Gallery Wall

I have seen and pinned so many beautiful examples of gallery walls that I decided to attempt my own in our stairwell. I stockpiled a bunch of frames and canvases I already owned and laid them out in a configuration that made sense on the floor, then started nailing them up on the wall. Most of them haven’t been filled with our own photos yet, and I need to paint the green ones a different color (or neutral), so someday I might post an “after” picture of this, too. It’s a start!

Since this photo was taken those patched portions have been re-painted, and I have some more things to hang, too.

Have you ever done a gallery wall? Or seen some ones online that you like?

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Family Room Before-and-After

This room was a LOT of work. It was very 1970s when we bought it. We thought about just painting over the paneling, but it was very grooved and porous and wouldn’t have worked well, so….

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The List:

  • Took down ugly curtain thingy and patched the holes
  • Painted ceiling
  • Painted walls
  • Painted and installed new wainscoting (ended up having to have that professionally sprayed…long story!), baseboards and trim
  • Painted the top of the ledge around the room
  • Installed new vent covers
  • Installed new outlets, outlet covers and switch-plate covers, as well as door knobs
  • Painted (professionally) and installed new doors
  • Had some strong friends help us move the piano from our old place to here (thanks, Strong Friends!)

We didn’t really get to finish this room until after we had moved in because we used it as a main place to paint the trim we used in the rest of the house. It is SO nice to have a family room space to keep the TV (it used to be in a 3rd bedroom/office where only 2 or 3 people could watch at once). Having the couch in the middle of the room also creates a nice little “track” for the kids to run around during the long winter months. Gotta burn off all that energy somehow, right? 🙂

I still haven’t figured out what I’m putting on the mantel or some of the other walls, but it’s a work in progress.

Kitchen & Dining Before-and-After

Though I didn’t get most of these shots from a similar angle, you can still kind of see what went on here. This is before spring cleaning the dining and kitchen area, too, so ignore the clutter you see on the kitchen counters. 🙂

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The List:

  • Took out light fixtures and re-wired (It was a MESS in there! So thankful for my father-in-law’s skills. He was surprised the house was still standing with how fried the wires were.)
  • Mudded walls that were not smooth
  • Tore out linoleum and installed engineered hardwood floors
  • Painted the walls
  • Painted the ceilings
  • Purchased and installed new light fixtures
  • Bought a new fridge (thanks, Mom! The old one was a side-by-side, and when you opened the freezer door you could barely get anything in or out of it.)
  • Painted and installed new baseboards and trim
  • Took down the old curtains and installed new rods and curtains
  • Installed new outlets, outlet covers and switch-plate covers
  • Thrifted some letters for the “Rejoice” sign…I hope to hang some mis-matched plates and/or platters around it once I find enough to make it worthwhile

Living Room Before-and-After

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything about the new house…mostly because this year has been one project after another. I took the month of March off for my business and did some spring purging and cleaning (thanks, Tsh! I still use your e-book!), and though I haven’t finished all the rooms yet, I don’t think I’ll ever get photos up if I wait until they are completely “finished.” So this week will include some before-and-after shots. Hooray!

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Just for reference here are two posts about the projects we did in the 6 months leading up to our move. It was a lot of work (thanks mostly to Husband and my father-in-law!), and there’s much left to do, but what I’m learning with home ownership is that there is always something to do. 🙂 A list of what we did in the living room:

  • Tore out trim and found mold
  • Chunked out the wall and the floor and replaced dry wall and floor, then mudded and re-laid the carpet (thanks, Dustin!)
  • Mudded more of the walls that were not smooth
  • Painted the walls
  • Built up a portion of the window sill where it didn’t match up with new trim and stained it
  • Re-built the railings on the balustrade and installed a new handrail, stripped and stained the newel post (the old railings were so far apart the kids could get their bodies through them–NOT SAFE!)
  • Painted the ceilings
  • Painted and installed new baseboards and trim
  • Bought a new couch
  • Took down the old curtains and installed new rods and sewed together some IKEA curtains
  • Cut old vent covers to fit
  • Installed new outlets, outlet covers and switch-plate covers

There might be more I can’t remember…

Markus, 27 months

Ah, how the milestones creep up on us! Markus, at 27 months, you:

  • Can deliver a pretty solid joke. You make us laugh so much!
  • Have been potty trained for 2 weeks. We took a 3-day boot camp approach, and you did SO WELL! We are very proud of you. You transitioned from the potty chair to the big potty yesterday without so much as skipping a beat. I love that you are so game for trying new things (at least, when they aren’t food…).
  • Like to yell. You and Anja sometimes have screaming matches, most commonly in the car. Mom turns the music up loud.
  • Have memorized several Bible verses. It is so precious to hear the Word of God coming out of your mouth (hopefully as it is being written on your heart).
  • Call yourself a “Big Daddy” all the time. You used to argue with us calling you anything but a boy (“No! Markus is a BOY!”), but it has changed to “No, Markus is a Big Daddy!” Eeeek.
  • Can climb like nobody’s business. Even though you aren’t that up-to-speed with most gross motor activity, you use your noggin as a climbing counterweight excellently.
  • Have started eating more green things. We have a secret: ketchup. It makes salad disappear. Sad, but true! Though you did eat some of my homemade dressing the other day and declared it yummy.
  • Are starting to engage in creative story-telling with your toys. Your cars and trucks become “friends” and have little conversations. I doubt you’ll be telling elaborate tales like Anja anytime soon, but even your short story lines are fascinating to me.
  • Are thus far not athletically inclined. You can’t catch worth a hoot no matter how many times we play, but I’m not giving up!
  • Gave up your pacifiers shortly after turning two. We put them in a baggy and gave them to the clerk at Target to “buy” your new stuffed elephant, which you quickly dubbed “Warthog.” Warthog the elephant, it’s true.
  • Are taking shorter naps in the afternoon due to getting rid of the pacifier, but you still sleep a good 2 to 3 hours each day. Can’t complain!
  • Love it when your sister includes you in her play, but you definitely aren’t one to be a doormat if you don’t like what she asks you to do. Since you’re so tiny, I’m glad you’re learning to stand up for yourself a bit.
  • Need a lot of attention. We think your love language may one day be quality time. Two commonly used phrases, “LISTEN to me, Mama” and “LOOK at me, Daddy”!
  • Transitioned to a toddler bed since you were climbing out of your crib an average of 12 times a day/night anyway. It’s been pretty good, though sometimes you and Sissy get into trouble together since you still share a room.
  • Love being outside! You don’t care what the thermometer says; you simply want to get out. the. door. as fast as possible.
  • Think you’re a super hero. Even though you have no idea who Batman or Spiderman are, you go zooming around the house in your blue cape, dubbing yourself “Super-Boy” or “Super-Markus.” You can rescue me any day. 😉
  • Picked up the very polite phrase “May I” from somewhere. Daddy and I don’t use it very often (shame on us!), but we think it’s adorable that you do. Keep it up.
  • Are tiny. Not uber-tiny, but quite short and round. You are still wearing mostly 18-month pants, though you’re finally growing too tall for some of them. Hooray! But your chunky thighs are still fair game for squeezing, thank goodness.
  • Are quite attached to your hammer and saw. You’ve actually been brought to tears a couple of times when you couldn’t actually help with one of Daddy’s projects. We ask you to “fix” things all the time just so you can pound and saw and feel useful. Again, adorable.
  • Have begun copying your sister’s sassy phrases. We don’t like them any better coming out of your mouth.
  • Continue to be quite verbal. And you still mostly talk in the 3rd person. Love it. Here’s a conversation we had at snack the other day…
    You: “When Markus is big, he will have a wallet and put it in his pocket and drive a truck all the way to Grandma Pam’s house and go to Culver’s?”
    Me: “All by yourself?”
    You: “Yes, without Mommy and Anja.”

We love you, our funny, precocious, big-noggined boy!

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