Six months and three faucets later…the true story of a diy kitchen remodel

This post is sponsored by Inmod

I’m so excited to share our finished kitchen with you guys today! It was a long, long process and it feels BEYOND good to be all finished up! Our kitchen was a diy through and through and has me feeling some major pride. We were newbies to some of the projects (tiling) but also old hats at others (painting the kitchen cabs). But, this story has a happy ending and we are thrilled with how it came out!

Let’s take a look back at where we began, shall we?

Although we kept the original footprint of the kitchen, we changed almost everything else. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the kitchen before, but it wasn’t our style and just kinda fell flat. That feeling of blah.

Our first task was removing the old upper cabinets and the vent hood. I hated how the original cabinets were floating in the middle of the wall. Our ceilings are high at nine feet and that area above the cabinets didn’t seem like a good use of space. Our kitchen is small so wasted space is a no no. This seemed like an opportunity for tile all the way up to the ceiling and some open shelving.

For tile, we chose the 2×6 weathered white zellige from Cle Tile. I have been in love with this tile ever since Emily Henderson used it in her kitchen last year. I have never tiled anything of this scale before and I was actually pretty nervous about tackling this project, but it turned out to be kinda fun! My sister and her husband came for the weekend to help us and we made a party out of it! I definitely recommend drinking cocktails while tiling…as long as you can keep your lines straight. The tile came out beautifully and I LOVE it. It’s my favorite part of the kitchen. And let me tell ya…it’s even better in person.

For the open shelves, we tracked down a local who sells wood slabs of all kinds. All we had to do was decide on a type of wood and he cut it down to size for us. We ended up going with a couple of slabs of maple. I wanted a light colored wood with some grain and the maple fit the bill. It’s a hardwood too so that’s another bonus. After they were hung, I sealed the shelves with wax.

Our countertops are concrete and we poured them ourselves. I’ve actually been getting so many questions about them and the process that I am going to dedicate an entire post just to the countertops. Coming soon! It was a BIG job but they are perfectly imperfect and just what I was envisioning for the kitchen! A big thank you to Jimmy and Dani for coming from Idaho and showing us the ropes.

Deciding on the faucet for the kitchen sink was a tough one for me. I don’t know why exactly, but I ended up ordering three before I settled on this matte black guy. My husband wanted to kill me (not really…but, kinda) but my folks ended up adopting the first one for their kitchen and the second one is living out its days in the box in the garage. I’m confident we will find it a new home though! Maybe Facebook marketplace or craigslist?

For our cabinets, we painted them Hidden Falls by Benjamin Moore and added new brass hardware from Cb2. The new color is a deep green with some blue undertones and I love the moody vibe it gives the kitchen.

And just when we were putting the finishing touches on the kitchen, Inmod approached me and asked if I would be interested in working together. I jumped at the shot. You see, I couldn’t decide on bar stools for the new kitchen and after the whole faucet debacle, I knew I needed to be sure of my decision (i.e. not order online and then hate them in person). Inmod is famous for their crazy big selection of modern, mid-century, industrial, and Scandinavian furniture. They also sell styles from world revered designers such as Eames, Wegner, and Saarinen, just to name a few! So knowing this, I knew I could pick some bar stools that would function well and look beautiful in the new kitchen.

I ended up choosing their Sigfred Barstools in the tobacco color and I’m. In. Love. They have a beautiful leather padded seat with the most lovely stitching detail. The legs are a black metal and I love how it plays so well with my matte black faucet. Aren’t they the perfect pair? Putting them together was a breeze, and I assembled them by myself one evening while my husband gave the baby a bath. I finished before he had his jams on!

And because we eat all of our meals at the bar in these barstools, I can attest to their comfort. We spend a lot of time in this area because we don’t have a dining room (but this is a whole different story, for another time). Also, it is worth mentioning that there may have been a spaghetti supper on their first night in the house and they wipe up beautifully. I’m a big fan, can you tell?

So there you have it! The kitchen is done! What do you think? Does anyone have any DIY tales where something went horribly awry?? Did anyone order multiple kitchen faucets? I want all the details. Leave me a comment…I’d love to hear!

 

Carpet’s out, wood’s in

Hi guys! It’s been a million years since I’ve posted on here! Lately, it just seems more convenient to keep everybody updated with all of our house projects on Instagram versus writing out a long blog post. But I’ve been feeling guilty about ignoring my blog because it’s such a great, creative outlet for me and I love documenting our house projects. So I’m going to do a better job. The good news is that we have endless amounts of projects going on around the house which equals tons of content. House projects have been plentiful, blog posts not so much.

It would make sense for me to start with giving you guys a full house tour so you can see where we are at in terms of progress. And I will do that, but for now, we are just gonna skip ahead to the most exciting project ever! Wood floors! If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that we started installing our new floors. We started upstairs, and the plan is to divide the house into three sections because we are doing the install ourselves and tackling one section at a time feels less daunting. So upstairs goes first, next is the stairs and its two landings, and lastly, the main level.

In our last house, we had our wood floors installed and that was great. But there is something to be said for doing the work yourselves and the most obvious bonus of all is that you don’t have to shell out the extra money to pay for the labor, which we learned was the most expensive part of replacing flooring. If you have been following along since we did our Texas renovation, we loved our wood floors from that house so much that we went ahead and ordered the same ones for this house. I know, I know, we like to live on the edge.

Even though this is a big project and tons of work, the work itself isn’t terribly complicated. So I’m confident saying that, if we can figure this out, anybody can do this! Isn’t that so exciting?

My brother and his family came to help for the weekend along with my mom and dad. We were so grateful for the help and are all set to return the favor and spend a weekend at my brothers house when his wood floors are ready to go down. Thank you Aaron and Audra! Thank you mom and dad! Like I said above, we started upstairs and first thing we did was remove the baseboards and then out came the old, nasty, dirty, shag carpet. YUCK. I got the heebeejeebee’s when we started rolling up the old carpet and I could see just how dirty it was. I won’t go into details but there were some suspect looking stains that I would like to never think about again. K – moving on.

 

We ordered the flooring way back in November and had moved it upstairs in March so we didn’t have to worry about it acclimating but I think the rule is that the boxes of flooring should live in the space prior to installation for three to five days. Next up was rolling out some underlayment, which acts as a vapor barrier and prevents the squeaking of wood flooring against the plywood subfloor under it.

The first row is the most crucial row as it will ensure that you have a straight line going forward. Also, the wood needed to start with a 1/2” gap from the wall since that is the thickness of our wood planks. This gap allows the wood to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. But once those two things were done and right, we picked up the pace and even started to find a rhythm.

This is the biggest room upstairs so I’m so happy to have this beast of a room checked off the list. Moving forward, Nate and I will be doing piece by piece(see what I did there?) as time allows so we are hoping to be done with the upstairs sometime in the year 2021…just kidding…kind of.

Now that the new floors are going down, I started thinking about rug pads for my area rugs. I’m bad about choosing the pretty and forgoing the things that are practical, but aren’t seen. In the past, I tried those cheap waffle-like pads with a chemical smell and my rugs still slide around. So when RugPadUSA asked if I wanted to partner up, I was so excited! If my new floors could thank them, I think they would.

I chose their Contour Lock style because it’s well-suited to flat-woven rugs and my vintage rugs with a low pile. If you love vintage rugs like I do, then you know that they almost always come in an unusual, wonky size. RugPadUSA cuts their pads to fit any rug size, so no size is too weird!

I love how they make our rugs feel so cushy and comfortable now. The pads are thick and feel soft underfoot. As a mom with a baby who just learned how to walk, I appreciate the extra cushion.

RugPadUSA uses recycled felt and a natural rubber to make their pads so there is no toxic smell and that makes me feel good about bringing it into our home with our kids. On the reverse side is a natural rubber bottom that keep your rugs in place and they seriously do not budge, even with rowdy kids and toddling babies. I love these pads and am going to need more in the future! A big thanks to RugPadUSA for introducing me to these. I’m hooked.

This post is sponsored by RugPadUSA Opinions expressed are 100% my own

 

 

 

Our DIY Entryway Bench

We built a bench in our entryway and it feels so good. Hehe, I just sort of jumped right in without any pleasantries or warning. I’m a tad excited about this project, can you tell? Behold, our refreshed entryway:

It feels like a whole new space. Ah, the power of diy.

As you can see, we weren’t using this space in a functional way. Besides not being functional, it was so boring. Major snooze factor. There wasn’t any storage, no hooks for coats, and no mirror to check your hair when you leave. Doesn’t everyone do that? I knew it needed all these components, but I wasn’t sure how to implement them.

Via

So a couple weeks ago, I was on instagram one evening and came across this image from a favorite blogger of mine. Gorgeous, no? That floating, simple bench would be perfect for my blah entryway! This is why I love a good diy blog – so much good content to be shared for others to use.  She had a link to her blog with a genius set of instructions. I showed them to Nate and he thought we could handle the bench portion of the project – no problem.

We followed the instructions she provided without any problems. Her instructions were thorough and easy to follow. So, because I documented our steps and took photos along the way, I will include our step by step process. This is a great project that could be modified to fit a number of different spaces and homes.

First, we picked up some project boards and had them cut to size right at Lowe’s. We also grabbed some stain, poly, a couple 2×4’s, and two brackets. For staining the boards, I followed the instructions from brepurposed.com and she swears that the perfect stain recipe is two coats of special walnut with one coat of golden oak in between. I don’t have very much experience with staining, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I stained the boards outside with a lint-free rag and let them dry overnight. After they were dry, I applied a couple coats of poly.

To decide how high we wanted the bench to be, we measured our dining table bench from West Elm. It seemed to be a good height and even moved it over in the entryway space to have a visual aid to help.

Next up, attaching the 2×4’s to studs in the wall for the framing of the bench.

Then we attached a piece of the project board to the top of the framing.

To make sure that the bench was sturdy and extra strong, our next step was adding two 2×4’s across the top of the project board.

Finally, the top went on and we attached the brackets that the front piece would be screwed into.

We screwed in the last piece from the back so there aren’t any visible screws from the front. After this step, we got the nail gun out and used finishing nails to secure the piece all the way across. After that, done!

To make the bench even more of a work horse for us, I added three baskets underneath, one for each kiddo. I have room for a fourth basket but for now, I left some space for some taller boots. The baskets have been a life saver to corral coats, backpacks and shoes. The hooks were a cheap amazon find and help to finish off the space. I bought a mirror from Target a while back and hung it up above the hooks.

We love how this project turned out. Maybe love isn’t a strong enough word, maybe obsessed is more accurate. Now, we have the itch to get started on some other diy’s around here, so stay tuned!

Project Porch

Spring has sprung here in Texas which means the temps are high, the bugs are plentiful and the storms are frequent. We have been enjoying the lovely weather and never get sick of a good thunder storm, but the bugs…not so much. Lucky for us, our house has a screened porch; the perfect solution for being outside without being bothered by pesky mosquitoes.

But until last week, our porch looked like this.

Whoa. That’s a lot of flesh-colored paint. I love updating spaces like this because it really shows what a difference some paint makes. And that’s all we did, with the exception of rearranging some furniture and adding some plants. Paint!

Last summer, when we painted the exterior of our house, we skipped the porch. Why you ask? I’m not exactly sure but I am going to blame the hot temps. It was summer in Central Texas and I was almost five months pregnant with Urban. First on the to-do list was painting the siding to match the rest of the exterior. If you’ve been following along, you might already know we chose a charcoal color with some metallic undertones. It sounds crazy but the metallic undertones are bronze and they are lovely. Kind of like the way that oil and water swirl around and in just the right light you can make out little rainbows. Only the paint on our house isn’t an environmental hazard. We LOVE the color. We love it more and more all the time and have even had neighbors knock on our door and ask us what color we used. I will never get sick of that!

The rest of the walls were painted a bright white, and on the floor we used a stormy gray color. We started out painting the walls with a brush and roller until we were ready to lose our minds and rented a paint sprayer to apply the second coat. If we were doing this project all over again, we would definitely rent the paint sprayer from the start. To paint the floors, I went around the edges with a paint brush and then Nate rolled the rest. I always do the cutting in and he always does the rolling. It’s become a thing. I know, I know, we’re crazy.

The rest of the project was fun. I used things we already owned to decorate the room (I say “room,” but I mean porch) except a new outdoor rug, an outdoor light, and a plant stand. Remember my chandelier that got bumped from the dining room inside? She found herself a new home on the porch and I think it’s a perfect fit.

The table and chairs were put back on the opposite side of the porch because originally, I placed them on the same side as the bump-out with the windows on the house. The more I thought about it though, it makes waaaaay more sense to have it on the other side with more space. Duh. Now that side has a seating area with a rug. Also, plants. And more plants. My plants love Texas. Plants that I used to kill in Oregon thrive here. Must be all the sunshine and humidity in the air. Like living in a greenhouse.

Isn’t it looking so much better? And the best part is that we are now using this space. Nolan and Grey have been using the space for playing and we’ve even had dinner together at the table. Yay us!

Finally, I know I always do this but it’s just too much fun, so let’s look back at where we started:

And now:

Dear paint, I love you so.

 

The Bathroom is Done Done

A few weeks ago, I shared our finished bathroom with the promise that I would be back with some pictures of the space with all the accessories and art. So today, I will honor my promise (even though technically, I think I’m a bit late on my delivery) and show all the fun details that make the bathroom feel complete. Drum roll please:

We are very pleased with the finished product. And I use the word finished loosely because it seems like I am never quite done tweaking things. Nate hates that, but I loooove it. Tomato tomahto. I have to say, this was my favorite part of revamping a space…all the little details.

When the mirror was hung, I was nervous it was all wrong. And it would have been an annoying error to make because I had already painted the frame a flat black so there was no turning back and returning to the store. To remedy this, I brought in as many black elements as I could. All of the other pops of black help make the mirror feel less chunky. Now, it feels much more balanced to me and less like “look at this mirror with a giant black frame.” The basket on top of the toilet, the towel hooks, toilet paper holder, and hand towel ring are all black.

I thought that hooks for towels might be a fun change of pace from the old towel bar. And now that they’re up; our kids can actually hang their towel up on their chosen hook. When the old towel bar lived there, the kids would haphazardly throw their damp towels up on the bar. The messy towels drove me nuts because it looked sloppy and the towels couldn’t easily dry. Nobody likes a damp towel.

We installed a shelf above the toilet which is a nice spot for a few decorative pieces and a tray to wrangle bobby pins and Nolan’s hair barrettes. I had a lot of fun completing my first “paint by numbers” picture and framed it in an inexpensive wood frame from Target. Also, notice the black brackets on the shelf? I thought they complimented the mirror nicely.

My little vintage rug that we found at Round Top last fall fits perfectly in our little bathroom and I think it makes the room feel special. It’s perfect for a bathroom because it adds some color and pattern. I also like that it’s low profile so the door can open and close over it but it’s heavy enough to not slide around.

The light above the vanity is a galvanized steel finish and I like its casual feel. It is our preferred light for the bathroom as it casts a soft light directly onto the vanity.

That’s about it for our main bathroom. We can check this off our list and call this one done. One last time, let’s look back at where we started:

And now we look like this:

And speaking of making good progress, our master bathroom is looking a lot like our main bathroom these days. We have two bathrooms in our house and they are located right around the corner from one another. When we started planning to update them, we decided early on that they should have the same look and feel since they are so close. It seemed odd to give them each a completely different design. They aren’t quite twins but maybe they could be sisters?

We used all the same materials that were used in our main bathroom. Same tiles on the floor, same countertop, same sink, you get the idea. Here’s an old shot I dug up of this same spot right after our move.

So what do you guys think? Is there anyone out there who recently took on a similar DIY bathroom project? Any first-time tilers who are contemplating getting started? Were you as nervous as we were? Really, once you dive in it’s not that scary. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave me a comment below:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

updating our light fixtures

I was thiiiis close to entitling this post, “The Great Light Switch-Out” or “Switching Up our Lights,” but I decided to spare you of my clever puns. This past weekend was President’s Day and with the extra day off we were able to start work on the second bathroom and update some lighting around the house. So let’s start today with a photo of my new favorite view:

Since we moved in and got busy scraping our popcorn ceilings, we took down all of the existing overhead lighting (boob lights galore). Nearly every room was left with the remnants of this problem that I have been conveniently cropping out of all house photos.

I felt a little stumped about what to pick since we would essentially be choosing lighting for the entire house. If I made the wrong choice, it would be on such a large scale that I was scared to pull the proverbial trigger. I liked this light and when it finally went on sale, Nate convinced me to order them up. So order we did, and when they arrived, we were impressed with the quality and the size. The only worry that we had about these guys was that they wouldn’t be big enough and look skimpy or cheap. However, they look lovely and really compliment the black door hardware.

Since we were on a lighting roll, I decided that I was going to play a sort of musical chairs with some lighting choices that we previously made. When we moved in, the dining room looked like this:

Then, I found a cool fixture on sale and the space was transformed to this:

I like this fixture very much but after a while I started feeling like it wasn’t really “us.” Maybe it was too small for the dining room? Maybe it felt a little “fancy” for our house? Still not sure but when I saw this light, I knew we had to make another change. Nate was not exactly thrilled to be changing our dining room light again but I have assured him that this new light is here to stay.


It feels just the right size for the dining room and with the natural bamboo, it feels warm and adds some texture. I don’t have a rug in our dining room because my OCD doesn’t afford me such a luxury with our kids eating there on a daily basis. The number of gold fish crackers, crumbs and spaghetti noodles that I sweep/clean off our wood floors is crazy.

But I didn’t stop there. The entry lighting situation went from this (sorry about the dark photo):

To this:

I can officially put a fork in it and call the entryway finished. It’s one of the smallest spaces in the house but I am still calling this a victory. It’s funny how many revisions a space has before it starts to feel right and I can move on to something else. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on what’s working and what isn’t.

The pendant that lived in the entryway has now found a new home in the master bedroom. Told ya this was musical chairs for lights.

So that’s the jist of what we have been working on around the house. I am down to just a few final touches in the bathroom and we are just waiting on a sconce to arrive (I know, I know. More lighting?). I will update the blog accordingly as soon as that comes. As a little bonus, I have some photos to share of Urban. He is already three months and has been busy terrorizing me all night and looking adorable all the time. Look at that bald head…it smells as good as it looks.

 

our bathroom makeover reveal

It’s a happy, happy day. The day where we finished our bathroom makeover and I no longer have to hide my face in embarrassment when a guest uses our bathroom. The total span of this project was completed over the course of a week during evenings (hello crazy house with homework, dinner, a newborn, and a bathroom under construction) but we have been making plans and gathering our materials for several weeks now.

First, we should remind everyone how things looked before we started. I often hear many tales of DIY about how things have to get worse before they get better but I am confident our bathroom looked pretty scary from the get-go.

Here’s another shot of the room put back together. Although I still haven’t added any accessories, the room is mostly done. I have been shopping for some towel hooks, a vanity light, and some decor. Maybe a shelf or some art for above the toilet? Next week, I will be back with photos of the finished space with all the accessories and decor. You know, the fun stuff!

We found the mirror above the vanity for $30 and I painted the frame with a flat black spray paint. I am planning on bringing other black, metal elements in the room with the aforementioned accessories like towel hooks and a hand towel ring. Hopefully, that helps the mirror to not feel so crazy and heavy. But check out the little dot detail around the mirror…we loved how it mimicked the look of our new penny tile backsplash.

We began the bathroom overhaul with a fresh coat of paint for the vanity. Our vanity isn’t what I would choose if I were doing a bathroom from scratch, but it was installed right before we moved in. So I decided it would stay and we would do our best to freshen it up. After a coat of the new spray chalk paint from Lowe’s in Woolen Stocking and some new knobs from Hobby Lobby, the vanity was done.

Next up was new flooring. One of my favorite bloggers used this tile a while back in a kitchen that they remodeled for one of their readers and I have been obsessed ever since. Look how lovely it is.

Via

We love this flooring so much. First, it’s a very affordable option with a very high-end feel. Although it’s a vinyl product, it has a marble look and feel and we’ve had neighbors over who thought it was real marble. I feel fancy just typing that. We were surprised to learn that the vinyl was thick enough for us to use grout between each tile much like you would with a real stone. A couple other perks would be that it was easy to install because you don’t need a tile saw and it’s warm underfoot unlike real stone which can be quite cold on bare toes. Also, the tiles have quite a bit of texture so no need to worry about a kiddo slipping on them when they hop out of the bath still covered in soap and bubbles. Try not to judge me for my terrible photography skills. This room is a challenge to take photos in with zero natural light and super tight quarters. Just sayin…

After we removed our old counter and sink, we discovered we were going to have a problem with the texture on the walls. There was no texture behind the old backsplash. Our house has crazy texture on all the walls. When I think of it, it reminds me of the meringue on top of a lemon meringue pie. In the recipe, it always says to whip the topping until you have stiff peaks. Our walls are covered in those stiff peaks. Ugghhhh. This left us with two options; try to recreate the stiff peaks and extend them down to the top of the new counter or cover this problem with a new backsplash. It didn’t take us long to decide we would trying our hands at tiling. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

We went shopping for tile at The Tile Shop and had such a good experience. Their sales peeps were so helpful and knowledgeable without being pushy. I found the section with the penny rounds and fell in love. I fell hard and fast. The problem was (if you consider lots of beautiful options to be a problem) going to be deciding on just one! Nate was actually the one who helped me to keep my head out of the clouds and suggested we go with a crisp, white, ceramic style. They quickly set us up with everything we would need to get this project done. We will definitely be shopping there again.

The rest of our materials were all bought at IKEA. We chose a butcher block style countertop, a vessel sink, and one of their faucets. We did a lot of research before we decided on butcher block for the bathroom. Like everyone else, we worried that it might not be a good fit because of the moisture in a bathroom. But as long as we watch for signs of damage or rot, and use a product like polyurethane or waterlox to seal it, then the wood should stay moisture free and beautiful. The butcher block we chose is a new product at IKEA and has a herringbone design in the wood. We love the extra detail.

We were on a tight budget to do this project and decided early on that the tub and shower surround would have to stay. It’s actually in good condition and we knew that replacing it would eat up a good portion of the budget. So we shifted our focus to just the cosmetic updates, and I am so happy we did! Now for all the fun shots of our finished bathroom…

We are feeling pretty proud of ourselves for completing this project all while keeping our kids alive and managing to stay married. Next up, we have been busy FINALLY replacing the overhead lighting that we took down when we scraped the popcorn ceilings. And yes, I realize that was months ago.

 

Switching things up

Yup, I have already changed up our new office area. I guess I can’t help myself. I am a compulsive tweaker…err or a lady who likes to rearrange things around the house. Does that sound better? Last time we left off, it looked like this.

There wasn’t anything wrong with the office area but then I was cleaning out Nolan and Grey’s closet last week and I came across some old shelves that I had shoved in there when we moved. I remember thinking that I might use them in the kiddos’ room but we ended up going in another direction when we hacked some IKEA shelving. With all that new storage, they didn’t need any more shelves. Maybe these babies could be fun above my new desk? Yes!

I just threw some random decor on them so don’t be surprised if they look different every time these new shelves pop up in pictures. Also, notice the chair? Nate surprised me with this chair after he read the last blog post. What a guy! I guess it was easy to tell which chair was his favorite choice. I love it though. The cushion is surprisingly comfy and the warm wood is just lovely with the modern, bright white desk.

The little cactus is the only new addition and I picked it up at Target. It is FAKE! You would never be able to tell. Seriously. I am a bit of a fake plant snob and this is one of the best ones I have seen. Makes me reconsider everything…not really. But I am definitely going to give some more faux plants a try. Maybe the shelves need some books? Or my mom suggested a chalk board or cork board. That could be cute. Weeeee!

The other project that we did is probably the easiest DIY that anyone could ever attempt. Okay, there is a super long hallway when you walk in our front door opposite of the wall that I stamped with my tribal stamp a few months ago. This naked wall was driving me crazy (not in a good way) and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. My solution was to hang some art and call it a day. This is how it turned out.

I liked it just fine but it kinda bugged me because I wanted our entryway to be both pretty and functional, no? Welp, I took down the gallery wall and started looking for some cool coat racks. It didn’t take long before I spotted this beauty.

Via

I love the industrial design but even the extra-large option wouldn’t be long enough for the wall. So, Nate and I decided that we could just make our own and this would allow us to customize the size. We had some old boards in the garage left over from an old headboard project and the rest of the process is as simple as finding the right hooks and affixing them to our board. Done and done.

So simple. So easy. And I love it. Here’s a few more pictures of the updated spaces so you have a point of reference.

We have lots of projects lined up so stay tuned for baseboard trim progress…finally. Also, we are still working on some bathroom updates. Whew. I think we might be on a roll! If you’ve noticed that my posts have become sporadic, you’re right. Here’s why.

New Year, New workspace

Happy New Year friends! It feels so good to be back to normal, well, a new kind of normal for our family of five. Our Christmas break was packed. The baby and I flew to Oregon to be with my sister as she had her baby girl in the middle of the biggest snow storm I have ever seen. She is happy and healthy and I am so grateful that I was able to be there for the special occasion. Nate and the kids drove up to join all the fun when they finished up school for the holiday. Our time in Oregon was spent with all the family we could cram into my sisters’ house and the cousins played in the snow, went ice skating, and ran around like hooligans. This was our best Christmas yet!

Even though my break was full of sleepless nights with the new baby, I feel energized and eager to begin this new year. We have so many projects planned in the next few months, it’s very exciting. Our house has a long ways to go but at the same time, it feels like we have turned a corner and our little place is taking shape! Let’s do this 2017! Thanks for hanging in there as I reflect for a second.

My time off wasn’t just a swirling blur of bottles and diapers. We still managed to get a few things accomplished. First, Nate and I decided that some new appliances for the kitchen would be the perfect Christmas gift to one another. Aren’t we exciting? Some people go on vacation, we buy dishwashers. Although it isn’t a DIY project, it does really improve the overall feel of the kitchen. Is it weird that I want to pet the new refrigerator?

A few months ago, we bought a new range and hood and planned on replacing the refrigerator and dishwasher just as soon as we saved enough for them. Well, that time is here and I couldn’t be happier about it. Appliance shopping is my idea of a good time. So. Much. Pretty. Any big purchases we make, especially when it involves electronics/appliances, Nate does the research and I narrow down the options based on appearance or other practical aspects that I experience with every day use.

The other little project is a shared office of sorts or workspace for Nate and me. Nate often finds himself doing some work from home and it isn’t unusual to find him answering emails or checking his calendar from our home computer. He usually just does this from our dining room table but with our kids spending close to an hour every night doing homework at the same table (that’s a whole different issue…don’t get me started), it made more sense to make a designated space that he could work from, separate from the kids. I also have enjoyed having this space for photo editing, blogging and emailing. It’s a win, win, win.

There is an awkward corner behind our sectional in the living room that I have been scratching my head over since we moved in. Previously, I just shoved a shelf in the corner and I was using it to corral random decor that I didn’t know what to do with. That solution quickly began to feel like a waste of space and with three kids and only 1,648 square feet of living space, why would I waste a single inch of it? Enter workspace idea!

The desk is a parsons desk from West Elm that I scored off of Craigslist. I have always admired this particular desk from West Elm so when I found one for cheap on Craigslist, it felt like it was meant to be. I am still hunting for a chair and have been stealing a chair from the dining table until I find the right one. Here’s a couple of options that I am considering:

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I spotted this chair at World Market and was thinking that it might be perfect. I love the rich color of the wood and the upholstered seat is super fun. Since the desk has such modern lines, a wood chair might be a good way to bring in some warmth and texture.

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I love these acrylic chairs. I have seen them a million times and they seem to work in just about any kind of design situation. That’s super appealing to me as I could just move it somewhere else if I got sick of it or didn’t like it for an office chair. Hmmmm….oh the choices.

So those are just a few of the things we have been up to around this house. Like I said, I feel so good to be getting back in the swing of things around here. Oh, and we have some exciting progress to share that’s been happening in the bathrooms. If you’ve been following along you may remember our bathrooms were in serious need of attention. You might have blocked those pictures from your memory though and I wouldn’t blame you for that.

P.s. Be sure to check my house tour page because I FINALLY updated it!

Freshening up our drabby old kitchen

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The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. We have had our spare time filled with football games and house projects galore. My parents’ are coming into town on Wednesday to meet this new baby of ours. With my c-section scheduled for Friday morning (yes, as in three days from now…gulp), we have been rushing to try and squeeze in a few last minute to-do’s. The kitchen finally got some much needed attention as we made a few simple(ish) updates and gave the cabinets a fresh coat of paint. Other than the addition of our new range, and the new floors, not much had changed in this space. Here are a few pics to jog your memory.

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The first thing that needed to be done in the kitchen was very obvious to us from the first time we saw the house. Notice in the second photo, the bank of cabinets above the sink that obstruct your view into the dining room? Yes, those had to go. And go they did, way back in August, in fact. While my parents were visiting, my mom and dad helped me tear these suckers out one morning while Nate was at work. It was fun to send him a picture surprising him with our little demolition session. After a lot of debate and going back and forth between leaving the soffit and taking it out all the way to the ceiling, we decided it would be easier to leave it. Taking it completely out felt a bit like opening a can of worms since the rest of the kitchen would be staying as-is. So, our solution was to texture it to match the new ceilings, paint it, and add two can lights.

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Our next big kitchen goal was to find a way to dress up the space around the lonely refrigerator. I always thought it looked unfinished and a bit out of place just sitting on this wall all by itself.

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I have seen quite a few tutorials online about building a simple surround for a refrigerator with a cabinet above, to give it a more permanent, built-in impression. And the best part was, we had a cabinet that we took down from above the sink that was the perfect size for the refrigerator space. So, I ran this idea by my dad (yes, this project was also done back in August during their visit) and Nate who immediately rejected it and told me I was nuts. But, after some online research and some serious convincing (picture me with a power point presentation, pie charts and a pointing stick) they reluctantly gave my idea a whirl. Here is what we came up with.

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After the addition of trim, caulking and paint, I’m very pleased that I pushed these guys to help make my built-in refrigerator dreams come true.

The last goal for the kitchen before baby was some paint for the cabinets and add some pretty hardware. I decided early on that white was the direction we were taking because if you follow along, you probably already know that I am on a quest to brighten up this place. So, white cabinets felt like a very natural way to go. We aren’t reinventing the wheel by painting our cabinets. Pretty much everyone who lives on the planet is well aware of the power of paint. Amen. Just look at the difference it has made for our little space.

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Painting the cabinets was a pretty straight forward process. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint and I loved using it. It was perfect for this pregnant lady with virtually no odor and low VOC’s. It’s environmentally friendly and my favorite part was that it’s water soluble. So, if I found myself running low on paint, I could mix it with some water to really make it stretch. Brilliant. With the painting process complete, I sealed the cabinets with the Annie Sloan wax which leaves you with a rich, almost velvet-y finish. I love the finished product.

 

P.s. Unless I go into labor before Friday, I should be back with a nursery tour! I am putting finishing touches on the sweetest little space for our new guy and I am so excited to share. Stay tuned…

P.s.s. Also, I am going to get our house tour page updated so you can see all the good progress we have made lately.