Home Improvement #4: My Jar Shelf!

The Jar Shelf Greg Made!

This is by far my favorite “home improvement” project yet… I just love it! Every time I walk into the kitchen it makes me smile.  Greg built this shelf literally in to the wall for me to put my jars on. The problem with our kitchen is that there is not much cupboard space or storage (no pantry area either) so somehow all my dishes, baking items, pans, glasses, mugs, utensils etc. and not to mention food has to fit in the small area!  This was his grand creation…an inset shelf for me to put all my precious jars on!  You can see that before the shelf was there, this wall was just plain and a wasted space because there was no room to add any cupboards, counter or anything…but I sure am using it now, and daily! I get into many of these jars everyday at least once… I have many baking goods, nuts,  chocolate chip varieties, flax-seed, wheat bran and germ, popcorn kernels, cornmeal, candy, peanut butter, dried beans, oats and more!

The nut row...

Items for baking!

This project turned out wonderful! It was a slow process at first while he cut out the sheet rock and 2 studs… while keeping the other side of the sheet rock (living room wall) blemish free, but after the hole was made the rest went fairly quickly. He made the shelf to size and slid it in place!

I think everywhere we live I need a jar shelf…I just love it! The problem is, I can’t take this one with me – he may be needing to make another one someday if we have another house! 🙂

Home Improvement #3: Coffee Wall!

This project was just plain fun…. not exactly necessary or maybe a better word is mandatory but at least we had a few reasons even if they are for the fun of it.  

Here is a before shot: a sorry one, but it is all I could find.

The dining area - Before

We wanted to give the area (The “dining” area) some personality and make it “us”.  We  both love to drink coffee…especially together and with company so we decided to make a little “coffee shop” – or at least in our minds if nobody elses.  We went to Home Depot and picked out the paint color:


… so as you can imagine it is dark dark dark… much like black coffee… a deep rich dark brown!  But to our realization after painting the first coat it was wrong… it had to be because it was more like an elephant that got into a blueberry fight – an awkward greyish purple.  We called them and they said “it darkens as it dries”. Well it would have to darken a significant amount. We took it back and they did some checking and realized they used the wrong base to start with… so round 2 in progress….

In Progress... on with "espresso"

So,what were our reasons for going dark? 

Kind of like our orders at the coffee shop…

“(Greg) grande dark with no room and a

(Beka) grande vanilla extra-hot latte, please”

so… our walls reflect it well… one just plain coffee goodness, and one sweet and creamy! 🙂

Our Little “Coffee Shop”

So, if you get a chance, come drink some coffee with us!

Any time is Coffee Time


Home Improvement: Laundry Room!

This is our second “Home Improvement” project… if you read what our first one, it was in our bedroom which was just painting. I don’t say “just” because it was a little project – painting always takes more time that I think it will, and it did take a while… so we were able to move on to our next of priorities…



Well folks, this was a pretty big project that Greg did!  I did not take the picture soon enough, but you can see where there was a door and trim around it… he has already taken that out/down. But there is more… 

Laundry Room – Before

I am someone that actually will enjoy doing laundry, but it is really  hard in a space like this!  It is so small and dark too! There is a small light, but it is a cramped space with no natural light. So, Greg had the fantastic idea to open it up to where the space could be used more and I could actually get in there with a laundry basket!

Laundry Room - In process, cutting out the sheetrock and beyond!

I should have taken a few more in-process pictures, but I didn’t!  The picture below shows the “finished” room (for now) and yes, it is GREEN! It is a really fun color and looks fresh and clean (at least to me). It is fun to go in now… especially since I can actually GO IN! I still need to finish moving things back in and DO LAUNDRY – which has really piled up since our “construction zone” and painting limited my ability to stay up on laundry!  I love it and it is a much better use of the space! 

Laundry Room - After

Some things that we still would like to do in this space someday (near or very future depending on time/resources/plans and more):

  • Lay lenolium or something… cover up that concrete floor
  • put up cabinets and a different shelving system
  • Install some “french style” doors  to close off the space
  • that is all for now!

Home Improvement #1: The Bedroom!

Part of the fun (and of course the work) of having your own home is making improvements… decorating… and creating a reflection of who you are, what you like and what you are about!  This of course is limited (or expanded) by income, resources, foundation,  the walls… and whatever else we can come up with!  There are many improvements we want to make as well as many options of what we can do but for now, we are of course limited with a few of the reasons listed.  Our home was built in the early 80’s and I am starting to think it was a time to make bathrooms, closets and kitchens as small as possible!  Maybe not for every house, but that is what we have – so we can not do much in those areas, but what we can work with is paint, fixtures etc… cosmetic factors.  Expanding the whole house out a few feet to give us some storage space and wiggle room in the bathrooms and kitchen is just not feasible! 🙂  Overall, the house is a good size – plenty big for the two of us (3 bedrooms), especially because we are always in the same room, whichever one that is!  We are so blessed to have a place to live and my what sounds like complaining is actually quite petty considering all we have! 

Anyways, more recently (prior to us living here together), the carpet and tile was updated (except one room that is flooded with hues of pink, which we will talk about later) so, this is really nice for us because we don’t have the expense of taking out the true “hunter-green” carpet! 

So, the first thing we decided to do was paint the master bedroom because it was sherbet orange… not really our color!  This is what it looked like before and after…

It is a huge change! We like the paint colors but we ideally need another coat of the lighter to get rid of the orange hue we at think we can still see – unless it is our imagination!   But for now, we are calling the bedroom “done” and will move onto other projects before hopefully coming back and updating the fan and other hardware/outlet covers.