Monday, October 28, 2013

Nailing The Landing

 (That's a reference to gymnastics, not to having acquired a nail gun - that toy ...err, tool is still on the wish list)

I blame not having a garage for piles of tools and project supplies dotted strategically ie near the latest project site throughout the house. Especially at risk for such unsightly if handy pile-ups are corners with no actual regular use.
Like our upstair's landing.
Especially since it has that sweet little cantilevered balcony feature. It opens up the hallway between the bedrooms, provides great air flow and light but it's not big enough for ...well, anything useful really. It really makes me wonder how it was used originally seeing that our elders never really wasted space on nothing.

Anyways, our little balcony had become a) a spot for one of our cats' litter-boxes and b) supplies and tools. None of which make your heart beat faster when you lay your eyes on it first thing in the morning.

I knew I wanted to hide the litter-box, and I had seen various modified dressers, benches, and other pieces of furniture turned into litter-box-cozies but up until now I'd never found anything that would work for our little spot.

So we'd been living with -this- for quite a while. Until this past weekend when I had that feeling that I simply -had- to check in at my favorite thrift store. My secret spider senses were tingling, and then I discovered THIS:

A trunk! A square-ish trunk that was deep enough but not too deep to hide a litter-box! It was sturdy and in pretty decent shape, and would work just fine with our overall vintage, Renovation Hardware- knock off style.
SOLD! (for $7.95)

Once home I gave it a quick scrub before cutting out the opening. I'd seen some use kitty doors (our cats never liked these) and other ways to hide the entrance but I left ours plain - it'll take some convincing to get the kitties to use the new box to begin with, I didn't feel like adding challenges like door mechanisms or curtains. Maybe later ...once the novelty wears off.

Yes, I gave the cut-out ears. If you search for 'hidden litterboxes' on you will find a whole variety of options including the stylized cat noggin and a full kitty silhouette (for an under-sink cabinet - too sweet!).

The I decided to refresh the finish of the trunk with a quick coat of dark brown paint I had on hand. I also rubbed some black paint to 'age' the whole shebang, and then let it dry!

While the litterbox-trunk was drying, I decided to paint the part of baseboard on the balcony. It was already primed but had remained hidden behind the pile-up for the past couple of ...uhm, weeks, and you know how it goes: out of sight, out of mind, and there is never enough time to begin with.

Two coats of white paint later, I got to check this baby off of my list! Yay! Golden opportunities, people, golden opportunities!

Because the trunk features nifty brass corners on -all- corners I added felt strips to the bottom of the trunk to protect the finish of our hardwood floors. 

Two down, six more to go.

Here we go. The trunk lid pops open and conveniently stays open thanks to those lock-type hinges which will come in handy for cleaning and changing litter. The box fits perfectly into the trunk with space around it. I'm thinking of adding a hook to the inside to hang the little plastic scooper to keep everything nicely contained.

And here we go, the beautiful, beautiful "After"! I added a plant (Look, Mom, all grown up! Plants! Inside the house!) and found a large wall clock to dress up the empty wall, and we are officially IN LOVE with our cantilever balcony landing!

Yes, I still need to finish stripping and painting the railing but this is starting to come together beautifully and it beginning to look like a real home rather than a perpetual construction site.

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