Thursday, April 13, 2017

Green with Envy

Pantone color of the year: Greenery

Green is the color of Spring. It's also the color of a seasick shipmate. So, how do we know which green to use when decorating and picking color?

Pantone has just made that decision a whole lot easier with their color of the year.

I've been inspired by Douglas Elliman Florida to share my thoughts on the best ways to utilize this color shade in any home. 

Pair Greenery with a beautiful off white or use it to accent a rich colored wall. I love how the boxwood wreath makes our DIY fireplace pop. It's the perfect color against the Peppercorn background. 

There's something about the color green that makes one feel alive. Just like Spring, it brings with it a feeling of renewal. Used correctly, green can feel like a breath of fresh air. It's just the color to make us feel a bit more grounded-a feeling, I'm guessing, we could each use a lot more of. 

Add a little Green

Monday, April 10, 2017

Master Bedroom

When we bought this house, it had no bedrooms on the main floor. Instead, it was two large living rooms, with a kitchen in the middle that separates the two. Since we didn't need two living rooms and I didn't want to sleep in the basement, I wanted to add a master bedroom upstairs. 


This is a picture from the kitchen, of the living room that we transformed into our master bedroom, with a soon to be walk-in-closet and master bath. 

Another picture from the kitchen looking into the living room.

In order to make our master, we needed to add a couple of walls. We needed to add a long "bedroom" wall which would go from the edge of the wall next to the microwave to the edge of the fireplace. 

And yes, we did sleep next to the kitchen in the living room for months. It made it really convenient when we wanted a midnight snack. Once, while I was watching a show on the laptop, my husband slid a root beer float to me across the counter top. It was awesome. Not as awesome as having a finished bedroom, but when he also made nachos and slid them to me, it definitely made it a close second.

Looking from the soon to be bedroom out toward the kitchen. 

This is a view from inside what would become our bedroom. On the left side of the above picture is the edge of the fireplace. The rest of that mustard wall will become the master bath eventually. Next to it, will be the walk in closet on the right side. It will start where there is no wall. On the below picture, everything that has no wall and is open, will become the master closet. In order to create, this we will need to tear out the kitchen. So, we are waiting until we redo the kitchen to do the closet. It's the whole, "If you give a mouse a cookie thing". 

Here is a better view from the kitchen of where the bathroom will be. This is also a great "before" view of the fireplace.

First we added the 2 x 4's. We put one on the floor, nailed it down and then one on the ceiling. Then we spaced the vertical 2 x4's every 16 inches. This is super easy and a pretty quick job, not to mention really cheap. If your husband does it while you sit and watch, then it's super easy. 
It was under $50.00. This soon to be wall would be the side of the bathroom and walk in closet.

 Here is the view from inside the bedroom looking into the kitchen. You can see on the left side of the picture, that we also started to demo the soon to be bathroom. Sorry for the picture quality. After putting up all the studs, my husband added the doors and drywall. This wall, met up with the other wall that faced the kitchen.

My job was to mud and tape. I am not a perfectionist, but it wasn't too bad. I had to let it dry, sand then add a few more coats before sanding a final time. If you are a perfectionist, you will not love this job. I had to be OK with a little bit of uneven coverage on a few small spots. Which I was. Now that it is all done, you would never notice. 

Next I painted the room with a good primer. The door on the left leads to the master bath The one on the right, to the master closet. Notice how you can't tell that there are some uneven spots. Consider that that cost me about $15.00 and it would have been at least $500.00 to have a pro do it. 

A view of the great windows in our soon to be bedroom. The room needed not only paint, but some simple board and batten to make it pop. So we decided to try it. First we decided to paint. Because I knew the board and batten would be white, and 3/4's of the room would be white, I knew we could go bold on the rest of the room. We decided to do a great Benjamin Moore color "Peppercorn" for the rest of the wall. The result was amazing!!! I love the color and it works so well with the white. In the picture below, I am painting it on the top of the wall.
Yes, I paint while standing on my bed without it covered. I told you I am not a perfectionist. That get's me in trouble a lot. Yes, I dripped on the head board. Yes, it came out. Breath deeply all you type A's. It's OK. 😨

Remember this before of the fireplace, cause I am about to blow your mind.

Here's that great color, with the white on the bottom before we added the wood to the walls and the crown molding.
Hello light in my dark room. Did we add light? No, no we did not. Just brightened up the paint.

It's nice when you don't have to worry about painting perfect lines, because you know the wood will cover your lines. Makes for an easy paint job. As you can see, we haven't added the walk in closet yet.

This is my handsome husband hanging the crown molding that he figured out himself. He also added the trim around the two doors as well as new baseboards. He's awesome. He's also a perfectionist. My mom jokes that I get the job done super quick and then he comes behind me and cleans it all up. We're a good team.

Here he is attaching furring strips to the fireplace in order to hang drywall later to cover it. If you can't tell, he is also putting out the vibe. Sometimes he is funny. Not like me, but close.  

Furring strips done.
Now to attach the dry wall to the strips. 
Make sure your drywall can handle the heat of your fireplace.

We jumped between hanging the wood on the walls and doing the fireplace. On the right of the below picture, we have begun to hang the board and batten. This is a pretty easy task Considering most of your cuts are the same height.

Below we have the fireplace pre-paint. This is after we have the drywall up and some wood accent pieces. I am very proud of this because I did it myself while the husband was at work and while baby napped. I am terrible at math, so I was extra proud that my measurements were correct. For the bottom, I used our old baseboards. My design centered on me not wanting to caulk or mud and tape the fireplace. Super technical, I know. You just toss the wood up where ever there are cracks in your drywall. 

More Board and Batten pictures

I love love love how this window turned out-you can tell by my reflection in it. Either that or I am channeling my 7th grade dance picture.

Caulking and painting always falls to me, but that's OK. It takes awhile, but so worth the end result.

Below: The baby had just woken up, which meant my work time was done. My husband, Travis finished up the crown molding while baby and I measured for him. It's Summer time and super hot in the picture. For all you wondering if my baby is freezing, look at his legs, of course he's not freezing.  


WHAT??? Wait, I thought this was your living room!! Oh, it was, but now it's a master bedroom. Boom!

Love love love this color!  Love the fireplace. We need to make a mantel, but for now, the brick is just fine. 

 I love adding the pop of green with a live boxwood wreath. A variety of brightly bound books from the thrift store at $1 a piece adds more great color to the backdrop. Add some family pictures, a gold initial for your last name and some fun cheap decor items to prop up your books and you're set.

Hold on, who did the woodwork on the fireplace again??? Oh, yah, I forgot, that was me, mother of four, rejected writer, wearer of jammies, eater of chocolate. Yes, yes I did. OK Travis helped with the squares on the top half and he did the crown molding on the top, but we aren't talking about him right now. Focus on the bottom people. That was all me.

I know you weren't expecting this goodness. I have to mention that the light and the skylight will be changed some day. 
The dresser was given to us. It wasn't my favorite originally, but I love the gold handles with the paint color.

The rug I already had (Home Decorators). The small couch was from the Overstock outlet store and was $175. The pillows are target. The small table by the couch was TJ Maxx for $30.00. Bedspread was Downeast for $50.00.  I made the pillows on the bed and the headboard. Curtains were Kohls at about $10 a piece. Curtain rods are Home Depot, under $40 for all of them. 

Doors leading to bathroom and closet. . .eventually. 

The fireplace was really cheap. It cost around $60.00

 I am so thrilled with how this bedroom turned out. It seems like a ton of work, but it was actually a pretty quick project, one that you could do in a few days. It wasn't bad at all and really pretty inexpensive for all we got. For paint, walls, drywall, wood work, fireplace, doors, knobs, curtains, curtain rods, TV mount, a few inexpensive decorations, and baseboards, we were around $550. Not to bad, considering we just added another bedroom to the house. Next time you are picking a color, pair a white with an awesome dark, rich blue like "Peppercorn". You won't be disappointed.

Happy decorating-

Sunday, January 15, 2017

House Updates-Project 2 and 3

  Project #2 
The play room

I wish I had a before picture of this room. I don't, but imagine yellowish cream carpet and pink/mauveish walls. This room is a fun room at the bottom of the stairs. Eventually I would like to turn it into another bedroom, but for now it is a playroom until we finish the basement family room. We didn't have a huge budget for this room, so all I did was paint the walls a grey blue color. I believe the color is Benjamin "Iced cube".  It looks completely grey on the swatch and much more blue on your walls. I like it, but it's not my favorite. Sometimes it looks a bit purpleish. It's great for a boys room though or a playroom. Maybe not so much in a living room? But that may just be this house and our lighting downstairs.

Once again my amazing nephews and nieces showed up to help remove carpet, carpet pad, tack strip and clean up the floor. If I had done this on my own it would have been an all day project, but it took us about an hour. Yay!!

Here I am sweeping up and showing my nephew how to make sure there aren't any nails still in the concrete.

I purchased a fun vinyl map for the playroom wall. It came in all kids of colors. I went with white. I wish it came a bit bigger, but for about $20 it was a great deal. My nieces measured the wall and centered it. I felt like it would work when it's my sons room as well and is a good design that he can grow with.
The previous owners had a fun climbing wall. You can see the pinkish paint behind the wood slats on the wall. The climbing wall was that color and then had fluorescent hand and foot holds. I didn't love the fluorescent colors so I spray painted all of the holds navy. I know the holds are painted certain colors to reflect difficulty, but since this is not Everest and instead, an 8 foot climbing wall, I felt like it would be OK to paint them and somehow the toddlers would be able to figure out which holds to grab.

Chucking the carpet pad.

Invest in a mallet or hammer and a pry bar for removing tack strip. Makes it so easy to pop up the tack strip. It's not an investment either, you can get them for under $20.
We always replace base boards. It's fairly inexpensive, looks really nice and I love the 6" flat boards that add height and are easy to clean. 

Can you see how in the above picture the paint almost looks baby blue and below it almost looks purple on the one wall?

Here is the very simple end product. My kids don't have a ton of toys. I hate clutter and a bunch of toys. I tend to toss a ton of stuff. I don't hold on to a lot of things. No, that doesn't mean things don't hold sentimental value for me (all you hoarders that are judging me right now). It just means, life with 4 kids is messy enough, I don't need to add more crap to it. 

 A few years ago, my kids figured out that when I said I was saving their school artwork in the "special place" the special place was the garbage.  hahaha It's OK. They will live. This day and age has too much cotteling and too little tough love, if they can't handle mom chucking some of their stuff some times, then they aren't going to handle college or a job or real life and I expect them to go to college, get a job and a life. 

They have enough to play with (both the benches are filled with toys and we have a toy box) but not so much that they can't clean it up when they are done. Stop judging me. My friend Christie once said that I am a "mother chucker". hahaha. awesome  I so am!

Each of my kids made a chair. We bought them at a thrift store for $10 a piece and then I let them each spray paint them the color they wanted and pick out fabric for the seats. I never worry about being too matchy matchy. They totally work in the playroom.

We have since added a bigger grey harringbone rug and a great light and a few pictures on the wall that the kids did (Yes I save some). I think the entire room was under $200. The chair was given to me by a neighbor that was chucking it. I covered it with $30 of fabric and got this cute "ABC" pillow for $3 at DownEast.



This room is huge, which was great for my two boys, but there was some oddities that were tricky. The first was the white little door that goes under the stairs and then next was the lower ceiling where the duct work is. I felt like the color was way too dark for the basement and too strong.

You can kind of see the greyish carpet. We laid the same grey floors throughout the bedrooms and the playroom. After a day of having the new wood floors in, the baby threw up orange stuff all over the floor and I simply wiped it up. So glad I did wood instead of carpet!

I settled on this really light "white" it's not a white, but it was in the white section. I believe it is called "incredible white" and it's a Benjamin Moore. The nice thing about that color is that random little door immediately blends a lot better and it feels a lot lighter. Because the room is so big, I didn't love it all just white. It needed a pop of something so my niece and I decided to do stripes.

I told you I am not a perfectionist. Notice the top line of my blue that I had to paint over. We chose "Hale Navy" (BM color again) for the stripes and I love it! My niece spent a good amount of time measuring and taping. Love her.

No room is complete in my opinion without some type of wood work. It is such an inexpensive and easy way to add class to any room. Again we did the 6" flat baseboards (They are actually 5.5" in the store). This project was a cake walk. We just decided how tall we wanted the boards and popped a board up and then cut the boards to fit inside the spaces. (hahaha what does that even mean??  It means, I don't have time to explain what we did or do Youtube tutorials.)

You never want to cut all of your inside pieces the same size, because there will always be smaller or bigger spaces on the top or the bottom of the horizontal boards as the wall won't be even or level. I cut them so they fit tightly and then tap them in place.

In the corner, we place two boards on each wall so that they connect.


                            CAULK IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Everyone, repeat the above phrase again and again. My husband never believes me when I say, "I can caulk that." That is an ADHD personality talking.  To which my husband inevitably replies, "No you can't! That looks terrible!" That is a perfectionist talking.

I promise you can . . .well not you perfectionist-you will dry heave and then have to go wash your hands 20 times. Let your crazy "yellow personality" friend or spouse do it for you."
Now yellow people, don't get crazy and caulk an inch gap, I know you want to, just to see if you can, restrain yourself. Even caulk has it's limits. Don't push it beyond what it is willing to give you.
 However know that I can caulk some serious gapage. See the bottom picture for proof.

Not only do these two pieces have huge gaps, but they aren't even cut straight. They look terrible and I am totally fine with it. My husband meanwhile was rocking back and forth in the corner trying to keep himself from re-cutting the wood. I had to work fast. . . Now watch the magic.

TA DAH!!!!  YEP that just happened. . .simply caulked it.

OK back to the wood work on the walls. I decided that I still wanted a bit more of the navy color in the bedroom so we decided to paint all of the woodwork navy.

Here I am painting. Sorry about the back shot, but in all fairness, those lower two inches of my back are my best feature.

I wish I had a better camera - this isn't a great picture of the wood work, but it gives you and idea of the color scheme in the room.

Before the wood work with just the stripes.                            After with woodwork and stripes Love!!
Looks awesome with the floors!!


I still get giddy looking at this picture!!! What the what!!!???  Love it!! OK here is why I love this:  The shelves, were ugly paneling on the walls of our old home. Took them off, cut them, threw some home depot brackets on and boom, suddenly not ugly.

The four pictures are some beautiful painted pictures of old cars. I found these when cleaning out my mother in laws basement years ago. They were painted and given as a gift to my late FIL, who passed away when my husband was 13. So pretty special. I bought frames for a buck at a thrift store and spray painted them. That's it.

The dresser was also my MIL's. Stained it and put on new knobs. Huge difference. The curtains were from Kohls on crazy discount. I think they were $6 a piece. The rug I got from home decorators years ago, but it worked great in the room. (That was not cheap $250 I believe, but great rug!)

I did buy them both new bedding on line and sheets from TJ MAXX and new pillows. I spent about $150 on all of that, which was more than I spent the wall transformations, but a great deal for all new bedding, pillows, sheets, comforters, decorative pillows etc.

 So this room with bedding and new decor was roughly $300 (not counting the rug and some of my older decor).

 Fun fact. The bed on the left, my son made with me, using that same ugly paneling. We stained it. The bed on the right, was my Dad's when he was a kid.

I cannot tell you how much I love mixing the old memories with the new. The tall dresser I got online for $40 used. The dressers don't match. Again, doesn't matter.

This was definitely one of my favorite transformations!  It is absolutely insane what the right paint color and a little bit of wood work will do to a room . . .and a bit of caulk of course.

Happy transforming!