The Grand Reveal: moving day

The house is not 100% complete but our apartment lease ended September 30, so it was time to move, ready or not.  Among the things still to finish:  paint & caulk main floor base & case, finish upstairs casing where we ran out, paint & install interior doors, paint & carpet the stairs, paint the entryway crown, re-install living room crown (where the wall was cut back).  It’s not a terrible amount of work and the house is definitely livable and cozy as is.  My plan going forward is to obviously finish the big things but then switch to a room-by-room approach.  Take one room each weekend and tackle all the little details that make a house a home.  Things like coat hooks, rugs, curtains, decor, etc.  Once that is finished it will probably be time to get started on the backyard … or the basement … haha.  It’s never ending 🙂  And now, a room-by-room look at the changes as they stood on moving day.

Entryway

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Dining Room

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Kitchen

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Half Bath

Playroom

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Living Room

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L’s Room

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2nd Bedroom

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Kid’s Bath

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Master Bedroom

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Master Vanity

Basement Stairs

 

Wow!  I know we’ve been working since June but, man, all these pictures really show just how much work we’ve done.  When I first walked into this house I was not impressed.  The evening after our initial showing I told J: “Every inch needs work *sigh*” and sure enough we have worked on nearly every inch — and those inches we haven’t worked on yet are simply waiting for future time and funds.  This house went from “meh” and “ick” to “Home Sweet Home”.

Going from a 990 sq ft apartment to a 2800 sq ft home is amazing!  There is plenty of room for all our stuff — our materialistic, American, collection of stuff; plenty of room for little L — I don’t have to dodge landmines aka toys just to sit on the couch; plenty of room for friends and family — we don’t have to crowd into a tiny living room.  The one down side of expanding our living space is that we don’t have enough furniture!  We technically have the same number of seats as before but at least people aren’t sitting knee to knee anymore.  And the basement is essentially empty except for storage.  Little L’s playroom is mostly a room of toys without kid-sized furniture (here we come, Ikea!).  The rug that used to fill our entire dining room/nook in the apartment is now a sized-too-small rug for the playroom — it looks so tiny!

I could go on and on about this house.  I haven’t even touched on the exterior work yet.  And I haven’t even started on about the neighborhood or our great neighbors!  This is simply, hands down, a very good move (pun intended). Our future looks bright (not to be too cliche).

P.S. I promise we will host a housewarming once things are a little more settled and the big work is finished 🙂

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Entryway Progress, cont.

I’m gonna make this one short and sweet.

The last week or so has really been focused on the main floor – especially the entryway.

Paint

With the help of many (me, J, S, R, and A), we were able to fully paint the entryway in one day.  As I’ve mentioned before, we chose Frost (Behr) which is a nice bright white that is a cool blue in shadows.  Here are a few shots:

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Also one of J, tapping into his acrobat-side to get up close and personal with the window trim.

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Tile

J, fortunately, had 8 days off from work this past week which was amazing timing.  He was able to get all the entryway tile cut, laid, and grouted.  First thing last Sunday before painting the entryway walls, we cleaned and sealed it.  All done!  The pictures don’t do it justice.  It’s really not quite as busy in person and really suits the space.

Railing

And one final picture.  The railing is coming along splendidly!  Here’s a just a little preview for you before the grand reveal.  The stair railing is the one budget-buster we’ve encountered and boy was it a big one!  But totally worth it.  This railing is absolutely fantastic!  I cannot wait to show you all the final railing.  It’s going to look freaking amazing; especially next to a ‘before’ pic.

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Super Active Sunday

Last Sunday was crazy busy.  We had all hands on deck!  There was the usual: me, J, little L, my mother-in-law S.  Then my sister and her husband came by, S & B.  Then a family friend, R.  So we had a full house and everyone was put to work.  And yes, watching miss L counts as work/helping with the house.  Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bigger, more interesting things accomplished:

1. Mudroom/Laundry area was prepped and painted. The same blue-tinted white as the main entryway, Frost (Behr), since it is also an entryway.

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2. Pantry cabinet was painted. This cabinet is not technically in the kitchen but we wanted it to tie into the kitchen rather than the mudroom/laundry area.  We decided to use paint to make that distinction – it is now the same color as the upper kitchen cabinets.

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3. Entryway was drywalled.  With the electrical rerouted and tucked away, it was time to put up the drywall.  You can read more about the entryway progress over here.

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4. Lower kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts were painted.  This was the main task for Sunday, but when everyone decided to make an appearance it became just one of the many tasks. Yay! We were able to borrow a paint sprayer from my MIL’s neighbor.  We set up a little spray booth in the garage and J went at it.  Two coats on the back, flipped over, two coats on the front.  We painted the backs first on purpose so that when they were flipped if they weren’t 100% cured any smudges would be on the back/inside the cabinet where it wouldn’t matter as much.

Getting a sprayer was hands down the best decision we’ve made throughout this whole renovation.  It cut the paint time by a quarter (or more!) and resulted in a smooth, even finish.

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The spray booth
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Inside the spray booth, half the fronts still drying.

 

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All the fronts, transferred inside to finish drying & curing in a more controlled environment (e.g. fewer bugs and less dirt).

J has been hard at work all this week so the updates will just keep on rolling in!  In the next couple weeks, we should be able to post the first few final before & afters, from start to finish.  I’m excited to see the side-by-side photos once things start coming together!

Paint: Main Floor, part 2

I’m getting behind on posting.  I’m sorry!  All of this happened last weekend — it was such a huge transformation it’s a mystery why I forgot to post about it.  But here we go.  Paint colors for the main floor!  If you recall, the swatches were revealed a few weeks ago in Paint Samples.  We ended up not going with Sherwin Williams so we had to pick out paints again at Home Depot but since we already had the colors it was simple to just find a match.  Let our paint transformation, main floor edition, begin!

Ceilings

J managed to paint the entryway ceiling with only himself and a ladder.  I have no idea how he accomplished this in a 2-story entryway but it happened.  And it looks great!

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Dining Room

This isn’t the best picture of the dining room but here’s a mediocre before & after.  It went from thickly textured yellow-beige to smooth brown.  I think it’s a nice mature, calming color perfect for a family dining room.  With dark walls and dark floors we’re going to have to be careful about furniture and decor so as to brighten the room, not make it even darker.

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Before; After – Moleskin (Behr)

Living Room

The living room went from thickly textured white to an interesting pale green.  In some lights it looks avocado in others a light lime green.  When we first started painting it on it looked really yellow-green.  I called it “newborn poop” green.  But as it dried it turned out to be more what we were looking for.  I know it’s not for everyone but we like it.  I just hope once our existing furniture and decor moves in that it all coordinates.  I don’t have it in the budget to redo furniture and decor just yet!

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After – Fennel Seed (Behr); Before

Playroom

The playroom is mostly the same Fennel Seed color as the living room.  Being two connected rooms we wanted the same color to flow between them.  I wanted to add a bit of a playful, fun feature to the playroom though.  So we went with an accent wall.  At first we went with Carraway Seed (Behr) which was two colors darker.  The difference was so subtle that it basically looked like the same color wall just with a shadow.  So we went back to Home Depot for Dash of Oregano which is four colors darker than Fennel Seed.  And here you go!  A for-sure accent wall, no doubts about it.

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Before; After – Dash of Oregano (Behr)

Also, we had to deal with the mess left behind from removing the chair rail (Paint: Main Floor).  As you can see in the picture above, it turned out just fine.  Close up you might be able to see somethings — if you know what to look for.  Otherwise, it’s a perfectly plain wall again.

Kitchen

The kitchen was mostly cutting-in with all the little sections too small for the roller and around all the cabinetry.  It was probably the most time consuming room (if you don’t count the repainting of the accent wall).  It’s a fairly bold blue but J loves it.  I think it will work out well once everything else comes together.

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Before; After – Reef Blue (Behr)

All Together

And last but not least.  Here’s a shot of all the colors together.  It was important to both J and I that all our color ideas fit together well so even though the main floor is colorful it still has a cohesive feel to it.  I think we accomplished that goal.

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Paint: Main Floor

With the upper floor painting complete (or nearly, we still have doors and base & case to paint), we move on to the main floor.

Paint Prep

If you recall from Base & Case Main Floor, we removed the chair rail from the former-dining-room-now-playroom.  One, because the chair rail was installed poorly which made the whole house look bad.  Two, as a playroom, chair rail was a little formal.

When J tackled this room, the chair rail took with it a good portion of paint and drywall.  It was suggested that we bite the bullet and simply re-install chair rail rather than deal with all the patching which most likely would end up showing through the fresh paint anyway.  We looked at a few pics on Pinterest and decided a chair rail the same color as the wall would be one way to dress-down a chair rail.  However, in the end, J wanted to at least attempt a repair.  So here we are:

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I took a putty knife to the peeling areas and scrapped off all that was willing to go.  Some areas ended up looking a lot worse but mostly it was just the edges that grew a bit.  A thorough sanding to get off any stubborn remains and then cover in spackle.  After drying there was more sanding, more spackling, and a final sanding.  Currently, it feels quite smooth.  I don’t think, upon feeling, that you could tell there was chair rail or a giant patch.  We’ll have to see if visually it shows through the paint.  However, I am hopeful.  So far I have been quite pleased — and surprised — by how well Behr paint covers.

Moving right along.  The front rooms had this dramatic texture.  It was clearly some sort of spray on texture that was globby and a bit overdone in my opinion.  I’m all for an interesting/textured wall but this was a bit much.  S had the idea to take a power sander to it and that turned out quite successful.  She was able to bust out about 30% one morning and J finished the rest during the week.

And ta da!  A wonderfully spotted wall.

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And a glorious close up.  It is smooth to the touch but neither J and I would be disappointed if some texture shows through the final paint.  A little interest on a plain, flat wall is welcome.

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The last room to prep on the main floor was the half bath.  Return in your mind to the days of the green wallpaper and the monstrosity that remained after I attempted to remove it: Bye Bye, Wallpaper.

Again, it was suggested to us that we consider installing beadboard on all the walls to hide the torn drywall rather than attempt to cover.  S was going to take a stab at repairing it but thought the effort wouldn’t be worth the payout (time consuming and would still show through paint).  Similar to the chair rail, J and I took to Pinterest to get some inspiration for beadboard bathrooms.  We decided a dark beadboard up to the window paired with a white upper wall would look nice.  But again, like the chair rail, J and I wanted to at least attempt the patches.

So here we are, after the first round of scrapping-sanding-spackling:

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We did run into one problem.  We originally used joint repair instead of spackle and it was too moist, causing the paper in the dry wall to get damp and bubble.  So we ended that and switched to spackle which seems to work just as well as it did on the chair rail.  Again, we will see how well Behr paint covers.  I still like the idea of half-wall beadboard to add interest to the small room and to tie it in with the kitchen which will have a beadboard peninsula.  So we will see where the half-bath journey takes us …

Ceilings

Last but not least, we painted the ceilings!  The final ceilings to be painted (for Phase I, the basement ceiling definitely needs help).  Nothing much to say here.  Two coats of Ultra Pure White flat ceiling paint and ta da!  Ten times better than where we started.

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The end.  Stay tuned for the rest of the progress made this week and weekend.

Paint Transformation, part 2

This weekend was about more painting.  And lots of family help again:  me, J, J’s mom S, my parents M and J, and of course Miss L’s adorable “help”.  And this means the upstairs is done – well, mostly done; the bath vanity doors still need some finishing touches.  Like painting the backs and touching up the fronts.  Without further ado, here are the before and after pics that everyone loves (or maybe it’s just me that loves them).

Kids’ Bath

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Dark blue walls were switched out for light blue.  Brown, scratched-up vanity was repainted a nice berry gloss.  It might seem strange, but trust me, the color combo is going to look great for a kids’ bath.

Here’s a shot of the wonderfully blue walls.  And the paint covered in only two coats.  No joke.  Best ever considering how dark the original blue was. (P.S. Zoom in on those corners, I’ll wait, go ahead and check out that excellent cutting in.)

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Beach Foam (Behr)

Here’s a close-up of a vanity door.

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Sugar Beet (Behr)

Overall, I am much happier with the colors as they turned out than they appeared on the paint chips.  I hesitated that the blue was too blue not white enough and that the berry was too red not purple enough.  But I think they really turned out just as I had envisioned.

Oh, also (I’m getting bad at keeping up with all the weekday work – so sorry!) the floors were removed.  Yay!  But some water damage was found.  Not yay.  Hopefully, it’s easy to replace.  At first I didn’t want to replace the kids’ bath flooring since it wasn’t in terrible shape but I’m glad we tore it up or else we wouldn’t have seen the condition of the subfloor.

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Master Bath

The master was already partially painted.  Since the vanity/closet area is open to the bedroom we continued that Heather Sachet color into that area and decided to go with a white-ish for the water closet.  White because 1) it’s a smaller room and 2) the free tile from the garage is tinted blue and we couldn’t think of a light, airy color that would go well with the dark grey-purple walls in the vanity and the blue-tinted tiles.  So blue-tinted white it was.

It is really hard to see in the picture but if you look closely you can see the line where the blue-white wall ends and the pure white ceiling begins.

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Maui Mist (Behr)

Since the vanity/closet area is a bit narrow and again the darkness of the grey-purple, we went with a pure white vanity.  Doesn’t look half-bad does it? (Not really the best before & after, sorry about that!)

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Ultra Pure White (Behr)

Hallway

The last area to be painted upstairs was the hallway.  I wanted a bright white entryway, a fresh and open area to greet people.  Since the entryway flows right into the upper hallway it’s easiest if they are the same color.  We didn’t want pure white walls so J picked a blue-tinted white.  Blue is my favorite color but I’m starting to think J favors it as well (his idea for grey-blue kitchen cabinets with blue walls, blue-tint in the master bath, blue-tint hallway …).  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really a nice bright white in direct light and then a soothing, subtle blue in shadows.

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Frost (Behr)

Don’t worry about the crown (I know you were worried about it).  It will get a fresh paint of Ultra Pure White gloss.  Unsure if we’ll do semi-gloss or high-gloss … Add your suggestion in the comments!

The final project of the weekend was to begin prep on the main floor.  Patch nail holes, smooth the wall where there once was chair rail, and address that torn-to-bits half-bath.  If everything stays on schedule, we’ll be able to paint the main floor this coming weekend and with that, only the kitchen cabinets and trim will remain to be painted.

Sanding … again

Just when we thought all the sanding was done.  Nope.  It will never be done.  We still had the bath vanities to prep for new paint.  J, knowing how much I hate sanding, took this project on himself.  Luckily the brown paint on the vanities was not nearly as goopy and glopy and terrible as the black kitchen cabinets.  So there was no stripping involved and a relatively quick power sand of the doors, drawer fronts, and boxes.  We’re planning on painting the kids’ bath a berry red which will pop and add a playful element to the room.  The master bath will be white to lighten the small area and off-set the dark walls.  So all in all, an improvement over brown.  And now for our favorite:  before & after pics (before & during?).

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Lovely brown vanity
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No-longer-brown vanity fronts

Unfortunately, the sanding is not quite done.  We still have to go over everything with 320 to make it really smooth and ready for paint.  But that should be quick and mostly painless.  After that, all the interior power sanding will be done.  Still need to prep the walls and ceilings for paint.  As for exterior: some of the trim needs sanding as prep to painting/staining to keep the wood from rotting.  Ugh.  As I said above, the sanding never ends.

Paint Transformation

This weekend was all about the paint.

Saturday

Saturday began with a morning run to Home Depot for 5 gallons of ceiling paint (Ultra Pure White flat), 7 gallons of bedroom paints, and painting supplies.  My sister and I got a head start, completing one coat on the ceiling and in the closet of miss L’s room.  Break for lunch which J and his mom brought over at just the right time.  Then we busted it out in teams of two: J and his mom, me and my sister.  Little L had a great time hanging out in the master bedroom watching everyone paint.  She was much happier roaming free rather than in her playpen.

The difference that a little white paint can do!  Fresh, white closets look amazing.  The closets were probably the biggest pain to paint – all those corners and crawling up to get the top shelf.  But totally worth it.  Seriously, I recommend it to all of you: paint your closets.

I think the biggest transformation on Saturday was the kids’ bath ceiling.  Here’s a “during” picture.  You can really see the grey, half-painted ceiling as compared to the fresh, bright white ceiling.

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Kids’ Bath Ceiling

All in all, we painted little L’s ceiling and closet, the second bedroom ceiling and closet, the kids’ bath ceiling and linen closet, the master bedroom ceiling and closet, the master bath ceiling, and the hallway ceiling.  And there was only one extra run to Home Depot for another 5 gallons of ceiling paint.  It was a very long day and no one died from the paint fumes so that’s good.

Sunday

Sunday morning everyone slept-in.  For J and I that meant 7:30am because miss L doesn’t really sleep-in.  J’s mom met us at the house a couple hours later and we started in on painting the walls.  Judgement day.  Hopefully we chose (paint colors) wisely.  Cutting in brings out the perfectionist in me.  But at some point you have to admit it’s “good enough” because the walls and ceiling are not perfectly straight.  As long as it looks good from the floor, it doesn’t need to look good up on a ladder 3 inches from the wall.

J, his mom, and I were able to get a first coat on L’s room and the second bedroom before lunch.  Another run to Home Depot for more rollers as we decided to have dedicated rollers for each room/paint color so we didn’t have to wash rollers between each room.  Just slid them into gallon-sized ziplock bags to keep them from drying out and move on to the next room/color.  During lunch my sister arrived to help.  The Dream Team was reunited for another day!

Again teams of two and we busted out the master bed first and second coats, the second coats on L’s room and the second bedroom.  Miss L wasn’t allowed to roam completely free today since she was tempted to touch the freshly-painted walls.  So when she was awake someone was on duty to watch her.  I have to admit, I failed when it was my turn.  L and I were watching the neighbor’s guests come and go from the master window when J pointed out that L had leaned against the wall to press her face against the window.  Oops!  I leaned forward at that moment too and left a little hand print but poor L pushed her whole toddler tummy against the wall.  So she now has an official paint shirt like us adults.  L’s first paint shirt!

The verdict.  I absolutely LOVE the master bedroom paint color.  It turned out perfect:  warm, colorful, darker, and not too feminine.  Little L’s room may be too much color.  I’m thinking with all the finishes, furniture, and decor it won’t seem so in-your-face-BAM-purple.  The second bedroom is my second favorite after the master. It’s brightened up the room and it a great mix of color pop but not too intense.

The Grand Reveal

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L’s Room, in-your-face-BAM-purple aka Evening Slipper (Behr)
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Before & After

 

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Second Bedroom, Wintergreen Dream (Behr)
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Before & After
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The two bright Bedrooms as seen from the Hallway
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Master, Heather Sachet (Behr)
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Before & After

Overall, it was a very productive weekend.  And it’s true what they say:  fresh paint does wonders!  It’s starting to feel like our home now, with the colors and touches that we want.

All that remains for the upper floor:  paint bathrooms, tile bathroom floors, base & case, carpet.  The List is getting smaller, step-by-step.

Paint Prep, cont.

With paint colors selected, we’ve begun prepping the upstairs for paint. J has been hard at work sanding and patching all the walls and ceilings. The textured celings look much improved with just a slight sanding. They look less dirty – J says the “dirt” was really shadows from extra texture and with it all softened the shadows aren’t so dark. Little L’s room had quite a few pinholes to spackle – I’m assuming a love of posters might be at play here.

After a long day, a dust-covered J finished up the bedrooms and now we are set to paint. Bath vanities still need power sanding so we’ll probably hold of on actually painting until afterward so our freshly painted walls don’t get covered in vanity dust.

Paint Samples

Saturday was an errand day. We did get a little work done on the house (yard work and wired the sprinkler control box) but mostly we looked at paint and tile.

We spent a fair amount of time at Sherwin Williams looking at colors and types of paint. Even with 40% off it was still more expensive than we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s probably true that you get what you pay for but right now we’re trying to do this reno on a budget so we’ll go with bargain paint and update later as needed.

Here’s the color scheme we picked for the main floor.

Entryways, kitchen cabinets, kitchen walls, dining room, living room & playroom with accent wall in playroom.

I think they all look good together and are the light, slightly neutral colors we had envisioned. I’m concerned it might be too much green but J thinks it’ll be good so I’ll trust him. He did pick the house when I was hesitant, the entryway tile when I was hesitant, taking down the walls when I was hesitant. So he has a good track record. 🙂

We also pondered colors for the kids bath and selected this. Very light blue walls with a bright, playful vanity since it is for the kids. I’m not sold on this shade of berry red but this is generally the vision.

I’m excited to see everything start to come back together!