Archive of ‘Home Improvement’ category
Aha, we’re finally doing a little bit of updating around here.
It’s been hard to find uninterrupted time to take photos of the work we’ve been doing around the house. So I apologize in advance if these photos aren’t the greatest. I’ll do my best to post more later.
As usual we forgot to take before pictures, so these progress pics give you an idea of how much work this loft bedroom entailed. This bedroom is right above the family room and it’s actually a perfect place for guests — away from the rest of the bedrooms but with its own ensuite bathroom for both privacy and convenience. It started out pretty rough though.
The outdated wallpaper had been stuck on to bare drywall without primer, and was impossible to remove without gouging up the walls, so we ended up sealing it with an oil based primer before painting over it.
What you don’t see here is the dank, musty, forest-green carpet that had been collecting leaking water for years. We removed it the first day we got the keys to this house. We also had to fix some leaks in the roof and replaced the window.
The first bed that Chris built is the guest bed with a super comfy memory foam mattress. It does get hot up there in the loft, so right now I just have a thin bedspread on the bed (from Ikea).
We did a planked treatment for the ceilings to camouflage any not-so-skillful drywall seams. Chris found this tongue-and-groove pine planking that was much thinner and cheaper than buying wood planks. The raw pine looks kind of rustic and cottagey which is nice for up here, I think.
The wall hanging was purchased when we were backpacking in Asia.
I’ve been hoarding that wood carving(?) for a few years; just needed the right spot to put it.
Below are a couple wide angle shots we took earlier (hence why things are arranged a bit differently). They give you an idea of the entire layout of the room.
The dormer actually adds a lot of extra space. We recently had friends stay with their two toddlers and the dormer was able to accommodate one of the kids, while the other child slept on a small mat beside the bed.
I think I’m just going to hang a curtain in front of the closet — the nightstand is so close to the opening that doors won’t be practical. And as you can see, the furniture up here is pretty mismatched, as most guestroom furniture tends to be. But it’s comfortable for guests, and that’s what matters at this point.
It’s a pretty relaxing place to take a nap, which is one of my favorite things to do ;).
I will update more later, as we slowly improve this space!
In keeping with my New Year Resolution to provide timely instructions when promised (wink), here are some diagrams so you can build your own wine rack like the one Chris made me for Christmas.
The baby is going to wake up any minute, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible.
First decide how big you want your wine rack to be. Ours is about 31 x 23″ and 3.5″ deep. We used redwood fence pickets which are about 5.75″ wide with a small (0.25″) gap between them.
Drill the holes for your wine bottles using a hole saw — ours are about 2.5″ in diameter.
Assemble the frame of the wine rack. It’s basically just a box.
Add 2×4″ pieces behind the holes. You can play around with the placement of the 2x4s but they seemed to work best for us when they covered about 1/2 of the holes.
Of course, different bottles have differently-shaped necks so we varied the placement of the 2x4s somewhat to accomodate different bottles. Again, just play around with it with a few sample bottles. Nail the 2x4s in from the sides.
THEN, add an extra 1×2″ strip of wood on the bottom of the 2×4″ piece. I don’t have a photo of this but here’s a diagram. The second row down shows the placement of the strip a little clearer (it’s cut down short in the diagram but you’ll want to make it full length, like the others). This makes the angle of the bottles steeper so they stay held in when the rack is mounted vertically on the wall (a feature that isn’t needed in A-frame riddling racks).
From the front it’ll look like this:
Then assemble the front of the rack.
We used a 15-gauge nailer and finish nails for our nailing. The great thing about finish nails is that they barely show after being nailed. A hammer and nails would work fine too, it would just take longer and the nail heads would show (in that case you probably wouldn’t want to nail on the front face of the wine rack).
Sand down the wood using a belt sander or rotary sander (or you could do this step before assembling, up to you) and put a protective finish of your choice on it. We used a homemade Danish oil mixture (1 part boiled linseed oil, 1 part oil-based poly, and 1 part mineral spirits). The redwood looks really good once it’s sanded down. Hard to believe they’re fence pickets!
Here are a few more diagrams for clarity:
Hope that helps! Again, this wasn’t a super precise undertaking, and you’ll want to tweak the measurements to suit your own space, but you get the idea =).
Enjoy a bottle of wine once you’re done to congratulate yourself for all the hard work!
The foyer in our house hardly merits the name — it’s just a little box between the hallway and the living room, but I’m grateful to have it! It’s really handy to have a little landing pad area for shoes, keys, and mail before you enter the house proper.
We did this little update a few weeks ago:
We painted a navy blue accent wall that you see right as you come in.
The foyer area used to look like this:
It was kind of a milky mocha color. The paint really wasn’t in the best shape (you can see the weird blotches) and just wasn’t really me. Also, I definitely prefer cooler blues, greens, and grays, rather than browns. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, haha!
The paint color is Behr’s China Pattern, which isn’t strictly a navy, since it definitely reads blue ALWAYS, never black. But I tried a darker navy and it was too dark, so this one ended up winning out.
We’ve had the console table for a few months. It’s the Tao Foyer Table from World Market, which is unfortunately being discontinued. We snapped it up on clearance. It’s a very small and slim console table, so it is perfect for our tight foyer space.
The antique mirror is something we picked up over a year ago. I pumped up the gold finish with some gold leaf paint.
I didn’t style the table to make it look perfect so you can see the tray that catches my mail, sunglasses, chapstick, and keys! Also, I guess I didn’t close the drawer all the way =p. Just keepin’ it real, peeps.
We got this flush mount light from IKEA for the foyer. I removed the white plastic base and spray painted it gold. I think it gives the area a little more glamour.
I love dark blue and gold together, don’t you?
Sharing at SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee, DomesticallySpeaking, StartatHome
When we bought our house, one of the selling features was a loft space above the family room that was advertised as a “fifth bedroom”. In reality, it was not a usable space. It smelled of urine from an animal that had been living in the eaves under the roof, it had hideous stained carpet, and it had two open “holes” hemmed in by pony walls that looked down into the family room. I know, I just totally grossed you out, but that’s reality when you buy a fixer, folks!
We fixed the animal problems and now it’s a matter of ripping out old drywall, re-drywalling, framing in new closets, and then putting in flooring, paint, all those things.
While trolling Pinterest, I’ve been taking note of inspiration photos of attic bedrooms. Our loft is right under the roof (although it was an addition on TOP of the original roof) so it is technically an attic space, with dormer windows and sloped ceilings. Here are a few of the ones I’m drawn to.
Attics tend to be dark and lack windows because they were never meant to be bedrooms, but I love the skylights in this one above that flood the room with light. I also notice that many attics are painted white, keeping the space lighter and airier.
This room is so rustic, sweet and whimsical. I can just imagine a little girl climbing out the window, down a tree, and on to magical adventures. (Though that would be totally unsafe, says the mom in me.) I love the different shades of wood tones that bring so much texture and warmth into the room.
via Prairie Perch
A great use of space in a dormer. How fun would this be for two little girls?
I think an all-white space is a little too stark for me. I love color and warm natural wood. But there’s no denying white makes the space seem brighter.
Again, a little monochromatic for me. I like a little more warm wood and more colors. But I love the oil-rubbed bronze metal and I like the board and batten on the walls. An easy way to get a more cottage look without having to go all-out with planking the walls.
And I can’t forget the awesome attic renovation by The Natos.
From The Nato’s
An awesome real-life attic renovation on a budget. I love the secret little mini rooms hidden in the dormers.
via Country Living
I actually love the idea of putting a chandelier in the attic. Why not?
So after looking at all of my favorite attic pictures, a few elements seem to be consistent. White walls. Some kind of cottage wall treatment (either battens or planked walls). Warm wood floors. Layered wood tones. Oil-rubbed bronze. Small pops of color.
I can’t believe it took us so long to get the kitchen updating going. The breakfast nook was so drab and sad for such a long time, and in a couple weekends of work is looking so much more cheerful.
Much better than the nondescript before, no?
We chose Valley Mist by Behr for the walls. It’s a lovely bluish, greenish, grayish color. It dried a bit brighter than I expected but I like it. The kitchen should be cheerful and bright, I think. And it goes well with the pops of yellow I have in the painted frame and the DIY roman shade.
I think it also makes the art stand out more.
I want to add some more art on the ledge above the window, and maybe some typography.
We’re working on refinishing the old oak dining table and that will be coming back in soon. I’m just enjoying seeing the transformation of this house! I love giving the house the love it needs to truly shine.