Master Bathroom Makeover

IMG_0353

Well, first of all, it has been a LONG time since I made a post about projects we’ve been doing around the house!  Time really got away from us for a few months-I guess that’s what happens when you’re both working full time, going to school, and one of you is pregnant!  Morning sickness is REAL and really hindered any motivation I had to do things around the house for a while.

But anyways, about a month and a half ago we finally got our acts together and started renovating our master bathroom.  It took us a while to finish this project-but I think the outcome is BEAUTIFUL and it’s a space I love being in now.

These are just a couple of pictures I quickly took of the space a few years ago when we purchased the home:

What these pictures don’t show you is that the cute separate vanity area was CARPETED-which kind of defeats the purpose.  I refused to use that area once we replaced the carpet because I didn’t want to ruin our new carpet with my makeup (I use mineral makeup & it always gets everywhere).  The vanity area was also separate from the bathroom with a door between them.  When we purchased the home we painted the vanity area the same color as our bedroom since it was really part of that space.  We didn’t paint the actual bathroom until recently because we weren’t sure what we were going to do with the room.

As you can see, the vanity area was right by our bedroom in that little nook.  It’s a nice space with a large mirror, but the light fixture was outdated & ugh-carpet.

We decided to tear down the wall between the vanity space & the bathroom to create one large master bathroom.  We also wanted to move the door to the bathroom to the other side of the vanity so that the entire space was closed off from our bedroom.

Here are some before/during pictures of the bathroom progress:

When the wall was torn down we immediately LOVED the effect.  The room felt so open and wonderful.  The next steps involved moving around some electrical wires (to relocate the light switch), then the rest of the DEMO.  We removed the toilet, tore up all the tiles from the floor and baseboard, took down all the towel hooks and other accessories, and removed all the light fixtures and faucets.  Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of pictures of these steps because my husband and his dad did pretty much all this work!  Being pregnant meant that I was banned from the bathroom for much of this process.

Our FINISHED product!

We used the same tile and paint color that we used in our guest bathroom.  The paint color was Tide Pools by Behr.  We really loved the calming effect this color gave to our guest bathroom so we decided to use it again.  I’m pretty sure my husband wants to put it in every bathroom we’ll ever have!  For the floor we used ceramic tiles that looked like hardwood.  I love how it gives an element of nature to the space.

We used the Kohler Alteo collection for our sink faucets and accessories (towel bars and toilet paper holder).  My favorite part of the toilet paper holder is how it opens up!  Makes it SO EASY to change the roll when it’s empty.

Of course, my super talented husband made some mirror frames for this space as well.  The frames really make the mirrors pop and stand out against the walls.  We also replaced the light fixtures with these from Home Depot.

Seriously, we were at Home Depot SO MANY TIMES during this renovation.  I considered asking for our own special parking space!

If you would like to read the process for replacing the tile floors, creating the mirror frames, please read my post about our Guest Bathroom!  It contains all of the directions for what we did.

Fall Front Porch & a Wishlist

1104141120

 

Where did the month of October go? The days flew by and before I knew it the month was over! My husband and I have been really busy with careers and degrees and just life in general, but I have been really determined lately to get back on track with some home projects!  I REALLY wanted to have a cute porch for Halloween since our neighborhood is basically bombarded with children each year.

We went to a pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago and bought some pumpkins for our porch. We bought 3 bigger ones for our stairs, but I also wanted to get 2 little ones to go in our planters with some flowers.  Earlier this fall I had planted golden yellow mums in our planters, but the blossoms died & I didn’t realize they wouldn’t re-bloom until next year! I was so disappointed. I dug those up, headed to Home Depot, and browsed their garden section. As soon as I saw these Hen & Chick plants I knew they were exactly what I wanted! And, I bought all 18 individual plants for $10!

 

I think they turned out pretty well. And, the best part is that these plants should survive the winter and I’ll be able to replace the pumpkins with other pieces of decor!

1104141120b

 

 

I also wanted to make a burlap wreath for the door. I bought the wire frame, burlap, and pipe cleaners from a craft store, but the chevron burlap ribbon I bought from Walmart’s Halloween clearance!  I didn’t take any pictures of how I made the wreath or bow, but here is the link for the Youtube video I used to create the wreath, and here’s the blog link for how to make a perfect bow!

On Halloween night we set out a pallet & hay bale as well.  We bought this adorable Frankenstein from Amazon & put out our candy in a big cauldron!  He did a great job guarding the bowl.

1031141831

 

Now, let me by honest. I absolutely love this home, but I can not stand the colors of this porch!

Here’s my wishlist for the porch:

-Give all the siding a new coat of paint in the same color.
-Repaint all the trim from off-white to white.
-Repaint the front door white so it’s clean & door wreaths pop against it.
-Repaint the porch a deep charcoal color.
-Buy a new doormat!!!!
-Buy some furniture!
-New kick plate in nickel.
-New, more modern sconces.

It’s a big list.  We’re hoping to get all the painting done in early spring of 2015!

Fast & Easy Table Runner

I have been really wanting a table runner in the dining room for a while now, but I had no idea what I wanted it to look like.  Well, I googled “table runner ideas” and discovered a lot of really cool ones!

I was torn between a table runner that was painted to look like a really long ruler across the table (the teacher in me just LOVED that), and a table runner made out of wood shims.  After asking several people for their opinion, I decided to go with the wooden shims table runner.

The best part about this project was that it cost me less than $10 to complete! Also, I think it’s completely adorable (that may be because I made it…).

I went to Home Depot & bought this pack of shims for $3.98.  I bought 2 packs because I wasn’t sure how many I was going to need.  I also talked to an associate there and they said that the cedar would stain really well.  Turns out I only needed 1 pack of the shims, but my husband has claimed the other pack for himself!

I laid the shims out on the table and took measurements on how long they were and how wide.

0919141448

Once I had the measurements I took them all into the basement and first sanded them down as best I could, and then I stained them (tops and all 4 edges).  I stained them with the same stain we used on our coffee table since I wanted to try for a weathered look, and I didn’t want them to be too dark and match too much with our wood floors.  I LOVE this stain because it already has poly in it, so I didn’t have to worry about trying to poly all of them afterwards.

 

 

Once they were all stained I went upstairs and looked around my fabric pile.  I cut a piece of fabric that was about 1.5 inches shorter in length than the shims, and also about 1 inch shorter in width.  I used Power Grab glue to glue each piece onto the fabric.  After letting it dry for a few hours we carried it upstairs & put it on our dining table!  I think it looks fabulous.

I am still at a loss as to what do to for a fall tablescape.  Let me know if you have any ideas! Thanks 🙂

Our Guest Bath Reno

 

Guest Bathroom Before & After

ATTENTION ALL WHO ACTUALLY READ THIS BLOG:  Let me start of by sharing with you the biggest lesson learned from this reno: Different plumbing fixture brands each have their own type of shower valve in the wall behind the shower, and each brand will only work with their own shower valve.  So, if you currently have a Moen shower wall faucet and plan to install say, a Kohler wall faucet, you will have to replace the valve in the wall. We learned this the HARD way and it cost us a lot of time!!

Okay, that being said, this project was actually a lot of fun and I learned a lot through the process!  We had originally not planned on renovating this space until later this fall, but during the summer I took two graduate courses, and one of my professors let us choose literally anything to do for our project as long as we fulfilled the learning requirements. Hellooooo new bathroom.

The space feels so completely different and it’s just so nice to go into this bathroom and actually enjoy how it looks!

Here are some of the pictures of what it looked like when we bought the house last year:

As you can see it was full of white boring-ness (and it was also pretty gross. The white grout lines were not very white anymore).  It was definitely time for some upgrades! In a nutshell we replaced the old tile with a beautiful new ceramic tile floor, added a frame around the mirror, spray painted the light fixture, replaced all the faucets, and added that beautiful piece of moulding by the shower to hang a towel or robe.  (And of course we painted the entire space: ceiling, walls, and trim).

Keep reading if you’re interested in how we made these changes 🙂

Our Laundry Room: An Unexpected Journey

Laundry Room

My husband and I unexpectedly decided to renovate our laundry room while we were also renovating our guest bathroom that is located on the other side of the laundry room wall.  While we were renovating the bathroom we cut a big hole in the wall so that we could see the pipes behind the shower, and well, since our laundry space had a big hole in the wall and the machines were removed we thought we would just go for it!

We are so happy with how the space turned out.  I am especially happy because now doing laundry will be such a happier chore!

Here are some more of the before pictures:

Our house is ten years old, and while we cleaned it thoroughly when we bought it last summer, I did not think to move the dryer out of the room and clean under it. That was a big mistake: YUCK!

The finished product:

Our Living Room Transformation

Living Room

Our living room transformation has been in the process for a long time.  Before we even moved into our home last September we had painted all the walls and changed all the flooring (admittedly, we did not install the new carpet ourselves).  Our beautiful light gray wall color in this room is Manhattan Mist by Behrand we used this color in a lot of the rooms on our first floor.  Our carpet is a really dark grey, but for some reason it has a green hue in certain lighting.

Anyways, I am so happy with how this room turned out!  We bought a new sofa and chairs this past winter and they are SO COMFORTABLE.  We eat most of our meals on the sofa because it’s just so darn comfy.  We bought and hung new blinds, and started decorating!

The old window frame above our fireplace mantle came from Chartreuse & Company in Frederick, MD.  They are open once a month and sell the most adorable vintage & antique goods.  A lot of items in our house came from there!  Here’s their Facebook page where you can find their calendar (they also have a blog).

The yellow crock on the floor by our fireplace came from Target, on clearance! I had been eyeing that for a while and I scooped it up as soon as it went on sale!  The off-white crock is a real antique given to us by my dad.  I have a small obsession with water fowl (I have a lot of swan decoys around the house), and these charming decoys belonged to one of my uncles.

Our coffee table was upcycled from an old dining table one of our neighbors threw away.  That was a long process in itself!  The white trays on top came from CB2, found here.  Also from CB2 are the floor lamp (here) and the white table lamp (here).  The table lamp I have had for a LONG time & I still love it dearly.  The floor lamp was a gift for our wedding!

I made the floor ottomans & the chevron throw pillow covers (if interested, those posts can be found in my July archives!).

The little yellow side table came from Target and I painted it yellow.  If you like the style of the table, here it is!

The last part of the process was creating the small print gallery above the couch.  It took me a really long time to figure out what kind of artwork I wanted to hang there (just too many options!).  Finally I remembered that inside my super nerdy collector’s addition of  The Tales of Beedle the Bard (children stories from Harry Potter), there were a set of prints.  Well, I took those prints to the closest Michaels, found some clearance frames that I could use, and got those suckers hung up!  To be honest, I might end up taking down my gallery in the future and hanging it somewhere else in the house (but then I would be back to square one in terms of couch artwork).

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Renovation Project Checklist

This summer I took two graduate classes toward my Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and I was so pleasantly surprised & pleased when one of my professors allowed us to choose ANYTHING for our major project.  I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock when I tell you that I chose to renovate our guest bathroom as my project.  Our bathroom is SO CLOSE to being done, but I couldn’t wait to share this template that I created as part of my project!

Template Image

 

Whenever I’m doing a project I always have a lot of pieces of paper lying around with things to do, buy, measurements, notes, etc.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember where I put a specific piece of paper!  As part of my project and presentation I had to create a handout to share with my classmates, and I had a major light bulb moment: I could create a template to share for future home renovations.  I LOVE having those moments where a good idea just comes to you. Totally makes my day!

I can’t wait to use this template.  I’m planning on printing a sheet for each room in our house that I want to change and update.  Maybe I’ll even put together a binder with the templates along with project ideas!  The options are endless.

Anyways, if you feel as though you could use this for your own renovations or projects, please feel free to use it! And I welcome any feedback if you think of something that could be added 🙂

Home Renovation Template