Big girl room reveal!

Here we are a week from the due date of our second baby and we’ve FINALLY moved our first into her new digs!  The following went down in this room: ceiling repair, lighting change, new paint.  Other than those things we were really just shuffling furniture around…it’s hard to believe the room all came together with only a handful of purchases!

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Here we were testing paint colors and clearing the room out…pre ceiling fix, pre ceiling fan swap, mid curtain trial run!

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Then we moved it all in!

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We just shared about the china cabinet turned armoire in this post.  Beside it we have a laundry basket that actually holds stuffed animals and blankets (it makes for a quick clean up!).  The chair is from TJ Maxx years ago and the booksellers table is Ballard Designs which was previously in her nursery (we got it second hand and I tried to find a similar link but it’s sold out..boo!).  Curtains are pillowfort for Target. Rug is by At Home. Peg board letters are from Hobby Lobby…those are no longer sold and we got ours when they were something like 90% off!! These could (fairly easily) be made with a pegboard panel from Lowe’s (no more than $5), some paint, and a jig saw.

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Toddler bed was second hand, nightstand is vintage Stanley furniture, mirror was a thrift store find, quilt rack was my grandmothers.  Chandelier was a thrift store find spray painted white.  Crib was actually mine from 1986.  It’s a drop rail crib which is not something that could even be sold these days but we feel fine about it! In fact, once Everly starts climbing out being able to lower the rail will make me feel safer.  Art is woodland doodles by me in some clearance Hobby Lobby frames (gotta love that 90% off aisle!).  Everything in the room is hung a little higher than usual just to keep it out of reach of tiny hands.  I’ve read once they move to a toddler bed you have to treat the whole room as if it’s the crib so they can’t get hurt if they decide to play in the middle of the night…

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A burp cloth made by The Plum Poppy I just couldn’t stand to pack away yet!

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Wreath was a thrift store find but it’s actually from Target. (Holy cow when I went to find that link I realized it was $20!! I paid $3) Bear artwork is also Pillowfort for Target.

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So there you have it! One more room of the house checked off the list!  (And one leaky roof FINALLY stopped!)

 

 

Painted china cabinet turned “closet”: before and after

Remember that time we scooped up a china cabinet in a thrift store and turned it into a timeless armoire for our little girl’s room? Dedication to this project was certainly not for the faint of heart but in the end it’s got us all heart throbs over here!

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We tried using a paint sprayer one night after we put Everly to bed.  Picture us under our car port around 10pm trying to get over the learning curve of a paint sprayer while a storm is blowing up outside.  Our work lamps attracting every moth within a 5 mile radius and the moths dive bombing the gooey globs of paint we had managed to squirt all over the cabinet.  YALL. …we went backwards on progress that night.  We ditched the sprayer all together and went for the good old fashioned roller and 2 inch brush method.  We used a liquid sander on everything, two coats of kilz primer, one GALLON of paint (I used latex….I know it’s frowned upon but here’s the deal–we happened to have this color, unopened in our basement….a gallon of chalk paint would have been way out of budget–, and finally a matte varnish to seal the whole thing.  I lost track of the time this took but let’s give it at least a month right? Of doing a little bit of what we could here and there.  I have no idea what it would take if you tried to work straight through…in fact that’s a little scary to think about…

Enough about the nitty gritty, let’s just look at pretty pictures right?

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The intention of this piece was to be a “closet” option for Everly’s big girl room as the closet that this room shares with the next room is TINY (another post on that update later!)  To accomplish this we removed one of the shelves and installed a rod to hang some of her clothes from.

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There is certainly no shortage of storage options!

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The bottom is filled with pajamas, baskets of socks, shirts, pants….

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…a silverware drawer turned little girl accessory storage!

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I wasn’t sure about adding back in the wire panels but I think they help maintain a vintage feel

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…because why wouldn’t you use a $3 cake stand you found on clearance as a shoe stand??

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I love having room for the clothes we need to but I also love having room for some of my childhood things that would otherwise be packed away in a box in an attic somewhere!

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For worried mothers (like mine) it is anchored to the wall.  I guess I will use this space to type a little PSA to large furniture lovers, please anchor your pieces to the walls!! Five minutes of research on furniture and tv child fatalities will have you ordering anchors on amazon prime in no time. These accidents are much more common than you think and they are SO preventable!  This is what we have used personally and have been happy with.  You install them and then slide the furniture back and it’s truly not even visible from the side.

I’ll be back with some full room reveal pictures in the next post!

How to restore a cosmetically damaged wood finish

before and after wood scratches

Today I wanted to run through a list of tips and tricks we’ve found to work well when restoring cosmetic damage to furniture.  This content does contain affiliate links.–please see our privacy and disclosure page for more details.  I picked up this secretary desk which was actually in incredible condition except for the desk inside.

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When we went to pick it up Blake took a look at the inside and said “did they lock a cat in there?” ….sometimes you do wonder how some scratches happen….

Inside scratches on secretary desk

scratches on wooden desk

Anyways, along with fine scratches there was also nail polish smears all over and something that looked like a gold sharpie mark. I can just see a girl painting her nails here. It’s kind of fabulous really!

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paint smear on wood
So the first thing I do is clean the furniture (and I mean put some muscle into) with Murphy’s oil. This is going to remove oils and grime that just build up over time. Especially if you’re cleaning up a table or something used in the kitchen!

Murphys Oil

Next I go after scratches with steel wool. The FINEST steel wool you can buy…anything coarse will do way too much damage. I go lightly over the scratches just to get things smooth. Now for the nail polish (or paint splatters too)… If it’s a big glob sometimes you can pick it off with your nail carefully. If it’s a smear that’s been there for who knows how long I use a citrus based cleaner (per lots of googling) and I let it sit for a few minutes. I come back and wipe it off and then immediately go behind with my steel wool. This takes some dedication and patience and some grit but it will slowly start to come loose. It shouldn’t take any of the color away but it will leave the spot looking a little dull & cloudy compared to the rest of the finish. Don’t fret! Polish will take care of that.

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nail polish removed from wood

I wipe down the piece again to get the dust the steel wool leaves behind. Then I use Old English for the shade of wood I’m working with (dark here). I first put it directly on my problem spots and let it sit for a few seconds. I use a clean rag and rub it in in a circular motion going out from the spots blending over the whole surface. I’ll apply this again to the whole piece until I’m satisfied with the color and cover up of the scratches.

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after wood scratch repair

After it dries for several hours I go over with a white rag just to see if I’ve left any residue. I complete things with a coat of furniture wax applied with a clean rag. This will help seal in my work and also protect the surface going forward.

I would of course recommend using a professional if you’re needing to rehab a several thousand dollar antique but for a quick makeover at home where you’re thinking paint may be your only option–it’s not!

1 painted basket down, 6 to go!

We are busy around here trying to work on outfitting one of the downstairs closets to have as much storage as possible.  This little space is truly the size of a phone booth and serves as a miniature walkway between what will be Everly’s room and the playroom.  When we renovated the upstairs we used this space to run plumbing and electrical and then we just sort of left all of that exposed because we didn’t have a reason to close it up at the time.   I’m going to do a full post about the closet itself but for now I’ll leave you with where we are currently.  Blake built in a tower of cubbies we can use to store things for the girls.  The right side panel is just covering all of the pipes and wires running to the upstairs.

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Opposite the cubbies is a space for two short rods which we will also make use of but just haven’t gotten there yet.  Anyways, we have a total of 7 shelves here and my favorite thing to use would be baskets because I can quickly toss in bows, shoes, socks, etc. and have things instantly feel more organized.  My favorite place to buy a basket is the thrift store! The same basket that would cost me at least $10 in Target will cost no more than $2.

I started with this square basket I picked up for $1 and just wanted to give it a little more personality for the space.  Using some tape and a paint sample I already had on hand I just added a little stripe around the middle.

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I promise it’ll look more charming once it’s isn’t up against unpainted MDF board…this sweet little pendant adorned a gift basket we received before Everly was born!

1 spot down, 6 to go! Can’t wait to share the after of this space! …I tried to convince Blake we needed to wire a miniature chandelier into this little hallway/closet but I think somewhere between that comment and the mention of wallpaper he stopped listening.

Oh, and if you didn’t believe me about the thrift store baskets….here’s another.  The last pack of gum I bought cost more than that! 🙂

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Would love to hear in the comments if you’ve seen any great ideas for maximizing design and functionality in a tiny space!

 

 

Need a matching bed.

 

When we left off last I had talked about some updates we’ve done to the back patio. Let me tell ya…that patio was worth every pain in the A it caused! We spend SO much time out there.  It’s Everly’s happy place so we spend most evenings with the kitchen door open coming and going.  It’s been a while but we’ve actually turned our attention back to some additional improvements.  For starters….a handrail going down the stairs….so you know, we won’t get sued for someone falling off.

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It all started again when we were tricked into making some sketchy insurance claim over hail (long story. but the short version is some roofer scammed us into thinking we had hail damage and filing a claim and then it turns out we have NO hail damage) Our insurance company was super duper nice about the situation but when the insurance inspector came out he did happen to mention  he “could drop our insurance all together for not having a hand rail on those stairs” [[insert oh Sh*t face here]].  He also said he wants to be invited to all our parties and when he comes back to one there better be a handrail.  SO, this past weekend Blake drilled through ½ steel in TWENTY different places to get the posts up.  Yall. my man. I don’t even know how he did it.  I “helped” during Everly’s nap time which meant I basically sat there and squeezed motor oil onto the drill bit so it didn’t burn up.  I learned an important lesson Saturday.  When preparing a budget for working with steel you better have a gigantic portion allocated to drill bits.

Ok, this is not what this post is about. This post is about…….our new baby that I’m OVER HALF WAY DONE BAKING!

We are going to welcome a second baby girl to our home in late September.  In the beginning when we talked about where to put a new baby I thought “I’ll figure that out later”.  Now, I still think “I’ll figure that out later” but time is FLYING by! So we’ve decided to dedicate our guest room to one of the babies…or both babies. I don’t know. All I know is that I need to clean out the room and make it available for my ideas.

There is also a leak that we just shake our head out and cuss at under our breath.

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We think we fix it, we don’t. repeat.  We had a roofer come out and conclude it’s not the roof.  So we think it’s the windows (this leak has a twin in the kitchen).  Blake has caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked more. It’s infuriating that we cannot seem to stop this leak.  But obviously there is no point in fixing the ceiling until we do.  My plan is to tear it down and just sit in there during a rain storm and see what is happening.  Blake hates this idea because it obviously would involve a huge mess but I see no other option.  Anyways, this is also not even why I came here to blog.

I came to show you my ideas. First, this room has the smallest closet you’ve ever seen. It’s smaller than a telephone booth.  Obviously with two girls we need more places to put all.the.dresses.  So I found this image on Pinterest which is apparently some store in Europe.

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I became totally obsessed with the thought of doing a built-in that I could merchandise up as the closet.  I decided I needed $1000 (and a WHOLE lotta elbow grease) to create the above from this:

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My mind stores a second category of ideas called “more attainable” and so I logged this picture below into that file and sent my mom the picture saying I needed an old china cabinet if she stumbled across one. This is not the first time I’ve used an old china cabinet as a closet…

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Literally like two days later she sends me this picture and said she saw this in a thrift store but it’s wayyyyy bigger than the idea picture I sent her. I immediately had to have it.  It was as though maybe my two photos could have a baby in the attainable department!

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I took some measurements the next day and fell IN LOVE with all the storage. Ya’ll, it’s like a full size dresser on the bottom and then I have shelves up top as well as a place to hang some rods for ultimate merchandising of beautiful little girl things!

The best part was it was something like $290 less 25% off for senior day discount 🙂 (thanks Mom and Dad!) and then I offset it with $115 I made from selling the “primitive” desk I redid in this post so we got this thing for about $100…sounds way better than my $1000 plan 🙂 Obviously I’ll have to paint it white which is no small under taking but I’ve painted worse so it’s fine.

The vibe I’m thinking for the room is a minty green, peach, pink, light teal vibe. Everly’s spirit color was teal so whatever we choose needs to work with that.  For some reason when I think of this baby I see peach and light pink.

Those initial hooks are on sale at world market right now! Go! Run! get yourself something special 🙂

Everly is still in the crib and she’s going to stay in the crib until she gives us obvious signs she’s ready to move to a twin bed. She does have this sweet little twin bed waiting on her when she’s ready though!  I’m going to still put it in the room (along with a crib) in hopes she’ll learn to at least nap on it during the day. And also so I can put some flamingo sheets on it because will there ever be anything more adorable???.  Please friends, if you love me, commit this bed to your mind and call me immediately if you ever see another like it.  I’ve searched the internet high and low but haven’t had any luck so I need your help! I would love, love, love to have the girls have matching beds eventually! That oval space is calling for a fabric inset with a monogram…

Ok, yes, the reason I came here to blog tonight was really to send you all on a hunt for a matching bed.  So now that everyone has their mission I can wrap up this too long post 🙂 happy hunting!

 

Just Say No

I spent a large amount of time as a kid attending D.A.R.E. presentations. Just “say no” they would tell us.

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Over the past 26 (almost 27) years I have drawn my own conclusions on what to say no to. Much like this collective chart I have 6 things I generally need to say no to.

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1. Watching infomercials
2. Visiting animal shelters “just to look”
3. Running
4. Scary movies
5. Picking out clothes the night before
6. Day by day CHALLENGES.

I think we’ve learned, together, these are not for me. I will list below the remaining 15 favorite things about our house and then we will move on to bigger and better things…like how I have made the upstairs hallway look like a place people might actually want to visit!

1. The street—I love our street name. West Arlington Avenue. It makes me feel like I could be a cast member on Scandal.
2. The view out the back window—when the leaves fall I can see the mountains.
3. How the vent in the bathroom is perfectly positioned so that it makes my side of the rug warm
4. The entry alcove and window
5. Having laundry in the kitchen—I thought I would hate this but I actually love it. I see it and therefore I do it….sometimes.
6. Pantry doors—ever since I painted these puppies black in this post I love them
7. the holly tree outside—at Christmas I can keep fresh decorations for free!
8. the Christmas trees in the drive—There are two Christmas trees growing between our house and our neighbors house…I want to put lights on them this year!
9. Lighting—there seem to be light sockets where I want them to be in this house. The other day I looked up and there was a light in a closet I had never realized before.
10. Never thought I would say this….and may retract it when we have kids…but the closed concept. I feel cozy when I can sort of close myself off into a room.
11. closet built ins—sooo nice to have open shelving. I already don’t like to fold but this is one less step than folding AND opening the drawer/stuffing in.
12. arches—I think it gives the house character
13. Halloween on our street—300+ kiddos looking to us for candy! We’re excited that Halloween can be a fun experience for our own kids some day
14. Grass in the front yard—true green is totally rocking out and our grass is actually starting to look like we aren’t embarrassed anymore
15. Window in the door in the kitchen –It’s the kind that have the blinds built in between the glass and you can open, close, raise or lower them… yes, dog proof and lets in so much light when I want it to.

So there is that! Now let’s remember the upstairs when we moved in. It was frightening. I remember hating the pictures of it online because it looked haunted to me. It wasn’t inviting, cozy, functional…really just the beginning of a horror movie.

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It’s not AS bad here with the light on….

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You might remember (I know it’s been a WHILE) but we tore out the railing here and started replacing it with this stuff we found outside of an old antique store.

Well, here is the upstairs NOW!

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We are still working on the floor so that is to come but can we talk about how amazing it is to have railing that is actually up to code!?! We paid $35 for the new railing and had all the paint on hand. Funny story…we donated the old railing and walked into Habitat the other day to find it priced for a modest

    $60

….WHAT IN THE WORLD.

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Anyways, I’ve even decorated it with some garland and ribbon.

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I love how clean the upstairs feels now. I like to stand in the corner of the bedroom and look into the bathroom we put in, into the hallway that’s now bright and warm, and into the diva closet. That’s my happy place. It’s where I go to forget that we have other major issues to deal with and that the room across the hall is actually still BRIGHT purple and teal….

It feels nice to be back in blogland. Work has been a little crazy, other things have been a little crazy but I started thinking the other day…I blog best when I’m busy. I started this blog right before busy season and then the most I ever updated was right in the thick of busy season….I think it’s my therapy to offset the other, more number oriented, side of my brain when I don’t have time to actually go do. When I do have time to go do the things I’m dreaming about I get really wrapped up in them and don’t take as much time to sit down and type my dreams out. I feel like we have so much to catch up on!…like how I was a peacock for halloween and it was the best, warmest idea I ever had.

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This dark at 5:30 thing is really throwing me off! It’s 8pm and I feel like I am up past my bedtime…

Dear Renovation, SIT DOWN.

I mean…..this is taking forever. And twelve days.

Just when we think we have like two more things to do probably 50 more things appear. Really. It’s a problem. But we are in the “final stages”. I consider the final stages to bit a pit of hell. You’re tired of working on the same project mentally, physically, emotionally….but yet you are so close and you can see the tunnel that every day you just crawl back to it on your hands and knees begging for mercy that your one last door frame will fit and that this last square inch of skin on your hands will not blister over.

The good news is that I can just imagine the room around me. I am totally like those blindfolded people you see on febreze commercials who are sitting in a room full of garbage saying “mmmmmmm it smells like fresh flowers and laundy…a little bit of lilac…whispy white curtains”.

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Yes. That is exactly me during a renovation.

Blake on the other hand. No. not even in the slightest is he capable of imagining himself out of the sawdust nightmare. So I do hope, mostly for his sake, that this comes to a close sooner rather than later.

Things are looking good though. We have successfully connected three rooms together to make a master suite. We have one sliding barn type door, one wall mounted tv, one electric fireplace, and spent 3 hours staining wood for the room. Sounds like a magical palace doesn’t it? I know….these things hardly seem like they belong together but BEHOLD this sneak peak!

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Yeah those sconces….$4 at Habitat baby.

For perspective…the wall which you see there is the wall torn down to studs in this picture:

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Now that I have given you that sneak peak I will return to the pits of hell and continue wiping 4 inches of dust off of everything, caulking and painting 75 pieces of door frame, crown, dusting, baseboard, thresholds, hanging curtains, dusting, boiling more door knobs, attaching random hardware, dusting.

Folks, we are almost ready to move in!