Friday, January 9, 2015

Inspiration: Dark Bathrooms

We've got bathrooms on the brain these days so I thought I'd share some pictures with you today. I'm using these as inspiration for the boys' bathroom. I'm 95% certain I want to go dark on the walls, so here ya go.

I love adding art to the walls of a bathroom. We did that in our master bath and I'm planning on doing the same in the boys'. I've been collecting things to put up on the wall for a while now. This looks just reads masculine to me. Love it.

Again, ART. See how the pictures just pop against a dark background?
And a fun rug is always a good idea.

We are going to be planking their walls (again, same as in the master bath as well as our mudroom) so this is a similar look (I'd love to have gold/brass accents in there too...look at that faucet!)

We're not totally sure what's going on the ceiling yet, but I like this look. We were planning on a wood treatment, but Mitch isn't too sure it'll hold up in a small bathroom (i.e. moisture problems)

Again, dark planks. These might be stained (the ones in the previous picture are). I've got a sconce idea in my head too...a little bit of a DIY project. And we're having custom steel-framed mirrors made for the vanity area (pharmacy style).

Of course, Joan's half bath is awesome inspiration. The color of the vanity is one of the contenders for the wall color. It's Ashwood Moss by Benjamin Moore. Of course Dragon's Breath is always another contender too. (hey...when you like somethin', ya like somethin')

In addition to the dark walls, there will also be white subway tile (with dark grout) in the tub area. I think that'll offset some of the darkness. It'll be a good contrast anyway.

So there's some inspiration for ya on this Friday. Stay connected with MLST on Instagram or Facebook for regular updates on our projects.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Every Closet Has a Cedar Lining

I always thought it funny that in our little white rancher that was slapped together in 1980 (very cheaply, might I add), all the closets are cedar-lined. I don't'd think they'd have put in ONE extra outlet in the bedrooms before they lined the closets with cedar wood, right? Who knows...

Random thoughts...let's keep moving here.

So since Mitch is currently working on the boys' bathroom (and Finn's closet), I've been inspired (pretty sure he has been too). I'm pumped. I'm excited to make Finn's closet more functionable. And we pretty much have to use every square inch of space in there now that it's now a pretty tiny closet.

Mitch is widening the opening here (he's since removed about four inches of the wall there to make the opening wider.)

The inside of Finn's closet has been drastically cut back to approximately 24" wide, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of extra space. 

One thing Mitch decided to do is notch out some hidden storage for our ironing board (yeah, remember those things?) Since the bathroom closet is on the opposite side of the wall, it would have been super deep if we had gone all the way to the studs. So that smarty pants Mitchell decided to create a little niche in Finn's closet by shortening the depth of the bathroom closet. Follow that? The niche is right inside Finn's closet to the right. It's the perfect size for something tall and skinny (like an ironing board). Boom. Great idea, right?

He was able to salvage almost all of the cedar wood from the previous space and reuse it in this new closet. So deconstruction was very carefully executed, which might have taken a bit longer, but it saved us money in the long run.

So what we're thinking is simply adding two bars for hanging stuff and shelves on top of the bars, for setting things on. Kinda like this, minus those shelves on the left there.

It'll look something like this, but only one sided (not with the cubes in the middle). Small? Yes. But efficient. I think it'll be great. There may even be room on the floor for some kind of shoe storage. We'll see.

Then for the closet door, we're thinking barn door type

And I'm really feeling the barn door look as well. Diggin' the X's here.

I also like the simplicity of just horizontal boards

This may be the route we're going since the door isn't going to be a huge one

We'll either make one or we might possibly use our current front door (hung like a barn door). That's when we obviously put our new front door on (which will be happening here shortly). We're researching barn door hardware, which can run from $-$$$. We want something that looks good (obvs) but also will withstand a house-full of boys. :)

So...we're looking around for some inspiration and ideas. I'm kinda itchin' to do something completely different/unique but so far, I got nothing.

So in the mean time...

we'll be chippin' away over here. Looks like we'll be finishing up the closet this week. So stay tuned!

You can follow MLST on Instagram (kathertzler) and/or Facebook

Monday, December 29, 2014

Baby, We're Back!

Hey there. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was simple and sweet. Ever since my parents moved to FL, we've had pretty low-key holidays (not that it was stressful before). So we stayed home, invited some friends over to hang out, and just enjoyed spending time together as a family. It felt really laid back this year. The boys did most of the decorating, including hanging all the ornaments on the tree themselves (and decorating the mantel). They loved it. 

(Mitch is praying here in this picture before we opened presents)

That's about all I have about Christmas (follow along on Instagram and Facebook for more day-to-day updates). Now onto our regularly scheduled blog post!

There comes a time in every DIY's life where he/she experiences burnout. That is, at least a typical/not-paid DIYer. I can't speak for bloggers who get paid to do things to their house. Burnout happens. It happens to your wallet and to your energy. Especially when there's many things your energy can be directed toward, like a full-time job, kids, and other responsibilities (church, etc).

But having said that, there's something else that happens to a DIYer. A true DIYer is never completely done. And while burnout may happen, and a rest period is always needed, there's just somethin' in that little DIY heart that musters up strength for yet another project. It's just in us. We can't help it.

Mitch busted his butt for three years completing our garage-to-master suite/mudroom/dining room renovation (plus with many "little" projects like this, this, this, thrown in there during that time), but I'm happy to report that he's ready to start swingin' that hammer once again. And I'm excited to share these projects with you via this here blog.

So the project at hand is one you long-time followers of MLST should be familiar with--the boys' bathroom. You'll remember this amazing rendition of said project. This is pictured from Finn's room. And surprisingly enough, those plans haven't changed at all. (sometimes with drawn-out projects such as this, I tend to change my mind 173 times before we actually start the project.) But here was the plan: to shorten Finn's closet space to make room for a bathtub in the boys' bathroom.

So Mitch started on Finn's closet (which we never really was full of random things like games, puzzles, baby clothes). He removed all the trim, track, shelves, etc, and opened up one side wall.

It was pretty fun for the boys to go through the "secret passage" from Finn's room to the non-functioning bathroom.

Then Mitch took his reciprocating saw and cut smoothly through the cedar wood. He was able to salvage all the wood, to be used in reconstructing Finn's to-be smaller closet. 

Then he used the existing studs (after they were removed), to frame out the new wall where the tub will be.

So Finn's closet will be pretty small. We're kinda robbing Peter to pay Paul here. But in this case, I think we're better off with Paul in the house. (Counting down the days till the boys have their own tub!!)

So that's what's been going on in our house this past weekend. There's a picture of what our holidays are like--squeezing in projects when we can. And we'd have it no other way;) I'll have another update on the bathroom situation for ya soon. 

To read more about the boys' bathroom renovation go here and here. And follow the boys' bathroom board on Pinterest here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fluffin' It Up

A few months ago, I was collecting money for a fundraiser for a local couple who was/is trying to raise money to adopt a baby. It was one part of a Vintage Sale in which I was participating. Each vendor of the sale paid money for a table (to sell vintage things on) and that money, as well as all money collected at the food stand, went directly to the couple. In addition to that, I was also campaigning around my "neighborhood" trying to raise money from local businesses. The participating business would be featured on a poster the day of the sale. all that?? Good.

So my brother's best friend has a local business. Seth sells hearing aids. And of course, being my bro's BFF, I was gonna hit him up. So in I went and after some slight arm-twisting (jk...he was very gracious), Seth donated what ended up being the biggest monetary donation we received. Anyway, I say all that to say this: that day I went into his office was the first time I'd ever been there. And well...I couldn't get past the way it looked. It looked a man decorated it. Let me show ya. (and sorry for the picture quality...these are just iPhone pics)

There were product posters on the walls, acting as art (never a good idea), his credentials looked like two postage stamps being swallowed up by one massive off-white wall, and there wasn't any fluff. Ya know, like flowers or vases, or baskets, or ANYthing. Bare bones, baby. Like I a typical man threw it together. Bleh.

So of course I couldn't leave well enough alone. Something had to be done. Here's his sad coffee station.

So on a limited budget and plan (no painting of walls, furniture had to stay, etc), I "fluffed" the place up a bit with thrifted (and free) items as well as some things that were sitting around my house. I added some much-needed color to the plain walls and brought in some...well...fluff. Some art and accessories can add a lot to a space, so that's what I did.

The bamboo screen was the first purchase I made. It was $25 and brings some much-needed texture to the room. And it serves double duty as well. Many of Seth's clients would try to exit the room using that door behind the screen (which is a closet door). It now blocks that doorway, making it less confusing but also brings in some character and visual height as well. The bamboo plant stand was at our house (seen here in our mudroom), but I felt like some "greenery" was needed, thus a potted plant that Seth already had, sits on top. 

I found this bright canvas at a sale for $5. It was a fun pop of color and cheap...two requirements. SOLD.

I bought these "shutters" off a friend. They were just plain wood that I had her paint and distress (for added character). I think that they bring such a happy bolt of color into an otherwise bland space. (thanks, Lorna! You did a great job!) I staggered them on the wall to mix it up a bit. 

The mid-century coffee table was a free find along side the road. I really wanted to add a coffee table (or rug) to this space, but it really wasn't in Seth's budget. No sooner had we discussed it, that I was headed to my friend's house one night and saw this little guy with a "free" sign on it. I seriously love it. Isn't it cute? I added the duck dish that's full of mints (the dish came out of the same box that the boys' light was in.)

The floor lamp was from my house. There's nothing more cold to me than florescent overhead lighting. I brought in the floor lamp (as well as a table lamp I found at Goodwill) to make the space more home-like and warm. Sure, the overhead lights still need to be on (this is a business after all), but at least they aren't as in-your-face as before.

(This side table I scored for $5)

I brought in a chalkboard (that I made here), moved the clock up further, and added a placemat and vase to warm up this side a bit. Would love to get rid of that ugly coat tree, but alas, it does serve a purpose.

So that's it. A inexpensive makeover that I think makes a big difference in this once dull-looking space.

What have you guys been up to lately? Have you made over a room with thrift store finds? That's the story of my life. HA. Follow me on Instagram in between posts!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sidelights Schmidelights

About that door up there...there's a story. And I think it's a pretty good one. You see, we've been looking for a door to replace our current front door. And this is purely for practicality's sake, because if you've read this blog for any time, you know I'm in love with our front door. Stylistically, anyway. I love that it's an antique oak door with a beveled glass inlay and it lets so much light into our living room. I seriously love it. BUT...that thing not only lets in tons of light; it also tends to let Arctic-like winds whip through our house as well. We can literally scrape thick frost off that window any given winter's day. Even in this picture, you can see we have a towel stuffed in the lock hole. Yeah. How's that for energy efficiency...ha.

When I say "we've been looking" you realize, that we're cheap-o's and don't want to drop a million dollars on a piece of wood (or fiberglass, in this case) that swings on a hinge. So we've been checking out Craigs on a pretty regular basis. We did find a door we liked (Craftsman, like our orange door), but it was above the price range we could afford. Plus, we've learned over the years to just wait. Yes, it's hard sometimes and super annoying, but I'm always amazed that if we're just patient, God brings us pretty much the exact thing that we've been wanting/looking for, at a fraction of the regular price (because, really, who can afford a $2,000 door?) 

And that's precisely why I shop Craigslist, thrift stores and auctions. 

You'd be amazed what you can find if you dig a little. When you think outside the typical box-store "box", there are some pretty sweet deals to be had. 

So there's an auction place near us that auctions off building supply inventory. Contractors dump their extra stuff  here, or "regular" people get rid of that random window, door, or heck...I even saw a Krispy Kreme display case at the auction this time! You just never know what will be there. But if you're looking for really anything house-related, this auction is the place to go. It's the same place where I got our back door. (You can read that fun story here)

So I went to inspect the doors the day before the auction and I saw this Craftsman there.

Cue angels singing 

Obviously it got my attention, since we love that style door. This was exactly what we wanted--another Craftsman. BUT it had sidelights. Two of them. So I walked away sadly and went looking (without any luck) at the other doors. There was nothing as charming as the Craftsman. Dang it. But I decided to go back the next day (auction day) anyway. I was hoping that my dream door would have been dropped off after I left the day before. No luck. So as I was about to leave the auction, I was standing in front of the two-sidelight Craftsman and decided to give our contractor friend a quick call. See, when I originally saw this door, I thought that since it had the sidelights attached, if we tried to remove the sidelights, that it would compromise the structure/energy efficiency of the door. But after that quick call to our friend, he assured me that if each sidelight was framed out individually, he could easily pop those puppies off and install just the 36" wide door to the front of our house no problem. Boom. Done. I was sold. Well...IF the door didn't go for a million dollars, that is.

So after waiting a while for the auctioneer to make his way to "my door," it finally came time to auction it off. It was just me and one other bidder interested. But I was well aware that you only need two bidders and the price could sky rocket before ya know it. Thankfully the other guy wasn't too interested and dropped out after only two bids. I got the door for $100. I was thrilled, to say the least.

So now we're waiting to get it installed. We'll probably have our friend put it in for us. But I'm hoping it gets done soon. It's been chilly in these here parts lately! And I'm cringing not only with cold, but also the thought of our electric bill (we have baseboard heat). 

Let me show ya what I'm thinking. Actually, Mitch was the one to suggest we add something a little different when we install our door--to mix up the look a bit. So we're thinking about doing two panels on either side of the door. They'd resemble sidelights, but since we don't have the room to use sidelights, these would act like dummy sidelights, you know what I mean? It would look like this, minus the glass in the sidelights. ( many times can I use the word "sidelights"?)

See what I mean? So we'd use Azek or something similar around the door (like what we used here under our windows) to make "sidelights." I like the idea of white on the surround with a different colored door (like that black or Dragon's Breath...surprise, surprise)

Like this, but we would keep our existing light that hangs from above

Cute, right? It'd really beef up the look of our front entrance

That's what's brewing in these heads of ours lately. So, what are you guys up to these days? Find any deals lately?? It was funny--I posted that picture of the door on Facebook right after I won the auction asking how much you guys thought I paid for it and the majority of you thought I got it for like $2. I was dying laughing. I may find some deals, but I'm not that good, people! 

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