Monday, September 30, 2013

Cedar Chest Re-Hab

On this beautiful fall morning I feel the need to share some kind of autumn type project but I really do not have one ready to go yet so I think today I will show you the before and after photos of a beautiful old solid wood cedar chest I did a re-hab on.  The cedar chest came to me via some dear friends of ours who were cleaning out their storage unit and were planning to give it to a donation site.  I told them I would take it, give it some love and find a new home for it.  What made the piece so special was that our friend built it in wood shop class many years ago and it was a really stunning solid cedar through and through; I was thrilled to get it. Here are the before photos so you get an idea of what I was working with.

As you can see it is a really good size and a beautiful wood but it had a fair bit of damage from usage over the years.  The big question was what was I going to use for a finish?  I could paint it a bright cheery color, I could white wash it and go shabby chic, stain it or sand it down and re-varnish it with a clear coat.  I went back and forth for months, I even bought some white stain for a shabby chic wash so I could make it softer and give it to my niece but I just could not make myself do it.  Ultimately I chose to sand the heck out of it eliminating all the water rings and scratches (8 hours of intensive labor) and give it three coats of clear varnish to keep the original wood grain intact.

Here are some in progress photos so you can see the process.

Last but not least are the finished photos of the piece sanded, sealed and with new hardware for a more updated masculine feel.  Because the chest was so large and heavy looking I decided it would not work in my niece’s room but would be better suited as a toy chest for my grandson’s room, he really loved it and put it too good use right away. It will now become an heirloom piece he can grow up with and take with him into his adult life; a perfect way to re-use and re-purpose an old piece of furniture giving it a new life with the next generation.

Thanks for letting me share one of my furniture re-hab projects with you, I enjoyed showing it off and hope you are inspired to save an old piece of furniture and give it a new life.  There are lots of new projects on the books, I even have some new products I can not wait to use and share with you so keep checking in to see what I am up to next.
See you soon.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuscan - French Country Bath

As soon as we finished one bathroom makeover project we were onto the next one the following weekend.  In fact while waiting for our tile to set I was already dreaming up what I wanted to do with our downstairs guest bath and collecting all the hardware and decorative items we were going to use in it.  This particular project was only going to need a new paint color and some rubbed bronze hardware and accessories to create a Tuscan/French Country feel.  I was really excited about it and ready to get started as soon as possible.  The whole project only took three days start to finish; here are some before photos so you know what we had to work with.

As you can see the walls are the same pink/beige as the master bath we just painted and I really hated them.  The mirror and light fixture were cheapo buys from the investor flip done before we bought it.  I did the best I could with some accessories but it just never looked like it went with the rest of the downstairs décor which is a Tuscan/wine theme in green, burgundy, gold and bronze.

I chose a beautiful Dried Thyme paint from Ace Hardware to complement the rest of the downstairs décor.  We gave the room a good scrubbing then began the cut work which did not take long given the tiny size of the room.  Paint man was drawn by my husband to keep it interesting as we went along, I hated to cover up such fine art work but it was necessary to sacrifice it for the completion of the project; giggles!

It only took one day to paint the room and one day to put in all the new fixtures, then one more day to dress the room for the reveal. And here is the finished product, isn’t it just grand!  I absolutely “LOVE” it! I am so happy we took the time to work on it this year instead of waiting until next spring!  I finally have a guest bath that looks like it belongs with the rest of the downstairs rooms and I am no longer embarrassed to have my guests walk in there. I am just crazy about the rubbed bronze faucet, light fixture, mirror and all the new accessories; I wish I had done the makeover sooner.

Thanks for letting me share the last of our big DIY home projects for this year.  Don’t worry there are still a ton of other projects to share with you as the holidays approach, it is time to start decorating for fall, making gifts, finishing up all my furniture rehab projects and many, many more so keep checking in to see what I am up to next.
See you soon.


Monday, September 16, 2013

What Were We Thinking? - The Reveal

I think it is about time to wrap up the posts on this master bath makeover and finish it up so we can move onto other projects, here we go.

Last I left you the large mirror in the bathroom fell off the wall creating a new design opportunity I was secretly hoping for but did not expect.  It was time for a new backsplash and two mirrors to replace the large one which came down.  Off to Lowe’s to see what they had, the trip was a success when we found some fantastic tile to tie together all the elements I was using to decorate the room.

We decided the best and most cost effective way to use the tile sheets was to cut them in half lengthwise to create the backsplash, that way we would not need very many sheets keeping the cost down. We chose an all in one tile and grout pre-mix since we did not really have any idea what the heck we were doing. We did pretty well putting the tile up and waiting for the 24 hour set time to go by before grouting it, which is where we got into major trouble.  Neither of us bothered to read the directions on the mixture or the tile so we did it wrong and had to wait another 24 hours before re-grouting it a second time to make the grout actually stay put in the spaces between the tiles. Nuts!!!! Lesson learned for next time, it really is not hard if you just read all the directions thoroughly.  Once the tile was done the sinks, faucets, towel bars, new light switches and lights went up pretty easily.  Our biggest dilemma was finding the right size and finish for the mirrors; we needed two with a brushed nickel finish to match the faucets and all the rest of the hardware we put up.  Lowe’s did not have them, the ones we bought at Kirkland’s were to big and the wrong color, no mirrors at Target or Hobby Lobby.  We finally found two of them in a brushed nickel finish just the right size at Home Depot, very expensive but we had no choice at that point, they were just what we needed. Once we hung them we were racing towards the finish line, here are the final photos of our makeover.



As you can see we have a completely different master bath, one we are very proud of.  It only took us a full eleven days instead of the three we originally planned on but it was well worth the extra time and money we spent.  We actually only went a little over the budget we set for ourselves so it was a win, win situation with a beautiful room we use daily which we will enjoy for years to come.

Thanks for letting me share the good, the bad and the beautiful of our master bath makeover.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into the nuts and bolts of our DIY project and you are inspired to tackle one of your own, if we can do it successfully anyone can. Next up is the makeover of the downstairs guest bath; it came out so wonderful I can not wait to share it with you.
See you soon.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Were We Thinking?

The morning after we painted our master bath, a pretty blue, I was lying in bed staring at the room thinking how much I loved the fresh new color but hating the counter top.  I really wanted a new one and still had enough in the budget to buy the one I saw at Lowe's, but we were very hesitant to pry up the old one for fear of damaging the solid wooden cabinet beneath it.  If we split the wood we would be opening up a can of very expensive worms not in the budget, the credit card would take a huge hit. We were very happy with our vanity, not the color, but all the large drawers and cabinets; we did not want to replace it so we tossed it back and forth for quite a long time. If we left the counter top on all we had to do was frame out the mirror, add a new light fixture, two new faucets and some new accessories and be done with the project and move onto painting our bedroom.  Guess which way we went?  You are so right, you know me so well, we decided on a new counter!  Little did we know with that decision we would be opening up a whole new can of rather large worms and a much larger, longer project.

With some very careful prying from the inside of the cabinets and the removal of some screws and clips my hubby was able to get the top off with a minimum of difficulty and just a tiny bit of damage not visible from the outside of the cabinet.  Whew!!! With the top off it was time to go shopping for the counter top I was in love with at Lowe's. Now for the not so funny part; we measured and measured to make sure we purchased the right length of counter top needed for our space, being oh so careful.  Once we got it home we knew it was too long but it could easily be cut down to the right length once we decided what size we wanted.  The previous counter was a little over long for the end of the cabinet so we cut this one about an inch shorter which would fit perfectly.  I kept looking at the counter thinking something was wrong so I took the cut off section upstairs to check the fit, it was way too wide for the cabinet, and it hung out into the doorway by five inches!!! Yikes!!! We were totally in big trouble here, my husband had just cut the counter which meant it could not be returned and it was too short to use as my studio work counter, what were we going to do!?!  What a mess, time to think out of the box! Luckily for us our neighbor has a huge workshop in his garage with every kind of saw you could think of.  We ran over to his house to ask him what he thought we could do.  The counter had a beautiful molded in curvy backsplash which we all determined would have to go, my heart sank.  If we cut it off the counter would fit but we would have to come up with some kind of surface to protect the drywall. Here is where things got really dicey, dangerous and more work.  The counter top was hauled up and down the stairs several times for fitting and cutting to make sure it fit and the sink openings were in the correct place.

Notice anything missing from this photo???...... If you have a keen eye for observation you will notice a beautiful new counter, new holes for the sink, which I had them move a bit to give me more space near the plugs for curling and flat irons, and NO mirror.  This would be the dangerous part; while the guys were fitting the counter to the cabinet, the mirror, which was suppose to be glued to the wall, came crashing down on the new counter top! I screamed and both guys made a grab for the huge 4’x 8’ piece of glass before it hit the floor! Wow!  They caught it and removed it from the bathroom before it could break all over the place. If it had come down in the middle of the night there would have been glass all over the bathroom and bedroom since there is no door between the rooms, we truly got lucky.  I secretly wanted it down but not that way and with so much drama, now we had a really clean slate to work with.  I was going to have to get really creative with the budget to include a new backsplash and two new mirrors.

Thanks for letting me share more of our master bath makeover; stay tuned for the resolution to our newest project challenge.
See you soon.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Master Bath Makeover

What were we thinking?!?

Two weeks ago my hubby and I had the opportunity to go away on vacation or stay home and spend the time and money doing a master bath and bedroom makeover.  If you are a regular reader you know which one we chose to do, the makeover!!!  I really wanted to do a blog post each day as we went along on our project but found I was totally wiped out at the end of the day with little to no brain power left with which to write a post, alas I am just finally getting to it now.  The only question I have is whether to break this into several smaller posts or just one big one with lots of photos??? Hmm…. There were so many funny stories as we went along with our project, some not to be missed; I think I just answered my own question, a couple of shorter posts first then the reveal.

Before I begin let me set up the intention of our makeover, we were originally only going to paint our bedroom and bathroom to change the color from an ugly builder pink/beige to a spa like blue for the bathroom and a golden/sandy beige color for the bedroom.  I also wanted to frame out the huge 4’x 8’ glass mirror hanging over our vanity and change out the ugly builder grade ten bulb bar light, and replace the cheap faucets.  Quick and easy right….NOT!!! I digress here; let me get back to some before photos of the bathroom so you can get some background for all the future posts.

These are the photos of our master bath before we did any work, pretty basic with some cheap fixtures installed by the investor who did the flip before we purchased it.  The home was move in ready but with NO WOW factor when you walked into the room.  If you know me at all you know I have to have color, bling and some kind of design going on in every room in my home, no builder basic anything. Yikes! I have no idea how I lived with it like that for three years!

Time to strip down the bathroom, scrub the heck out of the walls, baseboards and doors, tape it and begin cutting around everything which was not leaving the room.  At this point everything was nice and simple just a basic cleaning and paint job….right?

Up went the paint, the first coat covered pretty well but there were some bare spots so late in the day we added a second coat for absolutely full coverage which would last a long time and take a ton of moisture from the shower.  In these photos the color looks kind of dark but the color is the same icy blue used in my studio, guestroom and new office, love that color, which is Oak Bay by Ace Hardware.  I would paint the whole house in that color if my husband would let me, hehe!

Here we are no tape, beautiful light blue walls, bright white doors and trim and the awful white Formica counter tops; which almost kept me from buying the house because I hated them so much, they were in two of the three bathrooms, yuck!!!  At this point this is where things got interesting, scary and funny all at the same time.  Can you guess what I was thinking when I saw them with the pretty blue walls?  I bet you can but you will just have to stay tuned to find out where our project took a turn and ran right off the tracks into almost a full renovation.

Thanks for letting me share the beginning of our master bath makeover with you; I hope you will stay with us as we progress through all the unexpected twist and turns of this project.
See you soon.

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