Upstairs Hallway - Work in Progress

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Over the Thanksgiving break, I started on the upstairs hallway before I begin work on the second phase of the kiddos bedrooms.  I know, waaaay behind on my schedule. 

Yes, I loathe popcorn texture.  You probably already knew that if you have read the blog at any point in the last month.  Now there are only two rooms left upstairs (both bathrooms) left to do.  Don't worry, I'm not going to skip around and start on those right now.  I'm saving the bathrooms until next year.  I think.  hahaha

The top two pictures are of the ceiling before I scraped.  The bottom right is after and the bottom left is with a wet coat of primer.

Then, I installed these lights that match the energy saving ones I installed in the downstairs hallway in the spring.  The light is a bit brighter than normal fixtures because of the bulbs, but it is a hallway.  I don't need mood lighting in my hallway.  Do I?

I started to paint the walls yellow, but soon decided I didn't like it.  I usually LOVE yellow when I see it in anyone else's home, but when I try it I always end up hating it.  PS The khaki color was the starting point but it needed an update.

So, I started to repaint the walls white just like the square molding wall on the stairs.

I think this is the first time I have ever painted a wall white.  And not just any fancy color, oh no!  This is Bright White (semi-gloss).  I've been using it on all the trim and for some reason thought - Why Not?  These walls are hard to keep clean with the little guys handprints, scuff marks and bumps.  I figured I'd always have this bright white on hand to touch up if I couldn't wash the dirt from the semi-gloss paint.

As you can see, I started to replace the trim around the doors to a thicker, plain board with a large board overtop (see the left door next to the double doors).  I did this on all the doors on the first floor and liked the way it looked.  I still need to add the 1x2 top plate, but I'll do that next week when I change out the rest of the trim on the bedrooms and the closet and the window. 

But, I need your feedback.  I've always been a fan of white trim, white doors and white handrails, but now I think I want to change it. 
Reason #1 - Since I have to repaint the doors to update them from the off-white builder whiter anyway, I am thinking I may change them.
Reason #2 - A dark color handrail and door will help mask any dirt, scuffs, etc. (notice a trend)
Reason #3 - I think the dark contrast with the white would look dramatic, but in a classic way.

I thought of maybe doing an espresso handrail (maybe spindles) with matching painted doors.  Of course, I'll change out the brass fixtures to either a brushed silver or a bronze.

What do you think?  Keep it white or try espresso?  Have you painted your doors/handrails a different color than standard white or stain?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and any blog links with before and after pictures if you have seen any.

Here are a couple of pictures I found on Pinterest.  I do apologize I can't give photo credit.  I couldn't find the original source for the pictures.

Photo via Pinterest - Source not found yet

Photo via Pinterest - Source not found yet
Thanks for stopping by my friends,

Baseboards - Aka The Final Frontier

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I used the same floor baseboards around the door.

In my world, those last finishing touches are usually the most difficult for me to complete.  I'm usually trying to jump to another project when I am 90% done with one.  I don't know why I do it, but it is quite annoying.

Anyway, this year I made a promise to myself that I would not jump to a new project until I finish one completely...

Now Room #2 on the floor plan I had over here, is now finished. 

I think now that I'm using Bright White on my trim instead of the off white builder white, I'm going to go back and paint the doors to match.  And that will mean new hardware to get rid of that awful brass color.

Tomorrow night I will caulk the seams and fill the nail holes.  Then the next night I'll touch up paint the baseboards and all the wall scuffs.

Happy Dance!!! All the flooring is complete.

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Let's look back at my list of things to do LAST days later, it still isn't finished.

Checklist - Phase 1:
Scrape all popcorn ceiling (3 rooms)
Install hardwood floors (only room #2 left to do this weekend)
Paint all rooms (only room #2 left to do this weekend)
Baseboards and trim for rooms #2 & #4
Install new closet door guides on floor
Reinstall closet doors
Build 2 Bed Frames for older boys
Prime and paint bed frames for older boys (need a second coat)

Although I wanted to have phase one finished last weekend, I'd run into a few other tasks around the house that needed my attention and I couldn't focus solely on my list. I should know nothing ever goes to MY plan. Especially since I have no real concept of time. I always think everything will take 5 minutes.  Those DIY shows can build an entire room in 30 minutes, I should be able to do a simple list over a weekend - RIGHT?

Anyway, I was thrilled to put the last piece of hardwood floor into place this weekend. I mentally did a happy dance.  I didn't have the energy to actually do it. :)

Good news - I already have the baseboards in my garage painted. So, that last item on the list is halfway there.

Here is what happened this weekend:
Final Closet - Complete and waiting for the baseboards.

Slight hour+ delay. 
There was a warped board in the second row to last row, so I had to pull up two rows and start over. 
As I was enjoying that little fun event, I found a wall full of drywall pieces where the builder must have had to do a repair.  Instead of throwing away the section of drywall he decided to add it into the wall.   
While I was over there, I marked the wall where the pipes and the metal plates were on the wall so I know where to nail the baseboards.
Shopped to find the little cubbies and bedding for the older boys.

All rooms had the closet doors (and new guides) reinstalled.
Even if I can't do everything I plan, I'm still pleased with myself for knocking things off the list.  Hmmm, I wonder now if I could have finished if I would have used my time to install the baseboards instead of baking two batches of cookies for the kiddos?  We will never know.

I'd love to install the baseboards in the evenings this week after work, but we will see how that goes.

I hope you had a fun weekend!  Stay tuned for more updates on the rooms and the final four simple wood projects I'm getting back to doing this month.

Karen :)

Prep Work for Fun Wall Accent

Pin It Tonight (while the last box of wood floor acclimates to the house) I prepped a fun accent wall in my son's room. I was going to paint stripes or circles, but I wanted to try something a bit different.

Do you like the before picture?  Obviously it takes many tries to find the right color.
 While looking in the Restoration Hardware children catalog last week for new bedding, I found this cool drop cloth accent wall piece. I thought it would look amazing in my son's room. However, we have to think and rethink everything we do in his room due to his autism. If we hang something like this on his wall, chances are very likely he will have it ripped off in less than an hour. He has a funny little habit of collecting all the pillows, blankets and sometimes curtains from around our house.

Restoration Hardware Photo

Instead, I am going to design a wall accent like this with paint I already have on hand. Since it will be attached to the wall, he can't remove it.

Tonight (even though it is pitch black outside at dinnertime) I was able to drag myself from the warm couch and painted a square on the wall with the left over paint from the other boy room I just finished.

Tomorrow night I'll draw out the pattern and paint the first color. I have almost every color of the rainbow of paints, so the hardest part will be picking which colors to use.  Hmmmm, now that I'm looking at the inspiration photo...maybe I should have used the beige colors. 

Thoughts? Have you painted a fun accent wall? 

Hardwood Floors

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If you have ever installed your own flooring, you will know how completely exhausting it can be. 
Over the past few years, we have ripped out over 2,100 square foot of builder grade vinyl flooring and yards of beige carpet and pad....and billions of staples.  We installed travertine, ceramic and hardwood floors in the entire house.  Well, technically my husband does most of the demo and I do most of the installation - so I say we when it comes to flooring projects.

Not only is installing your own floors very rewarding and money saving, it is an excellent workout.  Twenty-four hours later I'm still sore, but it is a great feeling.

I know a few people think I'm crazy to not have carpet in the bedrooms, but I'm a fan of simple, classic looks and cozy area rugs (and a few dust bunnies).

The final room!

Here is after the carpet and pad was ripped out. 
Then the felt paper was installed.

And oh-so-close to finishing...until I ran out of wood!

But, look at the completed side.  It makes it worth the effort. 
(Note - Can't install the basebooards until the floor is finished)

So, what do you think?  Do you prefer carpet or hardwood?

The Great Bedroom Room Switch of 2011

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If you follow on facebook, you would know things are moving and shaking in the house right now. AND really, really messy as we are moving four kids in three different rooms. Everyone is getting a new room, new hardwood floors and a new paint color.

Shocking as it sounds, they all picked very neutral walls in the "grey color" family.  A big change from the cobalt blue rooms and pink/purple room. 

The oldest two boys share a room and were in room #2, but as you can see by the layout it isn't a great room for two beds if you need any other furniture. They are moving into room #3. There are three whole walls in that room for them to use.

And my daughter is moving from room #3 into room #4 which has a larger closet.

And that leaves room #2 for our youngest son.

Confused yet? Don't worry, I've added the floor plan below.

No project ever goes as smoothly as I think it will when I first start to plan it. I mean, how could it?

However, I wanted to have phase 1 completed this weekend so I could have two weekends to rebuild my pantry and laundry room before the family comes over on Thanksgiving. I don't think I'm going to finish!

Checklist - Phase 1:
Scrape all popcorn ceiling (3 rooms)
Install hardwood floors (only room #2 left to do this weekend)
Paint all rooms (only room #2 left to do this weekend)
Baseboards and trim for rooms #2 & #4
Install new closet door guides on floor
Reinstall closet doors
Build 2 Bed Frames for older boys
Prime and paint bed frames for older boys (need a second coat)

Phase 2 -
Build Bed Frame (platform) for youngest son
New ceiling fans/lighting for all three rooms
Build desk for older boys
New closet organizer for older boys
Decorate, Accessorize and figure out what else needs to be done

Here are a few before pics and progress pics:

This was the color of room #3 (before)
Built 2 bedframes, primed and one coat of paint (using room #2 as a painting room)
Original color of both boy rooms, see the ceiling has been scraped and the carpet removed
New color of room #3 and the during of the bedframe
I'm going to need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to finish this weekend.  Wish me luck!  :)