Paint

I’ve had a few questions lately on my paint color choices so I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite colors for you.  Generally, I lean towards Benjamin Moore because they have such an extensive selection and I happen to love all the blue/green/grays (in a way that makes it harder to just choose one).  These colors are considered the new neutral because they work so well with all tones of wood and many fabrics and accent colors.  So here you go, some of my favorites:

Coventry Gray HC-169

I love this deep shade of gray, for a house that has a lot of light it looks rich and gorgeous without being too dark.  If you have less light, I would go up a shade to Stonington Gray Gray HC-170.

Living Room painted in Chelsea Gray

Woodlawn Blue HC-147

This blue/green color is a beautiful option for a bathroom or bedroom.  Pairs nicely with tans or grays.

Master bathroom in Woodlawn Blue

Edgecomb Gray

This warm shade I would say is more tan than gray, but is a great neutral color.

Bedroom in Edgecomb Gray
Dining room/kitchen in Edgecomb Gray

Gray Owl OC-52

I really like this gray, there is a little tan undertone to it so it can be paired with warm or cool finishes. It’s a perfect choice to use with a kitchen that has stainless steel appliances.

Kitchen with Gray Owl
Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore

Wedgewood Gray HC-146

This is one of my personal favorites and is used in 2 rooms in my home, it’s a gorgeous, rich combination of blue, gray and green.  It’s part of Benjamin Moore’s historical collection so I like to think of it as a classic color, always in style.

Living room painted in Wedgewood Gray
Dining Room in Wedgewood Gray

Smoke 2122-40

Another beautiful paint color I love and have in my home is Smoke, it’s a perfect blend of blue and gray, there is also a lighter version Pale Smoke 1584 which is a great option for any room in your home.

Bathroom in Smoke
Bedroom in Smoke

Happy painting!  Painting a room can change it dramatically and it’s an easy and affordable option.

 

Baltimore Reno-Tolna St.

Our most recent completed row home flip in charming Greektown.  Hardwood floors through-out, finished basement, 3 bedrooms, 1 and a half baths and a gorgeous kitchen!  Here’s a little of what it looked like “before” the renovation:

And now the completed renovation pics:

This one is still for sale but won’t last long!  If you’re interested in more about this property or any others check out KLRdevelopment.com.

Baltimore row house reno – Lehigh

Another completed project!  This row home has so much natural light and is quite spacious considering some Baltimore row homes can be narrow.  I love how open this house is and how large the kitchen is!  The room off the back is an added bonus for a mudroom.  Here’s some of the before and after photos on this gorgeous row home.

Before (obviously):

And now completed and under contract:

Next chapter

What do home renovation enthusiasts do when there aren’t any projects left to do on their home?  Well I guess we could move, but we’re just not ready for that yet so we took the plunge and started a company!  The official company website is klrdevelopment.com however I figured what better place to show the actual rehab before and after photos than my blog.  So without further delay, here’s a gorgeous home that recently sold in less than a week and took about a year to complete.  I am equally obsessed with this kitchen – the size, the island, all those cabinets! – as well as the master bath – the shiplap, that huge walk in shower, the tiles, the vanity space!  I also staged the home to define the spaces, given it’s such an open floor plan.

It is a large, rancher-style home, very dated and very dark.  The rooms were small and closed off and our plan was to open it up and lighten it up to really showcase how big this house is and how much beautiful potential it has.  So here you go, in no certain order because there are so many before pictures…

And here’s how it looks now completed and beautiful…

For paint colors we used Benjamin Moore gray owl and white dove. The lighting all came from Wayfair, and we used quartz in the kitchen for countertops.  Now on to the next project!

That’s a wrap.

For now our home is complete, there’s always something to redecorate and we’re thinking of moving the boys into the same room shortly so I’ll have fun with that but for now I think it’s a wrap on renovation projects.  I thought I’d conclude with a photo gallery of where we are now, almost 3 years into this house.

Now, we can focus on renovation projects outside of our personal home…stay tuned!

Completing our home

After 2 years in this house there isn’t much left to do, one of the most recent projects my husband completed is adding to the front of our home a small roof over the front door giving the house some dimension and providing us a covered entrance-way (perfect for those rainy days when I’m carrying in two kids and all their stuff after school).  Here’s the before and after pictures of our home-and here’s the original post on transforming the exterior of this once run-down home. Thanks for following us on this journey!

When we first purchased the house:

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After adding shutters, painting front door and garage door, and adding landscaping:

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Porch Paradise

A project my husband completed before the holidays was the screened in porch. It’s the perfect space to hang out with family and friends without the worry of mosquitoes attacking our babies or flies getting to our food. Adding the small sectional and extra chairs/rocker has also increased our living space, it’s nice to play out there with the kids or when they are napping take a book out.

If you recognize the rug – it was an indoor/outdoor one that I had in our living room.  Moving it out to the porch gave me the perfect reason to take advantage of a rug sale at Pottery Barn.

Before:

Neighborhood stray cat enjoying the porch
Neighborhood stray cat enjoying the porch (overgrown bushes made it impossible to see beyond the porch)

Now:

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Mason’s Nursery

One room I haven’t shared yet is Mason’s nursery.  This room didn’t require a lot of renovation – the gross, dirty carpet was ripped out and the hardwood floors were stained and refinished.  Both the walls and ceilings were painted. Before baby #2 came along we used this room as a guest room, it’s rather large for a nursery but Brady didn’t want to switch rooms (a decision he’ll probably regret when he realizes his younger brother has a larger room than he does) and it also has two closets which is awesome. Paint color is Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. The dresser, desk and rocker are from Gardiners Furniture, the rug is Surya, and the black-out curtains, linens and mirror are Pottery Barn Kids.  Here’s a few pics of the nursery now and the before from when we bought the house:

BEFORE:

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Now:

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Backyard Overhaul

Until I had kids, I had no idea just how much time can be spent in the backyard!  One of the first things we did is finish the fencing along our yard to close in the space.  We had fences on all sides so this was a pretty easy and inexpensive job (of course I say it was easy because I wasn’t the one digging the holes, haha).  The backyard didn’t have much appeal, it was overgrown with giant shrubbery and bushes/trees so we (should probably say “he” there too) ripped out all the existing growth and created new gardens around the porch and down the side of the fence.  Gavin, and his little helper, built a really cute shed for the corner of the yard so we could reclaim our back porch from all the toys.  Still on the to-do list for the backyard is to screen in the porch because I love eating outside but HATE the bugs and Gavin wants to create a fire pit area.

Here’s the before and after pics:

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Random cat - look at the bush overgrowth along the porch
Random cat – look at the bush overgrowth along the porch

Shed being built:

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After pics:

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Closer look at the custom "barn" door made by my talented husband using reclaimed wood from our attic reno
Closer look at the custom “barn” door made by my talented husband using reclaimed wood from our attic reno

Achieving curb appeal

In one of my very first blog posts (read it here) I talked about the lack of curb appeal our home had when we bought it.  We had quite the to-do list and we’re finally wrapping it up.  We’ve added shutters, painted the front door, overhauled the landscaping, changed out the light sconces and the mailbox and painted the garage.  Still on the list is get a new storm door with a full panel glass insert, update the trim/moldings around the front door and widen the driveway.

For the front door, I painted it Charlotte Slate by Benjamin Moore.  I wanted something that would stand out while still coordinate with black shutters and red brick that also had a traditional feel.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like when we bought it:

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And here’s what it looks like now:

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Bathroom Rehab

Continuing the basement renovation meant rehabbing the second full bathroom – fortunately, all the important elements were there which made it easier to complete.  I knew I wanted to do a board and batten on the walls and use travertine in the shower so after that there wasn’t much to decide on except paint color. Since we had some leftover from our bedroom reno, we went with Benjamin Moore Smoke on the top half of the walls and painted the board and batten the same color White Dove which we used through-out the house on the trim.  Gavin made all the board and batten trim by hand and installed all of the tile in the shower and I just love how it turned out.  We ordered a glass shower door which is in but not installed yet but this way I can share a better picture of the tile work without the door on.

Before pictures:

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After pics:

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Basement Reno

It’s been awhile since I posted a renovation project but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy – in addition to renovating the basement and a second bathroom, we had our second little boy!  Brady’s room is now a big boy room and Mason’s nursery is almost finished.  Additionally we’ve been tackling outside projects like landscaping which I’ll share soon.

The basement renovation has been a game changer in our house – it’s so nice to have a designated toy area for starters!  My husband designed a lay-out that would give us a living room area for us to relax and for kids to play, a laundry room, storage closets and a full bathroom.  We decided to keep the exposed beam ceiling open because we loved the rustic feel and it makes the basement feel more open and airy.  For paint color, we went with Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume because it’s a cool white with a hint of gray to it so it doesn’t overwhelm the small living room space.  For lighting, to keep with the industrial/rustic feel we used antique bronze track lights.  From the attic renovation, Gavin saved original wood planks that we then incorporated into the design.  The hand railing and trim around the inside window cases is all planks of this reclaimed wood.  Additionally, Gavin made shelving units under our television from two planks.  Here’s the before and after pictures of our amazing basement renovation (all the praise really belongs to my husband on this one!):

Before:

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During (my husband’s little helper is hard at work):

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Now:

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Check out the next post, Bathroom Rehab, to see continued work on our lower level.

Dining Room Update

When I originally shared our dining room with you in the post titled Rustic Dining, I had mentioned we were working on built-in pantry cabinets.  Well my talented husband has finished those up and they came out beautifully!  Since we have a radiator below the window that we couldn’t close in, Gavin decided to make it into a server connecting the base cabinets and wine fridge with a butcher block top.  It’s perfect for entertaining and our pantry cabinets hold all the overflow food, pots, pans, etc that the kitchen couldn’t fit.  Here’s the pictures:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Living Room

Like most families, our living room is the place we spend the most time.  Until our basement is finished, all of Brady’s toys are in here.  One of the first features that drew me to this room when we looked at this house is all the natural light.  The other thing I like is how large the room is.  Here’s the rundown of renovations:  the old carpet was pulled up and the floors were refinished; the mirror and light fixtures above the fireplace were removed and replaced; everything got fresh paint (we went with Benjamin Moore Wedgewood Gray on walls & White Dove on the trim/molding/fireplace/built-ins); windows got wood blinds to let all the natural light in but still provide privacy; new baseboards; and crown molding.  However, the biggest addition to this space is the built-in media cabinets/bookcases.  I wanted to use the space above our fireplace mantel for decor and not a TV so instead Gavin built bookcase/cabinet style built-ins on both sides of the door that leads to our porch (a screened-in porch hopefully one day but that’s another project for another day).  Our television is on a swivel so it can pull out turn on an angle for optimum viewing.  I love how the built-ins turned out and they really add a wow-factor to this room.  Another one of Gavin’s projects was turning an old, reclaimed wood beam into a picture ledge for above our sofa.  I love it!

Here’s some of the before pics:

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After renovation pics:

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Updated the rug 1 year after we moved in to use the other rug in a new space.

 

 

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Master Bedroom

This is one space of our house that needed very little renovation work (sigh of relief from my husband).  Carpeting was removed, hardwood floors refinished, ceiling fan added and trim and paint.   The very first color I choose when agonizing over hundreds of paint swatches in the Benjamin Moore showroom was Smoke.  To me, it is the quintessential blue-gray shade that represents peace and relaxation.  I just knew I had to use it in our bedroom.  It’s got less green in it than the colors I used downstairs in our kitchen & dining room but still works well with the color palette for this home (read more about those colors here, here & here).

Our bedroom is rather large so we decided to upgrade to a king size bed.  We also bought some new bedroom furniture.  I’ve been in love with a tufted linen bed for awhile so we splurged to get that, along with some almost black night stands, dresser & mirror because I like the contrast between the linen bed and the darker case pieces.  The furniture was the easy part, the hard part was finding the right duvet cover.  In my mind, I knew what I was looking for, but either it was too overpriced or the wrong shades of blue.  Finally, this duvet I was stalking at West Elm went on sale!

Our bedroom is finally coming together.  We hung reclaimed solid oak shelves Gavin made along a large open wall, displayed with an accent chair & garden stool found at Marshall’s to create a seating area.  We added wood blinds to the windows through-out the house because they provide privacy but still let in so much natural light.

Here are the before pics (sorry, not the best pics):

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Here’s our current bedroom:

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Bathroom Overhaul

Like many houses built in the 1940’s, our home has only two full bathrooms.  Our main bathroom is upstairs on the same floor as our bedrooms and the other full bathroom is in the basement.   The bathroom upstairs was tiny so part of our renovation was to enlarge it.  Gavin used the space that was occupied by the closet in our nursery (read more about that here) to give us more square footage in our bathroom.  We were able to upgrade to a larger vanity which is so nice for us to share the space in the mornings.  We left the toilet in the same place but bought a new one, keeping the styling traditional to match the bathtub which is original. The flooring was replaced with marble tile put down in a herringbone pattern and in the shower surround, we went with white subway tiles and a gray Moroccan print accent wall.  Gavin also added an overhead rain shower spout and we changed out all the bathtub hardware to chrome fixtures that match the sink faucet.  Behind the bathroom door, Gavin had to run a HVAC duct for our air conditioning we recently had installed.  He creatively hide it with built in storage cubbies.  Check out the before, during & after photos:

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After:

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Cubbies behind door
Cubbies behind door

Converted Attic

Home today with a sick baby whose fortunately napping, I have the opportunity to update our reno blog.  In one of the two larger bedrooms in our house, there was access to the walk-up attic inside of the tiny closet.  We choose to make that the master bedroom so that we could convert the walk up attic into a walk-in closet.   The attic was insulated, dry-walled, and had duct-work ran for A\C.  Gavin installed recessed lighting and then it was painted and carpeted…I’m probably missing some stuff like how my husband built in access panels to get to valves and he probably had to install a sub-floor since it didn’t have that either.  But you’re reading this for the before & after pics, right?  So here they are:

Stairway up to attic
Stairway up to attic
Attic before renovation
Attic before renovation
Current stairway up to the closet
Renovated space used as closet & storage
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Another angle (I use up all my clothing space!)

Rustic Dining

I think our dining room is my favorite room in our home!  Our old dining room set was a counter height 60″ square table with an espresso finish.  In our old house it fit perfectly in our square dining room but when we bought this house I knew it wouldn’t work in our very long (20 foot) dining room so we sold it on Craigslist.

Side bar: how great is Craigslist?! We actually ended up selling quite a few furniture items before we moved and every one of our buyers was awesome, just really friendly, cool people.  I’m glad our gently used furniture could go to great homes!

I get most of our furniture from Gardiners Furniture and I had been eyeing up this particular farmhouse style rustic table for a few months.  I thought it would tie in well with our farmhouse sink and the sort of rustic/coastal/calming vibe I am trying to create in our home.  Chairs were a tougher decision.  Gavin wanted to go with wood because they wouldn’t stain easily (we do have an almost 2-yr old son) but I wanted to go with linen.   Even though the Parson’s chairs weren’t Gavin’s first pick, I think he would agree they nicely compliment the table.  I also purchased the flat-weave striped rug at Gardiners, the chandelier (a bit of a splurge but totally worth it!) and the mirror are from Pottery Barn.  The antique map print was picked up at Su Casa and then custom-framed at Michaels.  We choose to paint our dining room Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore and I really like it even though it’s a little more blue than I originally anticipated.

Since our kitchen is on the smaller side, we really needed some extra storage space.  We also wanted a server or some type of buffet in the dining room so we decided to do custom built-ins across the back wall.  The cabinet part is completed and came out beautifully, Gavin built-in a spot for our wine fridge and used butcher’s block top from Ikea to create our “buffet”.   Doors will be added to hide all our junk at some point but right now I’m just happy to have the additional storage space!  Gavin also removed a door and created an open doorway between our kitchen and dining room.

Here’s the before pictures:

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Here’s our current dining room:

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In this shot you can see the full room with the built-in cabinetry.  At this point, without the doors, it looks really busy since you can see all of our stuff in there but once the doors are on it will be gorgeous:

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Paint Colors

Choosing paint can be such a challenge – there are so many options!  A lot of people have asked me what colors we painted certain rooms so I thought I’d share with you our whole first house color scheme and then our current house pallet so far…we still have a bathroom and a basement renovation that haven’t even began so I’ll add those colors to the chart once we’ve completed all the rooms.

Our first house:  One day I’ll blog about this house renovation but for now I’ll just quickly explain that our first home we stumbled across when my father-in-law was asked to help refinish the floors to get it on the market.  He told us about it and the rest is history.  The floors were refinished but in the same warm oak they originally began. When we started our remodel, we carried the warmer tones into our two bathroom vanities and renovated the kitchen using cabinets with a medium brown finish and granite that also picked up those warm tones (Saint Cecelia).  After looking at different paint swatches, I went with Martha Stewart paint. There was a lot of paint color options that were modern but warm which would compliment our house.  I think it’s easier to select complimentary shades when using one manufacturer.  Here’s our old color palette:

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In our current house: Since we refinished the floors ourselves we decided to go with a darker stain this time around. I love the way the floors came out and their darker color means I could use a cool color palette.  We decided on a kitchen and main bathroom with white cabinetry and marble tops accented with chrome & polished nickle hardware.  For paint this time I saw a Benjamin Moore shade I loved (Smoke) and so following my “rule” of using coordinating shades from the same manufacturer, all of these paints we’ve used so far are from Benjamin Moore.  Here’s our current color pallet:

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Paint is the quickest & cheapest way to transform a room so take a chance and pick a color you like, if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped you can always repaint it.  Good luck!

Brady’s Room

Brady’s nursery is one of my favorite rooms, it is just so cheerful and gets a lot of afternoon sunshine (bad for nap/bedtime but that’s why we have black-out curtains).  Before he was born in our last house, we decided on a gray/yellow color scheme with a bit of an elephant theme.  But when we moved over to this house with him being a bit older (he’ll be two in September), we wanted to update it a little bit with a theme he could carry over to his big boy room one day.  So, we replaced his old yellow/white chevron print rug for a geometric print one with a lot of blues/grays in it, and have been adding some nautical themed prints into the mix.  I love yellow in a boy’s room so we incorporated a lot of the “yellow” items of decor mixed in with blues too so now we’ve got a blue/gray/yellow color scheme with a nod towards nautical. He still has an elephant side table and some elephant blankets (as well as his much loved “Ellie” elephant lovey), but it’s starting to transition into a bigger boy’s room instead of an infant one.

The biggest renovation in this room was a closet move.  Originally (and oddly placed) his closet was on the wall currently occupied by his dresser.  The wall is shared with the bathroom so his closet took up a lot of space inside our main bathroom.  Gavin knocked out that wall in the bathroom & his closet during the bathroom renovation and then moved Brady’s closet over to the corner of the room where it is now.  It makes the room feel more open, and it gives us at two walls large enough to put a crib on one and a dresser on the other without any windows or radiators to worry about blocking.  Gavin also replaced all the baseboard and door molding so you can see in the reno pics it’s all torn off.

Here’s how the room looked before & during renovation:

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Here’s Brady’s room now:

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Here’s a close up of the gallery wall. Two of the three prints I made, see more about that here, along with the B from Michael’s with the elephant (a carry-over from the old theme).  The other 3 prints I purchased on Etsy.  Mirror & Sunshine plaque are from HomeGoods & the oar is from Target.  Over Brady’s crib are two prints we bought at Su Casa and had framed at Michael’s.  One is of the Baltimore harbor and the other is of Annapolis harbor.

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Still on the to-do list for this room is hang Brady’s book shelves (on the empty wall to the left of his window)…his old ones don’t work in this new room due to spacing, but a Facebook friend suggested a DIY tip that I can’t wait to try and then share with you all once it’s complete.

May 2015 – Brady’s room is no longer a nursery – here’s a few pictures of his big boy room including the Ikea spice rack DIY hacks we used for bookcases (and I think they were less than $5 each!).

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New Kitchen

When trying to figure out the new lay-out for our kitchen, we didn’t have many options.  The old kitchen was small and only had a few cabinets, a fridge & a stove so we knew we’d need to expand.  The kitchen is situated between our dining room, our living room, and at the end of our entrance hallway.  We have a door that leads from our kitchen onto a covered porch…I dream of that porch becoming a screened in porch one day so I didn’t want to knock out that back wall and lose any of the porch.  If we knocked out any of the wall that the kitchen shares with the living room, we’d lose the main long wall that our chaise sofa is currently up against and we wouldn’t have been able to fit that in there.  Then the wall that’s being shared with the dining room is load-bearing.  We also have a door, and two windows to contest with along with a radiator that we couldn’t cover up.  So we settled on a galley style kitchen that’s a little on the small side but we love it!

Gavin removed the doorway between the hallway and the kitchen (there was a door that closed there and made the kitchen feel very small), he also opened up the the entrance between the kitchen and the dining room so the kitchen felt more open and spacious.   We went with white cabinets so that it wouldn’t feel crowded in there (and because I love them!) and decided to use Carrara marble for our countertops.   We added recessed lighting and crown molding as well.  The faucet we choose has an antique feel and works well with the farmhouse sink.  Stainless steel appliances and glass tile backsplash with some marble accenting completes the look.  Since the rest of the house has wood floors that we were refinishing anyway, we decided to run new wood floors in the kitchen too and have them all stained to match.  The color we choose for the kitchen is Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue.

Here’s some before and after pictures:

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Entranceway

Like all the rooms in our house, our entranceway is evolving too.  We have some accent pieces there that sort of landed there on moving day and I’ve kept them there for lack of a better option at this point.  I’d like to find a small quatrefoil mirror to hang above the blue accent chest and I’ll probably move the accessories around but you can see how the refinished floors look, as well as how our staircase turned out with the painted risers.  We updated the pendant light and painted the walls Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray.  We also added crown molding which is painted in White Dove (so are the risers).

Hallway before reno

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Old light fixture

Here’s our progress:

Front door

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Curb Appeal

There’s nothing like driving up to your house and falling in love with it all over again!  Curb appeal is a major component to that feeling and our house just didn’t have it when we bought it.  Here’s our list of TO-DO’s as far as the front exterior is concerned (the back is a whole other project that I’ll get to in a future post) and you can see what’s been crossed off the list and what’s left to do still:

1. Add shutters  (completed: we decided to go with classic black raised panel shutters)

2. Landscaping: removing all the old bushes and putting in new bushes, annuals, perennials, and a tree (possibly Crepe Myrtle)

3. Scraping and repainting trim and garage door white

4. Painting front door (We choose a light gray but one day I may change this to something more bold like a red.  I knew I didn’t want to keep it white and I wanted to keep it neutral for now since this is the original door and we had to sand it down and apply a few coats).

5. New light fixtures

6. New address plaque

7. New mailbox

8. Repainting black handrails (maybe replacing them one day)

9. Expanding and paving the driveway (it’s very narrow and hard to get our son in and out of the car when parked there)

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Here’s the updated image.  We’ve hung flags and added a few flowers, mostly in pots until we figure out our landscaping plan and come up with the money to complete it.

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