Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lady Wendolyn.. Jill of all trades.. Camper modifications

** Note** If you are looking for the before and after decorating photos of my glamorous trailer makeover, please click on the blog post called "Lady Wendolyn goes Glamping".. located on the right hand column of this page.

Lady Wendolyn.. Jill of all trades...
This post contains before and after photos of a countertop extension project, and some shelving.

I grew up in a family where my parents did a lot of remodelling to homes, and by involving us as children in these projects they conveyed to us that we had the ability to change and improve things that we didn't like.

 This was an incredible gift which allows me to try things without worrying too much about failure..,
My mom in fact used to say "Well, a blind man would be glad to see it", when she finished a reno project that had a few imperfections.

So when we recently purchased our new travel trailer, in addition to decorating it, I decided to modify a few things in the interior. What follows are some photos of my recent projects. The first some shelving I added to our bedroom closet and the second is a counter top extension for our little kitchen.

My Closet Shelving Project.
 So this was a really easy project.

Here is the closet that I am adding the shelves to. The first thing I needed to do was remove the closet bar.. Sorry Jayco I don't wear that many dresses when I am camping.

The next thing I did was make marks an equal
distance from the base of the closet, all around.
I made two rows because I am adding two rows of shelves.

Then I cut my trim wood to size, and pre-drilled and installed the screws.
I used one and a half inch deck screws for this project.

The closet is really small and awkward and so pre-drilling etc. makes everything easier.

 I like adding a layer of panel adhesive which really helps to hold the wood to the walls without having to use too many screws.

Here is a picture of the closet with the side trim pieces in. It may look crooked.. but its just the camera angle. 

And here is the finished product....
I even found shelving wood at home depot that matched the cabinets.. !

Now onto something more complicated..
The countertop extension ...

                                               My countertop extension project..

Ok.. so the first thing to know about adding a countertop extension in a Jayco trailer.. is that there are some obstacles you will have to overcome.

The biggest issue is the "plastic lip" on the existing countertop. (Pictured on the left.. ) You are looking at the underside of the counter which shows the 1/4 inch plastic lip. You can not attach anything to it because it is plastic and flimsy.

The second obstacle that I had to overcome was that the countertop extension piece that I had ordered from the local countertop place was 1/4 of an inch thicker than the counter that I am attaching to.

So all of these factors had to be considered...
 and I solved both these problems by doing a bit of math, and then cutting and routering a custom piece of wood that would even out the size of the two countertops and also beef up the area with the flimsy plastic lip...

Here is what the custom piece looks like. It is 5/8 of an inch by 1 inch.. and I had the lumber store router out a 1/4 inch edge.

The next step was to pre-drill the holes for the piano hinge that I planned to use. I didn't want to have to work upside down once the piece of wood was attached under the counter edge.

Then I added some panel adhesive 
to the wood piece and clamped it in place along the counter edge.


Here is a picture of the clamped wood from the bottom.  You can see how the routered out section now covers up the plastic lip. The finished piece sits about 1/4 longer than the countertop which will allow me to attach the piano hinge at an even level to
the bottom of both counters. 
So well that was drying, I pulled out the bottom drawers from our counter
and beefed up the inside, on the right hand side of the unit, with a piece of wood, so that I would have 
a wood 3/4 inch thick backing to screw my support bracket into later in the project.

This is the piece of wood I used with panel adhesive on it.

 I braced it in place with a scrap of wood so that
it could dry without slipping down.

 I then took the piano hinge, and marked and predrilled the holes on the small counter extension piece that I was going to attach.

  I was now ready to remove the C-clamps and screw the piano hinge to edge of our counter. I used a ratchet adapted with a screw gun bit because the space was too tight for my drill.

 Here is a close up of how it now looks under the edge of the counter with the piano hinge attached, and the wood "bridging" the plastic lip problem.

At this point I had a couple of helpers hold the counter top extension in place and I screwed the piano hinge to the bottom of the extension. Boy am I glad I pre-drilled everything.. it made it so much easier.

Now.. it sorta looks done.. but it needs something to hold it up!

So the next thing I did was find the placement for the bracket I had chosen . (I bought this one for $2.49 at IKEA, and stained it to match the cabinets.) Once I had figured out the placement, I screwed a piece of piano hinge into place where it needed to sit, The screws are going right into the backing board that attached inside the cabinet earlier.

So the piano hinge gets attached to the bracket on one side
and to the cupboard on the other side.

Here you are seeing it in the position where the 
bracket will sit when the counter is in the down (hanging position) It simply folds flat against the cabinet.

The final thing I did was to attach an adjustable 
screw foot to my bracket  because even with a level block of wood in place, the counter seemed to slope a bit, and so the adjustable screw foot allows me to set it perfectly level with the other counter.

And here is the finished product.... 

Like I said.. My parents convinced me that I can 
figure out anything if I just put my mind to it..

And they were right!  I am very happy with and proud of the finished project!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Room with a View

** Note** If you are looking for the before and after photos of my glamorous trailer makeover, please click on the blog post called "Lady Wendolyn goes Glamping".. located on the right hand column of this page.

A Room with a View
May 22, 2012

One of the last items I added to my trailer makeover was a beach print of an open window looking out onto the water. I wanted to have a "Room with a View" in my little trailer bedroom.

However...the truth is, that when you go camping, you are in the enviable position of almost always having a room with a view... whether that is a view of water, mountains, or a Walmart parking lot.. when you travel with a trailer, you get to make that choice!

This weekend we traveled to Hecla Island Campground a piece of Canadian shorefront that is not only beautiful, but peaceful too.

Located a few hours north of Winnipeg, Hecla is an Island on Lake Winnipeg that was settled by Islandic fishermen at the turn of the century. Since then a provincial park has been developed that includes a campground, hotel and harbour where people can dock their boats.

We really enjoyed this first outing with our new camper. We got off to a bit of a late start, but quickly settled in, and had an enjoyable weekend in nature. The campground at Hecla is excellent with big private sites and mainly families camping so there is not a lot of noise late at night.

The dogs seem to really like the camping lifestyle, although the look on Felix's face was pretty funny when we told him he could not go on the furniture, and pointed him to his new bed on the floor!

Don't they look well behaved!

Murray is really happy to be drinking "Perked Coffee".. one of his favourite things about camping.

As for me.. I am all about enjoying the view...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lady Wendolyn goes ..."Glamping!"

There is a new trend in camping called "Glamping".. the idea is that camping can include both luxury items from civilization and a beautiful decor. We have brought both of these factors into play in the make over of our 28 foot Jayco bunkhouse travel trailer. The addition of colour, both vintage and modern accessories, and a few little luxuries.. have taken this basic trailer from boring to beautiful! As the "rooms" are small, I kept the decor to a fresh green and yellow colour sceme. I have listed the sources for many of the items you see. Enjoy the before and after tour....


The before...

Definitely started as a
boring, beige and boxy little room..
With one big empty blank wall that we would be staring at each morning when we got up..

The after...
                                                                                                                                                                         Country cottage green linens by JYSK and
 fresh accent pillows bring immediate life into this space.

A bit of beachy art for the walls..

A Vintage breakfast tray and a cute wooden box
serve as a vanity table..

And that ugly blank wall...

has been transformed into "A room with a view"

thanks to this fun beach print


The before...

I love this kitchen layout
this was the reason we chose this trailer.

And the trailer comes with a three burner stove
and oven...

The after...

Vintage kitchen accessories make this area super sweet ..

Can hardly wait to start cooking up some glamorous gourmet meals!

We added hanging wine glass racks from Lee Valley Tools.

Wine glasses are from The Bay and the dollar store.

Old copper canisters add charm..

Sunlight soap... vintage dish washing!

We added spice racks from Camping World,

so that we could have our seasonings handy.


The before...

and the after...

A rug, a stool, a bulletin board and some coat hooks!

I love the lady bug push pins from the dollar store.

Even your checklist can be glamorous!


The before ...

I really though this sofa was very bland,
until I was able to see it as a
blank canvas waiting for colour.

The after.....

Once again.. fresh colours 
and some vintage art work
bring the space to life. 

The addition of a storage 
ottoman from Target creates a place to 
add a tray and serve a meal...

Tea in the afternoon.. how glamorous!


The before...

This room definitely has the bunkhouse blahs...

The after....

The bolster can be used to divide

the bed when two kids are sharing. 

Colourful storage pockets hang at the end

of each bunk, to organize the

ipods, journals and other teen paraphernalia


The before...

The pink stuff is winterizing anti-freeze.. not very attractive..

So how does one decorate

a tiny bathroom the size of an airplane restroom?

 The after...

Light and fresh colours make this tiny space more inviting...

We added a magazine

rack from Camping world.

A towel rack from "Primitive Home Interiors" provides

lots of towel storage and keeps towels in place

while we are moving.

Family photos for inspiration
and a drainable tote to store
shampoo while we are travelling.


The before...

A typical camper dinette

with storage above and a place

for a TV..

The after...

Family photos..

Candles and "kitchy" accessories...

Storage for DVD's and a TV

Guess which DVD we want to watch first?

And pretty melamine dishes bought

for a bargain at Target and Macy's...

Hope you enjoyed the tour!