Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bathroom - Part 7 - Covered

Bathroom progress, even if just a little project, is exciting. We had our radiator cover made and installed a couple of weeks ago, maybe more, however I'm just finding a moment now to post pictures.

I'm a bad, although well-meaning blogger.

Anyway, here it goes... If you can recall, the radiator left a lot to be desired... old and grimy, plus burning hot to the touch right next to the toilet - it just wasn't cutting it:
before = scary


the new addition

It's made a pretty big difference in the room:
Plus we had it over-sized in order to make it more centered underneath the window. Honestly, I wish I could tell you we broke out a miter box thingamajig and that other thing that bevels the edge of the wood, and toiled and sweat over it for a whole weekend.

But that didn't come close to happening! We do enough DIY around here, and a carpenter I am not, so we hired someone to make it.

I have a goal of finishing all the priming and painting of the wood work in the bathroom by tomorrow night. Even though it is already after 9 tonight, I am keeping my eye on the prize. And even though my better half just announced he was going upstairs to get comfy, I am going to persevere! And even though I've been working 10-11 hours in the office the past few days, well let's just say tomorrow's an early Friday so we'll see what happens!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Closet Crisis

Until recently, our bedroom closet had been a sorry sight:It's one of those things that creep up on you. Suddenly, we had too many clothes, too many shoes... Or did we?
And an unfair shelving system that left hardly any room to store anything but sloppily-tossed t-shirts...
When I couldn't take it anymore, I decided to get busy:
We separate the shelving - instead of one deep shelf along the back wall (everything would get lost back there!), we split the shelves into a "his" and "hers" side. Now he has a place for his tees and I have place to store handbags. Everybody wins!
And thanks to these shoes organizers from Lowe's:
A nice clean floor. Now we only have to try to keep it this way.

So far, so good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I knew it was going to happen:
old door with gigantic doorknob + freshly plastered wall + clumsiness =

One gigantic gaping hole.

I wanted one of the workmen to fix it, but he conveniently forgot to/selectively chose not to.*
Either way, I still had a huge ugly hole smack in the middle of my bathroom wall for a month or so and decided to take matters in my own hands.

John pointed out this awesome "Wall Span" thing they had at Lowes. I gathered together some other simple supplies we had on hand...
And went to work:
stick-on mesh wall-patch thingy

Added plaster:
Let it dry:
Once painted, shouldn't be noticeable!

And once I get one of these things in place, we should be home-free:
(we own, but have not used yet...)

It made me realize how easy some home repairs could be to do ourselves. I almost look forward to the day I can do this again (not really, but you know what I mean).

*One thing I've realized, if you tell a worker to do a,b,c,d,e,f and you are not there looking over their shoulder, they will most likely do a,b,c,d,e, and forget f. In some cases "f" might or might not be important, but it's always annoying nonetheless. This is the one factor that has propelled me into weekends filled with painting and other home projects. Honestly, if I can do it, I'll do it better than a professional, it's not an insult, it's just the nature of it. The problem is the things that I can do are extremely limited!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Floors, Glorious Floors

Came home Friday to the new floor! Just in case you may have forgotten, this is what our bedroom looked like before...


and this is the same corner after...

Those horrible borders between rooms...

...are now gone:

It is honestly such a relief to get this DONE!

We came home to
quite a mess Friday night. The floors looked perfect, but of course the rest of the house was in complete disarray. Dust all over the place, our mattress was downstairs in our living room, our clothes in the attic. Lots of miscellanea piled in the bathroom. We spent time on Friday night and Saturday putting furniture back, doing our laundry from the week, and touching up the paint on the bottom molding. I remade the bed with all new bedding that I was saving for such a transformation. It feels like a new house upstairs.

I attempted to get into that black-hole of projects today - the bathroom. Thought I would have the whole weekend to paint the room and settle on (and order!) a sink. No such luck. I managed to get some wood-filler in the little nail holes on the new trim, and used up my last bit of caulking in some other areas. But I ran out of caulking. No primer yet (much less paint!).

It seems everything takes a lot longer in real life than in my head. And after such a busy week, my head needed some rest, so I spent much of today napping. Whoops! Would you believe that in my wildest dreams, this weekend also included a shopping trip to Lowes, Marshalls, and Anthropologie? And also a day's-worth of backyard clean up with the hubster. HAHAHAHA. I somehow forget there are only so many hours in a day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sneak Peak

This is a sneak peak for me and for you. I tried to bend as far over our wet wood floor to get a shot inside the bedroom. So far it looks amazing - only one more day to go!

Then I will post some more proper photos!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Floor time

We are finally getting the second floor wood floors done this week!

Right now our bedroom floor looks ok, but it has an orange-y sheen that just isn't doing it for me:

Then there is our guest bedroom floor, which looks it might have, at one time, been a nice, finished floor, but now looks a little sorry:

Last comes our third bedroom, a grimy old mess:

It also doesn't help that the thresholds between all the rooms have been long gone, leaving behind a rainbow of wood finishes in each doorway:
The guest bedroom and third bedroom both had carpeting when we moved in. Our floor guy reassured us that the grimy mess left underneath the carpeting actually protected the wood floor from wear and tear and therefore will make for an easy sanding and refinishing.

So unlike the first floor, which received heavy foot traffic over the past 80 years, and required a new layer of oak (here and here), our second floor should be a much less invasive procedure.

It is kind of painful to have to pack everything up and move out of our bedroom for the next few days, but I think it will be well worth it! Will update with "after" pictures as soon as I can!

Friday, April 9, 2010

We interrupt our regular schedule... bring you a public service announcement:

Antibacterial soaps and cleaners are bad. period. Please read the article from EDF here.

Article via slowlovelife. Thanks for the heads up!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the Navy

Spent the better part of yesterday painting the guest room walls...

I have to say, the navy has completely transformed the room:

Wall paint is Benjamin Moore Aura "Kensington Blue" (Matte finish), ceiling and trim is Ben Decorator's White.

The closet/shelving area took an especially long amount of time to fix and paint, you can read more about that transformation

A reminder of how the room looked when we first moved in:




I can't tell you the relief I felt as I was painting over those leaves:

last little section of leaves! almost done!

Next week the floors are being refinished - can not wait!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

We had a great time yesterday, hosting our parents for our first Easter Sunday in our new home.

Today I'm back to work - painting the guest room navy blue! It's looking fabulous so far. Hope to post some more photos soon, but in the meantime, here's a look back at yesterday's Easter goodies...

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Doors - Part 2 - Demystifying the knob

I've already talked about our upstairs hallway here.

But we still needed to do lots more. For one, the door plates were all crudded up with paint like this:
(partly my fault)

Secondly, most of the doors in the hallway had only one coat of paint, or no paint, or only one side painted.

So I decided it was time to demystify the doorknob situation. I've been avoiding them like the plague since we took on the house. Hubby was in charge of the locks and doorknobs on the outside doors. Now it was my turn to face the music...

As it turns out, the main thing is - magically - just to unscrew everything!

At this point it's important to remember to put all the tiny screws in a "safe place" (i.e. in a container away from the work area, and flailing arms)

After removing the all this hardware, I ended up with a semi-flat surface:

Did a quick once-over sand to get rid of some of the old paint crud:

And painted the doors - both sides this time - with one or two coats of paint:

In the meantime, I took all the doorplates and lined them up in an old metal tray on the stove:

Boiled some water, poured it over and let it soak for an hour or so while I was upstairs painting the doors:

Then I ran each plate under hot water while I scrubbed the paint off with a nylon bristle brush - sometimes I had to use my finger nail too:
(Disclaimer: I was lucky that the paint was only around the outside edge and therefore pretty easy to remove. But I can imagine there is hardware out there that have many layers of old paint in all the fine grooves and to remove that might take a little more effort - I researched online and some go as far as to let their hardware cook overnight in a slow cooker.)

After all was dry, I was left with a clean set of doorplates:
I'm sure there are ways to polish the pieces, but I liked the old patina, so didn't go any further with it.

Now I was left to put everything back - this is where I am thankful to have put all those little screws in one safe place (and I also realize that by pointing this out I am turning into a mini-me of my parents).

Clean lines! So much better!

So now I can sleep easier, knowing that 5.5 of our 7 doors upstairs are freshly painted, clean and matching, and with views like this:
It makes a big difference!