Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hang It Up

When we did the stone fireplace in the den we had our fireplace tools just as most people do, hanging on the stand that the tools came with when we bought them.

See them down there on the right hand side of the fireplace?  Well, when we started adding decorative items in front of the fireplace like lanterns with candles, firewood, etc., things started to look a little packed.  We needed  a solution that would get the fireplace tools off of the floor.

Enter rusty bolts.  Yep, rusty bolts.  Nate found some 1/2" rusty bolts lying around the landscape nursery at his work and decided to recycle them at our house.  We decided upon the height and spacing for each of the fireplace tools.  Nate put some epoxy onto the end of each of the bolts and hammered them into the grout joints in the locations that we had decided upon.

Once the bolts were secured and the epoxy had a chance to dry, we hung our fireplace tools and put the old stand out with the trash.

The old rusty pulley is obviously for decorative purposes, but we liked the way that it tied into the rusty bolts that our fireplace tools now hang from.

Now, if you aren't lucky enough to have rusty bolts just lying around your workplace (which, I am assuming that the majority of you are not) simply take new bolts (we happened to have square end bolts) spray paint them oil rubbed bronze and then lightly spray them with Rustoleum Multi-Colored texured spraypaint in "Autumn Brown" to get the same effect.  If you had more time, you could also take new bolts and rough them up with some steel wool.  Then let the bolts hang out in a container of salt water.  Eventually, the bolts will rust.

If you happen to have a different type of stone fireplace or perhaps a brick fireplace, get a masonry bit slightly smaller than the diameter of your bolts for your drill and drill into the stone or brick.  Apply the epoxy to the end of the bolt and hammer into the newly drilled hole.  Allow the epoxy to dry before hanging your fireplace tools.

We love getting the tools off of the floor and really love the rustic look that the bolts give to the fireplace.  And with the stand gone, we have room for our reindeer during the holidays!

What do you guys think?  Any plans for using rusty old bolts or nails around your home?  Has anyone ever used Rustoleum's Multi-Colored texured spraypaint in "Autumn Brown"?  I love the look that it gives.  In fact, we used it on another project in our home (the orb chandelier) that will be featured in an upcoming post.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kitty's Business

Finding a spot for the kitty litter is never an easy task.  Our basement and laundry room are accessed through a door that is always closed so that option was out.  We have one small powder room on the first floor and one guest bathroom and one master bathroom on the second floor but none of them are large enough to accommodate humans and a kitty.  The other rooms in our house are used, a lot, so finding a place to hide the litter box was proving to be a challenge.  Enter my hubby's creative genius! (I am probably biased, but trust me, that guy is creative, handy, and as a bonus...really handsome).

Nate's idea was to take advantage of the fact that the garage is adjacent to the kitchen area and that they share a common wall.  Out came the drywall saw and a hole was cut!

The photo above was taken while standing in the kitchen.  The door to the right of the hole is the door leading into the garage.  The hole, with the very obvious yellow arrow photoshopped above it, is the hole leading into the garage for Murphy (the cat).  We simply used a drywall saw to cut a large enough hole to accomodate Murphy but nothing too large that it looked obnoxious.  We trimmed out the hole with painted 1"x6" pre-primed pine from Home Depot.  The hole was cut prior to us installing our baseboards so the baseboard was simply cut to fit snuggly around the hole.

Inside the garage is where the "kitty business" happens.  You may have seen the rest of the garage featured here. A post will be coming on the garage build out but we basically recycled our old kitchen cabinets and made our own cabinets where needed (like the litter box cabinet).  The cabinets we made were constructed out of birch veneer plywood.  Everything was then painted to blend in.  More on that later though!

See the bottom left cabinet in the photo below?  The one just to the left of the shelves?  Yep, that's it!  Hiding in there is Murphy's litter box.  The hole from the kitchen area leads directly into that cabinet. 

And if you open the doors to that cabinet, you will find...

The litter box!  You can see the hole leading into the kitchen on the left.  The shelves on the right are used for shoe storage (obviously) and for holding the pooper scooper.  The fresh litter is stored hidden in the cabinet just above the litter box cabinet.  It is easy to access and keep the mess out of the house.

Here is a better shot looking from the litter box through the hole into the kitchen.  You can also see that we used hidden hinges on each cabinet door.

In order to keep Murphy from escaping out of the litter box cabinet into the garage and making his way into the wild outdoors, we added a clip on each door with catches attached to the cabinet so that the doors are secure.

We also added some weather stripping to one of the doors as well as some foam stripping around the entire perimeter of the door opening in order to keep cold air getting into the house through the litter box hole.

It really is the best solution for us with the layout of our home.  The cat is happy, and so are we!  We would not recommend this project if you are someone that does not clean out the litter box often though.  There is, depending on how serious Murphy's "business" was that day, the occasional whiff of something unpleasant coming into the house.  Luckily, my hubby's personality never allows for the litter box to not be cleaned on a daily basis.  And since I am pregnant, I get out of those duties for 9+ months!! 

So that is how we figured out how to hide the litter box but still have easy access to it.  How about you guys?  Any ideas on hiding the not so great aspects of having a pet?  Any ideas on what we should do with our turtle Piggy when the baby arrives?  He currently resides in the soon to be nursery.  Off to find a solution to that little problem.....

Monday, November 5, 2012

Overwhelmed and Thankful!

I just wanted to pop in and say...WOW!  We were blown away by the amount of traffic, comments, and new followers that Young House Love brought to us.  I really need to step up my blogging, photography, and projects around here.  Yikes! 
Just a friendly warning for the new followers:  I have a full time job, I am currently 17 weeks pregnant, and I have a full time job (I said that already didn't I?, but I feel like it is important to repeat) so blogging on a very regularly basis is tough; However, I am going to do my best!
Here is a list of projects that are completed and still need to be blogged about:

  • Orb chandelier in stairwell
  • Stump coffee table
  • Built-ins around the living room fireplace
  • Hidden litter box
  • Organization projects
  • Master bedroom progress
  • Guest bedroom
  • Completion of backyard project
  • Shed installation
  • Garage

And a lot of smaller projects.

Thanks again for stopping in, browsing around, and becoming a follower.  I hope that you'll stick around!  So what should the next post be about?  Let me know your preferences!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

We Have Been House Crashed!!

Welcome to all of you Young House Lovers!  (That actually sounds pretty weird).  But anyways, welcome to our blog and thanks for stopping by!
Nate and I were honored to have John, Sherry, Clara, and even Burger pop in for a House Crash.  We were frightened to think that our little abode would disappoint, but have been amazed and humbled by the responses so far.
Please feel free to poke around our blog and ask any questions.  I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.
And, if by some miracle you didn't happen upon us through YHL, check them out!