Home Gym

Home Gym Progress — It’s Almost There!

First things first. Thank you so much for all of your feedback about the studio cabinets! I haven’t had a chance to read through all of them yet, but I’ve read about 75% of them, and I’m starting to get some clarity on what I want. I’ve narrowed it down to three options, and I’m going to try to do some mock ups this weekend to narrow those three down to the best option. All three options include white upper cabinets, but differ on the color of the lower cabinets. I’m leaning very strongly in one direction, so the mock ups should clarify everything and make the decision very easy.

Now on to the home gym progress. I’ve been checking things off of my punch list, and I’m really feeling like I’m on the home stretch now, so that’s exciting.

If you’ll remember, I ordered four frames from Michael’s, and they all arrived broken or damaged. Every single one of them. So they shipped me four more, and these arrived safely. So I got those stained last night. I wanted them to be walnut to match my WaterRower and dresser. I had already stained two of the frames Dark Walnut, but I wasn’t really satisfied with that color. It turned out way darker than the actual walnut in the room. You can see that stain color on the two frames in the picture below.

So I ended up sanding that stain color off of those frames, and using Varathane Special Walnut on all six frames. The color was much better, and a truer walnut color, but it was still too light and too red.

I finally added just a little bit (maybe a teaspoon) of Dark Walnut to the Special Walnut and mixed those together thoroughly. They were different brands, but both oil-based, so they mixed together just fine.

I gave the frames a light sanding with 220-grit sandpaper and then applied a second coat with the mixed stain, and it ended up looking very close to the real walnut. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close!

I left them to dry overnight, and I will be able to get the pictures framed and hung today.

I got my neon “Sweat The Crazy Out” sign this week, and was very anxious to get it hung in the closet area. I absolutely LOVE it! 😀 I ordered the gold yellow color, but I’m pretty sure they sent me orange. I don’t care, though. The orange on the sign (when the sign is turned on) is actually the same orange on my Bellicon rebounder. So that worked out perfectly.

I also got the TV hung on the wall, so now I just need to wrangle the cords. And as you can see in the picture above, I had an idea to add metal shelves on wheels to each side of the dresser and TV. I thought that might be a better use of space, and then I’d find a place to hang the mirrors in the main part of the room.

Well, I didn’t like how the shelves looked in there. And while I do think that shelves would be helpful, I don’t think that I need that much shelf space in this room. So I’ve decided to use the shelves in the storage closet in my studio, and I’m going back to the plan of hanging the mirrors on either side of the dresser.

I do want some shelves in there, though. So I’ve decided to add some shelves at the ends of the closet going perpendicular to the back long wall of the closet, as shown below. (That picture probably would have been clearer to understand had I not leaned the mirror against the end wall, but hopefully you can understand what I’m talking about.)

So things are starting to wind down in here. The biggest things I still need to do are to paint Matt’s exercise bike, and then to stain the bars for the Swedish ladder and get it installed. There are still lots of little projects, but I’m calling in reinforcements on at least one of them. My mom has said that she’ll hem my curtains for me, so that will be a big help. And then I’m thinking about hiring a handyman to come and install the ceiling fan and light in the entry. Those are just busy work kind of projects that I can hand over to someone else so that I can focus on other things and move this process along faster. But it’s getting there!

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 11:19 am

    WOW! Looking good, looking good! Really like the shelving alternative-perfect!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 11:21 am

    I just want to say that watching you is very empowering! I have been battling my health (Lyme Disease) for years, I takeaway so much from your ideas and enjoy watching how brilliantly your ideas come to life! Blessings to you and Matt. I can’t wait to see the finished gym and the fun stuff coming for your studio!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    March 10, 2023 at 11:29 am

    Just time to say I’m so glad to see that fun sign above the TV. The black wall was such a wise choice to show it off. The focal point of the room to my eye.

    I’ll be hiking down to the dentist here in Macas, Ecuador and chuckling all the way.

    Fabulous room, Kristi, and worth all your sweat and tears.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 11:44 am

    I remember Jon and Sherry from Young House Love had a post on how to install chords for TVs so they didn’t show. Found it at: https://www.younghouselove.com/how-to-hide-tv-wires/

    We tracked one down at Home Depot and we’re able to install our big screen TV in the living room without the wire showing at all.

    And I love the solution for shelves. We’ve used it in closets that have alcoves at the end. It’s affords lots of easily organized storage.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Oh wow! Definitely love the mirrors and shelves better than the shelf racks. The sign is fabulous 😂. Am busting to see what’s in store for the Studio next. 😊

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle G
    March 10, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    The neon sign is the perfect color! I love the black wall—whoever came up with that idea deserves a medal! The whole room looks terrific and motivational for working out!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    The sign….❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 2:18 pm


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    I’m crazy about the neon sign!!! You are amazing in the progress you make and I’m happy you are past the emotional “bump” you were experiencing recently. You are such an inspiration!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    This is coming together!! All these details take so much time and thought but it is coming together! When I do projects, it seems like kind of close to the end but before it really feels like it is close to the end, I get super frustrated and antsy and feel overwhelmed and then (all-of-a-sudden) there is a big light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe this project has been that way for you. And it is not really all of a sudden that there is a big light at the end of the tunnel, it is really just the result of many more persistent steps, step after step after step, and the build-up of progress becomes more visible. You are such an inspiration, with real downs and ups, and remarkable persistence and incredible results.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    It looks really nice!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    The neon looks so good against the black wall – couldn’t have turned out any better! The neon on any of the other solid colors or wallpaper would have been odd for sure. This is wrapping up so great!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 10, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    (Apologize if this has already been discussed and I missed it.)

    Are you still planning to incorporate Matt’s video games?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauranette Lewellen
    March 11, 2023 at 1:38 am

    I’m glad you didn’t like the metal shelf in the closet because that big thing is just to much. It’s like you are trying to fill every space in the closet with something. Some empty space would be okay. At least you are moving forward. You need a place for your eyes to rest.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    March 11, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    First of all, I LOVE the neon sign, better than I imagined! Kind of makes me want to yell “Disco!” then start moving! lol And looking at it now, I think it would be nice to treat the mirrors in a way that makes them complement the sign – maybe use the lights that go behind tvs, like others suggested? Not sure.

    But about the shelves, I am pretty confident that the side walls will be the perfect place for them! And seeing as they are more shallow, I think they would be AMAZING for putting Matt’s collection of games (I’m not sure about the dimensions of older console games, but lots of newer games are in DVD-like cases, so shallow shelves are perfect for them). Having the lower shelves full of the cases would look just right with the black colour and neon lights, and be at a height Matt can reach; plus, they will make the space bottom heavy (as it should) and you can use the top shelves. It would look like a gamer’s nook when you are sitting in front of the dresser, while mostly being hidden when you are not. What do you think?