House Tour {The Before}

These renovations are going way faster than I thought since we unexpectedly started on Thursday, so I need to stay on it so I don’t fall behind!

Before I get into the other stuff in later posts – let’s house tour it up. This house tour is long overdue, and I did it right in the nick of time. I actually wasn’t intending for this to be the house tour because I had wanted to get the laundry taken care of, our bedroom furniture moved downstairs and the current master bedroom vacuumed, once empty, before I did it. On Thursday however, Andy came home and started tearing down some of the molding in the living room just to get an idea of what was behind it (don’t get me wrong, I was on board—more like jumping up and down). While he was out getting something else done, I decided to take a video of the excitement and then somehow it all got put into a regular old house tour. The only room I missed was the basement. I’ll try and remember to get that the next time I do a tour. Thankfully I had vacuumed when I got home, but I didn’t prep in anyway for the video so you’re in for quite a treat.

By treat I mean laundry, dinner items all over the counter, a messy pantry, some dishes and a super dirty window because of dog noses pressing up against it.

A few notes before the video:

  • The outside of the house tour was done before we fixed the deck in May and the inside of the house tour was just done last Thursday so it’s a bit of a mish mash.
  • When I went into the bathroom originally the seat was up so I cut to another part of it. It’s right outside the office/brother in laws bedroom though, which you see when I turn back around. It’s a really messed up transition in the video, so I apologize. I didn’t realize it until after it was completed and exported.
  • For some reason I call the patio set “the porch”. Nope, the porch will be on the other side of the house, though, it may have a patio set on it too.
  • It’s hard to hear me outside because that day was crazy windy, sorry.
  • I talk with my hands – even on video, when I’m holding it. Hence all the “let me point everything out” for you.

You love it, admit it. Or so I choose to believe this is your reaction.

Poor Winnie did start to get the basketball (that’s why her head was in her toy basket), but then I distracted her by walking around and ignoring her so she just left it. We did get  got in a big walk up to the farm right after all of this hullabaloo. While up there I took a video of the cows, with the intention of making a post about it–and then I got a straight shot of a steer unsuccessfully attempting to mount a heifer while at full *ahem* attention. So I most likely won’t be posting that video.

I will however be posting a video of the demolition work we’ve already done later on.

Drinking game: How many times can I use the word exciting in this blog or in my videos to reference the demolition? Nix that, you’ll all be drunk.

xo,

Heather

Livingroom Update

I left you hanging like a Naked Gun movie. You just know there’s going to be a sequel. It has been over a month, almost 2 months *eek* since my last post on painting. Here’s the thing, I like things to be perfect {like is key word here, reality = almost never}. I painted the colors, wrote a post – deleted it. Thought, “I’ll post when it’s 100% complete with all the finishing touches.”

I realized I would never post if I went by that thought. We painted the room simply so we didn’t have to live in a cave another winter before we start renovations. We’re not painting the Sistine Chapel here. I’m not even an interior decorator, or pretending to be. I’m just a chick who didn’t want to spend another Maine winter in a dark room with a party of colonial picnic buddies.

 



You know what the absolute best part is? This feels like a “practice run” to me. Since we’re going to renovate the entire house this is the perfect time to test colors, test out my “style” and realize how terrible I am at making decisions on my own house and decorating. I’m not even disappointed to find this out about myself, I’m actually pretty happy because I’ve been learning all along the way. And I get to tear it all down with no guilt.

I didn’t pick up the room before I took the photos either. There is literally nothing staged about these photos. I’m oddly proud of myself.

We picked up all of our paint from Sherwin-Williams {who in no way sponsored this post. They don’t even know this exists and would likely decline to admit their paint is on our walls}. The boards are Copen Blue, the drywall part is Reflection and the floor & stairs are Anonymous. Yes, I know I missed painting part of the stairs. I’ll get to it.

To bring it back even further, this has been the transformation of our living room over the last four years.

Take a look at the first photo again, and then look at this. Is it perfect? No. Is it a serious improvement I’m delighted with? Absolutely. Yes. Positively. Whheewwwwwww.

Of course there are still a few things to do.

  • Take the burlap curtain down, it’s not working for me.  It’s such a high weird window it doesn’t even need a curtain really.
  • Figure out covers for the other three windows. I like curtains at night, but it also helps retain heat in the winter. These aren’t the new high-end windows that they so clearly look to be.
  • Finish floating art above our new (to us, and free) solid cherry entertainment center. Someone we knew didn’t have room for it and gave it to us unexpectedly. The style fits nowhere in our house yet – but what does? It’s gorgeous. It’s solid and it’s the heaviest piece of furniture I’ve ever felt in my life. I love it.
  • Get (or make) a rug.
  • Paint the side of the stairs on the bottom.
  • Get that couch a cover.
  • Paint the ceiling, sort of (this is years away). We’re not sure where a closet will be, what we’ll have to cut, etc. A ceiling is a lot of work. Correction, this ceiling is a lot of work – so I’m doing it once and once only. It will eventually be totally white though.

Overall though, this room is pretty much finished. I’m painted out. We’re debating on painting a few other rooms in the house as well but for now – fuhgettaboutit.

Happy Perfectionism (Hardly),

Heather


Decorating Dilemma

I have this innate ability to go absolutely boy decor crazy. I see a nicely put together room and my palms sweat, my heart palpitates and I get light headed. If I was in fourth grade, I would doodle on my trapper keeper with big hearts around it. Though I appreciate any well done decor, if it’s farmhouse chic or farmhouse contemporary I’m done for. I like mine a little more farmhouse than contemporary. Does that even make sense? What I’m trying to say is I like the clean rustic farmhouse look, not primitive.

I’m making no sense. It’s hot out. I’m actually sitting in AC, but I still hold my reasoning. So since I’m making no sense I’ll just show you photos instead. All photos are from A Life’s Design and Country Living.


Let me point one thing out about that last bathroom photo. I am an artisan soap maker, and the faucet which no one else would likely notice drives me nuts. I swoon over it. I’ve googled it (and ogled it), and I even had it on our wedding registry until Mr. A reminded me we don’t even have a sink yet for it. I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now.  I will build my entire bathroom around it. I’m a sucker for good plumbing fixtures. I am also on the hunt for a sink like that. It’s gorgeous.

Enough about that and back to what this post is about.

Despite knowing the exact style I love. I have no idea how to make it happen in my own home. If you need a refresher, I’ve been working on our livingroom to help get the equity in the house up, even though we plan on renovating the entire house eventually. To see how it’s come along so far, check out the posts here and here. To get you up to date even further, I have indeed picked out wall colors. I’ve been sitting on a post about it for weeks because I just had no idea where to go once I got the colors up.

So without photos, I will tell you that I realized my dream of crisp white livingroom was simply not a reality. I like color, a lot.I also live with two boys, two dogs and lots of dirt that gets tracked in. Nor am I someone who keeps my house spotless. I love the look in magazines, but it’s just not for our lifestyle. So I painted the wood paneling Copen Blue from Sherwin Williams, and the wall part a nice beautiful light gray tone, similar to this French Gray color, but a couple shades lighter and less blue. Oh hell, I need to find the name of it. I’ll get back to you. You get the gist though. We’re still deciding on a floor color.


What it comes down to is that I have no idea how to decorate with gray, and have it flow into the rest of the house which I don’t want gray. We have 30 yards of burlap from our wedding so Mr. A came up with the great idea to use it for curtains. Consider it done (it’s not done). I’ve been stalling hemming and hawing for weeks though when it comes to decor. I was in a rut.

I realized the other day the reason I absolutely couldn’t decorate was due to me trying to force the room to be something it’s not. This whole white/gray/blue thing just does not go with the rest of our house or our style. I need to work with what we have. What we have is a brown slipcover, two yellow dogs, lots of natural materials like burlap, baskets, etc in brown.  How could I tie it in though? Obviously gray and brown do not go together.

Wrong.

Yesterday as I was sitting outside getting inspired by nature I realized that brown and gray are everywhere together. It gave me the motivation to get my but back in gear. So that’s where we stand now.

Me.

Butt in gear.

Craft brain going nuts.

I have yet to finish a whole bunch of things off the livingroom list, but I’m happy to finally be out of my rut and to get going. I’m going to decorate the rest of the room. To tie in the light brown of the burlap with the gray, which seemingly do not match, I’ve decided to make some tan pillows with hand stitching in gray. More on those to come. The best part is in the end, if I still don’t like the gray I can simply paint over it. Oh the joy of paint.

To Do:

  • Prime the livingroom
  • Choose wall color(s)
  • Choose floor color
  • Paint walls (this is semi-done – I have one tiny little part under the stairs, to complete, which no one looks at anyway)
  • Paint floors
  • Buy an area rug, preferably a neutral color to help hide the dogs fur on those days I don’t want to vacuum (we all have them). Or, one with a big contemporary pattern on it
  • Make burlap curtains
  • Sew pillows to tie the brown of the burlap with the gray of the walls
  • Buy pillow forms from Marden’s
  • Cover couch
  • Find art for the walls, or take photos to make cheap art

Some of these things have been started, and I’ll get back to you as more happens. Sometimes all you need is to sit in nature to get over your “but they don’t match” rut and get going.

Happy Decorating,

Heather

 

You Can Just Call Me Primey Painterson

This just in. Heather can’t look at shades of white any longer for the livingroom. So, with no shade chosen the preparations have begun, (see the start of this project here).

The solid pine boards on our walls are approximately grade z. This means there are roughly 500 knots per square foot. On Friday evening after work I picked up a small can of BIN at Home Depot. As a side note – this isn’t “primer” like you might think , it’s quite watery (and it’s suppose to be).  It worked great.

As a reminder, for the last 3 1/2 years the living room has looked like this more or less.

Friday evening it was looking more like this:

On Saturday, Mr. A and I went to Home Depot to pick up a couple things for this project, and a few things Mr. A needed for a basement project (to be posted later this week). I grabbed a bucket of 1-2-3 water based primer hoping it would be enough to cover the BIN and the wood, which as a reminder are solid wood boards not the typical wood paneling.

With one coat of primer the wall looked crazy. As you can see, the BIN does an awesome job. The 1-2-3 primer soaked into the wood everywhere except the knots (where it should be soaking in the most). Had I thought ahead I would have painted all the walls with BIN to stop the wood from soaking up the primer.

Two coats of primer definitely made a bigger difference. The discoloration by the stairs is from the light, not the primer.

I accidentally spilled the BIN, hence that awesome white spot on the floor. We are planning on painting the floors so I wasn’t especially careful (at all) in regards to getting paint on the floor. If you are planning on keeping your nice floors nice, I would highly suggest putting down drop cloths and using painters tape.

Once I ran out of primer I really needed to settle on a color scheme. On Friday when I grabbed the BIN, I popped into Homegoods and Marshalls and found an awesome blue and white lamp for $30.00 marked down from $60.00. Saturday as I was looking around my house for inspiration I realized my colors were sitting right in front of me.

News Team Four Assemble! (Ok, I might have had anchorman on while I was painting). I grabbed a pillow I made from Mardens fabric, the lamp I bought, my wire rooster I adore and paint samples. See the flowers in the pillow? Those are my colors.

Here’s a better shot. I had to get my beautiful wire rooster in, he can’t be left out because he will very much be in the decor. As the newest member to our household he deserved to be in on this.

I’m aware those blues look all the same, but in person they are very different. The square is more traditional blue, the rectangle one has a hint of teal in it and the two together are more gray blues.

The decision? The primary wall color will be “seapearl” (the second darkest). As for the floor and large wall, I’m thinking either the “square” color for the floor and the “rectangle” color for the wall – or the two grayish ones with the dark for the floor and the lighter for the wall. I’m going to get samples of each and test them out.

So as of Saturday, that’s where we stand. I’ll be getting those samples this week and updating on what happens next! Hopefully by then I’ll be painting, and maybe will even have the rug purchased. I’ll get into the rug choice later – some things need to be left for next time!

Happy Painting…and painting…and painting,

Heather

Fan-tastic

This weekend I was mercilessly staring at paint swatches (this post) because I’m still trying to decide what shade of white to go with (yes, even as it’s almost Friday I have no idea what I’m doing). After that got boring, I realized our fan needed to be cleaned, badly. The fan happens to be in the main room to the house, off of the room I’m painting. It’s also where the woodstove is. This means the fan is running quite a bit to circulate either cool air from outside, or warm air from the woodstove. Due to it running so much it collects a lot of dust. Seems backwards, but it’s the truth. You know what’s also awesome? The popcorn ceiling.

There I was standing on a chair with a wet cloth staring at this mass of brown and gold with flowered light shades. That’s when I found a screw driver and decided to go rogue on those fan blades.

I realized with one blade down I should at least attempt to take a photo of the fan before. I snapped this in about two seconds flat, threw gently placed the camera down and went nuts with my screw driver – stopping short of removing the entire assembly. First, I’m well aware this might be the best photo you’ve ever seen in your life. Second, don’t be jealous of the crack above the door in the background. If you really want one of your own, jack your house up so it’s level. You might get one or two in a ceiling as well*brushes shoulders off*, we are ballin’ around here.

About 45 minutes later, the gorgeous flower light shades were in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning, and the fan blades had a nice coat of white spray paint on them. First I cleaned them with a super diluted soap/water mix on a damp cloth. Since these are wood I didn’t want to soak them. I made sure to dry them thoroughly, and left them in the sun for about 10 minutes to finish up. My first coat of spray was some left over white primer spray paint I had. After, I did 2 coats of white semi-gloss spray paint. Once they were dried to the touch I brought them back inside to put up.

Once I realized my original screwdriver was not only too short to put them back up, but I needed a magnetic screwdriver to hold the screw in place, I was slightly derailed. The next morning the tool saints had me walk into our back room, i.e. guest room, i.e. wedding storage room, i.e. craft storage room, i.e. shoe storage closet and lo and behold there was my longer, magnetic screwdriver *dance of success*. In about 15 minutes, at 7am, I had the fan blades back up and the floral glass in place.We don’t plan on keeping this particular fan, so I decided to just clean up the glass and not waste money purchasing new shades for it.

So instead of a gold fan with dark brown blades covered in dust, I now have a gold fan with white blades that are clean and a clean popcorn ceiling due to some serious vacuuming. You see those blue walls? That’s your sneak peak into the main room. Man, the suspense is just killing you. I can give you a spoiler – directly below that fan is a hump in our wood flooring so big my best friend thought she stepped on my sleeping dog when she stepped backwards and onto it. My dog was nowhere near her.

I genuinely find these things charming about my house, and I’m sure I’ll think fondly of all these things when their gone. It’s all the journey.

And that my friends, is six hundred and forty-one words on painting fan blades.

*takes a bow*

Thank you very much,

Heather