Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

Remind Me Why I Did This- Day 1

January 15th, 2010

One day down, Seven more to go….

Mr. Sanders got to work bright and early yesterday morning, and like he promised, had the majority of the floor sanded by early afternoon.

Here’s a before and after shot of the cool transition inlay that Mr. vB installed.

{Since there are Oak Planks in the Living Room, Dining Room, and Hall and then Pine Planks in the Kitchen, we have had to get creative with the transitions and the stain.  We want it to look as seamless as possible}

Mr. vB stopped at home during lunch today and Mr. Sanders painted several stains on the floor for us to examine.  I am pleased with the stain we chose even though it is not the original one I had in mind.

In the meantime we will continue to hang out in our Basement Getaway.  It was a brisk 62 degrees in the basement when we went to sleep last night. I told Mr. vB just to imagine that we were camping.

{This is when I need you to remind me why we did this!!!}

Also thought you guys would get a chuckle out of our make shift kitchen.

Here is the fridge/microwave/coffee center conveniently located with inches of the tub and toilet.

And our Entertainment/Bar/Food/Utensil Center.

It may not be the Ritz, but it’s free.  Can’t beat that!

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Dining Room Makeover, Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement

Ready or not…

January 14th, 2010

The Floor Guy starts today!

Mr. vB and I are taking bets on whether or not we are over-estimating or under-estimating the mess that is about to rain down on us. {Literally- remember we are living in the basement!}

I thought you guys would enjoy photos of the 1st floor cleared out..

{I know this photo is dark, but I didn’t want to debut our new kitchen with blue tape everywhere.  Justin You will just have to wait a little longer for the big reveal. Patience.}

We have sealed up all the air vents and cabinets, and taped off the hall to the upstairs and back room with plastic.  We are trying to contain the dust as best as possible, but I know it is going to end up EVERYWHERE!

Also wanted to show you guys the cute Birthday Cake my Mums made for Mr. vB yesterday. My Daddio even hand delivered it!

Stay Tuned to see the progress of the floors.  Mr. Sanders {I’m not kidding- the guy sanding our floors is named Mr. Sanders} says he should be done sanding the majority of the floor by tonight.  The kitchen and hall floor is going to take him a little longer due to the left over grout we couldn’t remove by hand.  Plus I am working up a little post about our new “diggs” in the basement.

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Birthday, Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement

We’re Moving!!!

January 10th, 2010

Well, to the Basement that is.

Mr. vB and I spent the day yesterday ripping up the remaining tiles in the kitchen and hallway to fully expose our hidden gem.

Here is Before and After…

We’ve also started to pack up the entire first floor as come Thursday, that’s going bye bye too.

Why you might ask??  Well we are getting our hardwood floors refinished! HOORAH, or more like OMG- what am I thinking?!

I’m the kinda girl who loves a clean, organized house.  This is not what we currently live in and I am starting to freak out a bit. The stove and the refrigerator are going to live in the pantry area for a week.  All of the dining room furniture (ie. our new table/chairs and china hutch) and all of the living room furniture (L-shaped sofa, console tables, coffee table, and TV stand) already has or soon will be shoved stored in the sitting room off our master bedroom or down in the basement.  Then we are relocating the guest bed, a full length mirror, and any and all clothes, food, and gadgets that we might need, down to the basement for a week.

{See why I am freaking out?!?!}

Our hope is that it won’t be too dusty from the sanding or too stinky from the stain fumes.  It is really hard to find a place to relocate for a week that will allow 2 90lbs black labs to join you. {No offense Marty or Adrienne- I appreciate the offer to crash at your pad’s sans the pooch’s.  We might have to bite the bullet and pay for the dogs to be boarded if the dust and smell is too overwhelming!  So please don’t turn us away if you see us on your front porch one day!} And for those cat-lover readers of mine, Milo isn’t going to be left home alone.  He has his bags packed to stay a week at my Mums house.  I like to think it will be a mini vacation for him.  No big dogs to chase him around and tons of new rooms for him to explore.

Here’s what our living room and dining room looked like by the time we called it quits tonight.

I feel like Thursday morning is going to be here before we know it and we still have so much to do. {insert deep breath here} I will definitely keep you guys updated as this is going to be QUITE the adventure!

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing, Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover

The Basement Breakdown- Part I

January 9th, 2010

Sounds like a dance move doesn’t it??

Anyways, here’s the breakdown on the basement floor project Mr. vB and I completed last weekend.

First we decided to split the room in half and tackle each side one at a time. We started at the back of the basement and everything that was located on that side got moved to the opposite end. (Make sense? This photo is obviously out of order, but I was trying to illustrate how we had to pack everything to one side of the room. See the pile of stuff hiding behind Mr.vB and the vacuum?)

Next we pulled up all the carpet tile in that area and prepped it for the resin waterproof sealer by vacuuming and sweeping.

Then we slapped on some coats of the resin with a simple paint roller.

Each coat of resin took about 2 hours to dry, and we wanted to apply at least 2 coats, so we timed it just right.  Each night at 8pm and then 10pm we applied the resin.  That way by the next morning it would be nice and dry!

Now the fun part- laying the floor panels.  We picked up an inexpensive laminate floor at Lowe’s as well as a vapor barrier to lay between the cement floor and the laminate panels.  We chose a laminate floor for two reasons.  One was that our budget was super tight and two because we knew it would be super easy to install.  We definitely wanted to go with a floating floor vs one you had to nail/glue down, as our cement floor was not exactly level.  Once we got the hang of locking each plank into place it was SUPER easy.  Mr vB was in charge of making the needed cuts with the Table Saw and I was in charge of laying down the strips of vapor barrier.

The hardest part was making sure we laid it in a straight line!  That’s why we started at the corner of the new wall that Mr. vB had just built.

And of course Boots had to get in on the action.

That’s it for the first side!

Mr. vB and I had just enough energy left to move everything back to this side of the room and repeat the resin process on the other half of the floor before we called it quits for the night.

The next morning we were off and running again!

Bailey came down once or twice to see what the noise was all about.

Here Mr. vB is installing the last plank! YEAH!



See- that wasn’t so hard was it? {ha-ha}

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Basement Makeover, Home Improvement

My Husband is on Vacation… Can you tell?

December 29th, 2009

I can..

Our Kitchen Floor is halfway ripped up…

and our Basement is under construction (again)…

But these are good things- I think.

Mr. vB started pulling up the kitchen floor late Monday evening.  The good news is that we discovered hardwood floors hiding under that horrible tile.  They definitely look rough now, but after some sanding and stain, they should be beautiful!

And as far as the basement goes, we finally have a plan to make it a finished space.  The picture above is the framing around the furnace and hot water heater.  We are also enclosing Mr. vB’s office area in a really neat way!  Pictures to follow soon- Stay Tuned!

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Basement Makeover, Home Improvement, Kitchen Makeover, Mr.vB

Now you see it and now you don’t…

December 3rd, 2009

Have I ever shown you guys the storage areas above the guest room closets?  They are a bit random, but I am not one to turn down extra storage space. (especially in a Fan House that has about zero storage..)

Here is a REALLY BAD before photo of the closets when I had just moved in with Mr.vB.

DSC01134-1See the open cubbies above both closets?

I had left them open because I always envisioned doing something cool with shutters to close them off. But yeah, that never happened.  Instead, my mums had a great idea to just buy a sheet the same color as the newly painted turquoise walls and make curtains!

Bravo Mums- what a simple and easy solution!

So we found a flat sheet at Kmart that was almost the exact color of the walls.  We also picked up 2 tension rods to hang the fabric from.  Then we whipped out the sewing machine, cut the sheet in half, and sewed a pocket at the top of each sheet for the rod to fit through.  All that was left to do was thread the rod through the pocket and voila!


I didn’t even hem the bottom half because I figured I could just tuck it under itself and you would never know! {A little lazy- YES, but a time saver}


Here is the finished product.


Now you almost don’t even know the cubbies are there.  I like how the fabric matches the walls so perfectly.


And here is the sneak peek of all my xmas decorations hiding behind the curtain.  I am going to get Mr. vB to help me get it all down tonight so we can start decorating!!!


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Bedroom Makeover, Home Improvement

Rooms and Blooms…

November 18th, 2009

Mr. vB and I had a very productive weekend, checking off several things that had been on my our check list.

First up was hanging the pelmet/cornice boxes in the guest room.  Remember this tutorial that I had gotten from Little Green Notebook?

Here is the boring window before..


Here is Mr. vB working his magic with the drill..


And here is the finished project…


What?? Did you think I was going to post the window with the pelmet box? ha-ha

I am really trying to hold out until the whole room is finished before I show everything, but okay twist my arm.

DSC_0333Isn’t it cute?

We also got 3 more replacement windows installed in the sitting room off our bedroom.  I didn’t take any photos during the actual install, because I was busy painting in the kitchen.  But here are some after shots.  There was such a nice breeze coming through all 3 windows, I asked Mr. vB if we could relocate our bed!


Finally- I also started on our xmas decorations.  Nothing fancy, but I always love to have Paper-whites around the house. {something I picked up from my mom}  I stopped by the local greenhouse and picked up a handful of paper-white bulbs and some cat grass.


Have you guys ever “forced” paper-whites before?  It is super easy- you just need a container, some dirt, H2o, and some sunshine!  Oh and yeah- the paper-white bulbs!  I added grass to mine as I think it gives it a great extra touch.  {Plus Milo loves to nibble on my flowers, so better for him to nibble on the grass than my paper-whites!}

DSC_0376Here I laid out the bulbs to make sure they would fit.  Then I dumped out some of the dirt, placed the bulbs where I wanted them, and then piled the dirt back on. Voila- Just that easy!


The above photo is what the bulbs looked like on Sunday.

Here is what they look like now after some sunshine!  The grass is sprouting and the bulbs are about to as well!


As they grow, the paper-whites will get very tall and have blooms like daffodils.  I’m envisioning them on the mantle, the dining room table, or maybe even the console table by the front door.  We shall see!

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Home Improvement, Mrs.vB, Yard/Garden

What’s wrong with this photo?

November 12th, 2009


This is a multiple choice test.  What in the above picture does not belong?

a. The pile of stuff by the trashcan that needs to go back out to the garage?

b. The hint of a freshly painted head-board that should be in the guest room by now?


c. The 4 plastic cups sitting in the transom window ledge?


If you said C you are a Winner!!

Why might you ask do we have 4 plastic cups sitting on the window ledge?  Well Tropical Depression Ida has made a stop in Richmond and is pelting us with torrential rain storms.  And when the back of your house isn’t sided, nor do you have a good gutter system, apparently the water leaks directly into your house. Nice, eh?


Oh it gets better… So we had put the cups out last night when I first started to notice the water drops.  By this morning I figured they would need to be dumped, but I didn’t take into account how exactly full they might be.  So I grabbed for the first one and it was like a total prank. The cup was filled to the brim with cold, funky water and the entire thing dumped onto my head!!!  It was horrible- there I am standing in my bathrobe, soaking wet head to toe!  After the shock of the cold water wore off, all I could do was laugh…and then I immediately wanted to get back in bed and start the day over.

Moral of this story is that Home Improvemetns aren’t always glamorous. In-fact they can be dirty, messy and almost bring you to tears!  If and when the weather clears up and the rain stops, do know that getting the back of the house finished up has just jumped to the top of the TO-DO list!

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Home Improvement, Mrs.vB

Bobble-Head Lamps…

November 10th, 2009

Remember the poor lamps that Mr. vB destroyed broke during the “paneling project” in the master bedroom”?


Well they’re about to get a second chance on life.

I hit up Home Depot today and found a replacement socket to fix the bobble-head look.


And after conning Mr. vB into helping me, we got it fixed in no time! Boots wanted to be involved too.



But besides fixing the socket, I am also thinking of maybe painting the base a new color.  I’ve been itching to use a peacock blue color somewhere in my house and this may be a good fit.  I also picked up a fun golden velvet lampshade at Ikea this weekend that I think will really pop with the blue.


(have no fear-the shade is shiny because I left the plastic cover on it in-case I need to return it!)

Now I just have to talk Mr. vB into showing me how to use the paint gun on the air compressor.  I figure that will be the easiest way to paint the lamp so you won’t see any brushstrokes!  I am hoping to get to that tomorrow night. I will keep you posted!

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Home Improvement, Mr.vB

So Much to Say!

November 3rd, 2009

What a whirlwind 3 weeks I just had!!  I was traveling for work, traveling for play, entertaining guests, and fitting in home projects and I am whooped.  But I’ve got so much to say and catch you up on!  Hope you can stick with me to the end of this post. I have a feeling it might be a long one!

-The Master Bedroom-

Mr. vB got to work putting the paneling up in our bedroom and it looks AWESOME!! {Remember I mentioned it here.} What a transformation it has made to the room!!  Of course we still need to finish priming and painting it, but dang it looks good!  Here it is start to finish!









Did I mention that Mr. vB broke BOTH lamps while he was installing the paneling?  I had been looking for an excuse to get new ones, so I wasn’t too peeved. But don’t tell him that! {ha-ha}

Here is the after shot with the broken lamps… (they are both seriously crooked)


And here is the after shot with the new lamps I picked up at Ikea last week..


-The Guest Room-

I have also been inspired to do a bit of work in the guest room!

I’m envisioning a new headboard, new window treatments, and new bedding.  Sounds like a lot I know- but I’m going to try to do it all for under $250 bucks!  {So far so good!} I want to do the big reveal once it’s all finished, so until then I’m only going to give you sneak peek photos.  Hopefully it will all be done soon!

For the windows- Little Green Notebook posted this awesome tutorial on Pelmet Boxes. {I’ve always heard them referred to as Cornice boxes, but I assume they are the same thing}.  The Tutorial was quite easy and I had the first one done in about 1 hour.  The hardest part was getting the fabric wrapped around the curved edges.  So hard in-fact, that I had to modify my design mid project.

Here is my version of the tutorial in photos.. {let me know if you have questions}






DSC_0300And here it is hanging on the window…


And here are some teaser’s of the finished product…



Total Spent: $15 for materials and $40 for fabric.

For the bedding- I’m inspired to do all white.  Crazy I know, especially with 2 black dogs, but I figure bleach can become my new BFF.  I’m planning on still using the existing bed-skirt and shams, but I want to switch up the other pillows and coverlet.


Total spent: $100

For the headboard- My brother is giving me an old headboard they aren’t using anymore.  I am first going to try to paint it and if that doesn’t work I am going to staple fabric to it.


Total spent: $7 paint

Shew.. hope you are still with me. I know that was a lot of info but I warned you at the beginning, I had a lot to say!  Both Mr. vB and I will be in town this weekend, and I am hoping to get a few more things checked off the to do list.  Guess I might need to make sure Mr. vB is on board!!

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Bedroom Makeover, Home Improvement