Browsing "Organizing"
Aug 12, 2012 -

Sneak Peek of the New Dresser

The ‘secure the filing cabinet’ project took longer than expected today, so the new dresser isn’t done yet. But there’s enough done for a decent sneak peek. My mother ordered me to only show what’s done and to not reveal the interior ever. Ha ha ha.

The new dresser offers about as much cubic storage space as did the cloth dresser, but in a more compact package. It goes floor to ceiling and fits in the space next to the shower with no overage. The extra three inches or so of clearance space through the dressing room might not sound like much, but it makes such a difference!

We built the dresser out of plywood. When it came time to secure the drawers, my mother’s initial idea of just putting a stopper in front of them didn’t work so well. We squeezed in a ninth drawer and there just wasn’t enough vertical room any more to lift a drawer over the stopper. So we both concluded that a door would be best.

My mother isn’t the kind of person to slap a door together with plywood, some trim, and 50 billion screws. Instead, she used pine 1″x2″s, some thin press board paneling, part of the leftover vinyl from the desk, stain, and wax to make this gorgeous Shaker-style door:

I can’t show the whole thing because we have to finish the top of the dresser for reasons I’ll get into when I do the proper reveal of the dresser that will show off some of the little construction details.

The door is held with a hook:

(I still need to stain and wax the front of the plywood casing. Don’t tell my mother I showed you that picture! 😀 )

Finally, the inside:

And there’s the starting point for the dresser. Originally, I was going to have a very simple structure to hold some plastic baskets. But my mother got inspired to use some empty wine crates as the drawers. They were of a perfect dimension for the space, so the dresser got built around them.

The dresser is secured to the rig with two toggle bolts. Obstructions in the ceiling wouldn’t let it go very far, so they are more insurance than anything.

Even though I haven’t gained any storage space, the new dresser’s dimensions and aesthetics make a huge difference. I also like having nine small drawers rather than six big drawers.

I’ve also finally figured out how to make the wardrobe work for me, so as soon as we complete that project, the dressing room will be done.

I don’t get any credit whatsoever for the dresser or any other jobs, btw. All I do is fetch tools, hold the wood for sawing, and help with the staining and waxing. My job involves a lot of stairs. 😀

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Decorating, Homemaking, Organizing, Personal, Renovating    1 Comment
Aug 11, 2012 -

SamaN Wood Fillers and Stains

This weekend, my mother and I are finishing up the wonderful new dresser for the dressing room. Today, I learned how to make a Shaker-style door, was initiated to brou de noix (a natural stain made from walnut shells), and I am left in charge of waxing. Tomorrow, we will hang the door and do the little finishing touches so I can do a reveal!

This project is also one of several to use SamaN brand fillers and stains. They are a Quebec-based company, but there is a US site, so the products may be available elsewhere in Canada.

The wood filler is latex-based so it will not shrink or crack, it is sandable, and it is stainable. So it’s great for fixing little problems in woodwork.

The SamaN stains are my favourite of their products.

The stains are water based and do not leave overlap marks. I have a bottle of their ‘oak’ colour and it is almost a perfect match for my woodwork. Every time I notice a chip, discoloration, or other mark, I dip a Q-tip in the stain, apply it, and then wipe it off with a tissue. It even works on the pressboard casings that have worn edges. What an easy way to do maintenance and a great product to keep your RV woodwork looking nice over time!

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Aug 5, 2012 -

Major Chaos For Major Improvement

WHEW. My mother and I are done with the last bit of the hard core renos we planned for the summer. Now, we have all the little details to finish up as well as the inverter and battery monitor projects. So I really don’t have much to show off just now, but some is better than none!

First off, my new desk top. OMG. I didn’t even know I needed this until my mother informed me that I did:

Hopefully, third time will be the charm for the desk. 😀

What we did is cover the existing desk with two layers of 1/2″ MDF glued together (no 1″ sheets available). We then covered the new work surface with cloth-backed vinyl. The colour is delicious. It’s sold as ‘plum’ but looks like chocolate in artificial light and wine in natural light. It contrasts perfectly with the green and the red tones can be found in the flowers of my curtains. The lady at the fabric store told me three times that I had made an excellent choice of colour and she was right!

I am worried about kitty claws, so I’ll be covering empty swaths of the desk with a mat or blanket.

There is now a gap between the top of the little bookcase and the new desk and I have a wooden ‘in box’ that fits perfectly there. I’ll show it off once it has a handle and latch. There is also a gap at the other end of the new desk top, at the end of the mattress:

My mother thought that my extension cord management idea was good, so she improved the idea, building a new bed frame with gaps for holding cords. We covered it with plastic trellis to give the mattress a flat surface to lie on. The trellis is rigid enough to be a good surface, is light, and will wear well. It was expensive, but the best product for the job.

At the end of the mattress, you can see a wide plastic drawer. I picked it up at the Ottawa Solutions store (I’ve never been to a Container Store, but I suspect it’s the same idea). The drawer spans the whole width and depth of the hole and is going to be used for archival storage (ie. old report cards, greeting cards, correspondence, and the like). I used to have all of that in a basket in an overhead cabinet, but this is a much better use of space. Over top of the drawer is just enough space for storing my laptop for travel.

Also at Solutions, I picked up what I needed to stop swearing each time I open the door to my wonderfully spacious medicine cabinet:

I like to open the door when I pass and just smile at how pretty and organized the cabinet is now. 🙂

The cabinet is well designed in that it has a lip on the bottom of each shelf, but everything would tumble out when I opened the door. I wanted containers that would fill the space and be retained by the lip.

So I brought the measurements for the shelves with me to Ottawa and went through the store until I found the cheapest items that could fit in the space. The silver containers were deeply discounted office supplies. There were three of the big ones left and without any real thought, I grabbed four of the narrower ones. Got home and discovered I still had a gap, perfectly filled by my brown basket. I couldn’t have designed this space more perfectly! Every space is sorted by use and everything is so apparent. No more opening up a tube of toothpaste when I already have one started.

To whet your appetites a little, my wonderful new dresser is now functional and just awaiting finishing details. The wall in the living room is up, but the door needs some catches and both need paint. There’s a new water pump access panel in the entrance stairwell, but it too needs paint. The filing cabinet still needs securing, but we think we have the solution. The office and dressing room both need paint touch ups. I also need tons of trim along the floor, but that will come with the electrical work.

My home was fine the way it was, but it is now ‘much better’ (said in my mother’s hilariously exaggerated French Canadian accent!).

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Decorating, Homemaking, Maintenance & Repair, Organizing, Personal, Renovating, Technical    2 Comments