Friday, March 17, 2017

#GrazianoBungalow - The Dining Room (Before)

Today I'm moving on to the next room in the home we are tackling - the dining room! This was one of those rooms that you see at an open house, and it's really really hard to look past all the ugly and see what the room could be. And I totally apologize if floral curtains and orange crystal chandeliers are your thing, but it just wasn't anywhere near our style! I haven't had a proper dining room for years, so my perception of them was already that they were stuffy, old-fashioned, and rarely used. And this space definitely confirmed all my dining room notions. However, as we have gotten further into the decorating process, this fixer upper dining room is actually becoming my favorite room in the entire house. Here are the lovely "before" photos from the listing:
And here is my mood board for this space! I have always been inspired by light & airy California dining rooms - brimming with natural woods & plants - so my hope was to bring a little but of that warmth to the northeast. Julianne Hough's dining room was my main source of inspiration - I've been dreaming of this space ever since we shot her backyard last spring for Joss & Main. I also already had two of these woven chairs, so my entire vision centered around those.

The listing photos and my inspiration photos look a little different, right? So here is our project list to take look from point A to point B. Most of our time rehabbing this space has been painting - we needed about 3 coats of paint (plus primer) to cover all of that green. But other than that, most of the changes have been fairly quick fixes. We swapped out the light fixture almost immediately for something more modern, and also tore up the rug to luckily find beautiful, finished hardwoods underneath. We've almost crossed everything off our list, so I will share photos of how we transformed the space in my next post. I think out of all the rooms in our home, this one will be the most unrecognizable from where it started!

Dining Room Project List 

  • Paint walls a more neutral color 
  • Remove curtains and rug
  • Replace light fixture (if anyone wants the old one please let me know) ;)
  • Add additional lighting 
  • Buy dining table and chairs 
  • Remove molding from the top of the built-ins 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Installing Shiplap in the Master Bathroom

Like everyone else these days, we are obsessed with shiplap (thanks Chip & Joanna). I just love how much visual interest it adds to any boring wall or room, and "interest "was exactly what we needed for our master bathroom. As you may have seen in my last post, the bathroom had great bones, but it was just very, very stark. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of all-white-everything, but this space definitely needed some warmth. Shiplap to the rescue!

For the bathroom's small, square toilet room, we actually cut and installed the shiplap ourselves, loosely following these two tutorials (one, two). And although they were helpful, we found that the process was pretty self explanatory! We started by buying four of the thinnest 8ft pine sheets we could find at Home Depot, and cutting those boards into 6 inch wide strips. If you don't have the tools to make these cuts, you can also have Lowes or Home Depot cut the boards for you for an extra small fee per cut. Once we had the strips, Josh went wall by wall and cut those strips down to the dimensions of the wall we were applying them across.  This was the perfect room for our first shiplap endeavor. It was small and needed almost no custom cut outs (like light switches, outlets, etc.) aside from one small hole for the toilet pipe. Once we had our cuts, we just started at the bottom of the wall and attached each board one by one using a nail gun. We used pennies to space each new board from the previous one so that we could make sure all the spaces were somewhat even.
Once all those boards were nailed thoroughly, we gave them a quick sand and prime. Finally, I painted them with two coats of one of my favorite white paints (Alabaster by Sherwin Williams). I love how much the shiplap has added to this boring little "loo"! And I love that it's a project so easy that you don't have to be Chip & Joanna to do it. ;) I can wait to add some art and maybe a couple of sconces above the toilet to complete the space.
Then for the shiplap behind our sinks, we actually used hardwood floors that we had leftover from our kitchen. Remember this post? We ended up ordering a sample box of the Montpellier Oak floors that we didn't end up going with, so had that box of wood just sitting in our house. This project was even easier than the DIY shipalp, given that hardwoods are already meant to slide right into one another. Josh just cut them down to the exact size of the space (which was especially hard at the top due to the molding!) and then essentially slid them right into one another on the wall. I might love how hardwoods look on the wall more than I do on the floors!
So our bathroom is officially shiplap-ed and almost complete! I'm still searching for some finishing touches (like the perfect rug) and then I'll be sure to post photos of what will be the first finished room in the #grazianobungalow. Stay tuned!

Master Bathroom Project List
·         Shiplap toilet room
·         Shiplap wall
·         Paint walls
·         Cut mirror to create two
·         Style! (add rug, towel ladder, hamper, art, candles etc.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#GrazianoBungalow - The Master Bathroom (Before)

Welcome back! Our kitchen was ALMOST finished and ready to show you guys when we hit a major snafu this week that is going to delay that reveal for quite some time. Luckily we have found the root of the issue and everything is under control now, but our first couple of months of home ownership have certainly not been as pretty as the photos you see on this blog! We're hoping that after this is behind us, it is all smooth(er) sailing from here...

So I'm stepping away from our kitchen a bit today to give you a tour of the next room project we're tackling....our master bathroom. This is the place we both get ready and wrap up each day together, so was another space that we wanted to feel like home right away. I'm one of those people that sees their bathroom as their "sanctuary." It's kind of my place to just relax and escape (and get pretty), so I wanted it to feel pretty too. Luckily it already had pretty great bones, so only needed a little TLC (and scrubbing) to get it there. This is how it looked before we moved in:

Listing photo:
Move in shots:
And in terms of our design plans for the space - I love modern bathrooms and definitely want to go more modern in our guest bath, but for our master I wanted to keep the style more traditional/farmhouse. We plan on painting it in a soothing color (Tranquility by Benjamin Moore), updating the mirrors, and adding shiplap to one of the walls and in the toilet room that's behind the door. Then we'll just add some other natural elements (a rustic towel ladder, woven laundry hamper, natural rug, candles, a plant and maybe one of our stump stools) and we'll be done! At least for now.
The shiplap is up and we are very close to being done painting, so stay tuned for updates very soon! In the meantime, I'll leave you with some beautiful bathrooms I was pinning as inspiration for this space. xx

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Choosing Wide Plank Flooring for the Kitchen

We are making major progress in our kitchen! As i mentioned in my last post, installing hardwood floors in the #grazianobungalow kitchen was the most daunting "to do" on our project list for that room. The existing gray tile that was in the space wasn't terrible, but something about the tile made the kitchen feel so cold. I knew that hardwoods would really warm up the space and give the whole house a better flow. I mean....just look at these kitchens that I was swooning over as inspiration!

We decided it was best to tackle the hardwoods sooner rather than later, given that we were already sanding/staining the existing hardwoods in multiple other rooms. If your whole home is going to be a dust storm, it's definitely better to weather the storm all at once! And given how the few items that we moved into our kitchen looked after the floors were complete (completely white from dust), I'm so glad that we did this before moving the majority of our kitchen possessions in.

And now for the hardest part of the process...choosing the actual wood! Given the fact that there are thousands of options out there for floors, they are a big commitment financially, and that hardwoods are pretty permanent,  this was a BIG (and somewhat stressful) decision. Here were the things we knew we wanted which narrowed down the search:

  1. Wide Plank. I've always loved the look of wide plank floors so I knew that if we were going to spend the money to replace the tile, I wanted to go wide. We only looked at floors where the planks were at least 7 inches wide.
  2. Light in color to flow well with the adjoining family room, where we stained the hardwoods in a very faint coat of "Weathered Oak." We wanted to stay in the light brown/gray/white-washed range of colors. 
  3. Oak. The rest of the hardwoods throughout the house are white oak, so we wanted to stay in the oak/white oak/french oak family.
  4. Visual Interest. If I could have taken old reclaimed barn planks and used them as floors, I would have! I really wanted floors that looked slightly distressed, where you could see the knots/grains/irregularities that I love oak so much for. 
  5. Inexpensive. The kitchen's square footage is fairly large and we are on a new homeowner budget. We really wanted to stay under $8 per square foot!
Here are some examples of the types of floors we were looking for:
Given the cost, we knew right of the bat that if we wanted wide plank floors, we would have to go with engineered hardwoods vs. real hardwoods. Going with real wide plank hardwoods automatically puts you above $10/sqft, which was out of our budget. Engineered hardwoods have come a long way - to the point that we really couldn't even tell the difference between what was real and what was engineered in the samples we looked at. Plus, engineered wood is so much more durable and easy to clean! After a lot of research, here were our main contenders:

^ Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. Palladio Wide Plank French Oak floors: These floors are wire brushed with a lime wash, which gives them a beautiful "washed" look. I had seen them in person in a friends apartment and fell in love with them immediately. The only issue was that you have to be a contractor to get them! Josh literally made up a company (Graziano LLC) to call around and get a wholesale quote - $7.49 per square foot. Within budget! 

2. Floor & Decor Montpellier Oak floors: My dad first spotted these on Pinterest, and after reading this blog post about them, they seemed to fit exactly with what we were looking for. They looked gorgeous in photos and at $5.95/sqft for over 9 inch wide boards, you really couldn't beat the price! However, with no Floor & Decor location within driving distance of us, sadly the shipping would have cost us almost the same amount as the floors themselves. The samples we ordered were also slightly darker in person than we wanted. 

3. Veneto White Oak floors: The entire Design Group 47 showroom in Peabody is done with these engineered wire brushed floors, and they are insanely beautiful. They evoke the feeling of walking through an old barn and have so many interesting details in each plank, yet look so sleek and modern against a white kitchen. When we finally got these prices out they came in at a little over $10/sqft, which was sadly a little high. 

4. Wayfair Engineered Oak Flooring: The obvious first place for me to look was Wayfair, where we ordered samples of #4, #5, #6 which were all wide plank floor options that were reasonably priced. I love how on Wayfair you can sort by wood type (oak), plank size (wide), price and even installation type. That made it super easy to narrow it down to exactly the options we were looking for! 

Our final decision? Drum roll please....we went with the Palladios! At the end of the day, we weren't in love with any of the Wayfair options, and the Montpellier & Veneto floors would have been too expensive. We chose the "Whiskey" color and ordered them through Wood Pro in Salem, NH, who were great to work with. These floors were my favorites from the beginning of our search anyway, and we are so, so happy with the decision. Here are some down & dirty photos of the process...
^ tile demo
^tiles gone! 
^Here you can see the difference between the wide plank floors and the regular hardwoods in our family room. So happy with how the colors flow together!
So the kitchen floors are officially complete and we are so happy with them. Sometimes I just stand there and stare at them, or sit down with Mac and rub my hand over them to feel how smooth they are (I'm pretty obsessed). This kitchen is slowly turning into my dream kitchen, and we've loved spending our first few nights cooking and eating dinner here. We have a few things left on our kitchen to-do list (we are hanging the floating shelves this weekend!), but then can't wait to share the finished space. Stay tuned! 

Kitchen Project list:
1. Remove tile and install hardwood floors
2. Install pendant lights over counter
3. Install open shelving on either side of the sink
4. Swap knobs, pulls, and faucet to brass
5. Paint walls white
6. Choose new counter stools
7. Potentially add a backsplash