Monday, March 18, 2013

reupholstered kitchen stools

So, I feel like Granny and I are super close since I keep writing about her, though we only had the pleasure of meeting once. She just so happened to have left us these stools. 

1. Following some primer and a couple of coats of Valspar Homestead Resort Jefferson White, they were a few steps closer to making their way into our kitchen. 
2. My husband very nicely allowed me to coerce him into pulling out the many many staples keeping the previous black leather  cushions attached. We ended up being cheap and reusing the foam after a bit of sanitizing. 
3. Then cut out the outdoor canvas fabric that I bought from Joann's. I also bought extra to make a couple pillows for the window bench. The cushion is going to be the solid blue, 2 cushions out of the same fabric as the stools, and then one long yellow pillow. I initially draped it over the stool and foam, then laid it out on my cutting board. From draping, I measured that I needed approximately 4" of fabric in addition to the size of the cushion. I merely eyeballed it with my tape measure, then laid it out and got to stapling. 
4. I used a staple gun to secure the fabric to the stool, making sure to pull it tight, and alternate sides for an even appearance. It took me approximately 12-16 staples on each stool.
5. I went back and checked to make sure no fabric was hanging too far below eye level, added a few more staples, then trimmed up the any extra fabric. 
6. Lastly following up with my trusty hot glue gun for hopefully what appears to be a clean and appealing look. I still need to ScotchGuard it for a little extra stain protection, but otherwise complete! I love days where you just feel on top of the world, like you have accomplished so much. Even if it is just a couple of reupholstered stools, a spray painted brass bed, and a new dining room bench to maximize seating at your kitchen table.
Notice: two stools ready for conversing, while cooking or maybe a nice date over some morning coffee. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

hall bathroom remodel progress

Time for more fun in the new house, though things have been going all of no where lately! Especially thanks to a stomach virus that hit me out of no where last weekend, leaving me feeling like I had been doing plank for hours! Anyways welcome to our hall bathroom, which at one point was the only full bath in this house, before the previous owners completed an addition. I think that I have been through an entire range of emotions about this lovely blue space. Starting with dislike for many things when I first saw it with Granny's decor, as is pictured below.
I disliked the random blue tiles in the walls, the vanity, the use of white and a subtle cream, the blue bathtub, and I absolutely hated the light switch cover, which you can see below in the shot that looks out into the hallway.
So we moved in, and I started to realize the things that I loved about it, like the interesting hexagonal shape of the tile on the floor, having a real linen closet and bathroom storage, natural light, tiled walls... I patched the numerous holes in the walls for starters and removed her lovely blue rugs, which left behind some residue that required a lot of scrubbing. It stayed that way for a while, mostly due to the fact that I couldn't decide what to do or how to begin to fix it. A full bathroom renovation didn't make it to the top of the list for one of our first projects due to cost and time.
I started to personalize and add somethings once I was able to really clean it up.
Look at the light switch cover blue and white tile gingham print. 
Finally I bit the bullet and decided that I just needed to embrace the blue for now, so I did my best to match the tile with the giant paint chip wheel I got with a coupon from Sherwin Williams. I ended up choosing Sherwin Williams Rain (6219) in a semi gloss and went to town as you can see.
Next I got inspired to clean the floors, they just looked dingy and didn't capitalize on the awesome shape of these tiles. I had just so happened to have recently inherited some cleaning supplies from my parents who had sold a home nearby, including Comet Soft Cleanser with bleach. I worked it into a lather and then let it set for several minutes, before I scrubbed it by hand with a brush. Then I was pumped up enough I did the tub for good measure. I feel like my handiwork paid off, but I am definitely hoping this doesn't become a regular occurrence and need.
 vaguely blue/white floors due to the lather
Before and After
To do:
-Get plantation shutters maybe from habitat restore and remove the mini blinds
-change the vanity, maybe something like this one from Ikea if we can figure out a way to work with the different tiles, etc.HEMNES/RĂ„TTVIKEN Sink cabinet with 2 drawers IKEA The size of the compartments can easily be adjusted by moving the divider.
-paint the trim and doors to match the rest of the house and I think that moving from a bright white will be more flattering to the tile
-add crown molding?
-change the light cover or paint it
-frame out the mirror, maybe in a wood color to match the vanity color eventually
-get a bigger print of this picture, Monet's Woman with a Parasol for over the toilet, right now it is in a small collage of different impressionists in the black frame from earlier photos. 
-and then of course the usual maintenance for the tile, etc.

** Update **
Yeah! I got my picture - happy birthday to me - in May that is, if it isn't obvious I am so behind on the things I want to write about and share!

Friday, March 8, 2013

the master bedroom and attached half bath remodel

Here is granny's original decor. She very sweetly offered to leave us her Ralph Lauren bedspread and curtains seen here. I politely declined and insisted that she keep them both. She really was a peach!

I am of the mindset that the bedroom should be a calm and tranquil place. My husband and I fell in love with the color we used in our Knoxville condo when we lived there so we decided to bring it back. It is Valspar Blue Skylights. We used wedding $ to buy our Bassett bedroom set from Brown Squirrel, a discount furniture retailer, in 2008 and still love it. The only downside to black furniture is that it shows dust so much more quickly! I also feel really passionately about having a lot of space to maneuver around furniture comfortably with balance and harmony, not yet quite achieved with how large our nightstand is, but the rooms feel significantly less crowded than when we viewed the house with granny's furniture. We hung a few wedding photos, but did not redo the original photo wall that we had created in Knoxville (I will try to add a photo later), partially due to the fact that I hung a more diverse photo wall in our dining room. Hung curtain rods closer to the ceiling, with curtains made from canvas drop cloth. We have plenty of stuff from Target, including the lamps, bedding, duvet, and pin-tucked duvet covered, which I originally found inspiration from West Elm.


  We painted the half bath, now my husband's domain, with a mix of leftover Valspar Blue Skylights and some white, then hung a picture that he created at one of those painting classes. What a good husband to buy me a Groupon and go with me to one of those things, he was the only guy there! We went to Uptown Art for this painting of birds on a line, though he took a little creative license and changed the color scheme a bit.

To Do:
-finish the curtains by hemming and creating 2 panels for each window from the drop cloths - possibly paint the bottom of the drop cloth with a print like this one from Creative Outlets of a Thrifty Minded Momma 
-add crown molding
-paint the rest of the trim and the doors to match
-remove the mini blinds
-redo the closet to add more space (which is desperately necessary!)
-change the current nightstand predicament so that the bed is no longer partially in front of the window
-finally matte the large wedding photo (embarrassing that I haven't done this yet)
-fix the bathroom door to actually fit and close
-get a bathroom rug
-create more privacy from the louvered door by adding some type of material organizer behind the door for a temporary solution

Friday, March 1, 2013

the kitchen remodel

So as you have seen granny left us with some very country classic charm. Complete with strawberry wall paper, laminate counter tops with threads of green and gold running through a cream back drop, two different kinds of vinyl/laminate flooring, bisque colored appliances, wood cabinets, wood paneling etc the list goes on.

Originally I was determined to reuse reduce recycle. However that concept was not meant to be. I soon realized that there was no existing dishwasher! Gasp! Now I realize that will sound excessively trivial to many but for us washing dishes by hand didn't seem conducive to our already hectic schedule. So that lead to a lot of debating all starting with everyone's favorite question can we really afford this?
Well so far we are managing but we have tried to cut corners and sometimes choose more cost effective over time effective. And there is absolutely no way that I would have attempted this kind of major overhaul if my dad (my parents live a days flight away on the opposite coast of the US) hadn't already offered to come lend a hand. Really the fact that the kitchen functions is primarily due to him. This is still a work in progress but I finally got to the point that I might as well share now or possibly never because as we all know the likelihood of being completely satisfied is unlikely anyways!
We gutted the whole kitchen including ripping down the wood paneling(though my original intention had been to paint it*in hindsight just paint it because our walls are perfectly imperfect unless you are willing to spend the $ and time on all new drywall. New drywall had to go up behind where the cabinets were, as a result of the fact that they were nailed in! My Dad was kind enough to add a couple new outlets and light switches for additional convenience. We puttied and sanded until our arms were sore as a result of trying to smooth down glue spots. I mean I need to work out, but not exactly what I had in mind. We painted the kitchen/dining in two different colors. I was inspired by Young House Love to achieve a more cohesive paint floor plan, as opposed to what I had previously had in our condo where I chose colors I liked, but they at times next to one another felt disjointed. The colors in this room are both Lowe's Valspar Line: Silver Dusk and Woodlawn Snow. He also installed recessed lighting, placing a fire detector over the previous light fixture hole.

Replaced the floors with 'burnished straw plank' interlocking cork floors from home depot. They were super easy to install and feel great on your knees and feet. I love how the texture of the wood resembles a birch tree some. Having grown up in Alaska I have a healthy appetite for birch trees!

Purchased scratch and dent stainless steel french door fridge with base freezer and a double oven (dream actualized!) at the sears outlet after much searching.
New dishwasher (partially thanks to our super sweet real estate agent who gave us a gift card) and new microwave(also thanks to.a.Christmas gift card in part from my family) both in stainless steel. And all of the appliances are Maytag. I personally haven't developed any appliance brand loyalty so we went more for price combined with features, energy efficiency ratings, and product ratings to determine. I am loving it though for once our dishwasher is not deafening and the new oven is so amazing. It heats up so quickly without heating the whole house, I never even realized that was a possibility.

Bought unfinished solid wood cabinets from southeastern salvage. We were there so much they knew us by name! And I really liked the quality of their cabinets over any other place that I looked. Sadly I let myself be swayed to use oil based paint (in Valspar Homestead Resort Jefferson White) and it looks great but I don't feel like it is worth the hassle or time. My mom was a huge help and did a ton of painting despite the pain that I am sure it caused her. So far they are all in place but as you can see we have yet to hang the cabinet doors back on- primarily because I am desperately looking for a matte black handle under the price of $2 a handle, an impossible feat apparently. What do you like best handles, knobs, or a mix? I personally am a handle girl. What do you think about this one also from Southeastern Salvage? It isn't black but maybe I should cave and go for it at $1.50!

Home depot installed our 1" quartz viatera 'juniper trail' counter tops after we bought them on sale. I originally really wanted a carrera marble or something that had that look, but the white in that really clashed with the paint we chose for the cabinets and the subway tile (which we obviously haven't even tried to install) that we found for a steal at Habitat ReStore in Nashville. The company that installed the counter tops was amazing. They were so nice and professional and really took the time to make sure that our apron front sink from Ikea fit well. This was hugely important to me as this sink is one of my favorite things about our new kitchen, and that is saying something!
Since then we have just been wrapping up some finishing touches. Granny left an old ladder in the shed, with round rungs on the back so I am in the processing of converting it to a pot rack. I am still thinking that I would like to sand and stain it. I used cheap bird S hooks, some chain (obviously too much) purchased from Lowe's, and some hooks that I took down from bonus room that she had plants on. They were hung into the studs. The only thing that I might change in hindsight is to hang it in four places rather than two so that there isn't as much of a balancing act.
We have also still been in the process of putting the trim back on, hanging window treatments, and we refinished around the island with bead board. I tossed around the idea of painting the back of the island a darker blue, but then chickened out.

Still on the To Do List are:
window treatments
window bench + cushion
finish stools that granny left here by reupholstering
putting handles on and hanging doors
open shelves on the opposite side of the kitchen
maybe getting large blue mason jars to organize grains on the open shelves
baskets for some fresh foods
small two tiered pull out basket shelf for the spices
crown molding for all the rooms and maybe for the top of the cabinets?


One more project complete! I upholstered the stools and got fabric to complete a cushion on our new dining room window bench - pictures to follow soon!