Sunday, October 27, 2013

From Back Porch to Fab Mud Room Part 1--The Pantry

We've been helping a friend for the past few months on her mudroom.  It started when she wanted to install a new back door.  We helped her pick one up and after spending the day with her, we were as excited as she was about the changes she wanted to make.  The best part was that she really wanted to learn how to do everything so she could make changes to other rooms later on. 

The room started off as pretty much just a room between the driveway and the house. 

She wanted a pine tongue and groove ceiling.  We added 2x4 supports and insulation prior to adding the tongue and groove.  We painted it with watered down white paint before hanging it.

She really wanted a stained concrete floor.  We worked and worked on it to prepare it for concrete, but it turned out that it was going to cost $850 and the guy wouldn't be able to come out for 6-8 weeks...  Onto PLAN B....

 Next came the pantry.  New doors,  new tongue and groove ceiling, lots and lots of shelves... 


We put everything in here yesterday and there's still a ton of extra room! 

We found these knobs at Hobby Lobby.

The glass in the door looks beautiful with the sun hitting it.

 We have had so much fun helping her make this into a beautiful room.  Stay tuned for my next post on the rest of the renovation!
Thanks for your visit!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

8 Basic Property Updates to Address Regularly

Today I have Tali Wee of Zillow sharing an article on 8 Basic Property Updates to Address Regularly.  She has some great ideas listed here!

Thanks Tali!

8 Basic Property Updates to Address Regularly 

By Tali Wee of Zillow


Becoming a homeowner requires a great deal of additional responsibility. Homeowners must pay their monthly principals, interest, taxes and insurance to pay off their purchases, but also need to attend to the general maintenance of their new properties. When homebuyers search for their perfect homes they often don’t consider the added maintenance responsibilities of extra bathrooms, larger yards or luxury home features such as pools or hot tubs.

Regardless of high maintenance properties, all homeowners should regularly address these eight standard updates to ensure their health and safety while preventing damage to their homes.

1. Test Smoke Detectors

Every home should have multiple smoke detectors to alarm at the first warning signs of a fire. Smoke detectors protect residents and their properties when functioning properly. However, testing smoke detectors can easily slip a busy homeowner’s mind. It’s recommended by smoke detector manufacturers and fire departments to test smoke detectors each month and replace the batteries each year. Begin a routine; test the detectors on the first of each month when calendars are turned over and refresh the batteries each year on a birthday celebration.

2. Sterilize Washing Machines

Another common issue in many homes is the washing machine grows mold and causes the homeowners clothes to smell dingy. The solution is to sterilize the washing machine at least once each month. Begin a wash cycle so the drum fills with hot water. For top load washers, add a quart of bleach and let the cycle agitate but stop before it drains. Let the bleach water soak for one hour and then finish the cycle. Next repeat the process with a quart of white vinegar. For front load washers, add a quart of bleach to the dispenser during a hot wash cycle. Next, run a new cycle dispensing three cups of white vinegar. To avoid the process, grocers sell washing machine cleansing tablets to replace the bleach and vinegar. Some front load washers even have built-in cleaning cycles.

3. Replace Air Filters

To avoid the expensive cost of hiring a professional to clean out the home’s air ducts, the homeowner can prevent dust build-up by regularly cleaning the air filters. Heating and cooling systems have either disposable filters or a reusable filters. Simply clean the filter or replace the old with the new once every three months. Old filters have collected dust, mold spores, insects, pet hair, dander and other airborne debris. Without frequent replacement or cleaning, the debris and germs are forced through the ducts and blown back into the home.

4. Spray Insecticide

Another quarterly project is spraying a barrier of insecticide on the exterior of the property. Homes with known bug issues should spray once each month when pests are most common. Simply spray the foundation and adjacent soil surrounding the property, as well as the window and door frames, vents, spigots or any other easy entrances to the home. Whether the pests are ants, spiders, cockroaches, termites or beetles, a perimeter spray every three months should prevent invasion.

5. Condition Countertops

Most kitchen and bathroom countertops must be sealed or buffed with mineral oil regularly to maintain the natural colors of the stone and protect it from staining. Marble counters require sealing every three months and granite counters once or twice annually. More trending countertop options such as butcher blocks require frequent applications of mineral oil and concrete counters need recurrent sealants to prevent absorption of liquids and acidic damage.

6. Clean Gutters

Homes in wooded areas are more prone to collecting fallen leaves, needles and other debris in their gutters. When gutters get backed up with debris, they become havens for unwanted pests and water doesn’t have a clear pathway to run off the home. Properties become susceptible to water damage as the run-off finds alternative routes off the house. Without purchasing high-end, protected gutters, homeowners can keep their gutters clean by clearing them twice each year. The best times to clean gutters are once each spring and fall.

7. Re-Caulk Showers

Caulking along the edges of the bathtub, shower and sink should be removed and replaced once annually. Caulking dries out, cracks and grows mold and mildew. Damaged caulking allows water to seep into wood, drywall or other structural materials that should not be moist and can cause serious mold growth in moist areas. Fresh caulking acts as a sealant. Simply use a utility knife to cut long the edges where the old caulk meets the wall or tub, and then pull it out. Apply a small bead of fresh caulk in the gap and wipe with one finger to spread for an even, thorough finish.

8. Unclog Drains

Shower drains clog frequently, especially when most home residents have long hair. When loose hair slips pass the straining drain cover it collects around the stopper and can be extremely difficult to remove. When the drain is backed up, shower water with soap residue has difficulty draining. Tubs and showers can overflow causing water damage and slow drainage can leave a slick residue in the tub, creating a dangerous hazard for showering residents.  

Homebuyers certainly take on more responsibility as homeowners, managing all the upkeep for their new properties. However, with a little routine, these eight basic updates can become simple do-it-yourself projects for homeowners to take pride in the condition of their properties and improve their health and safety.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No More Icicles--Adding Heat to the Roof and Gutters

Last winter was especially snowy here.  Icicles were almost hitting the ground!  Look back in that corner-- the icicles are almost touching the ground.  Time for some serious preventative measures so that our gutters didn't fall off from the weight of all of that ice!
Even with most of the snow gone, there was still this icicle.  Pretty, but obviously showing a problem with the drainage...
We ordered these cables from Amazon.  It took my husband about an hour to install everything.



One cable goes in the gutter, then the other cables are zigzagged up the roof (and into the corner where ice really causes problems).  We have it on a timer in the house, so once the snow starts flying, we'll be ready for it this year.
Thanks for your visit!


Friday, October 18, 2013

This Guest Room is for the Birds


I recently updated the bedding in our guest room.  I've been admiring the Sparrow duvet and shams at Pottery Barn for some time.  Last week they had them on sale, so I splurged.
My husband made the picket fence headboard about 20 years ago.  I still love it!

The bedding I replaced was ok, but needed an update.

I'm on the lookout for another little pillow for the bed.

I found this little green pillow at Pier 1 yesterday.  I think I like it!


We found this bird lamp a few months ago.  I really like the rectangular shape.

This is one of my Mom's creations.  I love this little footstool, but can't really imagine putting my feet on it.  :)
Now I just have to keep the cat off the bed...
Thank you for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall in the Dining Room

Although I love summer, I can embrace the warmth of fall and the beauty of the changing seasons.  I just wish that cold, snowy winter didn't follow beautiful fall!

I was in HomeGoods recently and found this bushel of wheat.  I love that it has some height and texture. 

I put it in this grower's box that I bought at Barb's sale this summer.  I added leaves, gourds, cobs and acorns to the box. 
Also at HomeGoods, I found these great bowls in the shape of a leaf.  Add in some plaid napkins and my fall table is ready to go!

Thanks for your visit!
I am linking to the following parties:

 Inspire Me Tuesday
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home