Archive | February, 2011

Doggie-Door & Side-Gate Install

23 Feb

Last month, for my birthday, my older-younger brother (I have two younger brothers) gifted me the service of installing a doggie-door!  It’s definitely a sign of aging when you request services rather than things and stuff for your birthdays (just a side-note).  Anyhow, this was a quick and fairly easy project with only a couple of hitches that we needed to work around.

 First, the side of the house had to be blocked off – the backyard has a chain-link fence that is located several feet back from the kitchen door (which would allow for the dogs to run out into the front-yard – no bueno!), so it was either bring the fence up closer to the front of the house, or just add a simple fencing solution and create a sort of penned area on this side of the house… as you can see in the picture below, I went the latter, lazier option, but it works.  These are just two simple garden gates bought from Lowe’s that required only sledge-hammering in a couple stakes into the ground and then inserting a pole through a top and bottom hole on each side of the gate.  Probably not the best looking solution out there, but it was definitely a cheap one.  I mean these are only 7 – 8 pound chihuahua’s that we’re dealing with here – since this project has been completed we have welcomed a second female chihuahua pup into the family whom Olive has decided to call “Peanut”.

So moving right along… After following the manufacturers instructions, I used the included template to mark where the hole needed to be cut (they recommend measuring the lenght from the floor to the top of the dog’s chest to know where to mark your outline).  Using this hand-dandy little saw, Jonathan (the afore-mentioned brother of mine) went-a-cutting-away…

YAY, a hole in the door!

Next, he caulked and screwed the doggie-door in place and then added weather-stripping around the top part of it where the actual door is slightly recessed, and then caulked around all of that…

(EWWW, please excuse the extremely dirty door, YIKES!)

Not too shabby! Looks pretty darn good to me!

We had to coax Bitsy and hold the flap up at first for her to come through the door, but since the arrival of Peanut (who uses the door like a pro) Bitsy is no longer timid. 

I love having this door, it is so much more convenient than having to take the dogs out to the backyard every time they want/need letting out.  Also, even though they are paper-trained, it has cut-back on the amount of “going” they do on the papers, which is also very refreshing to say the least!

Appologies for the blurry pics, one of my resolutions for this year was to only use the manual settings on my DSLR, so this was one of my first goes at doing that, they’ve gotten better since 🙂

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Less is More Quick Change

18 Feb

This was one of those instances where a quick-fix solution was needed more than a well thought-out plan-of-action.  I removed four cabinet doors from the built-in pantry a few weeks ago just on a whim because I knew I didn’t like looking at all those cabinet doors anymore and I definitely knew I was tired of closing them every time I walked through the kitchen – as you can see the darn things never stay closed!

So I took inventory of everything that was hidden behind each door and came to the conclusion that the above four doors were probably the ones that could stand to be removed the most.  It would keep things symmetrical and also give me space to showcase some of my favorite kitchen kitschy items.  All the other doors are actually functioning purposefully, hiding such things as medicines, brooms, light bulbs, mismatched pots and pans, etc….

So off with the doors:

Ahhh, things are starting to feel more airy already! 

Next I hammered off the middle slat of wood (demolition, woo hoo!) and then spackled over the nail and screw holes and all the other blemishes left behind from the hardware removal:

And voila! Some pretty spacey, open-shelving – nice!  Things like this make me happy, excited – not sure why, they just do.

So now that we’ve been living with the open-shelving for a few weeks, I can say that the kitchen definitely feels more open and less stuffy – crazy how a very small change can make such a big difference.  I’m still debating on whether or not to remove the four bottom doors leaving open-shelving for all the pots and pans and other odds and ends hidden under there, that’s still up in the air.  But what I do know for sure is that a paint color needs to be chosen and those very bland (and dingy-looking) cabinet shelves and doors most definitely need a little TLC paint-lift – maybe a project for this summer?  

Have you made any quick and easy changes around the house that have made a big impact on the surrounding space?  Please do tell!

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