Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post: Bathroom Decor Made Easy

I love redoing bathrooms and making them fabulous. Check out some ideas from guest blogger Sue Jason: 

Hi my name is Sue Jason and I am a blogger at My-bathrooms blog. I have a passion for sharing ideas which include home improvement and decor.
Bathroom Decor Made Easy

Bathroom décor can be tricky. The room is used by everyone in the house, several times a day, and the décor can soon fade. Complicated arrangements tend not to last very long either as busy bathers brush past on their way to the loo, the bedroom or even to the basin to get that soap out of their eyes! What follows is a list of quick and easy bathroom décor ideas.

Spring Clean It!
First of all, give the bathroom a good scrub, getting all those dark and gloomy corners that you usually skip! Just removing every vestige of dust and soap residue can make a huge difference to the look of your bathroom. If the big scrub does not really achieve much, except to highlight the peeling wallpaper and cracked and chipped paintwork, then you may well have to invest in a pot of paint or two and get to work!

Repurpose Unwanted Goods
Once the walls and floor look good, you can add some unique and lovely features for very little money. Repurpose some old furniture and sturdy packing crates by giving them a thick waterproof covering and painting them to match the bathroom décor. Once they are finished, they will look lovely and provide you with some extra storage space for spare towels, toilet rolls and other toiletries and cosmetics.

Skirting the Issue
Give your basin a skirt! Making a cover to fall prettily from the edge of the basin to the floor, not only creates a wonderfully seamless look in the bathroom (which will be enhanced by your choice of attractive fabric!) but you are creating a wonderful space which can be packed full of bathroom supplies!

Hang It All!
Invest in some pretty hanging baskets that are designed for indoor use. When these are packed full of bath products they will have everything easily to hand, and yet, still out of the way and not cluttering up the floor!

Opt For Non-Bulky Storage

Shelves, racks and hooks are wonderful in bathrooms, providing useful storage options without being bulky or space-consuming. Install plenty of these and get rid of all your floor-bound clutter and see what a great difference it makes.

Ornamental Bath Products!


Create a vignette with beautiful and useful products: from bath bombs to fancy soaps to ornate jars of bath salts, modern bathing products can look amazing and smell gorgeous too. Arrange several of these products to create a delightful impression, while ensuring that your favorite bath bomb is always nearby when you need it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kitchen Botox

Have you ever done one of those DIY remodeling things and had to cut something out of the budget, even though you knew eventually you were going to end up replacing it anyway? Well. That is the case in my kitchen. Back in December of 2011 when I first started remodeling the kitchen I had a very small budget. Like $300.00 dollars budget. For a college kid not bad and for the most part it has held up rather well.

For instance the cabinets used to all look like this: 




They were so dated. Being the English nerd I am I always feel compelled to hum a little Poe; "Once upon a midnight dreary while I wandered weak and weary." I just feel it describes the mood in the kitchen so well. Several gallons of white paint and elbow grease I was able to paint them white and pretty which made them look wayyyyy better. Not to mention painting the existing hardware a few years ago.



I have always hated the pink counter tops that were original to the house, which was built in the late '80s. They're older than me. So I used some counter top paint product, which has actually lasted pretty well since then. This was my scared face....


Here's what it looked like after all the paint was dried and applied:


The counters have held up pretty well in terms of the paint, I mean it has some wear and tear from hard use by roommates and just time. The problem with these counters is that they are rotting and sagging. So much that in one point from the wall to the end of the counter top there is a 3/4" slope by the sink and everywhere else a 1/4" slope. I was finally able to put some money away and save up for new counters.

Here's a demonstration with just my mini baby level.


So with the image of my present kitchen in mind and the overall theme and colors in my house... I headed off to the home improvement stores to start my journey...




I was super excited! It was painful and I spent probably 2 hours in home improvement stores on a glorious Saturday deliberating between whether or not to actually buy them. I had to call my sister into the store to help push me to do it. I decided to go with a pre-fab laminate product because it's a small galley kitchen which means I only needed to buy a 6' piece and a 4' piece to cover all the counter top space. Plus if I have a manufactured home it wouldn't be smart/practical/logical to pay for real stone, just to be honest on that score.

I was between two different counters, dark granite-y looking stuff, or light granite-y looking.


I went with the lighter. The reason being that with the dark counters I already have it felt to dark for such a small space, I am hoping with the light color it will make the space look larger and fit better with the classy, chic cottage thing I've got going on.


The nice fellers at Lowe's helped us get them loaded into the truck that my Dad's friend, Tony, brought to help me out. It was super nice of him! He's even going to help me install them! They look clean and fresh in the sun!

Total cost break down for the counter tops:
  • 6 foot section: $120.00
  • 4 foot section: $92.00
Discount: $22.00

Total Cost of Counters: 205.00

Not too bad really, when you think about it. I also bought a new thing of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint for the cabinet hardware, since I'm giving the whole thing a new face, I may as well touch those up as well. Plus a new faucet that is a bit taller is going in, even though I'm just going to refit the existing stainless steel sink. There's no point buying a new one since the cabinet is so small it's not like I can fit a deeper one.

I'm pretty excited! They should be installed within the next couple weeks!





Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chalkboard Magazine Holders

 A few weeks ago I introduced everyone to my little classroom. If you recall I have this huge collection of books all along one wall, one thing I like to do for my students is get them magazine subscriptions for free using the caps from Coca-Cola products. So far we have about 3 magazine subscriptions. It's pretty awesome. However. The ugly 80s bisque colored magazine holders.... couldn't handle it. They were ugly.


So I got out two of my well-loved friends, Mr. SprayPaint and Ms. Chalkboard Spray Paint to bring these magazine holders into the current century. 


Here's the magazine holders before:


I used the silver paint mostly because it was what I had the most of left over from other projects and it works. I didn't want to invest anything in magazine holders. You can see the dogs in the background of this picture roving around. haha.


After I painted the silver I did a quick pass with the chalkboard paint on the front flat part of the holders. I didn't put any on the back because this paint is a little spendy, though I'm sure I could in the future.


In order to make the chalk actually show up on the paint you have to rub the side of the chalk along the black paint and then wipe it off. Here's our magazine holders in action!


Boom. Much cooler!


This project cost me ZERO dollars. Which is awesome. The magazine holders I found randomly around the building and I already had the paint, plus the magazines were free using the Coca-Cola caps! Love it. I'm sure I will make some of these for my house! But hopefully with more adorable holders. Love chalkboard paint!