Wednesday, July 31, 2013

House Tour

If you notice, there's a little button up top that says "House Tour". Here you will find a few before and afters of everything we've done so far all consolidated in to one space. I'm going to keep it updated as we go! Enjoy :)

Tiling our Tiny Bathroom

Well now that I've come down off the high of the staircase (not really), it's time to shift focus back to the bathroom. This past very rainy weekend, Josh began to prep the floors for the tile that was going in, install tile, and grout! The rain provided quite the challenge. It meant that all cutting of the cement board had to happen inside. If you would have told me that like two and a half months ago, I probably would've freaked out. Now, whatever works! This whole experience has taught me so many life lessons in such a short time - I've learned to be more patient, more appreciative, more easy-going, more understanding, etc. Sorry, the counselor in me came out :) Here's a glimpse at the indoor cement board cutting. 

I'll skip the boring stuff about applying the thin set onto the ground and then installing the cement board over it. After a few cuts to accommodate the plumbing, in it went! 

Subfloor is in! This was Josh's first experience with joint compound/tape. It'll be on when he starts to drywall. 

Let's talk tiles. In my inspiration picture, I showed that I was picking Carrara tile. There is really no special reason I picked it, other than the fact that I just love the look. I ended up picking honed hexagon venato 1 inch tile. I love the little hexagons and I figured big hexagons would've looked silly in such a small space. So next up was a lot of placing the tile and seeing where I liked it. I think this was the winning combo. By the way, meet Josh's "tile pants". 

Once we had the arrangement down, it was time to actually lay those little beauties down. I'm pretty sure you use the same stuff to lay the tile down as you do the cement board. Josh always tells me he will walk me through and tell me "how-to", but he's usually too busy actually doing all the work :)

After all the tile was in, it was time to grout. Looking back, before I actually came face to face with decisions, I kept thinking - "Oh my goodness, all these decisions - I will never be able to pick!" When in fact, it's quite easy if you like doing it. But in this instance, I was very brave and sent Josh off to Home Depot all by himself. Can you believe I trusted him to pick out the grout color for my precious tile?! (See above about all those sacred virtues I'm practicing :) I told him I wanted a greyish-white. He came home with "Snow White" which turns out to be the exact color I would've chosen. Good job J! 

So we had to wait 24 hours before we could grout the tile. After about 2 hours of grouting and sponging (and hovering), Josh was done. Until he had to wait two hours to wipe it all down one final time. I mean seriously, what is with all the waiting?! And THEN you have to wait three DAYS to seal it. 

Mixing the grout.. 

Laying it down and then sponging off the "haze" that the grout causes all over the tiles. 

Now, our freshly laid tile and grout look like this. What do you think? 

From the room.. 

A little closer... 

Up close!

I, for one, am in love!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Staircase Reveal

It is finally time for me to unveil my little labor of love. This staircase was one of the things that made me love this house - if you can close your eyes and imagine that blue carpet gone.  I had a vision of the dark colored treads with white risers - all matching the new dark hardwood stain that was going down on the floors. Charming, right?

This project has been the longest lasting project to date. I'm pretty sure this is how long it takes to remodel a kitchen. But, I did this all myself with the exception of the carpet removal from Josh. Woo hoo! Without further ado. Here's what it looked like on day 1 (+ probably about 40 years):

For some reason, I don't have a shot of the entire staircase all sanded, so this'll have to do. Here's the stairs at/during the sanding step. 

And here they are today!!!! (I couldn't even wait for that bottom step to dry to remove that tape to share these pictures!)

This is seriously one of the most rewarding projects I've completed. It took FOREVER, but I LOVE how it turned out. What do you think?!

In my research, mostly people talked about how this was a "weekend project". I don't know how long their weekends last, but mine certainly didn't amount to a weekend's worth of work. 

Here's a fun little timeline on how I spent my days avoiding/working on this staircase. 

End of March: EXCITED about all the projects. Ready to conquer everything! And actually this of all places was where the blue carpet was in the best shape. It may have something to do with the fact that the stairs are 9x9 and its so steep you feel like you're gonna fall down - maybe they didn't get much traffic. 

Beginning of April. Me: "Josh, please remove that blue carpet so I can get to work on those stairs!" Motivation was talking. And clearly I had never sanded anything a day in my life. Here he is removing the carpet pads on each stair along with the nails and staples. 

Since we were also doing the floors, we had all the sanding tools necessary. Here I am sanding the stairs back in April. (Notice that floor heater is still in.)

Meet my other tool. 

The love/hate relationship with sanding continued for about a month and a half. I seriously cringed when I thought about picking up those sanders. Like would rather do ANYTHING ELSE. Around the end of May/early June, I decided that I would get all these little hard to reach areas and sand them. See in between those spindles? WORST. Boy was I happy when that was done. 

Meanwhile, Josh had moved on to electrical work so he needed to get up and down the stairs so he could get into the attic. So I decided to do every other tread to see if I like the look I had in mind. Not so appealing, right? It just looked blah. Can you see I'm not as energetic as I was day 1?

After my underwhelming reaction to the every other stair approach - I just left it. I left it for over a month. Do you ever get discouraged over something? This was one of those things. Last week, end of July, I decided I was just gonna do it. Josh was working in the bathroom so he didn't need to use the stairs. So, I stained the top of every step and primed one side of a riser. Still, I'm feeling "eh". 

And then, there's this problem. So one wall in the hallway is paneled. Well, it doesn't exactly line up with the steps. It lined up with the carpet. So this girl is eventually going to have to sand that down. 

Three days ago, I decided that I had put it off long enough. I busted out the paint and was ready to go. Obviously our kitchen counter doubles as a prep space. 

And you can't forget to wipe down the treads with a tack cloth to get all those little dust bunnies up. Seriously, the dust that results from sanding deserves a post in itself. 

Two coats of primer and two coats of paint later, and I am so glad I got over my apprehension. Now when I round the corner to go in the hallway, THIS is what I see. P.S. Don't be offended if I ask you to take off your shoes to go up these steps. I think a smudge might turn me into a crazy lady.. at least at first :)

As for painting the spindles, they actually weren't bad to me. When researching this and reading horror stories about the spindles and all the taping people did, I was scared. I didn't tape anything. I was just winging it. Surprisingly all the paint ended up on the spindles and not the stairs. 

Something interesting throughout this timeline of pictures is to also notice the evolution of the hallway. There's no more wallpaper, no more floor heater, no more light fixture (imagine me staining steps with one of those lights on my head), and almost no more of that blue wall covering. 

As I type, I'm thinking of the priming I've done since I finished this staircase. Those walls are getting primed this week and allllll that trim is getting painted that same bright white that's on the stairs. Crazy to think that this will be a "before" pic soon enough. 

Oh and my final amount of time spent on this project: 4 months - on and off. Insane. It's all the electrical work's fault. :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guest Bedroom Update: Middle Bedroom

Time for a little middle guest bedroom update. Didn't I just say that in the title? New sheets! New pillows! Pictures hung! And that's it. Slightly disappointing, but so much improvement :) I would love a little rug for this room, a quilt for the end of the bed, curtains, more things on the walls, more furniture, etc. So basically I need to get with it. Rather, get to the store.

Originally, I based the wall color off of these pillows...

But then I decided that I wanted this artwork instead... (sorry about the glare)

So time for a new plan. Luckily, my Mom mentioned that she had two pillows that she wasn't using if I wanted them. Fun fact - the first set of pillows were hers too. We did a switcharoo and now I have these beauties. They go so much more naturally now. And, I think the wall color pretty much adapts to whatever I put in there. LOVE that wall color. It may or may not make an appearance in the hallway :)

Pretend like you don't see those wooden boards on the ground. This is where they reside for the time being. They are being used to repair the big hole in the floor in the hallway. They used to be in the dining room along with everything else, but I tripped over them one day and stubbed my toe really bad - I may have had a slight temper tantrum. They were moved once Josh got home. :) But if you happened to look down at these boards, did you notice the wooden floor that is supposed to be there? Doesn't it look awesome in this picture? Josh did a great job with refinishing them.

The other side of the room...

This room is missing furniture. Ideally, I want a dresser to go under these pictures. And different nightstands - or maybe just redone nightstands. I have a few tables in my kitchen purgatory keeping area that are just waiting for a home.

And don't even get me started on that desk. I don't know where to put it. It doesn't really fit in any of the rooms. I certainly don't want it in "my" room. Aka my dressing room. But I think it looks so out of place in the room now. What would you do?  Maybe I should just throw it in the dining room along with the tool collection. I was tempted to move it for these pictures but I'm too lazy and I guess that wouldn't be reality.

And the windows that you've already seen in my blinds and shades post.

Thoughts on curtains? I'm thinking plain white. Won't the room look way more complete once those are up? I have some picked out at pottery barn online because they aren't available in the store, but seriously - $40 for "shipping and fees" for cotton curtains? That's ridic. If only 108 length curtains were easier to come by.

As for all these decorations I speak of, I already own a lot of "stuff" from our other house so it's just a matter of sifting through and finding something that works.

I don't think you've ever seen this room's closet. It's quite awkwardly shaped and will definitely need some re-configuring that I think'll happen when we renovate the bathroom that it's attached to.

Like how do you see the clothes if they are all pushed up against the wall? Closets weren't as adored as they are these days I guess. Still, it's serving a great storage purpose so I can't knock it. 

The little door that leads to another blue bathroom. 

Up until last night, the baseboards were hanging off the walls because of electrical work. Josh hammered them back in for me for picture purposes, but they are all eventually getting replaced. Along with this little fellow...

Note to self... Dry wall is very sensitive. 

Anyone notice any improvements in picture quality?? I got a new camera yesterday :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Master Bedroom Update!

I've been waiting to post a master bedroom update! Again, pictures are awful. Since I showed you the sneak peek of the upstairs, know that the camera is up THERE. It may never be found.

Couldn't you just DIE over this adorableness? 

If you walked in and looked to your left, you would see a little montage of our wedding. I will never get enough of that fountain picture. :) That doorway to the left leads to the bathroom. 

And that whole side of the room... 

Closeup of the left side of the bed... 

Anddd the other side... 

Notice I straightened up my books in this next picture. Ahhh laziness. 

So for the past few weeks, I kept telling my Mom "something's missing from this room and I can't figure out what it is." And her response, "it's a rug - a rug completes a room." Did I get that quote right Mom? So on our weekly shopping expedition, we were on a mission to find a rug. And that we did. You can sorta see it in this picture. It's a solid cream colored rug with a chevron print (in the same color - so it's not too chevron-y - I hate trendy). Can you see? Hey Mom! And thanks for the rug :))))

Oh and then the fun of riding home with a rug in between you. What I really should've taken a picture of was that rug in the cart. I hit my head twice until my mom stepped in and said "you know if you pull it from the front of the basket, you wouldn't have a problem." Moms always know best :)

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the rug under the bed. That's where it's going if you didn't catch on. The reason why we didn't put it down yet is because Josh says its going to get dirty with the work still going on in the bathroom and he "doesn't want to have to buy another rug". It makes sense. My anxiousness takes over and I wanna see it in the room and see something completed buuuut it will be soon enough.

And just to keep it real, here's the other side of the room. Ladders, work lights, computers, and papers...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Small Bath DIY Artwork

In this little head of mine, I kept thinking about exactly what I wanted for the artwork of the bathroom and actually I kept finding it in real life. Except every time I found something I liked, it was $300+. That's great if you are into art or if that's what you like to spend your money on. I prefer clothes.

So, off to Hobby Lobby I went! Keeping in mind that I have an arched glass mirror like this, I didn't want to do a huge canvas - so I got two smaller ones. Then, bought a variety pack of paintbrushes for $5 - maybe I'll upgrade if I like this painting thing. Update: the $5 paintbrushes worked just fine for this first-timer! Combine all that with some acrylic paint and I was set. Grand total for all my stuff: $20 and my mom had a store-credit (thanks MOM!!) so it was free. But if it weren't free, that's pretty dang cheap!

Then I was off to my studio house. And honestly, everything sat on my kitchen table for about two weeks. You know how you have to be in the right frame of mind to do something? Especially something creative. Every time I would think about setting the stuff up, something would come up or distract me or I would be in a bad mood. Sigh.

To give you a visual - I was going for something like this or this. Very abstract - very possible to DIY.  Time to begin!

Bet you didn't even notice the paint colors :) If you looked at the inspiration pins, you would know that I was headed towards the blue family without being overly dramatic. Although, once I got painting, I had no control over what was happening. It was a whatever happens happens process. 

So I wish I could walk you through step by step to tell you what I did. I can't. I really just did what I thought looked good - messed up - and then kept painting. It may look like you just simply brush colors on top of one another - and basically that is what you do - but it really did take a lot of time and patience. Here's a little evolution sketch for you...

And the final product... (Charley wanted so desperately to be in the picture)

So my thoughts on where these little gems are going to go are as follows... Either here... Which is right next to the mirror/above the toilet... 

Or, on the wall to the left when you walk in... 

Any preferences?? They look tiny with absolutely nothing in the space, but the canvases are actually a good size. I think they turned out as I expected them too - which is a good thing I guess! I wanted them to look bathroom-ish and I think I achieved that. Check another item off the bathroom list!