kt + e diy: the bathroom reveal

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Finally! It seems we’re not only lazy with the actual reno process…I’m lazy with posting too. Sorry!

It is incredibly difficult to take pics in a bathroom. Such a small space…Also, this color is impossible. The picture above is the closest to real life. The wall color is really a coral-orange, but is reading more red in these photos and I don’t want to spend hours in Photoshop color correcting. C’est la vie.

The first step in this process was putting up the chair rail. This was intimidating on so many levels, but it is totally do-able. As long as you have a miter saw and a trusty level, anyone can do it. Caulk covers a lot of mistakes. Trust me. Besides painting and hanging everything on the walls, the only other real projects were installing the new faucet (see below) and the hardware on the vanity cabinet. When we moved into our house, none of the cabinets had hardware. Kitchen? No. Bathrooms? No. So strange to me. It’s the jewelry of a room. But I’d rather have to put up new than replace something nasty.

But I digress. I found this very difficult, but it’s probably because I didn’t really follow a process and ended up trying to put the drawer fronts on the wrong drawers…the installation of hardware itself is actually quite simple once you do the math. Yay math! #ilovesarcasm

The new light is an outdoor lantern and has a cute, cottage-y feel, which goes along with the mix of modern and vintage in the room. Outdoor lights are surprisingly much less expensive than interior light fixtures, Who would have thought? The mirror is an antique that my mom and I found YEARS ago and never did anything with. The actual mirror needs to be replaced, but that is something we can tackle in a few months when renovation funds rebuild. I really love the unique shape of the mirror and think it is so whimsical hung with the modern floating shelves.

I have been obsessed with the idea of a small stool with a wire basket and rolled up towels for what seems like forever. It is perfect for the small space and adds a little bit of storage that this bathroom desperately needed. On the wall above are two hooks so guests can hang their towels up to dry. I love this option because it took up less space and used the height of the wall better than a standard towel bar. Plus, hanging a towel on a hook is way easier than folding it over a towel bar. I mentioned we were lazy right?

All of the soaps and canisters and decorations on the shelves are from Home Goods, a great store to spend hours of time and hundreds of dollars. Seriously, it’s like Target. Try to get out of there for under $100.

The new faucet is adorable, but unless you know someone with plumbing skills (like my awesome dad!) this is a nightmare. It was sort of a nightmare even with someone with skills. The only saving grace is that it really looks beautiful and that makes the days – yes, days – of work worth it. The “hot” and “cold” written on the handles just kill me.

All in all, I am so pleased with how this room turned out. It is exactly how I pictured it, which hasn’t happened in any of the other rooms we’ve worked on. It is also the most complete of any room in the house, so maybe that’s why. The work was most definitely worth it and it really brings a smile to my face every time I walk past the door.

I’m not sure what we’ll tackle next…probably the lower level. I think we both need a break and doing this room next will give us time to recover, plan, and save money. This was a relatively cheap and easy cosmetic makeover. The lower level will not be. Also, our yard is going to need some serious work this summer (I think we have to paint the deck…ugh). Who knows, maybe we’ll win the lottery and I can redo all the things!

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bathroom sneak peek

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

This bathroom reno is taking forever, A 30 minute HGTV makeover this is not. The extended timeline comes down to two factors: 1) we are not handy and 2) we only are making time to do things on the weekend. We are so unmotivated to work on this room during the week. Laziness? Maybe. Ok, probably. It’s sort of our MO when it comes to household chores and projects…

Anyway, here’s a sneak peek. I hope to have more to share with you after this weekend!

Pretty drastic, non?

kt + e diy: surprise!

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

While taking down the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, look what we found!

Shudder. Any guesses on the decade this is from?

I just love that they took down the wallpaper all around the mirror. Who knows what will be behind the light!

kt + e diy: bathroom before

January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

This weekend E and I have begun a remodel of our horrid hall bathroom. While this is a supposedly quick fix (meaning we’re not touching the floors or tile or vanity…those are, uh, a little out of budget currently) it seems to be taking forever already.

Backing up, I will explain how horrible this room was. It was just so bad. Sure it was functional and clean (once we replaced the nasty cushioned toilet seat,) but it was so plain and full of stock materials. Example A:

Stock vanity with no hardware, gross stained faucet, poorly painted white walls, curved medicine cabinet and coordinating light fixture…seriously? Someone thought it was a good idea to make that?!? In addition, the attempts at details were either ugly or in disrepair. Example B:

Brass and chrome? Ugh.

So we’re redoing it. We started by putting up some chair rail. Or attempting to. We’re not very good at being handy. Next comes tearing everything off the walls and painting. I am most excited about this step. We’re pretty big risk takers when it comes to painting. Our living room and dining room are bright turquoise! So it should be no surprise that we’re going big in this makeover. Examples:

Stay tuned!

summer honey-do list

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, it’s after Memorial Day which means SUMMER! And, some projects to do around the house. Inspired by BFF Mandy, here’s what we want to accomplish this summer. Unlike her list, ours is tailored for the slackers that we are. Trust me, just getting even half of this list done will be incredible.

Front yard:
-reshape flower bed and add a few nice perennials
-new bench (ours is rotting)
-add a bed around the new mailbox

Back yard:
-clean out areas along the fence and force honeysuckle into submission
-cut down dead pine tree
-fix up shed with some paint and a new door handle/lock
-find some inexpensive furniture (this one’s iffy…)

Lower level:
-rewire electric and cable wiring for new set-up
-replace carpet
-plan and begin built-in shelves and cabinets around fireplace

The lower level really is a huge project so I expect that will run into the fall as well once we start painting and looking at furniture. I also see small projects popping up like framing and hanging the artwork for over the bed and replacing things here and there. Also, our “office” is a disaster. The path we had created to get to the closet no longer exists. Something must be done about that mess…

We also have some items on the list that aren’t house related…We both plan to ride a 100-mile “century” ride at the end of July and I’m seriously considering a duathlon in August. We also have a much-needed beach vacation with the whole family in August (what a way to celebrate my birthday, right?)

Other than that, you can find me at the pool. The best part of summer.

kt inspiration: colorful kitchen

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I always thought that I wanted a white and gray kitchen. Every picture in my inspiration files is white and gray. The kitchens I save from HGTV on my dvr are white and gray. Clearly, I love them and can’t wait to redo my nastiness of an 80’s kitchen.

But then I saw this today:

{source: collected}

Love the mix of teal and wood here. It actually reminds me of the jaw-dropping kitchen in The Proposal. Well every room in The Proposal house is jaw-dropping. But you catch my drift here. The black backsplash (say that three times fast!) is unexpected and dramatic, and by keeping the cabinets flat or in the classic Shaker-style, it looks modern and elegant…not over the top or kitschy.

I’m not sure we’d ever be brave enough to try this (or give up my dream of the perfect white and dove gray kitchen) but it might be a nice look for a butcher-block countered island!

house updates

April 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s almost been a year since we bought our house. Craziness!!!

We worked really hard all last summer to make the house more ours, but when wedding planning kicked in full force in October we really lost steam and it was a few months before we could muster up the energy to work on fixing the house again.

The first project we tackled in 2011 was our bedroom. It was nasty. The same boring beige as the rest of the house was before we painted the teal and gray in the living room, dining room, and hallway. I don’t have any before pics with our stuff in it, but here’s what it was when we bought the house.

clearly not our stuff.

I don’t have any pics of the new blinds in that room, but they are now gorgeous dark wood plantation blinds that match the dark stain of all of our furniture. So pretty. We painted the walls a nice middle gray color and after deliberation took out the closet doors (that you can’t see in that pic). They were ugly and cheap and didn’t really work right. Not to mention that with sliding doors, you can only get into half of the closet at a time.

So we were left with a closet without doors. What to do? Young House Love to the rescue! We decided to add in a curtain to soften up the space and add a pop of pattern into the room. The color scheme of the room is now gray, white, black and yellow, as seen here in the final pics of the curtains (sorry for the phone pics. All I had.)

Like I said, please excuse picture quality. I love the round, black-and-white pattern. It looks so wrought iron-esque. Our duvet, which I don’t have pics of sadly, is similar to the lamp — mostly black with a few quilted white stripes. Once I get the decorative pillow situation figured out and hang art behind the bed, I will reveal! How’s that for a tease. Anyway, I am really in love with the curtains and they are so much easier to use than the stupid doors. To hang them we used a simple shower curtain rod that screws into the walls for more stability. All it took was about an hour (and of course my wonderful mom’s sewing expertise!) and we had a lovely feature that adds a boutique hotel vibe to our room.

The next big change we’ve made is to the horrible light fixtures that we inherited. I can’t lament over these enough. We affectionately referred to the two we had as “the lantern” and “scarface.” The lantern was hanging in our dining room and seriously looked like it belonged in a New England beach shanty. When the light was on, it cast these really weird shadows on the walls and was just all around ugly. Scarface was this horrible product of the 80s, a brass and acrylic (no, not even glass) nightmare. It was blindingly bright when turned on and had NOTHING redeeming about it. This is what it looked like.

I’ll wait for you to finish shuddering.

After searching for modern fixtures that fit in our (meager) budget, we settled on two replacements that really fit the spaces better and match the look and feel we are going for. Up first, the lantern.

These were also taken pre-blinds I guess. The airiness of the fixture is great since that room is not very big and the lantern was really overpowering. It has made a huge difference in the feel of them room, even with the old farmhouse style table and chairs (hopefully to be updated shortly as well).

The biggest change is Scarface’s replacement. I don’t have a picture of it hanging because really that is just grotesque. Here’s the new look!

I have pretty much been obsessed with the artichoke light…forever. It was once thing I immediately knew I wanted to change in our house and I’m so glad we stuck to it. It’s Mid-Century Modern to the max! It looks really amazing against the gray of the entryway and shines the perfect amount of light when lit, unlike the blinding force of the scar. One thing that was at first daunting is that you have to build it yourself. All those littleĀ  white leaves (?) come flat and you have to fold them and piece them together. I honestly felt like I was in school again! It turned out great and it makes us smile everyday!

So there are the main changes we’ve made. Little projects can and do make a big difference while you’re saving up for the big endeavors (like a lower level remodel…) A last little bit of fun I had this weekend…decorating with flowers and Fiesta!

Like the new sidetable? I got it for free (!) and spray painted the bamboo bright yellow. Love the shape and how the new color really makes it un-Grandma-y!

Does anyone else have some fun and small Spring home projects to share?

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