Friday, July 22, 2016

My favorite outlet in our house! (Yes, I have one.)

What's up and happy Friday! I've got a quick post for you today with an item I've been meaning to share with you for some time because we love it so much. 

I was reminded of it when I shared this photo of our kitchen earlier this week: 
dark gray island in kitchen

It's the outlet on the side of the island, but it's not just any outlet. It's an awesome outlet. ;) 

First up, I know it bothers some of you that the outlet is white on the dark island. Honestly I don't even notice it -- it doesn't bug me. I've tried painting outlets before and they always end up getting scratched up and become a mess, especially one like this that we use so often. 

If it was a regular outlet it would be easy to change out to a darker one (but nothing matches this dark gray anyway), but as I said, this one is special. ;) There are two usb plugs in addition to the regular plugs: 
Outlet with usb for charging

So you can make any spot with an outlet into a charging area -- with no plugs. It's crazy convenient, no more searching for the little adapter when you need to charge gadgets! We use this one ALL the time. 

I got this (the brand is TopGreener) from Lowe's but this is the same one online: 
Outlet with usb charger

It's nice if you have little ones because the plugs are tamper-resistant. This outlet does come in a few other colors online but I didn't find those in the store. Also, they say it charges super fast (faster than a normal adapter) and I have to agree. 

It's installed just like a regular outlet -- if you know how to do that it will take a few minutes. If not, it's a matter of disconnecting a couple wires from the old outlet and inserting them into the receptacle. Make sure you turn off the power at your breaker! (They give you photos to follow at that link.) 

Obviously these are more expensive than a regular outlet but by the time you buy two or three adapters you make up the cost. I plan to add one of these in the loft to create a charging station up there as well. We love it! 

As you know I like to share items that work well and this is one of them. Have you tried one of these outlets in your home? Have a great weekend my friends!!

Affiliate link included for your convenience! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wall sconces and built in storage in the craft room!

I've been hard at work in the loft but as it seems to go during this stage, it doesn't look like a whole lot of work has been done. I'm showing you anyway because I'm excited about it. ;) After this it may be a bit before I share this room again because I have a couple smaller projects (trimming out the window and the window seat) to do, then next big one is continuing to plank the walls around the room, including the window wall and the hallway. 

I was a bit giddy the other day when I started actually putting stuff away. Everything has been in a huge pile for months now and it was starting to make me itch. The window seat has three large spaces with separate doors: 

I couldn't have planned this better! I mean, everything fits so well, with some room to spare. Lurve. Those doors still need hinges but it's functional for now. I will not be painting the inside by the way -- I never paint the insides of cabinets or seats. 

I built up the rest of the cabinets and installed them together and into the wall -- this is a tedious process and when I do it things are rarely completely flush and even…nothing a sander and some caulk can't fix though. #caulkismybff. 

I used the cubby boxes from my old DIY craft table inside and they work great. I have all of my crafts divided by category so it's easy to get to what I need. I plan to label either the outside of the cabinets or the inside with what each bin has…I haven't decided how I'll do it yet: 

Remember there will be desk/craft table coming out from the middle of those cabinets, so that will offer some awesome work space. The cabinet doors are set up to open so that I can access those that will be underneath the desk easily…and I'll put rarely used craft stuff like seasonal items in those cabinets anyway. 

I finished off the planking at the end of the wall and just a little thing like that makes it feel so much more finished to me: 

Obviously the baseboards help too! When everything is painted and hardware is on, these will look so much more custom.

Many of you had questions about this planked wall on my last update. Here are a few tips -- 
  1. This stuff is super thin so if you have any imperfections on the wall make sure you get those taken care of. If there's caulk or anything that will raise them up even slightly, scrape that off.
  2. Make sure you have breaks/cuts in the wood at the studs so you can nail them in securely. (This goes for any wood on the wall.) 
  3. I don't recommend using glue for any molding or wall treatment unless you are absolutely positively sure you will NEVER remove it. It is a total pain to try to fix drywall that has glue damage. I know this from experience. :) This stuff is so thin it doesn't bow like thicker wood does and that helps a ton to keep it flat against the wall. 
  4. If you do use glue, make sure not to use a ton because again, this stuff is SO thin. Any big globs will push it away from the wall and may make it look wavy. 
  5. Make sure you paint the wall behind the same color as the planks. You can use a roller to paint them -- don't use a ton of paint on the roller so it doesn't fill in the spacing. If it gets between the planks I use a razor or something to clean out those spots. If you don't push super hard with your roller you really shouldn't have too much of that. 
I hope that helps to answer your questions! I have a ton of planking left to do in this space and once you get the wood cut down it's a really simple project. 

I finished the baseboards and shoe molding around about 80 percent of the room, including around the window seat: 

I have the other side of the room to finish up but that involves a lot more cuts so I took a break. I can't even tell you how much more finished a space looks with baseboards! It felt like a huge step to get this installed. 

I was so excited about the progress the other day I picked up a few pillows for the window seat:

This will be a FUN craft space and where I work a lot so it's going to go more girly than I've done in any other room. I'm so stinking excited about it. :) 

Here's a layout I created over a year ago and not much has changed: 

At first I was going to add tall built ins next to the windows but decided against them and I'm glad I did. You can see how the desk will come out to the middle of the room (this scale in this mock up is bigger than what our actual room is). 

Someday we'll get a sofa for opposite side of the room but that will be down the line. For now I've been taking TV breaks on the window seat. I lay at the end and tilt the television and it's pretty awesome:

Here's a full view of this side just after the floors went in:

And here's what it looks like now:

Aren't the lights fantastic?? Love them so much! 

I'm so excited about what I'm putting on the wall above the cabinets! I think it's going to be striking (and functional) -- but it won't happen for awhile. Gotta get the big stuff done first. So far our weekend looks pretty quiet so I'm crossing my fingers I can get a lot done!

My vision is slowly but surely coming together and I love that feeling. If you have any other questions about the planking, installing the cabinets or anything else, please let me know!