Remember me? The one who rarely manages to post new things on their blog? I'm Back!
This summer has been busy around the Dunn house, and it was all exterior updates. The most recent was stone and more stones done in two phases.
The stone side walk you see above is actually the final step in last months landscape makeover, but its the part we did ourselves, so I'll start here and work backwards.
Our front yard has always had two problems. 1. it won't grow grass over the majority of it... or even weeds! We reseed and over seed every spr;ing and by summer it's all dead. And 2. we have a long stone sidewalk that cuts down the center of the yard and ends down at the end of our driveway near the street. When guests pull up into our driveway, they literally have to walk back down the driveway to get to the sidewalk. Why on earth it was done this way, who knows... but it's annoying. The photo below shows just a small portion of the sidewalk that needed moved.
So we moved it! We dug up EVERY DAG GONE STONE and carried them up the hill to create a new jigsaw puzzle of a sidewalk! It was like putting together a puzzle that actually has no pieces that fit together! haha!
Now that we're in our mid 50s we work in small bursts, work a few hours, rub on the icy hot. Work a few more hours, moan and whine and quit for the day. So obviously this took us about a week to get laid out. First we spray painted our planned path for new stone steps (thankfully we DIDN'T do those). Next was digging out the pathway approx 4" deep, then pouring in a sand base to help with leveling the stones.
The above right photo was when we hit the halfway mark, which is about 5 days worth of icy hot and heating pads worth.
We reached the landing and damn that felt good! Lastly we filled in between the stones with another sand mix and wet it all down. With each rain we've had this week it's packed much nicer and the dogs love it too!
What Came Before The Sidewalk.....
Remember I mentioned a yard that won't grow grass? We gave up and had stone brought in along with large stones for the steps. Take a look at these before and afters!
Next week new top soil is arriving for a large portion of the yard, and then reseeded. I think we've finally got a handle on the barren curb appeal! Next post I'll be sharing about building our own arbors above the garage doors. A very simple DIY!
From dull and dark to happy and bright on a tiny budget.
A super affordable kitchen update. My favorite kind! The budget is small when you're working with an investment property, and our new airbnb property is no exception. We purchased this 100 year old beauty after someone had updated it to flip it, but the kitchen was an update from the late 90's. Bad lighting from a ceiling fan that was too large, dark cabinets and tiled countertops were a dark khaki green.
To get this look I used only 3 different paints and changed out the lighting. Paint #1 (in two colors), was for the cabinets, which are painted with Valspar cabinet paint from Lowes, and I used the same paint to go over the copper colored backsplash. OH wait! I used 4 paints! I forgot the primer. I did a light hand sanding on the cabinets and used a primer first.
Paint #2 was a tub and tile paint I used to go over the dark tile and grout (wear a respirator!). We've used this many times, including redoing entire tubs, and it works great!
And paint #3 was rustoleum spray paint in a gold that I used for all the copper hardware. I just HAD to put gold with that beautiful blue!
Chris installed the new school house style lights and it made a huge change! I've used this style in other spaces, including our flip house. They are a "vintage style" but look great in more modern spaces too. An update to the little breakfast nook, adding bamboo shade and more open airy light made from hemp twine, make it more casual and I think our Airbnb guests will enjoy eating there.
I think the changes are simple but make a big impact and now I"m on a mission to figure out where I can use that blue in my house. There's got to be a wall somewhere!
I added the schoolhouse style lights to my Amazon Favorites shop, under "renovations/diy". Just select "Amazon Faves" at the top of this page!
If you love the look of a sconce light but: A. can't hardwire one where you need it, or B. think it would be too expensive, then I think you're going to like this post!
I knew I wanted the look of expensive wall lighting for my bedroom makeover, however, I didn't have a big budget. These lights also had to be plug in. My end tables are small, so this would also free up space for all the things that accumulate next to my bed (which includes snacks!).
Previously I posted a video of this process to my Instagram highlights, and I'll include some of those clips here in hopes it will explain things clearer than my rambling typing.
I purchased this sconce on Amazon.
You can really do this with any
plug in sconce style you like!
The sky's the limit.
Let's get started...
You probably noticed the lamp I purchased has a metal shaded is also different color. My bedroom has no overhead lighting, and bedside lamps are my only light source, so while the "downlight" from a metal shade is great for other areas or if you have a well lit room already, I needed as much illumination as possible. I also wanted a new updated color, so I sprayed the sconce as well as the cord cover. We'll cover that, but first we need to talk about cord covers.
I purchased this one at Lowes, but you can find
them at any hardware store. I prefer the style with
a sticky tape back and that are paintable.
In most cases when there is no switch involved
(such as the cord from a mounted TV), I've painted
over them to match my walls so theydisappear,
and you can do that as well. The look I wanted
here was of a brass rod going down the wall
since I did have a switch visible.
Two things about that cover....
I prefer the look of the rustoleum metallics.
I've tried lots of different golds, silvers etc
over the years and this is my favorite
for the softer golds.
We're almost there! I bet you're already looking around your house for where
you can place a sconce.
I hope this inspires you to try your own DIY projects of any kind!
You can find this sconce and others here in My Amazon Faves.
Well, we did it! We bought, renovated and listed! We also argued, laughed, problem solved, sweat, designed, cleaned, hauled and yes, we plan to do it all again next year. Chris and I are excited to share more of the journey and plenty of the not so fun details.
An exterior paint job in SW Dovetail, and a major facade change with the bedroom windows brought the flip house out of the 50's, but my favorite exterior project was the addition of the arbor over the garage. This added some charm and interest to an otherwise simple ranch. Some Clematis vines next summer would be the cherry on top!
This first blog installment on the renovation is going to focus on the biggest change, the open floor plan and kitchen. It wasn't a bad layout to begin with, or at least the living room and dining room were already open to each other. The kitchen, however, was very small and very closed off. Opening that up was the plan from day one. Here is where we started and how we got to the end result...
We began here....
And ended here!
But how did we get from this tiny kitchen full of metal cabinets to the finished product?
This was definitely a tough part of the demo and remodel . That 22ft beam was a four man job!
The kitchen and dining are also where we ran into our first "life lesson of flipping" about what contractors you hire, how you pay them and who to trust. An expensive lesson involving an electrician who us left hanging was finally resolved with the assistance of a different local electrician that stepped in to help us get it done. I guess it's good we are learning as we go, but this was an expensive lesson.
From paper and pencil, to the real deal. A good feeling for sure!
I like doing tile, and after finishing the chevron tile kitchen backsplash, the plan was to create a shiplap on the back of the kitchen island that would mimic the chevron. Turned out great!
We selected a charcoal colored granite with a leathered finish, which gave it almost a concrete look. Finishing touches of black hardware and lighting with both black and gold accents helped to pull everything together.
The addition of the sliding door, where there was previously only a window, brought the open floor plan home. Now there is even more natural light and a gorgeous view of the back yard and stone wall.
As you can see, the difference is like night and day! More light, more kitchen and most of all a beautiful space to spend the days.
On the next blog post I'll cover the two bathroom renovations. From gut job to marble and subway tile. Stay tuned!!
If there is one topic Chris and I have revisited and talked about for more than a decade, it's renovating houses. We've both enjoyed learning new skills on our own homes for over 20 years, so it made sense. Cameron and Haley grew up and are busy with their own lives, I closed the brick & mortar and began working at a slower pace.... the timing suddenly felt right. The next thing you know we were going for it!
So after lots of house searching and a few losing bids, we purchased our first official flip!
Last week we did demo, opened up the main living area, and started some exterior work. The list is long with projects to make this 1950's house a stunner! I"m so excited to stretch my design wings a little wider, and Chris is looking forward to making it all happen.
You all KNOW I'm so excited to get to the staging part of the process. I plan to fill the house with some of my vintage finds, as well as some custom furniture or lighting pieces. All of those items will be available for sale! Once the house has sold, the unique pieces will be posted for sale. You will also be welcome to pre-purchase them at an Open House (to be picked up after the house has sold).
Here is a little look at my mood board or this first project...
Our summer is all booked! In addition to the day and evening work, giving up or weekends will totally be worth it! We plan to do the bulk of the work ourselves, since getting our hands dirty is something we enjoy. Although, we both admit it's a little harder with each passing year... middle age will do that to ya!
We share all the action on our Intagram Stories, as well as posting pics of the work and inspiration for the project on our feed. Be sure to follow us there!
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all my favorite things to do have been sharing DIY ideas, thrifting, and making something out of nothing.