Tag Archive | "painting"

One Year at Home in Florida and One Year of Busting Arse

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One year ago, on July 4th, I drove down to Florida with my two kids (and my sister, who was helping) and our family was reunited again. For those new here or for anyone who has forgotten, my boys and I lived for 6 months in North Carolina while my husband lived in Florida. We moved from Syracuse after bidding on a home in Florida. My husband’s job transferred him to Tampa so he had to go straight there, but we have nowhere to live other than a hotel, and no timeframe for when we would get the home. It was a short sale so these things can take as little as 1-2 months, or as long as a year. It was a HUGE gamble because they never give you a time table.



After the six month wait for the home, we finally moved in. That is when the real work began. The home was in bad shape- liveable but not pretty. I took a lot of time away from the blog in order to focus on painting and remodeling the bathroom. Between the 6 months I lived in Charlotte without access to most of my filming equipment, and the 6 months of intense work on the home, this blog suffered a lot. Shockingly, the traffic didn’t dip like I thought it would.

I was a woman on a mission and painting took first priority. I woke up every day and painted for 5-8 hours a day. I would take off every other day and do something fun with my kids to make up for the previous day of ignoring them while I was painting.

Now I can finally say that things have slowed down in the home remodeling department. I won’t lie and say that we don’t have more work to do. We have replaced all but two doors and need to replace all of the door hardware and paint the trim around the doors…. you can really see how dingy they look in the second photo.

newdoors newdoors2
There are holes in the drywall from moving the water heater to the garage to make room for a pantry in our laundry room and that is being done this month.



I still want to rip out the giant stone planter with my bare hands but it will be a lot of work or a lot of money, or both. And the outside of the home is basically crying out for the help of HGTV or DIY- we have a rotten deck that needs replacing, a pool deck and pool that need major help, and our landscaping is the shame of the cul-de-sac.

Regardless of what we haven’t done, I’m so proud of the work we have finished over the year. We checked off every major interior fix we had on our to-do list to make this house a home. No more orange paint, no more peeling doors, no more ugly grey front door, bye-bye 1970’s bathroom, and no more hideous and filthy light switches and outlets. Hello thrifty mid century furniture finds and modern colors.  You can go back and look at the before/afters on this old post (a lot of changes have been made since the post but not enough to take new photos, except for the family room- the blue recliner went bye bye):


Before and After Rooms

I am still on the hunt for the perfect mid century furniture and decor to complete our home but that will take time and patience. Now we have the time to actually enjoy our new life in Florida, see the sights, visit the parks, and spend our weekends as a family rather than spending them at Home Depot.

I’ve blogged a heckuva lot about our home progress, I’m linking the old posts for anyone who wants to look back at the work and projects we have done this year.  Thanks to everyone’s patience as our family and home took priority over the blog.  Things are picking up in the productivity department and I can’t wait to share all of the fun projects and ideas I have with you!

Before/After House- Photos of each room

Guest Bathroom Remodel- The Octopus Bathroom (featured on Offbeat home!)

Entryway- The Fated Thrift Store Chairs

Master Bedroom Makeover- Serene Retreat

Laundry Room- Utilizing a Small Space

Front Living Room- Orange to Grey

Front Door- Grey to Purple

Golden Girls Room-Downloadable GG Quotes



Thrifted Night Stands- Traditional to Modern

Thrifted Chair- Painted upholstery (it works!)

Thrifted Dresser- Ombre Mid Century Mod masterpiece

Thrifted Frames+DIY Silhouette- Easy Tutorial



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A Peek Inside My Home- Before and After

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We purchased a home in need of a lot of TLC. It’s been months since we moved in and I just recently completed painting the home. Every. Single. Room. Me. Just me. I couldn’t stop until each room was painted because when we bought the home every room was some shade of orange or yellow. Not only was our home orange but it was a badly painted orange. Light switches were coated with paint, splatters were all over the windows, paint was even dripped on the marble under windows and floor! The laziness of whoever did that job still astounds me. What ever happened to pride of ownership and attention to details? I’m not a miracle worker. Many of their mistakes can’t be fixed but I’ve done my best to make this home as polished as possible without spending a fortune on contractors and professional painters. It’s the little things like replacing every electrical outlet and light switch, re-caulking trim work, patching holes, and of course the new paint.  My husband and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done and we make a great team.  Even though I did the painting he did the electrical, much of the bathroom gutting and remodeling, and most of the heavy lifting.

Before and After Rooms

Now it’s time to sit back and see what about $600 worth of paint and at least 100 hours of painting can accomplish. Keep in mind this is a work in progress. I’m still hoping to find the perfect mid century pieces to add to the home or to replace items I’m not in love with. Many of the items in the home were thrift finds (virtually all of the pieces in the Golden Girls room were). You can also find even more photos for each room if the room name is a link- just click it.

The Front Door, lights, and exterior



The Entryway





The Family Room






The Kitchen





The Master Bedroom




The Master Bathroom




The Front Room





The Office (formerly a dining room)





The Octopus Bathroom (our only full gut and remodel)



Everett’s Bedroom (serves as second guest too)




Fletcher’s Bedroom






The Golden Girls Guest Room






The Laundry Room



Just for fun, these are a few examples of the laziness of the previous owners (or contractors?) who painted and did “repairs” and some of the condition issues we faced. Many outlets were painted over and stuck to the walls, and there were dozens of holes left from feeding cables through the drywall for TV’s.


Despite all of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into our home there are so many projects on my to-do list. Now I feel at home here and can’t imagine living anywhere else. The thought of moving in the future is far from my mind (unless we find a true mid century home!) because this house has so much of us in it. The biggest next step- landscaping! Oy! Can’t a girl get some rest?!

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Our Serene Retreat- the Master Bedroom Makeover

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Our master bedroom wasn’t as desperate as most of the other rooms in our home when we moved in (you can see the whole home in before photos here).  6 years ago there was a fire in that side of the home and so it was re-done including the master bathroom.  For this reason these two rooms came last on the list to re-paint.  While the original color wasn’t terrible for the space there were holes in the wall like swiss cheese from a TV mount and shelving that used to be.

I decided to keep a little warmth in the room and went with Independent Gold from Sherwin Williams.  After a lot of hole patching, some removal of a bad caulk job on spots on the trim and re-caulking, new outlets and plates, and a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim we now have a whole new room!

The standing lamp was a 5 year anniversary gift from my husband. You might notice a plaque on the base which is engraved. Interesting gift choice…  I aslo replaced the antiqued brass knobs on the nightstand to the right with a new brushed nickel one.

I found a frame from Ikea that works well to hold my photos of Fletcher through the ages.

For Christmas my MIL gave me a painting of my husband and I’s favorite little hole in the wall bar and burger joint in Charlotte NC, The Penguin, which is on the armoire on the right.

A few tokens from our wedding- the invitation, the “Save the Date’s, the ornament he used to hide my engagement ring on when he proposed on Christmas Day in 2007, the tassel from my college graduation which took place 3 months prior to our wedding day, and my DIY handmade birdcage veil and hair piece.

Above our bed hangs a summary of our lives together- the center photo was my 5 year wedding anniversary gift to my husband. I went back to our college and photographed the exact hallway where we met. The photo on the left is from our wedding day of course, and the right photo is our whole little family.

The dresser was a fabulous thrift store find- a mid century Bassett for 63.00. It needed some minor scratch repair and a good washing with Murphy’s Oil Soap. The lamp was also from the thrift store for $5.00 and the shade is from Target.

The mirror to the right belongs to the dresser but I kind of like it just propped up on the wall and not mounted. We’ll see how it goes.

I really wanted to raise the height of the curtain rods so I filled the holes and raised it about 2-3 inches and mounted it wider a few inches. The curtains are from Ikea- $19.99 for a pack of 2 panels and I have 4. The rod was already in the home when we moved in so that was free. I have Ev’s 1-2 year photos framed next to the window.

The room isn’t complete just yet. Yesterday I found the exact doors I have been drooling over at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Brand new craftsman style 5 panel doors. I’m planning on painting them black and replacing the door to my room, bathroom, and the laundry room. I’ve been hunting for a matching set of nightstands to refinish as well to replace the mismatch tables we have now.

With only one room left to paint, the master bathroom, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I can reclaim the closet in our home that is dedicated to paint materials. I’m so in love with our bedroom I can’t even hide it. It’s so serene and adult, free of toys and clutter, just the way a master bedroom should be.

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Bathroom Remodel Status: Complete. From 70’s to Sleek.

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After beginning the bathroom remodel process over 4 months ago I’m thrilled to call this project DONE.  After being quoted $8,000-10,000 for our little hallway size bathroom from professional contractors my husband and I unexpectedly decided that we would DIY it.  I was shocked myself but after doing so much around the home already we learned that we were more capable than we thought.  YouTube is a magical thing and it gets all of the credit for teaching us how to completely build a bathroom from studs to finish.

When we bought this home we knew the bathroom would have to be completely gutted and re-done.  There was a tiny, disgusting toilet, a mauve/pink little tub and plain tiles, and the kicker- the seas shell sinks and deteriorating vanity that was crumbling with each touch.

Steven had fun with the demo and tore down most of the room in one day, leaving us with a toilet, sinks, and bathtub in our living room for a few days until the junk guy could come!

Getting the tub in was a PITA

It only took 8+ hours to hand sand the seams and nail holes. Sheetrock dust is no joke. (I don’t like electric sanders)

We have WALLS!

Every weekend for the next 3.5 months was dedicated to remodeling.  It was exhausting and we both spent long days doing labor intensive work.  DIY renovation is not for the faint of heart or for couples on the verge of divorce.  Our love and sanity were tested again and again and this process just about killed us all.  It was HELL.

The results were totally worth it.

View from outside- newly refinished door which had to be scraped clean and repainted, including all hardware.

Spray painted handle-formerly worn out bronze

Clear shower curtain

Open curtain and sexy new tile

Everloc shelf and towel bar

Tile close-up and Onyx glitter grout

Push to close bath drain and sleek overflow in Kohler tub. Retrofit Delta hardware so we didn’t need to mess with the connections.

When the lights go down the shower curtain looks amazing

Mr. Octopus- a stencil

He holds towels too! Ikea hooks and towels

View of the new vanity/mirrors/light/sinks from above.

Sexy waterfall faucet


Boon Grass for toothbrushes and accessories. Genius.

Swanky toilet with slow close lid (to not smash my little boy’s weiners!)

Custom art “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seatie” inspired by the art at my grandmother’s. From etsy.com

Beneath the sink view

Porcelain tile that mimics the look of whiteashed wood floors.

Grand Total: $4,800

Including the $500 for the labor used to install and cut the shower tiles (which is the only professional help we used for the entire remodel) the total cost of this bathroom comes in at about $4,800. The costliest item was the vanity and sinks coming in at $1500 (faucets were seperate). The mirrors were the best deal at $30 each from Homegoods and the texture matches the floors perfectly. It was a lucky break. We ordered most of our large items (toilet, tub, vanity, faucets) from FaucetDirect.com and were very happy with how that went. The artwork was purchased from Chelsea Burdick Designs on Etsy and she was kind enough to color match my paint after I sent an online example. The giant octopus stencil is also from Etsy from Olive Leaf Stencils. The tiles were all purchased locally at Floor and Decor.

It doesn’t even seem real that we built this bathroom with our own bare hands. Drywall hanging, spackling, sanding, tile laying, mitering moulding, tub installing, plumbing moving, painting, the list goes on. It came out beautiful and exactly as I imagined. Sleek and modern but still fun enough to be a kid’s bathroom. My husband and I made a great team. We both had strengths and we played to those. He is great for caulking but I’m the master of perfectly smoothing it out. As a perfectionist DIY really is the way to go. If you make a mistake you can live with it and know you did your best. If a contractor makes a mistake you feel cheated and annoyed at their laziness/carelessness. I will admit that I have to paint the trim still… but I just couldn’t wait to shaire the new bathroom!

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