brewster fun floor revisited

i took some new pictures of our lower level (“fun floor / sleeping quarters”) last weekend. it recently got new tile in place of old berber, new bright paint, and some fun art. it is majorly improved. [see before here].


this full-sized bed recently got a little upgrade since we got a king for the master bedroom and cycled the queen mattress down here.IMG_6324

i’m clearly incapable of photographing this lighting scenario, but the whole room has a much brighter and cleaner feel (you’ll have to take my word for it).IMG_6336


IMG_6343so far so good with the new flooring.
IMG_6328i think this area is finally in pretty good shape.

the tile is in!

the much anticipated tile floor was installed in our brewster basement last week. i wrote a lot about the new floor planning process here and a little here. in a nutshell: we had an old berber carpet that was fine – a little musty and worn – but then was completely ruined over the winter when our dehumidifier pump malfunctioned and water soaked the rug and pad to the point of no return. it wouldn’t make sense to put more carpet down there. carpet + rental property = no. we decided on tile. i obsessed over wood-like tile choices for many weeks. we considered options from home depot, lowes, daltile, and a number of boutique tile shops in the cape then quickly narrowed down our choices to the style selections line at lowes (we quickly learned that only lowes and home depot had options we could afford). i also learned that the added labor cost for a herringbone pattern installation is nauseating. my herringbone dreams were crushed as soon as we saw the numbers. the wound is still raw. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

this is how it looked when we arrived friday. its hard to get a feel for it with no baseboard (which was mike’s weekend project). the tile is . only $2.48 per square foot (not including labor, of course).


here is shakespeare beginning the quality control inspection and a sneak-peak at some new art i splurged on for the new and improved space.IMG_4742

and enough bubble wrap to air-mail our entire house.IMG_4743

or provide 4 minutes of 3-year-old entertainment…


mike worked his tush off and installed all the baseboard himself (a job that our contractor quoted over $2k!).


dane also pulled his weight…IMG_4786

shakey, not so much. just look at those rolls…  its a combination of winter and pregnancy sympathy weight…IMG_4755

we are getting a new door for the utility closet which we had to special-order. patience, patience is so hard.

but definitely looking much better with the new chunky, flat stock trim!IMG_4770

the wall reads yellowy in these pictures, but its white dove.. a soft, creamy white that i’ve been using everywhere (not at all yellowy).


after moving some furniture back into place (as much furniture as one man + one 8-month preggo lady can handle), it looked like this. still some obvious finishing touches needed (vent cover, door, window trim…) but very promising!



its hard to see, but i covered 3/4 of this back wall with bead-board wallpaper. its going to be capped with a piece of trim and have some hooks between the bed and stairs and be awesome. more on that later.



this friday we are headed back to the cape to actually enjoy ourselves and the brewster in bloom weekend festivities. its been a while since we’ve spent time here without an aggressive to-do list. we can’t wait!

do you want to rent this house for memorial day weekend!? leave a comment or get in touch with me!

brewster : a new floor

i told you about the ruined floor in the walk-out basement of our cape house. prior to that, i was pretty content with this space. i recently added a little tv on that wicker chest and two comfy chairs (not pictured) to create a cozy spot for kids to hang on a rainy day. but once the carpet and baseboards were torn out, it was obviously time to clean and brighten things up down here.

you have to take a lot of steps backward before moving forward as you can see below! my go-to white,  white dove is going on all the walls. 

the “relax” definition was scraped off (that was my one job). i was a little sad and nostalgic about it since it was one of the first little projects we did here. but it was time.

but the real renovation that is going to be happening down here is the installation of wood-like tile. significantly more expensive than re-carpeting but hopefully a wise long-term investment. we started at home depot… hated the options (that we could see anyway… there weren’t many) and couldn’t, for the life of us, get help from any of their flooring specialists. later, we went to lowes. again we were frustrated by the lack of help available to us but liked their “style selections” brand. after waiting 20 minutes for their guy to come help us, we decided to just buy a box of our 3 favorites and try them out in the room.

that weekend i had planned to visit two local cape cod shops to check out their options and prices. the first was in harwich. they had some lovely tile, however they cost (at least) THREE TIMES per square foot as much as the lowes brand. once i heard the price range i quickly turned around and shuffled dane out of the store.  we didn’t even bother going to the next one on my list. it was really eye-opening to realize how much more affordable these big box stores can be. i love the idea of supporting small business etc etc, and maybe there is a significant difference in “quality” but one thing for sure is that that tile was completely out of my reach… “for rich people” i said as we got in the car. god bless ’em.

any who. i literally had no strong feelings toward one of the three options we brought home from lowes. they were all about $3/square foot (not including installation). i kinda loved them all. so i thought i would take a stab at utilizing the democratic process… the pride of our great country….  an instagram vote.

it was fun to see what everyone thought. but not terribly helpful.. there was no convincing winner.
it sorta reinforced my initial sentiment which was that any of these three would look really great down here and would be a huge improvement. but that didn’t help with the decision.
i ruled out C at one point and was thinking it was down to these two.
after much mulling and obsessing and googling and pinteresting to try to find pictures to help my decision… i settled on… you guessed it… C. rustic, weathered… the least popular option and the least “safe”. but it just feels right. since when have my choices been safe?
internet pictures can be so deceiving. for example, in the picture above from the lowes website, the planks look way wider than the sample we have at home. regardless, it gives a sense of how all the tile looks together (as you can see, the wood pattern/color/etc varies a lot from plank to plank). 
but our pattern will definitely be herringbone:
the guy is coming to measure next saturday, then hopefully we’ll have an idea of when we can make this happen!

big boy bed makeover

i have no real before pictures. i’m kicking myself because, you should have seen it… there were weird stickers and strange silly string-like gu all over the headboard and crayon scribbling everywhere. this is after we scrubbed and sanded and sanded and sanded. i found the bed on craigslist for $35. i need to learn to negotiate bc i bet it could have been less. either way, it was solid wood and totally paintable.
did i say “we” sanded? i meant mike sanded… with his poor little broken fingers. he’s the best.

this was the tedious part (the taping). i wanted to paint everything white except the dowels. i’m not sure if this was the best method, but it worked well enough.

we (there i go again with the “we”) used a can of primer and a can or two of white spray paint to cover everything but those dowels.

it was weeks and weeks before this was finally done. mike chipped away at it over the course of a few weekends when the weather agreed, we were actually home, and there was time.

and here’s how it looks… its sort of awesome, don’t you think!? i was so happy with the way it turned out. you know me with the white and natural wood combo. its my favorite.

i glazed over each of the headboard & footboard dowels with the same antiquing stain i used on the ledge in this bedroom, so it matches perfectly.

goodness my bed styling could use a lot of work. its totally bugging me looking at these pictures. everyone knows i’m supposed to drape a couple woven blankets on top of the comforter ever so imperfectly so that the bed is just begging for you to crawl in… i’ll be sure to do that when i take the final photos of this new bedroom 🙂

i came across this crib from the honest co’s the collective recently. totally the same vibe as our bed, right?! can you believe they are all sold out? i really do love the honest company.. they gave a crib to a family in need for every crib sold.

the plan is for this bed to be riley’s – or any other little person’s who visits.. there is a packnplay under the bed and a queen bed at the other end of the room, so it will be perfect for when my sister’s family visits (once her new baby boy is here in march!). i just need to finish decorating and making it cozy, then it will be all ready for them when they visit for christmas!!!

the march of the rhino

first things first: we have a walker. he’s not really walking, but he is consistently taking a few steps at a time with his arms out mummy/zombie style – completely, utterly adorable and exciting. dane is always standing and walking along couches, coffee tables, peoples legs… he is happiest on his feet these days.

but when he really wants to get from point a to point b, his preferred mode of transportation is definitely the speed-crawl.

and if you take your eye off of him for one second, he is eating or destroying something. but he is SO much fun.

this weekend, auntie liz and cousin riley are visiting – which was good motivation for us to attempt to straighten out the guest room and bathroom. they are in shambles. mike recently painted this bathroom. it was long overdue. we picked a happy, buttery yellow (which i’m not sure was the best choice, but i can live with it). so the vanity still needs to be hung, along with toilet paper holder, the curtain rod and new shower curtain… we even got a good evening nap out of dane, however the bathroom still looks exactly like this:
so we’ll revisit this bathroom as soon as its less painful to look at.
speaking of eyesores, the guest bedroom has been abused and abandoned.

so we used the precious hour nap to move a few things around, hang a few things on the wall, and make the bed. now it is much more welcoming for baby riley. (excuse the terrible photo quality – the wall is not a different color… there was a lot of “autocolor” and “fill light” happening with these night-time pictures).
i swung the dresser and tree around to the side wall. mostly to hide this:
and as you can see, our dear rhino friend has made his way upstairs. the rhino and dots just weren’t doing it for us in the tv room. i wish i could say they have been replaced with something awesome – but we’re still trying to figure out what to put above the couch..
there is a random hook in the middle of the windows, so i just couldnt help myself from hanging this letter f.

i also found these three photos of shakey in the closet that we had from our southie apartment. they are way too small for this big wall, but who wouldn’t want to wake up to pics of the cutest pup on earth? you’re welcome, liz.

so nothing ground-breaking here. just a long overdue clean-up. as mike put it – it actually looks like a room.

and we can’t wait for our visitors!

surfs up, doors down

we arrived back to our chilly house yesterday afternoon after a few days in brewster – our first trip down in months. we planned to spend the long weekend tackling a few house projects and watching the patriots win the afc champtionship. neither of which went as planned.

i’ve obviously figured out by now that a baby is a full time job. but i never realized how truley impossible it would be to get much of anything done with an extrememly mobile, curious, silly, mischeivous, hilarious, unflappable, 9 month old on the loose. he is into e v e r y t h i n g.

(dane doesn’t seem to mind the fashion faux pas, so he will be wearing those santa pjs until he outgrows them)

we have a lot of plans for off-season renovations. so many ideas, very limited time and money. the usual. its tricky when you have to chip away a weekend at a time. this time around, the plan was to revamp the doors. unfortunately i don’t have much to show for this because we only got about 1/3 of the way through.

but all was not lost. we were able to slam up a few floating shelves in the 2nd bedroom and i whipped up a very simple no-sew window treatment.

i planned to have a nice little tutorial. i’d be like, oh this? no big deal here is a clear step by step description of the seamless process… but it was anything but seamless. i changed my mind a million times. i undid and redid and in the end- i probably could not replicate exactly how this was accomplished, never mind explain it to someone else.

somehow it worked out. and what may impress you is that i used all materials that i already had, so it cost me nothing. the burlap was left over from the nursery book sling and i had the bonding tape and tacks laying around..

the bad news is that this room currently has no door…

… another unfinished project and another story for another time.

so the projects were not tackled … more like the projects were ray rice and we were brandon spikes… a good effort but fell a little short!

too soon?