Duo Ventures

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dresser Top to Faux Fireplace

A few weeks ago we went thrifting & came across this beauty at our local Goodwill:

I know what you're thinking...an ugly old mirrored dresser top?! What the heck are you going to do with that?! (at least that's what Nader thought).

I suppose I was feeling especially creative that day, because when we walked past it I immediately thought we could turn it into a faux fireplace!  Of course, Nader thought I was crazy at first...but I convinced him in the end.

UPDATE - 9/3/15: 
Would you believe that the dresser top has sat in our garage, untouched, since 2012?  I am a master procrastinator.  Seriously.

Fast forward 3 years later & I finally did something with it last month.  My mom had been wanting to make her own chalk paint, so I nominated that we whip some paint up, paint this piece, & sell it.

My dad added a wood top to the dresser to finish the mantel portion.  Then my mom & I made some chalk paint using a recipe which we found online.  We did not prime the dresser - just slapped on 2 coats of chalk paint.  Once dry, we sanded it down a bit to give it a more rustic look.

It has some some brass accents which we left unpainted:

Our original idea was to place a bunch of candles on the base - we thought it would give off a great ambiance with the mirror reflecting all the candlelight.

We ended up selling it on Craigslist to a nice couple who were looking to "create a little ambiance"!  Win-win!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Organizing: The Linen Closet

I recently finished organizing the kitchen & now, it's on to the linen closet.  It seems that after we moved into our house, all those old linens from our apartment found their way to this closet to die...it was like a graveyard for old curtains, towels, sheets, pillows, & rugs:

See what I mean?  What you don't see, however, is the plethora of blankets & comforters that we had stored in the other room (since we clearly couldn't fit them in this closet).

My goal was to fit all of our blankets, sheets, towels, washcloths, & extra pillows in this one closet.  In other words, I was trying to keep the 'linen' closet dedicated to just that - linens only.  Any other random items that were hiding out in there (heating pad, beach bags, etc) would be relocated to our laundry room where we had a bunch of empty baskets waiting to be filled.

I know that a lot of people have to store more than just linens in their linen closet due to space constraints.  Growing up, my mom always kept linens (sheets & towels), toiletries, medicine/first aid, & paper products (TP & tissue) in our linen closet.

So in case you're wondering - we keep our toiletries & medicine in a medicine cabinet in our master bathroom.  All of our paper products are stored in our laundry room:
As usual, I began by pulling everything out of the closet - starting with a nice & empty blank slate:
There were a few things I did to help organize our linen closet.  First, I got rid of a bunch of crap that we don't use or need anymore.  That helped.  A lot.  Why were we holding on to window panels & sheets that we will never use again?  I also cut up any old towels & put them in the garage in our 'rag bin'.

Next, I picked up some inexpensive storage bags to store all those huge blankets since they are always too big & awkward to fold:

I decided to just flip the bottom shelf back so I could fit the storage bags more easily (& honestly, I was feeling too lazy to remove those wall anchors.  And, I suppose it's nice to keep the shelf there just in case we need it again one day):

I also bought an over-the door towel rack to hold some of our fleece blankets:

The rest of the closet was pretty easy to organize - just had to FOLD FOLD FOLD.  There was no getting around it.  

Here's one way you can fold a towel...a la the retail stores: (I used to work @ Bed, Bath, & Beyond my freshman year of college & this is my twist on their method of folding):

This is how I folded our sheet sets (fold the fitted sheet to fit inside the flat sheet & wrap it up - then fold the pillow cases around the sheets):
I've also seen people store the fitted & flat sheet inside of the pillow case - that is an awesome idea too.

Here's a before & after:

I was able to fit 13 blankets in this closet when all was said & done:

The best part is that we spent under $15.00 - we only had to purchase the storage bags & the towel rack!


*Update* - I'm happy to say that our linen closet has actually stayed exactly like this since October of last year!  It really is true: when everything has a place it's so much easier to stay organized!