Half Bath, Half Done

It's the third (and last!) week of the current #letsroomtogether challenge and I've (slowly but surely) made some aesthetic progress on the half bath!  It's probably the room I'm most embarrassed about when we have visitors.  Everything else anyone sees is at least put together even if it is still outdated (I'm looking at you kitchen.)  But this room, it looks like it belongs in a house that's been slated for tear down.


Ok, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration but still, it's pretty bad.  You can't tell in pictures but paint has chipped off the walls in small pieces, leaving small areas of drywall exposed.  Why?  Because when we took the wallpaper off, it took off some of the paint behind it along with some of the walls texture.  I've sent lots of eye rolls back in time to whoever installed the wallpaper, believe me.  I don't know what they didn't do that they should have but something went wrong here.  Along with the chipped paint, there are small pieces of wallpaper still attached to the wall where the blue was painted over it, the cabinet is pretty roughed up, and then there's that awesome linoleum and outdated wood trim.  I bet it was a beaut back in the 80's but those days are long gone.  

But it's ok because we're finally moving past this ugly stage.  The first week, I started filling those places where the paint and texture came off, removed the rest of the wallpaper left near that bottom border where the blue paint starts, and filled the loads of nail and dry wall plug holes.  Then, I primed and painted the window and door trim.  (Oil-based Kilz primer + Valspar paint color-matched to Pure White by SW.) 

Throwing Shade

Or maybe it's Throwing Shades.  Or maybe even Setting Shades.  Yep, that's better.  But, keeping with the shade theme, this isn't about any sort of insult.  It's actually quite the opposite.  Let me explain.

During the breakfast nook weeks of #letsroomtogether, one of the things I really wanted to get done was swap out the chandelier.  It's probably original to the house (built in the 80's) and just isn't quite our style.  The plan always was to move the big drum shade we temporarily hung in the entry way to the breakfast nook but sometimes plans change and this plan did.

Here's the existing, outdated chandelier:


But, this is after I spray painted those socket covers gold to match.  I did what I do lots of times - got an idea, had to execute right away, and forgot to take a bonified "before" picture before I jumped in.  Luckily for you and me, it didn't really look that much different before.  Something had to be done with the socket covers though.  They were really worn, darkened, and warped (why I don't know...maybe the type of light bulbs once used?) at the top.  Not even a good scrub with some soap and a toothbrush made a difference.

Small Cabinet Makeover

Something I've had on my to-do list for a good long while now is to paint a small cabinet that's main function is to hold our Berkey water filter*.  The Berkey is awkwardly large as far as water filters go and if it weren't the best at filtering all the things, we'd probably ditch it for something smaller.  But, here we are with this big, chrome, bullet-looking thing in our kitchen. 


There isn't really a good place for it on our kitchen counter because it's so tall and takes up too much space so we kept hoping to find a small cabinet at just the right height that we could set on this small expanse of wall right beside the kitchen counter and obviously, found one.  


It was for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $10 and not only was it not the prettiest cabinet in the wide world, but the lady who sold it to me used it to store makeup and so it smells...like makeup.  It's a weird smell to have a cabinet giving off.  I knew the smell would eventually go away but that faux wood finish had to be dealt with.  Fast forward months and months when only this #letsroomtogether challenge could provide the motivation I needed to get this thing looking a little more like it fits in with it's surroundings.

DIY Abstract Landscape Art

I did a thing.  YouTube helped me, once again.  Specifically, Petra and her video on how to paint a colorful landscape helped me.  She's awesome, and she's German, and I'm mostly German.  So.  Awesome.  

You see, a while back I spent many moments scheming about what I could fill the blank wall in the breakfast nook with.  (Pssst, it's the #letsroomtogether space, hence why it's on the brain.)  For awhile, I was set on hanging a shelf up high and filling it with cascading plants.  That might still happen in the future but it happened that I had a big 'ole frame we hadn't hung yet and I've really been loving big art lately (a long lately).  So...


Whoop, up it went.  It stands out but it doesn't right?...obviously, because it's solid white.  I call it my "White Rabbit in a Snowstorm".  Ha!  I found the frame at a thrift store a few years ago which was framing a big foam board onto which is professionally glued, a big poster.  I stuck a poster of my own inside the frame but the foam board that came with the frame looked like this:

Guest Room + Home Office Combo

We've only ever lived in three bedroom houses.  Our first house was a 3/1 (with a fourth bedroom and second bathroom finished shortly before we sold and moved), along with our second, third, and fourth houses.  It's great when you're newlyweds because then you have two extra bedrooms (we had a guest room and an office...spoiled) but with four kids, three bedrooms fill up quick with no space left for anything else.

So, we were excited this house around to find something with another bedroom.  The fourth bedroom in this house affords us a guest bedroom, which is fantastic since the closest family members we have live seven hours away.  But, with the right situating and set up, it also affords us a home office - something I really wanted so that I could have a designated place to sew.

We got really lucky in finding furniture secondhand for this room - furniture that is multi-functional so that we can fairly easily switch from home office mode to guest bedroom mode.

Home Office Mode




Closet Shelving + A Makeover

The closet in our home office/guest room has always been a source of discontentment for me.  It's ultra long and narrow but only has a one door opening.  I don't mind the one door opening part and actually, I prefer it vs. double doors or bifold doors because it allows more wall space in the room it's attached to but it does make things a little more difficult storage-wise.  With a one door opening, it's a little harder to get back to the side recesses of the closet.  This room doesn't serve as anyone's bedroom (yet) so there aren't any clothes that need to be hung in the closet but if there were, we'd have to rethink it once again (probably going the route we did in this closet).  Currently, it's home to home decor we aren't using, craft supplies, gift wrapping supplies, pillows, and a few other random things.  Built as your typical closet with a long rod for hangers with a shelf atop it, it didn't allow me many options to store these things.  

When we moved in, we didn't have a place to put the co-sleeper we made years ago (tutorial here) so I thought it might be nice to have it in here to give us some shelving.  It fit so why not?  But, we soon learned that, because of how it was built, it didn't allow easy access to what we stored on it.  To get anything off the big shelves, I had to wheel it out (I stuck some casters on it before we put it inside this closet) and then wheel it back in...which also meant I had to move everything in it's way out first before wheeling.  If that sounds like pain in the booty it's because it was.  👎


Over time, things just got more and more disorganized in there because I didn't like to wheel out the co-sleeper shelves so I just started stacking things on top, shutting the door quick, and pretending it wasn't going all awry in there.

Yipe.


Out of sight, out of mind, right?

But then I rolled the dice and the home office became the Let's Room Together space for three weeks and I knew we had no choice but to open up the doors and tackle this closet.

It took us all three weeks working on it in our free time (which isn't abundant) but it looks and makes me feel 394857 times better.

Bleached Dressers - DIY

I'm really excited to tell you about this project!  It's a goodie but definitely not my normal "Hey!  Here's an easy peasy project anyone can do!" type of project.  It took a little more time and effort but it was so worth the end result.  Oh and hey, anyone really can do this, I didn't mean to sound deflating, just be prepared.  ;)

It all started with two of these little guys:

When we moved Seb and G over to their own room, separate from the twins, we needed a dresser (or two) to store their clothes in over in their new space.  I did my usual Facebook Marketplace/thrift store/resale group scours but came up short oodles of times...until I didn't.  I found these two small, matching dressers (the owners used them as nightstands but they're quite larger than your typical nightstand) for $20 each.  The only drawback was that I had to drive 45 minutes to grab them.  But, they're vintage, solid wood with some wood veneer, and in great working order so it was worth the car time.  Plus, they were perfect for what we needed them for.  His and hers.   

I could have just plopped them into the room as-is but that shiny yet worn dark stain and outdated hardware just wasn't my fave.  Painting was always an option and would have been a fairly easy update but then I came across this post on Within the Grove on how to strip and bleach wood furniture and I was SOLD.

I'll admit that there were more moments that I can count during this process that I wished I would've went down the painting route but I stuck with it, slowly but surely over the course of two weeks and golly gee whiz, they look much, much better.  👌 

Color Block Walls + Painted Curtains

I just love paint.  Don't you?  It's truly magnificent.   


It can pack a real punch for, really, not a whole lot of cash.  I leaned heavily on that fact when I made over the playroom-now-bedroom.  Solid walls are nice but, especially in a kids' room, adding a little more color on the walls ups the ante and makes things just a little more fun.

The walls in this room were painted right before listing by the previous owner (China White by Ben Moore) and it's really a great color (we've actually copied it to most of the rooms in our house so far and the exterior) but I wanted something a little more upbeat for S & G's new room.  I wasn't actually planning on painting this room when we first decided we were going to move them but then I thought, well, if we're going to be moving furniture around, we might as well paint.  Over-achiever, I know.  But it was worth the extra effort.  :)

The Process:

Before the walls got painted, I had to paint the trim (read our tips on that here).  The previous owner had also had them freshly painted but they had them painted a really shiny, ivory-beige color.  We painted the ceilings in here Pure White (Sherwin-Williams) back before we moved in and wanted to follow suit with the trim to make things cohesive.  The crown, door and window molding, and baseboards all got a that white treatment.  The chair rail isn't a favorite feature of ours and taking it down meant filling in holes and, since the top part of the wall is painted-over wallpaper (grrr...even though they did it semi-right by filling in seam gaps), there'd be a line where the painted-over paper met the chair rail that would also have to be hidden with some spackling.  So, while painting an entire room sounded fun, painting and having to fill in where the chair rail was didn't.  You can only be so much of an over-achiever.  Ha!  

Room Reveal - Playroom to Bedroom

I'm so behind here on the blog!  Three weeks ago we wrapped up another #letsroomtogether - a bedroom.  I mentioned in my last post that we were going to tackle Sebastian and Gianna's new room but at the point that I had written that, I had only just begun moving furniture around so we could paint.  And then we did and I posted some updates on Instagram (because it's just a little more convenient...I hate it) and Christmas came and yadda yadda and well, here we are, two weeks into another #letsroomtogether when I haven't even gotten to write about the one we left!  I'm knee deep into the office / guestroom at the moment but I'm going to back up because I've got a finished room on my hands and I hope you are here for it.  👊  It's cute, real cute.  ;)

 And so far, S & G are *still* loving it.  We thought maybe they'd miss the girls but as it turns out, they're together 24/7 anyway so just sleeping one wall over isn't really a big deal.

This room looked like this (a bad realtor photo) when we moved in (I know, you've seen it already but I just love pulling out the befores 35757 times...):