Updating a mirror backed hutch with foam board and stencils

Our dining room hutch had a mirrored back and I was itching to give it a new look. Its look changed dramatically with just foam board and a stencil. I cut the foam board to fit over the mirrors and stenciled it with the Casablanca stencil from Cutting Edge stencils. Adding a stenciled back and removing the doors was an inexpensive way to get a whole new look. Updating the mirrored backed hutch with a new stenciled back changed the feel of the dining room from formal to more casual.
In the years 16 years we’ve lived in this house the dining room has undergone several changes. The builder’s white became a most horrible yellow in the early days here. I struggled over picking a color and ended up picking a bad one. Next it was a dark red which was a big trend in dining rooms in the 90s.
hutch with blue and white transferware dishes
This dining room suit was a cheap buy when we needed furniture for the room because we moved our old dining room furniture to the basement. It’s definitely not something I’d pick today.
hutch in believable buff dining room
When I wanted to lighten up the red walls, I painted it Believable Buff by Sherwin Williams. It was a good neutral and I didn’t tire of it so quickly.     hutch with stenciled back
Now, jumping on the gray bandwagon, the walls are Agreeable Gray, a taupey gray, by Sherwin Williams. Here’s how the hutch looks today with the doors removed and the stenciled back. Are you embracing all the pretty gray shades?   hutch
It was too busy looking with the fretwork on the doors and the the stenciled back. There was too much going on so I removed the doors. I never really liked them anyhow! Be gone doors!
mirrored back hutch, stenciled back, white ironstone 2
The dining room is slowly getting a new look. It’s a work in progress right now. I’m working on painting the hall and living room before I can call it done.   mirrored back hutch, stenciled back, white ironstone
My white ironstone collection looks pretty good with the hutch’s new look.     stencil on foam board
Working with foam board is not my favorite thing, it was difficult to cut and I would suggest practicing first if you want to cut it. I did get better as I went along. You’ll need a sharp exacto knife and a straight edge.   foam board stencil


After it was cut I stenciled it. I taped it back together to make it easier to stencil. Can you see how it curled after it dried? To try to remedy that I turned it over and piled some weight on the ends. It worked in a kinda/sorta way. Super strength double faced tape works well to hold it in place in the hutch but I need to add a few more pieces in spots that don’t stick well.
hutch door hinges
I had to stain the areas where the door hinges were. I left them like that and didn’t try to hide the fact that there were doors on this piece. So with just a few more pieces of double faced tape this little project will be finished and I’m calling it imperfectly fine.

When the painting is finished I’ll be pulling out some autumn decorations. We’ve had a few cool nights and it feels like autumn is in the air. What have you been up to, decorating for fall?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Using silver spray paint with furniture wax, redecorating the Dining room

One thing leads to another in redecorating a space. I’m in the middle of redecorating the dining room and it’s never as easy as slapping a different color of paint on the walls.  Painting furniture and recovering chair seats and adding new accessories are part of the process.

This dining room project on a burgundy colored bombe chest was a total experiment. I wanted a silver luxe look without too much gloss and I wanted to make this project simple by using spray paint. So on went my thinking cap and this is what I came up with. Using spray paint with Annie Sloan waxes.  drawers


I looked but couldn’t find a picture of the bombe chest before I painted it, but it was dark and had a flower design on the front of the drawers. It was an inexpensive piece so I had no qualms about painting it. Going over this piece with liquid sander, which is sometimes called deglosser was the first step.  Easy, no sanding involved! After it dried I sprayed it with Krylon metallic aluminum. It was really shiny and bright, not at all the look I was going for. That’s where the wax came into play.

spray paint wax

I mixed a little dark wax with clear wax and rubbed it on. I liked it immediately. It had the color I wanted and the wax knocked down the sheen.

silver painted bombe chest

I distressed  the drawer fronts and edges but that didn’t photograph too well, but you get the idea.

Anew gray from Sherwin Williams

The new paint color on the walls is Anew Gray, it’s a gray with tan in it, a greige. It works well with cool and warm tones.

Anew gray from Sherwin Williams DR

Here’s a look at the newly recovered chair seats.

painted bombe chest and silver

You can get a glimpse of the china cabinet with its doors removed and a newly stenciled back, that was another project that I’ll be sharing later.

I’ll be painting the living room in Agreeable Gray, a slightly lighter color if I ever get done with this project.Thinking smile It always takes me forever! I got some new pieces in there and a pretty new rug.

Have you used gray in your home or do you think this trend will be over soon?


Follow along on instagram, we’ll be at the beach for a few days with surf, sand and sun!

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


repurposing old shutters with home made chalk paint

Having a tendency to hang on to things offers me big possibilities of projects. I was keeping an old pair of shutters that reminded me of saloon doors and repurposed them into accents for the half bath.

I mixed up my home made version of chalk paint with Plaster of Paris and a 8 ounce sample pot of paint from Lowe’s that I got free with a coupon. You can find coupons for a free sample from the summer palette in magazines. For the chalk paint, I mixed together about 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris with about a cup of paint and kept stirring until it was smooth. If it’s too thick, add water or if too thin add more Plaster of Paris. I don’t think you can mess it up!

chalk paint plaster of paris

The home made chalk paint will dry very flat, just like the real thing. I waxed it with light and dark wax and then roughed it up a bit.

homade chalk paint2

It turned out pretty good and I really love the coral color, Sonora Rose.

homade chalk paint3

Our powder room was made over last year but I never really finished it, or was completely happy with the way it looked. The addition of these shutters in a pop of bright color completes the look now and complements Wythe blue, the wall color from Benjamin Williams

orange shutter towel rack 4

The bird prints from Lowe’s hang from nails on the shutter.

orange shutter

The glass vase is from a thrift store.

orange shutter towel rack 2

The vanity and mirror surround are painted in Annie Sloan Old white.

orange shutter towel rack


I added simple hooks on near the bottom of a shutter for towels or whatever.

orange shutter towel rack 3

That’s how the powder room looks now. I’m sure I’ll play with it a little more but for now I like it.

I painted the dining room and am moving onto the living room and hallway. So far the hutch got a makeover and there’s a new rug in the living room.

Our garden is growing nicely but I’m afraid we’re about to get a lot of mildew because of all the rain and humidity…we’ll see. So far we’ve harvested  lettuce, sugar peas and onions. Cucumbers will be next and we are anxiously awaiting tomatoes.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Re-purposing a coffee table into a kids table

Some pieces of my Mom’s furniture I just couldn’t bear to part with after she passed on.  I kept her living room tables and use them in my family room. They’re really sturdy and will last generations. The coffee table I wasn’t using, so I decided to re-purpose it as a kids play table.

I had to remove one leg on either end to accommodate the chairs I found at the thrift shop. I moved the legs out to make a wider space for the chairs and reattached them with glue and corner brackets. I also added wheels to make it easy to move around.
The little chairs were a great find at just $1.10!  I spied them at a thrift store and they were mine!
table tea party
I painted the top with chalkboard paint and the rest is Annie Sloan Provence. I love that color! The pouf is from Target and looks so cute with this set! I gave it to my granddaughter Mia for her birthday.Now it’s the perfect spot for tea parties. tea party2
tea party brackets
If you look closely at the leg you can see the corner brackets that I used.
chalk table
Alzheimer’s had already claimed Mom so she never met Mia but I’m sure she would approve of the way her table is being used and I’m happy to be able to give it a new life, even if it feels bittersweet to me.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Upper cabinet project in kitchen is finally complete


This kitchen cabinet project has gone on forever it seems but I’m happy to say it is finished! From the café curtains to the finishing and painting of all cabinets, it’s done and I am so happy about that!

Here’s a recap and the official reveal of the finished projects.

breakfast area

Here’s a look at the board and batten project that we did last winter, refinishing my Mom’s table and new fabric panels on the windows.

bakers rack kitchen

Looking through the kitchen and the baker’s rack freshly painted with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint.

pantry wall

Here’s my post about painting the cabinets with Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint. I love how this side of the kitchen turned out. Getting rid of the bifold doors really takes the kitchen up a notch! Notice we added doors below the microwave too.

kitchen stripped runner

A new runner from Rugs USA has the perfect colors for the kitchen’s new look.

stove kitchen

The next project might be replacing the tile backsplash with subway tile. Getting rid of the shelves on this end of the island added a lot of extra space to move around. This was the 2nd transformation of the island, remember this one,  from white to dark red?

upper cabinets

Adding tolix stools to the island is on my to-do list.Something like this,


shelf kitchen

A cute shelf was added above the kitchen window.


In the 16 years we’ve lived in this house there have been a few kitchen makeovers. Back splash sink, granite…..it’s ever evolving!

What’s next, I’m thinking of removing some wallpaperSad smile

I have been on a hiatus because I’ve been sick for the last 3 weeks. What started out as a sinus/allergy problem became a virus with a cough and aches and pains that seem to last forever! I’m sick and tired of coughing my guts out and the throbbing headache that comes with it! I’m sick and tired of feeling lousy and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired! I’ve been to the Dr twice now and am very slowly starting to feel better. I’m itching to start a new project!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

The handywoman’s quick prep guide for winterizing your home

Today we welcome a guest post from Tina for DIY Mother.

5 quick tips for proactive winter home maintenance

Attention handywomen of all sorts! November is here, and that means December follows and the cold, bitter cold is on the way!

Now as a woman, you know that it’s important to be proactive when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. That’s why you probably already have a checklist for winterizing your home while the temperatures are still rather temperate and bright. However, more and more women are buying homes for the first time on their own so this article is meant to make a handywoman out all female homeowners—even if you don’t have experience—by providing tips to help you plug leaks, protect your pipes, and save on energy costs this winter.

Here is a quick handywoman’s prep guide for winterizing your home:

1. Put your thermostat on a program

The easiest way to cut down the heating costs you’ll pay this winter—and to give your furnace a break is to program your thermostat. Think of it this way, why do you need to heat your home on high when you’re at work? The idea is to proactively extend the life of your furnace by giving it a much needed break during the day and in the middle of the night. By doing so, you’ll not only lower your heating bills; you’ll also lower the effort of your furnace from pumping out heat when it’s not needed. So start by programming your thermostat to a lower setting when you’re not at home (i.e., when you’re at work and when you’re sleeping) and program it higher when you need it (i.e., an hour before you go to bed and an hour before you wake up).

2. Prevent pipes from cracking and bursting

One of the most important winter home maintenance steps that you can take is to protect your exterior pipes from bursting. Damaged plumbing is a huge drain on the finances and you can easily prevent it just by shutting off exterior water sources and wrapping any pipes leading out of your home in rags or plastic to protect them from freezing and cracking.

3. Give your water heater some love

A broken water heater can be a nightmare in the dead of winter—especially considering it heats the water in your home and can create a damaging mess if it bursts all over your basement floor. To prevent a disaster, be sure to give your water heater the proper attention by checking the unit to ensure it’s working properly and not overheating. The last thing you want is a pricey water heater replacement bill on your hands.

4. Plug leaky windows and doors

In the cold winter months you want to keep as much warm air in and as much cold air out as possible—otherwise you’ll find your heating bills will soar. As a proactive measure, do a walk around the exterior of your home and re-caulk damaged or cracked areas around your window sills, door frames and electrical outlets leading outside. A few tubes of caulk and weather-stripping are really cheap when you consider the cost of how much it will save you in heating costs and heat retained inside your home.

5. Get a new furnace filter

Another cheap way to prevent your family from cranking the thermostat in the dead of winter is to ensure your furnace is running at prime efficiency. All you need to do is swap your old furnace filter for a clean, new one. Trust me; when you take the old one out and see all the dirt and grime, you’ll know why your furnace was working harder than it should be. A new filter will also protect your house and its occupants against the risk of a fire. Plus your home will use less energy to heat and stay warmer inside due to this inexpensive, proactive measure.

About The Author

Tina is a registered nurse and DIY home improvement maven who has written and blogger for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.

Thanks Tina for these helpful tips to prepare for the cold winter weather. Do you leave these chores for your husband or do them yourself?


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Progress in the kitchen, new Pantry doors

I’m doing a happy dance here because all that’s left to do in the kitchen makeover project is paint! This is the before picture. I added white lines to mimic where the trim and crown molding would go to get a feel for how it would look. The bi-fold doors out-of-here!kitchen-wall-refrigerator-Copy

I didn’t have a friendly relationship with those doors! They were always getting stuck in the track and were the source of much aggravation.  


Here’s how it looks now, all trimmed out with crown molding and new doors. It looks fancy and I love it! We decided to add another set of doors from the microwave down. That will give me tons more storage on this side of the kitchen.


Today the kitchen looks like this, a mess. The upper cabinets have been painted but all the other ones still need to be painted. The pot rack will be taken down and I might add pendant lights.


At this end of the island the shelves were removed and nice big corbels were added. Those shelves were nothing but dust catchers anyway and removing them opened up the space a little more.

red island 

It looked like this before, always very dusty.


Removing the shelves also made space for another stool.

That is where we are at today with this project. The upper cabinets are the only part that were DIY. I hired a carpenter to trim everything and am so glad I did. He got all the doors at a decent price from a cabinet shop and was easy to work with. He understood what I was trying to achieve.

When doing DIY projects it’s best to know your limitations. My husband wasn’t comfortable with doing this kind of finishing work and  crown molding is something we haven’t mastered but I’m working on it. Winking smile


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

Project update, What I’ve been working on

The upper cabinet project continues but I’ve taken it just about as far as I am willing to do as a DIY project. The doors are being ordered online and I’ll share that link later. A carpenter is coming to look at the job and give me an estimate for trimming it all out and adding trim on the opposite wall to make it look built in. Something like this,


On the wall opposite the sink in my kitchen there’s the refrigerator, microwave, a row of deep shelves where I store cookbooks etc. and a pantry with bifold doors. I really want to get rid of those doors. I posted about this before with a little glimpse of what I’m trying to achieve.

Meanwhile, I started a new project, which I thought would be quick and easy.


Boy was I wrong!

oak table base

This is the base of 25 year old oak table. I’m showing it to you so you can see how light the finish was. I really wanted the top of the table to be darker and the base painted.


These are the leaves propped up so you can see how dark they are now compared to the base.

dark stain oak

Here’s the table top after a full day of sanding off my mess! I used a product that was stain and poly in one and totally screwed up, all because I didn’t read the directions. I thought you used it like any other stain and left it on the surface to make the wood darker. It got all gunky and sticky like gum when I tried to wipe it off! UGH! So I scraped and sanded and sanded some more until I thought I got it all off. It took all day! The next morning I thought I was good to go and start all over with a different stain, this time it was just stain, but I ended up sanding more of the mess off. I think I got it now.

dark stain oak2

I just have to get some fine sand paper and go over it a little. Phew, what a project!

chalk paint table base

Here’s the table base after a coat of CeCe Caldwell chalk paint in Seattle Mist, a light taupe color.

upper cabinets

This is a shot of the upper cabinets painted. The lower cabinets will get painted with the same paint, Advance from Benjamin Moore. This paint is a latex paint that acts like an oil based paint. It went on very smooth and is self leveling so there are virtually no brush marks,


Young House Love wrote a great post about this paint, they used it their kitchen too.

So that’s it. Now I’m looking for fabric and not having much luck. I actually had fabric that I thought I was going to you but it’s just not doing it for me anymore! smile_sad Got a good fabric source to share?


There’s still time to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway.


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

DIY Knockoff, How to make a Restoration Hardware coffee table Part 2

The DIY Restoration Hardware coffee table project is now finished! It’s a fairly simple DIY and will definitely get you the look for less. So here’s how to make a Restoration Hardware coffee table.  Part 1 is HERE.

 welded coffee table frame

Part 1 is here. We used angle iron to create the base. It needs to be welded together, so you will need to find someone to do that for you. A friend maybe, or check a metal shop or a welding shop.

This project originally was intended to use pallet wood for the top, but after a lot of work creating that top, it just didn’t cut it. Despite all our efforts, the wood didn’t lay flat and the top looked too thin for the base.

pallet project1

Here’s the pallet wood laid out for the top. I loved the way it looked and was so disappointed that it didn’t work out,


We glued the pallet wood to a piece of plywood.

pallet table top

Next, we weighted it down while the glue dried.

pallet top plywood

This is the old piece of plywood we glued to the back. It fit inside the frame. I was planning on sanding it to make it look better. I didn’t get a picture of how this top looked on the base. Thumbs down  No good. Too thin, not flat, a total failure!   Failure #1.

boards coffee table top

Off to Lowe’s we went to get some new boards for the top. We used 2” x 6’” boards this time. We laid them side by side and used 3 pieces of 1” wood to fasten them together. You can see how those pieces fit inside the frame to keep the top from moving.


We used 3 pieces of 1” wood across the bottom and screwed them in place.

boards coffee table top 2

The top lays on top of the frame, it’s not fastened to the frame. The 1” boards fit inside the frame.

 staining top

Now it was time to get to work on finishing the wood. I started by sanding, then stained the top with a gray stain. I used a practice board to get an idea of how the stain would look and ended up adding water to the water based stain to make it lighter.

When we took the top inside, it was way too dark! Failure #2. I ended up sanding, sanding and sanding off a lot of the stain to get the look I saw in my mind.

2family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Here it is all finished and in the family room!

 3 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Before I stained the top, I beat it up with a hammer and whatever I could find to add dings and scrapes in the wood.

4 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

I like it!

5 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff


 55 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff


56 family room coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

What do ya think? Here’s my DIY version.

coffee table. restoration hardware knockoff

Here’s the original.


It’s longer and looks lower but our DIY version costs MUCH less! Here’s the cost breakdown.

The original $1500-2000 depending on the size!

Our DIY version, angle iron $114.

welding, $80.

wood for top, $25

total  $219.00

$219.00 verses $1500.00

I’ll take the DIY version any day! Hope you like our version.

Added to Tutorials and Tip at Home Stories A to Z


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Diy Pallet coffee table, Restoration Hardware knock off

This Reclaimed French Floorboard coffee table from Restoration Hardware is totally the look I wanted in the family room, but at $1500 to $2000, depending on the size, it’s too much for my budget. So if I wanted it, I had to figure out how to turn it into a DIY project.

restoration hardware coffee table

Making this knockoff wasn’t hard at all after I figured out how to get the frame made.  My husband can weld, but doesn’t have his own equipment, but he knows someone who does. Smile  So that solved the dilemma of how to get the frame made.

welded coffee table frame

We bought steel angle iron at Lowe’s and I drew up a plan of how I wanted it to look and the dimensions. My DIY knockoff version  is 45” long, 22” wide and 18” high. I plan to have the top come over the edges a little.

welding rusty

The welded parts are very well done. I couldn’t wish for it to be any nicer….as for as welds go. To get a nice rusty patina, we left it outside.  I finished it off by spraying it with Valspar clear sealer.


pallet project

A pallet came in handy for the top. I had a hard time using a sawzall to cut it apart so I had to have Bill help. He has much more experience with power tools so it was easy for him. I really struggled and got the blade caught and didn’t even seem to be getting through the nails. I cut a pallet apart before and didn’t have this much trouble.  Of course the blade just went through those nails like buttah for him.

pallet project1

I started laying out the top, staggering the boards, so that meant more cutting to get the length I needed. Then we had to stop for the day. It was getting too hot and I had someplace to go so we’ll finish up this project probably on Thursday.

Once it’s in place I’ll show you the room, at last!





                               Enjoy the holiday!


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Trying to create Upper Cabinets in the kitchen

Creating upper cabinets is my current project. I fell in love with the look of upper cabinets and wanted to try and recreate the look in my own kitchen. The keyword here is TRY, as this is a total DIY project done by me, mostly.


Upper cabinets will provide me with some much needed storage space for rarely used pieces. I really love the built in microwave too.

Source: bhg.com via Bungalow on Pinterest


What’s not to love about this gorge kitchen? From the planked ceiling and beautiful floor to the chandelier and those swoon worthy cabinets, it’s yummy! Silvery tones, soft blues and white sure do complement each other beautifully.

Source: houzz.com via Bungalow on Pinterest


Even though these upper cabinets don’t have glass doors, I still love this look, especially in this very rich looking kitchen. But, eek, there’s no room for fake vines! Confused smile


I would never have attempted a project like this without my handy nail gun from Lowe’s. It makes a project so much easier!  This model From Campbell Hausfeld is very affordable.


Here we go…


Here’s the first cabinet I put together. It’s not quite square but Bill said that’s an easy fix.


My second attempt was much better. Smile This cabinet was square.

upper cabinet3

Getting there! Just keepin it real so excuse the mess.

upper cabinet2

A lot of wood filler and sanding and they will be good, I think.

upper cabinet


We had to get a new fridge, she’s a beauty!

kitchen wall refrigerator - Copy

On this side of the room, I’d like to add molding and try to create a custom built in look.

kitchen trim

Something like this but with different pantry doors and the look of a built in microwave. Can you see my vision?

For beautiful kitchen inspirations check out my Pinterest board.

I’ll be working on this all week and then start to think about how to put together the doors. That’s the scary part. If I can’t figure it out I might have them made.

Can you recommend a good creamy white for kitchen cabinets? I’ll be looking for paint soon.


So that’s my latest project, but I move so slowly doing stuff like this and the weather getting so hot and humid might slow me down even more. The chairs for the family room are ready to be picked up from the slipcover angel and that room is ready for accessories! Finally. We added some new pieces to the patio so come back on Wednesday for that.


Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Repurposing old doors

Pretty old doors can usually be found at Re-Build-It stores and thrift shops for reasonable prices. With their vintage charm they offer endless possibilities for repurposing.



This bright white coffee table is so pretty you can hardly tell it was once a door.

old doors


Here’s another example of a door turned coffee table. This one gives a completely different look with the original gashes, chipped paint and hardware, including the lock and doorknob.


This one is a different style and would look perfect for a casual room. I like the color and the old knob. It looks fairly easy to make.


What a cute idea for a toddler bed and the bright color is great too.


A lettered door on sawhorses makes a fun picnic table.

picnic table 083


As a potting bench, old doors lend themselves well to outdoor décor as well.

With the addition of a pair of iron corner pieces,  these door become an arbor with a Victorian feel.

Source: flickr.com via Bungalow on Pinterest


Don’t forget about hollow doors, they can be repurposed too.2012_02_09_3689

This large work space was created with two hollow doors and some inexpensive bookcases.  I’d love to have a space like this, it would eliminate the need to crawl around on the floor when making drapery panels. I’m getting too old for that.

If I had the room, I would definitely create this. It’s a fantastic idea.

Have you ever repurposed an old door?


In a couple weeks I’ll be moving to Word Press and Google friends connect will no longer be available to WP blogs. I hope you will follow me on twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and rss feed in a reader.

Thank you! I appreciate you coming by so much! 

Photobucket  Photobucket Photobucket Follow Me on Pinterest

Debbie (((xx)))

Project board and batten/Paint colors

Last year I was all set to start a board and batten project in the family room. Originally, I wanted board and batten in the small guest room but changed my mind.  I posted about it Here and Here, wondering how long the trend would last.

Last winter my husband fell on ice in our driveway, had a concussion and the project was stalled. Then Summer came and he is busybusybusy, so no board and batten, until now. The cold months of winter are perfect for us to do projects, if we can manage to work together and be nice!

Good bye Laura Ashley gold, hello Benjamin Moore palladian blue.

LA gold

We put up a chalk line and I started painting palladian blue on top. I always prefer greens over blues, but this color has enough green in it to keep me content.

palladian blue

Ultra white, in semi-gloss from Valspar, is going on the bottom.

palladian blue w white

The board, of the board and batten, will go on top of the wavy line. With the new color scheme, the gray stone fireplace is looking great.

Benjamin Moore has chosen wythe blue as their color of the year 2012. On the color strip, palladian blue is under it, and is pretty close in color to SW rainwashed and SW sea salt. Sea salt looks a little more gray in this picture.

wythe blue

My Mom used wythe blue and hollingsworth green in her living room. She actually marked the x and the o on the color strip. I think she would approve of my color choice.





Which color of the year do you prefer?

Tangerine tango from Pantone,



           Wythe blue from Benjamin Moore or



           Sherwin William’s argyle?






I’ll be posting more about our progress on this project, wish me luck!


Debbie (((xx)))

Building shelves for basement organization, part 2

Meet our beautiful and lovely DIY shelves in the basement. They’re 15 feet long, 24 inches deep, hold a ton of stuff and are beautiful and lovely to me.

In part 1, you can see how we created the frames for the shelves. Then we screwed them into the wall studs and added 2 x 4 legs at the ends. The particle board shelves are just laid on the frames. Because they’re screwed into studs, we didn’t feel we needed more legs in the middle.

Working together with my husband isn’t fun. He’s OCD and very difficult to work with. Everything must be perfect, as in level, even, plumb, square and precisely measured. I might measure at 6 and a little bit past 1/2, so I don’t do much measuring. If it’s off more than a hair, I’m in trouble. I’ve learned that perfect is called dead nuts, but being off by a wuss hair is acceptable too. It goes from dead nuts, to a wuss hair to a hair. In some instances a hair is acceptable too.

I feel like yelling, “hello, down there.”

long shelf 1

The space between the 10 foot section and the 5 foot section created a little space to slide in large things like mirrors, etc.

From the other end, “hello up there!”

basement shelf3

These shelves take the phrase, ‘shop the house,’ to a whole new level. I know I have too much stuff, and with this storage system I can see what I have and won’t bring anything new into the house unless I get rid of something else.

basement shelf 4

There’s actually free floor space. You could even work out.

basement space

Here’s the full view with more empty floor space.

basement organize full

This table is where I do messy crafts.

crafting area basement

Here’s the tool corner and that’s the miter saw covered up. I told you OCD! You can see the entry to the smaller room where we store the patio furniture.

basement tool area

basement shelf3


I do love the shelves, and if you measured, I will guarantee, that they aren’t off anywhere by more than a wuss hair !









Can you tell which tools are mine and which are his?tools

Wish me luck with our next DIY project., There’s more about that next.

Added to Tutorials and Tips @ Home Stories a 2 z

Met Monday at Between naps on the porch

I’m Lovin It @Tidy Mom


The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is Elise. Congratulations. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Debbie (((xx)))

Building shelves for basement organization, Part 1

Keeping the basement neat and organized is something I try to do and fail at miserably! I finally talked my husband into building sturdy wooden shelves that would provide all the storage I needed. This was a basic DIY project using 2 x 4’s and particle board. Thank goodness there’s a Lowe’s really close by, all we do is leave our sub division, go to the red light, turn, and you’re there.  Smile


Piles of stuff, surrounded by piles of stuff, surround exercise equipment! If you wanted to use it you couldn’t even get to it.

basement shelf1

Here we’ve already started building the shelves, but just looking at all this clutter makes me sick.


A bike and a scarf on a treadmill? Could you ride a bike on a treadmill?

metal closet

This metal closet separates the junk area from the tool area, which is slightly more organized.

basement toolendFrom the tool area looking toward the junk area.


basement toolsThis is a corner of the tool area.


The arrow is pointing to another room, approximately 15 x 15, where I keep all my paint and store patio furniture in winter.


Putting the shelves together was fairly simple. We built a 10 foot section and a 5 foot section, each with 3 shelves, between the basement support columns. Because the wall was left unfinished, the screw heads in the studs could been seen, shown by the blue lines. The red line is the chalk line we snapped after using a laser level to get it straight.

We put together the frames before screwing them into the wall studs. You can see one finished frame on the floor.

Sorry to end here, part 2 of this project is coming up next. It’s a beautiful sight to behold!


Debbie (((xx)))

The making of The Princess and the Pea, doll, bed and pea, Part 1

While wandering around in the Re Build It store one day, I spotted a bin of spindles in all lengths and shapes for 25¢.   Immediately I started thinking of how I could use them. It’s a curse, or a gift, I see treasures when others see trash.
A doll bed came to mind. I don’t know why. I wasn’t planning on making a doll bed. Then there was a big “ahaaaa,” the Princess and the Pea. Which meant besides the bed, I’d also have to come up with a princess and a pea and a lot of mattresses. If you don’t know the story of the Princess and the Pea you can find it HERE.
I don’t do many woodworking projects, but knew I was going to give it a try and wing it, making it up as I went along.

The spindles had knots and imperfections but a little wood filler and sanding made them good as new and they worked out fine.  Remember they were only 25¢.  The frame for the bed was made out of scraps of trim cut on a 45 and glued together.
L brackets hold everything together. The shims give the beadboard base something to rest on, and were screwed onto the L brackets too.
Later I turned it upside down and screwed in the beadboard base from underneath. It’s really sturdy now.
For the headboard I used paint stir sticks. I laid them on, then glued them to cross pieces also made from stir sticks.

I may have taken just a few extra stir sticks from Lowe’s!

You can see the cross pieces that support the headboard. The bed is now completely primed and ready to paint.
Here’s a peak at the progress on the princess and her mattresses.
I need to make the princess some clothes, make a pea in a pea pod and a ladder so she can climb up to the top of all those mattresses, but the project is on hold until after Thanksgiving.
So far it cost me about 3 bucks. I needed to buy the L brackets and a couple extra screws. The princess and her accessories were all made from fabric I already had.
Part 2 and 3 will be coming up as the project progresses. I think it’s going to be so cute!  A gift like this could become a treasure for generations. Sure hope my granddaughter Mia likes it! I do!

added to Southern Institute
Creation Corner 
Debbie (((xx)))

Beef up a BookCase

Here’s a bad shot of a bookcase that I had for years in our basement family room . I bought it unfinished and put a white stain on it and later painted it black. I’ve been wanting to beef it up with molding for ages and finally got it done!


When I took this picture I was in the process of painting the room so that’s why the furniture is all pushed together.

The original back was paper thin and I replaced it with beadboard that I stained. That alone was a big improvement.


Next I added some trim and crown molding. Please ignore the nail holes that weren’t filled in. Smile


  It’s so hard to get decent pictures in the basement.


As you can see it holds mostly photos and not many books. It’s not the best arrangement of photos, but I’ll keep working on it!


Beefing up a bookcase is fairly easy with the right tools and it sure makes a big impact. I didn’t go overboard on the molding, but I could have added more on the sides and bottom. I’m just happy to get this much done!

Now, a few questions for you……

How and where do you display family photos, do you display them only in non public rooms, like bedrooms?

Did you beefed up a bookcase? How?


Added to Met Monday at Between naps on the Porch.

The DIY Showoff

Debbie (((xx)))