Sorry in advance for the photo-heavy post, but I’m in love with our guest bedroom.
We have some very special guests coming to stay with us in a couple weeks, so we’ve been slowly readying the guest room for awhile. Mostly it was full of stuff we’d previously used for our master bedroom, and random assorted furniture (well, the latter part is still kinda true).
Originally we were thinking we’d go pretty modern in this room. We were thinking of blacks, grays and yellows or grays and bright greens, but we just couldn’t find pieces that were fitting. One day we stumbled on a duvet on sale at West Elm and went in another direction entirely. I think it sort of looks like a modern treehouse room.
See? It sort of fits. The wood ceiling really makes the treehouse vibe work.
This is the duvet we got at West Elm. Here is what’s left online.
Here’s where you start to notice the random pieces of furniture. We have an Ikea night stand and dresser in this room that we eventually want to replace with some vintage pieces. Just haven’t stumbled on the right ones yet.
On the left side of the bed are two of my favorite things: a sewing chair and stool that used to belong to my great grandmother.
I’ve actually seen an exact match of the chair in a local antique store, but my great-grandpa sort of ‘hacked’ this one. He made the seat deeper (for more storage) and put it on wheels (for easier scootin’ around a sewing room).
Here is a close-up of the fabric on the chair. It clashes with everything, but I love it. They’re in the guest room not because they match, but because this room is off-limits to the cats at all times.
The inside of the sewing chair is still filled with my grandmother’s spools of thread. I think I’ve only used one spool since she passed away. When I open it up, it smells like my grandma’s sewing room and brings back a million childhood memories. I hate to open it too much because I’m afraid the smell will fade and lose it’s magic.
This is also on the wall to the left of the bed. Random wire flower thinggies I found at Target. I don’t love-love it, but it fills up an otherwise blank wall.
Here’s the other side of the room (and Friday being sneaky). This is the other Ikea piece we’d like to replace soon. The circle mirror between the bathroom and bedroom doors is from West Elm too.
On the dresser is another little bit of memorabilia from my great grandma.
This is a little dachshund that looks like her beloved dog, Dixie. (Dixie passed away long before I was born.)
This little jewelry box is filled with some of her brooches and pins.
One of the drawers in her jewelry box is filled with diaper pins. They were either used on my mom or me (or both), no one remembers. But they were special enough for her to keep.
Today we just hung some bamboo shades in the windows. This room gets a little warm in the afternoons, so we wanted something to block out the sun a bit. The shades are from Lowe’s and the curtains are from World Market.
This room has great views of the trees and creek in our backyard, and our rickety back deck. Again, this definitely helps out the treehouse-vibe.
Here’s a close up of the bedding. We found the quilt at TJMaxx, it’s Storehouse brand. And by chance it matches the Target bedskirt.
We also relocated the doxie pillow from Fab. He’s safer in this room than on our couch, where our actual doxie thinks she belongs.
And to finish things off, I’ll end with a few photos of the guest bathroom. Not much has changed here, but the bedroom and bathroom are definitely more cohesive than they were before.
All of the tile is original.
And, again, a ceiling shot. I seriously love the ceilings in this house.
So that’s the guest room. It’s mostly done, with the exception of a few vintage furniture pieces and some finishing touches for the walls.
Now come visit us!
One of the biggest undertakings in our kitchen renovation has been the floor. There were three different kinds of flooring in the area we’re renovating: blue ceramic tile in the entry way, tan ceramic tile in the kitchen, and carpet in the dining room. You can kind of get the picture from the below photo, which shows a bit of each floor, sans cabinets.
We really wanted to tie this whole area together with one type of flooring. After much debate between hardwood and tile, we decided to go with tile because this is such a high-traffic area. (The entry area is also where the stairs to the bottom floor are located…so there’s a lot of foot traffic – human and animal – in this area.)
We first got a hint that the floor was going to be quite the job when we pulled out the cabinets. It’s hard to see in the above photo, but right around the sink was some rotten wood. We knew that some sub-floor repair was in order.
Then I decided to be Superwoman one day and pull out the dining room carpet when JP was at work. I did a pretty decent job too. Got everything up – the carpet, pad, and the carpet tack strips – and then left it in a giant pile for JP to carry to the curb.
But that’s when we started to notice that more than one bit of sub-floor might need attention.
What lurked beneath felt pretty weak and squishy when you walked on it. And here and there it sort of looked like there was old water damage.
We decided to leave the tile removal to the pros. Our handyman and his handy helper tackled the tile in the kitchen and entry over the course of two days. It was serious, dirty, hard work. This is the piece of the project that left our house covered in gross dust. As they took out the tile we discovered that the floor was layer after layer of crazy. It seemed like there were two, possibly three, layers of laminate. A random thin piece of plywood, then tile backer board and the top layer of ceramic tile. About an inch of stuff.
When all of the tile was out and the sub-floor was completely exposed, we realized we had trouble on our hands. Thin, squishy trouble.
The sub-floor turned out to have two problems. The first was that the plywood used to create it wasn’t what would be considered to code today. It was too thin. More along the lines of what you’d use for a roof and not a floor. This was made extra sucky by the second problem: it was mysteriously soft, almost like it had dry rot.
These discoveries meant that we’d have to replace the entire sub-floor. That was $1500 of unexpected fun. But it ended up being worth it.
After the new sub-floor and a layer of cement board were laid, we finally felt comfortable walking on that side of the house again (so did the cats.)
And then came the beginnings of work on the tile. The actual fun part.
The tile we picked is porcelain tile from Daltile. It’s the Plaza Nova line – Green Mist color. The color is barely green though, it’s more of a dark gray. We selected a 12×24-inch tile over the standard 12×12.
When it finally arrived I was SO excited. We went around and around deciding where to buy it. We started that adventure at the Daltile showroom. They had the tile for $4.09/sqft, but they don’t sell direct to consumer. Annoyed, we tried Home Depot, which sold the tile on special order (read: wait three weeks) for a whopping $6.78/sqft. Yikes! So I searched the interwebs and found a company that had it for $4.03/sqft, but with a $300 fee for shipping. When I did the math that worked to our advantage. But I found myself really apprehensive to order a large, expensive, fragile product from an unknown company with limited return options.
So back to Daltile we went with our handy handyman in tow. I gave him cash, he bought me tile and delivered it for a $150 fee. Win! And the best part was that for some magical reason the price for my handyman ended up being $3.69/sqft. Hooray! (Btw, if anyone wants to know our awesome handyman, just email.)
The installation went pretty quickly. Took about two or three days, which is decent considering it was about 400sqft of tile with a lot of long cuts. We opted to lay it in an off-center brick pattern to match the way that the brick wall in our house is laid. We picked a grout that pretty much matched the tile color – it’s a smidge lighter.
Overall we’re very happy with the result. Some of the tiles are a bit uneven, but I think this is pretty normal with long, 24-inch tiles.
Here are some pictures of the finished floor.
Next up is cabinet and countertop installation. On schedule for this week! More details on that soon.
If you’ve made it through this long
boring flooring post, Ninja says thank you.
Since we’ve been in the house for over a year now, we have a little bit of catching up to do on what we have done (and, well, what we haven’t done). We thought we’d just get all of our “before” photos out there all at once. And then get on to a few of the things we’ve done since we moved in.
The first few photos of our place that were taken by John Eaton, from Northcrest Modern, shortly after the previous owners decided to sell the house and before a lot of clean-up, paint and other work was done. The largest chunk of photos were from the listing agent, Cindi Sokol, Atlanta Intown Real Estate. And the last few are crappy ones that Leslie took on our second look at the house – right before we put in an offer.
So, that’s that for the before shots. Definitely a clean, fresh start. We viewed the house very much as a ‘blank slate’ when we moved in. Sometimes we feel like the house is still a blank slate and get a little frustrated by the lack of progress we’ve made, but that’s changing by the day…
The ugliest mailbox in the world. (Notice the lovely algae-green tint to the wood.)
Now, if we lived in a normal neighborhood, we probably would have let this mailbox stick around for longer than it did. But our ‘hood has a thing for cool mailboxes. We, as new to the neighborhood, wanted folks to know that we like to play along.
We wanted to do something fun and modern. There are a handful of mailboxes in the neigborhood that have thin, horizontal pieces of wood as the base. We liked this look a lot, but the house next door had it and it looked like it was starting to become the thing to do. So we started looking at other options.
Our previous rental house had a Fort Knox Mailbox, which we thought about putting in here. But that house was on a busy road – both with foot and car traffic – and it seemed like too much.
The next option we pondered was from this place, an awesome modern mailbox company in New Zealand. (JP particularly liked the idea that his mailbox might be constructed by Hobbits.) But alas, as cool as they were, they were too darn expensive and we are too darn cheap.
We opted to go in the DIY direction, and aimed for a look that was minimalist and modern. We didn’t like many of the mailbox and post options at the home improvement stores around here, but it was what we had to work with. We ended up getting a box similar to this one (with a thin handle instead of the knob) and a cedar post similar to this one. JP hated the horizontal piece of wood that the box is supposed to sit on, so he found this little piece to improvise with, so all you see is mailbox and vertical post. (Not sure if what we did with it is it’s intended purpose, but it’s worked for us so far).
Then I started being persnickety about the house numbers for the post. I found some that I really liked online, but it would have been about $30/number. Which is okay if our address was “3″, but for a four-number address, it seemed a little steep. So we settled on the most modern ones we could find at Home Depot. And then I got a little nuts by deciding that I wanted the mailbox flag to match the numbers. JP, being a supportive husband, went along with my whim.
Here are some photos of how it all came together…
JP has wanted to do a house blog since we bought the house. Actually, since before we bought the house. Come to think of it, it might be the only reason why he wanted to buy the darn house. Well, it’s been over a year since we’ve been living here, and he still hounds me about starting a house blog, so I finally caved.
This blog will follow our progress – or lackthereof – of home improvements big and small. The list of things we want to do to this place is ever-growing. Not that the house is in bad shape – think ‘blank canvas’ rather than ‘money pit’ (though we’re discovering they’re somewhat one and the same).
We bought the house in January 2010. We knew from the start of our house hunt (October 2009) that we wanted to buy in Northcrest. We’d been drooling over the neighborhood since about 2007. The house we bought was the third house we looked at on the first official day of our house hunt. As much as I didn’t want to be an emotional house shopper, I think we both just *knew* it was our house. Inspections and closing went smoothly thanks to fabulous realtors on both sides of the deal.
We’ve done mostly minor improvements so far. Painting a couple rooms, fixing up master bedroom closets, buying a few appliances and pieces of furniture, minor landscaping, updating the mailbox. But now we’re on to the big stuff.
Right now we’re knee-deep in a kitchen renovation. Current status: We have no kitchen. (Forthcoming post on that nightmare.)
Off the top of my head I think our home improvements list looks something like this:
- Finish kitchen. Living without a kitchen is getting old. Washing dishes in the bathtub was novel and fun for, oh, about a day. We’re going on three weeks with no kitchen. Current status sneek peak photo>
- Decorate the upstairs living room. And mean it this time. Don’t just throw old furniture and random accessories in the room and call it a day.
- Paint. Pretty much everywhere. Every wall with the exception of two in this house is white.
- Landscaping. We tore a whole bunch of old stuff out last year and made a bit of progress. But then summer came and the heat made us retreat indoors.
- New deck. Ours is kinda rickety. Borderline dangerous even. Downright deadly for a toddler. (Kidding friends who have toddlers. Mostly.)
- Organize basement. Our downstairs is half living space, half basement. The basement part is chaos. Piles of chaos. There are also two bonus rooms that are half-finished and we need to do something better with these (right now one is a litter box room and the other is a half-finished projects/art room).
- Organize everything, actually. Most of the closets make me twitch when I open them. I see many visits to The Container Store in our future.
- Finish half-finished projects. This is a long sub-list of everything from getting the doorbell to work, to priming/painting and covering awesome vintage butterfly chairs that were given to us a year ago.
- Fence backyard. Somewhat down the list, but would be nice to have considering we have two dogs. They’re great about staying in their space and coming when called, but it’s always risky to have them off-leash outside.
- Boring adult stuff. New roof. New A/C.
Hey, look at that, it turned out to be a Top 10. I estimate it will actually take us 10 years to do all of this.