Barn doors – to paint or not to paint… that is the question

September 24th, 2013

In preparation for our framers, I combed over our floor plan to make any last minute internal framing changes. Initially we had the playroom downstairs with just an opening instead of a door – I want to be able to hear whats happening down there – and sometimes kids get rowdy with doors. Anyway we decided to go ahead and frame it for a door and then thought barn doors would be a fun solution for when we do want to close the space off (guests staying in the room, or kids grounded from the toys!). We’ll make sure they aren’t easy to move – so a grownup has to close and open them. I still wanted a large opening, so we framed for a 60″ space. This leaves me space on each side for barn door – something like this:

west elm barn doors

(via west elm)

I personally love the pop of color that you can get from a feature like a barn door, This citron is gorgeous:

tracery interiors(via southern living)

But a subtle gray is beautiful too:

(Seattle General Contractors)

And I always say that aqua/turquoise is the answer to any question… These doors can be both playful and elegant, right?
meyer davis studio inc blue barn doors indoor interior(via meyer davis studio)

Or a lighter more beachy blue looks super fresh and homey.

(Viridian Homes)
And here is an even brighter version, which I definitely LOVE. I’d say something like this is a front runner for me:
Barn-Doors-In-Blue-2
(via slate design)
I like the boldness of the red, but don’t think I could go that bright!
(Echelon Custom Homes)

Now this is an old fire door (what I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of those!), but it could be somewhat replicated by finding an old chippy door – or going crazy with a sander.  I love the wall in the back with the traditional green chalkboard. I can’t get away with that in our main living space… but maybe on the other side of the doors inside the playroom. Where does one even find old-timey green chalkboard paint??

via country living(via country living)

And since I’m completely in love with black painted things right now, I know a set of gorgeous black doors would really pop in the space. I’m doing all of my interior doors black though – so it’s a bit redundant. Still love it in this photo though.

(Melinda Faranetta)
And then there are all those other colors – these melon doors are so sweet, and who knows a perfectly chosen shade of orange or emerald might be just what the room needs!
But…. the house is going to be somewhat rustic – a lot of reclaimed wood. I know Mr. Project would prefer wood doors. This one is great – just simple vertical planks with supports. A barn door like this would look amazing on any wall of the house.
(Fiorella Design)
This one is framed out, and the wood is oiled to bring out all those rich hues.
(Nampa Doors)
This one is just super simple – we could use our pallet wood for it. I love how the thicknesses of the wood changes from one row to the next and how smaller pieces are patched in etc. This is probably my favorite.  Very industrial looking.
 (The Ranch Mine)
Or for something a bit more refined and stable-esque, these ones are just the right mix of rustic and elegant.
Bonin Architects & Associates)
So which doors do you prefer? I definitely prefer a bright fun painted door, but the rustic/industrial doors also get me pretty excited. I’m going to have a really hard time choosing!

Still running!

July 12th, 2013

mile_running_motivation

A month ago I posted about running again for the first time in 3 years. I laced up and got out there following the C25K program. Now (despite getting some awful flu for a week), 4 weeks later I am feeling and doing great. Today I ran for 6 minutes straight and clocked my first 13 minute mile! In comparison my first run was a 17 minute mile.

I’ve also signed up for a 5K that will be in another 4 weeks. And my goal is to do the whole thing without stopping/walking. Or maybe just a little break in the middle ;) . Either way, I’m just excited to complete it and feel like I’ve made a change.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. If I can do it, so can you! So get out and do something good for your body.

If your interested in C25K, I’m using an iphone app called Get Running that I really like. If you have another app to recommend, I’d love to hear about it. 

How to build kitchen cabinets: Getting Started

June 22nd, 2013

theprojectgirl_building_custom_cabinets

Hi! Mr Project here with a few tidbits from our kitchen cabinet build experience. When the Project Girl and I set out to redo our house in California, I really had no idea what I was doing. Jen had the vision for what this house would be, and I promised to execute. I knew how to use a few tools by then – circular saw, drill, router, hammer to name a few – but I really felt out of my depth. In fact, the first hole we put into a wall the night we signed for the house was as much an adrenaline rush as I had ever felt. Remember when your mom would tell you not to write on the walls, and when you did, you felt SO naughty? Yeah, that was me, but this time with a hammer. It felt surreal.

Here is the kitchen during the first part of demo:

theprojectgirl_kitchen_progress

Check out the before pictures of the project house here, and the after pics here in the Project Girl’s project house reveal!

We had quite the task ahead . . . to say the least . . . Definitely look at those before pictures if you haven’t yet. Every surface of the house needed to be re-done.

Soon, I got into the swing of things (pun intended) and the intimidation and anxiety left with each swing of the hammer and each hole I made.

Fast forward to one of the big, no, BIG parts of the renovation: THE KITCHEN. I hadn’t ever built a kitchen cabinet, but I figured that this wasn’t rocket science or brain surgery. I’d built somewhat complex and challenging pieces of furniture in the past, but still, the thought of building a kitchen cabinet was really daunting and stressful. In retrospect, this was probably due to the fact that I really had no idea HOW they were made or pieced together. I was crippled by fear of not knowing how, and somehow made them out to be this really big deal in my mind.

So, I did what any man that is lost, or looking for directions would NEVER do – I tried to find an instruction manual. Turns out that there are some really great books available for purchase that pretty much teach you everything you need to know about building kitchen cabinets, including how to find the right materials, basic construction and makeup, finishing, install, and even building countertops. These are the books I used to learn pretty much everything I know:

theprojectgirl-cabinet-build-6

“Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets” ,“Trim Carpentry and Built-Ins” , “Building Kitchen Cabinets”

 Not only was I able to find out how to make them, but how to make them amazing. Just by reading these books. I did have to expand my tools a bit, but the investment was well worth it and from that effort, we were able to build and create an awesome custom kitchen.

Jen, of course, did the kitchen design, and I just made, installed, and finished the cabinets.

So here are seven things I learned during the process of renovation and building our kitchen -

1. Ask questions -

Not only are there usually great people around who are willing to help, but with the internet, you can pretty much find an answer to any question you have. Power tools aren’t that scary if you just read or watch how to use them, or have a friend show you the basics. It’s all about knowing. Ana White, for example, has some really great tips on getting started with building small wood projects.

2. Get the right tools -

Having the right tools for the job is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Think of all the money you could save by doing your own cabinetry! Most of the cost in pricing out custom cabinetry comes from the labor costs associated with the job. I decided to put the money I would save into purchasing the right tools. You can do a lot with a circular saw, cordless drill, and a router, but having a table saw, for example, will save you SO much time. We built our kitchen cabinets for less than 2500 bucks. Killer deal if you ask me!

Here’s a pic of my garage “shop”.

spencer-nugent-garage-shop3. Work Smart -

Cabinetry is pretty standard. Look for patterns as you work and cut your pieces in lots. Cabinets are a lot like puzzles. There are standard pieces and sizes that come together to make the full box.

theprojectgirl-cabinet-build-4

4. Have a plan -

The Project Girl out together all our kitchen design drawings before I got to work. This was so helpful! We measured everything and planned out where and how we wanted things to be. That way, we could minimize surprises along the way. Part of the biggest challenge in making something is not having a plan on how to execute.

You can check out more plans from The Project Girl here.

kitchen-sketch1 kitchen-sketch2

 

5. Be ready to change that plan

… And be ready to change that plan too. As we were installing cabinets in our new kitchen, we realized that the floor in our kitchen wasn’t very level. We had to change a few things in our plan to make it work, but it worked out nicely.

10

Sometimes, plans change. You can’t see it too well here but there’s definitely a slight shift in level of the floor from one side to the other. We made it work!

6. Patience is everything -

Finishing/Painting is my least favorite part of the process. It sucks. But if you’re patient, have some good tunes, and a good attitude, it’s really not THAT bad. Patience is one of your greatest tools in your arsenal. If you’re patient and let things flow, everything can and will come together. At least, that’s how it was for me.

7. There’s always a fix -

Last, but not least, this is my new motto – “THERE’S ALWAYS A FIX”. One of the great things about this whole process is really, there isn’t THAT much that you can screw up, and if you do, it’s really easy to fix, with some time and effort. Knowing that there always is a fix helps me relax and take things on with a good and positive outlook.

So those are some of the things I learned along the way. There’s much more, of course, and if you’re feeling up for the challenge, here are a few of my favorite books that helped me along the way as I was learning how to build cabinets.

“Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets” - Solid guide, but not my favorite, though useful.

“Trim Carpentry and Built-Ins” - Good for knowing about how to integrate cabinetry into your home and finish things off.

“Building Kitchen Cabinets” - My personal favorite.