The Many Side Projects


January 21, 2017 by Sarah

It is to no ones surprise that I have a hard time finishing large projects that take a significant amount of time and concentration. The good news is several small side projects have been completed. The bad news is most rooms in our home are tore up and half-finished because of this. After all, the kitchen renovation has been in progress for over 3 years…



The kitchen IS really coming along, just so you know. A post on that IS coming soon. I have been posting plenty of progress photos on the Instagram/Facebook. Many of them are actually just photos of my cats or my culinary delights, but there are 1 or 2 of the actual kitchen work in there.

Here are a few of the other projects I have been working on over the past few months:

1) This super cool antique train luggage rack

I purchased this beauty at the Antique Mall months ago for around $30. It was mounted on an ugly, unfinished, and cheap pine board which didn’t really seem to fit the style of the rack. Of course I had to replace it with a quarter-sawn white oak board. I added an ogee edge to 3 sides of the board with my router for extra fanciness.

For function, I also used the router to remove enough of the wood from the back so the rack hooks could slide right on to the board.  I used the old pine board as a template.

antique train luggage rack

I finished the board with the same recipe as I used on the kitchen cabinets.  I have plans to hang in the guest bedroom.

2) And these amazing stained glass windows (with a bit of a sneak peek of the kitchen tile in progress)

stained glass hung in window

I scored these amazing (unframed that the time of purchase) stained glass windows from a neighbor for just $10 each. I saw them and immediately thought they would look perfect in my kitchen. Overall they are in great condition, only a few small cracks in a couple of the pieces but you can’t hardly tell.

stained glass hung in window

My neighbor said she just hung them as is with some wire around the edges but given that they are pretty fragile I decided to order some frames. I used Northern Hardwood Frames, owned by a lovely women and artist named Kate.  Her shop is located in NE Minneapolis.


stained glass frames

Of course I ordered white oak. Kate was able to complete them in a few weeks and since we live so close I picked them up from her shop.  I got some brass hardware from her for hanging too.

stained glass hanging hardware

I decided to get unfinished so I could give them the same treatment as the cabinets. They came predrilled with wood plugs so they are easy assemble and the screws are hidden. I left the plugs unstained because I liked the look of them.

stained glass frames

I love them so much. Is this a side project if it is actually for the kitchen?


3) DIY cafe curtains too

diy cafe curtains

Adrian had been asking for window treatments in the kitchen for quite some time, but I keep putting it off.  I found the fabric in the remnants section at a local fabric store over a year ago, and it sat in the bag for a long time.  I cut and pinned the hems on these curtains over the summer which then sat untouched for another few months. I ended up sending them to my mom to sew up for me since I wasn’t getting very far, clearly. They turned out perfectly.

diy kitchen curtains

For now I just made curtains for the two side windows since I don’t think we really need to have any on the window looking into the backyard.

The more magical thing about these curtains is actually the original curtain rods.

antique brass curtain rods

The previous owner (or renter?) had taken them down and stashed them in the basement. I am so glad that they didn’t throw them out. I bought some cheap brass plated curtain rings. I don’t love them, but they are fine for now. I would have loved some real brass ones but I couldn’t find anything decent.

4) The gym turned makeshift guest bedroom

The upstairs home gym is no more.  We haven’t really been using it, no surprise there, so we are bringing everything back downstairs.  The real guest bedroom on the first floor had been cleared to make way for the Halloween haunted house and subsequently became a temporary storage area for Adrian’s father’s extensive vinyl collection and general catchall.

We setup the brass bed and nightstand.

I brought in my amazing vintage drafting table for now too. Isn’t it cute?  The St. Paul art by local artist Adam Turman was a gift. It still needs a decent frame.

st. paul art

Adrian’s grandfathers 40-yr-old guitar in perfect condition.

vintage guitar

The windows, door, and trim still need work. The closet could use some sort of organizer or shelving.

5) and lastly the Mancave Part 1

There are plans for a more extensive renovation of the basement down the line, but Adrian really wanted to have a somewhat functional space before we dive into all of that. This was really his own side projects.

Adrian moved his huge IKEA desk to the basement and also set up a small living area. He took out a couple closets/walls that we no longer needed to make the space larger (part of larger reno plan).

He also bought this:


Rush2049-a purchase from a local arcade dealor. I do not know anything about arcade games but I do know that we have one now. Adrian is just tickled with glee.

We hauled a ton of shit we no longer need/use out of the basement, including some old wood that my brother and sister-in-law turned into this:


An update on the kitchen is coming very soon, but not too soon so don’t get your hopes up. Apparently, I have a problem with side projects.

10 thoughts on “The Many Side Projects

  1. Apryl Deutsch says:

    I made on the blawwwwg!

  2. Twila says:

    That would be some previous owner or renter. Not me. Those kitchen rods were always problematic. Glad you found the original. Never knew they existed.

    • Sarah says:

      They were a good find! It is too bad you didn’t find them sooner. I believe they were packed in a box in the basement along with a bunch of other stuff. These specific ones may have actually been for the windows in the upstairs unit (those were “missing” too), but the hardware did match the indentations in the wood cases so I know they were the same. Old houses are so much fun.

  3. Lory Perryman says:

    Stained glass and curtains bring lovely color and texture to your kitchen. Beautiful craftsmanship with all of the wooden projects.

  4. clayton says:

    The kitchen tile looks awesome!

Comment or I'll hate you forever.

Sarah&Adrian @ StPaulHaus

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