Bill had the deep desire to create a coffered ceiling in our home since we moved in. The dining room ceiling has already been patched and replastered twice, and repainted twice. . . which is a lot in less than ten years. We think that the plaster or paint has had trouble sticking for a few reasons. . .primarily old adhesive from either a wallpapered ceiling or odd sorts of old paint. Either way, these ceilings crack and flake like nobody’s business. It’s the one thing in the house that we’ve had to compromise on and go with sheetrock because we just can’t keep doing them every two years. What I mean by compromise is that we had ideally wanted to keep the house pure of modern insulation and sheetrock as much as possible.
So, Bill’s coffering plan has come to fruition and he began planning out and making the coffered look happen this past winter. A project this extensive takes forever, partly because I have no carpentry skills and partly because taking up the whole room with scaffolding and tools omits use of the space, in this case, the largest room in our home. That is hard in the winter when we need a big table for kid projects and play. So, I am dying to have this project finished. Especially because the new lights will be stellar, and the newish curtains will be cozy for the winter.
I’ve just finished priming the coffers and I have a plan for how this will all be painted, but Bill still needs wood around the edges and to finish the nail heads. It willl be a few more weeks/months before completed photos are ready.
I’m a painter. Its what I do. Literally, I’ve been painting for 30 years, and 20 of that has been decorative and home painting plus my own artwork. So, when it comes to choosing color, I like ALL of them. It is super hard for me to choose just one and stick with it for any length of time. I already want to repaint the living room and dining room, and they’ve only been painted for 6-8 years the way they are. So, I can get my kicks by repainting smaller spaces and testing color palettes in confined quarters.
I repainted our downstairs bath last summer, and just now am finally telling you about it. It was a soft robin’s egg blue. . . I thought it would be bright and clean looking. But, we have so much glorious woodwork in the house, that I needed to make it warm and rich to match the rest of the atmosphere. So, I chose a deep eggplant. The thing is, this isn’t just paint, its a metallic plaster. It feels like velvet to the touch and is super easy to apply using a Venetian Plaster trowel. The downside is that small people can easily scratch it if they find it compulsive and interesting to touch. But, it isn’t hard to repair and it is easy to paint over, too.
With the new wall color, I painted the ceiling to match the woodwork and put in a new mirror, also painted with copper undertones and charcoal gray. And lastly, new-ish towels and a side table for necessities.
Getting to wash one’s clothes is a true luxury. After having many apartments without my own washer and dryer, this is something I treasure in my home, every single time I get to use them. I don’t care how old or nice my machines are. . . as long as they work.
I’ve been really wanting a utility sink and some sweet cabinets to hide my cleaning stuff. And now, my summer present is coming together. A little unexpected work, but well worth it.
These two pictures are the exact same spot. . . taken from the same place just outside the back door looking in. Weird, right? You can see how that fridge just came on in and took up all the space in front of the window. Removing it gave way to natural light and room for a sink!!
Originally, we were going to go with a steel sink, regular faucet and plywood cabinet from Lowes. But, when we had to wait more than a week for these goodies and the cabinet arrived damaged — well, we decided not to do modern. We started shopping our local antique stores for components we could use instead. I started thinking vessel sink on top of some sort of cabinet and old cupboards made from the doors from our home. We found a gorgeous cedar grain feed bin and a beautiful copper pedicure sink online. Score!! Only a few dollars more than the original plan, but we’re saving those dollars in building our own top cabinets instead of a $300 purchase of cheaply made plywood from Lowes. Nothing against Lowes, they often come through. . . but furniture isn’t their strong suit
We are still waiting on the faucet to arrive and a little touch up painting I need to complete. Also, Bill is going to build a handy cabinet for me.
I couldn’t be more grateful to have a husband who can do this kind of woodwork, electrical and plumbing. I started learning some of this stuff when I owned my first home back in 1998, but I am so glad I don’t have to do it or do it alone. I can be the painter and rock out some primer in a heartbeat, while hubby works away putting up lights and getting in a new sink. Working together as a couple is the other luxury we have; I couldn’t ask for a better partner.
We didn’t expect to be doing the laundry room this summer. In fact, it was long down the line on projects due to the fact that it is so utilitarian, and we really needed to finish the deep cosmetic projects we’ve started. . . like the hallway, dining room, front porch and upstairs bath, maybe the patio too. But, when our washing machine passed away this early June, we knew it was time to do a quickie and put in a sink, along with painting, lighting and moving out the fridge.
The fridge was housed in part of the laundry room, as you can see from this side shot. It blocked the window and had lighting attached to the back. The hole in the bottom is due to a bored hound who was stuck in here one day. The fridge was sort of wedged into the corner, but really in the kitchen, with an odd sheetrock job around it. We tore it all out, much to the delight of our son and re-established that wall, along with electrical. Bill is putting in ceiling lights and freshening up the plumbing so we can add a small sink and counter. I could really use some cabinets and the whole room needed painting.
We had originally thought that putting in insulation would be ideal to keep the space warm because of pipes, but with little, time, we just went for it. I primed everything with two coats and then painted all walls, woodwork and floor in 2 days. Bill is going to put in a few shelves, rewire for ceiling lights and get the window in working order.
It has been a while. Life has been full and rich this past year. As Bill has started his new business, B2 Professional Coaching Services, I’ve taken on more painting work for Golden Paintworks, doing custom work, research and development in the commercial applications. Will finished Kindergarten in the spring and is starting first grade this week. We’ve been busy, and yet, we have still been working on the house. So there have been a few too many neglected posts. First, I wanted to catch you up on the Guest Room.
Finalized the guest room in the fall last year and had guests round the clock from September to December of 2016. We put up a sheetrock ceiling, because fixing a cracked ceiling every 2 years is too much work, even for us. Next, we smoothed out the walls with plaster, and taught Will how to do some of that work. I feel blessed that Bill can do the work and teach our son in the process.
After painting everything, wood work, ceiling, walls and even the floor, we put in a new ceiling fan, crown molding and furnished it. This furniture is from France; family friends brought it back to Missouri from Paris some years back for their daughter. When she couldn’t use it, they offered it to us and we swept it up quickly. I can’t imagine finding more perfect furniture for our house. I’m not sure of the year of these pieces, but the side table has a pee pot chamber, and the mirror has some fingerprints imbedded, which I love.
The room has been used quite a bit since we’ve finished, and we have plans for many more guests this fall. It really is the best time of year to come visit us. October here is stunning, perfect for pumpkin and apple picking and the leaves are more glorious than anywhere I’ve ever seen. Let us know when you want to visit. 😉
So, after a long writing hiatus, I’ll post briefly to let you know that we’ve started on our guest room. It was my studio since we moved in, which I have adored. The light in this room is stellar, although it is the smallest bedroom. We’ve decided to make it the guest room, because it will be used the least and I could use more space for setting up long term painting projects. We have the perfect furniture for it that we purchased from family friends in Missouri a few summers ago — turn- of- the -century Parisan bed and armoire with a mirrored front.
Since it took us a few weeks to know where to start on the house, we did several things all at once. Removing the border and painting the closet in the small room was part of that. So, the room looked quite distressed for several years, before we finally took the whole thing apart this July.
We’ll have several guests this coming fall, so we want to have the room in order in the next few weeks. As of now, we’ve been able to finish the walls and they are waiting for paint. Bill will put in crown moulding this coming weekend along with a new ceiling fan and electrical outlets. We’ll debate on whether to refinish the floor right now or hold off till spring. Since we want to do it like our room, the oil finish takes about 6 weeks to cure well and we don’t have that kind of time or weather.
Hopefully, I’ll post again before another year goes by. 😉
Bill and I have both been working on our porches this summer. He has rebuilt and stained our front stairs, as well as started to jack up the front porch and repair some rotting wood. Unfortunately in that process, we realized the need for some gutters along the front and more wood was rotten than we realized. The front of our house gets very little sun, hence wet and mouldy patches of wood. However, he built the stairs from cedar and finished them with a Sherwin Williams deck stain, which we don’t recommend. We don’t know yet how it will hold up, but it dried extremely patchy and poorly. (And we know paint.)
I don’t know what I’ll use on staining or finishing the back porch, but I can say that I am halfway finished stripping it. I was hoping to be completely done at this point, but I have a small and rather busy young son. So, we keep our weekends open when we can and shoot out for pumpkin purchases or trips to the park.
The back porch is rather small, but one of my favorite places. We have a double rocker back there, and our yard is quiet and secluded. I sit out there and watch Will swim in the summers or just dig in the sand. Today he built a small house in our rock pile out there, and added all sorts of embellishments like duct tape and garden tools. It looked like a rural ghetto. But, I love that he is pretending.
I started by sanding the porch, and found that it is rather dusty. A heat gun got me nowhere, so now I’m on to using a citrus based stripper and doing okay. Going slowly, but thoroughly. Once I’ve finished, I don’t know where I’ll start with color, but I’m thinking of painting the ceiling blue, as old homes used to explore to match the sunny skies.
Bill is on to other projects like gutting an organ and planning a stone wall, and a extra shower downstairs. I’m lucky to have him, a man to work with and a great project partner.