Monday, November 6, 2017

A Soft Landing

In the last post, I gave you a glimpse into the room a little boy and a baby girl share. While the siblings share a room, baby girl did rate her own space on the landing outside their room. Her dresser, a changing station, and two comfy chairs for rocking in the middle of the night are conveniently located between the parent's room and the children's room.
 Let me share some of the details of this charming space. The focal point is a grouping of four plaster molds that my daughter had framed for over the antique chest.

Up close you can see the details in the castings of wild flowers.

The two floor lamps are from Circa Lighting.
The two swivel rocking chairs are from Lee Industries. The antique footstool is covered in Brunschwig & Fils "Les Touches" fabric and the pillow (and Roman shade) is Schumacher "Elizabeth".

The rug is jute which is softer than sisal (thus the soft landing :)).
Having this designated space for middle of the night diaper changes and feedings is ideal.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blue with a Touch of Pink

What do you do with a blue nursery when your little boy gets a baby sister?  Add a touch of pink.

Meanwhile, little boy graduated to his own big boy bed. The history of this bed goes way back to the French colonial days in Haiti.  We purchased it on the street corner in the 1980's. Both our daughters had sleigh beds in their room when we lived there. We brought them back with us in crates. Now both daughters are using them in their homes.

So far, this arrangement is working quite well. Baby girl, who is still waking up to eat, is still in a mini-pack'n play in her parents' room. Hopefully, when she graduates to her crib, she and her brother will enjoy sharing a room.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Helping Others Redecorate

Rachel, our youngest adult child, has gone from helping a church make over a farmhouse for a youth house to helping city dwellers who have a school and an after-school program for inner city kids update their home.

Here is the living room before the redo:

And here is the room afterwards:


I wish I had before pictures of the dining room, but a brightly painted room with out-of-date light fixture and broken chairs, got a facelift with white paint, new casual chandelier, and six Craig's-Listed chairs.

The eat in kitchen was spruced up as well.

And a back utility room, aka gathering spot, was cleaned out and made into a quiet reading corner for the man of the house.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Renovated Farmhouse Upstairs

In my last two posts I have shown you the before and after pictures of The Mustard Seed, the youth ministry home that our daughter Rachel, her husband, and a friend renovated. Today we will venture upstairs where perhaps the most impressive changes were made. Let's take a tour, beginning with the stairway, moving through the second bedroom and concluding with the master bedroom.

Remember  I showed you what a difference replacing the windows made in the first post. They were game-changers upstairs as well. A final major upgrade to the whole house concludes this post, the refinishing of the floors.

Prior to the renovation the stairway was scary. A lead pipe had been installed for the handrail by some youth worker of yore. Globs of multi-colored paint and grime made ascending or descending a sticky affair.
What a difference some sanding, a new handrail, and a coat of paint makes! The paint color is Benjamin Moore Linen White.

Upstairs on the landing repairs were needed to the bannisters and ceiling.

The old balusters were spaced too far apart for safety. 

New balusters were made.

The ceiling which previously was stained with water spots was repaired and covered with bead board.  (The roof had been replaced in a previous renovation.) New bell lights were installed.

The bedroom at the top of the stairs was tackled next. First, plaster had to be repaired.

Then a coat of paint and a new light fixture transformed the space.

Next on the list was the master bedroom. Old farmhouses had inordinately small closets by today's standards. So, the unusable closet was removed and a tiny bedroom was repurposed for the master closet.

Bead board was added to the ceiling. A new light fixture and a tv were installed.

Finally, a closet system was fitted in the room adjoining the master bedroom.
The last step in this major home makeover was refinishing the floors. Several stains were tried. One was too brown, another too red. Finally, they settled on a mixture of one half Minwax weathered oak and one half Minwax classic grey. It is perfect.

For an Instagram post on this combination go to:

I hope you enjoyed seeing this transformation. I also have included a link to a news article that appeared in the Shawnee Mission Post that tells the story of the resurrected farmhouse.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Farmhouse Interior Renovation

It was not just the exterior of the church youth farmhouse, The Mustard Seed, that got a makeover.  From the front door to the backdoor, the house was cleaned, plaster holes repaired, trim added, walls painted, and floors refinished. Then the home's main floor was furnished. Here is a look at the main floor of the home:

The front door now lets lots of light into the living room.

Prior to the redo, the front room was a long, narrow bowling-alley-like-room. The front door cut the room into two halves.
After the renovation, the television was hung over the fireplace, and the components were hidden in two cabinets on either side. Two swivel rockers (from Target on line) and foot rest puffs were pulled up to the tv.
A new light fixture, wicker shades, and linen drapery panels warmed up the space.
On the other side of the front door,  an L-shaped sofa provides more seating. An old window was painted black, mirrored, and hung as a reflective focal point in the main seating area of the room.

The before and after picture shows the dramatic difference.

Another change in this front room is the fireplace. Broken tiles in the fireplace surround were exchanged for slate.

Through double doors is the dining room.

Prior to the makeover, the dining room had rough plaster above wood wainscoting.

There also were old windows and an outdated light fixture. After the renovation, a new light fixture and decorative pillows contributed to the fresh look.
A table was made out of old barn wood.

The deep window seat provides extra seating. Also notice the new wider window surrounds. 

A wainscot cap was another detail added. 

Beyond the dining room is the kitchen.  Open-shelving was minimized and matte white subway tile was added all the way to the ceiling to make the room feel larger.

An odd light was replaced with new light...

and a Roman shade was also hung over the sink.

Old appliances were replaced by new ones.

Two sets of IKEA cabinets were purchased, reinforced, and installed permanently in the kitchen to provide more storage.

On the other side of the kitchen is a sunroom. Prior to renovation the sunroom was an odd assortment of windows and sliding doors.

New french doors replaced sagging sliders and four-over-four windows were installed to match the other replacement windows in the house.

A comfortable sofa was placed where visitors could chat with whoever is cooking in the kitchen.

Hopefully, a new youth pastor will enjoy using the home for himself and to entertain the teens in the community. (If you are interested in a director of student ministry position look up the Leawood Presbyterian Church and see the job description (

Congratulations to Sean Devlin who did all the carpentry, repairing the plaster, reinforcing the IKEA cupboards, and hanging the blinds...And compliments to our daughter,  Rachel, who had the vision, chose all the paints, stains, fixtures, and furnishings. I should add--on a shoestring budget! You would be amazed how Sean found and repurposed supplies. For example, he got the front doors from a rehab place for $50! Rachel shopped IKEA, Wayfair, Target, and T J Max.and got amazing deals!