Archive | July, 2013

living room overhaul

23 Jul

The past week I have been very lucky to have both parents in town.  When my dad first arrived and saw my house he said, “what’s the one room we can finish for you while I’m here?”  At first we wanted to do a complete overhaul of our guest room but after some convincing we decided that room really wasn’t a priority… but the living room was!

So Wednesday morning he was up early prepping our living room for a bright, glossy white trim.  We have VERY old windows so this room especially was a big and daunting task.  At some point, we want to paint all of the trim because its a pretty nasty shade of cream right now and that really doesn’t fit our style.  In my last post we had done some work to the living room by adding white blinds.


You can see in this before photo all of the lovely elements of the living room.  Dirty, dirty carpet.  Ugly brick fireplace complimented by ugly brown tile.  Off white/cream trim.  Two DIFFERENT shades of grey paint on the walls (fireplace is darker).  Then you can sort of see our old windows (12 panels per window) and there are 4 windows in there.  It’s a big job.

In May we painted the walls Dover White.  In June we had the carpets cleaned in anticipation of the new sofa.  Then last weekend we added the wood blinds and furniture was delivered.   So to complete the makeover we needed to:

  1. Paint all of the trim
  2. Overhaul the fireplace
  3. Finally hang some of our piles of art

Wednesday my dad started painting the trim.  He painted trim through the week.  By Friday my dad had the fireplace all painted so all that was left to overhaul the fireplace was to do something about the hideous tile.  So we came up with a few options.  We could paint the tile with appropriate paint or we could buy some new tile.  Once Britton and I got to Home Depot we decided to look at the peel and stick options.  Low and behold… we found the perfect tile.  Perfect shades of yellow and tan to complement the colors already in the living room.  And it was thick sturdy peel and stick so it wouldn’t look cheesy.


Ta daaaaa  We found the fireplace screen at Pier One and it fits perfectly in the space!  We still need to figure something out with all those cords but for now its perfect!

Monday dad got back to painting and finished all the trim!  Ceiling, baseboards, windows, built in shelf, door frames.  All of it is done.  The room is absolutely beautiful.  We hung the rest of our art in the room and put together a new hanging light and all is well in our living room.



We could not have done this without my parents.  I am so grateful for their work the past week!

small projects

16 Jul

Now that we have our house painted (FINALLY!) I’ve been wanting to get some things done inside the house to make it feel more homey.  I promised Britton only small projects until September so these are just some little things.  There was one perk last weekend that we didn’t even have to physically do to make the house more homey.  Our couches were delivered!!  Only 1 month late!  We were also supposed to receive a new chair for the living room but that was damaged in transit so I’m sure we’ll be waiting another 2 months for that baby…

blue couch

Basement Sectional

yellow couch

Living Room

Last Sunday we came home from 9 holes of golf and Britton and Greg fixed our pocket door!  So, this pocket door, it’s been broken since we moved in.  Apparently the family of 5 before didn’t care that there was no barrier between the ONLY bathroom in the house and their master bedroom… I don’t know how you live like that.  We’ve felt so bad for our guests when they’ve come to visit because the only privacy came from a curtain.  In order to get that fixed we did have to punch a hole in the wall to get to the mechanisms that the pocket door sit on but I decided it was a small price to pay for privacy.  My parents are coming today and that was high on my priority list for that to be fixed.

pocket door

After the pocket door Britton said, ok, I’m done with house projects.  So I said, “well just help me see if these faux wood blinds will fit in the window and then you can relax.  I’ll put them up, you just help me see if they will work.”  In the process of checking out how to make the blinds fit into the big front window I think Britton got excited.  We had purchased two different sizes to try in two different windows just to see how they fit.  Didn’t want to buy all that we wanted until we knew if we liked them. Within half an hour we had both blinds up thanks to Britton’s help!

photo 5

I searched for wood blinds for weeks before I came across these that are in stock at Home Depot in every possible size and they range in price from $25 to $35 a piece!  How can we beat that!  And we LOVE them! So this past weekend we bought the rest for our living room and the master bedroom and installed them all on Sunday!

home depot blinds

Last week I came across a post from Young House Love where they did some work on their old wood floors with a product called Rejuvenate.  Britton and I love having wood floors but ours are very dingy so I thought we should give rejuvenate a try!  For less than $20 a bottle we really couldn’t go wrong!  You can see the difference between the hallway and the bedroom!  Its awesome!

photo 2

After the floors we tore out the chair rail in our dining room and found a few lovely surprises.  We hated the chair rail though so it needed to come down.  photo 3

I instagramed these pictures titling it the good, the bad and the ugly.  On all of the new construction in the kitchen, the chair rail came off super easy!  Other parts, around the corners of things it ripped some holes in the top layer of the wall.  At some point, the chair rail was put up directly on top of some wallpaper.  Its pretty awesome.  We have some more work to do to get that space prepped for paint but at least this step is done.


9 Jul

I have been on hiatus. Wanting to post about our house projects but its been a LONG month.  For our FHA loan we were required to do some chipping and painting on our new house. You remember our house?



The project seemed small enough so we started it the week of memorial day when my good friend Andrew was up to help.  That weekend my sister joined him and we had a full house!  Soon into the prep portion of this house painting excursion we realized we were in BIG trouble.  The base layer of paint (yellow) we realized was an oil based paint and the top few layers were latex.  Do you know what that means?  It means BIG TROUBLE!  The only way to peel the chips from the house was to completely strip down ALL layers of paint.  The previous owners never primed or prepped the house before they painted (apparently every other year due to constant chipping… duh…) so as we started to chip paint, layers would simply peel off in sheets.  So for the next 3 weeks Britton and Greg prepped the house.  It was pain staking work.  They spent days working on the prep of this paint job.  We got a quote to paint for $1000 for escrow purposes and let me tell you, we are far beyond that quote.

house chipped

This is what they did and this is only a small piece of the puzzle.  Half way up one side of the house and the entire house looked like this before the painting began.

Because the prepping took so much time we ended up having to hire someone to do the actual painting.  Luckily Britton’s good friend is a painter during the summer as he is a teacher during the school year.  He gave us a good quote and so we hired him and his team of friends to prime and paint the house.  They also did a little prep on the areas that we just couldn’t get to before Britton began traveling again.  When I saw primer starting to go up it was a huge relief.  This process was a nightmare (and we’ve learned a lot about what to look for in our next home purchase.)

stages of painting

At about this step, I was having a nervous breakdown.  Painting your house is not cheap and, we just sunk a ton of money into actually buying it so thankfully, Britton decided to leave me out of the $ discussions so I could try to ignore it.  There’s no point in worrying, it has to be done so I’m still trying not to worry.  And now, I can physically see, it was all worth it.


I mean, its a TOTALLY different house!  Am I right?!  We still have to get the shutters up, they will be barn door red, but it wasn’t a requirement so we haven’t worried about it yet.

Now that the outside is done-ish we decided to take a break on all major home improvement.  We are doing little things here and there but none of our big projects that we really wanted to get done this summer.  We both need a break (especially Britton since he did the most work.)  But for now, we are content and so happy this project is finally over!