Backsplashin

The votes came in and y’all pretty resoundingly said brick pattern on the subway tile. Call me a lemming, I listened. 😉

White Subway Backsplash

Now, as much as I love (love!) the herringbone pattern, we had a few reasons for choosing the traditional subway tile pattern. First, it’s way easier. Like a Sunday afternoon and up, vs. a few days of cursing under your breath and redoing things 😉 Also, we just did herringbone in our last abode – time to mix it up!

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

Truth be told, the kitchen is currently a barf zone for me. I literally cannot walk into the room without feeling like I’m on a vomit comet. I think it’s the fridge, like proximity to the fridge, I don’t even know any more. Forget food aversions, I have room aversions. It’s bad.

So my wonderful, amazing, can do husband just did this all himself. I said brick laid backsplash, and he said – ok!

And he did a swimmingly grand job.

Subway Tile

One of my new favorite areas in the kitchen is our ginormous stretch of counter top space under the window. Since we decided to relocate our sink to the peninsula, we’ve got a human sized stretch of uninterrupted counter space. I’m thinking it’s going to be the perfect built-in buffet for when we have partays down the road.

No Sink Under Window

Another thing that makes me smile, finally being able to accessorize the space a bit! I found these cute little turkish towels at HomeGoods. Adorbs.

GE Cafe Oven

Things that make me frown however, include our little spice cabinet. Best invention ever, turned into biggest headache ever. Home Depot, you guys, we’ve been having an epically hard time getting those sons of guns to react to the fact that our kitchen is still not done, 4 months after we’ve paid for it in full. Fun. Lots of fun. 😉

You can see in the photos that things like toe kick, etc are not finished, but then we have other sad realities, like the fact that our spice drawer doesn’t close. At all (and hasn’t since day one)

Martha Stewart Cabinets

Whomp, whomp. Home Depot is working with us on all this, but needless to say, when the cabinets were paid for on May 13rd, and it’s September 5th, it kinda leads to some head scratching 😀 Fear not, once everything is resolved, I’ll definitely put an entire review together of our experience but right now, we’re not bowled over – that’s fo shizzle.

Ok, back to backsplash. 😉

Right now, above our oven, we’ve got a tall wall full of subway goodness.

Subway Tile Backsplash

When we feel like spending moolah again (read, a while) we’re thinking about putting in a custom range hood above the oven to help with air circulation in the kitchen when cooking.

Word – actually buying a range hood cover to match your cabinets is like a cool $1k. What? No, notta gonna happen. We figured we could recreate the shaker look of the cabinets pretty easily and try to match things up as good as possible, for a whole heckofalot less than a thousand dollars.

In the end, we hope it looks something sorta like this.

Custom Range Hood

Although I’m totally in love with our backsplash (and the concept of having a done-ish kitchen), things are feeling a bit white in here these days. 😉 I’m looking forward to accessorizing though and adding some spice! Other than adding accessories, our general to-do list looks like this:

Customizing Kitchen Cabinets

Subway tile backsplash is one of my favorite super cheap ways to make a space shine. Our total cost, including grout and mortar, was $61 for this space. BAM.

Almost there, y’all! Almost there!

Desiderata

Perhaps it was the two glasses of rum punch in me, but when I sat down a few months ago to use the loo in my friend Emily’s home, I was mesmerized by a little poster she had, hanging on the back of her bathroom door. It was long, but I read the whole darn thing, and then just said a resounding YES in my head. That is exactly it, exactly it. As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted to find a print for my own home, which is where dear etsy comes in – does it ever fail?

I found the prettiest version of the Desiderata.

Desiderata

But when we got it to our door step, we realized that it was quite long (abnormally sized) and that we’d have to get creative in the framing department.

So with a twinkle in my eye – I said by George – let’s build a frame! I thought it would be easy, Jay thought it would be hard. Jay landed up being more right than Mary 😀

It started out pretty simple – we found some glass at Home Depot – only set us back three bucks (good to know if you ever need to replace a piece of glass in a picture frame…

Replacement Glass For Frame

After we had the glass set aside, we needed to build the frame exterior. To make sure we got the right angle, Jay used his handy dandy angle finder. We also tested out the angle on a few test scraps of wood first, too.

How to Measure Wood Angle

Now we wanted the print to be as centered as possible within the frame, so we had to do some math to make sure our height and width for each piece matched up with a centered final photo.

Jay sat down and started engineering it out. This is about the time in a project where I start singing the Bob the Builder song :) Bob the Builder can we build it, Bob the Builder, YES WE CAN. It’s my renovating anthem 😀

Measuring Custom Picture Frame

After two tries hacking away with his miter saw, we finally had this – the beginnings of a picture frame. Turns out our first piece of wood was warped, so we actually had to bring it back to the store since we couldn’t use it … bummer dude.

Making your own frame

From there, things were looking up. All we had to do was stain it and attach it and we were on our way. (mostly)

We had two stains laying around from past projects, so we sampled them both and picked a fav. The Ebony felt too dark to me in this case, so we landed up going with Provincial (the same color we used for our floors).

Ebony Minwax Stain

For the backing, we decided to use some scrap from our kitchen remodel. It’s just been sitting in the corner of the kitchen for ages (while we still wait on Home Depot to do some finishing touches, uggh), so we snuck a small corner of it.

Using Scrap Wood for Picture Frame

Our last step was matting the back panel with some linen fabric, which cost us a whopping $1.50 at JoAnn’s. When we were in the check out line with our fabric, something else caught our eye.

Pink Hot Glue Gun

Yes, we are the proud new owners of a little pink hot glue gun :) For $3, we couldn’t say no. Plus, it turns out we needed it to finish our little crafty mccrafterson project we had going on.

Matting Frame with Linen

After we had our mat down and in place, it was the final moment of truth. We used some heavy duty glue to mat the frame (kinda winging it at this point, in all honesty) and in the end – we had this!

DIY Custom Frame

Gotta play it straight – next time, we’ll probably just go out and buy a frame. Our total cost was pretty reasonable though – we spent less than ten bucks – so that’s a solid win!

If you can’t read the print up above, here are the words from the Desiderata. Ahhh, you just feel at peace reading them :)

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Laboring Away | Blogosphere Roundup

Woot! Happy Labor Day – man it’s nice to have Jay home for a day and to be able to relax and put our feet up. Today’s post is part of a blog hop where y’all can see all sorts of fun Labor Day projects across the blogosphere!

Laboring Away

Added bonus, this little blog hop gave me a chance to take some time this weekend to tweak our side porch so that we actually have a place to sit down and relax. Ahhh, if only margaritas were still a reality for this momma to be, you better bet my behind would be parked out there this afternoon with an ice cold glass in hand. For now, I’ll have to settle for a lemonade, and a much improved view.

See our side porch, has been sorta embarrassing as of late.

Side Porch Before

Lots of junk, lots of boxes, lots of remnants of past weekend projects that never quite made it to the garage (another disaster zone).

Inspired by my little labor day blog hop, I decided that it was high time to spruce up our main house entry and make things look and feel a bit nicer out there, too.

Which is where a $5 craigslist find comes in for the win. See this guy? We scored him, along with (2) other chairs on the list for five bucks. For all 3.

Reupholstering Chair

The bamboo base and the lines of the chairs had me at hello (along with the PRICE, obvi!) 😉 but the seat, that left something to be desired, no? Some fabulous 80’s action there.

Refinishing Chair

So while we were out and about this weekend, we stopped by JoAnn’s for a quick second and we came out with quite the gem from the clearance section.

Here’s a sneaky peak as we popped it on with our staple gun.

Recovering Chair

Nice, right? Ikat is always a good bet and in my mind, it was the perfect little touch to update our porch and make it a bit more summer chic.

And 5 minutes later, here’s a close up shot of how the first chair was looking after we were done!

Ikat Bamboo Chair

And after we added another, we had a nice little seating area nestled off to the side of the porch.

Outdoor Bamboo Chairs

It must be the midwestern girl in me, but as soon as I spotted mums outside Home Depot I had to grab a pair to decorate our porch, too. Kinda worried with how they’ll do with the 90 degree heat we have forecasted for this week here in Bull City, but I just. couldn’t. help. myself. 😀 Mums = fall = happiness. So I went with it. :)

Purple Mums On Porch

With the mums, the new fabric and the chairs, our total cost to spruce up this side porch came in just under $20. Can’t beat that, my friends, can’t beat that.

Want some more Labor Day fun? Check out 702 Park Project, Eat Sleep Decorate, and Brittany French to see all the sweet projects on hand!

Stairway to Heaven

Ok, you caught me. Our stairway is currently not as dreamy as my post title may depict. No, it’s more like dreamy in draft form. Getting there, but not there.

Inspired by our bedroom wainscoting extravaganza and our trim party in the hall last week, we thought it was high time to take our hall from the pink monstrosity it was, to something slightly more chic.

And by pink, I mean, this.

Removing Wallpaper on Steps

What can I say, I just didn’t love it. 😀 The bad news, even after this improvement the pink is only half gone. The good, we’re working on making it ALL gone this weekend (eee!!) get excited!

Our first step in mission pink-be-gone was adding some chair rail, and painting the bottom section white. Better already, right? WRONG.

Adding Wainscoting to Stairwell

Then we moved on to the trim install. More or less, we knew we wanted to continue the same type of pattern we have in our bedroom. Buutttt, we had a slight wrinkle. See when your working on a downward angle, you’re definitely going to have a differences with how the shape looks.

After sketching it out, we came up with this general shape for our descent down the steps. And that’s when we started to scratch our heads and get confused. We knew what we wanted the shape to look like. We just had no idea on God’s green earth on how to make it. 😀

Adding Wainscoting to Stairwell

And that is when we ran to the store in search of a new tool for our tool box. We made a wise decision, and spent a few bucks on a special angle finding tool.

Money well spent, my friends, money well spent.

Here’s Jay, working on angle #1. After he found the angle, he was able to use his miter saw to trim each piece to the dimensions needed.

Finding Angle for Miter Saw

From there, we just worked away like busy beavers and cut box after box after box. Whew. Jay was busting out this bad boy for the better (worse?) part of a Saturday.

Depending on your stairs – you may also have to problem solve one more little detail. Since our stairwell has one wall that only goes half way down the steps, we knew that we’d need to do some math to figure out how to make the boxes end at the same location and to make sure that the long wall had even spacing all the way down the steps. To do that, we just measured the entire length of each wall (the left and short one on the right) and did some math to determine the spacing and size for each of the boxes.

Basically, we wanted to make sure that the start and end locations on the picture below, matched up, so that the boxes were mirrors of each other as they went down the stairwell.

Wainscoting on Stairwell

This little project has made a HUGE difference in the class factor of our stairway, guys. I pretty much was proclaiming to Jay for a week straight that we now live in a classy house. It official, y’all 😉

Here is the view as you approach the steps from the Living Room. Yes, did you notice with your eagle eye that we still have to add a little triangle to finish off the left side :) We lost our motivation and took a quick breather. 😉

Installing Wainscoting on Stairs

Now that the wainscoting is more or less up, it’s reminded me of other details I want/need/must tackle in this little stairwell of ours.

Ahem. Notice anything? Yes, our stairs are a few shades oranger than our floors. What can I say, I guess we missed the whole step thang when we were slaving away on the floors before move in 😀

I see a weekend project in the future …

Refinishing Steps Darker

While we are at it, I’m thinking we’ll have to stain our banister a nice dark ebony perhaps? Something super chic. Just typing these words makes my heart palpitate with longing.

Refinishing Stair Railing

For now though, I’m relishing in what we do have done. It’s very much improved over move-in day. Here’s another close-up of our stairway all wainscoted out.

Wainscoting on Stairs

And although in my dream of dreams, we have grasscloth wallpaper adorning the top section of our stairwell, For $30 for a gallon of paint, I think we’re leaning toward painting the upper section for now. We can always wallpaper later, but there are so many other projects where we could allocate our hard earned dollars right now, that I just don’t feel like spending the few hundred that the grasscloth would set us back.

The new plan is Revere Pewter, which I’m still pretty darn excited about. I mean, it’s certainly better than the pink – right?!

Wainscoting Styles

And since I know you love em’ as much as I do – here are a few before and after shots for ya.

Move-in day, our steps looked like this:

Foyer Before

And now, they look like this!

Installing Wainscoting on Stairs

Ohhhhhh we’re halfway there. Rockin’ out to Bon Jovi over here 😀

Door Detailing

When we moved into our house, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I knew I’d want to change. Ok, I pretty much wanted to change everything – true, true. This change in particular I thought we’d be making a bit further down the line, but as we started removing the wallpaper in our hallway, my noggin started to think that perhaps it would be easier if we tackled this guy in the here and now. At least that’s the justification I gave Jay 😉

Whenever you buy a house that’s almost 100 years old, there are bound to be a few items that got pieced together over time. Our trim, was no exception.

See how the trim in this room…

Tufted Living Room Chair

Is different than the trim in this room?

Window Trim in Old House

Driving me batty people, seriously batty. Blame it all on the laundry room renovation, but I started to get some high hopes for the trim in our little hallway upstairs. I figured since we already had to remove the doorway surround to widen the opening and fit in the new washer and dryer, why not spruce things up in this corridor and add some nice, new trim?

With the look below as my general inspiration, we set out to fanca-fy this joint.

Craftsman Style Trim

Did I mention we intended to do it on the cheap, too :) Like less than $12 a door cheap? Yep, that’s how I roll people.

Before we could get to reconstructing things though, we had some more demo to do. Namely, the base board trim had to get cut into a bit to make room for the new, bulkier door trim we’d be adding. After trying to remove the trim with a chisel and well, failing, Jay scooted his booty over to Harbor Freight to grab this $20 ninja tool that was perfect for the job.

Removing Floor Trim

Remember how I mentioned this trim job would be on the cheap? Enter in MDF. Our paintable, wood-like friend.

After trying a few different sizes around the door frame, we opted to make the main pieces of trim going up the sides of the door 3.5″ wide. It felt just chunky enough.

How to Add Custom Trim to Door Speaking of chunky, we also decided to go with 3/4 inch MDF, which simulated the look of wood trim much better than a thinner piece would have.

Here it is, post install and before paint.

Adding Custom Trim to Door

Looks rather unfinished, ey? Not going to lie. I kinda started to freak out a bit in my head at this point. I mean, did I really just remove wood trim and put up that? (Questions sanity). But at this point, we were pretty committed to seeing the project out – and spoiler alert – it looks awesome, you guys.

After we installed the mdf, we had to add some trim to the top of the door, to give it a more polished look. After the first coat of paint, door numero uno was looking better, but not quite there yet. We realized we’d need one final trim piece along the bottom edge of our header piece.

Adding Custom trim on Doors

In all honesty, we we’re kinda winging it on this project. We knew the general look we wanted, but picked our dimensions for each piece after popping it up on the wall, and seeing how it looked next to our other sections of trim.

In the end we came up with the combination below.

  • 3.5″ Trim for the Side
  • 6″ Header (for top)
  • 1 3/4 inch Crown for the top (very top piece)
  • 3/4 inch flat piece, for the base trim

With said above configuration, things were looking like this.

DIY Craftsman Style Door

Yep, still got those pink walls. Yep, they’re still making me want to pull my hair out.

After two coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White trim paint (which is what we have throughout the house) the hallway looked like this.

Adding Trim Detail Around Door

(Note: all the doors are the same height, there are some eye tricks going on with the vantage point in the photo above that make it look like they’re not)

Before our new trim, the hallway looked like this, so even with the pink walls, I consider the new look an improvement. 😉

Trim on Door

I plan on retrofitting a few more spots in our house, slowly but surely, over to this updated trim look. My man and I do have one final point of contention though.

He says don’t wrap the bottom piece, I say wrap away – just like the top crown piece. Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about.

Custom Door Molding

What do you guys think? Wrap, or no wrap?

The Spark of the Dark

Oh man guys, for the record, I’m kinda missing the apartment. I know it sounds weird, it feels weird even saying it, but I guess that our little hole in the wall with the mattress chilling on the floor and the orange tabby always at arms reach, our house just doesn’t feel like home yet. I know it will, soon, but right now, at this moment, it still feels pretty construction zone and not so home sweet home.

That being said, painting progress we made last week has definitely moved us further along on the continuum of making this space feel a bit more homey. As my walls can testify, we’ve tested lots of paint. LOTS. Seriously, gray tones can be tricky! The first few I slapped up there just looked way to purple to me – and that’s definitely not the look I’m going for.

Gray_Paint_Reading_Purple

After lots of testing, and comparing the view between the Dining Room and the Living Room, I finally decided on Sandy Hook Gray, by Benjamin Moore. It’s a nice darkish grayish greenish color that I think will look oh so fine once we add in our nice bright cabinets and some trim work in the dining room.

Before we started painting, we had to wave farewell to some lovely lookers up on the windows. au revoir!

Outdated_Drapes

Since the Dining Room and Kitchen are more or less, one large room, we thought it made the most sense to paint both of these rooms the same color, to have some cohesion between the spaces. Truth be told, the kitchen barely has any paint that needed to go up, largely because the cabinets and back splash will take up a solid chunk of that space, so that helped to move things along!

It felt good to paint in the kitchen, since we had been living with some unsightly marks from the wood floor installation where the mallet hit the wall.

Marks_On_Wall_From_Floor_Install

Now seriously, if y’all know me, you know that I’m kinda color phobic. Something bad and brightly colored must have happened to me as a child. So going dark is kinda liberating for me! It’s not like I’m painting the room neon orange or anything, but I considered this color to be a bit of a deviation from the normal paint programming around here and I’m pretty darn excited about it. 😀

Going up, I had a few panicked moments …

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint

But by the time we had (2) coats up on the walls, I was liking it an awful lot. Here’s a shot of the room, looking out from the Dining Room onto the Living space.

Benjamin_Moore_Sandy_Hook_Gray

The Dining Room also only has a little bit of paint going up, since the bottom half will be getting some board and batten action, just like our Master Bedroom upstairs. In the name of making sure everything jives just right, I think we will wait until the cabinets get delivered to install that though, just to make sure we have the right height, since we want it to match right up with the bottom edge of the counter.

Here are a few more shots so you can get a feel for how it looks in different lighting.

Sandy Hook Gray Benjamin Moore

This is what that same window looked like before we painted. Hello, yellow!

Painting_Over_Yellow_Walls

And here is a shot looking out from the kitchen, into our Dining Room and Living Room, so you can see how the rooms interact with each other.

Best_Dark_Gray_Colors

It was lots of fun to have the orange tabby back in our renovation extravaganza. Even though he’s a little bugger that’s often getting in the way, the house felt pretty empty over here without him.

Priming_New_Drywall

The next step, now that we have paint on the walls, is to upgrade our trim throughout the house. See this rinky dink crown? It’s really more like a small piece of trim, and y’all – it’s just got to go. We installed the final pieces of crown this weekend and it looks SO much better! I’ll have some official after shots of all the rooms later this week.

Sandy_Hook_Gray_Paint_Color

The best part about seeing paint up on this wall, is how much it helps to unite the space and make it feel like one, large room, instead of the segmented separate rooms we had going on before.

Has anyone else used Sandy Hook Gray before? I think I’m slowly before converted away from white! Baby steps people, baby steps.

One Month In

Holy moley, can you believe your ear drums? Believe it or not, we’re totally one month in to this little adventure of home ownership 3.0. You know, after owning 3 homes, in (4) years, one of the most common questions we get from people is if we’re house flippers. My answer, with a little bit of a smirk each time, is not intentionally. It just kinda happened. I can also tell you, at the ripe age of 27, Jay bird and I are pretty ready to slow things down a little bit in the house buying department. Buying and selling real estate has been an amazing way for us to gain some serious equity, and we’re so thankful that all our hard work has translated into something tangible, but seriously after all this work, we’re ready to just enjoy this house vs. move right on over to the next one.

I’ve gotta tell you that Jay and I have both reached a consensus that this house, this one’s for keepers. Uneven floors and leaky basement and all.

Trinity Park Durham

We’re SO EXCITED to have a house that we know we’ll be staying in for a while. Every decision we make about renovations feels more permanent, more lasting. We want every detail to reflect us as a family. Now, that’s not to say that we’re done with real estate. Our general motto is that every 3-5 years, we’d like to buy a property to invest. Whether it’s a vacation rental or a flip, we know that fixing up houses is kinda what we do. I think if I didn’t have my hands in a new property that I’d start to get sorta blue, ya know?

Since I’m all about celebrating victories, big and small in home renovating – I thought it would be fun to take a snapshot view of where we’re at 1-month in.

The biggest change by far was removing the non-load bearing wall between the dining room and the kitchen. This is what this space looked like before.

Taking Out Wall

And here it is, after. Ok, more like here it is “during”. 😉 Psst! Notice the first of the appliances chilling like a villain in the corner!

Drywalling Wall

Big, big difference as far as the flow and feel of the space. We absolutely are counting down the days until the peninsula of cabinets and counter tops get installed. We really couldn’t be more excited to entertain in this combined dining/kitchen space – it’s going to be great!

Since the kitchen had some vintage chic linoleum in there before the wall removal, we decided to rip all that up in favor of adding wood floors to tie everything together in the house, and give a cohesive look and feel to the space.

Prepping Floors for Wood Install

Another change – our floors! Before, we had floors that we’re not only in pretty rough condition – they were also orange! 😉 Howdoya like them apples?

Small Home Office

And here is how they’re looking now. It’s red oak, so it’s pretty much impossible to get rid of all the red, but they’re definitely much more “brown” now, and a little softer on the eyes! :)

Minwax Provincial vs. Dark Walnut

For comparison, here’s a shot of our floors next to the stair treads, that we opted not to do in the first round of sanding due to pure exhaustion, really. I know it will be a weekend project in the future though (I’m looking forward to adding in a stair runner, too).

Refinishing Wood Floors

Keeping up with the easy wins, we also painted our living room to make things look a bit more updated in there as well. I’m all on board with the new gray trend in home decorating, so we decided to go with Benjamin Moore Edgecbomb Gray. But first, this is what the Living Room looked like with the previous owner. A bit formal, for our taste.

Living Room Before

This is how it looks after two coats of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. We love it.

Edgecomb Gray in Living Room

Another “big deal” bucket list item, was getting our basement fixed. When we closed on the house, the front wall was bowing something crazy. Since your foundation keeps your house up, we knew that we wanted to tackle that immediately. So the fine fellas at RamJack came out and helped stabilize the basement.

How Ramjack Works

Now that we’ve got some of the larger projects out of the way, we’re moving on to some of the little details. See this bundle of fun on the floor? That’s a whole lotta crown and a whole lotta trim that are going up this weekend! We were able to snag a $3 per piece discount buying all the crown at once, so I convinced Jay we should just go for it. He begrudgingly agreed. 😉

Purchasing Crown in Bulk

And all that trim …. here’s a sneak peak at what we’ve been using that for!! (I’m totally in love) I’ll have the full reveal for our wainscoting treatment up on Friday!

DIY Wainscoting

We’re so excited to finally be in our new space, and we’ve got a final count down started for our apartment living departure – less than 2 weeks, people! Overall, we’re super pumped to tackle some larger projects post move-in, and to finally start decorating and making this place home!

A Room Of Our Own

Although our bedroom was one ugly duckling when we moved in, I’m a firm believer that this space has got all kinds of potential once we snazz it up a bit. One of the things that I’m the most excited about is the prospect of reorganizing some of the space to create a pretty sweet Master Suite. That’s right, y’all, we’re planning on adding a bathroom to this little room of ours.

And in all honesty, by little, I mean way bigger than rooms we are used to. Namely, we’ve got a little nook just hanging out in the corner of the room that feels awfully underutilized right now. Just like my light bulb laundry moment, I had a bit of an epiphany when I walked into this room when we were house hunting.

If you remember from our overall house tour, the two upstairs bedrooms are very similar, however the second bedroom has a small office/playroom/future nursery/flex space attached to the back. I thought that a similar layout would work in the Master, but we’d just make that area a bath, instead! Peeerrrfection.

Second Floor Layout That being said, with all the other projects we’ve got in the hopper right now, this is definitely something that we will have to wait a year or so to do, which will allow us time to save up some cold hard cash to help pay for it. We’re pretty committed around here to doing all our renovations with cash on hand (vs. using our credit card), so if we want it, well just have to wait a bit for it! And believe you me, I want it. 😉

Here are some before shots of our bedroom, so you can see what we’ll be working with.

This is the main wall when you walk in, and most likely where we’ll position the bed.

Master Bedroom Before

This little nook below is where our bathroom will go! I think it’s the perfect size for a walk-in shower, toilet and vanity.

Adding Bath to Master Bedroom

So far, the only real progress we’ve made on this room was removing all the wallpaper. I’ve sampled a few colors up there, but this room is giving me heartburn on paint, too.

A Room of Our Own

As you can see, we inherited some pretty nice trim work in this room. We’ll definitely be working with that to create some type of wainscoting down on the lower side of the room. When we moved in, the trim in this room as all a creamy/yellowy off-white that just wasn’t my jam. Here’s a sneaky peaky at what I’ve been working on the past few days at the house. Just look how different Benjamin Moore Simply White looks up against the trim that was there before.

Painting Wainscoting

Needless to say, I think things will be improved for the better once we’ve got the bottom half of the room painted in a nice crisp white.  This room reads kinda dark right now (if you can’t tell from the pictures) so I’m looking forward to small changes that we can make in the room to brighten it a bit.

As far as layout for the space, after thinking about it quite a bit, I’m pretty sure the configuration below is pretty much the only option that will work for this room.

Master Bedroom Layout I seriously want to squeal like a pig looking at that proposed bathroom add-on. It just makes my heart so dang happy.

Here are some yummy plans for the bedroom.

Master Bedroom Mood Board

And eventually, for the bath!

 

Master Bathroom Mood Board

We’re hard at work this week finishing up some painting in this room – I can’t wait to show y’all some official before and afters! :)

Feeling Edgy

Picking paint colors is such a fun part of the home renovation process – after floor refinishing and wall removal, this step definitely feels like progress. That being said, the fun factor is starting to wain a bit. I think I’ve tried over 10 samples at this point, and I’m having a hard time finding one that I like for our spaces. See what I mean? (this is just the dining room options…)

Best Greige Paint Colors

Yeah – lots of samples. Now, I have a general idea of the look and feel that I’m going for in each space, but testing the colors in the house has proven to me that I really have to buy the sample paint color, since the swatches have been looking so darn different once I get them up on the wall. Too purple, too gray, too meh.

Although I knew that I wanted the dining room/kitchen to be a bit darker this time, to balance out the white, bright cabinets, I also knew that I wanted something soft and neutral in our living space. Since this room is one of the first things you see when you walk in 2 out of 3 doors in the house, I thought a calming palette would be the perfect touch. As in the past, I also knew that my all time favorite color for that type of room, is tried and true Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.

This color is the best. It never reads too yellow and it never reads too gray. Perfection. Here it is against the fireplace we were edging in.

Edgecomb Gray

As soon as we started edging in with the color, I knew it was going to be night and day better once it was up.

Since I was struggling so much with picking a paint color for the kitchen/dining space – I also thought that it would be super helpful to have at least one color signed sealed and delivered, so that I could make sure that the adjacent rooms would play nicely together.

Jay rolled, I edged.

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray

Even after one coat, I could tell that this was going to turn out beautiful.

Edgecomb Gray Paint

I had a few moments of concern early on, where it looked kinda purple in contrast to the yellowish white that was up there before. Like in this shot, you can see a bit of the cooler tones coming out.

Edgecomb Gray

After 2 houses and 3+ years of painting, I also decided to splurge and buy myself a new edging paint brush. I love it. It’s got a little flexible handle and it’s so easy to use (small). For the most part, this paint brush is so great that it allows me to edge without taping anything off, which is a ginormous time saver. For the few spots I did drip, I came back through with a rag to touch it up as I went along.

Best Paint Brush for Edging

Look how peachy keen everything came out when we were all done!

Edgecomb Gray in Living Room

Another shot, so you can see how it looks up against the newly finished wood floors.

Edgecomb Gray Benjamin Moore

It feels amazingly good to have one room quasi done now, and I’m definitely ready to move some furniture back in. We decided that we’d like to replace our crown with some chunkier stuff right away as well, so we didn’t even bother edging out the top. All and all, this project only took us 2-hours, and now instead of this.

Yellow Paint in Living Room

We have this!

Edgecomb Gray Benjamin Moore

Now tell me – do you guys have some favorite paint colors you can share? Help a girl out! :)

Lightbulb Laundry Moment

I’d like everyone to put your hands together for Mr. Jay Sell, since he’s basically the one that made the magic happen with sanding our floors. I mean – I helped. I was very helpful, but at the end of the day, that man was the one that was wielding those heavy machines all around our house in the name of some fine looking floors. But truth be told, whenever I’m in this new house of ours for too long, my mind just starts to wander and I start to think about all the possibilities of every nook and cranny. So when we were upstairs, and I was “helping” and Jay was “sanding” we came across our big old closet on the second story and had a dilemma. Ya know, the one that stored the man with the bag pre-movin?

Life Size Santa

Well Jay, weary and tired as he was, got to the closet and basically told me he wasn’t going to sand it. There was no asking involved at this point. I started to protest (we only do this once, let’s do it right!) when I had a light bulb moment and my words flew back into my mouth before I’d even started. I looked at Jay with my best crazy eyes impression and said, that’s ok Dandelion, you don’t have to sand it… I’ve got some alternate too delicious to handle plans for this space.

And they look like this.

Slate Floors in Laundry Room

Or maybe they look like this? I’m still deciding 😉

Either way, they look EPIC.

White Laundry Room

Slowly pivoting to Jay I said, what if, we convert this to our LAUNDRY ROOM! Break out the angelic chorus, it’s the best idea I’ve had yet!

See, I was feeling kind of down about my new high efficiency washer and dryer chillaxin in this local.

Fixing Basement Wall with Ramjack

It’s a great basement, it does the trick of being, a basement – but it does this with absolutely no frills. Nothing fancy – just some Frankenstein style bolts in the wall. Oh, and probably five thousand big a$$ crickets that looks like spiders. You expect me to do laundry down there, aawwww heeellll no.

So I started to think about it, and with a few quick revisions, this place is going to be lickety splickedy perfect for our new suddsing up our clothes locale.

This is what the space currently looks like.

Converting Closet to Laundry

It’s long and narrow (4×8′) and perfect for some stack action laundry machines down at the back right. Ahh yes, noticing that there’s a doorway there? That will definitely have to go.

Here is my game plan for the space.

Long and Narrow Laundry

Playing off my two ideas above, I put together some mood boards, so that y’all can get a feel for two different options for the space. I do know, that these lovely lookers will be the crowning jewel. We went to Home Depot and I needed to buy a bib on the way out, I was drooling so much over these guys. SWOON.

Here’s mood board numero uno.

Laundry Room Mood Board

And similar, but slightly different, numero dos.

Laundry Room Mood Boards

Help me decide! Which look do you prefer?