Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Thrifty Laundry Room Vanity

We have spent many hours getting our laundry room remodeled .  What started out as a solution to loads of laundry all over the floor has turned into a decorating bonanza.  We have spent many hours designing, decorating and executing some great storage solutions.  It is one of my favorite places to be !!

But, when we bought the  home is was my LEAST favorite place to be! 

This is how we found the laundry room. It was large, outdated, dark, and just plain UGLY!  The cabinets were solid wood and custom made for the space. But, they were not decorative and not quality wood.  But, they provided great storage .   Do we rip them out and buy new ones or work with them?

The large ugly laundry room before renovation
When I found this great piece at a thrift store for 2.00 , I knew it would be a great bench .  I designed the shelving unit to hold all our laundry baskets.  ( Did I mention I have 5 kids? We have lots of laundry)  I also wanted  a place to store shoes ( the doors open for storage) and a place to hang book bags and coats.

The laundry room bench

As renovations go, this made the other side of the laundry room even more hideous!!   So, the next project?  The ugly dark cabinets.  

laundry room full of storage and organization

We priced out new cabinets,  used cabinets, and my handyman husband gave me his quote for new custom cabinets.  I decided to use the cabinets that came with the house.  This was cost effective and prevented further drywall repair.  The question was .. how to make them look as beautiful as the other side of the room.

So, we added base moulding to the doors, spray painted the hinges oil bronze, and added new pulls.  The little cabinet to the right is a cover ( to hide the electrical box) made from an old shutter.   The result ? Cabinets that look like raised panel doors.

laundry room cabinet face lift

This made the ugly cheap sink look uglier!! But, the vanity was an odd size.   So, it seemed only right to design a new custom vanity.  But, I needed to do this CHEAP!!  After all , it needs a vanity top !

Disclaimer - renovation breeds renovation !!

So, I found cabinet doors at a local resale center for 1.00 a piece .    I bought 6 ( That project will be shared later )  Can you see the restraint I showed?

I gathered moulding and plywood that was left over from the cabinet project,  used decorative legs off an old side table that I bought for 2.00 at a yard sale, and drew up a plan for my handy husband .

The results....Well, its not quite finished but I couldn't wait to share it.

custom built vanity
Oh , I love it!! ( See first picture of the ugly grey sink ) Now, to find a vanity top so we can finish it !

But, as renovation has it, we are not done!  There was a strange odd shelf above the washer and dryer that just made me crazy. Its too small to hold anything and serves no purpose but to fuel my creative side.
( see the first picture) 

The results ?  I decided to add moulding that I found at the resale store to make it look like part of the upper cabinets.  I paid 75 cents for the moulding and wood to make the brackets.  What a bargain!

A little paint and it looks like the shelf was always suppose to be there!

laundry room cabinet with shelf
Laundry room cabinet with shelf.

I love my laundry room!!

On to the next design project!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Thrifty Christmas Decor

The leftovers from Thanksgiving are a distant memory . We are "officially"allowed to play Christmas music, shop for gifts and  decorate our homes for Christmas.  Decorating your home can be done on a budget with beautiful results !!  
Fresh cut tree trimmings make a beautiful door wreath.
Your front door is a great place to welcome friends and family.  This wreath was made from cuttings from our Christmas tree.  There are always a extra branches at the bottom that need to be trimmed to make way for gifts.  Bundle them with wire, add some artificial berries and ribbon and you have a beautiful bundle !! 

HINT~~ Your local hardware store trims Christmas trees all day long for customers.  They have a huge pile of cuttings that are thrown away. They are FREE !!This is the key to decorating your home for Christmas on a budget . Grab a huge buggy full and load up. The smell is amazing !! 

Here are a few ways I used the clippings to decorate our home.

Christmas mantle
Decorating your mantle with fresh greenery adds color, texture and an amazing evergreen scent.

Your staircase is a great place to add garland.
Fresh garland is expensive .  Here is an easy way to make your artificial garland look and smell like the real thing.  Hang your garland and "fluff" the branches.  Then, trim some smaller branches from your free tree cuttings and tuck them into the garland.   Then add cuttings from holly bushes, wired ribbon, and ornaments of your choice.  Its looks and smells wonderful.  Best part is it can be packed away for next year !

Christmas potpourri adds texture and scent to your home.
Gather evergreen, potpourri, and a snowflake ornament and display it in a beautiful silver bowl.

Christmas wreath
A Christmas wreath is easily decorated with fresh cut holly berries, artificial berries, and a big wired ribbon. 

A beautiful holiday centerpiece.
Your table is a great place to decorate for the holidays.  This iron centerpiece was decorated for the holidays with fresh trimmings from the tree branches, mini red glass ornaments, snowflake ornaments, and white pearls. Simple and elegant.

Decorating your home for the holidays should be simple and inexpensive!  I hope these ideas encourage you to try some creative decorating !! 

Merry Christmas,