Category Archives: redo

Charlie’s Room Redo

When we moved in, Charlie (our middle child), won the man cave. The man cave that smelled like dog pee, and sucked up any natural light the north-facing window let in.

So Charlie’s bedroom was one of the first things we made over when we moved in (after the initial unpacking stage and painting over the wallpaper in the dining room).



Trust me, these pictures make it look better than it was. It was not good. But I knew that this spacious room could be awesome for him.

Jonny and I started out by simply priming and painting. We got a 5 gallon bucket of primer, because we knew that’s something we would use on multiple projects. We painted over the wood paneling (and this is real wood, not the fake stuff) with Valspar Whitewashed Oak, and used some cheapo leftover blue from the old house on the drywalled areas. The real wood panels are nicely textured, and it shows through the paint.

I made a pinterest board, to help me save some good ideas and sort things. I wish I could do EVERY cool thing that I see. And I’ll probably do more to his room as time goes. But all too soon he’ll probably have his own ideas, too.

Charlie already had a dresser I had picked up for $30 at St Vincent de Paul, and I wanted to add a pop of color to the room with it, so I spray painted it with Valspar Everglade Glen in Satin.




The art pieces above the dresser are just some old cabinet doors that I did oil pastel designs on. They used to be in the bathroom at our old house.


We had some pvc rain gutters already, not being used, so I made some gutter bookshelves for him. I’ve seen them around the web a lot. Honestly, they’re not my favorite. They’re not super sturdy. They work for now, but someday I think I’ll replace them with wooden wall shelves like I did in Dig and Ransom’s room.

I liked the idea of having an initial on the wall, and it was super easy and free, thanks to some leftover plywood, a jigsaw, and leftover paint.



I let Charlie choose how to paint his fan – I wanted to let him have some choices and control. I drew a picture of his fan on a piece of paper and let him color it however he wanted. I used Valspar gloss spray paint for each fan blade. Now I have leftovers to use on whatever I want!



I hacked this Rhino head because I love rhinos. And I was sure Charlie would too. Again, absolutely free with leftover plywood pieces, some wood glue and nails. He uses it as a tie hanger most of the time.



Overall, even though I don’t know if any room is ever “done”, I’m so happy with how this turned out. Jonny and I had a lot of fun working on his room. As the middle child, sometimes he gets talked over by his very loud older and younger brothers, so it was cool to do his stuff first for him.

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Spray paint, Doris

Most people know this by now. It’s not a “best kept secret” or anything like that.

Spray paint is amazing.

It makes ugly things look not ugly.

Take Doris:


Doris was Jonny and my first buy together. It was September of 2003. One year before we were married. I was living in Idaho and he was visiting from England – the only time he was here before he moved here. We were doing the long distance thing. We didn’t know each other very well. But we knew that we needed Doris. There was something in the eyes. The creepy, follow you wherever you are, eyes.

And Doris stayed just like that for years. 9 years.

Until I did this:


And Doris went from creepy, people wondering why we had her, to hip, modern, decor. The eyes now hold a forlorn look that breaks my heart. Oh Doris. The things you have seen. The injustices you have endured. Be at peace.


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Small Changes with Big Impact

Sometimes it’s the little changes that make a big difference. Here are 2 small and quick changes I made recently.

Where do you hang your dish towels when not in use? Ours are usually slung over our kitchen cabinets. It’s not awful, but it looks untidy, and with our trash bin in the cabinet, sometimes the towels make their way in there in my haste.




When the boys and I went to visit my parents in Portland this spring, I HAD to go to Ikea. My big plan was to replace all of our kitchen cabinet knobs. They’re not awful, but they’re not what I want. When I was there, however, I found that they didn’t have as many options as I had hoped, plus – even at Ikea prices – it was going to cost $140ish. Ouch. So I decided that our kitchen knobs are just fine for now. But I did buy two cabinet pulls that would double as towel hangers.

It took me 3 months to spend the 5 minutes needed to drill the extra holes and attach them, but I finally did and here we are! Nice and tidy and dries easily without getting in the nasty rubbish.



The other small change I made was in a couple of cabinets. I am kicking myself for not taking a before picture, because I love me some good before and afters. Oh well. Here is just the after.


I wanted a baking sheet organizer in the cabinet on the right. The pans were every which way and disorganized and crashing against each other anytime I needed to pull something out. I already had this nice littlecustom wooden organizer on the left side, except it went all the way across the bottom cabinet (came with the house). It was ok, but I didn’t have many short pans that needed to be organized like that. So I pulled it out, measured the baking tray cabinet space, cut it to size, and installed. Then I re-installed the leftover portion back into the left hand cabinet to hold cake and pie pans.

Some other great ideas I found for baking tray organization are ones that use wire dividers or plywood.

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