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.

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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:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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.

 

the floors are in…and they are so good

It’s Tuesday. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t Monday because my kiddos were home from school yesterday so Nate and I could attend parent-teacher conferences. Originally, we were kind of dreading this experience but it was actually fun to see what they have been up to in school. Nolan has been writing some very creative stories and Grey is the class story teller. Surprising? Not one bit.

In the last post, I detailed what we did over the weekend while we were kicked out of our house while our old floors were being removed and the new ones laid down. When we got home, the floors were down and this lady felt like it was Christmas. We actually ended up short about 60 feet of material and had to wait a few days for the boards to come in and have the rest installed. So, the dining room has only been complete for a few days as it was the area that was left undone when the crew discovered there was going to be a slight shortage.

We did a lot of research about flooring options before we made our final decision when it came to materials. I decided early on that I wanted a natural material to bring some warmth into the house. If you follow along, you probably have heard me complain about the lack of natural light in our house. Because of this, we were quickly able to rule out all the options on the darker side of the color spectrum. Think light and bright! After looking at tile, bamboo, laminate, and even real wood, we decided that our sweet spot was in the engineered wood group. Once we had that decided on, it was easy. We quickly picked a 5” plank, hickory wood. It was light, it had a ton of texture, and it’s perfect.

Whew! With. All. That. Said. Let’s go in and look at the new floors!

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Notice the addition of some yellow mums and a few pumpkins to the front entrance? I am trying to force Autumn to arrive (and stay) here in Texas. We are back up in the 90’s but with cooler mornings and evenings. The weather is flirting with the idea of changing seasons but just can’t seem to commit.

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The variations between each individual plank of wood adds a lot interest. We haven’t installed our baseboard trim yet. Nate is planning on getting this task done in the next few weeks. I considered not sharing photos of the floors until the baseboard was installed but I was just too excited to wait! Our cat, Artie was very curious about the photo taking process this morning so you will see him popping up all over.

Here is a little reminder of what our entryway looked like when we moved in.

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I took this picture on move-in day at the end of May. The best lesson I have learned through keeping this blog is that documenting the process of fixing up our house has been the best way for us to keep our momentum going. Buying a fixer upper and living in the space with kids and real life happening while trying to update the house is tricky. Very tricky. But, looking back at how far we’ve come is so uplifting. Go us! My parents bought a 1916 craftsman style house when I was four and lived there for twenty-six years all while fixing up the house and raising five kids. It would have been so cool to be able to look back at all the projects and work they did on their house in the same way that we will be able to look back on our first fixer upper. But let’s get back to the floors….#pregnancyhoromonesareforreal

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Some of our furniture hasn’t been moved back into the house. We have been relying on neighbors and Nate’s buddy from work (Thank you, Jimmy!) to help us move the heavy pieces back into place. As I am exactly one month away from my scheduled c-section, Nate won’t let me help him move a thing. In the meantime, our furniture is sprinkled around the house, in the garage and even in the screened porch.

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This is our empty dining room. Our dining table is still outside on the screened porch but the kids have been having loads of fun eating their meals all over the house in random spots. We’ve even laid blankets on the floor for an “indoor picnic” which was the fan favorite. Kids can somehow turn the inconvenient aspects of life into something fun and exciting.

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Told you Artie would be randomly photo bombing. I picked his food dish up off the floor to take this picture so I think he was sitting there trying to figure out where his dish ran off to.

The kitchen cabinets are next on my to-do list. I think I am going to give them a fresh coat of white paint and then add some new hardware. But what? Polished nickel? Gold? Oil rubbed bronze? I have been seeing the most beautiful photos of kitchens and bathrooms with polished nickel pulls a la Studio McGee. Hmmm…stay tuned.

Here is the last space with new floors. We left the carpet in the bedrooms but plan on replacing it with something newer, cleaner and prettier. Trust me, I wanted all the carpet to go away. But, I think we made the right decision in keeping it because we didn’t feel we would see a return on our investment.

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And just because you know how I love a good, look-back on where we started. Here ya go. You’re welcome.

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So those are all the dirty details on our floors. How we picked them, the process of demolition and installation, and the difference it’s made in our house. Also, they seem very durable so far. We haven’t really changed the way we live on our floors since installing them. We did run out and buy some felt footies for the legs of our furniture, but that’s it. Maybe I will write an update on how they are holding up after we have lived with them for a while?

Hope you have a great week!

 

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.

 

 

I’m Baaack!

 

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It’s been a while! Last time I updated the blog, I was busy getting ready for my folks to arrive from Oregon for two weeks. In preparation, I painted and made some easy updates to the guest room. Well, I am happy to report that my parents loved the room and were very comfy in there for the duration of their visit. We had such a wonderful two weeks. The weather was terrible and it rained almost every day they were here. Everyone kept joking that they must have brought the rain with them from Oregon because rain in Texas during the month of August just isn’t a thing.

They have been here a handful of times for visits so we weren’t too worried about doing touristy type stuff around the area but instead focused on projects around the house that Nate needed help to complete. Also, my parents had only seen our new house in pictures so they were anxious to finally see it in person. Because of the bad weather, we mostly hung out together, cooked, (oh, how I miss EVERYTHING my mom makes) completed some projects around the house and watched some good TV (Game of Thrones and The Night Of on HBO) But, it was so nice to spend some time with my mom and dad and we actually got a lot accomplished too!

Also, the kids started school. Grey started kindergarten and Nolan started second grade. I was a little (ahem…a lot) sad to see them go because it feels so early this year. Before Labor Day? What? And don’t even get me started on Grey starting school…how did this happen so fast?? Here is the obligatory first day of school picture. Now let’s move on before I start to weep…again.

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But I mentioned projects! It was amazing to have the help of my dad! Nate and I found that it was easier to pull the trigger on some decisions with his help with some things that we previously had been talking to death. Talking with no action to follow. The first couple days they were here, we turned attention toward this eye sore in the middle of our living room.

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This beam goes across our entire living room and was covered in popcorn texture when we moved in. When we scraped the ceiling, we scraped the beam and never made a plan for what we would do next. My mom and dad loved our fireplace mantel that we made and thought that wrapping the beam in the same cedar planks we used for the mantel would be the easiest way to dress this baby up and would compliment the existing mantel. Here is a reminder of what the finished fireplace mantel looked like back before we had the ceilings done.

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After calling around to a couple lumber yards, we found our lumber in stock and had it delivered right to the house. We had to go though an actual lumber yard because the planks that we needed were over 18 feet long and we knew that we didn’t want any seams where we joined more than one piece together. After they were delivered, it was just a matter of CAREFULLY measuring and ripping the boards to size. After a few nails with the nail gun, we were in cedar love. Just call me Joanna Gaines.

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We had some exposed electrical in the middle of the beam that was used to wire a ceiling fan when we moved in but we had taken it down and decided that we didn’t need a ceiling fan in the middle of the room. We have been pretty comfortable in Texas with the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, without the help of any ceiling fans. With all that being said, we turned the breaker off and capped the wiring with plastic connectors and used electrical tape to ensure that everybody stayed where they should be when it went back up in the ceiling.

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I love the way it breaks up all that white and gives the room some texture. Also, how cute does the mantel and the beam look together? MFEO. Totally.

While we were on a cedar kick, I have had this live edge chunk of cedar that has been sitting in our garage for two years. It’s twelve feet long that I bought from a guy in Oregon who had his own mill for cutting lumber. Why twelve feet? Well, our sectional is twelve feet long and I thought this live edge would be a perfect table top to live behind the sofa for lamps, remotes and books. But, our sectional floats in the middle in the room here at our new house and so there is no need for a table behind the sofa.

Well, my mom had the brilliant idea to make a floating shelf in our entryway. Previously, I had made a DIY tribal stamp for the walls in the entryway but hadn’t given much thought to what furniture should live in that space. I had a little bench in there but in person, it felt much too small for the space so we decided that a shelf with a mirror would be a much more practical use for the space. We used three brackets from IKEA and my dad secured it to the wall one afternoon while Nate was at work.

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I love that we finally got to use this piece after all this time. Now, I am thinking that I just need some cute baskets for underneath and a runner for the floor and I will call this space done…for now.

Also, remember how I said I wanted to change the glass out of our front door because the pattern was feeling a little too traditional for our house?

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We tracked down a clear window to replace it with and my dad installed it for me. It’s very simple but it has blinds on the inside so with the little flick of a switch, the blinds come down at night for privacy. To say that I love this upgrade would be an understatement.

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So, those are just some of the fun things that have been going on around here for the last two weeks. I am already missing my parents but they are coming back to Austin in November just in time for baby boy to arrive. Wait until you see what we did to the kitchen! It’s a good one.

 

Knock me down…

So, I know that I said that I would be back to update the progress on the ceiling texturing. And nothing…well, the only excuse I can come up is that texturing your ceilings is hard. Hard and time consuming. The good news is, we are done. At this point, I only have a few rooms painted because after the super hard part is done and you have brand new texture, the last step is painting them. That’s your reward for your hard work. You’re welcome.

Right after we moved in, I started scraping the popcorn that covered every inch of our ceilings, even the ceilings in the closets. Oh, I was so enthusiastic about starting this project. I told Nate we could get this done over the course of a couple weekends. Now that we are nearing the actual end of the project with only painting left to do, I underestimated by about a month. Ha! Oops. Here is what we started with.

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We did a lot of research about which new texture to go with and after asking our realtor what she sees in most houses in our area, we decided we would go with the knock down method. It’s pretty simple but after you spray on the texture with a hopper, you basically take a flat edge and knock down the peaks that leaves you with a smooth surface with little (and some not so little) islands, as we started calling them. After scraping the whole house, patching with joint compound, sanding, patching a second time, sanding a second time, spraying on the new texture with a hopper, and knocking the texture down, this is what we are left with.

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Once it is painted, it basically looks the same, but has a more finished or polished look.

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For all of that work and for such a long process, I wish it was more exciting than that. But, it is making a big difference in the house and I swear everything feels brighter and less dark. I think it will be one of those things that will make a overall big difference once we start updating some of the cosmetics in the house, like wood flooring, painting our trim white, and painting the walls. Popcorn ceilings are no joke people.

There have been lots of other smaller updates going on around here too. Since the ceilings are wrapping up, I have the luxury of focusing on some prettier things. Like lighting! Nate hung the fixture in the kids’ room yesterday and it looks so good. For the last month, there has been a vacant hole in the ceiling with wires hanging out so this is a big improvement.

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I scored this guy at Anthropologie a few years ago when I was wandering through the home section (you mean they actually have clothes???? What?!) and noticed this light fixture that someone had ordered online and returned it to the store so they marked it down like 3000%. It casts a very warm light that feels super cozy and Grey told Nate it was his “party light.” Five year old minds are the best.

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In other parts of the house I have a little experiment with spray paint happening. You see, the hardware on our doors is just ugly. On a scale of 1 to 10 in ugliness, 1 being beautiful, and 10 being the worst of the worst – ours are a 10. So, since it looks like we will making a little investment in door hardware, (which I have come to learn is NOT cheap) I thought I would try and give it a coat of paint to see if it holds up. If it doesn’t, we haven’t lost anything because we are planning on replacing them anyways. I have seen other bloggers use Oil Rubbed Bronze on door hardware before with a top coat with positive results so I thought I would give this a whirl and see how it goes. This is our hardware before paint and top coat.

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Geesh. After a couple of coats of paint and top coat, they are looking more like this. I probably should have also mentioned that I started painting all of the doors and trim around the house too. I know, I have a million things going at the same time. F.O.C.U.S. I have been feeling good lately with lots of energy so I am taking advantage of this momentum before baby boy comes in November. Too much to do, too little time. But the doorknobs are looking better, no? I will keep you posted if the paint holds up through every day use.

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Here are a few more shots of the trim around the house that needs to be painted. I believe they used a very deep chocolate brown and just painted the trim. From far away, it appears to just be a very dark, stained wood. But it is not. It’s shiny too and reminds me of milk chocolate if you melted it on the stove top. Yum. On our trim though, yuck.

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And once again, white paint for the win.

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The last update that we made to the house this last week isn’t diy related but I thought I would mention it because Nate is in love and it is a house update. We bought a new range for the kitchen! This was a fun one because it’s functional and looks so pretty. The range that came with the house worked just fine but we are eventually going to upgrade all of the appliances to stainless steel so we thought the range was as good of a place to start as any. We listed it on Craiglist and it sold the next day so we were even able to recoup some of our investment.

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And here is the new one.

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So, I think that about wraps up everything going on around our house for the week. Sorry about the brain dump but we’ve been busy. Really busy.

Ps. I updated my house tour with some progress pictures so you can see where we started when we moved in and where we are at today. It’s starting to look better…I hope!