The latest installment of Fix-It February: tackling cabinets and closets.
This is less of a how-to post and more intended to inspire you to get out that screwdriver and fix your own crooked doors and loose wall hooks. Maybe even climb on a ladder in your closet and install some battery-powered LED lights so that you can get dressed in the dark of winter? Because that was a pretty fun project.
Cabinets: I have the kind of kitchen cabinet hinges that snap apart (with a bang) when the screws get loose. They’re easy to fix, and I took a few extra minutes this time to go around the kitchen and tighten all the screws so there are fewer loud, scary noises in the future.
I also deputized some drywall expansion screws (Twist-N-Lock) to fix this curtain hook that was falling out of the wall. Don’t know why it took me two years to think of that solution, but it definitely did the trick. These hooks hold back the curtain doors of my master bedroom closet…
…which was also the site of some new LED lights. Eventually I’d like to have the closet wired for real lights, but these help well enough for now. If you can drill pilot holes and fill battery packs, you too can add remote-control-powered lights to your closet! I got this set on sale at my local ACE Hardware for just $15.
All together with some projects not worth photographing, I fixed or installed 8 things around the house in about two hours. Much speedier than I planned, leaving plenty of time to enjoy season 2 of House of Cards 😉
Sometimes you do things out of sheer desperation. Such as, within two minutes of meeting your friend’s new boyfriend AND finding out he lives in your neighborhood AND that he’s good at fixing things (specifically, a carpenter), and immediately upon processing all of this information, asking if you can cook him dinner in exchange for him trying to fix your ceiling fan, which has been on since last August (and annoyingly, all winter long) because the chain fell out of the fan one day.
You might be tempted to hide under a rock after saying such a thing to a stranger, but instead you sort of laugh it off. And then the NEXT time you see him, the prospect of getting your ceiling fan fixed has you so giddy that you pull out your calendar and set a date right then and there. It’s a good thing your friend loves you so much that her boyfriend doesn’t think you’re completely out of your mind. Or maybe he does but he hides it very well.
And then, because of your desperate ask, and maybe because of the sausage & polenta casserole, he manages to fix your fan (and also, to label the fuse box, which the previous owner never got around to doing when it came to the upstairs switch).
Back in May, my dad and uncle helped me replace the floor in the master bedroom. It used to look like this
. Then, for a while (due to my spectacular lack of knowledge regarding flooring installation), it looked like this:
Those would be the transitions between the floor and its neighbors: carpet in the closet and another type of wood in the hallway.
But now, thanks to the help of an awesome handyman (seriously, let me know if you need a recommendation in Minneapolis), the floor is finally finished. Doesn’t it look purty?
For such a little detail, I’m amazed at what a difference it makes.
So, there’s another craft project that I finished on Saturday but haven’t shown you yet.
It involves a set of black and white photograph postcards that I found in an amazing Florentine paper shop back when I was gallivanting and reading books instead of working and reading blogs about houses/cooking/gardening. (Wow, that sounds harsh. You know I love my life now, too, right?!) I knew I wanted to save them for something special, so I’ve kept them safely tucked away for almost four years.
I started with 10 white 5×7 frames from IKEA, which not only required mats for the 4×6 postcards but also posed an additional challenge: they have no glass plates to hold the photos in place. So, my cousin Genevieve and I pulled a selection of patterned papers and picked out five – in various shades/patterns of red, aqua, black and cream – that matched the existing colors in the room where I planned to hang them. (I also didn’t want papers that would distract too much from the photos, and we were lucky enough to find some).
Then, we made custom mats for each postcard. Each paper pattern was used twice – one for each side of the windows, since the set would be split into two arrangements of five frames each.
We attached the postcards to the mats using old-fashioned black photo corners. This not only allowed me to preserve the postcards (as in, keep them safe from tape and glue) but also added an important visual element to tie the frames back to the rest of the room.
(Side note: you’ll notice that I didn’t make full 5×7 mats out of the patterned papers. Two reasons: 1. Some of the best elements of the patterns were scattered throughout the papers, and the only way to capture the right colors was to construct mats out of strips. 2. I wanted to save paper, and full mats really weren’t necessary.)
And, the finished product!
Seeing these photos of Firenze every morning when I first wake up is an excellent way to start the day, I’ve learned. Having them in matching frames only makes my heart happier.
So what do you think? I’m still playing around with the arrangement, and have a few more plans in mind for the surrounding wall space. But share your thoughts! And have any of you ever made custom mats? Anything I should do differently next time? Do tell…
It’s now 34 hours before the movers arrive. Let’s not talk about how little I’ve packed, and instead celebrate two victories: the basement and my bedroom are finished! (At least to the point of being ready for furniture.)
A huge thank-you to my friend Jen, who helped me paint on Monday night (and kept me from banging my head against the wall whilst deciding what to do with the living room walls).
It’s a whole new meaning for the words “finished basement.”
baseboards on Monday
baseboards on Tuesday
doesn’t this room just scream “fill me with furniture?”
As much as I love painting (and I do, strangely enough) it’s actually kind of a tragedy that I’ve been stuck inside the last few days because the weather here has been gorgeous. And awesome for my little tomato seedlings
, which finally get to hang out on the patio instead of my kitchen counter:
So, that makes three rooms down (and only four to go). Hooray!
This was my room on Friday night…
… and this is it now!
A lot happened in between, and there are still a few things left to finish before moving day on Thursday. But thanks to the amazing work of my dad and uncle, there’s a new hardwood laminate floor in my bedroom! Here’s the play-by-play:
7:30 am Saturday – Ours for the day, courtesy of Home Depot
9:00 am – Getting rid of the yucky carpet
11:00 am – Taking out the carpet staples
Adding new baseboard molding
10:30 pm — done for the day
me and dad
2:00 pm Sunday – goodbye, chocolate brown
4:00 pm – hello, sea anenome
Also gone: the draperies and the closet doors. But keep your eyes out for them to reappear, repurposed, elsewhere in the house this summer.
I’ve been wondering what’s under the carpet in the bedroom (the only carpeted room in the whole house). Turns out, the original wood is still there!
My first peek:
I wanted to see a little better, so I pulled the carpet up from the heat vent to the corner:
And then I just pulled up as much as I could:
I’ll have to come back with some tools and finish, since the closet doors got in the way.
I couldn’t be more excited to trade a worn and stained gray carpet for some (soon-to-be) beautiful hardwood.
Since I was in carpet-ripping-up mode, I tackled the basement, too. See – all gone!
And, lastly, I checked on the red paint. It hasn’t dried quite as dark as I would have hoped, so I’m contemplating a pink primer (thanks Daniel!) and some other possibilities. Here’s the tablecloth that matches the original paint chip:
And thanks to everyone who offered to come paint with me this weekend – I’m looking forward to it!