A quick faucet update that’s cheap n’ easy

….for some reason, this title has me picturing a cartoon faucet handle in a purple bustier standing on a street corner smoking a cigarette.  Am I alone in this?  Whatiswrongwithme?  Heehee!

Anyhoo, focusing… last we left off with our wet-bar progress, I had painted the cabinetry, stripped off the side and back splashes, removed the mirror (and wallpaper beneath it), patched, primed and painted the wall, which turned this…

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Into this…

Next up was improving the dated faucet.   This was a super simple project that took about 5 minutes (once I figured it out).  Sorry about the dark, somewhat grainy pictures in this post.  I did this project at night and the lighting is less than stellar almost nonexistent in this part of the room (Ahem!  …and I was tired and too impatient to set the tripod up and do it the right way).  Hopefully you still get the gist of how to do this, though.

So, allow me to introduce you to the faucet that came with the house…

It’s hard to tell in this pic, but the actual faucet has a pretty cool, streamlined shape.  The base is nice and simple as well, and really, the fixture is in good shape, so I didn’t see the need to dispose of the entire thing.   It was just the handles that screamed for an update.

Luckily, Lowes (and Home Depot, too) sells universal handle replacement kits.  This is the one we purchased for just under 20 bucks…

Danco 2-Pack Chrome Faucet or Bathtub/Shower Handles

Source

I wasn’t a huge fan of the red and blue dots (though they’re more subtle in person), but I figured it was still a vast improvement from what we had (plus, I figured I could probably do something with them (spray paint them, etc)). Online they do have the same handles with chrome screw covers instead, but my local Lowes didn’t have any in stock, so I just made do with what was available.

The first step was turning off the water beneath the sink.  Once I did that, I removed the ugly screw covers on the handles with a flat-head screwdriver…

And removed the handles…

Which left this…

Next up, was attaching the universal handle adapter (which is the metal piece at the bottom) and spacers (the white things on top)…

The kit came with its own allen wrench, so it was as simple as popping the piece on there and tightening the side screw…

Next, you simply place the handle on top to determine how many spacers you need for the handle to fit flush on the base without scraping.   I only needed one of the two spacers.  Now, here’s the point where it took a little figuring out.  I’m sure it varies a little from faucet handle to faucet handle, but with this set, the notches in the spacers…

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Fit around these pieces in the handles….

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And you want the notches in the spacers to point in the direction your handle will go.   So, in my case, my notches needed to face straight out from the faucet.  Like so…

Once these are on tightly, you simply place the handle on top and screw it in…

And wedge your covers over the screw…

Which left this…

The handles instantly update the fixture, giving it a much cleaner, sleeker look.   This quick, easy, and cheap update was totally worth it in my opinion.   And not having to deal with actual plumbing was a nice bonus for a total plumbing-wienie like myself.  Win-win!

So, next up, I have some wet-bar decor progress for ya.   You can sort of see some of the changes in the pic above, but (spoiler alert) it’s already changed from that since I took this pic thanks to a KILLER Craigslist find that I happily collected about a day ago.   I’m gonna start writing that post (maybe) today since it’s 28 degrees, icy, and a work-was-cancelled snow day here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (Woot!).   So, anyways, stay warm, y’all!!  Till the next…

TDC Before and After
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Put a cork in it

…Or on it, really.  Well, maybe I was right the first time (That’s riiiiight.  Keeeeep reeeeeading. 😉 ).   This post is about some cheap, easy art that I’ve had for many, many moons… since way back in my apartment days.  Since 2007 and my Arlington apartment, actually.  I know.  Nobody really cares.  I might in 50 years, though, when my art is still kickin’ (and I’m an 82 year old karate teacher.  Cool, eh?) .   I’ll have this blog to look back at through my inch-thick glasses to remind myself of this all-important fact.   Arlington.  2007.  Nice.  And I’ll be able to sleep soundly that night.  Which is important to maintain a proper 82-year-old round-house kick.  I mean, naturally. (P.s. Iveneverdonekaratebefore.)

…Okay, sorry.  Totally rambling here…. onto the point….

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So, I’m talking about the four little brown guys that surround the biggin.  Whenever someone new comes over to visit, I get comments and/or compliments on them, so I thought I’d toss it onto the ole’ bloggy blog.   This art is so easy that I actually feel guilty getting compliments.   Is that weird?  Not really.  Well, sorta.

In our last house, I hung them in a quadrant formation and they held down the fort all by themselves.   In our current house, they flank the larger painting in the front room…

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This art seriously cost me around 12 buckaroos.  For all four pieces.

They’re simply dark brown, chunky cork panels, which I found a while back at Hobby Lobby.  They came in a pack of four for around 12 dollars (and no, they weren’t 50% off at the time… these were purchased during my Decorating Dark Ages, when I was ignorant of the inner sale workings of such establishments.  Shame, really.).

I thought they’d make neat backgrounds for simple photos, so I chose some pics from when I went to Italy back in 2000 and attached them to the cork with some oil-rubbed bronze upholstery tacks that I had on hand.   To hang my cheapo art, I literally hammered a nail straight through the cork into the wall above my photo.  I used a level to make sure they were straight and then hammered a second nail below my pic to maintain that levelness.  You can kind of see a nailheads here (see the silver dot above the photo?)…

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But, if you wanted to camouflage them, all it would take is a dab with a brown marker.   I love the texture and simplicity of these pieces.   Kind of rustic, but with clean lines.   Totally my jam.  This art set is one of the few decor items that’s remained intact (without a makeover of any kind) as my taste has evolved over the years.  It’s a little unique but simple enough to fit in with many styles.  Sort of a different take on picture frames.

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Also, I’ve been ecstatic about how well they’ve held up over the years.  They’ve adorned the walls of two apartments, our last house and our current house and they don’t seem the worse for wear in the slightest.   Definitely worth the moolah.

Also, cork tiles are really versatile.  Just about any art would work on them.  More colorful, fun prints for a kids room.  You could even paint initials or emblems onto them or cut out some cool letters or shapes in cardstock or scrapbook paper and adhere them to the center of the tile.  In our last house, I purchased a second, more standard-looking set of cork tiles for our office and simply stuck a clear push-pin smack-dab into the center of each tile on which I hung our extra cds (shiny-side-out).  It was functional CD storage and art at the same time.   Storage in plain sight.    So, these cork tiles are gold, really.  So many cool things can be done with them.

Have any of ya’ll utilized cork tiles in a different way?  Any ideas to share?