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:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Crushed Ice

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Oh my goodness. It’s been crazy at our house the last few weeks. We have been busy adjusting to our new school schedule. Hello 6:15am! This is not a natural time for anyone in our family to get up in the morning. We fall more into the night owl category, for sure. In addition to our new school schedule, Grey started fall football and Nolan is finishing up her swimming classes and gearing up for tryouts for swim team. Nate has also been recruited as head coach for Grey’s football team…gulp. Nate is competitive. He is so competitive that we have “no board-game” rule in our house for the general well being/happiness for everyone who lives here. But, I’m sure he will be able to keep his competitive nature in check for these cute little football players, right?

Things have been really busy at home as well. We have my C-section officially scheduled for November 11 so I have to get busy and get some projects done around the house before baby boy is here and the holidays soon thereafter. So, in an effort to keep this train moving, I finally chose a paint color for the interior of the house. I knew I wanted something in the greige family, i.e. a warm gray color. I also decided that this color is going to be pretty much everywhere. This means the living room, dining room, kitchen, entryway, hallway, etc. You get the idea. I’m thinking this will bring a nice flowing and cohesive look to the inside of the house.

A few weeks ago, I went and picked quite a few swatches of paint that I brought home to study. I quickly narrowed down my options as so many of these colors looked too dark in our house. The lighting is super tricky in here with the screened porch on the back of the house that blocks a lot of natural light. I quickly had three favorites for which I went and grabbed test pots at Lowe’s.

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All three colors are Sherwin Williams. The top was Nebulous White, the middle swatch was Crushed Ice and the bottom was On the Rocks. I painted these swatches in several different places around the house all in different lighting situations. Dark, darker, and barely visible to the human eye. In the end, I went with the middle swatch because I felt it brought the most warmth to the game. And that’s what this place needs. A warm and fresh pallet.

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This is a shot of the hallway with a fresh coat of Crushed Ice. I especially love the way it pops against the trim. I also just finished painting ALL the trim in the whole house. I was able to leave the baseboards because we will be replacing them when we have our new floors installed, but more on that in a minute. Remember what our hall used to look like on move in day? Wow. I feel bad for THAT Courtney. She had a lot of work ahead of her.

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The walls were super shiny and it drove me crazy. It made the texture on the wall stand out as well. This particular texture has so much texture with sharp-ish peaks that it looks like it might scratch you if you rubbed against it. So, while I know most people do not recommend painting their walls in a flat sheen, I went ahead and did it anyways. It seems to tone down our crazy texture and doesn’t draw your eye to the texture, the way it did when the walls were a satin sheen. I hear the warnings against flat paint as it isn’t as washable as some of the more shiny sheens and to this I say, if our walls are so dirty that I am constantly needing to wash them, I suppose I will be repainting anyways. Also, I think that the paint formulas have come a long ways. All of the sheens seem to be washable these days. Anyways, that wraps up my mini-rant and now, more pretty pictures!

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Did you spot our new light fixture in the dining room? I have been hunting for something for this space for a while now. We have had an IKEA one above our table for several years but I have been wanting something a little more special. The lightbulbs are dipped in silver which is really fun.

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Remember before how I mentioned floors? Well, we finally made a decision and ordered our wood floors! So, they will be coming in over the next few weeks and then demo and installation should be at the end of this month. They will go down everywhere except the bathrooms and bedrooms. I am so excited/nervous. Here is a little sneak peek of what will soon be our new floors.

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So that’s the dish in our house. I can’t believe we are going to have new floors soon! Picture me with a serious case of perma-grin.