Sunday, January 25, 2015

Kids Bedroom Makeover Part 2 - Planking

We're used to planking around the Kruse household - but not wood planking.  So when I told Brent that I wanted to plank a wall in the kids' room he reacted how he usually reacts, with a shrug.  Seriously love this guy!

As I was deep in the throes of painting the walls and trim in Emma and Owen's room, my brain was working overtime to figure out what to do with the recessed wall behind their beds.  It didn't take long for me to figure out what needed to happen.

When this room was Brent and I's, we had these great little wall mount swing arm lamps on each side of the bed, which were our main light source.  They came with us when we moved upstairs which left two lamps on the dressers and the overhead fan light for the kids.  As I was painting, I was getting more and more angry and the lack of light in the room.  It wasn't so bad during the day because there are two south'ish facing windows for natural light, but as soon as that sun went down it got dark in there pretty quickly.  I told Brent that we HAD to figure out a way to make the room brighter.

Our plan was to plank the walls, paint them bright white and add sconces to reflect the light off of the white paint.  Luckily, a few weeks ago we picked up a bunch of 9" tongue and groove planking from the garage attic of a foreclosed property.  At the time, I had no idea what we were going to use it for but I knew it would come in handy.
As I started to sand the finish off of the planks I realized the backside was untouched, so we ended up installing the planks backwards to save me all of the time and effort it would have required to sand everything down.

Brent started by adding thin vertical strips of plywood where the studs were located to give us a place to nail the horizontal planks.
 We left all of the original trim in place so the first piece of planking went right over the front of the trim and Brent notched the plank to fit around the quarter round and trim on the adjacent walls.
 Using a jig saw, he cut out a hole for the outlet.
It didn't take too long until the entire wall was paneled.  I would have LOVED to have kept it in it's natural state because the color was gorgeous, but the wall had to be painted white in order to capitalize on the added sconces.  Remember that light and bright are our main goal for this room!
I filled the nail holes with this wood filler and then lightly sanded them when it was dry.
Shopping for sconces was kinda tricky.  We had two things to consider when choosing them - they had to have a low profile (not stick out from the wall too much) because once the bunk beds got slid back into place we didn't want the lights getting knocked around by whichever kid happened to be sleeping on the top bunk.  The second stipulation was that we needed them to put off as much light as possible, which eliminated any sort of sconce that would force the light down.  Geez - does that last sentence even make sense??  Well...if you get it, then I guess you must "get" me.  We stumbled upon these sweet little mason jar lights at Home Depot for the whopping, bank breaking price of......$5.  I know.  $5.
I suppose if you add in the $3 bulbs that we bought for them and the $5 spray paint, they were more like $9/each.  Before we hung them, I spray painted them silver and then rubbed a brown glaze over the silver parts so they wouldn't look so shiny and new.  The glaze ended up making the silver spray paint look like galvanized steel, so I was happy with that.
We chose the placement of these lights very carefully so that when it's time for one child to move out of this room, we can center the bed on this wall and the sconces will flank the bed.  Side note: every time I type the word "sconce", I think of scones.  And now I'm getting really hungry for a white chocolate raspberry scone with those big sugar crystals baked on top.

Here's the wall after 1 coat of primer.  It looked sort of cool like this, but I wanted it glossier to bounce the light around.
 This is after the first coat of paint.  It is the same paint we used on the trim and doors in the room, Benjamin Moore White Dove.
 Here's after the second coat of White Dove.
 And this next photo is after the third coat of Benjamin Moore White Dove
 And because the little mason jar lights are so adorable, here are some random pictures of them...
To refresh your memory before I show you the final product, here's what we were working with before we got started.
The end result is nothing short of amazing!  It is so bright and happy in here now!  Emma, Owen and I spent a solid half hour dancing to Uptown Funk after we took these pictures because we were so happy to be done!  Well...done with this phase anyways.  We've still got a lot of projects in mind that we'll be starting on this week - so stay tuned for those!
Even without the lights on, it still feels super bright.  And BTW, I begged Brent to let me ditch the ceiling fan for an overhead industrial light but he put his foot down - the fan comes in handy in the spring and fall when we don't want to run the A/C.
The kids are loving their new space!  Lily (our dog) is in this photo - can you find her?  She sort of blends in with all the other stuffed animals.
Shortly after we took this picture, new window treatments went up - as soon as the wrinkles work themselves out, I will be excited to share photos of them!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kids Bedroom Makeover Part 1 - Paint

Thankfully, I had a three day weekend - because I needed every single second of it to get Emma and Owen's room back to a livable state.  I really, really, really wish I would have decided to paint their room BEFORE we moved the bunk beds in.  It wouldn't have been a big deal to move the beds out for the weekend if the frames fit through the bedroom door, but they don't, which means we would have had to spend a few extra hours taking them apart and relocating to the living room.  I knew we could work around them but it got preeeeetttttyyyy tight.
I went back and forth about whether or not to paint the the end, I knew I would kick myself for not doing it so I stopped pouting long enough to get it done.  And I never thought I would have such a tough time choosing a shade of white for this room!  Pinterest makes it way too easy to become indecisive.  Benjamin Moore White Dove seemed to be a no-fail white from the things I read, so ended up doing one coat of that color in a flat finish on the ceiling.  It was very apparent right away that it was the right decision.  You can see from the photo below how dingy the ceiling had become.
 The great part about Benjamin Moore White Dove is that it is also a great shade of white to use for trim and doors, so we also picked up a gallon of semi-gloss in White Dove.  Emma scrubbed all of the little cracks of the windows with an old toothbrush while we were painting.
 All of the trim and doors received two coats of semi-gloss.
 For the walls, I picked Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.  It's the same color we have in the living room/dining room and adjoining hallway to the kids room.  I think its going to be a great backdrop for the other things we have planned for their room!
 It was a little tough to get a good photo of the room below...we can't put the bunk beds back into the recessed area yet because that wall will be getting some special treatment.  So just pretend that portion of the beds isn't blocking the view :)
 You can really tell in this next photo how crisp and clean the doors and trim feel with the new paint color.  There were a lot of little fingerprints on the old paint that momma couldn't scrub off anymore!
 The blue wall at the back of this photo is normally where the beds would scooch into - but we're not done back there yet so the beds have to stay in the middle of the room for another week.
Next, we'll be addressing the biggest problem of this bedroom - the lack of lighting.  We went back and forth with several different options to add lighting and we think we've come up with a great solution.  Hopefully we'll have that done by next Monday!  At this point, I'm just relieved the kids can sleep in their own beds again tonight.  All weekend they have been sleeping on a second bed we have upstairs in our master bedroom while we were painting.  I know it was fun for Emma and Owen because it has felt like a big sleepover - but mom and dad are ready to move them out :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Movin' On Up

I get bored.  Easily.  Which is why I'm always making things, building things, painting things and daydreaming about things.  If I don't have a project that I'm working on or towards, you can't tell the difference between me and a lazy sloth.  Of course there are always chores to do, but unless I have a reason to hurry through the chores to get to something better, my motivation sinks like a rock in a bucket.  On a recent snow day, I was home with the kids since school got canceled.  At one point, I was so bored that I dumped out a clean pile of laundry on our bed, with the best intentions of folding it - but instead I climbed on that warm fluffy pile and took a nap on it.  Like a cat.

Not my proudest moment, but it was then that I really started pressuring Brent into letting us get the gears in motion to dive into a project.  Money is a little tight around the Kruse house right now, we are paying for some hefty medical bills for Owen and we are also trying to ramp up our vehicle savings account since Brent's minivan could go at any moment.  This means we can't do anything major like a bathroom remodel or attic renovation.

But what we can do is increase our home's square footage by about 500 square feet.  Let me explain...we have two bedrooms on our main floor, Brent and I have one and Emma and Owen share the other one (with bunk beds).  The whole second floor of our house is one gigantic room, which is technically Emma's room, that has been acting as a playroom for the last 5 years.  Click here to view a tour of the second floor of our house.  The kids mostly only go up there when a friend comes over to play.  Emma's clothes remain up there in a fairly large closet because the closet in Owen's room isn't large enough for both of their things.  So each morning, Emma puts on her thick fleece robe and slippers to run up there to pick out an outfit - that's the fastest I ever see that girl move because IT IS CHILLY UP THERE!  It's not uncommon for her clean laundry to just get stacked on her stairs because no one wants to make the trip up into the arctic air.

This arrangement has worked ok for us for the past 5 years but we are all ready for a change.  Brent and I could barely squeeze our clothing into the tiny closet in our master bedroom and we were ready for extra breathing room since our new California King bed was taking up most of the floor space.  Click here to view a tour of our original master bedroom and kids room.  It's time to move our master bedroom to the second floor and create a little retreat.

With our main floor bedroom empty, it was a perfect opportunity to move the kids' bunk beds into our old bedroom.  It's larger than their current room, there's plenty of room for both of their clothing to fit in the dressers and the closet.  Plus, it's much warmer than their old bedroom, which was drafty from all the windows.

But it turns out, moving the bedrooms around wasn't enough to satisfy my overly bored brain, so I decided I may as well spend the next few weeks/months fixing up their new room for them.  The color on the walls was great for Brent and I's room, it made it feel dark and moody and relaxing.  But for the kids, I want something light and bright with storage for their toys and books.

Here's what we're starting with - I was too tired to bother picking up toys and making the beds before I took these pictures - I'm sure many of you moms can relate :)
Painting trim/doors and walls begins tomorrow night!  And over the next few weeks and possibly months, we've got lots of other fun projects in store to make this room functional and comfortable for the kids.