Month: February 2012

Nursery Tour: Baby Brownie’s Girly Room

I didn’t intend for Baby Brownie’s nursery to be so feminine, really, I swear.

But somehow, it’s impossible to have a baby girl without receiving tons of pink stuff.  And after all the showers had been thrown, I actually really liked the pink stuff.

This 100-square foot room has come a long way since we first moved in.  We removed the stained carpet, put in a hardwood floor lifted from another room, repainted the beadboard and painted the walls a buttery Provencal yellow.

The crib and dresser were gifts from Chris’ mother, who is incredibly excited to be having her first grandchild, and a girl to boot!  The lovely pink blanket with the rosettes is from my sister-in-law Heidi.

I found the old rocker on Craigslist and recovered the seat cushions with some clearance fabric from IKEA.  The telephone cushion was on clearance for $5 at Homegoods. Curtains are from IKEA’s children’s department, side table is a $7.99 LACK.  The soft lambskin was a surprise gift in the mail from my aunt who lives in New Zealand.  Such a beautiful and unique gift!  Whenever I walk past it, I seriously want to throw myself on the floor and roll around on it like a puppy.

Because earthquakes are a concern in Southern California, I haven’t been able to put any framed art above the crib and dresser.  My temporary solution was to tape these shower decorations to the wall.

The oh baby bunting and sweet sugar n’ spice sign (mounted on foam board) were made by Chris’ cousin Malinda.

The one thing we haven’t yet done is to put doors on the closet.  I might just hang a curtain from a tension rod to hide the clutter.  But I also really enjoy looking at all of Baby Brownie’s cute little clothes.  For now.  I’m sure that as clutter builds up I’m going to want to hang that curtain to hide it!  Any suggestions for cheap but cute curtains for the closet?  And I still want to get some more lightweight wall art for above the crib.

But it’s basically ready for its future little inhabitant!  Though hopefully Baby Brownie will stay in the oven for another couple of weeks, as we still have a lot of work to do on the other parts of the house!

Check out the updated nursery tour here!

Laundry Room, With Walls

Last time I posted about framing out the new laundry room and tiling the floor.  Now, the laundry room is ALMOST done.  In fact, it is done except for the obvious cosmetic touches of taping off and texturing the drywall, adding baseboard trim, and painting.

Here it is after we finished grouting.  After this, we put up more drywall and fixed the cruddiness of the wall to the left.

We grouted the tile after letting it cure for a couple of days.  Adding the grout was pretty easy, and there are lots of tutorials for it on YouTube.  Basically, you mix the grout with water until it’s the consistency of a stiff buttercream frosting, and scrape it into the cracks using a rubber trowel.  After scraping off the excess, you go over the whole thing with a damp sponge to smooth the lines and remove any extra.  We went over the tile again with a soft damp cloth to remove any film on the tile.  Then after it dried, we sealed the grout to keep it clean and nice.

I think it looks pretty good considering it was about the cheapest porcelain tile they had at Home Depot, and considering it was our first time.

After the tile floor was done, Chris and his dad put in the drywall.  The most challenging thing about the drywall was first supporting all of the copper pipe in the wall, and measuring and cutting the holes for the plumbing to come out of the wall.  We had to make sure that there was enough room around the pipes to attach the fixtures once the drywall was up. Then, there were a few new electrical outlets that needed to be wired as well as a 3-way switch for the light.  Fortunately, Chris’ dad is pretty experienced at electrical, and Chris is learning quickly, but it’s not a DIY that I would do if I didn’t have someone experienced helping me.

So that’s about where our little laundry room is right now.  I apologize for the grainy pictures–it’s a bit dark in there right now.  And obviously it hasn’t been prettied up with paint and decor yet.  But you get the idea.

Our water heater, washer and dryer, and a new laundry room sink fit in there perfectly.  Eventually, we’re planning to build cabinets above the washer and dryer and enclose the bottom of the laundry sink in a cabinet as well.

It has been nice to have the laundry room wall and ceiling closed up, as cold air had been seeping into the house through the attic and other construction zones.  The finished half of the house is much warmer now.

Which is good because Baby Brownie is on her way sometime in the next 3-4 weeks!

Oh me oh my!

Laundry Room Progress and Our First Tile Job

The last couple of weekends have been a race to get the laundry room finished.

Just so you have an idea of what we were working with, here’s a before pic:

I know, it’s extremely icky.  The hallway led into the master bedroom, and on the left was the laundry closet with broken louver doors, LOTS of dirt and grime, broken vinyl tiles, and “popcorn” texture ceiling.

After scraping the ceilings, removing the tile, and taking out the closet frame, we decided to close off the doorway to the master bedroom and enlarge the laundry closet to make a laundry ROOM.

The master bedroom is also being enlarged and there will be a different entrance to it, so we didn’t need the current doorway.  Also, removing the doorway allows us to enlarge the master bath.

This meant that Chris and his dad (aka Jamie, our secret weapon) spent the last couple of weekends rerouting the plumbing, moving the water heater, putting in faucets for the washer/dryer and laundry room sink, as well as new drains.  They also had to move the attic trapdoor so that it would be right in the center of the laundry room (instead of half in the master bedroom).  They framed in the new attic trapdoor as well as a new “plumbing” wall.

Chris got to work with a blowtorch, which was fun and very manly/sexy.

After the plumbing was done and the new wall framed, it still wasn’t looking pretty, but you could definitely visualize the new laundry “room”.

We got right to work tiling the concrete floor.

We thought the laundry room would be a good place for us to do our first tiling job, since if we mess up, at least it’s not a room a lot of guests will see.  Even as novice tilers, though, we found that tiling wasn’t very difficult.  Of course, having Chris’ dad as a teacher helped a lot.

First Chris and Jamie chalked out a line on the bare concrete floor, that was squared with the walls and would act as a guideline.  Then Chris applied the thinset, scraping it against the concrete floor to ensure that it adhered well.  Then, he evened it out with a notched trowel:

Then he laid the tile up against the already-set tiles.  I handed him a few plastic spacers, and he used the spacers to push the tile out with 1/8″ space for grout.

He pressed the tiles down with a scrap 2×4 to level them all out evenly.

The tiles on the sides of the room had to be cut, so Chris measured them out using another tile as a guide, and marked them with a tile marker.

Chris’ dad already had the tile saw, so Chris got to play with another cool new tool.  I’m happy to say, we did not ruin even one piece of tile!

The tiles along the sides were applied with the same principles as the whole tiles, except with a smaller notched trowel.

Coming up next time, the fully tiled floor and our next project, installing the drywall in the laundry room!  I’m looking forward to the ceiling being finished so cold air doesn’t keep blowing into the house through the attic!  Finishing the laundry room will effectively seal off half of the house from cold air and construction dust/debris from the master bedroom, which is a top priority for us with the baby coming so soon.

6 weeks left till D-day! Oh my.

 

Cheap and Stylish Checks

Chris and I have been looking into ordering new checks, something we’ve kept putting off because we just moved and we wanted to get new checks printed with our new address.

Chris, by the way, is the king of deals, and can be found at all hours of the day scouring DealNews for the latest deals.  It amazes me sometimes.  It’s a special talent he has.

Anyway, he found this offer for new customers at ChecksintheMail.com.  It’s just $5 for a box of 125 checks if you use the code BESTOFFER!  Shipped!  The cool thing is, they actually have some cute designs.  Check ’em out. (And I am not being compensated in any way by ChecksintheMail, I just think the checks are cute.)  Click on the check image to go to the site.

Botanical Checks

Sassy Stripes Checks

Island Tropics Checks

Bird Song Checks

Modelli Checks

We went with the Modelli checks because they were a little less girly than the others, and I felt bad making Chris write girly checks.  They’re still stylish though.  For five buckaroonies, it’s a great deal!

Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that even something as mundane as your checks are cute too?

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