The Stairwell Is Painted!…Well, Almost.

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

 

 

 

Musical Chairs

I inherited a pair of chairs from Brian’s aunt. I liked them immediately, they are very sturdy and well-made. They have been used in almost every room of our house, but never really had a permanent spot. They’ve been used in our bedroom, Hollis’s room, the office, the hallway, and most currently, our living room. I love that they are light and easy to move around if we have company and need an extra chair, or two, and they are actually really comfortable.

What I don’t love about them, is that they are purple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple. I just don’t have a lot of purple décor happening in our home, so they stick out like a sore thumb. They are bent wood chairs with purple vinyl on the back and seat. I have never repurposed vinyl chairs before, so this is new (scary) territory for me.

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I didn’t have a solid plan when I first began this transformation. As you can see in these pics, I tried gray spray paint first, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I also saw some people that spray painted vinyl on Pinterest. I tried that too. Not a fan of the final look for this particular project so I nixed that too.

I had to bite the bullet and remove the vinyl seat and back, which I was really nervous about because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get them back on.  It took A LOT of work to get the backs off. Like I said, they are very well made chairs, but after a couple hours of staple removing, I got them off. Luckily, the seats came off easily with just a few screws.

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I finally decided on black for the frame. I like black. It’s simple. It’s classic. And lord knows I always have it on hand because I use it on everything.

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Next, it was time to cover the vinyl seats. I chose a simple, tan and black Gingham fabric. I just cut them to fit the seat, then used a spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the vinyl and keep it from shifting. Then I finished it off by stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat.

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As you can see, I didn’t put the back on the seat….mostly because I tore it up too much while trying to remove it, but also because I really like the way it looks without. I did wrap a little twine around the back just to tie in the tan from the fabric and to add a little interest.

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I think they turned out pretty good for my first vinyl chair makeover. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for people who do upholstery. Right now this pair is sitting in our living room until we get a loveseat or something else for this spot. I already have the chairs next spots (I will have to split them up) picked out for when we do get something. They are much easier to place around the house now that they  fit in with our décor!

A Tale of Two Night Stands

I remember finding our night stands on Craigslist when I was pregnant with Hollis. In fact, we picked them up in Springfield, MO on the way home from our babymoon. And the previous owners who we bought them from, were a lovely young couple that we ended up chatting with in their living room for like half an hour. It was love at first sight, they were the perfect height and they had a huge drawer to hold all of our crap. They also had a very mid-century modern vibe that we liked. The only thing we didn’t love was that they had a thin, pale wood veneer that we weren’t crazy about. We easily fixed that with a few coats of charcoal gray spray paint. Of course this was all before I started blogging, so I have no before photos!

Since purchasing these beloved night stands, we have moved to the farm and purchased a new bed. Luckily our nightstands are still the perfect size and height, but the dark gray paint is starting to chip and look worn. And since painting our master bedroom a dark navy (which I still LOVE), the dark gray night stands just sort of disappear into the darkness of the walls.

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I knew I wanted to lighten them up and I wanted to add a little modern farmhouse feel to them while I was at it. The furniture in our bedroom is pretty modern, but since the rest of our house is a little more rustic, I wanted to blend the two together so it makes a little more sense. I had some leftover peel and stick tile from Hollis’ ceiling and thought it would add the perfect amount of ‘rustic’ to the night stands. It also adds a little more durability to the top, I mean it’s made to walk on so it should hold up well, right?! We’ll see.

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I bought some drawer pulls too, but haven’t attached them yet. My only worry about adding the peel and stick tiles to the drawer front, is that it may start to peel away on the sides where we pull the drawers back to open them. I’m going to give them a little time to see if we really need the drawer pulls or not, I really like the look without them, but time will tell if they are practical or not.

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I was a little worried Brian wouldn’t like them, because I made these over while he was away on a business trip…I always seem to make over furniture while he is gone! I think it’s a subconscious thing to keep him from telling me my ideas are totally nuts…Luckily he really liked this makeover (wipes beads of sweat off forehead).

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I just love how they turned out! They pop off that dark wall so much better now and they just feel clean and fresh….almost like brand new night stands.

 

Bo’s Colorful Farmhouse Bedroom

I am finally sharing Bowen’s nursery! As you know, he has been sharing a room with his big sis since he was about three months old. Now he finally has a space to call his own. I’ve said before that I planned on the two of them sharing until Bo was ready for a big boy bed and keeping his room as a designated guest room, but when do kids ever do what you plan?! We decided it was the right time for him to have his own space to sleep and play and it has been working out nicely…during the day. The kid naps like a CHAMP in his crib. Nighttime is a whole other story. (He thinks he needs to sleep next to mom.)

Disclaimer: I apologize for the crazy variation of green in these pics. A photographer, I am not! The Kelly green looks so great in person, but trying to photograph it has been a nightmare. The three North, South, and East facing windows are also challenging to photograph around. I may end up painting this room after all!!

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I moved the trundle-bed that was in Hollis’ room in here. Obviously Bowen isn’t ready to use it, but it’s so nice to have for guests (the trundle pops up and turns into either two twin beds, or one king size bed). It has also been super handy for having a cozy place to nurse him, or read books, or even change his clothes and diapers. I really wanted a black and white buffalo check duvet, but found this gray and white one at Target for such a good price and decided to snag it! I love how classic and neutral it is, so we can use it for a long time even if we change things up.

Bo's Colorful Farmhouse Nursery // thegoldbrickroad.com

It was fun to plan a space with just him in mind and not having to take into account his sister or anyone else. I’m so used to designing ‘girly’ spaces for Hollis, so it was a lot of fun to make things more ‘boyish’ for Bo. I tried to avoid too much of a theme, and just used the already green walls as a starting off point. Brian has a good collection of tractors and farm toys from when he was little and they are just too cool not to use in the room.

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For the most part the kids play downstairs in their playroom, but since our house is two stories, it’s nice for them to each have a place upstairs to play and keep busy when I need to be upstairs cleaning or doing projects. The old school Shirt Tales toy box is also Brian’s from his childhood.

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I’m still tweaking a few things here and there. I am on the hunt for some wire baskets to hang on the wall for book storage. I’m also getting some ideas for how to layout his closet which needs a makeover asap. As you can see, there is not a lot of room for a dresser currently, so I’m trying incorporate one into his closet.

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So far little man seems pretty pleased with his new room. Now if we can just get him to sleep in it at night…

Mini Room Update: Hollis’ Room

I’m currently waiting (Impatiently) for some goodies for Bo’s nursery. So while I wait, I thought I’d do a little update on Hollis’ room which she now has all to herself again. She’s pretty psyched to have her room back and a somewhat safe place to hide her things that she doesn’t want little brother to slobber on…I get it kid. I do.

Not a whole lot has changed in her room, I didn’t paint or anything crazy like that. The biggest change for her was that we moved her twin size trundle-bed to Bowen’s room and moved the mammoth queen sleigh bed to her room. Her room is quite a bit larger than his, so it just made more sense for it to be in her room and it’s a really nice, comfy bed that we don’t want to part with yet. She loves it so far and she still has plenty of room to play with her dollhouse and other toys. Other than that, all I really did was take out Bo’s things and add in a few more girly things of Hollis’.

Here is how it looked while the kids shared…I have to admit, I miss it this way a little bit.

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And here it is now that it’s all Hollis’.

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You may recognize this display shelf from a previous post. We were using it as a simple dollhouse for Hollis when she was younger, but now that she is a bit older, I’ve decided to entrust her with my old dollhouse…(insert nervous face emoji here). So now we are using it to display all of her favorite little things. I hung it low enough for her to reach everything and high enough for little brother to NOT reach everything. 🙂

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Hollis is obsessed with this dollhouse, as was I. I still may be. It’s just so dang cute. Everything in it is from when I was a kid. So to say it’s old and fragile is an understatement.

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I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’m really glad I painted everything neutral the last time we updated the room. Her toys and accessories have so much color (PINK.) that I just really don’t miss color on the walls. Hopefully it will stay this way, and this clean, for a while!

 

 

Inpsirado: Colorful Modern Farmhouse Kid’s Room

bos-room-2Since the holidays, our family has been passing around a nasty cold back and forth to each other. Pretty typical stuff this time of year, but it’s baby Bo’s first time getting sick and he’s been having a rough time sleeping and resting thanks to a stuffy nose and cough. In an effort to help him get a little more peace and quiet, I went ahead and moved his crib into the guest room so his big sister doesn’t keep him up anymore than he is now.

I had planned on my little ones sharing a room for a couple of years, basically when Bowen was ready to move to a big boy bed. I liked having the kids in one room where all the little toys (aka mess) could stay together and all the essentials little ones need (wipes, diaper cream, medicine, etc.)  could be easy to grab for both kids. I also really enjoyed having a designated guest room that was always clean and ready to go without having to do any deep thinking of where guests would sleep. Ultimately I decided that it wasn’t fair to keep Bo from having his own space for the chance that we might have a guest for a brief time. We have a few good options for sleeping arrangements for when we do have guests, it will just require a little moving around, no big deal.

So since this was kind of a spur of the moment decision, I have some planning I need to do for how to decorate little man’s room. The walls are a Kelly green (Valspar’s Woodlawn Promised Land) and while I may paint in the future (you all know I love to paint), I still really like the green and am going to try to make it work. The room is the smallest of the three bedrooms. It has three windows on three of the walls, a closet and a built-in desk on the fourth wall so there is not a whole of open wall space. I like that the wall color adds some interest since I don’t have room to hang  a lot of artwork.

Here is what it looks like now.

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The lack of wall space also makes furniture placement a little tricky. We had a large, queen sleigh bed in the room while it was a guest room, but have decided to move it into Hollis’ room because she has the room to accommodate it. We moved her twin trundle daybed (which turns into a king size bed or 2 twins) into Bo’s room which gives him a lot more floor space to move around and to play. Right now I have the bed and his crib both in the space, so once the crib is out and he’s ready to use his big bed, I will add in some functional toy storage for him. I have big plans for the closet in his room, which is a good size, but I want to tweak it a bit to be able to fit a dresser in it and keep from having a dresser take up precious space in the room. The built-in desk helps a lot since it provides some good shelving and doesn’t take up anymore floor space.

Here is the plan I’ve come up with so far. I have already ordered the gray buffalo check bedding and have mostly been working off of that. I found some super cute (little kid) bedding at Target that I just about jumped on, but decided on something more classic and timeless. I love me some buffalo check, and I think the soft gray will be easy to work with if I ever do decided to paint.

Colorful Modern Farmhouse Kid's Room // thegoldbrickroad.com

Clockwise From top left: Globe, Wire Basket, Plaid ThrowBest Things Print, Hardest Print, Rug, Valspar Woodlawn Promised Land Paint, HamperExploring Pillow, Velvet Pillow, Curtains, Cage Light, Bedding

 

As you can see, I’m trying to keep with the modern farmhouse style that we have going on in our home. I’m also trying to tie in the green and make it work, but we will see how it turns out!

 

 

Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!