Sunday, January 29, 2017

Master Bedroom Renovation, Stage 2: Demolition Surprises

Last week I shared with you that my husband and I are renovating our master bedroom.  In my very first post HERE I talked about our plans and the look for the room we wanted.  This week is all about the demolition phase and the little surprises we uncovered.

When we first bought our house way back in 1998 the previous owners added a large his & hers closet because the built in closet that came with the house is very small.  Even though it was a great idea to build such a nice spacious closet into the room, it took up a lot of space.  The closet only left two ways to position the bed:  on an angle as seen in the photograph on my first post, or against the wall opposite the closet which leaves you about a foot and a half of walking space between the end of the bed and the closet.  Neither option was ideal, so we always planned to remove the closet once the kids moved out of the house because we would no longer need the closet space.

Other than aesthetic reasons, the closet needed to be torn down because it was simply falling apart.  The doors never stayed closed, the shelf was falling off the wall and needed to be braced up, and my sweet little Jackson discovered how fun shredding wallpaper off the closet was and destroyed it.

So we took the closet down and discovered a huge surprise:  a damaged wall and floor, and water damage in the ceiling.

The odd shaped corner is the chimney.  Nails couldn't go through the cement so the previous owners glued the plywood to the chimney.  The huge hole in the ground is where the old heating vent was.

Because the previous owners weren't the brightest chips off the block, they destroyed the ceiling trying to find a stud to nail the top of the closet into.

The original baseboards were also removed, so now we had to replace those too.

But perhaps the worst thing of all was finding the water damage in the ceiling.  The only way to repair this was to completely tear the entire ceiling apart and re-do it.  We did not want to do that (I should note, that there is not a leak anymore.  This is just damage from a old leak).  The ceiling is so fragile that if you just touch it, it starts to fall down on top of you.  So, change of plans and back to the drawing board!  We decided to come up with a different design for the room.

 Our new plan was to cover the damaged wall and chimney with faux brick paneling and go for a modern industrial look with the forties glam touches I so love.  We picked up three sheets of paneling for about $25.00 a sheet.

 To take care of the part of the ceiling that was caving in, my husband built a book shelf that's wedged into the chimney area to hold the ceiling up.  Crown molding and a little spackling paste and ceiling texture will cover up any mess still showing.

The cubbies in the book shelf were sized to perfectly fit one large basket.  I will store items like socks, scarves, flip flops, etc. in these baskets.

Here's what the ceiling looks like with the bookshelf now in place before all the molding is added.

Once the walls were covered with the faux brick paneling and the bookshelf was complete, the crown and other decorative moldings could be added.  There's only a hint of water damage showing now, which will be covered up by spackle and ceiling texture.

Once the wall was done, it was time to work on the floor.  It had a lot of problems.  The previous owners had cut holes in the floor to access the living room ceiling below.  This created instability in the floor.  Many times I walked on the floor and it felt as if my foot would go right through.  So, we needed a new floor!  We picked out a grey laminate flooring which I will show next week.

In the meantime, my husband laid down some lauan plywood to provide more stability and even out the old floor.

Once the Lauan was laid, it was my turn to get busy.  I textured the ceiling and painted all the walls and trim.  I was covered in paint for three days!  So if you have not seen much of me on social media, that is why.  The ceiling turned out great, and I'm thrilled with the paint color we chose.  I can't wait to show you the miraculous transformation next week!

Till then,  Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sorry Folks, It's Not Spring Yet!

 I was on Instagram a few days ago and a fashion blogger was showing a spring transitional outfit already.  I was stunned.  It's still January!  In Wisconsin, we have at least two months of winter yet, if not three.  I don't know why it irks me so, but I really hate it when people rush the seasons.  I know a lot of bloggers are always a holiday or season ahead for idea/sales purposes, but it still just bugs me.  It's just really hard for us northerners to make it through the winter, and if I start thinking about spring this early, it will just make it even longer.

So because it's winter and only thirty degrees outside, I have another winter outfit to show.  For this outfit I kept a very simple base and added interest with what else:  a cute beanie and scarf!

 My sweater is super old.  It can be pulled down and worn on one shoulder only.  But I've never worn it that way.

On this day, I just used it as a base with a short winter olive green parka over it.

This is my go-to winter coat when the temperatures are above twenty five degrees.  It's either this, or a puffer vest.  I bought this coat a season or two ago from Old Navy.

My beanie is one of the new ones I bought this season from JCPenney.  It has metallic gold threads woven through and the cutest fur pom pom on top I ever did see!

My scarf is also from JCP and I last showed it to you HERE.  The sweater is from Express.

It's a very figure flattering sweater.  You can play with the length to create a silhouette that fits your needs.  Here is a back view so you can see how open it is and how easy it would be to pull the sweater down over one shoulder if you want a sexy look.

I carried my metallic gold back that my daughter gave me as a gift.

I finally punched more holes in my over-the-knee boot straps so that they will stay up a little better.  It did help, but still not staying up as much as I'd like.

I just love how you can use cute hats and scarves to dress up the simplest of outfits.  My base is just a black sweater and jeans, but the hat, scarf, boots, and bag really make it pop!

Mixed Confetti Muffler - JCPenney:  HERE,  Mixit Beanie - JCPenney:  HERE,  Black Off Shoulder Sweater, no longer available, similar:  HERE, Liverpool Straight Leg Jeans, similar:  HERE,  Black Madden Girl Over the Knee Boots, Famous Footwear: HERE, and Metallic Gold Purse, similar:  HERE.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cats and Flowers Card

Surprise, Surprise!  I made it into my craft room to make a card!  Well, in all honestly I've been spending a lot of time in my craft room lately, but I've been sewing, not paper-crafting.  And if you read Sunday's Home Decor post you would know I was elbow deep in the middle of a renovation.  So my paper-crafting time has been reduced to "Essential Cards" only!

This was a card I made per request for my son.  He wanted to give one of my handmade cards to someone else.  I asked him what he would like on the card and he told me "Cats and Flowers", so this is what I created.

The main image is from Penny Black "Piece of Heart".  I colored it with Copic Markers and put Stickles on the flowers.  I popped the main image panel up on dimensionals.  The panels were cut with Spellbinder Dies.

The sentiment banner and green scrolling leaf was cut with MFT dies.  The flowers are from Prima and I put a dew drop inside the center of each one.

Cats and flowers are two of my favorite things, so making this card was a pleasure.  And of course I had to color the cat grey because my own sweet kitty is a grey stripe too!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE and Penny Black and More Challenges

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ruffle Cardigan and Mellow Yellow Knit Accessories

I was looking through my closet at some of my old sweaters that I purchased a season or two ago and I came across two waterfall sweaters that I wasn't sure were even in style anymore.  I was debating whether or not to donate them when I saw Jo Lynne Shane wearing a very similar style of sweater that she just purchased.  So I decided to pull mine out of the closet and get more use out of it!

I did update my old sweater with a new beanie and scarf from Old Navy.  I fell in love with this set because the color is so unique and the brown fur pom pom is so cute!  I love the white print on the scarf too.

 I paired my sweater with Bootcut Jeans from American Eagle.

I love the long tassels on this scarf too!   Underneath my sweater I wore a lightweight embroidered top that I received from Stitch Fix long ago.

As much as I love this new hat and scarf set,  I will admit it's difficult to wear  because the color is so different.  I want to wear it more, but it just doesn't go with much.  

My saddle bag style cross body bag was a Christmas gift from my daughter.

And to keep the colors subtle, I chose light brown suede ankle boots.

The last time I showed you this sweater I created an all white ensemble HERE.

Yellow Hat and Scarf, no longer available, similar:  HERE,  Karen Scott Ruffle Cardigan, Sears:  HERE,   White Embroidered Top,  no longer available, similar:  HERE,  Saddle Bag Style Cross Body Bag, no longer available, similar HERE, American Eagle Bootcut Jeans, light wash not available, similar HERE, and  Brown Suede Boots, DSW:  HERE.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Master Bedroom Renovation, Stage 1: Planning

When we first purchased our late 1800's home back in 1998 every room of the house was covered in wallpaper and shag carpeting.  We went through each room of the house, little by little, stripping off the wallpaper and re-doing the floors.  As the kids grew older, our little 1200 square foot house became a little snug, so  in 2003 we began to build an addition that doubled the square footage of our house.  Every single thing was done by ourselves.  We did not hire contractors.

Now that the kids are grown up and have all moved out of the house, it is time to make our home fit our needs for this stage of our lives.  Last year I redecorated my son's old room and turned it into a "Beauty Room" for myself.  It is where I store the current season's clothes  and also where I put my make up on and get dressed for the day.  I did an entire series of posts starting HERE if you'd like to see them.

When my husband and I finished our "Beauty Room" he said "Next year, we'll remodel our room and make it a little love nest."  Well I was really surprised by that, because my husband never suggested remodeling a room to me before!  I honestly didn't even think our bedroom was that bad.  But after he suggested it I looked at our room with different eyes.  It really did look dated.  He was right.  A remodel was in order.

Master Bedroom Before (Decorated For Christmas)
Step 1:  Ask yourself what you want out of this room.

So now it was time to plan!  Planning is the first step of any renovation.  We first had to ask ourselves what did we want from this new room?  We wanted it to be romantic, comfortable,  and functional.  We really loved the style of my new beauty room, and wanted to incorporate some of those ideas into the Master Bedroom.  We also loved our hotel room in Las Vegas, and wanted to take some ideas from there as well.

Step 2:  Start looking for ideas.

The first place I go to for ideas is Pinterest.  Now when I pin from Pinterest I look for images that I am attracted to.  I realize that the space I have to work with is far different from the space in the image.  It's just a "look" that I hope to replicate in my space.  And it won't even be exact, in fact, in the end it might not look anything like the original image.  There could just be one small element from the original image that I use in my room.

Here are just a few master bedroom images I pinned from Pinterest with an explanation of items that I am attracted to in the room.

I love the colors, the unique mirror, the nightstands, the mirrored dresser, the lamps, and the bedding. What I don't like is the drapes.  They look dated and too frilly for a man to sleep in this room.  I also don't care for the three pieces of art work above the bed.

I love the bed in the picture below.  It is very masculine to me.  I also love the brick wall.

What I don't like?  Way too simple and understated to me.  
The bedroom pictured below is my favorite of the three.  It is absolute perfection and if I could re-create this look exactly in my room, I would.  What do I love?  Everything!  There is not a single thing wrong with this room.  It has the forties glam look I'm going for.  I love the mirrors on either side of the bed.  The color is masculine, yet a girl would feel perfectly at home here as well.  The drapes are modern and perfect.   All the chrome is gorgeous!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bed.  And I really like the small touches of black to balance out all the femininity.  This room is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine to me.

Step 3:  Evaluate Your Space

Now that I found my inspiration room, it is time to figure out how I can achieve this look in my small space.  My husband and I took measurements and walked around the room discussing various scenarios and layouts.  We came up with a plan, only to scrap it entirely and go with an entire new plan once the demolition of the old room was done.  But I want to talk more about that next week!

Step 4:  Go Shopping

With my ideas floating in my head, it was off to the stores!  The first thing I had to find was the bed, because that was not only going to be the focal point of the room but I also needed to know colors and measurements before I could paint the room or buy anything at all.  I ended up buying this bed at Ashley Furniture.  I decided on this bed because it had the upholstered look I was going for, the dark color was masculine, and it was small enough to fit my room.

Next I had to shop for paint, flooring, end tables and chairs.  I decided not to buy anymore furniture until the bed was actually set up in my room so I could see what kind of space I had left to work with.  But I did start window shopping and here are some things I found:

I love this chair at T.J. Maxx and it's definitely in my price range.  I'm sure it won't be there when I go back in a few weeks, but hopefully they'll have something similar.

These end tables are super cute.  I love the silver and the style, but I was worried they might be a bit too flimsy for night stands.

This dresser at Ashley Furniture is to die for, but it also comes with a hefty price tag of $1000.  I just don't want to spend that kind of money on furniture.   Maybe I could find something similar at a thrift store and paint it?

Next I shopped for paint and flooring.  

Because the bed we purchased is so dark, we really need to go light on the walls.  I'm thinking of something like the Revere Pewter in the upper left corner of this graphic.

Deciding on flooring was the second hardest decision we had to make when designing this room.  I was torn between wall to wall carpeting and laminate wood flooring.  The decision to go with wood floors was determined after we ripped the closet out and discovered a lot of wall damage.  We decided to cover that wall with faux brick.  Once we made that decision, we kind of saw our room's design element shift a little and we didn't think wall to wall carpeting would look good with the brick.   So off to the store I went in search of affordable flooring options and this is what we agreed on:

My husband and I really like how this flooring has both grey and browns in it so it will coordinate well with the colors in our room, the new brick wall, and the colors in our hallway and bath (as we will put this flooring in our upstairs hallway as well).  We also liked the wider plank.

Next week I will share the demolition process of our room, and our new "faux" brick wall.   

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Charcoal Grey Sweater with Burgundy Leggings

The past couple of weeks I have been showcasing some new long sweaters I bought at JCPenney for only $6.24 each after coupon and a gift card.  I love to wear leggings in the winter, but I want my tops to cover both my backside and my front side.  I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it is to find tops long enough.  No wonder so many women are wearing "Leggings as Pants".  So when I found all these sweaters at JCP on sale for $14.99, I bought one of each!

On this day I paired my charcoal sweater with burgundy leggings.  But I also wore this sweater with black pleather leggings on another day and I really like that look much better.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that look.

 I paired my new sweater with another new beanie...yes, I have a problem.  "My name is Amy, and I'm a beanieaholic".  😊  I bought so many new beanies this year!  I can't help myself.  They are so cute!  This one I picked up at Forever 21 for only $4.99.  My scarf is from a previous season.

I carried a snakeskin print silver metallic cross body bag.

My new OTK boots that I got for Christmas have turned out to be quite practical for my climate.  I was always afraid of investing in a pair because I didn't think I'd get much use out of them.  But they are wonderful for keeping my legs warm and I reach for them before any of my other boots.

I haven't gotten around to punching another hole in the back strap to tighten them, so they keep slipping down on me.  That's the only thing I don't like about them.  I did just read a tip on another blog that stated that you should look for an OTK boot that has a higher shaft because they stay up better.  That's a good tip and if I ever buy another pair I will keep that in mind.  However, I had such a hard time even finding a style I liked in a price point I liked;  plus I needed to take baby steps in the OTK boot department.  I was afraid I would be uncomfortable wearing a pair that was too high.

I went up a size in this sweater and bought a size Large because it has a drop sleeve and the medium was a tad un-comfy in the arms.  Also, if I went up a size, it was a little bit longer, which I liked.

My burgundy leggings are also from JCP.

If you missed my last three posts featuring my other three long sweaters, they are HERE, HERE, and HERE.

White Pom-Pom Beanie, no longer available, similar HERE,  Black and White Knit Infinity Scarf, no longer available, similar HERE,  a.n.a Long-Sleeve Rib Trim Tunic - JCPenney - HERE,  Juniors Fleece Lined Leggings - JCPenney - HERE,
Silver Metallic Cross Body Bag, no longer available, similar HERE, and Black Madden Girl Over-The-Knee-Boots  - Famous Footwear - HERE.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!