House Renovation!

Guys – This is some realllllllly exciting news for us: We are finally updating our kitchen & bathrooms!  It’s only taken 3 years, but we’re making some moves!

Most of the kitchen (and house) hasn’t changed since the house was built in 2000 and everything was contractor grade… and falling apart after all this time.

Hunter’s dad is an extremely talented contractor (C and W Contracting – look them up in the upstate!), so he brought some guys down to Charleston to help with all of our updates.

This is what’s been going on this past week…

Everything is now done, and we’re working on getting the house back together.  Pictures of all the updates will be coming soon!

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Christmas at 2433

I can’t believe this is our 3rd Christmas at 2433!  The day before Thanksgiving I put away our fall decor and pulled out the Christmas boxes.  You’ll notice some same decor I’ve brought out or made in previous years, but I also added to my collection too!

This was the first year we opted for an artificial tree.  I’ve enjoyed having a real tree the last two years, but it really isn’t cost effective, so we went artificial this year and found one at Hobby Lobby.  The best part about it: it’s prelit, so I didn’t spend hours adding lights around the middle and then the outer branches of the tree. That alone was a huge win in my book.

One of my favorite traditions is collecting ornaments from different trips.  We did add a few new ornaments this year: Lobster boat from Kennebunkport and a beach one from our honeymoon in Jamaica.img_8265The mercury glass ornaments & sea glass ornaments are still fixtures on our tree.  We didn’t do a rope garland this year, but went for burlap trailing from the top instead.

fullsizerender-2The other night I made a simple tree topper for the new tree.  The tree was definitely missing it, and that was my 5 minute craft version of one for this year.img_0061This spring I brought our shelves into the living room, so I had another area to decorate this year, which was wonderful!  Highlights are a framed Santa postcard from my Great-grandmother, Mama, a pelican from Raleigh, 1 burlap wrapped tree, and a little red bird with hat & scarf from Pine Mountain.
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img_0056The living room has all the normal decorations – our DIY stocking holders from 2014, coastal burlap stockings, some decoupaged Christmas trees from last year,  another burlap wrapped tree, and a driftwood reindeer on the mantle.  And yes, that’s Elf on tv – I’ve maybe watched it 5 times so far this year 😳.img_0024

img_0027I added small silver & blue ornaments to my Grandmom’s silver bowl for a festive touch on the coffee table.  Plus I had to swap out my Charleston books for my Christmas ones…img_0075

img_0081Our entry is all older items too – my driftwood angel, NOEL letters from last year, more driftwood reindeer and the normal coastal decor with some added lights.img_0025I picked up a ‘Merry Christmas’ banner during one of my several trips to Michael’s this year and hung it above our bar.  I also have my cranberry & rosemary centerpiece over there as well.xmas-2016_02

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My wine cork Christmas tree was back out and the centerpiece of our dining table.  This year I added some fresh rosemary around it, and I like it even more!img_0005

My Grinch quote went in the kitchen, behind the sink – which seemed like a great place for a little Christmas reminder. And my lil Coca Cola bear is in the window!img_0064

I also added a light up star I found at Michael’s last week to the counter by the fridge to add a little something (at this point it was really the only place that didn’t have any decor).

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The pantry door is now covered with all of the holiday cards we’ve received.  I love seeing everyone’s faces!

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Our friend Holly gave us a cute hand towel last year, so I put it in our guest bathroom.  The ‘Sanda Claus’ theme fits in perfectly with everything else 🙂

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Outdoors was pretty standard from the last few years – I wrapped the front porch with the pre-lit garland, added candles to the front windows & put out my ‘Seas and Greetings’ sign with a poinsettia out front.fullsizerender-10img_0085It was fun to look back and see what’s changed and what’s the same from our first Christmas at the house.  I still can’t get over how much difference a rug in the living room made!

Hope you enjoyed the little holiday tour!

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Weekend Wrap-Up

A few weeks ago when we were looking forward to this weekend, I sure had a different idea of how it would go!  This was the weekend of the Clemson / Notre Dame game and we were excited that there was a chance both team would be ranked going into it.  Well both teams were (#6 and #12), but we didn’t expect a hurricane off the coast mixing with a cold front to provide a very wet weekend.

After packing all the rain gear we could find and buy in Mt. Pleasant, we headed up to Greenville.  Since it was an 8pm game, we had originally thought about leaving later in the day to go over, but then Clemson announced that some of the grass tailgate lots were losing spaces because of the weather.  We didn’t want to be stuck without our spots, so Saturday morning we got dressed and hit the road around 9:30am.

I enjoy college football, and have been at quite a few tailgates, but Saturday was another beast.  It literally rained ALL day, and the tailgates had to adjust to that.  Most people brought extra tarps to create walls on the side, and the one next to us brought hay for the floor.  By 2pm all of the “grass” had turned into mud, and I was pretty thankful I bought rain boots the day before.

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By the time it was 8pm, I think everyone was ready for some football.  I assumed that it couldn’t continue to pour like it had all day, but boy I was wrong.  It didn’t drizzle, it was full blown raining and then just pouring the entire game.  Oh, and it was extremely windy.  Halfway through the 3rd quarter, I was soaking wet, cold, and just about over the game haha.  Needless to say, I was very happy that Clemson held off Notre Dame’s comeback and won the game.  That brightened the mood for just about everyone there and made the rain a little bit tolerable.

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Sunday morning we woke up to a text from our neighbor saying sorry about the oak tree on our garage — what?!?!?  Really saturated ground + a little wind = trees down, and this one happened to land on the roof of the garage.  We hopped in the truck and started the trek back across the state to Charleston to see what damage we had.  By the time we were in Columbia, you could tell how bad the flooding was.  We crossed a river that was almost up to the interstate, and just raging.  Luckily, we made it home before they shut down parts of the interstate.

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Once we were home and Cleo was fed, we walked around to start assessing the damage.  The pictures we received didn’t look terrible, but when we opened the garage we saw water which meant there were holes.  We found a few places where the tree had come through the roof of the garage, but it could have been a lot worse.

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Again, luckily my car was fine in there — just covered with debris, the garage is detached so the house wasn’t hurt at all, and we aren’t dealing with the flooding that others are.

Of course as we were getting our laundry done and cleaning the house, the power went out again.  We opened some wine, lit some candles, and watched movies on my old laptop.  I also started on a new project until there wasn’t enough daylight to keep working.

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I had hoped to use Sunday as a relaxing day to get some projects done, write some posts, and prepare to have some guests in town, but we still had fun regardless of the circumstances.  Today we hope to get the part of the tree that’s on top of the roof cut down so we can tarp up the holes and deal with insurance.

This definitely wasn’t the weekend I imagined, but Clemson won, our house is okay and the rain should stop soon!

Master Bath updates

One of the places we know we’re going to do a full renovation is our master bathroom.  Changing the flooring, shower, and vanity will make a huge difference, but won’t be done for at least a year.  Over the past year (really the last few months) we’ve done a few smaller things to make it more our style.

Painting

We painted the bathroom before we even moved in, but since I just came across some pictures of what the house looked like when we bought it, I thought it was worth showing the difference.  Paint alone lightened up the bathroom a lot!

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Replacing Knobs

An easy and cheap way to change the look of a room is simply replacing the knobs on cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom.  We did that in both places.  The old knobs in the bathroom were boxy and black — not exactly in theme with our light sea foam green walls. I found some mercury glass-ish knobs at Hobby Lobby, and in 5 minutes the vanity was a little more bearable.

Glass Jars

I also got kinda sick of seeing our huge lotion and soap containers on the counter.  Plus the toothbrush holder got dirty, and my blue cup just didn’t belong… so another thing I did was de-clutter the bathroom counter (minus my jewelry holder).  I found apothecary jars at Hobby Lobby, and got mason jar dispensers on Amazon.  Minor change, but another noticeable difference.

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Replacing TP Holder

One of the weirdest things about our master bath is that the previous owners just spray painted some fixtures black, but the black paint was in a terrible state of chipping off.  One Saturday I finally had enough of the peeling paint, and decided to replace it once and for all!  After a quick trip to Lowe’s, the new toilet paper holder was in, and covering the previous one’s holes. (Another project completed while Hunter was out of town, ha)

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Floating Shelves

One of the terrible towel bars we had to get rid of was over the toilet.  I’m so happy we opted for 2 floating shelves instead of another towel bar, and love the natural element they bring to the bathroom!  Again, special thanks to Mark & Melissa for the shelves 🙂

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Shower Towel Rack

Replacing the last spray painted towel rack took longer than I anticipated.  We never hung the first version I made for a few reasons, but ended up hanging a second version that matched the floating shelves.  Finally the chipped fixtures were out, and new stuff was in.  Success.

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It took over a year to get here, but with these minor changes done, I can live with our bathroom until we gut it and get fancy.  Another room is done (for now)…

Towel Rack, Take 2

Remember how I made the shower towel rack back in June when Hunter was gone?  Well that one didn’t work out for two reasons: 1. The wood I used was slightly bowed (oops), and 2. After the floating shelves were installed, we decided we wanted the towel rack wood to match that color instead of being different.  So, this past Sunday we got our supplies, and worked on the new towel rack.

Towel Rack, Take 2

What you’ll need:

  • 1″ x 6″ piece of wood
  • Saw
  • Sander
  • Rustoleum dark walnut stain
  • Tung oil
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brush
  • 2 cloths
  • 4 towel hooks & screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 2 wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder

Start by cutting your piece of unbowed wood to the dimensions that perfectly fit your wall.  Since Hunter was around this time, he was super helpful here (aka did it all with me safely away from the blade).  He pulled out our slide saw, and made a clean cut.

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Next: Distress the wood.  Our shelves have a great distressed and rustic look, so we wanted to duplicate that on the towel rack.  We used a hammer, screw driver and the driveway to scuff up the wood.  Hunter threw the wood down our driveway, and rubbed it on the concrete, which was actually one of the most effective ways to beat it up.

Once it’s distressed, sand it.  Using the hand sander, we rounded the edges, worked on the corners, and basically sanded down the whole thing with 80 grit paper.

Now it’s time to stain.  Mark, from M&M’s Woodwork, told us which stain he used, which we found at Lowe’s.  Apply the stain to the wood, let sit for 1-2 minutes, and then wipe it off with a cloth.  It if sits longer, it’ll start to dry and get goopy.  Let the stain dry for an hour.

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When the stain is dry, apply 2 coats of tung oil.  Using another clean cloth, rub the tung oil in.  When all stained sides of the wood have tung oil rubbed in, let it dry over night.  We did our second coat in the morning before work so it had all day to dry.

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We decided to sand it down here and there a little bit more to match the shelves.  After that, we wiped the wood down, and sealed it in with polyurethane.  Hunter found a spray version of polyurethane which was quicker to apply than the brushed on kind.   Again, let it dry before moving on.

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Now that the wood is distressed, stained, sealed, and dry, it’s time to screw the hooks in and mount it on the wall.  Hunter wanted to mount the wood into the studs in the wall first, and then hide the screws with a hook.

While I was off trying a new wine and cheese place, he used the stud finder to find the best place to hang the rack centered on the wall, then screwed it in place, in the stud.  This rack will never just fall out of the wall..

Finally, screw your hooks into the wood.  Measure where you want the hooks to go and make marks with your pencil, or the tip of the screw.  Use your drill or a hand screw driver to screw the hooks in.

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Voila!  The new shower rack now matches the wood from the floating shelves, and finishes of the toilet paper holder.  Plus it offers more places to hang towels, and bathing suits.

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Now onto the next project…

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