Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Close a Large Opening in Your Wall

A few months ago, I had my half bath demo-ed.  Everything was taken out.  The floor tiles, toilet, medicine cabinet, sink. Everything.

This demolition project left a gaping hole in my wall where the medicine cabinet used to be.

Naturally, I tried to find a medicine cabinet that fit the measurements of the opening and still had the look that I was going for.  After weeks and weeks of looking online and going into big box stores, I gave up.  I mean, the half-bath is so tiny...what would be the purpose of a medicine cabinet anyways? More storage?  Yes, but with very little wiggle room, I didn't ever see anyone using the half-bath as anything other than a "powder room".  Just a room where you pop in, do your business, wash your hands, and then pop out, ya' know?

So, I decided to use a regular, ol' wall-mounted mirror.  But first, I had to close up that opening and this is how I did it:

Supplies needed:

  • Joint compound
  • Compound knives:  4" and 10"
  • Dry-wall tape
  • Wood screws (I used 1.5" screws)
  • Dry-wall screws
  • 2x3's or 2x4's
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill (for your screws)

1.  Use 2x3's or 2x4's (whatever suites the area better) to create a frame for your drywall.  I boxed in the opening and used wood screws to attach the new wood pieces to the existing frame.

2.  When screwing in your wood pieces, make sure to leave a gap between the edge of your wood and the edge of the wall so that when you screw your drywall pieces onto the frame you've created, the drywall sits flush against the wall.

I left a 1/2" gap so that when I attached my 1/2"-thick piece of drywall, the drywall sits flush against the wall.

3.  Use drywall screws to attach the drywall to your frame.

4.  Lay drywall tape over the seams.

Side note/ interjection/ funny story:  Can you spot what doesn't belong in the picture above?  Do you see the piece of "tape" at the bottom of the picture that looks thicker than the rest?  Well, that's because it isn't drywall tape.  It's rug-tape.  Yes, the kind of tape you put on the bottom of rugs so they don't slip around on smooth floors.  Did I know it was rug-tape when I put it on the wall?  No.  Did I realize it was rug-tape when I sanded my joint compound and I could still see it's imprint?  No.  So imagine my surprise when I went around the house a few days later looking for my rug-tape only to find it next to my joint compound.  It hit me in slow motion.  I grabbed the roll of rug-tape, looked at the roll, looked at my wall, looked back at the roll, looked back at the wall... "ah shit".  That's right!  I accidentally used rug-tape on my wall and I didn't even realize it until it was all done.  I don't recommend using anything other than dry-wall tape, but this goes to show that mistakes happen and they can always be fixed.  And by fixed, I mean sand the crap out of it until you don't see it anymore then paint over it.  Voila!

Ok.  Back to the directions...

5.  Apply joint compound.  I used a 4" compound knife to apply my pre-mixed joint compound.

As you can see, the application doesn't have to be perfect because it all gets sanded down.  You can also see the piece of rug tape...but let's pretend it's all smooth and pretty.

6.  Let the joint-compound dry.  I made sure to wait overnight.

7.  Sand with a coarser grit sandpaper.  I used 80 grit.

8.  Apply another layer of joint compound using a larger compound knife.  For the second layer I used a 10" compound knife and made sure to blend my joint compound into areas of the wall that were 3"-4" beyond my actual drywall space.  This helps blend the patched hole in with your existing wall.

9.  Wait for the joint compound to dry.

10.  Sand again.  First, with the 80 grit to even out the surface.  Then, with a 200 grit piece of sandpaper to smooth everything out and to make sure the wall looks seamless.

11.   Paint.

As you can see from the picture above, the wall is pretty much seamless.  I mean, aside from the small area where the rug-tape is slightly raised, you wouldn't even be able to tell that there used to be an opening in the wall.  If you didn't know me, that last sentence was just typed with a little bit of a sarcastic tone...rug-tape, rug-tape, rug-tape...why!?!!?!?!  But, not worries!  If you follow these directions (minus the rug-tape), you'd be able to get a seamless finish too!

Have you made any wonky DIY mistakes like I did?  How did it turn out?

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bring Las Vegas Home! reached out to me to join their "Bring Las Vegas Home" challenge! Exciting, right?! Funny thing is, I went to Vegas for a 3-day trip this summer and specifically walked through the Cosmopolitan Hotel just to check out their decor. Who knew I would be asked to create a room inspired by the Cosmopolitan Hotel suites only 3 months later?

When I think of the Cosmopolitan, I think of one word..GLAM.  With all of the hotel's ornate chandeliers, bold colors, and unique furniture shapes, everything is so extravagant. I love it!  However, if you have read my blog or seen the before & after pics of my home, you know that my design style isn't exactly contemporary or glamorous in any way.  If I had to categorize my style I would say it is more transitional/ traditional.  So, even though my home looks nothing like the Cosmopolitan, this is how I would bring a little bit of Vegas into my home...

When I look at pictures of the Cosmopolitan suites, there are pops of navy throughout the sleeping and living areas.  I brought this into my room design by choosing accent pieces with different shades of blue.  The dark blue cushions on the crisp-white sheets create a great contrast, while the softer blue chair and throw create a more cozy room, which is more my style.

A room inspired by the Cosmopolitan or Vegas, in general, wouldn't be complete without gold.  I LOVE having gold accents throughout my house and my design for this room would be no different.  The wall sconces and nightstand have gold detailing, which adds a slightly more luxurious feel to what would otherwise have been a standard white and blue room.

I chose tufted furniture pieces with soft, touchable fabric to emulate the decor of the Cosmopolitan.  However, instead of choosing a chair with a more contemporary and funky shape, I wanted to use a more "traditional" chair.  The arm-chair I chose has a high back and great detailing along the sides and bottom, which adds interest to the room without being too drastically different from what I'm used to choosing for myself.

I also chose a cream-colored rug with a more modern, geometric pattern to anchor the room.  The colors in the rug don't clash with any of the furniture pieces I have chosen and the simple, geometric pattern ties in the with geometric shapes of the nightstand.

I love this room!  I can just imagine these pieces in a room with sexy, smokey gray-colored walls and beautiful, velvety charcoal-colored blackout shades.  This room has a touch of cozy and a touch of glam.  Nothing looks too modern or contemporary, but the design isn't entirely traditional either.  So this is my answer to's challenge to #bringLVhome.  Taking from either your own experiences or pictures you have seen of Las Vegas, how would you bring Vegas home?

Opps!  I was so excited to design this room I totally forgot to mention the inspiration photos I used on for the Cosmopolitan Hotel.  Check them out at:  Cosmopolitan Hotel.
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