House updates

Oh yeah, I still have house projects going on up in here. It's just been awhile since I accomplished anything on my To Do list, but now that I have it's time to show it off.

When I was severely pregnant (is that the right terminology?), I had way too much nervous nesting energy. And so I decided to tackle painting our stairs, knowing that I *might* not get a chance to finish everything before baby girl arrived. I was totally fine with that idea and secretly hoped that by beginning this fairly large project when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I'd send my body into labor. Didn't really happen though, because I got it all completed except for one final coat on the lower hallway woodwork. And so it was a win-win situation for me---I got to get rid of a lot of creative energy and our stairs have never looked better.

I always knew I wanted to paint the rises white because we paid to have the actual treads refinished, and they were SO pretty all spruced up. But you didn't even notice them because of all that dark woodwork surrounding the tread (yes, a matter of personal opinion, I know).  Plus, I hated the cream colored walls that were ALL over this house, and the stairway/hallways were the last of that dreaded cream to remain.

So I painted all of the walls my new favorite gray, Behr's 'Dolphin Fin' (same as our kitchen) and even just that made a huge difference. Then I got to work on the woodwork. Sanding, cleaning, filling in holes and cracks with spackle, priming, then painting 2 coats of paint. Sigh. Lots of work. But worth it. And this time I decided to go with Sherwin Williams for my wood paint instead of my previously used Benjamin Moore. LOVE the SW stuff, FYI. Their Adhesion Primer is water-based and is the bomb. And the Pro Classic semi-gloss paint for woodwork is also amazing. Wish I would have used this combo for all of the other woodwork in the house, too, but too late now!

Shall we look at pictures of my masterpiece, done while ri-donkulously pregnant?

Our Stairway:



And might as well show off my other shadow boxes on the upper hallway---birth of Cecelia, wedding, and birth of Truman. AKA 'the big events'. You'll see that we have each of our running races in a shadow box, too, going down the stairs. Those are great, too. But these three hold a little more weight, I'd say:)


stairsbeforeafter copy


And then there is our full bathroom upstairs. The thorn in our sides. You see, we REALLY want to tear out all of the ugly speckled tile in there and possibly use plain white tiles or just plaster the walls instead. But apparently this will be a very messy, very annoying project that we just can't do right now (read: Nate doesn't want to tackle it just yet). And so we are making due with the hideous tile and trying to update around it.

Painting the walls was a must, and then our old neighbor made us a flush-mounted medicine cabinet for above the sink (which is a new console we bought and installed). We also tore off part of the shelving system above our laundry chute and my father-in-law added a nice edge to it. Then it was up to me and my mom to paint these new wooden items white, and to also paint the window and door white (go away, hideous yellow woodwork!!).

With the new paint colors and a fun shower curtain, it's really not all bad. I still wish the tile was a distant memory but maybe someday.

And now, pictures...

Our Full Bathroom:







Another little project I haven't shown yet is this awesome wooden box Nate built for our mantel. Totally got the idea on Pinterest, of course!



I wanted something long and low to put under our TV and this is just perfect! I can envision putting ornaments, Poinsettias, and little Christmas trees in there for the holidays. And for the fall, maybe some pumpkins and pine cones and leaves or something. Ahhh, the possibilities are endless. Gotta love my handy husband. And those new giant sea-glass candle holders from World Market. Love those, too.

The other sort of big addition we made is that instead of buying new chairs for our sunroom, we decided to haul over our old love seat from the duplex. And I have no idea why we waited this long because it looks fine and is a great, comfy place to sit in there now. We were just using lounge chairs for the longest time and that sucked. This is much better, even though our poor love seat has seen better days and isn't our style anymore. Whateves. It works.


See that tab up there at the top of my blog? The one that says 'Our Home Renovations'? I updated it to show current snapshots of each room in our house. Sure, it's a lot more 'lived in' than the first round of pictures I took. I blame the newborn for that extra bit of clutter and baby gear and junk. But I kind of like the 'lived in' look now:) I also updated all of my 'before and after' pictures for each room in the house. Talk about mind-blowing---we sometimes forget how much work we've done to this place already. Love looking at the old photos to remind us of how we've made this home into our own style. I'm sure this tab will evolve over time to show even more home renovations and decorating changes, but it feels so good to have it updated to present day.

The only other projects that we have on our radar right now are:
-paint all of the windows white
-paint the front entry way
-paint and clean the back hallway to basement
-paint and hang french doors into sunroom

And my awesome Grandpa has made us our very own dining room table. I cannot wait to see it in a few weeks when my parents drive up here with the table in tow. He made it to go with the new dining room chairs I found on Craigslist and it has leaves to expand and fit 8 people around the table. Eeek! What a gift, right? Heirloom, for sure.

My mom has also made one more window treatment for this house of ours, making the grand total about 122:) But she is bringing one up for the stairway window and then I believe all windows will be properly dressed in our house. Can I get an 'Amen'? Well, the upper bathroom needs something at some point but I'm not sure what I want to do just yet. I just still want to redo that entire bathroom so I'm not very motivated to dress the window at this point.

So those are the updates I've been meaning to show for awhile now. It's nice to have a few projects here and there but there is no way I'd ever have the time or energy to do all that I did before Cecelia arrived. Thank goodness we did 90% of the projects before she came!


  1. Your house updates put me to shame! I still haven't found the inspiration or motivation to work on our kitchen.

    And I LOVE the color in your bathroom. What's it called?!

  2. The stairs look great!! I can't believe you did all of that while 37 weeks pregnant. I had absolutely no energy for my entire pregnancy so I am jealous!

  3. The stairs look so good, Julia. I love the white with the wood. And a dining room table made by your grandpa - so cool!! What a treasured piece. I cannot wait to see it.

    I love your house! I love seeing how ppl make a house their own and your style just radiates out of these pictures. :)

  4. Everything really looks great, Julia!! I am so jealous of your motivation... of course I think the lack of mine comes from us being in a rental home and not wanting to spend the time/money to fix it up when we'll never get our money back.

    You've done a fantastic job, I love it all.

  5. A friend had a similar situation with a bathroom, and tiles they didn't like, and it was their only bathroom. They put white beadboard on the tiles on the wall and great trim at the top to finish it up. It looked faqntastic. Then mabye not such a big job to do only the tub, or you can get plain white covers fit over old tiled shower/tubs.

  6. The shadowboxes look great! Where did you find the actual boxes - my Hobby lobby doesn't have any like that!

  7. Absolutely beautiful. I really really really love it, and the stairs look beautiful. Really brightens up the space, and that is something I have never even considered, we have very similar stairs in our house, though ours are super steep and slippery, I've considered getting a runner, since they make me so nervous with the kids.

    Anyway, really really love it. And I am tempted to go buy that chevron rug of yours, since it is running at such a steal price right now!

    I can't believe how motivated you were throughout your pregnancy to pull together all of this.

  8. Wow - you have een BUSY. I am always amazed by the difference a coat or two of paint can make. And these befores and afters prove it. I love the white treads. Definitely worth the effort. And the bathroom going from cram trim to white? Wow! Also, I totally want a box like that. Ryan will thank you.

  9. I love your decorating style! I can't get over how much of a change the stairs are. They are just gorgeous. We redid our floors a few years ago and Dan thought I was crazy for allotting such a big portion of the budget to have the stairs done, but now he totally gets it. Stairs can make a big difference.

  10. It ALL looks great but I particularly like the stairs - the changes you made completely change the look of everything else. Also love, love, love the living room. Well done!

  11. Love these how updates.

    I also love those shadow boxes and it makes me want to try those for my kids. So very sweet and memorable.

    Love the stairs and the color in the bathroom. So fresh and bright!

  12. It all looks so great!

    I love the shadow boxes. Where did you find them? I've been looking for one that size.

  13. Thanks guys! The white shadow boxes are all the 12x12 size and are from Michaels. Our black ones from marathons are also mostly from Michaels or else Hobby Lobby.

  14. oh heavens... I adore your house from Colorado! I'm in love with the Dolphin fin color, your stair post is really inspiring me to paint ours, and your husband is (unbeknownst to mine) inspiring me to 'get' a window box like that!! SO many lovely ideas! Thanks tons for sharing.... you guys' work is gorgeous.


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