Happy Birthday?? (and some ugly pictures)

Derek’s birthday just might be cursed.

Last year the dryer busted a couple of days before.  So he was the lucky recipient of a brand new washer and dryer.  Every man’s dream.

This year he was fortunate to get something even more expensive. 

Any guesses what glamorous item it was?





At least we got a cool new touch screen thermostat out of the deal (and some touch-up painting).


So yes we have a new furnace and AC.   And I bought Derek some of his favorite candy and wine (wrapped of course) in case that beauty in the yard was not thoughtful enough…

And for anyone who has had to decide on a new system when it was 102 or minus 10 outside you have my respect.  There were so many options and so many choices that I don’t know how we could have made a decision quickly.  I think we made the right decision both financially and comfortwise (at least according to our spreadsheets)…..but who knows.

So in that thread I wanted to share before pictures that don’t have an after.  And won’t anytime soon.  Unless maybe we find a winning lottery ticket.

Why?  Because I don’t want to just show all the pretty parts of our house on the blog and pretend like the others don’t exist.  And because the master bath was next on the to-do list until it got bumped by a non-working AC.  So to look on the bright side, it’s ugliness is going to be celebrated.  And I want to make you smile on Friday.

Because I know pink always makes me smile….


No? Or maybe some red to go with the pink and teal?


Or maybe some pink and blue vinyl and nasty carpet around the vanity, tub and shower?


If that did not do it, the Baskin-Robbins wallpaper that I shred occasionally for stress release could.  Obviously working out is not relieving stress since my motivational calendar is from last August..


I know…the the shiny brass and scalloped sinks can brighten your Friday…


We have talked about doing some minor things to make it a little better like replacing hardware, stripping wallpaper and getting a new window covering.  But we are planning a major overhaul involving moving the tub and shower so we worry that anything we do will just be throwing money away before the real remodel.  So it looks like the day we moved in….with some new wallpaper shredding. 

So did I make you smile….or maybe cringe?


Before/After- The Guest Bath

Ready to see the After pics of our guest bath? Just to make sure you remember where we came from (like we posted here) behold what we started with-

When we moved in we fondly named it the "Wizard of Oz" bathroom. You know- Dorothy gingham paired with the yellow brick road. Mix that with the fact that we live in Kansas and it becomes such an "awesome" theme.

Add more honey oak, a huge builders mirror, brass, and blue peel and stick tile and this bathroom landed with every other room in the house on our makeover list. To complicate matters the floor also sloped...a lot. Not the kind of sloping that you need a level to see, but the type of slope that makes you say "holy crap is the house falling down" when you walk on it. The home inspector reassured us that nothing structural was wrong with the house, but we still needed to fix it as we remodeled this room.

Oh yeah I almost forgot that it glowed-


We started by taking out the vanity, the glued on mirror, the vinyl floor and the toilet-

We fixed the subfloor and then laid a vapor barrier and metal bracing for the cement to level the floor-
Then to level the floor we poured cement. The low side was about 2 inches below the other side....hence the slope-
Then the beadboard went up-
We fixed all the walls, painted and then put down the tile on our newly leveled floor-
I glazed the vanity in other room during this process as detailed here-

And now drumroll......The After.....

So what do you think? This bathroom will eventually will be our future kids so we wanted it to be easily converted to a kids bathroom. But at the same time be elegant and functional for our current guests. So we decided on a light blue (the paint color is Sherwin William's Sleepy Blue). Of course we used my favorite paint (detailed here) on all the new beadboard.

The shower curtain was one of the most difficult design decisions. We started with solid white and it blended too much with the wainscoting. But I did not want solid brown because it would match the cabinet. But all the patterns with blue did not match the blue on the walls at all. After going to numerous stores (it is actually is embarrassing how much time we spent on this decision) we found this one which I like because it is a little more modern.

Anyway let's get to the nitty gritty of the budget. Our goal was to spend less than $700.

Things that were free:
Shower hooks/liner- from previous house
Toilet Paper Holder and Hand Towel Ring-free with faucet
Faucet-Bought for old house and not used
Vanity hardware-left over from kitchen remodel
Vanity Glaze-supplies left over from kitchen remodel
Towels-used at old house
Accessories on shelf and toilet-from previous house
Sticks in vase-harvested from yard
White Paint-left over from other trim

Things that were not-so-free:

Light Fixture-$69.99 (Home Depot)
Mirror- $49.99 (Homegoods)
Paint- $35 (Sherwin Williams)
Beadboard/Cement/Thinset/Grout/other hardware- $200
Tile - $200 (closeout at tile and stone warehouse)
Silver Tray- $19.99 (Homegoods)
Silver Tray Accessories- $8 (Homegoods)
Shower Curtain- $26.99 (Target)
Towel Bar- $7.99 (Homegoods)
Brown Shelf-$6.99 (Homegoods)
Vase- $14.99 (Homegoods)
Orchid- $14.99 (Home Depot-yes it's real which is possible because of the skylight)

Grand Total: $654.92 Not bad for a complete bathroom overhaul including a sloping floor if I do say so myself. I hope our guests love it as much as we do!

How-To: Reglaze Honey Oak

It's not news that honey oak and I are not friends (like here, here, and here). The guest bathroom remodel of course included honey oak that needed to be conquered. I have painted honey oak and loved the results, but this time I wanted to try something different. My goal was to make it look like wood-dark wood-but not dark oak that restaining would result in. The answer I came up with-reglazing. How do you think it turned out?


After -
The best part? So cheap....we did this entire cabinet makeover with materials we already had.

So this is how I did it......


Ugly oak vanity
Orbital sander (not required but will make it so much easier)
Clear Mixing Glaze (I used Valspar)
Paint (I used paint sample from Benjamin Moore in Branchport Brown)
New Hardware

Wood Filler in color close to final stain
Empty container with lid for mixing and storing glaze

If replacing hinges with concealed or euro hinges-
New hinges
Hinge template set

1. Start with an ugly door with ugly hardware and ugly hinges. Wash it with soap and water. Remove the said hardware and hinges.

2. We replaced the external brass hinges with euro hinges that you cannot see from the outside of the cabinet. This added extra steps but in my opinion it is so worth it and totally modernizes the cabinet. In order to install these hinges some extra steps are involved. Home Depot and Lowes sell a template and special drill bit for using these hinges and the couple of bucks was definitely worth it. (We also did this in the kitchen)

Derek marked the spot to drill using the template (he centered it on the hole from the previous hinge.)
And then drilled with the special bit.
Leaving this hinge hole-
But when you set the hinge in there, the old hinge hole on the side is ugly.
So fill it with wood filler in a similar color of the finish glaze. This step is my second least favorite of the whole process as it takes multiple fillings and lots of messy fingers (and maybe some cursing).
3. Now for my least favorite part- sanding. I used an orbital sander with a medium grit sandpaper on the large areas which was not so bad. But then I had all the edges and crevices to do....by hand....very thoroughly....which sucked. This step is the primary reason I could have never have used this method in the kitchen. It took forever and I only had four doors and two drawers. I did not worry about get all the honey oak color off, but the coat of gloss poly had to go from everywhere if the glaze was going to stick. Here is a door all sanded-4. Now onto the fun part.....glazing. I used Valspar's glaze and a Benjamin Moore paint sample that I picked up awhile ago. The bottle said you could mix the glaze with a ratio from 4 parts glaze and 1 part paint to the ratio of 8 parts glaze and 1 part paint. I wanted the glaze to be fairly thick to hide the oak ugliness, so I used the ratio of 4:1 (and started on the back side of a door in case I was wrong).
Here is my mixing can and measuring device that just might be a shot glass. I promise that it won't go back into the bar.
I put three very thin coats of glaze on all the doors and cabinet face. By thin coat I mean I was almost drybrushing to make sure it went on evenly.

5. To protect the finish I then put on three very thin coats of MinWax semi-gloss polyurethane.

6. Add the new hardware and hinges. We used hardware that had the same drilling space as the old hardware so we did not have to refill holes.

Put it all together and you get this-

I like it because it still looks like wood and not just brown paint sitting on top of wood. But is better than stain because it minimizes the oakey grain. At least I think so....but I may be delusional because I want to think all that sanding was worth it.
I am living on the edge and going out of my normal order of posting the room reveal and then how-to projects but I wanted to share since we put it all together over the weekend. I can't wait to share pics of the entire room, but right now I am just happy to report that honey oak has been banished from every room in the house (ok except one).

Update: Complete Guest Bath pics can be found here.



Homegoods Happy

Hope everyone had a great Halloween and are enjoying the leftover candy! Since we have no self control when it comes to sugar, Derek and I have a strange way to resist temptation. Since we both have nut allergies (yeah our future kids are screwed in the genes department), all we buy is peanut butter candy. So it is really easy not to eat it because we literally can't. Even though at this exact moment I am craving some chocolate and just maybe the thought has crossed my mind about the possibility about just taking a lick of the just chocolate with the epi-pen next to me.

Anyway, back on subject, we had a very busy DIY weekend and the bathroom is almost done. The last thing to do is finish accessorizing, decide on a shower curtain (might need your help with this one as I am stuck) and oh yeah get the toilet out of the tub. But other than that minor detail everything else is a go and I can't wait to share it. My grand plan was to share some details and/or a how to today but we were so busy that I did not get a chance to snap pics until Sunday evening and they did not look great in artificial light....so stay tuned for tomorrow and hopefully this daylight savings time things allows me to snap a few before it is dark.

I did make a Homegoods run and of course they did not disappoint.....

And I may have had a two cart trip there last weekend when Derek was out of town. Maneuvering two carts through the store and onto the parking lot by myself is not easy and usually gets some weird looks but is always worth it. For example look what followed me home (safely buckled in with a blanket of course) after that trip (for $30 by the way)-
Snapped with the cell camera

But I did not buy everything that caught my eye- like these lacquered tables that I was thinking about for the entry (sadly they are too big)-
Snapped with the cell camera

It just might be my favorite store.....


Can We Do It?

Want to see the before pics of our newest room project? I warn you though...no after pics exist quite yet and the before pics are quite frightening .

Behold the guest bath-

When we moved in we fondly named it the "Wizard of Oz" bathroom. You know- Dorothy gingham paired with the yellow brick road. Mix that with the fact that we live in Kansas and it becomes such an "awesome" theme.

Add more honey oak, a huge builders mirror, brass, and blue peel and stick tile and this bathroom landed with every other room in the house on our makeover list. To complicate matters the floor also slopes...a lot. Not the kind of sloping that you need a level to see, but the type of slope that makes you say "holy crap is the house falling down" when you walk on it. The home inspector reassured us that nothing structural was wrong with the house, but we still need to fix it as we remodel this room.
The good things that the room has going for it is it is relatively large for a secondary bathroom and the ceilings are very high with tons of light.

Did I mention the color? Yeah it glows and you can see it from the front door which makes an awesome first impression. When we first moved in I kept thinking the light was accidentally left on and repeatedly tried to walk in there and turn it off. Nope just the color.

So what is the plan? First of all we have an small budget. This is the first bathroom on the list of ugly bathrooms in our house and we are saving the bucks for the master bath overhaul. Also this is the future kids bathroom so we did not want to spend a lot of money on expensive details that are going to have to stand up to beating that they will give it. Total budget-$700.

What we you see in the after? Pale blue walls, white beadboard, tan travertine (level) floors, brushed nickel light fixture, faucet and accessories, framed mirror and reglazed vanity.

We are busy getting to the after and hope to have pics in the next week or so. $700 is not a lot to get rid of the Dorothy bathroom but we think we will be successful. Can't wait to share!