Hall closet progress-

So the big decision on the closet? I went with a stencil. I’ve actually never stenciled a wall (that I can remember), and I’m always up for trying out new decor ideas… So stencil it is! The kind folks over at Royal Design Studio sent me the Parlor Lace Halloween Stencil, which is one of their “Holiday Collection” stencils. (Remember when they sent the Wallternatives Forest Friends Wallprints Fabric Decals for the Nursery Closet? Yep, same people. They do stencils, too.) But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

After I removed the old rod and shelf, I had to spackle and fill the holes that reminded me of things past.  Remember when I messed up on buying trim paint and we bought way too much of the wrong color? Boooo. We’ve been using all that paint on closet interiors, which has actually proven to be semi-useful. So kind of yay? The whole closet got a nice coat of the oops-trim-paint color before the stenciling could begin.

And then I got the stencil in the mail. It was WAY bigger than I expected, which was brilliant. The back of the closet only took 9 moves-of-the-stencil to cover the entire surface, which was awesome. (Aka, less drying time and less in-between time.)       Stencil in Package_HouseofGold I started stenciling the night that I received it in the mail, and just did one section at a time, allowing the stencil (and the wall) to dry overnight. Also, it prevented the claw from happening. You know, the painter’s hand claw? Right.First Stencil_HouseofGoldSo the edges are the only part where things got a little tricky. Obviously, the stencil won’t go all the way up to the wall, so I got as close as I could get, and then decided to paint a border around all the edges.Closet Stencil Progress_HouseofGoldAlso while I was at Haven, I picked up some of this Frog Tape for textured surfaces. I’ve never had any luck in using painter’s tape in getting a clean, crisp line. So I had very very low expectations with this stuff. Basically, you put the tape up, smash it down, and then use the (included) liquidy-glue stuff to help seal the edge. Let that dry for about 15 minutes, and then paint away. While it did better than just standard tape, it still isn’t exactly perfect. But better is still better.

Frog Tape_HouseofGoldCorner Stripe_HouseofGoldLet’s get back to the stenciled wall, though. OMG. SO PRETTY. I actually don’t want to put any shelves in there anymore. Just keep it as a little pretty room with stenciled walls. Obviously, the stencil is not perfect and you’ll get some smudgy-ness, as you can see in the closeup. Stencil Close Up_HouseofGoldBut from far away, it’s brilliant! Stencil Complete_HouseofGoldStencil Detail_HouseofGold


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Coats need a pretty home, too.

Closets have long bothered me. Well, I guess I should say “builder grade” closets have long bothered me. A 6′ high shelf with one curtain rod never seemed like the most functional solution for a space. You always tend to end up with unused space at the bottom of the closet, which ends up being a catchall of sorts, and then ends up smelling like dog. At least it’s that way in our house. *Ahem*   Hall Closet Before_HouseofGoldWith a tiny human on the way, I felt the absolute need to reorganize this space. I’m not exactly sure why this became top priority, but it did. And, as things go in our house, J was gone playing ultimate frisbee Saturday morning, so I decided to rip out the entire closet. So I did just that. After I ripped the shelf and baseboards out, I tried to get a picture inside the closet. Lennon decided to join me, so you know how big the closet is. It will fit exactly one large dog and one pregnant lady. Also, if you call Lennon pudgy, I will punch you in the face. HE’S HEALTHY.Closet Demo_HouseofGoldAlso with a tiny [male] human, I’m fully aware of the fact that I will be severely outnumbered in 4 months. Well, if we’re being honest, I’m already outnumbered by the male population (if you count canines). I wanted a space that is pretty, organized, and GIRLY. Ish. My first step in planning out this closet remodel was to draw up some plans using my favorite program, SketchUp. Here’s what I came up with:Hall Closet Design_HouseofGoldA smallish space on the left for long hanging coats, a section in the middle for cubbies (shoes, laptops, camera, umbrellas, scarves), and a larger area on the right split in half for shorter hanging coats. Basically, I’m going to teach tiny human to hang up his own dang jackets by the time he’s three months old. [Lies] LOOK AT THIS TINY HUMAN FLANNEL, THOUGH.

Tiny Human PlaidOnce my design was established, I decided that I wanted the back wall to have something funsies going on. I had a ton of ideas swirling around, so here are some of them:

Wallpaper, perhaps? Except a roll of this junk is like $4,000.Cole and Son Hicks Hexagon BUT PLEASE.

How about stripes? A tried and true favorite.black-jack-stripe-pack-2

Just a plain old accent color? (I feel like we all get the idea of what a solid color looks like. No need for a photo here. Right?)

Maybe a stencil? Super-girly roses? Modern-Stencils--Rockin-Roses-Damask_large

What do you think? Super-graphic? Floral? Ladylike? ORGANIZED?

I’m hoping to wrap up the accent wall this weekend, and get to the shelving ASAP after that. Don’t you worry, though. IT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I hope.

I like to seal it, seal it.

If you haven’t caught on, J and I have unspoken “jurisdictions” in the house. J handles the deck, the yard, and a bunch of other stuffs. I attempted to handle the garden this year, but I sometimes forget that I need to water it. And weed it. And generally care for it. After tiny human comes along, I will have loads of time to myself to serenely go into the garden and weed while watching butterflies float aimlessly amongst the fully-budded flowers.

Unicorn(Don’t burst my bubble, people.) REGARDLESS.

J basically handled the design and general-contracting of the deck, he built (and stained) the Big Green Egg table, he built the Drink Cart, helped replace the back door, and generally maintains the cleanliness of the whole shebang. We knew, upon purchase of the deck, that we’d have to stain/ seal/ treat it eventually, so when I happened upon the Thompson’s Water Seal booth at Haven, I knew I met my match. They were showcasing a newish product, their Waterproofing Stain, that didn’t require any drying out time for the boards. Typically, you need to let the (new pressure-treated) wood dry out and settle before you can seal/ stain it. But with this stuff? Nope. Not necessary. AND THEN? After Thompsons? I stumbled across HomeRight, where they were showcasing their new Deck Pro with Gap Wheel Stain Applicator. Match made in heaven.     How to Seal_HouseofGold So we’ll start with the deck products we used first. Since we did end up letting the deck dry out (not because we’re rebels, but just because the timing worked out that way), we had to clean the deck. That doesn’t exactly mean blowing the pine needles off, although J did have to do that. See?Deck before_HouseofGold

We picked up some of this Behr Deck Cleaner, which J sprayed on, let sit, and then scrubbed off. Ta-daaa! Magic. But really. It looks so much better already! Deck Clean_HouseofGold

Once that dried out overnight, he got his seal on. Again, he swept the rogue pine needles off the deck (it’s fall, y’all) before he started. And then he grabbed the Applicator Stick and sucked the stain right up into the tube. Like so:Filling Seal_HouseofGoldFilling Seal Tube_HouseofGold

This applicator stick was super-easy to use! At least… it looked like it was. I was mainly inside working on the Master Bathroom sink while J was working on this. He just squeezied the seal right onto the boards. And the little wheel got (mostly) in between each board, although J did go back with a brush a couple of times. Just to be certain. Sealing Deck_HouseofGoldAfter he was finished with the walking surfaces, he barricaded the stairs off so the dogs would stay off. (The seal requires 48 hours to dry.) But this project is only halfway done! We actually grabbed a contrasting color to stain the rails! Hopefully that will get done in the near future. Hopefully.

Deck Seal After_HouseofGold Deck Seal After2_HouseofGold Deck Seal Seating_HouseofGold

Still left to do?

  • Stain the rails
  • Make a giant table
  • Purchase new cushions for the seating!

Many many many thanks to Thomspons and HomeRight for providing the Seal/ Stain and Deck Brush. We highly recommend the both of them.

Chilled beverages for all!

Waaaay back when we were working on the kitchen remodel, we ripped out the old sink. Remember that? And literally tossed it in our side yard, like any good redneck would do. I had grand ideas of selling it on craigslist. I mean, who wouldn’t want a [partially] rusty, 50-year-old cast iron sink that needed to be re-glazed? I posted the ad and waited. Patiently. Nobody wanted it, turns out. This is where the story gets interesting. Maybe. Depends on what you think “interesting” is.

J came up with a brilliant idea. See? Interesting already. He said… “Muffinsugarhead, what if we made something with the sink?” (No, he does not actually call me Muffinsugarhead.) I immediately thought of something such as this, which I strangely wasn’t opposed to (but should have been).Petunias-old-bathtub

He continued and said… “what if we make a thing with the sink that holds drinks? Like for parties, we can fill the sink up with ice and it’ll be all kinds of fun and such?” And then the drawings and design plans started formulating. Mind you, we started this project back in the winter. It is now October. Our ideas can sometimes take a while to fully mature.  Like babies. Those take a while to mature. How to Drink Cart_HouseofGold Regardless. He started out by creating a very simple frame, using deck rails. Really easy.Cart Frame_HouseofGoldThen he made a few supports for where the sink would rest.Building Sink Supports_HouseofGold

Then he planked the top, using old pallet wood. Drink Cart Top_HouseofGoldAfter our deck was built, the nice deck man left his extra supplies with us. Rather, he was going to throw them away and we said… NOoooooOOO, Mr. Deck Man! Leave them here! And he obliged. So we took his extra cedar planks and finished skirting the sides and bottom of this contraption, leaving the middle open for “things”.  Like extra seating poufs.Drink Cart Skirt_HouseofGoldWe tried a multitude of things to stop up the sink holes, so we could fill this thing with ice and drinks and things people like at parties. One such method was this silicone buddy that is meant to cover your leftovers. Didn’t work. Totally leaked. (But still great for your leftovers!) (Affiliate link!)

And that’s when I just decided to suck it up and buy a couple of drain plug strainer assemblies and stop wasting my money with sub-par solutions. They cost me all of $9 each. Here’s a smattering of pictures that will show you how I installed the drains.        Sink Drain_HouseofGold

Once those were in, we were all set to go! They make the sink watertight, able to hold ice and drinks and have parties and such! It’s so fun to finally cross this project off the list!Drinnk Cart Complete_HouseofGoldDrink Cart Sink_HouseofGold

And just because he’s cute, here’s Ringo. Attempting to pose. But SQUIRREL.Drink Cart Model_HouseofGoldLinking up with Remodelaholic & Upcycled Treasures!