Our porch update is one step closer to being done-like-dinner! After stripping out the carpet, painting the walls, ceiling, and floor, I started hunting for a storage solution to help take us from this to this:

Before and After Porch

The kicker? It had to cost zero dollars. While I believe that good storage is worth spending a little money on, right now we are in a super financial crunch as Jeff prepares to head back to school in September and we save for a much needed new roof.

Thankfully, I am a Kijiji wizard (are you in the club too?) and after a week of watching ads I found a local family offering a JYSK wardrobe for free. Score! The caveat? As you would expect from a free wardrobe, it isn’t the best quality. While it’s in good shape, what looks like pine, is actually a pine sticker on particle board. But… literal beggars can’t be choosy. So, I set about sprucing it up a bit. Thankfully, we have tons of leftover paint from all of our projects and I had a set of extra glass knobs stashed away from the condo rehab in 2012.

The pretend pine:

A bit of primer:

A bit of paint:
painted drawer

And, the addition of a super awesome combi-cam-lock had the freebie looking pretty darn good.

The porch itself locks, but in case we forget, the cam-lock gives us piece of mind to know our stuff is safe from anyone who “pops by.” Plus, it’s great that you don’t need to go hunting for a key every time you need something.

The cabinet is large enough for hockey or golf “stuff” (depending on the season) along with various odds and sods. I didn’t paint the inside of the cabinet because I felt that scratching or scuffing was inevitable.
storage 1

It has made a huge difference to have all of our “stuff” tucked away into the wardrobe. Not to mention finally having a place to hang the dog leash. The porch just feels much more organized and clean.

Any zero-cost projects making you feel like a champ this week?

Anyone remember when our kitchen ceiling looked like this?

ceiling drop

Yikes! That’s a drop ceiling that, just outside of the photo frame, was affixed with drywall screws to a sagging plaster ceiling. It also featured some dingy water stains – I’ll spare you another rant about boob-lights. Thankfully, the drop ceiling came down in spring 2012 while we started prepping for our bathroom renovation, leaving us with what I’ve decided to term, “Open-Concept Grunge.”

Removed Plaster Ceiling

Fast forward A YEAR, and we finally got around to putting in some updated lighting and drywall:

Bright ceiling

The new lights had an instant payoff — they make the room feel 10x bigger and brighter. But then… came the sanding. Can I just say, I really, really, really, really hate sanding.

sandingsucks copy

It takes forever and makes a huge mess (dusty footprints all over the house!). So, let’s flip past all of the sweaty, dusty sanding and just pretend it never happened. My story? I gave the plaster a dirty look, and *poof* it instantly looked like this:

potlights installed

The keeners among us will also notice a new colour on the walls. We went from a mocha-beige to a light and airy blue-grey and we’re loving it! WAY back in January, I won a can of PARA paint through their Freebie Friday contest and this felt like the perfect place to use it. We’ve also given the ceiling a coat of primer and flat white paint.  ceiling and walls finished

I love how well the wall colour marries with the dining and living room. Plus, having the ceiling finished makes the kitchen finally feel like a real room again. Hallelujah!

Hopefully I’ll have our post on adding crown molding to the top of the cabinets (the final step in the kitchen… for now!) prepped for next week, so stay tuned.

Happy Friday!