Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finally Finished!!

We finally finished the play room/guest room.



(In between:)

We replaced the light switches and plugs:

The old switches were yellowed and grimy from almost 50 years of use.  

And for some odd reason here in Utah, the norm is for the plugs to be upside down.  Everyone knows plugs are supposed to look like a face and be right side up!!!  (grin)

I love the new white ones!  They are crisp and white and very functional.  I'm SO grateful my husband isn't afraid of such an easy and inexpensive improvement!  

We couldn't get rid of the box that covers the water main, but we did paint it to match the walls and put the toy cupboards to the side of it.  It is accessible, but doesn't stand out.

We still need some art on the walls and maybe some curtains, but I really love the bright white ceiling and the crisp white trim.  I also love that the chair rail is gone!  It makes the room appear so much bigger!

The very best part is that it is a clean and useful space for THIS boy!

What do you think?  Did we do well?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So hard to make progress!

Ugh!  It is so hard to stay motivated on redoing a room when it looks like this!  You can see my paint chips taped against the baseboard in the background, Charlie's toys piled deep on the futon, and cans of paint and tools loaded up on the cupboards.  I thought if I just moved everything to the center of the room, I could work around it.  But, I finally got smart this last weekend and took everything OUT of the room (like they do on HGTV) so that I could get motivated to finish it up.

This is how it started:

Then came the insane wallpaper challenge: 

Followed by a terrible wallboard patch job and a stupid box covering the water main: 

But I am undaunted!  

Look for the finished project later this week!  (I'm really excited about how it is turning out.)

Here's a hint! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Connecting with the ancestors....

Last night my husband built this for me:

We are lucky enough to have a fireplace in our bedroom.  It is one of the reasons we bought our house.  It is terribly romantic.  And soothing.  And calming.  And warming.  There is nothing like drifting off to sleep while listening to the crackle and hiss of a good fire.  It feels ancient.  Like you are connected to all mankind throughout the ages.  

This was going on outside:

But inside, we were warm.  Both body and soul.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Before and After


This picture is from when we first looked at our house with a real estate agent.  Some of the challenges we faced in this bedroom were two tones of shell wallpaper and a weird grayish-yellow trim.  There was also a very dim and ancient square sunken light fixture that put out almost no light.  You could barely tell when it was turned on and off.  


The ugly wallpaper pulled off easily in great big sheets, but we found that under the wallpaper was ugly wood paneling!  They had used "wallpaper liner" to fill in the grooves, but it was definitely NOT a paintable surface.  So we decided to put wallpaper back up and paint all the trim bright white.  I found a textured green to match our guest room linens.

We also replaced the light fixture with a sleek modern one.  It actually lights up the whole room!  (Too bad we couldn't replace the stupid ceiling tiles---but we're lucky this is the only room in the house that has them.)

The final product?  Hopefully, a pleasant oasis for friends and family to come and visit!  (Do you want to come?)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Walk in the Sunshine!

Yesterday was SUCH a beautiful day!  Warm and Sunny!  What better to do on a beautiful day than take a walk up Rock Canyon?

I invited two of my favorite people.  Lucky thing--they are also friends with each other!

Charlie love rocks.  So he was picking handfuls of them up!

"Look at my super-cool rock pose, LaLa!"

We even found a cave to explore.  And by cave, I mean what you see is what there is....only the beginning of a cave...

...but Charlie knew it was a "SPOOKY cave!"

He was a little nervous about exploring it all by himself....

This is as far as Charlie dared go.

He was plenty happy to come back down from that "spooky place!"

After such an exciting adventure, someone felt fast asleep on the 2 minute drive home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My New Diet

I am starting a new diet.  I am making it up myself.  Because I am dissatisfied with everything else that is out there.  Many other diets seem to make sense on one level or another---but then they leave out a key nutrient or key food that provides a needed nutrient.

I'm calling this Candelyn's Diet.  So send me money if you like it a lot.  (grin.)

This is what I generally eat for breakfast:

A bowl of raw oatmeal mixed with some sort of cold fiber cereal (for better crunch).  And lots and lots of fruit piled on top.  Sometimes I add nuts.  And yes, I add REAL milk from a cow.

I'll be posting more meal ideas and letting you know how I feel about it and how successful it is.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rate My Space?

We finished the bathroom makeover this weekend!  Our challenges included dated wallpaper, an over-sized pedestal sink that we had to squeeze past, an ancient medicine cabinet that was supposed to be sunk into the wall (but was just hung on the outside), mismatched lighting and other fixtures, mismatched tile (the shower tile is newer and has rust and gray in it and the white tile is original from the 1960s and has veins of purple and gray), and no storage.

How to update and bring the room into some sort of harmony without a very costly complete renovation was our biggest challenge! 



We replaced the pedestal sink with a thin vanity and sink.  The total depth into the room is only about 3 inches skinnier, but it makes a BIG difference in how open and roomy it feels.  It also provides real storage.  You can't imagine how frustrating it was to not have a place for toilet paper or cleaners or anything!  We also brought in a little cupboard with water hyacinth baskets.  More storage and a little decor!

We found the perfect mirror that marries the rust color of the shower tiles with the more predominant grey in the white wall tiles.   

We also updated most of the fixtures to brushed nickel.  The light had been a very old antique brass fixture with yellowed glass.  The faucet and towel racks had been a mismatch of bright brass and antique brass.  

Because we are not yet willing to pay the cost of having a custom made shower door (it is an odd size requiring a special order,) we decided to marry the brushed nickel with the bright brass so we could keep the shower door in the room.  This brushed nickel faucet came with touches of brass on it.

We found some artwork and towels that also married the various colors of the room.

The final touch was a rug that also pulled in warm rusts, cool greys, and even white.

 Did we do a good job?  Rate My Space!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wallpaper Nightmares Soothed

We have been working on our house lately.  Trying to update it and remodel it.  The downstairs bathroom and one bedroom were the worst offenders left. 

Cutesy pie seashell wallpaper border with matching stripes from the 80's and brass trim everywhere.

Another whole room of 80's wallpaper....complete with chair rail.

 Both rooms were completely covered with dated wallpaper that was stuck to the walls with industrial superpower glue!  We tried all of the best tricks to removing it.  But it only came off it tiny little strips.  I worked for 2 hours and only got 2 square feet of clear wall.

 We finally decided to rent a wallpaper steamer and see if that would work better.  Thank Goodness For Wallpaper Steamers!

It worked a miracle!  Instead of getting a square foot done in a few hours, we got the whole room done in one evening!  The next morning, we did the bathroom.  At only $33 for 24 hours, it was well worth it!

Sadly, the wallpaper was covering secret pitiful repairs to drywall.  We have since repaired that drywall appropriately and sanded it down to a smooth finish!

Now to decide on paint colors!!!  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


The scariest monster movie ever made..... in constant replay mode at our house.

It doesn't matter how sturdy of a toy we buy.  Or how much money it costs.  Or how "indestructible" the label says it is.

Destructor is happy to tear it to bits in a matter of minutes and then smile proudly at his work.