As part of Open House New York, I got to wander around the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The old navy shipyard is being redeveloped for commercial use. There are several dry docks, and one dry dock is still operational. There is also many green features includes renewable power. However, the site is quite simply a really cool place to photograph.
Here is the back story. The above photo is a spice rack I bought at IKEA. It was raw wood, and I painted it to match the wall. My initial intention was to see if I liked it there, then buy two more to place on either side if I did. I decided I did like it, but when I went to go buy two more, I couldn’t find them anymore. Then I realized, well this is stupid, I can just build a spice rack. Thus without further ado, how I built a spice rack.
The building supplies consisted of two primed, composite wood 1 x 4’s (which are really 0.75″ x 3.5″), primed 0.25″ x 0.75″ shoe molding, flat head screws, and wood glue. I cut the wood planks to fit the length of the wall, and I cut the molding into three pieces, one, the length of the planks and two, the length of the depth of the planks. Then I mitered the molding. The molding will serve as a shelf stop to make sure nothing falls off the shelf, in theory at least.
First, I joined the two planks to form an “L” shape.
I used screws to attach them together. Before inserting the screws, I pre-drilled holes and also pre-drilled a larger hole the size of the screw head at the very top of where the screw would go, so that the screw head would be recessed into the wood. The side where the screw head is, will be the top of the shelf, and plank perpendicular to it will be the way I attach it to the wall.
Then, I glued the long piece of shoe molding to the top of the plank, on the opposite side of the perpendicular plank.
I then glued the two small pieces of shoe molding to the ends of the planks to complete the shelf stops. I used painter’s tape to keep the molding in place while the glue dried.
Once the glue dried, I then used spackle to fill in the gaps and also the indentions where the screw heads are to make the shelf look more like one finished piece.
I then painted the entire piece with the same paint that I used to paint the wall. Obviously it could be a different color, but I like how it seems to just be part of the wall when it is the same color and not some attention grabbing piece. I then hung it on the wall using more flat head screws that I screwed into the studs.
I then filled in the volumes above the recessed screw heads with spackle.
Finally, I sanded the spackled areas and painted. Below, my finished, custom built spice rack.
I have finished renovating the half bathroom! It is pretty much the last room in the house that needed renovation. [I say pretty much because I still have a few projects I want to do in the laundry area and storage room.] The plumber installed a new toilet and also the vanity. I bought a vanity that came with a white glass countertop, a white ceramic vessel sink, and a matching mirror. All it needed was the faucet. I installed a new three-bulb vanity light and also replaced the outlet and wall switches for new white ones. I also installed two glass shelves above the toilet. Finally I replaced the door hinges and door knob with hinges and a lever that match the rest of the house.
Reconstruction of the half bathroom is partially done. I hired a contractor to remove the second layer of subfloor and then lay concrete backer board so that I could lay tile. The contractor also placed new green board in to fill the whole from the old medicine cabinet and also use drywall mud on the walls to smooth over the texture left from the old wallpaper. After the contractor finished, I primed and painted the walls and ceiling and laid a new tile floor. I painted the walls the same blue color as the accent wall in the dining room, and the ceiling is the same pale blue as the ceiling in most of the house.
Sadly, with this phase of renovation, there was no drywall demolition. I say sadly because drywall demolition is one of my favorite activities. Deconstruction is now finished. The plumber came in first and removed the toilet and disconnected the sink. I removed the wallpaper, tile floors, the vanity, and all the fixtures. I then had a contractor come in and remove the second layer of plywood subfloor which only went around the old vanity. As with previous rooms I have renovated, at some point, “renovators” came and removed the old floor, but only around the old vanity, then put in another layer of plywood subfloor for no discernible reason, and then tiled. Thus everything had to come out to get to the original subfloor.
The (possibly) final home renovation phase has begun. This will be a rather small and hopefully short phase. The only room involved is the half bathroom off of the living room and kitchen. So first some photos of the bathroom before renovation. The vanity cabinet is the exact same style and color as the old kitchen cabinets were. I did not realize it until I took it out, but the mirror above the vanity was actually a medicine cabinet.
While I spent much of my time walking around Burlington, Vermont, in the downtown area, I also spent a good deal of time walking around some of the residential neighborhoods. Burlington has some historic, large, gorgeous houses, and many of them are painted in various, traditional colorful schemes. However, Burlington also has plenty of not quite as old, not quite as nice houses painted in not quite so traditional colors. Some of them are painted in almost blindingly bright color schemes, and I loved them. They are not traditional at all, but in my opinion, they are completely fun. I don’t even like some of the color schemes, but I love that someone cares enough about the house and what it looks like to paint it something other than all white.
The day that I spent much of my time photographing these houses, I walked into the Fletcher Free Library. While I was admiring the architecture of the old section of the building, Lorrie, one of the library workers asked me if I was enjoying the architecture. We had a lovely conversation about the library, Burlington, and Burlington’s houses. It turns out she knows the owner of many of the colorful houses that I was admiring. You have to love small towns, because of course I would run into someone who knows the owner of many of the houses. According to her, Stu lives in the brick house with purple trim that is situated between the two purple-painted wooden houses, and he has the purple Camino. These were some of the houses that I was admiring the most, especially since they featured the color coordinated purple car in-between them. Also, his brick house has a duck family walking on the ceiling of the entry porch because of course it does. He and his wife own and rent many of the bright houses, and he paints them that way just because he likes it and doesn’t care what others think. Stu, I am an admirer of your work. I don’t like all the color schemes, but I love that you painted them that way.
Post has been edited to correct the spelling of Lorrie’s name. Thank you Stu for the correction, and thank you for your comment!
The master bathroom renovation is finally completely finished. The bathroom is small, but it has all the features I need and want. It is functional, and I love it. I previously wrote about the cabinets, but the final piece, an open shelving unit that sits on top of the countertop has been installed. All the cabinetry is from Tuscan Hills, and while most of it is standard cabinetry, some of it, especially the false bottom of the wall cabinet for access to the bath mechanics is custom. The tub is an MTI Andrea 14, and I must admit, after having taken a bath in it, it is even bigger than I realized, but it has whirlpool jets and air bubblers and is quite lovely in which to soak. I used frameless glass for the shower and simple, clear glass vessel sinks, so that visually they take up as little space as possible. I previously wrote and posted more detailed photos of the shower, so I am not posting too many here. The plumbing fixtures are all Grohe’s Atrio line. I used Moen’s Iso line for the towel bars and rings, robe hooks, and toilet paper holder, and I used Thomas Lighting’s Pittman fixtures for the vanity lights and wall sconces in the water closet.
This weekend I tiled the vanity backsplash. It is a rather high backsplash as I wanted the tile to go at least as high as the wall faucets. I wanted to tile a border around the recessed medicine cabinets, so I decided just to bring the backsplash up to the base of the medicine cabinets. Also, I changed the original design for tiling in the shower, and I have a bunch of left over glass tile, so I might as well use it. The height of the marble tile was determined by the height of the electrical box because I wanted the same tile type surrounding the electrical box, so the cover would lay flat.
The frameless glass shower wall and door have been installed. I had the glass company place a floating robe hook on the shower wall next to the door, so I could easily grab a towel when I get out of the shower. Also, on the glass front, the new bathroom window has been installed.
All the shower plumbing fixtures have also been installed. Most of the fixtures come from Grohe’s Atrio line. There is an multifunction rain shower head placed in the ceiling and a handheld shower head on a adjustable bar. In the photo below, the valve on the far left is the thermostatic valve that adjust the temperature for both shower heads. Then on the right are the flow valves that turn the shower heads on, the top one for the overhead head and the lower one for the handheld head. Thermostatic valves are a really nice feature because you don’t have to constantly find the right temperature in between showers, and they ensure the same temperature water comes out of multiple heads. I have already used my new shower, and it is glorious! The area is wonderful, nice and spacious but not so big to be insane, and the the bench is a necessity for any woman who shaves her legs.