Shut the Front Door!

We’re on an exterior mission to fix up the house’s curb appeal before we lease the house.  Here is step one!

Ready….set….lookatourterriblefrontdoor!!!!!!!

It’s pretty sad and pitiful, isn’t it?  We heard from several of our neighbors that this door had been “knocked in” by the previous owners.  Something about being a foreclosure and them trying to get in and “steal” things from the bank (like the kitchen sink and all of the appliances).  Pretty sure they won “Homeowner of the Year” award in a parallel universe.  Oh, and we still haven’t traded out the Sheriff’s Locks on this bad boy.  We’ve been rocking the two toned handles since 2009!  Pretty sure we win “Homeowner of the Year” in this universe – haha!

But as if all of that weren’t bad enough, the door also faces west and gets all of the prevailing winds and moisture from our rainy Pacific Northwest winters.  Once it’s wet, the sun comes out and bakes it so up close it’s looking a little more like this:

…in other words, kind of warped, damaged and dried out from the sun.  We kind of hemmed and hawed around repairing this door for awhile for God knows why.  First it was because we thought we would need a handyman or carpenter to repair it because it looked like it was “out of true” and we wanted to try and salvage it.  The door looked crooked in the frame but after breaking out our level and straight edges we realized it was the casement that was crooked and not the door – haha!  Classic.  Reminded me of that Shel Silverstein poem about the kid who has wavy hair and eventually shaves it all off only to discover he just has a wavy head.  Well, we definitely weren’t going to tackle repairing the casements (that takes a calibre of skill that neither of us have and a can of worms that we didn’t have handy).  So that kind of gave way to the fact that we could go ahead and try refinishing the door and then seeing what happens.  After all, replacing this door is not an option.  It’s a full 8′ tall and as expensive as they come so may as well try to give it some spit polish…

So we removed the door:

…which gave Maggie a perfect perch to monitor all of the goings on:

…and then Dr. J got to sanding it down so it was smooth as a baby’s behind – literally took like 20 minutes:

…then it was into our secret stash of stains and paints and we found a leftover stain from….mystery project?  It may have been leftover from when we finished the Ikea Countertops for our desk in the office but we really don’t remember.  In other words – it was free.

Then we let it dry, sanded, poly-ed, sanded, poly-ed, replaced the door hardware and VOILA!

How’s that for some updated curb appeal?  Not bad for a quick weekend project that only cost us the cash to replace the locks.  Is it perfect?  No.  But we’re renting this house from here on out so it doesn’t have to be perfect for us.  It just has to look good!  And since we’ve purchased a nice storm door to protect it, we’re hoping that this finish will be nice and protected from the elements – fingers crossed.

Airing our Dirty Laundry, Chapter 2: Cabinetry Conundrum

Cabinetry.  Buy it for looks, but it for life.  No, wait….that’s sinks.  Or is it faucets?  Well, regardless, purchasing cabinetry is always going to be a big-ticket/lifer item!  So when I say we were pretty thorough in our search, I’m not lying!  It took us 9 months of hoofing it around town to decide on what we wanted and I’m here to spill the beans on the whole thing!  Hang tight, I’ll try to keep the search to a paragraph!

We started at the traditional “reno on a budget” locale of Ikea, thought it too expensive, so settled on Home Depot/Lowe’s.  After price checking and budgeting there, we realized that wasn’t such a good deal either (and for lower quality laminated stock cabinetry to boot!).  So we thought we’d try the eco-friendly route of recycling cabinetry either via Craigslist, the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and the ever popular ReBuilding Center on Mississippi Avenue here in Portland.  While we weren’t able to find much in the way of cabinetry that was affordable, suitable, and/or repairable, I did have to hold Dr. J back from a few fun finds pictured below (and these are iPhone pics, so probably not the best quality overall):

Recycled molding - in great shape!

Reclaimed hardwood floor (Oak!) for a fraction installed new!

Old and newer-ish light fixtures with a few loos tossed in the background

As much as we didn’t want to have to spend the kind of money that our initial run-through at Ikea had us paying, we reluctantly decided to give it another shot and see if we were wrong before.  And, boy, were we wrong!  We designed an entire laundry space, including cabinetry, sink, and counters for a fraction of the price that we would pay at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and even some of our recycled options!  Here’s a little breakdown of how much this was going to cost us at each place:

  • Home Depot/Lowe’s was going to run us around $1500 for cabinets ($900), plumbing/electrical ($300), counters ($200), and any other incidentals we may have missed.  Home Depot/Lowe’s, we heart you, but your stock cabinetry wasn’t as pretty as Ikea’s (or as tall!).
  • Recycling cabinetry was somewhat of a mystery, but it was going to be a cool $600 for cabinets, but then we’d have to refinish, repair, and paint those cabinets, so we figured that was going to put us back around $700 and that was before plumbing, counters, and incidentals.  Recycling, we heart you, but you were too spendy!
  • Ikea was going to be roughly $700 (including cabinets, counters, sink, hardware, and no painting required!).  Ikea, we heart you and your clean new cabinetry that’s 39″ tall with no sanding, painting, and/or cleaning required!  SOLD!

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong!  Record this date for posterity as you’ll never hear that from us again… 😉

Ikea’s in-house computer kitchen designer (which is good for any space, including a laundry) couldn’t be simpler though I admit it’s a lot less confusing when you are in the store than when you are at home, but maybe that’s the point.  You can set up your room with all of your dimensions, including height, add your appliances (washer and dryer?  Check!), throw up some cabinetry, insert some sinks, and voila!  You then print out all of your needs on a few sheets of paper that you then turn into the associate who orders it and then you pick it up downstairs on your way past the Swedish meatballs and fish.  Easy peasy!

We took some advice from the Ikea sales person, Ellen (super friendly, btw!), and decided to split up our installation into phases.

  • Phase one would be assembling and installing upper cabinetry
  • Phase two will be plumbing and electrical (we need plumbing for a sink, outlets for under-cabinetry lighting and a switch, and an additional overhead light)
  • Phase three will be purchasing and installing our new flooring (anybody have a pair of knee pads I can borrow?)
  • And the final phase would be installing the floor cabinetry, counters, sink, finishing touches, accessorizing, etc.

So today’s venture is only upper cabinetry, but it was so simple to install, we can’t wait to buy the rest of the material from Ikea so we can finish the job!  Total time from unpacking the boxes to hanging?  About 4 hours – and I only helped with the hanging!  Fancy that!  It’s amazing how something like this:

….can transform into something like this:

….and that, my friends, is the beauty of Ikea!  Actually, let’s take a moment to analyze the photo above (where we “air our dirty laundry”, so to speak).  First off, can you tell how “cluttered” the floor of our laundry room is by this picture?  Dee-sgus-ting!  Actually, here’s a closer pic to show you our problem child in all its grody glory:

You can also get a better feel for how large our upstairs “hallway” is and why we want to switch out all of it for cork!  It will bring so much warmth, polish and cohesion to this space and we cannot wait!  It will also bring some much-needed texture to this space, which is a little tan on tan at the moment.

From this point on, the pictures are a little hairy – we have terrible light going on in this room, so we were really just working off of our flash, which just blows out all of our pics.  All apologies:

First you hang the bracket (which Ikea generously included)

Then you hang the cabinets on the bracket...

Then you clamp the cabinetry together and attach them with the (included) hardware...

...and then you hang your doors and measure for your hardware!

And that’s basically it!  Oh, and in case you’re curious why we put painter’s tape up on these cabinets, this is an important tip whenever you are drilling into anything that has to look pretty from the outside.  If you tape it, it will protect the wood from chips and breaks.  It’s also easier to measure and mark – you don’t have to worry about cleaning it off later!

The installation of the upper cabinets is done and we were even able to score ourselves some of those fancy schmancy “quiet close” cabinet hinges so we won’t wake up whenever somebody slams the doors shut.  That’s pretty useful since the laundry room wall backs up to our master bedroom – good for the future.

Sit tight for the big reveal – we’ve already moved onto electrical and our upstairs is a veritable war zone of cut up drywall, power tools, and dust!

Want to see Chapter 1 where we formulated a plan, then click here!  Stay tuned for more!

 

Before & After Bliss: Our Guest Bath mini-makeover!

While we didn’t attempt a major bathroom demo and renovation in our guest bathroom (we did that well after this project in our master and that was PLENTY for us), we did take the bull by the horns and complete our guest bathroom mini-makeover – finally!  Can I hear a W00T W00T?!?!  So here’s everybody’s favorite part – the Before & Afters!  Our sad little guest bathroom as it was before we moved into our house seven long months ago:

…and here is the full she-bangin’ reveal after a few weekends of hard work and just a wee bit of money and spit polish!

The room just feels so much more glam now that it’s all completed (for now)!  Our guests can now shower in a room sans dirty walls and a whole lotta blah going on!  Part of that new and improved finesse came from just removing the old builder’s grade mirror and adding two mirrors over the sinks as well as a fresh coat of paint to liven things up a bit.  That in and of itself really makes the space feel much more polished and higher end.  I tell ya, paint can hide a lot of ills!

We didn’t really write any blog posts on it, but we also spray painted our light fixtures a silvery color to match our silvery colored faucets and hardware since the oil-rubbed bronze finish, while pretty, just didn’t match with the other metals in the room.  It instantly feels brighter, but it is just a temporary solution.  When we have a bit more $$$, we plan to replace *all* the faucets, fixtures, and lights so that they match and feel a little bit more higher end.

We also finally got around to hanging some artwork like the cute little stone pendant above and below.  We’ve actually had it for years but have never hung it anywhere because the colors just didn’t seem to fit in with anything we had.  Miraculously, the color scheme we went with in this bathroom was a perfect fit for this little medallion and it’s like we planned it that way.  Ha ha!  Actually, we didn’t, but it was just one happy little accident!  Score!

We also love how the green walls and the white mirrors coordinates with the already existing white tile countertop, which isn’t my favorite, but it’s there and we just decided it’s easier to work with it rather than against it.  This is a trick I’ve picked up from some of the design mags and shows – if you don’t like a certain aspect to your room but there’s no money in the budget to change it or remove it, then don’t fight it.  Work *with* it and then it will appear cohesive and deliberately designed.  Working with the white tile, we brought in white and bamboo accessories (which we already owned) so that the room feels more spa and zen-like than it did before.

…and just so you know, the above white dish actually *is* a dish!  Meaning that I would normally use it in the Dining Room, but I love the look of it so much that I’ve just stuffed it with cotton balls and swabs for our guests in case they run out and need a fresh supply!  I also have spare shampoos and soaps in the shower just in case!  Is this enticing you to want to come visit?  Or just stop by and use our shower?  That might be weird, but whatever floats your boat, sick-o!

We also hung up our brand new (and free!) homemade artwork on an old Pottery Barn ledge that was just sitting in the Room of Requirement waiting for a home.  I love how the color of the ledge offsets the monochromatic painting.  And just so you know, we have plans to frame this piece of artwork in a white frame, but we ran out of wood this past weekend and are just making do.  It kind of sinks into the wall color the way it is now, but it will pop even more with a nice white frame around it!

and for another view of our newly fab-u-lized guest bathroom, here is another shot…

We promised a budget breakdown of this bathroom makeover and while we didn’t make many large changes (such as changing light fixtures, bath hardware, etc – those are for later), we did make a few low cost, high-impact changes in this space and thought you might be interested to know just what we spent!

  • Paint & supplies: $30 (Valspar’s low-VOC paint in Carriage House Fioli)
  • Mirrors: $39.99 apiece from Target, which we painted Valspar’s Du Jour to repair the damage
  • New Blinds: $38 Levolor White blinds from Lowe’s, cut to size on sight!
  • Spray Paint for the light fixtures: $5
  • Artwork above the loo: FREE using leftover paints we had in storage
  • Grand Total: $152.98

Not a bad total for a high-impact makeover, eh?!  Other projects are on board in this bathroom as well, but for now, we can finally rest at ease knowing that while this bathroom *looks* very high end, it’s only in a Pretty Woman sort of way.  We all know better….*wink*wink*…

PS  Do you want to see another way to refinish a mirror?  Head on over to this link to check out how we spray painted a round mirror black!

The Paint Brushes Strike Back!

It’s been awhile since we’ve tackled a good old fashioned paint job (we had to look through our archives, but it’s been four months!) and we still have the following virgin territories that have been touched by nary a paint brush: master bath, the guest room, the Room of Requirement, and the guest bath.  We could sense the paint brushes were beginning to stage a revolt a la Rebel-Alliance-meets-Death-Star if we didn’t at least put them to good use!  We couldn’t let that happen because, unlike the Galactic Empire, we just don’t have extra Death Stars lying around for the taking.  So what to do?  Well, let’s talk about the contenders first before we spill the beans.

Master Bathroom – Ugh!  Could there be a more boring room in this house?  It’s actually so boring that I’ve never photographed it for the blog before (and I don’t think I’m going to start now)!  It briefly made an appearance in this Before & After Bliss from a few months ago when we spray painted all of our knobs to an oil-rubbed bronze finish to glam them up ever so slightly.    The walls are dirty and dingy, so they definitely could use a good ol’ coat of paint.  Unfortunately, that’s not the only problem.  We have grody mold in our shower, all of the marble tiles are in a similar state as our kitchen granite tiles, which is to say that they were never sealed, so years of moisture, cleaning and bathroom “products” have dulled the surface to an irreparable state.  We are lacking light in most of the room, and there is a lack of storage overall.  Obviously, the issues in this room run deeper than what a coat of paint can fix!  Therefore, this room is slated for a major makeover probably sometime in 2011, depending upon how much $$ we can save up in between now and then…stay tuned 😉

The Room of Requirement – Hitting a road block!

Boy, do we love this room now that we have added storage functionality to it!  We assembled some Ikea bookcases back in December to finally have a home for all of our beloved books and trinkets and allow us to actually use this room for something other than a “toss-all” for odds and ends (and multiple Aero-Beds).  And since we have purchased a larger television for our Family Room, we’ve actually moved the old TV into this room along with all of our video game paraphernalia and it’s turning into quite a mini Media Room!  However, it desperately needs a paint job from all of the old nail holes, drywall pops, and our desperate attempt to patch up those areas.  We also need to bring in a daybed, liven up those bookcases, build a storage unit for the TV/media, and generally make this a fun place to hang out (a man pit, if ya will).  A paint job is brewing, but the color inspiration just isn’t there!  This contender is moving to the bottom of the pile (well, above the master bath, but below the following contenders).

The Guest Room – Finally we have a Guest Room with furniture and stuff on the walls!

We spent some time back in December livening up this room a wee bit so that it didn’t feel so prison-like!  It’s really paid off and we really love this room and are happy that our guests seem to love it, too!  However, there are a few problems.  Naturally, the walls need to be painted and the carpet needs to be replaced (as does most of the carpet in our house, come to think of it).  We think that this room was the “Smoking Room” for the previous owners and so this room has a stench to it that just isn’t found any other place in the house.  Painting will probably help about 20% of that smell and the rest will come from the carpet.  We also have plans to hang beadboard and a large piece of ledge molding in this room to really take it to the next level.  But since we need to wait until Payday for that one (and we can’t decide on a color scheme), this room isn’t the best candidate to paint right now…

The Guest Bathroom – Yet another contender!

Here’s a room that we hardly use that is shaping up to be a serious contender for a makeover.  First off, the room does desperately need a paint job, but it’s also in relatively good shape and could do with a pretty cheap facelift – think of it as Botox for DIY-ers.  We already have a good color scheme to work off of (following the guidance of our shower curtain), accessories, and a good idea of what can be done on-the-cheap without a ton of work or $$$.  So do we have a winner???  DING, DING, DING!!!!  Lucky for you that we have already started this little makeover and will update accordingly throughout the process.  Stay tuned!

We’ve Been Benched! Chapter 4….

….this is the project that doesn’t end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend! Some people started doing it, not knowing what it was and they’ll continue doing it forever just because….this is the project that doesn’t ends….(thanks, Shari Lewis!)…

Who knew that a simple Saturday afternoon project would still be loggin’ face time on our blog some 2 weeks later?!? Oh, I admit, dismantling our window seat bench in our master bedroom was a *lot* of fun (destruction always is!), but to be honest, the painting/dry time was really crampin’ our style! We were just wrapping up the project when we decided to take a weekend away from the DIY Dementia (I’m coining that term – it really *is* an addiction) and visit some friends in San Francisco. When we returned, the persistent coats of white paint (Valspar’s Du Jour in case you’re curious) plus polyurethane, plus dry times have taken us forever to wrap up. But I can safely say….*drumroll please*….it is DONE!!!!!! The final staining, polyurethaning, painting, touch-up painting, and organizing has been completed and we now have a usable space for storage from everything from linens to lingerie (ooh la la!), shoes to shams and everything in between! And the best part is that we still have space to spare! Hot diggity dog!

But since I know everybody loves a Before and After, let’s do the final before and after reveal!

Before:

…and now for the final reveal…

Isn’t it dee-lish? After all of that work it seems like such a shame to cover up the beautiful paint job, but yours truly may be tempted to take up some sewing classes just to put a window seat on top of that beauty! Throw in a couple more plush pillows and a blanket and, voila – reading nook for a rainy day! That is how it’s done, folks!

I bet you’re wondering what the wallet damage was on this project, eh? Believe it or not, but this project came in just around $125 total for all of the supplies, paint we already had on hand (free!), two tubs of stain/polyurethane, 1 sheet of MDF, 2 sheets of plywood, and one extra paint brush because I love painting with new paint brushes. And now that I have all of this extra storage…maybe I can fill it with more purses and shoes….hmmm…. 😉

PS If you’re looking for more information on why we dismantled this built-in beauty and how, check out Chapter 1. If you’d like to know how we tackled an awkward space underneath all of that finish molding, check out Chapter 2. And if you’re thinking about how we finished it off and created storage in this space, check out Chapter 3!

We’ve Been Benched! Chapter 3

So it goes without saying that tackling any project like our recent Master Bedroom window seat demolition and window storage building risks everything from your sanity, your cleanliness, even your marriage.  Luckily Dr. J and I work exceptionally well together on house projects, otherwise our marriage really *would* be in trouble, but the mess these past few days has certainly kept us feeling a little….dusty.  Can you imagine if we had to do a full-scale remodel?  I’m two rooms away in our office and the iMac has dust all over it…le sigh.

But for now if you’re just joining us, then Dr. J and L-Blogger are in the midst of dismantling a pretty useless window seat in our master bedroom.  The whole inspiration for this demo and rebuild is really to inject some functionality into a pretty architectural feature in our bedroom.  I mean, seriously, who has heard of a window seat that *didn’t* have some sort of storage?!?  And, I also have a love affair with this pic below from a Pottery Barn mag (admit it, they’ve moved up from brochures):

Look familiar?!  Ours has similar beadboard (though no baseboards at bottom – future idea) and while we don’t have the curtains or the fun woodwork on the top, these are all great ideas for future projects!  I really am turning into my grandmother – I’ve always got something up my sleeve for my hubby to work on.  He’s never bored being married to me!

But back to the goods of it.  We just finished installing two boxes into the remains of our window seat bench and I got to test them on for size.  L-blogger storage worthy?  Check!

However, the edges were looking a little “unfinished”, so we cut a few pieces of plywood to size and placed them over the “seams” of the built-in.  Actually, this was also a functional addition, as we had to get the depth of the window seat correct all the way across so that when our eventual door is finished, everything will be on the same plane.  We wouldn’t want to pinch our rumps on an uneven window seat.  Yowza!  This is what it looks like:

After that it was as simple (or as time-consuming) as putting a little Wood Putty into all of the seams, waiting for it to dry, and then sanding it down to the same level plane as the rest of the plywood.  So we waited….and waited…..and waited….and waited some more…..and then we realized that this project was taking far longer than anticipated due to drying times.  I think it’s that whole moisture-in-the air problem we have in the Pacific Northwest this time of year.

So here is an ugly photo before of the pre-sanded Wood putty:

Then it was time to sand…

….then paint….

And then it was on to creating the door.  Basically, and I think you know where this is going, we reduced the width of the two original MDF boards,  and we put them back, we had a large open space In the middle.  So we cut *two* MDF pieces.  One long and skinny to fit in between the two old pieces of MDF right by the window glass (which I am painting in the pic above) and then another to….piece de resistance….create a door, kind of like an old fashioned toy box that opens UP.  We carefully cut the door so that it had 1/8″ wiggle-room gap around the three sides where it butts up against the rest of the top.  But the real kicker here is just finding the right kind of hardware, which we found at Lowe’s in the form of an old fashioned piano hinge:

We are on the hunt for a “child-safety” toy box hinge, so if anybody knows of a good place, let us know.  We figure it might come in handy for any future kiddos, any future buyers, and it’ll be Dr. J, L-Blogger, and Maggie safe – we’re a little accident prone, so the more safety we have the better!

But here we are, a few days later, and we can finally close the lid on our window seat reconstruction…..

or…keep the lid open…a la the toilet seat….d’oh!  Did I just say that?!?!  But this window seat is not for crap, it’s for stuff!

Now the only thing left to do is a to finishing painting and caulk around the windows….but how lovely is this transformation?!  I mean, seriously….You Tell’Us!

We’ve been Benched! Chapter 2

…and then there was a giant hole…in our bench!

If you’ve been following recently, you know that we are trying to inject more functionality into the window seat in our master bedroom.  While it’s a very pretty architectural feature, it seems like a waste of space, which is very frustrating for a multi-tasking person like myself.  If somebody can take the time to insulate a space, then they can take the time to add a hinge and create storage!  So why didn’t the builders do that?  Lord knows, but it was probably the same day they made the decision to omit Air Conditioning and a Garage Door opener.

Since we don’t have x-ray vision, we had to do “exploratory surgery” to formulate our plan.  Once the demo was done we discovered a large space inside of our bench that had a big stud right down the middle (see picture above), so we had to consider that in the design of our “storage area”.  We had to come up with a way to “finish” the space  taking into account this giant stud down the middle.  We also had some electrical wires that needed to be hidden for safety purposes (that coincidently ran underneath the stud – hooray for *some* planning).  Now I can say I’ve got *two* studs in my bedroom at all times – ba dum bum bump!  This basically meant that we had to create two storage areas rather than just one.  And as you can see from the picture below, the space is largely unfinished and needed to be enclosed somehow:

So our options were

  1. Drywall – messy, time consuming, and not very durable, which is not a good option if you’re going to be constantly dropping things into the storage area.  Drywall, FAIL!
  2. MDF – It’s sturdy and paints well, but we wanted a more natural look for the inside of the storage.  MDF is not natural looking, so ….  MDF, FAIL!
  3. Wood/Plywood – Definitely the best option.  It’s natural and if you’re lucky enough to find Cedar, it’s naturally repellent to bugs and other “critters”.  It also smells really great and looks wicked cool.  We couldn’t find Cedar plywood, though, so we figured Birch would be a good alternative.  It doesn’t repel bugs naturally but hey, that’s what dryer sheets are for!.  Maybe we will line the storage area with cedar in a future project … Wood, TOUCHDOWN!

To save time, energy, and money we needed to draft a plan to re-build and re-use as much material as we possibly could.  Especially since our window “sills” had a lot of complicated cuts that we wanted to avoid having to recreate, if possible.

One of the two window sills sitting in our garage - you can see the nails from where we removed it

After we demo-ed, we made an early evening trip to Lowe’s to buy our supplies to finish what we started.  This included:

  • One sheet (4 foot by 8 foot) of MDF, cut to Toyota Matrix size
  • A sheet and a half of paint-grade plywood (Birch)
  • One piano hinge (found in the hardware section close to door handles and the like)
  • One tub of wood putty

So the basic plan was to create two open-top “boxes” constructed of plywood to insert on either side of the stud so that all of the insulation, electrical wires, etc. would be hidden out of view.  That really was as simple as measuring once, twice, thrice….and then sawing away to create a 5-sided box times two.  Luckily, we own both a table saw and a nail gun, so this project went pretty quickly once we had everything cut.

Then we Polyurethaned the boxes with a spray poly and let them dry overnight.  At this point, it was dark on a Saturday night (yes, we really are that lame) and we thought that our neighbors would appreciate some peace and quiet, so we took a break from the noise and decided to come back to it on Sunday.

Now that the boxes were completely constructed, it was simply a matter of sanding them down and inserting them into our window seat:

Now while the above photo makes it look oh-so-easy, there were significantly more swear words, hammering, and “Oh, $#^&!” moments where it sort of fit, then it didn’t, then it did, and then when they were finally in, we could start to see where this project was taking us and how to finish ‘er off!  And just to give you an idea of how large these boxes are, here is a pic of me, L-blogger, trying one of them on for size:

But what about that window sill that is pictured above?  As you can see, the cuts around the windows were pretty complicated and so we re-used (reduce, reuse, recycle!) the two sheets of MDF that were already in place, but we cut them both down by about half, which we then repositioned back in place so that there is an opening to get into the storage area.  Now we have two storage boxes, ready for linens and the like….but we don’t have a lid.

I think this is going to be another Chapter, so stay tuned for the finished product!