A Door.

Doors are one of Bitsy’s favorite things. Cabinet doors, closet doors, entry doors, lift-the-flap book “doors,” the girl loves to open and close them. She also pronounces every letter in the word and always uses the article “ah d-o-o-r.”

Bitsy’s door obsession may have rubbed off on me, because I’ve been working on some door makeovers for the front of our house.

When we were deciding to buy our house, we really liked the front door color.  It was sort of a dark mauve-y purple.

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Front of the house, pre-updates.

The rail on the front stops was not stained when we moved in, but needed to be.  We chose a dark mahogany stain.  I loved the color, but didn’t love the way it looked next to the mauve-y purple-y paint on the door.  I decided I wanted a truer, deeper purple.  I mean, if we are going to have a purple front door let’s have a PURPLE front door. Go big or go home, my friends! I picked up a bunch of paint chips on a recent trip to Lowe’s and, after Bitsy checked them out, I taped them to the door.

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Carefully considering paint colors.

We looked at the door with the chips at various points throughout the day to see how the different colors looked as the light changed.  Chris and I immediately agreed on an Allen & Roth color named Symphony.  Bitsy agreed too, she just can’t say Symphony quite yet.

She decided to go down super early for a nap today, and then took a SUPER long nap (WIN!).  I was able to get the door prepped and painted while she slept.  I did a quick second coat and put the fixtures back on once Chris was home from work.

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That is a purple door!

A relatively simple and inexpensive change, but I love it! I like having a front door that makes a statement.  Also, it makes it easy to give directions to our house.  “The house on the corner with the purple door” is pretty easy to find!

I’ve also been working on the entry door to the garage all summer.  It had 70+ years worth of paint that I stripped off. Then I stained it, sealed it with polyurethane, replaced a broken window pane and replaced the hardware.  I have to fix up the door frame a bit before I install the “new” door, But, trust me, it looks GOOD! I’m super excited about it!  Follow me on instagram at @JLosWorld to see the progress!

Keeping Busy!

This has been a tough week for me.  I’ll share more on specifics later.  I have been working hard to stay very, very busy to keep my mind off of the not so great things this week.

Here are some things I’ve worked on:

Ok, technically this was last week, but I still like it a lot! My parents took some old windows out at their house and I snagged them for repurposing.  I painted it and modge-podged some free printables I found onto some of the windows, then  I attached 4 hooks for bath towels.  I hung it on the wall of our bathroom with 4 L-brackets so it wouldn’t budge.  It adds some personality to our sort of blah bathroom!

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Bitsy’s Auntie Emily handed down this dresser to her.  Emily got it as an infant and has used it since.  She got some well deserved new furniture and gave this dresser to Bitsy.  After a few years of regular use, it was not in the best condition.  I decided to update it and turn it into a dress-up station for the playroom.  I cut out the interior drawer hardware (except for the bottom drawer) and painted the entire thing.  I chose a deep purple for the outside of the dresser, bright yellow for the inside, and a pop of pink on the sides of the drawers.  I sprayed the old gold drawer pulls a glossy black.  The drawer holds dress-up accessories and, once I buy a tension rod for it, the main part will hold bigger dress up pieces on hangers.

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Once I brought the dress up station into the playroom, I had to do some rearranging.  I moved out the toys that Bitsy has outgrown and moved around the things she does play with. I tried to group like toys together, ie. the kitchen, dolls and other “playing house” toys in one part, Little People and toy animals together, and a cozy reading nook.  I also tried to keep most things within her reach so she could choose what to play with.  She’s spent quite a bit of time in her playroom since this change, so I think she likes it! 

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 The total cost for all of these projects was under $20!  The only things I had to purchase were the hooks on the repurposed window and a tension rod for the dress-up station!

In addition to these projects, I’ve been cleaning and organizing a ton.  Our den has been sorely neglected, so I’ve been working on making it a more user friendly space.  I’ve also been cleaning and storing clothing and toys that Bitsy has outgrown. Unfortunately, I know that cold weather is inevitable.  I’ve also got some weatherproofing on my to-do list in hopes that our energy costs will be even lower this year! 

The first week of September is not my favorite (at least not when I’m unemployed).  These projects have been perfect to distract me and keep my mind off of the not-so-great things going on!

Playroom Transformation part 1

 

When we bought our house, I knew that the downstairs bedroom would become Bitsy’s playroom.  I wanted her to have a space for her toys and books that was NOT in my living room.  The previous owner’s son had used the 
room as his bedroom.  He was a teenager and it showed in the condition of the room.  The walls were dark orange and covered in holes.

 

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Dark orange walls…not good! This is after spackling, you can see some of the places where I had to repair holes.

 

 

Throughout the winter, the room was a catch-all.  It was a disaster.  I told Chris that I wanted it to be at least painted before Bitsy’s first birthday.  It didn’t need to be completely finished, but the orange had to be gone.  We spent a lot of time organizing things to clear out the room.  Then we had to really scrub before it could be painted.  Apparently, the young man who used to occupy the room was a smoker.  There was a fine (and gross!) film on the walls and ceilings that we had to wipe down.  One Sunday, Chris devoted the day to painting over the gross orange.

 

tada! we had an extra gallon of the grey that we used throughout the first floor.  what a relief to have grey instead of orange!

tada! we had an extra gallon of the grey that we used throughout the first floor. what a relief to have grey instead of orange!

 

Even just that simple color change made a huge difference.  There are great windows in the room but it still felt really dark with the dark color.  The neutral grey brightened things way up.

I was so happy that the orange was gone, but I still had big plans for the walls.  I had all sorts of ideas for a custom mural and bookshelf.  A few days later, I began to tackle the mural during naptime.

More on that later though!

Bookcases

As soon as we moved into our house in October I knew I wanted built-in bookcases to flank our fireplace in the living room.  I priced custom built ones and nearly puked at the price.  Then I looked at Ikea.  They were in our price range, but I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of all of the composite materials instead of wood.  I did a sketch of what I wanted and showed my dad.  He was planning something similar for his living room.  He said if I paid for the materials, he would help me build custom ones.  Chris and I got some Lowe’s gift cards for Christmas; we decided to use them for bookcase materials.  My dad and I got to work in January.

It was a ton of work–many early mornings on weekends.  It was totally worth it though.  We now have custom, childproof bookcases that hold books, pictures, electronics and other odds and ends.

I’m just going to post a bunch of pictures about the process.  If you’re not into posts with tons of pictures, I suggest coming back another day.  Otherwise, enjoy!

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A before shot, wires everywhere and cheap walmart bookcases. Notice the precarious cable box and blu-ray player balanced on books on top of another walmart bookcase….oh and right next to the baby’s toys. NOT SAFE!

When I mentioned how precarious the current setup was, and how Bitsy was starting to pull up, my dad immediately jumped to high gear to get the shelves done.  “If it is for my Bitsy’s safety, then we’ll do it!” He loves his granddaughter so much, melts my heart!

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My dad in Lowes. We spent THREE HOURS there one Saturday; finalizing plans, sketching, and ultimately buying the supplies.

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We used kitchen cabinets for the base of the bookcases. I wanted the bottom half to have doors so it would be safer for Bitsy and it could hide tv/cable/internet wiring. I primed and painted them during the week using the same white paint we used for all the trim in the living room.
***that nasty orange color was there when we moved in. it is getting painted over ASAP. I cannot stand it!

During the week while I was painting at my house, my dad built the shelf parts at his house.  We decided to put standards in so that the shelves would be adjustable.  Chris and I decided that we wanted beadboard in the back instead of just the wall.  This allowed for additional support straps to be put in behind the beadboard.

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On the weekend we put the bookcases together.

The shelves are attached to the floor, the wall behind and the wall next to them.  My dad said that if we were to get a tornado, the shelves wouldn’t go anywhere!  He also used a spade bit to drill a hole in the side of the shelf at the same level as the wires coming from the tv over the fireplace.   He used the same bit to do holes in the lower two shelves and down through the cabinet.  There are outlets on the wall in the cabinet part.  Before we put the cabinets in, we cut holes for the outlets.  The wires go down the back of the shelves and into the cabinet.  I love not having to see them!

Once the shelves were completely installed, we trimmed them out with moulding.  All of the edges are trimmed up to give them a nice finished look.  We used a nail gun, then filled in the holes with wood putty before priming and painting.  My dad’s catchphrase is “putty and paint make up for the carpenter I ain’t!” Totally true, the shelves are far from perfect, but the putty and paint hide the flaws!

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When everything was put together all that was left to do was paint!

We did one coat of primer and two coats of paint.  I have to admit, we splurge on paint.  I used to use cheaper paint, but it always ended up costing more time and money because I had to touch up, or use more…just not worth it.  Now I always go to Village Paint in Scotia.  Yes, it does cost more.  But it is so worth it!  The staff is amazingly helpful and the product is high quality (and no, they aren’t paying me to say so!).

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The finished product!

TaDa!  The finished bookcases!  Once the white paint was dry, I touched up the grey on the walls.  I also put the hardware on the doors of the cabinets.  We already had all of the decor on the shelves and the mantle; I just looked around on pinterest to get inspiration to stage them.  They were finished just a couple of weeks before Valentine’s day, so that’s why there are so many hearts! When Chris came home from work and saw the finished product for the first time, he was very impressed.  He said “Look at all those books…it actually makes us look smart!”  Ha!