Thanks for stopping by!
We are two house-loving DIYers now onto our second house. One of us has vision...and one has actual skills.
Design and working on our home are our major hobbies, whenever we have a few moments of free time not devoted to our daughter or jobs. We are hoping to share our ideas, triumphs and mistakes to help other DIYers and get new ideas from all of you!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Chipping away...

More bedroom touches, countertop in the butler's pantry, insulation, scraping wallpaper, work on my office

Hello, again!  With school in full-swing, the last few weeks have not been focused on the house, but we have still been chipping away!

I made two more changes in the bedroom:
1. Spray painted the Ikea bedside tables gold (I used Rustoleum)
2. Switched out the arts and crafts knobs on the dresser Brent refinished for oval brass ones

For me, spray paint was definitely easier than Rub n' Buff, but I will admit I like the finish on the overhead fixture better, but not enough to apply the rub n' buff by hand to the two lamps...

Changing the knobs was one move in my quest to balance out the masculine side of our bedroom. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the strong geometric patterns and dark wood, but the room still needs a bit of softening. Plus, the brass elsewhere highlights the nailheads on the bed.

With two changed...


The marble countertop has been installed in the butler's pantry, making it a functional surface.  I love that little room more and more...the storage is HUGE, the window and original sink are a happy reminder of our home's age. The marble is classic, won't get a ton of wear and tear in there, and lightens up the dark cabinetry. We still have work to do in there - patching the walls and repairing the inside of the cabinets, installing a backsplash (I'm leaning towards antique mirror tiles to further brighten it up) and possibly a small throw rug, oh... and restore the window and under-cabinet lighting.

We have not had a ceiling in several places since....June. This includes the mudroom and powder room, which had heavy damage from leaks and ice dams, and the 2nd floor bathroom ceiling.  A speed bump in putting the ceilings back in the mudroom/powder room has been insulating first. This was becoming more apparent over the past few weeks as the temperature dropped, and there was literally a breeze back there.  But, this weekend, Brent checked that one off the list! After some research and talking with other friends who have DIY-ed spray foam, Brent chose Foam it Green. First he put up rigid insulation on the outer walls, then sprayed, then added some batting insulation. It's nice and cozy now!

We are also on our way towards paint in the Living Room! After several false starts at scraping, Brent dove in and got it done over several evenings this week.  Friday night we washed the walls, and today Brent started patching and sanding.

Tessa helping clean up.

Tessa "taking pictures of Daddy working."
This last picture brings up a recent event...Tessa woke up in the middle of the night, sick with a fever and insisting, beside herself, that we had to get dressed and go to Home Depot right now...to buy paint...for her room...brown paint! She literally had a tantrum about this very specific errand, for 25 minutes. Now I know most of that was the fever but, between that and her documenting Daddy's work...I think a bit of our DIY-ness is rubbing off. Also, she now says, "because they are old and we have to be nice to them," when asked why we cannot slam the doors in this house.

Hoping for some paint in the living room next weekend!

Here's one of my inspiration pics - still crushing on a velvet green couch, and I'm considering Edgecomb Gray for the paint color.


Knowing that the Dining Room will be quite vibrant with the wallpaper that will one day be there, I want the Living Room to be a bit more subdued.

I've also done a bit of work on my office...that'll be its own post...soon?

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Right light, wrong color.

When I found the light I wanted for our bedroom, I loved everything about it - the oversized scale, the geometric vibe, the airiness, but NOT the color options - it was either antique bronze or silver in stock and I knew I wanted something in the gold family.
In the process of picking out...about 22 light fixtures, I thought - I can fix that later!  But then it was up...and the thought of taking it down to spray paint it seemed like a speed bump that could turn into months.

The antiqued bronze was too much dark with the wood of the headboard/footboard of our new bed, the dark wood trim that is in the entire house, and the dark navy of the curtains - as T would say, Same, Same! Too much matchy-matchy for my taste.  The room needs some lightening up and some bling.  Thankfully, Benjamin Moore's Glass Slipper paint is pulling its airy weight on the walls, but we need some metallic accents.  

Enter Rub n' Buff.  The name...is too much, but I think it's basically oil-based paint mixed with wax. It comes in tiny tubes.  I got the Gold Leaf tone from Amazon - so cheap it was an Add-on item. I followed the directions, cleaning the light and letting it dry before I started applying.  I figured - about an hour? Silly Liz...so many surfaces/angles to cover!

I used an old piece of cotton clothing I didn't want anymore to apply the stuff.  It said finger or cloth...I thought I'd try to keep clean. Again, silly Liz. It seemed darker than expected as I started to apply it, but I figured I was going for it now.  Unsurprisingly, the 2.75 year-old interrupted the process about an hour in and I had to go back later to finish, but I don't think that down time affected much. I probably would just cut my nails really short and use a finger next time (I think it will be under my nails for weeks despite the cloth and using nail polish remover to clean my hands afterwards).  As I got used to working with  the material, I think bare fingers would have made for an easier application. I was able to finish the application in about...2.5? hours.  Perhaps removing the fixture and spraying it would have been faster....but I do like the finish.
Here is how it looked applied, but still drying and not buffed yet.

It is already feeling much lighter!

I will update the post tomorrow after I buff :)

In case you're curious:
Curtains (Overstock.com)
Rug (Overstock.com)
Bed (Jordan's furniture, but I believe it was discontinued...hence the deal :)


I'm unsure how much a difference my attempt at buffing made, but I think it's a little shinier?

The lack of any flat surfaces made buffing feel futile, but I do think it helped. Seeing the gold in the room also inspired me to dig into the coat closet where ALL of our hanging pictures and mirrors are living for now and find Nonny's mirror.

It had hung in her dining room, and then ours in the last house, but it felt perfect for between the two front windows. I'm getting used to using the picture rail trim - no holes in the walls is nice, but the tipping forward is slightly annoying.

I think I might do spray paint for the bedside lights...to save time and dirty fingers.  I would ideally like to have sconces some day, but for now I'm more than happy to spray our very budget-friendly Ikea lamps.

The master is inching closer and closer to completion!

Remaining on the punch list:
1. Find art to hang to left of the side window.
2. Swap out the pulls on Brent's dresser for oblong round antique brass ones.

3. Find new bedside tables - Brent made our current beauties, and I have plans for them in our to-be-furnished Living Room.  Plus, they are  too low with the new bed.  Since we have different amounts of space on each side, I doubt the new ones will match.  They are on my running list of things to hunt for in Home Goods etc.

4. Long term - replace brown Ikea love seat I've had since my Southie apartment with a chaise.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The time we threw a BBQ in a dirt pit

Well, despite our better judgement, we just could not allow our 6-year streak to be broken, and so threw our 7th annual Summer BBQ.  It was later than usual, there were no signs/decorations, and everything felt quite a bit thrown together.  Also, it was held in our "yard," which is currently a dirt pit.  Literally. There are 4 tufts of grass. A big thank you to all BBQ-goes who graciously brought potted plants that we hastily threw into planters in advantageous spots.

That did not, however, prevent the inevitable cast of sub-six-year-olds to emerge looking like Pig Pen, our lovely daughter included.

Highlights of the event:
1. The GIANT ball of all-colors-together of Play Doh that was created (my one and only activity I provided this year...)
2. Said ball of Play Doh adorning one dad's head.
3. The self-guided house tours.  I'm glad everyone knew I was serious when I said - go for it!
4. The electrician, painter and real-estate agent (and their families) staying multiple hours and seemingly enjoying themselves (as opposed to a business-boosting appearance made).  They are all fantastic and I will refer anyone who is in need to them.
5. Finding out that people are actually reading this!
6. Discovering that the hot tub cover makes a great serving surface.
7. Convincing the painter (who doesn't really like to hang wallpaper anymore) to come and give Brent and I a tutorial for my dream Dining Room wallpaper.

8. Realizing that even without my usual level of attention to detail, everyone had a great time!
9. My dear friend who got me a cocktail and plate of food a few hours into the party.
10. Having some lovely friends and family get to see the "before" version of the house.

Today we actually spent about an hour on the third floor - first time that's really happened since we moved in.  It reenergized my plans for those spaces.  I think it will make an amazing guest suite when I get some furniture up there and spruce up the bathroom.

Thanks to everyone who came by!

I promise next year, there will be grass.  Brent is lining up the irrigation and landscapers as we speak. More on that soon!