closet clean-out & DIY shoe shelves.

Is any one else in spring-cleaning mode? In the last month or so I’ve been on a mission to tackle a lot of the projects I’ve been putting off far too long,  primarily the ones that are easy to ignore because guests of the house don’t see them, i.e. behind closet doors, cabinets, etc.

I realized I’ve done quite a few “big” projects and room makeovers around the house, so it was finally time I start tackling the smaller, not-so-fun guys. Exhibit A: our front coat closet.

coat closet beforeThe only thing this coat closet had going for it was the matching wooden hangers (thanks, IKEA), but it lacked organization and functionality. The walls were still sporting the sponge paint from when we moved in (see more of that repulsive paint here or here), shoes were always falling off the rack, the hanging shoe organizer was dirty and falling apart, and the shelf in the closet was too high for there to be a large enough clearance to get anything on top of it without spending five minutes shimmying it up there.

coat closet makeover

The first thing I did was take absolutely everything out and gave the close a fresh coat of paint to match the predominant color that we used throughout the house. From there I re-installed the upper shelf and coat rod, but hung it slightly lower so that there would be a larger clearance to easily fit bins up top.

DIY shoe shelves

After seeing this awesome closet makeover, I decided the best way to house all of our shoes was to make built-in shelves.  This was super easy and something I would recommend for anyone with a similar closet layout. I bought two long boards at Lowe’s, had them cut to the size I needed, and gave them a few coats of paint. While the shelves hold quite a few shoes, there still wasn’t room for all my flats (what can I say, I have a thing for shoes!), so I purchased a new shoe hanger to store the ones that didn’t fit on the built-ins.

DIY chalkboard labels

Lastly, I made chalkboard labels for the up-top storage bins to store out-of-season shoes and winter apparel. To make the labels, I taped off a section on wood planks from the craft store and painted them with chalkboard paint. I then hot glued them to these plastic crates I had bought on clearance at Target.

coat closet makeover

The one thing I have yet to do for this space is to install a row of hooks (something like this) along the left inside wall to hang things like backpacks, purses and umbrellas. I like packing as much storage and organization capability into a space as possible because a) it only makes keeping the house tidy easier, and b) it helps the home’s resale value.

What do you think of the transformation? Is this a project you’d consider tackling in your own home? I’m not going to lie… this particular closet clean-out now has me wanting to do a revamp of all the closets in the house…

Stay tuned for more spring cleaning and DIY projects!

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basement living room before + after.

Hi friends! I thought I’d take this lazy Sunday to show you a room makeover, as well as a mini gallery wall project I finished a few months back, which you saw a sneak peek over on my Facebook last week.

But let me give you a bit of background on this room first…

When we moved into our house, the basement was considered “finished,” but you’d never guess it by looking at the cold cement floors (covered with accent rugs), stark white walls and the surplus of cobwebs, not to mention all of previous home owners’ furniture and decor that wasn’t living up to the room’s potential.

Within the first week of moving in, we did a cleaning overhaul, threw some some color up on one of the walls for a pop, and had carpet installed from Lowe’s. The next phase was finding furniture that best fit the space (there’s already been some changes, including the coffee table switch-out which you saw here, and a chair swap which you’ll see below), and my favorite — adding in decor!

So are you ready to see how this space has transformed? Take a look!

BEFORE (MLS listing) PICS:

basement3 basement2  basement1basement4

PROGRESS PICS:

029002  024 026

Above shows what the room looked like a few months after we moved in. It was definitely an improvement from the ‘before’ state, but it still didn’t have that “finished” feeling and I soon realized a few of my furnishing choices (i.e. bulky coffee table and swivel tub chair) weren’t helping any. Fast-forward to today…

NOW PICS:

basement

You already saw ^this picture^ from the trunk makeover post, but I went ahead and took some of the other sides of the room so you could see the full monty.

basement

basement bar

basement

^cafe curtains disguise the electronic storage area and the ‘LOVE’ wall art conceals the electric panel.

reading nook

^need an ottoman? turn a wicker basket or wooden crate upside down and add a pillow!

The main goal for this space was to make it a hang out area which people actually want to hang out in, unlike before. This was achieved by giving warmth to the room with a simple carpet install, adding floor-length curtains (despite the small windows), making it feel homey with the right use of furniture and decor, and of course — adding in the “fun” hang-out features, i.e. a bar, mounted TV and surround sound.

As you probably could’ve guessed, I’m not calling this room “complete” by any means because there will always be an impending project just waiting to happen… Some ideas include painting the cabinetry below the TV, giving the countertop some sort of treatment (cement, perhaps?), and/or changing the accent wall to a new color. I’ll keep you posted!

Check back again soon!

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trunk makeover.

Hello! I’m back today with a new DIY/makeover post!

You might remember seeing my Facebook post about this trunk a while back. Here’s the full story… After realizing that the coffee table/storage ottoman we were using in our basement living area (this one, to be exact) was too large and didn’t really fit the style I was am trying to achieve in that room, I decided to hunt for a replacement.

I knew I wanted a piece that would still offer storage but not be as bulky… or brown. I figured, what better than an old trunk! I came across a few selections at local antique stores but they were priced at more than I was willing to spend ($200+), so I opted to go with a cheaper option that I found at Dwell for $60. But it needed some love…

BEFORE:

trunk before

The previous owner of this trunk slapped on some red and –gasp– painted over the top hardware. With some sand paper, paint & elbow grease, I was able to give it a new look…

AFTER:

trunk makeovertrunk makeover

trunk makeover

trunk makeover

trunk makeover

Luckily, I was able to sand off most of the red paint from the hardware. The remaining part of the project involved spackling the cuts on the top (as seen in the ‘before’ pic) and simply giving the trunk two coats of white paint (w/ primer). I have yet to add polyurethane to the top and line the inside with contact paper, but I’d say it’s made quite the improvement from its former look! What do you think?

See my other “trunk transformation” HERE.

More posts coming at you soon! Until next time…

jeanette

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utility room makeover.

Hey all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted (what’s new, right?) so today I thought I’d show you a project I finished quite a while back but neglected to put on the blog. I suppose it’s because this particular project isn’t the most exciting… it’s a basement utility room after all.

I gave you a little glimpse of the ‘before’ state of this room in this post, but today I’m showing you the whole shebang! I was originally inspired to give this room a facelift after seeing how Jen spruced up a storage room in her house over at the I Heart Organizing blog.

BEFORE:

utility room, before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

So I just realized I didn’t take the time to mop the floors before taking this pic — whoops! The blame is on the dog!

BEFORE:

utility room before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

BEFORE:

utility room before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

BEFORE:

utility room before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

utility room makeover

BEFORE:

utility room before

utility room before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

utility room makeover

BEFORE:

utility room before

AFTER:

utility room makeover

So to give you a run-down of what was done to makeover this space:

  • the dingy floors were painted a clean gray using concrete & garage floor paint from Home Depot
  • the tile along the back of the room received a good wash and a fresh coat of white paint (as did some of the pegboard walls in the room)
  • the under-the-stair storage areas were organized and concealed with curtains
  • one wall received a coat of chalkboard paint
  • loose wires hanging from the ceiling were tied up
  • the large utility work bench that was accumulating clutter was replaced with two IKEA shelf sections to hold select kitchen appliances, bulk food & household items, etc.

The new space feels much brighter, cleaner and the added storage is definitely a game-changer! What do you think — would you consider giving a utility/storage room in your house a makeover? A little organization and a can of paint can go a long way! For more ideas, check out my ‘Garage / Workroom’ Pinterest board.

jeanette

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board & batten in the guest bathroom.

Hey guys! Remember a while back when I showed you our guest bathroom makeover? Well it got another upgrade… a board and batten towel hook wall!

Check it out…

before

I ended up selling my DIY towel hook you see above and figured it was about time to clean the dust off my nail gun…

progress ^progress pic taken on phone

after

board and batten wall

board and batten wall

^ a view from the outside of the bathroom

guest bedroom

I bought the lattice strips for around $10 at Home Depot and I scored the hooks for 50% off ($2.49/ea) at Hobby Lobby. Since I already had a nail gun, paint & caulk, the total of this project came to just under $20.

For a detailed board and batten tutorial, I recommend this one.

Now I am on the search for three matching frames to do something like this above the hooks to make the wall feel complete.

And in case you’re curious or missed it,  you can view my DIY industrial sliding door post HERE.

jeanette

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30-day vegan challenge.

vegan

Happy Monday! My apologies for the lack of posts lately, but you know my blogging style

Anyway, I’m taking a break from home / DIY posts today to talk about something on a different topic: veganism.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, it’s no secret that I am a vegetarian with a passion for healthy + organic living. I became vegetarian when I was 18-years-old after discovering the negative impact that consuming meat has not only on our bodies, but on the environment as well. Fast forward to today, seven years later… The several books I’ve read (i.e. Crazy Sexy Diet, Skinny Bitch, Eat Pretty, etc) along with the documentaries I’ve watched (i.e. Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, Food Inc., Vegecated, etc) have supplied me with substantial evidence for why a plant-based diet is so beneficial for a variety of reasons. (I won’t get into those reasons, but I highly recommend reading or watching any of the titles listed above for a plethora of valuable information).

With all that info that I can’t “un-know” subtly taunting me at every bite of a grilled cheese or omelette, I can’t help but feel a tinge of guilt. While adopting a vegetarian lifestyle (with an emphasis on buying local and organic) has definitely been a step in the right direction for me, I’ve always had a nagging feeling I could be doing more. More for my health, more for the planet, more for the animals — and in that order. (To elaborate — environmental sustainability and compassion for animals is indeed important to me, but the ring leader in all of this is the health factor. Just read a few of these success stories and tell me you don’t feel compelled to eat a more plant-based diet…)

Which brings me to the root of today’s post: I am embarking on a 30-day vegan challenge. I read this book and tried the challenge earlier in the year but only made it just over two weeks. This time around I am aiming for the full 30 days (hence the public blog announcement for accountability…) and possibly even adopting this new way of eating permanently. Key word: possibly. Update to follow, post challenge.

I’m excited that a co-worker of mine has also decided to join me on this challenge and even my husband (a full-fledged meat eater) is giving it a go for one week! —> *impressed wife*

As for what I’ll be eating, I am keeping a daily food journal (let me know if you’re curious/interested and I can give brief week-to-week updates or an overall 30-day review) and I’m sourcing recipes from a variety of my favorite food blogs, i.e.: Minimalist Baker, This Rawsome Vegan Life, The Simple Veganista, My Whole Food Life, etc.,  as well as my go-to vegan cookbooks, i.e. Chloe’s Kitchen, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, and Oh She Glows.

What do you think — would you ever consider doing a vegan (or even vegetarian) challenge?

quote

 jeanette

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fall mantel, take 2.

Hey guys! I’m back with yet another mantel makeover. A few weeks ago I went with a pretty rustic vibe by incorporating burlap, deer antlers and my DIY hayrides sign (now sold by the way!). I decided to scale it back a bit and use one of my newer DIY fall signs instead. I also picked up some mini pumpkins from the farmers market. Here’s how it turned out:

fall mantel

fall mantel, DIY gather sign

fall mantel

I love this sign because gets me thinking about Thanksgiving and gathering with good friends & family.

To make it, I did a similar distressing process to that of my DIY towel rack and simply traced and painted on the letters. From there, I gave it one last light sanding to make the letters look slightly worn to blend in with the newly distressed wood.

fall mantel

I’m always on the look out for old books with interesting covers and spines when I’m at garage sales and thrift stores.

fall mantel

What are you doing to add some fall flair around your house? — I’d love to hear about it!

jeanette

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bang season.

The air is getting crisper, sweaters are coming out of storage and the change of seasons has me eager for a change of hair. Every year when fall rolls around I start craving a new style and it always comes back to — you guessed it — bangs. They’re great because they give a whole new look but are easy enough to grow out or twist off to the side once you get sick of them.

With that being said, here are some bang looks I’m loving for fall:

bangs5

bangs

bangs

bangs

bangs

{all images taken from here}

And on that note… I’m off to the hair salon!

jeanette

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DIY hayrides sign + fall mantel.

Happy Labor Day! It seems like only yesterday I was posting about my nautical-themed mantel and here I am with a fall-inspired one!

fall mantel

I recently made this hayrides sign with a piece of weathered wood that my parents came across on their farm land. I paired it with my vintage windowpane (I just realized that it’s hanging crooked in these pics — whoops!), a handful of antique books, a deer antler, a burlap sack, a pitcher fully of sticks from my backyard plus faux fall foliage, and a vintage grinder.

fall mantel

fall mantel

Have you started decorating for autumn yet? I am working on some other seasonal pieces that I hope to share on the blog soon!

Psst – my hayrides sign is now available for sale at Dwell!

jeanette

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crave vs save.

It’s time for another Crave vs. Save post today!

I went to the Gold Rush Days flea market this past weekend (see my recap of last year’s market here) in which I was bombarded by an array of vintage goods and hard-to-pass-up antiques. The more I looked around, the more I realized I already had several of the treasures I was seeing on display; the only difference was that I [happily] paid a fraction of the price for most of those items compared to what they were being sold for (all thanks to shopping at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift shops). This reminded me that whether it’s a simple piece of milk glass or a large furniture item, it’s important to do your research, bargain hunt and price compare for particular items you want so you don’t end up paying more than you should, or have to!

These crave vs. save posts are a prime example of the money you can save when you do your homework and hold out to find the best deal…

crave vs save

banner

   Schoolhouse Electric, $110              Ashley Anna Brown, $68

boxwood wreath

       West Elm, $79                                          DIY, approx. $24

chandelier

           Lowes, $79                                           IKEA, $49.99

bar stools

West Elm, $199/ea                           Target, $79.99/ea

numbered cubby

Urban Outfitters, $98                                  Target, $49.99

What items have you saved big on lately?

See my other Crave vs. Save posts here & here.

jeanette

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