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DIY Custom Closet: IKEA Kallax Hack

Custom fitted closets get expensive… really expensive. I contacted a few companies for the all singing, all dancing fitted closet for the Twins’ room, and to be honest I’d rather spend that kind of money on a family vacation to Mexico. So, DIY custom closet it is. I’m putting my mom muscles into action, and taking on this project to create an attractive, practical and affordable solution. This IKEA Kallax hack has turned out great… the only trouble is I now want to do the same in my daughter’s room!

 

**This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.**

I’ve been talking about getting started on the Twins’ room for long enough, so I thought I’d better get on with it and break the seal. It’s a lot to take on at once, especially when you’re at home with three kids. So I’m breaking it down into manageable pieces, starting with their closet.

DIY Custom Closet: BEFORE

The existing closet and it’s sliding mirrored doors have likely been there since the house was built in 1987. We have these closets in three of the rooms in our house and it’s tempting to just leave them. But I find the sliding doors limit access to the full area of the closet, and the open shelving ends up a jumble of falling socks and crumpled t-shirts. I can not stand using the closet they currently have, and I’m pretty sure the one in their new room is even worse. 

DIY custom closet before mirrors
Before: Sliding mirrored doors with open shelving and hanging poles.

So… time to take action and rip it all out. It really is amazing how much material comes out when demolishing a fitted closet. I’ll be honest, I haven’t yet dealt with disposing of all the shelves and doors. What I didn’t consider, was the fitted system that was there ran down to the floor and the closet had been carpeted around it. This meant the carpet had to come out too, such a pain! I didn’t have any matching off-cuts of carpet to fit, but I did have a little leftover oak flooring from when we installed downstairs, so oak flooring it is. A blessing in disguise, as I think it looks fab, despite the extra work.

DIY custom closet during demolition
The flooring and base boards needing renewing after demolition.

Before I could get started on my IKEA Kallax hack, I had to:

  • Strip out what was there;
  • Fill holes, sand and decorate walls;
  • Install new flooring;
  • Install and decorate new base boards.

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IKEA Kallax Hack

The IKEA Kallax system has been a best seller for years, and over time new nifty additions have been offered to make the system even more versatile. I knew I wanted some drawers for the Twins’ closet, and although the drawers offered for the system are small, they will be perfect for socks, underwear etc. I am very aware from their existing closet, it is difficult to keep clothes eye pleasingly, OCD tidy; so I wanted some cupboards/boxes to hide things, especially as I decided to leave the closet open. You can mix up your Kallax unit however you want, you may want to just keep it simple with some storage boxes. And if you live nowhere near IKEA, you can buy your Kallax unit on Amazon (although the middle man pushes the price up!). There are alternatives to IKEA… ClosetMaid and Better Homes & Garden also make cube storage units.

IKEA Kallax
ClosetMaid Cubeicals
Better Homes & Garden Cube Organizer

 You can just leave your Kallax unit on the floor, but I felt lifting it up on feet gave it a wardrobe feel, and a more ‘finished’ appearance. It also gave me a little more height for fixing my clothes rail to either side. The unit is quite heavy, so I do recommend heavy duty legs with a decent fixing plate to spread the weight. I used IKEA Capita brackets, which are designed for holding up kitchen shelves/worktops rather than furniture feet, but they worked out perfectly. Then, all that’s missing is a closet rod and brackets.

 

IKEA Capita Brackets
Oak Closet Rod
Closet Flange Set

Closet Mural

A little while ago I posted about murals for kids rooms that do not need a fine art degree… and this mural was simple, but time consuming. It requires a streak of the perfectionist and a bit of patience, but it does not require any special skills. You don’t need to paint a mural behind your DIY custom closet, but if you’re going to go custom… go all the way, right? My friend Jillian, from heyjilliankirby.com, recommended sealing the masking tape with the background paint, to get extra crispy lines on the mural. I tried with and without this extra step, and I can confirm it is 100% worth that little extra time. If you’re painting smooth walls, you’re probably OK, but with textured walls, that coat of paint fills the gaps beneath the tape, preventing edge bleeding. If you can’t quite face a complex pattern, how about a bold feature color as a backdrop to your closet?

So… to prevent babbling instructions on the mural and the IKEA Kallax hack, I made a video:

 

DIY Custom Closet: AFTER

I’m really pleased with how the closet turned out, and the symmetry is perfect for the twins, because as I have mentioned before, I like to keep their clothes separate. George and Arthur will get a side each, and there is plenty of space to spare if I want to pop a laundry basket or storage trunk on either side at floor level. 

This DIY custom closet cost me a total of $250 (not including repairs/flooring after demolition), which is a fraction of the cost a closet company would charge. And if you went with basic cube boxes, instead of drawers and cupboards, and kept the unit on the ground, you could pay as little as $150… feeling like a thrifty mama right now! 

 DIY custom closet AFTER

DIY custom closet portrait

I’d love to hear what you’ve done with an IKEA Kallax system… the possibilities are endless!

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**This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.**

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Cactus Inspired Color Scheme: Bedroom Makeover


As you can probably tell from the Twin Pickle logo, I’m a bit cactus mad. As a Brit living in Arizona, the obsession was inevitable. I’ve been meaning to makeover our bedroom for some time, so when I needed ideas, it was only natural a cactus inspired color scheme was the way to go. My Instagram feed has started to catch up with my spiky friends… but how do you turn your favorite plant into a color scheme? I could paint the room green and decorate the walls with protruding toothpicks, but as a designer I’m ready to think outside the box a little… get ready for a makeover!

cactus inspired color scheme title

If you’ve read my previous design posts on accent walls or colorful bathrooms, you’ll know I’m not afraid of a bit of bold color. Although I love our bright red nightstands, they were not working with the yellow feature wall we had painted when we moved in. When creating a new color scheme, it’s important to consider what you already have, or your shopping list is going to get very long. 
Immediately I’m struggling with cactus green and red nightstands, because I don’t want my bedroom to look like Christmas. So I start to think about the broader spectrum of colors associated with cacti. A quick “cactus colors” search on Google or Pinterest will show you some fabulous colors these native beasts can express. At that point I knew I had found my cactus magic, I just needed to find the perfect paint shade to put it into action.

cactus inspired color scheme mood board

Putting my cactus inspired color scheme into action:

I booked a free color consultation with Dunn-Edwards Paints; this was not my first visit to the store, so I knew it was the place to get the right advice on such a bold color scheme. Plus, the store has a giant cactus out the front so we were already a match made in heaven.

cactus color scheme dunn edwards

I took with me some pictures of my existing bedroom, a few cactus images, and my helpful assistant, 7 year old Elsie. Despite being told in advance she was there to take photos, she had a lot to say on the subject of color, and insisted my lovely color consultant show us some very unrelated shades of deep purple.

cactus color scheme purple

Once satisfied, we could continue with the cactus inspired color scheme. Luckily for me, my consultant didn’t gulp in horror at my ideas, and was happy to find and discuss a selection of color cards to home in on a scheme. After leaving with some samples to try at home I felt ready to let my imagination run wild.

A color scheme means more than just paint:

I had quite the range of colors in my mind, and felt a little disheartened leaving the green succulent tones behind. My color consultant made some suggestions on how to incorporate these color accents into the room: using pictures, bedding, cushions… or pretty much anything else you may have in your bedroom. We all want a cohesive color scheme, but that doesn’t mean when I paint the walls pink, everything else has to be pink too. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to pick up a scatter cushion in the store and think “that’s the exact shade of pink I have on my walls.” Step away from the cushion and go back to your color scheme.

Stop all the chit-chat and show us the results already:

Those of you who have been following Twin Pickle for a while will know my seven year old daughter Elsie is in charge of my YouTube account. Well step aside girlfriend… Mom is breaking the seal. Yes, my face and delightfully Downton Abbey accent, are debuting video social media in the name of Dunn-Edwards’ exceptional quality paints. Enjoy…

Joanna Gaines eat your heart out. You know when you hear yourself on your answerphone message and cringe… that’s what I’m feeling right now. Onwards…

The finishing touches:

I’m hoping you love my cactus inspired color scheme as much as I do. I did take a trip to the local nursery (plants not children) in the hope of getting myself a giant cactus for the bedroom. Not only did the chap insist we left the building to talk outside because he couldn’t understand my accent, he also looked at me in total horror when I asked how one of his beauties would do inside. “These are desert plants that need full-sun.” he said. So he totally bummed my idea; but I did get myself some smaller succulents which I will desperately try not to kill. Once the paint was dry and my micro-cacti were in place, my cactus inspired color scheme was coming to life. I had a feeling for the exotic; an adventurer heading across the desert to lands unknown. This idea sparked the wall baskets and the large multi colored cushion; small touches that really finished the scheme for me…

cactus inspired color scheme before

cactus inspired color scheme front

cactus inspired color scheme portrait sm

Get the ball rolling for free!

Find out more about booking a free Dunn-Edwards color consultation here. You can also download a coupon for a free 8oz sample of paint to get your makeover juices flowing!

A final word on Dunn-Edwards Paints:

While I was in line for my paint order pick-up, I scanned the room to assess the type of characters that might buy their paint from Dunn-Edwards. Not surprisingly, I was the only one stuffing my cans of paint under a twin stroller that particular afternoon. The store was a 50/50 mix of homeowners and professionals, which is a really good sign. Not only do homeowners want the quality and color range you get with Dunn-Edwards Paints, but Professionals understand it’s a selling point for their business to offer these products. I even heard one lady say to a couple of guys in overalls “I’ll take your card, you’re buying the best paint so that’s a good start.” And as for the environment, I will let Dunn-Edwards speak for themselves:

‘At Dunn-Edwards, our mission has always been to provide the best performing paint, in an environmentally sound manner to protect the health and well being of our customers. We were a disciplined leader in the concept of green product manufacturing long before it became popular.’

cactus inspired color scheme dunn-edwards paints
Chosen colors: DET452 Gypsum Rose & DE5178 Aloha Sunset

cactus inspired color scheme landscape side

So whether you’re looking for a cactus inspired color scheme, or any other wacky idea that comes to mind, book yourself a consultation and feel inspired. I would love your thoughts on the scheme, although I will take white lies over brutal honesty any-day… haha, not true, tell me what you really think!

twin-pickle-signature

 


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Ideas for Laundry Rooms: Naptime Makeover

It’s not sexy and exciting, but most of us have one. It’s easy to ignore, but you’re probably spending more time in the laundry room than you would like. When was the last time you stepped back and thought about design ideas for laundry rooms? For me it’s been a while; although I did have a client about 4 years ago who was very particular about a jam making station in her utility room – safe to say she was more domesticated than I am.

ideas for laundry rooms

I have a crisis going on in my laundry room, and I’m pretty limited on space, time and budget. But, I like to dream a little, so lets see what fancy people with time and money are doing and get some inspiration before I get stuck into another Naptime Makeover.

Ideas for Laundry Rooms

Jumbo Scale:

Caliterra Parade Home - Dripping Springs, Texas
 
This is one serious laundry room, designed by Texan based Architects, Geschke Group. I love the herringbone floor, it makes all the difference to this space; and you can’t go wrong with traditional shaker cabinetry. Do notice the barn door in the foreground with the black hardware, perfect.

Small Scale:

Living Spaces
 
We don’t all have Texan scale laundry rooms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be tidy and stylish. This is a laundry cupboard – double doors, a modern counter top, a couple of cabinets and a little bit of bling with the backdrop… and why not.
 

Traditional

Holley Residence
 
If you love traditional, country, beachfront homes, check out the rest of this gorgeous house designed by Geoff Chick & Associates. The painted shiplap and open shelving bring a cosy comfort to a luxurious pad. And don’t forget the traditional laundry baskets.

The Clean Look

Courtsfield Ave.

No room in my house has ever been this clean, however the look is enhanced by the shining white work surfaces and the bright white mosaic wall. This more sensibly scaled room is the work of Barlow Reid Design. I love the idea of having a hanging rail, and there’s something wonderful about a ridiculously neat pile of folded fluffy towels. Or is that just me?

For a more Masculine Look

Clean Lined Transitional Home
 
If you need a bit more bachelor pad into your laundry room, go dark cabinetry, stainless steel, black countertops and tiling to match. But hang on… these guys have double machines – yes, people actually do that! Not so bachelor pad now are we Mr Practical Family Man?

For the dog lover

Roswell Home
 
A bit like jam stations, I had no idea this was a thing – a dog washing station in your laundry room – it sound dangerous to me. Just make sure you’ve put away the clean laundry before you get the dog wet. I absolutely love the blue subway, it goes perfectly with my pooch’s eyes. I can’t resist, here’s just one more…
 
Home in Toronto 8
 

Ideas for Laundry Rooms – Naptime Makeover

**This post contains affiliate links**

However mundane it may seem, the laundry room is the first room I see when I get home and the last thing I see when I go out. We, like many, have a laundry room that connects the garage to the rest of the house, so it’s essentially our welcome lobby. This is what I, and any guests arriving from the airport, see when they enter my house…

laundry room ideas

“Welcome to my humble abode… did I tell you I have a Architecture degree?”

Yes, in the 18months we have lived in our home I haven’t even managed to remove the efficiency sticker from our washing machine. Time for an intervention. I have a very tiny space, a timescale to match, and a pretty non-existent budget, but surely anything’s an improvement on the above?

I decided my main problems with the space were:

  • Clutter. Since I had the Twins, my organizational skills have gone out the window, and I’m suffering from a major case of Chaotic Mom Syndrome. I definitely need to do some sorting, it’s a mess.
  • The Cabinets. They are the cheapest, most basic cabinets you could get in 1987, complete with plastic handles.
  • Lack of anything pretty at all.

In de-cluttering I also thought about storage. I had a good browse of various storage boxes, baskets and bags – things that would be practical, yet bring some style into the space. Then I had to tackle the cabinets. I decided the only advantage of the crappy cabinets I had was that they were flat, so I decided to alter them to create a shaker style cabinet door. Here’s how I went about it:

Creating Shaker Cabinet Doors from Existing Flat Doors

DIY cabinetry

  1. Cut 3 inch planks from 5mm plywood. I used a ‘project board’ piece which costs less than $10.
  2. Fix the plywood strips to the face of your cabinet doors using cabinet tacks (tiny nails). I tried using ‘heavy duty instant grip adhesive’ and it was a nightmare. You need so many clamps to hold it while it sticks and it peeled off overnight anyway. Nails work… although as you can see by the picture, you curse a lot because those tiny nails bend easily! And I lost my tape measure so was stuck using the one from my sewing kit.
  3. Fill the cracks between planks and the tiny nail holes using wood filler. Sand when dry.
  4. Prime and paint.

To be honest, I surprised myself with the outcome. They looks great, and it cost a total of $30 by the time I had bought primer, paint and wood filler. I even had a couple of new handles left over from our kitchen remodel so that cost me nothing.

Nap time Makeover Results

This was a bigger makeover than one nap time, especially because I had paint drying time to account for. But I did finish over a couple of days and it’s totally worth it. Here’s the result:

laundry-room-makeover

It’s not high glamour but it is tidy, and the splash of blue with the storage baskets makes all the difference. I even have somewhere to hang my bag, which is needed now the Twins enjoy pulling everything out of it. The cabinets are quite the transformation, although difficult to see in the pictures due to our fluorescent light – I think I’ll look into changing that and get myself a prettier light fitting to go with my prettier laundry room. I spent very little and picked up the extras bits to finish it off from Target. I even used my Red Card and saved an extra 5%, winner winner chicken dinner.

Total $98

laundry room makeover

 

For a couple of hours work and less than $100 I think it went pretty well. What do you think? Feeling inspired to do something about your laundry room?

twin-pickle-signature

 
 

 

Hanging House Plant Ideas: Naptime Makeover

I have been browsing hanging house plant ideas on Pinterest long enough… it’s time to do something about it. Maybe you, like me, are looking to add more green to your home in 2017? You may also have small children and animals that like to dig, chew and knock stuff over. It’s a problem, and the best way I can see to overcome it is to avoid large pots on the floor and stick to hanging hanging house plant ideas.

hanging house plant ideas

I’m making a new year resolution to try and keep some plants alive, something I don’t have the best history with. I’m also trying to bring some more style and warmth into our home that’s feeling a little unfinished. So before I get stuck into another baby naptime makeover, let me share with you some of my favorite hanging house plant ideas.


Hanging House Plant Ideas

Glass Terraniums

hanging-glass-terraniums
source: brit.co

These hanging glass terrariums are all the rage at the moment so you can get them from a number of different mainstream stores and even buy them ready filled on Etsy. 

Hanging Pots on the Wall

living-wall-white-pots
source: shoppigment.com

Made from recycled milk jugs, these ‘living wall planters’ are self watering and are perforated with air vents. The fantastic plant arrangement was designed by plant artists at Tend Living, and I think it’s just perfect. More on the design, with tips and tricks for creating something similar over at San Diego based Pigment.

Macrame Hangers

macrame-pots
source: tapasnalingua.com

Whether you make them yourself or buy in the skills of someone else, there are endless unique designs for macrame hangers. I love the warmth of the crafted look, and particularly enjoy the bronze beads and the dip dyed ends on the centre pot. These particular delights are available as DIY kits or made to order from Casulo, the online shop of Spanish blogger Ana at Tapas na Lingua.

Mason Jar Stacked Hanger

stacked-suspended-shelves
source: constantcontact.com

Is there anything you can’t do with a mason jar? Designer Susie Frazier has come up with yet another use for them here with this suspended vertical shelf using metal rods and small pieces of wood. More about Suzie and her ‘Earthminded Style Tips‘ here.

For the Adventurous…

hanging-trees
source: vtwonen.nl

I just love this image. It has a kind of modern Hobbit feel about it. I found this idea at Dutch design blog/shop vtwonen. As the site is written in Dutch, I used my best Google translate skills to find out how we go about creating such a masterpiece…

“Remove the plant from its pot and loosen the soil around the roots around. Then tie a big lump of damp moss with wire around the roots and hang the tree with sturdy rope to the ceiling.”

It’s a simple as that, apparently. Go on, I dare you… and send me a pic of the tree, and the carpet below one week later.

For the Traditionalist…

hanging-baskets
source: thedesignfiles.net

Hanging baskets… they’ve been around for years. No need to invent the wheel, just do it really really well. That’s what Korean floral designer Wona Bae is doing at her workshop in Collingwood, Australia. Wona describes Loose Leaf’s studio space as “a jungle of plants suspended from the walls and ceiling” in her interview with The Design Files.


Naptime Makeover: Hanging Plant Ideas

I’ve got to say this has been the most fiddly makeover to date. In principle the idea was simple, in reality it was one of those projects that involved going back to the Home Depot three times and calling in a lot of man strength help from Husband. Did it fit into naptime? No. Would it have fit into nap time if I had all the materials and equipment ready when I started? Maybe. Nevertheless, I am super excited about it because it turned out even better than imagined. I keep stopping and staring at it as I pass by the kitchen… 

coffee-cup-shelf-makeover

For instructions on how to build what I’m calling the ‘Coffee Cup Hanging Planter’ visit my other post from today. 

coffee-cup-hanging-planter
I’m loving my new workstation!

If you missed my other naptime makeovers, take a look at:

Accent Wall Ideas
How to Arrange Pictures Creatively
Modern Interior Door Handles

twin-pickle-signature

 

Accent Wall Ideas: Naptime Makeover

There are limitless accent wall ideas that can bring contrast, texture and detail into your home design. An accent wall allows a room to look highly styled with little impact on the rest of the house; no need to move out, or cover your entire home with dust sheets. Despite being localized, the transformation to the feel of your home can be quite spectacular. Let’s take a look at some inspiring accent wall ideas…

Accent Wall Ideas for Home Makeovers


Accent Wall Ideas I Love:

1 – Wallpaper

Rosedale Attic Bedroom transitional-bedroom

 

There are some pretty bold and impressive wallpaper options on the market now. I love this print from Schumacher, it feels whimsical yet modern. Birds and butterflies are trending at the moment and this light wallpaper is perfect!

2 – Planks

Potrero Hill Bohème southwestern-living-room

 

Unless you have never watched HGTV, you are very familiar with the current craze for shiplap and reclaimed pallet walls. Behind, the headboard, in the bathroom, around the fireplace… it seems to work everywhere. Go painted shiplap for the farmhouse feel or exposed weathered boards for the rustic upcyled look. Alternatively, for an ultra-sleek modern take try spacing thin planks like this house in Denver…

Rowhouse modern-nursery

 

3 – Painted

Maneli Wilson Interiors contemporary-living-room

 

Dark contrasting shades of blue, grey and black have been a staple for the accent wall for some time, and don’t look like they’re leaving us anytime soon.

4 – Decal Mural

Gioi Tran contemporary-kitchen

 

Unless you have a skilled artist handy, you probably want to install your mural in the form of a vinyl stickers. Wall decals are big business now, from adorable nursery designs to serious stuff for grown ups. Check out the watercolor murals from Pixers.

5 – Exposed Concrete, Brick or Stone

Brick Wall scandinavian-bedroom

 

I am not promoting the installation of faux brick walls, however much it’s scraping for a come back from the 70s. However, if you are blessed with concrete, brick or stone construction, have some fun and expose some of it. 

6 – Tile

Park St contemporary-bathroom

 

It’s OK to mix up your tiles and have a feature wall in your bathroom, play around with colors and patterns! The tiled fireplace is all the rage at the moment too… I’ve got to say I’m not the biggest fan. Some trends just don’t float my boat.

7 – Stenciled/MURAL

Bruce House transitional-nursery

 

If you’re a bit more Arts & Crafts than polished concrete, stenciling or creating a mural with masking tape may be for you. If you haven’t quite got the skills, think about hiring a professional!

8 – Living Wall

A Sacred Space to Bathe by siol and Habitat Horticulture contemporary-bathroom

 

Oh go on… impress all your friends with a fantastic vertical garden! I would love to do this but don’t have the best history with house plants, and I’m pretty sure it’s outside the realm of naptime. I said I’d give you accent wall ideas, I did’t promise they were all going to be easy.


Accent Wall Ideas: Continuing Naptime Makeovers

Following the success of How to Arrange Pictures Creatively, I got a little more ambitious this week. I confess, it took a little longer than one naptime. We (I called in husband help to hold the ladder) started at morning nap and finished during afternoon nap. It’s a tall large wall…excuses excuses.

accent-wall-results
Why is my new lamp wonky?
accent wall
Excuse the animals… they are sleeping, not taxidermy.

That’s it for this week. I think I need a nap…

What do you think? Too bold? Not bold enough? Totally disappointed I didn’t go for a whole wall of ferns? I’d love to hear from you!

twin-pickle-signature

 

 

 

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