Friday, October 24, 2014

Rental Part Three - The Kitchen

When I first saw this kitchen I fell for it. Not because of how it looked as it was, but because of how I could see it in my head if a full renovation were to happen. Where it is located in this house it is just prime for an addition and full gut job! It could be a spacious kitchen with a lot of natural light. I'm not the only one that thought that the first time I saw it. As I mentioned when talking about the living room, my father came to help me with this job. When he saw the kitchen he said the same exact phrase, "This is prime for an addition." 
Great minds people, great minds!

But, this wasn't an addition and full gut job kind of project. This was pretty straight forward. Paint it to brighten up the dark space and make it look cleaner and fresher. Embrace the quirks of the dated design, because with paint they look cute and quaint. 

This is a tiny kitchen y'all, but they packed it full of cabinets in 1961! This was an easy job, but very tedious and time consuming.

Before:



The hardware is kind of a gaudy aged brass in the photo above.


It was really just a paint paint paint story. Paint on everything.
 

All that hardware was sprayed oil-rubbed bronze. Instead of a before picture, I now have a video of my daughter imitating the tenth Doctor on Doctor Who..."Finger. On. Lips!" in her best British accent of course! It's pretty hysterical really so I can't complain about not having a before picture. Bad day at work: I watch the Duchess be David Tennant and I giggle.


The upper cabinets are two shades lighter than the lower cabinets. I also painted the shutters and sewed new little sheers out of white chiffon for them. This was something that was fairly hideous before and I think it turned out pretty cute.




 Someone else came in and sprayed the appliances black to match the fridge and dishwasher and a new vent hood was installed.



 There was only one tiny little bit of actual wall in here over the door that leads to the laundry nook.  I painted it in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White to brighten up the space even more. It worked well. The light fixture in here is extremely dim and I'm sure will be replaced very soon.



Never underestimate the power of paint. The space is so much brighter and feels so much bigger. It looks much more crisp and clean. I love how this space turned out.

Next it's back to some furniture makeovers and more exciting news coming up for Peacock Door Designs.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rental Part Two - The Living Room

This is one of those rooms that is really just a little cosmetic fixer upper. The bones were great and if you're into paneling and cottage style (which we all know I am) this room is a dream.
It was dark, dated, and had really dated lighting and carpet as well. I didn't get any pictures before the carpet was pulled out and the new floors went in but it was pretty bad.

Before:



 Notice the ugly brass and little beads on the lighting in the pictures below






 I really wanted to do something with this orangey brick on the fire place but it just wasn't the right time. Maybe eventually it can be done how it is in my head ;)

 Then of course there was the day I forgot my ladder and pole for the paint roller...sad but true. I'm short and that was even a stretch for me.
The primer going up on the wood in this room made me exquisitely happy!


 My busy little worker nuggets helping me out on a Saturday so they could spend more time with me. I sure love that they are wanting to learn things and help out - and that they still want to be around their mama!


Right after I began this project I became ill. I'm going to give a massive shout out to my father here because without him I never would have met my deadline for this house. He worked for me for free so that I could stay on target and make the money to support me and my kids. God bless precious Dad's that love their daughter's like mine loves me!!! He is the best man ever!
Taping off the windows was just one of the many things that he did for me. I painted some and he did the finish work on most of this.


All of this paneling was sprayed once it was in place. Switch plates, trim, and hardware was all covered in medium brown with black speckles, not to mention a few years of dirt as well. Buying new wasn't in the budget for this makeover, but leaving brown speckled stuff all over once my pretty gray wall and white trim were up was NOT in my like category. I got out my trusted mini crockpot and soaked that hardware! I used a toothbrush to get it clean and then put the bright shiny brass back into place.




Looks so so so much better!
Check out that window - I swoon a little. I loved this style of windows, they just make me happy.


Those brass chandeliers had a date with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint and I removed the beads as well.


Just lovely!
After:





Naturally because of the late hour, I completely spaced and didn't get a picture of the fireplace. All the trim around it was white and the brick is still orange. But the mantel looks fantastic and I'm pretty sad that I forgot to snap a picture of that!

I just love how this room turned out. It was so dark before and now even at 1:30 in the morning it's so bright and pretty. Paint is one of my favorite quick updates. This is just a fantastic space!

Stay tuned for Part Three on Wednesday!

Rental Part One - Bathroom



Sometimes you get a job that is super exciting. For me this was one of those jobs. Not because it was a major renovation or a high end client (which are really fun), but simply because it was a house in my own neighborhood. It is a similar style to my house and while there are some major differences, it was fun to see how my house could kind of look if I actually ever had time to work on it. 

I also love the challenge of taking a budget, making small but impact-full changes, and having them turn out so fabulously. Please forgive the cell phone pictures. I have been sick and extremely busy lately and this job was absolutely down to the wire! I finished at 1:30 in the morning the day it was due to be complete. I didn’t get into bed until after 2:00 that day and had to be up by 6:15. I prefer to take pictures with a nice DSLR in good natural daylight, but cell phone pictures at 1:30 in the morning is what you have for this one.

Before:



This called for quite a bit of TLC. The tiles needed to be painted, the carpet needed to come out, the cabinets were also pink, the valance needed to be deposited into the nearest dumpster, the wallpaper needed to come down, the walls needed skim-coating and paint, and new knobs were needed. 

 I had to use an epoxy based paint to paint the tiles. This is really all in the prep work. I cleaned these tiles about 7 different ways before starting to paint. I made The Duchess help out. She did work very hard, but then she crashed! It's hard when your mama has to work late on a Friday night!



 You would also think that pink would be easy to cover as it is fairly light. Well, so did I and I was wrong. It took about four coats all said and done.


Then I had a moment...if you follow me on Instagram you already know that I didn't realize this little bit of tile existed until well into the third coat on the rest of the tiles. I was pretty bummed.


Then the cabinets needed painting. I also used salvaged knobs and chrome paint to give the "new" hardware an update.


I wish I had a before on those knobs because they were bright brass with peach centers before I made them chrome. I've become besties with spray paint lately. I've changed a ton of hardware from ugly to nice.

This is one of those projects that snow-balled. I thought I would just paint the tiles and cabinets, take down the wallpaper and paint the flat walls and be done. But the wallpaper was NOT kind and there were some issues with the walls. Texture was needed and my timelines were getting crunched to bits. Another person came in a textured the walls and ended up painting them as well. I came in and cleaned up, added the hardware, and frosted the bottom half of the window.

Here is the After:





It’s such a huge difference! I LOVE paint!!!
The next stop is the living room! Stay tuned for that next week!

What I'm Learning As A Parent



This is a little break from design and decor today, but I think it's so important. I love reading and hearing what others learn as parents so I thought I would share a little of what I have learned.
 
I have a sweet son that wakes up nicely and once he’s up, he’s up. Not in a bad mood but not particularly in a good mood. He’s awake and doing what he is supposed to do: getting dressed, packing his backpack for school, and completing morning chores. Sometimes he even makes my protein shake for me or goes out and heats up the car when it’s cold. It’s so nice.


On the other hand, I have a little girl that is soooo much like her mama in the mornings it’s scary! You see, I don’t like mornings – I never have. They are pretty, sunrises are great and I can appreciate that, but I would rather be sleeping. I’ve never been super mean in the mornings but I honestly prefer it silent and with a giant cup of coffee. No talking, no questions, not even music…please just let me get conscious in silence. My daughter is the same way. She doesn’t want you to remind her of instructions, it takes her a while once she’s awake to even get out of her bed, and if she wants to sit there and stare at the floor just leave her alone pretty please. Often mornings end up with her running out the door with un-brushed hair and in tears…even if I had gotten her up 30 minutes early.


For a while now it has been my goal in life to make her giggle herself awake. I go in and snuggle her and sing good morning songs that my own mother annoyed me with as a child and see if I can’t coax a smile out of her as her eyes open. My intension was to make sure that even though her little life feels hard sometimes that her mornings with her mama were always good things. 


Funny how we can start out doing something for someone else and it can turn into something completely amazing for us personally. Because in making an effort to make her smile and start her day off good, I start my own off good as well. I giggle with her, get snuggled in return, and my mornings are ten thousand times better than they used to be. It has also changed my perspective on their achievements.




I don’t get as many moments with my children as I used to. The adjustments we’ve had to make in this past year have been hard on everyone. It’s not just big things that had to change, it was a ripple effect. Big things affected smaller things and those affected other small things and it kept going forever it seemed. That’s hard for anyone to adjust to, but with young kids it seems to hit them over and over and at unusual times. 



With all that adjusting it’s been amazing to see what can happen. The moments are more precious because they are fewer. The conversation is deeper because of the content. The little adjustments are discussed so we are all on the same page. So while I’m trying to be their mother and teach them about life, they are constantly teaching me things as well. My son is showing me that he is learning certain responsibilities and is taking control of them. My daughter is showing me that her heart is still full and open and innocent, but teachable.

 I am learning that these are amazing things to watch happen. I’m learning to stop and acknowledge some of the little things in life as the most potent. I’m learning to see what they are accomplishing and when I get frustrated that they won’t obey or that my daughter still will not clean her room, I can pause and see what they actually have learned to do. 

It’s pretty incredible really. One of my favorite quotes:

“While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.”

― Angela Schwindt

I have found this so very true in this past year.

I'm loving every minute of it!