"Budget" Is a Four-Letter Word

Ohhh, the laundry room woes, you guys.  After all of our discussing before the long weekend and all of my plotting, planning, and mood board creating, Mark came home that Friday night and blew it all to hell.  As we were chatting, I brought up wanting to get out early on Saturday morning to make the rounds of stores, so we could be sure to get to Ikea before Rt. 95 went to hell in a handbasket, as it does (even on weekends!  I hate how congested NoVA is!).  That's when Mark piped up with, "Sooo, about that...." Evidently he had spent some time that afternoon playing with our finances, and he determined that this month was perhaps not the best time to dive head first into a renovation project.  This was disappointing to say the least; I was also kind of ticked that he waited until AFTER I had spent two days working on plans before bringing this up.  (Insert Mark's howling laughter at the understatement here.)  However, I kind of love the fact that he handles all of that stuff, so I usually just suck it up and get over myself, challenging as that may be.  (Mark is now clutching his sides and convulsing, because OH HOW THE LAUGHTER HURTS.)

After some discussion, the plan for the weekend morphed into information gathering.  Our first stop was the Crate & Barrel Outlet -- my happy place.  I wanted to check the prices on the glass canisters I had eyeballed for detergent and clothespins.  They were the same price as in the regular stores, but at $10-12, you really can't go wrong, so I grabbed them.  Also in our wanderings we found a little stainless trashcan, the perfect size for dryer lint, and at $12?  SOLD. 

Next we decided to hit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore nearby, just in case there happened to be another smoking deal like this one.  We lucked out there last winter when I was looking for a printer table.  We found a 1960s mahogany Music Minder record cabinet that was in need of some love.  The innards had been removed, and it looked as though the back had been hacked a bit to allow it to be used for media storage.  We picked it up for $30, and a few coats of glossy black spray paint later, it became a perfect printer table, with tons of room for supply storage inside.  We weren't quite so lucky this time.  While the ReStore had lots of cabinets, most were being sold as complete sets (in the neighborhood of $700!), and regardless, the cabinets in stock were primarily lowers and we were just looking for uppers.  We poked around the tile remnants and light fixtures, but eventually had to move on.  You win some, you lose some.

Last stop was Lowe's. We wanted to check out flooring, paint, and the light fixture, which was our first stop.  They had the really cute vintage schoolhouse style light in stock for only $25, so we decided to pick it up.  Replacing the existing fluorescent bar would be a must even if the rest of the reno never materialized.  From there we moved on to flooring where we found self stick vinyl tiles for $.88 each -- perfect.  We preferred the look of the tiles with grout, but that would require removal of the washer and dryer for a week or more, so we'll have to play that by ear.  We wandered by the paints and grabbed some great swatches.  Then, as we were wandering through the kitchen area, it occurred to me that they might have some inexpensive stock cabinets, so we looked around and sure enough, stock cabinets!  They came in white and ready-to-finish; the white ones looked kind of plastic-y to me, so we seriously considered the ready-to-finish.  They came in the same sizes as the Ikea cabinets, but would have been only about $220 total.  Sure, they weren't as pretty, but I kind of liked the idea of making the ordinary pretty -- a challenge!

However, I played with some numbers upon returning home, and it turns out the ready-to-finish cabinets really aren't that big a bargain.  Once you factor in the supplies needed (sandpaper, paint brushes/rollers, paint, etc.), there was only about a $20 difference between the unfinished Lowe's cabinets and the pretty, glass-doored Ikea ones.  Ikea it is!  Well, someday...

So yeah, after all of that (and all of my yammering), the only real change we've made thus far is the light fixture.  Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE the lack of fluorescent lighting -- but I am also totally impatient very much looking forward to the upcoming stages of transformation too.  I'll keep you posted.


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