Unorganized Laundry Room – Before

7-17-16 Laundry Room Doors

You may have noticed in my house tour that I’ve strategically photographed only one side of the kitchen. Well, here it goes. I give you a “real talk” photo of the empty, unfinished, catch-all side of our kitchen.

There’s enough room for a small table in the bay window, but the problem is there are 3 doors and a pair of bi-fold doors leading to the laundry room.

7-17-16 Laundry Room and Breakfast Nook Layout

Here’s a not-to-scale image of how many doors we have back there! I hope to one day find a table solution for back there, but for now I’m going to focus on the scary lack of organization going on in the laundry closet.

7-17-16 Bifold Laundry Room Doors

You can see to the right, there’s junk piled up which reminds me of something else I should share. We have zero storage closets downstairs. Yep. Not even a coat closet. There’s a small pantry in the kitchen but obviously we use that for food. Which brings me to…

7-17-16 Laundry Room Cabinets Before

…the two cabinets above our washer and dryer. Cue the horror music sounds. Literally everything we want out of sight gets tossed carelessly on one of these shelves. The bottom left shelf is (mostly) cleaning supplies and detergent, and basically everything else on these shelves is non-sensical.

7-17-16 Nailed Broom and Mops

On the left wall, I drilled in a few screws to hang up our broom and mops.

7-17-16 Empty Cabinets Laundry Room

Just emptying these shelves gave me a sense of relief. I’m determined not to re-load them until I have a better grip on the junk and a storage system in place.

7-17-16 Laundry Room Idea 1

Pottery Barn

I would love for this little nook to wind up looking like this. But this might be a little too frilly.

7-17-16 Laundry Room Idea 2

Who What Wear

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PAINTING OUR BRICK FIREPLACE WHITE

7-9-16 Painted Fireplace After

My absolute favorite home makeover project so far has been painting our 1990’s brick fireplace white. This project took about three hours but the result changed the whole feeling of our living room. Now it’s brighter, fresher, and all around happier!

So this is the first project I’m going to backtrack on. I updated our fireplace about a year and a half ago, but browsing through these photos brings back all of the memories (and trials).

7-9-16 Fireplace Before

Here we have it. Our red brick fireplace. Although it was more grounded after we added the flooring (compared to when we first moved in), the dark red brick didn’t match our design style.

7-9-16 Herringbone Brick Pattern

We’ve talked about remodeling the fireplace altogether (we’re actually still considering it in the future), but I love this herringbone pattern in the brick. It’s a fun little detail.

I wasn’t exactly planning on doing this project. I’d considered painting it, but since we contemplated taking the brick out I had been telling myself to wait. Then one day when I was sitting on the couch and staring up at the thing, I jumped to my feet and decided just to go for it. Our walls are painted Stormy Weather by Olympic, so I grabbed the paint swatch and decided to go just a shade lighter with Quill. I told the gentleman at Lowes that I was painting my fireplace and would like the color in a glossy finish. He made a face at me, said it would look funny, and suggested I get it in a flat finish. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Paint Counter Guy! This was the first time I’d painted in flat, and I have to admit it looks great!

7-9-16 Whitewashing Brick Fireplace

My first thought was to keep the look of the brick by just lightening it with a whitewash. Here’s a tutorial I used during this attempt. After thoroughly cleaning the brick, I basically took a bucket and mixed half water and half paint, dipped a rag into it and wiped it on the brick. Then I took a wet rag and blotted the bubbly paint concoction off.

The whitewash had and interesting look and I didn’t completely hate it. But it didn’t have enough pop for me. Plus it was looking slightly pink…

7-9-16 Painting the Fireplace

Once I decided to paint the brick instead, I expected smooth sailing, but it did take a little effort to paint all of the nooks and crannies in the bricks. Also the brick acted like a sponge and drank in a lot of the paint. It ended up taking about three or four coats to get the whole fireplace covered.

Using a roller to cover the surface sped up the process, but you’ll still beed to brush in the cracks. A sprayer would have been mighty convenient! Definitely keep a drop cloth down because regardless of your technique there will be a lot of splatters. Oh and also keep Friends on the TV as some hilarious background noise. I might also suggest The Office.

Overall, I love how it came out! It’s so much cleaner now—literally cleaner! Dust and debris from our winter fires no longer cling to the porous bricks. It was such a quick and easy update that I feel like it was still worth it even if we do decide to rip it out.

7-9-16 Painting Our Fireplace Before and After

Our House Before We Bought It

We purchased our house knowing it’d need a lot of work, and it’s been so much fun! It’s always interesting to look back at where you started, though. Since I’m trying to backtrack our projects for my blog, I thought I’d share the pictures from when we first bought our house. Starting with these pictures from the real estate listing:

Our House Before We Bought It

House shopping was a real struggle with this one! The market at the time was so competitive that we probably ended up making thirty offers before we landed this one. I think we lucked out, to be honest. The listing photos were pretty bad and the house was looking rough in person, too. This worked to our advantage when we made our offer.

backyard 1

I fell in love with the weird backyard. It’s pretty ironic that the part of the house that’s the biggest head-scratcher now was what attracted me to it in the beginning. I have a lot of ideas for it, but it’s a big project. More on that later.

Once we moved in, there were several major issues that we addressed right away including:

  • Replacing the water heater that was leaking carbon monoxide. Yikes!
  • Fixing a few minor plumbing issues, like the bathtub knob and a couple leaky faucets
  • Trimming the trees
  • Repairing the siding that had rotted from the trees rubbing up against it
  • Painting the new siding
  • Having the exterminator come out to get rid of the mice and rats that had come in through the holes in the siding (notice a trend? moral of the story: trim your trees or bad things might happen!)
  • Having an electrician repair some faulty wiring throughout

These problems had to be taken care of right away, so we think a lot of buyers were deterred. But not us! We moved in and got right to work.

It was difficult for me at first, though. Normally when you spend a lot of money on house projects you expect to see a drastic change, but when it’s all under the surface there’s not really that aha moment you’re waiting for.

But a couple months in we started the fun stuff like freshening up the paint colors and replacing a couple lights.

Our home has come a long way, and we’re just getting our momentum back. Time to get to crackin!

OUR MASTER BEDROOM DECORATING PROGRESS

Today I’d like to share the progress in our master bedroom.

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But first, something tragic happened. In all my smart-phoning years I’d never fatally dropped my phone until yesterday. It still works but sometimes when I swipe it, a shard or two splinters off into the pad of my thumb. That’s normal, right?

I’m debating what to do about this. I’ve been pretty content with my phone and didn’t want to replace it. The only thing I’d like is a better camera. Don’t get me wrong, the S5 has a great camera, but within a week of owning it, I scratched the lens. Who knows—I might finally jump the gun and go the ol’ flip phone route.

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But back to our bedroom. Typically, I’m drawn to light colors, but there’s something about a darker gray in the master. These pictures actually look slightly lighter than it is in person; it’s a great color! I bought two cans of the paint (Pewter Tankard by Sherwin-Williams) from Lowes and was surprised that it took less than one. I might bust out the other can somewhere else in the house.

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Since my phone broke, I used my “real camera” to take these pictures. I couldn’t get a good shot of the other side of the room on my camera (guess it’ll take some getting used to again) but here are a few details that did come out alright.

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We’ve updated almost all of our doorknobs in the house to bronze. We had a mix-match of brass and brushed nickel, but the black gives the hardware the pop we’re looking for (contrast, contrast, contrast).

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Out of five fans that need replacing, we’ve taken care of three. Swapping out fans ain’t as easy as a light, so we didn’t get around to doing our bedroom yet. Also check out the cool angles of our ceiling!

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Well that’s it for now. We still have a long way to go:

  • New flooring all upstairs
  • Pillows/bedding with more pop
  • Artwork
  • Ceiling fan
  • Either update or replace the dressers
  • New nightstands