Tag Archive: home improvement


The number one cause of all the stops and starts on any project is when I get a random, fleeting idea for a different project somewhere else in my house. Chances are, that little wisp of a thought will become a full blown obsession, and I cannot get back to what I’m doing until I have PINNED. ALL. THE. THINGS I can find relating to that idea.

For example, I’ve been idly considering ideas for what I might do with my entryway and stairs when the time comes. How do I let more light in? Pros and cons of knocking out this closet and using this other closet over here for coats? What if I square off this curve? I like this light fixture, need to find a way to incorporate that into the eventual redo. Carpet must go, we’ll do hardwood. Hardwood floor in the entryway, which way do I lay the planks, perpendicular or parallel to the door? Neither seems as though it would look right, what do I do, what do I do, what do I DO? WHAT ABOUT HERRINGBONE?!?! Wait, I don’t really like pattern, why am I all of a sudden obsessed with herringbone for a piece of my floor? But it could look good, maybe I should really consider herringbone? Something subtle, not too dark, not glossy, with a border around the edge, like this: herringbone-floor-border02 And then I get all distracted by Pinterest and Google image searches for herringbone wood floors and then I’ve suddenly gone a week without touching anything in my bedroom. Not to mention mental Spring cleaning – by which I mean that I am mentally, not actually, Spring cleaning my house at this time, which is SUPER helpful and productive, I know – and deciding how to celebrate my upcoming birthday.

My coworkers like to call it Attention Deficit OOH SHINY! Syndrome. Which, basically? Yeah.

It’s amazing that I’ve actually managed to search out and buy the last few things I need to complete those DIY lamps I’m attempting for my bedroom – the drill bit and some cork.


I woke up yesterday morning to blue skies, sunshine, birds chirping, and crocus in bloom. Spring is trying to happen here and it’s brought with it a renewed sense of urgency to accomplish something in my house. I hopped out of bed, got dressed immediately, and went right to it. We finished replacing the electrical outlets and the landline phone jack and cleaned and reinstalled the ceiling fan. I partially installed the light fixture in the closet and smashed a four foot long fluorescent bulb into 47 billion pieces in the process, which my husband was kind enough to clean up for me. We are having some issues replacing the light switches, though…thanks, weird 1980’s wiring! I also have a small revamp in progress for the light fixture that goes over our bathroom sink, which sits out in the bedroom. You can kind of see that setup here:

1736916466_4780cfe470_zThis photo was taken from the bedroom when we first went to see the house. The door to the right goes to the toilet, linen closet, and tub/shower. The light fixture I’m revamping is the one above the mirror over the sink. It has a semi-glossy nickel finish with white shades that have a marbleized frosty white finish to them, and the opening of the shades point up. I’ve discovered that I’m not a fan of that orientation because dust really builds up and bugs get in there and fry. I’m painting the fixture black, swapping out the shades, and – assuming all goes well – I’ll be pointing the opening of the shades down to the sink. No more insect cemetery.

(Also, the paint wasn’t really that bluish-green color, it was definitely more of a drab, sage green.)

I think things might finally be coming together with this re-do. When I found the potential lamp bases at Hobby Lobby last week, I also found some bedding at TJ Maxx that grabbed my attention. I didn’t pick it up at the time but came home and Googled to see if I could find anything similar. I didn’t see anything at a reasonable price, so I went back a few days later and brought it home. The next thing I’m looking for is a blanket for the bed in some shade of purple to bring in a color that’s not blue; I’m also looking to bring in some green as well.

I have two main points of inspiration for this room. I have a print of this painting by Monet:

Seine%20near%20Giverny%20-%20RISDI’ve had it about 15 years or so and it was in a crappy plastic silver frame and the acrylic had cracked in one corner, so I took it to have it turned into grown up art: new frame, new mat, new glass. Right after I brought it home I was struck by this image in a Wisteria catalog:

W9582_2And I knew then the direction in which I would take my bedroom. I pinned a few white, blue, and purple bedrooms after that, and now that I’m back on track I’m anxious to get it finished up! I’ve only got a million other things to work on in this house and I want to be working on all of them right now. That sound you hear is the drone of all the ideas flitting around in my skull like a swarm of bees.

Master Bedroom Progress

Now that 2015 has – hopefully – slightly less gloom and doom on the table, let’s get back to business. Here’s a peek at what’s been happening in my bedroom:

Master BedroomThis was right before Christmas and ended up being my present. As mentioned at the bottom of this post, my husband intended to have all of the sheetrock completely replaced and to start from scratch. After getting a few quotes and speaking to the pros, he was convinced to leave the current walls in place. The pro we hired – the significant other of a co-worker – skim coated portions of the walls and fixed all the lumps, bumps, holes, crumbly corners, and bad patch jobs by the previous owners, as well as priming and painting the walls and touching up the ceiling for me. After I removed the popcorn ceiling, my paint job was a bit globby and stripey in a couple of areas, but I thought overall I didn’t do too bad for my first ever DIY project beyond wallpaper removal.

I wasn’t in the house when our pro started painting on the second day, but I was SO HAPPY to come home and come around the corner and see this paint color drying on the walls. It’s Ocean Air by Benjamin Moore and I was a bit nervous about it because so far, my paint choices for other rooms in the house have been pretty, um, BOLD, and will end up being painted over with something less in-your-face. I hoped this color wasn’t too pale but it’s just right. Between this color and the smooth, white ceiling, I’ve achieved the lighter, brighter, prettier feel I was going for. Buh-bye, dull and dark sage green!

Since this pic was taken, we’ve been doing a lot of dusting, vacuuming, wiping things down with a wet rag, more vacuuming, again with the vacuum, and finally, this past Sunday, I was able to run a steam cleaner over the carpet. Blech. I gave the whole room one pass and an additional two passes over the toughest spots, which are where my dirt-loving dog prefers to lay when he’s in the room. Didn’t get the spots completely out but for a 20-30 year old carpet it’s not too bad, and eventually we’ll be replacing it with hardwood, so it’s good enough for now.

Just a couple of things left to do to get the “Phase 1” finished on this room. Clean the light fixture and ceiling fan and get them reinstalled, as well as swapping out the almond colored outlets and light switches for white ones. New curtains with maybe something like this on the wall with the sliding door, and when we move back in I’d like to try a new furniture arrangement. I don’t think my husband will like it but maybe he’ll be so happy to be back to living like a grown up instead of a college kid he won’t grumble too much.

Undecided as to what I will eventually do with the trim/doors (apart from replacing the hollow core with solid wood doors) so I’m going to leave it alone for now. I think a wood finish would be interesting, and pretty in a lighter color, but white is easy and pretty much no-fail. That’s a project for another time.