Room Reveal

Master Bedroom Reveal

I struggled a lot with bedrooms when I was house hunting. Most ranch style homes in the area have 3 bedrooms crammed on the main floor. This creates a very tight floor plan with pretty small rooms. This house gave me exactly what I wanted with a room in the basement that could be a guest room and two bedrooms on the main floor. I have a smaller bedroom that I have dedicated as my office and a very large master bedroom.

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I have neglected my master bedroom since moving in to my house. I wasn’t quite sure of what to do with it and I had so much to do in other rooms that it simply took a back burner. I didn’t hate what I had for bedding and bedroom furniture but it didn’t really work either. Having had much smaller bedrooms in the past, my small DIY night stands and my tiny 3 drawer dresser from college didn’t even begin to fill the space. My old curtains barely even covered the new windows but I figured it would be fine for now. The only new addition I made was a new huge rug that I purchased before moving in knowing that my previous dog, Rocko would have a hard time getting in and out of bed with the laminate floors. The rug is so big that it was almost wall to wall in the huge room.

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That rug is ironically what prompted my unplanned bedroom update. A few weeks ago, I decided to switch it with the smaller black and white rug in the living room that I had gotten years earlier. I swapped them because the bedroom rug was too big for the space and I really just wanted the prettier rug in the living room. Much to my surprise, I loved the black and white rug in the bedroom. It was kind of crazy how a smaller rug made the room feel so much bigger! A week later, I painted the wall behind the bed charcoal black. I have always wanted a charcoal accent wall in my bedroom but have been a little scared of painting a wall basically black. I’m so happy I finally caved because it is my favorite thing in the room by far.

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Over the last year, I had bought some new bedding, night stands and a dresser that worked amazing with the new wall color. Keep an eye out for a post about the IKEA hack I did on my dresser and night stands. I love the way they turned out.

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I recently did a new art pieces that tied in my love for donuts and picked up a simple wall shelf for make up to put next to my mirror. I found a steal of a deal on sleek, modern curtains at home goods and I was pretty much done except for updating the lighting.

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I really wanted to do the bracket pendent lighting that is so hot right now. I picked up brackets from Wal-Mart and used a few Januari lights from IKEA that was left over from a college art show. I wanted them to match the brass hardware I have on the night stands so I spray painted them a gold/brass color. I’m not really loving the final look because of the harsh, thick white cord but I love the light concept. Plus, these lights don’t have an on/off switch so I’m currently just unscrewing the light bulb to shut the light off. Haha! I’m working on a fix for it that will not only give me the look I want but will also be functional. I also have a new ceiling fan that needs to be hung in there so I’ll have to give a update once the lighting is changed out.

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I had no real plans on decorating my master bedroom anytime soon but I’m so happy I did. For the first time in my life, I have a bedroom that is beautiful and peaceful. It fits my personality perfectly and brings such a sense of calming over me. It’s a perfect place to let go of the stresses of the day and relax surrounded by pretty things. Everyone deserves a happy place like that!

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PS. It’s pretty much Piper’s happy place too. 😉

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Tutorial

Refinishing My Basement Stairway: Part 1

If you follow my Instagram, you know I’m in the process of updating my basement. I want to create a cozy and welcoming living room space for friends and I to hang out. The one major eye sores beyond the wood paneling and drop ceiling was the basement stairs. These were open wood stairs that I’m sure were pretty standard in ranch style homes in the ’80s. You can tell that they were installed strictly for function and there was no attempt at making them look nice. Being original to the home and over 30 year old, they had 10+ coats of paint and in there current state were dark chocolate brown. They were obviously ugly and frankly kind of scary with no outer railing when it came to small children (or adults after a few glasses of wine). I knew I wanted to make them safer and of course prettier!

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My original plan was to paint the steps charcoal and the sides white thinking there was no way that I would ever get to the original wood to be able to stain. I was shocked when I took a palm sander to it and easily was able to get to down to the wood on the edges. At that point, my heart was set on staining the steps and I was going to make it happen. I’ve done a fair share of stripping and refinishing wood on furniture project in the past so I felt confident I could hand this. As always, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

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After prepping the space, I eagerly applied a thick coat of CITRISTRIP, a paint and varnish stripping gel that is safe for indoor use. This was crucial since basements tend to be poorly ventilated areas. Apply the stripper to the steps and leave for up to 24 hours for the gel to work it’s magic. The longer you leave it, the better it will work. When your ready to remove the stripper, use a stripping tool and work with the grain of the wood. It will hopefully come off in chunks of gooey mess. I don’t know how else to describe it. Haha! There will be a slight residue after you remove the stripper and this can be cleaned up with Mineral Spirits and an old rag.

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Since I didn’t want to be stranded in the basement for hours, I had to awkwardly start at the bottom and work my way up. I would stand on a step, then applying the stripper on the stair below. It sucked and was so uncomfortable. DON’T DO WHAT I DID! Break the steps into odds and evens. Do all of the odd steps first, leaving you every other step to stand on. This way you can still work bottom to top but you can actually face the step your working on. Once you’re completely done with the odd steps, go back and do the whole process again on the evens. It might take a little longer but it gives you better control and puts you in way less of awkward positions. Trust me, you’re back will be thanking you!

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I ended up doing 3 rounds of stripper and I still had a pretty solid layer of a light blue/gray paint. At this point I spent 8 hours hand scrapping with a razor blade and was able to get most of the paint off. It was terrible but I was so close at this point that I couldn’t give up!

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That was followed with LOTS of sanding. Starting with a very course sand paper and working finer, I sanded until I removed as much of the paint as I could. Sadly, there were still some small areas that I couldn’t get the paint but you don’t notice them too much when it was all said and done.

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Next I ran painters tape along the edges of the steps and wrapped them with resin paper to protect them while I worked prepping and painting the sides. The sides were in really rough shape. They had lots of dents and groves that I smoothed out with wood filler.

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They also had huge gaps along where the stairs met the sides. This area I ended up filling with printable window, door and trim caulk. Some of the gaps were so big that I had to do multiple passes to fill them. The process was easier then I expected and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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Finally I was ready for paint and stain. I did all of my painting first since the steps were all wrapped up. I used a paint made for floors and porches to hold up to the foot traffic it will receive. It took 4 coats of white paint since I was going over the dark brown but if covered pretty well. I stained the stairs a dark walnut color which helped hide some of the paint I couldn’t get off the steps. I finished with 3 coats of Minwax One Coat Polyurethane in a satin finish over the stain, then stepped back to admire my beautiful work!

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All in all, I probably spend 40 hours on this part of the stairs project and I would do it again in a heartbeat. None of it was particularly fun but I’m ecstatic with how well they turned out. It literately took a major eye sore in the basement and made it a focal point.

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You can see that there is a partial wall going up along the outer side of the steps and that is part two of the steps project. We’re also adding risers in and updating the hand rail. I will continue to share all of the progress as we finish up these beauties!

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Room Reveal

Jennifer Lane

My dream home has always been a two-story, 1920s craftsman bungalow with a big porch on the front. Full of character, clean lines, gorgeous woodwork and most of all, the grand staircase that greets you as you walk in the front door. Instead, I bought a 1984 ranch style home. Trust me, I’m aware of what a huge departure this is.

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It still feels weird saying that I bought a ranch because I hated ranch homes. They’re long, bland rectangles with no character & so far from what I wanted. The thing is I realized when I began house hunting, that this house I had put on a pedestal for so long was perfect but not perfect for me. All of the older homes I toured were way too big for just me and the layout was such a huge change from the cozy one bedroom apartments I had grown accustom to. This ranch home offered me everything I need except charm & character. The location is serene, it’s a large corner lot & the room layout couldn’t be more perfect. It is still totally a bland rectangle but that just means I had a blank slate to start with. I can change bland into beautiful. That I’m sure of!

The first area I really focused on was the kitchen & dinning room. I love this area of the house because it has a big sliding door to the back yard & deck that brightens the space. Unfortunately, there were upper cabinets over the peninsula blocking light and making the kitchen dark and closed off. Those cabinets lasted about 5 days before they came down & look at the difference! It not only brightened the kitchen up but it makes both spaces feel so much larger. I kept the cabinets that I took down and I’m using them in the basement. It’s a project I’m kind of geeking out over and I can’t wait to show you when it’s done!

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Next thing in the kitchen was to get rid of the 80s oak and breath some life in to these cabinets with some color. I decided to go with a two-tone look with white on the top to brighten it up and a rich gray on the bottom for a bold look. I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how I painted my cabinets in the near future but lets just say it was a doozy of a project! Everyone makes it sound like it’s so easy but I have easily spent 50+ hours on these cabinets. I added sleek, modern pulls on all of the cabinets & drawers to finish off the update. They were the perfect finishing touch! As tedious as this project was, I would do it again in a heart beat. I got a whole new kitchen for under $500 and I’m so in love with it. It’s my favorite space in the house so far.

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Something that didn’t fall within the $500 budget were the brand new Kitchen Aid appliances. Sadly, almost every major appliance in the house died in the first year. That’s one of those thing you think will never happen to you and then it does. It was an expense that I was hoping to avoid for a while but on the bright side, they were a much needed upgrade and they look amazing! Only appliance that was left to replace was the dishwasher and that just died two weeks ago. Oh the joys of home ownership!