Eight Down: Beadboard in the Back Room

I have this room at the back of my house that is part mudroom, part laundry room, and part sun room. My cats spend more time there than anyone else. They lounge on the old couch that is out there, eat their meals there, and use the litter box out there. There’s a big expanse of wall that has been repeatedly damaged by water, and so I’ve been hesitant to do much of anything to it–even though I couldn’t stop daydreaming about how I would turn that  wall into my well organized dream storage unit.

Some days I thought I wanted a mudroom:

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Seven Down: A Closet Makeover

When I first moved into my house there was nothing in the closets. No poles or shelves of any kind. My friend, Allison, and I went to Home Depot and quickly racked up a bill that had us voiding the sale and heading back to the aisles to buy a much more economical closet kit for my bedroom closet, and a few shelves for a utility closet.

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We left the guest room and coat closet alone for the time being. I eventually put a shelf in the coat closet (which I don’t actually keep coats in) but four years later all the stuff in the guest room closet was still sitting on the floor. I decided to tackle that project this weekend.

This time my boyfriend and I headed to the HD and I knew enough to head immediately to the closet kits. I knew I didn’t want the same kit that I used in my closet. The guest room closet doesn’t have any clothing in it. It’s mostly extra blankets and pillows, a few boxes, and an air conditioner. So I wanted to keep the floor of the closet free of any obstructions, while having plenty of shelving up high. So I went with one of those adjustable track systems that can be configured however you want itContinue reading

Four (and a Half) Down: Paint, Paint, Paint!

A couple of months after I moved into my house I cam home in the middle of a downpour to find the paint in my “mudroom” (I put that in quotes because it’s just a weird room that functions as a laundry room/mudroom/place where the cat stuff is) bubbling. This particular room is part of a one-story addition on the back of a two-story house, and the wall in question is the one that separates the original house from the addition. Water was getting in somewhere, and getting behind the paint. You could literally pop the bubble and water would come pouring out.

For months I looked for the source of this problem. The water only came in once in a while–clearly when the wind was blowing in a certain direction, and the rain was really bad. No one could figure out where it was getting in. At one point we even removed the siding to have a look. It didn’t look wet at all behind the siding. Finally I got someone up there with a hose, and we realized there was a small spot in the corner of a window where there was no caulk.

So we fixed it and I waited for months, though all kinds of weather conditions, to see if the problem was truly fixed. Then I fixed the wall. For a couple of years, everything was fine. Then it started again. This time I decided to skip the caulk and go straight to As-Seen-On TV methods and use Flex Seal. So far, so good.

Now it was time to fix the wall, and while I was at it…I’d finally paint the living/dining. Continue reading

Three Down: What a Real Home Office Looks Like

I don’t have “Facebook Envy.” I don’t find myself looking at the photos of friends and exes, wishing I had their lives. I do, however, suffer from “Pinterest Envy” — especially when it comes to my office. I don’t know about you, but my office serves as a sort of catch-all for everything from mail and paperwork to random furniture and projects. I’m the only one who spends any real time here, so it’s a convenient place to hide the mess that would drive me crazy if it was sitting in the living room. Still, when I scroll through my Pinterest feed, I can’t help but wish my office looked like the one to the left.

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Two Down: The Curtains

william morris project

I understand that big open spaces are desirable in your home. There’s a lot to love about it, but there’s also a lot that’s kind of annoying. My living room and dining room are the same room, and my kitchen is mostly open to the dining room. That means everything needs to go together to some degree. I don’t do matchy-matchy, even in the same room (I loathe sets of furniture) but I’m also not going to paint the kitchen a color that completely clashes with the living/dining rooms. It also makes furniture placement a bit tricky, because you have less wall space, and my room isn’t quite big enough to just float the furniture. I digress. I’m here to talk about curtains.

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One Down: The Sofa

I finally pulled the trigger. I chose a couch, I went to the store–complete with a rented van and my cousin’s help–I put my credit card down and I bought a new couch. We headed up to the sofa department before making the final purchase. I was planning on buying the Idemo Beige corner Ektorp, but it looked a bit too light–like I’d be washing it all the time. I’d also been eyeing the Nordvalla Gray. It looked a bit too dark on the site, so I wanted to see it in person before heading to the cash register. Turns out, it was a much lighter color (meaning less likely to show white cat hair) than it looked on the screen.

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A Woman Obsessed: Couches & William Morris

I like used furniture. Most of the time, I won’t even consider buying something new. I walk into a furniture store and find myself knocking on bed frames and dressers wondering what  they are made of, and deciding it definitely cannot be wood. I prefer to troll Craigslist for people who have money to waste, and like redecorating their homes. (It’s important to zero in on certain zip codes to make this work.) But after years of sitting on couches with mysterious origins, and covering them with slipcovers and blankets, I have become obsessed with the idea of finding and buying a couch I actually like.

This is harder than it sounds.  Continue reading