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    We're two avid DIY-ers raising two rambunctious boys while tackling large and small projects, living to share our tale. All with the hope to inspire and encourage others.

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    Adorable cow and calf. Cute as a button, because that's her name. Another weekend, another window. Bigger, better, and brighter! Five down, five to go. Taking a break because digging through rocks is a bitch. But yay for greenery!!

The Rachael

Nope, not referring to the popular 90′s Jennifer Aniston hair style that took the country by storm.  Meet our new sofa, Rachael by Flexsteel.  She’s slim, clean lined, and slightly vintage styled to play nicely with the MCM bench.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room

We sold the old three-piece sectional and put that money toward the new girl.  With nine button tufts along the back, there’s just enough interest on the tight back.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Toward-Dining

The fabric color, Earth, leans more beige in bright light, but gray in overcast conditions.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Back-Detail

Ben really wanted leather, but I think this tweed like textured fabric adds a lot of comfort and warmth.  I paired with a faux cow hide pillow for a dash of Western flare.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Arm-Detail

Flexsteel offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, springs, and cushions, which should hold up to the four Y chromosome people in this house.

Flexsteel-Rachael-Sofa-in-Living-Room-Toward-Entry

Now to find chairs to place perpendicular to the couch.  I’d love to add something leather here, assuming we find something we agree on.  Much easier said than done.

While we were at the furniture store, we noticed another Flexsteel brand sofa, the Dana, in the clearance section.  Priced at $600, we took Frank from American Picker’s trick and bundled to save over three hundred dollars, including a fabric warranty plan on the Rachael.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room-Toward-Kitchen

The fabric is slightly darker and more on the gray side, but a real upgrade from our old couch.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room

Slightly rolled arms are more traditional in style than I usually like, but still small enough to fit the space.

Flexsteel-Dana-Sofa-in-Family-Room-Arm-Detail

Taller legs on both couches make vacuuming under a breeze, too.  So far, we’re thrilled with the new additions.  Fingers crossed we can say that years from now.

A Hole in the Wall

Just a few days ago, our dining room had a large 8 foot tall door in a room with 8 foot ceilings.  From day one, we didn’t like how it looked in the room.  And the header-less wall wasn’t the most rigid.

Dining-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl

This summer we have grand plans to replace the remaining windows and siding the house.  It’s a big task, but we’re anxious for the change.  Each big project is usually broken up into many smaller segments to make it more manageable.  While the weather was warm last week, Ben and my dad pulled out the big door, leaving a slightly larger hole.

Old-Dining-Door-Out

Together they built a sturdy header and a knee wall to build the space to fit the replacement window.

New-Window-in-Dining-Room-Framing

So, why a window instead of the door?  Well, we will replace the bay window with a sliding door and extend the deck over.  We’re 95% sure this was the layout when the house was built.

Dining-Room-Bay-Window-Deck-Extension-Area

See that little brown rectangle on the bump out?  That’s where the deck railing was attached and painted around.  Right around four feet wide, this will become a perfect walkway.  Which allows us to better use the covered section of the deck.  Instead of a grilling/smoking station, we’ll have shaded seating.  The area behind the grill will become the deck extension.

New-Window-in-Dining-Room-from-Deck

Back inside, my recent paint job isn’t looking so hot.

New-Window-in-Dining-Room-Front

Rather than adding small pieces of sheet rock to fill in, we plan to recover the entire wall.  Some outlets and switches will move, and the texture is terribly mismatched from the door install.  Small seams are more likely to crack, too, so we’d prefer to avoid that situation.

New-Window-in-Dining-Room-Angle

That big, expensive door didn’t go to waste.  At 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall, proportionately it is better suited for the 12 foot tall entry.  Ben pulled out the old door and picture window.

Installing-New-Front-Door

Replacing it with a thick header for stability, leaving room for a smaller, transom style window above.

Installing-New-Front-Door-Header

Voila, new front door.  Most exciting to me is the amount of light this door lets in.  Several times, while walking past, the light catches my eye and my first reaction is, “Who left the door open?”

Installing-New-Front-Door-Overall

Clearly we still have work to finish it up.  Exposed header and yellow foam insulation isn’t going to cut it.

New-Front-Door-Installed

Big, exciting changes, though.

Keeping It Simple

I have a tendency to over complicate my life and the things in it.  I’m slightly OCD and a perfectionist by nature, so laundry must be folded just so.  The dishwasher loaded the correct way.  And I don’t do well with messes.  Of course none of these things really matter, I understand that.  Trying to get the crazy side of me to recognize it however, is a different story.  Another area I’m trying to simplify is my decor.  Too often, I feel the more, the better.  Look at the old entry for instance:

Entry-Console-with-Ottoman

Statement-type mirror, frames, necessities (the light, key tray and bench), and knickknacks.  Wiping the slate clean after the tongue and groove wall really made me realize how nice the simplicity is.  I propped a black mirror up, but didn’t like the added visual weight.  And the reflection looked cluttered.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-from-Front-Door

Instead, I replaced it with a white frame, large white mat, and a sweet little painting from Painting Well.

Painting-Well-Art-in-Entry

Balanced by the large expanse of white, the small rectangle of cheery colors don’t over power the space.

Painting-Well-Art-in-Entry-Vertical

 

Nor does it compete with the horns.

Painting-Well-Art-in-Entry-from-Stairs

Keeping the art lower to the console means the art ‘interacts’ more with that scene than the higher horns.

Painting-Well-Art-in-Entry-2

As for the console decor, we’ve got the basics.  The small bench for putting on or taking off shoes.  A lamp to leave on at night, the mitten/hat drying rack, a key tray, and small bowl of stamps.  More than enough room to set things like mail or sunglasses, but they’re not permanent.

Goodness Gray-cious

My quest to repaint the entry, living, and dining rooms took a lot longer than I expected.  First painting the new crown and waiting for it to thoroughly dry.  Next, a last coat on the tongue and groove wall.

Finished-T-and-G-Plank-Entry-Wall-with-Horns

Followed up with a first coat of paint on the walls.  Then tackling the ceiling where my shoulder and neck started cramping.  I ran out of wall paint and went back to get a third gallon, but we had issues matching the color, so the walls are slightly different from my original color.  But, now these dingy peach walls:

MCM-Sofa-in-Living-Room

Are no more.  Totally worth the days of plowing through.  Instead we’ve got fresh light gray walls to bounce the light around.  Make no mistake, the room is still one thousand miles from done, but much improved.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl

And hey, we’ve got a solid color.  No more patched sheet rock or paint swatches.

Dining-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl

Unfortunately, I can’t say they’ll stay that way forever.  The too tall French door will become a standard window and the bay window a sliding door.  After replacing the windows, we’ll update the window trim to match the rest of the house.  If I nail down my stair railing plan soon enough, we might be able to replace it soon, too.  Say it with me, no more orange stained oak!

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-with-Stairs

For now, I’m just happy to have baseboard (and the entertainment center toe kick!) and blank walls.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Black-Chair

This was unfinished far, far too long.

Herringbone-Plant-Pot-and-Thrifted-Chair-Overall

Whenever I paint, I pull out every nail, patch it, and then start anew.  Which is why I have only a few frames on the walls.  Still deciding on the rest.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Window

Even so, I’m not desperate to slap things up in an attempt to hide something ugly on the walls.

Living-Room-Painted-Oyster-Pearl-Behind-Sofa

And that’s the power of paint.  Or love, as Huey Lewis might say.  Sweet, sweet victory.  Even if I will have to do it all over again after windows.

Gimme a Giveaway: Easy, Tiger

Allow me to introduce you to a fun little shop Easy, Tiger.

The shop is stocked with funny cards, shirts, and art prints.  This Best at Life print will get here soon, and I’m so excited for it.

Easy-Tiger-Best-at-Life-print

How about a humurous Blah Blah Blah print?

Easy-Tiger-Blah-Blah-Blah-print

Stock up on fun cards like Keep it Down card:

Easy-Tiger-Keep-it-Down-card

Or the Wishbone card:

Easy-Tiger-Wishbone-Card

Maybe you want a cute shirt like the Gray Script Font Shirt:

Easy-Tiger-Script-Font-Shirt

Whichever item/s you prefer, one lucky winner will get to choose some favorites.

The Goods: A $50 gift certificate good for or toward anything in the Easy, Tiger shop.  

To Enter:  Leave a comment, which can (but doesn’t have to) include our Just for Fun question.

Just for Fun: If you were to have a personal catch phrase, what would it be?  I’ve been catching up on How I Met Your Mother, and Barney’s Legen wait for it, dary is fun.  So is Whoa Easy, Tiger.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook, and comment again for two total entries.

Contest Closes: Thursday, April 24th.

Number of Winners: Just one, chosen by Random.org.

Ships: Anywhere in the US.

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, April 25th.

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