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Showing posts from March, 2016

Cabinetry Is Hard, So I Cheated

When we redesigned the floor plan last year we moved the guest room closet wall to make space for a linen closet at the end of the hallway.  But built in cabinets weren't a priority so we made due with cheap plastic shelves. I was initially planning to build a cabinet completely from scratch but then I found an oak utility cabinet on Craigslist for $85, still new in the box.  At 36"x84" it was too small to fill the hallway but it was a starting point and I figured I could finish this for about half the cost of the materials I was going to need for a custom build. We need half of the linen closet to store our vacuum so I built a divider down the center of the cabinet.  This gave me a chance to finally use the shelf peg jig I bought from Rockler for our last house and never needed.
Luke and I moved the frame into place then I added filler pieces to either side.  To make it look like a single unit I built a small face frame, attached it above the main cabinet then added so…

How To Fake a Fireplace

I'm loving our new open floor plan, but the living room lost its focal point when we removed the ugly wood stove (nobody said the focal point has to be attractive). After removing some walls we were left with few options for where to draw the eye. The best choice was the 10' wall between the living room and master bedroom.  I neglected to get a good picture before demo.  This shot from what eventually became the kitchen is the best I can find.

We moved the coat closet to the hallway which left this 10' wall as a perfectly blank canvas.

We didn't have enough space for a real fireplace or a gas unit so we opted for a wall mounted electric fireplace.  In order to get the built in-fireplace look I started by tiling the wall to look like a stone surround (the color is blotchy because it's wet from my tile saw).
After a few months with just the tile on the wall Luke and I built a custom mantle and lintels.  I did the design work but Luke is the one who actually knows wh…

Starting on the landscaping

A few weeks ago our yard looked like this.  That pile of dirt has been there since we excavated driveway almost two years ago. Now that we are finally ready to do something about the yard we gave away the fence on Craigslist.  I was surprised by how many people wanted an old fence that needed some serious work.  Within a few hours I found someone who would remove the fence and haul it away.  Free materials for him, less work for me.
We found a contractor who was willing to spread the dirt, remove the large rocks and put a 2% slope on the yard for $389, less than we would have spent just to rent the equipment.  Plus the results are so much better than we could have accomplished on our own.  Now that the yard is level we need to install the sprinkler system, bring in top soil and get some grass started.  Our excavation guy will be back next weekend to do some work in the front yard.  I'm sure our neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief.