Friday, April 6, 2012

Super Cheap DIY Home Fixes

First of all, AdSense is live on the blog! Yippee! I told myself I'd add advertisements to BBB once I hit 50 followers, and it took me a little bit, but I did it! This is me doing my happy dance and hoping this is the beginning of wonderful things here...

Okay. Back to the subject at hand.

I started looking around my house today and thinking. I'm kind of in a rut lately. A major rut, and it's effecting my mood and the state of our dwelling. I'm self diagnosed with O.C.D. My home is usually organized to a T, and it just isn't lately. Although motherhood has loosened me up in that way, deep down my inner O.C.D self wants to get out a label maker and hang my shirts by color and sleeve length! Ya know?

The bathroom reno is not moving as fast as I'd like it to, the house is no where near as neat as I normally keep it, and I just zoom back and forth to work. I hardly have time to eat and just focus on mommyhood, and I'm drained! Period. Then, I started thinking. What, besides my sweet boy, makes me happy? Well, that took all of TWO seconds to answer. My home. Decorating. Organizing. Writing. Everything that I love about my blog and yet never seem to carve out much time for lately. At that very moment, I turned around and kicked myself in the booty. {Not literally though. I'm not an acrobat.}

I thought, "Crystal, you have a TON of ideas to share with readers, so start DOING something about it. Right now!" Well, right now had to wait, because I had to get to work, but I'm doing something about it now. At 3am. After I got home, visited with my babysitter {my mom}, hung some new ferns on the porch {that I got an awesome deal on at work} and ate. Now, I write. When most of the world is sleeping. This is my life, and I'll be tired in the morning when that little voice calls out to me, but I'll live, because this mommy needs some serious, productive "me time".

I don't have any pictures to share, because that requires actually taking pictures in decent light {and it's dark out} and actually editing them {and that takes a ton of time}, but I did want to share some of my super cheap DIY home fixes I've picked up along the way.

Our bungalow was built in 1941 {so the papers say but I suspect it's older}, and it still has the original heat vents. They're black, old, beaten up and UGLY, but they're also an odd size, and the sizes vary from room to room. I've tried buying replacements, but stores don't carry anything their size. I've looked into ordering them, but they're super expensive. Instead, as I've moved through redoing each room, I've spray painted them! I know what you're thinking. Who cares about heat vents! Right? Most people probably don't, but I do. It's the details to a home that pull it together!

In keeping with our home's age and original existing hardware, I've gone with antique bronze finishes on every metal surface-light switch plates, light fixtures, door knobs, hinges, faucets, and even my toilet flusher thingy! Doing so helps add flow and unity to the entire house, makes it custom to us and also gives off a higher-end feel {in my opinion}.

Because these changes can be expensive, I've just moved from room to room and repeat bought everything as needed. Thank goodness Lowe's has continued to carry my switch plates for the past three years! For anything that can be spray painted {like the heat vents}, I just use an antique bronze spray paint {whatever brand and shade I find at the store when I need it}. Just make sure you wash and dry any surface before application. Sometimes I prime, and sometimes I don't. It just depends on how much extra money I have at the time and if I want to shell out an extra $5 for spray primer!

Tip number two is seriously super easy and super cheap!

Our house has 98% of it's original woodwork. In the living and dining rooms, it hasn't been touched! Yippee! Cancel all of that excitement though, because the room's walls have been painted. Many times, and the previous owners haven't always been very careful.  This has left behind a gazillion tiny {and not so tiny} paint splatters all over my otherwise beautiful trim and baseboards. I happen to have a HUGE permanent marker collection with a ton of different shades of brown, and I happened to find one that was almost an exact match to my woodwork. I think you know where I'm going here...

I just started in the living room, sat my happy butt down on the floor and moved around the entire room with my little marker coloring each of those paint splatters. It was THAT easy, and the results were fabulous! It did take some time, but it was totally worth it. Just make sure you test those different marker shades out in an inconspicuous spot!

I'll leave you with a picture of Preston's room that you've seen before. This is the only exception to my above spiel. His room doesn't have a "metal finish". I accent his room with red and white, so we spray painted his vent red. It adds a touch of whimsy and acts as a small element of surprise. It is hard to see here. It's hidden under the table mostly, but I just used leftover red spray paint from that cute little lamp! The lamp was originally silver and sat at my desk for years prior to having him. It just found new life here! {clicking the picture should make it larger}

Crystal xoxo

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