Posts tagged ‘DIY’

November 17, 2011

Tips for Designing on a Budget

by Cait

Since I’ve scored some great deals recently I thought I’d share a few tips on what Robert and I do when we’re trying to stick to a budget. This could probably be broken up into a several posts, but I figure I’ll at least lay the groundwork here, and expand on things if anyone has questions. Also, these tips probably won’t work for everyone, it’s just what we do.

1) Determine how much you have to spend – In the case of our guest bathroom our budget is roughly $2000-2500. It’s best to determine the budget before you start a project, but in the case of our guest bath that wasn’t really an option. After a pipe burst in the wall we found black mold while trying to repair the pipe, so we pretty much jumped headlong into demolishing things and never looked back. Which is basically the reason it sat for six months while we saved up to redo it. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote about the Guest Bath budget a while back before we started hardcore crunching numbers.

    “…we’re hoping that when it’s all said and done we’re under $5,000. To me that seems like a huge jump from $485, but Robert points out that we have to redo all four walls, the ceiling, insulation, the floor (and parts of the subfloor), some of the electrical, and all of the plumbing (inside the walls as well as moving the toilet and shifting the sink over). I know all of that is going to add up to a lot more than I was expecting, but hopefully it will still end up being a lot less than $5,000.”

2) Research – Figure out what it is you want to do. Search on Pinterest, read blogs (in addition to all my blog friends’ blogs I sometimes troll sources like Apartment Therapy, Decor Pad, Design*Sponge, Desire to Inspire, Fresh Home Ideas, and Houzz), flip through books & magazines, ask your friends, ask your mom (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – my mom is creative, resourceful, thrifty, well-informed, eco conscious and hilarious. She is the perfect person to bounce ideas off of, and often picks out design elements that I never would have considered.), bounce ideas off your blog friends by email. Whatever works best for you.

3) Measure – Take some basic measurements of the space before you start shopping. Better to know ahead of time that you have 96 inches to play with instead of falling in love with a 103 inch sofa and not being able to fit it in the room. The same goes for tubs, sinks and shower arms. If your bathroom is 76×93 inches, you probably don’t have room for both a garden tub and a stand up shower. Consider having your smartie husband do the math for things like square feet to avoid trying to remember algebra to make him feel included.

image from Home Depot

4) Price It Out  – Now that you know how much you have to spend and what you want to do, start estimating how much the material costs are going to be. Loving white shaker cabinets with honed carrara marble counters? Shop around to figure out what the average price is at the usual suspects – Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ikea, and any regional chains you might have. This is also a good time to start adding the prices of everything you want to see how it fits into your budget. (Robert created a spread sheet for the guest bathroom because he’s a big nerd we like to be organized.) It might work out that there is a way to get those honed marble counters and still stay within your budget, but sometimes you have to get creative.

5) Consider Your Options – This gets its own step because this is where you somtimes have to get creative. Once you’ve figured out how much things typically cost see if there is a way to make it work for you. Maybe Ikea cabinets paired with marble from a local outlet is the best option, maybe it’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore cabinets retrofitted to work in your kitchen & countertops you splurged on, and maybe it’s a less expensive countertop for the majority of the kitchen and a marble remnant topping an island. If your heart is set on something there is usually a way to make it work, or at least there is an agreeable compromise until you can pull the trigger and go for it. (We pretty much hated the crumbling tile in the guest bath from the moment we moved in, but we made it work for a while with a coat of paint, a new mirror, shower head and spa-like shower curtain. A full bathroom redo was simply not possible with our budget when we first moved in.)

6) Shop Around – Be sure to check out local places, ask around (friends, relatives, other bloggers close by) if you aren’t sure where to start. Most of our best deals came from a local home renovation outlet and our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Also check online at places like Amazon, eBay, Overstock, Craigslist, Freecycle. Thrift stores and salvage yards are great, too, and I’ve heard some cities have a “Love it or Leave it” section at their local garbage dump. We aren’t lucky enough to have that here, but Robert and I aren’t strangers to the occasional curb-shopping-on-trash-night episode (that’s where our yellow Art Room chair & front porch bench came from, as well as a few other pieces). Read sale ads, search for coupons (online and in the newspaper), consider asking family members for gift cards for holidays or birthdays, ask stores to price match, and haggle if you have to.

7) Buy – This part is probably obvious – when you find what you want for a price you’re willing to pay- buy it! Hypotheically, if you find 351 glossy white 3×6 subway tiles at your local ReStore, consider looking like a crackhead sitting on the floor counting them all to makes sure there are enough. Also hypothetically, it’s good to know how many of something you need before you start looking around, to avoid making math errors while hurredly counting tiles.

A few other tips:

  • Make a design board to see how purchases work together. I’ve made several variations of our guest bathroom plan, it helps make sure everything looks cohesive.
  • Keep an updated list of purchases (including where you bought it from and prices) to help keep yourself on track. Keeping receipts is good too if the places accept returns.

What about y’all? Any tips of your own? What works for you when trying to stick to a budget? I’d love to hear any tips you have!

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November 8, 2011

Guest Bath Redux: It’s Happening Again

by Cait

I got jealous of everyone else in Blogland drywalling, so yesterday I threw down the challenge to Robert. I think he got into the spirit of it (or he’s excited about his new respirator), because this morning he said “I may clear the bathroom before you get home.” To which I replied “Ok, make sure to take pictures!”

We’re picking up where we left off in May, so if you don’t hear from us for awhile, you might want to send the bloodhounds.

April 20, 2011

Zigzag

by Cait

I came across this post on Apartment Therapy last night, which features Camila of High-Heeled Foot in the Door‘s DIY chevron rug. I’m beginning to think it is just the right solution to my “our hallway is 16 feet long and the runner I fell in love with is 7 feet long” issue. I was going to paint one like Amanda at Our Humble A{Bowe}d did in her boys’ room, but I can’t find any runner over 8 feet long. 

from High-Heeled Foot in the Door

I think this could be a good solution (with a lot o’ Scotch Guard and a washable fabric). Especially since the project will cost about one-third what the too-short runner from West Elm would if it works. What do y’all think?

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March 29, 2011

Design Board: The Backyard & The Porch

by Cait

The soundtrack to this post is here.

Now that we have internet back, I re-upload the photos from this postthis post and this post under a different file type.  Now hopefully anyone who they wouldn’t load for before will be able to see the pictures.  Because who doesn’t want to see the Backyard of Dooooooooom Tour?  (Yes, Lisa, this means you.  And anyone else they wouldn’t work for.)

Over the weekend we knocked out three of the things on our To Do List, which consequently knocked out our internet. (It’s always something, isn’t it?)  Then yesterday there were lots of lovely rumors flying around about the company I work for,  so in order to keep my sanity, I decided to daydream about the backyard and the porch.

The Backyard

1. Table & Chairs – We bought this table&chair set from Target shortly after we bought our house.  I’m not sure it’s the set I’d buy if I had it to do over again (for aesthetic reasons; I’d probably buy these chairs and this table), but the chairs are comfortable and the table has held up well.

2. Lounge Chairs – They make a chaise lounge version of our table&chairs, but I think I’m leaning towards the Ikea Applaro chaise lounge instead.  I see them working really well around the tank pool we want to build.

3. Umbrella – An umbrella for our table would be nice.  I’d love it to be a bright color (like green or yellow), but I think the Florida sun would bleach it out too quickly so cream or white is probably the best bet.  Something like this one from Target would be great.

4. Lighting – I imagine a lot of small lights.  Maybe lanterns, these Ikea solar lights or something like these Oxo Candelas.  I also really want some of these string lights from Target (I promise to find an LED version soon, but this is my daydream, and I have wanted this style of light for a long time).

5. Tank Pool & Deck – As I mentioned above, we want to make a tank pool out of a livestock tank, and ideally I’d like a small deck around it, and maybe a shade sail over it.  The idea for the pool was born after seeing this pool (which is actually a silo, I think) featured on The Brick House.

6. Outdoor Shower – I already discussed some of our plans here, but I started saving some other amazing ones (like the one shown) on Houzz.

7. Firepit – A fire pit would e nice, too.  The Incinerator that our friend Ryan’s dad used to have in his backyard was amazing (so long as you didn’t stand too close to it wearing something that would melt, like Cintas work pants).  Recently we were at a friends’ birthday party and there was a firepit made from a semi truck wheel (which was awesome), and  it got the wheels turning on how to DIY our own unique fire pit.

The Porch

1. FanA while back we scored this Hunter Fan from ReStore for $50!  Color me incredibly excited!

2. Lounge chairs – I nixed these  for the patio/deck/whatever, but I think these Ikea Ammero chaises would look great in the lounge area I envision for our porch.

3. Stump Side Table – (image from West Elm) As I mentioned a while back, we already had a stack of stumps to turn into tables and just picked up a few more (my neighbors love me</sarcasm>).  I think that at least one of them would look nice on near the lounge chairs.

4. Lighting – The last time we were at Ikea we bought one of these Ottava pendant lights to go over our pool table.  Originally we thought we wanted the Kroby, but now we’re thinking one Ottava on either end (we need to buy one more soon).  We’ll also need some more lighting in the lounge area (or at least to find a better bulb for the Hunter fan- it came with a spot light bulb, probably because that’s the only bulb the previous owner could find that fit).  I love the look of barn lights and these gooseneck lights, maybe we can DIY something similar with the old light from my parents’ kitchen.

5. Industrial Touches – (light switch image from here) It may seem odd, but I want a bit of an industrial vibe for the porch.  One day we’ll build our dream garage with studio above it, and I’ll have an industrial inspired studio with exposed brick walls.  Until then we can have an industrial-inspired porch to tide me over, with details like  exposed conduit, Ottava lights (and maybe cage lights) , and whatever else we think up.

6. Bead Board – I’m not sure that beadboard goes with the industrial look I just discribed, but I love the way it looks, and it would be a quick, hopefully cheap, and easy way to fix the painted ply currently adorning the walls.

7. Flooring – I loved the pallet wall in Will’s old nursery, so what about doing it as a floor?  We already have a stack o’ pallets, so maybe we can slap some boards from those suckers down to cover the hot mess that is the mismatching tiles.

8. TV – We are thinking about wall mounting a tv (with a bracket like this one) so that we can watch footbally or something nerdly like Mythbusters while playing pool.  We would probably obscure the tv with a curtain or a cabinet or something when it wasn’t in use.

9. Bar Stools – Initially I forgot that we also want barstools (and mabye a small pub table).  I can’t decide if I want mismatching yard sale/Goodwill finds, or something matching (and maybe stackable).  Currently loving the Ikea Sebastian stools.

Hopefully we can tackle some of these things slowly over time, because I would really like to use our backyard a lot more this summer than we did last year.  Cue the staycation.

October 7, 2010

Project Envy

by Cait

Just a quick post to say that I really want to add these projects to our ever-growing list of things to do around the hosue.

From Design*Sponge

From Design*Sponge

August 23, 2010

Love It or Leave It

by Cait

I preface this post by saying I’m sorry to anyone who has seen these multiple times already!  I just can’t get enough of them!

God bless the internet for providing me with an endless supply of inspiring ideas!  We’re suckers for repurposing items to give them a new life, and here is a small smattering of the things we’re finding inspiring lately.   Check back to see if any of them end up being reworked for our house later!

From Apartment Therapy – SF Flickr Finds, seen on YHL

From PB Teen, but could easily be DIYed.

This is everywhere right now, so forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon.

From West Elm

Seen on Door16, originally from emmas designblogg

I am willing to bet I am almost completely alone in my love for this next one.


From the ReadyMade Blog

What inspires you?  Do you have a folder on your computer or a stack of magazine pages like I do?