Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Weekend of Before's & After's: Successes, Failures, and Debateables

This past weekend I was really trying to get stuff done. I kept looking at our house and I noticed so many things that needed some attention. Most of them were paint projects, so I got out what I needed and got to work. 
First I started on the bathroom trim. It was a yellow tint, dirty, the paint was chipped in areas, and it just looked sad. I cleaned it up with a Magic Eraser and then got a sample of Benjamin Moore's Simply White, which is a color I've been wanting to try out for some time now. Here are the BEFORE'S:


(sorry for the bad lighting, ours is really old and half of it doesn't work, hence the yellowed lighting)

I had Stephen working on installing the kitchen cabinet hardware, since I'm no good at that. 

(side note: Those streaks are from the pencil marks I tried to erase-I will be touching those spots up with fresh paint)

We are doing things on a tight budget right now and I have some ideas for the vanity in the middle bathroom, but until we can fully upgrade, I decided to just paint it the same color as the kitchen base cabinets.
(it's been primed for months, so this was not original)


This is the trim in the kitchen. BEFORE (with primer):


This next one might disgust you, but let me explain. When we moved in (almost 3 years ago) this is what the shower looked like. I tried so many different cleaners and couldn't get the stains out. Eventually, I gave up and we just put a bath mat over the shower floor. Well, I tried out Bartender's Friend in the sink and it worked like magic, so I thought, "hey why not try it in the tub?" I scrubbed til my back and arms and neck were sore, but it worked!!
(PLEASE don't judge me!)
EWWWWWW!! Believe me, it wreaked coming out!


I did try out something I saw on Pinterest. It was a vinegar, baking soda, water and lemon mixture that is supposed to clean your grout. I just assumed ours was dirty instead of just plain...dark grout. :) So I did what the directions said and let it soak for an hour. Behold, the before and after. 

Yes, that is the same picture. Absolutely no difference, what a shock!
Stupid dark grout, you make my tile look dirty. :(

My "debate-able" would be peel and stick tile over the existing real tile. I just don't like the tile. You can't tell from the above picture, but around the toilet, the previous owner left all kinds of paint stains and stuff on the floor. Right now it's either rip up the old tile and replace (which isn't in our budget for now) ore replace with the cheap peel and stick. I wouldn't really mind keeping it in the long run, but Stephen's afraid it would hurt us when we re-sell. I don't think it would, but what do you all think? 
This is a (bad) picture of the tile piece I'm considering. 

Love it or leave it?

I'm off now to finish up some other house projects, but I would love to hear feedback on the tile issue. Hope you all have a great week!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Laundry Room-Part 1

Hey everyone! Today I'm going to share with you our laundry room before & after, so far. I don't think I've posted pictures of it, ever, because I was so embarrassed by it. It was an ugly blue color and dirt showed up so easily on the walls. For 2 years, that room still made me feel like it didn't belong to us, or in our house for that matter. I wanted something lighter that flowed better with the kitchen. I picked up some more "Cream in my Coffee" paint, the same color that we used in the kitchen, and some supplies and got to work. These are old pictures (sorry about the clutter! This is what happens to a room I don't love).

First off, we're cleared the clutter and my awesome husband removed the cabinets. He couldn't get them out without removing some trim, so if you notice it missing around the door, you know why.

This is the view facing the laundry room entrance and then the view facing the kitchen


I primed:


 And then painted!


I absolutely love this color. And the name, which is of course what sold me. My husband and I love open shelving and I knew I wanted to do that in this small room to help open it up a bit. We had extra wood from when we built our kitchen counters and used that and some scraps as shelf ledges.

I'm not super crazy about the ledge piece against the wall. We were planning on doing one long piece, but the wall wasn't flat, so we had to come up with another solution. Eventually I want to get some ledges like the ones we have in the kitchen.

Aren't those pretty! But...for now, I'm just glad I have something to put my things on. The decor that's up on the shelves will definitely be changing, but it's a temporary fix til we finish the laundry room. Here's what the list looks like:
  • Remove the cabinets
  • Prime/paint the walls
  • Stain the shelves and hang
  • Paint the trim-Simply White by Benjamin Moore
  • Install beadboard on the ceiling
  • Install quarter round
  • Re-install the air vent
  • Put in a new light fixture.make a light fixture
  • Add some art/pictures
  • Add a rug
  • Replace the outlets and covers
  • Replace ugly brown door
We still have much to do! These next two days will be a little crazy, but I am trying to get around to at least painting the trim and putting the trim back up around the door. {Cross fingers}.

I hope you all are having a great Thursday night and looking forward to the weekend. I know I am!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

.The Kitchen Sink.

So today I am going to show you a super fun thing to do when you're bored. Clean the kitchen sink! 
No, but was kind of fun. You know, to watch the dirt go away. I'm weird like that. I like to vaccuum and sweep and make things look new and tidy again. You'd think my house would be spotless. HA! So, when my husband and I remodeled our kitchen (still a work in progress), we found a ceramic Kohler sink on CList that was the exact one we were going to buy from Lowes. We bought it and installed it and it was beautiful! After lots of use, though, it was looking naaastyyyyyy. I've never owned a ceramic anything before that required cleaning so this was my first attempt at getting the dirt off. It was super easy. I bought this cleaner called Bar
Keeper's Friend and it was awesome.

This is what I started with.
See all that grossness?
You simply sprinkle some cleaner on the dirty spots and wipe them down. I really didn't have to scrub too hard. That cleaner is my best friend.
The white area below shows the difference between where I already scrubbed and the still-dirty spots.
TA-DA! I know it still looks yellow-ish against the back of the sink, but I promise that's just from the shadows and the way the light hits it. It is sparkling white now! LOVE that sink! 
There you have it. Bar Keeper's Friend. Tara's Friend is what it should be called. ;)
Have a great night!
PS: my cabinet hardware came in yesterday!! I am so excited to show you how they look once they're installed! Hopefully I will have a post by this weekend. I've got 4 orders to fill by Friday and Saturday.

Friday, August 2, 2013

{Love Handles}

Hey everyone, I hope you have had a fantastic week and are ready for the weekend! I know I am! This weekend, I am focusing on the kitchen again. We bought the tile for the backsplash, but still haven't had time to get that done, so the kitchen has been a little neglected lately. This weekend, I am going to paint over the base cabinets to touch them up and seal them, and then I should be expecting a package by Wednesday to give the cabinets a more polished look.

love handles!

Aren't they pretty?! Maybe not your style, but I love them! They're oil rubbed bronze, which will go with our sink faucet, and they've got the perfect vintage rustic vibe to them. Aaaaand....they were only $0.82 a piece. Seriously?!! Yes, please. I'll take 21 of them. So for $17, I am a happy camper. I can't wait to install them. Opening drawers without handles is no fun. I will post pictures as soon as I get them installed. In the meantime, I will be finishing up the last of the shelves in the laundry room, so I will share our Laundry Room Reveal with you! Gonna be a busy weekend!

See you tomorrow,