ORC Week 6: Dressing Room Remodel – The Final Reveal

We’re here at last:  The big “ta-da” moment in our One Room Challenge® adventure! For five weeks, my husband Chris and I have been remodeling my small and quirky dressing room, and I’ve been posting weekly updates.  And it’s all come down to this:  The final reveal!

Thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this event, and to Better Homes and Gardens, media sponsor of this challenge.

In case you missed them, here are links to my previous posts:

Project Recap

Disclosure:  Affiliate links are used in this post.

The Space

My little dressing room, located on the second floor, measures roughly 70 square feet.  And those square feet are very oddly shaped.

In addition to the odd shape, this room also has a sloping ceiling that follows the roofline along the east side.  It has two doors:  An entry door and a door leading to an unfinished attic space.

Design Goals

Our house was built in 1927 so, although we don’t want the house to look like a shrine to the 1920s, we always want new work – cabinetry, hardware, doors, and moldings – to blend seamlessly with the existing design features of the house.

I feel that the house’s original design features are easy on the eyes.  They’re simple and clean – yet charming.  And they’ve stood the test of time.  So I would rather use those design features than a trend that will look dated in a few years anyway.

Clutter Busting

You’ll see that the little dressing room was a claustrophobic and cluttered mess.  I wanted the redesign to include ample storage yet feel spacious.


The room is small and has a sloped ceiling, so I decided to use one paint color on every surface, including that sloped ceiling, all the moldings, and all the cabinetry that we added.

The goal was for the room to be brighter, more elegant, more cohesive – and for that sloped ceiling to feel less oppressive.  I opted for good old “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore.


Since what we were remodeling was basically a closet, we challenged ourselves to keep the budget tight.  So, a challenge within a challenge!  We had lots of fun with this.  We sourced cabinetry pieces through Craigslist, salvage shops, and our own basement storage.  We always look to repurpose items instead of buying new when we can anyway – not only to save money but also because it’s an earth-friendly alternative.

The total expenditure (outlined in detail last week) was under $900 U.S.

Let’s start the tour!

Dressing Room Tour

Won’t you come in.

The North Wall

North wall after

Before the remodel, the north wall looked like this.

North wall before

I’d brought in a portable garment rack because there was not enough rod space in the room to hang my clothes.  A patched-together assortment of old dressers, shoe boxes, and racks made for a cluttered look that scratched away at my psyche every time I entered the room.  And there was a lot of vertical wall space going to waste here.

Now I have the enclosed wardrobe space.

Plus, for longer items, the new garment rod we installed over a shoe bench.

The new garment rod, which adds a much-needed rustic touch to the room, is made of authentic industrial pipe.

We did away with the worn carpet in the room, but failed in our attempt to daylight the original fir floor, which is buried under mid century linoleum.

Instead, we covered the whole mess with a plywood underlayment, and then I painted, stenciled, and protected the plywood with a finish.

I love all the space that I have in the large wardrobe, which we purchased from a private seller on Craigslist and then refurbished.  It’s a perfect width for the alcove space.  Above the wardrobe, baskets will hold things I rarely use – like ski gear and travel accessories.

In the northeast corner, we added a vintage leaded glass cabinet, which we rehabbed and then put on these turned legs so that it would be tall enough to clear the baseboard and fit snugly in the corner.

Years ago, we bought two of these cabinets at a garage sale for $5 apiece.  This cabinet’s mirror-image twin currently lives in our kitchen.

My vintage dolls and other little items were collecting dust in this room, and one of my goals for the remodel was to find a place where they could be displayed but protected from dust.  I also wanted a better system for organizing my jewelry.

The vintage cabinet meets both needs.  We added hooks to make necklaces easy to sort and find.

And all my little vintage items that used to drive me crazy have a home now.

I love how the north wall turned out.  It’s fun, it has character, yet it’s calm and uncluttered – a far cry from the chaos I had going on before.

Northeast wall before

Looking at these before photos again, it’s surprising to me how much larger this wall space looks now.

North wall after




We did keep the light fixture that was already in the room.  It was a recent upgrade – a vintage milk glass light.

The East Wall

The ceiling slopes all along the east wall.  There is a short door that leads to an attic space.  It’s a cheap, hollow-core door that is not original to the house.  It had a 1970s-era knob, flimsy hinges, and was framed in with tragically cheap molding.  Its only redeeming quality was the beveled dressing mirror.  Otherwise, it was very sad.

East wall before

Since the door is a custom size, Chris decided to rehab it instead of having a new one made.

He added 1920s moldings that he’d saved from another project, and he added vintage hardware that we already had on hand – including a petite vintage glass door knob that would fit well on this petite door.

He made this cheap hollow-core door look original to our house – all without spending a cent.

On the east wall, we turn to face the south wall.

The South Wall

The south wall is a strange part of the room that is not even four feet wide.  It’s a long, narrow alcove that felt even narrower because of where I had placed the tall dresser.

Southeast wall before

It was no fun trying to get anything out of these drawers.  And, as you can see, this is where the carpeting stopped and an area rug took over.  Pretty classy!

Here is the area now.

Southeast wall after

Since the overhead light is near the north wall, this part of the room was dark at night, so our one splurge for the room was to buy a 1920s-era sconce light, which had been professionally restored, from a salvage shop.

Restored 1920s sconce light

Up until yesterday, we were still working on this part of the room.  I decided at the last minute that a chair was needed here, but it would have to be very petite.

I had this little bentwood chair kicking around in our basement.  But of course it needed work, and I was still putting the final touches on my “ebonized” finish for it yesterday morning.  And the faux fur seat cover arrived just in time.

At the same salvage shop where we found the sconce light, we found two narrow kitchen cabinets that, rehabbed and put together with an old dresser from our basement, would work nicely for the space around the window.



Where these kitchen cabinets once held canned goods, they now will hold sweaters – or maybe handbags.

And the old dresser, with its inset drawers, looks identical to the original built-in cabinetry in our home.


We added glass cabinet knobs to all the pieces to match the cabinet hardware throughout the house.

And I lined all the shelves and drawers in this south wall installation with a retro-floral shelf paper that I just love.

It was easy to reposition – unlike some other shelf papers that I would end up wadding and throwing away in frustration.

So you might be wondering if I forgot to add wall art.  But actually I love this uncluttered look so much that I have no desire to hang anything on these soothing white walls.  I might change my mind at some point, but right now I can almost feel my blood pressure drop when I walk into this room.

Just Lucky

Seems some home improvement projects are difficult from the get-go.  But with other projects, things just fall into place.  With this project, I was lucky.

Lucky because the floor stencil measured out so perfectly for the room dimensions.

Lucky because we found, or already had on hand, cabinetry pieces that fit so well into the strange little spaces that we were working with.

But most of all lucky because Chris so good-naturedly embarked on this challenge with me.

Without his mad DIY skills and his honest, informed opinions, this project would never have gotten off the ground.

More To Come

After the holiday season, I’ll be sharing more about the revamp of the little bentwood chair, details about the door rehab, and how we made two kitchen cabinets and an old dresser look like built-ins.

Visit The Other Challenge Participants

This six-week challenge has been intense for both of us.  But it’s also been very rewarding.  Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement along the way.  It made a world of difference!

I can’t wait to check out the other final reveals happening through the One Room Challenge.  Participant reveals can be found here.


Icarus Tile Floor Stencil
Wardrobe:  Private seller via Craigslist
Vintage Sconce Light:  Second Use
Salvaged Kitchen Cabinets:   Second Use
Shoe Rack:  Target
Glass Cabinet Knobs:  House of Antique Hardware
Yifely Retro Floral Self-Adhesive Shelf Paper
Pipe Decor Dual Flange Style Garment Rack
Legs for Leaded Glass Cabinet:  BingLTD “Pauline” Sofa Legs
Junovo Premium Faux Fur Sheepskin Seat Cushion Chair Cover

The baskets above the wardrobe were a Marshall’s find, but similar covered baskets can be found here.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




ORC Week 5: Dressing Room Remodel – Putting the Pieces Together

Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge®.  It’s been a busy week, and we’ve made some progress on the remodel of my little dressing room.  And we needed to – next week is the big reveal!

I can sum up my week in five words:  Clean, sand, prime, paint, repeat. Not that I’m complaining.  But I am dreaming of the day, hopefully soon, when I can actually use this cute little dressing room – and feel a little more girly than I do right now.

Weary painter
This paint brush is starting to look all too familiar!

But I have the easy part.  It’s up to Chris to make all the pieces that I’ve been painting fit into the room and more or less look built in – maybe even like they could be original to our circa 1927 house.

Except for one piece, the shoe rack I shared last week, all of the cabinetry in this room will be second-hand items that we have rehabbed and repurposed.

In case you missed them, here are my Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 posts.


Projects Everywhere

Disclosure:  Affiliate links are used below.

I had paint projects scattered throughout the house.

A cabinet door in the living room.

Cabinet legs in the dining room.

The cabinet itself, and the body of a vintage dresser, in the upstairs landing.

And the dresser drawers in the driveway.

These pieces were cleaned with this pre-paint cleaner followed by a soap and water wash.

A Visit To The Salvage Shop

We visited a local architectural salvage shop hoping to find a vintage sconce light for the room – which we did.  But we also found these little kitchen cabinets.  Believe it or not, they are just what the room needs – and we found them in the nick of time.

What we liked about them, besides their great condition and affordable price, was the single-panel doors.  We knew that, once we painted them and replaced the door hardware, they would resemble the original single-panel cabinetry that appears throughout our house.

A Rustic Touch

Since the room will be mostly white, I thought it needed a little rustic counterbalance.

So we bought this wall-mounted garment rack kit.  Made of authentic industrial pipe, it’s exactly the look I wanted.  We could have made our own out of plumbing parts, but it was actually less expensive to buy this kit.


Every piece had a protective coating of grease to keep it from rusting.  So they all needed to be cleaned and then sealed with a spray-on finish.  Since I was running out of work space, I did that project on the back patio.

The Vintage Cabinet

Several years ago, we bought two adorable vintage cabinets for $5 apiece at a garage sale.  If you’ve been with me for a while, you might remember that we used one of them in our kitchen.

Vintage cabinet used in the kitchen

We needed to put that cabinet on legs to clear the heat register in the wall behind it.

We are using the second cabinet in the dressing room.  And that one also needed to go on legs – this time to clear the baseboard so it would fit snugly against the wall.  Since we like them and they are a good value, we used the same legs that we’d installed on the first cabinet.

The only difference is that I painted these legs with the “Simply White” cabinet paint instead of using a finish on them.

Chris inset the legs just enough so that they would clear the baseboard.  The cabinet was going in a corner, so it had to clear the baseboard on two walls.

Just like with the first cabinet, Chris anchored this one to the wall.  After all, we live in earthquake country.

I had several little paint sample containers left from when I was deciding on the floor color.  So I used one of them – Iron Frost by Valspar – to paint the interior of the cabinet and give it a little interest.

Because this cabinet has a leaded glass door, it can display “pretty” things.  So Chris installed brass hooks along the top of the interior where I can hang necklaces and scarves.

The South Wall Comes Together

I haven’t shared much about the south wall of the room.  That’s because, until now, there wasn’t much going on.  It’s a very narrow portion of the room (not even four feet wide) and easy to over-fill.  So our goal is to make it a useful yet uncluttered space.

This is where the vintage dresser and those salvage shop kitchen cabinets come into play.  Put together, they work around a sloped ceiling and a window.

It doesn’t look like much yet, but I’m hoping it will soon!


Cabinet Hardware

All the cabinetry in the room will have the same hardware – glass knobs that match what is already on the cabinetry throughout the house.

Vintage glass knobs are fairly common, and I assumed they’d be easy to find locally.  But none of the salvage shops we visited had enough of them.  So we had to buy reproductions.

A few days ago, 19 of these little cuties arrived from the House of Antique Hardware.

There we found the best price on the glass knobs we needed – and by searching I found an online coupon I could use. The knobs look great, but the screws they came with are all too long, so we will need to size every one of them down.

That’s on the list, but the list is getting a little shorter.

And speaking of lists . . .

The Numbers

Even with a super-small budget, things add up.  Here is what the actual project cost is looking like, in round numbers.  (The vintage dresser is not included because we’ve had that piece forever.)

Wall, Trim, Cabinet, and Floor Paint and Floor Stencil $150
Craigslist Wardrobe $100
Vintage Sconce Light $95
Salvage Shop Kitchen Cabinets $55
Target Shoe Rack $30
Glass Cabinet Knobs $55
Retro Floral Shelf Paper $45
Wardrobe Casters $15
Legs for Leaded Glass Cabinet $40
Industrial Pipe Clothing Rack $30
Garage Sale Leaded Glass Cabinet $5
Plywood Underlayment $50
Estimated Misc. Supplies and Decor Items $200


My hat is off to the other participants of this challenge.  Just remodeling my little dressing room in the time allotted, and photographing and writing about it every week, has indeed been a challenge.  If you have time, check out what some of the other participants are up to.

Thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this event, and to Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of this challenge.

Come back next week for the big reveal!



Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




ORC Week 4: Dressing Room Remodel – Customizing A Craigslist Wardrobe

I can’t believe it’s already Week 4 of the One Room Challenge® .  Six weeks seemed like plenty of time to remodel my little dressing room, but now I’m not so sure!

In case you missed any of them, here are my Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3 posts.

When we left off last week, I had finished stenciling the floor.  It was a lot of work, and now it was time to protect that work.

Protecting the Stenciled Floor

Disclosure:  Affiliate links appear below.

Still following the excellent advice that I’d found here, I covered the stenciled floor with four coats of this Rust-Oleum Verathane finish in satin.

Since this was a small room, I used this Shur-Line paint and stain applicator and got a nice, even finish.  (Of course, not wanting to take any chances, I didn’t use an extension handle. I was on my knees at floor level!)

HANDy paint tray

And to reward myself for having come this far, I finally broke out my new HANDy paint tray.  But more on that later.

I applied four coats of the finish, letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.  After the last coat, I let the room just sit empty for a few days to make darn sure the finish was dry.

So, lots of drying time.  But while this was going on, Chris and I were tackling a monster.

The Wardrobe (aka, “The Monster”)

Chris and I found this wardrobe listed by a private seller on Craigslist.  I wish I’d taken a photo of it before we set it on sawhorses in our living room.  But at the time, it was all I could do to help him muscle it in from the truck.

So, here it is on sawhorses.

Carrying it down to the basement workshop was out of the question.  This was a huge and solid piece of wood furniture.  It was in great condition and it smelled fresh.  And the best part (besides the price – only $100) was that, according to our measurements, it would fit perfectly into an alcove in the dressing room.

That is, with a few modifications.


Making it Fit

The top piece was wider than the body of the cabinet.  So, the first thing Chris did was pull off that top piece and trim the sides to make it fit the alcove space.

Yes, it would fit – barely.

But there was another problem:  The baseboard.  In order for the wardrobe to fit, the baseboard in that alcove space had to go.

Alcove after removing the baseboard

Chris used his Ryobi multi tool for this.  I was a bit worried about the floor, but he didn’t damage it.

Meanwhile, I cleaned, lightly sanded, primed, and painted the wardrobe.

The Paint

Again I used my new HANDy paint tray.  It has a feature that I just love:  A magnet holds the paint brush so it doesn’t slip into the paint.

The paintbrush looks like it’s suspended in midair, but a magnet holds it in place

Even with a much-used paint brush like mine, with many coats of paint over the metal, the magnet held it.

HANDy paint tray in use

I used a roller and my Shur-Line edger to apply the primer.

For applying the paint, I used my Shur-Line paint and stain applicator – the same tool I’d used to apply the floor finish. (Of course I still needed to use a small paintbrush for the detail work).

This method gave me what I wanted:  An even application that looked more like a “factory finish” than I could have gotten by using the conventional roller-and-back-brushing method.

And it seemed like less work.

So I applied two coats of the Benjamin Moore “Simply White” cabinet paint – the same paint that I’d used on the moldings and doors in the dressing room.

The Wardrobe Goes Upstairs!

Then Chris and my brother Dan hauled the huge monster up our narrow staircase and muscled it into place in the alcove.

Wardrobe (sans doors and drawers) in place in the alcoveThis kind of fit was exactly what I was looking for.  One my goals for the room, which I listed in my Week 1 introduction, was to add furniture that looked built in but was actually removable.

This piece fits the space so well, and finding it on Craigstlist was very fortunate – like finding a needle in a haystack.



If you’re into details, you probably noticed the small attic hatch in the ceiling above the wardrobe.  Nothing is stored in that attic but, if there were ever a roof leak, we might need to access that attic space.

So Chris put the wardrobe on these low-profile trundle casters.  Now it can be moved when we need to get into the attic.  And, unless you know to look for them, the casters aren’t really that noticeable.

We put little wedges in front of the casters for now, but we’re going to anchor the wardrobe to the wall with an easy-to-remove screw.

And then Chris will replace the baseboard that runs along the wall in front of the wardrobe.  But that too will have screws instead of nails so it can be removed if we ever need to roll the wardrobe out.

A “Customized” Shoe Rack

I bought this shoe rack (which is actually called a horizontal cube) from Target because its style and dimensions were perfect for the space I had in mind.



I wanted it to fit flush against the wall, but again the baseboard was an issue.  So Chris carefully cut a small chunk out of the back of the shoe rack to make it fit neatly around the baseboard.

Shoe rack cut to fit around the baseboard

The shoe rack came unassembled, so Chris could make the necessary cuts before he assembled it.

I love that the white of the shoe rack is so close to the Simply White that I’ve been painting everything.  The only thing I don’t like about this piece is that the screw heads are exposed.  But I’m not sure they will be very noticeable once the other pieces we have planned for this wall are in place.


No, those wooden knobs on the wardrobe are not staying

By the way, this shoe rack is the only new piece of furniture going into this room.  All the other pieces will be ones that we already had or that we purchased second-hand.

After all, this is a budget project.

Coming Next Week

We are getting down to the wire, and there is still so much ground to cover. We need to install a second light fixture, a garment rack, a bit of molding, and possibly a wall shelf. Chris has more furniture customizing to do.

And I have more painting – much more.  After the wardrobe went upstairs, I immediately put another piece on the sawhorses in our living room.


Lots of white will be going into the dressing room, but I’ll leave you with a little preview of some of the other colors that we’ll be incorporating.

Valspar “Iron Frost” paint and a retro-floral self-adhesive drawer liner

There are so many amazing room transformations happening over on the One Room Challenge.  If you get a chance, check out what some of the featured designers and the other guest participants are working on.

Special thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this event, and to Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of this challenge.


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




3 Ways To Make Your Home More Personal To You

To me, the best homes are the ones that are a comfortable extension of the person living there.  It’s fun to walk into someone’s home and learn more about them just by what they have chosen to display.  Those little personal touches are instant conversation starters.

So I thought this guest post, with simple ways to create a more personalized home, would be a fun one to share.

The following is a contributed post.  For more information on my contributed posts, please click here.

3 Ways To Make Your Home More Personal To You

There are many things that you might want to be able to say about your own home, but probably the most important is that you want your home to be a reflection of you – to be as personal to you as possible.

If it is not personal to you, if it looks and feels like just about anybody could be living there, then you are just not going to enjoy it as much. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you can make your home personal to you and, as long as you are focused on these, you should be able to make your home a much happier place overall.

So let’s take a look at three of the best ways to make your home more personal to you.

Custom Design

One of the simplest ways, of course, is to put some thought and effort into customizing your home’s design. It’s easier than you might assume, yet the effect it will have is truly profound.

After all, it is going to mean that there is no other home in the world which is exactly like yours. A good way to start is to consider transforming the look of your home with custom paint and glass.   The impact of fresh paint and new windows can be truly amazing.  And, when you have those basic elements in place, they can serve as inspiration for personalizing your decor.  

Personalized Decor

Of course, it is also hugely important to make sure that you have a lot of personal reminders scattered throughout your home.  This will make it much easier to feel that your home really is a place for you and your family. It might simply mean displaying photos of friends, family, or even pets.  Or it might mean including those special little items that remind you of different times in your life – or the travels that you have been on. 

Consider displaying your child’s art work – or perhaps something that you have been collecting.  Think about bringing in a few house plants to soften the look – or simply a few flowers from your garden. 

You also might try rotating just a few decor items so that your home has a fresh look each season – without a lot of work on your part.

Comfortable Atmosphere

We’ve covered customizing your home’s design and personalizing its decor.  But what really makes for a happy home – the glue that holds it all together – is of course comfort.  More than anything else, creating a comfortable atmosphere will make you feel that your home is personal to you.  Think color, texture, lighting, fragrance.  And don’t forget the more practical considerations:  Room function, traffic flow, and temperature.  Creating a comfortable atmosphere is actually simple enough, and it’s mostly a case of ensuring that the way you live in your space – with whoever you live with – is a peaceful and engaged one.

That is going to make a huge difference indeed.

However you do it, personalizing your home will make you and your family happy to come home after a long day.


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




ORC Week 3: Dressing Room Remodel – Stenciling The Floor

Well it’s Week 3 of the One Room Challenge® , and I survived it with my sanity intact.  Barely.

I was stenciling the floor.  All week.

I’d started the project with confidence after getting some words of encouragement from Stacie, another ORC participant who had just finished a charming stenciled wall.  This kind of moral support is what makes the ORC so much fun.

In case you missed them, check out my Week 1 and Week 2 posts.  They explain the strange little dressing room that my husband and I are remodeling.

Why A Stencil?

Disclosure:  Affiliate links appear below.

Chris had installed a plywood floor in the room to cover some hideous mid century linoleum.  (Check out Week 2 to see the ugly linoleum!)

We came to the conclusion that, to avoid having too much of a height variance between the hallway and dressing room floors, and to keep this project cost-effective, simply painting the plywood was the best option.

The mostly-white room would need something to “pop,” so we kept coming back to the idea of a stenciled floor.  After all, stenciled floors and stenciled tiles are kind of a thing right now.

But sometimes it doesn’t take long for “a thing” to become “that old thing,” which is why I try to keep my decor classic and avoid those kinds of “things.”

Then it dawned on me that this is just paint – one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to infuse a trend.  Once the stencil is not “a thing” anymore, I can simply paint over it.  But I really don’t want it to come to that, so we chose this classic eight-inch stencil.

You can see that four stylized fleur-de-lis images make up the eight-inch square.  It really doesn’t get more classic than the fleur-de-lis, which has been around for centuries.

And it would also work with nicely with the original design elements of our circa 1927 house.

The Fun Begins!

I suspected (and rightly so) that this project would be time consuming and frustrating.  So I did a little research and found a wealth of information over at lovelyetc. com.  Here, Carrie talks about her DIY stenciled plywood living room floor.  She even has updates on how it is holding up.

Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, I followed her advice pretty much to the letter.  And when I didn’t follow her advice, I lived to regret it (more on that later).

Before we go any further, I should mention that plywood is considered a subfloor, and this might become an issue when selling a home because some lenders don’t like exposed subfloors.  Not sure if that would count in my case because there is a “real” floor under the plywood, but it’s worth mentioning.

The Paint and Colors

I used Valspar Porch, Floor and Patio Latex Paint.  After much deliberation (insert eye roll by my husband here), my colors were “Crucible” for the base coat and “Fresh Bread” for the stencil.

With the room being so tiny, a quart of each was enough.

Applying the Base Coat

I’d already applied two coats of Zinnser Bulls Eye Primer.  So over this, I applied two coats of the Crucible using a roller cover designed for smooth surfaces and my trusty, and much used, Shur-Line edger for the edges.  (And of course, I vacuumed the floor, the roller cover, and edger pad within an inch of their lives first, for a lint-free application.)

This was definitely the easy part.

Measuring For the Stencil – What, No Way!!

Measure twice, stencil once.  I measured the room to figure out the best plan of attack for the pattern I was about to paint.  If there would be a part-pattern along any edge, which edge should it be?  And then where should I start?

After measuring, I was sure I was wrong.  No way could I be this lucky:  The pattern repeat would fit perfectly with the dimensions of this weirdly-shaped little room.  There would be no part-patterns along any of the floor edges!

To better wrap my head around this (and to practice a bit more with the stencil), I painted the pattern repeat on a test board that I’d used earlier to experiment with paint colors.

I wasn’t wrong.


Painting the Stencil

The size of my stencil turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.  While it fit perfectly with the room dimensions, at eight inches it was a very small stencil for use on a floor.  I bought it because I liked it, knowing full well that Carrie recommends using a larger stencil.

I’d created a lot of work for myself.

The process took many hours over several days.  I learned that the stencil worked best if wasn’t too clean but also not too gummed up with paint.  Medium gummy was just right.  And it was important not to oversaturate the roller with paint.  Less paint on the roller meant less cursing by me.

stenciled plywood floor

I kept a wet rag handy to wipe away any mistakes.  And there were mistakes.

The stencil had a guide to make it easier to keep the pattern lined up.

But I was so focused on keeping the lines straight that I forgot one important fact:  Straight lines and old houses don’t mix.

I found out the hard way that one of the walls runs ever so slightly at an angle. So, while the stencil pattern lined up, it looked a bit crooked running next to that wall.

I had to paint over that portion and start again – carefully repainting it so that the pattern looked lined up yet still ran straight along the wall.

stenciled plywood floor
Once the quarter-round is installed around the baseboard, this will look just right!

By this time, I was dreaming about the end of this project, when I would light a glorious bonfire and watch that stencil burn!  (Of course it was only a dream since burning plastic is very uncool.)

And I shouldn’t be mad at the stencil anyway.  Made in the U.S.A., it was good quality.  It held up well considering how many times I cleaned it during the process.

The Result

Now the hard part is over.  The floor looks a bit busy but, once the furniture is in, it will all come together.

stenciled plywood floor

It’s not perfect, but it is a hand-painted floor so I think the imperfections give it character.  That is what I’m telling myself, anyway.

Because, perfect or not, I’m done stenciling!

stenciled plywood floor

Coming Next Week

The next step is to protect my work with several coats of finish, and then we can focus on the furniture.

Special thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this event, and to Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of this challenge.


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




ORC Week 2: Dressing Room Remodel – Flooring, Walls, And Door

Do you have your best ideas when you first wake up?  I’d been grappling with my plans for the furniture layout in this quirky little dressing room.  Something wasn’t quite right.

And then this morning I woke up with the solution.

Maybe all the inspiration I’m seeing in the One Room Challenge®  is rubbing off.  It’s week two of the challenge, and it’s been fun checking out the room transformations happening here.

And it’s excellent motivation as Chris and I continue working on the remodel of my dressing room.  If you missed my Week I post, pop over to see the before photos and our plan of attack.

But essentially, here is the layout of the space we’re working with, all 70-ish square feet of it.

What the sketch doesn’t show is that the ceiling on the east wall slopes down with the roofline to meet the wall.  So, the east wall isn’t even six feet high.

Week Two Progress

We have been very busy, and I’m happy with our progress so far.  Here is what we’ve been up to.

A Decision On The Floor

Almost every finished room in our circa 1927 house has the original fir flooring exposed and refinished.  Except for this little room.  It was carpeted, and that’s because, under the carpet, there was mid-century linoleum covering the original fir floor.

We found evidence that someone, at some point, had tried to remove the linoleum but had given up.

Chris tried several methods of removing it himself, including heat.  But this flooring was holding on tight, and the tiny bit of progress he made was painfully slow and unpleasant.  It would take countless hours to remove it, and many more to salvage the fir floor beneath it – if that floor was even salvageable.

After all, there was a good-sized mystery patch in the middle.

And some weirdness in a corner.

But the larger issue was that, by disturbing this older flooring and adhesive, we were running the risk of releasing and breathing asbestos.  For this to be done right, we needed to hire someone who was licensed to perform asbestos abatement.

So at this point I was more than happy to move on to our Plan B.

Chris would just cover the whole mess with quarter-inch plywood.  And then I would paint it.  That’s right – a painted plywood floor!

But before Chris installed this beautiful new plywood, I painted the walls, moldings, and entry door.  Since we were going to cover that old flooring anyway, I wouldn’t even need a drop cloth.

Wall and Trim Paint

The room is very small.  It has a ceiling that follows the sloping roofline of our second floor.  The sloped ceiling had been painted a different color (ceiling white) than the walls (a light blue), and I always felt like that weighed the room down somehow.

So, my thought was that painting the entire room – ceilings, walls, moldings and doors – all in one neutral color would lighten the room and make it appear larger.

Since the room only has one small pocket window, I wanted a very light paint.  So, I went with good old Benjamin Moore “Simply White.”  Despite the name, the color is actually a soft and neutral off-white that is said to play nicely with other colors  – even other whites.

Perfect, I thought, for a that classic and uncluttered look I wanted.

I used a matte finish for the walls and ceiling.  I used their satin cabinet paint (which will come in handy later too – you’ll see!) for the moldings and doors.  Although both paints are Simply White, just the variation in the paint finishes provides enough contrast to bring a little definition to the moldings.

The Plywood Floor Begins!

Once I finished painting, Chris installed the plywood floor.

and patched the seams and screw holes.

I was surprised how quickly he did all this, and as usual he did a beautiful job.

I vacuumed the floor thoroughly and applied two coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye primer.  To apply the primer,  I used a short-nap roller cover made for smooth finishes. And I used my trusty Shur-Line edger  (which I often use in place of a paint brush) for the perimeter.  I vacuumed both the roller cover and the edger pad before using them to make darn sure I’d have a lint-free application.

So now the floor is a beautiful blank canvas, and I’m a bit nervous.  I’d been experimenting with various paint applications, including a takeoff on rag-rolling that I’d hoped would look like a treated cement floor – but wound up looking more like a dirty floor.  Someday I might play around more with that technique.

But for this little room, Chris and I kept coming back to the idea of a stencil.  With the all-white everything, it would be a nice contrast to have the floor carry a pattern.

I found an 8-inch stencil I liked, and I’ve been practicing and experimenting with colors.

The Door Rebuild

While I was deliberating over the floor, Chris was rebuilding the sad little door on the east wall that leads to an attic space.

This short hollow-core door (only 64 inches tall) is not original to our circa 1927 house.  And neither was the cheap 2-inch molding around it.

So Chris rebuilt the door to make it look like one of our original single-panel doors from the 1920s.

This turned out to be a very cool project, but it was more planning and more work than it looks like.  So I’m going to write a post in the future dedicated solely to this door rehab.

But for now I’ll explain it in broad strokes.

He started by installing molding around the door that had actually been removed from another room in our house!  (Chris tends to hang on to things, and sometimes this comes in very handy.)


Now the molding around the door would match the other moldings in the house.

Then he installed molding around the perimeter of the door itself to give it the appearance of a  single-panel door.

Once all that was done, I primed the door and moldings and painted them with the Simply White cabinet paint.

Then it was finally time to upgrade from the cheap, 1970’s-era brass-tone knob that had been on the door – the knob that has bugged me since we moved in.

We’ve collected a pretty good stash of old house parts over the years and, rummaging through it, we found this beauty.

We chose it because of its petite size (in scale with the door) and because all of our original doors have glass knobs.

We also replaced the flimsy hinges on the door with these vintage hinges – which, besides being very well-made, are identical to the hinges on our original doors.

I want to be careful not to give away too much before the big Week 6 reveal but, since I didn’t put a mood board together, I want to show you this door as an example of what we have planned for the entire room:  1920s elegance, feminine but classic, glass knobs, soft white.

Pre-rebuild, the door had a beveled dressing mirror attached to it, and we just reused it.  There is a small chip on the lower right had corner, but I can live with that.  Character.

Coming Next Week

The stencil begins!  I know this will be a ton of work – and probably pretty frustrating.  I’m really hoping to have decent results. 

But if I don’t, it’s just paint.  I can always paint over it and try something else.

I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Special thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this event, and to Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of this challenge.


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




One Room Challenge Week 1: Planning A Dressing Room Remodel

Today I have exciting news:  I have joined the One Room Challenge® as a guest participant.  This means that I (with loads of help from my talented husband Chris) will be scrambling to meet the challenge of completing a room transformation in six weeks – and posting weekly progress reports.

Here’s the logo – it’s official!

The creator and host of the One Room Challenge is Linda of Calling It Home, and it’s sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens.  All the other participants (both featured designers and guest participants like me) will be doing the same, and what I love most about the One Room Challenge is that it’s not a contest – it’s a supportive forum where we can encourage one another and find design inspiration.

And I’m going to need all the encouragement I can get because the room that I have chosen is the smallest and most neglected room in our house.

Never before seen by anyone outside of our immediate family, I give you:

My Dressing Room

I’d always had it in the back of my mind that I would revamp this room some day.  And until that day came, I didn’t really care how much of a mess it was.

Dressing room – north wall

This little room is on our second floor.  I guess I could just call it a walk-in closet, but it’s not actually attached to any other room.

Dressing room – northeast corner

Tucked under the roofline – just to the east of the staircase, the dressing room is a tiny room of its own.

Dressing room – south wall

As you can see, the ceiling follows the roofline.

The former owners counted it as a bedroom when they listed the house for sale, and we did find evidence that it may have been used as a child’s room at one time.

But since Chris and I had both held onto our pre-marriage bedroom furniture, I decided to move my bedroom dressers (which I’d had almost my entire life – since early childhood!) into this little room and use it as a dressing room.

Over time, the whole thing evolved into a patched-together mess.  My dressers didn’t provide enough storage so I brought in a haphazard mix of shelves, ladders, and small storage units.  And towers of shoe boxes.

To add to the clutter, I wanted a few of my childhood toys to see the light of day again, so they were in here too.

This room gets very dusty.  All this clutter needed to be dusted regularly.  

There was wall-to-wall carpet that didn’t quite reach all the walls.

Dressing room – southeast corner

Under the little desk, the carpet transitioned to an area rug which transitioned to some lovely mid century linoleum.

Under the desk

On the east wall, there is a small door – only 64 inches tall – that leads to an unfinished attic space.

Attic access door on east wall

The height of the east wall is only 70 inches.  So, not even six feet.

A 35-inch-wide alcove housed the only closet rod in the room.  That wasn’t enough space, so I had to bring in a portable clothes rack.

Dressing room – west wall

When we undertook our master bathroom remodel, we had to take a little bite out of the dressing room to make space for a walk-in shower.  So, the room is actually even smaller than it was when we moved in.

This room is a confusing shape, and it’s hard to fathom from the photos.  So, tech wizard that I am, I created this stunning visual for you.

On the right, you can see the chunk we took out of the room for the master bath remodel.  So we’re looking at a roughly 70-square-foot, kind-of-boot-shaped, slope-ceilinged little room.  With two doors.

This is what we will be working with!

The Plan

I would love a dressing room like this.

Photo by Mike Gattorna on Pixabay

But that would require a magic wand.  At least I can steal some of the design elements from this look and others like it and apply them on a (much) smaller scale.

My Goals:

  • Create a classic and uncluttered dressing room that blends seamlessly with the original design elements of our circa 1927 home;
  • Add storage furniture that looks built-in but actually is removable (in case this room is ever needed for another purpose);
  • Have as much covered and enclosed storage space as possible;
  • Create more space for hanging clothes;
  • Add a display cabinet for dolls and other vintage items;
  • Add more lighting;
  • Expose and refinish the original fir floor or install new flooring.

The Challenges

With this quirky little room, the challenges are obvious, but I’ll list them anyway.

  • Odd room shape;
  • Tiny room size;
  • Sloped ceiling (actually a curse and a blessing since I think it makes the room look charming and old-world);
  • My budget (more on that later);
  • Original fir floor buried under glued-on mid century linoleum;
  • Six-week time frame.

My Budget

I don’t have an actual budget worked out, but I’m never one to splash money around.  I enjoy a good bargain hunt.  So this project will be done as thriftily as possible.

But I still want beautiful results.  I want a champagne dressing room on a beer budget!

Current Progress

We’ve emptied the room, pulled up the carpet, and assessed the floor.

Somewhere under all this old linoleum is the original fir flooring.

But can we save it?  And if not, then what?  We’re investigating the possibilities, and we have some ideas.

And I’ve started painting the walls. 

More on all this next week, so stay tuned!


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




Preparing For A Home Remodel

When I first announced my summer guest writer series, I was a little worried that I would be too much of a control freak to actually enjoy handing the keyboard over to other authors.  But now I love the anticipation of seeing what my guest writers will send me next.  The topics so far have been varied and useful.  So after summer ends, I will continue to welcome guest writers from time to time.

This post speaks to me because living through a major home remodel can really test a relationship. So it’s important to plan ahead.  By setting up a small makeshift kitchen in our living room, Chris made it easy for us to cope with our kitchen remodel.  Even so, that little kitchen had to be moved several times – with the fridge eventually ending up on our front porch in the dead of winter.  I remember those cold mornings when I had to go outside to put milk in my coffee.  But at least I still had coffee!

If you’re planning a major remodel or know someone who is, the tips below should come in very handy.

The following is a contributed post.  For information on my contributed posts, please click here.

Preparing For A Home Remodel

Whether you’re about to remodel a part of your home or the entire house, you’re going to need to run through some preparation steps beforehand. After all, your house won’t be exactly usable until the work is complete, and that’s something you’re going to have to plan ahead for! And so, with the tips we’ve compiled below, let’s get you started on your home remodel plan of action. Don’t let yourself wait until the day the workmen come in to pack up your things and take your family elsewhere! 

Image courtesy of Michal Jermoluk on Pixabay

Find a Place to Stay

If the remodel is going to turn you out of house and home for a while, you’re going to need to find a place to stay ahead of time. And if you’re not sure if the remodel is going to require you to leave for a little while, think about it now – or call up the team that’s going to be undertaking the bulk of the work for you and ask for their opinion on it! 

How many rooms are you going to be losing the use of? Will the house be secured and covered for the next two weeks or so? Depending on the answers to questions like these, you might need to arrange to stay with extended family, or a kind friend, or you might need to budget for a hotel or a B&B for a while! 

Throw Some Things Out

It’s also much better to get rid of your junk now, when you’ve got the chance to properly go through your household inventory and see what your new house model is going to need.  For example, if you have an old, musty fridge that should have been thrown away years ago, call up a service like Junk Removers and get it gone! Now you know what kind of space you’re working with, and what kind of equipment you’ll need to fill it.

Prep Your Meals

And finally, if you’re losing the use of your kitchen, or most of your main floor, make sure you prep some meals ahead of time. You’re still going to need to eat and drink while your house is being renovated and remodeled, and you can very easily invest in a portable cooler to store your food packs while your fridge is out of use. 

Image courtesy of Martin Vorel on Pixabay

Think about what kind of meals would pack the most punch, nutrition wise. You don’t want to be relying on easy, snack-like meals at a time like this. Make sure you’re meal prepping with value, as the kids are definitely going to need to stock up on energy during such a disruptive period of their young lives! 

Preparing for a home remodel can be a bit tricky – there’s a lot you’ll have to do! So starting early is key.  And make sure you secure that overflow accommodation as soon as you possibly can.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials or endorsements.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




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Creating A Vintage Look With Wooden Windows

Like many older homes, our little 1920s cottage suffered an unfortunate “remuddle” in the mid-1900s.  We have spent many years restoring its original charm.  But, by some miracle, most of the original wood-clad windows are still intact – and the ones that were removed were replaced with newer wood-clad windows.

I’ve always loved wood-clad windows for their timeless appeal, but they have a few other virtues that I hadn’t thought of.  In this post, brought to me by a guest writer, we learn about the advantages of wood-clad windows.

The following is a contributed post.  For information on my contributed posts, please click here.

Creating a Vintage Look with Wooden Windows

The design of your property’s windows is important. This is because they have the capacity to dictate the overall style of your home. After all, they are a dominant feature when it comes to both the interior and the exterior of a building. When determining what option to go for, there are many things to consider. Do you go for something contemporary or conventional? Which material should you use? Should you bring color into the equation? This post  reveals more about the option of a stunning vintage wooden window design. 

Vintage styles are undoubtedly on trend at the moment so, if you want something that is going to wow, this is certainly the option to go for. Nevertheless, by opting for a traditional design you are also going to reap the rewards of timeless beauty.

You don’t have to worry about the window style ever being viewed as unfashionable or outdated. You have selected a design that transcends the barriers of time.  Whether it is 2019 or 2030, your windows are going to look just as beautiful. 

Wood is such a versatile material to use and it is probably the only option you can go for if you are trying to create a vintage look at your home. Other materials used today, such as PVC, have a contemporary feel. Wood, on the other hand, has been used in homes for years.

In fact, if you look at old heritage buildings you will see that the windows have been made from wood.

Yes, it may have been a different type of wood than used today, and construction methods may have improved, but it is still the same material – wood. If you are trying to emulate a traditional feel in your home, nobody can deny that wood boasts a rustic and authentic feel. 

Nonetheless, despite the evident benefit of achieving the perfect vintage style with wooden windows, there are other benefits associated with selecting wood as your material of choice.  Wooden windows from the likes of Reece Builders tend to represent good value for money.  Nowadays you can generally have them installed at a more reasonable cost than you were able to before. Moreover, value is also achieved via the fact that wooden windows tend to last a lot longer when compared with other options and therefore you need not worry about replacements.

In addition to this, wood is efficient. It has a very low level of thermal conductivity and acts as an effective insulator. Wood windows also have the lowest environmental impact of any material used for window construction. 

To summarize, there are clearly many benefits associated with using wood as your material of choice for window design. Nonetheless, the true benefit lies within the fact that you will be able to generate that fantastic vintage feel; beautiful and traditional windows which will stand the test of time.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials or endorsements.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
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Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
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Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




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Dan’s Garage Rebuild

Today I have two exciting announcements.  The first is that I’m introducing my new Summer Guest Writer series.  This summer, from time to time, I’ll be handing over the keyboard to some talented voices who will be giving us fresh home and garden inspiration.

Secondly, my dear brother Dan (aka “The Mad Scientist”) is our first guest writer!  I cannot think of a better way to kick off my new series.  Besides always having a DIY project or two going on at his own house (including his amazing dining room remodel), Dan did the window trim in Mom’s sunroom, built my beautiful vintage-inspired greenhouse lights and, more recently, built the perfect corner cabinet for our laundry room remodel.

But right now he is sharing the DIY rebuild of his vintage garage – which he did on a budget with reclaimed materials.  Don’t miss the before and after at the end!

So without further delay, here’s Dan:

My Garage Rebuild

My sister thinks of me as somewhat of a mad scientist, but I’m also a homeowner and occasionally I find myself mired in the tedium that all homeowners face from time to time.

So one day I saw what looked like a little dry rot at the left corner of my garage door frame. Upon closer inspection, I realized the whole front facade was rotting and had to be replaced.

I was looking at two months of nights and weekends working on this. I could have just hired someone but, knowing I was handy enough to do this myself, my frugality won out.

Also I thought it would be fun to give the garage a facelift rather than just replace the rotted lumber.

Garage before rehab.
What I had to start with.

I began searching the web for images of late Victorian and early Craftsman style houses and garages looking for designs or specific design elements I liked.

Once I had several ideas in my head, I started sketching them up. After several re-designs, here’s the plan I came up with:

The Plan
The Plan.


Once I had a plan I liked, it was time to develop a shopping list and see what building materials I might already have left over from previous projects.

The plan changed a bit when I realized the old garage door was a custom size. Rather than spending extra on a custom door, I decided to adjust the size of the opening. Losing only 6 inches on each side saved me about $350. I can live with that.



With all my building materials and a new garage door ready for installation, it was time to start the demolition. Some people love demolition, but I find it irritating and hazardous. But the dry rot hadn’t evolved into toxic mold yet, so…yay!

After relieving the tension on the old garage door counterbalance spring (those suckers could take your hand off if you’re not careful) and relocating a light switch, it was time to put on a dust mask and go at it with a sledge and crow bar.

Sometimes you find interesting things while doing demo. I discovered that the original door spanned the full width of the garage. The previous owner probably had to replace the door, and in doing so made the opening more narrow. It was this previous remodel that was rotting away.

The original lumber that the garage was built with was still in pretty good shape after 110 years. Only the old door trim was beginning to rot. It was pretty easy to replace.

Originally it was probably a double sliding door or a pair of bifolds, maybe something like one of these:

Old garages
What the old door may have looked like.


I also found copper framing nails in some places. I never knew such a thing existed.

Wood with a copper nail
A copper nail!


After doing a little research, I found out that, decades ago, copper nails were recommended for use in pressure treated lumber, although none of the lumber I had to tear out was pressure treated (which was why I had to tear it out).

Old garage door
Broken, rotting garage door


I kept the garbage pile neatly stacked so as not to annoy the neighbors.


Assembling the new door sections, tracks and tension springs turned out to be a two-day project. The assembly instructions said I should expect it to take 5 hours.

The amount of hardware that comes with a new garage door is incredible.


Garage door hardware
Box 1 of 3!



With Fall rapidly approaching, I decided to turn my attention to getting the siding and windows installed.

I needed two different kinds of siding, two windows, a little bit of tongue & groove beadboard, and some trim. I decided to go with PVC for the beadboard and trim. That stuff never rots. But I wanted the windows and siding to look like they were original to the garage.

Time to start poking around the salvage shops.  I wanted traditional lap siding for the sections on either side of the door, and cedar shingles for the gable section. I found both for less than half the price of the big box stores.

The shingles were unused, unpainted leftovers from a job someone over-estimated. The lap siding had nail holes and peeling paint but, for the price, I was willing to do a little sanding and scraping.

I bought about 25% more than I needed but, due to splitting and other flaws I didn’t see when I bought it, it was just barely enough.

reclaimed lumber
Needs work, but you can’t beat the price.


reclaimed lumber
Here you can see where there was ivy growing.


I also bought two windows at the salvage shop. They needed to be trimmed down a bit to fit between the existing studs, but they were in fine shape and required far less work than the siding.

Even the old paint color worked for me.

Reclaimed windows
Just a good cleaning and trimming down to size was all these windows needed.


It’s starting to take shape!


DIY garage rebuild
It really comes together with the trim in place.


DIY garage rebuild
I used a straight edge to keep everything level.


Now I had to do the beadboard at the gable above the windows. I made a template out of scrap wood to make sure the fitment was spot on. Then I glued the sections of beadboard together.

Once the glue set, I marked it with the template and cut it down to size. It fit perfectly!

Gable template


Gable template


DIY garage rebuild


The weather took a turn, so I had to put off the spackling and touch-up painting, and instead work on installing the garage door opener.

I was blown away by the features available on openers these days. I didn’t need WiFi connectivity or Bluetooth, or alerts sent to my iTelphone, but they still make good old fashioned “push a button and it opens and closes” garage door openers.

They just make them better now.

I got one with a DC motor so it can open slowly at first and then speed up instead of just jerking the door open.  That’s easier on the mechanical components of the opener and the door. It’s tiny but powerful.


garage door openers - old vs. new
Garage door openers: Old vs. new.


garage door opener hardware
Great. More hardware.


My original design called for a lantern on either side of the door, but those lanterns would have been right at eye level and kind of blinding instead of shining the light down onto the driveway where I needed it.

So I decided instead to look for something like this:


The price for one of these new would  break the budget so, once again, my frugality is getting the best of me.  I’ve decided to make my own.  In a previous post, I made a rustic pendant barn light out of a $14 heat lamp, so maybe you’ll see this build in a future blog post.

But right now, summer is starting to roll around again and I have other projects needing my attention. A homeowner’s work is never done.

In Summary

I wasn’t really looking for a late-summer remodel project, but all in all it went pretty well and there weren’t too many unpleasant surprises. Plus I learned a few things along the way, which is always fun.

Let’s take another look at what I started with.  This was the garage before:

Garage before rehab


And here it is now:


My design also called for a trellis over the door, but I’ve gotten so many compliments on this from neighbors and passers-by already that I’m going to leave it as-is. Maybe at a later time, if I feel the design is getting stale, I’ll add a trellis and a wisteria to grow on it.  But for now I think this is fine.


Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


Here you’ll find seasonal goodies, my current decor obsessions, and more!


Want to see more? Browse my photo gallery or check out these categories:

Our Kitchen Remodel Series
Our Master Bath Remodel Series
My Shop
Dan’s Workshop
Decorating and Holidays
Our Little Sunglo Greenhouse
Floral Design
Garden Design
The June Bug Diaries
Our Laundry Room Remodel




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