Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

A Much Needed Face-Lift

March 6th, 2012

Hey ya’ll..

Remember waaaa-yyyy back when I posted about our 2011 Home DIY Resolutions??

Resolution 9 was to fix the leak in the porch soffit, repaint the railings and trim, and fix the cement stairs.

It took a year to get around to it, but I’m exciited to report that the front exterior finally got that much needed face lift.

Here’s the before:

It was really starting to look a bit run down and quite frankly EMBARASSING!!

During the Demo:

During the rebuild:

And it’s FINISHED!

Nice, right?  Now I just need to work on the flower beds and our Curb Appeal should be complete!

Thanks to Nick Hardesty of Hardesty Construction for making the transformation happen.

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Front of the House Makeover, Home Improvement

I Tamed the Dragon {part deux}

August 29th, 2011

Yes- Finally.  I am here to report on my beautiful new pelmet boxes.

Sorry for the delay.  This past week we had an Earthquake and Hurricane.  Yes- you read that correctly.  The earthquake that shook the majority of the east coast on Tuesday was located about 45 miles outside of the RVA.  And then Saturday, Hurricane Irene had a direct hit about 60 miles away in the opposite direction.  Luckily we sustained no damage with either of the events.  But the Neighbors weren’t so lucky with Irene…

No one was hurt, but the porch was ripped off the front of the house and a few windows were broken.  And if you can believe it, someone actually drove right into the tree today during broad daylight!!  The gentleman ran the stop sign and by the time he looked up, he didn’t have enough time to stop.  I asked my neighbor if he thought the guy was drunk.  I mean who misses the GIGANTIC tree that is blocking the road??

But back to my Pelmet Boxes!

They are Done!!

They took forever to finish because the living room windows were wider than the width of the fabric, forcing me to seam together the sides.  And since I was working with minimal fabric to start with, it was quite a process to get it all to match up seamlessly.

I took the easy route and instead of sewing it all together, I taped it!

So I first cut out each main section and the 2 sides.  Then I used my iron and no sew hem tape to seam the pieces together.

I think I did a pretty darn good job matching the 2 pieces.  Once I finished matching up the other sides, I then stapled the fabric and the batting to the foam boxes I made about 5 months ago! {embarrassing!}

And here is the finished product!

Can you tell where the seams are?

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Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover

The Weekend {past and present}

August 13th, 2011

Has a week already passed? Geez.. I started this post last Sunday.  My apologies that it has taken a week to get to ya’ll..

So My mom and I were non stop last weekend!  It was crazy!!

Friday night we finished the pelmet boxes. {Hooray!}

Saturday Morning we hit the greenhouse and got some plants for my front planter. {about Time!}

We also went to the Farmer’s Market and got some fresh veggies & DONUTS!! {YUMMO!}

And then once baby vB was down for a nap and safely in the care of his father, mums and I snuck out.  We headed to Joanne’s Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods in search of a pattern for boys pants, coconut oil, and something to put in the lanterns on my mantle. Quite a combination right?

Well the pants are for vanny B and I hope they turn out something like this..

Photo courtesy of Grace over at grace happens

The coconut oil was so we could make these..

Photo Courtesy of Darby over at Fly Through Our Window

And the something to put in my lanterns, turned out to be these..

I think it was quite a successful trip.  But just an FYI, if you try to make your own peanut butter crispies, cut the peanut butter amount in half. {1 cup vs the 2 they called for} Both my mums and I thought it was WAY too peanut buttery!

So now on to this weekend…

Mr. vB and I have to do some yardwork and some baby proofing.  You know, more baby gates and latches on the cabinets with the cleaning products.  Real Fun Stuff.  But anything to help keep this cute-patoot safe!

Happy Weekend!

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Home Improvement, Mrs.vB

Mini Makeover- Master Bedroom- Sneak Peek

July 28th, 2011

So you know how us vB’s like to start projects, but never really finish them? {ehm..Mr.vB?!}

Enter the Master Bedroom.

We created this awesome paneling as our headboard about a year and half ago, and it still has yet to receive its final coat of paint.

I’ve been meaning to get to that for about a year and a half now.. ha-ha.

So I’ve finally gotten the much needed kick in the pants to get it done, plus I’m working on some new artwork for either side of the bed and changing up the pillows a bit.

Here’s where the inspirations came from…

Grace Happens.

Image via. Grace Happens

I immediately fell in love with the bolster idea.

A Word from the Worthington’s.

Image via. Word from the Worthington’s

I’ve always loved how my friend and neighbor Anne created this cool artwork out of a calendar.

So with inspiration in my sails I set out to find

{1.} fabric for the bolster pillow and {2.} a book/calendar to make into artwork.

And let me tell you, it didn’t take me long.

Here’s a sneak peak at both…

So now all that is left to do is have the bolster made and find frames for the artwork.

Oh and yeah, PAINT!  Stay Tuned!

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Bedroom Makeover, Home Improvement

What a tease!

June 8th, 2011

I’m full of sneak-peeks this week!  This one is courtesy of the “back of the house” siding project…

Almost Done!!!  It’s been 4 long years in the making!!

I’m headed off to NYC bright and early tomorrow morning for a few days.  My god-daughter, Lee Shelly, is graduating from High School and I had to be there to help celebrate!

Mr. vB will be holding the down the fort until I return.

Let’s hope they BOTH survive!

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Back of the House Makeover, Home Improvement, Mr.vB

I haven’t forgotten…

May 11th, 2011

Don’t worry- I haven’t forgotten that I owe you guys a recap on our trip to France.  The post is almost finished.  It’s just taken WAY longer than I expected to condense a week’s worth of fun into a post that won’t take you an hour to read. It will be up by this weekend- PROMISE!

In the meantime we’ve been busy over here at Chateau vB.

The siding has started going up on the back of the house and it looks awesome!  Here’s a sneak peak through the guest room window.

We’ve also done a bit of landscaping in the front yard.  Here’s a sneak peak of that too!

Last but not least, I had a fabulous Mother’s Day!

Mr. vB and his mini-me took me out for a picnic lunch.

vannyB got his first spin in a swing..

I think he liked it.

The diaper bag wedged behind him probably wasn’t too comfortable, but otherwise he would have slid out!

This is one of the funniest photos from the outing…

If van had a text bubble over his head it would say something like, “What stinks?  Hope it isn’t me.”

And this is a favorite.

I’m normally behind the camera but finally a pic of me and my boy!

You can never get/give too many kisses right?

All-right let me get back to my France post… Bye!

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Baby vB, Home Improvement, Mrs.vB

Scared? Not us…

January 14th, 2011

Sounds like our 2011 To-Do List has scared a bunch of you…but not us!! Mr. vB and I have already faced it head on.  One project has already been accomplished and 354 days to finish the other 9 tasks.  That’s like a month and a couple days per project!

Don’t forget, we are use to daunting lists like this.

In 2010 we laid a laminate floor in the basement, refinished the hardwood floors on the first floor, finished our kitchen, built radiator covers, spruced up the laundry room, made a baby, designed a nursery, built a barn door, and worked on the back of the house.  Just to name a few projects…

But back to our 2011 list.  I’m working up a post on the project that Mr. vB has already tackled.

Here’s a sneak peak! Before and During! Happy Friday…

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Home Improvement

New Year’s Resolutions

January 7th, 2011

Happy 2011 everyone!

Mr. vB, van and I rang it in in-style over at my friend Greta’s house… If you can believe it I actually stayed up to see the ball drop at midnight, but then was promptly ready to go home and put my pajamas on.  {ha-ha}

So this year instead of doing personal resolutions, Mr, vB and I have decided to do home resolutions. {I was just informed by Mr. vB that statement really doesn’t make any sense.} So for clarification purposes, we resolve to finish the following house projects in 2011.

1. The Exterior of the Back of the House {siding, etc}

2. The Interior of that Back Addition {new tile floor, new paint, finish window trim}

3. The Half Bath on the First Floor {new tile floor, finish window trim, new faucet}

4. The Fireplace and Hearth in the Living Room {new tile surround and fireplace cover}

5.  The Banister and Stairs to the Second Floor {finish stripping, stain, and paint}

6. The Windows in the Office {finish window trim}

7. The Guest Room and Hall {new windows}

8. The Basement {drywall the ceiling, new stairs, replace windows}

9.  The Exterior of the Front of the House {repaint railing, patch porch roof, repaint window trim}

10. Landscape Front Yard {new plantings, sprinkler system}

Wow- I think that is all.

Good thing we have an entire year to accomplish it all and a great Cheerleader to keep us going!

Go Team vB!

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Family, Home Improvement

It’s a Wrap- Part 1

September 15th, 2010

So it’s been almost 3 years since we last visited this latest house project.  It’s been long overdue, but we knew it would be somewhat complicated and likely expensive, hence the hold off on doing it.

But we bit the bullet this past weekend and jumped back into it.  What is the project you ask? 


Like I mentioned, we started this project about three years ago when we literally ripped out the back wall of the house.

And then rebuilt it properly and added Double Doors…

and a nice new deck..

Enter present day.. Now it’s time to tackle the second story!

Mr. vB, his bro Justin, and their Dad were up and at ‘em bright and early Saturday morning.

They focused on the back wall, ripping off the aluminum siding and exposing the original wood…

Then they added new plywood…

and very careful stapled on new house wrap.

Last but not least, they installed the new replacement windows and trim.

Looks better already doesn’t it??

One wall down and three more to go!  Let’s just hope it’s not another 3 years before we get to them!

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Back of the House Makeover, Home Improvement, Mr.vB

Nursery- Part I

June 2nd, 2010

Mr. vB and I got to work on the nursery for the first time this past 3 day weekend.. and WHAT A MESS we created!!!

I worked in the actual nursery, while Mr. vB created the mess worked in the adjoining master bedroom.  Remember how I hinted that we were going to do a sliding door across the opening between the 2 rooms?

Well we ran into a bit of a snag.

The wall on the nursery side wasn’t long enough for the 6 foot sliding door to sit against. While in the master bedroom we had plenty of room, but our flat screen TV was in the way.

So what did we do?

Typical vB style, we ripped a gigantic hole in the wall so the TV could be recessed into it.  Which in turn would allow the new door to slide seamlessly in front if it.  A great solution right?  Mr. vB did warn me that it was going to be a gigantic mess, but it never really hits me until I see it for myself.  He was correct.  It was a MESS!!

Here’s the play by play…

First Mr. vB taped off where the TV would sit into the wall.  Then using a circular saw he cut the square out.

This is where the mess came from.  Of course this wall was one of the original plaster and lathe walls as you can see below.  This meant that the plaster crumbled every time Mr. vB removed a piece.

Finally he cut out the existing studs and relocated them with new 2×4′s for wall support and  TV support.  He also relocated the power and cable.

And viola… 3 hours later, a recessed TV.

This picture immediately makes me think of the movie The Money Pit. {remember with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long?} I think it is because of the crumbling wall and exposed lathe.  Very classy looking I know.

This coming weekend we plan on removing the TV, dry-walling the opening, adding some trim and then painting it all.  At that point it should be less Money Pit-ish and more High Dollar!  Or let’s at least hope so!!!

P.S.  If you look really hard at the photo above you can also catch a glimpse of what I was busy working on in the nursery!  Any guesses?!?

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Home Improvement, Nursery