Showing posts with label Home Renovations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Renovations. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 24

The Mudroom & Laundry Room Reveal

Can’t believe that it took me 5 months to reveal another room in the house, since the kitchen. I’m going to blame it on Thanksgiving, Christmas, sickness, kids, and pregnancy…sounds good, right? Our old mudroom functioned for both mud and laundry, but barely. There was not much room for storage or anything else, and coats always seemed to be piled up on the floor or washing machine. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

It was a general mess that always entailed quite a bit of time hanging things on hangers. The one nice thing about the old mudroom was it was very bright! Between a window and a door, there was always light in this room.

While we had really wanted to make the room bigger, there was only so much that we could do with the space we had allotted the room. We spent a lot of time figuring out the best layouts, whether there should be a window, and a lot of other things.  Originally, I had wanted an actual closet with a mud bench, the washer and dryer and sink behind the door, a big window, and a lot more things that just didn’t fit in the reality.

I did really want a bench with hooks and a shelf, and that is part of why this post took so long to get up. Matt and I spent a considerable amount of time looking on pinterest trying to figure out just what we wanted it to look like and how we could fit it in the space that we had. Then Matt spent a considerable amount of time building the thing in place, and I spent a considerable amount of time sanding, caulking, and painting the thing {and the trim and door}. Also, a trip to Ikea was necessary to get the hooks that I wanted, as well as some baskets.

Here it is:

The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

The door is Behr’s Scotland Isle {same as the kitchen} and the walls are Behr’s Midnight Dream, the bench is Behr’s Ultra Pure White.

The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

From the outside doorway.

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

A close up of the bench {I’m still waiting on one more basket in green to show up}. We had approximately 66” of space to work with, in order for the door to still open and have room for the vacuums and mops. After scouring the internet we determined the appropriate space between each hook and how many hooks we could fit. Conveniently, we could fit 7, which just happens to be the number of people in this house {or will be}. The baskets hold the dress up clothes, the hats, scarves, and mittens, and stuff I haven’t decided on yet.

And lest you think my mudroom is empty all the time {haha…just to take the picture a ton of things were thrown in the kitchen temporarily}, here it is with everything back in:

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

We use a big rubbermaid bucket for shoes. I find it to be the easiest way to keep track of the kids stuff. I try and keep it limited to shoes they need now and only a few pairs. The fact that it’s a bucket makes it very easy to just spray out with the house when it gets nasty. Matt’s shoes go on one side and mine on the other.Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

The cleaning tools all have their own place, tucked nicely behind the door, and the we have additional hooks on the back of the door, which allows a lot of the bags and heavier things to be out of the way too. I find that heavy bags on hooks doesn’t usually work too well; hooks seem to break or get ripped out of the wall.

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

The curtains opposite of the bench cover up the pantry and the washer/dryer/sink/shelves. I intentionally did not want people to walk in here and feel like they were walking through the laundry room and pantry. Most of the time they’re open, but it’s nice to have the convenient option to just shut it.Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

And for all the instagram’ers I did hang up the mirror, just not where I was asking about. It’s there for those that need to primp a bit before walking out, but it isn’t a distraction. I wasn’t too worried about the room appearing bigger or smaller and we didn’t need a place to hang keys or anything, since that happens in the kitchen hallway.

Cleaning supply storage in a small space, approximately 3.5' by 2.5'  Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal #WhiteHouseReno2014

So, there it is. What do you think?

Friday, January 16

a Preview of the Girls’ Room

The room won’t be DONE-Done until the end of the summer. We have to build the bunk beds, but we’re not doing that until the newest one is born; One of the rooms will get a double bunk, the other a triple. The other thing that’s needed for the girls’ room is their quilts, which I’m hoping to finish sometime before Christmas…seriously.DSC_0921DSC_0923

The cream walls we left what they were {Martha Steward Heavy Cream} and the red wall is Behr’s Pomegranate Red…I had it color matched from one of the fabrics in the girls’ quilts. The carpet I bought at HomeGoods for our living room, but it is too light and the weight is too little {every time I tried to vacuum it it would move}, the color does match a color in the quilts.

I had wanted to change out the curtains and all that nonsense, but I might just leave them, they work in the space. I bought the mirror above the dresser at the World’s Largest Lawn Sale last summer, for $10. I had planned on painting it to match the dresser, but I’m kind of liking the black as an accent in the room. It will help balance the quilts.

There is still some work that needs to get done. Obviously bunk beds, but we also need to put a piece of crown molding up on the red well, with some rope lighting behind it. When they had to cut the house apart, to tear down the back piece, they cut into the sheetrock in the corner {wall-ceiling} and it was going to be a nightmare to fix, I decided not to fix it and just cover it up. The close is still filled with Matt and my clothes, so that’s another project {but we need a closet first in our room}.

I’ve always loved this room {and was actually sad to leave it}! The sunlight in the afternoons are glorious, there is a huge tree right outside the two side windows {there are 3 windows in the room}, and it’s just such a magical place relax and read.

*Sorry the pictures are kind of wonky….it was a bright sunny day and hard to get a good picture.

Friday, January 2

Looking back, while moving forward

It was a crazy year to say the least, and 2015 isn’t looking any less crazy! I’ve written and re-written this post about a dozen times {I’m not joking} trying to put this past year to words. I keep thinking there was more, but really there were only a few things that just happened to be HUGE things!

January through March it was pretty normal, but by mid-March, the insanity that would mark the entire year began: We started boxing up our house and moved it into a trailer, while moving ourselves into the in-law’s  basement {which had more square footage than our entire house}. We moved out on April 1st {the joke was on me}, I had hoped it would be for only 6-8 weeks, we moved back home almost 4 months later.

The kitchen was gutted, demolished, and the work began.

There is still work to be done. All of those little projects are still looking at me…a final coat of paint on the moldings, touching up paint, and other nonsense work. We’re jumping back into it soon, too. We’re hoping to finish the basement this year {so the kids have a place to play in the house} and redo the front porch on the house. It’s not a ton of work, but it’s big work. Throw in getting all the kids rooms rearranged and some other building projects {kitchen table, bunk beds etc} and we’ll be non-stop again.

Oh yea, and a new baby! Now, we have a date by which many of these projects have to be done…June 2015. I guess 2014 was the year of the house renovations {you can find all the posts and pictures here}.

I loved the amount of time that the kids and I got to spend with each other this past year. Living in someone else’s home and being out of sorts, you kind of do what you have to with 4 kids under 5 to survive. We spent a lot of time just together, watching TV. I admit it, we watched a LOT of TV this past year, more than I would’ve liked, but I wouldn’t give up the time that I spent on the couch cuddling my crew for anything.

Matt and I are good, better than good. 2015 will be 15 years that we’ve been together and 10 years we’ve been married. In 15 years there’s been a lot, but we pull close together and we get through it. This past year we didn’t even do anything for our anniversary, most of our time together was spent working on the house {good thing we work well together!}. I have informed Matt that we need to do SOMETHING before the newest addition makes their debut, because no one is going to let us go away and leave 5 kids behind!

Thanks to our awesome family, I was able to go do a few things with friends that I was really looking forward to. In March I went to Raising Generations Today with some special ladies for an overnight {and I can’t wait to go again this year, in October, with Baby in tow!} In June a friend and I managed to sneak out to Philly for an evening for a book signing, and managed to have quite the adventure together.

August was fair season, which we survived pretty well. I managed to make it to Friday of the last week before having my crying-fit. I had told Matt next year {2015} I’d probably be able to make it the whole week {before knowing that we will have a 2 month old next year during fair season} without crying. We will of course be desperately in need of prayers again, but who isn’t in desperate need of prayer all the time.

We transitioned smoothly into Fall, rejoiced in our being done with busy and able to be home in our own house. We celebrated Ave’s 5th birthday, Thanksgiving then moved right into the December birthdays {we have 4 of them!} and Christmas, and here we are, the 2nd day of 2015 already. IMG_6375

One of my biggest hopes for 2015, is that I’m actually able to get a few quilts put together, it’s killing me! I haven’t sat at a sewing machine since February and I have about 7 quilts that I have to make, between gifts for babies already born, soon to be born, and my own girls’ quilts. I really miss sewing.

It’s proving that 2015 will be another banner year in the White House! We have no less than 7 major milestones to celebrate this year, between my parents, my brother, and my nephew having big birthdays, our’s and my parents’ anniversaries, a new baby of our own, and a couple of vacations. I’m hopeful for 2015.

But regardless of what may come, God’s got it. Just as this past year could have been absolute chaos and hell, He’s got it. Our house didn’t implode when we did demolition, there were no major nightmares with rebuilding {a few headaches yes, but no nightmares}, the kids were all healthy, there was good memories and fun. I think that THAT is the best thing we can ask for from a year, that despite the hard and the struggles that we’re still able to see God and the good that happened.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Tuesday, December 16

The Girls’ Big-Girl Room

One of our goals over Christmas {since Matt is off for the week} is to get the girls transitioned to their Big-Girl room; which means we have to get it all touched up after the de-construction damage. There’s not much damage, but enough to make it a hassle…I think it would be easier if there were a lot of damage.

Most of the work consists of touching up the sheetrock that was damaged when the other part of the house collapsed, and then repainting one wall. It always seems to me that the projects that take the least amount of time are the ones that take the longest.

I’ve kind of wanted to do an English/Fairy Garden themed bedroom for the girls. I’ve been pinning whenever I see anything on Pinterest.

Girls room
I found fabric a while ago that I loved, but never bought it…then it became impossible to find. Fortunately I did, on ebay, of all places, and some random other websites, I was able to piece together what I would need to make the quilts.

Honey Sweet

I’ve really been loving sampler quilts this past year, so decided that was my best bet. This quilt is what I decided to do…it’s a bit small, but I can easily add another border to make it what I need.

Here’s where the work, and your opinions come in. The room is already the same shade of cream that’s in the fabric and the floor is painted Martha Stewart Brook Trout, which is very close to the gray/brown fabric. There’s one wall that is currently green, that is going to get repainted, but I just can’t decide on the color.

Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:

A) Pearhoneysweet_solid_pear_20199_34

B) Raspberry


C) Persimmon


D) Pond20217_16_20140224190238

E) Soft Peach {the light pink in the roses}brocade_hazel_20212_17

See the problem! The quilt is going to be bordered in the pond and backed in the brown/gray. I just can’t decide how brave I want to be, in regards to the persimmon and raspberry. Which would you choose? That’s my question.

The other thing I’m debating is stenciling a few big flowers on the floor…something along these lines. Not a ton of them just a few…to kind of make the floor stand out a bit.

FLoor stencil

Monday, November 10

The Back of Our House Reveal

You can tell there is still quite a bit of work, but boy! what a difference!B A House Collage

We still need to finish fencing in the yard, move some of the old stone slabs out of the yard, and move the swing set. We had every intention of getting the deck and porch painted this Fall, but it just never happened. Now it’s too cold and the weather too unpredictable to attempt. In the Spring that will be one of the goals.

It’s still crazy to walk in the backyard and look at what is NOW the house. Everyone comments on how huge the addition is. It’s big, but it’s more a better use of the footprint that existed before that makes it look so big {a full second floor}, we only gained around 700 sqf overall.

If you want to check out more of the destruction the building of the foundation, you can find those posts HERE and HERE.

The deck is still boarded up so that the kids can play out there and not escape the yard. Once the fence is up we’ll remove it, and then build an actual gate in the Spring. We ended up going with LP SmartSide for the siding {in cream}, which is a wood composite, that doesn’t rot and takes paint, just like regular clapboard. We mistakenly ordered enough to re-side the ENTIRE house {Matt forgot to deduct for the windows and doors}, so next Spring we’ll redo the front of the house.

We re-roofed the entire house. There had been a fire in our house at some point and it had burned out part of the roof, so the front was metal roofing and the back was shingle, which was really damaged from the huge tree standing over the house. I’ve always wanted architectural shingles on the house, but given the tree and the cost of them, we went with the metal {in charcoal} roofing.

No one asked me what color storm door I wanted for the basement, that red just doesn’t work for me, but I’m not sure I can do anything about it.

The new windows {there are 17 of them} still need added trim work to get them to match the original windows, and we need to do a ton of landscaping: Know anyone who likes to rake rocks up? The back deck is all the wood that we salvaged from our old deck. We only needed to spend a few hundred dollars on some wood to finish it {it’s a bit bigger than the old deck}.

So, that’s the outside of our house now….or at least the back of it.

Wednesday, November 5

The Big Kitchen Reveal

This past weekend was Ave’s birthday party, which meant the house was actually {relatively} clean! I decided to take advantage of it and dry to get some pictures; mind you there is still a ton of little work that needs to be done, as well as a lot of setting up of wall-art etc.

Remember this post from last Spring?

This is what our kitchen looked like: Very chopped up, not a lot of windows, and lots of little rooms.

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

This is what it looks like now, standing from the same exact place. So much brighter, so much more space, so much MORE!

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

This is what we did for our small appliances. We didn’t want to see anything, but my beloved Kitchen Aid stand mixer, so we put it all in a cabinet. It’s great! All easily accessible, none of it actually seen.

      White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

We built a sideboard along the half-wall into the basement, which gives us a bit of extra storage for all those things you end up having in a kitchen. It’s also great for parties! We put an outlet on the other side of the wall, so that there is a place to plug in hot plates or crockpots.


Looking from the back doors in.

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

There’s still a lot of work. We need to build a back to the island, touch up paint along the ceiling and actually paint the stairwell into the basement, as well as wood fill, sand, and paint all of the molding. Fun!

White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at LifeintheWhiteHouse.comI still need to actually put things in the china cabinet, and eventually we’re going to frame it all in so that it looks like a built it, but for now it works. DSC_0345

My gallery shelves and the door to the mudroom/laundry room, which is now central to the house {I didn’t realize how awesome this was until we moved back in. I don’t have to take the kids and the laundry from one end to the other.}


Our command center {or will be} and the entrance into the living room.White House Reno 2014 Big Kitchen Reveal at

So that folks is the new kitchen….it’s quite a bit different! We’re loving having so much space in it. This winter we’re planning on putting a wood {or natural gas} stove in the far-outside corner where the table is. The room is big, lots of windows and doesn’t seem to want to get overly warm, having a stove will definitely help.

I’m also looking to get an area rug to put behind the island to give the kids a place to play. Right now they love just laying there {I had an old area rug down before the party} and playing Lincoln Logs. Their other favorite past time is playing chase around the island.

Ask me your questions: What do you want to know?

Thursday, October 2

I Haven’t Disappeared; I’ve Just Been Busy

If you follow me on instagram you know that I haven’t fallen into a pit and disappeared; it’s just been crazy-busy in this house! I keep thinking that I’m going to get time to sit down and FIGURE OUT what I’m going to ACTUAL BLOG ABOUT, but it doesn’t happen. The days are just blurring together and things just don’t happen the way I plan. Of course it doesn’t help, that I think I have to have Better Homes & Gardens quality rooms and pictures to share.

I keep wanting to start sharing the house pictures, but I’m either working on said house or it’s too dark to start tacking pictures. I told Matt that one of these days we need to ship-out the kids, spend some time cleaning {forget decorating}, and just get some pictures taken. I keep taking lots of other pictures, wanting to blog them, but that would require time to actually sit down, upload pictures to the computer, and put them in a post with words. Yea.

Painting seems to be the bane of my existence lately…and not the paint a big room and have something to show for it. It’s the touch up holes in trim, sand, and re-paint; the painting that no one is ever going to notice. Except for me and there is TONS, TONS of it to do. It’s the projects that require time, but have so little impact on anything visual {like sealing the tile in the shower, or fixing a drain in a sink}.

I’m really hoping that this month, we have all our weekends free, that we can get some stuff accomplished. We did get a bunch of things done that move us that much closer to having our home back to normal, this past weekend: Like shelves in the old bathroom closet, so that we can stop living out of boxes and get the boxes out of the dining room. It’s the little things in life.

How are we? We’re good. The kids are good: Avelyn has started ballet and {homeschool} kindergarten, the boys are doing great with their speech therapy, and Elanor is flashing her smiles at everyone {mostly to get her own way}. Matt and I are sorely in need of a date-night, but would rather spend every free moment trying to get the house put back together before Thanksgiving {my deadline}. We were joking last night about just ordering in dinner for us one night, after the kids have gone to bed, to just chill for a bit.

Life is good, and time marches on. I’m truly, truly hoping to start having something to show for the past 6 months of effort. That said I will leave you with some pictures of the gorgeous leaves that are changing around here.




You can see more of the leaves changing on my instagram feed Smile

Monday, August 11

Master Bathroom

It’s fair week! Which for some reasons always makes me think that I have more time for things, but always end up having less. Right now I have this vision that come the end of the week our Master Bathroom will be finished, and I will have some grand reveal for Matthew come Sunday afternoon.

The reality is that there is way too much work for that, and come Sunday afternoon Matt’s going to be ready to sink in to oblivion for the next week…not look excitedly at the revelation of my vision for a bathroom.

This is what we’ve got right now….it’s not much:


It’s painted and has a floor, but that’s it. I still have to finish the floor {which I’ve been procrastinating about for the past month}, then all the electric needs to be installed, vanity/sink, toilet, tile, shower heads, and washer and dryer. If I had nothing else to do for the next week {ie. 24/7 child care} it would get done, but I don’ Staggered Mix Glass Tile

Check out my Pin Board for our Master Bathroom!

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to layout the tile, and what tile to use for the accent tile. We have a white subway tile 3” x 6” as the main tile. I had originally ordered a tile from; which ended up being a total disappointment. I loved the tile! Couldn’t wait to get it, because it was exactly what I wanted it.

I ordered it the beginning of July, by the end of the month I had contacted them several times about not having received the order and asking when it had shipped. After several attempts I got an email saying my order had been canceled. No explanation, just done.

Then I was scrambling to find another tile that I liked. I ended up going with the and getting their Frosted, Glass, Rippled mix mosaic tile {I can’t find a good picture of it online}. It took about a week to get here, but it should do what I need it to do.


After several searches through pinterest and google, I finally figured out how I wanted the shower niches done and how they needed to be laid out. Of course, what I have in my head, usually doesn’t translate to what our contractor gets in his. I’m hoping that having it all drawn out on graph paper makes it easier for us to communicate.


There are 2 12” wide niches: A larger one on top for bottles and a lower one for soap, razors etc. My big thing is that I really want the tiles to line up as nicely as possible, with as few cuts as possible, so I’ve been putting a ton of time into figuring out how best the tiles need to be laid out. This will go somewhat centered {there’s a stud in the very center} of the shower.

It’s a lot to do and I don’t know how much of it will get done.

If I could beg your prayers for this week: That I would be productive, the kids and I at peace, and Matt for all that he needs to function this week, I would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, July 28

A Partial Renovation Home Tour

I love vlogs and podcasts, and I keep hoping that someone will ask me to be on one, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Instead of waiting, I decided to do a 10 minute video tour of our home, about halfway through the renovation process. There’s a lot of little glimpses at the things that were going on and what was to come.
There is still a ton of work to do in the house, but we were able to move back home before my birthday {July 21st} which was awesome. It’s so good to be home. I’ve got about a thousand things on my list that need to be done, and I’m not sure just when they’re going to happen.
But in the mean time…you can check out the video of what was going on a few weeks ago: I think I recorded this on July 6th.

Tuesday, July 22

The Little House

The tears streamed down my face, as I choked out the words, “The windows and shutters were fixed and once again they painted her a lovely shade of pink. As the little house settled down on her new foundation, she smiled happily….Once again she was lived in and taken care of.”  *

A little girl asked me, “Mommy, why are you crying? Are you sad?”

No, love, I am happy, as happy as this Little House is. Our house is this Little House: It was falling down and rather than giving up on it and moving away or tearing it all down, we fixed it, rebuilt it, and gave it a family.”

This past weekend we moved back home. photo (2)

Home to the house that has sheltered us through some of the biggest storms of our life; home to where we rest, work and play; home to where we hope to stay for the rest of our days: Home. Plain and simple.

To me, a house has always been more than just a building you decide to live in, home is where dreams are made and lives lived. It is, for me, where your heart is.

Oh house, how I’ve missed you and I’m so glad you’re happy to see us too.

*The book I referenced is Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House {affiliate link}.

Friday, July 11

It just gets away from me…

I feel that way about a lot lately: The days, the weeks, the month, the entire season of SUMMER! It’s been insane! Matt and I are in crunch time. The county-fair-craziness is literally 2.5 weeks away, we’re hoping to finish up the majority of inside projects so that we can be back in our home for my birthday {July 21}.

Matt and I have been putting in late nights working on the floor and painting, while spending the days with life as usual; meaning he’s working his crazy-long days, and I’m entertaining 4 kids and running the shuttle to swimming lessons. I’m not quite sure where the time has gone, but it’s gone all the same.

This weekend is Operation GET IT DONE so that we can put the house back together. There will still be a ton of things that need to get done: Molding, doors, painting, trim work, CLEANING {OH MY LORD THE CLEANING!}, tiling and a whole lot more, Oh, and the ENTIRE OUTSIDE! EEeek! I try not to think about it too much, because I start having cold sweats.

Not to mention there are still kids that need to be fed and watered! And Avelyn, Bless her Heart, decided yesterday was a good day to get hurt at the park. I figured it wasn’t much, took her home and let my mother in law assess the damage, and it was decided she needed x-rays on her foot.

AveWhile it’s not broken, she can’t walk on it, which means carrying her around and keeping her siblings AWAY! Next week she goes to the orthopedist to determine if there is further damage and whether it should be casted or not. I did just find out though, yesterday morning, that they do make waterproof casts now. She did get a bit of a thrill from the kid-size wheelchair.

I’ve been rather remiss in the blog documentation and pictures department. I’m not entirely sure why, but I do know it’s partially because things are starting to come together {and not in 5 weeks THANK YOU! HGTV!} and I want to do a big reveal. If you’re on Instagram that really is where I share a lot more of the secrets!

Last Sunday night we were at the house until almost 1am, getting all of the ikea cabinets in place, so that my FIL and our contractor could install them all before Tuesday when the countertop people were coming. It was all going great! Countertops would be here the end of next week. Then I decided to change the island. Now we’ll have 3 of our 4 countertop pieces next week, but not the island. I was losing sleep over what I was worried about, and it’s fixed and I think will be so much better, but will be a bit of a delay.

Here’s a bit of a tease of the kitchen. This is the top of my new stove and you can see the color we painted the walls.


I still have to paint the mudroom, the living room, the upstairs bathroom, and ALL OF THE TRIM. Lots of work there. And it all SHOULD be done by the end of the week. All that to say we really would appreciate your prayers in getting things pulled together and with Avelyn’s foot.