And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

The basement renovation has officially commenced with the ceremonial first swing of the sledge hammer.

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And that sledge hammer made the well thought out plans change.  Of course. 

The original basement plan?  New paint, new flooring, new furniture. Easy peasy.

After living with cement floors and thinking about it for months?  No more work out room and opening up the walls completely.  Or should I say…

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Why?  First of all we could not call that room a bedroom as the window was not large enough.  And putting in a larger window was going to require digging out all around the foundation and cutting through cement.  Which equals dollar signs.  New plan.

The basement needs to serve many functions for us- man space, workout space, play space, tv space, and guest space.  This would be a lot easier with the walls gone and the workout space not hogging an entire closed off room.  Not to mention that it would be nice to actually be able to see the play space while you are working out to make sure no trouble is happening.  Although it is sort of attractive to have that excuse about why my work outs were not happening.

This plan had much discussion before the sledge hammer flew. 

What if we made that room the play space?  Where will the elliptical go?  What about a combo workout/play space?  How long are we staying this house as the most cost effective option is new paint and cheap carpet?

In the end we decided the walls were coming down.

So the old furniture got loaded up for it’s new home at my brother’s first place.

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And down came the drywall.IMG_4955

And then the plan changed again….because there were not one load bearing pole as we expected, but two.  And of course they were awkwardly right next to each other.  Like three feet in between them.

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Awesome.

We discussed sliding them towards the staircase, but after figuring out what making a footing for them entailed, that idea was discarded.

New idea…fireplace in between them.  We loved the look of gas, but that would require hiring someone to run a gas line and to vent it which equaled dollar signs again.  So we decided to go with electric as it was much more DIY and wallet friendly.  And after spending  a lot of time visiting fireplace stores and researching online and watching YouTube videos (yes people really do post videos of different types of fireplace models which turned out to be strangely helpful) we ordered this baby.

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Then we just had to figure out where everything was going around it.  The challenges?  A lot of functions in a relatively small space.  Wanting to hide the workout equipment, but have it easily accessible so it might get used more often.  And those ^&%$ low soffits that elliptical machines, murphy beds and any activity involving your hand over your head like workout videos can not be under. 

Just a little bitter of how they got in the way of every good idea I had. 

They and those ^&$# poles.

But I think we have it figured out.  I was going to post it, but no one would care to look as the diagram besides me and frankly it will probably change again.

One thing I am excited about …how we are going to hide the workout equipment-

 

Or…

Source: google.com via Jenny on Pinterest

 

Or..

 

Thank you Pinterest.

So after the boys spent a long weekend swinging a sledge hammer and filling a dumpster..

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And the girls spent the weekend loving on this guy (give you one guess who dressed him)…

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The basement is now demoed.  And all ready for this weekend fun with electrical.  Whoo Hoo!

Coming Up Next…

I think we may be a little insane…

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Derek thinks it is insane that he is now responsible for hauling 2 pallets of tile into the basement.  Box by box by box.  Or just not use his side of the garage for a couple of months.  His choice I guess.

Yep we are starting another project.  The basement.  And from the beginning of this project, I am announcing that it is going to be the longest DIY project in the history of our house.  Because we now have a baby which infringes on marathon weekends of work.  And because we don’t need the space, so it will be quite easy to close it up and not work on it for awhile.  And we are starting it before we had originally planned meaning that the cash for the entire reno plus the furniture plus the electronics is not all there yet.  So expect a renovated space with old ugly furniture for awhile.  Unless we win the lottery.

So why the basement?  Well for two reasons…a sump pump and a baby.  If you remember we had a bit of a flood back in March

water damagewater damageThe good news?  The insurance company is helping contribute to the renovation of what was ugly carpet.  Back in March I was bummed that we lost the laminate we installed in the workout room as well as the timing of the whole thing.  Renovating a basement while you are 7 months pregnant and trying to juggle working full time and baby showers was not going to happen.  But actually the timing was a blessing in disguise as it gave us a couple of months to think about what we really wanted.  And to decide that laminate in a basement was a bad choice because a little bit of water makes for an entire new floor.

The baby’s role?  One he has a whole lot of stuff that has already invaded all parts of the house. Which we are currently trying to corral in baskets, but we know as he gets bigger the size and amount of toys is going to follow suite.  And the family room is not big on space for things like train tables.  And since Carter needs to eat about every three hours and he is lazy/slow nurser and I am currently on maternity leave, we are watching a whole lot more HGTV than usual.  The DVR is my new best friend.

Lots of HGTV makes me want to start new projects.

I have always loved Candice Olson’s designs.  Especially because she is not afraid to make beautiful basements.  I even blogged about it back in the early days.

So when I was watching an episode of Candice tells all, I was excited that she used a flooring choice that I had not thought of.  Vinyl plank flooring.  Waterproof and it looks like wood.  And if it was good enough to use in her designs, it was good enough for ours obviously.  Bonus?  It was cheap. And easy to install.

I tried my best to find a picture of this particular makeover or even a screen shot from a video.  However the episode “family room fundamentals” is not to be found online.  Sigh.  Trust me, it looked great, just like all her other makeovers.

Anyway…

So why then do we have tile sitting in our garage? I am getting to it.

Carter got to have his inaugural trips to Home Depot and Lumber Liquidators.  He was super excited.

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We picked up tons of samples of vinyl plank flooring to take home and consider. But since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to stop at our favorite local tile warehouse just to see what they had on closeout.  And surprisingly they had one of our former favorites, a gray quartzite, there at a much reduced price.  So then we had to consider this and make a decision quickly because we were dealing with a close-out and we needed a lot of it-

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Vinyl plank

Pros- Slightly cheaper, easier to install, easier to store until ready to install, could bring more color warmth to the room, and warmer on the toes

Cons- The product is waterproof, but if we had a flood like we did in March, we would most likely have to air it out and reglue the whole floor.  Would it be lost, no, but it would be a lot of work.  Also it is vinyl so no matter how good it looked, it was not real wood and that would be apparent.  Dog nails could also possibly gouge it.

Tile

Pros- Only true waterproof option, loved that it was a natural stone not an imitation of something, and pretty much indestructible

Cons-More difficult to install and could get a little cold underfoot in the winter

 

The winner?  (I know I already gave it away….pretend to be surprised)

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The water thing was the most important, especially to Derek.  I think the idea of moving a basement full of furniture and regluing an entire floor was not appealing to him for some reason.  And the fact that we loved this tile months ago, but until it was reduced to approximately the price of the vinyl, it was not an option.  Because when we need 1000 square feet of something price is very important. But on the flip side Derek scored us a even better deal because we were buying two pallets of it.

So there you have it…the first basement decision done.  Hopefully you don’t think we are crazy for going the tile over vinyl plank route. Unless of course you want to give two pallets of gray quartzite a good home.

2 Steps Forward….and 1 Back

I had this blog post all planned out in my head yesterday (first mistake)….it was we got a new fridge and I love it and the white monstrosity is gone and here is also how we finished updating our cabinets with glass. Yeah!

Not so much.

But at least it is going to start the way I planned.  Here is the white box that is was our fridge. 

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fridge

Not terrible and actually a pleasant surprise when we closed on our house as we thought the previous owners were taking it and we assumed we were buying a new one right away.  But we are slowly changing the appliances to stainless in the order of function.  As I mentioned before the dishwasher…well sucked so it was the top of the list.  The water and ice in this fridge has never worked so it was next…even though the stove won in the ugliness contest with the bisque color. Unfortunately totally functional.

Shopping for fridges made me realize that we have a really short space to work with that severely limited our choices especially in the ones with the features I wanted.  But we found one and I love it.

Unfortunately, to get the height we needed, it is about 3 inches narrower than our old fridge.  Which did not sound like a big deal in the store.  But compared to the old fridge that slid next to all the cabinets with less than a 1/4 inch to spare, we have some gaps. 

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Not a big deal from across the room, but up close you can see the sides of the cabinets.  That are still honey oak. 

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Way to be really thorough in my cabinet painting.

I told myself that we left it way on purpose so if I ever wanted to remember the pink countertops and honey oak goodness, all I had to do is pull out the fridge.

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Oh and there is a little wallpaper left too….

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So even though I had the official “I am not painting in anything else else in the kitchen ever again” celebration, I am sadly breaking up the paintbrush today.  But this can be a lesson if you are painting cabinets….don’t be lazy like me by not pulling out the fridge….or just never buy a thinner one.

Plans

The garden has been taking a lot of my attention (and posts) lately.  So for all those non-gardening people out there, I wanted to share what else is on the DIY to-do list.  

Since we are on a tight DIY budget this summer I had to be a little creative with our next project.

Therefore with a little inspiration from Sara at Russet Street Reno, our master closet is the next in line.

Is it terrible? No.  And it was actually a huge selling point.  Coming from a house that was over a hundred years old and therefore the closets were the size of three hangers, all the closets we were looking at were awe inspiring.  I might have squealed a couple of times and said that we could make the closet a guest room in a pinch.  For the record the phrase “this is is a great closet for me, but where are you going to put your clothes?” did not cross my lips   Once,  And if you watch House Hunters you know exactly what I am talking about. 

Anyway even though our master closet was not the biggest we looked it, it is more than adequate for the two of us.  And it already had pretty good storage built in.  So we did moved in, put in our stuff and did absolutely nothing to it. 

But of course my orange arch nemesis always makes an appearance-

Closet Before

Sidenote….have you ever tried to take pictures of a long skinny closet with a window? Well it’s not easy.  So I apologize for how badly depicted this is.

And the white has faded into a dingy yellow.  And they are an awkward size for folding storage.  My excuse for stuff falling all over the place. 

Closet Before

And the walls are blah.  (Well at least before I tried some paint samples.)

Closet Before

And the light fixture is dim and ugly.

Closet Before

And the shelves do not have enough support so they bow in.  Again this is the only reason why old purses and stuff is falling everywhere.  Obviously I did not clean up before taking any of these pictures.

Closet Before

So the plan is to re-stain and finish the clothing rods, add more shelving to reduce the  size of folded stacking, new wall color, and new light fixture.  And maybe some snazzier storage.   Or a fun paper or color behind the shelves And possibly a new hamper….or re-do of the current one.  And maybe a window covering.  Because after two years of thinking how far and high this window was from the neighbors, I just realized how wrong I am.   Not going to think about that.

I have been given the timeline of a long weekend to get the project completed because someone (aka the neater side of the closet) does not want this to become the never ending project with stacks of clothes all over the house.

Think we can do it?  Any other great closet ideas?

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War Has Officially Been Declared

Rabbits are no longer welcome in our yard.

It rained a lot last week.  Like a cold week of April rain in May.  It was weird but it was a good excuse to get things done inside and deal with the stress of the end of the school year.

But one afternoon I got home from work and noticed all the pink roses were laying on the ground at the back of the yard.  The roses that were among the plants that I had spent an entire weekend preparing a bed for and planting.

“Wow it must have rained really hard last night to knock all those petals off of the roses”

Then I walked out there and saw this.  I guess the stem right under the flower were the tastiest.

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And it made me very angry.  As in hoping the rabbits were bleeding internally from the thorns.  If we did not have a solid six foot fence around our yard, I would have thought that we had a deer problem.

Obviously with the rain, my number one rabbit repelling/killing team was not spending a lot of time outside.  Failures.

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When it finally stopped raining I went out to spray Liquid Fence to deter them.  And I found even more damage.  Which made me angrier.

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But, I have had success with this product in the past.   You have to reapply it every time it rains, which gets really old.  And it smells like a mixture of rotten eggs, puke, and toilets.  Two reasons why it is not a product that I look forward to using.

I was serious though so it applied it over all non-edible plats while muttering things like “die rabbits die.”  And even though the direction of the wind kept changing, dousing me in eau de rotten eggs that took two showers to get rid of, I was satisfied that I had foiled the mangy rabbits.  Victory!

The next day I walked over to the vegetable beds and witnessed this.

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I refuse to spray liquid fence on the spinach because even if it was suitable for human consumption, I really don’t want my salad smelling or tasting like a toilet.  So I spayed some on the dirt in between the rows of spinach in the hopes that it may work.  And I laid some chives from my previously overgrown plant around it randomly.  Because in my mind, rabbits don’t like the smell of onions.  Probably not true, but in my agitation I was not thinking that straight.  And it sounded good.

According to my scientific google search, cayenne pepper and human hair also are good repellents.  But call me crazy, I again hesitate to put that all over food I hope to eat.

Sigh. So I think we are going to have to make a chicken wire fence around the raised beds to keep them out.  As well as to keep out one of the rabbit repellers who has shown a recent affinity for strawberries fresh from the plant.

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Fence….Ugly? Yes….but probably will be necessary. 

Because I will win this war one way or another.

I hope.

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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?

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ohhhhh……

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ahhhhh…..

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

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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….

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

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

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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..

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

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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?

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Turn Back Time

There are some perks to sharing an office with the space that old school library books go to die.  Besides the potential for procrastination. And the ambiance that shelves of books bring (paired with the hum of the main computer servers of course).

Anyway you get to score these finds.


You know when you read the books from the 50’s about how to be a “good wife” and so forth?  Well these remind me of that but only with interior design and decorating….in 1987.  Which of course is also known as the golden years of design and fashion. But on the other really does not seem that long ago.  I would link to them for purchase (or possibly an updated edition) but could not find them anywhere.

Let me share some of the gems-
 


But I thought that the addition of this coffee table was interesting.….look familiar?

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Maybe they were onto something??  Nah, the mint and mauve definitely counteracted that.

Bring back any memories?

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Painting Addiction

For the last couple of days I have gotten this brilliant crazy idea in my head that just maybe we should repaint the entrance foyer.

Since I have missed painting so much.

And even though that poses many challenges.

First of all…the current color is OK.  It is actually the single room in this house that has not been repainted from the previous owners.  And really the color is fine.  When we first looked at the house with our realtor, I actually commented that it was good thing they picked an OK color and no wallpaper for that room because it would be awful to paint.

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Issue #2 is that this room is 2 stories.  And I am really not a big fan of heights. So it will involve a lot of paint and a lot of time on a very tall ladder.  Yikes.

(Ignore the Christmas garland….it was the best “two story” pic I have)DSC01647

Issue #3 is this monstrosity.  Yuck.IMG_0654

I refuse to clean it or change any of the light bulbs in it because it is so ugly.  And even with a very tall ladder we cannot replace it because it is in the middle of the ceiling requiring scaffolding.

When the furniture delivery guys were bringing in our new mattress they whacked it pretty hard and I really hoped it would come crashing down so that the replacement would be on their dime.  Unfortunately it did not fall and shatter.

So even if I go through the pain of painting I will not be any more satisfied with this room until that thing is gone.

Why am I even thinking about doing this since I have all these good reasons not to?  Other than than the fact that I am strangely addicted to an activity that I largely cannot stand to actually do?

Well, first of all the front of the house faces north and does not get a lot of light so  lighter color would really help open it up I think.  I am thinking of an elegant light gray.  Like this….

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Ahhhh.

Then there is this little detail-

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Classy. I guess they got tired of painting?

And then finally.

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The last.oak.window.

If I get enough courage to be that high on the ladder (it on the second story over the door), I will also have to be brave enough to climb there and de-oakify.

So I guess the questions are…how much do I love gray? …..and…..how afraid am I of heights?

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The Final Handmade Gift Post...I Swear

As the holidays draw to a close, the purging and organization bug has officially bitten me.  But I have no idea why....

 
Hmmmmm......

I got three hours of sleep before we left town for the holidays furiously hand sewing a binding on a quilt....and it got done.  But the craft room was a disaster. However, I have been organizing like crazy the past couple of days and can't wait to share the results.

Until then I want to show my first two completed quilts.  I know you are sick of handmade gift posts by this time, but I want to show them anyway.

The first quilt was a baby quilt that was inspired by a fabric remnant I picked up at Joann's for a couple of bucks and a subway tile pattern (sticking close to the home reno roots).

I was very scientific about this quilt....I used a notepad for the sizing of the squares and cut a lot of them.  Then I laid them on the floor in a random pattern.  When I thought the quilt was large enough I stopped cutting and started sewing.   I am probably making real quilters groan right now.


I used free motion quilting as my machine does not have a walking foot that would allow me to do straight lines.  It took me awhile to get a handle on that....as in I ripped out seams over 10 times at the beginning because I wasn't liking it.  But after I got over my fear and figured it out, it was not as difficult as I thought.

The second quilt was a little more ambitious and I used a Figgy Pudding Jelly Roll to put this together. 

I added solid red in between the figgy pudding and on the back.  I bound with with some figgy pudding yardage.  I used a similar free motion design on this quilt because frankly I was running out of time and I knew I could do it without breaking out the seam ripper.

 
 

Sorry for the less than stellar quality of these pics....they were taken after the quilt was given as it was not finished in time to snap some before we left.  There is nothing like having someone open a gift and then snatch it back to take pics of it:).  The red is not so bright in "real life."  Also looking at pics snapped with the old camera, I am loving the new one even more (if that is even possible).

So now that I have officially completed two quilts I wanted to share all my "knowledge".....

Ahem....
Things I have learned about quilting-
  1. It takes a long time, especially when you are like me and don't know exactly what you are doing.  So when you see a quilt and scoff at the price (like I used to do) know that someone took many many hours putting it together.
  2. Quilting involves very straight lines and exact measurements. And straight cutting. And straight sewing.  And good ironing.  Because if you are just a little bit off, the whole thing gets wonky....and you know what that means....hello seam ripping.
  3. Hand sewing binding is not fun.  Yeah it looks nice and all but it takes forever and my fingers killed me for two days afterwards.  Maybe my technique sucks and I am doing it wrong.  Or maybe it is just not fun.
  4. Quilting is fun....and an awesome excuse to use amazing fabrics.  I can't wait to start another one. 

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You Know You Are A Guest at a DIY House When...

The in-laws are coming in town this weekend for a visit and hopefully they do not mind a couple inconveniences for the sake of DIY projects.....


Like sharing the guest room with three doors that are waiting patiently to get painted and receive new hardware (maybe I can convince them it is a new "decorative feature").....


Or having to walk to the basement to shower because the guest bathroom has no sink, toilet or shower (but it does have new ungrouted tile which I am loving)...
Or they could always stay in the other empty bedroom but that is not a good option either obviously....
Hopefully they don't mind a little inconvenience in the spirit of a nice bathroom for their next trip. We sure know how to welcome our guests with style!

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!

Before/After- Powder Room

I have been a slacking in the posting department lately because of projects at work and the laundry room (posts coming soon I promise). But in the meantime I have another before/after to add to the list-The Powder Room.

THE BEFORE
Don't you love the wallpaper? Fake green wood paneling and angels and birdhouses to top it off? Of all the wallpaper in the house, this was the worst to remove. No matter what you did it came off in pieces about the size of a half a penny. When my parents came in to help us with the reno the weekend after we closed, my mom spent hours and hours in that room and only managed to get a part of one wall off. Good thing it was not a large room (and that my mom has a lot of patience).

Of course there is also honey oak, brass, a shell sink and a ugly light fixture (which missed the picture) to add to the charm. Ignore the sexy picture of me in my home reno outfit......

THE AFTER (Disclaimer- this room is very small with no natural light and so is very difficult to photograph)

Probably the best representation of how the paint color really looks



This picture is now hanging on the big empty wall. Click here to see how I got rid of the brass frame for less than $5.

This project still needs some finishing touches but overall we are happy how it came out. But this room took a lot longer than we imagined it would.

Our original plan involved pulling the honey oak vanity and putting in a pedestal sink or another more modern vanity. But the hardwood floor did not run under the oak vanity and the builder ran the water lines from the floor and not the wall. So those options were removed and we decided that painting it was the best idea. Then my bright idea was to paint the cabinet creme to lighten up the space. After painting the entire thing I decided I hated it because the color was too white. So I got a "creamier" color. Still hated it. So I switched to dark brown and was finally happy.

Then the crown molding saga....

We thought that since we had successfully done crown molding in the office that we could handle the little powder room and do it in a hour or two. Yeah we were really overestimating our abilities. Slight problem....the corners are really not square and even with multiple cuts, a lot of cursing and many trips back to Home Depot over multiple days, we were still not lining up. Our little project suddenly turned into a nightmare. So we cheated and bought the corners (you know the ones that we made fun of on previous visits). They were pricey but worth it (and we learned not to be so confident with our skills in the crown department).

The details-

Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Latte
Counter top: Stock granite with undermount sink from Home Depot or Lowes
Faucet- Home Depot
Mirror- Homegoods- $50
Light Fixture- clearance at Lowes-$30 (originally $80)
Vanity- Painted with Ace Cabinet and Trim color matched to SW Black Bean
Accessories- Bed Bath and Beyond

I Swear It Looked Different on the Paint Chip

Picking paint colors is an art form which I used to think was easy. I mean just walk up to the display, find a pretty color and buy it. A funny post over on All Things G&D made me think about how many awful paint decisions I have made in the 5 short years we have been picking paint colors. I have been convinced that a certain color was the perfect color but on the wall......well you will see the ugliness. I am embarrassed to show these pictures but I have learned so much from these bad paint choices....and honestly they are funny now. You know now that I am no longer repainting these rooms on a yearly basis.

OK I will start with the room that we only repainted once- the guest room at our old house.

Disclaimer: When Derek and I moved in we were very poor grad students and home decor was a luxury so we did what we could with hand me downs. This was our first place after dorm rooms/college apartments so our furniture was not the best.

Back to the room, when we moved in the walls were pasted with hockey cards. Sadly I did not think ahead enough to snap a picture of this. After scraping them off the walls we picked a color. My aunt kindly gave us my cousin's old bedroom furniture which was very girly so we had to work with that in this room. Derek did not want a girly color though, so we decided on a light green. You know something light, bright and neutral.

Enter what we termed "Mint-Chocolate Chip"
It was actually a lot minty-ier than this picture shows. Not a bad color for a nursery, but considering our most frequent guest was Derek's college aged brother, not a good choice.

So the repaint-
This time it actually was neutral.

The master bedroom was repainted three times.....in three years. We lived with each of the bad colors a year before I hated it enough to clear the room and repaint. Or should I say convince Derek enough so that he would help me. Our first inspiration was to go for a beachy feel....something bright and summery. Derek will admit that this was his choice-


These pictures were taken at night and during the day it glowed. It was very bright.

So we decided to do something more neutral/cooler. My parents bought us new furniture for graduation so we though it was a good time to repaint. Sadly, I even misinterpreted an inspiration Pottery Barn catalog picture to arrive at this color. It needed to be a lot more gray in order to resemble the inspiration. I realized this when we were finished of course. I don't think Pottery Barn would claim this color.With repaint #2 it looked like a little boys room. The room was small and had low ceilings to begin with so this made it worse. But could I really ask my loving husband to repaint again? Well a year later and an exact replica of an inspiration pic, we went back to yellow....this time less neon.



So far no rooms in our current house have needed to be repainted (not that I am making any promises about the future......I already have my eye on the dining room ceiling). Here is what I have learned from painting redos.

-Buy paint samples and put them on the wall. Yes, they cost a little extra but I really think they are the main reason I am still happy overall with our current paint choices. Make sure you put samples in areas that get different amounts of light.....i.e. by windows, next to furniture, etc. Then sleep on it. If you don't love any of the colors you put up, go buy some more.

-Find inspiration pictures. These can be from magazines, websites, other houses etc.

-After you finish painting and you hate it (after it is dry of course) or even if you don't love it.....repaint it then. The worst part of painting is moving furniture, putting up drop clothes etc. So since that is already done, save yourself a day and repaint it now. It will cost more money but you will be actually be saving yourself time and money in the long run.

-If you are choosing paint colors for a lot of rooms, invest a couple of bucks in a paint deck. Like I discussed Here.

-Even if you don't buy paint samples for the wall, sleep on it. Making quick decisions at the paint store has repaint written all over it.

But this is just what I learned what works the best for me.....I am sure there are people that the paint chip works for. I obviously need a little more help!