Tag Archives: DIY

Kitchen Makeover: Raising Cabinets

For those of you that have patiently waited…the time has FiNaLLy come!  I am starting my Home Makeover Series today, beginning with my kitchen makeover!!  If you remember, last April we began preparing our house to have it MOVED 100+ miles.  It was during that time that I probably lost my mind for good Ü

The same month that we tore off our old mudroom in preparation for the move (which use to be where the door/clock/purses hang in the picture below) I decided if I already had a demo pile of trash outside, I might as well add to it by tearing out the soffit in my kitchen!  Here is what my kitchen looked like 12 month ago….Demo before

Kitchen Before


Believe it or not, one morning I decided I had lived with this soffit long enough…and I knew Doug would be gone for 24 hours so he couldn’t talk me out of it…so at 10:30 a.m. this is what I did:

Step #1: Cut Hole

Step #1: CUT SMALL HOLE in soffit to see what you are getting yourself into.  Luckily, our soffit was hollow!!

Step 2: Score Your Sheetrock

Step 2: SCORE YOUR SHEETROCK from the ceiling so you have a clean cut when you pull out your soffit.  This will keep you from tearing up your ceiling!

Step 3: Rip Our Soffit!


Step 4: Keep Ripping!!


After I made it halfway across the kitchen, I removed the first cabinet (as you can see in the picture below, the white area is where the cabinet was).  Moving the cabinets would allow me to rip out the rest of the soffit AND keep the cabinets safe from demo!

Step 5: Remove Cabinet

How did I do it ALONE, you ask?  Well, since my kids were too little to recruit AND cabinets are HEAVY, I had to get creative Ü  I flipped one of our barstools on its side, wedged towels in-between the cabinet and stool, then held the cabinet in place as I unscrewed the screws with the electric screwdriver.  Once I got my balance, I carefully took them off the stool and placed them in a safe spot.

Support Your Cabinets if Lowering Them By Yourself

Step 5: SUPPORT YOUR CABINETS before removing

The idea was working, until I got a too CrAzY and wedged the stool so tight that I couldn’t get IT or the cabinet loose!  So…I ended up having to take the barstool apart. :(  But no worries!  I screwed it back together and it is just like new!!

Demo 1

Once the cabinets were out of the way, I started pulling out the studs.  Some of the studs were hard for me to remove due to really big nails securing the studs.  I used a sawzall and cut most of the studs, then used a crowbar to remove them.  Yes, I did make some pretty obvious gashes in the sheetrock.  We’ll worry about that later ;)

Step 6: Remove other Cabinets

Step 6: REMOVE remainder of cabinets and CONTINUE TO DEMO SOFFIT!

In the picture below, see how the soffit comes out to the middle of the room?  I removed this cabinet and took it out for good!  I knew doing so would really open up the space!  (And as far as giving up a cabinet and loosing the extra space, I have a solution for that in a future post!)

demo 3

Don’t you agree?  Look at how much it opened the room!

Step 7: Find Studs and Rehang Cabinets


I thought I took pictures on how I hung the cabinets by myself, but apparently I was getting tired by that point!  The picture above shows the first cabinet I hung.  As you can see, I purposely left a gap between the cabinet and ceiling so I could add crown moulding in the future.

The idea of hanging the cabinets was pretty easy because all I was doing was moving them straight UP.  The screws could stay in the cabinet holes because I would still hit a stud.  The hardest part was doing this alone and having the strength to hold the cabinet exactly where it needed to be AND screw in the screws at the same time.  I used the barstool and towels again, and to make sure the cabinet was level, I taped it to the top of the cabinet so I could see if it was level or not!  My body is sore just thinking about this step of the process.  It was quite the workout, but I finished!!

10 hours later I had cleaned up the demo pile, tossed it outside, and got to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Here is what the kitchen looked like at 10 A.M.:

Kitchen Before


And here it was at 8:00 p.m. (I took some of the cabinet doors off because I wanted to see if I liked open shelving):

Step 8: Done by Evening!


Ya think Doug noticed when he came home the next morning??? :)

If you want me to continue “Lara’s Home Makeover Series” comment below by telling me what you think of this kitchen project!



Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA

Front Door Facelift

I keep saying that 2012 is a year for cHaNge.  One of the first things I’ve changed is my front door!  When we bought our home it was a country blue.  I painted it red a few years ago, but this year I have been wanting a new look.  Here it is before…

Door Before

And now…the after picture!  What do you think?

Door After

I bought some vinyl and cut out “Welcome” with my stencil machine.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  To think–Leanne and I were able to tRaNsForm the door in less than an hour (during Garrett’s nap)!

The weather is going to be awesome this week.  Is there something you can do to take advantage of the warmer days and make a change around the house?



Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA

DIY Ladder Shelf

I made a shelf a couple of years ago and LoVe how it turned out.  Recently, my sister wanted one so I was able to take some pictures this time to share the steps with you!  Thanks Sis, for asking me, so I could document this for a post :)

I bought (2) 1x4x8 pieces of pine and got to wOrk cutting them to the sizes I wanted.

(2) 4 foot 1x4 pieces, and (3) 1 foot 1/4 pieces

 You can make the shelf as tall and wide as you’d like, but I made this one 4-feet long and the “rungs” 1-foot tall (for easy measuring!)

After they were cut, I laid it out to see what it would look like.

Then off to making it look pReTTy!  Used some dark walnut stain I had on hand.  This stain has been used for SO MANY projects!

Time to assemble!

I had “my man” help me nail the shelf together.  We laid the long pieces side-by-side and then marked where the “rungs” would go.  Then I used 2 brad nails to sEcuRe the top and bottom of every piece.  Very easy if you can get someone to help you with this step, and the exposed nails add to the character!

Added some hardware to the back so it would be ready for my sister to hang!

This is a picture of my shelf that I made a couple years ago.  This one is longer than the one I made above for my sister.  Custom make it to fit your needs, just make sure you buy enough 1×4’s!  This is easily something you could do in an afternoon and it’s super eaSy and inexPensiVe!  You could even have the pieces cut to size at your hardware store if you don’t have access to a miter saw!

P.S. Here is a mini-ladder shelf I made with some left over wood from my pRojeCt.  I added some hooks and we use it to hang our keys in the mudroom!



Filed under DIY, RANDO•RAMA

HGBV (Home & Garden Blog Video) CONTEST

WiN a $50 Gift Card to HoMe DePoT in our HGBV CoNteSt!!

Contest Details:

  1. Contest begins on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 and ends at midnight on Friday, June 3, 2011.
  2. Submit a DIY (Do It Yourself) before and after picture of a space (indoor or outdoor) you have transformed.  Submit your pictures via email to suedesofa@yahoo.com   
  3. Give a brief description on why we should chose your transformation (for example, “I transformed my space on less than $100!”,  “All the furniture came from garage sales.” , “I transformed the uglest room ever!”)
  4. Participants may submit more than one entry.
  5. We will announce the five finalists on Monday, June 6, 2011.  “Before and After” pictures of each finalist’s space will be posted on the Suede•Sofa blog.  Readers can cast their vote by midnight on Friday, June 10, 2011.
  6. The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 11, 2011 and will receive a $50 Home Depot gift card.

Leave a comment

Filed under At Home, RANDO•RAMA, Videos