Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Foyer Remodel

We are a shoes off household so I thought the original entry way was lacking a couple key features to accommodate said lifestyle. How does one maintain closet functionality whist adding a sitting area, shoe storage and a splash of color? The classic mudroom look lends itself more to the utility room or secondary point of entry but I think it works here. It opens up the area a little and makes it a lot more usable. The closet area is a 19 3/4" PAX system from IKEA. We set it up with a hanger rod for coats, and shelves for miscellaneous stuff. I'll probably add a couple of drawers later for gloves and hats.

Probably the biggest issue with the original closet was the flooring. The previous owner stapled down a rather large welcome rug/mat and when it was removed, the hardwood was forever stained. The wood had to be replaced and with it, the closet.

Wow, two "before and after" pictures in the same blog post, what did you do to get so lucky. For the foyer area, we decided to lay down the same flooring we used in the kitchen. We liked the look, I already had the tools and knowledge, and it tied the room together nicely.  Excavating the floor was the tricky part. Getting a clean cut and making it perfectly square were key here. I taped off the area and dry fitted the tiles just to make sure everything was going to look the way I wanted. To make the cuts, I screwed down a guide board and used a circular saw for most of it. The ends near the baseboards were completed using an oscillating multi-purpose tool. This thing has gotten me out of quite a few jams. The 50 year old baseboards didn't give up their nails willingly. The screeching sound that was generated when prying up the boards was deafening. I actually has to wear earplugs.

My son Lucas put together the rest of the sitting area. He basically combined a bunch of varied width 1 bys from Home Depot with a sprinkle of plywood to make a bench and a few cubbies for decoration. I think he did a great job. He says he wants to be a construction guy when he grows up just like his daddy. He may already be there.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Dining Room Renovation

I built a pantry cabinet into the kitchen mostly because it was the only thing that looked right next to the fridge. It was briefly used as food storage, but the plan all along was to store room temp food and some small appliances in another place. We though about the living room cabinets, mentioned in a previous post, but decided they would be inadequate for that purpose. Hey, we had a dining room wall just standing around being lazy. Maybe we could build something there.

There were challenges, of course. Why is there always an HVAC register where I don't want it? Looks like I would have to do a little duct trickery to coerce said register under the new pantry. And
how hard could it possibly be to find a right angle piece of duct-work that fit the geometry of my current system. Turns out, I'd have to wait three months to source the proper part. After having a very good experience finding replacement windows that fit the rough openings in my house, I was slightly over confident about the availability of finding material for my other projects. This was one of those cases. Luckily there were plenty of other tasks I could work on while I waited.

Billy bookcases from IKEA gave us approximately 56sqft. of pantry space. We like to eat. They fit the space perfectly and take nicely to being modified. Toss in some trim and crown molding and wallah, it looks built in. I'll admit, there is more function than form going on here but the costs were supper low and it provides such an invaluable service to our daily lives. Part of the barrier to entry for cooking is assembling the equipment and ingredients in a timely manner. Having everything you need at your fingertips is key.