Things are definitely feeling more put together around here after about a month of projects and organizing, etc. I am a little annoyed that although most things are unpacked, I still have yet to find things. I feel like I might be missing a box of something, but have no idea where or how I would’ve left it behind. I guess I’ll have to live without my trifle bowl a little longer until it turns up. Anyway, I wanted to document how I put together my first house. I know things will change a lot in the years to come, so it will be fun to see how we started out.
I’ll start with a few projects. (I did post a little of this on instagram already, but I’m not looking to use that as a replacement for the blog, so this may be a bit redundant if you follow me there.) The first thing I tackled was an art table for the kids. I had plans for a bigger dining table, so I wondered what to do with the trusty little set we bought over 7 years ago when we got married. It’s been a great table, and I knew it would be useful somehow. It has seen better days, so I decided it needed a little sprucing up. I’m all about adding bright pops of color throughout the house, and I thought this table was a perfect opportunity for that.
The kids love their new blue table, and I love that even if the art supplies is left out now and then, it’s not taking up my counterpace or my table. And I have no problem letting the kids mark it up, since that’s is precisely what it's for. More on our art corner later.
I found this bakers rack at a yard sale for $20. I’ve been thinking about getting one of these, and at that price, I knew it was the one. It definitely needed a little help. We tried sanding the wood, but determined a new piece would really help the overall look of it. It looks like there was some warping from water damage. No biggie, I just took the old piece in, picked out a nice looking piece of birch, some iron on veneer edging, and some stain. We thought about just painting a cheaper piece of wood, but we wanted to test out the stain color for the dining table, and thought this would be a great time to do that.
I wasn’t ever really on the market for a coffee table just yet, but we do have a spacious great room, so when I saw this one at the thrift store, and I had a 50% off coupon, and got another 20% off that, I thought why not take a chance on a $16 coffee table. Mom helped with that decision. I didn’t love the color, but we thought the details were nice, and saw the potential.
I had planned on painting it, with that seeming like the easiest way to go, and it would be fun to play with colors, but with my varnish remover, and stain handy, I thought to go that route first, and maybe paint it in the future when I got tired of it.
It ended up with a really interesting finish. It’s not exactly how I pictured it, but I still think it’s kind of cool. I’m glad I gave the wood one more chance to shine before I got covered up with paint.
This little half bath has been more trouble than it’s worth. I wondered through every step of painting it why we didn’t have the painter just add it on to his list. We didn’t love this leaf décor going on, so we picked out a lettuce green, and decided to just tackle it ourselves. I decided later that maybe I just wanted white, so I used some paint left in the house, and only had enough for one coat, which wasn’t enough, even after priming all the leaves. So I just gave the lettuce green a shot, and didn’t have enough of that either, which was fine, cause I didn’t love the color anyway. I went and picked out a lighter green, and just bought a whole gallon without even testing it out. I was just done. I actually really like it, and after a couple coats of that, it was finally done. We didn’t save much by doing it ourselves, but, I learned a lot. I feel like you have to do a couple little projects like this when you buy a house. It’s all part of the adventure. Enough said about that.It looks a lot more fluorescent here than in real life. It’s a nice sea mist green. There’s more decorating to do there, but that’s always last on the priority list.
Now to the bigger spaces. We have an interesting layout, but I like it. This is supposed to be a family room area off of the kitchen, but that wasn’t how I saw it. The fireplace it a little weird there, and I hate those built in TV spaces, but I decided it wanted to make it work as an art corner for the kids.
We had a great guy come and paint this whole area a light, neutral grey, and he painted the gold trim on the fireplace black to update it a bit. We’d been wondering whether to keep my old red desk for a while, and I’m glad we did, cause it fits perfectly in the TV space. I love having a computer in the main area now that there’s less danger of babies eating electrical chords.
I liked the idea of putting a love seat in here. I like having a place to sit near the kids, and I’m also using it as a laundry folding area. I use the computer for my entertainment while I do it, and with a main floor laundry room, it’s very convenient. I got this beautiful love seat at a yard sale for $75. It was part of an estate, and was in mint condition (cleaned prior to the sale). It’s also a pull out twin bed! It’s in this space temporarily. Soon it will be in the master bedroom (I’m sure the bed will come in handy with sick kids or bad dreams in the future), but we need something here until we find what we’re looking for.
Ruby LOVES displaying her art on the fridge, which is cute, but I thought giving her this little magnet board would be fun. She loves it, and my fridge is no longer being overrun. You like my other displayed art, Lili?
I found this huge frame in the As-Is section at IKEA for $5. I wasn’t sure what to put in it, or where to put it, but at that price, I had to buy it. I thought about an art print in our room, but it’sa a weird size, a it dawned on me that I’d prefer my kids’ art in it. It was a black-brown color, but I painted it grey, and painted the frame backing white, and let them paint right on it. I joined in the fun and painted it with them. I didn’t want to hide it in my room, so I put it above their art table where it naturally should be. The kids are so proud or our original art.
This bar has been a wonderful thing in my life. For years I’ve been carrying food on trays over gates onto high chairs. This makes mealtimes MUCH more convenient and enjoyable for everyone. The kids love it.
Space I’ve always wanted but never known in a kitchen. It’s pretty simple, but I love how functional and perfect it is for me. I can’t believe I don’t have to clean off the counter to make sandwiches anymore! There’s always a space! It’s a fun place to play.
This is one little thing I’ve been really excited about adding to my new kitchen. Best invention ever. Oh, and I love that knife magnet. I was tired of the knife block, and too nervous to keep knives in a drawer. It’s so great to have a place for everything.
Now to the great room. We have these great vaulted ceilings. But painting them presented a problem. That’s why we just called a guy to do it. We were going to do this accent wall white, and the rest grey, but the grey everywhere else ended up being a lot lighter than we thought it would be, so we decided to make this a darker grey.
I LOVE how the colors turned out. The blinds aren’t my favorite, but I can live with those for a while. We bought that couch new, and love how the while looks against the darker grey. We’re on the hunt for a new rug, and maybe a love seat, but for now we’re happy with how things look. It’s amazing how this rooms stays relatively clean with all the other places there are for the kids to play! Not something I can say for any other place we’ve lived.
We’re thinking about a little reading nook in this corner. Another project in the future. This landing thing is a little odd, but I think it will be great to serve food at parties or whatever. I think this room is supposed to be used for formal dining, but I wasn’t into that.
I did manage to hang a few pictures up, but curtains and things are for a later date. It’s been a lot of work, but actually kind of fun figuring all this out. I really can’t believe it’s me writing all this stuff about projects, thrifting, decorating, and everything else I haven't had the time for or desire to do for years. But, I do love having a place to make my own.
The basement is next, and soon the bedrooms will be all ready to show you!