Saturday, August 30, 2014

Floating Bathroom Shelves

The area above our toilet needed some storage space. There used to be two white shelves there long ago, but we thought we might sell our house, so they came down. Thus, the wall has been bare for about a year. We missed the storage space and decorative possibilities, so decided to add some permanent floating shelves. We chose a simple style, inspired by this post, that would be unobtrusive and consistent with our towel racks. Hopefully, future buyers would appreciate having this extra storage as well.  

I made a trip to Lowes to pick out a 2"x8" interior board, and a nice man at Lowes cut it down into three 18" pieces for me. Why 18"? Wall studs are typically spaced 16", and are 2" (actually 1.5") thick, and our toilet was fortuitously placed exactly between the two studs. To center the shelves over the toilet and anchor into studs, I would need 16" of shelf, plus a little space from the screw holes to the edge. Once I got home, all I needed to do was sand and stain them (leftover Weathered Gray stain by Rust-Oleum from our bathroom hook project.) 


I skipped all the sanding and staining pics, here are the shelves ready to hang.


A kind neighbor let us borrow his Kreg Jig to drill angled holes into the top of each shelf. We hadn't heard of this tool before, but it's incredibly useful. The combination of the guide apparatus and special drill bit gives precise angled "pocket holes" to sink my 3" screws through the boards, and into the stud.


Joe found the wall studs and drilled the screws into the pocket holes from the top.  The level was used to ensure the shelves were straight. The longest official Kreg Jig screw available at Lowes was 2" (they were out of stock of 2.5"), and we wanted extra strength and length into the stud, so Joe used 3" deck screws. He had to be extra-careful not to strip the screw head, but in the end worked out well.


Here's the finished result!


Needed a shot from the doorway to show the whole bathroom.  We were happy with how the gray shelves turned out to coordinate with the gray mirror frame and wall hook backing.


I found the cute orchid at the grocery store today and a pretty candle for the top shelf.  The bathroom is feeling a whole lot more spa like than before.


It's so nice having stuff off of the toilet lid as well. I used a pretty clear vase for cotton balls and cotton swabs and added a picture of the kids.



Now I need ideas for what to hang above the towels. Pictures of the kids? A big piece of art.  I'll have to keep my eye out for inspiration.

Have a great weekend ya'll. I need to start planning a 4-year-old Hello Kitty Birthday party!

xo
Cathleen

Friday, August 15, 2014

From Bars to Hooks

This is what happens when life happens.  Our hallway bath has seen better days. There used to be two pretty silver towel racks on this wall, but since the kids couldn't figure out how to hang the towel without pulling on it really hard one kept falling off the wall. We had screwed it on several times before we just had to give up on the idea that the kids could hang their towels gently. 


There was a bit of miscommuncation about the stenciled wall.   First I discussed painting the whole bathroom white for resale purposes. Then I talked about just leaving it because it took 4 hours to complete and I thought it still looked pretty.  I gave up on the idea of a white bathroom and also vowed I wasn't going to do anymore painting in this house.  So Joe happened to find the same purple-gray paint in the storage shed and went to work patching and painting the entire wall.  I think I said to just leave the stencil, but oh well!  It wasn't my best work anyhow.  So here's the wall after he painted over the acrylic stenciling.  It covered well and didn't have the edges I thought would for sure pop through.


Our plan was to give each of the kids a hook to hang their towels on.  And instead of directly mounting those hooks to the walls, which wouldn't give us the stability we were looking for since they would have to be mounted directly to a stud behind the wall we opted for a nice piece of wood that could be mounted into the studs and the hooks could then be evenly spaced.  We decided to stain this piece of wood "Weathered Gray" by Rust-oleum.


I first sanded the wood from Lowes with fine grit sand paper and then used a cloth and made sure to protect my hands with rubber gloves.  I used one coat, let it soak in for 10 minutes and then rubbed off the excess.  And nothing goes unsealed when I do it, so it got three coats of Polycrylic Water based protective top coat.   This would ensure good protection from mold since it was going in the bathroom.


I found three pretty silver coat hooks in the knob and hook aisle at Lowes. They came to about $5 a piece. The wood and stain came to around $5. 


To make it fun for the kids too they each got their own charcoal gray towel embroidered with their initial.  Scored these at JCPenny on clearance.


I have been tossing different ideas around for something to go above that wood.  I like the idea of a big piece of art or perhaps black and white photos of each of the kids.


And this guy approves of the new bathroom look.  I think he's ready for his bath and towel hook! Is there room for another!?


Have a great weekend everyone!

xo
Cathleen

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Come shop with me

On a recent trip to Home Goods looking for some inspiration for my throw pillows, I realized I haven't taken any photos in a long time of things I like.   So come along and we'll "window shop" together.

A cute Navy blue throw pillow with a silver all-over scallop pattern. 


These white rectangular pillows are adorable for summer time with their sparkly glitter lobster and crab design.



While perusing the pet aisle I found this adorable doggy bed in a gray floral pattern with mustard colored birds.  It would look great in our bedroom when we get a puppy!


And here is the dog bowls I would get.  I think the above ground design is good for dogs while eating and I love the yellow color with the pattern on the side.  What dog wouldn't love these?


This was cute.  It's a 3 x 3 metal shelf with metal storage bins each labeled with numbers. I can see this being useful in a mud room for shoes or maybe for storage crafts.


These metal storage bins were so cute in gray and red.  They remind me of my Dad's old tool boxes growing up.


This blue and gold box was curious. It reminded me of a treasure box and would look very cute in a boy's room for their treasures.


In the clearance aisle I even found some cute items.  This black and white capiz storage box was so pretty.


And this brown, pink, purple and blue throw blanket was on clearance and would make a cute color statement on a gray sofa.


This octagonal gray mirror reminds me of the mirror we have over our mantel but with a chunkier frame.


I adored this light turquoise mirror. It was considerably large and would look pretty in a bedroom or little girl's room.


How's this fur a foot stool? Hardy har har.  With it's square body and wooden legs it looks like it used to be alive!


Great Danes or other types of dogs are very popular right now in the ceramic animal world. Pick one up today so you can be like all the cool kids.


Don't you want him to greet you on the way in each day?


This gray settee would look very cute in an entry way or in the bedroom.  It's tufted back and formal air could go with many styles of decor.


This Navy and white storage bench would be great at the end of a bed or even outside on a patio.


How cute is this huge metal ampersand all lit up with retro round glass bulbs?


This metal anchor with bulbs would be very cute on a patio or even in a little boy's nautical themed room.


A Huge metal "M" -couldn't help but think of my son.


This entry table was very cute in it's light grayish toned wood.


And who doesn't want a huge metal suit of armor awaiting them at their front door?  Maybe if you live in a castle you need this.


In the dish aisle they had very pretty food display stands.  This turquoise one with crystal drops would be very pretty for a wedding or baby shower or even a little girl's tea party.


They had very beautiful green glass trays that would be very pretty on a white linen table cloth.



If you're like me and love using your expensive china for everyday eating, then picking some up on sale or clearance is the way to go. You're not too concerned with it breaking or being sad if it's your grandmother's china.



I'm not usually a fan of these colors, but these fun towels would look very cute in a little girl's bathroom with white painted walls.


Who doesn't need a huge gray and white storage bin?  For summer you could throw your deck or pool towels in this and call it a day.


This pretty capiz chevron print serving tray was in the clearance rack.


Hello Russian stacking doll glasses! These are so cute and they had two in the clearance aisle.


Although I managed to leave the store empty handed, it's always fun to look around and get inspiration especially if you're not sure which direction you're headed in your decorating style. 

Happy Shopping!

xo
Cathleen

Monday, June 23, 2014

Prettying up the outside

Things are so up in the air right now.  We were on the path to get ready to move this summer, but things fell through on the job hunt for my husband and it looks like we'll be in our house for at least another year.   In the spring we were readying our yard for the big move, adding mulch, new plantings, my MIL even got us a new hedger for my birthday so we could make all of the bushes look professionally trimmed.   So, it's strange that we did so much work just to probably have to do it all again next Spring, but on the other hand we can enjoy it for another year and hopefully an even better job opportunity arises. Besides, our house is definitely kid friendly and there is something to be said for keeping things stress-free until you have to move.   

After I mowed the lawn yesterday, trimmed the bushes one more time, I decided to do a little photography around the outside to have for our house listing (when it comes time.)

Here's a view of our front porch, however it does need another good coat of paint on the floor and down those stairs. That will have to wait until next Spring so it's perfect for the new owners. Joe added new gutter guards over this past weekend.


See that nicely trimmed hedge? It's much lower now than it was.


Our Liriope is looking nice and green (that plant near the walkway.) I love that it comes back every spring and requires little effort.


There's a little gap where the Liriope stops, so I actually got the opportunity to buy one from my son's garden store at school. It's planted in that corner and hopefully it will fill in over time. We used to have a big Crape Myrtle in that corner, but Joe removed it last summer because it was interfering with the siding on our house.


Here's the view from the driveway looking out over our front yard. Our garden just has a few potted plants this summer and some marigolds directly in the ground.  At some point someone should dig out all that existing soil and add some nutrient rich compost.  And by someone I mean not me, LOL.


Here's a shot from the street looking down.  Pretty much everything on our house is new = roof, paint, siding, front door, back door, screens, gutters, lights, etc.


I am going to put in a old shot of our house (taken when we moved in in 2007) just to give you reference. Notice the change!


Here's a view from the street corner with all of those bushes!  They aren't that bad. :)


We planted these butterfly bushes about two years ago and they have gotten huge!  They are easy to trim back and look so pretty when they bloom.


This shot is looking into the front yard from the right corner of the house. I just mowed.  Our front and side hill got $250 worth of hardwood mulch spread across, which still looks pretty nice.


Joe made this rain barrel from a food storage container and it sits in the front of our house where a drain pipe fit over it nicely.  We'll probably remove it for any new owners if they want it removed. It's been great watering the plants from it, especially since the kids can each fill up a bucket and we don't worry about them wasting water.


Our cute front door. Sorry about the "spring wreath" -probably need to make a summer wreath before it's time to hang my Halloween wreath. Can you believe only 3 months until I can put up my black feather wreath again. Is time flying by or is it just me?


This potted flower has done extremely well. I planted it back in early spring and it has been blooming ever since. It helps that my kids water it regularly and it gets plenty of sunshine.


I love that in the summertime it looks like we have complete privacy with all those trees filling in. Our driveway is a great basketball court too.  Can you believe my oldest makes shots from the professional height?


We added $250 worth of cypress chips to the backyard and we didn't want to have it totally mulched so we made a nice square area of grass.  Just beyond the grass we added two gardenia bushes that are currently blooming and make our backyard smell so wonderful. I also took the ugly blue tarp off the wood pile which turns out looks a lot nicer!


So much mulch! I love that my kids don't come in muddy anymore.  They have so much to play with too! A sandbox, a water table/sand box, a play house, and a nice swing set with slide. If any future owners have kids we'll probably leave all of this for them, or just sell it all if they don't want it.


This is our compost bin which I got another shot of.  I think has been a wonderful feature of our yard. Our kids are learning about composting, gardening, and it gives them an easy chore to help with (bringing out the kitchen scraps and burying them.) What child doesn't like to dig?


This back deck view shows the two levels of space where it's been nice to have that extra hard space for lounge chairs and our picnic table above. Plenty of toy storage under the deck as well. That door leads to our storage shed which houses all of our tools and yard equipment.  We added some tiki torches this summer because in year's past we sprayed our entire yard for mosquitoes but this year we are going organic and chemical-free.  Just beyond the fence in that corner I planted some English Ivy that I hoping will grow up the fence and provide more privacy.




Here's a shot looking down at our yard from the deck. Lots of space for the kids and our future dog to run around! More that later! :)


And last but not least, our long slopped driveway. Lots of people think it's "too sloped" but we have learned that it kept our small children in the yard while riding on their tricycles or bikes and didn't slope downward into traffic, which we liked.  We've come to enjoy the slope in the winter when it snows because it made a great sledding area for the kids.  It fits two cars nicely as well with play space left over.


We'll be doing it all over come next spring and hopefully our plantings from this year will come in even more nicely and we'll make even more improvements to help sell our house.  

As of now, I've got a few painting projects up my sleeve and some other changes going on inside the house. Stay tuned!

xoxo
Cathleen

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