Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunroom to Playroom

When we purchased our home, our only complaint really was that the bedrooms (besides the master) were a bit small, and there wasn't a playroom for when we had children. Sure enough, our daughter has taken over our living room with her toys, and since I also work from home, it was becoming a bit claustrophobic. Shortly after Christmas we decided we needed a playroom and that the completely useless sunroom would be the ideal spot.

Before we purchased our home, we first toured it in December, so of course we didn't think to try to open the windows. Neither did our home inspector apparently because not one of the 13 windows in the sunroom opened come spring.  No airflow = melting in Florida and the tiny ceiling fan did little but move the hot air around. There was an in-wall air conditioning unit, but no outlet close enough to plug it in ... NICE planning. You get the idea. It was a total gut job. And it was a bit daunting, but I am SO HAPPY with the end result! See what 7 months and a whole lot of patience looks like below.


So then the demo began.
First window out.

Took it to the studs.

Putting lights in. There weren't any before, and we added several outlets.
PT Cruiser to the rescue! Fit all 10 windows. There use to be 13 windows in the sunroom, but they were all different sizes (41 in, 43 in, 39 in, etc.). We decided to remove the two small windows next to the doors and reduced the number on the remaining walls so that each window was the same size. 

We decided to install the windows ourselves due to cost. The company quoted us a price originally and assured it wouldn't change that much, but in order to get the final quote they had to come measure the window openings. However, we had to reframe everything since we were getting all the same size window instead of six different sizes. So Ben removed all the windows and reframed the walls. The company came back to measure, but the second quote was almost a grand more! Apparently the last guy didn't factor in hurricane protection! We about fell over, but we were kind of stuck because we had 10 gapping holes in our house. The final option was install them ourselves. I say us, but Ben and our wonderful neighbor did the job beautifully! They all open!!!

Cordie liked helping.
Buh-bye ugly stone and hello insulation!
Drywall is up. It was finally my turn to help. I did the taping, mudding, and sanding. There was so much to do! Best advice:  Tape, mud, sand. Repeat. Repeat again. This takes more patience than I was blessed with, but it gave us the best results.

We chose Benjamin Moore's Blue Danube. I was a bit unsure of the color once it was up, but you'll see how it turned out.

See why I panicked slightly?
The ceiling was a lot of work, but we wanted something that would make the room feel rich. So we purchased 220 ft of these interlocking wood boards. I painted them all and then we nailed them up. Lots of work, but the end result was so worth it. When we were purchasing the wood, a woman in front of us at the register exclaimed, "You have a big project ahead of you!" We laughed and said it was a small project in the grand scheme of our larger one!
Next up was trimming out the windows. I was most nervous about this phase of the project. It just seemed impossibly hard, but we found the most perfect pieces of trim, and a project I anticipated taking several weekends, only took two! Ben did so amazing.
Finally, it was time for the floor and the rest of the trim around the doors and floor. Basically we replaced EVERY surface (including siding on the outside of the house) in the room. See the finished result below! (Sorry. Longest blog ever!)
Final touches!
I just love the floor!

I think we're going to do something similar to the ceiling in our master now.

I pained the little rocking chair and the table and chairs below. They are bit brighter than I wanted, but Cordie said they are bootiful.

Love being able to display our daughter's artwork.

Kitchen complete with hooks and buckets to store her utensils in.

Repurposed the doors to make them a bit brighter and clean. Someone wants to come play!

Cordie approved!
Thanks for making it to this point. This was by far our largest project, and it still needs some curtains and a few finishing touches, but we are so happy to have a space that we can use once again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2 Years Old

How is it possibly your birthday, little one? And yet, it feels like so much more time must have passed as you have just grown beyond measure this year. Last year you started walking, and this year you are twirling and running and jumping. You carry full conversations and have quirks all your own like how you call us "honey" since mama and daddy call each other that and singing is just the best way to pass the time. I am amazed daily at your intelligence and find my breath caught by your beauty so often. 

We're called to pray ceaselessly. I never mastered that and still haven't, but each day with you I find myself repeatedly thanking God, praying to Him for guidance on how to best raise you, and having full conversations with your guardian angel. You are definitely bringing me closer to God and heaven, and that's such a perfect gift. 

If you'd like to see some snapshots from the day, keep scrolling :) And thank you to everyone who sent cards, presents, videos, pictures, texts, whatever! It absolutely made my whole year to see how much this little person is loved. 

When she came out of her bedroom, she said, "wow!" upon seeing the decorations. We are princess obsessed right now.

Spoiled much?!

Nona and Poppy did good! She hopped right on.

How cute is that apron? Aunt Kelsey always makes her something from scratch!

The look on her face when she saw her princess dress! Priceless. She practically gasped.

This was her BIG birthday present that took 3 hours to assemble, but it was 75% off so we had to! She LOVED it. (Also, sneak peak of our new sunroom. It's 90% done, but not quite there yet! Post to come soon!)

So I was going to buy a birthday cake since the birthday girl requested a mermaid cake, but man are those things not cheap! So, sorry kid, you get mama's handiwork. 

She grew about 5 inches!

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. We love you.