Tuesday, April 26, 2011

library turned man-cave

Yes, you read that title correctly: this is a library that was turned into a man-cave... I dont know who won in this situation, but Im pretty sure I know who lost.  The brain.  The brain lost.

Lets start at the beginning, shall we?

BEFORE (kinda)

I forgot my camera the first day, so these pictures are after we took off the door to the storage under the stairs and cleaned that out, removed the drop ceiling, and...

...removed the kitchenette!  Yup, there was a kitchenette on the first floor with a fridge, stove and sink (the house had been split into two separate living places, one that was rented out.)  And, I was lucky enough that the fridge came with an old rotten egg, too.  Special for me.

So, to recap: fridge, sink, stove, tile back-splash, crappy & damaged drywall, ugly flooring, door-less storage, and a collection of un-speakable treasures found abandoned by the previous owners.


For more than the first year, this room was pretty much my storage/ staging area.  As you can see, we installed the same floor here as in the rest of the first floor.  There was damage to the bottom of the drywall, (some water, and a lot of wear & tear that would make installing molding impossible.)  So, we replaced the bottom foot of drywall, and the full kitchenette-wall.

inconsistently-spaced studs are fun

pretty patched drywall

So, as originally stated, I was going to make this room something of a library.  My aunt & uncle gave me their old bookcases/ entertainment center, which was going to house my millions and millions of awesome books that I magically would acquire.  I am not completely positive if these guys will keep their current wood tone (or even keep as wood,) or what to do with the blue basket weave, but that is a post for another day.

As you can see, I also painted the room (in the same color as the aquarium room.)  I also added a kick-a$$ rug and re-stained a $5 coffee table:

pretty flowers and yay for yard-sales!

see more about this staining project here


So, still kinda a library?  A library of movies??  Does that count?  When the beau moved in, he brought his personal Blockbuster with him, (AND we need MORE room for them!!  They overflow-eth!)  I believe the beau was scheming about this room from the moment he saw it: small window makes the room dark, perfect for a theater room! narrow with "built-in" nook for the tv, perfect for a theater room! good arrangement for surround sound.... perfect for a theater room!  Sooo, instead of a quiet reading nook, it's a loud tv room.  

With a million video games....

It sounds like World War III has erupted in my house.

I think by "theater" room, he really meant "gaming" room... I'm onto him and his dastardly ways!*  There's pretty much no escaping it, other than the carpet and the wall color, this room is a 100%-approved Man-Cave.

*It is pretty sweet, and I do love this little nook..... but for the sake of hilarity, let's pretend I am a woman wronged, k?  A "Gender-Neutral Cave" just doesn't have the same ring to it!

As you can see, this room still needs a TON of work: there's no floor molding, the "window" is still a vent leftover from the kitchenette, the old college-futon sticks out like a sore thumb, and the storage underneath the stairs is still without a door!  I'm sure there are tons* more things to do in here,** but it's exhausting (depressing?) to think about.... so let's just make believe there are only 4 things I need to do here, k?

Fun thoughts: that orange & aqua ikat pillow (from World Market & it so awesome?) is the "inspiration"/ "guiding light" for the room.  We have our minds set on a neutral tan-ish small sofa/love-seat to replace the futon.  As you can see, there are already orange pillows & throws in there, and the rug pulls together the dark brown, tan and the light sagey-blue-gray-whatever-it-is-wall-color.  I think just by replacing the seating, this room would "work" 10 million billion times better.....  Oh, and we also want to find some kind of closed-storage end table for the corner with the lamp and table trays.

What do you think?  Can you see it?  Maybe?  Kinda?  ...not at all???

*Like fix the wiring for the chandelier....
**And hanging more art-work we have stashed away.  The beau brought his classic horror movie posters, which I will mix with my classic old hollywood posters, someday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

dining room: a new-old floor!

Man o' man, those stick tiles... I can't even begin to tell you how elated I am that they are gone!  I love a good demo/uncover job- there's something almost addictive in the "ok, just one more tile" mindset that I had.  

a window to Narnia

Backing up, when I bought this house, these green peel-and-stick tiles were in the dining room and kitchen, (I believe previous owners renovated the kitchen with stock cabinets, and wanted to make more of an eat-in kitchen than a separate kitchen and dining room.)  Early on, I had removed the tiles in the kitchen to reveal basic white ceramitiles.  I knew the tiles in the dining room were installed over the hardwood that runs through the rest of the house, but wasn't sure 1) what the quality of the wood was, or 2) if removing the tiles would damage/strip the wood. 

stupid puckering

These tiles quickly became the bane of my existence.  With a house that is all hardwood, but for a few area rugs, Swifer-ing has become our floor-cleaning method of choice.   This is a problem, when EVERY. LIP. OF. THE. TILES. PUCKER. UP.  I may have exaggerated.  Probably more like half.  But it is the half that gets the most traction, and therefore the dirtiest, and even more therefore needs the most Swifer-ing!  

So, as I stated in this post, while cleaning a few hours before my cousin arrived, I decided to pull back a little corner, and see how it cleaned up. 

Then I pulled back a little more...

And a little more...

Until I pulled the whole tile up!  

And then the beau came upstairs and caught me red-handed.  Sheepish me.

BUT IT WAS OK!  Because it looked awesome.  

this was ~30min of tile-removing after work

All in all, it took us 2 nights after work (and after walking the dogs, and with one of us fixing dinner for part of it,) plus the first 5 that I pulled up out of impatience.  Not too bad, right?  Definitely an easy and fairly quick task (as far as DIY is concerned.)  

And, here is how we did it:

To remove adhesive tiles from the hardwood, all we needed was GOO GONE, plastic putty knives, and a whole boat-load of paper towels (sorry, environment!)  The tiles would pull up fairly easily by hand, with the putty knives as a back-up if we needed help and extra prying power.  After that, a solid soaking of GOO GONE sat on the exposed adhesive for 7-15 minutes.  We found that waiting made it easier to scrape up the gunk, instead of rubbing it off* with a paper towel right away.  After the time was up, we used a putty knife to scrape up the GOO GONE and the adhesive from the wood.  This created what can only be described as boogers.


floor boogers

After all this was mopped up, we went over it with some warm and lightly soapy water, to get rid of the slipperiness left by the GOO GONE.  

After the first full night of tile removal:

I will tell you that I shoved that giant trash bag full of tiles with my foot... and ended up with a cut on the inside joint of my pinky toe!  I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW YOU COULD HURT THAT!!!!  Those tiles were sharp!

After all the tiles were pulled up, we went over the floor with a one-two punch of Pine Sol then Old English.  The rationale being Pine Sol would clean up any remaining residue from the adhesive remover and the Old English would condition, protect and make it shiny.  What we didn't anticipate was in glossing up the dining room, we ended up feeling sorry for the rest of the house!  Poor house, with its dull, dog-printy floors...

Anyways, we did find one area with a bit of damage:

It isn't too bad, but definitely not what you would call good.  I don't know where this damage came from- in the two years I have been here, I have never seen any water come in or pool there.  Gotta think it was a result of something the previous owners did, right?*  

As luck would have it, we keep a door mat by the sliding door AND I had a second one stashed away.  Laying both of these down helps to cover and protect the damaged area until we can properly fix it.

*... Right????!?!  Please don't say my house is going to fall apart.

damage hiders

Plus, they look good and keep the feet (human and canine) from tracking all the dirt in the world in.  Double score!

So, to sum it up: having continuous hardwood floors throughout the house makes the house flow, feel bigger and looks amazing (duh, double duh and triple duh.)

Final glamor shot (which was spoiled by this post, but oh well):


Sunday, April 17, 2011

dining room: update


These were from the real estate posting.  You know what I noticed about real estate listings?  You are never really able to tell how dingy the rooms really are...

Move-in day.


I LOVE those candlesticks!  They were thrift-store purchases that were painted silver (see???)  I plan to play around with how many I display on the table and in what way for different centerpieces.  Oh, the possibilities!

Anyways, you can see that we painted the walls and hung curtains.  Otherwise, there is not much else that we did to this room, until....


Oh yeah, look at that beauty!!  All hardwood and no stick-tiles!  THE HOTNESS!!!  So, after the curtains and the paint, we recently removed all the stick tiles (stay tuned for a more in-depth look at that in the next couple of days.)

A few things in this room that I love:

Here's a HomeGoods find though I forget how much it was (how many HG buys do I have?  No clue.  A thousand???  Yup, that sounds about right.)  I love the star-burst mirrors!  I am toying with the idea of making a star-burst collection on this wall... have yet to decide.  What are your thoughts? 

I still love this spray painted chandelier re-do (read more here.)  Just realized* that I have a few touch-ups to do on it, though... WHOOPS!  I am thinking about painting the candlestick holders a soft, buttery yellow.  I was thinking about a design, but... don't know.  What do you think?**
  1. Paint a design (like yellow latice-work over the existing beige/ream) 
  2. Paint all yellow 
  3. Leave as-is?  

*Ok, so the beau pointed it out.  I was quite happy in my ignorance, thankyouverymuch!
**Note: I do have an extra candlestick holder to experiment with (I need to fix one of the holders, and they are sold in packs of two.

So there you go, our dining room!  What do you think?  I know its pretty ordinary, and I plan to use those shelves to add some personality, fun, and continuity to the space, but that will  be in time.

Soon to come: the tile removal process!  Riveting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

living room update (it's about time!)

It's been long enough without an update on the living room. So, let's get this party-train started:


This pic is from the house listing.  I dont know if you can really tell, but the walls were an attempt at beige, which went horribly greenish.  Anyways, other than the MISSING QUARTER-ROUND MOLDING and a bit of grime on the floor, this room was probably the best in shape on move-in day.


I thought orange would be a good accent color for these rooms...

I thought wrong.  The orange wasn't enough contrast, and in the end everything felt very orangey-brown.  And not, well, "me."

I have since embraced my love of yellow, and there is no stopping me now!  I particularly love the peacock/marine blue and yellow combination (and have an entire pinterest board devoted to it!*)  Why do you care?  Well, to be honest, you probably don't.  But for the purpose of this post, you DO care because that's the direction my living room is going!

*I will follow you, if you follow me....


VOILA!  Much more cheerful and it makes me happy.  

Much happier.  

For more on that kick-a$$ bar, check out this post.

If that picture looks like everything is kinda off-center and misaligned, then I apologize.  It's not.  I think this is totally a perspective thing; I don't line up my furniture on a diagonal!

Now for a few details, close-ups, and things-I-love:

(Yes, this is a pic from the orange days.  And I have no idea why there's a palate in my dining room...)

This beauty was from HomeGoods for about $25.  I KNOW!  There's a piece missing?  Though I can't find where that missing piece is... but, for that price, I'm not gonna object!

We got this table and chair set (from here, only we paid $299.99... dunno what that crazy price hike is about!)  The thought process behind this was to add more seating, especially with a Superbowl party nearing, and to give us another place to eat.  Both of which, I am loving!  I also enjoy how it doubles as a (better) place to put drinks- much more easy to reach than the coffee table/ottoman!  I love the lines, both straight and semi-circles.  The cushions are quite comfortable and, best of all, it's a Transformers-table!  Check it out:

That's right, it expands!  There are legs for the other side that unfold, too.  I just didn't have the room to display that at this time.  I'm super happy with the fact that this table can grow with us or be used in different ways in houses down the line.

These pillows were an Xmas present from the beau.  He saw me go crazy for them while watching an episode of ColorSplash, and he thought to go online to their website & found out where they got them!  Awesome, right?  Then, the poor guy had to play defense when we went to a ZGallerie store to make sure I didn't buy them myself or, banish the thought, see something else I liked more!  His surprise was safe, and I was so delighted to unwrap them!

On that note, he also got me these bookends:

THE BEST!  They're really really well done.  (For those that don't know, we are a greyhound household.)  

I saw this beauty at ZGallerie on sale for $16, and I HAD to have him.  Had to.  And that little blue-bird is a good-luck thing; my mom always kept a figurine in the house.

I found this little vase at HomeGoods for $12.  I love it.  I love how it reads green in some light and teal in others.  And, it is the perfect way to bring the colors of the pillows to other areas of the room.

These two candle holders were a host gift that I think work perfectly.  I like that added bit of quirkiness the frog & lizard add.  The blue coasters are also great, though I think I may look to get two more to make a set of four.

Ok, one more look at the whole thing... this time with a lazy dog sneaking into the frame:

Friday, April 8, 2011

stick tile removal: what lies beneath

It seems as the temperature rises, so does our ambition.  And so, even though I have fleeting moments where I think we will only have one project at a time- start to finish.... buuuuttttttt that doesnt happen.  You know what does happen?  We start 29 projects at once.  Yup, 29.  

We currently have the following on our plates:
  1. Replace bathroom vanity and lighting.
  2. Remove outlining bushes in the front.
  3. Re-seed/grass backyard.
  4. Paint bed frame in guest-room #2.
  5. Paint dressers in guest-room #1.

These guys have been here from the beginning.  Originally, they were in the kitchen and the dining room making something of a larger, eat-in kitchen, I guess?  During the first year, I removed them from the kitchen to reveal white, ceramic tile underneath.  Though we knew the stick tile came up easily and that there was hardwood under them, we held off on removing them in fear of finding super damaged wood or damaging the wood in the process.  Well, these stick tiles aren't just ugly, they are a pain in the patootie.  They also have been peeling up at the edges, creating it impossible to sweep/swifer the floor (all the dirt just gets caught along the puckered-up edge!)  

Enough is ENOUGH!  I got so irritated at these while cleaning, I pulled up a corner and cleaned up the adhesive... then more of the tile... and more...  

(I removed one tile on Sunday, but then ran out for a Sunday-Funday with cousins.  After dinner the next night I pulled 4 more up.)

Look!  Not damaged!  Why would you EVER cover that up?!?!?!  Seriously, WHY????

Some tiles take a little more muscle to pull up than others, but nothing too bad.  After maybe 3 or 4 hours:

Holy Awesome.  

I'll post more, with better pictures and how we managed to get it all up, once the room is complete.  Weekend, HERE I COME!!