Monday, January 31, 2011

Basement Stairs: Almost Done.

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  
This project was not for the faint of heart.  But a good change:

That one teenie tiny little sentence in the 'Before Post' - 
"so I have to remove the staples before I can paint;" 

Should have read: 
 "Before I can paint, I will spend a day pulling out horrid staples - 
wrapping 2 blistered fingers, while cursing the man who put them in 50 years ago." 

I had the kids pulling staples too.  It was a family affair - quite funny actually.  That is how Saturday afternoon went until I gave up and painted the walls and ceiling.   The Cabinet Maker rescued me late in the day and pulled the rest out - thank god. (he had been away all day).  I chose the same beigy-mocha as is in the kitchen for the hallway and ceiling. There are so many pitches and angles to the whole thing,  I feel like a gymnast. 

On Sunday the stairs were ready to paint.. here are some 'during' pics:

{The Run Down}
  • I pulled of the remaining carpet and pad.
  • After pulling staples or staple pulling breaks, I painted the walls beige.
  • I painted the left and right sides of the stairs, (Benjamin Moore - Linen White), two coats.
  • To measure the center 'paint runner', Paul measured where in the middle of the stairs is, then tied a string running down the middle of the whole stairway, then measured equally outward - making the runner even.
  • I painted the Green.  (Glidden - Truly Olive), two coats. 
  • I painted the railing white, 2 coats.
  • In between coats I painted the back door 2 fresh coats of white.  The black is chalkboard paint. 
  • Paul put new casing on the french doors and back door - yippee!

For taping the stairs for the green runner, I relied on Paul who could do it way faster & straighter than I could.
It's not glamorous, but here's what it looked like.

I would say not to try this as a first DIY job.
 It was a tough one.

It's not 100% done - I have to add a final touch before I can do a total 'After' post.
I couldn't do it with the paint not completely dry.  Plus my right hand and arm are about to fall off. LOL.


Here is the finsihed product!
xo Jeanne.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Basement Stairs: Before

This weekend's project: Paint the stairs leading to the basement. 
Also the little hallway at the top of the stairs that joins the kitchen to the back door. 
This area has never been done in 50 years.  Today's the day.  
 Yes, behind the 'horrid wall of coat hooks'
 french doors have been hiding.
They've been covered for some time.  Crazy,  I know. 
 I had my husband take the weird wall hook board down this morning. 

Here's the stairs. Half of them are still carpeted, so I have to remove that and the staples before I can paint.

This is at the top. Back Door leading to the breazeway and garage. 
Painted this should be darling.
Such potential.

I have my work cut out for me.  But the wall and stairs are in good shape, no repairs to be made.

Just paint and lot's of it.
Wish me luck!
Send Diet Coke.

xo Jeanne.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mini Project: Linen Closet gets a facelift

Okay, we really don't use it as a linen closet, it's 'door number 2'.
Why be normal?  In our house it holds all the everyday bathroom supplies.
First aid, hair products, cleaners, extra toilet get the picture.  
However, 6 people + 1 closet full of bathroom supplies =  a clean-out was calling my name

Once again, I shame myself with the 'Before':

And the 'After the Clean Out/Throw Away:

With the bins back in & tidy, it still wasn't quite right. 
 Better, but not 'done.'  Hmmmmm
Then I thought about the miracle of paint that transformed the upstairs. See it here.
 Why not paint the inside of the closet? Would it be worth it?
 Isn't it mostly hidden from view?  Yes.

  But it's old and the original owners had once painted it blue.
  Deep blue - on the sides.  Plus it has funky shelves. And the wierd wood back??
I thought a few coats of white would freshen it up and make it worthy of the cute little hallway it's in.
 So out came the paint.  It was begging for it.  I gave the door and trim a fresh coat too.

When cleaning out, throwing or giving away - I have one rule:
If it hasn't been seen or used in one year - it goes. 

In this case I tossed :
  • every old shampoo bottle that had a teaspoon left in it.
  • every sample size I had saved for some trip I'll be taking someday (why do I do this?).
  • every band-aid wrapper that lost it's way to the trash. (You'd think we had a band-aid wrapper collection.)
  • in the end, there was a trash bag and a half of wayward q-tips, old lotion and toothpaste past is prime. 

I grab milk glass vase thingies when see them. I use them as any kind of container, they come in handy.
The cute little vintage plastic nursery containers are from a garage sale years ago.. thanks Quandie!

I would actually like to take the panel off the door and put in frosted glass.
I hope I inspired someone, somewhere to tackle their own 'linen' closet clean-out.
(SEE!- I don't paint everything black!)

xo Jeanne.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Delighted with the Desk!

Now this looks like where Bees Knees Bungalow is made! 
Soooo much better.  It's a breath of fresh air and a long overdue project completed.  
 It's homey, inviting and uncluttered

The white framed area is chalkboard paint - $9.98 a pint.  It's painted right on the wall. 
The white moulding was added after it was dry. 

 The desk is from decorating co-captain Linda's summer Carriage House sale. 
 I thought it had sold long ago. But there it was, freezing and lonely just waiting for me in her garage. 
The cubbie shelf is from Home Depot; Martha Stewart Living.

The banner on the chalkboard - I whipped up
I went through my scrapbook paper supply looking for anything teal and black.
 I cut large diamonds, then folded them in half. 
I glued them to a string of twine, stamped them with a clock stamp, used distress ink on the edges.
 Bam!  A fabulous bit of color.

The Springtime for Jeanne-Marie child's book - I've had for a few years now.
 It was a gift from my sister Debbie .. Thanks Deb!

The two jars were this week's thrift store finds.  Love the big "misc." jar - $4.99.  
 It's filled with shredded newspaper at the moment.  The lamp I bought at Target.

I'm pretty happy with my little creative spot. 
The upstairs has come a looonng way in the past few weeks.

Here's the Before:
From Horrendously Embarrassing
(winning some kind of bravery award for even showing this):

To During - Less Horrid :

To...What a cozy little work space!

 For the life of me I couldn't get the pics just right.
I may redo them - I need daylight.   But it's a start and so much better.
Never ever will it get so bad again. I had the kids sign affidavits.

xo jeanne.

What's funny is that I've sat up at the desk this week and thought; "Now this is strange, perhaps I'll blink and all the crap will reappear?!  But no, thankfully - it's all really gone and the coziness remains.
Plus a few miracles happened. 

First, The Cabinet Maker said to me; "You know, this spot should be for you alone.  The kids should use something else".  Shocker of all time.
Second, the kids have kept the 'no food rule' and not eaten upstairs.  I know this because there are no drips or spills, and even more proof - no dishes left on the desk- which I assure you, if they ate there - they'd have left them. 
xo J.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Small Bathroom - BIG Change.

What was once dreary is now quite lovely.
Attached to the new and improved attic area, there is this little bathroom. 

So you can really truly appreciate the transformation, 
take a minute to absorb 'The Before.'

Before (gasp!)

When the kids were small and all upstairs I must've been deranged
However, time marches on and we've grown past a bug border (thank god)
 and green and lavender paint.  It had become a storage spot.
The original owners added it with simply a sink and a toilet.
No outlets, no mirror/medicine cabinet. 

{What we did}
  • I used DIF to strip the border, goodbye  bugs- and they were stubborn.  
  • I pulled up the old flooring - laminate tiles.  They came up easily with a bit of elbow grease.
  • I painted the room solid beige, two coats. (this is the same color as the kitchen)
Sunday,  Decorating Co-Captain Linda and Me
got down to business.
  • We measured where we wanted the horizontal stripe. Taped, then painted the first of two coats.
  • We laid the floor. 12 x 12 laminate tiles, purchased at Menard's for .59 cents each.  The Cabinet Maker had laid out a drawing for us, so we went by that - this helped a ton to get us started in the right direction, especially since we wanted to make it diagonal. Our materials were simply a measuring tape, box cutter knife, and a metal ruler to cut.
  • The floor install definitely took the most time, measuring, cutting, remembering what we measured, where we put the 'measuring thingie'; aka measuring tape.  It was time consuming but not frustrating or overly difficult.  Just a lot of measuring and cutting.   We kept ourselves focused with diet coke and a bowl of chocolate.
  • Here's the site we used to help us get started:

When the floor was done, we took a Wine Break,  then it all started coming together. 
We went back to work on the fun stuff-
 hanging the shelf and gathering the cool stuff to put on it.  

 Linda brought the fabulous black shelf over with her and donated it to the cause. 
 It couldn't be more perfect.   As we went along,
we came to see that black/white/silver was really the theme. 
  So we scurried around my house to see what we could find. 
Everything on the shelf, I already had. 
 I'd like to find an old silver/creamer set to replace the little enamel pots. 
 (slapping myself because about a year ago I threw a set into the bag to give to Goodwill.)  

The mirror I had been in search of - it turns out I already had
 It was hanging in another room. We carried it to the bathroom and liked it. 

The 'fabulous' sign had been hanging around for a bit too, so we used it below the mirror. 

And the teal plates went up underneath the weird window opening.
We moved the old window into the bathroom and hung it over the opening.
The sink skirt is the curtain I had bought last week at Goodwill.
I'm eternally grateful to Sue B; the awesome decorating guru friend and
designated sewer, who transformed it into the fabulous sink skirt.

For fun, I took out the toilet paper holder and put up the fab shelf. One roll or two?
Really fun that I already had all the shelf goodies.  I knew my collection old stuff would come in handy!

It really is just a tiny little space.
Fun that it's now girly and sweet.
No bugs.

The floor moulding has yet be put in (the cabinet maker),
but I could not possibly wait one more second to get the dreamy new bif up on the blog.
A rundown of the cost:
Floor: $12.
Plates: $8
Skirt: $13
The paint I had from previous projects.

A big gigantic never-ending hug to co-captain Linda
for spending her Sunday afternoon on my bathroom floor.
This is a true friend.


xox jeanne.
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