Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Sneak Peek

My very first purchase for our "new to us" home. I found the most beautiful antique dresser almost a year ago from Zartiques. When I first saw this piece, I knew exactly where I wanted it, by the window in the newly painted family room. I hope to find two matching antique chairs, one for each side. The other day Summer and I picked out these pretty hydrangeas. We think it's perfect.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Family Room

A month after we moved into our new house - our first family home in the city and a home we had been looking for almost a year to buy, I received a surprise phone call from our local community college offering me a job to run their new Interpreter Education program. I couldn't turn down that amazing opportunity. Talk about overload: a new role, a new team, and lots of big responsibilities. All of a sudden, the house I had been dreaming and planning to decorate had to take a backseat. In my first months at work, I barely had time to pick up a paint brush. Imagine my frustration, every day I returned home to cardboard boxes, walls full of paint samples, disorganized furniture and bare walls. We even had rooms with exposed plywood. David could not stand the carpet smell from previous owner's dog so one night he had had enough and decided to rip it all out. It was tough.

However I always believe there is a silver lining in everything. The slow process made me appreciate the accomplishments even more. For example, the day the plantation shutters were installed in all the second floor windows after three months of waiting (the company was backed up and one of the panels got lost during the delivery from California). Waking up to gorgeous sun rays peaking through my bedroom windows made the long wait worth it.

For the past several months I have been slowly working with this space which is the family room. It's formerly the living room, but we like the name family room because this is where we all gather together. This room is in the back of the house, with straight views of the backyard, right off the kitchen and the only access to the deck/backyard through a sliding door. When the kids are asleep or playing with the neighborhood friends I would sneak in and do some work. It took me months to build up the courage to paint over our fireplace brick. Looking back, I absolutely have no regrets! I bought a professional paint sprayer to smoothly coat the raised panels in bright white semi-gloss. The glossy reflection brings in natural light through the windows. The previous trim color was cream, as is the rest of the house trim and door. I wanted a fresh look so I went with bright white (with no tint) straight from the can. David is a very good husband because he always puts up with me with my projects.

Here are some before pictures after I removed the previous paint from the paneling and primed the walls. All the grainy photos were taken with my iPhone because I didn't want the dust or paint to get in my big camera.

We replaced the interior and top trim for a more streamlined look that blends in with the character of this home. Here is David using a brad nailer to install the new trim.

I had to airtight the room prior to spraying because it really gets dusty with all the overspray. This is after the primer was painted on the raised panels... it took THREE coats of primer because of the wood bleed through. I had to wear one of those big masks that completely covers your face. The fumes were pretty strong.

After three coat of semi gloss. I was so nervous about using the paint sprayer in fear of creating drips but after the first couple of rounds I got the hang of it. After the paint was fully cured, I painted the walls, window and door trim and crown molding. David replaced all the black outlets (yes they were black...!) with white ones. Living through a renovation is a messy job but I am so happy to say that I'm finally done with this room and can't wait to start the fun process - decorating!