Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Pink Nursery for a Special Baby

Okay, so when lots of women get the news they're going to be a grandmother, they pull out the knitting needles and get to work.  But I don't know how to knit and this probably isn't the time to start (Just thinking about it..... I get a visual of a misshapen sweater with lots of mistakes).

So maybe I can't do the traditional thing, but I can decorate a nursery -and my daughter Katie and her husband readily accepted my help.  Their vision?  A blush pink nursery with a modern flair.  And they wanted to put a sofa bed in there, so it can double as a guest room for their 2 bedroom apartment (more about that later).

Their apartment building allows them to paint the walls, as long as they can be changed back when they move out.  So we decided a blush pink feature wall would really give the room some pizazz.  And not just a plain pink wall, but a stenciled wall that would have a bit more style.

I have a LOT of experience stenciling.  Back in the 80's, when stenciling was popular, I stenciled pretty much anything that didn't move - except for the walls I wallpapered.  I did a lot of that too (and yeah, I've paid my dues stripping it over the years!).

Stencils patterns have changed a bit in the last few decades.  Gone are the borders that we plastered everywhere.  Now they are much more sophisticated.  Katie picked out the all over Rockin' Rosie Damask pattern.  I've never done an entire wall before, but was up for the challenge.

And it was surprisingly easy.  You simply position the stencil starting on one side of the room and match up the next square on the match lines.  I used a foam roller to apply standard latex paint (helpful tip - use an almost dry roller to prevent paint from seeping under stencil).  And they made the corners easier, with a ceiling strip, to keep it nice and neat.  All told, I did the wall in less than 4 hours.

Some quick retouch fill in any gaps in the stencil pattern
The finished product really does create a nice feature wall!  

With that done, it was time to start planning the rest of the room.  For the crib and changing table, they loved this mid-century style crib and changing table/dresser.  Don't the cross bars at the bottom of each piece give it some great style?  

Guest room to nursery transformation - Before

Guest Room to Nursery Transformation - After

West wall - Before (typical apartment catch all room!)
West Wall - After
Since the room doesn't have any overhead lighting, it was important to find a floor lamp that was nice and bright - and stayed with the mid century styling.

High on the priority list was a glider, but instead of the usual footstool, we used this fluffy one.  So soft and cozy!!!

And we found lots of cute storage containers for important things like toys & swaddles.  

And we got it all done just in time for the arrival our newest addition to the family!  Oh, and are you curious about the nursery/guest room plan?  Well let's just say it's a nice place to catch a few winks - but we're sleeping in the living room when we visit!!! 
Crib & Dresser - Dwell Studio Mid Century 
Floor Lamp - Land of Nod
Polka Dot Rug - Pottery Barn Kids
Pink Curtains - Restoration Hardware Baby & Child
Animal Mobile - Fiona Walker 
Bookcase - IKEA
Ottoman - West Elm
Pink Wall 'Houses' - Target
Elephant Storage - Homegoods
Canvas & Pom Pom storage - Pehr Designs
Wall Stencil - Royal Design Studio

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Is It Possible to Transform a Boring Ranch into a Cozy Cottage?: Before and After

Our goal when we bought this house?  Transform a bland, boring 1960's ranch to create a bright, warm home that meets today's lifestyle.

Here's the 'before photo.  As one young couple told us when they looked at it 'before' - they knew it had potential, but they didn't have enough love or money to get there.  That's where we came in!  (want to see all the 'before' photos and the background story?  Click here!)

What did I learn from this project?  Renovating a small house is hard.  Probably harder than a bigger home, because every square inch matters.  Storage, living space, amenities...... it all makes a bit difference.  I spent lots and lots of time figuring out how to maximize everything!

How did we do it?

Starting with the exterior, we desperately needed to improve curb appeal.  This house was a 'drive by' - most buyers wouldn't even want to go inside.  To change that, we kept the original siding (but gave it a major beauty treatment - click here for more info), added a front porch, new shutters, walkway and window boxes.  Now it's a house you'd want to turn into the driveway  (oh yes, that's new too!).

Transforming 1960's ranch curb appeal to cottage style

Inside, the biggest change was in the living area.  We knocked out the wall between the living room and dining room.  We ripped out the old ceiling  (a really big job that required a whole new rafter system and ridge beam) to create a big open space, complete with a reclaimed wood beam and skylight.
Living Room - Before

1960 Ranch Living Room - After

New vaulted ceiling required a lot of work!
A highlight of the living area is the board and batten wall, which gives the room some added architectural interest.

And once that was done, we installed a brand new kitchen.
1960 ranch kitchen - Before and After
New cabinets, quartz countertops with an updated subway backsplash and lots of reclaimed wood all tie together to give this kitchen some style.
Kitchen looking towards living room 'Before'

Kitchen looking towards living room 'After'
Living Room looking towards Kitchen 'Before' 

Living Room looking towards Kitchen 'After'

Quartz Counters with updated subway tile

Custom Reclaimed Wood Stove Hood

Using this antique window to create a built in, adds so much character to the room.

But we didn't stop there.  Here's the before bathroom.

Bathroom - Before

We did a to-the-studs gut of the bathroom.  That let us move fixtures, add lighting, Velux Sun Tunnel and more.

Bathroom - After

The hexagonal marble floor is one of my favorite features!  (click here for more info and sources

The bedrooms didn't get major structural work, but new windows, doors, hardware and molding made a big difference (click here for info and sources).
Master Bedroom - Before

Back Bedroom - Before (we replaced that narrow transom window)
This new window made a huge difference in the back bedroom

Installing a basement waterproofing system was critical
Since this isn't a large home, we decided to finish the basement - to create a lot more living space.  What started as a dank, dark space filled with cobwebs is now a bright happy space (thanks to a waterproofing system and lots of new finishes - click here for more info).
Yeah.....there were a LOT of cobwebs!!!
We left the majority of the finished basement as an open space - to use however the new owners want.  In our case, I staged it as a kid's playroom 

and a media room.

We also created a big laundry room, with lots of built in storage.

But my favorite feature?  This half bathroom with an antique sink that I spent weeks refurbishing.  (What's it take to transform a nasty old basement?  A lot!  Click here for details

But to really appreciate the Before & After, check out this 3D video tour.  It's so cool!  It lets you walk through the space and really see the difference!

Can you believe the difference?  Is this a Cozy Cottage you'd want to live in?  

Thanks so much for following along on this adventure.  We'll be turning the keys over to the new owners shortly!

Want to see more?  Follow us on Facebook or Instagram as we get started on our new project!

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