Basement Entry Doors

I blinked my eyes, and suddenly a month has gone by without a single post.
Oh, well. Who’s paying attention, anyway?

About the time of my last post, a not-so-fun, but desperately-needed-to-be-done project was finally completed (well, mostly, anyway… we rarely ever completely complete anything around here).

Up until last November, our exterior basement doors looked like this:

Priiiitty bad, right?

We had a contractor come out earlier in the year to give us a quote for replacement doors, but Tim was pretty confident he could make something decent for a fraction of the quoted price, so…


He built a frame, and fashioned two doors from tongue and groove board.
Then he primed, painted (Benjamin Moore Aura “Soot”)

…and suddenly the weather got too cold to paint the second coat.
So, he had to wait ’til spring to finish.

As for hardware, the original hinges (or pretty old ones, anyway) were still kickin’, so there was no need to get new ones.

And here’s the end result:

Not too shabby, eh?

However (isn’t there always a however?), you may notice that the doors appear one shade bluer/lighter than the outside edge. Well, we underestimated how much paint the job would require, and ended up needing an additional can… which, as we expected, did not quite match the first one. You know how it is — just off enough to cause a slight but persistent annoyance. :)

To end on an up-note, let’s see that always dramatic before and after:

Whoo hoo!

Now we’re on to our next project — giving our back door an overhaul.
What about you guys? Have any exterior projects in the works or in the wings?

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Kitchen Runner (on the Cheap)

For the longest time, I had been casually looking for a runner for our kitchen. You know, just a simple cotton rug, about 2′ x 9′? You wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find. But it had been over four years, for goodness’ sake! I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would have to bite the bullet and pay $99 (plus shipping) to Pottery Barn for a rag rug runner (say that 15 times, fast!). But I kept pushing it off (I’m really good at that), and now it turns out that PB doesn’t even stock cotton runners anymore! Oh well, no matter, I’ve found an alternative solution — and a budget-friendly one, at that!

Enter the reliable, hard-working (and only $3.99!) SIGNE rug from IKEA (we have four others in our house, so we are well acquainted). Because IKEA’s stock of these little rugs is constantly changing, we find a different selection of colors and stripe patterns upon each visit to the store. On a recent trip, I spied a rug with kelly green, olive, and black stripes on the typical SIGNE-cream background. I quickly grabbed it, thinking, “this just might work in our kitchen!”. At that point, I was so excited to see a rug that potentially matched the kitchen, I didn’t even think of the runner idea. But a week or so later, it hit me, and we returned to IKEA, fingers crossed. Luckily, there were exactly three rugs left in that color combo!

I don’t have a sewing machine, so during a recent visit to my parents house, my sister Amy and I retreated to the basement and put the thing together. Here’s how we did it:


1. We cut the fringe off one side of two of the rugs, and both sides of one rug.


2. Then we ran the cut edges through a serger three or four times using black thread (we were trying to approximate the width of the black stripes on the rug).


3. The three pieces were pinned together so the serged edges aligned with an existing stripe on the rug.


4. Finally, we sewed the pieces together using a heavy-duty needle and a zig zag stitch. We used black thread for the top, and either cream or olive in the bobbin, depending on where the back of the stitch lined up. We did that so the rug would be reversible.

Lest anyone think this was a flawless process, here’s evidence otherwise.

In this case, we had black thread in the bobbin, but the bottom stripe was olive (not to mention the stitching was misaligned). Ugh, ripping out stitches…

Oh, well, it’s not perfect, but it looks good from here…and it cost a total of $12.69 including tax!!!