Creating an Organized and Functional Garage

Over the last few years, BJ has developed a grand plan for organizing our garage and recently he put his plan into action.

One of BJ’s hobbies is working on cars. Since BJ enjoys doing his own car maintenance, we store needed parts, tools and car-washing products to keep our cars looking and driving like new.

We also use our garage to store our outdoor lawn and garden equipment as well as all of our home improvement tools like paint, paint brushes, etc.

Another requirement of our garage storage solution is that it allows enough room to park our cars inside and space to maneuver around when BJ pulls a car in to work on.

I’ve always admired pictures of organized garages, but with all of our stuff, I wasn’t sure we could ever get to something like this:

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BJ proved me wrong after he started hanging the first set of shelves. Our garage already looks clean and organized and there’s plenty of room to get cars in and maneuver around.

Before I briefly explain the process we used to hang these shelves, I must caution that this project is not for one person to complete alone. It really requires two to three (preferably strong) people. Also use extra care when lifting things above your head. BJ enlisted the help of my brother and dad while they were in town visiting for the 4th of July.

The shelves we used are from Ikea and we picked up the 2x4s and 2x6s from our local home improvement store. First, BJ assembled the Ikea shelves as they are seen below in the photo, but then we unloaded them and BJ cut the tall boards in half and assembled two shelves tall by several shelves across. On the back wall of our garage, he made the shelves one shelf tall.

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First, BJ assembled the shelves for the wall on the left side of the garage.

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After the shelves were assembled, BJ bolted a 2×4 to the wall for the shelves to rest on and another 2×4 to the ceiling to hang the shelves and help support the weight. Next, we lifted the shelves section by section while BJ screwed the bolts into the 2×4 mounted to the ceiling. Once all the shelves were bolted in and we loaded our stuff back in, they looked like this:

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BJ also added a few extra shelves all the way to the floor to store items we use often like lawn and garden tools and heavier items like our saw and air compressor.

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On the back wall, BJ mounted three 2x6s to use as shelves for his car wash products, car oil, and filters. He also made a shelf for his laptop so he can look up questions and car parts while he working.

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Underneath of the double shelves, BJ added of different hooks for lawn equipment, brooms, supplies and our bikes.

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Here is our progress to date:

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We have two sets of shelves up, but are not quite finished with this project. The next step is to add more shelves on the right side of the garage. Once, those are complete, we may have more room to store the holiday decorations that are currently overtaking the spare bedroom closet.

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After all the shelves are installed, we have plans to finish the floor so that it looks something like this:

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A lofty transformation

A few months ago, our loft looked like this: There was no furniture, just an end table, a few old video game systems, insulated purple curtains I found on sale at Target , and board games. This room needed serious help.

For two years I pondered all of the possibilities of our loft. After much discussion and various ideas of how to use this space, BJ and I settled on a movie/game room tastefully decorated in the colors, photographs and memorabilia of our alma mater.

This Fall, we started taking baby steps toward our functional movie/game room by adding two blue Poang chairs from Ikea.

Next, we added two maize yellow patterned toss pillow covers from Etsy. I found two 18 x 18 pillow inserts for our covers at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Two 18 x 18 Pillow Covers: Yellow and White Chevron Zig Zag & Gotcha Lattice

After the chairs and pillows, we added new curtains. I had my eye on a pair of curtains from West Elm but wanted to see them in person before purchasing.

After browsing the curtains options at West Elm, BJ and I agreed the curtains shown above were still our number one choice. We chose these curtains because we wanted something with a bold pattern and neutral color palette. These curtains also complement our chairs well.

It’s amazing how just a few small changes can make a big difference. By adding chairs, toss pillows and curtains, we’ve completely changed the look of this room. We also changed out the previous end table with two Ikea Lack tables we already owned. And lastly, my bike and bike trainer will spend the winter in the loft so I can work out.

Here’s another look at the before and after.

Before:


After:

The next stage of our loft transformation is to add a storage/entertainment center. We’re thinking it might look something like this one below that we found at Ikea:

Once it’s all done, the loft will be a place that we can hang out in the evenings and when our families come to visit, they can relax in this room as well. It’s turning out to be a nice little retreat at the top of the stairs where you can ride a bike, watch a movie, play video games or curl up with a good book.

Showing Our Home Some More Love

As promised, here are our fabulous Ikea finds from last weekend.

Along with the coffee table for the living room, we also brought home a pair of Poang chairs for the loft. The loft is a good example of the “design and use a room for how you live” lesson I learned during the YHL panel session. For months, BJ and I talked about all the possibilities for the loft. After many discussions about how we could use the room, we realized it would often be just the two of us (and Zoey, of course) spending time in the loft. Why worry about seating multiple people? We have plenty of entertaining space downstairs in the living room. Instead of an entertaining space, the loft will be a place for us to relax outside of our master bedroom. Even when family and friends come and stay with us, they can use this space to read or relax.

To kick off the loft transformation, we bought two Poang chairs with black brown frames and blue cushions.

Originally, my design plan for the loft was to hang yellow chevron curtains and make yellow chevron pillows for the chairs. After I searched the Internet for yellow chevron curtains, I couldn’t justify the price. Even to buy the fabric and make the panels and pillows myself seemed too pricey. I decided to reconsider my idea and instead I found some reasonably priced yellow chevron and gotcha lattice patterned pillows on Etsy and curtains from West Elm.

Two 18 x 18 Pillow Covers: Yellow and White Chevron Zig Zag & Gotcha Lattice

Okay, I digress…

Back to the Ikea finds. An exciting new addition to our bedroom are our his and hers cube bookshelves. Can you guess which one is which? 🙂

Those are our latest Ikea finds. As we continue showing our home some love for the upcoming reappraisal, we are slowly crossing items off our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.”

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

The Poang chairs were a huge upgrade to the loft, and as for the appraisal to do list, we can cross off number 2. We are still going to add some more touches to this room including the curtains, pillows and an entertainment center. But for now, we can call this one done.

We are diligently working on the rest of the list and are hoping to finish by Tuesday of next week. Fingers crossed that we get it all done in time.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Showing Our Home Some Love

Yesterday, we went to the first stop on the book tour for Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love and attended the panel session for their new book, Young House Love, 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love. We also had the very awesome, yet very brief, opportunity to meet them when they signed our copy of the book. BJ scored the award for most awesome amazing husband when he left the panel session to snag a place in line so we could get a (very limited) copy of the book. Best husband ever!

Here is our copy:

And… confession… I was super dorky and nervous when I met Sherry and John. I was so excited to tell them that they inspired me to write this blog and how I really enjoyed their blog and projects. I kinda got a little shaky and instead of calmly signing BJ and my name in their book, I think it probably looked more like scribbles. But with all the dorky, nervousness aside, I was super-inspired when we left the book show and I was so glad we went to hear them speak and got a chance to meet them and get a copy of their book.

So what’s makes a book signing with your favorite home improvement and DIY bloggers complete? A trip to Ikea, of course. We left the book signing with me super inspired and recapping the entire presentation for BJ (We tried FaceTime while he was in line, but it didn’t work. Boo.) The great part about all the things that John and Sherry mentioned in their panel session is that we are actually in the process of trying to show our house some love for an upcoming reappraisal. With financing rates as low as they are, we are hoping to take advantage and get a new lower rate on our loan. Part of the process is to have the house reappraised since we are on the edge of a few financing rates.

Sherry and John’s advice during the session was invaluable and some of it I definitely needed to hear… such as “design and use your house for how you live.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting your house to look a certain way because it’s what you think other people will like, but you should design your home for how you live. You’re the ones that live there every day and call your house your home, right?

So with a reappraisal on the horizon and me still inspired from the panel session, here is our “Show Your House Some Love for the Reappraisal To Do List.” Or at least that what I’m calling it.

1. Weed the garden and replant the potted mums

In September, I planted mums in our new pots out front and they looked great until the frost came in and killed them. They looked so pretty after they were planted. It was a bummer they didn’t stand up to the cold temperatures. I tried covering the pots with blankets on the nights they called for frost but it didn’t keep the cold from getting to them.

Today I went back over to Home Depot and picked up some new mums to replace the brown ones on our front porch.

2. Spruce up the loft so it looks like we use the space

Our loft is one of those challenging spaces that were not really sure what do with. But after listening to the Young House Love presentation, we decided to use the room for how we live. Here is the loft in its current state:

My master plan is to use our college alma mater’s colors in a tasteful way. While we were Ikea this weekend, we picked out some Poang chairs with blue cushions and I’m now on the search for some yellow-gold chevron fabric so I can make curtains and pillows We are also going to hang some photos of the stadium and campus. The idea is to make this space a movie/game area inspired by our college. But it has to be tasteful. We’re not about to plaster our school’s logo on the wall with a ginormous vinyl graphic and call it done.

While we were at Ikea, we also found our future loft entertainment/storage center:

3. Organize and clean the spare bedroom and BJ’s office

I haven’t talked much about our spare bedroom or BJ’s office because they weren’t much to talk about. After we moved in to our our house, the spare bedroom and BJ’s office quickly became the two rooms that we stuffed everything into and then ran out and shut the door behind us. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

This weekend, we conducted a major overhaul of the spare bedroom and BJ’s office so they are presentable, usable rooms in time for the reappraisal. And we want to finally use those spaces for the way we live instead of just stuffing them full of items we don’t want to deal with.

4. Finish the crown moulding and baseboard projects

Last year, we started putting up crown moulding in the living room and kitchen and here is where we left off:

We also ripped out the trim in the dining room when we tiled the floor last year and we haven’t had enough time to replace what we tore out.

The remaining crown moulding and baseboard are now purchased and ready to sand, paint and install.

That’s our list! This week we are going to jump in and try get the list accomplished before we have the house reappraised. It’s time to show our home some love. Wish us luck because it could get crazy around here!

Picture Perfect

So what have BJ and I been up to lately? Quite a lot actually.

First, we added some new furniture to our master bedroom.

Then we finally started adding pictures on the wall of our upstairs hallway.

I also bought a few more frames to add more photos to the walls of the upstairs hallway and continue into the loft. BJ and I also started planning out how we would like to design the space in the loft. Right now, it is a mix of furniture and not really usable. We have a projector that we would like to use for movies and we are thinking about turning the loft into a movie/game room. We both went to the same University, so we would like to incorporate our alma mater into the theme in a classy way.

Here’s where we stand now, it’s pretty empty. Just a few piece of furniture and no seating.

One of the challenges of this room is that it is the first thing you see when you come up the stairs. We’ve gone back and forth on the design of the loft. We’ve talked about putting a sectional couch and adding some bookshelves, and we’ve also discussed just putting some  chairs from Ikea with the ottomans and making it more of a place to relax and kick back. If we go with the Poang chairs, then we plan to add a few side tables and skip the coffee table. 

There are many options to choose from and I’m sure we will find something perfect for our space. In the meantime, we’re enjoying coming up with some over the top ideas and then of course, ruling those out. But if money were no object, we would have a pretty cool looking loft already! 🙂

The Coffee Table Quick Fix

If you remember from my post two weeks ago, the search was on for our next coffee table. Since that post, I thought I found the perfect coffee table at Ikea but when we went to pick it up, they were out of stock… wah wah.

The table I found was the Hermes white coffee table. What I love about this table is that it is solid pine, has a bottom shelf, it’s square and it’s white! Perfect!

After checking a few times since last weekend, it’s still out of stock ::sad face:: So in the meantime, BJ and I have been shopping around and looking at our options until either, Ikea gets this table back in stock, or we find something better.

Until we buy our new coffee table, I decided that we needed an interim solution to solve the problem of walking around the couch. While I was cleaning this weekend, I came across two side tables we bought over a year ago to hold various items in our bedroom and my office. I borrowed the side tables from their current homes and moved them into the living room to their new temporary home.

Here is my quick fix our coffee table conundrum:

The side tables are a little higher and they allow you to walk around the couch without stepping over them. Now if only they weren’t so dark. They would be perfect if they were white… and solid pine 🙂

Here’s to One Year

One year ago today, I started Frame By Frame Style. Not only has this blog brought me joy, it’s a great way to update our friends and family on our home improvement endeavors. I also hope it has given some of our readers a few tips, tricks and a little inspiration along the way.

In honor of Frame By Frame Style’s first year, here is a look back at five of my favorite projects from this past year:

1. The Railing Stain Project

We actually did this project almost a year before we started this blog, but it really transformed the look of our home’s interior.

2. The Wall One Year in the Making

The infamous blue paint chip that lived on our wall for a year finally turned into one large blue wall. It’s made all the difference when you walk into our house. All of our accent walls are painted on the rooms that face our front door. When you walk in you see bright colors throughout the house. It’s like a crayon box, but better.


3. The Kitchen Island

We literally went from very little usable kitchen counter space, to plenty of room for friends and family to gather and hang out and even help us make a meal. It was a fun adventure to bring this island home in pieces from Ikea and then to assemble it all was a lot of work. The results were so worth it.

4. The Tile Floor

It took several months to finish our floor and the baseboard is still a work in progress, but the look and feel of the room is so different. I love the way the slate looks. And I’m proud to say that I laid many of the tiles in this room. It was my first go at tiling a floor. Not too shabby.

5. The Tree Towel Rack

The towel rack in our guest bathroom is probably my favorite project that we did this year. It turned out exactly as I envisioned and it was so easy! I love when people come over and it see it. It it so fun. I smile every time I see this tree.

It’s been a very busy, but enjoyable year working on projects and sharing our progress. I’m looking forward to more projects and another year of writing posts about our home improvement adventures.

Have a great weekend!