Most people refer to the “heart of the home” as the kitchen, and for good reason. However, the first thing you see when you walk into my house is the mudroom, and its honestly the space that gets the most action. We moved into our house about fifteen months ago, and ever since we first walked through the house, I wanted to make the mudroom/laundry room more functional. Not only did I want to add more storage, I wanted the room to be an area that I was proud to welcome people into when showing them our home.
As you can see, before I started the project our mudroom worked on many levels but it was very boring and it seemed to get cluttered easily. After completing some other more important projects on our home during the first year, I knew this summer was the time to tackle this space.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then I nominate the laundry room as the all-important hands and feet. This is the space that keeps things running and moving: a clean clothing command center that helps us process the moving parts that keeps us sane each week.
When it came time to redo our laundry room, giving it the proper respect deserved by such an important space, we knew we wanted to do everything we could to de-beige-ify the space. And that certainly meant changing out the lovely, worn out faux-stone sheet floor you see here.
Ideally, a laundry room would belong in one of the more private sections of your house – a space to do the behind-the-scenes work of running a home, fold unmentionables, and stash things that simply have no where else to go.
In our house, it's in the dead center of activity. Because of plumbing and venting access, it's the first thing you see when you walk down the stairs into our basement, and in addition to our kitchen and dining room, our basement has become the heart of our home. There, both my wife and I have our own offices where we welcome business collaborators, take meetings, and do video
For the last couple of years, I've been mostly set on woodworking tools. I've been collecting my large, stationary machines for nearly ten years now, and although I do plan to upgrade a few of them, I've been able to accomplish most of what I've set out to do with a little creativity and patience.
The one standard machine that's been missing from my shop is: the jointer. I knew I didn't want to buy a tiny benchtop machine, or even a too-small 6" model. I told myself I'd wait until I was in my "forever" shop, then get the machine I wanted; one I could use for the rest of my life.
Once we bought our house last year, I started a Craigslist alert, and painfully watched every listing from ubiqituous Harbor Freight tools to overpriced secondhand things from people who have no idea that what things are actually worth.
Over the last eighteen months, only a few 8" models even came up for sale. The woodworking community in my town snatched them up as soon as they were listed, and so I waited. And waited.
And then - enter this Delta DJ20. Built in the 80s when machines were machines. Complete with parallelogram beds, dead flat and coplaner tables, and an awesome fence, this was being offered at less than the price than the new Grizzly it's based on, plus no shipping, no assembly or degreasing, and it came with a mobile base.
I made my offer, went to check it out, and - boom! - I'm now the owner of a vintage 8" Delta jointer.
When I built out my basement shop space last fall/winter, there remained a couple of unfinished spots that I knew I'd need to deal with. Case in point: this obscure glass window. (This half of the shop was intended to be a bathroom, and this would have sat right over the tub.)
Last week, I got a new, very large, very heavy stationary woodworking machine (more on that soon), which I'd planned to store right along this wall. So, I figured if I didn't trim it out now, I'd never do it, and it'd look exactly the same in twenty years.
So, I got to work. And it was kind of a disaster.
This post was sponsored by KILZ, a brand that believes in makers and dream-shop builders everywhere. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade.
A few years ago, if you'd asked me which tool I thought was the most important, I'd probably have punted, wavered a bit, and never decided on a single item. There are too many cool tools, and too many essential ones I use on every project. But if you'd asked me the same question last month, my answer would have been decidedly clear, and much more informed by a different kind of personal experience:
This post is brought to you in partnership with Kwikset
My earliest memory is of a pillow fort. Or perhaps, more accurately, a blanket tent. My first post-crib sleeping situation was this great set of bunkbeds, with the top and bottom set perpendicular to each other, in an L-shape. A dresser, twice my height, was nestled in the empty space, creating a sweet three-sided “cave” underneath where I lay my head. A blanket stretched from top bunk to the foot of the bed made a secret lair where I’d snuggle in my Garfield sleeping bag, tape up crayon pictures on the wall, and transport myself to a pirate ship, a space shuttle, a submarine, or
Harry Love is a professional musician, DJ, and collector. Which means...he had a lot of records. Like a lot of records. Records in his studio, records in the hallway, records in the bathroom, records he had to move aside to make toast.
There's no better way to say: I freaking love projects like this. Reddit user mxmln23 used the case from a stylish vintage radio, and did some clever hacking that allows it to become a wireless speaker that can stream from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player, Apple Airtunes, web radio stations, and Last.FM.
This isn't the first multi-person transit vehicle-turned-personal road trip travel home makeover project I've shared, and it probably won't be the last. Why? Cause I always think this is a great idea.
A Second Chance for Secondhand: A Guide to Giving Used Furniture a Complete Makeover (with Help from Valspar)
Buying used furniture is a bit of an art. It takes a practiced eye to know what's well-built, has good lines, or simply isn't worth your time and money. But it feels pretty awesome to find a diamond in the rough and turn it into a polished gem.
This month we got inspired by Ace Hardware's 31 Days of Color and decided to bring you our Total Newbie's Getting-Started Guide to Fixing Up Old Furniture. We'll tell you what to look for in a used piece, how to spot something with great potential, and even walk you through the basics of a furniture makeover (including help choosing the right color).
The kitchen is the center of the home. It's arguably the most important room in the house, and, for many of us, it's the room that gets the most use. Unfortunately, my kitchen was kind of a bummer. Like the weird roommate you got stuck with your freshman year of college - you know, the one who never left the room and sort of started to blend into the beige cinderblock walls after awhile - that was my kitchen.
We love a good furniture makeover, but we're even more excited by repurposing totally unrelated objects into practical items you can use in the home. ManMade reader Braden sent us a picture on Instagram with a "Hey, I think you'll like this project." Well, we did, so we asked Braden to walk us through it. Here's what he had to say.
Here's an interesting take on a makeover project. Ben took his Hario gooseneck kettle, noted its striking shape, and decided the black plastic handles would like quite a bit better in a bold solid walnut.
And? He was totally right.
What do you do when you're a hunting enthusiast craving the comforts of your warm log cabin but all you have is a dingy storage room in your basement? Gather up some spare wood and a heap of imagination and prepare to build a mind-blowing, compact-sized outdoor lodge.
Friends, it's time to get rid of that tacky, huge plastic salt container from Costco, and upgrade your seasonings with this five minute project.
Before the era of everything-is-made-of-plastic sewing machines, these helpful tools were created from long-lasting materials designed to stand up to any project and the test of time, namely: metal. And the cases, while usually covered in some once-stylish but now worn vinyl are often made from wood.
Another great IKEA hack, gentleman! This time a classic, stripe-y beach chair gets flipped into a modern lounge chair, while keeping things affordable.
The DIY blogosphere is rife with dresser makeovers. Like, completely full of them. And most involve some rescued thrift store piece, dinged up and the wooden finish too 70s to bear, which gets sanded, painted, and perhaps something graphic or colorful applied to the drawers. It's a great trick, practical, useful, and affordable, and you can find a million tutorials on how to go about it.
If you've spent any amount of time on the DIY or design blogosphere, you've likely seen plenty of these vintage camper rehab projects, where an old shabby Airstream or bus becomes some usable live/work/travel space for some enterprising young individuals ready to go on an adventure.