Now that I’ve bombarded you all with an insane amount of bump pics, let’s talk about home renovations.  As someone who reads home blogs purely for inspiration and to admire other people’s work, it makes sense that I won’t be a blogger who gives step by step instructions, and NOT just because I don’t do much of the renovations myself.  🙂  But because those are the parts I usually scroll past.  Plus I’m willing to bet no one reads my relationship blog for the home improvement projects, amirite??

The exciting news is that all three bedrooms are starting to come together and dare I say, the master bedroom is almost 100% complete (short of a laundry situation).

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I loathe regular closet doors.  In general, they are unsightly, creaky, and outdated and during our move-in/painting weekend, this house manager promptly ordered all removal of said closet doors.  Unfortunately, even new handles and paint couldn’t save these doors as even the bars were crooked or bent.  The photo below was taken during our inspection.  Note: the nursery was sporting only ONE closet door and a half-assed paint job.  #classy.


Now I didn’t just go all demolition without a plan, I knew I wanted to install wardrobes or custom closets instead of replacing the doors.  What better place for inexpensive but customized furniture than IKEA?

The Scottish and I spent almost 4 hours there one Saturday and managed to secure great pieces for both our bedroom and the nursery.  The guest bedroom was put on hold for the obvious reason that it won’t get used as much.

We chose the build-your-own closet Pax system and with the help of an IKEA salesperson, we were able to design our ideal closets.  And when I say “ideal” design I really mean, “hoping and praying this works because we really have no idea what we’re doing” design. It’s nice to be able to add a bar here, a shelf here, and a pull-out tray there.  Here’s how they look assembled and in each room.  We chose white for ours and a dark brown-black for the nursery.

My apologies for the bad lighting and quality of photos, that’s my fault, not the camera!


I added a few baskets on top to fill that space above the unit. They’re all from Burlington Coat Factory.



The bottom shelves are both pull-out trays which is pretty sweet.


These units are actually two 30 inch wide frames and we were able to add sliding doors to the front of them which is awesome because we’re dealing with a bedroom that’s only 12×10.  Space is limited!


The baby’s room is missing a door handle because we are waiting to exchange one of the doors.  Speaking of the doors, these ones open out and while it’s not ideal due to the close proximity of the door, it was our only option with the one 40 inch frame.


But you’ll notice not as much negative space, this one almost fits the whole closet area!


(Too bad I took this photo before I filled it with cute baby clothes.)

The major downside to putting in your own wardrobes or closets is all the potential negative space that looks like it’s being wasted.  It’s only an issue for us in our bedroom but luckily we found the perfect sized slim laundry bin to fit in between the unit and the wall (see previous pictures).  The Scottish is hoping to make a ledge above the first one to put a second bin on top so we can separate our lights and darks.

Another downside is quality.  IKEA is not known for using the best wood/materials and not surprisingly there is a slight imperfection on the corner of a white shelf in our unit and one of the nursery doors looks like someone took an ax to it.  I mean, come on, that looks awful!


The price for each unit was around 350ish (and we went with very basic designs), which might seem like a lot but when we looked into putting new standard bi-fold closet doors on our guest room closet space, they were going to run us 300+ dollars because they would have to be special-ordered.  I swear nothing in this house is of a standard size!  All the closets in stock were 80 inches in height and we need closer to 95.  Of course.

And since closets are kinda boring… let’s go back to the BLACK BATHROOM. Since the toilet was not only uncomfortable, AND ugly, AND broken, we decided to replace it. And it looks so.much.better.  I don’t even care that the bathroom looks even less cohesive now.  It’s one step in the RIGHT direction.






Unfortunately, after I wrote the first part of this post, all hell broke loose some water started leaking out and The Scottish noticed that the toilet was wobbling a bit.  This led to a second wax seal and a second installation and more proof that whoever put in the black toilet (three or four owners ago) had no idea what they were doing!!! I’m sensing a theme here. The Scottish and The Father originally said this was one of the first projects that went well but I guess they spoke too soon!  Now there’s piece of cardboard between the toilet and the floor.  Black bathroom: 2, Us: 0.

Note: IKEA did not compensate me for these opinions.  In fact, no pays me for any of the gems I share week after week.  Maybe I should remedy that…  🙂

Has anyone else decided to forgo normal closet doors in lieu of something else? Anyone else dealt with flange/flooring/wax seal toilet troubles?

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8 Responses to “You, Me, and IKE-A (and a toilet)”

  1. john

    Very impressed I. with diy skills…kudos:)
    It always feels better when you (successfully) do it yourself. 🙂

  2. Margy

    Whooo-hoooo! New fancy white toilet! Bathroom looks lighter already. 🙂

  3. Jenn

    I actually use a rod and a decorative curtain for our closet doors. Our 1950’s era home has tall skinny closets and the previous owners took the doors off of the closets so I had to resort to a curtain. Yours looks great.

  4. Lauren

    We ended up replacing all toilets in our house a month or so after we purchased it. Not a fun improvement but I think it’s a good call! I think one of the things I love most about owning a home is learning how handy my husband can be. You guys are doing great and every little project will help to make it feel more like home!

    • Stephanie

      Right, it’s not fun but it’s totally worth it! Agreed, it’s so cute so see the hubby working on the house. I’ve decided I need some artwork up to make it feel more like home, but we are getting closer and closer! 🙂



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