The hallway

Despite having a full weekend on our hands, we managed to squeeze in some work! I primed more of the hallway while James laid more of our new peel and stick tile for the mudroom. He also clipped the heck out of the bushes in front. Our woodpile grows ever larger……

Anyways, here ya go!


It’s a really nice modern color (it’s hard to tell in the photos, but it’s really the color of sand) and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out! I’m also quite amazed at how much brighter the hallway and stairwell are with just some simple primer!


It won’t stay white, of course, but we need a good coat (or two) of primer and then we can paint the trim and the walls. The beigey color you see is the original color and while it isn’t bad (like we said before) it’s a bit too peachy or refried beanish for my taste. Haha, I also dislike the white…so I can’t wait for that to be gone as well. Paint does do wonders though!

Here’s a little photo of Izzy. Just because.



It’s looking so nice!

We don’t want to spend our whole day doing chores around the house, but we’re also in a time crunch since we don’t want to miss the opportunity to paint the exterior door trim/surround because it got too cold!

The hostas are all moved and a bit scraggly from their old crowded locations, but next year they should fill in quite beautifully. Plus, we spent so littleĀ sprucing up the front pine tree! I actually think we’ve spent the most on yard waste garbage stickers than anything else….since we’ve spent a whopping $65 so far on the front yard (paint and address numbers, plant and hook) and maybe $30 on yard waste stickers??? Haha, ok so maybe more on actual curb appeal, which I have to say, is reassuring.

Doing the yard one section at a time, has me thrilled and not overwhelmed one bit! I’m happily focusing on the front yard and paying attention to light and shapes and colors and making lists and considering year round interest and budget. It’s exciting! We really want to put cedar window boxes under the living room windows and I’ve got my eye on the ones that Menards carries, but I want to see if they go on sale and then pick them up next fall (they are $60 a piece right now, yikes). We’re in no rush to get them and then have them sit around and if we have to wait another season, then so be it!


It’s subtle, but you can see how the fresh white really brightens it up!


The hostas are so much better than what was there before – an overgrown weird bush and nothing! Plus, they were free!!

We did hit one of my favorite garden centers in Woodstock and while purchasing a plant wasn’t on our agenda (we were there for ideas and pumpkins), we couldn’t pass up a lovely specimen which was half off! We picked it up as one of our front yard ‘anchoring’ plants for a mere $18! We also picked up this cute little hook (for $8.25!) to hang a blue bell we picked up on a family trip to Klehm Arboretum back in May.

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On a different note, another neighbor stopped to tell us how beautiful it looks since we’re ripping out the bushes in front…positive reinforcement is where its at, people!! They’re getting smaller and smaller and smaller…….


Bye wood trim…..

Well after careful consideration, we have decided to paint some of the stripped wood trim. I generally think this is not a good idea, but the rest of our house is painted and our house isn’t the brightest on the inside, so we need all the help we can get. For now, we have no plans to paint the half bathroom door (which was also stripped by the previous owner) and no plans to paint the stair railing, but once we can afford to refinish the treads, the risers will get painted to match the rest of the trim in the house.

Here is the a view of the hallway:


The color on the walls isn’t that dark and is nice, but is a bit too peachy for my liking. We definitely just want something basic and neutral for the hallway since the rest of our house is so very colorful. I primed a bit yesterday – just the section immediately to the right of the door you see and a bit of the door trim. It really brightens it up!


We realize that what would also help is getting rid of the black carpet, but that isn’t in the budget for a while, so we have to make changes in phases! It’s going to look nice and while I certainly have reservations about painting stripped wood, I also am realistic about it and recognize that our house would be better if it all matched! We also have zero plans to strip any wood – not like at the building which had peeling paint galore, our house doesn’t have any peeling paint anywhere, so I have no urges to strip it off. I think it’s going to look really different and bright!

This morning sees us starting to work on our front door exterior and then off for some family fun! Happy weekend!

The front yard and a paint color

Slowly, we’re getting the front yard ready for planting in the spring and fall of next year. We’re taking our time because, we have nothing to put there now. I’ve moved some hostas under the pine tree and cut up all the leafy parts of the evergreen, and now it’s up to James to remove the branches and stumps. We have new address numbers and some white exterior trim paint, our goal is to just paint around the front door:


It needs to be scraped first and the numbers need to be bigger. Hopefully we’ll get that done this weekend! Here are some in progress yard shots:

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Just for kicks and giggles, here’s how it looked before:


Here it is right now! Just disregard the gutter extension and random tools and the lid in the second photo:



I also finally found a paint color for the hallway. It was in the basement and left here by the previous owner, so…free!! It will be the lighter color you see here:


I love shopping in my own house! We also have paint for the upstairs bathroom (also left here by previous owner) and some exterior green paint for touchups as needed until we decide on another house color.

Small changes

At this point in the game, it’s going to be small steps of progress. I don’t like this as a rule, but eventually, I can’t freak out so much every day about things not getting done and I poop out and relax. I am finally reaching this point, success! I also want to enjoy my time and this past weekend was the first one where I actually felt like laying on the couch with the kids and watching a movie, instead of, ‘it’s daylight! I must get something done!’ My own little progress!

Anyways, this little corner of the living room didn’t quite feel complete to me. James has been working on second coats on the trim most nights, so that’s something to feel good about, but doesn’t really translate well in a post…look! It’s even MORE white! We won’t be painting the baseboard until next year, so I’m learning to live with the awful burgundy that is currently the state of our living room baseboard.

Here is where we started:


All together, not a bad little area! But not entirely functional either. The kids seldom used the rocking chair and it bothered me that my portrait wall wasn’t completed. It wasn’t in the budget to get any new pieces of artwork, however, and for the record I’m ALL about thrift store or free art! Three of the pieces you see on the wall were free! Anyways, it’s a weird little space….kind of dark, kind of useless…and finally, I landed on a solution!


I had a few postcards from over a decade ago and two old frames, so voila! New art! I also purchased four cork boards on the cheap and stuck a picture from a book to one and voila! More new art!

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James also has a nice collection of scotch that was getting nowhere fast in the basement. Especially given the fact that the basement won’t be usable for a little while (it’s where we store all our crap!), so I thought it would be nice to set up a little bar area and display his most prized possessions, his scotch! The table felt too dark and orangey in the space though, so we had this old wall hanging that we got at a garage sale about nine years ago, so I busted that out, pretended it was a table runner, and we have a nice little spot!

Eventually, we’ll pick up the buffet that we used to have in our dining room at the building and this will be our fancy drink station, but for now, this works and I’m so happy that it is mostly complete!


I’ve been working on the front yard here and there and so stay tuned for those updates soon! We’re also installing the flooring in the mudroom, so progress pictures coming soon!