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!