Do These Stripes Make Me Look Fat…

Just kidding, don’t answer that!

I’m not usually one for accent walls, but lately I’ve been obsessed with them. Like Pinteresting (yep, I just made that a verb) into the wee hours sifting through some good, some bad and then some really fabulous accent walls. I think when done in the right space, they can be a really great design feature. It can be a really cheap, easy way to add interest to a room. And if you end up hating it, it’s just one wall…paint over that bad boy.

I tried to refrain from going too crazy on my first accent wall. I considered the laundry room for my first try, but let’s be honest, I’m the only one who goes in there so I’d be the only one appreciating it. (boring)  I decided the bathroom would be a good candidate. It’s long and narrow, very hallway-like, so I thought an accent wall might break it up a little and make the bathroom a little more interesting. People can enjoy it while they spend some time in there….(I’m trying really hard not to make a #2 reference here)

Moving on.

To get started,  I covered up the last of the green with white, the same white as our trim to be exact. (Sherwin-Williams Snowbound) I’m just using the wall color and trim color for my stripes so things don’t get too crazy in here. I really like the subtle contrast of the white and pale aqua.

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After I got three full coats on the wall, that green was tricky to cover and I didn’t use a primer (rookie mistake). I then started to measure from the ceiling to the base board. I divided that number until I got an even number for the width of my stripes. I didn’t want to start with a 4″ stripe at the baseboard and end up with a 1″ stripe at the ceiling. My magic number was 4 1/2″ and my white stripe started at the base board and ended at the ceiling. This might not matter to most people, but I wanted it that way so that I wouldn’t have to be super careful or tape off the baseboard or ceiling while painting. I try to make things easy on myself whenever possible. I used a sharpie to make little tic marks every 4 1/2″.

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Then I grabbed my trusty straight-edge and level and connected all my tic marks to get a nice straight line. Stripes are easy, but they are not very forgiving. I knew if I had a crooked stripe it would be very noticeable and drive me insane.

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After all of my lines were drawn (lightly), I could get a clear visual of  the thickness and straightness of my lines. I wanted to make sure I liked them before I took the time to tape everything off. Luckily I really liked the medium size and was ready to fully commit.

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I dreaded taping everything off, but honestly, it was really simple and straight forward. Once I got into a rhythm, it didn’t take long at all. I mean it’s just one wall…doing the whole room would’ve been a different story. Having the lines drawn on to follow made it very easy and helped me feel confidant that they would be nice and  straight.
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Once everything was taped, I started the fun part of painting! I used two coats, then let it dry for a full day before taking the tape off. I’m not sure that was 100% necessary, but I wanted to make sure it was fully dry before I continued to the next step. After that I peeled the tape off and taped it off again the opposite way so that I could go back over the base color (white) to get an extra crisp line. At first I didn’t really think this step was necessary, but it made a huge difference in getting a nice clean, straight line.

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Not going to lie, peeling  all the tape off was my favorite part. While I peeled all the tape off, I made note of any spots that needed touch-ups. There were a few, but nothing I couldn’t fix with a small paintbrush.

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I added a little decor, mostly stuff from the guest bath in our last house. It’s funny how the same decor you’ve been staring at for years can look new and different in a new space. I tried to keep it simple, I don’t like clutter in my bathroom….or anywhere else for that matter.

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At the last-minute, I decided to hang our old shower curtain (please excuse the wrinkles, it’s been buried in a tote for 5 months) in front of the shower. It’s purely for decoration since we have shower doors, BUT the shower is so unfortunate looking  that I felt like I should hide it until we get around to gutting it. It didn’t bother me so much before, but now that the rest of the room is done, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

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And just for fun, here’s couple side by side shots…
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Farm House

So there you have it. I’m calling this one done…for now. That shower is still big on the to-do list. It’s definitely feeling a lot more like our style in here though.

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Summertime On The Farm

We’ve been here at the farm for a few months now and I’m starting to feel at home. This summer has been so nice, I’m trying to get Hollis and myself outside whenever possible. Of course, the mosquitos and heat keep us inside some days, but when we can, we like to venture outdoors. It’s nice to take a breather from reno projects and watch the little one explore and discover things outside of her comfort zone.

Most of our outings involve a walk, usually in the morning while its cooler. The scenery just can’t be beat. It’s so peaceful and quiet where we live, it’s rare to encounter anyone other than a cow or occasional toad.  Although, we encountered our first snake…large snake…and I only locked us in the house for two days afterwards. There would be pics if I were able to maneuver my camera while screaming hysterically and running inside.

10177227_886923488185_3513490473638027722_n0710140910bphoto 1-007IMG_20140710_092747Hollis loves being outside. It’s so fun to see how curious and excited she gets over a blade of grass, or a tiny flower (weed), or the ant that found its way onto our blanket. Part of me wishes she was still my tiny baby, but I’m really enjoying these moments of discovery and learning. She is turning into such an awesome little person.

IMG_0247Collage 2014-06-14 07_50_250719141023aWe also try to sneak away occasionally and visit dad while he’s working his buns off at the farm. Some days riding the combine or tractor with him is the only time we get to see him. Luckily they have extra seats in them for wives and kiddos! (I’m sure that’s what they’re for).

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10295665_906355451375_1575999447595346941_nThanks to our garden, I’m up to  my  eyeballs in tomatoes and potatoes…and nothing else. You can’t have too much fresh salsa and marinara sauce, right? Hopefully next year we will get our act together and plan our garden out better. We kind of dropped the ball with moving and everything. I love the fresh veggies that I have and would love to have more  here at home since the grocery store is so far away. I’ve even been picking mulberries to make my own jam. (hasn’t happened yet, but they are sitting in my freezer waiting for me).

Collage 2014-07-08 22_24_49IMG_20140717_163953So far my first Summer on the farm, and Hollis’ first Summer ever, have been a big success! Back to exploring we go.

One Project Leads To Another: Part II

Things are really coming along in the bathroom. I actually feel like I can breathe again. My to-do list in here was starting to suffocate me! Last week I left off talking about skim-coating the wall where we had to remove the mirror and vanity. It turned out really well and now I am ready to take down the existing light fixture over the sink and replace it with a shiny new one.

Like I mentioned last week, we decided to go ahead and replace the light because we needed to see where the light box fit into the wall and whether or not it was centered. We are centering our sink/vanity based on the light so it’s important that the light is centered as well. (otherwise it would be a complete waste of my very precious time) Luckily the old light fixture came down really easily.

IMG_0408And we were VERY happy to see that the box and wiring were already centered! (huge sigh of relief) Of course, we could have moved it if we needed to, but that would have been a whole other project to add to my already long list of projects in this little space. All I had to do to prep for the new light fixture was to clean the dust and grime off the wall and sand down where paint has collected around the old fixture throughout the years. Easy peasy.

IMG_0410Yet again, we headed to Lowe’s to pick out a new light. I knew I wanted to find another wall-mounted fixture to keep things simple. I also knew I wanted brushed nickel to match our other finishes and I wanted two to three bulbs. There were several options, but I really wasn’t finding anything I liked for the price they were asking. I ended up with this Portfolio light. It was simple and classic and I love that you can choose your own shades to cover the light. Of course the shades I got aren’t on the website any longer, but the ones I chose are clear bubble glass and they were only $3 a pop on clearance. So with my shades and light, I spent $40, not too shabby considering the other options were $70+ and not my style at all.

IMG_0420IMG_0411The fixture was really simple to install. I recruited the hubby to help me on this one though, it’s just easier with two people to hang a light. He turned off the breaker to the bathroom and I screwed the mounting plate to the wall, being careful that I got it nice and level. Then we just attached our wires together and secured the light to the mounting plate. The whole thing took about twenty minutes start to finish. That includes the time it took me to scour the house for decorative light bulbs….of which, I had none. (womp. womp.) So please excuse this regular bulb I used to test the light and make sure we had it wired correctly.

IMG_0421All I had to do to attach the shades was unscrew this plastic piece, add the shade, and the then screw the piece back on up towards the top. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

IMG_0448IMG_0450 I just added some decorative chandelier bulbs to dress them up a little bit.

IMG_0447Now….If you’re thinking, ‘why didn’t she paint the wall behind the light before attaching the new one?’, that would be a very good question. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer, it certainly would’ve been easier.IMG_0451Luckily thanks to some paint tape, it all worked out okay. After painting over where I skim-coated the wall, you would never know there was a mirror glued to the wall there. (Sorry for the terrible pics, that pesky window does crazy things to my camera.) You can see things are looking a lot lighter and brighter in here. The color I chose is called Sparkling Lake by Valspar and it changes depending on the time of day and lighting in here. It ranges from a light aqua (like in this pic) to a minty green. I’m really loving it with our gray floors and white trim and vanity.  Don’t worry that wall to the right is NOT staying green. It’s getting something extra special (which if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen!).

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Feelin’ Crafty: Headband Holder

I knew way back when I was pregnant with Hollis that some day we would be up to our eyeballs in hair bows. I just had no idea that it would start so early…like while she was still in my belly! Lately I feel like I’m drowning in baby girl headbands…which is probably the most adorable way to drown. It amazes me how many people can mistake a baby dressed in all pink as a boy unless she has a headband on her little dome. I’m constantly digging around in Hollis’ dresser drawer, diaper bag, car, etc. for her headbands and usually don’t even find the one I want.

thegoldbrickroad.com thegoldbrickroad.com thegoldbrickroad.comI decided something MUST be done about this problem (first world problems, am I right?!). I started rummaging through my craft supplies to see what I could come up with. I knew I wanted something that hangs on the wall, out of the way where I can see all of her headbands at once. I immediately found a wooden plaque that I remember getting at JoAnn’s, but I can’t remember what for. And of course I grabbed my trusty can of gold spray paint.

Here’s my wooden plaque. For a second I thought about leaving it just wood because I liked the look, but I decided it needed the gold spray paint to glam it up a little bit. I didn’t want it all gold though, a little gold goes a long way, so I taped off where I wanted the wood to show.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comDIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comI wanted some fun, girly knobs to put on it to hang the headbands from so I had to plan a trip to Hobby Lobby (oh, darn). I was overwhelmed with their selection of decorative knobs. I could have spent hours looking at them. I fell in love with about 20 of them, but sadly, I only needed three for this project. My wheels are spinning trying to come up with more projects that require knobs/hooks.

I just eyeballed where I wanted to put the knobs and marked them with a sharpie.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThen I used my drill to pre-drill holes where I needed to screw in the knobs.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThe only problem I encountered was that the screws to the knobs were way too long for the wood plaque I was using. I had to call in reinforcements aka the hubby. He used a spade bit so the bolts in the back of the plaque would sink in farther and then cut the excess off with a saw. I wanted the back to be nice and flat so that it will hang flush to the wall and not scratch things up.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere is a close up of the back after.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comI also had to attach something to hang it up with. I bought these little guys at Wal-Mart in the picture hanging section of the hardware isle for a whopping .97 cents. I went ahead and attached two (there are six in the pack I got) so that I could hang it horizontally or vertically in case we use it for something else some day. It’s so not like me to think ahead like that, but I’m sure my future self will appreciate it.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere is the final product. I think I’m going to add a few strands of ribbon to the bottom so that I can clip her little barrettes to it too. Then we can always remove them later if we want to use it for something else.

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DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comHere it is in use with a few of her headbands.

DIY Headband Holder // thegoldbrickroad.comThis project has me super excited for Hollis’ room. I thought I knew what I was going to do in there, but now I’m rethinking EVERYTHING. I can’t wait to finish up the bathroom and entry way so I can get started in there!

One Project Leads to Another: Part I

You know when you dream up a project and you start said project, and then the next thing you know you have a loooong list of accompanying projects and you kind of forgot what the original project was???…no? Just me?

Okay.

Well we started the bathroom an eternity go. (or a couple of months ago) The plan was to rip out the vanity while we had the carpet ripped out and tile installed. We wanted the tile to sit under our new vanity and the vanity be more like a piece of furniture than a built-in. Easy enough, right? Well, right away we realized an awkward outlet because our new vanity is a little taller than the old one. Then we realized we would have to rip out the mirror that was attached with the original vanity (which didn’t break my heart). But to get the mirror down we had to lose some drywall where it was glued. Throw in a toilet issue and replacing the light and this little bathroom update is growing by the second.

I thought getting the tile down would be the hardest/longest part. I was planning on plopping (that’s a technical term) in the new vanity, and slapping some paint on the walls and calling it done. I should have  known that nothing is that simple when it comes to diy.

Here was the bathroom when we first moved in:

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Then we ripped out the carpet and vanity and had tile put in.

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Here is a close-up of the new vanity and the problem with the outlet clearance. Luckily the vanity doesn’t have to go all the way to the wall. In fact, I wanted it centered under the wall light above the vanity. There is about 6 inches from the vanity to the wall. The outlet can still be used by most everything we would use it for. (ie. hairdryer, flat-iron, electric razor, etc.)  So other than looking somewhat awkward, the outlet is still super functional. One day we will have it raised up, but it’s not high on our to-do list right now.

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Then there is the mirror. I planned on living with this mirror, by adding some trim around it to make it more up-to-date looking. But we bought our vanity on a whim while in Lowe’s one day so we didn’t really take the necessary measurements beforehand. After we brought the new vanity home and centered it under the light we quickly realized that the mirror wasn’t going to work. It was just too big. It also kept the vanity top from sitting flush against the wall. So bye-bye mirror.

Of course the mirror was well glued to the wall for many, many years and when we took it off we were left with this:

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Here is a good picture of the original light fixture. I wanted the vanity centered under the light, and I knew I would want to replace this eventually if not now. Since we had no idea if the box for the light was actually centered, we figured we would just go ahead and get a new light (more on that later) now and then we would know for sure if it was centered or if we would have to fix that too. We didn’t want to be surprised later when we went to replace it and already had the vanity set in place.

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Back to the wall. I knew the only real solution  was to skim coat it. I tried to think of any other solution, but there really wasn’t one that would work for us. I was terrified to skim coat. I don’t know why. I watched several youtube videos and was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I bit the bullet and decided to give it a shot. I was comforted by the fact that I could hang a giant mirror and cover most of it if I totally botched it.

I grabbed some compound at Lowe’s…or maybe Home Depot…I honestly don’t remember. I do remember that it was cheap, I think it was about $6 for this huge tub. I also grabbed a large putty knife.

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I’m embarrassed at how scared I was to try it. Once I got in a groove, it was really simple. Like icing a cake, or smearing cream cheese on a bagel…but on the wall…If that makes sense. It only took a few minutes and it was already looking a million times better. (Sorry there is no pics of the process, but once I started, I didn’t want to stop!)

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I started out with a really thin coat and then let it dry thoroughly before sanding it all down. I repeated the process in some areas about three times, some areas only need the one application. Waiting for it to dry was literally the hardest part of this project. I even found myself looking around the house for other places I could skim coat.

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More on these bath projects later. I know, you’re on pins and needles but I feel like this post is already long enough and I better save some of this fascinating content for later!

 

Fireworks and Flea Markets

Hollis and I headed to Kansas City to spend the July 4th weekend with my family. (Brian had to stay here and cut wheat). We usually get together and stuff our faces and then blow some things up.  The fourth has become one of my favorite holidays. It’s just so relaxing and stress-free. There’s no gift buying or wrapping or slaving away in the kitchen. Everyone is happy just grilling and eating pasta salad all day and homemade ice cream….can’t forget the homemade ice cream. Along with the food, there was also sun rays being soaked up, outdoor games being played, catching up with family, and Sangria!

This was Hollis’ first 4th of July and her first look at fireworks….she wasn’t a fan. Luckily her Uncle Tyler brought some glow sticks which she was a BIG fan of. She was also a big fan of everyone fawning over her (only grandchild on my side) and her furry cousins (my furry nieces) running around. The weather was beautiful and made the day extra enjoyable. Normally we don’t really venture out of the house until it gets late enough to cool down, but the whole day was sunny with a nice cool breeze. Perfection.

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The next day we had a relaxing morning (love it when the 4th falls on a Friday) and then my parents took us to Cockrell Mercantile. I’ve heard my mom talk about it forever, but I had never been…Now I’m going to want to go every time we visit. It’s made up of 4 or 5 buildings and each one is filled to the brim with kitchen goodies, housewares, accessories, and antiques. I fully intend on doing all of my Christmas shopping there, not just because I know I will find something for everyone, but because it gives me another excuse to go and oggle  look around. My mom and I got to leisurely stroll around and shop while my dad entertained the baby. (thanks dad!)

I walked away with this beauty…my kitchen was practically begging for it.

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And I couldn’t pass up this little dinosaur creamer. I mean who doesn’t need a dino creamer?

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On our last day (Sunday) we headed to church and then for some Chinese food. This is a big deal for me because I cannot get decent Chinese food out here in Central KS. Which is probably for the best as far as my waistline is concerned. Luckily I got to burn a lot of calories off by walking around a nearby flea market! Basically the best kind of exercise, ever. My mom had been there before and said that it’s kind of hit or miss. Of course it was a big hit for me because I had limited trunk space. If I had brought the truck and had plenty of room, I’m sure I wouldn’t have found anything.

Princess Ariel was there to greet me so I knew it was going to be a great trip…

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I was in the market for a bench for our entry way, I also told myself I could use a telephone (or gossip) bench instead if I found one. Well….I found both! So ended up getting the telephone bench AND a bench for the entry way. They were only $25 and in really great shape. So I decided I would take them both and see which works best for the entry way and find a home for the other.

I’ve been seeing these telephone benches all over Pinterest and it has given me ideas on redoing it, but for now I kind of like him as-is. So until I figure out where he’s going, I’m going to just clean him up.

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Here is the bench I also snagged for $25. I know, I know…it has hearts on it. It’s VERY early 90’s country-chic right now BUT I have some ideas on how to eliminate or at least disguise those hearts. I picked him up, not only for the price, but because he is solid wood and very sturdy. He’s also the perfect size for our somewhat narrow entry. I had to take him apart to fit in my trunk for my trip home, but I was able to easily screw him back together. (luckily!)

 

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This copper tray jumped out at me and made me bring him home too. And for $5 I obliged.

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This wire basket also grabbed my attention, he needs a new paint job, but for $3 I can handle it.

 

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I was keeping an eye out for frames, they’re something I always need and try to look for at flea markets and garage sales. My grandma caught me about to buy one and told me not to buy anymore until I look in her attic at some old frames she’s no longer using. She let me take a whole box full of frames I could use and would have shelled out money for at the store, for free! Hollis also approves of my new frames…

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My grandma also sent me home with this beautiful tapestry. Aren’t grandmas just the best?! Mine is. It’s so pretty and I love, love, love the colors. I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do with it, but I will find something. It’s enormous. It’s large enough that I could use it for a queen size bedspread…and maybe I will.

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Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Inspirado: Bathroom

I’m finally able to focus my attention on our first floor bathroom. I’ve started in there a little bit already, but we hit some plumbing snags and had a little trouble removing the old vanity while we had our floors done. (More on that later) So now that I’m able to really dive in, I’ve been collecting some much-needed inspiration.

This is our main bathroom, and it’s also right off the entry way, so guests use it frequently too. It’s tricky designing a bathroom that has to appeal to so many people. It houses our only shower, so this bathroom gets a lot of use. It needs to be gender neutral, kid friendly, adult friendly, guest friendly, as well as serving as our main area for getting ready in the mornings. I want it to feel clean and bright. I want it to be relaxing, but also a little whimsical for kiddos. I know, I know, I’m asking a lot of one bathroom.

Here’s a few ideas I’m throwing around:

1ed89d0c0091fb5cbe05c052f3ad028eI love this serene aqua and bright white together. It’s relaxing…spa-like, if you will. I like that it’s not too girly or masculine, or too grown up or childish.

e513c8b69ce9a47724980b79ac8d68f0LOVE these medium, horizontal stripes. Our bathroom is long and hallway-like, I feel an accent wall could add some interest and break up the monotony a little bit.

97d5d826ea65cfbc8f756d302cd3a916I’ve pretty much made up mind on using hooks instead of a towel bar. I think it looks nicer without being too fussy. It also accommodates more towels than a single towel bar would. (I love, love, love this wallpaper! I need to find a room for it.)

inspirado bath1. Threshold Bamboo Rattan Bath Mat, 2. Whale Soap Dish, 3. Blue Octopus Print, 4. Threshold Herringbone Bath Towel, 5. Sedona Hamper

Here are a few things I’m using/want to use. You can see there is a little bit of beach theme. I want to keep it sophisticated, but add some fun things in for kiddos, like the octopus pics and whale soap dish, without going overboard.