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Thursday, January 2, 2014

my sand room~

play house, laundry room, aquarium, i have had many names for it, but technically i suppose its a mudroom, but face it, we have sand... when we bought our little cottage by the sea the laundry room was a corner in the back of the garage... creepy really, exposed walls, spiders, next to a horrid ancient water heater. all the things i hate to see when hoping i am making my clothes sparkle fresh and clean... my plans were to remodel the cottage while we were in escrow, but once we moved in, i was to smitten to care about a single change, i just wanted a finished laundry room. some place where i wouldn't need a tetanus shot to keep the inside running smoothly. over time it became a dream, my husband works long hours, he didn't feel the need for change like i did...

tick tock, time moves on~

up roars mothers day, and my husband completely forgot it... nary a word to me. i stayed mum. IT PAID OFF! out of guilt the next day he was mortified, he said for mothers day you get your laundry room... ah it pays to be a cheshire cat :-)

i have known what i wanted for ages, it involved splitting the single car garage in half. of course i took the window side~ all the boy toys would now have a lovely division, like a definite line between heaven and hell. the garage was built in the 70's, too small for our current cars, so it was an easy transition to make some more living space for me. we have loads of pets too, i wanted a place to house them while they dried off from their sandy toes, with the constant wet, rainy, foggy dog walks, they needed a bit of buffer zone before launching in the door.

fortunately, my husband never really listened to my plan... the garage was OVERFLOWING with everything that doesn't fit in a tiny cottage. he said lets just do one space at time, don't burden me with details. he kind of rues that months later when he now sees how intricate the big pic was, i utilized and cutsied every square inch of my side~

first things first, the entire length of garage was lined with particle board shelves, all stuffed to the max with my overflowing treasures by the sea. i need to mention that all external walls were built with 5% sloping walls inward. the original owner built the cottage to look like a civil war warship, like the merrimack, so 3 sides of the garage tilt in, which means EVERY THING IS A PIA TO WORK ON! you can't just hang cabinets, you have to make odd angular triangles to try and make a square wall to work with. from ground to ceiling, depending on where you measure fluctuates about 8". VERY TIME CONSUMING WHEN FITTING A TIGHT PUZZLE!

first, my husband removed enough shelves to create the dividing wall, you can see how stuffed the area is and in dire need of a makeover...






because there are no windows on his side, i wanted a french door to let in the most light for his side. my blog buddy mary, at home is where the boat is, recently built an adorable potting shed, i was intrigued at all the recycled bits and pieces she used. somehow, in a conversation with my next door neighbor, she mentioned a salvage yard in town. between mary and her comments we set out to find 2 doors, a french door between "our rooms", plus i wanted a chalkboard door for a small pantry i was planning.

i have never been to a salvage yard, and as we learned later this one was really very specialized and not the right place for us, but we were able to make do on several items. when we first drove in it was nothing but piles of old lumber, they specialize in custom furniture, huge slab tables selling in the many 10s of 1000s... who knew!

i spied fruit crates as i stepped out of the car door, i asked how much and was told from $6-25, depending on how "cool" the design was... hmmm, that meant if you liked it, it was suddenly $25 :-( there were no prices to be had, whatever you asked about was suddenly made up, i think they looked at your car, clothes, jewelry, we felt hoodwinked... i found 2 used doors that would be perfect, again no pricing... i asked a man who said he didn't know, lotta good he was! he referred me back to the man that said the crates were $25. i didn't want his help, i knew he was already determined to drain our wallet.

we loitered a long time and never got any pricing, i asked man #2 again if he knew any prices of anything, he said like what... i said the crates. he said 5 bucks. :-) sold, we bought 3 citrus fruit crates and bolted straight to lowes and home depot for doors, feeling like we just robbed a bank!

the price of doors was a shock to my husbands system, $260 for the french door and $185 for the 1/2 glass door. he wasn't thrilled with spending real money on my laundry room. i called the salvage yard to get pricing over the phone, surprise, i get the same #2 guy who knows nothing... i tell him i am ticked off, i need numbers NOW, or its never, QUOTE ME! he says you can have both for $60. we nearly levitated the whole way over :-)

doors found, my husband can now frame the wall and door and we are officially dividing and conquering! first on his mind was to tackle the washer dryer wall.

i detested the water heater and wanted it hidden, the spacing was so minute he had to notch out a space in the sheet rock for the dryer to tuck in the sloping wall, extremely time consuming working to fit all the pieces in such a tight tilting space. i wanted a large cupboard to hold my lanterns, gazing balls, serving pieces, etc, the house is so small that everything in the garage is just overflow from the house and i truly needed functioning storage. the wall was a well orchestrated dance, we had to find a 20" door for the heater, cabinets over the w/d and then build custom shelves, they all had to be done at one time to know if the puzzle would fit, it was a very difficult dance.



i knew i wanted to use white cabinets, chicken wire cupboards, a ladder and something different for the large cupboard behind the new french door. we went to lowes and just wandered the aisles, nothing would fit size wise so we needed to get creative and expand our aisles. i stumbled upon these, they are actually closet shelves we used vertically as doors, i loved the look, beige and kinda palettey. i like the feel they impart, with a peekaboo look inside the cabinets. before anything could be built we had to hit ikea and get the cabinets to make the whole jigsaw fit in one fell swoop. i LOVE that store, perfect for the handy man i married :-) in the bottom pics you can see the 2 recycled doors we found, i had yet to paint the pantry door in the jade green chalkboard paint with white trim.



wall numero uno was completed. i love my shark roaring up by the bubbles in the lantern over the closet.



my fruit crates, with the newly added real antique fruit labels i found this summer, are easily stored on top of the water heater closet now for quick access.











every square inch in this room is put to good use!






















even mr nick enjoys his sea dreams...






next came the hard part, where to store everything and still be able to continue working... i decided to leave the mess out overnight, it was attacked by hoards of raccoons, they ripped into my christmas boxes and ate seashells. everyday this mess was hauled in and out while he hammered out the next section.



another trip to ikea was in order, this time for the bench i wanted and the cabinets on the wall, again all this was magically unfolding as we move from space to space, wall to wall. i will say it took 3 weekends to get all the bits and pieces from ikea, i LOVE it all too, especially my pull out pantry on the corner of the walk in closet.





next up was the bench wall, with the sliding pantry corner and the hidden walk in close behind it for all the ugly stuff. i needed a place to store all my patio pillows and cushions that i bring in every time we leave. also a place for numerous animal cages when we arrived heavily loaded. oh lets nor forget christmas, 80 pounds of bird seed and gardening tools too, but my space is VERY VERY LIMITED! we maximized every inch we could get, but it was too small to add a door, only solution was a burlap curtain to seal off the area. the dogs have taken a special shine to sleeping is this tiny area, as if i had space to share, now i can't even step foot in there!





like the wizard of oz, peeking behind the curtain to find the brains of it all~








the wall was built to fit the ikea storage unit i use as a bench, all the pillows are for outdoor, just resting here with the winter weather. my husband custom built the top shelves to the different size baskets i bought to house my shells, all collected on our walks on the beach.










i adore maps and globes, i added a cute banner from an old plastic map i had to tie into the 2 globes i have sitting next to my sea dream, our cottages name.  i love all the deer in my yard and added a driftwood deer to the mix. i found the buoy on a walk, my whale bag holds the beach pass and dog toys, i stuff it with shells every walk, matching leashes hang ready for a moments notice dash out the door~













the bench doubles as added storage~





above the closet, behind the picnic baskets, i house more cushions and pillows i use in the gazebo, for the first time, everything has a place and looks darn good when not in use!



next was my pantry closet, i wanted a very narrow closet originally to store food, but i ended up using another ikea storage unit instead, this time standing vertically. i then added what will be a chalkboard wall to house things i was using seasonally. its wonderful having this little closet to tuck things away like croquet, seasonal crates and the odd bits and pieces i want to get my hands on quickly. above the closet i have all our beach towels ready for quick use on those RARE sunny warm days on the california coast.



the door was painted in a teal blackboard chalk paint, i used an upside down drawer pull for my chalk~





i love changing designs on a whim~













lastly comes the main storage wall, it was the easiest to deal with, level walls and we could buy whatever sizes we wanted, not what we were forced into buying with size constraints. this area is for all my kitchen items that don't fit in the main house. did i mention i have an obsession with dishes? the counter has been great for crafting too. i also cold store my fruit here, even though we insulated and sheet rocked my side, this is still a very cold climate!







my husband built the ladder that houses the whale, float lights and lanterns. we picked the wood up at the same salvage yard, the side rails came from a fence in bali, an extremely hard wood and the rungs were made from imported bamboo poles. below you can see the mason jar light design laid out and the frame resting, waiting for my husband to hang the cabinet door~









i wanted chicken wire cupboards, my husband used new lumber and i aged it with cider vinegar and steel wool for an older wood look. one came out perfect, but the other looked like redwood for some odd reason... i ended up getting a gray stain to rub gently over them to give that perfect beachy weathered look i wanted. my husband bought ikea hardware and fitted the frames with chicken wire.










under the window i wanted a large rolling cart for our laundry baskets and cat bed. what kitty doesn't like sunning in the window :-) i wanted the cart to be able to roll outside as needed too for quick entertaining. we used recycled deck wood from home, i love the weathered look, we put wire on the sides to hold things in and an old baseboard for trim. due to size constraints i couldn't even add handles or hooks, turns out its so large we only have 1" to spare when pushing it outdoors... its a perfect extra work area when doing laundry, yet stylish enough for me to enjoy entertaining with it.







lastly i needed light, i have night blindness so brilliance is important to me. i kept one fluorescent light over the laundry area, i rather see than be cute, there is a time where practical wins, having bright task light is a must for these old eyes. over my play area i could be more flexible, i can always craft in the day with natural light, but i did want cute first and foremost! enter the homemade mason jar lights. i had wanted them for our dining room, but pottery barn never showed the top of the fixture so i never pursued it, what a better time to try them out in my play room!

we went to the hardware store to find the jars first, lucky for us the entire hardware store was 15% off, in other words it was packed, and the wrong day for us to be piece mealing it! i bought 3 cases of jars in different colors and sizes, my husband had the nerve to say to me don't you already own these... like i am giving up cooking jars for a light fixture?! i laid out the pattern i wanted, my husband cut me off at 13, i could have done 24 easily...



















so that pretty much wraps up my seaside playroom, all that is left to do is insulate the ceiling and hang the sheet rock, meanwhile i am thrilled to enjoy my brand new space to keep on enjoying my little sea dream any which way i choose~