Landing in Fall

Hi all!
This has to happen fast because Halloween is my Hubby’s favorite holiday, well all of ours truthfully, and I wanted to take a picture of the front landing, or porch, (it is too small to be a porch?)… front step I guess, but its a BIG step. Anyway prior to the life sized coffin, yes he built one, and all the spooky Halloween displays hit the front yard I wanted the front landing/step to look inviting and comfortably fall-ish.

Fall Front Landing

I took out all the spring and summer flowers, that had mostly withered away in August while we were in California and put in mums, I got them at Lowes for 42 cents a pot, they were the small ones but it is perfect for the terra cotta pots I had on hand and the space.

Fall Front step

I left the trailing potato vines, they seem to do well in this weather and a few wildflowers that are obviously living on just air, because they still look amazing, I added a few small gourds and pumpkins in the planters which the kids brought home from their school garden.  Then I hung up that uber cool orange metal owl that I thrifted for $5.99 at Savers a few years ago, adding a little more color.

Fall

I also hung up a wreath I mde last year from out from strips of fabric I cut out of the kids old Halloween pajamas, shirts, pants and boxers, year boxers;)  Gymboree makes some very cute Halloween boys boxers briefs, and I could not just toss them out, don’t worry they are clean.  I saw how to make this wreath on another blog, but after my last computer died I lost some links so when I find it I will add it., or make one for you. It is really easy.  I also like that the fabric is meaningful, I can remember some of those jammies on my little chubby ghouls.

DIY Halloween wreath

I will share the spookier version when it is complete, you can come back if you dare….ahhahhahahhhaaaaahahaha

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Upcycled Rustic Initial Carved Headboard

When we redid some of our garden space we had some leftover 1 X 8 boards.

Santanna’s bed does not have a frame and these boards have been sitting under the deck for almost 2 years, giving them a great distressed patina.

As Jon and I were talking about how to cut up…or not…the boards and how we attend to arrange them to go over her full size bed I fell more in love with the look.

I decided instead, they would go in our room…over our king sized bed.

We had taken off an outdated headboard and have also been discussing how to upcycle that one.

Headboards are apparently a big deal at our house..who knew.

I wanted to headboard to go past the bed a little so that when the bed is made the headboard would extend at least the length of the bed + bedding, the headboard is a total of 96 inches and goes about 6 inches past the bed/bedding.

Headboard

The back of this headboard has 3 1 X 4 boards placed so the end 2 can attach to the metal be frame and one in the middle for support, you could use 2 X 4 or even 4 X 4 board for the “legs” if you want to change the look, I wanted a sleek profile, plus we had all the boars for this in the garage making it FREE.

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When I was dreaming up Santanna’s headboard I had some thoughts about drawing some sort of graphic on it, she still might get a headboard so I won’t spill those thoughts yet.

I thought a saying that might fit, but honestly there was not one that I LOVED, so I thought how about a carving?

Aha!  Initials in a tree….Awwww..right?!?

SO I used our generic Dremel tool, which I think I killed while doing this and carve d our initials, First name and Middle initial, per Hubby’s request.

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It looks rustic which is great, this was not as easy as I thought it would be, hence some minor imperfections, but I do love the way it turned out.

I did not carve the heart; I painted and sanded all of the heart and initials to give it an aged look.

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On the other side I added the year we were married in paint, I did many different layers and wanted that too look aged as well, I am not sure that it is exactly how I pictured it in my mind, but I can’t say how often my vision and the end product correspond.

Plus it is more discreet then the carving.

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I have to say we are loving this, and that is was FREE from some repurposed garden boards makes it feel special.

 

 

 

DIY Oak Hardwoord Floors.

I shared the pretty; now the nitty gritty.

Here is how is went down…almost literaly.

We let our wood acclimate to the house for a little more than 2 weeks, more than recommended but with all our crazy weather and rain we wanted to make sure it was not too humind, which can lead to gaps in flooring later.

We tore out the carpet.  And by we , I mean Jon, Solomon and Avalon had it up when I brought the other 2 kiddos home from an activity one evening, I came home to them pulling up the tack strips, that held the carpet down, they rolled up the carpet and then rolled up the pad, the bottoms of both had some staining from juice and other spills, reaffirming our choice to go wood.

Carpet Tearout

This is the sandy stuff that was right at the seam of where the carpet had met our existing hardwood floors, I am thinking it is  a combination of,  well dirt and sand 😉  and the backing of the carpet that just sort of falls apart over time. Ick!

Carpet dust?

We cleaned the sub floor which was in excellent shape, it is only 7 years old, by vacuuming and a small warm water/soap spot clean where needed.

Then we laid down tar paper, as a sound and protection barrier between the sub floor and the oak.

Tar paper

Since we were installing this up to existing hardwood flooring we knew it was going to be fairly level but we double checked to make sure that the new pieces going in were level.  We also had to face nail in the first boards since there was a small trim piece that we had taken out and the tongue part of the connecting board was not there.  Face nailing means to nail it into place through the top of the board, we did this with small finish or trim nails and then filled the small holes with putty.

Then we set to work staggering our boards to make sure no board ended at the same spot, and nailed them in place.

After about 4 or 5 rows we would cover it with a red builders paper or rosin paper, to protect the unfinished wood.

When we got towards the end of the rows Jon would cut the last piece to fit exactly in place, this is where some real skills come into place, there will be a piece of oak corner round along the wall trim, but you need to make the end floor pieces fit as close to the space as possible.

Below you can see how we staggered the boards and covered them and toward the wall is where you can see boards would need to be cut to fit.

Floors

Also if you are taking out carpet to put in hardwood you may and you have a heating/cooling vent you might have to cut down the register if you are putting in wood grated with your flooring, I do not have pictures, but Jon cut our down easily with a sawsall, be careful when cutting the metal for sharp spots!

The last few board of the flooring have to be face nailed again, at least our were since the nail gun would not fit close to the walls.

After all the flooring was in we rented a sander from Menards, and they had 3-2-1 sanding pads for sale that fit the machine, 3 being coarse, 2 less coarse, and 1 the fine and final sand.  They did not think I would need the 3 but I brought it home anyway and I am glad I did because there were some spots that the wood was higher/lower and he 3 took care of this quickly, the 2 would have taken a long time.

Sander

Once it was all sanded and smooth, we wiped the wood down with lightly damp clean rags, just enough to catch all the dust but not soak into the wood.

Oak Flooring

We let it dry and then did 4 coats of an oil based polyurethane.  The poly we chose was the one we thought best matched the existing floors.

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I think we got it right:

Oak Flooring

Again the before and after:

Living RoomOak Hardwood Floors

Tools used for this Oak floor DIY  project:

  • Hammer
  • Small crowbar
  • Screwdriver
  • Sawsall
  • Rented Orbital Sander
  • Painting wand and pad
  • Wood floor Nailer
  • Putty Knife
  • Level
  • Saw

Cost for this DIY Project:

  • Oak flooring and 2 registers:  $814.74
  • Disposal fee for old carpet and pad:  $25.00
  • Nailgun: Free (borrowed from my Dad)
  • Nails for the nailer: $25.92
  • Tar Paper and Rosin Paper: $7.45
  • Wood putty : Free (again we had this on hand)
  • Sander rental and 3-2-1 pads: $43.39
  • Polyurethane and painting pad( we used the handle we already had): $83.05
  • Tools: Free (we had all of them on hand from other projects)
  • Labor: Free 🙂

This project totals : $999.55

Just under a G, bids on this were around $2500.!!  We saved over 1/2 by DIYing this floor and we LOVE it!!

It did take most of Memeorial weekend, but that included many interruptions from those that are now pitter pattering around on this beautiful floor.

So I think most could be this done in a weekend but each coat of poly needs about 3 hours between them, so if you did more than 4 coats it will add time to the job.

Shiny Happy Floors

I am going to get right to it…our new floor:

Oak Hardwood Floors

Now if you have been here all along you might also notice that something else changed…

Lets review shall we?

Here is the before of this space, after we moved out our furniture:

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Previously we were using this as a living room

2011 June 1819 copy

But we traded out this:

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For this:

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And this:

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For this:

2013 June 170 copy

We did a living room dining room flip, I love that our new flooring goes throughout the whole space, the carpet always left us feeling like we needed furniture on one side or the other…don’t cross the line!!

This was a complete DIY project, it took us one long rainy plus weekend and it was about 300 square feet.  Cost and details are coming.

Plus we built a new Master Bedroom headboard for FREE!

Stay Tuned!

And if you see carpet be gentle, she took the break up hard, but she was good to us for almost 7 years, trustworthy,  and loyal, but she had secrets; hid too many things, we needed a smooth shiny new floor, one that wouldn’t hide spills…it was us, not her…you know.

We’ve Got Wood

Seriously …number one in speech writing is an attention getter right?!? Well I am applying that to blog writing and titles..today.

Yes we do , we have wood: white oak unfinished 3 1/2 by 3/4 inch various length hardwood flooring,  wanna see??

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We have it set behind the love seat in the living room so it can “acclimate”, so that when we put it down, nail it in, sand it and clear coat it, we don’t end up with any seams shrinking and gaping open.

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The salesman at Lumber Liquidators said it should sit for about a week to 10 days.

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Can’t wait to show some progress on this pile of wood.

Exercise Room

Still working on organizing the house, from my New Years resolution.

This pace used to be our office, we had 2 desks on each end, after the kids went to be Jon worked on his homework and I worked on Ebay/blogging.

Jon recently bought a laptop and can work wherever he likes  and I have moved my office into the unfinished, large, laundry/craft room.  I just have so much inventory it was not enough space and kept spilling into the living room.

Here is a picture from our living room:

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Notice the exercise area behind the futon?  Well it is gone!  During my Fab Five February I sold the futon and the recumbent bike!!

This living room downstairs, serves as the TV room, a playroom, you can see the dress up on the middle left side of the picture, and until recently a workout room.

This space needed less responsibility!

So we moved all exercise related items into the old office and viola! No more exercising in the living room. (living room pic still to come)

Some before and after shots of the new workout room:

Notice there are glass french doors so I can close them if I need/want to.

Before.                                                                After

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Before.                                                            After…my 7 mile run at night…hence the lighting.

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I still have  a few things that I would like to do in this room:

  • Add some audio/visual maybe take down one shelf dn add a small TV, definitely something for music.
  • Take out the wireless modem..move it into the office.
  • Add some inspirational sayings? Wall art?
  • Relable the Ikea bins, since those no longer house shopping bags and mittens/hats 😉

It feels so good to have a clean space to exercise inside, so I can run while the littles nap, and since spring has yet to get here, I may need this space for a while.

We do have a gym membership to a fantastic club in town, but it is nice to have this option. In about 3 years will all 4 of our kids are in school full day I will probably sell the treadmill and run at the club or outside.  AS an avid runner this is still a vital piece of “home decor” for me.

 

 

New Wood Flooring Has Been Ordered

It has taken quite a bit orf researching and information gathering as most well thought out projects do, and I am happy to say that we have chosen and ordered hardwood floors for the upstairs living space as of 2 hours ago!!

Ok so here is a before picture:

2011 June 1819 copy

The carpet looks fine in the picture, but it does not look great up close, it is 6 years old and was very inexpensive carpet to begin with, and it no longer looks nice.

What you cannot see in this picture is that the carpet in the living room buts up to red oak hardwood flooring in the kitchen/dining room.  When we built this house the orignal plan was for hardwood throughout the main floor, but I asked to have carpet in this living room area.  We had just sold a house that was all hardwood flooring, which we loved, but is hard when you have littles, I wanted an area where I could plop them down with some toys that would be soft landing.

Now that everyone has graduated from toddler-hood, the carpet has done is job and is ready to retire.

Here is what we purchased:

red oak unfinished flooring

It is an unfinished red oak “select” meaning it has no knots or imperfections, which is what is already in the house size 3 1/4 X 3/4 inch.

We purchased the flooring from Lumber Liquidators, we looked at HOme depot, they did not have it available in unfinished, we also tried to buy from a local small town restoration business but after a week of waiting for a return call, and our tax return money just sitting there in the bank;), we decided on Lumber liquidators.

We have to wait 7-10 days for the flooring to get to our store, then we need to let is “rest” in our house for 7-10 days, 2 weeks being ideal.

Then we can install, sand and clear coat.

We are really excited and I will keep you in the loop for each step!  We are pretty seasoned DIY’er our last house we had to refinish the floors, but we have never actually installed them so this will be new for us.

“Room” for Improvement.

Previously I shared Avalon’s room, you can see it here.

It seems no small task to get their rooms tidy enough to take photos to share, but I am sharing Santanna’s room because it needs to be redone read, paint, and decor.

By far it is the hardest to get her to keep her room organized, it seems like every time we “deep clean” it and I give her bins and tips, and take more out, it just ends up haphazard all over again.  Cool with me if she can find things…but thats not the case.

Anway…here is her room AS IS:

Walking in we have a coat hook, I think this might have to go, it feels like a catchall and clutters the entrance?

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Looking in from the hallway, can you see that we have started to patch holes in preparation for fresh paint, probably evident in every picture;)…oh and there’s Farley..he loves Santanna!

Curtains need to go/change, I painted her name in one color than was going to change it to match the Circo Love and Nature bedding, which will probably stay, but never finished…add that to the l ist.

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Bed side table….less stuff, or maybe one on each side, for books and alarm clock, lamp?

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These shelves used to be over a bookshelf, and now just look out-of-place, I think they need to move to a more thoughtful/purposeful place.

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Here is what houses almost all her books and toys, it was 2 bookshelves ( that we built) and repurposed into a cubby system. Notice those green woven bins from Target again that I used in the pantry …man I might have bought them all from our store.

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I would love to see a cushion on part of this??  She likes to set up her toys and play n it, so maybe just 1/2 for a cozy reading spot.

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View of her bed sitting on the cubby system with my back to the window, you can see the heavy blanket peeking out from under her bedding, it gets COLD here, layers are cozy!! She needs a headboard or bed frame of some sort.

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Recap of to do list for this room

  • Paint
  • Move coat hook
  • Paint her letters or remove
  • Bedside table…add another/declutter
  • purposeful shelving and wall decor
  • Headboard/footboard, bed frame
  • Cushion on cubby system

Littlest Girls Room

At one point we had all 3 girls sharing this room, it was a fun idea, the sisterly love was there, but this room just does not provide enough space for 3.
It was a sage green color that we loved, but like all the walls in our house it needed a fresh coat over the builder flat paint that we insisted they not use…flat paint is just not a good idea.
Before:

2011 June 1637 copy

We painted it a very light gray, I put together a  duvet cover for her bed, she’s really into polka dots, and made the ladder style bedside table.

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Pinterest inspired embroidery hoop fabric pieced wall decor:

Embroidery wall Hanging

We hung 3 mirrors on her wall to make the space feel, bigger, they hang on the wall across from her window which lets in fantastic day light. The pink Bilbo toy serves as a step stool for our little shorty to reach her light and fan switch.

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100+ year old metal bed from our family farm, it was bronze but has been painted a number of items, we painted it white over a previous blue, so it has an amazing patina.

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Antique toolbox at the end of her bed holds all the books that will not fit on the bedside table, if we have too many of anything at our house it is books, but I think that’s a great thing;)

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One wall that houses her closet, we have a plan for some of the closet pace in our house, we might take 1/2 of this closet and give it to the adjoining room.  Than take the closet from that room and add it into our MB closet space…stay tuned.

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Whiter and Brighter

It was time.

I did love the color, but it was dark, it’s winter, things needed to be brighter, we have 4 kids that kick off boots, throw down back packs, a dog that slobbers, hands that use the wall instead of the railing…you get the idea.

We painted the entry way.

Here is a photo I found of the before color:

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Two  more…not great, I took these at night when the kids were sleeping, this is the only safe time to paint at our house without *help*, but you get the idea.

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Nice right??!! I do love this color, it took a few tries to get this right, it may even be a custom blend.

But here is what it looks like now:

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It is so much brighter and cleaner feeling, I love the cool darker colors, but to be honest this space just needs a light bright color to make this space feel more inviting.  We do not have a mudroom or separate entrance, that will be a must have in our next house, so this is where everyone enters our house, the door next to the mirror is the door to the garage, so we really use this landing space  ALL. THE. TIME.