Laundry Room Progress: $6 Gridwall Display:

Hey there! We’ve been working on our basement, laundry room, on and off, for five weeks. I have a few gallons of paint to go on all the pipes and duct work, sconces to be hung, and a bit of this and a bit of that, left. The latest addition is a super inexpensive and easy gridwall display.

$6 gridwall display

I bought $6 hardware mesh, used for fencing at Home Depot. I unrolled it. Then rolled it up in the opposite direction, to straighten it out.

I gave it a quick spray with some black spray paint, I had on hand. I wanted it to give a graphic affect against the white walls.

Command hooks that work on basement walls

I used five command hooks across the center of the wire mesh to mount. Clothespins secure the thrifted, Paris, tourist map and artwork from my grandpa’s sketch book.

You can also check out how I updated the countertop and cabinet for $50. And wow. That’s a before.

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Converting Yo’ Recessed Lighting

I’m in a real experimental phase… with my kitchen. Swapping out the soffit’s recessed lighting for arm sconces is one experiment that gets an A+.

Current kitchen status

I’ve heard rumblings that recessed lighting is slipping out of fashion. I think we will increasingly see more mixed lighting sources in utility areas, like the kitchen. And who doesn’t like options?!

Here are the sconces we used. The sconces, I picked, are plug-in. You can convert plug-in sconces to hardwired. Rozy Home has a nice tutorial.

$120 sconce pair

There are a few ways to convert recessed lights to a ceiling mount fixture. The easiest method: an $18 conversion kit. You can swap your recessed lighting for any hardwired light of your choosing (max weight 50lbs). Here’s how to install via This Old House.

Recessed lighting converter

I love how warm the lighting now feels for kitchen sink tasks. And the sconces make the soffit look more purposeful and finished, while drawing attention to the pretty windows.

Recessed lighting in soffit before

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Feather Filled Pillow Goodness, From $10!

Blue & White Forever

Blue Knit, $19.88 / Two Pack, Button Detail, $25, more colors available / Diamond Tassel, $12 / Tie Dye Tassel, $10

Better Homes & Gardens, for Walmart, is carrying feather filled, throw pillows– available mostly online. And with prices ranging from $10-$20, they are as budget friendly as cute! I’ve rounded up some of my favorites.

Fair Isle, more colors available

Fair Isle, $19.92

Cozy pillows

Red Buffalo Check, $12.92 / Cable Knit Pillow / Cozy Ombre Faux Fur, $10

All tassel everything

Velvet Oblong Tassel, $16

Gold zipper velvet, more colors available

Gold Zipper, Velvet, $12

Plaid gingham, more colors available

Plaid Gingham Fringe, $12.87

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Grand Entry Light Fixture DIY-$65

Product links: Mirror / Mushroom light fixture

I had a dream light in mind for this entry. There were four numbers in the price. (I liked this olive leaf light, too) In the recesses of my brain was a clever light fixture hack, I saw way back in 2014. Pam, at Simple Details Blog, used a Martha Stewart, sunburst mirror and a simple light fixture to make a grand entry light. The basic concept: round mirror frame as a light medallion.

Entry Light: Mirror plus mushroom light mashup

I needed something big… like 30″ plus big, but also flush mount. The existing light brushed our heads as us giants breezed by.

Our entry in 2017

I used a decorative, olive leaf mirror and a big box store, mushroom light mashup for $65. The 9″ LED light I used is no longer available, similar size linked. The mirror was an open box deal on Amazon for around $45. Mirror currently $99.

Light fixture and mirror before attached to ceiling.

This project was the easiest DIY ever and took 15 minutes. Tops. I popped out the center mirror. Installed light. Used the mirror as a ceiling medallion. Screwed on shade.

I didn’t even need to use screws to attach the mirror medallion; it is supported by the shade and light fixture screws. The hardest part was finding a light fixture with the correct dimensions to make it look like one piece.

Entry status when the light was installed. Look at baby Everett!

The possibilities are endless. Look for any round mirror that has a removable center. Find a light with a matching circumference. Ta Da Big ol’ light on the cheap.

Let me know if you have questions.

XOXO Ruthie

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The Nine Month Gestation of our Stair Runner

DIY Entry Stair Runner

Product Links: Stair rods / Runner

During the last two years, some projects have happened quickly, others more drawn out and painful. Our runner, firmly in the painful category, took nine months to birth.

I finished the carpet portion five months after starting the project. I was totally bummed when I ran a few feet short, only to discover the rug was on backorder. I underestimated the giant, pattern repeat, and the resulting amount of waste. I was forced to use scraps to finish it off, while I waited for the re-stock. How to figure out the runner length you need.

Safavieh Courtyard Billye Indoor/ Outdoor Rug
Safavieh Matrix Runner, Overstock

It turned out to be one of life’s blessings in disguise. During flu season, little Everett replicated a scene from the Exorcist right on those patched in scraps.

In the end, I spliced together five, sand/black, 2′ 7″ x 5 runners. The runner comes in 14′ length, if you can use the 2′ 3″ width. My stairs are wide and required the larger size. I loosely used Young House Love’s stair runner tutorial for the last three runners I’ve installed.

Close up: Splice between the second and third steps.

Four months after completing the runner, I installed the stair rods. The rods are only $19.50 a piece, but I needed 16– an investment during a time when we were making major repairs to the house.

Laying this runner was no joke. Securing the stair rods, with my father-in-law (Jerr Bear), ended up being the easy part. All it required was a screwdriver and a little muscle, since we didn’t drill pilot holes.

Stair rods are magic for hiding any evidence of multiple rugs; I chose to splice where the riser meets the stair tread. To join, I folded the rough edge under and secured with fabric tape. Then I attached with staples as usual. Splicing and stair rod install tutorial on OKL.

Stair Rods, 36″ wide, $19.50 Home Depot

Project Cost:

Runner: $150

Stair rods: $300

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$50 Laundry Cabinet Makeover

Our basement is out of a horror movie; I’ve come to call it the Pit of Despair. Recently, a hot water pipe from Everett’s bathroom sprung a leak, flooding the storage area and setting a budget makeover into motion. Among the improvements, including waterproofing, I prettied up the existing built in cabinet.

Built in cabinet before and after

I used peel and stick marble for the countertop. This stuff is super easy and takes minutes to install. Think really thick contact paper.

I faux painted the plywood edge instead of wrapping the film. I first painted the edge with Behr Swiss Coffee, using a foam brush. While it was still wet, I added a little veining with General Finishes Gel stain I had on hand. While everything was still wet, I went back in with the Swiss Coffee brush. Gorgeous Shiny Things has a great tutorial of a more in depth fauxing method.

I had milk glass handles from a few kitchens ago. And painted the cabinets in Kilz Blue Juniper in semi-gloss. Walmart will ship it right to your house with orders over $35.

Frenchie Counter Stools

It is possible I’ve seen every bar and counter stool under $500, in the last week. One thing I noticed: a surge of pretty, French bistro options at reasonable prices. The metal Target number is perfect for life with kids and is easy on a tight budget. I love the elevated look of the rattan seat on the Williams and Sonoma stool. The simplicity of this style is transitional enough to go with a variety of looks.

Target $76, 24″ French Bistro High Back Counter Stool – Black
(with promo FALL15)

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Williams Sonoma Bistro Counter Stool $250

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