That last time I left you on our continuing house tour, we had just visited the main bathroom in our home. Today, we’ll cruise through the upstairs bedrooms and master bath, which are all located a half-flight of stairs up from the great room where, if you recall, I hung a crib on the wall at the end of the hall.
You can sorta kinda see where the staircase is off to the right of the picture below.
Okay, you can’t really see it at all. This was really just an excuse to show you how my living room looked with my mother-in-law’s rug on the floor. I borrowed it from her for staging purposes while we were trying to sell our house.
Unfortunately, this picture also shows my craigslist couches. The moving guy looked at them and said to me, “Are you taking those with you?” and I almost cried. I told him that if he had an accident and the couches accidentally flew off the back of the truck in the middle of the Nevada desert, I would not blame him. In fact, I might hug him. He said he’d make a note of that.
I’ve already shown you the kids’ rooms in previous posts, but indulge me a moment while I bombard you with pictures and links from the past because I’m feeling sentimental these days.
This was Faith’s room the way it looked when we first moved in:
Here it is after a little work:
We didn’t do much to her room but paint it with paint from the paint recycle store. Yellow! We also replaced the carpet in the entire upstairs (very recently) and trimmed out the rooms with trim we purchased from a building overstock store for pennies on the dollar.
Which brings me to a great money-saving point: adding trim to a house, whether interior or exterior, adds exponential value to the home. It makes every room look nicer. However, purchasing trim from a box store is like bleeding money.
If you are fortunate to have a building surplus store in your area (and many urban areas do), check them out for inexpensive woodwork. Most of the woodwork in our home came from one of those stores. We even replaced all of our cheap, hollow-core doors with solid wood doors for every room in our home (which you’ll see later). You’ll die when you hear how much we paid for them.
Back to Faith’s room. You can’t see her dresser, bookshelf, or keyboard, but you can see her daybed which was a hand-me-down from friends at church. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you might also recognize the Butterfly Chandelier I made for her. It’s one of my all-time favorite projects. Check out the original post for instructions!
Jonathan’s room was right down the hall, although it started out as the twins’ room for the first few years.
That room originally looked like this:
You will notice that none of the mint green ice cream paint was wasted in this house. Not a drip. It was in the kitchen, hall bathroom, and this room.
I got some blue paint at the paint recycle place, but it was too baby blue for me. After all, I wanted a room that could grow with my boys, and I didn’t want to have to repaint in a few years.
So, I used the baby blue to paint the wall below the chair rail, then I purchased a glaze in a denim blue and a special brush for creating faux linen texture on walls. I applied the darker blue glaze in two directions over the free baby blue paint to create a washed denim look. The end result was just what I wanted: something sweet enough for a baby’s room but cool enough for a pre-teen.
When the twins were in the room, I strung up a bit of twine and hung up some of their outgrown overalls for a fast and cheap way of decorating a large portion of the wall. Besides, it’s so hard to give away those sweet little baby clothes, isn’t it?
But then the room became Jonathan’s, so I took down the baby clothes and painted giant gears on the wall.
His wall art was super easy to do but everyone who walks into the room takes a breath because it looks like I killed myself painting gears on that wall. But it really wasn’t as big of a project as it seems. You can see more pictures of Jonathan’s room and check out the tutorial in this post.
His pegboard organizer is another favorite feature in his room. It helps him keep all his little stuff where it belongs.
Right across the hall from Jonathan’s room is the master bedroom and bathroom. I don’t have very many pictures of the master bedroom because it is the Final Frontier. It is the last room I ever clean and the only room I never finished decorating. By the time I got around to taking pictures of it, I had taken most of the decor down in preparation for moving. So, apologies all around.
When we bought the house, the room was in sorry shape. It looked like this:
Boring, boring, boring.
The walls had a zillion little nail holes and places where someone had tried to putty someone else’s nail holes and I was 8 months pregnant with twins and didn’t have the patience for any of it.
So I got a huge pail of joint compound and a gigantic-o putty knife and I smeared that stuff all over the walls. I was going for a DIY Venetian plaster look, minus the DIY.
About two hours in, I realized it was probably not a good idea to start smearing joint compound over every single inch of my master bedroom walls when I was eight months pregnant with twins, but because my husband kept walking past every half hour and grunting and saying things like, “Do you know what you’re doing?” and, “Are you sure this is going to look good when you’re done?” (which is entirely the wrong thing to say to a woman who is nesting, especially if she has a full bucket of joint compound at her disposal), I had to continue.
My husband helped by continuing his half-hour rounds with a camera in hand. He thought taking pictures of a very pregnant woman standing on a very tiny stool was funny.
It is not.
Also, there’s a very good possibility this is not what the nurses meant by “bed rest.”
But I I finished my Venetian plaster walls before the twins were born, and I love them!
Are we in Washington or are we in Rome? I don’t know!
After the joint compound dried (which took just about as long as it took my husband to have faith in my artistic vision), I painted the walls with a couple of shades taupe I mixed up from paint I got at the paint recycle place. I’m telling you, that place saved us so much money! I just dabbed lighter and darker shades together however my inner Michelangelo dictated and called it good.
Here’s a bigger view so you can see the texture on the walls. Please ignore the rest of the decor–we were moving and it’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t think a china blue bedspread is Venetian.
In order to distract you from my decorating fail, I will tell you about our doors, as promised. Those knotty alder doors came from a building surplus store where we found them for $30 each. I’m pretty sure you can’t even cut down a tree for less than $30. We collected them as we found them and replaced the cheap, tacky doors in our home with one by one.
It was worth living with mismatched doors for a few years because in the end, our entire house had these, and we didn’t have to pay over $300 apiece for them, which is the going rate at Home Depot.
Ack! I love those doors. I really wanted to take them with me to El Paso but I had a feeling the buyer would notice if his bedroom didn’t have a door.
Now, won’t you follow me to the master bathroom? It was a very scary place when we first bought the house.
Oh, avert your gaze! The stick-on vinyl floor tiles multiplied and migrated from the hall bathroom to this bathroom. There was another builder-grade golden oak vanity, a cheap mirror, and awful brass “beauty bar” lighting. Ugh.
Not to mention the fact that whoever installed the toilet paper holder must have had a sense of humor.
We knew we needed to tile the floor, and we really liked the look of natural stone, but it is expensive. Our solution was to find an inexpensive tile that looked like natural stone, in keeping with the Venetian theme I had totally committed us to.
In order to make the floor look expensive and rich, we bought just a few of the more expensive tiles and scattered them throughout the floor. I drew out a pattern of the floor and placed the expensive tiles right where I wanted them, and our dear friend from church tiled the whole thing for us.
Don’t you just love those little 2″ bronze tiles?
I used some leftover Cabinet Transformations product to redo the bathroom vanity just like I did in the kitchen. Only this time, I knew what I was in for and I only whined about 30% of the time, and most of that was before I even started.
As it turned out, the bathroom vanity was so much easier to do than an entire kitchen. The project was completed in less than two days, and most of that time was spent waiting for things to dry. I didn’t have to work at it full-time like I did with the kitchen.
I couldn’t wait to take out the ugly brass faucet. I’m not much of a plumber but I can read directions just as well as the next girl so I hanged out the faucet while Jeff added bronze cabinet pulls to the vanity.
I also built a frame around the cheap mirror using some solid wood trim we picked up at that same building surplus store for just a couple bucks. I used the Cabinet Transformations product on the wood to make it match the vanity, only I added a strip of antique bronze paint to the inside rim of the frame before I applied the polyurethane coat.
For less than five dollars, that cheap mirror looked like a much less cheap mirror.
And, I got to use the miter saw again. Bonus!
Here I am in the shower. I wanted to get a picture of my less-cheap mirror and the fabulous light fixture I found on craigslist.
I love the architectural element this light fixture brings to the room. It balances the Venetian thing we have going on. I didn’t want the theme to get out of hand and have my master suite start looking like a cheap Italian restaurant complete with fake ivy and replicas of naked statues all over the place, which, while classy in Rome are kind of trashy in America. You know it’s true.
Back to the renovation. Jeff finished the vanity with a row of glass mosaic tiles in the same chocolate, cream, and bronze colors we had going on in the room already. LOVE the glass mosaic tiles!
When it was all done, it was hard to believe it was the same room we started with.
P.S. We also moved the toilet paper holder.
I’ve only got one more stop on the home tour for you and I think I’ve saved the best for last! Next time, I’ll show you how we added about 500 square feet of useable space to our home. You won’t believe it!