DIY Cat Litter Cabinet

DIY Cat Litter Cabinet

Aside from the new windows we installed late last year, another, more recent, addition we added to our sunroom is this cute little cabinet.

Before having the baby we attended an infant CPR and safety class where they encouraged all us soon-to-be-parents to baby proof the house before our little ones arrived. While we didn’t go overboard and totally safeguard the house, we did take a few steps towards a safer home for little Emie girl. Along with adding outlet plugs, this little cabinet in the sunroom helped conceal one of the things I was most concerned about…our litter box!

We love our cat but we haven’t ever loved his litter box – or the mess it makes and I always worried that one day in the not too distant future, I’d find our daughter using the cat litter as her own personal sand box. Now…not only is the cat litter out of reach of our almost-crawling-daughter but…I don’t have to look at it either! #winwin

Inside we keep all our kitty essentials – food, along with a few rolls of plastic trash bags for poop scooping. A clear suction hook on the door works perfectly to hold the pooper scooper too! Everything thing we need fits right inside with room to spare.

DIYing our cat litter cabinet was super simple – just an extra large cat doorfor our extra large cat – and this inexpensive Ikea cabinetor any cabinet for that matter – is all you need!

We opted for this cabinet because it’s dimensions worked perfectly for the small sliver of wall between the living room and the nursery but any cabinet big enough to house your litter box can work too!

Before putting the cabinet together, we cut out the hole for the cat door on one of the side panels using the template that was provided with the door using our Ryobi drill and jigsaw.

Once the hole was cut all we had to do was install the door. It really couldn’t have been more simple and the end result is having me wonder why I didn’t think of this sooner!

From the outside – no one would ever know the litter box was inside! Would you have guessed?

And in case you’re wondering what that thing was peaking out from under the cabinet…

It’s our robot vacuum – the Neato – or what we call her, Flo! I was able to plug the docking station into an outlet behind the cabinet and the docking station fits perfectly underneath with just enough clearance for Flo to make her way back home to charge.

This super simple Ikea hack really helped contain and conceal our messy litter box while also making our home safer for babe! Do you have something in your house that needs a little concealing – printers or electronics come to mind! Could an inexpensive Ikea hack help you too?

Of course it can!

*affiliate links used

A Sweet Nursery | The Reveal

A Sweet Nursery | The Reveal
Wow!! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Did you miss me?
You might remember that the nursery was part of our 2017 House Goals list for obvious reasons so today…I’m really excited to share the room we made over for the newest member of our family.
Our sweet baby Emie arrived into this world quite clumsily on February 3rd (after being an unbearable 2 weeks late) + after a few delivery complications + a lot of figuring this parenting thing out (which I’m still doing), I finally had a few spare moments to throw a few words + pictures together to create this post for you. I hope you enjoy!
But before we dive right into the nursery reveal…let’s see the before:

 

 

The previous owners used this room as an office which is how the room was staged to sell and + why there are no doors in that huge opening (which leads to the sunroom) in the 2 photos directly above. We eventually want to add french doors to this opening but for now it offers super quick access to the nursery for those never ending diaper changes without the hassle of having to open and close doors all day long.
Like a couple tornadoes, we stripped the room down to the bare bones. We removed the gross carpet, installed new laminate flooring, removed the dinky baseboard + trim in favor of substantial molding all throughout. I even removed the mirrored bypass closet doors + sold them on Craigslist because I have an odd aversion to mirrored doors.

 

What once was a boring all shades of beige room is now a room dedicated to the squishiest baby ever! Take a little look-see…
I wanted the room to be light + bright which is why I stuck with a mainly black + white color palette but added in touches of blush + gold. If you’ve seen the rest of my house, you know I’m a neutral loving gal plus the fact that babies can see in black + white, only made the decision easier.
If you saw on my Instagram stories a while back you already know that I was planning to wallpaper the crib wall. Well…I didn’t. Not only was it going to be super expensive – I was never able to commit.
I still would like to do something here but for now, I’m loving how fresh it feels!
On the floor I used a neutral black + gray braided rug that I already had on hand + layered over top the fluffiest white shag rug ever! Toss a couple throw pillows on the floor and even this old lady can get down on the ground + play with our babe!
Plus the white shag rug, is perfect for our monthly photo shoots! Bonus!
To the left of the crib is Emie’s closet which we painted black + reconfigured. It still has a ways to go so this is all you’ll see of it today. Oh…+ I definitely decided that I want to put doors back ON the closet. Just not mirrored ones 😁.
I totally thought I could be all cool + hipster living without closet doors but NO! My OCD got the best of me + I’m dying a slow death having to look at the contents of her closet every.single.day.

 

Directly across from the crib is the glider + dresser / changing table. This side of the room was by far the hardest to pull together because it had to serve so many purposes – a place to nurse, diaper, + house all those itty bitty baby essentials.
After living + using this side of the room for almost 4 months, it’s safe to say that we’ll be making some tweaks in the future to make it work better for us. Until then – I want you to see it how it is today!

 

 

 

The basket on the dresser corrals all our diapering essentials within quick reach (because when poo is involved – you need to be quick!) + the shelf above holds other often used items like cotton swabs + q-tips. Plus it gives us an area to show off her ever-growing shoe collection! Like those darling moto-booties Daddy bought her 😍.
How about a little side-by-side action?

 

 

Much better, right?!
If you love our nursery as much as I do – check back next week for all the sources!
Now off to feed the turkey…

2017 House Goals

2017 House Goals

It’s 2017! Can you believe it?!

I hope your holidays were full of love, laughter, and a whole boat load of cookies. In case you’re wondering…no, we didn’t get an early Christmas present. I’m still pregnant. VERY pregnant actually. We’ve got about 3 weeks to go now and we’re ready for her any day now. If she decided to show up a little earlier than expected, no one would mind!

I’m so excited for a new year (and a new baby – duh!) but before we get started let’s have a little heart to heart…ok?

I’m coming up on my 2 year blogiversary at the end of the month and am still trying to figure it all out. Can’t you tell? Trying to find balance between the job that pays my bills and the blog is something that I’ve obviously failed at these past 2 years but it’s definitely something that I really want to focus on in the coming year. I don’t know exactly what I expected when I published my first post back in 2015 but I think I thought it was going to be easier.

#realitycheck

It isn’t. Blogging is hard. Like real hard.

It’s hard to find time to photograph our house when all my daylight hours are spent away from it. It’s hard to sit down at night and blog when all I want to do is cuddle up with my guy and binge watch something on Netflix. It’s also hard to blog when you’re 37 weeks pregnant and sleeping just sounds so much more enticing than editing photos. It’s.just.hard.

But you know what? I love blogging too.

When I actually dedicate time to photograph our house, or a project, and blog about our life and what we’re doing – it brings me so much joy. I want more of that in 2017. Don’t you? Don’t we all need more joy in our lives? The answer is yes.

The feedback I receive here and on Instagram from total strangers who stumbled upon my itty bitty blog is pretty awesome too! #somanythanks. But let’s also address the giant elephant in the room in my belly. This baby is coming quickly (we hope) and I honestly don’t know how that will affect the blog. I hope to take a few weeks off to enjoy her newbornness but I also hope to get back at it and not let the silence linger too long here. 

To start out 2017 on a good foot, I wanted to share a few house goals we’d like to focus on in the coming year. With a new baby arriving any day, I’m intentionally keeping the list short hoping that the less ambitious I am now will translate into success at the end of the year. #noshame

Our 2017 House Goals:

Living Room + Built-Ins

To refresh your memory, let me remind you what our living room looked like on move in day:

A little after moving in we closed off that doorway you see on the left in the photo above: 

And we sorta lived with this situation ever since…
So blogger-y, right?!
But this year not only do I want to finish this space off…I really want to focus on the wall opposite our couch. We’re DIYing a 12 ft wall of built-ins! Oye!
The cabinets arrived just before Christmas and we’ve already made some progress that I can’t wait to share!

Guest Bath

Our guest bath looks pretty much the same as it did when we first moved in. Aside from throwing down a rug and putting up a shower curtain, it’s still horribly ugly and in need of attention A-SAP.

We already replaced the toilet. We purchased a new sink + vanity combo over the summer during an Ikea sale which puts us ahead of the game already! 

Now all we need to do is figure out when the best time is to tackle this sorry excuse of a bathroom because baby’s gonna need a bath!

Bedroom #2 – Little Lady’s Room

With a new baby arriving any day I really want to complete this room for the other special lady in our life. My step-daughter stays with us part time and it’s really important that she has a finished room she loves and can escape to during those first few crazy newborn months.

So far the room has received new flooring, baseboards, molding, and a fresh coat of paint but it still has a long ways to go. We have plans to add a hanging chair in the corner of her room for the avid reader that she is and add in plenty of pops of color to reflect her spunky personality!

Oh, and don’t worry…a proper bed frame is on the to-do list too!

Nursery (Bedroom #3)

The now nursery was used as an office by the previous owners and we’ve been hard at work over the last few months to get this room baby ready. It’s actually about 90% complete already as we’re just waiting on some art work and waffling between adding doors to that opening or leaving it as-is for now.

Does that mean I’m cheating because I’m adding a nearly finished room to our 2017 house goals list?! Probably. But I don’t care. I need all the help I can get…LOL.

Whether we add doors or not, this room will probably be the first in the list above that’ll get revealed here on the blog and I can’t wait to show you how it turned out!

So? What do you think?!

These 4 spaces complete my 2017 house goals list and I hope you’re just as excited about the year ahead as we are! We’ve already made great progress in 3 of the 4 rooms on this year’s list and I can’t wait to see what we get accomplished this year and are able to look back on 2017 with success.

Till then…it’s #babywatch2017!

A Whole House To-Do List: UPDATED

Hey guys!

Remember way back in March when I shared our first whole house to-do list? Basically it was a way for my overactive brain to keep track of all we still needed/wanted to do in one organized place. Plus, who doesn’t love crossing things off a to-do list for an instant “maybe you haven’t been binge watching Netflix as much as you thought” little pick-me-up?! 

After running down all we’ve accomplished (or lack thereof) in our first 6 months of homeownership, today I wanted to drop back in with a good ole updated list for you. Plus…with baby on the way, I’ve been getting rather anxious and overwhelmed with all we still need to accomplish before SHE (helloooo awesome gender reveal…#NOT) makes her grand entrance. 

Being that this is a living, breathing list, and we’ve lived here a while and are a bit more clear-headed about what we need/want – I’ve streamlined it a bit…added/removed to/from it here and there…and threw in some progress shots while I was at it.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

 
Whole House
  • Remove tile / carpet and replace with flooring everywhere
  • Install new crown molding
  • Trim out all doors and windows
  • Install new baseboards
  • New hardware throughout
  • Paint! And paint some more!

                                                                           Entryway 

  • Create storage for coats, jackets, bags – hooks?
  • Add board & batten? Picture frame trim/molding
  • Paint interior of front door & add decorative trim
  • Add art
  • Find flush mount light fixture (and install)
  • Find vintage (ish) runner
  • Create “drop zone” at end of entry
  • Find larger mirror for “drop zone” area
                                                                          Living Room 

  • DIY / have cabinet built to house TV – add electrical for TV/media components
  • Style built-in
  • Get black/white rug professionally cleaned
  • Find 9×12 rug to layer under current rug
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Install in-ceiling audio speakers
  • Sell old coffee table / buy new coffee table
  • Bring in additional seating
  • Bring in additional lighting
  • Add art above couch
  • Case out opening on the right
  • Close off door on the left
Dining Room
  • Replace chandelier – buy or DIY
  • Relocate junction box for chandelier
  • Remove vertical blinds
  • Install curtains + bamboo shades
  • Rug or no rug? (we chose to rug, but I’m not sure)
  • Find head chairs
  • Replace original aluminum window
Kitchen 

 

  • Remove upper cabinets along the stove wall (Phase 1)
  • Paint cabinetry (Phase 1)
  • Add hardware (Phase 1)
  • Find a vintage rug (Phase 1)
  • Add a bamboo shade (Phase 1)
  • Pimp out pantry (Phase 1)
  • Replace counter tops (Phase 2)
  • Remove prep sink (Phase 2)
  • Add pot filler (Phase 2)
  • Custom vent hood (Phase 2)
  • Tile stove wall (Phase 2)
  • Install open shelving (Phase 2)
  • Buy all new appliances (Phase 2)
Master Bedroom

 

  • Sell old headboard / buy new
  • Refinish nightstands / add different legs
  • Close off 2nd doorway
  • Reconfigure closet
  • Remove mirrored closet doors / add full height doors (DIY?)
  • Install curtains + bamboo shades
  • Find rug (vintage?)
  • Dresser?
  • TV or no TV?
  • Add additional recessed lighting / overhead lighting
  • Widen current double door entry
  • Update slab double doors
Master Bath

 

  • Complete master bath resurfacing – new floors, paint, vanity, tile…etc.
  • Install new light fixture
  • Install new toilet
  • Replace original aluminum window
  • Add shower door
  • Install open shelving
  • Remove towel bars – install hooks instead
  • Update all slab doors in this area
 Bedroom #2: Little Lady
  • Update slab door
  • Update closet doors / reconfigure current closet system
  • Paint inside of closet a fun color
  • Install curtains + bamboo shade (roller shade?)
  • DIY floating shelves opposite of bed wall
  • Hanging chair maybe?
  • Add overhead lighting
  • Buy daybed? Refinish bed in storage?
  • New bedding, rug, etc… (inspiration here)
  • Bring in a fun accent color
 Bedroom # 3: The Nursery
  • Update slab door
  • Purchase / install French doors for large opening
  • Remove mirrored closet doors / install (DIY?) full height doors?
  • Reconfigure current closet system
  • Paint inside of closets a fun color
  • Add overhead lighting
 Guest Bath
  • Update slab door
  • Install new toilet
  • Complete guest bath “resurfacing” – new floors, tile, vanity
  • Purchase new vanity – install
  • Remove old tub insert – install new
  • Purchase new mirror
  • Remove medicine cabinet
  • New lighting
  • Remove towel bars – install hooks instead
Hallway between Bedrooms 2 & 3
  • Replace old electrical panel
  • Update thermostat
  • Purchase / install flush mount fixture
  • Find runner (vintage?)
  • Add a gallery wall of pictures to hallway?
Sunroom
  • Wood wrap beams
  • Replace faulty windows
  • Create a workstation / desk area
  • Fill with plants
  • Add additional overhead lighting
Laundry Closet
  • Replace water heater
  • Stack washer/dryer
  • DIY counter top for folding/sorting
  • Add hanging rod
  • New cabinets – or reuse kitchen uppers
  • Create a place for the kitty litter
 Deck
 
  • DIY wrap around couch
  • Purchase BBQ
  • Install astro turf
  • Buy new patio furniture


So much still to do but looking back on these pictures, makes me realize just how far we’ve come in less than a year. New floors, new windows, bigger, better trim…it already feels like a whole new house! Don’t you agree?

Reveal: The Entry…well, sorta

Yesterday’s post brought everyone up to speed with all the renovation progress we’ve made over the last 6 months that we’ve lived here. Phase 1 is nearing completion and now it’s time for the fun stuff! Today I want to dive right in and share a little more about the updates we made to the entry – the first official space that received an update and the hardest working area of our home! Tackling this space first really helped keep our life in check even when the rest of the house was a destruction zone those first few months.
 
Progress on the entry was fast and furious in the beginning but then it was the little finishing details that I got hung up on. I mentioned in this post about the trouble I had finding the perfect rug, but not only did the rug hold me up, but so did the art, and the accessories too.
 
I like to take my time with any space and let it evolve so instead of feeling pressured to have it “finished” before I revealed it to you, I’ve decided to share where we’re at today (because it’s come a long way already) and when we finally nail those last few details, I’ll share those with you too.
 
Aside from wanting to bring a little order and organization to all the chaos around us, this space really lacked any sort of interest.  Honestly? It was by far my least favorite space of the entire house…and if you’ve seen my howdy-doody kitchen…that’s saying a lot.
 
First thing we did was convert the dated can light for this pretty flush mount all with the help of this $20 conversion kit! See all my favorite flush mount fixtures rounded up here.

We planked the walls on both sides about 3/4 of the way up to bring in some much needed interest. How we did it, and what we learned along the way will be coming to you in a post all its own. One of the quickest (and least expensive ways) to make your house look and feel more expensive than it actually is, is to add things like beefed up baseboards, trim, or moldings like we did here.
I wanted to make the interior part of our front door a focal point so using the same molding we used on all our interior flat paneled doors (tutorial coming soon), I created 2 boxes instead of 1 big box to make this door just a little different from all the rest, but still in the same vein.
I originally painted the door a navy blue, which if you follow me on Instagram, you saw the beginnings of here, but with the navy door, the space started feeling a little beachy/coastal and while I love that look in other people’s homes, it isn’t the right fit for ours.

I had a quart of black (or what I think is black) “oops” paint on hand and 2 coats later, we were back on track. Can’t go wrong with black and white!
The new hardware we installed is just different enough without disappearing completely into the black door. We upgraded the hardware on the front door when we up upgraded the hardware throughout the rest of the house and chose the Schlage Century in oil rubbed bronze from Door Hardware 4 Less online. After locking ourselves out of the house twice (yes…twice!) in the first month we lived here, this was a must have on our to-do list.
Without a typical coat closet we needed a space to hang hats, jackets, and bags. These coat hooks I found at Lowe’s fit the bill and look expensive without being expensive.
To finish off the space, I added a bold red rug, for the perfect pop of color amongst all the neutral finishes. After weeks and weeks (literally) of searching, I pulled the trigger on this stunner from this Ebay seller. It isn’t antique or one-of-a-kind but who would know the difference? And for about $100, the price couldn’t be more perfect.
Here’s a side by side comparison of how far this space has come:

So much better, right?!

We’ve still got a lot to do here…mainly add in some art opposite the hooks and finish off the drop zone/mail station at the end of the entry. Here’s a small sneak peak at the drop zone at the end of the entry:

As we fine tune this space and add in those final accessories, I’ll update you as things progress but I hope you enjoy what we’ve done so far!  

A 6 Month Check In + House Progress

September marks 6 months in the new house. In many ways it feels like we’ve lived here forever…we’ve settled into a nice routine and the house is basically liveable…but the construction tools in every nook and cranny and the constant layer of demo dust somewhere in some room, reminds me that we’re still not there. We’re close. But no cigar.
 
I feel like it’s taken us every last bit of these last 6 months to be at a place where I can finally say that the end is near…or at least for Phase 1 it is. In all honesty…there are times when I feel like we’ve come so far but then I see what other bloggers are doing in the same time frame and I get so discouraged that we haven’t accomplished a whole lot more. The comparison game is no joke.
 
Instead of letting it get me down, I have to remember that we both work full time outside the home and house related projects are essentially non-existent during the week. It’s hard enough to get dinner on the table (or ordered) at a decent hour with softball season in full swing around here while trying to maintain a respectful noise level in the evening so as not to upset all our neighbors. Throw in an exhausted pregnant lady (me) and you can bet that I’m either in bed or have fallen asleep on the couch by 8 pm. So over the last 6 months, we’ve been weekend warriors – just tackling what we can, when we can – and while 6 months is a long time to get a whole lot done, we’re moving a little slower over here and I’m OK with that.
 
I realize now that I didn’t really blog about what our initial thoughts and plans were for this first phase of our renovation journey, other than posting this monster long to-do list, but I think a lot of that had to do with just being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff we wanted to do, what we envisioned for this house, our time / budget constraints, and not knowing where to start or what to do first.
 
Today I thought it would be fun to look back on the last 6 months and recap what we started and where we are today, but first…a little bit about our Phase 1 wish list and how much money we had to work with.
 
After the sale of our house we were left with a small amount of money (about 15k) to put towards the renovations and immediately had to decide what was most important to us and how to stretch the money we had as far as it would go. We knew that we wanted to upgrade the kitchen and both bathrooms but felt that we could do a lot of “whole-house updates” with the money we had rather than pouring that money into a single room…because we all know how quickly 15k can go in a kitchen renovation. We figured that the kitchen and bathrooms would benefit from some easy to-do aesthetic changes and could hold off for a full scale reno, down the line.
 
In the end, we decided to spend our money by…
 
Removing all the tile / old carpeting in the whole house: 
 
 
And replacing it with new laminate flooring (about 1500 sq ft in total): 
We replaced both toilets with these Kohler beauties (because other people’s butts = gross):
 
 
We painted / are in the process of painting the entire house (walls, trim, moldings, doors, etc.):
 
 
 
We closed off a doorway for better flow and visual sight lines in the living room:
 
 
And widened our master bedroom entry while we were at it:

 
We added interest to all our plain/boring flat paneled doors with decorative molding:


We installed new oil rubbed bronze hardware throughout:

 

And beefed up all the trim and baseboards (still to come) throughout the house:
 
 
We created a faux cased opening:
 
 
Gave the entry way a much needed update with lots of added interest (more on this soon):
 

 

Added a new entry way light fixture:
 
The front door hardware got upgraded too and the inside got a molding treatment of its own:


Replaced an outdated ceiling fan:

 
 
And treated ourselves to a life-changing robot vacuum:

 

In boring news, we upgraded the thermostat and our main electrical panel after a fire hazard was noted on our home inspection report:


And the biggest expense of them all…these bad boys (3 sets of sliding doors) were replaced just this past weekend due to the foggy glass you see in the picture below:

 

So what didn’t get accomplished / won’t get accomplished during this phase of renovations that we had hoped wouldget accomplished?

1.      Reconfigure / expand the master bedroom closet

2.      Add semi-custom wall of built-ins in the living room
 
Why? Simply put…we ran out of / are running out of money. Aside from the ceiling fan and the robot vacuum, everything else mentioned above, including the master bedroom closet reconfig and built-ins were in the initial plan and budgeted for. What we didn’t know, and/or realize going in was how much replacing those window were going to cost. Not having ever replaced windows before, after some preliminary Internet research and some rough estimates, we budgeted almost half our budget. In the end, the quote came back several thousands higher than we anticipated mainly due to some additional work that was discovered and had to be done during install because the previous set of window were installed incorrectly. How they passed inspection the first time around is beyond me. What a crappy way to spend a bunch of money! But in renovations, these kind of set-backs are par for the course. To course correct, we took a step back and re-evaluated our list half way through and cut the above 2 line items out of the itinerary to get us back on track financially.
 
Going forward, we’ll modify our plans for the custom built-ins and will most likely go the pre-fab/DIY route to achieve our end goal down the road but it’ll be on a much smaller budget. As for the closet…I’m waffling back and forth on what I want to do / what can be done so it’s probably good we didn’t go full steam ahead with the initial plans anyways until there’s a solid plan in place.
 
All in all, I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot, albeit at a much slower pace. I do want to mention that everything we’ve done up to this point has been paid for by us and done by us (plus help from my Dad too – hey Pops!). Some bloggers are fortunate enough to work with great brands and have formed amazing partnerships to afford them some really awesome perks, kickbacks, products, etc…but this little blog hasn’t reached that status, nor do I know how to go about soliciting such awesome incentives. Plus it’s important to me that you all know that I’m trying to be as honest and transparent about how we’re doing things around here both physically and financially.
 
Anyways! That brings you up to speed with everything we’ve managed to accomplish over the last 6 months we’ve lived in the new house. I have a lot of post coming for a lot of the projects you saw above for the first time so be on the lookout for those! First up tomorrow…the long awaited entry reveal!