Living Room Makeover: After

Okay, yesterday we left off when I had some weekend helpers and a real fire under our butts.


We painted, painted, painted all weekend long (I’ll get to that all in a minute). When Alex got home he was really excited about all of the progress we made. He was also incredibly surprised to see his best buddy in our driveway! The boys took a break from the paint rollers for some birthday golf.


Then it was time to get back to work… here’s a couple progress pictures:




Once the paint was done, it was time to install all the molding. We finally decided to add board and batten to the bottom half of our walls. During this point in the project, Alex’s parents stayed with us for a week and helped so, sooo much! There was a ton of work involved — painting all the molding, cutting it to length, nailing it in place, covering and painting the holes…. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of pictures during all these tedious steps since I was at work for much of the day. I’m sure you aren’t really interested in seeing pictures of measuring tapes and miter saws anyway.

We had some hard to reach painting to do…


And apparently pick some strawberries…



Already enough messing around — let’s get to the final product!

First…. a before shot to jog your memory:



(sorry, I had to include that one!)

Okay… and now, on to the after shots:








I can’t even begin to describe how good it feels to get this room knocked off our to-do list. And you know what? Not a single cell in my body wishes we had done it sooner. It definitely would have ended up a different color with different fixtures.. and to be honest, I’m loving how it turned out!

We’re currently on the hunt to get rid of our little green accents. As much as we love our green pillows and placemats, they don’t really go with our new slate grey-blue room. As always, we’re waiting until we find “the ones” — no sense hurrying to buy a bunch of pillows we only kind of like and then replace them again in six months.

So, there you go. A big project that we somehow managed to squeeze together in about three weeks. Can’t believe it took us over two years to get to this point! But, I tell ya… it feels good to be on this side of things 🙂

What’s been going on with you lately? Any big projects? Anyone recently get engaged (cough, cough — SUZZETTE)?

Living Room Makeover: Before

I am fully aware that I owe a big, bigbigbig, biiiiig update on what’s been going on with us in the last month. Not necessarily just so you can follow along, but for my own little record keeping as well. This afternoon I won’t get into everything we’ve managed to squeeze in the last few months, but I really want to share our living room makeover with you guys! And maybe a couple pictures of the dogs.



Phew! Now we have that over with, we can finally get down to business.

If you guys have been following along for awhile then you are probably aware that we like to really live in a room before we jump to big decorating decisions. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend too much money at HomeGoods in the meantime, I’m just not tearing out tile (okay, okay – let’s be honest, I’m not tasking Alex out to tear out tile) until we are both 100% sure what we want the end result to be.

We’ve lived in our house for two and a half years (holy smokes, by the way!) and we finally, fiiiiinally re-did our living room. High fives all around!

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

When we first moved in, we had these absolutely stunning window treatments. And laugh all you might, they must have been fashionable at one point since the previous owners also had matching slipcovers for their dining room table.


I know, right?

We also had some really lovely light fixtures hangin’ around.



Oh! And we also had this dated mirror-closet in our hallway… That had to go pretty immediately.


Basically, this room needed some love… and fast!

We replaced the light fixtures and pulled down all of the curtains…



But, as you can see in the top picture, we still had gaps in the crown molding where the window treatments once were and a lovely full length mirror tucked in the corner.

Later on, we finally found the right size table to fit  in an otherwise awkward place. As you can tell from my fall decorations… this, well, wasn’t yesterday. We also bought some rugs for around the couches and two runners for down the hallway.


Yet, the room was still very unfinished! We started thinking about wall colors, but it seemed like an endless charade of moving colors around to find the perfect match. I took these pictures back in January and obviously our vision of the room wasn’t yet solidified.



Months later we decided to host a big party at our house to honor my dad, who passed away five years ago. It was going to be the first time that most of our extended family would be at our house and we really wanted our living room to feel a little more complete. Plus, it didn’t hurt that people who had been coming to our house over the past two years kept pointing out our remaining spackle spots and missing crown molding. Maybe it was that we were embarrassed that the room we sat and watched TV in all that time was such an eye sore, maybe we were just tired of hearing other people talk about it being unfinished, but…

The fire was lit and we knew it was time to getting the living room crossed off our list!

Alex pulled off the floor to ceiling mirror on a whim –


Here’s what that side of the room looked like after the first coat of spackle –


And then something funny happened… Alex had to leave! So here we were less than three weeks before our party and I had to bust my butt to tackle two people’s worth of work.

I pulled off the chair rail, spackled, sanded, spackled, sanded… over and over again.


Get this: that weekend a miracle happened! Alex was getting ready to come home (just in time for his birthday!) and our friend, Joe decided to come down from NY to surprise Alex for his big day. He also agreed to help me prep and paint the room for the weekend. Not only that, but my brother, Justin and his friend, Russ came over to help paint all weekend long!



Alright — this is getting super long already and I haven’t even started getting to the real meat of it yet! Check back in tomorrow to see how it turned out!


A La Shed (of the wood variety)

For the last few months, Alex has been really looking for a hands-on project that would be for him. You know, not one of those “honey-do” projects that I seem to be really good at coming up with. Most of our projects start with me saying something along the lines of, “Man, I hate this laundry room. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had new tile and a fresh coat of paint in here?” Alex agrees and encourages me to go to Home Depot with him and we wander around until we have a good idea of what specific tile we want. It also seems like every time we’ve had a big project going on, he’s had some time off work and spends hours and hours every day (while I’m not home) working on some project that was my idea to begin with.

So again, he’s been reeeeally craving something that he could work on that was more…uhh.. manly.

He ended up deciding to build a woodshed that would keep all our firewood dry. He said he wanted to build it because he wanted the wood away from the house since wood attracts bugs, termites, etc. (which makes complete sense to me!) I’m pretty sure he also just wanted an excuse to lug those power tools outside and build something with his own hands.

Months ago, Alex found the plans he wanted to use and we hunted Home Depot/Lowe’s/other various lumber stores to get an estimate on how much the supplies would cost. The total was a little more than we wanted to spend on something that… you know… holds wood, but after much research we (and by we, you know, I don’t mean me) knew it would be less than a third of the price of pre-fabbed sheds and higher quality. So, all we needed was a nice weekend to get the motivation to crank this bad boy out.

I would also like to add that I thought this project would be a “work on it when you could” kind of thing. It ended up getting built over one weekend and stained the following. However, I will say that Alex had some help from a good friend, Dan, and really wanted to take advantage of the extra set of hands (and we couldn’t be more thankful for all the help)!

I wasn’t even home during the first day of construction so I don’t have a lot of the very early pictures… but here ya go!



This was what it looked like the morning of day two.


(of course, you know that we didn’t leave all those supplies out over night….)


More Alex and Dan…


By the end of the first weekend, we had a shed that looked like this…


All we had left was to stain it and add the roof. So, the following weekend (yay for nice spring days!) we got to work… And yes, this time I do mean WE. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures that were taken in the middle of staining. We were messy and dirty and bleeeeh, and I wasn’t planning to subject my camera to that 🙂

Here you can see how big the shed is compared to our ladders…



Alex putting on the roof —




Final product:


Aren’t those dogs amazing for posing for me *all on their own*? Haha… I wish!

Now we just need to fill up that shed with a bunch of firewood!

funny story: the couple that lives behind us had their granddaughter over during this building process. I guess they were nosey and wanted to know what in the heck we were building, so they sent her over to ask Alex. When Alex responded saying a woodshed… she said, “oh! I thought you were building a STAGE!”

Now I can’t get this stage idea out of my head! Could you imagine having a party and a band setting up there… UHHH. Perfect.

I should also mention that these two boys were the perfect helpers. Hunter even brought over Dan’s bottle of water to him. In his mouth. Sounds appetizing, right?


(I have to say one more time.. a biiiiig thank you to Dan for helping so much!)