Tag Archives: Brooklyn Limestone

Fridays at Home: Clutter Control

27th July 2012

I’m going through a phase. This phase makes me want to throw out everything in my house and start all over. I love my stuff, I do. But right now, I just feel cluttered…in mind and body. Ever since I got back from New York I’ve been in a funk. Partly it’s not having another trip to look forward to. Partly it’s because I really loved being in the city. Partly it’s because it’s super hot and steamy outside. Regardless of the cause, all I want to do is clear out stuff.

When I came across this post on Brooklyn Limestone, I decided I’d start small. I go to the gym almost every day of the week. This results in lots of jewelry and hair changes throughout the week. I was finding bobby pins and earrings all over the place! The side of the tub, on the corner of my small pedestal sink, on my bedside table. The blogger from Freckles Chick made a really cute two-tiered jewelry stand. Like her, I have go-to jewelry. My grandmother gave me a beautiful jewelry armoire for Christmas several years ago, and it houses all of my jewelry, but it isn’t ideal for every day. So instead of insisting I would get better at putting my jewelry away each day (at 31, let’s just say that’s wishful thinking), I decided to make something to fit my life.

As is often the case when I’m looking for something, I went to Marshall’s. I knew whatever I got, I wanted to paint gold like the blogger did because I love that matte gold and knew it would match my room perfectly.

I found this great little bowl and loved that the base was much smaller. Space is a priority on my vanity, so I didn’t want anything too large.

Plus it was on clearance for $2! Can’t beat that.

I laid down the tissue the bowl was wrapped in and got a can of Veg-All to balance the bowl but still allow me to get at the edges. I’ve painted enough to know that if you just set it on something, the edges will stick.

I used the gold Bright Coat Rust-Oleum. I looooove it. It also dried really quickly.

This picture shows the sheen from the gold spray paint. I kind of want to paint everything this color.

And here’s another shot of it next to my antique perfume bottles and lotion.

So far, I love it. It’s made it much easier to just take off my earrings and toss them here when I change for the gym or get ready to head into the shower. Plus, I don’t have to hunt every available surface to figure out where I left my ring or earrings. It saves time! So for a project that cost roughly $7 (and I have plenty of spray paint left), I’m pretty darn happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you made any small changes that had big impact? I’m all ears. And what do you do when you feel cluttered?

P.S. Plus, now I have a place to put my super cool necklace from the best pen pal ever, Julz. I don’t want to take it off. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fridays at Home: Kitchen Progress

2nd December 2011

Wowowowowowow. So. Refinishing cabinets is, well, not fun. There were moments when I thought I couldn’t make it. Moments I called my mom near tears. Moments I thought I would absolutely lose it looking at all those messy cabinets with no doors to hide the disorganization. But much like in Dante’s Inferno, I have made it back to the shady glen.

I always thought refinishing cabinets was a super expensive project. In cold hard cash? Not so much. In back-breaking intensive labor? Uh, yes. Was it worth it? Most definitely.

Let me walk you through my processes. Remember my inspiration pics from Pinterest in the post two weeks ago? Luckily, the paint from the inspiration board (Behr Garden View) was exactly what I wanted. The Saturday before Thanksgiving I painted, and the kitchen went from this:

Harsh, too-dark green I picked too quickly when I moved in.

View from the opposite corner of the kitchen

To this:

New color. Much brighter. But still with ugly cabinets.

Six hours of constant work up and down an 8-foot ladder (which, incidentally, burns several thousand calories), and I loved the color. Initially, my plan was to stop here, think about redoing the cabinets and consider beginning the process over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Well, apparently once the work mode struck, that was all there was. Sunday I borrowed a friend’s palm sander, removed all the cabinet doors and sanded all evening. The next morning a fine dust had settled over everything to prove it. You sand just enough to remove any finish (I have pics, but they’re incredibly blurry). I also wiped all the cabinets down with a bleach-water solution to remove any grease/dust from this step.

All in all, I had 36 cabinet doors/drawer fronts. I had two cabinets I didn’t even know about! Insanity.

Monday evening, I decided to begin painting, using Behr’s paint and primer in Falling Snow (after painstakingly choosing from many different whites in order to match the white backsplash tile).

Here’s a tip: use vegetable cans or sample paint cans (of which I have many lying around) on top of your dropcloth. It makes it much easier to paint the edges of the cabinet without any sticking:

(I put them under but later moved them on top of dropcloth)

Like so.

I rolled paint on first and went back with an angled brush to remove excess paint and to smooth roller marks. It worked like a charm and left a beautiful finish. I did, however, put a second coat for durability and also to remove brush marks in the corners.

I believe this was a first coat.

I had to paint the doors in two different afternoons/evenings: half Monday and half Wednesday. If you had an actual garage, this could go faster. Tuesday I sanded and painted the bases/bodies of the cabinets, which were unfortunately laminate. Ugh.

Everything dried for at least 48 hours, and my dad came and helped me rehang them all Friday and did some touching up of the paint. After that, I couldn’t clean everything up quickly enough. I kept coming back into the room to gaze fondly at my handiwork. I did also replace the drawer pulls because I’ve never liked the ones I had. I replaced the cabinet pulls when I first painted the kitchen. So what does all that work look like?


Another view

Sipping station I found the idea for years ago in a Lowe's DIY booklet.

Little sitting area with my super long windows (it's an old house)

This is directly across from the sink.

I cannot tell you how proud I am. There is still a lot I want to do to accessorize and maybe even change out the backsplash, but it is already such a big improvement. And here’s a breakdown of what I spent:

Behr Garden View paint: $23

Paint tray liner: $1.97 (these are great to use if you already have a paint tray)

New angled brush: $5.97 (I go through a lot of paintbrushes)

Sandpaper: $2.97

Palm Sander: $0 (borrowed)

Behr Paint and Primer Falling Snow: $33

New drawer pulls: $40 ($3/a piece; 13 pulls)

TOTAL: $106.91

Not too shabby for a totally new look in a room I really couldn’t stand. I probably spent more money grabbing food on trips to and from Home Depot, since the entire kitchen was torn apart.

As for the work itself:

Hours spent: 43 (so that’s why my back is sore)

That’s it at a glance. If you are considering redoing your cabinets and have questions, ask away. I’m no pro, but I’ve been to the 9th circle of hell and back. ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S. Thanks to Young House Love for posting a kitchen redesign from Abode Love.

P.P.S. Thanks to Mrs. Limestone for originally inspiring me with her very similar cabinets in this post.

Pinterest Makes Me Work Hard

28th November 2011

Oh. My. Gosh. Sorry for the radio silence last week, but I spent every spare second of every day (except Thanksgiving) working on my kitchen redo. It’s all Pinterest’s fault. Well, Pinterest and Young House Love and Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone. I’ll post an in-depth post Friday and am so excited that it’s finished.

But that also means I did no reading last week. None. In fact, this evening all I want to do is download another Patricia Wentworth, take a hot bubble bath, drink a glass of champagne, and read. However, I did want to share a small project I worked on yesterday afternoon.

I always love looking at outdoor Christmas lights once people begin to put them up. Some of my favorite memories when I was small was loading up with my family and some hot chocolate to drive around looking at Christmas lights. I haven’t spent much time and effort on them in the past, mostly because they can be expensive and because I wasn’t in love with the outside of my house. This year, though, the house is freshly painted, and I couldn’t wait to put something up. I saw this idea on Pinterest:

You take a simple tomato cage, turn it upside down, and string it with lights. First, though, I bought some velcro ties:

They come in really long strips, and I didn’t need that much length, so I cut them down for my purposes. Because the ends of the cage aren’t connected, the first thing I did was to tie them together with the velcro and used small bits of velcro to secure the lights to the cage. It really didn’t take much time at all, and I love the results:

I tied a bit of greenery at the top because I had some extra from the swag I bought for $5 at Home Depot.

So here’s the finished product, and I have to say that the photos don’t do it complete justice. It looks so cozy at night, and I’m so pleased. All in all, here’s the breakdown on what I spent:

3 tomato cages: 2 at $2.87, 1 at $3.58

500 mini white lights: $29.95

Velcro ties: $6

Live greenery garland: $5

Grand total: $50.27

Not bad. I’m pleased with it and love seeing the lights as I round the corner coming home. Pinterest is magic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you found anything on Pinterest that you’ve made?