Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sofia's Girly Bedroom

Poor Sofi Sue.  She loves Henry so much and would willingly be roommates with him forever.  Henry, on the other hand, wants privacy.  He wants a room that he can go into, close the door, and get away from a little sister who wants to be next to him at all times.  So we're moving Sofia out into the tiny third room.  Notice I don't call it a bedroom because the village does not consider it one.  It has no closet and is only a little over 7 feet by 8 feet.

Currently the Guest Room/Tim's Office before we removed the carpet and refinished the wood floors.

The room needs a lot of work before Sofia can move in. 
  1. Remove popcorn ceiling.
  2. Paint walls and faux wood paneling.
  3. Paint ceiling.
  4. Revamp light fixture.
  5. Build loft bed.
  6. Install bookshelves.
  7. Create closet area under loft.
  8. Make rug and curtain for loft. 
  9. Decorate!
Here's a sneak peak of the only thing I've begun for the pink and purple (Sofia's choice) girly Xanadu to come:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kitchen Floor Failure (How not to paint vinyl floors)

I am not a huge fan of carpeting, but clean and installed in the last decade carpeting I can live with.  I have nothing against ceramic tile although brown wouldn't be my first choice.  I wouldn't install parquet flooring myself, but I think some people pull it off nicely.  Beige linoleum is not terribly attractive, but at least it kind of fades into the background.  Vivid blue linoleum doesn't fade, unfortunately.  None of these flooring options would be in my top 10 and all of these floors were combined on just the first level of my home.

Parade of Floors
I got to work immediately tearing up all of the carpeting before moving in and decided that this would be a great time to try something I had been reading about on the internet for a while.  Instead of having two different colored and patterned linoleum floors in my kitchen I would paint them both the same color.  It would still be linoleum, but at least they would match!  I researched the idea, talked with the paint guy at Home Depot and got to work.  I first cleaned the floors with TSP and then roughed them up a little with sandpaper.  After that I put on two coats of light grey concrete and garage floor paint.  I spent hours taping off a random herringbone pattern and then painted it in darkening shades of grey.  When I was all done my back was killing me, but the floor looked awesome!

Following some bad advice I did not end up sealing the floor after painting it.  Even though this paint is meant to be driven on by cars, it evidently isn't meant to be painted on linoleum and then walked on by a family of four.  Two issues I encountered with my beautiful new floor almost immediately were that it scuffed very easily (I found this out when moving the refrigerator back into place) and it was almost impossible to clean properly.  The paint seems to suck up the dirt and food that inevitably finds its way into a kitchen when you have little kids (and let's face it, I'm almost as messy as the kids are).  So now I have small scuffs by the sink, more scuffs where the new stove was moved, and a general haze of dirt over everything punctuated by food stains here and there.

It's an embarrassment every time I have people over.  With new flooring not in the cards in the kitchen until we eventually redo the entire thing I'm considering repainting and sealing the floors just so that I can have people in my kitchen without cringing.  I'll let you know if I ever get around to it!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Laundry Room Redo

So I decided that it would be a great idea to move Tim's office from our guest bedroom (future site of Sofi Sue's awesome, girly pink and purple bedroom) to the basement laundry room.  Now, Tim is not big on spiders.  When I made this suggestion to him he looked at me as if I were crazy and only consented to the idea when I promised to make the basement laundry room less spidery.  This room is the only unfinished part of our basement.  Cold and uneven concrete floors, dirty and unfinished 100 year old floor joists showing from the first floor, peeling paint, about a million pipes and a tendency to take on water all make this space pretty uninviting.  In order to displace Tim from his fairly comfortable current home office I decided to do the following:

  1. Paint both the walls and ceiling/floor joists white to lighten the place up and reveal any hidden spiders.
  2. Install water proof flooring.
  3. Build a desk and shelving for Tim.
  4. Build a laundry counter with storage underneath.
  5. Prettify everything with some fabric and colorful artwork. 
I thought I could knock this all out in a couple of weeks, especially since my sister took the kids for the weekend and I had plenty of uninterrupted time and Tim's promise of help.  Fast forward a couple of months and I've finally managed to cross number 1 off my list.  Where did I go wrong?  Good question.  I think that in order to fail monumentally at accomplishing a room redo it is important to start out by bragging to everyone how great the room is going to look when it is finished.  Check!  Then you should announce to your sister when you drop off the kids that you will both paint the entire room and install all of the flooring before you come back to pick the kids up in two days.  Check!  Lastly, you should just naturally have a lazy disposition and decide that catching a movie and going out to eat take precedence over prepping for paint.  Double check!

Here are the before pictures of our lovely laundry room, check back in about six months to see the finished project!

Laundry Room

Other side of Laundry Room

Friday, March 11, 2016

“Stairs, are they going up or are they going down? They’re so confusing! If love were a physical thing, it would be stairs.” ― Jarod Kintz (this dude is obsessed with stairs and elevators)

I'm going to try and document all of the things I've done to the house since we bought it while also showing what I'm working on currently.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures yet of the laundry room, new chicken run fence, bookshelves, or rug for Sofi Sue's room.  These are the projects I am in the middle of now (yes, I might have a little home renovation ADHD).  Instead I'll show you what we've done so far with the stairs in our house.

Here is the before and after of our bottom concrete step out front:


Although it does look better and, more importantly, is up to code, I'm disappointed that within a few months the concrete pad started to crumble.  I was in a time crunch to find someone to get this done, in the future I'll make sure to take my time and find someone who is more professional!

Here is the before and after of the steps going from the first floor to the second floor:


As with so many things in our house, the stairs were not at all what I expected when I pulled up the carpeting.  The original stairs with the dark stained risers stop halfway down to be replaced with newer unfinished lumber.  You can also see the strange little half step that the village made us put in because that last step was a doozy!  I'd love to know what happened to the bottom original stairs.  Were they configured differently or simply replaced for some reason?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Eventually I'll actually do something with these stairs, but I have to say that if you live with anything long enough it kind of disappears and I rarely even notice them anymore.

Here is the before and after of our last set of stairs, the stairs leading from our first floor to the basement:



Nope, the multi-colored wide variety of patterns was not a decorating choice, but a money saving one.  We got the carpet squares HERE.  At a dollar a square foot the price was right to help us replace the last of the old carpeting and get rid of the last of the dog hair from the previous owner.  I have gotten compliments on it and after seeing this sofa from Joybird.com:

Liam Patchwork Sofa
I can pretend like I was ahead of the whole patchwork craze curve!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tim is Pretty Big on Capital Letters

I should have started this blog over a year ago when we first bought our new home.  It would have been pretty cool to have a record of all the changes that have been made to our house, but better late than never!  Here is our lovely mustard colored house with the overbearing stone front porch.  For some reason, every dude that comes over says he likes the porch!  I guess masculine is one way to describe it.  Another would be ewwww!  But to each his own.

The lovely castle front porch is really what sold us on the house!

Incidentally, it was pretty difficult coming up with this awesome blog name.  I only landed here after rejecting:

  1.  The mustard house (taken already!)
  2.  ypos (our house is an awful shade of yellow and I got the idea from dad years ago)
  3. Home is where the mustard is (I know, pretty bad)
  4. A variety of names that involved swear words (rejected mainly because family members might read this)
  5. Other unclever names that I can't remember because I can't hold a thought in my head for more than 5 minutes at a time.