Category Archives: Before and Afters

Fabric Accent Wall for the Bedroom

Fabric Accent Wall for the Bedroom

I’m pretty sure Double D doesn’t blink these days when I come up with crazy ideas.

My co-worker and I were talking one day about how I’ve never liked the closet doors in our bedroom.  We have a very traditional 1970s sized closet, but there are two doors on that thing.  I’m talking two full-sized doors that don’t fold to make space.  That was the other problem…when the closet doors were open, the door to the bedroom could not be, because the doors were right next to each other.  This picture is the only before picture I could find, and it’s when we were painting the room right after we moved in. It’s also only half of the wall.  We had changed out the doorknobs a long time ago, so the brass is gone.Master bedroom closet doors

So that night, I came home and removed the doors.  Just took them off.  We lived with our closet wide open for a couple of weeks while I decided what to do.  Finally, I came across an idea using tablecloths to cover the wall.  Sounds just like what I needed.  We measured the wall, and also took stock of where the tablecloths would need to be split up.  In addition to have the two closet doors, we also had a doorway for our half bath, on the same wall. I shopped around for tablecloths, and found a pattern I liked that was 6o x 102″ long, at $14 apiece. I bought three of them, washed them, and sewed a pocket on each one for the rod to make them 97″ long. This gives them about an inch to drape a bit on the floor. Curtain pocket

That came to actually hanging the tablecloths.  We kind of made that up as we went. We started by getting the conduit, and four clips to hold it to the wall.  Two clips would be for the ends, and the other two we used in the middle for where each tablecloth ended. We used a small piece of wood for each one, allowing for the pipe itself to stand out from the wall a bit.Wall spacer and electrical clip

Then we slipped the tablecloths on the rod, and I held the whole thing up while Double D screwed the clips in place. Yes…we still have popcorn ceilings left in a couple of rooms.

Conduit with clip and fabric

The width of the entire wall was 10’7″, so we ended up getting a 10′ piece of electrical conduit, and a smaller piece, which Double D cut for the remaining. We just used a connector piece to combine the two.

Electrical conduit connector

The remaining step was attaching some way to keep the curtains back, if needed.  We eventually just decided to go with IKEA Bjarnum folding hooks, so they can be up when not in use.  We did one for the bathroom doorway, and then one on each side of the closet for the split curtains down the middle. IKEA Bjarnum Folding Hooks installed

And here is the finished wall.  It makes that wall seem so much bigger, since there isn’t three doors anymore to break up the space.  Finished wall with curtains

I decided to throw one picture on of how it looks at night, since this shows the different openings.  There was a lot going on with that wall!Finished wall with curtains and lights

One more picture, this time of the before and after. I like how the colors of the tablecloths match both the carpet color, and the paint color. I also love how the two doors don’t slam into each other, and how much room we now seem to have. Before and after of wall

Thanks for looking!





Chalk Paint Mix for Front Door Redo

Chalk Paint Mix for Front Door Redo

Everyone says that first impressions are lasting, right?  Well, if you’d driven by my house before, I don’t think you would have remembered anything about it.  Everything about the front porch is blah.  Ours features a concrete slab to sit on, grey siding, and a white door. Definitely had little curb appeal.White front door

I have tried to add color by the cushions on the furniture, but that only goes so far. I have wanted to paint the front door now for a while, and I always knew it would be yellow. With the grey siding we have, I figured the yellow would go great, and provide a pop of color. The hard part was deciding which yellow.

I finally read a tip about mixing two colors of Annie Sloan chalk paint, Arles and English Yellow, to create a nice soft yellow. Ultimately, I decided to go with this tip, because I didn’t have to do any prep work with the door that way. I bought one of each color, in the sample jar size, and used an old coffee canister to mix the two colors together.Annie Sloan Chalk paintArles and English yellow mixed

I started painting, and did the inside trays first. The first coat went on really fast, and I used a brush to edge around the doorknob. In this picture, it was night, and so I was pretty excited about the color. First coat

However, the next morning, in the light of day, the yellow seemed overly bright.  It was like the two photos had two different colors.  It wasn’t the color I was wanting, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy with it. Too yellow

I was panicking a bit because chalk paint is expensive, the nearest store that sells Annie Sloan is 45 minutes away, and I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting the paint.  Finally, I thought about adding some white paint to the mixture, just to tone it down a bit.  I had an almost full bottle of Wicker White acrylic paint, so I added that to the paint, a little at a time, until I felt I had the right color. I ended up using the entire amount that was in the bottle.  I figured that if adding the acrylic to the chalk paint ruined it in any way, then I would just have to start over with new paint, which I was going to have to do anyway.Add Acrylic white

I got to painting the second coat on, with the new paint color. Even as I was brushing it on, I could tell that I was going to like this color. I also did it during the day, so that I could really tell what it would be like. Second coat with whicker white

And here is the door with the second coat on.  Much improved, and more what I was wanting. Whew!  I didn’t notice any problems with adding the acrylic to the chalk paint, as it was being brushed on, or drying. It still had that chalky finish to the touch.finished second coat

For the final coat, I didn’t use wax, like most would.  Since this is the door that gets the most use in our house, I wanted something durable for the sealer.  Also, it gets super hot here in the summer, and didn’t want the wax damaged from the heat. I decided on a clear semi gloss Spar Urethane.  top coat sealer

And here is the sheen the semi gloss provided on the door.  It is very nice, and went on well over the chalk paint. I ended up doing two coats of this as well. Let’s hope it is durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear the front door gets. Sheen to the front door

I have to say I love how it turned out.  I like the pop of color it provides to the front of the house, and I like how the cushions have a bit of yellow to pair with the door. Now, I just have to get rid of that concrete slab. I have ideas for that, but have to wait for now:)chalk painted front door

Thanks for looking!


Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch, Domestically Speaking and A Stroll Thru Life:






Closet Tranformation: Converted to Usable Space

Closet Tranformation: Converted to Usable Space

This is probably the most embarrassing post I’ve written, just because we let the closet under the stairs get in such bad shape. We had water come in the basement about seven years ago, and we had ripped the paneling off in the closet, just to see if it was leaking in there.  The leak turned out not to be there, but we never did fix the paneling.

Fast forward to now.  I decided I wanted to turn the closet into usable space, but keep the portion that was actually under the stairs for storage. I had multiple ideas, including a really expensive one of putting Air Stone rock strips up to hide the concrete wall.  Ultimately, I decided to save some money and use drop cloth to hide everything.

This is what we started with.  A good sized room, with a concrete wall and floor, paneling, and one light fixture.  We had been using it for our exercise area and storage. Originally there were two doors that closed, but we had taken them down when we started this project.  We did save those, just in case we wanted to use them again in the future.Original storage room

Double D removed the rest of the broken paneling, and we started replacing it with new that we bought.  It didn’t match, nor did we take time to line the lines up.  We knew we would be covering it.  Why did we take the time to put paneling up if we were just going to cover it?  Well, I thought it might save some time in the future if we had it done. Since this is the only paneling in the house, I would want to fill in the lines and paint everything anyway.Adding panelingPaneling up on wall

Once the paneling was up, I started with the curtain.  Since we wanted it to cover in a U shape, we measured the two sides, and back.  I purchased two drop clothes, one a 12’x9′, and another 6’x9′, and washed and dried them since they tend to shrink. I sewed the 6’x9′ to the 12’x9 to make one big curtain at 18’x9′. I then laid it out on the floor and pinned a pocket for the top. Since I wanted to go all the way to the ceiling with these, I was happy to have a bit to play with on the top.Drop cloth curtain

While I was working on the curtain, Double D started laying the carpet squares that we got for this project. These in no way match the carpet we have down there, but since we want to replace that, I can live with mismatched carpet for a bit. These were very easy to install, and actually looks pretty good with the original carpet. Carpet sqares

Next, it was time to assemble the curtain rod.  We made a custom one out of 1″ PVC pipe, in the shape of a U. PVC curtain rod

From there we could think about hanging the curtain.  We went extremely low tech here, but the curtain has stayed up for several months now, so it must be okay.  What we did was drill screws halfway into the pipe, one on each elbow, two more in the long piece and then one on each end. Then we screwed hooks into the ceiling about where the screw heads would be.

Before we got started hanging it, I cut little holes in the back pocket loop to let the screw heads through. Then I wrapped thin wire around the screw heads with enough left to wrap it around the hooks, which Double D did. This brought the PVC up close to the ceiling and covered that gap. In addition, I hope it will be easy to take down and put back up when washing the fabric.hooks to hang curtain rod

Here is the finished room. I did need to steam the drop cloth to get the wrinkles out, but it looks great and it covered the paneling, concrete wall, and the additional storage. Cover for downstairs closetDrop cloth curtain

The last bit was adding lights to the room, which we did by buying a two fixture light kit from Ikea.  I moved one of the china hutches downstairs and filled it with some dishes. The room is now able to be part of the house, and be functional.  We estimate we spent about $150, but that is much less expensive than the rock wall would have been.  Still would have been awesome though!Lights hung

Thanks for looking!


Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch, A Stroll Thru Life, Tip Junkie and Domestically Speaking: