May 24, 2016

The Inheritance Project - Part 4

Painting, painting, painting and tiling.  Read on for our latest update!

I am happy to report that except for a few touch up spots - we are finished painting all of the interior rooms!  YIPPPPEEEE!

When we got the house a few months ago, all of the rooms had closed drapes on every window as well as dingy walls and dark trim/baseboards that made the rooms look small and sad.  The first thing we did was take down all of the drapes/curtains and we knew that we wanted to paint all of the trim and baseboards a bright white in order to make the house feel clean and updated.  Well folks...we did and the result is unbelievable.  It's amazing what a little determination, paint and elbow grease will do to the aesthetics of a house.

Bedroom #1 - 

This was actually my dad's bedroom when he was growing up.  It was the first room that we tackled and ended up using a light yellowish cream color.  The paint was given to us from Mike's dad and I have no idea what the real name is.  It was free and pretty so we went with it.  The trim (baseboards and door frames in all rooms) were primed with Kilz and painted in a semi-gloss.  We used Polar Bear by Behr.  

*Fun fact (according to the Home Depot Paint Team):  When you are painting with white, add a little tint to the paint.  It adheres and dries better than just the base coat of ultra pure white.  Hence, why we used the color Polar Bear instead of just using the paint right off of the shelf.

We added new light fixtures to each room and that helped to make it feel complete.

It usually takes me forever to choose paint colors.  I am so indecisive and hate being rushed.  Well, when your hubby is with you and you need paint ASAP, you make a quick decision.  Luckily I am super happy with the two paint colors that I chose for the master, hallway, living room and second guest bedroom.

Taupe Tease by Behr (left) - 
Master Bedroom, Hallway and Living Room
Windspeed by Behr (right) - Bedroom #3

The colors are very soothing and have just enough color to offer some contrast without being "in your face".

Bedroom #2 - Master

This poor room had THE WORST walls.  I don't know why in the word they were that dirty, but the walls were g-ross.  After cleaning and priming the walls and giving them two solid coats of Taupe Tease, the room looks brand new.  Whew.

Hallway -

We used the same Taupe Tease color on the walls and ceiling in the hallway as well.  This space was the most laborious, due to the fact that we had SO MUCH dark wood that we had to prime (3-4 times) and then paint with the Polar Bear semi-gloss.  The result is fabulous, but the process was a bit time intensive.  The hallway looks so much bigger.

Living Room - 

The living room walls needed a good prime and double paint coat of Taupe Tease much like the master bedroom.  The yellow on the walls beforehand was a bit bright.  Again, this room looks brand new and so much bigger!  It is amazing what paint can do.

Bedroom #3 -

This bedroom was one of the easiest and cleaned up very nicely.  I love the light blue on the walls; very spa-like!

Subway Tile Kitchen Backsplash:

It is no secret that I LOVE TV show Fixer Upper and that I think Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal.  I mean, I love her.  So, when I got the chance to design this reno kitchen I knew I wanted to do subway tile, which is one of her signature design staples.

In the original stages of planning, I wanted to use the sheets of subway tile that come in 12in. x 12in. squares with mesh backing (seen below).

Well, after comparing the prices of the sheets vs. the individual tiles, the tiles won.  And, truth be told, I liked the size of the 3x6 pieces better.  Making this switch cut our cost by about half.

We started off by covering the counter top and floor with plastic sheeting and used this cool painters tape with plastic already attached.  I wouldn't buy this for just any project, as it is more expensive than just painters tape, but it is great for baseboards and counter top covering.  The plastic actually extends out about 2 feet from the blue tape.

After deciding where to start and what pattern to use, we just dove right in.  We started in the middle at the bottom and made sure our first row was very level.  

I also applied the mortar directly on each tile with a small trowel instead of first putting the mortar directly on the wall and found it to be so much more consistent and clean.  We hardly had any trouble with uneven tiles and the amount of excess mortar that squished through the cracks was minimal.  We also felt like we had more control of how the tiles went up.

I will say that I didn't wear plastic gloves for this project because it actually made the tiles dirtier since the mortar would get stuck to the gloves.  I just kept wiping my fingers on a wet cloth and it went pretty smoothly.

This was our first experience using tile edging trim, which is almost like a tile guide.  Tile loves to slip and slide down the wall if it doesn't have anything to rest on...thanks gravity.  So, since we were just extending the counter top and not tiling the whole wall behind the stove (I wanted to, but limited time and money helped make that decision), we needed something to hold the tile in place so that our straight lines didn't sag.  Mike nailed the leveled strip into the wall and it worked like a charm!


Mike was the master tile cutter.  He rocks and stayed busy all day making sure each tile fit juuuusssstttt right.

Word to the wise when cutting tile; always make sure your newly cut tile piece fits in the custom space before putting on mortar and don't forget to allow space for grout lines.

We also had to tackle the window sill.  We went back and forth on how to do it and what products to use.  

I wanted to frame the window out.  Nope, not enough space on the right side since the window isn't centered.  

Then I wanted to just continue the subway tile pattern onto the inside of the sill.  Nope; too many cuts with unfinished edges since the subway tile didn't come with a bullnose. 

Mike wanted to leave the inside of the sill alone and just have the painted gray edge showing.  That couldn't work because the subway wall tile looked unfinished and again, there weren't any bullnosed subway tile available.

We went back and forth.  Let's be honest, we were arguing back and forth.  He wanted a decision right away and I needed to think; typical in how we have always worked on this project.  Well, after googling a few different "how to trim a window with tile" images, I came up with what turned out to be our plan.

We ended up buying 4x4 inch bullnose white tiles.  The bullnose or rounded edge of the tile would butt up to the edge of the subway tile to create a finished look.  We both agreed this would be the easiest, quickest and best looking option that we had to choose from.  Score.

Having not have ever tiled a window before, I must say I LOVE the way it turned out.  We did end up adding a small column of vertical subway tiles that Mike cut to fit on the sides of the window to fill in about a 1/2 inch gap that was left.  It frames the window and looks amazing.  I am smitten with the results and it isn't even grouted yet!

Interior Staging-

Now we get to move onto the real fun...the decorating!  We are doing some light staging and I couldn't be more excited.    Here's what we have been working on:

The refrigerator placement and added kitchen countertop/storage solutions have been quite the dilemma. After seeing this inspiration picture (below) at the start of this project, I knew I wanted to use two IKEA Stenstorp kitchen carts (shown in the picture) next to the fridge for a finished look and added counter space.  Our kitchen is small and we have tried to maximize every inch of space we have available.

Inspiration photo

Ikea Stenstorp Kitchen Cart in White

Since the fridge has to go somewhere on this wall (below), my initial design plan was to put the fridge in the corner and then put the two kitchen carts next to it with wall storage above to mimic the inspiration picture.

Well, after actually putting the fridge in the corner it looked really awkward and I didn't love it.  The cook in me was thinking that the fridge placement was way to far to walk to get your food while making dinner; but I figured that once the carts were in it would look fine.

Then, the other day when my Aunt Janie stopped by to see our progress and she was saying that it didn't look bad, but there was no where to put your food (to the left of the fridge) when you get it out.  


It hit me. 
Fridge in the middle! Bingo!  Problem solved.  The wall is just long enough to accommodate this look and I think this new design element will take the kitchen up just one more notch.  I am also planning to add some sort of hanging wall storage, I'm just not sure what yet.  Stay tuned!

After switching the design and feeling good about what our vision was, Everett and I headed out to shop...finally, the fun stuff!

He was such a trooper and had such good manners while I was checking off things on our list.  Thank goodness IKEA has ice cream near the check out registers, that made for a very nice incentive for good behavior!

We still have a few more things to buy for a few more rooms in the house, but until then, here is the remaining inspiration board-

As for our remaining projects, we have hired out the exterior painting (PRAISE THE LORD), we still have to figure out what to do with the hardwood floors and we have some landscaping to start planning.  Check back soon for another update!

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