A Cat Friendly House in the Making

I think it is pretty safe to say that we love our cat, Triangle, and that he loves us back!


Our project today is something we think he will also love! Since Triangle is a fan of high places and spying on people we have decided to create a set of walk ways around one side of the building. These will allow him to get to the top of the fridge(where his food will be kept) in a fun way!

Using some standard shelf brackets and pre-made shelf boards, we got started!


We had to cut down some of the brackets, since the headspace needed for our big kitty pushed the shelves down almost to the windows.


In addition to the special cat shelves, we have also allotted the front of our closet shelves to cat traffic and made cut outs for him to pass through. This is so we can have storage bins on the back of the shelves and Triangle can walk or lounge in front of them.

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A cats-eye view!


We brought Triangle up for a little while to make sure that he fit through everything and could walk comfortably. Even though he looks pretty grumpy here, we think he approved of what we have done so far!



A Little Bit of Everything

It seems that days when a number of little things get done feel like a lot more was accomplished, even though a lot of the big, all-day jobs actually complete more! Today was one of those lots of little things days.

We started out by getting the bathroom threshold cut and glued down, so we can make sure out technique works before moving on to the much larger section of threshold that the kitchen is going to need. So far so good!

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You probably also noticed that there seems to be a bathroom door in that picture. That is because we finally found hardware that hangs it properly! We even installed a little latch, which I think mainly helps the door look like a door more than anything else. 🙂

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So now our hall closet or our bathroom can be closed with a simple slide! I am very pleased with our double-duty pocket door, instead of just wasting the space for the pocket.

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We also got another Ikea purchase installed in the form of some metal shelves over the kitchen sink. These ended up looking really fabulous! As always, yay Ikea!


Shedding Some Light on the Situation

Now that we have these lovely lights from Ikea, it’s time to install them! The first one went over Aaron’d desk and has 6 LEDs that can be pointed in almost any direction. Kinda looks like a jellyfish, huh?

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It provides the perfect amount of light for him to work at his desk, so Aaron is quite pleased. Just don’t look directly at them, they are bright head on!

The second light was a long multi light that would provide light to the coat closet on one side and the clothing closet on the other side. Yes, we may like directional lights 😉

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A Long Expected Installation

Do you know how in the way a toilet in a box can be? Well, just take my word for the fact that it can be VERY in the way! You can almost play Where’s Waldo with my pics over the months, spotting the toilet in many of them!

Toilet Box Collage

But, now that the wall panel is up in the bathroom, we can install the toilet!


Unboxing it was actually fairly exciting, who knew there were that many pieces of cardboard in there!


Getting the wax ring squished in well required a little bit different approach then the directions showed in our case. But it worked well!


After attaching the tank and seat, we could hook up water and do some test flushes!


After a rather damp adventure that proved that the tank bolts were tricky to tighten correctly, it was all set to go! This meant that I could finally put up the beautiful shower curtain that I had picked out weeks before.


We both love how it turned out! The bathroom is now officially the most finished part of the house, as well as being the prettiest! Once the last bit of trim painting is done, then it truly will be done 🙂

Who Said White Walls Had to be Boring?

In talking about the construction of Avako with friends, family, and acquaintances, I am usually asked “What colors are you painting the walls?” or, “You are so creative, surely you will be decorating this in some fantastical style?”.

The reactions that result when they discover that we are going to paint the walls white range from outrage to dismay.  People don’t seem to understand the influence that furniture and a few colored accents have in such a small space.  One brightly colored object can color the walls of an entire room when there is sunlight streaming in.  After doing some experimenting with color it seemed natural to use white for the walls.

However, there is no need for white walls need to be dull and un-interesting, oh no! Between all of the furniture(you can hardly find the walls in most tiny houses), the bead board walls that add texture and depth, and my fabulous plans for the bathroom, we are well taken care of in the interesting department.

Speaking of the bathroom, we have finally finished painting the drywall, which means my plans can really start to come to life!


Aaron and I decided(well, ok, I came up with the idea and put forth such good arguments that Aaron just had to agree with me) that a patterned paneling covering one wall of the bathroom would break up some of the only perfectly flat white walls we had. This would both create visual interest and protect one of our walls from moisture even more, as the paneling I was looking at was plastic.

To start, we had to cut a small strip off of one piece to make sure that our overlaps were all in the right places(as one piece wouldn’t quite cover the whole wall). This was fairly easy and gluing a small piece like this was quite straightforward.


However, the next piece promised to be a lot of fun due to the fact that it would need a window cut out of it for the ironing board cabinet alcove. This required a bit of creative thinking and measuring to make sure we placed the hole correctly.


I was pleased that once our hole had been marked, scoring and snapping the hole was very easy. Gotta love those simple pleasures!


I really wish there was something we could do with the scrap pieces we cut out, but even though we brainstormed and hung on to them for a while, we couldn’t come up with anything.


After a dry fit to assuage our fears of incorrect measuring, it was time for glue. LOTS of glue!


It was a tense few minutes, but with teamwork and a few errant shouts of “PI-VOT”(admittedly all from me) we got that sucker up on the wall!


I gotta say I simply love how it looks! Once it is fully dry we can get the trim put up and painted, and then the toilet can finally be installed.

Ahh, how nice it is to see the pieces start to fall into place:-)


Shopping Spree!

What did we do today? We went to Ikea!!!!

Saint Louis has just been blessed with the wonderland that is Ikea and my family and I are so excited!


Now, Aaron was a little confused as to why we were so enthusiastic over a store that he associated with cheap furniture and collage dorm jokes. I grew up on the East coast and going to an Ikea was a special treat that included sitting in all the fun chairs, getting a tiny pencil and measuring tape, and eating Swedish meatballs 🙂


We had a very full day picking out lights, some shelving, curtain fabric and hardware, and a TV stand/bookshelf. Oh, and we had meatballs too!


It Was a Light Day

Let there be light! Or, at least some more lights 🙂 This weekend we put up the light in the bathroom, the closet, and the second light in the kitchen.

The light in the bathroom presented a special kind of challenge, as it had to be positioned just right between the air duct, ceiling beam, and the wall!


Luckily we had a light that could bend and flex, so once we found the perfect spot, it was able to fit!


Once all the light bulbs were in, we had to test it out!


We are very happy with the amount of light the fixture gets, but we are planning on switching the halogen bulbs that came with the light for some cooler and longer lasting LED bulbs.

Next came the closet next to the bathroom. We have had a capped wire waiting here for a while, so it will be nice to finish it off.


It even has its own light switch! We have a number of lights that are paired and would have been too much trouble to re-wire separately, so it is a treat to have single-light switches.


And here is the light! It is a LED, so will last for ages and not use a ton of juice. Aaron and I agree that a lighted closet is delightful and suggest it strongly if the chance comes up. 🙂


Last was the second kitchen light, which means we had to take down another florescent light and paint the ceiling underneath.


Once we got the light wrangled up there(which is harder than it sounds, since I am so short and am usually the one holding the light in place!) we could say that the kitchen lights were all done!


Now that we have seen how much light these LEDs give off, we have decided to switch things up and get some different kinds of lights to replace the two remaining lights in this end of the building.

Maybe we will find something at the new IKEA in Saint Louis!