Vacation Recap

Oops! I went on vacation for two weeks and was too busy to update the blog. Here’s a catch up post.

Matt painted the nursery. (Martha Stewart’s Sea Glass in Glidden base — satin finish)

Then he painted the downstairs hallway. (A Restoration Hardware color matched to Glidden in eggshell finish. I think maybe this color is Gravel? I can’t remember)

Then the upstairs hallway. (Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter color matched to Glidden in eggshell)
Upstairs hallway

Then he did a second coat on the downstairs hallway and painted the kitchen the same color as the hallway. I’m not sure he’ll ever paint again.

We enjoyed a great Christmas and New Years. We hosted a Mad Men/1960s themed NYE party and had a blast (though staying up until 2:30am was a bit rough). Here I am with our niece Adi in our homemade photobooth:

And with a candy cigarette:

We also bought a 1963 Life magazine from the antique store and created a display of old ads:

I also started the third trimester. Cue freak out. We have finally ordered the crib but made no progress on the glider situation. Hopefully we will soon, though, because we’re down to 12 weeks until the due date. Time is going to start flying by.

Cross your fingers that time slows down a bit — I already know that January is going to whiz by!


Laundry Room Revamp

Happy Friday, all!

I finally got around to a “to-do” that’s been on my list for an embarrassingly long time. I repainted the plywood countertop in the laundry room.

When I first took on this project not too long after we moved into our house, I had no clue what I was doing. I used polyurethane to seal my painted white plywood. Big mistake. Let’s just say that the countertop was looking more yellow than white.

This picture is actually the BOTTOM side of the countertop. Yeah. The top was worse than this.


So I hauled that sucker outside and gave it a good sanding. But try as I might, I couldn’t get all of the yellowed poly off. So I decided to slap on a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 primer to hopefully prevent the leftover poly from causing any issues.

Once the primer was dry, I gave the plywood a light sanding with a sanding block, then removed all dust with a tack cloth. Now it was time for the spray paint.

I did 3 coats of a vanilla white color in total, basically the whole can. Did you know that your finger can start to *really* hurt from spray painting? Totally not fun.


A day later, I started applying thin coats of Minwax Polycrylic in a semi-gloss finish. I need this countertop to be durable since the laundry room is dust city and the cats eat on the countertop.


I still would like to get this countertop off of the washer/dryer and secure to the walls, but this is good enough for now. But a refreshed countertop is a good first step.

Have a great weekend!

Quickie: Doorbell Replacement

Our doorbell has been in a sorry state for quite awhile. It’s amazing that we haven’t electrocuted any small children on Halloween or the pizza delivery guy.

So this weekend we stopped by Lowes to get more air filters and I remembered the sorry state of our doorbell and decided it was time to take care of matters. So we grabbed a new doorbell {to the tune of $14} in a nice brass that would match the existing door hardware.


The process was fairly painless, but we spent about 30-45 minutes trying to figure out how to turn off the breaker that controlled the doorbell. Apparently in our house, the doorbell is not on a breaker. I have no clue why this is, but we couldn’t find any breaker that turned off the doorbell.

Matt proceeded with caution and removed the old doorbell and screwed in the new one.


Now we can order pizza without worrying about a lawsuit from the delivery guy.

Have you ever replaced a doorbell?

Shelvin’ It

**sorry if you see this post twice in your feed readers, i had some issues**

After we painted the dining room, we talked about putting up a 7 foot shelf above the buffet. The wall needed something of the appropriate scale, and I liked the idea of having a shelf so I could rotate the decorations. I liked the Pottery Barn Holman shelf, so I checked the prices on that.

First, shelves don’t come in 7 foot lengths. Second, to purchase enough shelves (1 3ft and 2 2ft) to get up to our 7 ft length would cost almost $200. Third, we didn’t want gaps between the sections.

Further Internet searching confirmed that nobody makes 7ft shelves. Later, we learned why.

So we set about to build our own. We purchased a 7ft length of 1×4 and 2 7ft lengths of 1×2. We used the 1×2’s to create a front “lip” on the shelf and the second one to create the same “lip” that we would use to secure the shelf to the wall.

I glued, screwed, sanded, and stained. Then after a few coats of spray poly, we were ready to hang.


This was definitely a 2 person job. We determined the precise location for the shelf and screwed that baby in. Then we had to take it down because it was *way* too high. We came down about 6 inches and screwed it in… again.


We got about 3 screws in (to the point where we didn’t have to hold it up anymore) and discovered why shelves don’t come in 7 foot lengths.


As we were screwing in the far right side, the glue gave way and the back lip popped off. So we had to take it down, *again*, and re-glue and add a screw. While cursing this darned shelf project, I looked down the wall and saw a terrible sight. And learned why shelves are not produced in 7 foot lengths.

Our wall is *not* flat.

It bows out smack dab in the middle. So much, in fact, that the difference between the center of the shelf and the ends of the shelf is about ¼ of an inch. I can fit a finger between the wall and the back of the shelf.

At this point, I thought we were doomed. I was ready to give up totally, but Matt was sure that we could get that baby up there and stable. So once the shelf was ready for mounting attempt #3, we screwed in the center then the right end. We did some not-totally-tightened screws on the left end, but there is still a gap on that end.


But the shelf is sturdy enough. In fact, after Thanksgiving, the kitten was being especially naughty and searching for attention, so she jumped up onto the shelf and perched herself on the right end.


So at least now we know it can support a Savannah.

Have you ever built a shelf? Or had any other “my walls are not flat” dilemmas?


The dining room!


As mentioned, the paint is Ralph Lauren Dressage Red mixed by Home Depot in the Behr Premium Plus Primer Eggshell base. Home Depot still has the Ralph Lauren colors in the computer even though they no longer sell the Ralph Lauren bases. Let’s just have a moment of silence for that fact, since Ralph Lauren paint (in our experience) is super awesome.

Also as I mentioned, the color is a bit lighter than the swatch. If we had done four coats we might have gotten as dark as the swatch. We might have had a chance, also, if we had started with a grey primer. If you ever paint a room/wall a dark, saturated color (red, navy, etc), I highly recommend using a grey primer first, even if you’re using a “paint and primer in one”.

The color has made more of an impact than I imagined. The room is noticeably darker due to less light being reflected from the walls. I was worried about the room feeling too small/cramped/tight, but it seems to be just right. Enough yapping, here are some more pictures.

Here are some “in progress” photos taken during coat #1.

IMG_3785 IMG_3787


You can see it was painfully obvious that additional coats were required.

We re-hung my bridal portrait next to the window. We want to get a set of 3 prints to hang on the wall above the buffet.


And on this wall on the left, we want to get 2 lamps for each end of the library table and a piece of art for the middle.


Now that we have paint on the walls, I think my project of recovering the dining room chairs needs to move to the top of the list.


And because everybody loves a before and after,



Sneak Peek

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that we spent this past weekend painting the dining room. We still have some touch-ups to do before we can put the furniture back and do a full reveal, but I snapped a photo this morning with my iPhone to build the suspense!

We used Ralph Lauren’s Dressage Red but with Behr Premium Plus Primer in Eggshell base. The finished product is a bit lighter than the swatch.

The paint has definitely made a huge impact. I can’t wait to see the room put back together. Hopefully I’ll have some before and after shots by the end of the week.

Have you painted a room lately?