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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A before and after!

Today I have a fun little before and after for you!

I've had this dresser back from the painters (Thanks Phil!) for almost a year, but never got around to taking pictures of it until now!

It's from a local consignment store called Stuff Etc and cost me $40.00. It sat for a long time waiting to be refinished, but I eventually handed it over to a professional so that it'd actually get done :)

It needed a lot of prep work since it had been (poorly) painted before I bought it!
I had a gallon of Benjamin Moore's Decorator White matched to a Sherwin Williams semi-gloss paint which we were going to use on our trim, but had accidently forgot to order it in an oil based paint. So I just had it sprayed with that since we didn't have another use for the paint!

I love how it looks in Serena's room!

Besides the crib, this dresser is the only piece of furniture in the room, so it's kind of loaded up with her books and what-nots.

The canvas is by Lindsay Letters which I picked up at Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off.  When I brought it home, Cam asked if I was promoting cannibalism. Only a guy would say that!

The little box is used to corral hair bows, elastics, etc.  It's from TJ Maxx, and so is the frame with a picture of Serena and Talmadge. 

The trio of brass elephants were 50 cents a piece at a garage sale!

The hardware is original, but I had to strip it of layers of paint.  It was easy but time consuming, yet worth it I think! Here's the link to my post on how I did that job.

How To Easily Remove Paint from Hardware

Inside the drawers there was originally some really cruddy drawer liners.  I ripped them out and then cut wrapping paper in a much prettier pattern to fit.  There was enough adhesive left from the old liner that I didn't even need to glue the new paper in, it stuck well enough. 

I love vintage furniture! A good coat of paint and it's like new again, without the price tag!

Still more to come on this little one's room.  I had her Nana sew some curtains, but still need to install the rod and have them hemmed and hung.  Plus, we'll have to rearrange the furniture a little in the near(ish) future as the room will be shared with Vera once she's big enough to move out of our room.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Choosing hardware

Do you ever find having too many options makes it hard to make a decision? That's where I am right now as we need to buy hardware for all our doors. I've looked at pages and pages of knobs the last couple days trying to choose something.

Here's a few I've narrowed it down to and why.  First, cost is(always)an issue. We have over 10 doors to outfit so things add up fast. We spent some money on our doors (they're solid core) and 2 paneled so I don't really want to cheap out on the hardware, but I have to be reasonable too.

Also, I opted for black hinges when we ordered the doors(a few years ago) since I didn't know at the time what finish I'd want for the hardware, so it seemed safest. We are going to paint our door black and initially I didn't think I'd like black hardware on a black door, but some Pinterest searching has convinced me otherwise. What do you think of the look?




It's kind of clean and uncluttered.  I like. Plus it's most economical as I've found matte black hardware in the $20-$30.00 range.

I also considered using a porcelain knob with a black backplate. I think the white might be too much contrast so the brown could work.  I'm all for mixing neutrals even though some don't like brown and black together.


That option is still a little more then I want to spend. In reality, I'll likely chose one of the following since they all are around $30. I picked them because they're the few black knobs that don't have the little hole to unlock in the middle, or the push button in the center. I know that's standard, but it bugs me :)

I like this egg shaped knob, as it's just a little different from the standard shape.

This one breaks the rule with the lock hole, but it has a modern detail in the shape that I'm drawn to.

Simple, but maybe too simple.

Just the right amount of detail in the back plate. Might be my favorite.

Any favorites? Should I pay extra and get the porcelain or settle for the more economical ones? Do you think they suit an old house like ours?

In the end, I think I'll just be happy to have locking doors that don't have a "peep hole" in them! So will our guests:)
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

hello again!

I guess it's about time I dust off this little blog and write something. It's been months! I've tried a couple of times to put together a post, but am usually interrupted or just run out of steam. Adjusting to taking care of three little ones has been hard some days, but mostly just busy!

Speaking of little ones, here's a picture of our little Vera born in June. Can't believe she's already 5 months old. They grow too fast!

I wanted to show you the project that took up most of our summer. I can't say I did any work on it as I was either very pregnant or recovering from delivering a baby while all this was happening!

Our old garage got a face lift.  Actually, it literally got a lift as Cameron had to jack the whole thing off the ground to repair it.  Our house is old and on a small lot, so we weren't allowed to tear it down since by code it's too close to other property. If we did take it down, we wouldn't be able to build a new one. So he worked on it from the inside out.

Here it is in it's sad and sorry shape.

The garage had no existing foundation, just a poorly poured cement slab (they used metal fence posts as rebar!?!) and that had to go. Cam rented a machine to score the cement and then used a loader to break it up and remove it.

Someone in our house loves to watch and "help" their daddy!

Once that was done, he dug down to put in footings and a proper foundation.

Who needs a sandbox when you have a mountain of dirt to play in?

Next he put his engineering skills to work and braced the garage to lift it up.  Then he talked a few people into helping with the digging :)

Once the new footings and foundation were poured, the walls were reframed. We made them taller for extra space and that also allowed an attic room too(more on that later!).

(The tarp was to keep the rain/mud out while digging)

If you look at the original door, you can tell how much we lifted the garage!

Like most of our projects, it was a lot of work and a lot of mess.  I was just thankful most of it was kept outside :) Even if that meant the backyard was not very kid friendly!

Since then, the garage was backfilled with dirt and rock to get it ready for a concrete floor in the spring.  It got too cold to be able to pour cement, so that'll have to wait.  So will the siding, trim, lighting and a couple of windows we'll install too.

In this picture, you can see the new doors Cam built. They're folding carriage style doors that we'll trim and install with heavy duty strap hinges.  I think they'll look awesome when they're done!

Since the door opening was so large, we would have needed to order something custom anyways and that's always $$$. The carriage style is more fitting for the era of our house and was cheaper to build.  They'll still have an automatic opener, and he made them to fold instead of swinging open from the middle since it would be a pain to have to clear the snow if they did.

Here's a few inspiration pictures I'm using for when we add the trim, hinges and paint.

This picture shows a similar style of strap hinges that we'll use.  I like the scale of them for the size of our door.

This green color on the doors is so pretty! It looks great with the white and grey and I could paint the entrance door as well as our front door the same color to keep things cohesive.

 Another pretty color scheme.

 We've toyed with the idea of adding a subtle chevron pattern and then repeating that in the privacy panels we'll build on the sides of our deck.


So that's that! As time allows, I'd love to get things up to date with the progress that's been made around the house and a few little projects I've worked on!

As always, thanks for reading :) 

Back to my babies(and laundry, dishes, etc)!
Monday, June 02, 2014

Our new bed!

I really should be cleaning my house, doing laundry and prepping supper for the carne asada party we're having tonight with a bunch of friends and family.  But, I'm going to sneak this post in instead as I really want to show you our new bed. It's kind of our first piece of real furniture that hasn't been borrowed, handed down, thrifted etc. Grown up furniture! Since we've been renovating for all these years, it never made sense to put money towards good furniture since it would just be ruined by all the dust and mess that's been made while we fix up the house. So getting to the point where we can buy permanent pieces is kind of exciting.

After sleeping for years on a really cheap terrible mattress and always waking up sore we decided enough was enough and we were going to buy a new mattress. Cam did the research part and we ended up buying a Serta mattress/boxspring from Sears. Not a cheap thing to invest in, but worth every penny for a good night's sleep! This also meant we were going to get a bed (we've just been sleeping with a mattress/boxspring on the floor) too!

Since we knew we were going to blow most of the budget on the mattress, it meant there wasn't a ton left for the bed itself, but we still wanted to get something nice that we would want to keep long term.  I liked the look of upholstered beds and having a padded headboard to lean against for reading at night is nice too.  I had my eye on a few from Crate and Barrel, but they cost about as much as the  mattress. They're likely worth it for the quality, but still didn't fit the budget. 

Instead, I found this one (didn't get this color as you'll see) by Skyline Furniture on

It comes in a few fabrics and was a reasonable price for us. I really didn't like the metal peg legs or how the headboard supports run to the floor behind the back legs.  To me those details make things look cheap but figured for the price I could fix that!

We went with a California King so that it would fit between the window trim better then a King size would. It's a nice upgrade from the full size bed we've been sleeping on!

I choose the fabric color Smokey Quartz and crossed my fingers that it would be pretty in person! It's the perfect shade of lavender grey and the nail head trim is a pretty antiqued brass.  I love it!

To deal with the ugly peg legs.  They weren't just ugly and plain, but spaced strange too.  Instead of being at the corners of the bed, they were inset a lot and looked off.

A couple years ago I found these antique furniture feet at a garage sale. $2.00 for four of them so I got them not knowing what I'd do with them.

I finally found a use for them I guess.  They already had a bolt screwed into them so Cam redrilled holes in the metal bed frame so the legs could be installed closer to the corners like I wanted.

It's a small detail but I like it so much better!

We still need to get bedding, but will likely wait closer to fall to get a duvet of some sort (it's hot enough here we can live without it).  I did find an awesome deal on sheets and feather pillows though. Who knew they sheets could be so expensive!!

I knew I wanted white sheets because they're clean and crisp looking, but didn't want to buy online since you can't feel them in person first.

I stopped into Tuesday Morning and found that they carry high end lines like Peacock Alley and Sferra for way, way cheaper then retail prices. 

These discontinued Peacock Alley sheets were originally close to $600.00 but Tuesday Morning sold them for under $100.00! They're super soft and the eyelet detail is pretty too! They also had king size feather pillows that were priced at $190.00 each (!?!!) on clearance for about $20.00.  I don't usually find much else at that store that suits my style, but it's worth shopping there for bedding!

Anyways, those are the details on our new bed. There's still lots to do to finish this room and I'm excited to (slowly) put it together.  Things are definitely going to go slowly as our third little one is scheduled to arrive in a week today! Thankfully my mom gets here today so if I can I'll share some of the plans and ideas we have for the rest of the room!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

appreciating the now!

Sometimes I get so caught up in all the projects that still need to be done on the house, that I forget to enjoy the progress we've already made. I look around and am making a continual list of things we have to do and feel like we'll never be finished this house when really I should be happy with how far it's come. 

Yesterday, I was quickly snapping a few pictures for this post and was mentally making my list of the things we still want to do to the exterior (replace the steps, replace/paint the door, build something to disguise the trash/recycling, etc....) when I stopped and thought about the sad shape this house was in when we first bought it. I remember after living in it for a couple of years, we would be outside working on something when people walking by would stop to chat about what we were doing and then ask us "So when do you plan to move in?" When I would tell them we already lived in it, the look on their face was priceless.

The house when we bought it!
It made me smile a little when I thought to appreciate what we already have, right now!

The house so far!

With that, here's a little project that's I got to cross of my "list" the other day, thanks to the hubby!

I picked up this copper light off Craigslist years ago for $20. The elderly man that sold it to me told me he got it from a local Quaker Oats factory. Kinda cool! I had planned to use it in the kitchen but forgot we'd wired for a wall sconce instead of a pendant.  So it has sat in the basement until a few days ago.

We picked up some electrical parts at the hardware store and I painted leftover chain from another light fixture with copper spray paint.

I meant to take a before picture of the light we've had hanging above our front door for a couple years but Cam had it down before I could find my camera.

A little too industrial for my taste. Not to mention the bulb has been burnt out for month and months...

I wish I could explain how to wire a light, but Cam had it done in minutes! He's handy like that :)

Not bad for 20 bucks! I love that the copper finish ties it into the new lights we got a couple months ago for our back deck. You can see them HERE on instagram (and follow along too, if you'd like).

This is the first year I've had a garden out front.  So far everything is surviving I think! I have no real gardening experience, so I just picked out some sun loving perennials and small shrubs that I liked and planted them!

I played around with the layout a little, knowing some plants like the boxwood and azalea will get larger and fill out the garden.

Once they were planted I added cedar mulch to keep it low maintenance.

I don't love the usual black tube like edging that is usually used around gardens, so I found this composite edging that narrow and discreet. It blends with the cedar mulch and helps keep the curved shape of the garden in tact. We've used it around the side of the house too, which I'll show you once we get things planted there.


I think it's safe to say the house looks a little more welcoming then it did when we moved in!
Inside too....

We just finally finished the tile in the entry! It dragged on forever and we're both happy to be done with it! More on that later....