Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

When we saw the tile out of the house this week, I was giddy! Progress was being made and our McDonald’s tile was gone. Let me tell you a little story about this tile…

We sold our old fridge to the person who purchased our last house. So when we moved into this house, we had to get a new fridge.

Side note: This house was built in the 1980’s and had low cabinets above the area for the fridge. Did you know there are literally only two different kinds of refrigerators that now fit in spaces like this? We decided on one and purchased it from Lowe’s since they were having an amazing 4th of July sale. (bonus points – they delivered it the same day!)

Back to the story…the two guys who delivered our fridge brought it in and set it all up without a problem. When one of the guys looked down to our floors, he made an off-hand comment that went like this, “oh great floor! Did you know that McDonald’s uses the same tile in their kitchens?” My reaction on the outside went something like this, “oh, really? That’s funny.” And on the inside, I was thinking something like this, “son of a. Get out of my kitchen, now!”

Fast forward 19 months and this is what the floor looks like now. I am ecstatic! Concrete floors are so much better than McDonald’s tile.


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Today was Day 5 of demolition. I’m counting Sunday as Day 1 since we did take a few shots in the wall and we had to tape everything up to protect it from the dust and debris that was about to start flying. I went by at lunch to check everything out…oh, and give our contractor a check for the wood floors. We are a chaos-living, check-writing machine right now!

This is what I walked into today. Holy moly! I knew it was going to be crazy and there would be a lot of dust but I wasn’t expecting an outdoor construction site. The hallways of our house are brick. Like, real brick. The patio that is in the front? It continues on inside and onto our hallways. Crazy!

This is the view from the corner of our living room, facing the front of the house. I can completely ignore the plastic-covered furniture, the torn up flooring and the dust everywhere because all I see is light. I’ve seen the light people and it is fabulous! The gray part of the wall in the right corner of the picture has never seen this much light. I love it!

It is so weird for me to see this second living room (aka Conner’s man room) as just a slab of concrete. The hallways were real brick, the kitchen was brick tile and the second living/dining rooms were carpet; aka three levels of flooring! Our contractor will be using plywood to level out the hallways to make them even with the other floors so we can have one continuous line of wood.

This is the heavy-duty, serious jack hammer that was being used when I walked in. It is one bad mother-shut-your-mouth and to be honest, I would love to try to use it! By try to use it, I of course mean take about 20 seconds to see how it would control me instead of me controlling it and then hand it back over to the professionals.

I loved seeing our “McDonald’s tile” out of the house! Have I told you that story? I’ll have to write a post about it this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle as much as the next person who had too much fun the night before but in general with this flooring news, me = not happy.

The best news of the day was when I saw that our wood (specifically 2 1/4″ oak, stained antique brown) would butt up against, and be level with, our living room carpet. None of us had any clue what we would find until all of the floors were up so this is GREAT news! It reduces the amount of leveling we would have to do and there won’t be any transition pieces acting as a reducer from the higher floor to the lower floor. Instead, we will be using a normal, mini transition piece to go from one floor material to the next.

This is the view from the hallway leading to our bedrooms, looking back to the main part of the house. Tomorrow the contractors will finish tearing out this brick and get the house cleaned out. Saturday they will level the floors with the plywood and then start installing the wood floors on Monday – yes!

When I showed this picture to Conner, he had to figure out where he was in the house. Hah! We are still getting used to that wall being down and seeing the house with almost no flooring – so much different from Sunday morning!

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It feels like forever since I’ve been talking about, thinking about or planning for the demolition of our dining room wall that separates that room from our living room. Technically, it has been 19 months and 20 days (since that’s how long we’ve lived in this house) but it feels like forever.

Last month I talked about what I didn’t like in this room. You can see a bunch of examples written on the photo but the main problem was the wall and the fact that it blocked so much natural light from our living room. I was more than ready to see it go!

When we walked into our house tonight, this is what we saw! To simply say, “I was excited,” is a complete understatement. I’m not sure how I can express it to you. I screamed, I got really giddy and was jumping all around…maybe those images help define how I was feeling after work today?

The light!! Sweet, sweet natural light. It already makes everything seem so much bigger and better even though we still have a long way to go here. We couldn’t get rid of the whole wall, the ceilings are lower in the dining room than in the hallways so we needed to leave support, but it still makes such a huge difference!

Here is another picture of the room before today. I am standing in the corner, next to the window and looking toward the living room/kitchen/entryway…

Here is the room, from the same angle, today! You can see the living room, entryway and the openings to the kitchen. I am obsessed and ready for the rest of the demo to be complete. That plastic isn’t the best look for our house, it kind of stresses me out to see it, so lets move on.

I’m standing in the doorway from the kitchen to the living room in this picture. The front of the house gets so much more light than the back and we just knew that opening up that wall would help lighten up this room that seems constantly dark.

SO MUCH BETTER!! Seriously. I don’t think I could even imagine how much this would change-up our house and how much I would love it like this. Even with the mud and sheet rock that has yet to be textured and painted, it still looks so much better than before.

Here is a before and after comparison that I have condensed into one picture (I love the iPhone apps that do this!). It is just crazy to me how much I already love this new look! We still have a way to go – demo on the floors, new wood floors installed, casings on the openings of the walls, crown molding and then new paint on almost everything. Luckily the work is being done for us (except for paint – hard to hire that out when it is easy enough to do ourselves) so this process is a lot more fun when done as a spectator!

Demo on the floors starts tomorrow – I can’t wait to see the progress!

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Jane from Urban Jane stopped by last week to check out the spray painted bar cart. She liked it so much, she featured it on her blog today! Thanks, Jane. I’m so happy you liked it! Please take a moment to stop by her website and see some other really cool projects she has featured today.

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It is snowing outside right now and even though it might delay our house project, I would love a snow day tomorrow. We worked on the house all weekend and I’m exhausted!! I need a snow day to recoop. We did a ton of prep work to get ready for the real demo that will take place starting tomorrow but of course had to have a little fun for ourselves first.

We got a bunch of plastic drop cloths and covered everything we could to help reduce the amount of dust and debris that will be everywhere. I know that you can’t avoid it all but maybe we can help control it a little bit!

We didn’t want to have a bunch of boxes everywhere so the cabinets are still filled but are now covered to help dust from getting on plates, glassware, etc. Again, it might not be perfect but hopefully we keep a majority of the dust from settling on every little nook and cranny in the house.

Luckily our two extra bedrooms are pretty empty so we were able to fit most of our smaller furniture and decorative items in these rooms. It was a pain, but we did it as organized and arranged as possible. The drawers of the buffets were emptied, carried into the bedrooms, and then loaded up again so it wouldn’t be so chaotic and clustered in each room.

And now for the main event…

We took out a little agression on the wall coming down and it was a blast! I was proud of myself for swinging the hammer and not letting it fly away or hit anyone else. (I’m definitely not known for my ahtletic/coordination skills!) I didn’t use any video because we didn’t have a big sledgehammer so it wasn’t as dramatic as you would want to see but it was still a lot of fun with our regular hammer! The only tricky part was watching out for electrical wires and studs.

Once the first hole to the other side was made, I had to try and fit my face in the space. What a thrill to see little bits of light shining through! It makes me even more excited to see how open and light this space will be once the whole thing is down.

My brother, Chris, and his girlfriend came over for a little demo fun as well. They thoroughly enjoyed getting to whack away and make a mess. Maybe that’s why we were also having so much fun – the mess! It is going to get a whole lot worse so we didn’t have to clean anything up. My first reaction was to get a broom and start sweeping – I’m a clean freak!

Conner got home just in time to stick his face through the bigger hole that we had made. He took a couple of kicks to the wall and got out his frustrations from not getting to see the final day of the PGA Pro-Am today – hah!

This is how we left it…like that smily face? Chris had fun getting that one done. My mom came over and got some really good kicks in with her foot. She enjoyed it so much, maybe a little too much, and I wish I had gotten a picture! I know our contractor is really ready to get in there and do the main demo. He said it’s his team’s most favorite part of doing a project – I totally get that now!

If the roads aren’t too bad tomorrow, the wall will come down and the first layer of mud will be put on. Tuesday is mudding/texturing day 2 and Wednesday the demo on the floors starts! What a fun week. We will be taking lots and lots of pictures and I’ll update as much as possible. Pending no delays, this whole project (floors, wall, trim/casings, etc) will be finished in 3 weeks – I can’t wait!

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I’m back with another spray paint before and after! This one was a lot quicker and easier than the bar cart but just as much fun since I used chalkboard spray paint on a regular mirror.

Not only did I do another spray paint project, but it is another piece from a grandmother – this time, mine! This mirror was the perfect size for the end of our cabinet that houses the oven and microwave in our kitchen.

I love the shape and the detail on the frame, but the brassy gold plastic wasn’t our style. We also already have a mirror in here (remember the one I did with corks? It is across the kitchen from this area) so we didn’t need another one. I had chalkboard paint leftover from another project so I decided to use it for this!

First, I painted two coats of primer on the whole mirror – frame and all. You can see in this picture that the mirror part is still glossy and glassy. This will go away after the second coat!

After the primer dried, I sprayed two coats of chalkboard paint on the mirror. I did the inside first because I figured it would be easier to cover up this part while spraying the frame. (Hindsight? It didn’t really matter, I still have touch-ups to do.)

I used newspaper and Green Frog tape to cover the chalkboard paint while spraying the frame with a gray spray paint. I should have been more careful about how I taped it off and need to go back to do some touch-ups on the edge but I’m trying not to stress out about it…trying…

Once the whole thing was dry, it was time to hang the new ‘mirror’ up! The trick for using an object you’ve just sprayed with chalkboard spray paint is to lightly color the whole area with chalk. This will prevent your first words from setting in and always showing on the newly painted surface.

And here she is! I love it so much. The color, the shape, the everything – it is exactly what I wanted and needed in this area. Right now, I have a partial to-do list written out. If you saw my real to-do list for our house, you might freak out. I can only look every once in a while – hah!

The one thing I wish I had included was magnetic paint. I would love to be able to hang a paper list on here as well as write in chalk but the price of magnetic paint is absolutely ridiculous! (no, you’re not seeing things. The last item on the list is to have a glass of wine. This is a must after doing these projects!)

Here is a final look at the before and after of this project. I love that something like an inexpensive mirror can turn into a fancy looking chalkboard! Let me know if you’ve ever tried something like this; I would love to see it.

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Conner’s grandmother, Memaw as we called her, was a very special lady and after she passed in July, we were fortunate enough to receive several of her very special furniture pieces! This bar cart was one of them and is something I’ve been itching to makeover since August. I got so excited and even blogged about it but then a week passed…months passed…fast-forward six months and I finally got it finished!

This is a very pretty bar cart and fit Memaw’s style but not our own. It was the perfect height for our second living room and was a great spot for a lamp and drink. It just needed a little more pizzazz to really fit our house.

I was waiting for the perfect, warm day to fix her up and last weekend we were blessed with some incredible last weekend in January weather. Max and Carl were having a blast running around while I worked my magic on this cart.

I saw this post on Tip Junkie about how to ‘easily’ strip brass using oven cleaner. Supposedly you spray on the cleaner, scrub on the brass and magically, chrome is exposed! Yeah…not so much. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed on one spot. What ‘magically’ appeared was green tarnish. Awesome! On to plan B…

I had primer leftover from another project so I decided the whole cart would be nice as a super high-gloss piece of furniture. I recently saw a coral high gloss bar cart in a local boutique and loved it! I didn’t think Conner would go for coral though since it is his ‘man room’ where the bar cart sits so off to Home Depot we went.

We looked through all of the colors they had to offer and Conner settled on navy gloss. Perfect! I already had 1.5 cans at home so we wouldn’t need much more. I put on the first coat and was skeptical about the color but liked the continuity between the wood tops and decorative metal pieces.

It took two coats of primer, three coats of navy and two coats of Polyurethane (the spray version is awesome!) and this is the final product. I love it!! More importantly, Conner really likes it as well. He didn’t want anything too girly and wasn’t sure about the super glossy look at first but thinks it looks great and loves it in his room – all the approval I need. 🙂

I used accessories we had around the house as well as things I have been collecting. The orange lamp was the first thing I ever spray painted from Goodwill – it was only $2! The silver tray is from a local restaurant supply store, the decanter on the right is from TJ Maxx and the decanter on the left was a Christmas present from Conner’s parents. The apothecary jar is from Hobby Lobby and is filled with the wine corks we continually collect. I usually empty a jar when it is full and do something fun with them but I like the way this looks so much, I think I’ll start another jar instead!

By using many, light coats of paint instead of just slathering a few coats on there, it built up the paint nicely and I was able to avoid all drips and runs. This was the first time I had ever used the spray polyurethane and I am very happy with the product. It was much easier to use on a piece like this with so many details and crevices – not sure I could have used a brush and coated it as well as the spray did!

I am so happy with the way this turned out! I have become a spray paint junkie but this time was my most favorite and most proud I’ve been on a spray painted object. Finding the perfect bar objects to use on here was a fun little challenge of shopping the house. Right now I’m set on the way it looks but I bet if you stop by in a month or so, this will look totally different!

I’ve collected some fun bartending books as well as party and entertaining books over the years and they work out great in this spot. The OSU silver ice bucket was a housewarming gift from a friend and we use it all of the time. Who knew we would use something like this? Obviously I didn’t or else it would have been on our wedding registry! The monogrammed beer mugs were a Valentine’s Day gift I gave to Conner when we were engaged and he uses them all of the time.

Here is one last look at the before and after of this very special bar cart. I love it! I’m thankful to Memaw for owning this and thankful for Conner’s parents for letting us have it. This was the perfect addition to our living room!

P.S. You can obviously see my photography skills are improving as I get more and more familiar with my new camera – that one of the left is dreadful! Sorry folks, thanks for still reading – hah!

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