Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Sunroom

Hey!  We've been keeping busy around here, and fighting off a couple more viruses in the meantime.  Poor AG has had more sickness in the last 2 months than she has her entire life!!  We're hopeful we'll all be well by Thanksgiving!  When I'm not playing nurse for one of my sick patients, I've been playing Mrs. Claus!  I mentioned before that when we first walked through this house, the one single room I was excited about was the sunroom!  I have always wanted a room full of windows to sit in the mornings and watch the sun come up.  (Yes, I'm up that early.)  We did a good bit of renovating to the sunroom, but most of it was cosmetic stuff.  Nothing TOO drastic.  Here are some before pictures.

The biggest job was the demolition of the walls.  I wanted the sunroom to be open to the kitchen.  We had to add a couple columns for support.  The light fixtures came down and the ceilings were scraped and smoothed.  We added pocket lights and a new fixture where that flower light fixture was.  We also removed the old wood paneling and my dad put beadboard in it's place.  I debated whether or not to take the beadboard from floor to ceiling, and in the end we went for it!  I really love how it turned out.  Of course the floors were also rebuilt and our hardwood continues in there from the kitchen.  Here it is mid-floor.

Ready for the "after" pictures?  Of course we are decked out for Christmas already! :)  Here is the door that leads out to our driveway.  This is the "family" door.  If you know us, you come in this door.  If someone rings the front door, we all look around at each other and wonder who it could be.  Haha.  Even my UPS guy knows to come to this door. :)

I chose a light tan to mirror the cabinets and my dining room wall.  I love the contrast with the snow white trim and the deep dark floors!  I took this picture last night...AG was sitting in there around the tree chatting on the phone with her Grandma and I just thought it was cute!

Notice the masking tape on the windows?  That's because these windows were here when dinosaurs walked the earth and the cold comes right through the cracks! Haha!  It's funny because our bedroom and the den stay very warm and then we walk into the kitchen and freeeeeze!  The tape was Ben's temporary fix until the windows are replaced.  We are looking into that plastic stuff that seals the cracks as well.  I just want something that is completely transparent so it doesn't mess up the view!!

I had been debating what type of furniture I was going to put in here.  We realized early on that we spent all our money on the renovations, and then had nothing left to spend on furniture to put in our newly renovated rooms! One afternoon we were at Ben's grandmother's house and I was wondering around upstairs when I found a wicker bench.  She wasn't using it, and said I could have it for free!! SCORE!  Ben's mom said there were 2 chairs to match it at the beach house that I could bring home next time we went to the beach!  I was beyond excited!  They were a light brown, so I just took them out in the front yard and spray painted them!  I bought some sparkly silver fabric to cover the chairs just for Christmas to match the silver and white tree. I'm still searching for the perfect fabric for year-round cushions.


The other side of the room is AG's art corner.  This girl loves to paint!  We got the little table and bench set from Ben's grandmother as well!

My dad built this bench in a high school carpentry class!  Pretty impressive!  It's still just as strong and sturdy as ever, and one of my favorite pieces in the house!  (please ignore the GIANT rusted saw blade leaned against the bench!!  Something my dear husband brought home that has not YET found it's home in the shed....)

 So that's our sunroom.  The furniture is moved around to put the focus on the tree, so I'll show you the normal set up after Christmas is over!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's NOT too early..

In my opinion, when you have a house full of kids, you're lucky if you can keep your house somewhat tidy, much less get it decorated for holidays!  Because of that, I feel like it's NOT too early for me to start decorating for Christmas! (how bout that for some reasoning?  Does it sound convincing?) It's no secret that Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Not just Christmas day, but the whole season.  A lot of people don't feel like it's ok to decorate for Christmas until Thanksgiving is over, because they want to give Thanksgiving it's own glory first.  Personally, I'm not really a huge fan of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Don't get me wrong, I AM a huge fan of giving thanks for all we're blessed with, just not on ONE specific day of the year.  I am ALWAYS reminded of all I have to be thankful for, and I'm trying to teach our kids to give thanks EVERYDAY, instead of just thinking about it when you're sitting at a huge table full of food.  We are thankful for our family everyday, not just when we can all be together to share a meal.  We are thankful for the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we get to eat for lunch, not just a huge buffet of food that took hours to make.  I do enjoy the time spent with family and the food, but we eat dinner with our family just about once a week so I don't really feel the excitement that people who live hours from their family probably feel on Thanksgiving.  We also have our friends over for something I have dubbed, "Friendsgiving" and I like to have the house all decked out with Christmas stuff for that.  It's just so cozy!  Plus, when you are a Christmas NUT like me, and it takes a good 2 weeks to get everything decorated, you want to be able to enjoy it for more than a couple weeks, ya know!?  There is nothing like the excitement in a 2 year old's eyes when she sees you bringing the strands of lights and ornaments down from the attic!  Honestly I'm not sure who is more excited...me or my daughter!  We ate at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants last week and they had a mariachi band going table to table taking requests.  They played a variety of songs, but I don't think anyone was prepared for when they came to our table and Audrey politely asked them to play "Jingle Bells!"  Haha! She thoroughly enjoyed her special serenade of "Feliz Navidad!"
Since I'll be sharing pictures of our house once the decorating is finished, I thought it would only be fair to share what it looks like at the beginning of the decorating process!  As a fellow blog lover, I know sometimes you're looking at pictures of someone's house thinking "is it always that clean?"  or "does she really have it that together?"  The answer is, of course, NO!!  So here is our study right now...without me tidying or kicking anything out of the frame! :)  Don't judge.

Yep, I can't even open the other door...

So am I alone in my decorating?  Anyone else have a room that looks like this?  Please, someone tell me I'm not alone....because I'm sure my husband is going to have a conniption when he sees that I posted these pictures! :)  It's not a secret anymore....

Thursday, November 3, 2011


What do you call the room where your family sits to watch TV, play games, visit, etc?  Den? Family room? TV room?  We generally refer to it as our den.  For the most part, this room is done. (For now!)  It did require a good bit of work!  First my dad had to knock down the brick chimney, brick by brick.  I think that was his least favorite job of the entire remodel!  And we got rid of 3 chimneys... Then of course the floor joists all had to be rebuilt, so all of the flooring came up and was built nice and strong.  Then we had to redesign the fireplace/TV wall and have it built.  That wall is the divider between the den and Audrey Grace's room, so we had to figure out how to work her closet and bathroom in and all that.  Then I showed you how my dad and Ben built the new mantel here.   Ben and his buddies also scraped the ceilings to make them smooth which makes a huge difference in my opinion.  The walls are Sherwin William's Chatroom Gray.  I love this color.  It is the color of my brother's bedroom at my parent's house, and actually has an army green look to it.  We used it in the study too. (You'll see that mess room one day.) So here are some pictures of our den.  Sorry about the sunny spot!


AFTER (Gotta love Blues Clues! :)




Of course we still have stuff we want to do in here.  One day we will have crown molding, and Ben has dreams of a coffered ceiling like this.  

I haven't decided how I feel about it yet.  I like them, but I'm worried it will make the den feel more like a cave since it's not a very big room.  The windows also need replaced, and then we will install plantation shutters.  I love love love plantation shutters!!  That is why I'm holding off on window treatments...I'm not sure if I'll do any or not.

We really like our den and spend a lot of time in there as a family.  It's a very cozy room, which is exactly what I wanted.  Even though we have things to do still, we are happy with it and just excited we will have a completed floor and a mantel for Christmas this year!  Take a look at last Christmas...

Santa came....but he didn't bring hardwood floor. :(

No beautifully decorated Christmas mantels here....

Good thing she couldn't have cared less! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

It's NOVEMBER!! I cannot tell you how excited that makes me!!  It means it is officially ok for me to listen to Christmas music and start shuffling through all my decorations!!!  (at least it makes it ok in MY head! :)) I have lots of good things to show you this month!  We haven't had new projects going on, but there are still lots of little touches I've been adding that I look forward to sharing with you!  (And I didn't forget I promised you pictures of our den!  They are coming...) For now, I'll leave you with my Snow White and her dwarf, Happy!  Hope everyone had a wonderful October and a Happy Halloween!