New Desk Build

We used to have a crazy desk. It was to big, too cluttered, and just didn’t fit in the small space we had to put it in.

Ok, this isn’t really our desk, but I forgot to take before photos, so this give you an idea.

So we decided to buy new bedroom furniture, since we have never bought any in the 12 years we have been married, and our bedroom was a collection of hand-me-downs, but I had thrown a bed together a long time ago, so when we replaced this old bed:

With this new one: 

Note the old desk in the background…

I took the old bed and built a desk:

And now I am sitting at the new desk, writing this post.


New Entertainment Unit

Since I had a 4 day weekend over New Years, and an entertainment unit design in my head, and a new Festool track saw I really wanted to play with, I decided it was time to finally get our living room looking a bit cleaner.  I picked up 4 sheets of ply, four 1X4’s, six 1X2’s, 9 feet of lath and 9 feet of bed mold, plus a few accessories, shelf pins, grommets, wire ties and wire staples, ect…for about $300.

I built out the carcass with my total inside width measuring 6 inches larger than my TV to accommodate the trim and leave a nice reveal once the tv was pushed in from the back. I trimmed the whole unit in the same style we used when we replaced the trim on our windows and doors during the dining room makeover.

On the upper and lower shelves I added an additional panel to make the inside of the cabinets flush to keep a cleaner straight line look. I drilled hols in the bottom shelving area to allow for shelving adjustments, drilled grommets for wires, and installed a split flex tube from top to bottom for a place to neatly run all the wires.

After getting it all built, I used a Graco HVLP Sprayer to apply the paint, lightly sanding between coats with a block sander and 220 grit paper.

I think it turned out pretty nice. Here are a couple before and after shots so you can decide for yourself.



Although I believe that there isn’t much I’m not able to do with some wood and a few tools, I have no clue when it comes to landscaping. I don’t know what plants should go where. I have no idea what plants will look good together. I don’t have a clue about when to plant them, how to prune them, or what sizes and varieties are best for the areas I need to spruce up. So, because I am landscape challenged, we hired a Landscape architect to draw up some plans and give us an idea of what we could do to improve the curb appeal of our home.

For less than $200, we got this awesome blueprint we will use to slowly add to and change the landscaping around our house. While the manual labor will not be fun, spending the money for a pro to do our design will be well worth it. Now we can be confident that we will have the plants in the right place for a great new look.

The Yellow Nightmare

This is a true story from our friend Michelle at TenJuneBlog.

Once upon a time, there was a sweet little yellow bathroom.

I mean… really, really yellow, and it used to look like this!

Then we took one of these…

and did some demolition to the sweet yellow bathroom.

This picture is blurry because it’s behind a wall of plastic…

Then, all of the trash and construction debris went into here.

Except for the cast iron bathtub. It got to sit in my front yard for a few months days.

Next, we redesigned the room so that it was customized to our style. You know, just plain awesome.Here’s the layout.

Then it was time to re-build the room from the floor up.


The plumber came and did his magic.

And I helped up the ante on the insulation in the room.

We took out the old, tiny window and added a new, bigger window.

And, in one of my favorite moments in the room… we added a pocket door and water closet. Just for a little privacy when the time calls for it, ya know what I mean?



Then we had the tile guy come out and lay allllll the tile.

And I heard angels sing (or was that Justin Bieber?).

Oh and the drywall was finally completed.

(I am never, ever, ever touching drywall, ever again unless you pay me in pitchers of margaritas)

And I painted the new walls.

We installed a toilet- highlight of my year.

Then we waited a month for our much-anticipated Pottery Barn vanity to arrive.

Got it.

Hated it.

Returned it.

Waited another month for Pottery Barn to pick it back up.Then decided to DIY our own vanity.
Finally finished the vanity project and breathed a big sight of relief.

Why? Because… we’re almost done.

Actually, I don’t really mean that. What I really mean is WE ARE DONE!!!!!!

Without further ado… here is a full tour of our (mostly) do-it-yourself renovated master bathroom!

And because everyone loves a good before & after….
(FYI- the “after” photos are taken from the exact same position in the room as the “before” shots!)

Seriously, this bathroom rocks. Now it’s time to move on to our next project!

Keep up with Michelle and her crazy DIY adventures at TenJuneBlog.

Quickie Dining Room Makeover

Last weekend we decided to do a little makeover to the dining room. When we moved in, the walls were light brown over brown, with a terrible chair rail, no window treatments, and carpet on the floors. During the Kitchen Renovation we removed the carpet and added hardwoods, and also repainted, but the room was still dark and drab. We decided to lighten up the walls, install a new higher chair rail, and add some recessed boxes below the rail. We painted every thing below the rail a bright white and painted the top of the walls a neutral gray. Below are a couple before and after pictures.

Kitchen Renovation

My wife and I just finished a small renovation in our kitchen. It wasn’t overly intensive, but it definitely made a huge difference in the look and feel of the space. Our kitchen was a small rectangle crammed between our dining room and the garage. It was a very small with limited storage and felt dark and cramped due to a dingy stained pine floor and stained pine cabinets. We decided to push our entry door from the garage out into the garage about 3 feet to open the space and make the kitchen into an “L” shape and use the new space to build a pantry. We also added a side panel at the refrigerator to allow us to pull the upper cabinet over the fridge out to the front of it for better access and giving that elevation better definition. Finally we replaced the flooring throughout the kitchen, living, and dining rooms with a light colored American cherry laminate, replaced the faucet, replaced the door pulls, and finally replaced the blinds.

The biggest hiccup in the plan was the fact that the wall we moved was load bearing. I didn’t want to have a header protruding into the kitchen since I felt that would reduce the impact of opening the room. I decided to solve this problem by putting a post on either site of the new opening, installing a double lam beam above the ceiling by cutting out the ceiling joists, the reattaching them with joist hangers to the new beam. After this was done, I removed the wall from underneath the new beam and the ceiling did not fall!

After the pantry was built, the cabinets were modified, the ceiling was re-supported, and the flooring was installed, we painted the cabinets and doors and installed the new pulls to complete the renovation, giving the kitchen a more open and modern look and feel.

BEFORE___________________________________________ AFTER

More photos here:

Total Cost of the Renovation: $2,300

Total time: 5 weekends

Tools used: All of them!

Bosch table saw 4100-09, Makita Miter Saw(LS1016l), Milwaukee Sawzall(6538-21), Porter Cable Random Orbital Sander(343K), Porter Cable Router(690LR), Makita Drill / Driver(BDF452HW) , Porter Cable compressor and guns (PC3PAK), Milwaukee Circular Saw (6391-21), Bosch Jig Saw(1587AVSK), RotoZip Spiral Saw (RZ2000-52-RT)