Mounting your TV, cord-free!

Alright, I’m back for another post about our bonus room. I know, its not near as interesting or adorable as that new nephew of mine! But its all I’ve got. I apologize. I’m sure there will be many more pictures of Cooper coming soon!

So once I convinced Josh we needed to start utilizing our bonus room more, what did he do??

Seriously, I bet you can guess…

He bought a TV. Told you. Men, they’re predictable. Apparently my circa 2009, 37″ Vizio wasn’t good enough. And a new TV brought more changes.  We lived with it on the media console for awhile, even though it was longer than that piece of furniture! But then decided we should mount it on the wall, we prefer that look and we thought it might help it look less awkward with the media console. Plus, there was also a toddler & screwdriver incident; but we won’t talk about that. #theremayhavebeentearsinvolved #fromdaddy

Needless to say, getting it up on the wall, out of the reach of little hands, jumped way up on the priority list. 

Our living room TV is also mounted but the builders took care of that setup, so this was our first time figuring it out. In the bonus room we needed to add an outlet to the center of our wall so that we could mount it without any ugly cords hanging down. Enter this $40 kit from Home Depot. All there is to say is that this kit is awesome. It comes with everything you need. Even the drill attachment. 

Drill Bit-TV Mount |

Now that’s manly.

Mounting your TV |

This task can be intimidating…I mean putting even nail holes in my walls makes me think twice, let alone holes I can fit my arm through! But, don’t worry, this kit makes it so simple. Once you drill your holes, you place a tube inside your wall that connects to the outlet covers at the top and the bottom. This makes it easy to slide all your cables and cords down the wall, without them getting caught in insulation,etc. 

Once you have your holes drilled and your cables in the wall, all that’s left is mounting the TV. There are holes on the back of the TV for securing the mounting hardware. And then just make sure you secure the wall side of the hardware on your studs. No one wants their TV to come crashing down!

There are a zillion options for mounts and depending on what you want your TV to be able to do (swivel, tilt, turn, etc.) you might want a more sophisticated one. But if you don’t need any of that fancy stuff you can get a mount for $20! Seriously, can you believe $20 will secure your 55+ inch TV to your wall? We used this mount from Amazon.  $20! Go ahead, order it for yourself. You won’t regret it!

After a couple hours labor you’ll be left with this view:

Mounted TV |

And we can tell you from personal experience that having that tube inside your wall really helps you later. We thought we planned well and had even added an extra HDMI cable on installation day, for the unforeseen extra device we might someday want. But we never could’ve guessed what we’d eventually need.

We use a computer to stream sporting events frequently and had always just plugged in our laptop temporarily, as seen below. (you guys, I’m embarrassed by these pictures, but I just keep telling myself it’ll make the finished room look that much more polished! 😉 I promise this wall is already looking way better!)

Mounting your TV |

But then Josh secured an old computer from work. Seriously, you know its old when the School District can’t even use it. And so we decided to add it to our permanent media setup – no more cord hanging down for the laptop! No more using the laptop for streaming when I’d really like to be working on my laptop AND watching TV!

But anyways, the moral of the story, we have this old computer to hook up. And yeah. Of course it doesn’t have an HDMI port. That would’ve been too easy. Thankfully Josh knows this stuff, because I would’ve given up right there. Thanks to the tube in the wall it was easy to add another cable after the fact. With this kit you can change up your configurations as often as you’d like. Or just when the next big thing comes out. Er, wait, or when you go back to using ancient computers too. Whatever.

If you’ve been thinking about mounting your TV or hesitating because you don’t know where to start, I hope this helps give you the motivation you need to go for it! You can do it!

And…I picked out the paint color for the other side of this room yesterday, so stay tuned for that update!

<3 Michelle

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A New Night Light

Have you guys seen those outlets with an LED light built in? In other words, pure brilliance? I’d never seen one until we built our house two years ago. Our builder installed them on our stairwell, and they amazing! I never knew I could love an outlet so much. Frankly, I didn’t think I’d ever have any feelings for an outlet…and now I’m feeling very self-conscious about this whole conversation.

So…let’s move on before I embarrass myself further! The best thing about having them on the stairs (they have a built-in sensor so they come on automatically when its dark) is we can actually see when we walk upstairs at the end of the evening. You know, once you turn off all the lights downstairs. And you know that dreaded trip back downstairs when you forget your water glass? Or in my case, your chocolate stash…yeah, you won’t trip or have to turn on a light for that either. Which makes sneaking chocolate so much easier 😉

So, go home and put in an LED night light outlet in your stairwell tonight, ok? You won’t regret it. And guess what? We’ll even show you how to do it! 

So this little girl we have, she doesn’t like to sleep thru the night so much. At least not very consistently. In other words, I make frequent trips down our hallway in the middle of the night. And we’ve been using a plug in night light for awhile, but I felt like it was just too bright (I could see it when I was laying in bed!) and Ember was starting to think it was a good toy, eek! So we started thinking about other options. 

I’m sad to say it actually took us a couple weeks to come up with the night light outlet idea. But, once we got there, it was like duh! How have we lived this long without one of those in our hallway? 

So we ordered one of these outlets and got to work replacing an outlet. With the power turned off, at the breaker, Josh removed the old outlet by cutting the wires where they were attached to the existing plug. 

Cutting Wires |

He then just stripped the wires down so he could wrap them onto the new outlet.

Capping Wires |

He wrapped the wires around the screws on the new outlet (don’t worry, there are instructions included with the outlet as well).

Attaching wires |

And then just pushed the new outlet back into the wall and screwed it in place.

Replacing an outlet |

He also had a little helper…she moonlights as a giraffe.

Ember's in charge |

She has everything under control. Next time we’re going to have her complete the entire install.

Daddy's helper |

And then flip your breaker back on and check your work! 

It Works! |

Don’t forget to also get a new plate, because your old one won’t fit the new outlet. Yeah, that’s a little, learn from my mistakes, tip. I may have forgotten that in my first order…it’s okay, the light still worked without a plate surrounding it! 😉 

Finishing up |

So a little later…my two helpers added a plate to completely finish off this project!

Ember's screwdriver |


LED Night Light |

LED Outlet Install |

And then celebrate your hard work! And your brilliance for adding some serious improvement to your middle of the night jaunt down the hallway.

A Job Well Done |

Go out and get yourself one! Or two or three or ten. You can’t have too many.

<3 Michelle

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