How To Antique Fake Brass

When the hardware for the Murphy Bed arrived in all of it cheap-fake-yellow-shiny brass glory, I knew we needed to age it somehow.  To give it a little bit of patina. The card catalog was supposed to look old and all the yellow shininess did not say “antique” to me at least.  It said something more like “welcome to 1992.”

I did some google researching and most of what I came up with was about aging real brass.  At 1.15 a pop, I knew my handles were not the real thing.  The tint and high sheen also would indicate that. I did find some suggestions about sanding them down before painting them to take off the shine.

Hmmmm…

DIY card catalog murphy bed

Way too many handles for that.

We had some extra pulls, so I got some plastic cups and let one soak in acetone and one in white vinegar overnight.

I looked at them the next morning.

Still shiny.  And they continued to shine the after another night of soaking.

So I took them out in frustration and to do some more research.  Because I was.not.going.to.sand.

The next morning, something miraculous happened.

How-To Age Fake Brass

The white vinegar handle aged after it was exposed to air. (the acetone one still looked the same)

Yes! I was doubly excited because vinegar is also cheaper than acetone and not a toxic chemical.

In effort to save containers, we dumped the handles into a gallon of vinegar with the top cut off.

How-To Age Fake Brass

It soaked overnight.  And then laid it out a trash bag to let the air do its magic.

How-To Age Fake Brass

Starting to see something.

How-To Age Fake Brass

After a day we washed them off in warm soapy water and had old looking brass.  With each looking a bit different.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

The “new” finish held fine during install and all the handling involved in that.

If you were using this technique on a handle was going to get touched on a daily basis, I would check to see how it holds up first.  I assume it would be okay, but I did not try that variable since these are purely decorative.  Also I am not sure how many different types of fake brass there are.  This method may not work on all types.  Moral of the story?  Test your stuff out first to see what happens.

I am just happy to find a method that was quick, easy, and cheap.  And involved no sanding.

DIY Library Card Catalog Murphy Bed

I think I may have a new favorite DIY project.  It was not super cheap, it was not quick and when I described it at the beginning of the project, people looked at me like I had three heads.

But now we love it.

DIY card catalog murphy bed
Really really love it.  (Photos taken in a basement with no natural light do not do it justice, trust me, I tried).

Why a Murphy bed?  Well, we have a four bedroom house and we are not moving.  When we have another child sometime in the future, we will need that last bedroom.  And getting rid of the craft room was not an option that I liked.  The guest room was the least used, but with out of town grandparents, it was still a necessity.

There is a bathroom in the basement, along with a TV and some empty space (and exercise equipment and a fridge and tons of toys if you are so inclined).  Bingo.  New Guest Room on an as needed basis.

The bed was going to be Queen Size, so the cabinet was going to be a predominant feature in the space.  We thought about making the facing look like an armoire, but I wanted something more interesting.  Enter the faux library card catalog.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

So how did we do it?  We bought hardware that came with plans online (here).  And Derek and my father-in-law built the basic bed according to those plans.  They used predominantly plywood for the actual construction of the cabinet.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

Then came the drawers.  After a whole lot of math by the boys, we settled on 102 of them.  One of the challenges was the foot of the bed had to be in a certain place and a certain size.  Since it would hold the bed while people were sleeping in it, it was important.

DIY card catalog murphy bed

The drawers were cut out of 3/4 inch MDF because of cost.  Then all the edges were routed.  Bless my father-in-law with that stack of drawers.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

The drawers were nailed on in rows with a paint stick used as a spacer horizontally and flat molding nailed on vertically. 

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed
DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

We talked about adding molding on the top or on the sides, but after extensive research on library card catalogs (I’m looking at you Google Images), we decided to leave it plain to make it more “authentic”.

And then I finished it using a modified glazing technique.  Which will be a story for a another post.  Sneak peek: It took forever, may have involved some tears and cussing but I think the results were worth it.  I learned a lot. Stay tuned.

After it was finished, it was time to install the hardware.  Which was another challenge with this project.  When you need 102 pieces of hardware, they can’t be $7 a pop.  Especially since they are completely decorative and non-functional.

After much searching, I found my pulls here (but if you are buying them in bulk, check out their store on eBay).  At about a dollar each they were the winners.  When they arrived they were shiny in fake brass kind of way, so I aged them.  I tried a variety of methods with different results, (bringing me back to my junior high science fair days) with a clear winner.  Again another post. Now they look old and worn.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

Derek constructed a jig to make sure they went on straight.  And then he had the super fun task of screwing on every.single.one.

We brought down the mattress from the guest room, and the new guest suite was born.
Just pop open the leg and the mechanism releases.

DIY Card Catalog Murphy Bed

Add some pillows and a quilt and we are ready for guests.

DIY card catalog murphy bed

And the majority of time when it is closed and being played around, it is just nice to look at.

DIY card catalog murphy bed

And we can tell Carter about the good ole days when that was the way you looked up books. 
And he will look at us like we have three heads.

Cost breakdown-
Murphy Bed Hardware and plans- approximately $300
Lumber-About $300 (rough estimate as we were also buying supplies for other DIY projects at the same time)
Hardware- $155
Glazing Supplies- $15 (I already had the glaze itself from previous projects)
Mattress- $0 (used the one from the guest room)
Total: $770

Not bad for a incredibly functional yet nice-to-look-at piece of furniture.

We loved this project (especially now that it is done) and it is DIYable.  My father-in-law used to work as a contractor/carpenter so his skills were a huge help to Derek with the construction while he was in town. But if you are good with DIY and furniture building, we think you would be able to handle it, as the plans come along with the hardware. Also as I mentioned before, this was not a fast project.  The actual construction took Derek and my father-in-law a weekend.  But the finishing and the hardware application kept us busy for awhile.

DIY card catalog murphy bed

But worth it.  What do you think?

DIY Painted Foam Play Mat

I pin a lot of things.  And I have grand plans to complete oh 85% of them.  But somehow that does not happen and my pins just sit there looking pretty on my boards.  Maybe even mocking me a little bit.

As part of the Pinterest challenge over at Young House Love, Bower Power, Decor and the Dog and The Remodeled Life I decided to change that.  I probably should have chosen a faster project, or at least one with less drying time.  But thanks to two blizzards and days off work, this one got done.

DIY Painted Foam Playmat

Carter needed a play mat for his playspace.  And it needed to be indestructible.  And easy to clean.  Not to mention attractive.  Finding nothing that fit the above criteria, I decided to DIY.  

I was inspired by this…

(originally posted at Design Sponge)

The basic how-to is pretty simple.  Buy a cheap foam play mat, prime the non-bumpy side and paint with acrylic paints.  Finally seal with a couple of coats of polyurethane.

Easy and quick if you decide to make a large scale design with a couple of colors.  Small triangles on the other hand took a while to paint.  Especially since it took multiple coats to achieve color saturation.

But it was easy to paint while I was watching TV and somewhat relaxing to do- triangle after triangle after triangle.

In order to draw out the design, I used my sewing cutting mat to make a template out of cardboard of a 60 degree angle.

I drew straight lines on the primed mat-

DIY foam mat

And then used the template to draw in the angles.  My triangles are approximately 5 inches.  I mismeasured at some point and my triangles got a little jacked up in the middle.  I figured out my mistake, but did not want to re-prime and re do all my lines so I decided to channel my inner Tim Gunn and “make it work”.

DIY foam mat

I did not use tape to paint the triangles with the acrylic paint, so my lines are not perfectly straight but I like it that way as I think it looks more hand-painted.  At least that is what I am telling myself because it would have taken forever to tape.

DIY foam mat

Three coats of gloss polyurethane later, we have this.

DIY Painted Foam Playmat

All ready to be played on.

 DIY Painted Foam Playmat

In the basement play space that almost gets no direct light for decent pictures.  Especially when there is two feet of snow outside covering the windows.

DIY Painted Foam Playmat

DIY Painted Foam Playmat

The play area has had some other projects go in it, but I waiting until everything was done to blog about the space.  The rug was the last one, so that should be coming up.

So how does it hold up?  It has not cured the complete 24 hours as instructed but has already held up to books being dropped on it and a rousing game of stacking and knocking down blocks.  Before the poly went on, it seemed like it would crack easily.  But with the poly it seems a lot more pliable.  I will keep you posted. For now it is a hit.

And I am not painting triangles for awhile.

A Basement Playspace- In Progress

Babies come with a lot of stuff.  And toddlers add even more stuff.  And rumor has it that kids bring even more stuff.

Shocking information I know.

When we were planning our basement renovation we had kept that in mind, and the playspace there has its own corner to house a portion of that stuff.  

We wanted to make sure we made use of of the awkward space and had lots of storage.  Some open storage for him to see his toys and some closed storage to him (and guests) not to see things.  Like finger paints and crayons and markers for example.  Or possibly the book we have read 2846 times.

Originally I thought we would build something , but instead we came back to the old Closetmaid shelves that served us so well already as a craft table.  With the idea of making them look less closetmaid-esque and more custom cabinet-ish.

basement playspace in progress

So Derek started the construction.  And Carter looked like this…

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And he sat in one place and played without moving much.

Anyway to make room for molding to increase the custom look, the shelves were installed off the floor and way from the wall.

basement playspace in progress

We also added some store bought cabinets around the awkward soffit to give us some closed storage.

basement playspace in progress

And then the magic happened.  Carter turned into this-

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And some molding (and some toys) made it look like this-

basement playspace in progress

Disclaimer: It is impossible to take decent pictures in the basement that gets very limited light.  And this is completely unstyled.  Picked up…yes.  Made to look pretty…no.

We are only partially done.  The rug is getting a DIY treatment and things are going on the wall.  And see the track?  That is going to be curtains.  That currently look like this.

IMG_0007 (2)

Sitting under other projects.

But for right now it is functional which is all that matters.

basement playspace in progress

basement playspace in progress

basement playspace in progress

The counter is a piece wood stained to match the fireplace and then molding added to the edge.  And lots of coats of poly.

basement playspace in progress

basement playspace in progress

So I have some sewing and DIYing to do.  But we are happy how well some cheap shelves look in the space.  And maybe if I bring my sewing machine and paintbrush down there, Carter will sit in one place again and play.  Right.

Basement Chronicles #56784

First the walls came down

Well actually it would be more accurate to say first it flooded and then everything got ripped out.  Which prompted the idea for a much larger renovation, therefore causing the walls to come down.  Just to be precise.

And then they went back up.  And then we had fun with electrical, plan changing, tiling, painting, fireplace installing, molding and my personal favorite, caulking.  Which brings us to a very important day in the life of our basement-functional with some furniture.

basement progress

Don’t let the one randomly placed pillow fool you, we still have a long way to go.  Like scraping the paint off the windows. 

But a couple of movie nights have already been enjoyed down here.  And it was awesome.

basement progress

And while some members of the household will beg to differ, my favorite thing in the space is not the TV, but the entertainment console.

basement progress

It is metal and therefore very heavy.  At least that is what I am ascertaining by the grunting that occurred getting it down the stairs.  And it already looks beat up and old, so there will be no worries when Carter continues to beat it and make it look older.

basement progress

It is technically a buffet, but it works perfectly under the TV and a quick hole drilled in the back made it an instant entertainment center.  We were a little worried about the height when we saw it it in the store, but I am so happy we took the leap.

Love it.

The sectional was also a great find as it was the exact dimensions we needed/wanted and liked how it does not feel oversized. Oh and it is comfy.

basement progress

Since the walls of the workout room came tumbling down to  make way for bigger and better things, we built a workout closet.

basement progress

basement progress

Still missing the barn doors to cover it all up (hey we need a toilet in the bathroom first), but I love how it works in the basement.  Because it does not take up too much space and can be easily hidden.  And you can still work out while watching TV.

basement progress

Far away TV, but TV nonetheless.  Jillian does not need to be up close and personal.

I could list all the things we still need to construct, do and decorate in the space (hello toilet), but for now we are just enjoying the “done-ness” of having a place to sit. 

And watching movies and drinking wine…with the hum of a baby monitor in the background.

Paneling?

Wood paneling and and electric fireplace.

In our basement.

Think we have lost our mind?  Because those three thing conjure up images a really bad, old, dark, cave like space.  The type we would be ripping out and renovating.

When we checked out at the home improvement store I was really hoping the cashier was not judging us for what we had in our cart….because I know I would have been.

But I love how it turned out…

cedar paneling on fireplace

The basement was feeling a little cold with all the tile and well, because it is a basement and it is cold. And the wood really brings a warmth to the space.  The heat radiating from the fireplace does not hurt either.  Oh and did I mention it was cheap?  The wood cost us less than $125. 

So how did we do it?

Well we started with a dry walled space that was designed to hide two oddly placed poles.  The entire reason for the fireplace in the first place.IMG_6374

It was built to the dimensions of the fireplace we had already ordered but we just needed something to surround it.  Tile?  Expensive, time consuming (with all the corners) and the fireplace structure was not completely square to cover the poles which would be made obvious if we spaced square tiles on top of it.  Hardwood flooring?  Viable option but the exotic stuff we really liked was still a little pricy and all the edges would have to be mitered.  So we headed to the lumber section when we stumbled on this.

IMG_6373

Cedar paneling. 

Really.

Using liquid nails, a saw, a nail gun and a level it became this rather quickly.  Holes were filled with stainable wood filler and sanded.

cedar paneling on fireplacecedar paneling on fireplace

We tried a lot of different stains on samples and settled on English Walnut by Minwax.  We then learned that stainable wood filler needed to be completely sanded off otherwise you could see every spot.  We cursed and re-sanded. A lot. At least with the cedar it smelled nice. This is what you get when you normally paint instead of stain and don’t know what you are doing.

A coat of stain and two coats of satin poly later, we were ready to install the fireplace. 

cedar paneling on fireplace

It slid right in.

cedar paneling on fireplace

We are happy with the choice to go with an electric fireplace.  Gas would have been better and with more options, but would have been more expensive. Especially considering needing to hire someone to run a gas line and vent it properly.  Ouch.  Not to mention I am not sure we would have been able to face it with wood considering fire implications.

We watched a video of the electric model we chose on YouTube before we ordered it and were happy on how authentic it looked.  (Yes people really make YouTube videos of fireplaces. Oddly helpful.) I have to admit I was nervous before we fired it up that it would look cheesy, but we are completely satisfied with it.

The next question we will probably get is why it is facing the stairs.  Here is what you see as you walk down them and enter the basement…

IMG_6976

We went back and forth on this as well.  We chose the side we did because if it was a solid wall it would have looked funny.  If I had enough space to put a console table there with a large picture, it would have been different, but there was not enough room to do that.  So my choices were solid wall of something (tile, wood) or fireplace.

The opposite side is next to the poker table (aka Christmas wrapping central).

cedar paneling on fireplace

So people’s backs would be facing it and it would be less of a focal point.  We thought about putting another fireplace on the back side (so it would look “double sided”) but that would have increased the cost by having to buy two fireplaces and the wall would have to be thicker and take up more floor space.  Not a good option.

Now that it is in and we are starting to get furniture down there, I am confident we made the correct decision.

Floorboards need to be cut and painted and some furniture is being delivered in the next couple of weeks which is exciting to see more pieces come together. 

Which is good because all the great toys Carter received for Christmas need a place to live besides the family room. 

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

The basement renovation has officially commenced with the ceremonial first swing of the sledge hammer.

IMG_4932

And that sledge hammer made the well thought out plans change.  Of course. 

The original basement plan?  New paint, new flooring, new furniture. Easy peasy.

After living with cement floors and thinking about it for months?  No more work out room and opening up the walls completely.  Or should I say…

IMG_4933

Why?  First of all we could not call that room a bedroom as the window was not large enough.  And putting in a larger window was going to require digging out all around the foundation and cutting through cement.  Which equals dollar signs.  New plan.

The basement needs to serve many functions for us- man space, workout space, play space, tv space, and guest space.  This would be a lot easier with the walls gone and the workout space not hogging an entire closed off room.  Not to mention that it would be nice to actually be able to see the play space while you are working out to make sure no trouble is happening.  Although it is sort of attractive to have that excuse about why my work outs were not happening.

This plan had much discussion before the sledge hammer flew. 

What if we made that room the play space?  Where will the elliptical go?  What about a combo workout/play space?  How long are we staying this house as the most cost effective option is new paint and cheap carpet?

In the end we decided the walls were coming down.

So the old furniture got loaded up for it’s new home at my brother’s first place.

IMG_4936

And down came the drywall.IMG_4955

And then the plan changed again….because there were not one load bearing pole as we expected, but two.  And of course they were awkwardly right next to each other.  Like three feet in between them.

IMG_4968

Awesome.

We discussed sliding them towards the staircase, but after figuring out what making a footing for them entailed, that idea was discarded.

New idea…fireplace in between them.  We loved the look of gas, but that would require hiring someone to run a gas line and to vent it which equaled dollar signs again.  So we decided to go with electric as it was much more DIY and wallet friendly.  And after spending  a lot of time visiting fireplace stores and researching online and watching YouTube videos (yes people really do post videos of different types of fireplace models which turned out to be strangely helpful) we ordered this baby.

fireplace

Then we just had to figure out where everything was going around it.  The challenges?  A lot of functions in a relatively small space.  Wanting to hide the workout equipment, but have it easily accessible so it might get used more often.  And those ^&%$ low soffits that elliptical machines, murphy beds and any activity involving your hand over your head like workout videos can not be under. 

Just a little bitter of how they got in the way of every good idea I had. 

They and those ^&$# poles.

But I think we have it figured out.  I was going to post it, but no one would care to look as the diagram besides me and frankly it will probably change again.

One thing I am excited about …how we are going to hide the workout equipment-

 

Or…

Source: google.com via Jenny on Pinterest

 

Or..

 

Thank you Pinterest.

So after the boys spent a long weekend swinging a sledge hammer and filling a dumpster..

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And the girls spent the weekend loving on this guy (give you one guess who dressed him)…

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The basement is now demoed.  And all ready for this weekend fun with electrical.  Whoo Hoo!

Coming Up Next…

I think we may be a little insane…

IMG_4754 - Copy

Derek thinks it is insane that he is now responsible for hauling 2 pallets of tile into the basement.  Box by box by box.  Or just not use his side of the garage for a couple of months.  His choice I guess.

Yep we are starting another project.  The basement.  And from the beginning of this project, I am announcing that it is going to be the longest DIY project in the history of our house.  Because we now have a baby which infringes on marathon weekends of work.  And because we don’t need the space, so it will be quite easy to close it up and not work on it for awhile.  And we are starting it before we had originally planned meaning that the cash for the entire reno plus the furniture plus the electronics is not all there yet.  So expect a renovated space with old ugly furniture for awhile.  Unless we win the lottery.

So why the basement?  Well for two reasons…a sump pump and a baby.  If you remember we had a bit of a flood back in March

water damagewater damageThe good news?  The insurance company is helping contribute to the renovation of what was ugly carpet.  Back in March I was bummed that we lost the laminate we installed in the workout room as well as the timing of the whole thing.  Renovating a basement while you are 7 months pregnant and trying to juggle working full time and baby showers was not going to happen.  But actually the timing was a blessing in disguise as it gave us a couple of months to think about what we really wanted.  And to decide that laminate in a basement was a bad choice because a little bit of water makes for an entire new floor.

The baby’s role?  One he has a whole lot of stuff that has already invaded all parts of the house. Which we are currently trying to corral in baskets, but we know as he gets bigger the size and amount of toys is going to follow suite.  And the family room is not big on space for things like train tables.  And since Carter needs to eat about every three hours and he is lazy/slow nurser and I am currently on maternity leave, we are watching a whole lot more HGTV than usual.  The DVR is my new best friend.

Lots of HGTV makes me want to start new projects.

I have always loved Candice Olson’s designs.  Especially because she is not afraid to make beautiful basements.  I even blogged about it back in the early days.

So when I was watching an episode of Candice tells all, I was excited that she used a flooring choice that I had not thought of.  Vinyl plank flooring.  Waterproof and it looks like wood.  And if it was good enough to use in her designs, it was good enough for ours obviously.  Bonus?  It was cheap. And easy to install.

I tried my best to find a picture of this particular makeover or even a screen shot from a video.  However the episode “family room fundamentals” is not to be found online.  Sigh.  Trust me, it looked great, just like all her other makeovers.

Anyway…

So why then do we have tile sitting in our garage? I am getting to it.

Carter got to have his inaugural trips to Home Depot and Lumber Liquidators.  He was super excited.

IMAG0042

We picked up tons of samples of vinyl plank flooring to take home and consider. But since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to stop at our favorite local tile warehouse just to see what they had on closeout.  And surprisingly they had one of our former favorites, a gray quartzite, there at a much reduced price.  So then we had to consider this and make a decision quickly because we were dealing with a close-out and we needed a lot of it-

IMG_4755 - Copy

Vinyl plank

Pros- Slightly cheaper, easier to install, easier to store until ready to install, could bring more color warmth to the room, and warmer on the toes

Cons- The product is waterproof, but if we had a flood like we did in March, we would most likely have to air it out and reglue the whole floor.  Would it be lost, no, but it would be a lot of work.  Also it is vinyl so no matter how good it looked, it was not real wood and that would be apparent.  Dog nails could also possibly gouge it.

Tile

Pros- Only true waterproof option, loved that it was a natural stone not an imitation of something, and pretty much indestructible

Cons-More difficult to install and could get a little cold underfoot in the winter

 

The winner?  (I know I already gave it away….pretend to be surprised)

IMG_4758 - Copy

The water thing was the most important, especially to Derek.  I think the idea of moving a basement full of furniture and regluing an entire floor was not appealing to him for some reason.  And the fact that we loved this tile months ago, but until it was reduced to approximately the price of the vinyl, it was not an option.  Because when we need 1000 square feet of something price is very important. But on the flip side Derek scored us a even better deal because we were buying two pallets of it.

So there you have it…the first basement decision done.  Hopefully you don’t think we are crazy for going the tile over vinyl plank route. Unless of course you want to give two pallets of gray quartzite a good home.

Organizing Like A Man

I have been informed that not every organization project needs to involve “girly” things like pretty labels and a label maker.   Or even color coding.  Which in my opinion takes all the fun out of organization. 

But for our latest organization project we were in Man Land (also known as the basement) and all my decorating and organizing powers suddenly disappear when we walk down there and Derek is in charge.  Oh so he likes to think so.

A little background on Man Land-It was finished when we moved in and other than doing a mini-makeover on the workout room, we have not touched it so far.  Other than to dump our old furniture (and a new must have poker table) down there.  Derek has big plans for Man Land, but other projects have taken our time and money so it keeps getting further down on the list.  There is also an unfinished portion of Man Land that is really nice for storage and to keep all of our DIY supplies.

So why bother with organizing a space we are not really using?  Ummm well because this is what it looked like.

Embarrassing.

Basement OrganizationAll of Christmas waiting to be put away

Basement OrganizationThis picture pains me.  As DIYers our tools and supplies should not look like this. 

Basement OrganizationRandom Unorganized Crap

Basement OrganizationMore Crap.

So we had a lot of organizing and purging to do.

As a disclaimer (because I will hear about this later)- Derek is actually the clean/organized one in our relationship.  Especially the clean one.  I have a bad habit of leaving things out.  Like the clothes that I wear to work I like to stack in a pile over the course of the week instead of put them in the hamper or hanging them back up.  I have been threatened with husband hacking of the blog and an expose of my piles.  So now you know and if you ever see pictures of my piles posted you will know who is behind it.  Just saying.

In the world on Man organizing, all you need is a couple of tools- a Sharpie, some tape, and boxes for organizing (not required to match).

One of the main things we needed to organize was our paint.  We had tons left over from the previous owners, our previous house, and gallon cans that were an 1/8 full that were taking up space.  So sorted through all the paint colors that we would never use again and dropped them off at our community’s household hazardous waste site.  That took over three big boxes.

The paint that we still have in our house and were more than a quarter gallon full went into this newly hung cabinet that was harvested from the old laundry room.  Finally a place for honey oak in our house.  All the paint was properly labeled with painters tape and a sharpie.  No girly labels here.

Basement Organization

The other paint that did not have much left in the can but that we could still use for touch-ups was dumped into quart containers.  And labeled with the ever popular sharpie.

Basement Organization

Basement Organization

But how should we store all the paint, not to mention our painting supplies?  How to organize it?  Did we need to buy new shelving?  Nope.  Since the basement is also the place where we store random furniture, we moved this dresser over as our new organizer.  And added more labels.  Obviously dusting is not very manly.Basement Organization

On the top of the dresser went paint trays and my box of spray paint.  Also it is the new home of my multi-use paint (like primer, trim and cabinet paint). 

In the drawers are various categories of manly tool stuff.  This one holds sponges, painters tape and protective items like gloves and face masks.

Basement Organization

And the drawer of paint…

Basement Organization

We did buy some plastic bins to sort some of the remaining items on the work bench….

Basement Organization

And added some hooks to the pegboard….

Basement Organization

So now we can actually find things that we are looking for….

Basement Organization

I do have to admit that organizing the Man way was very inexpensive.  We spent less than $25 on materials and made a large contribution of random stuff to charity which will be a bonus on next year’s taxes. 

So you do what that means?  Time to start some new DIY projects since we can find everything again!

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Basement Inspiration

We are slowly running out of rooms in our house to start a new project on (we have plenty to still complete since I am the queen of 90% but that is another story).

The basement is part of the final frontier and Derek thinks that since it is "man land" that he gets to make all design and purchasing decisions. Our basement is finished thankfully but right now it is pretty boring with tan walls and old carpet. We only use it currently for the exercise room and as overflow for the guest bedroom. It is one of the few rooms that does not have honey oak trim and I believe Derek is thinking about painting all of it black. Glad he is going to learn how to paint trim because I am pretty sick of it.

Anyway, our basement has two tiny windows so it does not get much light and I want to be able to use the space as a kid area when we have children. So designing this space (on a small budget of course) is going to be tricky.

For a little inspiration I turned to my all time favorite designer-Candice Olsen. I love everything she does and one of the things she does best is basements in my opinion. So here is what I love in case Derek happens to read this when he is thinking about what he wants to do down there:).

Nothing like purple couches to say "man land"


(all photos courtesy of HGTV)