This blog is in the making. I have loads of ideas but I am lousy at using Blogger, so please believe me when I say posts and witty articles are coming.

mardi 6 mai 2014

Kitchen cabinet turned wardrobe closet

Thank you so much Jen at IHeart Organizing and Mandy at House of Rose for hosting link parties that are the perfect timing for this project and my first blog posts!

We are not designers. We are not DIY experts. We've been renovating a pretty big house for the last 6 years, and this is a neverending budget, even if we do not splurge.
So, when it appeared that our bedroom seriously lacked storage for our ever-expanding piles of clothes, we wanted to re-use something we already had.

Cultural note: big masters bedrooms with ensuite bathroom and walk-in closets are not the norm in France. They've gotten more and more popular for the last few years but most of the time that's only possible when you build a house from scratch. Our bedroom is quite small (per US standards) and has no built-in closet. A walk-in closet is actually called "un dressing", because apparently, "une pièce pour s'habiller" (lit. "dressing room") doesn't sound as fancy!

We only had a simple, boring Ikea Malm white chest of 6 drawers, and a big very old Ikea closet in my study.

So, off we went deep into the basement where we store tools, paint, old furniture and damaged / unused items from our last house, and scavenged a set of 3 kitchen cabinets (probably from Ikea as well) that used to be on the wall in our previous kitchen.
They were a nondescript faded beige color, so we started by painting them with a special resin paint (this brand , but there are probably tons of similar products everywhere) in a charcoal color. It's amazing how it sticks to surfaces that are usually impossible to paint over (our cabinets were not hardwood, but cheapo mdf coated in strange plastic-feeling material), and it really adds texture.
You're supposed to finish with a special transparent resin to protect the furniture from water, grease etc, but since we were lazy using it in a bedroom, we decided to skip that step.

We changed the handles for nicer ones (but they are still kitchen handles) and this is what we got:

The wooden matriochka dolls on top were bought in Russia and Poland.

We used two faithful Expedit cubes complete with baskets to store more items and simply put the cabinet on top of them.

I was afraid it looked too much like kitchen furniture / old-fashioned kitchen cupboards, but it turns out we're very happy with this (very) budget-friendly option, until we find something else we really like.

The opposite side of our bedroom has a dark grey wall that plays well with the charcoal tone of the new cabinet.

Turns out we really had too much paint left, and since it's mixed with resin it needs to be used quickly before it dries up. So we ran around the house for a whole day, repainting every old or ugly cupboard / chair /  picture frame / bathroom furniture we could think of.

So, budget project? Check. More storage? Check. Happy us? Definitely!


samedi 3 mai 2014

Let's get started

OK, so like, hem, 6 months? more? after I created this blog, I'm writing my first article...

I'm French.
I live in France.
I'm taking the last exams to be an English teacher (more about that in a couple months!), after 5 years at home taking care of my two boys (age 5 and 3), another job for a year, and a university degree in a whole other field.

I like reading (how lame does this sound? very? ok, moving on), cooking, styling my closet, which does not make me a fashion blogger, moving things around in my home, which does not make me a decorator nor a DIY expert, definitely not... I read a lot of blogs, which has prompted me to give it another try, after my first attempts a few years back, pre-Facebook, Pinterest and other social media I now can't live without.

We live in the countryside, smallish town (about 10000 people), close enough to the main roads and bigger cities, but far enough so my daily drive to work last year looked like this:

Pretty nice, hey? Quiet roads, no one to be seen except for the occasional deer or tractor... (mind you, I had to go from a small town through the hills and woods to an even smaller town, but on the other side of our town it's the "big, normal" road all the way to the real French cities ;-)

I have to admit though, that during winter it wasn't exactly as breezy...

So that's just a bit of background about me, more to come!