Archive for the 'Home Improvement' Category

Home Improvement: Master Bathroom Updates

Before Miles was born, I confess, I used a step-ladder.  It was only three steps high, and I was only 20ish weeks pregnant, but I used it none the less.  Miles turned out fine and I didn’t fall, I was super careful in our super tiny master bath.

Our Master bath, as I think I’ve mentioned before, is crazy small, so small that when we first looked at the house my initial reaction was, “Where’s the shower? There’s no bath tub or shower in the Master bath?!” and then I peeked behind the door to see that the door to the bathroom, when open, hides the shower from view…but it’s that small!

So its taken some time, but I’m almost done finishing up what I started in there before Miles was born.  The crown molding needed the nail holes filled and painted, as did the quarter round.  I wanted a new shower curtain and I couldn’t stand the ugly poly-oak vanity (topped with an equally despised white laminate countertop…ugh…).

Here’s a before to refresh your memory:

Master Bath Before 1

Master Bath Before 2

Stripping the wallpaper!!! Took FOREVER.  We tried DIF, the wallpaper claw, newspaper…finally…a little hand steamer did the trick.

Wallpaper goes bye bye....

After hours of patching, sanding, priming, scraping….and all of those fun DIY things….we finally had a half new bath.  Here’s what we did:

1.) Laid new peel and stick tile.

2.) Installed quarter round

3.) Removed wallpaper

4.) Removed popcorn ceiling

5.) Installed Crown Moulding

6.) Painted walls and trim

7.) Painted vanity

8.) Switched to an Ikea circular Mirror to add new dimension to a boxy room

9.) New Shower Curtain

So here are some shots of the bathroom today:

Crown Moulding

New crown moulding installed and a nice smooth ceiling.

Towel Hooks & Little Ledge Shelf

Love these yard sale finds that add so much personality to the space!

Drop Cloth Shower Curtain

While we considered adding a curtain that popped with color, due to the fact this curtain typically gets hidden by the door, I rather liked how much it blends with the wall color and I’m hoping to use some accessories (to come in the next few weeks) to add pop and personality to the space.

Here’s the bottom of the curtain (tutorial to come!):

Bottom of Shower Curtain

And finally, a look at the vanity with the new hardware and a new coat of paint (which needs a little touch up at the bottom after a bad tape job (oops).

Master Bath Vanity

A deep Espresso Brown – love the added color it brings and can I say that I don’t miss the porcelain knobs one bit!!!

Now I just need to add some finishing touches and I’ll be ready to show you my final results!  But I can’t believe what these simple changes have done to make this such a different space.


Home Improvement: Off with the Ceiling

Three weeks before my little man Miles made his entrance into the world, his daddy and I got the crazy idea to strip the popcorn ceilings in the living room (which has been falling off for three years!), kitchen, dining room and hallways.  Perhaps not the best project to undertake when you are practically popping at 9 months pregnant…oh well.  SO worth it.  We had put off painting the house because we knew we’d have to take the ceilings down one day, and we knew it would be a mess, so we decided the walls would wait until the ceiling was done.  So you can imagine my bliss when I finally was able to paint those drab walls and make them shine with color. Oh. Happy. Day.  🙂

Here’s some befores:

Before: Ceiling

Before: Taking it down

Our work table as we worked on our massive project.

Plastic Sheeting in Living Room

Almost Done

After: Dining Room

After: Dining Room #2

Peyton Enjoying his sunspot in the the newly painted living room!

so pretty

We’re in love with the results! SO glad we did it!

New Years Resolutions and Project Goals

This past month, while I intended to post frequently during my Maternity Leave, turned out to be quite the uh, lets say “adventure”?  I had my sweet baby boy on November 20th, a dream labor, delivery, everything.  A week later I was back at the hospital hemorrhaging – after that scary stint I was for sure I was done with the whole hospital stay…only to land BACK at the hospital again at the end of December because my appendix called it quits.  So, I’ve been busy recovering, rather constantly, for the past few weeks…but since I am still not allowed to lift over 10 lbs and am supposed to find time to rest frequently, I decided to take a few minutes to finally post something to my dear little neglected blog.

I know everyone is posting about their New Year Resolutions – so I figured I’d share some of mine:

1.) “Bite” My Nail Biting Habit – I have a little boy who will be looking up to me as an example, and this disgusting habit, and embarassing one I might add, is not one I would relish sharing with Miles. So this is a top priority.

2.) Blog at least once a week.  I really would like to post more, but I need to start small and I know I can handle 52 blog posts a year – lets hope that being a new mommy, working part-time, and trying to jump start my etsy shop won’t hinder this too much.

3.) Make my relationship with the Lord the priority it should be.  Since graduating from college I’ve let my relationship with the Lord take the back burner, and clearly this just doesn’t work well, and Matt and I both are going to read through the Bible entirely this year so here’s to a little extra accountability.

4.) Organize and Clean out each room and closet so that it is maintainable.  Hopefully I will post room/closet by room/closet, and show how I’m doing it, and this time next year we can discuss its success or failure?

5.)  Landscape the yard, put in a brick path from the sidwalk to the back yard, add some flower beds around the trees and add a permanent perimeter around the current beds so they are easier to maintain aesthetically.

6.) Build a window seat with storage for the living room window and for the office window, perhaps for Miles room too.

7.) Build two leaning ladder bookcases

8.) Use our receipt system and budget

9.) Make/DIY artwork for above the couches and above the sideboard

10.) Take pictures of Miles every month

11.) Lose 15-20 lbs (depends on how much I weigh now, which I’m too reluctant to find out yet, but I’m pretty sure they will make me at my 6 week OB appointment this week – UGH)

12.) Run at least a half marathon – not sure if I can train for a Marathon this year, maybe next year.


Be nice….but don’t have to do:

13.) Build office furniture so Matt and I can both work in the office at the same time

14.) Build  a new bed and fix bedroom armoire

15.) Paint the kitchen cupboards

16.) Install new countertop

17.) Paint and/or replace the fridge

18.) Start a blog about how to “buy” nice presents for next to nothing….any interest and I might try?


I think that’s good for now 😉

Here’s to a new year with lots of “little” projects!

Home Improvement: Nursery Decor….

So you’ve seen what it looked like before, well, you saw one photo of a very uninteresting wall, and were fortunately spared of ever seeing the “eclectic” – think that is the nicest term to use- office space it once was.  Now its turning into adorable – at least this almost mama thinks so.

Here’s some artwork I made to go over the changing table, and the matching red baskets I found to create some extra storage:

Some "Vintage" pictures I painted for above the changing table. Love it.

You like?  I’m in love with how its coming together.

More Pics of the Dining Room Table (& Chairs!)

Here are a few more shots of the dining room table and the chairs.  I’m estatic with how it turned out – LOVE it!  It got broken in today with some family guests too!

Full shot...

Closer up....

Again a big thank you to Ana at Knock Off Wood!

Knock Off Wood

Dining Room Table

I’m a huge fan of….one of my favorite sites to visit.  Last week I went to Home Depot and bought lumber to build my second piece.  This is by far in the running for my favorite piece of furniture – my armoire might win out just because I found it on the side of the road and I was able to make it look brand spanking new…but I love my new dining room table.  I should have posted in progress pics…but due to some mega pregnancy exhaustion…I was well, too lazy to take pictures.  Here’s my new baby:

My NEW Dining Room Table

And here are pics of the chairs we got on Craigslist for, oh, $60…they came with a table, but we asked them to just donate it to Miracle Hill.

Giving the Chairs a coat of Heirloom White

I’ll have some final before and after’s to show you once my house gets cleaned up….if only I had a battery pack of energy!  Hopefully the fact that Matt’s Aunt and Uncle are coming for lunch tomorrow, will serve as motivation…here’s hoping:)

Home Improvement: Guest Bathroom Complete (for now at least)

So I’ve been secretly working on our guest bath.  I’ve wanted to do some things in there, and had never gotten around to it until recently.  The “renovation” was low cost and fairly easy, just a little time consuming.  When we get the money one day, I’d like to replace the toilet and build a new vanity.

First I replaced the linoleum…by that I mean I covered its nasty self.  I couldn’t stand how it looked, especially after Matt and I made the mistake of NOT covering the floor when we originally painted the bath over a year ago…so there was a fine mist of blue paint ALL over.  Rookie mistake #1-oops…  I went with peel and stick.  The reasoning was the reality that we had to keep in mind how much we spend in the house considering the neighborhood and how much we will get back.  Also…if we do tile I would want it to be when we take out the vanity and the toilet so I can do a thorough job.  Anyways…so I went with Peel and Stick, and consider it the EASIEST home-improvement project I have ever done.  It took about half a day and then voila, I was done.  I have to say that even if you don’t match the tiles up perfectly, you can remedy that to some degree, there were one or two tiles that weren’t 100% perfect, but I used caulk to fill in the hairline gaps and no one could tell the difference.  Considering I spent $25 on the project, I was thrilled with the results (even though the tile was a little bit more teal then I had expected it to look.

Secondly, since I had removed all of the quarter round to put the peel and stick down, I put new quarter round in, and it looks SO much better than it did before.  I guess 14 years of wear and tear will take it out of the quarter round…and this definitely freshened it up.

Third, I installed what I’m calling “faux” wainscoting.  I used 2″ by 1/4″ by 3.5′ pieces of wood to create the appearance of a raised panel, and then painted the entire space in the trim color to make it look like it was more expensive paneling.  However, now my laminate countertop looks blue?  So weird, but the warm undertones in the “paneling” is bringing out the blue in the countertop.  Se la vie…if we live here long enough that too will get changed.

Finally, I gave all of the trim a fresh coat of paint so that it matched the fresh new wainscoting.

Here are  some befores and afters!

Before straight on.

Bathroom One side (ignore duct tape that was holding the wood as my fallen wheel was drying....)

Another Side Shot

Don't you love that wallpaper???? yucko

Sink area...gosh, I was so excited to take pictures I forgot to remove the sponge....sigh

One final after (see the tile in this one!)

I love my nautical bathroom 🙂

Although far from perfect, this is one of the most finished rooms in the house, next only to the guest bedroom.  We had fun with this project though.  At least I did.  Eventually we will change the toilet, vanity and the light fixture out.  I have a light fixture that I might use (free from mom and dad)…but I’m having trouble getting the spray paint to stick properly (yes, I used primer, and yes I sanded….it keeps bubbling though…ugh.)  If I figure that one out or if I find a great deal on one at the Habitat Home Store…I’ll be quick to post about that.  Anyways…that’s my project, hope you enjoyed!  Have you done a renovation recently?  I’d love to see before and afters…their my favorite! 🙂

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch (head on over there for some GREAT before and afters!)

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