Monday, December 12, 2016

the clock is ticking

As I write this (or part of it) my sweet two year old boy is napping and I can feel baby #2 doing flips and kicks like a crazy little ninja. To say that we are excited for this little one is an understatement and the time is really flying! 33.5 weeks and our little guy is growing like a weed, so much so that my Braxton Hicks contractions, which were non-existent with our first son, are definitely a real life factor! 

Needless to say, we have started preparing for our littlest boy's arrival. Let me assure you though, it's a much different preparation than we did for baby #1! With our first, we were so prepared with the nursery being practically ready by this point in my pregnancy. That is so not the case this time. We are as prepared as we can be as a family but physically this little guy's room is unpainted, obviously undecorated and unfurnished (though we have the furniture and will be picking up soon!). Last week I decided that I would at least start washing all the baby clothes so that even if he didn't have a room to call his own (were he to arrive early) he would at least have clothes to wear! Oh little brother, we love you more than you know but it's much harder to get things done now that we have a kiddo running around! 

This momma does have a good idea of how the nursery will end up though. At least I am good at making plans! Ha! We decided that we wanted another boyish room but had a hard time getting our son's room out of our head. We love the grey/wood/orange color scheme for a boy but we wanted these brothers to each have a space of their own (for now at least!) We decided to use a much, much lighter grey and a dark green tone. I was choosing between greens and when one had "Hunter" in the title I couldn't help but choose it! 

I painted a corner to see how the colors would meld together when they go up and so far so good. The dark green will only go on one wall and a window cubby while the rest of the room will be the lighter grey. I'm not usually certain about the lighter colors but once it hit the white wall, I knew it was the right choice to warm up the space. Again, this room is painted with a flat white paint (like the rest of the house) and it's so scratchy... who even uses flat paint for a whole room?? A fresh coat of paint will go a long way to modernize this room! The picture below is one coat with a paintbrush, I think that once the green is applied with a roller it should be nice and smooth! 

We are going a bit more rustic in this room than we did in our first son's nursery. A bit more texture mixing for a cozy feeling that will be different than the feeling one room over. With some wood framed watercolors, a geometric wool rug, wooden accents and metals mixed in, we are excited to see what happens as everything comes together. Below you can see the first thoughts/purchases for this room! 

After some additional decisions, purchases and a whoopsie-two-year-old-accident that landed one of those framed prints on the floor with broken glass (no worries, no one was hurt!) we have honed our design and landed on a final idea for the room. 


The chair was a gift from my mom and it's so comfortable! The colors needed to be taken into account for the room because it certainly isn't neutral, though not quite as dark as the photos above are showing. The rug - while neutral - is a nice fun pattern that will liven up the space while being a cozy space to play with our boys! The broken glass was removed from the frame (which is harder than you would think!) and we are going to put this little one's name over it. We didn't want to give away any spoilers so I laid out "BOY" for now to give the general idea. And who doesn't love a little stuffed taxidermy creature, man oh man they are so cute! 

We also have a couple DIY projects for this baby's room. We wanted to make a few things with our own hands since we did that in our first son's room with the arrows above his crib and his side table! We are going to once again make the wall decor that will go above the crib and instead of a side table, since the space is configured differently, we are going to make a shelf that will hang on the wall to store the necessities of rocking chair time! 

These photos will serve as our inspiration but we will be making them our own based on color and size requirements for this room. We like how the yarn wall art is rustic but soft which will reflect well on the watercolors and other art we have ready for this room. The shelf is far from traditional and adds a little flavor while being completely useful! 

We will be starting on this room little by little in the next days! Hopefully at the end of the next five or six weeks when this baby is ready to meet us, we will have a space all his own that he will live in and love for years! 


For those of you who have been following along, here is a sneak peek of the kitchen. Yes, we are still putting in the finishing touches so the full reveal is yet to come but we wanted to give a little glimpse into the kitchen we are daily living in (and loving)! This photo was taken weeks ago so it's a few steps behind our current situation, but the counters are so clean and pretty so I had to use it! ;) 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

That Annoying Part in the Middle

And so began demolition on the kitchen. What was supposed to be drywall removal in a small corner (where Rob is cutting out drywall in photo below) to check for water damage, turned into a much larger project. First, we took that wall out from walkway to inner corner to make sure water hadn't spread further than we first assumed. Thankfully, it hadn't and replacing some studs was all it took to shore up the area. We did find a "fun" secret door (the old garage exit pre-kitchen-add-on) that wasn't sealed up correctly when the original construction had been completed. My Dad was so so helpful in this process because he knew just where to stop or dive a little deeper into a problem so it was solved the correct way! Dads are fantastic! 

After this wall was torn apart and the studs were repaired, we started removing the cabinets. Our hope was to remove cabinets and *snap* just like that put the new ones in their place. Well of course that isn't what happened as you might have read in our previous post but we didn't share how gross the situation was. 
Take a nice long look. Couldn't you just shed a tear at the awful sight of mold/mildew, improper plumbing and water damage? We could, I'm surprised that we didn't, but we certainly could have! The top left photo was our first glance... It was right as we pulled the dishwasher and first cabinet out. Our first reaction was to hope it got better as we continued cabinet removal but with every cabinet that we took out, our hopes sunk more and more. Behind the sink we could see that there had been some major water damage that the previous owners hadn't properly cleaned up (not really a surprise at this point unfortunately) and the drain plumbing hadn't been installed correctly. If you can see in the picture with Rob working on the floor, there was a very noticeable water mark on the floor so it was obvious some sort of flooding had occurred. Thankfully, that underlayment wasn't at all soft or mildewy, so we were actually able to leave it in place. 
As we moved along with the cabinet removal, we learned that at one point there had clearly been some sort of small rodent infestation. Now, let me note, our home is not disgusting or filthy and there are no longer rodents living in our walls but boy-o-boy, at one point... I don't know how the previous owners didn't hear them. It wasn't just something we found under the cabinets either. Every piece of insulation that we removed created some sort of "fecal rain" - gross I know - but it fell down on Rob and my Dad every time a run of insulation was pulled out of the ceiling. [Many many showers were taken during this part of the project!] It isn't something that we knew about before this construction started, so ignorance was bliss for a while, but now our house feels so much cleaner and we have such a greater peace of mind that everything is sealed up tight and is nice and clean! 
Once all the cabinets were removed, we had our first "while we're at it" conversation with my Dad. He's great at giving us options that we wouldn't have thought about; the soffit above the cabinets was the first topic we needed to make a decision about. We hadn't realized that this soffit was just a style decision made when when kitchen was constructed, but Dad did. We thought that it would make the room feel larger to extend the ceiling to the full size of the room so within an hour or two max, we had the soffit out! 

The next decision was whether or not to replace the ceiling. There were two factors to this decision: one being the ability to re-center the lights and fan since the soffit was now gone and the second being the knowledge that the ceiling was probably icky and poop filled. YUCK. So it seemed like the right decision. We would be able to reconfigure lighting to what we wanted it to be and it would be much cleaner, both great perks! The picture below is post dry-wall removal and pre insulation removal but the room already looked larger than before! 
After this, we removed all remaining drywall (except for a small section on the left wall). Rob and I got to work, with masks on of course, cutting and installing drywall in all the newly open spaces. We also sealed the old door area so that it couldn't be an entrance for little creatures if that had been their entry point. If you haven't had the pleasure of filling gaps or cracks in your home, let me tell you how awesome Great Stuff Foam is; it's so easy to use and honestly it's kind of fun. It expands to completely fill gaps and once dry, it's hard but can be trimmed if expansion gets in the way. We don't get paid to say this stuff, we just really like it!  
Once all the new insulation was in we started to feel like we were on the upswing of this project. When demo lasts much longer than expected it can start to feel like no progress is being made. With our lighting newly centered, pendant cans in place (a new addition for us) and all the insulation in place, we were ready for drywall to be installed. This is not a do-it-yourself project for us, we always call the best guy we know, Bill! He's super honest and trustworthy and does such fast, awesome work! The drywall process is so exciting because the space goes from construction to looking like a legitimate room again. Never have white, splotchy walls looked so great to us! 
We decided to freshly paint the ceiling and put one coat of primer over the walls before doing any other insulation so we didn't have to worry about splatter. Ceilings are the worst to paint but it's much easier when there is no need for drop cloths. 
Once the paint was dry, we were so happy to start hanging cabinets. The Ikea cabinet system is so smart - they give you a rail to hang on the wall so you don't have to worry about leveling each cabinet. Once the rail is up, the cabinets pretty much hang and clip on. The system is much lighter and much easier to manage without putting a million holes in the walls. Our little guy had a fun time watching his Buppa and Daddy doing work with all the fun tools and even got a popcorn treat from the hardware store!

We are almost ready to reveal the final kitchen, but it's a work in progress for a little while longer!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Two Weeks turned Two Months (and counting!)

Oh boy, when they say "allow more time than anticipated for larger projects" they aren't kidding (whoever they are). After seeing our house for the first time we assumed we would leave the kitchen in a very similar state for a long time. As you can see in the pictures below, it wasn't too bad at first glance. Upon moving in we decided to simply do some cosmetic upgrades to cover up the current look by painting cupboards, replacing the weird vinyl floor and eventually replacing countertops. [We replaced the cooktop immediately, you can read about that here!]


Well, we started those projects... I got to painting the cupboards before our things were even moved in and while it's not my favorite project ever, it's definitely a doable one with some patience. They turned out nicely and seemed to update the space significantly. 


Even after we were feeling settled into the house and the cabinets were starting to take shape with their new color, it just didn't feel right. We didn't like how obviously painted they looked when they were open - as the inside of the cupboards remained the original wood color while the fronts and doors had been painted. You can also see above that we were dealing with a really nice countertop and flooring (can you sense the sarcasm?). Altogether it just wasn't right and felt like a bandaid instead of a solution. 

After living for months with half painted cabinets while we made some decisions about the space, we chose to purchase new countertops and complete the painting. Off to Ikea we went where it just so happened the solid wood butcher-block color that we wanted was 50% off. We were off to a great start when it came to the kitchen budget. We has previously purchased flooring on sale and now this! What a cheap renovation! Are you scoffing at our naiveté yet?


While at Ikea we noticed one of their room displays that was as close as I could possibly imagine to a dream kitchen. It had the big farmhouse sink (that was proving to be impossible to install in our current cabinets) and the grey color scheme; to us it was dreamy! We figured it would be fun to use their 3D kitchen layout planner to see what the cost would be and then make an educated decision based on price and not emotion. Home we went (with countertops in tow since they would be part of the plan no matter what) and we used nap time to plan out our kitchen cabinet swap. It ended up being something that we could afford and with a sale/promotion they had going, it was more cost effective than usual.

So there we were a couple days later, in Ikea making the biggest house purchase we'd ever made. We were so excited! After all, how hard could it be to demo the existing cabinets and replace them with the new ones! You can scoff again. Swapping was our goal, but when cabinets were delivered and we started demo we realized it just wasn't our reality.


Stay tuned for the next steps in this "two week" turned two month project!

**Spoiler: This story has a happy and beautiful *swoon* ending!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

You spin me right Round Room, right round

After almost two months of walking by the paint swatches I had tested on the walls, I finally buckled down this past weekend and (nearly) finished the Round Room. We will come up with a better name for it at some point but for now, we'll stick with it. 

This room was beat up. There were scuff marks and weird discolorations all over. It was pretty overwhelming considering the entire room is approximately 10x10. We're honestly not sure how this room was utilized by the previous owners but it seems to have been used a lot. Please don't judge the fact that we lived with it in this state for 4 months before painting; neither of us wanted to do anything twice. 

I painted this room using a Sherwin Williams paint that I picked up from a mom2mom sale on Facebook for a whopping $5. It wasn't a full gallon but there was plenty to paint this size room and there is plenty left. It was very close to the color I had wanted so considering I saved about $40, I went for it. As I said above, I would consider this room nearly finished because it still needs a quick coat of white on the trim and ceiling! I didn't do that this time because I wanted it to feel settled after the weekend.


These are opposite angles of the same windowed wall but you can still see how much brighter the whole room looks with a cooler color. Not to mention the new windows that we had installed. WOW. What a difference a whole new house of windows makes. The old ones were 100 year old original, single pane wooden windows. They had been painted over quite a few times and they were impossible to get clean. Out with the old and in with the shiny, bright and new!!


The view from this room to the living room is also much nicer now. The coolness in this space and the warmer tones in the living room play well together. There are some elements that we crossed over (dark wood, modern but soft art, and patterned rugs) so that the adjoining rooms wouldn't look bizarre when pictured or viewed together. I think we accomplished the general mission! 

This is one of my favorite walls in the house. I am a sucker for succulents (pun intended) and though I am pretty decent at keeping them alive, I opted for some artificial pieces for this wall. I think the geometric shapes of the planters and the softness of the print tie in very well together. There is also a small glass urn terrarium that I put together a while back sitting on the buffet - I'll post how I did that another time. 

This is my favorite room so far. It ties in nicely with our Dining Room and when the "den" and kitchen are completed (hopefully soon) there will be a very nice flow throughout the main floor of the house! 

Friday, July 29, 2016


Apologies for our delay in posting. Since our last post on Mother's Day we took a little break from house projects (after a whirlwind weekend of work on the Dining Room) and then found out that we were going to be parents AGAIN.

We made our official announcement on the Fourth of July which was pretty fun! Good timing and a clever announcement by Rob!

From the time we found out in late May until about a week ago, I wasn't feeling so hot. Nothing as severe as some women have had (thank God and bless those sweet mommas) but definitely enough ookiness to not want to tackle DIY projects.

Now that I'm over the first trimester hurdle and regaining some energy for more than everyday stuff, we are making lists again. Oh, how I love lists!! (where's the heart eye emoji when you need it!)

Here's what we have up our sleeves and what we hope to accomplish before this baby comes in January!!

  • install new kitchen cabinets and countertops
  • new flooring in kitchen
  • shiplap in kitchen
  • paint den/desk area
  • paint "round room"
  • paint foyer and stairwell
  • replace staircase runner (if time allows)
  • paint playroom attached to Big Brother's room
  • paint new nursery
We will be busy but it will be nice to get a lot of this done before there is also a big baby belly in the game as well! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Be Our Guest!

A house starts to feel like a home when the dining room comes together. We don't always eat in the dining room but once it's finished it makes us feel like people can come in and eat and we can spend time together!
No joke, as I was adding this gif, Be Our Guest came on Pandora!!
We changed our vision about this room when we moved into this house (see our former dining room here for a comparison). Almost everything is new (to us) and our only overlap is a rug from our old living room. We decided to host Mother's Day this year which was a great motivation to get everything finished! Other parts of the house are still in disarray or aren't in their final stage, but it feels great to have made this progress.

Painting a house is way different when you have a 1.5 year old running around. We used to be able to spend a whole day working on a project; now, we can't do that and we don't really want to. Things are taking a lot longer this time around but it's also giving us a ton of time to enjoy the new house with our family and make thoughtful decisions about what we are going to do with our new spaces.

We chose a color scheme for this house before we even moved in and for the most part it has stuck. When we chose the dining room color we knew we were heading in a whole new direction from last time. Darker walls with our lighter original wood floors seemed more modern to us and anything was going to be better than the raspberry walls we walked into. We wanted the dining room to be a bit more industrial farmhouse than its previous traditional feel.


One day on Facebook, I came across a table that Rob and I loved on a resale group. $100 for a farmhouse table and three metal bistro chairs? Yes please! It was such a great deal. I got the other four chairs from a resale group online as well, I am telling you it's so fun to hunt and it's awesome when a good deal comes around!

We made the decision to take the knick knack size shelves out of the cubby and use it for a larger statement piece and we are super glad we did. We didn't have anything for this new space so we had to shop (bummer, right?!) but I was pleasantly surprised that upon my first visit to TJMaxx I found this perfect mirror for under $30! The two trays in this area were also a purchase from the same trip and were 25% the cost they usually are at non-discount stores. TJMaxx (and resale groups) for the win!


We are super happy with the way this room has turned out. It is the front of the house so you can see it from outside and it makes the whole house look more updated in and out!

If you are reading this thinking "all they had to do was paint" let me get into the real "fun." This house is 100 years old and the "fixes" people decided to do in the past were really half-hearted and annoying. There were 12 sinkers in the walls of this one room ranging from normal to what-needed-that-much-support and more nail holes than we bothered counting. In the cubby there were another seven sinkers/shelf!! What were they putting on these shelves? They also (under an unknown number of paint layers) caulked the cubby shelves which made it super fun to repair. I think we spent more time working on smoothing the walls than we did actually painting. We are happy we spent the time to do it right though, no old nail holes makes for a much cleaner look!

We will be back with more updates soon! We made a lot of progress this weekend while the kiddo spent some time with Grandma and we had a fabulous Mother's Day with our awesome family!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom-hearted women out there. You are all amazing!