Articles Tagged “Before & After”

Club House Kitchen Progress Part 1

I have been holding off on showing the kitchen for a while now because there was so much to do and I really wanted that one big WOW reveal! Unfortunately, we still aren’t completely done with the project but I decided to show how far we have come. We are getting so close now and it’s starting to look more and more put together. I have a bunch to show you as we progress through our little kitchen makeover so I’m going to have to split it into two posts.

Before I jump into the kitchen, I have a favor to ask. I entered my bedroom into Apartment Therapy’s Bedroom Retreat contest and they accepted my entry! Now, to get into the finals, I need votes. If you liked my bedroom, go to my entry page and make it one of your favorites. I admit, I still need a lot of votes :) Voting ends on March 31st so there are only a few days left!

Okay, now that I’m done begging, let’s move onto the kitchen… This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house way back in August. Yes, it has been that long!


We keep laughing about what we called our “move-in ready house” and that it has taken us 6 months of working on it to get it this far and we still aren’t done :) Yes, it was move-in ready. We just didn’t want it to stay the way it was so we started altering things a bit. And then the projects started building up and we thought since we were already doing one thing… let’s just keep going. The snowball effect. But we don’t regret diving in headfirst because we love it.

Another photo, this time a little closer…

closer kitchen

So here’s the deal. We know the house was redone about 5 years ago. When it was redone, it just wasn’t done in our style. Vinyl floors, laminate countertops, oak cabinets, basic appliances, pressed tin backsplash… There was nothing wrong with any of it. It just wasn’t us. At all. I knew that a little paint would go a long way. But who wants to stop with paint? Why not just rip it all out and do it all over? So we did just that! Oh yes we did :)

kitchen progress

First things first, we ripped out the upper cabinets. That a made a huge difference in opening up the space. I keep saying that in a tiny house we need all the storage we can get. But in this case, taking out some storage was totally worth it to make it feel bigger. I was instantly happier.

kitchen progress

Next, we ripped everything out. Yes, everything. We were really hoping to find the original wood floors underneath in salvageable condition but no such luck. Under many layers of old flooring we found some of the original but not enough to save it. We thought about trying to repair it but decided against it for many reasons. Ripping up the old floors was a nasty job. I’m glad it was the boys who took care of this one! Thanks guys! You see, while the boys were working at this house, I was still back at the previous house getting it ready to sell. We were really busy at this time. Overwhelmingly so :)


Next up, the boys started laying the floors. Choosing floors for this kitchen was the hardest decision for me and the one I regret the most. Like I said, we were hoping to be able to salvage the original floors. When we found that it wasn’t possible, we knew we had to lay new floors over the original and that means they would be higher than the existing floor in the dining room and rest of the house creating a little lip which we weren’t thrilled about but decided to go with it anyway. Since the rest of the house had wood floors, I didn’t want to even try to match it with something similar because you can always tell that they don’t really match. I also didn’t want vinyl or tile. Don’t ask me why, I just didn’t :) I have nothing against tile, but we had just gone from a kitchen with dark floors and I wanted something lighter. What a really wanted was wood. So, we ended up settling on painted wood floors. One thing to keep in mind was that because the house is tiny, we can’t put expensive things in this house or when it comes time to sell it, we won’t be able to sell it for as much as we put into it. The painted wood floors were the most economical and the option that sounded the best to us. Seriously, we talked about everything! And this is what we both could agree on. So, we bought unfinished wood flooring and painted it white.

painted floors

So, why do I regret it? I don’t regret the white. I regret the style. I so wish I could go back and pick something else!!! Why? Because of the grooves in the wood. We originally were going for wood flooring like in the rest of the house with no seams. When we got to the flooring store, Jason liked the look of the wide plank better. I didn’t really care that much as long as I could paint it so we picked it up. Big mistake. We never should have changed our minds in the store instead of thinking it through first. But we did and now we’re stuck. Our previous floors had a groove line too and it didn’t bother us but these are way deeper. So they are always dirty. And you can’t sweep them because everything ends up in the grooves. The only thing to do is vacuum them, groove by groove. At least it’s a small kitchen :) And really, it doesn’t even take that long it’s just annoying.

I must say though, for all that we dislike, I actually really like how they look. And the paint that we used is amazing. Seriously, I couldn’t be happier with the paint. It took 7 days to cure which was a commitment (and we didn’t live there yet) but it is the toughest paint I’ve ever had. I tried to find it on the Sherwin Williams website but couldn’t. It’s called Industrial Enamel and it’s an oil based marine paint. It’s super durable. With all of the projects we’ve had going on this house, this paint hasn’t showed any wear and tear at all. It’s so great that I painted all of my cabinets with it too. Previously I have always been a Pro-Classic girl, and still am, but this paint is even better. Especially if you have 7 days to let it cure :)

Having said that… it leads me to mistake number two. Let me start by saying that I love, love, love Sherwin Williams. They are so awesome there and they have always given me great advice with every project I have. So when I told them that I was painting unfinished wood floors white and wanted something durable and easy to clean they suggested this industrial enamel. Again, I am super happy with it. What I’m not so excited about is that when I asked what primer I should use, they assured me that because it was oil based, I didn’t need primer and it would cover well. I have never not painted raw wood without primer but I figured if they said I didn’t need it, then I didn’t need it. Plus, I had the manager and the assistant manager both agreeing that I didn’t need to prime first. They were wrong. We did two coats and was ready to do a third when we realized that yellow spots from the knots were showing through. So I headed back to SW and told them the problem and they suggested I rough up the spots with sandpaper, paint a couple coats of primer on just the spots and then paint all of the floors again. So that’s what we did. As time has gone on, more spots keep showing through. Arg!!! I would just sand all the floors and repaint them but remember how I said it takes 7 days to cure?! How can I not use my kitchen for 7 days? I’m about ready to rip them all out and start over!! Just kidding but… if you have any suggestions… I’m all ears!

Okay, enough ranting, back to the kitchen…

kitchen progress

They do look pretty though, don’t they?

Next up, we threw the cabinets back in the room and temporarily set the previous countertop back on. Oh, and somewhere in there I painted the walls :) We weren’t quite ready to do the new countertops at this point because we wanted my Dad’s help and he was unavailable for a bit longer so this is what it looked like when we finally moved into the house. No stove, no fridge. We were really ruffing it :)

our fridge

So, for about 2 weeks we didn’t have a fridge. It. was. not. fun. at. all. This blue cooler became our fridge. For reals. Some of our refrigerator items we kept at my parents house and we would go grab a few things every couple of days but really, since we didn’t have a stove either, we didn’t cook. Amazingly enough, we still didn’t eat out. Somehow, we managed to eat almost all of our meals at home. I think we ate a bunch of sandwiches :)


This little hut is at the end of our street. It became our new best friend :)

cooler fun

Everyday, one of us would go to the ice hut and get some ice. Then, I would empty everything out of the cooler and fill up ziploc bags with ice and salt. Then I would systematically pack everything back in laying the items with bags of ice. I became really good at this :)

We had ordered our fridge a few weeks before we were supposed to move into the house but because of Hurricane Sandy, shipment was delayed. With so many lives lost and people without anything because of the hurricane, I tried not to complain too much about the inconvenience of being without a fridge for a couple of weeks :)


And then it came!!! Yay!! To save money, we ordered our fridge from Sears Outlet. The fridge is in a really tight nook in the mudroom of the house. Just for reference, here is the floor plan again…

club-house floor plan2

See the little mudroom? It’s a really tight squeeze and a regular fridge stuck out so far into the space that it looked really funny. So we decided a counter depth fridge would do much better. Instead of being 30″ deep, it’s only 24″ deep. That six inches makes a big difference!

Back to this saving money thing… when we started looking into counter depth refrigerators, we realized they were expensive. If you get a cheaper one, then they are small. We had plenty of width, and I would rather have a normal amount of cubic space than opt for a tiny one just to save money. Then we found Sears Outlet. We got a $2500 fridge for $800 plus $200 shipping. Awesome! It had a couple of small dings on the sides (you can see them in the above photo and I knew that before ordering) but I just touched them up with appliance paint and you don’t even notice them anymore. Major score!!

Want to know our other major appliance score? Our range…

the mess

First of all, I show you this photo to show you what we lived with for months. While our kitchen was being worked on, we didn’t have anything in the cabinets and no place to put anything else so we set up some storage units in the dining room and put everything there. It was a crazy disaster. And it just about drove us crazy because it always looked messy. I’m so thankful this time has passed!

Back to the range… Early one morning when I couldn’t sleep (we were still living at the previous house) I was browsing Craigslist and came across this range. My dream range. Seriously, if you had asked me what my dream range for this house was I would have said a Viking 30″ range in white. And guess what I found? A Viking 30″ range in white plus the range hood! If the range alone had been brand new it would have been about $5000. We got both for $800. It’s not new and the hood ended up being too big but we didn’t care and the stove is one of our favorite things we got for the kitchen. I’m so happy with how it looks and I still thank the Lord for giving me this added blessing. It’s another piece of the puzzle to our tiny dream house :) I will show a better photo of the range in pictures to come tomorrow as it’s not even completely assembled in this photo.

Our new range is gas while the previous range had been electric. Thankfully, at one point there had been a gas line to the house. So we just called our plumber and he ran a new line under the house and hooked up some gas for us. I had never cooked with gas before but now that we have it? We love it! I’m still learning how to bake with gas though especially coming from a convection oven but I’m getting there. And I haven’t ruined anything… yet :) And our old appliances? The refrigerator was sold on Craigslist and our old stove made it’s way to Oregon in my parent’s vehicle when they took a trip out and is now at my brother’s house. Their stove was on the fritz and so it was a win for everyone!

While I’m talking about appliances I thought I would explain our reasons for choosing white instead of stainless. We had stainless in our last house and loved them. In this house, I wanted everything to be white. The floors, the cabinets, the walls… everything. So naturally, the appliances should be white too. Especially in that crazy little mudroom. If there was a stainless fridge in there I felt like it would stick out like a sore thumb. But the white would just blend in. And that is exactly what happens. Plus, we have gotten some really good deals on our appliances because they aren’t the “it” thing. Besides, I think white is making a comeback. Soon it will be all the rage again. Especially the white ice version. It just looks so cool! But that’s just my opinion… Hey, House Beautiful used the white ice appliances in their kitchen of the year last year and you just can’t argue with that :)

Okay, since this post has been exceptionally long, I will close there for tonight and wrap it up tomorrow. Man, this whole post was just demoing, floors, and appliances. I still have a long way to go!! Hang in there!!

And please… don’t forget to vote, if you want to that is :)

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Changes To The Master Bath

Isn’t painting something so satisfying?! The before and after that new paint makes me giddy just thinking about it. Ya, I’m weird like that but it’s true :) I have been wanting to paint in my master bath since we bought the house 6 years ago and just never got around to it. I don’t know why. There just always seemed to be other projects to do instead. But, as this is how it always goes, since we decided to sell the house, I figured it was about time. And, as with most projects of this nature, I wish I had done it ages ago :)

Most of the woodwork in our house was painted before we moved in. There were only a few exceptions and one of them was the master bath. Seriously, it looks better in photos than it did in real life as the wood needed to be either refinished or painted. Plus, it had kind of an orange cast to it which isn’t really my favorite color of wood. Then, to top it off, the tile in the master has an orange cast as well. It just made the whole bathroom look outdated. But a little bit of paint really transformed it! Sweet! Here is the before:

I couldn’t find a better before so this one will have to do. But you can see what color all of the trim, doors, and window were with the exception of the crown molding. So, I got to work!

It looks like a new cabinet!! I seriously wish I would have done this a long time ago!! Procrastination stinks!!

The linen closet door is now crisp and white too :)

And the window might actually be my favorite part. Everything feels fresh to me now.

Another testimony to the power of paint!! Yay for simple fixes!

The paint I chose is actually not bright white. Since the rest of the room is brown tones I chose Creamy by Sherwin Williams. In the room it looks white but it has more yellow in it so it looks nice with the tile and walls.

Another project down… a million to go :)

Happy weekend!!

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New Doors For An Old Cabinet

Before we made the decision to sell our house, I was working on a project with my Dad for our guest bathroom. Then, when we decided to sell, I quickly finished up the project and it looks so nice I wish I would have done it ages ago!

In our guest bathroom, we had an ugly vanity. I mean, nasty. See, the previous owners had taken the old cabinet doors and filled the groves sloppily in with putty and then painted them with glossy paint. It has always bugged me. I always just thought we would need to replace the whole cabinet but then I got to thinking that maybe just the doors would need to be replaced. That’s where my Dad comes in. He was a cabinet maker for 30+ years so he knows what he’s doing and I knew I needed his help :)

Want to see the before? Ya, I bet you do:

Can’t tell so much from a distance but up close is where the fun starts. And the missing knob? Not so great :)

Can you see those lines? They were all groves filled in. Not a very good idea. Plus there are paint drips like you wouldn’t believe!

And even closer… Gross! Plus the glossy paint made everything show up even more. Time to do away with these little guys and on to something better.

First, my Dad measured it for me and we made a plan and figured out what sizes we needed.

Next, I ran the boards that we were going to use through the planer. It helps cut down on sanding later and I am all about that! I hate sanding. Always have. Anyone with me on this?!

After my Dad cut the pieces to the desired lengths, he ran them through the table saw with two blades to make a groove.

See the groove? This is what will hold the middle panel in place.

Next, he ran the sides through to create grooves so the side pieces would fit together. I’m not able to get real technical here since I had no idea what we were doing, I was just following the master, documenting it all :)

Once everything was cut, we started assembling using some wood glue.

And then we clamped them and let the glue dry. After they were dry, I sanded them all and painted them. Then I had to call my Dad back over to hang them for me. My Dad is the best :)

Instead of going with the original white, I decided to go black and I love it! I was never super crazy about the white with the counter top so a color change was in order. And now it looks super sharp.

A head on view, with me in the mirror after we had just finished and I’m still in my grubby clothes.

Much better! Now when I walk in the room I smile instead of grimace! And you know the best part? I only had to pay for hinges which my Dad found at Habitat For Humanity and the new wooden knobs because for everything else we used scraps my Dad had lying around. The whole project cost less than $20! Pretty good upgrade for cheap! My favorite kind :)

And this isn’t the only bathroom that got a facelift. Wait until you see the master bath!

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Sewing: Pillow From A Jacket

Whew! Last week was ca-razy! We had a women’s retreat at church on Friday and Saturday which meant I was working on it all week last week. I kept hoping I would be able to sneak in some time for blogging but the week was packed. This week, I’m still trying to get my head on straight but I am getting there :) I should have some photos to share with you soon of the party and how I decorated it. With all the recent hustle and bustle, I’m kind of glad there is a holiday tomorrow! That means we can just veg out. Ahhh… How great that sounds!

It’s been a couple of week ago now but I made a pillow for my living room out of a jacket. I mentioned in a Thrift Finds post a while back that I found a cool jacket that I wanted to turn into a pillow and I finally got around to doing it. I forgot to take a before photo of the jacket so I took a picture of it afterwards, once I had already cut out the back, but you get the idea. Here it is…

When I saw it at Goodwill I immediately loved the pattern but I knew that it was something I would never wear. I have been wanting a pattern like this for my living room though, so it came home with me. When I’m thrifting I always look at clothes for the fabric as well as for something to wear. If you see a skirt or jacket with fabric you like, it might just work for a sewing project :)

And the after… I don’t usually crowd chairs by putting a million pillows on them but I really liked the graphic punch of the pattern with the stripes. Plus, no one really sits there anyway :)

I gave it a bit more pizzazz by adding some velvet trim that I had been saving for just the perfect project. Turns out, this was the one and I really like the added color it provides.

Not bad for a $4 jacket!

All this talk of thrifting makes me want to go find some more treasures. And I think I shall!

I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July! As usual, I’m spending my holiday evening at the lake and I excited for it. In my opinion, the only cure for the heat of the South is a lake or a pool. And I have every intention of enjoying myself and staying cool :)

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A Pool Noodle In My Boots

I’m not going to lie… I did not come up with this idea on my own. I have seen it many places including Pinterest and I thought it was such a great idea that I had to share it with you all. This amazing idea involves pool noodles and boots. Random, right?

Does anyone else have the problem that your tall boots won’t stay upright when you have them stored in the closet? Happens to me all the time. They flop all over the place and it drives me crazy. I sort of end up just blindly tossing them in the closet and it makes it even worse. And then I saw this wonderful idea and I knew it was meant for me!

Here’s a little glimpse into my closet of my floppy boots:

To fix this little problem, I bought a couple of pool noodles from the Dollar Tree. It was the cheapest place I could find them and they worked just as I had hoped.

I shoved one in my boot and cut it at the top of the boot with scissors so it fit inside just right.

Then I took out the cut one and cut another to the same size for the other boot.

And by golly, it worked! My boots now stand on their own! I was able to get 3 individual boots (not pairs) to stand up from one noodle. Of course that all depends on the height of your boots.

And my closet? Well, it’s happy :)

No more floppy boots! They stand straight up now and I can actually get to them easier. Just in time for summer when I no longer wear them :) Oh well, I will get to admire this genius idea next winter when I start wearing them again. Happy closet, happy girl!

I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. For some reason I have been feeling uninspired to blog. I have been doing lots of projects which has been keeping me really busy, but I just haven’t felt like blogging about it. Part of the reason is I’ve been spending lots of time working outside with the weather being so wonderful and when I come in I’m not in the mood to sit at my computer. But, the good thing is, lots of things have been getting done around here, inside and out. So, when I’m passed this blogging slump, I will have lots to post about :) Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Happy Wednesday!!

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Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

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