The Best 99¢ I Ever Spent…

First impressions are everything right? Our house is giving off a pretty sad first impression. Like a, ‘do I really want to go in there?’, ‘is this the house from Texas Chainsaw Massacre?’ kind of impression. I’m okay with some people not wanting to enter, but for the most part, I would like our home to be welcoming and pleasing to the eye.

IMG_1438The paint is peeling off of the metal siding in chunks. We need to add some landscaping. And the front door could use a fresh coat of paint. I decided to the easiest/fastest fix would be the front door. Our house is white, so I thought choosing a paint color for the front door would be a piece of cake…it wasn’t. My first thought was something dark to hide all the dirt and stains that will inevitably end up on the door, but navy and black ended up being too much of a contrast. Then I thought a fun, bright color would be nice, but they all seemed too bright next to the bright white.

I ended up with a nice teal with gray undertones. It’s happy…but not too happy. Like a blue that looks like it likes to have a good time, know what I mean??

photo (8)I wanted the color to be the same on both the front and back of the door. Luckily I haven’t picked a color for the entry way, so I was pretty much free to do whatever color I wanted. Of course now, I will have to choose my entry way wall paint accordingly.

166The first coat went on fast, I painted the whole door in about twenty minutes and left it to dry for twenty-four hours. That twenty-four hours turned into about a week while I got distracted with other projects…mostly painting trim in the kitchen. It’s taking forever. So this is what one coat looks like.

172 170174After I FINALLY got around to that much-needed second coat, I pulled out my favorite tool. My 99¢ razor blade scraper. It’s seriously one of my favorite tools. I hate prep work, especially taping things off before I paint. I know it’s necessary, and will save me a lot of time later in most cases, but I still hate it. And in this case (painting glass areas) taping would have been a complete waste of time. I used a latex paint which made for extra easy scraping.

088 091 090I mean, look at that beautiful mess on the floor. It’s one of my favorite sites.

086And look how pretty after all the scraping! The scraping took about 10 minutes on each side of the door. MUCH faster than having to tape off all of those triangles.

092 photo 1-013 photo 3-011As you can see we also went ahead and switched out the handle for a new one and added a deadbolt (which helps me sleep better at night).  I would really like to just take off that screen door, but the flies out here are out. of. control. so it’s really quite necessary. I do plan on replacing it one of these days though. Still a lot of work to do to make the front of the house more inviting, but at least we are one step closer!


Inspirado: Coffee Bar

Hope everyone had a great Memorial weekend! Hollis and I got to head back to Kansas City to visit my family while Brian stayed and got some things done on the farm. It was a busy, fun-filled weekend, just the way I like it, but I did have time to do one itty-bitty project.

In our old dining room, we had the perfect spot for our little bar. It was great for extra space for when we had parties or gatherings to set drinks or appetizers on. It was also necessary for housing our wine glasses and other barware. (That forest green carpet still haunts my dreams…)

292055_595008822515_2172023_nHere in the new house, we really don’t have a formal dining room, we just use our eat-in kitchen. We also have the great built-in cabinet in the living room closet that we have designated as our new ‘bar’ area.

photo 3-007Now that we have a little one who is becoming more and more mobile every day, I like that we can keep any adult beverages and breakable things up high out of her reach. We also like the fact that we can shut the door and lock it to keep curious little people out of it. I still really love our old bar though, and I don’t want to get rid of it. I would love to re-purpose it and take advantage of the awesome storage it provides.

I’ve seen drink stations all over Pinterest and I think it’s the perfect way to re-purpose our old bar. I make coffee or tea almost every day, usually multiple times a day (thanks to a teething baby). So having a space to consolidate all of my coffee, tea, sugar, creamers, mugs, etc. would be soooo nice. I made a little inspiration board of things I would love to add to mine one day.

coffee bar^^ Rectangular Serving Tray with Handles. Apilco Cow Creamer, Williams-Sonoma, Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha Cup, Crate & Barrel, Keurig K65 Special Edition Home Brewing System,

Chemex Glass Handle 6-Cup Coffee Maker, Crate & Barrel

Here are a couple of pics I pulled off Pinterest for inspiration. I like how simple, yet functional they are.

Coffee BarCoffee StationAnd….

Here’s what I came up with on the fly (sorry for the ugly wires). I just used things I already had, but I would love to add some things to it to make it a little more posh. I need to find something to fill in the wine bottle cubbies…any suggestions? Right now they are housing some travel mugs, but they aren’t very pretty.


Coffee Bar -

You Know That Saved By the Bell Episode…

tumblr_mkiivoW7ke1r0qrbeo1_400Where Jesse is SO excited and hopped up on caffeine pills?! Well that was me, minus the pill part, when we ripped out the carpet in the entry way, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen!! I might have even done the running man and moon walked around a couple of times…just a couple though. It immediately felt cleaner…and smelled better. Putting carpet in a bathroom, around a toilet, is just the worst idea EVER.

We hired a neighbor of ours to do the job. Neither Brian or myself have really ever done any tiling, and we didn’t want a job this big (about 480 sq. ft.) to be our first experience with it. If we just had the bathroom or entry way to do, we may have attempted to do it ourselves. Also, it’s a really old house and the walls are not all perfectly straight. We learned that one wall in the kitchen is off about 3 inches, so we were glad we hired someone with a lot of experience to tackle the job.

So here is a bunch of before and after pictures of the rooms that got new tile. Basically the whole front of the house that was added on had the carpet replaced. The tile looks a little brown in these pics, but it’s really a taupe-y gray color. We used the same tile throughout to give it a nice cohesive look. You can see in some the pics that I’m in the process of painting the trim bright white. I loath painting trim, but somebody’s got to do it.


097photo 4-001190photo 5-001180160177186185I’ve got big plans for the entry way and bathroom, I can’t wait to dive into them, but I’m trying to pace myself! I still have some work to finish up in the kitchen. That trim is not going to paint itself after all, as much as I really, really wish it would…like REALLY.

Painting Is My Life…

Or at least that’s the way it seems most days. If the best way to get to know your new house is to paint every square inch of it, then I now know the kitchen VERY well. I decided to paint the cabinet frame and drawers while we had all of the cabinet doors off. While that was drying, I set up a paint station for the doors and got a coat of paint on them. While those were drying I painted the walls of the kitchen… much. paint. But it’s all looking so much cleaner and brighter in here already.

As you can see, we went with gray. Our decision was based mostly on the new tile we picked out that will be replacing the carpet in here. (More on that later!) Sorry this picture stinks, I will have better after pics soon. I didn’t bother painting the interior of the cabinets…yet. Some day I may get around to it, but for now they are in really great shape and really just needed a good wipe down. I also really couldn’t wait any longer to start putting things away in the cabinets. It was such a pain to try to search for kitchen essentials that were still packed away in totes.

photo 4Painting the doors while they were flat was so much easier than trying to do it while they were attached.  The paint we chose had a primer built-in, but I still ended up doing three coats to get good coverage over everything. The grooves with the wood filler really soaked up the paint quickly. We also went ahead and replaced the hinges with some nice brushed nickel ones.

photo 5-002Here’s a close-up of the doors before and after. No more groove thang! Not too bad for a super cheap makeover, right?! We would really like to add some nice brushed nickel drawer pulls and knobs for the doors too. I think it will give it a much more finished look.

My Photo (2)

photo 2-013

photo 1-012I used the same gray on the walls here as we had throughout our old house. We had quite a bit left over from the other house and I hate to waste paint. It’s called Grayish by Sherwin Williams and it’s the perfect shade of gray.  It’s kind of a beige-y gray and it just goes well with everything. I tested a corner of the kitchen with primer to see if it really made a difference in covering up the dark brown walls…it didn’t make a difference. I had to use two coats over the walls regardless with or without primer so I didn’t bother using it on the rest of the walls.

photo 1-003

photo 2-003I just love how much cleaner and brighter it feels in here already. We still have a lot to do in here and I’m still figuring out where things are going to go. It seems like the cabinets are in constant flux while we live here and figure out where we really need things to be.


Here is a peek at my ongoing to-do list for the kitchen:

  • fill in the cabinet groove/sand
  • paint cabinets
  • paint walls
  • paint trim
  • change hardware
  • add drawer pulls and door knobs
  • replace carpet
  • new light fixture
  • add open shelving
  • replace backsplash

This list is constantly changing…like daily. Every time I look in here, I think of something to add or change. I know that some of these things will be done soon and some won’t be done for months or even years, but it’s still nice to have a reference to keep us on track. It’s also really nice to see things crossed off my list!

Get Your Groove On…Or Not.

Our new kitchen boasts lots of cabinet space, about twice the cabinet space than our last kitchen. The problem is, the brown on brown on brown color scheme is just not working for us. Nor is that groove on the face of the cabinet doors. It really dates the kitchen, which stinks, because the cabinets are in really great shape. The hubby and I talked about getting new cabinets, just getting new cabinet doors, or changing the face of the cabinets ourselves. We decided it wouldn’t hurt to experiment and try changing the look of the cabinets ourselves. If we fail miserably, we can then spend the money to get new doors or new cabinets.

photo 3We thought about adding trim pieces to change the look of the doors like this post I saw on Pinterest. The problem with our cabinets though, is that they don’t all match as you can see in the photo below. The cabinets in the corner and to the right were added later, as well as the cabinets all the way at the end to the left which you can’t see in these photos. We were afraid that even after they were all refaced, they just wouldn’t quite match. So ultimately we decided to try to fill that pesky groove in with wood filler and give them all a smooth surface and fresh paint job.

photo 4 (1)We thought maybe we could get away with leaving the doors on while we filled the grooves in, but alas, gravity was not our friend. So we numbered all the doors and removed them. We went ahead and removed all the hardware too since we knew we would have to do so to paint the doors and the cabinet frame.

photo 2Once we got every door removed, we hauled them down to the machine shed (one perk of living on a farm) to set up a little workshop so we could make a mess and spread out without making a huge mess in the already messy house. Brian spent a few days filling grooves in his spare time while I focused on getting the frame for the cabinets sanded and painted while we had all the doors and hardware off. Once he had all of the doors filled and the wood filler had time to dry and set, we set up a little assembly line to get them sanded and cleaned up.

photo 2-012Our assembly line consisted of me sanding the edges of the doors with a sanding block, they have a mitered edge that we couldn’t get to with the hand sander very well. Then Brian would use the electric hand sander on the front and backs until they were nice and smooth.

photo 1 (1)After he finished, I would take them to the air compressor and blow off all the dust and then wipe them down with a tack cloth to get them really clean. To save time, we went ahead and sanded all of the doors, even the ones without the grooves.

photo 3-003 photo 2-004It went really fast once we got into the groove…get it?…get it? Sanding is a messy job, so it was really nice not having to do it inside the house. It only took us about an hour to get through all the doors and when we were finished we had flat, smooth cabinet doors as you can see below. Now the painting begins!

photo 5-003

Inspirado: Kitchen

We decided the first room we would start tackling would be the kitchen. It’s the room we spend the most time in (well the room I spend the most time in), so for sanity sake we decided it would make the most sense to makeover first. It’s also right off the entry way so anyone walking into our house sees it right off the bat. I decided to take a much needed painting break to peruse the world wide web for some inspiration. Here are a few things I have and a few that I am currently pining over.

kitchenClockwise from the left: 1. Modern Neon Hardwood 7″ salad bowl, Nicole Porter Design  2.  Mini Triangle Cutting Board,LEIF, 3. Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer in ice blue, Target, 4. 3 pc. Baker Set, Crate & Barrel, 5. Dansk® Kobenstyle White 6-Quart Casserole, Crate & Barrel, 6. Batik Serving Utensil Set, LEIF

I really like the dark gray cabinets with the polished nickel hardware in the pic below. The style of the cabinets are a little more traditional than I usually like, I tend to like things a tad bit sleeker, but that crown molding on top of the cabinets is surprisingly giving me the warm and fuzzies.

I love the idea of having some open cabinets to play with too. What’s the point of having pretty dishes and serveware if they are just going to be hidden away behind a cabinet door?? This fresh, minty color also makes my heart go pitter-patter, but I’m not sure I can convince the hubby!


First Floor Tour

We are officially moved in here at the farm, although we are still sorting through things and trying to figure out where their new home will be. At this point I’m thinking Goodwill is a good home for most of it. Do we really need dishes that haven’t seen the light of day in five years? Does my husband really need every t-shirt he’s ever owned….ever? The answer is no, but yet, there they sit in totes spread across each room of this house or stuffed in the closets.

This house is quite a bit larger than our last house and we gained some good closet space. But we lost a somewhat finished basement that we really used for most of our storage at the old house. We have a dirt floor basement here and I’ve only been down there once. I have no plans to go down there again. It reminds me of something out of a horror movie and I just know there are spiders down there waiting to attack me the first chance they get.

I took some before pics of the first floor so you can get an idea of the floor plan. I will get to the second floor soon. The house has been well taken care of, it just needs some freshening up and a little TLC.


photo 4-001 The laundry room is the very first room to the left off the entry way. (sorry for the blurry pic, I had to use my phone for some of these pics) There is a large coat closet in there too.  I’m not super thrilled that the laundry room is the first room you see when you walk in, but I do love having a separate laundry room. I had to do laundry in the basement of our last house and it was really inconvenient at times. It’s nice to have the laundry on the main floor for a change.

photo 5-001Our main bathroom is also right off the entry way. You can’t see the shower in this pic, but it is to the right immediately inside the door. As you can see there is carpet on the floor….We’re going to have to change that asap.

photo 4 (1)Here is the kitchen, which is off the entry way to the right. It’s quite large, much larger than any kitchen I’ve ever had. There is a lot of cabinet space that we are filling up quickly. It’s crazy how fast “extra” space becomes necessary space.

photo 3-006 photo 2-005Don’t mind the adorable baby and dog in this picture of the living room. There is a lot of brown, including our furniture. The door behind the baby swing is the “back” door, even though it leads out to the side of the house. We don’t really use it yet, but someday I’d like to because it leads out to our only porch that is large enough to fit a table and chairs.

247Don’t mind the obscene mess in here. Obviously this is the stairwell and as you can see it has become a catchall of things that may or may not end up upstairs, or in a closet, or the garage….or the trash. This also used to be the main entrance of the house. Brian said there used to be a porch on the front of the house that wrapped around to the porch on the side of the house where the living room is. This porch eventually fell away over the years, so the front door was moved to the other side of the house where the newer addition is. I’m a little sad this isn’t the main entrance anymore, it is much grander than the other and that closet under the stairs would make a great coat closet.


This is what we refer to as the red room for obvious reasons.  We aren’t entirely sure what to do with this room. We thought about making it the main living room, but we like that the other living room is right off the kitchen. This room will most likely become our home gym/playroom for now.

236This room butts-up to the red room  and is also the room at the end of the entry way. We are currently using it as an office. We thought about using this as a dining room, but ultimately we decided an office would be a better use of space for us since we use it often. This room needs a lot of work to make as functional as possible. I’d like it to be more of a two person office that Brian and I can share more efficiently. The space is nice, but the large doorway and second doorway make it a little tricky to layout the furniture.

So that’s the first floor! Lots of work to do, I know. My brain is pretty much busting at the seams with ideas that I would love to try. I want the house to feel fresh and updated, but also keep the charm of the original farmhouse. It has some nice details like pocket doors, original trim, and did I mention the closets are fantastic? Here’s a few pics.

259258photo 3-007