Leafing Out The Details

When I was in art school, I remember everyone having deep and meaningful explanations behind each piece of work they created. I felt self-conscious if I made something just because it was pretty or fun. Like, where is the existentialism? The baggage from childhood and the challenge to societal norms? Now that I am a few (cough cough) years out from college, I’ve decided that if I want to make a painting so it looks good with my throw pillows… so be it! This was also an experiment in using gold leafing on a painting, which was super fun!

Besides, don’t you totally get my nod to the temporality of human existence? No?

Painting with Gold Leaf @ Painting Sunny

A couple weeks ago we talked about the progress on our living & dining room area, and you can spot the painting right above the sofa there. Eventually, we hope to update to a new less bulky and beigey sofa, but that is still a ways out. We still have to figure out what we want up on the rest of the walls, but we’re on our way!

Painting with Gold Leaf @ Painting Sunny

This canvas was already painted (in very different colors) and that is actually great, in my opinion – it adds so much more texture! I used a few layers of gesso to cover the whole canvas, and since I wanted more texture I didn’t bother keeping it smooth. If you’re not familiar with gesso, it’s sort of a gloppy white paint that provides much better coverage and is more affordable than regular white paint. I buy this big tub of it and it lasts forevs. It’s sort of the cat’s meow when you’re trying to use an old or not primed canvas. (FYI, links to Amazon are affiliate links to items I recommend for this type of project, because they are what I actually use).

Once I had a nice, bright white surface and the gesso had dried completely (I left it overnight), I went through my stash of acrylic paint tubes and custom mixed colors until had a good idea of what I wanted. I always use an old porcelain-coated metal tray as a palette. I’ve had it for years, and love that it is easy to clean (it’s a lot like this one). Don’t try to mix too many colors in advance, though – I think it’s more fun to mix a few colors and begin painting, then when you realize what you’d like to change, you can alter what’s already on your tray. Sometimes, I add more white or black to make it lighter or add grey tone. For this painting, I mixed a darker hot pink color and then gradually added more white on my palette as I painted, for example. I chose colors that I felt worked well with the rest of the room, including the pillows (from Homegoods and soooo soft) and added a little soft yellow just for something unexpected.

Painting with Gold Leaf @ Painting Sunny

I alternated building up layers of color and letting it dry, to keep the paint colors from getting muddied. Once I had a good amount of color on the canvas, I went back with gesso and built up more white on and around the color to wash things out a bit. I like how layered it turned out.

Then came the gold leaf. This was the experimental fun part! I knew I wanted something unexpected, and thought adding a metallic element would be fun. Metallic paint can work well, but I knew gold leaf would stand out more. I picked up this Speedball Mona Lisa kind at our local A.C. Moore. The price is certainly reasonable! I also have a ton of it left. So, while my final layer of paint and gesso was still wet, I gently tore pieces of gold leaf of the sheets and used the wet gesso to plaster it to the painting, then let it dry. It worked really well!  During the evening, it’s really pretty in the lamp light.

Anyone else painting for their own walls, or for others? Going large-scale? Pondering the purpose of human existence?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Living & Dining Room Progress

Of all the ways to prioritize what house projects you take on, our method seems to be “what hits you in the face when you walk through the door”. Seriously – next up we’re thinking about painting the actual doors! For now, we’ve made some strides with our main living and dining room area. Obviously, this is where we spend a huge amount of our family time. It is right in the center of the house, and is basically one long room that is divided with a partial wall included a set of built-in-bookshelves that are back-to-back. You can read more on those and how we replaced the actual shelves. The living room side is slightly bigger (by a few feet) than the dining room side.

Of course, there is still a lot of work to do (cough flooring cough) but it is progress! Here are some “Before and Progress” photos!

When you walk in the front door, from the porch/mudroom/sunroom and look left into the living room…

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

I feel like these photos aren’t as in focus as I thought they were… no idea what happened there. I  might re-take them later.

Here is the dining half of the room…

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

Everything feels so much more bright and open! Really, the heavy fabric curtains that came with the house were weighing everything down. Before we even moved in, we painted the trim, walls, and ceiling. Painting the trim white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Valspar Signature) took forever but was so worth it. The previous trim was in such bad shape, some of it had to be removed from around the windows, the window jam (is that what it’s called?) repaired, and the trim put back up. It was an orangy sort of finish, so all of it needed primed and then 2-3 coats of paint to get good coverage.

The walls are painted Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, color matched to Valspar Ultra. BTW, this is not a sponsored post – it’s just an FYI on what we used!

We opted to paint most of our ceilings a very light, white-based blue (Sweet Slumber by Valspar, using Valspar 2000). This paint was more affordable and was actually great for the ceilings. It was a less-drippy consistency, and I’ll totally use it for ceilings again.

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

I sort of love this little corner behind this built-in. It’s nice and cozy! Right now the shelves are still half empty, and we have a folding chair from Target place-holding. Someday there will be some sort of lovely thrifted chair, there, I hope! And lots more books. Obviously, some book-shopping is necessary.

I painted the framed little purple painting a few years ago.

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

For some reason the new paint color on the porch looks a really strange color in these pictures, that isn’t even close to real life… and there is a reflection that looks like a big white square. Not sure what is going on with that.

I am so itching to paint that door! It looks so banged up and grey and sad. If you squint closely, you can see some paint chips taped to it… just biding their time until I have a day off work…

The biggest changes we’re hoping to make in here include:

  • Install new light fixtures
  • Paint the front and side doors
  • Upgrade the thermostat to a “smart” one, to save on energy costs
  • Install some window treatments (bamboo blinds?)
  • Finish replacing the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add white crown-molding to match the trim
  • Get a new sofa and comfy chairs to replace to older, beige ones
  • Hang more artwork
  • Replace the counter-top on the cut-out to the kitchen
  • Dream Project: Upgrade our dining room table & chairs
  • Dream Project: Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

The dining room side leads right into the kitchen, and there is also a side door that heads out towards the garage. Yep, totally also needs painted.

Living & Dining Room Progress Update on Painting Sunny

Just a quick close-up of those pumpkins on the table. With that nice fat to-do list above, investing in holiday decorations is not going to happen much this year, but we needed some sort of nod to fall! I used a wooden plate from Ikea that is a few years old, dried moss left over from our wedding (4 years ago!) and a dark blue place mat. I really love old blue and white planters, so hope to find more while thrifting someday! Those succulents don’t look super happy right now. Maybe they sense a New York winter coming?

To keep up-to-date on our house renovation progress over all, check out our “Our Home” page!

Any flooring suggestions? I’m thinking medium-toned engineered hardwood? Think painting the doors purple would be just crazy enough?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Hanging Out in Ithaca, NY

We’re celebrating living in the Ithaca, NY area  for almost a year and a half! It’s a beautiful region (you may have heard it’s “gorges”), and while the winters are no joke it has a lot to offer. We’re happy! I thought I’d share a few of our local haunts, and try to lure some of the non-Ithacans over to our side!

Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

  • First things first; Wegman’s. I’ve lived near a lot of different grocers in the US, and Wegman’s is my absolute fav, hands-down. I basically live there on the weekends. #noshame. This is a place with better donuts than Dunkin’, lovely covered cart corrals, free child care (!!!) at their WKids program, cooking classes for little ones, and chinese food my 8 year-old is obsessed with. I vote it’s the best grocery store in the country. Sorry Trader Joe’s, I love you too!
  • Ithaca Farmers’ Market at Steamboat Landing = the heart of Ithaca. It really is truly lovely. The people are wonderful, the food is worth any line I’ve encountered (Solaz burrito for the win), and while there is awesome local produce, I’m in it for the intense people watching. Seriously, Ithaca’s best & strangest congregate there.
  • The Sciencenter is an oasis in the deep of winter here, when your kids are still full of wiggles but outside is off limits. Also, it hosts some of the best B-day parties in town complete with educational activities and the draw of playing in the museum the rest of the day. A membership is definitely on our wish list!
  • Buttermilk Falls State Park is one of many state parks in the area, several of which  you can swim under a waterfall at (yes, it is totally a thing here!). It is the one closest to us and has an awesome playground, so it deserves a shout-out. It is still surreal to live in a place where driving past waterfalls on your morning commute is totally the norm.

 

Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

Check out those purple squash! The Farmers’ Market here is off the chain.

Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

This was such a spontaneous stop, we didn’t even have swimsuits with us. Well, except for Diallo who just wears his every day.

What’s up on the restaurant front? It has been said that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City. I can attest that it does seem to have its fair share and more. Our personal fam favs…

  • Viva Taqueria is by far my favorite food in town. By far. I can’t figure out a way to emphasize this without using all caps, and basically screaming at you. IT’S SO GOOD. I pretty much always get the smothered burrito with verde sauce, and it is always amazing. This is not at all your typical stuff; it has fresh, local ingredients, so.many. vegan and vegetarian options, and enough hipsters to make sure you remember you’re in a college town. It’s even pretty affordable! Although, I would pretty much just give them all my money if they keep bringing me burritos.
  • Ithaca Bakery makes the best coffee ever. It is factually the best. Trust me. Their hazelnut coffee is so amazing, when we moved and it is no longer on my morning commute I mourned it a little. They also make a mean tuna melt, awesome croissants, and are basically a staple in this community.
  • Purity Ice Cream may be an Ithaca cliche, but there is a reason. This stuff is delicious. Like, your kids ask for it every day the temp is over 50 degrees. Like, you think fondly about the Chai Milkshake every afternoon at work. These peeps know their ice cream. For a very close runner-up, Waffle Frolic’s Ice Cream Sandwich is so good, it almost makes me feel a little angry when I eat it. Like, why can’t everything be that good? It’s not fair.
  • Also notable, Agava is my daughter’s absolute favorite restaurant on the planet. Wood-fired pizza and pomegranate coolers are the stuff of kid’s dreams. They also have my fav veggie burger in town, so win points from this non-meat-eater. Ithaca Beer Company (neither of us drink beer, it’s the food and pretty outdoor area that draws us in!) and the famous Moosewood Restaurant (I collected their cookbooks long before I lived on this side of the country) are must-stops if you’re in out-of-towner.
Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

Keep in mind these are JUNIOR-sized cones.

Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

Snacks at Ithaca Bakery with Aunt Norma! We love you Aunt Norma!

Ithaca NY Viva

Viva! I am shocked there was still half a burrito on my plate.

Local shops are always awesome, and I wish we could buy local all the time! We’re on a budget and most often need spackle or paint. However, there are a few local shops we make sure to hit up regularly…

  • Knitting Etc. is my source for yarn, and they are, like, the nicest people. They are friendly, and helpful, and also always friendly to my kids. I guess yarn is sort of hard to break, so that probably helps. The sales are pretty frequent, and it is located right next to an Ithaca Bakery (see above) so it’s a two-birds-with-one-stone situation.
  • Triphammer Wines & Spirits is my favorite stop for wine. It’s just so relaxed, the staff are always happy to help, and for my favorite buys it always seems a couple dollars more affordable than others in town. Maybe that’s just me though? It has good ambiance and yet doesn’t make you feel pressured to buy fancy stuff if that isn’t your thing.
Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

The best part of the knitting shop? The alien-like-contraption you get to spin soooo fast! The kids enjoy it too.

Ithaca NY Favorite Places via Painting Sunny

For Diallo’s last birthday we stayed at a hotel to swim, and I snapped this quick shot of downtown from the window… isn’t it pretty? Even in all it’s icy glory?

Obviously, both Cornell University & Ithaca College are also some of our favorite places to be!

My fellow Ithacans – any places I missed? Suggestions for a new hang-out? Want to go split an Ice Cream Sandwich waffle with me?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Shelfish Desires

When we first moved into our house, it sunk in just what we had taken on. One of the first things on project list was taking on the built-in shelves in our living & dining area. There are three built-ins total; two tall ones that are back-to-back as a room divider, and one long one under the cut-out to the kitchen.

Let’s just skip straight to the after!

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

I am so excited about this! Maybe because I dedicated many hours of my life to get them looking so smooth & shiny. That was the close-up… let’s zoom out a little.

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

This shows two of the built-ins (the other is on the back of the tall one shown here, if that makes sense). The one under the kitchen cut-old holds our cook books, wine bottles, candle sticks, etc.

When we moved in, the boards that were there were painted the same green color as the walls and were pretty warped, banged up, and in bad shape. They didn’t fit quite right (maybe due to age?), the knots in the wood had bled through the paint, and they really just needed to be replaced.

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

Bummer it’s not from the same angle!

We started with some stain-ready wood panels (they look like these ones, but I’m not sure if they are the same… I think ours cost less. Maybe?), and had the guy at Lowe’s cut them to approximately the right length. The problem was that the inside of our built-ins is not at all a rectangle. More like an evil octagon. I swear. It changes width and depth from right to left and top to bottom… it was crazy, actually!  So, Grandpa Mike came to the rescue (thank.you.so.much.you.are.the.best.ever!) and used a carpenter’s square, figured out the specific angles each board needed to be cut to, and used a circular saw in our garage to cut each one to the exact size we needed it. Seriously, they are basically custom-built and fit like a glove.

After they were cut and ready, I sanded each one with a 220 sandpaper to smooth the edges a bit, did a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner (on most of them, anyway – more on that below), sanded lightly, did two coats of Dark Walnut stain, and then two coats of Polycrylic finish, sanding lightly between the coats. All of the products were by Minwax, but this post is not in any way sponsored by Minwax. I’m just letting you know what I used!

The first few shelves I stained, I thought I would skip the pre-stain wood conditioner, since the wood seemed pretty smooth and nice. Looking them over, I realized the stain was going on a little blotchy and the grain seemed so raised, I decided to try conditioning the rest of the boards. I am now completely converted. There was such a difference! #conditionallthewood

The importance of wood conditioner & DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny

Wow, that black arrow looked a lot nicer in Photoshop. Huh.

The basket holds all of our thank-you, etc. cards, the picture is one of my favs from my iPhone Daily Photo Challenge, the blue box holds all of our cloth napkins and other fanciness for special occasions, and the little trophy is from Dennis & Haven’s youth Girl’s Inc. basketball team. They totally won 10-0! He coached. I was super proud.

Here is the other built-in, on the living-room side:

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

It has a lot less stuff on it, right now. Room to grow, right?

The bottom of the living-room built-in actually did not have a shelf built into it, although the other side did. Weird. It just went straight down to the floor, with the baseboard sticking up in front of it. Dennis held scrap pieces of wood level in place at the same height as the baseboard, I screwed them into the back and sides of the built-ins, and we were able to set a shelf there so both sides match. I think it looks much more balanced!

On these shelves are a little square painting the kids did together, a little orange kitten Haven painted at the local ceramics place, my jar of knitting needles and books, some kids books, my laptop case and the big flowery box is the kids art supplies. And lots of random stuff.

The blue thing is a cat bed, btw. From Homegoods for like $10 and Paloma the Cat is obsessed.

That white horse bookend was painted at the same time as this little silver peach, which lives on the built-ins by the kitchen…

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

It’s the  little things, right? They were both 99 cents at a local thrift store, and got some spray-paint-therapy with leftover white and silver paints I had on hand.

Accessories for DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

Quick flashback to the beginning and how pretty the shelves are! OMGOMG! Honestly, I’m just so relieved to be done with staining things for awhile, and also to have a place to put all of this stuff!

A little math: There are 14 shelves total, which means during this project I sanded a shelf 42 times, stained a shelf 28 times, and cried about 3 times. That’s an estimate.

DIY stained shelves for built-ins on Painting Sunny - so.many.shelves!

Question of the day… covering the ledges the shelves sit on? I bobble back and forth between thinking they look fine, and wanting to hide them. A thin piece of wood trim on the front of each shelf to make them look like those Pinterest-popular floating shelves? Or wood trim around the sides of the built-in, to frame it in sort of like a door or picture frame? Thoughts? We’ve lived with them for a bit now, and are still stumped.

Has anyone tried the water-based stain by Minwax? Does it work as well?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Boying Around

That title is alluding to our boy’s room progress! (Boy = Diallo, aged 4 and a 1/2. The 1/2 is the most important part, he would want you to know.) Buying a house has pretty much meant dropping everything and spending all possible hours fixing, cleaning, or making things prettier. There has been so much to do, I finally reached a point I had to make a choice between getting stuff done or sharing stuff here. In order to live in a livable place, the choice made itself. That being said, we have had a ton of progress and I’m so excited! And relieved. Mostly relieved, TBH.

Some rooms have come together faster than others, although I think it’s safe to say there are millions of hours of work left pretty much everywhere. This room has hurtled itself a solid distance, though, so let’s start here!

I now present you with…

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

Progress!

Here is what we were dealing with when we first set foot in the house:
"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

I think it’s totally a billion times better! Want to see the rest? And hear all about how much we still have left to do?

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

So much brighter and happier! Obvi, we painted. The walls are San Francisco Bay by Benjamin Moore and Big Top Tour by Valspar (the one orange wall), the ceiling is Sweet Slumber by Valspar, and the trim is Simply White by Benjamin Moore (except for the clearly unpainted windows which are Old Dirty Peach, I believe). All of it is painted using Valspar Signature in Satin.

Also, we hung a bulletin board (yay for back to school sales at Target), whale art, and as a surprise for him one day we picked up a big letter D from A.C. Moore for something like $7.99 and spray painted it with some leftover silver paint. It still feels a little lonely there, so I’m brainstorming something to frame it a bit… also, we need to paint the window trim and find some sort of window treatments.

The bed needs hardcore repainted. I found it for $22 at the ReStore in Bloomington, Indiana and it was a weird orangy finish, so I painted it blue in our kitchen one Saturday. Then, we moved to NY and it really hadn’t fully cured and got Banged To The Up. I’m thinking a blackish color to go with the dresser? Thoughts?

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

The striped quilt is from Homegoods for a super awesome price. Why does Homegoods have to be two hours away from us? Whhyyyyyy? Right now his toddler-era Mickey blanket is there too, just for something extra to snuggle with – even if it clashes. Eventually, we will replace that old thermostat with a fancy smart one, and add some other sort of artwork to this wall since it is a little blech. Oh, and maybe an outlet cover would be a good idea? Just a thought. That brown trim around the door is still TBP. (That’s To Be Painted.)

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

We have had this little bookshelf for ever and it is one of my favorite things because… it folds up! Totally flat, and the sides fold inwards and then the top folds over it to hold it together little a really big, heavy wood envelope. So convenient since we’ve moved it three times already! Canvas bins are from Target, and the books are almost totally from Grandma June. :) Also from Grandma June – the little orange IKEA hook she picked up while traveling. IKEA is another thing nowhere near Ithaca. Excuse me while I go weep in the corner for a minute.

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

Yep, that door trim inside the closet still needs painted. I did get it like 1/3 primed, though, so that’s good.  Actually, the shelves inside the closet are SUPER handy. It holds all of our board games, a bunch of toys, spare bedding, etc.

Actually, when we moved in this closet had shelves with old gray wallpaper glued to them and old dusty carpet that had half disintegrated, which we discovered when we went to yank it out. Disintegrated, you ask?

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

Yep.

"Before & Progress" update on Painting Sunny's boy bedroom. Check it out!

The other side of the closet is really deep, with no shelves so I’m thinking it would be a good spot for a little hideaway nook, you know? To test it out, I’ve tossed in a rug we’ve had around for awhile and some stuffed animals to see what the little guy thinks.

The dresser is the Malm dresser from IKEA (we did stop at the one in Pittsburgh while traveling one glorious, glorious day) and the lamp (that is SO PERFECT) is one Dennis picked up from Target.

Check out our complete “before” tour from when we first bought the house. Fingers crossed someday we have a complete “after” tour you can compare it to!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Take a Deep Breath (With Your Dust-Masks On)

We haven’t been able to have any family or friends over to see the construction zone house yet, and there have been so many updates! We are growing  a zillion little plants indoors to fill up the garden, figured out how to get the tractor mower running and the yard looks significantly less crazy, cleaned out the baseboard heaters meticulously, and best of all (#drumrollplease) We have upstairs flooring! Like, actual clean and nice flooring, in the form of carpeting!  It is so amazing, I have never been so grateful to walk on something in my life.

Anyway, ready for our 1st home tour? Including a boatload of stressful insightful notes on what projects we are prioritizing? There is a lot still to tackle, so we are taking a deep breath (with those aforementioned dust-masks on) and taking one step at a time. We still haven’t made the actual big move, so we are cramming in as much reno as possible before we haul the beds and cat into the house and officially live here.

Come on in!

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Porch/Mudroom/Sunroom/#whatisthisspace

When you first come in the front door (seen above) this is where you come into. The door interier door leads into the living/dining rooms. One side is smaller, and pardon the vacuum. Check out the hubs wingspan below… the porch is pretty big, really!

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

The only progress in this space so far has been spackling and patching areas where the drywall seams had come loose/peeled off and things were a bit of a mess. Next we’re thinking of…

  • Paint the ceiling the same Sweet Slumber paint we used in some of the other rooms
  • Paint the walls a pretty color
  • Replace the light fixture with something updated
  • Create a hook/basket/bench system to keep the kids organized when we get in the door (and us too)
  • Create a desk area on one side, so Dennis can have relatively private workspace (away from playing kids)
  • Dream Project: Re-tiling the floors! Something amazing! This weird industrial carpet is off-putting.

Living/Dining Rooms

 Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

The first set of photos above is of the living room area, and the lower set is  of the dining room; the front door from the porch opens up into the dining room, and the dining room then leads to the kitchen. They are really one big room divided by this partial all and set of back-to-back built-in bookcases. The wall between the dining room & kitchen has a cut-out with another small and wider built-in set of shelves below it. Anyway, so far we have cleaned them, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, repaired the trim around doors and windows, primed & painted the window, door, and other trim white, had the carpets cleaned, and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Build some new shelves for the built-ins. The old ones were too thin, flimsy, and too narrow so didn’t reach all the way to the front of the built-ins. We are thinking some nice medium-toned stained wood would add a natural element and some contrast to rooms.
  • Touch up the baseboards where the new paint got dinged up by the carpet cleaner.
  • Install new light fixtures
  • Paint and/or replace the front door
  • Upgrade the thermostat to a “smart” one, to save on energy costs
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add white crown-molding to match the trim
  • Dream Project: Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Kitchen

The view below is from walking into the kitchen from the dining room… and yes, while in the midst of project-mode it got very messy and full of over-excited children! If you walk through the kitchen to those french doors, it leads to the deck and the backyard. The door right behind the fridge leads to the downstairs half-bath and the staircase upstairs. (Not shown; the door to the basement is on the other wise of the fridge, out of view).

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

So far we have cleaned this room SO MUCH and added lots of nice, white shelf-liner to make the old cabinets serviceable while we figure out bigger plans. The fridge was rusted in areas, so we used some Bar Keepers Friend cleaner to get it fixed up. There is so much to do, but next up:

  • Paint the walls (we’re thinking an ocean-ish blue, to set off the terr-cotta hued floor tiles?)
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door to the basement
  • Install a window treatment above the sink (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add some temporary food-prep and counter space with a small free-standing island
  • Dream Project:Replace the cabinets, counter-top, and sink with some upgraded stuff!
  • Dream Project: Replace the old stove with a new unit, and move it over to the cabinet wall so we can add some ventilation above it to go outside. Also, replace the portable dishwasher with a permanent one, next to the sink. And so so many more things!

Downstairs Bathroom

This is the smallest little space known to man, but I actually think it’s really sweet (and am just grateful we will have a 2nd bathroom).

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

So far we have cleaned it up quite a bit, and taken down the light-fixture cover to clean it (not shown), and thoroughly cleaned inside the baseboard heater unit. Next up:

  • Paint the ceilings and walls (no firm ideas on colors yet, but you may spot that paint chip taped to the wall)
  • Replace the light fixture and mirror above the sink (something more flush with the wall would be great, and we could add storage elsewhere in the room somehow)
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door (it’s really banged up)
  • Install a window treatment to the little window (privacy is nice!)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones

Bedroom #1

Here we enter the first bedroom…

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

This bedroom is our girl’s room, and she picked up the purple paint color (which was in the process of being put on the walls when this pic was snapped). So far we have cleaned the room, removed the weird hanging from hooks-and-cords light fixture, painted the walls her choice of lavender (but not the closet yet), and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Painting the inside of the closet; we’re thinking white?
  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Figured out a closet door? Or leave it open to the room?
  • Install some window treatments (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Dream Project: Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #2

This is the “master” bedroom as it is slightly larger than the others. YAY FOR THE FLOOR! I am so excited, using all caps seems excusable given the circumstances.

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Remember the before? Not all that long ago, it looked like this…

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

That’s right, the upstairs flooring looked like this (brace yourself)…

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

But it’s all better now!

So far we have cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring (it wasn’t the good stuff that could be refinished), painted the walls a bold color, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), fixed a couple squeaks in the floor, and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Replace the  light fixture (hopefully with a low-profile ceiling fan!)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Dream Project: Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Expand the closet doors down the wall – there is closet all the way along the length of the wall, but most of it is out of reach!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #3

Welcome to our boy’s room!

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

Again, since this has the most recent updates, here is the original before…

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

So far we have painted the walls a nice blue and an orange he picked out himself (#favoritecoloralert), cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Find a way to make part of the closet a fun cubbyhole for reading?
  • Dream Project: Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Upstairs Bathroom

This bathroom needs a lot of work, but honestly – I’m just relieved it is pretty big inside! With four people brushing a lot of teeth, we need some space. You walk into it from the end of the upstairs landing/hallway…

Full "before" tour of Painting Sunny's 1930's cape cod circa Spring 2014

So far we have… made even more of a mess of it. We did re-caulk the bathtub/shower and really thoroughly clean out the closet (again, lots of shelf-repair drama) but otherwise it remains untouched. So, next up:

  • Cleaning SO much…
  • Painting the walls and ceiling, including the little place to crawl up to the attic (no real ideas on colors yet, but there is at least one paint chip taped up in there)
  • Painting the window and floor trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones… and have an electrician add a normal wall outlet near the sink? Dare I dream of this possibility?
  • Replace the mirror/medicine cabinet with something more up-to-date
  • Replace the shower rod with a cool curved one (I have always wanted one! It will be like living in a spa!)
  • Replace towel bars with nice hooks
  • Dream Project: EVERYTHING. Add some sort of sink vanity for added counter-space and storage, tile the floor with some sort of really lovely floor tile (as opposed to this gray vinyl stuff), add board & batten for the towel hooks to nicely be installed on, and the biggest dream of all… radiant heat.
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units! Notice a theme there?

WHEW. There are plenty of other random spaces (the garage and loft, yard, basement, etc.) but I think we have all experienced enough photo and list overload. We have boxes to pack and tasks to complete. Anyone else moving this weekend? Dreaming of pretty, smooth, radiant-heated tiles? Just grateful to not get splinters when they walk across the floor?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Progress Report: Pre-Move In Mania

Dear House,

Seriously. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER.

Love, Dani

 

We have done so much work, and there is SO much still to do. Making before & after pictures is my only way of coping at this point. It gives me hope for the future, and if a squint my eyes, blur my vision, and use my imagination I can begin to see it all coming together. It’s time for a progress report, including an introduction to more of the rooms in our cozy little abode (we showed off our living room/dining room progress a couple weeks ago). This  may get a little picture-heavy, so I apologize in advance.

Let’s start off with the bedroom that is directly off of the living room…

Haven Room Progress Smaller

As this will be our girl’s room, we let Haven choose the color and she went with the pretty Lavender Ice by Ben Moore. Her dresser is actually a lilac color, so I tried to sway her in another direction, but it was lavender ice or nothing… So, there it is. The closet behind that plastic door was actually a decent size! The shag carpeting will eventually be a goner, but we did get it cleaned for now so at least it will work while we save up. The ceiling is painted in the same Sweet Slumber by Valspar as the living/dining room. It helps hide that tile ceiling and makes the room feel SO much taller. Next up: one last coat of paint on two walls, then painting the trim the same Decorator’s White by Ben Moore as the living/dining room. (I’ll share a summation of our project/to-do list for the whole house, eventually.)

House Progress Ceiling Paint Smaller

Above is a better detail-shot of the ceilings now that they are painted (this is the one in the dining room), to give us full credit for how much better they look now. This is before cutting-in the paint around the light fixture (someday we will upgrade them), and shows how blue and cool-toned Sweet Slumber looks. Mostly, it looks like a really blue-toned white, but once it has a really white-white trim next to it, I think it will stand out more.

Moving upstairs… here is our boy’s room!

Lo's Room Progress Smaller

When we first talked about paint colors, we realized we both had envisioned a classic, sporty blue for Lo’s bedroom. However, the kids fav color is orange, and he was drawn to a paint chip of Bus Top Tour by Valspar (an Allen + Roth color). It is so much his personality, the colors playing off of each other – it is perfect! It also feels so much cleaner and brighter with that old brown paint gone. This ceiling was also painted the same Sweet Slumber we used in the other rooms. Next up: painting the trim white, getting these floors (if you want t call them that… I refer to them as sub-floors, myself) covered with something much more livable-with, getting the inside of the closet cleaned/painted.

Right across the hall, let’s move on over to the “master bedroom”. 

Master Bed Progress Smaller

We started with mauve-hued walls, ceiling tiles that had lovely unique gold swirls in them, and the same flooring as the little guy’s room. The ceiling was painted the same Sweet Slumber as the other rooms, which made the room look cleaner, brighter, and taller… which is needed since the ceilings are VERY low upstairs. That’s just how a cape cod rolls, I guess. We went with Turkish Tile, a Pantone 2014 color for the walls. We wanted something bolder, to balance out our neutral living/dining room choice. Next up: painting the trim white, getting that old flooring covered, cleaning/painting inside the closet. Oh yeah, and vacuuming out the dust bunnies inside those old baseboard heaters.

Not to add EVEN MORE PICS AND TEXT to this already-over-loaded post, but some random things are always nice to share, too.

The Yard May 2014 Smaller

The yard behind this house goes on forever, I tell you! The kids have been dragging tops from the garage while we are there working, so there are always a few random things lying around. Walking paths lead into the woods around a wetlands area, and the flower beds are coming up with some really beautiful perennials. It’s been fun being surprised every weekend by what has come up! We may need to learn how to use the new mower soon, and get the grass tidied… and the flower beds weeded… and other home-ownery-responsibilities. I can’t wait to get veggies planted in the fenced-in garden (you can kind of see it behind that basketball hoop).

Hidden Wallpaper Edited Smaller

While priming the wood paneling in Lo’s room, I noticed one of the panels had come loose and was sticking out, so I gave it an innocent little tug… and discovered this wallpaper below it! How gorgeous is that wallpaper, amiright? Honestly, seeing that there is somewhat-decent-looking wall behind the paneling made it OH SO TEMPTING to rip it right off the walls. Logically/reasonably/realistically we aren’t prepared to deal with the possible messes we may find beneath it, though (have I learned nothing from reading Manhattan Nest?), so for now some pretty paint will cover up the problem. Oh, and I did screw that paneling back down.

House tool paraphernalia 4 20 14 Smaller

I stumbled across the picture above on my phone, today… it was taken prior to the living room/dining room being painted, but I think it acts as a solid example of the chaos that ensues when you are fixing up a fixer-upper. Or, as a PSA for anyone considering buying an old house. Either way.

Anyone else buying paint rollers by the barrel-full? Finding vintage wallpaper? We also found a old pair of crutches hidden deep inside one of the closets. Depending on how well the rest of our renovations go, they could be super useful! In any case, it’s gorgeous outside and we are getting closer to having our little house ready to move into. May the odds be ever in our favor!

PS: All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience. None of the links contained in this post are affiliate links (some of them in the right-hand side-bar are, though), and I haven’t been sponsored by anybody in any way.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

A New (Old) House For Us

It’s been a minute or two since I’ve been around, but it’s been for good reason. We’re officially home owners, and spoiler alert: it is exhausting, fun, frustrating, exciting, overwhelming. It’s a whole lot of good and a whole lot of work.

BEFORE House Front View Smaller

(it will look prettier when Spring finally relents and fully shows up in this little area of NY)

It’s been a few weeks since we finally closed, and while we haven’t been able to take a lot of time off work, we have solidly dedicated all weekend hours to get the place cleaned and fixed up as much as possible before moving in. My only regret? Not taking out stock in Murphy Oil Soap before getting started. Cleaning is apparently the first step in owning a home. Then, it’s the next nineteen steps as well.

We found a house with a few major pluses, and the trade off was a fixer-upper a shortish drive outside of town. What are those pluses? An awesome-sized garage, more storage than I thought any reasonable house would provide, and a yard that feels more like living in a state park than your typical back-yard experience. Oh, and it does have more than one bathroom which seems to be the equivalent of finding a pink unicorn in our region. The down-side? Trim. Trim that not only needs painted, but needs repaired/caulked/spackled/sanded/primed and then, yes, painted. Pretty much every aspect of the house has worked that way. Woof. It is not for the faint of heart.

Want a sneak-peek of the post-painting results in the main living room/dining room areas? The “before” pics are the day before we closed on the house (sorry for the shoddy iPhone pics) and the afters were today (the baseboards need touched-up after the carpets were cleaned and they got banged a few times).

Living Room…

Painted Smaller Progress Living Room 1

BEFORE CLOSING Living Room 1 smaller edited

aaaaand Dining Room…

Painted Smaller Progress DIning Room 1 copy

BEFORE CLOSING Dining Room 1 smaller

It’s cozy, for sure! It does feel like the whole room is twice as big, twice as clean, and has way better lighting. And yes, the carpet will eventually go when it rises higher on the priority list. Also, you will notice the shelves are missing from the built-ins now; we’re planning on making some nice solid wood-stained ones asap!

Priorities right now include getting paint on the walls, dirt out of the house, and our stuff into the house. Nothing too fancy here, yet… but just enough to fill all of our waking hours. I’m lucky to have a husband who is hard-working and can utilize a good amount of upper-body strength.

We have an optimistic ambitious to-do list going, more paint colors being scrutinized by the children, and about a zillion projects to get to so stay tuned! Hopefully some of you somewhere are enjoying a sunny weekend! Send us some positive no-hand-cramps-while-painting-trim vibes!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Wishing Everyone A Warm Winter

Dani @ Painting Sunny w/ H & P

I have been totally MIA, but for good reasons I promise. Everything is good, just busy and working on meeting some personal goals in this New Year! I’m wishing everyone an amazing (and warm and safe) rest of their winter, and when things settle down a bit, I’ll be back and better than ever!

Stay warm and happy,

Dani

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Filling Frames: Moodboard for a Gallery Wall

I hope you had an amazing and cozy holiday weekend! Ours was full of Thanksgiving comfort foods and lying around reading and the kid’s first real sledding adventure, making soup and knitting; it was one for the books.

So, the story is a couple months ago I got a bazillion frames on clearance at Target (NICE ones like 70% off); it was basically a fairy tale where I whisked them all away and we lived happily ever after… except ever after hasn’t happened yet, since they’ve been stacked up in the bottom of my closet. That will eventually change and I’m doing things a little backwards; I arranged and hung all the frames up on the wall (after trying out a solid handful of options with brown craft paper before settling on a nice full & balanced one) and they are hanging there empty. Well, a few of them still have the awkward-fake-family-inserts from Target. I need to get some pics of my own kids and other personalized artwork stuffed into those frames.

OB-Gallery Wall Brainstorm with numbers

Links are to the original source of each inspiration pinspiration piece whenever possible; also, they all stuck on my Artwork By Others Pinterest board.

  1. Faux butterfly specimen art (from Young House Love)
  2. Paper letter art (by Sabeena Karnik via Typography Served)
  3. One of my fav pics I snapped during my iPhone Daily Photography Challenge this summer (the kids at the New York state fair)
  4. Eye exam chart artwork (from CJ Prints on Etsy)
  5. Inchies African Prints (from The Scrapettes on Etsy) (I totally just bought this for download for only $1! Totes worth it.)
  6. Hey Y’all print (featured by the Hunted Interior)
  7. Lustav print (by Michelle Armas via Anthropologie)
  8. Paint chip art (by Young Nesters via Young House Love)
  9. Kort art cards (from Ikea)
  10. Important dates art print (from Mira Doson on Etsy)

What do you think? Favorites? Creative spins on the above, that I could do myself? An obvious choice I’m forgetting?

We went with the around-the-TV-area to get the frames up on the wall because a) we liked the idea of blending the TV in a bit b) it’s a way to tackle a wall that doesn’t lend itself to one big piece of artwork c) I have plans to cover virtually every other surface already, inside my head.

Here is a quick peek at the awkward wall of unfilled frames, and how we got to this mid-way point. The “enjoy the journey” part of a project, if you will.

Spoiler Alert: These photos are very poorly done with an iPhone, mostly at night, and while feeling vaguely apathetic.

Gall Wall Progress

Three of the frames are old wooden ones with various finishes I had already lying around the house, and my plan is to either paint them solid black or try out some of that Minwax gel stain in a really dark finish on them. Yep – that one area on the bottom left-hand side is just a square made with painter’s tape. I’m thinking a canvas about that size would balance it out well – maybe with some artwork whipped up by the kiddos? The other side ends a little higher up, to leave some breathing room for the plant.

Anyone tried that gel stain stuff out? Working on a full wall of picture frames all at once? Go big or go home, right?

PS: This post was not sponsored by anyone; all links above are just to things I randomly like.

 

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+