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Friday, April 26, 2013

Reveal Week: Reading Nook in MBR

So I think that the room that benefitted from Project Week the most was my master bedroom.  When we first moved in, it looked like this.  And I was really excited about decorating this area.

First, we got rid of the glass in the fireplace.  Then we took out that white tile and changed it for some stone.  Then we painted it.  And when I say 'we', I mean we paid people to do it.  Life is a little too crazy to take on those big projects when you have kids.  But we paced ourselves and did it little by little.  So after getting all of that done, it left us here.


Pretty boring, I know.  We lived like this for a year!  Before, it was just completely utilitarian.  There was a bed, a dresser, and a bench that was recently put in there.  And no, I don't usually make my bed.  Judge me.

So basically I just needed a lot of decor.  I did a lot of clearance shopping at Target.  Every time I went there, I would head straight for that corner end-cap in the very back of the store where they put the very best clearanced stuff.  I also got a lot of stuff at Marshall's and Home Goods.  Marshall's was hands down the best place.  Their regular priced stuff was like clearance anywhere else.  So here are my afters.

First of all, I had to do this next thing.  Having a charging station hidden away has been on my want-list for a LONG time.  So I know it's not pretty, but I put one in our nightstands.  All I did was drill a hole in the back of our nightstands and ran the power strip to a discreet outlet behind the bed.  I use it for my lamp, Kindle, and iPhone. Works great!

Here is some of the decor I used, close up.  If you're shopping for decor, the biggest piece of advice I can give is just to pick things that make you happy.  All of these colors and textures and contrasts just give me that inexplicable, serene feeling that art gives me.


Here is the fireplace and reading nook.  To me, it still needs a little something to make it cozier, but it's a definite improvement and good base line.

So that's that.  I'm really happy for the feel that this room has now.  It feels completely different - very peaceful and homey.

What have you done to make a gigantic room feel cozier?


Linkin' up...
Liz Marie Blog

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reveal Week: Dining Room and Living Rooms

In case you haven't been around in a while, I spent last week doing a mad amount of projects around the house, and now I'm showing you room by room.  SOOO, the rooms I'm going to show you today are pretty minor changes, but those little changes did a LOT to change the feel of the house.  It makes everything much more cozier.

Without further ado...

I'll start with the front door since it's in between the two rooms.  It was white on the inside and a fake wood color on the outside.  The second pic down is after I already sanded the fake wood side.  It had tarnished brass hardware that I switched out for oil-rubbed bronze, and I added a knocker, which wasn't there before.  I also just took off the kick plate and spray painted it with an oil-rubbed bronze paint, along with its screws.  I painted the door one shade darker than the grey that I used in the rest of my house. I love the color.  So pretty and modern but cozy.

So my original plan was to put together two different curtains so that they could go ceiling to floor, but then I got sick and was running out of time.  So I returned those first curtains (also because they were red and didn't go as well as I would have hoped) and got these (from Target), and I'm in LOVE with these curtains - LOVE.  I also snatched this rug up from a clearance sale at Lowe's, and I just adore it.  I really think the curtains and the rug round out this dining room. Especially after I added the gallery shelf  these two rooms just feel complete now. I'm very happy with them.
And if you'll see here, all I did to the formal living room was add curtains and make this little suitcase table.  I had picked up the legs from an old neighbor's scrap wood pile on the side of the road waiting to be picked up by the trash.  I knew they'd come in handy.  :)  The suitcase was my Gramma's.  Michael said, "Are you sure you want to drill into it?"  I said, "Gramma would probably think it was cool."  :)  My sewing machine is housed in there.

Since I only did one thing to the den (or informal living room), I thought I'd include it on this post, too.  Michael had wanted to put our old mirror back in our room, which I thought was a good idea.  So that left me with the chance to get a new mirror for the mantel.  Yay!  Where did I turn but to the store that never disappoints...Pier 1.

Okay, one more minor change to the den - sort of.  This is on our stairway, and it was driving me crazy.  Before we got our floors put in, there was ugly white and ivy tile up on this landing.  So when they did the floors, I had them do this little area, too.  Our router and whatnot is there on the  landing since it's the best spot in the house for reception, and yes, it's SO ugly!  So I hid it and added a cute little painting with a barn window frame.  I want to do more with it, but it's a start - and that's what's important. ;)  I'm thinking even just adding a fern here would be nice.

That's all I got today!  Stay tuned tomorrow, and I'll show you my master bedroom.  It was a pretty big transformation.


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Liz Marie Blog

Confession about my Island

I have a confession to make to you.  I don't like my island.  I posted about my kitchen redos the other day, and even as I was uploading pictures of my island, I knew I didn't like it completely, but I thought it might grow on me.  Alas, I can kid myself no longer.

It, indeed, has not grown on me.  Just today I put a stain wash over it to distress it a little to see if I would like it more.  I like it a little more, but I'm still not happy with it.  I can even hear your thoughts as you look at the picture.  The overwhelming majority of you are saying, "Meh."

Oh well.  I'll have to live with it for a while, but I do have a feeling I'll come up with something else soon.




iPhone pic...excuse the quality

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reveal Week: Kitchen

Hey y'all, I'm back!  Project Week was some serious stuff; I tell you what!  I worked sun up to way past sun down, through 3/5 of the family getting sick - the fever, chills, aches, and sore throat kind of sick, and the kids being here touching wet paint and whatnot.  I ended up losing about 2 days of work due to illness, but I'm extremely pleased with what I was able to accomplish.

I could NOT have done it, though, without my super-amazing, supportive husband.  Seriously, y'all, he's just the best.  And I get him.  :)

As I was deciding what to show you, I decided that I have take so many pictures of the projects that I did, that I should just to take it room by room.  So today, I'm going to show you the changes that I made in the kitchen.  And also, I'm cheating a bit, because I started on this room before Project Week started.  It's been in the works for a while.

Also, ironically enough, the kitchen's lack of updates is what was able to fund the rest of the house's projects.  We decided that since we came up short on the budget we needed to fully remodel the kitchen, that we'd take the money that we were going to use on it and get the rest of the house up to date.  So for the kitchen we decided that we would just get it updated enough to get us by for the next few years without driving us crazy.

This is what it looked like the day we looked at it with the realtor.

BEFORE

So the things I did to this room from the time we moved in until now.  The starred items were done during Project Week*:

 - got rid of the wallpaper, retexture, and paint
 - replaced the faucet
 - replaced all of the switch and outlet plates*
 - installed knobs and draw pulls
 - got new, matching chairs*
 - installed a light above the sink
 - put hooks in for the kids*
 - replaced the ceiling fan
 - changed all the hardware to oil-rubbed bronze (from gold)*
 - put in a spindle frame 
 - painted the island with a dry erase/magnet board installed*

AFTER
I LOVE these chairs I found.  They were, of course, on clearance at World Market.  Who doesn't love a bargain?  Also, I had tried out white walls at first, but I'm relieved I came to my senses and went with grey.  I love it.


AFTER
This lighting fixture screws right into the recessed lighting.  It was really reasonable, too (from Home Depot).  The draw pulls and knobs made a HUGE difference, too.  And I'm relieved to be rid of the old faucet.  Adding a new one changed the feel a lot while not breaking the budget.

AFTER
Wall color and knobs totally transformed this little butler's pantry.

AFTER
I used the old door knob as wall decor.  LOVE!

AFTER
So the spindle frame I did a while back. The hooks down at kid level were done this week.  The wood was, of course, leftover wood flooring pieces.  The hooks were purchased from Overstock.com.  Dude!  They've got some deals on hardware!  Those hooks were a total necessity, too.  Everything was ending up on the floor, or the kids couldn't reach their stuff when it was up.

Aslo, I switched the knobs out on the pantry doors because the back door kept getting caught on the pantry door if it was left open.  So I got recessed pulls that look really cool but were a pain in the asprin to install.  They were worth it, though.  They look cool and are totally functional.  It's really amazing how fixing the little things like this and the hooks changes your attitude toward your house.  It's a major de-stressor.
Source: Signature Hardware is where I got them from.

So...the island.  Oh, the island.

This project takes the cake for being the biggest pain in my ascot.  I knew that it was going to be a both a challenge and the riskiest project in the whole house, but seriously.  I was met with challenge after annoying challenge.

This was the point of no return.  I had taken out the electrical outlets and put the sheet metal (for the dry erase board) up.
BEFORE

And after several trials and errors later, this is what I ended up with.  

AFTER


I'm pretty happy with it.  If I had to do it all over again, I would but I would leave out all the noob mistakes I made.  My disclaimer, however, is that I probably wouldn't have made this if I didn't know that I was going to do a full remodel in 4-5 years.  (Just because the kids will outgrow it.)  

The kids love being able to write on it with dry erase markers, I like it, and it definitely adds a pop of color to the kitchen.  

So that's the kitchen!  My under-modeled remodel...or something.  I hope you like it.  :)  If not, don't tell me.  ;)  I've had a hard week.  

Stay tuned for tomorrow.  I'm doing the dining room and formal living!!!  The dining room is my new favorite room in the house.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Project Week: Day 3

Well, it's Sunday, Day 3 of Project Week, and I've been sick since yesterday afternoon.  :(  I'm seriously so bummed.

On Friday I finished up my shopping for the furniture and decor that I needed.  Then I cleaned out the attic (it was embarrassingly messy and cluttered).  I finished around 10PM and wanted to go to sleep, but Michael and the boys weren't home yet, so I decided to hang the Roman shades in the master bathroom.  After that I was wiped!

If this is my only finished product all week, it would be good.  We can walk in there again!

On Saturday, I woke up with a sore throat and feeling a little sluggish, but I pushed through, assuming it was just allergies.  I cut, sanded, and stained the shelves for the master bedroom.  And I sanded and stained the bathroom mirror frames.  By the time I finished all of that it was 2:00PM, and I was just about to literally fall over, stumbling back into the house in a daze.
I really wished I could have hired a kid $10 to sand all this wood.  This was only about half of it.  It took forever.

I was dirty and smelly and gross, but I changed clothes and plopped into my bed for a nap.  I woke up several times with the chills and aches.  Then I got really bummed because I know that fever means that this won't be something I can just push through; it'll just get worse if I do.

So I got up, took a shower, ate some soup.  I tried to work on something less physically intensive - curtains - but I couldn't get that going.  I was zapped.  So I watched TV for the rest of the night. :(  But it was actually a good thing that I didn't work on the curtains, because now I'm thinking that I want a different color.  

As I lay in bed last night, I was thinking about the curtain color, but I was also thinking about how God is in control.  And while it seems like a cruel joke to let me be sick this week, when I was so excited to get this work behind us, God is still drawing me toward Himself and urging me toward contentment.  "Will you be content even if the curtains never get hung," He asks.  "Will you be content even if you never have time to do the plethora of projects swimming around in your head," He asks again.  "Will you find your contentment in Me and Me alone?"

Yes, Lord!  You're a good and kind Father.  :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Project Week

I don't know if I've mentioned this enough, but I've certainly been blessed with an amazing husband.  Out of his

A) love for me,
B) desire to have a completed home/undistracted wife, and
C) need for stasis,

...he came up with the seriously selfless and genius idea to take off of work for an entire week, take care of the kids and household needs completely, and give me 9.5 uninterrupted days to get as many projects done in the house as possible.  Needless to say, an Excel spreadsheet has been made.

You see, we were originally planning on remodeling the kitchen, but since we were overbudget on the floors (due to circumstances out of our control), we didn't have enough money to do the kitchen anymore.  So we took the money that we would have used on the kitchen and decided to fix/replace the little things here and there that were nagging us.  Well, a lot of little things adds up to a lot of things.  

I've been amassing supplies, and this isn't even all of it.

So far we've already replaced Every. Gold. Faucet.  Hallelujah, praise be to God Almighty!  All of the lovely doorknobs are next.  Good riddance, you tacky things.

Everyone keeps asking me, "So what are you going to do during that week?"  And I have so many things to do that I literally can't think because I get so overwhelmed by the question.  So here is my official answer.  You'll notice that some things are really little and some things are not so little:

(Sort of in order of priority, but not really)

- Organize attic
- Frame bathroom mirrors with leftover hardwood
- Add shelving to master bath vanities
- Repair a tiny piece of baseboard in master bath
- Create this island
from the handmade home
- Put towel hooks in master bath
- Put towel hooks in boys' bathroom
- Put hooks by garage door for kids (low level)
- Put new pulls on pantry doors
- Decorate and furnish master bedroom (involves creating some art/crafts like this)
- Make and hang curtains for formal living and dining rooms
- Paint front door dark grey
- Re-stain kitchen and dining room tables
This table from Red Hen Home is lofty, but I'd love to try for it on the kitchen table.
- Hide my router on the stairway landing
anami
- Make a coffee table for the formal living room

- Hang tennis balls in the garage for parking
- Install bike storage in garage
- Fix red dresser drawers
- Fix pull on spare room dresser
- Put legs on suitcase like this
- Make wooden crates for boys' bath
- Hang laundry bags in laundry room
Amazon
- Paint end table for formal living room
- Reclaimed wood headboard for guest room

So what's the over/under on finishing all of it?  Any wagers?  You will definitely not hear from me next week except maybe a post here and there onto Annie's Blessed Nest FB page.  So check that out if you want some updates.  Otherwise, I'll see you after I'm finished with a lot more before and afters.  :)

P.S. Sorry for all of the uncredited pictures.  Pinterest pinners are terrible about not pinning the original source, so I truly just can't find them.  Feel free to send me sources if you know of them.

P.S.S. If you're wondering why I'm not doing the boys' room yet, it's because I still can't decide how to configure it.  It's coming, though.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Before and After: Wood Floor Reveal!!

Well, the long national nightmare is over (quick, name that quote)...at our house, at least.  I told you that when we got back from Prague, we returned to an empty house full of fumes.  Well, I have been a wreck getting everything back in order, and I still have a way to go, but we are in pretty great shape right now.

I tell ya; I am seriously so happy with the way things have turned out. Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago, "Well, was it worth it?"  To which I replied, "Ask me in another couple of months."  But I can wholeheartedly today say, "YES!"  And after looking at all the Before pics, I have no regrets!

Okay, so get ready because I'm about to totally bombard you with a load of before and after photos.  But first, let me show you what we lived with for two months to get to where we're at now.


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CONSTRUCTION PICS
Oh I shutter when I see this pic.  I found myself in a bad mood quite frequently because of this cold, dusty floor.
"Wood floor installation"

Then it was this - a little better to live on but not much. 
"Wood Floor Installation" "Hand scraped wood floors"

And here are the colors I had to choose from.  It was really hard.
"Wood Floor Stain Color" "Antique Brown" "Chestnut"

So I had them come out and paint some more.
"Wood Floor Stain Color" "Antique Brown" "Chestnut"

And then a few more.
"Wood Floor Stain Color" "Antique Brown" "Chestnut"

Then over by the travertine to see what it would look like next to it.
"Wood Floor Stain Color" "Antique Brown" "Chestnut"

Then over by the fireplace.  We ended up going with 2 parts Antique Brown and 1 part Chestnut.
"Wood Floor Stain Color" "Antique Brown" "Chestnut"



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BEFORE: Dining Room
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"
When we first walked into the house with our realtor, I saw the cheapest laminate on the market down on the floor, and I thought, 'Eh, that's fine.  I can live with that for a while.'  And it really was, but I highly underestimated how glad I would be to now have continuity throughout the house.


AFTER: Dining Room
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

And here's where you can see some of the entry and area into the stairway.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
 BEFORE: Formal Living
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

This is really the section of flooring that annoyed me the most - having three different types in this small space.  And that white tile was just...meh.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

AFTER: Formal Living

This room is kindly referred to by my husband as the island of misfit furniture. Oh well, I still love it.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
BEFORE: Guest Bedroom

Let's just say it...boring.  Blah carpet.  Blah walls.  Blah blinds.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

I started putting color in there. 
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"


AFTER: Guest Bedroom

I still need some more decor and a headboard, but I'm still working on my plan for this room. 'Member?  The floors warm it up so nicely.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

And I FINALLY made some full-length curtains for this room.  We're gettin' there, y'all; we're gettin' there.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"



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BEFORE: Spindles and Staircase

"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains"

"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"


AFTER: Spindles and Staircase

I so loooooooooove my spindles.  I'm so glad that Levi broke one of the old, white ones the day before we were to get the floors installed so that we would be fed up with them and decide to get wrought iron.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

This is quite possibly my favorite view of the wood in the house.  I just love the staircase.  LOVE!  (Love that little guy more.)
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

I'm in love with these scroll patterned spindles.  And did you notice who's posing for me?  (Yep, I'm in love with him even more, too.) 
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

And please don't worry; I think we've nipped the bolster climbing in the butt bud. 
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"



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BEFORE: Den

This is, of course, the day we looked at the house with the realtor.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

This is when we decided to get some color on these walls.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

And this was after I finished the curtains.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"


AFTER: Den

So remember how we changed out the laminate in the guest bathroom to travertine?  Well, I just love how the wood and the travertine look up against each other.  So pretty and natural.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"


"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

No, it's not the same shot; it's tilted down so that you can see more of the floors. ;)
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

And this is to show the texture.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

This is what I get to wake up and walk out of my room to.
"hand scraped wood floors" "hand scraped wood floor installation" "wood floor stain color" "antique brown stain" "chestnut stain" "mixing stains" "changing out spindles" "wrought iron spindles"

And that's that.  :)  We're pretty pleased....and ready for a break.



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