Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

It’s My Birthday {well almost..}

April 13th, 2010

In about 4 hours I will be a year closer to my mid-thirties! YIKES!! To make me feel better Mr. vB has started on a birthday renovation project for me! YEAH!!

{here is the back story}

The only room in our house that has not been touched since we moved in is our Laundry Room.  It is located down in the basement off of the main living area.  I have always kept it hidden from the camera’s view as it was a bit scary!  We upgraded our washer and dryer to front loading units about 2 years ago, but never upgraded the room surrounding them.  It was inevitable that every time I went to switch the clean clothes from the washing machine to the dryer, something would fall on the dirty concrete floor and have to be rewashed.  It was SO annoying!!  I was constantly begging Mr. vB to add this room to the To-Do list.  I got so desperate that I finally said a finished Laundry Room is ALL I want for my birthday!

Apparently I got my point across because when I got home from work today, there was an odd smell coming from the basement.  When I yelled down to Mr. vB as to what it was, he yelled back,”Dunno?!”  I could tell from his voice that he was clearly lying.  I then went around and opened all the windows on the first floor.  When I got to the window that overlooked the back yard, I knew immediately what he was up too!  All the junk that has been crammed into the laundry room was now in the back yard.

About 30 minutes later Mr. vB emerged from the basement and asked me if I would like to see my {early} birthday present.  He had spent the afternoon clearing out the laundry room, sweeping, spraying for spiders, water proofing the cement floor {the stinky smell}, and installing a new sliding window.

Tomorrow he wants to paint the floor, paint the walls, install more shelving, and put the wood trim around the exterior door and new window!  Did I mention that I love my husband??  {And a great renovation project that happens without me lifting a finger?!?}

Check back for the finished product! Doing laundry will never be the same again!

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Basement Makeover, Birthday, Home Improvement, Laundry Room Makeover, Mr.vB

It’s a Cover Up!

April 9th, 2010

It’s been almost 3 months to the day that Mr. Sanders came into our life. {for a recap click HERE}   And I must have been in a dream world to think that our brand new hard wood floors would look gorgeous forever.  Why might you ask?!  Their names are Boots and Bailey and I have tried to tell them at least a 100 times NOT to dig their claws into the floor as they run {like the road-runner} to the back door.  They never seem to listen.

So, I have finally given up counting and stressing about each new scratch.  Instead we decided to cover them up.  Yep.. you heard me right.

With our trusty list and dimensions in hand, Mr. vB and I headed about an hour away to a great furniture, lighting, carpet, “you name it for the house store”, called Greenfront in Farmville VA.  We had heard they had amazing steals on all kinds of rugs, so we figured it was worth the drive.

2 hours after arriving, Mr. vB and I were the proud owners of FIVE new rugs!  {And all within our budget!}  We picked up 3 hand woven rugs from Pakistan…

and 2 custom cut mountain grass rugs.  We decided to have them bound in a basic black edge, so they would coordinate with the new dining room rug! The guy told us we could come back in 2 weeks to pick em up.

Well it has been more like 4 weeks, but we finally got the remaining 2 rugs tonight!  Are you wondering yet where we have room for all these new rugs?  You will just have to wait to see… I think you’re gonna be impressed!  Here’s a sneak peek!

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover, Living Room Makeover

Dining Room Update

March 24th, 2010

Thought it was about time I updated you guys on the progress of the dining room makeover.

New Rug- check, baseboards sanded and repainted- check, radiator cover- check, window treatments and accessories- a work in progress

I’m not ready for a full blown reveal, but here is a sneak peak!

The New Rug- On recommendations from my gals Jennifer and Adrienne I checked out Lowe’s for a new 8×10 Seagrass Rug.  I shopped it around and it was the best price in town.  Plus it had free shipping to the store!  A must see if you are in the market for a new area rug!

Remember the gorgeous pink and navy BEFORE Rug?

And here is the NEW one…

Baseboards- Finished! Hooray!  I was NOT looking forward to sanding and painting all the baseboards, but it had to be done.  It really is amazing what a coat of fresh white paint can do to make things look cleaner!

Once they were all dry, we pushed the China Hutch back against the wall and put all the breakables back in! Then we reclaimed the sitting room as an actual room and not the catch-all space!  Yes we still had it packed with all the items that had to be packed up when we got the floors refinished.  Pitiful I know.

Radiator Covers- While I was slaving away painting the baseboards, Mr. vB was busy designing and constructing the other radiator cover.  This radiator was much taller and skinner than the one in the living room, so we knew they weren’t going to be identical.  But I think Mr. vB did a really good job matching them as close as possible.



Window Treatments and Accessories- I still haven’t found the right fabric to make the panels for the windows.  I am still in love with this chevron fabric, but it is like $50 bucks a yard and I need 10 or more yards!!  YIKES!! So I am still on the search.  But I did pick up this cute lamp last night at Secret Marshall’s.

Wasn’t sure what Mr. vB would think of the coral, but he liked it!  And I liked it!  SCORE!  I then informed him that I wanted to hang some white plates on the wall over the radiator.  That is where I lost him. Instead we have compromised on a mirror or artwork.  Whatever comes about first.  I am loving this mirror over at The Newlywed Diaries- I just can’t figure out where she got it!

SOURCE-The Newlywed Diaries

If anyone sees a mirror similar to this around town, please give me a shout!

Last but not least, once the fabric for the windows is selected, I also want to recover the dining room chairs with a coordinating fabric.  Then, I think we will be done.

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Dining Room Makeover, Home Improvement

Picture Perfect

March 8th, 2010

You guys remember me mentioning that I was trying to get Mr. vB to hang some picture molding for me?  After a fun weekend with the boys, he came home to find his wifey with a nail gun in one hand and some liquid cement in the other. 

{I wasn’t really going to attempt to use either, I just thought it would get my point across.}

Well within 30 minutes Mr. vB had it hung and caulked!

He actually was working so quickly I couldn’t even snap a before photo.  In the shot below Mr. vB had already hung the molding to the left of the fireplace, but you get the jist.  The portion around the fireplace was hung about this time last year.

Our lonely little map longing to hang on the wall… {say that three times fast}

Ta-da!  Anyone notice the freshly painted radiator cover??

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Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover


February 24th, 2010

So remember me mentioning that I am on the hunt for new living room furniture.  And its only requirement is that it needs to be from a 2nd hand consignment shop or thrift store?? Now don’t get scared like my mums and think that I am buying 2nd hand furniture with cooties… I’m planning on painting and reupholstering the items that walk thru my front door. Just so we are on the same page, here are some inspirational Consignment/Thrift Store before and afters…

A Word from the Worthington’s


Good Bones, Great Pieces

.{pretty freaking awesome, eh?}

I have been stalking scoping out my local thrift stores- Goodwill, Fantastic Thrift, Diversity Thrift and my favorite, The Love of Jesus Thrift Store. (Yes that IS its real name}.  I also know of a fabulous consignment shop named Rooms, Blooms and More located about an hour away in Newport News.  Family friends own this hot-spot and have had ridiculous success selling furniture, accessories, and window treatments- at amazing prices.  Obviously with it being an hour away I don’t get there as often as I like, BUT they do have a facebook page which highlights a new piece of furniture daily.  How awesome is that!!  {If you are on facebook, you gotta friend them!}

But back to my living room plan.  Get excited people- the first purchase has been made!!!

For $35 buck-a-roos I scored this sweet arm chair and ottoman.  Have no fear, the orange velvet is going bye-bye.  I am in-visioning painting the wood frame black or peacock blue, and then maybe use this fabric to recover it.

Won’t that look awesome?!?!

I also scored this cool painting while I was out an about.  Something about it really caught my eye.  I think with a new frame and some matting it will look straight out of an art gallery.

Wanna guess how much that set me back?? $2.80.

{Okay- so Mr. vB just got home and looked at my new fav painting and says- that’s a paint by number kit.  I’m like, WHAT? He says he and his brother use to paint them with his grandmother.  He even showed me one of the numbers that wasn’t fully painted over.  Whah-whah…. Oh well- I still like it!}

So it may be paint by number, but it did come with a bonus.  Hidden under the painting was this engraving.

Not to sure who it is, but thought it could be fun to frame as well.  Heck, maybe it is worth millions and was stashed under the paint by number for safe keeping.  That will stop Mr. vB from laughing at my poor taste in art work.

So one chair & ottoman down, and a sofa, chair and coffee table still to go!  Would love to hear suggestions on other places around town that I should go check out!  Where is your favorite place to find 2nd hand furniture and accessories?

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Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover

It’s All in the Details…

February 22nd, 2010

Mr. vB and I haven’t started any {major} projects since we powered through finishing up the kitchen a few weekends ago.  Instead we have been focusing on finishing all the little details that have sprung up from getting our hardwood floors refinished. {remember that fun experience?  For a reminder click here.}  It’s been a slow process, but we are in no rush.  The living room remains empty, but that’s okay with me- I’m really starting to like the minimalist look! {ha-ha}

Speaking of the empty living room, did I mention that we have decided to leave the big 3 piece sectional sofa in the basement?!  We have gotten quite accustomed to hanging out down there for the past 6 weeks and decided we wanted to make it our den. {more on that later} So we did a bit of rearranging and it actually fits quite nice! BUT, this means we now need to get something to put in the living room.  I’m thinking something very simple- a small sofa, 2 side chairs and an ottoman/coffee table.  Oh and I want to try to find most of these things from a 2nd hand/consignment shop or thrift store.  I have already started looking, but I know it’s going to take awhile to find the right thing.

But back to the details..

We did muster some energy this weekend to start making Radiator Covers for the ugly radiators in the living and dining room.

I found this great DIY tutorial here.  Mr. vB normally likes to build things by the seat of his pants, but I thought these might come in handy. (and they did!)  The covers still aren’t totally finished, but are looking good.

We still need to prime and paint it, but I already am in love.  {I’m hoping once we paint the metal screen the radiator will be less visible.}  The best part of this project was that we had all the wood on hand and only had to buy the metal screen!

And last weekend we finished adding the shoe molding to our base boards and repainted them all with a fresh coat of white paint.



Another project that makes my heart go pitter-patter.  So nice and fresh looking!

I also asked Mr. vB if we could add a few pieces of picture molding to the exterior walls of the living room. These walls are a mixture of brick and plaster and nails crumble at the site of them.  Hence the reason we have not hung any artwork in the living room, except for the one piece of artwork on the interior wall.  Hopefully I can get him to hang them at some point this week!  {Pictures to Follow}

So once those are up we will be back in business! I can start to put back the bookcases, console tables, and lamps.  Also hang a picture or two!  Then maybe visitors will stop asking if we just moved in or are moving out!

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Dining Room Makeover, Home Improvement, Living Room Makeover

Another Check Mark on the To-Do List

February 7th, 2010

I hope everyone is sitting down because I would like to announce that Mr. vB and I have actually, wait for it…FINISHED A PROJECT!  The Kitchen has officially been checked off the To-Do List. {If the mood strikes us we might still upgrade our dishwasher and change up the bar top, but for now we are all good!}

But before I debut our new digs, you know I gotta show you were it all started.  And just to warn you- this is gonna be a long post.  I took us just over 6 months to get it all done.  That is ALOT of projects/photos to recap!

Just like most things in this house, Mr.vB had already renovated this kitchen once when he originally moved in. Here is what it looked like back in Jan ’05.

This is the few from the hall looking into the kitchen and dining room.

And here is looking from the back pantry room into the kitchen. {nice isn’t it?!}

The original plan entailed opening the wall up between the kitchen and dining room and also rearranging the cabinet layout.

Here is the kitchen right before we started taking down the cabinets.  The upper cabinets did have doors, but Mr. vB was working too fast.  By the time I grabbed the camera, half of the doors were already down.

We were never fans of the original cabinet doors as they were very 80′s-ish with the wood accents. Our appliances (which came with the house) also bugged us as they were mismatched- Black Stove, White Hood, White Fridge and Silver/black dishwasher.

We started by rearranging our existing cabinets. Mr. vB took down all the existing cabinets..

And then put them back up in the new layout.

We also added floating shelves beneath. Instead of buying them, Mr. vB attached pieces of re-bar into the brick wall.  Then he built a box that would slide around the pieces of metal and become our shelf.

Once the new layout was in place, we purchased the new fridge, stove and exhaust hood.  To properly exhaust the hood to the outside, it required drilling a BIG MESSY HOLE in the brick wall.  We sealed off the kitchen to hopefully contain the mess.

A few weekends later we decided we had to do something about the back splash.  Previously it had been painted to buy us some time, but we had always envisioned it in tile.  We ended up having some left over tile and grout from the bathroom project, so we decided it was time to take the plunge.

It was actually quite easy and we had that part done in a weekend.

Then month by month we purchased the new cabinet doors and hardware. {As you saw, we reused the existing cabinet boxes as they were in pretty good shape, and once the new doors were on you wouldn’t be able to tell anyways!}

I love how the new doors and hardware make the counter tops look so much better!  I was never a fan of the Formica {especially with the old doors} but now they look so much richer.  I am still thinking about removing the existing Formica bar top and replacing it with a granite slab, but we’ll see.

Another new addition was the hardwood floors.  You might remember me mentioning that we discovered these the week Mr. vB was on vacation. What a difference they make to this room!!  We were never fans of the bright orange tile, but had no clue such a gem was hiding under it.  We might have ripped them up sooner had we have known!

Our final tasks were to add base board and shoe molding, touch up paint, caulk, and clean!!

So one more before shot and then the grand unveiling..



Dotty and Flo even made it down for the photo shoot!

There you have it!  Was it worth the 6 month wait??

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Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover

Ah…THIS is why we did it…

January 22nd, 2010

Introducing for the 1st time…please hold your applause… OUR NEW FLOORS!

As I was typing this post I heard a loud crash upstairs {I’m using the computer in the basement}.  Not knowing what the heck it could be I ran upstairs.  I had opened all the windows on the first floor to air it out a bit, and one of the windows literally fell out of the frame.  And you know it had to crash right onto my new floor leaving 2 nice dents. I knew the floor wasn’t going to stay pristine forever- but jeez!  I’m hoping with a little sandpaper and some stain we can camouflage the dents…. Plus once all the furniture is back in place no one will notice it- right?!

Mr. vB and I are going to spend the weekend trying to get the house back in order.  We need to put some shoe molding down, plus wipe down all the walls and trim! Sounds exciting doesn’t it??  Mr. Sanders said we could put the furniture back in place by Sunday, but the area rugs would have to wait at least 30 days.  Guess that leaves me some time to get all the finishing touches just right!

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement

Remind Me Why I Did This- Day 4, 5, and 6

January 20th, 2010

OMG- the smell coming from our new floors has burnt my nose hairs off.

Mr. vB and I got home about 8pm from our weekend in Myrtle Beach and were immediately welcomed hit in the face by the polyurethane smell.  We didn’t think it was too bad at first, but after about 4 hours of sitting in the basement I was DONE.  I had even stuffed cotton balls up my nostrils to try to curb the smell, but it didn’t work.  When I told Mr. vB that I was going to sleep in my car, I think he knew I meant business. So at 1:30 am we grabbed our bags and headed over to his dad’s house.

We only spent enough time in the house over the past 3 days to grab our work bags, computers, and more clothes.  I am seriously worried that my house will never smell good again and that my nose hairs are permanently gone.  Let’s hope not.

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement

Remind Me Why I Did This- Day 2, 3, and 4

January 19th, 2010

Things were much less uneventful Days 2-4 of the hardwood floor refinishing as Mr. vB and I had packed our bags and headed out of dodge Richmond.  {We coincided this project with our trip to Myrtle Beach to visit Mr. vB’s mom and step dad to celebrate belated Christmas and birthdays.}  From what we heard, the smell from the stain (day 3) and the coats of polyurethane (day 4, 5, and 6) were going to be somewhat unbearable.

When we left town on Friday (day 2), Mr. Sanders had finished sanding the kitchen and hallway.

Even without the stain and polyurethane IT LOOKED AWESOME!!!

I am so glad we, okay Mr.vB, checked to see what was hiding under that lovely {insert major sarcasm} terracotta tile. Who in their right mind wood have covered up hardwood floor to put down tile??

On Saturday (day 3), Mr. Sanders applied the stain, Minwax- English Chestnut, and then Sunday (day 4) applied the first coat of poly.  By the time we got home on Sunday night, we had a GORGEOUS floor waiting for us!  But man did our house STINK! {more on that to come!}

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement