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Join Me in the Living Room (along with the cats!)

The Living Room.

The first room we really remodeled in this house. After almost a year of strangely painted walls with an ugly stripe, a Popcorn ceiling with a water stain, no TV and a ripped up brown leather couch.

We rarely spent any time in here.

The idea for the living room came together pretty quickly; we knew we wanted a bookshelf wall, a picture wall, and the entire room to be painted white, like a canvas.

Of course we had a few trash ideas too.  Like no TV or hiding a small TV inside a cabinet on the bookshelf, or painting one wall orange.

And then there was the temporary freak out at IKEA when we last minute decided to get white bookshelves instead of black, had an existential crisis, then realized we were being silly and got the black ones like we originally planned. Typical IKEA trip.

Over the years the bookshelves became filled with collections of our favorite things. For me vintage cameras, for Steven, antique radios and space stuff.

The picture wall is a mixture of Steven’s drawings and my photographs. Plus a few old photos we found at antique stores.

Our IKEA couch was eventually ripped to shreds by the cats, so we replaced it with this one from World Market.  The cats quickly got to work shredding this one as well, and then I realized that my dumb self should have put a scratching pole nearby. As soon as I did that the couch scratching stopped! The scratching post lives next to the coffee table most of the time, and the cats spend so much of their day going crazy on it!  I have to buy a new one multiple times a year.. But better than buying new couches!

Our living room is now a nice peaceful, relaxing place, just like we hoped it would be.

Before and After shots are located HERE.  Click at your own risk.  That posts contains some cringey 2014 photo editing skills. And writing..

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A New House Exterior

After living in this little house for six years, the exterior has finally been redone!

The house was lined with aluminum siding when we bought it, and everything was painted white except the sad looking shutters which were way too small for the windows. The paint on the siding was flaking off and the shutters were getting really faded.  One of the shutters had actually come partially unhinged and would bang on the side of the house during storms, like we were living in some sort of haunted house!

It took a long time to decide whether to paint the siding, restore the original wood, or buy new siding. Because the original wood was covered in lead paint, and we don’t really like the look of most vinyl sidings, we finally decided to just paint the aluminum siding. We decided on a light grey for the color after considering a variety of greens and teals.

After power washing off the old paint, the house looked like a tin can!

This picture shows how bad the old paint job was looking, and the spot where the siding was torn off to see what the original wood looked like.

The doors were painted mint green, and the flimsy old storm doors were replaced with sturdier ones in contrasting black.

The next step was to replace the windows. The windows were original to the house but not worth saving. Mold was growing on them, they were very hard to open and in the winter they let in so much cold air that sitting on the couch in front of the windows was like sitting in front of an open freezer.

However, we didn’t really like the look of generic replacement windows with the grids on the inside of the glass because they don’t show up very well and they look less authentic. We decided to go with the more pricey option of buying windows with exteriors grids, which look a lot closer to the type of windows that would have been original to the house. The windows we choose had black exterior grids to contrast with the house, and inside the house the grids are white.

The trim around the house was painted white, to make the grey color stand out.

The final step was to replace the porch that was falling apart.

I didn’t think the old porch looked that ugly until I compare it with the new one. The skinny columns were replaced with three big columns that have a little bit of decoration around the top and the railing is more robust and sturdy.

 It took most of the spring and summer to get it all done and schedule with the contractors. The most stressful part was getting the windows put in and having to move the cats around to different rooms, keeping them in crates so they wouldn’t escape.  I can hardly believe it is finally all done. We’ve been dreaming about re-doing the outside of the house ever since we decided to buy it so it’s nice to finally be proud of how our house looks. And I love having windows that actually work!

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Around My Desk

I recently posted about the cat bedroom office laundry room Remodel, which happened in January. Here are some pictures I took the other day of my favorite corners of the room.

My miniature shelf. I love collecting tiny things, and am happy to finally have a place to display them in an organized way.

I found this piece of metal to display the resin magnets I made, that will one day all make it into my shop.

Since I am always curious how everyone’s drawers and cupboards are organized.. Here is a peek into mine!  Lets hope they stay this way!

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Cat Bedroom Remodel


There was an addition put on to our house many years ago. It was originally  a hair salon that a lady ran out of the back of her house. But the last few years it has been the bedroom for the cats. They need their own bedroom at night because otherwise they race around the house like maniacs, party under the bed and sit on my head, which is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.


This room was not pretty. With wood paneling floors, beat up, stained walls and an ugly blue door, it was not a room we were excited to show off. I had dreams of it one day being home to not only our cats, but a washer and dryer, and maybe even a desk.


Eventually we ripped out the ugly shelving, the old closet, and painted the dank stained walls a nice light grey. It took a while to decide on what to do with the floors, but we finally decided to paint them with high gloss dark grey oil paint. This was the worst part of the process because the cats had to stay out of this room for many days while the paint dried. Which meant I did not sleep well for a while!


After the floors were primed.


Another tricky part of the process was the washer and dryer. The only hookups we had for such equipment was on the enclosed back porch, so we had to hire an electrician and a plumber to be able to install a washer and dryer in this room. During this process the cats stayed in our room with a sign on the door that said “Cats inside, do not open!”  But it got opened anyway and the cats nearly escaped for good!


We traded out the old carpet cat tree that was falling apart, with some slick new modern cat furniture.


When the walls and floor were down being painted, we took a trip to Ikea to get a new desk, a rug, some cabinets and a few other things to finish the room. The car was so stuffed we could not have bought one more thing!


The cats love their new bedroom, and I love my new office/laundry room! A room that we never spent any time in, is now one of our favorite rooms.

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Cat Photos Friday #88- The Washer and Dryer

When we finally got a washer and dryer, I was interested to see what the cats thought about the new machines invading their favorite spot, the back porch.

The boys were very cautious and took turns peeking through the cat door, until they were brave enough to come all the way out.
After giving the machines a quick sniff, they got freaked and ran back inside. And once I started them up, they got as far from the back porch as possible!
Cloud was not phased at all by the new additions, and quite liked the extra standing space. She hardly even flinched when I turned them on!
She had to give them a full inspection.

The boys are starting to get used to the washer and dryer now, but still can’t stand them when they’re running!

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New Backyard

Our backyard has changed quite a bit this year..

When we got our new shed, we knew it was time to say goodbye to this rusty old guy. We found someone on Craigslist who was looking for scrap metal, and when he saw the metal shed, he said he was going to try and use it as a duck house! What fun!

Then we were left with this empty concrete slab, and thought it seemed like the perfect place for a pergola. We thought about building one ourselves, but then Lowe’s was having a great sale and we couldn’t pass this one up for 100 dollars off!

I’ve had fun planting all kinds of flowers around and training vines to grow up it.
I even made a few container gardens which I haven’t really done before, it was so fun! But I can’t stand to watch them die this winter so now I’m gonna have to try to find places for them in my house. -_-
We made this little flower pot fountain, and helped ourselves to a few plants out of my mom’s pond.
I love those giant elephant ear plants!  I really hope they survive the winter.

I am also loving our new fence. Now I don’t have to worry about anybody looking at me when I go outside!
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The Adventures of a New Shed

We got a new shed..

One evening we randomly decided to make a trip to Lowes home improment, and for some reason we choose to go the the further away one which we hardly ever go to. We wandered outside and that’s when we spotted one of the display model sheds for sale. It was the same exact one we had planned on eventually getting, except bigger, already built, and the same price as the un-built small one! So we called the number on the sign and left a message.

A few days passed and we had already talked ourselves out of getting it. We imagined it would be too complicated to figure out how to get it out of there and we didn’t want to think about it right now. Buut when we listened to the voice mail the guy left because we ignored his call, it didn’t sound that complicated at all, so after a few more phone calls, we decided to go for it!

A couple days later and we were at Lowes waiting to meet the guy who was supposed to move it to our house, and that’s when everything got crazy. The moving guy was hours late, (although he insisted he was almost there every time we called him), the people at Lowes were unprepared and couldn’t find the right forklift attachments and we almost ran out of gas on the way there. 

Also there was this awkwardly placed pole so when everybody was finally ready to move it  they ended up having to move some other sheds out of the way first and then drag the shed out with some chains attached to a truck!

But they somehow did it!

And it made the journey to our yard in one piece!

We saw the shed on a Monday and it was at our house by Saturday, when we had no plans of buying a shed anytime soon! But I’m so glad we found him.

Then a few days layer we said goodbye to our old shed, who has been the background of many outfit photo shoots. The guy who came and got it said he had plans to turn it into a house for his ducks, so it went to good use.
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Our House Anniversary

Two years ago today we moved into our house! We actually bought it at the end of June but it needed some work done before we could actually move in.

The top photo was taken right after we made an offer on it, and the one below it was taken just a few months ago. A lot has changed in our little house so I thought I would post a few before and after shots.

Before we planted the front garden it was taken over by ivy! The previous owners had an obsession with it I think..
 Two years later this fence is completely covered and the ivy is growing out of control! We’ll be taking in down next spring because I’m pretty sure it would engulf our entire house if we leave it for too long..
Our house came with this neat old stove! Unfortunately it was really messed up so we had to get rid of it.  Not really sure why we ended up painting the walls in here but now they’re a bright yellow that we mildly regret!

 One day we are going to completely remodel the kitchen.  One day…..’

(PS that’s Cloud as as little girl right after she moved in!)

See more dining room makeover photos here.

Our bedroom before. What is with that light fixture? When I first saw it I thought for sure someone screwed a tiny lamp to the ceiling. Haha.

This is the second bedroom. It is completely blue. The walls are blue, the ceiling is blue, the trim is blue, the doors are blue, the windows are blue… Blue.

 The living room with the terrible stripe.

Looking much better after many Ikea trips later! More photos on the living room makeover here.

This was our backyard last year, lots of random junk laying around and no vegetable garden!

This year it’s looking nice with a new little shade garden!

Those Iris’ were the first thing I ever planted at the house. 🙂
The creepy attic! We also have a creepy basement but I’ve never taken a picture of it. In fact, the first year we lived here we didn’t go down there once, or even open the door. I was kind of afraid to look down there after we had left it alone for so long. Like I expected some giant monster thing had grown and taken over the entire basement. (I have a wild imagination)

This is the door to the attic. We don’t know why it’s pink. This was after my mom had been trying to paint over it all day, the pink just keeps eating through any paint we put on top! I think they must have tried to strip it but left the paint stripper on or something..
This is me going crazy trying to vacuum up all the plaster dust. I couldn’t wait for the house to stop being a construction zone.

 We had lots of help form our parents to help get things done. Every room had major cracks in the walls that needed to be fixed and  we ended up re-painting every single room. It was a lot of work and after two months of that, I was so ready to move in!
Moving day! Goodbye cute old stove and disgusting fridge!

We spent the first night in our house trying to finish painting the kitchen. 
It’s still hard to believe we actually bought a house, we both assumed we’d live in an apartment for years before even thinking about a house. But one day we saw a cute house for sale and were looking at pictures of it online, still no intention of buying a house anytime soon, and the Realtor contacted us and before we knew it we were making an offer on this one! I love our little house and I love seeing how far it has come in the past few years. For the first few months we barely had any furniture and it just didn’t feel home-y at all. It certainly does now though!

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The Dining Room Makeover

Back in February we finally finished our dining room

Before, it had been painted dark green. The color itself wasn’t too bad, but they used an ultra high gloss paint and  used a paintbrush to paint the ENTIRE wall. So you could see every brush stroke and it just looked messy.

It looked like this for about a year and a half before we bought furniture. 
The table we made ourselves, we found this neat wood at lowes and used the legs from another table and stained it. Although now we’re not sure if it matches the dining room or not..

That basket had been there for months, and they never paid attention to it until I sat on the floor to take this picture. Now they go in it all the time!
I’m so glad I finally have a place to store and show off all my cute teas and teacups.

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Our living room- Before and after!

We finally got our living room finished!  (Well except for hanging a few pictures) I thought I would share a few photos of how far its come since we first moved in.

This is how it looked when we first moved in. Anytime we’d have guests over they would look at that stripe and say something along the lines of “Oh.. That’s a very… unique.. design!” Then we would hastily tell them we didn’t put it there and would be painting over it. The thing that gets me is those colors that they chose.. Maybe its just me, but I just feel like that is the most bizarre color combination I have ever seen.  Also, you can’t tell from these photos, but the main wall color wasn’t white, it was this very light pinkish peach color. It was actually kind of sickening to look at. 
All that furniture was hand-me downs and I’m pretty sure my dad found that side table in the trash, and insisted we take it because it was a good quality table. (The cats broke a leg off a few months later!)

And here’s what it looks like now! We always knew we wanted a bookshelf wall, and Ikea is great for designing bookshelves and entertainment systems. We’re pretty big Ikea fans actually.. We pretty much live in an Ikea showroom. But you know what? I don’t even care!  Ikea showrooms are awesome!

Here is the other side of the room after we rearranged a little bit, and painted over the skin colored walls..

And here it is now!  I looove that shag rug so much. It’s so comfy.

Here is the other side of the living room. We are planning on hanging a bunch of pictures on that empty wall. And that painting my husband did will eventually go in our dining room.

Here are some in progress shots and my preposterous representation of a TV.

I am sooo excited to finally have my dream living room! It took a long time to get it all fixed up. It had a messed up popcorn ceiling with water damage, plenty of cracks in the walls and I was embarrassed to let people see it. We used to never spend any time in there, and now we basically live in there. (Haha! get it?!) Ehhhh.