Our Master Bathroom Reveal {Part II} The BLUE Shower

I was just SO excited about my post last week about the bathroom, I knew I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one single post and keep all your attention….or maybe I was so excited I couldn’t keep my OWN attention…hm, either way! I was excited and now I just wanted to expand on a couple of the individual projects within this little bathroom.

You all saw what we were working with…a BLUE shower.

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I will say that I am SUPER thankful that the prior owners had been kind enough to removed the matching sink and toilet. BUT, what the HECK do you do with a blue shower??? I started by looking into the cost of completely replacing it. My favorite store (Home Depot) sells a beautiful white insert, with glass, that would fit wonderfully into the corner, however, at $411.00,  that didn’t fit wonderfully into our budget! I’m just going to dive into a little side tangent here  – we want to live with our bathrooms “as-is” for now, but eventually have plans to do some reconstructing to create at least one larger, more usable bathroom for us – so, budget is VERY low. SO you might find yourself asking, “Where did the blue shower go???”. I am here to tell you! It’s pretty easy, takes a weekend, costs less that $30.00 plus a few brain cells, some pretty simple tools, a LOT of prep work and some patience.

As I scrolled through Pinterest I came across several blog posts that talked about this magic “Rustoleum Tub and Tile”, I was intrigued and read on. This particular post was my inspiration, if they could cover up that lovely maroon color, surely I could cover my blue! I was sold! I immediately ordered it (found here).

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As soon as it came in, I took a little jaunt down to the local hardware store and picked up the remainder of items I needed – 400 grit wet/dry sand paper, a couple of sponge rollers (I already had the handle) and a face mask (this is something I would normally skip, I’m kind of reckless and live on the edge!..but I knew how harmful the chemicals in this stuff would be, so I listened for once, but probably could have used a better one, womp womp..). The directions also called for lime away, I skipped this (and maybe I’ll pay for it in the end) and I’ll explain why.  Other things you may need, something to scrape with – I used a razor blade, a kitchen knife and a floor scraper like this, screw driver, paint tray, loud music and a weekend or at least 2 free(ish) days.

3 of my best friends in this process!

I started by disassembling the glass portion. I had NO clue what I was doing, haha! I was so worried everything was going to come crashing down on me at any point! I took out all the screws I possibly could, then I started pulling at different pieces (carefully), and sure enough it came apart. Let me just tell you (and show you, because I’m SO nice!) how disgusting this was…once I got down to the bottom pieces. All the grime and minerals had built up over the last 25 years and clogged the drain holes, the water no longer had a way to escape and just sat, stagnant and moldy. YUCK!

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I thought I was going to throw up at least 5 times. Good thing I was already in the bathroom! Once I removed each piece, and drained out the water, I walked them down to our other bathroom and set them in the tub. I knew there would be some intense cleaning involved. I continued on the shower by scraping off all the leftover sealer and silicone, along with the mold, grime, buildup, grossness! Around the outside of the shower stall and all inside. EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. There was a LOT! This took me the most amount of time, other than the waiting periods. I scraped with the scraper, the razor blade and the knife, whatever worked best! I had no concerns about scratching anything up because I knew it was just going to get covered! I also used my razor blade to scrape the walls of the shower (this is why I didn’t worry about using the lime away), there was a TON of built up gunk that came off. Once I felt like I had got it all, I used the sandpaper to rough up the entire shower stall. I was careful to try and get every last bit, knowing this would give the epoxy a good rough surface to adhere to.

Once the sanding was complete, I gave it a good wipe down. I wanted to be sure that there was no dust, dog hair, fuzzies or anything else that could get in the way of a beautiful finish. Lastly for prep work, I taped off the floor so I wouldn’t ruin the (not so terrible) tile.

And then I started with the epoxy! I put my nifty little respirator on, mixed the 2 part epoxy as directed, poured about 1/3 of it into a regular paint tray and began rolling. I was a little concerned with the coverage at first when I could still see the blue, but remembered from the post I had read, that it took a couple coats, so I pressed on! Once all the blue was covered (I was able to use to roller for all the nooks and crannies too), I wrapped up my roller in plastic (to keep it moist so I can use it again) and waited………I hate waiting…I’m impatient…my husband will attest to this. It’s also a good idea to have a window open during all of this. I had the window open which by the way, I chose the COLDEST day of the year to do this, it was -17 outside with wind chills of -31 (I didn’t think it would be important to check the weather report for an indoor project, ooops!

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Coat #1

I waited the recommended 3 hours. Went back, poured in another 1/3 of the remainder of the epoxy and started rolling. This was when I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it started to feel as though this was all for something! The only downside I experienced during this second coat was the roller had basically deteriorated from the epoxy being on it for so long causing the end to fall off, which then left a couple of little pieces behind in the epoxy as I rolled. I removed most, but found a couple after it was too late, oh well! I decided after coat #2 that I definitely wanted to do a 3rd coat, but chose to wait a full day before beginning the last coat. I wanted to be sure I had a good solid surface because I knew it would be the last of the epoxy and wanted to get the best out of it. I didn’t save the roller this time, and decided to start with a fresh one. The next day I put on that last coat…oh man! Was I happy!! It looked just amazing!

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In between those coats of epoxy, I spent a lot of time in our other bathroom scrubbing all the glass, metal and rubber pieces. I seriously considered buying all new, but stuck it out. I used a wire and really tough bristle brush to scrub, along with comet and other bathroom cleaners to help cut the mildew. To my surprise, I was finally able to get things looking pretty darn good!

I waited another full day before I attempted reassembly. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to scratch or ruin this beautiful thing I had created! Putting everything back together wasn’t terrible, I used all the same hardware and a fresh tube of clear silicone. I won’t dive into all the details, since I kind of just “winged-it”, but if you took it apart, I have faith you’ll be able to figure out how to put it back together!

I was SO impressed with how amazing it all looked once I was finished. It looked like a brand new shower stall!

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You too can have a beautiful shower!! According to the Rustoleum Tub and Tile directions, this will work on tile, porcelain and fiber glass. I have not tested the shower to the max yet, it may not hold for years and years, but it sure is an easy solution for now and the immediate future! You can also use it to simply freshen up an already white shower that has dulled and discolored over the years. All around, I would recommend this to anyone willing to take on the project!

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Thanks for reading along, and please stay tuned for more on this amazing bathroom transformation!

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Our Master Bathroom Reveal {Part I}

I’m sorry I have been absent and did not post last weekend. I got myself SO caught up in projects and things around the house! I got so much done and felt super productive, but was sad that I neglected the blog! I was so determined that I would finish the bathroom, but unfortunately did not – there were just too many things that took time (paint drying, caulking drying, etc.) so I tried my best to be patient and fill my “spare time” with all the other things around the house that needed attention.

OK, so….it’s DONE!! Ok, almost done, I have a few finishing touches still needed (like building the door – minor…lol and some paint touchups) however, I couldn’t wait ANY longer to show off this AMAZING project! I can’t even begin to express my excitement about the transformation that took place in our master bathroom… there aren’t words.

Let me just show you what we were working with……

Pretty rough looking..

Pretty rough looking..

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Look, the light fixture even matches the cabinet and mirror!

The epitome of an early 90’s bathroom.. awful.. when we first moved in, I really had no hope for this room. I had NO idea how we could possibly transform it on a budget. I mean, how do you overlook that BLUE shower????? Thankfully, before we bought the house, the prior owners were kind enough to replace the matching blue toilet and sink (OMG – what were people thinking in the 80’s and 90’s…??).

Here you have it! The only thing that I removed from this room was the medicine cabinet and the awful blue towel holders. Everything else is original. You may find yourself asking, “HOW did you do that, Sienna???” . Well, I will tell you, and I will break down my projects and show you how YOU too can have a beautiful bathroom with a small budget.

Some nights I just stand outside the door and stare at the beauty!

Some nights I just stand outside the door and stare at the beauty!

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Cost breakdown:

Rustoleum Tub and Tile Epoxy:  found here  $24.25

1 sheet of 1/4in plywood: found at home depot similar to this one: $19.97

Paint: I already had on hand

Chalk paint: I already had the paint, and made my own chalk paint with ingredients I had

Wax: I made my own with ingredients I had on hand

Window and scrap wood (for cabinet): I already had lying around

Light fixture: repurposed the existing one

Mirror: I found mine at BigLots for $29.99 similar one here but it’s worth shopping around to find a good deal! Check Homegoods and TJmaxx.

Mason Jars: I already had on hand

Black metal pipe: Most of it I had one hand, but had to buy a few pieces: ~$20.00

Baskets: I found at Wal-mart (total score!!) canvas ones too and these super cute wire ones: I got the metal ones on sale for $7.97 each, the canvas 3 for $15.97 and the wire ones $7.97Total (for this project) $21.26

Clear calking for the shower: $6.24

White caulking: $2.28

I happened to have all the little trinkets and towels that matched perfectly with the color scheme. I plan on painting some canvas art to match eventually when I have time.. but this will do for now!

GRAND TOTAL: $123.99

WHAT!!!??

Yes, that is all. I am shocked too. Especially considering the transformation it made.

I will go into detail in future posts about some of the specific projects within our bathroom, but for now, sit back, and enjoy the beauty of it!

If you have questions, I would be glad to answer. Believe me when I say, you can transform a bathroom on a budget and have an AMAZING outcome too 🙂

Happy Saturday!

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Buy Our New Home: 6 Things to Consider

A little less like my usual posts, but along the same lines…kind of 🙂

So, you are looking for a new home, or potentially thinking about it.. or maybe you aren’t, maybe you’re just reading along because you love me, and that’s ok too!! I am going to share with you our experience in buying a home and a few “do’s” and “don’ts” that we learned along the way.

Around February or March of last year we knew that we would be moving to Massachusetts within the year. Both of our military tours were ending in September and we didn’t have a desire to stay in D.C. My husband wanted to be closer to his family, and I liked the idea of that.  While I love my family and I miss them very much, I had already been away from them for 3 years and knew that I would be ok continuing to be away (and by no means does this mean I didn’t want to be closer to my family! I wish we were all closer, but I knew that I would be happy wherever I was with my husband).

Budget.

Know your budget.  We (I) began looking around in MA at houses on various real estate sites. I wanted to prepare myself for what we could get for what we were planning to spend.  It’s important to stay realistic and not look too far outside your budget, otherwise you end up with expectations that cannot be met.  Look towards the lowest end of your budget – you never know what you might find.

I also wanted to get an idea of what type of home we would want – did we want a colonial? a contemporary? a cape? a craftsman? an antique? a ranch? a split level? haha, ok you get the idea. There is a lot to choose from, and depending on what your needs/wants are, you should choose accordingly.

Which brings me to my next point: wants and needs.

Something that we didn’t do, but we kind of did, was make a list – we had a list in our heads, but we would have been better off writing it down. Write down your absolutes – the things you will not compromise, along with the things you need.  Now we all know, “needs” are pretty basic and mostly turn into “wants”, however it’s important to consider certain things and really determine if it is a want or a need. This will help you, trust me! We knew we would need an area for our projects – sure, you might think this is a “want”, but for us, it fit into our “need” category because it’s just something that we do, we do projects! We also knew that we needed at least 3 bedrooms because we plan on having babies someday, and we wanted to be sure we had room to expand. We knew that we needed outside space – with 2 dogs, we needed space for them too 🙂 We had others, but you get the point.  Your needs will be consistent with your lifestyle.

We had plenty of “wants” like, a beautiful kitchen with granite and stainless, 3 or more bathrooms, a master suite, lots of closet space, hardwood floors, and the list goes on and on.  After looking, and getting an idea, we knew that we would likely have to cut back our “want” list to make room for our budget and reality..

When we were about 3-4 months away from moving, we started looking seriously.  With the help of our amazing uncle and Real Estate Agent, Rich, the hunt was on!  We sent him listing after listing after listing and vice versa.  I feel like we looked at every possible listing in Central Massachusetts!  It was tiring, overwhelming and frustrating at times.  Either it was a bad location or it was already under agreement or it looked amazing, but something was wrong…we were soon realizing that it was a little more difficult than we had thought.  The other difficulty we were facing was that we were searching from a distance.. so we couldn’t look at them all in person.  In the course of looking, we were only able to make 2 trips to actually look at the houses.

On our first trip, we looked at, maybe 3 houses.  On that trip we found a house.  It was a contemporary home, which was different than we thought we wanted, but it had amazing character and lots of open space.  I had visions of this house being ours.. I could picture the things I wanted to do and our décor throughout.  I made one of the biggest mistakes of house hunting…..I fell in love.  Before the weekend was over, we went and looked at the same house again.  At this point I had about 24 hours to come up with 10 thousand other ideas and things to do with this house, BAD, all bad things.  I had been told by several people, several different times “Don’t set your heart on the first one” and “Don’t love it too quickly, you still have the home inspection to get through”… We made an offer that week and scheduled the home inspection.  Over the course of the next 2 weeks, I had MORE time to dream about our new home and all the great things I wanted to do…..bad.  The home inspection results came in, and they weren’t that great.  In the end, we chose not to continue trying for this house.  I had to break up with this home that I had fallen in love with….that I had hundreds of amazing ideas for..I felt like I had a connection! It was hard to do..but I let go.

On our second trip, we looked at several other houses and I just wasn’t impressed.  My husband isn’t as picky as I am, so this is why I’m no longer saying “we”. His “need” list was a little shorter than mine.  After our second trip, we kind of knew that we needed to either make a choice and cut somethings from our lists, or move without a home, put our things in storage and have to move again – this was not on the “want” list! We weren’t moving all our belongings twice!! Finally, my wonderful husband convinced me that we didn’t HAVE to have a perfect kitchen….and that we could change some other things to make it fit into our “wants” down the road.  So we chose our home.  I may have kicked and cried a little, but we did it.  And let me just say, I AM SO HAPPY WE DID IT!!!!  Sometimes it can be so hard to get past the cosmetics and see the true potential. When we looked at our home the first time, I hated it. I compared every little thing to the one I had fallen in love with.  I found a reason to dislike even the good things. All the reason to take the advise of NOT falling in love.  I have now fallen in love with a new home.  We took the relationship slow! And now it’s amazing. We are still making improvements and making it ours, but it was one of the best decisions we made!

Our amazing and BEAUtiful home.

Our amazing and BEAUtiful home.

In a nutshell, here are my SIX things to consider when home buying:

1) determine your budget

2) decided on the style of home you want

3) make a list of your needs

4) make a list of your wants

5) DON’T FALL IN LOVE

6) look beyond the cosmetics

 

Thank you for reading along, and I hope my tips make home buying easier for you 🙂

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How we got custom cabinets without the custom price tag

Ok, so lets talk kitchen cabinets. When it comes to remodeling a kitchen, it can come with quite the price tag and one of the main expenses is likely going to be the cabinets. When we first began the kitchen remodel, I wanted to try as hard as possible to use the original cabinets and simply paint them. I was pretty positive we would need more cabinets, since we were expanding our kitchen to make it double its size but, I wasn’t too worried about finding cabinets to match though, because they were builder grade, and a simple search on craigslist or the local habitat for humanity restore would turn up plenty (I started my research in advance). However, after closer examination, the cabinets weren’t in that great of shape, and to top it off, they weren’t easy to take apart…. have you ever taken down kitchen cabinets??? You just can’t seem to find every screw, they’re hidden in every nook and cranny! Anyhow, we decided that we would have to invest. This wasn’t a terrible thing, since we would be able to start from scratch as opposed to trying to reconfigure the existing.

Soffiting doesn't make it any easier.

Soffiting doesn’t make it any easier.

I wanted grey and white cabinets. I had my heart set. I started doing my research. I searching some local builder outlet type places, but they didn’t have quite what I was looking for, and the price tag was still higher than what we wanted to pay. Most of my inspiration came from Pinterest of course, check out my kitchen pinterest board. Lots to look at!! This one over at lizmarieblog was one of my favorite inspirations. Caveat: If we didn’t have budget constraints, our kitchen would actually look like these all my pins!!!

I finally decided to check out the “builder grade” cabinets at home depot. We use home depot often, not only do they always have what we need, they have always had great customer service (in my experience) and they offer 10% off military discount – can’t go wrong there! I found that you can buy a standard unfinished oak cabinet for a pretty reasonable price. You can also purchase their standard white cabinets for about the same price. SO, we went with it! Unfinished lower cabinets and white upper cabinets.  As I mentioned above, I wanted white and grey. I started researching how to paint cabinets. There are 10 bazillion posts out there for how to refinish/paint/chalk paint (the list goes on) cabinets. It’s actually quite overwhelming! I came across this blog post here, read through it several times, and felt confident she was sharing some good information that I could most certainly use. I referred back to her post several times, and am very thankful for it!

I went to Sherwin Williams and stared at the hundreds of paint chips for what felt like hours…I finally took about 10 different paint chips to the counter for opinions from the nice girl there. She was super helpful and talked me down to the perfect color. There are a lot of different shades of grey (50 to be exact! ha, no, there are more!) and their tone can completely change the “look” you are going for. I had a couple that had more of a “green” tone and some more on the “black” tone, and one with a “blue” tone. It’s funny, I didn’t even realize this until she pointed it out to me. Thank goodness she did! I went with the grey with the blue undertones, since one of our other colors in the kitchen is blue.

I started by removing ALL the hardware from the cabinets – drawer hardware and hinges. I decided to purchase a paint sprayer, thinking this would help save on time and just overall be “easier”. I started with a primer, since it was unfinished wood, I wanted to ensure the top coat had a good surface to adhere to. The texture of the spray bothered me. It reminded me of an orange peel, and I knew it wasn’t something I could live with. Fortunately, I had only sprayed 3 or 4 of the 15 (roughly) that needed to be done. I had to sand them back down (not completely, but enough for a smooth surface) and repaint, using a nice smooth roller like this one. I should also mention that sometimes these unfinished cabinets can come a little rough and may require a light sanding before you start painting to ensure you get a smooth surface. You can also sand in between coats of paint for an ultra smooth finish.

During the "painting" phase.

During the “painting” phase (please ignore the poooooor quality cell phone pictures).

The cabinet painting took about a month. This was me working on them maybe one or two times a week and weekends. I should also mention that I didn’t have enough surface space in the house to paint all the of drawer fronts and doors all at once, so this played into the amount of time that it ended up taking. It’s something you definitely need to be committed to though, and understand the amount of time that it actually takes. Let me just remind you all, that at this point, we did not have a kitchen AT ALL, and the rest of our downstairs was torn apart – unfinished floors, no furniture (2 lawn chairs and a TV count as no furniture!!). The remainder of our house was in total disarray due to the fact we had just moved in a month prior and had barely unpacked our clothing!

Our delightful "livingroom" the first month and a half in our house!

Our delightful “livingroom” the first month and a half in our house!

Once the cabinets were ready, we enlisted the help of my mother-in-laws boyfriend Mike, who is a super handy guy, and he and my wonderful husband took on the labor of installation. (We already had the layout configured thanks to Jay R, he assisted in the “architectural” design of our new kitchen and we are very thankful for him!!) There was a little sense of urgency since we had already scheduled the countertop template guy (I’m sure he has a much more professional sounding title..) and it was literally 2 days prior to us finishing! For those who may not know, when you purchase stone countertops and have them installed, they come and create a template of the entire countertop area, and need all the cabinets in the place prior to. So, we met our deadline thankfully and they were able to come and template. It’s hard to describe the excitement of nearing this phase after not having a kitchen for 2 months. I don’t have the words to describe it.

The countertops were installed about 2 weeks later – I was jumping up and down at work when my husband sent me the text of them in!! Mike came back over and helped out my hunny bear with hooking all the plumbing back up along with appliances. I had a kitchen sink again!!!!!!!! The amount of exclamation points do no justice for my excitement I had at this point! That just about sums it up! We put all the hardware back on, added drawer pulls to all the doors and drawers, and I added a few finishing touches to the paint. I also ended up adding crown molding to our top cabinet, but that can be discussed later (it brings back some painful memories!!).

The only thing I’m not crazy about with the cabinets is the standard hinges and drawer slides. They are very basic. You can’t add the soft close “click-in” hinges (which I had planned on doing), you actually have to totally upgrade the hinges, which is fine, we will eventually do that along with upgrading the drawer slides.

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I would like to add glass to these eventually..

I would like to add glass to these eventually..

Our Wonderful Kitchen

Overall, I am very happy with our choice of creating our own “custom” cabinets.

So, you’re probably wondering what the price tag was – in the end, with paint and hardware, we spent roughly $2000.00 on our kitchen cabinets.

Thanks for reading along! I hope my post might help sway you in the direction of re-finishing or creating your own custom cabinets. 🙂

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A new kitchen…my second favorite

I mentioned in my last post that I had 2 favorites in our new kitchen.

Here is #2.

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So, since we gutted our kitchen and started from fresh, we also started with brand new, unfinished cabinets – I’ll tell you why later 🙂

Here’s an idea of what we were working with (sorry, bad cell phone pictures).2016-02-20 09.47.04 (2)

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Using the builder grade cabinets also means a lot of extra “finishing” work.  We have 2 “bar” like areas that extend from the lower cabinets.  Leaving a lot of backsides that need to be covered (there are a lot of backsides needing coverage out there as it is!!).  Standard cabinet installation would have a thin piece of plywood covering those end-caps and backsides and painted/stained to match the cabinets.

“Standard” and “plywood” are NOT words that I would use to describe me.. haha! So, I started searching for an idea or inspiration for something more “me” and a lot less standard. Pinterest of course.  Let me just make a side note – I could sit on Pinterest ALL day long and not get bored.. this is a horrible addiction, and I have to limit my Pinterest activity, I really hope I’m not the only one!!! – Ok, moving forward.  I came across a lot of people using beadboard, which I think looks great, and is a nice upgrade from standard.  I was almost set on going with it, and I stumbled across this beautiful picture!

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Which was linked to http://www.shineyourlightblog.com. I couldn’t find the exact origination on her blog, but I wanted to make sure to give credit where credit is due!

I sure loved this look.  Not only did I love the look of the old wood, but the entire kitchen space was so similar to what we were doing as far as colors and design, it just made it seem right!

So the search for old wood began…….

Let me just tell you how difficult this was, and the things I nearly resorted to in order for this look to happen!

I started my search for “barn wood” “barn board” and “old wood” on craigslist.  I am a lover of craigslist and figured I could come across something pretty quickly, plus we live in New England, old wood is EVERYWHERE!!  I came across barn wood that was selling for $5.00 a board foot.  Now, this doesn’t sound terrible until you do the math… We needed about 40 sq. feet, so depending on the width of the boards, we were going to need close to 80 board feet, 80x$5.00 is $400.00………….. this was basically out of the question.  So the search continued, and I just kept hitting walls (aka $$$$$$ that I wasn’t willing to spend).  I was to the point of searching for old fallen down buildings and barns while I was driving places.  I nearly stopped at one house to ask if they would let me buy their “out building” that had fallen down, fortunately it was raining that day.  I found another building close by our house, and I had decided that if I didn’t find anything within a week or 2, I was going there and asking them for their junk wood! Silly… but the things that you resort to when you’ve set your mind on something! (maybe that’s just me…)

Finally I came across a vintage warehouse sale.  Long story short, these lovely gentlemen sold me all the wood I needed and MORE for $60.00.  And it was perfect, beautifully weathered and distressed, with that wonderful “greyed” patina that I wanted.  The boards were about 14 inches wide so I used our table saw to rip them down to 4 inches wide.  I began the process of cutting angles and fitting pieces – now, if I was good at math, this would have been easy, but I’m not that great at math and didn’t feel like taking the extra time to figure it out.  So I made rough outline of the space I would need to cover and started cutting and fitting.  This actually wasn’t too difficult, it was just getting the right measurement from the beginning and figuring out the width of space you’re covering.  Once all the pieces were cut for each panel, I used our nail gun to attach.  I had also installed a couple of pieces behind the wood to give me something to nail the boards to.   I probably could have glued too, but I chose not too.

There are still some finishing touches needed, mostly just trim, but I am LOVING this wood look.  Not only does it tie into the farmhouse feel, but the colors and the rustic-ness are just wonderful!  I am so happy I came across that picture on Pinterest for inspiration.

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Next time I’ll tell you a little about our builder grade cabinets turned “custom” cabinets.

Thanks as always for reading!

SRT

A new kitchen with re-purposed farmhouse flare

Ok, so I want to brag for a minute.

There are two things in our kitchen that I just adore.

I would describe my style to be farmhouse/chic with a little extra chic..I love sparkle and shine, but I truly love to re-use and re-purpose and I love the idea of having a home with antique farmhouse flare.  So, I’ve done my best to incorporate all this into our home.

The first thing I just LOVE in our kitchen.  The end pillars…

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A couple of years ago, my mother-in-laws neighbor gave us these old pillars that came off of his wife’s mothers childhood home (was that confusing enough???).  There were 2 whole pillars that were close to 6 feet long and I had originally envisioned cutting them in half and using them as big chuncky table legs on a “farmhouse style” dining table.  We still lived in D.C. at the time and never had the chance to build the table, plus we didn’t quite have the room to make the large table that we wanted.  So they sat…for almost 2 years.  As soon as we began our kitchen remodel, I knew I wanted to use these, I wanted an island, or a bar area, or something and was determined to make them work!

I began sanding and sanding all the old years of paint off the pillars – this was quite the task…imagine over a hundred years of paint, sun-baked on these things…and probably lead paint (if you have plans on tackling a project like this – using something with old paint – please use a face mask to protect from the possibility of lead paint poisoning!!)  It took a lot of time and patience to get these beauties cleaned up, but it finally happened.  I chose to paint them a bright white, to match the trim and upper cabinets.  I think it was the best choice!  I started with a coat of primer first, since I was working with mostly bare wood, and finished with a semi-gloss bright white – about 4 coats of paint in all.

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This is one pillar cut in half, partially sanded.

I wasn’t sure how to install them, but I wanted to be sure they wouldn’t move.  I measured and straightened and leveled..shimmed them from top and bottom to ensure there were no gaps between the counter tops and the floors.  Once in place, I used a drill to make my own “pocket holes” so I could secure them to the floor.  I know I will never remove these, so I wasn’t concerned about drilling into our floors.  I used two 3 1/2 inch screws on each side.  Once everything was secure, I filled the holes.  I wasn’t sure at the time if I would trim them or leave them as is.  After a couple of days, I decided trim would add that finishing touch, so I added the  trim.  I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!!!

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Before they were installed.

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Before the trim.

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Now.

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I wish I had a picture of the front porch they used to be on..I get giddy thinking about how old they are, how beautiful they once were, and how beautiful they have been made again, re-purposed in our kitchen. Ahh, the satisfaction of a re-purposed project!

1800 house

 

This is a house is the same town (I think the same street) where the pillars came from.  The pillars on this porch are similar to the ones we used. 🙂

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One more look….ahh

So, I think I spent more time than I thought I would on this topic…so I guess my number 2 favorite thing in our kitchen will have to wait for the next post!

 

Thanks for reading along 🙂

SRT

The Beginning

Let me back up to the beginning.

Last September (2015) my husband and I bought our first home!! **Excited dance** We knew we couldn’t buy a home that had absolutely everything we wanted, but we knew we could find a home that had what we needed, and what we wanted would come along the way.

We made our big move from D.C. to central Massachusetts at the end of August and were fortunate enough to close on our house on September 1st. There were a whole BUNCH of cosmetic things I hated about our house, but it had so many great things with lots of potential – over and acre of land, a flat yard, 2200 finished sq. feet of living space, a garage..the list goes on.

On September 2nd, my husband, knowing how much I hated the kitchen, began demolition (his favorite). We had discussed re-doing the kitchen, the layout and of course I had already made my lists and had been pinning like crazy! We hadn’t however, discussed the time frame of when all this would be happening. I figured a month or 2, once we were slightly settled. My husband had other plans…So it began.

The first 3 months living in a renovation was rough! There was no kitchen, so there was no cooking…the living room was also torn apart, so there was no relaxing..we ate out and we worked our butts off and then we went to bed! Day in and day out. Let me just throw in a side note here – we live in a very SMALL town, we have very few options for eating out, pizza, pizza, pizza or chinese food (which I didn’t find this one until the kitchen was back together *sad face*).. so this gives you a general idea of what it was like.

Here is a picture looking into our kitchen when we moved in.

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And here is a shot from inside the little cubby-hole kitchen.

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Not only was it small, but the color choice was a bit lacking.

I’m an open space, airy, light colored kind of person. My husband isn’t picky, and tends to like my choice of style/design, so I was quite excited to put love for all design to use!

Here are a couple of photos from our kitchen now and I would love to share in future posts some of the projects within.

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Remember that first photo..this is the same view 🙂 (sorry for the lack of better photography – a new camera is on the way!)

If you ever thought that you weren’t capable, or didn’t have the experience to do projects like this, think again! Sure, I grew up watching my parents to big renovation projects, but I had never done anything like this myself, and neither had my husband.

I’m extremely happy with how our house is turning out, I’m just slightly impatient…but I know with time we will get more done and it will feel more like home.

I will share more specifics soon!
Thank you for reading 🙂

SRT