February 25, 2013

This Bathroom Hates Us

It's official- we're cursed.  Our Bath Crashers Master Bathroom hates us.  In the latest installment- the vanity lights that used to look like this:

Now look like this:

The bulb burnt out, which for normal, non-cursed people is an easy task.  But for the Hubs and I, not so much.

We've discovered that this fixture holds only Xenon bulbs.  After trips to 4 different hardware stores, we also learned that it takes the type of Xenon bulbs that no one seems to sell.  So I headed out to the internet, because they sell everything.  


Apparently a T4 Xenon bulb is like a humble actor at the Oscars- impossible to find.  After a ton of searching, I finally found a little shop that appeared to sell them, so I forked over my 20-some dollars and waited a week in the dark for it to arrive.  

Then this happened:


Even though these came up under a Xenon search, they are indeed Halogen, and my fixture specifically says not to replace with Halogen bulbs.  So we go back to the drawing board.  In fact, I'm not officially sure what to do at this point.  There seem to be lots of places online that sell Xenon 50 Watt bulbs in a bayonet base in the T3 size.  Maybe I'll purchase that and see if it fits.  Any one else have lights like this at home and have a suggestion?  Of course these couldn't have just been regular lights... that would have been too easy!  

PS- For those of you thinking that we are slacking off on the Family Room remodel- you are mistaken my friends.  We've been working our overly tired butts off down there, and I'll have an update for you this week. It's insanity down there.  How do we keep getting ourselves into this?

February 13, 2013

It's Hammer Time

Cue a little MC Hammer- Dun-na-na-na, na-na, na-na It's Demo Time!

This weekend was snowy and cold here in Minnesota, and mid-afternoon on Saturday the Hubs and I found ourselves in a quiet house with both kiddos napping and nothing to do.  So we decided to give the Family Room a little hell.

If you remember here's where we left it:

We had decided that after nearly 2 years of living with it, the wood feature above the fireplace didn't work for how we lived, and we ripped it out.  It felt liberating!  Suddenly we weren't wasting all that time trying to figure out how to use what we had, but instead, we were on our way to making it what we wanted.  Once we tore this proverbial band-aid off, everything seemed easier.  We agreed that the shelf columns on either side of the fireplace just didn't work for us either.  When you have that many shelves, the only thing you can do with them is fill them with nick-nacks, and we're not nick-nack people.  Or dusting people for that matter.  Hubs couldn't grab the sledge hammer fast enough.

We started by emptying off and removing all the shelves, and didn't get very far before little Bo woke up. But we know our strengths here at One Project at a Time, and the Hubs has got the demo thing down.  So Bo and I positioned ourselves safely on the steps while Daddy went into Beast Demo Mode.

He made really quick work of the shelves actually, making sure to save as much of the wood as we could to re-purpose.  (I already have some projects in mind for this stuff.) So with the wood piling up around us, next he used "Mister Smashy" as he affectionately calls it, to take the rock off the fireplace.

Once the rock was clear, he took out the ultimate in demo, the saws-all, and got to work on the plywood facade around the fireplace.  There may or may not have been some manly grunting while using this saw.


It was crazy how much that opened things up.  Next we took off the cupboards below the fireplace,

and then smashed all the tile off the hearth.

 Surprise!  Two layers of hearth tile- with this little brick pattern discovered underneath.

After he had smashed everything there was to smash, the Hubs went upstairs to hang with the boys while I got busy cleaning the space back up.  I hauled all the wood out to the garage and sorted into trash and keep piles.  I scooped up all the old rock and tile into a big drum garbage and dragged that outside, which was a serious bicep workout.  And finally I swept and vacuumed up anything left.  In my opinion, I got the far less fun part of the deal, but if you've read this blog before and know my husband's propensity to throw everything away, you know it was necessary that I be the one to do the sorting, or else everything would have been in the trash. 

There's no turning back now...

I can barely remember when the room looked like this:

 The next thing to go is this big old fireplace.  We're leaving it in for now until we are 100% sure on what the new one will be.

 We've been to 4 different fireplace stores and have done a ton of research.  At this point it looks like we'll tear the old one out completely to put a new one in, but just in case we decide to go the insert route, we'll leave this beast for now. 

So that's the status so far.  We've both reluctantly agreed that this reno will go a lot slower than our previous ones now that there's an infant in the house, but we're chugging along nicely.  What do you think?  Would you have taken off the mantle piece?  Would you have removed the shelves?  I get that it's a personal decision, but I'm hoping once we all see the after we'll agree that cleaning house was the way to go!  *Fingers crossed*

February 7, 2013

Return to Ryder's Room

Its been an awful long time since we've visited Ryder's Room, but with all the attention his little brother has been getting lately, it was about time that we give this room a little spiff.  You may remember that Ry's room was one of the very first rooms we worked on in this crazy project house.  We knew we were going to tear the big dump up, and that it would be a construction zone for quite awhile, so we wanted to create a space where our little guy could find some sanity.  In fact, one of my very first posts was about building the rocket shelf for this room, quickly followed by this post about refinishing all the furniture, something I did while we were still living in The Bungalow so it would be all ready when we moved in. 

So not very long after we moved in, I was able so show you this:

This pic is from the big reveal back in May of 2011. In that post I mentioned that we still needed to find a rug for this room, but that the search was tricky.  I'm sorry to say that nearly 2 years later, my baby's floor was still bare.  I don't want to over exaggerate, I mean really, it's just a rug right? Let's keep this in perspective, it's not like I haven't bathed him since then.  But the honest truth is that his floor is really, really cold.  I've mentioned that these 2 kid rooms were additions to the house, and Ry's is the most unique, as it is only connected to the house at one wall.  That means he has 3 exterior walls, a ceiling with nothing above it and since this space doesn't have a basement, just a small crawl space, a floor with nothing below it. Virtually a cube with 5 exterior walls.  And in a Minnesota winter that means some cold piggies, no matter how high your heat is turned up. 

I've been on the hunt for. ev. er.  Seriously.  We've looked at Home Goods, Ikea, Pier 1, World Market, Overstock, West Elm, CB2, Crate and Barrel, Ballard Designs, Land of Nod... all dozens of times.  I just couldn't find the right combination of soft yet durable, and big size but affordable.  And then, finally last week, this happened.

Overstock had this huge, nearly 8' x11' chevron rug on sale for under $130.  While the black and white was a little too contrasty for me, the light blue and white seemed to be a more muted version.  Actually, the navy got my attention first, I love how the pattern is a little more subtle with the dark colors.

But I worried that this color would be too dark in Ryderman's room with his dark blue walls.  So I did a quick coupon search and found an additional 15% off, making this rug just $115 all in with free shipping.  I've been holding my breath until it got here, and today was finally the day.

Tahhhh- Daaaaaaaa:

Sorry for the dark photos, but it was dark outside by the time I got myself and my munchkins finally home from work.  So I've gotta be honest... I just don't know.  It feels a little too busy to me.

It's also really big, almost too big as it comes really close to the dresser on the other side of the room.  It would be perfect if it was 8x10 and not 8x11.

But then again maybe its just the bit of fun and flare this kid's room needs.  Perhaps I'm just used to this room being "safe?"

Maybe the duvet is too busy?  Originally I loved this Land of Nod robo-duvet, but I have to admit it has been a challenge to design around.

So give it to me straight, because I'm crowd sourcing this decision.  Do you:

-Love the rug and the room.  Keep it all.
-Hate the rug.  Send it back for something more neutral like a soft charcoal gray.
-Love the rug, but not with the duvet. (Or the curtains?) More neutral fabrics will let that baby sing.

For those that don't want to get a cramp from the scrolling, here's the before and after again:

Let the dishing begin!  And thanks in advance for your opinion!

Update: I was able to take some photos in the daylight.  Repositioning the duvet slightly made a big difference in the busy factor too.