Easier way to install wall hooks

We recently updated our daughter’s bathroom (which also doubles as the guest bathroom) with some beadboard and a row of hooks. Now there are plenty of spots to hang all the beach towels that end up all over the floor each summer.

Today I want to show you how to easily install hooks. This tip can be used when hanging anything on your wall – nails, screws, anchors, hooks, etc.

Start by using pieces of painters tape to eyeball where you want your hooks. You don’t need to measure quite yet. This just helps you get an idea for how many hooks you want and how far apart you want them.

In one section I was debating between two or three hooks… I went with two.


Once you have your layout, use a tape measure to make sure each section is equally spaced. You might have to move your pieces of tape over a bit to make everything even. Now use larger pieces of tape and fully tape each spot where you want your hooks to be installed.

Using a level, mark a vertical line down the center of where you want your hook. Mark a horizontal line where you want your screw holes to go.

I wanted my screw holes 2″ from the top of my board, so I marked a level horizontal line 2″ down on each of my 7 pieces of tape (I’m installing 7 hooks).

Next I took the actual hook and centered it over my vertical and horizontal lines. I marked each screw hole with a pencil. This is where I’m going to drill my pilot holes.

Once your screw holes are marked, drill all your pilot holes through the painters tape. Once the holes are drilled you can remove all the tape. Now all your holes are perfectly placed and ready to attach the hooks, and you have to pencil marks to clean up!

And finally, attach all your hooks. I attached one screw of each hook then went back and attached the 2nd screw. I didn’t tighten the screws down until both screws were installed.

Now I have a lovely wall of perfectly lined up hooks without any pencil marks to clean up.

Here’s a “before” shot just for fun.

For a full tutorial on installing beadboard, you can check out my post here.


Air Registers and other equally boring topics

Hey hey hey my friends! Sometimes when you buy a home that needs updating, you find yourself spending money and time on really boring stuff. It’s kind of depressing really. I just dropped about $150 on air registers. Yes, you heard me – air registers. Does anyone even know what those are? It’s always a delight when you have to drop a wad of cash on something for your house that will impress no one. (Well, I’ll admit, I guess I am just a tad impressed. My ceilings are looking a lot more cohesive now.)

(new air register)

Okay, so air registers. What are they? They are those vent looking rectangles in either your ceiling or your floor that direct your central air into your room. Your cold air magically blows from them.

Our whole house came with plastic ones. Some of them were broken, all of them were grimy. Here is one of the old ones:

(old air register)

Yes, I could have lived with them, maybe spent hours washing them all in a bathtub, then putting them back up… but like I said, some were broken, none of them worked well, and they were plastic and cheap.

So I replaced them. Well, I am currently replacing them. As each ceiling gets a fresh coat of paint, the old register comes down, and the new one goes up (don’t worry, all those old ones are donated to Habitat for Humanity, so it isn’t a total loss).

Here are all my brand new, metal, inconspicuous air registers waiting patiently for their new permeant homes above our heads.

Here’s the thing about air registers, and other flush-mount fixtures on your ceiling such as recessed can lights or in-wall speakers, you don’t want people to walk in your house and notice them. If people walk in your house and the first thing they notice are all the fixtures on your ceiling, that in not really a plus. A good air register will quietly do its job in the background without calling attention to itself.

(This ceiling fan is getting replaced eventually)

The old registers were bulky and noticeable. Aesthetically, by replacing them with these metal ones, now no one notices them. It’s kinda sad to spend so much money on something that isn’t the star of the room, but if your registers are the star of the room, you need new registers. :)

Okay, so basically I’m creating an entire blog post about air registers. Don’t fret though, I do have one really amazing tip for you today that will blow your mind:

TIP: Fid a socket that will fit around the screw head for your air register. Attach it to your electric drill to make installation a breeze.

We initially tried to install each register using a flat head screwdriver. Total fail. Just take my word for it and find the right sized socket that will fit your screw head.

In addition to replacing the air registers, we also replaced the covers for the can lights and we painted the ceiling the same as the wall color.

Initially we started painting all the ceilings white (I’m usually a fan of white ceilings), but the rooms just seemed so cold and dated, so we sucked it up and painted them a second time with our wall color – Stucco by Sherwin Williams. This has really made the rooms more homey and warm and also given them a more current vibe. I kinda feel like I’m in a model home now.

Here’s our dining room ceiling with its fresh coat of paint and new air register.

And our kitchen ceiling with its two new registers and 9 new can lights. We are still in indecisive mode about which fixtures to buy to hang over the island. Well, I know which ones I want, but they are $700 each, so that isn’t going to work! Just consider the kitchen a work in progress. Baby steps.

Our hall bath got two new registers and the same paint color on the walls and ceiling – Stucco by Sherwin Williams. It also got some new beadboard and hooks that you can read about over on True Value’s blog.

I know these types of things aren’t fun, but they are necessary to give your home an updated look and feel.

What have your had to buy for your home lately that was necessary, but was just depressing to spend so much money on? I’m really grateful we don’t need a new air conditioning system or roof! Those are killers. We do desperately need all new windows (ours are single pane and you can feel the cold air rushing in when you are next to them) which will be a huge expense. They are very needed but I’d rather buy something fun like a new couch!


Pocket Doors, Pantries, and Canned Good Storage

I know I’m like a broken record here, but yes, I am going to talk again about the kitchen renovation. It’s like the renovation that keeps on giving and giving. 😉

As you probably surmised by reading the title, I am showing you the two pocket doors we installed (love them!), our pantry makeover, and also sharing a cool storage solution I came up with for canned goods.

Let’s start with the pocket doors. I knew from the day we bought our house that I wanted to ditch two awkwardly placed doors and install pocket doors instead. I love pocket doors!

Exhibit A: Awkward Door #1

Standing in the kitchen, there is a door that leads to our pantry/mud/laundry room, which then leads to our A1 Garage Door Repair Service Sacramento California. It is probably the most used area of our entire house. When we bought the house, there was a door connecting the two rooms, as well as a wall separating the door from where the refrigerator goes.

In addition to ripping that wall out, we also ripped out the door and half the wall so we could install a pocket door.

Read more about installing the pocket doors here

Today we have a lovely cabinet around the fridge, beautiful new wood floors, and a fun space-saving pocket door! (The trim has since been painted. The door will be painted black eventually.)


If you stand in the mud room and face into the kitchen, here’s a before and after:

Read more about the wall hooks here

Here’s one more of the same door into the kitchen from a slightly different angle showing the pantry, and our 2nd pocket door we installed… (Older picture – all trim is now painted.)

This photo brings me to…

Exhibit B: Awkward Door #2

The pantry door opened into the mud room and was always in the way.

When left open it blocked the walkway and was just really annoying. So of course when we decided to rip out the kitchen and add a new one, I scope creeped the renovation to include a surprise door switcharoo and new shelving in the pantry.

We had to rip out half the wall and several floor tiles to install the pocket door frame, but it was so worth it to not have to deal with a cumbersome door in my way all the time anymore.

Here’s the door after it was installed. We still need to paint it black and add the door handle, but at least the trim is now painted.

Three cheers for pocket doors! A pain in the rear to install after-the-fact, but totally worth it.

Well, now that we are talking about the pantry, I might as well show you the updates in there too.

The pantry originally came with wire shelving.

A lot of people like wire shelving, but personally, I don’t. I’m just not a fan. I’d rather have wood shelves any day of the week. Well, as my luck would have it, those two pocket doors we installed shared a wall with all the wire shelving in the pantry. We literally had to remove the shelving in order to get the pocket doors installed. I couldn’t have received happier news that day. Now I’d be getting some nice wooden pantry shelves out of the renovation too!

Because the renovation of half the house was such a huge job, we just had the trim out guys add our new shelves as well.

We had them do a basic set of shelves on the left…

But we wanted to still have our mini-fridges (blogged about here) on the right, so they installed the bottom shelf to accommodate them.

Last month I shared a project over at True Value’s blog about a Canned Goods Solution I came up with for our pantry. We had a big blank wall at the back of the pantry, but adding full depth shelves would have made the pantry feel way too claustrophobic. At the same time I had been frustrated with trying to store all our canned goods in a way that made them easy to spot and not take up an entire shelf. The solution was to build a 4″ deep wall shelf for all the canned goods.

Isn’t this such a brilliant use of space? I came up with the idea after seeing people use the narrow space behind their bedroom doors for tiny bookshelves. I figured I could create a narrow shelf but to hold all the cans. I managed to build this shelf in only a few hours. Here is a link to the full tutorial.

It’s always so fun for me to see where a project started, and where it’s ended up:


Now if only I can bring myself to actually paint everything. My claw hand is still recovering from painting all the trim (3 coats of paint!) so I keep putting off painting all the shelving. Maybe blogging about the pantry progress will motivate me to get it done once and for all. For promo codes and coupons make sure to visit toms.com.

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