Saturday, November 30

baby's 1st gifts

we've already received a few gifts for baby roo & got one ourselves.

the very first gift for roo [or actually sorta for us but related to roo] was this cute picture frame from one of our teens, madi. we put one of roo's ultrasound pics in it, & it lives in our bedroom now.

another dear friend from church, beth, made this precious & suuuuuuuper soft baby blanket for baby roo.

 and i couldn't resist this adorable stuffed animal in honor of roo's nickname!

while at home in wilmington for thanksgiving, we received this awesome t-shirt that mom, dad, ness, & jeremy picked out this summer at the north carolina aquarium. i'm an otter [personality test thing], & they are my absolute favorite animal!

when we put up our registry for target & amazon, one item was purchased the next day. we knew it had to be a grandparent! mom was already wanting to get this zany zoo for us, & when she saw it on our registry, she made dad take her to target that same night! roo will love playing with it someday, but we love playing with it in the meantime.

roo is highly anticipated & deeply loved already by so many people. this child will be oh-so-blessed by the people in our lives.


Friday, November 29

nursery progress, finally!

we have finally started working on the nursery!!! which is good because we're approximately 10 weeks away from baby roo's appearance...

we cleared the room & blessedly covered up that awful grayish lavender paint on the walls! [if you want to see how it looked before as a guest room with purple walls, you can view our post on the nursery design.]

[view from the hallway]

[view of the west wall & some of the north wall]

[view of the north wall]

[view of the east wall & some of the south wall]

[view of the south wall & some of the west wall]

the above picture is probably the most accurate representation of the paint color. the wall texture really does make it look like leather in person!

[inside the closet]

 we ended up choosing behr's "peanut butter" for the walls. the closet is painted with leftover behr's "thermal spring" from the living room.

next step is painting the accent on the wall between the 2 windows where the crib will go. the below picture is the inspiration.

i'm thinking of only doing 3-5 rows of triangles centered between the two windows, & we already have behr's "farmhouse red" paint for it. shaun's next project is painting the craigslist dresser we bought in the same red. we'll keep you updated as we make progress!


feature friday: THE MAIN BATHROOM

you could also call this post "if you give a man a project..." which is our version of "if you give a mouse a cookie..." -- you'll see why in a bit.

i mentioned to shaun this summer that i decided what to do with my servingware collection -- store it in the main floor bathroom closet. we've had a plethora of dishes scattered throughout the living room, mostly stacked randomly & weirdly on our bookshelves. i thought i was pretty clever coming up with this solution. after all, we don't really need a linen closet on the main floor, & since we've moved in, it's mostly just stored random junk that really belongs elsewhere. shaun was kind enough to remind me that he made this suggestion a couple years ago, & i vetoed it...

so in september, shaun decided to use our labor day weekend to get some projects done around the casa. he cleaned out the random stuff from the bathroom closet & told me it was ready for me to organize with dishes! to which i replied that the closet was gross & needed to be painted. shaun was less than thrilled at this news. however, he sweetly indulged me & asked what color. i already knew i wanted it to be gray, & we happen to have a 5-gallon bucket of gray paint leftover from previous owners.

[the beginning of the painting project]

[see all the gross stains?]

well, after he painted the closet walls & shelves, he realized the warm wood trim & doors didn't match well... so he asked me what i wanted those painted. i knew i wanted the closet door to be gray, & shaun chose the same creamy white from the living room buffet for the trim. 

[bathroom closet door: BEFORE]

[bathroom closet door: AFTER]

the gray & white complement the sea foam green tile so much better! since a full renovation of this bathroom is years, if not decades, down the road, we decided it was time to embrace the sea foam green & figure out a pleasing design plan that incorporated it.

well, once shaun painted the closet door, he couldn't leave the outer bathroom door in the same warm wood tone... so he asked me what i wanted it painted. we painted the inside [facing the bathroom when closed] the same gray as the bathroom closet door, but from the outside, you see it up against the warm wood paneling, so gray wouldn't go well. shaun found some old sage green paint from our kitchen back in raleigh that matches the sea foam green tile almost perfectly. it looks a little grayer next to the wood paneling, but it's not bad.

well, once shaun painted the doors, he didn't want to reinstall the brassy door knobs & hinges... so he spray painted them all oil-rubbed bronze. 

[sage green on the outer side of the bathroom door]

[view from the hallway]

[view from inside the bathroom]

as you can see in the above picture, once shaun painted the doors, he decided he couldn't leave the vanity as is...

[vanity: BEFORE]

i knew i wanted the vanity painted gray, too, so he went to town on it. thankfully, all the painting in the bathroom cost us $0 because we used all paint colors we already had for other projects. however, i wanted to replace all the hardware, so i made up for free paint in buying really nice oil-rubbed bronze handles & knobs!

[the sink & counter: BEFORE]

the original owners believed in taking a color palette ALL. THE. WAY. sea foam green tile practically floor to ceiling, sea foam sink, & sea foam toilet [pictured later]. well, once shaun replaced all the hardware & knobs with oil-rubbed bronze, the only thing left that wasn't o.r.b. was the sink faucet... so, he decided to switch it out. we actually bought a o.r.b. replacement a couple years ago on clearance, & it's been living in the cabinet beneath the sink! 

well, if he was going to replace the faucet, he figured he might as well replace the sink, too...

[vanity: PROGRESS]

since our house is 50 years old, nothing in it is compatible with standard sizes today. the old sink is an 18" round. standard nowadays is 19"... so, shaun bought a diamond-encrusted jigsaw blade & made the hole in the marble countertop bigger.

[countertop: PROGRESS]

we debated about whether to buy a white sink or a creamy white one... so, shaun finally just bought both & we tried them out.

[almond sink]

[white sink]

it didn't take much time to decide that the white sink looked best overall. however, it made the marble countertop look really yellow & dingy. it's obviously not been resealed in years & has telltale stains as a result. 

[white sink & dingy countertop]

[with the o.r.b. faucet]

well, once we saw the awful state of the countertop enhanced by the white sink... shaun researched how to restore marble. we spent a week "bleaching" it with a hydrogen peroxide / ammonia mix with a paper towel / saran wrap method to give it time to sink in. we weren't sure if it would make any difference, but the change was dramatic!

[the bathroom vanity: AFTER]

[sink & counter: AFTER]

we are beyond thrilled with how it turned out! it may have taken 2.5 months to complete, but it was so worth it.

there's still work to be done on this more immediate phase of bathroom renovation. the toilet still needs to be replaced. you can hear about the saga that will be here & why it's on our before-baby to do list.

[the sea foam green toilet]

and the shower need to be fixed. the door fell off a couple years ago, & it leaks into the basement. we don't think the leak will be too bad to fix, but we just haven't had any reason to prioritize it. we plan to hang a bar & curtain in lieu of replacing the door. and i'm not sure how to bleach the terrazine shower floor...

[shower with bella laying it it. why? no clue.]

and here's the project that started it all! the organized closet with all my serving dishes! 

[bathroom closet: AFTER]

if you give a mouse a cookie...

Thursday, November 28

everything AND the kitchen sink!

shaun has been ridiculously busy doing a myriad of casa projects -- everything but the kitchen sink. except, he's also done the kitchen sink...

we moved in to the casa with a great kitchen. it already had all its appliances & new ones [about 3 years old] to boot! it's big enough for all the massey cooks [five of us now with shaun & jeremy!] to be cooking thanksgiving dishes at the same time. other than it being dark due to the floor-to-ceiling paneling & cabinets plus only having one window, i love this room.

however, there are a few things we'd love to change over time:

- the stainless steel sink & especially the faucet -- we'd love a taller faucet for getting tall pots & pitchers filled with water easier, plus the sprayer leaks despite shaun patching it multiple times.

- the tile counter & backsplash -- we love that we can set hot things directly onto the counter
& that in a pinch we can cut directly onto if we have to, but we aren't fans of the tile, especially because the grout is light colored. we'd prefer to have a solid surface counter that has the same characteristics with hot items & knives. and i'd like to inject some color into the kitchen via a different tile backsplash.

- the teeny ovens -- i mean, the teeny oven, singular, because actually the bottom one is just a broiler. the outside width of our oven unit is less than 24" so you can imagine they don't hold much... we'd like to install a full-size oven in a future island.

- the island -- speaking of which, we currently have a kitchen table in the middle of the kitchen for an extra workspace & functional layout, but we'd love to add a built-in island with extra cabinets & a place for trashcans, plus a full-size oven & our stove top.

- the stove top -- we have an amazing 5-burner professional-grade gas stove top next to our ovens. i L.O.V.E. it. but there is virtually no counter around it [approximately 2 feet on the right side & none on the left], & i'd like it to be in a more central location for when people are hanging out in the kitchen while i'm cooking.

- the lighting [electrical] -- we have one light fixture in the middle of the ceiling, & it does not light the whole room at all. we bought a fixture that has three strong l.e.d. bulbs that we can point in different directions, & that's the best it's going to get without adding more light boxes throughout the room. we'd also like to install under-cabinet lights because it's hard to see when you're working at the counters.

- the lighting [natural] -- there is only really one small window in the kitchen, centered over the sink. if we add an island with extra cabinets, we want to take out the two cabinets to the left of the sink & punch through the exterior wall for more windows & daylight.

[taken back when we debated painting the cabinets turquoise]

- the cabinet finish -- we have high-quality wood cabinets, but the finish has been badly damaged by the previous owners [who lived there for one year...], so they're not in the best of shape. though some might deem it sinful to paint such wood, we plan to do it! we're thinking a cream color, possibly distressed, & keeping the same black hammered hardware.

obviously, several of these projects are in the distant future & will require a significant chunk of time & money to complete. but we like to keep these things in mind while doing any "just for now" improvements.

well, one of the needs-to-be-done-before-baby projects that we put on our list was the kitchen sink. we plan to bathe baby in it, but our sink & faucet aren't exactly conducive for that, as in they're gross.

[like i said, GROSS.]

so shaun did one of the things he does best -- searched craigslist. he found a used enameled cast iron sink for $75 [but of course he haggled for a lower price]. we bought it back in september, & he's been itching to get around to it ever since.

i woke up on saturday to find that he had spread out his workspace on the kitchen table, ready to get going.

he removed the old sink, which revealed the countertop situation...

that would be the same tiling method used in our bathrooms: 1-2 inches of concrete with stretched metal mesh embedded in it... let's just say replacing the countertops just sunk aLOT lower on the project list...

shaun spent every spare minute saturday, sunday, & monday working on the sink. before the final reveal, how about one last before shot?

annnnnnd, AFTER!

doesn't it make the whole area look instantly brighter & cleaner?! we love it. i didn't get a good shot looking down into it, but you can see that one side is much smaller than the other. the small side is also relatively shallow while the large side is extra deep. and now that we have a tall faucet, it will make cooking & bathing baby much easier! 

you may be wondering why the faucet isn't centered. shaun uses the sink the most of the two of us, being the resident dish-washer, so he wanted the sprayer to be on the right the way he's used to it. since the biggest reason for this upgrade was function & the appearance was going to be vastly better regardless, i told him he could install it however he wanted! 

so there you have it, everything including the kitchen sink!