Mudroom Reveal!

13 Sep mudroom-horizontal

The mudroom is finally complete, and it’s as functional as it is beautiful.

Before I share the finished photos, here’s a look back at what it used to be. It was all one open room that served as a mostly unused den/office:

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Then we added a wall and divided it into a playroom on one side and mudroom on the other.

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We hung some temporary coat hooks for a little while:

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And then most recently, I shared this progress photo:

mudroom vertical 2

And now, here is the finished mudroom:

mudroom-whole-view

We painted the cabinets Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore, and stained the Mahogany seat Dark Walnut by Minwax. It turned out stunning!

mudroom-bench

We also painted the back door Abyss by Benjamin Moore, which is a really dark navy color.

The upper cubbies have lined wicker baskets from Target and they hold hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas and more. mudroom-baskets

The bottom cubbies we decided to keep open so that it is easy to kick off your shoes and keep things tidy.

mudroom-cubbies

We installed these corbels from Home Depot and these brass hooks from Amazon.

mudroom-hooks

The cabinets on each side give us a ton of great storage.

mudroom-left-side

We filled the lower cabinet by the back door with shoe shelves:

mudroom-shoe-shelf

mudroom-right-side

The other lower cabinet holds our vacuum, mop and step ladder:

mudroom-vacuum-cabinet

And then the upper cabinets hold mail, sunglasses, paper towels and more. And we have empty room to hold even more.

The knobs on the cabinets are these beaded antique brass knobs from ATG.

close-up-knobs

Lastly, here’s a view of it from the garage, showing how it leads into the kitchen.

mudroom-toward-kitchen

We really love it and are so happy with how it turned out! Now, onto the living room built ins which we recently ripped out.

The Big Backyard Reveal: So Many Updates

24 Aug

Our backyard area has undergone A TON of changes over the past 2 summers. I last shared an update after we built the deck and retaining wall in May/June 2014.

Here is a view of it from then:

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Here it is now:

back of house from diving board

 

pool view retaining wall

back deck white pergola

back deck and garbage enclosure

Yeah.. we’ve been busy.

One of the biggest changes was installing that extra concrete by the back door and a stone path that leads all the way around to the driveway.

arbor blooming

Ben put up the arbor which he built prior to our wedding and we got married under. I was so happy to see it get a new life here.

view from other side of arbor

We also planted several arborvitae on either side to really divide the backyard area.

Here’s a farther away look, including a look at our new garage door:

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We also built this garbage enclosure which is so functional and keeps our dog out of the trash.

garbage enclosure 2

gabage enclosure

The deck, garbage enclosure and wood part of the fence were all stained the same color, which is a custom color mixing two Rymar Xtreme Weather colors (Hickory Bark and Sienna 50/50). This is supposed to be the best deck stain on the market and should last us many, many years.

Here’s a close up of the fence, which Ben built by mixing cedar railings and aluminum fence posts from Home Depot.

close up of fence

The plain aluminum part on the other three sides of the pool we hired a local company for.

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view from diving board across pool

Here’s a view of the other side of the pool, and a close up of our new chaise lounges from Target (found here in 6 colors) and a new diving board.

pool long toward chairs

Target chaise loungers

Ben also built a pergola over the back deck which provides much needed shade in the afternoon.

back deck

We strung up cafe lights under the pergola (similar here) which provide the perfect amount of ambiance in the evenings.

string lights on pergola

Our outdoor table is from Pottery Barn five or so years ago (similar one here). It was starting to get weathered, so we gave it a quick coat of stain and now it looks as good as new.

pottery barn table

The outdoor rug I purchased this year from Home Decorators (found here).

On the other side of the deck is our hot tub, grill and deck box (from Lowe’s here) for pool toy storage. 
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Ben also built that fence on the left for safety reasons because it drops down to the basement stairs.IMG_5906

Outside of the pool/deck area we have a little fire pit area with adirondack chairs (from Ace Hardware here) and a fire ring.

fire pit

We plan to do a recessed stone fireplace (like this) next year, but for now it gets the job done.

We also installed a playground (used off of Craigslist), and gave it a facelift by re-staining it (same color as the deck) and putting in a sandbox. Our 2-year-old loves it.

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kids sandbox

Finally, let’s look at a few before and afters.

Here’s the scariness it was when we bought it:

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And a similar view now: pool long toward chairs

A photo from 2013 when we were digging out the retaining wall:

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And now:

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Another before from almost 4  years ago (yikes!):

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And now:

back of house from diving board

A view of the back shortly after we moved in:

Back of house and pool

And now:

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That last view is a good comparison showing our small addition to the house (to the left of the pergola). It houses the powder room and laundry room on the first floor, and our master bathroom and master closet upstairs. And we painted the house Amherst Gray (more on that here).

Phew, I’m exhausted just writing about all that!

It was definitely a labor of love though and was worth all the hard work. We still have a few more things we’d like to do which includes paving around the pool, landscaping a bit more, and doing the fire pit like I mentioned. But I’d say we are 90% of the way to calling this baby D-O-N-E.

 

Mudroom Update

18 Jul

The last time I showed you the mudroom and shared our plans for the room it was looking like this:

Here is what the mudroom is looking like now:

mudroom vertical 2

mudroom bottom

mudroom top

Lots of progress and it is totally functional, but we still have a lot to finish including:

  • Make and install doors on the end cabinets
  • Add crown molding
  • Get baskets for the top cubbies (bottom ones will remain empty for easy access to shoes)
  • Get hooks— I’m thinking brass ones like this.
  • Install and stain the seat, made from 1x6s.
  • Paint the mudroom cabinets a medium gray color like Coventry Gray.
  • Paint back door a dark gray or black color like Wrought Iron.
  • Paint the rest of the room, probably a light gray like Gray Owl.

We’re hoping to have everything done in the next few weeks. Can’t wait!

Kate’s Sprinkle-Themed 2nd Birthday Party

24 Feb

Over the weekend we threw Kate a sprinkle-themed birthday party to celebrate her turning 2! I had so much fun planning her “Cute as a Button” 1st Birthday, so when her 2nd birthday was approaching I scoured Pinterest to find another fun theme and fell in love with the sprinkles idea. I figured this would be the last year I would get to pick the theme myself.

To welcome our guests, I set out this chalkboard at the front door. I used this genius method to transfer the letters, and then taped on some paper sprinkles, and tied on some clear balloons filled with confetti.

chalkboard

The main focal area was a sweets table covered with tons of sprinkle-covered desserts.

dessert wall

The Happy Birthday banner (which matched her invites and thank-you cards) was from Etsy. The wall sprinkles I just cut out from cardstock and taped on the wall. The circle garlands on the table are from Target.

The balloons I filled with homemade confetti I made from punching holes in tissue paper. I buy my own helium tanks from Target so I can do them myself at home the day of the party.

balloons

Here’s a closer look at the sweets table.

sweets table

I made this spinkle-covered number 2 for the sweets table by gluing sprinkles onto a paper mache number using mod podge. Here’s the tutorial I used. Warning: It’s messy. I bought these bulk sprinkles off of Amazon- 7 pounds! I ended up using about half of the jar.

sprinkle 2

I filled a couple of candle holders with sprinkles for an easy, little touch.

candle

The cake I made myself using 2 boxes of Funfetti cake mix, and then I decorated it with store-bought frosting dyed light pink, and sprinkles. I used a “2” cookie cutter as an outline to make the 2 in the center of the cake. I also learned this genius tip to make sure your cakes stay flat during baking using these.

cake

I made cupcake puppy chow, birthday cake batter popcorn (this was so good!), funfetti rice crispy treats, and then I dipped pretzel rods, oreos and strawberry wafers in white chocolate and sprinkles. I used this method of melting the chocolate in the crock pot and it worked like a charm. I also put some animal cookies in a jar.
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puppy chow

oreos

A few other little decorations I had were a tissue paper garland over the fireplace from Target (I combined two colors), and a jumbo gold #2 balloon from Party City. The polka dot paper plates and napkins also came from Party City.

fireplace

jumbo gold

Lastly, I got Kate a cute “two” outfit from Lola and Darla, and a sprinkle hair bow from Etsy. She looked so cute, and good thing she won’t be wearing this dress again, because toddlers and white don’t exactly mix.

kate 2

We made some good progress on the mudroom, so I’ll be sharing an update on that soon!

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