Saturday, March 27, 2010

First Project: Turn the Built-in Into a China Cabinet, Phase 1

I've already started one of the projects on my Hit List, which is converting one of the built-in cabinet/shelving units into a functional china cabinet. Since my entire living and dining room area is open I don't have much wall space and my nice antique china cabinet is languishing in my bedroom as a bookshelf. Don't get me wrong, it's doing a great job!

Here's a picture of the before:

It's stuffed full of books and crap that I don't need or use. I cleaned it out, wiped all the dust off and transferred the books to another built-in on the other side of the room that's not quite as visible from the main living areas of the house.

It also housed bags of cat food, dog food and cat litter in the bottom which have all been transferred to buckets in the laundry room. Maybe now the cats will stop trying to get in the cabinet in the middle of the night.

Here's a shot of the cabinet all cleaned and dusted with the three Easter sentinels standing guard. I love these guys! The pig, rabbit and cow all have knitted sweaters on. (I have a rooster too, but I can't seem to find him.) They were given as a gift to my daughter when she was 2, so I have no idea where they came from.

Here we have a mostly empty cabinet with a few knick-knacks for decoration until the transformation is complete. The plan is to put bead board on the back wall of the cabinet and paint it white. I also have to make a plate lip or rail of some sort or use plate stands. I think I'll probably end up with plate stands.

The "decorative" glass may also be coming out of the doors and be replaced with clear glass. It appears to be held in with nothing more than hot glue, so I'm going to take a door off and put the hair dryer to it to see what happens. I think the cabinet handles on the bottom may stay.

Lucky for me the bottom cabinet is just deep enough for wine bottles. Guess what's going in the bottom cabinet? Maybe the cats won't stay out after all.                                                                                                 

Odds and ends, pictures and stuff I've collected over the years. The baby pictures at right are of my eleven year old daughter.  The jars of glass were pieces she and a friend found in a creek during a recent trip to Lebanon, OH to visit. You wouldn't believe the stuff they found!

Beautiful jars of broken glass. This is just a small portion of what they found. The canning jar was a gift from the friend we visited in Ohio, and the apothecary jar was a 50 cent thrift store find.

Some of the salt and pepper collection that I was recently bequeathed.  I also got a custom made shelf that they were all displayed on. It's massive and I'm not sure my walls can hold it. 

That's it for Phase 1. As soon as I get my hands on some bead board I'll be getting to work on the final step. I think it will be a fantastic transformation!

Linked over at Between Naps on the Porch for Metatmorphosis Monday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Hit List

Re-decorating a home is a daunting task, especially when done alone and with a small budget. I am a list person by nature, so having a list of things to do keeps me focused.

Here is the "Hit List" for my house:
  • Convert the built-in cabinet in the dining room into a china cabinet. This is first on my list because it's going to be a cheap and easy project. A little bead board, finishing nails and paint will do the trick.
  • Clean and organize the spare room so it can be used as a guest room when needed. There is already a bed (storage surface apparently) in there, but I'll be damned if anyone can sleep on it.
  • Paint the porch and shutters. The door has been painted already, so it's time to tackle the porch and shutters. I am thinking of paying my little brother to do this project.
  • Paint my bathroom and my daughter's bathroom.
  • Move the chandelier over a couple of feet in the dining room. Also a little brother project. It's situated oddly. By placing the table in the most logical position, the light fixture is not centered above the table so someone is going to hit their noggin.
  • Acquire two arm chairs and a small table to create a conversation area in the living room. In the process, get rid of the chaise lounge.
  • Find some narrow shelving units/curios to flank the couch.
  • Replace the hideous track light in the kitchen with a much more stylish track light to match my decor, like this one
  • Install under-cabinet lighting so I can see what I'm cooking.
  • Install tile in master bathroom, guest bath, kitchen and laundry area.
  • Install hardwood or laminate in the living room, dining room and master bedroom.
This is a constantly evovling list, so check back soon!


Welcome to The Double-wide Cottage! I have slowly been transforming my manufactured home into a cottage, complete with a messy cottage garden, since I moved in a little over three years ago.  I acquired my home when the previous owners (extended family) let the home go into foreclosure. It also happened to be on 8 acres of land that I inherited when my grandfather passed.  My then-husband and I stepped into a very inexpensive mortgage and a home that needed a lot of work.  We shampooed the carpet, painted the walls and moved in.

Fast-forward to 3.5 years later. I am now single with a house that is financed solely in my name. During the refinance I was able to do some improvements to the outside of the house that made a huge difference in the appearance. I have taken the naked yard from a sea of grass and weeds to the beginning of a beautiful cottage garden retreat, had a brick foundation installed and replaced the rotting boards of the front porch. I still have a lot of work to do, but I have also made a great deal of progress.

The inside has been relatively plan and uninspiring up to this point. I have decided to change that and make my little house a home that suits my casual style with a little vintage and thrift-store thrown in.  I have somewhat modern sensibilities in that I don't like frilly, frou-frou or overly done interiors. I enjoy simple lines, bright colors and clean neutrals. Modern and contemporary interiors usually look cold and plain to me, but I do appreciate the clean lines and open space. It may seem like my personal style is completely contradictary with cottage style, but I also enjoy quirky vintage pieces, quilts and mix-match dishes.  

Join me and follow the journey from double-wide to country cottage!
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