Thursday, December 2, 2010

Full Guest Bathroom Before

Our full guest bathroom upstairs has been in desperate need of some updates.  However, it had been low on the priority list because we never use it, and we have guests only a handful of times throughout the year.  All that changed when we found out we were expecting.  This bathroom become more of a priority since our little one would be using this bathroom in the near future, and our more frequent guests would be too.

Below are some pictures of what we were working with...... A combo of brass Hollywood lighting, and polished silver faucets.

 The flooring in this bathroom left a lot to be desired.  I do not know who in their right mind would like carpeting in their bathroom, but the people that bought our house gave us the best of both worlds when it came to flooring.... Half carpet/Half tile.... Awesome, right?????  Not so much....
We decided that we wanted to make some big changes in this room, but we wanted to be very cost sensitive since this bathroom would soon be a kid bathroom (and we all know how hard they are on everything as they grow up).  We decided we wanted to avoid anything too kiddie since this bathroom would also be used by guests too.

Therefore, we decided to invest in new lighting, new tile flooring, new paint, and possibly some new accessories.   My next post will showcase the transformation, but here is a teaser picture......

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Backdoor Secured......

So our backdoor leading to the garage has been a bit of a problem for awhile now.  You see the metal thingy that clicks the lock into the frame fell off, and all the screws I bought for it would not hold it in the frame..... Therefore, I had my handyman help me correct this problem.  You see, I wanted to be able to lock the garage door just in case a robber broke into our garage..... I had a more genius thought too..... Since I had an extra deadbolt from our front entry door project, I decided to have the handyman install this said extra deadbolt to the door leading to the garage.... This way, I will be doubley secured.....
Before (Inside View)
 Before (Garage View)
 After (Inside View)
 After (Garage View)
 View from the Laundry Room
It took the handyman about 30 minutes to cut the hole in the door, and do the additional work on the door frame for the deadbolt.  It looked rather easy if you knew what you were doing.  I am very happy I farmed this project out since I was really worry about screwing up the garage door, and then having to replace it because I cut the whole in the wrong spot or something.

Therefore, this future mommy is very pleased to have her backdoor all secured from any potential robbers that may lurk.  I think I will add painting this door to my list of future spring/summer projects too.... I am really liking the black doors that everyone is posting in blog world especially since this door is so hard to keep clean......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Display Your Family Proudly

For some time, I have wanted to display some of our family pictures in our home.  However, as you know, I have had a bit of a lack of courage when it comes to pounding holes into the walls.  You see, we have freshly painted walls finally, and I didn't want to gunk them up with extra nail holes.

At any rate, with my courage flowing, I got my hammer on.  The wall below is located directly across from the main floor bathroom, and is the pass through hallway from our foyer to our Great room.  This angle is from the foyer.
This angle is from the Great room.
Here is the wall in a "in progress" shot.  The post-it notes display a description of what picture goes into what frame since I hadn't printed all the photos I wanted to display when I started placing the frames on the wall.
I used the Ribba frames from IKEA in various sizes.  I like these frames because they look great, but are much less expensive than comparable options at Pottery Barn.  My hope is that this wall with grow with us as our family grows.  I wanted a balanced look, and I think I achieved the look I wanted.
Angle 1
 Angle 2
So what do you think?  I have been debating adding some stripes to this wall too to add a little more drama, but I have held off since I am in my third trimester. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Front Door Gets Some New Bling!

Our front door has needed a facelift for some time.  As many of you out there, we are still struggling through the transition from brass hardware to satin nickel.  The other struggle our door has endured is having two holes where the former owners had their custom door knocker.  For two years, I have struggled to find a door knocker that would fit the two predrilled holes, and for two years, I have failed at every attempt until now...... See the sad holes..... Since winter is fast approaching, I wanted to get these holes filled.....
While browsing through Restoration Hardware's catalog, I found this beauty: The Ring Door Knocker.  What I loved about this door knocker is that the top and bottom part of the door knocker is two pieces.  This rocked my world because I had been struggling to find a door knocker that would fit my custom predrilled holes.  I had to have it on the spot.... At $50, I thought it was reasonable enough for a door knocker.  Of course, I went to purchase it at the store to find out it was not available in the store, but luckily I was able to order it and avoid shipping charges.... Yeah, but had to wait for a week for it's arrival... Boo!
It took no time to get up.  I did have to widen the predrilled holes a little more to get my hardware to sink into the door, but after about 15 minutes, the door knocker was up.  See below......

 Once I got the new door knocker, I new it was time to update the brass lock and kickplate.  I had been contemplating this for two years as well, but I wanted to keep my finish options open just in case the perfect door knocker fell into my lap (a girl can hope).
For awhile I have been really interested in upgrading our lock system to a keyless entry option.  With the new baby on the way, we will have a lot of guests coming in, and since most of our guests will be coming from out of state, there is always the chance they arrive when we are caught at an errand or something.  A keypad entry therefore would be ideal for us.  I did a bit of research, and decided to move forward with a Schlage keypad deadbolt.  I liked the flexibility this offered to us.  You can program the lock to hold 19 codes (not sure why you would want that many), but the more attractive option is that you can delete the codes very easily.  Therefore, no need to leave house keys for guests or contractors outside of your home.  Just give them a code, and delete it once their visit is complete.  The programming seemed to be easy enough, and the lock runs off a battery that supposedly will last for three years (we will see) so no reason to worry about the door not opening during an electricity outage.  There is also the back-up key option that can be used if the battery dies......

Therefore, I moved forward with purchasing the keypad deadbolt.  What I found once I reached the store is that the keypad deadbolt is sold separately, and you need to buy the bottom half handset to go with the deadbolt.  At Lowe's the customer needs to purchase the bottom half handset without a deadbolt by special order.  The interesting part about this option is that the bottom half handset that is sold separate (without a deadbolt) cost more special order from Lowe's than the whole front door handle set (which leaves you with an extra deadbolt).  I probably could have shopped around online and found a deal, but I am impatient, and just wanted to get this project complete.  Therefore, I went ahead and bought the keypad deadbolt, and the whole front door handle set.

The guy at Lowe's told me installation would be easy, but I decided to have a handyman come over and install it for me (worry-free).  Since I am 39 weeks pregnant, I could go into labor at any time so it is really important that my front door be able to lock at a moments notice.... Therefore, I just wasn't comfortable with the stress of possibly screwing up this project, and then having to try to put the old lock back on....... I am sure I could do it, but I had him help me with another project I will share in my next post.... It took the handyman about 45 minutes to install, and he said everything installed very easily..... :)

So without further adieu, here is our brand new door with it's new door knocker, lock, and kickplate.....
 Lock and handle set up close
 Keypad even closer
 Close-up of Door Knocker with Winter Wreath
I am just tickled with the transformation.  It just took me over 2 years to get the right items to get it done.  Of course, I still need to get a new wreath hanger because I did not realize until I looked at my picture that it is still brass (shame on me)...... In the spring, I would like to give the door a new coat of paint too, but that can wait until after the baby.....

As far as the keypad goes, it took me less than 5 minutes to remove the two factory codes, and replace it with two individual codes my husband and I picked.  I love the flexibility this will offer us, and can't wait to use it.

Linking up to......

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nursery.... Mirror Revamp

I love mirrors.  I love how they make rooms appear more expansive.  Babies love mirrors too, and that is why I have had my eye on a round chunky framed mirror for months for the nursery.  I was really hopeful to find a mirror on Craigslist, or Goodwill, but it just didn't happen for me.  Therefore, I spent a little more than I wanted to at TJ Maxx, and found this beauty below.  Of course the color wasn't exactly what I wanted, but with a little bit of spray paint, I was able to transform this mirror.  So I spent quite a bit of time taping the mirror off preparing it for primer.
Once I got the mirror all taped off, I took my respirator and primer into the garage and coated the mirror with three light coats of primer.  I let each coat dry about 1-1.5 hours between applications.  After my final coat, I let the primer sit for 24 hours before I hit it with the final color. 
 I chose to go with a glossy blue hue.  I have used mainly primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) with touches of green throughout the room.  I thought the room needed a little more blue, and that is why I went with this color.  I am so happy with the end results...... The mirror looks perfect in the room.... Now, I just need to get it on the wall, but I will leave that for another day.  Enjoy the sneak peek of the room's progress from the reflection in the room.  Finally reveal coming in a week or so.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nursery Update: Bin There Done That Book Bin

The countdown is on..... My due date is less than 30 days away, and we have been working hard completing our nursery projects.  All the baby clothes have been washed, and almost everything is organized and put away.  Our last remaining items are the decor.  For awhile, I have been debating how I wanted to display several of my old Dr. Seuss books from when I was a child on the wall by our changing table/dresser.  I wanted whatever I chose to serve a purpose, but also be attractive.  Enter the "Bin There Done That Book Bin" from The Land of Nod (see below).
In my opinion, it fit what I wanted and needed.  It would allow me to display several different Dr. Seuss books in an attractive way.  At $49 a piece, I thought they were reasonable enough to purchase two which would allow me to display twice as many books.  I figured they had great potential, and would grow with our future child with future room updates.
This was my first purchase from Land of Nod, and I was a bit disappointed that the bins did not come with a wall template to hang the bins up with on the wall.  After a bit of measuring, and double checking, I was able to get the bins up with only putting two extra holes in the wall (a small success in my mind).  Of course, the final product was well worth the extra hassle in my opinion.
 Close up View

Slowly, but surely, the room is coming together.  As you can see, I chose to go with red blackout curtains from Pottery Barn.  More about that, and other decor updates coming later this week.  Stay tuned.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Draping the Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom has been a work in progress.  What I mean by that, is that we really haven't spent much time or energy on this room.  Although I have spent a lot of time updating and decorating other rooms in our home, I have chosen to leave this room alone.  Part of the reason for this is due to the bonus room that is attached to this room.  Our master is more of a suite, and I just don't know what to do with the bonus room.  Which room should actually hold our bed?  Should I make the other room a sitting room?  Because the possibilities are endless, I just haven't had a lot of confidence to do any sort of painting or purchasing extra furniture until I am sure of what I want to do with the space.  I definitely want to purchase a headboard soon, but I am just not sure what I want..... So I have just sort of waited...

However, now that I am getting ready for baby number one, the one thing I needed to accomplish was creating more darkness during the day in this room and possibly have properties that eliminate noise.  Because I know that soon I will be trying to sleep whenever my little one is sleeping.  Therefore, I decided to hang black-out drapes.  Initially I had a hard time deciding what color to go with since I know that in the coming months, most likely I will start decorating this room.

Before #1
Before #2
Initially I had a hard time deciding what color to go with since I know that in the coming months, most likely I will start decorating this room.  I wanted to make an investment in something I could hopefully use in the room down the road.  Therefore, I went with an ivory/blushy blackout silk option from Bed Bath & Beyond.  It goes with our bedding as of today, and I think it will work with whatever we choose in the future.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my additions.  I am most pleased that the room is extremely dark regardless of the time of the day.  I am hopeful this will help be get some extra sleep in the coming weeks.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Most of you are most likely aware that October is National Fire Prevention Month.  Many of the home improvement stores have fire alarms on sale to help homeowners better protect themselves.  One thing I did not know, is that most fire alarms need to be replaced after 10 years.  This fact was important to me as our home was built in 1997, and with it being 2010, that meant that most likely most of our fire alarms in our home were overdue for replacement.  Also, I am in my third trimester of pregnancy, and my nesting instincts have really kicked in.  Therefore, my husband and I checked all our fire alarms, and found that most of them did indeed need to be replaced. 
Once we determined we needed to replace our smoke alarms, we decided to do a bit of research as to what type of alarm to install.  We quickly learned there are two type of alarms: photoelectric and ionization.  So what is the difference you may ask?  Ionization sensors may respond slightly faster to flaming fires, whereas photoelectric sensors may respond slightly faster to smouldering fires.  Both meet federal and state safety guidelines, and the verdict is still out as to which one is better (from my research).  Therefore, it is recommended to enhance your fire safety prevent, that you install both type of alarms as you can not predict what sort of fire you may have.  We decided to go one step further, and choose some dual purpose fire alarms that also have carbon monoxide detectors.  Therefore, we installed six new fire alarms.  Four are battery powered, and two are hard wired to the house electrical system.  We added additional fire alarms to each of our bedrooms in the interior of the room as none of our bedrooms had fire alarms inside of the room.  It is recommended that you have alarms in your hallway, and then in the inside of the bedroom if you sleep with your doors closed (which we do). 
After (Hallway)
 After (Nursery)
All and all, the replacement units and install of new alarms took a little over a hour.  It was easy work, and I am very pleased to have this knocked off our list.  It is reassuring to know that all the alarms are functional, and will alert us if the need arises. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Falling for Fall.....

The Midwest has been experiencing temperatures that are more inline with summer than fall.  In Indiana, we haven't had rain in weeks.  Most people's grass is burnt, and most plants have given up, and are just dormant.  However, the fall foilage is starting to fall, and it brings about my favorite time of year: fall.  To get into the fall spirit, I planted some mums in pots for our porch.  I thought I took some pics as I completed the process, but that wasn't the case.  Therefore, all I have to share are a before and after.
 Close-up of Mums... Yummy Yellow color
 Just beautiful Peachy Flowers

 Beautiful Tree in front of our Home
Hopefully the temps will start to drop in the coming days.  Today's high was 87 degrees which set another record.  I am looking forward to some 50 degree weather.... Cross your fingers we will get it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rose of Sharon Update.....

Since we are nearing the end of summer, I wanted to share a quick update on my Rose of Sharon bushes I planted last year.  You may remember them from this post Rose of Sharon Post.  I got them on major clearance at Lowe's and I planted them in the hopes of stopping teenagers from walking through our yard last October, and I must say it worked.
The bushes have really grown in this summer despite the drought Indiana has been suffering.
It's amazing how many blooms the bushes have had the last few weeks.  The bushes are looking a bit leggy, and I will trim them up in a few weeks once the blooms are done.  I am so happy they have grown in so well. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nursery Update: The Crib

The crib is in.  Well, sort of.... You see, the furniture store misordered the crib we ordered.  Somehow, this mistake was not caught until the crib arrived the other day.  Man, I was not happy.  I waited 14 weeks for this crib, and was very displeased that it is not right.  The crib they brought is beautiful, it just isn't "my" crib.  After some discussion with the store manager, the store manager decided that we could keep the wrong crib until "our" crib arrives.  The manager is expecting our crib to arrive by the end of September, but I am not holding my breath since we were suppose to get our first crib within 6 weeks.  Without further adio, here is the crib for now..... So here sits the Young America Built to Grow 2600 Panel/Spindle Crib.
Luckily, the dimesions of the above crib are exactly the same as "my" crib the Built to Grow 2000 Slat crib (see below- my version is the cotton finish).  Therefore, I will be able to set-up the room around this crib, and will be able to switch out "my" crib when it arrives in the coming weeks.  I am not freaking out as much about this mix up now that a few days have passed.  Baby N is not due until the end of November so we should have the right crib by then, and if we do not, Baby N will be sleeping in a bassinet for a few weeks anyway.
Therefore, I must day dream what "my" crib will look like for now.  I am hopeful it comes sooner or later, but at this point it is out of my hands.  More updates on the nursery to come... I am currently working on figuring out some artwork options for the space.