Bitten by the DIY bug!

15 Feb

I am completely addicted to the DIY shows on TV. My favorite is Rehab Addict with Nicole Curtis. If you have not seen this show, you are sooooo missing out. This little, tiny blonde pixie takes on 100 year old homes and restores them to what they once were, beautiful!  I love watching because it gives me tips on doing things in my own home.

Now I by no means can do what she does even financially so on my budget I have to scale things down but it is amazing what you can do with old treasures they people throw out or even donate. I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can get started on a few of my own projects. I am just itching to get my hands on a sawzall and get to work.  I have been scouring the thrift stores and found a couple of pieces of furniture that are sitting in my basement, quietly waiting for a Michigan thaw so I can restore them and make them a beloved part of our home. By watching these shows on television, I have found resources that I never would have on my own. I recently found out we have not one but two architectural antique salvage stores within 20 miles of my home.  Here you can find reclaimed wood, old fixtures and lighting from buildings that have been torn down and more. I can’t wait to drive my hubby crazy spending hours sifting through the treasures!

I have a couple of projects that I consider my must do’s this Summer. One is my kitchen. We are on a very tight budget so necessity dictates that I get creative. I have what is probably the smallest and ugliest kitchen in all the land. I have very little cabinet space and a whopping 3 feet of counter space. Whoever designed, and I use that term loosely, this kitchen was either drunk or a man that does not cook. My home, built in 1950, needs serious help and since we are upside down in our mortgage, all we can do is work with what we have.  Because of design and layout flaws in my kitchen I can’t add counter space but I am going to reconfigure the cabinets to try to get the maximum storage space I can.  Our existing cabinets are a cheap, ugly, barely wood cabinet and I have tried sanding and painting them, I even tried a faux finish spray paint kit and let’s just say I didn’t like the results of either.

I have decided that I am going to sand them again and then stain them and apply a sealant. I want to add new drawer pulls and cabinet handles as well.  The ugly boarder at the top of the walls is also coming out and a nice, fresh coat of paint is going up.  I also got a great idea from Pinterest on how to turn shipping pallets in to open cabinets that are going to be added to the walls.  I really want a butcher block counter and since I have such a small amount of counter to replace, I may be able to fit it into the budget. I will be looking at our local Habitat for Humanity store where you can really score some great finds.  People who have remodeled their homes as well as contractors, donate unused or gently used items like cabinets, counter tops, doors, windows and more so you never know what you will find and since the inventory is always changing, you can check back daily or weekly.

Another big project I want to tackle this year is our basement. Oh is it an eyesore!  Years ago my husband framed in an extra bedroom that now since the kids are all gone, we use as a workout/storage room and a second full bathroom which was a must have!  The laundry room is still open but we did hang a rod and curtain to seperate it from the rest of the basement but that’s yet another project on the to do list. Our basement still has cinder block walls and the ceilings are a mess. Because of the way the plumbing and heating ducts were placed, we cannot even put in a drop ceiling so I am still looking for alternatives for that problem.  I have seen a few home mags that people have painted the entire ceiling, including duct work, a dark color to make it disappear, which I may try.  I have not decided if we are going to drywall, panel or something else, those cinderblock walls yet but no matter what we do, insulation is a must.  After watching several home shows I do know that I am certain that I want to do a feature wall as we will be using this space as a much needed family room. My favorite is a feature wall using reclaimed wood and all you need to do is sand and stain it before applying. I love the idea of having wood from some old building, like a barn, that has history to make a statement on my walls.

We also need to decide on flooring for the basement. Right now there is an ugly indoor/outdoor carpet that has seen better days. I haven’t decided is I want to recarpet, which makes it a bit warmer or go with hardwoods, laminate, tile  oh my, too  many options!  Earlier I had stated that I have purchased a few items from thrift stores that are patiently waiting on me to get to them. The two pieces are different size book shelves. One is 5 feet tall with 5 shelves and the other is more like 3 feet tall with 2 shelves. I know I want to sand and paint/stain them but after that, I have so many ideas that I am not sure which I will use. Right now I am leaning toward painting them and then using a contact paper on the back behind the shelves, where every one can see it, to make a statement. I could even stencil it or use contrasting paint colors. The options are limitless. Since we have just the basic glass block, small windows in the basement, I play on creating a faux window look with trim. By hanging your curtain rods higher and farther apart than the actual window size, you create the effect of a larger window.  Add pretty curtains and it transforms the room.

Another project is my dingy laundry room.  It isn’t a bad sized space it’s just ugly. There is a built in pantry area that we have never used for anything more than storage of my hubby’s tools which is going to get a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint so that it can actually be used as a pantry. We also have a second fridge in this area that allows us to stock up on things so it has to stay but it is going to get a makeover as well as being relocated so that we can add shelves to that area.  A bright coat of paint and my hubby doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to build me a counter top with shelve storage for easier access to folding clothes and such. A new vinyl floor will also be installed. Because it’s a dingy basement laundry, I chose a very pretty shade of yellow for the walls but I haven’t quite decided on flooring yet. We like the peel and stick tiles for their ease of use.

I am putting some pictures up of options I  am looking at and maybe you all can help me decide. As each room is a work in progress, I will post pictures of my journey!

Here are some options for flooring in the laundry room I am looking at. Remember the walls will be a soft shade of yellow.

Wall color


Here are some choice for wall tiles I want to place behind the washer and dryer.




Kitchen Ideas

Cabinet stain   Wall color   Backsplash    Possible countertop       possible floor tile 


Do you have DIY skills or a project you’re working on?  Let us know.  Leave your story in the comments!

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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


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