The Landing Strip

April 20, 2020 at 1:29 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A landing strip, a command center, the drop spot. No matter what you call it, every house should have one. It’s a place for all the family “stuff”.

I call it a landing strip. In this house we actually have it split up a little, but it’s whatever works for you! When you come in our backdoor, we have hooks for each family member. Bag and coat go there. There’s a little hook station for car keys. And we have a small rack holding bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, wireless speaker, etc. But there’s still other “stuff” that accumulates. What do you do with it?! Enter our landing strip.

He we have a stash spot for everything else so that we stay organized and don’t lose important things! We use the chalk board for calendar notes and grocery lists. And each of the boys and mom and dad have a basket. We put bills in ours. The boys put homework and such in theirs. I keep a pen jar on the shelf. Here is stash stamps, a candle lighter, a marker, and pens. If you need more than that they you have to go upstairs to the office. 😆

The antique mirror got a metal insert painted with chalk paint. The little chalk marker tray below it is an antique door stop out of an old barn. The baskets are from Hobby Lobby. The shelf is a custom design I requested from Jason. He added and welded the flourish at the top of the brackets.

Here’s my tid bit of advice. Have a place for the “stuff”, whatever you may call it. I truly believe in “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Even if you don’t organize that far, at least set up a zone with a calendar and pens and notepad. Have a spot where you put mail and homework. Always put your keys in the same location. I promise you that these tricks will prevent you from losing important things or searching frantically for the lost items!

And just for fun, here’s a shot of what it looks like more often than not. 😉

Anything else you would add?

XX,

Jess

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Bathroom Update

March 25, 2020 at 6:47 am (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I thought we were going to live with the 85% bathroom update for a while. But we got a little shove to take it to 98% done now. 🤣 What this means is that we redid the flooring! Yay! And we added a mirror and a couple more custom shelves in the laundry room.

We used snap-in wood and vinyl flooring and it was super easy! Except for dealing with the uniqueness of an antique house with crooked walls and missing trim, etc, but we managed and it’s been amazing and seems super durable already. We ended up going with large quarter round as trim because we need to hide some of those flaws from a very old house. But I love the look here!

The ONLY thing left is to replace the faucet. Soon. We are going to live with the sink and counter top for a while, but I can deal with that.

How cute are the little shelves holding laundry items?! We made them the same way, with plumbing pipes and hand whitewashed boards.

Remember, this is a mini refresh, (see the before shots, yikes, 2 posts back!) not a total overhaul, so this girl will still have to dream of one day having a stacking washer and dryer and wall cabinetry. This is gorgeous to me for now! 😉

Xx,

Jess

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Bath/Laundry Room Update

February 11, 2020 at 8:38 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We knew we wanted a fixer-upper, and we sure got it with this one! But we are enjoying putting in the work and making it into what we want for a home. The bathroom was no exception. We can’t afford a complete gut and overhaul of every room (I wish!), so this is a little refresh.

Before:

After:

We will put a new faucet in soon and plan to redo the bath and laundry room floors in a few months. But for now, wow. Its clean. Its peaceful. I’m in love.

We made the bathroom hook boards because in old houses you are at the mercy of where the studs may or may not be when hanging things. Attach the hooks in the spacing you want and then attach the boards to the wall where the studs allow.

We also made the shelves ourselves and hand “grayed” the boards by smearing white paint with fingers. Tedious but so worth it. The brackets are plumbing hardware and can be found at Mendards. We painted the parts with a light oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

We made the jar light fixture by painting the old silver fixture with oil rubbed bronze paint and adding the jars. We took solid jar lids and made holes in them to fix the jars to the fixture. Once it’s all painted you can’t see what method you used to attach them.

All on a budget for a quick fix up. We did add a new shower, as ours was a walk in when we bought the house and we needed a tub for the kids. Paint and curtains, and especially shelving, make a huge, but affordable difference!

Here are some fun detail shots.

A few detail links:

Curtains

Towels

Light fixtures

Amber jars

Wood laundry sign

Laundry rack

What do you think? Any recommendations?

Xx,

Jess

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Boys’ Room Reveal

August 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve worked on it for a year and I can finally say it’s as done as it’s getting right now. 🤣 When we moved to this house a year ago and I was pregnant, we decided the boys would share a room. This way I could have an office, and the office would double as a play room/workout room, so that kids could be in there while I worked if needed. I also knew that I wanted an outdoors-y theme that could work for both a baby and a young boy. Brantley already had a farm theme as a baby, with many pieces we wanted to incorporate, and he asked for camo bedding in his new room. If you’ve been here before, you also know that when we moved to this house it needed a lot of work. A lot. We ripped carpet out of this room, added electrical outlets and a light fixture, painted… and we still have more to do…eventually. But for now, here it is!

Each of the boys has a bit different theme on their side of the room, but with light gray walls, tree curtains, tree decals, and some animals throughout, it seems to flow for now.

Barrett’s baby shower theme was woodland animals, knowing that I would use the animal and nature idea for his room.

Brantley has kept some of his farm theme and added the camo to just be plain outdoorsy!

I made both of the boys’ mobiles, which Brantley has outgrown the need for, but are both too cute to get rid of for now.

What do you think? The way we organize clothes will change as the boys grow and we remodel some more. The room currently has no closet. Thanks, old 1862 house. It’s an evolving work in progress. But the boys love having their own space and even love sharing for now. 😆

XOXO,

Jess

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Teen Bedroom Redo

November 9, 2018 at 10:10 pm (Home Changes and Additions, Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So, I’ve mentioned that this new-to-us old house is in pretty ugly shape and that we have been redoing all the rooms bit by bit. One of the rooms that hadn’t gotten any love since we moved in was Jordin’s room. Check out these dingy, bland, old lady looking photos:

We hadn’t even hung anything on the walls because we knew we wanted to paint. Poor girl! Plus, the rooms all need to have more outlets put in (how is one outlet nearly enough?!) and overhead lights with switches added (hello?!). Needless to say, she was not thrilled in her set up. But, enter her 16th birthday, and we had the perfect excuse to make ourselves get the room beautified and surprise her with completely glammed out digs. Annnd… after:

Ta da! Total teen girl. Her jaw dropped. Win!

This was the mint turquoise color she had picked for her bedroom at our previous house and she was really wanting it again. It is super pretty, and not quite as bright in person. She also loves pink and peach. I added some navy to calm and tie the colors in and some gold hints for glam factor. Sounds busy. Totally goes.

Some old, some new, plenty of Hobby Lobby help. She wanted a little girly and a little rustic. She also wanted “fairy lights” so fairy lights she got.

We can’t change the brown furniture (it was her grandmas), and new carpet isn’t going to happen just yet, so working with what you’ve got sometimes has to just work… but…

Truly I love how it turned out. Dont tell her but Santa is thinking about a rug and a chandelier, along with new knobs for the drawers. 😍

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Where Have You Been, Girl?!

September 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm (Our New House, Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hi all! Yes, yes. It’s been forever. BUT, I am back. And with lots to share.

One more kiddo and a new (to us) house have kept us very, very busy. But this new house has also given us a TON of new projects to show you while we go. So, I’m back and full of fun stuff to document.

The house. If you have been following along here for very long, you know I love me some old houses. And old projects. And old antiques. Everything with a story. Let me tell you, this house had lots of stories. Built in 1860, and sadly remodeled in the 70’s, we have our hands full, both with old stories and new ideas.

So, here she is. All potential and boring right now.

Pretty cool, right?! And a ton of work, a few headaches, blood, sweat, tears… and love. I’m excited to be getting all creative again. As the new little one allows, of course. 😂

As many of you know, this space was created years ago when I got my first house to document and share all of my remodeling and decorating ideas, trials, errors, and adventures. This is where a plan to keep most of my focus now that I am back with plenty to keep sharing. But, I also plan to share some family, kids, health, and even personal stuff. Let me know if there’s something you would like to see!

And finally, I haven’t shared about myself in a very long time. So, my name is Jessica. I am a social worker with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Forensic Psychology. I love to be outdoors, camp, and travel, decorate, refinish and repurpose furniture, and and hunt for bargains and hidden gems. I live in Iowa with my significant other, Jason, my 15 year old step-daughter, Jordin, my 5 year old son, Brantley, and my 4 month old son, Barrett. Oh, and our little growing crew of pets. Every farm needs chickens and goats, right? We not only love making our new old house a home, but we also love trying out new things along the way. I hope we can inspire you!

Glad you are here! It should be fun, and a little new, so stick around!

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House Tour Continued: The Living Room

November 23, 2011 at 9:23 am (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have finally gotten around to taking more pictures of the house! Again, these are semi-befores, as I have put things away and somewhat decorated, but we have not done any remodeling or painting yet.  We can start in the living room. 

Here is the view from the steps that lead upstairs (where we toured before)…

Yes, the room is peach.  No, it is NOT staying this way.  Also, if I may vent, I hate the couch situation.  That is the old floral couch from my “green lounge room” in the old house.  We covered it with a slipcover (horrible idea!) and the ottoman is the red one one from the office covered in a sheet.  This was our way of making a temporary L shaped couch.  Yeah, I hope it doesn’t last long!

Also, I love the curatins, but I think they are getting traded with another room, more on that later!  And sorry to those of you who do not like animals in decor, but this room has a lot of it.  Fiance and I like it 🙂

The walls will soon be a grey.  Also, the empty wall above the teal table has some art…just not hung yet!

Don’t mind the shelf that is in the process of being moved in the last photo! Next is a shot of the entertainment center.  The last owners built this awesome rustic thing and left it.  We had debated doing away with it, as it is very big, but it has grown on us! I think it may pop in a neat way once the walls are painted, so we will keep her for a while!

A shot of some antique keys hanging inside the entertainment center…

The makers of this cabinet hung a spoon handle on the outside as a coat hook. Such a cute idea!

There used to be a stove where the stone wall is.

Here is the view out our red front door…

fSo, what do you think?  Its getting there.  I can’t wait to paint! Stay tuned for the tour of the rest of the downstairs! 🙂

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Black Kitchen Inspiration

June 6, 2011 at 10:39 am (Inspiration) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The kitchen needs some help. I can’t change the fact that it’s super small and always will be. But, I can give it a bit of a facelift.  This is in the works.  I already have all the plans in my head.  Yes, I want to paint the cabinets black.  Black.  It doesn’t matter how many people doubt me now, because I already have my mind set.  But, just to put other people at ease, I thought I would share Nate Berkus” gorgeous black cabinet kitchen!

 

Gorgeous, no?  I totally believe I can pull this off too. Stay tuned!

See it posted originally here:  www.housetweaking.com

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Virtual Tour-Starting in the Dining Room

May 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm (Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I think I will give you a little before and after tour of each room as I update them in the new house.  Besides the bathroom, the dining room was one of the first rooms I refinished.  I decided not to mess with the beaded board walls or drop ceiling at this time, and the carpet may someday come out to reveal the… hardwood floors! But for now… the before:

Yeah, not much for a dining room, right?  And After…

I really wanted initially to get rid of the blue ceiling fan.  However, family and friends convinced me to work around it.  The fan was new and it had a remote and a dimmer.  They swore it would be handy.  Turns out, they are right!  So, I covered a large lamp shade in silky black ribbon and attached it to the fan over the light bulbs.  I also hung a crystal from the pull.  I think the set-up helps a lot!

On this wall will eventually be a buffet I am refinishing.  Stay tuned for that project soon.

And remember the armuoir I turned into a mini bar?  So, what do you think so far?

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Budget Bathroom Redmodel

May 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm (Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I recently bought my first home and armed with a tight budget and a big dream I set out to fix the place up.  The house was built in the 20’s and plumbing was not originally indoors.  The bathroom is large, but appears to be in an old bedroom or closet.  There was a bathtub, but because of the slope of the roof, there was no room for a stand up shower without hitting your head.  I had to get creative in order to stay within my means and also make the place functional for everyday living…

Here are a few before shots of the old retro bathroom:

Not only was there no shower, but this baby also had carpet, dingy tile board walls, no outlets, and only one tiny light.  I had my work cut out for me.

I decided to refinish a clawfoot tub and move it away from the wall a couple of feet in order to add a diverter faucet where the ceiling was high enough to stand to shower.  The rest fell into place after that.  All was done for under $1000. Check it out:


Yea, that’s right, it’s the same bathroom.  Clean, functional, bright, and a bit glamorous.  My own personal dressing room!

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