Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Little Lady

Look who I took home with me a couple of days ago from the antique mall.

At just $15 I couldn't resist.
Chris wants to go on the record to say he doesn't like her at all, but I think she's just fantastic. Art is a subjective thing.

Now where to put her? Maybe I should start a gallery wall in our upstairs hallway. Perhaps Honest Abe would like it there too...

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Good Stuff

I do believe that it's the details that make an ordinary room extraordinary. At least that's what I told Chris in trying to convince him to build a panel for the tub apron. 
He loosely followed this tutorial from HGTV to make the panel, substituting plywood and picture molding for beadboard. (We'll protect it by using semi-gloss mildew resistant paint.)

Up goes the crown molding.
One of my favorite features is the faux column. To make it, Chris routed the sides of a board and topped it with crown molding. Oooooh! Fancy! That's right. Only the best for our guests. 
And of course, here's the chair rail and picture molding he installed last weekend.
Just you wait to see what this is all going to look like painted.
Speaking of paint, have you seen this tip yet? Use tinfoil to cover doorknobs to avoid getting paint on them. This is definitely going to make my life easier.

In other exciting news, Hazardous Design has been nominated as Best Remodeling Blogger in the 2012 JDR Industry Blogger Awards! Voting is now open. Please vote for us here today!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Silver Leaf Mirror

Silver leafing is a project I've been wanting to do for years, but it wasn't until Chris and I started talking about remodeling the guest bath that I had the guts to try it. The mirror that the previous owner had been using in the downstairs powder room turned out to be the perfect fit for the wall above the vanity in the guest bath. Why not make it look a little fancier and reuse it?
The mirror has a really cool shape.
It must have belonged to an old dresser or vanity in its previous life. I had to plug up the holes on the sides with a wood filler. This is probably where the mirror had been attached to the frame of a dresser.
I covered the mirror with newsprint and gave the frame a coat of dark gray paint as an under layer.
Once that dried, I gathered all my supplies and got to work. The leaf, adhesive, and sealer cost under $30.
 It is a very simple process, I learned:
  • Spray the area you want to leaf with the spray adhesive
  • Lift a sheet of leaf from the book it comes in with a piece of wax paper. The leaf will stick to the wax paper when it is pressed on top. 
  • Place the leaf over the area you want to adhere it
  • Brush to smooth out the leaf and remove the excess

 When I finished, I didn't like how "perfect" it looked. I wanted something that looked more aged and distressed. Plus, I wanted to see some of the gray paint under the leaf.
So I lightly sanded the frame with fine grit sandpaper before sealing it.
I'm just thrilled with the way it came out. 
Of course, now I want to silver leaf everything in my house.  Chris better watch out. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Worked!

We have clean tile and grout! Thanks to all of your helpful suggestions a couple weeks back, I'm here to report that with a little time and elbow grease I got our guest bath tile floor sparkling clean again. 

A few people suggested Barkeeper's Friend. I already had some in the house, so that's what I tried first.  Did you know it also makes stainless steel look like new???

I made a slurry of Barkeeper's Friend and water. Working in small sections, I poured it over the floor and let it sit for a few minutes. Then using a stiff bristled brush, I worked it into the grout and rinsed it off with a clean rag. It worked like a charm!
Now we just have to reseal the floor like a couple of other commenters suggested.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again"

It has been a while since I've updated you on the progress of our guest bath. When we last left off, Chris and I had just finished spending lots of quality time together tiling the tub. With that behind us, it was finally time for Chris to start on all the millwork.
Sometimes it pays to try something a little different, and sometimes it doesn't. Such was the case with the molding installation. To make things a kind of fancy and elegant in there, we decided to incorporate chair rail and picture molding. The only catch was that there's a steep angle on one of the walls that made attaching the chair rail a challenge.

Chris found a way to get around it for the crown molding by building a soffit, and figured he'd do something similar for the chair rail.
Except it didn't look very good.
Hard to tell from this picture, but the piece of trim behind the chair rail is cut at the opposite angle of the wall to provide a straight edge for the chair rail to sit against. 
I tried to like it, I really did! But the thick molding looked really out of scale for such a small room. Chris didn't like it much either, but he was willing to live with it if it meant that he didn't have to take it all down and start over...
But he did. Because he's awesome.

Here's the angled wall with a piece of trim behind it acting as a wedge.
 So much better, right?
Unfortunately, the redo set us back about a day. Small potatoes when you think about how long we plan to stay in this house (forever). As impatient as I am with our renovations,  I'm glad we didn't make any compromises in order to finish sooner.

Have you had any experiences like this? Or any where you decided to compromise?

Friday, February 17, 2012

"If My Husband Decorated the House..."

Today is Day 4 and finally my day to host "The Honey-Do List" blog swap! I'm welcoming Erin of His and Hers, Kelly of View Along the Way, and Michelle of Decor and the Dog to share how their homes would be decorated if their husbands were in charge...
First up is Erin @ His and Hers:
If my husband decorated the house, he wouldn’t decorate the house. I am the one in this relationship who feels the need to paint and sew and put nail holes in our walls. Rick is just (willingly) along for the ride. I do think, though, that if he got to make all of the decorating decisions that I do, our house would be full of cords. Unnecessary cords from unnecessary electronics. They’d decorate the walls, the floor, the ceiling. He’d hang Christmas lights on them in December and inflatable toys from them in the summer. (Or would that be a fire hazard? Probably. That’s clearly why I’m in charge of decorating.) And one other thing is certain: there would be absolutely no decorative pillows in the house.

Next is Kelly @ View Along the Way: 
This one is easy because I'll just tell you what his house looked like in college when he had free reign and like-minded roommates. The living room boasted no less than THREE Star Wars posters taped to the walls. (Andy just pointed out that two of them might, in fact, have had "really nice" poster frames.) I realize now that this may reflect poorly on me for falling for the guy who lived in the Star Wars house.
The roommates spent $20 on a tan sofa they bought at Goodwill, which lived there for three years. Two of those summers, they took in extra roommates who slept on that sofa every night. Here's the kicker: before we got married, we had a giant yard sale and sold the sofa. Before we put it out to sell, we vacuumed it off. Only then did we realize that the sofa was not tan. It was WHITE. Holy GROSSNESS. That still makes my skin crawl.
Star Wars and nasty sofas. Welcome to my hypothetical home.
Finally, here's Michelle @ Decor and the Dog
If Nate decorated our house, it would look like this…
house 177
Okay, this is what our first home looked like before I moved in.  And before we had any resemblance of incomes. I don’t know that our home would look this bad.  I feel like if Nate was in charge of decorating our home would have the bare essentials.  I do feel like those bare essentials would be nice though.  Nate is more into quality over quantity.  I think he would have a big comfy sectional and a large tv in the living room.  Nothing else.  No photos.  No tchotchkes. I can guarantee you that there would no curtains, rugs, or cow paintings in sight.  Luckily I don’t think there would be any camo or animal heads on the wall…but I can’t be sure.

And what about Chris? Are you curious to know what our house would look like if Chris was in charge of decorating it? Well, here's what I think: 
Chris's decorating skills have definitely evolved in the ten something years we've known each other. Just before we met, his living room furniture consisted of a plastic lawn chair and a television. That said, if he had free reign now I really think he'd do a good job. Our home would just look very bachelorish. We'd have a lot of mid century modern furniture, natural wood, and glass. He'd probably also hang some black and white photographs on the walls. However, there wouldn't be any accessories, plants, throw pillows, drapes, or anything soft. His style would still be very stark and minimal and hopefully more sophisticated than what I like to call his "lawn chair period".
Reenactment of Chris's apartment in 2001
So this concludes the Honey-Do List blog swap series. On behalf of Erin, Kelly, and Michelle, I'd like to thank you for joining in this week. It has been so much fun to read your comments and see how DIY goes down in your home.  

Miss a day? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Home Improvement Would Be Like...

Don't forget that today is Day 3 of "The Honey-Do List" blog swap!

Today you can find me over at Decor and the Dog where I'm meeting up with Michelle, Kelly, and Erin to ponder "What Home Improvement Would Be Like Without Our Husbands". 

I'm curious, what would home improvement be like in your house if you didn't have a partner to help (and let's be honest, do all the things you don't want to do yourself and don't want to hire someone to do...)

If you missed it:
Day 1- His and Hers: Why we make a good team
Day 2 - View Along the Way: The #1 Thing I've Learned by Working With My Husband...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Working with Husbands: What We've Learned

Welcome to day 2 of "The Honey Do List" blog swap!
If you enjoyed yesterday's post at His and Hers, then you are in luck, because the fun is going to last all week.

Today I'm joining Michelle, Kelly, and Erin at View Along the Way.
The topic of the day?
Working with Husbands: What We've Learned

Have to say that everyday with Chris is a learning experience :)
What have YOU learned by working with your sweetie?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Honey-Do List

Welcome to day one of “The Honey-Do List” blog swap! In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve teamed up with Kelly @ View Along the Way, Michelle @ Decor and the Dog, and Erin @ His and Hers for four fun days in which we’ll be celebrating DIY life with our husbands. We all know that without them, we wouldn’t get very far in our quests for home improvement. And for their humor, their encouragement, and their patience in the face of questions like “Could you please move that big piece of furniture again? Pretty please? This time upstairs? I just want to see what it would look like...”, we think they deserve a big fat round of applause. Or at least four days of blog posts in which we talk about them.

So today, you can find me over at His and Hers, where we are exploring the question, 
"Why we make a good team"

And of course, I'd like to wish a very Happy Valentine's Day to my own DIY teammate. Thanks, Chris, for all you do to make our home beautiful :) 

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Inside Scoop on the Mustard Ceiling

We interrupt the regularly scheduled broadcast this week to do a little guest posting for and with some lovely ladies. Today I'm thrilled to be a guest of Elizabeth at The Mustard Ceiling. 
Elizabeth is the brainchild behind some of these great projects:
DIY Ikat Fabric
DIY Burlap Drapes
This week Elizabeth is hosting a series called the The Inside Scoop where's she's interviewed some of her blogger buddies for our thoughts on blogging and decorating and such. Sounds intriguing, right? I think so!

Today, I'm up. So please head on over to The Mustard Ceiling to read Inside Scoop on Hazardous Design!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Holy Bathmats Batman!

I read a post on Phoebe Howard's blog a couple months ago that completely changed the way I think about bathmats. It got me thinking...why not use real rug in a bathroom?

I think the look will be perfect for our new guest bathroom,  but I don't want it to be too traditional. Something bright and colorful will be the perfect compromise.
Ah yes, these are more my speed.
I felt like a kid in a candy store when I stumbled upon rows and rows of these 2x3 rugs at a local discount store (Building 19 for any New England readers). I selected a tribal Kazak rug from India for 50 bucks. It was so hard to choose just one!

Not from New England? No worries, you'll be able to find very similar rugs on eBay.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Got 'Em

I'm the proud new owner of a pair of antique alabaster lamps.
If you recall, I debated buying them vs. something more modern for our family room.  A 20% off sale in the antique dealer's booth was the deciding factor. Funny how things turn out though, because now that I have them home, I think I want to use them in a different room.

You see, we've been living with "temporary" gourd lamps (borrowed from another room) in the family room for so long that they don't feel so temporary anymore. I really like them in here.

So I think I'll find another room for my new old lamps.
Isn't it funny how decorating is such a work in progress?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tile Time

Want a way to get closer to your man?
Just spend a couple of days together tiling a tub.

Chris and I had a system. I cut the tiles and he did everything else.
To make sure the tiles were installed straight, Chris drew a line the height of one tile above the tub using a level and worked up from there.

 The next day (and a new t-shirt) we did the other walls using the same method.

To accommodate the shower spout I had to carefully notch out a hole in the tile using hand held tile cutters. This beauty was probably my third or forth try. All my previous attempts kept breaking the tile in half. So frustrating! 

The rest of the cuts were surprisingly easy to make. Using a tile cutter, I slid the bit over the tile to score it,
 pressed down on the lever, and SNAP! A nice clean cut.
 We waited a couple of days to allow the mortar to set before applying the grout.
Grouting was not fun. Because of the beveled edge in the tile, using a float didn't really work that well.  So together, Chris and I applied all the grout by hand.
 The final step was to fill the tub with water and apply silicon caulk.
A tub full of water will weigh the tub down and increase the gap between the tile and tub ensuring that your caulk line will always be watertight if the tub flexes.
It is starting to look really good in here, but do you want to know the best part?
Our marriage survived two and a half days of working together in such close quarters. Not saying it wasn't fun, it just isn't something I'd want to do again anytime soon.
I'm sure Chris would agree :)
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