Tag Archives: remodeling

Spicing Up My Life- Installing Tiny Spice Shelves

As part of my ongoing endeavor to assemble every last still-boxed Ikea project in my home, I give you Bekväm- cute , tiny, wooden spice shelves with their own little jars.

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Just a little Ikea…

These little Swedish jewels are a snap to assemble. Assuming you read the directions and insert all the pieces in the correct order.

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Awesome hex driver

Partway through this project I thought I would be SO SMART and use my drill with a square bit to drive in these screws. In reality, they are a hex screw which requires a hex driver bit in a size I cannot currently locate (but know that I own. This is a good lesson to all of us to RETURN OUR TOOLS TO THEIR PROPER STORAGE LOCATIONS when we are finished with their services.)

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My drill with incorrect size and shape of driver bit. It seemed like such a great idea.

So when I realized that I had forgotten to insert the little rail prior to attaching the sides, I had to back out the screws– one of which I stripped using the wrong driver bit. Fortunately, the screws on the other side were still intact and I was able to back them out, insert rail and screw them back in (with awesome Ikea hex driver).

Installation (leveling, marking, screws) was similar to the rails, only this guy is only 16 inches and I was able to use wood screws in studs instead of anchors.

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Assembled and installed near stove.

And here is the entire ensemble in the Stove Cove.


Omni-functional stove area.

That concludes my Ikea Production for last weekend. I only have a few more Ikea objects left uninstalled/unassembled in the house. I’m hoping to wrap those up this month.

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Jazzing Up A Kitchen Corner- Wherein I Install More Ikea Backlog



The Ikea backlog is almost depleted. I purchased the kit for this kitchen wall rail about 3 months ago, prior to kitchen wall painting.


Fintorp kitchen rail comes with two brackets and one 22.5″ rail

The system is expandable if you want to install a longer rail. My rail is going to be placed on the wall to the right of my stove which is just barely wider than a standard counter top depth, so one rail will work for me.

First we mark the location of the back plates (which will connect to the brackets) on the wall. I’m using a level to make the marks. It’s not easy to photograph yourself using a level.

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Me and my gigantic level



You will need your own wall fasteners for this project as Ikea does not provide any type of screw or anchor with their hardware. I like the Ikea Fixa fastener kit for this purpose. It contains 6 different types and sizes of wood screws and 3 sizes of wall anchor.


This is the Ikea Fixa hardware kit, sold separately.


It is unlikely that you will be able to locate two wall studs spaced 22 inches from each other so you if you have common drywall/gypsum board you’ll want to use a drywall anchor.


Medium size anchor and 7/16 drill bit


Choose a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the diameter of your anchor. You’ll want to be able to insert the anchor, but you want it to be very snug.


Anchor partially inserted into hole

Once the anchor is partially inserted, use a small hammer to tap it all the way in so it’s almost flush with the wall (but don’t squish it AND/OR damage your wall).


As the instructions below indicate (more or less) when you insert the screw into the anchor you’ll leave just a bit of space. Which allows you to slide the wall plate in snugly.


Ikea instructions featuring “ghost screw”, my screw is 1 1/2″. Note the head is domed and not flat.


We dry-fit the plate to make sure we’ve placed our anchors at the correct distance apart. Flat side out, beveled side in. Plate will slide in between the anchor and the screw.


Then we install the brackets, removing them a few times and adjusting the screws to make sure the fit is snug.



Tested for snug


Next we install the rail. Once the end of it is inside the far bracket (towards the back) I contort myself over the oven and place the end-cap on with my left hand. This will be easier to do if you are installing it on a portion of a wall that doesn’t terminate in a corner.


We leave one end off to add hooks.

Rather than the Cirque du Soleil-like moves I performed, you could also assemble the unit then attach it to the wall. But I like a challenge.

Now we insert rail into the other bracket and add the end-cap to the other side.


Voila! Relatively level.

Last step is to take your tiny hex-driver (allen wrench) and tighten the rails so they don’t slide (insert into hole at the bottom of each bracket).

And here it is with useful kitchen stuff on it.


Cute Ikea bucket and 10 hooks. The hooks are sold in packs of 5.

One more Ikea project done! But I’m on a roll, so please stand by for my next Ikea kitchen project —tiny spice shelves–coming this week!

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Yes, I Am A DIY Angel- My Wallpaper Painting Suggestions Are Implemented

I like to give advice. It’s one of the reasons I started blogging “how-to”– frankly, I’m happiest telling other people what to do.

A nice lady at work was telling the lunchroom crowd about her cosmetic upgrades she and her family have been working on. She’s done new kitchen and dining room flooring (Allure vinyl planks and they look beautiful) and was trying to figure out what to do with some wallpaper and paneling.

I piped up (like I do) and suggested that she paint over the wallpaper. I know this goes against Standard Old School DIY Advice (google it, and you’ll find countless forums telling you NOT TO DO THAT, buckle down and scrape it off, Loafer!)

But I beg to differ and I told her so and explained how to do it. Then I suggested that she fill in the grooves in the cheap paneling with drywall mud, sand, prime, texture, paint.

She did the wallpaper! I was so proud of her (and she of herself) and also tickled that she took my advice and did a great job (she’s a meticulous person, and would never stand for anything that looked sloppy or cheezy.) I am trying to get her to send me some pics so I can post them. She liked the paneling idea as well (filling in grooves with mud, sanding, oil based primer, texture and paint and will try them soon.)

So I will be posting a wall-paper painting tutorial this week, complete with LIVE ACTION SHOTS as I still have a section of my kitchen that remains ugly (it’s above and behind the fridge, I didn’t feel like dealing with pulling it out.)

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1970 Tri-Level Kitchen Update Part 1- We arrive in 1990

Picture if you will:

A u-shaped kitchen with light oak inset paneled cabinets, powder blue laminate countertops, white appliances, carpet (circa 1978) and hideous wallpaper covering everything that isn’t either powder blue laminate or light oak.

Better yet, I’ll show you




This would be perfect if you were

  • Living in 1990
  • Amish
  • Blind

All it’s missing is cheerful grouping of duck-shaped canisters and frilly valance. By the way, that IS a telephone on the wall. You could almost imagine the previous owners standing around on their kitchen carpet drinking Yuban and talking about ways to uglify the rest of the house with their hideous paint choices (mint green in the master bath?? Yes! Believe it! Pix coming soon!)

This is what my kitchen looked like when we moved in 3.5 years ago. The cabinets, we suspect, were handmade by the previous homeowner in what used to be his shop in the basement (we are now using it as a music studio.) They are solid oak, they are sturdy, and they were BUILT IN PLACE. There is nothing modular about these babies. If you want to change something you have to cut it. The backsplashes were pine 2×6’s with that famous powder blue laminate ironed on to them- after they were SCREWED INTO THE STUDS. When we removed the counters we literally had to beat them off the wall.

But wait, you say. Was there a mention of kitchen carpet?? Yes, there was fiiine quality kitchen carpet- brown (really? REALLY? Brown??) kitchen carpet. Glued down within an inch of its life. The skeeze factor with kitchen carpet is too high to comprehend. I, a famously sloppy cook, had slopped many a sauce or an egg or a glass of wine on the carpet with no perceptible stains. Who knows what else might be lurking in the petri dish of this floor covering?

Fortunately, it no longer looks like this. Please stay tuned for the next installment (as soon as I clean the kitchen to take pictures.)