Category: Before and After

Our Big Weekend Project

I still can’t believe we managed to pull this off in a weekend.

Granted, it was a long weekend, but this project was completed in just two days. So definitely weekend doable.

This is our living room wall before.

IMG_1942

And this is our living room wall now.

slider complete

That’s right. We cut a hole in the wall and installed a sliding glass door into this long and windowless wall in our living room!

By “we”, really, I mean Chris and his dad installed the slider. I contributed by being in charge of the toddler all day and by giving constructive criticism when warranted ;).

IMG_4628

Our walls are ridiculously thin. These mass-manufactured tract homes were built out of prefab wall panels and our walls are only about 2″ thick.

IMG_4630

Chris peeled off the outer layer (after removing the electrical) so he could see what he was dealing with. Then he cut a hole just so he could step through and work.

IMG_4637

You can really see how thin our walls are. Basically two plywood panels joined with pieces of wood and this interesting honeycomb foam insulation, which was disintegrating from age. Also, there were large gaps where there was no insulation.

IMG_4644

Chris and his dad cut the hole to the size of the slider (which we bought from Lowe’s for about $350).

IMG_4647

After cutting the hole they added a new header and side support beams. You can see the header above, whereas the side support beams were inserted into the walls between the plywood panels.

IMG_4652

Because we are planning to install rigid foam insulation and siding over the walls this summer, we wrapped the window frame and surrounding walls with Tyvek, a water resistant barrier. Then Chris added flashing to the sides.

IMG_4653

IMG_4660

 

IMG_4662

You gotta flash the windows properly to prevent leaks. Other windows in our house had not been flashed properly and in a driving rain, water leaks through. We can kind of get away with it in Southern California, but still, better to do it right. We’re hoping to flash the rest of the windows properly before we install new siding.

IMG_4666

We were chasing the light, but we got ‘er done! All this in one day!

slider horiz

The next day we added the pieces of trim, partially salvaged from the board and batten (well really just the battens) we had removed with the wall.

Because our walls are so thin, the window frame was thicker than the wall. Fortunately, the board and batten thickened the wall so it came up flush against the frame, and then the extra trim we added along the top and sides finished it off. We just need to caulk the seams, patch nail holes, and add another coat of paint.

Not bad for a couple days’ work, eh?

Sharing at HopeStudios, AStrollThruLife and SavvySouthernStyle!

A Bright and Cheerful Nursery Tour

It’s been a while since I’ve posted pictures of Baby Brownie’s nursery. The last tour I posted was before Baby Brownie was born, and there are a few functional updates that I added after she actually joined us. I also added a few more pops of color here and there.

nursery 3

Compare this to the previous nursery tour and you’ll see a few small differences:

IMG_0385

First of all, we got rid of the rocker and replaced it with a small and super comfy loveseat. Baby Brownie never really liked being held and rocked (I know, what a weirdo!), and the loveseat allows us to sit and read a book with her, or just hang out in her room.

Plus, it literally just kills me when she lounges on the sofa like a big girl. She just loves sitting there like the big people and it’s kind of the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Funny how the most inane things are freakishly adorable when it’s your kid.

nursery 10

We also added blackout linings to the thin IKEA curtains. I just bought 4 yards of blackout fabric at Joann’s (used a 50% off coupon) and sewed them to the backs of the curtains; just one straight seam right at the top. Baby Brownie’s naps got quite a bit longer after we added those.

Oh and on the left of the above picture you can see the open closet. We still haven’t gotten around to putting closet doors or a curtain up, but I actually don’t mind seeing everything, as long as it’s moderately neat.

nursery 2

A folding table was brought over by the couch to hold the humidifier (the table is taller than the IKEA LACK table we had there before, which means we can put a few things on it without Baby Brownie pulling them down).

We added a larger, more substantial, and more colorful rug (from IKEA) to create more play space for her.

I added some Skip Hop Wall Decals on the wall over the crib.

nursery 11

We didn’t really get a baby bedding set as we didn’t want a traditional crib bumper. We did eventually get a mesh crib bumper because the baby kept getting her leg stuck between the slats. We’ll remove that as soon as she shows signs of trying to climb out of the crib.

nursery 4

We also didn’t go for a specific nursery theme. We just went with what we had and what worked. It all ended up matching pretty well. Lots of bright colors and animals!

nursery 7

Numbered bins from IKEA hold random toys, books, and socks. Floral hooks from World Market hold her towel. Speaking of which, I need to add a 3rd hook to the left, don’t I? It’s looking pretty lopsided.

nursery 6

These bins may not look like much but when I’m doing a frenzied last-minute tidy of Baby Brownie’s room it’s nice to just throw stuff in there.

nursery 9

I know dark furniture isn’t as trendy now but I still like our dark cherry finish nursery furniture. The map print I bought online and finally put up securely with 3M Command strips after it fell down several times.

nursery 5

nursery 8

I love that fox clock. I bought it in Toronto at the Superstore ($10! Can’t beat it!) with my sister who was pregnant at the time with Baby Brownie’s cousin. The two girls have the same clock hanging up in their room even though they’re several thousand miles apart with a 3-hour time difference =).

The art is a cheapo $2 Walmart frame I spray painted and I added some free printable art.

nursery 3

I feel like the room is much more functional now, with more seating, the blackout curtains, some convenient storage, and a clock! And it’s definitely more colorful now too. Guess you can never be totally prepared for having a baby…you really just have to wait till the little one arrives to know exactly what you need!

Dear readers, those of you who have kids, what did you end up unexpectedly needing or not needing after your child was born? Did that change your nursery decor?

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Sharing at The Shabby Nest, Remodelaholic, BetweenNapsOnThePorch, SavvySouthernStyle, ThriftyDecorChick and ChiconaShoestring!

Hello Sunshine! Painted Patio Table

I’m so happy that I finally finished this project! It took longer than I thought, not because it was difficult, but just because we had to go back to the store several times. Also, the baby has been majorly teething (4 molars at once, are you kidding me?!) and she has been pretty much a ball of misery the last few days so that has been occupying most of my attention.

yellow patio table

But I finally made over the patio table and I’m super happy with how it turned out! Spray paint is a wonderful thing.

spray painted yellow patio table

Remember, the patio table used to look like this:

old patio chairs

The paint was scratched up quite a bit and it was just a little dingy and sad.

We just polished off any loose bits of paint with some steel wool, wiped it down with a rag, and then primed with a medium primer.

IMG_4221

I like to be super cautious when using oil based paint, especially spray paint, hence the HEPA mask and long sleeves/pants. Not only are the VOCs not something I want in my lungs, but with spray paint the droplets get EVERYWHERE…and I definitely don’t want droplets of paint in my lungs. The HEPA filters are the pink ones, and this HEPA mask only costs$14 (and is surprisingly comfortable). Totally worth it for your health!

IMG_4233

An associate at Home Depot told me to use the medium primer (the gray primer), but I’m not sure that was a great idea. It took SEVERAL light coats of yellow (Rustoleum Sunburst Yellow) to cover it. I feel like a white primer might have been better. I used 3 whole cans of paint and realized I needed more coverage, so I had to go and get another can. Then I had to wait a whole 48 hours before I could re-coat the table.

After the table was finally painted I had to go back to Home Depot to get new hardware for putting it back together because the old hardware was all rusted out.

Although the process took a long time (about 4 days), actual spraying time was short — perhaps an hour in total. The table just sat out in the yard in pieces for a few days while it cured (and then was re-sprayed and cured again).

spray painted yellow patio table

I love how bright and happy it is, and I can’t wait to enjoy many summer dinners out on the patio.

yellow patio table

Don’t you just love spray paint? Have you spray painted anything lately?

Sharing over at TatertotsandJello, Suburbs Mama, A Stroll Through Life, Miss Mustard Seed and If It’s Not Baroque!

How Far We’ve Come – Backyard Updates

Chris and I spent an hour yesterday deciding what projects we’re going to make a priority this summer. The biggest obstacle to a DIY-er is time…there just aren’t enough hours in a day! We have all these projects going on but they all take time, something we don’t have a lot of between Chris’ work and me staying home with the baby. So we decided that while we have longer daylight hours, we should prioritize the exterior space. We’ve already come a long way.

This is what our side yard is looking like these days:

pool fence

There are definitely a few things we want to do. First, get rid of those hideous pipes on the roof. Chris put them up there as a project to make a solar pool heater, but it never got finished, and they’re just U-G-L-Y. I’ve convinced him they need to come down. Next, either paint/put siding up and paint the exterior of the house (your eyes are not deceiving you, the house is currently painted two different colors). I think we’ve decided to put siding up and then paint. These cheaply made houses were made of pre-fab wall panels and the exterior is just sheets of plywood + spray texture. It’s not even real stucco. So we’re going to add insulation + siding + pretty paint. It’s going to be a big project.

Still, it’s encouraging to know that we’ve come a long way from the day we moved in:

IMG_9771-2

The grass was dry and sparse. The white lattice fence was peeling and the wooden gate was sagging so badly it wouldn’t close, and it cut the house off from the yard. The paint on the fascias was peeling badly.

pool fence

Chris installed a pool fence (panels purchased at Home Depot, and welded together by my awesome hubster) and outward-swinging gate for the baby’s safety. We bought a gazebo, umbrella, and some cheap patio furniture at IKEA. Last summer, Chris painstakingly installed a brick paver patio (they’re actually concrete pavers that look like brick) using pavers he got for cheap on Craigslist.

gazebo from ikea

The gazebo is from IKEA and we like the faux-rattan on the sides. The outdoor sectional is from IKEA too (it’s pretty, but to be honest, not too comfortable), and the loveseat, coffee table, and ottomans were found for free on the side of the street. They are REALLY comfortable and I think are the best deal we’ve found for the house yet. I’d like to get some more exterior pillows and colorful accessories for this area, when the budget allows =).

landscaping with rocks

On the other side of the pool we’ve started doing some landscaping with citrus trees, shrubs (golden euonymus) and landscaping rocks that we found lying around the yard in random places when we moved in. I still need to get some more mulch and finish mulching the right side, and clean up the dirt on the concrete (this is definitely an in-progress post). Eventually when those trees and shrubs get bigger they’ll cover up more of the wall.

new patio chairs

You’ve seen the patio table, and I’ve got a project coming up with that table that I’ll post in the next couple of days. I think it will really add a lot to the space!

I’m so glad you’re following along with our DIY adventures! Please do take a minute to leave us any suggestions or comments!

A Few Yard Updates

Sorry about the lack of house posts this week, folks. We’ve got a couple of projects on the backburner and they’re just taking a while to get to the point where they merit a post. I’m really excited about them though and think they’ll have a big impact on our space.

Here’s a quick little update on the status of the yard. We recently added these new patio chairs. They’re from Kmart, of all places, and they were only $13 each, on sale! My husband is really good at finding deals like this.

new patio chairs

The new chairs are nice and comfy. They’re obviously not the highest quality things, but they are comparable to thirty-dollar chairs at Target or Home Depot, so I’m ok with the price we paid! They replace these grody things:

old patio chairs

The whole patio set was a hand-me-down from Chris’ parents. It was awesome, still sturdy and functional, but the chairs had seen better days. There was a ton of discoloration from sitting out in the sun for years, and it didn’t improve despite my attempts to bleach them out.

I finally got Chris to agree that we should get new ones. Now that we have nice chairs out there, I actually sit out there more! I’ll watch the baby running around the yard while I have my morning coffee.

patio chairs from kmart

The paint on the table is badly chipping and we’re planning to scrape it down and spray paint it. Guess what color we’re going to go with?

hose reel

We also installed a new hose reel this week. Suddenly the hose, which was lying coiled on the patio, is gone, and we have so much more usable space! It’s the little things…

Boy, we really need to get the outside of the house repainted. Sigh. That’s what happens when you buy a fixer. You have to live with peeling paint until you get around to it…which could be months or years. Be warned!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...