Jan 30, 2015

Georgia Fridays

You know what they say, let sleeping dogs lie. So that's what she does...

Jan 29, 2015

Upstairs Hall Window

Once the upstairs hall window was painted, we were able to take down the hideous and broken roller shade.

I honestly don’t know why it took us so long to replace it with blinds - the roller shade was so dark and barely let in any light when it was down. The blinds are so much easier to open and I love how they are just clean, simple and white. Such an improvement!

Once the blinds were up, we replaced the curtain rod. Originally I was going to put up different curtains, but I realized full length curtains here made zero sense. I even considered not having curtains here at all (the space is so narrow anyways), but I really like how the curtains soften the window.

Jan 28, 2015

New Light & Switch in The Hallway

Mike swapped out the old ugly brass light for the new light we purchased (over a year ago!) at Ikea. In some homes brass looks beautiful, but nothing about this brass light was working here.

The new light was installed quickly and easily. We still have two more lights just like this one earmarked for the stairwell (when we get around to it). The circular cap that covers where the light attaches at the ceiling on the new light was much smaller than the brass, so Mike had to tape and patch and paint once the new light was installed.

I really love it. I want to install these lights throughout the whole house now! The white glass pattern looks great with the wallpaper and the glass “bead” at the top of the light (on the cord) looks like the glass door knobs. I can’t believe the light came from Ikea and was so affordable.

Mike changed out the light switch when he did the light. The clean white switch looks so much better than the black. We can’t believe we waited so long to change these - it’s like a whole new room now!

Jan 27, 2015

Upstairs Hall: Re-hanging Artwork

With the trim painted, the hallway was finally ready to rehang the artwork. At the end of the hall, I kept the picture ledge arrangement the way it was before. I am happy the way it is right now, though I love the flexibility of the ledge to change it whenever I want. We also put our wedding photo back in the middle space of the hallway.

At the top of the stairs though, the small Mucha print was too small for the space. It was always meant as a placeholder, and we had some artwork from the office that recently became homeless. I put together a little arrangement, like an extension of the gallery wall going up the stairs.

The photos aren’t final, they are placeholders until I find something I want to hang more - the colors looked good with the map and prints. I like the arrangement of frames though and the mix of brown stain shades. I tried it with a few more frames but it became busy - right now this feels balanced in person.

Jan 26, 2015

Trim Painting

You can’t really tell much in photos, but just know that in person a fresh coat of white paint on everything in the hallway looks great in person. We painted the new crown molding, the base molding, the window trim, the attic door, the trim around the doors and the doors themselves. It looks all sparkling white again, so fresh and clean. Doing all the trim makes the whole room look “new” again.

In these pictures you can see how the Edgecomb Gray ceiling really makes the bright white trim pop - I love how the hallway looks with crown molding.

Now we just have the details left. The light and switch, the window shade, putting up artwork. I can't wait to see this room finally come together - it's been a long time coming.

Jan 23, 2015

Georgia Likes Cozy Naps

Another week, another set of photos of Georgia lounging on our bed. You'd think I was just recycling the same set... but I'm not. This is typically where we find her when we're home - either here or on the couch. She likes a warm cozy place to sleep in the winter. Me too.

Jan 22, 2015

A Menagerie

While I was painting in the hallway, I glanced into Oliver's bedroom and noticed his figurine shelves were in a rare state of order. These narrow shelves are getting a workout now. We’ve moved beyond just woodland animals now into farm animals and exotic/safari. He loves animals and little figurines in general. He can tell you what each animal is, with the exception of the elk, which he thinks is another reindeer.

Typically Oliver can't resist the shelves when the display is neat and orderly. It's just too tempting when all the animals are lined up so nicely. In fact, after I took these pictures it didn't last much longer...

Jan 21, 2015

Upstairs Hall Crown Molding

In the upstairs hall, once the walls were patched and painted and the ceiling was patched and painted, we were ready to put up the crown molding. We bought the same type we used in our kitchen and in the nursery, it blends well with the original molding in the house. Mike bought the right lengths at Home Depot (you buy it by the inch and cut it in the store) and brought it home. He mitered the corners with our miter saw. Putting it up with our fancy nail gun was quick and easy - everything was cut and installed in under hour.

Once it was up, next we had to do all of the seams with paintable white caulk. Top, bottom and between each connection (especially the corners). This took much longer than installation, but it was well worth it. Caulk always makes everything look a million times better.

I love how it came out. It looks like it’s always been there - our favorite way to know that we made the right decision for the house. Wasn’t it always like this?

Of course, we still have to paint it white (it came primed) and all the trim in the hall needs a fresh coat. But you can still see here in the pictures how the bright white trim pops with the edgecomb gray walls and ceiling. It finishes and hides most of the rough edges of the wallpaper too.

Jan 20, 2015

Bathroom Door

While working on the upstairs hall, I wanted to address the interior of the bathroom door. It was in bad shape - cracked and starting to peel. I think the humidity from the shower affected the many layers of old paint and helped hasten the aging process.

Some part of the paint had bubbled so badly the paint came off in thick chunks when I touched it. Layers of white, pink, teal… and under the teal there was a beautiful dark brown stain, probably the original door finish. Someday it would be amazing to strip and refinish the doors to a dark walnut… but I’ve heard it’s a huge pain and it’s not something we’re ready to do any time soon. So in the meantime, we just need to preserve the white paint and current finish. I decided to fill in the cracks and repaint the door with a fresh coat of white paint.

It looks much better now, though at some point we will have to address this door again. The humidity from the shower hasn’t done it any favors and we will have to do more than a quick patch job. You can still see the cracks and bubbles close up.

For now though - this looks a lot better and works just fine.

Jan 16, 2015

Winter Hibernation

In the winter on the coldest days, our bedroom is the warmest room in the house (to the point of being hot) because it's at the end of the radiator line. Therefore it's Georgia's favorite spot for a long winter's nap.

Stop interrupting and let me get back to sleep...

Jan 15, 2015

A Framed Dragonfly

I’ve always had a thing for dragonflies, they have special meaning to me. It’s not that I collect them per se, but I like them and they’ve become symbolic to me. For Christmas my dad gave me my first real one.

It’s a Indonesian dragonfly preserved under the glass, ethically and sustainably raised from an eco friendly, green certified business that supports forest conservation programs around the world. When the light hits it, the wings shimmer the most beautiful teal blue.

Right now I have it hung next to my mirror in the bedroom, near all my necklaces hung on my dragonfly hooks. It fits in the spot perfectly, though it might end up becoming part of a different display later and be moved around. It's so pretty!

Jan 14, 2015

Upstairs Hall Patched & Painted

Back in 2011, when we put the wallpaper in the hallway, it was a very difficult process. We had to reuse pieces of wallpaper and things didn’t lay perfectly. There were a couple of spots that were especially bad, but we decided to just live with them - what else could we do?

When it was time to finally redo the hall, we had to consider the walls and wallpaper dings. Part of the plan was to put on a fresh coat of paint, but I decided I wanted to patch first. Normally I would never recommend spackling wallpaper, but something needed to fill the dings and gaps and help smooth the rough seams. We lived with it for 3 years, so I didn’t rush into this decision. I figured it couldn’t be any worse than what it already was, and a fresh coat of paint would help blend things in.

It ended up working out really well. The wallpaper texture lent itself well to patching because it’s subtle enough to blend with smooth areas, but textured enough to mask rough spots. Once everything was painted all of the problem areas were significantly improved. Not perfect, but much less noticeable.