To Fall, With Love

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The year's final performance is here
The leaves rustle in the breeze as if in applause
The garden puts on its final show 
Before saying goodbye and goodnight

Red, gold, and coral brilliance
As far as the eye can see

I open my eyes wide...wider
To take it all in, to remember all of its beauty

But my eyes can't seem to open wide enough 

So we gather souvenirs and keepsakes of this season's show

As reminders of its splendor
Until its arrives again.
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Change of Pace

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I've been on a purging spree the last few weeks.  It started with a yard-sale that didn't go as I planned.  (The first yard sale I ever had netted me $350+ dollars, so now every other sale has to measure up!) Halfway thru the day, I found myself so irritated by the lack of traffic that I packed everything in my car and donated it.  I did give the kid clothes to a friend who could use them.  But I have been thinking about stuff and how I don't want it sitting in my basement serving no purpose when someone else could get some use out of it. 

Speaking of which, I cleaned up our basement which had things strewn across every section of it with our move-in a few months ago.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to walk down there and see order now.  I was able to make use of the shelving we previously had in our garage.

I have also been making an effort to go ahead and decorate rooms and not wait for getting everything just right.  And just that idea alone has helped me pull a couple of rooms together.  I am seeing that clearing out the unnecessary and unused items in a space, and repurposing things I already own  have helped the rooms feel like home. Like the foyer...I like the way this feels, even though it is a bit forward to announce to guests that we love them to the moon and back. :)  

 But hey, everybody needs love, and for now it feels welcoming.

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Oak House Reno- {The Dining Room}

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I can't believe we've been here nearly two months.  On one hand, I think I thought we would have a lot more done.  On the other hand, that's life, right.  This room, so far, is simply a power of paint transformation.  It's amazing how colors can be so time-specific. 

This is a picture from before we moved in.  The one thing I did within the first week of moving in was remove the old curtains.  I should also include that we did refinish the floors that first week too.

This was shortly after we moved in, just placing the furniture in the room.

I started by patching and sanding all the nail holes and priming the walls.  Then I got to the dentil molding and almost called for professional help.  All of those little grooves are a beast to paint!

But I saw a quote that said the hardest part of DIY is getting started.  So I rolled up my sleeves and decided to just get to it.  I ended up forgoing priming the dentil molding.  After experimenting with different brushes, I settled on using a 1" foam brush to squish paint in between each dentil(?) and then used an angle brush to follow behind on the smooth parts of the trim.  I still had to go back and catch drips/runs from each groove, but this technique got the job done.  I debated trying to mask off the entire room and spray the trim, but I thought it would take the same amount of time and I was afraid I would have overspray.  I have three more rooms with this trim, so I may give the spray a try next time.

As far as color goes, I  was torn between a neutral light greige, and a deep navy or gray.  Needless to say, deep grey won.  One thing that sold me on this home was the natural light.  I love that there is this huge opening between the living room and dining room where light can flow between them.   Plus with the wide openings, the large bay window on the back, and the light paint below the chair rail, I was able to get away with a darker paint color without making the room super dark.  That's a win in my book!

The walls are Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, and the trim work is Benjamin Moore Simply White.  

I stole the table that was behind the sofa in our previous home to use in here for now.  The chalkboard is a smaller version of a DIY knockoff  I  shared a while back.  I would love for it to be a bit shorter and wider for better scale, so that could be my excuse to build a new one!

One other small thing we are doing, or I should say GB is doing, is changing out the almond colored outlets and light switch to a fresh white.  The wall sockets are literally like two bucks.  The light switch was a bit more, but with his handyman skills, it's a very inexpensive way to also help update the room.

There are still a few touch ups needed (the painted seeped under the tape to my wood floors--evidently you aren't supposed to use blue tape on wood  floors--why did no one tell me this?!), and the blinds and potential curtain fabric need to be hung.  But this is one space that now feels like us.

Which only highlights even more the need to cover over this wallpaper in the kitchen, yikes!  I mean, I do find it a bit charming, but ultimately it's got to go!

All in due time.  Right now, I'm busy ripping out ivy in the front yard.  Send help, please!

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Design Plans-{Laundry Room Redo}

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Yesterday I shared some inspiring laundry room makeovers.  Today, I'm back with design plans for my own laundry room makeover.  I think I've incorporated something from all three makovers.  They were all so good!

The laundry room at the new house is not that big--more like a galley space.  But that doesn't mean I can't squeeze out as much functionality as possible.

Laundry Room Redo

I love that here I have both a utility sink and the 42" cabinets.  They just need a bit of updating.  First up will be to paint the cabinets either gray or white and add new hardware.  I love the idea of gray cabinetry, but also don't want the space to be too dark.  Adding a skirt to the utility sink will help disguise it and allow for hidden storage underneath.  I will probably also add a plywood countertop over the washer and dryer to allow space for folding.

I would also love to also replace the faucet on the sink, like was seen in one of the makeovers from yesterday.  I plan to add hooks and maybe baskets above on the side that the door opens up onto.  I would also love to replace the flooring with a new laminate, and replace the shelving over the utility sink with brackets and a wooden shelf.  
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Three Inspiring Laundry Rooms

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I was up doing laundry late Sunday night, and I couldn't help but start to think about how the space could be updated.  Below are three of my favorite laundry room updates that inspire me to want to update my own space!

First up is this epically awesome makeover by Sharon Joyce Interiors.  She made over her laundry room for the One Room Challenge last spring.  The stenciled walls and mirror are everything!  I also love how light and bright the space is even though it doesn't have any windows.  

Next up is an inspiring makeover by the talented Julie Blanner.  I love that she elevated the look of ho-hum original cabinetry with the use of gold toned hardware.  And do you see what she did to a basic utility sink?  The skirt and gold faucet are to die for!

And finally the wonderful makeover by Jennifer over at Dear Lillie.  She also took dated cabinetry and updated them with paint and hardware.  I also love that she has folding space over her washer and dryer.  This room's layout is the most similar to mine.

Blue and white seem to be a common theme and something that I want to incorporate into my own laundry room makeover.  It's also great for a space that's all about water!  I will be back to share a design board on Wednesday.  The walls in my laundry roon are begging for paint, although I may have accidentally started stripping wallpaper in the bathroom.  Somebody help me!

For more inspiring laundry room photos, check out my Laundry Room board on Pinterest.

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Painting the Master Closet

Monday, August 15, 2016

After moving, everything felt chaotic and disorganized.  Clothes have been in boxes for weeks, and we lived out of suitcases for nearly two weeks. So while a closet wasn't what I thought would be my first paint job, it was needed to help get our lives back on track and begin a little organization.  

The closet isn't huge, but it's enough for us.  The walls were pretty beat up and need of paint, and the shelving had this sticky, brown residue on them.

The shelving was scrubbed with more Bar Keeper's Friend, and rinsed with a vinegar/water solution.  This seemed to remove the dirt and the sticky feel.  Then the walls were painted BM Grey Owl and the trim BM Simply White.  The floors were replaced with wood when we had our new floors laid.  

The space feels so much fresher and cleaner, and ready to hang clothes in!
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Design Plans-{Guest Bathroom Refresh}

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's been about three weeks that we've been in the new house.  I feel like we are still settling in and getting used to calling this place home.  We have had our share of things to go wrong, but we are pushing thru!  There are three bathrooms straight from the 1980s with classic pink tile and one even with floral wallpaper.  And while it was probably 'on trend' at the time, I want to bring these bathrooms into the 21st century.  We're planning to do a smaller refresh with the secondary bathrooms, and save up to do a complete renovation of the master bath in the future.  So below my plan is to update one of the secondary bathrooms.

Guest Bath Refresh

To begin with, I plan to keep the existing floor and shower tile.  While pink is not my color of choice, they are in decent shape.  To update the space, I'll paint the vanity a soft shade of gray and replace the countertop, sink, and faucet.   Then bringing in accessories like a white floor rug and shower curtain, metal baskets for storage, and decorative hooks for hanging bath towels will also help update the space.  I found a remnant yard for a granite installer who has a flat price for any material that you find, so I've got a marble remnant saved.

Both of the secondary bathrooms have the same tile on the floor and in the shower, and I haven't decided which one I will do first.  So some of the accessories may change if I do the upstairs first.  I can't wait to show you some progress!


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Operation Habitation-Setting Up House

Monday, July 25, 2016

This past week has been a whirlwind.  Tuesday was the last day of the flooring work.  They came out and finished up the final details and put in quarter round.  We also had a few more installers out that day so I was running between all three answering questions.  After they left we started bringing in some of the basic necessities and were completely exhausted by the end of the day.  

The next few days were spent cleaning and setting up house--having somewhere to eat, sleep, bathe and sit.  While it is nowhere near finished, we've gotten to the point where a few rooms feel somewhat setup, and the boxes are hidden in closets.  One happy surprise has been that I actually like the paint color in both the master bedroom and the Bub's room.  

This is the only corner of the master bedroom I can show.  We haven't set up our bed yet!  But our bed, linens, and drapes all coordinate with the existing wall color.  I feel like it's the same color in both the master bedroom and the Bub's room, but it reads more green in this room.  Either way, I kind of like the color in the Bub's room too.  All of his existing bedding, drapes, and furniture coordinated pretty well too.  I really wanted to get his room setup so that he could feel that at home.



 The bathrooms here were completely dirty and dusty.  So first up was a major cleaning to get them up to speed.  I also brought in accessories from our previous house, put up a new shower curtain, and I found a couple of sets of cabinet hardware I had stashed away and put those on the cabinet.  But I have come to the conclusion that in addition to paint, at the bare minimum, the countertop and faucet will have to be changed out.  I think I could have lived with the countertop, but it's an all-in-one sink and countertop and the sink base is cracked.  I'm also planning to repaint the walls a creamy white.



There's still so much of just the basics to do, but I'm starting to feel like I am getting close to busting out my paintbrush!
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The Oak House Reno-{Staining the Wood Floors}

Sunday, July 17, 2016

After my mini freak out yesterday about the new stain color I was finally able to come in and get some pictures today. The color doesn't look too bad in rooms with more modern paint colors. But in the rooms with the older paint colors are still see a bit of red or yellow. Hopefully with fresh paint they will grow on me and be ok. We decided to keep them as is because we're already going to be out of the house for 5 days, and at this point we're ready to get back to regularly scheduled programming, aka life.

These first few pics from upstairs, I don't really see red.

 But downstairs, tell me what you think?  Is it me or do you see red?

Either way, paint is in order once we get moved in!

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The Oak House Reno-{Old and New Floors & A Stain Dilemma}

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What an amazing sight this was to see!  Although I didn't care for the original finish, these floors were in pretty great shape. And to see them with the old finish!  I can hardly believe they are nearly 30 years old.  Our flooring contractor said they were probably select grade oak floors.  Whatever they are, they're beautiful.   I'm in love with just this step being done. 

Upstairs the flooring crew removed the old carpet and particle board underlayment and laid new oak floors to match the ones downstairs.  These were number one red oak, so they have a few more knots in the wood, but we think it adds a bit of character.  We went with a 3 1/4" wide plank upstairs, even though downstairs is a traditional 2 1/4" board.  In the one bedroom downstairs, we matched the wood width to the existing floors downstairs.

Oh those beautiful piles of wood!

It is so much work to have these put in.  Even if I knew how to do them, I don't know that I would have the time or energy to do this amount of flooring.  Plus the amount of sanding they do is impressive!  They have taken out bags and bags of sawdust.  The staining began on Friday, but I haven't been able to get to the house to see it.  We went with Minwax Provincial stain.  I didn't want to go as dark as our previous wood floors because they showed every bit of dust, but now I am second guessing the decision and hoping they aren't too light either.  I'm hoping we can walk thru in the morning after they have dried and see the stain color in the light of day.

{I started writing this post before the stain went down.  Even though we had about 8 different samples put down to choose from, I am still second guessing my stain choice.  The flooring is red oak which has red undertones.  So now with the stain on the ENTIRE floor, I am feeling like I see red undertones.  But I reeaaly don't like wood with red tones.  And although it may be slight, I don't want to have floors that I hate...grrr!  But I also saw how much work the gentleman in the photo put into sanding these floors down, like literally the whole house, and it seems a shame to say, "I don't like the color, please start over."  We were at our closing when the staining was done, and I didn't get a chance to see it go down.   What would you do knowing you've got to live with this decision for the next 20 plus years?  I ended up having car trouble to deal with and forgot to get a picture of the stain.  I will try to get one tomorrow.  Let me know what you think!}
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