A Painted House

Archive for March 2011

I’ve finished another room!  It happens to be the smallest room in the house, but a room nonetheless.  The main level half bath is just off the foyer, so it’s one of the first spaces you see when you enter our house.   (Welcome to our home!  Aaaaand here’s our bathroom.)  So I wanted it to be decorated as much as any other room.  Here is where we started:

Builder’s grade oversized mirror, yellowy beige walls, no accessories of any kind.  Then when shopping at TJ Maxx with a Christmas gift card, I happened upon this bathroom rug.  My color scheme was born!

I also bought this matching hand towel….how cute are those little embroidered butterflies?

Here come the Befores and Afters!

I wanted the paint color to be dramatic, since it’s a small space.  So I matched the darkest gray in the rug to a Pittsburgh Paints color called Gibraltar Gray.

The builder’s grade mirror had to go.  After some searching I found this lovely brassy mirror on 66% off clearance at Hobby Lobby. It was originally $89.99 and I paid $29.99.  I gave it a coat of Adhesion Primer and then several coats of white and an accent color from Dutch Boy called College Park Green (though it’s actually an aqua, not green at all).

Before and After:

Remember this?  I told you it was destined for a makeover but I bet you never guessed it was meant for a bathroom!

Here it is now, repurposed as a magazine rack.

This bathroom is tiny and I was having trouble finding a solution for the magazines my husband piles in there that didn’t take up most of the floor space.  (Confession: I totally switched out most of his magazines for mine for these photos because, well, his are ugly.)  So I came up with the idea of a hanging magazine rack and put it on Travis’ To Do list.  Then I spotted whatever this thing is (Any guesses what it’s original use was?  I can’t come up with any) for $3.00 at Goodwill and I knew I could make it work.  Without having to wait six months for Travis to have time to make me one.  Patient I am not.  The best part is how little space it takes up in the room – look at that low profile!

For accessories I mostly “shopped the house”.   The vase on the vanity came with some flowers my sister sent me on my first Mother’s Day.  I kept it because I loved the color…and lo and behold it’s a perfect match.  The faux hydrangeas came from Hobby Lobby.

The little shelf used to be in our guest bath at the Whitehall house.  Now it displays tea cups from a set I pilfered from my friend Emily’s garage sale pile.  The color is perfect and you can’t beat the price!

It also holds an aqua glass pitcher that was a gift from one Shelly Alley several years ago and a little creamer I found at Goodwill.

So should you come visit me you might find 75% of my house somewhere on the spectrum of Unfinished, but my potty will be pretty!  The end.


I hate unloading the dishwasher (though thankful to have one, as we didn’t for our first several married years) so instead how about a bullet post?  I think so.

  • Point of order:  we paid off a chunk of debt this week!  SO exciting to watch that balance drop to $0.00.   Only med school and the house left to go. 😉
  • THE SUN IS OUT!   That is all.
  • We leave tomorrow for my parents’ house!  I’m so stinkin’ excited to get out of town a bit.  We haven’t left the city limits since September of last year.  Having a winter baby = hibernation.
  • I haven’t packed yet.  As we’ll be gone five days and we’re taking four people, two of which are under the age of three, I’m considering just stuffing the entire house into one of those extra large vaccuum seal bags and calling it a day.
  • If only we’d bought the standard length van instead of the shorter one.
  • James has been counting down the days for two weeks.  Fourteen sleeps.  We don’t tell him we’re going somewhere until the day of to avoid just that experience, as he still doesn’t have much of a sense of time, but somehow he knew that this trip was coming.  Fourteen days of, “Should we go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today?”   But now there’s only ONE sleep left.  And it’s all he can talk about.  He’s walking around the house changing, “Just ONE sleep left.  Just ONE sleep left.”
  • We made it through a haircut last night with NO crying.  You have no idea what an accomplishment this is.  James was born with a lot of hair and by ten months either he had to have his first haircut or I needed to invest in some (manly) barrettes.  He’s been screaming, writhing and snotting his way through haircuts ever since.  It’s really just such a pleasure; not at all embarrassing when your toddler acts, in public, as if the hairdresser is cutting off his ears.  But last night we revisited a sweet girl who lets James spray her squirt bottle at the mirror the entire time she’s cutting.  And gives him stickers, asks him questions, and still manages to give him a decent haircut.  Thank God for you, Kayla.  My Public Embarrassment quotient just went down.
  • And I could use the help, because I dropped a gallon of milk in the grocery store yesterday and it cracked open.  Milk, everywhere.   
  • Baby E turns four months next week.  WHERE is time going?  He’s doing a ton of funny and adorable things but I’ll save them for his four month letter.
  • What he’s NOT doing?  Sleeping through the night.  Or more than three hours in a stretch, ever.  Unlike the half dozen other babies we know born after him who sleep hours and hours.   Just, Ack. 
  • Mental note:  never, ever, ever buy a used Boppy pillow.  I have a fairly eager eater and he still decides to look up and smile at me just as his breakfast really lets down in force.   Again, with the milk, everywhere. 
  • If I’d taken him to the store with me yesterday I could totally have blamed it on him.  He owes me.  (See:  the not sleeping at night.)
  • There is a tent in my Reading Room, Hot Wheels and a changing table in my dining room, a play kitchen and a bouncy seat in my kitchen, a plat mat and swing in my living room, bath toys in my tub, a pack-n-play in my bedroom, and train tracks, a slide, and an airplane rocker my basement.   We may pay the mortgage on this house but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong to us.
  • I gave up chocolate for Lent this year.  I know, predictable and cliche.  But it’s my first year trying it so I decided to start with something small.   Except we’re introducing potty training to James and our motivation at the moment is M&Ms.  If he goes potty he gets three M&M’s…and therefore by extension each time I go during the day he thinks I should get to have three M&M’s.  He’s made the connection between the action and the reward and gets SO excited for me.   How exactly does one explain to a toddler that a Lenten sacrifice takes precedence over a pottytime reward for someone whose been pottying for twenty-eight years?   So I’ve given up chocolate for Lent, except when I’m busted in the act of pottying.
  • I bet God understands.

Is it possible to have a crush on a room in your house?  ‘Cause I think I do.  I’m all googly-eyed over one particular space in our house.

Who wouldn’t be in love with this room?

I kid.

That’s the listing picture of our front sitting room, dubbed the Reading Room.  As you can see, it was probably ignored used for a lot of sitting by the previous owners.  Here’s what it looked like from right after we moved in until just a couple of weeks ago, complete with books piled in the corner.  Nine months of book piles.  Awesome.

And it wasn’t just the one side, we’re equal opportunity book pilers.

The day we walked through this house I told Travis that I’d like built-in book shelves in this room.  I could see them in my head and they were fantastic.  Almost exactly one year later, I had this:

Piles of melamine shelving in the dining room, free standing cabinets in the middle of the floor, new light fixtures strewn about, holes in the ceiling….ahh, bliss.  Oh, you don’t think that’s what I had in mind?  Yeah, me neither.  But  my extremely handy husband was dilligent and patient and accommodating and after living with ^ that ^ for a couple of weeks things began to come together.

But only because he had a lot of very important help.  It’s essential when undertaking a large construction project, to have someone close by who can hand you essential items like your green plastic ruler.

It’s especially helpful if your assistant comes with his own power tools and snazzy training pants.

And next thing you know, you have this:

BAM.  Mama is happy.  And just a little bit smitten with her very own Reading Room.

(We’ve since added hardware to the doors and drawers but I’m too lazy to take the pictures over again.  Plus the sun hasn’t been out once since the day I took these.  Humph.)

I spent two days shopping the house, digging through boxes of long-packed items, finding things I’d love to display, and re-arranging it until I liked what I saw.   It was ridiculously fun.

Some befores and afters?  I think so.

Sigh.  Love.

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