Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Beachy Playroom Area

Since Christmas, I have been weeding through all of the kids toys, adding the new, donating the old, and tossing the ones with missing parts. In all of the chaos, it got me missing my house, and my nicely organized play room area. We have all of the same pieces at our temporary location, but with all the extra floor space, the mess seems to expand as well. 

The apartment kitchen has an eat in area, and there is also a dining room. Since we had gotten rid of both of our dining tables, I gave the dining area up for the kids play room. The space works well, and is bigger than the kids play area at our house, but with room, comes more places for crap to sit. 

When we were purchasing the house, this room seemed like such a strange spot. It was about only about 10 feet by 8 feet. You couldn't really add any big pieces of furniture, and a desk and chair, would take up too much of the floor space. Since the loft area is just around the corner, we opted for that to be the toy free, lounging location, and for the toys all to be in a central location. This is a great idea if you have the means to do it. 
In our place now, the toys seem to get up and walk to the kitchen, the stairs, and I find Lego's in the bathroom, and my office....dang Lego's!!

Since we had a beachy theme throughout the house, I sort of stuck with the same theme, just made it more kid friendly. The chair was one we had in my sons nursery from Ikea, a Poang Chair. It's a good little rocker ($99), but had a woodland print on it.  The chair pad is removable, and I just recovered it with an Ikat print. 

To save space, since the room was so skinny, I made a wall mounted book shelf. I saw a book ledge at the doctors office that I liked, but you couldn't fit very many books on it. I even tried to find a planter trough to mount, but couldn't find the right length or depth. So I ended up making these. They are just a simple box construction, slats of wood, screws, wood putty, stained, and painted, and disressed. 
They were mounted straight to the wall. 

I found these vintage, metal beach shovels on Etsy. They were the perfect color, and how stinkin cute! Every time we would take a beach trip, my son insisted we take them. 

On the large wall I made a gallery wall with frames. Notice I didn't say photos. That would require time to sit down, pick photos, and send them off to get printed...
Never did it....
Don't judge!!
 But I did plan on doing that, sooooo......I did take 5 different sample colors of paint, and painted the frames in different colors. They were all just a shade or two off from each other. I did hang the same frames up at the apartment, and guess what.....still half empty :) One day!!

For toy storage, I went with cloth boxes, Drona in a Kallax shelving unit from Ikea. They have held up pretty good, surprisingly enough.
The curtains were a cheap fix, I use a flat double sheet, cut it in half, and stitched up the edge's, it only cost about $15 for the sheet. 

 We used a large brown sectional in the lounging space, we had it in our previous house....not super pretty, but super comfy. The rug was $50 from Home Goods, major deal!! A grass cloth basket with a lid, hid the stuffed animals. 
The giant wave art was from Ikea, and all the pillows were all from Pottery Barn.  Super simple decor, but a good hang out space, to watch movies.

There you have it...a super cheap, and kid friendly space.
 Use small spaces, and good storage solutions to house the toys.  Find a spot in your home, closets, awkward corners, and weird nooks like this one.
Again, a small space,  means less crap makes for a much easier clean up!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hidden Coffee Storage &Trashcan Cabinet

Since January seems to be the month we start organizing, and getting things stashed away...I thought I would show you an easy fix for hiding a few things, that usually end up cluttering counter tops. 
I like decor stuff just as much as the next, and I actually don't mind having all the empty spots in the kitchen decorated. The one thing I don't like looking at though, is all the small appliances.  
Alot of homes have them built in to the cabinets, and sometimes they are above the stove. This house didn't actually have one anywhere. It did how ever, have a dinky little vent hood, which we ripped out and replaced with a custom made vent hood, which you can see here. I know it may seem a bit extreme, ripping out useful cabinets, but those half sized cabinets rarely hold much of use anyways.

We bought a small microwave, and I tried it on the counter, but it took up so much room, that I had to find a solution. Obviously I would have loved a microwave drawer, but that was out of budget, and I was out of storage space to give up. There was a large area next to our back door that wasn't being used, and the door didn't seem to interfere. It seemed like the perfect spot for a new cabinet.

I thought about having one custom built (costly), but ran across an unfinished pantry cabinet at Lowes for around $200. They had two styles that were two different sizes. One was the depth of the upper cabinets 12", the other the depth of the lower 24". The deeper cabinet was far to skinny to fit a microwave inside, so we grabbed the 12' deep, but wider version and had to made it work. 

Strangely enough, the style of door, was almost identical to our existing cabinets. I know this wont always be the case, but If you are painting all of the cabinets, it should all blend when finished. 

The only difference in the doors, was the new cabinets had routed edges on the outside of each door. 

New cabinets door
Our existing cabinets doors
It ended up being a 30 minute fix on the router table for all of the existing cabinet doors.

After routing our existing doors

To fix the problem of the cabinet depth, we basically made a 2x4 frame behind the cabinet to set it off the wall, just enough to be flush with the lower cabinets, about 12". 

This actually worked in our favor, since we could run cords behind the cabinet without having to move the electrical outlets (saving more money). Lowe's carries the side panels for both sizes of cabinets. We just bought the bigger sized panel 24", and once attached you would never know the cabinet doesn't go all the way to the back of the wall.

The cabinet got the same molding at the top, and the doors were all matching at this point with the help of the router. After paint and knobs, you wouldn't even know this cabinet was added later. 

Now for whats inside....
The microwave was the main reason for installing the cabinet in the first place, and since the shelves were adjustable, I got the coffee maker, and some cookbooks in to boot!! The drawers held my coffee pods, and coasters.

Hoop art, by Raising up Rubies.

The cabinet unfortunately only housed about a 10th of my cookbook collection, so I just used some of my favorites.

 For the bottom cabinet, we decided to alter the door to make a pull out trashcan. I looked for the right sized trashcan system that you could mount onto the door, but had alot of problems finding the right size, and the ones that were, seemed crazy expensive. Since we were doing the kitchen on a budget, we opted for making it ourselves.

We ended up using two small sized trash cans, one for recycling. I did have to cut one side of the lip on each, to make them fit in. 

I put a cup handle on all of the drawers, and used the same here. 

Now unfortunately I don't have a photo how-to for this little system. But as you can see in the pictures, it is a pretty simple construction. We used a piece of plywood that we had laying around, and cut it to fit just inside of the cabinet, as the wood platform. A brace was added to the back of the door, on the bottom, to mount the platform system to. The whole thing is similar to a drawer, just without the sides. A couple pieces of 1"x1", were mounted under the platform, and are what the rails are attached to. 

Richelieu 2 pack 24" drawer slide rails $19

You don't want it to heavy, and its really not holding all that much weight. We angled one more 1x1 on each side of the cans to keep them from shifting around. The other half of the railing, was mounted to the inside of the cabinets, on another 1x1". This will keep the whole thing strong, and it will slide smoothly.  

A simple fix to loosing counter space. If you don't have room for a whole new cabinet, consider using an existing one.

For the rest of the how-to's for this kitchen check out these posts...

Kitchen Remodel
How-To Faux Reclaimed Wood Counter Tops
Tips To Installing Cabinet Molding