Friday, April 29, 2011

Mirror Refurbished

The previous owner left the mirror in the upstairs bathroom. It was old and ugly.. stained brown, with the wood chipping and peeling from being in the bathroom for so long. And the back was covered in paper, which was disintegrating. But, we needed a mirror in there.

I found one at Ikea that I liked and that matched the glass shelf and candle holders in the bathroom (the picture is the shelf, not the mirror... apparently they discontinued the mirror. It was only $20 though). However, when we were actually in the store, R hated it. Not sure why. He just did. So I didn't buy it. That was months ago. The mirror had been taken off the wall when I was painting and rather than hang it back up (and resign to the fact that it was staying), we had it propped up on the counter.
Back in December I tried painting it white, just to see what it would look like. With a coat of primer and a coat of paint, the stain still bled through. And you could see the cracking. It looked horrible. So now rather than just an ugly mirror, we have an ugly mirror that is half painted white.
Finally I had had enough of it. The rest of the bathroom is done except for the stupid mirror. I took it outside, put newspaper and painters tape over the glass and spray painted it black. And I have to say, I love how it came out! It looks almost identical to the Hemnes mirror from Ikea, which I liked, but was $50.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Finished Laundry Room

I think this will be my cheapest room makeover in the entire house. And that's mainly thanks to the major discount I got on the wall paint. Originally $35, on sale for $5. As long as you're willing to be flexible, there are amazing paint discounts you can get!

Washer - $0 (given to me by a former client)
Dryer - $0 (given to me by a former client)

Wall Paint - $2.50 (the other half of the paint will be used in the upstairs Hall)
White Paint - $0 (I had some leftover from other rooms)
Cabinet Knobs - $3
Rug - $0 (was in our Master Bathroom in our apartment, but didn't fit in this bathroom) 
Iron/Ironing Board Holder - $0 (I bought this about 3 years ago and we never got around to hanging it up in our apartment. I love having somewhere to put the ironing board and iron now.. they always seemed to get in the way!)

Yup. A $5.50 complete room transformation. The new cabinet knobs match the ones in the bathroom (because the cabinets also match). The washer and dryer were very generously given to us by clients of mine. We were remodeling their house and part of the remodel involved relocating their washer/dryer to the finished basement (as opposed to in the middle of the Kitchen where they had been). But to conserve space, we decided to go with a stack-able unit. Which meant that they had no use for their old washer and dryer. When they heard that we finally closed on the house, they asked if we needed a washer and dryer. At the time, we were just going to use my parent's or the ones in the basement. But who could pass up free appliances! And ones that were only a couple years old? The only catch was that we had to pick them up that weekend because demolition was starting Monday. More good luck... we already had the UHaul reserved to move out of our apartment. So all we had to do was make a quick trip down to Deep River to get them!

The wall cabinet is a huge help. It has three shelves, so I'm able to store household essentials and additional cleaning supplies in there. There's room for all of our backup laundry detergent and fabric softener, dusting supplies, Febreze, lightbulbs, laundry supplies, etc. If you know me, you know I have a lot of cleaning supplies... And they all fit in here!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Painting the Laundry Room

Every time I'm in our local Lowe's I check out their clearance section. So far, I've bought two cans of paint there. Both cans are premium Valspar brand paint... originally $35, on sale for $5. One of these I decided to use for the upstairs back hall (the other one is a yellow I'm planning on using in the Kitchen).

I started by filling in holes and sanding the walls (the paper left behind a weird, rough texture), then moved on to the trim and doors. I painted the trim and doors the same white I've been painting the rest of the trim/doors in the house. I love how white trim instantly cleans up a room! I also find that it accentuates the detailing in the trim (especially in some of the intricate crown molding we have in some rooms) much better than the dirty cream color did.

The walls and trim took about 2 coats of paint each. At first I wasn't too sure about the color on the walls. I'm not a "brown" person. I don't like brown clothes or brown walls. But this brown (it's called Moose Mousse) works for me. It makes the room look sophisticated, if you can call a Laundry Room sophisticated.
The hardest part of the room was the wall cabinet. It took a couple coats of paint and took longer to dry. But I did find about 6 bottles of body wash (unopened.. still in their gift packaging) and a really nice winter/Christmas hand soap set from Bath and Body Works. Looks like someone received all of these as Christmas gifts and just left them in the cabinet; either didn't want them, or forgot about them. And the best part? I also found a $20 Borders gift card tucked into one of the gift bags. It looked like whoever received it never even noticed it was there! Yay for free books!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We first saw the house on May 5, 2010. It was a hot spring here in New England, so everything had already bloomed by then. It was more like summer here that day. So we really never saw the house in the spring. It was nice being surprised by all of the random flowers! We first noticed daffodils sprouting up... some behind the lean-to, some by our lilac bush, some by our mailbox... even some randomly planted in a line in the woods. Those ones are a little strange.. Then the wildflowers started coming up. The whole northern half of our backyard was covered in these pretty little purple flowers.
I loved them!! After about two weeks or so, they died out, and new flowers appeared in the southeastern part of the backyard. I believe those were violets.. white and purple ones. Our backyard was so beautiful (until R cut the grass this morning and as a result also cut down most of the flowers)!
The trees in the woods grew in (except one... which looks dead on the bottom, but now has small buds on the top.. we aren't sure what to do).. I love the privacy that the woods provide.. I love looking out the back windows.. it's calming.

The bare patch in the yard where the pool used to be even filled in a little bit. R bought a bag of grass seed and spread it around the yard in the random bare patches. However, then the rain that we were promised didn't come for about 2 weeks and in the meantime the birds had a buffet of grass seed. So, it didn't fill in completely, but it still looks better than it did last year. The pool spot is where we're planning on planting a garden anyways.

And now we have a bunch of tulips randomly planted around the yard. There are a bunch around the tree by the driveway and a lot in the space between our driveway and our next door neighbor's. I love tulips. I got some more that I plan to plant later this year.

Even the bushes in front of the house are somewhat growing in. So we've decided to wait until next year to see if we need to replace them. They don't look bad from the street because we're on a hill.. it's only when you're up close to them that they look horrible. We'll see...

We've also decided to put in a walkway in the backyard that goes from the driveway to our backdoor. There is some sort of paved trench there now that has served as a walkway, but it's horrible. And it wasn't at all helpful in the winter (R just shoveled a path next to it on top of the grass). So I think we'll get some pavers or bricks sometime soon and just put in a simple path. Anything will be better than what's there now!