Saturday, July 31, 2010

color scheme for the Airstream

With all my design-related projects, I always create a project board (or mood board) to help me visualize. I find it helpful to have a plan of action when selecting paints, fabrics and such... it also saves from making expensive mistakes! Our Airstream project also required some design planning.

Our Airstream has the "International" trim package. This gave us a really pretty color scheme to work with. The bathroom is a perfect "Tiffany Box Blue." (Of course, the aqua and turquoise are what sealed the deal for me!)

I tested all my paint and fabric choices against the kitchen counter and the bathroom shower walls. All my color choices had to not only match the color scheme, but the retro feel. I felt everything should have the "Flower Power" feel.

paint, laminate and vinyl swatches against the kitchen counter

I purchased fabrics for the curtains and throw pillows from my favorite fabric store, Sarah's Fabrics, in Lawrence, Kansas. For the curtains, I will use "Bloom & Grow" by Mind's Eye (far right). For the throw pillows, two prints from "My Happy Garden" by Cloud9 Fabrics, and "Spa" by Rosemarie Lavin (left to right).

The dinette table is a "wood" laminate. I am not wild about fake plastic wood. I chose a very retro "Aqua Boomerang" by Formica. We will bind the edges with silver chrome.

For the floor, I chose Azrock's Cortina tile squares in "Spearmint." This will be used throughout the camper as I want kid-friendly clean-up!

For the cabinetry, I chose Martha Stewart's "Vintage Map." For the built-in beds / sofas, I chose "Chamois Cloth." (Both of these are from the discontinued line at Lowe's, but you might be able to have them mix them.)

I also started purchasing vintage accessories for Eleanor... turquoise melamine dishes, canisters, etc. I honestly cannot wait to go camping!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Our new addition: Eleanor

As if we didn't already have a *few* projects going on, we now have another. This one is a bit more recreational. With our crew of boys, I thought it would be fun to go camping. I commented to Steven about how pretty I thought Airstream campers are. Quicker than you could say "have-you-lost-your-mind?" we were perusing Craigslist for vintage Airstreams. (Craigslist for the win!)

And here is what followed us home. Literally. Meet "Eleanor." Our 1967 Airstream Safari.
Immediately, I started working on the details. Ripping up the grubby carpet, painting the dingy-white cabinets, new upholstery... It is all in the works. And I swear this will be a quick project. Just a small one. And we will camp really soon. Really!
Emery and Satchel helped me with the cleaning. Emery armed with a shop vac and Satchel with a sponge and cleaner, we got her cleaned from top to bottom. The orange curtains and lime green cushions? Not staying.

The grungy (not original) carpet was ripped out as well as the (not original) vinyl in the bathroom.

All ready for priming!

All clear on this side, too.

The only part I find really scary: the bathroom. Maybe I will make Steven do this part!

subway tile and mosaic tile at last!

Quite a bit of progress has been made in the boys' bathroom. We have a floor! Yes, a lovely, finished floor! And a toilet! I under-estimated how unpleasant it would be to share my toilet with four little boys... but I digress...

Keeping in mind the the tiles have to be scrubbed and sealed, here is where we are so far.

After a lot of work, the shower is complete. (This involved pouring a base, forming up sides, rubber membrane, mesh, plastic form thingies, more concrete... I am sure I forgot something in that list. Maybe I am just blocking it out. Sort of like how they say women forget the pain of childbirth?)
I wanted the new bathroom to fit the rest of our 100+ year old house. The mosaic tiles definitely give a vintage feel, but I added little black racing stripes for a fun little zip. A little sealer, and the snow white grout will hopefully stay, well... snow white.
Would you expect anything but subway tiles from me? Again, a little racing stripe to add a bit of interest.
The drywall is sanded, primed and ready for paint. Here is a sneak of the color I chose. It looks a bit washed out with the flash, but it is a pale green. The medicine cabinet is vintage from our local Habitat ReStore.

Next up, cutting out the holes for the ceiling fixtures, painting, installing the wall-mount sink and wall-mount shower. Oh, and trim and baseboards. And curtain hardware. And painting the antique cabinet.

I guess there is still quite a bit to do!

Monday, July 12, 2010

fireplace re-do part seven: ready for stain

The fireplace is ready for staining! Steven finished all the painting. (Everything looks quite nice in our creamy white paint). I cannot even believe this is the same fireplace. I think the before and after for the finished product will be quite dramatic!

After running through several packages of sandpaper, the wood is ready to be conditioned, stained and sealed.

The brick of the fireplace was not intended to be visible... whoever laid the bricks slopped mortar everywhere. It was oozing through the bricks. Steven spent a lot of time with the grinder cleaning it up. The Dremel wouldn't even make a dent in it. He actually had to take our grinder to it... It was pretty crazy! He had to set up a board in the living room to keep the sparks contained. Our living room was coated in dust, so it was a pretty messy ordeal. But, a couple coats of primer and paint later, and we have this lovely brick fireplace:

Of course, every project we embark on hits a snag. The woodwork in our living room doesn't match. It has all aged differently... The doors and trim have gotten a lot of sunlight of the years and have faded to a medium brown:

While the beams on the ceiling, and the trim around the windows have remained a deep red-brown:

So we are doing a few different test pieces for comparison. I think that the pocket door is the biggest area of woodwork and the doors are nearest the fireplace, so we should match those. We will try 3 different options: a deep red, a medium brown, and a medium brown mix with red.

Old houses keep us creative, right?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

half-way point in the boys' bathroom

In newer homes, re-doing the bathroom might mean a fresh coat of paint. A new shower curtain. Maybe if you are feeling brave, a some new faucets. (Lucky!)

In old homes, re-doing the bathroom might mean:

Demolition. (Shown in

Fixing ducting:

Repairing joists and subflooring:

Replacing corroded, leaking old plumbing:

Adding framing to sturdy-up flimsy walls:
Hand new sheet rock and run new electrical to replace knob and tube wiring:
Hang new green board and install cement board for the floor:
And here is where our boys' bathroom is, as of today... Drywall mudded, sanded and ready of primer. Toilet installed (to get the boys out of my bathroom!). First layer of concrete down for the shower floor curing:

Next, the backerboard for the shower wall tile will be installed. A rubber membrane will be installed for the shower floor. More concrete for the shower floor to be poured... eventually tiling will begin.
Stay tuned!

bowie's new (old) floor

I think every owner of an older home knows about the "hardwood floor dance." The hardwood floor dance occurs at a very special time... You begin by pulling up a corner of nasty, stained, musty carpeting. You get a little peek of wooden loveliness under it. You do a preliminary squeal of joy. It is a bit precautionary at this point. You are not sure what lurks beneath the rest of the carpet. After hour upon hour of pulling up gross carpeting and pad, and removing tack strips and staples with a pair of vise gripes and a flat head screwdriver, you finally get to see the big picture. Hopefully the floor revealed is under repairable condition... This is when you bust out the "hardwood floor dance."

Enjoy the "hardwood floor dance" while you can. Because soon, the realization of more hours of hard work sets in. This begins the "dust everywhere from sanding" and "sore knees from crawling around the floor with a paint brush" phases.

In Bowie's room, I am now one coat of matte-finish polyurethane away from a finished floor. (JOY!!!)

While planning the color scheme for Bowie's room, I knew right away I wanted to do a dark floor. I think Steven might have died a little on the inside when I picked the "Ebony" stain from Home Depot. In my mind, I see pale blue walls and a deep, dark floor. Steven wasn't on board with the idea. And while the stain was wet, it was VERY VERY DARK. But after two coats of stain, I got the rich, deep color I wanted, yet you can still see the grain of the wood. I also got a nice patina-look due to the variation of the oak. It doesn't look like a fresh, new floor. It looks like it could have been original to the house, if they did actually have ebony stain in the early 1900s. Which they did not.

Freshly sanded and scrubbed with TSP-substitute:
Two coats of Ebony oil-based stain and two coats of matte polyurethane later:

It is a difficult floor to photograph, but in person is quite lovely. One more coat of poly, and some time to dry, and I will begin covering the floor with protective butcher paper for the priming of the walls!