Most of our extra time these days has been spent working on the house!
I'm painting furniture, Rich is doing all the hard work updating the dining room and, next, the kitchen. This house quickly, almost immediately, felt like home when we moved in last fall. It's such an awesome comfortable place as-is. But we started dreaming of plans to update/freshen up each room during our first walk-through and it's exciting to start to see those changes happening.
Rich is building wainscoting for the dining room, a more casual style that reaches higher up on the wall than most with a little shelf at the top. It and the trim around the entryways will be white. The top of the wall will be gray/taupe. He got that painted last night so he can start putting up the boards this weekend!
He's putting wainscoting with coat/bag hooks on the opposite kitchen wall to tie it all in, since it's basically the same room. And we'll carry the same colors through the kitchen and put up white subway tile backsplash with gray grout to finish it up.
I'm so excited! Just a little facelift to update it a bit, without going all out or changing the structure of the place.
In the meantime, to add some color against our very neutral walls and tie in the colors from each room a little, we've been painting furniture too - our hutch, a new/old table my parents gave us and a couple of mirrors. I haven't taken pictures of the table and mirrors yet, but I like them (kind of on the fence about a mirror color...we'll see how that plays out), but the hutch...oh the hutch.
Here it is before. My brother in law built this hutch years ago and I haven't painted it once in all those years.
We made up for that this time.
Our first attempt at matching colors from a photo we liked turned out really, really bad. What the hell were we thinking? It was such a waste of money, but we learned a valuable lesson - always buy $3 samples first!
Our next attempt was closer, better contrast, more earthy colors that better match our style, but still not exactly right.
I had my oh-so-wise sister over for lunch one afternoon and, when told her I wanted it just a shade or two lighter/brighter and was going to repaint it again, she suggested that I try sanding it down a bit, which would make it look distressed, which is a style I like, plus it would take some sheen off and lighten it up, since the color under it was much lighter. She's so smart. It worked like a charm and we love it now! Here it is finished and back in place.
The curtains I got awhile ago updated and added color, as do my throw pillows that I have a slight obsession with...I love me some colorful throw pillows.
I've also picked up a few things here and there to pull our colors into the kitchen, family and living rooms. All I can say is God bless Home Goods. These things would have cost a fortune anywhere else, but I didn't pay over $15 for anything. Here are a few awesome find.
Before all the work began, we had a little Valentine's Day fun with the kids. We decorated (and by decorating I mean we threw some confetti down, cut out some paper hearts and hung them around the house) the night before and set up their little gift bags.
We got them a few little cheap things (pencils, erasers, little clipboards with notepads, tiny chalkboards...they are constantly writing notes/drawing pictures and taping them to our walls...seriously, I have to take a picture of our walls sometime. It's absurd), which they loved almost as much as the candy.
But what they really loved was their books! Lena got Frozen and Sam got The Lego Movie.
They both loved them so much they slept with them for a few nights!
Especially because we took them to see both movies - Frozen a week or so before and The Lego Movie a few days after. We all loved them, though Lena and I, of course, were more excited about Frozen...we're still singing the Let It Go song...a lot...I mean to an alarming degree.
My Valentine's Day gift from Rich...beautiful spring flowers, along with a card with a lovey, gushy note inside...this man knows how to keep me happy.
A few candid shots during our seemingly constant running between schools and errands and work and playdates and band rehearsal and ballet and church. And the kids aren't even involved in many activities yet. I don't know how my sister and Molly do it with three older kids involved in 100 things each! It's exhausting just listening to their schedules. So right now I'm just savoring these young days which still retain some semblance of free time.
Sam posing with the drawings he worked on from a book that teaches you how to draw things step by step. Mom and Dad got it for him for Christmas and he's really been enjoying it!
Last Saturday was so lovely and warm and sunny. Sam had a playdate early that afternoon and, when we got home, we found Lena outside on her bike playing with the neighborhood girls. I don't think I've ever seen my baby girl so happy. She adores those girls down the street, who are only a couple years older than her and think she's the sweetest thing ever. :) Sam joined them all and they played outside for hours, riding bikes up and down our dead-end street, jumping on our trampoline, enjoying snacks and drinks while decorating our front porch...it made my heart warm thinking of how much fun my kids will have through the years in this neighborhood with these people. It's why we moved here and it's so awesome to see it coming to life.