Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Customize an Old Refrigerator

When we built our summer cottage six years ago a friend gave us this refrigerator for our basement. You can click here to see how I reversed the opening of the door. While my first preference was a stainless refrigerator, I couldn’t see spending money when we had a working refrigerator so I have been pining over how to update it. I finally decided to add wood panels to help it blend in with the cabinetry.

finished panels on refrigerator

I purchased two sheets of 1/4” plywood and used some scraps to cut the panels and trim.

Kreg Rip Cut

I used a carpenter’s square to mark the cutting lines for my panels after I had carefully measured each side. I also cut strips of wood to cover the outside edges of the doors so I cut the front panels big enough to include covering the sides of the doors. To make that clear, I added 1/2” to the width of the panel for the front of the door to cover the 1/4” panels on the sides of the door and I added 1/4” to the height of the door panel to cover the panel at the top edge. I didn’t cut a panel for the bottom of the door since it will never be seen. I used the Kreg Rip Cut tool for cutting the panels.

Using the Kreg Rip Cut 2

The Kreg Rip Cut is an attachment for a circular saw which helps make straight long cuts that would otherwise require a table saw. I can’t say enough about how much I loved using this tool!

using the Kreg Rip Cut

The photo above is just for demonstration purposes. The saw is not operating as I would NEVER operate a circular saw with one hand. Safe operation requires TWO hands on the saw at all times. Material should be clamped in place so that you can keep both hands on the saw at ALL times. (My brother lost his thumb holding material with one hand and making a quick cut with the other!)

another view of the Kreg Rip Cut

This photo is a better view of operation of the Rip Cut.

attaching trim strips to wood panels

After cutting the panels and trim strips, I used wood glue and clamps to attach the trim to the edges of the panels giving the look of Shaker cabinet panels. You can see in the photo above that the strip to the right is lighter in color than the other strips. It was cut from a different piece of wood. If you were staining this project you would not want to use this because it would look different on the finished project. Since I was painting the wood, it didn’t matter that it was a different color.

applying construction adhesive

After the trim was dry, I applied a generous amount of construction adhesive to the back of the panel.

panel ready to mount

This panel is ready to stick to the side of the refrigerator.

using clamps and straps to hold the panel in place

Because the panel is so tall, I used 4’ furniture clamps at the top and bottom and straps around the middle to hold the panel in place until the adhesive dried.

clamps and straps view 2

I repeated that process for all sides of the refrigerator.

ready to paint

ready to paint closer view

Now it is ready for the paint finish. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the panels on the sides of the doors that I was referring to earlier.

coat one- white paint

I started with my base coat of white paint.

glazing process

Then I added my glaze coat of stain. I always use Minwax dark walnut. I apply a quick coat then wipe it off.

hardware attached

I didn’t want to use the same old handles so I had to look high and low to find something that I could use. I found these old pulls at Round Top for $5 each. The challenge was finding pulls that were screwed on from the outside. These fit the bill and worked very nicely. Now, let’s take a look at the before and after.

refrigerator beforefinished panels on refrigerator

I like the after much better even though the photos don’t do it justice. If I open the curtains in that room while taking photos the sunlight and glare is overwhelming and if I leave them closed everything looks dark and gloomy. I would rather work on projects than learn how to take good photos!

I hope you have had a great January! I can’t believe it’s almost over!

I’ll be linking to Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and to Grace At Home at Imparting Grace.

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FYI- I recently read a blog post regarding giving more information and not assuming that our readers know all of the ins and outs of our blog so here goes. If you click on any text that is in a different color on this page you will be taken to another page or “link” with more information on the given topic!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Repurposed Chicken Coop Table

When I was staging my niece's house to sell I needed to find a budget friendly table for the entry. When I came across a chicken coop at one of my favorite second hand stores, I knew that it would make a great entry table by standing it on one end.

chicken coop table 1

Why does it work?

It protrudes from the wall less than 12 inches.

It is the perfect height.

It provides visual interest.

It adds texture to the room.

It is very unique.

I love that the little door with the spring still works.

entry after

The price was right at $28 and I was able to get a piece of glass cut to fit the top for about $10. I used a mirror and lamp that I already had and added one of my wooden cigar boxes and a small vase of blooms clipped from the yard. It was quick, easy, and inexpensive. You just can’t beat instant gratification.

entry after (2)

I was very pleased with how it turned out.

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I will be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another Lamp Project

I love pretty lamps. I love it even more when they are not expensive!  I have a nice copy cat lamp project to share with you today.

copy cat pagoda lamp

Let me show you my inspiration.

inspiration lamp $495

I saw the lamp pictured above at one of my favorite browsing shops. It is by Dana Gibson and the price was $495! I decided that I could use this one as inspiration to make my own.

ginger jar lamps

I ran across these two lamps at a second hand store. The bright yellow one was $6 and the white one was $15. They are identical in shape and size. When I asked the clerk about the price difference she told me that they don’t sell very many bright yellow lamps so it was cheaper and would not budge on the price. I bought them since $21 for two lamps is still a great price.  Even though one was already white, I taped off the electrical parts and gave both of them a coat of white spray paint. I have to remind myself that several very light coats of spray paint are more effective than one heavy coat.

lamps painted with base coat

Next I found some clip art pagoda images online and printed them and cut them out. I also cut out my outline shapes to use. I decided on the placement for the pagodas, taped them to the lamps, and traced around them with pencil.

pagoda images found online

pagoda tracings

I pulled a couple of colors from the comforter fabric in the room where I was planning to use these lamps and had sample size jars of paint mixed in those colors.

filling in the big areas

I started the painting by filling in the big areas.

pencil eraser dots

I filled in with various lines and dots. I used a pencil eraser to make the dots. I was not going for perfection here so slightly wavy lines and many other imperfections did not cause stress.

lamp with white shade

I added white shades and used some Asian finials from some lamps that I no longer use. After living with them for a couple of weeks I decided to add a stripe to the shades. Adding ribbon to the shades was not an option because of the shape of the shades.

finished lamps

The shades were about $20 each and the paint was $6 total so my total cost was $67 for two lamps. If I had purchased the two in the store it would have cost $1049.40 including tax. I just saved myself $982!  I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

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I’ll be sharing with Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style, to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace, to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, and to Best of the Nest at Simple Details.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Project Review

It’s been a while since I have posted due to an extremely busy month of December. As some of you know, I have a small business Bethlehem Christmas Dinnerware, as well as several Christmas decorating jobs. Throw in decorating the house, hosting a party, baking 48 cakes, attending a few Christmas functions, doing a little shopping, wrapping gifts and a birthday trip and it’s pretty obvious why I haven’t had time to do a blog post! So many times I don’t feel like I have accomplished much until I review my blog posts. This online project diary helps me feel much more productive. I had a very busy year! My biggest project for 2014 was planning and taking a trip to Europe with my daughter. We had such a wonderful time and look forward to going back again some day.

Keukenhof Gardens 8

You can click here, here,here, here, here, here, and here to read about our trip. I actually spent a lot of time traveling this past year. I spent about nine weeks in hotels!

Zapp Hall in Warrenton

I was also able to get to the Round Top Antiques festival. You can read about that trip by clicking here and here. You can read about my birthday trip to New York by clicking here.

While at home, I did manage to complete a few projects.

blanket chest from piano parts

I used pieces of my grandmother’s upright piano that I had deconstructed to build this blanket chest.

refrigerator cabinet pantry 1-16

I built a slide out pantry on the sides of my refrigerator using the existing cabinetry. This is a great use of otherwise wasted space. You can read about that project by clicking here.

I made some lamps from various objects. You can read about them by clicking here and here.

parrot lamps with blu and green shade

new shade- close up

I completed several chair projects. I converted this one to a swivel rocker for a friend’s nursery.

Converted Rocker 1

I did a total makeover on these.

PicMonkey Collage red chairs

I rescued this one from Goodwill.

new home for old chair 2

You can see how I staged my niece’s house to sell by clicking here.

I also helped my daughter build corn hole boards for some fall fun.

finished at last

I also managed to do a little shopping. You can click here, here, here, and here to see some of my finds.

collected tablescape 1

I have some long overdue projects planned for 2015 if I can just pull them off! I hope that each of you had the most wonderful Christmas ever and wish you the very best New Year! Thank you for every visit and especially for taking time to leave a comment!

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I’ll be linking to Southern Hospitality and to Between Naps on the Porch. Click the link to see lots of inspiration.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Staging A House To Sell

I spent last week helping my niece prepare her house to sell. Her husband owned the house when they got married but they have since moved closer to Charlotte(NC) due to work schedules. The house is in a resort community on Baden Lake which is on the edge of the Uwharrie National Forest and is about an hour from Charlotte. It would make a great weekend getaway. The house has a small footprint but lives very large due to the open floor plan.

living room after

It is very spacious and open. Let’s look at the before and after pictures.

living-dining rooms beforeliving room after

Below is a picture of the kitchen.

kitchen beforekitchen after

And another view of the before.

hallway beforeentry after (2)

The first thing we did was use a steamer to remove the wallpaper borders in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Then we painted the walls a neutral color.

living room after 2

We also removed the window treatments except for the blinds.

living dining after 3

A little paint makes a big difference.

dining after

kitchen after

entry after

bedroom beforebedroom after 2

The bedrooms were already a neutral color so we just switched the blinds and removed the window treatments. bedroom after

We used shutters for a makeshift headboard and a queen size air mattress for the bed.

bedroom 2 after

Because we already had a single air mattress we used it for the second bedroom.

Below is a photo of the bathroom before our little makeover.

bathroom beforebathroom after

Again, we took down the wallpaper border and removed the window treatment and gave it a fresh coat of paint. We also added a new shower curtain for a little color.

bathroom after

bathroom after 2

A spacious deck stretches across the back of the house and there is plenty of storage in the basement. Sorry for the poor quality photo but I was shooting into the sun and I have very limited photography skills!!

back deck

There is a marina just down the street.


There is also a beach area and a playground as well as a community swimming pool.


Baden Lake

If you know of anyone who is looking for a weekend home please share this real estate link with them!

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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I’ll be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style,  to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, and to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace.