DIY home improvement diaries

So, I moved into a new place this year, and it needed some work. I am a full-time student, with some part-time jobs, and finding time to put into home improvement things isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be.

I still have a list of things to do, but I thought I’d kick-start this series with what I’ve already done. This is obviously not going to work in everyone’s home, but the idea is for you to get some ideas about what you could do, and how easy it can be.

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My kitchen was quite basic, and didn’t have much storage space or hanging space. I’m very much into dynamic-spaces, and I enjoy using different heights in how I utilise my space. I grew up hanging towels rather than folding them, and this very simple frame is something anyone can do.

I basically just got some wood together, found a drill-bit and some screws that were the same thickness, and mounted the frame above the sink. I hammered simple copper nails into the bar for the towels, but screw-hooks would do the trick as well.

Important to remember, though, is that your screws that go into the wall need sleeves, and you need to factor this into when you’re drilling. My first holes fit the screw, but the plastic sleeve that holds the screw into the wall didn’t. I had to get a slightly bigger drill-bit and increase the size of the holes. Not too difficult, but it still meant another trip to the hardware store.

This is really cheap, and really easy to decorate. You could even add another wooden bar for soap or dishwashing liquid if you wanted to. If you do consider this, I’d probably recommend some L-supports in order to reinforce where the weight is going to sit. However, this is a very affordable way to create something for your walls.

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This wood-pile came with the house, and it makes me so excited. I have so many ideas of what to do with it, but my bathroom was lacking in a lot of things (including tiles, but we won’t talk about that), and a towel rail was first on my list.

I cleaned a nice piece of wood, one with a bend in it so that it would stand off the tiles, and sprayed some clear finishing spray onto it. Do this outside! The fumes can get pretty intense, and you don’t want to be breathing this in.

Mounting it was a little more difficult, but I had to mount a cabinet, toilet brush, and mirror anyway, so I went through the effort of borrowing a drill-bit especially for tiles. These look like arrow-heads, and are actually not that expensive  to buy. I just knew someone who had one, so I went that route instead. I owe him a bottle of wine, but it saved me a lot of hassle.

Drilling into tiles is a painful thing to listen to. I hate making a lot of noise anyway, but this is just next level. You need to be really careful because there is almost no frip for the drill-bit, so even if you mark a hole with a pencil, chances are the drill-bit is going to slip to the side the second you switch the drill on. You want a really steady-hand, and ideally you want to create a first hole, just gently, because going full-force with the drill.

Again, be wary of your drill-bit size and the size of the screw sleeves. I used longer screws for this because I wanted to go through a good portion of the wall after the tile, so that I didn’t have all the weight of wet towels resting just on the tiles. This will obviously depend on where you are hanging your rail, but just keep this in mind. Also, do not drill through grouting! You risk dislodging the tiles, and creating cracks for moisture and things is also something you want to try and avoid.

But, it looks pretty cool when it’s done! I like the wooden aesthetic, and this reminds me somehow of an African lodge in the bush, you know? But yeah, I’ll post some more things later on. Please let me know if you have any handy-work questions. I will gladly try and assist where I can.
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