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Monday, April 8, 2013

64 My Studio Storage Story

Happy April!  OK, so it's already a week in, and those looking for the monthly challenge, I apologize, but I have decided to take a month off of monthly challenges to focus on a lot of projects that we have had waiting in the wings here at the Jones casa.  But no worries, monthly challenges will start back up next month!

And when I say projects.... wow do we have a long wish list to tackle.  Winter slows us down here in Wisconsin because even DIY projects as simple as spray painting something, are next to impossible.  We lose our workspace {the garage is basically a giant walk-in freezer}, and paint/stain really doesn't do well in our uber cold climate.  So, we wait and wait and wait some more, for things to warm up so we can get our hands dirty again.  Although a little snow remains {and more is in the forecast - seriously, boo}, temps are slowly rising and we are taking this month to accomplish some of the things that have been accumulating on our list over the last 6 months.  I seriously can't wait!

One of the spaces we already started on, is my studio.  I shared last week how we DIY'd a new little console table/workstation, which I am over the moon in love with.  But in order to put the workspace in, I did say goodbye to some storage.  I am sure it was confusing, but if only I had shown you the rest of the room, you would begin to understand, that storage is in abundance within the studio.

Back in June of last year, we did a little secret studio project.  I wanted to put in a corner workstation that was counter height for crafting {you can see it one our project wish list here}.  Full on crafting.  You know, gluing, label making, binder making, Silhouette using, sewing {wishful thinking} and laminating.  My love for all of the above, were really deserving of a workstation, so that I could use my dining table for.... well, eating dinner with my family.

After a lot of measuring and researching prices of cabinets corner units and counter tops, I decided that I needed to say goodbye to the corner storage dream.  It just was not cost effective for the space that I had available.  Instead, we would just use the back wall of the studio to put in a wall of upper and lower cabinets, which not only would give me oodles of storage, but that long awaited crafting space.

So, we went to our local home improvement store and picked up some off the shelf, unfinished cabinets.  After pricing out pretty finished cabinets at multiple home improvement sites and even IKEA, I couldn't pocket the splurge when I knew I was perfectly able to add the paint myself for a huge fraction of the cost.


My hubby was determined to get them installed ourselves {again, to save money}, and he consulted his handy dad for some advice.

The plan was to do two cabinets on the bottom, with a space in-between to tuck a stool in case I wanted to sit.  And three upper cabinets for all of my desired storage.

Installation was actually pretty quick {yahoo, that rarely happens around these parts}.  And went a little something like this.

First, we screwed the lower cabinets in the desired location after measuring multiple times to be sure we got it just right.  The counter top we found {from IKEA}, just happened to be the perfect length as the three cabinets, which was six feet of workspace!

Next, my hubby used a scrap piece of wood to act as a temporary support to hold the upper cabinets for him, as he measured, leveled and screwed them into place {he screwed the cabinets into studs with wood screws}.


In-between the cabinets, he placed shims, to ensure they were going to hang flush and to give the screws extra wood to grab into when screwing the cabinets together.


He followed the same steps for each of the upper cabinets and ta-da!  The power of the Internet shows that it was easy as can be!


When we measured the distance between the counter and upper cabinet, we used the same standard distance that our builder did when installing our kitchen cabinets, which was about 18".  The cabinets were looking a little dull, and you can see above that I was exploring a variety of colors to paint them to have them really add some life to the studio....

But before I could paint, the hubby installed some wainscoting to the unfinished cabinet ends, using some strong construction adhesive and his brad nailer.



That finished up the ends, but I also needed to cap off the top, because it really looked unfinished visually.  Plus, we crowned my office desk area, so it really just felt like crowning the cabinets would be a unifier that the space needed.


Setting his miter saw at a 45 degree angle, the crown was cut, and attached to the top of the cabinets with his brad nailer.




His work was done.  It was my turn to take over, and whip out the primer....


I primed the insides and outsides and every nook and cranny of the cabinets and drawers.  And then decided to just paint them white {which was a white I had color matched to our trim}.... three coats later....


Pretty eh?  Why white?  Because this area of our home is a deep dark pit.  No natural light, and heavy, painted cabinets just seemed like they would be too much.  In fact, we initially went with a dark brown counter to match the floors, but it was such a light sucker, we exchanged it for the pure white option {this one from IKEA}.  That alone made a world of difference.

And that is how the studio has lived, no joke, for the last nine months.  Haha!  Here is what happened and why I hadn't shared this secret little nook until now:
  • I wasn't in love.  Sometimes, I love a project instantly, other times, it has to grow on me. 
  • When I work on my own spaces, I can get design paralyzed.  It is weird that 99% of the time I can look at another person's space and come up with visions right away, but when it came to this space, that just couldn't happen.
  • I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and on this space, to make it AMAZING.  And I need to.  It is where I am planning on spending majority of my time and days, so it has to make me happy, make me feel inspired, suit all of my storage needs, function function function, and reflect my personal style.  I left myself with this blank slate, and went through 101 ideas on ways I could personalize it.
  • Storage still needs to be addressed.  I have a great shell to work with, but how to really maximize the inside of the cabinets, the wall, etc... was something that needed a lot of thinking and planning.
  • My visions for how the space will be used are constantly evolving.  
  • The space is open to our lower level family room, so it is important to keep in mind the flow of our home.
  • I really like crafty spaces that maximize wall storage through peg boards, wall systems, etc... however, I also like the idea of keeping everything nice, neat and concealed.  I am split decision on this, which way will I go?
What I do know, is that sitting on this for months, will be good in my overall execution since I have thought about the space daily.  I also know, however, that I am not benefiting myself by leaving it empty, something must be done, and I just need to do it!  I am all about making things happen in this space, and it's time to do just that.

Again, here is the vision.... time to bring it to life!


Anyone feel the same way?  Get so far on a space and just pause like a deer in headlights?  I would love to hear your stories, and find out how it turned out in the end for you! 

64 comments:

  1. It's beautiful!! (what's been done already as well as your vision for it!) I love the cabinets!

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  2. Precioso..............me ha encantado¡¡¡

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  3. Love it , it`s so beautiful!
    So so pretty, can`t wait to see it`s finished!
    Hugs
    Lydia

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  4. It's a beautiful color palette that you have chosen. It will help with it being in the basement. I love the extra storage you added. I too like the idea of keeping things nice and neat, so that is a tough decision. Like everything else you had worked on, it will come together beautifully. I can't wait to see. (And about that snow in the forecast, I am so over it too! I need spring and sunshine! I want to open my windows.. plus Hubby and I installed two new ones last fall and I have a ton of varnishing to do!)

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  5. Doesn't it sounds excessively non-commital if my whole house goes through this process?? lol It takes me forever to pin down the details on things!!
    I do like what you are doing though... as usual, bright and happy!

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    1. Not at all, I can be impulsive in my design choices at times and that can get me into trouble here and there, so waiting things out is something for the better!

      xo,
      Jen

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  6. Love it so far! Are those the Home Depot cabinets? If so I was taking pictures of and pricing out those exact same ones for my future craft space! Great job!

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    1. Hi Marianne!

      We actually found them at Menards as they were less expensive than Home Depot. However, I believe Home Depot offers similar styles/options in their larger stores.

      xo,
      Jen

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  7. I love it. It's custom and fits your needs. I think youa nd your hubby did a great job and I love the color as a base, you can use fun colorful accessories now!

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  8. I'm having the same problem with my bedroom. Cannot, for the life of me, make any decisions. I keep telling myself that whatever I choose, I don't have to live with it forever. But, I want to love whatever I decide and I seem to love everything, so pinning down my preferences is proving impossible!

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  9. Ooh, it's gorgeous!! I love white furniture! I love the accent colors you're adding, too. It looks soft & spring-y -- perfect for a dark space!

    My bedroom is definitely my decorating challenge. It's a small room with low, angled ceilings (tiny cape cod), and I am really having a tough time trying to figure out out how to add personality while keeping it bright, airy, and functional. Everything I try in there is either too bold or too blah!

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    1. You have great style my friend, I am sure whatever you come up with will be fabulous in the end! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  10. I love it! I have been working on plans for a new desk in my office area using stock cabinets as the base. I am hopeful I can make it all come together with finds from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and a couple of coats of paint.

    Steph

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    1. Ooh! Fingers crossed you are able to find what you need! I had checked there a few times and came up short, but I know some people have scored so big! Best wishes to you!

      xo,
      Jen

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  11. I love it!! The storage unit is amazing!! Love all of it!

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  12. Glad I'm not the only one that struggles intensely on my own spaces. I am struggling now with trying to decorate my master bath and dining areas. Looks great so far!

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  13. That's lovely, you and your hubs are so clever. Look forward to seeing it all finished, I know it will be beautiful.

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  14. It really looks good!! I can´t wait to see how you organize and decorate the inside of the cabinets.

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  15. Very pretty room. I'm having the same issue as you. Turning a small upstairs bedroom with only one small window that faces the house next door & has low angled walls into a craftroom. I need shelves, storage, etc but don't really want everything visible. I'd like a Hollywood glam look & not have it scream "Scraproom" when you walk in. I painted the walls a Tiffany box blue, bought a white IKEA desk, table & storage cubes, and have come to a screeching halt.

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    1. Oooh! I think working in a Tiffany Box blue room sounds heavenly! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  16. First of all, Jen, I love your blog! You give me so much inspiration to get organized, which is hard with three boys, two dogs and a hubby! :) I love your workspace! It gives me hope for my ugly, make-do shelving system I have to work from :) Oh, and the how to make labels blog was awesome! Thank you so much!

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  17. Your new workspace looks great! =)
    The photos are inspiring!

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  18. Jen, my daughter and I are huge fans - we check out what you have been up to every day.
    I love what you are doing in your studio - your husband and you make such a talented team making such fabulous furniture together. You definitely did the right thing by moving the blue dresser upstairs and so cleverly building the table!

    I think you are craving colour after all that snow - can not even imagine it - So my suggestions are:

    1. have as much as possible hidden away in plain storage containers like you have in your work station - carrying that lovely fresh green and white theme over , particularly in the upper shelves to keep a simple coordinated tidy look.
    2. decorate by bringing in rainbows of colours by using pencils / stationery / whimsy etc as accents
    3. use natural fibers which you love as well - I have all my surplus supplies in waterhyacinth square baskets with lids that sit on a repurposed bookcase shelves- fabulous way of hiding crafts
    etc.
    4. invest in a superb light source which gives you daylight light
    5. regarding a wall system - as it is open to the family room only put one up if it is not going to be in your line of sight. Personally as you are so organized I don't think it will add to your space, go with some great art instead - do something typographic or posterize a colourful image of summer and get it printed on a large canvas or DIY it!

    I hope you don't mind me giving my opinion - what ever you do I know it will be wonderful,
    Ruth

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    1. Great suggestions Ruth! Much appreciated! And yes, I have hopes of bringing in more natural finishes and pops of color through accessories. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  19. Looking lovely! I love the idea of having a seated height and a standing height counter to work at...different tasks call for different heights!!

    Love it
    ~ Jillian

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    1. Ooh, totally! And I have tried sitting for long periods of time to do typing on my laptop at that counter, and it isn't great for my back, but I love that I can stand there and move around when crafting! :D

      xo,
      Jen

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  20. I have the same delima with peg board: it's SO functional! But SO cluttered! Maybe if you use it on the inside of your cupboard doors? Open the doors when you're crafting and when you're done close it up and - whala! - clean again! I look forward to seeing what you decide to do, so I can decide if that's what I want to do! :D Good luck!

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    1. Oooh! Now that is a super smart idea! Love it!

      xoxo!

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  21. Wow I love it! What a great job! Erica
    ericasrunningjourney.blogspot.com

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  22. Love how it turned out! Great idea for your studio. I also have a computer area and a work area in my "studio." It is so necessary, and, honestly, I could use a third table (but there's no space for that)! I have found my own office/studio the most challenging room. It's where I spend the majority of my time and is pretty much the only space in the house that is mainly mine, so I feel like it needs to be just perfect! It's slowly getting there but it's taking a while.

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  23. I'm in a similar situation. I bought a portrait electronic cutting machine last month {many thanks to the coupon you offered a few weeks ago} and now it has renewed my interest in craft {that and I get to quit my job in a few months yay!}. So I decided to devote a space in my house to all my crafting goodness. Have the bright colors and eye candy out on display or have it all tucked away? My husband wants it all tucked away. I bought a wall ribbon organizer and he nearly had a heart attack -{which is odd because he never says much or has an opinion about the decor of our home}. He wants the ribbon organized "cutely displayed in a closet". haha! Should I put my craft room in the loft {out in the open} or in the guest bedroom {which is used twice a year--maybe}. I love all the craft rooms with everything within arm's reach {Pinterest has great pictures}, but I'm worried the controlled cluttered chaos would take its toll on me in the long run {my mood is affected by my environment}. Anyway ... I understand why you're frozen on what to do. I'm going to ponder my predicament for a few months and when I'm ready to create my craft room, hopefully I'll know what to do. What a wonderful predicament to be in, eh? so fun! Good luck on what you decide! {p.s. love your blog!}

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    1. Congrats on the new Portrait! I hope you love love love it and it gets all sorts of use. And it's nice you have some time to think on your space, so much better than rushing into something you will have to change later.

      xo,
      Jen

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  24. If you like the peg board idea a couple options:

    1) On the cabinet doors.

    2) paint the pegboard in a pattern, then paint the pegs and place them so they work with the pattern. Let your imagination run wild.

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  25. I am also kind of "paralyzed" on my own work space. It is on one end of our family room/playroom where the kids I babysit play all day, and where our dining table is. I think part of the struggle is determining how to make a functional work space alongside all that other activity. Perhaps that's part of your dilemma...?

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  26. Your studio turned out really nice

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  27. Very nice. You constantly inspire me.

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  28. I love your color palette! How do you come up with so many colors? I'm OK, with 2 or 3, but I get stymied trying to incorporate more than 3. Any suggestions for us, the "color challenged?"

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    1. Hi Gail!

      That is a great question! I have been challenging myself to use at least three colors in each of my spaces. I like to find photographs, art, etc... that I am drawn to and pluck my favorite colors out to use as inspiration.

      xo!
      Jen

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  29. It's beautiful! I love how it ties in with your desk space so well! I know that whatever you choose will look awesome! {I feel some color coming on! ;)} Hope you guys had a wonderful time on your vacation!

    ~Abby =)

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  30. Love the white that you went with! I am also in WI and am so ready for some warmer weather to start some DIY projects (I too use our garage for most sanding/painting projects). I'll keep my fingers crossed for all of us that the snow misses us!

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  31. I feel the exact same way! I can look at someone else's space and know instantly what to do with it. But my own space? I stare at for months and can't figure it out, haha. I like the way it's looking so far, though! White cabinets were a gorgeous choice.

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  32. Oh, my home is seriously lacking in decoration. The biggest reason is that I have a humongous lack of storage in my house. Without enough space to put things away, the house is always too cluttered to paint or plan bigger projects. I've tried so many times to come up with storage solutions, but I seem to always fall flat on my face. The storage units take up enough space to make it hard to get around, and therefore add to the clutter themselves. Items that should go together (and don't make sense to re-containerized) are differently sized or too large to fit in the spaces they need to go. And I have a hard time finding containers that both fit IN the space where they need to go, and are appropriately sized for the items that need to go INTO them. So... yes and no. I'm more often than not stymied, but I wouldn't call it deer in the headlights so much as being the queen of the wild goose chase. *sigh*

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  33. I hear you with the winter in Wisconsin! I am so ready to spaint (spray paint and paint) but waiting until the windows can be opened. When will spring get here? Great post and love the space.

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  34. I started laughing to myself thinking about what my husband would say if he built me a piece of furniture and I didn't really use it for 9 months.... ;)

    Great workstation!!

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    1. Oh, I used it! I just didn't move in and make it my own because I was still trying to figure things out. He totally gets me and understands and after the time and money we put into it, he wants to be sure I get it right and love it. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  35. It always takes me a long time to decorate my own spaces - glad I'm not alone on that! It's going to be amazing - what a great space it is already!!

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  36. i am queen of the deers in headlights!! i think it's my uniquely gifted ability to really OVER-THINK things (heehee:) i love every idea & every color, so narrowing things down to what really will work functionally is downright stressful sometimes!

    but soooo love the spread you've got goin' on with the pastels and soft pieces, think they'll be perfect for your oh-so-cute space! and will keep that whole light factor in check ... which always seems to be a huge issue for me in my craft studio, of all places!
    you're pure genius Jen! whatever you make happen will be extravagant ♥ happy decorating girl!

    ps. now have four of those baskets from Target under my craft table, they're great!

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  37. Okay Jen....this room is like a soap opera. The suspense is killing me! I can't wait to see it when it's finished:)

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  38. Yes, I understand! I painted our closet under the stairs a dark teal. It's horrible. I need to repaint it a pale color. Sigh.

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  39. Jen, I'm not surprised that you've found it difficult to get to love your studio. You are a very warm person but white can be so clinical. I speak as a retired colour therapist, with a keen interest in colour psychology. If you can start bringing some colour in, you'll feel much better about it. Even if it's the wrong colours to begin with and you need to swop them out again, it will start you off.

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  40. I love what you have done with the space! Like others, I have a hard time looking at the space and making it look ht at way!

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  41. Amazing!!! You have really taken advantage of that whole corner!! What a great spot!! Can't wait to see it all come together!

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  42. Say what you may...I really LOVE that space! :) You're right about the difficulty of seeing our spaces objectively though. I've always appreciated having my {very organized} sister look at a space with me and offer her insight. She's got a great eye!

    Thank you for making this post a bit of a tutorial. I always love to learn new skills...and be inspired to try a project for myself!

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  43. I went through the same thing with the custom hutch my husband spent a long time building me. At one point I thought the dark stain was a mistake and maybe I should paint it but knew in my heart I didn't want it painted. Finally after getting myself out of the head lights and just trying things out on the shelves, it all started coming together. The "problem" I have is that the shelves are very deep and I don't want things to get lost behind everything. Bit by bit I figure something new out and how to make it function for the way I craft and I'm loving it!

    Love your cute space and can't wait to see what you do to it!

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  44. What a beautiful space. You made the room so bright and inviting that I didn't even notice that there were no windows in it until you said something. Great job!

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  45. Hi Jen! ANYTHING you touch turns out to be absolutely beautiful. I'm glad that this new space will suit your needs better. I know what you mean about being "frozen" and unable to move forward in decorating a space. Unfortunately I have quite of few of those spaces going on right now. I'm looking forward to see what other great ideas you have for your studio. Thanks for sharing!

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  46. Oh my goodness, I have been a design popsicle lately - totally frozen in mid room makeover. There are so many different things that I love so it's hard to narrow things down and make my house feel cohesive. Taking time the think about it is worth it - right!? ;)

    I think the colors from your inspiration art piece are so beautiful, and white was the right choice for that corner. Can't wait to see you bring the space to life! I will absolutely be as amazing as you hope!

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  47. The desk on the right that you created using ikea shelves.. can you point me to that post?? I guess by replying here?

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    1. Hi Carrie!

      Here is a link to the post: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/02/basement-progress-studio-desk-part-5.html

      You can find links back to the beginning of the process within that post as well.

      xo!
      Jen

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  48. wow, looks great! lots of storage space and so much potential! i could rattle off a bunch of ideas but i'm sure you have already thought of them...things like pegboard going full length down that open wall on the right...kinda where the cabinets don't touch the wall. ?? make sense? or a big long magnetic backsplash on the wall between the upper and lower cabinets. :-) so many ways to work with what you have goin' on. and i love the little design tile you put together - love love the colors. so soothing yet would motivate me.

    have fun with it!!

    i am the same way....i have a much better project outcome when i sit on it for a while. it really helps me figure out what is going to work. if i rush, inevitably something is a fail. ha!

    hugs to you!
    sam

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