Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wallpaper Removal and Taking Off the Stars

Raise your hand if you think having a good time involves wallpaper removal!! Said no one ever.

In my last house my daughter's room was covered in dingy old yellow wallpaper. I paid someone to remove it. It was way too overwhelming of a job for me and I had the great excuse that I was 7 months pregnant.

In our current home, I got lucky and only had to deal with wallpaper border in the front room, kitchen, eat in dining area and my son's bedroom. I will not yet go into detail about the fishy bathroom that taunts me everyday...

Those little fish have EYES and they watch me every time I take a shower. They are lucky they are still alive but sooner or later they will be down the toilet in the trash!
Removing wallpaper is not a very fun job but I took a few pictures to show you the process.
While removing the border in different rooms of my house, I realized not all wallpaper is created the same. Some rooms came off super easy and had a glue-like substance underneath. Although afterwards, I had to take a piece of sand paper to get the residue off before I could paint. My son's room was awful and the border was just like a piece of paper stuck to the wall. Let's not mention the 100 stars on the walls that had the same paper-like backing.
 There are a few tools necessary for taking off wallpaper or a wallpaper border. You will need a scouring tool that makes small holes in the paper, a good putty knife, and a steamer. All of these can be found at Lowe's.
First you'll take your scouring tool and make small holes in the wallpaper. Then you will want to take a wet rag and go over all of the wallpaper. Let it sit for 1-3 hours and then go over it again. Yup, no fun at all.
Now it's time to make a mess!! You take your wallpaper steamer and go slowly over the paper. I seriously made a huge mess. It may have been helpful to have someone catch the drips but I did not so on the wall it went.
Once you steam a section, you'll be scraping it off with your putty knife. Be careful not to scrape off the existing paint or even some of the dry wall, but it does happen and can be fixed.
Like I mentioned before, you may need to use some fine grit sand paper where your wall paper was. I found this really helpful in getting off all of the glue so the paint would adhere to the wall better.
Now for my little trick. These stars in my son's room just had a paper backing. Stuck on the wall for good. I found a little trick that is super easy but is a little time consuming.
And this is what happens when I try to peel off the star...
Take a wet rag (I used a microfiber cloth) and just start scrubbing at that stinker. Your rag doesn't have to be dripping but just wet all over. All of those stars came off like butter.
Those fish in the bathroom will receive the same treatment. I was pretty proud of myself when our contractor was doing work in that bathroom and told us that those fish will be hard to get off because even his trick didn't work but he didn't know that I already tried to get one off and my little trick worked.
My son's room is still a work in progress, poor little guy. But it looks so much better with those things gone and a fresh coat of Balboa Mist (Benjamin Moore) in there!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Latest IKEA Finds

The closest IKEA to me is about 1 1/2 hours away so I don't get there often (especially with 2 little kids) but when I do you better watch out because I'll be the lady with 2 full shopping carts!

Back in January I went to IKEA to find a few things for our new house. Some of them you may have seen in pictures but I wanted to point them out incase you wanted to know where they came from.

First I purchased ALL of our curtains from IKEA. They are the Ritva curtains and are an off-white color. They brighten the room but also add softness because they're not stark white.

I love this pillow!

I had to have these 2 chairs! I had been eyeing them for a while and was actually going to pass on them this trip, but when I saw a sign that said "last chance" my husband let me have them!!

You saw these picture frames in this post. They are from the Ribba collection.

Of course these 3 adorable plants and tin containers. Super cheap and they look real from far away!

I also got these picture frames. I am majorly slightly obsessed with IKEA picture frames. I already have some more that I have my eyes on. Oooohhhhh I can't wait to get back there!

Have you been to IKEA lately? Or have you ever been? It's definitely an experience to remember.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Faves

It's almost the weekend! What do you have planned? Tonight my husband and I get to go on a date night and made reservations at a restaurant we've never been to. I'm really excited but even more happy to get out of my mommy yoga pants and actually dress up for a change!

Welcome to another edition of Friday Faves. I have some good ones for you today, are you ready?!

I just started reading this fabulous blog, Honey We're Home. What's even more fabulous is this painted closet she did. I already have a project in my head on where to use this creative pattern.

I have been dying to make a DIY upholstered headboard. The problem is we have a queen size bed but really want a king. So until we can decide if we'll really upgrade, I won't be making a headboard anytime soon.

Look at this gorgeous DIY upholstered headboard that Freckles Chick did. It makes me want to go make on right now! And it really isn't as complicated as you may think.

Of course I need to sneak a little food in here. This fantastic recipe is from 100 Days of Real Food. My kids love these Whole Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins and my son inhales them. It's great that they have carrots in them and no one even knows (insert evil mom laugh). I'm making some of these to take to my cousin who just had a baby!

Carrot Applesauce Muffins from 100 Days of #RealFood

Chalkboard paint is the latest craze! Paint half a wall, a full wall, or even a door with it so you or your kids can draw on it. I know you all secretly draw on your walls once the kids are in bed! I love this chalkboard door that Heather at The D├ęcor Fix did and she even added a calendar. So many endless options of what you can do with it.

I may have a slight obsession with sunburst mirrors. Just a little one, don't worry. Rebekah over at A Blissful Nest has a great tutorial on how to make a DIY Paint Dipped Sunburst Mirror. This one may make an appearance in my home soon!

DIY Paint Dipped Sunburst Mirror Tutorial

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Before and Afters of our House: The Main Level

Are you as excited as I am? Probably not but that's ok. I love seeing how paint can completely transform a room. It is really amazing and I'd love to give a big hug to whoever invented paint.

We had some funky colors going on when we bought our house but I made all of them disappear and I'm super excited to share them with you!

**All of my paint colors were taken to Sherwin Williams and color matched.

Before: Sour Apple Green in the Front Room

After: I removed the wallpaper border and painted this room Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore. I also changed out the light fixture. That thing bothered me like crazy!

Before: Blinding Blue in our Living Room

After: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore

Before: Blue, blue, and more blue in the Dining Room

After: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore (are you sensing a theme??) Yes, I will get rid of this light but I can't make up my mind on what I want!

Before: More blue in the kitchen with sunflower border

After: Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore. Check out my cabinet removal post and what a difference it made in the kitchen!

Before: Cream in the Kids Playroom

After: Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore (2 shades lighter than Balboa Mist). Next time I'll try to take a picture in between the chaos of 2 little kids. :)

Before: A sunny yellow Hallway

After: Cloud Cover by Benjamin Moore

Before: A bland white Laundry Room

After: Silver Strand at 50% by Sherwin Williams. You can read about the reveal here.

Ok I wasn't going to "reveal" this room yet because it hasn't been touched but I'll do it anyways since you asked so nicely. The other room on our main floor is a half bathroom. I haven't touched it yet because I'm not 100% sure what I want to do in there so for now it's this:

And yes, there's a tree growing in my bathroom...

Now you have seen the first floor of our house. I'm slowly working on getting pictures up, a few new furniture pieces, and some more mirrors hung. It's amazing how cozy those things can make a room feel. I feel like I'm living in a bland, sterile house and am just bursting waiting for that warm, fuzzy feeling that family pictures bring.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bathroom Renovations: Main Bathroom House #2

In our second home we had the bathrooms completely remodeled about a year after living there. One was our main bathroom that had some major issues. Once we realized there were water spots on the ceiling in our dining room (which is directly under the bathroom), it was time to do something about it. We contracted this room out because it was way over our heads for us to tackle something like this.



I already had a vision in mind. I knew I wanted a dark vanity base with a white counter top. Brushed nickel finishes and white octagon tile flooring we found at Lowe's. Pretty much everything in this room is from Lowe's.

We had extremely low ceilings in most of our upstairs (all but our master bedroom). So when the contractor took down the ceiling we found out we were able to raise some of it. It made the room feel so much bigger.


The paint color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. It turned out a bit more green then I would have liked but still a very calm and neutral color for a bathroom.

We changed the layout of this room. The vanity stayed where it was but we moved the toilet and shower and were able to add a small "closet" next to the shower. The new layout made the room feel bigger.

A close up view of the floor. I picked out a medium gray color for the grout. White would eventually start to look dirty and this was a nice compliment to the other colors in the room.


We were very pleased with how this room turned out. The bathrooms were definitely the hardest thing to leave in this house. But we took away a lot of knowledge about bathroom renovations that will help us in our home now and we actually plan to use a lot of the same materials.

It's amazing how a room can be completely transformed with some love and time (and money of course).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Faves

It's Friday! That means we can finally celebrate the weekend and we have our second edition of Friday Faves!

First up is Kate from Centsational Girl. I've been reading her blog for a few years now and I am so inspired by her. Here she shows us how to make a Sisal Rope Bowl. I've been wanting to try this on a clear glass vase!

Cassie at HiSugarplum is fantastic! She loves to makeover her home but also has great fashion sense. What's awesome is that she combines the two for some amazing outfit inspiration. This one is perfect for Spring: Pinstripes and Floral

Carmel over at Our Fifth House is not afraid of color in her home and I think that's awesome. She wrote a post about How to Stencil a Wall and I think I may follow her direction in the near future. I mean, how gorgeous is this?!

Of course I have to throw in some food love! 100 Days of Real Food is a site I visit often. Lisa has so many good recipes and I don't feel guilty about making any of them. Including this Whole-Grain Donut recipe! I always make a double batch of these mini donuts and freeze the leftovers. Our whole family loves them. I usually make the chocolate ones but both kinds are yummy.

I hope you enjoyed all of these. There are so many fun blogs out there and I love sharing them with you.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Part 2: Faux Marble Countertop

If you remember in this post, my husband and I switched out a desk area in our kitchen for a coffee bar station. I'm calling it this because I really have no clue what it's supposed to be called and right now it holds my Keurig and all my coffee supplies. Plus I've always wanted a coffee bar!

So we left with this lovely mismatched area that needed a countertop.

My husband cut a piece of quarter inch pine plywood down to fit the space. I keep telling myself that maybe I'll learn how to use all of his fancy tools but in reality, they scare me! Maybe one day...

I bought some marble contact paper. The first roll I bought was off of Amazon and it was awful. The backing didn't want to come off and it was just a mess. So I was super excited when I found this stuff at Lowe's.

This is what I want our future countertops to actually look like. I love white and gray swirl marble. Beautiful!

My model will demonstrate how to stand on the future countertop:

This was really easy.  I just rolled out the paper and cut where I needed. The contact paper wasn't wide enough to cover all of the board so I did have to do it in 2 sections. I made sure the seem was in the back and you can hardly tell unless you're trying to look for it.

I used duct tape on the back just to make sure it was super secure. To get the corners just right, cut a little slot and fold it over.


And here she is! All ready to go.

I put my Keurig on there along with a cute stand for a catch-all space that holds daily used things. That big black bog looking thing is our stereo that we mounted to the wall. And of course I had to add some flowers and candles for some prettiness. My next project for this area is to paint the cabinets but I'm waiting for some warmer weather!