While I’m driving to and from work on the weekends and whenever I am getting ready for the day, I’m usually listening to a podcast. I’ve gotten really into them in the last few months and one of the podcasts I listen to is Young House Love Has a Podcast. YHL is so great–I have one of their books + I’ve enjoyed the blog and listening to them even more since purchasing our home. Today, I was listening to their episode featuring Ana White and it totally inspired me!
Ana White is a cool lady who lives in Alaska with her family and runs a website that provides free building plans for basically any piece of furniture you can think of. I loved hearing Ana tell her story about how she just decided to start learning how to use power tools and figuring out how to make the things she couldn’t buy. I mean, why not?! It really made me think, “Wow, I could totally build stuff too!” While looking through her website, I realized I had seen a few of her pieces on Pinterest. No surprise there! Guys, there are SO many cool things to build on her site and I’ve already pinned a few plans.
There are so many pieces of furniture that I’d like for our house but we just don’t have the money to buy. I sent Daniel a text once I got to work and told him that building furniture for our house was going to be our new hobby together. haha How fun is that? It’s something I want to learn as well as something I think I’d enjoy and it’s right up Daniel’s alley! Here are some of the pieces I’m thinking about for our first projects:
- I have a LOT of books and would love a nice big bookcase to house them all!
2. I am currently using our dining room table as a place to keep my laptop, my planner, etc. and our printer floats from room to room. I would really like to have a designated space for all of that! This desk would likely go in our guest room upstairs.
3. My dream is to have an awesome and beautiful farmhouse style dining room table with bench seating on one side and pretty chairs for the other sides. Not sure of the stain as of yet but I’m really liking this style!
4. Andie LOVES to help. If there’s anything at all she can help with, she’s all about it and that’s why I think this Little Helper Tower would be PERFECT for her. This gets your toddler at counter level so they can help mommy & daddy and you don’t have to worry about them falling off a stool or anything!
Check out http://www.ana-white.com and you’ll see these plans as well as thousands of others 🙂
So I don’t have the best original photo of our fireplace because our mantle was not always white – it was an orange-y oak (the typical wood finish you see in houses from the 90s) but otherwise this is what we started with! Daniel had painted the mantle white for me about a week before we did the rest of the fireplace.
When we started this part of the project, the first thing we needed to do was wipe this whole thing down to get rid of any remaining dust, cobwebs, etc. What I discovered was that there was a ton of old candle wax on the bottom portion of the fireplace (thanks ex-homeowners -_-) so we had to add a step and scrape off all the wax.
Once the wax was off, we were able to go ahead and get to painting! Luckily, we were able to get a masonry paint from Home Depot formulated in the white we wanted (Benjamin Moore Simply White) and this meant we only had to do 2 coats!!
After about 2 1/2 hours….
I was super excited about this project. I think it made such an amazing difference in our living room and just really freshened things up! If you’ve ever wanted to go this route with your fireplace–go for it!! 🙂
So this is what we were working with for our dining room and….
This is where we ended up! I am SO happy with how this room turned out. We’re still not done but this is 100 times better than where we started so I’m more than ok with it for now 🙂
My plans to finish the space include:
– A new light fixture
-painting the hutch
-new dining table/chairs
It’s so exciting to see the changes we’ve made compared to where it started when we moved in and knowing that this is OUR house so we are truly investing in ourselves. So much fun!
Here’s our little family on the day we bought our house! Daniel and I started looking for a home towards the end of August/early September. We looked at a lot of different houses and nothing really jumped out at us. When one did, it fell through and we were becoming discouraged – fast forward to March and we found a house we loved with a completely different realtor who was 100% better for us than our first!
Our home has 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and a loft. Our biggest must-have was to either have 4 bedrooms or 3 bedrooms with some kind of bonus room or extra space. The second must-have was great schools–fortunately, we are zoned for some of the best elementary, middle, and high schools! We are also excited to have a large open living space and a good amount of natural light which is something we haven’t had in a townhouse.
The house had everything we needed and was in generally good condition, just needed some updating. Before we even moved in, we replaced the floors in the living and dining room, kitchen, and hallway with laminate flooring (Daniel did this all with help from my dad, his stepdad, and my brother). The entire house also got a new paint job (thanks to Daniel’s stepdad and grandad!). Those two things alone made such a HUGE difference! Before I post any renovation/update photos here are the before photos:
Guest Room – Upstairs
Upstairs Full bath adjoining loft and guest room
Entrance to the loft from the bathroom
view of living room from upstairs
stairs / front door
view of living room/dining room from front door
Kitchen from hallway
Hallway between kitchen and dining room
I have a little notebook that I carry with me everywhere just in case and in it, I’ve got a punch list for each room in the house of things I’d like to do both short and long term. We’re viewing this house as more of a 5 year home but we have great plans for it and we are so excited to finally have a place that is all our own!