Duo Ventures

Monday, May 26, 2014

Powder Room Mirror Makeover

Since our kitchen makeover, we haven't done much in terms of design or decor around the house.  However, we did finish repairing, painting, & hanging a new mirror that we bought @ Home Goods last year.  I found it in the clearance area since part of the frame was damaged:

I really liked the shape, size, & design of the mirror - so the fact that the mirror needed some minor repairs didn't bother me.

First thing we did was remove the cardboard back from the mirror:

Turns out that some of the missing frame pieces actually broke off inside of the mirror - so I reattached the loose pieces, using Gorilla Glue on the back:

We took a trip to the hardware store & bought some Bondo & sanding blocks (80 & 180 grit needed per Bondo instructions).  The Bondo comes in a fairly large can since it's normally used for larger jobs.
Lucky for me, you can mix it in small batches:

I followed the Bondo instructions & after I sanded it down smooth, I was left with this:

 Next up - paint!  I decided I wanted a white frame with metallic studs (taking inspiration from Jen's mirror over @ IHeart Organizing).  Before buying any spray paint, I checked our garage first & found a can of plastic-friendly Rustoleum:

I gave the frame about 3 thin coats:

Once the frame was completely dry, it was time to paint the studs.  Again, instead of going out & buying new paint, I checked our studio/art room to see what we had on hand.
I ended up going with Metallic Taupe:

It took about 3 coats to get enough coverage (this craft paint is not ideal for plastic).  It probably could have used a 4th coat, but it was such a tedious process that I was over it after the 3rd coat:

Next, we reattached the mirror using silicone caulk in the corners, smoothing it out with a wet finger:

While the caulk dried, we took the cardboard back & traced it onto some paper and then taped the paper outline onto the wall.  Once we had it where we liked it, we marked 2 areas for the hooks.  Then, before we reattached the cardboard to the mirror, we hung it up to be 100% sure we liked the placement:

Here it is all finished:

Before & After:

Here's a side by side of the original oval mirror:

I also recently updated the wall art in this bathroom...more on that soon!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Organizing: My Brother's Closet

While we were in Wisconsin last fall visiting my family, I decided to take on a little organizing task: my youngest brother's closet.  He's a senior in high school now & will be off to college this fall.  In the event that he attends a local university (AKA: stays at mom & dad's house), I wanted him to have a more organized & functional closet (you'll see what I mean in a second).

His room is pretty tiny - so it's no wonder he spends most of his time in the basement.  As a result, his bedroom had essentially become a storage facility for all his "stuff".  Aside from his clothes, his bedroom & closet had been housing nearly every toy from his childhood.  I would have liked to help him purge, sort, & organize through it all, but I focused on the closet & clothes situation during this trip.

Here's what the closet looked like - as you can see, there was almost no room to hang his clothes:

First, I emptied out the entire closet, organizing his clothing into piles as I went.  Doing an inventory of all his clothing first is an important step because it allowed me to get a rough estimate of how much hanging storage & shelf space we would need to accommodate everything.  Don't forget to take into account clothes that may be in the laundry room (in this case, half of his wardrobe was in the laundry!):

Next, we removed the closet doors to make installation easier.  After I emptied out the closet, I was left with a single shelf & hanging bar - which was not the most functional setup.  With the existing layout, there was simply too much wasted space.  I felt a closet organizer kit would maximize the storage space - so I removed the shelf & the bar to make room for a new system:

Next, I patched up all the holes:

While the joint compound dried, Nader & I ran to Home Depot to look for a closet organizer. 

The kit we ended up getting was the Closetmaid Selectives 16" White Custom Closet Organizer (the shelf width is 16").  We went with this specific organizer because of the shallow shelf depth & adjustable width options.  Devon's closet is not very deep & this kit is only about 14" deep.

This organizer also fits closets anywhere from 4'-9' wide, allowing you to customize it to your closet.  It only came with 3 hanging rods, so we did purchase one extra rod as well.

It took us about 30-40 minutes to assemble the shelf portion:

Next, we began installing the shelf unit.  Before we attached it to the wall, we had to decide where we wanted to place it.  If it was my closet, I would have left the doors off & centered the shelves - but Devon said he preferred to keep the doors on so that their cat stayed out.

This was actually an important detail when it came to installing the shelf unit - if the shelves were positioned directly in the middle of the closet, the doors would have been blocking them.
You can see what I mean from the old closet layout:

Since we planned on putting the doors back up, I off-centered the shelf unit to the left so that he could access the shelves more easily.  Once the shelving portion was done, we started on the rods,
using wall anchors to attach the rods to the walls:

The following day I began adding back all of his clothing, organizing by color & type.  I also bought all new white hangers - they're relatively inexpensive & create so much more visual organization.

Since he had a smaller amount of t-shirts & dress pants, I hung those items on the shorter rods on the left side of the closet.  His button down shirts, polos, & long sleeve shirts went on the longer rods on the right.  I used the shelves to organize all his sweaters, hoodies, & flannels:

So for under $100, I was able to create a much more functional & usable closet space:
Now his closet is storing items that he actually uses on a daily basis.  I wish I could have organized the rest of the room as well...but that's a project for another time.