How I Design a Space: My Notebook

How I Design a Project @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

Okay.  So I am going to give you the quick summary of my notebook.  It will give you a overview of what my process is when I am designing a space.

  • Cute cover page.  It’s a must for me. Preferably with a good quote.   Cute + Functional = Perfection.   Also I have notebooks for everything.  They are everywhere.  I’m weird like that.  So I need cover pages for them all or I’d never be able to tell them apart. A great cup of coffee never hurts anything either! 🙂
  • How I Design a Space at www.DIYinRealLife.com
  • Paint List. This doubles as a shopping list for paint as well as a list that I can refer to later if I, “want more of that bedroom paint… It was gray… What was that name again??!” I three-hole punch this one and don’t put it in a page protector because I want to be able to easily write on it.
  • How I Design a Space at www.DIYinRealLife.com
  • Paint Swatches.  I put this one in a page protector so I can throw all my actual paint swatches inside. It’s helpful to have them for matching finishes later!  All your colors in one spot!
  • Shopping List. This one is nice because you can have a running list of things you need to pick up at some point. It’s also nice because you can see what you need for a project but if you’ve got time, you can watch Menards or Home Depot ads for a couple weeks or even months and get what you need when it’s on sale.  We did this for our last house and we got the majority of what we needed on sale between the time we closed on the house the end of December and moved in the beginning of March.  I also just three-hole punch this one.
  • How I Design a Space at www.DIYinRealLife.com
  • To-Do List. Break the tasks down that need to be completed for each project. Some projects will take a lot of time, some not much at all. This is awesome because it takes away the need to think about what’s next all the time. And if someone wants to work on something for an hour, you can look at the list and give them a short task.  If someone wants to work on something for a weekend, you can give them a bigger task.  And you can do all this without thinking, “Oh boy, let me think… What needs to be done next.”  I also just three-hole punch this one or sometimes I just hang it where I can get to it easily!
  • Measurements. This is where you record room dimensions, window sizes, etc.  It’s handy to have all these measurements when you’re out and about. If you’re out at garage sales and you’re getting your thrifty on, you might   find some awesome curtains that you love.  “But what size was that kitchen window?”  Handy notebook to the rescue! I also just three-hole punch this one.
  • How I Design a Space at www.DIYinRealLife.com
  • Plans: Keep all your plans here in one place so when you are ready for a project, you know where to find all your info!  I’ll get into more on plans when I explain hot to do that later. I put this one in a page protector.  I also put all my finished plans in separate page protectors behind this page.  That way if I’m ready to work on a specific project, I can just pull out the plans for that one project and it’s resistant to water, grease, mud, children. 😉
  • How I Design a Space at www.DIYinRealLife.com
  • Graph Paper: Keep extra graph paper on hand for sketching out plans. You can buy graph paper or print some of your own.  Google “Graph  Paper” to print some or you can get some on Amazon here. I put this one in a page protector along with several sheets of graph paper so I can sketch whenever I’m inspired!

Here is a free printable of my notebook.  Just in case you have a project of your own coming up! 🙂

The Return:

Ahh yes.  September.  Last year.  The last time I posted.

 

I feel like the first 12 months of my baby’s lives is filled with being overwhelmed.  I mean I keep them fed… I play outside… I even keep the house relatively together – most of the time.  But I just don’t get a whole lot more than that done.  Blogging fits in that category.

 

So to kick off my return… In the next couple weeks I’m planning on doing a series on…

 

How I Design a Project @ www.DIYinRealLife.com-How I Design a Space- 

 

So stay tuned!  I’ve got all sorts of good stuff coming up!

Coffee Bar….

Yes.  This looks familiar.

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

 

 

I just loved it so much in My Favorite Emily’s house…

BeforeAfterB

that I made it in our old house…

DIY in Real Life: Coffee Bar Before & After

then made it again in the new house!

So is it a lack of creativity or just a matter of I know what I like??! Ha!

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

Actually the buffet fits here even better than the old house! Yay for that!!

Fun fact: This buffet belonged to Handsome Man’s great grandpa and grandma!  I love love love this piece! I was unable to refinish the sides due to the veneer being too thin too sand and not being in the best shape. So I opted to paint the sides
gray and refinished the wood top. Love!

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

This is a super functional area that I use every. single. day!  (I mean COFFEE, right??)

The extra open storage for dishes is nice since we don’t have a whole lot of cupboards. (We do have the pantry and that’s a ton of storage too!)

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

And the cups all hanging where I can get em super easy makes me happy.

It’s no wonder this is the second thing I’m featuring in my posts of the things in my kitchen that make me happy.happy.happy!

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

I love taking all my ugly store-bought containers and dumping the contents into clear glass  containers and slapping chalkboard labels onto them! 🙂

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

And this lady insisted on getting her picture taken.  And with that cheesy smile, how do you resist??

Coffee Bar @ DIYinRealLife.com

My Favorite Stud Wall

Me: “Well we want to build a stud wall.”

Contractor: “A what?”

Me: “A stud wall.  You know… A wall that looks like it has exposed studs but they’re really not.”

Contractor: {Blank stare}

Me: “It has shiplap behind with 2×4’s in varying withs and heights in front of it and all painted white.”

Contractor: {Blank stare AND awkward pause}

Me: “Here… I’ll show you an inspiration picture.”

Stud wall inspiration from The Lettered Cottage - www.DIYinRealLife.com

{Pinterest}

Inspiration via The Lettered Cottage

Contractor: {Skeptical look}

Me: {Awkward silence}

 

 

So yeah…  That’s pretty much how it went with the construction guy that helped us with the beam.  And the electrical guy.  And the plumber.  Even funnier was when Handsome Man tried to explain it.  Haha!!!!

 

But as I start blogging again I’m going to take you through the things in my kitchen/dining room/ living room area that make me happy and are just plain life giving throughout my day.  The things that every time I see or use, give me just a wee bit of extra happy.

 

First thing being my stud wall.

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

There’s actually a 4X12 beam in the upper part of the wall which is holding up one side of the 8X12 beam that replaced the wall we removed.  That’s why it doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling.

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

So because of the beam above, we needed to build the wall out anyway.  So the choice was build it out and drywall over it like a regular wall, or……   🙂

So yeah!  Hello stud wall!  One of the first things I see every day when I go out to the kitchen on one of the things I totally love!!

(Complete with sewing machine still out.  Finally hemming some curtains!  Yay!)

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

Love these happy red poppies! Such a fun splash of color on my simple white wall! Also it makes me happy that I got a very similar metal “basket” that you can also get at Magnolia Market. (My total current crush.)  Both the poppies and the basket came from my mom’s shop – Master’s Hand in Tekamah NE

 

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

Love this housewarming gift from “my favorite Emily.”

So good. Love the message.

She pretty much rocks at chalkboard art.  Seriously.

 

 

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

I tried to think of different ways to hang stuff without just nailing it to the wall.  And I wanted to secure everything as opposed to just leaning things up on the studs. Since we would be around it I didn’t want to worry about things falling.  I’m very much into worry-free surroundings!  (Hence my love for wood floors.)

I kinda love hanging them from hooks like this.  It also gives some dimension to it since it’s hung away from the back of the wall.

 

Stud Wall @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

I also love the antiqued mirror look on this window.

It’s nice that it’s a slightly reflective surface without being a super clear mirror.  I think a mirror would be weird here.  But this is perfect!

On a sidenote, this window was from the house on Randolph and the sentimental side of me is super happy about that! 🙂

Inspiration tutorial I used for antiquing glass mirror

{Pinterest}

This is the tutorial I used for the window mirror.

Super easy!!!

So that’s the first thing in my kitchen that I love love love!

More to follow!

Quick Kitchen Update!

So I did a quick video so you could see my kitchen!!! I’m planning on resuming posting now that life has settled a bit and I’ll catch you up on all the details that I LOVE in our new house!

 

In the meantime… Enjoy this spontaneous video. What’s a remodel progress video without a fussy baby, a near-two-year-old-still-in-her-pj’s and dishes on the counter?   We’ve got it all, folks!!!

 

 

And a few haphazard cel phone pictures to top it all off! 😉

 

 

Kitchen Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com Kitchen Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com Kitchen Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com Kitchen Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Workin’ hard on the New House Remodel:

So we’re still plugging away over at the new house remodel. About all I have time for are my weekly (or so) updates on what we’ve accomplished.  I am looking forward to more detailed posts later after we get moved in and settled that have more instructions on “How to Build a Refrigerator Enclosure” and all that! 🙂

 

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Speaking of refrigerator enclosures….  Handsome Man totally rocked ours one evening last week!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Excuse the dark pictures… We are like raccoons… All of our best work is done at night.  Although hopefully we aren’t as cranky and mean as raccoons.  Ha!

I will say though… It’s amazing though how a basic construction enclosure SO finishes off an area like this! Totally can’t wait to get that refrigerator in baby!!!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

We also spent the last couple evenings working on the few places that needed drywall replaced.  This area we had to tear into to do electrical. And yes we could have patched the couple of holes we punched in the wall…. But the rest of the wall had wallpaper.  So I batted my eyes at Handsome Man… Said pretty please… And he opted to rip it out and just replace the drywall on this short wall altogether.  My anti-wallpaper-removal-instincts thank you babe! 😉

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And really the space just took one full piece of drywall and another few small pieces…  It’s not that bad, right hon? lol!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

We’ve also been plugging away on these bad boys.

Ceiling.

Planks.

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

While yes…. They look spectacular installed and I love them with my whole heart… The process of installing them is a total drag!  We saved money using the thinner planks from Lowes rather than the car siding from Menards, but because they are thinner they are a lot trickier to install.  You obviously can’t just *WHACK* them into place like you can car siding.  If I weren’t pregnant, they might drive me into becoming a drinking woman.  They’re that bad.

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

But I just keep reminding myself that they look spectacular when they’re done.

Just keep planking.  Just keep planking.

Also in other news… When I went to IKEA for the FIRST TIME, I got one of these lights for the entryway.  And folks?  I LOVE it installed there!  And it was seriously a cheap fixture.  Especially for how large this thing is.  I kind of really love it.

Anyway…. That’s what we’ve been up to this last week.  Anxious to see what we complete this week!

I think we are close to turning a corner on doing all the really dirty stuff and nearly to the finishing stage of trim and painting and stuff.  I can’t wait for that!!!! Eep!!!

New happenings at the New House Remodel:

So it’s been hopping at the new house since the wood floors were finished…  Here’s what’s up around the new house!

 

 

New house Remodel at www.diyinreallife.com

The framing inspection cleared yesterday!  Yay for being legal and all that! 😉

 

New house Remodel at www.diyinreallife.com

The peninsula is well on it’s way to becoming a finished reality!  And it’s looking spectacular!

 

 

New house Remodel at www.diyinreallife.com

*Sidenote:  Every awesome thing you’ve ever heard about a Kreg Jig?  It’s all true. So true!

Color me impressed!!!!

 

 

New house Remodel at www.diyinreallife.com

Pantry walls are in and even have the car siding installed on one of the exteriors! Whoop whoop!

 

 

New house Remodel at www.diyinreallife.com

It’s hard to tell from the pictures but I’m super excited about how usable all this pantry space is going to be!

Also… We spent

all.

day.

long.

installing plank ceiling.

Who woulda guessed that installing plank ceiling would make your fingertips hurt so stinking bad!  Yeash!

So with that I’m signing off.  It seriously hurts to type. lol!

More details and fun pictures to follow.

You know… When my fingers recover.

(I’m aware that sounds ridiculous… But this is real.)

Haha!

Hardwood floors and why we had them professionally finished.

As you know, we are very into DIY around here. (As is evidenced by the blog title around here, of course) 🙂

 

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

However, we are also into real life.  And right now, where we are at in life…

*With one house we need to get ready for move-in.

*Another house we need to get ready for renting.

*A move from the latter to the first.

*A baby due 3 weeks after my target move-in date.

*And the Kid’s Conference that Handsome Man and I heavily involved with 2 weeks after the aforementioned mister is due to make his arrival.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

 

Suffice to say, we are about maxed on the to-do list.  That’s why when we got the name of a local hardwood floor finisher from two separate people (Handsome Man’s Sister was one of them) who had used him, we decided we might as well just get a bid to see where we were at.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

When the guy showed up, I’m not going to lie… I fell in love with him!  He’s an older guy who has done wood floor refinishing his entire life.  And he sincerely seems to love his business!  He was totally awesome!

 

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

 

Anyway… When he came back with a final bid of just over $1500.00 we weighed the pros and cons.  I mean, it killed us just a bit to pay that much for something we *could* do ourselves. But when it came down to it:

*While I could pitch in for some of the sanding of the floors in the bedrooms, Handsome Man would need to do the entire finishing procedure alone due to the pretty intense fumes when staining and sealing.  Normally I’d throw on a respirator and go at it, but being 30 weeks pregnant we thought that wouldn’t be the best of ideas.

*With the 3 bedrooms needing to be totally sanded down, (2 of which were slathered in carpet glue) we appreciated the thought that they would use massive commercial sanders instead of the rental sander from Menards.

*With everything on our to-do list, it was definitely an attractive thought to have the floors being done while we weren’t even there.

*And to a degree… Since this is our home that we will be living in more permanently a small part of me liked the thought of a super professional finish that we would enjoy ourselves for years.

 

Finally… When you break it down, the cost for us to do it would be:

$150.00 – 1-day Sander Rentals

$75.00 – Stain

$120.00 – Poly Sealer

$105.00 – Misc. Sanding/Staining/Sealing Products (Sanding pads/Tack cloth/Applicators/etc…)

TOTAL: 450.00

Not to mention one full day of sanding and at least 3 evenings in labor finishing the project.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

So all in all, we opted to just have them done for us this time.   And it also helped a bit knowing we saved a TON on installation of the hardwoods in the hallway/living room/dining room/kitchen. 🙂

 

Now that it’s all done I have absolutely no regrets! (although…. I still need to write the check.  Ha!)

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

 

Sometimes DIY in real life is a matter of weighing your needs at the time and opting NOT to do it yourself. After all… Next time we have hardwood floors to do, in all probability we will resume our DIY floor moves! 🙂

Wood floors installed? Check!

Well folks.  It’s official.  The wood floors are installed and ready to be finished thanks to *this* guy!  Three cheers for Handsome Man!!!!

 

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

He seriously killed these floors.  I mean we are talking a lot of sq. footage and it’s DONE! Whoop whoop!!!

 

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

I gather from this look that he is a bit on the ready-to-be-done-with-floors side. 😉

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

In addition to Handsome Man… His brother, came an entire afternoon and evening to pitch in on the detail work in the hallway! (THANKS MATTHEW!!!)  And sorry I didn’t think to get any pictures of you hard at work!

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

 Also… Some of my family came and totally knocked out clean up for us!  Three cheers for mom and her mad sweeping abilities!

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

And three cheers for little brother Caleb and Step-dad Scott (Who I also neglected to get pictures of!!!! YEASH!) Who were TOTAL rock stars cleaning up and hauling out trash, tools and all the other clutter we’d accumulated upstairs!  They seriously saved this pregnant lady’s hips with all the trips up and down and up and down.

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

Last night we finished the last of the clean-up/put up plastic to keep the insulation up and out of the way/etc…

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

Hence the dark nighttime pictures.  lol!

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

This munchkin like to think of herself as an awesome helper… Occasionally that’s true.  😉

Installed hardwood floors at www.diyinreallife.com

Really though…. She’s been a trooper!

Anyway…. We are just heading out *now!* to go to the house and approve a stain color for the professionals that are going to sand, stain, and seal our previously finished floors in the bedrooms as well as the unfinished ones we just finished.  Crossing fingers it works and the floors are relatively matching when it’s all said and done!

Post to follow on why we chose to have the pros finish this house’s floors instead of our usual DIY method! 😉

Gotta go!!!!  I’m totally psyched for this!!!!!

Beam me up Scotty!

Yeah. That title should put me in a few nerdy Google searches.  😉

 

Anyway…. We’ve been gone much of this week because we have an awesome boss who also happens to be even better friends.  They took the whole company and all their families to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City and we had an awesome time!

 

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

We are quite certain this munchkin adores the water.

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

Cutest thing ever!

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

She’s also addicted to water slides of all sorts!  She would tootle to the top all by herself and the look of sheer joy on her face every time she slid down was priceless!

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

After all… Daddy (AKA: Handsome Man) was always at the bottom to catch her and that’s just pretty cool! 😉

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

She did these over.  and over. and over.

She was soon exhausted!  Yay for wearing out the kiddos!  We basically had to pry her away from the slides when it was time to leave.  lol!

Anyway…. The day before we left for Great Wolf Lodge, we actually got the BEAM installed and our wall GONE!!! Whoop whoop! (Ahhhh…. Now the title makes more sense….)

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

Finally after all the rigamarole that getting the correct sized beams entailed, we went with Menards to get the laminated beam.

(They were the ones who gave us the smallest number for necessary beams. lol!  And it still seemed like overkill.  I mean really? We aren’t talking another floor above or anything… Just the roof.  But I suppose overkill is better than a saggy roof, right? 🙂  )

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

First… Handsome Man built a temporary wall directly next to the first one.  (It pretty much looks like the old one.  lol!)

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com1 of 4 beams installed! Whoop whoop!

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

More of the black poodle hair insulation.  So ready to be done with that stuff! Ick!

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

After all 4 beams were up, we installed the cross beams on the other wall.  (It supports one end of the massive beams on the load bearing wall)

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

Then we REMOVED the wall!!!  Have you ever seen anything so amazing??!  The place is huge now!!!!!

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com

After that, it’s on to finishing the wood floors… Getting closer!!!!