Naperville is done, done and freaking done. Ahh, I cant even tell you how good it feels to write that. To refresh your memory, back in August my Grandma passed away. After many, many conversations we decided to buy her house. So that meant finishing all the projects at the Naperville house and get it up on the market. Since August I have been working on both houses, one to sell and one to move into. It has been a little crazy and stressful, but we are finally done with the Naperville house, and it looks pretty damn good. So we are gonna do a little Before and After! Side note, the before photos are from the day we looked at the house with the realtor. So that is not my furniture and.. crap.. all over the house.
This home was a great place to live for the last 3 years. It was the perfect starter home for us, but its time to move on, and I really hope whoever owns it next will enjoy living there as much as we have. We should be on the MLS later today. Wish us luck!
We are listed! Check it out here!
Update: After 2 days of being on the market.. drum roll, we are contingent!
Here it is! My submission for Apartment Therapy Big Reveal Contest. I was looking around online a few days ago and noticed the deadline for this contest was ending later that night. Since I never made it around to actually posting the after photos of my kitchen I figured why not! Voting ends tomorrow and while I know I won’t win, I still appreciate all the votes!
Before & After: Melissa’s Bright and Airy Kitchen
Growing up I had a huge bedroom that was always changing. I started with a blue room and a vintage bedroom set (probably where my love of vintage started), then onto a wallpapered room that was painted light purple on top, a boarder with gym shoes with glow in the dark laces and striped wallpaper at the bottom of the wall and a waterbed. Next I got bunk beds (the kind with the futon at the bottom. I thought I was so bad ass) and my walls were covered in posters of Hanson and all the other crappy teenybop bands I was in love with. My very last bedroom, while still living at my parents, was a turquoise room with pink and black leopard print mixed with this chick on a bike and an Ikea set.
Quinn’s room seems to be on the same path as mine. His room isnt very big (12×9) and the need for change seems to come more frequently then mine ever did. We redid his room about a year and a half ago and have already made a few changes in the layout and furniture. This time we need to push it a little farther. He has been taking music lessons at the School of Rock for 9 months now, and is ready to move onto a full size drum set. Our house is on the small side, so we have no choice but to put it in his bedroom. I have already started sketching up some bed ideas. Im thinking a loft bed with a desk under so we can free up some floor space. I can add some shelving under the bed for his books and maybe a few toys. There wont be much room under there, but I think I can get it in a good place. Then the drum set can fit on the opposite wall.
We still have the black carpet squares, but plan on redoing the hardwood throughout the house hopefully by the end of the year / early spring. So all my planning is with the new floors in mind.
Hey guys! Im so close to finishing the kitchen, but I have a few more things that I am waiting on my dad to help us with. In the mean time we have switched over to the yard.
When we first moved into our house, the yard was a hot mess. Weeds and plants were over grown, caution tape was used to hold back over grown plants. We had zero mulch, but we did have plenty of rocks, random garbage and chunks of concrete. Oh, and chives. Lots and lots of chives, everywhere. My main problem with the chives is for every little bundle you see above ground, theres about 10 bulbs underground. So they are a total bitch to get up. We probably had a hundred chive bulbs in the front yard, but thankfully we have gotten most of them out. Its only taken about 2 years.
Just a few short weeks ago, our front yard was looking like this. Not cute. I finally got sick of looking at it and all the stink eyes from neighbors. We pulled some weeds, got rid of all the rocks and random concrete chunks, added some rubber edging and a nice thick bed of mulch.
We instantly had neighbors coming out of the woodwork to tell us how great it looked. Deep down I know they were all thinking finally! This is our 3rd summer here and who knows how long the previous owners left this mess. Id probably be excited to.
We still have a ton of work that needs to happen in the yard, but Im excited we have finally started. I plan on cleaning up the side of the house over the next few weeks. We really need to figure out what new plants we want to add, but most of that will probably happen next year.
Yesterday I finally got all the flowers up on the front porch. I’m really excited to try some ferns for the porch. Hopefully they will have a long healthy life.
Ahh, spring. I love this time of year. I have such a huge to do list this year, its crazy really. We are, fingers crossed, hoping to have our place on the market next spring so I kinda have one shot to get all the seasonal work done. On that note, I figure if I post it for the world to see then everything will get done perfect and on time. That’s how this whole blogging thing works, right?
I’m sure I will be adding more to the list. Tomorrow it typical spring weather, cold and rainy, so it might be perfect to finish up painting in the kitchen. I’m ready for tomorrow so I can start my list!
Spring To Do List
+ Clean up front and side garden beds
+ Install garden edging to front garden
+ Repair and paint front porch railings and beams
+ Repaint deck
+ Pull out all nails and hooks around the house
+ Put raised garden beds in back of house
+ Hose storage in back
+ Replace front shutters
+ Paint garage door
+ Get the screens back on the windows
+ Replace missing screens
+ Add new landscaping
+ Pavers next to driveway (?)
+ Scrub front porch and driveway
+ Finish painting kitchen walls and ceiling
+ Install backsplash
+ Fertilizer and grass seed
What are your plans for the weekend?
The countertop in the kitchen was a mess. They are the original countertops and were in rough shape. I wanted to redo them without spending a lot of money. I don’t plan on having these counter tops more then a few years and didn’t want to go through the hassle of ripping them out. That’s where chalkboard paint comes in. I have seen people do it on wood and thought it could work on my existing countertop. And it did!
Ok, so this is what I started with. The counter was sort of an off white color full of burn marks and clearly someone thought it would be ok to use it as a cutting board. Yuck!
First thing I did was sand down the countertop. I used an electric sander and took off the finish. You can feel and see the top coat sanding off. Once that was done, I cleaned the counters with all purpose cleaner to remove any dust that was left over from sanding. Then using regular chalkboard paint and a paint brush, I painted around all the corners of the counter.
I then took a small foam roller and painted one coat on the counter.
After the whole counter was painted, I let it completely dry. I did 3 coats of paint, each time painting in a different direction. Once the 3 layers were dry I used a finishing sanding block to lightly sand the surface. I once again, used all purpose cleaner to clean off any dust. I let the counter dry for a few hours then sealed them with paste wax. I’m really not sure how food safe the wax is, but I always use a cutting board and really never put food directly on the counter. I did 2 thin layers and let it fully dry over night before using the counter.
They really turned out better then I expected. Plus it was only about $20 in supplies and a few hours of my time. So far they are holding up great and I haven’t had any issues. Next on this kitchen list is the backsplash. I am really excited with how the whole kitchen is coming together.
A long, long time ago I posted about redoing the kitchen (the plan and inspiration). I have been slowly working on it, so I figured I should do an update.
First let us remind ourselves what we started out with. These photos were taken the day we closed.
I always forget how nasty this kitchen was when we moved in. It took me a few days to clean all the gunk. Now for some more updated photos, drum roll please…
So much better already, don’t you think? We still have a pretty good size to-do list, but I’m really excited about the progress so far. The goal is to spend as little as possible on fixing up this kitchen. In a few years we will more then likely rip the whole thing out, but for now we have other big ticket items that need to be fixed in the house. Like a new freaking central ac unit. Can’t wait to fork that money over.
Come back Friday to see how I redid the original counter top for under 20 bucks!
It’s been a little over a year now since we redid Quinn’s bedroom (you can read about it here). Originally I had my mind set on a Container Store Elfa System for his closet. He was in desperate need of storage for his small(ish) bedroom and a semi custom closet storage system was the way to go. After countless hours researching I decided to give Ikea’s ALGOT system a try. They were very similar but Ikea’s system fit perfect into our tiny budget.
So here we are, one year later. What are my exact thoughts on this system you ask? Well lucky for you, I’m gonna fill ya in.
This closet system has been great. The storage went from almost non-existent to an enormous amount. Not only do his clothes fit perfectly, socks, undie, pjs, so does all of his costumes, games, train set, Legos, and well, you get the idea. It fits a lot.
My only complaint is the drawers. I feel like were missing a piece or something. Nothing catches it, so if you pull it out to far it will just fall out. Ive gotten the hang of only pulling it out halfway, but it still seems like something is missing.
In the end, I would definitely but the ALGOT system again. I plan on putting it in the other closets in the house. The price is good, its simple and clean. Can’t complain.
The flu. Thats whats up. A few days after we got back from Thanksgiving in Vermont Quinn was hit with it. Barf everywhere, it was really a good time. I loved it. Then a few days later I got it. Both of us are feeling better but we are still very congested. My energy was down for what felt like forever, but I did manage to decorate for Christmas.
A few months ago I was browsing on the Ikea website when I came across a chair. It was rattan and black, stuff dreams are made of. I knew I had to have one. I sent my husband the link and he agreed. I had been looking for a vintage chair similar for awhile now, and $300 + has not been in my price range, but $60 for this Ikea version? Perfect.
About a week or two later I looked back on the website to double check they were in stock at my local Ikea, and it was gone. Nowhere to be found on the website. I was crushed. I seriously needed this damn chair. I mean, you cant have too many chairs, right? So I tried to get this chair out of my mind. Ill find another one I told myself. But then today I was looking at Apartment Therapy and I came across this post on this limited edition vintage style stuff from Ikea. I clicked on it only to find this chair on the list. I checked back on the Ikea website and guess what? You got it. The chair was back on their website and my local store had 12 in stock.
I texted my husband, told him how bad I HAD to have this chair and off I went to Ikea. I ended up having to ask where the chairs were and since they apparently just got them I had to pay then pick it up in the furniture pick up area.
I freaking love this chair. It was exactly how I was hoping it would be. Its low to the ground, has a nice angle to it and is just perfect for my deck. It feels sturdy and only has 2 easy screws underneath, so hopefully it will have a nice long life on my deck.
Now if spring can just hurry up so I can actually use it!
*Here’s the link to the chair.