One thing about being "sickie" in the house for the past week is that I get to catch up on some blog reading. The Lettered Cottage has some great links to some new found blogs. Folks are really creative with their "redos."

Happy New Year!


Oh Christmas Tree

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I enjoyed time with family and friends over the last couple of days. I ate way too much, but loved every get together. Here is a single photo of my very favorite Christmas ornament. It reminds me of the coming New Year. Our extended family has two new babies on the way this year and we are all so very excited.

Best to you all. God Bless.


Would you paint this???

This hope chest ended up on the CL "make me some money" list, but tonight I got to thinking that this could make a nice entryway bench. I don't have a mudroom, foyer, hall or anything like that, but I moved this to the kitchen, under a window by the garage door. It fits and may be a great place to take on/off shoes and be great storage. Problem= hate the country stencil. So I am debating if I still keep this on CL or bust out some paint.

Inspiration: *from PB of course*


Master Bedroom Redo

I planned on getting all my Christmas decorations out and spending the weekend preparing
the house. Instead a conversation over dinner last night went like this.

Me: I am thinking of painting our bedroom.
Hubs: I like our bedroom.
Me: I think its so ready for a change.
Hubs: I like the "wispy peach" color.
(Yes, he said the 1998 color that I used).
Me: Time to get out of the 90's.
Hubs: OK

So off to Lowes we went. I color matched my favorite Ben. Moore color. I've used it in every room 'cept my bathroom (next project). Color is Pale Almond and it changes from pale brown to yellow tones to grey tones depending on the day. It looks great in all my rooms. I saw it in BHG magazine 4 years ago and decided to give it a try.

So for 8 hours today I prepped, primed and painted the bedroom. (Oh, and my new vacuum sucked up so much dirt it was amazing!)

I HAD TO PRIME...to cover the wispy peach. :)
The primer was left over from pool house remodel and was Ben. Moore tinted White Dove. I love White Dove. I use that as my trim color in EVERY SINGLE ROOM.
I then tried my new paint. I bought the new Olympic NO VOC paint in flat and I will tell you it went on beautifully and there was NO smell. I couldn't believe it. I am sold.

Here are some shots during the madness. I'll spend tomorrow touching up the trim and putting the room back together.

Excuse the messy room. I was tossing everything front and center to clear it out. Get a load of the hideous, so 1990's yellow walls.

Walls freshly primed and looking better already! I had to take down a piece of crown molding to repair (upper right), but decided to leave evidence of the "wispy peach" just for kicks.
More to follow!


Vacuuming my Christmas Present

Do you use a canister vac or an upright? I knew it was time to go on the hunt for a new vacuum when I saw all the dust bunnies my Oreck was missing. Sad thing is that I love my Oreck upright. It's light weight and had great power, but there was no wand or hose. I had to use my hand held Oreck Canister and frankly it sounds like an airplane right now. I received my Orecks as a wedding gift 12 years ago and they have not disappointed.

My husband asked what I wanted for Christmas this year. Hmmm. Vacuum. Yep, that is what I really want. I got a strange look for a split second, but got the a-ok-you got it response. Well, what about right now...I need it to clean in order to put out all the Christmas decorations. Smirk. Off to Lowes we went.

I thought I wanted a Dyson as many friends rave about them, but I ended up with an Electrolux Upright with hose and wand attachments. YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE DIRT, HAIR AND FUNK that was in that clear canister. Granted, I probably just didn't see it before since I had a bagged Oreck, but that aside, I love that I can vacuum the hardwood and carpet with the flick of the switch and then unclick the wand to get those crevices and ceiling bunnies. Cleaning has never been so much fun!


Dreamy Drapes

ok. So they are really fresh white sheets...so they can be called dreamy. Kim at Twice Remembered has such great style. I loved how hers looked.

Off to Target I went. For 8 bucks a piece, they are well worth it. I shopped the house for the accent pillows, baskets and side table. Check out my PB inspired lamp. A little spray paint does wonders. Now I need to change the floor lamp shade!


Scratching off "To Do" list

AHHHHH, I had a 3 day weekend and I accomplished a lot. Here is a peak at a spray painting project that has been waiting patiently to be done.

I've had this blue coat rack for some time, moved it from room to room and then it sat in the closet. Hubs asked for some hooks by the back door so he could hang a towel he uses for our hot tub. Now that I am ever so resourceful with spray paint, I ran to the closet, busted out some Heirloom White and sprayed away.

I'll show you where I hang the finished piece later....


Let the Drape Drama..continue

So I figured out what was bugging me the most...the way the new drapes made it seem dark in the room. I whipped them down and clipped up a white sheet.....ahhhhh, I can't tell you how much better it looks. So, I am on the hunt for some simple white drapes. I'm still debating what to do about the trim-less windows, but I'll figure that out next. As I play around with the room more this weekend, I'll post how things are progressing. Thanks for all your comments so far!


Drapery Drama

Here is the before and now the after.

The new couch arrived and the color and fabric are a good fit for our home and lifestyle. I had high hopes for this room...a little switcharoo of window treatments, shop the house for accessories and all set....right. I am dead in the water. The drapes are full of drama. First I hung them too low on a rod that didn't work. Returned. Then I bought this extra long rod...after multiple holes, up it stayed. Finished...no. Something is just not right. My husband hates it. It has to do with the fact there is no molding. Now, don't get me wrong, I replaced all the baseboards and door trim through out the house....but to do the windows, it will be a pain. I'd have to rip out a super long sill, hope I don't screw up the alarm system wiring, blah blah blah. I am thinking of looking for modern valances or roman shades.....nothing is easy. What would you do?


Hutch Redo Reveal

I can't tell you how happy I am just to be done with this project. This one didn't give me much joy throughout the transformation. One coat of primer, two coats of black paint yielded a very splotchy appearance. Off for more paint...I came home with an almost black paint. Still no good! Back for more paint again and this time I bought off the shelf Satin Black. Another couple of hours of painting and here she finally is.

All this work made me realize that she looks better in my home office to match my desk and to house much needed "things."

I recently did a switcharoo and flipped bedrooms, giving myself a bigger office. It's nice to have more space. I'm still working on organizing but this is a great improvement.


A What?

I had to walk away from the hutch before I tossed it to the street hoping the garbage truck would run it over...so once my frustration subsides, I'll start again.

But on an entirely exciting new note, I received a Cricut (about 6 months ago). It just showed up on my front porch in a brown ordinary box. I had absolutely no clue what it was. I stared at it dumbfounded. I wondered who sent this to me...it could only be one lady, my grandmother. She is a very "up with the times" lady. I gave her a call and said "What is it?"...she acted like I was from outer space and asked "Didn't you see it on TV? It can do amazing things." I ended up putting it in the closet, until yesterday! I will tell you it does amazing things. I am just a beginner, but I made these cute little labels and organized my photos by category (a task that has been on my to do list for 10 years). As I learn more about it, I'll share how I use it for organizing- stylishly.

Oh, I made my grandmother a sweet little thank you card. I think she'll be impressed.


Painting Panic

.....the hutch is not turning out as I wanted. I am having trouble getting the black finish to not look streaky. This weekend project is turning into a longer one. I'll keep trying to get it right.


Hutch Redo Inspiration

I've spent the afternoon priming and painting the hutch...results forthcoming. Here was my inspiration from Pottery Barn.


Horrid Hutch

This hutch clearly matched my plaid country sofa that found a new home this morning.  I'm going to paint it and either remove the doors completely or figure something out to freshen up the tin. 
The question of the evening is do I paint it black or white?  Or red? :)

Lovely Lamps Part 2

How does she look?

Inspiration from Pottery Barn:

My own lamp before:

The Lovely Lamp (excuse the newspaper...room is in transition):
With a different shade:

I used Krylon Brushed Metallic in ORB from Wal-mart.  Both shades are from Wal-mart.  Both linen and the tag says Canopy Collection.  Not sure yet which one I like best.


Lovely Lamps

I've had 3 lamps sitting in the basement for some time now.  I was about ready to send them off to Goodwill.  Yet, I was flipping through PB fall issue today and had a light bulb moment.  I have a lamp very similar to this design, but its an ugly mottled green and white.  Hmmm, how about try the oil rubbed bronze paint you all are talking about.  

So off to Wal-mart I went and picked up some cans.  While I was at it I found a linen (ah lovely) drum shade.  Who knew- Wal-mart.  I'm liking their BHG line.

 So my TO DO for the weekend is to spray paint and pray for loveliness.  Stay tuned.

Out with the old

I decided against the one couch and went with tanish, greenish, comfy one.  It's on its way here.  So out with the old and in with the new.  I'm ready to shop the house (and HomeGoods of course) for some new accessories.

Say good-bye to my old plaid set.


Sit on Me Sofa

I'm on the hunt for a new sofa.  My green country plaid one is over 10 years old and is ready to move on.  What do you think of these two from Ashley Furniture?  While they have a contemporary flair, I love the neutral color and think maybe if I get rid of the toss pillows and bring in some comfy, cozy PB style, these may work.  I am leaning toward the one with the nail heads...but I haven't seen that one in person yet....what would you chose?


Dust Bunnies

I am always looking for quick fixes when it comes to cleaning.  I love my hard wood floors, but by the end of the week the dust bunnies appear.  I found the greatest product that uses no chemicals and is reusable.  GO GREEN. ---The Libman Microfiber floor cloth.  You can use it wet or dry and just toss into the washing machine.  When I don't feel like moping, this is a quick way to get some grime and dust bunnies off the floor.  What works best for me is to sweep, then run this cloth under some hot water with a little dish detergent.  I wring it out and attach it to the handle.. Presto- quick damp mop that makes my floor shine again.


Fall Cleaning

I've taken a break from the pool house to get some much needed cleaning done. I'm not big on cleaning- even though I love a clean house. During the week, I tend to surface clean. Unfortunately, clutter always appears. Every so often the urge hits to deep clean and get behind furniture to sweep up those cobwebs.

Last weekend I hit the garage. It was a mess with all that was going on outside. So I took one day and organized all the shelves, put the paint on one place, the pond supplies in another and auto stuff received its own shelf. I have to tell you...it is so organized that I smile, I actually smile when I walk into my garage. Everything has a place. It only took 11 years to get here.

On the bandwagon, this weekend I deep cleaned my carpets in the bedrooms. While I was at it, I cleaned closets and made a "place" for everything. If it didn't have a place, it went it to a box that is set for goodwill. All the bedrooms received freshly laundered linens and the cat was told not to jump on the beds. :)

I love the smell of a clean home...now to tackle the downstairs. Sigh. There are some serious dust bunnies down there.

How do you clean? Daily, weekly? Or like me- a little of both, but the serious business happens every so often.


Sneak Peak

I spent all day Saturday finishing the floor trim and trying to ties up loose ends in the pool house. I was cruising along when I came across a dilemma.  I had a rather large gap next to the cabinet the simple shoe molding was not going to cover up.  After about an hour of trying various trims, I just about gave up, but I had a light bulb moment.  One of those, oh how come you didn't think of that sooner moments.  I salvaged some beadboard I had left over from a basement project and it was the perfect thickness I needed to match the cabinet lip.  I installed it with some brad nails and viola- perfect fit. 

Here are some sneak peak pictures of the pool house.  It has a little bit of tweaking needed.  I'm still figuring out furniture placement, etc.  (I'm not happy with the fridge, TV scenario, but Hubs wants the TV high.  He's used to the 52" flat screen, but of course no can do due to $$$).
I finally had a moment of R&R in the pool house today and it's starting to feel like it's part of HOME.


Pillow talk

I've begun to gather some items to decorate the pool house.  I bought Pottery Barn pillow covers off eBay many months ago along with a daybed cover. They've been waiting patiently in the closet.  

I couldn't allow myself to pay for pricey pillow inserts at my local craft store or dept. store. Good news is that I found the following website.  I thought I'd share as the pillow inserts shipped quickly and are perfect.  They are overstuffed (size up) and look like the decorator ones  I see in the stores.  Check out pillowsxpress.com.

This weekend will be spent finishing some trim and moving furniture into the pool house. Pictures to follow.

(oh, the floor turned out really great. I'll take some daylight photos to share)


Weathered Wicker

I've learned there are a lot of creative people out in the blogging world.  One of the best tips I found is to buy a $4 spray gun that clips on to the top of a spray paint can.  I tried to spray paint some old lamps over a year ago and they came out all splotchy.  I gave up on spray paint until i saw all the successes folks have in blog land.

Enter old, weathered, faded wicker set.  This set had been around the block.  It was used indoors and out.  Most recently on our front porch this spring, but the sun bleached out the honey wood color.  Off to Home Depot I went and bought 5 cans of espresso satin spray paint (and the gun of course).

The reinvented set looks like those I was looking at for over $100 bucks.  Go figure what a little paint does.  I need to whip up some seat cushions.  If only I wasn't so scared of the sewing machine in the closet.  To do.

Hard Knocks of Wood

It's been a long couple of days.  While I've said to myself a time or two, why didn't I just install snap and click laminate flooring...I'm very happy I didn't.

Hubs and I have been sanding the areas by the french doors.  When I say sanding...belt sanding. Dirty, Dusty, Darn I hate it sanding.  We had to do this so the door bottoms would not hit the floor.  When we had the pool house settle, it actually caused the joists to bow and cause a hump.  In hindsight, I would have sanded the subfloor prior to the installing the wood flooring...but I didn't know.  Live and learn.

Anyway, two belt sanders later and numerous 60 grit paper, we got it as good as its going to get.  I installed shorter door sweep/bottoms and now we are golden.

I decided to jump in and finish the floor myself.  Scared I was, but I used Zinsser Seal Coat.  I hand wiped one coat (yeah, I'm silly like that).  And then applied one coat of Water Based Poly.
I used the "go with it applicator" for that.  It went on white and I was very worried cause I kept having strokes where I stopped, but it appears to have dried fine.

Still have a couple more coats to go, but it looks really good.  I even think it looks better than my home floor that I paid mucho bucks for guys to do for me (go figure).

The photo flash calls attention to all the swirly details in the cherry flooring.  It's not that much in person...it just looks that way on camera.  I'll get some better shots later this week.


7 days

It's been one long week of working non-stop. I had planned a week vacation and the timing was perfect. I was able to spend the past week working of the interior of the pool house.
The cabinets are in. The counter top, sink, faucet are in. The wood floor and trim in installed.
We had a family BBQ and the set up was just PERFECT.
Next steps are finishing the wood floors with poly, painting the floor trim and french doors.
Then the real fun begins with decorating.


Taking Shape

I was able to install a couple more rows of wood this evening...the room is now half way done. It is looking just fabulous. I was using scrap wood that didn't make the cut a couple years ago when I had installers use the wood in my home. That being said, there are some gaps in the pool house floor. Installer error (me) or the wood? Either way, I love it. Don't mind the dirt and dust...it's everywhere. I can't wait to give the floor a good vacuuming.


Cherry Wood Floors

I just had to say it...I took the leap and installed 3 rows of the wood floors. Not bad. They aren't perfect, but pretty good looking for my first time installing. I now have a deep appreciation for the two guys who installed it in our house. However, I have the "I can do it" attitude right now.

It's late and the camera was no where to be found. Promise I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Score! Craigslist

I scored this Kohler sink from Craigslist last night.  It's brand new and shiny- $65 bucks, can't beat that. It's going to be nice to fill with ice and put beverages in.  Basically this sink won't get a lot of use in the pool house cause its for washing hands not dishes, but I love it.

The paint is on the walls and I have a long list of things to do.  

- Make filler strip for cabinet
- Cut couple inches off laminate countertop
- Install countertop and sink
- Purchase faucet and drains
- Install trim around windows
- Tackling flooring (I am very scared!).  I am using left over wide plank flooring and right now I have no idea what I am doing.


With a little help from friends

Today was jam packed with action.  I actually took off work so I could help. A full day of work accomplished 3 amazing things:
1. Drywall is installed and a painter friend came over to beautify my gaps, holes and messes.
After: I was very scared that my gaps were going to need some serious help, but our friend made it look easy as he taped and covered it all up.

2. Hot Water heater installed in cabinet.  We reused cabinets from our basement and are going to have one run of them along the side wall.  This water heater will service the outside shower and a hand washing sink inside.  This was a huge job in a tight space, but our friend did an amazing, meticulous job.
3. Outside Shower installed.  This turned out better than I could have imagined.  Perfect.
A little improvisation with the mounting blocks made it look much better.  On our list now is to install vinyl privacy fence to enclose it.  The patio pad for the shower is brand new.


A little of this

The first shot is all the concrete that was jammed under the front of the pool house.  It's not going anywhere now.  

Second shot is the masterpiece showing drywall.
These last few days have been an absolute whirlwind.  So many little details, but tonight I started to put Spackle on the many many screws used to hang the dry wall.  My husband worked day and night over the weekend and before and after work the last two days.  We didn't have a clue about hanging drywall, but trial and error, its pretty decent.  There are some mistakes and we had our share of tiffs along the way, but it turned out much better than I thought.  Tomorrow night we will be getting help on the seams...just cause they are real scary.
Big doins' the rest of the week.  On the list: prep for primer and paint, install water heater for outside shower, install cabinets, prep for flooring.


Jacked up

It's amazing what a tiny (well not really) little jack will do.  We cranked it a few times where the two french doors meet and low and behold up it went.  The doors shut perfectly now.  Tomorrow Hubs will dig a 6x12 in trench underneath the front wall.  Friday is the planned day to pour a slab like foundation underneath to support the front of the structure.  We'll also fix up any other footings that need to be.  A few more days and we'll be back in business-- this was just a little detour.



I can't even share the pictures...they are way too suprising.  After the shock has worn off, I'm getting back into the mode- the fix it mode.  You see, tonight, unearthed a huge hurdle for this pool house renovation.  It all started when we noticed one of the french doors was difficult to open.  Hmmm, come to think of it, the floor was a little slanted.  With the blessing of our contractor, we tore up the floor boards tonight.  It wasn't pretty. 

We found that the sand and gravel had washed away underneath the front of the structure. One of the front footings was no longer supporting the pool house.  I'm talking a 6-8 inch gap about 7 feet wide where there was no earth support.  Shock.  But that sure explains why the door wasn't closing right all of a sudden.

We have a plan now.  Our contractor is going to lead the way and we'll jack and support the structure while we pour additional footings.  We had thought we were so smart...yeah, we have 9 footings that we poured under the shed 12 years ago.  Little did we know that a pool leak from 5 years ago caused the earth to settle and shift.

I am glad we found it now.  Before we finished drywall, before we noticed cracks in the walls, before the floor bowed under the weight,  etc.  Tomorrow is a new day, a day we will start to fix it all up.  I'm so happy to just get it done right.


Itchy Insulation

Woke up Saturday morning and headed to Home Depot with the trailer in tow.  Hubs and I stocked our carts with roof venting (called something specific, but don't remember), insulation, drywall, plumbing parts and a couple misc. items.  An hour later we were covered head to toe with itchy insulation.
Hubs did the ceiling and I did the walls.  We were smart and wore those funny looking masks, but today we can both breathe easy.  Installing insulation is not fun, but I'm all for sweat equity.  I say bring on the drywall!!!