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Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

New HardwareWe’ve been doing more updates around the house and really, the details are what make any project come to life, right? Out with the old (the 80’s) and in with the new (clean-lined, chrome hardware) is what we’re trying to accomplish in this house and we’re doing it room by room. Next week I hope to show you the whole thing but for now, follow along on Instagram and Facebook for more updates as we continue our progress!

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Yesterday we celebrated a fun milestone – three years in our second house! Happy 3 year housiversary to us! And yes, I’m making that word up and I’m okay with it.

Happy 3 Years to the houseWe have come a long way, especially the front yard. The first weekend we lived here we (with the help of our family) ripped out the massive Bradford Pear tree that was sucking water away from our Oak trees and we ripped out the oversize hedges that lined the walkway to the house. I love it so much more now – lots of small rose bushes along the walkway, hostas along the front porch and you can actually see the front door!

For a list of the projects we’ve done so far on the house, check out this post. We have more to go but its fun to look back on where we started!

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We finally have one room completely, for real, not changing except for the decorations, finished in the house! It is the entryway, so it isn’t the largest or most exciting room, but it is finished and I love it!

Entryway UpdateThe dark picture on the left is what the entryway looked like on the day we got the keys to the house. That tile…I forgot how terrible it was! The ceiling was the same color as the walls and the moldings were ‘white.’

The much lighter and much happier picture on the right is what the room looks like today. The new wood floors and molding around the opening to the dining room definitely help but that light fixture brings it all up to date as well – isn’t it great?

Crate and Barrel Light FixtureThe Finley Small White Pendant is from Crate & Barrel and was a family affair to get it in our house. Conner’s parents gave it to me for Christmas and my dad installed it this past weekend – they both saved me a ton of money on buying this and having it installed! Even after the new paint on the ceiling, moldings and walls, this light fixture really made the entryway more modern and flow with the rest of the house much better.

Entryway After2The mirror on top of the painted buffet was a nice way to judge how low the pendant should hang. There was a ton of extra wire that we had to cut to make the light hang just right so we measured several times and hoped for the best once we hung the pendant. It worked out and is the perfect height for the room.

Entryway UpdateEach time we update a room, I’m always surprised by how little can make such a big impact. While the new wood floors are a definite plus, paint and a new light fixture were the biggest visual updates to this small area!

Now the floors in the dining room? They were a huge update and I will show you that before and after in the next couple of weeks.

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I guess the real title of this post should be Fireplace Update but since our living room is focused around our fireplace, it is really an update on our living room. This weekend, I came across the photos of our house on the day we moved in and couldn’t believe what our living room and fireplace used to look like!

On the left, our fireplace on June 25, 2010 (closing day). On the right, our fireplace this weekend (October 2012). What a difference, right? I love how much bigger this room feels with the white brick and lower/bigger mantel. For a recap on what we did here, check out this post.

Before you say it, I’ll say it first – I realize I still have the summer decorations on the mantel. I’m not sure I’ll have time to decorate for fall this year so this might stay like this until its time for stockings and garlands. I feel like such a rebel without my pumpkins!

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Our hallway bar cabinet houses our extra and special glasses. Our everyday glasses are in the kitchen but this is the perfect spot for those glasses we use when company is over! It was once a desk nook but we have turned it into a nook for entertaining.

This is where we started two years ago and where we are now. I am so glad I took a ton of pictures the day we closed! It is really fun to look back and see what we were attracted to and how we’ve made it our own. The green room was their dining room that we turned into our second living room. I still love our navy spray painted bar cart!

With the help of Conner’s dad, we easily ripped out the desk. It was a pretty quick process and didn’t damage the wall except for a small spot – very lucky. You can see how the floor polish didn’t make it to this spot when the brick was laid. Luckily we ripped those out so you can’t see it anymore!

Once the wood floors were finished, we painted the walls and the cabinet. Originally, I wanted to replace the doors completely and change it up (remember when I couldn’t make up my mind and needed your help?) but then I realized it was easier to just paint the doors and put on new hardware. Give Conner props – he painted them on his own when I was at a fundraiser!

Since you would still be able to see inside, I wanted to jazz up that space as well. I gathered these supplies, looked at this tutorial and got to work.

I measured the inside of each shelf and cut the cardboard down to size. Unfortunately the shelves are not removable so painting them and measuring them for this to fit was not the easiest. Luckily, the glasses were going to cover most of it and the doors will be closed so it is not perfect by any means! I think in some spots, I just ripped away the cardboard when it wouldn’t cut…definitely not a straight line on these panels!

As I finished each section, I placed (read = shoved) the fabric-wrapped panel into the back of the cabinet. It really confused Conner when I was painting the inside and only painted the shelves and sides. This step was his “Oprah aha-moment.” So funny when you can see something in your head but can’t explain it until it happens. I was loving it already and couldn’t wait to finish!

The next update was hardware. The old stuff was not pretty. It was total 80’s and needed a little upgrade into the modern era. These euro bar pulls from myknobs.com were just the right touch. I made sure to find something that fit in our original holes and sure enough – they fit like a glove!

At first, I couldn’t stand the metal on the glass but once the new hardware was on, it instantly made the metal brighter and shinier! I love it now. It works perfectly with the chrome pulls.

Once the hardware was on, it was time to brighten up the inside and highlight our pretty glasses. There are 4 LED lights in these shelves and they work perfectly! Each has an on/off button and once on, automatically shut off after 30 minutes. I put two on the top shelf to reflect down and the other two are on the wall on the left side to shine across. They simply stick to the side with adhesive and twist apart for easy battery replacement. Love! (And no, I don’t paint the inside of my cabinet doors. The secret’s out!)

I love how the lights reflect in the glassware and highlight the fun fabric in the back. I wanted to make sure the greens and blues we have in the rest of the house flowed into here and this was the perfect way to do that! I don’t have a link to this fabric – I actually found it at a local fabric store. Let me know if you are local and want to know where!

Here is one last look at our before and after. In total, we spent $100 for this project, which is more than I wanted to spend but the lights took up most of that amount and were totally worth it (they were $14/each – whoa, mama!).

Next up in this space? Some wine storage next to Conner’s kegerator!

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I finally finished another project for our dining room! Each time I mark another item off of my to-do list for this room, I get so excited about being that much closer to a finished, complete room. Hopefully soon I will be able to show you the true before and after pictures of the whole room!

There are many tutorials on how to re-upholster a chair seat, but this is how I do it. I hope you find it informative and easy to follow!

Remember the fabric I showed you? I love it and am so happy with how much better it makes our chairs look. The best part of this project is that it is cheap and easy so when I’m tired of this fabric, I can easily change it out. I ordered 2.5 yards for this project, but only needed 1.25. I love having leftover fabric to use when I want!

Here are the supplies I used: a flathead screwdriver to take the seat off of the chair, a compressor with staple gun attached (thanks mom!), extra staples, batting and fabric (not pictured). If you don’t have an air compressor, a regular staple gun will work just fine! The ones attached to an air compressor just make it faster and easier to do this project.

To begin, remove the seats from the chairs using a screwdriver.

A little background on our dining room table and chairs: the leather on these seats is original to this set and while beautiful in its own right, blends into the wood and I needed a little more pizzazz for our dining room. When my parents gave me this dining room set, the only conditions were that I couldn’t paint the wood and I couldn’t remove the leather. It was my great-great uncle’s and was given to my parents as a wedding gift. When we moved to this house, my mom used it as the perfect opportunity to give it to us so she could get a larger table and more chairs for their house. We were happy to help her!

Next, cut out a square of fabric and batting making sure there is enough on each side to wrap around and staple to the back of the seat.

Starting on one side, staple the batting and fabric to the back of the seat. It is easiest to do one staple per side so if the fabric isn’t sitting right for you, you only have to take one staple out as opposed to five or six. As you move around the seat, make sure the batting and fabric are pulled tight but not stretching the fabric too thin. You don’t want the fabric to gape and move but don’t want it to look like it might rip apart from being too tight.

The corners are a little tricky at first, but if you play around with the fabric enough, you can get them to lay the way you want. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this, it just depends on how you want it to look. I used two small folds to get the fabric to lay as flat as possible and put a staple in the corner where all of the folds met.

Here is a look at the original chair and the updated chair. It only took several minutes to do each chair and seeing these two next to each other made me very happy with the decision to give them a little update.

I love how these turned out! The extra color and pattern helps pep up the first room you see in our house. All it took was about 30 minutes to complete this project. No paint, no sanding, no nothing – easy peasy and a perfect weeknight project to keep me motivated on my quest to get this room finished!

Isn’t it crazy to see how this room and the chairs used to look? Very blah and beige. Obviously knocking down the wall and putting wood floors down helped but a lighter color paint and adding color to the chair seats helps so much!

This room is really coming together – finally! I love how light and bright and fun it feels.

Still left on the to-do list? Re-upholster Conner’s grandmother’s chairs, find something to hang on the wall above the buffet, move the chandelier (the light box is not centered on the ceiling so we need to get an electrician out to fix this – why you would install something off-center I’ll never know) and paint/accessorize my grandmother’s curio cabinet that she gave us. Do you have the problem of a never-ending to-do list? Every time I finish one project, three more are added!

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The floors are finished! The floors are finished! The floors are finished! Yes, I could run around our neighborhood screaming this at the top my lungs. I have been waiting for this project since we moved in and I am ecstatic, thrilled and in love with the results!

I’m really happy I have this blog to document our renovation. It is so much fun to look back and see what has been done to our house! Hopefully I’ve explained everything below and/or in the previous posts about our progress, but if you have any questions or need more details, please email me! I would be happy to share whatever I can.

This is where we started, only three short weeks ago. Surprise to you all – we left after we made some holes in this wall and covered everything with plastic to move in with my parents in Stillwater. That’s right, we commuted and carpooled for 2.5 weeks so we wouldn’t have to live through the mess of this project. Whew – I am very happy to have my freedom and own car back!

Seriously though, we are really lucky they had no problems letting us, plus the dogs, invade their space! What would we do without supportive parents? (This is why the posts on the floors have been random and sporadic – we didn’t see the progress every day so I only got to post when we came by after work to take pictures and see updates.)

This is a close-up of our beautiful new wood floors. Did you know that flooring could be so gorgeous? I had hoped, but didn’t really know, until these 3.25″ wide planks of oak were brought into my life. I loved just the raw wood stage but after being sanded and cleaned off, then stained with the color “Antique Brown” and given several coats of a satin, industrial-strength polyurethane, I love them even more. There is a nice sheen to the floors but they aren’t too glossy – just perfect!

Side note: I don’t know the brand our contractor used for the stain or polyurethane, but if you are interested, email me and I will find out for you!

I’ve always hated how the hallway and the side of the living room were constantly dark but now all we see is sweet, glorious light! Tons of morning light floods into the living room now, thanks to the removal of the dining room wall. I am obsessed! It makes the commuting, the dust and the dirt so worth it to see something this wonderful.

The floors are just stunning! I love that the wood is continuous from our front door all the way to the back door in the laundry room and back to our bedroom as well. The house seems 10x larger than before and looks just incredible. The removal of the wall and putting in these new floors did wonders for this space. Seriously, the pictures don’t do it justice. When we got back from Stillwater, we moved in to a new house!

This is a picture of our breakfast nook, the weekend we were packing it all up. This brick tile is the infamous McDonald’s tile and didn’t look good. It got really scratched up the moment we moved in and never looked nice. I wasn’t sad at all to lose any of this!

Now the floors are like butter (or, butt-ah) and look perfect in this space! The white cabinets pop off of the dark wood and look exactly how I’ve been picturing it from the beginning. The white baseboards just got put back on (I’ll have updated pictures of that very soon) and they are fabulous against the wood!

Fun new project – I’ve finally decided that since I don’t like the wall color in the kitchen, I’m repainting it all. Yup, that’s right. I haven’t ever been really happy with it, it has always been too yellow instead of soft tan that I was going for, so I decided that now was the time to get it done! Our floors are too great to have a not-so-great wall color. I’m crazy, its okay.

We have had some casualties during this process. Several areas and dings like these can be found on our cabinets and painted baseboards. Totally okay though, some paint will make it all like new again! I found out we used the wrong type of paint in this area (the shine is too flat and doesn’t clean easily, very annoying) so again, it is the perfect opportunity to clean this project up as well. Told you, I’m crazy!

Luckily you can’t see all of the dings and scratches from a distance and hopefully the pretty floors distract your gaze, so if you come over before I get it all repainted, don’t judge. We are not a perfect house so come in with a judgement-free attitude and just like my favorite quote from the movie, Bridesmaids, “be happy for me and then go home and talk about me behind my back like a normal person.” Hah!

This is what it used to look like when you came over for dinner at our house. You were trapped in the boring, beige room! Or, if you came over for a party you most likely missed this room and walked on by to the living room. Several people have told us they forgot we had a dining room because you don’t notice it when sitting in the living room or kitchen!

I love nice dining rooms and definitely want you to notice our room, so removing this wall makes it all so much better for everyone! You won’t be trapped or feel removed from the house when you come over for dinner. When we have parties, we can use this table as the food table and open up a ton of space in our kitchen. The possibilities are endless!

That sunlight in the top corner of the living room just gets me! This was taken at 8:45 a.m. and made me so giddy. I kept watching it get brighter and bigger and light up this room, so cool! We love natural light and like to keep lights off until it really gets dark so this new found light is perfect for us.

Wow – what a difference three weeks make! Here is the progress with links to the posts: 1)The original before. 2)The dining room wall was removed. 3)The floors came up and demo got really serious. 4)Plywood was laid to even out the floors and make them all level. 5)The raw wood went in. 6)The wood was sanded, stained and given two coats of polyurethane to create a beautiful floor.

The baseboards and casings on the wall openings are in and really make it all look more finished. A cleaning team is coming in (my first time to have someone else clean for me – SO excited!) and they are going to scour our house from top to bottom…then I can get to work painting! The casings, baseboards, dining room walls, dining room ceiling, hallways, moldings and hallway ceilings all have to be painted and I am ready to make it all look the way it looks in my head. It won’t be fun but the result will be!

Linking this to:

Home Stories A2Z

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