Guest room makeover

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I use the word “makeover” loosely. Mostly because the room was in such bad shape before, I had to get it cleaned up just to get to a decent starting point. Like a clean slate. For those of you who are keeping up, my parents are due in town from Portland today for two weeks. We are all so excited to have them!

Since we had this visit planned for a while, I knew I had to get the guest room in shape. It was gross. When we bought the house, every wall was painted a super shiny, creamy white except for this accent wall in the guest room. I am not really a fan of accent walls in the first place but this color happened to be quite offensive to my senses when I looked at it.

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This is the color. I love me some blue but this one was a dusty, sky blue that was just bad. It actually hurt me physically to look at this color. The walls in the room also had traces of popcorn texture that was scraped when we first moved in and then white ceiling paint after they were painted when we did the new texture. IMG_0677

When we moved in, I moved some spare furniture in there and called it a day. Last week, with my parents visit quickly approaching, I made a plan to get this room a little more cozy and inviting without spending a lot of money. I wanted them to be comfortable during their visit with us. This meant that my plan would be quick and dirty. Hang curtains, paint, change out the bedding for something a little more fresh and hang some art. First order of business, paint the walls. I chose a color called sea salt by Sherwin Williams. This color has been on my radar for years and I haven’t really had a place to use it…until now.

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This paint color is really pretty in real life. It’s one of those fun ones that sometimes looks green, sometimes looks blue, and sometimes looks gray. My poor color blind husband doesn’t have a clue but he did agree that it was a definite upgrade from the white walls and the horrible accent wall.

I hung some Nate Berkus curtains that I bought a few years ago at Target. Lastly, I bought a couple of new pillows from Home Goods that are scratchy and cute. I guess I am becoming known for this because when I brought these home, Nate said that all my favorite pillows are super scratchy and that the kids and him steer clear of them. Perfect…my plan worked.

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All of the art I hung, I already had but hadn’t found a home for it since we have been in the new house. As always, my “art” is super cheap. The two prints are stolen from a children’s book called, Wherever you are, My love will find you. If you don’t have it in your collection, get it now. But, be prepared to answer questions about why you are crying when you read it to your kiddos. Consider yourself warned. The map above the dresser is out of an educational book meant to be ripped out for place mats for the dinner table. I chose Montana because my Granny used to live there and I like to think about that when I see it. I guess I am feeling sentimental and sappy today with my parents coming into town. Geesh.

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Overall, this room has undergone a lot of change since we moved in. We scraped the popcorn ceilings and the new texture went up, ceilings were painted, walls were painted, trim and doors were painted white, furniture, accessories, and lastly, art was hung. Whew!

Living room Updates

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I got lucky last weekend. Really lucky. I was perusing Craigslist on Friday (not unusual) and that’s when it happened. I found a mid-century dresser with beautiful lines for $200. I am always looking for mid-century furniture (especially credenzas and dressers) but usually can’t find them for under $1000 because they are wildly popular right now. They are beautiful and versatile and can be used just about anywhere in your home. I found a big modern dresser that lives in our bedroom a few years back that I have yet to fully strip so that I can restore the finish.

Usually, when I inquire about something on Craigslist, whether it is via text or email, I never hear anything back. I am pretty unlucky. So, when I saw this dresser, I thought I better have Nate try and reach them so we would have a better shot. He is the opposite of me, he can buy/sell just about anything on Craigslist. If I were a 93 year old man, I might say that Nate could sell a glass of water to a drowning man. Anyways, back to the dresser.

So he arranged for us to go and look at it the next morning and when we got there, we soon saw that it was in bad shape. Big chunks out of each side and the top had been torn off. Someone had attempted to fix these imperfections at some point by filling some of these holes with a material that I am thinking was wall patch and then covered that with a coat of light yellow paint. Yes, light yellow paint was their answer to matching the original finish of the dresser. Even with some major sanding and repairing the missing pieces with wood filler, this baby had lived a hard life. It was rough. So, I thought we would just pass and leave this poor beauty behind when Nate suggested that maybe we might paint it. YES! So we (ahem…Nate) negotiated the price down to $150 and we were on our way home with the new dresser.

I only took a few pictures of what the dresser looked like before because I was so excited about its impending paint job. Here, you can kind of see the finish. Although, this doesn’t really show how bad it was. Before anyone gets too mad at me for painting this beautiful dresser, please know that if I thought I could have saved the finish, I would have. I am a big fan of keeping furniture in its original state and love wood tones and use them often throughout our home.

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The only step I had to take to ready this dresser for paint was a good coating of liquid deglosser after I filled in all of the cracks, holes, and divots with wood filler. I chose Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore for the paint color, a moody, dark gray that doesn’t have purple or blue undertones, which can be tricky to find with charcoals. Also, I removed the hardware and covered up the chipped and worn finish with a fresh coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. It looked brand new when I was finished.

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We have been talking about finally getting our TV mounted on the wall and this seemed like a good time to make that happen. Nate tracked down mounting brackets and a kit that enables you to run the wires through the wall instead of allowing them to show/hang underneath the TV. Here is a shot of this process midway through.

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A few weeks ago, our living room looked like this. We had been sporting a flimsy IKEA shelf for the past five years that was AWFUL. This horrible shelf had been moved to too many houses, painted countless colors, and its legs were falling off. It was a mess.

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Now, this is how the living room looks today after we finished painting the new (new to us) dresser and mounted the TV on the wall.

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So, that is our story about how an old dresser came home with us to live happily ever after. Did I mention the storage we gained??? Just look at all those glorious drawers. Now, I can store movies, books and toys out of sight!

My parents are arriving on Tuesday for two weeks and we are beyond excited! I have been having a lot of fun working away on the guest room to get it ready for them. I will be back next week with the details on some much needed tweaks in that space!

DIY tribal stamp

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Last week I shared a photo of my newly stamped entryway because I was trying to decide how I felt about the finished product. This week, I am feeling exactly the same! I STILL can’t decide if I am loving it or hating it. The good news is that this project cost $0 in materials and used just a little bit of paint that we already had so we aren’t talking about life altering issues here.

It is so much more fun to complete some “fluff” projects around here since we have finished the ceilings and can finally move on with our lives. This is a really fun one and I think with just a few tools, anyone could do this.

We had some scrap wood laying around the garage and I asked Nate if he wouldn’t mind using some of those spare pieces to make an isosceles triangle for me (whoa…isosceles…haven’t used that term in a while). After a strange look, he agreed and it took him less than five minutes. I grabbed an old terry cloth dish towel, wrapped it around the edges of the triangle and secured it with hot glue. HOT GLUE, what?!!! I know, I couldn’t find my staple gun. Simply stapling the cloth to the wood would make way more sense. But, if you’re like me and your garage is a black hole where you can’t find anything, go ahead and use hot glue. It stayed in place throughout the whole process so it actually didn’t turn out to be a problem. Except, I still don’t have any idea where my staple gun might be…

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For the paint, I just used some of our flat, white ceiling paint for this job. I poured just a little bit onto a tray that was wide enough to press the stamp down into the paint. I found an old plastic charger from Christmas a few years back. Fancy shmancy, right?

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As for applying the pattern to the wall, it was pretty simple and I mostly just eyeballed where I wanted everything to fit. I didn’t want the pattern to look too perfect or planned out. I think that would take away from the “tribal” effect. I set up a laser level to help me keep my triangles in straight lines, vertically. However, I just used my fingers to measure how far apart each row went horizontally. Totally easy. Just make sure to not use too much paint so you start looking gloppy and runny.

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Notice the trim and closet doors?? They are white! Beautiful. Clean. White. I can’t get enough of it. Soon, I will have all the trim and doors painted white. I will post on that soon! Here is an after shot with the entry looking all pretty again.

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I will live with it for a while before I make up my mind. Originally, I was going to do all four walls with the stamp but after I finished the first wall, I thought maybe less was more. Well, we will see.

Details, details, details

Happy happy Friday! This week flew by after having Monday off for a holiday. But I wanted to do a quick update on the fireplace since I am loving my new little additions. I have been having too much fun trying out new art and decor on the mantel but I also had some birch logs arrive from Wisconsin that I am loving. They are so pretty I just want to pet them. Some people would call this a problem…I don’t.

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On another (less weird) note, I am hoping that I will have pictures on Monday of our ceilings done! Or at least, a good chunk of them done. We are renting a hopper tomorrow morning and getting this project buttoned up once and for all. Also, we are going to sneak in a trip to the movies to see Finding Dory. Should be a fun weekend. Wish us luck! We are going to need it!

Kings and Queens

I just googled how long you are supposed to sleep on the same mattress and it sounds like you should be replacing your mattress every five to seven years. Uh oh. Our mattress is old. Like, really old. I bought this mattress from one of those horrible mattress stores when my sister and I got our first apartment together and I was in my third year of college. That was in 2004. When Nate and I got married in 2007 (I totally just texted him at work to confirm that date too – I’m blaming baby brain), we started sleeping on this same bed and never stopped. I’ll let you do the math…

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I’m embarrassed to say that this is that SAME bed while we were moving into our current house last month. The mattress had begun to sag and every night I would spend a good amount of time trying to climb out of the hole that was the middle of the bed. As this baby gets bigger and so do I, I finally convinced Nate to consider a new mattress. After some shopping, we found a super good deal on a king size set at Costco. Done and Done!

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It’s so nice sleeping on a king size bed. I think the few times I slept on a king was when we stayed at hotels on vacation. Nate is 6’3″ and I am 5’10” so this extra space is so much sweeter for two tall people and the occasional cute five year old boy who sneaks in for snuggles with us at 3am.

Finding pretty bedding for a king bed at a good price though, proved challenging. I have been so inspired by the African mud cloth throw blankets and I wanted to score one for the new bed. But, all the ones that I loved were in the $120 range. I could already hear Nate asking me why I spent $120 on a blanket for the end of the bed. So, I passed and decided I would come up with a different look. Okay, I guess I could spend some more time hunting for beautiful bedding online…sigh.

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Beautiful, no? The good news is, I ended up finding some shams at Target for $15 a piece that almost mimicked the over-dyed blue look of the mud cloth. Paired with a Turkish pillow that I found on Etsy, ummm, yes, please.

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Our room still has a long way to go but a bed seems like a good place to start. I have yet to hang curtains, paint the walls, and add some art. Also, we still have a gold ceiling fan above our heads that desperately needs to go. Until those things are done, at least we’ll be sleeping soundly!

Nolan and Grey’s Shared Room

So I have been going back and forth on this topic for weeks and finally just decided we are going to pull the trigger. Yep, you heard right, my kiddos, Nolan (who is a 7 year old girl) and Grey (our 5 year old son) are going to share a bedroom. But, why? How could I do this to them, you ask? I have a few reasons.

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First, when we found out we got this house we were in real estate heaven realizing that we were going to have four bedrooms. This was the ONLY house we looked at that had four bedrooms. We weren’t actually looking for a four bedroom house because we thought it would be out of reach for us. We were more concerned about the neighborhood and schools for the kiddos. My head started spinning with all the possibilities for all these bedrooms…guest rooms, kid rooms, nurseries for babes to come. Anyways, when we told the kids we got the house, the first thing they asked was if we could get bunk beds and they could share a bedroom. Hmmm…could they? Is this even allowed?

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I grew up in a family with five kids and everyone always shared a room. I shared with my sister, Collin, and our three older brothers also bunked together. Collin and I never had any serious issues sharing a space (besides the normal sibling fighting from time to time) and as for the brothers, I never hear any stories about how terrible it was for them to share a room. So my point is, sharing a bedroom isn’t an unfamiliar concept to me. But when I brought this up to friends over the last few weeks, I got some sideways glances and comments like, “good luck with that”.

Secondly, Nate and I just found out we are having another baby! Baby Boy will be joining us in November, just before Thanksgiving. Exciting, yes! But again, this news also made my head spin thinking about the bedroom situation at this new house of ours.

Lastly, I wanted to have a guest room. All of our family lives in Oregon so when we have visitors from the Northwest, it’s much nicer for them to be comfortable in their own space and not on an air mattress in the middle of the living room. Having a designated space for guests feels so grown up.

So after mulling this over for weeks, I have made a firm decision. Firm = I reserve the right to change the plan at any time if the current set-up isn’t working for everyone. For now, Nolan and Grey got their bunk beds and are going to share a room. Baby Boy will have the smallest bedroom (next to the master) as his nursery. Finally, the guest room will be at the end of the hall. Feels good to make a decision! Lets just see if this works…

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