Revere Pewter in the Dining Room

Chalk it up to a year of apartment living, but I forgot what a difference a can of paint can make in my life. It didn’t come easy, with dark red walls to start off with, but y’all – we officially have our first painted room checked off the list. And it feels SO much more like us! We decided to paint the Dining Room one of our tried and true classics, Revere Pewter.

This is what we were working with on move-in day.

Dining Room with Built in

And this is what we have now! Nothing too Earth shattering, but definitely better with Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the walls.

Dining Room After

I wasn’t able to wait very long before the paint brushes came out, and I’m super glad we decided to tackle this room first, since it’s the room you enter right off the bat when coming into the house.

Here is a view of the hall that leads from the Living Room down into the Dining Room/Entry. Still thinking of ways to decorate the walls a bit – I’m thinking some matted family photos may fit the bill.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This is how the entry looks now with Revere Pewter up on the walls. I still need to find a big console table to put in the window. I have a lamp I scored on Craigslist that I think will look perfect in this entry – I just need a piece of furniture to put it on! Oh, and we need to paint that door something other than red (charcoal, perhaps?)

Foyer Revere Pewter

And for a before – this was the entry on move-in day.

Entryway landing

This is how everything looks coming down from the steps.

Foyer Revere Pewter Paint

Here is another view where you can see the Revere Pewter paint color a bit better. It’s super soft and soothing and it brightens up the space a ton. I’m in love 😀

Revere Pewter in Dining Room

So anyway, I think that Revere Pewter is definitely staying in my back pocket as a look to love (evidence here and here). Share with me your go to paint colors, y’all, I still got LOTS of rooms to paint 😉

Dining Room Plans Are Served

As soon as we found a house I was (of course) immediately drawn to the corner of the interwebs I think we all know too well, full of all types of juicy things to look at. Yes, pinterest, my fellow house renovation addicts. This is the land of obsession and alllll kinds of inspiration.

Ever since our offer was accepted, I started thinking about how I wanted our Dining Room to look once the space was finished. It’s the first room you see when you walk into the house, and right now – it’s screams 1992.

Dining Room with Built in

I LOVE built-ins. I do not love these built-ins.

Dining Room Built in

That being said, even though they look sorta funky, I’ve found even after just a few weeks of living here that they’re functional. Really great storage and with a small kitchen, they’re a perfect place to store those huge casserole dishes you pull out like twice a year.

So although I know we’ll be getting rid of these particular built-ins, I do think I’d like to keep the concept going with our new dining room plans as we continue to renovate down the road. So with my pinterest obsessed way, I stumbled across this gem and it’s officially become my inspiration for what I’d like to do with the space.

Built-ins in Dining Room

I mean – if I ever find this style table on craigslist, I’m going to literally die and stop whatever I’m doing to go and get that sucker. I swear, it’s just the loveliest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. And truly, as much as I love those linen chairs, with a one-year old, that’s just not happening. Unless your going for a modern tie die effect via spaghetti sauce everywhere.
Grasscloth in Dining Room

We’ve also got chair rail in this room, so this dining room photo caught my attention, too.  Eventually we plan on adding in some nice trim beneath the chair rail to make the room look a bit more polished and finished. In the more immediate term, we’ll just plan on painting it white though.

If my budget allowed for grass cloth, I’d be all the heck over that, but alas, a gallon of paint is a whole lot cheaper, so for now I’m thinking Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter which should give the room a similar look. Not nearly as classy, I know, but hey – it’s the look for less, right?!

Since this room also opens up into the foyer, I want to keep the color consistent in both spaces.

Entryway landing

My heart is so drawn to entries like this. Swoon. That picture is enough to make me want to buy a country farmhouse with 200-year old pine floors.

Farmhouse Entry Way

Or something like this … an old dresser off craigslist with some sweet little lamps on it?

Entry Way

So these days, you’ll find me with paint brush in hand, doing some hard core craigslist searching on the side 😉 Next up I’ll have some after photos of our Dining Room. It’s in progress now – can’t wait to share the changes with y’all!

The Next Full House Renovation

Oh, my. I know, I know. A year plus – where has the time gone. Well, you guys – we’ve got a new house and we’re totally ready to do our next full house renovation so I thought I’d swing by and fill you in on some of the details since I’ve been getting some follow up emails from all y’all asking whats going on over here.

Well, first off – had my little guy last March. And then Jay’s job moved from Durham to Raleigh – so being the bike riding, bus loving people we are, we had to move along with it, since a 25 mile bike ride was just going to take too much time out of the husband’s day – if you know what I mean. We knew we wanted to be close enough to Jay’s work that he could ride the bike, and close enough to downtown that I could hop on the bus to get to work, which made our window of possible homes pretty small… and LORDY is it a tight market down here. Y’all – for those trying to buy a house in the Raleigh, NC neck of the woods, perhaps you can relate, but it took up over 9-months to find a house. 9 MONTHS.

I can’t even express to you how happy we are to be out of our 1-bedroom apartment we moved into nearly a year ago, thinking we’d be there for a few months. Nope – almost a year later we finally closed on our house. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

I’ll post some more detailed pictures of the inside over the next few weeks, but wanted to share a quick snapshot of how the house looked before we purchased it – and before we get our hands deep in the next full house renovation!

So – like I said – we’ve been search for a city house. For all you urban dwellers, you know that this usually means tree lined streets, beautiful little bungalows and tons of character. Well y’all – we live in a subdivision on a cul-de-sac, in the city. I know – WEIRD, right? I’m still getting over it.

Urban Newer Home Raleigh

That’s the front of the house. Built in 2006 – so to us, that’s brand spankin’ new. As Jay put it, this house has a door bell – that works. Which more or less puts it in another category than our previous abodes. 1930’s vs. 2006 – some differences in the wiring, shall you say. Pretty generic and subdvisiony from the front for sure. Not NEARLY as quaint and cute (IMO) as the other neighborhoods we’ve lived in, but y’all, new houses do have some advantages I’m finding out.

Here is the entry way, it’s large. What does one do with an entry way this large. I’ve yet to figure this out.

Entryway landing

And here is the Dining Room.

Dining Room with Built in

As you can see – just because a house is newer does not mean that it has finishes that don’t look outdated. I love the concept of a built in – but this one has a tad too much maroon laminate for my taste.

Dining Room Built in

Speaking of maroon laminate. Drum roll, please! This is our kitchen. Quite a looker, huh?

Small kitchen design

It needs some love. But it has a pantry. A pantry!! These are things I never thought I would have. I can barely handle it, it just makes my organized crazed self so dang happy.

In case you didn’t have enough maroon in your life – here is another angle.

Kitchen layout for small kitchen

The kitchen leads into the breakfast nook – which is a really nice additional space in the house.

Breakfast Nook off Kitchen

And then the rest of the downstairs leads over into the family room. Love the open concept and how everything feels connected.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

It has a gas fireplace, too. I know we’re going to love that come winter!

Here is another angle  and before shot so you can see how things look before we take on our full house renovation. It’s a bit of an awkward room (as far as layout is concerned) but I have a few ideas on how to get everything situated nicely in there!

Family Room in Kitchen

I’ll swing by soon to show so additional photos of the upstairs spaces.

Cheerio!

Built In DIY Closets

Man – ladies, gotta come out and say it – I’ve got quite the catch :) He went up a solid 10 points in my book after he helped to bust out a built in DIY closet from heaven. See, old house = small closets = hair brained pregnant woman without enough places to store baby stuff. Why do baby’s come with so much stuff – it’s sorta ridiculous.

So one afternoon, I started sketching up some built in closet solutions for our Master Bedroom. A whole lotta work, and more money than desired later – we now have this!

Built_In_Armoire

AND this!

Closet_Armoire

Which equals a whole lotta storage! Here are the insides of our built in DIY closet project. One side just for Jay.

Closet_Storage

And one side just for me!

Built_In_Armoire_Storage

Although it’s not much space (and it’s pretty high up) there is also a shelf at the top of the built in closet that I’ll get some baskets for down the line. I figure it’s a great spot for seasonal stuff I don’t need on a daily basis.

Basket_Storage_In_Closet

In other news – my life is pretty much complete now that these little beehive handles have made their way into my house :)

Martha_Stewart_Hardware

Nothing like adding some more storage to make me happy as a fool on a warm summer’s day. Here is a final view of our built in DIY closet project. Love the storage, y’all!!

Built_In_Closet_Storage

Constellation Nursery Art

Well, our little one is mere weeks away, so Jay and I have been trying (trying) to get some things beautified over here. At the top of that list is the little man’s nursery. I keep telling Jay that before I pop this human out, I want the house to (as much as possible) feel done, serene and like a peaceful place to bring baby back to. That’s my goal. Some days I feel closer to it than others – we’re a work in progress over here.

So a few weekends back, Jay and I (and my sister, too) tackled some constellation nursery art arranging in Henry’s room.

Constellation Artwork

For a galaxy inspired nursery, I can’t think of a much nicer addition than some constellation nursery art charts for our little guy.

We hit up IKEA a month or so ago to get the frames and I found some free archived constellation prints online (here) that we just took them to Kinkos and paid $20 to have them cut to size, and printed on nice heavy cardstock. Not too shabby.

Constellation Art

Notice another addition in this shot?

Constellation Nursery Theme

When we were at habitat scoring the $11 sink for our bathroom, I also spotted a nice little chandy sitting in the lighting section. After our steal of a deal on the sink, the $20 I spent on it felt a bit steep, but heck – still not bad!

Wooden Chandelier

I love how the constellation nursery art looks up in the space and I think it adds the perfect focal point for this main (previously empty) wall in the room. A few final details and this space will be ready for baby!

Constellation Artwork

If y’all haven’t noticed – I’ve been recalibrating a bit over here the past month or so. As I look ahead to motherhood, and to raising our family, I really want to be actively present for my kids. I want them to know that mom is always here for them, and that I’m never too busy and can always make time for them. I don’t want to miss the details of my life. I want to see each moment, cherish each second, for the beautiful gift that it is.

I think in our modern day, technology driven world, that it’s very easy to become distracted from truly living and embracing our day to day and I’m feeling the need to put blogging in a space that it belongs for me in my life – and daily logging of our renos and home life just felt like a bit much. I’ll still be here – just a bit less! :)

After all, before you know it, April will be here and we’re going to have another human in the house – crazy sauce!

Constellation Nursery

Marble Herringbone Tile in the Bath

Yes, I know. I’ve kept you waiting dear friends. Holiday breaking just felt so nice, and with the munchkin only 11-weeks out, we’ve been oh so busy in this little house of ours getting the abode/ourselves ready for our babes grand entrance.

One of the bigger(ish) things on my to-do list was to get our little bathroom gutted and revamped.

Truth be told, I’m pretty smitten with how the space turned out! Here is a shot of our marble herringbone tile up close!

Marble Herringbone Tile

True to form, we installed one of my favorite bathroom looks, a marble herringbone tile.

We love a clean and traditional look, so we decided to go with a nice crisp white subway tile for the tub surround. The room feels so much brighter, and less dingy now!

Inset Storage for Shower

Knowing that every inch of space counted in our tiny little loo, we also decided to try something new for this renovation, and installed an inset within the shower for shampoo and other shower essentials.

It’s the perfect size for all our bathroom beauty products – I’m so SO glad we decided to do this!

Inset Storage in Shower

Working off the finish on the tub, I snagged these sconces from Home Depot for $30 each. Can’t beat the price. and love how they look in the space. Simple and elegant.

Nickel Sconces

We lucked out with our toilet, which, believe it or not – only cost us $40! Here in Durham, there is a local rebate for $100 for any household that replaces an old toilet, with a new efficient model. We went from a toilet that used 3.5 gallons per flush, to this one, which uses 1.09 gallons per flush. For a pregnant women that tinkles more than I ever thought humanly possible, I’m pretty sure this was $40 well spent 😉 I love how it looks up against the marble herringbone tile pattern!

Inexpensive Dual Flush Toilet

Another cost cutter in this space was our sink! Initially we planned on just reusing the old one, but alas, once we got the new toilet in, we realized it didn’t fit! We landed up selling the old kohler on craigslist for $80, and finding this pedestal sink at the habitat for humanity reuse store for $11. WIN.

Inexpensive Bathroom Sink

Jay and I each have a favorite thing about our newly renovated bath. For me, I think I’ve found my new paint color. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. It’s delish – perfection. (see it in our next house here)

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Jay’s favorite add on – the new mega sized shower head. Sitting in the lap of luxury peeps.

Upgraded Shower Head

So there you have it! Our new herringbone marble tile bath. Man, it feels good to have that one off the list!

Want to see all the products sourced and some of my other favorite bathroom finds? I’ve got them all saved on this pinterest board :)

Before and After Bathroom Renovation

Sorry for the radio silence you guys! Jay and I have been working like mad beasts to get this bathroom finished so you can see a good before and after bathroom renovation and we’ve been pretty consumed with a world full of tile and toilets as of late. Very glamorous 😀

So, this is the official shot of the bath before, pre-demo days.

Bathroom Upstairs Before

It was fine, really, and in complete honesty we could have just cleaned the hello dolly out of it and bought a nice shower curtain and called it done. But I knew sooner or later I’d want to gut this baby, and my mantra is “no time better than the present” 😉

Plus, my kid sister Rachel is moving in next week (WHHAA??) and Jay and I have been using the bath off her room for the past 6-months, so we wanted to spruce up this upstairs bath so that we had a nicer place to suds up in the am.

My biggest beef with this space was that it was just ugly, and not really my jam.

Black Diamond Tile in Tub

It was redone (to look vintage) sometime in the 90’s. As we started in on the demo work for the bathroom renovation, we realized how poorly the work had been done, which made me feel better about ripping it all out :)

Although it may be functional, another ugly vote (in my book) was the ginormous mirror that took up half the bathroom. Oh, and the light about it, not so much man, not so much.

Large Bathroom Mirror

For the last few months I have been scrubbing lots and lots in this room, and there are certain stains that just did not want to budge. Kinda gross, kinda ugly.

Updating Tile

And overall, it just felt like the room was getting eaten up by stained tile. On the walls, in the tub, it was just a bit overwhelming.

Another annoying detail – the only storage – in the entire bathroom – was this little rinky dink medicine cabinet.

White Medicine Cabinet

It just wasn’t a very functional space, so you know me, I got the itch to fix it.

Here is my inspiration board for the space. We’re finishing up the tile work today, and I should definitely have some details on the space for you next week! 😀 WOOT!

Bathroom Renovation

Want to see the full before and after bathroom renovation, go here.

Built In Shelf DIY

Whew! It’s been a busy week over here. We’re well into our bathroom renovation and I’m so excited with how it’s coming along! We’ll have some progress photos of the space up later this week for you all to check out (get excited!). (for those new to the blog – you can see the before and after shots, here)

In addition to demoing and rebuilding our upstairs loo, I took 30 seconds this week to do a first round of accessorizing on our newly refurbished built-in.

Remember this built in shelf DIY from last week?

Vintage Built In

That turned into this guy?

Adding Shelves to Builtin

Well I decided there’s no time better than the present and snooped around the abode for some accessories to add into the space.

It’s most definitely not finished, and it’s leaning a bit too traditional for me right now, but hey – it’s better than an empty cabinet, right?

Built in Bookcase

It was fun to be reunited with lots of the little treasures we still had packed away.

I love, love, love these little bookends I found thrifting a while back.

Marble Bookends

They are the perfect bookends for the (imperfect) books we found stashed away in our attic when we moved in.

Antique Books

They’ve got some water damage on them, but from a distance, it’s hard to tell 😀

Our little happy pig found a new happy home. Fitting that he overlooks our Dining Room where this preggo lady pigs out quite often.

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Right now, these little gold guys serve no function other than ornamental, but when we add in a little bar on the bottom shelf, I plan on using these for stashing some mixer essentials.

Accessorizing Bookcase

And above it all, Honest Abe sits looking pretty. Another fun thrifting find. :)

Abe Lincoln Bookend

What were you all up to this weekend? Anybody else renovating a bathroom?

Home Depot Kitchen Wrap Up

Our home depot kitchen, aye ca rumba, our kitchen. In my head, I always think that hiring things out will make them faster and better and well – something I don’t have to worry about. I think it’s because we do almost everything ourselves that I sorta forget that it can suck to depend on someone else to finish things/start things/do things. I mean – totally – don’t get me wrong … it can also suck when you have to do it, but at least you have control over the project. If everything looks like a big fat zero at the end, it’s sorta on you. 😀 Or your husband. 😉

And so, when we bought this house in APRIL, and started our home depot kitchen renovations, we thought the 4-6 week time frame that Home Depot gave us is what we’d be looking at. My friends, we were wrong. SO WRONG. I kid you not, the last details on the kitchen officially happened last week. As in late-November.

It may have taken half of 2014, but man, was it worth it.

Kitchen Before

Do y’all remember when our kitchen looked like the photo above?

Now. my friends, it looks like this.

White Kitchen with Quartz Counters

A little rough around the edges (ahem, keep your eyes off the ceiling) but it is a legitimately functional space now.

Martha Stewart Wellston Cabinets

Mmmmm, suggga. Love, love, love it. And I knew we would, but to be fair I also thought the kitchen in our last house rocked pretty hard.

Here’s a shot of that bad boy.

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

And here’s the kicker – it took 6-weeks instead of 6-months.

Now I know I gave a comparison in this post, but now that things are completely settled, I thought it would be nice for all of you to hear some of the main differences we had with our Lowes installed kitchen vs. our Home Depot kitchen Install. Here is a full home depot kitchen review for you:

Cost

It’s a bit hard to compare apples to apples on this one, since the kitchen layouts were different for each house, but overall, after lots of shopping around I have to say Lowes and Home Depot are nearly identical on their pricing.

Obviously your price is going to be swayed by add ons (interior organization, lazy susans, etc) and the overall size of your kitchen, but we found their pricing to be extremely similar.

They both run promotions often, so my advice would be to scope out the door style and manufacturer you like best, and then jump when the promotion is good. We found Labor Day weekend to be a great time to buy, since they often throw in an extra 10% off for those few days. At Lowes last year they gave us a gift card for 10% of the purchase price, and at Home Depot, they just took 10% off the order.

style

Now, this landed up being my Achilles heel on this kitchen renovation. I fell hard for the Martha Stewart Wellston style cabinet.

I love a simple shaker cabinet, but I especially loved how unique the double insert panel was on the Wellston cabinet.

Here is a close up of how the doors look on the cabinets.

Martha Stewart Spice Cabinet

And here is a shot of the drawers in action.

GE Cafe Oven

Timing

This is where our Home Depot kitchen started to suck it big time – at least our experience, with our Home Depot. Like slurpee until the end of the time. Lowes said 6-weeks, that’s what we got. Home Depot said 6-weeks, and that’s not what we got. Big fat sad face. It literally took 6-months to get this bad boy installed. Whoa nelly.

To be fair, we’ve always had really good interactions with Home Depot, so I really think it was the particular store we went through locally. That being said, its a bit of a gamble to know if your store might also fall into that category!

service

At the end of the day, it would have been one thing for Home Depot kitchen staff to just be really behind with their schedule, but the customer service was pretty atrocious along with it. Cue another whomp whomp. Again, I’m going to give the chain the benefit of the doubt and say it was just our local store that was having such a tricky time with it all. We did notice that they had a general manager switch mid-way through the reno, and that communication improved after, but still – it. was. bad.

Things like matching our end cabinet door took the longest, but you guys, it finally matches. Whattt!!!??!! 😀

Martha Stewart Wellston

In the end, my best advice to you would be check out all the local options available to you and go with the one that gives you the best gut reaction. Feel free to snort laugh here, but we decided to go with Home Depot this round since we thought they’d be so much quicker than going custom, or through a woodworker. Given that we’re down here in the furniture making land, we were probably totally wrong on that. What’s done is done though and it feels pretty high faluten’ fantastic to say that the KITCHEN IS DONE!

DIY Built-In Bookcase

When we were in escrow with our little abode, I remember showing people photos on our phones of the new joint and they would almost always comment on the little built-in we have in the Dining Room.

And sure, it was nice. But it was also a lot less nice up close in personal than it was in those photographs. Which is why we decided to do a little DIY built-in bookcase action over here.

Vintage Built In

It was old, and the door stuck, and it was our official junk collection spot for things we didn’t know what to do with in the kitchen. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Plus, now that I’m all in hyper mama bear mode, I also started to think to myself that every time we opened those sticky, reluctant glass doors, we were probably risking exposure to lead paint and the likes.

Lead Paint on Built In

Anywhoo … I just didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the doors were a bit too kitchy for my taste. So one night over dinner, I said to Jay – let’s give that baby a makeover.

I wanted everything to look more built-in, so we decided to scrap the glass shelves that were in here before, and swap them out for solid wood shelves instead to create this little built-in bookcase.

Adding Shelves to Built-in

The good news was that we already had brackets mounted on the cabinet sides from the previous shelving, so it was easy peasy to get the new shelf in. We just measured, cut, and messed around with some different height options for a bit.

Since there were doors mounted to the sides of the built-in previously, we also had to come back through and add some putty into those gaps before we did our final round of fresh paint. Here it is, waiting to get a quick sand down in between coats of putty (I think we put on 2 coats, total).

Filling in Gaps with Join Compound

I can tell you, I’m already loving how simple this looks compared to the rather busy built-in view before. The panes of glass and everything, it made that corner of the Dining Room just look overly busy to me.

Here is a shot of it after we added a coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Adding Shelves to Builtin

I’m really excited to accessorize this built-in bookcase now! I already found this fun serving tray at the thrift store for a few bucks last weekend. I think it would look awesome along with a little mini bar on that bottom shelf.

Brass Bamboo Tray

When everything is said and done, I see the built-in bookcase looking something like this! Stock that liquor shelf up, babbbbeeyy.

How_To_Style_a_Bookcase

MMMMMM – T-minus 4-months until this mama can get her hands back on a Margarita. That excites me more than it should. 😉