Month: January 2014


The past couple of weeks we have been working on the stairway.  We pulled off all of the old plaster and slats and tore out the old wallboard.  We started the insulation, but needed to add more.  We noticed that there wasn’t insulation along the stairs on the first floor.  In order to insulate this, we would either have to gut the closet under the stairs, or use a shake and rake insulation.  We opted to pour the insulation down the side of the stairs rather than take out the closet.

Hallway Insulation


We insulated the rest of the wall and put up a vapor barrier.  Now we are ready to drywall the stairway and hallway.

The stairway was drywalled by previous owners, but never mudded.  The previous owners used whatever they had on hand, and this small hall at the top of the stairs had nearly 30 pieces of drywall put together.  We decided to start over and put in new drywall so it wasn’t a mudding and sanding nightmare.  This also allowed us to add insulation where they had not.

Old Hallway Drywall


When taking down the drywall at the top of the stairs, we were able to expose the brick chimney.  While it isn’t a particularly good brick job, it is no longer in use and won’t matter much.

1891 Chimney


We noticed one of the bricks had 1891 carved into it.



When we originally bought the house, they dated it at 1920.  We then thought it was an Ojibway Company Mining House, which would put it in the early 1900s.  If this brick is correct, the house is even older than we thought.

If the brick was in better shape, I would love to leave it exposed, but it just doesn’t look great.  The top part has been redone and is in even worse shape.  So, the 1891 brick will be hidden behind drywall once again, but maybe someone will find it again down the road.

We should have a drywall/stairway update soon (if all goes well over the next week or so).  Thanks for reading!

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Master Bedroom Design

We are really starting to get some momentum going on our master bedroom.   (Which is good, because our crib is on its way!)  In my recent nursery post, I showed my inspiration/plan for the room.  I really liked getting all of my thoughts put in one area, so I decided to do it again with our master bedroom.

We recently tore up the old subfloor and laid a new OSB subfloor down in its place.  This is the room as it stands today:Master SubfloorMaster Bedroom Subfloor Master Bedroom New Subfloor


The room has 3 nice sized windows and a large closet (much different than what we are used to).

We will be wallpapering the wall in the last picture (with the entry door).  I have had this wallpaper picked out for a long time, and it is the main inspiration for the room.  It is a textured wallpaper by allen + roth, and I purchased it at Lowes.  Master Bedroom Wallpaper


We picked out our paint to match last night while at Menards.  We will be painting the other 3 walls Fresh Linen (C13-4) by Dutch Boy.  It is a complementary off-white to the wallpaper.

The flooring in this room will match the laminate flooring in our kitchen and dining rooms (a nice dark wood).diningfloor

We purchased the same rug as the one for our nursery, but in a larger size to put under the bed.Nursery Rug

My favorite part of this room might be the light that we will be hanging over the bed.  It is an off-white chandelier with crystals that we purchased from Home Depot (Hampton Bay).  I think it will give the room the sophisticated look we are going for.  Surprisingly, it didn’t take much to get Ryan on board with this.  (I think he knows better than to argue with a pregnant woman.  Smart man.)

Chandelier at Home Depot

I am thinking about navy blue accents for the curtains and bed linens, but I am not totally sold on anything quite yet.  I am on the hunt for a wrought iron bed, but will use the headboard we have for now.  In the meantime, we will be sanding and mudding the drywall until it is ready for paint.  I love to hear your ideas, so leave a comment below if you have any!  Thanks for reading!


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Cold Snap

You know that it is cold when your pipes freeze even when you left your water running!  This past week was rough with temperatures reaching -30°F and wind chills reaching -60°F.  Luckily, we saw this coming and added a bit of insulation to the stairway and pantry.

Our water lines come in under our pantry, and they have been freezing if it gets below -20°F.  The main issue was the lack of insulation in the pantry.  Turns out, after we insulated, it now takes -30°F to freeze the lines.  I’ll take what we can get.  It looks like heat tape is in our future.  I don’t have a current picture, but this is what we started with in the pantry:New Pantry Door

I’m not quite sure how people lived in this house before us.  We have added insulation into every wall and ceiling that we have gutted so far.  There was not any insulation to be found before that.  We believe the front part of our house was an Ojibway Mining Company House in the late 1800s.  These houses were built with bristol board as the interior walls.  While the walls are pretty cool looking, it just wasn’t practical to keep them without any insulation.  Last year, we pulled the walls down in the living room and insulated.  Living Room Insulation

Our stairway has the same bristol board and needed to be pulled down as well.Stairway Beadboard

Tearing out the boards was a messy job, so you will have to excuse my dusty pictures!Gutted Stairway

Now we have new insulation and vapor barriers installed.  It wasn’t the easiest job, but it makes a world of difference.Stairway Insulation

We seem to be cruising through projects, and I hope we can keep it going! I’ll have more updates soon.  Thanks for reading!

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Starting the Nursery

When I say “Starting the nursery” I actually mean “Starting to think panic about the nursery that may never get finished before the baby is here.”  Right now we are using the nursery as our master bedroom.  It is tiny for a master, but has been working just fine for us.  Luckily, when we painted the room, we had a pretty good idea that it would be used as a gender neutral nursery.



We will keep the yellow on the walls, but it will be toned down quite a bit once we get our trim installed.  The curtains will also stay.  I recently purchased a rug that matches the curtains pretty well and can’t wait to get it set up in there.  (It is set up in the living room at the moment).

Nursery Rug Nursery Rug Kelty


I originally wanted to do a Northwoods animal theme.  I was having a hard time finding neutral fabrics and bedding to match that though.  We finally decided on a yellow, gray, and teal theme.  I found this as my inspiration picture on Pinterest:

Shortly after choosing our theme, I actually found some great fabrics at Joann’s Fabrics that fit both of my ideas.  I will be sewing a crib skirt and a pillow for the recliner out of these fabrics:

Nursery Fabrics


Speaking of recliners, I can not seem to find one that I like that won’t cost me my first born child.  Since the whole point is to put my first born in this room, I will be making a slip cover for a recliner I received from my grandparent’s old cottage.  It is in good shape, but is brown.  I plan on making a slipcover out of drop clothes similar to this tutorial:

As if that isn’t enough work, we also need to trim in the nursery since we haven’t gotten to that part yet.  Oh yea, and make a new master bedroom so we can try to get some sleep too!  I’ll keep you updated.  Thanks for reading!

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Breaking Ground

With four months until my due date, Ryan is starting to feel the pressure to get the master bedroom done.  Once we finish the master, we can move out of the nursery.  Until then, we have to store all of the baby stuff at my parents house.  We are dying for more square footage, and luckily we have it upstairs.

The subfloor in the master is in rough shape, so our first project is to replace it. Upstairs Subfloor Before

We pulled up the subfloor in the master this weekend, only to find a huge mess underneath.  Master Floor Supports


Luckily, it only needs a bit of cleaning and then we can cover it right back up.  There is a bit of knob and tube wiring running through, but none of it is actually hooked up.  We already have the subfloor purchased (a nice thick 3/4″ OSB) and will begin installing it in a week or so.

Master Bedroom Floor Removal

The drywall and electrical were previously installed, so we have minimal work to do once the new floors are laid down.  The walls need some mudding and sanding, as well as paint.  Then we will install laminate flooring to match the downstairs.

We also have a lot of work to do in the stairway before we can truly move upstairs.  I will update with more soon!  Thanks for reading!

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