Kitchen Cabinets Finale

 

So in my last post, I walked you guys through the complete overhaul of the kitchen cabinets when my mom and I painted them white. It T R U L Y changed the entire look of the kitchen and had me wishing I had done them earlier.

But when we finished, we still had giant hole in the cabinets from where we had removed the built-in oven and didn’t have doors to cover it up.

I wanted to include pictures of the old oven, the giant spot and what our kitchen looked like for about 3 months so that you can really appreciate the process.

We had planned to create a pantry where the oven used to be and re-use doors from when we cut out the cabinets under the old cooktop stove. Andrew talked to a friend from church  and he said he could make us doors (from scratch) and that it would be easier than trying to jerry-rig the old doors to fit the spot. So we took him up on the offer and the process began!

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TA-DA!!!!

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Aren’t these doors incredible? They match PERFECTLY! Not only are they beautiful and fit perfectly, they cover up the BEST PART….the HUGE pantry thats inside!

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I was so excited to fill up the pantry with some of the things that have been shoved into other cabinets. I was not excited, however, to have to get out all the painting supplies and go through the whole process again, because everyone knows that dealing with the supplies is the worst part.

So, here we go again.

Step 1: Remove the doors and hardware.

We had Andrew’s friend go ahead and hang the doors and put on the hardware because I was not about to mess these doors up by trying to do it ourselves. Because of that, I did have to go through the process of taking everything off, oh well, way worth the hassle.

Step 2: Use wood filler to fill in holes

The guy who made the doors/pantry had to drill in the shelves, so we had some holes that needed to be filled. I used Elmer’s ProBond wood filler. It was cheap, $2.98, and worked great. Fill in the hole, scrape off the excess, and then sand down when dry.

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Step 3: Sand down the doors and cabinet box.

For this, I used a 220 grit sandpaper and just sanded enough to scuff the the wood up.  After sanding, I washed the doors and cabinet box down with warm water and Dawn soap to remove any sanding residue.  I allowed the doors to dry for about an hour.

Step 4: Prime everything.

I used a good paint brush (I suggest Purdy or Wooster brand) and a small “no lint” roller to apply the primer. I only put on one coat this time since the wood was “naked” and a light color. I allowed the primer to dry for about and hour and flipped the doors over and primed the back of the doors. While I was waiting for one side to dry, I primed the inside of the cabinet box where the new shelves had been installed. They will also need to be painted white.

Step 5: Paint everything-again.

Just like the rest of the doors when we originally painted, I only gave the backs of the cabinet doors one coat.

After allowing to dry for a full day, I flipped the doors over and started painting the fronts of the doors. Just like last time, I had to pay attention to the details and be cautious of drips and runs. I painted a coat on the doors, went inside and painted a coat on the cabinet box.  I allowed about an hour to an hour and a half and started on the second coat on the cabinet doors, again, being careful to not have any drips or runs.

Once the second coat was on, I waited…an entire day.

Step 6: Put the hardware back on.

Make sure the paint is COMPLETELY dry.

Step 7: Hang the doors back up.

OH MY GOODNESS….this pantry is glorious and WOWZA, this kitchen looks fantastic!

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Project note:

I wanted to give you an update on how the cabinets are holding up since we have painted them: everything is awesome!

I was kinda worried that I would be paranoid about touching them or scratching them up, but the paint has held up wonderfully. Yes, they get dirty, especially the ones under my sink because I’m a hot mess when I’m washing dishes, but I just take my dish rag, wet it, and wipe down. SUPER EASY.

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Gallery Wall

Ok, so hi again, I haven’t blogged in FOR-EV-ER because of time constraints and because we literally have been doing no projects around here. Sadly I have reached the point in the home renovations where the projects that needed a little money and a lot of elbow grease are finished and I am into the phase where the projects need a lot of money and none of my elbow grease.

Today, I thought I would share our gallery wall, that I’m sure will continue to grow, and where we got everything on it because I always hear of people needing prints made or looking for cool art pieces.

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The center photo is a canvas print I ordered from photobucket.com. We have ordered several different sizes of canvas prints from here (and know others who have as well) and they have always turned out great, shipped quickly, and are of wonderful quality. PLUS, this website runs deals ALL THE TIME. I ordered this one, which is an 11 x14 and got it shipped for $25 when they were running a sale.

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The wooden arrow under it was purchased from Hobby Lobby. Nothing special about it, I just thought the wall needed a little more dimension and another material to set it off.

The two prints on the right-hand side were ordered from a favorite Etsy shop of mine called Retro Book Art…check them out here. I have ordered many prints from this shop and I have been SUPER PLEASED with everything I’ve received. I was first introduced to the shop a few years ago when Andrew ordered me a print for Valentine’s Day.

Each “picture” is printed on dictionary paper, which adds another factor to the coolness. I was surprised when looking that the shop offers both Marshall and West Virginia University prints. I ordered an MU and a print with the outline of WV on it. Again, the pieces were well priced and shipped fast!

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On the left-hand side, we have a picture I bought, again, from Hobby Lobby. Nothing too special about it, since it was mass produced, but a good reminder, nonetheless.

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The last piece on our wall, for now, is one of my favorites. I also purchased this from an Etsy shop called Moxie Mermaid, you can check them out here. This shop specializes in water color portraits of houses. You send them a photo of your house and they send you back a hand painted portrait of your home….all for $25!!

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Anyhoo, there you have it. Nothing too special, but definitely some cool pieces that livened up the big ol’ wall in our living room.

Where do you get your custom art pieces?

Hymnal Page Artwork

So I haven’t updated Robin Lane Living in quite a while because not much has been happening on Robin Lane on the home improvement front. Another school year is in full swing and I’m working on my last few graduate classes. I’ve been busy, which hasn’t left much time for crafting…but here’s the latest project…..

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I was born and raised in a Baptist church, which means I was born and raised on piano and organ accompanied hymns. We sang all the classic ones, How Great Thou Art, It Is Well, Blessed Assurance, and Amazing Grace, just to name a few.

And as a child, I had memorized all these beautiful words that shared God’s great love for us and could and would sing them throughout my day. I still find myself singing these songs in the shower, while I vacuum the house, or while I’m driving down the road. And to me, there is nothing more beautiful than when a familiar hymn pops randomly into my head and suddenly, I catch myself singing. I don’t think about it, it just comes naturally.

A few weeks back, a duet sang my favorite hymn, It Is Well, during the service at church. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, and PERFECT and brought a genuine smile to my face. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love most of the contemporary worship songs that are on the radio and that we sing in church, but these songs just cannot compare to some of the words that you find in the older hymns.

I know you are thinking, ok, get on with it. Normally this is a DIY blog, where is the DIY? I’m getting there. After the duet sang at church, we, as a congregation, sang another old hymn and while we were singing, I happened to look over to where all of our youth sits during the service and none of them knew the song. This was devastating to me, because these songs were THE songs to sing when I was growing up (and for years prior) and the kids growing up now have never heard the original hymn, let alone know it. I decided right then, I wanted to hang hymnal music on a wall in our house somewhere, so that the words are constantly in our minds and on our hearts. It is also my hope that when Andrew and I have a family, our future children will see these words and we can teach them our favorite hymns.

I went on Ebay and bought a hymnal for $4.00 (plus shipping) that a man had purchased at an Estate Sale. He said it was in pretty good shape, but honestly, I didn’t care what type of shape it was in, I just wanted the pages.

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As I sat there and thumbed through the pages, so many memories came back as I started singing song after song. I picked out my favorites, obviously It Is Well, Jesus Paid It All, Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, and one of Andrew’s favorites, Wonderful Grace of Jesus. I carefully pulled these pages from the binding and trimmed the edges to make them straight.

I bought plain white wall frames from Hobby Lobby in a 5×7 size that included matting down to a 4×6. This is important because the pages of the hymnal are too small to fit in a 5×7 frame, but too big for a 4×6. I used the matting to attach the pages to instead of placing over the pages (as you normally would do with a photo). Andrew’s song was a two pager, so I bought an 8×10 frame and placed the two pages side by side.

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We have this weird wall in our house that was blank, mostly because I didn’t have anything to put on it. When you are first married, the only photos you seem to have are of the wedding, but there comes a time when TOO many wedding photos is a reality. The wall was weird because it is wide, because it overhangs into the entryway, but is also skinny because only part of the wall is technically in the living room.

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I used painter’s tape to tape off the sizes of the frames to get an idea of where the pictures would be before putting nails into the wall.

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I like how the project turned out and it was about a 1 on the difficulty scale. The music looks great in the blank spot and I do find myself singing the songs because I start to think of the words when I glance at the wall.

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I framed five songs, but decided to only put three here (just based on space), so I have two that still need hung. I haven’t quite decided where to put them just yet.

Faux Fireplace Up-Cycle

We moved into our house in February 2013, and the living room walls have haunted me ever since. The room is so large and decorating the walls overwhelmed me. It took a year, but I finally created the Family Tree that I wanted to use as artwork on one wall but was still left with one wall of blank space.

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Look at how big and blank that wall is…

We had a nice television stand that I had refinished when we first got married that looked great, but it really wasn’t ideal. The cords still showed pretty badly and it really was not a great height for easy viewing. The other issue was that there was no way to decorate the wall around the television. If a piece of artwork was put on the wall on the other side of the television, it seemed unbalanced, but of course no artwork could be put behind the television because of the height. I had been racking my brain for ideas with no such luck.

Andrew and I were sitting watching HGTV one evening and I had an epiphany! Put a fireplace on that side of the wall, hang the television over it, and then hang a piece of artwork on the other side of the fireplace!! He liked the idea and the search for that perfect piece began.

For months I searched Craigslist, yard sales, etc. with no such luck. I didn’t want an actual fireplace with fake logs or something similar on the inside, I just wanted a nice wood mantle. Is that too much to ask? Then, while I was on a girls’ trip with my mom, a friend of mine sent me a link to a Craigslist posting for EXACTLY what I had been looking for and for only $50!!! Sadly, I was out of town but luckily, Andrew, who is the worlds greatest husband, was able to contact the seller and pick up the fireplace. It sat in my garage until I got home the next week.

2015-06-10 00.05.38This piece was killer! Solid wood with just enough details to make it a piece that will always be in style. We started by first removing the fake logs in the center and the barn wood backing. With that done, I could start sanding and filling in any dents or nail holes with wood filler.
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I then used Valspar Stainblocking/Bonding Primer. We had used this when we painted our doors and trim for the floor remodel, so I knew this stuff meant business. I ended up using two coats, sanding in between.

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Next up was to paint. I chose to paint the fireplace white to match our doors and trim and accent the dark wood floors. I used leftover paint from the flooring project, which worked out great. I used both a smaller roller (on the flat surfaces, like the top and bottom) and a smaller brush to apply three coats, allowing the coats to dry in between. Then, once that last coat was dry, I applied a wax seal that shined it up would protect the paint.

2015-06-17 20.15.26The next part was the tricky part. I needed to fill the hole with something that would match the room, as well as stand the test of time. I decided to use the plastic back splash that Lowes sells that looks like tin in a bronze. I cut up some cardboard to use as a backing and stapled it into place. I used two different sheets of this plastic back splash and just hot glued it into place on the cardboard.

This turned out to be a little harder than I had originally thought because I had to line up and cut the pieces to fit perfectly. The back splash is not the cheapest thing either (at $20 a piece) so I really didn’t want to mess up. After about 30 minutes, I was able to get it looking like I wanted and glued into place.

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2015-06-19 15.00.43I now needed to find something to put in the center for decoration purposes and ended up buying a candelabra at Hobby Lobby. We moved the piece up into the living room and then started the process of hanging the television.

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Once the television was up, I had to find a way to attach the cords and power strip to the back of the fireplace, so I decided to use a Command Strip Hook. It was the perfect way to hide the cords inside the fireplace, while still being able to use them.

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I could not be more thrilled with how this project turned out. It is the perfect, eye-catching item I wanted in the room, and it is functional. I know it will be something I enjoy decorating for holidays in the years to come.

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Project Cost:

Fireplace: $50

Primer/Paint/Supplies: $0 (leftover from previous project)

“Tin” Back splash: $41. 36 ( $20.68 per piece)

Candelabra and candles: $25

TV Mount: $75

Total: $191.36

Family Tree Artwork

I’ll admit it, I’m a history nerd. I love studying and reading about past events, especially ones that are relevant to my own life, like stories about my state, hometown, and even family. I have always been fascinated with the idea of having real documentation of family generations. Obviously, being able to discuss with older family members is one way to get some solid information, but even they may not be able to go back as far as you might want when researching family ancestry.

When ancestry.com came out a few years back, the company advertised like crazy! Every time I saw a commercial, I got excited about the idea of using the site to create my own genealogy. I decided to look into it and figured out that the company offers a FREE 30 day trial. I was skeptical at first, but it really was free to use and when the 30 days was up, you could either pay to continue, or suspend your account.

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Thirty days ended up being plenty of time for me to research and document 7 generations on both my mother and father’s side of the family. I ended up using the information and made my mom a family tree documenting my mom and dad’s families for them to display in their home.

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When Andrew and I started planning our wedding for November 2013, I decided I wanted to display family photos and a family tree from both sides of the family at the reception. So Andrew and I signed up for his free trial and started working on a tree for his side. I gave it to my mother and father-in-law as an early Christmas present with the stipulation that I could use it for the reception.

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The two trees together created a beautiful table at the door of our reception that people raved over.

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I knew that I wanted to eventually merge the two trees together to create mine and Andrew’s family tree.

So drumroll please….one year later, I finally found time to put the two trees together to create a beautiful piece of artwork to hang in our home.

I knew this piece was going to be large, and I was fine with that, the only problem was finding a frame big enough that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I ended up finding one on clearance at Michael’s for $14.99!!!! Orginially it had cost $99 so I couldn’t have been more thrilled. While there I also picked up some green and brown scrapbook paper, some stickers, and some leaf decals.

Since I already had all the information, it was really just a matter of putting it all together. The first thing I did was type out all the names and dates onto the smaller Avery sticker labels. I found a pretty font and added some detail to the sticker to dress it up. They are small, but because I had around 70 names to put on, I knew they would need to be small to fit.

I then prepped the board (I purchased backing board in a tan at Michael’s, but they have every color imaginable) for adding the names. There are many ways to do this, but I have found the best way is to use scrapbook paper as the “tree leaves background” and round the edges at the bottom. Then use brown scrapbook paper to make the tree trunk. I just free hand cut those and then glued them on. This size needed 3 full sheets of green paper and then another 1/3rd added to the bottom of each to make the tree fit the size. The smaller ones I made only needed 2 sheets of paper. I then used light brown paint to free hand the tree branches. Honestly, they can go anywhere and look anyway you would want, they get mostly covered up by the names. I go back and add some darker brown paint to add some detail and dimension to both the trunk and limbs.

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Next, I added the stickers for the family name and when OUR family was established. Again, this can go anywhere, I just chose to use it to fill up dead space at the bottom.

The next part is the fun part, adding al the stickers. I started on my side of the family at the very bottom with me. I put the husband on the left and the wife on the right, just for consistency.

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When finished with a few generations, I used a sharpie to draw the connecting lines. Again, this can be done however and whenever you want in the process, I just find its easiest to do after a few so the names don’t start running together.

Once finished with my side, I started on Andrew’s side and the whole process started over again.

Side note: On the other trees I had made I didn’t use the Avery labels. I hand wrote the names on tabs and glued them down. The labels were WAY easier!!! No glue to worry about.

IMG_0974So at this point, all the generations are linked together and I painted some grass with plain ol’ green paint to add some color on the bottom.

The next step is my favorite because this step starts to give life to the tree. I mentioned I bought some leaf decals from Michael’s. This is what they look like. They come in packs of 36 with two different sizes. One pack was the perfect amount for my tree this time.

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Honestly, I just put these wherever there is dead space. I try to attach them to the limbs that are painted on if possible, but they look fine when just glued down. I used hot glue and was done in no time.

IMG_0978The last step I did before putting the piece back into the frame is painted a light cream over the cream backing on the bottom. There is really no reason for this, I just did it to add a bit more texture to the dead space.

***In the coming years as Andrew and I start our family, I will add our children down the trunk in order of birth (but this will not be for quite a few years).

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I could not be more pleased with how this turned out and I know it will be something we treasure for many years. It looks wonderful on the big old blank wall that was haunting me in the living room and really adds a special touch, not to mention it will be an excellent conversation starter when we have guests over.

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Gallery

Hardwood Flooring Overhaul- Part 4: The Reveal

I’ve been waiting to reveal the finished flooring until we showed our family and FINALLY finished painting the millions of eleven doors to match the new trim.

Honestly the change that these floors have made to the house is crazy. It truly looks like a completely different house. The process was grueling, expensive and stressful but as I sit here and look at everything, I wouldn’t change a thing.

We still have a few things to complete (an area rug to pick out and purchase and some pictures to hang) but we could not be more thrilled with how the floor turned out.

**Click on a photo below to enlarge it and open the gallery**

Happy Anniversary Robin Lane!

Well it’s official, we’ve lived on Robin Lane for exactly one year. We signed the papers and got our keys on February 18, 2014 but did not move in until February 22, 2014. I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by and more importantly, all the projects we have completed

Here’s your look back……

#1 We painted and decorated the dining room

Remember those awesome bamboo vinyl decals? Yeah, who doesn’t? We also put up new draperies and replaced the light fixture. Next up in this room? Replace the sliding glass doors with french doors.

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#2. We painted the master bedroom walls and doors from that terrible corduroy thing the last owners left us with.

I know this photo is not from the same angle, but its the only one that really showcased the awesome paint job before I got my hands on it.

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#3. We removed the off-centered window in the master bedroom by covering it up with a handmade headboard. The only thing left in this room is to fix the closet situation (not enough closet space for two people) and find the perfect mirror to hang over the dresser.

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#4. We replaced every light fixture in the house, literally. The dining room, the upstairs hallway, the downstairs hallway, the entry way, the guest bathroom, the kitchen….here’s just a reminder of what we were working with.

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#5. We painted what we still affectionally call, “The Blue Room” aka, spare bedroom #1.

Oh my goodness, do you remember the disaster that was this room? I still remember the look Andrew and I exchanged when we walked in this room when looking at the house. With a little help from my mom, it turned out nicely. This room really is perfect and doesn’t need any more help from us for the time being, but eventually will have all the trim and doors painted white to match the rest of the house.

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#6. We painted what we still affectionally call “The Yellow Room” aka spare bedroom #2.

Oh those walls! I swear you got a sunburn just standing in that room! This room, much like the other spare bedroom is in pretty good shape. It is furnished, functional, and appears “finished”. I eventually plan to repaint the trim which the last owners had painted FLAT white. *Yuck* It will get the same semi-gloss white we painted the rest of the trim in the house.

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#7. We took down the 80’s-refic wood spindles that “separated” the entry way and living room.

If I had known it would only take the 5 minutes it did to get these things down I would have done it February 22, 2014. We were so worried that the ceiling underneath the wood was not finished, which caused me to not want to take them down just because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle. When we got ready to install the wood floors, I knew if I wanted them down, it had to be now so we could fix the ceiling beforehand. It took Andrew and one of his buddies literally 5 minutes. The ceiling underneath turned out to be finished and all we had to do was a bit of touch up paint! IMG_0486#8. We painted the basement’s wood paneling.

You remember the story, it was supposed to be stained a nice dark brown, but that didn’t work out for me, so instead it got painted the nice cream. It truly brightens the room and I’m happy with the outcome!

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#9. We’ve added a few personal touches to the basement recreation room.

This room is not anywhere close to what I want it to be, yes it is painted and the wall storage units have had a facelift, but I’m not done yet. We had tons of other things to do to make the upstairs of the house feel more homey and haven’t had the money, resources, or time to tackle this room yet. Next up for this room is a complete revamp of the furniture. I plan to purchase a large brown leather sectional and a HUGE television. We also plan to replace the sliding door that goes to the front walk-out with french doors. I’d also like to look into putting an electric fireplace unit in our fireplace so we can use it easily and more frequently.

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#10. Andrew has added his own touches to the downstairs office.

This room was one that didn’t require any work other than decorating. No paining, no floor fix, nothing! The laminate flooring that is in there now works awesome for Andrew’s office chair and he liked the the current paint. He added some of his own favorite things and moved some stuff to put actual office supplies of mine (like paperwork and bills and boring stuff). We do however plan to purchase a new desk, one that is larger for comfort and storage.

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#11. We did a minor master bathroom remodel.

We painted, hung a new mirror, and added a nicer over-the-toilet shelf to make this room look a little more put together. I also repainted the cabinets and replaced the hardware. Next up for this room is a new counter top and tile floors.

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#12. We did a minor guest bathroom remodel-last week actually.

The guest bathroom was functional, but it just looked worn and tired and kind of sad. I started this project last week by accident while painting the trim and doors to match the other trim and doors in the house (we wanted to finish everything up while I still had all the supplies out). I lifted a piece of wallpaper to paint the board under it, and well, suddenly all the wallpaper was gone.  We painted the walls a brownish-gray, put up a new over-the-toilet shelf, and bought a new shower curtain. I also painted the cabinets, because they could not have been worse to look at before.  IMG_0628

#13. We re-grouted the tile backsplash in the guest bathroom.

This was pretty simple and created quite a bang for our buck. In the coming weeks I plan to frame the mirror using leftover molding from the floor install and replace the fan/light. The room eventually will get tiled floor and a new counter top.

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#14. We replaced the outlet covers and light switches from cream to white, to match the new white trim.

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#15. We painted the front door a nice cheery blue.

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#16. We painted all the doors white, replaced all the hardware (handles and hinges) and replaced the old floor molding.IMG_0480

#17. The most impressive and extensive project of the year? We replaced the carpet in the living room, dining room, hallway, and master bedroom with hardwood.

This has been my goal since we moved in and to see it in real life is crazy. It has completely changed the look of the house. It makes it look bigger, cleaner, and more modern. You can read about the week long process here, here, and here.

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So, as you can see, we’ve had a busy year here on Robin Lane and we’ve checked off most of my short term goals. What’s up for us next? I’ve still got quite a few more projects to check off.IMG_0606