laundry room remodel | pt. ii

progress report.

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It's time for a quick update on our laundry room remodel!  there was a time when I jokingly said that I hoped we'd have this project completed by the end of the year, thinking how in the world could we not? these days, I think it will be a Christmas miracle if this thing wraps up while we're still in the year 2018.  if you're just tuning in, catch yourself up on our laundry room remodel by reading part one here.

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To be sure, we have made progress.  after all, this wouldn't be much of a progress report if there was no progress.  the new countertops are nearly complete.  all that's left to do is a final coat and sealant once they have cured, which takes thirty days.  if you're just joining us, we covered our laminate countertops with concrete.  sounds a little crazy, right?  it probably is, but my thinking behind that is that nothing can be worse than the dusty blue counters we began with.  I mean, even with a risky DIY such as this, it's hard to mess up something like that and have a worse outcome. we were willing to take that chance, anyway.  I will share more about this process in the final reveal post.  for now, I am really pleased with how things are looking.

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After removing the upper cabinets, which were glued to the wall, there were quite a few spots that needed to be patched.  a little drywall tape and joint compound fixed that right up.  a fresh coat of paint and several true crime podcasts later, the wall looks brand new.

a couple weeks ago marked our five year wedding anniversary.  we spent the evening celebrating the most romantic way I know how—DIYing. with a little research and absolutely zero experience under our tool belts, we installed a tile backsplash ourselves! I would bet a million dollars that five years ago, my husband never would have imagined that's how we'd spend any anniversary.  in my mind, though, we're right on track!  I'm teasing… sort of.

would you believe we actually both enjoyed this project?  I know this because Drew actually started on it without me.  typically when it comes to home improvement, I am begging/having to consult and formally schedule with my husband to begin a project.  not so this time around... while I was chasing our youngest through the house, I passed by the laundry room to find Drew spreading thinset on the wall with a trowel and putting the first subway tile in place.  "what do you think you're doing?" I demanded.  he turned with a smile, "I just couldn't wait anymore." though I appreciated his enthusiasm, I had been dreaming of this moment for months and wanted to be a part of every second of the tiling process.  needless to say, we tucked our boy into bed shortly after and headed straight to work together.

a couple days after the thinset dried, it was time for grout!  to be totally honest, this part was not as fun as I had hoped and neither of us much enjoyed it.  but it is a necessary step and we got it done and that’s what that counts.  it was our very first time to tackle a tile project; and though it was a small area that didn’t require too many cuts, I’m happy to add this skill to our resumé. I’m sure a professional could take a look at our work and spot imperfections immediately, but I think it looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself. I’m proud of us for trying something new and tickled that the results were decent. I'll share more details in the reveal post about products used, tips, etc. 

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The wood brackets for the open shelving have been painted, as you can see.  the lumber for the shelves has been cut.  I need to prime and paint the boards.  and the plan is to install it all this week. I am extra excited about this part!

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I hung a few woven trays on the wall near the desk, so we've got that going for us as well.  I am so happy to see this room slowly coming together!  I think it's shaping up to be a really lovely space. I need to pick up some spray paint and lock my other handyman [aka my father] down. he’s always been skilled in spray-painting, so I’ve recruited him to help me give the old metal lockers a fresh coat of paint. here’s hoping we knock that out in the next week or two! if we do, it looks like there may just be a chance we could wrap things up before the clock strikes twelve on 2018. I’ll keep you posted…

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if you want to keep up with all the little details between blog posts, give the tiny white house a follow on instagram.  I post there more frequently,  and almost always share as things are happening on the laundry room remodel... as well as in other rooms + projects taking place!


Drew.

I am not one to boast, especially on social media; however, his birthday seemed like just the occasion to honor and introduce you to the man behind the tiny white house. he’s the one who makes it all happen, the one who brings my vision to life.

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image by Emily Green


My husband Drew is one of the kindest souls I've ever known.  he always gives the benefit of the doubt and sees the best in people.  if ever I am venting about another human, he is quick to suggest what they may have been thinking or where they may have been coming from.  it is so irritating.  he never assumes the worst in situations or of others.  in fact, we often refer to him as "Defender of the Weak/Week."  he has always been this way, ever since we became friends when he was sixteen years old.  of the two of us, he is definitely "the nice one."

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minutes after we welcomed our first child to the world


Another cool/annoying thing about Drew is that he is brilliant.  let me put this into perspective for you: he scored a 32 on his ACT.  for those unfamiliar with the ACT, it is an entrance exam used by most colleges to make admissions decisions, with a test score range of 1-36.  according to the statistics, a score of 32 places him in the 98th percentile. I, who am a little older and much wiser [I do have more life experience, after all], did not make a 32.  I will not be disclosing my score, but suffice it to say: I was accepted into college and that alone was my goal.

he's kind of a know-it-all.  well, he used to be.  he still knows a lot, but I "helped" him to possess his knowledge in a more humble way.  for any other know-it-alls reading this, the first thing you need to know [or should already if you do, in fact, know everything] is that know-it-alls are obnoxious.  if someone informs you of something, almost anything is a better response than, "I know."  Drew would say this phrase so often, driving me mad, that I created a little exercise for him.  if I told him something and he responded with, "I know," whether he knew or not, I would make him recite the phrase: "I don't know everything."  repeatedly.  because you know what?  it's true.  nobody knows everything.  and you know what else?  he has learned to respond more humbly with an "oh really?" or "that's interesting."

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image by Emily Green


In addition to his intelligence, Drew is an incredible musician.  I know it seems like I'm biased, but really and truly, he is completely gifted.  his first love is the drums.  he began playing when he was just four years old.  (he learned from his dad, a fellow drummer).  as a teen, he learned to play the acoustic guitar.  as a twentysomething, he conquered the bass and electric; and finally, the piano.  he doesn't sing often, or in public anyway, but he also has a nice voice.  we enjoy making music together, though all I bring to the table is my voice and sick dance moves.  since he was thirteen years old, he has served in our church in some musical capacity.  the neatest thing about Drew and his talent is that he is completely humble.  if I was a rock star and played forty-seven instruments like him, you better believe I'd be shouting it from the rooftops.  Drew is not this way.  where he once lacked humility as a former know-it-all, he has never lacked anything as a musician.

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moments before the birth of our second child


We make quite a pair for many reasons.  I am a dreamer; he is a realist.  I like to create, whether it's drawing or painting or building.  simply put, he does not.  but he does it anyway for me.  he's a numbers guy and majored in accounting.  I don't do numbers.  like ever, at all.  I once said that if the wires in my brain to compute mathematics do, in fact, exist, they are not connected.  not even close.  Drew says that he sees + thinks in numbers and that I see + think in colors.  the most ironic thing?  Drew is colorblind.  we are literally speaking completely different languages.  we are opposite in so many ways, but have the important things in common...  our beliefs, our goals, our dreams, our faith.

his life has not always been easy—by my standards.  he's weathered divorce, the loss of his mother, and losing his home + virtually all his earthly possessions in a flood, all before he was even twenty-four years old.  but he's so full of joy and hope, you'd never guess it.

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image by Allison Moix


It's fun being married to him.  he's loving and spoils me in unconventional ways, like a coffee cup filled with ice cream before bed.  it's the darnedest thing, but it just tastes better when he fixes it. he dances with me in the kitchen, the way my father always has, and he makes me laugh like you wouldn't believe. he's an amazing father and loyal friend.  he loves our boys and they are crazy about him.  he’s a hard worker, and very rarely, if ever, does he complain.  every time I observe this quality of his, I make a point to be more like him.  I'm still working on it, obviously.  he never asks for anything and doesn't want much… except a nice guitar and set of drums and to move to the country.

I’m so grateful that the Lord saw fit for us to be together and that He chose me for Drew. he loved + pursued me despite my being a young, insecure girl who didn’t know who she was, and he helped me to find myself + follow my dreams. a true picture of the gospel. I’m still not certain why our parents let us get married since we were just a couple of dumb kids, but I sure am glad they did.

happy birthday to my man. you are so worth celebrating.

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image by Allison Moix


images by:

Emily Green of Emily Green Photography
Allison Moix of Stellar Propeller Studio
my personal collection

laundry room remodel | pt. i

the before.


I tend to wait until a project is complete to share it here on the blog.  but this time, I decided I'd share this project as we go, updating you along the way... because honestly, when it comes to home improvement projects, things can move a little slow at the tiny white house.  that's not necessarily the speed at which I like to do projects, but that's just life right now.  and slow progress is better than no progress, right?


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Despite the desperate need for updates throughout our home, there were several features that stood out the first time we saw our house.  it had good bones, if you will.  the laundry room was a prime example.  at 8' by 10' with two windows, it is an open, airy space, far different from the tiny laundry closet in our first home.  I had big dreams for this space the second I laid eyes on it.  I knew it held such potential.  one of the main reasons I want to make the most of this room is because it is seen.  while we don't exactly "hang out" in it, our laundry room is directly off the kitchen and open to the side entry, or friend's entry.  it also leads to the garage.  plus, there is no door to the laundry room, so there's no hiding what's in there.  we might as well make the most of it!

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With so much else on our to-do list [see extensive list pictured above], though, the laundry room just got the basics: popcorn ceiling scraped, wallpaper border removed, a fresh coat of paint, a new light fixture, and new tile flooring.  this did wonders for the room, of course; but my vision was far from complete.

since this is larger than the average size laundry room, I really wanted to take advantage of the space in this room, using every single inch.  here is the game plan:

  • replace upper cabinets with open shelving
  • refinish laminate countertops
  • paint lower cabinets + update cabinet hardware
  • install some type of locker system, whether it be wooden built-ins or metal lockers
  • create a home office + command center
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CABINETRY

the cabinetry, though dingy and worn, provides excellent covered storage.  I considered keeping the existing cabinets and getting new cabinet doors, but the upper cabinets were small and the shelving was practically useless—too short to store cookbooks or a box of detergent upright.  of course, I could lay books sideways; but the more I thought about it, I really wanted to have a little open shelving.  I know this is very "in" right now.  as a rule, I tend to steer away from anything trendy.  but since this is a small space, I thought it would be a good place to experiment.  besides, I am fairly confident I can create open shelving that is both timeless and traditional.

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COUNTERTOPS

the lovely, blue laminate counter boasts a stainless steel sink, albeit small.  but that dusty blue obviously has to go.  I considered painting it, but am leaning more towards refinishing it using a concrete overlay.  there are roughly one million blogs giving detailed tutorials on this and reviewing why concrete countertops are awesome and/or horrible, so I'll leave that to them.  for us, the choice was easy and meets all our criteria:

  • it fits the budget
  • I like the way it looks
  • my husband doesn't want to do it

that's how I know it's the perfect fix.  but seriously, after much research, this is our best option.  many of the articles I read mentioned scratching + staining as one of the downsides of concrete countertops.  since this isn't a high traffic area and since it is in our laundry room, I'm simultaneously not too worried about that and preparing myself to be okay with such things happening.  after all, this is a laundry room and a scratch or stain on the counter is far from the end of the world.

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LOCKERS

I also wanted some type of locker for storage, whether it be built-in or actual metal lockers.  there is a perfect spot for this, in the corner right next to the door that leads to the garage [pictured above].  for awhile, I was set on built-in wooden cubbies.  it seemed like it would be more difficult to find the kind of metal lockers I liked for a reasonable price, so I thought built-ins would be easier.  again, this was not at all a priority and we never even got around to getting measurements or supplies to build lockers.  then one day last February, I found some for sale on Facebook.  an old gym in town was being remodeled and they had tons of lockers they were getting rid of.  I got a set of six for $72.  I had been looking for awhile and never seen any that I liked as much and none as cheap, so that seemed like a good deal to me.  here they are, sitting in our garage... where they've been for the past seven months.  they still need a little work, but I think they'll be perfect for this space.

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HOME OFFICE

my husband gave me a beautiful, antique table for Christmas a few years ago and I knew it would be perfect as a desk.  I tend to write, draw, make lists, jot things down in my planner, etc. from the comfort of my bed.  now don't get me wrong—I don't ever mind snuggling up in bed for any reason.  however, it would be nice and more practical to have a spot specifically for these tasks—a command center, if you will.  eventually I'll clear this pretty little piece off.  until then, it makes for an excellent catchall.

PROGRESS

the last week of August, we decided to make September a no spend month.  I was itching to do a project [shocker, right?] and with the boys at their grandparents' overnight, it seemed like the perfect time to get started on our laundry room!  of course, since we're on a spending freeze, there's only so much we can do.  lucky for us, demolition is F-R-E-E.  early Saturday morning, we got to work and removed the upper cabinets.  our home renovation didn't require much demo, so this was kind of a first for us.  it took a little elbow grease as the cabinets were glued to the wall, but we got the job done.  since I was in work mode and had leftover paint from other projects, I went ahead and painted the lower cabinets.  our house was built circa 1980, never updated, and the cabinets didn't get a fresh coat of paint when we moved in in early 2017, so it was much needed.  I can't wait to pick out new hardware and install it!

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it's exciting to see my vision come to life... slowly, but surely.  maybe when October rolls around and we can spend money again, we'll knock more things off the to-do list.  I can't wait!  stay tuned for progress reports...

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 sources:

wall color | Wool Skein by Sherwin-Williams
light fixture | Lowe's

the nursery | pt. iii

a nursery for two.

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If you've been following the tiny white house for any length of time, you know I have shared before about the nursery.  this room is ever-changing and has quite evolved since the need for a nursery arose nearly three years ago.  the first, original nursery flooded, along with our house, in the spring of 2016.  we set up a second nursery when we moved in with my parents temporarily. you can read about that nursery here.  the nursery changed again when we bought our first home, spent months renovating it, and moved in in March 2017.  click here to read more about the nursery pt. ii.

some of the changes made were subtle.  other changes were more noticeable, such as furniture placement.  last summer, a not-so-subtle change took place—not only in our nursery, but also in our family—as we welcomed another baby into the world.

in November 2016, days before Grey turned seven months old, we found out our little family was growing.  this certainly came as a surprise, but has turned out to be the best thing, better than anything we could ever have planned.  apparently God really does know what He's doing.  I wanted the babies to share a room, regardless of the gender [we continued with the element of surprise and didn't find out].  and on July 20th, 2017, we welcomed our second baby, a little boy named Rhett.  the sweet nursery for our first child became a nursery for two.  

here's a flashback of how the nursery used to look:

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and here is how it looks today...

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Something we realized about halfway through my second pregnancy is that we would have to purchase another crib.  for some reason, it took awhile for this thought to register.  you see, when we bought the sweet Jenny Lind crib that our firstborn sleeps in, I assumed that would be the very crib that all of our children would sleep in.  turns out when you have babies nearly fifteen months apart, you may need more than one crib.  when I sat down to order a second Jenny Lind crib, this message flashed across the top of the screen: "you already purchased this in February 2016."  yeah, I know, Amazon. thank you for the reminder.

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I loved Grey's original bedding.  I chose a simple blue ticking for the fabric and my husband's precious grandmother sewed a darling crib skirt with a box pleat.  after we found out we were expecting again and I began to daydream about nurseries, I realized I would have to get another crib skirt made to match.  she is the sweetest woman and I know she would happily have done it, but I hated to ask this of her.  after thinking on it, I decided to do away with the idea of crib skirt completely.  I would just buy matching crib sheets and we'd go for less is more.

one day, I googled "toile crib sheets" and that's how I happened upon the crib sheets I ended up ordering and using.  the brand is Sweet Jojo Designs and I purchased them online from Bed Bath and Beyond.  toile has always been a favorite pattern of mine, so the thought of getting to use it in the nursery thrilled me.

Since the very first nursery, a potting bench has served as our changing table.  this is one of the first pieces of furniture I bought for our home.  I found it at a garage sale for $40 a few months before Drew + I married.  in the original tiny white house, it sat in our living room as our entertainment center.  it has been in the nursery ever since.  the boys absolutely love it.  they like to climb onto the lower shelf to sit and play.  I think I'm ready to transition it outside to use it as an actual potting bench, but I'm hesitant.  I've loved this piece in the boys' room and I know taking it away won't be popular with them. 

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The window treatment didn't necessarily need updating, but since I was in a sprucing mood... my husband built a cornice board.  I actually used the same window panels as before, I just added the cornice board for a little something extra.  as most of our projects do, it took much longer than it should to complete; even still, I love how it turned out.

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We had to rearrange some furniture to make room for a second crib, obviously.  but all things considered, I am just tickled with the finished product.  in fact, I love this space so much, which is good since we spend much of our time in it.  I originally composed this post in May 2017, few months before our second baby arrived.  the closing line read: I can't wait to bring home another precious baby and for all the memories that will be made in this sweet shared nursery.  and now, more than a year later, that second baby is a one-year-old and I am finally getting around to publishing it.  I will forever cherish the memories being made by the sweet brothers that share this room.  it is the joy of my life raising two little boys, watching them grow + become friends, and waking up every morning to their laughter [and let's be real—some days tears].  sometimes I can't believe this is my life.

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full disclosure: because I want to be transparent and not create the illusion that my house and children are always clean + perfect, I want you to know that this precious nursery very rarely looks this nice.  after all, there are two busy, little boys living in it.  the boxwood wreaths hanging on the cribs, though idyllic, are a safety hazard I'm sure and the boys have been known to rip leaves from them by the handful.  I threw them up for the photoshoot and took them down immediately after.  the books and other accessories pictured do belong in the nursery, but are used less for reading and aesthetics and more for throwing and playing.  but I have learned [read: am learning] that this is okay.  I want my children to be free to play and make messes and not be afraid to touch the things that make their room, and our home, the special place that it is.  I once heard it said, "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."  isn't that the truth?


sources

Jenny Lind Crib | Amazon
 toile crib sheet | Sweet Jojo Designs via Bed Bath and Beyond
Sutton Glider in Linen | Best Chair