Remodel a Rambler

Rambler remodel, Porch remodel, Entry remodel

Our new project! Due to a dryer fire, we have an opportunity to do a bit of remodeling at our little rental house (shocking amount of smoke damage! See prevention tips here). We’ve always wanted to update this home. The first decision was whether or not to follow the lead of the town and try adding some Craftsman Charm – but that feels a bit contrived and boring frankly – there’s nothing here that suggests Craftsman, in fact here’s the total amount of style this home has:

Remodel Dining Room

Wood flooring, mahogany trim and a 1950’s shelving detail – needs a coconut monkey, right?

It’s not a bad start though for what I really want to do, which is clean and modern. Modern has the potential to make the 988 square feet feel a bit bigger (ha!), accent the original good work/materials and maybe bring a bit of an authentic style to the home. I’m also very interested in being as green as time and dollars will allow me.

So I start with the front elevation. I’ve always thought that a home can be significantly improved with a well designed entry. The design parameters are: protection from the rain, add style, and to somehow convert the dry/dusty planting bed into something useful. The cost needs to be low and the maintenance basically non-existent.

Design Porch, How to Design an Entry

I start as usual (“how to” here) by enlarging a photo of the elevation and overlaying it with draft paper. Then I freehand multiple ideas until I find something I like…when (not if) discouraged I cruise the internet for ideas.

Design an Entry, Design a Porch, Remodel Rambler

Here’s the design to date – a simple shed roof supported by heavy wood brackets, bolted to a vertical piece painted the same trim color (white? off white?) It’s a tiny bit Craftsman with the construction detail of the angles and the bolting being exposed, but the shape of the shed is far more modern than a gable would be. Plus a gable would need to be much larger (read more pricey) and more detailed. I know because I drew one – yuck!

I will probably design the brackets on site, forcing someone in the family to hold up 4X4s as I take way too long to decide where they should meet the vertical. They love it when I do that.

I like this clean look, especially if the drought tolerant grasses will take in the concrete planting box. They grow in my yard and have been really hardy –  I’ll visit next week and see if they’re surviving. My next question is I wonder if I might be able to lightly stain the concrete a black or dark grey- a more uniform color might look really great.

Off to sand mahogany base moulding :)

~Monica

 

 

Repurposing a Machinist’s Cabinet

Sometimes the easiest path to creative repurposing is to simply clean things up and use them. One day this machinist’s cabinet showed up at Second Use and I brought it home for a little TLC.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

I don’t like matching furniture, what can I say? I also don’t like smelly furniture, which is what this was when we found it at Second Use and Mary Jean got so excited about it –

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage

Mary Jean, excited about stinky machinist cupboard.

But – there’s something about little drawers, little pulls and built in shelves that I do like. And square shapes plus imperfection. And I had a coupon. So, there you go – I bought it.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage

I scrubbed for two days, but despite my best efforts I couldn’t remove all the previous owners labeling (you were thorough sir!) – so I left some – until the day when I don’t like them anymore and will probably have to sand them away, but for now let’s call them patina.

I removed the middle door so we could appreciate the shelves that don’t line up and the little drawers.

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

And that was that! Added a few bright red accents (see Plumbop) and driftwood colored knobs – stuffed the hidden shelves and drawers and now I feel so organized :)

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

Green design,  Re-purposed,  Second Use,  Salvage,  Repurposed furniture,  Repurposed storage,

See? Clean, organized, and doesn’t match a thing!

~Monica

 

 

 

Exterior Paint – Design Ideas

Every time the sun comes out on these short Seattle days I start dreaming up exterior projects – Paint! Garden! Fence! Paint Again! – If you find yourself brainstorming in circles like I am, here’s a bit of exterior paint inspiration from four of my favorites:

A few random thoughts on exterior paint design:

  • A flat sheen is usually preferred
  • Three colors is a nice balance. Be thoughtful if you add a fourth color, you don’t want to get too fussy.
  • If you choose to paint the door a contrasting color, consider carrying that color into the garden with pots, outdoor furniture/cushions or plants. It’s a nice, subtle effect.
  • Breaking up/dividing large areas of siding with horizontal trim or different siding materials can allow for a more interesting finished look.
  • Think about how your plants will look with the new color.
  • Take a close look before you tear off old siding and trim! Some of that material is beautiful – tight grain, large dimensions/profiles, much of it is unavailable these days. If you do decide to demo, your local reclaimed building materials store may LOVE to have it, lead paint and all.
  • Spend the money and time for samples of your paint! Mock up your ideas on a wall that receives good light – You’ll be glad you did.

Are you ready to get started?? Here’s a nice overview of the process from one of my favorite local paint stores, Daly’s and a few tips from DIY projects – a list of handy tools, two favorite painting hacks, and stripping and painting old trim.

Paint on!

~Monica

Decoupage a Vintage Lampshade

This post was originally posted March 27 on ModPodgeRocksBlog.com. Go check it out for some more fun decoupage projects.

A while back, we made a lamp from an old tripod. It needed an unusual lampshade so we made one from galvanized duct work. But time went by and it was time for a change – something lighter and brighter and funkier. When I think funky, the first thing that comes to mind is 60’s fashion (doesn’t everyone?). Learn how to decoupage a lampshade just like this one below.How to decorate a lampshade with vintage graphics Continue reading

Hammer Like A Girl Class at Second Use Building Materials

We are excited to announce we are giving a class about designing with salvaged materials at Second Use Building Material on Sunday, May 18th. See details below. We hope you can join us, it should be a fun time!

SecondUseWorkshopPhotoBand

DESIGNING WITH SALVAGED MATERIALS WORKSHOP
Sunday, May 18th | 11-12:30 | Presented by DIY Blog Hammer Like A Girl | FREE

Second Use Building Materials  3223 6th Ave. S.   Seattle, WA 98134   206-763-6929

Do you wander through Second Use wondering and wishing you could re-purpose some of the awesome stuff into your home or life, but end up leaving it all behind for another day – AGAIN?

Heidi, Monica and Mary Jean, will be at Second Use Building Materials to share some of their projects and tips to help you envision and then reshape salvaged materials into unique home improvements and functional art. Their projects range from transforming a discarded old car jack into a light fixture, to reusing multiple materials collected (sometimes stored for years) into a bathroom remodel.  Come join the fun and take away some inspiration!

RSVP to Mary Anne Carter

Email Mary Anne

Up-cycled Bookends from Salvaged Brackets

Bookends cleaned

We were cruising the aisles of Second Use the other day and came across some really cool, heavy industrial brackets – cast iron we think? More truth about us: we can never resist interesting metal stuff – so for $5 it was added to our stash. We stopped by Daly’s Paint and quizzed them about primer and paint – the goal was to get a heavy coat on the bracket as if it had been dipped in a super thick, semi-glossy, paint which would then contrast with the rough and industrial nature of the iron. Alas, no great way to make our paint thicker – but we did have some older water based paint that had thickened on its own due to poor storage technique (what can we say) and the color was nice, so – Bob’s your uncle. Continue reading

Visualize Your Ideas, Part 2

It’s that time of year again, when we take inventory of unfinished projects and brainstorm additions/remodeling. Sometimes it helps to mock things up full scale, or see your ideas in multiple ways. We’ve written about this before here – to help you along here are a few more strategies that have worked for us:

Backsplash Mock Up

Draw on Your Walls:

You have our permission. Take a piece of chalk and a damp rag and draw your ideas full scale onto your walls. Erase them with the rag. *You may want to test this first so you can guarantee the chalk is coming off completely. Be sure to include any trim, knobs, switches, outlets, curtains, door swings, etc. This really helps to reveal any potential difficulties with your design, for example: in the above photo I have to decide how high to make the back-splash in relation to the window sill and the window division; should the tile end just short of the orange wall or go to the corner and how will the top trim piece terminate? And this is just one corner of the kitchen… Continue reading