Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Laying It Down

After looking at a subfloor for over a month it was a welcome project to lay down flooring. We had purchased this flooring when we first moved into the house. We chose a laminate option in a pecan color. We didn't want to try and match the original 100-year-old hardwood because we knew it would never look right and knowing that the kitchen was already going to be a style changer in the house, we didn't mind such a difference.

We got our flooring at Home Depot at a great price. We chose a floating floor system for the simple install and for the fact that it can be easily removed if someone after us were to want a change. We chose a much thicker plank than what we have in the rest of the house. The original hardwood is just over 2" and runs front to back in the house. As another precaution to avoid the potential "matching" issue, we ran the kitchen floors opposite in a right-to-left direction. 

Because nothing about this house has been simple, we had to deal with a leveling issue before laying the floor. When the subfloor was originally laid it overlapped the old floor where the kitchen addition and the original house meet. Under the walkway in the photo below was the very obvious lump. With help from my Dad, the plywood subfloor was cut in place and a self-leveling cement was poured to fill the gap removing the original lump. In the picture on the left below, you can see the seam between the subfloor and cement. 


We thought it would be fun to leave a note hidden somewhere in the house. What better place than under a floor we hope will be there for years to come! 

We started along the sink wall. We made sure to put flooring under our appliances so they could easily be pulled out. We learned that was necessary when we first moved in and had to pull the dishwasher out. The original flooring was laid up to the dishwasher and it was miserably hard to get the appliance out of its cubby. We didn't want to run into that issue again, so we made sure to complete the flooring under both the dishwasher and refrigerator. 


We started with a full length of flooring and from there decided on a system. We didn't want it to be an every other row pattern so we did a three row pattern instead. It's still a bit more perfect and planned looking than I prefer but overall we had very little waste and it's very clean looking. 
You can see in one of the pictures above what the view was from standing in front of the sink through to the front of house at this point in the project. We feel we made the right decision on floor color and layout when looking through the house as a whole. As we move forward we are working on updating the entire feeling of the house. We are going from lots of warm colors and flat paint to cooler colors and a mixture of texture!

We are happy with the outcome! It makes me say "Ooooo lala, look at that pretty, hide-all-the-doggy-dirt, flooring" whenever I walk in the room!


More to come, as always! Check back in again soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Topping It Off

In continuation of our kitchen project (which we've talked about here and here) our next step was cabinet fronts and countertops. Believe me when I say that there is nothing simple about the initial process of building the cabinets. Now of course, it's doable with patience but it's not simple. Thankfully, Ikea gives some relief towards the end and makes the process of hanging and installing fronts very simple. It's almost a click-in system, with few screws for support, which at this point in the project was very welcome. Nothing like an easy finish. 

You can see above where we were after the first day of installation. By the end of the next working day we had closing doors and drawers. We waited to put the pulls on for quite a while because we couldn't decide exactly where we wanted them, decisions decisions. 

The next step was the countertop. It was a bit scary to start cutting because we had a certain amount of space to cover and only so much countertop. At first we were going to join the corner by butting one piece up to another. My Dad mentioned that because of the wood grain we wouldn't be pleased with that and so we changed our minds to the angled corner cut you can see below. In order to make sure we did everything correctly, we used some 1/4" plywood to create templates that we could lay on top of the cabinets to ensure we were making correct cuts! Way better to make a mistake on a $10 slice of plywood than a $100 slice of butcher block. Practice makes perfect after all. 


Hunter and I watched through the window with Star Wars characters cheering on my Dad and Rob as they made the scary cuts. Always best for me to stay away during these moments, I tend to be a gasper when things can go wrong. Of course they made all the right measurements with the help of their template. With all the pieces cut, they were laid out, screwed in from the underneath and glued together at seams.


Once all the counters were secured we moved onto giving them a finish. We did quite a bit of research about this. We had to decide if we wanted this to be a true working butcher block or just in appearance alone. We liked the idea of a full seal which would remove our ability to stain or make water rings on our new surface but a lot of the products that we found and read about weren't food safe. While that might work for some people, we were not comfortable with a non-food-safe surface in the kitchen especially when the kiddos are involved. We ended up conditioning our butcher block counters instead of sealing them; this is something that we have to do once in a while but it's no harder than applying lotion after a shower. It makes the counters resistant and water pools on top instead of soaking right in BUT rings and marks do form. Thankfully most of those marks are easily removed with a light hand sand (read: wiping counters with sandpaper) and another coat of conditioner. While making our choice we read that wood, because it is porous, will eventually "fill up" with the conditioner and actually become waterproof like butcher blocks in butcher shops used to! We liked the idea that it wouldn't be such virgin wood forever and it wouldn't only get prettier as the time went on. 

At this point we were so pleased to have a most of a kitchen again. We still had finishing touches on the cabinets in the form of finishing sides (above cooktop and in corner) and adding pulls but the overall feeling was beginning to come together. It was so nice to have a sink on the main floor again - it's amazing how much you can miss that! 

My Dad was so helpful during the countertop process, he's awesome and teaches us so much! Hunter also LOVES when my Dad comes over - he gets to have a bit of play time in his work truck and spend time with his Buppa!

Up next is flooring! Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

life as a family of four

On January 25th our family grew, we changed, and our hearts expanded. We met our #littleray at 11:39am. Our not-so-little guy is a joy and we are so thankful for him. His arrival via c-section is not what we hoped for but knowing that the Lord is completely in control gave us peace no matter the method of our son's arrival. 

The most wonderful sight so far has been seeing Hunter be a big brother to Jax. He was so excited when he met his little brother at the hospital and now, a month later, he is so sweet and helpful! As a mom, I wondered how he would react, I cried about him not being my little boy anymore and worried that splitting the time between them would be so hard. I wish I had known that all of that would fade almost immediately. My joy as a mom has never been greater and though our time together has changed, it hasn't lessened or been diminished at all. 

Our dynamic as a whole family hasn't changed as much as we anticipated. We have heard so many versions of the story that starts "the hardest transition is..." with people varying between first child, second, etc. Mostly, people agreed that the transition to two was the hardest but Rob and I have to (kindly) disagree. Switching from life as a couple to life with a baby was startling, wonderful in many many ways, but certainly a change from the life we were used to. We went from living life with very little schedule or second thought of starting a DIY project or going to dinner, to living between naps and playtime and enjoying life as a family! When we brought Jax home, we were already totally adjusted to life with a kiddo but we proceeded warily for the first couple days with the thought on our minds, "remember what everyone said." Other than the discomfort of recovery paired with an on-the-run two-year-old, life didn't veer too far off course. Thankfully. Within a week it felt like Jax had always been here with us. Yes, we are sleeping less and changing more diapers but we weren't startled this time around; our norm isn't so glaringly different. 

One of the most interesting things we've discovered about having two kids is how completely different they can be. It seems almost impossible at times that these boys are both ours and I'm sure we will be surprised more and more as they grow up. We feel blessed that both our boys were super laid back in this infant stage but Jax is a whole different kind of chill. While he likes to be held (what baby doesn't) he's really cool with everything - he sleeps through Hunter's playful banter and dinosaur stomps, he eats more easily than Hunter ever did at this age and he lives life with eyes wide open - seriously, the kid naps far less than most infants. We also don't think they look alike. We saw ourselves in Hunter from the beginning but are just starting to see glimpses here and there with Jax. Overall, the resemblance is slight. Hunter never sported the grumpy old man baby face but Jax wore it often in the first couple weeks which honestly charmed us to no end. Their habits are different, their personalities are different, their faces are different but they are brothers through and through and we can't wait to see them grow together! 

This life is a blessing. Everyday is a gift and we are so thankful for this family of ours.


We love to hear what others have to say about their experiences!
What would you say your hardest transition was?
Any parenthood pointers you'd like to share?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

#littleray has a nursery

Our Christmas break was full of fun and family and productivity this year! It was so nice to have a whole week home with Rob and our little guy. Although we took turns being sick throughout the week we still enjoyed plenty of time with our families celebrating Christ's birth, a wedding, and the new year! 

Last night we finished littleray's nursery. It's a great feeling to walk by and see it completed. We are ready for him any time now! We can't believe that the time has come so quickly and we are in the final weeks of eagerly awaiting his arrival. 

This space came together just as we had imagined it would and we love it! 

We talked in a previous post about our ideas and color scheme but we still weren't sure where everything would end up and how it would come together. We changed a couple of our original ideas, but that's par for the course whenever we decorate a room!

First of all, let me say that painting with such a dark color of green is a bit scary! It ended up looking lush and lovely but it required two (thick) coats and after the first coat I was, admittedly, shaking in my slippers. It's weird to see that intense color rolled onto a white wall! I almost shied away but I'm glad I rolled with it (pun intended!)

The dark green adds a nice intensity to the room that is otherwise pretty light and bright. I decided to keep the branch hanging lighter so that it would pop off the wall. By using a yarn with variation in color I was able to keep it looking a little more "natural"; I chose to leave the bottom uneven for the same reason. We know that it might not be able to live above the crib forever - once littleray has grabby hands - but for now it creates a pretty and rustic picture! 


Opposite the crib are littleray's cabinet and changing table. We are thankful that we can use these pieces for little clothes and baby items and keep the small closet for toys and older boy clothing storage. It's nice to have all the little clothes kept behind closed doors and in drawers because even though they are caaaaaute, they can tend to look a bit messy. 


We wanted the room to holler 'boy' while still holding to our neutral tone from our first son's room. By mixing hard and soft patterns with warm and cool tones, I think we accomplished our goal. This fun yellow/lime chair adds brightness to this windowed cubby along the same wall as the crib and it's oh-so-comfy! We opted for soft watercolors paired with a heavy metallic arrow so neither would feel too prominent. The top watercolor will have littleray's name once he is born, but for now it will be blank until we make our announcement! 


On the other side of the crib, across the room from the comfy chair, there are cute little stuffed animal mounts alongside our favorite saying. Our first son has this saying in his room too and we thought it was perfect to have both our boys know that we love them to the moon and back! The wall mounted animals are from target's fall collection, I think I ended up grabbing them for less than $5 each on sale which is always a perk when decorating a room! You can see above that there is also a mounted stuffed bear near the comfy chair in the picture above, I thought they were too sweet to pass up!

We decided to skip the mountain shelf that we mentioned in our ideas post. It would have lived where the watercolors are now so we thought it would get a little crowded and displace already existing items. Didn't seem worth it to make something from scratch when we already had the goods to fill the space. We are also waiting on the crib skirt to be delivered (thank you amazon!) and then we will be 100% done with this room. We are so thankful for the generosity and love people have shown for this baby boy already, we all can't wait to meet him!! 

{Paint} Glidden Universal Grey and Hunter Green
{Crib Sheets} Target
{Crib Skirt} Dwell Studio
{Rug} Home Goods
{Grey Handled Baskets} Home Goods
{Grey Geometric Baskets} Target
{Watercolor Prints} Home Goods
{Metallic Arrow} Home Goods
{Bear Head Mount} Target Similar Product 
{Love You To Moon and Back} Tootie and Tallulah's
{Crib/Changing Table/Dresser/Shelving} Bellini (Ours are secondhand but the company makes other beautiful pieces!)

*This post includes affiliate links. We were not paid to say anything nice about these products we just like these things and want you to know where you can get them too!