Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Dreamy Bungalow {Kitchen}

Now that I have taken a week off, ahem, time to get back to our house tour! I was trying to figure out how to go about this next reveal, since it was our most recent and probably biggest project - the Kitchen.

This one is going to be filled with a bunch of photos, but not any of the "hows". I'll do a different post on all the things we did to get the kitchen to this point and how we did it ourselves…and I'll include a LOT more close ups of the final result in that post.

When we bought the house…it looked like this.

That laminate that *looked* like butcher block had me fooled when I originally saw it on the listing photos. Alas. Laminate. Same thing on the backsplash.

We're pretty sure that the Joes are the ones that painted these cabinets before they listed it. They looked freshly done when we bought the house.

No leg holding up the side of this desk. Weird right?

I moved into the house absolutely raring to go on updating the kitchen, all my HGTV watching ideas going like gangbusters.

…and then I realized that houses, you know, cost money. Whomp.

So, it got pushed to the back burner.

In the meanwhile, we painted the kitchen a bright and sunny yellow and made some small changes.

**I took all these photos when we were getting ready to tear everything out, so don't mind the mess.**

New pendant light above the sink, new curtains…

 My refinished hutch found a good home, I took down the awkward shelves on the wall to the right of the desk, and added a leg onto the edge of said desk.

We took advantage of the vertical space to store glassware, etc.

…and then, well. I still wasn't happy with it. 

Especially once I embarked upon my current career and spent so.much.time. in this room. The yellow wore on my after a while, and the laminate continued to mock me with its presence.

It was such a weird choice. The dark brown outlets and light switches were so…not me. And then the paint on the cabinets started to bubble and peel, because whoever painted them the first time did not take the time to do it correctly.


I dreamed and schemed about all the giant total overhauls I would do…if we were going to live in this house forever, that is.

Fast forward two years, and I finally convinced my husband to pull the trigger on a mini renovation. You know, just in time for us to move. When I say mini, I mean that we didn't really change the layout, we just upgraded some things.

Still, at least I got to enjoy it for the time being.

Because, spoiler alert - I am in absolute love.

New hardware, repainted cabinets (the right way) and actual butcher block countertops.

New faucet and white toe kick and molding.

I just love it. 

So, so much.

(I also love that we spent under $1,000 on this whole thing.)




Evelyn Rae is 2 and 3/4, Liam is 15 months old

…and i just love my little desk so much now. I have written most of my recent blog posts from there…which I never would have wanted to do in the old kitchen.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Up on the Stage

I know when I started this series about our home, I said it was going to be all bungalow posts, all the time, but I am gonna pump the brakes for a minute.

Because today was my girl's Spring Program at preschool.

She has been talking about it for weeks now. "I'm going to sing on the stage, Mommy. With all my friends, I'm going to sing on the stage for you and Daddy, and Baby Brother, and Nana, and Oma…" and on she would go, down the list of everyone who had attended her Christmas Program.

(We, um, tend to roll deep to family events these days.)

And with all that talk, I will admit, I began to worry. Because, occasionally in this toddler world we reside - weeks and weeks of excitement lead to the moment we've been anticipating being one of feeling overwhelmed and self conscious and sad. (See: Santa, or the Easter Bunny, or holiday dinners or parties, or trips to see family members, or even every day errands.)

And other times, they go off without a hitch.

It's not that this Spring Program, or the Christmas one, or anything she'll ever do - game she'll ever play in, speech she'll ever make, performance she'll ever have, book she'll ever write - will ever define her for me.

But these moments are so revelatory to me.

I have been with this girl for 99.9% of her entire life. Without hyperbole, almost every moment of her life has been by my side. I know her feelings and her thoughts on varying topics, which at this point in life are rather limited, but they are all her and her "work" as she likes to say.

At programs like this though, I get the tiny glimpses of what she is like when I am not standing beside her. The person she is when she is not in my immediate company, or even in the company of some other adult who is giving her the majority of their attention.

When she is one of the many.

And today I saw a girl who listens to her teacher and pays attention. Who patiently and enthusiastically follows directions. Who has created things. Who has practiced and rehearsed and had fun while doing it.

("Singing is my favorite work, Mommy.")

Who takes her performance seriously and sustains some serious focus. Who will break that focus to wave back and smile at her crazy family. Who loves to sing and to perform. Who does so gleefully and with every ounce of her being.

And today, I am so proud of that girl.
And so proud that I can call her mine.

Evelyn Rae is two and a half, Liam is fifteen months

…and I am so going to miss this little school that has been such a great experience for my girl.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Dreamy Bungalow {Downstairs Bath}

Another quick one today, because - House Showings! Ack!

{Seriously though - keeping a house continually clean with two small children may, in fact, kill me.}

So, downstairs bath. The majority of things in this bathroom are original to the house. Like, been there since the house was built in 1927.


This is what it looked like at our inspection.

Original (albeit dirty, ick) hex tile. Love.

Let's examine. Original cast iron tub to the right. Antique medicine cabinet. Original subway tile. 

…and mid 80's style builders grade bathroom sink?

Seriously. You can't see it, but this cabinet was like Oak Laminate, an awful color for that bathroom, and the countertop is a nice ivory swirl, which looked continually dingy against the white tile. And that faucet? Gorgeous, right? 

Plus - the dimensions were a-w-f-u-l. It was so deep that it made the bathroom feel squashed and tight, which, what? That room has ten foot ceilings! And see those open wall anchors in the tile right above the little backsplash thing? It was so short! It was just awkward.

I wish I had some in between photos (thought I did somewhere, but who knows). In the interim, in order to live with it, I painted that cabinet black, which made it not so awful. I painted the walls tan, as I was completely inspired by/wanted to copy the old bathroom over at Young House Love's first house. (Strangely similar, no?)

Anywho, eventually we couldn't deal with it any more, plus found the room totally boring on the whole.

So…in came our purple bathroom.

…and special shout out goes to Evelyn's princess potty seat and sticker chart over there in the back.

The room is so tall and the subway tile provides so much white that we felt comfortable going with a dark color in there. Why not?

Total Kids' bathroom these days. 

We put in a new overhead light fixture as well. I honestly don't even remember what the old one looked like, but it was awful. We liked the retro feel of this one.

Installing this vanity was in the very first handful of DIY projects that we attempted. It was a super affordable out of a box thing from one of the big box stores (don't remember which one), and I spruced it up a bit by adding those little crystal (looking) knobs, but we totally splurged on our faucet, which still makes me swoon. The sink and cabinet fit the bill color wise to go for the long haul in our bathroom and the dimensions are perfection. Slimmer, taller, big sink. check, check, check.

My rock star purple bathroom.

I shall miss you.



Evelyn Rae is two and a half, Liam is one and some change

…and tubby time with these kids in this bathroom is a ball.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Our Dreamy Bungalow {The Hall}

It may seem silly to do a post on the hallway and stairs of our home, but…


Oh, well. I love our stairs and hallway.

So here it goes.

Not much to look at, granted. Though still, beautiful original floors, and banister (above the landing), five panel doors, glass knobs, charm. The stairwell goes all the way up to the top of our house, so it is very, very tall and gives it a spacious feeling even though the staircase is pretty narrow itself.

(It is so tall, in fact, that my husband who is not normally afraid of heights in the slightest, has refused to repaint our hallway for me even though I have always been sort of "meh" about the color we chose.)

But, I am getting ahead of myself.

Some of the top part of the left wall was added when our second bathroom was put in sometime in the past. We are pretty sure, based on plaster and drywall differences, flooring, etc. that there was just originally a large open landing upstairs where our second bath and the upstairs linen closet now reside.

Their choice in light fixtures was, well. Not the same as ours.

So we painted, and as we added memories (and family members) we added photos.

True story - these were the first photos I every hung…
because the nails were already there. 

We quickly learned to use Command strips rather than nails on plaster walls.

Then we removed the blinds from the window, because - blinds? Not functional at 10 feet above you. We always meant to increase the privacy (but retain the light) by hanging a nice stained glass piece in front of it…but we never could find one that was just right.

…and then we replaced all the lights.

Ultimately, it's still a hall and stairs.
It's just ours now.


Evelyn Rae is 2.5, Liam is 15 months

…and little details like this from our hallway were what sold us on this house.