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Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

Here's a little of what our weekend looked like.

We made a bit of a mess inside....


....and outside!

(mmm...Melted ice cream and strawberries!)

So happy to finally have a few warm days.  Our little guy loves being outdoors (doesn't every kid?) and I've discovered he'll play for hours with a shovel and some dirt! Looks like that's how we'll be spending our summer!

The trim is coming along a little faster then I thought it would. The kids have gotten used to the noise of all the tools and can sleep right through it!

I also started painting over the weekend. There's lots of that to do!

And this little girl is oblivious to the mess and chaos surrounding her! She just lays there and smiles at it all!

How was your weekend? Fun? Productive....or both?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

getting started

The delivery truck showed up on Friday as scheduled. 

Now we have stacks and stacks of trim and baseboard piled up in our dining room and kitchen. A climbing gym for the toddler and an obstacle course for me.

It also means we don't have a dining table to eat at. Try sitting up to your coffee table instead and eating spaghetti with a little toddler who can "feed himself"!

Anyways, Cam wasted no time getting started on installing it last weekend. We've quickly learned that this is going to be a project that drags on and on.

The noise from saws, an air compressor and nail guns doesn't mix well with the two little ones, especially their naptime/bedtimes.  Of course those times would be the most convenient time to work too.  I guess, little by little we'll do what we can, when we can to get this all installed!

 In all of the upper level rooms, Cam has added the jamb extensions and filled in the gaps around the windows with foam insulation so they're ready for trim.

Here's a peek at Talmadge's room. You can see it's painted and the wall sconces are up

This is the casing all cut and laid out for the window above, ready to be installed. It's going to look awesome, I think!

That's about as far as we've gotten with trim. I'll share more as things move along!
Friday, April 19, 2013

weekend agenda

Last night, we picked up the last few doors we need to install in the house.  One for the basement, one for the bathroom (see ya later hanging sheet, hello privacy!), and a double door for the laundry closet.

New door for main floor/master bathroom. One less gate to keep the toddler out of trouble!

Double door for the laundry closet.
 Hopefully, we'll install the doors this weekend. This summer we plan to paint all the interior doors a semi-gloss black. Door knobs/handles would be a bonus too, but we'll see!

In about an hour, our custom milled trim is going to be delivered.  I can't wait to see how our design turned out in real life.  I'm even more excited to get it installed!

Drawings of our baseboard design.
I also need to pick out paint colors for the basement, office and our master bedroom. We decided to take advantage of Sherwin Williams weekend paint sale (and coupon I mentioned HERE) and get what we need to finish painting the rooms as well as the new trim.

Lots of progress should be happening and which means I'll have plenty to post about over the next few months! I know I'm pretty sporadic about posting, so hopefully all the work we're about to do will give me more to write about!

On that note, I have to say a genuine thank you for taking the time to read this little blog and for leaving comments when you can! It really does make my day:)
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

office changes + coupon code

I'll warn you this isn't the most exciting post I've wrote, but I want to show you some of the things were doing to get ready for our trim./floor install upstairs.  I guess these posts just show the reality of a DIY renovation. They're messy, time consuming and unglamorous. It's not like the design shows on TV, that's for sure!

Since we'll start installing the trim and flooring upstairs and work our way down, we had a few things to fix to get ready.  At the end of the hallway, there's a room that was a bedroom but is being converted to an office.  The reason for this is that in order to get to Talmadge's new room, you have to walk through this office room first.  Talmadge's room was added on with the addition so this changed the layout a little.

For fun, you can see what the room looked like right after we bought the house.  The only thing we had done so far was pull up the carpet. I should say Cameron and his parents pulled them up as I was still living in Canada at the time. I had come to Iowa to see this house and after walking through it (and somehow thinking it was a good idea to buy it!), I found out how allergic I was to mold. I went home and was sick for a week or more! So the carpets were removed before I came back. Pretty sure it must have been a fun job :)

This view below is in the same room.  If you were standing in front of the windows looking back you can see the doorway (which we just removed) leading to the hallway.  To the right is the door that opens to Talmadge's new room. It used to be a window before we added on to the house.

I'm a little sad we didn't have a camera of our own when we started renovating. We didn't get to document some of the really messy parts of the demolition. Throughout the entire house, all the lath and plaster was knocked down and removed.  It involved friends and family showing up with sledge hammers, gloves, safety glasses, masks, shovels, etc. You get the picture...lots of backbreaking work!
It took months of work, but everything in this room was replaced or updated. Doors, window, electrical, insulation, drywall....the works!
Last weekend, Cameron removed the door to the office and patched up the wall where a new door to Talmadge's room was installed. Removing the office door opens up the space and allows some natural light into the hallway. The door to the left that you see below has been turned into a linen closet.
Office door removed.
New door to the bedroom, drywall ready to be patched up.
Same door to the bedroom with drywall patched.
Fixing up the new opening to the office.

Mudding and sanding the new opening to the office.
Cameron's finishing the final coats of mud in the new opening and then we'll be ready to paint the space.  The office was painted a few years ago, but we're both tired of the grey.  I think we'll look for something a little brighter and lighter.  The hallway is painted Grey Cashmere by Benjamin Moore. It's a light blue-green and we carried it down the stairwell and into the living room as well.

Stairwell being painted last year. More about that HERE
Sherwin Williams is having a 40 % off paint sale this coming weekend if you're thinking of painting a room.  I might pick up some to repaint the office if we can decide on a color.  Also, you can get a coupon for another $10.00 off $50.00 if you go to their website and use the store locator.  Just enter your ZIP and it'll bring up a printable coupon (Here's the link: ). Every little bit helps right?

Just a side note about SW paint: When I buy paint from them, I prefer the Duration line. Their Super Paint is good too, but I find the eggshell/satin finish has too much shine for my taste. With the Duration, you can get a matte finish that can be wiped clean and is pretty durable.

So that's that. Hope I didn't bore you with my rambling update!

P.S. I wasn't paid to post about SW, just wanted to share a good deal that I often use myself!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kitchen update

After waiting for what seemed like ages, we finally have hardware on our kitchen cabinets.  Actually, Cam installed them last month after Serena was born, but I haven't gotten around to posting about it until now!

I wrote about my clearance bin hardware find HERE, and my thoughts on mixing metal finishes HERE. The pulls were a total of $1.50 a piece at Home Depot! I found little aged brass egg shaped knobs in the same bin and used them on the upper cabinets, just to mix things up a little. I think their size is more suitable for the upper cabinets, while the bin pulls on the lowers look better with the larger drawers and cabinets we have.

I also like the contrast of the shine from the pulls against the matte cabinets. 
The cabinets around our fridge are loaded with storage. There's full extension drawers inside that hold so much stuff!

My only complaint about having hardware? Now I have to find a way to keep a mischievous toddler out of the drawers!

Someone found his momma's chocolate supply!

We're still a ways away from having a finished kitchen (a dishwasher, range hood, backsplash, lighting, trim and flooring are a few things on the list). Having hardware now makes the kitchen just that much more functional. It may be time to rearrange a few drawers though!
Thursday, April 11, 2013

The next stage!

I should likely correct my last post and say that Serena turned a month old Monday, not Friday.  I'll blame it on sleep deprivation.  Just like I did when I caught myself brushing my teeth with a blue toddler sized toothbrush. Sorry Talmadge.

Lots of things are happening around our house. Besides keeping up with a busy (teething!) toddler and taking care of a newborn we're prepping the house for a big project. And by prepping, I mean moving everything upstairs, downstairs.  We're getting ready to install trim, casing and baseboards, as well as real flooring.  Good bye dirty, chipped plywood!

Our painted, chipped and dirty subfloor!

Finding the right woodwork for the house has actually been a fun process. We started out by seeing what was available in the usual big box building supply stores. Unfortunately, the selection left us less then excited so we started talking with the guys at a local lumber company called Ogden and Adams. They have been awesome to work with and helped us find what we wanted. Actually, they helped us design exactly what we wanted!

The only original trim left in our house is around our staircase. You may remember when we refinished it in 2012.  We wanted to incorporate the original style of trim into our baseboards for a cohesive and period appropriate (1890's) look.

Original trim being painted in 2012.
We learned that for a $50-$80.00 fee, you can have a custom bit made that they'll use at the lumber mill to route the wood and create the design you want.  We took a piece of the stairwell trim that we had cut out to do a repair back when we were fixing up the stairs.  They used that piece of trim to trace the profile and then used that drawing to create the bit they'll need to cut the wood for our baseboards.  We also added a stepped out detail along the bottom for extra dimension and interest.  You can see the final drawing below of our custom designed baseboards!

Below is the baseboard design we came up with when working with Ogden and Adams. The top of the baseboard has the same profile as our original trim and we added a stepped detail along the bottom for extra dimension. I love being able to have my hands on the little design details like this!

Custom designed baseboards.....excuse the baby gear! Just snapped a picture as things are in our house!

For the window casing, we found a profile we liked from Ogden and Adam's catalogs that will be 4 1/4" wide. It ties in with the style of our baseboards nicely, and isn't too ornate or two plain for our tastes. Below you can see the profile of the casing we'll use to trim around the windows and doors.

Profile of window casing and door trim we've ordered.
The other decision we had to make was how we wanted to install the trim around the windows. Options are endless (and almost overwhelming), but looking around on sites like and Pinterest helped us finalize our choice . I actually have had the image below saved for a few years and used it on a post back in 2010. If I loved it then and still love it now, I think that's a good sign!

Image via House and Home

We've decided to keep our trim clean and classic and opted out of any decorative extras such as rosettes, crown molding, apron or a window sill. Instead we'll miter the corners like you see in the image above. Also, we'll be painting the interior parts of the windows (and our doors too) black and the trim white. 

Before our order of trim shows up in the next week or two, there's a lot of prep work to do! We plan to start installing upstairs and work our way down to the first floor and then basement.  That means the entire contents of our 2nd floor level has been moved downstairs! It's challenging to live in the space when boxes, furniture and tools are everywhere!

The good thing, besides being at the point in renovations to start flooring and trim is that we're taking advantage of this stage to clean out the house. There's some serious purging and organizing happening! I've taken more then one trip to the Goodwill this week. 

Thankfully, I've had some extra help with Nana McCalley coming over in the mornings to hang out with the kiddos and moving things around for me. What would we do without family?

As far as the flooring goes, we haven't purchased it yet. We're still researching where to buy, and saving up to buy it as well :) The plan is to get unfinished red oak in 4-5" width and stain it ourselves. By finishing on site, we'll be able to customize the shade of stain we use, and you also have a seamless look, since prefinished wood can show small gaps between the boards.

Image via House and Home
Similar hardwood (but wider boards) and shade of stain we plan to use.
I'm not usually wild about oak, but it's durable and on the cheaper end of hardwoods. By staining it a medium-dark shade and using wider boards, it will suit us just fine! We still have to be practical even when making things pretty, and having a floor that will stand up to kids, entertaining and daily living is important!

I'll keep you in the know as things progress! I also have a few posts planned for other updates that we've done.  It's only taken me three days to write this post, so we'll see when I get the next one up! Too busy feeding kids and changing diapers!
Friday, April 05, 2013

I month already!

Little Serena is a month old today!

She's been such a happy and easy going baby so far.  It's fun watching her grow and change every day.  I just wish it didn't happen SO fast!

My mom went home one Wednesday, after spending the month with us.  We loved having her here, and miss her as well as the rest of the family that was able to visit after Serena was born.

Right now, we're starting to sort out plans for house projects that we want to tackle this Spring and Summer.  Goodness, we have our work cut out for us! There's a lot we're going to try to get done! I'm excited though, as some of these plans mean we're getting to the finishing stages of the renovation!

I promise to be back next week to share our plans, along with progress we've made over the last month!

Have a great weekend!