Friday, February 26, 2010

Creating a new laundry room with old parts

Have you happened upon this blog for the first time? Are you new here? I have been hosting a house tour of my home here at my blog for about 3 years...not really, but it feels like it. But speaking of 3 years, that is how long it has taken my husband and I to remodel this house. We are finally done and I am taking you on a walk through, click here if you want to go back to the beginning.

Today we are moving on to the laundry/mudroom, but in order to move forward, let's quickly look back. Remember this picture below, this is the old kitchen. We had a laundry "closet", as opposed to a laundry "room". The laundry closet was in the kitchen, which if we are keeping things practical I personally think is a great idea. Why not? In fact, add in a toilet and a sewing machine and I would have myself a room I would never have to leave. We digress...let us move on.
Here's that weird picture again of me smiling while demolishing the old kitchen, still no clue why I am smiling. What I want you to notice in this picture is the door in the background. This is the area of the old kitchen that becomes the new laundry room.Here is the new space. We reused the old kitchen cabinets for the new laundry room. We salvaged the sections we could, and then my cute carpenter husband pieced them together to make usable storage for the laundry room. Also, notice the black tile on the floor. I installed that, and there is a story. Laying tile is a physically exhausting job. My husband was in charge of cutting the tile, and I was in charge of creating the puzzle on the floor, spreading the mud, and laying the tile. Towards the end of the project my body was aching and my knees were bruised and throbbing. The cute carpenter thought that would be the appropriate time to say "you know, I have knee pads you could wear if you want them". Really? Really??
See, there's that you know where you are now?
We added a small amount of trim to the top and bottom of the cabinets to tie everything together. I painted the cabinets the same color as the new cabinets in the kitchen, and then glazed them.
Though I know painting with oil based paint is less than desirable, my Dad is an old school painter and insists upon oil paint for cabinetry. Here is a trick: thin the paint with a touch of paint thinner and the paint will "spread" onto the surface. You will notice very few brush marks, which will result in a more professional looking finish.
Glazing. Easiest thing in the world. Benjamin Moore sells an oil based glaze that can be tinted any color. We tinted ours a chocolaty color and I spent about 30 minutes glazing these cabinets. Brush on the glaze into all the cracks and crevices where you want it to show, and then wipe it off. You can leave the glaze on heavy or you can wipe most of it away.
This is my answer to the ridiculous amount of art work that comes home everyday with my kids from school. You just can't keep it all, but heaven forbid the emotional breakdown that will occur if I have the audacity to throw something away. Instead, their work is displayed here for a few weeks and then is replaced with newer works of art as they come home. And because this is the door we come in and out of all day, we get to admire it often. Two things to notice here. I keep my unmatched, ever growing pile of socks nicely displayed on a tray in the laundry room; it kind of makes the pile look a little less ghetto. Also, that candle's scent is "Island Palm" and I highly recommend it if you are anything like me and longing for the weather to be warmer. It smells like sun screen and I can't get enough of it while the outdoor temperatures are hovering in the 30's.
Have an awesome weekend. Go paint and glaze something, or if you are lazy, just go buy an island candle. It will make you smile as much as freshly painted cabinets.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Becoming Barbie...well, kind of

Have you entered the world of Barbie? I don't mean the dolls themselves but rather the movies. Barbie and the Island Princess, or Barbie in Fairytopia, or Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper. Some are better than others, and we have experienced more than one road trip where my husband has threatened to throw the portable DVD player out the window if the girls did not turn the volume down. But I must say, Barbie is starting to grow on me, especially with her latest production of Barbie and the Three Musketeers. Part of the reason I am becoming fond of her is only by default...she is better than other teeny bopper stars out there that are weaving their ways through our little girl's lives. But honestly, I have kind of been enjoying Barbies' movies lately.

I spent yesterday afternoon sewing capes and skirts for the girl's three musketeer costumes. They have become obsessed and both are now in "training", karate chopping everything they walk in front of, they have stolen all of Thomas' weapons, and have been telling all of their imaginary opponents "Don't mess with the dress". You have to love a heroine whose moto involves the word "dress", someone who is all about fighting evil but is gonna look good while doing it, someone whose cape has "bling on it" as my sweet Caroline says. I mean seriously, I can totally get behind this.

This world is full of garbage for our girls to wade through. There are plenty of lies lurking for them to believe, lies about who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing. So I am okay with their current play that involves being strong, determined, heroic, cute girls. God did not create us to be passive. We have been created different than man, and I am certainly not implying that I am encouraging my girls to try and become someone that they were not created to be, but we as women do indeed have a place. We have been created to be part of an adventurous story of good and evil. There are lives at stake, causes worth fighting for, and a God that is watching and cheering us on. There is a purpose for the lives of my girls. Though I know it is not to protect the life of the king of France, there is another King that I know they are here to serve. A King that has called them to a great cause and a great adventure. A King that is enjoying their present day childish play, because He also happens to know the future, and He knows that this play is preparing them for what He has called them to do on this earth...fight mightily for His eternal Kingdom. I am just glad that as women we get to wear a pretty dress while we are at battle.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith" 2 Timothy 4:7


Monday, February 22, 2010

A long 9 months

Nine months. No, I am not referring to how long I carried my children before giving birth; but rather how long the cute carpenter has been remodeling this bathroom. It has been almost as painful at times as child birth, but don't tell him I said that. I have told you before that my husband does not hire people to do what he can spend months trying to figure out himself, and the room design of our bathroom is one of those things. If you are planning any sort of remodel, I highly recommend you checking out . The below image is our final design that my husband decided was our best use of space. The site works by entering in the dimensions of the room and then adding and moving what you want into the space. The program is free, and very user friendly with a lot of features. It even allows you to add images of people into the room to get a sense of space, and thank goodness for that because my husband also thinks he is a stand up comedian and he had a field day with that feature.
Here is where the room started...

We gutted the room back in June of last year...

And just this past weekend I sewed the curtains to hang, thus I am calling this room complete.

It is officially my favorite room in the house. It is not a spacious room, and fitting everything we wanted in it and the room not feeling crammed was a challenge.
The first thing I did was buy a dresser. I looked for weeks at salvage stores and finally found one for a great price. My husband ripped off the top of the dresser and we used that as a template for the marble top.

Figuring out how to hang a mirror over the cabinet was also difficult. The cute carpenter spent weeks trying to create a casing to wrap the mirror and also "hold" the sconces. At first I thought it was overkill, but I am pleased with what he created. The man is good with some trim!

One of my least favorite things in the world is picking out tile. I never know what I am doing, and it is very difficult to get a sense of what the finished product is going to look like. I stayed neutral and basic and then added the decorative pieces in the center of the shower for interest.

The tub and fixtures were my husbands deal. "Don't know, don't care, you pick" was all I had to say about that. We bought everything online and saved a lot of money that way. The TV in the bathroom was his idea as well, the man loves him some news in morning while shaving. He built it into the wall nicely and I think it is as "unnoticable" as a tv in the bathroom can be.

There is my black door that used to be white. A few weeks ago I told you I was painting everything in my house black, this was one of those things. The white was lovely, but it didn't pop. I love the black and I really love that door. This is like the door that was in our bathroom in Paris and I loved it.

Teal is my current favorite color, and these walls show that. I fauxed them using a smooth, tinted plaster that is tightly troweled onto the surface. I created the custom color and I could never recreate it even if I tried. My husband says he would never want me to recreate it...he's not sold on the color, but I really like it. There is movement and a hint of a metalic dimension to the walls, but no texture. They are smooth to the touch.

I need you to understand the love I have for this next piece of furniture. This is the best spent money we have used in this remodeling process so far. I told my carpenter husband I wanted a high vanity that would hold all my stuff and this is what he drew me. The upper cabinets open to reveal hidden shelving, and the lower cabinets glide open like spice racks in a kitchen with more hidden shelving. The cabinet is an awesome use of space, and the bar stool was discounted from the same salvage store where I bought the dresser. I have big hair. Big hair requires a lot of equipment and supplies, and my husband gets tired of looking at my equipment all over the counter tops. So he was equally motivated to come up with a solution to this dilemma. How cool is that...there is power inside that cabinet!

More shelving in the bathroom...

There is often dead space in a toilet area, so we framed out the wall to allow for a cabinet to be built behind the toilet. Simple concept, great use of space.

More details...

Still dreaming of Paris...

I hope you saw something that inspires you. Next time I will show you my closet (also designed by if I can get it cleaned don't hold your breath.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's right around the corner

It's getting close. The days of no more shoes are right around the corner. Today was just a tease, just enough to get you excited about the months ahead. It took my girls about 5 minutes of playing outside to have their bare toes in the dirt. We are pushing the envelope a little I know, maybe even getting a little greedy, but it is too exciting to resist the urge of pulling out the spring clothes. Here's to enjoying the warmer temperatures while they are present, even if it is just for the weekend. What a gift.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh what a week!

Oh what a week. Here's a picture recap:

The annual Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance, the Cute Carpenter and his ladies...
Despite the pleas of her mother, my four year old turned five this week. We asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday party and she quickly replied "I think I would like to sit by a pool with a magazine and a drink and sunglasses and just relax"...seriously? My husband glared at me with disapproving eyes as if I was the one to have modeled this "bad" behavior. Certainly since the birth of my first child 7 years ago, I have not partaken in such activities. We are still confused as to where she has seen such things. Regardless, we did the best we could considering it was 20 degrees outside...

Lastly, the dude finally got his first haircut. We were long overdue, and everyone thought I had three little girls. It was time, it was painful, but it was time....

And since all I seem to have time for is posting tease pictures from my master bath is one more. That's a TV over the tub. "Oh no he didn't" you say? Oh yes he did! See you Monday.