House Stuff

House to Home: Dining Room Table

One thing that I love so much about Carlos is his ability to just make it happen. We work perfectly together, I’m the one that says “I really want to do this” and he is the one who actually makes it happen. I jump in and help where I can but the credit is due to my love. 

Because our dining room is small, square, and right in the middle of the home, we needed a table that could fit more than 5 people if needed and not take up as much space. Initially I wanted to build the coveted generic rectangle farm table that everyone loves. But honestly it would have been a pain for anyone sitting on the ends or trying to walk through one room to get to another. So I settled for a round table design that would fit the room perfectly. 

Carlos found some plans on Pinterest and used these plans to create the round top and a portion of the legs. Once he got the basic layout for the legs, we used spare pieces of wood to create the bottom design. The table top per the plans was set to be at 70 inches, which to me felt far to big. However, when the table top was finished it came out to about 68 inches, which was still too big to me. Carlos ensured me it wouldn’t be too big, but mostly because it was a lot of work to get that far and he wasn’t about to re-do it. :0)  After the table was put together we sanded and stained it with a gray stain from Home Depot. I was looking for an old finish so gray felt perfect to me. I believe we only did two coats of stain and then four coats of lacquer to seal everything in. 

During the lacquer portion I was getting antsy, you know how you get when you just want something to be done so you can move on to the next thing!? This is always how I am, I don’t know how Carlos deals with it. The time finally came, we could officially move the table into the dining room. I was super nervous, feeling that the table genuinely was still going to be too big despite what Carlos was telling me. Once it was in, it was big, it was really big! But in fairness we had been sitting at a table that barely fit four people for a long time, so I guess it would be dramatic to suddenly have a 6-8 person table sitting in your dining area. After a trip to hobby lobby for some table decor I realized that the table and its size were perfect. I guess you could say it grew on me.

We plan to put some protectors on the bottom to keep the table from scratching the floors and potentially a rug underneath for both added protection and decorative reasons but we will see. We also plan to sand down and stain the chairs in the future. Our next project will be a buffet table that will sit in the same room. But for now, I am enjoying the fruits of Carlos’ labor and my idea. *Cheers*

House to Home - Pt. 3

We wanted to give up, even though that wasn’t remotely an option to us. We started doing research, watching YouTube videos and reading blogs to figure out what the best way to get rid of this backing was. I wish that I could offer a grand idea that we came across or discovered ourselves - but the truth is - there is no such easy way. Our only option was to scrape it up by hand. 



We bought a floor scraper and went to work. Between the two of us it took a total of 18 hours of scraping to get the backing off the floor. This was a very painful process, I went to bed the first night so exhausted and woke up the next morning in so much pain. Long story short it sucked, but we got it up. We were left with the glue residue and we had to rent a buffer from Home Depot and use a wood tool to scrape up the remaining glue. Again, this too was not a fun or easy process but definitely made a huge difference and of course didn’t take 18 hours to complete. 



Once we scraped up the remaining glue we had to sand the floors. Seeing the black gunk finagling disappear to reveal a beautiful fresh floor was the greatest feeling in the world! After finishing the main floors we had to hand sand underneath the baseboards for an all over even finish. 



I had to travel for a couple weeks for work, so while I was gone Carlos took on the job of staining the floors. They came out beautifully! I still can’t believe all the work and time it took just to do floors but it was so worth it. It’s a complete feeling to me when you have a vision and then your vision comes to life. We still have a lot more projects to do on the house, but for now we’re soaking up the fruits of our labor! :0)


House to Home - Pt. 2

When Carlos and I finished redoing our bedroom, it instantly became our most favorite room in the house. Every time we would walk in we would feel as though we were staying somewhere else, it was like a tiny vacation spot every night. Of course for me, it didn’t take long before I became anxious to get started on the living room and dining room. I couldn’t even sit in the living room without thinking about all the things I wanted to change. So in the beginning of July we finally decided to start taking down wall paper. We used the same process for this project as we did our bedroom. Honestly I feel that the steamer is just the best way to go, but of course that’s my personal opinion. 


We quickly realized that the living room and dining room were going to be a much bigger project than we had expected. Taking down the wallpaper was a breeze, but then we needed to tackle the popcorn ceilings in the living room. Carlos had previously scraped the popcorn ceiling in the dining room years before and insisted that it was not something he ever wanted to have to go through again. That being said, we put up drywall with the intention of creating a smooth ceiling. If I could go back in time, I would have scraped the ceilings myself! Drywall is very heavy to begin with and putting up about 8 sheets of it was not an experience I will ever wish to have again. 



The heaviness is not even the worst of it! We had to tape the edges and the seams where the sheets connected and then joint compound and sand them down to make the smooth appearance. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say it probably took us a month alone just to “smooth” out the ceiling. No matter how many times we sanded , joint compounded, sanded, joint compounded and sanded, you could still see where the seams had been connected with the tape. It was miserable! We had to come up with an alternative to what we had originally wanted. Carlos had read up about a textured paint that has sand in it. This paint would allow us to add a slight texture to the ceiling and essentially get rid of the lines you could see. 


We purchased a small bucket of Homax Roll-On Texture white paint. We were able to roll it on using the paint rollers we had purchased and it worked like a charm. It was very easy to use and allows you to control the amount of texture you want with the roller. The spots where the seams were an issue are more textured than the rest of the ceiling. It came out great and unless you’ve read this blog or we’ve personally told you about it, you would have no idea it had been an issue. We painted over the textured paint with a basic white paint we had used in the bedroom and finally the ceiling was finished! 


After the ceiling fiasco we still needed to paint the walls. At this point I was outwardly expressing quite frequently that I just wanted to see paint on the walls by the end of the week. haha It can be quite frustrating when you see the finished project in your head everyday and yet you just don’t seem to be getting anywhere close to that. It took us every bit of 3 months to decide on a living room color but it turned out to be worth the long search. We chose a color by BEHR called “Mountain Falls” and it is every bit of perfect. Our dining room color was chosen in less than 48 hours! :) I already had a color in my head, closely described in my own words as dirty white, and Carlos was able to pick one out that fit just right called “Toasted Gray” by BEHR.



Seeing the paint on the walls began to spark a lot of excitement again and we felt like we were finally to the finish line. All we had left to do was tear up our carpets and we would be sipping wine by the pellet stove within days. Then, we began to tear up the carpet. First to go was the 60 year old ugly, old, stained, smelly, shaggy orange carpet that I had despised over the past year. The smells alone that came out of moving that carpet would be enough to put you off your dinner for a few days. Underneath that was an ugly, thin, almost completely untouched green carpet that had obviously been laid down when the house was built. “This is it!”, we started getting so pumped, the moment of truth was upon us. We began the attempt to pull up the carpet which quickly turned out to be nearly impossible. We were literally using all our strength to rip this carpet up from the backing that was clearly cemented to the floor. And there it was, underneath the carpet was a rubber-like backing that seriously had no intention of coming up. Our hearts completely sank and we realized we had just opened up a whole new can of worms. 


House to Home - Pt. 1

When I first moved in with Carlos, and even when we were dating, the house was nothing to write home about. Initially it was very crowded, Carlos was going through a divorce and it was no secret that the ex had quite a hoarding problem. The place always felt very cold and generic to me. And while the house had a lot of potential it was lacking someone who had the time and the vision to love it. That’s where I come in! When it comes to my home I have quite the abundance of vision. I’ve always felt that your home should be the one place you want to go to, the place you just can’t wait to get to. This house was a whole new canvass of possibilities to me. 

I started first with just cleaning the place out. I can not begin to tell you the amount of junk I tossed out and the months or so it took just to reorganize every room. Once I was able to get the clutter under control I begin rearranging the set up of the rooms. I started with the boys’ room, which at the time had zero play space. Outside toys went back outside to the shed, toys they weren’t playing with and things they don’t use got tossed and before you knew it the room was a whole new place. Since then we ditched the crib and changing table and invested in a bunkbed which created twice as much space for them to be boys. 

I went through the same process with the other rooms in the house, but our bedroom was the first room to get the real Jen makeover. I like to think of the master bedroom as one of the most important rooms in the house to a couple, your sexy hideaway if you may. I wanted to create a romantic and clean feel with a little bit of masculinity. We started with clearing out the room and tossing out the sad curtains and plastic ceiling to floor blinds that were broken and just plain dated. Next to go was the terrible green and white striped wallpaper. Taking this down was certainly no walk in the park. Carlos had a wall steamer so we used that to get the paper off. The first issue we ran into with that was the first layer of paper coming off by itself, only to the leave the actual paper part behind it stuck to the wall. It was easy to just tear the first layer off and then steam the backing. It took a lot of time but after trying other methods that people had suggested, it turned out to be the quicker and less annoying method.



After getting off all the wallpaper, we had to joint compound any divots and holes in the wall that may have been created by things hung up on the wall or from our scrapers. After sanding down the joint compound we could finally move forward to my favorite part - painting! Now, I say it’s my favorite part only because seeing the color on the wall is visual progress and starts to bring the room together in my mind, it does not at all imply that I physically enjoy painting. In fact, this having been my first real painting experience, I quickly learned that not only do I dislike painting I am also very bad at it. Carlos has this born talent to just slap paint on a wall like a professional and he actually finds it relaxing. So it’s fair to say Carlos painted the walls. 

Once the painting was done we ripped up the orange shag carpet, pulled out the nails and tacks and cleaned the floors. A project that had taken us quite a few months due to time constraints was now finished. Since then we have greatly enjoyed our bedroom and it quickly became one of our favorite rooms in the house.