It is amazing what sheetrock can do! (Bath & Closet, part 5)

It never ceases to amaze me how a room can feel so different once the sheetrock goes up. Sometimes it can make what felt like an open space seem closed in, while other times it grounds the room and makes it feel just right. Thank goodness we are in the second camp. The last 2 homes we built so we know firsthand how a room can look just the right size on a plan, but once the walls go up it can magically transform into you questioning the room size! At this stage in the bathroom & closet renovation I feel so happy with the space, the design just has much better flow, feel and natural light, it’s very exciting! We subcontracted the sheetrock work out, this was a big job and neither of us felt qualified to handle it.

Master bathroom renovation

Master bathroom renovation

The contractor we hired to install the framing is also helping us out with the shower. We are having him install the liner, mortar bed and cement backer board on the walls. We ended up using a pond liner instead of the traditional pan liner, mainly because the tile stores don’t stock 9×8 liners and recommend you seal two of them together in order to get the size you need. I did find some online, but it cost over $100 just to ship it and would have delayed the project. So I looked at pond liners as an alternative, they are made of the same product and thickness and I saved over $300 and have a single piece rather than two seemed pieces.

Building a walk in master shower

I have already taped the seams, but I still need to cover the mesh tape and screw holes with thinset and then paint 2-3 coats of a waterproof membrane called RedGard for waterproofing and crack prevention.

Building a walk in master shower

All of the new LED ceiling lights are in, but we still have to add junction boxes for the new sconces beside the vanity mirrors. This was not in the original plan and is what my husband lovingly refers to as my “scope creep”…  The nice thing about being our own General Contractor and doing a portion of the work ourselves is that there is no fee to make this change, just the cost of the material and the time is takes us to do it.

Also we will be installing Board & Batten on the bathroom walls, I have already installed and painted the top trim (it is a lot easier to paint the walls prior to the rest of the trim being installed). Our plan of attack for the rest of the room is to tile the shower, install the vanities, install the flooring, install the baseboards, then install the vertical B&B trim.

Master bathroom renovation

The closet doesn’t get B&B, but will eventually have built-in cabinetry, it is painted the same color as the top portion of the wall in the bathroom (and in the master bedroom) Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.

Master closet renovation

Thank goodness my sweet Hubby painted all of the ceilings for me, ceilings are such a pain for me so I was very grateful for him doing that.

In case you’re interested these are some things I have learned by being our own General Contractor:

  • One good contractor can lead you to other skilled tradespeople, if the contractor is nice and helpful (which ours was in spades). He recommended the sheetrock guy, the shower glass guy and let us use his discount at the tile store.
  • Let people know you are working on your home, we got a referral for a great plumber from a parent of our daughter’s when my hubby dropped her off at a sleepover!
  • You can take your time and work at your own pace, which may be slow or fast depending on what else you have going on.
  • You can make changes on the fly when you see an opportunity you didn’t think of when you were in the planning stage (without the burden of creating a change order and the associated costs).

So far the only major problem that has occurred is with the flooring. When I opened the shipment we received the other day it was the wrong color and wrong width although the packaging was stamped with the product I ordered. I hope the company has the correct product and can get it to me in a reasonable amount of time otherwise I have to start all over again looking for flooring… not fun!

Well I’m off to work on the shower, let me know if you have any questions about our project so far, I think it’s going to turn out beautifully!

Thanks as always for stopping by!


Master Bath & Closet Renovation (part 4)

Choosing tile for the master bathroom shower is where I left off a couple of weeks ago. I did decide to go with marble instead of the considerably less expensive ceramic tile, I will share with you sources and actual selection soon… I’m still picking out exactly what I need. In the meantime all of the walls in the rooms have been constructed, well except for one small one that cannot be erected until the plumbing is moved, and the insulation is in! It was VERY cold in the bathroom and we did have a small problem with the copper pipes bursting, but Super Awesome Hubby drained them, capped them off and wrapped them in foam so they are ok now. The temperature in there still hovers around 42 degrees in the room, but that is so much better than the 7 degrees it is outside!

So this is the current view looking back toward the door to the master bedroom. The shower is on the right and to the left of the shower is the water closet. See all of that lovely pink insulation in the floor? If you remember these rooms are partially over the garage and stayed cooler than they should so we had blown insulation added on top of the bat insulation that was already there for added floor warmth.

master bathroom remodel construction phase

I constructed a niche on both sides of the shower walls, the Hubby relocated the whole house vacuum pipe and I installed the new electrical switches and roughed in the wiring. The plumber is supposed to be here at the end of the week, barring any more emergency pipe bursting calls that is, the plumbers around here have been VERY busy!

The picture below is of my Hubby’s closet space, seriously the man has a ton of clothes and shoes! The wall on the left will be double and single handing rods and the wall directly ahead will be all shelves for shoes and folding items. The wall on the right will also be for hanging clothes with a window seat under the window. The way it works out is that he “gets” everything to the left of the window and I “get” everything to the right.

master closet remodel construction phase

This is my side of the closet. The knee wall on the left will be for long hanging items and the one on the right will have short hanging with shelving below for shoes, sweaters, purses whatever. The other wall (across from the right knee wall) will have two hanging rods for short hanging items as well. Also, the area behind the knee walls, which is accessible from the dormer window area, will have built-in cabinets for additional shoe storage. At this point in the construction we also made sure to add additional bracing to the walls so that our clothes rods will be well supported.

master closet remodel construction phase

If you remember this closet space was broken up before with this center wall that blocked the natural light from getting to my side of the closet… I hated it! Just removing this wall made such a big difference I really have no idea why they designed it this way in the first place… and don’t get me started with the wire shelving, but rest assured there will be no wire shelving in our “new” closet.

master closet BEFORE

A birds eye view of the closet layout is this, more efficient use of the space and the natural light available to the whole space. I like having one big closet space, no one gets short changed with the “small closet” you can be a closet hog or not it’s up to you!

master closet design

With the addition of the insulation the room is at least bearable to work in now. However, I am looking forward to the sheetrock installation next week and no we are not doing that ourselves. I’ll leave sheetrock and plumbing to the professionals, we are doing a lot of DIY on this renovation, but those two items are just ones we choose not to do.

We still have quite a ways to go and I feel like I am going a little crazy trying to source the perfect flooring option, but I’m hoping I’ll find something soon. In the meantime we still have to install all of the can lights in the ceiling this weekend so that if there are any mistakes the drywall guys can fix them…

While our bathroom is being remodeled we have taken over our daughter’s bathroom (she’s away at college), it has great natural light in there but I miss my nice, deep tub so I’m hoping that once the drywall gets installed I can use my tub again.

Stay safe and warm guys… I’m hoping that Spring comes to us all soon!

Until next time…


Choosing the shower tile, I need help!

Hey guys! I’m in need of some advice / opinions, you see I’m struggling with some design choices for our shower in the master bath renovation and I just can’t seem to get unstuck!

We have removed most of the walls in the closet / bathroom area and now have this wide open space. It’s amazing how big a space looks and feels when it has no walls up. Alas, we need those walls though… We have laid out the walls placement on the floor, as you can see in the photo below.

master bath shower tile

The wall you see with the plumbing in it will be removed once the plumber comes to move the pipes, we DON”T mess around with copper pipes here. The space outlined around it will be the shower, the inside dimensions of the shower will be 6ft deep by 7ft long, giving us plenty of room for 2 to shower. The shower heads will be on both sides of the 6ft wall.

Here is our very rudimentary plan for the glass. All of the glass will extend to the ceiling with a glass transom over the door to allow for ventilation. We texted this to the “glass guy” and he said it was doable which made my day!

master bath shower tile

It was very important to me that the side glass and front glass (as noted in blue) would be frameless as this will be the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom.

master bath shower tile

Pictured below is roughly the tile layout we are considering, herringbone top, subway bottom. We are not installing a shower seat though, but this gives you an idea of the direction we are going.

Here are the tiles I’m thinking about. The subway, herringbone and large tile to the left are ceramic “Carrara Gris Gloss”, the hexagon is “Hampton Carrara Polished”, the black tile is “Noir Honed” travertine.

master bath shower tile

The plan for the floor is to border it in the black travertine and use the marble hex (in a honed finish) as the main floor area, using a dark gray grout for it all. I love this plan, have no issues with it at all.

The wall will be the longer ceramic tiles set in a herringbone pattern for the top half of the wall and the bottom half of the wall will be the ceramic set in a subway pattern (either the small tile or the large tile to the left we haven’t decided that either).

My issue is with the ceramic “marble” tile. It is very pretty, but I don’t care for the glossiness of it and they don’t have this particular type in a honed finish. They do have a “Calcutta marble” in honed, but it has little gold streaks running through it that I’m not sure I like. Also, there is the fact that this is a product produced to look like another product, basically a faux marble if you will. Even though this tile looks awesome to me I’m wondering if it will turn off potential buyers later on? Like will it look like we got chintzy with the tile, I really want this shower to be a stunner!

So should I just opt for a white ceramic tile in similar sizes, but use some real marble around the shower heads as an accent? I feel like having all white subway tile on all of the walls in a 6×7 shower would just be too much white for me… argh, decisions… decisions…

Let’s not forget to mention that there is the cost to consider… the ceramic tiles are roughly 1/2 of the cost of any of the marble tiles, which when you consider the shower is 6×7 makes a big difference in the overall cost of the tile.

So what do you think? Faux marble or no? All white ceramic set in the same pattern? If you were buying a new home and saw this awesome shower could you or would you even be able to tell if it was not real marble on the walls? Would you even care? Please let me know what you think, because I just seem to be stuck and I need to make a decision soon!

Thanks so much for listening to me ramble!


How to Remove Tile Flooring, master bath update part 3.

You might remember that we are in the beginning stages of a remodel of our master bathroom and closet. This weekend we decided to tackle removing the tile floor from the bathroom. I had every intention of hiring the contactor to do this, but the feedback I was getting for the costs were more than I was willing to spend on demo. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you… this is a sucky, messy job, but totally a DIY one if you’re willing…

Again, this is what the bathroom looked like just before we moved in. We had already started some updates like wallpaper removal you can checkout here.

Master bathroom BEFORE

After removing my vanity we discovered that the floor tile was set in a bed of concrete and lath and it was roughly 1.5” thick… that’s a LOT of concrete and mainly why we didn’t want to tackle this ourselves.

This is what the layers looked like. Starting with the base there is OSB, tar paper, metal lath, concrete, mortar then tile. Looks fun right?

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We used our hammer drill with the spade bit attached for the entire job, I would HIGHLY recommend this tool as it made removing all of these layers a ton easier. Also, you MUST wear eye protection and a face mask, I would also recommend earplugs and something to cover your hair as well… did I mention how dirty this job was?

We found that removing the floor in layers was the easiest and fastest way to go:

Using the hammer drill (with the spade bit attached) we removed all of the tile (which I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to remove), then we separated the concrete from the lath by inserting the spade bit between the two layers, then we pulled up the lath which was held in place with staples (instead of screws which you would most likely see in older homes), then pulled up the tar paper which was also stapled down.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

I did most of the removal while my Hubby had the backbreaking chore of lugging all of the debris down to the garage. After 5 hours of work we ended up with this. A nice clean sub floor that was still in good shape thanks to the tar paper and lack of screws holding down the lath.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We’re not 100% done though as we still need to remove the flooring from the water closet / shower area. We originally thought we would still use this area, but decided against it at the last minute. We will need to remove the toilet prior to removing the floor, but that shouldn’t be a problem. BTW all of that dust you see is not from my lack of cleaning, it’s the concrete dust from the demo… trust me you do not want this stuff in your nose or throat so please wear protection.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We still have quite a bit more demo work to do in here, a couple of walls to remove, my Hubby’s vanity, the toilet and shower not to mention the baseboards and door trim, but we feel pretty good about saving money by doing much of the demo work ourselves. Yes, I took some Aleve before I went to bed and when I woke up this morning, but this job could’ve been MUCH worse than it was.

I hope this post helps anyone looking at tackling this particular type of tile and concrete removal. I personally am hoping to never have to do it again…

Have a great week everyone! And as always thanks for stopping by!


The Master Closet Remodel Part. 1

We had SOOO much fun this weekend starting on our master closet remodel / renovation. Lots of drywall dust, carpet crud and insulation removing fun! Here is a recap from the beginning…

Our closet is located off of the master bath, on the end of the house over the garage. It was by far the largest closet we saw while house hunting here in Louisville (which is just one of the reasons we loved this house). Having said that though it has some “issues”, it’s layout is awkward and it’s chilly in there in the winter. As a side note we have already replaced the 2 windows so we are assuming the problem is in the way it was (or was not) insulated.

This is the view looking into the closet from the bathroom:

Master closet renovation remodel

This is my side of the closet. The door you see is access to the unfinished area that slopes down to the garage side walls, it’s large but freaking cold and we didn’t really use it.

Master closet renovation remodel

This is my hubby’s side of the closet, lots of nice natural light on this side, which he totally needed in order to help him determine blue from black suits…

Master closet renovation remodel

Here is the original layout of the master closet, just LOOK at all of that unused space marked “storage”!

Master closet renovation remodel

Below is the most recent plan for the new space, but since we are building the units ourselves this plan is certainly subject to change.master closet plans

One of the closet walls is being moved back in order to enlarge the shower, which is on the other side of that wall. Also, we will be removing the walls on both storage sides of the closet and installing a new knee wall 4 ft. back from the original walls. These changes will make the new walls about 5ft. tall (the original walls were 8ft. tall) and give us an additional 63 sq. ft. of closet space.

I was just thrilled with the space after we removed the center wall, the light just fills the room now… By the way there are 2 windows in the closet, the one you see pictured and the dormer window on the front of the house.

Master closet renovation remodel

We are saving all of the lumber we can so that they can be used to create the new walls. We removed all of the nails out of the wood before removing them from the wall.

Master closet renovation remodel

Now on to opening the side walls. There was insulation in these walls, but only R-13 which I think is the minimum for our zone. We did not save it to reuse as we will need to insulate this room better. This is the unfinished area on the left that they had setup as extra storage space.

Master closet renovation remodel

We then hit a “little” snag… my Hubby was a tad overzealous and started removing some of the vertical 2×4’s before we had a good look at the wall structure. Once we did we stopped removing the 2×4’s. See we’re not 100% sure if this is a load bearing wall or not. See photo of top of the wall below.

Master closet renovation remodel

See the 2×6 beams going across the ceiling of the room appear to be resting somewhat on the wall. Most of the beams appear to be nailed in with 2 nails on one side to the rafters but that doesn’t seems like enough support to us. After HOURS of research we think those beams are collar ties that also happen to be used as the ceiling structure, however we’re just not sure. To be 100% sure we’re having a contractor come by and look at it, if he’s not sure I’ll have a structural engineer come by and take a gander. You don’t happen to be a structural engineer who might know what’s going on here?

 Master closet renovation remodel

We moved on to removing the sheetrock on the other side of the room. This is another extra storage space that they had access to from the bathroom. I think they called this the “suitcase storage” on the realtor listing… again a VERY cold space. Same deal with the walls seeming to support collar ties?!

That’s where we finished up on Sunday. We filled up a bunch of bags of debris and cleaned up as much as possible, but we’re at a standstill until we here about the walls. Luckily we have a door on this room so it’s coldness can be closed off from the rest of the house… BRR!!

If you have any suggestions or ideas about these walls or the space please comment below! Thanks as always for stopping by!

Until next time…


The Year of the Closet and the Invisible Woman

Hey guys… long time no talk right!? Well I’ve (we’ve) been pretty busy over here at the ole homestead. Christmas and New Year’s came and went pretty quickly with no major issues… those of you who have college kids that come home for the holidays may know what I mean…

So in the process of preparing the photos for this post I also downloaded and edited the Christmas photos, of which there was not one of me! Which is not a huge deal, until the kids (and maybe grandkids someday) start looking back at family photos and wonder where I am…. I think this probably happens a lot to those of us who are the “photographers” in the family… seriously I need to make sure someone else picks up the camera every once in a while so there is PROOF that I exist otherwise I’m just the invisible woman behind the lens. First world problems right?!

Ok, I’m officially naming this year the “Year of the Closet” because we are renovation/redesigning 4 of the closets in our home. Some of the updates are quick and pretty simple, but the master closet renovation will be pretty extensive. We just finished our middle daughter’s closet, which is what I’m sharing with you today.

It’s a good sized walk-in closet at 6 foot deep and a little over 5.5 feet wide. It does have a challenge with one side being sloped, but other than that it is a great closet… that will probably NEVER get used because Cassidy attends college in VA and only comes home to KY for short visits, her boyfriend lives in VA and well, you know how that goes…


Before closet update

Pretty useless and all those freaking wire shelves drive me bat sh#it C-R-A-Z-Y, yes I have issues I know…

Closet update remodel

So much more useful now! There is now long hanging space for dresses and  little more hanging space for shirts etc. I painted the walls and shelves the same color, Benjamin Moore White Dove, which I’m totally going to use for the kitchen cabinets too.

Closet update remodel

The shelves are perfect for shoes or sweaters. Also, we had new carpet installed in her bedroom and closet after we built and installed everything. We built this whole unit out of MDF and used our Kreg Jig set to assemble, it made this project pretty easy.

Closet update remodel shelf liner

Also, I bought some pretty vinyl shelf liner online at Chic Shelf Paper, it was a little bit of a splurge, but it’s some terrific stuff. I tried to pick a pattern that was neutral enough, but they have a bunch of fabulous prints like the one below.

Sky Flowers

It’s thick and easy to work with, but I had wanted to wrap the paper over the edge of the shelves and it just wouldn’t stick, because of the thickness I guess.

Sloped ceiling closet rod solution

This was our solution to installing a rod on a sloped ceiling. There are tons of ideas out there, but this worked great for us. We installed a double headed screw on the right end of the pole to keep it taut in the pole holder and then screwed it into place. We put the shelf in place then drilled a hole through the rod and the shelf. We used a 4” hanger bolt, some washers and nuts to keep it all in place… let me tell you this is not going anywhere!

Closet remodel update

We didn’t do too much with the other wall, but we did add a picture rail for hanging décor, purses, robes etc. I could even hang a mirror there too.

Using a picture rail in the closet

The picture rail is attached to the 1×4 we extended from the top right rod holder. The hooks are specialty hooks made just for picture rails, I had them on hand from the last house so I don’t have a source for you, but I know I had to buy them online.

DIY custom closet jewlery display storage

I had a ton of fun designing and installing this little “hidden” jewelry area in the unused area beside the dress hanging section. First I installed some wood framing to help define the space and hold the pieces I wanted to use. I installed an unused tie holder from the master closet and used it for hanging necklaces, works like a charm!

DIY custom closet jewlery display storage

Then I installed 2 medium-sized cup holder hooks on either side of the frame and added a wooden dowel that I had stained and waxed. The right hand side lifts up and swivels out for easy access to the bracelets. The chain is “clock chain” from Lowes, I installed it with brass screws and washers going right through one link of the chain. These are PERFECT for hanging LOTS of earrings.

Baskets for additional closet storage

I also added these baskets I found at JoAnne Fabrics. I attached the little metal nametags with hemp string which I think just adds a little something to them… again probably will never get used but they look super cute!

Before and After closet update and remodel

This closet “renovation” was a kind of test to see how easy/well we could build the built-in shelves, because the master closet needs a LOT more than this! I should’ve painted the shoe shelves before putting them together, but now I know that for next time! Well, what do you think?

Next up is the mudroom closet… nothing fancy, but it’s got to work better for us!

Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves, me I’m already thinking I cannot wait until Spring… I’m cold!

As always thanks for stopping by…


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Life on Virginia Street, From My Front Porch To Yours, Domestically Speaking

A Very Productive Snow Day

Well we had a very interesting weather day here in Kentucky yesterday. I’m just outside of Louisville and we got 4” of snow, so needless to say the schools were closed and the kiddo was home. This is a very early morning shot of our backyard, it was pretty gloomy and quiet outside all day yesterday.

Snow Day Prospect, KY

And Chewy (our Schnoodle) freakin’ loves the snow, buries his face in it and runs like a snow plow, but when he comes in he’s all covered in snow balls on his fringe and it takes like 10 minutes to remove them with the hair dryer… doesn’t his face say WTF Mom let me in!

Schnoodle in the snow

So anyway, this post is really about how productive I was yesterday… which is not always the case… I replaced the runner on our stairs AND fixed the scratches on the treads while I was at it! This is what I started with and let me say I have HATED this runner since day one, but I was not ready for a big stair renovation…

Ugly runner

I found a couple of runners that were the right width and that I liked… I have seen a bunch of bloggers redo their stairs for “$100” with runners, let me tell you I could NOT find any runners wide enough for that kind of price. These runners cost me just over $300 in total and they were on sale… maybe I’m looking in the wrong place? Anyway, I laid out the runners to validate how the layout would work before I started the process.

Replacing a stair runner

Getting the original runner up was not a big deal, just a lot of staples to remove that didn’t come out with the runner when I pulled it out. That left me with a tack strip in the back and carpet padding, which I left down… and consequently stepped on the tack strips a couple of times while doing this project!

Replacing a stair runner

After the runner was up I worked on the scratches in the oak treads. Most of them looked a little like this…

Repairing scratched stair treads

The process I used was so simple, just wipe on more stain on the stairs, wait a couple of minutes then wipe it off. I would say the difference is pretty dramatic.

Repairing scratched stair treads

I have no idea what the original floor color was, but I used “Special Walnut” stain color, pretty awesome change right?!

Repairing scratched stair treads

I didn’t poly over the stain, just wiped the excess off good. I will eventually have the stairs refinished but for now they coordinate much better with the refinished wood floors downstairs.

Here’s my BIG HUGE tip for those of you with white stair risers and pickets. 1. wipe as much of the excess stain off of the white paint as you can before it dries, 2. once the stain is dry use Goo Gone and a paper towel to remove the rest of the stain 3. clean the Goo Gone off with a paper towel and Formula 409. SERIOUSLY, if you do this you might not need to touch up your white painted areas, but at the most you’d only have to do one coat to make it look good. Otherwise your looking at at least 2 coats to cover the areas the stain discolored, don’t say I didn’t warn you..

So after my white paint touch up was complete I laid out the runner and started stapling away, being sure to keep it taught and straight. This was the easiest part of this whole update. I also hammered down the tack strip under the runner so we couldn’t feel the tacks trough the carpet.

DIY Stair Runner

The first riser was originally carpeted but I didn’t have enough runner for it so I just filled in the staple holes and painted the riser, I like it better this way …

DIY Stair Runner

So I’m thrilled to death with this update. Now I don’t feel like I have to explain to guests why we have updated the whole first floor but let the old, ratty, ugly runner. While this runner is not a permanent solution for me I will be very happy if I can get 2 years out of it or until I’m ready to make a longer term commitment.

DIY Stair Runner

I will totally admit that this was a project I had been dreading because of the poor condition of the wood. Even though it took me the better part of the day to complete it was well worth it and nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I’m hoping you’re keeping warm and safe, thanks for stopping by!


Master Bathroom Updates (Part 2)

So I left you guys with the last update to the bathroom looking like this, (Click here to see part 1) and it still kind of looks like this but we’ve made some progress.

Master Bathroom Update part 2

We decided to go ahead and remove the tile around the tub for a couple of reasons, 1. all of the floor tile will be removed “soon”, 2. the hot water valve was leaking and we needed to get underneath of it to fix it and the only way to do so was to remove the tile (nice setup right?)

Removing wall tile from tub surround in bathroom

Thank goodness we removed the tile as there was water leaking from the valve onto the subfloor! Obviously you can see that we were unable to remove the tile from the wall without removing the sheetrock as well. We removed the tile by first scoring the caulk and then using a pry bar and a hammer to knock out the tiles… it was pretty easy, but very loud!

Installing wainscoting around bathtub in master bathroom

We installed this wainscoting around the tub, using a plywood backer board and pine 1×3 strips. The wainscoting around the base of the tub is wedged in but easily removable for future plumbing plans (which I have) or for repairs.

Installing wainscoting around bathtub in master bathroom

I was able to convince my Super Awesome Hubby to install a junction box over the tub so that we could install a chandelier that I have had for many years but that was sitting in storage. We found the center point of the tub by using a plumb line, then drilled a hole in that spot, we then stuck a long pole through the hole so that he could find the spot through the attic insulation. Poor guy struck his head on some roofing nails while he was up there… but he got it done! I had to hang it pretty close to the ceiling, but I ‘m very happy it is there.

Installing wainscoting around bathtub in master bathroom

I also primed the tub wainscoting with a tinted grey primer and then caulked all of the seams. If you’re wondering I chose to prime then caulk it was to reduce the possibility of cuts or splinters from running my fingers along the wood when smoothing out the caulk.

Installing wainscoting around bathtub in master bathroom

However, I did go back and prime the caulked areas so now I can use my tub again without being overly concerned about splashing water… not that I’m splashing water but just in case…

Removing vanity from master bathroom

I also had had enough of this vanity! We had purchased a vanity on CL several months ago and I decided it was time we installed it.

Installing new vanity in master bathroom

It’s installed, but I have no sink and only a temporary top (it is from the laundry room update) but at least I can use it. My Hubby still has to make a shelf like cabinet/piece for the end and I will be painting it and the tub surround a dark grey eventually. Obviously I still need a top, a sink and a faucet, but because I will need two of each of these items (because of my husband’s vanity) I’m not ready to bite that bullet quite yet. We also are still trying to decide how best to deal with installing a mirror over this area, but for now this temporary one is fine.

We have a lot more to do, even for just a partial bathroom update, but I’d rather live with this bathroom in a semi-state of construction than the way it was… and I am totally loving the wainscoting around the tub, I think it makes it look so much nicer!

As always thanks so much for stopping by…

Until next time!


Family Photo Wall

So I could call this a gallery wall, but it truly is all Family photo’s that I adore. This is the upstairs hall leading to the bedrooms so it’s a family space which allowed me more freedom with the pictures I chose… I will tell you there is one photo in particular I love, but the kiddos hate it… oh well I put it up anyway Surprised smile

This was pretty much how all of the upstairs looked before we started painting it. I think it’s Navajo white, which is FINE, but it’s just not “us”. Eventually this hall and master bedroom (at the end of the hall) will have hardwood flooring… I’m hoping this winter!

Hall Before

We painted the Foyer, up the stairs and the upstairs hall Revere Pewter. Revere Pewter is very popular for a reason, it’s perfect… not too cool and with just enough warm in it to sometimes look Greige. I could literally paint the whole house this color but my youngest daughter would have a fit as she already thinks I’ve gone a little overboard with all of the blue and gray walls in this house. I really don’t care though… I LOVE THEM!

Hallway painted Revere Pewter

After I painted the walls I decided I wanted to paint the main wall black, Benjamin Moore Black Iron specifically. FYI the hall is a good size and the black wall doesn’t make it feel closed in at all.

Here it is after one coat, it took two coats.

Hallway with black accent wall

I think it’s a pretty dramatic change and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

Gallery wall family photo wall black accent wall

All of the frames I had in storage still, they were just not black. I spray painted them all black and laid them out on a few sheets of craft paper to get the layout I wanted. I traced them on the paper and then using the paper as a guide I hung up the frames. All but 3 of these frames are hung with Command Strips, I’m telling you that stuff is awesome for this application!

Gallery wall family photo wall black accent wall

This little sign I made by downloading a chalkboard background and adding my typography to it in Adobe. I printed it out on thick cardstock and used spray adhesive to attach it to this frame.

Gallery wall family photo wall black accent wall

Around this same time we also painted the bannister and handrails Benjamin Moore Jet Black, they are so much prettier than before, I don’t know why I didn’t paint them sooner! The chair I reupholstered a couple of months ago, I just haven’t written up a post on it… it looks pretty awesome here right?

Gallery wall family photo wall black accent wall

Everyday I enjoy walking by this installation of photos and reminiscing , it really brings me a lot of joy and happiness!

Gallery wall family photo wall black accent wall

This was a pretty easy project and certainly cheap for me since I just painted and reused frames I already had in storage. It took me about a month from start to completion due to the time it took deciding which photos to use and making sure they were oriented correctly. Oh, and God forbid one child was pictured more than the others… I seriously counted to make sure they were even… kids… I swear they will drive you C-R-A-Z-Y sometimes, but clearly I love mine!

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Until next time…


Linking up to these parties:
Elizabeth & Co, Savvy Southern Style, From My Front Porch To Yours, Redoux Interiors, My Romantic Home

The Dedicated House

DIY Bathroom Art

Hey all, I hope you had a fabulous weekend! Our school here in Louisville had Fall break last week so we took the opportunity to visit Red River Gorge, KY and let me tell you it was gorgeous! We stayed in a Yurt, which was new for us and pretty cool! It felt like we were the only ones at the Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals which was perfect!


We hiked some awesome trails, this is the view from the top of the Natural Bridge in Natural Bridge State Park, KY. It was breathtaking!

Natural Bridge State Park Kentucky

Luckily we didn’t have to hike up to the top, but we took the Sky Lift instead. We did hike back down though… I felt a little like a Billy goat walking down but the walk down was full of beautiful scenery.

Natural Bridge State Park Kentucky

We did some other hikes and I took about 200 pictures, I’m hoping to use some in the bathroom as art, seriously what kind of art is “appropriate” for bathroom walls? I have some great foliage and carved stone step shots I’m hoping will work…

Red River Gorge KY

In the meantime I had an idea for the shower area of the bathroom (it’s separate from the rest of the room). I used my Silhouette to cut out vinyl for “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.”, making sure that the works were flipped appropriately. I then transferred the vinyl to the back of the glass (I already had the frame and glass on hand), this piece is about 20×14.

DIY Bathroom Art

This is what it looks like flipped over.

DIY Bathroom Art

I took it outside and sprayed the back of the glass with a mirror like spray, although I could have sprayed it with any regular spray paint.

DIY Bathroom Art

This is after I lightly sprayed 4 coats, they dry very fast.

DIY Bathroom Art

I then removed the vinyl and sprayed the back (now open letters) with gold spray paint.

Here is the finished product.

DIY Bathroom Art

It was a very quick (15 minutes) project using items I already had on hand and I really like how it turned out! The glass is easy to clean because the paint is on the reverse side of the glass. FYI you can do this project with just about any glass… picture frames would be great!

I hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

Thanks for stopping by!


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