Category Archives: BUDGET-FRIENDLY

October 2, 2014

Popcorn to Planked Ceiling Progress

First and foremost, if you’re feeling generous today, we’d loooove to have your vote for Ryan’s nursery over at Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest. 

A few weekends back, we kicked off the beginning stages of planking the ceiling in the girls’ room. As I’ve mentioned before, when we purchased our home, all of the bedrooms came equipped with popcorn ceilings (yay), and we’re slowly updating them to fit our tastes. Typically, popcorn ceilings can be scraped off with a little elbow grease, but if they’ve been painted, like ours had, then you’ll have to get a little creative.

In Ryan’s room, we just simply covered them with new drywall, but we wanted to try something new in here. Planking it is!

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

I made a few quick stops into our local hardware stores, checking out the options, before settling on packs of 8′ pine planks. A few things that sealed the deal for us:

• The bedroom is approximately 11’6 x 12’6, so the 8′ length planks meant that we’d have seams. It wasn’t a deal breaker to work with the seams, but it would’ve taken half as long with longer 12′ planks. Unfortunately, all of the 12′ options were ridiculously thick and heavy, and ceilings are probably not the best place for that.

• Again, the weight. These planks were so lightweight that Ricky could easily install them by himself, which with three little people running around, is pretty much our only option right now.

• Cost. All the other options were a good $75-$100 more to plank the entire ceiling. These come in packs of six, at about $11 each. A no brainer. For anyone looking to do a ceiling of their own, we ended up using 12 packs, which ran us around $140 total, with tax.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

Now, to learn from our mistakes - Paint before installing. We knew this, and tried to avoid it like hell, with no luck. We were in a bit of a time crunch that didn’t allow us the prior paint step, but you my friends, should paint first, because what a good time my neck is having painting several ceiling coats and filling six million holes with wood putty.

Moving on.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

The install itself is relatively easy, just mark your ceiling joists and a few nails gets the job done. The planks are tongue and groove and interlock, but one thing to note, this isn’t the highest quality wood. Like, at all. So, when I say interlock, expect a little effort on your part in some spots. Also expect to take half the packs back to the store to exchange them for non-chipping, not completely falling apart pieces. Don’t get me wrong, it can be good stuff, it’s just more of a garage sale experience – you’ll have to do a little digging first. 

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

I wanted to include this close up to show our edges. No, we are not this terrible at measuring (although sometimes it happens, ha). This was more a result of eliminating huge knots in the wood, and doing our best to prevent waste material. My point is, if you’re planning to install crown molding, as we did, you have some room to play with, which is nice.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

(half installed crown)

We’re still in the process of painting now, but I’m amazed at this transformation already. The room is so much lighter without the pink ceiling, and I’d be lying if I said I minded the natural wood. It feels really warm and cozy. Reminds me a lot of my parents home (a log cabin). Granted that wood ceiling is already painted white (haha), but it’s a nice reminder to try something out of the typical “paint everything white” box that we all seem to be stuck in these days.

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September 15, 2014

DIY Hidden Corner Bookcase

When we moved into our current home, we set up a temporary basket in Zoey’s room for storing books. Two years later, we now have an overflowing basket and two very frustrated little girls, trying to squeeze books in and out of it.

Their room has an awkward little corner, directly behind the door, where we’d previously hung a few hooks for coats and bags. It worked, but it definitely wasn’t making the most of the space. We could do better. I pinned this clever corner bookcasetwo years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’ve finally built something similar!

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage | Cape27Blog.com

We took some cues from our inspiration, and then put a few twists of our own on it, like the rounded dowel rods vs square, and doubling them up on each shelf. I wanted to make sure it could accommodate smaller books too, since the girls still have a few of those hanging around. Plus, the books will just get smaller again as they grow older. So, the idea is for this to work for many years to come.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage | Cape27Blog.com

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage | Cape27Blog.com

Ricky built the entire piece in the garage, and them installed it, fully assembled, which was really gratifying to watch. Blank corner to instant, awesome bookcase corner (why can’t all project be like that?).

DIY Hidden Corner Bookcase | Cape27Blog.com

After a lot of wood putty, I painted it to match the future trim (ha), Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound, in semi-gloss. Harmony ftw – pretty much my go-to paint for anything inside that can’t be aired out. And if you haven’t already noticed from the taped up rosin paper, I chose to bring out the spray gun on this project, because, you know, tight corners, limited time, (must save all patience for children) type things. We’re fans of the Wagner Flexio 590 (link contains affiliate), in case anyone is interested.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage | Cape27Blog.com

Loading it up with books was definitely my idea of a good time. Very Christmas morning-esque. It’s also been really fun to rediscover many of the forgotten books from the bottom of the pile.

Cramped Corner Turned Book Storage | Cape27Blog.com

AND, amazing extra bonus – for some reason, the girls are now excellent about putting away their books when they’re finished. We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m really hoping it’s the new norm!

September 10, 2014

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet

Last November we celebrated Zoey’s third birthday, and naturally, as we now come up on her fourth birthday, I’m finally blogging about. For most holidays we’re pretty low-key on gifts for the kids, nothing overly complicated, but birthdays we try to step it up a notch. (Really, this means I come up with ideas and Ricky kindly builds them, like a play kitchen, train table, play tent, etc.)

With Zoey’s ever-growing collection of dress-up clothes, it couldn’t have been more evident what to make her. Some of you may remember the Ikea Ombre Chest?

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

Well, the exterior was still in great shape, but we thought the interior could use a fun new makeover. Here she is now!

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

Ricky removed the interior drawer glides, whipped up a simple cubbie area for baskets, and installed a tiny clothing rod for dresses galore. Wood putty, prime, paint, and we have a whole new look!

As for the door itself, we wanted to the exterior to appear the same, so Ricky separated the drawer fronts and reattached them to one another using a few 1×3′s. Easy peasy. The entire door hangs on a trio of new hinges.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

The baskets hold all of the accessories - tiaras, magical wands, jewelry, etc. You know, the necessary princess attire.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

While a few packs of small hangers clip up the dresses.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

Honestly, I don’t even know how our dress-up collection got to this point. I swear just yesterday I was pregnant with Zoey, and now we have backpacks and sports gear and questions about everything, and it’s all just moving entirely too fast. Anyway. Start to finish.

Ikea Dresser Turned Dress-Up Closet | Cape27BLog.com

A year later and the girls are still getting so much use out of this project. Because princess dresses count as normal, everyday clothes, right?

July 19, 2013

DIY Custom Closet Makeover

When we first moved into our house, just over a year ago, we knew that all of the bedroom closets needed some work. Custom closet organizers are crazy expensive, so we also knew that it’d likely be something that we’d DIY when it came time. Well, it’s now officially way past time.

All three bedroom closets are in constant state of chaos and bursting at the seams. We’ve done our best to work with what the house came with by keeping things as organized as possible, and purging clothes that the girls have outgrown, but when it came down to it, the current closet systems just weren’t utilizing the space to their best ability. Specifically, Zoey’s closet.

Yikes.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Clothes are piling up, toys are piling up, random things that don’t below are piling up. But, the most obvious problem in Zoey’s closet is the dead space. Talk about a waste. And with Lizzy well on her way to the age at which the girls will begin sharing a room, we have no wasted space to spare.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Not only does this space serve as clothes storage, it also functions as toy storage. The girls will have some toy storage beneath their beds, but the room isn’t huge, so that’s about it. We knew we had to make this closet work hard.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

I ran through a few of my favorite inspirational photos and landed on the idea of using the lower portion of the closet for toy bins and the upper sections for clothing. After pricing out a few options, we decided to buy most of the inner workings in-store and to spruce them up with a “custom built-in” feel by framing everything in. We picked up one of Closetmaid’s 9-cube organizers for the bottom half and Ricky worked his magic.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

(just ignore the wire rack above it, we hadn’t taken it down yet)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Next up, clothes storage. I always find that a mix of open and closed storage in closets works best, so we opted to use a few sliding wire bins to serve as drawers, with a rod above for hanging shirts. Ikea’s Komplement wire baskets (in 39″x13″) came close enough to the closet size that we could easily build out the sides of the closet to accommodate the drawer slides. The bins are perfect for pants, shorts, pajamas, and the smaller undergarment pieces. One basket really would have been sufficient for Zoey, but we chose to do two so Lizzy would have room down the road.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

We topped these pieces with a sheet of wood as well to create a space that would serve as a little tabletop, just beneath the hanging clothes area. A small white trim piece disguises the unfinished edges.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

We filled all the nail holes with a little wood putty, gave everything a fresh coat of white paint, and added the hanging rod above, as well as an extra shelf at the very top.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Looking so much better right?

Just wait.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Boom. Color.

Be still my heart.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

We tossed in a few of Closetmaid’s Fabric Drawers (Pink. Red. Yellow. Orange.) in the bottom cubicle for toys and lined the wire baskets above with the same Watercolor Meadow fabric used in other areas of the room. The “liners” are really more of just faux fronts. I used a few leftover cardboard pieces, cut them to size, and wrapped them with spray adhesive and fabric. Voala.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

I used the same technique on the bottom of the drawers too, just to give clothes a nice landing spot. Nothing super pretty, but it works, and it’s hidden beneath the clothes anyway :)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

And moving up, we’re still playing around with styling, this isn’t going to cut it, but it’s a cute place for Zoey to display a few of things of her own. A little dish picked up at Target on clearance last year for jewelry (she has her ears pierced and is wildly obsessed with bracelets), a small flower vase that has yet to be filled, a few sentimental snow globes, and some other decorative accessories.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

The wooden serving tray is corralling a few pairs of shoes (most live in the mudroom).

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

And as if this post isn’t long enough, let’s talk about the outside of the closet. I’d always envisioned a curtain to serve as the closet “door”, but the more we lived with the curtains in Lizzy’s nursery I realized how much I missed being able to actually close the doors. I loved the look of Ikea’s Hasvik high gloss white sliding doors, especially up against all the color going on inside.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

This way, it can be a nice little surprise when we open the door, or easily hidden away if the color gets overwhelming. Win, win.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Ricky installed the track that came with the door directly to the wall, and it functions just like a barn door. Except, beautiful, beautiful high gloss white. Yum. The door has several safety locking features, so no worries about the door sliding off the rail, or even the kids pulling it off the wall from the bottom. This thing isn’t going anywhere. The door sits out just a tad from the wall, which works out perfectly with the adjacent wall art. The door just slides right over it.

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

A few other things to note:

- The door can only be purchased in a two pack, so we’re holding on to the other to use in Lizzy’s room some day, we’ll just need to get our hands on another track.

- And one small issue we ran into was the way the door hung. Since it’s meant to slide on a top and bottom rail, and we’re only using a top, the bottom tends to cling to the wall. We’ve since installed a pair of casters to the inside of the door, just at the bottom, that gently glide along the wall and keep the door standing perfectly vertical. I’ll catch you guys up on that as soon as I can photograph it to better explain.

Now, because you guys know I’m a sucker for a good before and after, let’s get these babies side-by-side :)

DIY Custom Closet Makeover | Cape27Blog.com

Oh yes. Yes, yes, YES.

Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets excited over a organized closet… :)

May 24, 2013

Oh look, we have windows… and other nonsense.

Can you believe that we lived in our home for over a year with these ginormous tree-bushes in our front yard. No, wait. As our front yard. They were massive. And I despised them.

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

So, this past week.. Ricky put an end to the madness.

A little shovel. A little chainsaw. Like how easy I just made that sound? ;)

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

Also, let me just give my man a little credit for digging up giant tree-bushes while Zoey whips him with a stick and I capture it all on camera. Love this guy.

Oh look, you can see our house. AND it has windows. Wuuuut?

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

 Some other things happened too. Obviously.

We started tilling up the flower beds, and added a few curves around the path from the driveway to the front porch. We’re hoping to make some good progress this weekend by adding a few more curves to the bed that runs the length of the house, add a barrier between the grass and the bed, and start planting! Whoop, whoop!

In other news. A window shutter fell down.

Just kidding, I have much more exciting things to share. Like, our new post light :)

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

We swapped out the old brown one that had some serious tilting going on. Since we’re implementing our new gray and black color scheme, we figured black was the way to go. It’s from the same light collection as our sconce lights by the garage.

Now, I had planned to give the driveway a post of it’s own.. but the results were.. meh. Our driveway is dunzo. It needs to be completely redone, which is so far from being in the budget right now. So, we opted to have a local company seal it for the time being. You can still see all the hideous cracks, but the sealant should keep everything held together temporarily. So, if you’re on a budget (we paid about $200 total) and need a quick fix, sealing is the way to go.

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

What else, what else. Oh yes, you may have  spotted a new addition on the front porch. I was having a difficult time finding a bench that would fit the space, so we had planned to build one. Then, I spotted this guy at Homegoods!

Oh look, we have windows. | Cape27Blog.com

It’s exactly the size and style I was hoping for! I paid about $50 for her, which is probably more than we would have spent to build one, but time is crazy sparse lately so we’re happy to cough up a few bucks here and there for the convienience. And it’s aqua, which is super cute. Not sure if it’ll stay this color (nothing is safe around this crazy paint lady) but I’m loving it for now!

Ok, end brain dump :) Enjoy the weekend!