May 13th, 2013
I had to make a super quick and simple Room Design Planner form for my house planning binder (which is still empty because I can’t find a 3-hole punch!) to keep all the little details in my head straight. You can use this type of planner for a renovation, or just for decorating a room.
After using mine for a few rooms, I made some changes to make the form better.
Hopefully you can use this for your home renovating, designing and decorating!
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May 11th, 2013
My adorable and incredibly creative friend Alicia King recently opened an etsy store with her adorable paper goods and vintage finds. She also sells at local boutiques including one this weekend at Bliss Boutique in Pleasant Grove Utah (105 S 100 E). Her shop name is the polka.dot barn: paper goods & vintage finds.
Here are some awesome photos of her booth and cute products. Visit her website: thepolkadotbarn.com, etsy shop: thepolkadotbarn.etsy.com, and blog: aliciaking.typepad.com for lots more eye candy. You can also add her on Facebook to get updates about what boutique’s she’ll be showing at: facebook.com/thepolkadotbarn.
Now onto the drool-worthy photos:
Isn’t her booth just so amazing! I want her to come and decorate my studio… if I had one right now. Maybe in a few months… Seriously cute stuff though – so check out her site and shop to get your hands on her adorable creations!
May 5th, 2013
I remember showing this picture to Mr. Project before we went and looked at the house. His immediate response was “NO”. No point in even looking at it. Then I told him the price and the square footage, and he was willing to go look at it, but wasn’t overly optimistic…
I don’t think I’ve ever posted my full set of “before” photos for our project house. When we bought this house, we were on a very strict budget but wanted something big enough for our growing family. I was 9 months pregnant, and didn’t want to stay in our tiny apartment, so house hunting we went! Anything in our budget that was “move-in” ready was around 1400 sq feet. Since we work out of our home, that just wasn’t enough space for us. So we had 2 options: buy something small and grow out of it pretty quickly, or buy something larger and put some major work into the renovations. We had never really renovated a house before, but I figured there was a first time for everything. Mr. Project is such a hard worker, I had no doubt in my mind that he could jump in and just do it.
When we found this house, it was in pretty bad shape. No one major negative, but just years and years of neglect. The carpet was 35 years old and the house hadn’t been painted in years and years. Unless you’ve been in a similar home, you can’t imagine how badly 30+ year old carpet smells. We brought friends over to see it before we signed on the dotted line and they ALL thought we were crazy. certifiably nuts.
But I could see the beautiful swan in the whole thing. The floor plan was pretty awesome, the spaces flowed well, and there were 2.5 bathrooms. And the best part – the part that really sold me was this home office space:
It also had a beautiful backyard and was on a big piece of land that was somewhat secluded from the neighbors. That’s something we didn’t see in any of the other (newer) homes we looked at.
When we decided that we were going to go for it and buy it, I knew that we were going to have to renovate every single surface. Nothing that we could *see* would be visible in short order.
I was excited to remove all those dark pine doors, and 3/4″ baseboards. The orange peel walls needed to be re-plastered and smoothed, and the flooring of course all had to go.
New lighting, new kitchen, all new bathrooms and laundry. We had to gut out the whole thing and start from the drywall up.
We did have a few surprises here and there. The entire under-lament (what sits on top of the subfloor, but under the flooring) turned out to be particle board, Mr. Project had to tear out every inch of every crumbling sheet and replace it with a much higher-quality plywood sheeting.
Some of the plumbing was in disrepair and we ended up having a plumber come and replace the majority of the old copper pipes and fittings in the house.
The lighting was also outdated and sparse, so we had an electrician spend a few weeks rewiring and adding some more modern lighting.
But the bones were good, and with enough work we made the house look brand new again.
Every surface updated in some way or another. Think about every surface in your home, and how much work it would be to replace them.
I remember leaning against the wall in the living room that first day and imagining that very process and being terrified of it, but also excited to be the creator of something so massive and wholly ours.
And in the end, I think we did a pretty amazing job. Mr. Project really made it happen, I was mostly a cheerleader – he’ll say visionary, but I couldn’t have imagined anything quite so beautiful unless I knew he could pull it off.
He was there night and day for the 2 months leading into move-in. And then finishing up small projects and a few big ones like the kitchen and laundry in the days and months after we moved in.
I think we’ll be forever changed by this house. It changed our goals and expectations. It made us realize that any goal is achievable with enough effort and a clear vision. It also made us never want to stop creating and making things more beautiful than how we found them. Which is a big reason why we wanted to move on to another project house. We love the adventure of designing a home. (see the after photos)
May 4th, 2013
I get tons of people asking what paint colors I used in our home. We went with a coastal beach palette with a lot of light airy colors focused around warm grays, taupes, and aquas. Here’s a quick graphic you can pin (scroll over to see pin button) if you want to keep track of our colors. I LOVE all my paint colors. I have to say that both in person and online, the most asked about color has been the Abalone (benjamin moore). It is a light airy gray that sometimes reads as greenish, or purpleish, but always beautiful and full of life. If I had it to do all over again, I’d have all my sea-salt mixed at 75% and maybe a drop of black added to de-saturate it just a hair.
We used Abalone by Benjamin Moore on all the major areas of the house including all the bedrooms (other than the master) and the office space. It’s an awesome, bright, neutral warm gray.
All the white cabinets were painted in Duck White by Sherwin Williams – a great off white that doesn’t go yellow/cream. It’s more of a green/gray undertone.
Trim was painted White Dove – DO NOT confuse this with Dove White which is a much more yellow white.
The walls here are Sherwin William’s Sea Salt, and the laundry cabinets are Kelly Moore’s Acapulco Aqua. The countertops are made of solid alder and stained a custom mix.
We wanted to go darker in our master and went with Brindle by Kelly Moore. This color is absolutely perfect if you’re looking for something that’s darker than the Restoration hardware grays, and is still a warm color. In the day it looks almost brown, but it’s definitely a gray. The nice thing about it is that you can mix browns or grays, it’s an awesome dark neutral.
To carry the warmth from the master bedroom into the bathroom, I went with a taupe – Benjamin Moore’s Ashley Gray. At full strength it’s a bit too dark, so I went 75% strength and it was great for the space.
My Craft room was a medium teal – Gidget’s Secret (Kelly Moore). I would have loved this to be a little bit more green, but it’s a rich beautiful color if you’re looking for a more blue color.
Here’s another view of Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. We used this in two bathrooms and the laundry room. I also used it for inside the glass cabinets in the kitchen. The color is very similar to Restoration Hardware’s Light Silver Sage.
Picking paint colors was probably the most stressful part of the renovation. People say it’s “just paint” but really it’s a lot of work to re-paint a whole house if you decide you don’t like the colors. Plus the paint you choose really does determine the look and feel of your house. My advice is to try a lot of samples – put big swatches on the wall – and look up pictures online of spaces using the colors you are thinking about. At the end of the day, you just have to bite the bullet and hope for the best!
May 3rd, 2013
I LOVE turning vintage/antique furniture pieces into bathroom vanities. It’s such a cost-effective way to get a really unique piece in your home. And if you’re a great budget shopper it can be cheaper than your average pedestal sink but with so much more style.
You may remember me altering a console table into a vanity in my first project house:
In our new house, I am planning on doing something similar, so I’ve been on the look-out for the perfect piece to remix. I heard about a local vintage market, and hoped in Mr. Project’s truck to see if I could find something magical. After going through nearly the entire market, I happened upon this gorgeous little lady:
I’m pretty sure thats an antique vanity (pre-bathroom/plumbing). The height is perfect – including these cute little roller feet, the depth is just big enough for a sink, and the width is going to fit my bathroom just fine. I had to have her and went a little over my budget. But she’s just so pretty and I knew she would be a great conversation piece in our guest/powder bathroom.
I rolled her on outta there, and brought her home (her feet are not on in this pic, but they are sooo cute).
I love how leggy she is, and that little under-frame is so unique. They just don’t make furniture like they used to.
Now I need to find a drop-in or vessel sink, and some sort of wall mounted faucet. I’m also planning on painting her black. What color would you paint her? I think black would be super elegant but I’m totally into black cabinetry right now.