August 9, 2012

File Cabinet Makeover

Last week I went on a thrift store/ garage sale hunt for a new file cabinet. And by “new” I mean beat up, ugly, in desperate need of a makeover file cabinet at a killer price. Mission accomplished. Times two, actually. I first found a black file cabinet, slightly wider than standard, for just two bucks at a garage sale. With a few scratches in the paint and several obvious years of use, I’m sold. I didn’t have intentions of buying more than one file cabinet, but later that same day when I ran into yet another steal I figured, what the heck? Number two, a terrible attempt at a mint green file cabinet with totally rocking plastic white handles. Oh yea.

We’re in desperate need of file storage for our personal files, as well the growing collection of papers that are blog related. Since I like to have things at hand while working on my computer I was hoping for a file cabinet that could slide under my desk. Looks like we’re going to have to raise the desk slightly, but the width of the mint green cabinet works perfectly! And so the makeover began:

I started by removing all hardware and interior fittings. It’s important to give the entire piece a solid cleaning to remove any oil residue on the surface. I then sanded using a medium grit sand paper to smooth the surface and rid of chipping paint. This also helps to rough up the surface for better spray paint adhesion.

 Next, a single thin coat of primer. We used Rust-olem’s Clean Metal Primer. There are numerous spray painting tips around the web, but a few that stick to:

– Start and finish spraying to the sides of the object, never in the middle of the piece.

– Thin, thin, thin coats are better than a single thick. Patience.

– Sand in between coats for the ultimate smooth finish.

– FInally, protect all that work with a clear enamel.

Now for the color. You guys know I’ve been crushing hard on some kelly green. And I’ve also been having serious spray paint withdrawals… in the most legal way possible, of course  😉 And… I have a new file cabinet in my possession. You guys know where this is going…

I used Valspar’s Luscious Green High Gloss, which I am in no way attached to. I just found this color to be the closest match to my vision.

1st Coat – Again, thin coats. Have patience.

Third and final coat + one clear coat of enamel gloss:

Now for the real game changer. I picked up a few replacement handles and a pack of Martha’s silver bookplates to add to the facelift.

I’m officially obsessed. And a pretty good deal considering similar versions go for $555!

She’s sitting next to my desk for now, until she finds a more permanent home underneath 🙂

Kind of ironic that she started and ended in a shade of green. Ohhh Kelly… how I do love this color.

And what would a new file cabinet be with some pretty new coordinating files?

Now I need to do some serious organizing.

How about you guys? Any spray painting projects lately? Anyone else as obsessed with green as much as I am? Maybe some file organizing tips for me? I’d love to hear ’em!


August 1, 2012

Laundry Room Progress

We shared the plans for our laundry room renovation yesterday, and we’ve secretly been at work for a few days now. First up, removing the existing closet doors. The doors weren’t in bad shape, but we’d previously purchased solid-core doors to match the others throughout the house.

We’ll be eliminating the water heater closet (seen above) altogether and expanding the furnace closet (seen below) to accommodate both furnace and water heater. Then we moved on to sliding the garage entrance door about a foot towards the exterior wall (seen below). Ricky removed the original door and used a sawzall to relocate the frame. Pretty basic framing.

We also replaced the original door, which was slowly falling apart, with a new steel door.

Nothing too exciting yet, but definite progress 🙂

Next up, expanding the closet framing, drywall, moving the water heater, and demo’ing the other closet. A few electrical and plumbing changes and we’ll be on to finishes. Oh how I love projects that move quickly!

July 31, 2012

Laundry & Mudroom Plans

When we first laid eyes on our new/old house I immediately fell in love with the laundry room. Not only was it on the first floor and directly off the kitchen, it also had an entrance to the garage and backyard, and it was HUGE. A functioning laundry room was near the top of my priority list when searching for a new home, but I never imagined I’d have enough space to incorporate a mudroom as well. I was ready to sign the contract then and there.

Five months living in our new home have flown by and we’re finally ready to turn this space into what we’d imagined that first day. I’m a full believer that laundry can be a fun time if you have a beautiful, functioning space to work in. Not going out on the town, trip to the zoo, eating an entire box of cookies fun, but laundry fun. Work with me.

We shared a few of our favorite inspiration pics yesterday, and from them we’re hoping to completely transform our existing space. Here’s a look at what we started with on move-in day:

(view from kitchen door)

 (view from backyard door)

Before we even begin to talk aesthetic changes, we have to take care of the floor plan. The existing layout could not possibly waste any more usable space or be any more dysfunctional.


We’re looking to make a few minor changes that should nearly double the available space. Rooms with several doors, none of which we wish to close off, are often difficult to work with. Without a proper layout the functioning within the room could fail miserably, as our space is so kindly demonstrating. By eliminating or moving existing doors, or simply reworking the space, you can improve the flow from one room to another immensely. Now, for the changes we’re looking to make.


1. Combine the Closet Spaces for the Water Heater & Furnace – Having two separate enclosures on opposite corners of the room kills far more space than necessary. We’ll be moving the water heater to the sit alongside the furnace. In this process we’ll be expanding the furnace closet and relocating the door to the garage about one foot further to the left on the same wall. This will eliminate the need for the water heater closet all-together and open up an entirely new book of options.

2. Move the Dryer – The current setup, with the washer and dryer on separate walls, is completely whack. We’re not exactly sure how this worked out, but the bottom line; it’s not working out. With the dismissal of the water heater closet, we’ll now have plenty of room for the two to sit side by side on the washing machine’s existing wall.

3. Storage – As far as the laundry side of the room goes, we’ll be adding a tall cabinet to house miscellaneous laundry and cleaning supplies. With the exception of closets within the hall bathroom and bedrooms, our home has zero closet space. Major draw back to older homes. We’re looking to add storage space in as many renovation plans as possible, starting here.

4. Utility Sink – Since we’re hoping for this space to act as a mudroom as well as laundry room, a large sink is a must. Our existing kitchen sink is plenty big enough to handle most things, but cleaning paint brushes in my beautiful sink lately just makes my skin crawl. Plus, having a sink adjacent the laundry area is super convenient for any by-hand washing.

5. Mudroom Built-in Seating/Storage Combo – We haven’t settled on an exact design just yet, but we’ll be DIYing a floor to ceiling bench/ coat/ shoe storage. You know we’ll share the deets when we get to that point.

We’ve actually already begun with some of the major changes and can’t wait to share the progress! Then onto aesthetic plans, possibly a mood board 🙂

July 30, 2012

Laundry/ Mudroom Eye Candy

So happy to be back! I have some great things in store for you guys this week, starting with some much needed eye candy. It’s been months since I shared any inspirational spaces. Unacceptable.

We’ll have more details in tomorrow’s post, but we’ve begun our laundry, and soon to be mudroom, renovation. And what better way to kick it off than with some of our own favorite laundry/mudrooms?

We’ll start with one of my all-time favorite rooms across the board. Navy walls, lime green rug (look familiar?), white cabinetry, open shelving, built-in washer/dryer units… What’s not to love?


Although I’m digging a few things in this mudroom I can’t help but imagine a wood ceiling in our laundry room. Possibly something a bit more rustic?


With hardly an ounce of closet space in our home, a coat closet is a must. I’m loving the separate area for the kids’ jackets at their height.


Since our house doesn’t have a basement, the most practical space for our kitty’s litter box is in the laundry room. How cool is this built-in? Definitely DIY-able.


Painted backs in the built-in for a pop of color? Yup.


This beauty has been creepin’ on my Pinterest board for quite some time and Ricky is dying to have it. Looks easy enough.


Small, yet oh-so functional. We need a cleaning supplies closet like nobody’s business.


I loved this DIYed built-in right off the bat… and then I found out it was an IKEA hack. YESSSSS.


Bright green and yellow. Striped rug obsession.


I’m not really the pale aqua lovin’ type, but there’s no denying how adorable this space is.


Check back in tomorrow for details on our laundry/ mudroom plans!

All sources for photos can be found on my Pinterest board plus more inspirational pics!

July 25, 2012

Enjoy the Week :)

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. Ricky has been working overtime the past week and a half, leaving the kiddos in my hands 24/7. Instead of pushing myself to my breaking point to get posts out, I’ve decided to take the week and enjoy some extra quality time with my babes. Things will be back to normal with some exciting upcoming posts on Monday! Enjoy the week 🙂

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