Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Quick (and cute!) DIY fixes in the laundry room!

Hello! How was your weekend? Ours was equally fun and productive. The small projects continue around here and each one makes this house feel more lived in and cozy. This update involves two in our laundry room -- one on the wall and one to hide some stuff. 👍

I shared our mud room/laundry combo a few months ago and it continues to be a favorite room in the house. It is a dream to have such a large space! I've been working on organizing it since we moved in. You can see the big cleaning closet and that organizing transformation here

Before I did any decorating in this space I tackled a few small projects. I shared the large DIY chalkboard wall soon after we moved in. I also replaced the bulbs in the fixtures with daylight bulbs. We have a small window in here but it was still pretty dark. Those bulbs make a HUGE difference! Then I installed a USB outlet so we could add as a charging station as I had hoped. (I shared more about those in this post!)

After those projects were complete, it was time to tackle a couple bigger ones. We have a big wall over the folding table that stumped me:
Laundry room with faux marble tile

For months I looked for large art that fit this space but never found anything I liked. I thought about some kind of big pin board to put art and papers but didn't want it to get too busy. 

I have much bigger plans for this space but it may be years before I get to them, so I decided to just do something cute and simple that also provided a bit of storage for laundry stuff. More on that in a bit! 

Next up was something I've wanted to tackle since the day we moved in. We love having the folding table, although it's definitely more of a catch all space than for laundry. ;) We went with laminate to keep costs down: 
Folding table in laundry room

What I didn't show you were the litter boxes. We knew we wanted them under the table so they're easier to keep up with. 

What we didn't realize was how often we'd have guests in this room, especially in the rain or snow. It's a shorter trip to come through our garage. I didn't love welcoming them with litter boxes. :) Beyond that, I just didn't want to see the stuff we keep under there! 

Here's how it usually looked:
Faux marble tile

That rolling cart fits under there perfectly and is great for random stuff -- things I need to return, put away in the garage, etc. I just don't want to see all of that junk every time I walk in.

My quick fix for this was to add some fabric around the countertop. I found these screw eye hooks that I installed underneath: 
Eye hooks for hanging drapes

I took the cheapy cafe rods I got at the hardware store and put them through the eye hooks:
How to hang DIY curtains around laundry table

I used three -- one on the side and two on the front. I used my iron on hemming tape and drop cloths to create little curtains with drop cloths. (I used this size and cut it to fit.) Initially I was going to use drapery clips to slide the fabric, but to save some cash I decided against it. It's working great so far! Though if you're going to be moving the curtains often the rings would be helpful. 

I spaced the rods and eye hooks to create a natural opening for the kitties: 
DIY skirt under table to hide litter boxes

We usually keep it open a little more than that, but this gives you an idea. I changed the direction of their boxes to keep the litter tracking to a minimum as well. By the way, we just changed over to a new litter called Clean Paws and I'm thrilled with it! The mess on the floor is cut down significantly with that litter. Just a quick tip for my cat loving friends!

Anyway, we can't even believe how much nicer it looks now! That little curtain makes a BIG difference: 
Easy solution to hide litter boxes

It looks so much cleaner with all of that covered up! And it's easy to either pull the curtain up or slide it so we can access stuff inside:
Simple trick for hiding litter boxes under counter

You can see what I ended up with on that big wall. Simple shelves are functional and allowed me to add some fun art and accessories!

I'm trying to get away from art and signs with words on them -- I feel like they took over the old house after awhile. But this room just attracts them -- there's something about laundry rooms. :) I printed a few printables I found on Etsy and I love every single one: 
Simple and easy wood shelves in laundry room

I love that you can purchase and immediately download them to print at home. Makes it super easy and quick. 

The jars were half off at Hobby Lobby and I spray painted the lids to add pops of black. I've had the hooks from Target for years but I don't think they sell them anymore: 
DIY skirt around folding table to hide stuff

That poor fiddle leaf! 😂 He did NOT like his spot in a bathroom and was dying fast. I brought it in here to take it out to the trash and it's thriving all the sudden. There's less light in here but he seems to love it! We'll see if it keeps coming back. 

These were both simple, inexpensive projects and will serve us well for however long it is till I carry out my larger plan in here. It looks SO much better than this:
Simple way to hide litter boxes

When I keep this clean I can actually FOLD CLOTHES here! Imagine that. And the clutter underneath is hidden, which is my favorite part:
Easy way to hide litter boxes

We keep the curtain open so the cats can get in most of the time. When we have friends over we close it (the cats rarely come out when we have company). They've already found the little "door" and go in and out with it shut anyway.

It's certainly not perfect but it's serving us well! I love cheap, easy projects, they are my jam. :) Where do you keep your litter boxes? We had them in the basement in the old house but this is working out well for us so far. 

Here's a list of products if you're interested. (Affiliate links included for your convenience):

Friday, April 13, 2018

Creating a cozy bed nook!

Happy Friday my friends! First of all, thanks so much for your kind comments on the fireplace makeover! We had someone come out the other day to touch it up and it looks even better now! 

I'm back with a quick update in our son's room. I'm really happy with how it's progressing -- it's going to look so good when I'm done! And it's super functional too, which is important to a young man who loves to collect stuff. :) 

Here's what we started with a few months ago:
Blue and red boy room

We added built in bookcases in his old room and I LOVED them (I built them with my Dad when I was pregnant) but I didn't want to do something permanent in here, at least not yet. Instead I got Billy bookcases from IKEA and had a plan to make them look a little more custom. I'm about halfway there!

I recently built his headboard and you can see the DIY tufted headboard tutorial here. I've made many of these over the years -- it's an easy project and you can customize it just how you want:
DIY tufted headboard tutorial

I'll share more details about the bedding at the end of the post if you're interested! 

My original plan was always to install a long shelf over the two bookcases and the bed so we'd have a shelf to display his basketballs. I measured and had an inexpensive pine board cut to size (around ten feet!) and when I took it up to install it, it was a good six inches too short. Not sure where that went wrong, but it turned out to be a happy accident. 

I decided to cut it down so it would span the two bookcases instead, and I think it looks so much better than the long one would have! I also used my extra wood panels from the basement stair project I showed you last week to fill in the area behind his bed:
Creating a bed nook with bookcases

It's important to note that before I did any of this, I secured the two bookcases to the wall with brackets IKEA provides. This is a must! Then I screwed the top shelf into the sides of each bookcase. I also installed a small piece of wood along the top under the shelf to support the length of it. (All screws going into studs.) It's super secure now -- nothing moves!

I added the strips of wood down the wall and then small cuts of it down the sides behind the headboard and bookcases:
Nook for bed with hanging lights

If you take the headboard down the wall is empty behind -- the side pieces are an illusion and just look like full pieces. ;) Just a reminder that it doesn't need to be perfect if you'll never see it!

I plan to stain the boards behind the bed, but I haven't decided yet if I'll stain the shelf above or paint it white to match the bookcases: 

Red and blue boy room with storage

What do you think? I was planning on painting it white but now I'm leaning towards stain. 
I still have a plan for the bookcases and hope to display his items a little better. Boys love STUFF!! Goodness. It's his room so I want to decorate it the way that HE likes, but I do want to declutter just a bit so his prized possessions shine. 

It's coming together so well! We love that it feels like a little nook for his bed. What you can't see here is that I added some LED lights from IKEA to the top as well. I plugged them into an outlet that works from a switch, so he leaves those on at night. The boy is in heaven. :) It's becoming a pretty cool space!:
Shiplap wall behind headboard

More projects to come, but I always like to share the process with you! Rooms do NOT happen overnight around here. :) 

Here are some sources and links for some items from this room! Affiliate links are included for your convenience: