Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Carving Out A Play Corner

When we last talked about the basement I was feeling pretty good about the four areas we had going on in one space: TV area, Craft/Sewing Area, Office, and Gym. 
But we slowly developed a fifth area: The Sell/Donate/Junk Pile.
You can see it a little bit to the right of the treadmill. It slowly crept onto the desk on the left too. In addition to that, the more mobile Lila got the scarier the treadmill became to me. I loved that it folded up, but there wasn't a clip to secure the belt when it was folded. If the treadmill was bumped or pulled on the belt could fall and literally kill Lila or one of our pets. Whenever I wasn't using it I would tie it up with a bungee cord. Having to undo it every time and then make sure it was completely secure was a big deterrent to using it.
Between the dumping ground under the low little ceiling and the deadly treadmill I decided something had to change and decided to sell the treadmill and the junk in the corner and turn this corner into a play space for Lila's growing toy collection. We had to buy a new car (we don't do car payments so we had to cough up the cash) the same week that I started planning the play corner. So I decided that I needed to fully fund it through selling the stuff in this corner in order to afford it. 
I was able to raise about $180 on Craigslist and eBay and had an empty space to work with. I decided to paint the wall with the window my favorite grey (Behr's Gentle Rain in Satin) that I used in the main floor bathroom, dining room, kitchen, dormer in my bedroom, and Lila's room. As I started going I realized I should just repaint the whole basement while I was at it... It turned into that kind of project!
I decided the paper bag brown didn't really match my style anyway. I liked my colored squares that I had down there so I taped them off and got to work. Each time I take on a project like this I binge-watch a different show on Netflix. This time was Gilmore Girls. I don't know how I lived so long without knowing Lorelei and Rory! 
So naturally things look way worse before they look better. The basement looked horrifying while I worked on it. I swung the desk onto the wall with the squares and scooted my sewing table a little closer to the center of the room, which gave the play wall a little more space:
Then I started finding some inspiration. I wanted it to be fun, modern, cohesive with the adult space and not distracting, and gender-neutral for whenever there are more little Coopers. Here are a few pictures of things I wanted to incorporate: 

So I took my painter's tape and taped away. Once I had a good looking mountain range i pulled out a can of old white paint and got to work
It took two coats to cover nicely
Then I pulled out my foam stencil pouncer and made some clouds on the short little ceiling
I love how it came out! It is clearly a kid's area but doesn't stand out too strongly. The ceiling isn't noticeable unless you're ducking down or under it. 
I mounted a mailbox and painted some grass and flowers under it. I ended up thinking my flowers were too cutesy and I wanted something more modern. I found what I was looking for online and printed them out and Mod Podged them around the mailbox:
I lowered the mailbox to Lila's height after mounting it up way too high. You'll see it higher in the other photos but here is the final location. I used scrapbook letters to write "1 Lila Ln" on the front and side of the box. Lila LOVES being able to stash things in here, open and close it, and put the flag up.
The globe is horribly outdated. It's from about 1970 and was in my Grandfather's office. When my Grandma moved out of her house she was begging people to take stuff. I bought Lila's dresser from her and took this globe and a metal ship with me:
Here is how the room is laid out now 
The little sign is hung at Lila's height and says "Land of Make Believe" with an arrow. 
I printed out a collage of Lila's month by month pictures to capture her first year. I moved the book ledge from Lila's room- it was awkward up there. It is hung a little high (hence the little step stool near the mailbox) so the toy box has enough room to fully open:
 Lila is obsessed with cars these days. She has a few Melissa and Doug trucks in a bin marked "Things That Go"
 She LOVES the pillows and is always giving them a cuddle:
She has tons of puzzles and the shallow drawer fits about 8 Melissa and Doug puzzles perfectly.  
 The only downside of the move is that the bookshelf is so accessible. Our girl is an avid reader! 
She loves the frame down low. Because it's plastic I don't worry about her taking it down and toddling around with it.
Again with the cars! We have bins for books, cars, tea sets, wooden blocks, puzzles, small toys, and legos. This took so much pressure off of her room and other spaces of our house moving all of this down here. Lila is standing on her Melissa and Doug piano. She loves music, animals, and cars so this was the perfect birthday gift for her from my brother! It doubles as her stairs for her and she sits on top of the storage unit.
This is where all of her random toys go:
Lila LOVES her reading corner. She is constantly cozying up by herself or with me under the clouds.
This has been a great party space for Lila. Here she is with her boyfriend. Ha

Source List:
Wall Paint Color- Behr Gentle Rain (Existing from all over)
Little Ceiling Paint Color- Behr Swan Sea (Existing from the kitchen)
Toy Storage System- Ikea $77.99
Rug- Ikea $14.99
Cloud & Sun Pillows- Ikea $7.99 each
Floor Cushion- Ikea $14.99
Happy Place Pillow- Target $13.59
Picture Frames- Ikea $4.99 & $2.49
Chalk Stickers- Amazon $6.95

Total Spent: $151.97


Monday, June 27, 2016

Door Knob Upgrade

When we last discussed door knobs I had spray painted mine twice. In 2011 I changed them from bronze to silver. A few years after that I painted them Oil Rubbed Bronze. Painting my knobs bought me at 5 years before I finally decided to replace them. Overall it held up really well:
But on our highest used knobs things were definitely looking sad. 
Lila becoming more mobile inspired the switch. I don't have a single key for these knobs. Babysitting has taught me that kids LOVE to lock doors and leave you on the outside! So I kept my spray painted hinges and went in search of an inexpensive oil rubbed replacement. I decided to do it right, so we replaced all of our knobs at once. I'm fortunate to have several sliding doors in this house and only needed 5 locking knobs and 4 passthrough knobs. 

I found passthrough knobs that matched what I was looking for on sale for $4 each at Menards. 
Their partners weren't on clearance but Menards was running their 11% bag sale so I still was able to save:

There's not much more to it... It was a quick switch out and definitely gives me peace of mind to know that if we get locked out of a room by Lila we have a way to get in without the fire department! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

That Time We Decided to Sell Our House

I've started to be a little less in love with our current house lately. The floors squeak horribly, as do the stairs. This means that because of the lack of a second floor bathroom that if you have to get up during the night or wake up earlier than the baby that you either hold it or wake her up. If I have somewhere to be in the morning I have to bring my makeup to bed the night before so I can get ready in bed without squeaking the floors waking her up. It's a serious issue. The second floor is attic-like so it gets quite hot in the summer. So hot that we've put in a window unit so our old central air isn't on 24/7. We have the only grandchild on both sides so she is constantly being gifted toys and stuff. Without a garage and with limited basement storage space we are just plain outgrowing our house between our stuff and hers. 

Back in April Chris and I were on a walk when I spotted a house for sale that I fell in love with. I ended up finding a realtor, touring it, and falling even deeper in love. We decided this would be the perfect forever house for our family. Chris works 5 minutes from home and his commute wouldn't change. It had 4 bedrooms, a bonus room, 3 bathrooms, those beautiful floors, tons more space, a mud room, huge garage, giant basement, a better layout, and was completely updated and amazing. Oh and it would cost us less monthly than our current house.
Then the realtor I found fell off the face of this earth and I had to find a new one. Once I did we arranged a meeting to draw up the offer. 
(This would've been Lila's room)
In order to put in an offer on the amazing house we had to list our current house. But the day before our house hit the market our dream house went under contract... 
 I set to work on some major improvements before we listed. My first project was finally fixing the basement tile. 
The toilet and shower were installed wrong so the floor was buckling when I moved in. After everything was correctly installed and repaired we were left with a square of tile around the toilet that was ripped up
I couldn't find a match for the tile so there was just a big hole that I strategically cropped out in most photos I posted. 
I ended up filling the hole with concrete to level the hole with the tile. 
Then I got peel and stick tile (more on that in another post) and applied it over the existing tile using its spacing as a guide. I grouted the tile so it looked like real glass tile:
 It doesn't photograph nearly as nice as it looks. It's so nice to have a whole floor and no holes to fall into! 
 The back deck was looking terrible and the stain I put down was flaking. I used the porch and floor paint that I had left from the front stairs to fix it up. 
It has a nice sheen to it, is much cooler than the dark brown, and looks so light and bright from the kitchen! 

I also gave the screen porch some love. The brown floor was ever-dusty and gross. I would sweep and mop it and couldn't ever get it to a point where I felt like Lila could go outside onto the porch and play since it was always grimy. I knew I needed something that wasn't so flat so again I busted out the gallon of porch and floor paint that I used on the front steps and back deck. 
I also got a cheap outdoor rug from Home Depot that dries really fast when it rains.
This has been such a transformation from the once red and brown gloomy space it was:
We have been outside playing on the porch every day this spring/summer and we LOVE it! It's truly the most used room "in" our house since the sand and water table is out there:

The biggest job I had before we could consider the house sellable was the deck off the screened porch. Oh the deck. The Deck Restore garbage I got from Home Depot was the biggest mistake I've made with the house. It has either peeled off in sheets or won't come off even with tons of sanding, power washing, and chipping away at it. The entire deck is chipped, weathered, and full of uneven surfaces. When I googled Deck Restore there are tons of horror stories about this stuff and mentions of lawsuits because of the damage it has caused. In addition to the Restore failure there were rotting boards. 
So we replaced the boards, sanded the deck down as much as we could, and then I used the same porch and floor paint to at least make it look a little more uniform:

(I accidentally killed that big patch of grass. I'll explain how to NOT do that in a future post!) Other than the dead grass the decks and porches look so much more uniform now that they're the same color and work well with our new grey roof!
So after all of that and lots of looking we can't seem to find something as great as we have. The house that started it all closed a few days ago and I'm trying to not hate the owners for getting my dream. We've looked at some really interesting spaces though. Some have also been terrifying, full of gas leaks, mold, and appear to be haunted!
We came close to offering on this one with yard for days and a backyard basketball court (I was looking for a way to fill in my boredom during Lila's nap time! Kidding). But this house's main floor just didn't work for me and walls would've had to be moved to make the kitchen and living room function in a way we needed. The price keeps dropping and it's in our "dream area" so it may end up being an option still. 
We pulled our house off the market because people it had so much interest in it and we didn't want to find ourselves homeless. We have still been house hunting while off the market but it seems we're here to stay for a while longer. I'm glad I at least got lots of projects done that I'd been putting off. 
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