Next up in the 2015 Highlights series… my favorite DIY projects from this year. I’ve been slacking a bit in the DIY realm this fall and winter, but plan to do more projects in 2016. Even though 2015 didn’t include a ton of DIYs, I had time to do a couple projects and am sharing some of my favorites below!
If you missed yesterday’s post, click here: 2015 Highlights: Getting Organized
Press for Champagne Art
Painted Entry Table:
Memo Board Revisited
Most of the items on my Apartment To Do List post just over a month ago are checked off and now I’m left with another new list of small projects. It always feels so nice to cross off the big items so I thought I’d share a quick update and new items and projects (coming to the blog, of course) for the next few weeks.
Lighting: Need lamp for dining area and replace broken lamp in bar area
Need one for door leading to balcony, small entry rug needed (turns out, my front door will not allow any rug, no matter how small or thin, to stay put and immediately gets stuck and crumpled into a corner when opening and closing the door so I’ve officially given up on this item)
Replace TV, clean up cord mess behind credenza
New tv: lamp swap
Blank wall behind credenza
Reorganize and style bar area
- Organize inside coffee table drawers (they might look fine from the outside but the inside of each drawer is a hidden hot mess)
- Organize hall closet (just needs a bit of tweaking)
- Paint touch ups
- Re-install Stain Master rug (after an unfortunate water leak, I had to rip up the squares and all of the sticky strips were waterlogged but stain master was kind enough to send me a replacement box!)
- Miracle grout pen on tile (I’m not a fan of the tile or the grout in this kitchen but the miracle grout pen will surely make an impact)
- Paint Touch Ups
- Finally take updated photos for the blog!
Gallery wall– get new photos printed, add remaining row at the bottom
Move old TV into bedroom
Black bookshelf– too small and awkward, sell and replace with smaller credenza/dresser
Add floor lamp
- Finish organizing bedroom bookshelf, items on desk and pink stool (this has now been transferred to the next list because I still keep putting it off)
- Paint touch ups
- Style desk
- Style white dresser
- Organize inside white dresser (huge mess hiding inside)
- Touch up paint on nightstand (my rescued nightstand usually needs a touch up once a year and it’s about that time again)
- Install rug pad for rug in front of closet (my failed entry rug idea- see the top of this post- was relegated to the bedroom and it actually works quite nicely in front of the sliding closet doors)
Bathroom: New Additions:
- Miracle grout pen on tile (grout definitely needs a makeover in the bathroom as well, hello old building)
- Organize medicine cabinet (this is mostly done but I need to do some final tweaking and take photos for the blog)
- Paint touch ups
Hide/cover hall closet area so it looks less chaotic
- Finish organizing hall closet area (not quite finished)
- Re-organize hallway shelving (Still needs some work but I can’t wait to share the solution I found to hide this spot! Coming to the blog next week)
- Paint touch ups
This is what I started out with. A big pile of cords, cable box, router, modem, power strip, etc.
The back of the credenza is a softer particle-board like material so it didn’t take much to drill through the back. I didn’t want to make any more of a hole than I needed, so I started out small and made the hole just big enough to fit the cords through.
I fit everything in the top two drawer spaces and then realized the cord to my power strip was too thick to properly close the drawers and it would require drilling a hole into at least one of the drawers, which I didn’t want to do…
So I found a smaller extension cord (and forgot to take photos during that process) that was thin enough to allow the drawers to close fully. One problem: It added to the gigantic mess of cords already happening behind and below the credenza. One of my favorite features of mid-century pieces is the floating effect of the tall skinny legs so there’s a space between the furniture and the floor. However, this displays the cord mess for all to see.
I needed a cheap, simple solution that wouldn’t do any damage to the credenza. 3m velcro strips and hooks to the rescue. I simply attached two hooks to the back of the credenza with the velcro strips and wrangled the cords around both hooks to get them off the floor.
It still looks like a bit of a mess back here but it won’t be visible to anyone unless the credenza is pulled completely away from the wall.
I’m thrilled with the end result. With the exception of the main cable cord (which will always be visible as it feeds back to my closet), everything else is neatly hidden away.
Moving on to part two, after cleaning all of the drawers, legs and sides on the credenza, I let them dry for a couple hours. Followed by the lovely products from Howard, Restor-A-Finish in Walnut and Feed-N-Wax. And one of my favorite kinds of beer to help the process along 🙂 More on bar keepers friend and brasso later…
I removed the hardware from all of the drawers after cleaning and laid out all of my supplies on a moving blanket to prevent any potential disasters. You’ll also notice my ipad sitting there for entertainment (The Americans is my new favorite obsession), as I didn’t have the tv plugged in and set up yet at this stage. Before: The drawers were much cleaner but noticeably dry looking. After using the Restor-A-Finish (with a dab of it on a clean rag, just swiping over each drawer carefully), the drawers were noticeably much shinier. You can see the dullness of the couple on the left in this photo that hadn’t been done yet paired with the new sheen on the drawers on the right: They looked even better up close: This photo of the credenza isn’t the greatest quality, but you can see the outline of the wood is shinier and the legs improved a great deal. I left everything to dry for 45 minutes while I tackled the brass hardware. I knew the hardware was in pretty bad shape but figured if I couldn’t fix it, I could easily purchase new similar handles. Here’s the before photos: After a TON of scrubbing with bar keepers friend, (I don’t think the brasso did anything at all) a small miracle happened and the transformation was even better than I hoped for: They’re by no means perfect, but a huge improvement and work well with the character of the piece. Side note: bar keepers friend is a magic little powder (for only $2-3) but five days after using it, my poor hands are still dried out and gross, no matter how much lotion or scrubbing I try. I’d recommend using dish washing gloves or something protective for the hands next time…
While the hardware was drying, I also tackled this little chip on one of the legs…. with a brown sharpie. (Again, thanks to YHL for the tips!) Much less noticeable: Last step: I applied the feed-n-wax using another clean rag. Placed a quarter-sized bit on the rag and smoothed it over the surface of each drawer as with the restor-a-finish. They started to look even shinier and almost brand new after this step. After putting the hardware back on and getting the tv/internet components set up in the drawers (more on that drama tomorrow) it was completely dark out, so this photo doesn’t nearly do it justice! Stay tuned tomorrow for the full reveal and styling! A quick little reminder of where it started…