Two Year Check Up

This month marks two years of living at this house.  Like last year, I’m taking you on a room by room tour to show you the changes.  Here’s the plain entry the day we closed:

New-House-Entry April 13 2012

Recently, we installed a tongue and groove accent wall, new front door and window, modern light, giant Longhorns and cute art.


We now have a bright, light filled happy space we’re not ashamed of.  Especially because this is the first impression.  We still have to replace the uneven, stained tile and railing, but this space is nearly complete.  The living room had great potential, but it felt too traditional for us.


Much of this room is still subject to change, but it’s functional and more ‘us.’  Painted light gray walls modernize it, while still feeling warm.

Living-Room-into-Dining-Two-Years-Later Coffee table plans are in the works, and I want to find a new rug and chairs.  Art, too.

New-House-Dining-into-Living-Room April 13 2012

But the modern twist on a rustic/Western style is coming together.  The newly finished sofa is perfect in here.


Hopefully a leather sofa will replace this one, but it serves the purpose until then.


Our dining room has seen some progress, but it’s not looking so hot these days.  Though it really didn’t look to great when we bought this place either.

Dining-Room-After-Move-In-April-30 A window replaced the door, and we’ve got one sheetrock-less wall while we deal with electrical changes.

Dining-Room-Two-Years-Later One of the least changed rooms is the kitchen.  Maybe this winter we’ll have some updates to tackle.


Aside from removing wallpaper and painting, no action going on in here.


In the adjacent family room, we’ve refaced the fireplace, added an insert, built shelves for a little nookpainted the walls a soft beige.


This room is one of my favorite places to relax and enjoy the back yard views and wildlife.


Our first remodel here, the main bathroom, was a full tear out.  Though it was one of the most recently updated spaces, the dark, showerless layout didn’t work for our two young boys or guests.

New-House-Main-Bathroom April 13 2012

Replacing the tub with a tub/shower, it now functions for kids and adults.


Across the hall, the small guest room was very dark.  North facing, small window, and a wall of 70’s oak shelving sucked the light and life out.


A new egress window lets in more light while the white shelves and happy yellow walls add cheer.


A beige box of boring wasn’t really a happy place for two little boys.


After asking for their suggestions, I scraped off the popcorn ceiling, painted the walls a pear green, and filled the room with color and kid friendly decor.


The master was completely opposite from the boys’ room starting point with obnoxiously bright blue walls.


So far, I’ve only painted over the shocking blue.  Soon, we’ll get new windows.



The biggest interior project from the past 365 days is the master bathroom remodel.  It was a dated yellow and red room of yuck.


Now, its our updated sanctuary complete with a walnut vanity, clawfoot tub, and pretty slate and marble tile.


A few big inside changes, but our landscaping saw the most attention last year.  I’ll get to that in another post.  We’ve been adding plants and greenery!

Sometimes, progress feels like it moves slower than a turtle, even though we’re most often working on something.  It’s nice to look back to see just how much we really have done; to be reminded of our excitement at closing.  And look back at the ugly and plain space we inherited.

Going for the Gold

Hey there, everyone and happy Friday!  After a week of sick kids (and now I’m getting the same cold) I’m really ready for a weekend.  While the boys have napped, I’ve worked several gold items into our house.  Some serve a purpose and others are face lifted items we already had.  Here’s one that is super useful to me:


A stump, slit cut in the side (using a hack saw), then gilded with Antique Gold Rub’n Buff.


Is now a handy recipe card holder in the kitchen.  But it can also display a picture or store recent important receipts or coupons.


While I had the Rub’n Buff out, I used it on a plain white tray.  Eyeballing it, I taped off a design and used a scrap of old t-shirt to buff gold over the rest.


Hello fun little tray!


I shall use you to control our remotes.


Because I couldn’t stop there, (addicting much?) I covered over the flourescent orange ends of this little timer.  They boys got a few from the dentist, so one is living on the guest room bookshelves.


Odd, I’m developing an hour-glass collection.  Perhaps to go along with my recently discovered owl turned doorstop group.

After my Rub’n Buff binge, I moved on to gold spray paint.  Because why not?  I used most of the can for another project.  Rather than store the little left, I sprayed this little succulent planter:


And my perpetual calendar box.


Five rooms got a touch of gold in the past week.  Midas touch, I’ve got it.  Ha.  What’s your latest addiction?  Gilding everything in sight?  Hour-glasses?  Owls?

The Gross Kind of Popcorn

Gross popcorn certainly does not come from the movie theater.  Or in the cheddar cheese and caramel mixed bag at Costco.  Oh no, those are delicious.  The gross popcorn plagues hundreds of thousands of homes across America.  An epidemic especially in homes built between 1970 and 2000.  We’ve got it, maybe you do too?  In an effort to rid ourselves of the dreaded popcorn, I moved the boys’ bedroom furniture into the guest room.  Leaving me with an empty room ready for popcorn removal.


Of course I had to move the guest furniture out before that.


Because I was alone in the moving process, I dragged the mattress and box spring across the hall to our room.


Three rooms affected by the dreaded popcorn.  Yes, all that to say goodbye to this:


Yesterday I did something I’d never done before.  After wrapping the room in Dexter-ish plastic, I scraped popcorn off a ceiling.


Guess what?  It wasn’t hard or bad.  In fact, it was satisfying.  Watching the ugly peel off, leaving behind a near paint-ready ceiling.  Which gives me a boost of confidence to get our larger room done, too.  For those with a popcorn ceiling problem, I’m working on a removal tutorial right now.  Something to look forward to next week.

So tell me, do you hate popcorn ceilings?  What’s the worst wall finish?

Quick Quilt

So, I made a quilt.  And it didn’t take that long.  About 10 total hours, from cutting to using.  After trying and disliking a small patterned bedding, I searched the internet for a more simple, but still colorful quilt.  This Pia Wallen Cross Blanket is awesome, but also expensive.

Then I saw this Polly blanket.

Perfect colors to tie in with the elements of the guest room.  White like the trim, gray to match the doors, yellow for the walls, blue like the headboard and dresser, and green accents.  But I couldn’t find a price or a place in the US selling it.  Instead, I used this as inspiration to make my own fabric quilt.


I bought a half yard of six different colored linen fabrics.  Light gray, dark gray, mustard, white, teal, moss, and used navy I bought for the headboard.  To maximize the fabric, I cut nine 6 by 16 rectangles of each color, keeping the left over ends.


With all pieces cut, I started randomly arranging the colors, sewing the short ends together to make a strip.


Then I ironed each strip before sewing two together.


I continued sewing two strips together, then sewed those strips to form the front.  Once I made the front large enough, I laid an ironed flat twin sheet (five bucks at Wal-Mart) on the floor right side up.  Then my patchwork piece on top, right side down.  For a little more weight and warmth, I added a layer of white flannel on top of my patched sheet.


Before sewing, I marked my lines, then stitched along all three sides and part of the bottom.  Basically, I treated it just like an over sized pillow cover.  Once I turned it right side out, I had and front, back, and inner liner with a small hole at the bottom.  I hand stitched it shut and called it done.


Folded at the foot of the bed it adds pattern and color, and functions as a throw or a summer blanket for one person.  Handy Sammy and I are both super happy with the results.  Bonus, I’ve finally sewn a full quilt.  Every time before, I’ve made way too small pieces for my patience and skill level.  Turns out, making large pieces makes the process quicker.  Who woulda thunk it?  How about you, have you ever made a quilt?

Patterned Bedding

Whew, these last few weeks have been busy, filled with doctor and dentist appointments, visiting family, finished off with a flu-filled weekend.  Clearly some things were more fun than others.  My mom, sisters, and I did a little shopping during their visit, stopping in TJ Maxx.  I saw a blue and yellow damask quilt and bought it for the guest bedroom.


But when I got it home, I didn’t love it.  Heck, I barely liked it.


Maybe because it is too feminine for the room.  Or a busy pattern in a small space.  Was I just that used to seeing the white?


While I love the idea of a fun patterned quilt, I don’t think this one works in this setting.


Now that I look around, most of our beds have clean white bedding.  Because it’s easy?  Maybe, but white can go with anything.  What type of bedding do you use?  Do you prefer pattern or a solid color?  Would you keep this quilt?