Window Seat and Wardrobes
Masterminds: Jennifer Flores, who comes up with designs that her husband, Sean Stanwick, executes for their 1950s home, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They chronicle the results at ramblingrenovators.blogspot.com.
Inspiration: "I always wanted a window seat when I was a girl, andI imagined sitting on one with our daughter in her nursery, " says Jennifer. "The room also had no closets, so we needed to add storage."
How They Did It: Rather than frame out closets alongside the seat, Jennifer and Sean bought two wardrobe units from IKEA. "We like ready-made things that we can customize," says Jennifer. For the seat, which hides an under-window radiator, they used ¾-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and perforated wood panels that allow heat to pass through. A cushion on top turns it into a comfy perch. To make it all look like one big built-in, the couple painted the seat, the wardrobes, and a new ceiling-height shelf in the same creamy white.
What it cost: $500 for the wardrobes, a 4-by-8-foot sheetof MDF, a 4-by-3-foot sheet of perforated wood, a custom cushion, shelf boards, paint, glue, and caulk
RELATED: How to Build a Window Seat With Stock Cabinets
2. Shipping-Pallet Headboard
Masterminds: Dustin and Whitney Barrington, who bought a tumbledown house in San Diego, California, and taught themselves how to fix it up. They show off their work attheroosterandthehen.com.
Inspiration: "We wanted a floor-to-ceiling headboard to give our bedroom a loftier feel," says Dustin, "and we loved the idea of making it out of rustic and worn-looking wood from shipping pallets."
How They Did It: By putting in about 5 hours of actual work and 10 hours of stealth-hunting for the 15 pallets required to make the headboard. Before nailing the pallet boards to their bedroom wall, Whitney and Dustin whitewashed them with a mix of latex and water. The new finish highlights the wood's grain pattern and knots, and gives the disparate pieces a unified look. See the 3-step how to here.
What It Cost: $3.50 for nails; the pallets were free, and the paint was left over from another project
RELATED: How to Obtain, Prep, and Use Wood Pallets
3. Wall-Mounted Drying Rack
Mastermind: Kate Riley, an attorney who left her practice to fix up her home in California's wine country and details the transformation atcentsationalgirl.com.
inspiration: "I wanted a dedicated area in my laundry room to drip-dry delicates. When I spotted a pricey drop-down rack in a catalog, I thought, I could make that, and it would be better and cheaper!"
How She Did It: Kate sketched a design to suit her needs, making the rack smaller than the one she'd seen and adding knobs at the bottom for hangers. She spray-painted the plywood back a watery blue-green for a hit of color against her white walls.
What It Cost: $25 for wood, knobs, and hardware; the paint was left over from another project
SEE ALL: Home Bloggers' Crafty Ways to Save