Last week, I took it upon myself to get our house cleaned up while my hubby was away becoming a mountain man. This post is not for everyone because I know a lot of people move into turn-key houses and/or do not have a cat. But we have a house in need of a face-lift and a kitty. So here are seven of the projects/upgrades I did to our house last week that you can do too!
#1- Add “fresh” blooms.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to go to Joann Fabrics and pick up some silk flowers and “wonder water” to create a floral arrangement that matches any room of the house! Trust me, it took me a total of 10 minutes to make this pink and yellow arrangement; and that includes the time it took for me to cut/break the stems of the flowers and mix up the gel. Then leave it alone for awhile and it looks like a store-bought arrangement! Oh, and get your flowers on sale! Joann ALWAYS has sales, right now you can look on their website for 50% off of a full-priced item or 15% off of an online purchase! Or check out Michael’s or Hobby Lobby (my personal fav.)
#2- Customize with art.
Our master bedroom was so lame until we added some artwork to make the spaces seem more “homey.” The monogram watercolor over the bed is something I did for Beckett soon after getting married and the garden rose is by a Door County artist that I really like named Connie (she doesn’t have a website though). 😦
Even though our closet is walk-in, it is tiny and kinda awkward because it is so long and skinny. To solve this problem, we took down the horrible wire shelves that the old owners had installed and I replaced it with white builtins that I made… they’re not perfect, but they work for us. The mirror in the closet helps too because it makes the space brighter and seem bigger. I decided to go with a “His & Hers” theme. My side has a picture of a woman and Beckett’s side has a picture of a man in a suit. The art on the walls can be found here (his) & here (hers). These two paintings are actually for sale, but I just wanted to take them for a test drive for awhile! 🙂 Is that bad?
#3- Create a dark room.
Awhile back we decided that the paint color for our hall bathroom could be really dark so I found a charcoal grey that I really liked. However, after going and getting the color and bringing it home, I discovered that the guy who mixed up the paint…. really mixed up the paint! The neutral charcoal grey that I wanted was a deep, dark shade of blue! Talk about disappointment. But the more I looked at it, the more I liked it so we went with it anyway and I am happy with how it turned out. Plus, I really didn’t want to have to go all the way back to the paint store.
#4- Maximize reflection.
You have to bear with me. This room is not done. It still needs paint. And lots of other things, but I wanted to show you a few simple things I did to the master bath to create a more luxurious & finished feel. First of all, I organized things a bit. Then, I picked up an inexpensive mirror at Home Goods and it helped the bathroom out so much! To be honest, I don’t really like having a mirror above the bathtub because it seems awkward to me if I really think about it, but it was so plain before. So this is what I came up with– without spending a lot of $ to buy art that I don’t love OR spending hours creating something custom. I think it works for now.
#5- Create cohesive contrast.
To update the front entry, I stained the top of the banister and painted the rungs. I like the contrast it created. I also wanted to create more contrast by adding pictures with dark frames and some statement-rugs. The rugs don’t have to be the same, they just have to work together.
#6- Trash the extras.
Until now, the garbage and recycling were on either side of the island under the overhang, but I was getting so sick of looking at the trash that I decided to go to Lowes and pick up a pull-out garbage bin holder! All you need to do is measure the cupboard before going to find one for your house. Then, remove any existing shelves and screw in the pull-out base! You just need a drill (and maybe a saw and hammer to get the old shelf out if it was like mine and literally built INTO the sides of the cupboard instead of set in like normal). But honestly, this new storage space works great and now we have two extra places to sit in the kitchen!
#7- Upgrade the kitty litter 😛
This is something that I wanted to do for a long time, but for awhile we thought we might tear out the closet. Instead, we decided to wait and while Beckett was gone, I came up with the idea that we could just hide the kitty litter in the bottom shelf of the closet in the master bathroom! Of course that meant that there needed to be a hole in the wall. Here are some other ways to hide the kitty litter from BuzzFeed. I liked the idea of using an old trunk, but ultimately, this seemed like a better fit for our home.
Tools needed to cut a hole in the wall will vary depending on if you are putting the litter in a cupboard or in a closet with sheetrock, but for a normal wall, you will need:
- a handheld jigsaw or other small knife that is easy to handle.
- a piece of paper to use as a pattern for the door (folded down to size)
- pencil or pen
- a) extra drywall (I didn’t need, but might be necessary) OR b) small trim
- a) spackling or b) woodglue
- putty knife (if drywall)
- joint tape (if drywall)
- a quick tutorial on some basics about drywalling
If you want to put a hole in the side of a cupboard, it might be a little more tricky to saw through it, but then it will be easier because the only finishing touch is to cut and glue on some trim to finish off the edges around the opening to the cupboard! Just be sure to create 45-degree cuts on the edges of the trim so they fit together perfectly!
- (#1) Start by tracing the right size opening onto the wall or cupboard you intend to use as the kitty litter door. Remember that if you are working with drywall, there will be two openings to cut out (one on the outside and one on the inside of the wall).
- (#2) Cut out the right size of opening with a sharp knife (only drywall) or saw (works for both drywall AND cupboard).
- (#3a) FOR DRYWALL: You can use the drywall pieces that were cut out of the wall to fill in the gaps between the remaining drywall OR find/buy some small scraps of drywall and cut them to size. Fit them in place and use spackling to fill in all gaps and cracks in the seams of the new drywall. DO NOT LEAVE ANY AREA OF THIS NEW DOOR OPEN, your cat could literally get stuck in the walls. And that would be horrible.
- (#3b) FOR CUPBOARD: You will just need some small pieces of trim, trimmed down to size, with edges at a 45-degree angle. Then use wood glue to glue in place… You could also use a nail gun with super small nails.
- (#4) Let spackling or woodglue dry, then sand down any rough surfaces.
- (#5) add kitty litter container into cupboard or closet & show your cat to its new…. place!
So now we know why I haven’t had a manicure in ages! lol