File it Away

This past weekend, we didn’t work much on our to do list.  That’s not to say we didn’t work.  We just didn’t work on noticeable, blog worthy projects.  Instead, we loaded up some of the dirt pile Craigslist responders wanted.  Ben worked a little more on digging out areas and leveling out the back yard.  We cleaned, organized, Ben baked, and I spray painted a few things.  Yesterday you saw one of those things, faux billy buttons.  While organizing my office, I pulled out an empty, ugly brown file drawer just like this one.

I bought at the thrift store, oh, two years ago and never used.  It was five bucks and I figured I could use it for something.  Well, I figured out that something.  For the last few months, I’ve been storing the boys’ wet bath toys in a cheap metal bucket on the vanity shelf.  I didn’t like that the ugly toys were left in the open.  So I checked to see if the toys would fit in the drawer.  They did, so I dug around my stash of spray paint in the laundry room, coming out with a can of primer and another can of metallic silver paint.  A quick scrub with a rag, a light coat of primer, two coats of silver, and a few hours to cure in the sunlight, I brought it inside.

To prevent rusting of the inside, I popped in a cheapie plastic bin before loading the toys in.

That creepy eye belongs to Woody from Toy Story.  You’re welcome.  Toys are still easy to get at sitting on the bottom shelf (next to a basket for toilet paper and soap), but out of sight.

As you can see, the vanity isn’t finished.

We still have to build the false fronts, then repaint the whole vanity.  I should probably dust it sometime, too.

Please tell me you buy things from thrift stores and don’t use them for months or years.  Where/how do you store bath toys?

P.S.  You’ve gotta love Montana weather.  This summer has been hotter and drier than most, with no measurable precipitation in September.  We’re ready for a change.  Yesterday was clear, sunny skies with near 80 degree temps.  Last night, Montana treated us to a beautiful sunset.

This morning started with rain and quickly turned to snow.

Big, slow falling flakes, too.  I feel like a kid again.  Our first snow day.  Welcome.

Vincent told Everett, “Look at the snow on the deck.  It’s not watching where it’s falling.”  That’s right, snow does not discriminate.

I had plans for today, but maybe I’ll sit back, relax, watch a movie with the boys, and drink hot chocolate.  Yes, that sounds perfect.

Puttin’ On My Painting Clothes

Welp, over the last four days I did a lot of prep and painting.   Thought it may not look like I did.  You know, the main bathroom is deceptively large and then factor in the trim detail I had to work with.  It took most of my weekend, but we’re one step closer to a finished bathroom.  Last weekend, Ben installed most of the trim.  He finished up on Tuesday, installing the cap and details around the vanity.  I spent a few hours filling nail holes and caulking the seams on Wednesday.  After that, I packed up the boys and we took a trip to the lumber yard to search for the perfect crown molding.  Five samples came home with me, but I had a clear favorite.  That one, at the top of the pile.

Ben agreed, and it was the second cheapest option.  Hooray!  Thursday I sanded everything and started priming.  Then on Friday I put on the first coat of white paint.  After our home-made waffle breakfast, our little family made another trip to the lumber yard to buy our crown molding to finish off the bathroom.  Ben installed it once we got home.  Of course that gave me more nail holes to fill and seams to caulk, but the end was in sight.  While letting the caulk dry, I put a second coat of white on the lower half.  Bright and early on Sunday morning, I sanded the crown and gave it a quick, heavy coat of white.  Luckily, one coat covered the crown completely, so I let that dry and worked on the entertainment center.  (More on that project soon!)  Then I taped off the white trim to give the walls and ceiling a second coat of gray.  And so I did.  Because I worked my butt off to get this all done, I thought it be best to tell you every detail of the process so you feel like you’ve painted with me.  Haha.  I told you all of that to show you this; our (almost) finished bathroom.

While I’m biased, I’m completely in love.  And it’s nice to see the trim one color.  So much whiter and brighter.

We’ve got a few little things to do, like build faux drawers for the vanity, paint the door (which means the rest of the doors in the house will get painted as well-I think I’ve landed on a color), and spray paint the fan cover.

The rest is d.o.n.e.  As I mentioned, Ben and I had a few disagreements about trim placement.  Lucky for me, he agreed to add 1/4 inch detail trim around the side of the linen closet.

The rest of the room has a decorative trim (which also functions to hide the peeled sheet rock).

The same trim wraps around the vanity acting as a back splash.

Details make me happy.  While this trim is simple, I think it works well with the modern meets traditional aesthetic we’re going for.

Simple square door casement with a touch of detail.

And let’s talk about the crown.  We had the option to use traditional crown, similar to what is in the rest of the house, like this for 55 and 75 cents per linear foot.

But it all felt too formal and traditional.  Instead, we landed on a door casement with a slightly detailed, but still clean lined profile.  For us, this works.  We used casement as crown in our first house with great results.  And, this trim is only 45 cents a linear foot.  At that price, for our 8 foot square bathroom, the crown cost only $11.25.

Big impact for little money.  And the casement is easier to work with that true crown.

What do you think of our almost finished bathroom?  Did you work all weekend?  Or did you take some time to relax?  I’m off to work on the entertainment center now.

Nailed It

Well, almost nailed it.  Guess what?  We’re thisclose to finishing the main bathroom.  Over the weekend, Ben put up most of the trim.  Then he ran out.  Of course I couldn’t wait, so I filled holes and caulked all the seams I could.  It’s looking a little rough, but we’re getting there.

But nothing is ever simple with us.  That plan we had talked about a few months ago must have been forgotten, thus causing an argument or two.  First off, the door trim.  Ben cut a piece of the casement for the top, but it looked wimpy, and I insisted suggested he beef it up to five inches.  (That’s what she said.)

While annoyed, he must have agreed because he didn’t protest.  The toilet nook (doesn’t that sound cozy) was easy to agree on.

However, the vanity area had many issues.  For starters, Ben forgot that I wanted false drawers on the front of the vanity.  Sure, we could cover it with a flat piece, but I think it needs some more character and bling.  Good grief, I want to use pretty drawer pulls.

Until Ben decides he wants to work on that, we’ve still got this going on.

He cut a piece of trim to go along the side of the counter top, and I’m just not feeling it.  Just too bulky.

And I really don’t like the way the end looks against the linen closet.

Most likely we’ll add 1/4 inch thick by 3 inch wide trim instead to make a border around the closet end.  Because the walls aren’t perfectly straight, we’ve got a gap to fill at the back of the closet.

Basically, the visible side of the linen closet will have shaker style details similar to the kitchen cabinets we built for our first house.  And faux drawers to match, please.  Then we still have to cut thin strips to cap off the chair rail.

To cap it off, we’ll add crown molding, which I still have to find.  Something simple with a little bit of detail would be great.

Gotta sand down the filled areas to get ready for priming and painting.  Perhaps between scraping wallpaper off I’ll find some time.

I know Ben gets annoyed, but I’m fairly certain he likes the results, despite my uncanny ability to request changes.  Hey, I have a vision and I’m not good at compromising.  Haha.

What differences do you and your spouse have about projects?  Did you get a project almost done over the weekend?

The Sky Is Falling

Wow, it’s crazy how much we can get done on the house now without the roof demanding so much attention.  We’re currently between big projects, having just finished the roof and waiting for our windows to arrive.  Which gave Ben some time to tackle a few, slightly smaller projects, including installing the Sky Tube in the bathroom.

After some debating from everyone (you included!) we landed on centering it over the tub width wise, and centered over the shower curtain depth wise.  Ben started by tracing and cutting most of the outline of the light.  Before cutting it completely through, dumping a pile of insulation on our heads, be climbed up in the attic and moved the offending insulation.  From there, Sam cut the rest of the sheet rock left, and installed the bottom glass part of the light, screwing it into the joists above.

Ben attached the flexible duct work to the cover he had already installed while roofing and we were ready to rock.  And on an overcast, rainy day, this bathroom saw its first shred of natural light in existence.

Monumental, right?  Haha.

When the clouds parted and the sun popped out, our bathroom lit up, too.

Of course I had to hop in the shower to see what it was like with the curtain closed.  Look at all that light, without any electricity.

Ben was right, I’m glad we decided to center it over the tub.

Not only does the sky tube give great light to the tub area, but the rest of the bathroom as well.  The vanity area is light and bright.

Trust me when I say the change is dramatic.  Actually, why don’t you take a look at the before and after:

Light, bright, airy, and not at all yellow toned.  Ahh, I see the light.

How was your weekend?  Did you spend some time crossing things off the honey do list?  Or relax knowing fall is around the corner?

Good Goods

I’ll be honest, when I’m back in Minnesota, I like to visit with friends and family.  But I also like to do the things we can’t do in Montana.  Namely, shopping at Ikea and Home Goods.  My sister had to make an Ikea trip, so the boys and I tagged along.  I set a mission for myself to only buy things I needed or already planned to get.  The list included bath towels, chairs for the boys, organizational items, and possibly curtains.  Surprisingly, I stuck (mostly) to the list.  I bought two of these bath towels, but I wish I had gotten two more after hanging each on a hook.

I’m very pleased with the color, and the loop on top is a nice feature, and for $4.99 each, I’m happy.  Just wish I got two more to look a little more full.  Oh, I got antsy and hung the thank you business card that came with my Primele stamp, too.

In the curtain area, I added a set of Vivan curtains to the cart.  For the interim, I think we’ll hang these in the living room to block light while watching tv.  Once I figure out a plan for the living and dining room, I plan to put these in the guest bedroom.  Of course, I was near the fabric, so I got a yard of wide green stripe canvas-y material.

Then, in the planter department, I spotted cute metal floral buckets, on sale for 99 cents each.  I grabbed two to add inside the coral stripe box for feminine items.

V and E love to sit at their little table, a Lack table we’ve had for a while.  But for the past year, we’ve only had one little chair.  I saw the Latt table and chair set for $19.99 and decided the chairs would be great.  After a quick assembly, the boys have enjoyed their own space, perfect for coloring or snacking.

And that’s when I made an impulse purchase.  While waiting for my sister, we strolled into the As Is section and I spotted a 15 inch Foto pendant for ten bucks.

I haven’t decided if it will go in the boys bedroom or the hall, but I just couldn’t resist.

Just a few days before leaving, I got a chance to meet up with my pal Jen for some girl and shopping time.  Mostly, we talked and looked around.  However, I did find two things that came home with me.  How cute is this little ten-dollar mirror?  It’s double-sided, with a normal and close up mirror.

And it looks adorable on the bathroom shelf.

I’ve been on the hunt for a clothes hamper to fit in the bottom of the closet, but haven’t had luck because the closet is narrow.  When I saw this basket, I knew it wouldn’t work for clothes, but it sure would for holding toilet paper.  I really like keeping necessities in view so our guests don’t have to rummage through the bathroom to find what they’re looking for.  Though I’m not crazy about the color, its sturdy, the perfect size for the vanity, and cost $10.

At some point, I’ll paint the basket.  Maybe gray.  Or coral.  Even simple white.  We’ll see, but I’m always happy to have better storage.

How about you; are you good at sticking to your list?  Or do you make impulse purchases?  What’s your favorite home store to shop at?  I wish Montana had an Ikea or a Home Goods.