Kid’s Room Re-Do, Part 2 (We’re making progress!)

Got up early and decided to get this post finished and published!

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice or a hundred times that I am a big lover of recycle, reduce, reuse. The Kid too. So when it came time to outfitting the new room with furniture, I really wanted to find the perfect pieces.

In a recent thrifting trip, one that we happened upon completely by accident and almost didn’t stop, we found this lovely piece. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ‘before’ picture with the drawers in. But you can see that it needed some love.

I always go straight to the furniture sections at thrift store, the Kid heads to electronics. For someone still in his teens, he has a ‘nostalgic’  spot for “antique” computer and gaming equipment. Definitely need a lot of storage space in his room for his beloved collection.

This particular thrift store had a pretty sizable selection of furniture, unfortunately, most of it was junk. You know, those mass pieces put out in the last few years of particular or pressboard and with little to no personality. The prices of this stuff was pretty high too. I see a lot of those entertainment centers that were so popular when 32″ televisions weighed more than VW Bugs and were almost the same size. Now with flat screen televisions being mounted on the wall, those entertainment units are a dime a dozen. Most of them aren’t worthy of a second look though.

I found one recently, though, made of solid wood that I turned into a play kitchen. You can check it out here.

Anyway, we were just about to leave the store when I saw a few “older pieces” that had been shoved toward the back. I guess who ever was organizing the store didn’t see the value in all-wood, handmade furniture from 50 years ago. Good for me, bad for the store. And the store was running a promo of 30% off all furniture. The piece that caught my eye wasn’t marked and I had to track down someone who could tell me the price. Considering how overpriced everything else was, I figured this would be well out of my price range.

Obviously the young man “in charge” obviously wasn’t one of those who recognized quality, not real quality. When he took a look at the piece, he quipped “$40″, almost with a question mark at the end. I asked if the discount applied and he said yes. That means that I was walking out of there with this all-wood, quality piece for thirty bucks!

So, it just fit in the back of my car (have I told you about my little SUV? It is so versatile and I can work it to death!) and carted it home. Of course I forgot to take a photo before I started working on it, but here it is with just the drawers in the center removed:

You can see that this piece is all wood… it is such a wonderful piece, worthy of restoration. So, I jumped right in and after a light sanding, I started to apply the first of five coats of my beloved Deep Space Black. I used a foam roller and light coats, it comes out so beautifully. The paint is a semi-gloss, so even though the finish is soft, it is still shiny. It is beautiful.

Here is the crowning glory. In keeping with the mechanical/industrial theme of the room, I wanted to use unique handles. The ‘ribbon bow’ look of the original handles is beautiful, but not in keeping with the theme. After searching high and low and not finding what we’re looking for, I had an idea.

I saw this idea on FAB… have you been on the site? Wonderful selection of unique and wonderful stuff. A few weeks back, they showed these lamps:

I was determined to incorporate this design into the room. And I thought… why not handles for the console? So off to the Home Depot (I wonder if I can get corporate sponsorship for as much as I visit this guys!?) to browse the piping aisle.

And here is what I came up with:

So, here’s a short tutorial about how I did it. Obviously the handle is three pieces, you simply screw the three pieces together. Each handle is two 90 degree couplings with a 3 inch nipple. But how to attach it to the console? The Kid actually came up with the idea… fill the pipe with wood and then using a wood screw,  install it through the existing hole.

So using a wood dowel, I simply screwed it into each handle end:

Then clamping it and sawing it off even with the end of the piping joint (a couple needed to be sanded to get them level with the end of the coupling):

This is what you end up with:

And here are the five handles ready to be attached to the cabinet. Be forewarned, these are actually meant to be used in plumbing, so they are dirty and greasy. I used some ‘GooBeGone’ (although any degreaser or soap would probably work) and an old towel to thoroughly clean them before I attached them. After working with them during the process, my hands were absolutely black!

And here is the finished piece, with the handles attached. It really adds a nice ‘industrial’ touch to the console. He will be putting his television on top of the cabinet and then the gaming systems in the side cabinets. When he plays, he simply needs to open the cabinet doors and he will be ready to play! And when he is done, everything is neatly hidden and stored in the drawers and cabinets.

So, there is the finished product. I am so pleased with how this turned out and with a relatively inexpensive total. The cabinet was $30 and the total hardware was about $25. The paint, which I have been using for many projects, was $30 for a paint-and-primer semi-gloss and I already had all the painting supplies. I estimate the total for this piece right at $60! I would have spent ten times that amount in Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn for a similar piece and I wouldn’t have been half as happy with it. :-)

Up next is to finish painting the room. First thing in the morning! At the same time, I think we can get the ceiling fan and task lighting installed. We may actually get so far as to get all the furniture pieces into the room, once we have the bed assembled. It is a whole ‘nuther project! Keep coming back for the next installment!

Okay, thanks for stopping by!  Happy Crafting Y’All!

The Pink Ombre Tradition continues…

I can’t help it! There is a big part of me that wished I had had a little girl (although I wouldn’t give up a minute of my son!) so that I could go over board with pink (and maybe purple) for her. As a compromise, I get to provide the most adorable pieces to other little girls (or their moms!) as I continue to hunt down quality pieces of furniture and do my transformation magic.

The last pink ombre set turned out amazing and sold within minutes (I swear, it seemed like minutes) of posting the ad on Craigslist. And for full asking price! So, when I ran across the ad for this little headboard and foot board set, I knew it was destined to become a matching set as well.

I am always on the scout for dressers, end tables, bed side tables and lately new pieces to use in finishing the Kid’s room. In the same ad, this little cabinet was being offered up, so since I was driving way across Kansas City (and don’t let the Midwest fool you, that was a drive!), I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.

On a side note, one of these days, I am going to write a blog post about the origins of quirky little saying like that… why would I want to kill two birds? And an added benefit of using only one stone? But I digress. :-)

I had also picked up a couple of dressers in a furniture run a few days before that, one perfect for the transformation of the pink ombre. It required a fair amount of repair and love, but it is always a labor of love.

So, in all it’s pink awesomeness, here it is the latest results:

Work continues on the Kid’s room, in fact, we’re supposed to be painting walls today, but our heating pump stopped working and we’ve sequestered ourselves in our home office where we have a space heater. If it warms up a bit tomorrow, maybe we’ll be able to paint.

So, there is today’s quick update. At that same time, I picked up this wonderful little piece of history:

I can envision this with a dark turquoise or chocolate finish (for my master bedroom makeover) somewhere down the road. This is one gorgeous piece of furniture, although it too, will require some work.

Well, that’s today’s update. I am happy to have you stop by! Keep on crafting!

Kid’s Room Re-Do, Part 1

Just a quick post about the concept behind the theme for my son’s room. And maybe a glimpse into the planning.

The Kid loves computers. Loves to get his hands “dirty” tearing computers apart and putting them back together. Creating something better or bigger or faster from something that already exists. If you can imagine our home office, it looks like a combination of a industrial complex, computer lab and a computer museum! Not only do we have a fair amount of working contemporary computers (did I mention we’re both BIG fans of Apple and Macintosh computers) but we have a small contingency of older, still working computers. And computers parts ev-er-y-where!

Anyway, it is the industrial aspect of this that sparked the Kid’s imagination. And of course, being a teenager, there has to be some black in there somewhere! ;-)

So, we’re going with a industrial look, with the primary colors of black and grey/silver and our accent color is red. His favorite color is red, but even he says that you have to be careful with it or you can overdo red.

So, along one wall, the one with the window, I’ve designed a custom built desk, replete with tons of storage. On one side will be a standing desktop, I think he said he will put his server monitor and keyboard there. You never have to do a whole lot, so standing is better. The way it is situated, it is right next to the closet door, so he would forever be moving a chair out of his way, so this makes sense. On the other side of the window will be the sitting desk. And in between, below the window will be a similar desktop atop a cabinet (storage). The desktops will be supported by pipe legs. So, the desks were inspired by these photos:

That sets the tone for the whole room. His bed is another story, this will be mostly leather wrapped padded headboard on two sides, to make a sort of sitting space when he is not sleeping. I think he likes the ‘cave’ sort of feeling that came with sleeping in the lower bunk of his bunk beds and this will help recreate that. More on this in a later post.

The walls are going to be Gray Area with an accent wall (the one with the desks) a darker shade called Dark Ash.

The furniture (we have so far) is being painted Behr Premium Deep Space black. I have done three pieces so far and it comes out gor-geous!

For now, he is keeping the carpeting, it’s relatively new and neutral (a very light beige) but later, I’d love to replace all the carpeted surfaces in the house with hardwood. We’ll put down area rugs or something. I don’t think he minds :-)

All the pieces are coming together, in fact, I am supposed to go out and pick up the lights I ordered for above his desks and bed. We’ve picked up his ceiling fan (still needs to be installed) and all materials have been purchased. I’ve started painting – I have the accent wall done, but this weekend is going to be the real starting point.

To give you a taste of things to come, here is one of the projects that I’ve been working on… these are the handles for his television console:

Made from black 1/2″ pipe fittings, they were pretty inexpensive and I could get exactly the sizes I needed. They did require some thorough cleaning though, handling these things left my hands “Space Black”!

I promise to add instructions and tutorials when possible in the coming days as the room comes together. I am so excited to really get started and I know the Kid is excited to be done!

Thanks for dropping by! And Happy Crafting Y’All!

“Before” Pictures of the Kid’s Room Re-Do

It has been a few days since my last post and thought I’d get something up here, just in case y’all think I’ve stopped writing. In fact, have been spending a lot of time and effort and money(!) remodeling the Kid’s room.

When we moved to the midwest about 8 years ago, I spent a lot of time decorating my son’s room. At the ripe old age of 8, he was big into the military and camouflage and we went all out with his room. Two weekends ago, we sorted, organized and cleared out most of the room. We had a garage sale (and he did most of the selling!) and put some things on eBay. Slowly, we’ve been collecting new pieces for the room, painting, building and planning.

So, I will start what will undoubtedly be a very lengthy series of posts detailing it all as I lead up to the big reveal with the “before” pictures”:

Even though I have only one son, the Kid is one to make friends easily and has tons of cousins and relatives, so a bunk bed seemed a natural. I liked the design, incorporating a desk on one end and storage on the other. We invested a decent amount in the bed and two mattresses, we figured he’d be using it for quite some time:

Here’s a shot from the door. He has a pretty decent sized room, although the smallest of the five bedrooms in the house. How does that work? :-) His room is almost directly above the master bedroom and I liked the idea of being that close to him.

The bottom bunk had a camouflage comforter (the top was black/tan) atop tan or green sheets. The Kid is also a numismatist, hence the “money” pillows. (A hint of the hand hooked rug I made him… more about that below.) Touches of things camo are everywhere in the room, some you can’t see from these photos. He had a little ‘frig (also painted camo) that provided him cold water. The trash can, filing baskets, and more all round out the camouflage theme.

This is a shot of his desk. This Kid is his mother’s son… a collector and saver. I tried to make sure he had what he needed to keep things organized and neat (or as neat as possible)!

On the opposite wall, I put up lots of shelves. From an early age, he accompanied me on “treasure hunts” – going to estate sales, garage sales and flea markets and prowling antique and thrift stores. He always found treasures. Some were real discoveries and ended up being pretty valuable, some only valuable to him. I tried to not discourage him, just help him keep organized and as clean as he could.

On the door was a hand painted plaque that read “Kid’s Army Base”. It actually doesn’t read “Kid’s”, but I am trying to protect his identity online as much as I can, so even though it does have his name, I am substituting it with “Kid”. :-)

In one corner, he had a reading nook… I hadn’t gotten the reading light up in this photo. This gives you a good view of the two walls painted camouflage. I did this over the course of a week with three different cans of paint (the fourth color was the existing wall color) and one inch paint brushes. It was a real labor of love. You can see but a corner of the rug I hand hooked for his room too. I will try to get a better shot of it. It was done with thick wool yarn, cut into 4″ pieces and then hooked into a 5′ by 6′ rug canvas. It was nearly 50 skeins of yard – again done in the four colors that matched the wall colors. Considering that in most cases, the yarn was at least $5.99 (sometimes more), this was one expensive area rug. But it is extremely soft and absolutely beautiful in the room. I have thought about doing this again, but when I remember how raw my fingers had gotten and how long it took (not to mention the cost), I do a double take and think that it might be a while before I undertake this again. I may do a post hindsight as to how I approached the design and the nifty tool that was built so that I could cut my yarn from a skein, so that I didn’t have to compromise on the color or weight of the thread I wanted to use.

A photo taken towards his closet. I am lucky in that all of the bedrooms in my house have walk in closets, no sliding doors. The closet is large enough that I outfitted it with three 3-drawer units and he doesn’t have to have dressers in his room, and can have more fun stuff instead. Like this tall shelving unit that displays his collection of antique film and movie cameras (sparked by the inheritance of an old camera owned by his great grandfather).

In the back of the closet, is a secret hidden door. I know that will be a separate post! There is a space in the attic above my bedroom that would be perfect for a “boy cave”. I have planned that space for a long time, but there is so much involved, including framing of a floor, one wall and a ceiling. More about that later.

So, there are the ‘before’ shots. Right now his room consists of his bed (on the trundle frame), his chair and table covered with a paint cloth and my painting tools. The small wall with the window has been painted… the other three walls are getting a lighter color.

Much of the design has been done, a couple of the pieces have been bought and the start of construction is well under way. I’ll add bits and pieces as I go, there is so much to write and seems still so much to do!

Please ask questions or give me hint and tips if you’ve done something similar. I’d love to know about your shortcuts, tips and hints… if I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, I’d love to save the effort!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting Y’All!

And Ombre Continues… More Pink and Now Green!

Quick update with what I’ve been up to.

The furniture painting continues. The ombre style of painting has been very popular and very successful, so I am thinking, why not keep doing something that works really well?

My new daily ritual now starts with Craigslist.org. I’ve been pretty lucky about finding quality pieces to restore. And it is a real labor of love when I start sanding and filling in the holes and cracks and then start with priming. The real fun comes with the first coat of paint, when the beauty of the transformation starts to shine.

This is one of my new favorite results, two night stands and a matching headboard. The night stands were pretty standard, run-of-the-mill piece of furniture cranked out by the thousands in the seventies and eighties. The only saving grace was that they were all wood and some pretty decent construction… dovetail drawer fronts and wood drawer runners. Makes them easier to restore and to give them a second life.

In addition to the night stands, I stumbled across a headboard in a corner collection one night. You know, where the ad reads “you must take all” and I was out for something pretty specific, that I don’t even remember now. In the mess was this headboard with the worst plastic curlicue decoration highlighted in gold paint. My first thought was to just drop this thing in the nearest garbage dumpster I could find. But I opted to bring it home and store it in the garage. For months now, I have been moving that thing out of my way and knocking my elbow into it.

Well, I finally brought it out and took a good look at it. I thought I might be able to use the back of it and just paint the ugly gold decorations a solid color and face it against the wall. But once I hit it with the scraper, I could see that the first piece of curlicue wasn’t securely attached and a little prying with a screwdriver and it came out easily. This left years of dirt and grime, but a blank canvas perfect for my shades of pink!

I am proud to show you the end result of once almost became firewood:

The insets are painted in the same shades of pink as that of the dresser drawers. I think that this set is just adorable! I listed it on Craigslist this evening and almost before it actually appeared in the list, I had several contacts and it has been sold. For full price. And this is the highest listing yet. Sometimes I think that if it continues like this, I could actually begin to really subsidize the household income and maybe I could really think about making this a full time gig.

So, I will quickly show you the second set I worked on. I make it a habit to always check the “oops” paint shelf whenever I hit my favorite hardware stores. On a recent trip, I found a $30 can of paint marked down to $6 and was a pretty nice shade of green. I wanted to try something other than pink and blue and purple and here was the perfect opportunity. So, I matched it to a paint chip card and bought three additional shades and brought it home.

In a rushed Craigslist transaction, I ended up with a dresser bought for twenty dollars. Turned out what initially looked like a quality piece, turned out not to be. But not knowing what to do with the dresser, I thought I’d use it as a “guinea pig” for the green ombre paint style. I thought if it didn’t turn out well, then I would donate it or relist it on the free page of Craigslist. And a few days later, I repeated the error and picked up a headboard not realizing it too, was pressboard with a laminate finish. I thought it would work for a test run of a new primer that I heard would work well for painting laminate. I won’t mention the brand name here, as it wasn’t a very good experience, but suffice it to say, I will not make the mistake of trying to paint over laminate again. Primer or not.

So, here is the end result. I have listed it on Craigslist with a full disclaimer and really just asking for the basic cash that I put into it. Actually not even that much. If handled with kid gloves, it might be a decent set for someone, even maybe a guest room that didn’t get constant use.

I do love the colors and I do have enough for another project. I promise, I will be doing this color combination again.

Well, that is the update for today. Glad to see y’all stop by and hope that you are enjoying the projects. I have some more in the works and can’t wait to share. One big one is that we’ve been starting to clear my son’s (referred to as “the Kid”) room that we decorated when he was eight and loved camouflage. It’s getting a whole new ‘grown up’ and sophisticated remodel, and of course, some of my handiwork is featured. (Haha… who am I kidding? It is ALL my handiwork!) We’ve been working on it for the last couple of weeks and right now, he is down to sleeping on a mattress and has a small table for his computer! But it will be worth it, and he knows it! :-)
Thanks for dropping by! And happy crafting y’all!

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