Before & After

White + Wood Chest

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

It’s a habit that can never be broken, and that is my constant need to visit to thrift stores in search of cool pieces.  Four out of five times I walk away empty handed after seeing a lot of junk, but last week was a gold mine at my local St. Vincent de Paul.  On the floor were no less than five pieces I would have loved to buy, including a beautiful French buffet plus a few fab armoires.  At one point, I heard two college girls discussing a six drawer dresser and they said “We can prime and paint this, I saw it on a blog” which made me feel proud of us DIY bloggers!  I departed with my favorite find, a fab little mid century style chest, and since it was 50% off day, it cost me $20 bucks.

I thought this little chest of drawers would be absolute perfection for my hub’s office – for storing extra office supplies.  Matt has his own small real estate office and all of the furniture is dark wood, but he’s a dude and he likes it that way so I don’t mess with that preference.  But I couldn’t pass up this perfectly sized piece that screamed “make me wonderful” so I brought it home and gave it a facelift.

He used to give me the hand pinching the top of the nose plus creased forehead combo when I brought beat up stuff home years ago – but no more.  I snuck this revamped piece into his office while he was out on an inspection and then got an email three hours later when he returned that read “LOVE it.”   Mission totally accomplished.

I’m a big big fan of the wood + white combo (hello, these tables and these shelves) so again I’m up to my old tricks.  I was inspired by this mod Austin Dresser by DucDuc and all the wood/white combinations – check out the reverse too!  The real wood drawers on this particular piece were just too amazing to cover up, but the laminate faux wood grain top?  Um, no.  Goodbye and good riddance.

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IKEA Shelving, Modified

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Progress continues on the playroom to study transformation – I’m trying to get it all done before the kids go back to school in late August.  One of the major changes I wanted to make was to have a wall of shelving that would contain books, art supplies, games, and a modern TV for the kids to view videos on occasion.

You may recall the laminate entertainment center that used to sit in the space – a fabulous piece but always a little bulky.  It jutted out into the room, but that was necessary to hold my old college television and my kids would watch their VHS movies on it.  We decided to donate that piece of furniture to the Alma Project family room so I went in search of some new shelving for this space.

I wanted to something streamlined, modern, narrow, but wide too and I most definitely did not want to spend a fortune.  Enter the IKEA VITTSJÖ shelving unit, $70 bucks each!  It comes in black metal with glass shelves, but I wanted to transform it to suit our home, so I painted it white and substituted dark wood shelves for glass – here it is.

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The unit when assembled looks like this.

vittsjo

But I thought white with wood shelving would be better fit for our home. These transformed inexpensive shelves are now perfect for this space !

ikea shelves side view cg

 

 

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Alma Project: Kitchen Remodel!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Greetings all, doesn’t it feel so strange that the Fourth of July is on a Wednesday?  It’s totally throwing me off but I’m happy for the day off tomorrow.  Well as I’ve been hinting at for days, we are really proud to have finished the kitchen at our Alma Project just in time for four new families to move in.

If you’re unfamiliar with this project, you can read the details and the motivation behind it here, but basically we adopt a house every year with our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we take time every few months to upgrade the spaces (playroom completed in April).  This home is shared by women with children who are making the transition from homelessness to success stories through counseling, job training, and abstinence from substance abuse.  This four bedroom home currently houses 9 people, including 4 mothers and their 5 children, each family shares one of the four bedrooms.

The kitchen was a total disaster when we started and we had limited funds and only six weeks to make the necessary changes before the new families moved in.  Thankfully,  several of you donated to the project and we were able to raise $1,550 from your donations (thank you donors, see list below) but that wasn’t nearly enough to get us where we needed to go.  So I struggled with what to do, and thankfully others stepped up to take this to the finish line.

First was Home Depot.  I’ve got to give them so much credit for this transformation, I wrote to them and asked them to donate cabinets to replace just the center island and they generously agreed.  Then when they sent their kitchen designer and cabinet supplier to the site we told them the story of the purpose of the house.  They looked around and they decided to do an amazing thing.  Home Depot decided that just the island wasn’t enough, they were going to donate all, yes ALL NEW kitchen cabinets.  I can’t explain how amazing it was to get that email.  ALL NEW CABINETS?   Wow, we’re talking several thousand dollars in cabinets donated for this cause!  THANK YOU HOME DEPOT!!

Thanks to Kelly and Nicole from Home Depot corporate, Christine, our local kitchen designer, and Keith, Craig and John our local cabinet supplies who all came together to replace all the cabinets for the entire space.  COTS was also able to allocate $1,700 to the project so with the donations by several of you, Home Depot, and COTS we were able to complete this full kitchen remodel for just over $3,600.  Without any help it would have cost us $9,000 in just materials (not including any labor).

Here’s the full tour and the story to go with it!

alma house kitchen tour

 

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