Trading Spaces – Wait Is That Copyrighted?

It might be copyrighted. In fact, it probably is, but I’m not talking about the show. I’m talking about our office and guest room. The old guest room – without a door, painted lavender including the ceiling just wasn’t working anymore. It had been the guest/junk/what the hell room since we moved in and it was anxiety provoking to look at. I felt terrible having guests over, and in that room.

At the same time, across the common room from the guest room was our office. It had a door, was slightly smaller than the guest room, and it was the office for both Andy and I, and my soap supplies, among other things. When we moved in we essentially said, “that’s fine” and threw everything in there. It sort of stayed that way for the last four years.

So, I decided to switch the rooms this year.  The pre-renovation updates were pretty simple. I chose an accent color for the back wall and the built it, painted the walls white, caulked a few areas (a lot of areas, like a whole tube of areas), updated the fixtures on the ceiling, and simplified everything. You can see those steps here and here.  By the way, this room is pretty darn small in reality. Due to the hallway and angles, I can’t get it all in one shot.

I turned the built in storage to a soap display for my fully cured soaps. Andy’s desk he built got dusted and cleaned up and turned into my desk, with my old monitor so I can have dual monitors when I’m working/designing with my laptop.

On the back side of the wall I put our solid oak drawer we bought at a barn sale for my crafting supplies, my jar of soap scraps, a frame that is a place holder – though I am admittedly digging the gold. I never though I was a gold frame person, I just might be.

Oh, and hey – it’s that tripod light that I saved 900+ dollars on. If, you know, I ever actually intended on buying a similar $960 dollar lamp. Which I did…not.

Below is my nana’s suitcase with our wedding keepsakes in it, a tin lined milk box I bought at the flea market for $15.00 filled with some art stuff and gift paper. I rarely, if ever, stage a photo. I really organize my items like this.

On the other side of the bureau is the strawberry box my mom picked up for me off the side of the road, filled with my scrap papers and frames which aren’t in use. Against the wall is my art bag. I’ve had that thing (and some of the supplies inside) since high school.

This is the desk from the other angle, standing by the oak bureau. The curtains are two panels for $20 at Homegoods, attached to a tension rod that I settled up behind the molding for a seamless look. Behind the curtain is a piece Andy built in high school which I keep extra blankets in, as well as our basic metal filing cabinet. I just want to say I’m excellent at spacial skills. Or so I tell myself, since I figured out sans measuring tape I could fit both items in the closet perfectly.

Oh, and on the desk. Here’s a closer view.  Andy salvaged the desk drawers, and the top of the desk which are solid mahogany, from an abandoned building. He then built new faces to the drawers and cabinets out of ash. The desk top is insanely deep, and beautiful. It definitely takes up a lot of room. I initially wanted a built in, but kept with this for now. As I kept with it during the day I realized I actually really liked it. So we’ll see what happens down the line once we renovate the house.

And just because it makes me happy to see my soaps displayed out in the open on a bright shelf, and no longer in a closet, this photo is necessary.

As a reminder this is what it looked like before we moved in, and what it looks like now. In the fore front of the “after” photo are items I’m either selling or giving away. It’s amazing how much I’ve been able to get rid of since we moved in. The only item I will have bought for this room when 100% accessorized will be a small area rug I can sit on while I craft.

So there we are. Aside from a few details the office is done for now.

I’m still looking to:

  • Get a comfortable area rug to craft on
  • Decide on some art for the walls
  • On the white wall directly above hang a few closet rods to drape my fabrics over (or next to the window, I haven’t decided yet)
  • Put the wooden antique cheese box (soap photo above) on the wall next to the light switch to use as an “inbox” for any mail of ours we need to go through, so it stays off the kitchen table.

All in all I’m super happy with how it’s turned out. It’s nice to have a place to go and work if I need some quiet, as well as sew. With such a huge desk top I can easily use it for sewing large pieces without a separate sewing table. Now it’s time to finish organizing, list a couple things for sale, and start prepping the old office as the new guest room. I am intending to:

  • Wash the walls.
  • Caulk rough areas, but not mud them. The walls are the worst in that room, but it will be demo’d next summer hopefully.
  • Prime and paint the walls white.
  • Use the Revere Pewter or Edgecomb Gray from the kitchen upgrades (or combine them), to paint wide stripes on the walls similar to The Stucco Bungalow, found through Pinterest. I’m still not sure if I’m doing the entire room, or just one wall.

  • Pick up an extra bed from Mom.
  • Get a small area rug to keep our guests tootsie’s warm.
  • Add some sheer curtains, similar to those in the office.
  • Make a side table using a few items we have around here.

All for now my family and friends! I hope you enjoyed your Turkey Day. I’ll be posting about ours later, and my er – great spacial skills.




Return of the Claw {Hand}

I’m covered in white paint, caulking and a few rogue glow in the dark stickers as I write this. My claw hands from painting are cheering to say I am finally done – for today. Among the things I painted today included the first coat on the kitchen, the first coat of the ceiling in the laundry/pantry, painting trim in the laundry/pantry, 2 coats of white on one wall in the guest room, and two walls base boards. My day consisted of a few more things than that too. Let’s recap. Why? Because I want to remember this day.

FYI – this is going to be a doozy of a post, and a combo update of both the guest room & the kitchen.

This was before claw hands came into play and before I realized my hair was white from paint – not stress as I guessed at the end of the day. As well, I apparently loaded the dishwasher with something too tall, so we had to run it again. Ignore the dishes in the background. I’m happy to say that it’s taken care of now.

Why so much paint? I decided to whip out the white 5 gallons of Sherwin Williams ProMar 400 we had left over from the common room and paint every. single. thing. that needed to be white today. I still need to finish 2 walls in the guest room but that will require moving all of the furniture out of the room, so that will have to wait.

My day went as follows:

  • Wake up at 6:00.
  • Let the dogs out.
  • Feed the dogs.
  • Caulk the kitchen, until I ran out.
  • Load the car up with GoodWill donation items.
  • Let the dogs out to go to the bathroom again. It was probably a bad idea to let Rosie have that small Jack-Be-Little Pumpkin last night. Winnie seems ok.
  • Load the dogs up in the car and head to Lowes to get more caulking and paint rollers.
  • Turn around a few houses down and drop Primrose off at home because she farted something fierce in the car from the pumpkin and I am not having that. Yes, I just wrote that as a key bullet of my day. Be glad you weren’t there.

  • Roll down all the windows in the car.
  • Finally get to Lowes.
  • Find out there is a GoodWill donation center in the parking lot of Lowes and get excited.
  • Buy said items at Lowes.
  • Chase my receipt down the parking lot because the wind decided to blow immediately as I left the door, and the receipt was in the paint tray I bought. I looked cool. Winnie licked me excessively as I got in the car. A family laughed.
  • Drop items off at GoodWill. Winnie barked at the attendant.
  • Go to tractor supply to get dog food. Winnie jumped around in the car with excitement when I walked out with the bag.
  • Get home & lay out bought items. Yes, that is a 100% biodegradable paint tray and it made me stinking happy, so I bought one to try. I kind of love it.

  • Caulk the kitchen.

  • Paint the first coat of white on the big wall in the guest room. The other two purple walls will be white too eventually. You can see the colors I was testing to use on the wall in this post, about the guest room, from a few days ago.

  • Paint the first coat of the ceiling in the laundry/pantry, and paint the trim. Decide to keep the trim on the darker wall on the left the same color and nix painting the trim white. Make a mental note to touch it up. I still have yet to write a post about painting the laundry room. When we moved in it was teal. Then I primed it white. I only recently painted it. Four years later.

  • Sand down and paint the end cap of the cabinets in the kitchen. Lose said photo of end cap completed. So only give you photo of it before.

  • Paint the second coat of paint in the guest room while singing far too loud to country music. Consider becoming a world renown country star. Decide against it as I might put everyone to shame in Nashville. Conclude I best just finish painting.

  • I look up  at the ceiling, at those glow in the dark stickers that I have hated since we moved in – and always assumed they would be a gluey mess to take off. I decide today is judgement day, and grab the putty knife.

  • Much to my happiness, and my Chuck Norris threat of impending doom, the stars to fall off with much less than a simple scrape. I ask myself why I didn’t attempt this four years ago. I also take a look at the floor and note how many paint splatters are on it from previous owners. We’re saving sanding that for the big renovation.

  • Pull out the big guns and finally focus my attention on painting the kitchen. I decide to give it a once over in white first, which will cover everything enough so I hopefully only have one coat of the darker Behr paint I’ll be using for the final. Hey pst, – see, the end cap of the cabinets is painted white now. I paint the kitchen as the sun is setting so I get all sorts of crazy different photo lighting.

  • In the midst of painting I take a break to do dishes, which are purposely hidden behind the fridge in these photos. I pat myself on the back for being clever. Except all the other counters are trashed anyway from moving everything around. I continue painting until I’m done.


All in all I completed painting of the first coat in the kitchen just in time for A Prairie Home Companion on Maine Public Radio at 6:00. That’s twelve hours from when I woke up. This includes a one hour break for lunch and a brief nap. I can’t believe I just pulled an 11 hour day (so far). I’m pretty proud of myself.

Now, time to enjoy my favorite two hours on Saturday night and a warm cup of tea and maybe a grilled cheese for dinner. Why? Grilled cheeses don’t involve knifes.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t grip one right now.

As for tomorrow? We’ll see how long that day goes. I plan on finishing the kitchen, doing a second coat on the ceiling in the pantry/laundry, touching up all the trim and then…then…we’ll see. Maybe I’ll actually write a post on the laundry room transformation…

…and sleep a little more.

No I won’t. The girls will have me up at 6am for breakfast. Plus, what can I say, I’m a sucker for the quite hour I get in the morning to myself.

Happy Hard Work!



Be Our Guest {Or Maybe Wait A Few More Weeks}

Not that this has anything to do with this post, but does anyone else find networking one of the most awkward things ever? I am loud, talkative and boisterous around people I know, but I crave alone time, and introverted when it comes to networking. The thought of walking up to someone I don’t know anything about, without someone introducing us, and having to talk about myself and ask them mundane generic questions makes me crawl out of my skin. I’m working on it. I only ask this because I attended two networking events tonight. They were good, but I really need to get out of my shell. I never, ever, thought I would say that sentence.

The point is, I do well in small groups of people. Which leads us into our guest room renovations, because I love when people come to visit overnight.

While Andy was mudding our kitchen, I was in the back room painting. Oddly, the room we refer to as “the back room”/”guest room” is actually the center room on the front of our house. This graphic might help. When we moved in, this was essentially the layout (not to scale) and color of each room. The pantry was white, with one bright teal wall. The brown of the living room should be imagined as brown paneling. You can see more on that here, and here.

When we moved in, this room was a very purple nursery. We also have these weird “basement” windows over the entire house. The only normal windows in the house are three in the living room. Real windows will exist. I’m hoping to re-use some of these windows as cold frames for extending the garden growing season eventually.

Also in this room is a cute white built in. I’m hoping to save this for use in another room. It, like 90% of other items in this house, are not centered and balanced.

As much as someone else might love it, the purple wasn’t my cup of tea. So, over the last few weeks I’ve had a few color samples up on the walls that I loved initially for the pantry area but were too odd in natural light. My favorite was Koi Pond from Sherwin Williams. In direct sunlight it read as a weird goldish-beige. In indirect light it showed as a beautiful soft green color. Since the front of our house gets very little natural light, the guest room was a great place for it.

Once we renovate completely, the guest room will become my office/craft room. In fact, this is what most of the colors will look like after all of our pre-renovation updates. The only reason the bedroom is staying blue is because that’s Tom Cruise’s bedroom, eventually our bathroom.

Other quirks – the guest room also has no door on it. When we moved in it had no door. I am completely unaware what actually ever happened to this door. It is an unsolved mystery. This said, the door to our current office on the other side of the common room has a door, and better light. You see where I’m going with this? For now, before renovations begin, I’m going to switch the two rooms (the office will be next to the bedroom). Our guest can actually have privacy, not be next to the road, and get some natural light. This also allows me to get used to having my office in the “guest room” area.

In order to prep the room for painting, I first piled everything on to the bed and away from the back wall. Then I sanded down the significantly rough spots. Once that was done and any rough nail holes were gone I caulked the 3,000 nail holes throughout the walls. The photo below is before I wiped everything, and sanded the caulked areas down. So excuse the technique.

Once the caulked areas dried I sanded them down smooth. By smooth I mean there was no major crazyness. Take that major, in this house, is relative. In other words it was a lot better and that’s fine by me. Because this room isn’t one of the main rooms we’re not re-taping & mudding in here before the big renovation. As it turns out, this room used to be BRIGHT red. The kitchen used to be teal. What on earth was going on around here in the 70’s? You know what. Don’t answer that.

After the “prep” was complete, I decided to edge out the window with the Koi Pond color to see how I liked it in a bigger area. As it turns out, I loved it.

One coat in and I was sure this was the color I wanted for my {almost} office. By the way, the sample size from Sherwin-Williams was about $5.00 and it gave me exactly two coats.

While this dried I did the first coat of apple green on the backside of the white shelving. Once all was said and done, this is where I ended up.

Here’s the shelving color during the day. It dried slightly darker than this.

Things left to do before the big renovation:

  • Paint the trim white.
  • Give the baseboards a fresh coat of paint.
  • Give the shelving a fresh coat of white paint.
  • Paint the remaining purple walls white.
  • Put up drapes over the closet, which is currently holding a piece of furniture to hold extra blankets, etc.
  • Switch the office & guest room.
  • Get better lighting.
  • Replace the bed & mattress (which will be brought over into the new guest room someday).

Hopefully I’ll get the kitchen caulked, and the purple walls painted white this weekend. Until then my friends. It’s time for bed.

Happy Painting, Networking & Napping,