When I buy or build a house I often insert small, inexpensive details that quickly become my favorite features of the home. While my hubby almost always protests them at first, I usually find that these quirky enhancements get positive reviews from others (and he grows to like them based on popular opinion). Here are a few recent examples:

This bedroom didn’t have room for a full bathroom. I could have made the closet a little wider; but instead chose to put in a little vanity. This saves “bathroom time” for personal grooming chores such as brushing your teeth and styling hair. I found the sink at Habitat first ($75) and then developed a design around it. Behind the wall is the utility room so plumbing was readily accessible and cost very little. We used a leftover piece of butcher block for the counter top and bought a new faucet. I purchased the skirt fabric (and tension rod to hang it) from Walmart for a few dollars and sewed it myself. My mother-in-law made the mirror using shells from a beach trip to Mexico; and my daughter bought me the soap dish at a thrift store. I can’t calculate the “value add” – but the overall cost was less than $200 and really makes the guest room unique.

guest sink

guest sink2

These fake windows help break up a large expanse of stucco wall. The inside floorplan didn’t allow for that many windows. I ordered the Mexican tiles from Amazon and measured them carefully when they arrived. I gave very specific dimensions to my stucco people and had them create pop outs just the right size to act as “frames”. The total project cost less than $500.


I’ve used this design in two home so far. The open shelves are above the dishwasher making for easy reach and allowing for plates that might be deeper than the average cabinet. Of course if your fine china is made by Tupperware then the design might not be so appealing. What makes the shelves unique are the brackets fashioned from horseshoes by a young, local welding artist that we know. Truly unique. The brackets were about $60 and the shelving is just painted shelf lumber from Lowes. Less than $100.

29 rd kitchen shelves
Reuse – repurpose – get creative!

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