Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Master Bath Upgrades

Hey friends! What happened to August?! I am slowly coming out of my post move fog, I guess and the days have been flying by!! I am excited to {not yet} but soon say we are settled here and hopefully get my blogging groove back! You know, like Stella got her groove back, maybe I will too?? 

Anyway, I have never been so thrilled to see the trash and recycling guys as I have been in the past two weeks. Good riddance to all of our extra junk, stuff, boxes and trash and the funny part {or not so funny} is that we spent months storing it all! We are down to the last few pesky boxes in our house and we have a ton of kids clothes to pass on to friends and a ton of stuff for Goodwill! It feels good to be a bit lighter round here! 

I haven't posted many house pictures yet because its been too cluttery of a mess to show! If you follow me on Insta {@lbtrain}, you have probably seen bits and pieces, but I am going to attempt to go room by room and show some of the changes and our decor! 

Last I shared was the guest bath and our do it yourself {DIY} mirror frame. Here is that post. Today, I want to show you the upgrades we did in the master bath. Please forgive the not so great pictures! Some are dark and all from different angles but I have to snap them in between babies napping and when the rooms are relatively clean! 

Starting out, was just a normal bathroom. Nothing fancy, nothing terrible, just bland. The lights were gold and silver and no one else would probably notice it, but I didn't like it. 

My plan here was paint, switch out the one big mirror for two smaller and upgrade the lights and faucets. Nothing huge cost or effort wise, but a huge change in appearance and well worth it! 

I cant remember the cost for everything but our faucets were like $35 each {we went cheap and simple}, the mirrors are Allen + Roth from Lowe's and were $69 each and the lights were in the $40 range as well. Nothing fancy but for well under $300 not including paint, we totally changed the look of the bathroom.  

Our contractor said that if we had the lights here, since the painters would pull the current ones off to paint, they would install the new ones at no additional charge. This was helpful as it was one less thing for CT3 to do. They also removed the large mirror for us and patched and painted the wall behind it. Matt, our contractor said the mirror was easy to remove but tricky because it was so large and they didn't what to break it. It came down in one piece and they disposed of it for us. 

So here it the before:: 

And ta-daaaa! Here is the after::

Yall. When I look at those two pictures, I can NOT believe its the same bathroom! Major upgrade and difference for under $300, right?! I LOVE it and was so thrilled with the results! Truth be told, as I have been shopping, looking, thinking of all things house, I came across these pictures on Pottery Barn's website and used them as my inspiration. Same idea, way cheaper and while I could have taken it a step further with accessories and new pulls and all, for now, we will leave it as is! 

Pottery Barn inspiration for Master Bath...and clearly their natural light shot is WAY better than mine taken with my iPhone in the half dark!

Pottery Barn big chunky frame inspiration for guest bath {previous post}.
 Anyway, here are some posts as the transformation took place! Hope you love it as much as I do! 


Mirror down

New lights installed and wall patched and painted.

Natural light and a bit more true to the wall color...Revere Pewter at 50% in a Satin finish {Sherwin Williams paint color matched}.

My two best men! Hubby and Daddy! 

Again, a terrible night pic, but all done! 

In case you miss a post, here are all of our house pictures and updates::
The Guest Bath and Trimming Out a Mirror Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Guest Bath - DIY

I keep saying that I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but our house is a wreck! Boxes and stuff are everywhere and while we have worked our fannies off all week long. My parents and my in-laws have spend countless hours working and it hardly looks like we've made a dent!! 

Though we are worn out, we will keep our hand to the plow and keep sorting those boxes and putting stuff away and soon, I hope to give you a little home tour! 

Until I get to that point, I will share here and there about projects we have going on and how its all coming together!!

First up, the guest bathroom.

When we bought the house, the bathrooms all had standard {nothing fancy} fixtures and lights and just normal big wall mirrors plastered up. It wasn't a huge deal, and probably no one else would have noticed, but I have watched too much HGTV and shopped too many fancy bathrooms and now knew the potential and feasibility of a cute bathroom.

I mentioned it to my Dad and it was a done deal. Dad said that it was an easy, cheap fix and he would handle it. Now, its not to too many people I just say "great, handle it" but with stuff like this, its all his. He knew what I wanted, could envision it and knew better than I, how to make it look good. 

I feel the same way with hanging pictures and my Dad. I trust him and I want it done well and right. I tell him my vision, he tweaks it, gets it done, we move on with life. His pictures are always precise on the wall, perfectly centered, eye level and I am a stickler for a good wall hanging! The size has to be appropriate for the wall and the shape too. I am major high maintenance when it comes to these things and Dad knows what I want, so I let him run with it! ...besides, he needs a few projects to keep him from being bored and off the streets, right!? ;) 

First, I will show you the before picture and then the after picture, just to compare and then I will share the process! 

Here is the before. Standard fixtures that were brass and polished silver and a big normal mirror. 

And the after! New light, trimmed out mirror, new fixtures and way cuter! 

This light was $88 and some of the fixtures/hardware, we splurged a bit more on because we weren't buying a new mirror. All in all, it was under $250 and could have been less if we didn't buy a few of the extras....I really hated the brass/silver thing the previous owners had going on and CT3 was in support of getting rid! If you just did the mirror, your cost would be trim, screws, paint and the tape to install. 

First, we measured. And by we, I mean my Dad! He basically measured the lengths he would need to trim out the four sides of the mirror and went to the store and purchased. He came home, made the cuts per his measurements and screwed the trim together on the corners. Voila, the frame was done. 

Here we are doing a test to see if the size of trim would be good. I also did NOT want my trim to come all the way down to the back splash. I wanted it to look like it was floating a bit, so we bought a piece of wood {trim} that we painted the color of the wall and tacked on before installing the frame...more on that in a second. 

Anyway, after Dad built the frame, he first painted it white and then flipped it over, added some painters tape so he wouldn't get black spray paint everywhere and he sprayed the back of the frame. I didn't understand why til I saw it up this afternoon, but the mirror reflects the black and makes it look like one unit...and not something taped to the wall! I will show you below but even if you don't get it, just take ole Dale's word for it and make sure the back is black! 

We let the paint dry then Dad painted the front silver {let it dry} and then did black on the inside {let it dry} and then brushed it with a coat of white before distressing it. Now, all of this is NOT necessary!! You could paint it with a glossy white - or the same paint that is used for your house trim, or you could use a brown/wooden trim or whatever. Dad is a perfectionist when it comes to this, so we let him and his colors be. Once he distressed it, he even took red and blue crayons just to give it a bit more texture, but don't tell anyone that Dad colored my mirror, okay?! ;)


Painted white and just before distressing

 Dad came over to install the frame. He had brought over the extra piece we were going to use to "make the frame float" and he just had to paint it the same color as the wall.

As he looked for the piece, he was not too thrilled with me to hear that I had given it to our contractor to drill into for our dishwasher. Oops. How was I supposed to know what it was for!? This delayed our install til Dad could pick up another and prime and paint it. My bad.

Sad frame waiting since I gave away the parts needed! 
We finished it up today and it looks great. Here is Dad double-checking the size. You can also see here along the inside of the frame how the black is reflecting. That is where Dad painted the back of the frame. You didn't even notice it because it looked so natural, did you!? That's why you paint black on the back, got it!?

Once everything was double checked, Dad pulled out the heavy duty double sided tape. The frame is SUPER light so this should be plenty to hold it. He framed the inside of the frame and stayed slightly away from the edges. 

After that, I helped him hold it and put into place and just like that, our easy bathroom upgrade was done! If you do just the frame, your costs are minimal. The trim wasn't all that expensive and then it was just the heavy duty double sided tape, paint and screws. 

I love how it all turned out and I love how easy it was!! We did a few upgrades in the master bath too and I will have to show you that soon!

Here's to handy Dads who like to color on mirrors and upgraded and cute bathrooms!

Other details:: the walls are Sherwin Williams paint color matched to Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter at 50% and are a satin finish. Pin It Now!

Friday, August 15, 2014

House Updates

Since the house we are purchasing is pretty much exactly like our old house but with an upstairs, we decided that we would do a few things to make this one feel new.

At first I was uncertain and I am still a bit nervous, but honestly, I am so darn excited, I can hardly wait!

We talked about painting ourselves, we got bids from an independent guy and then met with a designer at Lowe's for the kitchen who talked us through dollars and processes as well. At closing, the sellers realtor referred us to the guy who did the fixes we asked for when we bought the house. I figured that we might as well let him give us a bid as well just to see where we could stretch our dollars the furthest.

Long story short, if we did the painter for the house and Lowe's for the kitchen, we would still have other projects we wanted done and we would be coordinating lots of people in lots of places at different times. Matt's company {the guy the realtor referred us to} could do it all and his price was a bit less than the other two, plus he would throw in a bit more - since he was doing the whole job. On top of that, Lowe's would take 4-6 weeks for some of it and Matt and company will be done by Monday.


Yep! The trucks come Tuesday with our stuff and the contractors will finish up on Monday!

Here is the short list of the upgrades we are doing::

  • Painting the entire house. 
  • Updating lights and fixtures in the bathroom. 
  • Trim/switch out bathroom mirrors.
  • New counter tops and a new back splash. 
Picking out colors has been fun but a challenge. I wanted light, airy, cool, calming and neutral colors. No brights or bolds here as I am a huge proponent of painting plain Jane and then fancy up with accessories or pillows or lamps or something that you can change easily if you hate! I knew the idea I wanted, but took to the interwebs for help! 

Sherwin Williams has this cool feature where you can upload an actual photo of the room and then select the paint color and paint the walls. This was super helpful just to get an overall picture of what it would look like. 

Thanks to all in blog land, Instagram and all who emailed, messaged and commented with paint color suggestions! My SIL clued me into the fact that you can take any color to Sherwin Williams stores and they will color match it. Though we chose a Benjamin Moore color, we got it all through Sherwin Williams. We tried six grays on the wall and decided on Revere Pewter for the entire house and the bedrooms Revere Pewter at 50%. With the exception of one wall, all walls in the house will have a shade of the Revere Pewter on it. That one special wall will be pink and will be in a sweet little girls room... 

{Insert Mommy sucker award here.}

We were on our way over to talk about paint and she was SO excited about her PINK room. I couldn't tell her she wasn't getting pink - especially after she told others about it and was almost in happy tears, so instead hubby and I smiled and nodded as we picked out a light pink for a sassy little princess! 

....Speaking of pink. We were at my parents and I was trying to pull out the samples to write down the names to text CT3. Lets just say that Brother Bear and Sis Sis were trying to help me put them back and Brother wasn't as gentle as he could have been. The top was not all the way on and it busted off and paint spilled all over my parents hard woods. I grabbed it and ran. Literally, through the house, out the door, down the driveway and threw it in the pine straw.

DON'T even ask why I thought grabbing it and running was the right thing to do, but I did. We spent a solid hour and a half scrubbing the driveway on that one. Oops. 

You cant tell here, but the left wall has one coat so far of paint! 

As mentioned, in the bathrooms, we are switching out lights and hardware. Our contractor pulls it all down to paint so he said if we had it all in there and ready, they would install the new at no charge since they would be putting it back already. Here is the current/old pictures of two of the three bathrooms.

As of now, the mirror in the master bath has been pulled down, they will patch and paint and then we will install the new mirrors as well as the new lights. 

This may be one of the things I am most excited about. I feel like its relatively inexpensive but will make a HUGE impact and give it a totally different look and feel. 

I think my Dad or CT3 or someone is just going to trim out the other one to give it a framed look versus  us pulling it down and purchasing new. 

Lastly, the kitchen. The day we were starting, we met Matt at the house and by the time we got there at 10 am, all of the upstairs had been taped to paint, the vents and lights and all pulled down and the counter tops gone! EEEEK! No turning back now, right!?

We are going with a lighter granite with more of a silver {versus gold} undertone and a white subway tile and a white sink. I think that the granite will provide the perfect contrast with the walls and the white back splash and I cant wait to put our butcher block table in. The silver frame on it and the light wood really will pull everything together and I think make it look super sharp! 

So that's it for now!! Friday they will finish the paint, Sunday the granite will be installed and then Monday the back splash and then Tuesday we move in! 

Many more DIY projects are ahead {including the hubster tiling the laundry room floor} and I cant wait to show you the finished product of it all! 

Happy Friday! 
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Monday, August 11, 2014


I blogged last week on how I plan {hope} to decorate. One of the things I loved when perusing Pinterest was the idea of my kids silhouettes adorning our living room wall. Here was the picture and idea that I found and fell in love with on Pinterest::

As yall know, I love all things crafty and as we prep to move in, I figured I would try my hand at cutting my kids silhouettes.

I randomly snapped profile pictures of my kids as they were watching TV and figured I would go for it. I picked up some ivory artists board with a woven back and some black paper and was ready. I was half way nervous that they would turn out like a kids craft project but after a quick learning curve and a few extra cuts with the exacto knife, I was more than thrilled with the project!

Annie M, CT4 and Moose

In fact, I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and got so many messages, likes and comments that I realized I may have something actually going for me!

I tried one of Champ and one of a pregnant friend and all of those came out fabulous too. I did one of my niece and was in awe of the resemblance, but also the classic feel.

Truly, I loved how just looking at my little silhouettes made it seem as if time was standing still, for only a moment.

Without waiting another second, I opened up an Etsy shop. Sounds crazy, I know but, I am loving it and have already had a few orders!!

In the shop, you can select the size and even customize your color - for those who may want one but may not want something traditional, just jazz it up with a fun color! They come matted to the art board but not framed. If you want it framed, you can add a frame with your order and I will take care of it for ya!

I posted this picture yesterday of all of the ones that are on their way to people who have ordered! 
Since I have JUST opened up my shop and would love a few orders and reviews, I am offering a 25% off, good through the 15th. At check out, use the code "GRANDOPENING" and it will discount your order.

You add the number of silhouettes (like if you have three kids, select three and their respective sizes) to your cart, check out and then email me the profile picture. For girls, I recommend hair in a pony tail or bun so you can see their sweet necks! People have asked whats the best way to capture kids, I put mine in front of the TV, walked to the side and snapped two pictures with my iPhone. Easy breezy!

If you have questions about anything, please email me at talkofthetrains{at}gmail{dot}com.

Thanks again for everyones excitement, love and support! Feel free to share my Etsy with others in Blogland, Facebook, email, etc!

Speaking of decorating, here is my current layout for the gallery wall! The pieces of paper are place holders for things that I am in the process of framing. Can you spy my hand cut, Champie silhouette in there!?

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