When I moved into my house, the first order of business was to paint. The house was spotless (Thanks, Elizabeth Turner!), and I was able to run straight to the paint department to start selecting shades of gray for every single surface. I was excited to paint the chocolate brown dining room a bright shade of gray to lighten the space. We found that the cabinets used as book shelves by the previous owners were actually better suited for china cabinets since a plate rail was on each shelf. Once we got into the process and did a little digging in the attic, we found that the glass doors to the built in cabinets were in perfect condition. They just needed a fresh coat of crisp white paint and to be rehung. This may have been the easiest face lift we have completed to date.
Category: Renovation of Auburn Avenue
Reno Without Demo: Part II
So, what is my house missing (besides a dishwasher and actual en suite bathroom)? A fireplace. I feel like every home needs a mantle. And since I grew up in a home with a brick fireplace as the focal point of the living room, it was something I wanted somehow in my chimneyless house. Luckily, my Dad is Mr. Fix It and was able to build a mantle for me.
I had the perfect empty wall in my dining room, so for my 27th birthday, dad built a mantle into my house. We spent hours in the molding department at the hardware store trying different layers. Corbels versus none. Details versus simple. What we ended up with looks like it should have always been there. Hopefully I will find the perfect iron grate to place in the hole where the fireplace would be. I’ll keep my eyes peeled in the mean time.
Reno Without Demo: Part I
Since celebrating 6 years in this little house on Auburn last week, I’ve been looking through the before and after photos I have showing some major changes we’ve made over the years. So, I thought I’d share a couple of those projects with you.
When I bought my house in 2012, we found wall furnaces in so many rooms that were no longer in use, actually removed the ones in the bathrooms and kitchens right away, and covered the holes they left. However, there was a pair of furnaces in the living and dining rooms that were in the wall and the floor that posed quite a problem. However, after a couple of years of thinking, dear ole Dad came up with the perfect Mr. Fix It fix. He was able to recreate the look of the built-in china cabinets into matching book shelves to cover not only the holes in the walls but also the missing hardwood floors. Plus, who doesn’t need more built ins?
6 Down. 24 To Go.
Yesterday marked 6 years as a homeowner, and I have loved my relationship with my little house on Auburn Avenue. We get along nicely, and it doesn’t mind when I continually make it change and update its style. Over the past year, it’s seen a new coat of paint on the shutters and doors. It’s now got a nice pair of bathrooms that match. The blinds are slowly being changed out. (20 windows takes time and money.) We even got a little update in the laundry room (and some shiplap). I’d say it’s turning out nicely.
Hopefully over the next year we will see a fresh coat of paint for the siding. I wouldn’t mind a little hail damage either (hint, hint Mother Nature).
Happy Birthday, House!
One More Thing …
Yes. The bathroom project is finished, and I finally have use of my carport again. However, there was one little project we completed during that renovation that I don’t think I’ve covered yet.
Outside of that bathroom (and the other bathroom and every other room in my house) sits a square hallway of sorts that houses my fantastic closet I claimed for myself, a floor furnace, and a utility closet that holds my vacuum cleaners (Yes, I have 2.). When I bought the house, there was very little overhead lighting throughout. Only one ceiling fan was present, and (let’s be honest) there was no way I was sleeping in that house without fans. There was little to no insulation in the attic; and since we have started renovating rooms, we’ve learned there is no insulation in the walls. So basically, this house was an easy bake oven before I moved in. Since, I’ve added a fan or two to each room (Yes, my living room has 2 ceiling fans.) and had insulation blown into the attic.
I mention all of this because this hallway also has a large, full-length mirror on one wall which I use to get ready each morning. I have a little stool in front that I perch on while fixing my hair and makeup and catching up on whatever episode of Fixer Upper I haven’t seen in at least a week. However, the only source of light in this room was a single wall sconce with a 60-watt bulb coming through a muted glass shade. It was brass, too, and not in a good-brass way. So, after adding all of this fabulous overhead can lighting to the bathrooms, I knew that one needed to replace this sconce so I wouldn’t leave my house looking like a MAC counter makeup artist on steroids.
You may have noticed the fixture in this before picture I posted last week:
See. It’s small.
I also went through to find a photo to show just how much (or how little) light it produced:
But now with the addition of the can light and covering up the hole from the sconce, I’ve got a pretty nice hallway if I do say so:
Top print by Catherine Herrington of Hi Y’all! Made in the South
Bottom print by Ketchings Company of Natchez (I found this in my grandmother’s house. She worked for Ketchings in the 60s and 70s, so this particular print is out of print.)
Paint color: “New York City Winter” by Valspar
… and done.
Exactly 2 years and 1 day after finishing the master bathroom, we finished up the guest bathroom. I do need to brag on my contractors, tile gods, and design assistants (the parentals) for a second. They worked hard and long hours to put this room together. I am one lucky little girl to have them both and put up with my picky ways. Thanks for understanding my need for two matching bathroom and helping me keep the original character with the tubs and wall-mount sinks. Both bathrooms are exactly what I wanted, and I’m glad there is only one room left – the kitchen (insert slight panic attack). However, it’s nice to be a two-toilet house again.
Here’s a little play-by-play of before and afters:
Paint color: “New York City Winter” by Valspar
Shower tile: “Taupe” subway tile from J & J Carpet & Natural Stone
Floor tile: “Greenwich Village” brick tile from J & J Carpet & Natural Stone
Toilet and Shower Baskets: Southern Pipe & Supply
Shower Door Package and Shower Faucet Package: Delta Faucet
Artwork: “Portrait of a Juke Joint” by Will Jacks
If you’ve been keeping up with our little bathroom project, you know I’ve been waiting for the pretty to get installed. This past Saturday, after a whirlwind trip back and forth to Baton Rouge for Country Roads’ amazing “Dinner on the Docks,” we put down the bathroom’s brick-esque floor. Not to mention, the subway tile in the shower was grouted last Wednesday to perfection. To be frank, I think it looks pretty damn good.
One Wall. Two Walls. Three Walls. Floor!
We are getting there with this guest bathroom project on Auburn. With the shiplap finished and painted and the tile hung in the shower over the weekend, it’s starting to fill up with the pretty and look like what we’ve been planning since we finished the other bathroom 2 years ago. The floors are waiting; the grout is next; and with the shower door and toilet waiting patiently to be installed, I’ll be ready for guests sooner rather than later.
Let’s let the pictures tell the story instead of me. Take a look!
Don’t Go Breaking My Shiplap
It’s a sad day in my world. Fixer Upper’s series finale airs, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve been a faithful follower from the beginning and was actually tipped off on the series long before it showed up on HGTV. A producer for High Noon Entertainment was doing some research in Natchez after recently finding and signing the Waco power couple to their series. She told us to be on the look out for it; and sure enough, there they were on prime-time design TV. Ever since, I’ve been glued to every episode, followed Jo’s blog, read her magazine cover to cover, and been a regular shopper on their e-commerce site for Magnolia Market. I guess I’ll just have to venture to Waco soon and get a full sensory overload at the Silos and the new diner, Magnolia Table. Who’s going with me?
In the mean time, my owner fixer upper project is moving right along. With the plumbing finishing up and the new can lights installed last week, we are moving quickly through the shiplapping process. Our version of shiplap isn’t the typical type you see on the show, however. I’m on a budget remember and can’t afford the tongue-and-groove version you can buy new at the hardware store or the antiqued version you can find from pickers. What we do is very simple, and I applaud ole Paulie for coming up with this solution. We simply use a router tool to create a “faux” tongue-and-groove effect on the edges of each board. When butted together and nailed in place, you get the same exact look for less. After a couple of layers of Kilz and another couple of layers of “New York City Winter” by Valspar, we have shiplap!
I also strongly believe that this is not a fad that will go out of style anytime soon; but I’m sure when I’m dead, gone, and the newest owner has moved in, my shiplap and subway tiles may be history. So, I left a couple of hate notes under the shiplap and backer board for those idiots of the future.
The Ode to a Niche
I think everyone knows I’m a fan of HGTV. I’ve always been a follower of Trading Spaces and While You Were Out; but now with Fixer Upper, Hometown, and Property Brothers, I’m pretty much glued to that particular channel.
Luckily, I have quite the fixer upper of my own and have slowly been going room by room and inch by inch changing, re-changing, and changing again the look of my house. Some rooms were easy: paint, floors, lighting. However, some rooms needed (and still need) some elbow grease and a budget. Two springs ago, we tackled my “master” bath. Since there isn’t a master suite in my house on Auburn, I dedicated one of the two identical bathrooms (the one with actually 6 more inches of width) as my own. After shiplapping a wall, subway tiling the shower, and bricking the floors, I had a bathroom that Joanna Gaines would gladly call her own.
Don’t worry, I’ll admit that I was a bit of a design diva throughout the process. This was a DIY project that my entire family helped with in some form or fashion throughout the 2-month timeline. Dad was the “Chip Gaines” of it all with his crowbar and nail gun within arms reach at all times. I did throw him for a loop with the niche I just had to have in my shower. I’d seen them on all of the renovation shows and really thought it would be ideal in my shower. No harm, no foul. Right? No. Major harm. Major foul. We were able to tile the entire shower within a couple of days, but that damned niche caused weeks of turmoil. There was thinking. There was Pinteresting. There were times we were all thrown from the premises so that Dad could think it through on his own. I have to say it turned out perfectly, and every time I grab my shampoo I think “Hmm, that’s a might fine niche.”
With bathroom two on the horizon by the end of March, I’m excited to get to tiling again and see what this version of shiplap, subway, and brick looks like. I have given up the niche in the guest bath. Sorry, future guests, baskets will have to do.