Thursday, March 25, 2010

Home improvement

My latest project:

Old door from our basement

As you know, if you've been paying attention, my house has ONE closet and that was perfectly adequate for the six of us until lately when my daughters became teenagers and developed insatiable appetites for clothes and are now able to supplement their wardrobes with their babysitting money.

An upscale children's furniture company called Land of Nod used to sell fabulous armoires made from antique doors:

It was on my list of things to buy one day, but then some do-gooding nancypants got upset about lead paint and the armoires were recalled. Lead paint? Please. My entire house is marinating in lead paint. I don't think one armoire door will make any difference. And you might think that the used furniture market would be flooded with these armoires: "I'll sell it to you for $3.00 because it's contaminated with lead paint!" Only you can think again, because I saw only one for sale and that's Seattle and they expect you to pick it up yourself. I guess all these armoire owners are relieved they got theirs before the recall went into effect.

But then I remembered that I have a stack of these old doors in my very own basement. Thus, I found myself sitting in my car in a shady neighborhood of Charlottesville, working up the courage to enter the workshop of a cabinet maker. The building was one of those corrugated iron warehouse-type places with various unmarked doors and no telling which one was the cabinet maker and not the guy who strangles live bunnies or sells stolen cars. I got the right door on the first try and the man inside, although clearly somewhat nonplussed by surprise visitors, was also clearly a furniture maker and he agreed to make me an armoire.

I dragged the door out of the basement myself--it weighs at least eighty pounds, probably more like one-twenty--and realized it needs some TLC before I take it to the cabinet maker, so I am cleaning it and will take it to him next week, and soon my girls will no longer have an excuse for all the clothes thrown all over their bedroom floor.

My other project is a new kitchen window. This window, a cheap replacement for the original, sucks, not only because the storm window broke and freezing air has leaked into my kitchen all winter, but also because in order to open or close it you need to climb up onto the sink and that's a pain. I went to the Pella dealer for estimates and now I have to find someone who will install it.

The sucky old window

What's your latest project?


  1. We just completely re-did our home office, even though we've lived in this house for 13 months. Our original set-up just was not working for us, so we built a new desk that functions much better.

    I've also been working on our pantry, which was no longer used for just food storage, but also included all sorts of non-food stuff.

    I don't think the projects ever end.

  2. I don't actually do projects. I live vicariously through others' projects.

  3. I love the old door armoire idea!

  4. Old doors are so awesome. Good for you to take on this project!
    Our latest is redoing the back patio and adding a brick grill. Cha-ching.

  5. I'm living in a half finished house with my partner right now. It's been...interesting. He's sanding the walls right now. Got to love that dust that's almost impossible to clean up completely.

  6. If the door alone weighs 120... how are you going to get the finished armoire upstairs? Practical is my middle name.

  7. We can take the door off before we carry it upstairs. Plus, the door is too tall, as is, so he's lopping off the first panel, so that ought to take off some weight.

  8. Conduct a yearly maintenance inspection of your home, checking critical areas like the roof, home improvement

  9. The building beside IKEA is going through finishing touches. Although no official announcement has been made by the developer, steam shower spray