Wednesday, March 20, 2013

family room + outside

I've been giving a tour of our new home and projects. You can catch up my previous posts here: kitchen + living room and bedrooms + bathrooms and stairs + hallways + laundry + offices

We've come to the last room in the house--our family room! This was the last room we saw in the house, and if I had to pick one room that made us want to buy the house it was this one. Everyone that saw the house said the same thing, "this is a cool room."

This room had a total of five lights. It also had acoustic tile. This really was a hard decision. The acoustic tile did a lot to dampen the sounds from upstairs, and it was in great shape. It wasn't hokey at all. But we just had to have more lights. 

So we started pulling off the tiles and oh boy was there a lot of mouse poop up there. And then, and THEN (this still makes me shudder) we found at least 21 dead mice in the ceiling. I had to leave. And I'm sorry for the photo, but I have to.

We think we found their access point--a copper pipe from the old air conditioning system. It had been cut off outside and cut off inside, but hadn't been sealed. It was a mouse runway! We haven't see any mice since, so we think we have resolved the issue for now. 

Just another note about lighting...I said we have a strong love for can lights. But that doesn't mean we like our house being lit up like a runway all the time. If you're doing lots of can lights, it makes a lot of sense to put them in different zones, and to put them on dimmers. All of our can lights are on dimmers, and almost all of the room have multiple zones. I love my dimmers so much.

Since the whole ceiling was down, Jayson figured...what the heck? Lets wire the whole room for speakers! We went with a local company called Big Fish Automation. They did a great job with our speakers--four of the eight are in the ceiling and you can't hardly see them. The center channel and front speakers are usually mounted flush in the wall, but our wall was a little different so they stick out a little. But the most glorious thing they did was rig up our control 4 unit. All of the televison components (cable box, dvd player, etc) are in our storage room, and we control everything from one simple remote. It looks so clean and its so nice to not have to wrestle with cords or boxes.

We love the pickled cedar walls. The are so warm and cozy.

We felt like the white paint on the fireplace made it stand out too much, so we painted it Benjamin Moore Sea Salt. This was probably the closest match to the walls. We also removed the mantle. Jayson said it was a little too French country for him.

We also ended up painting the shutters too (Benjamin Moore sea salt).

We pulled up the carpet and actually bleached the cement in this room. Our carpet salesman told us the urine crystals could lay dormant in the cement and then start to smell again once it got hot.

Since we knew we'd spend a lot of time on this floor, we picked out the most lush and plush carpet we could find. We love this directionless shag. It is so soft. Laying on it is delightful.

Since we were polishing the concrete in the hallway, we decided to take it down into the bar area too. We put another zone of can lights in at the bar. 



 Here's the finished room.

There is just something about this room! This is the room where we spend the most time. In here, we play with toys, dance (ballet, hip hop, crazy dancing, ballroom--you name it), do gymnastics, watch movies together, wrestle each other, read books together, create pictures, have tickle wars, pillow fights, and just about anything else.

Gah! That room! We love it so much.

So since we're done inside, I'll show you a little bit of outside. Our house sits on .6 acres, but a majority of it is a pretty steep hill.

This is the front of the house. It has several very mature trees--aspens, an oak, an elm, a plum, japanese maple, and (our favorite) 3 ponderosa pines. It also has low voltage landscape lighting and lots of beautiful rocks.

Our back we have a large patio (partially covered), a deck off the main room and a deck off the master. There is a small grass area off the walk out basement.

We look down onto the high school, and have the best view of the football and baseball fields. It's a lot of fun to watch games at night. The only problem is we can't see the scoreboard!

We have a mama deer and two babies that live just below us. We have explored a little just below us. There is a small flat area where we've built a few forts and had a few picnics.

Thanks for taking a tour of our house with us!

I said earlier how heartbroken we were when we left Springville. We were very happy there and we loved our friends. We weren't sure we'd find another place that we'd love as much. It's amazing how guided we've felt in our life. We learned after we moved in to this house that there were several people who wanted to buy it. I'm still not even sure how I found it. This is house is everything we would ever want or need. We have plenty of room to grow, we are able to have friends over very comfortably, we love our neighborhood, we think Provo is the coolest community. We think we'll stay for a long, long time.

stairs + hallways + laundry + offices

I've been giving a tour of our new home and projects. You can catch up my previous posts here: kitchen + living room and bedrooms + bathrooms

As soon as you walk in the front door, there is a window that spans the two floors directly in front of you. There is an oak tree planted outside, and inside along the rock that has wrapped around from the fireplace in the living room to the side wall. It feels very natural and beautiful. It has a great indoor/outdoor feel. 

Although it was stunning, we had the same lighting problem as the rest of the house. So that entryway got 12 can lights!

The railings were built to a much different (1972) code. There was a particular space at the top of the stairs that I was sure one of my kids would fall thru. We talked a lot about taking the railings out and installing glass or cable. But both had their issues--cable had it's own safety issues because I'm sure my kids would climb it, and can you imagine how much we'd spend on windex with glass railing? Like everything else in the house, the oak railing was super solid and in terrific condition. We decided to just modify it for safety by adding a 1x1 piece of oak in between the existing rail. The railing was also echoed in the living room and downstairs in the hallway. We modified all of it.  

The stairs are open, and had been wrapped completely in carpet. Since we were removing the carpet everywhere else, we decided that was best here too. We ended up using a solid 2" hickory plank step. We had our friend at the cabinet shop make them, and then took them to our flooring people to have them scraped and oiled. I think the stairs are one of my favorite things about the house.

Jayson and I installed these ourselves late one night, after we had moved in. Let me tell you, hickory is HARD. We went thru several drill bits and stripped so many screws. 

The rock wall was kind of overpowering, and we considered removing it for awhile to put in something more modern. It would have been the messiest and most awful job. The rocks have their own personality and most have lichen growing on them. Our designer said that she felt like it just needed something to compete with, so we tried that. We felt like the stairs helped. We also painted the walls and ceiling (Benjamin Moore Chateau) a more moody color to give the rocks something to compete with.

The hallway downstairs was another area we debated about for awhile. We didn't want to do wood because we wanted a more casual feel downstairs. We didn't want carpet either since it'd be such a high traffic area. We decided to polish the concrete like we do at our stores. This gives such a lovely end product, but it is one of the messiest jobs I think there is.

The hallway had acoustic tile on the ceiling. We tore that out and put up drywall, put in can lighting down the whole hallway, painted the cabinets (Benjamin Moore Sea Salt) and brought the wall color from down the stairs to around the hallway (Benjamin Moore Chateau).

Some of the walls down the hall and in the family room are "pickled cedar." We loved the look and didn't touch a thing there. We had to add some more molding since we had taken some height off the floor after removing the carpet and a 1/2" of concrete.

Under the stairs was this cozy little area, and I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do with it. A book nook! 

On the under side of the landing, we had our electrician install four can lights and a little switch for the kids. We drywalled and painted (Benjamin Moore Nighty Night) the underside of the landing. It also got polished concrete, a sheepskin rug, a lovesac, and a couple other little kid chairs. 

The laundry room got a face lift too. We took out the linoleum and polished the concrete. It got a new light fixture since cans were impossible in that room.

We painted the cabinets (Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain) and the walls (Benjamin Moore Chateau). 

We took off the yellow back splash, and hope some day to cover the yellow linoleum counter with a shiny stainless one.   


Our dryer in our old house was gas, and this house only had an electric hook up...and I've always hated my washer so Jayson indulged me and got me some front loaders. Basically I'm a laundry maniac in there. 

Another selling point of the house was that it had not one, but TWO offices! Jayson and I could both have personal spaces to create and work.

Jayson's office is upstairs by our bedroom and it had a lot of similar styling--same wood paneling, same carpet, no lights, etc. It also had acoustic tile on the ceiling, which was the only room upstairs that had it. It's tricky to install lighting around acoustic tile, because you can't patch it the same way you would drywall. So we took it down, which was really messy with insulation and the furring strips. We put drywall on the ceiling, and put in six can lights. The wood floor came into this room as well. We also put a floor outlet in here and wired his room with cat6 cable.

There was a lot of wood in the house, and at the beginning we thought we'd paint it all. It seems like everyone says that trim, etc looks better all shiny and white. Thankfully, our designer talked us out of it! She said we could paint the paneling and the non precious wood (some of the cabinets), but we should leave the solid hardwoods alone.

Jayson's bookshelves, walls, and ceiling were painted Benjamin Moore Tweed Coat, and his lower cabinets were painted Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain. Desk and rug are from Ikea. 

My office was probably the scariest room of the house. There was water damage and mold and florescent lights and no windows. It was the only room in the house with different carpet, and not in a good way. The wall paper was super glued onto the walls. And the ceiling was acoustic tile. 

We spent hours taking off the wallpaper in this room, only to find when we took down the ceiling tiles that the whole wall needed to be removed. There was just too much mold. We removed the bad wall and bleached away the mold.

We got a new wall up and painted all of the doors and walls Benjamin Moore Sea Salt. We decided to not paint the oak cabinets (since they were a "precious hardwood"), but decided that I should use a penetrating stain. I haven't gotten around to it yet--any votes on a color? Turquoise? I didn't realize that stained wood is so much easier to maintain then painted wood. Good to know.

I love this Ikea desk. My side is long and has a drawer and a cabinet. I decdied the girls could have a little work area too, so their desk has drawers in the middle and two work stations. We put our old computer there so they could play games if they wanted while I worked.

I do have things to hang on the wall, but this room has been low on our priority list to finish. All of my craft things are still at my parents house, so we haven't been using it as much as I'd like. Would anyone like to schedule a craft night? I need to get my sewing mojo on.

Thru those doors is lots of glorious storage.


Is funny to see Jayson and my personalities come thru in our office spaces. Jayson loves creative and doesn't mind chaos. I have to have things clean and organized. Right brained and left brained!