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!

From Beach to Farmhouse

When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.

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Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.

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I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.

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I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(

 

Refreshing Neutrals

After living in this old farmhouse for the last few years, I’m finding myself really starting to embrace this whole ‘modern farmhouse’ trend that is happening right now. (Thank you Joanna Gaines, am I right?!) I fought it for a long time, but I just keep gravitating toward it and I figure what better time to embrace this look then when I’m actually LIVING in a FARMHOUSE. You have probably noticed from my last few projects that things are becoming a lot more neutral.

Our entry way has been in need of some TLC for a while now. It is really the only entrance that we use so it gets a lot of traffic. There are scuff marks on the walls and the trim and it was just starting to feel kind of meh in there. I painted it a mint green when we first moved in and had a little accent paint on the walls, but I was ready for something new. Something fresh. It is such a small space, I decided to just go ahead and paint it a nice neutral color to clean it up and brighten the space up a bit.

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These pics were taken right after the I painted in here when we first moved in. Over the years, not much has changed except the door has been painted a dark navy. And that door across from the front door that leads into the office has been removed.

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I painted the entry with a creamy off-white color. Valspar’s Asiago which I also used in the kid’s bedroom. It looks so much better with that navy door than the mint green did. I also mentioned in my last post that I want to add molding to these doors off the entry and paint them black, so I think this creamy neutral will look great with that.

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I switched out the old mirror to this trio of mirrors to add a little more interest. I couldn’t find the right spot for them in the house, but so far, I like them here. I ended up painting the coat rack hooks black to add a little more contrast. Black spray paint is my BFF lately. I’ve been using it on everything. I also have been trying to add a little greenery to each room in the house. These are faux, but I don’t care, I love them and they are zero maintenance. I ‘planted’ them in these old metal grain elevator buckets that we have scattered around the farm. file_0042

I got that bench a couple of years ago at a flea market for $10. I would still love to find something else for the space, but this serves its purpose for now. I cut off the back and side a bit, because it was just too 80’s country for me. Those hearts on the side still bug me, but not as much now. I also sanded it and roughed up the finish a little to give it more of a rustic look. I would like to find/make a cushion for it, but like I said I really want to find something else for the space, so I haven’t been in a hurry for the cushion.

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I squared off the chalkboard and made it a bit smaller. I plan on trimming it out with some reclaimed wood. I also plan on adding a wreath to the door, switching out the rug, and changing out the fluorescent light. And of course I still have to freshen up the paint on the trim and get on those black doors!

 

Toning Down The Crazy

It has been a while since I’ve talked about the kid’s playroom. I thought I would give a little update on the little changes I’ve made. Now that Bowen is six (almost 7 months) old and can sit up and move around a little bit, he is really getting into toys. He is no longer content with sitting in one spot, he is ready to move around and explore…and get into as many of sisters toys as possible.

Up until now, Hollis has had the whole playroom to herself. It’s filled to the brim with baby dolls, princesses, and dress up clothes and accessories. I have been slowly moving some of her things out and finding a home for them in her bedroom or the toy closet, which she agreed to pretty quickly after I explained that they will be safe from little brother and his slobber. I’ve been replacing those things with some more toys that Bo might be interested in.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this.

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I tried out this scalloped, two-tone wall to add a little playfulness to the room. I liked it at first, but it started to feel a little too crazy after a while as well as the colorful curtains. So I decided to tone it back a bit. I did still really like the two-tone neutral walls so I kept those, but chose to ditch the scallop. I also switched out the curtains for a more neutral option.

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I added our old futon back into the space, because let’s face it, Mama needs a place to sit and supervise in the playroom. It’s also great for napping toddlers and movie watching.

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I tried to add some little nooks in the corners of the room. One nook is Hollis’s “house”. She loves to hideaway in the nooks and read books or play with toys and it’s nice that the kids can separate and escape each other when needed while still playing in the same space.

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That nice straight line makes me so happy. It feels calmer in here even at the most chaotic of times. There is so much color in the room from the toys and furniture, the walls really needed to be calmed down bit. I’m so grateful we have this room, I don’t know what we’d do without it!