Building a Laundry Mudroom for $3700 - Appliances Included

It's so eye-opening to add up the costs of what I've spent on my house. I honestly didn't think the changes I wanted to make to this house would cost as much as they have - particularly since I was going to do the work myself! This week I went back and added up everything I spent on my laundry and mudroom, the total tally was $3664.64 and includes everything I put in the space.   Seriously?!  W-O-W!   Oh and I already owned quite a few of the items I put in the space, but I've included everything in my tally.

Going back to moving day, all I had in the mudroom was hookups for the washer and dryer.  The previous owners had taken the appliances with them...

and to all a good night!

Merry Christmas!

Max the kitten continues to dominate my energy and I have to admit that I am enjoying the time off from the work on my house. December has been a busy month at the office for me and I have exhausted myself completely.   I have decided to take a good long break from blogging and, hopefully, be back fresh as a daisy later in the new year and ready to plunge into that ever-growing list of things to do.   I leave you with a few images of what Christmas looks like around the house this year.

House Tour 2013 - Updated!

Welcome to my little 1930s bungalow!   This post includes all the work I've done on the place up to the end of this year.  

Come on in, enjoy a cup of coffee and I'll show you around!

Here is my new front facade complete with diy shutters, fresh aqua paint and new landscaping.

My kitchen, where to begin??  When I moved in, it needed cabinets, counters and appliances.  I couldn't live with it the way it was, so the kitchen reno kicked off on the week after moving day.  I bought stock cabinets and counters to save money and did a galley plan.  I brought my sideboard into the kitchen for additional storage and counter space and painted it with a homemade paint that gives a chalk like finish.

I found My Dream House...

It has been my dream for a long time to live in Carmel, California. Today I found my dream house, conveniently located in Carmel,California. Take a look at this charming 1920s cottage.

I adore courtyards - welcome home!!

2013 in Review Part 3 - Room Makeovers

Time for another installment of 2013 in Review!

2013 was the year that I found "The Look" I wanted for my home.  I thought the rule was 1 year in your home!!  Oh well, 3 years is ok by me - I now know exactly what I do and don't like and this year I was able to put it together in a way that pleased me.

This was also the year that rooms came together.  I finished the 2nd bathroom (thank you God!), guest room, laundry room, master bedroom, living room and dining room.  Yay!!  I also made over the main bathroom for the 4th time. Yep, I change my decor like I change my clothes... well, almost!

Here are the before & after shots:

My bedroom was completely done over - walls, trim, bedding, furniture, doors, lighting - phew!  DONE!!!  
check out the entire process HERE

2013 in Review Part 2 - Furniture Makeovers & More

Furniture makeovers - one of my favourite things!  It's so much fun to see how different a piece of furniture can look with a change of paint or stain colour or by adding something to it.  Here are my 2013 makeovers - click on the captions for more details.

In the case of this first piece, I took a large butcher block cutting board and glued it to the top of a metal table that I picked up for a song at a yard sale.   Easy industrial look!

2013 in Review Part 1- the Bathroom, the Bench and the Bright Side

I can't believe how fast 2013 went by.  What a whirlwind of a year!!  I have lots to show for it though and I am thrilled with the progress made on my home.
Here are the "big" highlights of my year, my top 3 posts:
My 3 year bathroom reno came to a close in the spring.  I am so happy to have an extra working bathroom located in my mudroom/laundry room.  I'm even happier that it is all my own work!

My Favourite Christmas Things

I can't decorate much for Christmas this year. I have "this" to contend with:

Oh well, there's always next year!  My Christmas decor this year is pretty minor but I'm making the best of what I can put up.  I've taken a few of my very favourite ornaments and scattered them around.

7 Easy Christmas Projects to do with the Kids!

Looking for some easy Christmas crafts to do with the kids or grandkids? Here you go - cute and so simple anyone can do these!  Just click on the photos for more details:

Kitchen Overhaul - My 2014 Challenge

This is the one section of the kitchen that isn't changing.
  Can I do it? You bet I can!!  I've lived in this little house for 3 1/2 years now and the whole time I've lived here, I've disliked my kitchen.  It's a decent sized room - 9' x 13 1/2' but the layout is a bit challenging.  When I moved in, there were 4 doors into the kitchen, one from the living room, one from the mudroom, one from a storage space and one from a bathroom.   There's a chimney stack bumpout dead center of one wall preventing me from a really good use of space plan.  In the original kitchen there were only 5 cabinets, a 6' stretch of counter space broken up in the middle by the kitchen sink, a GINORMOUS fridge and a pimple of a range...  The layout was a challenge from the beginning and my budget was an even bigger challenge.

Making a Chandelier My Own

Chandeliers - never in my life did I ever think I would be drawn to them. I've never been a "girlie girl", not a huge fan of pink and certainly not a lover of all things white (gets dirty WAAAAY too fast!).   Well, hold onto your hats, this girl is coming of age!!

When I first moved into my little house, I went on a lighting campaign.  All the fixtures in the house were cheap crappy ugly ones that I couldn't bear to live with.  I bought nice new fixtures until that budget ran out and then I bought stuff on huge markdown to replace the ugly stuff until I could find exactly what I wanted.

In my bedroom I thought I wanted a Moravian star.  I love those fixtures!  So I bought and installed one in there.   Wait for it, the BEFORE shot from my take no prisoners master bedroom makeover madness project:

*shudder*  That orange and brown with stained wood trim... so glad it's gone!

I can tell you now, that light fixture mocked me.  It was off-center (hate that).  It was a single 60 watt max bulb in a 200 square foot room with the closet at the opposite end of the room.   It was ALWAYS DUSTY.  Crap.  It was also $200 out of my lighting budget, so it stayed.

This past year my love affair with the chandelier began.   My favourite kind of chandelier is a bare basic model that looks like the candle chandelier I got from Ikea for my last house:

I still love this fixture...

But Ikea doesn't sell that one anymore and I don't like what they do sell and it wasn't wired anyway.  I bought a cute smaller version of this fixture at a yard sale for $5 and after a few months, painted it shabby white (shabby being more the way I painted it rather than a colour).

and here it is painted with a few crystals added for good measure.

There was already a hook in the ceiling and that's why it got hung there.  It actually worked out well since there's not much daylight in the kitchen and when there's a power outage, this chandelier lights up the room quite nicely!

Then, wonder of wonders, I found a similar wired chandelier at Home Depot for $70.  That baby was coming home with me!

I didn't take a photo, too excited to spray paint the fixture.  Here's the best I can do - photo from side of box:

The photo on the box makes the wrought iron look like it's one colour - it isn't.  The actual finish is mottled light black/dark black and I didn't care for it much, that's why I painted it antique white.  When I get tired of the white, I'll spray paint it satin black.  Cause that's the way I roll.  Give me a year or so and it'll change again... 

After I spray painted the fixture, I hung it and swagged the very long chain over to dead center of the ceiling - WIN-WIN!!!  Well not really, cause I didn't wait long enough for the paint to dry and so I wound up touching up the paint with latex paint that didn't quite match.   That's why I have embraced the shabby chic style, it matches my impatient, instant gratification junky nature.

The chandelier looks kinda wonky in this photo, but you can take my word for it - soooo much better!

Then I decided I wanted some bling on it.  I live in the boonies - have I mentioned that enough?  No Michaels, no Home Sense, no craft stores to speak of...  Luckily it's close to Christmas and the decorations are beginning to appear.  I found one container of crystals at Target and one length of a chunky crystal garland.   I attached them to the chandelier using single strands of picture wire.

When the light is turned on, it's so sparkly - I love it!!  And when I decide I don't love it anymore I can easily remove the crystals.  (The remaining crystals are on the candle chandelier above.)

I'm still searching for even more crystals to add or maybe some lamp shades with prism tassels, hmmmm... Isn't it fun to take something and make it yours?  Happy decorating!


With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!

My Pinterest Faves of the Week

Happy happy Friday!!!!!!!!  Christmas decorating ideas and some gorgeous spaces found on Pinterest and some of my friends' blogs this week.


This stunning room was part of house tour featured on Hooked on Houses earlier this year.  Oh so pretty!

Cinnamon Stick Christmas Tree Sign

Cinnamon sticks and Christmas are a great combination.  Here's how I combined both into a super cute Christmas sign.

While surfing through Pinterest for Christmas inspiration, I came across several twig Christmas tree signs. I love them!!  I wanted one for myself, but took a twist on the twig part.

I opted to use cinnamon sticks instead of twigs. It gives the same effect but with a delightful scent!  

Visiting with "from house parties to housewife"

I'm so honoured to have been interviewed and featured so many times this year. Today I'm visiting with Amanda from the blog "from house parties to housewife". Amanda has made me sound quite fascinating in this interview! She is a very good interviewer ;)

Pop over and visit!

From house parties to housewife

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!
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Cool Camera Accessory

A couple of weeks back my friend Tara at Surburble reviewed  a camera accessory called a "Lightscoop".  

Ever since I got my DSLR camera this year, I've been hunting for accessories to help me take better photos.  This super cool little device deflects the flash toward the ceiling so you still get the extra light but you don't get red-eye or shadows or any of the other annoyances that you get with a regular flash.

So now I can take shots in darker spaces or at night without worrying about how the flash takes over the shot.  I can shoot Max whenever I want because he doesn't get annoyed at the flash going off in his wee eyes either!

And this shot at night!

I highly recommend this attachment, it is AWESOME!  and I'm not being paid anything to recommend it either.  If you want to check it out, click HERE

And if you haven't met Tara yet, hop over to her blog HERE.  She has the most darling blog!

Thanks so much Tara!  I love this prize!!!  and special thanks to my buddy Mimi at Blue Roof Cabin, too - Mimi, you're the best! :)

Have a great day!

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!
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