Close Enough

The bulk of the big stuff in regards to our little renovation is over.  Yes, that sound you hear is me whooping and hollering at the top of my lungs because I am so stinking happy.  Jason is a amazing.  I helped when and where I could but he did the bulk of the work.  We are beyond thrilled but we haven't forgotten how miserable the project was while it was underway.  We are hoping to be sitting in our new living room soon smugly telling people that it wasn't that bad.  That, in fact, it was easy.  However, until our memory fades, we are telling people the truth. It was a kind of crap sandwich.  Pregnant women don't do well in chaos and neither do toddlers.  Jason would say that spending almost every ounce of free time he has had in the last two weeks working has been exhausting.  And, only people on the verge of insanity would think tackling something of this caliber 7 weeks from the arrival of your child is a good idea.  All the negativeness aside, we are glad we did it.  It completely and utterly changes the feel of our house.   We don't regret it for a moment. Since we have decided to stay in our tiny house for a few more years we were looking for a way to help open up the living space and give us the feeling of more room.  This project fit the bill perfectly.

Now before I get into the photos, keep in mind the room itself isn't really done.  In the sense that we've not hung anything on the walls, the dining room furniture needs refinished, no curtains have been hung and we have to refinish the floors (and probably a 100 other little details that are too depressing to list).   But, it is definitely livable and will be fine even if it takes us months to nail down all the fine tuning. Now pictures (lots of pictures).

From the front door (AFTER):

We are changing and moving the light fixture at some point.  It is off center and it makes me a little batty.  I think we need something a little more funky (and less traditional) for the space.  I am adding it our forever long lost. Sigh.  Even with an off center light, I love me new living space.  Thank you Jason.

This used to look like this (BEFORE):


From the kitchen door looking toward the front door (BEFORE):


From the kitchen door looking toward the front door (AFTER):


China Hutch will be repainted soon, it kinda of clashes with the new wall color.

Here is the living room with our old furniture, which I hated.


 I bought it when I was pregnant with Henry because our vintage sofa was killing my back (but it was cute).  I picked this up from the Habitat ReStore for cheap.  While it was comfy, I never felt it fit in our house.  Actually, I have never really liked our living room because it was such a small room. Until now, I love it now. How could I not?  Here is the same shot with our new furniture.


This is a cheap Big Lots sectional.  I found a few more expensive options but I didn't want to spend that much money.  If I am dropping over a $1000 on anything it will be a new washing machine and dryer.  I dream about a new washer and dryer.  Anyway, back to the sectional . . . Beyond not wanting to spend the cash on something nicer I also just didn't think that it was a good idea with two little boys.  We didn't want to have to constantly worry about the sofa getting destroyed.  After lots of the looking, Big Lots gave us the most bang for our buck.  The stuff is decent quality and comes with a year warranty.  This little beauty and giant storage ottoman (in a small house storage is very sexy) come in around $875 pretax.  I note this because our sales tax is insanely high, 9.75 %.  I feel violated by the government every time we make a big ticket purchase. We happened to scored a 20% off our entire purchase coupon, which they have from time to time, that combined with the money we got from selling our old furniture (thank you Craig's List) meant WITH tax we only had to pay $510 out of pocket for the set.  For $510 I couldn't be happier. It has already sustained two sippy cup leaks and has cleaned up much better than our old set. It is also super comfy. Anyway, enough sofa talk here are a few more shots of our new living space.



Can you see where the wall was?  While we have to refinish the floor a least there was hardwood under it. We are temporally sealing it until we can address refinishing the floors (and decided what we want to do).  Seeing that we have about 6 weeks until my due date, I am sure that it will be several months after baby before tackle the project.

Project details, in case your a curious or nosey like me.


The biggest expense was the paint.  It doesn't really show in the photos but we painted everything from the ceiling to the trim. We used good paint.  I am a cheap skate and never saw the value in buying high end paint.  I have been converted, there is a huge difference.  It is worth the money.  Every penny.  The biggest paint splurge was the paint we bought for the trim.  It cost $61.99 a gallon, Benjamin Moore Aura.  I almost wept.  But, the paint is stinking awesome.  Dries quick, has a hard finish, low VOC and cleans well.  We used various kinds (all low or no VOC) of paint but they were all Benjamin Moore.  With the exception of the ceiling paint, we used Ace Simply Magic Ceiling paint.  Having painted a couple ceilings all ready Jason said this was the best ceiling paint he has used yet. All our ceilings in the house were a dingy cream color, Jason has slowly been repainting then bright white. The difference is amazing.

Paint Colors . . . .
Living room (main color): Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky*
Living room (accent wall):  Benjamin Moore Caribbean Blue Water
Dining room: Benjamin Moore Blue Flower


As for the budget for the project, I don't really think we could give anyone a realistic idea of what something like this would cost.  We are resourceful and Jason works at a hardware store.  We got discounts on paint, we had all the big tools (saws, paint rollers, extenders, etc) we needed and we were able to use some free lumber for the new trim.  I haven't got an exact number yet but including the new blinds we are somewhere in the $400 - $500 range.  Which I think is amazing and right in line with what we wanted to spend.  I feel like that is low for something like this, but seeing that I have no experience with a project of this nature I'm not sure.  I do know that it would have cost us much, much more than that to have a contractor to do it.  My handy husband is awesome!!

*As you may remember, I was distraught last week because I picked out the worst paint color in the history of the world.  I was going for a light gray brown color and what I got was pink vomit. The color I selected (Benjamin Moore Sea Froth) had way more pink in it than I realized and it looked awful with the other colors we had chosen.  I swear when we were looking at the chips we really thought it would work.  In an attempt to fix the problem, I brought home a bunch of chip cards (I knew I wanted gray) but I couldn't nail down a color. My confidence was shaken. In desperation I ask my always stylish friend Cassie to come over and help me.  Not only does she have great taste but she knows us and our decorating style. She selected Cloudy Sky, I was leaning toward a charcoal gray instead of blue gray. After thinking for a few moments I went with her choice and I couldn't be happier. Bravo Cassie!  I love, love, love, love the color!  I just thought I should give credit were credit is due. Cassie thanks again for bailing me out my indecisive color funk.

And, because I keep my word . . . . here is my color disaster.  I don't want to post this, because it makes me so sad. But, I hate reading blogs were people only share good stuff and lets be honesty I am sure we've all made poor design choices. Right?


The upside is, it now looks like this. Problem fixed!!


PS.  Henry has gotten so used to construction mess that I think he might actually miss it.  Paint cans make great stools for toddlers.  Good thing it is all no VOC paint. And, yes, we are paints free again.