Monday, January 28, 2013

How Things are Coming Along part II

Welcome to part two of this fun fest.  For those of you just tuning in, I'm walking you through our house room by room, showing you what we've accomplished, and telling you what we have yet to do.  (This post shouldn't turn out to be quite as long as the first one.) We'll pick up where we left off - in the hallway.


I don't have a "before" picture of the hallway.  Obviously the most dramatic change has been paint.  After you walk through the front door and past the dining room, this hallway turns in an "L" shape to the left to lead you to all of the bedrooms.  The whole "L"-shaped hallway was the green color visible in the before picture labeled "entryway" in part I of this post.  We are about 35% done here but the total to do list isn't very long so it really shouldn't be too difficult to finish up.

Completed tasks:

Still on the list:
  • paint trim white
  • paint interior doors
  • add some DIY fabric covered shades to the overhead lights (kind of like this)
  • hang some art! (I'm working on this and have already DIYed a few pieces - post to come in the next couple of weeks)
  • figure out a way to make the doorbell more aesthetically appealing (anybody have any ideas?)

First Guest Bedroom

I'm really loving the way this room is shaping up.  Our guests seem to like it too even though it's not done yet.  Something about the simple white airy drapes and bedding make me happy.  This room is probably 75% finished.

We have:
  • painted the walls (Valspar's Gravity)
  • purchased a bed frame, box spring, and mattress
  • purchased new bedding
  • purchased a white garden stool from TJMaxx (for only $40!) to use as an accent table
  • purchased and reupholstered a thrifted chair to serve as seating or a spot to place a suitcase/duffel bag (blog post coming soon)
  • dressed the windows with Ikea curtains (these are the Vivian panels which are only $9.99 per set of two!)
  • semi-styled the bookcase
  • hung two metal shelves and threw some tchotchkes and art on them (for now)
  • replaced the plugs, switches, and their covers
  • purchased two side tables to use as nightstands (read about the great deal I got here)
  • purchased new lamps for the side tables (found on sale at Target)
  • hung a round wood framed mirror that we already owned (it used to hang in our dining room at the old house)
  • purchased a new rug (check out Rugs USA for some great deals!)

Still to do:
  • paint the trim white
  • finish styling the bookcase
  • finish styling the metal shelves
  • add some art/wall decor over the seating area
  • replace the overhead light (possibly with our current living room chandelier)

Second Guest Bedroom

This room has mostly been a dumping ground for "extra" furniture.  So far, we haven't needed it to function as a guest bedroom since we haven't had that many visitors.  I am definitely happy with our choice to use the dining room as our office and the formal living room as our dining room though, leaving us with three total bedrooms (at our house in IL, we used one of the three bedrooms as an office).  I'm sure there will be a time when my parents and my brother and his wife come visit us at the same time, and I am happy that I will be able to give them all a bed to sleep in.  Additionally, if we decide to have a child one day, one of these rooms will become a nursery, and then we're down to only one guest room.  I would estimate that we are 20% done in here.

We have:
  • set up the bed
  • purchased a few new throw pillows
  • purchased a large area rug (at 75% off from Rugs USA!!!)
  • recovered a thrifted chair (same as for the other guest bedroom - blog post coming soon)
  • replaced the plugs, switches, and their covers
  • set up the litterboxes in the closet and created "walls" to keep Amos out of there (thanks Dad and Seth!)

We still want to:
  • paint the walls (I'm thinking Sesame - the same as the office)
  • paint the trim white
  • consider painting the nightstands and dresser (not sure I'm liking the black)
  • replace the lamps (these are destined for the living room if I ever find end tables)
  • hang drapes and blinds
  • decorate!

Guest Bathroom

I debated whether I should even call the second set of pictures "progress".  Obviously, we have barely touched this room.  We replaced the exhaust fan (the motor started making some crazy noises a few months after we moved in) and sanded off the bottom of the door because it was dragging the ground.  Other than that, I hung the shower curtain and put out some accessories.  I do think the white helps tone down the peachy pink a bit.  I would say we're 5% done (let's be optimistic).  I would LOVE to fully gut this thing one day and create something like this.  Did I mention that I love subway tile?  Anyone with construction experience is welcome to come and help us.  We pay in food.

To do:
  • gut bathroom

Master Bedroom

We've accomplished quite a bit in our master bedroom.  I'd say we are 85% done.

Completed tasks:
  • painted a moody (dare I say sexy?) dark blue accent wall (Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy)
  • painted the rest of the walls white (Valspar's Anthem White)
  • hung bamboo blinds and curtains
  • hung some wall sconces for our bedside lighting
  • replaced the overhead light with a fan (I guess it didn't make it into the pics - sorry)
  • purchased a storage bench for our decorative pillows to live in while we're sleeping
  • mounted our headboard on the wall (my Mom and I made it last year)
  • purchased some new bedding and a new throw pillow for the bed
  • purchased a new upholstered chair from Ikea
  • purchased a full length floor mirror from Ikea
  • created a jewelry display wall
  • changed up a couple of jewelry boxes I found at Marshall's

Still on our list:
  • paint the trim and doors (white?)
  • art for either side of the window with the plants beneath it (I have a project in mind)
  • art for above Seth's dresser

Master Bathroom

All we've done in this bathroom so far is paint it white and change the plugs, switches, and their covers.

We plan to:
  • repaint the vanity (probably white; it's a light cream now)
  • change out the vanity knobs
  • spice up the plain white walls (I have a plan)
  • paint the trim and door
  • install shelves above the toilet
  • install a dual flush toilet
  • add art/wall decor
  • eventually consider a larger reno which would include getting rid of the pinkish brown tile, adding a second sink (there is definitely space for one), replacing the vanity, changing out the dated shower door, etc.

Exterior (back)

Our backyard appears to have been a bit neglected  (which is completely understandable considering that the previous owner was an elderly lady with health problems who didn't need to be out in the yard working).  There are random clusters of overgrown azalea bushes, a couple of small magnolia trees, a dogwood tree, and some bushes.  I need to do research to figure out what some of the other plants are.  Seth and I would definitely love to revamp this whole space one day but that is far, far down the road.

Our short term plans include:

  • plant a small vegetable garden
  • start a compost pile
  • find a permanent spot for our patio set (in the Summer/Fall it got moved around whenever Seth mowed the lawn and we haven't really decided the best place for it yet)

Long term dreams:
  • plant a butterfly garden
  • DIY a low platform deck (like this or this) or a patio
  • landscape, landscape, landscape

Whew.  I think that concludes the whole house update.  I worked on a few other projects this weekend and should have the posts up soon!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How Things are Coming Along part I

The end of February will mark six months since we moved to Jackson.  Crazy.  We have definitely gotten a lot done around here but we still have TONS on our to do list. Good design evolves over time, right?  That's what I've been telling my impatient self anyway.  I do find that if I rush into a purchase or a project, I usually end up changing my mind, disliking it, and redoing it later.  I'm trying to slow down, gather inspiration from the world wide web (does anyone call it that anymore? no? well, i'm bringin' it back), and purchase furniture as we can afford it.  So far, so good.  Since we're hitting the six month milestone soon, I thought it might be nice to show you guys the progress we've made throughout the house.  Without further ado, here are some pics and a behind the scenes look at our to do list.  Warning - despite being divided, this is still a very long post.  If needed, walk away, drink some coffee, and come back later.  I know I did when I wrote it.

Exterior (front)

We haven't done a whole lot out front yet.  In August we were focused on getting settled into the house, clearing paths through the boxes, figuring out which box the extra TP was in...ya know.  Now it's winter (albeit not that cold) and therefore not the time for outdoor painting or planting.  Obviously, the before shot is much greener since it was summer.

So far, we have:

Still to do:
  • replace or at least repaint our shutters (I'm thinking something like this except painted and something other than the current dark green color)
  • paint the front door a fun color
  • change out front door hardware including the house numbers (anyone notice how off center they are?!? please don't bring it up in front of Seth)
  • replace or somehow frame out the wrought iron columns (we like more of a boxy craftsman look)
  • consider a new mailbox
  • figure out a landscaping plan (I'm thinking we need hydrangeas somewhere)

Before we go inside, let me remind you of our floor plan (with our paint colors thrown in for good measure).


We've done a decent amount of work here so far and I would say that we are about 70% done. 

We have:
  • painted the walls (Valspar's Polar Star)
  • replaced the overhead light fixture
  • replaced the sconces
  • replaced the plugs, switches, and their covers (they were all cream and Seth is working on replacing them throughout the entire house - he is awesome!)
  • stenciled a feature wall
  • hung some art
  • added an area rug (we chose Flor tiles in order to make sure our "rug" was the exact size we wanted)
  • hung some white cubbies

Still on the list:
  • paint the console table (I bought the paint over a month ago, I just haven't tackled the project yet)
  • style the console table
  • style the white cubbies
  • paint the trim and closet door white
  • paint the inside of the front door (white?)
  • purchase a small doormat for just inside the front door
  • DIY some art for the spot across from the coat closet (I have some ideas)

Dining Room 
(previously the formal living room)

The dining room has turned into a dumping ground of sorts for our boxes of wall decor. Yikes!  After painting and repainting this room, I am without a doubt absolutely in love with the Wedgewood Gray (Benjamin Moore).  I estimate that we are 50% done in here. 

We have:
  • painted the walls (too many times)
  • purchased a large (9' x 12') area rug
  • added an overhead light fixture (We hired an electrician to come out since this room previously had no overhead fixture.  Seth is super comfortable changing out lights where there are already wires but neither of us has experience running wires down from the attic and cutting holes in ceilings.)
  • replaced all of the plugs, switches, and their covers
  • created a "cat feeding station" with pet storage using two Ikea malm chests (The cats have to eat elevated so Amos cannot reach their bowls or we would have one FAT chihuahua on our hands and I absolutely refuse to have a fat chihuahua - I have seen too many at work.  The good news is that their bowls really don't have to be that high to be out of Amos' reach.)
  • dressed our windows with bamboo blinds and curtains (I'm waiting until the trim is white to decide if I like the tan color of the curtains or not.  I originally purchased them for the master bedroom but I didn't like them in there so they ended up in the dining room.  Time will tell if they stay here.) 
  • purchased and DIYed some art for the space

Still to do:
  • paint the trim white
  • find the perfect end chairs (which I think will sit on either side of the wooden buffet/hutch when not in use)
  • DIY a riddling rack (like this)
  • add more artwork around Robbie the rhino
  • add art above the cat feeding station (I already have a long skinny frame)
  • hang baskets above the buffet (I had them grouped on the wall like this in our old dining room)
  • switch out the cheap Ikea floor lamp for something else

(previously the dining room)

I would put this room at about 75% done.  We have completed most of the "major" tasks. 

We have:
  • painted the walls (Benjamin Moore Sesame)
  • repurposed our old living room rug (which I think works perfectly in its new home)
  • set up our paper organization area
  • replaced the overhead light fixture (we chose a smaller version of our dining room pendant for a bit of continuity)
  • replaced all of the plugs, switches and their covers
  • hung some art and small shelves
  • created a small Auburn printable
  • DIYed a cork board for collecting inspiration
  • dressed our window with bamboo blinds and a pair of nice white curtains

Still on our list:
  • paint the trim white
  • finish filling the upper shelf above my desk
  • hang a small piece of art to the left of the window?
  • unpack the boxes under Seth's desk
  • purchase a nice brown leather desk chair for Seth (his current one is my old one from college and it's black; in case you couldn't tell his desk and the Ikea storage unit are both dark brown)
  • paint the filing cabinet (it is distressed and cream right now - neither are really my thing)
  • stock/organize/style the bookcase
  • figure out a solution for the plug (check out the first pic - there is not a plug on the back wall where our desks are and it is an exterior wall which means mo' money than we're willing to spend right now for an electrician to run wires and install one - boo) 


Pop quiz, hot shot - how many sample squares of paint did you spy on my cabinets?  (Who knows what movie that's from before clicking on the link?)  I went a little crazy in there but I believe I have finally made a decision (well, technically I've only decided on the color family, not the specific shade).  You'll just have to wait until spring when it warms up and we decide to tackle painting the cabinets to find out what that color is.  We are still in love with our chalkboard wall and use it all the time to jot down notes to one another, write reminders to include certain items on our weekly grocery list when we notice we're running low, and to greet our house guests with welcoming messages.  

We are probably only 30% done in here.  Remember, as much as we would love to gut the kitchen and reconfigure everything, we can't afford a full kitchen reno right now (which would likely be $20K+).  We are going to try to spruce things up for around $3000 including the price of our new dishwasher and our hopefully soon-to-be-found new fridge (not including the new washer and dryer since they aren't normally involved in a kitchen remodel).  Even if we were expert DIYers I think it would take $8-10K for our kitchen reno so I'm willing to put in a bit of money now to be happy for the next 4-5 years until we can save up enough for a full reno.  

So far, we have:
  • painted the walls (Valspar's Clean White WV31001; a Waverly color)
  • created a giant chalkboard wall
  • replaced the light over the eat-in area
  • removed the fluorescent light over the sink and replaced it with a pendant
  • purchased a new washer and dryer
  • purchased a new dishwasher
  • removed the scallop trim above the sink (visible in the first before pic above and missing in the progress pic just below it)
  • purchased and installed a coat rack

Still to do:
  • paint the trim white
  • add blinds and/or curtains to the windows (I like the simplicity of this)
  • p...a...i...n...t    t...h...e    c...a...b...i...n...e...t...s  (had to say that slowly so I wouldn't get overwhelmed - I am dreading this job)
  • replace the cabinet hinges and hardware
  • fix the area above the sink where Seth removed the scallop trim (there is an opening into the bulkhead right now)
  • figure out a way to store shoes at the back door (like this? but high enough to be out of Amos' reach)
  • figure out how to enlarge the space for a new fridge without losing too much of our pantry storage
  • install a backsplash? (I'm pretty sold on white subway tile with gray grout - it's cheap and classy)
  • purchase new countertops? (cheap options include laminate or possibly Ikea butcher block)
  • install a new floor (likely cheap-o peel and stick for now)
  • purchase a table and chairs for the eat in area (I may have just blown the $3K budget)
  • create a coffee station (like this)
  • decorate!

Living Room

We spend most of our waking hours in our living room (when we're not at work) so I definitely want it to feel fun and represent our personalities well.  Similar to the dining room, I had a difficult time choosing a paint color for this room (you can read about that here).  I do like the color that I chose (Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue) but some days I wish it were a bit more saturated.  It's fine for now and I think once the room is more complete I'll like it more.  This room is probably 40% complete.

We have:

Yet to do:
  • purchase new seating (definitely a couple of chairs and maybe a chaise)
  • purchase end tables (I've been searching with no luck thus far)
  • purchase a new coffee table (again - can't find what we want, in the height we need, in our budget yet)
  • wall decor for above the sofa (I've already purchased something but it needs some attention first)
  • plan for the empty corner next to the television including the wall to the left of the fireplace (we have some ideas)
  • re-prime built-ins and paint
  • fill and style built-ins
  • paint or replace knobs on built-ins
  • dress windows with curtains +/- blinds
  • install fireplace mantel
  • style fireplace mantel

Whew.  We have definitely accomplished a lot, but still have so much left to do.  I am proud of the fact that I am taking things one day at a time with this house.  With our first house, I rushed to get everything just the way I thought I wanted it (I'm sure I will always be tweaking something) and didn't really stop to enjoy the process.  I'm trying to remedy that this time around and it seems to be working.  Stay tuned for part two of this update.

What do you guys think of our progress?  Do you get impatient with home improvement/decorating projects or do you let them slowly evolve and savor every moment?