Unplanned Demo Weekend

So this weekend, I totally screwed up and thought we were having company, when really it’s next weekend. I was left with a 3 day weekend, a clean house and absolutely no plans, which is a really dangerous zone for me.

Friday I had to work a little, but I also headed up to Ikea to check out a couch for the living room. I ran a few other errands before heading home to remove some wallpaper in the living room. After Collin got home from work, we headed to grab some sushi and called it a night.

At one point  on Friday night I was casually chatting with Collin about the living room. I mentioned how open it would look if we didn’t have a vestibule. Collin said “yeah, I guess” <– That’s a yes to me…

*For all non-Baltimorean’s, a vestibule is an area that was built in to the row houses at the turn of the 20th century. When you enter the front door, there was a small tiled entry “room” (3 ft by 3 ft square) before entering another door into the house.

Here is ours (as of Friday morning):


Its pretty closed off, the tile was in rough shape and it didn’t really serve any purpose.

So, Saturday morning Collin leaves for work and I estimate I have 8 hours to rip this thing out and clean up before he gets home and flips out. I started by removing the door, transom window and mouldings:


Then I cut a hole to check for electric before demoing the rest. There was some electric, but nothing I couldn’t move around.


All Done. I wanted to leave it at a half wall to see if Collin would prefer that or removing the whole wall instead. I think he was pleasantly surprised when he got home.

When I ripped down the beams to the right, where the tile meets the wall paper wall, the plaster just started to fall off the wall. I left it as is on Saturday.

Sunday morning we decided to keep working on this unplanned project. Since the plaster was begging to come off the wall, we decided to just expose the brick in the living room. We also decided to take down the half wall. We figured we could always rebuild it if we wanted a half wall there, but wanted to see how open it felt with it gone. Anastasia came over to help out.


Literally everything in our house had an inch layer of dust on it after this demo. But it was worth it:


*Ignore the weird 2 head thing I have going on, it was a panoramic picture

It feels so open and bright. And the stained glass view doesn’t hurt either.

Now we just need to get rid of the garbage and mess this project makes:



We have 4 days to get this house back to clean before company comes on Thursday. Wish  us luck, or send help 🙂




Guest Room Reveal!

We worked really hard the past week to finish the guest room (except Sunday because –  football). On Thursday Collin installed all of the hardwood floors. It took him about 8 Hours and was physically brutal, as expected from our hallway install. But they look amazing:


Friday and Saturday I worked on mouldings for hours! I installed all of the baseboard moldings, quarter round, door trim in the bedroom and finished off the all of the moldings in the hallway. After everything was cut and installed, I worked on caulking everything and giving it 2 coats of paint.

Moulding really does finish a room beautifully (don’t mind the too short window treatments, I returned them and bought the right size later in the post 🙂 ).


Saturday night we installed the headboard and started moving furniture back in.


Also, not sure if I showed the exposed ceiling in this room yet. When we ripped down the ceiling, we originally planned on re-drywalling it. But the beams and boards added to much character, we decided to leave it open. I love it, and feel like it totally makes the room!


As I said, Sunday was dedicated to Farmers Market’s, Bike Riding and Football, so nothing got done! Monday, I finished off the room with new blinds (as seen above) and gave the door another coat of paint.

Our guest room is now open for business, and gets its first visitors this weekend! I hope everyone that stays in this room feels at home and wants to come back to visit again soon!

Tuesday night I finally repainted the Hallway. It had a bunch of areas that needed to be patched and I wasn’t totally in love with the color we had chosen. Since I was obsessed with the bedroom color for the Guest Room, I brought that color to Home Depot and asked them to lighten it 50%. This will be a great neutral to use throughout the house. Here is the Finished Hallway:


And just in case this 2nd floor looks like its starting to come together, I thought I would leave you with a current picture of our other Guest Room/Office currently:



Collin will be taking care of that tomorrow on his day off. And yes, we step over all of that to get to the saw in the back to cut moulding and wood. Keepin’ it real over here…



$0 Headboard

When we moved in to this house, we had a mattress, but no bed frame, for guests. I didn’t know where we were going to go with this room design-wise, so we just purchased a simple bed frame to hold the mattress and figured we get around to building something later.

Fast forward to last week when I was feeling extra crafty and decided a headboard would be a simple project to start. I knew I wanted to use only scrap wood because 1) We have piles of it 2) it’s free 3) if I had to make one more trip to Home Depot I was going to kill myself.

So, Scrap Wood Headboard it was!

To start, I gathered all of the 1″ thick scrap wood I had around the house. I laid them out next to each other until they measured 60″ (width of a queen size bed).

Once I had all of the pieces, I moved them around until I liked the varying pattern. Once I was set on the pattern, I numbered the boards to keep everyone in their place.


Next, I moved everything to the basement for staining. We have a lot of different stains on hand already from other projects. I just used paper towels and wiped the stain on in varying patterns. This is totally random and took approximately 15 minutes.


I let them dry overnight and came back after work the next day to attach them. I just glued and nailed them to another piece of scrap wood and let that dry overnight again.

The next day, I had to cut them down to size. I don’t have a pictures of that, but basically snapped a line from the shortest piece all the way across and cut it straight with the circular saw.

I needed it to be a bit higher to be able to show behind the pillows, so I stained and attached a top and bottom board. That white piece along the top was from the dresser re-do for a month back that we had removed. It made the perfect top decoration. Here it is all done drying in the basement:


It took about 2 Hours total over a few days and cost $0 <–Awesome!

Once the floors are installed in the Guest Bedroom, I will put the bed back in and decide on a height to hang this. We should be done with the full Guest Bedroom this weekend so stay tuned!

Laboring Day Weekend

This weekend was a good balance of fun, progress and failures.

Friday started with getting out of work early, hitting happy hour and deciding last minute to walk over to Camden Yards for the O’s/Yankees Game! It was such a beautiful night for some baseball and beers and being walking distance to the stadium makes it a no-brainer.


Saturday, Collin had work. My goal was to work on the walls in the Guest bedroom. 2 of the walls in there are plaster and 2 walls are wallpapered hardboard. It is almost impossible to get wall paper off of the hardboard, and even if you do the wall is not really paintable.

I thought I was so smart and would be able to use Venetian plaster to cut down on some work time. Venetian plaster is sort of a colored plaster product that leaves a suede like effect on the walls. Its pretty cool and would allow me to not have to patch, sand, patch, sand, prime, paint. That sounded great, but didn’t work as planned. After testing a few areas, I would have had to do so many coats, it wasn’t worth it.  <— FAIL

I was pretty frustrated at this point, so decided to switch gears on to the headboard I have been working on. I am going to write up an entire post on that headboard, spoiler: it’s so cute!

When Collin got home from work we had to reassess the plan for the room, and decided to stop with the shortcuts and just finish the room right. So this happened:


We were able to rip down and re-mount the drywall on the hardboard walls all before dinner. We patched and got it prepped for Sunday. Then we headed out for dinner and drinks!


On Sunday morning, we walked Federal Hill and grabbed some coffee and bagels. Then it was back home to do a little work. We spent a few hours patching and sanding. It is tedious and messy, but we were done before lunch. We headed out to grab some brunch and Orange Crushes to feel a little more “Labor Day-ish”.

When we got home added screens to the windows, cleaned up, did some laundry and cooked a nice dinner. When we are renovating, these regular chores seem to fall to the bottom of the list, so it was nice to spend some time getting our house back in order.

Monday, Collin had work again, so woke up an went to Home Depot for paint and mouldings to get me through the day. When I got home, I sanded the window wall and new wall, caulked all of the mouldings and prepped for paint. It is so hard to take pictures in this room because of the windows and how small it is, but the paint turned out great!


I also painted the window mouldings, painted the closet door and added the farm-house mouldings and gave the bedroom door 3 coats of paint.


Monday night, Collin did the final patch on the plaster walls so that I can paint them Tuesday night.

This room is almost done, so we are going to really focus this week and hopefully have a full reveal after next weekend!