Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Beer Tap Chalkboard Sign

I’m working on finishing up some lingering projects, especially in the basement, so that I can take some completed room photos.  One of the projects that has been on my mind for several months has been a tap sign for the keezer (a keg/freezer for those who don’t speak homebrew). 

Keezer

For awhile we’ve been labeling each tap by using a dry erase marker to write directly on the freezer.  But, I’ve always thought a sign would look cooler. 

There’s only a small space available above the freezer, so my dimensions were determined pretty quickly.  Also, there are a lot of light colors going on over here, so I wanted to tie in the black tap collar (the black piece that was built to mount the taps), by using a chalkboard.  The only problem was I wanted something Mike could change as new beers were added, but the depth of the freezer meant a mounted chalkboard was impractical.

That’s when I thought of a chalkboard (with a cool semi-permanent design), with removable mini-signs that could change easily as each keg was finished and different beer was added.

I drew a basic design with dimensions, and Mike built the base of the chalkboard out of plywood, a frame out of reclaimed wood, and thin mini signs out of some cedar he had stock-piled.  We used little brass hooks that I purchased for a different project and Mike drilled holes in the small signs for them to hang.

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign

I painted the plywood and mini signs with 3 coats of chalkboard paint, and used 2 coats of shellac on the frame.  I made sure to condition my chalkboards before using a projector, with a design I created in Photoshop, to draw the design in chalk ink pens.     

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign-3 

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign-4

Beer-Taps

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign-1

The little signs can be easily reached and removed to erase and label as new beers are exchanged.

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign-5

It’s not noticeable when you first walk around, which is nice because the first reaction, mostly from the guys, is awe that there’s a keezer full of beer on tap, so it takes a moment for them to notice anything else ;) 

Recessed-Keezer

Instead of looking like a freezer stuffed in an alcove, I’d like to think the sign makes it look like a deliberate “beer cave”.

Beer-Tap-Chalkboard-Sign-2

On a side note, I recently had a realtor friend of a friend, walk through and give her opinion on our house value now that we’ve completed all of our large renovations.  I asked her if this set-up would help or hinder our house when we sell in the future (potential buyers won’t always have the same interests and some will be turned off by spaces that are used for very specific purposes), and she said it was definitely help, and it would be something that sets us apart by being a memorable feature! Ha!

Also, she said if we were listing now, she gave a listing price 59% higher than what we bought it for 5 years ago.  We bought at the right time, but I’m glad to see we’ll hopefully see a good return on the things we upgraded, especially since we remodeled with ourselves in mind, not exactly thinking only about potential buyers in the future!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Porch | Reveal

When I showed the painted foundation I never did a full pulled-back shot of the porch.  Since I use this blog as much as a platform to share our projects as I do a reference for us to look back on, I wanted to wrap this project up, officially. 

This is probably the first project that doesn’t look that much different from the before, but the progress photos show all the good stuff.  We started with the existing porch, with carpeted stairs, and a concrete slab that dead-ended into the grass.

CIMG0226

We got to work removing and saving the siding, demoing the stairs, and tearing off the old wooden siding.

Porch-Demo

Porch-Demo-2

We then had to step back to re-evaluate the project after we found extensive termite damage.

Porch-Demo-Day-2

Poruch-Demo-Day-2-From-Street

After some discussion, we decided to keep the porch and rebuild it with extra support.  Also adding better materials to prevent termite damage in the future.

Porch-Progress-2

Porch-Progress-Day-7

We poured a new walkway.

Walkway-Outline

Walkway-Formed

Walkway

And, got new stairs.

Precast-Stairs

We wrapped the porch with Tyvek and PVC trim, and added faux stone panels to create a faux foundation and columns, creating an architectural detail and better curb appeal.  Then added the saved siding back on.

Porch Wrapped in Tyvek

Exteria Creek Ledge Stone Install

Porch Siding and Faux Stone Panels 1

Porch Siding and Faux Stone Panels 2

Finally, I painted the foundation (technically, only half of it) with a paint color matched to the faux stone for better continuity.

Foundation After with Porch

Even though we still have to fill in some of the garden beds, we’re calling this baby done!

Porch-Complete

Porch-Complete-1

I hope to get the other foundation wall painted before the weather turns.

Porch-Complete-3

Like I said at the beginning, the before and after aren’t mind blowing or anything, I mean we literally transplanted the same plants back into place, but all the work underneath is impressive and we can definitely tell the new supports when we walk around on the porch.

The before/after back to back:

CIMG0226

Exterior-After

We recently added up all the receipts from this project, as well as all the new landscaping (new beds, mulch, rocks) and our total was $2,700.  We had estimated that a new porch would be close to $5,000, so we went in to this project fearing the worse.  We feel really good about the upgraded curb appeal, as well as making the foundation secure and preventing future damage.  We’re also impressed we were able to clean up the rest of the yard in that number too!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Food Container to Planter

I thought I’d share the secret of my latest planter.

Danks Honey Kitchen 026

It’s actually a food canister from Target!  Specifically, this one.  It came with a wood top, which I have stored just in case I kill the plant and want to use it as a canister again (which if you ask Mike is only a matter of time since I have the worst black thumb).

Since this isn’t made for plants and I didn’t want to permanently change it by drilling drainage holes, I simply added some rocks to the bottom (about 2-3”) and added soil on top with my plant. 

I was actually looking for a concrete planter but came up with nothing.  I saw these containers while I was wondering through Target one day. 

Target-Canisters

It started when I got this bowl from Anthropologie and then saw this set-up on Pinterest:

Screen-Shot-2011-11-03-at-2.40.24-PMvia

I never liked how my old dining table was styled and this looked fresh and simple.  You can see on top of the cabinet I loved the blue bowl so much I bought 2 (one was on sale Mike, I swear!) 

Danks Honey Kitchen 020

I thought of the canister again when I wanted to change up the one we used for Benelli’s cat food.  We set it on the step stool next to the fridge so it needed to be cute enough to sit out.

Danks Honey Kitchen 017

The top is very tight and it’s a little awkward to get on and off twice a day, so I ran back to Anthropologie and got this leather/bone pull

Anthro Sadler Pull

Cat Food Container

Mike cut a recess on the bottom of the lid and cut the screw (which is ridiculously long), so that the hardware didn’t touch the food every time it was closed.

Lid Closeup

For around $25 I got the concrete-planter-look I was after, plus a stylish container for the cat food!

Cat Food Containter and Plant Holder

Cat Food Containter and Plant Holder 1

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Danks & Honey on House*Tweaking

Last month Dana, from House*Tweaking contacted me about sharing our kitchen renovation as part of her on-going Ikea kitchen series.  After I did a silent scream at my desk at the fact that someone on Dana’s level found my kitchen inspirational and something that would interest her readers, I sent over some before and after photos along with answers to her questionnaire about our experience with Ikea cabinets and kitchen items. 

Danks Honey Kitchen 004

The post went live this morning and it’s surreal to see our kitchen on her page!  Since we updated the dining table and chairs, I took new photos, so if you want to see what our space looks like now, go check out the post!  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dining Table Upgrade

Months ago I talked about our new dining table purchase/assembly and I never shared “after” photos or any photos of the new chairs.

IMG_5813

We were able to fit five chairs comfortably, I realized that on both sides of our families, there are usually gatherings of five or less, so this worked perfectly! 

Danks Honey Kitchen 019

The round table fits the space better than the rectangle table, and it’s easier to get in to the liquor cabinet.

Dining-Room-Reveal

The chairs are really comfortable and the plastic isn’t too rigid and allows some bend when you lean.  We haven’t had to break out the table leaf for larger gatherings yet, but I’m excited that we’re able to add more table room!

Danks Honey Kitchen 020

We haven’t worried about the ridges in the table top yet, but we rarely use the table, opting to use the peninsula seating for most informal meals instead.  I also bought a cheap table cloth for when my parents came into town and used that so we didn’t have to baby it the whole time.  So, I may use that until we feel like tackling filling in the grooves somehow.

Danks Honey Kitchen 026

I’ve got to style the top of the liquor cabinet better, but overall, I think this table and chairs makes this room officially done!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Better Than a Rug Pad

When I purchased the new rug for the bathroom it barely fit.  I mean, there was less than a half an inch movement allowed before it touched something, so we needed something to keep it from hitting anything and folding up at the corners.

Bathroom Refresh Rug Placement

The other issue was, the door (which Mike retrofitted), had a hard time swinging over it.  Mike has said he could sand down the bottom of the door (only because he loves me, why else would he create more work for himself over a rug he doesn’t even like!?), but the rug only covers half of the door, so I didn’t want to sand down too much and create a big gap under the door. 

All this to say that a rug pad was not an option.

We were out on a friend’s boat when he was talking about the mats on the boat that he sprayed to make it stick better.  I googled it when we got home and found Rug Lock.

Rug Lock

I secretly love those infomercial videos so I watched it in awe!  I’m not sure if it’s the same stuff our friend bought, but it seemed like it did the same thing so I bought the 16 oz.  At around $40 with shipping it’s a little pricey, but that was the same cost as one nice rug pad, so I figured if it worked for at least one rug I was okay. 

There’s a couple rugs around the house that take both Mike and I to vacuum.  It’s pretty comical, we’ll give each other a look, and the one not vacuuming will know to hop on the rub and we spread our legs and use our toes to hold the corners while the other does the same and vacuums.  We do this around the house until they’re all done.

So, I had a list of the most important rugs to spray and last weekend I was able to set up sheets in the yard and sprayed the backs.  I did use painter’s tape to tape along the edges, so that I didn’t get overspray underneath.  Mike came home and yelled at me for all the sheets on the grass (how was I supposed to know that could potentially kill the lawn!) so we moved them to the deck to continue drying for the rest of the suggested 4 hours.

Rug Lock Drying

Rug Lock on Rug Pad

I was able to do 4 rugs with the 16 oz can, totaling about 47 square feet.  The website says it can do up to 50 square feet, so I was perfect. 

The second photo is actually a rug pad.  I bought a padded rug pad for the kitchen rug, and while the rug never shifted on the felt backing the rubber backing would move all over the kitchen.  Most specifically into the cabinet corner.  We were constantly pulling the rug and rug pad back into position, which was even more of a hassle because the rubber would then decide to stick to the tile and work against us.  I loved the added padding while I washed the dishes, so I decided to spray the back of the pad in hopes that it would stick for good, and it worked, it hasn’t moved an inch!

Ikea-Kitchen-Renovation-Reveal-19

All the rugs I sprayed haven’t moved, and even passed the vacuum test!  I pulled the rug back in the bathroom and there was a little residue that stuck to the floor, but like the website said I was able to rub it off the floor and didn’t leave any damage!

We’re definitely stuck (see what I did there!) on Rug Lock and will be using them instead of those cheap-y rubber pads, and even the expensive rug pads.  It takes a little more time to spray and wait to dry, but it’s been so worth it for us.