Our house has window screens now, you know, like a normal HOUSE! Replacing all our window screens

7.27.2017

As you may remember from the before pictures at the #Stanley90sreno, this place was a complete mess inside and out, from carpet to drywall to doorknobs, and it won't surprise you that almost all of the window screens were missing, broken, or torn.

We've been knee deep in reno projects since we moved in in October, so replacing the screens has not been on the priority list for most of that time. But, when I got a tour of the Orchard Supply Hardware that opened up in Portland's Central Eastside, I learned that they can re-screen old window screen frames of any kind, and can make new custom screens for our windows! It actually gave me a moment of anxiety for a second because it reminded me I had no idea where to get replacement screens for old windows, like as if I was forgetting I had just learned I could get them at OSH... so I quickly calmed down and made a note to measure all our windows and come back to order new screens!

We were missing ALL of the screens on the ground floor of our house plus one upstairs, and two were broken upstairs. Now that it's summer, we open up the windows and doors wide when it cools off in the evenings, so we had plenty of bugs flying around inside without screens. (So silly that it took me this long, but... I've had a little too much going on.)

Not to mention, we lived with old, dirty aluminum windows and a terrible paint job on the outside of the house for months and months plus no screens, and having dirty, nonfunctional, fixer upper-ness all around you really messes with your mood, and feng shui of the house! Replacing the screens has made the rooms and windows look so much more complete and civilized!

Sharing my dresses with you! Again!

7.25.2017

The past two years I've put up some of my dresses to share with my readers and both times it's been hugely successful (lots of sweet emails and I love hearing from you, and I love seeing how the pieces look on you!). They went like hotcakes last year! I just can't wear all of the garments I make, and there's no use in them sitting in my closet. I want them to be loved by someone else!

So here's how it works. As soon as you see the dress(es) you want, send me an email and that will put you in line. The first to email about each one gets it. I've included size information (measurements as well as more standard store sizes) so please check that it will fit you first!

They are FREE but shipping/packaging is $12/dress this year--unless you're in Portland and want to meet up.

Why we didn't chose the IKEA Domsjo sink for our farm sink kitchen update

7.18.2017

I have celebrated with several friends lately who've just bought new homes and two of them are planning kitchen updates. Painting cabinets, updating lighting, and doing new DIY-install countertops like we did! And when you replace countertops, you also start to think about the sink. I've been talking about our affordable, DIY-install farmhouse style apron-front sink a lot lately and wanted to share with all of you why we chose the one we did--instead of the popular IKEA Domsjo sink!

I wanted an apron-front sink back before we bought our townhouse in 2012, and while we got to pick out the finishes and fixtures, back then the only farm sinks on the market were more than $1,000. When we bought our current 90's fixer upper, I was excited we'd be able to reuse the cabinets but replace the sink and counters. Even then, 4+ years later, it seemed like almost every sink on my dream kitchens pinboard was a farm sink. However, now there are more options for farm sinks!

A very popular one is the IKEA Domsjo sink, which comes in 37" wide or 24" wide and is very affordable. It's real ceramic, standard countertop depth (so you don't need to fit any counter behind it), and there are a TON of tutorials and blog posts online about how to install it yourself in existing, non-IKEA cabinets.

So, what's not to love? At $313 for the big one or $185 for the small, our budget could accommodate it, and since we were doing our own new countertops it was great that it went all the way back to the wall. However, a few things slowed me down.

Why we didn't chose the IKEA Domsjo farm sink


First... right after we had our offer accepted on this house we visited a friend who had just done a very similar kitchen reno. They had installed the double basin IKEA Domsjo sink. She complained that it had been a huge nightmare to install, and it was super heavy. Then--get this--a couple weeks later she texted me that they were putting a cast iron pot in the bottom of the sink and it CRACKED. (!!) She wasn't sure what to do, since it had been so hard to get in there, but it wasn't really fixable! (I found out later that IKEA exchanged it for a new one. But still.)

Also, probably the biggest issue for us... the large IKEA sink fits IKEA cabinets, and other 36" sink cabinets. But ours was only 33". That meant we could use the smaller version, but lose sink space and have to deal with the faux drawer panel on the existing cabinet. I don't know that 36" is a super standard cabinet width, so I think IKEA was really hoping you'd just give up and buy all their cabinets to go with their super affordable sink.

And, while not an issue in the end, the Domsjo has one hole for the faucet and is meant to use a single handle style. I've heard of people drilling extra holes for a bridge-style faucet, but drilling ceramic does not sound good to me!

Finally... now that I have a wide, single-basin sink, I have to say... it's fabulous and I never want to go back to double-basin!! You can fit so many more, larger things in without worrying about tipping things. If I could design the perfect sink, it would be wide (33" or 36", whichever) and only one basin! The divided design of the 36" IKEA Domsjo is not perfect.

So, what were we to do?? Other farm-style sinks are still very expensive compared to standard drop-in or undermount ones. And they are harder to find. The big box stores don't have a lot of options. A lot of farm sinks don't have a back piece at all so they only work as undermounted, which would be harder for us to install well with our DIY-cut countertops.

$206 laundry room update and cabinets!

7.11.2017

I achieved a goal this month that I've had for yeeeeears!! Adding adequate, appropriate laundry room storage (and by "laundry room," I mean laundry closet/hallway) was a goal of mine in our townhouse and I've never had it in laundry facilities in any of our rentals, either. I've dreamed of a couple of cabinets with shelves and doors, clean and white, to hide the detergent and lightbulbs, and finally we did it--for only $206!!

The space above a washer and dryer is often pretty empty, maybe with just a wimpy shelf. I know laundry rooms don't have to be glamorous, just functional--but one shelf is not functional. Our townhouse and our early 90's builder basic fixer upper home came with one shelf. What the heck!

I dreamed of filling the space with clean white cabinets for storing detergent and other utility room items. I searched the Habitat for Humanity Restore many times back when I was working on our townhouse, with measurements, looking for some old cabinets I could paint and hang. I never found any, but I also never felt super confident installing them myself. Well, throwing yourself into a massive fixer upper project with very little budget can change that!

Choosing exterior paint colors for the #Stanley90sreno!

7.05.2017

I am SO excited that we're planning to paint our 90's fixer upper home already! We had planned to put it off till next summer but found a connection to a very affordable painter and are making it happen in less than 2 weeks! That means I have to choose a color in a hurry, which has been hard.

I started out not having any idea what I wanted. I just created a pinboard for exteriors and outdoor decor and it's all over the place.

Honestly, I love white as an exterior paint color as well as an interior, and picking white would make it easy. But, Jason won't let me paint anything else white for a while... :P... and I think a nice soft color could be nice, too. I actually also love dark navy or charcoal, but there's a house on our street that's painted a dark grey with white trim and it looks off to me. I think something about the bland early 90's style of our neighborhood doesn't lend itself to modern dramatic tones.

So, I'm thinking about other colors I like. I've found a few combinations I think could work well. I like a sagey, beigey, warm, pale grey like this, plus the black door.
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