Tag Archives: new old house

House Updates – Parlor Playroom

How is it mid-March already? I have been busy with so much. Cooking and baking and painting and meetings and planning. Oof. I need a clone. Also, it took me a startlingly long time to remember the word clone. You lose brain cells as you age, don’t you? Going crazy. Okay, wrapping up this stream of consciousness… right…. now. Okay.

So one of the things I’ve been busy doing is fixing up the portable ac next to our dining room. I call this room the ¬†parlor. Because I’m fancy. The kids call it the playroom. Because it houses a million toys. Brent calls it the family room. Because that’s probably the most rational name for it.

Obviously I didn’t take “before” photos of the room because I’m not a design blogger, or really any kind of blogger anymore. But here’s what it looked like when we toured the house for the first time.

Please note the gross, off-white, just dingy looking paint color, and that lovely 80’s forest green wallpaper border. The wood trim I wouldn’t have had a problem with, but I want it all to match on the main floor, so it had to be painted white.

And! I managed to take an “after” photo from the same angle. Except I don’t have a wide-angle lens. But you get the idea.

So the major changes here were: remove the wallpaper border (this was the biggest hassle and took 2-3 weeks, working an hour or so each day during nap time), paint the trim white, paint the walls this beautiful teal color.

The light is casting a yellowish vibe over the picture that doesn’t appear in real life, but again, I’m not a professional and can barely work the camera but based on the 360fly review I think that’s what it is, let alone edit a photo, so, oh well. Here’s a before and after of another angle.

Side note – how do you sit on these couches and watch that TV? Seems like a recipe for a neck ache. (I know it’s just staged that way, but why?) And here’s the same view after.

The wall color is Peacock Blue from Benjamin Moore and it is, to quote Tim Gunn, a whole lot of look. AND I LOVE IT. Seriously. I have been pinning teal rooms since before we closed on the house, and when Brent crushed my dreams of having teal cabinets, I agreed only under the condition I could paint this room teal.

So from the dining room, here’s what you see through the pocket doors.


The boys love that chalkboard, and for some reason writing on a vertical surface is much easier for Cormac, so he’s getting lots of fine motor writing practice with it!

The room is actually pretty minimally furnished. We’ve got a couch, rug, tv and cabinet that holds the TV junk.

Couch is IKEA and thank goodness. With the way the kids (and Brent) treat furniture, I would be super sad to spend more than $800 on a couch, I have contact the Furniture removals only once in my life and it was very painful. This serves it’s purpose just fine. The rest of the room is used as a wrestling arena, race track, and jumping pit. As you can see, the walls are pretty blank. Such is the case with all the walls in our house. It took me like 3 years to put pictures and art up at our old house, so who knows when it’ll happen here.

Oh, and in case you didn’t believe me about the million toys, they’re housed in the closet in the corner.

It’s kind of weird to have a closet in a living/family room, but the fact it came stacked to the ceiling with shelves has been perfect!

So that’s a wrap on the parlor playroom! I’m 95% done with the entire main floor now (only the tiny laundry room is left), and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. And pretty exhausted, honestly.


New Old House Updates

I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been using some of my frustration and anger to work on the house. Because there’s only so many times a day you can call your congressman, you know? So, here’s what I’ve been up to.

This house guys, oh boy. It’s just really the gift that keeps on giving, you know? My friend, Nichole, called it “a lifetime of projects” the first time she saw it. She wasn’t lying. And let me fill you in on a little secret: I ain’t handy. And the thing is, is that all these projects are mine. Because I think we all know this house wasn’t Brent’s idea. So it’s like when you’re ten years old and you beg your parents to buy you a puppy and they make you promise that you’re going to be the one to walk it and feed it and take care of it. I’m the ten year old in this situation and this house is my puppy.

So. I’ve learned how to use power tools, and measure twice and cut once, and I’m making some progress. We outsourced the kitchen, as you know, and the boys’ bedrooms got paint and decor and that’s all they needed, but now I’m focusing on the main level and it’s kind of rough.¬†We’re planning on redoing (or maybe even replacing) the floors on the main level in the next couple months. They’re so old and splintery! But in the meantime I’m tackling what I can.

The dining room got “finished” shortly after the kitchen, which you can see in the kitchen post. Mostly just patching holes and painting done there, flood restoration and replacing curtains with white ones to brighten it up.

So next I focused my attention toward the front of this house. I call the room you walk directly into the front room. But that might be a Midwest thing because no one out here says that. Anyway, the front room got a million wall holes patched, a coat of paint (Benjamin Moore Feather Grey), and some new curtains as well. I also spent an absurd amount of time renailing all the molding and painting and caulking it. Oof, lotta work guys.


I don’t actually know what we’ll use this room for. But for now it’s the slide room, obviously. Probably a sitting room (with a bar cart!) in the future.

The room directly to the left of the front door, I call the entryway.


It’s basically just our mud room area. I feel like this area is significantly brighter and cleaner looking than it was when we moved in, but I don’t really have an actually before pic.


Here’s an in progress picture, again with a lot of patching and painting and caulking of the trim. Oh, I also actually made some baseboards for this room! One of the walls did not have the same baseboards as the other, so I made a couple of trips to Home Depot, a bunch of measurements and some cuts later, I had matching baseboards! I was actually very proud of that. I also painted the walls the same color as the dining and front rooms for cohesion.


I added a bench and boot tray on one wall. Oh, and that picture on the left was a gift from our realtor, it’s a photo of what our house looked like in 1940, which was still 40 years after it was built! So old!

AND! I dealt with the stairs.


Nearly all the stairs and risers were loose and squeaky and several of the risers weren’t even nailed in! They were just wedged into the gap under the stairs. Sigh.


So after making it feel secure, I still didn’t love it. The wood is in bad condition and kind of a mess. I’m obviously not going to replace an entire staircase my self, but I decided to give it a bright refresh by painting the risers white.



I feel like it feels a million time lighter in here now.


The other wall just got some high and low hooks for the whole family. Love that Cormac can hang his own coat and backpack! So I feel like this “room” is done. For now.

A few other little updates – new flag for the front of the house.


And for the big blank wall in the kitchen, I made an art wall for the boys’ artwork. I’m really hoping it will encourage Cormac to complete more art and crafts at home and at school.


Fine motor stuff is really frustrating for him and so he really dislikes doing it, but completing art projects and other “nonpreferred activities” is one of his IEP goals, so we’re working on it.

That’s all for now. I have to tackle the parlor/playroom/family room next, but it’s got a very stuck-on wall paper border and textured walls and a whole bunch of mismatched dark trim, so I’ve kind of been avoiding it. I’ll make it my February goal.