Monthly Archives: February 2012

February 29, 2012

Drywall… Check.

The house can officially be ridded of dust and debris. We’re moving onward with paint (yes!) and flooring πŸ™‚ Music to my ears.

(view from front door into kitchen)

I shot these pics over the weekend actually. Since then we’ve painted each and every single room. The walls and ceiling are pretty much all we could move forward with, paint wise. We purchased new replacement doors to go in throughout the home, meaning that we can’t install trim (let alone paint it) until the doors arrive. Bummer. Not to mention floors have to be installed first regardless… Meh, such a process.

(view from kitchen into dining/ hall leading to bedrooms)

It may not seem like such a huge step in the progress category, but drywall was extremely time consuming and we’re glad to finally be putting it behind us. Things should really start moving now. With painting wrapped up and the floors underway we’re getting pretty pumped up. Move-in day isn’t feeling quite as far away as it had felt a week ago. Plus, the finishing touches are coming up which are always a little more rewarding than the construction side of things. At least for us anyway.

(view of dining area and new header with family room behind)

We’re loving the way the drywall turned out. We had our concerns about meshing the existing plaster ceiling in the dining room with the newly installed drywall ceiling… Paint was the true test and I’m going to go ahead and give the seams an A+. Keep in mind we’re leaving the family room (seen in the background above) renovations for after move-in day.

Earlier this week I shared a mood board with our bathroom plans. Later I realized that I have yet to even share a decent shot of the bathroom. Duh. Pretty crappy lighting at any given time of the day, so I wouldn’t call this a quality shot but it’ll do…

This was taken before drywall was completed so bare with me peeps. The new bath tub was installed last week and since then we’ve moved on to paint and prepping for tile work! Can not wait to see how this room turns out. Why am I so excited about a bathroom again?

I’ll be heading over to the house today to grab some shots of the newly painted walls. Maybe even a few of the floors in progress! Should be sharing those asap πŸ™‚


February 27, 2012

Bathroom Mood Board

Well, these plansΒ are totally out the window… Ok, not entirely, but the whole “we’ll be moving onto flooring in the next couple of days,” is completely shot. Like any reno, things go wrong, plans change, and deadlines essentially mean na-da. Although we are still pushing for our original deadline πŸ™‚ Long story short, we’re drywalling ourselves which is dragging everything out a little longer than anticipated. Yea I know, I blabbed on and on about how we wouldn’t dare take the DIY route on drywall again, but we’re doing it. Not without the help of some seriously awesome friends though. Turns out, blending the old plaster with the new drywall in the dining room isn’t as terribly difficult as we thought, with some help.

So, basically this means that instead of starting on the floors last week, the hubs was drywalling away and we have hopes of wrapping up painting today! And floors bright and early tomorrow morning is the new plan of attack πŸ˜‰ Time will tell.

Now, onto more exciting and prettier things! While the boys have been working away I’ve been hunting down finishes for the entire house. And yikes… that’s a lot of crap. With the kitchen details mostly wrapped up it was time to move onto the next big room.. the main bathroom! Not only will this be the kiddos bathroom but it will also serve as the guest bath. Like most rooms we invest the big bucks in, we wanted this space to feel timeless. Here’s what we came up with!


1. Laboratory Glass PendantΒ – Loving the vintage and industrial kick to this pendant light. She’ll be hanging right over the vanity area (not too low to bump your head). We searched high and low before finally landing on this fixture. I was loving the clear glass and exposed look that has been popping up everywhere lately, just not too sold on the common globe shapes. I love that this shade is open at the bottom and sports more of a cylinder shape. Of course, this won’t be the only lighting in the space. We’ll have overhead can lights as well.

2. Ceramic Vessel SinkΒ – I’ve been obsessing over this sink every since I saw John and Sherry install it while back. We love the clean lines and cool rectangular shape. Plus it’s fairly small, leaving us plenty of options for the base cabinet. And $119 with 10% and free shipping at Hello, yes please.

3. Ordinal DresserΒ – Pieces like these make the world go ’round people. Well, at least my world… Now, before everyone has a mini heart attack, no, we will not be purchasing this chest from Anthropologie at nearly $1,000. We figure with our hectic, down to the last minute, completely overwhelming schedule, why not throw in another little DIY project. Ha, not. As much as we’d love to tackle this piece on our own, we’re turning over the reigns to my dad! If you can remember back, he built our beautiful dining table for us too (he’s a wood working superhero). We love this chests vintage and rustic look, with industrial-like numbering, and plan to build her from the ground up. He’ll be using these plans from Ana White as a base but will still be changing a good portion to fit our particular space. More on this piece soon!

4. Metal Wall MirrorΒ – Another nod to the industrial side of things. Clean lines, simple rectangular shape. This mirror comes in a brushed nickel finish, but we have plans for an oil-rubbed bronze or a dark gray finish in it’s future.

5. Ben Moore’s Hale NavyΒ – I’m dying to get this color on the walls. It’s not shown on the mood board, but the lower portion of the bathroom walls will be covered with bright white horizontal planked wainscoting. Should turn out something like this. We’re totally pumped about using such a dramatic color up top. With the lower half still light and cheery, some white accents, and shiny fixtures we’re hoping the bathroom doesn’t feel too dark.

6. Glossy White Subway TileΒ – We’ll be installing subway tile to the ceiling for the bath surround. Again with keeping the space bright and classic in design.

7. White Ceramic Octagon Dot Mosaic TileΒ – We toyed with the idea of continuing the hardwood floorsΒ into the bathroom space, but ultimately decided against it. We love a seamless look but the idea of possibly ruining the floors during guaranteed future crazy bath times just wasn’t worth the risk. Tile it is. This hex tile adds interest but is still subtle enough to blend with the subway tile and the white plank walls. If it sounds like I’m not obsessed with it, you’ve been fooled πŸ™‚

8. Stripe Hand TowelΒ – Small, yet important touches. No room should go without a good stripe. Has that been coined?

9. Wire HamperΒ – Vintage, industrial, bright white, and chrome. Sign me up.

10. Gray and Yellow Diamond Shower CurtainΒ – We’re not completely sold on this specific pattern just yet, but the colors are a go. We’re loving how the light gray and yellow will pop against the rich navy blue. Yum.

Now… If I could just decide on a faucet already.

Updated pics of the house progress next πŸ™‚


February 16, 2012

Bring ‘Em Down

It has begun. Well, technically, it began almost a week ago if we’re talking demo. However, now that the house is nearly back to it’s bones, with the exception of the actual walls and floors, we have officially started the “rebuilding phase”. It isn’t pretty. That’s a lie. Personally, I think it’s at least ten times better than what we started with. But to the average person.. the place is a full-on disaster zone.

Exhibit A: View from the front door. Eeek.

If you can’t remember back, here’s what we started with.

We started by ripping out the walls separating the kitchen from both the living and dining areas. We’re all about the open living concept, and if you can’t feel the difference from the pictures alone, take my word. The space is feeling twice as big! Plus we love the idea of working in the kitchen while still having the option to do things like interact with people in other rooms and watch the kiddos play.

We were able to save the cove ceilings in the living room and hallway but there was no way around removing them in the dining room. Boo. The kitchen never had them to begin with and after removing the wall and header between the two spaces there was no easy way to mesh the two looks. We are planning on adding some pretty beefy crown to the two spaces though, which should help the entire house feel like less of an after thought. We’ll see.

Please try and ignore the spiderweb of wires going on. The electric work is nearly complete, just not looking so pretty without fixtures and covers yet.

We’re keeping the original header that runs the length of the house and divides the kitchen/dining area from the front living room. Not that we have much choice, it holds the house up. Also the reason for the column seen above. On the positive side, we were lucky enough to be able to get by with only one column, not the original two we had anticipated.

It’s already a little difficult to remember back to the ugly kitchen that once was.


Not exactly pretty just yet but…


I think this space is self-explanatory. We kept… nothing πŸ™‚

The last major change we worked on before putting all the pieces back together was the dining room. There was an existing opening between it and the family room at the back of the house. But due to our overly large dining table and future built-ins, she just wasn’t wide enough. The table would have jutted out into the kitchen space and blocked the majority of the pass through from the front of the house to the back. Maybe a little confusing, but things will start making sense in the next couple weeks!


Since this wall was the original brick exterior of the home (before the addition) we had to add a support beam running the length of the new opening.


As for demo in the family room and master bedroom, we’re planning to hold off until the rest of the home is complete. Long story short, there isn’t enough time before baby #2 arrives to renovate the entire house. Sure it would save a lot of headaches if we could just go ahead with it all at once, but half a house entirely complete is better than a whole house 50% complete. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

So where do we go from here? Well, the hubs and our awesome crew of family and friends have been working their rears off the past few days. The hanging of the drywall (which we’re doing ourselves) should be wrapped up in the next day. But since the walls here are plaster, and we added drywall to replace the cove ceilings, we’re not looking to mess anything up. We’ll be having a friend who specializes in drywall to mud and sand for us. We learned with our last home (which we DIYed most of the drywall in), that it’s just one of those things that really pays to have done right.

From there we move on to flooring!

February 12, 2012

Quick House Walk-through

We’re officially home owners again! Whoop whoop. We closed quickly on Friday with absolutely no complications (huge surprise!). And then, of course, got right over to the house to get our hands dirty πŸ™‚

Not before some before shots though! Here’s a quick walk-through..

Shot from the street, a little better quality than the previous pic I posted about here. Like I’ve mentioned before, we’re totally in love with the exterior of this home. Not to say that we won’t be changing it up quite a bit, but the bones are great. Hello big, beautiful trees. When spring time rolls around we’ll dig more into the exterior plans.

Before we move inside, a few pics of the backyard. This is taken from the left side of the house looking towards the back of the property.

Yes, we definitely have a few water issues to address here but nothing that can’t be fixed. Again, awesome tree lined property. Hoping to put up a nice privacy fence in the near future and some landscaping. The lot is just over a half of an acre, so plenty of room for the kiddos.

Taken from the same spot, just looking more towards the house.

Can’t wait to try out of patio furniture once the weather allows. The sliding glass doors seen lead into the family room and, although it’s difficult to see, there’s also a door in the brick portion leading to the laundry room. We’ll get to that.

Alright, lets move it inside.

Obviously, front door. Technically, there isn’t a foyer so this leads directly into the living room. The hardwood is actually in fairly good shape in this room and we love the cove ceilings. Character galore once we get some contrasting paint on these walls and paint the cove in a bright white. We’re really digging more of a craftsman style (despite the fact that we purchased a ranch), so we’re planning on switching out a few things like the front door to demonstrate that.

This next view is from the large window shown above. That’d be the dining room straight ahead and the family room through the following opening. The kitchen is hiding just beyond the large wall to the left. We’re planning on a built-in storage slash bench seating on the wall farthest to the right in the dining space.

This next shot was taken in the space between the living room and the dining room. We’re looking down the hallway that leads to the three original bedrooms and bath. No pics of the bedrooms just yet. The only major thing that will be changing anytime soon is the flooring, possibly paint, and some trim. I think you guys can get the picture.

I’m totally bummed that I forgot to take a before pic of the bathroom, but I do have one from the listing. Try to get past the quality.

So, pretty terrifying. We’re totally gutting this room. New everything from top to bottom.

Back to the dining room, looking into the not-so-glorious kitchen. Cabinets, gone. Appliances, gone. Counters, gone. Walls, gone. As of.. well, now. This space has already made a huge transformation (more on that in the next few days).

Moving on to the laundry room, which you can catch a glimpse of through the kitchen above.

Here you can see the door I mentioned earlier, that leads to the backyard. We have big plans for this laundry/ mudroom.

Another laundry pic with a sliver of the door leading to the garage on the left. This is the space that we’re hoping to give more of a mudroom feel. We’re thinking some awesome built-ins will help it function more as a drop-off area.

Now, jumping back over to the family room in the back of the house. This is taken from the doorway in the dining room. We’re pretty much unattached to every single aspect of this space. Except maybe those vertical blinds (wink, wink). The future master bedroom is directly through those bi-fold doors, which has absolutely nothing master about it currently.

With the addition that I spoke of, we’re really hoping to expand the space and give it more of a luxurious feel. And that goes for the family room as well, which should nearly double in size.

Here’s a look at the sliding glass doors that lead to the backyard along with more lovely wood paneling, vertical blinds, and nasty carpet πŸ™‚

So, we have our work cut out for us, no denying that. But we’re suuuper excited to get this party started. As a matter of fact, the majority of the house that you’ve just seen looks completely different already. We’re hoping to knock out the remainder of the demo today and move on to electric and plumbing. The plumbing work isn’t too extensive, and the hubs is an electrician by trade, so he’ll be “DIYing” all of it. Should be ready to start putting her back together once we complete that πŸ™‚ More process pics soon!

February 9, 2012

The Deets

We shared a few of our favorite inspiration kitchens earlier this week, so it’s about time to move on to what our actual plans are. When designing our kitchen we tried to keep in mind that it would be a space that’s going to be around for a while. Sure, we can switch out things like accessories, lighting, hardware, etc., but for the most part the majority of the finishes will be around for the long haul. I’d like to think that our design taste leans towards more classic pieces anyway, but we really tried to tailor our selections to things that wouldn’t be completely dated in the years to come. I’m also pretty crazy about switching up color schemes on a more than regular basis, so the big ticket items are primarily neutral. This way when we decide that green just isn’t our thing anymore, we won’t have to drop any serious cash to replace things like say, the countertops. Not that I would go with green counters anyways. You get the gist. Moving on.

Cabinets. We renovated the kitchen in our last home and purchased all of the cabinets from Home Depot. We were pretty new into the whole remodeling thing, and although they held up extremely well and we were nothing but satisfied with them, the price just isn’t in our budget this go-round. We shopped around somewhat but quickly found no comparison to Ikea’s prices. We’ve seen several Ikea remodels and love how you can transform their out of box cabinets into a look that’s more custom with just a little work. Plus, their online kitchen design tool is totally fun and easy to play around with. Oh, and did I mention all the interior fittings? I’ve easily lost hours in my day getting caught up in all the options.

We’re going with their Adel style door fronts in off-white. We love the simple and classic design and the color should keep things bright and open. They also offer the same style in a glass front, which we’ll be using on either side of the range hood. Before I go any further, we’ll just go ahead and share the overall picture. Things should be a little more clear with this.

Try to ignore the missing countertops and the randomly elevated dishwasher to the left of the sink. Minor details πŸ˜‰ So, nothing too crazy but a basic floor plan should help things come together a little better. You can see from the pic that we’re going with Ikea’s Lansa door handles, or something similar in design. We’ve also been dying to get our hands on a farmhouse sink and we were completely sold when we saw their Domsjo version at only $185. Yea, duh. We’re going with the smaller of the two options, a single bowl design. We had a double bowl at our last home and it was really more of a pain than convenience. Over it.

We’re also super pumped about the appliances. I never dreamed we’d be purchasing appliances from Ikea, on account of the terrible reviews years ago, but it seems that they’ve had a huge turn around. People seem to be extremely satisfied with their performance nowadays and their sleek designs are to die for. We’ve caught wind of another upcoming kitchen sale as well. Yea, we know people. Ok, it was the nice employee lady working the kitchen department. But we’re hoping for another 20% off all kitchen purchases to really save on some buckaroos. Especially since we’ll be doing a slight splurge on these πŸ™‚

Ok, you have no idea what that is. Soapstone countertops. Beautiful soapstone, you make my life complete. We were all about something that would contrast well with the bright white cabinetry but not so keen on the granite and corian and what not popping up everywhere. We love that it has more of a matte and talc-y look and feel compared to all the shine out there. From what we’ve read and heard the maintenance should be fairly easy compared to other counter options and it’s supposed to hold up extremely well. Since it’s non-pourus we won’t have to deal with any stains, plus it’s totally heat resistant and any scratches or dents can be sanded out. Looove.

But you know we can’t live without a little glitz. Cue the shine πŸ™‚

Glossy white subway backsplash tile. Yum. Sooo it’s pretty much in every kitchen on the face of the earth this year. Big whoop. We love it. It’s classic, it’s simple, and despite it’s recent trending I don’t see these bad boys going anywhere fast. Now here’s to finding a white finish that doesn’t make our “off-white” cabinets look grimy and dirty. Meh.

Lets talk faucet. Honestly people, what is a farmhouse sink without an awesome gooseneck faucet to complete the look? Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t live without it. We’re loving this one in a sparkling chrome finish. Love the convenience of the pull-down sprayer. I’d like for it to have a slightly taller faucet height, so we’re still shopping around for possible better options.

Now, since I’ve completely lost track of any order within this post, lets jump back to countertops and talk island. We were pretty set on going with the soapstone throughout the entire kitchen until I stumbled on this pic, a fav that I wrote about here. This is about the time that I realized most of my favorite kitchens had butcher block islands. Like this one.

And this one.

And here.


Obsessed much?

Yea, so that last one isn’t exactly butcher block. You get the point. Wood please. Maybe it’s the warmth that it instantly brings to the room, I don’t know. But we’re sold. Now, the last few things are less major but in my opinion just as important. Lighting and bar stools. Yes, onward with the random-ness.

Industrial inspired pendant lighting. Not totally set on a specific fixture just yet, but something to top the island with a oil-rubbed bronze finish, possibly a glass shade, or some sort of zinc finish. We’re really looking to have some fun in this department and find something that will play up the bar stools. We’re leaning towards these!

Not completely game on the galvanized finish since something a little more colorful might be just what this kitchen needs. That’s a little down the road though.

Basically, we’ve narrowed everything down to exactly what we want or have a pretty strict idea of the style. Which is pretty good considering we learned in past few days that we’ve successfully had our closing date bumped up. To when? Oh you know, tomorrow morning πŸ™‚ No bigs. Should be cranking out some awesomely hideous before shots early next week! Stay tuned!