Blog Archives

Small Updates

We finally got around to a bunch of small updates around the house to improve functionality and/or make things slightly more stylish. 🙂

In the kitchen, I got a hanging basket thing to corral all the fruit that was constantly taking up way too much counter space. Here it is hanging to the left of the sink:

Hanging fruit basket

I also got some wire mesh baskets to tidy up the coffee making supplies. This area used to just be a big jumble of fruit and coffee filters and such:

More counter space

The knob on the pantry door busted, so we took the opportunity to switch from chrome to oil rubbed bronze:

Pantry door

We’re slowly switching over the remaining door knobs in the house, but I’ll spare you a bunch of door glamor shots.

We also finally switched out the chrome-and-rust light fixture for oil-rubbed bronze in the hallway bath:

bathroom light

Back in the kitchen, we re-hung the magnetic knife holder vertically on the side of the refrigerator. Much more functional. And I got these little white containers (to the left of the stove) to hold garlic, but I’m still not sure what I want to do with the onions:

oven mitt

And I made that fun green double oven mitt that’s hanging off of the oven door. It’s mostly just there to look good, but it does actually work… Plus, Dakota likes to steal it and run around giving everyone high fives while wearing it:

High five!

So I think it was definitely a worthy sewing project. 🙂


Functioning Bathroom Sink

We still have to finish tiling and install trim and a door, but we have a functioning vanity, complete with electricity! Behold:


We really wanted a double sink, but there just wasn’t quiiittteeeee enough space. But then we discovered this hybrid… two faucets, one drain. The actual vanity is screwed into the wall and doesn’t touch the floor, and it has drawers instead of cabinet doors, which I’m seriously loving. Here’s another angle:

Vanity 2

We’re hoping to add some glass tile (matching what we’re putting in the shower) as a backsplash and possibly add a frame to the mirror. I love the lights, found them in the outdoor lighting section. (And only later recalled that Young House Love used the same light in one of their bathrooms.) And while we don’t need a functioning shower vent yet, I’m happy with this switch that we got:

Vent switch

The light switch is on the left. On the right is the vent switch… you can preset how long you want it to run and then just hit the button each time you use it. It shuts off automatically after the designated time has passed. Okay, so it’s not really that exciting, but I love steamy showers and hate mold, so shower vents are important to me. 🙂

The jury’s still out on our other “innovation”:

hidden outlets

That’s a set of electrical outlets hidden behind the lower drawer of the vanity. My theory is that we can plug in things like razors and electric toothbrushes without electrical cords running all over the bathroom. And we can leave the razors and toothbrushes in the drawers while they’re charging, so there’s less clutter on the sink. There’s enough of a gap between the back of the drawer and the wall for this to work, but I haven’t actually had a chance to set everything up yet. Possibly it will be a miserable failure, but I’m feeling optimistic.

Now if only the shower was done!

Just some lights for the garage

The garage did have some lights when we moved in. They were two big tube-lights hung with chain from the rafters. Some enterprising person had run an extension cord from the wall outlet up along the rafters, cut the end off, and spliced the exposed wires to the wires for the tube lights. The home inspector informed us this wasn’t to code. (We weren’t at all surprised.)

Old Garage Lights

There was also a bare bulb on the wall above the laundry area. This one was to code, but pretty ugly:

Old Garage Bulb

We figured we had 4ish areas of the garage that needed light: the work bench, the workout area, the laundry, and the chest freezer. So we got an inexpensive strip light with 4 spots that we could point where we wanted. Then we shelled out for nice LED bulbs that will hopefully last forever:

New Garage Lights

Much better. And instead of an extension cord, we removed the bare bulb light from the wall and ran electrical cable from that up to the new strip lights. Here’s what remains on that wall:

Junction Box

We’re thinking we still will want one more light on the far wall over the work bench though. When we’re using the miter saw it ends up completely in shadow due to the angle at which the light hits it. We do almost all of our mitering during the day so it hasn’t been an issue, but then it wouldn’t be very hard to install a light on that wall, whenever we get around to it.

This all happened back in November actually, but it’s not particularly exciting to write about utility lights. Up next: our toilet! The sad part is I’m not joking about that. Hopefully there will be more exciting things to post about soon though, as we’re finally making some real headway on the master bathroom remodel, and the baby is due in 2 months.

Backyard Light

just a quick one… here was our corroded, worn-looking, non-functional backyard light:

(Poor sad useless light...)

So we switched it out with a functional and somewhat nicer looking light:

(We pointed the lights at a more useful downward angle sometime after I snapped this pic.)

Even with a bit of chipping away at the wall to fit the new metal brace in the hole, this was a really easy switch.

(He's becoming quite the expert at this...)

Now we get a nice lit backyard every time a raccoon wanders through in the dark. I think Loki likes it too, he doesn’t feel the need to bark at every random rustle when he goes out to do his business at night. Success all around.

New Outdoor Lighting

Yay! Our old front door light was a perfectly functional but seriously lame looking. Happily for me, we had a solid, non-aesthetic reason for wanting to change it out asap: we wanted a motion-sensor light at our front door. The position of our garage and the location of the house means our front porch is hidden from most of our court, and at night it’s really dark even with the living room light on.

We wanted a oil-rubbed bronze look to go with our recently replaced door knob and deadbolt. I also wanted seeded or frosted glass so we wouldn’t just be looking at an unobstructed view of the bulb inside the fixture. PLUS, we aren’t wild about ornate curlicues, so I was hoping for something with clean lines without being too plain and utilitarian. Lucky for us, pretty much the least expensive motion-sensing light in the hardware store came pretty darn close to meeting all of our criteria. Here’s the before:

And the after:

Please excuse the sad stated of the fuschia. I thought I had managed to kill it off completely, but it finally started sprouting leaves and even a few flowers, so I’m pretty happy.

Switching up the dining room light

We’ll probably end up switching out several light fixtures in the house, (especially the hideous fluorescent light in the 3rd bedroom) but for now we just really needed to trade out the light hanging over the dining room table. It looked about ready to fall off anyway, and really didn’t match anything else in the house.

It doesn’t help that it’s off center from where we have the table. We’re planning on making built-in benches so that we can keep the table closer to the corner and not lose the walking space between it and the fireplace.

The main issue with finding a new light fixture was pretty much our unwillingness to spend very much money. Sigh. I guess I’m beginning to learn the high cost of home decor. Anyway, we had almost decided on getting a very boring drum shade (that still seemed to cost too much in my view…) when I found this funny looking oil-rubbed bronze thingy…

I’m not feeling very brave yet when it comes to decor, but my “this looks stupid”-o-meter (aka Dave) thought it looked pretty cool, so we bought it.

For now we screwed a hook into the ceiling so that we could center the light over the table and adjust the length of the chain. Anyway, to me it doesn’t look as nice in pictures as it does in person… I’m liking it a whole lot every time I walk by it. The only thing I’m a little undecided on is the color of the inner light shade… it’s almost a little too yellow when the light is on.

But I think it’s growing on me. And the whole procedure was pretty straightforward, the only bummer was that the dining room is on the same circuit as the TV, making it more challenging for me to goof off and watch TV while Dave worked. 🙂 Luckily the router was on a different circuit so I was still able to get to the internet!

And please excuse the creased tablecloth, paint swatches on the walls, vacuum cleaner in the corner, and lack of decorations. I’m just amazed that we managed to clear the table off to take the pictures.