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Are you on Pinterest yet? You totally should be! You need to request an invite, but if you’d like to leave your email in the comments I will send you an invite so you don’t have to wait. And trust me, you don’t want to wait!

Find my boards here, follow all of them or follow a few! I have 13 boards that are not terribly well organized, but super helpful nonetheless. I’ve gotten so many great ideas from Pinterest.  Some of my boards have helped with things to do right now: the shutters in my living room, my martini glass and plate cake stands, and my paint colored glass jars. Some of my boards help with things for the future: I will have a niece or nephew one day and I need to learn things to do with kids (my “remember for future kids” board), I plan to host holidays at my house eventually so I’ve got boards to combine meals and decorations for each one. Here’s a screen shot:




But reader beware: don’t click the link unless you have absolutely nothing else to do today, because you will be sucked in for hours!


It puts a smile on my face

Our landing is officially painted and it makes me oh so happy. We’ve been here six months now and the excitement hasn’t worn off for me yet- everything that this house will look like will be on purpose. I hand picked every color, frame, light plate. I don’t quite know how to describe how awesome that is.

So on that airy note, the big reveal:

The hallway color is the same as the front entranceway color- white truffle. Originally it was going to be the color of the whole living room, but then I decided to be bold.

The view from the bathroom- Dutch tested, Dutch approved.

View from the bedroom towards the bathroom- the difference is remarkable.

It’s not 100% done yet, but it’s pretty close. I’d like to hand a few small pictures on the stairway up, and I think I’d like to do something funky to the handrail. I have my Nonna’s genes and I can’t help but want to contact paper it with some yellow/gray patterned paper. Matt shook his head when I told him that, but he knows there’s no stopping me.

As the paint dries…

…get it? Like “As the World Turns?” heh heh. Sorry, I’ve been inhaling paint fumes since 8am and I may just be loopy.

Matt’s work schedule has been a bit wonky since school started and he ended up having today off, so we finally got our act together and primed the second level landing (it will be painted tomorrow). I am so so pleased that this finally got done. The landing wasn’t an awful color, but it was filthy. It was un-washable levels of filthy and I have been dying to get it painted since the day we moved it.

Here’s two before shots, from before the border was even taken down:

View from the bedroom towards the stairs and bathroom.


View from the bathroom- you can see I spackled right when we moved in, hoping that it would be painted soon after.


And here’s how things went down today:


We laid out all the supplies and let the animals smell and investigate it. I know this sounds crazy, but if they get all their sniffing and studying out of the way before we get started then they don't bother us at all while we're working. I'm basically an animal whisperer...


Next, we taped the molding up and turned the bathroom into our paint supply closet. Painting took especially long because the landing has five doorways and the built in. Not shown in this picture, we also removed the railing from the stairs- we assumed this would be easier then painting around it.


We got the whole first coat just about done, saving the hatch door for last. Taking off the door meant letting a lot of cold air in, so we've sealed it up with plastic bags for the time being.


Overall, it was just your basic priming job. Nothing particularly tricky or time consuming. From start to finish it was 3.5 hours for two coats of primer and a coat of ceiling paint. The difference is remarkable though, here’s the “middle stage” pictures…

This is the view from the living room up the landing. So bright! So white! So clean!


The view from our bedroom. Shiny!!

And finally, a view from the office. Henry approves!


Come back tomorrow to see the finished product!



Ups, Downs, Roundabouts

This past long weekend we had a lot on our agenda, and I am pleased that a good 75% of it actually happened- which is pretty solid for us because boy do we get distracted by sweatpants and DVDs.

Matt was able to get 4 of the 8 required pieces of drywall up in his media closets, and hopefully the remaining 4 will be up within the next 2 weeks. Once they’re up the closets will be sanded and primed and painted the same green as our sunroom. We also looked at swatches for the rest of the movie room walls and we decided on a green called “Medevil Forest,” maybe just because we like the name but it’s a nice dark hunter green that will go well down there. Because that room is used for watching tv, a dark wall color is important for glare and reflection.

While Matt was busy with drywall, I was ever so busy removing the wallpaper border from our upstairs landing. I have been dying to redo this landing for months, and it’s finally almost done. I was hoping to get it primed this weekend too but our plans were a bit derailed (explained later in this post) so it’ll have to wait until next weekend. The pictures of this hallway are horrendous, but that’s just a reflection of how it is in real life too. The walls are filthy, peeling, holey, and all around in need of some fresh paint and welcoming artwork. The landing will be painted in white truffle… which if you’ve been reading from the beginning, was the original color of the living room. White Truffle lasted in the living room less then 24 hours, but in this hallway it’ll last for years! I want something light and airy that won’t overpower the rooms that are branched off of it.

This is the view of the landing from our bedroom door. From left to right you see a bit of the stairway that leads up from the living room as well as the attic hatch door, our built in storage cabinet, the bathroom, and a towel closet. The built in storage cabinets will be getting new handles at some point and the bathroom will be lightened up but I haven't any clue as to what color- suggestions are welcome!

This is a view of the hallway from the bathroom. From left to right you see a smidge of the door frame that leads to the office, our bedroom, then the guest room. The guest room will most likely be white truffle as well, with a striped accent wall for some added fla-vah.


Once I had the wallpaper border removed, I spackled the walls in about a million places and the ceiling in two spots. Since I needed to wait for it to dry I couldn’t go ahead and prime it right away. But no fear- I found another artsy project to get started on!


I’ve been talking about a gallery wall for a while now and it’s finally in its early stages:

Currently I have 4 frames and a piece of tissue paper with a drawing on it that represents a picture sitting at Walgreens that I have neglected to go pick up.


The tissue paper picture will go in a white frame (yet to be purchased) and we have picked out 3 other prints we’d like to print up and add to this wall as well (frames for those have yet to be purchased too).  The frames that we do have I’ve taken my time gathering along the way, and I want to continue on in that fashion. The “HOME” piece came framed, the frame of Matt and Dutch I purchased at TJ Maxx a few years ago, the middle frame is actually a wooden Dollar Tree  purchased that I painted black, and the tacky ornate black frame was a Marshall’s find last week (clearance section, baby!).

Here’s another view close up:

All the frames will be either solid black or solid white, and all the art will be black and white as well. Eventually I'd like most of this wall to be totally covered.

Before hanging things on the wall I went through a highly scientific step by step process to ensure everything was where I wanted it:

1. I found the largest sheet of tissue paper I had and taped it to the wall.

2. I traced the frames on the tissue paper.

3. I forcibly ripped the back of the frames off so the stand wouldn’t cause it to protrude from the wall.

4. I tore holes out of the tissue paper where the frames were going to go.

5. I velcroed the frames to the wall because I’m awful at figuring out where the nail should go.


See- lots of measuring and calculations. And levels! Yeah, if anyone asks I also used a level….


And now on to our road bump….

We woke up Sunday morning to find we had no water... because a pipe in our basement froze... and then when we called in the plumber it split while he was defrosting it. Womp womp.


It turns out among many bright ideas the previous owners had, they decided it was smart to completely cover all the pipes in the basement and not properly insulate them. Man, I am learning a lot of what not to do in a house.

The plumber had to cut a hole in our wall to get to the pipes because they were covered with no vents or grates anywhere. Upon cutting it we realized why it froze so quickly and so easily: The insulation in the walls is butted up against the drywall that faces inward towards the room, not the cement wall that faces outside to the street. This means that cold air creeps in through the cement and gets held in the insulation that is right in front of it. You are supposed to put the insulation up against the outside facing wall so that it catches the cold air and does not let it permeate into the wall. So, we need to trim up t his whole a bit and cover it with a grate so that as we heat the downstairs room, some of the heat will flow into the walls and prevent freezing. At least it happened while we were home and we caught it right away so nothing burst inside the walls without us knowing.


And there’s our long weekend!

Mission Possible

Yesterday’s shelf construction went far more smoothly then I thought it would, mainly because the friend Matt had over to help really brought his A game. There’s still lots to do, but for now things are looking good and we’re excited.

The three basement closets all have shelves resting in them- the closets need drywall added to the bottom because prior to us moving in an old sump pump overflowed and ruined the walls about a foot upwards, and all three closets need to be painted once the drywall is up. This weekend we’ll be repairing the wall and hopefully on  Monday we can at least get things primed. We’ve decided to repaint the blood crimson walls to a deep  hunter green and to paint the inside of the shelves the same light green as our sunroom.

Matt was far to anxious to see what everything would look like so we put up all the movies anyway and will just carefully take them down in order when it’s time to forge ahead.

Here’s a picture diary of how it all went down:

Here's a look at our most challenging closet before things got started- there is a hatch door to the dark dank earth floor side of the basement and it can't be taken down or covered up so we are forced to work around it.


Matt took out all the wood from the closet that didn't have anything to do with the hatch door, so that we could build new shelf space around it.


He did the same for the middle closet, and the left hand side closet. In this picture, you can see the damage to the lower wall. We will cut it even and patch it up on Saturday.


Once all the closets had miscellaneous debris and wood cleared, the men folk headed outside with their power tools to cut the shelves down. They swear they measured things first, but I wasn't there so I'm still skeptical.


The shelves for each closet were lined up next to them because they weren't all the same cut- there is a pipe running down the left hand closet so those shelves needed an extra wedge taken out, and the weird hatch forced us to make 2 half shelves for that closet.


While Matt's dutiful friend went ahead with installing the shelves, Matt started to sort through his massive 4,000+ collection.


With all those unsteady stacks of movies, we decided it would be best to give Dutch a bone to occupy himself with.


You can see here we decided not to bracket the shelves but rather to put smaller wood rests into the side walls instead- the movies aren't creating enough weight that there needs to be a middle brace. Once everything is painted and ready to go we will screw the shelves into the wedges, but for now they're just resting on top.

There are 6 shelves in each of the first two closets, and then the third closet has 2 full shelves and 2 half shelves. Things got filled in quickly!


Luigi jumped on the rare opportunity to join us downstairs- because the couch has leather sides there's normally no cats allowed but we were far too busy going up and down the stairs with boxes and wood planks to worry about it.


Here's where we left off for the night! The shelves will fit all of our movies, but there are still two or three boxes with collections and limited editions that will be placed in other areas around the room. The big wicker baskets are my contribution to the room- as awesome as it is to have a finished basement we are strapped for storage so one of these holds extra blankets and the other hold dog and cat supplies.


And I just can’t hide it

Tomorrow will be a BIG DAY in our little green house. HUGE. Like, creating the reason we bought the house huge. And luckily, I will be at work during the construction of it so I don’t pick and bother and freak out a midst the construction mess.

Let’s back up for a second to this little known fact: I bought this house without Matt seeing it or giving it any stars of approval. He was at work and I didn’t expect to like it, and then when I fell in love with it we had to move fast because it was a short sale. He didn’t see anything but the outside from a car window until the inspection, and during the inspection the homeowner was running a day care out of her living room so it was absolute madness. I thought he was going to kill me. However, the basement is the reason I knew it would all be ok.

Our house has a semi-finished basement with a den area and a half bath that is (in my opinion) to die for. Together, Matt & I own close to 4,000 DVDs and Blu Rays and before moving they were all in my living room. Which may explain why there are no electronics of any kind allowed in my living room now.  The den area has 3 built in closets which we will be converting into DVD shelving. Here’s the MLS pictures of the area:

Why they kept their clothes with their paint is really beyond me…

Real neat freaks, huh?


Tomorrow Matt and one of his handy friends are going to take measurements, buy wood and brackets, and (at least begin to) install shelving in all 3 closets. You will be able to stand inside each one to browse through the collection! Ahh! We’re also going to put tap lights in there so they can be illuminated.

Once the shelves are in, we’ll be buying a new tv stand and installing the rest of our speakers (currently 4 of I think 7 are out and about). Then finally, next summer we will install wall-to-wall carpeting (once we go through all the seasons and are sure there are no leaks/floods).  It’s a real hidden gem down there.

Wish us luck!

You can’t put a box around it

Welcome to 2012! I have plans for so many things this year… once the dog is house trained and no longer teething. But in the meantime, there’s lots of small projects we can divide and conquer!

This past week Matt worked on patching up the holes in our kitchen ceiling where our old lights used to be, since over a month ago we got recessed lighting installed. Yes, it has taken over a month to get around to spackling a few ceiling holes. Progress these days is S-L-O-W. Tomorrow morning he’s going to sand the patches now that they’re totally dry, then we’ll just need a fresh coat of paint and the kitchen ceiling will be done!

I have moved on from rug mania because we just have so many other things we’d prefer to put our money towards right now. Such as finally adding shelves to the built in closets in the movie room. Next week we will be taking measurements and purchasing wood and brackets to get cracking on this and I absolutely can’t wait. We have hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of DVDs and Blu Rays just sitting in boxes in the guest room and I want them OUT OF THERE and into the basement where they belong. Luckily this should be a 1-2 day DIY project that Matt and his handy buddies can take care of. However, we had planned to have this project finished by the end of October, so you never know.


And while Matt’s busy organizing his power tools and thinking about 2×4’s, I am starting to work on a gallery wall for my living room. The wall next to our built in shelf is so bare and lonely, and it would look awesome covered in fancy old black and white frames with art and photos- all also black and white.

Today I’ll be picking up 2 prints from Walgreens, one piece of graphic art and one picture I edited into black and white. I’ve got another piece already purchased as well, so that’s 3 total!


In addition to having 5-6 pieces of framed work on this wall, I want to throw in some depth by maybe mixing in a small ceiling medallion, our last name letters… overall I’m going for something similar to:


We’ll see how it turns out!