Thursday, April 2, 2020

Blue and White Linen Closet: My latest DIY

Hello my friend. Can I tell you something personal?

I had a hard time typing out the title for this post. 

I worry that it sounds shallow and that it conveys a staggering insensitivity about all the deaths happening right now around the world. Especially after I got an email from a dear friend in Italy who let me know that Italy has been going through hell.

Can we all agree that there is profound strangeness about life right now?

Even if Covid-19 hasn't reached your life in a personal way yet, I think we all feel connected to this crisis by the ominous drip of daily news that's reminding us of our humanity. Our connection to each other as loving citizens, irregardless of race or political party or any of the other labels that separate us in normal times. 

Personally, when I see all these health care professionals on the front lines overworked and risking their lives on our behalf, it's hard. There's a feeling of being stuck on the sidelines, of wanting to help them is some way. 

And yet--at least right now--the biggest impact we can have is to stay home and isolate ourselves which is the opposite of what we do in times of crisis which is, seek out people who make us feel safe and connected and yes, useful.

See what I mean? 
It's a strange--but very serious time. As of this morning--- experts are telling us the next few weeks are critical. What we do today will literally have a direct effect on how many people die out there in our community. 

It's hard to fathom, right?

But then I got this email that reminded me of something else that's also important right now. Taking care of our spirit. Making time for those things that replenish us, for the sake our emotional health. And for me--- this means tapping into my creative side to find peaceful distractions. 

This was from Hometalk, reminding me of a long ago DIY post that had apparently gotten some views. And I thought--hey, maybe it's time to share another DIY post, you a way of spreading a few cheerful vibes out into the world. 

Don't we all love a good Before and After? So here it goes.

This is a project I started in January when I was really struggling and lucky I remembered to take a few pictures for you.

So here's the BEFORE picture of my linen closet.

Michael says I should have taken a 'real' BEFORE picture when the floor was full of plastic bins and you could barely get inside 
(ah..maybe because a certain hoarder of unmatched towels and old bed linens was in charge)

But she's better now.

And here it is dark and empty.

Odd wires coming from the walls. No baseboards but we did have the wood flooring extended inside here when we moved in.

Wallpaper vs. Stencil

My first plan was to try a peel and stick wallpaper mostly because I wasn't in the mood to paint, but also because I was seeing some great choices out there. 

But in the end I was worried about the stucco finish on our walls being a problem. And I didn't want to go through all that work, only to have it drooping in spots.

So I ordered this very cool Batik stencil and decided to use two shades of blue on the pattern, and another shade of blue on the shelves.

I repainted the whole space a bright white. Installed baseboards. And painted the shelves this sapphire blue.

 At this point Jim popped his head in and thought I was done.
(Silly man)

Once I got started I didn't want to stop for pictures. But stenciling is pretty basic. Once you line the pattern up, taping it in place is the key. After that you just dab dab dab that paint on.

The part of the project when you think,
 "it's all in the details"

I ordered some gold French style upholstery nails from Amazon. 

Finally on the second trip to Home Depot I found a drill bit that was the right teeny-weeny size for the nail.

If you're curious, here's the drill gun I use.

I drilled holes into the front of the shelves.

Then I used a hammer to pop them gently into the holes.

Ta daaaaa

Because the pattern was so busy I stopped at the ceiling.

 And yes, I decided to purge all my colored towels and go with white from here out.

I ordered this quilted floral ironing board cover from Etsy (#StandWithSmall) and Jim hung it on the wall.
And as you can see, I still haven't repainted the closet doors and put them back on yet. So that's a peek at my bathroom.

Drum roll please. One last time...



And that's it.

I sure hope you enjoyed seeing my little closet project and most importantly, that it got your mind off the sober reality we're all facing now. 

We're all in this together friends. 

But we have to stay home for awhile. That's all. And it's such an easy sacrifice compared to all those health workers who are risking their lives for us every day.

We got this.

Sending you a virtual hug glass of wine right now,



sharing this post with these friends:


Calypso In The Country said...

Beautiful job, Leslie! I find that I am actually seeking out pretty projects these days so I am happy you decided to share. We all need the distraction from reality! Stay well, my friend!

Leslie Harris said...

Thank you Shelley. You've always been such a creative person, I do agree that losing yourself in projects is a great way to recharge. I'll definitely keep an eye on your upcoming posts.


ci said...

its lovely! these little corners of visual joy are so important. And especially now.
Good on you for completing a project. None of my friends, and myself included, can get motivated to do anything productive. so it's nice to read that someone actually did something!! Great job.

Barbara Novello said...

Love all your work! Very very nice! Congrats and I know it feels good!!

michele said...

It looks soooooo darling, and sooooo French! Good job, Leslie! We are almost done with a little spruce up of a bedroom I now use as my office, and it does feel good to cross off the list some things we have put off. But does it ever end??? xox

cindy hattersley design said...

Leslie this is so darling! I stenciled our small powder bath a few years ago and was ready to strangle myself before I finished. I had the same issue with the walls and I am just not big on wallpaper in my own home. Mine doesn't look nearly as cute as yours!

Kim said...

Bravo! Thank you for this lovely distraction! I like the addition of the nail head trim.

Carla from The River said...

I like it Leslie, thank you for the post.
Sending prayers for all.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a wonderful project, transformed the space and brought real beauty into it! LOVE. You have inspired me! xoxo

Karen said...

This is so clever and pretty. What a wonderful job.
Weird times, I am doing my best to embrace the free time to do some organizing and artistic projects. I really miss seeing my friends. We have a standing date with 3 other couples to Zoom meet on Sunday evenings for time to catch up. It's nice but I'll sure be happy when we can meet up in person again.
Stay well.

Melanie said...

This is a gorgeous re-do! I wish I could do white linens - but we have well water and it tends to turn white fabric orange-y. So I have to stick with colors.

How did I not know about Hometalk?! I do now. I am going to have fun looking around later.

BTW, do NOT feel guilty about doing a post about your linen closet because of the COVID-19 virus. We all know it's there; we're all in it together. And we've all read and seen and heard way too much about it - it gets overwhelming. It's actually refreshing to read something else right now. We have to "keep keeping on", even in the midst of a pandemic. Hope you all are safe and well.


La Contessa said...

LOVE IT...........and I do NOT DO BLUE!
SO what was YOUR INSPIRATION?Did you see a photo in a magazine or just make it up as you went?
WE CAN DO THIS...............
OUR JOB IS EASY............compared to those DOCTORS and Nurses and TOILET PAPER FACTORY WORKERS!!!!!!!!!
I owe you a call.........XX

mollie's mom said...

This is charming! I'm all about the creative distractions right now!Thank you for sharing. I cleaned out my linen closet last week but I didn't make it pretty like this - just not crammed full of ancient threadbare towels :)))))
Stay well, friend!

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Wow, I love this. I'm lucky enough to have a linen cupboard, but as none sees it I would never have even thought to pretty it up.
Thank you for sharing, take care lovely lady, vikki xxxx

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Leslie... your closet is magazine worthy!! I have a walk-in linen closet that needs a lot of help. Every Summer, I think that I will do something about it and yet it never does. I appreciate the inspiration!! Great job. Stay safe.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

How did I miss this!!!!!!! Leslie, you never cease to amaze me. This is fabulous! It is so beautiful and unique. I hope that you are well my dear, things are so crazy right now that sometimes it is a challenge to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Stay well my friend. xo

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