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.

It’s About Dang Time

At long last, we’re calling the main bathroom (we started working on, oh, mid April) d-o-n-e.  What were we waiting for?  False vanity drawers.


That we didn’t make.  After all these months of waiting on a few drawers, we decided they weren’t worth the effort (and the sizes didn’t work well).  Because they had absolutely no purpose other than looking like drawers.  Instead, Ben cut a few pieces of MDF down, nailed them in place so I could finish painting.


The rest of the room was already done.  Months ago.  Except the dark gray painted door.  I did that in December.


Officially our first completely finished room in this house.  Woohoo, we’re on a roll…hopefully.  Family room, I’m looking at you; get your act together already.


A few new accessories round it out, like these two bucks for three clearance cups from World Market.


And a navy and coral Without You print to hang above the throne.

Print in Bathroom

Just because it makes me laugh.

Print in Bathroom Reflection

Ahh, feels good to close that chapter.  Finish any long-standing projects recently?

Bathroom Break

For the New Year, I’m trying to organize more around the house.  Call it a resolution if you wish.  Some of that includes improving our current systems.  In the words of Tim Gunn, ‘Make it work!’  First up, working out the main bathroom storage.  After rearranging some miscellaneous supplies gathering on the top shelf, I cleared room for our supply of toilet paper.  Yes, we buy it from Costco, so we’re stuck storing 36 rolls.  Lucky for us, we’ve got a large shelf to help out there.  Below that we store soap, cotton balls, and q tips in covered glass jars.  A stack of clean white towels toward the bottom rounds out the closet.

Bathroom Organization Closet

Then I added a ‘guest jar.’  Basically, I took all the travel sized necessities and stuck them in another lidded glass jar.  This way, our guests can see assorted items and take something they might have forgotten.

Bathroom Organization Guest Extras

Below that we still have the storage caddy, a bottle of mouthwash, a lotion pump, and a few more travel sized toiletries.

Bathroom Organization Shelf

This time, cute Burt’s Bees.  Just a little something special.

Bathroom Organization Extra Toiletries

In a house full of boys and DIY projects, we often need a basic first aid kit.  Easy access is always nice, so I filled two plastic boxes with supplies.  The top one, from my great grandma, holds an assortment of bandages.

Bathroom Organization First Aid Kits

The bottom one, an Alli weight loss container from a thrift store, has first aid necessities.  Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, in labeled travel sized shampoo bottles leaves space for other items.

Bathroom Organization First Aid Kit

Unfortunately, everyone in this house has a cold, so I haven’t gotten my organizational hands elsewhere.  Have you organized (or reorganized) any areas of your home recently?

Squirrel in the House!

Luckily, not a real squirrel.  Just squirrel colored paint.  On the doors.  Two down, six more to go!

Main Bathroom Painted Door from Hall

Handy Sammy is home visiting his family, so I took this opportunity to paint the main bathroom door.  When only the boys are using it and they don’t care about privacy.

Main Bathroom Painted Door Open

I used Behr’s Squirrel, color matched to Glidden’s Duo paint.  Two coats of paint on each side with drying time between and here we are.

Main Bathroom Painted Door Closed

This is the only room we’ve installed new trim, and I love the contrast of the dark gray door with white.

Main Bathroom Painted Door With Shower Curtain

This color changes depending on the lighting.  Sometimes it has a green tint, others slightly brown.  But here’s the most accurate shot of the color.

Main Bathroom Painted Door Handle

And now the brass handles don’t look terrible.  Still not my favorite, but better.  Perhaps I can use a very fine sandpaper to take the polished brass down to a satin brass?  Ben is completely against spray painted handles, so that’s out.  I’ve also tried Blue Magic and steel wool without any change.

Do you like dark painted doors?  Have you used a fine sandpaper to tone down the brightness of brass?

Show Your…

Colors.  Did you think I wanted to see something else?  Pervert.  Just kidding.  But really, show your colors.  My Colortopia is back with a new tool, Show Your Colors, to let you show off your hard work.  Or if you’re looking to paint a room, gain inspiration (and colors) from other rooms.  I always say, paint is the quickest and cheapest way to change-up, add drama, lighten up, or add personality to a room.

Remember the bright red accent wall in our living room?  Yeah, that was too much personality, and not ours.

Less than a gallon of gray paint and a few hours really lightened up and changed the room.

Painting our entertainment center a dark, moody gray added some drama.  Trying out a golden yellow color was a fun way to add personality, but it wasn’t dark enough.

Keeping it dark and simple worked best here.

But in our windowless main bathroom, lightening up was the main goal.

The dark wood paneling and dingy beige paint sucked the light out of the room.  After a full remodel, adding a shower, a linen closet, and changing every surface, time to paint.  Bright white for the trim work and a light gray for the walls for a light, airy but still modern look.

A little personality goes a long way, so a blue painted vanity is a fun touch, although it’s not finished yet.

Now go over to My ColortopiaShow Your Colors, and upload before and afters of your recent paint projects!

What room(s) have you painted recently?  Or are in the process of painting?  Did you go with a lighter color?  Or choose a dark, moody color?

I have been sponsored by Glidden® brand paint to write this post, but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.