Of new refrigerators!

So I haven’t shown off our new fridge yet.  I seriously love this thing!!

 

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Craigslist find of the month!!

And yes, we now have 3 different colors of appliances. lol!

Our goal is to slowly replace all our appliances with stainless steel.  That way when we move and either sell or rent this house, it’ll show better with SS appliances. 🙂

So… Refrigerator down… Microwave, stove, and dishwasher to go!!

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Bonus: I get to watch this guy in snoopy pajamas put the doors back on! 😉

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Yes.  Be jealous ladies.

 

Installing a door = HAPPINESS!

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Since this adorable munchkin is crawling everywhere, it’s become quite evident that we needed to install a door in the hallway with stairs that go to the basement and outside.

Handsome Man was going to be at Menards, so I mentioned he should look in the bargain door area for an interior door that might fit.

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And whatdoyaknow they had one!  Exactly what I would have picked.

And *drumroll* it was only 10 bucks people!  That’s what I’m talking’ about!!!

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 We <3 you Menards.  😉

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate that Handsome Man is so good at this kind of stuff?  It’s just plain fantastic!

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Slid right in there and fit nearly perfectly!

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

It’s still not pretty yet as I just finished caulking it.

But TODAY I think I’ll paint it!

Door install by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And it will be gorgeous!

It really does finish off the space!

And best of all, I can keep the munchkin away from the tools.

She really makes a beeline for tools.  Especially sharp ones.  Yeash!

It’s like she takes after her parents of something.

Kitchen: Nook Remodel – Pt. 2

So like I was saying…  Cabinets.

 

We used uppers instead of lowers since they were only 12 inches deep instead of 24 inches.  Then we built the bottom up using 2×8’s and wainscoting.

Kitchen: Nook Remodel  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Fantastic, no??

Kitchen: Nook Remodel  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Added 1x’s to the tops of the cabinets.  Unfortunately they were new 1x’s.  And they looked new.  And I wasn’t too keen on new looking 1x’s.

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

So out came this…

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And this…

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And this…

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And this!

I basically just went at it with any tools I happened to have on hand.

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I stained it…

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And sealed it…

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

I love some of these imperfections I did.

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Seriously loving this nook!

Kitchen: Nook Remodel – Pt. 1

Okay…. so you know what our kitchen layout looks like now…

 

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

See that empty space there at the end?  Initially we intended to put in a breakfast nook in that area.  But in the year and a half it took us to get to this project we realized we wouldn’t actually use it as a breakfast nook.  It tended to acquire a lot of junk and not a lot of use. 🙂

So Sam came up with this idea.

blog kitchennooklayout

It actually took me a while to warm up to the idea.

Now however? I love it!

Kitchen Nook Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

The sign of progress!

A DIY Industrial Coffee Cart

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  - Would make a great kitchen island!!

 

So last week you saw in this post that we were stocking up on 1×8’s before the storm.

DIYinRealLife.com - Stocking up before a snowstorm

Well this is what we were working on…

An industrial coffee cart for the Lincoln Home & Garden Show.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  - Would make a great kitchen island!!

Weddle and Sons Roofing originated in Manhattan Kansas 15 years ago. Last year they opened a branch here in Lincoln, Nebraska and hired Handsome Man to be the Area Manager.

(Our friends Allyn and Emily are the owners.  Yes THIS Allyn and Emily! 🙂 )

So a coffee cart seemed like a good idea because we could use it year after year at both the Lincoln Home and Garden Show and the Manhattan Home and Garden Show.

They always serve coffee and donuts, but there was just something nice about the idea of a bar height service area instead of just sitting on the table.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Somehow Handsome Man manages to take all the chicken scratch plans that I write down from what’s in my head and make it come to life.  He’s crazy impressive like that!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

So we measured… And cut 2×3’s…

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Did you know they make 2×3’s? I didn’t!  I feel so out of the loop!

They look less standard than 2×4’s and I like that.  Also, they are a bit lighter… Definitely a plus in this case!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Especially since we were using 1×8’s to sheet the outside of the cart.  I wanted a good industrial look, which is why we chose that thickness despite the weight.  All in all the cart was lighter than I had expected it would be.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

He cracks me up.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We also framed up the backside so that when we weren’t using the coffee cart at home shows, it could go down in the Manhattan office to use throughout the year.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We added a simple shelf in there too for storage.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

After finishing the outside, we added the industrial castor wheels underneath.  If you were using this as a kitchen island, you might consider getting ones that lock?

We got these from Menards… They have lots of various sizes.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

As opposed to getting more stain, I thought I’d use whatever we had in the basement.  First I used traditional cherry…. But it wasn’t dark enough…

So I pulled out some random darker stain… Can’t even remember the name.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And BOOM! Instantly better!

It was a stain/sealer all-in-one.  Which was good for the sides since they don’t get much for wear.  I did put a couple extra coats of sealer on the top though since it’ll get more wear and moisture.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we added some big heavy L brackets.  They did absolutely nothing structurally… They are merely for that industrial look. And it’s PERFECT!!!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  I mean really??! How awesome is this!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We also made industrial “handles” using this tutorial… With the exception that we used galvanized pipe instead of electrical conduit for the horizontal pieces.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

If you were using this for a kitchen island, the “handles” would make pretty kickin’ towel bars! 😉

The only problem?  Now that it’s done, I REALLY want one too! Ha!!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

The rest of the display came together… Handsome Man worked so hard getting everything together for the Lincoln Home & Garden Show and I’m so very proud of him and it’s success!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And just for a laugh…

We went to Wal-Mart that night to pick up some last minute things.  And it was SOOOOOO cold!  It was like 6 degrees and WINDY!   We drove into the parking lot and could baaaarely drive down any of the lanes because almost every single cart was outside in the cart corrals.  We went inside and there were 10 or so carts at the door.

Our theory?  It was so cold, the cart boys quit! ;)’

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New Year Goals: Free Printables

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

So this morning I worked on a list of goals for the house this year.  We have most of the “big” projects done here on our little previously-forclosured home, but sometimes it’s a little too easy to skip the little odds and ends.

You know…. The little trim here… The caulking there… Things that really don’t take that long, but over the weekend we could take an hour or two to complete.

Here’s what I came up with:

 

 

 

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

Obviously there are things I’ll want to add to this list as the year progresses, but this was the list I came up with for now.

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

Then I split those projects up by month.

I put the more important things in earlier months…

Outdoor things in the Spring/Summer…

And left the later months open as I add more things to the list.

I made it super attainable and didn’t go overboard.  You’ll notice the winter months have more projects… That’s because we have a wee bit more time in January than July since Handsome Man is a roofer! 🙂

I also color coded the to-do list.

RED=Handsome Man

BLUE=Me

PURPLE=Either/Both

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

I thought I was exceptionally witty due to the fact that together red and blue make purple…

But maybe that’s just because the munchkin has decided to forgo sleeping at night lately and I’m merely sleep deprived.

That’s quite possible.

ANYWAY! Handsome Man and I really do best with lists and deadlines so I think this will be super helpful!!

If you are a deadline operator like us, I made a couple free printables just for you!

Go crazy and get some goals organized!!

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

 {Click here to get this House To-Do PRINTABLE!}

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

{Click here to get this House To-Do PRINTABLE!}

 

 

Good luck with projects in the upcoming year!!   Let me know if you try this and how it goes!!

 

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year! How www.DIYinRealLife.com plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

 

 

 

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Kitchen: How to install cabinet hardware

Okay…. You very well know how I feel about things like thoroughness.  And being exact.  And little things like that.  Yawn.

Give me a big room to paint and I’ll whip through that thing in no time flat.

Want anything done fast but not necessarily perfectly?  I’m totally your girl.

 

Do you identify with me?  Yes?

 

Then this tutorial is for you, baby!

 

 

www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Let’s be honest.

There are many times when I can afford to whip through stuff and forget the whole “exactness thing.”

Cabinet hardware?  That’s totally not one of them.

If they are even a little off, you can tooooootally tell.

Drives. Me. Crazy.

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

So… I realized that I mentioned getting these in, but I never did a follow-up post on installing them!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Check out my previous post on D. Lawless and what I think of them….

(hint:  They have awesome quality and super price effective pulls and knobs.  I’ve ordered from them several times and highly recommend them.)

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

When Handsome Man installed these, he had the brilliant idea of using the photocopier to make a template.

He just measured where he wanted the hardware…

Put the aforementioned hardware on the photocopier with the correct position…

And wah-LAH!  Simple template for drilling the holes!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

He just drilled right through the paper.  It got torn up a bit by the end, but totally worked anyway.

Brilliant baby, brilliant.

(Not sure if this was his original idea or a hack?  He does have a Pinterest account he checks every once in a while to see what I’m pinning.  Sweet isn’t he??!  Either way, he’s brilliant.)

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Did you know that if your cabinet hardware screws are too long, you can trim them using one of these electrical plier things??

This is something I TOTALLY never knew…   Please tell me I’m not the only one!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Thread the screw in to the appropriate length…

Squeeze the living daylights outta the thing…

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

And boom.

It’s the right length!

Word to the wise:  Do NOT screw it in backwards.

 And don’t ask me how I know.

 I just know.

Leaving it at that.

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Much better.

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware


Feel free to snicker at Handsome Man’s bedhead! 😉

Repeat with all knobs and pulls…

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Then stand back and admire your sexy new cabinet bling!

www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 

 

 

 

 

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Kitchen: Tiling the backsplash

After finishing the plumbing and electrical, installing the cabinets & countertops, etc… It was time to hit the backsplash.

 

Now I love the look of glass tile, but not the price.  I really didn’t want to put several hundred dollars into the backsplash.

 

Here’s the upside though.. I do love the tumbled stone look too.  Especially in combination with glass tile.  So this is what we did….

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

The ivory 6×6 tiles looked just like tumbled stone.  It was very affordable.  I’ve used this tile several times and love it.  Unfortunately Menards stopped carrying it.  Boo!

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we cut the 12×12 glass tile pieces into 3 strips, giving us 4 inch strips of glass tile.

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Really really love how it turned out!!!  Pretty affordable too!  I’ll take that!  😉

Kitchen: Putting Things Back Together

After figuring out out layout problems and subsequent solutions, we got to work….

 

Although Handsome Man is quite proficient at both electrical AND plumbing, (I know ladies, be jealous.  I totally hit the man-lottery with Handsome Man!) we did decide to hire the professionals for the mere reason of speeding things up.  We bought the house in August and we were planning on moving in after getting married in November.  And with those chilly Nebraska winters on the way, we opted for speed.  I think that’s the key to DIY.  Do what you can, but don’t hesitate to call in a professional when needed!

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

YAY! Progress!  New plumbing and electrical.

I love demo and I love construction.  What I don’t love are things like electrical and plumbing.

With the demo and construction, you can visually see progress.  And it’s exciting!

With boring stuff that goes in the walls, it takes so much time and doesn’t look like anything is getting done, even though it is.  *sigh*

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Nothin’ quite like midnight installation of insulation by the light of a halogen light! 😉

(Picture me humming “By the light, of the silvery halogen, with golden spoon, to my honey I’ll croon love’s tune…”) 😉

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And drywall…

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And more drywall…

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And painting…

We did keep the uppers on the left side…  They were in good condition and when painted, blended perfectly with the new cabinets!

Kitchen: Layout Changes…

Okay!  So here’s a rough idea of what our kitchen looked like…

 

Keep in mind, it’s a ROUGH idea.  It’s not to scale… It’s a quick rendering using various shapes in Pages.

 

On the upside?  You get crude stick people in some of the layouts!  Yay! 😉

 

 

Okay… You’ve been warned, continue at your own risk! 😉

 

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Here’s how it originally looked…

You’ll notice there aren’t a lot of cabinets or counter space…  Only along the left-hand wall.

The oven encroached on the already narrow doorway…

And the refrigerator took up an awkward amount of space on the right-hand wall.

Nothing was efficient or cohesive.

 

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And of course, to make things worse, you had to go through not one, but 2 narrow doorways to get to the kitchen.

Narrow door #1 into the hallway… Narrow door #2 into the kitchen… Sidestep the oven… And finally you’d be in the kitchen!

(You’ll observe the sad faced stick man. 🙁 )

 

 

 

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And so…. We opted for a more galley kitchen layout.  The additional cupboards and their storage are fantastic!  I really do have a lot of storage room for the amount of space we have!

Step one was tearing down the whole wall on the frontside of these layouts.  Floor to ceiling.

It TOTALLY opened things up between the dining room and the kitchen allowing for an enormously open floor plan.  No more hiding the dish-filled kitchen!  I have to WASH those dishes now if I want people to think I have a clean house!

That’s okay with me though…  I’ll take that trade-off!

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

This layout made it so much simpler to get from the dining room to the kitchen!  Bypass that hallway altogether and just have an awesomely open floor plan!

(Hello happy-faced stick man! 🙂 )

 

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

This is what the layout looked like on the right-hand side.  Tons of cupboard space and I LOVE how it gave the kitchen a custom cupboard look with the refrigerator and stove built in with the cupboards.

A Kitchen remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

This is what the left-hand side looks like with the exception that one set of drawers got moved over to the right side of the sink base cabinet and the other set of drawers became a cupboard/single drawer cabinet.

You cannot even imagine how much I now love this kitchen layout!

 It’s so.

Incredibly.

Functional.

🙂