No more paneling in the 1920’s house! And chalkboard paint!

The 1920’s house you have come to know has a small covered porch off the kitchen.  When I bought the house it was brick and panelling.  It was somewhat creepy to be honest with you.  This picture was after my dad had added a door (before there was a small window where the door was added).

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We then added drywall, insulation, and paint to turn a creepy porch into a very cute room.  I currently use it as an office but it could be used as a nice sitting area.

Porch After

In addition to painting the drywall I also painted the brick (which was the exterior wall of the house at one time) a warm salmon color.  I also painted where an old exterior window was with chalkboard paint.  I think it adds a modern touch to the room.  Chalkboard paint can provide a place to keep a changing calandar, write grocery lists or to-do lists, or just house your favorite quotes.

Porch After 2

You can find some helpful hints about chalkboard paint using this link.  http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/for-your-home/how-to-use-chalkboard-paint.

Visit my pinterest site at http://pinterest.com/ahambric/50-shades-of-paint/.

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Dehumidifier no longer rules my life!

I was starting to schedule my life around dumping the dehumidifier water out. This my friends is not a good way to approach life. All of the rain has made for a damp basement so I found a solution.

dehumidifier

dehumidifier 3

As you can see above there was plastic covering the place where the water will drain from the dehumidifier into the water hose.  I used scissors to poke a hole in the plastic.  I am sure there is a better way to do this but I didn’t have a knife sharp enough to cut the circle out.  Next I screwed the water hose on and now the water is draining out of the dehumidifier into the hose and then into the sump pump. 

dehumidifier 2

It is very convenient and ensures the air in the basement stays dry.  This was a simple solution and the only cost was the hose.  It saves me a lot of trips to the basement and is very convenient when I am out of town and can’t dump the dehumidifier. 

What should you look for in a dehumidifier?  Be sure it can support the space you need to keep dry, know your noise tolerance, and consider the power efficiency.  Let me know if it took you as long to figure out this option was available!

Next step: add curb appeal to the 1920’s house!

My yard at the street was just blah.  It needed some curb appeal.  I knew that I wanted to put a decorative tree of some sort in a mulched bed with some small bushes but had no idea where to start.  Step one was tearing out the grass.  It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.  Step two was digging a very large  hole for the tree.

Flowerbed Before

I found a flowering cherry tree that was a size that made it affordable but also a size I thought would fit the space nicely.  I paid a guy $20 to deliver it from the greenhouse to my house.  All you have to do is ask and someone will usually help (for a nominal fee)!  After adding some additional soil I had purchased to the hole I inserted the tree.  As I added the soil around the tree roots I packed it every six inches or so to be sure there were no air pockets.  Once the hole was full I put three metal stakes in the ground with wire that was attached to the tree.  This is so the wind will not blow the tree over until the roots have had time to spread.  Three years later this is what I have. . . .

Flowerbed After

One more project I have for this bed is to put that flexible rubber edging around it to keep the grass from creeping into the mulch.  Another pretty easy project that really paid off!

Also check out my pinterest site at http://pinterest.com/ahambric/50-shades-of-paint/

1920’s Kitchen Remodel=Big Bang Cont’d

Wait until you see this big bang!  This is a continuation of my previous post on how a little elbow grease, paint remover, sanding, and new hardware and counters can completely change a kitchen.  Here we have a picture of the backsplash before (looks like a lot got splashed on here, ha!).

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Here’s a picture of “after” the tile was taken off the backsplash and the old plaster was removed.  You can see how old the house is by the lath walls. 

2009-03-02 06.34.35

We added insulation and new drywall then tiled the backsplash.  I chose a very neutral backsplash for resale purposes.  I would have chosen something more colorful if I was planning to stay in this house longer.  You can also see I added a undermount sink and brushed nickel faucet for an overall more modern look.  Older houses do not have a lot of outlets so anytime you have the walls torn out it is a great opportunity to add a couple.  You can see I added an outlet to the right of the sink along with the garbage disposal switch. 

kitchen sink

I can’t say this was an easy project I could do alone but it was much easier and cost-effective than tearing the entire kitchen out.  It’s doable!!

Small Kitchen Changes=Big Impact

Yes, in case you were wondering these cabinets had 50 shades of green paint on them.  I almost didn’t buy this house because of the kitchen.  It is large and has many wonderful qualities but I just couldn’t get past the cabinets and black laminate countertops. 

cabinet before

I have to admit I had help from my wonderful parents on this project.  We took the cabinet doors off and used paint remover (many applications I might add) to try to get the 50 shades of green paint off the doors so we could sand them.  After sanding and painting I added modern brushed silver knobs and hinges that were mounted on the inside of the doors (vs. the black ones on the outside of the cabinets before).  I also had Corian countertops installed.

Cabinets after

Much less expensive than having new cabinets installed.  It did take some elbow grease and time but it completely changed the kitchen!  My next post will include more simple and relatively inexpensive changes that I made to the kitchen.

I call this my 1/16 of a bathroom.  It definitely is not a 1/2 bath.  Get ready. . . .brace yourself. . . .

little bathroom

I knew the fact that the bottom of the old sink was a box wasn’t helping matters and I really did not need storage in this bathroom.  I went to the local Ferguson store and they helped me order the smallest sink EVER!  I remember picking it from the warehouse and the guy came out with this box insisting that he must have picked up the wrong order because there was no way a sink could be in the box.  I literally carried it out under my arm. 

little bathroom 2

What a difference!  It is obviously still a very small space but the sink really is all you need in a second bathroom.  Hope this idea helps you or someone you know with their small bathroom.

Here is a Ferguson sink that resembles the one I installed:

http://bit.ly/12rXLrC

Link

There really are 50 shades of paint

As my cat jumped through the air to get one of those chaser lights she didn’t just catch the light but also a big piece of paint off of the fireplace. I had known there was some bubbling (for lack of a better word) of the paint but didn’t quite know what to do about it. Well one day I thought I should see what would happen if I just slightly pulled on a piece of that” bubbly” paint. And this, my reader, is what happened. . . ..

 Fireplace 2

And then I continued to find new tools to scrape with. . . . .

fireplace 1

So, I just want to repaint the entire fireplace in the cream colored paint.  However, I need to figure out the best way to smooth down the edges where the cream paint meets the brick so that you will not know that all the paint was not removed before I repainted. 

Fireplace 3

Will just using sand paper really smooth it out enough?  I do not want to go through a process of using a paint stripper/remover on the entire fireplace.  (Besides, the last time I used that it took some of the color off my hardwood floors.  Oops!)  This was supposed to be simple????  Any suggestions are very welcome!

 

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