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.


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


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!”  


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.


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!


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


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


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

Before and After: Our Bedroom

A couple years ago, this is what our room looked like.  You can’t tell in these pictures, but the ceilings were just 7 feet tall.



The floors were original to the house, and over 100 years, the finish had worn off and a leaky roof and windows had caused water damage.


Closet view


The original windows were broken out in several places in our room.  Sometimes relatives would drive by and call my in-laws, “Does Nathan know that there are some windows out in his house?”

We contemplated fixing the plaster in our house.  In fact, I spent a couple of afternoons with a bucket of spackling trying to fix some cracks before we decided to go all in and do this:


These pictures, people, are after we partially cleaned up!  Nathan and friends knocked out all the plaster and lathe, leaving a mess that was 3-feet deep in our entire house.  When the old windows were out and the new ones hadn’t been put in yet, they scooped all that mess out the windows into a tractor scoop that was raised to the second story of the house.



After the plaster was out of the house, it took several weeks of work to take out the old, low ceiling, and build a new, vaulted ceiling, rewire the room, and put in the insulation.  We added a lot of new outlets and installed the new windows.  Then, over our first married spring break, we spent a week learning how to drywall.  It was about 30 degrees that week and the house didn’t have any heat.  I hate getting dirty, we didn’t know what we were doing, we were dog-sitting an English Bulldog that attacked the tape measure every time I pulled it out, and did I mention it was freezing?  Needless to say, that wasn’t the best week of my life.  Or Nathan’s.


There are a lot of angles in this room, which makes cutting and hanging the drywall more difficult.  Still, we laugh when we look back and remember that it took us 7 days to hang drywall in one room.



And now, for the “After” pictures.  This time last year, I was painting these bedroom walls.  It was so exciting to finally be painting, and I would run over here in the mornings before students and get some work done.  The wall color is Shale by Martha Stewart mixed in a Behr paint, since only Martha Stewart colors exist now, not Martha Stewart Paint, if that makes sense.  Ceiling color is two different colors of white (see, on the left, the darker white?) which we still need to fix!



I took these pictures this morning when the sun was streaming in and the windows were open.  I always say that fall is my favorite season, but this time of year is definitely a close second.


I bought this cheap cubby from Target a couple years ago when we lived in an apartment, and I used it to store all my music.  Now I store it in the bottom cabinets of my living room bookshelves, so this comes in handy for socks, swimsuits, underwear, tights, etc.



I got those sparkly candle holders at a garage sale last fall for $5.00.  Thrift shopping for the win!


This is the view when you walk into our room.  The wall color is quite a bit darker in real life.  I think it turned out so light because of all the natural morning light because my camera stinks!


I love this white bedding because it’s so washable and because it shows everything.  That might sound weird, but I like to know that things are clean.  It’s a little more work to keep looking good, but I didn’t wash my old tan and brown bedspread for about two years, and it looked great.  Um, yeah, it was obviously good at hiding dirt.  Same thing goes for wood floors.  They are so much more work than carpet to keep looking clean, but then, I KNOW that they are actually clean.


This is absolutely my favorite room in the house- so peaceful and warm.

Before and After: Rearranging (Or, Redecorating My House Without Spending A Dime)



Okay, this part of the room didn’t change, but I just love it, so I wanted to post this picture again.


Before: Target cubbies, chair that I didn’t have room for in the living room, and small night stand.


After: I moved our Target cubby shelf that holds socks/undies/tights/swimsuits/tank tops to the wall that used to hold the chair and small table.  It’s a much cleaner look.  The low wall at the bottom of the ceiling angle is empty now, and I like it.


After: Changing out the plain lamp with the white shade for the sparkly lamp with a black shade was a $20 fix, but it made a huge impact.  Even just swapping a white shade for a black shade can make a big difference.



Before: One bathroom wasn’t finished, and the other didn’t have a mirror yet, so I had to blow dry my hair and apply makeup in my bedroom.  I know, I know, it’s not the end of the world.  It was just annoying because I was constantly cleaning makeup residue off the dresser.  Plus, the pink hairdryer doesn’t really do anything for the room.


After: The hamper got moved to the upstairs bath, since it’s finished now.  The small table, lamp and humidifier now have a home under the anniversary pictures, right next to the big dresser.

Okay, moving on to the living room!


Before: I thought I liked this setup until I started looking at the pictures and noticed the decor looked a little heavy on the right side of the room.  So, yesterday, I unloaded the bookshelves, dusted them from top to bottom and started doing a little change.  That was all I planned to do, but, of course, one thing leads to another.


After: Bookshelves separated.  Chair carried down from my bedroom to provide extra seating down here, plus give the TV wall a little something to balance it out.  Now, we just need to hide that cord….


Before: TV Wall


After: TV Wall


After: Couch area


After: Bookshelves separated, and ottoman shoved in the corner to be used as extra seating when necessary.