I’m still working on getting redirects set up so you’ll probably want to update any bookmarks you have and if you follow me on Bloglovin’ you’ll want to update that too otherwise you won’t see new posts.
That’s all I got for today. If you notice any funky happenings, please let me know, but fingers crossed that won’t happen.
Some of these were more recent than other, but none really deserved their own post. Every house has it’s small projects that make a difference though.
Our butler pantry had a pretty hideous light fixture–really just a basic socket and pull chain (like you’d find in an unfinished basement) with an ugly little clip-on shade. So sad. The problem here though was that we were super limited in our choices. There was no switch so we had to have a pull chain, and the trim around the weird built-in shells left us only about 6″ of space to work with.
We ended up finding a super-cheap Jelly Jar light at Menards along with a pull-chain kit. For about $10 total we figured it would be worth a try even if we royally effed it up.
Still not amazing, but probably the best we can do with the limitations unless we haul in an electrician (which, honestly, I really would like to do).
The hardest part of converting a standard light to a pull-chain is drilling the hole for the pull-chain mechanism itself to go through. I would suggest trying to make a pilot hole of sorts by pounding a nail through the area first, then you can probably drill through. Matt tried using our Dremel and admitted it was not one of the smartest things he has ever done.
Micro-bath Mini Makeover
Our half-bath wasn’t in awful shape, but it still needed a little lovin’. I don’t have a proper before picture, so here we’ve already swapped out the existing faucet for this adorable ceramic-handled one switched out the mirror for something with a little more style.
We also replaced yet another sad little light fixture.
I’m actually still on the hunt for a better fixture here, but at $25 I don’t feel too bad about swapping this one out again down the line. The micro-bath is going to get a more significant makeover in the near-ish future so I’ll probably be deciding on a more permanent replacement then.
Our house is in desperate need of some curb appeal, no question there, but a lot of that will be slowly worked in over the years. A more pressing matter however, is that our front steps lacked a railing. This can be a sore spot for insurance companies, but it was also a practical issue for us. Our parents are getting older, winters are icey, and I have a nasty habit of random injuries* so having a railing on our front steps seemed like a really good idea.
We picked up a fairly inexpensive railing at Menards since we’re planning on completely replacing the front steps completely in the next couple years. It took a few hours to align and assemble and then another day to paint (Rustoleum Hammered Old Bronze). It actually looks better than I expected!
Please ignore our ghetto drainage solution–we get huge amounts of water pooling there when it rains and until recently it’s been too cold to start properly re-grading that area.
We’ve been steadily switching out all the switches and outlets in the house for the “decorator” style ones. We needed to switch out all the beige for white anyway (at least by my personal definition of “need”) so I opted for the fancy ones. Regardless of which style you go with though, replacing grody old switches/outlets can really make a big difference.
*Spraining your foot when you live on the 3rd floor with no elevator is not pleasant.
One of my favorite things about living in St Paul is that we’re about 20 minutes away from IKEA. The good news for anyone who doesn’t live close to an IKEA is that they’ve started offering a lot more of their furniture for purchase online.
IKEA has some great basic pieces, but sometimes they need a little extra oomf so your house doesn’t end up looking like an IKEA catalog.
Young House Love turned an Expedit (now Kallax) into a stylish changing station for their baby, but this same look would make a great credenza or TV stand too.
Card Catalog style drawers + secretary desk? I can hardly think of a better upgrade for a TARVA dresser.
If paint is more your skill level it can still make a huge difference and transform a simple shelf into something a little more glam. A VITTSJO unit was used here, but you could also ramp up a $15 HYLLIS too!
The RAST dresser is one of the most hacked IKEA pieces I’ve seen (I’ve hacked it myself too!). I love how it’s been turned into a fabulous little nightstand here.
Another simple paint upgrade, this time with a SNILLE chair.
I think these built in BILLY bookcases are one of the most divine things ever! And the addition of a library ladder? To DIE for!
Need some extra storage for the kitchen? This island looks fancy, but is really a pretty simple hack, needing just some paint and a new top. This one used a BEKVAM kitchen cart, but if you want a little extra storage you could use a FORHOJA too.