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Category Archives: House Tour

How To Make a Space Saving Sliding Utility Wall

Laundry Room Space Saver Cheltenham RoadAs you may have gathered from my last post I want everything to slide out.Pull Out Slide for ShoesChletenham Road Slide Out Shelves for Pantry Makeover Read the rest of this entry

It’s All About Storage – Pantry Makeover Update

It’s All About Storage – Pantry Makeover Update

The Great Pantry Makeover is done……almost.

Have you noticed that all my room makeover posts contain the words “almost” and “sorta?”

But really, is any room ever truly “done” in a house?  (I’m gonna say “no” because that makes me look less like a flake and more like a “it’s all about flow and change” kinda guy.) Read the rest of this entry

It Has Begun

Well, I think I’ve found my superpower.

All I did was audition for a role on Ben & Kate and it was promptly cancelled.  In the past I had to actually appear on the program (Terminator, Free Agents, Kath & Kim etc) to bring about its demise but now apparently my powers are growing.  I should probably start targeting shows I don’t like…….is Honey Boo-Boo auditioning?

In other potentially disastrous endeavors

As you know my house was a bit…iffy when I bought it.

 The chief offenders were the kitchenkitchen before

 and the main bathroom.Bathroom -- before

Both are now looking pretty good.Kitchen and Bathroom After Remodel

 Next on the list are the laundry room and its neighboring bathroom.  Both rooms have been pretty untouched since I moved in.Laundry Room BeforeOK, untouched except for paint.  Yes, I painted it that color.The other corner

See – the whole house was very dingy looking and I thought yellow would make the room brighter which it did.  It was like a very bright clown car.  A bright, cluttered clown car.

I’ve been kind of fantasizing what it might look like.  Maybe these!Fantasy Laundry Room 1organized-open-pantry-shelvingIt would definitely be organized like this!6051780719694723_Mkb7NBqi_cBut to accomplish those kind of makeovers I would really need to gut it all and try again (Seriously there are, no lie, 5 doors in about 12 feet of space.  Walking from the kitchen through to the front bedroom is like the opening credits of Get Smart).

Tragically, I have not sold enough coasters to pull that off.

So…. Plan B!

I’ll paint it, clean it, organize it and see if I can do some makeover magic on some cheap cabinets.  The goal is to make it look like an extension of the kitchen – a sort of a butler’s pantry for a house where no butler has ever set foot.

It’s gonna take a while…….

It’s all cleared out and the first coat of paint is up.

Have a great weekend everyone.  If you need me I’ll be in the laundry room butler’s pantry

Bathroom Makeover

I seem to be spending most of my time lately playing catch-up – restocking stores and such.  Translation? I’m still a bit in-between on new projects to share.

So I thought I’d continue the story of my fixer-upper house.

As some of you probably recall my house was built in 1940 and although it had a great floorplan it looked awful.  I have been slowly (really slowly…glacial) trying to fix it up.

I started with the kitchen which was grim but you hadn’t seen bad till you saw the bathroom.

I only have two before pictures (I think I was just too grossed out).

Here is how it looked originally (this is how the SHOWED it!  That’s not my stuff on the vanity.  Clearly HGTV was not on their “favorite channels” list)Bathroom -- before
Not pretty.

But you hadn’t seen not pretty until you looked at the shower:Shower Before

Who wouldn’t feel clean using that?

As it turned out the shower just needed some very VERY intense scrubbing to become….. sort of liveable.

But it was impossible to shake what it looked like out of my mind and, no matter what, it always appeared dingy with its beigey/dirty white tile and dark maroon trim.

So I saved, and planned and finally undertook the actual remodel.  I couldn’t change the layout much but I could upgrade all the parts.

So, once again, the before:Bathroom -- beforeAnd the after*Bathroom Remodel Vanity and Floor

I got the vanity on super sale from the Restoration Hardware Outlet (they were switching over to their current Furniture-for-Giants/Did-Somebody-Die-Why-Is-Everything-Grey? style) and a scrap piece of marble from a local yard.Bathroom Vanity up close and personalI was going for simple and kinda timeless so the shower got some nice, white subway tile with built in niches as well as some glass tile stripes for accent. Bathroom Shower Remodel(they look great except that the ONE glass tile that is crooked is EXACTLY in front of me when I’m showering ).Shower NicheI mounted the wall cabinet my dad made many years ago for my NYC kitchen: and filled it with my childhood toys.Toy Collection Because, of course, what bathroom is complete without Matchbox cars, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  and a Russian Dictator Nesting Doll Set? (honest to god I have NO idea where that came from but it just cracks me up!  When you take them all apart you get to a teeny-tiny Stalin.  Awesome!)

I added beadboard up to the chair rail all the way around the room and a black and white hex tile for the floor.Bathroom Remodel Tube Wall I need some kind of art or something for the wall above the tub (perhaps a badly spelled Donut Sign?) but haven’t managed to figure out what yet.  It’s only been a few years – why rush?

All in all I’m really pleased with the room.

There is another super-tiny bathroom in the house that is up next for a makeover…and a pantry….and a front path….and a patio..and…and…and……

Have a great weekend everyone!

*I realize I probably should have done a little more “staging” for these photos but what was I gonna put?  Flowers?  Artfully displayed soaps?  I can only go so far in my pretend-home-presentation…….I’m lucky if there are even clean towels within reach half the time let alone folded neatly on the vanity.

** Also, just to be clear I did none of this work myself except the painting.  I designed and bought things but left it to the pros to install….(and fix the ENORMOUS hole that was found underneath the shower floor).DIYShowOffbuttonsmalltodays creativetutorialsandtipsDiamond in the Stuff

The Great Purge

You may recall that last week began The Great Purge.

The garage which looked like thisjust had to be cleaned out.  I was losing things, getting frustrated and it just plain old wasn’t a place I wanted to  spend time.  I had to get serious about preparing for the fall.

So, the dumpster arrived and I began.

I was ruthless…..It was kind of painful……and kind of freeing.

I had to admit that some projects just weren’t ever going to happen.  The thrust of my business has changed or grown or something and some things that looked like great ideas now just look like false starts.

I started a box for donations which quickly overflowed.

Furniture I was never going to get to was placed at the curb and a Craig’s List ad posted.And progress has been made!

The garage now looks like thisI even gained an island/work table!  Now, at last I have someplace to put things down (this is HUGE step up).

There is a place to put things down next to the painting area too!Well, there will be as soon as I find the shelf pegs….I had one kinda/sorta bad kinda sorta/good idea.

As I went through the garage I kept encountering “things that have no home.”  Finding a home for the homeless things was going to slow down my blitzkrieg approach to cleaning so I created the “Box of Things that Need to Find a Home.”

Which quickly filled up (and became blurry).

The shelf pegs are in there somewhere…….

Probably at the bottom.

BUT! I can lay all that stuff out on my work table!

So, I’m far from done and it’s never going to be pretty or magazine worthy but I can find things (they’re at the bottom of the Homeless box!) and I can move!

The Purge also got me motivated to call a local shop owner to ask if she would like to have my furniture in her store.  I’d been dragging my feet about (fear of rejection I suppose) it but she was enthusiastic and now I have a new outlet and a justification for working on furniture!

So new ideas are tumbling over themselves and I feel kind of renewed.


Hostile Work Environment

“Don’t put that there.”

I thought to myself as I put it there anyway.

“It” was a large wooden board that I had placed at an odd angle on the top of a shelf with the corner sticking out juuuust a little above eye level.

“I’ll remember it’s there” I said

I did not remember

Bet you didn’t see that coming

Apparently neither did I.

It wasn’t a bad collision but it was the third one of the day and the second involving my head.

I seem to have developed a knack for bonking my head into things*.

But, bottom line this has convinced me that it’s time to get the garage in order.

I’m pleased with the workroom but if OSHA came to the garage -where I do a lot of my work – I’m pretty sure they’d shut me down and say I was mistreating my employee.

Dangerous, tangled cords lying around on the ground? CHECK!

Old, kind of iffy equipment?CHECK!

Dangerous Predators? CHECK

Noxious Fumes? (I’d had chili for dinner) CHECK

Now, let’s be honest, Cheltenham Road’s goal has always been threefold:

  • Face Your Fears!
  • Man Up!
  • Create Delicate Flower-Covered Candle Holders

But, despite all that macho, testosterone laden thinking there is no reason the work environment needs to be so treacherous

Also, while I was in Ohio I took pictures of my dad’s workshop

Dad’s drill bit organization system:

My drill bit organization system:

Clearly I have my work cut out for me.

Stay tuned to this blog for further accident reports and occasional progress.



*I actually ran my head into the garage door a while back hard enough to give myself a concussion.  The garage door is huge and my head, according to my mother, is quite tiny, so I guess I get points for accuracy or something.

The Workroom is Finished!………….Sort of!!!!

OK, after much delay (like a year) and much hemming and hawing and procrastination my workroom is ready!

OK, well, it’s more kinda-sorta-ready-but-I’ve-been-drawing-this-out-so-long-I’m-starting-to-annoy-myself-so-here-it-is ready.

So here we go!

As Cheltenham Road grew I found myself running all over the house to accomplish even minor things.  The computer was in one room, I was working in the dining room, half my stuff was in the garage.  I got a lot of exercise but it took forever to get anything done.

My spare bedroom had been, for quite a while, occupied by a string of female friends who were going through various life transitions (one was out in LA for “pilot season” auditions; one broke up with her boyfriend and needed a place to stay for a while, one was moving back to New York but not quite yet etc etc.) and needed a place to stay.  I was happy to oblige and after a while everyone began referring to the room as “The David Cheaney Home for Wayward Girls.”

They had all been great houseguests but it was time to get down to business so, sadly TDCHWG was forced to close it’s doors.

And that’s when I got to work.

What I needed was a Command Central.  Someplace where I could do all my computer work but also a workroom where I could get production going and going smoothly.  I needed a clean open space with a good amount of storage.  I also needed it to be pleasant as I was going to be spending  A LOT of time here.

Here is the before:

The blue was nice – I really liked it – but I needed the space to be brighter so up went a coat of tan (it looks yellow in all the pictures for some reason).

I quick trip to Ikea produced two bookcases that I laid on their sides and topped with a Remainder Bin desktop.Along the sides of the desk are boxes for storage

And when I’m done with the coasters I can just swivil around and put them on the drying racks.When they are all dry I can pop them in their storage cases – which also makes keeping track of inventory a little easier.

(they are not alphabetized…don’t tell Phebe)

I carved out a mailing station with everything I need handy: envelopes, tape, there are boxes in the tall cabinet and customs forms and bubble wrap in the drawers.  There is even a holder for wrapping paper for the occasional gift-wrap request.I made the former closet (here is what it looked like before):Into  my computer station.

It’s like workroom heaven! (or perhaps just a very overexposed picture)

It’s even possible I may not screw up any more dates now that I have my wall calender made of Home Depot Paint Chips and an old poster frame from the Good Will!

(OK it’s highly unlikely that the calendar will save me from my date-challenged self but it’s worth a shot).

I must confess that I’m a little surprised that vintage/retro loving me managed to create workspace that is all clean lines and white surfaces.  But I knew there was going to be a lot of clutter and a lot of projects and I just wanted the space itself to be kind of neutral.

There is still lots to be done.

I need some more labels on drawers, the front of the Mailing Station needs to be finished and more holes need to be drilled in the desk as I continue to try to figure out why my “wireless” lifestyle requires so many wires!

But overall I’m pleased and it really has helped me get a little more on top of things.

Linking up!

Kitchen Tour

There is nothing like promising a tour of your home to make you realize your home is currently not quite ready for prime time.

However, I think this project will be a great motivator for me to get a lot of projects finished so I’m going to plunge in anyway and hope that by publishing my “almost-but-not-quite” changes I will then be shamed motivated into finishing!

So, first up, the kitchen!

You may recall how it was shown when I first toured the house.

Not too promising.

There were actually large chunks of newspaper that were somehow sealed into the linoleum floor.  I really didn’t want to know how or why.

Money was a tad tight so all I could do at the time was paint.

Oh, except the previous owner had painted latex over oil paints so there were a few issues that lead to this:

That pile of rubble on the floor?  That would be the paint that was on the cabinet that had to be scraped off….of each cabinet……

ah, but then there was the ceilingyou could peel off large areas of paint which was, you know, nice but then there were all those little areas that stayed and had to be scraped….by hand…..sigh

So, as I said, money was tight so a paint job was all that was possible.  Green is my favorite color and I wanted a green kitchen (it was very “in” at the time I swear!) so I painted it green.

Three times.

The cabinets were yellow and it looked like Easter! 24/7!

But it was clean and more functional (note the half eaten apple pie in the picture).

But it was clearly in need of a bit more of re-do (you will notice I did replace the disgusting linoleum with a “fun idea but not-so-great-in-reality” tile scheme).

So, when I got a bit more money I ripped it all out!

For financial reasons I had to keep the same footprint.  But my goal was to keep in the style of the house and aim for a kind of…I don’t know….modern traditional?  Is that a thing?  I’m gonna say it’s a thing.

So, I tried for not too trendy but not too square.  Oh lets face it I just wanted it to be clean and not look like Easter.

So with the help of some (sorta) crack carpenters (perhaps On Crack or Cracked Me Up would be better.  There was a fair amount of arguing and “no, you need to do that again” moments….I became one of “those” homeowners…..) it came out like this.

Much better!  Not perfect and certainly not done but better.

Let’s do the link!

Gone with the Wind

My friend Nicki recently made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  She offered to share her space at the Ventura Market with me so I could check out the venue.  It was very generous of her which, of course, made me like her more.

The day before was all cold and rain in Los Angeles but Sunday was clear and beautiful.

But although it was clear and beautiful it was also windy.

Super windy.

“Severe Winds” weather report windy.

Nicky and her husband had set up a tent but left the top off for fear of it flying away.  I saw the wisdom of their plan and, of course, did the opposite.  Up went my tent.   Up blew the wind.  And poor Nicky ended up dividing her time between her customers and helping stupid me, literally, hold my tent on the ground.

Eventually, I had to take it down as it was proving more dangerous than sun-sheltering.

Despite the bluster the customers were out in force.

They swarmed Nicki’s area (which of course made me like her less) but she kept telling everyone she knew to “check out my friend David’s stuff!” (which made me like her more).

She sold almost everything she brought (like her less) but now she’s kinda screwed because she has two upcoming shows and a lot less merchandise (like her more! But I guess in kind of a mean “haha” way so it probably doesn’t count).

In truth my sales were quite good too and despite the wind it was a great day if for no other reason than I got to hang out with Nicki and her husband who are terrific (like them both lots!).

And now it’s Rose Bowl build up (wasn’t I just there?) so I’ll be cramming this week getting stuff ready.

In the meantime, inspired by many of your blogs, I thought I’d start the “house tour” series.  I will be showing select areas of my home that are presentable.  Therefore this will be a brief series.

So first, the BEFORE’s.  The house was built in 1940 and was not in particularly prepossessing condition upon first viewing.

The Front

 So, not HORRIBLE looking…just in need of some trimming and planting and other odds and ends.

But…then you went inside

The Kitchen

Mind you, this was how it was being shown.  This was the “cleaned up for viewing” version

The back hallway

(it had been carpeted but the dog had peed all over everything so they had removed the carpet.  Much better don’t you think?  There is a fan just out of frame – you know – to blow away the bad smell.  Thoughtful.)

And my favorite part.

The Shower

For some reason this place had been on the market for a while.

More to come!


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