Posts tagged ‘house’

February 3, 2012

Revisiting the Bathroom

Back in September, I posted about our guest bathroom quickie makeover that was not quite complete (see it here). I realized I have yet to update you on the progress that has been made. We still need some finishing touches, but folks, we are getting closer. Alex and I tend to take our time on things. We do a little here and little there. That way it’s not a stressful process and just happens organically.

Here’s the “Before we did anything” pictures:

Here’s the “After we did a little” pictures:

And finally, the “After we did a little more” pictures:

We found these towels on clearance at World Market. They were exactly what we were wanting. Being on clearance was just a bonus :)

We still need to find the right accessories for the sink area. I know, why would I want to replace the Soft Soap bottle currently there? And we plan on hanging some small artwork. In the big picture, we want to rip out the entire vanity and replace with a wall mount sink. We think it would open the space up greatly. But for now, we are happy with the progress we have made thus far.

October 17, 2011

It’s starting to look a lot like somebody lives here.

That’s because our living room walls are becoming less and less bare. Wahoo! We still have yet to tackle the gallery wall, but we’ve hung things on every other wall in the room and that makes me giddy with excitement.

The Etsy prints finally have a home.

And so do these wall shelves that we scored (totally free!) a couple of years ago. For now, we just threw a couple of things on them so that we didn’t have empty shelves hanging on the wall. Do you like that big white hand we found at Home Goods for only $10? Because I do. I love it!

Ok, now I know you are completely jealous. I mean, hello, look at how awesome these are. My sister scooped these up for me at Round Top flea market in Austin since I wasn’t able to go myself. We do plan to paint them, but just couldn’t wait to hang them.

Just getting a few things up on the walls has made the living room feel so much cozier. Exactly what I was wanting.

September 27, 2011

Quickie Bathroom Makeover

A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I decided it was time to tackle the half bath that is connected to the office. We were tired of the sickly, yellowish coloring that the antique white walls were giving off. And since this is the bathroom that visitors tend to use the most, we wanted to freshen it up a bit without spending a lot of money (or time). We have loved the gray that we painted the living room, and we just so happened to have half a gallon left. So we got to work. This was no easy task considering the size of the bathroom. Just getting in there to take some photos proved to be difficult as well. But I did my best!

Here is how blah the bathroom looked before:

See, I told you it had a sickly yellowish glow. But not anymore:

Like I said, we used the same gray that we used in the living room. It’s called Versatile Gray, which I would say is very accurate. As you can see it calmed down the yellow a lot. That’s not photoshop, people! We also took down the mirror that was originally in there, and replaced it with this $10 estate sale find that we painted a turquoise blue for a pop of color. We plan to add some sort of embellishment to the mirror just to jazz it up a little more, but we haven’t decided on what just yet.

We hung a metal and glass shelf above the toilet that will evenutually hold candles, towels, books, etc. This has just been sitting in our attic waiting to be used. Alex had bought it for his apartment years ago, and we held onto it knowing that one day we might need something like it.

We still need to finish decorating the bathroom with final touches such as putting things on the shelves, buying new towels, and possibly hanging some artwork. But we think taking a few hours out of one weekend just to paint and make a few small changes has
made a world of difference. Eventually we will replace that old sink/vanity but that will come later, much later.

August 22, 2011

Gallery Wall Inspiration

There has been a lot of gallery wall talk in our house lately. We are gearing up to tackle the wall above the new bookcases. We want to fill it with a mixture of art and photos, but mostly old photos we’ve been gathering from our parents’ and grandparents’ albums.

I’ve put together a few images of gallery walls that I think are done really well. Hopefully ours turns out as nice as these.

And, just for fun, here’s one of the photos that I found at my parents’ house. I love this photo of my dad and me!


June 26, 2011

Shut the front door…we finally hung something

Most of this week was spent oohing and awing over the new living room wall color (I’ve told Alex a million times a day how much I love the new color). But we managed to stop admiring it long enough to finally hang something on the walls. Well, not quite on the walls, more like on the fireplace above the mantle. That still counts though, right?

I mentioned a couple weeks ago (read here) that we had finally purchased a mirror for the living room from World Market. And now, we finally hung it up. Yay! Go us!

Here’s a little before shot of the sad, empty space that we’ve been staring at for so long.

And here it is a little less naked.

Did you check out the awesome wall color? Alright, I’ll shut up about it. I guess I’m just too easy to please.

For the most part we are very pleased with the mirror. We weren’t quite expecting it to be covered in shiny gold thread, but we are getting use to it. At first, I thought we’d be sending it back for sure, but it’s starting to grow on me. Now, the thing that I want to change is the color of the brick. I’ve never been a fan of the color, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to paint over brick. Don’t get me wrong, I love the way painted brick looks, but will future potential buyers love it too? Not that we plan to sell our house anytime soon, but you never know.

What do you think, paint the brick or leave her be?

June 20, 2011

There’s paint on our walls

We did it! We finally found some time to paint the living room, thanks to grandparents taking one child away for the weekend. And although we had a couple of curve balls thrown our way (last minute hockey tournament for Alex, trip to emergency room for Oscar), we somehow managed to finish. And I must say, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s the before shot right after we moved in:

And here’s what the living room looked like with all new furniture, but before tearing down the built-ins:

And for good measure, here’s a shot of what the wall looked like after tearing down the built-ins:

Finally, here’s what the living room is looking like today:


The change doesn’t seem very drastic in these photos, but the room feels so much better now. Not only did we paint the walls a light gray color, we also applied a new coat to all of the trim. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room.

Before, we felt that the walls, trim and carpet were all a very similar color. The antique white caused the entire room to give off a sickly, yellow glow. We think the soft gray color on the walls adds the perfect amount of contrast without making the room feel too dark. And it’s a great neutral color that won’t scare off potential buyers should we decide to sell the house for any reason anytime soon.

Next step is to hang art/pictures on the wall and organize the bookshelves. And of course hang the mirror that I talked about here. It has been delivered, we just haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet.

I didn’t get a chance to shoot any “in progress” photos due to the fact that the hubs kept leaving me to paint all on my own. He got the chance to play in a hockey tournament, and I wasn’t about to complain about it seeing as he was going to spend his Father’s Day painting and all. So I did a lot of the room on my own, just saved the hard parts for him :)

Oh, and that trip to the emergency room that I mentioned above… Well, Oscar was being very silly Sunday morning, spinning around, making himself dizzy and falling to the ground. At one point, he stopped spinning and started to fall, so Alex tried to catch him. We aren’t quite sure what happened, but he wouldn’t stop screaming and wouldn’t move his arm. We decided a trip to the ER was the new plan for the day. Luckily, the x-rays were normal, no broken bones!

May 29, 2011

The built-ins are out!

Finally! We did it. The built-ins are gone. To refresh your memory on the awkwardness of these built-ins read this post.

First step in removing the built-ins was to gather a couple of quotes from carpet companies. We knew there would be no carpet in the space under the built-ins, so we wanted to see how much that would cost before moving forward with this project. It wasn’t too bad. So we chose a company and scheduled a day for them to come. Now that we had that set up, it was time to get to work. Out came the sledge hammer. Okay, maybe it was a little rubber mallet, but regardless, it did what we needed it to do.

Here are a couple of shots of Alex in action.

Unfortunately, Alex had to finish the last part of the removal on his own while I was at work. But he took this shot with his phone and sent it to me so I could see what it looked like.

Besides the actual demolition itself, the best part about removing these built-ins was getting a glimpse of what this room looked like in the 70s when it was built. Notice the dark wood paneling that is showing through on the unpainted parts of the wall and the brownish vinyl flooring that is apparently beneath the carpet throughout the entire room. I bet this room was groovy, baby.

The vinyl flooring didn’t stick around for long. The following afternoon, the carpet guy came out and covered it for us. He removed part of the carpet from another room (that we plan to eventually pull up anyway) and used it to patch up this spot. So this is what the room looks like currently.

The carpet that was pulled from the other room was under a couch so it’s very clean compared to the carpet in this location which is a high traffic area. But we were assured that after getting the carpets cleaned, the line will hardly be noticeable. Also, carpet repair guys do not mess with tile. Boo! He was not sure how to handle the crazy tile situation that was mentioned here. So instead, he cut the carpet extra long so that we could figure out later how we wanted to handle it. We think we’ll end up putting in a transition strip since we aren’t ready for new kitchen flooring. But who knows. In the mean time, I’m enjoying the more open doorway and can’t wait to get started on painting.

May 15, 2011

Our thumbs are turning green

On my very first post, I showed a picture of the front of the house right after we moved in. The yard had absolutely no curb appeal. There were just a handful of tiny plants in oversized and misshapen flowerbeds and a yard full of dying grass. It was pitiful.

We knew a lot of work needed to be done, so little by little we got out there and got to work. First, we reshaped the flowerbeds in front of the house. We liked the rocks that were used as the border, they just needed to be buried into the ground a little. When we were finally ready to do some planting, we had no clue where to begin. Luckily, my father-in-law loves gardening and has an extensive knowledge of plants. He and Alex headed off to the nursery and came home with a bunch of plants to get us started. That was last spring, and since then, we’ve been adding plants to fill in some areas or replace those that did not fare well over the extremely hot summer. You should hear us talk now. We actually know types of plants and point them out in other flowerbeds around the neighborhood. We feel so old.

We’ve also done some work on the big circular flowerbed around the trees in the front. We made the circle smaller and buried those rocks as well. The smaller circle looks much better, but it left us with a ring of dirt around the perimeter. Just this past month, we finally got around to laying sod down. We hope it starts spreading soon. We’ve also added St. Augustine plugs throughout the yard to fill in some of the bare areas.

Here is the BEFORE picture that was taken right after moving in.

And here is the AFTER picture (almost two years later).

As you can see, it’s looking so much better. Now we just have to wait it out while the St. Augustine spreads and the plants get bigger and fill in. I’m positive we will be adding new plants and moving old plants around until we get it just right. We’ve even been talking about adding another flowerbed to the front yard, along the sidewalk near the street. But in the mean time, we are pretty happy with the results and amazed at how much we have learned in the process.

May 2, 2011

Awkward Built-ins

So we got the new bookcases in the room and have even moved everything over that was on the built-ins by the fireplace. You know, those awkwardly placed built-ins that I’ve mentioned before here, here and here. I never actually explained why we are not exactly fans of those built-ins, so I took a few pictures to help you understand our disdain.

This picture was taken while standing in the kitchen looking into the living room. As you can see, there is an extra wide doorway here, but these built-ins are jutting past the frame and invading the openness. It annoys me that obviously they do not really fit into this space so why are they there? Especially when the living room itself is very long and somewhat of an awkward space to fill. Adding bookcases where we did makes so much more sense (at least to us).

And because these shelves were built into a space that wasn’t quite right, the depth of the shelves is awful. I placed my iphone on the shelf to show you just how shallow they are. Our poor art books have been hanging off the edges of these shelves just begging for a better home. Our new bookcases have very deep shelves and the art books have now been tucked away, safe and sound.

I’m very excited to demolish these built-ins. As soon as these things are gone, we will get paint on the walls and be so much closer to a completed room. However, we have to time our demo with the arrival of a carpet guy. Why, you ask?

Well, as you can see here, once we remove the built-ins there will be no carpet underneath. And with kiddos running around this house, we think it’s best to have that fixed immediately. We have the same carpet running throughout the house so we plan to take some from the formal living/dining area to lay down in this empty spot. We eventually want to put hardwood floors in the formal living/dining area, so removing some carpet from under the couch we have in that room won’t be a big deal… we hope!

Also, as you can see from the picture, we will need to cut into the tile a little to align the carpet edges properly. Why can’t things just be easy?

By the way, in case you were wondering, these built-ins are not originally part of the house. They were added later. Otherwise, I would be much more hesitant to knock them down.

April 17, 2011

The living room feels more cozy. The garage feels much bigger.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here. I haven’t managed to find time to update this blog, but somehow, I did manage to paint the bookcases. Remember these bookcases that have been sitting in the garage for months? Yep, finally got them painted, out of the garage and into the house. I painted them an antique white to match the trim and the built-in bookcase already in the room. I wanted them to feel like built-ins but it’s nice to know that we can take them with us if we ever decide to move. The living room feels so much better now. Still big, but a lot more cozy.

Here’s a before shot of the living room without the bookcases.

And here’s what it looks like now.


I know the change doesn’t seem very dramatic, but it definitely feels different when in the room. There is still a lot of work to be done, such as actually put books on them. Our next plan of attack is to knock down the awkwardly placed built-ins next to the fireplace. (We plan to leave the smaller built-ins not shown in the photos). Then we will paint and hang things on the wall. I’m really optimistic we will have it all done soon. We just have to stay focused…and caffeinated.