Flooring, Trim, and Furniture: One Room Challenge Week Five

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

Catch-up and Ketchup: One Room Challenge Week Three

The Power of Paint: One Room Challenge Week Four

Week Five: You are here!

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We are almost finished. I can’t believe I’m able to say that, but in just one short week I will be sharing the final reveal of our finished basement! This week, we finished painting, installed flooring, trim, the minibar, and built almost all of the furniture. I will give you a few photos of the finished, empty room, but I’m saving all of the furniture reveals for next week!

I hadn’t finished the paint touchups when I took these photos, but the trim looks even BETTER now that I’ve touched up the wall and trim paint. Ben’s brother-in-law, Kirk, is a trim wizard. He came to stay with us on Friday and Saturday to do the trim. I intended to help and learn how to install it, but we ended up needing more trim than I initially estimated so I spent most of the day sanding and painting trim. Kirk did an impeccable job installing all of the trim, which we created from dimensional pine lumber (more on that later).

Here’s a reminder of where we started only four weeks ago, and a glimpse of the completely finished space!

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Like I said before, the edges look a little messy here because I hadn’t painted over the caulk yet. But can you believe the difference between these photos? I am completely overwhelmed by the finished result, and feel so undeserving of this space. We wanted to finish the basement so that we could have a large hosting space, and we aren’t wasting any time putting it to use. Ben is currently hosting a friend for games as I write this post! We will have an open house for our church members to come and hang out next weekend. (We live in a parsonage, which is a home that our church owns and maintains for the pastor and his family.)

Flooring

The flooring adds so much warmth to the room, and was incredibly easy to install. It is a loose-lay vinyl flooring that was generously sponsored by Iowa Floor Covering in Bondurant, Iowa.

Our exact flooring was recently discontinued, but there are many other options available from the manufacturer, Engineered Floors.

Why Loose-Lay Vinyl flooring?

Loose-lay vinyl is a floating floor that can be installed directly over concrete floors. Unlike vinyl plank flooring, loose-lay does not lock together. This allows for the product to adapt to a base floor that is not perfectly level. Our basement floors are not perfectly level, but the loose-lay is bendy and can compensate for this imperfection. The flooring does not need to be glued down, and can be removed if there were ever serious moisture issues in the basement.

How do you install loose-lay vinyl?

While it is not 100% necessary, you can secure the perimeter of the flooring with a pressure-sensitive vinyl flooring adhesive. This is a semi-permanent glue that holds the flooring in place, but could be removed later if you needed to. We used a small plastic trowel to apply a border of the adhesive around the perimeter of the room. The adhesive is fairly runny, and will be wet when you apply it. Wait until the glue is tacky and has changed color. When it is tacky, you can lay down your first strip of flooring. Some people recommend starting in the very center of the room with a pre-drawn straight line to ensure that your flooring is level. We were confident in the level-ness of our walls, so we used a chalk line to snap a guide onto the floor for our first row. Lay the planks snug against your guideline, and continue laying planks until you reach the wall. Measure the length you will need to fill the space.

Make sure to pull your planks from three different boxes while installing so that there is more variation in the woodgrain pattern on the planks.

We were able to cut the planks by scoring with a knife. Use a level and square to mark your line, and then score the plank with the knife. Once you’ve cut your end piece, you can lay it down with the factory edge against your previous plank (placing the scored edge against the wall where it will be covered by trim). You can use the remainder of your cut piece to start your next row.

It won’t hurt to use adhesive throughout your whole room, but it isn’t necessary. Loose-lay vinyl is designed to fit and lay snug without any adhesive. We were skeptical about this, but ended up being very surprised and pleased with the result! You just lay one plank next to the previous plank, and give it a little push to make sure it is as snug as possible. If your first row is level, you shouldn’t have any problem keeping the rows nice and snug.

If you come across an area that is not level enough for the plank to lay flat, you can use more adhesive to secure the ends of the plank. We had to do this over an old drain that is not necessary for the space. The floor just barely angles down toward the drain. We applied adhesive around the drain, and floored directly over it. We held these planks down with heavy objects until the adhesive cured completely.

The flooring we used is bendy, but very sturdy. It is a commercial loose-lay vinyl that is used in highly trafficked areas. We have no doubts about the longevity and durability of this product.

Ben and I had two friends helping us with the installation, but we could’ve handled it by ourselves if we had to. It took about four hours from start to finish to install the 400 square foot room, and a lot of that time was just sitting around waiting for the adhesive to become tacky. We had a cocktail break in the middle of this time lapse video while waiting for adhesive to dry around the drain. 🙂

How much does the flooring cost?

The retail price of this specific product is around $3 a square foot. It is a commercial grade product (nicer than residential grade), and does not require any underlayment to install. The flooring adhesive was around $20, and we did not use the whole container.

Trim

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To save money in the budget, we decided to use precut pine lumber for our trim. We sourced all of our drywall and trim from a local lumberyard. They offered free delivery, which was excellent! Kirk wanted to have some extra lumber on hand so we didn’t run out, so we decided to take a quick trip to the lumberyard before they closed on Saturday morning. When we pulled up to get the 16ft boards, the employee said, “You’re gonna put it in that thing?” We said, “No! We’re gonna put it on top!” (People hire Kirk to do trim work in their homes, and he has done this many times with his CRV! It was strapped down very securely and we only had a very short, rural drive home.)

How did you prepare the lumber?

Before installing the trim, I sanded and painted every piece in my driveway. I first sanded with 80 grit sandpaper using an electric sander. Then, I painted one coat of Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Latex in Alabaster with a satin finish. After the first coat dried, I sanded with a fine sanding block. This step was sooo worth it, and helped me achieve a really smooth paint job. I gave each piece a second coat, and then they were ready to be installed!

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What size boards did you use?

Baseboards: 1×6

Doors: 1×4

Windows: 1×3

I ordered the largest lengths for each of my walls so that there would be minimal splicing of multiple boards. For example, I ordered two, 16 ft baseboards for our 28 ft wall. I ordered one 14 ft baseboard for each of our 13 ft walls.

The Minibar

Kirk and I also built a countertop surround for the DIY minibar. I found a cabinet at our thrift store for $5, and got lucky enough to find a mini fridge on Facebook Marketplace for $30 that is exactly the same height! We built this counter surround out of one 4×8 sheet of 3/4″ thick MDF.

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Here are the cabinet and mini fridge, painted with Sherwin Williams Waterloo. I will paint the counter surround the same color, and will cover the counter with marble contact paper. Kirk built the floating shelves out of plywood, and I will finish them with a light stain and clear coat.

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I prepped the mini fridge for paint by cleaning with mineral spirits to remove any grease and oil, then primed with Rustoleum Self-Etching primer. This was very easy to apply, and had a great coverage. You apply 2-3 thin coats, allowing 2 minutes in between coats for dry time. I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of paint to the cabinet and fridge.

Here is one sneak peek of furniture in the space! This is the sitting area in the game room, next to the mini bar.

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Before the big reveal next week, I still have quite a few projects to complete. However, I am completely confident that we will finish with plenty of time for me to style, shoot, and edit my photos!

Week Six To-Do’s:

  • Paint stairs
  • Paint door leading to storage room
  • Touch up paint on minibar backsplash
  • Install marble contact paper on minibar
  • Finish floating shelves with stain and clear coat
  • Paint game table
  • Hang artwork
  • Sew pillow covers
  • Stock minibar
  • Style, shoot, and edit photos

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog next Wednesday. Head to the One Room Challenge blog to check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Five!

Don’t forget to check back next week for the big reveal!

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The Power of Paint: One Room Challenge Week Four

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

Catch-up and Ketchup: One Room Challenge Week Three

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Week four is finished and we almost have a finished basement as well! Since last week’s post, we’ve been working hard to finish the drywall and get everything painted.

I chose our main paint color, Sherwin Williams Pewter Green, after seeing and loving it in Emily Henderson’s Portland House Kitchen. This kitchen is full of natural light (unlike my basement), but even after sampling the color in our low-light space, I knew it was the one.

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(image credit: Emily Henderson)

After choosing Pewter Green as our main color, I decided to pull other colors from the Sherwin Williams Colorsnap Color ID Naturalist palette.

Colorsnap Color ID consists of eight exclusive palettes that have been thoughtfully curated to reflect your personality. The colors are perfectly coordinated, allowing you to mix and match with confidence. Simply choose the colors that move you and watch any room come together effortlessly.Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 8.32.20 PMScreen Shot 2019-10-23 at 8.32.30 PMIf you’re not sure which palette fits your personality, you can take the Colorsnap Color ID quiz to find your perfect match.

For our basement, I’ll be using three colors from The Naturalist palette.

SW PAINT COLORS

We primed everything yesterday, and today we accomplished the step I’ve been looking forward to the most… PAINTING!

I was originally planning to have a dark accent wall (SW Pewter Green) and three lighter greige walls (SW Gossamer Veil) to keep things feeling bright. But when I thought about why I wanted “light and bright”, it was because I didn’t want it to feel like a cave, and I wanted the space to photograph well. Newsflash- those aren’t good enough reasons to choose a paint color. When I filtered the greige paint color through the “Do I Love It?” experiment, the decision became obvious. I did not, in fact, love the greige paint. (Sorry, greige. It’s not you, it’s me. You’re beautiful in other spaces, but you weren’t The One for my basement.)

I thought about how I wanted the space to feel instead of just focusing on how I wanted it to look.

It is a basement that we will use for watching movies and hosting friends and family. I wanted it to feel warm and cozy, like a hug. We live in Northwest Iowa where winter lasts for basically half the year. I know we will be spending a lot of time down here, so I wanted it to feel warm and inviting.

Those factors led to the decision to paint all four walls the same dreamy, dark, moody green. I don’t know what I was thinking before, messing around with the idea of greige. I would’ve had to rename my blog “Greige Avenue Home” and turn in my “Color Lover” card to whoever is in charge of auditing people who claim to love color. Don’t worry, though. I’m still a card carrying Color Lover and I have four green basement walls to prove it. I broke up with greige before placing the paint order, and brought home multiple gallons of Sherwin Williams Pewter Green.

Before I show you the dreamiest of all dreamy paint colors you’ve ever seen, allow me to remind you where we started four weeks ago.

IMG_9507Are you ready to see it? Behold, the Magical Enchanting Wonderland that is covered in Pewter Green (also known as my almost-finished basement).IMG_9604Want to see another before and after? Ok, I’ll show you another because I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE SAME ROOM. Except I can, because I’ve seen it transform over the last four weeks through one drywall nail, brushstroke, and ice-pack-on-my-neck at a time. IMG_9512

IMG_9598The other side is just as green, and just as good. It is just slightly more “entirely full of tools and stuff”, and other things. 92CE1E61-0931-4FED-A00B-DCAE8B09230FIMG_9603IMG_9551We used an extra door that was being stored in the basement to block off the storage room. I will sand it and paint it with Sherwin Williams Alabaster (the color of the stairway walls, stairway risers, and eventually trim). I have one coat of Alabaster on the risers, but I’m waiting until construction is finished to finish painting the stairs. IMG_9601Alabaster is also the color we used for the ceiling, and it is perfect. It is a warm white that is excellent for low-light spaces. IMG_9611

We’re using Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior Acrylic Latex Paint and it has changed my painting life forever. It goes on like butter, and dries so smooth. I used two coats because the green is so dark, and the coverage is incredible.

Ben is currently painting the exposed pipes to match the Alabaster ceiling. They are the pipes for our radiators. We possibly could’ve framed them in and covered with drywall, but it was less work to leave them exposed, and would make for easier repair if they ever needed to be accessed. I went back and forth on whether to paint them the ceiling or the wall color, but we decided the ceiling color would be best.

We have two weeks left to finish the rest of this space, and we are on schedule to meet that deadline! We decided to Drylok the floors since we have so much of it left over from the walls. It is an extra step, but it will seal the concrete floors to prevent any moisture or concrete dust from coming through onto the new flooring.

Here’s our schedule for Week Five:

  • Day One (Thursday): Drylok concrete floors and begin installing flooring
  • Day Two (Friday): Finish installing flooring and paint trim
  • Day Three (Saturday): Install trim and paneling/shelves for minibar with Kirk (my brother-in-law)
  • Day Four (Sunday): Rest
  • Day Five (Monday): Paint minibar cabinet and mini fridge. Begin building furniture
  • Day Six (Tuesday): Build furniture
  • Day Seven (Wednesday): Build more furniture

Next week, I will probably be sneaky and only share a few close-up shots as I prepare for the final reveal. We have a lot of furniture building ahead of us, and I am counting down the days until I can lay down on our new sofa and take it all in. Until then, you can find me lovingly admiring our green basement and considering which room I want to makeover with our leftover paint. No room is safe from Pewter Green.


Thank you to my partner, Sherwin Williams, for sponsoring this project!

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog next Wednesday.

Head to the One Room Challenge blog to check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Four!

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Thanks for reading!

avery- signature


Catch-up and Ketchup: One Room Challenge Week Three

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

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Week Three is finished and we are still making great progress! This week involved a whole lot of catch-up and a little bit of ketchup (keep reading to see both). My progress photos from this week may not look like much happened, but we are light years ahead of where we were at the end of week two. I’ll give you an update on what we did this week, and then a share a bunch of photos I took throughout the week.

Here’s a list of all of the things that happened (with the help of Denny and Don, two members of our church who each worked multiple afternoons or all day):

  • Finished hanging drywall on all four walls
  • Finished mudding on all four walls
  • Don finished wiring the sconces, all of the outlets, and even installed outlets in our sunroom living room (which previously only had one). This had to be done before we drywall the ceiling, because he had to wire through the basement ceiling up to the living room on the main floor. Having a second outlet in the living room is a game changer! #oldhouse
  • I scraped all of the old carpet gunk off of the stairs, removed all carpet nails, filled nail holes with wood filler, sanded stairs, and got the first coat of paint on the risers. This took an entire day’s worth of work!
  • I painted the stairway walls and trim with two coats of Sherwin Williams Alabaster
  • Denny and I hung the new glass paneled door at the top of the stairs. It needed to be trimmed, chiseled, and have the hinges moved in order to fit in the door opening
  • I polished antique brass hardware by using ketchup and a brush. It worked great!
  • Denny and I stripped the glass paneled door of its old stain and varnish (this took hours of gross, goopy work to scrape multiple coats of paint stripper to remove every last bit of finish on the door)
  • I sanded the glass paneled door, and got the first coat of paint (Sherwin Williams Waterloo) on the side that will face the basement. I will stain the side that is in the mudroom to match the other oak doors and trim
  • Don finished wiring and installing all of the recessed lighting boxes
  • Denny, Dan (another church member who is also our neighbor), and Ben hung three sheets of drywall on the ceiling!
  • I swept the floors like ten times and you wouldn’t even know but I KNOW

We are so much closer to being finished with the drywall even though we still only have three sheets on the ceiling. We’ve been waiting on the wiring to be finished on the ceiling, which we have not wanted to rush. Don, the church member who is doing all of the wiring, is a retired electrician. He has had TWO knee replacement surgeries this year, and the most recent one was only about two months ago! He is a machine! He’s had physical therapy most mornings and comes to work on the wiring after therapy. We are so grateful for him and his expertise. Wiring is no joke, and it takes specialized knowledge to do it right. He has gotten so much accomplished in such a short amount of time! Now that he’s only one step away from being totally finished, we can fly with the ceiling drywall! After the ceiling is installed and mudded, we will sand all of the drywall. After that, we just need to prime, paint, and install flooring and trim. I say “just” as if those are small and easy tasks, but they will take a few days minimum to complete. Next week, I hope to be able to show you painted drywall (if not the start of flooring!)

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Here’s a “before” of the stairs to refresh your memory.

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And here they are today, with a fresh coat of Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the walls. I scraped off all of that gunk and removed one million carpet nails. That meant there were one million holes to fill and sand. Then the risers got one coat of Alabaster. I’ll wait to do the second coat until we’re closer to being finished with construction. The treads will be painted with Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel in Rock Bottom.

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This $30 Facebook Marketplace door needed to be trimmed a few inches and chiseled in a few spots in order to fit perfectly. The door frame isn’t perfectly square, and the floors aren’t perfectly level. Denny was able to make the door fit perfectly in the frame by trimming the top and bottom on a slight angle.

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We took this brass hardware off of an extra door in the basement. It had seen better days.

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You can obviously use brass polish, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used ketchup instead! The vinegar and acidity of ketchup are effective brass polishers. I covered the plates in a coat of ketchup and let them sit for about 15 minutes.

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This is the result after rinsing off the ketchup and scrubbing the grime off with a bristle brush.

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Ta-dah! In the words of an Instagram follower, “I am shooketh”. This is the beauty of antique materials like brass and real wood. They can be restored!

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I didn’t take any photos of the door stripping process because it was very messy. We used Citrustrip to strip all of the previous varnish and stain off of one side of the door so that I can restain it to match the other doors in the mudroom. The other side, which I’m painting, just needed to be sanded in order to get rid of the “shine” of the varnish.

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After one coat of Sherwin Williams Waterloo.

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At the very end of the day (Day 7 of Week two), these guys were able to put up three sheets of drywall on the ceiling! They were the most difficult ceiling sheets to install because they had to cut around the radiator pipes, which go up in the ceiling to the dining room radiator. The rest of the ceiling should go much more quickly this week once Don finishes the wiring tomorrow morning.

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I’ve never been so excited about a piece of drywall!!! It’s happening!!!

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I’ll leave you with this incredibly hopeful photo of a drywalled corner and ceiling. Hopefully next week, this same view will have beautiful green paint and maybe even the start of flooring!

While it may not look like a ton of progress, it’s important for me to remember where we started only three weeks ago. This is that same corner pictured above. We now have one less wall than when we started, clean and mold free cinderblock that has been waterproofed with Drylok, drywall on the walls, new wired outlets, almost wired ceiling lighting, a painted stairway, a mostly refinished glass paneled door, and a good start to drywall on the ceiling. We are flying! It feels crazy to think that we only have three weeks left, but when I think about the progress we’ve made in the last three weeks I am confident that we are close to a beautiful finished basement!

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Thank you so much for your excitement and support of this project. I am very thankful for all of the encouragement and cheerleading you have offered to me during this project that has the potential to be stressful and overwhelming! We are having fun and learning a ton of new things every day, and I’m happy that I get to share the process with you.

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Wednesday.

You can head to the One Room Challenge blog to check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Three!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 


Basement Demo and Waterproofing with Drylok: One Room Challenge Week 2

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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For this round of the One Room Challenge, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a cozy family game room. You can catch up on my design plan through the link below!

Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One


Week two is finished and I am so proud of the progress we have made so far. It never felt like we were making much progress this week because we didn’t start drywall until today. But when I look at the progress photos and think about how much we’ve already done, it makes sense that I am so, so tired. Finishing a basement is no joke, and it takes an incredible amount of preparation to ensure that your work will stand the test of time.

Before I walk you through the progress we made this week, here is a reminder of where we started.

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And here is that same view today!

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Here is the “before” of the other direction.

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And a view of that same corner from today!

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The pictures tell the truth: we accomplished a lot this week. We started by tearing down the wall that separated the two rooms, and removed the drop ceiling that was in half of the space. All of my HGTV-Chip-Gaines-Demo-Day dreams came true.

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Here is a time lapse for part of the wall removal! Hauling the debris to the dump trailer took longer than actually ripping it all out. We started by whacking it with a sledgehammer, then ripped out all of the drywall and insulation. The insulation is itchy, so make sure to wear long sleeves. To remove the framing, we used a Sawsall to cut the lumber in half. After it was cut down the middle, we had leverage to pull out the frame.

Because I know you’ll probably ask, this was not a load bearing wall. Our church bought this house in 1990, and the wall was installed sometime since then. I don’t know how to find out if a wall in your home is load bearing, but do some investigating before destroying it with a sledgehammer!

Knocking out the wall was way more fun, way more messy, and way more impactful than I expected.

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After we cleaned up the mess from demo, we were ready to make a different mess. (I’m convinced that renovating is just cleaning up one mess so that you can make a different one.)

The next step was to prepare our cinderblock walls for drywall by waterproofing with Drylok Extreme Latex Masonry Waterproofer. This product is created by United Gilsonite Laboratories, and is GUARANTEED to stop water. According to the product description, “Unlike ordinary paint that simply adheres to a surface and can be forced off by incoming water pressure, DRYLOK Extreme Masonry Waterproofer actually penetrates the pores in that surface, bonding to the masonry and creating an impenetrable barrier.”

In all of the research I did before starting this project, this is the product that people recommend over and over to waterproof cinderblock walls. While we’ve never had standing water in the basement, there was clearly a moisture problem due to the condition of the cinderblock.

Before using Drylok, it is vitally important that you prep your walls by removing any failing paint. If you have unpainted cinderblock, you should be good to go. Our walls were covered in multiple layers of old paint, which was chipping and peeling off in most places. We tediously scraped off all of the peeling paint, which took a long time but was absolutely necessary to ensure the quality of the application.

Before scraping, Ben cleaned off all of the spots that appeared to be covered in mold and mildew. If you need to clean mold off of your basement walls, be sure to have the proper safety equipment consisting of a respirator mask, eye glasses, and rubber gloves. People disagree on whether or not to use bleach to kill mold. After doing our own research, we used both diluted bleach in a spray bottle and a special mold cleaner that I found at Ace Hardware. Do your own research and choose the products that you feel the most comfortable using.

After cleaning the mold, we scrubbed all of the walls with a rigid bristle brush and a spray bottle of water to remove the chalky layer of dust. Then we were ready to scrape the failing paint.

Here is where we started before prepping the cinderblock. See the multiple layers of paint and grime?

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It looks worse in a way, but this is what our walls looked like after we thoroughly prepped them. After scrubbing the walls with water and scraping the paint, we allowed them to dry overnight.

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It is recommended that you apply Drylok with a 3/4″ nap roller. I found that this worked great on the flat parts of the cinderblock, but the cracks required application with a brush. Drylok makes their own brush that is available for $11 on Amazon, and it will make your application a lot more thorough than just using a roller. This is not a detailed job, so using their giant brush will make the process a lot faster.

For the first wall, I ended up using the brush by itself. This short time lapse video represents an hour and a half of work! This was not the best way to do this job.

After trying out a few techniques, I finally found one that allowed me to work quickly yet thoroughly. I found that it was easiest to brush all of the vertical seams, then all of the horizontal seams so that I worked in an even pattern. After that, I used the 3/4″ nap roller to cover the flat cinderblocks.

Drylok recommends applying two coats to cinderblock, and the time in between coats is three hours minimum. Here is what our space looked like after two coats!

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Can you believe that this is the same corner?!?! Drylok comes in bright white, but it is also tintable. If you don’t want to completely finish your basement, but want to protect it from moisture and make it look less like a crime scene and more like a clean part of your home, then Drylok-ing the walls is an easy way to do both!

Application is straightforward, but I wouldn’t call it easy. While it only requires the basic skills of brushing and rolling, it took a lot longer to apply than we expected. Overall, I spent almost two full days working on our three walls. Expect to get elbow cramps from pushing the brush and roller into the cinderblock for hours at a time! (And then apply ice and elevate your arm! #iwouldknow)

Overall, I am super happy with the Drylok and I trust that it will do the job of keeping our basement dry and protected.

After we finished the Drylok (around 11pm last night), we woke up today with a blank slate! We decided to install drywall over the walls and ceiling. I won’t go into a thorough explanation of how to install drywall, but I’ll share a brain dump of some basic tips from a beginner’s perspective.

Before I share everything I currently know about drywall, I have a disclaimer. To prepare for this project, I’ve had three different knowledgeable people that I’ve consulted. Sometimes, I’ve gotten three different answers to the same question. Home improvement and construction have some rules that are universal, but a lot of it is based on personal opinion and preference. Do your own research, consult multiple sources, and make the decisions that work for you. (Within reason, obviously.) Don’t ignore what someone says because it may be harder. Get opinions and advice from people you trust to do a good job, and then make the decisions that work for your space.

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Drywall typically comes in 4×8 sheets. They are heavy. You typically use 1/2″ thick sheets for walls, and 5/8″ thick sheets for the ceiling. We decided to use 1/2″ sheets for both. In order to install the drywall to the cinderblock, we first had to install furring strips. We used 1×3 lumber for our strips. These strips must be 16″ apart (measuring from the center of the strips) so that four strips can be covered by one sheet of drywall. To attach the strips to the cinderblock, we used a hammer drill with 1 1/4″ Tapcon masonry screws. They are blue, and they are expensive. Each furring strip needs about four screws throughout the length of the strip. Drywall and framing should not sit directly on basement floors, so we used half inch wood spacers during installation to create a gap between the strips and the floor.

It takes two people to install the strips. One person holds the strip in place while the other person drills a hole. After you drill your hole with the hammer drill, you can insert your screw using a normal drill. Here is a time lapse video of Ben and our friend Jimmy installing some strips. (P.S. Thanks for your help, Jimmy! Jimmy is one of our college friends who grew up in this area. He just moved back with his wife, Sara, who is one of my best friends from college! He has construction experience, and taught us all of this stuff today about installing drywall.)

After your furring strips are installed, you can start to hang your sheets of drywall. For this part, you need drywall screws. If you’re using 1x3s and 1/2″ drywall, you’ll want 1 1/4″ drywall screws. Before you begin to hang the drywall, make marks on the floor with a sharpie to remind you where the strips are so that you don’t have to guess (incorrectly) with your drill (Ask me how I know that).

When you screw the drywall into the furring strips, go slowly. You want the screw to JUST BARELY indent into the paper of the drywall. Keyword here is JUST BARELY. I definitely sank more than one screw by going too quickly. “Code” is to attach the drywall in six places on each strip. After you’ve done that, pat yourself on the back because you just hung a sheet of drywall! Now you’ve got the “hang” of it! 😉

If you are installing outlets, you’ll need to attach your outlet boxes and wire to the furring strips before hanging the drywall.

I think that’s everything I know about drywall so far. We finished about half of the installation today, and will finish the rest tomorrow. After that, we will figure out how to put it on the ceiling. And after that, I have to learn all about this mud/tape/sand business. I am the definition of a beginner, and am learning all of these skills as I go.

Readers have asked how I’m learning to do all of these things, and the number one answer is, “Annoying my friends”. Seriously. The internet is great, but if you can get an experienced friend in your basement to show you how to do it, you’ll be in much better shape. No matter what home improvement skill you’re trying to learn, you probably have an acquaintance or friend who knows how to do it. Ask them one million questions, and reward their patience with treats and coffee. If they are willing to help you, feed them and give them coffee. When the job is finished, feed them and give them more coffee. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)

I currently have one day of drywalling experience, but that is 100% more than I had yesterday. If there is a project that you want to tackle in your home but you don’t know how, you can probably learn how to do it. But you won’t learn if you’re too scared to start. Ask around, recruit some help, and just try it.

I don’t know how to do all of the projects that will be necessary to finish our basement, but day by day I intend to learn and grow. Five weeks from now, I WILL know how to drywall and install new flooring and trim. When planning future projects, “I don’t know how” is not a limitation for me. If I don’t know how to do something, I have the internet, books, and talented friends who do. That excuse isn’t good enough anymore! I think it is totally okay to be afraid of learning and trying new things, but don’t allow your fear to keep you from growing.

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That’s all of the progress we have for this week, and I feel like we’re in good shape to keep moving. After we finish hanging the drywall, we will be ready to mud, tape, and sand. I will feel really, really good when that is finished.

Here’s our list of things to accomplish this week:

  • Finish hanging drywall on walls
  • Have electrician install wiring for recessed lights
  • Hang drywall on ceiling
  • Mud, tape, sand x3
  • Pick up paint from Sherwin Williams
  • Prime fresh drywall
  • Paint, paint, paint

I hope to share a freshly painted space with you next Wednesday, but that is dependent on how quickly we can finish up this drywall and lighting installation!

Thank you, United Gilsonite Laboratories, for sponsoring this post!

You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Wednesday.

Check out the other Guest Participants’ and Featured Designers’ posts for Week Two of the One Room Challenge!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 

 


Basement on a Budget: One Room Challenge Week One

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style parsonage in rural Iowa with my husband, Ben. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, my High Style, Low Budget Sunroom from the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge, and my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom from the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge. My design style is warm, whimsical, and collected. I love sharing real-life home inspiration for people like me who want big style with a tiny budget. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures and thrifting trips & tips on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

 

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Now that we’ve been introduced, let’s get on with the One Room Challenge!

For this round, I will be finishing our unfinished basement to create a warm and inviting family room and game room. My husband is a pastor, and we live in the church’s parsonage, which is a home that the church owns and maintains. It is a two story Craftsman home built in 1910 (with as much charm as there is woodwork). Though the house is quite large, the rooms themselves are not. The current living room is small and has challenging layout obstacles, and is separated from the dining room by large oak built-ins.

The unfinished basement presents an opportunity to create 420 square feet of livable hosting space (compared to our current 100 square foot living room). The only problem? It looks like a crime scene. We’re talking “opening scene of CSI” material. I’m not mad about it. It is a basement, and basements are creepy. It’s just a fact.

I bet you might have a creepy basement of your own. During the next five weeks, I hope to give you confidence to transform your creepy basement into a cozy and inviting living space through attainable, low budget DIY projects. I’ve never taken on a “renovation” like this, and I’ll be learning countless new skills along the way. Some of those new skills scare me a bit (like installing drywall and using a hammer drill), but I am determined to do it scared and encourage you to do the same. If I can do this, you can do this. (Now let’s just hope that I can do this 🙂 )

Before I share my design plan, allow me to give you a tour of the aforementioned creepy basement. Would you believe me if I told you that this is better than it used to look? Last year, I painted one cinderblock wall and gave the white wall a fresh coat of white. I began painting the paneling down the stairway, and removed peeling wallpaper that was covered in mold. These photos represent an improvement.

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Here’s an Iphone photo I found from before I painted the charcoal wall and moved all of our junk.

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In the words of an Instagram follower, “This is a really good ‘before’!” (I know it was a compliment but it also felt like an insult to the basement. Don’t worry though, the basement didn’t take it personally. I think if it could express human emotions, it would even laugh… and then cry, because it is really, really ugly.)

Let’s walk through my game plan for the next five weeks.

Step one was to knock out the wall that separates the two large rooms. Ben and I started that process last night (Tuesday of Week One) and will finish that tomorrow. We will also knock out the drop ceiling, leaving the entire ceiling exposed. We will use a sprayer to paint the ceiling white. Then, I will Drylok the cinderblock walls to prevent moisture from coming through before we drywall the entire room. After that, we will install vinyl flooring, new lighting, trim, and paint the entire space.

The 420 square foot space will consist of a living room setup, a dining table and chairs for playing board games, board game storage, and my desk. Here’s a look at my digital moodboard, and a photo of some decorative elements I plan on using to style the space.

Final Basement Moodboard

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I am going for a warm, masculine, kind of moody vibe with this space.

Stay tuned over the next five weeks to see my design vision come to life! You can follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for plenty of behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog each Thursday.

Check out the other Guest Participants’ posts for Week One of the One Room Challenge!

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Thanks for reading!

-Avery

 


Before & After High Style, Low Budget Sunroom: One Room Challenge Week 6

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style home in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, and my Fall 2018 One Room Challenge: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Reveal. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

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Need a quick recap of my One Room Challenge progress so far?

Catch up on all six weeks of my Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

Week 5: Finishing Touches


Friends, we made it to the finish line. Six weeks of painting, building, creating, sewing, cleaning, styling, shooting, writing, editing, posting, and cheerleading have come to an end. I would like to thank Linda and the whole One Room Challenge team for hosting this inspiring event, and for creating a community of encouraging designers and refreshing designs.

This round of the One Room Challenge has given me incredible confidence not only in my design vision, but in my ability to execute that vision through a fiery ambition to “do it myself”. I have grown so much as a designer, blogger, photographer, creator, and nailgun-wielder in the last six weeks, and am very proud of the work I’ve done. I can’t wait to share my transformation with you. Now let’s get on with it!

The “Before”

This is where we started six weeks ago. Our front porch sunroom looked like a crime scene. The crime? Sadness, darkness, neglect, and all-around grossness. I see people complain about “before & after” type posts by saying that, “The before photos are edited to make it look worse. The biggest ‘transformation’ is the photography improvement.” When you look at these “before” photos, keep in mind that I used the exact same camera and the exact same editing tools to make this “before” look as good as it could in a photo. It really was that sad.

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The walls are partially painted white because I spent hours out here with a paint brush (due to the siding and wall texture) and never finished. Which left us with a partially painted, freckled concrete floor, yellow-ceiling room.

The Process

Over the last six weeks, I have painted every square inch of this space.

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We started by spraying the walls and ceiling with Sherwin Williams Extra White. I painted an accent wall with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Aubusson Blue. Then I painted both doors with Early Riser by Magnolia Home Paints. The window trim is pre-tinted semigloss black by Rustoleum.

These photos prove that paint is the easiest and cheapest way to completely transform a space. The wrong paint color costs just as much per ounce as the right paint color, and making smart paint decisions can really create a “wow” factor.

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Painting the epoxy floors was terrifying and amazing. I’d never used paint thinner, epoxy paint, or a respirator before this project. But with determination to “do it scared”, leftover epoxy paint from a friend, and two hours on a Tuesday afternoon, I was able to make this sunroom look brand new. Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 6.25.31 PMScreen Shot 2019-04-24 at 6.26.05 PMIMG_8996

The other big project for this space was building a bed swing. My brother-in-law, Kirk, is incredibly skilled in woodworking, and taught me the basics of building and power tools. We built this DIY $150 Bed Swing on a Saturday afternoon, and it is now the coveted napping location.

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The first project I completed for this challenge was creating DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables from free stumps.

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The project that turned this space from a normal sunroom into a high-style, cozy, textured, dreamy wonderland was dyeing my basic Ikea curtains with Rit Dye, and creating a hand-sewn Euro pleat. I will write a full tutorial for this project soon!

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The After

I bet you’re probably getting antsy to see the “after” photos. I’ve talked for long enough, and now it’s time to let the photos speak for themselves.

Here’s a reminder of what I started with six weeks ago.

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And the “after”—my favorite space I’ve ever created (that I still can’t believe is the same room or in MY HOUSE!).

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(I picked up this 1935 issue of Better Homes & Gardens at the same antique store that gave me the stumps for free!)

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I already had that darling mid-century gingham set. It was $100 on Facebook marketplace last year, and yes, I do feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

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Fun fact: That loveseat is actually a pull-out bed! I couldn’t resist styling this space as a guest room.

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Here’s one more visual for the complete transformation of this room.

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I estimate that we spent about $650 in this space. Here is a rough budget breakdown of the things we purchased specifically for this transformation. We already had some of the furniture, art, and decor, and a few of the elements were sponsored by brands. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means that I will make a small percent commission (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links.

Paint: $130

  • 5 gallons of white paint: $120 from Sherwin Williams, but we only used 3 of the 5 gallons
  • Epoxy floor paint: free from a friend’s project leftovers
  • Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint: Sponsored ($35 to purchase)
  • Magnolia Early Riser paint: Leftover from another project
  • Rustoleum black paint for window trim: $10

Bed Swing: $200ish for swing and bedding

  • Lumber, rope, and hardware from Menards: $150
  • Twin mattress: already owned
  • Sheets: $2 at a local thrift store
  • Striped pillow shams: $40 from Anthropologie
  • Down pillow inserts: $4 for 4 at my local thrift store

Drapes: $125

Stump Tables: $20

Rugs: $115

Other Decor & Accessories: $60

  • Sewing table: $10 thrifted
  • Black metal lamp: $2.50 thrifted
  • Wood bead garland: $0.10 thrifted
  • House numbers: $40 from Hearth and Hand at Target
  • Gold vase: $14 from Target

Labor: $0 (I didn’t hire out anything for this project. I either did it myself, or utilized the generous help of some talented friends!)

Time: Technically, it is a 6 week challenge. I tweaked my design plan many times, and don’t have a good gauge of how long it took me to design the space. I worked on it occasionally for a few weeks leading up to the challenge. It took two afternoons to finish the stump tables (About 6 hours). About 3 hours to prep and paint the white, and a few hours to paint the accent wall, doors, and trim. Kirk and I spent about 8 hours building and installing the bed swing. I spent two hours painting the epoxy floors, and then let them cure for a whole week before placing any furniture or rugs. Dyeing, pleating, and installing the curtains took about 6-8 hours. My sister-in-law, Sarah, spent a few hours hand sewing pillow covers for the bed swing while Kirk and I built the swing (Thanks, Sarah!). I spent an afternoon (about 3-4 hours) placing the furniture, styling the space with artwork and accessories, and installing the house numbers. I spent around 3-4 hours photographing and editing the final images, and about 2 hours writing the final post. Each week, I spent about an hour writing the posts for weeks 1-5. My husband, Ben, helped me with a few of the projects including prepping the room for paint, installing the curtains, and moving furniture. My friend, Tessa, helped me prep the room for paint. My friend, JJ, did the white paint with a sprayer (in just 30 minutes!). My friend, Sara, helped me tie up loose ends on a few projects one afternoon. My brother-in-law, Kirk, led the bed swing construction all day on a Saturday while my sister-in-law, Sarah, sewed pillows and kept us fed!

I estimate that I spent about 45-50 hours total to complete and document this project, and anywhere from 10-15 hours designing and preparing the space (emptying of furniture and cleaning). 

The cost added up to about $650, which is what comparable custom drapes would’ve cost if I purchased them new. Buying a pre-made bed swing runs about $1,000. A similar black metal lamp sells for $200 at Schoolhouse Electric (instead of $2.50 at Goodwill). Half of that $650 budget was just for painting and building a swing, and the rest of the styling was completed for $300 and repurposing things I already had.

That is still a very large amount for us to spend, and we don’t spend that kind of money like it’s nothing. So while the $650 price tag does not feel “low budget” to me, I’ve realized that furniture and projects just cost money. I transformed a neglected, dreary porch into a very high-end space for a percentage of what a similar style would cost if we didn’t have to be resourceful and thoughtful with every purchase. 

(The sponsored rug, chalk paint, and curtain dye would’ve added to the budget, so if you wanted to buy everything you see brand new, it would’ve cost a bit more. Still, $1,000ish for a brand new room is less than what you would spend on a designer sofa alone.

My goal with this challenge was to learn new skills and encourage you to have the confidence to learn something new as well. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I wanted to share as much of my process as possible to show that you don’t have to have a ton of money or expertise to make a vision come to life. This space represents resourcefulness, overcoming DIY fears, and a commitment to doing what I love instead of just following what is trendy. I’m not sure if my final space is trendy or not, but I’ve never seen another look quite like it, and it makes me proud of all of the things I created over the last six weeks.

I don’t have any interior design or photography training, but the last 3 years have been full of self-educating and experimenting in my own home. I learned SO much during this One Room Challenge. I learned how to use an electric sander, circular saw, nail gun, and paint sprayer. How to use epoxy paint and a respirator, and how to mask off a room for spraying. How to dye fabric in my washing machine, do a whip stitch to seamlessly finish pillow covers, to use pleating hooks, and how to stitch euro pleats into basic curtains. I discovered that I need a tripod to shoot interiors, and I learned how to use my camera in a whole new way. I learned how to make sure your interior editing doesn’t over-expose your windows. I’ve been studying editorial styling and photography, so I incorporated those skills in this shoot.

If you don’t know how to do something, put on your learning hat and DO IT SCARED. All of those things were intimidating until I decided to learn and do them myself. Reference the internet, books, and your talented friends to learn a new skill, and then get out there and just try it!

I couldn’t have completed this transformation without the help and support of my family and friends. I’d like to thank my husband, Ben, for listening to my constant ramblings and thinking-out-loud, and for supporting my love for design. Ben’s sister, Sarah, and her husband, Kirk, visited for a weekend to help with this space. Kirk designed the plans and led the bed swing project, and Sarah sewed pillow covers. My friends Kyle and JJ from Rent-All in Storm Lake provided tools, assistance, advice, and the epoxy paint. My friend, Sara, came over one afternoon to help me pleat the curtains. My friends Briee, Stephanie, Sydney, and my Mom offered their design opinions throughout the whole process, and collectively responded to approximately two million “What about this?” texts from me.

This project was sponsored by a few great companies that were generous enough to send me products to make my vision come to life. Loloi Rugs and Rugs Direct provided the beautiful Loren rug. Rit Dye provided the dye for my Ikea curtains. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint provided the paint for my accent wall.

Don’t forget to check out the final reveals of the Featured Designers and other Guest Designers on the One Room Challenge Blog. 

If you enjoyed following this project, I would greatly appreciate if you shared it with a friend! You can follow along on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram and Instagram Stories for interior styling tips, daily encouragement towards thoughtful and resourceful decorating, and future projects!

Join the Holland Avenue Home- Thoughtful Homemakers Community on Facebook for an inspiring and encouraging community where you can share your projects, ask decor questions, and see behind the scenes of Holland Avenue!

Thank you so much for following my transformation. I hope you leave my blog encouraged and empowered to tackle projects in your own home.

Want to see a few more of my favorite DIY projects?

 

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High style low budget cozy and colorful sunroom

 

 

 


Finishing Touches: One Room Challenge Week 5

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style home in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, and my Fall 2018 One Room Challenge: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Reveal. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

Catch up on all of my progress for the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

I wasn’t able to make much progress in the porch, because the epoxy floors needed to cure all week prior to placing the furniture and rugs. I did make progress in other ways, but those projects will have to wait until the reveal next week! I’m pulling together my final styling elements, and plan to style and shoot the space TOMORROW! I will incorporate plenty of vintage accents with soul to add warmth and charm to a space that came together in a quick six weeks.

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The main thing I accomplished this week was dyeing my white Ikea curtains with Rit Dye, and customizing them with pleating hooks. (I’ll share a full post about this DIY after the reveal. It will be a nerdy curtain party!)

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The other progress was finally painting the window trim. The windows are black, and the white trim seemed to accentuate the fact that the windows are not white. The white trim made the windows look out of place, so I decided to make the black windows a statement instead! I’m really happy with the dramatic punch that the black trim delivers. If you have an element in your space that looks like it is out of place, consider turning it into a statement. My Mom taught me the importance of having black accents for contrast in home decor. If you’re choosing paint or furniture colors and usually choose white by default, consider choosing black instead. A tasteful touch of black paint can keep things interesting, and will provide contrast and drama for the same price as white paint.

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You can follow along on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram and Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog. I’ll be sharing weekly updates here on my blog, and you can get reminders every time a post goes live through entering your email into the “brighten my inbox” tab to the right of this post.

Don’t forget to check out the design plans of the Featured Designers and other Guest Designers on the One Room Challenge Blog. 

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned for next week’s BIG REVEAL!

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Catch up on all six weeks of the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

Week 5: Finishing Touches

Week 6: Before & After High Style, Low Budget Sunroom


DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors: One Room Challenge Week 4

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style home in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, and my Fall 2018 One Room Challenge: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Reveal. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

Catch up on all of my progress for the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

This week, I’ll be sharing about my two biggest projects- the DIY bed swing and the painted concrete floors!


$150 DIY Bed Swing

Last weekend, Ben’s sister and her family came to stay with us. Sarah and her husband, Kirk, have two little boys, and live just a few hours away in Des Moines. Kirk is an incredibly talented woodworker, and graciously agreed to help me build a bed swing. By “help me”, I mean that he did all of the difficult stuff like designing the plans, leading the construction, and teaching me how to use tools! I sent him a photo of a bed swing I liked, and gave some general instructions about how I wanted it to look. I wanted simple, clean lines, an “X” detail in the back, and thick rope for hanging from the ceiling.

Kirk designed a plan that uses dimensional lumber (aka 2×4’s and other sizes that you can buy precut, and just need to cut to length). I already had an extra twin mattress, so the plans are designed for the mattress to rest on a sheet of plywood.

The plans for this bed swing will be available to purchase on Etsy for $10.

Plans will include a detailed, measured drawing and a list of materials. Like I mentioned before, I already had the twin mattress, which saved money in my final cost.

I will send out a link (through my newsletter) to the plans on Etsy when they are finished. If you want to purchase the plans, make sure you’re signed up for the Holland Avenue Home newsletter to be notified when they are available! (I only send a few emails a year- nothing spammy!)

It took us one Saturday and about $150 in materials for the swing!

We used 40 feet of 1″ rope from Menards ($40) and spent $110 on the lumber (including a 4’x8’x1/2″ sheet of plywood).

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Here is the swing in our freshly painted porch. Seriously every single square inch of this porch has been painted over the last two weeks! I’ll address the floor painting later.

We set up shop in the front yard, just outside of the front porch.

This blog post won’t be a step-by-step tutorial, because it is realistically a more advanced project. If you have a friend or family member that is at least somewhat familiar with building things, you should be able to combine this rough outline with the detailed plans in order to build your own swing! We used a combination of screws, kreg-jig screws, wood glue, and a nail gun to assemble the frame.

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The first step was to create the base for the outside of the frame and the plywood. After that, Kirk drilled 1″ holes in each of the 4×4″ corner posts, and attached the posts.

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The back is on a 10 degree angle, which is very subtle but makes a big difference in comfort! After the corner posts, we built the back support and X detail. The last step was to attach the armrests, which also had 1″ holes that aligned with the holes in the corner posts.

We waited to attach the plywood until the swing was hung so that we could place the ladder inside of the frame for easier hanging.

To hang the swing, we first threaded the rope through the corner posts and armrests. We used 10 feet of rope on each corner to hang from an 8.5 foot ceiling. The triple knots at the top take up quite a bit of material.

We had 1″ holes for 1″ rope, and threading the rope created a lot of friction. I had the idea to cover the bottom few inches of the rope in painter’s tape to create a smoother surface. It worked great! After the rope was threaded, we tied a single knot on the bottom of each rope.

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Kirk demonstrating his strength before we tackled the actual hanging part! I was nervous for this, but it was a breeze!

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The most important part of hanging your bed swing is to make sure that you screw your eye hooks into ceiling joists.

You can find the joists with a magnetic stud finder. Our ceiling joists run horizontally across the width of the porch. We were pretty limited by the amount of ceiling joists, and chose to hang from the second and third joists so that there would be plenty of room for the swing to move back and forth. (The back of the swing is about 2 feet from the wall. Your ceiling joists may be closer or further away from your wall, but they are typically the same distance apart from one another.) It was about 40″ between holes on the armrests, and about 28″ between joists, meaning that the ropes come in about 6″ on each side to be 28″ apart on the ceiling.

Once we determined where the ceiling joists were, and marked where the hooks needed to be installed, Kirk drilled holes in the joists. He screwed in the lag eye screws by hand. We bought the kind that had attached hoops on the bottom, so that the rope had plenty of space to thread through. Lag eye screws will have a weight limit. Ours are 350lbs.

Once the eye screws were inserted, we propped up the swing on two 5-gallon buckets, and threaded the rope through the eye screws. Kirk tied triple knots on each of the ropes.

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The hanging part was a lot easier than I expected it to be! Here we are, enjoying our work after a long day! I learned how to use a lot of different tools, and really enjoyed seeing a project come together. My first comment after we kicked out the buckets was, “This wasn’t here this morning!” It was very satisfying and rewarding to build something from scratch. It was fun to spend time with Kirk, too! We both have really strange senses of humor, so the construction puns were rolling all day. (Examples: “Don’t screw it up”, “Did you go to the hardware store and get board?”, “You saw it here first”)

While we were building the swing, my sister-in-law, Sarah, sewed pillow covers! I found four down insert pillows at our local thrift store for $1 each, and a set of L.L.Bean flannel sheets for $2. The fitted sheet covers the mattress, and Sarah used the flat sheet on the backs of the four pillows. Two of the fronts are covered in Annie Sloan linen, and two are covered in pillowcases I found on clearance at Target. The fabric was a little too pink, so Sarah tea-dyed the fabric before sewing them to give it a more muted, peachy, vintage feel!

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Like I said, I know that I didn’t give a step-by-step “then you screw this piece to this piece” tutorial. But if you want to build a swing of your own, you’ll need a few different power tools and a knowledge of how to use them, which will probably include either a handy friend or your own understanding of how to work from a detailed plan! If you have any other specific questions about the bed swing that I didn’t answer, please feel free to reach out through my Contact page.

The other big progress I made this week was painting the concrete floors!

Painting the Floors

Here is a reminder of what the concrete floors looked like before. They were a strange, freckled concrete that just looked dirty. I wanted to give them a fresh look, and needed to use heavy-duty epoxy paint since this is our main entrance for guests. We live in Northwest Iowa where it is basically winter for half of the year, so this porch sees a lot of snowy boots. My friend had leftover epoxy floor paint from his business, and gave it to me for this project!

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I used a Sherwin Williams two-part epoxy paint. Epoxy has a part A and part B, and it activates when they are mixed together. It is incredibly toxic, and you absolutely need to wear a respirator and only use it in a well-ventilated space. I had to keep checking our weather forecast to make sure I could paint on a warm day (with no rain for 2 days) so I could keep the windows and door open.

For my 300 square foot porch, I used a 5 gallon bucket to mix half a gallon of A and half a gallon of B, and about a quart of lacquer thinner. (You mix parts A and B on a 1:1 ratio, and will need a quart of lacquer thinner per gallon of epoxy. I started with half a gallon of both A and B, and had some left over.) It is important to mix them really well, and whatever you mix needs to be used within 3ish hours. I opened all of the windows and door, donned my respirator, and finished the painting in about two hours.

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After cutting in the edges with a brush, I used a 3/8 nap roller on a pole to roll the rest of the floors. I did the sections to the right and the left first, then painted myself out the center. I locked the door behind me, and left the floors to dry for at least 24 hours before coming out to close the windows! We put a towel under the front door that opens to our living room to help with the smell, but it is already gone the next day.

I invented some interesting yoga moves in the process. My favorite was the “One-Legged-Painter”, which is what I became when I stood behind the bed swing on one foot, pushing the swing as far away as I could with my other foot so that I could roll the floor underneath. There was also the “Hunchback of Holland Avenue”, which is pictured above as I applied pressure to the just-barely-too-short-for-comfort roller handle.

Here is a before and after of the floors! I knew it would make a huge difference, but WOW!!! It feels so fresh and clean compared to the freckled concrete.

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They need to cure for 7 days before I bring our furniture and rugs back out. They currently look a tiny bit streaky from the roller, and I’m wondering if it is because they are still curing. Even if they do have subtle roller marks, it is still a drastic improvement over the previous floors. Looking back, I maybe could’ve applied the paint a little thicker, but epoxy is pretty thick and I didn’t want to over-apply.

This week was full of the biggest progress yet, and I’m getting pretty close to the finish line! The only things I have left to do are pleat and hang my curtains, create my floral artwork for above the bed swing, and paint the window trim. After that, it will just be final styling and shooting the space! Ben and I are absolutely thrilled with the progress so far, and I am giddy when I think about how much we will love the finished space! We’ve already had a lazy day on the bed swing, which consisted of a Game of Thrones marathon to catch up before the new season’s second episode premiered. Monday was Ben’s day off (and the day before floor painting), so we spent our afternoon curled up on the bed swing with Louie while it rained. I can’t wait to host friends on this porch all summer!

I’ve learned a lot during this round of the One Room Challenge, but the biggest thing I’ve learned is to just “do it scared”. I’ve tackled a lot of new projects and new tools that scare me before I just jump in and decide to learn. It seems like everything I’ve done so far required overcoming fear and intentionally embracing new skills. I learned how to use an electric sander and worked with polycrylic for the first time for my DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables in week 2. In week 3, I learned how to mask off a room for paint spraying, and even learned how to use the sprayer! This week, I learned how to use a saw, a nail gun, a krek-jig, and epoxy floor paint. I won’t be blogging about them until next week, but today I used Rit Dye to dye my Ikea curtains. It scared me, too, but they look great and I have a new skill in my arsenal! Every one of those projects scared me before I started, but so far they have all turned out wonderfully and have given me a sense of accomplishment.

If you have a DIY project that scares you, just do it scared! You may make mistakes, but don’t let that hold you back from learning new things. And who knows- maybe you’ll invent some new yoga poses in the process!


You can follow along on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram and Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog. I’ll be sharing weekly updates here on my blog, and you can get reminders every time a post goes live through entering your email into the “brighten my inbox” tab to the right of this post.

Don’t forget to check out the design plans of the Featured Designers and other Guest Designers on the One Room Challenge Blog. 

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned for next week’s project- making Ikea curtains look high-end with Rit dye and pleating, and the final styling touches!

Catch up on all six weeks of my Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

Week 5: Finishing Touches

Week 6: Before & After High Style, Low Budget Sunroom

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Don’t forget to save this project on Pinterest!

 

BED SWING PINTEREST PROMO


The Power of Paint: One Room Challenge Week 3

If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in a charming 1910 Craftsman style home in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen, and my Fall 2018 One Room Challenge: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Reveal. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram.

Welcome to week three of my One Room Challenge! We are officially halfway!

Catch up on all of my progress for the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

One Room Challenge Final Design Plan

This week, I saw monumental progress in my space through the power of paint.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to completely transform a space. If you make smart and bold paint choices, you can achieve a significant transformation without breaking the bank.

This porch was previously pale yellow with wood trim around the windows. I started painting it white in 2017, and it took me hours because I was doing it all with a brush. One half of the walls are house siding, and the other half are either bumpy concrete, paneling, or window trim. A roller just didn’t work. So I spent hoooours on the porch during the warmer months, and only completed about 60%.

Enter, the paint sprayer.

Why, oh why, didn’t I just pursue this in the first place? Probably because I didn’t have any experience with a paint sprayer, and moving all of the furniture out seemed like a pain. (Spoiler: it was. But it wasn’t as painful as spending more hours of my life out here with a paintbrush.) My friend, JJ, is a painter, and said he could have the entire porch (including the ceiling) sprayed in under an hour if I already had everything prepped. SIGN ME UP.

The thought of me (a 5’2″ woman) painting a 300 square foot ceiling with a ladder and a roller just didn’t sound like my idea of a good time. (Shocking, I know.)

On Tuesday, Ben and I moved all of the porch furniture out. I filled the MANY nail holes, and cleaned the cobwebs and dust bunnies. My friend, Tessa, came over to show me how to use a masker. It is a neat tool that lets you load a roll of tape and a roll of paper, and puts them together for you as you roll the paper out and tape it to the windows. It is easiest to do with two people. We had the whole porch masked off in about an hour. When you are spraying, be sure to mask off EVERY SINGLE THING you do not want painted. We needed to cover the oak front door, which was difficult to do with the masker, so we left it cracked just a tiny bit, covered it with a tarp, and taped the tarp to the door frame so that overspray wouldn’t get into our house. That left about a three inch opening towards the bottom of the door where the tape wouldn’t hold it together, and our entire main floor was covered in a thin layer of white dust.

JJ was right- the painting took less than an hour. He showed up, set up his sprayer, showed me how it worked, and had the entire room finished in 45 minutes total. He let me do one wall, and I enjoyed using the sprayer!

Enough talk. Here are some incredible before & after photos of the white paint. I used three gallons of Sherwin Williams Extra White in a satin finish.

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This one is Ben taking a picture… of me… taking a picture.

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Louie, my furry photo assistant.

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The “before” just felt kind of dirty. (Partially because it was… don’t @ me)

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This was the chaos of our living room after moving in the porch furniture and masking off the windows and doors. We’re going for a “maximalist meets flea market meets condemned house” aesthetic in here now.

Now for the big reveal…

 

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IT FEELS SO CLEAN! We didn’t worry about masking off the floors, because they will be painted next week when the weather permits open windows. I can’t believe what a difference the white makes in this space. Before now, I could only dream of what awaited me on the other side of a long-term, on-again-off-again relationship with a paintbrush.

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Please excuse my paint buckets and mountain of paper and tape. Maybe this could be a new decorating style. I would call it “Reno-Chic”. It’s where you leave out all of your renovating supplies, but in an artistic and revolutionary way. So edgy.IMG_8834

I also started painting the navy accent wall, but not without a little lettering fun!

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The paint is still drying in this photo, so it looks streaky. I’m going to take the navy all the way up to the ceiling- I just ran out of time to finish it today! I also have to figure out whether or not to paint the half of that concrete column. It is incredibly bumpy, and I’m a bit worried I won’t be able to get a clean line. It will be covered by curtains, but I don’t want to leave a mess for future occupants of this house!

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Continuing the navy all the way to the ceiling will draw the eye upward, and ultimately make the space feel taller. I still need to paint the window trim on the outside walls (the ones on the right), and paint the inside of the door on the right. I would love to paint the actual front door because the stain is uneven and looks very worn, but I don’t paint original woodwork in this house since we don’t own it. (Except for the upstairs porch, where the window trim was damaged beyond repair and needed a coat of paint for protection.)

I used three gallons of white paint, and one quart of Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue for this space! I’ll be using a light grey epoxy paint for the floors next week, and black paint for the window trim. This was not a complicated or expensive update, but it made a very significant impact! I’m very excited to see how it all looks once the floors have a solid, fresh coat of paint as well.

That’s all I have for this week! The other major progress will be happening this weekend. My brother-in-law, Kirk, will be showing me the ropes (literally) of building a bed swing. I showed him my vision, and he created a custom plan for beginner builders that utilizes a twin sized mattress and dimensional lumber. You will be able to buy the plans if you want to tackle the project yourself! I’ll also be working on dyeing the curtains and painting the floors next week. Things are coming together quickly now, and I’m still enjoying the process and trying to have fun at every stage!


You can follow along on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram and Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes progress before it comes to the blog. I’ll be sharing weekly updates here on my blog, and you can get reminders every time a post goes live through entering your email into the “brighten my inbox” tab to the right of this post.

Don’t forget to check out the design plans of the Featured Designers and other Guest Designers on the One Room Challenge Blog. 

Thanks for following along, and stay tuned for next week’s project- the bed swing!

Catch up on all six weeks of my Spring 2019 One Room Challenge:

Week 1: High Style, Low Budget Sunroom Transformation

Week 2: DIY Tree Stump Coffee Tables

Week 3: The Power of Paint

Week 4: DIY $150 Bed Swing and Painted Concrete Floors

Week 5: Finishing Touches

Week 6: Before & After High Style, Low Budget Sunroom

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