White planked feature wall

I had big plans for this wall! It was such a perfect wall for a wall treatment. It is open to my kitchen and VERY visible from all parts of my house. It’s also not too tall or large to make for an overwhelmingly large focal point.  It stared off as a very thick hand troweled wall faux painted with a lovely orange and brown. Can we say blah?! This wall had to change PRONTO. Originally I was going to paint it grey but then I got the brilliant idea to plank it and I liked that a lot better! How we planked the wall was quite simple.   The planking does go all the way around the left corner into an open desk area that isn’t really shown. I blame my pregnancy brain for not getting a lot of the pictures I really needed. (Oh yeah, and renovation a house by myself with 3 kids and 8 months pregnant while my husband worked his butt off 70+ hours a week in his new office… good times, good times).  Did I just go off on a tangent? Why yes, yes I did. Any who… LOVE how the wall turned out and I found these round mirrors that matched our vent hood perfectly and really tied everything together! I am in love!

TIP- HOW TO PLANK A WALL (YOURSELF) 

So, we are do it your selfers on projects like this usually. However, in this case, we were running low on time and I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and my husband was working 75+ hours a week at work. Sooo….I went to Lowes. I picked out several FLAT pieces of SANDED plywood. (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET THE MOST FLAT PIECES YOU CAN FIND AND ALSO SANDED) I had them cut 6 inches wide long ways so the pieces were as long as possible. I wanted to see as few seems as possible. This was TRICKY. After we left, I realized A LOT of the boards were NOT cut straight. I am a PERFECTIONIST and I was going to be staring at this wall A LOT! So, I had my husband re cut some pieces more straight. It is VERY important to have straight cuts because 1 piece not cut straight will throw the ENTIRE wall off and make it look crooked! I ended up using some of the board and having Joe only have to re cut a few. I had Joe start at the top of the wall (since you can see that the most) and work his way down. He put liquid nails on the back of the planks as well as nailed them to the studs. To space them, we put nickles in between the planks and let it stand for a couple days.

TRICK- HOW TO GET THAT BEAUTIFUL SMOOTH FINISH ON THE PLANKS

First, like I mentioned before, it’s important to get the sanded plywood. (This will make it a lot easier) After the planks are all up, fill the nail holes with wood filler and give it a nice sand down. After sanding, wipe it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off and then wait a couple hours for it to dry. We finished the edges with quarter round and then had the painter, spray the planks so you didn’t see brush strokes. This gave it a very crisp, clean and finished look. And I’m so happy with how it turned out!

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Little Girl Pink Bedroom- Josie

Josie had found this quilt she really liked at Pottery barn kids, so we used that as our inspiration piece. I love the bubble gum pink, turquoise and cream in it so we decided to go with those three colors as our main colors for this room. I knew I wanted to do a feature wall in her room to bring some character and funk. I thought bubble gum pink would be adorable! After I had a finish carpenter do ship lap siding on the wall, I primed it white. At this point, I was really hesitant to paint it pink because it looked so cute white! But since I did all the other walls cream, I knew I had to make this wall pop. The first few strokes were really hard, I’m not going to lie. Bubble gum pink is a VERY bold color and it was BRIGHT! I was super hesitant and called my husband and designer friend for some support. After hanging up with them, they assured me that after all, it’s just paint and if I hated it, I could always paint it back! So I hunkered down and went to town. It’s always a little scary at first when you paint a room a bold color. Until you get furniture, rugs and decor in, it looks really bare and bright! But I knew this so I just bit my lips and painted away. After getting the furniture in and doing a mini surprise for her…My daughter loved the room… and so do I! The ship lap siding really gives the room some interest and the pink really makes it pop! The other cream walls bring balance and the room feels, funky, fresh and fun. Just like my Josie girl!

TIP- HOW TO COLLABORATE WITH YOUR CHILD ON DESIGNING THEIR ROOM

A happy medium. How many times have we all heard “I want a princess room? Or I want a super Hero Room!” Luckily, my Josie girl is not into princesses 🙂 But she is into big bold, bright colors. Working with your child and incorporating their own style into their space while maintaining a nice look, is difficult. I try to make the process fun and something we can work on together. Working in your child’s favorite color is a sure way to make certain they will love the space! Doing simple art projects, spray painting decor and painting walls together are all fun and easy ways to involve your child in the design process of their space. Not only will these projects help them be involved but they are also great ways to develop creativity! I juts love when my children come up with their own design ideas to incorporate and make the room feel more like theirs!

TRICK- HOW TO USE BOLD COLORS TASTEFULLY

I know a lot of people are scared to use color… especially bold bright colors. But when done correctly, these colors can breath life into a room and make a large statement. Not only can paint make a large statement, but it is probably the most affordable way to do so. In this case, when you pair it with a wall treatment, the rest of your room can be very simple and clean. Painting one wall a bold color can easily make the entire room pop and make it look like a million bucks!

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                                This was about the point where I freaked out and called my husband…

Here’s my little cutie patootie painting away… she was so happy to help paint her own room! And here is me… about to pop with my 4th babe! We moved into this house with just a couple weeks to spare before baby came!

Super Hero boys bedroom

I absolutely LOVE to design with my kids and help them create spaces they will enjoy spending time in. In my experience, most kids really don’t know what they want. So, I love helping them out and giving them a few different options. As with most rooms, we start with an inspiration piece. Something that they LOVE and are really drawn to. I love taking my kids shopping or just looking on pinterest for some ideas.  It was SO much fun seeing my kiddos creating and learning! I guess I pooped them out though… because after I made them paint for two hours, they crashed in the car on the way home. Ooopsy! I am in the LOVE with how the room turned out though and so is my son, which is the most important 🙂 I’m sad I didn’t get a really good picture of the room before. But it was pretty bad! The bottom half was a poop brownish green and top half was an even poopier brown! Bleh!!  The final product ended up being fun, clean and mature… just what I was going for!

TIP- THE DREADED THEMED ROOM AND HOW TO COMPROMISE

I personally am not a huge “theme room” person. Especially when it comes to children’s rooms. I just feel like themes can become tacky really quickly and the colors are usually those that I don’t care for. But in this case, my son was adamit. Cooper, my oldest knew he wanted his old Spider man stuff since he didn’t get to enjoy it in the old house for very long. And since it had been a couple years since we really decorated his room, he had matured and wanted something a little more grown up boy. So I set out to make the cleanest and most tasteful Super Hero room I could think of.  I thought by adding some navy blue it would really make the room feel older while still maintaining that superhero theme. I also, wanted to put a more modern. clean spin on the superhero theme. So I thought, large simple stripes would so the trick! I am VERY much in love with lime green (it’s my favorite color) so I just HAD to incorporate it into this fun boys room as well! I knew I wanted to bring in the clean crisp color of cream to make the room feel large and open as well so I continued the color up to the ceiling and onto the entire ceiling.

TRICK- USE THEME PIECES SPARINGLY

In my opinion (and take it for what you will) I like to use theme pieces sparingly. That means, if your child tires of the theme, then just take down the themed decor and you still have a perfectly designed and functional room! I love how if he did end up growing out of super hero’s anytime soon then, I can just remove a few wall decals, and a few decor pieces and his room still looks great! No, themed pieces needed or we can easily add a different theme!

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Ok, so it is mostly ugly… But I have big plans for this house!! And like I said before, there really are so many good things about it. Below are some before pictures. You see, in Texas even ugly houses are so spacious with wide hallways, tall ceilings and big ol’ rooms! At least, that is what the experience here was! The natural lighting in the home was fabulous, it just needed a fresh coat of a nice crisp clean creamy white color to reflect some light off of and it brightened the whole house up! Going into this project, we set a strict budget of $50,000. That was to include complete renovation of the kitchen AND master bath, tearing down two archways, putting up a brick wall, adding a pantry, adding lockers, painting the entire interior of the house from top to bottom with fresh paint, and new flooring in the ENTIRE 4,200 sq ft.  The timeline was a strict 8 weeks (because that is when our lease ended) and I was also about to pop with my fourth baby! So, I really wanted to get in and settled for a few weeks before baby came! So, we were on a mission! A general contractor was completely out of the budget and so were any custom designs, so we were on our own! Luckily we found Juan… a FABULOUS general construction worker with lots of knowledge in all aspects of renovations and he was able to work with our budget! We went and picked out all the tile, backslash, paint colors, carpet and flooring on our own to save money and delivered it right to the house. Juan was pretty amazing… he would tell us exactly what to get and how much and then he would work his magic!

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This is the fabulously HUGE and tall front entrance. It is VERY grand and gorgeous!!

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I never did get a very good kitchen shot before we started working on it! But you get the idea. The kitchen had a funky layout with a long hallway thing to the side and a wet bar towards the back. Since we don’t drink and there wasn’t a pantry, we decided to take it out and put in more storage!

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The fabulous dark oak cabinets were TOP priority to go! But they were in great shape luckily and so we were able to just re paint them!

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The master was screaming for some love!! Dark cheap laminate flooring and tan walls… eek! This was just cosmetic though.. pretty easy fix.

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The Master bath was very “builder grade” with tan EVERYTHING!! The walls, the tiles, the backsplash, the cabinets… all tan!!

Selling our first home and renting for the past two years has definitely given me an itch to have my own place again! It’s taken us a while to decide on what neighborhood and location, and we are REALLY picky… I mean REALLY PICKY.  We don’t know quite how long we will be here so my top priority was to find a place we could eventually sell and make some money on. Not only that, but I’m really into renovations! I LOVE everything about them… the construction, the design, the concept… you name it, I LOVE it! My favorite part is bringing life back into something that is just really ugly, old or worn down. I love the entire process. Being a realtor for several years, I also know what to look for and what are good selling features in a home. I know where to spend money and where to save it. And although, I have no professional training in design, I have a knack for pulling things together, seeing beauty and bringing out the best features in a space (I’d like to think so anyways 😉 ). After house hunting and neighborhood shopping for months… I found this beauty online myself and met straight with the seller. I was able to negotiate the price down quite a bit since the property had been sitting on the market for over 110 days and it didn’t show well at all. The overplayed Tuscany theme was well past it’s glory days and the whole place was orange with thick troweled walls and faux brick arches with cheap laminate flooring… BLEH!! BUT it had GREAT bones… the layout was fabulous, the rooms were large, the ceilings were high and the concept open! Really, it just needed a major face lift and a little moving around in the kitchen and we were golden! The lot was over 1/4 an acre and very private and came with a new large play structure PERFECT for the kiddos! I knew this was the place the second I walked in. It was love at first sight. I immediately started re-designing in my head, knocking down a couple walls and spiffing the place up! I had to have it… it was PERFECT!

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