Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Guest Bedroom Remodel

 I hope you are enjoying some wonderfully relaxing summer days!  We've been swimming and gardening daily and trying to complete a few home projects too in our down time.  I don't like being absent for so long here... for once in a long while, I actually have a list of things I'd like to blog about, but it's just a matter of finding the time? motivation?  Also, our main computer has been giving us some major issues, so downloading pictures usually consists of at least a handful of what I refer to as the blue screens of death.  (Don't worry, I've backed everything up... now it's just a matter of actually taking the plunge and replacing it.)  ;-)  Anyway, I finally managed to download some pictures as quickly as possible of our (nearly complete) guest bedroom remodel!



 Above is a picture when we first moved in.  Fortunately, the walls had already had the wallpaper removed from them, so the original bead board was already exposed.  On the down side, the ceiling was covered in styrofoam ceiling tiles and had quite possibly the ugliest ceiling fan ever, which we didn't bother replacing, since we knew eventually we would be renovating the ceiling.  (I might have replaced it earlier if I had known it would take us six years to get to this room - ha!)

If you recall in our master bedroom remodel, we removed the doorway you see in the above photo that joined the two bedrooms.  More about that soon.


 We thought that when we removed the styrofoam ceiling tiles, we would be dealing with an unsalvageable ceiling.  In fact, we had almost purchased all of the wood to put up a new ceiling, just as we had for our master bedroom.  But when we removed the tiles, we discovered wallpaper covering the original ceiling, which was in almost perfect condition (with the exception of a hole, which was easily patched).  Now, typically I would have squealed in delight... but after spending months removing wallpaper, Justus and I both felt like running from the house screaming.  The only thing worse than removing old wallpaper from walls is removing it from a ceiling.  Anyone with me?  

I will confess that after only hiring help in our house two times, once for a new HVAC system and the other for new insulation, we both agreed instantly to find somebody to remove the ceiling wallpaper for us and we were pretty much willing to pay anything.  The funny part is we couldn't find anyone willing to do it. So three days later, there we were, scraping wallpaper and wondering what other people were doing for fun.  (Laughing here!) 

You may be able tell in the photos how wavy the ceiling is... this frustrates my husband to no end, particularly since we had to use tubes and tubes of caulk to fill in gaps, but after living in this house, I'm a firm believer in embracing the imperfections.  All the imperfections are part of what gives an old home character and charm. 


In addition to refinishing the ceiling, we also installed new bead board on the wall to the right of the fireplace to enclose the original doorway.  What a dilemma here - we knew we wanted to keep the natural wood in here, but we didn't have any to match the original.  I even tried a stain, which looked terrible, just as I knew it would.  In the end, we decided to paint this wall the same white as the ceiling and hope that it all came together in the end.

We also replaced a sliding plywood closet door with these old louvered solid wood doors.  I love these doors... our neighbors were undergoing some indoor renovations, and I saw them laying in their yard when I went over there to take care of their dog while they were away.  Fortunately for me, they no longer had a home, so I talked Justus into using them. ;-)   I painted the fireplace and closet doors a light gray for some contrast.  As you can see, we still need to add a door knob, but I'm on the hunt for the perfect vintage one.  

One other change we made that is probably only noticeable to us, but makes a big difference, is replacing the white corner trim with pine stained to match the original wood.  It gives a more finished, natural look.  And of course, all the other trim is new as well. 

Around the other side of the room... we've had this furniture since we were first married and we thought to sell it and replace it with the perfect antique furniture.  We actually went antique shopping with a measuring tape in hand, but could not find one thing!  I came home and felt completely okay with keeping what we already had.  Sometimes it's so easy for me to feel like everything needs to be perfect, instead of feeling contentment with what we already do have. 



My mom made this quilt hanging for our first home when we were first married.  So I knew I definitely wanted to keep it displayed here, but tried to bring in only subtle hints of red elsewhere in the room.

Other than replacing the old outlets, this room is finished, and was our last major remodeling job.  Since then, we've also started remodeling the last room we had not previously touched, a bedroom for our youngest daughter, which is nearly complete. So I have quite a few house projects to share, if we can just complete the finishing touches!  ;-)  

Happy summer days to you!

Source List (If I forgot anything, just leave a comment!)
White ceiling and wall paint: Benjamin Moore Simply White
Gray fireplace and closet door paint: Benjamin Moore Titanium
Bed: Costco (Everton Queen)
Bedding: Pottery Barn
Lamps: Target
Print above fireplace: Rifle Paper
Picture frames & curtain rods: BH&G Walmart 
Linen curtains: one of the few things I sew ;-)  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Strawberry Season!

My favorite season is upon us... strawberry season!  Not only because I'm not sure there's a more tasty treat than a freshly picked strawberry straight from the farm, but also because it seems to mark a season of warm days filled with sunshine and evenings spent outside together.  I particularly love the warm evenings together - wandering around the yard watering plants, watching the girls, playing ball together, relaxing in the hammock.  This time of year just lifts my spirits and I feel like you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!

There is a local farm that brings their strawberries in daily to a little red cart in town.  The strawberries literally melt in your mouth and taste so sweet (and this particular farm also does not use pesticides, which is wonderful).  I'm almost embarrassed to admit how many gallons we go through during strawberry season!

The hammock gets a lot of attention around here... I'm not sure how we lived without it for so long.  Not only during the evenings, but it's the perfect spot during the day to stop and take a snack break when the sunshine is beating down.  The huge old tree it sits under provides just the right amount of cool shade.

While there are so many delicious ways to eat strawberries, my very favorite is simply by themselves.  The strawberry season seems so short, and I savor these few weeks we can eat strawberries this sweet and ripe. 

Nevertheless, now that the days are so warm, the girls have been begging to make popsicles.  While both girls love to help me in the kitchen, Jillian is especially enjoying learning how to make certain things. Since she is eight now and so capable, I've been making more of an effort to give her independence in the kitchen.  (She's made Rosetta and I scrambled eggs almost every day this week for breakfast.  ;-) )  

"Is this how you do it, Sissy?"

 And so, this was our treat tonight... strawberry popsicles eaten in the back yard as we enjoyed every last bit of the warm evening light.  What a sweet strawberry season this is! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

April's Arrival

 Sunshine.  Freshly mowed grass.  Birds singing.  Blooming trees and shrubs.  Afternoons outside.  These are just some of my favorite things about Spring's arrival.  Most of all, I think I like the newness that comes in April.  Everything feels fresh and full of hope.  

One of my favorite memories was in April.  It was the arrival of our first daughter and I'll never forget stepping out of the hospital with a new, precious bundle in my arms and feeling the warm sunshine.  It was just one of those perfect moments and everything felt different in the best way.  My mom came to stay and we had the most wonderful month together.  We enjoyed what seemed like endless sunshine.  We walked, we talked, we admired all the hot pink blooming azaleas, but most of all, we cuddled and loved this precious sweet little baby that was all our own.

Now I find myself anticipating April's arrival all winter long.  When we're in the midst of a cold, dreary day, I remind myself that April is just around the corner.  And now it's here, and like every April before it, I remember why I love it so much.  Now our oldest daughter will soon be eight years old, but even though the years pass by, April still feels as sweet as ever.  

My camera seemed to stay put all this winter, but boy has it been busy the past couple weeks.  ;-)  I hope you don't mind me simply sharing some pictures (and memories) of our Spring so far. 


Hope you all have a lovely April weekend!  (And please do share your favorite things about April's arrival, too!) 

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