Archives For home improvement

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Soooo…. that time has come, the home tour is this weekend! I’m excited, nervous, and I’m already tired thinking about how long I’m going to be standing and schmoozing. But I think it will go well. If you live in the Indianapolis area you should definitely check it out! My house is one of six homes and there are also three buildings. It should be pretty cool. Tickets are available at several Irvington locations (more information here).

In other news, here is what I was able to accomplish before the tour (my original list here, my updated list here):

1) Replace/Get blinds in the living (currently only two of the four windows have blinds). 
2) Hang the TV (I already have the mount).
3) Buy new plants to replace some of mine that are looking sort of sad.
4) Clean, just like, everything.
Bonus items:
* Build sofa table to replace my ‘faux’ table I created (here). 
* Re-grout shower 
(posts to come about all these projects soon!)

Considering how I was gone for a month and then one-handed for the first five weeks I was home, I’m pretty proud of everything I was able to accomplish. I am excited about the home tour for a lot of reasons but mostly because having my house this clean made me jump on an opportunity I have been thinking about for a while. What is it? Well, you will just have to stay tuned to find out! 

When I first contacted a realtor about buying a house her first questions to me was, “What are you looking for?” A simple enough question but I really struggled to come up with an answer. She suggested that I make a list of what I wanted in a home. After carefully consideration After five minutes I came up with this list:

Wants:
– In a specific neighborhood (I had one in mind and it helped limit my search)
– One to two bedrooms
– Within my budget
– No major damage or repairs needed (I wasn’t afraid of doing cosmetic repairs but I didn’t want to get stuck with a crumbling foundation or something)
– A “safe” feeling street

Although I’ve made a lot of cosmetic changes, this house was basically move in ready.

That was it! I couldn’t think of anything else. Honestly, I got really lucky with the house I bought. Not only have I had very few problem, I actually really like this house! But after living here for 18 months I have found that I could definitely make a more complete list of ‘wants’ for the next time I buy. So for the sake of my memory which is failing me more regularly, here is my current list for what I want in my next house (whenever that may be):

– interior trim that is white (I love that my house has the original trim but decorating with dark trim is challenging at times)
– fenced in yard (this is Bob’s only request)
– front porch (I love sitting on my front porch)
– window or door to backyard (my current house only has one window to the back yard in the second bedroom, but I think it would be really nice to have windows and a door directly into the back yard)
– hardwood floors (I love hardwood floors! They are my absolute favorite floor of choice)
– driveway (Currently I have street parking which isn’t the worst thing ever but it would be nice to have my own driveway)
– garage (a garage or carport would be nice too!)
– trees (I like older homes so yards with trees is usually standard but it’s on the list anyway)
– large windows (My house has pretty great windows so I’d like to keep that feature)
– deck or patio (This isn’t necessary but it would be fun to have a place to hang out in the backyard)

I’d like a functional driveway in the front yard and less of a beat up
cement pad in the backyard with no car access, because that’s just silly.
Have you thought about what you want in a house? I’ve always dreamed about houses but when I came time to actually buy one my mind went blank!

Weekend Project List

April 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

I got plans out the wazoo for this weekend:

1) Re-do the ottoman.

I’m tossing around several ideas on how to re-do this thing. Re-upholster? Paint? Leave as is? I don’t know, but whatever I do it’s happening this weekend.
2) Deal with this mess:
Why are there so many books piled on my bedroom floor? I’ll give you one hint: I sold something in my bedroom. Needless to say, I can’t live with all these books everywhere so this weekend I’ve got to take care of it. What am I going to do? I haven’t made up my mind about that yet, but I’ll think of something.
3) If I get extra energy this is happening:
I don’t know where or what or how yet, but it’s on my list.
Wish me luck! Oh, and good luck on any project you attempt to do this weekend!

I wish I could say that I did something awesome with ceiling paint this weekend, like this:

But sadly I just did a few boring touch-ups. I moved into this house 14.5 months ago and all of these ‘spots’ have been on my to-do list for oh about 14.25 months. Thankfully, the previous owners left a gallon of ceiling paint in the basement which I finally made myself go down and get this weekend.
It was ridiculously rusty but the paint inside was still good-to-go after a vigorous shaking (I should have taken it into a hardware store to have it shaken in that machine-thing, but ain’t nobody got time for that).
So after shaking it up, I got my trusty 2″ angled brush and I got to work on those spots.
Spot #1
This spot on the living room ceiling has been there since I moved in and since denial is my best friend I like to think that this spot got there magically and that there is no underlying issue. After a few coats of paint…
Okay, so it’s still pretty noticeable, but at least there isn’t that ugly yellow ring in the middle.
Spot #2

See that really hideous yellow ring around the dining room chandelier? Yeah, that’s been there for a long time. I should have used one of those decorative caps when I had the light installed, but live and learn right?

Much better! I’m so happy that I finally took 10 minutes to do this. I hope no one noticed it before so I don’t expect anyone to notice it now, but I know and sometimes that is all that matters.
Spot #3

This is the kitchen light which I actually did buy a decorative cap for, but sadly, it was too small. Oh well, I knew a little paint would make it look better I just didn’t think it would take me 14.25 months to do.

So that was my big weekend project (just kidding it only took me like 30 minutes).
Did you get any projects done this weekend?

Like the parenthetical subtitle suggests, this is not much of a tutorial. I love blogs that go into crazy detail like YHL and Bower Power, but I am not like that. My posts tend to be on the long side, but being detailed is not a strong point for me. So this is a tutorial in the vaguest sense (now I know you’re super excited to read it). Also, I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality. We did this mostly at night and I am easily distracted so I didn’t remember to take pictures very often. If you want a good tutorial the ones we used are here, here, and here.

Steps to Install a Cork Floor:

1) Hire someone.

The end. Haha just kidding. But no seriously I did hire someone because I had no intention of doing this project on my own. I really wish I was handy enough to do this sort of project but that is currently way beyond my skill set and my tool supply (my fanciest tool is a hand-me-down power drill). So I hired my awesome friend* who has helped me with so many other projects at this house (bathroom tile, medicine cabinet, fence repair, shelf hanging, etc.). Because I am interested in learning how to do this sort of stuff he let me hang around and help him. Turns out I was not helpful at all but it was nice that he let me try.

2) Prep the floor.

Since the linoleum in my kitchen was relatively intact we decided to just leave it down and install the new flooring on top of it. Our first step was to pull up the toe kick around the border of the room.

Like I said the linoleum was mostly intact but around the edge it was pulling up a little so we (I say ‘we’ but let’s be honest I had no idea what I was doing so it was mostly ‘he’) decided to used a blade to cut the part that was curling up off.

Despite the bad picture quality you can hopefully see how the linoleum is curling up around the edges in the picture above. He used a blade to trim the raised part off and since linoleum is so thin we were left with a fairly smooth transition.

We also pulled up the thresholds to the basement and back door and the transition into the dining room. We also went around and checked for any missed nails (if we couldn’t get them out we hammered them down so the floor was smooth). After cleaning up the debris and sweeping we were on to the next step.
3) Underlayment.
The next step was pretty easy and I was still able to help at this point. Because the type of cork I chose is ‘floating’ meaning it isn’t glued or nailed down, the underlayment was very important. I did my research and found that the best one for this type of flooring is the Eco Silent Sound HD Underlayment (someone had a little too much fun naming this product). It was pretty straightforward to lay it down.
Like I said, not good pictures, but that is what the underlayment looked like after it was all put down. We used a combination of this double sided tape and a staple gun to attach it to the floor.
Side note: this is what my dining room looked like for a week…
It actually wasn’t so bad because my dining room is abnormally big. I sort felt like I was in a ship’s kitchen which was cool because who hasn’t dreamed about living on a ship? I think I would like living on a ship if I didn’t get so crazy sea sick… ah well, in another life maybe. 
4) Install Cork Flooring.
I chose Lisbon Cork in Rossio from Lumber Liquidators and after a quick look at the instructions we got right into it.
At this point I became extremely unhelpful. I was basically just leering in the corner offering very unhelpful advice. The main problem we ran into, which I did not take a picture of, is that the tongue and groove where the pieces connect was very fragile and one bad tap and the tongue would crack and then not lay properly. But we he figured it out after a few attempts. This flooring kit was really helpful as was this video.
5) Finishing touches.
I didn’t even attempt to help at this point because it involved a lot of measuring and sawing but if you want to know how to install a toe kick… uh, Google it.
Before the toe kick (that black thing is a spacer)
After the toe kick – it makes such a big difference! I didn’t even have to repaint which was very nice.
Another shot before:
And after:
6) Enjoy your beautiful floor!
 
I guess I should have at least wiped up the floor before I took pictures, ignore the puppy paw prints…
This floor is Bob approved.  
Though I’ve only lived with this floor for about two weeks I am 100% happy with it. I highly recommend it! It feels great on my feet and it’s easy to wipe clean when necessary. I was initially nervous about getting water on it but I don’t really worry about that any more because it hasn’t been a problem. Mostly I’m just happy that the beautiful floor further distracts people from noticing the boring countertop and backsplash.
*It bears repeating… this project was managed and executed by Osborn & Stillman. Specializing in custom furniture, Osborn & Stillman also do built-ins, flooring, countertops, and pretty much anything “wood” you can imagine. Being that they are good friends of mine I heartily recommend that you contact them for any home projects you have in mind. They also did my bathroom tile and medicine cabinet which I’m still in love with. Seriously, check out their website, it’ll make you want to burn all of your IKEA furniture.