Monday, May 4, 2015

A Mailbox Makeover

This project was a loooong time coming. As a matter of fact, I blogged about wanting to fix up our mailbox here, almost 4 years ago (!!!). But you know how it is--projects like these tend to sit around for a while, even if you have good intentions. And we totally did. We even had a new mailbox and post down in our basement. Sheesh. So we had no excuse. It's funny how that sometimes we need a little kick in the pants to get goin' on a project such as this. 

Yeah. We got a notice in the mail. HA! What?? Our mailbox needs attention??
Ya think??

So that was all the motivation I needed to get crackin'. That same day, I lifted the post out of the ground way too easily and got to work.

We bought this already-constructed post at Lowe's a couple years ago, intending to add some more interest to it by "beefing" it up. Mitch started, but then other projects became priority. He added some cedar to the pressure-treated post and called it a day. We also bought the post "cap" to add a little extra to it. 

I originally wanted to paint the post white, but I don't want any upkeep (shoot, once this project was done, I wanted it to stay that way!) so I decided to stain it instead. I used leftover stain from our butcherblock counters (Minwax Walnut).

I painted the red flag magenta (Benjamin Moore Royal Flush) to tie into our front door. It's a fun personal touch.

Mitch cut a piece of pressure-treated wood and attached it to the post so the mailbox could be screwed into it.

And liquid nailed the cap to the post (we still might add a couple nails to it just in case).

I planted some flowers, added some numbers and just like that, we have a mailbox that received the attention it so desperately deserved.

We also added a cute little solar lantern to the back :)

Ahh...much better!!

So what does your mailbox look like? Is it in need of "some attention?" Guys, this was a super quick and easy update that really makes a big impact. Makes me wonder why we waited so long to do it! 

In other exciting, non-mailbox related news, come check out a blog post I wrote for Mitch's company--Golden Barrel. I'm going to be blogging over there a few times a month. I'd love for you guys to follow along! (Follow their Instagram account here.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Day I Painted Our Door Pink

So it all started a couple weeks ago when I sent Mitch a text...


While I don't really consider myself a girly-girl, I do enjoy this pinky-purple colored hue. And after educating Mitch on the shade, I couldn't get it out of my head. I needed magenta in my life. Like yesterday. So where better to apply that bold splash of color than here on our new front door?

Mitch and a friend installed the door a couple months ago and I've been itchin' to paint it ever since. I was totally going to go green (the color, not the movement), and the day I was to pick out the paint at the store, I noticed on my way to take Bryce to preschool, like 90% of the doors I passed along the way were green. So you know I had to change the plan. Our door needed to be different. It needed to stand out. I love the Craftsman style door we have, but it needed a color to make it more noticeable. Magenta

I first started by priming the door gray. 

Then we broke out the real deal: Benjamin Moore Royal Flush

I must admit I was a little scared at this point...

It looked a little more like hot pink than the magenta I was wanting. 
Break out the sunglasses!

But after the second coat, it really darkened up and it's a pretty shade of that purply-pink I was craving. Shoot, I feel like it could even pass as a burgundy color. 


So we have some bigger plans out here. I'm sure you noticed that the area around the door looks like crap. Yeah. There's a plan for that...we're gettin' there. After Mitch installed the door, he spray foamed around it (no more leaky drafts!) and the plan is to build out around the door with two side panels. (You can read about all that here.) Another thing we really would love to do is re-side our house since the siding is stained and nasty. And the ceiling of the portico needs a fresh coat of paint, as it's super nasty too. Not sure what we're doing with the old wasp nest...I kinda like it! 

So when the door was installed, Mitch allowed for the build-out of the two side panels. See how the door frame sticks out from the siding? That's so that Mitch can put two faux "sidelights" on either side of the door. We're still trying to figure that part out--what material to use, how to construct it, etc. There aren't any tutorials that we've found on the subject, so we just need to think everything through first.

And since it's always fun to look back at "our list" and cross things off that list, here we go:
This was the list we made a year and a half ago
  1. Tear out the arborvitae on the right hand side
  2. Purchase and plant the azalea and cherry laurels 
  3. Define the border of the beds
  4. Purchase and lay the weed barrier
  5. Lay the brick walkway
  6. Tile the concrete slab on portico
  7. Replace pendant light
  8. Replace front door

Almost everything crossed off! How cool is that? And here are a few more things we've since added to the list (of course):

9.    Add faux sidelights to sides of door
10.  Spruce up portico (beef up the posts, arch the ceiling, etc)
11.  Add dormers/pitches to roof
12.  Re-side the entire house

Who knows if/when those other things will get done. They're kinda on our "wish list." But what do you guys think? Would you ever paint your door magenta?? I had some people on Facebook say that their husbands would never let them paint their door a color like that. Guess I'm lucky, eh? ;)

Linking to Best of Nest 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Closet Barn Door (oh...and hi)

Hi. I'm Kat. And I used to blog all the time on this here blog, but haven't actually sat down at my laptop to type something in a very long time. Seriously, with smart phones and texting, who types on a regular keyboard anymore? Sheesh. But I figured it was time. I was perusing my Instagram account and kept seeing all these amazing DIY projects people have been tackling, and I got the itch to do dive back into the DIY pool. And blog about it. Shoot, we used to be total DIY champs back in the day (seriously, check it out). So, here we go: our latest DIY project. And this project was a from-scratch thing. Mitch literally made this door. Like from boards and tin and an old barn door track. It's pretty awesome.

This is what the closet used to look like...

We shrunk the closet to make room for a tub on the other side of that wall (wish I could say the boys' bathroom was finished or getting there, but it's the project that never ends. Actually I guess it would help if we actually worked in there from time to time!) We made the inside of the closet super functionable by adding two rods and shelves. And we thought that a barn style door would be the icing on the rustic-looking cake we got going on here. 


Friends of ours hooked us up with all the supplies. They replaced a door on their barn a while ago, so they had the track just lying around as well as the barnwood and tin. Thanks, Willie and Rosanne!!

See all the storage space inside? That skinny area is where I keep my ironing board and the two shelves above is for the iron and a humidifier.

Another fun touch of this door is the handle. 

If you follow MLST on Facebook, you might have seen our handle before we installed it. It actually wasn't a handle at all. Some of you guessed its function in another life--a wrench. 

It's an old Ford Model A wrench from the 1920s, from what I gather. We loved it as soon as we saw it in an old hardware store that sells random junk. And thought it'd be perfect in a boy's room. We paid a whopping $2.50 for it. Mitch's brother bent it so it would lay flush against the door (it was off-kilter because it was a wrench). He heated it and bent it slightly so we could use it as a handle. Isn't it perfect?

We found two old bolts at the same hardware store that were the same color as the "handle" so Mitch was able to use them to hold it in place. Done.

I'm gonna have Mitch come back with a step-by-step tutorial on how he made this awesome barn door. Oh and if you're super observant, you may have noticed those aren't Finn's clothes hanging in that closet. We did the ol' switcheroo and Finn is now in with Bryce. Ry has his old room back once again (so I'll show you that here soon). 

It's good to be back! I've missed you guys. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

What the Craft!

Hidee ho! Got a craft for ya today. And let's get one thing straight here--I'm no crafter, so this is kinda a big deal for me. 

A few weeks ago at our mom's Bible study, we had a craft day. My friend Sarah brought all these pallet wood "frames" along. She took pallet wood (that was already dissembled), cut the boards to size and used Liquid Nails to glue the two smaller pieces of wood to five boards. It worked like a charm. Liquid Nails works like, well...liquid nails. Imagine that. There's no wiggling going on here! The boards measure approx. 14"x15". (And I love how the old nails from the pallets are still intact. Cool look, right?)

I first sanded everything since pallet wood is pretty rough. Then I stained it at first but didn't really like the look, so I broke out a little sample pot of Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal (the same color I used on our dining room table legs, and about 17 other random projects around the house.) (The stain actually looks pretty good in these pictures, but believe was strugglin' in person.) 

After everything was painted, I took some sand paper and distressed it just ever so slightly, and rubbed on a bit of stain on the distressed part to make it stand out a bit. I kinda love that little chunk of wood taken out of the upper right hand corner. Just adds to the rusticness in my book.

Then I made some homemade modge podge (Elmer's + water), and Bryce "painted" it on the back of our 8x10 family picture.

Which, speaking of Bryce helping, this is a great project to do with kids. You really can't mess up here.

I also used some spray adhesive on the back of the picture just to play it safe.

After the picture was in place, I modge podged the entire thing. Right over the picture and the rest of the front of the entire frame. Don't know if you can tell, but adding the modge podge to the front of the picture gives it a matte effect. It's kinda cool. So even if you have a glossy picture, it'll have this same effect afterward.

And behold: the finished product

I kinda love how it turned out. Not too shabby from this non-crafter here. ;)

So that's it: a quick and easy craft easy enough for all you non-crafty people out there. Shoot, you could even pull this project off this weekend. 

In between posts, follow me on Instagram!

Family pictures were taken by Rebekah Viola Photography.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dining Room Hutch

As promised, I'm here to tell you about the humble origins of the china cabinet/hutch in our dining room. I mentioned that this piece was one of the first Craigslist purchases we ever made. I don't even know if we were in the market for a hutch. I seriously can't remember since it was so long ago. I guess we must have been. Correction: I must have been. Once something gets in my head, it's hard to get it out. But I had a plan in mind. I knew exactly what I wanted. And even though it would sit for several years, I knew this hutch was the one. Mitch made this piece into just that. You see, this is what the hutch looked like when we bought it. (and Mitch just informed me that we paid $35 for it)

It was a homemade piece of furniture that was a great size. A lot of times hutches can be ginormous, and I knew we couldn't work with something huge. So with a little tweaking here and there, we made it into the perfect piece for us. First thing it needed was some visual interest. So Mitch added trim along the top and sides and bottom. That really beefed up the piece.

The sides were really flimsy, so Mitch added some plywood to strengthen it up a bit, then added the corner molding

I loved the glass doors, but of course wanted some hidden storage as well. Mitch added plywood to the back of the piece (as it was open) and the two doors to the bottom. He made the doors himself out of plywood and added the X detail for some added character. I love how it turned out. It's exactly what I had pictured in my head for this space.

I cleaned up the original (upper) hinges, as they had many layers of paint on them. (Still has a little on there, but I like that patina.) And somewhat recently switched out the glass knobs I had on there for some brass ones. Everything was painted with Martha Stewart Francesca, which is a chalky black color.

The inside has wallpaper on the back, since I wanted to lighten it up a bit in there. Papering the inside of a cabinet is always a great option. Minimal work, but big impact. I picked up the faux bois wallpaper at a thrift store for a couple dollars.

So not only does this piece function aesthetically, but it's also very practical. It houses my white dinnerware, random pretty dishes as well as antique silverware. We use this cabinet on a daily basis. Bryce knows right where to go when I ask him to get my rolling pin.

So that's the story of this once cast-off piece of furniture. I knew it had potential and now it sits pretty in our dining room. Oh and just in case you were wondering, Mitch screwed it into some studs in the wall behind it, so this puppy ain't movin'! (which is something you must consider when you have kids in the house)

So have you ever bought something with the plan of using it in a specific place one day? Even if that place only existed in your head? It took a while, but I think Mitch now understands when I collect stuff like this. ;)
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