Entries Tagged as 'Home projects'

A Mantle to Hang the Stockings

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30.11.11

Ok so our stocking aren’t hung yet, but we have a bright as a shiny new penny mantle on which to hang the stockings. Which I would say is more than half the battle.

Since I last wrote I found a old picture from our home inspection back in September of 2009 of how the fireplace looked when we bought the house. We’ve never been really fond of the awkward corner fireplace that left a lot to be desired in our minds in the terms of the style of home we were after. Apart from painting the paneling and adding a a pellet stove insert which provides awesome heat in the winter that we got for free from my aunt who was replacing hers. All in all we’ve mostly ignored it not really knowing where to start.

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When last we left off in our story, our hero Bryan had completely removed the paneling and wall on the top of the fireplace to find some “creative” use of 2 x4’s and drywall damage from an old roof leak that had been repaired long ago but the damaged drywall had never been removed.

WaterDamage

It was fun job reframing the support wall and removing the water damaged sheetrock …not really, but a necessary step to getting the mantel complete in time to hang the stockings. Good thing Bryan had his Father here to help. At least I managed to stay behind the camera for this step. Score one for the camera woman.

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Removing Water Damage

After all the behind the walls work was done Bryan moved on to adding the new pine bead board to the wall and building the mantel box. The core of the mantel itself is a simple wood box screwed into and few supports that he added during the framing stage to support the mantel.

Bead Board

And then he got a little bit ahead of himself and decided he needed to hang the TV over the fireplace before we could call it done. Don’t get in between a man and his 47 inch TV mounted on the wall even if the wall is still a work-in-progress.

Hanging the TV

At this point it still needed A LOT of extra molding to dress it up and finish it off, including where the stone bottom meets the pine bead board.

P1130445 copy Thank goodness for the long weekend. Over the next couple of days Bryan diligently added additional molding and trim around the top and sides, a piece of wood I’ve been calling the apron to transition from the stone to the wood and some pieces to dress up the boxy molding.

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You can see above where he added the vertical pieces to add depth and break up the long horizontal line.

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Then as a finishing touch we added decorative molding to the top edge taking it from just a wood box bolted to the wall to a beautiful mantle we are over the moon about.

Just for comparison sake and mostly because we can’t believe how much has changed here’s how the fireplace looked when we first bought our home.

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Then it evolved only a bit once we painted the top and added the pellet stove. It still left a lot to be desired in our minds though. Fireplace

And today this is how it looks.

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Overall we’re kind of giddy excited over how this whole fireplace mantel thing turned out. Bryan’s also pretty impressed with himself on how he was able to pull it together. Seeing as this was his first big project with large amounts of 45 degree angles to cut he was cautious as he cut each piece, checking and double checking as he went.  We went into this with an idea to move the TV allowing us extra floor space in our narrow living room and are pleasantly surprised how much it changed the look of the entire room.

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But before it’s actually ready to hang stockings on we’ll need to stain and seal it. Right now we’re leaning towards a white washed finish to keep with the Lake House feel since this room has a direct view of the lake through the sliding glass doors. But I’ll be sure to show off how it all ends up.

Hopefully we’ll get that all completed this weekend along with putting up the tree.  But for now we’re totally in love with the way it turned out. Is it weird that we keep staring at it?

An Impromptu Project

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23.11.11

Inevitably when the holidays roll around there’s always one or two or twelve things you’d like to accomplish before the big day. The holidays always spur a flurry of activity around here from the traditional holiday baking, shopping and gift wrapping. To the more in depth projects like making room for the Christmas tree by completely redesigning our fireplace to allow for the television to be mounted to the wall above it.

I don’t think I’ve shown photos of our Living room how it is now on the site before. It’s a good size space but relatively long and narrow at about 20’ x 12’, with multiple doors, a wall cut out, a window and a fireplace that chop up the space and make for difficult furniture arranging not to mention the challenging act of adding something large like a Christmas tree.

Living Room

It’s come a long way and of course we still have big plans like adding some art to the walls, rearranging/changing some furniture and moving the TV to it’s future home over the fireplace. For comparison’s sake here’s what it looked like during our home inspection back when we were just two months short of our move in date.

Living Room Before

Oh, and just so you have a better idea of how this is all laid out here’s a quick little (totally not to scale)  floor plan I put together to help visualize where everything is including the fireplace in the corner and the TV along the back wall. living room plan 2

The fireplace is not original to our home and is set into the corner of the room at a slightly odd angle. The construction of the top portion is a bit wonky to say the least. The trim piece weren’t put up correctly and in when you’re in person you can tell the top angles of the bead board don’t quite match the bottom angles of the stone, making for a generally wonky looking fireplace.

Fireplace

For the most part it’s been neglected and ignored by us other than painting the to paneling from it’s original light wood existence as we focused on other areas of the house. So far we’ve been using it as a place to dry my latest works of art and a catch all for random items as the mantel is too narrow to hold most everyday objects.

So with that in mind and the approaching holidays we had a brain storm to finally put the TV over the fireplaceto free up some much needed floor space for a Christmas tree at this time of year and some occasional chairs for the rest of the months of the year that don’t require us to have a 7 foot tree in the middle of the room.

Fireplace deconstruction

So Bryan set out Friday night to remove the paneling so we could add new knotty pine, run the cable for the TV and add some additional supports to hold the TV so it doesn’t come crashing down.

Which led us to find all sorts of wonderful stuff like drywall damaged from an old roof leak that had been repaired from above but the never removed behind the wall.

Water Damage

After that was all sorted out, cleaned up and removed they made quick work of reframing it in a slightly more sturdy fashion.

framing

We also bought some really great knotty pine that we plan to whitewash and add chunky mantel  along with some other ideas that are kind of up in the air. Needless to say we’re super excited and we have our fingers crossed that we can finish it up over the Thanksgiving weekend so we can put up the Christmas tree in it’s new home.

Full Steam Ahead

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11.11.11

After the Yellow and Gray idea got thrown to the side and we settled on a new totally awesome inspiration photo for the Master bedroom (you can check out that whole process here) we’re moving full steam ahead gathering fabric, paint samples and scouting a couple new furniture pieces to turn our very green master bedroom from something that looks like this…

to something that looks more like this…

via houzz

But before I get into all that let’s back up here for a second and take  look at what I’m really loving about my inspiration room and what we’re planning to take away from it.

We don’t want to take this exact room and try to plop it our space. Although, if anyone is offering that would be nice. The idea is to emulate the upscale country feel that this room has but on a much smaller budget, in a smaller space and make it our own by changing some elements to fit our lifestyle and needs for our room.

But, back to what I’m loving, the antique quilt on the bed is fantastic, as is the overall mix of fabrics in the room. I love the large scale floral mixed with the stripes and the small scale ikat pattern on the drapes.

Although I think each piece adds to the overall aesthetic and the beauty of the room  the patterned area rug (since we already have a neutral one), bed side tables without any storage and the high ceiling just aren’t going to be possible/work in our space.

So what’s the plan you ask? Well, I’ll get to that in a second.

I started by taking a look at the fabric choices in the room. The floral pillows with yellow trim, striped accent pillow, the smaller scale geometric choices including ikat window treatments and red geometric fabric on the bench. It all leads to a layered over time space. Those are the elements that  really want to take away.

After a little searching I found the source list for the Sarah’s Farmhouse room although they don’t specify which fabric it is they do include the manufacturer. I found a couple of them online,  the lovely floral on the left is  Sunara Ikat Spice by F. Schumacher and it is priced at around $129 per yard. That awesome small print ikat pattern on the right is Sunara Ikat Spice by F. Schumacher priced at about $70. Both lovely, but not going to happen on our budget.

So what’s the plan you ask again?

1. Silsila, Curry $24.95, 2. Mini Chevron $9.95, 3. Soho Sorbet $10.95 4. Hounds-tooth $19.98 5. Arlecchino Riga Stripe $29.98

 Aha, finally she get’s to the point! Well, here it is, I wanted a similar mix of color and pattern. I’m in love with the Suzani style print fabric above. I’ve ordered a bunch of swatches as well a few others  and I can’t wait for them to get here. Follow along on my inspiration board on pinterest to see all my current choices.

If all goes as planned I’ll probably use the Suzani style print on pillows and maybe a chair or two. Although I’m still debating that. I’ll use the small scale Chevron on the windows and layer in the other fabrics around the room. Of course, everything is still very much in the air and there’s tons more to do and decide.

So that’s where we are at in the space, there’s still so much to do like find end tables, chairs, finalize the fabric choices, paint color…you get the idea.

Yeah, I’m totally thinking it’s time for a list!

 

The Deck is Done, Finally!

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09.11.11

We are victorious! Well that’s how it feels at least. It’s been a looong time coming. This is one of those projects that I wished was finished as soon as I started it! It was a monster of a deck to stain by hand with a brush. But it’s done and I’m THRILLED. We finally finished  staining over the weekend after being interrupted numerous times by rain,  snow and those dreaded days in between the weekends where you have to go to work.

But let’s start at the very beginning shall we?

It all started when we moved in looking a bit  like this…

…and then last fall like this…

…over time and a lot of hard work it turned into this…

…and finally it was ready to stain.

The actual deck has been done for a couple months but we had to wait for the pressure treated wood to sit out and dry for a while before staining. We’ve learned that the pressure-treating process soaks the wood.  When newly installed, it will not allow any type of coating to adhere well. A quick tip from our local paint store was to test the deck’s readiness to accept stain by splashing water on the surface.  If the water beads on the surface, more drying time is needed. If the water droplets soak into the wood, then the wood is dry enough to accept a top coat.

We wanted a deep red coloring so we went off to the local paint store. These guys seriously know their stuff. I always prefer going there over the big box stores in our are. They’re always friendly, knowledgeable and can find you the perfect paint chip in a haystack. Seriously they’re awesome. So if you’re in the area go to Sak’s Paint.

We chose Sikkens brand Semi Transparent Stain in Navajo Red. It’s an all in one stain and sealer. It worked out rather well although we had to stain each rail and board by hand with a brush according to the directions. With this type of stain you need to use a brush to really work it into the wood and because of the sealer a second coat isn’t necessary or recommended so it’s really important to get the first coat applied evenly and brushed in well.  Also this stuff is super duper STINKY so it’s good we were doing this outdoors!

I’ll save you the long boring details of watching paint dry. The whole the was pretty much a lot of stooping over and painting and ummm dipping. Yeah, that’s pretty much how our days went. We used 2 size brushes, 1 was a 2 inch angle brush to help get in between each of the board and a 4 inch brush for the large flat surfaces. The only awesome thing my father figured out about half way through was to duct tape a wood handle to the 4 inch paint brush to paint the floor. Which saved a ton of stooping.

So there you have it our Deck, Finished…for now that is 🙂

We’re loving it.

And loving that it’s done.

Hopefully, next year we’ll be working on adding some outdoor furniture to the space, maybe an outdoor rug and some potted plants. Oh I can’t wait!

So what do you think? Does anyone else have claw fingers from staining or painting. I bet you’re loving the results like we are though.

Psst: You can read about our total deck adventure starting all the way at the beginning by clicking here.

My Inspiration this Week

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04.11.11

It’s November, and you know what that means?

It means I can officially start talking about Christmas without people looking at me like I’m a crazy person. Yup I’m one of those people.  What can you expect from me, I grew up with a mother who began listening to Christmas music at the beginning of October.  I think I’m pretty well adjusted considering.

Anyway, I’ve been pinning like crazy all of my favorite Christmas idea because I know these things take time and if I want to make anything I’ll have to start now. Here are a few of my favorites right.

You can view my entire Christmas Board on Pinterest here or Follow Me on Pinterest to see all my Latest Finds.

Christmas Button Tree – Source: Unknown via Pinterest

Felt Ball Wreath via Pickles

Stacked Sugar Cookies via Martha Stewart

Button Christmas Tree on Canvas via Balzer Designs

Felted Ball Garland via Small Bird Blog

 

Take Glowing Pictures of your Christmas Tree via Unskinny Boppy

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