Sunday, January 27, 2013

Built-in Bookcases

While my house is a new construction, it's designed to mimic craftsman style.  That's part of the reason why my husband and I decided on this house as our first.  It has the trim details lacking in most new houses but it also has the conveniences of new homes (walk in closets, attached garage, and no major updates required).  However, it did lack one thing that I find almost essential in a craftsman house: no bookcases flanking the fireplace.  I realize not every craftsman home has bookcases around the fireplace but this house was obviously built to have them.

This is the "before" picture with two gaping holes around the fireplace.  So I asked my handy husband very nicely if he would consider either building bookcases or hiring someone to do it.

Having recently purchased this house, we didn't have a lot of extra money to hire someone and my husband is a bit of a perfectionist so he decided to build them himself.  And I'm so glad he did because they look wonderful!

He started by removing the existing baseboard trim so we could save a little money and reuse it.

He framed out the base.

I wanted to have an outlet on the bookcases so I wouldn't have to hide cords.

We painted the bookcases the same color as the trim to make it look like they had always been there.

We were able to reuse the baseboard.

We had to buy the top trim.  The hardware store didn't have the same trim that was on the fireplace but we found something pretty close.

I decorated with blue, green, and white because it gives the feeling of being outside.

Now the room feels like it has everything that it should.  I use this space as my "winter porch."  It has great morning sun which makes it the only room where the houseplants can survive.

Linking with:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pantry Organization

How embarrassing!  This is my corner pantry "before."  Actually what's more embarrassing is this is after I threw out all of the expired food and organized a little.  Seriously, there were things from 2007 in there.  Talk about gross!

My husband and I didn't purchase our house until 2009 so that means that we actually moved expired food!  Lesson learned for the next move...

No organization.  Things just stayed where I carelessly shoved them after coming home from the grocery store.

The worst place was the floor.  Honestly, can you tell what's trash and what's not?

So finally I got fed up with the pantry.  I'm a little fed up with the entire kitchen but I have to start somewhere and the pantry is a good spot.

I started by removing everything from the pantry and cleaning the shelves and the floor.  Ideally I would like to paint and install better shelving but that's for another day.

Then, I put large, non-food (at least non-human food) items on the floor.  I bought some bins for recycling (plastic grocery bags and egg cartons) and some for all of the dog stuff.  And there's a lot of that...

Next I put the cleaning and food storage items together.

I put breakfast items together to I'm not fumbling around in the morning trying to find something to eat. I also collected all of my baking ingredients into a bin so everything is easy to find.

Syrup and honey went into a tray.  Just in case the containers leak, it won't be a major cleanup job.

I used a couple of plate racks to hold my cook books.  The Jadeite cake plate is one of my favorite pieces so I put it where I would see it anytime I opened the pantry door.

The thing that I'm happiest about is being able to see the floor!

If you compare the last picture to the before picture, there's not really a dramatic transformation.  At least not looking at the picture.  It's more dramatic in person.  But it makes me a little happier :-)