DIY

DIY Faux Fireplace with mantel

You might have asked yourself, how do you make a fake fireplace? Is it hard to do? Well, this modern DIY faux fireplace that I designed is easy to build and something you can customize to your taste with any electric fireplace insert and with any type of tile surround. And since you build it like a piece of furniture, this DIY faux fireplace is perfect for homeowners and renters alike!

***Do keep in mind that this project is for decorative purposes only and is not to be used as a heater***

You can watch the entire project in this video. 

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity) along with some images to highlight the main steps.

I love fireplaces, but unfortunately my current rental apartment doesn’t have one. So I wanted to figure out a way of making one that could be removable but also easy to take with me when I move out. So I did a bit of research online and it turns out that there’s a lot of options out there for fireplaces that don’t require a chimney or even venting. After looking at all the options, I decided to go with this electrical log insert. Now even though it has a heater feature I’m not planning on using that at all, this project is only going to be purely a decorative element. I chose it so I could design and build my own fireplace around. 

To build this structure. I use 2″x3″, but you could also use 2″x4″ because this is inexpensive lumber, it takes a while to find pieces that are straight. I usually have everything cut at the hardware store. But this time I was able to borrow some tools to do it myself, which was a lot of fun. Here I’m cutting the one by twelve pine boards that will be used to create the firebox and serve as the base and the top of the structure. I chose these because the width is perfect for the depth of the firebox that I want, but of course, I could have also used plywood, I started putting together the structure by first making four of these supports using a speed square to make sure that every corner is at 90 degrees.

Next, I attach the sides of the firebox to two of the supports and then attach the top and bottom. Again making sure here with my speed square that every corner is at 90 degrees. You might have noticed that I’m not drilling any pilot holes, and that’s because I’m using a type of screw that doesn’t require any pre-drilling which really speeds up the process. 

Then I attach the bottom of the structure making sure it’s centered, and then secure the last two supports on either end of it. The last piece to go on is the top which I started by securing at one end, and then securing the other support making sure they’re nice and flush with the edge. 

With this design you could easily change the proportions of everything. Make it narrower, taller or have the firebox be higher or lower. 

To cover it I used one sheet of quarter inch thick plywood cut into smaller pieces just to make it easier to transport. I’m using screws to attach the plywood, making sure that all the screw heads are sunk below the surface. You could of course also use nails to attach the plywood. I did add blocking around the firebox to have a place to screw in plywood and before installing the plywood that covers the back of the firebox. I used the hole saw to make a hole to accommodate the electrical cord of the fireplace insert. And then I painted the inside of the firebox with black chalk paint. 

I wanted my fireplace to have a modern yet beachy and casual look. So to cover the fireplace I chose these smart tiles that have a beautiful stone finish that will blend in nicely with the rest of the apartment. Because it’s not recommended to install smart tiles on unfinished wood, I painted the plywood and let the paint dry for 48 hours. 

I started by removing the ends of the first tile using a utility knife and ruler, I used the tile to mark the bottom of the first row. And that space at the top here is going to be covered up by the mantle. I use the level to draw a line as a guide to line up the tiles. It’s really important to get the first row of tiles lined up perfectly. And I did have to readjust a few times to get it just right. Once it was lined up perfectly, I peeled off all the backing and pressed down on the rest of the tile. Since the next tile is going around an outside corner, I marked the location of the bend and lightly scored the tile at that spot and then I bent the tile along the line and this makes it easier for the tile then when you’re installing it, and it makes for a really nice sharp corner. It’s so great to not have to deal with messy grout when doing this. And the way the tiles are designed makes the seams disappear so that you really can’t tell where one tile ends and the other one begins. 

For the mantle, I used 1″x4″ and 1″x2″ to make size, which I then attached to a piece of plywood. This is a bit of a Frankenstein, but one screw to the fireplace and painted, it does the job of giving the look of a thicker, more substantial mantle. Because this fireplace is tall and narrow, it should be secured to the wall with an anchor like this, which you can get at IKEA for free. 

The last thing to do, of course, is put in the fireplace insert. And I have to say I was really surprised at how real it looks for a fake fire. It looks so real that I decided to complete the look of the fireplace with a hearth that I made with wood covered with some more smart tiles in a black subway pattern. 

Now please keep in mind that this entire project is for decorative purposes only. I never used the heater from the log insert. And it’s also not recommended to use smart tiles for floors and especially not in front of a real fireplace. 

I’m absolutely in love with this fireplace. It adds so much character to the boring white walls and it truly makes the room feel cozy and inviting. And since it’s basically just like a piece of furniture, I’ll be able to take it with me when I move out. 

To complement the fireplace, I also made a few other DIY projects like the furry Ottoman, and you can see how I made that in this video:

 

You might have asked yourself, how do you make a fake fireplace? Is it hard to do? Well, this modern DIY faux fireplace that I designed is easy to build and something you can customize to your taste with any electric fireplace insert and with any type of tile surround. And since you build it like a piece of furniture, this DIY faux fireplace is perfect for homeowners and renters alike!

***Do keep in mind that this project is for decorative purposes only and is not to be used as a heater***

You can watch the entire project in this video. 

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity) along with some images to highlight the main steps.

I love fireplaces, but unfortunately my current rental apartment doesn’t have one. So I wanted to figure out a way of making one that could be removable but also easy to take with me when I move out. So I did a bit of research online and it turns out that there’s a lot of options out there for fireplaces that don’t require a chimney or even venting. After looking at all the options, I decided to go with this electrical log insert. Now even though it has a heater feature I’m not planning on using that at all, this project is only going to be purely a decorative element. I chose it so I could design and build my own fireplace around. 

To build this structure. I use 2″x3″, but you could also use 2″x4″ because this is inexpensive lumber, it takes a while to find pieces that are straight. I usually have everything cut at the hardware store. But this time I was able to borrow some tools to do it myself, which was a lot of fun. Here I’m cutting the one by twelve pine boards that will be used to create the firebox and serve as the base and the top of the structure. I chose these because the width is perfect for the depth of the firebox that I want, but of course, I could have also used plywood, I started putting together the structure by first making four of these supports using a speed square to make sure that every corner is at 90 degrees.

Next, I attach the sides of the firebox to two of the supports and then attach the top and bottom. Again making sure here with my speed square that every corner is at 90 degrees. You might have noticed that I’m not drilling any pilot holes, and that’s because I’m using a type of screw that doesn’t require any pre-drilling which really speeds up the process. 

Then I attach the bottom of the structure making sure it’s centered, and then secure the last two supports on either end of it. The last piece to go on is the top which I started by securing at one end, and then securing the other support making sure they’re nice and flush with the edge. 

With this design you could easily change the proportions of everything. Make it narrower, taller or have the firebox be higher or lower. 

To cover it I used one sheet of quarter inch thick plywood cut into smaller pieces just to make it easier to transport. I’m using screws to attach the plywood, making sure that all the screw heads are sunk below the surface. You could of course also use nails to attach the plywood. I did add blocking around the firebox to have a place to screw in plywood and before installing the plywood that covers the back of the firebox. I used the hole saw to make a hole to accommodate the electrical cord of the fireplace insert. And then I painted the inside of the firebox with black chalk paint. 

I wanted my fireplace to have a modern yet beachy and casual look. So to cover the fireplace I chose these smart tiles that have a beautiful stone finish that will blend in nicely with the rest of the apartment. Because it’s not recommended to install smart tiles on unfinished wood, I painted the plywood and let the paint dry for 48 hours. 

I started by removing the ends of the first tile using a utility knife and ruler, I used the tile to mark the bottom of the first row. And that space at the top here is going to be covered up by the mantle. I use the level to draw a line as a guide to line up the tiles. It’s really important to get the first row of tiles lined up perfectly. And I did have to readjust a few times to get it just right. Once it was lined up perfectly, I peeled off all the backing and pressed down on the rest of the tile. Since the next tile is going around an outside corner, I marked the location of the bend and lightly scored the tile at that spot and then I bent the tile along the line and this makes it easier for the tile then when you’re installing it, and it makes for a really nice sharp corner. It’s so great to not have to deal with messy grout when doing this. And the way the tiles are designed makes the seams disappear so that you really can’t tell where one tile ends and the other one begins. 

For the mantle, I used 1″x4″ and 1″x2″ to make size, which I then attached to a piece of plywood. This is a bit of a Frankenstein, but one screw to the fireplace and painted, it does the job of giving the look of a thicker, more substantial mantle. Because this fireplace is tall and narrow, it should be secured to the wall with an anchor like this, which you can get at IKEA for free. 

The last thing to do, of course, is put in the fireplace insert. And I have to say I was really surprised at how real it looks for a fake fire. It looks so real that I decided to complete the look of the fireplace with a hearth that I made with wood covered with some more smart tiles in a black subway pattern. 

Now please keep in mind that this entire project is for decorative purposes only. I never used the heater from the log insert. And it’s also not recommended to use smart tiles for floors and especially not in front of a real fireplace. 

I’m absolutely in love with this fireplace. It adds so much character to the boring white walls and it truly makes the room feel cozy and inviting. And since it’s basically just like a piece of furniture, I’ll be able to take it with me when I move out. 

To complement the fireplace, I also made a few other DIY projects like the furry Ottoman, and you can see how I made that in this video:

 

DIY Renter-Friendly Old Vinyl Floor Makeover

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a renter-friendly way to give your entryway a makeover? Watch how I changed my entryway floor to give it a fresh new look without taking the original old vinyl floor off and without making any permanent changes! The new floor are made with ram board and include a beautiful compass rose design which I made using a Cricut Maker Machine, it was my first project using this machine and it was a lot of fun. You can watch the entire project in this video.

Or if you prefer reading and seeing pictures, I’ve added the entire episode transcript below (with some modifications for clarity)  along with some images to highlight the main steps. 

Episode Transcripts and Highlights

I recently gave my tiny entryway (it’s only 3ft x 3ft) a makeover to brighten it up and I was liking the changes I had done except that now the old vinyl flooring was standing out like a sore thumb. It was just begging for a new look! 

Brainstorming ideas on how I could do this in a renter friendly way, I thought about the ram board that I used to create a dramatic textured black wall in my bedroom. It’s meant to be used to protect floors during construction so it’s very sturdy. Since the rolls are three feet wide, I would be able to cover the entire entryway floor with one piece. 

Then I could paint it a light color and also incorporate a classic Compass Rose design like this one.

I started by painting the ram board. I did the first coat with paint that I had leftover from my office makeover (it was the type of paint that has primer combined). And because this will be on the floor in a high traffic area. I added two coats of floor paint in a light Arctic gray color. I found out the hard way that it’s very important for that first coat of paint to have some primer in it. Otherwise, putting the floor paint directly on the rim board may cause it to dent or warp in some areas. 

After letting the paint dry overnight, it was time to tackle the compass rose design. I considered painting it but it would have taken me hours to get it just right, so I was happy to try out the Cricut Maker Machine to make this part of the project go a lot quicker and easier. 

Once the machine was powered and connected to my computer,  it just took a few minutes to download the Cricut Design Space software and get started. I arranged all the triangles in a way that would maximize the use of the material being cut. 

It’s so much fun to watch the machine cut everything so precisely and quickly. It only took minutes to cut both the dark and light pieces for my compass rose.

With the compass rose triangles cut, I drew the middle lines so I could line up all the triangles with the center of the floor.

Then I painted the border. This took me way longer to do because of having to tape and do several coats of the paint. Plus you can see that the edges were far from perfect and needed lots of touching up.

To secure the cardboard to the vinyl flooring, I use the same removable double sided tape that I  used for my bedroom project

I also placed strips of removable double sided carpet tape in the middle of the floor, and that was to make sure that the cardboard didn’t lift off the floor. I chose this tape because it’s very thin and won’t make any indentation in the cardboard. 

I removed the tape backing only at the front edge initially to make it easier to line up.

Once I had that front section secured. I moved gradually towards the back of the entryway removing the tape backing section by section, until it was all secured in place. Getting a perfect fit around the edges can be tricky but if you have gaps, molding can hide any imperfections. As I was admiring this new floor, I started thinking that having some black to the compass rose design would make it stand out a lot more. It only took minutes to reload the cricut maker machine and cut the new triangles in black.

After doing just the large triangles I felt like that was enough black so I decided to go with this version.

I also made the thin line of my border black but instead of painting it, I used vinyl tape to make this part go quicker.

The last step to protect the floor was to add two coats of glossy polyurethane. It gives such a nice sheen to the floor, and it also sealed around all of the edges of the vinyl pieces, so I can Swiffer the floor without having to worry about any of the pieces coming off.

What a difference from the original floor, and while I did like the two color Compass Rose, I much prefer the one with the black. I find it adds a lot more life and dimension to the design. 

*This project was sponsored by Cricut all thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY renter-friendly old vinyl floor makeover

Products I used in this project:

Ram Board

Cricut Maker Machine

Products I used in this project:

Ram Board

Cricut Maker Machine

Home Office Lighting upgrade

I recently gave my home office a pretty big makeover, which included changing the layout so that my desk would face the window. By attaching a two legged desk to the bookcases, it gave me a decent amount of desk space while at the same time leaving enough room to walk around the desk. I’m loving this new desk setup but the one downside is that the desk area inside the bookcase doesn’t get as much light as the rest of the desk. Then it dawned on me that under cabinet lights would be the perfect solution.

Step 1: Configure wires

The first thing I did was to see what configuration of wires I would need to be able to have the lights in both bookcases and have the switches and power supply by the outlet. The under cabinet light kit that I chose comes with many cable extenders that made this customization really easy. 

Step 2: Attach double sided tape

After I was sure that the wire situation was going to work, I put on the double sided tape to install the lights. The hardest part of this entire process is removing the backing. Even when you have nails that can be a bit tricky. 

Step 3: Drill holes

I obviously didn’t want the cords between the bookcases to show at the front, so I needed to make a hole through both sides of the bookcases. The finish on these bookcases tends to fray when you drill into it,  so putting some tape helps keep that to a minimum. The thickest part of the wire is just over a quarter of an inch thick so I chose a half inch drill bit to make the hole. I like to start off by making a smaller hole first and then working my way up to the bigger size. I find it’s easier and more precise to do it this way. Adding a folded post-it note to catch the dust is one of my favorite tips to help keep cleanup to a minimum, plus, it’s really satisfying to see all that dust on the post-it!  

Step 4: Pulling and securing the wires

I love that these under-cabinet lights come with all the hardware you need to install them and to secure the wires. With all the wires neatly secured, they blend in nicely with the bookcase and they’re hardly noticeable. 

Step 5: Controlling the lights

I set up the wires so that they could run under the desk all the way to the power strip and so I could have both the dimmer switch and the on/off switch easily accessible. That way I can easily control the lights when I’m sitting at my desk. 

Let there be light!

Adding the under cabinet lights to the bookcases is a small detail, but it does go a long way to making this tiny office a bit more luxurious.

It’s also a very cozy space to work late into the evening editing videos. 

You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

I recently gave my home office a pretty big makeover, which included changing the layout so that my desk would face the window. By attaching a two legged desk to the bookcases, it gave me a decent amount of desk space while at the same time leaving enough room to walk around the desk. I’m loving this new desk setup but the one downside is that the desk area inside the bookcase doesn’t get as much light as the rest of the desk. Then it dawned on me that under cabinet lights would be the perfect solution.

Step 1: Configure wires

The first thing I did was to see what configuration of wires I would need to be able to have the lights in both bookcases and have the switches and power supply by the outlet. The under cabinet light kit that I chose comes with many cable extenders that made this customization really easy. 

Step 2: Attach double sided tape

After I was sure that the wire situation was going to work, I put on the double sided tape to install the lights. The hardest part of this entire process is removing the backing. Even when you have nails that can be a bit tricky. 

Step 3: Drill holes

I obviously didn’t want the cords between the bookcases to show at the front, so I needed to make a hole through both sides of the bookcases. The finish on these bookcases tends to fray when you drill into it,  so putting some tape helps keep that to a minimum. The thickest part of the wire is just over a quarter of an inch thick so I chose a half inch drill bit to make the hole. I like to start off by making a smaller hole first and then working my way up to the bigger size. I find it’s easier and more precise to do it this way. Adding a folded post-it note to catch the dust is one of my favorite tips to help keep cleanup to a minimum, plus, it’s really satisfying to see all that dust on the post-it!  

Step 4: Pulling and securing the wires

I love that these under-cabinet lights come with all the hardware you need to install them and to secure the wires. With all the wires neatly secured, they blend in nicely with the bookcase and they’re hardly noticeable. 

Step 5: Controlling the lights

I set up the wires so that they could run under the desk all the way to the power strip and so I could have both the dimmer switch and the on/off switch easily accessible. That way I can easily control the lights when I’m sitting at my desk. 

Let there be light!

Adding the under cabinet lights to the bookcases is a small detail, but it does go a long way to making this tiny office a bit more luxurious.

It’s also a very cozy space to work late into the evening editing videos. 

You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

DIY Coat Rack Light Fixture combo

My apartment has a tiny entryway – it’s only 3ft x 3ft and there’s barely enough room for the door to open! Even though I installed a mirror to make the space look and feel bigger and bring in some light, the space still felt pretty dark, especially in the evening since there’s no light fixture. The dark color scheme also didn’t help.

So I came up with the idea to give the coat rack a new look and turn it into a light fixture with under cabinet lighting! 

Step 1 Taking apart the coat rack

I wanted to give the coat rack a whitewashed worn look so the first thing I had to do was to take it apart so I could sand off that dark brown color.

Step 2 Sanding off the brown stain 

I set up outside to do all this sanding because it’s certainly not something that I would want to do inside my apartment. I went very heavy on the sanding around the edges to give the wood boards an uneven worn down effect. 

And then I distressed the wood even more with this contraption I made with screws. I also used pliers, a hammer and other tools to make gouges. The idea is to make different types of marks in a random pattern to give that over time worn out look. 

I think I went a bit too heavy on the gouges but it definitely does look beat up and old. 

Step 3: Whitewash treatment

I used some inexpensive white latex paint that I thinned out with a bit of water. The key here is to work really quickly to be able to wipe off the coat of paint with a rag before it dries so you can still see the wood grain come through. 

Step 4: The under cabinet lights

I needed to find some sort of light source that would easily fit along the back and the edges of the top board of the coat rack and these lights that I used in the open shelving in my kitchen were a perfect fit. 

Step 5: Making room for the cable

The only thing that I did have to do to make this work was to carve out the wood to make room for the wires so that everything could sit flush with the back of the board. To do this, I used a handsaw to make some grooves and then using a chisel and a hammer, I removed all the wood. It doesn’t look pretty but luckily this won’t be seen once the coat rack is installed. 

Step 6: Installing the lights 

The light kit comes with all the hardware you need to install the lights and the cables which is great. I used the clips to attach the lights to the sides (I could have also used the double sided tape) and the clips to secure all the wires in place so that everything is nice and neat. 

Step 7: Light diffusers

While the lights have an attractive profile, I did want to hide the wires from the side, so I installed light diffusers. I actually had to MacGyver those using plastic corner guards that I covered with parchment paper. They did a nice job of hiding the wires while at the same time leaving enough space on the sides for air to circulate. Which is important since these lights are not meant to be totally enclosed. 

Step 8: Let there be light

I’m so happy with the change to the coat rack and I absolutely love having lights there now. I can control them with the wall switch or using the on off switch or the dimmer, which makes it easy to get the lighting just right, especially in the evening. You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

My apartment has a tiny entryway – it’s only 3ft x 3ft and there’s barely enough room for the door to open! Even though I installed a mirror to make the space look and feel bigger and bring in some light, the space still felt pretty dark, especially in the evening since there’s no light fixture. The dark color scheme also didn’t help.

So I came up with the idea to give the coat rack a new look and turn it into a light fixture with under cabinet lighting! 

Step 1 Taking apart the coat rack

I wanted to give the coat rack a whitewashed worn look so the first thing I had to do was to take it apart so I could sand off that dark brown color.

Step 2 Sanding off the brown stain 

I set up outside to do all this sanding because it’s certainly not something that I would want to do inside my apartment. I went very heavy on the sanding around the edges to give the wood boards an uneven worn down effect. 

And then I distressed the wood even more with this contraption I made with screws. I also used pliers, a hammer and other tools to make gouges. The idea is to make different types of marks in a random pattern to give that over time worn out look. 

I think I went a bit too heavy on the gouges but it definitely does look beat up and old. 

Step 3: Whitewash treatment

I used some inexpensive white latex paint that I thinned out with a bit of water. The key here is to work really quickly to be able to wipe off the coat of paint with a rag before it dries so you can still see the wood grain come through. 

Step 4: The under cabinet lights

I needed to find some sort of light source that would easily fit along the back and the edges of the top board of the coat rack and these lights that I used in the open shelving in my kitchen were a perfect fit. 

Step 5: Making room for the cable

The only thing that I did have to do to make this work was to carve out the wood to make room for the wires so that everything could sit flush with the back of the board. To do this, I used a handsaw to make some grooves and then using a chisel and a hammer, I removed all the wood. It doesn’t look pretty but luckily this won’t be seen once the coat rack is installed. 

Step 6: Installing the lights 

The light kit comes with all the hardware you need to install the lights and the cables which is great. I used the clips to attach the lights to the sides (I could have also used the double sided tape) and the clips to secure all the wires in place so that everything is nice and neat. 

Step 7: Light diffusers

While the lights have an attractive profile, I did want to hide the wires from the side, so I installed light diffusers. I actually had to MacGyver those using plastic corner guards that I covered with parchment paper. They did a nice job of hiding the wires while at the same time leaving enough space on the sides for air to circulate. Which is important since these lights are not meant to be totally enclosed. 

Step 8: Let there be light

I’m so happy with the change to the coat rack and I absolutely love having lights there now. I can control them with the wall switch or using the on off switch or the dimmer, which makes it easy to get the lighting just right, especially in the evening. You can see the entire project and more details on my blog and in this video:

Home Office Ideas: Hidden Whiteboard with Barn Door

While I was redoing my tiny 5’x6’ home office set up, I wanted to incorporate a white board, but do it in a way that it could be hidden when I wasn’t working with it.  So I came up with this idea to build a multipurpose wall panel that would allow me to incorporate a track for a barn door that could easily slide back and forth to cover up the whiteboard. This meant I had to do a bit of MacGyvering to come up with a way to make my own DIY barn door hardware!

I built the wall panel out of a 1”x2” furring strips and ¼” thick plywood. 

The legs rest on the floor to hold the weight of the panel and I curved out the back of the legs so that they can sit flush with the wall. To do this, I used a hand saw to make shallow cuts across the back of the 1”x2” and used a chisel to remove them. Not a very refined technique but since you don’t see it, it worked out OK. 

I incorporated some blocking on the backside of the panel (my supervisor likes to do impromptu inspections!) so I could have something to screw into to attach the white board and other things.

I attached a 2”x2” at the top of the panel to give me something to attach the header piece that will have the barn door track.

Making the Header piece and barn door track: 

I built the header with 1”x3” boards joined at 90 degrees. To install the track (a 1” wide aluminum bar), I drilled holes into the bar and then clamped it to the front of the header to drill pilot holes.  

Because the track needs to be installed away from the surface of the shelving unit to leave enough space for the doors, I also needed to make spacers. After looking for something that would work, I discovered these stainless steel straws have the perfect inside diameter for number 10 screws. I marked the length that I needed (¾”) with tape  and used a mini pipe cutter to cut the straw. 

The process was fairly easy but it did take a bit of time and patience to do all the pieces. The most important thing is to make sure that all the spacers are the same way to ensure that the track is straight. 

Once the header was built, I attached it to the 2”x2” with screws.

Hangers:

I wasn’t sure what to use for the wheels initially but after wandering the aisles of the hardware store, I was lucky to find patio door roller kits that have two metal wheels that are the perfect size for my project. 

But first I had to make the hangers out of the same 1” wide aluminum bar I used to make the track. I cut the bar into four 8” long pieces with a hacksaw

It’s not ideal but it does the job. Next I drilled three holes into each of the four hangers. I started by making a divot with a nail and this helps prevent the drill bit from slipping. I used a smaller drill bit to make the first hole to be more precise and then I made the hole bigger with a quarter inch drill bit. The first hanger served as the template for drilling holes in the other hangers to make sure that they’re all identical.

Putting on the wheels

The patio door roller kit comes with two wheels and lots of hardware. And all you need are these two larger bolts. The bolts weren’t long enough to get a very tight fit with the nut so to make sure that the nuts don’t come undone, I added a bit of glue that works with metal – this will keep the nut in place while the wheel is still able to turn.

Installing the hangers

I used a template to mark where to drill the holes on the door for the hangers and then it was easy to attach the hardware with more bolts and nuts. The bolts need to be about half an inch longer than the thickness of the doors. 

Installing the wall panel and door

The panel rests on the floor but the top of the panel also needs to be attached to the wall studs with brackets so that it can hold the weight of the barn door. 

The one thing I didn’t like so much is that the door at the bottom swings back and forth. So to fix that I put in a shelf at the bottom of the wall panel where I installed a track that I made out of metal angles. I also added some stoppers to the track to prevent the door from coming off the track at the ends.  I made them with bent hair bobby pins but you could also use binder clips.

I absolutely love this set up, especially that I can use my whiteboard when sitting at my desk and that I don’t have to look at it when I’m done working. It also serves as a place to hang a calendar, a cork board and even a tiny plant propagation station. This was only one of the projects from my office makeover, which you can watch in its entirety in this video here. 

While I was redoing my tiny 5’x6’ home office set up, I wanted to incorporate a white board, but do it in a way that it could be hidden when I wasn’t working with it.  So I came up with this idea to build a multipurpose wall panel that would allow me to incorporate a track for a barn door that could easily slide back and forth to cover up the whiteboard. This meant I had to do a bit of MacGyvering to come up with a way to make my own DIY barn door hardware!

I built the wall panel out of a 1”x2” furring strips and ¼” thick plywood. 

The legs rest on the floor to hold the weight of the panel and I curved out the back of the legs so that they can sit flush with the wall. To do this, I used a hand saw to make shallow cuts across the back of the 1”x2” and used a chisel to remove them. Not a very refined technique but since you don’t see it, it worked out OK. 

I incorporated some blocking on the backside of the panel (my supervisor likes to do impromptu inspections!) so I could have something to screw into to attach the white board and other things.

I attached a 2”x2” at the top of the panel to give me something to attach the header piece that will have the barn door track.

Making the Header piece and barn door track: 

I built the header with 1”x3” boards joined at 90 degrees. To install the track (a 1” wide aluminum bar), I drilled holes into the bar and then clamped it to the front of the header to drill pilot holes.  

Because the track needs to be installed away from the surface of the shelving unit to leave enough space for the doors, I also needed to make spacers. After looking for something that would work, I discovered these stainless steel straws have the perfect inside diameter for number 10 screws. I marked the length that I needed (¾”) with tape  and used a mini pipe cutter to cut the straw. 

The process was fairly easy but it did take a bit of time and patience to do all the pieces. The most important thing is to make sure that all the spacers are the same way to ensure that the track is straight. 

Once the header was built, I attached it to the 2”x2” with screws.

Hangers:

I wasn’t sure what to use for the wheels initially but after wandering the aisles of the hardware store, I was lucky to find patio door roller kits that have two metal wheels that are the perfect size for my project. 

But first I had to make the hangers out of the same 1” wide aluminum bar I used to make the track. I cut the bar into four 8” long pieces with a hacksaw

It’s not ideal but it does the job. Next I drilled three holes into each of the four hangers. I started by making a divot with a nail and this helps prevent the drill bit from slipping. I used a smaller drill bit to make the first hole to be more precise and then I made the hole bigger with a quarter inch drill bit. The first hanger served as the template for drilling holes in the other hangers to make sure that they’re all identical.

Putting on the wheels

The patio door roller kit comes with two wheels and lots of hardware. And all you need are these two larger bolts. The bolts weren’t long enough to get a very tight fit with the nut so to make sure that the nuts don’t come undone, I added a bit of glue that works with metal – this will keep the nut in place while the wheel is still able to turn.

Installing the hangers

I used a template to mark where to drill the holes on the door for the hangers and then it was easy to attach the hardware with more bolts and nuts. The bolts need to be about half an inch longer than the thickness of the doors. 

Installing the wall panel and door

The panel rests on the floor but the top of the panel also needs to be attached to the wall studs with brackets so that it can hold the weight of the barn door. 

The one thing I didn’t like so much is that the door at the bottom swings back and forth. So to fix that I put in a shelf at the bottom of the wall panel where I installed a track that I made out of metal angles. I also added some stoppers to the track to prevent the door from coming off the track at the ends.  I made them with bent hair bobby pins but you could also use binder clips.

I absolutely love this set up, especially that I can use my whiteboard when sitting at my desk and that I don’t have to look at it when I’m done working. It also serves as a place to hang a calendar, a cork board and even a tiny plant propagation station. This was only one of the projects from my office makeover, which you can watch in its entirety in this video here. 

Small kitchen ideas: open-shelving mini makeover

One of my most pinned projects is the tension rod trick I used in my kitchen to hang things above the sink – it’s a great way to keep things off the counter. 

Another thing I did that totally upgraded my kitchen is to add under-cabinet lighting – it’s so much nicer to cook with good task lighting! The one drawback is that I used 2 different light kits – the one above the sink wasn’t as bright as I would have liked and I needed to turn on each one individually. Not a big deal, just a bit inconvenient. 

So when Parmida offered to send me their ultra thin under cabinet lights to review, I was really excited to give them a try. Each under cabinet light kit comes with six ultra thin light bars – they are very well made and attractive so they are perfect for when there isn’t a ledge to hide the lights. 

Every light kit also comes with 2 switches – an on/off switch and a dimmer switch.

The kit also comes with many cable extenders so with one kit, I will be able to light up under the cabinet, and above the sink, plus I will be able to add lighting to the open shelving which will really brighten up that whole area. 

The first thing I did was remove the existing under-cabinet lights.

The installation is very easy, especially with all the hardware that’s provided with the lights. You can use clips or double sided tape to install the lights. I used tape for the open shelving lights because it was a bit tricky to install the clips on the underside of the cabinet. 

That wasn’t an issue under the cabinets so there I use the clips. After marking where the clips are going to go. I used the nail to make a small hole – this makes putting in those tiny screws a little bit easier. 

Then the lights just snap in place really easily. 

It’s really nice to also have all the hardware needed to secure the cables, not something that is usually provided with these types of lights. Makes it very easy to have all the wires be neat and tidy. 

These lights are really well made and they’re backed with a five year warranty so you know they’re really built to last. They are so much brighter than the other lights I had and having the open-shelving with lighting also made that whole area a lot brighter!

Plus I really like having the option to use the dimmer or the on off switch to control the lights. 

I could have stopped here but then I got the idea to add a blue background to the open shelves to match the accent wall. I didn’t want to paint the cabinets so instead I painted a leftover piece of RAMboard (essentially thick cardboard you can paint) that I had on hand from my bedroom black accent wall project.

Then I used removable double sided tape to secure it to the back of the cabinet. 

I love how the blue makes the white dishes and glassware pop. And I think I actually prefer it to just all white, what do you think? 

Here’s a video that shows the light installation and also how I used them to make a lighted coat rack and upgrade the lighting in my home office.

* this content was sponsored by Parmidaled – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

One of my most pinned projects is the tension rod trick I used in my kitchen to hang things above the sink – it’s a great way to keep things off the counter. 

Another thing I did that totally upgraded my kitchen is to add under-cabinet lighting – it’s so much nicer to cook with good task lighting! The one drawback is that I used 2 different light kits – the one above the sink wasn’t as bright as I would have liked and I needed to turn on each one individually. Not a big deal, just a bit inconvenient. 

So when Parmida offered to send me their ultra thin under cabinet lights to review, I was really excited to give them a try. Each under cabinet light kit comes with six ultra thin light bars – they are very well made and attractive so they are perfect for when there isn’t a ledge to hide the lights. 

Every light kit also comes with 2 switches – an on/off switch and a dimmer switch.

The kit also comes with many cable extenders so with one kit, I will be able to light up under the cabinet, and above the sink, plus I will be able to add lighting to the open shelving which will really brighten up that whole area. 

The first thing I did was remove the existing under-cabinet lights.

The installation is very easy, especially with all the hardware that’s provided with the lights. You can use clips or double sided tape to install the lights. I used tape for the open shelving lights because it was a bit tricky to install the clips on the underside of the cabinet. 

That wasn’t an issue under the cabinets so there I use the clips. After marking where the clips are going to go. I used the nail to make a small hole – this makes putting in those tiny screws a little bit easier. 

Then the lights just snap in place really easily. 

It’s really nice to also have all the hardware needed to secure the cables, not something that is usually provided with these types of lights. Makes it very easy to have all the wires be neat and tidy. 

These lights are really well made and they’re backed with a five year warranty so you know they’re really built to last. They are so much brighter than the other lights I had and having the open-shelving with lighting also made that whole area a lot brighter!

Plus I really like having the option to use the dimmer or the on off switch to control the lights. 

I could have stopped here but then I got the idea to add a blue background to the open shelves to match the accent wall. I didn’t want to paint the cabinets so instead I painted a leftover piece of RAMboard (essentially thick cardboard you can paint) that I had on hand from my bedroom black accent wall project.

Then I used removable double sided tape to secure it to the back of the cabinet. 

I love how the blue makes the white dishes and glassware pop. And I think I actually prefer it to just all white, what do you think? 

Here’s a video that shows the light installation and also how I used them to make a lighted coat rack and upgrade the lighting in my home office.

* this content was sponsored by Parmidaled – all thoughts and opinions are my own *

Kitchen upgrade and more with under-cabinet lights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

DIY Test Tube Plant Propagation Station – Mother’s Day Gift

Being stuck at home these days has made me get creative with what I have on hand. As I was looking through all of my left over materials from previous projects to see what I could make my mom for Mother’s Day,  I came across 4″ embroidery hoops, and test tubes. Then out of the blue, I got this idea for making a hanging test tube plant propagation station. It took a bit of MacGyvering, but I was able to find all I needed at home, didn’t have to buy a single thing to make it!

Here are the materials and tools I used:

.   

I used the outside ring of 4″ wooden embroidery hoops, jute twine and I had purchased the test tubes on Amazon for another propagation I made – they come out to less than a $1 per test tube so if you get a box, you can make lots of these. They make great house warming presents!

Step 1: I started by taking off the metal brackets with a utility knife. You may find that the wood splits but that’s OK. Then I cut off the first hole on both sides – sturdy scissors worked well for this.

Step 2: I used a utility knife to cut out the middle of a milk jog plastic cap, and traced out where the embroidery hoop will go on either side of the cap, and then cut out those pieces

Step 3: I tested that the embroidery hoops fits – perfect!

Step 4: Next I used a glue gun to cover up the milk jug plastic cap with twine. I didn’t do this but I would recommend using a gold sharpie to “paint” the cap before doing this because if the twine isn’t tightly wrapped, the color may show through.

Step 5: I had some 1″ wooden circles from the craft store that were the perfect size for the bottom of the test tubes to rest on so I simply used the glue gun again to wrap a couple of rows of twine to create walls to hold the test tube in place. If you don’t have these circles, you can use the circle that you cut out of the bottle cap and do the same thing (And use a gold sharpie to hide the plastic, or use contact paper).

Step 6: I used the glue gun again to secure the round base to the middle of the bottom part of the embroidery hoop.

Step 7: The last thing to do is cut a piece of twine and pass through the holes, tie a knot and that it!

I absolutely love it, it’s so cute! It’s prefect for propagating plants or it could also be a vase. Can’t wait to see what my mom thinks!

 

 

Being stuck at home these days has made me get creative with what I have on hand. As I was looking through all of my left over materials from previous projects to see what I could make my mom for Mother’s Day,  I came across 4″ embroidery hoops, and test tubes. Then out of the blue, I got this idea for making a hanging test tube plant propagation station. It took a bit of MacGyvering, but I was able to find all I needed at home, didn’t have to buy a single thing to make it!

Here are the materials and tools I used:

.   

I used the outside ring of 4″ wooden embroidery hoops, jute twine and I had purchased the test tubes on Amazon for another propagation I made – they come out to less than a $1 per test tube so if you get a box, you can make lots of these. They make great house warming presents!

Step 1: I started by taking off the metal brackets with a utility knife. You may find that the wood splits but that’s OK. Then I cut off the first hole on both sides – sturdy scissors worked well for this.

Step 2: I used a utility knife to cut out the middle of a milk jog plastic cap, and traced out where the embroidery hoop will go on either side of the cap, and then cut out those pieces

Step 3: I tested that the embroidery hoops fits – perfect!

Step 4: Next I used a glue gun to cover up the milk jug plastic cap with twine. I didn’t do this but I would recommend using a gold sharpie to “paint” the cap before doing this because if the twine isn’t tightly wrapped, the color may show through.

Step 5: I had some 1″ wooden circles from the craft store that were the perfect size for the bottom of the test tubes to rest on so I simply used the glue gun again to wrap a couple of rows of twine to create walls to hold the test tube in place. If you don’t have these circles, you can use the circle that you cut out of the bottle cap and do the same thing (And use a gold sharpie to hide the plastic, or use contact paper).

Step 6: I used the glue gun again to secure the round base to the middle of the bottom part of the embroidery hoop.

Step 7: The last thing to do is cut a piece of twine and pass through the holes, tie a knot and that it!

I absolutely love it, it’s so cute! It’s prefect for propagating plants or it could also be a vase. Can’t wait to see what my mom thinks!

 

 

IKEA chair hack: furniture makeover with a little bit of paint and fabric

This post was sponsored by Surebonder.  All opinions are my own.

When I moved into my apartment almost 6 years ago, I gave my dining room a makeover complete with custom wall panels, lighting, and banquette seating. Since I was on a budget, I opted for an inexpensive dining room table and chairs from IKEA – I liked that it was all made of wood and that I could finish the table and chairs the way I wanted. I painted the chairs a deep blue to match the blue accent wall of my kitchen and I upholstered the seats with a fun striped fabric.

To continue with the blue accent, I recently added a blue accent to my open shelving, which I highlighted even more by installing ultra-thin under cabinet lighting, a project you can see more of in this video.

I loved how the chairs added a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette of the room but over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards a more subdued esthetic and it was time for a change: new paint job and new seat covers! 

Step 1:  Picking a color

Before starting with this project, I had to pick a color for the chairs. I used this Tunisian tile artwork that’s hanging in my kitchen as inspiration to pick a color and chose to go with the golden yellow accent, but with a sparkle of gold metallic in it.  

Step 2: Remove seats 

Before I got to painting, I removed all the seats – they were attached with 4 screws and it was very easy to take them all off.

Step 3: Paint chairs

I started with a golden yellow paint called “Heritage Gold”, I recommend getting paint with primer, especially if you’re trying to cover up a dark color. I ended up having to do several coats. 2 small sample sized jars were enough for 3 chairs. Then I added a coat of metallic gold mixed in with some of the yellow paint.  – I don’t have the exact mix but there was more yellow paint than metallic paint. I did a couple of tests before going ahead putting on a coat on the chairs.

I added a very thin coat and then went back with another thin coat. I found it gave a nice more even finish doing it that way.

Step 4: Reupholster the seats

Next came reupholstering the seats, which meant removing all the staples to take off the old fabric. 

The foam and batting I had used before were fine so I kept that as is, but this time I went with a more natural neutral fabric. I actually used inexpensive rugs from IKEA (SORTSO – $4) – they were just big enough to cover the seat and I liked the texture with the stripes. I probably should have washed them to take out the folds but my hand held steamer did the job very well.

I cut one end of the rug so that there was enough fabric to staple to the bottom of the chair seat, and I started by stapling the middle of each side first and then worked my way to the corners.

The rug fabric is pretty thick so I used ⅜” staples. I also used the “trigger” function of my staple gun to do the corners where there was more fabric to go through. It allows you to use both hands if you need to bring down the handle and then you can position the stapler exactly where you need it and then gently pull the trigger. So much easier and more precise!

I did remove a lot of fabric and excess batting at the corners to be able to smooth out the fabric.

I used some fabric protector to make the seats more stain resistant (it’s a good idea to test this type of product on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual. 

Step 5: Reattach the seats and add decorative gold accents (optional!)

Then it was just a matter of reattaching the seats to the chairs and adding a little more bling with some faux gems to cover up the visible screws.

And voila, from natural to blue to golden yellow, quite the transformation!

Now that the chairs are done, I’m thinking it’s time to give the banquette a new look as well!

 

This post was sponsored by Surebonder.  All opinions are my own.

When I moved into my apartment almost 6 years ago, I gave my dining room a makeover complete with custom wall panels, lighting, and banquette seating. Since I was on a budget, I opted for an inexpensive dining room table and chairs from IKEA – I liked that it was all made of wood and that I could finish the table and chairs the way I wanted. I painted the chairs a deep blue to match the blue accent wall of my kitchen and I upholstered the seats with a fun striped fabric.

To continue with the blue accent, I recently added a blue accent to my open shelving, which I highlighted even more by installing ultra-thin under cabinet lighting, a project you can see more of in this video.

I loved how the chairs added a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette of the room but over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards a more subdued esthetic and it was time for a change: new paint job and new seat covers! 

Step 1:  Picking a color

Before starting with this project, I had to pick a color for the chairs. I used this Tunisian tile artwork that’s hanging in my kitchen as inspiration to pick a color and chose to go with the golden yellow accent, but with a sparkle of gold metallic in it.  

Step 2: Remove seats 

Before I got to painting, I removed all the seats – they were attached with 4 screws and it was very easy to take them all off.

Step 3: Paint chairs

I started with a golden yellow paint called “Heritage Gold”, I recommend getting paint with primer, especially if you’re trying to cover up a dark color. I ended up having to do several coats. 2 small sample sized jars were enough for 3 chairs. Then I added a coat of metallic gold mixed in with some of the yellow paint.  – I don’t have the exact mix but there was more yellow paint than metallic paint. I did a couple of tests before going ahead putting on a coat on the chairs.

I added a very thin coat and then went back with another thin coat. I found it gave a nice more even finish doing it that way.

Step 4: Reupholster the seats

Next came reupholstering the seats, which meant removing all the staples to take off the old fabric. 

The foam and batting I had used before were fine so I kept that as is, but this time I went with a more natural neutral fabric. I actually used inexpensive rugs from IKEA (SORTSO – $4) – they were just big enough to cover the seat and I liked the texture with the stripes. I probably should have washed them to take out the folds but my hand held steamer did the job very well.

I cut one end of the rug so that there was enough fabric to staple to the bottom of the chair seat, and I started by stapling the middle of each side first and then worked my way to the corners.

The rug fabric is pretty thick so I used ⅜” staples. I also used the “trigger” function of my staple gun to do the corners where there was more fabric to go through. It allows you to use both hands if you need to bring down the handle and then you can position the stapler exactly where you need it and then gently pull the trigger. So much easier and more precise!

I did remove a lot of fabric and excess batting at the corners to be able to smooth out the fabric.

I used some fabric protector to make the seats more stain resistant (it’s a good idea to test this type of product on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual. 

Step 5: Reattach the seats and add decorative gold accents (optional!)

Then it was just a matter of reattaching the seats to the chairs and adding a little more bling with some faux gems to cover up the visible screws.

And voila, from natural to blue to golden yellow, quite the transformation!

Now that the chairs are done, I’m thinking it’s time to give the banquette a new look as well!

 

DIY small office makeover – home office inspiration

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

Engineer Your “Vertical” Space: tiny kitchen storage idea

Loving to cook and having a tiny kitchen can sometimes seem like 2 things that don’t go together, but there’s ways to make every single cubic inch of that small kitchen work harder for you. Here’s the perfect example – my friend and her boyfriend love to cook and they have an aromatic olive oil collection that rivals most gourmet food stores or restaurants. There wasn’t any space for them in any of the cupboards, so the olive oil bottles ended up staying on top of the small kitchen cart. Not ideal since there is also very little counter space in this kitchen that be better used for something else. The solution? Going vertical!

.        

There was a small narrow wall in the kitchen that didn’t have anything on it and would be perfect to store the olive oil bottles. But to make this work, it would require some DIY’ing to make a custom shelving unit that would fit the narrow wall, and be as thin as possible to not stick out off the wall to much.  Luckily, the olive oil bottles were just a hair under 2.5″ in diameter, so small enough to fit on a 1″x3″. So here’s what I used to make the rack:

  •  1″x3″ cut to length (to clear the thermostat that was right at the edge of the door, I had to make a cut out but other than that all the pieces were the same length to fit the width of the wall.)
  • Screen moulding (for the railing at the front)
  • Outdoor semi-transparent stain (white)

I attached the boards together with screws (I skipped the glue but of course you could add glue at the joints), drilling pilot holes first and then using a speed square to make sure all the boards were at a 90 degree angle. I don’t have any pictures of attaching the boards together but it’s basically the same process as any shelving unit, including this narrow pantry I made.

Once the boards were screwed together, I sanded them and gave them a fresh coat of white outdoor semi-transparent stain. As I was doing this project at my friend’s place, I didn’t have all my tools or supplies and I couldn’t counter sink the screw heads and cover them with wood filler, as I usually do. Instead, I used what I had on hand: some white nail polish. The screws are still visible but now they blend in and I like the more rustic look it gives the shelving unit!

Then the last step was securing the rack to the wall with 2 small brackets (I used small plastic wall anchors for the screws).

Such a small easy project and yet it completely transformed the kitchen and not only made it more functional but also more beautiful.

 .   

The olive oil bottles now serve both for cooking and as art. This project truly is a perfect example of what “Engineer Your Space” is all about: taking ownership of where you live, even if you’re renting, and creating a home that is tailored to you and how you live. Here’s to making yourself at home, right here, right now.

 

Loving to cook and having a tiny kitchen can sometimes seem like 2 things that don’t go together, but there’s ways to make every single cubic inch of that small kitchen work harder for you. Here’s the perfect example – my friend and her boyfriend love to cook and they have an aromatic olive oil collection that rivals most gourmet food stores or restaurants. There wasn’t any space for them in any of the cupboards, so the olive oil bottles ended up staying on top of the small kitchen cart. Not ideal since there is also very little counter space in this kitchen that be better used for something else. The solution? Going vertical!

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There was a small narrow wall in the kitchen that didn’t have anything on it and would be perfect to store the olive oil bottles. But to make this work, it would require some DIY’ing to make a custom shelving unit that would fit the narrow wall, and be as thin as possible to not stick out off the wall to much.  Luckily, the olive oil bottles were just a hair under 2.5″ in diameter, so small enough to fit on a 1″x3″. So here’s what I used to make the rack:

  •  1″x3″ cut to length (to clear the thermostat that was right at the edge of the door, I had to make a cut out but other than that all the pieces were the same length to fit the width of the wall.)
  • Screen moulding (for the railing at the front)
  • Outdoor semi-transparent stain (white)

I attached the boards together with screws (I skipped the glue but of course you could add glue at the joints), drilling pilot holes first and then using a speed square to make sure all the boards were at a 90 degree angle. I don’t have any pictures of attaching the boards together but it’s basically the same process as any shelving unit, including this narrow pantry I made.

Once the boards were screwed together, I sanded them and gave them a fresh coat of white outdoor semi-transparent stain. As I was doing this project at my friend’s place, I didn’t have all my tools or supplies and I couldn’t counter sink the screw heads and cover them with wood filler, as I usually do. Instead, I used what I had on hand: some white nail polish. The screws are still visible but now they blend in and I like the more rustic look it gives the shelving unit!

Then the last step was securing the rack to the wall with 2 small brackets (I used small plastic wall anchors for the screws).

Such a small easy project and yet it completely transformed the kitchen and not only made it more functional but also more beautiful.

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The olive oil bottles now serve both for cooking and as art. This project truly is a perfect example of what “Engineer Your Space” is all about: taking ownership of where you live, even if you’re renting, and creating a home that is tailored to you and how you live. Here’s to making yourself at home, right here, right now.

 

Quick, Easy & renter-friendly Kitchen upgrades

 

 

Easy renter-friendly lighting upgrade, no electrician needed!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

Color inspiration: Black feature wall without painting the wall

After giving my bedroom a makeover, I got this crazy idea to make a black feature wall – problem is that I’m a renter and I’m not supposed to paint my walls, or if I do paint, then I need to put it back to white before I move out. I didn’t want to have to repaint so I got creative and came up with a way to cover the entire wall to make it black, all without a drop of paint touching the actual wall!

Here’s what I used to make it happen:

Ram board

Double sided tape

Contact Paper

After giving my bedroom a makeover, I got this crazy idea to make a black feature wall – problem is that I’m a renter and I’m not supposed to paint my walls, or if I do paint, then I need to put it back to white before I move out. I didn’t want to have to repaint so I got creative and came up with a way to cover the entire wall to make it black, all without a drop of paint touching the actual wall!

Here’s what I used to make it happen:

Ram board

Double sided tape

Contact Paper