Deuce Cities Henhouse

4 Year Recap – Part 3

The Boys’ Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Hey, guys! Here we are for the 3rd installment of the four year recap! I bet you’re so totally excited, right?

Four years ago we moved into our house – that’s a long time – the purpose of me sharing these photos with you is to illustrate a few thoughts about “home”. For us, “home” is not something that happens in the blink of an eye, and it’s not something that you need piles of money to achieve. Things happen slowly, very slowly, but if you are deliberate in your plans, eventually it will all start to come together. After four years we are finally feeling settled in this home of ours, and although I always have projects on my to-do list, it is finally in a state that I always hoped it would be when we moved in four years ago.

The photos today are to illustrate the process of our transitions. None of the rooms have undergone major renovations and I think that is just fine! Do you need a major renovation to make a house a home? No way, man! Yes, sometimes a coat of paint, a little design, and a lot of personality is all it takes. For me, it’s also important to maintain and give honor to the character of our home. Major renovations aren’t ever going to big for us (although we do have 1 planned for the basement).

The photos I’m sharing with you today are meant to be examples of the layers that go into making a house a home. I believe “home” should be fluid, and should have the ability to change with your life and lifestyle. Sometimes these transitions take a little planning and creative thinking, but that’s all part of the fun. Plus, there will always something to fix, maintain, and restore in in an old home, I happen to love these challenges.

Above I’m sharing with you the boys’ room before we moved in. It was being used as a guest bedroom by the previous owner – the oversized bed made it feel tiny, I think the picture above illustrates that.

*You may have noticed that my before photos are all so yellow, the entire house was covered in light brownish-yellow paint, almost every single room. I took all the photos in the evening with the lights on which makes them even more yellow. The yellow is so glaring that I made two versions of the photos, the black and white you see first, and if you rollover the b&w photo you will see the room in full yellowy color.
 

The Boys’ Room – 2013


After moving in this became Finn’s room. We had a nursery set up for him in our previous rental house, so it was pretty easy to plop his crib and other furniture pieces into the room. We painted it orange, (major woof) and then settled on this “Asparagus” color. It wasn’t until we got more settled that we organized the space to make it functional, added the big kid bed (seen above) and decorated the walls a bit. We used his artwork as wall decoration, on another wall we added shelving for books (you can see the whole room here) and used dress-up hats and masks as art on his wall.

There has always the good old Ikea Expedit shelves (RIP) to come and save the day. Thankfully the Expedit will be replaced with the newer more environmentally friendly Kallax, but the Expedit has been so good to us when it comes to kid storage.
 

The Boys’ Room – 2014


Fast forward to this year when Finn’s room became “The Boys’ Room”. Finn and Gus started bunking together! We splurged and bought the Perch bunk bed from Oeuf. We had a Oeuf sparrow crib for the kids and loved it, so we were already confident in the quality of Oeuf products. The Perch bed was worth it for us because eventually we can split up the pieces. Gus’ old room is pretty tiny, so when the time comes for him to move back into his room, the elevated bunk bed will come in handy.
 

Guest Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Onward, this is Gus’ Room (now the guest room) before we moved in. It’s not very big, as you can see – apprx 11′ x 11′. It does have a large closet which has been helpful – we store an extra dresser in there. We didn’t have a Gus when we moved in, but always supposed that we would eventually. We let the room sit as storage with the door always closed until Gus showed up in 2011.
 

Guest Room – 2013


We tried to make this small space as functional as possible when it transitioned into a nursery. It is by far the brightest room in the house, which is fantastic for us, but bad for babies who like to nap. We added black-out curtains that I made for Gus. Expedit came to the rescue again with the 5 square shelving unit, which we tucked in under the window. It works so nicely as a faux built-in-bench with storage underneath. I mentioned that we had an extra dresser in the closet, and then also had one in his room. We bought all of his furnishings in bits and pieces, as the budget allowed. Best of all, the use of small storage and clever seating made the room seem normal sized.
 

Guest Room – 2014


Now Gus’ room is the guest room. We haven’t had any guests make use of it yet, but has actually become very useful over the winter. With someone always being sick, this has become the quarantine room, for real. So sad, I know.

As you can see, so much of the room is the same, the grey walls and the curtains remain, and Finn’s old bed was added to the space. I pulled it all together with grey and yellow accents. You can get all the details on that transition over here.
 

Bathroom – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
The bathroom before decked out with glass block tile and faux-marble printed tile.
 

Bathroom – 2014


I’ve barely touched on the bathroom – that’s because we haven’t done too much to it. I painted the walls and added navy and yellow accents (a popular theme on the 2nd floor). There has been no need to do more than this because someday we do plan on renovating. I know I just said no major renovations, but there is nothing original about this bathroom, it was “updated” sometime in the last 20 years. We plan on renovating the basement next year and adding a full bath in the process. Once the basement is done, the next project will most likely be this bathroom. So it’ll be awhile…
 

Stay tuned for more of the recap!

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Family Vacay

Spring in Savannah
Hello, Friends! Guess what we just did? We survived an entire vacation as a family – the kind of vacation where you have to get yourself, your spouse, and two small people on a plane and to a specific location without; losing anyone, having melt downs, sibling fights, spousal disdain, or just plain freaking out. We did it, we survived, we spent a week in Savannah, Georgia y’allzerz!

Finn & Waff at Tybee Beach
You may remember that Waff (aka Jeff) and I took a 48 hour weekend in Savannah back in November. Our good buddies Matt and Katie have taken up residency in Savannah while participating in some grad school action at the SCAD. We miss Matt and Katie like crazy and decided we should take the whole fam back to Savannah and takeover their 2-bedroom apartment, Allen style.

They were the most gracious hosts – putting up with our crazy kids and their love of ketchup, and nutella sandwiches – both of which are cause for messy hands and faces. The kids crashed together on an air mattress in Matt’s studio, while Jeff and I made use of an air mattress in the living room. We spent most of our days heading back and forth between downtown Savannah and Tybee beach. The beach was amazing, even on the cold days. We needed to be outside like what, this winter had beaten us down and we had to soak in the sound of the surf at every possible moment.

With the kids in tow, there were limited options to what activities we could participate in. Gus still takes afternoon naps and was able to hunker down and take a nap at the beach, cuddled into his old-ma’s arms. The last day he made a little nest right next to the cooler – it was pretty adorbz, you guys. Anyway, when you are traveling with someone who still likes to snooze for 2-3 hours in the afternoon you have to stick to low-key, short-term, chill activities. We did that pretty well.

Spring in Savannah

Spring in Savannah

Spring in Savannah

Spring in Savannah
We also encountered the third biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country. Did you know this about Savannah? We did not, but it didn’t take much convincing for us to go join the locals and get crazy. You can drink alcohol openly on the streets in Savannah, that’s right, they call ‘em “walktails”! Because Savannah likes to party it seems like the obvious choice for a huge St. Patrick’s day party who’s main attraction is a four hour parade, (that’s right FOUR hours) celebrated by over-imbibed onlookers!

Spring in Savannah
The kids were amazing, on a scale of 1-10 I would give them a 10. They were non-agitated, pro-travelers! There aren’t direct flights available from Minneapolis to Savannah, so we had to take a short layover in Chicago both coming and going. The kids were on four flights total, and at the end of each flight, fellow passengers would stop to tell me how impressed they were with how well the kids did.

I’m no expert at traveling with kids, but I believe part of our success was preparing for any possible kid freak out. First of all there was the preventative measures. Gus was just getting over a head cold, I was concerned that the cabin pressure would hurt his ears so I made sure to give him a dose of Zarbee’s non-drowsy cold medicine before our first flight.

For my carry-on’s I brought my purse and a larger over-the-shoulder bag stocked with snacks. I packed two lidded sippy cups, even though Finn is five and can handle a real cup like a pro, the sippy cup saved us from major disasters. Before we boarded the plane we filled up with juice, milk and water because those things aren’t always available in flight.

I also packed special treats for both of the boys for the longer of the two flight. Both kids got new small lego sets (for less the $10 bucks a piece). Both sets were small less than 100 pieces, and I had unwrapped the legos prior to leaving and put both sets in a little tupperware containers so we didn’t have to lose pieces. The legos were awesome and kept the boys distracted for nearly the entire flight. For Gus I packed two of his favorite books.

Lastly, I had a few movies pre-downloaded on my ipad and a set of headphones to accompany it. You can download movies if you have purchased through Amazon Instant Video. Lucky for us, Frozen just came out this week, so yeah, total mom win.

The boys didn’t even need have of the stuff we packed, but it was good to know that we had it just in case. I’m not sure they would have been the sweet little angels that they were without it.

Spring in Savannah
So yeah guys, we did it! We can officially travel cross country as a family of four, the world is our oyster!

Now I am stoked to get back to work, blogging away and sharing new cool things with you guys! I’ve got a bunch of posts planned for the coming weeks, and I need to tie up this four-year recap too. It’ll be cool guys!

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in My Life

4 Year Recap – Part 2

Kitchen – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Okay guys, welcome to the second installment of the four year recap. I wanted to share with you guys some of the changes we’ve made since moving in. I am a sucker for ‘Before & Afters’ and though maybe you guys would be too :)

Today I’ll be sharing with you the rest of the first floor of the house. The biggest and most recent update, of course, was the kitchen renovation that I worked on over the fall. If you’ve been following along you know that I painted and restored all the cabinets and hardware, replaced the backsplash and added new cabinets and shelving to one corner.
 

Kitchen – 2014


 


As I did in the last post, I made a little animated gif so you can see the transformation over time. Shortly after moving in I painted the kitchen aqua in an attempt to embrace the copper. It was a good attempt, and I didn’t hate the vintage-kitschy vibe that was going on, but it wasn’t us and I never loved it.
 

Kitchen – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
 

Kitchen – 2014


 

Kitchen – 2010


I got a bit of flack on Design Sponge for tossing out the copper backsplash, but I had to share this photo gem I recently uncovered. I hope this image explains how dire this copper sitch actually was.
 

Basement Stairs – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
 

Basement Stairs – 2014


I updated the basement stairway in 2013, and I’m so glad I did. I couldn’t take much more of those scalloped brass light fixtures. I think it’s important to give a little love to even the most mundane spaces.
 

Music Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Our first big project was when we removed the floral wallpaper from the music room and replaced it with feather wallpaper from Ferm Living at the end of 2011. We also repaired, skim coated and painted the walls a light grey. We’re so happy with how things turned out in here.
 

Basement Stairs – 2010


Stay tuned for more of the recap!

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4 Year Recap – Part 1

Hey Guys! We just passed the four year milestone of living in our house! That’t the longest we’ve lived anywhere in our entire adult lives. In honor of such a momentous occasion I thought it would be cool to do a four year recap. The blog is pretty linear, and I usually only share improvements with you guys, so I thought it would be fun to take a sec and see where it all started.

The photos aren’t an absolute fair comparison, because a lot of them are from before we moved in when the house was full of other peoples furniture. Plus, I wasn’t taking photos to be pretty, they were just documents of what it looked like, however I still think you can get a good feel for what we had to look past when were getting ready to buy this house. No matter how much I tried to color correct the “before” photos they are still awful. I’m sharing them in black and white and in color as a color rollover. Hopefully, you will also get a sense for the improvements we’ve made, even if some are as small as adding a good coat of paint.

So here goes…

Dining Room – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
The hardest thing for me to get over when we bought the house was the woodwork. I did not want a house with natural woodwork, and this house had woodwork up the wazoo! Not only was there tons of woodwork, it had aged beautifully and I knew it would highly uncool if I were to paint it. So, I compromised, and I worked with.
 

Dining Room – 2014


The dining room is the room we’ve done the least in. We painted it grey, (which took forever to find the right shade that complimented the woodwork), and we added a pendant light fixture. To finish it off I added some leftover wallpaper to the back of the buffet, and hung some artwork. It’s always been the most awkward room to decorate – it’s hard to hang artwork, furniture placement is funny, oh, and there is all that woodwork!
 

Dining Room – 2014


 

Entry – 2010

Paint Colors, Ahh.
Look at little Finn!
 

Entry – 2014


The entry way is a place where I’ve had a lot of difficulty when it comes to making it pretty. We bought a vintage desk a year after moving in, and it tucks nicely into the space right near the staircase. This is where I work, but I’m beginning to use it less and less. Long story short, the desk isn’t a permanent solution, and someday this space will need to be given much more thought and attention.
 


And because I know you all love a cool animated gif – here is a little suggestion of progress in the living room. The dark wall color and furniture placement really does amazing things to the space.
 

Living Room – 2014


 

Living Room – 2014


Stay tuned for more of the recap!

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It’s Spray Painting Season!

Masked and Spray Painted Clay Pots
You guys, it’s that magical time of year where we can just venture outside and spray paint the heck out of anything we want. I have been marveling at the power of spray paint ever since I started using it in my kitchen makeover to make small improvements with hardware. It’s amazing stuff.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to get outside and spray paint a few things, and it finally happened this week! We had a couple of days with temperatures in the 40′s!

Planters and pots can be expensive – lots of times as expensive as the plant if not more. Clay pots however are very inexpensive, usually they are less than $4 for a pot and tray depending on what size you get. I’m no newbie to spray painting clay pots, I’ve painted a few in matte black this fall, and so far the results are all positive. There has been no unexpected blistering from moisture or anything like that, so I figured I’d give it go and give these pots a dipped look.

Clay Pots
I masked off the tops of the pots and spray painted the trays and bases. It was super easy. I applied two coats of paint. I also painted this cheap-o lamp I picked up at Target earlier this month. It’s not bad in the enamel grey, but I thought it would look way better in satin white, so I painted that too!

Masked & Painted
See! Easy! Everything is masked and painted. I didn’t use any guidelines when masking the pots, just picked a spot and taped around the top. I didn’t even care if it was even! I know, I know, I am so crazy.

Spray Painted Target Lamp
The lamp is my fav, I love it painted white! Don’t you think it looks so much better now?

So don’t just sit there. Go get your spray painting on, the weather is perfect for it!

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