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?!

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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!

Inspirado: Office

Some rooms I search endlessly for inspiration and design ideas. I usually go back and forth and change my mind a hundred times. Other rooms I know exactly what I want to do with zero hesitation.

The office is one of the few rooms that I knew exactly what I wanted to do from the moment we moved in. And yet, I haven’t touched it since we got here. We use our office…a lot. My husband runs his business out of there and I get so overwhelmed with the thought of organizing everything.

Now that the rest of the house is somewhat in order, I really have no excuse to put it off anymore. Since Brian does use the office the most, I want to cater to him a little more than the rest of us. He could care less what it looks like, he just wants it to be functional. Which I totally get….BUT I need it to look nice too. It is literally the first room of our house you see when you walk in thanks to it’s location across from the entry way.

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Here is a pic of the office right after we moved in. Sadly it still looks a lot like this. It has acted as a catch-all for a long time. The first act of business is to remove anything that doesn’t really NEED to be in the room. We have had the treadmill in here for a little over a year and it never got used….like ever. So it has since been moved to the living room to try to motivate us to use it more. It also housed the dog kennel for a long time so it needs to move elsewhere too. The other issue is a lack of surface space. Everything gets piled onto the desk because it is the only place to set things down and then it turns into a big ‘ol pile of stress. We also need seating for other people for meetings or when I’m in there helping Brian.  Here are some visuals so you can see what direction I’m heading in.

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Right now are we are working with only one desk, but we both agree that this t-shape configuration is the ultimate set-up. I would love to each have our own workspace and a place for the kids to work on homework or crafts. This will happen someday….someday.

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Love this dark gray. It is masculine, but something I can totally live with too. There is so much clutter and paperwork floating around the office so I definitely like a nice neutral backdrop.

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I like the idea of filing cabinets doing double duty as both necessary storage AND holding up the desk. I also really like the way they are finished to fit in with the décor.

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Lastly, I would love a small command center. We need a place to sort the mail and keep it from ending up on the office desk in a big pile. Our calendar gets a lot of use. Brian goes out of town for work fairly often so I need it to keep track of when he’s going to be gone. I use it to plan dinners for the week. And I absolutely need it to write down doctor appointments and things like that because my brain just cannot be trusted.

Office To-Do List:

  • paint the paneling (obviously)
  • hang shelves
  • organize the office closet (it’s full and I don’t even know what’s in it!)
  • better utilize the storage we have
  • build/buy a multi-person desk (need to get rid of the current desk first to make room)
  • make a command center (calendar, mail box, cork board, etc.)
  • new light fixture

I probably won’t get to all of this stuff right away, but I will getting started on some of it. (Which will be a huge improvement from blatantly ignoring it all!) Paint is first on my list. I can’t believe I’ve gone this whole time without painting it yet!

 

Mini Makovever: Farmhouse Living Room

Okay so…some may argue that painting an entire room isn’t a “mini” makeover, BUT I’m counting this as one because 1.) our living room is not very large 2.) there isn’t a lot of paintable wall space with all of the doorways, trim, faux brick wall and windows 3.) it was totally free. The whole makeover only took two days and honestly I could’ve gotten it done in a lot less time, but I have a newborn who requires a lot of my attention…and I’m happy to take a break that involves some baby cuddles. 🙂

I had zero intention of making over the living room last weekend. It’s a funny thing, having a new baby makes me notice little things I normally wouldn’t pay much attention to.  I find myself sitting (nursing) A LOT. Like all day and night. You sit a lot and notice things. ALL the things.  I was staring at our faux brick wall in the living room next to the t.v. and decided that I wasn’t crazy about the shelves hanging on it. Which led to me thinking that I was kind of tired of looking at all the things on the shelf. Which led to me noticing all the paint touch-ups I needed to do in the room. Which led me to thinking I need to repaint the whole room. This is how my brain works. It’s exhausting.

I liked the blue that was in here, but when we first moved here, I wanted some color on the walls so badly that I just grabbed what we had without thinking it through too much. The paint I used was not originally meant for painting paneling. I also only had enough to paint the room and not a drop more. So every time the walls got scratched (which happened because I didn’t use the right paint) or I moved something hanging on the wall, I didn’t have anything to do touch-ups with. My only options were to get more paint for touch-ups or to start over with new paint. I decided to just suck it up and re-paint with paint meant for paneling. I went with a light beige with gray undertones that I had on hand to freshen things up and keep things neutral so that I could change other things in the room or leave them as is.

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This is the wall that started this makeover. See how dinky that little shelf looks? I got a second shelf to add to the wall to help balance things out, but it still wasn’t really doing it for me. The shelves just sort of faded into the white, brick wall. So I decided to paint the metal brackets black instead of brushed nickel to help them stand out a little more.

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I also added some black frames to bring some more contrast to the wall and I think it helps a lot. Please ignore the hideous wires under the t.v., I am still trying to figure out what to do with those guys.

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You can see the rest of the room hasn’t changed a whole lot. Same curtains (though I’m looking for new ones) and furniture. I switched out some of the accessories and moved some things around. I’m planning on adding some bamboo roman shades to these windows to match what we have in the kitchen and hallway. We are also looking to add some more seating in here. I would like to add a loveseat or small sofa, but the hubs wants a recliner so……yeah. We’ve yet to agree on anything.

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I still have a few things to hang on the walls, but I like this new direction the room has taken. Things were starting to feel cluttered and kind of crazy in here. It feels good to change things up every so often without re-doing everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well This Is Embarrassing…

Have you ever lived with something for so long that you forgot how much you disliked it until you saw a photo of it? This is how I feel about our stairway and landing. (This is also how I feel every time I see a picture of myself ;)) I walk through this room every day, multiple times a day, but I guess I must do so with blinders on.

I didn’t notice how bad things were looking until we set our Christmas tree up in this room and I went to take some pics of it. I never posted them because I was so embarrassed at how the the rest of the room looks. We only have two rooms of paneling left that have not been painted and this is one of them. The office is the other one, and I planned to paint it first, but now I’m thinking I should tackle this room first.

Here is how it’s looking right now….it really hasn’t changed much since we moved in.

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The time of day/sunlight determines just how orange it is in here. Please notice all of my mismatching window treatments or lack of any treatments on a certain window that is out of my reach.

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This shot of the stairs helps explain why I haven’t tackled the painting yet. I am going to have to find a ladder that will allow me to reach the walls along the staircase. And since being pregnant, I’ve had to cross tall ladder projects off my to-do list.

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As you can see, I’m using this area as storage for baby clothes currently until I get little man’s closet redone. The large white cabinet houses my crafting stuff and sewing machine. It will most likely have to stay here (I don’t have anywhere else for it yet…) and I’d like to get rid of the totes and dollhouse and add a small table or desk where I can draw/sew/craft.

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My next issue is the rugs. This ivory rug came with the house and the rug at the bottom of the stairs is just a $20 Ikea rug that I had and threw in there. I’d like to replace both of them. The problem with the one upstairs is that the size of it doesn’t seem right to me in this space, but I can’t figure out what size would be better. The room is kind of a fat, L-shape and I can’t decide if two runners would be better (in an L-shape), or one runner down the larger part of the room,  or if I should replace this area rug with a smaller sized rug that can be centered better.

I also don’t know what color to paint in here. I keep going back and forth between a bright, cheery color, or a nice neutral color. Either way I want something that will highlight all the wood trim. I’m leaning towards the neutral options because painting in here is going to be a pain and I want something I will love for a looooong time. Since I can’t decide,  I think I’m going to shop for rugs first and then choose my wall color based on that. I want the rug upstairs to feel cohesive to the rug downstairs, but I don’t want them to be an exact match.

Here are some rugs I’ve been looking at:

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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

 Apparently I’m subconsciously drawn to greens and blues. I like the idea of the rugs having some color in them, especially if I do a neutral wall color. I’m surprised at how much love #5 for upstairs. I think it would look so nice with the kelly green and navy blue bedrooms in that hallway. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it would look really nice downstairs too with all the dark wood. Of course it’s the most expensive option. I don’t want to spend a fortune on these guys since I’m having to buy at least two rugs.

Any thoughts or advice on wall color or rugs?! I’m open to any and all suggestions at this point!

 

Shared Toddler Room and Nursery

Well I guess you could say I’ve entered nesting mode, although I could easily argue that I’m ALWAYS in nesting mode. Like, every day of my life. This week I’ve been digging out all of our baby things to get an idea of what we need and now our poor guest room looks like Babies ‘R Us exploded in it. Luckily all of our pricier baby gear is gender neutral and in good shape so we really don’t need much.

One thing we DO need is a name for this little dude. I know we still have a few months to figure it out, but I’m starting to lose hope. I am having the hardest time finding a name that I really like. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had the complete opposite problem. I liked too many names and had a hard time picking just one. I want a name that’s different enough that you don’t hear it all the time, but not so different that the kid gets made fun of at school.

I have gotten the nursery/Hollis’ room ready for the most part. (For those who don’t know, Hollis and her baby brother will be sharing a room for a while.) I finished painting a while ago, but I’ve been taking my time adding things back into the room. Hollis is still currently sleeping in her toddler bed in our room, so I haven’t felt too rushed to get things put together. I am really happy with the decision to get rid of the pink and paint the walls a neutral color. After getting things put back into the room, I realized that the room is really not lacking in color. Here is what things are looking like now.

IMG_2701 IMG_2678 IMG_2681I added some little shelves, something that I meant to do in Hollis’ room earlier but never got around to doing. I really like the way they add some interest to the walls and color to the room. IMG_2703 IMG_2730I’m still on the hunt for some new bedding for Hollis’ bed. The pink comforter will work for now, but I’d like to find something to add a little more pattern and texture. I also want to make or find her a headboard since I think we will be keeping this queen size bed for a while. I’ve been waiting to see if we were having a boy or girl, if we were having a girl, I think we would’ve ended up getting two twin sized beds for the space instead. IMG_2692IMG_2708We are using the same dresser as a changing table that we used for Hollis. It’s such a nice height and holds all the baby essentials nicely. That changing pad cover was also Hollis’ and it’s a little girly, so I may end up changing it out if I find something I like….Or I may just leave it, because honestly, baby boy will never remember. I also re-purposed Hollis’ headband holder into a little rack to hold her princess dresses. She loves being able to reach them and get them out when she wants and her hair accessories have moved into her closet.

So that’s it for now. I’m sure I will tweak it a little more before baby gets here. And hopefully this little guy will get a name in the next few months!

Be Our Guest

I finally finished painting the guest room. My family came to visit during harvest a couple of weeks ago, and I am so glad that the guest room was all ready for visitors. I’ve said before, nothing lights a fire under my bum more than company coming.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The color is Valspar Woodland Promise Land. We’ve been living with it for a little while and we are really loving it. But, before I could call the room ‘done’, I still had to stain the built-in shelves and desk, as well as the closet doors. They were originally more honey-colored, but I wanted to match them as closely as possible to the baseboards, trim, and door. I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out, or if it was going to be a huge undertaking, but it ended up being fairly easy and totally worth it.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com My original plan was to remove everything, use a stripping agent to remove sealer, sand everything down, and then stain them the darker color. Only problem was, the stripper never worked….not even a little bit. So I went on to plan B. Which was to sand everything as best as I could, then apply a stain and hope to God that it darkened to the shade I want. I tried Minwax Polyshade in American Chestnut, and it worked better than expected. I’ve never used it before, but would use it again in a heartbeat. It was really easy to apply and I was able to layer it on top of the existing color to get to the shade I wanted.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com Here is a side by side comparison so you can see how dark I went.

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Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The decor in the room is nothing special, except for the quilt at the end of the bed that I pulled out of my grandma’s attic, the rest is just sort of a hodgepodge of things I’ve picked up at garage sales and flea markets. It’s nice to actually have them arranged on a shelf or the wall instead of piled up on the floor in a closet.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The guest room is at the top of the stairs and it’s so nice to have this cheery, green room welcoming you. It’s crazy how you can become sort of oblivious to certain eyesores and when you finally take care of them, it’s like “What the heck to me so long to fix that?!”