27 June 2013

Fireplace Face-lift: From Boring to Blue

I was going to wait to do this blog post until the whole family room was done, but my neighbor inspired me to post about this early. We have an awesome neighbor (who also happened to be our realtor) and she has been toying with the idea of starting some updates in her own house, BUT she is very hesitant because she can’t really envision what the changes are going to look like/if she will like them when they are done. This is how we became her guinea pigs. We do something and she comes over and sees how she likes the outcome. And one of the things she was most excited about seeing was our fireplace.

First off (before I get into the meat of the post) I want to say this about renovations: if you aren’t happy with the status quo, don’t stress about the updating results. Better yet -- you are not going to make it worse (hello, you're a DIY Diva). Now I realize that you are putting time and money into projects so you don’t want them to bomb, but trust me when I say if you make design choices that you are happy with AND you do the process correctly (don’t cut corners), you will more often than not be happy with the outcome. I know it’s stressful making changes and there are so many beautiful options that it can get overwhelming, but trust yourself and your DIY-ing ability. It’s a learning process so get your hands in there and you’ll be surprised what you can do.

24 June 2013

Stiletto Safe Haven

I had a very Sex and the City moment this weekend. My wonderful husband built me my very own shoe closet (okay it’s not nearly as massive as Carrie’s, but I LOVE it!) And maybe the best part is that it was HIS idea. What?! Who is this stepford husband?

When we bought the house its not like we had big plans to put in a shoe closet…it just kind of happened. There were two small bedrooms on the first floor. One of the first things we did was take the wall down between them to make one really awesome master suite. (Note: the master bedroom project will be a post one day, but I want to do all the finishes before I post about it. Neurotic much?)

Well we didn't need two entrances to our new (and very improved) bedroom. So the door we chose to close off had a miniature hallway (it was more of a nook than a hallway, but didn't really know how else to explain it. You know what would have helped explain this? Pictures. You know who didn't take pictures? Me.) Where the door was we dry walled; moved the door and frame into the bedroom, closed off the nook, and made that into the new closet door.

19 June 2013

Burnt Biscuit to Stainless Chic: Journey of Appliances

There are two things that make me feel like a grown up: number one; going to college bars (umm, when did dresses get THAT short??) and second; having to make large purchases for our home.  I had a moment of "omigod" the other day – I was drooling over a fridge. Yeah – not shoes, makeup, or clothing… a fridge.  It’s no secret that we became proud owners of medieval appliances, and that I desperately want to update them.  However; between bills, projects, yard work, cars, life, etc. that has not made it on the short list.

The original color of our appliances was “biscuit.” While the kitchen was still in a cavesque state they weren’t offensive, just noticeably dated – because the dark wood spindles didn’t make it obvious enough.  Once the cabinets were painted, that was a different story.  “Biscuit” became “yellow curdled milk” and looked awful.

Old AppliancesOld Appliances

17 June 2013

What Not to Wear: Kitchen Edition

I’d like to think that I’m a fan of “it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but sometimes correcting ugly trumps functionality.  Christie can vouch for it – my kitchen, with its 1970’s appliances (it was built in 84’) and super dark cabinets, was a cave.  It was functional, but an eyesore. Saying that I hated it is the largest understatement of all time.  It needed to be updated, and a lot of TLC.  I think anyone would agree – when you spend a great deal of time in a particular room, you want it to be comfortable.

Cavewoman Kitchen

12 June 2013

House Arrest: Ball & Chain = Roller & Brush

I am a firm believer in the notion that the personal details, small or otherwise, are what make a house your home. The paint colors I've spent hours debating over in my head (and with my spouse.) The furniture, passed down from generations or bought by us newlyweds (I still like to think of us being filed in that category.) The pictures filled with faces of the people we love, memories we hold dear. Shelves filled with knick-knacks that we adore. These details carefully fretted over, decided upon, cherished are the things that in total make real the reality of  “home.”

I have lived without these now for a little over a month and a half. From vagabonds to a construction zone, my home has been and is still boxed up and stored in our new garage. I hadn't realized how much I missed “home” until this weekend. I looked around at the chaos of our quickly changing house and I wanted to just instantly transform it into the completed stage filled with our things, our memories.

05 June 2013

If Walls Could Talk...They'd Say OUCH!

These past two weekends have been a whirlwind of house renovation. Walls are gone, the house is torn up, our mattress is still on the ground AND I love it! I owe a big (like really BIG) thanks to my parents and grandparents for giving up their beautiful weekends to come help Kevin and I work on the house. Their help has been essential to the progress that we’ve been able to make so far.

But today’s post is going to be about something I was maybe most excited to demo: the spindle walls. Dividing our kitchen and family room the half walls with spindles were the first eye sore you would see coming into either our front or back door. The problem is not only are they super dated looking, but our living/kitchen space is not huge so having our sight lines blocked by the spindles made everything feel more claustrophobic and dark.  Who wants to feel incarcerated in their own home? Not this chick!