Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I have a thing for nail polish. It’s inexpensive, it’s fun, and it’s EVERYWHERE. So, I tend to make a lot of “on a whim” purchases. I’m even known to buy repeats of certain colors, ‘cause I like ‘em that much! Not a big deal in and of itself, but storing this collection has been a pain. Those plastic shoeboxes hold a lot of bottles, but it’s hard to see the colors. I thought about ordering some of the display units that a salon would use, but then realized that I have precious little wall space to hang one on. Also, the ones that were affordable weren’t really my style.
Soooo, I pondered. And I mulled. And I eyeballed the available space in my closet and the vanity area and made mental notes to self. And, is often my way, I percolated the idea until it finally hit me…
If you’ve seen some of my other posts, you may know that I’m quite fond of a line of silver-colored, metal mesh storage boxes that can be found at The Container Store and online. I’ve used CD boxes, DVD boxes, in/out baskets, and even file folder boxes to organize my kitchen, bathroom vanity, and garage.
For this project, I zoned in on the smallest members of this collection, baskets designed to organize drawers and small spaces. I found that one of the sizes fit perfectly in a small amount of un-used, floor-to-ceiling wall space in my closet. It measures 6” x 3” x 2”, and is super inexpensive. And, depending on the shape of the bottle, 6 – 10 bottles can fit in each bin.
So, it just became a matter of how to hang them on the wall! I finally decided that buying two 7.5’ lengths of small-gauge chain from the hardware store would be the way to go. I used molly bolts in the drywall, ‘cause a nail polish collection can be deceptively heavy. I threaded a couple of washers onto the screw, then the top link of the chain, then a couple more washers, and then threaded the screw into the plastic sleeve that I had pounded into the drywall. Adding the washers helped the chain move freely, without scratching the wall.
Once I hung both bits of chain, it was simply a matter of hanging the little mesh bins and filling them. I used pliers to open up additional links of chain. I opened both ends, as one end would need to hook into the bin, and the other end would need to hook into the chain hanging from the wall. I then inserted a hook into the center of the side of each bin, at the very top, and crimped it closed.
Leave the other end of the link open, so it can be hooked onto the chain that hangs on the wall. I decided to leave the hook affixed to the bin, so I could remove them and replace them as I needed to. This allows me to replace the bins at different heights if I need to, either out of laziness (don’t want to bend down to put it near the floor) or to accommodate something taller, like a detail pen or a bottle of polish remover. However, you could just as easily affix the “hook” links to the chain (by crimping the hook closed once looped through the chain) and leave the open end for the bins. Either way would work, you just wouldn’t have as much flexibility in where to put the bins with the hooks affixed to the chain.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
My master bathroom is in need of some tweaks. I put in tile a few years ago, and some interesting wall treatments. But the shelves I put in don’t get the job done, and I really need to find a way to reduce the clutter in this small area. Here are some “Before” pictures.
I *HATE* opening and closing drawers and cabinet doors. I don’t know why. Whether in a bathroom or a kitchen, I just can’t stand the noise and the inefficiency. This explains the two tiered caddy on the counter – all my morning basics are there. But it’s ugly, and doesn’t stay tidy.
These shelves were cute in concept, but they don’t hold much, and are hell to keep clean. (Hairspray and dust!). Plus, it might be hard to tell, but no matter what the bubble in the level said when I drilled the holes to hang the shelf, the darn thing isn’t level! Finally, in this small area, the shelves stick out too far, and I’ve been known to bang my elbow and even my head on them.
The drawer on the left is actually falling apart. All the junk in the drawer makes it bulge at the seams! Not good, as repairing cabinetry isn’t cheap, and new cabinets are NOT in the budget.
One thing I *DO* like, is my under cabinet organization. These are mesh CD boxes from the Container Store. They stack beautifully, and you can see what’s in ‘em! The trick is to group like items, and to put items in the bottom baskets that are not taller than the basket itself, so another can be stacked on top. The Febreeze and mouthwash and stuff blocks the shot, but I have 6 baskets you can see, and two hidden long way, in the very back, holding stuff I rarely have to get to. I’ve tried a LOT of under-cabinet organization solutions, and this is my favorite to date. Even those shelves that are supposed to be able to go around the pipes failed me…
So, as I make the tweaks and changes, I’ll post my “After” pics and project info…
And here’s the first, inspired by Pinterest…
I decided to paint the boring old insides of my vanity drawers with a rich, saturated, high gloss color! First I fixed that left drawer with a simple “L” bracket and some screws. Took 1o minutes and less than $2.00. AWESOME! Then I sanded, wiped with a damp cloth, and painted with 4 coats of paint, over a couple of days. I’ve had trouble in the past with paint feeling dry to the touch, but then chemically reacting with plastic items that are placed in contact with them, so I let the drawers cure for a full week before I put them back into the vanity and filled them.
When I find cute new knobs, I’ll replace those too. This’ll do for now though.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Scarf numbah two... I left some pretty big "empty" spaces so there would be room to applique on more shirts in the future.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Needless to say, over the years, I've teased out as much storage as possible, one project at a time. The one that was the most rewarding for me was transforming this weird, functionless "skeleton wall" between the kitchen and the living area into an AMAZING amount of extra pantry space. It all began with my mind obsessing over this really odd feature of the house, which had always perplexed me. There was this eyesore of a "frame-only" wall, jutting out into the room a little more than 2 feet. This thing wasn't original to the house, which was built in 1970, but it had apparently been there for quite some time because the lumber it is made of measures a true 2 inches by 4 inches, which hasn't been standard since I don't know when! I had an engineer confirm that it isn't structural, so perhaps one of the previous owners felt that the kitchen and the living area needed more of a divide. I can't figure any other reason for the darn thing. The problem was, I couldn't take it out, as both the laminate in the living area and the tile in the kitchen has been cut to fit around the structure where it sat on the floor. If I took the wall out, I would be left with this rectangle of floor-failure to deal with. So, what to do? And that thought taunted me for the first 6 years of life in this house...
Until I had my EUREKA moment! If you can't fight 'em, join 'em - isn't that the saying? If I couldn't get rid of it, I had to figure out how to use it. And since it was more in the kitchen than the living area, it was clear that it should be used for kitchen storage. So with that in mind, I began.
While it was clear that this weird little wall would become shelves, it first had to get wider. After all, the horizontal space was a mere 4 inches deep. In order to do that, I had to build an identical structure, basically a box with an extra horizontal support at top and bottom, and connect it to the original one. This was the hardest part of the project for two reasons - 1) I had to get about 25 linear feet of true 2 inch by 4 inch board milled. NOT cheap. But, surprisingly easy to source. And 2) It was a seriously unwieldy structure at first.
Before I could install the second structure, I first had to deal with the little matter of the moulding alongside the existing one and at the ceiling, and the baseboard. I could have just pried off the vertical piece, since any damage would get covered by the new structure, but the baseboard and the piece at the cieling had to be cut cleanly. To knock this out, I treated myself to a Dremmel MultiMax, and sliced cleanly and successfully right through it! Can't say why, but I really loved that part of the project. Maybe it was buying and using this specialty tool, and how great it worked... I just loved it!
Once those bits of moulding were removed, I was able to put the flimsily tacked together "mirror image" in place and begin reinforcing it. It was flimsy at first because the only way to assemble it and keep it flexible enough to maneuver into place was to put the barest minimum of screws into it. Without a long discourse in geometry, just know that tilting an item such as this, which MUST fit floor to ceiling, with no gap, is not possible if the item can't flex. My hubby and I found that out the hard way on a different project. Since I couldn't build it in place, which was the only other option, I had to make it flexible somehow. By building it with a bare minimum of fasteners, it meant that the rectangle could flex, very carefully, into a trapezoid, which made it possible to snug it up to the original structure without damaging the ceiling or walls. Just... trust me on the geometry, m'kay folks. I lived it.