Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Living Room Progress

I am *so close* to finishing the living room, but I know the last few projects could end up taking me a while to complete so I thought I'd share the progress we've made.

We've painted, taken down half a wall, added bamboo shades, bought and assembled new furniture  - I guess we've done a lot!



I'm doing my best to reuse and repurpose a lot of the stuff I kept from my old house (my ex and I split everything so I didn't end up with all of the furniture).  You might recognize the painting above the mantle from my old guest bedroom.  I had one of these arm chairs in my old bedroom and I purchased a second to make a pair.  The lamps and table are also from my old house.

I have plans to update the dirty red brick and tile with dark taupe brick paint and/or new tile.



I purchased this Hemnes media unit from Ikea.  It actually doesn't come all in one set, so I bought 4 separate pieces that I could assemble together.  The baskets are from Pier 1 and the coffee table is the Cameron Coffee Table from World Market.  We have "poor-mans" hardwood floors (basic pine in the middle and oak around the perimeter) so I had to order a VERY large rug to cover the "poor man" part.  I ended up custom-ordering a rug from The Perfect Rug and I'm very happy with the quality.  The sofa is actually one piece of the gray sectional shown above. I gave the sectional to my sister and  I ordered the Paidge Sofa from West Elm in Hazy Taupe performance velvet.   The new sofa actually arrived today, but after I snapped these pics.  I'll be sure to include it in the next update.



I had a radiator custom-made by Fichman.  I can't say enough about their quality and service.  I ordered 4 different radiator covers and the top piece to this one arrived scratched.  They replaced it without question and super fast.

We replaced the old curtains with these bamboo shades from Select Blinds and caught them on a sale. Wait for their sales!



Last but not least, we took down half the wall in the living room.  It did wonders to open up the space to the rest of the house and it's one of the changes I'm most excited about!

There are a few things left on my list before I can call this room done:

1. Hang Photos
2. DIY Art
3. Make and Hang Curtains
4. Paint brick around fireplace
5. New sofa
6. New pillows?

For the curtains, I'm using this great fabric called "Twist of Fate: Mustard."  Loom Decor had it for $36/yard and I could not justify it, but then I found the same fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric in the special order section and caught it on sale!  Now i just have to get around to making the curtains.  It could be months people...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DIY Deck Makeover - Our First Finished Project

Our DIY deck makeover is finally complete (and we lived to tell!).

The deck was looking pretty weathered.  It hadn't been stained in years (maybe ever?), the wood was starting to rot and splinter and the rails were bowing.

We wanted to give the existing structure a facelift without spending too much money. First, Matt replaced some rotted boards.

And then he pressure washed the deck and removed the old rails.

We had to wait a week for the deck to dry out before we could begin painting. Matt's family had used Behr DeckOver with success so we thought we'd give it a try ourselves.  We chose "Atlantic" for the color which gives it a really nautical look, but living in Maine, it's perfect!

Matt rolled on two coats on the deck.  The paint is super thick, but it does a good job of filling in cracks. I took a very small paint brush and painted the cracks between the boards.  That was probably the most time consuming part of the project.

I was a little afraid the deck was going to end up looking like a giant Smurf and I'll admit there was a moment after we painted it that I was really worried, but there was no turning back.  I decided to paint the trim, and risers white to give it some contrast and I love it!  I just used regular outdoor paint for the trim and risers, so I'll be interested to see how it holds up.

Instead of painting the exiting rails we decided to replace them.  We bought pieces of the Veranda pre-built rails from Home Depot.  They are made of vinyl and are virtually maintenance-free.  We used the existing four posts and covered them with vinyl post sleeves and caps then secured the pre-built rails in between them.  We had to do a lot of measuring and cutting to get everything to fit right. A compound miter saw was our best friend for this project. It took us some time to get a system down for measuring, making the cuts, and installing and this part of the project took us an entire day.  If we had to do it again, I'm sure we could do it much faster second time around.  We also replaced the lattice around the bottom of the deck.  One large sheet was enough to cover the perimeter.

We're very happy with the results and the whole project (including supplies) only cost us about $600.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Half Walls Are My Jam

As with most older homes, our home does not have an open floor plan.  The first floor actually has a somewhat strange layout.  We have two bedrooms on the first floor (one we use as a home office), a full bathroom,  living room, kitchen/dining room, and sunroom.

Matt joked when we first moved in that he just wanted to "tear down a wall, any wall."  Problem is, there isn't an obvious wall to tear down.  

Enter compromise: a half wall.  

Changing a full wall to a half wall in the living room would allow us to keep the furniture layout unchanged,  but also create a more open and airy space which we were really lacking. Plus, I already knew how much a half wall could change a space because I did something similar at my old house (see here).

So we got to it and tore down the wall (well, we contracted someone to do it for us).  The wall is structural so we had to have a beam installed.

Here's a reminder of the living room and the wall I'm referring to (and also a sneak peek of some of the work we've done!):

When we moved in


Here's a view of the other side of the wall when you're standing in the kitchen:

From the bedrooms

And here's what it looks like with half the wall removed:


The job is being finished on Monday and then we'll finally be able to put the finishing touches on the living room and move along to the next project (and oh we have projects!)

If you follow on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen that we've also been fixing up our deck this summer.  We are *so close* to being done so I'll have the finished photos and details  on the blog soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!