So, we bought this charming old house, built in 1912. The house was actually purchased last year, but we allowed the current tenants to hang out for a bit. So, come this summer, they moved out and the renovation began.
One full month of work: paint, floors, lighting, bathrooms. We’re so happy with the results–it’s amazing what just a little facelift can do.
Living Room: Before & After
Dining Area: Before & After
Kitchen: Before & After (the kitchen had been updated not too long ago, so luckily we didn’t have too much work to do here).
Upstairs Hallway: Before & After
Playroom: Before & After
Kids’ Room: Before & After
Kids’ Bathroom: Before & After
Master Suite: Before & After
Here are some of my most favorite rooms:
The Kids’ Playroom! The second floor of the house has three rooms all dedicated to the kids. Because they’re sharing a room (for now), we have room for a playroom and family room that’s all theirs.
The Kids’ Bedroom!
The Kitchen! We added the faux-tin backsplash and light fixtures as an easy pick-me-up. The little figurines on the cabinets are old liquor decanters painted by my Great Grandma.
We even had time for a little DIY project in the few weeks since we’ve moved in. Funny story: I felt like the protruding wall in the living room was just begging for a faux fireplace mantel. A friend pointed out that there’s most likely an actual fireplace behind the wall–sure enough, there’s a chimney there! I’m not really into doing any more demo right now, so this faux fireplace will have to do in the meantime:
We have a friend painting a chalkboard hearth for us to go inside–I can’t wait to post the final results!
We absolutely love living Downtown. We take a walk every night, we visit playgrounds, ride our bikes on the Rail Trail, walk to Downtown shops and restaurants, flag down the ice cream truck, check out local historical buildings, play Pokemon-Go and talk to our neighbors. I’ll share more as we continue to settle in!
I get questions every so often from people who are interested in ditching cable, so I figured I’d put this down in one place once and for all.
When I moved last fall, I chose not to bring my cable package with me. Since having kids, my personal TV-watching time has decreased, but I couldn’t give up television entirely because, yes, I let my kids watch TV sometimes (!) and because my dad (aka my daycare) appreciates being able to watch TV throughout the day. So here’s what we do in my house:
I switched to Verizon as my Internet provider (about $56 a month for the enhanced Internet package to accommodate streaming.)
There are some shows/movies that require purchase, so I try to be discerning. For example, Season 2 of Yo Gabba Gabba is free on Amazon Prime, but you have to purchase other episodes or seasons. I finally broke down and purchased Season 4 for my own sanity.
I have Hulu Plus for new episodes and full seasons of current TV shows and some movies ($7.99/month).
I have Netflix for movies, older seasons of TV shows and Netflix Original Series, like House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Orange is the New Black ($7.99/month).
If you can do without the Netflix Originals, this is a platform you could probably forego as there is quite a bit of overlap with Amazon and Hulu.
I just signed up for Sling TV, which allows you to stream live TV on cable networks like Disney Channel, ABC Family (because I love Pretty Little Liars), AMC, ESPN, TBS, HGTV, Food Network and more ($20/month). You can also add HBO for an additional $15 a month.
I signed up for Sling essentially just to be able to watch the Mad Men series finale live but it’s looking like it may become an integral part of our TV routine.
I purchased a AmazonBasics Ultra-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna for $24.99, which attaches to the wall behind the TV and gets me two networks (NBC and Fox)… and their weird digital channels (my Fox station has a digital channel that has all 1970’s sitcoms).
This has been great for my avid Dateline viewing and some live events like awards shows that are on NBC or Fox.
So, for a $65-75 starting investment (Roku Stick + digital antenna), you can take the first step of saying goodbye to cable. Yes, I am still paying about $100 a month for my Internet and various streaming channels, but it’s less than I was paying for cable + Internet previously and I essentially have on-demand access to just about any TV show or movie imaginable. And, it keeps both my toddler and my dad happy. Annnnnd, most of these channels have mobile apps as well so you can stream on your phone or tablet.
By the way, if you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership, I highly recommend, if only for the free two-day shipping. I Prime everything, including toilet paper (TMI?).
Have I shared with you yet my love for spray paint?
Today, I found some crappy old folding TV tray tables in my basement. Rather than following my first instinct of tossing them, I instead decide to spray paint them fun colors to give them new life.
I’ve become slightly obsessed with spray painting things. It’s been my goal in the last year to add more color to my home and spray paint certainly does the trick. I also appreciate that it doesn’t have to be an exact art, so I can be somewhat haphazard in my application.
Have a boring old piece of furniture or home good just sitting around? Pick up a can and go to town.
36 weeks and counting. Though I’m planning on keeping baby #2 in a bassinet in my room (and Holden in the nursery) for the first couple of months, the (teeny tiny) nester inside of me wanted to prep the nursery for his arrival.
Now remember, I can’t sew to save my life. AND, as I was looking into the various patterns and quantities of fabrics I was going to have to buy, I realized… I’d be better off just buying the damn quilt.
Boring, right? No character… also almost no real evidence of a child (pay no attention to the sick little girl on the couch, or the random bassinet attachment I had chilling on top of that basket there for some reason). Our original thought was that the living room would remain a relatively kid-free zone, while the (finished) basement would become the romper room. That… never actually happened.
So I decided to embrace the fact that the living room would now be the dedicated play room. I wanted to add some color and whimsy. And I really, really wanted a teepee (thanks, Pinterest). So here’s what the living room looks like now:
We’ve already established that I have no sewing ability whatsoever, so I bought the teepee from Little Birds Boutique on Etsy. The listing only included the fabric (which has pre-sewn pockets for the rods). I also purchased the Teepee Accessories Package, which included crutch tips for the poles, nylon rope and electrical tape. We bought the PVC pipes at Lowe’s and Mr. B cut them to size and drilled little holes in the top. It was a relatively painless process.
The teepee is great for hiding toys, it looks adorable, and it’s become Sally’s secret spot.
The “You Are My Sunshine” bunting was a birthday party purchase that I decided to keep up all the time. I feel like it adds a little somethin’. It comes from Pickled Cherry Paper on Etsy.
So that’s my living room currently. I’ve decided against drapes because I love the natural light, and the openness that the naked windows bring to the room. I’m tossing around the idea of adding strips of Washi Tape to the blinds to add a little color, but I haven’t found a pattern I like just yet.
So I’ve been feeling the need to confess something and, in the spirit of this blog and its attempt to make everyone feel better about not being the Pinterest wizards we all pretend to be, I’m gonna do it.
Okay. In our old house, Holden’s nursery was pretty much the cutest.
Flash forward to now, three months in our new house, and this is what Holden’s nursery currently looks like.
I should probably be embarrassed to show you that, but oh well. Let’s break it down: the room isn’t painted, we haven’t hung anything, I have a freaking diaper box chilling out in the open. There. Don’t we all feel a little bit better?
So there you have it: the ugly, honest truth. We’re planning on hanging some of her nursery pieces this weekend. Hopefully that will make a difference, but I feel like without painted walls, it’s never going to be as cute. I’ll post an update after some of the stuff is up!
If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve decided that, after three months in our not-new-enough-to-call-it-new-anymore house, it’s time to start decorating. But because I’m me, I have to do it a little bit at at time.
I have these super cool vintage liquor decanters that were painted by my great grandmother. I actually have no idea how old they are. I do know that they portray ridiculous cultural stereotypes, but I love them anyway.
They represent, from left to right: rice wine, vino, brandy, Scotch, Vodka, Irish whiskey, moonshine and bourbon. Aren’t they fantastic?
I mean, check out that cool colonel.
But this Moonshine guy is my all-time favorite:
So I took the cool liquor decanters and paired them with various vases, filled with just some of the thousands of corks that my husband has been collecting for years. He’s not a huge wino, I promise; once people hear that Mr. B collects corks, they tend to save them for him.
It’s not a gorgeous backsplash, but it’s a start. I’m making my way through the house, bit by bit.
So, we moved into our new house just about three months ago because we were quickly outgrowing our townhouse. Now, while I love our beautiful (bigger, airier) new home, it’s (relatively) new construction and is lacking a bit of character. I was too busy to care at first, but lately it’s been bumming me out. Also, I’ve been totally lazy about decorating, so that hasn’t helped.
We had the first floor of the house painted while we were in Disney World(Sherwin-Williams Collonade Gray SW7641), so now we’re slowly-but-surely starting to get around to finally hanging some of our stuff.
So far, we’ve gotten the dining room pretty well situated:
Pretty amazing what just hanging some artwork (and a fantastic mirror) can do.
I’m in love with my super colorful prints. They represent various landmarks in my hometown, painted by a local artist named Brenda Wintermyer. We received the first print as a wedding gift and have made the subsequent prints our Christmas gift to ourselves each year.
I’ve been feeling yellow and gray lately, so that’s where my other pops of color come in.
My curtains are custom drapery panels from thislittlehome (etsy) in Suzani Print in Corn Yellow and Slub White.
My chevron table runner (that needs to be ironed, I know. And is too short for the table with the leaf in, I know.) is from Appleberry Attic via Very Jane. (do you know about Very Jane’s daily deals? Awesome.)
So it’s a start, anyway. The good thing about this being a work-in-progress is that I should have plenty of blog material. Stay tuned as I make my way through the house!