Emily’s Nursery

 

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Pleasant Pink

Curtains: DIY’d, fabric is Waverly Spring Bling Spring

Curtain Hardware: Threshold Mercury Ball Curtain Rod from Target

Crib and Dresser: Baby’s Dream Legendary, purchased from Georgia Baby & Kids Furniture

Glider/Recliner: Benji by Best Chairs, purchased from KooKoo Bear Kids Furniture

Mirror: Urban Trends Collection from Overstock, painted gray

Side Table: International Concepts Hampton Accent Table, painted white

Table Lamp: Marshall’s

Floor Lamp: Kirkland’s

Bedding: sheet and crib skirt are both from Target

Wall Letters: Pottery Barn Kids

Picture Frame: Pottery Barn (no longer available)

Desk Clock: Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available)

Changing Pad Cover: Amazon

 

Kitchen Facelift Update

Continuing along the journey of our slowest kitchen “renovation” ever, the next big step was replacing the old Corian countertops. Most people probably don’t mind Corian since it is a solid surface material (no seams!), but our counters were in rough shape and the color made the kitchen look pretty dated. Out with the old and in with the new!

After looking at a lot of images online and in Home Depot and Lowe’s we decided on Black Pearl granite. In our area, it was priced in the high $30s up to $50 a square foot. We settled on using Legacy Granite, and they quickly came out and created the template and were ready to install the granite just a few days later.

Unfortunately WE were not ready for them that quickly. We also purchased a new gas cooktop (since it would require a custom sized cut), but quickly found out that the existing cooktop did not have a separate gas shut off valve. In order to disconnect the old cooktop we had to turn off the gas to our entire house, which was a total PITA. This is probably against code, so we had a handyman come out and install a shut off valve just for the cooktop. Problem solved!

New cooktop — Kenmore Elite gas downdraft

The actual installation of the granite turned out great, but then it was on us to put the rest of the kitchen back together. After multiple trips to Home Depot, we finally got the right parts to hook up the cooktop again (it’s a little trickier than a normal cooktop since it has a downdraft vent). Then we decided that we were not capable of DIYing putting our sink and disposal back together. We needed someone to hook up the new faucet, re-attach the garbage disposal, and re-configure all of the pipes below the sink since we had gone from a 2 bowl sink to a single bowl sink. Among all of this mess, we probably went a week and a half without a functioning sink in our kitchen. Not recommended!

New sink and faucet — Delta Leland Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer in Arctic Stainless. Sink was provided by the granite fabricators.

Finally the last thing to address was the dreaded “gap”. We had been warned that there would be a small gap between the bottom of the backsplash and the top of the new granite counters since they were thinner than the existing Corian. I kept thinking it wouldn’t be that big of a deal and we’d just put in some caulk and call it a day. Well the gap turned out to be more noticeable than expected. The short term solution was to cover the gap along the entire stretch of counters with a small piece of moulding. We bought the moulding, painted it and then installed it just with some strong adhesive. Eventually we would like to replace the backsplash, but it could end up being somewhat costly since it needs to be removed, the drywall needs to be replaced, and then the new backsplash would be installed.

So after all of that a simple job of replacing the counters turned into a much bigger ordeal than we originally anticipated. It was definitely worth the effort, but we were both ready to pull our hair out with one thing after another slowing us down from the “final” reveal.

Of course we have to look back at the (way) before — this is from closing day.

Closing Day

And here we are today, almost 4 years later with new wall paint, refinished floors, painted cabinets, and now new countertops, cooktop, sink and faucet.

Today

Today

We’ll slowly work on replacing the rest of the appliances to stainless steel since most of them are original to the house and don’t work all that well. Plus it will help break up so much of the black everywhere!

Nursery Progress

With the nursery starting off as a disaster, it has taken a while for it to become decent enough just to paint. For the last um, 3.5 years it has pretty much looked like some variation of this:

Aka dumping ground of random crap. A million holes in the wall that were halfway through being patched. And here it is now:

Don’t worry, most of the dumping ground of random crap has just been temporarily moved to another location (aka the nursery closet, and at least it’s more exciting random crap — baby clothes, new cooktop, and new faucet for our eventual kitchen countertop overhaul!), but so far we’ve:

  • Finished patching and sanding all of the imperfections in the wall (there were a LOT as you can see from the before)
  • Almost finished patching and sanding imperfections in the baseboards (a dog we were pet sitting decided the trim looked like a yummy chew toy?)
  • Replaced the carpet (Woo! Well WE didn’t do this ourselves, but we paid for it, haha)
  • Replaced the blinds. They don’t look that different, but the dog decided to use parts of the opening/closing cords as a chew toy. What is it with this room and dogs chewing things?
  • Replaced the fan. The old one worked, but it was a sight for sore eyes.
  • Painted! The color is Benjamin Moore Pleasant Pink, matched to Sherwin Williams.
  • Purchased a mirror for over the dresser/changing table. I will be refinishing it or repainting it — maybe a dark-ish gray to tie into the glider? (sneak peak of it sitting on the floor)

And what’s in the works/in progress:

  • Curtain fabric has been purchased, but I need to start making the curtains before I am too big to comfortably do this.
  • We ordered the nursery recliner, crib and dresser. They’ll all be here in the next 4-8 weeks or so.
  • David has specifically requested a certain song lyric/quote to be framed, so I’m on the lookout for something to mimic from Pinterest.
  • We are doing either initials or her 1st name over the crib, so I’m on the hunt for some letters.
  • The closet still needs to be painted, which I’d like to do in a contrasting color (maybe turquoise or magenta?). It needs some organizing functionality added as well since there is just 1 hanging bar for the whole space.

There’s so much more on the “to do” list for this room including other wall decor, lighting, accessories, maybe a little side table or small bookcase to sit next to the glider, etc etc etc but I’m just thinking about the “big things” for now.

Finishing up some rooms around the house

In the last few months I feel like more rooms are getting to a “finished” state. I’m sure things will continually evolve, but the spaces in the basement finally look, um, lived in? After some insane number of gallons of paint, the basement is completely painted and more pieces have been hung on the walls.

Before:

 

And now:

The new paint color is a pretty subtle difference, but warms things up a tiny bit over the old color which was practically white. The new color is Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige above the chair rail and Eddie Bauer Limestone below the chair rail (same color that we used in my office and our master bedroom).

New mini-bar station next to the pool table (also a pretty decent representation of the paint colors):

The gym also got a coat of paint with a stripe (same colors as the rest of the basement), and now has an IKEA Kallax storage system to hold jump ropes and smaller hand weights.

Before:

And now:

And finally, I repainted the half bath with Benjamin Moore’s color of the year, Guilford Green (the walls and baseboards were still pretty beat up from the floor refinishing and I ran out of/didn’t have the original paint color. It’s pretty neon in a space with only artificial light, so I really wouldn’t recommend it in those conditions. Still getting used to this color in here.

Before:

 

And now:

Wow you really can’t tell the difference in color between the before and after, but I promise in person it is more distinct. Photographing without natural light is NOT my strength.

Now I’m off to prepare for a crazy week of Christmas activities (hosting my family and my husband’s family for 2 separate Christmases, plus some house guests, and a poker get together…)! Wish me luck!

Dining Room Update

A lot of progress has been made on the dining room lately, so I guess we’re due for an update. This room is about 90% finished and I’ll probably just tweak going forward. No room is ever completely finished, right?

Since last time I shared, the ceiling has been repaired from the roof leak (hired out) and painted (by me), the walls have been repainted (Sherwin Williams Naval), new chandelier installed (by us! without burning down the house or killing each other!), new buffet lamps were purchased, and the curtains were hung. Doesn’t seem like that much work, but it definitely adds up when it seems like the weekends go by in the blink of an eye. We’ve come a long way from baby poop colored walls on closing day…

And then sat empty for almost 3 years, but with smurf blue paint that I got tired of…

To now…with a darker paint color and actual furniture!

My favorite part might be the curtains. They are mostly blue with a tiny bit of green in them. This photo is probably the best representation of the wall color (Sherwin Williams Naval). The hunt for arm chairs for the head of the table is just going to be ongoing.

 

I think I am going to turn my attention back to the basement next, which is currently a disaster zone…

Rome Recap

Rounding out the last of our trip was Rome! (Check out my earlier recaps of London and Paris)

Rome was my favorite! Maybe it was the perfect weather, or our posh hotel room, or the delicious gelato every night…or all of the above. Rome was very different than London and Paris. For one, we basically walked everywhere. In London and Paris, we were hopping on and off the subway everyday but Rome was “small” enough that most places were a 20 minute walk away. We took a taxi trips only to/from the airport and Vatican City. There was also just something about how OLD everything was that really amazed me. Makes you wonder if anything that is built today will still be standing 2,000 years from now.

Here’s all of the spots we visited in Rome:

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Vatican City (We did a guided tour that included the Vatican Gardens, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. In retrospect we should not have done a 5 hour tour on the last day of our trip when we had already been trekking around for almost 2 weeks. We were SO TIRED.)

From a photography perspective, I had to deal with a lot of scaffolding (again!). The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine are being refurbished over the next several years. That just means I’ll have to come back once they are done! 😉 Here are some of my faves from Rome:

 

Paris Recap

Continuing from our London recap…

The EuroStar train from London to Paris was pretty painless. The Paris metro was a little more complicated than London, but we quickly figured it out and spent our 1st day wandering around the Eiffel Tower. They aren’t kidding when you hear about cafés on every corner. Even though I took several years of French in both high school and college I still had a really hard time understanding spoken French. I still miss my French breakfasts of croissants, pain au chocolat, nutella, and crêpes. And here’s the list of spots we visited in Paris:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Notre Dame (and the Notre Dame towers if you want to count those separately..)
  • Louvre
  • Walked down the Champs Élysées
  • Walked around the Arc de Triomphe
  • Tried to walk around the Tuileries Garden but the weather was not cooperating
  • Musée de l’Orangerie
  • We even did our laundry at a French laundromat 🙂

There was scaffolding covering most of the Arc de Triomphe and scaffolding coming out the bottom of the Eiffel Tower so I had to get a little creative with some angles.

London Recap

I think I’ve finally caught up on “life” to sit down and write a recap of our trip. Of course I’ll start with London because that’s where we started.

London was a pretty easy transition into figuring out Europe. The tube/underground was much more complicated than MARTA, but in a good way! We used that to go pretty much everywhere since our hotel was a 3 minute walk to a station. Here’s a rundown of all the places we visited:

  • Harrod’s
  • Hyde Park
  • Westminster Abbey
  • London Eye
  • Big Ben (well, just kind of walked around in that area…)
  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Millenium Bridge
  • LOTS of pubs (Black Friar, Sherlock Holmes, Hung Drawn & Quartered to name a few…)
  • Kensington Gardens & Palace
  • Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard ceremony)
  • And at one point we were even in Trafalgar Square without realizing it…

And now on to some of my favorite photos!

Next up, Paris!

Back to Reality…

After 2 whirlwind weeks of vacation, it’s back to reality unfortunately! Things are crazy busy, but I’ve got some travel photos and dining room updates to share soon. Here’s a shot from London to hold you over until next time 😉

Dining Room = Furnished!

Despite 1 brief delay, our dining room furniture was delivered this past weekend. We got it from Rooms 2 Go of all places, but I’ve seen it carried under other furniture names after some intense Googling.

Here’s a super wide shot so you can see the whole room, but it makes the furniture look a little puny. The color is pretty accurate in this picture, but for some reason the floor looks much lighter here.

Here’s the server buffet thing. That wine holder needs to be filled up ASAP!

I did a little styling for the top — a new Smith & Hawken boxwood wreath from Target hung over an old HomeGoods mirror, 2 new Target frames (that are empty…), and a serving tier that was a wedding gift. I have a large canvas that I am considering hanging here along with buffet lamps, but this works for now.

Goofing around now 🙂

And one final shot! I should sell this image to Rooms To Go because the ones on their website are AWFUL.

So now onto the rest of the room — repainting, light fixture, rug or no rug?, end chairs, hanging curtains, etc etc etc!