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How to Repurpose a Bunk Bed Into An Awesome Play Place For Your Child October 23, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Kids , comments closed

Bunk beds are one of the simple joys of childhood. They provide endless hours of climbing, jumping and fort building. At some point in time, though, they seem less exciting. Perhaps one child has outgrown sharing a room, or if the bed belongs to a single child, he or she may have run out of ideas to make it fun. Before you decide to get rid of it, though, consider this awesome project. It actually adds play space, and it allows you to get additional value from a piece of furniture that was likely expensive. 

  1. Remove the bottom mattress. Leave support slats in place.
  2. Measure the rectangular dimension of the space where the mattress used to be.
  3. Visit your local materials supplier and find MDF or Fiberboard that most closely resembles the bed. You can also opt for thick grade plywood. Both of these materials are very affordable. Or, you can purchase wood that is the same species as the bed.   Just ensure that the material you select is thick enough to support the weight of a child. Ask a clerk to cut the board to size.
  4. Also purchase a strip of molding that fits the style of the bed. It should be the same length as the longest side of the board.
  5. If necessary, paint or stain both pieces to match the existing frame of the bunk bed.
  6. Place the large board in the place where the mattress used to be. Attach the strip of molding along the front edge of the board to cover the raw edge and make the adaptation look seamless.
  7. Purchase and install a simple curtain rod above the front edge of the new play space.
  8. Purchase fabric that coordinates with your child’s room. Double the measurement of the curtain rod and use that number to determine the minimum length of fabric you’ll need along one side. Then be sure that it is also wide enough to cover the entire open space between the top and bottom bunk.
  9. Cut the fabric to size, and use curtain rings to clamp the fabric, and then slide them onto the curtain rod.

Voila – a brand new place to play! Kids can sit on it and do projects, or sit outside of it and use it as a platform to set up dolls, race tracks and other toys that inspire their imagination. 

Smashed Pumpkin Clean-Up October 14, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Holidays , comments closed

There’s nothing sadder than a smashed pumpkin, unless of course that pumpkin happens to have smashed in your home. If you have smashed pumpkin on your floors, don’t panic; here is the best way to start cleaning its orange stains from your home.

Getting Pumpkin Out of Fabric

Getting pumpkin out of your rugs and upholstery may seem challenging.  Acting quickly is the best way to begin. 

Start by scraping up as much of the pumpkin as you can. Use a spoon to scrape the fabric or rug to get the solids up and to expose as much of the fabric surface as you can.

Mix up a little bit of PH neutral dishwashing detergent with water. Be sure to avoid anything with acids or alkalines, which could stain your fabrics. Add one-quarter teaspoon of dish detergent to one cup of warm water.  If you’re unsure, test it on an area that is hidden from view for color-fastness first.

If this doesn’t work, use a mixture of one cup of white vinegar to two cups of warm water.  Make sure the vinegar is of a 5% acetic acid solution.

Blot the pumpkin stain with either mixture until you are able to get it up. Go back over the area with a cloth rinsed in clean water to get any remaining soap out and let it dry. Make sure to use clear water to remove residue of any cleaner used so it will not attract future dirt.

Here’s even more information about pumpkin stain removal!

Removing Pumpkin from Stone

If you have smashed pumpkin on your stone floor or front walkway, you can still get the orange out if you act quickly enough.

First clean up as much of the pumpkin solids as you can. Use a soft bristled brush and some clean water to help remove the bulk of the squash. Now apply a stone cleaner or a PH neutral cleanser to the stain and agitate gently with the soft bristled brush to get up the surface stains.

Check out our page for more information about maintaining your natural stone.

Remember that if any stain is too stubborn for your own efforts, call a professional cleaner.  These experts have tools and cleaning methods that are more aggressive and the experience to know what your floor needs.  

Your Choice! October 8, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , comments closed

Would you choose an ottoman or a coffee table?  Why?

Should I Choose My Cabinets or Counter First for a Kitchen Renovation? October 4, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Reader Questions , comments closed

A kitchen renovation can be an overwhelming process. You have dozens of choices to make from the color of the cabinets to the finish on the hardware. And all these choices have to begin somewhere, often with one of the biggest – the cabinets or the countertop. Choosing one first over the other is not going to have a monumental impact on your final design. But yet, you may be curious to know how choosing one may impact your selection of the second.

There are many choices on the market for both cabinet designs and countertop materials. From formal and ornate cabinets to smooth and contemporary surfaces, it’s possible to design a kitchen with any look or style you’re after.

The key is to create a cohesive design that looks like it pulls together. And you may be surprised to find that selecting either a cabinet or a counter will limit your choices in the other. Why? Because some designs naturally gravitate toward other, matching materials.

Take the example of the selection of a traditional, formal cabinet door for your kitchen. An arched panel and a glazed finish would be to high of a contrast with any of the smooth, uniform counters on the market. The contrast would not work in the finished design. This type of cabinet door works best with flecked stones like light-colored granites and marbles.

This works the other way as well. Begin with a wild and colorful granite that you fall in love with. You’ll find that it does not match well with ornate and formal cabinets, but would work better with a simple slab or shaker door.

The best way to go about making your first decision is to try to determine the theme you want for the kitchen. Once you’ve made this determination, move toward the cabinet or counter. Make sure you feel would make the best statement in the space; the rest of your decisions will follow on their own.

How Can I Tell if I Have Asbestos Floor Tile? September 20, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Reader Questions , add a comment

If you have old vinyl or linoleum tile in your home, and you want to replace them with something more up to date, make sure you check for asbestos first. Asbestos floor tile was frequently installed in homes from the early 1900s through the 1970s and ’80s. Asbestos tile cannot be easily removed, and are usually encapsulated and covered with a new material to update them safely. If you suspect your floor tile of containing asbestos, the only way to know for sure is to have a laboratory test done. There are several indicators to look for in the floor, however, that can help you make the determination without expensive testing.


The color of your floor tile may be an indicator that it contains asbestos. Most asbestos tile was either black or a very dark color such as maroon or dark green. Unfortunately, color is not always a reliable indicator; sometimes the asbestos isn’t in the tile itself but in the adhesive. So you could have a white or seagreen tile that doesn’t contain asbestos, but with an adhesive that does. If a missing tile enables you to see the adhesive, asbestos adhesive is usually black in color. Do not remove a tile to check without professional assistance.


The size of your tile may also be an indicator of asbestos. While asbestos tile can come in several different sizes, they were most commonly produced in two sizes: 9 inches and 13 inches, with some companies producing a 12-inch tile as well.

Keep in mind that tile sizes are nominal. This means that the manufacturer may have called a tile 9-inches when in reality it is 8-7/8 inches. Therefore any vinyl or linoleum tile from the era known to produce asbestos tile that measures around 9 to 13 inches in size may contain asbestos.

Play It Safe

If you suspect any tile in your home of having asbestos do not attempt to remove it, scrape it, nail through it, or in any way agitate it. Instead, cover it with new flooring or call for professional assistance.

What’s the Best Way to Arrange Pictures on a Wall? September 10, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Design Perspectives , add a comment

Whether you’re creating a gallery wall, or you just want to hang a selection of family portraits, it can be difficult to know exactly how to space them. Moving back and forth, eyeballing and using a ruler and level are all impractical methods at best. For a faster and easier way to arrange your pictures, try this trick instead.

Get a roll of butcher paper and cut a piece – or several pieces – that will equal the size of the wall where you will be hanging the pictures.

Take your frames and lay them right on top of the paper, arranging them the way you want them. Use a ruler to spread them out evenly around the area. When you get the design exactly the way that you want it, take the time to snap a photo of the finished design. You can refer back to this when you are hanging the pictures so you don’t forget the arrangement.

Once your picture is taken, trace the outlines of each of the frames onto the butcher paper right where they are. This creates your template for how they will hang on the wall.

Flip them over and measure down and in from each side until you find the hooks on the back of each frame. Mark each traced frame on the paper where its hook is located.

You can now tape your butcher paper onto the wall, raising or lowering it until you find the right spot for the pictures. Leave the paper in place while you drive a nail right through the paper into the wall at the location you marked for the hooks on the backs of each frame.

Now all you have to do is tear the paper off of the wall; your nails will remain behind in the perfect locations. Hang your pictures in the same pattern you arranged them in on the paper to get a perfect picture gallery each and every time without having to move, re-nail, guess, or eyeball the space.

Anniversary Sale! September 3, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Promotions , add a comment

The Best Material for a Mudroom Floor August 29, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Shopping Advice , add a comment

Mudrooms have undergone a tremendous transformation over the years. They were once the place where farmers literally left their muddy things. Now, they’re the place where families enter, store their outdoor belongings, and even organize personal items. Because the mudroom is often the main entryway in the home, the floor sees a lot of use. Mud, rain, snow, salt, and sand can all affect the floor over time, making it look stained, scratched, or just plain beat up and old. When choosing a new mudroom floor, it helps to find a material that holds up well to abuse, but that also disguises things like mud and salt stains between cleanings. After all, you want the room to look a lot better than its name implies.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is one of the most indestructible materials on the market today. It doesn’t scratch, stain, chip, or require special sealers or cleaners. No matter what you track into your mudroom, this floor can take it. Look for a color-through body which has no glaze on top – glazes can get slippery when wet – and that comes in a variegated color pattern. Variegated colors hide dirt well so you can go longer between sweepings.

Slate Tile

If you want natural stone on your floor, look no further than slate. Slate has a lot of natural texture and color that hides dirt, provides a non-slip surface, and disguises scratches and stains. If your slate does happen to scratch, a little mineral oil will hide it and make it look as good as new again.

Flamed Granite

Another indestructible material to consider is flamed granite such as Absolute Black. Absolute Black granite is actually a Gabro – a very hard, dense stone that require no sealing. When it’s flamed, the weaker surface materials get removed, leaving behind only the strongest, hardest part of the stone. This finely textured material is non-slip and it won’t scratch or stain no matter what you do to it.

Complete Your Mudroom

No matter how you plan and organize your mudroom, pay special attention to the floor. By using a strong, low-maintenance material, you’ll help ensure that the mudroom more than lives up to its name.

What Is the Difference between Unfinished and Prefinished Wood Flooring? August 22, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Hardwood / Laminate , add a comment

When you begin shopping for new wood flooring for your home, you’ll run into a lot of different terms for the types of flooring available. One of these is unfinished versus prefinished flooring. The unfinished option is often cheaper than the prefinished floors, which may make you wonder which is better – are you getting a bargain with the unfinished, or is the prefinished really worth it? It helps to know more about both types of flooring before you make your decision to ensure you choose the right option for you.

Unfinished Floors

For many years unfinished floor planks were the only choice available. These floors need to be stained and finished as part of the installation process, often being sealed with some type of polyurethane coating to protect them and help ensure that they last. This means that while the floorboards may be slightly cheaper to purchase, you end up paying more for installation because they take longer to install, require more effort and need additional materials.

Due to the finishing process, you cannot walk on unfinished floorboards for several days, which often makes them the better choice for new homes, rather than existing ones where families currently live.

Prefinished Floors

Prefinished floors have a factory-applied finish coat already on them when purchased. This explains the slightly higher price than unfinished flooring. They are faster to install than unfinished floors, and can be walked on right away, which makes them the better choice for existing homes. Because the polyurethane has already dried and cured when you receive them, the floors release fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into your home as well.

Prefinished flooring that comes from a reputable, quality manufacturer has an even, extremely-durable finish that often holds up longer than unfinished wood flooring. This can help ensure a longer lasting floor and potentially a longer manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have about your wood flooring!  The staff at My Big Bob’s is happy to help you with questions about existing or future flooring needs.  

Floor Tile Patterns for Kitchens August 14, 2014

Posted by creatingyourspace in : Kitchen , add a comment

Tile patterns make your kitchen floor come alive and take shape in ways that can complete your kitchen design. Depending on the tile you are using and what style of kitchen you’re creating, you can find a tile pattern that helps add the detail you need.

Tile Patterns for Traditional Kitchens

If you have a traditional kitchen, whether it’s formal or Country, a patterned floor can really add a level of interest that dresses up the whole room. Consider one of these patterns for the space:

Versailles Pattern: The Versailles pattern makes use of five different sizes of tile in rectangles and squares. It repeats itself over and over again and works best with natural stone and oversized tiles.

Cut Corners: By cutting the corners of your tiles where they meet, you can install an accent tile to dress up the floor. You can cut one corner per four tiles, two corners per four tiles, or all four corners on all four tiles. Accents can be made of decorative tiles, or by using a contrasting color.

Tile Patterns for Transitional Kitchens

The transitional kitchen is one of the more popular types of designs blending traditional and modern elements together. Try one of these patterns to fit the space:

Step Pattern: The step pattern uses two sizes of tile, but unlike the cut corner pattern all the tiles are left whole. Instead, the small tile is positioned at the upper edge of the larger tile so it “steps off” as it moves across the room.

Herringbone: Herringbone patterns traditionally have been made using mosaics or 3×6 brick shaped tiles. Update the look by using 12×24 inch tiles in a herringbone pattern for a new twist on a traditional idea.

Tile Patterns for Modern Kitchens

Modern kitchens can still use patterns to bring some interest to the floor. Try one of these for a contemporary look:

Stacked Pattern: Rather than using a traditional off-set or herringbone pattern with rectangular tiles, try stacking them in rows. Use oversized tiles for the most modern look and create clean lines on the floor.

Strapping: With tiles coming in 1-inch by 24-inch lengths as well as 24-inch squares, consider strapping your tiles on the floor. Choose a 1-inch wide tile in a contrasting color to the main field and wrap each large tile in a thin strap of color for contrast.


No matter what your decision, the staff at Big Bob’s is happy to help you through the entire process!