5 Day Fix: Adding Floor Trim to the Guest Room

Last night, Nathan put up the floor trim in the guest room.  The bedroom is average size, maybe 12×14, and this project took about two hours.  Nathan cut the boards in the garage, carried them upstairs, and used a nail gun to secure them to the wall.  I know I’ve said it before, but I’m so amazed how much difference 4″ floor trim makes!  Since it’s not much more expensive than 2″ floor trim and it’s not any more time consuming to put up, this is a great way to get a lot of bang for your decorative buck!

Adding 4 inch white floor trim

After all the trim was up, Nathan went back over the boards and puttied the seams and nails with drywall mud.  You could use wood putty for this job, but he finds it easier and just as effective to use drywall mud.  Tonight when it’s dry, we’ll give it a quick sanding and wipe-down before we paint it.

4 inch floor trim

The last step was to caulk the top of the boards with a thin line of paintable white caulking.  The caulking fills in any gaps where the board and wall don’t meet perfectly, and gives the job a really finished, professional look.  In this picture, Nathan’s running his finger through the wet caulking to smooth it out.

Caulking 4 inch white floor trim

Well, we’re in the home stretch now!  Our friends are flying in from LA at 3 am.  We’ll both be done working at 6, so that means we have all evening to pull this room together.  It certainly won’t be completely decorated, but it will be completely functional.

Here’s our game plan for the night:

-Sand and wipe down floor trim

-Paint floor, door and window trim

-Use a razor blade to remove paint from window panes

-Hang ceiling fan

-Clean room

-Set up bed frames, box springs and mattresses

-Move dresser to the room

-Wash new bedding and put it on the beds

5-Day-Fix: The Guest Room

We have three friends coming from L.A. this weekend, and since we’ve been busy working on Hudson’s bedroom (reveal coming soon!), the guest room has been neglected.  INSERT PANIC HERE!  Starting on Monday, we’ve been working furiously to get this room ready for company.

The guest room was originally Hudson’s.  We chose it because it was the bigger of the bedrooms upstairs, other than our own.  When I started teaching from home, we quickly realized that we had made a huge mistake!  Hudson’s crib was right above the piano.  Since I give lessons for hours after Hudson’s bedtime, this made for some patience-testing evenings for Nathan as he tried to help Hudson stay asleep.  Even with the white noise machine, the piano was really loud.  The good news was that we hadn’t done anything to make the room into a nursery.  This is what it looked like on Monday morning after we moved Hudson’s furniture out.

IMG_2211

Beautiful 70′s green EVERYTHING- walls, trim and windows!

IMG_2226

Here is the room with the base board removed, and two coats of Glidden Toasted White paint.  It looks all purply because of the green window trim.  (At least that’s what I’m hoping!)  It’s amazing how much the contrast of colors can pull out different undertones in the paint.  It’s such a scary feeling when you get done painting and look back at the room, only to think, “It looks….purple!”  

IMG_2246

In this picture, Nathan is switching out the old brownish outlet for a fresh, white one.

We also ran new wiring as some of the wiring in the house is still the old kind, without the ground wire.  Last night, Nathan was up in the attic shoving the wire down between the studs.  I was in the bedroom trying to grab the wire with an old hanger that I bent to form a long hook.  I’m sure the professionals must have better tools than us, because that was a frustrating endeavor!  The wire just seems to have a mind of its own, bending and getting stuck on the way down.

IMG_2217

I was concerned that one coat of paint wouldn’t do the trick in this closet.  It was so scratched!  What even does that to walls??  So, we used a paint/primer mix, and sure enough, it looks great after one coat!

IMG_2188

Left side= normal white.  Right side= 70′s white.  Everything was weird in the 70′s!

IMG_2227

The closet is finished, and we moved some stuff into it.

IMG_2229

Next up: new, textured white doors, and bronze knobs!

3-Month Photos

We had Hudson’s 3-month pictures and our very first family pictures taken about a month ago by Shannon Bulla Photography. I planned these pictures for a Sunday afternoon, the end of the busiest week ever.  Nathan was out of town most of the week, I worked my usual 28 hours while packing up the condo, Nathan was in his best friend’s wedding which we attended as a family, and we moved to our new house.  No big deal.

Anyway, all that’s to say that Hudson wasn’t the happiest camper by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around- he fussed for most of this session.  But the awesome Shannon Bulla came in and worked her magic, giving us pictures we will treasure forever.

DSC_5834

DSC_5830 bw

DSC_5819

DSC_5872 bw

DSC_5848

DSC_5794

DSC_5793

DSC_5791

DSC_5789

Hudson, being your Mom is a delight!

Musings on Parenting

We are so lucky to have a park less than half a mile away from our new house.  There are tennis courts, soccer fields, walking paths and a small playground for the little ones.  Hudson and I have walked there from the time he was tiny.  For the first few months, he would scream at the top of his lungs for hours in the evening, and nothing we tried would help.  Sometimes, I would put him in the stroller and we’d walk lap after lap around the park.  He wasn’t any happier, but at least we were out in the fresh air!  Walking was a great stress reliever for me.

Now that he’s bigger, park time is so fun!  He went for his first swing ride recently, and thought it was great.

IMG_2102

“How does this thing work, anyway, Mom?”

Hudson’s such a boy already. He spent most of the park time preoccupied with staring at the brackets and chains on the swing.

IMG_2105

Nathan and I have been talking about the comments people have made to us lately- mostly telling us how we can finally start enjoying being parents since Hudson’s older and less fussy.  It always takes me by surprise when people express that, because I have honestly loved being Hudson’s mom from the minute he was born!  Why would I want to wait to enjoy my baby until he is older and easier to care for? Sure, he screams in the car, wakes up in the middle of the night, and only drinks bottles of a specific temperature.  We anticipated that parenting would have difficult moments, and it has delivered!  But, since we expected these challenges, we have found it pretty easy to adapt to our new lifestyle.

I try to remind myself when I’m up for the fifteenth time to roll my wailing, stuck-on-his-belly baby to his back, that all this is temporary.  In another week, he probably will be able to remember how to roll from belly to back, even it’s the middle of the night and he’s tired.  Or maybe he’ll decide just to abandon rolling over in his sleep altogether- that would be nice.

IMG_2106

 

Anyway, someday Hudson will be sleeping through the night and I’ll be chasing him around the playground, instead of gently pushing him in the swing for the first time.  When that time comes, I’m glad that I’ll be able to look back and remember this squishy baby stage fondly, both the intense challenges and joys.  Time is flying away- I want to love, not just survive, these baby days.

A Dining Room Becomes A Music Room: Curtains and Furniture

 

BEFORE:

Removing Wallpaper

AFTER:

Target Cube Organizer

The music studio is complete!  Last week, I moved some basic cube storage (from Target) into the room to hold music and teaching supplies.  I added a few light weight but comfortable leather chairs (found at T.J, Maxx a few years ago) for parents or students to sit on, and a neutral storage ottoman (found on clearance at Target) for additional seating and storage.  I’ve been teaching at home for almost a week now, and I absolutely love it.  Why didn’t I do this sooner?

You can find the gray storage bins here.  The ceiling light is from Home Depot, but not available online.  You can find a similar one here.

Nail Head Trim Cloth Bulletin Board

I love the bulletin board I purchased from FleurDeLizDecor on Etsy.  You can find it here.  I contemplated making my own for all of five seconds, then I remembered that I’m not crafty and have a 4-month-old who screams when he’s in his car seat running errands with me.  So, yes, I broke down and ordered the expensive bulletin board from the comfort of my computer chair.

Petrof Grand Piano, Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams

The piano move went smoothly, and it fits nicely in the room.  I was a little worried about the baby grand engulfing the room as it’s only 9.5×14′.

The wall color we chose is called Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams.  It’s such a livable neutral.  It has a green cast in all these pictures, which I’m not happy about, because it’s really a true gray-tan. I tried about 17 different shades of gray before settling on this one.  It’s so hard to find a gray without a purple, green or blue tone to it.

West Elm Curtains

I went with the Pinwheel Linen Curtains from West Elm- you can find them here.  I went extra long on the curtains, and hung the rod well above the windows to give a feeling of extra height to the room.  I love the way it looks!

Clear glass lamp and black shade are also Target finds.  I like how a black shade can dress up an ordinary lamp.  The aqua vase is a gift from my paternal Grandma, something she’s had displayed in her house for years and years.  It’s extra meaningful because she was my first and most influential piano teacher.

West Elm Curtains

I’m still looking for some art to add a pop of color to the room, thinking about something like this or this (can they mark it down to 95% off for me?).

A Dining Room Becomes A Music Room: Board and Batten

In the last post about the music room, this is where we left off- wallpaper, floor trim, carpet and chair rail was removed, and we were all set for the carpet to be laid.

Removing Wallpaper

We were amazed at how fast the carpet was laid.  In our old house, we had all wood or tile flooring, so this was our first experience with carpet.  Granted, this room is only 9.5×14′, but the carpet layer was in and out of our house in under an hour.  Years down the road, we may put wood flooring in this room, but for now, carpet meets our needs in this room best.  It’s cheap, didn’t require our time to install, and it’s pretty cozy, too!

Home Depot Millwork

We decided to add board and batten to the lower 4 feet of the walls.  We looked at several tutorials, but our favorite was this one from Young House Love.  What we liked best from YHL was how they just painted the wall with glossy white paint to resemble board, instead of putting board up all over the wall.  It saved us a lot of time and money.  Now that it’s done, you would never guess that our board and batten is really just batten.

We headed out to Home Depot one Saturday to get our supplies.  We grabbed 4 inch baseboard for the room.  It’s amazing how much change you notice in a room just by switching out the old 2 inch baseboard for 4 inch.  We decided to keep all of the window and door trim and just paint it bright white.  In this house, our motto is to make it look great while saving as much money and time as we can.  Painting, instead of removing, window and door trim, is one way we’re doing that.

Sawing at Home Depot

For the board across the top of the board and batten, we picked up some ordinary 1×3 pine boards that were primed white.  We had a lot of trouble finding battens that were inexpensive AND would give us the look we wanted.  We finally settled on these, 1-5/8″ Wood Primed Finger-Jointed Lattice Moulding.  We looked at Lowe’s and Mendards stores, but could only find these at Home Depot.  I promise Home Depot’s not paying me, I just love that store so much!

Baby Sleeping At Home Depot

Oh look, Hudson loves it too!  I was carrying him through the store, and all of the sudden he felt really heavy.  I looked over, and he was sound asleep.

Painting Window Trim

When we got home, Nathan painted the existing trim and the lowest 4 feet of the walls with glossy white paint.

Board and Batten In Process

After the paint dried, he put up the baseboard, and then the battens.  Since studs are typically 16 inches apart, we decided to place the battens 16 inches apart, so we could nail them right onto the studs.

I got Nathan this stud finder, and it’s awesome!  It’s basically just a strong magnet, and it finds the screws in the studs that were used to attach the sheets of drywall.

Board and Batten In Process

 

Board and Batten In Process

 Once all the battens were up, Nathan added the primed 1×3 pine board across the top.  In this picture, he’s trimming out the small doorway to the closet under our stairs.  Putting up the floor trim, the battens and the top board only took one Saturday afternoon.

IMG_2021Quilt from Little Sproutie

And, of course, no post could be complete without an update on baby Hudson.  At 27 inches and 16 pounds, he’s a 4-month-old giant.  His cheerful grins bring so much joy to our house!

The Dining Room Becomes A Music Studio: Wallpaper Removal

Last night, Nathan and I dug into our first remodeling project on the new house.  Since I’ll begin giving all my cello and piano lessons from home in mid-August, transforming this room is top priority.  After a long day, we were finally both home around 8:30 pm.  Hudson went down for the night.  Nathan and I quickly ate leftovers from the cookout we had over the weekend.  By quickly, I mean no-time-to-warm-them-in-the-microwave and just-sit-on-the-kitchen-counter-while-you-eat.  Needless to say, we weren’t all that thrilled about beginning our project so late.  We had to get it done last night because we’re having carpet laid today, and the piano is being delivered tomorrow.  Stressful is our style.

Removing Wallpaper

Here’s the before picture of the room, minus the cat-stained blue shag carpet we already tore out.  I’m sure you’re sad you missed seeing that.  By far, this is the yuckiest room in the house.  But, by far, this is a way easier remodel than our old house.  That was remodeling.  This is just peeling wallpaper, putting in a light fixture, taking out old trim, putting up board and batten, putting up new trim, having carpet laid, changing out the cream outlets/switches for white, and painting.  No big deal.

Removing Wallpaper

Here we are in the process of peeling off the wallpaper.  As you can see, the top layer of paper came off super easily.  I’ve peeled a lot of wallpaper and it never came off in big sheets like this.  The backing and glue were still on the wall after the top layer of paper was peeled off.

To remove the backing and glue, we tried using a clothes steamer, but that didn’t get it wet enough.  After that, we tried rubbing a mixture of water and dish soap into the backing with a towel, and it started to peel off, but in teeny-tiny bits.  Then, my genius husband brought in a grout sponge, and we rubbed the water/soap mixture into the paper backing with that.  It was magic.  I would wash a wall thoroughly, then Nathan would come behind a couple minutes later, and the backing would peel off in huge sheets.  This little sponge made all the difference-you can find one here for $1.97.

After the backing was removed, there was still the issue of the glue.  Again, with a towel, it was hard work, but removing it with the sponge was so easy!  I would wipe down a section, leave it for a minute while I wiped down another section, then come back and wipe the first section again.  That’s all it took!  From start to finish, this project took less than two hours, including sanding the walls where the chair-rail had been, and cleaning everything up.

Removing Wallpaper

 This is what the room looks like right now.  I can’t wait for the carpet layers to come today and cover up that nasty vinyl tile flooring!