I love plants, but our row house is sooooo dark. I found a partial-light-loving banana palm and rearranged the entire living room to make her feel welcome.
With three entire days of uninterrupted work time in July, you'd think I'd have moved mountains or learned the plumbing trade, but instead I finished the hallway.
There was a nice vacant spacet behind a wall that needed opening, reframing, and finishing to make a linen/vacuum cleaner storage closet.
I also needed to create a door frame leading into the bedroom, hang the door, put up a 1/4 mile of ceiling trim, figure out the baseboards, blah, blah, blah.
It was so much work for very little visible progress.
TOTAL COST OF PROJECT: $76
- Bedroom door frame - $20
- Bedroom door - FREECYCLE
- Trim for ceiling, baseboards, etc. - $40
- Paint - FREECYCLE
- Mirror - FREECYCLE
- Linen closet shelves, brackets, door, and decor - $0
- Linen closet hinges - $10
- Extra-long screws to put the light fixture & smoke detector (not yet complete) back up on the ceiling - $6
- Nail gun nails - $3
- Vacuum cleaner - FREECYCLE
Everyone is allll about the "pallet wall" or making things out of shipping pallets, but I hate those things. They're full of splinters, the wood is a minimum of a 1" thickness, so it's heavy as hell when you screw it together, and sometimes it has really weird stuff stuck to it from shipping raw food or sitting outside near dumpsters. No.
I'm opting for lighter, more uniform, already sanded wood pieces for my projects, namely - IKEA bed slats!
People buy IKEA beds, they come with a huge stack of slats to keep their mattresses in the frames, and then they eventually upgrade to something more mature, like Crate & Barrel. And, for some reason, they get rid of their IKEA beds but end up leaving piles of the slats on the curb for me to find. I've already made a set of patio furniture out of them, so why not a wood feature wall?
Step 1: Find IKEA bed slats and some other random pieces of wood, like old trim or driftfood.
Step 2: Stain, paint, distress
Step 3: Nail to wall.
TOTAL COST OF PROJECT: $10.05
- Wood stain - on hand
- Wood - found or free
- Paint samples - $5
- Sandpaper, 1/4 sheet - $.05
- Nails for nail gun - $5
For the bathrooms, tile. But since we're salvaging, the tile is mix and match. It looks perfect in the 20-square-foot space, but as we move onto the second bathroom, it remains to be seen whether it will come together.
For the bedrooms, I'm trying out the ol' paper bag flooring tutorial, famous on the Pinterest. I'm almost ready for the first coat of poly....
And for the main living space, we currently have bamboo. It's thrashed in so many places, and the previous owners removed a wall and didn't bother to replace/repair the flooring. They just put a board over the hole perpendicular to the cut. And the board didn't even fit.
So, I salvaged a bunch of other boards, found some mismatched (but same type) of bamboo on clearance, and am doing a combo painted floor + perpendicular room divider with stripes. Either I'm a genius or It's going to look awful.
This is the first "full room" we've completed at our little southern Maryland cottage. I'm not sure why I'm so obsessed with completing something, but I admit that I am. I just wanted one damn room to be done to prove that it's possible. So, I picked the smallest room in the house.
Note: That last pic is def "the before."
Total cost: $256
- Tile floor + backsplash ($20 for tile from Community Forklift, $60 for underlayment, mastic, grout, and adhesive) = $60
- Blue spray paint - $4
- Shower curtain - $10 (IKEA Clearance)
- Towel bar - $15 (IKEA)
- Toilet pieces and parts and pipes - $30
- Sink - $5 (Community Forklift)
- Faucet and drain - $75 (Amazon)
- Shelf brackets - $2 (IKEA)
- Ceiling - Styrofoam tiles (Amazon) - $25
- Future window treatment - $8
- Random other stuff like nails, caulk, a new safety outlet thingy that the smart people insisted on so we don't electrocute ourselves, and hooks - $20
- Antique door and knob (Listserv)
- Paint (Listserv)
- Vanity cabinet (Curb Alert)
- Vanity mirror (Listserv)
- Vanity lights (Listserv)
- Toilet (Already in the house)
- Shelf boards (driftwood!) + two of the four brackets (#foundonmywalk)
- Rugs, towels, decor (From friends!)
Our basement is tiny, so figuring out the configuration without spending 6-figures has always been a puzzle. We finally got rid of the huge bed in exchange for a sleeper sofa (40% off and brand new from a neighbor who couldn't get it through a narrow basement door), I added some Freecycle storage (I'll post that later), a Flor rug (also free), and a full bath (definitely not free). The only thing missing: a place to warm a meal or make coffee.
With the help of a Freecycle china cabinet, a curb alert sink, and a Freecycle microwave (not installed yet), we are 95% there! Just need a mini-fridge!
At the Cottage, I'm trying to pull off that intentional mismatch thing that everybody does. I'm not great at it. But the whole solid meets floral meets animal and... boom! This guy! Freecycle is amazing.
On second thought, maybe I'll just leave it right here?