our laundry room, like this. What a lovely shade of green…

Laundry Room Closet Renovation

After some back-breaking hours of work, we now have this! Mmmm charcoal gray grout and some hubba hubba subway tile. My fav. I love the industrial vibe it gives in the space.

Charcoal Gray Grout Subway Tile

We decided to go with a dark charcoal wall, to tie in with the grout and the flooring. I can’t wait to accessorize the walls with some art, and storage! Ignore the sloppy edge on the tile, we haven’t caulked yet, so you can see the inconsistencies. Since we knew this wall would be mostly covered by a washer and dryer and shelves, we definitely were in power through and get it done mode vs. absolute perfection mode. Plus, I’ve learned over time that if there are hacks to make your life easier (i.e a line of caulk – use it!)

Charcoal Gray Paint Behr

Our general process for the farmhouse industrial laundry room renovation was to paint the walls and remove the washer/dryer the night before. For $10 we rented an appliance dolly from U-haul and it literally took us 15 minutes to move these (heavy!) appliances. For those that have been reading the blog for a while – you’ll remember our last washer/dryer moving experience did not go quite as well. Loorrrrrrdddieee.

We stored them in H’s room while we renovated. He thought that was pretty sweet. 😀 New toys!

Renting Appliance Dolly Cost

Then, the next morning (after demo) we started by laying the subway tiles. In general, our philosophy with this reno is that 95% of the tile (especially the bottom third) would be covered up with storage and/or our washer and dryer, so although we wanted it to look rockin’ we mostly wanted it to be done. We worked very quickly on this tile and we were definitely not as meticulous as past kitchen installs where everything is visible all. the. time.

Subway Tile in Laundry Room

Then, after the wall tile was up, we started in on the floor tile. I wanted a slate tile for the farmhouse laundry room renovation, but the local hardware stores only had this porcelain option in stock. It looks just like slate and was only $2.29 a square foot. I’ll call that a win. We had a very small area to tile, so this portion of the project cost us less than $50.

We just centered the first tile and worked from there.

Slate Floor Tile Porcelian

We actually didn’t install a threshold, and put the grout line right up to the wood floor. They didn’t have a matching threshold in stock, so we just worked with what we had and winged it a bit. I think it looks really good though!

Slate Floor Tile

Sans our appliances and shelving, this is how the room looks now. In the interest of preserving our sanity, we’re going to tackle the shelving another day. Super excited to bust that project out … coming soon!

Subway Tile Slate Floor Laundry

Pass The (Benjamin Moore) Moonshine

I like the whole gray fad going on right now, but I’m definitely more in the greige paint camp then the cool gray camp (some of my all time favorites, here). I just like my rooms to have a smidge of warmth to them and although 90’s builder beige is pretty boring, some of the gray colors that are popular these days just feel too cold to me.

So I was actually really hemming and hawing on our Bonus Room color. I knew I wanted something other than my tried and true Benjamin Moore colors I’d used in the past, so this time I decided to try Benjamin Moore Moonshine. This color is exacto-mundo what I wanted. It has a bit of blue in the undertones and it’s just deliciously perfect in this space.

Bonus Room Moonshine

Cute, right?! I mean – let’s just stop and pause and kinda bask in the fact that we have this ginormous room for guests. It’s. the. best!

This is Benjamin Moore Moonshine up close. I really, really love it!

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

We moved over some bookcases from our apartment. They fit in perfect here and work so well for our TV area.

Built in Bookcase in Bonus Room

Although we plan on using this space for guests that come into town, more often than not Jay and I are up here watching TV in the evenings and relaxing, too.

Living Room and Bedroom

This is the biggest single room Jay and I have ever had in a house – it’s big enough for a living space, a bedroom area, a kitchenette and a half bath. Wow – right?!

We moved our old Queen Bed up here and it fits perfectly in the space.

Queen Bed in Bonus Room

This room also has a kitchenette! I’ve got big plans down the road to make this match the rest of the room, but hey, for now it’s functional and great for storage.

Kitchenette in Bonus Room

This cute little medallion was something we picked up to stage the last house. I meant to return it but I’m glad I didn’t since it fills up this wall really well!

Large Wall Hanging Medallion

So everyone can remember – this is what the room looked like on move-in day. Again RED. This one with yellow accent walls though, which you can see if you look carefully on the wall-o-mirrors to the left of the photo. Lovely. 😉

Bonus Room Over Garage

Here is one final view of the built-in/living space with Benjamin Moore Moonshine up on the walls! So lovely! Who’s coming over to visit? Your room is ready!

Builtin Target Bookcase

 

 

Revere Pewter in the Dining Room

Chalk it up to a year of apartment living, but I forgot what a difference a can of paint can make in my life. It didn’t come easy, with dark red walls to start off with, but y’all – we officially have our first painted room checked off the list. And it feels SO much more like us! We decided to paint the Dining Room one of our tried and true classics, Revere Pewter.

This is what we were working with on move-in day.

Dining Room with Built in

And this is what we have now! Nothing too Earth shattering, but definitely better with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the walls.

Dining Room After

I wasn’t able to wait very long before the paint brushes came out, and I’m super glad we decided to tackle this room first, since it’s the room you enter right off the bat when coming into the house.

Here is a view of the hall that leads from the Living Room down into the Dining Room/Entry. Still thinking of ways to decorate the walls a bit – I’m thinking some matted family photos may fit the bill.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This is how the entry looks now with Revere Pewter up on the walls. I still need to find a big console table to put in the window. I have a lamp I scored on Craigslist that I think will look perfect in this entry – I just need a piece of furniture to put it on! Oh, and we need to paint that door something other than red (charcoal, perhaps?)

Foyer Revere Pewter

And for a before – this was the entry on move-in day.

Entryway landing

This is how everything looks coming down from the steps.

Foyer Revere Pewter Paint

Here is another view where you can see the Revere Pewter paint color a bit better. It’s super soft and soothing and it brightens up the space a ton. I’m in love 😀

Revere Pewter in Dining Room

So anyway, I think that Revere Pewter is definitely staying in my back pocket as a look to love (evidence here and here). Share with me your go to paint colors, y’all, I still got LOTS of rooms to paint 😉

Upstairs Tour

Now that y’all have had a chance to see our downstairs last week, I wanted to stop back with a few photos for an upstairs tour as well. Our new house isn’t large by “American” standards, but it’s absolutely huge to us. All said and done, the house is around 2,200 square feet. All our other houses never got about 1,500 square feet, so we’re kind of scratching our heads on what to do with all the extra space.

Upstairs we have (3) bedrooms, a laundry space, and (2) bathrooms.

Hardwood on stair landing

When you get upstairs, there’s a little hallway that connects everything together. The doors to the left there are the laundry space – it’s just a little closet area. It would be nice to have a full room, but meh – it’s got lots of shelving in there so I think we’ll be just fine with it the way it is.

Niche at top of steps

There’s also a little bookcase at the top of the stairs. Other homes in this neighborhood actually have this bookcase as a small linen closet, and I like that idea, so we may convert it back in the future. Other than the bedroom closets, there really isn’t a place upstairs to store a vacuum and other essentials, so I think it may be better served as an extra storage space.

Continuing on with the upstairs tour, you can see with the Master, and the hall side by side, there is a lot of dark green in this house. They’ve basically used 3-4 dark colors throughout the house, so I know we’ll be stocking up on primer when we get new coats of paint up on the wall 😉

Master Bedroom with ensuite

This is the first bedroom we’ve had that’s big enough for a King! It’s a-mazing!!! King beds feel like 52 times larger than Queen beds to me :)

We also have a bathroom off to the side with this ginormous (albeit rather dated) shower.

Walkin Shower DImensions

And another area for a double vanity up against the wall AND we have a little toilet room – ha ha! Just add it to my list of things I’d never have in my house. 😉

Double Vanity in Bathroom

The other two rooms upstairs are for our little guy and the office space.

Upstairs Office Space

Once again – more dark green 😉

Dark Green Paint Color

Oh and last but not least on the upstairs tour, we also have a bonus room over a garage! Pretty cool, huh? This is a vast and open space that I know will be great for guests once we get rid of the sea of red 😀

Bonus Room Over Garage

Washer Woman

O. M. capital G, y’all. I washed my own pantolones in my own house this weekend. I didn’t go to the laudro-mat, or beg my neighbors, or, ya know, wear stinky clothes (again). We hooked up that son of a gun and washed our clothes. In our house.

BAM.

Now, if you’ve been following along with the saga that is our second story laundry room, you’d know that these advances in modern technology did not come easily. Or, ahem, cheaply. Ah contraire, my friend. But alas, after our first washing machine bit the dust, we were left with the hard reality that if we wanted to clean our clothes, we’d have to (gulp) buy another one.

But first, ‘member how I mentioned our door was a bit too tight, well we had to get to removing the extra trim around the frame to prep for washer delivery 2.0.

Removing Door Frame

It appears Jay is adjusting well to life in the south as a hillbilly that doesn’t wear shoes around power tools and shards of debris. Not advised, not advised. {do not attempt this at home}

He does look proud of his demolition handy work though, wouldn’t ya say?

After our demoing was done, the next morning the moment was upon us and our new machine was entering the house. I made Jay come home on his lunch break, since the whole thing just made me feel like I was going to vomit. Something about another washing machine not making it up the steps just made me get weak in the knees. But you guys – the delivery guys were ROCK STARS. They even brought our old, busted machine into the garage for free AND brought up our dryer, which was becoming a permanent resident of the Living Room.

No more appliances in our bedroom – Huzza!!

Breaking Washing Machine

The delivery staff hooked up the washer, and tested it before they left, so we had complete peace of mind that everything was peachy keen before they bid us farewell.

Monumental sigh of relief.

Once the ball was back in our court, we still had to level the machine and lift up the dryer (which is half the weight of the washer, thank God). Leveling the machine required 30 minutes or so of tweaking before we got it just right.

Making Sure Washer is Level

We wanted to spend some extra time being diligent on this step since we had heard that having the machine level is crucial to avoid any extra shaking you might experience during the spin cycle. We’d read some horror stories online of washing machines shaking the entire house when they’re on the spin cycle, so we figured it made sense to dedicate some extra time up front vs. regret it forevermore.

I seriously don’t know how Jay motivated me to do it (I did not want to), but he convinced me I was capable of helping him lift the dryer up onto the washing machine. Now, it wasn’t that heavy but ya know, I had a few bad memories flooding through my head as we attempted to once again maneuver an appliance around the house. Thank GOD, this appliance remained unscathed. WHEW.

Before we knew it we were loading these beasts for the first load of laundry!

Washer Shaking on Second Floor

As mentioned, we had heard that second floor laundry room’s can lead to some serious house shaking, so once the machine hit the spin cycle, we pretty much both hunkered down to watch this thing, and see how bad it was going to get. Should have grabbed popcorn, man, it was that entertaining.

Washer Shaking House

It wasn’t bad at all though! For 99% of the cycle you can’t even tell the machine is on, it’s so quiet. When it transitions onto the spin cycle there is about 10-15 seconds where there is a bit of vibration, but it’s not something that’s all that noticeable, and it certainly doesn’t feel like the entire house is shaking, so that’s good!

I think we had hyped it up in our heads, so we were not quite sure what to expect, in all honesty.

The units themselves are quite large and have a ton of different settings. We feel like we’re living in the lap of luxury 😀

Samsung Washer

And although it’s oh so fine to have a washer and dryer in da house, the rest of the laundry room is lagging behind in the style department. You know, stuff like all of this plumbing and electrical. Ugly alert.

Plumbing in Laundry Room

Our general game plan is to cover all of this up with a built-in bookcase, but for now, it’s just depressingly ugly. Realistically, it’s going to be a few weeks (months, dare I say) before we come back to this room and start to make the magic happen.

When we do though, this is the general layout, and idea of what we have planned.

Laundry Room Storage

Since we were able to cut out an access panel behind the washer and dryer (in our attic space) we’re going to completely enclose the appliances so that they look more or less built-in.

Although the bookcase will not be deep, it’s going to be very tall, and I’m so excited to have all this extra storage!

Since we knew we’d be procrastinating on our final laundry look, we did re-install that door though, to keep all the ugly on the other side 😉

Newly Installed Door

So who else out there has a second story laundry? I’m curious to hear feedback from others on what works and doesn’t work with their spaces.

A Nurse and a Nerd | Guest Blogger!

You guys are in for a treat today! Laura over at A Nurse and A Nerd is telling all y’all about her a-mazing kitchen reno. It’s quite the before and after! Here’s Laura, to give you the deets!

Hi there everyone!

My name is Laura!  I blog on a little place on the web called A Nurse and A Nerd.  I work as a nurse by night and a home renovator/blogger by day.

Back in May of 2013, my husband and I bought this.

Our circa 1975 cape cod that was screaming to be loved… and demolished. So we started out with a huge Phase 1 renovation that took us down to the studs and back again.  Why would we do such a thing?  Well because we are crazy!… and because this house was perfectly situated with a panoramic view of the river and directly next to my family’s apple orchard and farm.  It’s been an adventure to say the least, but after 6 months of renovations we moved in and have been settling in for the past 7 months.

Mary was kind enough to invite me over here to Lemon Grove to share with you our kitchen renovation.

Here is the kitchen on the day we closed on our home.

Let’s go on a 360 tour – clockwise.

It was a bit dark and a bit dingy – with a great big layer of grease all over everything to top it all off.  Not really our style.

So we gutted everything.  And knocked down the walls that were closing in the kitchen.

We removed the exterior door, the soffit, the linoleum and all the drywall.

And now?  Well I’d say we’ve made a least a mild improvement.

I’m a simple, timeless, country cottage kind of girl.  So that’s what we went for.  White inset perimeter cabinets.  Black beadboard island.

On the island we used a white quartz that has a cararra marble look.  Its called Bianco Carrara Quartz.

And on the parameter we used a granite called Silver Wave.  I love that it grounds the white cabinets.  Plus the busy pattern hides a lot of messes while I’m baking cookies for my cookie monster husband.

I love the timeless simplicity of subway tile, so that is what we used as the backsplash – not to mention I found the tile for about $20 total at the Habitat ReStore!

The farmhouse sink is Kohler. It’s super special to me.  You can read about that here.

One of the other favorite parts of my kitchen are my copper lights.  They just are the icing to my cake.  The cherry on top.  The chocolate syrup on my sundae.   

Newsflash: I like sweets.…And I also like my copper lights.

The counter stools are IKEA. And I love how they pop next to the black island.

We absolutely love our kitchen.  The biggest thing we love about it?  The openness. The opportunity to entertain and be in on the action. We’re big extroverts.  So the idea of keeping everything open and flowing was our #1 priority in our kitchen renovation.

We just finished painting and sprucing up our living room and currently have our eyes on the bedroom.  I hope you stop by and see the progress we make!

Thanks again to Mary for inviting me over and thanks to you all for taking a tour around!

One Month In

Holy moley, can you believe your ear drums? Believe it or not, we’re totally one month in to this little adventure of home ownership 3.0. You know, after owning 3 homes, in (4) years, one of the most common questions we get from people is if we’re house flippers. My answer, with a little bit of a smirk each time, is not intentionally. It just kinda happened. I can also tell you, at the ripe age of 27, Jay bird and I are pretty ready to slow things down a little bit in the house buying department. Buying and selling real estate has been an amazing way for us to gain some serious equity, and we’re so thankful that all our hard work has translated into something tangible, but seriously after all this work, we’re ready to just enjoy this house vs. move right on over to the next one.

I’ve gotta tell you that Jay and I have both reached a consensus that this house, this one’s for keepers. Uneven floors and leaky basement and all.

Trinity Park Durham

We’re SO EXCITED to have a house that we know we’ll be staying in for a while. Every decision we make about renovations feels more permanent, more lasting. We want every detail to reflect us as a family. Now, that’s not to say that we’re done with real estate. Our general motto is that every 3-5 years, we’d like to buy a property to invest. Whether it’s a vacation rental or a flip, we know that fixing up houses is kinda what we do. I think if I didn’t have my hands in a new property that I’d start to get sorta blue, ya know?

Since I’m all about celebrating victories, big and small in home renovating – I thought it would be fun to take a snapshot view of where we’re at 1-month in.

The biggest change by far was removing the non-load bearing wall between the dining room and the kitchen. This is what this space looked like before.

Taking Out Wall

And here it is, after. Ok, more like here it is “during”. 😉 Psst! Notice the first of the appliances chilling like a villain in the corner!

Drywalling Wall

Big, big difference as far as the flow and feel of the space. We absolutely are counting down the days until the peninsula of cabinets and counter tops get installed. We really couldn’t be more excited to entertain in this combined dining/kitchen space – it’s going to be great!

Since the kitchen had some vintage chic linoleum in there before the wall removal, we decided to rip all that up in favor of adding wood floors to tie everything together in the house, and give a cohesive look and feel to the space.

Prepping Floors for Wood Install

Another change – our floors! Before, we had floors that we’re not only in pretty rough condition – they were also orange! 😉 Howdoya like them apples?

Small Home Office

And here is how they’re looking now. It’s red oak, so it’s pretty much impossible to get rid of all the red, but they’re definitely much more “brown” now, and a little softer on the eyes! :)

Minwax Provincial vs. Dark Walnut

For comparison, here’s a shot of our floors next to the stair treads, that we opted not to do in the first round of sanding due to pure exhaustion, really. I know it will be a weekend project in the future though (I’m looking forward to adding in a stair runner, too).

Refinishing Wood Floors

Keeping up with the easy wins, we also painted our living room to make things look a bit more updated in there as well. I’m all on board with the new gray trend in home decorating, so we decided to go with Benjamin Moore Edgecbomb Gray. But first, this is what the Living Room looked like with the previous owner. A bit formal, for our taste.

Living Room Before

This is how it looks after two coats of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. We love it.

Edgecomb Gray in Living Room

Another “big deal” bucket list item, was getting our basement fixed. When we closed on the house, the front wall was bowing something crazy. Since your foundation keeps your house up, we knew that we wanted to tackle that immediately. So the fine fellas at RamJack came out and helped stabilize the basement.

How Ramjack Works

Now that we’ve got some of the larger projects out of the way, we’re moving on to some of the little details. See this bundle of fun on the floor? That’s a whole lotta crown and a whole lotta trim that are going up this weekend! We were able to snag a $3 per piece discount buying all the crown at once, so I convinced Jay we should just go for it. He begrudgingly agreed. 😉

Purchasing Crown in Bulk

And all that trim …. here’s a sneak peak at what we’ve been using that for!! (I’m totally in love) I’ll have the full reveal for our wainscoting treatment up on Friday!

DIY Wainscoting

We’re so excited to finally be in our new space, and we’ve got a final count down started for our apartment living departure – less than 2 weeks, people! Overall, we’re super pumped to tackle some larger projects post move-in, and to finally start decorating and making this place home!

La Grande House Tour

Since the house is looking mighty different these days, post kitchen reno and post floor refinishing, I thought it was high time to give y’all an update of the house and a new lay of the land.

The main floor has definitely seen the most change since we moved in almost a year ago, in October 2012. Notably, we refinished the floors and gutted the kitchen, along with the bathroom reno and lots of other fun things. On this level, I don’t think we will have any huge changes going forward other than some additional decorating and sprucing. Biggest change of them all, no wall between the dining room and living room. Use your imagination to magically remove that from the floor plan below 😉

First Floor Layout

Foyer

Got to leave a good first impression, right 😉 The foyer had baby blue walls and a mural on the ceiling when we moved in. We painted over the mural like the first week. I actually feel moderately bad about that, since I think it was a pride a joy type of thing for the previous owner, but Lordy, there was just no way I was going to keep it around. Different strokes for different folks.

  Entry Before and After

These days, we’ve got our dark walnut floors greeting you and some fun artwork on the wall. I think it would be awesome to find a gorgeous vintage rug for this space, but since I’m a cheapo, that’ll have to wait until the stars align and I find one for a steal of a deal. For now, the entry is looking like this.

Minwax Dark Walnut

Living Room

Other than painting and refinishing the floors, the room has not seen a ton of dramatic changes. The previous owner had kind of an odd furniture configuration, so that was a quick fix! 😉 Here is the before:

Living Room Before and After

And here it is now! One thing I’ve learned about myself decorating this house is that I LOVE big rugs. I feel a song coming on … I like big rugs and I cannot lie, you other home DIY decorators can’t deny, that a big rug just fills up that space and makes you want to cel-e-brate. Ok – had to … 😉 Here it is now, with the BIG Pottery Barn Owen Jute rug.

Large Jute Rug in Living Room

Downstairs Bath 

Our first true full renovation in this house was the downstairs bathroom. Here is how this bathroom looked before we moved in. Kinda like the water closet for kermit, ode to green. More than anything, this bathroom lacked any storage space. No vanity, no spot to put your toothbrush, just a little rinky dink shelf that led to lots of clutter up in here.

Bathroom Before and After Now we’ve got ample storage, mainly due to the built-in we decided to install between the studs in the tub surround. It’s turned out to be the perfect location to store all of our toiletry goodies, we even had some extra room for some bathroom beautification. Holla.

Traditional Marble Bathroom

Master Bedroom

 This one has come a long way since the days of our oreo cookie walls. Very chic, very not our style. We decided to go with something a bit more understated in this space.

Master Bedroom Before and After

Here is a recent snapshot of how the bedroom is looking these days. We painted, refinished the floors, bought these curtains and did some general sprucing.

Emmie Spets Sheets IKEA

Dining Room 

Wall, schmall – who needs it. Not us! It’s gone off to wall heaven while we enjoy our nice open and airy dining/kitchen space. Here is how the dining room looked the day we moved in, with the kitchen over to the left.

Dining Room Before and After

W’ere pretty ga ga over the new space. Every few days we look at each other and say – I can’t believe we almost didn’t take out the wall. I can’t even conjure up an image of what the renovated space would have looked like without the wall removal and I’m pretty glad we go the random charge of energy and guts to just go for it. It wasn’t easy, it was mega dirty and at times made us want to go in a corner in cry, but ya know what, it was so worth it.

Refinished Antique Table

Kitchen

Oh the kitchen. The land of faux finishes and wall murals. After 8-months of owning the house, we knew big changes had to happen in this space to make it the kitchen of our dreams. This is what the space looked in the beginning.

Kitchen Before and After

A wall removal and a total gut job later, the abode is looking like this. You could say I’m in love. We still need to add a few deets before the space is totally done (crown, etc), but we are on our way.

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

Conquer the Closet

So I think every home has at least one spot where crap just gravitates toward. Our house, has multiple crap magnets, but we are officially down one cause I tackled the closet! Since we moved in, I’ve just been stuffing things in there. Things that totally don’t belong there. Like paystubs, old prescriptions, toilet bowl cleaner. Yeah – let’s just say it was a catch all. Here is a lovely image to help you understand how much this closet was just not functioning.

Organization closet
Cluttered Closet – Before

Inspired by the William Morris project over at Pancakes and French Fries, I decided that today was the day. To Conquer – that – Closet. So I started by grabbing a selection of baskets from our stash in the basement (another area in dire need of being conquered, alas, not today). And I set to work purging this baby of all it’s unnecessary items. Funny, I thought for sure we would have to take a trip to HomeGoods or Ikea to get some new storage for the closet, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid stash hanging out in the basement. I found that the one great thing about moving, is that you can go shopping in your house, cause ya land up hoarding random things all over the place and finding them later. It’s awesome.

Closet organization
Baskets | Closet Organziation

I started by just emptying the whole kit and caboodle out so that I could systematically tackle it. When we were packing to move to this house, I actually found that I really like organizing items into a defined space. I was the master of packing boxes. I swear, it’s like another being zapped into my body (I’m talking Quantum Leap, here – do you remember that show!?) Just like that, like vrooom – and a jolt – and this new identity takes over. I would just look at the box, and all the stuff around me I’d have to pack and it just all magically fit. The closet felt like the same type of challenge. Defined amount of space, lots of random crap to fit in. I was up to the task. My alter ego that is, was up to the task. Of course, the Orange Tabby was there for moral support.

The orange tabby helping
Malcolm Helping

I started up at the top, and just worked my way on down. Here are some close-ups of the finished closet. Found some pillows just laying around, figured the linen closet was a good place to put em’ :) We have mostly linens and medicine stocked away in this cabinet, so I started compartmentalizing everything into separate totes to organize.

Closet Organization, Storage
Closet Organization

Here is the long and lean shot of the space. Much improved! Feels good to check that beast off the list!  Only took 3-months. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Linen Closet Organization
Linen Closet Organization

Going Cordless

One of the jankiest things about our basement built-in has been the cords that are all over the counter top. I hated those things. They were like weeds coming out of the cabinet and making the whole area look totally unkept and ugg. With a capital U. Here is a before picture to refresh your memory.

Computer with Cords
Computer with Cords

So when I brought up hiding the cords and organizing the space and Jay said it would be no problem to tackle – that made me happy. I didn’t believe him though. I thought he was pulling the whole happy wife, happy life routine. So I said great! … and anticipated not so great. To my complete and utter amazement this was SO EASY. Granted I stood beside him and snapped pictures, but he seemed to know what he was doing. Leave it to the pros, ya know?

The key was in a specific drill bit that he was able to borrow from his co-worker (thanks Ron!). It’s got a diamond blade – fancy, eh? So this beast of a blade cut right through our tile and made the most perfect little circle! I was totally envisioning tile shards flying everywhere and a totally messed up looking counter, but I guess I shouldn’t have doubted the man. So here’s the play by play. First, and most importantly go get a diamond edge hole saw, this is the one we used. You really need this if you are trying to create a hole in tile or stone. If you are just drilling through wood, you can use a normal hole saw, which is what we used after getting through the first layer of tile.

Drilling into Tile
Drilling into Tile

First thing Jay did was get the area just a little wet. Probably a few tablespoons of water – just to helped with the friction. It decreases the heat and you do notice a funky smell if you don’t have a sufficient amount of water on the tile. You can see that a mud like substance starts to result as the tile and grout mix, and the hole begins to form. After this step, ya have a nice little perfectly rounded hole.

Hole in Tile
Hole in Tile

Next, after you get your layer of tile out, you need to come back through and get the chunk of wood underneath. This only took a second, and Jay just switched out the bit on his drill to a 1″ spade bit, which is just a normal circular wood bit.

Drilling into the Wood
Drilling into the Wood

Pretty much done at this point, just need to chisel out any extra wood pieces that are left on the outside perimeter. Look how intensely he is chiseling out that wood! Focused on his work, totally ignoring the paparazzi.

Chiseling Out Wood
Chiseling Out Wood

After we cleaned up, we were left with this! Totally loving this FREE and super easy upgrade. The counter is feeling a lot more airy and open now – definitely a move in the right direction.

Computer Monitor
Computer Monitor

And a view from the back – look at how nice those cords look!

Hidden-Cords-Computer