Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Bathroom Shelves!

Ever since I took down the ugly, plain, and very securely attached storage cabinet above our toilet in the master bathroom, I have been trying to find the perfect thing to fill the space. In the meantime, I had to spackle and repaint the walls due to the gazillion holes they made hanging it. At first, I thought I'd put a picture in place of the cabinet. But although pretty, that isn't very functional. I wanted something that had a little storage space and was pretty to look at!

After seeing these shelves on Pinterest and reading the very detailed tutorial, I decided this was something I wanted/needed to do in our bathroom. Here was the picture I found:

Aren't they beautiful?! I love the way she styled them, with all of those adorable accessories! 

Her blog has a very detailed tutorial (thankfully)! So go read that for her specific measurements, more detailed diagrams and steps, etc. if you want to tackle this project yourself! 

This project was fairly easy! 

-measuring tape
-finish nailer

-Liquid Nails
-finish nails
-stain/finish of your choice

Here are the basic steps I took, including the changes I made from the Desert Domicile blog: 

1. Draw a really crappy sketch of what you are making so you can try to make sense of it all and figure out what type/size of wood you need. See below. This step also includes measuring the width of your space from wall to wall. 

2. Build your support frames with the help of your handsome husband, or whoever you have on hand. Lucky for me, it was my handsome husband ;) We used liquid nails to glue our frame together first, and then we used finish nails to attach the small pieces to the larger piece. 

3. Stain your boards. Or paint them. Whatever you'd like! I used the same product I used on our towel racks, Restor-a-Finish. I love it for so many reasons! Number one: you barely have to use any for each project. Number two: you don't have to wait for it to dry. Number three: it makes your wood look old in a matter of minutes! Number four: it brings out the grain of the wood so beautifully!

4. Measure the desired height of your shelves and attach your support frames to the wall, hopefully screwing them into studs. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile made reference to watching out for the plumbing pipes. That made me a little nervous.... but we used our stud finder, marked the wall, and hoped for the best... i.e. that what we were screwing into was in fact a stud and not a pipe and that when we flushed the toilet, water would not come out of the walls. Water has not yet come out of the walls so I think we're in the clear!

5. Make sure your top shelf piece is level... yeahhh, here is where we ran into a problem. See, what happened was, I tried to pick out beautiful boards that were perfect and straight. Well, it was hard enough finding beautiful boards. And I'm pretty sure I took down every single board in Lowe's to find the ones that were straight. At least somewhat straight. Well, the so-called perfect pieces that I chose were not so straight after all. They were all wonky. Is that a word? Well that's what we called them. All of them. Not a single one was perfectly straight. 

So we ended up with this:

This was not exactly how we had planned it. A humongous gap. Thanks wonky wood... this in turn meant our boards were not level. So we had to move on to step 6. 

6. Add shims to level out your shelves. 

Repeat this step for both top and bottom shelves. 

7. Glue the top shelf piece to both shelves using Liquid Nails. 

8. Glue the bottom portion of each shelf to the top and bottom shelves using Liquid Nails. Then call your husband to come shoot a few finish nails in the bottom because your arms are tired of holding the board while the glue dries. Caitlin @ Desert Domicile used screws for this step but screwing into this nice wood makes me nervous since it cracks so easily! 

9. Glue your front pieces onto the shelves. Yeahhhh, here's where we ran into the next problem. Due to the humongous gaps in our board placement (see steps 5&6), our measurements were all off. Now, the 1x4's that we bought were not wide enough to line up correctly. So we went back to Lowe's, had the friendly men (I say men because we pressed the help button and 6 of them came) rip a 1x8 down to a 1x5 (because they don't sell 1x5's and a 1x6 was too narrow to cut to a 1x5). The 1x5 worked much better. After our trip to Lowe's and staining the new wood, we proceeded with this step. I glued the front pieces to the shelves. After a few minutes I, once again, called my husband in to shoot a few finish nails into the corners because I didn't particularly want to spend the next 40 minutes of my life holding the panels up while waiting for the glue to dry (as suggested in Caitlin's tutorial... more power to you Caitlin but I am too impatient for that!)

And here is the finished product:

Here is a before and after:



I'm in love! For now, I just shopped around my house to find things I could put up there! I'm sure I will change the accessories around a million times and buy more. I always do! 

Next on the master bathroom to-do list:
1. Rip out the fiberglass shower/tub combo, replace it with a deep tub, and tile the walls. 
2. Replace the countertops on the vanity.
3. Repaint the vanity cabinets! 
4. Replace the flooring. 
5. Frame the mirror. 

Some day... :) 

While you're here, feel free to check out my other posts here:
DIY Wall Art
DIY Front Porch Sign Holder
DIY Porch Welcome Sign
Our Staircase Makeover Project (in process) plus how we updated our Oak Banister
DIY Chevron Burlap Yard Flag
Thanks for reading everyone! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's For Dinner: Tortellini

I made a delicious meal this evening that was so easy to throw together. I saw the recipe on Facebook and don't remember the source. It was originally a crockpot recipe, but I don't really plan ahead sometimes... so I made it into a "ready right now" recipe. Here's what you need:

-1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini (or 2 packages of dry tortellini)
-1 block of cream cheese
-2 cans of Italian style diced tomatoes (I had a hard time finding a can that said "Italian style", so I chose the one with basil, garlic, and oregano... sounded pretty Italian to me!)

-1/2 block of chopped frozen spinach 
-1/4 cup chicken broth
-garlic salt
-onion powder
-2 tbsp sugar

1. Boil your tortellini according to its package. 
2. While it is boiling, mix all other ingredients in a medium saucepan. Don't drain the diced tomatoes, just dump them in- juice and all! Break the block of cream cheese into small pieces so it will melt faster. Turn on medium-high heat and keep stirring. Heat until the cream cheese is melted and mixed thoroughly. 
3. Drain the tortellini noodles when they are finished. 
4. Add the sauce to the pasta and serve. 
5. Top with Parmesan cheese!


Cook time: 15-20 minutes 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

TV Over Fireplace

In order to maximize the space in our living room, we decided to mount the TV over the fireplace. 

Now... deciding to do it and actually doing it are two verrrry different things! But we got it done! Thanks to my hard-working husband and our friend Andrew, who just so happens to be an electrician!

Here it is: 

I still have to paint over the spackled holes on the right side, but try to ignore that. That is what I will do until I feel like opening up that can of paint again... 

Now we can get rid of the crappy TV stand we bought while still in college! And Ian is so very excited about the fact that his beloved recliner is now allowed to be downstairs. And I won't lie, I've used it just as often as he has! So it's a win-win! 

Since I still have the two ends of the mantel, I'm not sad about losing all that space. I typically only decorated the two ends pre-TV anyway with the exception of during the holidays. But we'll make it work! Now if only we could make our cable box work for the channels in the 200's... that's an issue for another day!