Cue the fireworks...Our house is getting painted!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Of all the projects we've done so far, and we have had some pretty killer transformations already, I think by far, our (my) most anticipated project yet is having the outside of our home painted.

This home sat on the market for over 6 months when it was first listed, in a neighborhood where homes tend to sell within days. While the inside was dated for sure, I honestly believe one of the biggest hurdles this house had was curb appeal. The current color scheme just isn't doing it any favors. I knew we would want to repaint the outside when we bought this home, but we had prioritized the interior work since we had some time before we had to move in. It's a helluva lot easier to re-do your floors without having to move any furniture or be careful to keep things clean.

But, that meant we had to put painting on the back burner and I was disappointed. I feel like this house just really won't feel like "ours" until the outside reflects what we see in our heads. Does that make sense?

A little backstory on the painting: The previous owners had just had the house painted last year before listing the home. Apparently, the trim, gutters, etc were all the same maroon shade as our shutters and door, and they painted them olive-y green to better compliment them. I can't even imagine what that must have looked like and I don't really want to. But, since the paint was freshly done, we figured we would have time (a couple years) to pace out some other projects and save up for that. Unfortunately for us, whoever painted the house last year did a really poor job. There are areas where you can see the wood underneath the brush strokes (not enough coats), paint all over the windows, and the kicker, they used the wrong kind of paint for exterior exposure.

We had multiple contractors provide estimates for painting, and 3/5 of them noted that they were concerned the type of paint used was incorrect. Sure enough, after a few months of heavy, rainy, winter, we're finding more and more damage to the siding. The paint isn't doing its job and protecting the siding underneath! So frustrating.

So, we have decided to bump this up the priority list for 2019 and make sure our siding is protected. Painting a house isn't cheap, but re-siding it is 10x more expensive, so we're making sure it doesn't come to that.

As a reminder, here's a snapshot of what our house currently looks like:

We picked up a few samples of some colors we had discussed (and a wild card), and guess what... we are split down the middle! My top 2 and his top 2 don't overlap  😂Oh no! We each picked one from our top 2, and compared side by side and they are similar. You can tell we have a theme, and definitely know we are comfortable in the blue/grey category. The trim and windows will be going from that brown/grey to white, and we will repaint the front door at some point too!  

I think we are leaning towards a blue tone (we've discussed having a blue house for years), but I also really like the grey! The only problem is there are a couple grey homes on our street already (including our next door neighbor). I just think a blue color would be really beautiful and not blend in too much with the neighbors.

I tried to do a crappy photoshop job to share with you guys of what we're hoping it will look like when it's all finished,  but my PS skills are pretty lacking. So instead, here's some of our inspiration that's helping us guide our paint choices.

I'll keep you posted on the color that wins out in the end! We are super duper excited, and can't wait to get this done. We're scheduled for end of March/early April (weather depending) so fingers crossed I can stay patient :) 

Looking back on 2018 & Ahead to 2019

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

If you had told me we would have bought and moved to a new home in December of last year, I would have laughed in your face! I SO didn't think this was in the cards for us, but man, life sure has a way of surprising you! This holiday season, we took some time to reflect on all 2018 brought us, and dang was it a good year. We got married, sold our home for more than we expected, bought a fixer upper in our favorite neighborhood, went to St. Lucia for our honeymoon, went to Scotland for another wedding, began renovations, got a surprising amount done in a short amount of time... we're really just blown away by it all! 

Now that we are fresh into 2019, I wanted to share our last home update recap of what we accomplished living here for the last little bit of 2018, and some of our project goals for 2019.


We are saving and planning to have this bad boy painted hopefully by early/mid 2019!! We moved up our timline on this recently after finding more wood rot after our wet winter/fall. Not only does it need it aesthetically, it needs it functionally. The people who painted it right before we bought the house used the wrong type of paint and/or didn't properly prepare the house for painting, so there are tons of areas where the paint is peeling and moisture can get in. Since we have masonite siding, we need to be really vigilant about water intrusion and protect the siding. Painting is a helluva lot less expensive than residing this house, so we're prioritizing this to stay on top of it, and I AM SO EXCITED. 

Along with the paint, we hope to tackle some landscaping simultaneously. Since these huge shrubs are up against the house, it will be easier to just have it removed before anyone comes to paint, so that's our goal. Unfortunately, they're very much dead, so they really just need to go. We're going to have to demo what's here with a professional so we are sure we get all the roots out, but we plan to slowly plan and build a nice garden ourselves this spring. 

2018 accomplished: 
Pretty much nothing! 

2019 To Do: 
  1. -Paint house & trim 
  2. -Paint front door 
  3. -Paint stair railing 
  4. -Paint garage doors to match house
  5. -Replace exterior light fixtures
  6. -Re-landscape front yard

I am so excited about far we have come with this space! It was SO boring before, but it's really starting to give me a welcoming, classic feel. 

Here's what it looked like when we first moved in,

And here's what this space looks like now: 

2018 Accomplished:  
Replace flooring on main floor
Remove carpet and re-finish stairs
Improve/repair railing (currently a little loose)
Take down curtains
Replace rotted trim on exterior
Paint the room a new color
Paint the spindles & risers white
Replace lock with smart lock/touch pad
Spray paint nickel hardware black
Add a coat drop area

2019 To Do: 
-Replace entry light with something more stylish
  1. -Scrape popcorn ceilings in entry and hallway ( I want to do this so badly, but it makes such a mess I really have to psych myself up)

I had high hopes of this space feeling "finished" by the time we had our families visit for Thanksgiving, but I under estimated how much energy would be going to just getting the house set up, and I didn't get as much done as I thought. But, things came together recently and I'm really happy with how it's turning out! 

Here's what it looked like when we moved in:

Here's what it looked like on our last update: LOL sad. 

And here's what it looks like now: 

2018 Accomplished:  
  1. ✅Replace carpet with hardwood floors 
  2. ✅Make windows operable
  3. ✅Replace light with something more stylish 
  4. ✅Paint room
  5. ✅Get an indoor/outdoor rug for easy cleaning
  6. ✅Add window treatments

  7. 2019 To Do: 
  8. -Add some wall decor 
  9. -Possibly re-cover ceiling. We've decided in this room instead of scraping, we want to do an "accent" to cover it like this.  We may or may not get to it in 2019, but it's on the overall project list.


Here's the room from when we moved in:

Here's where we are now: 

Living Room To  Do: 
  1. ✅Remove carpet and replace with hardwoods 
  2. ✅Paint walls & trim 
  3. ✅Remove the crooked curtains & patch curtain holes -- ask me about how we found a huge leak from the seller screwing curtains into our shower pipe.... 
  4. ✅Replace back door (this is something we actually negotiated for the seller to take care of)
  5. ✅Make windows operable
  6. ✅Re-face fireplace tiles with sticker tiles 
  7. ✅Add blinds to windows

2019/General To Do: 
  1. -Add a screen door to back door
  2. -Replace window screens (most of them are rotted out, and our cat fell out the window last week, much to both of our surprise!)

The fireplace is a bigger project, for sure. We likely won't do this project next year, but it's something we'd love to get to sooner than later.  

We haven't done much with our kitchen other than work on spray painting some of the door knobs to a matte black style, but are hoping to have this room painted and the trim repaired by the end of January. We definitely want to update this kitchen at some point, but everything is pretty new and in good shape, so while I don't like how it looks, it's functionally fine and we're going to focus on other areas that need attention more urgently (like the outside paint). 

But, this is my inspiration for what we'd like to do down the line! 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅Remove & replace tile floor - this was an unexpected 2018 project, and I'm SO happy we did it!
✅Convert coat closet to pantry (door is being installed this weekend, and then it will finally be done, done!)
✅New refrigerator
✅Convert coat closet to pantry

2019 To Do: 
-Paint & touch up trim around baseboards 
-Finish pantry trim & paint
Future Goals:
-Remove fiberglass backsplash & replace with tile 
-Paint cabinets white
-Replace yellow counter tops 

Just for fun, here's the pantry from before: 

Here's what it looks like now: 

This pantry has been the slowest project ever... my contractor got busy and hasn't been back to finish the trim in over a month, but he's actually coming later this week to hopefully wrap this up. Once the trim is up, I can paint around it, and this space will feel a lot more finished. However, even half finished and exposed drywall, I am obsessed with this transformation. It gave us 18 inches of more walk space in our kitchen, plus, the glass door is so stylish and functional.  Having the microwave in here has been such a nice feature. A lot of people asked us if it was inconvenient and it really isn't at all! It's off the counter and out of the way, but easily accessible, and we've really liked having it in here. 


We have plans to finish drywalling out the little stair railing window sometime soon, but not sure if it'll be in 2019 or not. Even without that space being enclosed, this little area is coming a long way! 

And here's where we are now: 

I found these awesome little chairs on Facebook Marketplace, and I have plans to paint them and add seat cushions, but haven't gotten to it yet. Our kitties love sitting in this bay window and watching the bird feeders though, so I think we definitely see plans to add a built in bench at some point! 

2018 Accomplished:

  1. ✅Buy kitchen chairs & table 
  2. ✅Add bamboo shade to picture window 
  3. ✅Scrape paint off windows
  4. ✅Move curtains off window frame and re-hang curtains

  5. 2019/Future To Do: 
  6. -Paint walls (hoping to get this done in the next couple weeks!)
  7. -Drywall the spindle window 
  8. -Replace light with something more stylish 

Much to own surprise, I've managed to stay focused on the projects I've started downstairs and am focused on getting those finished. I'm sure once I feel like downstairs is more "finished" I'll start to get some inspiration for decorating and painting upstairs, but it hasn't come to me yet!

Here's the rooms from when we moved in.... beige, beige, and more blah beige.

Front guest: 


Back guest: 


These rooms have furniture now, but are still in their "early" phase, so I'll wait to share photos for another time :) 

Upstairs Bathrooms: 

When we moved in: 

Here's where we are now: 

For us, the master bathroom is totally workable for the foreseeable future. It's not the design I would have picked, but it's clean and new, and in good shape so it's staying as is. We do have plans for the guest bathroom, though. 

Aside from house painting, the other big project we have planned for 2019 is re-doing the guest bathtub. The previous owners took out the only tub in the house and replaced with a bathfitter shower. We plan to undo that, and put a bathtub back in. We figure it's smart to get this done before there's a little critter that needs naptimes, etc. during the day, so we're saving to do this mid-next year. 

2018 Accomplished: 
✅ Not a lot! Just moved in and took down all the silk, beige curtains

2019 To Do:
  1. -Replace guest shower with bathtub 

  2. Future goals: 
  3. -Paint master shower surround (the internet says I can do it with this!) to match the white basin 
  4. -Paint tile floors 
  5. -Replace counter tops with double sink 
  6. -Paint cabinets 
  7. -Replace mirror with double mirrors 

The back deck:
At some point, we'd really like to turn this into a screen porch, but our priorities have shifted a bit after seeing how poorly painted the house was (having been freshly painted last year, it's shocking that it needs it again), so we're re-prioritizing the budget. I'm bummed because this was a project we (my husband especially) were really excited about, but it doesn't make sense to prioritize this right now.

I've had about a million quotes on this project,  (more about that experience here), so knowing an estimate of what it will cost will give us a lot of time to figure out a savings plan for when we're ready! Maybe in 2020!

Thanks for reading along with this novel of a post! It's been really fun keeping track of everything we're doing and having a place to go back to look at how far we've come! I'm planning to start doing these quarterly moving forward, so I'll be back in March with another update!

Entryway Makeover: Board & Batten Returns

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Whew! We did it y'all -- we survived the holiday season! This has been a blur of a season for us, so I know we are both excited for a fresh start in 2019. We moved at the end of October, three days before Halloween, then 3 weeks later had both of our families (and 5 house guests) for a week for Thanksgiving, then crammed out a few projects on the house before leaving town for Christmas and (again this weekend) for New Years. You'd think we'd be feeling pooped, but we're both really energized to keep knocking things off our list so this house can really start to feel like ours.

Now that we've been living here a little over  2 months, we have learned our home's pain points a lot better than when we first moved in! Especially after we had guests, we realized one of the biggest headaches is not having a natural place to hang coats or bags. When we turned our coat closet into the pantry, we lost valuable main level storage, but I knew we had room to add functional storage without missing the closet too much.

I had done board & batten in our last house with our TV mount, and really loved the look of that style, so I knew I wanted to bring it into this home, too. It's fresh but still classic, and really elevates the style of a functional space like a coat hook area. I knew I wanted to get the same look for this project so we got to work.

This project was actually my Christmas present from my husband, since getting this done fell squarely on his shoulders. Anytime we have anything remotely detail oriented, math related, or measurement heavy, I bow out. It's not my strong suit, but it's definitely his, so he takes the lead!

Here's how we did it: 

1) First, I mapped out what it would look like with painter's tape. This confirmed for us that we really did have enough space and liked the look! We played with the width and spacing of the boards until we had a layout we were both happy with. Doing this step really helped us visualize the space and get clear on what we wanted before we started attaching anything to the wall.

2) We bought a few 12 foot pieces of lattice molding for this project at our local Lowes. We decided to use lattice because we wanted it to be flush with the baseboard and door trim, which are only about .25" wide. We knew we'd have a hard time finding anything to fit that in standard wood cuts, but the lattice was PERFECT! Bonus, it made this project so much easier because we didn't need to use a big saw! The hand saw we have went through these boards super easily since they're so thin. We really liked the width of these boards (1.5") for the vertical slats, but wanted something wider for the horizontal ones, and since we couldn't find a wider cut of the lattice molding, we decided to stack 2 on top of each other for a 3" wide look on top. It works awesome for us, but even though I caulked the seams you can tell it's two separate boards since they're not completely flush. It doesn't bother us, but something to be mindful of!

Spenser measured out the space we were using, and we made sure we had enough boards. To do board and batten, you typically have 2 horizontal boards, and then however many vertical slats you desire/have space for. For us, we only had room for 2 vertical parts, so we did them on the "rule of threes" and kept them unequally spaced for the most visual interest (thanks, painter's tape!) Once you have your horizontal boards laid, the vertical boards are cut into two - there's one for the upper "box" and then one that goes from the base of the "box" to the floor.

Including getting materials and painting, this project took us about 6 hours, so all in all, it was a fairly quick project with a pretty big transformation!

Already we are loving having a designated spot to hang bags, coats, etc. We still need to work on additional storage, but have plans to make our garage a bit more functional hopefully next year. For now, this was a huge improvement both visually and functionally and I'm so excited about it! For under $100 this project has a lot of bang for the buck.

I'll be sharing a 2018 house update soon, too, but hopefully this project inspires your 2019 house goals list! And, if I didn't get to see you this year, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Rubins!

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