The Space Between

In our home, the kitchen and living are open to each other. You can stand in the kitchen and see into the living room and vice-versa. The open space great for entertaining, especially for get-togethers focused around sporting events. You can stand in the kitchen enjoying a few delicious treats and still see into the living room to watch the game. It’s a win-win!

A few years ago, we painted the wall that connects the kitchen and living room. But there was a blank space still left between the two rooms. Here is a photo taken right after we painted the wall in between the two rooms. (Check out that crazy couch. 🙂 )

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Earlier this year, we added a functional organizing area between the kitchen and living room to connect the two spaces.

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BJ and I looked at several options for this space before finally deciding on this Ikea Hemnes sofa table. Here are a few of the tables and benches we considered.

 

 

 

Threshold™ X Console Table Threshold™ Fretwork Console Table

Threshold™ Storage Bench with Slatted Doors Unfortunately, with these tables and benches we encountered two deal breakers. First, the tables and benches weren’t wide enough for the space and second, they didn’t offer enough storage. Our goal for this space is to connect the two rooms and still be functional.

We chose the Ikea sofa table because it met our criteria for the space and it also looks great with our Ikea Hemnes coffee table, and our kitchen island. The white really stands out against the blue wall and dark cherry kitchen floor.

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To make our sofa table more functional, I added these large chalkboard crates from Target. We’ve divided the crates into my mail, BJ’s mail, coupons and take out menus. These are items that we traditionally store in the kitchen, or that we inevitably pile up on the kitchen island making it unusable. With the large milk crates, we can store all of our mail, menus and coupons so they are easy to find and tucked out of the way of our daily kitchen use. If you are looking for a DIY alternative to these crates, you could find old milks crates and paint them with chalkboard paint. We decided to go with the option at Target because they were exactly what we were looking for.

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On the top shelves, I added some of our colorful coffee table books, and added a tray on each end for BJ and I to store little odds and ends.

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Our mail bins even have their own bouncer. Don’t mess with Zoey.

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Now this is a fully functional and fun space for us to enjoy. What area of your house to could benefit most from a functional space like this one?

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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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Craft/Project Room Madness

I’ll admit that I created chaos in our craft/project room. My grand plan was to organize this room as I put away our Christmas decorations. And then it rolled around to the end of March and instead, the Christmas decorations were strung all over this room. Yikes!

Time for an intervention.


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As with any room that becomes a catch-all, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed about diving in to organize the madness.
Last weekend, I finally broke down and started cleaning and throwing things away.
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It took a few hours, but after I was finished, all that remained in the middle of the floor were a few empty boxes and a bag of trash. (Insert sigh of relief)
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I still need to do a little more work to organize this closet, but it is better than I found it Saturday morning. I sorted and put away all of Christmas decorations and then I went one step further and sorted and put away our other seasonal decorations. The Halloween decorations are now stored in their own plastic bin. Our vases and vase filler were also organized in to their own bin. It no longer feels overwhelming to enter this room to look for something.

Mission accomplished.
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How do you tame an out of control room? Do you dive in and don’t emerge until it’s clean or do you manage the madness little by little?

Punxsutawney Phil: an early spring… cleaning?

On Saturday, our dear groundhog friend, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow which means an early spring. I’m not sure if Phil is right, but once February comes, it’s easy to start looking forward to spring and summer. To prepare for the change in seasons, I started working on my spring cleaning projects.

My first project focused on our closet under the stairs. This closet was full of boxes, unused appliances, drinks, reusable bags, stacks of paper towels and paper products.

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After digging out our unused appliances and hauling them off to Goodwill, I threw away the unneeded boxes and organized the remaining drinks, paper products and miscellaneous items. Once I was finished, the closet looked like this:

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This closet is just the first on my list to tackle over the next few months. Next is our spare bedroom closet. Right now, the spare bedroom closet, which is full of seasonal decorations and craft supplies is spilling out into the bedroom. It’s time to get the spillage under control.

But before we jump into the next spring cleaning project, BJ and I are taking some time to enjoy Valentine’s Day next week. Are you planning anything special or just spending an evening out with friends?

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Resolutions

Since we’re already over a week into the new year, I thought it would be good time to share my New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, BJ and are planning to take a step back from going, going, going and focus a little more time on ourselves as well as the smaller projects that have been on the back burner for some time.

So here is my list of 2013 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Develop a weekly routine for BJ and myself.

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BJ and I struggle with trying to get on a schedule each week. We are hoping that if we develop a consistent weekly routine, we can get a grasp on our morning and evening schedules and that will help us get more sleep, which we desperately need.

2. Develop a weekly meal plan.

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This is another “routine” that BJ and I struggle with, as I’m sure many couples do. You get home each night and think “what’s for dinner?” Then, if you can’t decide, you go get fast food, order a pizza, or go out to eat. BJ and I constantly fall into the “I’m hungry now so let’s do something easy” trap.

Instead of worrying about dinner each night, we are going to plan out our meals on Sunday morning so we can make sure we have all the ingredients we need. If we are missing any ingredients we will add them to our grocery list for the week.

A sub set to this resolution is that we are going to try to buy less junk food. If we have our meals already planned out for the week, we will be less likely to eat junk until we decide what we what for dinner.

3. Update the look and feel of FramebyFrameStyle.com

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One of my personal goals this year is to give Frame By Frame Style a fresh look. This includes a new logo, updated photo tags and visual upgrades throughout the site. Stayed tuned to see the changes as they happen!

4. Focus more time on smaller home improvement and DIY projects.

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Since we moved into our house in 2010, we’ve made a few major upgrades. We added a kitchen island, installed in ceiling speakers and crown molding in the kitchen and living room, and we tiled the floor in the dining room.

Now it’s time to focus on the small projects around the house like organizing the laundry room.

As we make minor upgrades around the house, I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

5. Organize our closet space around the house

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Our closets have been overtaken by stuff. Some of it we plan on keeping, some we just don’t know what to do with. This year, it’s time to take back our closet space and start giving/throwing away items we do not need.

So that’s my list!

Happy 2013 everyone! Here’s to sticking to our goals and making this the best year yet. Good luck with all of your resolutions.

Feeling the Love, Home Style

Our house is certainly feeling the love and so are we. It’s been a busy few weeks getting our home ready for a reappraisal and even though we are far from finished with our home improvement, DIY and decorating projects, we are proud of how far we’ve come since we moved in. It takes time to make a house a home and I’m enjoying every minute of our journey.

The appraisal is now officially over and as promised, here is an official wrap-up on 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

We did it! We finished all of the items on our list before the reappraisal.

Number 3 on our list was to organize and clean the spare room and BJ’s office. Just a few weeks ago, these room were stuffed full of boxes, papers and Goodwill donations. After spending a day hauling stuff out and reorganizing, these rooms are once again usable.

With the addition of the his and hers bookshelves in our bedroom, we moved the white shelving cubes to the spare bedroom to be used as storage. Our very first dining room table also found new life as a craft/project table.

In addition, the old coffee table from the living room is now a game and puzzle table.

BJ’s office was daunting when we first started reorganizing the chaos. There were still unpacked boxes in there!
Now all of the boxes are unpacked and we can see the floor again. Our next project with this room is to add bookshelves to give BJ more space to further organize his stuff.

The last, and the biggest project on our reappraisal to do list, was to finish the crown molding and baseboard projects. If you remember, we started working on the crown molding in the living room and kitchen around the same time that we tiled the floor in the dining room.

And drumroll please… Here are the before and after shots.

Here is the kitchen before the crown molding was finished:

And after:

Here is crown molding cap that BJ install in the living room to finish off the molding.

We also finished the baseboard in the dining room.

Here is the before, looking into the dining room. Notice the visible white drywall line in the paint on the far wall.

And here is the after. We decided to go with a taller more dramatic trim. This is just the baseboard before the quarter round was installed:

Now for the finished product with quarter round:




Since the rest of the house has a smaller baseboard installed, we bridged the gap between the taller baseboard in the dining room and the shorter baseboard in the foyer and kitchen with a thicker trim cap. We also added the quarter round to the baseboard to give the trim a finished look against the tile.


Since the tall white baseboard looks so nice against the slate tile floor, here are a few close ups for your viewing pleasure.


With the reappraisal over, we’ve decided to shift our focus to smaller projects for awhile. We are going to work on dressing up the loft, hanging some photos and I also have a fun Pinterest-inspired project planned for the coming weeks.

Did you wrap up any big projects this 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!