Max’s Big Boy Bedroom – Part 1

My goal is to have Max in his own room sometime before he enters high school.  At the rate his room redo is going….I may need to up that to college.  He’s outgrown the crib– though our babies were born at a” normal” size (Max 7.7lbs and Emme 8.7lbs) – they quickly zoomed up the growth charts and are both in the 97%+ percentile for height and weight.   So….needless to say, Max just skipped over the toddler bed (bummer, because IKEA has some really cute ones!) and we’re putting him in a full-sized bed.

His new room is the only one in the house (THANK GOODNESS!) that has (or, had) wallpaper, and I dreaded removing it.  I thought we’d surely have to re-drywall.  Fortunately, the previous owners painted with semi-gloss paint before they papered, so removing it only took a day.  Still, not something I want to do again in the near future.  This experience has also made me rethink my plan to paper my dining room. 

Just starting to strip wallpaper
 Unfortunately, the shiny, burgundy, puffy curtains (stuffed with plastic grocery bags for extra “puff”) do not fit in with the overall “look” that I’m going for….hopefully, I can find another place to use them (like in my fireplace).  The blue carpet will also be leaving us one day…the sooner, the better.
 
 
Max “helping” me strip wall paper
 

Mid-strip....a lot of the backing had to be removed with water and a putty knife.

 Once I finished with the paper-removal, I washed the walls down twice with hot soapy water.   The 2 walls you can’t see are painted navy blue with just the border around the top.  Between the navy paint, the dark wood and any wall paper glue remnants, I decided I’d have to prime the walls.   (I am very impatient and tend to cut corners when possible…bad me) 
 
So now the fun part finally begins.
Max loves cars, trucks, anything on wheels.  He loves the Cars movie, but I’m not huge on character stuff – so while I still have some control over things, I decided on a general car theme.
 
 I started with these decals from Roommates:
 
 
And then this quilt from Target:
I don’t believe that Target is making  this line any longer, it’s currently on clearance at my local Target – I think I paid about $50 for the quilt and 2 shams.  I found that the Roommates decals I liked were also sold at Target….so yippee for easy shopping!!  They also had a line of decals available that went with this design, which were also on clearance. 
 
So, I painted the room a lighter shade of the blue in the quilt…
Already much better than the “before.”
 
The next step was adding the “road” border.  The Target decals came with some road pieces, so I used a level and the “road curve” from the Target set.  It just so happened that the level I used was almost the same width as the curved road decal (approx 2″ wide).  Basically, I used the level for all horizontal and vertical roads, and for all curves, circles, I traced the curved road decal. 
The decal I traced is on the left, and I traced both sides of the level for the straight parts of the “road”.
 
Since I painted the walls with a satin finish, I chose to do the road in a matte finish  –  I just mixed some white and black paint to make a light gray color.  I had planned to tape off the edges of the road to make the edges sharp, but being my impatient self, I just took a 1″ brush and went to it.  It probably would have been a little easier in the corners and curves to use a smaller brush, but I didn’t feel like looking for one in our mess of unpacked boxes.
 

Bed "headboard" - before painting road dashes

 Bryan and I couldn’t find a headboard that we liked that we also felt wasn’t dangerous or could be used a climbing apparatus…so I decided to paint one on the wall.  Obviously (and hopefully it looks like), Max’s name. 
 
Once I finished painting the road, I did the dashes.  I thought and thought about a consistent way of doing this that wouldn’t take weeks…I even bought yellow duct tape with the thought of  cutting dashes and sticking them onto the wall…but I was worried they would peel off and Emme would try to eat them.  I tried tracing over the decal, but that also was very time-consuming and didn’t really work.  Finally, at around 10pm, I decided to just go for it and freehand.  I practiced a couple different strokes trying to find one I could easily repeat, then wiped off with a wet rag and started with my chosen “method”.  The dashes aren’t perfect by any means…but it only took about 45 mins to do it this way, and I thought the imperfection gave it a more “cartoonish” look.

"Road" with dashes

 
Then I added the decals.  The instructions say to allow the paint to cure for several weeks before applying the decals….but that didn’t really work with my schedule, so again, I went for it and started sticking….this was fun!!
 
 

Closet doors

 

Max "headboard"

 
 
 
 
So, the walls are done.  Now I need to add all of the finishing touches (like a bed would be nice)….and I’ll post the results as soon as I can.
 Any fun kid room projects in your future?  Please share ! (I still have a girl’s room to do!!)
 
I’ve linked this post to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Blue Cricket Design

Thanks –
e
 
 
 
 
 
 

Home, tooth, snake…oh my!

FINALLY – we are connected to the outside world again.  I thought this day might never come.  Apparently, September is a very popular moving time…which makes sense….but still doesn’t make waiting for cable and internet for over a week any easier!

We had a snake visitor our 3rd night in the house…hiding behind the piano.  Luckily, Bryan isn’t afraid of snakes (like he is bats) and was able to scare it out of the house.  It was a baby water snake…but still not a welcome visitor. 

Emme’s first tooth (bottom left) peeked through a day after her 10-month birthday (September 7th).  She also started crawling in the last week (right now she is unfolding all of my clean newly folded laundry)…she uses a knee/foot method. 

Anyway, we are in the new house and Max’s room is almost finished…I’m going to do a whole post about it and how I did everything…once it’s done.  Next up will be Emme’s bedroom….and then…dun dun duuuuuuun…the retro-esque kitchen!

I need to save what’s left of my laundry from the clutches of my now-mobile 10-month old…so that’s all for now.  I have a lot of catching up to do!!

Renovation Reality, Part 2….We Survived to Tell the Tale

 

MAXANDEMERSON.WORDPRESS.COM has MOVED….Please click HERE to be rerouted to this same POST on my new site, SalvagedWhimsy.blogger.com.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Thank you!!

 

There were many days that I thought the end of this renovation would never come.  We had to repaint every.single.surface. inside and out – the trim, walls, stairs, ceilings, doors.  I often told people the house was held together with caulking and plaster.

Nevertheless, we made it and were luckily able to sell it very quickly when we put it on the market. Here’s a little reminder of the exterior we started with:ahhhh, so pretty…as was the overgrown/jungle-esque backyard.  You can’t see it in the picture, but the previous owner had dug a 4′ trench around the red door and window.  Nice. 

Here are the remainder of the lovely BEFORE pictures. (Enter at your own risk) 

 And now, finally, here are some pictures of the “after.”  Please know that we were decorating on NO budget while trying to attract a higher-end buyer… and had to sell ASAP because we had another baby on the way.  I’ll try to point out places where we scrimped/saved money.Back of the house- notice we took the “bump” off the basement level.  Also, on the left (where the round window is located), we added stairs to the basement.  Prior to adding these stairs, you had to go through the old SCARY cellar to get to the newly finished basement.

Front exterior -we removed MOUNTAINS of english ivy and planted grass/added landscaping.  We redid the porch ceiling with beadboard. We eventually repainted the front door red before we listed it to sell.

 This is looking into the foyer from the living room.  This is a scanned picture, so I’m sorry for the poor quality (you’ll see several throughout this post)  The door is a closet, and to the right is the dining room, kitchen, sun room, office/playroom, and stairs to the new basement.

 Please excuse the stroller…this is the sun room.  It use to be an exterior porch, so it was built on a tilt for water drainage.  We built the cornice to try to camouflage the slant in the room.  I made the “curtains” out of some really discounted fabric at JoAnn’s.  I painted the quote, “Dwell in possibility – Emily Dickenson,” by hand.  Although out realtor told us to repaint the room in a more neutral color, I left it as is because I thought it was so fun. 

Kitchen, completely gutted and redone

Standing in the sun room, dining area is to the right. 

 

You can kind of see the sun room on the right, dining room is to the left. On the other side of the double oven is a room that could be used as a bedroom, office, den, or playroom.

This is the dining room, complete with my childhood dining table (free!) that I painted dark blue. (Sorry for another icky picture)  The light fixture isn’t one I’d pick for myself, but it was simple, and more importantly, it was very inexpensive!

 

Only one more icky picture after this.  This is the den-bedroom-playroom.  The laundry room that use to me in the dirt-floor cellar (was a closet) in the back left corner.  There’s a half bath that we added (it was another closet).  We had planned on putting french doors where the large window is located and we wanted to build a deck – but we ran out of time, energy and money.

 

Please excuse the horrible picture and the grumpy bulldog.  This is the only picture I have of the top of the stair case…it use to be a wall and was one of the bigger challenges we faced in trying to complete so that it matched the lower portion (existing) of the stairs.  The end result turned out beautifully – I wish I had a better picture to share!

This is the master bedroom closet.  We added the wall to make it a closet. 

Master bedroom – with my $15 headboard I painted black.  Master bath is on the right. 

Master Bedroom – on the right you can see the hall we added, the door to the nursery, and the top of the stairs (that was originally closed off)

Master Bathroom

This is the finished portion of the basement.  The stairs originate in the kitchen, behind the stove.  The dresser and bed and linens are from Ikea. The lamp is from a thrift store. New laminate floors.  The closet door is one of the original wood doors from the house that we didn’t need, and we cut it down to fit the space.

 The picture on the back of the bed is one of the old wood windows from the house.  I printed some graphics out onto cardstock and colored them in.  I painted the border, and taped the pages onto the back of the window.  Free art (if you can call it “art”). 

 The other half of the basement – you can see the foot of the bed to the left. (And a nice pic of our AC unit out the window!)

 I think that’s all the pictures I have…and I’ve only shown you maybe half the house.  I’m impressed if you’ve made it this far with me though!  I loved this house – it made me so happy when another young family bought it and loved it maybe more than we did (no nightmarish reno experiences!)

Just to bring it full-circle – the house BEFORE. 

And AFTER:

Now, (sigh), we begin again…but we were smarter this time…at least we can live in the house we just bought….with its blue carpet and red countertops.

I’ve seen many beautiful renovations completed here in blog-land.  Any fun stories to share?  I’d love to hear (or see) them!

I originally wrote this post before I knew what “linking up” was – but I’m so much older and wiser now (almost 3 mos!), so I’ve linked to these parties…


Photobucket Savy Southern Style

 

   

TT small


Weekend Bloggy Reading
take care –

erin

Renovation Reality

My husband and I met when he bought his house. I was his real estate agent. Crazy, huh? He bought the house in May 2007, and planned to renovate and sell by September 2007. He chose a local contractor who came highly recommended by my husband’s mortgage broker.

Here’s a peek at the house (built in 1908) – pre $150,000 renovation lawsuit-blood-sweat-many tears:

The front, obviously. Do you like the wire hanging from the ceiling where a light fixture should be? When it rained, water would pour through the hole, and when it was cold, we would get a lovely icicle.

 

And the back…notice the black tarp on the left? The man who owned the house before us had dug out a bunker under where a porch use to be…by hand, with buckets. Odd.

Don’t worry, I have more pictures. To make a long, heartbreaking story short, when we were about $80,000 into the reno, we realized that of the 26 items on the original estimate, only 14 had been started, and not one had been completed. NOT.ONE. We weren’t living in the house at the time, so when we would come out to check on the progress, the contractor would make promises and give explanations…we were so deep, we thought the easiest way to proceed would be to move into the house (with no hot water, finished kitchen, or bathroom doors) and keep a closer eye on things. We quickly realized that we had made a terrible mistake by trusting this contractor.

We were left with a house that was maybe 25% finished, and we only had about $10,000 left to finish the project (which we quickly realized was not nearly enough) So begins the blood, sweat, and tears part of the story. The hardest I’ve ever worked – and we planned a wedding and had a baby during it too. Instead of 3 months, it took 3 years. Here are a couple more pictures – showing before and after. Sorry some of the pictures aren’t so great, unbelievably, we didn’t really take “after” pictures.

                        

FOYER – There use to be a low ceiling in the foyer. We had it removed and the correlating wall, but the contractors couldn’t figure out how to finish the railing to match the existing lower portion of steps.  The wall and closet on the left were removed, the picture on the right shows what was left.

This is how the contractors left the newly created laundry room…knowing we were moving in that day. (Before they started working there, these floors had been in perfect condition.)  Oh, and they never hooked up the plumbing, so the 1st time I did laundry…water was pouring into our basement, which as you’ll see below, had dirt floors.

Basement…or something.  The  rectangular mound on the left was once a 10 foot deep abyss.

                                                                 

BEFORE- On left, original master bath – and only bathroom in the house.  On right, once they tore down kitchen ceiling below the bathroom, they found serious water damage, so the whole bathroom floor came out.

 

 

 

Originally, a parlor  for the master bedroom, but we added a hallway to make it a small 3rd bedroom.

Original kitchen.  These were all of the cabinets, the opposite wall just had a stove on it.      

Thankfully, we survived, so there are “after” pictures to share.   This post has reminded me to take lots of pictures of our next house, I can’t believe how few I have of the last house!

Thanks,

e