Before and After: Craft Room (And How to Make a Beautiful Floor With Stencil)

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I am most pleased with my new craft room, MOST PLEASED. In fact, it is marvelous and beautiful and spacious and lovely and all kinds of other positive adjectives. The last few days of working in there have been so productive!Ā Much better than my last craft/laundry room. šŸ˜‰

I put a lot of work into this room and I am glad I did. Here is a picture of how the room looked before we moved in.

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Kinda creepy right? This is a half-basement room, so the subfloors are cement. The cement floors in the basement were coveredĀ with carpet glue because the last people who lived in this house abandoned it and a pipe consequently burst in the cold weather, causing water damage in the basement. The bank that overtook the house went in and tore up the carpet, as well as cutting out the bottom foot and a half of drywall, leaving a shudder-worthy basement as a result. The final result is much better.

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My wonderful husband installed new drywall and I then painted the walls (white because I wanted something simple, bright, and good for photos) and ceiling (light bluish, because that is the best color for ceilings). Then came the fun part: the floors.

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So if you’ve ever painted cement subfloors before you know it’s a big job. It requires scraping glue and dried paint, sanding, sweeping a hundred times, priming, and THEN painting. The painting part itself is actually supremely easy – easier, in fact, than painting walls. I usedĀ this tutorial over on Vintage Revivals BlogĀ as a guide, which I highly recommend, but I will go over the basic gist of how I did it as well.

  1. I scraped all the carpet glue off the floors with a metal scraper. The tutorial suggests using laquer thinner – I went without, and though it took a long time it worked perfectly well.
  2. Next I made sure the floors were reeeaaaaally clean. This means sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping down if necessary. I did each at least three times if not more. You want your floors to be spotless.
  3. At this point I was ready to prime the floors. The paint I used (Behr Patio and Porch Paint) was not self-priming, so I simply used an all-purpose primer.
  4. After the primer dries completely (I waited a day) you’re ready to paint. I painted around the edges first and then simply poured some paint onto the floor inĀ the far corner of the room and went at it with a roller. Took about ten minutes. Let this dry completely as well.

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Now that the boring part was complete, I was sooo ready to paint my pattern! I had dreamed of a patterned floor for a long time and couldn’t wait to get started. The pattern I decided on was the Asmir Triangles Wall StencilĀ from Royal Design Studio Stencils. Royal Design Studio has HUNDREDS of stencil patternsĀ to choose from and I highly recommend them if you are thinking about doing any stenciling in your home!

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This was my first time stenciling a floor so I was very nervous to start. I think the most important thing when it comes to stenciling is to remember to keep your brush or foam roller (for floors I definitely recommend using a roller) dry – don’t let the paint be thick or dripping. After dipping the roller in paintĀ I simply off-loaded it backĀ onto my tray. This is called the dry paint method. I also had a paper towel handy just in case.

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The hardest part was letting the paint dry long enough so that I didn’t mess up the trianglesĀ as I overlaid the stencil to move onto the next square of pattern. The patio and porch paint takes a while to dry, and I am a very impatient person. Nevertheless, the entire floor only took about five hours or so to complete.

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While all the painting was fun, the organizing of the room was my favorite part. I love making a room as efficient as possible, and I am pretty confident that this is one of the most efficient rooms I have ever organized.Ā I’ve got separate locations for different tasks; for instance, in one corner of the room I’ve got Paint Corner – where I do all my painting. The other wall is dedicated to fabric and sewing. Before we moved into this house I did a deep cleanse of my old craft room and categorizedĀ all of my items and tools, which made organizing this room much much easier.

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Luckily, Mose is enjoying her new room as well! Her cage fits just perfectly under my fabric table, and I think she likes the pattern on the floors. She’s a very artistically minded bunny after all. šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜› šŸ˜€

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The Kitchen: Before and After

Grant and I have put so much work into the new house (about a month straight of hard labor!), so we are thrilled to finally – FINALLY – be at the point of moving our things in! Move-in Day is officially tomorrow, but I’ve been carting stuff over periodically for the last week to make things easier for us on the big day. It’s nice living only five miles from our new house – a big difference from the 860 miles it took last time.

So today I am going to show you one of my favorite parts of the new house – the kitchen. A big, open kitchen has always been a dream of mine. This will be the third place Grant and I have lived in since getting married; the kitchen in our first place, the tiny apartment in Gilbert, Iowa, was a tiny corner off the living room and severely lacking cupboard space. My most vivd memory of that kitchen is the light inexplicably falling on my head as I was making sweet and sour meatballs for Grant for dinner one night. The kitchen in the rental house in Dayton is a galley kitchen that was actually added on in the 1950s or so. It is lacking cupboard and counter space, though it was a bit of an upgrade from the apartment kitchen. This new kitchen – oh boy, it’s like the taj mahal of kitchens after the last two I’ve spent so much time in! It’s got lots of counter and cupboard space, is open, and even has a window over the sink.

Here are some photos of the space before I took over.

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I knew immediately that the dark cabinets had to go. They clashed terribly with the countertops, and in general dark cabinets close off a room rather than open it up. Grant and I also knew we wanted to get rid of that awful linoleum floor and add a little bit of detail to the walls.

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The color I chose for the cabinets actually came about by accident. I was planning on doing a subtle sage color, but on a fateful trip to Home Depot I found a gallon of Oops paint that I couldn’t resist buying (it was only $9, after all). As it was the first gallon of paint I bought for the new house, it was the first color I tested on the cabinets and I immediately fell in love. I love how vibrant they turned out, and how much interest they add to an otherwise plain kitchen.

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The wall treatment is a stencil from Royal Design Studio. Stenciling is actually a lot easier than one might think. Though the height of that triangle space gave me some trouble in spots, I was able to continue the pattern through the whole area. The entire project took about six hours or so.

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When it comes to decorating kitchens I have always loved the idea of including cookbooks in view. Luckily, I had plenty of space in my open cabinets for a couple stacks of cookbooks. (I elected to leave off the doors of three of the cabinets because Grant is opposed to cabinet doors. My stipulation was that the dishes inside them must be pretty and must never be a mess). I lined the space above my cabinets with fun items I’ve collected over the years, some vintage, some not, all deserving of a spot in view. Finally, a couple plants adorn the shelving unit by the sink because I believe that every proper kitchen should have at least one living plant.

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I can’t wait to start baking in this kitchen! Wish us luck on Moving Day. šŸ˜€

Where I’ve Been Lately, Part 3: A New House (Which Means Renovating)

A couple days after we got home from Texas, Grant and I closed on our house (after monthsĀ of waiting, it seemed). Yep, that’s right – we’re homeowners! The new place isĀ a little duplex in the town of Ranchester, five miles from where we are currently. The high school where Grant teaches is in Dayton, so he’ll have a bit more of a commute than he did last year (which was like, two minutes across the street), but the middle school where he coaches football is in Ranchester just a block or two away from ourĀ new house.

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The house isn’t much and it needs work, but it sure is nice to call something our own. We’ve already put about a million hours into it and have much more to do, but we plan to move in in the next couple of weeks. Luckily for you, I’ll have lots of DIY projects from this venture, and I will be posting lots of pictures!

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For those of you who are curious, here are some of the projects I’ve been busy with (and some of these you may see as tutorials on here eventually):

  • Painting every single surface. What a job.
  • Stenciling, stenciling, and more stenciling. I’m doing a wall in the nursery, some spots in the kitchen, and the basement floors (which are cement that I’ve painted over)
  • Painting the stairs (trying to figure out if I want to do some element of design on the backs)
  • Crafting a frame for a plain bathroom mirror
  • Reinventing some boring white shelves that came with the house

Grant and I have already scraped all the popcorn ceilings, done some drywall work in the basement, torn up the carpet and will be installing wood floors asap. That’s a lot of long days!

Being a homeowner is lots and lots and lots of work, but we just keep telling ourselves that all of the grunting, exhaustion, and filthiness will be worth it in the end!

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