Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Saving bland front doors, one paint stroke at a time.

Compared to last weekend, this weekend felt comparatively lazy. We basically hung out and made pretzels.

Oh, and I painted the front door. So I guess it was semi-productive, in a fun sort of way. :)

Ain't she pretty?! I'm thinking I may do a third coat of paint, since you can still see the paint brush strokes...we'll see. It works for the time being. And really, you can't tell unless you're right in front of the door. Or have a camera lens like mine that focuses a little too well sometimes. 

As a reminder of how it looked before, here's a quick look. Quite a difference, eh?! Definitely pops out a bit more now.

I ended up using Valspar Exterior Reserve in Whipped Strawberry. I got so used to using interior paints that it felt strange to use this stuff. The consistency was very different - this paint was a lot thicker than the stuff I'm used to. I didn't even use a drop cloth because there wasn't much risk of drips because it was so thick.

Although it's now painted (yay!!), that doesn't necessarily mean we're done with this door yet. Here are some upcoming to-do's, done visually because that's how I roll:

It's still definitely a work in progress. Then again, isn't everything?

Think I should do a third coat? Any ideas on new door hardware (which we can't install until after the sale is complete)? 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Workin' hard for the office.

Although getting the house in order for the appraisal was a pain in the rear, it did have a welcome side effect: it pushed me to finally finish painting and organizing the office. I meant to have it done weeks ago, but it took longer than anticipated mainly because the office is right next to Owen's room, and I made the mistake of being too loud a few too many times and woke him up from a sound slumber. Which is a big no-no if we want to be productive.

Oh well. Live and learn.

With the appraisal fast approaching, I quickly (and quietly) grabbed my brush and roller and got paintin'. I finished the final wall over the course of two nights, madly painting after work. Once the paint fully dried, we moved the desks and bookcase back to their original spots and did did a major organization and cleaning job on the joint.

As a reminder, here is the office before we painted or did any type of organizing. Yep, it was pretty scary. Eeek.

And are a couple of "after" photos that I barely squeezed in before the sun set (which is why there are no photos of Brian's desk, because the light didn't go back that far):

Muuuuuuuuch better. Man, it feels good to have an actual, working office again! See how excited I am?! I just can't contain myself.

I had such a difficult time choosing a paint color for this room - I wanted everything from bright yellow to dark, rich reds. After comparing far too many swatches I ultimately decided on Valspar Belle Grove Victory Blue, mainly because as soon as I saw it I knew it would contrast nicely with the wood trim in the room. I feel like this color helps make the trim look more character-filled and richer than it actually is. Which is exactly what we're going for, folks.

Obviously we aren't done with the office yet - this is what I'd like to call a "Phase 1" update. For "Phase 2", we'll be concentrating more on decorating the office and making it into a truly functional (and fun!) work space. I'm toying with some options, which I'll share in an upcoming post. For now I'm still enjoying the afterglow of having some nice paint up on the walls.

Ahhhh the simple things.

Any other ideas for decorating the office? Anyone else recently redecorated their office and have any tips/tricks? I'm open to any and all ideas, as long as they don't include sequins - there's only so much shiny I can take. ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

*pant pant pant*



Cleaning is hard work. My oh my. Wow.

Remember how I mentioned we had an appraisal scheduled this week? We essentially spent the entire weekend killing ourselves cleaning and preparing the house. It was a marathon session of organizing the office (which I'm hoping to finally reveal either this week or next!), cleaning up the basement, and eliminating clutter overall. We worked our pitooties off, and the results were pretty damn impressive if I do say so myself. We corralled a few of our pals to help us out, which I think made all the difference.

Still - on Sunday night, we pretty much looked like this. Please excuse this very poor excuse for a selfie, I was exhausted and about to collapse into a heap on the kitchen floor. Be grateful I was in an upright position.

Now all we can do is wait for the results. Here's hoping the house is appraised at or near the value we're expecting it to be!

I'll be back on Friday with a meatier post - scout's honor. In the meantime, I'm taking a nap. And maybe looking up a cleaning lady so I don't put myself through this again anytime soon.

Friday, August 22, 2014


You've probably been asking yourself: Laura, where are all of the projects you've been talking about doing? Why are you so busy? Girl, what is going on?

Or maybe you haven't. And that's cool too.

Here are my explanations. And before you get too excited, no, I'm not pregnant.

1. I got offered a new job!!!!
Yes, the extra exclamation points are necessary. I have been job hunting for awhile (which, with a toddler and a full time job, was hard work!!), and was finally offered a position that is more or less in line with what I want to do. The real selling point? When I mentioned the fact that I am a mom and have a life outside of work that I need to keep chugging along, they didn't back away - in fact, they embraced it, which is quite telling of what kind of company they are. Though work is important to me, family ranks #1 on my list of priorities, and as such was an important factor in whether or not I accepted any job offer. Unfortunately the commute is about the same (actually, about 5-10 minutes longer, booooooooooooo) but I'm looking at it as a built-in opportunity to exercise. Training for a 5K, here we come!!

2. We are buying a house!!
Yep, we finally decided to take the plunge! Only here's the twist: we're buying the house we're in right now. I must admit it's not our dream house, but it's the best of the options we've looked at and it's available at a fair price. And really, does anyone really ever get their dream home as their first house? My guess is a big fat no. Unless you're Richie Rich or someone ridiculous like that. Plus, this way we don't have to move, which is a HUGE plus because moving is a PITA. Also, the house we're in now provides a ton of blogging possibilities, which certainly doesn't hurt.

3. We got permission to paint the front door!
Finally! Yay! And I didn't even have to offer baked goods.

However, since we are buying a house (see #2) we have an appraisal scheduled for Monday morning, which means the front door may have to wait in favor of some other projects (like finishing the office, cleaning the basement and garage, etc.). Brian originally scheduled it for yesterday morning, but with less than 24 hours notice and a lot of tweaking to do to make sure our house was in tip-top shape, I convinced him to reschedule it so we wouldn't be up all night killing ourselves.

Soooo yeah. That's what I've been up to. Lots of exciting things happening in the K Household lately! I'm hoping to share the final office redo next week, so stay tuned!