Saturday, April 30, 2016

foyer and stairs remodel

the stairs and front foyer are finally finished!!

below is what they used to look like. all oak.

with a 70's vibe flooring by the front door. (well, this house was built in the 70's!)

this job was tedious, because you had to do everything in stages. and every stage needed time afterward to dry.

first was sanding everything. i had to make sure the varnish was off, so the primer would stay. 
painting the risers and trim, i did four separate coats. two primer, two paint.

i started with the lower half of the stairs, that heads to the garage and laundry.

 *chewy wondering what i'm doing :)

we had to strip the old varnish off the treads too, and some of the old color. 
(since we were going with a darker stain, we didn't think it would matter if we didn't completely strip all the color off them.)

here is a closer look at the treads after stripping them...

hubby did all the staining. we used a gel stain to get good coverage. we actually had to mix two together to get the exact look of the wood flooring in the kitchen. since the kitchen, stairs and foyer all run together, we wanted it to look consistent. 

here are the bottom stairs completely finished...

we had a whole set of different problems with the top half. the stairs had to be rebuilt.
new risers, and treads. plus the banister.

i lost my before pics of the top stairs. 
******duh****** i don't know what happened to them. can't find anywhere..

here is what they looked like after they got rebuilt by my uncle Dorman, who just happens to be a finished carpenter! 

my uncle actually put them in while we were in florida. so we came home to new stairs!
that's Abe carrying in luggage from the trip. (always smiling, that one.)

we lived without a banister for a couple months because the hand rail was being stained and varnished. every step just took time.
we did the same with these stairs as the bottom ones. taping off, two coats primer, two coats paint for the risers and trim, and  stain,and varnish for the treads.

when we stained/varnished the treads, hubby would work his way down the steps. then he'd run around the outside of the house, and come in the back door. that way they could dry all night without being walked on.

the flooring by the front door is engineered wood. by time we wanted to order flooring for this area, they had discontinued what we used in the kitchen. literally don't make that color anymore. so! we had to find something close in color.

the left is the kitchen, and the right is down on the landing. 
 i think we did good.

my rugs are from target..

we will be adding a built in wall coat rack in this corner behind the door next. we used to have a coat stand, but i want the floor space to be as open as possible. so i drew up a plan for it, and already got the wood!

 this is the finished lower entryway from the garage...

i have many more projects coming up this summer. i'm building my coat rack next. but after that, is the main bath remodel. then the master bedroom face lift. 
i hope you enjoy seeing our makeovers, and thanks for stopping by!

the art below is from pat catans.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

getting organized, and starting with a happy planner!

hey guys! spring is here in ohio, and i am purging the whole house. i've gone through closets, drawers, and cupboards. i'm only half way done, but i'm planning on having it all done by the end of april. i want to have the month of may free for some painting.

we are almost done with the stairs/foyer remodel! pics of that will be soon, but not today!

ok, today i want to show you how i got a little more organized just by switching from my monthly little calendar to what is called a happy planner! 

on the left is what i used to use for organizing my family and my life. and on the right is my new happy planner.

the main reason for finding something bigger was because of what you see in the next picture. just too crowded for all the stuff i need to keep track of. and no room for notes...

here's a look inside my new planner.
inside the front cover i stuck two self adhesive pockets to hold any loose papers i need, or receipts. 

it has an inspirational opening page.

then, each month also has this page you see below to remember important dates, set goals, and to list that months' birthdays. 
this page is my fav because at the beginning of the month i already have an idea of when i need to have things done.

next, there is the whole month on a two page layout..

and lastly, is the weekly two page layout. the squares are a nice size, so i have plenty of room to write in all i need to. it has a nice little notes area to the left too. i usually make lists on it.

all the stickers and washi tape were added by me. here's what it looks like before i get my washi on...

i'm a scrapbooker by heart, so i love doing the whole sticker thing, but you don't have to. 

and the washi tape is fun too. 

i know this isn't life changing for some people, but it really has helped me stay on top of all our different work schedules, the boys' college schedules,appointments, etc.

the Happy Planners are sold at michaels. the newest ones are out, and are 16 months. (i think they start this summer.) 
they also have washi tape, stickers, dividers, and folders that all coordinate together.
you can also find them online at

i really like mine! if you need a better calendar, go check them out!

have a great day!