One Room Challenge Week 6: Finish Line

I can’t believe I am typing this. Welcome to the final week of the One Room Challenge Alas. Just as a refresh, the One Room Challenge is a six week challenge created by Linda Weinstein that gives participants a supportive and collaborative forum to transform a space. This is my first time participating and the space that we selected was our home’s master bathroom which we currently use as a guest bathroom.

Catch up on past weeks progress:

Week 1 / Week 2/ Week 3/ Week 4/ Week 5

Before we get into transformation photos, here’s a reminder of what the space looked like before. It’s gone through a few iterations with the final one being with this stately Harrison mirror but it’s also had this gold Project 62 mirror as well.

And now for what this gal looks like now

Brass Faucet and handles / Recessed Vanity Pulls/ Veranda Wallpaper/ Circle Brass Mirror/ Vintage Brass Towel Hook/ Vintage Rug / Vanity/ Blue Vanity Color/ Vanity light/ T-shirt Matchbooks / Preserved Boxwood / Elizabeth Mayville Knot Art

Toilet / Gatco Glass Shelves / Pottery Barn Toilet Paper Holder / Vintage Life Vest / Shadow Box/ Merisea Lui Room Spray / Vintage Sailor / Mudpie Matches / Glass Canister

Subway Tile/ Penny Tiles / Shower Head / Shower Head Holder/ Custom Shower Bottles/ White Hex Floor Tile

We had three major concerns when starting on this room 1. The darkness of the original bathroom because it’s a space with no windows 2. The weight of the room since the original vanity was large and dark with no breaks. 3. And the ugly bath fitter shower which just would not quit.

We originally started with white walls in mind to address the darkness and during week five I almost had a melted down when I realized exactly how stark this room would be, until the Veranda wallpaper from Serena and Lily came to the rescue. It’s perfect. A little coastal, a little whimsical and draws your eye right up, which is great for this little room that could use all of the square footage it can take. It still feels as light and bright and airy as the all white walls and is a huge improvement over the before.

If you follow me on Instagram, you got to see my joyful melt down over the cuteness that is this light. I love a bumblebee from my very core and this subtle light brings just another slight touch of whimsy to the space. When paired with the hex floor, it’s perfectly on theme for our home without being kitschy or niche. If I’m honest though, I will probably pull it down if we ever move.

Problem two we needed to address was the weight of the vanity. This stock purchase from Lowes was on the money and then we brought in a light color for it, Melodious by Sherwin Williams. The color is a direct color match from the little vase with the flowers on the glass shelf. In fact, the entire room is shaped around that vase and the top knot print. Top Knot, or Marigold as I’ve affectionately dubbed her, has lived in multiple spots in our home just waiting for the day when this room would come to fruition. Together those pieces shaped the color palette and the mood in the space.

Our third major woe was the shower, and to an extent the floor. The shower was way too tight for the average adult and didn’t feel lux in what is actually the master bathroom in our house though we use it as a guest bath. So we upped the wow factor with this irregular subway tile and the custom penny tile niches. Because the shower stall is so tight, I took a page from Shavonda Garner’s last one room challenge and made sure to include an extra niche at the bottom so you can shave your legs since there’s nowhere to sit in here. The obvious wow factor in here comes from the shower floor. As a life long Outkast Stan, this felt like the perfect opportunity to bring a little more of our personality into this home. You have no lived until you’ve showered in a shower with the lyrics to “so fresh and so clean clean” on the floor while singing it. What an experience. We are patiently waiting for the door to this shower to arrive and it should be here any day now. Until then we are using an unpictured shower curtain.

I could not be more pleased with how this little space turned out. More than any of the other rooms in our home, this space feels so special and complete. I’ve caught myself a number of times walking through the kitchen (where this room is off of) and stopping in just to have a little look around. From the number “18” which is our anniversary, to the little black sailor which hubby collects, to the “Private” sign which is our kitschy souvenir from Maine, to the towel that was gifted to me by Charleston Weekender after a long debate over the merit of Turkish towels (she won by the way), this room is very much a reflection of our lives and our home and I am so happy with it.

Thanks for putting up with me during this trying time,

XO Prepford Wife

One Room Challenge Week 3: Tile, Camera, Action

ORC-Gold-4oow

Hello friends and a very happy One Room Challenge Week 3 to you! I come baring updates. I am equal parts joy and dismay which I hear is pretty common for the ORC at this point. 

As a recap, we are updating our master bath which we actually use as our guest bathroom.

Catch up on my weekly progress here:

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5

Yes start with the not so hot things that have happened. I am still without shower head. I didn’t manage to snag one at the Restoration Hardware Outlet. But alas, the shower head I was originally in love with came back in stock! Woo hoo! I instantly added it to the cart and it’s well on its way. It’s amazing how even though I strategically planned for the things that I wanted in this space, I still ended up waiting for the shower head to come in. Since we have to wait for it to arrive to close up the last wall, we are working backwards in this space. We cleared the entire room and laid the floor and it is a wowee wowee change. I am so happy with the new floor even without grout. 

152A811B-F39E-4FEF-BAA3-933B3670CA303D179B13-00B6-4BD5-8835-8AC535D339BB7309CD3D-E4C7-43E4-AF6D-6C2448020E6335C51881-BC8F-4885-AC9B-5F0CA88A9A76After finishing up the floor of the bathroom, I rebounded back to the floor of the shower. I love Tile Guy but I knew exactly how I wanted this done so I did the letter myself. In last weeks post, I set up the tiles by laying the blue pennies that would be used for the wording on top of the white pennies so that I could spell out “fresh & clean”. I marked out the sharpie underneath the blue and laid them in the bed of the shower CAREFULLY. Then I pulled out the marked white pennies and replaced them with the blue penny. 13AE81C2-3BBE-4CD5-8359-37E51C834FFF5631E6E8-A925-48F9-8213-E3EEFFD481F29484DF1B-F896-43CA-B837-35477015FC23AAA6E3DF-FD4A-480D-A722-552771873297430701DE-C1D6-4044-870F-6791E0FF1FBCFinished up the shower floors and Tile Guy mastic-ed all of the little pennies down and placed a board on them so that the plumbers could get in to set up the shower and the vanity since we have the measurements for the shower head now.  YaAAaAAaY! (Feel free to picture me shouting that). 

77088244-108F-4361-B55E-BCAF8E2D315C06777BFB-6C83-4280-8B1E-A7E2874C8515

After the plumbers left, I couldn’t resist sneaking a look at my prized floor in all her glory and it’s a good thing I did because she had a little error. Look at the “S” in fresh. Something got shifted between the time I laid the first image and when Tile Guy mastic-ed them down. Lucky it was still pretty damp and I shifted it easily to make it right. 

D5B90CB1-9D22-4009-84F5-2B2C3677EA02The niches also got done this week. Cue more shouts of glee. I’m already so happy with the way these guys are coming out. I went with penny tiles in the niches to tie them in with the floors. 

6C1C635D-7431-4E7D-8E68-8DA121046D12109E04B0-4988-440C-A7EC-BB8DCB41B083A0EA80BA-3958-4CCB-89E5-2D06C56E97AB49ADF7E1-75E6-4A35-88D6-673F0BC1DAD78FC367B3-53A2-4E0C-9A86-3C143409FFE4

Also two last unpictured changes but definitely the highlight of this week. I finished painting the vanity a soft powder blue which left me speechless. It’s really not a wow color for anyone except me but it’s exactly the color I had in my mind and to see it come to life is incredible. Hubby thinks the color is too light but I’m praying that the glaring sun has been washing the color out and that in the actual space it will feel cool and subtle. 

And last but not least, I found the vanity light of my dreams. Honestly, I already had one on the way that I liked and felt happy with but then I saw this one from Anthropologie and knew it was The One. It’s the fastest I’ve ever checked out for an item. I can’t wait until it get here.

bumblee

Tune for next week of Victoria Loses Her Mind in the Bathroom,

XO PrepFord Wife

 

One Room Challenge Week 2: Demo Time and Floor Design

ORC-Gold-4oow

Hi there! Back at ya with the One Room Challenge. As a recap, we are updating our master bath which we actually use as our guest bathroom.

Catch up on my weekly progress here:

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5

Now that you’re up to speed, week 2 is all about the shower stall. We’ve talked in week 1 about how much we haaaate this shower stall and so it was naturally the first thing to go.

Demo Woes First

We demoed the shower first down to the studs. It only felt appropriate to start with the shower since it’s what sent us to renovating in the first place. We pulled out the fitter and by we, I do mean our awesome tile guy.  I promised myself that I was going to do less DIY this year and spend more time focusing on work and the rest of my life. This comes with it’s own problems especially for a control freak. Tile Guy didn’t cut off the water and nicked a pipe. Insert me trying not to morph into the Incredible Hulk. Luckily, Marcus manages most of the work with anyone who comes into the house so it was smoothly dealt with and repaired.

A9E76B97-6A4C-4CDA-8CE1-A2E1BA53180CD02ADDF9-489B-4B45-9F61-1562D4D480EA

I knew I wanted shower niches. Not only are they trending but they are just down right practical. This shower stall is so tight and I learned my lesson about having anything like a shelf protruding into the space like the bath fitter previously did. So with the niches we are working inward. There was a stud directly in the center of the wall which kept us from going straight down the middle with the niches. After realizing the stud was in the middle, I quickly sketched what it would look like with the niches on the right before realizing that putting them to the right of the stud would conflict with the shower head.

Before I forget, the little niche on the bottom is a gem that I spotted on SGardnerstyle from Shavonda Gardner who built a niche in her shower stall in order to be able to shave your legs which is just genius. Mind Blown. This space is way too tight to build a ledge for shaving so I knew that whenever we redid the shower, I would make sure to include that little feature.

And now for more of the ugly. Insert Tile Guy nicking the electrical while cutting the niches into the backer board. Slaps forehead in exasperation. If you look closely to where the light is shining in one of the below photos, you can see the nick in my little shaving niche.

B0ED4673-32D5-4A05-A812-135AC67B5271

5C2CD14A-DCF9-42F8-BDC5-71738740D363

Once the War of the Nicks was over with. We could start tiling which went off without a hitch on the back wall. We left the right wall open since we had an idea of what sort of shower head we wanted but it was out of stock so we are back to the drawing board on the shower head situation. Until then, the tile will commence on the other two walls and the right wall will be left open until we decide what to do.

8076D8A1-A14D-4AB2-9FC2-B7645AC19D04

And Now the Part I Actually Care About

In the mean time, we are going to work on the floor which is the feature in the shower. I loved Outkast growing up and I do mean LOVED. So much so that I had an Outkast screen name on AIM. (Judge ya mama, don’t judge me.) So it only felt appropriate when doing this renovation that I pull in the lyrics “so fresh and so clean, clean”. I initially leaned on the idea of doing “Clean” exactly where you first put your foot down in the shower. Tile Guy laid the pattern out on the floor in our living room which gave me the chance to practice. I popped the mesh sheet of pastel blue penny tiles that we bought and began trying them out by laying them over the grid of white penny tiles. Because of the diagonal pattern, the words were spelling in a way that wasn’t, how you say, clean. I realized that if I rotated the pattern a few degrees, I could get the straight lines I was after. Having it laid out also helped me to realize that I wanted more letters! ‘Fresh & Clean’ read so much nicer than ‘Clean’ alone.

287B7664-3A57-4F66-9D08-E745C6E6021E

D2DBC26C-2F13-4544-A2D2-88DA71718540

FD118571-69B4-4D3B-93CD-FFB3B43D777F

I put the sheets of penny tile in the shower and began trying again with the blues on top of the whites. I tried a few different iterations of the ampersand sign with the center around the drain and settled on one that I liked. I then used a sharpie to mark all of the white pennies under the blue pennies. I plan to pop out all of the white pennies and replace them with the blues.

213EDC82-E778-4B0A-A9F9-599850047210

E30FCA64-BB9F-4808-8412-D5EF54BCD712

507378FA-6C28-40A5-9F49-AEA52A1074CA

171ACBCA-7216-44AD-9495-D133EFD656B1E214036C-1BFB-43A0-9331-13587D2B3F9C

A92D169D-C44F-425B-B25D-0FDF7CBB61E7

And Now For More Woes

I desperately want a vintage looking brass shower head but can not seem to find one anywhere for the life of me under $2000. I have looked all over God’s green earth and have decided to try hunting for one in the Restoration Hardware Outlet in Asheville, NC. It’s a decent distance away from us but worth the trip if they actually have any of the fixtures that I need. In the mean time, I will purchase a faucet that looks similar to the one on the mood board. If I find a shower head and matching faucet at RH, then I’ll just return the other one, no problem.

0C4CF701-2860-4B55-AFA4-A7E9DD4F145E

We were only going to demo the shower this week but while Tile Guy is in here, he volunteered to pull out the vanity and toilet so that he would have more room to work which is great for us. So we are off to the races.

A393808E-DEC9-4056-B224-29EAFB9179B4

302FC8C2-3438-4834-ABF2-0F272B0A2DDB

Hopefully, our adventure to RH goes well and I’ll have an awesome update for you around the shower head. Cross your fingers and see you next week.

XO Prepford Wife

One Room Challenge Week 1: Plan of Attack

ORC-Gold-4oow

A happy happy Thursday to you all! I am so excited to share that I’ve decided to participate as a guest in this fall’s One Room Challenge. The One Room Challenge is a biannual forum -April and October- for participants to have a fun and supportive way to share their room transformations over a six week period. This is my first time participating in the ORC and though I have some hesitation about that crunch timing, we have a room that must be done.

The room we are tackling is our downstairs bathroom. This bathroom is off of our kitchen and our guest room which is actually the house’s true master though we don’t use it that way (we took over our entire second floor as our set of masters). What that means is that we have a bit of a challenge on our hands; how to pack all the style of a tradition powder room, because it’s off our kitchen, but also how to maintain some of the formality that people come to expect from a master bath.

7F8B07F3-5332-4DE4-90BF-C9D87C6DB1A1F180CE8E-BEEA-4AE9-A718-61C07ADAE66B3CE4DEA2-2E8D-4F2D-9409-B26123626A211671FFFC-D2A3-4281-92D7-A91C66AA45B04E863452-A05F-4550-8B22-DF022DFB2AE2

Humor me here with these before photos. I had no idea I would ever need them for a blog post. But we’ve done mild work to this bathroom since moving in, just to make it livable but it still had some serious issues.

The major problem is that this room is at the center of our house and has no natural light at all. Hence the hazy yellow glow in all of the photos. We thought about how we could add light but we can’t add a window or skylight (center of the house and all). And we can’t add a door with frosted glass (it’s off the kitchen and nakedness and a kitchen doesn’t much mesh).  It also has the problem of a very small footprint. But this like I said, this bathroom is at the center of our home and the layout in our house is very efficient; there’s no where we can steal square footage from.

F73E5EE8-1F85-4236-BD30-CE0DF877538E

Another problem is that we hate the vinyl floors. It’s the bane of our existence. We have it in the kitchen though, I painted over it, and knew it just couldn’t stay if we were going to do this room over.

But the most pressing problem and the one that set us off down the renovation bath is the shower stall.  It’s waaaaay too tight, not just for a master but for any full grown adult to enjoy a shower. Oh you can take one, but you surely won’t enjoy it thanks to that bath fitter which eats into the shower area by at least three inches on each side. 

7881D8B2-D58A-4331-B342-EE754DA04C72

D3C55524-54DF-4A21-959D-83FBDD24ACC4

Here are some inspiration photos:

4b6902df84bfe49f79b9e823316d421a24be1c471cfbbda97360c71998f55281777df47befc69ebe2ebd246bb59cb6671185f7ff09e7eccb84e2eba234bd617c7046a8d9d033fb9b524f3631132f5141

I recognize that these images have very little in common with each other except the bright, light and airy aspect of all of them but that is truly the goal.

So here’s where we’re going:

ORC plan 2

 

  • Open up the shower space by removing the bath fitter
  • Create illusion of light by keeping the room white
  • All brass everythaaaang for the fixtures to warm up the icy white
  • A little something special that involves my favorite Outkast lyric of all time
  • Use open vanity to not weigh down the tight area

So that’s what I’ve got folks. I am crossing my fingers that this turns out well. I have been waiting quite some time to do this bathroom and I really want to get it right. Stop by next week for an update and to see if we are on track so far and what pitfalls we inevitably have.

 

XO PrepFord Wife

Pendant Light Above Island Without Seating

Long title. Easy concept. Can you put pendant lights above an island with no seating?

We are slowly working through our impromptu kitchen renovation. A few weeks ago while plotting improvements, I wondered if we could move the pendant light in our kitchen to the space above the island even though it’s small with no seating.  The pendant light in our kitchen was originally a fluorescent light box (yuck) which we quickly replaced less than a week after moving in.

84F5C99A-6566-4ED6-AE58-355B79411132

C42BE05F-A43E-44CD-A742-9045F468703C

While I liked the pendant that we selected, the positioning felt awkward right above the cabinets in such a slim place. I wondered if there was a way to push the pendant above the island which I’d never seen for an island as small as ours or an island without any seating. I obviously took to Pinterest and discovered it was possible.

ef6cdca0a7ebd371c77b0682d892caa1

Source: (Pinterest)

628699c6b9a7f8a32b02782b95c0eb54

Source: (Pinterest)

c05b620b754223afd23dbd6f1a9b6c19

Source: (Pinterest)

It was possible! While we were going to move the light above the island, minnaswhale freshen the light to a new fixture and add the recess lighting that Marcus was dreaming of living in here.

So I took to the internet to hunt down a pendant light. I wanted one that felt retro, fun but also special without clashing with any of the colors we already had (though several will change). Apparently that was a tall order until I saw the Melrose pendant from Serena and Lily which was love at first sight. Hubba hubba. But with a $998 price tag and a 19″ diameter, this lady love was out of my league.

CF660267-9066-49DF-B565-417C4A91C2F6

Knowing how much I loved this pendant though gave me a really great starting point for what I actually wanted. Which leads me to our actual pick, the navy pendant depot light from Pottery Barn Kids for the low low price of $50.99 each.

white-depot-hanging-pendant-o.jpg I constantly tell people not to sleep on Pottery Barn Kids and Teens. if you look at many of the pieces out of the context of the great children’s room styling, its possible to enjoy them in adult spaces. Especially since them being children’s purchase usually means instant whimsy. I instantly added two to the cart and didn’t look back.

Confession time: this was not a DIY project. I have no problem doing electrical but when it come to complex projects -which I consider adding four canned lights to be- we hire out. And boy do I have no regrets. This is a project that Marcus managed while I went to work and the installers were there from 9am to 2pm. If it took professionals that long, how long would it have taken little ole me by myself?

IMG_4123

RMx9CxwXR6ys1j4qG4a7KQIMG_5645

They got the lights in and it feels like a brand new space. We get pretty good natural light in the kitchen, thanks to a really great bank of windows in the breakfast area in here, but  its never felt this bright and light in the kitchen. The bulbs that we previously had on the 3-light pendant were sleepy, warm Edison bulbs while these recessed lights are bright white and clean. I gotta say, Marcus pushing to have this added to our project list was a brilliant idea. It isn’t one that I felt moved to do. I wanted new pendant lights but I certainly wasn’t plotting on recessed lights. But Marcus was totally right and this came out better than I expected. So there you have it, a before and after that we had no plan for. You can add pendant lights about an island with no seating. We may evaluate that later on but for now, we are thrilled with the change.

B7CEB1E2-69E6-42EE-A964-4110E2E2E2954B262BAA-07CC-4565-A6E0-FCC7ECA05F34

Small Laundry Room Tiling and Make Over

DIY Tiling Laundry Room 

A follower recently gave me a (very gentle) reminder that I never posted the laundry room reveal. Consider this me giving you a look as well as a laundry room tile DIY from someone who had no idea what they were doing.

C9AAC53D-6147-4685-84CA-14059598A1C6

Before of the Laundry Room

356AEC6A-7037-4949-A6D7-EE797BA3B926

Removable Subway Tile Wallpaper // Ikea Kallax Shelf // Woven Basket // Tabletop Ironing board // Globe Sconce

If you are thinking to yourself, the before and the after look very similar (especially that blue shirt), you would be correct. The before is actually the “middle step” of our laundry room; a simple fix that was done just to carry us through to the “renovation”. The before of the laundry room is an excellent and simple “apartment fix”.

With removable wallpaper, an Ikea Kallax shelf propped on a ledge that once held a wire shelf, and a sconce, this laundry room was an easy fix until the renovation to come and would have been a great stopping point if we never decided to do anything else in here.

The Redo Process

Remove the “Removable wallpaper”

I was really excited about this step because I have always wanted to know if removable wallpaper actually came down without ruining the walls. Clean walls after would make removable wallpaper a renters dream. Plot spoiler: Not.

39F11CF7-A483-49C8-AA9F-97FD61240CE81F27531C-F545-442B-9A8B-1D2974D05EE4

These grainy stills give you some idea of what the wall looked like after I removed the wallpaper. The removable wallpaper was not so removable. It shredded the paint that was on the wall. In the wallpaper’s defense, the paint felt incredibly low quality. There was no base coat beneath it and it felt a bit like nail polish when you fail to put a base coat and a top coat, if that makes any sense at all. Whoever painted our house must have done it quickly and inexpensively in an effort to get the house on the market. But consider this your warning if you have ever desired to do removable wallpaper.

I removed all the wallpaper, the shelf, the ledge and the machines and got to work.

Tiling the Wall

Now for why you more than likely came here. I tiled this wall in one afternoon and grouted it the next. As someone who has never tried tiling but has done some diy work before, I found it to be two hammers on a five hammer scale after reading many blogs and watching many videos late at night.

Shopping List 

Bucket(s)

Safety Glasses

Pencil

Level

Rags aka T-shirts

Caulk gun

Caulk

Sponges

American Olean Gloss Subway Tile

Grout Float

11 in flooring trowel

Snap Cutter

Tile Cutter

Grout Maximizer Additive

1/8in White Plastic Spacers

Type 1 Mastic

Sanded Powder Grout– For spacers 1/8in-5/8in

Drill Attachment Spiral Mixing Arm

Tiling the Wall

2F39E3AF-D972-42E1-B61E-6A6E61554D5E

Before beginning, it’s best to think through what pattern you want. I wanted the traditional pattern so I buttered the wall with the premixed mortar along the base board. Then I placed a tile in the first position and went all the way across. If you look at the bottom row, you can see spacers placed between the starting row and the base board. I inserted those after doing the first row to make sure that there was a proper amount of space between the first row all the way across.  If you ever watch any tiling videos (which I highly recommend) they say spread the mortar like peanut butter on the back of the tile and the wall then press the tile straight on to the wall so you don’t smear the pattern the trowel made.

After doing the first row, I smeared enough mortar on the wall to do two rows. For the second row, I placed one half a tile that I cut using the tile cutter (unseen) into the first position to begin the staggering pattern. After going all the way across, I did the third row. I made sure with each row that the row was level horizontally but also vertically by making sure the vertical rows were aligned.

0D3FA8FF-1560-4B05-B455-4DD7EF519CD8

I went up the entire wall avoiding obstacles like plugs. I stopped halfway up the wall to scrape out the grout lines and prep the wall for the closets I planned to put in the laundry closet.

A4B80D4C-16C8-4BA1-A910-F7F72C4691B8

From this photo, you can see that around the plug, I completely left this area open. I planned to go back in with a single tile that I used a wet saw with to complete the hole.

You can also see if you look in between the empty grout lines that mortar got in. I used a metal nail file and a screw driver to scrape that out.

325F4476-A6AA-4C26-A4BE-2DBAE1C8A12C

For end pieces. I measured the space for the finishing tile by placing a loose tile next to a row. I made a mark on the tile where the tile in the wall end and then used the tile cutter to cut there. Then I could use the long piece to match up to this row and the short piece to place in the row above.

B10278E2-33E7-48A7-A516-3C8713FD26F2

Once I reached a certain height on the wall, I installed these unfinished wall cabinets by finding the studs and drilling a screw into the top and bottom of the cabinet. If you look closely in the below cabinet you could probably see the screw. A better way to do it (in a less stressed and exhausted hindsight) would be to place the screw right below the shelf so its less visible. Without boring you with the nitty gritty details, I installed this cabinet by myself by screwing a 2×4 to the wall at the height that would be below the cabinet. I then rested the cabinet on it as a brace so I could screw it into the wall. And you can also see the whole from that screw below the cabinet in the below photo..

16CF383E-BD26-4882-8BEA-13952F64F7FFCB0D6286-44AC-414F-A88A-CD9B0F26D193

After finishing up the wall, I realized I had some extra space below the cabinets and scored these little pieces to fill the gap. They came in a pack of 12 and fit nicely in this area. After letting the wall dry overnight, I followed the direction on the grout package to a T and smeared this wall. You can see the pattern that I used to fill the wall by the smears. For the small tight spaces, I used the caulk that I purchased which was the same brand and therefore color as the grout. Most major grout brands sell this caulk. Jackpot!

A54436D2-2A4D-4F6F-9882-E9735968110B42A303B2-6F8A-417B-A2E8-7B24CD407CEA

It look about five buckets of clean water, two sponges and two cut up college t-shirts to smear the haze off the wall. I started with a piece of cut t-shirt to rub off the excess, then a sponge filled with warm water. And another sponge of warm water. Then another sponge. Seeing a pattern here? Followed by another cut up t-shirt. ED192CF8-367B-4FB7-918C-FF3C9B127913F90406F3-17BA-4930-88F4-00755EC664C4

Until finally the wall was clean. If you look at this photo, you can see there are still gaps around the outlets that I still hadn’t solved by cutting out a piece of tile with a wet saw. In case you are wondering, those are still like that. I have been sooooo busy since Christmas (when this project was done) that I have yet to complete this. I will I promise! It looks a bit unfinished like this.

713E31EE-9B5A-4442-860E-065820BCB3E4

I painted the walls a hydrangea blue-purple that changes color with the light and patched up the wall where the previous shelf once lived.

73C7AFD7-9CF6-473C-84C9-E6C46D47BA11758CFC39-7BBB-43BE-8748-9A6108CF0BED

The middle section of the all looks a bit wonky, but its level in person. I checked while loading these photos because I didn’t realize quite how strange the angle looked.

Styling The Laundry Closet

We specialize in hanging a ton of our clothing so we knew we needed both a hanging rack and shelves. We brought in the same tension rod that we had before because by this point we were beat and some Ikea hangers that we picked up one weekend.  We also put it two pieces of unfinished polar as shelves. We left them unfinished and unstained because we quite liked the way they looked with the hangers and the wicker baskets.

B3A92DE1-2C39-409B-A022-BCD1BA0477D0

The Reveal

8010681F-9D08-4832-8F63-B6381BFF3C9EC9AAC53D-6147-4685-84CA-14059598A1C65144CF2E-1178-4449-9DD6-0B15B8AC63DB

The laundry area got a few more tweaks for functionality like hooks for the stool, tap lights under the cabinets (that’s what that glow is) and something to hold brooms and mops on the other wall. As you can see in the photo above, I need to go back and correct that rogue tile around the outlet. Overall, I am happy with the project and would certainly tile again. Just not in the near future. Except for that little gap. I’ll tile that. Also, feel free to ask any question that I was way to vague on in the posts 🙂

“Impromptu” Kitchen Renovation

1791A649-F72C-493D-AF58-BFCDE2237EC32E6ABC27-E547-4AA8-AA27-305DD350CDB3

How I Planned an Impromptu DIY Kitchen Renovation

Usually I am all clothes all day, but let’s stay on the house roll for just a second, shall we? If you follow closely enough on instastory (Side note: I am going to be better about blogging here in this space instead of lazy real time post on instastories. Hence this post), then you saw that I began covering cushions for the sweet little built in window seat we installed in the kitchen. The fabric that I am using is a remnant and goes perfectly with our kitchen. Only problem is, I just don’t love it love it. You know?

I keep finding myself saying, “I wish this was a blue and white ticking stripe instead of this gray”. But blue and white wouldn’t go with our overall kitchen especially not the painted kitchen floors that were a labor of love about a year ago. I found myself saying, if only the floors were blue and then I realized; literally nothing is stopping me from making the tile floors blue.

DSC_0973

Hubby and I have been debating the merits of “real tile”, meaning ceramic or porcelain tile, almost since the day I finished painting our dated vinyl tile the gray and white color. We knew the painted tile would never be a permanent fix  -we just hated our vinyl tile enough that we couldn’t live with it.  But I definitely didn’t think the strong desire for a different kitchen cushion color would be the thing to propel me towards a kitchen reno. *Slaps forehead in exasperation emoji*

Why it’s okay for me to design in stages

It’s neither here nor there that I have to change the floors because we want, what we want. And don’t worry about the time wasted on the painted floors. The way I design is in three stages “Before”, whatever the house looked like when I originally set up shop, “During”, the temporary fix to get us through and “After”, the final renovation. If you fell in love with an intermediate step, “thank you, bless you” and I am so glad that you loved it as much as I did. The bright side is that those middle steps are usually really great “apartment fixes”; what you could implement in an apartment or rental property. They also do a great job giving you time to decide on more permanent fixes and to really get to know a space and see what would be most efficient and functional.

All that to say, here is where we are doing with our temporarily updated kitchen to get it to our permanent fix. As things get done, I will check things off this master list. I am working from top (ceiling) to bottom (floor) in our kitchen so here’s the order of services and some inspiration pics.

How I Plan To DIY Our Small Kitchen Refresh

  1. Add second layer of cabinets to our kitchen cabinets to form double cabinets. This was prompted entirely by having extra materials from our built in living room project. 
  2. Change hood about the stove
  3. Install quartz countertops and farmhouse sink
  4. Remove temporary wallpaper backsplash and Install permanent subway or hex tiles
  5. Change vinyl tile floor to blue and white ceramic of porcelain tiles
  6. Cover bench cushion in blue and white ticking stripe.
  7. Add move pendant light above island and add recessed lighting*

*Was added at the last minute because it just made sense

And there you have it folks, a look into my convoluted and yet organized thoughts. This will definitely take a while. We are regular people with regular 9-5s who pay for our projects out of our actual pockets (which is zero shade to people who blog full time with sponsored post. This is simply an explanation for why our project train will pull slowly away from the station). So there you have it. Anything I should be adding to this list? Or any post you are particularly excited to see so I can remind myself to actually blog it?

P.s. Here’s the blue and white tile inspo since that prompted this whole spree.

alameda+17.63+x+17.63+ceramic+field+tileanabella+9+x+9+porcelain+field+tile+in+momabluehaute+5.88+x+5.88+ceramic+field+tilewhite-and-blue-mixed-finish-merola-tile-ceramic-tile-fgakal4-64_1000

kenzzi+tamensa+8+x+8+porcelain+field

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //

Guest Room’s Final Form

c36a2b53-3957-48bd-8b3f-d3236ab9b03d

If you’ve been following along on Instagram then you know I’ve finally finished the thorn in my side; our downstairs guest room. Our guest rooms have gone through various uses from housing younger sisters, short term roommates to finally being devoted to actual guests. As our friends begin to mature and some of them marry off, we wanted our guest room to be an adult oasis. Several people weighed in on Instagram saying they loved the first iteration of the room, especially the white Ikea bed against the navy wall, and we did too but it no longer served it’s purpose or felt like us. This one feels more like we do now- romantic, refined with just the right bit of whimsy. Anyway, all that to say, we are finally happy with our guest room and happy to share it, and what sources we can, with you. Sources are sprinkled throughout the post. Below is the “before” shot by the way. I like to think of it as “another version” of the room instead.9296b2f2-dcce-483f-87c4-febf672cfb75

And now, back to the after, what we are all here for anyway.

966af878-8f54-40e4-8bd2-dceac8063a4d

9b2cece1-d17d-4724-9287-44f3a9b0e58f

Desk (Habitat for Humanity store) (similar) // blue boxes // stripe vase (old) (similar)// Thrifted desk chair (similar) // Rug // Hummingbird print // square ginger jar // Remnant leaf fabric // frames

I purchased this stunning “Hummingbird” print from Janet Hill Studios as something to add to the cart when I bought a bunch of other prints. When she arrived it was love at first sight and she became the design inspiration to pull together all the mixed portions of the room. I even toted a photo of her to the store to color match paint and fabrics in this room to match sure everything was shaped around her. The photo below is from an Instastory where I allowed a vote between the Valspar colors, “Malted Milk”, “Romance” and “Crystal Pink”. Hubby and I fell in love with Malted Milk while Insta fam fell in love with Romance. We ignored and went with our gut and feel great about it.

00ec9508-9069-4855-90cc-5f49873a945d

0000edaf-ca10-4349-97a3-cf8fd3a28918

7f78bc60-46c0-4b36-b1ef-c5b2570d264b

a547ba15-de2a-4d90-aa29-57fbe37f6579

Bed (vintage) // Delft chandelier (vintage craigslist)(similar) // DIY Pheasant pillows// Harry Potter Letter Pillow // Scallop duvet set // Ticking Stripe Duvet Set // Stripe throw (old) (similar)// Ottoman // Young Woman with Peonies print and frame // Tassel lights // White Sconce // Cord hide // Wall color // Wall mirror//

I wish you could have seen me in the store when I purchased these ottoman. Talk about sparks joy. Marie Kondo anyone? I pretty much had a fit  about the bug pillow fabric that I passed on, come to light in a pretty little stool with “X” legs. I threw the display in the cart and my friendly neighbor Red Shirt went to pull its twin from the back. I considered taking them back to the store but the cream mirror tied them together nicely, if I must say so myself. I won’t even lacquer the mirror a funky color like I originally planned. And speaking of bugs, I found these cutie little bee clips at Ikea and had a similar fit of joy. Nothing, and I mean nothing, seems to make me as happy as little bugs.

2f904144-3593-428f-a2da-9e3e072519f6

 

65573ba8-f805-4fc9-929a-cac21d4436ca

I wish I could offer you guys better sources but between lucky thrift finds and things we’ve had over a decade like the cane chair. This is the best I can do. A happy happy decorating to all of you and thanks for sticking around long enough for me to finally get this post out.

 

Remove Carpet from Stairs to Stain

How To Remove Carpet from Stairs

1AA8BE1F-5EC2-4675-A5B9-AA6A081755FA

Here’s a quick post recapping my carpet removal adventures before I forget the entire process. Let’s get right to the point, what you are actually after; the before and after.

176102AB-9FE6-49A3-BE1C-077F7508BB7D9E7D2DC3-AB47-42AF-A4BF-FC29313B2D80

Now that that’s over with, more detail. I’ve had my eye on this project for some time. The stairs are the heart of our home. In our little house, you can see the living room and the kitchen from the stairs, all while yelling up them to anyone who may be in the bedrooms. Plus it’s one of the dogs’ absolute favorite hang out spots so we spend a lot of time on them. And you can only imagine the amount of dog hair and dusts these stairs have accrued.

I’ve been wanting to rip of the carpet for ages and last Friday evening, I impulsively followed through after spending the ten minute car riding from a restaurant researching what other bloggers have done. One of the pieces of advice given was that if you have rounded caps on your stairs, you may actually have hardwood underneath and from memory, I thought we did. So when I arrived home, staple gun in hand just in case there was only plywood, I peeled back a piece of carpet with a pair of needle nose pliers.

 

176102AB-9FE6-49A3-BE1C-077F7508BB7D

61535155-5036-4D8A-8C69-23CA26F8014A

See how the stairs have that rounded little lip on the tread? That’s how I knew there might be some sort of flooring under there instead of just plywood. 955C55D4-F067-4023-8CBE-1F3A9B146155

 

I continued pulling up the carpeting using some combination of the a razor blade to cut the carpet away from the way, the needle nose pliers to tug with to avoid staples, and a back of the hammer to pull the tacking up.

32C78FE6-7B50-4DEB-B08C-CEFCAA0A0A4EDB383C37-D380-4B6E-956D-4AB6F5BF3B479C6F1688-EC36-45D9-B6B5-AE633876DC5B1E41EBFE-5379-4974-ACC8-7BD3174F198A

Some of the tacking was particularly stuck so I wedged a flat head screw driver under it and tapped with the hammer.

4DBA6A7F-7F33-430B-B583-08F2F402500E

The bottom portion of the stairs were individually done but once I got to the top, it was all one piece so I started from the top and ripped all the way down. In total, it took about 4 hours to pull up all of the carpet from start to finish because I had to be extra specially careful about picking up all of the nails after each step because of the pups. I wasn’t sure how long this would take me so I removed almost all the nails in one fell swoop. 62385570-F355-4F79-AC4F-B9359CC00872

Remus, my trusty night guard and diy partner in crime, manned the project from his usual spot at the top of the stairs well into the night. Looking at the stairs, there is clearly over spray on the baseboard and on the stairs. Knowing I wanted to stain the steps, I picked up this stripper that a colleague at work recommended. It felt less toxic than any stripper I’ve used before and had a great citrus scent. Would absolutely recommend if you have pets or small children because I didn’t feel like I was gagging them with this product especially since Remus insists on sitting so close to the work zones.

20FDD455-FA77-4655-8077-E63E0FB2DB1E I started my way at the bottom painting each stair with a cheap chip brush with a heavy hand and worked my way right to bed. It can be left on for 24 hours so I left it over night. 5A7DF75A-9D6C-4EB9-A1ED-3BAE9589864B

The next morning I scraped it off relatively easily and wiped up the remaining ashy coating with mineral spirits that I had lying around as recommended by the product label. I then started patching up the stairs with wood filler and began painting the backs of the stairs white after it dried.

EA44D634-61D9-4210-BB78-6F53FC66984D

I sanded by hand with a 300 and 800 grit. It’s just what I had on hand, there was no particular rhyme or reason. I am really glad though that I sanded by hand because there was a lot of staples that I missed. People aren’t joking when they say it feels like a million staples. Thankfully most of them were against the backs of the stairs and underneath the rounded part of the tread.

E77875E2-0054-4720-832E-99DE44EF86FF

After painting the backs white, I repeated the process of painting my way up to the tops of the step only this time with stain. I used a thin coat and painted my way up around 9pm. It takes at least 6 hours for stain to dry to the touch which was fine because we didn’t come downstairs until around 6 am the next morning. This is the first look of the stain with no rubbing or smudging off.

170BA1EA-9244-4866-9CEA-173CAD69ED79I gave it a second coat, smudging this time and making my way to the top of the stairs for another night. The next morning I pulled out the caulk gun to touch up the edge. See the next two pictures from the difference between before caulk and after.

41CCCD84-9020-4E1C-9144-7D86836E3D629E7D2DC3-AB47-42AF-A4BF-FC29313B2D80

See how the edges are all filled in. Also notice how light the stairs are now after the smudging process. I am thinking of giving them another coat and leaving it but I actually quite like the patterns that have settled in here. Plus I am tired of dealing with the stairs. Later on this week I will go in and do more touch ups like to the wall where it meets the stairs but I want to wait to figure out what color I want to paint this hallway. What ever color I paint will wrap around the entire downstairs and the upstairs hallway because there’s no true break in the walls. So I want to choose wisely. In the mean time, I am just going to enjoy this “completed” project.

Sitting Room Refresh

A65761D6-FEF3-47DE-975A-987E499F07FDYou’ve definitely seen this room before from the post about the sitting room. I spent the majority of the weekend giving this little room a refresh. We’ve been popping in and out of town for the month of June and this is where everything lands between and during trips. So most of the changes are unseen organizational like the complete re-working of the closet which I will space you. Most of the other changes are small especially to people who don’t live here but they made a huge difference to the usability of the room. The major change in this room is that I decided to mount the tv. I put this task off because I wasn’t committed to the room’s layout and I was pretty sure I wanted to pay a professional for this. This weekend, I just decided to go for it and can I tell you it was just one of the simplest task ever. By doing so, I freed up so much desk space.

9F08CDD8-A208-472A-A5D1-A1491221CEA527559060-72BF-48E2-810F-3E8DB72BBF32Mounting the tv meant dangling cords though. I tucked most of the cords behind this paintable cord track. I didn’t run it all the way to the floor because I needed to hide the Apple TV in this drawer. The drawer is directly across from and eye level to the sofa so it’s a great hiding spot. I also brought this Kate Spade lamp from somewhere else in the house because the other one was too tall.

EFF6E9FD-4D27-42D0-AC90-0404565626B2My favorite change is the presence of a new ceiling fan. We tried this room without one for a while and it just doesn’t work. It’s the highest point in our house and gets a ton of light (these photos were taken at like 8pm) so it gets warm and because of its size, it gets stifling. We decided on this low profile, minimally invasive fan and we love it. It does the job with very little noise and a very low profile remote which I mounted to the wall because I can definitely see it growing legs and walking off.

CD7CA272-4011-47E9-BE26-10286AA33DD6

Other that that, the room got a few simple styling changes, mostly by shuffling things around the house and from the closets. 10BAF294-ECD5-4FA8-9D7A-DE4443AA3DD179256D90-01DE-47D4-84FB-767B8328DA33Very happy with the simple functional changes here. Thanks for following along,

Prepfordwife