Painting Sunny

Painting Sunny

Take a Deep Breath (With Your Dust-Masks On)

We havent been able to have any family or friends over to see the construction zone house yet, and there have been so many updates! We are growing  a zillion little plants indoors to fill up the garden, figured out how to get the tractor mower running and the yard looks significantly less crazy, cleaned out the baseboard heaters meticulously, and best of all (#drumrollplease) We have upstairs flooring! Like, actual clean and nice flooring, in the form of carpeting!  It is so amazing, I have never been so grateful to walk on something in my life.

Anyway, ready for our 1st home tour? Including a boatload of stressful insightful notes on what projects we are prioritizing? There is a lot still to tackle, so we are taking a deep breath (with those aforementioned dust-masks on) and taking one step at a time. We still havent made the actual big move, so we are cramming in as much reno as possible before we haul the beds and cat into the house and officially live here.

Come on in!

Porch/Mudroom/Sunroom/#whatisthisspace

When you first come in the front door (seen above) this is where you come into. The door is seen in the below pic, on the right-hand side and the door on the left-hand side enters into the living/dining rooms.

Here is a view of the other side of the porch (this side is a little smaller pardon the vacuum):

The only progress in this space so far has been spackling and patching areas where the drywall seams had come loose/peeled off and things were a bit of a mess. Next were thinking of

  • Paint the ceiling the same Sweet Slumber paint we used in some of the other rooms
  • Paint the walls a pretty color
  • Replace the light fixture with something updated
  • Create a hook/basket/bench system to keep the kids organized when we get in the door (and us too)
  • Create a desk area on one side, so Dennis can have relatively private workspace (away from playing kids)
  • Dream Project: Re-tiling the floors! Something amazing! This weird industrial carpet is off-putting.

Check out the hubs wingspan below the porch is pretty big, really!

Living/Dining Rooms

(See the before pics here )

The first photo above is of the living room area, and the lower one is of the dining room; the front door from the porch opens up into the dining room, and the dining room then leads to the kitchen. They are really one big room divided by this partial all and set of back-to-back built-in bookcases. The wall between the dining room & kitchen has a cut-out with another small and wider built-in set of shelves below it. Anyway, so far we have cleaned them, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, repaired the trim around doors and windows, primed & painted the window, door, and other trim white, had the carpets cleaned, and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Build some new shelves for the built-ins. The old ones were too thin, flimsy, and too narrow so didnt reach all the way to the front of the built-ins. We are thinking some nice medium-toned stained wood would add a natural element and some contrast to rooms.
  • Touch up the baseboards where the new paint got dinged up by the carpet cleaner.
  • Install new light fixtures
  • Paint and/or replace the front door
  • Upgrade the thermostat to a smart one, to save on energy costs
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add white crown-molding to match the trim
  • Dream Project:   Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Kitchen

The view below is from walking into the kitchen from the dining room and yes, while in the midst of project-mode it got very messy and full of over-excited children! If you walk through the kitchen to those french doors, it leads to the deck and the backyard. The door right behind the fridge leads to the downstairs half-bath and the staircase upstairs. (Not shown; the door to the basement is on the other wise of the fridge, out of view).

If youre standing next to the fridge:

So far we have cleaned this room SO MUCH and added lots of nice, white shelf-liner to make the old cabinets serviceable while we figure out bigger plans. The fridge was rusted in areas, so we used some Bar Keepers Friend cleaner to get it fixed up. There is so much to do, but next up:

  • Paint the walls (were thinking an ocean-ish blue, to set off the terr-cotta hued floor tiles?)
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door to the basement
  • Install a window treatment above the sink (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add some temporary food-prep and counter space with a small free-standing island
  • Dream Project: Replace the cabinets, counter-top, and sink with some upgraded stuff!
  • Dream Project: Replace the old stove with a new unit, and move it over to the cabinet wall so we can add some ventilation above it to go outside. Also, replace the portable dishwasher with a permanent one, next to the sink. And so so many more things!

Downstairs Bathroom

This is the smallest little space known to man, but I actually think its really sweet (and am just grateful we will have a 2nd bathroom).

So far we have cleaned it up quite a bit, and taken down the light-fixture cover to clean it (not shown), and thoroughly cleaned inside the baseboard heater unit. Next up:

    Painting Sunny
  • Paint the ceilings and walls (no firm ideas on colors yet, but you may spot that paint chip taped to the wall)
  • Replace the light fixture and mirror above the sink (something more flush with the wall would be great, and we could add storage elsewhere in the room somehow)
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door (its really banged up)
  • Install a window treatment to the little window (privacy is nice!)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones

Bedroom #1

Here we enter the first bedroom

This bedroom is our girls room, and she picked up the purple paint color (which was in the process of being put on the walls when this pic was snapped). So far we have cleaned the room, removed the weird hanging from hooks-and-cords light fixture, painted the walls her choice of lavender (but not the closet yet), and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Painting the inside of the closet; were thinking white?
  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Figured out a closet door? Or leave it open to the room?
  • Install some window treatments (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Dream Project:   Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #2

This is the master bedroom as it is slightly larger than the others. YAY FOR THE FLOOR! I am so excited, using all caps seems excusable given the circumstances.

Remember the before? Not all that long ago, it looked like this

Thats right, the upstairs flooring looked like this (brace yourself )

But its all better now!

So far we have cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring (it wasnt the good stuff that could be refinished), painted the walls a bold color, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), fixed a couple squeaks in the floor, and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Replace the  light fixture (hopefully with a low-profile ceiling fan!)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Dream Project:   Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Expand the closet doors down the wall there is closet all the way along the length of the wall, but most of it is out of reach!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #3

Welcome to our boys room!

Again, since this has the most recent updates, here is the original before

So far we have painted the walls a nice blue and an orange he picked out himself (#favoritecoloralert), cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Find a way to make part of the closet a fun cubbyhole for reading?
  • Dream Project:   Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Upstairs Bathroom

This bathroom needs a lot of work, but honestly Im just relieved it is pretty big inside! With four people brushing a lot of teeth, we need some space. You walk into it from the end of the upstairs landing/hallway

And here is what it looks like when you walk in and turn to the left

And if you turn back to the right Wow, this is a really awkward space to photograph.

So far we have made even more of a mess of it. We did re-caulk the bathtub/shower and really thoroughly clean out the closet (again, lots of shelf-repair drama) but otherwise it remains untouched. So, next up:

  • Cleaning SO much
  • Painting the walls and ceiling, including the little place to crawl up to the attic (no real ideas on colors yet, but there is at least one paint chip taped up in there)
  • Painting the window and floor trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones and have an electrician add a normal wall outlet near the sink? Dare I dream of this possibility?
  • Replace the mirror/medicine cabinet with something more up-to-date
  • Replace the shower rod with a cool curved one (I have always wanted one! It will be like living in a spa!)
  • Replace towel bars with nice hooks
  • Dream Project: EVERYTHING. Add some sort of sink vanity for added counter-space and storage, tile the floor with some sort of really lovely floor tile (as opposed to this gray vinyl stuff), add board & batten for the towel hooks to nicely be installed on, and the biggest dream of all radiant heat .
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units! Notice a theme there?

WHEW. There are plenty of other random spaces (the garage and loft, yard, basement, etc.) but I think we have all experienced enough photo and list overload. We have boxes to pack and tasks to complete. Anyone else moving this weekend? Dreaming of pretty, smooth, radiant-heated tiles? Just grateful to not get splinters when they walk across the floor?

May 12, 2014

Progress Report: Pre-Move In Mania

Dear House,

Seriously. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER.

Love, Dani

We have done so much work, and there is SO much still to do. Making before & after pictures is my only way of coping at this point. It gives me hope for the future, and if a squint my eyes, blur my vision, and use my imagination I can begin to see it all coming together. Its time for a progress report, including an introduction to more of the rooms in our cozy little abode (we showed off our living room/dining room progress a couple weeks ago ). This  may get a little picture-heavy, so I apologize in advance.

Lets start off with the bedroom that is directly off of the living room

As this will be our girls room, we let Haven choose the color and she went with the pretty Lavender Ice by Ben Moore. Her dresser is actually a lilac color, so I tried to sway her in another direction, but it was lavender ice or nothing So, there it is. The closet behind that plastic door was actually a decent size! The shag carpeting will eventually be a goner, but we did get it cleaned for now so at least it will work while we save up. The ceiling is painted in the same Sweet Slumber by Valspar as the living/dining room. It helps hide that tile ceiling and makes the room feel SO much taller. Next up: one last coat of paint on two walls, then painting the trim the same Decorators White by Ben Moore as the living/dining room. (Ill share a summation of our project/to-do list for the whole house, eventually.)

Above is a better detail-shot of the ceilings now that they are painted (this is the one in the dining room), to give us full credit for how much better they look now. This is before cutting-in the paint around the light fixture (someday we will upgrade them), and shows how blue and cool-toned Sweet Slumber looks. Mostly, it looks like a really blue-toned white, but once it has a really white-white trim next to it, I think it will stand out more.

Moving upstairs here is our boys room!

When we first talked about paint colors, we realized we both had envisioned a classic, sporty blue for Los bedroom. However, the kids fav color is orange, and he was drawn to a paint chip of Bus Top Tour by Valspar (an Allen + Roth color). It is so much his personality, the colors playing off of each other it is perfect! It also feels so much cleaner and brighter with that old brown paint gone. This ceiling was also painted the same Sweet Slumber we used in the other rooms. Next up: painting the trim white, getting these floors (if you want t call them that I refer to them as sub-floors, myself) covered with something much more livable-with, getting the inside of the closet cleaned/painted.

Right across the hall, lets move on over to the master bedroom. 

We started with mauve-hued walls, ceiling tiles that had lovely unique gold swirls in them, and the same flooring as the little guys room. The ceiling was painted the same Sweet Slumber as the other rooms, which made the room look cleaner, brighter, and taller which is needed since the ceilings are VERY low upstairs. Thats just how a cape cod rolls. I guess. We went with Turkish Tile, a Pantone 2014 color for the walls. We wanted something bolder, to balance out our neutral living/dining room choice. Next up: painting the trim white, getting that old flooring covered, cleaning/painting inside the closet. Oh yeah, and vacuuming out the dust bunnies inside those old baseboard heaters.

Not to add EVEN MORE PICS AND TEXT to this already-over-loaded post, but some random things are always nice to share, too.

The yard behind this house goes on forever. I tell you! The kids have been dragging tops from the garage while we are there working, so there are always a few random things lying around. Walking paths lead into the woods around a wetlands area, and the flower beds are coming up with some really beautiful perennials. Its been fun being surprised every weekend by what has come up! We may need to learn how to use the new mower soon, and get the grass tidied and the flower beds weeded and other home-ownery-responsibilities. I cant wait to get veggies planted in the fenced-in garden (you can kind of see it behind that basketball hoop).

While priming the wood paneling in Los room, I noticed one of the panels had come loose and was sticking out, so I gave it an innocent little tug and discovered this wallpaper below it! How gorgeous is that wallpaper, amiright? Honestly, seeing that there is somewhat-decent-looking wall behind the paneling made it OH SO TEMPTING to rip it right off the walls. Logically/reasonably/realistically we arent prepared to deal with the possible messes we may find beneath it, though (have I learned nothing from reading Manhattan Nest? ), so for now some pretty paint will cover up the problem. Oh, and I did screw that paneling back down.

I stumbled across the picture above on my phone, today it was taken prior to the living room/dining room being painted, but I think it acts as a solid example of the chaos that ensues when you are fixing up a fixer-upper. Or, as a PSA for anyone considering buying an old house. Either way.

Anyone else buying paint rollers by the barrel-full? Finding vintage wallpaper? We also found a old pair of crutches hidden deep inside one of the closets. Depending on how well the rest of our renovations go, they could be super useful! In any case, its gorgeous outside and we are getting closer to having our little house ready to move into. May the odds be ever in our favor!

PS: All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience. None of the links contained in this post are affiliate links (some of them in the right-hand side-bar are, though), and I havent been sponsored by anybody in any way.

May 4, 2014

A New (Old) House For Us

Its been a minute or two since Ive been around, but its been for good reason. Were officially home owners, and spoiler alert: it is exhausting, fun, frustrating, exciting, overwhelming. Its a whole lot of good and a whole lot of work.

(it will look prettier when Spring finally relents and fully shows up in this little area of NY)

Its been a few weeks since we finally closed, and while we havent been able to take a lot of time off work, we have solidly dedicated all weekend hours to get the place cleaned and fixed up as much as possible before moving in. My only regret? Not taking out stock in Murphy Oil Soap before getting started. Cleaning is apparently the first step in owning a home. Then, its the next nineteen steps as well.

We found a house with a few major pluses, and the trade off was a fixer-upper a shortish drive outside of town. What are those pluses? An awesome-sized garage, more storage than I thought any reasonable house would provide, and a yard that feels more like living in a state park than your typical back-yard experience. Oh, and it does have more than one bathroom which seems to be the equivalent of finding a pink unicorn in our region. The down-side? Trim. Trim that not only needs painted, but needs repaired/caulked/spackled/sanded/primed and then, yes, painted. Pretty much every aspect of the house has worked that way. Woof. It is not for the faint of heart.

Want a sneak-peek of the post-painting results in the main living room/dining room areas? The before pics are the day before we closed on the house (sorry for the shoddy iPhone pics) and the afters were today (the baseboards need touched-up after the carpets were cleaned and they got banged a few times).

Living Room

aaaaand Dining Room

Its cozy, for sure! It does feel like the whole room is twice as big, twice as clean, and has way better lighting. And yes, the carpet will eventually go when it rises higher on the priority list. Also, you will notice the shelves are missing from the built-ins now; were planning on making some nice solid wood-stained ones asap!

Priorities right now include getting paint on the walls, dirt out of the house, and our stuff into the house. Nothing too fancy here, yet but just enough to fill all of our waking hours. Im lucky to have a husband who is hard-working and can utilize a good amount of upper-body strength.

We have an optimistic ambitious to-do list going, more paint colors being scrutinized by the children, and about a zillion projects to get to so stay tuned! Hopefully some of you somewhere are enjoying a sunny weekend! Send us some positive no-hand-cramps-while-painting-trim vibes!


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