Tag Archives: repurpose

Home Remodeling / Restoration (Part III)

Last time I talked about the remodel / restoration of the master suite after our house fire. If you missed it, you can read it here. This post is about what we did with the living room.

When we bought our house, the living room had a very light beige (almost white) carpet. About two weeks before the fire, we had brand new hardwood floors installed. If only we had waited a little longer! Oh, well. Except for the flooring in the kitchen, which was ruined by the water used to put out the fire, the rest of the floors were salvageable. They just needed to be refinished.

Newly Refinished Hardwood Flooring

Newly Refinished Hardwood Flooring

Half Wall Replacing Bannister Rail

Half Wall Replacing Bannister Rail

One thing I was never crazy about in our living room was the bannister rail with spindles that housed the staircase to the downstairs. We had two dogs at the time and all the shedding fur liked to hang out in the spaces between the spindles. My plan, even before the fire, was to eliminate the spindly bannister and replace it with a simple half-wall. Clean lines and no trapped fur-balls! To our delight, it was actually to our advantage cost-wise, as well. Apparently the wooden bannister rail was a more expensive option than the half-wall, so we were given a credit for that expense, which we were able to apply elsewhere. Bonus!

Now to choose a color for the walls. I ended up picking out a warm medium-tone gray. (Dorian Gray) Our ceilings in the living room are vaulted and were originally popcorn. We decided to just do smooth ceilings and opted to have them painted a shade darker than the walls. (Dovetail)

SW 7017 Dorian Gray and SW 7018 Dovetail

SW 7017 Dorian Gray and SW 7018 Dovetail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fireplace was originally outfitted with dark green marble tile, and the hearth came out about two feet from the wall.  We decided to redesign it with a hearth that only extended out about one foot (to maximize space in our long, narrow living room), and used a slab of brownish gray quartz instead of tiles for a smooth, seamless look (and no required maintenance). We also made the fireplace mantel a little wider, with columns that were a bit more stout. There was a slight miscommunication about the corbels that I wanted, and at first they ordered and installed a set that looked smaller than what I had envisioned. I wanted them to be the same width as the columns, so we changed them out for a larger set.

Fireplace with little corbels

Fireplace with little corbels

Fireplace with bigger corbels

Fireplace with bigger corbels

I decided to repurpose the old corbels to hold a picture shelf over the stairway. I just painted and distressed a 4×4 and voila! Pretty simple. (Hanging it over the stairs, though, was another story!)

Picture Shelf with Repurposed Corbels

Picture Shelf with Repurposed Corbels

I also picked out a fun sconce for the stairwell from Restoration Hardware.

Stairwell Sconce

Stairwell Sconce

Another change we made to the living room was the removal of the “bar area”. Originally there was a bar overhanging the wall between the kitchen and the living room. It was a nice idea, but we never used it, so it was really just taking up space. And we would need all the space we could get for the coffee table I ended up picking out.

On to picking out the furniture. First, we needed to replace our two sofas. I ended up getting a great deal on a pair from Restoration Hardware, They were having a pretty decent closeout sale on some of the fabric options for their sofas. I picked out the English roll arm sofa in stone chenille faille fabric. At the time, I just so happened to also have a “friends and family” coupon for an extra 20% off. The total ended up being almost exactly what we were allotted from insurance for our smoke-damaged sofas, so it worked out perfectly.

Next, we needed a coffee table. I somehow managed to stumble upon the most amazing find at an antique market. (This is now my favorite piece of furniture in the whole house, by the way.) Two 1920s era old post office pallet carts. They were covered with various other antique doo-dads, which may have made them less noticeable to passersby (fortunately for me). As soon as I saw them, I was smitten. The wooden planks would definitely need some substantial sanding, and the rusty iron framing and hardware would have to be cleaned up. But once I finished all that (with some help from my sweet mother), we stacked one atop the other and the old splintered and rusted pallets were transformed into this beauty. At about 4 by 4.5 feet, it’s a pretty substantial piece of furniture, which is why we wanted to maximize all the living space that we could.

Repurposed Post Office Pallet Coffee Table

Repurposed Post Office Pallet Coffee Table

Repurposed Post Office Pallet Coffee Table

Repurposed Post Office Pallet Coffee Table

One of my favorite little details about the coffee table is that on one side, there is a stamp which is supposed to read “Receiving Dept.” But instead, what it actually says is, “Recveing Dept.” Grin.

"Recveing Dept."

“Recveing Dept.”

In the corner by the large bay window, I created a reading nook. I placed our big comfy chair and a small end table catty corner to the window, accented by a large distressed oval mirror.

Reading Nook

Reading Nook

The last piece we needed for the living room was the entertainment center. Before the fire we had a tube tv (gasp! This was way back in 2009, mind you), which was stored inside a giant armoire. So we upgraded to a modern television, which we hung on the wall inside a wooden frame.

Framed Television

Framed Television

 

Silver Media Cabinet

Silver Media Cabinet

Then I picked out a cabinet to hold all of the other electronics, which I decided to refinish/paint in a champagne-y silver.

Since the house had to be stripped down to the studs, we were able to have the surround sound system easily installed with the wires behind the walls.

In keeping with our industrial decor, for the main lighting in the room I decided to make (with some electrical help from my father) a chandelier out of a wooden pallet. I sanded it and applied a grayish glaze to give it a weathered look. (The tissue poms in the photo are from my baby shower quite a while ago, but I left them up because I thought it might be something fun for baby to look at… and she actually DOES like them, as it turns out!)

DIY Pallet Chandelier

DIY Pallet Chandelier

DIY Pallet Chandelier

DIY Pallet Chandelier

That’s pretty much it for the living room, which ends this series on our home restoration.

Home Remodeling / Restoration (Part II)

Last time I talked about our fire story and the kitchen remodel. If you missed it, you can see it here. This post is about the master suite remodel.

We didn’t change a whole lot in the actual bedroom part of the master suite, other than the paint color, and (as with the rest of the main level) no more popcorn ceilings. Yippee! We did change the layout of the his/hers closets a little, but that was it.

SW 6206 Oyster Bay
SW 6206 Oyster Bay

The color I chose for the walls was Oyster Bay.

The furniture we had in the bedroom was all salvageable, which was nice because some of it had a little sentimental value. My dad is a pretty talented (hobby) carpenter, and he built us a sleigh bed and a large heavy-duty easel (Restoration Hardware-inspired). I decided to arrange the bed at an angle for a dramatic flare, and put a decorative metallic-champagne framed mirror on the easel.

 

 

 

Sleigh Bed and Easel
Sleigh Bed and Easel

 

Now we just needed new linens for the bed.  It just so happened that my mother-in-law had offered to make us a quilt and asked what we would like (colors, design). I did some looking around for ideas and fell in love with a bedspread I found at Anthropologie. Then I found a blog about how to make one yourself. My mother-in-law found some light ivory jersey fabric to use and got to work on it.  This is how it turned out. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Comforter

Knotted Comforter

 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

As opposed to the minor updates in the bedroom, we made a lot of changes to master bath. It looks COMPLETELY different. I wish I had some “before” photos of it, but unfortunately I don’t. So I’ll just have to be descriptive. Our bathroom is laid out in the shape of an upside-down “L”. Originally, it had a linen closet, one sink, a small corner shower, and a Jacuzzi style tub.

Bathroom Floorplan Before

Bathroom Floorplan Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The floors were white linoleum and the vanity was the same oak as the former kitchen cabinets, with brass hardware.

One of the first decisions we settled on for the new bathroom was to have a double vanity instead of just a single. I looked through catalogs for ideas and showed the carpenter one I liked from Pottery Barn. He pretty much replicated it for us, except customized it to fit our bathroom dimensions.

Custom Built Double Vanity

 

For continuity, we chose the same paint color, cabinet door style, and hardware as we had in the kitchen.

For the bathroom walls, I chose a color in the same family as we used in the master bedroom, but a lighter shade. Sea Salt.

SW 6204 Sea Salt

SW 6204 Sea Salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For mirrors, we went with two simple dark brown framed mirrors we found at Home Depot. I also hung a large metal / glass sconce between the two mirrors.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

 

The bottom shelf of the vanity is great for storing bulky items, like towels and toilet paper, which leaves the linen closet open for storing medicine, band-aids, and other toiletries. To keep things looking neat, and because I love industrial decor, I put a couple of large heavy vintage metal bins on the vanity shelf to hold the towels and toilet paper.

Vintage Milk Crate

Vintage Milk Crate

The next decision we made was to lose the separate shower/tub set-up (in order to create more space for a double vanity) and instead, put in a large, walk-in, tiled shower. We chose porcelain tiles that have a stone look (easier to maintain) and had them laid out in a staggered brick pattern. For the shower floor, we went with the same tile, but in a two-inch mosaic cut. The shower has a tiled bench on one wall, and two inset cubbies for shampoo, soap, etc.

2-inch Mosaic Tiles (Shower Floor)

2-inch Mosaic Tiles (Shower Floor)

Tiled Shower Cubby

Tiled Shower Cubby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toilet was moved to the opposite wall and we had a half-wall built to separate it from the vanity area.

Bathroom Floorplan After

Bathroom Floorplan After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far, one of the hardest decisions for us to make was what tile to use for the bathroom floor. It took us forever to settle on something. We looked everywhere and nothing really jumped out at us. We wanted a natural look, but no maintenance, so we were mainly looking at porcelain. We had a hard time finding anything we really loved. Eventually we returned to one of the first tile shops we had visited and wandered around looking at more samples. They had some of their tiles laid out in little sections on the floor of the store, and the husband and I were discussing a couple of samples we had picked out. We looked down at the tiles we were standing on and remarked, “I wish they had something like this in porcelain.” One of the store reps happened to hear us and said, actually that IS porcelain. I had assumed it was stone, it looked so natural. And we both loved it. So it was settled. We finally found a floor tile. Drumroll, please… This is it.

Matte Grey Porcelain Floor Tile

Matte Grey Porcelain Floor Tile

The light grays, taupes, and browns actually pick up the Sea Salt color from the walls quite well. We picked out two different tile sizes, both square, and decided on a pinwheel pattern (the tile guy loved me for this – apparently this pattern is a bit of a pain to do, as EVERY tile has to be cut differently). Oh well. I don’t feel too bad. That’s what he was paid for. And it really creates an entirely different look than tiles laid out in a regular grid.

 

 

 

Pinwheel Tile Pattern

Pinwheel Tile Pattern

 

With the bathroom tile decision finally out of the way, we could focus on what we wanted to do in the living room, which will be my next and final post on the remodel and restoration. Stay tuned for part III.

 

Nursery Decor

I LOVE designing and decorating! One of my latest room makeovers was to turn our old office into a nursery for our new baby girl.

This room is in the downstairs/basement of our home and as many basement rooms do, it had one of those ledges on the outer wall (from the concrete foundation wall). I’ve always hated those things! They just seem like dust collectors or knick-knack holders. I decided to use the space above the ledge to put in some custom-built shelves. Finally, a use for this wasted space!

I didn’t want the open shelves to start looking too jumbled with all of the contents, so I got some simple white gift boxes with seafoam lids in bulk for storing some of the items. To the front of each box, I attached a small card-catalog style label holder to hold a card describing the contents within.

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

I hand-painted charcoal gray designs on the back wall of the shelving unit and trimmed it with molding to dress it up. Then added custom drapes made from a heavy brown duck cloth. I turned some clear glass knob finials into curtain tie-backs to hold them open. Now I have tons of room to store baby’s books, small toys, hats, hair accessories, socks, shoes, blankets, etc.

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

For a color scheme, I wanted to go with subtle, relaxing colors. For a while, I was planning on a dusty mauve for an accent, but in the end decided on a pale mint color for the accent color, which I painted on the half-wall below the bookshelves. I also found mint chiffon scarves and tied them onto the drapes for a splash of extra color. The rest of the room I painted in antique white. The floors are Boathouse Pine Pergo. To soften the room, I added a shaggy area rug in a warm cream color.

Nursery

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

I decided I would use a dresser as a changing table (why waste space with a separate changing table when a dresser can double for clothing storage and a changing station?). I searched and searched and finally found just what I was looking for on Craigslist, a French provincial style antique! It was already painted off-white, but the paint was really sticky and I had already been toying with the idea of doing a silvery finished dresser anyway, so I decided to re-finish it. I read tons of DIY blogs (Little Green Notebook Blog, A Bit of Whimsy Blog) on silver-leafing. One of them mentioned using aluminum leafing instead of silver to cut the cost, which got me to thinking, “I wonder what would happen if you used aluminum foil?” So I Googled it, and sure enough, I wasn’t the first one with the idea (The Ivy Cottage Blog). I was a little nervous about doing it since it would pretty much ruin the dresser if I didn’t like the results (and aluminum foil just sounds kind of tacky), but I went for it anyway. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, though I wouldn’t recommend tackling it while 7 months pregnant (it was a lot of work on my hands and knees)!

Dresser collage

I have a small collection of old metal crates (I buy them at antique stores whenever I see some for a good deal). So I hung two of them on the wall above the changing table/dresser. One holds stuffed animals, and the other diapers, which is super handy!

Vintage Crates

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

 

For art, I found some champagne colored metallic oval frames at Hobby Lobby and hung 8 of them in two rows of 4. Inside, I put vintage themed carnival images in muted hues of blues and greens.

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

I decided to paint the crib in a dark grayish brown using organic, non-toxic paint (Ecos Paint) and an eco-friendly low odor varnish. To dress up the changing pad a little, I took the box that it came in, cut off one side to make it into a “tray”, then covered it with a taupe brown textured fabric and trimmed with a ribbon of frayed white fabric roses. A comfy rocking chair/glider and ottoman in a neutral linen color sits in the corner, for nursing and rocking baby.

Painted Crib

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)

As a final touch, I hung a beautiful, sparkly chandelier I found at Home Depot. Probably my favorite part of the whole room!

Nursery Chandelier

Photo credit: RPM Photography (Kansas City)