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Friday, November 04, 2016

A New Adventure!

I should say a new project, but it's all new and exciting right now, so I'm being positive and calling it an adventure.  Give me a few months and  I may say something different :) Either way, bits and pieces of this project have been shared on social media so it's likely a good time to go into detail about we're up to.

Try not to think we're completely crazy but we have found ourselves a little acreage and a house that's in need of a LOT of love! After 9+ years of renovating non-stop we're doing it again...

I'll show you just how much love it's going to need.  Brace yourself for lots of paneling, carpeted bathrooms (why???),wallpaper(not the good kind) and a few "unique" design features(that stove!!).

 Kitchen: Featuring a one-of-a-kind stove! oval, electric and veneered in stone along with a custom range hood! Bet you've never seen that before!

Living Room: Has a fireplace(bonus!) but it's pulling away from the wall and something will need to be done...better picture of it at the end of this post.

Dining Room: Not sure what kind of theme they were going for here...cowboy ranch...tiki bar...?

Laundry Room: This will have to function as a mudroom/laundry room

Bathroom: Complete with a blue tub, toilet and sink. And carpet. The strategically placed bathmat covers a large hole in the floor :) 

Master Bedroom: Ivy, lace and a border.  My favorite things....

Powder Room in the Master Bedroom: Notice the mask.  It really smells that bad.

Can you even handle all the prettiness? I'm sure it was very lovely in it's time and I know someone enjoyed this house for years but now it needs serious updating.  It feels so heavy and dark with all the paneling and the layout of the kitchen and dining room makes the house feel smaller then it really is. And then there's the smell.  The house has been sitting empty for years and small animals have left "evidence" of their existence there so pretty much everything will be ripped out.

I was there yesterday for a few hours and pulled up lots of carpet. It feels good to get to do some demolition work again! We'll tear out the kitchen and dining room to open things up, then pull off all the paneling and gut the bathrooms, bedrooms and laundry.

My father in law ("the Papa") has spent lots of time here already pulling all the moldy paneling in the basement and is getting it ready to power wash and paint with a stain blocking primer.  It got pretty wet down there from just sitting for years with no sump-pump running.

Speaking of the Papa....he's a BIG part of this project.  We wouldn't be able to do this house on our own as we're not completely finished our and are way too busy with little kids and life in general to try to tackle it ourselves.

We had been looking around at land for quite a while when this property showed up.  It was priced pretty high for the amount of work it needed, but the location was perfect for us.  Paved roads, minutes from our family, church and town...everything we wanted.  I think the amount of work scared a lot of people away from it. The price dropped and we were able to negotiate a good deal for it. We also worked out a deal with the Papa (and likely Nana will get involved as her schedule allows) to help us renovate it. While we love our house, being in the country seems ideal for our family and the things we enjoy.

The goal is to have it finished in a year or so and then move in. That gives us time to finish up here, enjoy it for a little while and then move into a finished house.  I'm all for renovations but I hate living in the mess.  That was the most stressful part of renovating our current house and I don't think my nerves could handle that again, especially with little kids!

More details of the actual design plans to come.  We'll be trying to do this on a tight budget so we can move in quicker and because down the road we may add on and change the layout a little so we have to keep that in mind.  It'll be fun to share everything starting from scratch and the progress that happens in the months ahead!
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Master Bath Planning:Our Next Project

It's crazy to think we're actually getting near the end of renovating this house! The bathrooms are the last rooms that need to be done and then that's it for renovating here...that doesn't mean all the rooms are by any means decorated or furnished, but they're done as far as drywall, trim, doors, windows, paint etc! The messy stuff.

We've just finished painting all the interior doors and working on the last of the window frames. We hit them all with black paint and I must say they look sharp.  I almost chickened out on this but Cameron talked me back into it.  Said contrast was good so I went for it. I've shared a few pictures on Instagram (@swoon_interiors) if you want to see because I'm super lazy with the camera! What kind of blogger am I?

Once we're done painting, the master bathroom is up next so I am pulling samples and ideas together while Cameron's adding up the dollars ;) and trying to keep me on budget.  Hard to do when there's things like marble tiles in every shape you can imagine out there!!

So here's a preliminary plan...actually it's more like a wish list because we all know how fast things add up!

I'm going for a classic, clean, fresh style with lots of white/light grays and a little bit of black and antiqued brass. It's coherent with the rest of the house and is what I love best...

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We have room to do a walk in shower as I nixed installing a tub. We have a tub upstairs and as much a hot bath is nice, there's never time for that so a spacious shower seemed like a better option. We may do half walls or full glass walls, depending on what it costs and what is easier to install.

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To keep the costs down, inexpensive subway tile will go on the walls and we'll use marble hex in small areas like the shower floor and a few niches in the wall. I've found a 1" hex for the niches and a larger 3" for the floor just to mix things up. This keeps the cost and maintenance down that comes with marble but still gives a custom look.

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For the vanity we've found a few ready to install options online. There's lots of good options that come with a counter (often marble) and faucets for less then what it'd cost to buy separably or custom. Amazon and Overstock are great sources if you're looking.  We arranged our plumbing for his and her sinks and I can't wait to have the storage and space!

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If there's money left, I'd love to get some fun lighting and finish it with pretty accessories. I've found a ton of vintage small rugs on and and think they make the perfect bathmat to add color, warmth and pattern in a bathroom.  The bubble light fixture I've had my eye on for a long time and it's totally appropriate for this room, right?


We haven't found a tile for the main part of the floor but i'm aiming for a 6"x 12" longer tile to lay in a herringbone pattern. A ceramic hex like we used in our entrance would be awesome but considering it took us MONTHS to lay that I'm sure someone would say NO to that idea!

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That's about as far as I've come with planning...So once we nail everything down, get some quotes, cough up some cash and find some time we'll have ourselves a fun little winter project :)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting a customized look with Ikea Pax wardrobes + bedroom updates

Summer is in full swing around here and so are the projects. I feel like we have about 50 different things we're working on when we're not tied up, you know, raising 3 kids that are 4 and under :) But, we did finally check a good size project off our to do list.  Thanks to Ikea's handy Pax system and a little hack we did, we now have a real, grown up useable wardrobe .

Please ignore the temporary green tape hardware and enjoy the concealed storage. Just picture oversized (likely brass) sleek pulls instead...

We made the hike to Ikea in Chicago Memorial day weekend, leaving the oldest two kids with family to make the trip a little more doable. I loaded Vera up with snacks and she was happy as can be the whole day. We might have reminisced a little about how easy life used to be with just one kid :)

Since we had used Ikea's planner online, it made the shopping pretty easy. It gives you a handy list to print so you know exactly what you need when you get there. After looking around at some of the closet systems in person, we made a few minor tweaks and then loaded up our carts and unloaded our wallets! Much cheaper then having something built, but even at Ikea it all adds up. After a visit with some awesome friends who let us stay the night we headed home and started to put it together.

To make it look built in, Cam built a platform so that we could set the units (we used 4 of their largest and tallest ones) on top of it and wrap our baseboards around that.  He assembled one unit first to get exact measurements.  We also rigged the unit a little in that instead of the toe kick piece being set back like it normally would be, we screwed it in flush with the front so that there wouldn't be a space between the baseboards and the unit when you opened the doors.

Once everything was level and secured to the wall we assembled the rest of the units (was pretty easy) and installed all the interior pieces. You can bet I was going behind Cam filling them in with clothes.  Not at all excited or anything ;) I do love how you can customize each unit for what you need. We seriously have more closet space then we do clothes!

We tried to maximize the high ceilings by using the taller units. Since we knew that you can't easily reach the upper part of the wardrobe we added storage for out of season items, kids gear that doesn't get used often, extra blankets etc. Old houses aren't known for closets, so this definitely helps.

Pre-wardrobe, these ties were always a tangled mess (well so was everything) and now they each have their own little spot! OCD much? Might be my favorite part of the whole thing....that or the glass front drawers or the little LCD light strips that turn on/off when you open or close the door. So fancy.

After it was all installed and the clothes put away, I painted the baseboard and the crown molding Benjamin Moore's Decorators White like the rest of the millwork in the house. We had Sherwin William color match it in their Pro Classic oil based semi gloss paint as it's my favorite for trim. It levels nice and stands up really well.

You might have noticed the crown is stepped back.  We didn't realize the fire alarm was going to be in the way and this was the only solution since you can't really just moved them once installed...not ideal but oh well.

The rest of the room is still a work in progress. I finally got all the trim painted a few months ago and painted the walls Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore.  It's a pretty warm white and at first I wasn't sure about it, but I think it's grown on me.  The transom frames just got a couple coats of black and we're going to spray the window frames and doors black soon too.

I also picked up these Ikea linen like curtain panels (around $30/pair!), they're extra long so I'm going to hang them close to the ceiling (Little trick BTW to make your ceilings look higher.) and thinking of adding some greek key trim to the leading edge.  As for the rest of the room, we need to pick out a ceiling fixture, order a duvet cover, find a comfortable reading chair, add hardware to the wardrobe, etc, etc....

So, there's still a few things to do before I can call this room finished but I love the progress we have made.  No more piles of clothes and clutter. Shades on the windows (hello privacy!). Nightstands for all my knickknacks. It's all good :)

And now I take a deep breath and embarrass myself by showing you the mess we lived with before adding the wardrobes. #keepingitreal #slobs #pleasedontpinthis

That's what happens when you're always busy working on other parts of your house, this room was a dumping ground for clutter. Whenever company came over and I needed to clean up quick, it all got thrown in here!

But the point is, it all takes time and money and DOESN'T happen overnight. Especially if you do the work yourself or you don't want to take on debt and are paying for it as you can.  Hopefully that encourages you if you're trying to fix up/decorate/furnish your place, just keep plugging away at it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Shopping sources + When to splurge

As promised, here's the links and information on some of the items we used in the master bedroom I shared yesterday! Starting a space from scratch eats through any budget quickly so we had to be smart knowing where to splurge and where to save!

headboard:Wayfair | lamps + shades:Target | nightstands (existing, THESE would work too) | succulent dish (DIY coming soon) | sheets (similar HERE) | duvet (similar HERE)

If you know the look you're going for in a room, I love using flash sale sites to get a good discount. You have to be quick because once it's gone, it's gone.  I used and and a fair bit for this project to try and stretch the dollars as much as possible!

sheets: similar HERE | duvet: similar HERE | floral pillows: etsy shop (Aurelia 6311) discontinued, similar style HERE | lumbar, same etsy shop also discontinued, similar style HERE

light fixture: shades of light | budget conscious options HERE and HERE

Can we talk about that light fixture for a minute? So much nicer then the dated fan that was there! And it's a flush mount that in no way resembles the cheap builder grade fixtures slapped into houses all the time. This fixture was a bit of a "splurge" but it really makes the room. When my sister in law's husband installed it, even he was raving about how nice it was and how it gives off a perfect diffused light. And who doesn't want diffused lighting in a bedroom :)

dresser: ikea | chair: vintage | pillow: homegoods | striped throw: target | accessories: target | bamboo shades: homedepot | wallcolor: benjamin moore moonshine | trim: benjamin moore decorators white | frames: homegoods

rug: home depot discontinued similar HERE

Where to splurge and why:

Lighting! Ceiling fixtures, when done right grab your attention and make a statement. Plus they're usually out of reach for little kids meaning they won't get destroyed :)

Pillows: It only takes a few pillows to make the space special. A lot of the nicer fabrics are expensive, so by using them in small amounts you don't have to spend a fortune.

Bedding: You sleep in it every night, so make sure it's soft and breathable. I don't like to spend too much here because after time any brand of sheets will discolor and need to be replaced. Plus, if you keep the duvet classic and simple you won't tire of it.

Rugs: If there's enough money, vintage or antique rugs look beautiful in any room.  They add a little character, pattern, color and age to the space.  If you're on a budget, a natural jute or sisal rug will work fine.  Get one with a little color and subtle pattern for more interest!

Accessories, art, frames, throws, and lamps are an easy way to save money. I keep an eye out thrifting or antiquing for whatever catches my eye and use them to fill out a space.

There you have it! If I've missed something, just let me know!

PS, There's no affiliate links in this post, but the flash sale sites do reward you when you a "refer a friend". I've shared my personal link below if you feel like signing up. I use them all the time since I do love a good deal, you might too!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Before + After (and the inbetween)

See this little cutie's excitement? That's how I feel about this project I'm sharing today! Except I think she was just happy about being allowed to jump on her momma's bed :)

Image by Pink Flower Photography

A little over two years ago, my sister in law asked for a little help redoing their master bedroom. They weren't planning to do anything to their room until a storm came along and the tallest tree in the county was hit by lighting and fell on their house! Talk about being forced into a renovation!

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the pouring rain and gaping hole in the roof meant tons of water damage and a pile of work ensued! They did the work themselves to stretch the insurance dollars which meant they could upgrade the hand-me-down furniture and finally have a room they loved.

So sometimes, when you see all the pretty "after" pictures, remember there's usually a lot of long hours and messy work that goes into the space first! It doesn't all happen overnight!

Since water was pouring into the room when this happened, we never got any true "before" pictures of the old furniture, but you can see the ugly fan, textured ceilings and false beams that looked too heavy with the low ceilings.

Lots of water damage! It actually travelled to the lower level too, making a mess of the floors and plaster!

I forgot to mention, but my sister in law was very pregnant with TWINS while this was happening! Talk about stress!

Once all the lath and plaster was removed, they insulated and put up drywall.

Then, the original floors were sanded and stained.


After all the hard work was done, I got to come into the scene. For the fun stuff. Like painting and shopping. Lucky me! So now we have lots of pretty pictures showing how all that hard work paid off.

Image by Pink Flower Photography

The walls are Benjamin Moore's Moonshine and the trim is Decorators White.  I have those colors in our house and they liked them a lot so we used them here. They're calming and fresh in this space!

Image by Pink Flower Photography 

I pretty much had freedom with the design as the only requests were clean, simple and uncluttered with greys, soft blue/greens and a little coral!

Image by Pink Flower Photography

The white bedding looks classic and I like how the black trim on the duvet ties into the black edging on the light fixture.  I always like to add a few touches of black to every space. It's crisp and gives a bit of definition to a room.

Image by Pink Flower Photography

Pillow fluffing is serious business ;) Spending a little extra on pillows is worth it in the end. It makes it easy to build a color scheme and looks custom. Also, down pillow inserts. ALWAYS!

Image by Pink Flower Photography

Image by Pink Flower Photography

Image by Pink Flower Photography
The nightstands were existing to the house. They wanted to reuse them since they had just bought them not long ago for the living room, but ended up not needing them there.  They're a little small for the space (I prefer nightstands to be at least as tall as the top of the mattress and wide enough that the scale is correct next to a large bed) so we added taller lamps to give them some height and weight.

Image by Pink Flower Photography

It's easy to add a bit of pretty to a room with accessories. Low maintenance plants, a candle, stack of books, a dish to throw your jewelry in, a couple framed pictures, etc.  If you take the time to arrange simple things nicely I feel you'll enjoy your room more and maybe even have the motivation to keep it tidy!
Image by Pink Flower Photography

Image by Pink Flower Photography

On the opposite side of the room we added a taller dresser and a vintage chair. I'd still like to add a large round mirror over the dresser but we haven't found the right thing just yet.

Image by Pink Flower Photography
They'd like to have the chair reupholstered someday. It's not a priority at the moment, so for now a striped throw and cute pillow distracts from the not-so-awesome fabric. It pulls some coral to this side of the room and a few pom-poms never hurt anything either!
Image by Pink Flower Photography
A couple fun pictures of their kids were printed in B+W then hung in simple frames to make the room feel personal. It's an inexpensive way to decorate walls if art isn't in the budget.
In the windows we went for simple bamboo shades. They're easy on the wallet and add some texture.  We opted to skip on curtains as we liked the minimal look the shades give.
Image by Pink Flower Photography
Even grocery store flowers look pretty in this green and brass vase! The vase is nice enough to display on it's own when the flowers are gone.
Image by Pink Flower Photography
Image by Pink Flower Photography

We used a vintage brass tray to corral a few perfume bottles. Keep an eye out for trays at thrift stores/garage sales as they're great to make everyday items look less like clutter.

Image by Pink Flower Photography
Image by Pink Flower Photography
And just because this Auntie adores these two cuties, here's a few more pics! Forget pillows and accessories, these guys steal the show!
Image by Pink Flower Photography

Image by Pink Flower Photography
I love that this room feels complete! I can only imagine that having twin toddlers, plus two older girls makes for tired parents and I'm glad they have a place to relax at the end of the day. I'm also thankful they asked me to help as they made my job easy and fun!
Also, a big thank you to Caitlyn at Pink Flower Photography for shooting this room! She's a blast to work with and knows what she's doing! Her style is so fun and candid, I can't recommend her enough. Go look at her amazing portfolio and then book a session for your family, new baby or even senior pictures. She does it all!
I'll be back tomorrow with a post on some of the sources for this room as well as a few favorite shopping resources I like to use. What's your favorite thing in the room (besides the 2 sweeties)? Mine is that pretty light fixture!