The Stairwell Is Painted…Well Almost

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

Musical Chairs

I inherited a pair of chairs from Brian’s aunt. I liked them immediately, they are very sturdy and well-made. They have been used in almost every room of our house, but never really had a permanent spot. They’ve been used in our bedroom, Hollis’s room, the office, the hallway, and most currently, our living room. I love that they are light and easy to move around if we have company and need an extra chair, or two, and they are actually really comfortable.

What I don’t love about them, is that they are purple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple. I just don’t have a lot of purple décor happening in our home, so they stick out like a sore thumb. They are bent wood chairs with purple vinyl on the back and seat. I have never repurposed vinyl chairs before, so this is new (scary) territory for me.

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I didn’t have a solid plan when I first began this transformation. As you can see in these pics, I tried gray spray paint first, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I also saw some people that spray painted vinyl on Pinterest. I tried that too. Not a fan of the final look for this particular project so I nixed that too.

I had to bite the bullet and remove the vinyl seat and back, which I was really nervous about because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get them back on.  It took A LOT of work to get the backs off. Like I said, they are very well made chairs, but after a couple hours of staple removing, I got them off. Luckily, the seats came off easily with just a few screws.

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I finally decided on black for the frame. I like black. It’s simple. It’s classic. And lord knows I always have it on hand because I use it on everything.

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Next, it was time to cover the vinyl seats. I chose a simple, tan and black Gingham fabric. I just cut them to fit the seat, then used a spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the vinyl and keep it from shifting. Then I finished it off by stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat.

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As you can see, I didn’t put the back on the seat….mostly because I tore it up too much while trying to remove it, but also because I really like the way it looks without. I did wrap a little twine around the back just to tie in the tan from the fabric and to add a little interest.

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I think they turned out pretty good for my first vinyl chair makeover. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for people who do upholstery. Right now this pair is sitting in our living room until we get a loveseat or something else for this spot. I already have the chairs next spots (I will have to split them up) picked out for when we do get something. They are much easier to place around the house now that they  fit in with our décor!

Mini Room Update: Hollis' Room

I’m currently waiting (Impatiently) for some goodies for Bo’s nursery. So while I wait, I thought I’d do a little update on Hollis’ room which she now has all to herself again. She’s pretty psyched to have her room back and a somewhat safe place to hide her things that she doesn’t want little brother to slobber on…I get it kid. I do.

Not a whole lot has changed in her room, I didn’t paint or anything crazy like that. The biggest change for her was that we moved her twin size trundle-bed to Bowen’s room and moved the mammoth queen sleigh bed to her room. Her room is quite a bit larger than his, so it just made more sense for it to be in her room and it’s a really nice, comfy bed that we don’t want to part with yet. She loves it so far and she still has plenty of room to play with her dollhouse and other toys. Other than that, all I really did was take out Bo’s things and add in a few more girly things of Hollis’.

Here is how it looked while the kids shared…I have to admit, I miss it this way a little bit.

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And here it is now that it’s all Hollis’.

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You may recognize this display shelf from a previous post. We were using it as a simple dollhouse for Hollis when she was younger, but now that she is a bit older, I’ve decided to entrust her with my old dollhouse…(insert nervous face emoji here). So now we are using it to display all of her favorite little things. I hung it low enough for her to reach everything and high enough for little brother to NOT reach everything. 🙂

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Hollis is obsessed with this dollhouse, as was I. I still may be. It’s just so dang cute. Everything in it is from when I was a kid. So to say it’s old and fragile is an understatement.

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I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’m really glad I painted everything neutral the last time we updated the room. Her toys and accessories have so much color (PINK.) that I just really don’t miss color on the walls. Hopefully it will stay this way, and this clean, for a while!

 

 

Refreshing Neutrals

After living in this old farmhouse for the last few years, I’m finding myself really starting to embrace this whole ‘modern farmhouse’ trend that is happening right now. (Thank you Joanna Gaines, am I right?!) I fought it for a long time, but I just keep gravitating toward it and I figure what better time to embrace this look then when I’m actually LIVING in a FARMHOUSE. You have probably noticed from my last few projects that things are becoming a lot more neutral.

Our entry way has been in need of some TLC for a while now. It is really the only entrance that we use so it gets a lot of traffic. There are scuff marks on the walls and the trim and it was just starting to feel kind of meh in there. I painted it a mint green when we first moved in and had a little accent paint on the walls, but I was ready for something new. Something fresh. It is such a small space, I decided to just go ahead and paint it a nice neutral color to clean it up and brighten the space up a bit.

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These pics were taken right after the I painted in here when we first moved in. Over the years, not much has changed except the door has been painted a dark navy. And that door across from the front door that leads into the office has been removed.

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I painted the entry with a creamy off-white color. Valspar’s Asiago which I also used in the kid’s bedroom. It looks so much better with that navy door than the mint green did. I also mentioned in my last post that I want to add molding to these doors off the entry and paint them black, so I think this creamy neutral will look great with that.

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I switched out the old mirror to this trio of mirrors to add a little more interest. I couldn’t find the right spot for them in the house, but so far, I like them here. I ended up painting the coat rack hooks black to add a little more contrast. Black spray paint is my BFF lately. I’ve been using it on everything. I also have been trying to add a little greenery to each room in the house. These are faux, but I don’t care, I love them and they are zero maintenance. I ‘planted’ them in these old metal grain elevator buckets that we have scattered around the farm. file_0042

I got that bench a couple of years ago at a flea market for $10. I would still love to find something else for the space, but this serves its purpose for now. I cut off the back and side a bit, because it was just too 80’s country for me. Those hearts on the side still bug me, but not as much now. I also sanded it and roughed up the finish a little to give it more of a rustic look. I would like to find/make a cushion for it, but like I said I really want to find something else for the space, so I haven’t been in a hurry for the cushion.

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I squared off the chalkboard and made it a bit smaller. I plan on trimming it out with some reclaimed wood. I also plan on adding a wreath to the door, switching out the rug, and changing out the fluorescent light. And of course I still have to freshen up the paint on the trim and get on those black doors!

 

Color So Nice, I Had To Use It Twice

Welp, I painted the bathroom.

The bathroom did not need to be painted. It was a perfectly fine shade of mint green. It was light and bright. Yet I painted it anyway.

I just couldn’t help myself. I love this color so much! I recently painted the office (Muted Ebony by Valspar) and as soon as I put it on the walls, I knew it needed to go up in another room too. First I thought of the entry way, because I have the urge to change things up in there. And I thought the darker color would hide some of the marks and things on the walls that seem to inevitably happen in the entry way. But then, I decided it would look so great in the upstairs bathroom. And I was right.

I have a lot of black and white going on in the bathroom already along with some warm wood tones. The mint green on the walls was fine…but just fine. Not too exciting. Things were just starting to feel a little blah. So I thought I would shake things up and do a two-tone wall with dark gray on the bottom and a bright white on the top to keep things from getting too dark in there.

Here is a look at the before.

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This room only has one window, but it gets great light in here so I knew the dark, dark gray wouldn’t make the room too dark. I think if I had taken the gray all the way up the walls, it would’ve been a tad too dark.

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It was a spur of the moment decision to paint, but I’m really happy with the result. It feels so much more pulled together in here now and I love how my plants pop off the gray and white!

 

Toning Down The Crazy

It has been a while since I’ve talked about the kid’s playroom. I thought I would give a little update on the little changes I’ve made. Now that Bowen is six (almost 7 months) old and can sit up and move around a little bit, he is really getting into toys. He is no longer content with sitting in one spot, he is ready to move around and explore…and get into as many of sisters toys as possible.

Up until now, Hollis has had the whole playroom to herself. It’s filled to the brim with baby dolls, princesses, and dress up clothes and accessories. I have been slowly moving some of her things out and finding a home for them in her bedroom or the toy closet, which she agreed to pretty quickly after I explained that they will be safe from little brother and his slobber. I’ve been replacing those things with some more toys that Bo might be interested in.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this.

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I tried out this scalloped, two-tone wall to add a little playfulness to the room. I liked it at first, but it started to feel a little too crazy after a while as well as the colorful curtains. So I decided to tone it back a bit. I did still really like the two-tone neutral walls so I kept those, but chose to ditch the scallop. I also switched out the curtains for a more neutral option.

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I added our old futon back into the space, because let’s face it, Mama needs a place to sit and supervise in the playroom. It’s also great for napping toddlers and movie watching.

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I tried to add some little nooks in the corners of the room. One nook is Hollis’s “house”. She loves to hideaway in the nooks and read books or play with toys and it’s nice that the kids can separate and escape each other when needed while still playing in the same space.

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That nice straight line makes me so happy. It feels calmer in here even at the most chaotic of times. There is so much color in the room from the toys and furniture, the walls really needed to be calmed down bit. I’m so grateful we have this room, I don’t know what we’d do without it!

 

 

Office Space

It’s still a work in progress, but I just wanted to take a moment and note that there is PAINT ON THE WALLS!

I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone over two years without painting the paneling in the office. It is literally the first room you see when you walk into the house as it is directly across from the front door. You also get a good view of it from the playroom and the kitchen, which are the two rooms I spend the most time in. And now that it is painted, and painted such a lovely color, I find myself admiring it from every viewpoint.

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Originally there was a door on that doorway in the pic above, but we ended up taking it off because it really closed off the house. With it off we have a much better flow and even though the first floor is not ‘open concept’, each room does open up to the next and creates a circular pathway. I pulled the desk away from the wall and added some much needed seating to create a walkway.

Also, how great are these retro office chairs?! We scored three of them…for FREE. They are from our bank and were sitting in the basement unused. We asked about them and offered to buy them if they were ever for sale and they ended up giving us these three (the other one is currently in our bedroom)! I plan re-upholstering them some day, but I kind of like them as-is right now and they are super comfy.File_003(1).jpeg

 

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Moving the desk away from wall was also necessary because of the lighting in here. There is a small chandelier in the center of the room. With the desk up against the wall, we weren’t getting much light on the desk. All the light was falling behind the desk on our back  which made it really hard to read any papers or anything on the desk. Now with the light directly over the desk, it is much easier to see in here. We would like to replace the light one day too as soon as we find something we really like.

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I hung some IKEA Grundtal shelves we had in storage. The two metal storage units are actually one unit that can be stacked on top of one another. It was a Craigslist find.  I unstacked it because we needed more surface area in here for the printer and things that need to be filed away. It works great for Brian because he can store all of is catalogues and price sheets and everything is easy to see and grab.

I still have a lot of organizing to do in here and I also have the closet to organize. I think cleaning out the closet will make a huge difference, but it is such a daunting task that I keep putting off…It’s still on the to-do list, it’s just at the very, very bottom of it. I’m really weird about organizing things. I will put it off and put it off and then one day I’ll wake up and it is ALL I can think about until I just hammer it out. Is anyone else like that? Basically it just won’t get done until I’m in the mood.

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So that’s it for now. I still have lots to do, but I’m so happy there is paint on the walls finally. And I am so in love with this dark gray. I have already started painting it in another room, which if you follow me on Instagram, you already know about. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (@thegoldbrickroad)….you should!