Next step is to do a few touch-ups, put the doors back on, and put everything away. Touch-ups tonight, doors tomorrow, and next week will be organization central. Thank goodness for summer holidays!!! I'll do a complete before and after once it's all done. Stay tuned!
So remember THIS POST when it was all about our basement storage project from the beginning? Well our basement sat like it was at the end of that post for a LONG time. Part of that was Mat travelling and the rest just not knowing exactly how we wanted it. Well in May we finally came up with a plan and in June we bought the wood. Matt honestly did all of the purchases, building, sanding, priming, and painting in 3 weeks. He worked really fast so there are a few instagram pics along with my DSLR. I just couldn't get down there enough to capture every moment (probably to his relief!).
Where we left off...
The purchases - pine
First off was building the base to level everything out. Toronto houses = uneven everywhere.
Looks like a ladder
I love the pictures where he is deep in thought.
Base is secured, frame is built.
Half shelves done
Closet section secured and shelves for outdoor cushions above
Checking to see the closet doors work - Ikea closet doors made into sliding rollers
Ikea doors checked for size too!
Had to do the junction box and plug you can see too. Better than the dangling one that was there before...
Last check of everything before painting
Painted! 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's White Dove in Semi-gloss latex paint.
All the ledges are for adjustable shelving - none, half, or full shelves anywhere along the bottom
Next step is to do a few touch-ups, put the doors back on, and put everything away. Touch-ups tonight, doors tomorrow, and next week will be organization central. Thank goodness for summer holidays!!! I'll do a complete before and after once it's all done. Stay tuned!
Many people lately have commented "Wow! Do you guys ever just relax?" I know it seems like we never rest and are constantly doing projects, but really, the last time we did anything major was December 2012, when we did the upstairs stair guard and stairs. Matt travelled a lot this past year and I'm not versed well enough in tools to do a reno on my own. Plus we love doing projects together. This was the first Christmas where we didn't have any new home project to "show off" to our family which got us itching to do some projects in the new year.
So, we just finished the stairs on Family Day last Monday, and we decided yesterday (Saturday) to start on the storage, was the second half of the basement project. The first thing we had to do was unpack all the cupboards. We also went through everything and threw out stuff we didn't need, moved a few things to new locations, and found temporary spots for everything else.
The before. Tidy work area from the stair project.
Even all the extra wood is organized!!!
The first cupboard held all our paint, stain, patching and sealing supplies, drop sheets, and then random stuff like bug killers, a few strong cleaners and light bulbs. Here is their new temporary home in the laundry room.
The closet was next up. It contained coats, extra scarves, hats and gloves, old shoes, and golf and snowboard stuff
Since the golf clubs and snowboard were already moved here when we removed the stuff from under the stairs, I just decided to keep everything together. That duffle bag is filled with all the coats. We obviously use this bathtub a lot...hmmm...maybe we should the bathroom as basement project round 3???
Another cupboard had a shelf of extra baking supplies and spices. This is where they live now, haha. I plan on making myself a lovely ombre layer cake with some fancy icing for my birthday over March Break.
All the serving stuff that doesn't fit in the sideboard upstairs was in another cupboard. Here it all is (plus a lot of stuff from under the stairs that was already hanging out here, preventing me from doing Wii Zumba).
Of course there was a shelf filled with different liquors and whisky, plus a whole lot of empties. That conversation went like this: Kat: "I thought I asked you to take those back at Christmas!" Matt: "Yep, and I've been ignoring you since Halloween!" Then he dropped some and made a mess - sweet retribution!!!
Are now back to the Beer Store and a tidy sum in Matt's pocket.
*Sigh* So much stuff.
Our second step to this project was to actually remove the cupboards from the wall and take them apart. This actually only took just over an hour. As long as you have a power drill it makes life easier. By hand would be very annoying, but still possible. We had three big shelving cupboards and one closet system. Who knows what the walls would be like behind them! I was hoping for the original exposed brick!!!
Removing the doors
Hmmmm were they even bolted to the wall? The answer is NO!
A sweet surprise! A note from the owners who did the basement reno. There is more but it's the name of the owners. I won't show the whole message to protect their privacy. I do intend, however, to photograph and frame the note so I don't feel as bad painting over it! No luck with the brick - it was painted white behind.
Looks so empty now!
Since we don't have extra tile, it is lucky that our new cupboards will be a bit deeper than the original ones, and will be build right over top and beyond the edge of tile. It's pretty gross, though!
The next step will decide how exactly we want to organize the new system. Roughly we will have cupboards on the bottom half, similar to the sideboard in the dining room. The top half will be open shelving. The triangle under the stairs will be all shelves. It will all probably be painted white, and we'll use Ikea doors on the bottom half, but build the cupboards ourselves. We want to make sure we will have a long closet on the end for all our extra coats and shoes (as we don't have a main floor closet), and we also have to be able to store our suitcases, golf clubs, snowboard, Matt's guitar, all our Christmas and holiday decorations, and all the random house stuff you've seen spread around my basement!!!
So the ??? was actually until about Day 21. But really there were some drying time days in there too, but so far I've really only included days where we (who am I kidding, Matt) did work. Not all of them were full days, but again, with painting and staining, patience is key. Also balance and flexibility so you can take stairs two at a time holding a giant basket of laundry without falling down.
Okay so I could go through all the painting and staining progress pictures FIRST, but we all know you just want to see the final product, so here's one for you before I launch into the details:
Sorry it can't be any prettier. The tools are not disappearing any day soon!
Step 13 - Priming & Painting the Stair Guard & Risers
Day 10 - Basic priming of the stair guard, posts, and risers. Nothing crazy - just primer and paintbrush!
Taping was very annoying...but necessary.
Day 11/12 - 2 coats of paint on the same parts. We used the same paint that is on all of our trims,
Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss latex.
Very pretty. There is also a big puddle of paint just out of sight that Matt spilled, haha.
Step 14 - Gluing the Stairs
Day 13/14 - We had to attach the stairs over two days because we wanted the glue (construction adhesive) to be completely dry before stepping on them. It was weird to step on them because with and without the stairs they were different levels - it really throws you off when walking down them!
Step 15 - Staining the Stairs
Day 15-21. Since laundry and storage were in the basement, we had to do every other stair like we did upstairs when painting and staining. The stairs started with pre-stain to help the stain soak in, then we did 2 coats on stain using Minwax "Golden Pecan" and followed by 3 coats of glossy Minwax oil-modified (more water-based) polyurethane. There were some days where Matt did a coat in the morning and a coat at night, so it took 3 days for each half set of stairs, plus 24 hours to dry between. After the 24 hours we pulled off the tape and did some touch-ups on the paint.
Zebra stripes of stain!
With the polyurethane coats
Matches the rail perfectly
Nice clean lines
Now if only the tools could get put away...but no such luck - we're tackling those cupboards soon.
So much better than the gross dingy carpet!
After a bit of tidying just this morning - basement is very organized...in its own way.
Gotta love the before and after!
Project Done. So Next Up?
- take everything out of storage cupboards (actually did this this morning!)
- tear down the cupboards (may do that later today or tomorrow - excited!!!)
- paint (may possibly need to prime) the brick wall behind the stairs
- plan the storage cupboards and open shelving system
- build the storage system (and a million more details go into this)
Last weekend Matt worked on building the stair guard and we left off with this photo:
Step 10 - Filling & Smoothing
This week was all about touch-ups. Using wood-filler and poly-fill to fill gaps, sanding, cleaning, etc. I assigned that as "Day 6", though it was probably done over 2-3 days just for an hour each evening getting things perfect. At the end of last weekend
All the screw holes filled, sanded, filled again, sanded again before painting next week.
Notice the empty light switch box? Matt moved that last weekend too!
Step 11 - Cut & Attach Risers
Day 7 - I'm using the term "risers" for the vertical parts of the stairs. We bought riser and stair kits (stair refinishing kit?) from Lowes that go right over plywood. You only need to cut to size. The good thing about them is that they have a lip that goes in the front. These pieces are also thin and have a good finish. Also the biggest thing? WAYYYY cheaper than buying oak and cutting it to size.
Each kit was normally $40 but we got them on sale for $20 each!!! Needed 12 kits.
The outer piece is the new riser (the other the original plywood).
As usual this boy works incredibly fast.
Had them all cut to size and screwed in (we need to invest in a nail gun!) in an hour!
Step 12 - Cut Stairs to Size
Day 7/8 - The flat pieces to the stairs I'm just calling "stairs". If I called them "risers" for the vertical, does that make these the "runs?" That's a little math humour for you...yes I am a geek. You should already know that. The reason that cutting to size and assembly are not lumped into one is because we are going to paint all the risers and wood at once and stain the stairs separately before attaching.
Stairs are just sitting there to ensure the correct size. Matt numbered each stair and piece to make sure he knew which piece was for what. He cut the length (left to right) for all the stairs when he did the risers, and this cutting was for depth of the stair.
See how the bottom stair has that teeny space on the left between the riser and stair?
Yeah that's driving Matt crazy. He measured perfectly but our house is never easy so that happens some times.
Hopefully nothing a little wood filler can't fix!!!
Screws for the risers were strategically placed to be covered by the stairs.
Nothing like a man covered in saw dust using a saw on a stand with another saw.
Explaining to me how to make the top flush with the floor.
It's the connection piece between the tile and wood so that you don't trip.
**See my turquoise step stool??? Post to come!!!**
Admiring his work. Sad to take them off moments later as they all need to be stained! They look so pretty!
- Prime and paint the risers and all the stair guard - using our go-to trim white - Benjamin Moore's "White Dove". It's the colour of the risers and balusters upstairs too.
- Touch ups to the wall paint where any filler went. The basement colour is BM's "Moonshine." It's more from moving the lighting than the stairs, but it will be done while we are painting everything else.
- Pre-stain, stain (x 2), and verathane (x 3) the stair pieces
- Attach the stair pieces to the, well, stairs.
- Touch ups (there is always touch-ups)
- Admire briefly before starting the basement storage project!!!
When we last left off, we had removed the basement stair carpet, sawed off the sides that stuck out, and reinforced the top to the joist. Last weekend (and one weekday this week) we tackled sawing off the fronts that stuck out, building the stair guard, including the newel post and balusters. Here's what it looked like shortly before that:
Last Saturday morning, right before the work began
Need to saw off those edges to fit on the new wood on top properly
Step 5 - Cutting the Stair Edges on the Front
Day 3 - Measuring and drawing straight lines
And cut away! Couldn't circular saw all the way to the edge so had to hand saw a bit too (hard labour!)
Step 6 - Paint Touch-Ups
I offered to do this but he was in the zone - just a few touch ups from when we took the carpet out and there was missing paint (well it was a different colour) - if only we could see the original brick!!!
Step 7 - Cutting & Securing the Newel Post
Day 4 - Preparing the newel post. We used pine for all the stair guard.
I realized that I probably should not be down here if Matt was wearing a mask to avoid the dust, haha.
An hour later it was installed!
It was attached to the stairs and there is a bit of glue underneath so it won't slide around on the tile
"Matt? You're not dead, right?"
Step 8 - Cut & Assemble the Stair Guard
Also added wood to the side - this is piece one of two.
"Matt are you sure this is level?"
"Matt, you're an engineer right?"
..."but I can see you through this crack!!!!"
Oops! Will need to fill that. Then I continued to mock him until he kicked me off the stairs, haha.
Second side of wood in, and top stair guard too.
Seriously, I leave for a half hour and things go very quickly downstairs. Sorry I don't have more pictures!
View from straight on I like the very clean look.
Okay, end of day 4!
Step 9 - Adding the Balusters
Day 5 - More engineering plans - oh Matty I love your clever but geeky style!
I didn't take pictures of measuring everything out, and again after an hour he was half done already!
This perfectly captures Matt at work.
Still very clean looking. I'm not a fan of curly curvy balusters.
This assembly was a lot easier than upstairs when they had to be put into the ground.
I didn't think I would like the balusters on the outside look, but I really don't mind it at all.
Here's a shot of the bolts attaching the post to the stairs that I took later.
Wow I really need to clean and grout renew!!!
Matt didn't like that the top one was a bit closer than the rest. So he removed a little angled piece so the last baluster would be evenly spaced. Perfection!
Before & Progress!!!
Doesn't look like much but at least it's a lot safer so far!
Matt hasn't done any work on the stairs since Tuesday, though he did spend two hours at home depot today getting a few things he needed. The light switch for the basement is going to be moved higher (right now it is about half-way down the stairs), plus we got a nest thermostat (!!!!) that he's going to install, and switch out a few of the un-matching light switches.
See how the light stairs at stair level instead of at eye-level? Very annoying when you have your hands full with laundry and you have to balance half-way down the stairs to turn it on.
Next Stair Project Goals?
- Wood filler where needed
- Cut and install the rise pieces - vertical parts to the stairs
- Paint the rise pieces
- Cut and stain the flat stair pieces
- Paint the stair guard
- Install the flat stair pieces
We'll probably get this project done by the end of next week because I can help with all the painting. And don't think I've been doing nothing! I've stained the tops of the butcher block island and started painting the sides. Still have one more coat, then I'll assemble. Can't wait to share this project!!!
One of the projects we decided to do in 2014 was to fix up the basement stairs and create a new storage system underneath them and along the length of the wall. The first step to all of this was doing the stairs. Specifically tear off the old carpet, create some sort of barrier along the open side, stain the tops and paint the risers on the stairs, and secure the stairs a bit better to the joist.
Step 1 - Remove the Carpet
Before picture - taken a few days before all of this started
Mostly was just pulling really hard to remove the majority (taking some of the staples with it)
Hmmm plywood. That's going to change our staining and painting plan a bit...
The little bits of carpet on the corners were stapled a billion times...
Took a bit more work to get them off. That's okay - they'll be gone along with the food they're attached to soon!
Step 2 - Removing the Stair Edges on the Side
We cut off the edges sticking out from the side because we want the barrier we build to be flush against the stairs
We'll have to figure this out too...I think they'll end up being covered in the end.
Looking at least much cleaner!
Step 3 - Secure the Stairs to the Joist
We noticed that the stairs are not exactly secure to the joist above. There was a foot gap between them. Not really an issue in terms of us falling through, but not exactly to code.
Matt built this box to secure the two together. We'll eventually drywall over this so its flush with everything else.
Step 4 - The Railing Plan
Always an engineer!
We're going to build a guard with balusters like we did upstairs. Originally we were going to just use a 30 cm wood guard along the side, but I looked up code. The building code says the stair guard must be 90 cm, hence the change. We considered just drywalling it all in, but that would really limit the amount of right and close off the space. This was a good compromise.
The list. We also bought oak stair refinishing pieces - pieces of wood that go over the existing plywood which will be stained and painted.
He's saying "are you done taking pictures of my lists so I can go and actually get the stuff?"
Now my basement looks like this...
...and this (we removed everything from under the stairs. And it's laundry day...)
- Saw the front edges off each stair (actually happening right now)
- Touch up the brick wall (paint the parts that used to be covered by the stairs)
- Cut the stair overlay wood to size
- Stain the overlay steps and paint the risers
- Attach the overlays (I'm not sure overlay is the right word...but I'm going with it)
- Cut the stair guard rail and balusters and newel post to the correct sizes
- Paint all stair guard components
- Assemble stair guard
- Drywall in top piece
- Plus probably about 100 other things involved in this project that I'm forgetting.
When all that's done, then we can start on all of the basement storage stuff! Wow this is going to be a big project - but I'm excited! Stay tuned!!! Oh yeah, and I haven't forgotten about the January Cure - I will post this week's projects soon!
So here is my January Cure project list for 2014. If you want to see my list from 2013, you can see it HERE. There are quite a few from last year that are still on this list! Here are the pictures I took to help me remember instead of writing the list down. These are all unedited - a glimpse at my day to day house - though it is quite clean since we just had family over yesterday for a New Year's Day brunch.
1. An easy one - make the bed. Most of the time Matt makes it because he is last up. But I could make it today...
2. Organize closet drawers - I have to do this a few times a year. A good uncluttering and reorganizing.
3. Organize this one too. Especially the middle area.
4. Reorganize jewelry area.
PS - Yay for hockey tickets!
5. Still have this yellow storage unit...make it purple to match the bedroom!
6. Shoe boxes with pictures to identify each shoe and organize
Guest Bedroom # 1
7. Clothes to Salvation Army/Goodwill
8. Still have this sweater closing up the vent - get vent cover!
9. Put Christmas wrapping stuff away
10. Storage for suitcases
Guest Bedroom # 2
11. Hooks on the back of this door for extra towel storage during the week
12. Art/something for this wall on the left - it's so empty.
13. Organize these drawers - makeup, hair products - all the stuff that doesn't fit in our tiny bathroom
14. Area rug for this room?
15. Caddy for bathroom organization in the shower
16. New bathmat
Upstairs Hallway & Closet
17. Closet organization - annual thing!
18. Gallery wall of family pictures - have wanted to do this since last year
19. New light for the hallway! Geez!
20. Spray paint the black on the light to bronze, silver or gold
21. New entryway shoe organization. Those rocks are so annoying.
22. .Coat storage is not working either!
Let's be honest - I love my dining room.
23. Let's make it a little bit more homey now, slightly less model home.
24. I do not love lamp. Get new one. NOW!
25. Can we do anything about this exposed plug? Make it look less exposed?
26. More energy efficient thermostat - maybe one of the NEST ones?
27. I always feel this corner looks a little lonely/empty. Not sure what to do to fix this.
28. Curtains for this window may fix the one above too?
29. I love this painting Matt did, but I'm not sure it goes with this room anymore.
Where to put it? What to replace it with?
30. Move the carpet back a bit so the little ottoman can fit a bit better in that space.
31. This corner needs something taller?
32. This was organized last year but now we have more DVDs (and with Netflix that seems ridiculous)
33. Just...no. Clean this.
34. Paint this butcher block island. I'm going to do slightly darker wood stained tops, turquoise legs.
35. Something new on the chalkboard
36. Our cookbook collection is expanding. Where to put them?
37. Somehow clean the inside of the dishwasher (beyond the grossness on the door)
38. Clean the oven.
39. Organize this drawer. Tons of ideas for this and all organizing from the blog
iheartorganizing - she's a freaking genius
40. Little ruffly shade for the top of the window? Curtains?
41. Do we keep this or sell it? We hardly use the cappuccino maker even though it is awesome.
PS - there's my turquoise butcher block inspiration - David's Tea (and of course my friend, Tiffany)
42. Something pretty on the wall in this corner, too. A cool recipe blown up maybe.
43. Pictures/gallery wall down the stairs?
These next few are part of a larger project coming up this month!
44. Rip the carpet off the stairs
45. Under the stair storage shelving unit
46. Reinforce the stairs - perhaps a post is needed.
47. New storage units across the whole wall.
48. Take back empties.
49. New coat storage (extend and organize and rebuild).
50. Storage for all this stuff my mom gave me on the left, and general personal stuff on the right.
(PS - Mmmmm if you've never tried White Linen Marinara from Costco, it will change your life. It's down here because we were hosting yesterday and just brought it down here with other stuff. It will be used very soon.
Thanks mom in law!)
51. Find storage for my photography stuff and gym stuff.
52. This one is from the kitchen - the key is that brown box. It contains a very cute Ikea step stool that I am going to stain just like the kitchen butcher block island. Stained wood top, turquoise sides.
53. This is extra seasonal foliage from upstairs. Matt knocked it over while vacuuming. Better solution?
(PS - Matt hung our diplomas in the office - don't they look great?)
54. Hang the pretty map Matt got for Christmas, and my periodic table! GEEEEEEEK!!!!
55. Fix my printer (again). A cartridge leaked and now it won't print. I need it.
Basement Bathroom & Laundry Room
56. Oh my goodness. This bathroom.
This is a bigger project probably, but maybe I can just buy a pretty shower curtain to spruce it up a bit.
57. Tool storage improvements.
58. What to do with this ceiling....?
61. Skirt this laundry tub to hide all our chemicals.
62. Finish the walls - complete filling holes, paint drywall.
Oh my goodness this post took me forever! I remember thinking this last year too! For the most part, it is a bit of cleaning and organizing. The big project is the basement storage (#44-50) - we are starting this weekend! Can't wait to share ideas and updates. This will take longer than a month, but it's a start.
If you want to join in, go HERE and subscribe. If you stumble upon this post, leave me a comment about your plans and a link to your blog. I'd love to see some other January Curer's!!!
So here's what I accomplished over the month of January, and my future plans:
2. Cleaned the guest bedroom mirror
3. Organized the guest room drawers
4. Got the ProActiv frequency to the longest time
5. Decided to leave the picture on the floor - I like it!
10. Stepped on the scale (and promptly stepped off)
Did not figure out ways to dry towels better (sticking to over door knobs and frames), find art for the walls, spray paint the lamp base or the chandelier
Cleaned with a new light
Cleaned mirror and organized drawers
11. Organized the shower stuff
12. Replaced the turquoise pouf
82. Ripped out the basement medicine cabinet
83. Ripped out the basement toothbrush holder
Did not replace the shower mat, buy more white towels, or paint the basement bathroom
BONUS: scrubbed the bathroom floors!
Scrubbed bathroom and organized cabinets
Cleaned and some easy demolition
15. Storage solution for the saw horses (threw them out and got metal ones that collapse)
17. Donated the mirror
Did not spray paint the bird cage, put together the light, remove the sweater (why oh why?), patch and sand the walls, figure out the parquet
Got rid of sawhorses, donated much of the clothing, and got rid of the wire hangers
22. Made the bed (repeatedly, haha)
23. Did the laundry (also repeatedly)
25. Dusted the blinds
26-28. Organized the closets
Did not cover the yellow storage ottoman
BONUS: cleaned this room really well, including the mattress
Added some purple decor and cleaned
Also cleaned out every closed and cleaned the mattress with baking soda and fabric softener
32. Touched up the stairs
33. Put away some coats and accessories
34. Organized the shoes
35. Got a welcome mat for the hallway (not a runner, though)
36. Got a new light for the main entryway
Did not organize the upstairs hall closet, put a gallery wall down the stairs, get a new light for the hallway (although planning to use the old hallway light after spray painted silver)
Got a new light and organized some of the storage
Touched up the paint and stain on the stairs
39 & 40. - Used my new tripod and lens
Did not prime and paint the trim or update the sideboard decor
BONUS: cleaned this room really well
Washed all the linens from Christmas and dusted everything
Got some inspiring ideas from my YHL and D*S books (more to come on that!)
41. Took down the overhead light
43. Mounted the speakers to the wall
44. Read some decor magazines (but there are so many more now that I haven't read yet!)
46. Made the gallery wall
Did not figure out how to hide the wires, sand and stain the TV unit, figured out the lonely vase
BONUS: cleaned this room really well
New lighting and cleaned up space with mounted speakers
Need something for that far wall...
Got pictures for the gallery wall
48. Organized the change
49. Re-oiled the cutting boards (Matt is actually doing this as we speak!)
51. Bought milk
54. Cleaned the chalkboard (but didn't figure out something fun)
55. Shoveled the snow (multiple times, unfortunately)
56. Found a place for the cookbooks
57. Threw out the lavender
58. Threw out that orange
Did not organize the kitchen spices (although did rid myself of many of the ones in the basement), regrout tiles, paint the kitchen, figure out the top of the shelves, take down the ceiling fan, pulled out the plugs, fixed the wall bulge, or fix the clock
Florals to brighten up the kitchen
Spic and span kitchen, organized cookbooks, and a meal!
Dinner - Rosemary Chicken Lasagna
64 Dusted the shelf on the stairs
65. Put away laundry
66. Found a shop-vac space
67. Organized the bookshelf
69. Played the piano (Joseph Act 2!)
70. Used my office space
72. Stored the miter saw
73. Organized the wrapping container
74. Organized the storage pile (and threw a lot out)
75. Donated multiple items
76. Took back the empties
77 & 78. Organized the storage cupboards
81. Got rid of the old paint cans
86. Got the stuff out of the dryer
87. Washed the Christmas napkins and runner
88. Washed the stored the drop sheets
89. HHW disposal
90. Got rid of/washed some of the rags
91. Sorted the random wood
92. Dusted the laundry room rafters
93. Organized the tool drawers
94. Stored (but not cleaned) work shoes
95. Stored the towels (although not exactly where I want them yet)
96. Put away Matt's Queen's stuff
98. Covered the AC unit outside
Did not do anything with the chalkboard, get more ink for the printer, learned to golf, go on a picnic, called to service our AC unit
Organized files and bookshelves
An incredible amount of decluttering and organization
Wood gone, and a new home for the shop-vac
Tool area cleaned up and a little bit of love
And # 100 - Loved my home (a lot!) 63 of 100 things? Pretty good! Most of these things I didn't plan to finish in January in the first place, but it was a good list to get organized from. Matt says "ohhh...so that's a C" to which I promptly hit him. So supportive. It was a great month, and can't wait to do more!
Plans for the next few months?
1. Organize the linen closet
2. Paint the kitchen, dining room trim, and basement bathroom
3. Spray paint crazy - chandelier, hallway lights, birdcage
4. Plus some of the easy missed organization from the above list.
Longer term, we are planning to build a storage area underneath the stairs, along with reinforcing the stairs themselves and tearing off the carpet on it.
Day 16 - Clean Bathroom and Go Through Medicine Cabinets
I didn't actually do this until last weekend, but I did do a thorough clean. What I did not do is wear gloves while I scrubbed the floors with quite caustic "scrubbing bubbles" bathroom cleaner. Wow, were they red! Besides the floors, the bathrooms were easy - they are cleaned pretty regularly and I keep the sink and faucets tidy each day anyway. Making the shower glass look all shiny takes a bit more work, but not bad. The basement bathroom needed a good dusting and more detailed clean as it is done less often, and I also did some easy demos too. Specifically I pulled down the ugly medicine cabinet (all our stuff fits in the one upstairs or under the sink anyway) and the toothbrush holder. Now there is a random space on the wall, but I'm okay with that. I'm going to paint that room anyway at some point this year. The pictures aren't incredible...the spaces are small and light is limited, but here is what I took:
Obviously a few days after I cleaned the glass in the shower...
These prints are so fun
Basement bathroom (not so much to look at as of now...)
Sans wood medicine cabinet and toothbrush holder...
Now I need to get rid of that ugly light too!
Looking at these pictures really makes me want to do over this room!
Day 18 - Weekend Chores: Clean the Living Room and Empty the Outbox and Flowers
Well the living room was not that bad, but I did give it a good dusting, cleaning, vacuum, and also went through all the coffee table drawers. I went even further and did the same for the dining room. We also got one new light - the overarching floor lamp from West Elm. We took away the overhead light (planning on spray-painting it silver and putting it up in the hallway upstairs). The only thing we need to do now is put a lower wattage bulb in it - it is VERY bright. Since I sit pretty much underneath it, I feel like I am out in the sun...but without the warmth or tan or fruity drink. *Update - I have now changed this light to a 40W equivalent - much better!*
As for emptying the outbox, we did a run to Value Village with a huge load of clothing, and Matt took all the empties back to the Beer Store. We also took a huge pile for the dump (which also has a paint reuse center), and we gave the hutch in our basement back to Matt's parents to store for Megan (or for us in a future - and larger - house).
What I didn't do? Flowers! I forgot! Ahhh! I'll do it this weekend, I promise!
Broke out the tripod to let some light in
Ohhh J.Crew - was just discussing with a friend this week how beautiful all the stuff is in this latest catalogue, but all the most expensive things are featured! I can't afford to have everything cashmere!!!
Clean dining room too!
Really need to change up this sideboard decor...
Not very often there is this much light in the dining room (only between 11-2 pm usually)
Some details - LOVE print by Jen Ramos, plus some design books from bloggers YHL and D*S
plus a mercury glass owl. Wouldn't be my home without some sort of owl decor.
Vase is from my friend Steph as a housewarming present (from Urban Barn), apple for my teacher side (and I have a green one for the Spring), plus a key my sister in law gave me!
Day 19 - Catch Up & Take A Photo
Yay - catch up! Matt and I worked on the basement this weekend, and I did a bit on Monday as well. We cleared out a lot of the stuff from underneath the stairs. Matt decided he wanted to play his guitar more, so moved it upstairs...so now it's in the guest bedroom. Not being played. He refused to get rid of his electric guitar, while fully admitting that he has not played it since high school. Maybe he'll let my school kids use it? I never thought of that until this second. That's a pretty good idea! (*Update - he's considering it*) I went through all the keepsakes, and paint cupboard, and laundry room stuff, and as I mentioned above, its still a work in progress, but it's better.
First outbox dump - empties to the Beer Store, clothes to Value Village
Second round - to the DUMP!
Third round - all of this pile on the left to Goodwill, plus the big brown headboard and the Ikea light (not pictured)
Yes...this is organized (except the bottom - I really need to fold all these drop cloths)
A lot less clutter!
Print we bought for nothing (a few dollars) at Home Sense but didn't have a place for yet
(Which has since been ruined as Matt tried to clean some of the dents and scratches off of, but it had no finish on it so pretty much just took off the paint...so going to start over - paint it white and stencil the words on myself!)
Day 20 - Hang Your Artwork
Way back in the first week we were supposed to pick some art to get framed. I hung the love print upstairs, and I got pictures for the gallery wall downstairs. Still waiting for a key. My sister in law gave me one, but it's a bit too ornate for the gallery wall (it's the one in the dining room pictures - much better there). There is a set of keys from Pottery Barn that I just bought - one is large and will work perfectly, and the others will be decor or part of the other gallery wall that will eventually go up the stairs (love keys right now!).
Our gallery wall started off as this - on December 23rd, cut out brown paper the exact size of the frames, and played around with the spacing until it was something we liked.
Since we had yet to pick pictures, I filled the frames with wrapping paper and hung a little "NOEL" ornament (actually a wine bottle charm) in the gap at the bottom.
Pictures today - all Black and White pictures from our travels
Clockwise from top left - Rome just before sunset, lego-like Douglas Coupland Orca in Vancouver, sailboat at sunset in Santorini, Empire State from the Top of the Rock in NYC, beach scene in the Bahamas from our honeymoon, and the Eiffel Tower...the Vegas one (haha, my mom was very confused about the fountain for a minute).
Day 21 - Speedy Spruce Up & Surface Clean
Just spend a few hours tidying, dusting, and vacuuming. My house isn't that big, so this was a quick one!
Day 22 - Shop for the Get-Together Goodies
So I'm a bit behind on the get together, although I have rough plan ideas for a few weeks from now with some friends (*Update - date of Feb 23rd for Brunch is set*), and I thought that this time would be best spent just getting groceries at all, haha.
Day 23 - Relax, You're Done!!!
Yay!!!!!!! Although all the projects I was supposed to finish I didn't...but I did a lot! Recap of the January Cure in the next post!
Yes, I did skip Day 16. It was to clean the bathrooms and I haven't done that yet. Oops!
Day 14 - Get Papers & Files in Order
So happy to have already done this last week during my media fast! They weren't bad - I keep pretty good order of them, but just a few old files could be thrown out and reorganized. I asked Matt when he built the bookshelf in the basement way back when 2 years ago to make sure there was filing space, and he did! Such a good decision!
Would love to label them properly and make them all pretty, but that's not exactly a priority right now!
Day 15 - Exercise a Little Cord Control
So this meant if you have random appliances not in use or cords lying around...do something about it. I have this problem...but no solution as of yet. Most of it is only temporary anyway.
Black plug at the bottom for the TV unit. Don't really know how to hide this one!
I want to get a little iPhone charger for the bedroom so it doesn't look like this!
Matt and I frequently have this going on in the living room if using our laptops for fun (like blogging) instead of work, which is when they would be in the basement. Unsightly, but not an issue when guests are over.
Day 17 - Looking at Living Room Lighting
The weekend coming up is focusing on the living room, so I guess this is leading up to that. This assignment was more about looking at your lighting and seeing what was good/bad about it. You are supposed to have a specific task-focused light, a general light, and ambient, soft light. Right now I have a table lamp and a floor lamp. I did have one another that was ripped so it is in our basement in the outbox awaiting its fate. I have yet to replace the corner where that light was, and now it is very dim. I plan on replacing it ASAP with an arching light. I also want to replace the lights I do have, as they have beige shades that cast a weird yellow light over the room, making my gray paint show it's green undertones, which I would prefer to keep hidden. So lighting will be changed soon.
Dark corner desperately in need of this light below (or similar):
West Elm Overarching Floor Lamp with a white linen shade
Other lights - the overhead is rarely used because of the shadow it casts on the ceiling, but I will change the bulb to a translucent one to fix that. When it's dimmed it looks prettier and softer than this.
The table lamp will be changed to something like this:
West Elm Abacus Table Lamp in Mercury Glass
This weekend will be all about cleaning the living room (which really just needs a good dust, but I'll also do the dining room while I'm at it and hopefully the bathrooms too. I'll also have to fit in the National Wedding Show with Hope at the Exhibition, dinner out Saturday (to celebrate 7 years together), and perhaps lunch at Mill Street with my brother on Sunday (we want to throw my dad's retirement celebration there in April). Wish me luck!