August 29, 2011

Step It Up

Wow! This weekend was super productive. Denny went to the lake for the weekend with some friends, so on Thursday night we went to Lowe’s and Safeway to stock up on home improvement supplies and frozen dinners so I wouldn’t die of boredom or starvation (he definitely knows the key to my heart, that’s for sure).
Since he left mid-day, I came home from work on Friday, fueled up on a Marie Calendar’s dinner, and promptly launched into the first project (which is still in progress but which I should have a post on by Wednesday). Here’s a little hint on what it is…

You can probably guess what the photo means, but I’m going to decline to comment on it until it’s completely finished. You heard me! So don’t even ask! ;)
The project that I did finish this weekend only took around 10 minutes surprisingly (I say “surprisingly” because thus far, all of my projects I’ve expected to take a couple hours at most have actually taken a week at least—I guess I’m just backwards when it comes to estimating time). It all started…well, I guess it all started right away when we moved in. Because right from the beginning, our front step has looked like this:

Yeah. Not very inspiring, I know. It’s not only sort of strange (with it not having any stoop to speak of directly before the door), but it’s also just so freakin’ bland. My eyes can barely process that many shades of grey. If the dead leaves weren’t there (and they won’t be for much longer—we’re planning to cut down the tree that sheds them ALL-YEAR-ROUND-apparently), I would think that this picture was done in black and white.
So, I began thinking of ways to spruce it up a little bit. My first thought was to paint the front door (and I still plan to do that eventually), but until I can decide on a color, I needed an interim plan. A pot of mums for fall? Sounds nice, but still not enough. Aha! How about lining the steps with some skinny mats? Well, that plan sounded fine and dandy, but all the doormats that are designed to be put on stair treads are (you guessed it) black. Now, since that doesn’t exactly help my cause, I thought to myself, Why not just chop up a couple of regular sized ones?
When I mentioned my plan to Denny, he looked super skeptical. He thought for sure it would be hideous, but (as usual) he saw the determined look on my face, elected not to fight that battle, and said to me, “Sure, honey. Whatever you say.” Probably thinking in his head the whole time that if it did turn out terrible he could just toss them in the trash and we’d only be out a grand total of $15.
So, this weekend I made a second trip to Lowe’s and picked up a couple of brightly colored doormats and a utility knife to hack them into pieces with.

I went into the garage (where I was less likely to accidentally chop giant holes in the carpet) and used a tape to measure the halfway point, which I marked out with a chalk pen (I tried a Sharpie at first, but it wouldn’t show up— what a shocker, I know). I used a piece of cardboard to keep my line nice and straight.

The next step took approximately five minutes. I simply ran my utility knife down the line twice on the back, then flipped the mat and made sure the cut had gone completely through the front portions, as well. (Like my paint hands, by the way? Another manicure bites the dust.)
Uh, yeah. And then I was done. I took my mats out front and threw them down (alright, I swept up the front step a little bit, too—go ahead and add another 15 seconds onto the total time tally if you must) and my front step went from “blah” to “be-you-tee-full”!

Sorry about the weird lighting, by the way, but with the way our house is oriented it pretty much always has that odd shadow there. So, what do you think? Do you like it? I’m pretty much in love with it. And Denny is, too! I was so happy when he gave it his stamp of approval (and it was an “awesome” stamp, too, not just a “passable, I can live with it” stamp! I mean, he smiled and everything!). It’s been a good weekend for projects, let me tell you. I can’t wait to report back later this week and show you the huge project that I undertook this weekend. It makes all the difference in the kitchen…hint, hint! :)
PS: And, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Moody Mondays. I’ll be back in a couple of hours with my very first guest mood board! Stay tuned! -A


  1. Those are the best welcome mats that I have ever seen! I love how such a quick project made such a difference. You got those at Lowe's?

  2. That turned out really well! You know, you could always paint or stain your stoop. Ha. Stoop. That's a funny word. Look at it. Stoooop! Now I wanna know why it's named that. Is it because in days of yore the lintels were low and so people had to crouch (aka stoop) in front of the door waiting to be let in? I think yes.