Another Goes to the Dark Side

Our master bath is still one of my most favorite full room makeovers we’ve ever tackled.  Maybe it’s because I still have nightmares about the starting point and appreciate how far it’s come.  Or perhaps I simply love the contrast of dark and light, warm and sleek, natural and industrial.


I think for most people, the nearly black walls are a big part of the equation, as it’s not a color ordinarily found in bathrooms.  But, when paired with white lower sections and a large window letting in plenty of natural light, the dark color doesn’t feel cold or cave like.  Rather, it’s a warm, but bold neutral that packs a punch.

When the lovely lady that bought our old house asked me if I thought the same color (Wrought Iron in flat finish from Benjamin Moore) would work in that master bathroom, I said yes.  Like our current master bath, this room also has a window and plenty of white wall trim to balance out the dark, pulling color from the tile up to the walls.  In a moment of insanity, I offered to paint it for her, as a fun reveal of sorts.  Fortunately, she didn’t find it crazy and agreed, to painting as well as a post about the changes.  Here’s the bathroom, in all its pink glory while we still lived there.



Master Bathroom Painted Pink After Sink Side

Eek, that last photo looks really bubblegum, though in person it looked softer and deeper.  I figured the only room I’d ever paint pink was a bathroom and went for it.  Three plus years later, the current owner was ready for a change.

After only a few hours of painting, and a handful of new accessories, here’s it is after:


While the pink was light, airy, and borderline cottage-y, the dark is masculine, enveloping, and modern.  Along with ample natural light, wood tones keep the dark walls from feeling sterile and lifeless.  In the case of our bathroom, the walnut vanity adds that natural warmth.  With a white vanity here, a couple of dark wooden accessories and art peppered around the room do the trick.  I sanded and stained a bamboo tissue cover and created a custom wooden sign.


For a dash of fun and humor, we agreed on the ‘get naked’ design, as it hangs across from the shower.


Over by the sink, we added a circular trio to fill out the wall space.  Using a kit and 10 inch wooden disk, I painted and hung a distressed clock, small wood slice art, and the owner’s antique hand mirror passed down from her grandmother.


The other side is simple with a hand towel and wooden bowl for hair ties.  Going so dark on the walls really emphasizes the white trim, too.


It was fun to be back in a familiar space, working on a project and the happy couple love the changes as well.  So, it goes to show that an unconventional, unexpected color can work in different spaces.  Worst case scenario, if the changes aren’t great, it’s only paint.

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.

Trim Tutorial: Master Bedroom

Shame on us.  We haven’t shared a trim tutorial in quite some time.  What were we thinking?  Obviously, we weren’t.  How would you like to see our master bedroom and bathroom trim?

Let’s get started.  We (well, Ben) started with 4 foot by 8 foot MDF sheets.  One that is 3/4 inches thick and another that is 1 inch thick.  He cut tons of 2 inch wide strips, several 3 and 5 inch wide pieces out of the 3/4 sheet.  Then, he cut 1 1/2 inch wide pieces from the 1 inch thick MDF sheet.

To start, we installed the 5 inch baseboard around the perimeter of the room.  Then, we started placing the 2 inch wide verticals, placing one centered on each wall.  From there, the verticals have 12 inches of wall space before the next edge.  The horizontals are also spaced 12 inches from edge to edge.  With the grid in place, we added the three-inch wide top rail, capped off with a 1 1/2 inch deep by 1 inch thick piece, to finish it off.

Now, onto the tricky parts, the doors and windows.  Ben had the idea to install lights above each window and door in our master bedroom.

Door and window casement starts out the same as the rest.  Rather than a piece of casement at the top, we’ve added three trim pieces.  First, a piece of 1 inch thick MDF, cut into strips and routered for a decorative edge.  Then, a piece of 3/4 inch thick MDF cut into 6 1/2 inch widths.  The tricky part was cutting the crown to fit against walls; both doors nearly touch the wall.  For Ben, the easiest way to tackle this obstacle was cutting, gluing, and nailing the crown to the flat trim, leaving a 4 1/2 inch reveal.  After the glue had set, Ben cut the pieces to size, installing the whole piece over the routered rail.

The lights tuck neatly inside the crown, glowing at night.

That concludes our current home’s trim treatments.  Anything else you want to know before closing day?

Summer Swap

Typically, I’ll decorate the house for only a few holidays and seasons.  Nothing major, usually, just a few decorations.  We don’t have a mantle, so our decor switches are few and far between.  Fall and winter we have cozier, darker fabrics, blankets, and pillow covers.  Spring and summer require bright, cheerful colors and lighter weight bedding.

Our spring coverlet is from Ikea.  It’s not as heavy as our duvet, but not too light for the cool weather.

Our summer blanket is from Target.  It’s a simple, light weight knit blanket with a waffle weave texture.

You’ll also notice I swapped the green shams for pink ones for more color.

Because you can’t see the floor in these pictures, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into our daily lives.  Behold, Ben’s side of the bed.

Yep, a shirt, shorts, green circle toy (one of the boys brought that in, not Ben), small bowl, phone charger and unplugged alarm clock.  Ev likes to turn the music on and off and usually sets an alarm to go off at midnight while playing around.  And, I’m too lazy to tuck his bedding in every day.  Somethings just aren’t worth it.

What seasonal changes do you make?  Just bedding?  What do you have on your side of the bed?  Tons of junk like Ben?