Sun Room Reveal

sun room

Done, done, done, done, done! After a little window cleaning and paint touch-ups, we finished up the sun room this weekend. Surprisingly, we got the entire thing done in about a month (including a whirlwind wedding weekend and Eric traveling a week for work). Ironically, it’s the first room in the entire house that’s 100% done. ¬†You see where our priorities are. ūüôā

As a reminder, here’s where we started. Giant spiderwebs, broken doors, disgusting carpet, mildew, broken window treatments, the works!


And here’s where we are today:

sun room decor renovation

sun room, decor

sun room, decor

sun room, decor, bar cart, cabinet sun room, cabinet, summer to do list, storage


 sun room

sun room table, decor

I love how much of this is DIY, like the table, cabinet, storage baskets, flooring, and even the art.

I even updated a few things, like these lanterns…

and this vase.  It was just your basic glass vase, but I painted the inside with metallic gold spray paint.

It’s also functional for everyone in the family. ¬†Eric and I have a nice lounging spot. ¬†We can also entertain in the space and have a place to put drinks and snacks without grubby little fingers reaching it :). ¬†Matthew even has his own little space. ¬†We left the far corner empty-ish after seeing how much fun he had rolling balls, spinning in circles, and riding his car. ¬†The ottoman is empty now, but I anticipate it holding more toys. ¬†Under the table is a bin for balls and the most-played-with toys. ¬†In the cabinet drawers are things like bubbles and extra chalk.

It wasn’t just cosmetic work that needed done. ¬†We cleaned the gutters and fixed some flushing on the main roof that was directing water to the ceiling–creating a small drip inside. ¬†I also think we went through 3-4 tubes of caulk. ¬†On top of that, we had to thoroughly clean everything–the rail on the sliding door had at least 10 years of crud caked in it.

The best part about doing an outdoor space upgrade in July is that for the stores, Summer is already over, which means everything is heavily discounted. ¬†We picked up 5 new throw pillows–all 50-75% off. ¬†Even the patio plants were discounted as low as $1 at Lowes. We did splurge on the sectional, but it was totally worth it. ūüôā

I have to admit, having this room done and accessorized just the way we want has taken it from “this is the house we live in” to “this is really starting to feel like our house.”

Surprise! Sun Room Redo

You missed a spot, Dad!

We have a sunroom. ¬†I posted about it last year here. ¬†It wasn’t much of a room, but it was a nice place to let Matthew play during rainy days or to sit for a few minutes while he played outside. ¬†One day a few weeks back, I got inspired by this post, and thought hmmmm…I would love to paint the ceiling in here. ¬†This was a great plan because we have tons of half-empty paint cans in the garage just begging to be used. ¬†So a free, easy project, right? ¬†No. Of course, of course, this snowballed into an entire room make-over. ::facepalm::

First, we did indeed paint the ceiling. ¬†Sadly, it did not turn out as dark as I wanted, so it’s just a hint of color. ¬†But that’s ok. We have to repaint it anyway…

sun room blue ceiling

Thankfully we did this project during Rain-a-geddon, and noticed the ceiling was leaking. Bye, bye paint job. ūüôĀ ¬†Thankfully, it was just clogged gutters, which Eric fixed in the pouring rain, and nothing a little caulk couldn’t fix.

Then, we noticed how dingy the walls were, so we decided to give them a fresh coat of paint. ¬†I mean, we already had paint, so why not? ¬†It was exhausting. ¬†The whole thing had to be hand-painted…and now we have tons of paint to scrape off of the windows.

paint on window

Then, Eric somehow talked me into painting the brick. ¬†I mean, we already had the paint, so WHY NOT?! I didn’t really want to paint what is technically the exterior of the house, but I admit, it looks UH-Mazing now. ¬†Also, a very, very, very exhausting job. ¬†We needed two coats of primer and two coats of paint. ¬†Even using a large nap roller, we had to hand paint most of it, because it’s not a smooth brick. ¬†Lots of bumps and crevices within each brick.

By this point, we’d put so much time and effort into the room, we figured we’d might as well do something about the floor. ¬†It was your standard ole concrete floor, and we thought a nice coat of concrete paint would suffice. ¬†Unfortunately, we forgot how bad the two cracks running through the room were. ¬†Upon closer inspection, we realized we couldn’t patch it well enough to have a paint job look good. ¬†Eric had his heart set on doing something with the floor, so I went back to the drawing board, where I found this:

vinyl plank

We read lots of reviews about vinyl flooring in sun rooms and even on patios, and we actually used vinyl tile in the bathroom and laundry room with good results. ¬†It definitely was more than I wanted to spend on my “free” project, but it didn’t necessarily break the bank either. ¬†We lurve it. ¬†Like love, love, love it. It took the room from meh to whoah.

vinyl plank sun room

Before laying any flooring, you have to prime it with special vinyl  floor primer.  It rolls on like paint and takes just a couple of hours to dry.  It dries tacky so that the planks have something more to adhere to.  This is the drying primer, plus the huge crack.

sun room vinyl tile plank

Of course, we then needed quarter round to cover the edges of the vinyl plank and then we had to caulk all of that.

sun room floor

And while it wasn’t expensive, it was a cost. ¬†You see where I’m going? ¬†My “free” project is slowly bleeding us dry. ūüôā ¬†Next up, a DIY storage cabinet/bar, DIY coffee table, new furniture, and accessories! Stay tuned!

House Party: Kitchen

House Party

Words. There are no words. ¬†So let’s look at pictures, shall we?



Before & After

Before & After

Before & After

Such a happy, happy place now. ¬†I think my retinas would have burned out had we left it alone–even the insides of the cabinets were painted bright orange. ¬†Matty kinda looks frightened by it all…

Things Done

  • Sanded, primed, & painted cabinets and doors
  • Installed one new cabinet
  • New knobs, pulls, & hinges on cabinets
  • Removed carpet and padding (eew)
  • Installed flooring (Peruvian Rosewood from Build Direct)
  • New appliances (fridge, range, range hood, and dishwasher)
  • Replaced all outlets, light switches, and covers
  • Installed new electrical circuit
  • New countertops
  • New faucet
  • Two new light fixtures
  • Removed decorative trim from cabinets
  • Painted ceiling
  • Removed door separating Kitchen from Laundry Room
  • Removed laminate?! backsplash
  • Repaired wall from said laminate backsplash
  • Installed new penny tile backsplash
  • Craigslisted the old stove for $40!
  • Craigslisted the old dishwasher for $60!
  • Moved the ¬†fridge to the garage…MAN FRIDGE (it’s full of beer and candy…)

It was a process…

Chipping away the backsplash piece by piece, and removing phone lines running  through the cabinets

We had to put all the demo somewhere–then pay for a special garbage pick-up

See the cabinet to the left of the stove? ¬†When we moved in, this was in the garage. ¬†We didn’t know why…when we moved it back, it didn’t fit. ¬†You can’t quite see it here, but it hung into the doorway about an inch. ¬†The original stove was the same size…so…right. ¬†We don’t really know what went down with this cabinet. ¬†And the range hood is some odd size. ¬†So maybe it wasn’t the original stove. ¬†But we have paperwork and receipts dated for a stove from 1963. I. just. don’t. know.

So we had to buy a new cabinet.  Thankfully, a stock cabinet fit perfectly.

BEST PICTURE YET! We measured the dimensions for a new fridge, except for height. Ha! So after it was delivered, we realized it wouldn’t fit unless we removed the upper cabinet, which was crazy-affixed to the other cabinets.

We actually got a cash-back allowance for kitchen upgrades, so we tried to make the most cost-effective choices we could. ¬†Originally, we were going to get new cabinets, but when we realized we would pretty much keep the same layout (and realized these were some sturdy, well-made cabinets), it made more since just to paint them. ¬†Then we were going to just get new doors so we could do a more updated design and hidden hinges, but it would have taken 2-3 months to get them, so it just made since to save time and money. ¬†We definitely realized this isn’t our forever home, so we made choices we could live with for a few years until we hopefully (fingers-crossed, prayers to heaven!) get relocated back to Cinci (or somewhere with a beach–I could do that.)

To Do

  • Patch the walls
  • Paint the walls (still determining color vs. all-white)
  • Grout the backsplash (yes, it’s been up since March)
  • T molding on the floor
  • Baseboard molding along the bottoms of the cabinets
  • DIY window treatment
  • Fix the sawed-out cabinet above the fridge
  • Lighting…we have 4 different light fixtures in a 10′ x 13′ space. ¬†And if you count the adjoining Family Room, we have 6 different types of light fixtures in a 10′ x 37′ space. ¬†It’s very chaotic.
  • Pulls on the new cabinet

So. That wraps up the House Party. Blast, wasn’t it? ¬†If nothing else it got the Hubs to get his butt in gear and tackle some much-needed projects. ¬†Although it may have worked too well since he’s talking about cutting down trees and making pavers for a patio…

House Party: Family Room

House Party

Yet another awkward living space…it’s almost too small for furniture like couches and tables, but too big to be left open. ¬†Add that every wall has an obstruction, and yeah…awkward.



It definitely got worse before it got better, though.

Things Done

  • Removed carpet
  • Patched cracked tile (for an even base for the new floor)
  • Installed new flooring
  • Painted ceiling
  • Painted walls
  • Painted trim
  • Painted built-ins and shelving
  • New ceiling fan
  • Painted entry door
  • New switches, outlets, and covers


  • Lighting–it’s just chaos–more about that in the kitchen post to come…
  • Decor
  • Furniture layout

I really want to turn this into a formal dining room. ¬†I picture a large dining table, like this…

dining table

or even a round table, like this…

I pushed two folding tables together when we had Matty’s Baptism, and it worked great. ¬†I could see some great game nights happening in here, too.

This room currently houses Matty’s play kitchen and store. ¬†So maybe every room is turning into the playroom? ūüôā

House Party: Living Room

House Party

We always knew this room was going to be the hardest in terms of layout. ¬†Three out of four walls have some sort of obstruction–a huge window, or entry. ¬†It’s also really, really long, which makes furniture arrangement difficult. ¬†We’ve moved the furniture around at least 5 times. ¬†For the most part, this is the “play room” so there’s usually toys and ¬†books galore. ¬†It’s weird, this room is “done”, yet still needs something, but we’re not sure what yet. Ha.



Things Done

  • Removed half-wall railing
  • Painted half-wall
  • Removed wallpaper
  • Painted ceiling
  • Painted walls (TWICE!–the first color was not so good. This is Rockport Grey by Benjamin Moore.)
  • Removed chair railing (it was only on one wall)
  • Painted window sill
  • Replaced thermostat
  • Replaced outlets and covers
  • Removed non-removable hutch from media cabinet. Yeah…

To Do

  • Carpet cleaned. Oh, it’s so, so bad. ¬†Between a year of renos and a ¬†year of toddler/baby, the white carpet did not survive.
  • Paint floor vents
  • We might do crown molding
  • Molding around entry to kitchen
  • Lighting–there’s no built-in lighting.
  • I have a plan to “jazz up” the half wall…
  • Hang wall art
  • Figure out what to do on with the “blank wall”. Ideally some sort of play space or toy storage.

The window is possibly the best part of the house., coming from an apartment with no natural light.  Matty spends most of his day looking out.  Yes, we do have cars and dog-walkers stop and make faces at him.

We’re so dedicated to getting this room done that we spent New Year’s Eve in working on it.

We removed the chair railing, only to find more (and different!) wallpaper!

He’ll have his own show on HGTV soon!

House Party: Laundry Room

House Party

Ah, the heart of the home. Seriously–it’s in the middle. When we moved in there were 7 doors in this room. Seven! There’s an entrance from the master bath, kitchen, and hallway. ¬†So after removing the doors from the hallway and the kitchen, it was ready for a little love.



Things Done

  • Removed doors from kitchen and hallway
  • Repaired drywall where we ran new electrical
  • Repaired drywall where previous washer hookup leaked
  • Painted walls
  • Painted trim
  • Painted ceiling
  • New light fixture
  • New flooring (laminate tiles)
  • Sanded, primed, and painted cabinet doors (all 8 of ’em) and cabinets
  • New hinges and knobs on closet doors
  • Painted utility closet doors
  • Painted pantry door
  • New hinges and knobs
  • Replaced outlets, light switches, and covers
  • Painted back entry door
  • New hinges and knobs on back entry door
  • New hot water heater
  • Painted pantry
  • New shelving in pantry


To Do

  • Finish flooring (Hubby gave up with 1 row to go in the pantry–ha!)
  • Actually do something with the blank canvas covering the fuse box

I LOVE having this room done, and it turned out great. ¬†It’s so bright and happy now.

Oh, and in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I’ll take laundry duty. ūüôā


And since we’re talking hallway and entry, let’s lump that in here.

Hallway Before:


Hallway After

Entry Before:

This is actually looking into the Living Room, but pay special, special attention to the rails. ¬†These went from a half-wall and across the ceiling…I had to take a handsaw to ’em. We somehow don’t have a true before picture of the entryway…

With the rails cut down…

And now…

Things Done

  • Painted closet doors
  • Painted entry door
  • New knobs and hinges on entry door
  • Painted walls
  • Painted trim
  • Painted ceiling
  • Removed railings
  • Painted half-wall

Whew–lots of work for such a small space!

House Party: Matty’s Room

House Party

Matty’s room has been the biggest transition.

1. He’s growing so fast that the needs for his room keep changing before I can get it done.

2. We actually moved his room a month or so ago. ¬†Right after I got it “done.”

We were originally going to put him in the back bedroom, but that room always seemed so cold. ¬†Then we thought he’d like to have carpet to crawl around on. ¬†Since he never really crawled and he’s into riding toys and pushing toy cars around, we decided the non-carpeted floor would be fine now. ¬†Plus we weatherproofed and it’s nice and toasty.


(it’s a bad pic, I know–it’s from the listing…)


Magnetic & Dry Erase board playspace

Teepee (Homemade Christmas gift from Aunt Amy)

Closet & Storage still need some work…

Things Done:

  • New Flooring
  • Painted Walls TWICE (Matty’s Room color: Baltic Gray by Benjamin Moore, also known as Flying Saucer Gray by Benjamin Moore for Target)
  • Painted trim
  • Removed closet doors
  • Replaced outlets, light switches, and covers
  • Painted ceiling
  • Caulked windows
  • Painted door
  • New door hinges and knob

To Do

  • New light fixture
  • Custom closet shelving
  • Finish decorating (including wall art. ¬†I think Matty is starting to get confused about who the people in the frames are…)

I actually created a plan for Matty’s room. ¬†Then every single thing sold out. Not even kidding.

Matty's Room

  • The bedding I wanted was Goodnight Moose from Land of Nod. ¬†I’ve since devised a plan to design my own on Spoonflower.
  • I was going to go with a bigger rug size, but when it sold out, I realized making a little “play nook” with open flooring for cars and riding toys worked better anyway.
  • The book holder was from Dwell Studios, and yes, sold out.
  • Metal wall letter from Land of Nod is back in Stock, but I found this idea to make my own.
  • We already had the map and lambskin rug.
  • Now we just have to figure out the bed style we want.

To see more wall art ideas, check out this Pinterest Board.

Very happy with how this room turned out. ¬†Especially since Matty and the cats spend a lot of time in here. ūüôā

House Party: Bathrooms

House Party

Two! We have two bathrooms. ¬†We’re very excited about that, if you can’t tell. ¬†Especially after sharing a 5ft x 7ft bathroom at the apartment for 4 years. ¬†They were both in need of love. ¬†So to cut costs, we pretty much made them identical.

The Master Bath

This room is such a disappointment. It’s huge! ¬†But it has the smallest shower I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I think a cruise ship shower is bigger. ¬†And the layout does not maximize space. ¬†We had a contractor come to give us an estimate about converting the shower to something better, but he never called back. ¬†Maybe he was scared of all the wallpaper? ¬†(Four different patterns in the same room) Then we had a plumber (who was here anyway…) give some advice, and gave us a quote to convert the shower to a full tub (which sounds heavenly to me), but the Hubs wasn’t on-board, so we trudged forward working with what we’ve got…for now.



Things Done:

  • Flooring. The same we used in other spaces of the house. ¬†A happy accident that we happened to have just enough leftover to fit this space. ¬†Since it’s an adult space, we’re not worried about laminate in the bathroom. So far, so good.
  • Painted cabinets
  • Removed weird lip on vanity top
  • Painted vanity
  • New vanity top
  • New hinges and knobs on vanity doors
  • New faucet
  • Removed wallpaper
  • Removed wall tile
  • Installed wainscoting
  • Painted wainscoting
  • New baseboard trim
  • Painted all trim
  • Removed shower door
  • Used Rustoleum Tub and Tile on shower stall
  • New showerhead (which was harder than it seems)
  • Caulked everything
  • New toilet lid (we kept the toilet–it was in good shape)
  • Painted two doors (yes, two. ¬†I don’t like having two entrances, but it’s a point of contention between me and Hubby.)
  • New hinges and doorknobs
  • Painted the walls
  • New light switches, outlets, and covers
  • Removed florescent lighting (fixed completely rigged electrical)
  • Installed new lighting (which we hate, so it’s probably going to get Craigslisted and replaced)
  • Built custom frame around the mirror
  • Painted floor vents


  • Replace vanity light
  • Replace ¬†ceiling light
  • Clean up caulk in a few random places
  • Finish patching and painting wall by light
  • Wall hooks for storage

All-in-all, not too much left!

The Hall Bath

This house must have a been quite the party house in it’s day. ¬†Pink tub. Yellow tile. ¬†Orange wallpaper. ¬†All in the same room. ¬†Lucky for us <–sarcasm! we didn’t know about the orange wallpaper until we lived here a few weeks…it had been painted over. ¬†Fun. Fun. Times.



We weren’t going to work on this room right away…then someone flooded the toilet. ¬†With carpet. ¬†And I didn’t know about it until the next day. ¬†So needless to say I ripped the carpet up immediately. ¬†Nothing like dragging soggy poopy carpet through the house, on your own, during your only 30 minutes of free time during the day. Yay!

We also had a plumbing issue the day we moved in. Thankfully, Hubby tackled it like a champ.

Things Done:

  • Removed carpet (eew)
  • Removed vanity
  • Removed wall tile
  • Removed wall paper
  • Removed florescent light
  • Removed wall mirror
  • Replaced toilet
  • Installed pedestal sink
  • New mirror
  • Installed new vanitylight (lurve it!)
  • Installed new ceiling light and fan
  • Painted walls
  • Installed wainscoting
  • Painted wainscoting
  • New baseboard trim
  • Painted trim
  • New flooring (it’s laminate floor tile. Cheap, easy to install, looks GREAT, and easy to replace after potty training a boy. Ha!)
  • Painted the door
  • New hinges and doorknob

To Do:

  • Mount mirror
  • Finish patching and painting walls by vanity light
  • Make-white the shower. Ha. ¬†We’re still waiting to see how the Rustoleum Tub and Tile holds up before we do it in this bathroom.
  • New shower curtain
  • Wall art (kid-friendly)
  • Paint floor vent

We’re so happy to have both of these spaces “done”. ¬†A few cosmetic things here and there, but nothing too frustrating. ¬†And we did it all ourselves, which is kind of mind-blowing. ¬†Well, if I’m honest, I think Hubs did everything except paint and caulk. ¬†He told me if I’m not careful the neighbors are going to think I’m having an affair with Bob Villa. ūüôā

House Party: Master Bedroom

House Party

The bedroom was one of the first places we wanted to get down. You know, so we could get a good night’s sleep in the middle of renovations. Ha! hahahahaha. But we did get this room done first.



Yes! Yes. I know.  So. Much. Better.

We were originally concerned our King sized bed wouldn’t fit, but there’s plenty of room. ¬†In our old apartment, we actually had one nightstand turned sideways with everything pushedtogetherthistight to make it fit. ¬†I had to sit on the bed in order to open the closet doors to get my clothes. ¬†Any more questions about why I hated that place? And…get ready to cringe…

Ignore the duvet. ¬†We’re on a 5 year quest to find one we like. ¬†Our newest purchase was about 6 months ago, and you can tell from the “after” picture that we didn’t like that one either. On a happy note, we did DIY the headboard!

Anyway, back to the house. The rest of the room…

These are Billy bookcases from IKEA that we’ve had since the apartment. Yes, they hold all of my shoes. ¬†Yes, the Hubs came up with this solution (and bought more shoes to fill it up). ¬†Sorry, he’s taken, ladies!

We removed the closet doors. ¬†The closet is actually fairly large–9 ft across, but the doors made about 2-3 feet in the middle impossible to access. ¬†Oh, and ignore the brown door–we actually got all the doors painted two weeks ago!!!!! Can you tell I’m excited. It feels so good to have that done. ¬†Matty actually claimed the mirror for his room, but I’d like to get a chunkier version, like this.

Things Done

  • Installed flooring (Peruvian Rosewood laminate from Build Direct)
  • Painted floor vents
  • Painted walls (Alaskan Husky by Benjamin Moore colormatched to Olympic No-Voc)
  • Painted trim
  • Painted doors
  • New hinges and doorknobs on doors
  • Replaced ceiling fan
  • Caulked around windows
  • Replaced closet shelving with custom shelves
  • Removed closet doors
  • Removed blinds/replaced with woven blinds (this was harder than it seems)
  • Replaced all outlets, outlet covers, light switches, and light switch covers

And as proof of the Hubs’ manliness…

Hubby and two of our friends knocked out two bedrooms of flooring in just a weekend. ¬†They’re pretty much the greatest guys ever. ¬†Yes, sorry, they’re both taken, too. ūüôā


  • T-Molding nailed down for flooring <–do you hear me, Hubby? ¬†Needs. Done. In. Every. Room. ¬†Matthew carries it around like a sword.
  • Cables for TV hidden.
  • Duvet (it’s a process, people. A 6 year process…)
  • Move Matty to own bed–remove bed rail. AWESOME SAUCE to have completed that recently…
  • New bedside lampshades?
  • Pictures/decor?

Any duvet suggestions? ¬†I may give a prize (and no, it’s not a cat)!

House Party: Curb Appeal

House Party

Outside spaces definitely weren’t the first projects that we tackled, but they may have been the most back-breaking. ¬†And where we feel we got the least bang for our buck (literally and metaphorically).

Here’s the outside when we bought:


And here it is as of Friday…

OH WOW, RIGHT! <–sarcasm But here’s a list of the things we’ve done:

Things Done

  • Painted the mailbox
  • Moved the house numbers (they were hard to see from the street)
  • Removed outdoor carpet on stoop (piece. by. piece. ugh.)
  • Trimmed 14 bushes (before deciding to get rid of some)
  • Removed 7 bushes (including roots)
  • Dealt with Killer Bush From Hell (think wasps, flies, & bees in killer amounts that took over the whole yard)
  • Mulched
  • Planted annuals
  • Planted two shrubs, an azalea, and a hydrangea
  • Added solar lights
  • Added soaker hoses
  • Planted a garden
  • Limbed up three trees
  • Raked at least 500 pinecones
  • Painted 5 sets of shutters
  • Assembled a swing set
  • Moved some brick (built a firepit which was then mowed over by the neighborhood kid who mowed our grass)
  • Painted the lamppost
  • Weeded. Think 2 garbage bags full from a 10 sq. ft. area…
  • Arranged lawn furniture
Front Door Spruce


Lovely, lovely lawn furniture.  Perfect for passing out sleep deprived naps.

One bush down, 14 to go!


The backyard is still a hot mess.

So we still have some stuff to get done.


  • Fence in the backyard
  • Patio in the backyard
  • Limb up the pine tree (eventually we’d like to get this cut down)
  • Remove 4 more bushes
  • Remove said Killer Bush From Hell
  • Put in a raised garden
  • Get a rain barrel
  • Finish painting shutters (yes, we ran out of paint and didn’t get one set done <– keeping it classy)
  • Plant more perennials throughout the entire yard
  • Install planter bed on corner
  • Install planter bed around lightpost
  • Replace light fixtures by front door
  • Put in a natural playspace for Matty
  • Build a lattice box around the air conditioner
  • Install a shed in the backyard
  • New screen door for the front door
  • Irrigate and reseed the lawn

The backyard space is the next on the list. We’re hoping to have a fence and patio done before the start of Summer…anybody volunteering for Matty duty?!

Hop on over to Pinterest for some outdoor eye candy.

outdoor spaces