Our House Becoming Our Home

Hover over pictures to learn more about the steps and the progress

No matter where I have lived I have upgraded cabinets, installed new tile and made even a rental house my home. The transformations played out above run the range of an hour to a year, but they all have a powerful thing in common – Freecycle, clearance items, and Second Use.

I hope that the pictures and descriptions will inspire you to enjoy your current house by making it you very personal home!

Projects Completed in a Day  

Yard Transformation

We have 3 perky puppies and a wonderfully well planted yard.  Postings on several local www.freecycle.org lists, and a colleague with an unwanted kennel helped created the barriers that keep the dogs happy and the plants living.

Garage Transformation (Part 1)

The door from the garage to the kitchen was moved to the laundry room / hot water heater niche before we even moved in.  It was the first step in creating an entry DMV for groceries and coats so the perky dogs stay inside while The Carpenter can have the garage door open all day long if he chooses.

Dinner Room

Not everything has required tools.  We transformed a quilting / piano room to a cozy dining room thanks to my grandmother’s furniture (both sides) and ‘lending’ our bedroom side table lights until we hang a ceiling light.

Projects completed in a Weekend

Mobile Laundry

Project 2 prior to moving in.  The laundry hook ups traveled up the wall to the master bedroom closet.  Plumbing folks at Loewe’s and Home Depot helped us navigate the world of plastic plumbing… we have always had copper before.  This Old House had great suggestions for washer hookups that only let water flow through when the appliance is turned on.

This was done in conjunction with demo of the lower laundry room so it was easy to reinforce the floor both from underneath and with plywood and tiles from above.  There are no shakes and the doors can stay open even when both machines are running and we are sleeping.

Guest Half Bath

None of our bathrooms came with a medicine cabinet. Rather than put an industrial cut / scrape / clean up station in the garage we picked up a discounted cabinet at Lowe’s and used paint from a mystery shop to change the mood to a calmer shade of pale.

Completed in a Year

Garage Transformation (Part 2)

Being married to The Carpenter has it’s upside (free labor, jar opening service, winter cuddles) but he comes with a large of wood flaked dust for baggage :-)!  One of the key features of any home is room for The Carpenter to play AND room for my vehicle to be out of the weather.  

To make the floor easy to maintain we rolled our own floor covering thanks to the oops pile at Lowe’s.  2 gallons of the goop cost just under $100 (marked down from $75 each), but the jury is hung on value.  It is starting to flake in some out of the way places, but the high traffic areas have held up OK. Application, with drying periods, took 3 days.

To facilitate pegboard happiness and a dust free Buick the third pay was segregated into a separate room.  The wall took 2 weekends to build, and the entire garage took 6 weekend to finish the walls, ceiling, and trim.  It was not a small undertaking, but the results are amazing.  While the color is not for everyone, I find the calm light blue relaxing and enjoy getting out of my truck each night.

It has made more of a difference than I would have ever imagined!

THE Pantry

This is by far the largest project we have climbed. Some days even literally.  The Carpenter built some custom cabinets to fill in what we were able to find at Second Use and even had to make 5 doors.  If I didn’t have his skills to call on we could have paid a little more and had a set that fit the space.

My cooling racks have a home, my wine has a home, our dog leashes have a home, all of the BBQ tools have an off season home. This space is a full expression of what I hold dear in food preparation – stand mixer, bread machine, food processor, cell phone charging station.

Every day when I pass from the blue garage to the grey pantry I am surrounded with an instant peace and sense of belonging.

Maybe it’s a new coat of paint… or installing crown molding for the first time… there are projects little and big that can lift your mood and bring you ‘home’ at the end of every day.

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