Category Archives: Rainbow House Reno

Living Room Remodel Reveal!!

n am terribly good at being extremely hard on myself.

I look around our house that we have been slowly renovating for the past 10 months and all that I see is what we have left to do.  The dining room is still pumpkin orange, the spare rooms need flooring to be laid, my master bathroom needs to be painted and currently also needs a toilet since we have been working on the flooring in there.  Baseboards and doors and doorknobs (oh my!) all need attention.  The list is endless and some (*most*) days the list of what still needs to be done feels insurmountable in a thousand different ways.

It is easy for us to focus on how much further up the mountain we have to go rather than to focus on how far we have already climbed. (This is obviously a metaphor, I don’t do hiking.)

So I decided to take a moment today to show you the before and afters of one of the most “done” rooms in the house.

Living Room Remodel Banner


Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot tell you how much this picture helped my self-esteem and the feeling of actually having progress!

Lets take some closer looks, shall we?

Living Room - Before


Here’s a reminder of what the Living Room area looked like before we cleaned the tile (gross!!) and with one coat of primer.  Oooohhhh the coats of primer that it has taken to turn this rainbow colored house into a Coastal Themed sanctuary.

Living Room - After

I personally think this is MUCH better!

A couple things to note in this picture…

-Chairs:  These are the Ikea Poang Chairs.  We followed this tutorial to paint them. (they were $100 each when we bought them.)  Brandon was super skeptical when I first said that I wanted to go check them out.  But they are now his favorite place to sit in the house.  They are surprisingly comfortable!

-Rug:  We got at “At Home” (formerly Garden Ridge).  It’s 12×10 which was very difficult to find without having to sacrifice your first born as payment.  I believe we spent ~$400 for this rug which is a BIG WIN in my book.

-Couch and Love Seat:  We searched long, high and low to find white leather couches, and ended up with these.  They are stone grey and I love them!  Jury is still out with Brandon though.  They are Ashley Furniture (Discontinued), and we special ordered them from a place that Brandon found online that felt super ghetto.  Love the couches though and am still just so happy to have places for company to sit! (since we went several months before that was a thing)

-Floating Shelves:  Are the Ikea Lack Shelf.  They are 72 in. long and took FOREVER to level out… but it’s totally worth it!  I spent months agonizing over how to bring height to the room (and even left my Christmas tree in the corner until February) and we LOVE this solution!  At $20 a piece, I highly recommend these!

-Pillows:  These are actually pillow covers that I got from Hobby Lobby!  Every couple weeks they have them half off.  They are great AND machine washable! I have these and these and stuffed them with old pillows that were too ugly to use. (I spent ~$4 each on them)

-Ceiling Fan:  We got the Hampton Bay Escape fan from Home Depot.   We spent $181.00 on it on sale.  More than we would have wanted to spend on a fan, but we decided that it was a statement piece that would help bring some of that coastal/beachy vibe into the room.

I will be doing a upclose and personal Kitchen post at some point, when it’s actually done and I have actually painted all the doors…. but here is a teaser for you!

Living RoomKitchen - Before

(Gosh that red is awful! )

Living RoomKitchen - After

Since the Kitchenette isn’t technically part of the kitchen, I’ll throw in some of those updates.

Curtains:  From Kohls (another discontinued, that’s what happens when you search for bargains!)  They are Eclipse brand.  We really needed something that would keep the heat out (#floridaprobs) and these do a great job!

Chandelier:  This guy we got for a steal at $68 when it was on sale!  I love it and it is SO much better than the last one… which cast an orange shadow through the room every time we turned it on.  No thanks!


It’s so much better you guys!  It’s amazing how quickly I forgot how odd the house looked when we first bought it and that it truly is (slowly but surely) becoming our home!

Ok, one last picture!

Full Kitchen Living Room

(I’d like to interrupt this regularly scheduled program to point out that in this picture you can notice that the tile on the right side of the carpet looks different than the tile directly in front of the carpet.  That is because I have spent HOURS refinishing the grout.  It looks SO MUCH BETTER!  I will definitely do a before and after post on that when it’s done because it is the cheapest, most effective update we have done so far!)

Now that I have taken a moment to look back, I am so incredibly happy with the progress we have made!  It’s been a process, a process that I will rejoice heartily when it’s over, but a process none-the-less.

So tell me, have you ever had the problem of looking at how far you have to go instead of taking the time to reflect on how far you have already come?

How To Paint Ikea Cabinets…

Sure enough, my worst fears were realized.  I had hoped, wished, crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t happen but alas it did.  I had seen all the peoples on the internet say “Ikea Ramsjo white doors are PINK.” PINK!  Some people said “oh but it only depends on lighting” or “if your kitchen isn’t painted with red undertones you’ll be FINE.”  I began to look at zillions of pictures and sure enough, there was a pinky hue to the ramsjo doors.  I told my dear, sweet hubby about this dilemma concerning our newly ordered kitchen cabinet doors, but we both decided that we liked the overall look of the doors and that it would be okay to paint them.  *sighs*

So that’s precisely what we did.  Upon arrival, I quickly held one up to our newly installed Quartz countertop and realized that the pinky hue was quite evident and they would need to be painted.  After reading lots of tutorials that said many different things, here is the process and products that I used to paint our Ikea Ramsjo “white” cabinet doors white.

How to Paint Ikea Cabinets...


Products I used:

-Paint brushes (I used ones from the dollar store) = $1

-High density paint rollers (2 pack from Home Depot) =$2.67 (11% off using Raise Gift card)

-1 Gallon BIN Zinsser Primer -White (Home Depot) = $37.36 (11% off using Raise Gift Card, used about half)

-1 Gallon Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Flat Paint -White = $35.69 (30% off using a coupon in the mail, used about half)

-1 Qt General Finishes Polyurethane Satin Finish = I had this on hand, but it can be ordered here.(affiliate link)

Total for the project:  ~$76.72

Step 1: Prime.

First, I laid all of the door fronts on their front so that I could start by priming the back of the cabinet doors.  I found that the best way to get an even finish was to brush on the primer and then go over the brush strokes with the high density roller.  This eliminates the streaks.  Let dry for 4 hours.  Flip them over and repeat the process on the front.  I definitely think this is the primer to use for the project.  It sticks really well to doors (even though they aren’t “wood” doors).  It will also stick to everything else, so prepare accordingly.

Disclaimer:  I used the cardboard boxes that the doors came in to paint.  This worked well, HOWEVER, when I painted the sides the paint inevitably caused the doors to stick to the cardboard. 🙁 blah.  So, when you paint your cabinets, make sure that you use something to elevate the cabinets when you paint the sides.

I did two coats of primer.

This is the cabinet after two coats of primer...

This is the cabinet after two coats of primer…

UPDATE (8/24/2015) – I had to paint a piece of ramjo siding for some finishing touches the hubs is making to the kitchen.  I was lazy and decided to skip the primer step.  The paint peeled off in a week.  So… definitely 100% decided that Zinsser primer is an absolute must for this project!

Step 2: Paint

After the two coats of primer, we decided to paint the cupboards white.  The primer is kind of an off-white color.  I chose Sherwin-Williams Cashmere paint because it is self-leveling, meaning that it will help eliminate brush-strokes/roller marks.  I used the exact same painting process with the paint that I had with the Primer (Paint and then roll over the paint).

You can see here the color difference between the Paint (on the upper part) and the primer

You can see here the color difference between the Paint (on the upper part) and the primer

After a full coat of paint...

After a full coat of paint…

I didn’t find it necessary to do a second coat of paint, but you can definitely do that if you so desire/find necessary.

Step 3:  Poly   

This step I wasn’t sure was necessary until we put the hardware on the drawers and realized that we needed SOME kind of protection.  Now here’s the thing, we Really didn’t want the cabinets to be shiny. Something we didn’t like about the other Ikea door options is that they almost looked “plastic-y” because of the shine.  The internet was also very unhelpful in finding a solution.  So really, the reason that I decided to try the Poly is because I had some on hand and I knew that it worked.

To apply, I used a rubber glove and an old sock.  Yes, really.  Simply wipe the polyurethane on and you’re done.

Tips:  I let the paint dry for 24 hours before putting the poly layer on.  If you are painting your cabinets white, I highly recommend holding them in natural light to make sure that you got an even layer of poly on the door (I found it really hard to tell what areas I missed otherwise!)

You can tell there is a slight sheen to the door now...

You can tell there is a slight sheen to the door now…

I’m not gunna lie, it took me about a week to get the doors completely done because after each coat, I waited until the next day to do the next coat (even though Zinsser says it’s totally cool to go ahead and paint after a couple hours).  Overall, I’m pretty happy with the end product… especially since I was able to paint them all for less than $80 (even less if you consider I only used half of my paint and primer).  But I really wish Ikea would make a cabinet door that was true white… (please Ikea?  Please?!)

So there you have it!  This is the process I used to paint my Ikea kitchen cabinets.  Let me know if this helped you out or if you have any of your own tips in the comments below!

To see a sneak peek of the whole kitchen, click here!


5 Things I’ve gotten done in 2 weeks…

Yes, that’s right.  It has been two weeks since we closed on our house and I can only think of 5 things that are done enough to be crossed off my list.  I am currently at the point of a renovation where I just want ONE thing to go completely right from start to finish.  I have spent a significant amount of time cursing HGTV and walking around saying “what were we thinking?”

Anyway, here are the things with actual, visible progress that have happened within the past two weeks.

1.  We had all the mold remediated.

When we first had our inspection done (and we suspected) that there was mold all over in the kitchen.  So we knew that our first priority would be to have it all removed as soon as we got the keys.  The process took 3 days and a full week after closing before we got the “all clear” on the air in order to start build-back (construction term for “putting walls back up”)

As a reminder, this is what the kitchen looked like when we first bought it.


And this is what it looked like when everything with mold had been removed.

Paying to have someone rip your stuff apart is FUN!

Paying to have someone rip your stuff apart is GREAT!


Fun right?

2.  We built back everything that was removed because of mold.

My 9th grade basic construction class came in very handy as I put in insulation and hung drywall….

Kitchen wall dr

It may not be pretty, but it’s done!

Note, we DID  prime over this before putting in the cabinets.

Second Note:  More like we put in the cabinets and then read that we needed to prime it first.  Learn from us people.  Don’t do the things we did!

We also needed to reconstruct that half wall so that the height would be flush with the cabinets.  Before, there was a bar area.  But we really want a large amount of endless counter space.  So we needed to rebuild the wall, in order to achieve the seemless counter space we wanted.

This is what the half wall looked like after Brandon cut the top off to match with the height of the cabinets.

This is what the half wall looked like after Brandon cut the top off to match with the height of the cabinets.


This is what it looked like after re-stablizing it and adding the side to support the dishwasher.

This is what it looked like after re-stabilizing it and adding the side to support the dishwasher.

This picture is before we added drywall.   One thing I would like to note here.  Do ALL your research before doing build-back to avoid having to re-open any walls to move things around.  This MAY  have happened because of my “Done is better” attitude and doing too many things while my husband is working and then him coming out and being like “the internet says no” and then having to redo things.

3.  We installed the bottom cabinets.

I have a major, deeply personal issue with inefficiency.  So I cannot begin to express my frustration with this process.  I will go into greater detail when I do a full post once all the cabinets are installed.  But I will say that we have installed and un-installed these three times now (for various reasons).  Also, you may notice that we haven’t installed the upper cabinets yet.  Yes, we know that it would have been significantly easier to install the uppers first.  However, Ikea has yet to give us all our upper cabinets.  One of those cabinets is our high, pull-out pantry cabinet that will dictate the height of our other cabinets.  Since we had to get the bottom cabinets templated in order to have our countertops installed, we needed to get the bottom cabinets installed.

This terrible iPhone pano demonstrates ALL THE LEVELING we had to do to get these in.  Warning: be fully caffeinated going into such projects.

This terrible iPhone pano demonstrates ALL THE LEVELING we had to do to get these in. Warning: be fully caffeinated going into such projects.


4.  I primed the Master, the guest bath, and the kitchen.

That’s right, I’m counting “priming” as progress.  Why?  Because I had to put 3 coats of primer in the master alone.  It’s not ok, guys!!

A reminder of the horrid Master Bedroom color before…


After 3 coats of Kilz

3 coats of primer and you can still see the tangerine hue... (sighs)

3 coats of primer and you can still see the tangerine hue… (sighs)


5.  I completely finished the utility room!!

That’s right, I have one room in the house that is completely finished and fully functional.  It is my utility room.  My washer and dryer and working, there is a paint color on the wall and there is currently nothing else that needs to be done to this room and therefore it is currently my absolute favorite room in the house.

Finished Utility

The paint color has been a hot-point in our house as of late.  “Some” people think it’s too green…. But we are going with it anyway because I like it and when we tried to eliminate the green in the color and add some blue, there was no visible difference.  So there ya have it.


Tip for the day:  Parents, don’t let your kids color on outlet covers!  I was astounded at how many outlet covers had crayon marks on them!

Seriously?  Why is this a THING?!

Seriously? Why is this a THING?!

Ikea Should Have Frequent Flyer Miles….(And Ikea Kitchen Guide)

 Orlando Ikea

(The Mothership)

 You know how airlines have frequent flyer miles based on how often you travel with them? Well, I think Ikea should have “frequent flyer miles” just based on how many trips we have made to “The Mothership” within the past two months. We have been so often that we have navigated the way to get to the kitchen section backwards in order to get there faster. This is no easy feat, but when you have spent multiple trips winding through couches and desks in order to get to your destination in the middle, desperation will grip your soul and you’ll do kooky things in order to maximize your time in the Mecca of home décor.

Nevertheless, the many MANY trip to Ikea and the hours spent moving tiny digital cabinets on the website are quickly coming to the end goal of being placed into our kitchen (huzzah!)   We are planning to build and install the cabinets ourselves in order to save upward of $2,000. So I will certainly be sharing the things we learn as we install our Ikea kitchen. But for now, I thought I would share some of the reasons we decided to go with Ikea over other cabinets.


  1. Cost.

Obviously, a new kitchen can be done in anything from less that $10,000 to “I’m-pulling-out-a-second-mortgage-just-to-redo-my-kitchen.” Being the economical people that we are, we went closer to the first option. Not only is Ikea more affordable in general, they are also holding a 20% 4,500 sale. So for us, getting all our cabinets as well as a couple of appliances for 20% made Ikea extremely cost effective.


  1. The Reviews for the Cabinets are STELLAR!

As I have mentioned before, both my husband and I are very frugal and we enjoy finding a good deal. Ikea is the most cost effective cabinets that we found, but really that is not what caused us to choose them. We are all about the good deal, but only if the quality is still high. So when we started researching Ikea cabinets, we were pleasantly surprised by how highly they were rated by others. Of course, my research looks more like “how do other bloggers like their cabinets” (like Involving Home and Little House blog). These blogs have super helpful tips about Ikea kitchens and cabinets. My Husband, however, went more of the J.D. Power cabinet study route. Basically, both of us found that Ikea had a great product and we should jump on the deal!


  1. Look and Functionality

There are a lot of what I consider upgrades in the Ikea cabinets that would typically cost extra in other cabinets places. Things such as soft close drawers (oh how I LUH-UH-UHVE soft close drawers!) We also customized a lot of the kitchen to fit our preferences without busting our budget.


Once we have officially begun our kitchen process I will let you know about ALL our selections (countertops, sink, faucet, appliances) and why we decided to go with those things. But I thought that I would leave you with the reasons we chose to go with Ikea over other options (Lowes, Home Depot, Local Cabinet builders, etc.)

How to Kill Time When You’re Waiting To Renovate.

There are so many things I could have called this post.  Some that came to mind were

“A Perfectionists Guide to Lists and Planning” or “How to Drive Your Husband Insane with Details”

But I felt that “How to Kill Time” left me with some of my dignity when in all actuality I am a raving reno mess and we haven’t even gotten into the house yet!

So, you may ask, how have I been filling my days when I don’t have the keys to begin?  Research, Watson.  With lots and lots of research.

Since I have decided to share all my compounding yet minimal knowledge on this, my tiny corner of the internet, I figured a “How To Kill Time” post would be helpful.



Accurate depiction of how to plan out a house

(A completely accurate depiction of how my reno time is spent, complete with Starbucks toffee nut iced coffee)

Step 1:  Pin ALL THE PINS onto a board called “For a Renovation”

This step is very important.  It will give you a false sense of control over all the things you will need to do once you actually get the keys.  Take a gander at my super awesome pin board here.

Step 2:  Make a very detailed day-by-day schedule of what needs to be done each day before you actually have to move in.

This step also gives me a false sense of readiness.  But I don’t want to get into the house and start paint the living room when really we need to paint the master because the carpet is coming on day 3.  Ya know?  I’m all about saving time and being a complete delight in implementing my plans.  I will totally do a post on this process if it goes as I want it to.

Step 3:  Freak out about possibly not having a fully functioning kitchen when you move in. *ahem* Just kidding, moving on…

Step 3:  Make a list of all the things that you need to purchase before getting into the house so that you can be totally ready to tackle everything.

Here is the list of what I know we will need and that we have either begun purchasing or will purchase in the next two weeks…

1.  An Electric Paint Roller (this is the one we will be getting)

Since every square inch of the entire house has to be painted, my wonderfully wise mother suggested that we invest in getting one of these suckers.  I will definitely keep you updated on how this works.  But right now, we are super excited about it.

2.  A Nail Gun (this one)

We have decided to build all our kitchen cabinets ourselves in order to save a couple grand.  All the research I did recommended getting an electric nail gun in order to make the process go quicker.  So alas, we did.  It’s a good investment since we also want to try our hand at building some furniture for the new place too.

3.  A good, 2 battery Electric Drill (like this baby right here)

The drill we currently have died after each screw when trying to hang blinds.  BLINDS!  To save ourselves the headache of having to stop every 10 minutes to charge the drill, we are investing in a new one and I am CERTAIN we will not regret this decision.

(all the links are affiliate links)

Step 4:  Go to Ikea approximately 1,000 times and look at cabinets, countertops, hardware, as well as all the pretty house-ware things that your husband rolls his eyes at.

I am sure I will do a series of posts about our Ikea kitchen experiences and why we decided to go with Ikea for cabinets.  I will also do a huge “Ta Da!” post when it’s all done.  I’m fairly certain it will reflect tear-stained quartz as I will be so entirely thrilled to have a real, honest-to-goodness, Bekah approved kitchen again.

Step 5:  Decide to stop being a control freak and enjoy your non-reno time while you can.

One of the most important steps is to let go of the plans.  This is hard for me.  I know there are a ton of tiny decisions coming my way.  In two weeks I will be in the middle of the renovation and that is when I can focus time and energy onto what needs to get done and what doesn’t.  But right now, I know one of the best things I can do for myself is step away from the paint swatches, plans, and angie’s list and realize that eventually it will all be done and my house will be liveable and it will all be ok.

And there ya have it, a recovering perfectionists guide to preparing for a renovation.

What about you?  Have you ever found yourself completely tied up in a project to the point where you have to back away slowly?

All the Before Pics (and what we want to fix)

Here we go, we will be grabbing the keys to our Florida home in about a month.  There is a lot to do and a tiny budget to do it.  So, to organize all the thoughts, here is my little “Before” post along with what we want to do/buy/make.

Entry way:

Entry with Door

  • Paint over the pumpkin orange
  • Clean floors
  • Entry rug to cover weird tile rectangle thing
  • New light fixture? (we’ll see how it looks with the new color)


Office 4  Office 2 Office 3

  • Paint over the yellow
  • Add window treatments
  • New Ceiling Fan
  • Find a desk
  • Find a way to hide all of Brandon’s techy junk
  • Area rug (if husband lets me, he’s very anti-rug-in-office)

Dining Room:

Dining 2

  • Paint.
  • Clean tile.
  • Fix cracked grout
  • Build a farmhouse table
  • Artwork
  • Window Treatment
  • New light fixture


Kitchen 4     Kitchen 5

  • Paint
  • New Cabinets (note:  the original plan was to repaint, but the inspector said “rip ’em out! spend all the monies” and now we are)
  • New Countertops
  • New Appliances
  • New Sink/Faucet
  • Help the pantry look less sad
  • Refinish our kitchen table

Living Room:

Living 2 Living 3

(I don’t have a full pic of the living room, but the orange is the left side and the red is the right)

  • Paint, paint it all!
  • Clean ALL the tile
  • Furnish (Sofa, tables, chairs/double sofa?)
  • Area Rug
  • Floating Shelves in Cubby/nook-thing
  • Window treatment for sliding doors (*shudeers at the thought of ugly 80’s shimmery blinds currently in existance*)

Master Bedroom:


(I hereby apologize for the crappy iPhone Pano-pic)

  • Paint over the horrible sherbert orange that I could NOT wake up to happily.
  • Recarpet
  • Window Treatments
  • New Ceiling Fan

Master Bath:

Master Bath 7 Master Bath 8 Master bath 9

  • Paint
  • Change out sink faucets
  • Change out shower head
  • Frame in the massive mirror

Master Closet:

Master Closet Master Closet 2


(Note that I will like, never be able to fully fill this closet with clothes!)

  • Paint
  • Carpet
  • Built in shelving

Guest Room A:

Guest A Guest A 3

  • Paint
  • Figure out something to do with the closet doors
  • Window treatment
  • Furnish (2 twins, mirror, table, etc.)
  • Change the ceiling fan

Guest Room B:

Guest B 2 Guest B 3

  • Paint over princess purple
  • Weird Closet doors again…
  • Window Treatment
  • Furnish (Queen bed, night stands, mirror, etc.)

Guest Bath:

Guest Bath

  • Paint
  • Change faucet
  • change shower head.

Back Patio:

Back Patio 3 Back Patio 4

  • Paint All the black white
  • Furnish (eating area and sitting area)
  • Add a wall A/C unit

Ok.  That’s it!  Any suggestions of what else we could do/plan for would be welcome!!!

That Time We Decided to do a Renovation…

Well, we found a house *applause!* and it’s great.  It has everything we wanted (an office, two guest rooms, split bedroom floor plan, open concept living area, outdoor space, etc.) and it needs QUITE a bit of work.  After going through inspections, we added quite a few things to our already growing list of things that needed to be fixed/done/painted.  Every inch of the house needs paint (baseboards, walls, doors, everything!) and every room is a different color.  That’s right, there are a total of 8 colors in the house.  It’s horrendous!

So, for my own amusement, I have decided that I would blog through the remodel.  It should be amusing because between my avid love of pinterest and my extensive viewings of HGTV, I have an overall false sense of my ability to be crafty.  I know that there are a gazillion DIY/Reno blogs out there that will be far more informative than mine ( see my faves “View Along the Way” and “Live, Love, DIY“) but I am mainly blogging about it to track my own progress.  I am terribly great at seeing how far I have left to go and forgetting how far I have come.  So this little corner of the internet will help me sort through all the things that are happening to me as my husband and I embark on unknown territory.

So… Here’s what you can expect when it comes to the “Rainbow House Reno”:

1.  ALL the mistakes and things not to do.  I definitely expect that we will have lots of bumps along the way simply because we are not professionals, nor are we particularly crafty.  We are just two individuals who love a good deal, despise spending money on something we could do ourselves, and who know how to use Google.

2.  ALL the things we were able to save money on.  Like I said, we are bargain hunters.  We have a lot to do and want to spend as little as possible.

3. Furniture Finds.  When we left Tulsa, we sold quite a few things and didn’t have a lot to begin with.  Basically other than our Master Bedroom, every room needs to be furnished!

4. Tips of things that have worked for us.  Like I have said, we are NOT professionals.  We don’t really know what we are doing.  So every time I find something that went really well or looks really good, I will share.

Ok, so… this should be fun right? *Insert nervous laughter here*