Where Are They Now?

This weekend marked our first house-iversary here.  So I thought it’d be fun to take a side by side then and now tour.  Think of this as a child celeb where are they now special E! special.  Everyone loves those, right?  If you don’t, think of this as an updated house tour.

Let’s start at the front door.  Here’s the entry on move in day:

New-House-Entry April 13 2012

Add a rug, small table, a few prints, and here we are today:


The living and dining rooms one year ago:


And now:


Our furniture makes a big difference.  The rocker has to go back down stairs, but my dad needs his rocker when they visit.


Other than moving furniture in, painting over the red accent wall (which might change-see the swatches?), and building an entertainment center, this room hasn’t gotten much attention.


Same goes for the dining room.  Here it is before:


And now:


Yes, that’s a folding table in there, but it’s better than nothing.  We’ve got plans that could change the flow of the room, so we’re waiting to buy/build a table to decide the size and shape.

One big change has happened in the kitchen.  Check out how it looked then:


Now, the dark wall paper is gone.  Soon, I plan to finish the walls and paint.


Of course we still want to rework the kitchen.


The dark wallpaper wrapped around to my office, too:


It’s amazing how much brighter the room is without the dark walls.


One of the rooms we’re nearly finished with is the family room.  On move in day, it was a blank canvas with a 70’s moss rock fireplace.


The previous owner added some too traditional for our liking elements, like the sconces and arches.


Here’s the room after covering the fireplace, adding a bar/wood storage, painting the walls, re-arranging furniture, and squaring the arched doors:


Clearly the ceiling isn’t finished.  We’re fixing a few small cracks.  It’s on my to do list this week.  But the room itself is nearly complete, just have to shop around for furniture we like.


Along with the arches, the previous owner updated the main bathroom:

New-House-Main-Bathroom April 13 2012


Despite being the most recently finished room in the house, it was the first we remodeled.  More storage and a shower were necessary for our family.  And here it is now:


Light walls, a colored vanity, and coral accents make us smile.


The smallest bedroom, our guest/Handy Sammy’s room just got a make over, too.  Here it is on closing day:

New-House-Guest-Bedroom April 13 2012

Today the room is bright and sunny thanks to a larger window and happy yellow paint:


Reconfigured bookshelves allow more floor space while giving the bed a cozy nook.




Our boys share the second bedroom, which was a plain box before:



And it still kind of is:


Before we can do much else, the popcorn ceiling has to come down.  Then we can add trim and paint the walls.  Until then, we’re living with swatches on the walls.


Same story in our bedroom.  Popcorn ceilings are preventing us from working on the room.  I can’t wait to paint over the cobalt blue walls:



We have built a bed (though it’s not finished) and added art:


I guess that’s something.  Ha!


Before, our master bath was a burgundy cave:


A coat of green paint lightened things up, but we want to remodel this bath to include the claw foot tub we removed from the other bathroom.


Most of the basement is unchanged, so I’ll just share the laundry room.  Ben pulled pet stained carpet out right after signing the papers:


For now we’ve got an old rug in place:


Gotta make things work, at least until we can really tackle each room.  So there it is, our house one year ago versus our house today.  It’s nice to take a look back, because sometimes it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this remodel project we call home.  But, we’ve actually got three finished (or allllmost finished) rooms with lots of changes in others.  Slowly but surely, we’re making progress.  One day, weekend, and project at a time.

Trim: Office

While planning my office, I fell in love with a box pattern so much, that we added it as trim.  The custom cabinets Ben built were already in place, so we wanted to have the top of the trim match the top of the cabinets.

Our cabinets are 36 inches high, not including the Brazilian cherry top, so our total trim height is 36 inches.

After determining the trim height, measure each wall, marking the center.  If you have cabinets, mark the center of the area between the wall and cabinet to make the design centered on the visible area.  Then, mark the center of the height.  The easiest way to calculate the center is to add the height of the baseboard and top trim pieces then subtract that number from your total height.  For example, we used 5 inch base board, 2 inch top trim and a 1 inch thick ‘shelf.’  Subrtact 8 from 36 to get 28 inches.  Now, divide in half and mark.

To create your box grid trim, first install the baseboard.  Now you’re ready to start creating the boxes.

We wanted 10 inches of space inside the boxes, so Ben marked 5 inches each side from his center lines.  We cut 3/4 inch thick MDF sheets to our dimensions, but you can also use square stock trim.

After ripping down the pieces, Ben cut the horizontal box trim 14 inches long to allow the vertical box pieces to butt into the horizontals.  Secure the horizontal pieces to the wall, keeping level.  Once the horizontals are in, add the vertical pieces to complete the box.  After completing one box, measure from the outside of the box to the baseboard and top trim.  Cut several pieces to length, ours are 7 inches on all sides,  nailing centered on the box.  Use the additional pieces as spacers to continue creating the boxes.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Then, fill the nail holes, sand, prime and paint both the trim and wall.

Trim: Main Bathroom

Before we remodeled our main bathroom, it had pink on nearly every surface.  Even the walls were covered in a metallic pink floral wallpaper.

Before the wallpaper removal began, we planned to have 18 inches of white trim at the top of the walls, a shelf below and lilac paint covering most of the walls.  We thought the paper would be easy to remove becuase it was peeling.  With our trim plan in mind, we began tearing down the wall paper.

It turned out to be far more difficult than we initially thought.  After hours of scraping, peeling and subsequently damaging the sheet rock, we had removed about 18 inches from the ceiling down.  And that was on one wall!  Time for plan B; we opted to install sheets of beadboard to cover up the remaining wallpaper.  A few more hours of scraping and we had the top 18 inches of wallpaper removed from the entire bathroom.

Once we had the paper removed from the areas we knew would be visible, we cut our sheets of bead board from 4 foot by 8 foot down to 76 inches, leaving them four feet wide.  Ben used an air nailer to secure the sheets to the wall, going in to the studs.  Then, we covered the bottom of the bead board with baseboard, hiding the unevenly cut ends and gap between the panel and floor.

To build the shelf to display and store items, Ben cut a sheet of 3/4 inch thick MDF into 3.5 inch,  3 inch, and 1.25 inch wide pieces.  Then, Ben nailed the 3.5 inch cut piece to the wall 77 inches from the floor, checking to keep it level.  He added shims in areas because this piece was partially covering up the bead board panels.

Once the trim was secured, the 1.25 inch pieces were added to provide additional support for the shelf.  Keep the tops of the trim flush with one another.  Cut the trim pieces at a 45 degree angle when approaching doors or other vertical trim.  Finally, the 3 inch shelf was installed on top of the trim pieces.

Then, of course, fill, sand, prime and paint.  This can be modified to any height.  If a shelf is added, be sure the height works for the use of the space.  You don’t want to bump into it.

Basement Progress: Man Cave

When we posted about our basement living room aka the Man Cave, we were just getting the trim on the walls.  Well, we’re back to show the recent changes we’ve made to Ben’s favorite room in the house. 

After filling and sanding 1 million and 1 holes, taping and masking off areas, we were ready to start priming the walls, ceiling and trim.  We opted to use a paint sprayer to apply the primer because we had so much area and detail to cover.  After about four hours, we had the entire basement primed, looking like this:

This shot shows the small hallway and stairs. 

We waited 24 hours for the primer to dry and began spraying the ceiling with Glidden’s Bird Song.  Pass another 24 hour, then we taped the ceiling off to use the sprayer and painted our trim Behr’s Vermont Cream.  We removed the tape and HATED the ceiling color.  We decided to paint the ceiling Vermont Cream, too.  After three coats of white paint on the ceiling, crown mouldings, and trim, we were ready to add some color to the walls. 

I had planned to paint the basement living room Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage, which is one shade lighter than our guest bedroom color.  We had the swatch color matched at Wal-Mart to order 5 gallons.  We started painting shortly upon returning home, but we had major clumps on in our paint.  It turns out, the bucket had been on the shelf past it’s prime, leaving a semi-dry paint clump in the bottom of our bucket.  We returned the paint and got individual gallons.  The paint assistant converted the 5 gallon formula to 1 gallon formula wrong, so the new paint color is in between Silver Sage and Sea Green. 

We were on a huge time crunch, with one week to finish before my due date, so we unpacked our rug and sectional.  This is what our Man Cave looks like today:

The sectional is so comfortable and it can seat a ton of guests.  We still need artwork, cabinet doors and storage, but it’s usable now.

Our 42 inch Insignia TV, which hails from Best Buy was a great buy-on sale because it is last year’s model.  Ben did some internet searching to find the star of the room, his Onkyo 9100 sound system.  He got a great deal because there is a small chip on the back of the subwoofer.  It still works perfectly, shaking the couch during loud action scenes of movies.  Of course, Ben loves it and shows it off to almost every visitor we have. 

We have some finishing to do, like build, prime and paint our sliding entertainment center doors to hide the ugly toys, add shelving and make some pretty storage for DVDs, but all in good time. 

I’m curious to know if we’re the only ones to tackle a project with a short deadline.  Tell me your project and what your deadline was.   The arrival of a guest?  Selling your home?  Or were you having a baby, like we were?

Furniture Feature: Dining Table

Before we could bring our new table in, we had to remove the old set.  Then, I added a few more Flor tiles to the existing rug.  Because our old table was round, the four square by four square rug was the perfect size.  The rectangular table needed a rectangular rug.  When I order Flor rugs, I always order a few extra squares of each design.  This came in handy.  I cut the dark brown squares to fit with the existing design.  Then I taped them together because I didn’t have extra Flor dots.  After about ten minutes, our ‘new’  rug was ready for the table.

Ben and I carried in the new table base, but the top was far too heavy for me to move.  With a little help from a friend, we had a new table.  Enough talk, here’s the completed table:

The overall size is 4 1/2 feet long by 3 feet wide, which fits perfectly in our dining room.  The chairs tuck under neatly, fitting close the edge of the table, leaving two feet of walking space on all sides.

The apron is set in 1/2 inch from the legs, giving the base a polished look. 

I love the clean, modern Parsons style legs paired with the more traditional marble top. 

It’s a perfect balance of modern and traditional.  The dark wooden chairs are comfortable and stylish, but still add warmth.

I wanted to show the marble off, so here’s an artsy shot:

I am 150% in love with our new table.  What do you think?  What is your proudest DIY project?