Monday, June 16, 2014


Holy Cow, we have been BUSY!

It’s been a bout a month since I’ve really shown you anything on the house. (Wow. Didn’t realize I left ya hangin so long sorry.)

I don’t think I got tons done at the start of that month. But we were working on the laundry room slowly then.

That room is close to done, but it’s not really “big reveal ready” -- we are half done with the floor and I haven’t gotten my hide-the-water-heater-screen-thing made. (And we are gonna put in tiny laundry tub in there -- but at the moment I’m not even really counting that as needing to be done.
But it does function SO much better now! And it’s pretty.
I use the baskets to sort lights and darks before they are ready to be washed.

Across the room we made these tiny clothes lines to dry delicates. I don’t like to put underwear in the dryer. It ruins the elastic and smooshes up bras. I can also use these to dry light stuff like the girls summer dresses. For heavy stuff I use a shower curtain rod that goes across the small room and hangers.

We also had been slowly working on our downstairs bathroom.

When we bought the house we had assumed we could just pull down wallpaper and update all our bathroom with paint. And we’d save any real over hauls for down the road.

So when I pulled the wallpaper in the downstairs power room and found this

was the dry wall we were working with, I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach -- "I don’t think this is salvageable.” After texting some photos of it to our contractor brother in law, he confirmed my gut reaction, “You’re gonna wanna start with fresh drywall in there.”

So on May 10th some good friends came over, and the mommas and kids played in the back yard while the daddy’s removed our toilet and sink and then proceeded to knock out all the dry wall.

Un-earthed 60’s wallpaper

And something awesome happened in the process. This bathroom had a strangely low ceiling, which i had naturally assumed it needed to be to allow for heating ducts or water pipes or something. The ceiling wasn’t in bad shape like the walls, but the guys figured may as well rip it out just to have the whole thing fresh. And once it was down (which getting it down seemed really cool and fast, when Blake tells the tale) we saw there was actually nothing hidden behind that dry wall -- NO reason for it to be so low. So after a tiny bit of convincing on my part (because it did mean some more work, to pull out the bulkhead
(or whatever you call that thing that made the ceiling low) we were on our way to having a room that didn’t feel sized for the seven dwarves.
(The previous remodel had tiled around the sink, instead of under it,

so the sink was extra low as well -- the room was really wonky feeling.)

So Blake worked on the dry wall that day, here and there (when he wasn’t at work or playing with the girls to give me break), and another day another friend came over to help mud.
And eventually all that mudding and sanding got done. And I have to say Blake did a great job. He never put a room together from scratch before -- and the mudding job looks great! I’m proud of him!

Well, lets flash back a bit, to maybe this winter sometime. Blake and I talked about taking a little just-the-two-of-us vacation this summer when he had a break from teaching. We had it planned with my mom to watch the girls and we talked about places to go. But then last minute we both thought we’d really get more out of a work-cation. We’d drop the girls off with my mom and go home and work for three days non-parental-style, and have a date night or two in the mix.  Honest to goodness that just sounded better to both of us. I think I would have been just itching to get back here and do something the whole time we were out of town. I want to get this house done SO BAD, so we can really just settle into normal existence.

So that’s what we did. Last Monday we took the girl’s to my mom’s and went right back home to work. Blake went to work on the bathroom, and I got to work painting Jasmine’s room. When you have young kids and you’re re-doing a house, the hardest thing to figure out is how to get the kid’s room’s done. I do everything while they are sleeping, but they sleep in their room! So to get their rooms done have both needed my mom’s help.

(Flash back) I got Ruby’s room done a while ago while my mom while my mom took the girls out to the mall and played with them the next day too.
In her room I needed to Shellac the walls first because it still had a bit of cat smell on hot days. So I shellacked the closet walls, and the walls near the door because I could tell those were the places the cat “enjoyed” the most. Then I got to work on the trim, then the ceiling, then the walls. I had a ton of paint left from the fireplace white wash project, and since I didn’t have any real vision for the room, and I thought it was a pretty color (grey beige) I just used up the rest of the gallon. It’s just a sweet neutral.
This photo has terrible lighting, sorry.
This week I got to do the trim the ceiling and walls in Jasmine’s room. Jasmine kept asking to paint her room dark red -- the ceiling too! I was not on board. (I know she’s as likely to change her mind as the wind. But even if she sticks like glue to this idea, I can’t live with it.) I’ve been thinking about what color to paint her room since before we moved here. And I just never got a feel for anything. I’ve liked her room being white, so I figured that I’d stick with it. So I picked out a nice “white” which is a vaguely pink-purple-grey-white called “Dogwood Blossom” by Olympic (in Valspar paint.). I really like it. Just enough tone to make it cozy, not enough color to take it away from being “white."

Painting a room always takes me two days here -- when talking trim, ceiling and walls. It’s a lot of work, but every time the effect is so dramatic to me. (Even when going from white to white.) The room just feels so so so much nicer to be in.

So while I was doing that Blake primed the new drywall in the bathroom (those fresh drywall walls DRANK that primer, that tiny bathroom used a whole gallon! 

And then that we went all over town -- and I mean ALL over town, for a whole day (which was NOT the plan) looking for the stuff we needed for my design. I want to do board and batten in there like this. And of course that’s not easy (because I don’t do easy, I do pretty -- I say this with frustration, because I’m exhausted right now.) None of the walls are the same size, and then we have to plan for the sink and the lights and mirror -- so we had to think really hard for a couple days to figure out the right spacing. And then we had to figure out the supplies, and THEN locate them. We went the lattice strip route, like many a DYI blogger has, but they were hard to find. Eventually we found them at Menards (after Blake went in there and they told them they didn’t have them -- and I sent him back with a store link that stated otherwise.) I forget if there were some other stuff he also had a hard time finding, but the day felt kinda like a huge waste. But I had to keep reminding myself it would have happened no matter what, and it’s best it happened while we were non-parental-style.

While that was going on one day, and the last day while Blake was at a half day work meeting, I got the wallpaper in the upstairs hallway pulled down. That felt good until I realized that there is what I can only assume is the old 60’s wallpaper paste all over the walls that I need to painstakingly wash off before I can paint. 

BUT I am SUPER glad we don’t have to knock down that drywall. So it’s still a win. Just a weary-win.

I also cleaned the tile grout in bathroom downstairs before we reinstall everything. I used a friend’s recipe of baking soda and bleach paste and it worked great. Right next to the sink is still not quite as clean, so I need to re-soak there. But the difference is huge. 

I got asked if it was new tile in there after the cleaning. (I need to do this in the entry way and the kitchen too -- because wow is that grout nasty! It’s almost black in the kitchen.
It’s just when to find the time…)

So the story of the bathroom was a wrestling match. (Most of this wresting was of our own inexperience in makeovers, and our naivety towards measuring. sheesh.)
So I mentioned that the sink had been tiled AROUND…the floor under it isn’t tiled. We don’t like the mini-sink look. So first we filled in the hole it was in with a piece wood to make it flush with the tile. But like I said, I don’t do easy, I do pretty (eye-roll) I can’t just leave the sink as is it has to be pretty!…. I also can’t really justify buying a new vanity because it would need to be the same footprint as this one to hide the wacky floor. (And for the moment we are NOT ripping out the floor. We have that in the 5-10 year plan. But not the one year plan.) I wanted to put it up on feet. Ordered the “perfect” feet, and I assumed they were the perfect size. They are close -- but they are slightly too tall at 4”, when you count the sink part of the vanity(which has been off for a while). AND we are doing a crazy hide-the-floor-issue with a semi-shelf looking thing which adds height. SO the feet are clearly too tall. *Forehead smack* After we thought this all through some more and figured out a better size I order some 2” tall one’s off ebay. (You can get a pretty good deal on these on ebay -- depending on what you’re looking for -- I recommend checking before you big box.)
I’m planning on using the other feet (which I painted and everything) for a couch makeover I’m doing.
Speaking of couches, remind me to tell you about our sectional adventure, another day.)

OK we also didn’t mesure the sink part! I assumed you only needed to know the width. Not so -- you also need the depth! *Forehead smack* We bought a really cute sink and faucet at Lowes, brought them home, set the sink on the Vanity and wondered why it stuck out the back so far….

crap. *Forehead smack*
So then I ordered the only one that is 19” deep that looks close to the one we originally bought which we found on 
Sink look we are going for -- this one is too big.

 It’s not gonna be here for a while. Oh well. (I’m hoping it DOES get there, my last experience ordering with Menards’ website wasn’t good. Pray for my sink!)

AND THEN….the base boards. I….don’t to easy, I do pretty…sigh. I wanted tall base boards. Saw what looked easy on Pinterest. 1x6 with small trim on top. Bought 1x6’s. Bought trim. Got home *Forehead smack* didn’t measure, trim too skinny.
(I think I’ll be measuring EVERYTHING for the rest of my life. I hope I learned my lesson. This is really annoying!)
This is where I started cracking under the pressure.
Jasmine’s birthday is the 23rd. We are having a party this weekend. I’d really like a toilet back in place for that. I started getting that “Everything is going wrong. I’m going to freak out” feeling. Blake stayed calm and wanted to get a router bit to turn the 1x6 into finished baseboard with a pretty top, no trim required. I wanted to freak out and worry. He wanted to prove it’s a great idea. I wanted to insist nothing on earth is a good idea anymore.
Eventually he got the router bit.

It looks really good.
I panicked a bit after he bought it and showed me because it’s not identical to the image in my head. But after I reached for the last shred of sanity I was in possession of I realized it does in fact look great.

So as of this moment, the ceiling has been painted. The board and batten area has been painted in Swiss Coffee semi-gloss (whole house trim color.) The base board has been routed and cut to size. (I need to paint it, so it can be installed. Then we’ll add the board and batten, battens. And we can have a toilet again.) The sink makeover is about 3/4 done -- it’s painted Valspar’s “March Ice". 
Expect different feet and shelf thingy in the final product
The lights, mirror, faucet and vanity hardward are all just waiting to be installed. And I have the paint for the upper area of the room bought -- Valspar’s Modest Silver in Satin.

It’s gonna be really gorgeous when it’s all said and done. And it’s gonna be hard earned. Phew.

I’m not really sharing everything in order exactly. But after our 3 day work-cation. I had a friend baby sit the girls so I could go clean up the landscaping at our Rental House. (Our first home never sold so we rented it out when we moved.) I drove by the other day and was scared by the disaster the landscaping had become.
So I spent thursday Morning working hard out in the sun fixing that up.

After that, to say I was exhausted would be an understatement.

But I had not really planned how I would feel when I planned my week, so I had a mother’s helping scheduled to come on Friday to play with the girls so I could work more. That was the first time we had done that and it went awesome -- the girls loved her. And while she was here I planted some hostas that I had taken from the Rental house. (I took some because they are technically still mine, and I have no real plants here. But also because they were needed to be pared down in the space they were overtaking there.) 
They’ve yet to perk back up. I’ watering them every day and crossing my fingers.

And I got a coat of paint on in the bathroom. (One I wrote about earlier out of order. This week’s too crazy to keep straight.)

After she left I was past burn out.
Saturday I was basically worthless and CRABBY. I’m not proud of myself. I was past my point.

This week I plan to take it easier.
I just need to paint some trim and get ready for a birthday party.

I have more stories to tell…but this post is LONG enough.
Till next time!

1 comment:

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