Friday, January 29, 2016

Laundry Room Facelift

Actually, it's a makeover. We've never touched the laundry room before. It is the last room on the main floor to be done. Now that it is, the main floor is FINISHED!!!

As per usual I jumped right into the project, forgetting to take BEFORE pictures. So, let me describe. Vanilla walls. The six panels on the doors painted a peach color. Apparently in the late 1990's-early 2000's there was a trend in this area to paint the panels the same color as the walls but leave the main part of the door untouched/white. Weird. As the majority of our house when we bought it was a vanilla color: walls, trim, and doors, when we paint a room we have to paint EVERYTHING! A day of trim and doors and another day of walls. It's a two step process. Isn't everything?

Here are the pics with the trim and doors painted.

Here are the pics with the walls painted a light green/blue. My husband, suffering from a cold, heroed up and did all the cutting in at the top of the ten foot ceilings that I couldn't reach even with a ladder. As I cut in, I worried I was wasting my time painting the walls the same color as the trim because it looked so light wet, even though we looked at the paint chip for months and agreed on the color. Two cans later, this is the result. 

To finish it off, we took down the old shelf, 12 inches deep, and replaced it with a new one 16 inches deep. Then my husband took the old shelf and cut it into two pieces to add two more shelves to the top of the pantry. I have floor to ceiling shelving there now! Love recycling. The final touch: new washer and dryer. I LOVE them! 

So it's not showing well in the pictures, but the walls really are a different color than the trim and doors. 

This completes Phase I of the laundry room. Phase II will include a new utility sink, shelves over the washer/dryer area, and shelves over the utility sink. Not exactly sure when that phase kicks in. I'll keep you posted. 

What home projects will you knock out this winter?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bathroom Facelift

We've lived in our house about four years now. My original goal was to get it all painted and decorated by the three year mark. A few things derailed that goal, like publishing books, doing theater, and breaking my foot.

Now it's time to get back to putting our stamp on this house and making it our home. Thus begin our winter projects, when we're stuck indoors anyway.

When we moved in, one of the first rooms I painted was the kids bath. It had lavender walls at the time. My husband picked out the Mickey Mouse shower curtain and we designed the bathroom around that. The walls were the same yellow as Mickey's shoes. It was bright and cheery, also slightly glaring.

We decided to redo the room around the same curtain but with a more sophisticated flair.

Here are the before and after pics with commentary.

Okay, so this is after I painted the walls gray. I don't seem to have one when they are yellow. You'll get the idea of the yellow color when you see the curtain. 

This is the curtain. Things we changed: new shower bar. This one is curved for more room in the shower and in a brushed nickel finish. We streamlined all the metals to brushed nickel throughout the bathroom for a more cohesive look. We also added hooks and bought towels from IKEA with hanging tabs on them. The theory is the kids can easily hang them up on the hooks instead of on the too high bar built into the shower. But guess where I find them; the floor of their room, the floor of the bathroom, on the sink. Sigh. Best laid plans...We also substituted their nasty toilet lid for a lovely plastic easy to clean slow close one. No more lid slamming at all hours. Bliss. We also ripped out the 1/4 inch wood round and replaced it with white vinyl (no paint!). After replacing a few tiles, my husband was able to caulk all of it, waterproofing the bathroom from leaks!

We set a budget and determined we could either do new light fixtures or new faucets. We went with faucets. This proved to be really fun when one of the pipes broke inside the wall, and, of course, it was the cold water. Four hours without water and a trip to Home Depot later, my husband was able to repair the damage and finish the job just in time for showers and potty breaks. I spray painted the light fixture to the right finish (cost nothing as we already had the paint from a previous project), and we put in more energy efficient bulbs. Voila. Pretty sinks and lights.  

My husband is the handy one so he gets installation duty like the new toilet paper roller and the knobs on the doors (also free as they are leftover from when we replaced the hardware in the kitchen). I am tasked with the paint jobs, which is fine with me. Paint is easy and cheap. If you look back at the first picture, you'll notice the cupboards are cheap looking builder's grade wood. Yuck. Nothing inspiring there except wanting to buy new cabinets. This time I had to expand my horizons and use a sander. My husband removed the doors and I spent a day sanding, priming, and painting the doors and cabinet. It was cold in the garage in December, but the result was worth it, don't you agree? Now the cabinets look beautiful. Another cost saver: we already had the primer and it's the same paint as our front door - Mouse Ear black. And as it's exterior paint, I don't have to worry about wear, tear, or water damage. We also bought new red hand towels (not shown) as the black ones blended into the doors too well. 

There are only two things left undone in this room. 

One is to order a new piece of art for the wall. 

Two is to hire someone to install a light over the shower. My husband has the skills and all the materials to do it. Unfortunately, he's the wrong size to fit the small space where the roof meets the wall to install it. 

Look for an update when we get that done. 

Stay tuned for another renovation project coming soon. Next up: the laundry room

What are you doing to improve your house? Or what's on your 'Honey Do' list?