Tag Archives: Before & After


We decided not to find out what we were having, so we needed to make a gender-neutral nursery.  While I would have loved an ultra-modern set up, there was no WAY I was about to spend $1200 on a crib and more on other modern furniture for small kiddos who could care less. So, we went the other way – a fun, bright and cherry mish-mash of re-purposed furniture, colors and textures inspired by sherbert colors (no doubt due to my pregnancy Pinkberry indulgences), and lots of art + etsy finds. We knew pink or more blue would make it’s way into the room the minute the kiddo arrived, so we focused on every other color to start.

The first baby gift we received was this amazing blanket knit by my sister-in-law’s mother, who I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a couple times. So nice!! I love LOVE this blanket so much, and we pretty much designed the room around it.

The biggest struggle was choosing a color for the walls.  I’m a green gal, I love the color green, and I was well aware that my love for the shade of vert can get a bit redundant.  We really, really tried to go with another color, but in the end The Hus and I agreed that this lovely shade of Benjamin Moore’s Pear was absolutely perfect and totally us.

My theory on choosing a wall color: Pony up and buy any and all samples you're considering. Sit with the colors for at least 3 days before you make a decision. The expense and wait are worth it.

The problem was that we also fell in love with Behr’s Blue, but felt it would look too boy-themed on all the walls.  The Hus came up with the brilliant idea to paint the ceiling with the blue.  I love it. Love, love love it.

Pretty sky-blue ceiling!

We found this dresser at a garage sale for $25 while we were living in LA. It’s massive, and kind of brut-like, but a great canvas for any color paint. Of course I loved this funky color green, but we gave it a fresh coat of white paint for the baby’s room:

BEFORE: Dresser (oops I already started removing drawers before I remembered to snap a pic)


The rest just sort of fell together really easily, thanks to some serious inspiration from OhDeeDoh and a lot of web surfing for fun finds.

Somehow we seemed to fall into a Giraffe/Monkey theme throughout the room.  But who doesn’t like Giraffes and Monkeys??  For a nod to the rest of the mid-century house, we added a big white tulip lamp for the ceiling and a Bertoia chair for extra seating.

Here’s the finished product and a list of where we purchased the stuff at the end.

Is this what she sees from her crib?

–  Crib: Just a classic Jenny Lind Davinci– totally affordable and completely adorable!
–  123 Pop Carpet + Mobile on Crib: Kaloo
–  Bicycle Print above crib (a gift!): Blanca Gomez, Poster Cabaret
–  Bird Prints above crib: sugarloop
–  Library Book Bin (another gift!): Land of Nod
–  Poms: Pom Love
–  Giraffe Painting (and another gift!): Lynne Rae Studio
–  White Lerberg Shelf: Ikea
–  Keep Calm Pillow: found on clearance at TJ Maxx

TV Room

This room is probably the smallest, but also unanimously the favorite room in the whole house…proof that people really do love tiny cozy spaces.

Because it is so small, and has weird offset features like the fireplace (LOVE the fireplace) and a small built-in bookshelf, we are limited to configurations and design.

In September we decided to open up the room a bit more and connect the basement to the rest of the house to offer more daily usable space since our family is growing. This was our biggest home reno project to date, and the one I was most excited about (except redoing the kitchen, of course).

To open the space we removed 3/4 of the south wall which enclosed the stairwell and created a pony wall with a ledge which now overlooks the stairwell.

Then we busted out an incredibly narrow pocket door which was the entrance into/from the hallway which doubled the size of the opening, and matched it to the other pass-through areas on the main floor.  This provided a bit more continuity to the interior architecture and greatly improved the flow. At the very least I’m not nailing elbows and toes on the doorways anymore trying to shimmy around sharp 90 degree corners.


The final touch was to give the space a fresh coat of paint – actual color y’all!  I know, I know, “beige” is so safe, and I am so not a beige gal, but we decided to match the TV room to the basement walls with my favorite True Khaki.  I just love this color. It’s got a nice hint of green (yay!) to it, and has enough warmth to envelope a small space without making it smaller.

So this is the room in its current state.  Words cannot express how much I hate the TV area.  The media console is our last remaining piece of IKEA furniture brought over from our apartment dwelling days in Los Angeles.  It looked fine there. It looks awful here.  Ideally I think we should put built-ins across that whole wall, and obviously throw up a flat-screen television which would not only save on much needed space, but de-clutter that whole rickety get-up.

The paneling has always been an issue in this room as it is part of the actual wall and to remove it would mean putting in all new wall. Ugh. So we glammed it up with a fresh coat of high-gloss white paint, and next to the khaki, I think it looks pretty spiffy.

De-Brassing: Master Bedroom

I understand ceiling fans are nice, but not the ones we inherited with the house, and NOT the fan in the master bedroom:

The pink in this house was a bit overwhelming, so we decided to paint the whole thing with a fresh coat of soft white and see where color choices take us later on.  The bedroom, however I kept as a white theme with accents of mossy green, silver and crystal.  Here is the very first lighting fixture we installed:

It’s feminine without terrifying The Hus, and I got it for a great price at Lamps Plus of all places.

And this was the start of my now full-blown lighting obsession.

Gravel Overdose Pt. 2: Back Yard

When we purchased The Pink Ranch we did so in the middle of one of the worst winters Colorado had seen in a while.  Actually, we went house hunting during most of it and I can recall on several occasions having to literally shovel our way up a walkway to see a house.  When we came to see this house we could barely drive down the street.

For the most part we didn’t think much of it (besides the perpetually cold feet) until we were moved in, the snow had melted and we realized we had no idea what the yard looked like.  The yard looked just fine covered in snow!

One of the big selling points for this place was the large yard, but what we didn’t know however is that for some reason this house was built on a weird slope (the only one in our neighborhood, as far as we can tell) which means the back yard slopes gradually downward towards the fence.  It isn’t flat at all.  The front does the same thing, but who cares about the front yard.

The biggest problem with this is that we see directly into our neighbors back yard which is *not* cute.  The fence, though normal height, doesn’t block our visuals because it’s so much lower down there and the house is so much higher.

Also, we have a concrete area just off the sliding doors in the TV room, which would be a lovely, sunny place to sit and stare at the neighbor’s yard, if the slab wasn’t nearly a foot lower than where it was originally laid and sliding away from the house.  Also, the slab is surrounded by a unexplained but very large dirt patch which contains in it a randomly planted rose garden which is kind of placed smack dab in the middle of the yard.

Also, the grass is terrible. Thin, neglected for lord knows how long, and probably the wrong kind to handle both sun and shade, and now two dogs.

On the plus side, we have two gorgeous old trees that blossom into bright pink flowers right around Mother’s Day every year:

Here’s the worst part, just off the house.  It’s mostly mud. Why? Because there were strawberries planted along the edge of the patio, Why? Why? Why????

Welcome into our home, Mud!

Our Summer 2009 plan? Cover it all with rocks!! We couldn’t afford to lay concrete (or so we thought) and a wood deck would look weird. Grass won’t grow there (clearly) so more more of our favorite tiny gray pebbles seemed the only option.

For the record I thought ordering two tons was a bit excessive.

So we skipped the professional part where you level out the space with sand and went right to doing a terrible job trimming the area, laying down Preen (did ok with that) and spreading out the gravel.
At least Lucy likes it.Oh, the gravel.  There was so very much and it just got everywhere. Plus the chairs and table sank into it as did your shoes. So while we succeeded in eliminating one mess with the mud, we created another, more destructive mess with the gravel.

Skip to the following summer (2010)…

Inspired by The Brick House’s scarily identical problem, we followed in her footsteps and added pavers INTO the gravel, rather that the other way around.  180 pavers to be exact. And a few weeks later I would discover I was preggers while doing the whole thing.

Note: pavers are not light.

Yes, we eyeballed the whole thing.

Et Voila!

The girls approve.

We’re still tweaking this area, but the pavers are sooo much better. We have a (semi) level place to sit and the gravel stays in the cracks where it belongs.  Best part is they were so inexpensive and totally in keeping with our hopes of transforming the back yard into a more modern, minimalist space.

To recap, BEFORE:

Before: gross, yucky, muddy mess.


After: Cleaned up, leveled out and ready for parties.

Break out the margaritas!

Removing Tile

This lovely tile stretched all the way from the kitchen, around the corner in the TV room and down the entry way right up to the front door, carrying with it bright pink grout.

Not okay.

For obvious reasons that tile had to go. While we had to keep it in the kitchen the rest we hoped would come up easily and reveal more wood flooring. Ha.
First, we tried to hoist it out. And by we I mean my nearly 90 year old Grandfather who is AWESOME:

Go Papa!

As you can see that excersize revealed beneath it a layer of plywood followed by laminate flooring. Great.

So then we tried to get in there with a hand chisel:

Go Husband!

Ugh and double ugh.

So then we called in the Big Guns and our brother-in-law came over for some serious demo.

Almost there...



[Note future project is the above image: paint door or replace door; change out knobs on door and storm door; paint or replace storm door; do SOMETHING with that weird orange glass; paint brick.]

We ended up having to hire a wood flooring expert, who dug out the laminate and replaced just that area with brand new wood.  He was so amazing – you can’t tell the difference between the 1963 wood and the 2007 wood. He’s like the zen master of wood flooring. But more on him later. Behold the finished product:


Removing Carpet

I realize there isn’t really anything new to add to the world about the fact that we removed carpet and restored wood floors. I only add it here, because if you’ve done it, you know how instantly gratifying it is.

Just say no to Dusty Rose.

Say "YES!" to hardwood floors!

Yes, it is gratifying, especially since the entire main floor was covered in this nasty pink carpet.  It is fun to roll it back and haul it out.

Fun. Until you get to the tack strip.

Man, that tack strip was everywhere.  It took days to remove and we all were poked 10,000 times with those damn sharp tacks.  AND I had a fever in this picture…just to make sure we all were having super amounts of fun.

But the end result was worth it! Our hardwood flooring guy was a GENIUS. An artist really.  Look what he did!




So to recap:

Living Room: Before


Living Room: AFTER