Does your home’s porch need as much love as ours? (Or maybe it’s your living room? Or bedroom? Or maybe you just really want the most perfect dining space for late night games and storytelling?) Today, we are so, so excited to finally share that we’ll be working with Lowe’s to help you makeover a space in your home! If you’re a homeowner and have been closing the door to those scarier rooms – because let’s face it, we do that, too – we encourage you to submit your worst offender for a big, fat springtime refresh, and we’ll get that space into shape. (Hey, are you ready already? Apply right here!)
There are too many things about the application process that make our hearts so happy. For one, anyone in the United States is eligible to enter their room, and we will personally be reading through each and every story and sifting through each and every photo submission. You can apply starting right now, and applications are open all day Tuesday and Wednesday, closing at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, February 10th. (In other words, let’s get to it!) We’re looking to hear your personal story and how we can work together to make a space you’ll love, a space you’ll want to spend all your time in – napping, dining, morning primping or cocktail sipping.
Once the applicant has been chosen, we’ll come to your front door with a crew of Lowe’s volunteers and with your help, we’ll get right down to DIY! While we won’t have time to, say, demolish and renovate an entire bathroom, we will create an enviable punch list that’s two pages too long (you know us; what else is new?) and nail it. We’ll paint, plant, sod, light and build – maybe all of the above? – and we’ll do it all on Lowe’s dime! Here’s the bottom line: We’ll work with you one on one to create a one room design plan you love, and we’ll knock it out in 24 hours while having (likely, too much) fun along the way.
There are a few things to keep in mind, with eligibility criteria as follows:
• Be looking to fix up a space within your residence
• Makeover project should be able to be completed within 24 hours
• Must be the owner of your home
• Be outgoing, energetic, and fun with unique stories to tell
• Be comfortable being on camera and/or interviewed by media
• Be in need of expert design help from one participating blogger
• Be able to make quick decisions in order to keep tight timelines
• Be available for a 2 day period to complete the makeover (between February 9 -May 1, 2016)
• Allow photos of your home to be shared online
• Must be 21 years of age or older to apply
• Complete the online application form and agree to the Terms below
• To apply visit: lowesspringmakeover2016.castingcrane.com
• We will only contact eligible participants
Remember, you have all of Tuesday and Wednesday to submit your space, and applications close at 11:59 pm EST this Wednesday, February 10th. We truly can’t wait to dive in and see how we can help you transform your patio – or music room! Or sun porch! Or home office! – and we’ll contact the chosen applicant next week. What do you think, are you up for it? Can we hang out for a weekend, you and us? APPLY HERE.
Because Lowe’s want to help more than one of you, we’re part of a crew of 8 (beyond inspiring – pinch us) bloggers that will be helping homeowners across the country. Follow along with each of them, too!
Chris Loves Julia // Manhattan Nest // Wit & Delight // Design Post Interiors
French Country Cottage // Simple Stylings // Emily A. Clark
This spring makeover project is a collaboration with Lowe’s. Lowe’s will provide all the materials necessary to complete this project, but the overuse of exclamation points(!) is all us.
We moved back into our master bedroom almost two weeks ago, after two months of living out of our guest room. Hooray! The funny thing, though? We had grown used to staying in the guest room. It’s small, and it felt cozy (which was our goal when we gave the space its facelift all that time ago – hooray again!). We were living mainly on the first floor (with the only exception of my studio being upstairs), and the whole family – especially the girls, Maddie and Libby! – seemed to love living small(er) again. It reminded us a lot of living in our former condo, and I think that made the last couple of months feel comfortable, unlike that first round of demolition years ago.
All that to say, we had finally reached a point in our recent renovations where we could choose to pack out of the guest room and move back into the upstairs bedroom. We were being weird about it all; again, we were just fine downstairs! But – and that’s a big but – we had something to look forward to that made the transition pretty exciting, too. A new bed!
Look at that headboard! I mean, if that doesn’t scream excitement, than what does? I honestly don’t know what to say about her. We sort of loved it. And we hated it. And we were like, are we losing our minds? This is ugly, right? Or pretty? Pretty ugly?
We found her listed on Craigslist for $30. I had been scrolling through the ads daily, texting Scott links when I found something decent, but we rarely agreed. Did we want upholstered? Metal? Wood? All the bed frames and headboards started to look exactly the same – and then I saw her. She was round, for one! And very, very oak. She was straight out of the 80s, but for some reason we couldn’t seem to shake the thought of her. One night as we were walking the pups, we suddenly decided we had to have her. She was kind of funky, kind of cool.
You can see in the above photo that there’s an area on the upper right that’s lighter than the rest. We were torn between paint or stain, and I tested a small area with Citristrip to see if she would lighten up, and yes! Success! We decided to give staining a try, and worst case, we could always fall back on paint.
I followed the same steps as our kitchen hutch to get her down to bare wood before a quick sanding by hand. After a thorough wash with no-rinse TSP, I began the staining process, with the entire goal being to take out any and all orange-y undertones. To do so, we knew we’d need to go dark, so after a pre-stain wood conditioner, I built up layers in Jacobean and Ebony before protecting the finish with two thin coats of Polycrylic.
She came a long way! Because the inside panels on the headboard are a thin oak veneer, I was a little nervous about the entire process, but she took the stain nicely. Once we paint the walls dark (like, dark dark), she’ll be less of a statement and more of a quirky, vintage touch. Can we call the 80s vintage? I’m doing it.
Next up, it was time for a new mattress! Our new-to-us headboard is king sized, and for the first time since we’ve lived in Chicago, we have the space to accommodate it. (Our guest room and close-to-ten-year-old former mattress are queens). Leesa is an online mattress brand that reached out to us to see if we would like to try one of theirs, and after reading through hundreds of positive reviews, we were excited to give it a try and share our experience with you. The whole process of ordering something as large as a mattress online and having it delivered right to our door was oddly satisfying, and because it’s a one-feel-fits-all foam mattress, it came tightly compressed in a pretty adorable box (perfect for tight staircases and low hallways!):
Our old mattress was memory foam, so it’s what we’re most familiar with, and our new Leesa surpasses that comfort ten-fold! We’ve been sleeping on our new set-up for almost two weeks, and we haven’t given our guest room a second thought. Sorry, guest room.
I know that buying anything online sight – or feel – unseen can be a bit of a guessing game, so Leesa offers a 100 night in-home trial with a full refund policy if you’re unhappy for any reason. Of course that’s a great incentive, but we personally love that it’s American made, is attractive (an unexpected bonus!) and most importantly, you feel snug as a bug in a rug (a visual that always makes me laugh, but damn if it isn’t true). It’s soft, but firm. Supportive, but not hard. And it’s never too hot, always just right.
As it stands, our bed is a single floating piece of furniture in the room, but this is the most inviting our bedroom has felt since move-in day! If you’ve been curious about giving Leesa a try, take $75 off when you use the promo code YELLOW75 at checkout, and get started right here!
High fives to Leesa for partnering with us on our bedroom renovation, and all the same to you for supporting the brands that support us. xo
We find ourselves bouncing between the bathroom, bedroom and laundry renovations more than we thought we would, but to be honest, it’s pretty refreshing! With the tile knocked off our list, I think we needed a break from All Things Bathroom, and so this past weekend found us choosing bedding, working on our closets(!) and turning the laundry room into an actual room; nope, it’s no longer our forgotten nook. (In fact, the bed and laundry rooms are looking more and more like a place we wouldn’t mind spending time in. Success!)
Today, I want to share our laundry room progress report, starting with our pocket door that we began working on months ago! See that plastic in the photo below? That was from the start of demolition! While our contractor crew got to work demolishing the bathroom, I worked on the (safer) side of the plastic and got to work on this:
Stepping back for just a moment, you might remember that as part of our laundry room punch list, we had our contractor make way for a pocket door. We absolutely love the one in our kitchen, and we thought something similar would be perfect to separate our bedroom from the laundry. The kitchen’s door was picked up from one of our favorite salvage shops, Rebuilding Exchange, and we talked about finding something similar. There’s a window in the laundry room (nook?), and we receive a surprising amount of light from it, so we knew we wanted a door that would allow those natural rays to shine through. Any time we passed a ReStore or similar thrift shop, we’d browse the doors with this in mind, and then Julia shared her (stunning!) kitchen with all of us. Her pocket door was exactly what we had in mind, and I was surprised when she told me she bought it from Home Depot. Sold!
Needless to say, we got the same one, which allowed us the option to paint or stain. Our initial thoughts were to stain, which was another bonus for not choosing vintage – did you ever think you’d hear me say that? Most vintage doors already have paint that either needs to be patched, sanded or filled, and it is always a good idea to do a lead test first while crossing your fingers for negative results. By purchasing new, we could skip the entire finger crossing and stripping process, and we could move right on to stain! It was more money to buy new, but the time we saved on the finishing made it all okay. (On a side note, does anyone remember the Great Door Hunt of 2013? Oh, dear.)
I gave the door 3 coats of Minwax Special Walnut stain and 2 coats of Polycrylic in a satin finish. The window pane came protected with thin plastic, and I used a knife to carefully trim it off once I was done. There were some stain smudges that had stubbornly seeped underneath, but a dab of rubbing alcohol got it looking nice and clean again.
All of the above was completed at the end of last year, and before the contractors finished their part of the renovation, they hung the door for us and that was that…
… Until we realized that the door would be about an inch too long once we continue the hardwood flooring into the laundry room! Scott used his circular saw and a makeshift (yard stick!) guide to give it a trim. Tip: Using blue tape along your line helps to prevent the wood from fraying and splitting during the cutting process.
We re-hung the door, and then it was time to install the hardware! Scott picked up an inexpensive chisel set from Ace Hardware to finish off the kitchen pocket door back in the day (find similar here), and he has used it so much since then. They’ve come in super handy for all sorts of tiny projects around the home.
After tracing the outline of our edge pull, he chiseled out the depth and followed that up with a hole saw bit to allow the pull to recess.
The front and back plates are similar, minus the need for the hole saw. Below, the plate is turned backwards so we could get a straight line around, but only the middle section needed to be chiseled to allow the plates to sit flush.
Aren’t they pretty? We chose the Benson low profile plates in burnished antique and this edge pull in antique brass, both from Rejuvenation. We have other metal materials planned throughout the room, so although we considered a glossy lacquered brass for the plates, we ultimately landed on the more understated antique finish.
But about those hardwood floors! Do you remember what this room looked like a little more than a month ago? It’s much more polished now! The hardwood floors are the same throughout our entire home, which were in place before we purchased it. We found its match at a local flooring company, and luckily, it’s an in-stock item that’s relatively inexpensive. (We talk about the flooring a little more in this post of yore.)
For now, we have our washer and dryer sitting side by side until we come up with a game plan for this room. They’ll eventually be stacked, which will leave room for a counter and under cabinet space – space that’ll be dedicated purely to the kitties.
Wallpaper will go up this coming weekend, and oh. my. I might not sleep the entire night before installation – we are so excited.
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