guest room really, really close

This weekend we finished the trim work in the closet of the guest room, and for some reason I got inspired to try the bed on the other wall. OH MY GOD, it’s like a whole different space. Seriously, why did I not think this placement would work?! I swear we measured it and thought about it a million times. I have no idea why we rejected it before.

I’m not exactly sure what was happening here, but you can see despite the insane glow from the window (it was sunny as hell on Sunday) that moving the bed really opened things up in here. Despite the dresser being right in front of you as you walk in. Trust me, it works in person.


moved the bed to the other wall

Since we don’t have a comforter in here yet (note to self: still need to order that) we’ve been using the bed as temporary storage for in-progress pieces of various projects. Also K left some pants in here. Moving on.

Here K is hanging a Doctor Who dyptich (actually two separate prints, but whatev) I gave him a few years ago. It’s been sitting on the piano for something like two years, waiting to find a home.

Karl hanging Who dyptich

K also hung these two occasional shelves and we populated them with some of our many gewgaws. These shelves have been forgotten in the basement for the past five years and K unearthed them during our recent purge of crap we don’t need. Yay for crap we can actually use!

display shelves with Who guys and robots

K picked up this poster at the Lob ages ago and it, too, has been leaning on the piano. He’ll get a frame for it and it will go on this wall. Aesthetically I think we could even use a larger piece on this wall, but I’m somewhat paranoid about putting something too big on the wall that anyone sleeping here might bump their head on as they sit up. Maybe it’s just me who regularly sits up from a dead sleep, all weirded out?

we'll get this framed for this wall

Here’s the view of the hatch wall with the dresser centered at the foot of the bed. We rehung the old door until we get a new one, which is just dependent on arranging to borrow the use of a large enough vehicle to get it home. Which is just dependent on actually asking someone. We’ll get there.

dresser at the foot of the bed

And here’s the much-anticipated trim inside the closet. Finally done! I need to get another one of these shoe racks (or a larger one), as there’s still a laundry basket full of all my other shoes in the library.

closet with trim installed

We had this portrait of Brodie hanging in here already, but we moved it to the wall by the closet. We’ll get a print made of a portrait of Logan and hang it on this wall, too. Still need to look for better door pulls for the closet.

we hung an existing pic of Brodie here, and will add one of Logan soon

We have SO VERY MANY action figures, guys, and assorted collectables around the house. I mean, really, it’s kind of ridiculous. So in an attempt to make it seem like something other than one hundred pieces of plastic on the wall, I’m trying to “curate” the crap. Here we have a small collection of skeletons:

skeletons on the dresser

We got the big one at the World’s Largest Truck Stop on a roadtrip out to some friends’ wedding a few years ago, and the little guy we picked up at a hobby shop in Florida on a trip to visit K’s mom and grandma one spring. I’m sure we have a bunch of other skeletons around, too, but these were the two that jumped out at me right away. They will sit on the dresser in here.


guest room almost there

The guest room is almost finished! K cut, painted, and put up trim and baseboards while I was at work last Saturday.

guest room making progress

I really, really like how the off-white trim looks contrasting with both the wood floors and the paint colors we chose. So crisp!

We took the off-white curtains from the dining room window and they go quite well in here. Decision still to be made: to trim and hem them or leave them as is?

guest room making progress

We put the dresser back. Through the process of redoing this room we tried (or thought about) putting it just about everywhere but this is really the only place it fits when the bed is in the room. The other side of the window is slightly smaller so the dresser would run into the window ledge, otherwise I probably would’ve put it over there. We may end up selling some or all of the pieces from our bedroom set eventually – we bought the set when we lived in a house with a larger master bedroom and as it is, we currently have the pieces spread throughout three rooms and it’s just too large in scale for this house.

guest room making progress

My decision to paint the closet doors blue was definitely the right one! I love how it looks. Because the closet is in the corner of the room, it’s a little awkward with not having any place to put trim on the corner side, but I’m satisfied with how it looks overall.

guest room making progress

Since I cleaned out the entire closet in order to repaint it, I took the opportunity to go through my clothes and sort out all the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore (I’ve gained about a size over the last however-many months). Look how streamlined it is now! And this is after I found a storage bag of one-size-up trousers under the bed in here – from the last time I was a size 10 a couple years ago. I’m feeling like I might be able to convince myself that it’s okay to spend a little money buying clothing, though I really have trouble doing that these days. So many home improvements to make and other things that seem like more valid uses of money!

You can also see in this shot that we didn’t put the trim inside the closet yet – still need to cut and paint that and then get it up.

guest room making progress

I also want to find (or make) some cool door pulls for the closet. Anyone seen neat ones around?

guest room making progress




Brodie in the guest room

After we pulled the carpet out of the guest room, Brodie was a little reluctant to come in (probably due more to all the racket and fuss we were making in there than anything else, since he’s fine with hardwoods in other rooms of our house). K called him in and made him feel welcome, though.

Brodie was scared to come in at first but made himself at home quickly

After he settled in, we of course wanted to rile him up, so K instructed him to go get his toy, which he did. This AnneArchy wap toy is a little big for Brodie, but he LOVES carrying around the house, gnawing on it, and playing tug with it.


Besides tug, he also likes to have you try to keep it away from him and then let him jump and grab it when you’re ready.

Karl and Brodie play tug with his wap

Here you can see K teasing him with it – shaking it RIGHT ABOVE his head, and yet he knows that he has to sit (his version of saying “please”) until we say “okay”.

Karl and Brodie play tug with his wap

And then once he got it he was so worn out he was content just to hang out with it.

Brodie was scared to come in at first but made himself at home quickly

And they all lived happily ever after, except the wap, which was covered in slobber. The end.

More pics on Flickr.


Guest Room refresh underway

This weekend we spent almost all our time working on the guest room. DIY involves a lot more physical effort than my cushy desk job, so this was good preparation for me for the can’t-get-here-soon-enough gardening season. We started off, as you may remember, with a fairly plain room with pale pink paint on almost all surfaces.

Guest Room refresh in progress

Guest Room refresh in progress

Saturday we started by prepping, which included a fair amount of spackle, as well as K discovering that the vent cover that’s been in there since before we moved in isn’t actually the same size as the vent. The previous owners apparently figured that an inch or two of carpet space on all sides wouldn’t really matter.  So anyway, we used a vent cover from another room to make sure we knew what size it needed and got a replacement.

Karl discovered that the vent cover is really too small for the hole

Another part of the prep was removing The Hatch, or the access panel to the bath plumbing. I hope that we never need to use this, but I’m afraid to cover it permanently because that would sort of be like asking for a leak, right?

opening the hatch

We’ve noticed, when replacing outlets and light switches and whatnot, that the builders or somebody really didn’t care to use a sharp tool when cutting drywall. What do you think they used here? Butter knife? Spork? Elbow?

apparently they cut this hole with a spoon or their elbows or something

Former owners also did an extremely poor job of painting (this is true in all areas of the house). They subscribed to the glob-it-on school, and they LOVED to do something that has become my pet peeve: painting the wall and the trim all the same color all in one big, nasty, drippy paintbrush-full. The theoretically once-crisp edges of the hatch panel are definitely not anything akin to crisp anymore.

less-than-detail-oriented former owners really did a nice job on this

I also got a nice surprise when I removed the cold air return vent:

what's behind the cold air return vent

Got some extra bank statements? Just throw ’em in the vent. Builders pencil? Same thing. Hershey’s Kiss? Wait, WTF? That’s too big to fit in the vent – did a critter carry it here? It did not appear to have any teethmarks, so that seems unlikely.

Brodie was trying to simultaneously hang out with us and stay out of the way as I moved stepladders and paint cans every few minutes. He was less than amused that we weren’t really paying him that much attention.

Brodie is kind of bored by this whole thing

Want to know what happens when you glob paint on really thick on top of myriad layers of other paints that probably weren’t the same kind? Giant freaking peeling spots! Yuck.

shitty paint above the closet peeling off in big sheets

Finally, you can see some color! This is the blue that we did on three of the walls. K is so happy to be painting! (Not really.)

Karl is delighted to be painting all weekend

And here you can see the first coat of brown up, contrasting with the blue. I am so, so pleased with the colors we chose.

brown wall, first coat

Despite attempts by the previous owners to make it impossible (hardware installed UPSIDE-DOWN and INSIDE the ceiling so you can’t move it), Karl replaced the light fixture with this lovely one we got from the Despot. We had purchased a different one awhile ago, and then I decided it was too boring.

new light fixture - vast improvement

The hardwoods in this room are not too bad, but are definitely the most worn of any of the rooms we’ve exposed so far. Most of them will be covered by the area rug anyway, so for now, good enough.

hardwood floors unearthed

Now that the carpet is gone, I can open the closet doors without struggling! We haven’t painted these doors yet but will do so soon. I am debating between painting them blue to go with the wall or painting them the off-white (“Innocence”) I used on the trim. What would you do?


New heat vent cover! We discovered another issue – the actual ductwork under this vent was all warped and not meeting up with the sides of the hole in the floor, leaving all kinds of lovely space for heat to escape into the basement. Joy! K was super-handy as usual and fixed it.

new vent fits! (after much kludge-ing)

Here you can see the brown, the blue, and a tiny peek at the off-white of the window sill, as well as the area rug and the hardwoods. Oh, and Brodie’s butt. (Note: this was before the second coat of brown went on in the corner, so that looks a little sketchy.)

walls + carpet + Brodie's butt

And that’s it for now! Yesterday I painted the trim for around the door, closet, and hatch, and we still need to cut and paint the base molding. We’re almost there!

More pics at flickr.


Guest room palette

This weekend we made it to the Home Despot to pick out paint colors for the guest room. I took a few snaps of the area rug, curtains, and duvet (even though we may not keep the latter two) so we could make sure everything works together. We weren’t 100% certain about the area rug when we saw it online. Well, I was pretty certain but K was a little skeptical. It was $100 less than the runner-up, though, so he was willing to be skeptimistic.

Here’s a shot of the rug:

ingredients for refreshing the guest room

And here it is with the paint chips:

ingredients for refreshing the guest room

Most of the room will be the top blue (Dark Storm Cloud) and one wall will be the second brown from the bottom (Sweet Georgia Brown). We’ll use the off-white (Innocence) (seriously! these names are terrible) for the trim.

Here’s a close-up of just the colors we’ll be using:

ingredients for refreshing the guest room

While we were at the Despot we looked to see how much it would be to buy a replacement door for the room, since I’m not convinced that the current one is worth trying to fix. Turns out it’s reasonable affordable! We’d also like to replace the bi-fold doors on the closet, since they’re caked with many poorly-applied coats of paint and I don’t think it’s worth the time to try to make them look decent. For both doors, we could go with wood finish and stain it, or primed and then paint it one of the colors above. Any opinions from the peanut gallery about this? The hardwoods are light and I’m a little unsure about having multiple wood tones in such a small space. On the other hand, I don’t want things to be too matchy-matchy, either.