This would have been an easier job if I weren’t particular about our flooring. There I go, making things difficult again. 🙂 The existing wood flooring in the formal living room area was still in pretty good condition, but my need for consistency won over the opportunity of reusing or refinishing. The carpeted area in the family room was trash from the day we moved in. It had a huge stain on it in the main walkway from the previous owners, and it was always embarrassing to have someone over and see them look at it.
Category: DIY (Page 2 of 3)
I almost titled it “Living Room Design Ideas” but really, it’s a family room. It’s going to be a place where David, Connor, the dogs, and I will spend a majority of our day while we’re at home (either that or the kitchen), but also where we welcome and have our friends and family congregate and enjoy each other’s company. It’s going to be ALL centered on the family in our home.
Last week we revealed the (almost) finished room HERE.
So before I get back into the not so exciting details about flooring and electrical, I figured I’d do a fun post of what I’m probably going to spend the next 2 months doing: designing and shopping! 🙂
Well, after about 3 months, we have a habitable room again… sans furniture! Many months of planning and preparation allowed us to get here, and David and I trucking through the final touches after the contractors were finished have finally given us the big, beautiful room that we had always hoped and planned for when we bought this house.
Here’s a reminder of what we were looking at before. From standing in the kitchen we used to see this:
And now, we see this:
I’d like to interrupt the “regularly” scheduled wall removal posts for a fun little DIY project. Don’t forget, there’s a special discount code for you readers at the bottom of this post!
We’re pretty close to being done the living room, but we need about 2 Connor-free days of work to finish the flooring. I’d so much prefer to use a vacation day to get this done while Connor is at school so that we can enjoy our weekends together as a family. Like this past weekend, we had 3 busy but fun filled days together going to the local coffee shop, hanging out at University of Delaware Alumni weekend, going to the farmer’s market and library, seeing good friends at a going away party (we’re going to miss you, Adam, Janet, Keira, and Cameron!), and a local town’s fun day out (Yorklyn Day). We were thoroughly exhausted but wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂
So before we can finish up the living room, I decided to try and finish up this small project over the weekend during one of Connor’s naps. It’s been something that I’ve been trying to finish ever since Connor turned 1 year old back in February. We were pretty religious about taking weekly (ugh!) and monthly progress pictures for him for his first year, but then decided to give ourselves a break after year one to just check in once in awhile. Man, was that a commitment. But the output was priceless! Here’s a glimpse:
Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Thank you to all of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom that we have today <3 I read something in the news last week about the National Moment of Remembrance that I probably should have know about before, but I hope everyone took a moment to think about the importance of this holiday.
What. A. Project. The end is near, you guys! Yet, not near enough. Sorry for being so silent these past few weeks. We’ve been posting over on our IG about some progress here and there, but life has just gotten in the way. Surviving through the days lately has been our motto.
The good news! The contractors are all done! (Well almost… apparently there is a rule that you must have a smoke detector in every bedroom before we’re allowed to close out our building permit, but eh, minor details.) And now the rest is left up to us to finish. So here, we’ll just detail out some of the rest of the things the contractors had to take care of before they handed it over to us.
This is going to sound weird, but I’m just going to come out and say it; one of my favorite renovation projects so far was the powder room in our Charleston house. Really? A bathroom? And not even like a master bathroom with a waterfall shower and a huge tub? Yeah, really, just a powder room. And I can sum up why in one word: “shiplap.”
Actually it’s really two words: “Nickel Gap”. So what’s the difference, and why does it matter? Well, technically shiplap is a type of board with a rabbet joint which allows the boards to overlap. The bathroom above did not use real shiplap, but it essentially looks like it. Instead we used a method called “Nickel Gap” which is simply spacing the boards the width of a nickel. This method is more time consuming, but can be done for significantly cheaper and yields a similar result.
For the boards, we used 5mm plywood, which is about as thin as plywood comes. At about $13.50 for a 4’x8′ sheet, you can really make a room interesting for cheap. We bought 5 sheets at Lowes and had them cut in-store to 6″ wide strips lengthwise. I think the guy who did the cutting probably still breaks out into a cold sweat when he hears “Customer assistance needed in the board cutting area… bing bong… board cutting area.” I don’t know if they have rules about a number of cuts they’ll make per board, but he did seven cuts for us. He cut all five of the boards stacked, which definitely saved time, though. I could have cut the strips with my table saw, but I never would have been able to cut them as straight and even as in the store.
We have this hallway/laundry room/pantry off of the kitchen area which was in dire need of some organization. I talked a little about it in this post, including how we don’t know what the long term plan is for it. To give you a bit of a refresher, here is a zoomed in part of the floor plan that shows what I’m talking about.
The “closet” shown is just a bump-out in this hallway, as it is a closet for the guest bedroom. The washer and dryer sit next to it, and there’s a little (big?) hidden gem on the opposite side of wall behind two swinging doors, as seen below.
So I hope you don’t think we’ve got ADD or something. Our posts over the past few weeks have kind of been all over the place, but that’s pretty representative of our lives right now. We’re in the middle of balancing coming back from a weekend out of town (traveling with a baby is WORK), setting up a 1st birthday party, juggling HVAC contractors, general contractors, specific contractors, and engineers all at our house almost daily as we try to find the best way to take down this damn wall in the living room, and really overall, just trying to get our work done everyday at work so that we can come home and make dinner and enjoy time with our little dude and puppies. And maybe trying to get some exercise somewhere in there (those 5am morning runs are COLD! Spring where are you???) So I promise we’ll be giving more updates on the wall removal as soon as we nail down a plan.
Anyways, because life loves to throw you curve balls, a few weeks ago, I walked into one of our currently unused “guest bedrooms” to grab a gift bag for my friend’s baby shower. Yes, I still haven’t really cleaned up all of the boxes and crap from Connor’s baby shower OVER A YEAR AGO… the dangers of having a room you don’t currently use and just closing the door on it.
While I was in there, I noticed some paint flaking off on the ceiling.
I grew up as a total cheapo. My family made fun of me for everywhere we went I always claimed that I “forgot my wallet.” I’m sure this has some crumb of truth in it, but I won’t give them that satisfaction to fully admit to it right now haha. Now that we bring in steady paychecks and can live comfortably, and aren’t struggling, broke college kids, we’ve definitely loosened up on our spending habits. At heart though, I’m still a cheapo. I had a lot of ideas for the nursery, that big box stores don’t typically sell. They’re more the types of decor that you find on Etsy. As much as I appreciate supporting someone to do that type of work, some of the prices are crazy. So I researched and pretty much decided that I would do them all myself.
That title sounds a little drastic, don’t you think? Did it pique your interest? Ok, well we didn’t rewire the entire basement, but we had a couple of projects in the basement recently that required some electrical work. So before I go any further…
Disclaimer: This information given on this site is solely for entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for proper training. Electrical work is complex and can be dangerous if not performed carefully. Always consult an electrician as well as your local laws and codes before performing any electrical work. Hams at Home Blog, its creators, and its authors cannot be held responsible for your safety or any outcomes of performing work following the methods or suggestions on this site. Blah blah blah…
There, now I’ve gotten that out of the way, so let’s begin. As I mentioned in my posts about building our bar shelves, we wanted to put a TV on the top shelf so we could have some background entertainment in the bar.