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Friday, July 9, 2010

Top Ten Reasons to Hit the Hardware Store

I love shopping. I could do it all day. Seriously. Set me loose in an outlet mall or discount store, and I’m beside myself giddy. 
 But drop me off at Home Depot, and we have my true “Hello, Lover” moment.

Regular stores end up being mostly photos, hastily scribbled notes, and measurements (yes, I have a tape measure hanging off of my purse). The hardware store is where expensive inspiration meets doable DIY.
Now, I do understand that not everyone drools in the tool aisle or is on a first name basis with the guy at the paint counter, but there are very good reasons to cultivate a good relationship with your local Lowes. In fact, here’s 10 of them:

1. The Neglected Nest  : Living Inside the Box: Pallets are generally free for the asking, so how cool would it be to build a deck and planter boxes for nada? I’m serious! Check out this duo’s backyard transformation using free wood and some ingenuity, then bring up Craigslist and borrow a pick up truck!

2. Under the Table and Dreaming: Patio Paver Planters: Large, substantial planters are expensive. Stephanie Lynn’s creativity on this one is going to get me into trouble. I’m just picturing variations and configurations galore on this, and you will be too when you read this simple, sleek project. Oh, the possibilities…

3. Domestically Speaking: Pergola: Did I mention that my gazebo fell? Yep. Although I’d already designed its replacement prior to the event, and when I found this beautiful back patio eye candy over at Maryann’s, I took a few of her ideas and started tweaking. This is graceful, substantial, and simple all in one. And she got the whole family in on it!

4. Sawdust and Paper Scraps: Cabinet Building: Ever have a great space for a built in, but stock cabinets just don’t fit? Relax, Sandra has you covered. She has step by step instructions and illustrations to walk you through your first project fearlessly, hammer held high, able to conquer that awkward space on your first try.

5. Recaptured Charm: Fire Pit Patio: Lisa’s detailed instructions on how to transform an overgrown corner into an entertaining space gave me more energy than a Red Bull! They did the work themselves in a weekend, and the results are lemonade in the shade worthy. Check out the way they softened it with a really nice garden that started out lush.

6. May Days: Four Poster Bath Tub: I was just going through some of the other entrants in a link party when I spotted   Rita May’s fantasy bath makeover. Now, I have no space to do this; her tub is the size of my entire bathroom. But the beadboard surround as well as a few of the other touches are a distinct possibility, and who wouldn’t want to soak for hours encircled by billowy curtains!

7. Tara Being Tara: Building with Wood: How easy are the projects at Knock Off Wood? Tara tackled this as a first timer. I love how it turned out, and the color? Oh please, it’s calling me! I can see this on the back patio stashing cushions and lanterns until needed. And as a coffee table. Or a bench. Or a…BRB, I need lumber.

8. Condo Blues: Make a Compost Bin Out of a Plastic Storage Tub: If Lisa was any greener, she’d be Kermit the Frog. What I love the most is that she shows you how to be green cheaper than NOT being green! This project is quick and easy…and God knows my garden could use some compost!

9. Tools Are for Women Too: Shutter Project: All over blogland, Rory is well known as a “guy pal,” taking you through tough projects with easy tips. With this one, he managed to mix “cottage charm” and “who wants margaritas?” in one fell swoop! I love this, and I know one of these needs to appear over my bar pronto. Swizzle stick, anyone?

10. 33 Shades of Green: Hyper-Whata? Hypertufa Pots: Now, here’s where it gets confusing; that link goes straight to Cassity over at Remodelaholic. Why? Alissa was just featured there, and her project is so new, she hasn’t even blogged it at 33 Shades of Green yet! But this is a great hypertufa tutorial with very clear instructions and her finished products have a very polished look.

Well, do you feel like fumbling for your tool belt yet? I like this roundup because there’s something on here for every skill level. So you make your list, I’ll make mine, and I’ll meet you in the parking lot by the garden center.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Sounds like some great projects. I need to check some of these out. I do agree, I love the hardware store. Great ideas and possibilities on every corner. Hugs, Marty

alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

Hi Sunny - Thanks so much for adding my project to your list! I'm looking forward to checking out all the other great projects you listed. I feel the same way about hardware stores...So many possibilities!

Life in Rehab said...

Awww, thanks Marty, you're such a ray of sunshine!

Alissa, I'm glad you approve, and seriously, I have to make some of these!

Recaptured Charm said...

Thanks Sunny for including me in your list of projects today! I've visited all the others and they are fantastic ideas! Lots of creativity!
Thanks again,

Erin @ The Little Apartment said...

nothing like a home store to get the money flowing. I live right next door to a lumber warehouse, they give me weird looks while I windowshop with a stroller.

Life in Rehab said...

Strollers are cleverly disguised shopping carts...

Sawdust Girl said...

I'm so excited to check out some of these other blogs. You make every one of them sound like something I just can't live without! heheha Thanks for the mention.

Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

Love love love this post! And yes, I am very "hello lover!" for my hardware store too. Sometimes I emerge an hour later than I planned with stars in my eyes and no money left! It's an addiction I tell you - I need an intervention!

Life in Rehab said...

Sandra, stay tuned...that's not the only post of yours on the future menu!

Christin, oh, I know what you mean! I pop in for PVC, and the next thing I know I've got cinder blocks and 2x4's. I think that's the only reason Sam goes with me- to stop me!

Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

Thanks for the mention! I just found your blog and I love it! Glad I'm not the only DIY-crafting-feminist in the blogosphere!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I know my hardware stores like the back of my hand - better than my husband :) Thanks for including me in your post. I'm flattered you think I'm as green as Kermit *blush*