Monday, December 18, 2017

Son's Bedroom Wall Shelves

My last post was about the freestanding shelf I used to hold my son's gaming systems and equipment.  It was a great solution to get all his equipment in one place and only cost $20.00.

His walls were very barren, with only a large leaner mirror hung on the wall by his bed and closet. He just needed something to make the room looked loved and lived in. On a trip to Ikea, I stopped and looked at the wall shelves and I decided to add some shelving to his bedroom to breathe life into one of the walls. 

I found the EKBY JÄRPEN / EKBY VALTER shelf and bracket, they were about $18. I got 2 shelves because for the space I was thinking about  I felt that 2 shelves would look more complete than just 1 shelf. But a $36 solution for 1 wall made me very happy!

I put the Ekby shelves over my son's Hemnes chest dresser and the black-brown color of the shelves and dresser appear to be exactly the same so they look perfect together. Ikea shelves rarely come with hardware, but I always have wall anchors and screws on hand so it wasn't an issue to get my shelves hung.

To hang them, I hung 1 bracket first, and then held the other bracket and shelf on the wall to verify level. Once I had it level I hung the second bracket.  For the second shelf I leveled the brackets vertically to the already hung brackets and hung the third bracket, and repeated leveling the final bracket vertically and then adding the shelf to level it horizontally before hanging the final bracket.  Once the brackets were hung I added the first shelf and screwed it into the bracket, and leveled the second shelf vertically with the first shelf to make sure all lined up before attaching to the brackets.  

These took about 30 minutes to hang, I took my time to make sure everything was level and even. Aaron was able to get some of his stuff on display and cleared off the top of his dresser so his fish tank could go into his room (If you are wondering the dresser is attached to the wall, as Ikea furniture tends to be front heavy and flips).

Friday, December 15, 2017

Son's Bedroom Shelf for Gaming Equipment

Hi Friends!

If anyone who reads my blog hasn't figured it out already, I love Ikea! I really do. They have some products that are affordable, look great, and easy to assemble/install. I didn't go to Ikea for years and it was 20 minutes from my house, I just didn't know what it was all about. Once Pinterest launched it opened me up to the products that Ikea carries and I remember my first visit there, like 4 hours and my phone's full battery drained completely but I was hooked.

My son's bedroom is all Ikea furniture. It's sturdy and I dread the day that the bed gets moved, it took several hours to assemble the bed. Aaron is very into video games and has a couple systems but he really had no where to put them so he improvised and got one of my unused bar stools and placed it near his tv so he could put the game system on it.

It bothered me, it felt unfinished and like I needed to find a solution so my bar stool wasn't in a bedroom when I would need it for my kitchen eventually. On a trip to Ikea in their lobby they had a display with an espresso brown shelf called the Laiva and it was only $19.99. I was pretty excited. My son can be rough on furniture so I don' like spending too much since there is a good chance he will break it, scratch it, or dent it. I thought the shelf would be perfect to hold his game systems, controllers, and remotes.

I think it took a total of 20 minutes to put the shelf together and anchor it to the wall. Very fast and easy. It was perfect to hold his gaming equipment!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Kitchen Remodel: New Dishwasher

When I bought my house, I knew that new appliances were in my future. The plus was they were black, I honestly wanted stainless steel, but black was much better than white appliances and I knew I could live with the dark appliances longer than the white.

I HAD to get a new washer and dryer first thing.  I lived for 4 months without a washer and dryer, so using my ex's and the laundry-mat got very old very fast. My plan was to replace the dishwasher first because it was a builder grade dishwasher and didn't really do a good job cleaning.

Unfortunately, the first appliance to break down was my microwave and getting it repaired was covered for $100 on my home warranty but because I knew I wanted stainless steel it wasn't worth $100 to fix it. I luckily was able to get a great Labor Day sale price and buy a new and installed microwave for just over $300.

Because of that I stuck with my dishwasher longer than anticipated, but it began malfunctioning this June, blowing the soap and food all over the inside of the dishwasher, needing 2-4 washes in the dishwasher to get it all cleaned. I started to hand wash instead and did that for 4 months.

I did buy a new dishwasher a few days after Labor Day at Lowe's while they still had their sale going. I got a Bosch dishwasher in stainless with installation for $735, and it came with a $125 rebate on the installation costs. It had to be ordered so it took almost a month to get it. Really I was ecstatic when it was installed, you don't realize how convenient a dishwasher is until you have to hand wash 1-4 times per day.

My broken dishwasher was very small inside so I had to do 2-3 loads to get all dishes cleaned and many times ended up hand washing to get dishes done faster. This dishwasher is very close to the one I had in my old house, it's so quiet and cleans so well and holds so many dishes! I liked the dishwasher at my old house and knew nothing was better than Bosch so I stick with the things that work best in my life.
Friday, November 10, 2017

Kitchen Remodel: Granite Countertops (Yay!)

It took me almost 1 year in my new house to get my kitchen about 80% complete. Many people walk in and don't see the unfinished projects like I do and for that I am thankful.  It's been about a year now since I have really done any new projects because projects are not free of cost and labor.

The last major project I worked on in my kitchen was installing new granite counters. Between the counters and my new flooring I spent $8-9,000. Ouch I know. But the granite makes me so happy every single day so it was money was well spent and it helps make my kitchen more functional.

The old counters were a dark brown builder grade laminate, I say they were ugly but they just weren't my taste. They were in great condition but so dark! The counter on the island just topped the island and had no over hang so the island wasn't very functional other than to hold junk!!

I knew with my house being darker, I needed a light bright kitchen, so I went with white cabinets/grey island with shiny chrome pulls. I needed a light color granite to continue brightening my space and making it look bigger. I also decided I wanted a chrome faucet to match my cabinet hardware.

I went to a local granite store expecting very high costs but as I shopped around the local shop was actually the cheapest and the closest to my house (so no travel charges!!). I went thru their warehouses and was drawn to 1 immediately but I kept an open mind and continued to keep my options open.  I went back to the same granite at least 4 times. Love at first sight and I knew it was just perfect for my kitchen. Granite comes in classes so in terms of price cheapest to most expensive, mine was in one of the lower classes so it was less expensive (yay!) and in a class that many granites you see in homes falls into. So mine is no better or worse than the average. The granite I chose is called River White.

The installer came to my house within hours of me paying the deposit and measured and within 2 weeks I had granite. I went in at the perfect time because their business was down, within 2 weeks they had a 2 month wait due to everyone wanting to upgrade before Christmas, whew what luck!

There was prep work required, disconnecting the plumbing, the disposal, and pulling out the old counters.  This girl got it all done herself! I lined up my good friend Michael to connect my plumbing once the sink and counters were in, and I was all set and ready for granite!

The guys came with my granite in the back of their truck and it took them less than an hour to get my granite installed. I have been in love with the granite from the day I first saw it!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Kitchen Remodel: Cabinet Hardware

If you have seen my other recent posts I have been focusing a lot on my kitchen. In seeing my posts you may have already seen my hardware peeking thru!

I went with winter white cabinets (Sherwin Williams Snowbound) and wanted something shiny in contrast.  My cabinet hardware needed to shine and yet be a simple design.  I looked in local big box stores and just didn't see much that stood out.

I ended up on and decided on simple round pulls for my cabinet doors, cup pulls for my drawers, and on my island drawers bar pulls because the drawers are wider and the island was painted grey for some contrast (Sherwin Williams Contemporary Grey). I chose a chrome finish on the hardware to get that shine I was looking for and to shy away from a dark hardware since my light fixtures are all oil rubbed bronze and black.

I paid $66.71 for 27 pieces, 2 of  them were $30 of the order, not bad!

Cup Pulls: Amerock BP5301026 Polished Chrome Allison Value Hardware 3 Inch Center to Center Cup Cabinet Pull $2.15 per piece
Island Bar Pulls: Atlas Homewares 352-CH Chrome Bronte 5 Inch Center to Center Bar Cabinet Pull $14.56 per piece

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Kitchen Remodel: Light Fixtures

Hi Friends! One thing about my house that I hated from moment #1 was the light fixtures. They were cheap builder grade fixtures that lacked personality.

In my kitchen are 3 fixtures one over my table, one over my island, and one over my kitchen sink. I had to find 3 of a similar finish and with personality that suits my taste.

The little white closet light over my sink was first to go! I found a cute fixture on that was about $44 (Jackson 1-Light Flush Mount by Globe Electric Company, no longer on the website but this one Paterson 1 light is pretty close if not identical and priced the same).  I had to buy the old fashioned bulb that they used in their stock photos. Love this one its super cute.

Next was my fixture over the table, this one was actually a nice satin nickel fixture, and its one I saw in a Martha Stewart ad so its really a nice fixture and I gave it to my sister because she wants satin nickel finishes. I chose the Benita Antique Black Metal Strap Globe Crystal Chandelier by The Lighting Store, I found it on  It was $155, but currently on sale for $144! This one was bear to hang and I had help. I love this fixture.

Last is my island light. This one was AWFUL! A long fluorescent tube light fixture with a white bubble cover that was broken on one corner and it was hung in the wrong direction. This one was a hot mess! I ordered the Donovan 5 Light Pendant fixture from Pottery Barn for $159 on sale and with coupons (Currently on sale for $179! normally $299). I took down the old light and found it was hung by 2 screws that were barely in the drywall, scary! Even though I took it down I had no directions for the new light fixture so it sat for 4 months while I fought with PB to get install directions (I never got them, frustrating!), finally I had an electrician at my house for something else and he offered to hang the fixture for $60, sold! This fixture, Oh where do I begin, its a love affair and worth the 4 months of not having a kitchen light.

My theme is I love all my fixtures.  The only thing I need to do is add a dimmer because my new lights are very bright and so I can get freaky with my lighting schemes, hahaha...