Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The hallway

While I work on finishing Ashford's room, I wanted to share the little transformation in our typical '70s ranch' hallway.  Here is how it looked when we first moved in.  Dark, boring, empty....but accessorized with a cute kid!  To be fair, this is an awful photo, so it's not really a fair representation.
We do get some decent light in this hallway during the day, as you can see in this photo from the floor refinishing project.
This beauty was in there, with broken bulbs stuck in the sockets.  I had already thrown away the glass cover, but I'm sure you are all familiar with this style of light!  I liked the brass, but the style was not I replaced it with a $10 special from Menards until I figured out what I really wanted. 
Here is the boring, dim replacement, complete with medallion to cover the peeling popcorn texture. 
And months later, I finally found the light I wanted...brass to match the door knobs and hinges, flush mount, not a boob light, stylish, unique, wide enough to cover the peeling popcorn, and bright as the surface of the sun with 4 bulbs!  Find it here, but be sure to call them to get the best price!  I got it for $120 so I am pleased.  It's not great quality, but it's fine and too far away to notice any flaws.  (It isn't quite flush on the edges due to the weight of the fixture)
I actually had to reduce the wattage because it was too bright with four 60 watts.  I also found cute round bulbs to increase the style of the fixture.
With the new light, I was inspired to finally get a runner for this hall.  I am using our zig zag runners in the lower level because they didn't go well with the wall color up here.  I went to my old stand by Overstock, and found this beauty!  
I wanted a tufted rug rather than a flat weave, and it needed to look good with the orange rugs in the living room, and the gray on the walls.  It was a happy bonus that there is red to go with our little cabinet in the hallway.  Here is everything all put together...
It looks so fresh and clean now!  I also love that the yellow in the runner echoes the yellow moorish tile rug in the guest room.  
My fancy white mirror found it's home at the end of the hall, and the little vegetable cabinet got a mini makeover with some gold spray paint for the knobs.  I may paint the entire thing one day, but for now it works.  I have to repair the doors and mesh, after that happens I have some baskets that fit perfectly and will hold some miscellaneous items. 
I have plans to add a gallery wall to the large area between the bedrooms, but I'm not sure what that will look like yet.  
For now, I'm really pleased with how nice this dark hallway turned out!  I would love to add some can lights one day, but that is on the 'would be nice, but probably will never happen' project list. 
For this space, I spent around $25 in trim, $120 for the light, $70 for the rug (after Overstock rewards) and $25 for the gallon of SW Popular Gray that we used throughout the main level.  Not bad since most tufted wool runners cost at least that amount!  Still to do in the hallway - clean and shine up all the doors and casings.  I may have to restain, some of them are in pretty bad condition.  I'm not looking forward to that project! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ashford's room AKA tiny wallpaper room

Here is Ashford's teeny tiny room right after we moved in and organized.  The room is just 9x11. 
Please allow me a mini pity party as I mourn the room he used to have.
Ok, back to reality.  I hated the tan color on the walls, and of course this was before we refinished the floors. 
The main thing that was wrong in this room, though, was the dreaded wallpaper.  Complete with border.  The seams showed through the paint and just annoyed the hell out of me daily.
You all know I am intimately familiar with removing wallpaper, and there was just no way I was going to paint over this mess again!  We started the horrible task of getting it all off last month. 
We started with a steamer, but I quickly realized I was peeling off the damn popcorn on the ceiling, so we stopped using it.  We are just in NO position to scrape the popcorn right now, so it has to stay.  Unfortunately, we ran into a different problem. 
The original coat of paint was coming off with the wallpaper!  We ended up down to the bare drywall in several spots, the worst one being near the door. 
Seriously, it was so classic that this would happen to us! 
Despite the issue with the paint coming off with the paper, what ended up working best for us was a spray bottle with hot water and fabric softener.  We sprayed the paper, peeled off the top layer, then sprayed the remaining paper backing and scraped that.  It took us all day to get this much done. 
Some of it came off in sheets, but most of it didn't.  I guess that is one advantage to a teeny room, less walls! 
Ashford was still sleeping in here throughout the weeks we were working on this, so you can imagine how fun it was to move everything back and forth every day.  Nothing but the best for my kid.
After all the paper was removed, Shaun spent quality time washing all the walls.  Thankfully, one wash seemed to do the trick.  I came in after that to sand down any remaining adhesive that wouldn't scrape off.  To prepare for the skim coat to cover the bad spots, I used a product designed to stop further peeling on surfaces.
Eh, for a 'high build' primer it was surprisingly thin and unimpressive.  I should've just saved my money and used the Zinsser 1.2.3 instead.  When the spots were all primed, I also went over the old seams.  There was some discoloration, so this helped a lot. 
Next came some lightweight joint compound on all the spots the paint was removed from the drywall.  This took me forever and I had to bust out my drywall pan and knife.  Do you like this anonymous photo of me skimming?  I can't really explain my socks, my pose or this photo.  Let's move on. 
After an entire day of horrifying sanding in which everything in our house somehow got covered in white dust, I was finally able to prime the walls in their entirety!
Oh, it was so wonderful to have normal walls back!  And to have a Coors light!  At this point Ashford was sleeping in our room on a mattress because it just stunk too bad in this room.  So, I took my time and decided to paint the walls their final color later the same day after priming. 
This color is a greige, SW Anew Gray mixed in Behr.  However, it was looking extremely tan going on the walls and I freaked out a little.   Luckily, it ended up like this.
Isn't that crazy?  It doesn't even look like the same color!  Now we just need to find a day to put the painted baseboards in here, and put his room back together permanently with a twin bed instead of a crib.  Ahhhhhh! 
Fun fact:  I was so on point with the skim coat that I spackled all the screw and nail holes that we still wanted to use for the smoke detector, shelves, etc.  Awesome!