Flags as Art

For a long time, I’ve admired the look of a big flag hung in a room to serve as art.  Doesn’t matter how simple or detailed the flag, I’m a sucker for the look.  Emily Henderson has two that show how great this large-scale art can be.  A vintage Red Cross flag above a sofa fills that large expanse without feeling overbearing.

In her current house, she has a simple blue and white stripe flag above a credenza.  Both designs are simple, two color styles that make a bold statement, without needing a frame.

Or, when framed, the flag becomes a piece big enough to anchor a bed, serving as a headboard.

Division Street

So I know flags as art isn’t a new thing, but I’ve recently added one to our home, with a twist.


The lovely ladies behind Flagology recently asked me if I’d want to try a custom house flag, either outside or indoors.  A million options ran through my mind, designs, colors, even where I could hang it.


With such a neutral laundry room, I thought it’d be fun to add large scale, colorful art in the mix.  At 28 inches wide by 40 inches tall, the size fills the end wall perfectly.  While I loved everything about it, I realized the light weight piece would work even better in the basement hall.


Why does the weight matter so much on this wall?  Well, this wall is mostly a pocket door and essentially only drywall to hang anything on.


So I found a section of wooden dowel, ran it through the top pocket, and added twine to hang the flag from.


A thumb tack easily holds the flag in place, and doesn’t need heavy-duty hangers.


Thanks to the thick, outdoor quality fabric, I don’t have to worry about mess hands, shoulder bumps (not to be confused with shoulder pads), or anything else damaging the flag.  That’s not something I can say about traditional frames with glass or even canvas paintings.


Creating a custom flag was as simple as uploading a .jpeg file, clicking the mouse a few times, and done.  Knowing I wanted this to look a bit more like art than a traditional flag, I created a design based on a paint by number scene.  The Flagtastic fabric kept the greens of the mountains and trees vibrant to really liven up this dark little hallway.


Now to get some more art on these walls!  I’ve had a special print waiting in the wings for that wall at the end of the hall.  Getting to the accessory stage is so much fun because that’s where the personality and life come into play.

If you like this idea, you’ll love that Flagology is giving one custom house flag or doormat to a lucky reader!

This post was sponsored by Flagology, but all ideas, opinions, and photos are my own.  

A Simple Headboard

Sometimes it feels like we’re treading water on big projects-you know, doing a lot of work but easily goes unnoticed.  Wow, what an encouraging, uplifting way to start, huh?  You know what is uplifting?  Small, quick, straight forward projects to break up the longer, meatier ones we have going on.  With most of the basement wrapping up, we’re getting to the fun, really obvious changes stage of the game.  One of those changes was getting the Sleep Number mattress up and off the floor with a custom bed frame.


Basic dimensional lumber, stain, and poly can come together to create a sleek, modern frame.  To create the base, we followed almost the exact same steps as our bed frame.


It has held up well, costs about $100 in materials, and can be assembled in less than a day.  One noticeable difference is the headboard.  I love the splash of green in our bedroom, but wanted something warmer to contrast against the blue-gray in the basement.



After debating a variety of wood designs, I went with the KISS method and kept it simple, stupid.


Ben used 2 by 4 boards for a completely solid design.  I’m usually 100 percent opposed to the rounded edges of dimensional lumber, so we ran each board through the table saw before assembling.


With boards prepped, we cut to length, lined each up on the garage floor, and screwed boards to the back, connecting the pieces together.  For a finished edge, we used more 2 by 4 material to create a frame to wrap the edges.


These boards hide the edges as well as the vertical connecting pieces, leaving a 3/4 inch reveal.


We now have a neutral base to layer anything and everything on and around.


Pinstripe sheets, small plus sign pillow cases and a kilim throw pillow add a boost of pattern and playfulness to the room.


Next step, new night stands to replace the single petite dresser that is standing in.

A Combo Bathroom Vanity

At the end of January, but the beginning of our full gut basement remodel, I shared a few vanity options to go in the bathroom.  After living with a variety of styles, I was quickly able to narrow it down to a combo of open and closed storage.  Open to keep what could be a big, bulky piece light, but closed for maximum storage for items big and small.  Here’s what we came up with:

Plan a unique vanity: https://ourhumbleabodeblog.com/2016/01/27/designing-a-bathroom-vanity/

From drawing to reality, here’s the completed vanity:


Obviously the rest of the room isn’t finished, but we’re getting close.  Tiling the shower is next, followed up with linen shelving behind the door, then paint and finishing touches.  As for the vanity, four by four pine posts create the legs, a shelf rests on hidden supports, and a custom-made cabinet box houses the drawers and cabinet.

After walking around the stone yard, Ben and I both fell for this black with white swirling vein remnant slab.  The same sleek white vessel sink we used in our bathroom is a modern addition.  Photographing this space is tricky thanks to the unpainted walls and artificial lighting, so sorry some areas are really blown out.


Slab fronts with angled edges allow the rest of the details to shine through.


I usually lean toward handles, but opted for satin nickel knobs for minimal interruptions of the cabinetry.


Over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the benefits of keeping some things out in the open.  A single open shelf is handy for storing extra towels and toilet paper, making them accessible for guests without having to search.  Because it’s always awkward if/when you have to search at someone else’s house, right?  Easy way to eliminate that annoyance.


Speaking of toilet paper accessibility, going with an open ended holder makes life so much easier for everyone.  If possible, I prefer to mount the holder out of sight from the door to keep a clean sight line.


Despite being unfinished, this bathroom is already a far cry from the starting point of  glue floors, yellow fixtures, and orange counter tops.


I’m so excited for the shower to take shape next-we’re using a method and material that we’ve never done so it will be interesting.  What project do you currently have in the works?  Anything with new to you products?

DIY Vertical Kitchen Divider

As much as we love a good full gut before and after remodel, don’t discredit smaller projects that can have a huge impact on function.  One of the small builds we recently completed for the kitchen in a stand alone vertical divider to easily store and sort cutting boards, baking sheets, and other slim items.  When organizing a kitchen, I try to keep items as close to the place they’re used as possible.  The cabinet above our double ovens had never been maximized and sat mostly empty until we added this handy compartment.


To get started on this, we measured the smallest inside dimensions of the cabinet and built a self-contained box to fit inside.  Rather than taking up the entire cabinet, we built it 16 inches wide, creating four 4 inch compartments.


To create the compartments, we cut pieces of 1/2 inch MDF to fit between, using a piece of scrap material and dimes to space.


The dimes allow wiggle room for the painted verticals to easily slide in and out without sticking.  Pieces of 1/2 inch MDF also function as the dividers.


By cutting those pieces a little small, the boards come out without needing to get serious muscle involved.


Once in the cabinet, I loaded it up each compartment sorting cookie sheets, plastic cutting boards, wood cutting boards, and muffin tins and cooling racks.  All things that are light weight and not breakable, but don’t stack well or fit easily in other cabinets.


This freed up the drawer below for our heavier glass baking dishes that nestle in.  Such a simple project that really upped the usability of the kitchen and put a higher cabinet to good use.  Do you have a favorite quick organizer you’d like to share with us?

Laundry Room

Do you hear that?  No, I’m not crazy, the choir of angels is singing because we have one room in the basement without anything on the to do list.  As in, finished.  100% done.  Complete.  Granted it’s one of the smallest rooms, but it does boast nearly as much custom cabinetry as our kitchen, so it wasn’t as simple as throwing down flooring, slapping up trim, and tossing paint at the walls.  While the appliances have been functional nearly the entire duration of the remodel, the room as a whole has caught up.

To really feel accomplished, let’s take a look back four years ago to the beginning.   New-House-Laundry-Room-April-13-2012

I’m sorry for the orange overload seared into your brain, but that’s what we lived with until demo started.  Across the room sat the side by side washer and dryer with a utility sink oddly stuffed behind the door.  Oh yeah, and we had glue covered floors so I tucked a rug in the room to make it feel a little less gross under foot.

With a few minor tweaks like scooting the door frame over, adding a pocket door, and different cabinets, we’ve got a fully functional laundry room.


Bright white cabinets help lighten up the windowless space, while stainless counters provide a durable work surface with a touch of shine.


A tall cabinet in the corner holds a vacuum and ironing board, with bulky cleaning products above.

We decided to stack the washer and dryer, leaving space for our upright freezer on one side and a sink with a bit of countertop on the other.


After precariously balancing things on the edge of the old utility sink, I knew I wanted a little more space to set soaking clothes, soaps, and paint brushes.  Two shelves store the most used laundry and cleaning items, keeping it in reach.


In place of the plastic wash bin, we used a single bowl stainless steel kitchen sink and pull down faucet for easy spraying or rinse action.  Don’t worry about the standard looking outlet, it’s actually connected to a GFCI in the bathroom, on the other side of the wall.


Since we buy in bulk, I decant laundry staples into containers for easy handling.  Big boxes tuck in the cabinet below for a quick refill.


Just for fun, and because I wash nearly everything on a cold cycle, I added a sarcastic laundry chart to the room.  If you really want to know what all those crazy symbols mean, here’s a real chart option.


Back to the other side, custom drying rack drawers tuck neatly away behind slim fronts.  A six-foot long counter space makes folding and sorting a breeze, and the drying racks come in handy as extra surface space to drape hanging shirts and pants on.


On the counter, I added a Great Lakes cut out from Crafterall, along with a wooden sculpture to have something pretty to break up the gray and white.  A little cup holds chang, ear plugs, rocks, and other items I find in pockets.


This is the first time in my life having such a functional, fully finished, and if I do say so myself, beautiful and clean laundry room.  I know most people see it as strictly utilitarian, but choosing durable, hard-working elements doesn’t automatically equate to ugly.