Skip to content

Gettin’ Down ‘n Dusty

January 20, 2013

48 hours and six closets ago we started a project.   Not really a project, it’s more of a  “what the hell are we doing?” complete gut-job renovation.  When you say the words “what the hell are we doing” out loud in the middle of a project you know you are fully committed to what you just started!  When we bought the house  in August (found here) we knew we wanted to ‘rearrange” the master bedroom/bath to make it more functional for us.  Since it’s January, it’s cold out, and the boat’s in storage, there is no better time to start swinging a hammer.  The layout of our bedroom looked like this (yes, that’s past tense):

master floor plan

Now it looks a little like this:


Yes, that’s plaster, not drywall….and I won’t tell you how heavy it is. 48 hours ago we had an obnoxious number of closets in fairly close proximity.  We decided to remove all closets to make way for one very large, custom built, walk-in closet…like we did at our first home (found here).  This map marks all the walls on their way out:

master reno

Yeah, that’s a lot.  My reaction as well.  It didn’t seem over-whelming until we started swinging hammers.  In some weird universe I thought all the demo would be complete in one weekend….not so much.  It’s definitely going to take us one more week (working after our real jobs), minimum.  On the plus side, we have a plan!  We hired architect Aric Margolis  to design the space.  He provided us with this design:

margolis plan

It was a good plan but we ended up altering it slightly.  We wanted a larger closet and felt like we could utilize the wasted space in the  hallway and closets better.  This is our end goal for the master suite:


Continuing to swing the hammers is whats on this weeks list.  Most of the walls are gone.  The two walls left to be demo’d: the load bearing brick wall (was once a sunroom) and the long wall in the bath that will become the shower.   I am willing to bet my muscles will remind me tomorrow of all the hard work we put in this weekend!  Until then, wish us luck!!!

New Year, New Furniture, New Den!

January 9, 2013

Slacker=Me. Yep. I have officially been lazy the past month or so. Not lazy as in I didn’t do any projects, lazy as in I didn’t feel like blogging about them. I completed several projects over the holidays. Most of the DIY’ing was in preparation for the ginormous Open House we threw the Sunday before Christmas. I invited 100 people thinking “it’s Christmas, people will be away” but we ended up having a total of somewhere around 75 guests. We ‘did it up right’ with a plethera of food catered by my brother and a stocked bar, manned by Men in Black Bartending. It was a smashing good time. But anyhow…before the big shindig took place we gave the den a big makeover by painting the paneling, buying a new sofa and love seat, and adding a cowhide rug (found here). While we waited for the two leather club chairs to be delivered I decided to paint the stone on the fireplace. I lived with the fireplace for a few weeks, but the orange-ish hue of the stone was too much of an eyesore in this newly updated room.

den paint

With left over dark grey paint I got to work with my paintbrush.

 den painted fireplace

I was really hoping to use a roller for most of the painting but the stone surface was just too bumpy. I found a paint brush worked much better so it ended up taking a little over two hours which was nothing compared to the 26 hours I had in the fireplace at our first home!

den paint fireplace

Much better, yes?! I wish it had a little more depth, but all in all I am very pleased with the final product. One night when I can’t sleep I may try adding a little contrast by accenting some stone with a lighter grey paint. You may have noticed the new coffee table. I moved the brass table that was previously in the room to our living room and found this Noguchi table at a local furniture store. I love how the modern table has become the centerpiece of the room. I also painted those three vases on the hearth white so they would stand out against the grey paint and add a little balance.

den painted fireplace

The most comfortable part of phase II on this makeover are the two leather chairs and ottomans we patiently waited 8 weeks to arrive. They are Broyhill in flat-ish black leather. My favorite part is the nailhead trim. I wasn’t going to settle for a club chair without nailhead. My only disappointment is that the ottomans are so large you can barely see the metal accent. boo. Oh well.

den leather chairs

den chairs

den leather chairs

den leather chairs

Overall, we are very pleased with the outcome of this room. The transformation is 180….woot, woot!

den before

den paint fireplace

I have big plans for the back of those built-ins. Not sure when I will get to it, but it involves linen fabric and liquid starch. All the supplies have been purchased, I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to get on it.

But anyways….now that the holidays are over we are ready to get back into the groove…and let me tell you, 2013 is the year of a VERY big project in the Bauer household….details to come!

Panel, Panel, on the Wall….

November 21, 2012

I think there will always be an ongoing debate of “should you paint it?” when referring to any wood surface.    I’ve learned not to ask the question because in the end we are the ones who have to live with it.    It always seems (without a doubt) that the men say “don’t paint the wood!” and the girls say “do it!”.   This time I am referring to painting the cherry paneling in our den, just like I painted the cherry cabinets in the kitchen (kitchen makeover found here and here).

Before we bought the house our den looked like this:

Then we moved in and temporarily threw a few old couches into the room until we could decide what to do with the space:

I agonized over painting that solid wood paneling night after night.  I even slept on it for well over 2 months.  I finally came to the realization that if I wanted this room to become ‘me’ I needed to suck it up and paint the damn wood.  This cave-like room is located off our dining room and leads outside to the patio.  It’s where we watch TV and relax every night.  It’s where the boys gather to watch the game.  It’s where the puppy’s sleep when we’re away.

The wood is beautiful, but it’s just not me.  I feel like it dates the space and makes the room feel dark.  By removing the blinds and cornice boards we got a little more light into the space but it just wasn’t enough.

A few Thursday’s ago after work I decided to grow a pair and just do it.  I taped-off the crown moulding, floor, and brick fireplace.  We pushed all the furniture to the middle of the room and secured paper to the floor.

Ryan and I both took that Friday off to start this project since it would be the last 70 degree day we would have before winter.  We needed to be able to remove the wood slider for painting plus allow proper ventilation since oil primer over wood is a must.  We would have loved to use my new paint gun to complete the task, but there is absolutely, positively, no way I will allow oil anything to pass through my brand new TrueCoat paint sprayer.  So needless to say we did it all by hand.

Of course I started with my go-to oil primer by Kiltz and covered my paint tray with tin foil.  (I am too lazy to wash a tray and I was out of liners).  I was very nervous on my first stoke, but that soon passed as the fumes started to distort my brain function.

The slider was removed fairly easily and I was also able to apply a coat of primer.  We decided to paint the inside part of the slider black to give the room a modern pop and keep it consistent with the interior door that we previously painted black (found here).

It took the entire morning and afternoon to apply the oil primer to the room, including the built-in’s, but I knew in the long run it would be well worth it (at least in our eyes).  We took a small dinner break then I was back at it later that night.  Apparently I don’t know how to stop.

I broke out the enamel paint (in bright white) and started my first coat on the trim and built-ins.  Because I had such good luck with the Sherwin Williams Acrylic Enamel paint in the kitchen, I decided to spring an extra twenty dollars a gallon and use it for the built-in’s and trim in the den.  This paint is regularly priced $63.99…I got it on sale for $45.   I didn’t necessarily need to use enamel paint on the trim, but because the built-in’s were gonna be enamel I wanted all the wood trim to match.

It ended up taking 3 coats of paint on the crown moulding and trim.  I was really hoping for two, but sometimes you just don’t win.  The trim took about two days, so on Sunday I was able to finally begin painting the walls.  I don’t remember the exact color of the paint, but we’ll categorize it as ‘light grey’.  It’s actually the color we used in the office at our old house…a tribute to our first love, haha.

The paint color actually turned out a little lighter than I wanted, but at the risk of being a perfectionist, I decided to let it be……….for now.  I debated on painting the fireplace, but we’ve decided to live with it for awhile before we make any hasty decisions.  For the record, Ryan’s vote is to paint it grey, like the color of the mortar.

Before I reveal the complete after photos, I’m gonna show you something I did to one of my dumpster dives…ok, it wasn’t really a dumpster dive.  It was a curb pick-up but dumpster dive just has a nice little ring to it.  This traditional table was left to the waste side so I scooped it up along with 4 other matching pieces.

In true Michelle fashion, I bought some oil-based spray primer and got to work.

And while I was at it, I decided to give one of it’s buddies a little makeover as well.

I cleaned both pieced and de-glossed them.  I didn’t bother to sand the surface because I used oil-based primer and because these tables are only temporary until I find something I really like.  After a coat of primer they started to transform.

I used Rustolem’s high performance enamel spray paint in black semi-gloss.

They look decent for now.  One day we’ll upgrade.

I’m thinking about adding some white paint along the grooves on the sides.  See the ‘swirl’ detail on the side and front? Jury’s still out.

Before we started this 3-day-wood-paneling-extravaganza we ordered some new furniture which you may have noticed.  Yep,those tan microfiber-hand-me-down sofa and loveseat are gonzo.  I craigslisted them and we bought a new herringbone sofa and loveseat.  I know the rule now-a-days is that your furniture isn’t suppose to match, but I just couldn’t do it in this room.  With the layout of the room it would look odd if they were different, in my opinion.  So without further ado….our new den sans cherry paneling:

The back wall (where the recliner is temporarily sitting) will eventually house 2 new chairs.  We ordered black leather chairs and ottomans from Broyhill to occupy this space (with a side table between).  Those will become “our seats”.  It’s been 5 weeks, so hopefully they will be delivered within the next week or so.  Ryan didn’t want to give up his recliner for the sake of interior design, but when I showed him how comfortable a club chair and ottoman with nailhead trim can be he caved.  Sort of.

I plan to remove the brass cocktail table and replace  it with something more contemporary.  The table (although beautiful) just doesn’t fit this room.  I still would like something with glass so it doesn’t completely hide the cowhide rug.  Did you see the cowhide rug?!  I am in love.  I took a gamble and ordered it online after pinning about a gazillion cowhide rugs on Pinterest (like this one, this one, and this one).  Yep, it’s real.  It took the dogs a minute or two to accept the new piece into our home, but after several sniffs we’re all good!  The rug itself is fairly soft but has a funny cowlick at the nape of (what I expect to be) the neck.  My friend Felicia won’t touch it…haha.

Obviously the room is still a work in progress but it’s coming along.  It feels more open, brighter, and contemporary.  It feels like ‘us’!  And in case you forgot, let’s take one more look at the side-by-side before and after:

P.S. I love the fact the Tulipai made it into both the before and after shots of the room…#Tulipaiphotobomb

P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving, Ya’ll!

10 Day Kitchen Makeover Part II

October 17, 2012

The most exciting part of this whole kitchen makeover (other than the finished product) is that I was given an awesome early birthday gift from Ryan!  Like most 32 year old girls, I asked for a paint sprayer.  Yep, I’m for real.  I do not kid.  I. asked. for. a. paint. sprayer.   You could probably categorize ‘paint sprayer’ in the ‘vacuum’ column of things not to give a woman for her birthday, but let me tell you I was (and still am) SUPER STOKED!  Not only did i get just any paint sprayer, Ryan sprung a few more buck-a-roo’s and bought me the Graco TrueCoat Plus from Lowes!

Ryan was initially worried it would be too heavy for me but I convinced him my arms could handle it by saying “the beach is that-a-way” (while flexing my toned biceps and pointing east).   Ryan also realized how much  he was saving in the wallet department by refinishing the cabinets rather than buying new, so it was worth the splurge.  But enough with the sidebar, back to the kitchen makeover.  Part one can be found here in cased you missed it.

I worked diligently Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when I got home from work.  (Tuesday, not so much.  I reserved Tuesday for a well deserved happy hour with my girls.)  The oil primer that I applied on Sunday (via roller)  had 24 hours to properly dry so Monday I began working on the fronts.  Because I can be a tad lazy every now and then, I opted for Kiltz oil-primer in a spray can.  I wanted the smoothest finish on the ‘show side’ and thought this would be the best/fastest/easiest way to achieve it.  (Lord knows I wasn’t about to put oil-primer in my brand new, never been used, paint sprayer).  It ended up costing me about $65 in spray primer, but way worth it in the long run.

The spray-can primer was killer.  It only took me about 45 mins to spray the fronts of all the doors.  If I wasn’t so cheap thitfy, I would’ve sprung another $65 to do the back side.  I forgot to snap a pic of the doors all primed and pretty, so this picture of the primed and wrapped drawers will have to suffice.

I spent all day Wednesday obsessed with USPS tracking.  I was patiently waiting for the arrival of my new cabinet hardware!  I scoured hardware stores online and locally for weeks before starting this project.  I knew I wanted an oil rubbed bronze finish (ORB), I just didn’t know what style pull to go with.  Did I want those cup pulls, like this:

or something fancy and rustic like this:

In the end Ryan and I both decided we wanted something modern and contemporary.  We knew ORB would be a nice contrast to the cream cabinets and would play off the dark flecks in the granite, so the Amerock Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Bar Pulls became the winner!

We bought 41 of the 7″ pulls for the ‘normal size’ drawers/cabinets and 7 of the longer 13″ pulls for the large drawers below the cooktop and the 4 over-sized pantry doors.   I was hesitant to spend so much money on those darn drawer pulls (those suckers are expensive!) but my mom convinced me it’s the “jewelry of the kitchen”. She’s so smart.  I never thought of it that way.  You can only imagine my disappointment when I got home from work and saw this banged up, halfway open package on my doorstep:

Ryan and I frantically ripped open the package and started counting those bad boys to make sure there weren’t any missing in action.    Somehow all 48 pulls made their way safely from the warehouse in Nowheresville, USA to our door step!

Disaster averted, I started back on the kitchen priming.  After all, the cabinet frames that I sanded and deglossed on Sunday still had not been hit-up with a coat Kiltz oil primer.  I can gloat all I want about my drawer pulls, but the cabinet frames won’t prime themselves!

Once I stood back and looked at the progress, I could finally start to see my vision.  Even though it’s was only an uneven coat of primer, it was starting to transform!

It took about 5 hours to prime all the cabinet frames.  That ended up being 4 hours more than I anticipated…haha.  Needless to say, I called it a night.

Thursday morning our house was still filled with the aroma of oil primer and I mentally jumped up and down in excitement of the transformation taking place as I walked into the kitchen.  I sat restlessly at work the entire day, just itching to get home and finally start actually painting.  Five days of prep had done me in and I. was. ready. to. paint!  As I mentioned in Part I of the Kitchen Makeover, I bought 2 gallons of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Acrylic Latex Enamel paint in Panda White but in the end had to go back and get gallon #3….that paint sprayer eats the paint.

I started on the cabinet frames that evening after work.  I used my handy 2″ cut-in brush from Sherwin Williams (I’m sure you’ve heard me go on before about how great that brush is, so I will spare you) and a brand new 4″ smooth foam roller.  It took right around 4 hour to apply the first coat of paint.  About 3 hours longer than anticipated, again…haha.

Friday:  The day of sprayer excitement!  (which of course calls for ridiculously staged photos of my excitement).

Yeah, you could say I was just a little pumped to finally start spraying those cabinet doors and drawers!  We ended up preparing two spray stations since there were so many doors and drawers.  The garage held the majority of the pieces while the overflow went into the basement shop area.  We got in a little practice on some scrap wood, then went to town on the backsides of the doors.  We applied thin coats of paint so it wouldn’t run.  We had to keep the sprayer back a good 18″ or so to achieve this (hence why so much paint was used/wasted).

We felt we were fairly intelligent by starting out on the backs of the doors since it was a brand new sprayer.  We’ve both used sprayers in the past, but it was probably best to get the hang of it so we didn’t ruin anything.  It only took about 10 minutes to spray all the doors in the basement so we moved upstairs to the garage and gave those doors their first coat of Panda White enamel paint!

We completely covered the floor of the garage and the basement as well as the walls before we sprayed.  A sprayer like the one Ryan bought me can put off some killer over-spray!  Also, on a side note:  like most spray guns, the canister only holds 32 oz of paint so we were constantly filling that thing up.  I don’t want anyone to think we just went about spraying all of our cabinets with one initial fill up.  We were constantly unscrewing, filling, and re-screwing that thing….major UGH!  It really only took about 45 minutes.  I applied a second coat of paint to the inside cabinet frames, then called it a day.

2nd Saturday:  the cabinet doors were beautiful, smooth, streak free, aka: glorious.  The paint was completely dry so we were able to flip the doors and continue the spray process on the front sides.  I also decided the kitchen table could use a little face lift.  The matching kitchen set was left to us by Ryan’s parents.  I didn’t take any pictures, but imagine Michelle setting up a bunch of cardboard pieces in the grass and spraying the cherry table and chairs with her brand new spray gun.

2nd Sunday: Everything is dry.  Ryan broke out the dill and started measuring and drilling holes for our new hardware!

Remember how we had 48 pulls to install?  Well, they were not all installed on Sunday.  We spent several hours getting the new oil rubbed bronze pulls drilled and screwed into each door/drawer, then we screwed the hinges back in and hung each door as they were completed.  (I numbered each door to make sure it went back to it’s original home).  But needless to say, this process went well into 2nd Monday.  After 10 days (Saturday to Monday) every kitchen drawer was finally in and each cabinet door hung.  The tape was peeled, the spray gun cleaned, and the drill back on the charger.  I am pretty sure more than one hundred squeals of excitement exited my mouth.  I’ve been in love with so many DIY projects in the past but this one by far Takes. The. Cake.  Not just any cake, it takes the Maggie Moo’s Better Batter Ice Cream Cake, to be exact.  Are you ready??

Are you as speechless as I am???!!  The granite completely pops against the cream  cabinets.  It becomes it’s own show piece.  The drawer pulls (or ‘jewelry’ as my mom calls them) completely pop off the doors and add a little contemporary zing to this somewhat traditional kitchen.  Did you notice what I did to the table?  I left the top natural  and only painted the legs.  I may change up the chairs with some black paint, the jury’s still out on that one.  What do you think???

Without further ado, here are pictures of the finished kitchen from almost every angle….

And one last reminder of the before and after…

Needless to say I am totally smitten kittens on this project!!!   I just sat in the kitchen and stared at it for at least two hours after it was complete.  Ryan and I are both excited about how a few coats of paint, 10 days of sweat equity, and some new hardware can transform a dark cherry kitchen into a contemporary, open, and inviting space!  Next step?  Tackle the lighting and decide on a paint color (did you notice all the patch holes?)!!  I’d like to remove the fan and add a chandelier over the table and add some lighting over the island!  As far as paint, I have absolutely no idea…..

What do you think?  Are you smitten kittens too???!!!

P.S. The second best part of this project was the reveal to Ryan’s parents. They are completely in  love too.  I wish I could have caught their reaction on film….Oh well!

P.P.S. The cabinet paint appears really white in these photos, but it really is a cream color in person.

10 Day Kitchen Makeover Part I

October 15, 2012

It didn’t take me long to start decorating our new home.  A few weeks ago I mentioned how I started by painting the walls and wainscoting in our dining room (found here).  Apparently I needed more of a challenge for project #2.  After discussing options about what to do with our kitchen, Ryan and I decided to make that second on the ‘to-do’ list.

We played around with several ideas, but ultimately decided on painting the cherry cabinets.  I’m not going to justify myself to anyone because I don’t feel like I have to.  We wanted to paint the cabinets to brighten the room and add a little contrast.  You may disagree with our decision, but we are ultimately the ones who have to live in the space.  Plus, the cabinets are about 20 years old with some wear so they needed a little love no matter what.

We decided to paint the cabinets a soothing off-white color.  Normally I am I bright-white kind of girl (I painted our first home’s kitchen cabinets white) but because the granite countertops in our new home have a cream-ish background through them, it just wasn’t an option…hence how we settled on cream.  After several runs to Sherwin Williams to pick out paint swatches, I settled on Panda White, a complimentary off-white color.

It can be intimidating to paint cabinets, but knowing the right steps is key.  The most important step is preparing the wood correctly and buying the right paint.  I like to prime all wood projects (mentioned here) with Kiltz oil-based primer.  Oil primer has a better bond than latex, and my feeling is: when you’re putting forth so much effort, why skimp with latex?  The paint you use on the cabinets is also key.  I used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Acrylic Latex Enamel:

The paint is a little pricey ($55 a gallon) but it goes on easily and dries smoothly without marks, and will not cause the cabinet doors to stick after painting.  It also doesn’t show any finger marks.  In short, it’s just a better, harder finish that will hold up to kitchen wear and tear.

I started the kitchen transformation on a Saturday and finished the following Sunday.  I worked every night after work (except one) and 12 hours/day on the weekends.  It wasn’t completely drawn out, but it wasn’t a “weekend warriors” kind of project either.  Are you ready for the breakdown???  Warning: I am squeezing 10 days of work into two posts so this is gonna be lengthy, prepare yourself!

1st Saturday:  I removed all 48 (yes, I said 48) cabinet doors and drawers from their hinges.  I didn’t realize how many doors and drawers we had in our new kitchen: the removal process took almost 2 hours!

I carried all of the doors and drawers outside, where I setup a sanding station.  I used two saw horses and an old door to create a table to sand all those surfaces.  (I forgot to mention, the night before I removed all the knobs and puttied all the holes with wood filler to prep for Saturday).

I sanded for 5 hours that day, ugh.  Ryan helped me wipe the doors down afterward, bring them back inside and we called it a day.

1st Sunday: I dragged all 48 doors and drawers back outside for some deglossing.  Deglosser removes oil, grease and any other dust left on the doors that may cause the primer not to adhere as well.

After two hours of deglossing it was time to sand all the cabinet frames.  I took my sander and 200 grit sandpaper indoors to make some sawdust..

I didn’t need to completely remove the finish, I was just sanding enough to rough it up for the oil primer.  Immediately after wiping the dust off the cabinet frames, I deglossed.  While I deglossed, Ryan set up all the prepped doors in the garage to get them ready for oil primer.

I used Kiltz oil primer and rolled the backs of all the cabinet doors with a 4″ smooth foam roller.  I like to start on the backs just in case there are any imperfections when they are flipped.

After a 12 hour work day, we called it quits.  Day 2 down of our 10 day kitchen makeover and we were already twenty something hours in!  Even though the process went slower than anticipated, it was still very thrilling to see my vision start to come together.  Stay tuned for part II of the kitchen makeover which will include the reveal!

Dining Room Diva.

September 25, 2012

Now that we are officially moved in and closed on our second home it’s only appropriate that I roll up my sleeves and get down to some DIY.  In case you missed it, you can find the new house tour here.

My first project is the dining room.  I have no specific plan to number/rank each room I want to tackle, but somehow the  dining room became lucky #1 on the list.   To give you an idea of the first floor layout of the new house, here is a mock-up (not to scale) floor plan.  Said dining room is circled in blue.

It’s kinda the heart of the home.  It’s off the kitchen, connected to the living room, and you have to walk thru it to get to the TV room and garage.  No better place to start.  Before we moved in this is what the space looked like:

After we moved in (and before our furniture arrived) this is what the space looked like:

The room is about 13×13.  It has amazing wainscoting below the chair rail and crown moulding on each wall.  It’s hard to distinguish these beautiful wood accents because they slightly blend into the wall.  My goal is to make these upgraded features really pop.  First and foremost I removed the valance and sheers from the windows to really open up the space.

After starting this project, I realized I was doing it backwards: I painted the walls first.  Looking back, it would have been much easier to paint the trim first then the walls.  Oh well, you live and you learn.  I decided to use the same grey (I don’t recall the name) we painted in the basement of our first home (mentioned here).  I loved that glorious grey.  (I really slacked here and produced no photos of this step.  oh well.)  Here is the grey against the beige wainscoting, trim and crown:

Once the beige walls were covered with two coats of grey paint the next step (and most labor intensive) is getting that trim to really pop.  The trim is a creamy-beige color.  It’s throughout the entire house.  Naturally, I have a fetish for crisp, clean, white trim so converting all the trim in the house will be a long term project (and that’s ok).   Because the trim is very glossy I was told by my local Sherwin Williams guy I need to prime before slapping on some white paint.  Ugh.  So priming I a-go….

I used Sherwin Willimas Multi-Purpose Primer.  It’s zero VOC (no fumes) and has great coverage.  This is my go-to primer for almost any (non-furniture) job.  Even with just the primer (and late at night) you can start to see the difference between beige and white.  wowza!

One thing I took into consideration when agonizing on converting the house to white trim was the windows.  Yep, you guessed it, they are also painted creamish-beige.  By converting the trim to white it also means I have to paint all the windows white.  Now you can see why this conversion will be a long term project.  I taped off the window to carefully apply  a clean coat of white primer and paint as well.

The white wainscoting and bright white trim & crown really make this room pop against the grey walls.  I can’t put into words how excited I am with this transformation.  It is so ME.  A touch of classic with a contemporary twist.

Aside from the paint, my second most favorite part of the transformation is the chandelier.  It’s from the Home Depot, Hampton Bay’s Elora Collection.  It’s on sale right now super-cheap (I wish I hadn’t looked).

Because every room deserves a little drama I decided to take this dining room one step further and paint the louver doors.  Nope, I didn’t paint the beige doors white as you would expect.  I instead gave them drama!

I did a little research on interior black doors and fell in love via the internet.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them in my house so I figured the perfect place to give them a ‘go’ was the dining room before I commit to the whole house.

I primed the doors with tinted primer then painted a black semi-gloss that I had on hand.  It took about 2.5 seconds to determine I was in love.

After hanging the ornate black mirror that previously hung in our first home’s master bathroom, I call this room finished for now.  (I may paint the mirror white, the jury’s still out on that one).

Of course the room still needs some art and accessories, but one thing at a time.  I would really like to invest in a new round dining table.  I feel our pup-height table doesn’t fit well into this formal dining space.  Our first dining room was more casual so the table felt right, but now it feels a little parochial.  Ideally I would like something large enough to seat 8-10.  Maybe I can coerce my favorite father-in-law to build me something unique.   We shall see.  In the mean time, on to the next room!

**UPDATE**I intentionally hung my drapery panels higher than ‘normal’.  I do not plan to let the panels hang that far off the ground, I have plans to add length with accent fabric which will pool on the wood floor….just to clarify.  I didn’t want you to think I was wearing ‘high-waters in my dining room…haha!

House Tour of Our New Home (finally!)

September 20, 2012

Before we closed and moved into our new home (mentioned here and here) I snapped a bunch of  “before” pictures.   My favorite thing about all the DIY’s we did on our first home was having the before photos to compare it all to.  There was no question that I would do the same with our second home.  I took a bunch of pictures when we first decided to buy the house but neglected to take and pics when it was vacant…whomp, whomp.  The house tour I am about give was conducted at the beginning of the year when the previous owners (aka Ryan’s parents) still had the house furnished with their belongings.

Our new home is an updated 1960’s rancher with a full basement.  It totals somewhere around 5,000 square feet.  The front of this house is very deceiving.

The door opens into a nice size foyer.  It’s huge compared to the barely-there foyer we had in our first home.  That chandelier was removed before we moved in and I have since purchased a new gem.

Immediately off the foyer is a large kitchen, completely updated with granite countertops and new appliances (about 2 years ago or so).  I plan to refinish the kitchen cabinets to lighten up the room a bit.  It has a great eat-in kitchen area that I plan to make my own as well…maybe a settee or something.

From the kitchen you walk into the formal dining room which is also connected to the living room.

The trim in this house is amazing.  Did you notice the wainscotting in the dining room?  The trim carries into the living room.  I adore the crown moulding throughout.  It’s painted a glossy creamish/beige color.  I plan to paint all the trim a crisp clean white so it pops off the wall.

Also on the first floor is a room I call the den.  I guess it could arguably be called the family room as well.  This room has beautiful built-in shelves that flank the fireplace.  The cherry paneling has got to go though.  It makes the room so dark….and we all know how I adore light, bright, crisp, and clean.

The master bedroom is located on the main floor.  Currently the room is sorta two separate rooms.  We plan to take out the wall/french doors and open up space up (do you see a trend here?!).  We also plan to gut the full master bath and create a space more functional for our twenty-first century needs.

The second and third guest bedrooms are also on this floor along with a full guest bath.

The “blue bathroom” as I refer to it, definitely needs an overhaul.   It’s really not on the top of our priority list though since it rarely gets used.  Actually if you were to see it in person, you would be in awe of how beautiful the tile and marble are….too bad it’s powder blue 😦

The basement is completely finished.  It includes a large rec room, a bar/poker area, pool room, and my craft room (or 5th bedroom).

Also in the basement is bedroom #4 aka, Ryan’s childhood bedroom.

And Ryan’s favorite part of the basement is his new work shop!  He can’t wait to add to his collection of power tools…I think there may be a tool or two on the list to buy this weekend so we start some projects!

Last on the tour is the sunroom.  It’s a cozy little space lined in beadboard (my favorite!) and brick.  It’s located off the kitchen and leads into the beautiful backyard.

In the summer, when everything is in bloom, this outdoor patio is just amazing.  Ryan helped build that pergola when he was a kid.  It was his first ‘big’ project with his dad.  We plan to put a metal roof on top and add a ceiling fan.  Luckily electrical already exists in the space!

It’s a great place to entertain.  We “borrowed” it a few years ago when Ryan hosted my 30th birthday party:

The backyard alone is about an acre and completely fenced in.  The pups are happy in heaven.  The have managed to find about 3 holes in the fence but I think we’ve remedied those spots.  (fingers crossed!)  …Talk about heart palpitations!

Along the stone wall (that separates the patio from the lawn)  is a great outdoor fireplace.  I can’t wait to (maybe) cook a burger on it… or just start a fire and roast some marshmallows!

The steps up to the lawn make a great place to take a family photo.  We took this family pic the weekend of the Surprise 40th Anniversary party….one of the last days Ryan’s parent’s lived in their home of 23 years!

I bet you can’t wait to see what the house looks like with my furniture in it!  I’ll give you a hint, it looks amazing!  I plan to start a few DIY projects soon then comes the big reveal.