Thursday, February 11, 2016

Master Bedroom Tour

We got 27+ inches of snow last night so it is a snow day here. I love snow days (at least this is what I keep telling myself to distract myself from the fact that the weather is horrible, we have more than two feet of snow and my husband was in a car accident last night because the roads weren't plowed). I love cozying up in my home with no where to go and no place to be. It seems like a good day to share the first upstairs room on the tour of our 1920s cape cod cottage.

When we were looking at this house the realtor called it a one and a half story (which is a little misleading in my opinion since the top floor has ceiling heights to match the downstairs). However, the top story only extends to over the kitchen/dining room and not the full depth of the house. We have three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. All the bedrooms are a little on the small side.

The master bedroom is the first room  to the right at the top of the stairs. It isn't fancy like I often think master bedrooms should be, but it is comfortable and restful and cute and those are all important things too.

The first thing you see looking into the room is our dresser. It was a curb-shopping purchase when we lived in Rochester ($0.00). One man's trash and all that. I have plans to paint it and replace the hardware. This is one project I am kind of eager to tackle (unlike the China cabinet in the living room which intimidates me).


I made the bench in wood shop in 8th grade. I was inspired by many of the rooms in bed and breakfasts we stayed in last summer in the UK and decided to put a little herbal tea station on the bench. Someday I will buy myself an electric tea pot so I don't have to schlep hot water up the stairs, but this works for now.

I sewed the curtains. They are cheap, simple rod pocket curtains. I didn't even bother lining them because that would have been too complicated for my limited sewing skills, but I love the large red and white check. Someday I might replace them with something more expensive/quality.

There are two closets in this bedroom. My husband calls them the Carroll and Tolkien closets ("The Hobbit" closet--pictured above; and the "Through the Looking Glass" closet--to the right of the Hobbit closet). I'm not going to lie. I kind of hate the mirrored closet doors, but until they aren't functional any more they will probably remain.

The rug is from Aldi (yes, the grocery store--I love that place but that's a post for a different day). I think I paid $10. The bed is from IKEA. It is one of the few furniture purchases we have actually made during our marriage. Everything is cheap but functional.

The bookcase next to the bed serves as my nightstand right now. I'd like something different eventually. Matching nightstands perhaps? My apple lamp (as one of my kids calls it) was $2.00 on clearance at Target. Two. Dollars. Good deals make me giddy.

This painting was done by my great aunt Lois Black and was a gift from my Grandma Carter. She (Aunt Lois) had some stuff in the Springville Art Museum in Utah at one time (I don't know if it's still there or not. Does someone in Utah want to go check for me?). I don't know where this scene is supposed to be but sometimes when I am feeling like I need to get away I will lay on my bed and look at it and pretend I am there and it calms me a little bit.

Via The Black Apple (from my friend Kitty).
Heasley Mill Phone Box, Devon, UK. Photo by me, Jill Dunn.

I have a couple of other little things on the walls--a card that my friend gave me before I moved that I popped into a frame and an enlargement of a photo I took in Devon last summer. A cute primitive style needlework picture is beside the bookcase on my side of the bed and my back scratcher is there right within reach.

I don't have a lot of changes that I'd like to make to the master bedroom, but there are a few:
--new ceiling and overhead light fixture
--eventually replace paneling with drywall and replace crown molding
--matching nightstands
--paint dresser
--paint window casing? Update curtains/curtain rod
--Closet updates

That's it for the master bedroom. Simple and sweet. Now I'm going to go crawl under the covers because I'm freezing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Family Room Tour

I like for the things in my house to have a story and our family room does a better job of that than just about any other room in my house. I love the natural light in this room from all the windows. We hang out here a lot. It is comfortable and homey. We keep a few blankets on hand in the winter so we can snuggle up on the couch and watch Netflix or have family movie nights. It's a good life.

The photos above are taken standing in the dining room and looking into the room. At some point I'd like to get an accent/area rug and a coffee table to go inside the U of the sectional, but for now we get a lot of use out of the ottoman. Below is the gallery wall that is to the left (south) when you are standing facing west (towards the large windows).

Items on the gallery wall represent places we've lived and experiences we've had. When our friends gave us the brown sectional it took up most of the room (not complaining! We love it. We needed the seating and it is very comfortable and cozy) so it was important to me to inject some personality into the room and I thought a gallery wall would be a great way to make that happen.

The two western paintings have stories of their own too. We purchased the one on the left in Wall Drug, South Dakota on our transcontinental road trip a couple of years ago. The painter is Harvey Dunn (not sure if he's a relation or not). The cowboy roping the calf on the right is an original that my husband got for his birthday several years ago. Both paintings remind me of our pioneer and western heritage.

Here's the view looking into our back yard. We only have a couple of trees, but I love them. Sometimes on winter days when the sun is shining I just want to lay on the couch and bask in it like a lizard as it comes through these windows.

The back door leads out onto a deck. We get a lot of traffic through this door so carpet is not an ideal floor choice for this space. As I mentioned in the blog about the front entry, I love slate tile. I'm not sure how cost effective that would be in a space this size. Probably not very. If we went with tile or hardwood I would put a large area rug in the room for warmth.

The closet doors have been broken almost since we moved in. They are a pain to deal with so I've toyed with the idea of just taking them off altogether. It might be fun to convert this closet into a little craft nook or office area. We don't need the space for coats, but the shelves inside are great for housing board games and DVDs. If I leave the doors on they will need to be replaced with something better eventually. Another possibility is to convert this into the pantry that I don't have in the kitchen. I haven't decided what I want to do yet.

Above are a couple of pictures of the view from the couch looking towards the kitchen/dining room. I wouldn't say our house has an open floor plan, but it is pretty open nevertheless. When you are sitting in the middle of the couch you can see all the way to the entry at the front of the house so it does a pretty good job of helping us feel like we're all together when the family is all home (and downstairs).

I would love to move this bookcase and install some floating shelves in this little corner. That is one of the projects that I will probably end up doing first in this room because I think it will be fairly cost-effective. I don't mind the blue paint, but I will probably paint this room eventually too. No rush on any of the projects. It is a functional room as it is.

List of eventual improvements I'm considering for this space:
--Built in shelves on the wall where the tall bookcase is
--Replace carpeting; slate tile or hardwood with a large area rug for warmth?
--Coffee table
--Replace closet doors
--Convert closet to a craft nook, small office area, or pantry

What changes would you make in this space?

This concludes the tour of the first level of our home. The three bedrooms and upstairs bathroom are next on the agenda.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Laundry Room/ Downstairs Bathroom Tour

The first room I did anything to when we moved into our house was the laundry room/downstairs bathroom. I wish I had taken a before picture because I've actually done quite a bit in here.

The room was painted yellow, but it was a little too bright and had too much green in it so it almost bordered on fluorescent. The wall behind the washer and dryer was just white and there was a smallish (around a foot wide), coated wire shelf screwed to the wall. There was a large hole that was cut in the drywall for the washer hose and dryer vent to go through into the basement. The wall where the hooks are now had a large industrial looking metal hook that was partially coated with orange vinyl. The shower is that goldenrod color that was popular in the 70s and there wasn't really any window treatment to speak of other than the mini blinds. The flooring is the same laminate flooring that is throughout the rest of the downstairs (except for the family room). It was all as ugly as it sounds. Maybe more so. Not anymore.

My bathroom redo started with a yellow shower curtain that I found on clearance. I think I maybe paid $7.00 for it. I knew replacing the goldenrod shower wasn't feasible so I decided to work with it instead of fighting against it.

The first thing we did was paint. I feel like I need yellow because of how gray it is here all the time. I love yellow, but I love warm, buttery shades and the florescent yellow wasn't cutting it for me. Around a year and a half ago, the sister missionaries from church wanted to come and help paint for some of their service hours so I put them to work. They got a great start on it for me and then I finished up after they had to leave.

I wanted to do something interesting behind the washer and dryer. I looked at wallpaper on line, but it can be pretty pricey. I ended up wallpapering the wall with some $3.00 wrapping paper from TJ Maxx. It was a nice thick wrapping paper so I just decided I would go for it and try it out. If it didn't work I was only out $3.00 and the cost of the wallpaper paste. I purchased a bottle of roll-on wallpaper paste at the home improvement store and it worked beautifully. I only had a partial roll of paper when I got the idea to wallpaper with it, so there wasn't enough to cover the whole wall. I wanted to install a shelf anyway, so when we put up the shelf, we just put it a little above where the wallpapering ended. I used a tension rod and two really cheap curtain panels (which I cut in half and sewed into four panels to be wide enough to stretch the length of the wall) and installed them under the shelf. This covered up the ugly but necessary hole in the drywall and the hoses and electrical outlet and camouflaged the fact that I didn't have enough wrapping paper to paper the whole wall.

I sewed a simple valance for the bathroom window and made a matching cornice board out of Styrofoam to go above the shower rod to give it a more complete look. I replaced the ugly orange metal hook with these hooks that I picked up on clearance at TJ Maxx several years ago. I used a few picture frames I already had and filled them with printable art I found on Pinterest and a couple of prints from Etsy. I put the little round table in the corner for my kids to keep their toothbrushes and a couple of combs in and the rest was just filling in the details with a few accessories.

I love this little room. The main issue is that it is cold. It is part of an addition to the house and it isn't properly insulated. At the moment with things the way they are we can't shower in this bathroom in the winter because the water freezes in the p-trap. My husband is going to install a pipe warmer thingy (very technical, I know) and I'd like to get a small space heater for the room. I'd also like to replace the dome light with something cuter. I don't mind the floors, but I feel like tile would be more practical in a bathroom/laundry room so that's a possibility for the future as well.

Here's the complete 360 degree view around the room:

The two pictures above are looking in from the kitchen doorway. 

This is a closer up view of the shower area. The door opposite the shower leads to the basement (you will not be getting a tour of the basement any time soon. I lovingly refer to it as "the pit of despair". 

Now turn around 180 degrees and this photo below is taken standing by the shower looking back towards the kitchen. The washer and dryer are just out of sight on the left.

This (below) is the view to the left when you enter the room.

Now, if you turn around 180 degrees again (are you getting dizzy?) you can see the washer and dryer wall (basement door to the left)

And here are a few more gratuitous detail pictures because it is too hard for me to decide which ones to share:


Recap of changes I'd like to make:
--make the room warmer
--replace dome light
--replace laminate floor (with tile or possibly vinyl?)

My thrifty redecorating budget:
Shower curtain--$7
wrapping paper (wall paper)--$3
Shelf and brackets--under $25
Fabric for valance and cornice board-- approximately $10 (used a coupon)
Miscellaneious--$30ish (hand towel, wallpaper paste, etc.)
Paint--about $20
Shopping my house for accessories: FREE
Total renovation cost: UNDER $100!