Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

I love, love, love white woodwork.  I know I went back-and-forth on whether to paint my woodwork at the old house, but when we moved into this one, it was a no brainer for the bedrooms at least.  They were in horrible condition and the timing was excellent for painting them.  We had plans to replace the carpet.  We had plans to paint the walls.  So we removed the carpet and just painted the woodwork.

We could be as messy as we wanted!  Because the subfloors were about to be re-covered and since we hadn’t painted the walls yet, we didn’t have to tape off anything! Not a single thing.  It could NOT have been easier.

It took 3 coats and it looks great!  I have some touch-ups to do after some not-so-careful movers and carpet layers, but that’s minor.  I’m so happy I went with this.

I was afraid of how the oak wood doors would look next to the white trim, but I don’t mind it a bit.  And the doors are in fabulous condition, so I don’t want to replace them and I don’t even want to paint them.  Again, I’m so happy I went with it!


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In this new house, the master bedroom didn’t undergo that big of a change.  Sure, we:

  • Replaced the pink-ish carpet.
  • Painted the walls the same Behr Almond Wisp
  • Replaced the light fixture with a ceiling fan
  • Painted the woodwork white (except for the windows, which I thought I’d replace, but also re-thinking that decision)
  • Painted the ceiling white (the upper right picture shows how white the ceilings really weren’t – before we finished the paint job)
  • Installed wood blinds
  • Hung curtains


Maybe it doesn’t feel like that big of a change because it’s the master bathroom that will undergo a big change.  It’s in horrible shape (but more on that later).

What I love most about the master bedroom is the view!  If the blinds are open, it’s a gorgeous way to wake up in the morning.


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Okay, I got some better pictures than the ones yesterday – I realized how bad they were at showing what the kitchen really looks like.

Here’s better ones – with our table!


These pictures pretty much show the 2 walls that will be removed for the remodel – the one between the kitchen and the living room.  Then the one between the kitchen and the “dining-room-but-we-use-it-as-a-toy-room-right-now-see-the-Little-People-house-in-the-corner”.

And we won’t be keeping that light fixture!

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This is the other room about to undergo a massive transformation.  This fall, we’ll:

  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & the living room to make an open floor plan.
  • Knock out the wall between the kitchen & what-should-be-a-formal-dining-room-but-its-really-a-toy-room to make a big kitchen.
  • Expand the laundry room a bit to have a “mud room” kind of area.
  • Remove all the cabinets and countertops and go with a completely different floor plan.
  • Move the plumbing from the wall it’s on to a different wall.
  • Install a long island for food prep and with a “breakfast bar” kind of seating.
  • Install a walk-in pantry for food and small appliance storage.
  • Get all new applicances.  All new flooring.  All new cabinets.  All new countertops.  All new lighting.  All new everything!

But here’s what it looks like now:


The upper left picture is from the living room looking in.

The upper right picture is from the garage.  To your left is our laundry room and straight ahead you can see into the its-a-dining-room-but-really-its-a-toy-room.

The bottom picture is the view from the kitchen onto the back deck.  A bad picture, but it gives a glimpse of the trees!

The only thing missing in these pictures is our kitchen table. I took these pictures when our table was still at the old house since it was still on the market.  You’ll just have to use your imagination that we have one.

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Our living room is a room of transition right now.

When we first moved in:

  • We replaced the carpet.  (It had the same pink-ish color that was in all the bedrooms).
  • We painted the walls.  The same Home Depot’s Almond Wisp that we used pretty much everywhere.
  • We didn’t have any furniture in there.  We left the couches at the old house as it was back on the market.  (Oh yeah, the people who were going to buy our house backed out the weekend before closing, so we had to re-list it).

It made for a nice big place to play, but now that the old house is under contract, we have our couches back!  BUT…it’s still a room of transition because in a few months:

  • We’re going to knock down the wall between it and the kitchen to make an open floor plan.
  • We’ll be losing our current ‘playroom’ because it’s really a formal dining room and we’ll be making a big kitchen.

So, it’s likely that toy storage will come into this room, at least for a few years.  We’re also finishing off the basement, but real little kids aren’t likely to play down there on their own.  So, a collection of toys will come into this room.  That’s why I haven’t hung up any pictures or anything yet.  I’m still brainstorming how to fit it all in.

But here’s what it looked like BEFORE and NOW:


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One of my goals is to capture life as it is rather than rely on my memory.  One of the ways that I want to do that is to take pictures of my house as it is today, so that it’s easier to remember.

Since we’ve just moved, every room is undocumented.  Get ready for some pictures!

Boys Bedroom – Before


  • The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling.  In both bedrooms.
  • The lovely kitty & puppy wallpaper border.
  • Carpet that looks pink-ish (to me anyway).


Boys Bedroom – After:

We took down the stars (easy), ripped up the carpet, removed the wallpaper (surprisingly and thankfully easy!), replaced the light fixtures with a ceiling fan,  and painted everything!  We painted:

  • The ceiling white (you have no idea how un-white your ‘white’ ceiling really is until you paint it!)
  • The woodwork white – except for the windows as I had plans to replace them, but I’m now re-thinking that.
  • The closet white – you might not think it makes a big difference, but oh boy, does it!
  • Sammy’s room became a soft tan color – Home Depot’s Almond Wisp
  • Finn & Stephen’s room has white walls with a big silver stripe running throughout.  It was the same as at the previous house and a) I still liked it and b) it was nice to keep something the same for them!


These aren’t the best pictures.  We finished the room at least a few weeks ago, but then just last week, we moved Finn out of their shared room to share a room with Sammy.  So the pictures don’t quite match.  But it’s the pictures that I got!

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Our New Entryway!

Here’s our new entryway!  At least what it looks like right now.



The pictures on the left is as you look in from our garage.  The pictures on the right are what you see what you enter the front door.

Now, I’m not quite finished with it.  I still want to:

  • Find “official” shoe baskets…preferably ones that attach to the wall rather than freestanding bins, but are still easy to clean as they WILL get dirty from snow and muddy shoes.  At our last place, I found wire-covered-in-vinyl refrigerator baskets for $15 (or less) at Walmart.  (Kind of like these ones.)  Then I just used eye hooks to attach them to the wall.  They were perfect because they were pretty cheap, not moveable, but could still be “detached” and cleaned in a kitchen sink.  I’ll probably try to go that route again.
  • Paint the “doorbell box”.  Probably the color of the wall, just to help it blend in better.
  • Hang pictures or some other kind of artwork above the ‘board & batten’.

But I’m calling it “good enough for now”!

It’s similar in style to what I did at our previous house (posted about here), although I never did post the final look where I had added coat hooks & shoe storage, but you get the idea.

What I like about it:

  • Simple to do!  (Especially if you can borrow a miter saw from your sister and you’ve been given a nail gun from your in-laws).
  • It’s white!  I’m still itching to go white with my woodwork and this is a good place to start.
  • The coat hooks came from Amazon and were cheaper than Lowes.  And free shipping with Prime!
  • It can hold a lot of coats — come on over guests!

I do wish I had gone just a tad lower on the lowest coat hooks as my 2 year old has trouble reaching, but he can do it.  I just thought I had gone low enough, but must’ve messed up my measurements some where.  Long term, though, it’ll be great!

The Process:

I pretty much followed the same process as before, using 1x3s and 1x6s.  It’s also very similar to Casa de Lewis’s blog, but I didn’t do a shelf on top.  I had debated about doing just one of the walls, but since this was a corner, I thought that would look funny.  So I ended up doing both and I don’t regret that at all!

  1. Paint your boards at least a first coat in the garage.
  2. When ready to hang, put your youngest in a high chair to watch from a safe distance.
  3. Measure, cut and hang your “horizontal” boards.
  4. Measure, cut and hang your “vertical” boards.
  5. Paint the back wall and your boards a final coat.
  6. Caulk & fill any holes.
  7. Hang your coat hooks.
  8. Let your 2 year old show you how it works!

Time Involved:

  • 1 hour (ish?) to buy the lumber, lay it out in the garage and paint it a couple of times.  Just used a small roller and did light coats.
  • 1 hour to measure, cut & hang the wood on the wall.  Jeff did most of this while I played defense against the kids.
  • 1 hour to paint the boards & back walls after it was all hung.  The painting probably went faster than usual since I was also painting a bedroom in the same white color.  So I already had the supplies out and that made it simple to just whip on another coat.  Probably did 2-3 coats total with the same little roller & a paintbrush.  (Although I had to do most of this painting while the boys were in bed.)
  •  1 hour to caulk holes & hang the coat hooks.  Don’t forget to do pilot holes!
  • 4 hours (give or take)

Cost Involved:

  • $35 in lumber.  Would’ve been less, but I bought a couple of extra 1x3s and 1 extra 1x6s since I didn’t measure carefully.  But that only cost me like $6-7 extra.
  • $20 in paint. I probably used 1/2 of a gallon on this project, but, again, it’s hard to measure since I was also painting a bedroom at the same time with the same color.
  • $30 in coat hooks.  Straight from Amazon and $1.50-$2 cheaper than practically identical ones from Lowes.
  • $10 in other things like finishing nails, caulk, paint rollers and the like.  Like the paint, I had these all at home, but it still used something that cost something.
  • $95 total…give or take.


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