The End of an Era

After living in and perfecting our first house for eight years, we found a new fixer upper that stole our hearts.  Our first house will always be our first house love, but we’re officially back to owning one house.  It’s a little sad,  but we’re so happy in the mountain house.  Even more so, we’re happy the buyers are happy in our old home.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane with a reverse before and after picture tour.

Living room before, recently opened to the kitchen:

After our move out:

Dining room before:

An empty after:

Kitchen, just after finishing a complete gut and remodel:

And after the after:

Guest bedroom before:

Now ready to house a cute little girl:

Main bathroom before:

After, emptied out:

Boys’ bedroom before:

And now, ready for the new owner’s stuff:

Master bedroom before:

And after, complete with the custom-made bed built (our buyer bought it from us):

Master bedroom before:


When Ben bought this house, the basement was completely unfinished.  Here it is after finishing it while I was pregnant with Everett:

And two years later:

My office, stocked and ready for work:

Now sad and empty, but ready to work for someone else:

The basement bathroom before:

We never did finish the steam shower under the stairs, but that can be a project for the new owner:

Laundry room and Ben’s reloading office before:

And after we moved everything out, including the washer and dryer:

The small basement bedroom as we had it just before moving:

And after moving:

The large basement bedroom pulled double duty, acting as both a bedroom and a storage room before:

When emptied, it feels even bigger:

Seeing the house empty is especially strange to me because I’ve never seen it this way.  Ben bought the house a couple years before we met, so he had already moved in.  If we’re in this house again, we’ll be visitors.  We’ve become friendly with our buyer, and we’d love to see how the house evolves over time.

Have you been a house after selling it?  Was it odd, or cool?  Did the new owner make any changes?

P.S.  To see true before and afters, check our Our First House page.

Worse for Wear: Painted Rug

Wow, it’s been a while since our last Worse for Wear post.  Let’s visit the chevron rug I painted for the boys’ bedroom.  Just after I painted it in the summer of 2010, it looked like this.

Way back then, I admitted I liked the look of the rug, but not the feel of the crunchy paint.  Because of the crunchiness, I thought we’d have peeling paint and more flakes than a dandruff shampoo commercial.  Surprisingly, the painted rug has held up wonderfully.  Sure there are a few small spots, but still nothing terrible.  Like this little dot.

And this slightly larger patch where a little boy had an accident.  Ben scrubbed the rug (hence the slightly worn paint), then poured baking soda to help with the smell (thus the white circle).

If you recall, I got the rug for $13 because there was an extremely run down section.  I’m happy to report the paint is actually helping this part.

So, it’s staying in the bedroom until it’s trashed or we find a better rug.

If you’re thinking about a similar project, I can say this holds up better than anticipated.  I think the key is using a darker rug and oil-based paint.

What’s your worst rug experience?  A spill?  Wear from use?

P.S.  Ben moved into this house eight years ago today.  Two and a half years after that, we got married and I started taking over the house.  Haha.

Place Your Vote! Please?

Before I beg for your votes, I first want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes!  It still amazes me that people read this little ol’ blog and care about our story.  So, thank you so much for such kind comments, encouragement, well wishes, and praise.  We are truly thankful for each and every reader and comment you leave.

Now, we have a huge favor to ask everyone.  We have entered two rooms in The Designer in You contest and we would really appreciate your vote.  You can vote for either our office

the boys’ bedroom, or both.  *Smile*

Each person can vote once in the entire voting process, so please head on over to give us a thumbs up!  To make it easy, I’ve added two buttons to the sidebar.

Click Vote for Our Office

When you’re done voting for the office, please give the bedroom a thumbs up, too.  Our living room was recently added, so check it out while you’re there.

Votes are limited to one per person, per computer through the entire contest.  Of course, the more votes, the better, so, it would greatly help if you would be willing to pass this info along to your friends and family.  Please, with a cherry on top?! Voting ends May 13th.  After voting, the ten rooms with the most thumbs up will then be judged by a panel and the winner will receive $5000.00!  Mama needs money for a kitchen renovation, so, each thumbs up counts!  Come on, you want to see us tackle a major renovation, right?  Well, $5000 could get us started much sooner.

Thank you so much for your continued support!  Fingers crossed!

P.S.  If we make it to the top ten, we’ll have a special giveaway.  Perhaps a custom herringbone pillow?  Hmm…

Shadow Casting

It feels a like a modern disco in the boy’s room thanks to the new wood veneer pendant.  How about some Shadow Dancing to get you in the mood for the shadow casting?  Everyone needs a little disco, no?  Back to the light. 

First, Ben removed the ugly ceiling fan. 

I don’t know if IKEA had this in mind when designing the Lack side table, but it worked.

Ben is a trained professional DIYer operating on a closed circuit.  Do not try this at home.  With the fan out-of-the-way, Ben installed the new, disco-esque light. 

Such a fun element for the room. 

Finally, it started getting dark.  Get ready for some shadow casting. 

Fun, right?  It’s even more fun when completely dark. 

Aside from the shadows casted on the ceiling and wall, the light itself looks cool, too. 

The overlapped areas are darker.  I love the light, especially for the $10.00 it cost after factoring the otherwise wasted veneer. 

P.S.  Ben worried about lighting the house on fire when we turned on the light, so we used a 25 watt bulb.  Surprisingly, it’s plenty of light.  Very similar to the amount of light from the guest fixture, which has a 40 watt CFL bulb. 

Chunky Wood Moooi Random

Way back in November, I attempted a wire version of the Moooi Random pendant.  I failed miserably.  After my failure, I brainstormed other DIY lighting options.   Then we got busy finishing our laundry room and my quest for a cool light fell to the back burner.  Ben bought a 250 foot roll of iron-on wood veneer edging for our laundry room shelving and drawers.  We tried it on one drawer and hated it.  Having used some of the roll, we couldn’t return it.  What’s a DIY gal in need of a light to do?  Use the otherwise unusable veneer to create a light, of course. 

So, I gathered supplies.

A hot glue gun, scissors, small clips and the veneer.  I also bought a ceiling canopy and socket kit, just like the ones I used to make my coffee filter pendant, from Home Depot. 

As my glue gun was heating up, I looped a piece of veneer until I liked the size, which is about the final size of the fixture.  Cut the end and cut about 20 more of the same length.  Overlap the ends slightly, about 1 inch, apply a large pea sized dollop of hot glue.  Press the ends in place until the glue has dried.  If you attempt this and use iron-on veneer, the heat from the glue will start to melt the glue backing.  This isn’t a problem, just something to be aware of.  If any hot glue seeps out, wait a few seconds, then peel the glue away. 

Glue the ends together of about 15 strips.  Now the fun begins.  Start by overlapping two circles, perpendicular to one another.  Glue at both touch points. 

Continue gluing, overlapping to create a random pattern.  Bend the veneer circles to fit in the holes.  They’ll pop back into shape. 

Make a smaller fitting triangle for the socket to fit into.  I marked mine with a small clip.  This will help keep visible seams toward the top, out of sight.  When your sphere starts getting full, it will be more difficult to place the circles inside.  At this point, start weaving your strips through the light to fill any large gaps.  Be sure to leave at least one gap that is large enough to get your hand and a bulb in, though. 

Cut a piece of coordinating cardstock for your socket.  Mark a circle at the center and cut a slit from one side to the center.  Place your socket in to keep the socket from shifting.  This is a super simple, cool (I think so, anyway.   Ha!) light.  It took me less than two hours from beginning to installation.  Baby breaks and all.  Stay tuned for pictures of the light installed. 

Anyone interested in giving it a try?  Or another DIY light?  Maybe you’ve already tried one.  Care to share some pictures?  Head on over to our Facebook page to show off your hard work.