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. ;)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Dining Room

I noticed the other day when looking through my house tour, I never officially revealed our dining room. If you've been following MLST for a little while, you've probably seen lots of dining room pictures, primarily from the DIY projects that were completed in that room. But I thought I may as well show you guys everything at once. So here we go--our dining room.

When we first decided to stay and renovate our little 2 bedroom rancher, we wanted to make smart use of the space we were renovating (which used to be our two-car garage), and try to get as many "wants" off our list as possible. A dining room (or area) was one of those things. And because this garage space would open right up to the kitchen, the layout worked perfectly.

The barnwood table and chalkboard are two DIY projects that we're really proud of and that really make the space.

Here's how the dining area opens right up to the kitchen. Do you see that beam running across the width of the space there? That's where our wall used to be. There used to be a door about where I'm standing that took you out to the garage. We added the beam for visual interest. It also solved a problem for us--the ceiling doesn't match up (kitchen ceiling is a bit thicker, since there was drywall then ceiling tiles on top). So by adding the beam, you can't tell that the ceilings are uneven. Plus, it just looks cool, right? It's an old barn beam we bought off a Mennonite farmer.

(picture from our newspaper article)

I love all the natural light that pours into our home during the day. It really is glorious!

The only other piece of furniture in this area is this china cabinet or hutch. Even before we planned the layout of our dining room, I knew I wanted this hutch in here. We bought the hutch off Craigslist (I think this was our first ever CL purchase) and it sat in our garage for a while. When we planned the layout, it was planned around this piece. This wall was specifically built for this hutch. It also underwent quite the transformation (which I'll show you later this week). 

It's a great place to display my collections. I love decorating the top with seasonal items, all grounded by that antique mirror I picked up a while ago. And of course antlers. You can never have too many of those!

And inside it holds a lot of treasures, including some antique ironstone I like to collect.

And here's our Dutch door that we made. I love this door. It used to be my neighbor's front door, but then they got rid of it and I snatched it up. We painted it, cut it in half and added a ledge (and fun old metal sign to cover up the old mail slot) to it. The stairwell leads down to our basement family room.

So come back later this week to see the transformation of our hutch! Happy Wednesday.

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
Blogging tips