Room To Lounge

There is one room in our house that is in constant flux. The playroom. I’m ALWAYS in there cleaning, picking up toys, rearranging things to accommodate our (quickly) growing children. It seems like every few months the kids’ needs change, and thus, so does the playroom.

I’m so grateful we have a room to use just for the kids to play in. Especially since we don’t have a finished basement and our bedrooms are all upstairs, it’s nice for the kids to have a safe place on the main floor to play where I can keep close watch of them. I’m especially grateful for it this Summer because it has been too hot to play outside some days, like this ENTIRE WEEK. While it has been so hot, we’ve been having afternoon movie time. I turn the lights off, close the curtains, make a comfy pillow fort, grab some snacks and lay down and watch a movie, or two. This movie time is awesome because 1. it’s a cool distraction from outside and 2. both kids usually fall asleep!

I noticed that the rooms current layout was not very accommodating for movie time, or even just lounging, especially for us adults when we are in there. The room is large, but has two large picture windows and two large door openings. Our t.v. has been on the wall in the corner which made it tricky to comfortably place a sofa without it being in the center of the room. The t.v. placement was one of those decisions we made hastily when we first moved in, without really knowing where we would need/want it.

Here is a look at the previous layout. Basically the sofa was in the middle of the room, and the four corners were separate little play areas. I liked this layout while the kids were smaller, because they could both play with their own toys in separate corners. These days, they are more into the same toys and need more room to spread out and play.

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Since the room is somewhat long and narrow, I decided to split it in half and dedicate half to a ‘lounge’ area and half to the play area. This required moving the wall mounted t.v. and praying that the cable cord would reach to the new spot. Luckily it did with a little finesse.

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I moved all of our toy storage onto one wall and painted the old bookshelf a glossy white to make it look more like one unit. I got really lucky that it all fit nicely onto that one wall and then centered the t.v. above it.

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I also got lucky that our sofa/futon just barely fit along the back wall.  I wish I had a little more room for an end table or two, but I may end up finding a long narrow table to go behind it. I’m not too worried about it right now, because the futon will be replaced one of these days when the kids are older. Right now though, we are loving having a futon in this space for movie watching, naps, and when we have extra guests staying with us.

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I love that it feels cozy, but there is still plenty of room for the kids to get out their toys in this area. Lots of Duplo building goes on in this space. We had a hard time getting our tent out without moving things around before, and now there is plenty of room for it.

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Hollis did end up losing her painted house mural, but I promised I would fix up her little kitchen area as a compromise. The Ikea kitchen needed some paint touch-ups and while I was at it, I just ended up giving it a whole new farmhouse makeover. I still have a shelf to hang for her baby doll accessories and I let her pick some artwork to hang along the walls.

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Bowen is a big fan of the kitchen lately too. I have plans for a little tool/garage area for him on the opposite wall. He is getting a workbench for Christmas this year so I have a little time before I focus on that. I’m sure Hollis will enjoy it as well.

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I’m sure this room will change again, but so far I’m really happy with this new layout. The kids seem to be really happy with it too. It just feels so much bigger and more open. I love makeovers that just require a little furniture rearranging and minimal paint…and that are totally FREE!!

Concrete Tile

 

 

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing concrete tile pop up everywhere these days. If you watch HGTV, then you probably know what I mean. I know Joanna Gaines has used them a few times on Fixer Upper, and I love her even more for it.

Concrete tiles are nothing new, but they seem to have gained a lot of popularity lately and I can definitely see why. They are very versitle. They can be used inside or outside, as flooring, on walls, fireplace facades, exterior facades, backsplashes, in showers, on patios, etc. Concrete tiles are durable, long-lasting, can handle heavy foot traffic, and if sealed right, can resist stains and moisture. My favorite thing about them is that they are budget-friendly and come in so many different colors and pattern variations. The possibilities are endless. Here is a round-up of my fave tiles I’ve seen so far.

cement tile

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually sad we don’t have a big tile project to tackle….although, our shower needs to be remodeled one of these days so maybe I can use some of these concrete tiles in it!

Playroom Upgrade

I can’t believe the holidays are over. I feel like I just put Christmas decorations up and now I have to turn around and take them all down. Now without the holiday distractions, I’m very aware that this little babe is going to be here SOON. I’m also very aware of my mile-long list of things to do before he gets here.

One of my pre-baby projects was the playroom. I feel like it’s constantly in makeover mode. I’m always moving things around in there. Like daily. A couple of weeks before Christmas I had a slight panic attack when I learned some of the (big) things Hollis would be getting for gifts this year and wondered where the heck I was going to put them (first world problems, right?!). It also dawned on me that we are about to have another little person and all of the toys that come with said little person. Hollis has the playroom filled to the brim all on her own, so I don’t know how we are going to make space for even more toys.

Here is (basically) what the playroom has looked like for the last few months. Like I said I move things around a lot in there, but this is the last pics I took of it.

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The layout worked great for quite a while, but I really just needed more wall space. I decided the only way to get it was to get the treadmill out of there. So it has a new home in the office…for now. And while we really enjoyed having the sofa in the playroom, we just didn’t use it as often as I thought we would. I’m sure we will when the kids are older. We moved it into the living room for now, which has been really nice because we are short on seating in there. Moving these two big items out really freed up a lot of space. I also added some much needed storage shelves from Ikea to get some of the clutter off of the floor.

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I painted over Hollis’ little orange playhouse and upgraded her to a larger, pinker version.

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She was excited to pick out the color herself. She’s quite opinionated these days. Luckily I had just enough pink paint on hand to finish it. Now she has more room for her new kitchen/house.

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She really loves baby dolls and playing “house” so this is pretty much heaven to her. She’s going to be such an awesome big sister.

IMG_2886Hollis also got this sweet tee-pee as a gift. She loves to hide, so this saves me from digging out all my blankets for forts and tearing them down daily.

It’s crazy how quickly kids needs/wants change. I’m learning to be ‘breezy’ as Monica Gellar would say, and just go with the flow!

 

 

Kid’s Play Fridge/Pantry

Christmas is SO SOON!! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I’m so excited for Hollis to enjoy Christmas this year. I haven’t been this excited about the holidays since I was a kid. Hollis is 2 and she is obsessed  with all things Christmas. Santa, cookies, presents, carols, Christmas movies, ornaments, etc., etc. She  did the same at Halloween this year, just completely immersed herself in it and it is contagious. I find myself counting down the days along with her.  I think she is going to be really sad when it’s all over and the next major holiday is a few months away.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of Hollis’ Christmas presents was going to be a diy’d play pantry/fridge for her new play kitchen that she is getting from my parents. I originally planned on building one from scratch, there are a few plans on Pinterest, but ended up looking for a cabinet that I could make into one instead. I had seen someone take an upper cabinet, like one that would go above a fridge or stove, and turn it on its side to create a little play fridge. So I set my sites on that and headed to every home improvement store I could think of to find one. After seeing the prices of brand new cabinets, I quickly changed my mind. Then I remembered the Re-Store, they are full of used cabinets and other building materials from houses. As soon as I set foot inside the store, I knew I was going to leave with something that would work.

I found many small kitchen cabinets like the ones I had in mind, but then I stumbled upon a bathroom cabinet that I thought would work even better. It looks like a cabinet that you would hang above the toilet. Totally not what I envisioned, but once I saw it, I thought it would make an awesome pantry. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but after I considered how little work I would have to put into it, I felt better about the price. Literally all I had to do was paint it. Down the road I would like to add another shelf inside, but haven’t gotten to that yet.

IMG_2773I went with navy, because I love it, and also because her new kitchen will be navy too. The navy was a little too dark for the interior, it made it kind of hard to see, so I went with a light gray. The cabinet is solid wood and very sturdy, which was a big selling point for me. I sanded everything really good and gave it a couple of coats of paint.   IMG_2784 IMG_2786IMG_2787 IMG_2789 It’s really more pantry than fridge, but that’s okay. We desperately needed a place to house all of the play food and pots and pans. Before, we just had a small grocery cart to hold everything in. To find anything in it, Hollis had to empty out all the contents and usually I was the one who got to pick it up and put it all away….

IMG_2782Now it all has a home and we can close the doors and not see it! Everything is easy to find and messes still happen, but much less often. We ended up giving it to her before Christmas 1. because I’m terrible at surprises and 2. because I didn’t have anywhere to hide from her.

IMG_2801 IMG_2797So far she really loves it. The kitchen gets played with almost every day. She likes to rearrange all the things in her pantry.  Like I said, I think one more shelf in there would be really nice. There is plenty of room for it and there are already slots for adjusting shelves so it would be a really easy fix. I can’t wait for her to get her new kitchen to go with it!

 

 

 

No More Naked Cabinets

Remember when our kitchen looked like this?! No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com

And my little helper was just a squishy baby?!

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI can’t believe it’s been over a year since we refinished our cabinets. We are still really loving them. I wasn’t sure how painted cabinets would hold up, but they are doing really well. I have had to do a few touch-ups here and there, but that is really because there is no handles on the cabinets, so they endure a lot of extra scrapes and scratches.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI have been wanting hardware for the cabinets since we moved in, but I had been waiting for a good deal and I had moved onto other projects, so it kind of got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. I finally got around to searching for hardware. I wanted something simple, and somewhat modern, nothing fussy. I also wanted a brushed nickel finish to match our other fixtures. The best deal I found was on houzz.com (this is not a sponsored post), I paid less than $2 for each handle.

I splurged on a cabinet and drawer template to drill holes for the hardware. It was a huge help and made the job go a lot faster. It also came with a drill bit that went through my cabinets like buttah, totally worth the $10 I spent on it. No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comAnd now the kitchen is looking like this.

No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.com No More Naked Cabinets // thegoldbrickroad.comI think the cabinets were looking a little naked before. I still have a few projects to tackle in here:

  • change out the light fixtures
  • new counter tops
  • new backsplash
  • adding a pantry

Color Conundrum: Picking Paint Colors

Everyone has a hobby. Some people love to scuba dive, polka dance, or….iron….? (extreme ironing is seriously a thing you guys) What’s my hobby?  My hobby is picking out paint colors.  People, do you realize how excited about paint swatches as I get? Sometimes I even make up rooms that need to be painted JUST so I can pick out paint for them. (Extreme ironing doesn’t sound so weird now, does it?) So moving into a house where every room needs to be painted, is basically awesome for me.

In our last house, I was very safe with my paint color selections. We lived in a split-level with a fairly open floor plan. From the living room, you could see the dining room, kitchen, entry, and the upper and lower hallways. To keep things cohesive, I used a really neutral gray color palette. We also repeated a lot of the same wall colors.  For instance, the dining room was the same color as our master and the living room was the same color as the hallway and guest room. Not only did we save a little money by getting the most out of our paint, but it also created a nice flow throughout the house.

When we first moved to the farm-house, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having so many closed-off rooms. Our house was built-in the 1890’s so open floor plans weren’t really a thing then.  I missed the open feeling of our last house. Now after living here for a few months, I’m starting to really like having clearly separate rooms that can be closed off when we want. It’s also kind a of game-changer when it comes to picking out paint colors. Since you can’t see the whole house from one room, I feel like I can be a little more adventurous with my paint selection. I still love a good neutral, but I feel like I should embrace this opportunity to experiment with a little more color.

Here’s what colors we have going on so far…

sparkling lake valspar

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exciting orange

Exciting Orange Sherwin-Williams

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grayish sherwin williams

Grayish Sherwin-Williams

IMG_0517These three rooms are all connected by the entry way so I need the entry way paint color to compliment each room. I wanted something just neutral enough that it would look good next to other colors, but not necessarily beige or white. My first thought was a darker gray, similar or even the same as the color of the cabinets in the kitchen. But I was afraid it would look too cold or  be overkill with all the gray going on in the kitchen.  I want it too feel like its own space and not an extension of the kitchen. I ended up with a very pale mint green. It reads kind of gray on the computer screen, but in person it is the perfect shade of pale, pale mint.

ante meridian valsparHere it is before I started painting. I have to admit the brown bothered me a lot less with our new floor and painted trim. As you can see I filled in a lot of nail holes. (just wait ’til you see all the nail holes in the bedrooms!)

IMG_0664IMG_0663Here it is after one coat, sorry for the terrible lighting in this photo, but I wanted to show you how green it really can be.  And yes, I still need to paint that trim around the attic access. I keep forgetting about it until I see it in pics!

thegoldbrickroad.comAnd here it is after two coats. I was a little worried it was too green after the first coat, but after two coats, it’s calmed down a bit.  I think the white trim helps show its true color. I love how subtle the green is, it changes throughout the day in different light.

IMG_0758I still have a lot to do in here, (and a lot to do with that sad little bench) but I am glad all the brown is gone and all the holes are patched up. I want to do something fun on the walls. Nothing too fancy, but I definitely want to add some charm to the entry way since it’s the first room everyone sees.

Not Your Grandma’s China Hutch…

Or maybe it is, I don’t actually know your grandma.

My husband, Brian got me a china hutch a few months before we got married. I was instantly in love. Even better, he got it for a great deal on Craigslist, which only made me love it more. We had registered for china and of course, wanted a place to house all of it. As the months rolled by and our wedding day came near, I had already accumulated a good deal of china. I opened each box excitedly, and started to display it in my new hutch. I wanted it to look pretty, and fancy, like I thought it should, in our formal dining room.

1383039_897326300865_4007006705870023573_nWhen we made the decision to move here to the farm and I started to pack up my china hutch, I was a little sad. All that hard work of meticulously placing each piece of china in the hutch in a formal display that I’m sure no one appreciated except for myself. At that point I was pretty sure we weren’t going to have a formal dining room here in the new house and the hutch was going to end up in the kitchen. I decided then that I wanted it to be a more functional piece and not just a display case.

I finally got around to unpacking all of my china and glassware a couple of weeks ago. (I didn’t want any of it to get dusty or broken while we were working away in the kitchen.) I decided to just unpack it all and lay everything out where I could see it. I collect turquoise glass and I’ve acquired quite a bit of it over the years. I’m not sure how the obsession with it started, but if I see a piece at a flea market or antique store, I instantly gravitate towards and knock anyone in my path out of the way. (So look out!) Now that we have a little one who is constantly on the move, I can no longer safely set my treasures out and about in the living room or anywhere else my little monster can hobble over to. So I knew I wanted to make room for some of my collection in the hutch out of her reach.

After seeing everything spread out across my living room floor, I realized how much of it goes unused. Not because I couldn’t use it, but because it’s normally packed away in a tote or a cabinet and I forget all about it. My favorite thing about moving is seeing all my stuff in a new light and trying to figure out a way to use it in the new space. I get so used to things being a certain way and then I get stuck in a rut. I need to take inventory of things more often and repurpose them instead of only doing it when I move!

I started out slow, just adding a few things at a time. I didn’t  want it to look too thought out. I wanted it to be like me in yoga pants on the couch drinking wine….casual and classy.

IMG_0413I tried to set things at varying heights and group like items together. I wanted it to look  interesting, not cray-cray….there’s a very fine line.

IMG_0417Of course not everything made the cut. Only a very small fraction of the turquoise collection made it. The rest, I tried to sprinkle around the kitchen and other parts of the house that the baby doesn’t play in. And a lot of things ended up in the built-in in our living room closet where I was able to at least unpack it and set it up where I can see it.

IMG_0481IMG_0484I can’t believe I wasted all that time using it for just china, it fit so much more and I haven’t even filled the drawers or lower cabinets. I love that I can walk by and see everything easily. And it doesn’t feel empty when I need to take something out to use it.

IMG_0518P.S. It does have glass doors that go on it, but I took them off while photographing to keep that darn glare down.