Curtain Installation for Renters

Jennifer —  February 10, 2014 — 1 Comment

I am back.  Well, kind of.  Sorry for my long absence but as I have transitioned into a new home (rental) and a new city I have really had a process in transitioning.  My paid job is working from home part-time so I thought I would have all this time to do everything I wanted and I got overloaded.  I had to have a little priority check to see what was of utmost importance so I took a break.  It has been good for me to re-evaluate why I blog and WHAT is important to me to blog about.  I decided to break my silence and start posting again but I will say that the blog will soon be transitioning.  It has to because the company who made my purchased theme (Standard) decided to close shop….just when I got my blog redesigned.  Boo!  I was so frustrated I used the opportunity for reflection.  Do I want to continue on with iloverehabs, do I want to finish my time as a blogger, or do I want to transition?  I am going to post more on this later but today I wanted to give you a DIY post.  If you don’t remember, I am renting a house right now in our new city.  We were overwhelmed with buying when we moved because we didn’t know the city.  As you know, renters can’t drill holes in the walls and make their home cozy with semi-permanent decor.  I was actually told by my landlord that I could re-paint and I tried to muster up the energy but it went flat.  I didn’t want to spend money on paint for a house I was leaving 6 months later.  I decided it was more of a challenge to work with the existing paint.  Here is our living room when we moved in:

Here is this space with all my stuff from my old house

 I was fine with it as is until the day I got sick of the blinds.  They were broken at the bottom and didn’t give full privacy.  So I made a temporary shade to cover the massive window out of a fabric shower curtain liner I had on hand.  I decided I needed color.  So I grabbed my fabric shower curtains from my former guest bathroom….

Floor to Ceiling Shower Curtain

…and decided to make them into  curtains perfect for a rental.  I couldn’t drill holes in the wall NOR did I want to buy a rod for a window size that I might not have in the next house.

Here is how I made my no-damage rental curtains:


  • Dowel Rod (small)  I bought one and cut it into two.  You can buy two the size you need at Lowes, HD or a craft store.  One was .97¢
  • four 3M command strip removable hooks. (two boxes at $2.99 a pop with a 10% off mobile coupon (plus tax) was about $6.
  • Curtain with tabs.  I made mine but you can buy them this way.  (I had them)
  • Straight Pins. (had them)

Total Cost:  $7

I used a level and hung two 3M command strip hooks where I wanted my curtain to go.  I placed the dowel here so you could see how it would fit.

iloverehabs, no damage rental curtains

I cut the dowel to the size of the curtain when it was pleated.  The dowel would fit in the curtain like a rod would.  This picture is before I pleated the curtain so my curtain is bigger than my dowel rod.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

I pleated the curtain by folding the front of the curtain so the tabs touched in the back.  In other words, fold the fabric between each tab. Here is the picture with it folded/pleated from the back.  The rod is inserted here.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Here is a picture of the pleats from the front.  If you look closely you will see I pinned the folded section of fabric together (in the front) to make the pleats.  I actually used plain straight pins but they were so unnoticeable that I switched pins so you could see them in the picture.  Pinning the pleats naturally keeps the fabric together and it keeps the rod in the back without sewing it in!  No-sew projects…can I get an AMEN!?

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

I placed the pleated/pinned curtain with the rod inserted on the 3M command strips and you can’t even see the hooks.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Here are my No-Sew…No Damage…Rental Curtains

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

Of course you cannot open them but they are not privacy curtains…they just give color…which makes me happy.

iloverehabs, no- damage rental curtains

When its time to move take out the pins, rod, and undo the command strips and you are done.  Hope this helps you renters…or people who just need curtains for some texture.

Thanks for reading,



Wedding Wednesday: Doors

Jennifer —  November 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

Doors, Doors, Doors.  I have used them in a few weddings.  They are all over Pinterest so just Pinterest them for inspiration, but today I thought I would share where I get all my doors for weddings and how I have used them.  Lets start with Rebecca’s wedding.  She had borrowed doors from her aunt who had some old doors.  Have you ever wondered how I have two doors standing upright…not leaning on anything?

Boos wedding 22

My trick is large industrial shelf brackets like this.  This is not the exact one I used, but I went into Lowes and got the biggest one I could find. Industrial sized L-brackets work too. In fact, I have bought these at a Re-Store before as well.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it just needs to be big and sturdy.  Screw two brackets into the bottom of  each side of the door and secure it down with some sandbags.  Voila….free standing door. I didn’t get a picture but here is my best attempt at a diagram.  Note:  I made sure to place these where no one would be running around them.  The sweet table was in a nook and there was no reason to go behind it.  They are sturdy but it’s not a fortress.  Make sure it’s not in a high traffic area.

I used doors to make a pretty blah entrance a little more grand.  I just leaned them up against the glass wall….carefully.  The Venue would not let me take down the signs.

My greatest task was to hide really crazy storage.  Behind this wall of doors are probably 100 airport chairs, a couple of coke machines, lots of boxes, a few airport banners and lots of random.  I lined the edge of the storage area with an entire row of those really heavy hard to move airport benches.  (the kind of chair/benches that you sit in while you wait to get on your flight.)  Those things are HEAVY!  I just leaned the doors against the back of the benches and layered them.  Again, it is not a place for lots of traffic and kids running around, so I just pushed the tables close to the doors and made the Aisle’s wide enough that people would go down the aisle away from the doors to get out of this area., flea market wedding

I haven’t shown this shot because I didn’t get a good shot.  I think at this point of the wedding day I was looking for chocolate bars and asked my husband to snap a few shots.  The brides happiness comes before blogging.  My hubby, not being a blogger, forget to move my bag of stuff.  Oops.  Anyway, I used Doors to cover an airport baggage security machine.  It was immovable unless I had 20 college football players.  I didn’t, so I hid it….with doors of course.

I use doors to hang wreaths.  Just stick a push-pin in the back of a wood door and use the loop of the wreath to go over the top of the door and hook onto the pin.  If it’s a metal door use a removable hook placed upside down.

 Boos WEdding 20

I even used a door to cover the pie storage.

pie table, wedding reception,

Where can you find doors?

  1. Ask family and friends.  You never know what people have lying around.  I was renovating a house (shocking) and I called a gal I knew was looking for doors.  She came over and picked up a few old doors we were taking to the Re-Store.  She painted them and glazed them to look old.
  2. Re-Stores have TONS of doors.  You might even find a vintage one.  You can make anything look vintage.  Most doors at a Re-store cost $5 but are flat and hollow. Don’t be afraid of those.  A little fabric and you could cover that door and use it for a picture gallery. Add some hinges to connect to and you can create a screen that can stand up on its own.
  3. Flea Markets – Go outside and look on the sides of the buildings.  I usually find doors there.
  4. Architectural Salvage Stores – these are a little pricier but there are really cool vintage doors there for sure.
  5. Craigslist/Facebook Garage Sales.  Take the initiative and say you are looking for old doors.  Be careful though!  Your safety is not worth a door.
  6. Garage Sales – hit and miss.

Doors are an easy way to make something look vintage.  It can hide something or it can just be a fun part of your decor.

Hope this helps…happy wedding







Old & Cruddy to My New Buddy

admin —  November 4, 2013 — Leave a comment

Remember this bathroom?


Remember this cruddy shower?

Remember this annoying door to door non-functional closet?

Remember this dresser?

Remember this moodboard?

Bathroom Moodboard, iloverehabs

It didn’t turn out exactly like the moodboard, but this guided our direction…even when we switched things up.  This bathroom now looks like this:

and this…

and this…

More to come soon!

Happy Monday!


Halloween is over and I am moving on to Christmas.  Just kidding.  I love Thanksgiving, but I do start my Christmas shopping before December….especially if the gift is handmade.  It seems like every week of December is filled with Christmas events so if I am doing something handmade…November is my month.  Apartment Therapy is doing a little Handmade Holiday Link-Up so I thought I would link it my favorite handmade gift and then spend some time checking outrall the goodies that people are making.  I had planned on reposting this later in the Holiday season, but I figured why not join in the Apartment Therapy fun.

Christmas Bells 4

I love my Christmas Bells. Every where I take them everyone loves them.  They are a home run hit for your family or for for a gift.  This year I planned on making these for some good friends (which ones….I cannot say).  These are an inexpensive gift that will last for many Christmases to come.   We always have fun with them at every Christmas party we go to.  People will call us to make sure we bring them.  Here is a picture of my family playing these on Christmas Day.

Here is my family playing these things.  I am trying to post a video on our crazy family playing these things.  Its hysterical.  Lots of laughter and Christmas fun.  A family member posted it on facebook so, if I can figure it out, I will.

This is great gift idea that people will love!  Its unique and it allows people to be a “hit” at their next Christmas party.  I am going to make these for people at Christmas.  I have done it before and it really isn’t that hard.

Here are the tools and material you need…

Piper Cutters, Drill Bits, and Conduit Pipe…

Christmas Bells 8

Here is a closer look at the large pipe.

CHristmas Bells 6

The Detailed List

  • 1/2 inch Conduit Pipe.  The expensive kind does not cut well. Don’t get it.  The inexpensive kind actually sounds better as a bell.  I bought mine at HD for $2.97  You will probably need two, depending on what sizes they offer at your store.
  • Kobalt pipe cutter (Seen Above) – $9.00 (Just tell the Hardware store employee you need a pipe cutter for 1/2 inch conduit.  They will take you right there.)
  • 5/8 inch metal boring drill bit (seen above) $4.00
  • String ( you can also use skinny ribbon or the gift wrap ribbon that curls)
  • Sharpie
  • Ruler or tape measure

When it’s all said and done your first one will cost you $19.00.  Every time after that it will cost you $6.00 because you already have the cutter and drill bit!


  1. 13 amp; 3/8 inches
  2. 13 inches
  3. 12 amp; 5/8 inches
  4. 12 amp; 1/4 inches
  5. 11 amp; 7/8 inches
  6. 11 amp; 1/2 inches
  7. 11 amp; 1/4 inches
  8. 10 amp; 7/8 inches
  9. 10 amp; 5/8 inches
  10.  10 amp; 1/4 inches
  11.  9 amp; 7/8 inches
  12. 9 amp; 5/8 inches
  13.  9 amp; 3/8 inches
  14. 9 amp; 1/8 inches
  15. 8 amp; 7/8 inches
  16. 8 and 5/8 inches
  17. 8 and 3/8 inches
  18. 8 and 1/8 inches
  19. 7 and 7/8 inches

How to:

Step 1

Measure where your first cut will be.  Mark a line at the measurement with a pencil.  Cut right at the line or if you want to be super accurate just to the right of the line.  The pencil mark is exactly the length the bell needs to be.  If you cut just to the right of the line, it gets a more accurate length.  I have posted this for those perfectionist DIYers.  It doesn’t matter really.  I have done it both ways.  These are not symphony instruments.  You will not get into Julliard playing these.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  They need to be close but if they are one 16th off…it will work.  The smaller you get the closer they are in size.  Be as accurate as you can when you get to the smaller pipe measurements.

Step 2

Use the pipe cutter as instructed and cut the pipe.

Step 3

Mark the pipe with the corresponding number

Christmas Bells 5

Step 4

Drill a hole at the very top with your drill bit.  I used a clamp to hold the bell down.

Christmas Bells 2

Step 5

Tie string, or ribbon loop through the hole. This is crucial for the bell’s ringing capabilities. (When playing, you have to hold the bell thru the loop or it won’t chime.)

Christmas Bells 3

Step 6

Repeat for all 19 pipes (each pipe has a different measurement)

Step 7

Print off the music.

Here are two sheets of music for these bells.  I plan on posting more soon!  I realized I only have about four songs.  Go make your bells and then come back to grab all the music.  I literally have to string up the bells on a broom, write out the words to a Christmas song and figure it out.  I am using those flute playing skills after all.  My musician dad should be proud.

Away in a Manger Music

Click on Image to Save and Print


O Little Town of Bethlehem Music

Click on Image to Save and Print

Click on the image, save and print.  I would print at least 10 copies of each song so a big group could play.  This is super cheap at Staples or Office max.  I might make folder of Carol Songs.

Finally, to give them you can wrap them up in a fun way.  I wrapped mine in some extra Jute Webbing and some plaid ribbon.  I would also write a little instruction note to go with them.  Make a set for you, play them FIRST at a Christmas party and then have a set wrapped for your White Elephant game.  There will be a fight for these.

CHristmas Bells 1

How do you play?

With spoons of course!  You have to put your hand through the loop and let the bell dangle and smack it with a spoon when your number comes up on the music.  

Thanks for Reading,


Our first question to the auctioneer when we walked into the house, the monday prior to the auction, was “Why an auction…why not list it.”  He gave us the answer we were looking for.  The home owner had owned the house for 40 years.  It was too much for him to handle and he was downsizing to go live near his kids. He knew it needed to be updated but didn’t want to deal with it.  He also didn’t want to wait 3-6 months for his house to sell.  He was retired and had living to do.  He wanted it gone quick.  It was paid off and he was ready to leave it.

Source: Mcurdy auctions

Source: Mcurdy auctions

….So the hubby and I prepared and decided how much that we wanted to spend.  We did this by calculating what we wanted to put into the house and we used comparables in the neighborhood to evaulate its current worth and potential worth.  We did some serious research.  All of that led to our highest bid price.  Now, let me explain that I will not be telling you any of our financial decisions.  I really think its important to keep that private.  I will share how we prepared to bid…without sharing our actual bid.  I am sharing our expereince just in case yo u might want to bid in a real estate auction.

Here was our mentality….

  • We were not in a hurry to buy.  We like our rental and are fine staying here for longer.  We recognized that houses do not sell often on this street and do not sell for cheap.  This was a once in a 30 year opportunity.  We will be looking for houses after the first of the year, but not right now. This house was worth bumping up our house buying time a few months.
  • I didn’t have to have this house.  It had my heart but it didn’t have my world.  If we got it…AWESOME.  If we didn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.  I have a strong faith in God and I know that He will place us where He wants us to go.
  • We were going to buy a steal. That was the goal.  We were not going to buy the house…even at the price it should be listed in a traditional sale, in its current condition. The price it should have been listed at was still a steal.  (hint:  we used comparables to figure this out)  We wanted to buy it under that great price.  The only way we could justify getting this house is if were a major steal…more than it already is.

Here is the reality

  • What you bid isn’t the actual price of the house.  You have to add a 10% commission fee to the auctioneer.  The final price of your house (your loan amount) would be your bid + 10% commission.  So if you win with a bid of $100,000 then the sale price of the house is actually $110,000

Lee came up with a bidding chart for me to use while bidding.  This is how I would know how much I was really spending when I placed a bid.  I am not sharing what I bid…or where we were comfortable…but this was my tool I had in hand.  If you do this, I suggest you have something like this with you.

Bid Sheet

Lee and I then determined what our last bid would be (based on how much we actually wanted to pay for the house).  We then called and got financial advice from a few people we trusted to make sure we were making a wise decision.  These type of people are important.  Everyone needs to have them.  They know us and what we financially can afford and we trust them. If they would have said “I wouldn’t do that” then we would have listened.  Its called good accountability and I am thankful we have people who care about us.  Financial stress overflows into a marriage and my marriage is more important than any house or thing I could ever own.


Here is the Living Room...IT had me at "Hello"

Here is the Living Room…IT had me at “Hello”

Auction day came and I got there early.  I signed up for my bid card and then looked around the house one more time.  I also was checking out my competition.  There were around 60 people there.  I was intimidated.  This is a lesson to never judge a book by its cover because I had pegged about 10 people I thought were real estate investors ready to gobble up this house over little ole me.  I am sure they thought I would never be a bidder.  I had skinny jeans, high tops, a long sleeve t-shirt and my hair partly braided.  I sat on the back porch on the left side and called Lee.  My first words were “we don’t have a shot.”


Source: Mcurdy Auctions Here is the porch where I called Lee.

Source: Mcurdy Auctions Here is the porch where I called Lee.

The auction began at the front of the house and the bidding started.  Lee had warned me the auctioneers would start high and then keep dropping until finally they allowed someone to make a bid.  Their job was to get the owner a good sale price.  Their job is to work the crowd looking for more bids.  Lee was on the phone ready to help me but he was on the road and couldn’t hear me well.


Here is the Kitchen. It was small but we were hoping we could open it up

Here is the Kitchen. It was small but we were hoping we could open it up

Finally, the first person made a bid.  The first bid made was exactly what I was hoping for. It was the area that I was comfortable to start bidding.  As per my husband’s instructions, I was to wait.  A bid price that low that is when people engage.  He wanted me to watch and see who engaged first.  If too many people engaged it was a clear sign that we would not be getting the house.  No one engaged….the auctioneer kept singing…I was whispering to Lee and then one other person engaged and bid $5,000 higher than the first bid.  I watched.  My heart was pounding.  When do I get in?  You couldn’t buy land in this neighborhood for this amount.  I was ready but my husband said “wait”.  No one engaged.  The auctioneer said “going once….” and I said to Lee quietly on the phone”…only two bidders have engaged…the one who started it and the one who made the next bid.  Its obvious the first bidder isn’t going for this house.”  Auctioneers draw out the “going once, going twice, sold” statements.  In between each one they plead with the crowd to get more bidders. I had enough time to talk to lee but not much.  Lee heard this and said “Bid”  Literally the auctioneer had said “going twice” and I spoke up and said my first bid.  I was now the high bidder and I was in the game.  A few people turned to look at me as if to say “the girl in skinny jeans is bidding?”  Where did she come from?  Needless to say my heart was pounding.


Built-Ins like this were all over the house.  Love em!

Built-Ins like this were all over the house. Love em!

The other bidder was on my left side.  I had to be quiet in my conversations with Lee so they wouldn’t hear what I was saying.  The entire crowd turned toward us, as if to say…this is where the action is going to happen today.  We were both on stage and I was keeping my cool on the outside and about to throw up on the inside.  To spare you all the little details I will tell you I was one of only two bidders.  On three different occasions I was the highest bid and the auctioneer said “Going twice….” and then the other people bid. All of those were at prices that were absolute steals.  Like, record breaking house price.   The other bidders were contemplating it just as much as I was after each bids.  The bids were not fast and furious.  They were very reflective and calculated.  I tell you that because it meant that with every bid you didn’t know if they were going to bid again.  A fast bidder reflects an “I can outbid you all day” attitude.  I felt the entire time I could maybe just get this thing.


Check Out This Closet...We would have removed these to make a large walk In Closet.

Check Out This Closet…We would have removed these to make a large walk In Closet.

My husbands good friend showed up with his family half way through.  I was the highest bidder and he jumped in to help me.  Really, just give me moral support and strategy.  I was thankful he was there because he was like a good coach.  When I was reaching my highest bid, the point where lee and I had said “no more” my coach told me to keep my phone to my ear.  To make it look like I was getting another bid ready.  Thanks coach.

I placed my final bid.  The highest bid that lee and I said we would go, and keeping my ear to the phone waited and hoped.  It took 5-6 minutes of the auctioneers singing for my competition to deliberate.  It was probably their last bid too.  The house was about to sell to me and they bid $500 higher than my bid.  I shook my head at the auctioneer to tell him I was out and he quickly said “Sold” to the other bidder.  He knew that if I was out it was over.  That $500 haunted me for about ten minutes.  I look back and if they only were bidding $500 more dollars than my highest bid then they were just inching over me to get it.  I think I could have won if I would have bid $500 over them, which would have been $1000 more than we wanted to pay.   $1000 more on a home loan is nothing but I wanted to honor my husband.  He came home and told me he would have upped the bid $500 more just to see if they were really out.  He then said, you did the right thing.

My husband is a closer and a good reader of people.  I think we would have won the house if he was there.  The reality is, that he was not and it was important for him to be where he was.  It was all part of God’s plan and guess what….It wasn’t meant to be.  I walked away with a smile on my face.  I said a prayer for the family who bought it to have wonderful memories there and went with my “coach”, his wife (who is a close friend of mine), and their kids to get a burger.  I came home, took a nap and was thankful to have a roof over my head.

There is my story of the house that got away.  Maybe I should call it the house that wasn’t meant to be.  That feels much better.

Thanks for reading,




The One that Got Away

Jennifer —  October 28, 2013 — 1 Comment

So last week I was busy writing.  That is my job, by the way.  I write kid and youth bible study curriculem for my old job.  I love it and it allows me to stay home but last week was a writing week because I had a manuscript due.  I have to be honest, it was also busy praying, thinking and deciding on a big purchase.  A new house.  Hold your horses, read the title, we don’t have a new house but I thought I would share the story.  We ALMOST bought a house at a real estate auction.  We didn’t but it was in my grasp.  Here is the house…

The One that Got Away

Source: McCurdy Auctions

….and here is the story.  My husband and I were driving around in the area that we would one day like to purchase a home.  We were not looking to buy yet, but we were driving up one of the streets that has the most wonderful old homes.  You know the kind of streets they show in movies.  It has character, trees, people walking their dogs.  I have been told this street is the street to come down if you want to see Halloween or Christmas decorations  We drove up the street with the intention of thinking….someday but probably never.  We couldn’t afford one of these houses right now.  Then we saw the sign.  The picture doesn’t show it but there was a sign in the yard for a real-estate auction.  We looked it up on my phone…thank you smart phone…. and there it was, going up for auction with no reserve.

The One that Got Away

Source: McCurdy Auctions

What is no reserve?  That means the house does not have a certain price it has at least get to in bidding.  It means that the house could go for $1 or $1 million..wherever the auction takes the house price.  We called immediately to go see the house.  A week later, we were in the house.  REHABTASTIC!  Awesome.  It did has some negatives but location was the key and if we got it at the right price we could right some of those wrongs.  Let me show you first rehab that would have been done.  The Carpet:

The good news was there was hard wood floors underneath.

source:  McCurdy Auctions

source: McCurdy Auctions

Here were the Pros of the House:

  • Big but not huge.  The picture looks really stately but its an old house so it really wasn’t that big.  Very manageable and one that we could grow into
  • Location, Location.  People give their right arm to get into this neighborhood.
  • This house needed lots of work so we knew it would not be valued the same as the other houses.  The houses around it were selling for much much higher than what we thought it would go for.  This had the potential (at the right price) to be a great investment.
  • I could make it my own.  Many of the houses in this neighborhood have been renovated.
  • It had built-ins and tons more built-ins.  Awesome
  • Character
  • Hardwood floors….everywhere.  They just needed to be refinished after we pulled up the carpet.
  • Large Rooms
  • It had Central Heat and Air.  Most of these old houses have radiant heat.  That was a huge cost we didn’t have to put into the house
  • It had a new roof.


  • The kitchn was a small galley kitchen.  These are expected in these homes.  People didn’t want big kitchens in the 1920s.  We were thinking of opening up the wall between the dining room and kitchen to make the kitchen feel more open.
  • One bathroom upstairs….no master bathroom.  There WAS room to put a master bathroom so we were thinking that would have to happen.
  • Three bedrooms.  I would like 4 to have room to grow with guests.  There was a study on the main floor that could have had a sleeper sofa for our guests.  There was also a bathroom off the study if we ever wanted to close make it a fourth bedroom.
  • House had the most awful textured plaster.  I don’t mind plaster but the texture was bad.  It is also extremely expensive and time-consuming to change to drywall.  This was almost the deal breaker but we thought we could change it over time and I had other ideas to camouflage it.
  • The house had old wiring.  We would have to fix this.  It would be a huge cost.

If the price was right the Pros far outweighed the Cons. IF THE PRICE WAS RIGHT being the key phrase.  We decided we were going to try for it.  We looked online to get the auction details and saw that my husband was going to be out of town that weekend….and he could not change it.  He looked at me and here was our convo:

Lee: “You can go and bid.”  

Me:  “WHAT!  I don’t know what I am doing.”

Lee:  “You can do it, I will help you.”

Me:   “I don’t think I can. What if I don’t understand them and put in a wrong bid.”

Lee:  “Just pay attention and ask the auctioneers what the bid is before you bid.  Come On, it’ll be good for you.”

Me:  “Okay, I will do it.”

So stay tuned until tomorrow.  I am going to tell you how little ole me almost bought this house.

Thanks for reading,





Last Friday I shared with you our first 13 steps to our kitchen rehab.  Here is how we finished this thing out.

while our floors were being sanded and stained….

Step 14 – Built the Fridge Cabinet

caudill kitchen 10,

Lee made this cabinet thanks to the help of younghouselove.  We didn’t use their exact tutorial because our fridge was not as wide, but it sure gave us direction.  There will be no post on this one because why re-create what younghouselove already did?  If you want to do this, check it out there. If you are wondering why part of it painted?  We originally were going to find a bigger cabinet to use here.  We couldn’t find one at a re-store and didn’t want to buy a new one.  (we are cheap)  Anyway, this cabinet was going to get discarded so it was our test cabinet for our first time spraying cabinets. We decided to use it after all, but it was already painted.

Step 15 – Stabilized and trimmed out the island

I can’t wait to post how we did this.  It was so easy.  This picture is in the in between stages and kind of blurry.  I will post more detailed pictures soon.

Step 16 – Painted the base cabinets, island, & fridge

We used a sprayer….I will never use a brush to paint cabinets again.  The finish is so much better using a sprayer.  We covered up the painted part of the newly built fridge cabinet.

caudill kitchen 9,


Caudill Kitchen 13,

Step 17 – Installed the base cabinets

Caudill kitchen 14,


In this step we also trimmed out the toe kick and added spacers to make the cabinets fit perfectly.  You will have to do this if you buy stock cabinets or re-use and relocate old cabinets.  Notice that we had to cut a hole for the vent in the sink cabinet.

Step 18 – Installed Upper Cabinets

Lee always uses a 2X4 to make a level resting spot while he drills the cabinet into the wall.  Make sure its level and place it where the bottom of the cabinet needs to be. He had already done it for the smaller cabinet and then removed it when it was secure and in place.

Caudill Kitchen 2,

We were originally going to put shelves below the cabinets but Lee wanted to leave that step for the new home owner if they wanted to do it.

Caudill Kitchen 8,


Step 19 – Measured and Ordered the Doors and Drawer Fronts

Here was the kitchen while we waited

Caudill Kitchen 6,


We wanted to clear space in the garage so we went ahead and put the appliances in.  We ordered them Black Friday, Lowes delivered them in March (after we delayed them every stinkin, week they called)  This picture was taken in July.  It was time for them to have their home.  If you look at the after pictures of our kitchen you will see that we added a spacer piece to the fridge cabinet to make it look seamless.

Caudill kitchen 12,

Step 20 – Ordered the Countertop

While we waited….

Step 21 – Painted and installed window and door trim

Step 22 – Installed the countertop

Actually, we had it installed.  We used Designer White Dupont Corian Countertop.  (note this picture is a little out of step.  I didn’t snap a photo because the countertop was installed white I was at work.   We had paper over them for about two more weeks after that and I didn’t take the effort to clear it all off to snap a photo in process.

Caudill Kitchen Countertop,

Step 23 – Tiled the backsplash

Why is there tape on the wall?  Funny story.  I will post soon!

Caudill Kitchen 4,

Here is the tile without grout.  I was pulling for gray grout.  The no grout shows what that would have looked like.

Caudill kitchen (6),

The hubs wanted white.  Guess who won that battle?  If it were my house there would have been gray.  White grout is universal and can be really bright.  I supported my hubby’s decision.,


Step 24 – Installed the sink and faucet

Caudill Kitchen After 9,

Step 25 – Painted the new drawers and doors

Here are the doors when they arrived!

Caudill Kitchen 1,


I will post all about this process because I have gotten many emails about how this went.  I WILL do it again.  It was not as scary as I thought it would be.  I will also post about spraying cabinets.  We have a few tricks up our sleeve that I want to share.

Caudill kitchen 7,

Step 26 – Installed the drawer fronts to the existing drawers.

Most of the drawers we kept and simply unscrewed the front to screw the new one on.  There were two drawers that we had to rebuild.  We just used scrap wood and the existing drawer slides.

Caudill Kitchen,


Step 24 – Made and installed the new pendant lights,


I can’t wait to post this project but I used these old pendants from the bathroom.  We also added the outlets, outlet covers and installed the other light fixtures.

Caudill Kitchen 5,

Step 25 – Installed the Doors

Caudill Kitchen After 7,


Step 26 – Added the hardware 

As you can see above, we added the hardware as we installed the doors.

Caudill Kitchen Cabinet 1,

Step 27 – Stepped back and soaked in the final product.

You can see the spacer piece we added to the fridge cabinet here.  ( I spoke of it in step 19)

  Caudill Kitchen After 3,

 I hope this helps you think through all the little steps it takes to make a kitchen happen.

Have a Happy Monday!



Today I wanted to show you all the steps it took to renovate the kitchen in the house we flipped.  Hopefully this can help you think through or plan out a kitchen renovation project.  Ours was a full house renovation so there might be a month or two between steps, but this is the order and steps we took to accomplishthis kitchen.

Caudill Kitchen After

Step 1 – Take it all in

We took pictures, got measurements, got bids on projects, and let the brainstorming and budgeting begin

Caudill Kitchen Before 2


Caudill Kitchen Before

Step 2 – Make a Plan

After bidding we knew what we wanted to spend so we made up a plan based on our budget., kitchen floor plan



Caudill Kitchen Floor Plan 3

Step 3 – Buy Appliances

We got this house thanksgiving week of 2012 so we went to Lowes to score a black friday deal.  We bought all four stainless steel appliances for $1800.  I listed this step on purpose.  When you are on a budget you have to get a deal when a deal exists…not when you need it. We would not really need appliances for about 6 months into the flip. We would have paid $2400 if we would have waited until we were ready.  Lowes actually held these for us until May, then we had to take them.  They were in the garage for two months.

Step 4 – Knock down the wall

We contracted this one out and found out during step 1 that this wall was load bearing.  We also had to have a HVAC guy come out and bid the HVAC before we could do this because there was an air return in this wall.  We had to get a plan for where it would move to.  A new HVAC system was already in the budget so we would have had him come anyway.  Our contractor gutted the existing wall:



Then he created two temporary walls and then knocked the real wall down.

We had to have part of a wall to support the beam.  We chose a 24 inch wall seperating the range side of the kitchen and the living room area.   We chose a depth would fit the depth of the cabinets perfectly. I think it created nice separation for the built-ins I am hoping the new owner will install.  We had to create the same thing on the dining room side, but it was a little bit bigger to fit the new return vent., wall between kitchen and living room


The beam went in nicely, load bearing beam in ceiling



Step 5 – Bye-Bye Soffits

We demoed the rest of the kitchen

Step 6 – Installed new windows and a new exterior door, kitchen renovation


Step 7 – Install/Move Electrical

The electrical wiring was an electrical mess in the soffits so our electrician cleaned it up and tucked it away (eventually but not in this picture) into the ceiling. We did not move outlets except for the microwave outlet.  We knew we were hanging the cabinets higher so it needed to be moved up a little.  Little decisions, such as this one, is the reason why I believe step 2 is crucial.  Executing a plan will give you a well thought out kitchen and keep you from having to go backwards rehab,

aaa, kitchen renovation

We installed three can lights following the aisles of the kitchen.  On the sink wall, two cans flanked each side of the window.  The window also had a centered sink light so we chose to flank the window creating light on each counter.  The range side of the kitchen had a can light centered.  The range side was too small for two can lights.  I knew that the task lighting under the microwave would also help to light that area while cooking.  Putting the cabinetry back temporarily, helped us decide not only aisle space but also where the lights should go.  We started by just taping.   You can see in the picture above where we originally thought the island should go.  I am so thankful we moved the island back in, because it helped us see that the kitchen would be too cramped where the tape was placed for the island.  We wanted a good amount of space for doors to be open while fridge door was open, while cooks are cooking,  so we moved the island back.   One other electrical change was to move the sink light up to the ceiling.  It was formerly located in the soffit above the sink., kitchen renovation

Another benefit of bringing in the makeshift island so we could place two pendants evenly over the island.  We placed a broken wall cabinet on the end because we thought we were going to add a bookcase on the end the depth of the wall cabinet.  It made the island too big so we decided against it.  (More on this soon)  I added the scrap plywood to simulate the countertop and its actual overage for stools.  The island size, counter width, and counter depth helped us mark the perfect place for the two pendant lights to be centered and functional.  The electrician added wire and installed the light box., kitchen renovation

Step 8 – Popped some popcorn

Not really.  Instead we peeled the popcorn off the existing drywall.  We laid plastic everywhere for easy clean up.

Popcorn ceiling removal,

Step 9 - Dry Wall

We insulated where it was needed, patched the ceiling, sheet rocked the kitchen, and textured it.  It all looked so much more clean!

The kitchen


Step 10 – Paint Party Time

We painted the wall.  No floor, no trim…Easy!  You don’t even have to tape or cut in.  This is my favorite type of painting.

Step 11 – Installed the wood floor

The wood floor was ordered two weeks before we were ready for it to be installed.  A raw wood floor, unlike an engineered hardwood, needs to sit in the environment it will be installed in for a couple of weeks to acclimate.  If you don’t do this you run the risk of your wood floor, when it does acclimate,  either expanding of retracting. Expanding causes buckling of floors, retracting creates gaps.  You pay way to much for this type of floor so be patient and take time for the wood to acclimate.   We had already installed the HVAC system to make sure we created the actual environment for the floors to acclimate.  We bought the hardwood from a supplier and then contracted installation and stain out.  The wood you see against the wall is the wood for the stair tread.  Our installer’s method is to stain the stair treads before installing them.  Whatever works!, ash wood floors

Step 12 – Stain the wood floor

I had no part in this work except adoring it when it was done.

ash wood floors, jacobean stain,

Step 13 – Find a new upper cabinet

As you can see in step 7 we had a demo casualty with one of the upper cabinets.  It would have been more work to fix it so we kept checking at the Re-store until a 24 inch wide upper cabinet arrived.  When it did, we snatched it up.  We were ordering new doors and painting the cabinetry, so it didn’t matter the style of door.  It had to be paintable, and standard depth and height. We found one that fit the bill and bought it for a whopping $10.

This is all for today, stay tuned on Monday for the rest of the steps.  We are getting into the fun stuff soon.  Have a great weekend!


Thanks for reading,






Wedding Pie

Jennifer —  October 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

Today I want to share with you  how I set up the wedding pie table for a vintage flea market style wedding reception.  Next week, on Wedding Wednesday, I will share how you can  save a TON of money on your wedding cake or pie (if that is your flavor) doing something like this.  Last week I shared pictures from the wedding reception I decorated in August.  The bride’s family is known for their pies.  Yum!  She didn’t want wedding cake, she wanted pies., flea market wedding

Carissa, the bride, and her family had been collecting all sorts of vintage decor. She gave me full creative license on this pie table.  I had an idea in my head and started rooting through all she brought me.  The table is a large conference room table that was in the airport.  We created a layered look with a lace table-cloth, a yellow gingham table-cloth, and a burlap runner.  When Carissa told me that she wanted pies I asked her to collect lots of cake stands.  I knew that I wanted all the pies to be on different levels so a scavenged the decor stack to see what I could find.  This table actually evolved during my decorating day.  The pies didn’t arrive until later but I would just walk by the table and add some height, or I would find something in the decor stack that I like better and switch something out.

pie wedding table,

Here are the things that I used:

  1. I used all sorts of cake stands that she had collected.  The biggest one merited a spot in the middle as the Bride and Groom’s pie.  The cake stands were all different heights but putting them all on the table by themselves looked a little boring so…
  2. I used stacks of vintage books.  Some pies (like #2 in the picture) were on a simple stack of books.  I also used vintage books to place under a pie stand.
  3. I used a large wooden box I had in my garage.  I found it at a thrift store and used them for the cupcake stand in this wedding.
  4. If you look at #4 you will see I covered a stable, shallow plastic bin with burlap.  It was used to bring stuff in and was never intended to be decor…until I needed it.
  5. I had so many coffee cans left over from the centerpieces that I just grabbed one and wrapped some burlap around it.  It was wide enough and sturdy to hold the pie.
  6. I found a wooden crate and covered it with a vintage lace table runner.
  7. My last little addition to the table was to flip a wicker basket upside down and place a pie on top of the basket.

One of each of the flavors of pie where laying on the table.  Most people will take a piece from the pie on the table.  You will see a little lower in the post, this was my strategy and the people refilling would move pies forward and replace the ones in the middle or back.  I filled the rest of the table with the Pie sign ( a frame with painted burlap), a lantern, and the cool looking lamp.  The table was right next to an outlet so the lamp actually turned on.  The table was really cool when all the little tea lights were flickering and the lamp light was on.  The bowl was filled with wonderful whip creme that people could dollop on their pie.   Here is a closer look:, flea market wedding, flea market wedding

A wedding reception table can be pretty but it MUST be functional.  There were 350-400 people to be line to get a slice of pie, so I had to think through function in the design. This was of utmost importance.  What you see on the table was the exact amount of pies on the table the entire night.  What is on the table is obviously NOT enough pies for 400 people.  There was NO kitchen in this venue so we had to store the extra pies close to the table.  It would have been a nightmare carrying pies back and forth even if there was a kitchen.  The bride’s family has a bakery cooling rack in their inn, so we brought it in and placed the extra pies on the trays of the rack.   I placed the rack behind the table against the wall and leaned a door up against it to hide it.  I took the pictures during the daylight so you can see the rack behind the burlap covered window of the door.  At night in the twinkle light of the room, the rack was hidden.

pie table, wedding reception,

I almost chose to display the rack because it looked cool and vintage but I liked the door better.  Carissa had a few people help to replace the pies during the reception.  When there was none to replace, they could sit in the little bench., flea market wedding

Here are some serving tips:

  • Make sure everything you use to add height is stable and can hold the pies while people are scooping out their piece of pie.
  • Have the pies already cut.  Like any wedding cake, we didn’t cut until after the bride and groom had cut their piece the photographer could take lots of pictures.  What we did BEFORE the reception was cut all the pies in the back.  After the bride and groom had cut theirs and the photos were taken, we replaced all these uncut pies with a cut version, and of course cut these pies.  No pies were just for show.
  • Create a system of bringing the back pie forward.  We made sure there was an easier to reach version of the pie in the back.  When a new one was needed the two people working the table would move the back pie forward and replace the pie in the back.
  • Cut the pieces into small slivers.  With so many options to choose from, people want to try different types so they will want small pieces.  Three small slivers made up one piece of pie for me! Okay, maybe it was actually four slivers.
  • You don’t need as many pie servers as you think.  We had five types of pie so I made sure we had 6-7 servers.  I placed the servers in places where one server could serve all the same types of pies.  No chocolate in the lemon pie. Carissa’s grandmother, the pie matriarch, would have come after me if there was pumpkin in the lemon pie or raspberry in the pecan pie. Two or three of the same pies were placed in close proximity to each other to help with no cross-pie contamination.

This was a yummy deviation from the normal wedding cake scene and I loved it.  In this day and age anything goes in weddings.  Wedding are meant to have special meaning and pies are special to Carissa’s family.  If you are ever in Branson Missouri eat at the Bradford Eatery and you will see why it is so special.

Thanks for reading,




The Details of Details

Jennifer —  October 7, 2013 — 3 Comments

Today I thought I would take you through all the nitty-gritty details of what this kitchen looks like.  I plan on posting  how we did some of these things in different posts.  First of all, when we flip a house we budget entire projects before we set room budgets.  For example, we set a “flooring budget” that includes flooring for every room.  We set a “Drywall”, “Wall Paint”, “Electrical”, and “Trim”, budget for the entire house.  A room budget only has things specific to that room such as “kitchen cabinets” or “kitchen appliances.”  I tell you this because I will be giving you estimates on whatsome of the things cost in this room.  I can tell you exactly on some projects but things like drywall cost, might be a little trickier because I know how much it cost for the entire house.  Our goal was to transform this room for about $4K-$5K (after budgeting all the “whole house” projects like the ones listed above).  This means the room rehab was probably about $6K-$7K if you count flooring, drywall, window, trim, and lighting.  Enough about all that.  Here is the kitchen while standing in the living room.  Our goal was bright and open., Grey and white Kitchen


Lighting was a huge decision in this room.  We wanted can lights to brighten the room, we upcycled the pendants we pulled out of the bathroom, and I DIYed a school light fixture for over the sink.

Caudill Kitchen After 3

Here is the view of the kitchen when you walk in the front door.

Caudill Kitchen After

We got rid of the soffits to make the ceiling look taller.  We couldn’t increase the kitchen square footage but we could make it look bigger by making it look taller.  We hung the cabinets just a tad bit higher than normal.

Caudill Kitchen After 2

My initial idea was to add white or stained wood open shelving underneath the cabinet.  Just one shelf like this or this picture.  We actually were going to do this but my hubbie talked me into leaving it “unshelved” due drilling into the tile.  Believe me, tile drilling doesn’t scare us, but its pretty permanent for those who might not want it.  We left it where you can add it if you want to or leave it as is.  The sink above was a $99 deep stainless steel sink.  The faucet we got all together with our bathroom faucets.  I wanted a tall faucet with a pull out sprayer.  I believe it was $99.  You can negotiate more discounts when you by them all together

Caudill Kitchen After 9  We used the existing cabinets but ordered all new drawer fronts and doors.

Caudill Kitchen After 7


We will do this again. I don’t know where or when, but I was super impressed how easy it was to order doors.   The total cost for the MDF (paintable only) doors and drawer fronts was $900.  That included shipping.  To replace every cabinet with this style of new cabinets would have cost around $3000-$5000.  The knobs were on sale at Lowes.  The knobs were $.97 and the pulls were $1.03.  Of course I would’ve picked something a little larger but when you flip you want the best bang for your buck.

Caudill Kitchen Cabinet 1

We just flipped the island around and trimmed it out.  Click here to see where it was.  It has room for three larger bar stools or 4 smaller.  T

Caudill Kitchen 5

Lee built a fridge cabinet for $130. It wasn’t need it but it made the kitchen look more custom:

Caudill Kitchen After 6

We had to use spacers and fillers to make these cabinets fit and be centered, but wood filler, caulk and paint hide it well.  We had to purchase all new appliances.  We bought the house in early November and cashed in a stellar deal on Black Friday.  All four stainless steel appliances for $1800.  The tile was the cheapest part of the project. We used $.16 white American Olean tiles in a brick pattern.  I wanted grey grout…Lee wanted white.  I let him win this battle because it was not my house.

Caudill Kitchen After 10

For the counters we chose white Corian.  The neighborhood comps suggested higher end than laminate and Corian was more cost-effective than granite or quartz.  The pantry for this kitchen is the door you see in the laundry room.  It is a nice deep closet.  It is bigger than any pantry I have ever had.

Caudill Kitchen Countertop

Finally, here is where the kitchen/dining room table would go.  I grabbed a stainless steel barn light at Lowes for $19.  This space merits a really fun pendant, but that is for the new owner to pick out.  I am just picturing a long buffet with large pieces or art, or maybe some built ins with glass doors on the upper cabinets, or maybe incorporate this moodboard idea I gave a reader.

Caudill Kitchen Dining Area

There is our massive kitchen renovation.  Friday I will post the time line to get this all done.

Have a great Monday!

Thanks for reading,



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