September 26th, 2012
I recently updated that we were working on our “room divider” in the living room. I needed Mr. Project to finish it really fast because I was hosting a bunco party. So he kicked it into high gear and start to finish he had the room divider and all the wall trim up and painted in less than two weeks.
Now I’m going to show you this before picture, but I do have to warn you that this is like SUPER before. This was what it looked like when we bought it:
Everything about this before is terrible, and let me tell you that if you had smell-o-vision that picture would stink to high heaven because of the 30 year old carpet and probably the 30 year old paint job. Let me point out some very special things about the before just in case you miss the subtleties. 1. Popcorn ceilings, 2. hideous 30-year old orange peal textured walls (like really bad bad texture, not new slightly bad texture). 3. old stinky carpet, 4. 1-inch stained pine baseboards & pine doors, 5. creamy old switches and plugs, 6. wall blocking the kitchen, 7. rickety metal railing (we tried to salvage the wood beam, but the stink had permeated it so we had to toss it). Basically the whole space was repugnant and have I mentioned that everyone tried to talk us out of buying this house?
Well that was more than a year ago. Before we moved in, most of the work was done in this space – though I don’t have a good progress picture. So Imagine the space with the pretty stairs, hardwood floors, smooth white ceilings and walls painted gray. It was a nice space, but really boring and other than the stairs lacked architectural detail. And for me, the biggest issue was that there was no clear division of space. I’m all for open concept, but I want spaces to feel like they have a beginning and end. Here’s my first progress photo to show about where we were at when we got started + the cabinets, beam, and columns:
So for the first part of this project, we decided the specs on the cabinets – we didn’t want them to feel too big and bulky, but yet they still needed to have some weight to them. We went with 12″ deep on the inside of the cabinets (standard size for an upper cabinet), 34″ tall (standard height for a base cabinet), and then 22″ wide (just a good size for the space).
Mr. Project built the cabinets – the face frames and doors are maple, the boxes and shelves are pre-finished melamine board. The outsides of the boxes are trimmed with 1/4″ MDF to create the paneling on the sides and backs. The cabinets are topped with a solid chunk of Black Walnut that we got from a friend who had cut down and milled some walnut trees on his land several years ago (whenever using solid wood, make sure that is is properly dried to avoid warping and splitting). It’s really gorgeous and Mr. Project was thrilled to get some solid pieces big enough to use without having to glue anything. Initially I had planned for the whole thing to be white, but I’m so glad that Mr. Project suggested walnut – it’s expensive, but in the end it brings some much-needed contrast to the very white space.
Once the cabinets were done, he installed them to the walls and bolted them to the floors. Nothing’s moving these suckers. Next he installed a 2×4 to the ceiling (screwing it into the beams above) and then built the beam out of 3/4″ MDF like a big U and screwed nailed and glued it onto the 2×4. The columns are built out of 3/4″ cabinet-grade plywood cut and mitered and affixed to one small square screwed into the beam and one small square screwed into the cabinet top.
Once all the main pieces were assembled and installed, trim work could begin:
Mr. Project continued the crown molding along the beam, and then trimmed out the columns and put baseboard on the cabinets. Then he started on the board and batten that we did all around the front room, one wall in the dining room, and then up the stairs.
Once all the trim was done the real work began… putting, caulking, sanding, priming, sanding, and painting. Mr. Project and nearly the entire house was covered in a fine white dust for a good 4 days. It was pretty awful. And all I wanted to do was keep cleaning and vacuuming because I couldn’t handle the dust. but in the end it was worth all of the hard work!
Here is the room divider all finished (missing the doors). It’s so so so so gorgeous, and just the perfect thing for the space. You would never know that it wasn’t always there either. It really is just a great focal point for the room. Especially since this is what you see first when you walk in the house.
And here from further back, you can see the expansiveness of the board and batten.
And head on with furniture in place, a peak of the stairs to your left.
And now the full stair shot – I loved my stairs before, but now I super duper love them with the trim.
And then a few days later Mr. Project installed the inset doors and shiny latches. This matches our kitchen cabinets & hardware to tie the spaces together.
And the over-all shot. Bestill my heart! Such a beautiful space, and completely unbelievable that it’s the same space that we started with over a year ago!
September 13th, 2012
So I was going through all my project house posts and I came across my old “weekly wrap-ups” that I used to do. I was so grateful to read and remember some of the small details that I had forgotten. So for my own sake (and memory), I’m going to try and resurrect the idea and keep it going!
House Projects -
The laundry room is pretty much complete at this point. We’re still anxiously waiting for our door though. I don’t know what’s taking so long, usually it’s only taken us a week or so to get a custom door ordered. The big cabinet still needs shelves, I’ve got to finish my art projects, and Mr. Project has to finish the drywall patch on the ceiling. Once that is all done, the laundry room will be 100% complete. In the mean time I’m actually having fun doing my laundry. I love having the huge work surface and just being able to fold everything really quickly and get it put away. And sometimes I just go in there and hang out for a few minutes and enjoy the pretty.
The newest project that Mr. Project has started is a room divider in the living room.
The end result is supposed to be something similar to this:
We’ve wanted to do this project for a long time because the space of the combined dining/living room just felt too large and undefined. This makes the space clearly two spaces while adding architectural interest and creating a great focal point from the front door view. I opted for doors on the cabinets to keep small fingers from wreaking havoc. They will have glass in them though, so hopefully the effect will be the same. Oh and they will have a walnut ledge instead of just being all white, which I think will add some nice interest. We picked up some gorgeous walnut boards from a friend of ours who milled it from his own walnut trees.
Anyway, I’m super excited how it’s coming together. It makes the space feel so much more interactive now. Oh and we’ll be doing board & batten walls in this whole space to make it a bit more elegant. It will be interesting to see how all the furniture gets rearranged once everything is finished.
Little Ollie is doing so well these days. He just turned 18 months old. We took him in for his well child visit and he’s 36″ tall and 26 lbs which is 99th percentile height and 76th percentile weight. The Dr was especially surprised at his height because we are both so short! I guess there are some tall genes hiding in there somewhere and he got both sets of them. No one would have guessed that we’d end up with a tall kiddo! They say that at age 2 you take their height and double it and it’s a pretty good representation of their adult height. Well he’s got 6 more months of growing before we double it and we’re already at 3 feet…. Lets just say that we better train him well when he’s little because it wont be long before he is much bigger than both of us!
He’s into anything creative/artistic right now, including drawing just like his daddy (in church to boot):
And thank heavens for the aqua doodle! No mess, just lots of creative fun:
Apparently he likes to wear a tie while drawing.
And then I snapped this shot at the park and I thought it was too adorable and totally reminds me of that “quintessential senior portrait.” When he’s actually a senior, I’ll have to request a shot just like this one so he can have a side-by-side.
We are having so much fun being parents, and this little guy is such a good good boy.
His current likes:
Food – pretty much everything
Caillou + Nina & Star (okay really anything on sprout)
playing in nursery (that’s my personal favorite)
the snack drawer
trying to help make anything in the kitchen
toys that stack
sleeping and napping (another good one)
talking talking talking
snuggling with mommy
playing with daddy
giving hugs (and sometimes kisses)
And of course his 2 stuffed elephants – Ellie 1 & 2:
That’s about it for the weekly wrap up. We’re just trying to get work projects done, house projects finished, and spend time with our cute little boy. Oh and prepare for our new little one who is only 7 weeks away! We might just be crazy, but we’re happy being busy and getting stuff done.
September 11th, 2012
While shopping for little decor items for the new laundry room, I came across these beauties at Home Goods. I love canisters, and I love galvanized steel, so this was an easy buy for me. Plus they were pretty cheap to boot, so I scooped them up! The only problem with them is the labels. Flour, Sugar, Tea, and Coffee are hardly laundry room material. But no matter, I’m a graphic designer I can whip up some labels!
Here you can see them in the laundry room, I have two on the shelf next to the detergent, and two on the countertop.
And of course I have them backwards so you can’t see the kitchen labels. This will be my first little art project for the laundry room. I haven’t had a chance to design the labels yet, but here are a few ideas (chime in if you have any good ones)
Bleach Crystals or 100% Crystallized Bleach Granules
Powdered Fabric Softener
20 Mule Team Borax
Powdered Laundry Detergent
Super Washing Soda
Anything else you can think of that would be in a laundry room? I’m going to probably get these going this weekend, so check back next week for an update.
The other art project I want to work on for the laundry room is getting some art on the batten wall. I have these papers that I designed for The Sweetest Thing, and the color palate matches my accessory shelf and brings in some bright tones
So for now I just placed the papers up on the gallery shelf
But I need to figure out the best way to display them. I don’t know if I want the bulkiness of frames, so I could mod podge them on some thin canvas or wood boards. Or I could press them between acrylic sheets with some metal hardware… Or I could put them in frames and do some cool arrangement with different sizes. Any suggestions?
I found these few ideas on pinterest:
Mounted on shelf board and hung on the wall. I could do a 2×4 or 2×6 arrangement like this over the batten wall.
Or something with letters or shapes instead of squares. But not sure how much I can make it relate to a laundry room unless I used the words “laundry” which is a bit too literal for me.
This is a cute idea – odd shaped frames, plates, ovals etc with the paper. I like it the best, but It would be a lot of hard work (and time) to find enough eclectic items to fill the space.
Or I could do a collage type gallery wall but instead of frames just have the paper cut into different sizes for visual interest. Something like this:
Those are the only ideas I have so far, but maybe you have some super creative ideas too! I don’t know when I’ll get to this especially if it’s more detailed, but hopefully soon. This baby is coming in less than 2 months, so I’ve got to kick it into gear with all these projects!
August 7th, 2012
Okay, so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted…. way too long! I’ve been basking in my early-pregnancy zombiness which includes sleeping, napping, resting, and trying to get some work done. And oh yeah… keep my toddler from killing himself (mostly through convincing him that he wants to “snuggle mama” and lay next to me while we watch Sprout ). I am starting to feel a bit more productive and we’ve started on another big phase of house projects before the baby comes. I also have lots of new work projects that have been taking up 90% of my actual productive time, so the blog has become super low priority. But I miss it like crazy, so hopefully I can really follow through and get this machine up and running again!
So onto a quick project that I finished yesterday… Spice Jars! So when Mr. Project built the kitchen cabinets, we planned on having two drawers for spices and a drawer for liquids/oils next to the stove. The top two are for spices and the bottom for oils.
For the spice jars we found these empty glass jars from The Container Store. We figured that 24 of these jars would fit perfectly in each drawer.
Mr. Project measured everything and cut a 1/4″ board that fit inside the drawer and drilled circle holes in it for each of the jars to fit. This is a super simple modification that anyone could do to their drawers. The finished drawer insert and jars look like this:
The board sits about 2 inches up via scrap wood that he nailed underneath in the back and front of the board. The board is also removable for cleaning. I thought I had a picture of the drawer with no spices, but I couldn’t find it! Oh well, you can imagine what it looks like without the jars.
For a few months we’ve been living with these temporary tags taped on the top of each jar identifying the contents. But now that we’re working on projects again, I ordered some 1.5″ round stickers and designed some cute labels that match the kitchen.
And printed them on the label paper.
And finally put them on the spice jars!
So now we have a useful and impressive spice drawer! And best of all, nothing can get lost in there!
I have tons of other projects to share as well as updates on our little family, so come back and visit soon!
December 23rd, 2011
I’m sure you all can agree that it’s been a busy holiday season. At first I was excited about Christmas being on a Sunday… but now it just seems really inconvenient as far as trying to get everything ready by a Friday.
I tried to give myself a break this year and not beat myself up about doing everything that I wanted to, and one of those things that did not get done was our Christmas card. We just never had a good time to get pictures done, and ended up having my friend Gennifer take them on the fly. There was still time to get them printed and sent, but with our travel schedule, it did just not work out… so our card this year is an e-card delivered via my blog, facebook, and email. So really we are just super “green” right? So in lieu of a card in the mail, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The decorating mostly got done – I couldn’t slack on this since its our first year in the house and I was excited to see how my existing decorations fit the new house. I still need a bit of filler since the house is so much bigger than our apartment, but I can pick some of that up on clearance on Monday! Here are a few snapshots that I took of our decorations this year:
(the iphone 4s takes THE BEST night-time christmas tree photos)
I saw the ruffled tree skirt tutorial that was floating around pinterest. I got everything ready and started to glue all of those ruffles, but only made it a few inches and decided it would be MUCH MUCH easier to just sew the ruffles on (actually my mom was visiting and she sewed them on for me – which is why this is even finished BEFORE Christmas). And trust me, if you do this, SEW the dang ruffles on, you will save your fingers and yourself from going crazy.
I totally need two more cream stockings from pottery barn! And extra points for anyone who spots the baby!
One other exciting thing that happened this week was that our back splash tile went in the kitchen! It looks amazing and I’ll share it very soon!
I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend!