Basement Makeover – Step 1

We have officially started the basement makeover project this past weekend by knocking down our built-in entertainment center.  The cabinet seemed like such a great idea fourteen years ago when we finished our basement.  Who knew that TV’s would totally change their shape and size?

Here is the before picture…….


This is what it looks like today……


I guess I really am getting new carpet considering I now have a big chunk of the current carpet missing from the middle of the room.  I am so excited to finally get this project started after talking about it for several months.

Besides painting, new carpet and a new tv, I am going to refinish a couple of tables and hang pendant lights over the bar.  Here is a mood board showing a few things I am thinking about.

Mood Board

Can you guess what my new favorite color is????

A Touch of Christmas

Are you ready for Christmas?  Just a couple more weeks until all the festivities begin.  I have been planning and making lists (what a surprise) with the goal of having every present purchased and wrapped, every meal planned and shopped for, every cookie baked and decorated, and the house ready for guests by Friday, Dec 21.   From my perspective the partying starts on Saturday, Dec 22 and I can not wait!

In preparation I have been adding a few Christmas touches to the house including the new pillow covers I made this weekend.  The poinsettia pillow was inspired from the Taste of August blog.



I had some fun with the chalkboard that usually hangs in my office and decided to display it on my entryway chest along with just a few of the snowman from my collection.  The chalkboard was a total copy of one I saw on-line but unfortunately I did not write down the source.


I added a few candles, some greenery and a little bling to my dough bowl.


And speaking of dough bowls, the last time we visited my brother-in-law Steve’s workshop, we found this in his scrap pile.  He felt it had too many imperfections, I thought it was perfect for a candy dish.


I also added some fresh evergreen to a few places in the house.



Now on to tackle that mountain of presents waiting to be wrapped.

Bathroom Project Complete

Finally, our main floor bathroom remodeling project is complete.  Well, 99% complete.  We still have to install some baseboard and repaint some trim.  But it is once again a working bathroom, yeah!!!  We learned a lot of things from this remodeling project, for instance, the next time we need to skim drywall we will be calling in professionals!  Overall we are happy with how it turned out.   Here are the before pictures.

The hardest part of the project was removing the wallpaper from unsized walls and repairing the drywall.  It took forever and required much patience, and as most of you know, patience is NOT one of my virtues.

Here is a peek at a few of the new details in the room.

We have a unique space in this bathroom that the new vanity had to fit (notice the angled wall at the backof the vanity in the before picture) so our choices were to build our own or purchase an expensive custom built vanity.  My brother-in-law Steve generously helped us build our own based on exact specifications we provided.  Once it was installed, there was a slight difference between the vision in my head and how the new vanity appeared.   I was originally thinking the bottom shelve would be a little higher and the vanity apron would be a little lower so there would not be as much space to see the plumbing under the shelves.  After thinking about how I could resolve this, I remembered in my search of vanities several months ago seeing a towel bar across the front of a vanity.  I went to Lowe’s and came home with a standard size tension shower rod.  It fit perfectly into the space under the vanity.  Here is the finished bathroom.

Whew, I am glad that one is done.  Now what should we tackle next?

  1. Rebuilding of two built-in entertainment centers?  Who knew 15 years ago when we built this house that TV’s were going to be a totally different shape?
  2. Garage storage and painting?
  3. Basement carpet and painting?
  4. New patio?

Decisions, decisions.

Bathroom Redo

I mentioned a few months ago that I was starting a new project to update my main floor bathroom.  Dave and my bother-in-law Steve have built a new vanity that I am going to use, but we have been so busy that I have not had time to do much else towards this project.

Here are the before pictures of the bathroom.

I just learned how to create mood boards in Photoshop so I decided to pull all my ideas for the updated bathroom together in one place.

I had so much fun putting this together.  I would probably be much further along on my project if I did not spend so much time on the computer!!!

Well, this weekend I finally got started by spending about 5 hours stripping wallpaper.  I have both hung and striped wallpaper many times in the thirty years I have been a homeowner. I have tried several different techniques but the method I have found to be the most effective is to use a scoring tool that perforates the paper, then applying a stripping chemical such as DIF to dissolve the adhesive.

Unfortunately, no method works very well if there was no sizing applied to the wall when it was hung, which appears to be the case with the wallpaper I was stripping today.  When this wallpaper was hung the house was new and the drywall had never been painted.  It appears that the paper was put directly on the wallboard.  I had a few choice words for that contractor as I peeled miniscule pieces of paper off the wall bringing the drywall right off with it.

Now we will now have to spend several days spackling and sanding the walls before we can paint it again.  Fortunately the room is fairly small.  Anyone love to spackle?  We would love to share the fun!

I would really like to have this project completed before we go on vacation at the end of June, however at the rate I am going, I will be lucky just to get the wallpaper down.

Upholstered Headboard for the Guest Room

A few weeks before Christmas I had mentioned that I was redecorating our guest room.  Although I still need to accessorize the room, we did get the room painted and the upholstered headboard finished in time for it to be used for Christmas.  Here is the room before we started painting.

For the walls I chose Network Gray from Sherwin Williams.  Although a little dark for a basement room without a window, I really like the contrast with the white trim.

Since my children keep taking their beds with them when they leave the nest, we purchased a new queen size mattress set from “The Mart” the last time we were in Omaha.  It seems we find an excuse to go to Nebraska Furniture Mart each time we are in Omaha.    The original store is just a couple of blocks from my place of employment so it is soooooo convenient to stop by, much more convenient that the 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Kansas City store from our house.

I did not want to spend a lot of money for a bed or headboard that would probably only be used a couple of times per year so I decided to try and make an upholstered headboard.  I started at Joanne’s Fabrics and bought two yards of white suede fabric that just happened to be 50% off that day.  YEAH!!  Dave went to Lowe’s and bought a sheet of 3/8” plywood and had it cut into a 32”x60” rectangle.  I made a template out of newspaper to cut a curved section out of each side and traced it onto the plywood.

Dave used the jigsaw to cut around the tracings.

I then laid the microfiber fabric on our dining room table, layered on two layers of batting then put the plywood headboard on top.  I used an electric staple gun to first attach the batting, then the fabric to the headboard.  I never knew how much fun it is to use a staple gun!!

I probably should have started with a rectangular piece of wood instead of trying to get fancy with the end cutouts.    I was having trouble getting the fabric not to pucker around the curves and ended up pulling out all the staples and redoing the curves a second time.  They are still not perfect but it looks better than the first time around.

I had purchased some nail head trim and had planned on putting it around the edges of the headboard about 2” from the edge.     As we started putting a few of the nails in we had issues getting them to go in straight.  The bigger problem was that we were making marks on the white suede.  I decided I did not want to go down that path now, but maybe later I will add the trim.

The final step was attaching legs to the headboard.  In several of the examples I had seen, the headboard was attached directly to the wall, but Dave decided he wanted to make legs and attach them directly to the bed frame.  Here is a picture of the painted room with the finished headboard.

The headboard cost about $28 to make which is significantly less than the $250-$300 it would have cost to purchase an upholstered headboard.  I am still searching for the perfect wall décor but am pretty happy with the way the guestroom has turned out so far.  Now I need to find a reason to use that electric stapler again.