Hey guys! I hope you’re enjoying your day today! I’ve been busily designing our next reno! If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been renovating our main entrance/entryway. We’re getting closer to wrapping that one up with the only two things left to install: the new railing and to reroute the electrical. Once that is done we’ll start shiplaping up the walls of the stairs which will lead us to our next reno project – the upstairs landing!
Our upstairs landing is pretty large! Like it could be a separate room if we threw up some walls. But I’ve always imagined it being a library nook. Add some built-in wooden bookshelves with glass doors and a comfy wingback chair with matching ottoman… and bam! A cozy library nook! Doesn’t that sound awesome?
One thing I do when renovating our 300-year-old farmhouse is to ALWAYS keep to the era of the house. It’s an OLD house and has some really cool features! I try and highlight those and mix in some old school charm to help tie the old and new together. So when planning this entryway I went for dark and moody! I’ve added Warm wood tones and deep greens and reds to help give the room some depth. I’m also adding a mural – which I’ve never done before but I’m beyond excited!
New lighting is an absolute necessity in our upstairs landing. Not only is there not enough, but the light fixtures are very outdated. Over the stairs, I’m adding a white chippy wooden chandelier. I’m also adding several gold sconces with white shades in the space as well. I can’t hang an overhead light in the landing itself because the ceilings are much too low. Those are the quirky things I’ve come to appreciate in our old house. I think adding a few new sconces and a floor lamp near the wing back chair will add enough light to the space. Maybe not a ton of light, but again I’m going for a library vibe which I imagine is a little dimmer and has warm lighting instead of bright and white.
At the top of the stairs, you’ll walk right into an entryway table. This will be a wooden table that will take up the wall space of that nook. Behind it will be a mural from Anewall. I’ve chosen a black and white scenic print. Over the entryway table will be a round gold mirror and two sconces on either side. I’m going for a really simple design because I want the scenic mural to be a show stopper!
Right now I’m doing all my ordering so that way we have everything on hand when we wrap up downstairs. I’m a few hours from an Ikea so I may go and pick up those items in store. Ikea’s delivery is really expensive so I’m sure when trying to convince the husband to take the trip with me knowing that we’ll be saving on the shipping costs will convince him lol.
And lastly, wrapping up the downstairs entryway has to come first. We’ve ordered our stair rail from an Etsy shop and are just waiting on it to be custom made and delivered. I’ll definitely write a blog post on the installation process of our custom stair rail when we get it.
Happy Fall! I can now officially say that without the death glares from those of you sitting on the beach drinking your white claws soaking up every last bit of summer!
Not only does it mean the calendar finally says it’s ok to decorate for Fall, but the weather (at least around here) is changing as well. It was 35* this morning where I live!
So to signify the official start of Fall, I thought it would be fun to make a Fall sign for my front porch! For those of you that aren’t crafty, I’ve linked my inspiration picture below. I’ve also linked all the supplies needed for this DIY below for those of you guys who are here for it! You be you girl!
Making an outdoor sign is pretty similar to making an indoor sign… the only difference is a coat of urethane to protect it from the weather outside. Using a polyurethane will give it a shiny glossy look or using a polycrylic will give it a matte finish.
Today I’ll be using a polycrylic. The quality of the material makes a difference too. You really want to use real wood – using composite wood isn’t the best idea. Composite wood will swell up during the first rain and start disintegrating. Plastic and metal are two other great materials that work well outside as well.
I decided to use an old picture frame that was just sitting up in my attic. For those of you guys that know me, know that I’ve got an entire thrift store in my attic. It’s great when I’m doing projects like this because I can find all the supplies I need without having to spend any money!
The only supply I had to buy was some orange paint. I love getting paint at a home improvement store because the sample size is plenty of paint for most craft projects and it’s sooo cheap! Plus there’s like a million colors to choose from!
I also used some old stencils and some black paint I had stored up in my craft bin. To seal everything up from the weather outside I used a polycrylic that I had in my basement. I did 2-3 coats – not just on the front of the sign.. but all over, including the back. I didn’t want any moisture getting in there!
I started by taking the plastic out of the frame and giving it 3 coats of paint. I Allowed the paint to completely dry before applying another coat. Next, I measured out my stencils to make sure my letters would be spaced accordingly. After I was sure the letters were where I wanted them, I used my black paint to fill in the lines of the stencil.
I used two different size stencils to give the sign a little more dimension. And lastly, After I was sure my letters were dry I used 3 coats of polycrylic. Make sure when using polycrylic that your coats are thin. Otherwise, you’ll be able to see streaks left behind when everything is dry.
The entryway project is well underway with a new door, light, and hardware. I knew when designing this renovation that I wanted to bring more light into the room. A new door seemed to be the perfect solution to this problem. The old door only had a small window at the top of the door letting in a small amount of light. I imagined a door with solid window panes to allow as much light in as possible.
I found this door at a barn sale for $20 and got super lucky that it was exactly the right size to fit the doorway. I did have to buy a new handle because the old one didn’t come with a key. A new doorknob kit runs around $50.
The original plan was to paint the door black to contrast that dark color with the white shiplap on the opposite walls. With the new door up it’s obvious now that the design plans need to change. The main goal was to allow more light to shine in and painting it black will only take away from this goal. So the new plan is to paint it all white. I’ll still go with the black tile and black metal railing on the staircase for contrast.
Another change of plans is to add wainscoting to the wall underneath the wallpaper. I think It will add so much more character to a pretty bland wall while adding a bit of sophistication as well. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive to do! You’ll have to tune in next week to see how that tuned out!
Is that anybody’s motto? That’s generally mine. I want to make whatever it is that I’m doing is worth it. For instance, if we’re going to Niagra falls then we should be sure to stay on the Canada side and catch a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Or, if we are going to make Ice cream sundaes, I make sure to pick up all the toppings including all the essentials for a banana split. My husband on the other hand… not so much. Just going to Niagra falls is enough… and just ice cream and chocolate syrup is just fine. So you can see how in life we can bump heads quite a bit, especially when deciding to splurge on an expensive mop like the Bissell CrossWave! (See this baby in action at the bottom.)
I’ll be totally honest, my husband and I are a perfect match for each other. I help him have a little bit more fun, and he reels me in a little bit. But there are perfectly good times to splurge in life… it’s just figuring out when to do so. Surprisingly, it took little to no convincing for my very budget-conscious husband to get on board with the Bissell CrossWave. The functions speak for themselves: duo vacuuming and mopping at the same time, it’s cordless for easy maneuvering, and my favorite feature: two tanks, one for cleaning solution and the other for the dirty water. At the end of the day, we are both working from home and thrive in an organized and clean environment. Our time is limited and we don’t pay for house cleaning services, so any device that is going to save us time overall is a definite win in our book.
When I asked around about the CrossWave I happened to read a few reviews that said it left dirty streaks on the floor. In my experience, I did not come to that same conclusion. The roller brush is plush and has built-in grips to clean your carpets, but it has enough girth to wipe up all the dirty stuff without leaving streaks. I will say that if the roller gets too oversaturated with water it can leave streaks, but the key is to let go of the trigger and roll over that area to pick up the excess water. Maybe the other CrossWaves don’t have the sam roller brush, but the Max roller brush is awesome! Plus my box came with a second brush for backup. It’s great to alternate the two between cleaning because they do need to be rinsed with hot water between uses.
Yes! It works amazingly on carpet! Not only does it vacuum everything up but it refreshed my carpets making them smell fantastic. It leaves your carpets slightly damp so they dry quickly. I will say, this does not replace a carpet shampooer. This isn’t deep cleaning your carpets, but it gives them a nice refresh. That doesn’t mean it isn’t cleaning it – just not DEEP cleaning. The water tank was pretty dirty after cleaning my area rugs so I know it did its job, but the main function on this mop is for hard surfaces. Refreshing carpets is just a fabulous bonus.
The Bissel CrossWave does an outstanding job picking up messes on floors. For instance, it will even pick up items as large as cereal and small legos. I mean, don’t make it a habit to pick up legos… which in my house is inevitable, but it’s good to know it can!
So this is something that I was nervous about. My house is just about 4,000 sq ft and I didn’t know how many rooms I could get done before the battery died. With a full charge, the battery should last for 30 minutes. So essentially it comes down to how fast you can work. I can get abut 2,000 sq ft done in about 30 minutes, so about half my house. I just split my upstairs and downstairs into two parts.
To make sure this vacuum functions the right way every time, cleaning it out is essential. The Cordless Max has a self-cleaning cycle to make that process so easy!! To use this feature all you have to do is make sure there is enough solution in the tank – if not fill up the tank with warm water to the self-cleaning line. Then, place the vacuum on the docking station and press the self-cleaning icon. This will run for about 40 seconds and shut off when it’s done. The dirty water tank icon will flash to remind you to empty the tank. At this point, I pop out the roller and windshield attachment to make sure everything is wiped out and cleaned before retiring my vacuum for the day. Seriously, this is my favorite feature!
You can easily hook your Bissell CrossWave up to wifi and connect on an app for maintenance, support, cleaning tips, and a usage dashboard. I don’t know how often I’ll use this, but I suppose I will at some point if I start running into error codes.
No, you definitely don’t have to only use the Bissel CorssWaves solution for your vacuum. I used the solution it came with until it ran out and then I used my castile soap solution.To add the solution to the tank all you have to do is first add warm water to the waterline and then add your solution to the solution line. So you see, any solution in its place will work just fine.
I’ll be honest, there aren’t many. This baby has saved me so much time it’s incredible! My floors have never been cleaner! Although I will say that it’s tough to get edges and baseboards. The website does say that they have improved this feature, but it’s still not ideal for those areas because there are no attachments. So If I wanted to wash down my furniture I actually have to lift up my vacuum and place it on my furniture and work it back and forth. Which is ok – but not ideal and a little awkward.
To me – The advantages outweigh the inconvenience of not having attachments to get my corners closely and my baseboards. I should say it does an ok job with corners, but not as well as it would do with a hose.
Boy does Bissell have a good product on their hands… and they know it too! This vacuum does not run cheap at just under $400! I would say this is an investment piece that is totally worth saving up your pennies for. Hands down… I would 100% recommend this vacuum and I can say without a doubt it has saved me time and that my floors have never been cleaner!
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a dreamy fire pit area for quite some time now. Well, Like most of the projects in our home, I bought the supplies and told my husband that I had a really fun day planned for us both. Generally, he’s a good sport about it but gets a little nervous when mysterious packages start coming in the mail. He never knows what to expect. Well, I’m happy to report that this project has both of us super excited for the end result.
When my husband and I were just friends many moons ago, we used to hang out a ton over campfires. Of course, there were a lot of other friends there too. We realized we had a lot in common and really started to connect over campfires. To this day we still find time a few times a week during the campfire season to connect over one.
We bought all the tools needed to create our dream campfire area including twinkle lights, potted flowers, and of course wooden Adirondack chairs. My friends here know that this is something I have been on the hunt for a while. Throw in a few pillows and throw blankets and I’ve got the making of the dreamiest firepit area ever!
To start we laid out all the pieces to the Adirondack chairs, boards, and posts. We laid a thin layer of Early American Stain on them with a paintbrush. Dry time was quick, only about an hour. By the time all the staining was done I was able to immediately start sealing the wood with the weatherproof sealant. I allowed about 24 hours to dry because my boards were not pressure treated.
This part was way easier than I though. My husband was the one building them but said it was just very repetitive. The instructions were very informative. One chair took about 30 minutes to build. Since we bought 6, assembling took about 3 hours. It is very important to stain and seal the chairs before you put the chairs together. This is because you want that sealant to be in the joints to protect them from the weather. This way they’ll last. Every year we’ll put a new coat on our chairs to protect them from the weather.
We used four large planters around the fire pit with a concrete block inside to hold the post in place. Then we filled the pot with dirt and flowers to look nice and to act as extra support. We then added thin boards along the top of all four posts to connect and add support to the posts. To give the structure even more support we added corner joints. This way our structure will stay strong and secure.
Lastly, we used hooks on all four posts to string our patio lights around the structure. We did several loops to make it look flowy and the hooks just make sure to keep everything in place. The patio lights we used had clips next to each bulb making it easier to secure our loops stay in place. It just makes our campfire that much more dreamy!
It’s finally Week Two with kids storage solutions, and today we’re attacking the toy issues in my daughter’s room. Her room is not that big, so we need to come up with a few tricks to utilize the space we have. She also has a lot of toys, so finding appropriate storage is a big must to help her stay organized.
The girl has a lot of doll accessories, so I’m afraid of bringing in too many things to organize because I don’t want to overcrowd her room and leave the room feeling cramped. I want her to have room to play in addition to convenient storage. I’ll use a few large baskets for starters, and then some bins that go under her bed to store dolls and their accessories.
I think sometimes I forget that the point of her room is to keep all of the things organized AND for her to play! It’s easy to get caught up in the design without looking at things through a practical lense. I want her to be able to easily access her belongings while happily playing in her space.
My biggest goal whenever trying to organize an area for my children is that I want them to be set up for future success. Their belongings should be easy to find when they need them, but more importantly, I want to teach them how important it is to take care of the stuff that they have. Learning to care for your room as a child is so important because you’re basically learning to strengthen that “responsibility” habit muscle. The more you do it the more of a habit it becomes. And not only does it translate into them learning to tidy up but teaches them to do the things that they don’t want to do… Like, writing that term paper when they’re older, studying for a big test, or completing a work project on time. Any Charles Duhigg fans? Love his book The Power of Habit: Why we do What we do in Life and in Business. Seriously, a life changing read!
To start this project I gave her room a thorough cleaning… with her help of course! We cleaned under the bed (which seems to be a universal hiding spot by the way) and in her closet. We packed up everything on her shelf and in her closet so we could give everything a fresh coat of paint and separate her belongings into more organized piles. This way we could get rid of the things she has either grown out of or no longer plays with.
After we had everything cleaned out, we gave the furniture that needed it a fresh coat of paint and let everything dry before putting all her belongings back.
Total side note… We absolutely love her Beddys bedding! It’s the simplest concept of bedding where you essentially just zip it up every morning to a perfectly made bed! It’s amazing! I have a blog post about it here. Plus if you use THEFARMHOUSELIFE15 at check out you can get 15% off!
Coming up with kids’ bedroom storage is probably a universal problem everywhere, am I right? It really doesn’t matter the size of the room, if kids don’t have a spot to put things they’ll end up scattered all over the floor.
In my boy’s room particularly, we had a very serious book storage issue. There were books everywhere and just not enough storage space on their bookshelf to store them all. We did have quite a large wall to display them all. So we decided to get some industrial brackets and some 2-inch boards (which we had in our barn) to create rustic shelves that were large enough for all of their books.
We started with measuring, cutting, and planing our boards. Once they were ready, we took them upstairs and held them up on the wall to get an idea on how to space them. Since we had 4 boards, we measured the distance between the top board and the bottom board and then cut that distance in half twice to get 4 evenly spaced shelves. We had 3 brackets for each shelf to make sure they were adequately supported.
Once the brackets were on the wall, we placed the boards on top and I used a light coat of Early American stain to give the shelves a more rustic vibe. I ended up only giving them one coat because the stain did a great job covering the boards. I didn’t want the shelves too dark because I wanted to match the boy’s furniture. Here’s a quick video of the process.
Styling the boy’s shelves was fairly simple because the objective was to get all the books off the floor. After that was accomplished I was able to work in a few fun decor pieces. Instead of standing all the books up on end, I decided to stack them and stand them up to add a little more visual interest. This way all the titles are still showing and the really tall books don’t stick out like a sore thumb compared to the smaller chapter books.
Now that the project is done my boys absolutely love their new space and want to take care of it. I find them reading more up in their room and carefully putting things back. That right there makes the project completely worth it!
Ok – I know I’m so late on the One room challenge stuff. I’m going to blame it on COVID. Working, homeschooling my kids, and managing a home renovation all were a bit too much at times and it put me way behind schedule. But as I always say, better late than never! I’m so excited to finally share our completed home office!
My favorite feature of our new home office has got to be the sliding barn door (Tutorial coming soon!) I also love the fact that we salvaged the desk from the barn… who knows how long it had been sitting in there! If you’ve been hanging out here for long you know that I love salvaged or thrifted items. They add such a sophisticated “lived in” vibe that only antiques can provide.
The bookshelves in our office are from Ikea. (ps – everything is linked at the bottom. Scroll down if you want to check it out.) After styling them, my husband was a little confused as to why there weren’t any “real” books on the bookshelf. As you can see, the books on the bookshelf are all antiques and are more for decor purposes. You see – we have boxes and boxes of our “real” books in the attic that we’ve both been dying to bring down. I told him not to worry and that I have a plan for all those books in our next project! We’re building a library nook! I wanted the shelves in the office to be available for office storage supplies. With such a small space I wanted to make sure there was plenty of storage without feeling too cramped. So I went with lots of baskets on the shelves.
I also wanted a cozy spot in the office to sit and read. The large armchair and leather pouf provide a great area to grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and read a great book – or work on your laptop. You’ll also notice a few spots around the office that are meant for inspiration and organization. I put up a pinboard as a visual for our up and coming projects and a whiteboard for day to day tasks.
Lastly, the wallpaper I chose has a creamy texture. It creates a nice backdrop to the fun statements on the wall like the bull skull and woven light!
In week 4 of the One Room Challenge I installed peel and stick wallpaper from RoomMates. I love RoomMates because they have such a beautiful variety of peel and stick wallpaper and wall decals. They even have stick tiles if you’re looking to add instant eye candy in your kitchen as a backsplash! I decided to go with a creamy neutral botanical wallpaper that would fit right in with my neutral palette and help to add in a little more texture to the room.
I put wallpaper on only one wall, and am using it as an accent wall instead of wallpapering the whole room. I feel like it adds a little bit of interest to the space without feeling too overwhelming.
I love peel-and-stick wallpaper because it’s literally as easy as peeling off the backing and applying it to your wall. No need for pastes or paintbrushes. Although, you do need a few tools to make the process a little bit easier.
1~A box cutter to cut excess paper
2~A putty knife to tuck paper behind a heater or around window trim
3~A damp cloth to smooth out all the wrinkles
Wallpaper source: https://roommatesdecor.comLight
Light fixture source: wooden light fixture
Alright, week three here with the #oneroomchallenge. This week our biggest concern was tackling the noise issue. The problem is the office’s location and the construction of the room itself. The office is centrally located near our bedrooms in the upstairs of our home; and the walls are paper-thin. For those of you that don’t know, our home was built in the 1700s and some of the original walls are still up; particularly in our office. The walls are made of vertically placed pine boards that are only an inch thick. So you can actually see through them in some spots into the other room. And while this is a cool piece of history, when it comes to practical use – it falls a little short.
So we had to figure out how we could make this space the most user friendly. We actually plan on using our office to work – go figure! Both of us are currently working from home and need a quiet place to work. My husband thought the best solution would be installing soundproofing boards right over the existing wall paneling. They can be on the pricier side – but a total must for soundproofing any office space.
Basically, soundproofing board is a rigid panel made from non-toxic material and natural wood fibers that are wax-infused. The wax resists water perforation and the density of the board provides excellent noise control properties. We picked up ours at Home Depot. We were able to order right online and do curbside pickup. I’ve been so amazed at how these companies are working so diligently to keep us all safe.
Since our office space is approximately 8′ x 12′, we didn’t need very many sheets of the sound deadening board. We measured and cut the sheets nearly identical to the way you would handle drywall. However, read the installation instructions specs carefully, as this paneling is a bit different than drywall. Some might find it easier to cut this product with a multipurpose cutter rather than a utility knife. We used common drywall screws to hang it, and are preparing the surface for painting by mudding over the screw heads and seams.
Ok – So next week we’re mudding and painting.. and Installing some beautiful wallpaper!