5 Before & After: Filing-turned-laundry cabinet

>> Monday, December 31, 2012

To this girl, there are very few cons of being sucked into the do-it-yourself/furniture rehab world. Trips to thrift shops suddenly become less dusty & dirty and more like treasure troves overflowing with potential. Not to mention the creative (and budget friendly) outlet it dishes up.  Give me a tiny price tag on a completely original piece of furniture and it’s game on!

However, once you’ve caught the furniture flipping fever, I’ve found there is a fine line between rehabber and hoarder. I’ve plead guilty more than once to hauling home a thrift store find that I absolutely did not need just because it was a steal…or a piece I’d never seen before…or simply because it fit in the back of my car. Over the past few months, the projects were starting to pile up in my carport, and as the DIY-darling of the neighborhood (the self-appointed title I’ve adopted to make myself feel better about constantly walking the one-more-item-and-my-neighbors-are-going-to-submit-my-carport-to-an-episode-of-Hoarders line), it was time to knock out one of these projects.

This lovely little wooden filing cabinet has been hanging around for months. When the boyfriend and I were recently discussing how big of an eyesore it is to have all of our laundry detergent just sitting on top of the dryer (never mind the enormous hole in the laundry room wall…more on that in next month’s post)…it clicked that this filing cabinet was the perfect size to scoot right next to the dryer for extra laundry room storage. Alright, fella. You’re up!

Photo Feb 25, 1 13 22 PM

Since I like to do most of my painting projects inside the house—unless either A. I’m working with oil-based paint or B. it’s the perfect 72 & sunny Arkansas day—the first step was to haul this bad boy to the living room. To protect my floors from paint splotches, I have plenty of old towels on hand and propped the cabinet on scraps of wood so that I could easily reach the very bottom edges.

Photo Feb 25, 1 17 10 PM
To prep the drawers, all of the old hardware was removed, the holes filled with wood filler and sanded smooth once dry.

Photo Feb 25, 1 17 44 PM
Before painting, I gave the cabinet & drawers a good wipe down and once dry, went to town with a paint brush. The master plan for this piece involved an old, distressed look, so I opted for a flat paint.

Photo Feb 25, 1 18 29 PM
After two good coats were dry, it was time to bring a little flare to the boring drawer fronts using a stencil and light gray acrylic craft paint.

Photo Feb 25, 1 19 58 PM
Now for the distressing part of this rehab—the boyfriend didn’t understand why I would take something old, paint it like new and beat it up to look old again, but what does he know? With a few swipes of sandpaper on the corners and edges (the areas that would naturally have the most wear and tear over time), we were well on our way to shabby chic.

Photo Feb 25, 1 21 16 PM
Last up: new hardware. This is a pretty sturdy piece, so I wanted hefty hardware to live up to it. I found oversized aged metal handles in four different styles, so I snagged one of each. A different handle for each drawer to add a bit of character.

Photo Feb 25, 1 24 38 PM
While my laundry room is still a disaster zone, at least this filing-turned-laundry cabinet sits waiting in the living room as the light at the end of the tunnel…and with one less piece of junk in the carport, my neighbors can regain a false sense of hope that I won’t haul home any other finds. 

Photo Feb 25, 1 25 33 PM

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0 Year End Recap

Holy smokes. 2012 has been one year overflowing with craziness. There are so many happening that I could recap before the clock strikes midnight and we kick off the new year. To save my wrists from a fate of carpal tunnel and my blog server from crashing with an overload of photos, let’s revisit just one highlight from each month of 2012.

January: Oh, January. You bone chilling month, you. Why not kick off a kitchen remodel during the coldest month of the year when all you crave is warm comfort food that can’t be cooked in a demo-ed kitchen. Why not?


February: The kitchen revamp continues, with refaced cabinets, new quartz counters, stainless appliances and a subway tile backsplash…and a ton of learning lessons along the way.

March: March brought with it much needed relief from the chilly temps with a trip down to Costa Farms in sunny Miami where this brown thumb spent several days strolling through fields of flowers and making new friends from around the blog-o-sphere.


April: Live The Home Life celebrated its 3rd Birthday with a Happy Birthday house tour. So much has changed around the old construction site since then, but it’s still fun to revisit the pictures of my house in its before state and see how far we’ve come. Click here for the tour.


May: So much fun stomping around P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain farm as a guest at the Bean2Blog event. I took too many pictures of this amazing wonderland of flowers and folly to post today, so click here to head over to May’s post dedicated solely to the fun had at the farm.


June & July: Wedding bells were ringing and this dedicated bridesmaid was shaking her tail feather at every reception. My all time record number of weddings for the year, the boyfriend and I can successful proclaim ourselves as Wedding Warriors.


August: Another year older and another year wiser. Happy Birthday to me.

Photo Aug 30, 7 46 18 AM
September: Adios, amigos! The boyfriend and I were off on a Mexican scuba adventure with the fam.

October: By far the most action packed month of the year for yours truly, my real estate company, The Property Group opened its doors for business.


November: The boyfriend and I moved in together and the joining of our home tastes was remarkably easy. He’s the wonderful type of fella who lives by the “if you like it, I like it” way of life (for the most part). To show my appreciation, I decided to “man up” the den a bit.


And finally…December: This Christmas brought with it so much excitement. Not only was I lucky enough to spend a holiday season with wonderful family and friends, but my precious niece, Louisa, was born smack dab in the middle of the biggest snow storm we’ve ever seen. Who needs power when such a sweet little face can send so much light into the world.


Wishing you all a wonderful 2013 filled with joy, love and inspiration.

Cara Signature


0 Door Bore & Winter Galore

>> Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are ya’ll tired of hearing about laundry room door yet? I sure am. Unfortunately that’s all that has been going on in my construction site as of late AND with installing new doors being such an all-hands-on-deck-so-that-fingers-and-toes-stay-intact project, there have been little opportunities to take progress pics. In fact, all have for you today from my world of rehabbing is what post demo/pre install of laundry room door #2 looks like.

Photo Dec 19, 10 51 59 AM

Fortunately we were able to install the door before dark fell/backyard creatures worked their way inside.

Now on to more important things like wintertime inspiration pics…

Winter Wonderland
winter tones
winter white
winter picnic
winter, lovely winter.
Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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5 A before & after of epic proportions…said no one ever but me

>> Thursday, December 13, 2012

Before & afters are my jam and I am stoked for today’s before & after pics. Living room overhauls and rehabbed nightstands have nothing on the beauty of the before & after I am about to throw your way?…Now that you are properly amped enough for a complete let down when I yell PSYCH! let’s get to perhaps the most deceivingly exciting before & after of my DIY lifetime…

Now that this little stinker of a gas pipe has been moved no more than 6 inches to the right, cutting a doorway connecting my laundry room to the kitchen can become a reality. Isn’t that AMAZING?!

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1 Let There Be Light

>> Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Over the past year, much of my DIY life (and patience) has been dedicated to my kitchen. Let’s revisit the before pictures for giggles.

Oooooohhhhhh the good ole days of dark & dated cabinets, nonfunctional kitchen appliances, pink countertops and 40 year old linoleum floors (which are still hanging around). It’s no question that this kitchen has come a long way, but with a few mini projects left to conquer (including those dang floors), I’m getting down to the details. One such detail being the ridiculously dim overhead light that makes reading recipes after dark virtually impossible. Fortunately for me, this activity happens very rarely, but nonetheless, it was time for a change.


Over the weekend, it was out with the old and in with the new. A fabulous little drum shade light fixture that I picked up on Amazon (click here to steal this look). I also covered the giant square hole in my ceiling left over from the removal of Mr. 1963 with a super simple ceiling medallion. Any possible way to avoid patching drywall is fine by me.

The light is installed, my kitchen in lighter and brighter and most importantly, one more nitpicky is crossed off the to-do list.


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