This amazing photo was taken by my mom from her house in Idaho. It’s a view of Henry’s Lake from their driveway. Gorgeous!
My wonderful Aunt Katie came to visit with my mom for 3 days. It’s so fun and special to see her and have a chance to spend time together without all the kids and grand kids. She’s a positive and vibrant spirit and I’m grateful to have the time with her!
The first time entertaining in my new kitchen.
This little foot stool has been in one of the rentals for several years and the burlap, recycled from when I was in the rug industry, is showing signs of wear.
It’s simple to recover it, but I want to make it feel European to match the style of the rental.
I had some extra burlap and this fun French style stencil, which I used to create interest and give it a French flair.
Cute enough! And the fabric is less distressed. Voila’!
A good friend of mine is in the long process of Chemotherapy and I am helping her out with some cooking.
We settled on Lasagna, Baked Penne and Enchilada’s!
While I’m cooking, I might as well make some for my house too!
After the 1 week remodel that turned into a month long remodel, I needed a break from it all and found my way up to Gunnison to see some fall colors and the family. Preston relaxing on the patio, overlooking Blue Mesa!
My beautiful sister, taking in the gorgeous view of the Reservoir.
This is how to find peace and relax! The weather was perfect and the colors in full spectacle!
I drove the dogs past Gothic toward Schofield Pass and found a good place to stop and walk around. They were most interested in the cow pies, so I put them in the back of the truck for a scenic pic of the colors.
There were many people in the area taking pics and walking around. I was fortunate to find this place away from the crowds to enjoy the day.
Once I returned home, I started cleaning and working on the details from the remodel. I had David put up some shelving above the fridge for more storage.
He cut down the pantry doors to fit the cabinet. I Love the texture they add to the space!
Some of the details include shelves and cool brackets, barn wood and ceramic Brick tile.
Before the doors…
These were found at Habitat for Humanity for $10! Super great find! However, they were dirty and needed cleaning. I use TSP cleaning solution with a brush to remove the dust and spills on the wood.
This is my set up to refinish cabinets. Cleaning and prep is the biggest part of the project! Clean with TSP, then a coat of sanding sealer, light sanding, paint (maybe 2 coats), more sanding to distress, glaze to highlight any imperfections and give it patina, then 2 coats of finishing wax. This process must be re imagined with each project. I’ve learned that it takes a few try’s to get the look I want, then I go forward with that process to finish all the cabinets to match.
This is the pantry cabinet David built for me. I took it outside to begin the treatment, looking for the right technique. The outside panel is done and ready to mount the pantry doors again.
I also wanted to try the technique on a small part of the door. I’ll finish it later, but needed to see how it looks with paint and some glaze.
When we cut the door down to size, we exposed some joints in the wood. No worries! Luckily, my style is rustic farmhouse, so I feel comfortable having imperfections in my cabinets and doors. I do need door latches.
My door latch solution is magnetized brackets. Simple!
Before I left Gunnison, Susie gave me fresh produce from the farmer’s market on Saturday morning in town. How cute are these baby carrots?
I feel better having taken a break from my remodel project! It’s always great to get up the the mountains and especially when the fall colors are in full display!
This post gives insight into a couple days spent learning how to use a stencil and paint to update an old wooden box I bought at a thrift store for $20. It’s been in storage for almost a year and I’m now rethinking this fun piece for my new place. Let’s see how this goes!
I bought this ottoman a few years back for $20. It was upholstered in a Red and Gold Morroccan tribal fabric and was already cool, but it was dirty and showing wear. I stripped the box down to the wood and made a new foam cushion, covered in burlap.
I used it as a banquette bench with my dining table at the Logan house, while I was living there. Cushions made it welcoming and comfortable to sit on, as demonstrated by Rocco!
I now use it as a huge ottoman in front of my sofa. It’s 8′ long and 3′ wide. It serves as a bench, an ottoman, a cocktail table, a foot rest and a yoga mat all in one!
The wood is unfinished and has some distressing.
The box is hollow and has webbing on the top. It also has a long split in the wood that creaked when I sat on the bench. I used some metal brackets to reinforce the 2 sides of the split, from the inside of the box. It no longer creaks!
This is my original pattern, on a piece of scrap wood in my yard.
I converted my outdoor dining table to a work bench by covering it with an old quilted blanket and painting plastic, tied at the corners. This space is protected from rain and weather, offers good ventilitation and easy access to my project from all sides. One tip: make sure you have plenty of room and light for your project!
In the end, these are the supplies I used, left to right: Disposable gloves, screwdriver, Minwax finishing wax and clean cloth, 36 grit sandpaper block, wet clean sponge and Tobacco Green paint, mixed with White paint, water added to make it more watery, Blue painters tape, Blue paint mixed with White paint and watered down and applied with a clean cloth and a clean buffing cloth.
I used 2 stencils. This one, with Off White chaulk spray paint and Teal spray paint.
I took the patten all the way down the box, blending some Teal into the Off White pattern.
My first run.
Then, I went over the White pattern with a vine pattern, using 2 colors of Green. Each time, you have to tape the stencil into place and cover all the edges so you dont get overspray! This takes time, people!
I wanted to use the vine pattern in different applications, so I made a couple templates to cover the parts I didn’t want and only expose the sections I wanted. This makes my vine pattern seem more randon and less cookie cutter, giving a more authentic look.
3 different vine patterns in 1 stencil!
And covering the edges also takes time! I reused these same pieces of art paper, as edges, for the whole project.
Getting ready to spray some vine.
Ok, White pattern and vine pattern done on this side. It’s kind bold though, and I didn’t realized how much sanding I’d have to do to get the look I wanted. I used too much paint at first!
On the left side of this pic, I’ve applied the Minwax Paste finishing wax and you can see how rich and dimentional the wood looks! The wood really sucked up the wax and gave it a rich patina! I ended up doing 2 coats of the wax. But the pattern is still too busy, too dark!
Assessing my options at the end of a slow going day. I’m exhausted, not quite happy with my results and I need a shower to take this sawdust off my body and out of my nostrils! Ugh!
The next day, I’m feeling motivated to sand like crazy and get more distressing in my pattern, antiqued and less bold! I go to Home Depot to buy more 36 grit sandpaper.
This is how my workspace looks, temporarily set up on my wine console.
This was written on the side of this box, I added the word “Bistro” with a sharpie marker, thinking it would make the box look more French. It didn’t work. I sanded it down again.
This is the 2nd side. I learned yesterday, that you need alot less paint than you think, making the sanding process much less work. Now that I’ve done it, I learned how to make it easier and get the result I want. See how much more faded it looks before sanding?
And after sanding, paint distressing and the wax is applied.
The ends of the box were a breeze! By this time in the project, I’m literally holding the edges in one hand and spraying with the other. I’m a master at this point!
The other end. I used the Blue paint wash to frame out the box, making it seem more finished and hopefully, vintage. I also painted Blue streaks into the body of the box panels to give it more dimension.
After 3 days, my thrift store find has a new look and feels more French country to me. It’s hard to see the pattern in these pics. It’s more noticable in person and I did want an antique, distressed look for this box.
This project was fun and relatively short. I learned alot on the first day, as I tried different things to get the result I was looking for. Refinishing furniture is challenging, generally inexpensive and rewarding when done. This is a great way to rejuvenate an old piece you’ve had for a while or a piece you just found and needs some TLC. I look forward to refurbishing another piece soon!
This was the first property I bought when I moved to Denver in 2004. I lived in this carriage house for a year and half while I worked on it. It is about 500 square feet, 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.
Original windows were charming, but super inefficient. I love it anyway and spent my days off cleaning and fixing it up.
There were some huge flagstone pieces in the yard, wire fence between the two houses and many volunteer Elm trees surrouding the house.
At some point, a sunroom was added onto the house giving it much needed light, but the original windows didn’t work well for heat retention. You can see the door on the right side of the pic which was between the sunroom and the original house, now used on my new garden shed.
A cool built in cabinet in the tiny dining area.
The original kitchen with a farmhouse sink. I wish I had kept that sink now. Also 2 architectural arches in the house and a small opening phone nook in the wall between the ktchen and living room.
This door leads from the kitchen and opens to the driveway outside. The cabinets and counter top on the right were later removed.
The original kitchen.
This poor kitchen was so outdated when I bought the place and moved in.
See the short refrigerator on the far right. Right after I moved in, my sister came to stay and help and we had a new refrigerator delivered.
Looking through the living room toward the bathroom. And the storage cabinets built into the wall on the left. Also notice the opening on the right where a window was at some point. It had shelves built in in between the added on sunroom and living room.
Chain link fence between the alley parking space and yard. Lovely scalloped covered entry and stucco chimney stack against the house. Original wood siding.
After I moved in, I cleaned it up and once spring came, the garden started to fill in with wonderful perennial flowers.
I added more flagstone to make a wider walkway, added some short fencing to make a border to the garden. Still rustic, but more welcoming anyway.
A rickety white picket fence gate between the houses and hanging planters.
Shabby chic? Maybe, but I was so happy to have this little place to work on.
I added gravel to make my parking space cleaner.
You can see how adding flowers and potted plants made it cozy. I hung roman shades inside for privacy and to make it more efficient.
Outside the bedroom window, a little garden.
My little sitting area. You can see the washing machine through the window in the sunroom.
All these tress were suckers and were growing under the foundation. I loved the shade, but had to have them removed later.
I painted, installed parquet floors and fixed it up while living there.
Looking from the living room into the sunroom. The floor in the sunroom was very uneven.
See the vinyl flooring in the kitchen? I replaced the appliances, sanded and painted the original cabinets.
Cool arches in the house. I think it was built in the early 1930’s.
I had the cabinet doors off to paint them. The original farmhouse sink and dish drainer. Metal tiles on the backsplash.
The bedroom is large enough for a king sized bed.
Looking from the kitchen through the dining area toward the bedroom. Phone nook on the left.
Tiny dining area.
Nice sized cedar lined closet.
In 2016, I did a full remodel and converted this long term rental into a short term rental.
See how uneven the floor is. Original exterior siding on the left wall where the sunroom was added on.
I took this wall out, had the floor leveled and moved one of the sunroom windows to the wall on the left side above where the washer and dryer will go.
The interior walls in the sunroom were finished with very cheap cardboard “wood”.
These projects are always worse before they get better.
My contractor, assessing the situation!
The original exterior wall between the sunroom and living room.
The finished product! So bright and cheery!
Now it’s a pleasure to do laundry.
Still tiny, but more charming. I took the cabinet doors off and painted the inside a fresh Green.
Galley kitchen flows nicely.
Walking through the kitchen from the entry door, by the driveway, into the house.
King sized bed.
Comfortable living area.
Electric fireplace with the now famous phone nook on the left.
Small, but cute bathroom.
Tiled bathroom with iron details.
Outdoor courtyard with gardens, flagstone walkway and sitting areas.
I kept the original wood siding, but scraped and painted it, added the shutters and exposed the brick on the chimney stack.
I exposed much of the original chimney and sealed it for a rustic old world look. Added a wood door and replaced the scalloped entry cover with a cedar arbor with iron brackets. I also added Cornflower Blue shutters for extra charm.
I found vinyl flooring that matched the original pine flooring in the bedroom and replaced the parquet flooring.
This little house has come a long way in the time I’ve owned it. It has a special place in my heart as it was the first of my houses I lived in when moving back to Denver in 2004. Although it looks so cute now, I loved it when I lived here so long ago. Now it’s available to rent through VRBO.com, listing # 795289.
The paint is finally on the siding and it looks fresh and bright!
Now that most of the big stuff is done, I can start working on the decorating, my favorite part! I’ll place the planters, hang flower baskets and move some benches into the front around the house. I also ordered a cool tiled house number set that should be here soon.
The top flagstone step arrived and the landscapers are placing it.
So Much Better!
Now that the paint is up, the gutters are next.
The Patio Slider looks great!
I think this new slider patio door is the most dramatic change to the interior, so far. The light coming into the kitchen is wonderful and I love look looking out into the yard. Next, I’ll be placing all the planter pots that are being stored in this area and reworking it to be open, functional and pretty.
The back porch is so much cleaner looking.
Today I’m going to Home Depot to buy materials for outdoor curtain rods. And then start setting it up to use! I know it’s only February, but spring will be here before we know it!
My buddy, Rocco! He doesn’t really care so much about the project. He just wants to be with me, wherever that is. Mr. 100% loyal! Otherwise, he loves to eat and sit in the warm sunshine.
Me in my yard a month after I retired in 2016. Working in my yard is a very happy place!
Most of the major stuff is done and I’m now looking forward to working on the small details. I love this part and have been thinking about how to create special spaces in the new clean, updated yard. It’s so easy to lose myself moving things around and trying different ideas until I get it just right. Spring is not far away and, I’m sure I speak for most people, it’s a time to come back outside, breathe fresh air and notice all the tiny little bits Green as nature unfolds again. Once it warms up, I’ll be focusing on the yard, gardens and greenery surrounding the house.
The siding crew got all the siding done and are waiting for the new patio door to arrive before they finish this area.
Finally, the slider came in and David is installing it today!
This is the inside wall where the new door is going.
The plastic will help keep everything cleaner.
The refrigerator temporarily in the middle of the kitchen. This was expected to take 1 day to complete, but it took 3 days in reality. The door was installed in 1 day, but the plaster, sanding and details took longer. Luckily, this house has a loop layout. I can walk through the bedrooms to get to the kitchen from the living room while this door goes in. I feel like I’m camping, sort of.
The mud needs to dry overnight before sanding, so we left the taped plastic up.
We had good weather while they worked on the door. Better for the guys and better for me while the wall is opened up!
It took most of the day, but I can see how open and bright this door will make my kitchen.
The new door creates so much more light. You see it right as you walk in the front door!
Wow, I love this new slider door! It’s much brighter and makes my small kitchen feel bigger.
This is now a view. I want to clean it up and make it nice to look at.
The back porch is looking so much better too! No utilities on the back wall and all the battens are now up. I’m getting used to the Green primer on the exterior walls, but the actual color will be off White, once painted.
The concrete pad expansion is done, tongue and groove panels are installed on the underside of the roof and the patio is now full size. I ‘m considering a fresh layer of concrete poured over the whole pad to cover any nicks or flaws in the concrete. But right now, I’m trying to finish the big stuff.
Although the exterior paint isn’t done, I’m anxious to get my patio organized so I can use it!
The patio roof has been prepped for the metal roofing, which has been ordered. However, we got snow and the roof leaked onto the patio below.
Right outside my back door. What a mess!
Ricky, my electrician is installing the exterior lights.
New exterior lights.
I found these tiled house numbers locally, but I think I need something more modern. I ordered a different one online and think it’ll be better.
The lights at night. I’ll change the bulbs to dimmer bulbs so I can adjust the amount of light they put out.
I expect the siding crew to be back next week to finish the siding around the new patio slider. I already have a painter lined up to paint the siding, and my gutter guy will be here to attach the gutters next. The last big thing is the metal roof on the back patio. Hopefully in 2 weeks this part of the project will be done.
Chatfield State Park! Ohmmmm…
As excited as I am for the project, it is stressful to have all this going on while living in the house! The crews are respectful and positive, but the air compressor and the constant banging leaves Rocco and I a bit overwhelmed. So we get away for a while, walk and take in the beauty of Colorado!
Meanwhile, David built a temporary support wall so he can replace the white 2×4’s with Cedar beams.
New cedar beams open the whole space up!
Extending the tongue and groove roof to cover the newly poured patio extension.
View of the new cedar beams from the yard.
We’ve been lucky so far, with limited weather during this project. But it is winter in Colorado and realistic to expect some snow. Fresh snow makes it look so clean.
A fter they added insulation and plywood sheeting, finally I can see some siding.
They use a drip edge between the seams of the horizontal siding panels to prevent rain or snow to get behind the panels. It’ll get painted with the siding to blend in.
And I love the Cedar accents.
All the gables will feature Cedar siding.
The front door entry, Nice!
Standing under the arbor gives a sense of space. Even though its open above, you still feel like you’re somewhere special.
I expect the new patio door to arrive this week. This wall is waiting to be opened up so I don’t have a hole in the side of my house while we wait for the door to arrive.
One of the challenges with any project is to recognize areas that are an eyesore and find a way to make them fun features instead. Take this spot. Currently, I have a gate from the driveway to the back yard, utility boxed (electric panel, sprinkler system, cable box, etc) mounted on the outside wall and my new outdoor seating area just to the right of this pic. With the new arbor overhead and the forthcoming sliding patio door, I can see that this will likely be the door I use the most, especially when unloading groceries into the kitchen. Once the slider in is, I’ll move the gate, add a flagstone step under the new slider and have a welcoming back door entry to the house. This spot will become a focal point and mush used area.
This area will become the back entry.
We are lining the underside of the patio roof with tongue and groove Cedar paneling to match the existing patio roof.
Wow, so much cleaner than the original back door and utilities mounted on the wall!
View of the back porch from the yard.
With the new patio roof extension, I hoped to keep the old roofing shingles and add more to finish the new roof. However, considering the cost to replace or add, I decided to change it to variegated metal roofing instead. It’ll match the roofing on the shed and give the back yard a farmhouse vibe. $$ Cha-ching!