Time for new floors!

After staring at this dreaded carpet and tile for 7 years, we are finally replacing it! Now that I just finished painting the kitchen cabinets we can start on taking the floors out. We chose to tear out the existing floors ourself and I’m glad we did. Had we paid someone to take them out the cost would have been tremendous. Removing carpet and tile is no big deal and something we have done many times before. It’s what was under the Kitchen tile that almost had us defeated.

Here is our flooring before: These are very old pictures, just look how little my sweet babies are. We had the same tile in the kitchen and entry alone with that lovely carpet and gold tac strips. Check out that wall color too.

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When laying tile in your kitchen, don’t take shortcuts, tear out the existing flooring please. There were many layers that were put down over laminate to then lay tile down and it was all down before the cabinets were put in. Surprise to us, we had more work ahead of us than we knew. We are going to be laying hardwoods throughout the entire first level and that won’t work quite right if the Kitchen floor is several inches higher than the rest. We took the tile out easily and then shad to rent a small jack hammer to wedge under the flooring it get it up. This took hours an hours, I’m sure Mr Modish has backaches just thinking about it. It was a very laborious weekend that we could not have completed if it weren’t for family that volunteered to help and also watch the boys for us.

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Don’t do this:

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After all the existing flooring was up, we had to be sure that all staples and nails were either removed or hammered down so that the new flooring would lay evenly. I then went around and scraped all the baseboards where the old carpet was stuck and then repainted the trim. The hardwood floors will sit a little lower than the carpet and I didn’t want to have to paint once the new floors were down. We also chose to paint the corner round before it was cut down and installed so it would match the base boards. Just a little tip for those of you that have squeaky floors. Screwing in new screws in the floor joists can lessen and get rid of squeaks.

Demolition is done! This was quite a project but worth every bit!

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Now to let the professionals put in the flooring. Had we only been doing one room I would have wanted to tackle it ourself but we did several rooms and I wanted it to be perfect. I just love my new floors! It’s like having a brand new house!!

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Cabinet Re-do

Don’t like your cabinets? Paint them, I did! These were put in by the previous owner and are not what I would have chosen. They were starting to look a little beat up, and the colors are just a bit outdated now with the darker color in the creases. It may be difficult to see in picture but they are more of a cream than a white.

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I torn between a light gray or white cabinets but I went with white and I’m glad I did. This was my first time using a paint sprayer and now I’m in love! What would have taken a week or more to paint by hand, only took me a weekend. First I took off the doors, cleaned them and lightly sanded them. Here’s a tip: Attaching tape to the inside of the doors and numbering them across the top and bottom will save you some time when it comes to reassembling. One other tip: Paint the inside of your cabinet doors too! Only painting the front looks unfinished.

The weather was not great, so to get these painted when I wanted to I had to do it in the basement. I laid down plastic so that my floors would not get painted as well. Then I laid out the cabinet doors according to their number and placed the piece of tape on the plastic next to each door, then I took a picture. Better safe than sorry. I painted the drawers next.

The paint gun was fairly easy to use and made everything go by much faster. I painted a coat of primer on the front and back of the doors and let it dry overnight. The next day I began painting and painted two coats on each side with my chosen paint color. When using a spray gun, be sure you are always paying attention to the nozzle as it can start to clog and before you know it, it sprays out everywhere and mean everywhere. I had to re paint part of a wall, it was so bad. It helps to spray test on to a piece of cardboard before you start each coat and half way through to be sure you don’t mess up your project.

The hardest part was waiting for the paint to set. Mr Modish had to assure me that It would be best if I waited to put them back on (I get so impatient). While the doors and drawers were drying I painted the base of the cabinets by hand. You could tape off and spray them as well but that would have been more work. I painted the upper cabinets when the kiddos were awake and bottoms she they were sleeping. Otherwise, it could have been a big mess.

Once everything was no longer tacky, I put the doors and hardware back on and had a new kitchen (well almost, the floors are next)!

Our kitchen has soffets above the upper cabinets, which I can’t stand. Instead of tearing them out and creating a huge mess (I will save that for another day). I decided to add trim to the top and bottom of the soffets and painted them the same color as the cabinets. This made the soffets look like they are part of the cabinets and made the room feel taller. After the cabinets were painted, I had to re-paint the walls too. It’s now starting to feel like my home. Now to start tearing out the existing flooring. Here are the soffets before and during the change:

Check out my messy kitchen! There was no time for a picture of it all clean… on to the demolition of the floors!IMG_8135IMG_8184

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Master Bedroom Oasis

I have always loved my Master bedroom and my bedding but it was time for a change. I am like a furnace when I sleep and get way too hot at night. For this reason I have never actually been able to sleep with my current comforter. I have tried many times and it always just ends up folded on the trunk at the end of the bed.

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My plan was just to get a light duvet cover for a duvet that we have packed away that we can use in the summer. I found one that I fell in love with from Target. Shortly after getting the new duvet cover, I had to paint the walls, because the color was too similar to the duvet cover. No, I don’t make my bed everyday just like everyone else.

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I then white washed my bed, dry brushed my picture frames and added a few new decor pieces. I am so in love with my room now and its just so relaxing and serene.

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I of course will probably add/change out a few new pieces here and there as time goes on, maybe a new pillow or two or a feature wall. I just love this space! If you have any design/project questions don’t hesitate to ask, I would be happy to help!

 

Kid’s Costumes

When it comes to Halloween and costumes, I love to go all out! Now that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, just think outside the box. This is when I get creative and rummage through what we already have and make multiple trips to my local Hobby Lobby. Creating your kiddos costume also does not mean you need to have a sewing machine.

Here are a few of my kids past costumes I created with very little money spent and just a little time, effort and creativity (mostly while they were sleeping). The boys pick who they want to be an I figure out how to make it happen.

LEGO BATMAN:

 

This was a fun one to figure out and create. I used cardboard, foam, foam sheets, a lot of duct tape, black spray paint and a little hot glue. He does have lego hands but appears to be hiding them in every picture.

BAD MICHAEL JACKSON:

For this costume, I did buy the wig and jacket because some things just need to be bought. I spray painted plastic buckles with chrome spray paint for the buckles and attached them to the gloves with hot glue. I fabric glued some red felt to some black skinny jeans and cut small slits to weave the black straps to attach the plastic buckles. Top it all off with a little a few of my belts, black eyeliner and BAM, Bad Michael Jackson! This boy loves dance!

HE-MAN:

11248061_10208015719700170_4638741715795794529_nI purchased a skin colored muscle top and hand sewn pieces of foam that I cut to make the chest piece. For the bottom, I purchased some brown fur that I fabric glued and hand sewn to a pair of boys boxer briefs.

For all of the boots I covered the boys rain boots with felt and attached it with clear packing tape. For the Lego batman boots, I first added pieces of cardboard to give them the block shape and added fur accents to the He-man boots and buckles for the Michael Jackson boots. Afterwards the boots are not damaged and the felt comes right off.

This is what Halloween is all about! Get out there with your kiddos, dress up and have some fun! This is what they will remember and will be happy they had fun parents. I am already planning our next Halloween costumes, how about you?

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DIY Headboard

I have this beautiful large frame that was generously given to me by my MIL. It previously had a mirror in it that had cracked and had been removed and had a few cracks in the frame here and there. As soon as I saw it I had a plan of turning it into a headboard. This was a very quick, easy and inexpensive project. I paid a total of around 15$ for the entire project. The only thing I purchased was the fabric and crib size batting from Hobby Lobby.

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Since the frame is in rough shape I decided to give it a distressed look and white washed, then dry brushed paint on it. I First added paint to all the edges and crevices and then wiped away the excess so that all cracks would fill in with white.

Some of the corners were slightly split and cracked from the outside corner to the inside corners so I decided to patch them and create the same look in each corner to add to the distressed look. Then I dry brushed over the entire frame. Dry brushing is really simple after dipping the brush in paint you brush/ dab off all the excess paint so you are left with very little on the brush. This helps to create the light brush strokes, leaving the frame color visible while adding a textured look.

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After the patin was dry, I took out the backing to use as backing for the inside padded area I wanted to create. For the padding I tore apart an old crib mattress that was lying around in my basement (this was not easy but it did the trick). I pretty much ended up having to tear it apart with my hands because the mattress as is would be way too thick as is. I laid out the crib size batting, laid down my mattress stuffing and the backing on top if it and started stapling. I used the batting to keep the stuffing stiff and in place. This way I was able to keep the shape before adding the fabric.

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Before stapling down the fabric, I ironed out all the lines and creases then repeated the same process with the fabric. I folded the edges of the fabric over before stapling so the back would be a little neater (not that anyone will see it). Now I have the raised padded area that will fit back into the frame with little effort.

I pushed the padded area into the frame, secured the backing back to the frame and done. Now to hang it on the wall. Luckily this frame had all the hardware needed to hang a large heavy piece on the back. I love how this project tuned out and only took a couple of hours out of my weekend to complete. It also will be a great focal point for the guest room that I am slowly working on fixing up. Anything to get my parents in town more often. Now to add some new paint and work on the idea of adding a basement bathroom.

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Master Bath Remodel Part 2

I cant believe this part has taken so long to post even though it has been done for quite some time. After redoing the bathroom floor, my sink and counter were next on the list. let the demolition begin! I think I can safely say that no one likes the look of these shell sinks, especially when painted over like mine was. Yuck right!?

 

We decided to try and keep the upper cabinets if possible and did our best not to destroy them while taking the sink out. I also worked on painting the cabinets inside and out during the whole process.img_1516

We first had to build a top with a layer of plywood and a layer of cement board which let me tell you was a paint to get in. The trim for our closet door is so close to the counter that we had to cut the boards in half in order to get them in. I decided to use a piece of trim for the counter edge  that I would paint to match the cabinets. Before laying the tile we first place the sink and faucet and mark the holes that we will drill out of the counter top. Then I laid down my tile and cut each piece to fit.

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A little mortar, tile, let dry and then grout.

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Now that the tile has been grouted, its finally time to install this beautiful sink that we have pretty much had since we moved into this house 5 years ago. I love, love, love this sink!!!

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My bathroom is finally complete! New flooring, counter, sink, lighting and paint. I now love my master bath!

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Master Bath Remodel Part 1 ( flooring)

Finally, my last bathroom is getting an update! Time to rip out the carpet and the awful, cracked white tile flooring. Like most of my projects, one day I get an urge to redo and start the process. The first step in my process is convincing my husband that now is the perfect time to start the project then demolition begins. After getting up the carpet and tile there is still so much prep work to do. Craig busted out all the floor tile and mortar underneath while I ripped out the carpet, floor tacks and pulled up any staples that were sticking out. This has to be the worst part of the process. Keep in mind that before ripping out your flooring you will need to turn off your water, remove the toilet and make sure that the valves are closed before turning your water back on and getting started. The sub floor was in great shape and we are tiling a small area so now we will start laying the tile.

Before laying the tile you want to make sure you start with a clean surface and then plan out your tile pattern. Tiling a floor may sound intimidating but is not that bad once you get into it. I wish I could say it gets easier with every project but if you are anything like me, you change something up to challenge yourself a little more each time. I learned from a previous bathroom floor that I will never lay slate tile again. Each piece is not created equal. Some may be thicker and even slightly a different size which creates a headache when you are searching for perfection. Another difficulty with slate is that when you apply the grout, it gets stuck in all the crevices and uneven surfaces of the tile which is a little grueling to get off. So bottom line is to research what tile you are laying before you buy it.

I chose to use a 4X12 porcelain tile that I will layout in a herringbone pattern (this is where the project takes a more difficult turn). Any time you run tile at different angles like in this pattern you will end up with more difficult cuts on the edges since the tile is not running straight across.

My inspiration:

When laying tile, its best to start from the center of the space and work your way out. I started by laying out my pattern in the center to make sure the angles were straight and correct and ran it through towards the enclosed area of my bathroom where the shower and toilet are. Once my mortar was mixed and ready to go, I spread some mortar evenly on the floor with the metal trowel then used the tooth like side of the trowel and dragged it across the mortar to create lines. You will then do the same to the back of each tile before laying it on the mortar that was just spread on the floor. Having the mortared texture on both the floor and the back of the tile allows them to bond together tighter. Try pulling up a tile right after laying it down, it immediately grabs to each other. Continue this process until you have to make cuts. I laid down as many full tiles as I could in one area and then started to measure and mark any edge pieces.

What was so helpful in this process was having Craig help me along the way. While Craig was cutting a group of tiles for me I would work on making the cut marks on the next group and would lay each group as he brought them to me. This smaller enclosed are of my bathroom was the most grueling. Cutting the correct angles all around the edges and the toilet area definitely made my head hurt. I knew that once I got past this part the rest would go by much faster. For the most part of one day I laid all the tile in the shower/toilet area and all of the full center pieces for the rest of the bathroom. The next morning I attacked the rest of the edge pieces that needed to be measured and cut. Whew, that was rough. Note to self: These long tiling projects make your whole body ache!

Once the tile had set as instructed on the mortar bag, It was time to grout. Grouting goes by much faster but can be pretty messy. Mix the grout as stated in the instructions (consistency is key). You dont want it to be too thick to spread but you also don’t want it to be so runny that you can’t pick it up with your float. Spread the grout across the tile and be sure that you don’t leave any holes between the tiles. Its okay to have a little more because you will wipe away the excess. After your entire area is grouted you will have to start the process of wiping the floor with a large sponge to remove all the excess grout (follow the grouting instructions on the grout packaging). You will have to wait until the grout no longer comes off on your fingers when touching to start this process. After wiping it downy the first time you will want to wait another 30 minutes or so before wiping down the tile again. Once done I let mine sit overnight and do a final cleaning to remove any haziness and then the floor is ready to be sealed. Check out that lovely yellow shell sink and countertop (they are next to go).img_1357

We then installed our new toilet which I believe has been in a box in our basement for a couple years now.Our last step was to tack down metal carpet strips where the tile and carpet meet. Seeing this new beautiful tile on my floor makes me feel so happy inside! Not too bad for a mom of three. Now to start Part 2, the ugly yellow painted sea shell counter top. I’m so in love with these floors!

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