Annual Review of Home Projects

New House Home Projects | Classy Glam Living

After a mostly sunny and hot summer, it's like payback time now in Toronto.  I can count the number of beautiful crisp Fall days maybe with 2 hands.  Fall also marks the beginning of a busy season for our family, with weekends now being taken up by hockey practices!  The Mr. barely has time to continue or start any new projects around the house now.

As we planned out project after project, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of our accomplishments.  Having just celebrated our one year anniversary at the house, it's probably a good time to do an annual review of our progress thus far.    

With downsizing to a smaller house, our top priority has been tackling storage needs around the house.  From addressing what drives us (me) absolutely insane to storage that incorporates beauty, here's a list of the Mr.'s most accomplished DIY projects around our house this past year:

KITCHEN

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it was naturally the space in the house that got the most attention from the get-go.  With it being used practically on a daily basis, it has the highest potential to drive us insane if it doesn't function well.  This was what our kitchen looked like when we closed the house last year:

New House Kitchen Before | Classy Glam Living

Terrifying, isn't it?  Since then, we've replaced the countertop, sink, and faucet.  

New House Kitchen | New Superwhite Countertop Kohler Karbon Faucet | Classy Glam Living

This was when we finally installed the integrated range hood (hidden inside the cabinet above the range) and replaced the solid doors with glass doors.

New House Kitchen | Glass cabinets | Classy Glam Living
New House Kitchen | Glass cabinets mirror back cabinet hardware | Classy Glam Living

When I was making too many one-pot pasta to avoid crawling into the pots and pans cabinet, the Mr. built some drawers in lower cabinets.

New House Kitchen | DIY pots and pans drawers | Classy Glam Living
New House Kitchen reveal | Classy Glam Living

Our kitchen has come a long way from its ugly duckling beginnings.  It may be small, but it has functioned really well for us.  Even when both the Mr. and I are in the kitchen, we never seem to be in each other's way.  Cooking isn't my forte, and I'm not an organized cook at all.  When you think making one-pot pasta sounds as easy as can be, I can still manage to spread out everything onto the 4 countertop spaces around the stove, ie. both sides of stove, plus both sides of the sink.  The Mr. can laugh all he wants about it, but we both appreciate all the counter space our integrated appliances (fridge/ freezer drawers and microwave drawer) have freed up.  We still think it's the best design decision we've made for this kitchen.

DRESSING ROOM

New House Dressing Room reveal | Folding table station | Classy Glam Living

Another space in our house with a humbling beginning was our DIY custom closet/ dressing room.  As mentioned in my previous post, we made a video of the building process and there have been 15,000+ views as of writing.  

I'm so proud of the Mr.'s ultimate build of my dream closet; it's both beautiful and functional.  The pull-out folding table gets the award for beauty in function.  It has made all the folding more bearable, as I've taken the Marie Kondo* route to organizing my closet.  The Mr. was also worried that I wouldn't have enough room for my clothes in this shared closet, but I'm happy to report that I still have extra space even after some shopping 😁

You can see more photos of the dressing room in this post.

If you missed last week's post on the YouTube video, here again is the video:

PLAYROOM WORKBENCH/ STORAGE

New House Playroom reveal | Classic Gray work building bench | Classy Glam Living

I can stand my own mess (oh ya, anytime), but this is one room where mess can actually be hazardous (imagine the pain of stepping on a stray piece of Lego!).  Little man doesn't actually have much toys, but for some reason, the floor was covered with so much stuff at one point where I had to part the Red Sea to get to his desk.  

Thank goodness the Mr. came to the rescue!  He quickly whipped up this table top part of a storage bench that I designed.  It's been a great spot to store and display some of little man's Lego collections.  He has also used it as a building table; this ottoman is just the right height for him to work there.  

New House Playroom Reveal | Gallery wall Classic gray work building bench | Classy Glam Living

As for the storage part, the pieces of wood for the drawers that go underneath the bench have been cut...  just waiting for the Mr. to stain them and put them together!  That's the main (and most important) missing part of this playroom!!  (Can you tell I can't wait for it to be done by my exclamation marks? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I've sourced out decorative items that are suitable for a playroom, namely a low pile rug, vinyl-front frames for the gallery wall, caged light fixture instead of one with exposed bulb, just to name a few.  You can see my playroom design board in this post, and the reveal here.

UPCOMING PROJECTS

Basement Family Room

The Mr. and I started working on the basement family room design, which I wrote about in this post.  The walls have been painted to a more neutral colour, which is more pleasing to the eyes than the original too-yellowish cream colour.  

New House Family Room Layout Plan | Classy Glam Living

We had a poll for our basement DIY storage furniture - to build from scratch or do another IKEA hack?  You can submit your choice here!

Laundry Room

New House Laundry Room Design Board | Classy Glam Living

Oh, our laundry room can definitely use some storage help.  Back at our previous house, I used to store off-season decor items in our cabinets, which were of abundance.  I would love to clean up the laundry room once and for all, with the cleaning supplies hidden behind closed doors!

Here's the post of my laundry room design, which I hope will come into fruition one day!

Master Ensuite Vanity

Well, if you've been following along, then you would know how much I love (LOVE!!!) drawers.  Currently, this is our master ensuite's vanity situation:

New House Master Ensuite Bathroom Design Plan | Classy Glam Living

Yup, not drawers, and that means lots of wasted storage space inside the cabinets.  I know I need to purge some products, as they're now carefully sitting on each other like I'm building a pyramid.  That's what happens when I'm not working with drawers πŸ˜“

Ideally, these cabinets will house two drawers under each sink.  One would be for products and the other our linen drawer.  Between the Mr. and I, there should be plenty of room in each drawer.

This is one of my inspirations for our vanity.  You can read more about my bathroom design plan here and colour choice here.

Between work, family commitments, and other minor home projects, I think the Mr. has done an excellent job around the house.  He's meticulous with his planning (measure twice and cut once!), never rushes through his work, and gives his projects an amazing finish. I would give him an exceed expectations for his grading πŸ˜‚  There're still loads of work to be done in our house, and they're enough to keep the Mr. busy for a long while!  

It's been fun to look over at the before's and after's of the projects.  You can see all these and some other projects on the Mr.'s honey-do list.  Yup, he'll be a very busy man!!

Laundry Room Wish List and Our Design Options

Laundry room design board, accessories | Classy Glam Living

You know the feeling of something so close, yet so far?  That's how I'm feeling right now about our upcoming move.  I've shared all of our new house's decor and design plans except for one very important room - the laundry room.  I've never really given much thought about a laundry room until I realized how much of a pain it's been with a basement laundry here at the rental.  Had this been a bungalow, it wouldn't have mattered.  But our rental is a 3-storey townhouse + basement, and that makes putting away our clean laundry back up 3 flights of stairs quite the workout.  Needless to say, I've just gotten worse in falling behind in this department constantly.

We had a great sized laundry room at our old house, and spoiled that it was upstairs with our bedrooms.  Most people prefer the laundry with the mudroom downstairs, but I may be the exception.  It's so convenient to have it upstairs, and makes laundry less of a chore... and a workout.  Though admittedly, I didn't think of it that way.

 Our laundry room at the old house

Our laundry room at the old house

Luckily, the laundry room at the new house is also on the bedroom floor!  It is probably 2/3 the size of our old laundry room, so I'm determined to make it as functional as possible.

 Builder's layout of our new house laundry room

Builder's layout of our new house laundry room

No upgrades were made with the builder for this laundry room.  We just couldn't justify the prices they charge for the optional upper cabinets and to have their favourite plastic utility sink fitted in a cabinet.  Plus, we didn't want to be limited by their cabinet selections nor the positioning for what I have in mind.

I have a simple wishlist...  but after having done laundry in the basement, these seem like luxuries:

  • lots of task lighting
  • countertop as folding station
  • ample storage
  • drying area - hang drying and lay-flat drying

Nice and bright lighting

The smell of fresh laundry would be more enjoyable in a brightly lit laundry room. Back at our old house, the laundry room lacked natural light and was dark, lit only by the builder's dome light fixture that we never switched out.  At the new house, my first priority for this laundry room would be installing task lighting.  This photo from Rambling Renovators below is my inspiration for bright task lighting.  Even though this laundry is in the basement, it's nice and bright with the pot lights.

Folding station countertop

We had a long folding space at our old house's laundry room, but it was under-utilized since it was another dumping spot for miscellaneous household items.  I'm paying for that now, as I miss that dearly and would love to have a folding counter at our new house!  

A popular trend is to build the laundry room to function like a small kitchen, minus the cooking part. Pull-out hampers, built-in ironing boards in cabinets used for kitchens, and of course, a countertop as the folding station, just to name a few.

This photo below is my all time favourite.  It's such an elegant space to do laundry!  I also love how the countertop above the washers/ dryers is beautifully equipped with laundry supplies.  

  Hampton Design

Hampton Design

My plan is to run a countertop from the laundry sink and across onto the washer and dryer as the folding station.  That should provide lots of space for folding and decorating :-)

Storage and lots of it

To avoid another dump site at the new laundry room, I need to designate a place for everything from the get go.  You know, the usual suspects of light bulbs, extra cleaning supplies, vases, containers, etc.  Don't know how they always found their way onto my laundry counter back at the old house.

I love this combination of closed storage and open shelves with baskets.  The open shelves make the backsplash area look higher than it is, and in turn make the ceiling look taller.  Open shelves would be an ideal spot to store frequently accessed items, such as towels and other linens.

  The Block Glasshouse by Darren & Dee

The Block Glasshouse by Darren & Dee

This set of closed storage with frosted glass labels is super cute!  The glass doors also help to reflect light in a small space, making the laundry room appear brighter.

  Source unknown

Source unknown

Drying areas

There just never seem to be enough room to hang dry our delicates here at the rental.  I'm just drooling over the hanging space above the counter in these photos:

I was back and forth on the location of the hanging space.  If we do install the hanging rod above the counter, our hanging garments will face the entrance of the laundry room,  I'm not sure how well that'll go with the clean and uncluttered look I'm after.  

My best option is to leave the wall above the machines only for storage cabinets, facing the entrance, and install the hang drying racks on the wall beside the doorway, like so:

This way, the hanging garments are "hidden" from sight when you look in.  I've already gotten this collapsible hanging rod to go on that wall.  It'll be folded in when not in use to minimize the space it takes up.

And these foldable drying racks from IKEA can go under the rod, collapsed when not in use also:

Design options

While the wall with the drying racks won't be too attractive, my plan for the opposite storage wall will hopefully make up for that.  My dilemma is whether to match the base sink cabinet fronts to our graphite set of machines, or to choose a wood toned front to add warmth.  These are currently my coveted choices from IKEA's SEKTION kitchen series:

  Glossy grey

Glossy grey

  Walnut effect light grey

Walnut effect light grey

These horizontal wall cabinets, also from IKEA's SEKTION series, would be great for the upper storage.  We can run them along the length of the wall, leaving out the bottom door for the combination of open and closed storage options mentioned above.

IKEA SEKTION horizontal wall cabinet | Laundry room design board | Classy Glam Living

As for the countertop, this slab of Caesarstone in White Shimmer with pieces of mirror chips in it would pick up the white shimmery lines of our builder's floor tiles.

To add visual interest, the curvy lines of these moroccan lantern backsplash tiles create an interesting juxtaposition against all the flat surfaces in the laundry room.

Since the Mr. is a visual person, I've put together this design board to help him visualize what's in my head.

   faucet  /  1  /  2  /  3  /  4

faucet / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Designing the laundry room to function efficiently is a must, making it pretty is a bonus.  Don't know about you, but laundry is my most dreaded chore.  I'm hopeful that beautifying this utility room will help me get back on track with our ever growing mountain of laundry.  The logic is simple:  happy laundry room --> happy wife --> happy life  ;-)

Which base cabinet option would you choose?