Well hello there. Long time, no blog posts. Marco and I took a break from our computers after the One Room Challenge and we are now rested and back to share more of our DIY adventures! We’ve been up to, well, a lot. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we are:
Most of these things take us a considerate amount of time while also juggling careers and parenting. Sometimes it’s nice to complete a project that is quick, painless and inexpensive. In my opinion, that trio is immediate gratification at its finest. Enter the lake house.
We bought our lake home with my parents and siblings four years ago. Our son was a newborn at the time and we started slowly out of the DIY gates with this house. You see, at the time he was born we were still finishing our first home’s renovation. Simultaneously, we were putting the final touches on our neighbor’s home that we affectionately call ‘The Cottage’, which we had purchased, completely overhauled and were preparing for sale. I’ll tell you more about that crazy time in our lives soon. Today we are much more settled, having completed and sold both our first home and The Cottage. Our child is no longer an infant (hold me) and we have some DIY chops. All that to say, despite all of the projects underway in our current home, we have the most free time we have ever had as homeowners. So what better time than now to start knocking the 90s out of the lake house?!
Our lake home was in like-new condition when we bought it. Why? The previous owners had barely stayed there. They owned several properties and this was their least frequented home. The house still smelled of construction dust, despite being 20 years old if that gives you an indication of how often it sat vacant. User’s manuals rested inside the unused fireplace and oven. The pier was immaculate. We bought the house furnished which saved us a ton of hauling to this rural area where stylish furniture stores are scarce. And now we are slowly but surely making it our own. My brain nearly explodes with creative vision for this space, but I have to check myself to ensure that the lake does not become a place where we only work and never play. It is a vacation home after all.
So today I want to share one mini remodel that we completed at the lake that took us very little time, energy and money! The house is a traditional lake house with the driveway approach leading to the garage, which is the back of the house for all intents and purposes. The front faces away from the street and toward the lake. Therefore, we pull into the drive, climb a sloping ramp up to the deck and enter the home on the lake side. I will post photos and a floor plan soon so future lake posts make more sense. There are two bedrooms on the main level and two on the lower level. The lower level reads more like a first floor as it is above grade, there is a walkout to the patio and it boasts the best lake views in the house. Our goal is to make each bedroom a sanctuary from each family’s busy lives. We started with the bedroom my parents use when everyone is at the lake: the east room on the lower level. In true parent style, they took the most-shall we say blah-bedroom and gave the rest of us the better ones. Well, Mom and Dad, it’s not blah anymore. We hope you enjoy it.
I wish we had a true before and after but we weren’t blogging at the time we bought the lake house and I was still in denial about my true life calling. Wow, that was deep. Just picture a long, somewhat narrow room with two twin beds sporting red metal headboards, a frilly red valence, royal blue aluminum blinds, circus artwork and an unnecessarily large closet with orangey bifold doors. The closet doors and shelving were removed to create a sleeping nook for the king size bed. Because each room will eventually need to sleep four (Did you know children grow up?! I want my money back.), we will eventually place a twin with trundle in an opposing corner of the room.
My beloved Kelly Money print, “A Slight Chance”, hangs on the far wall across from the door so that it’s the first thing you see when you enter the room. A print of Falling Waters, designed by Wisconsin-dwelling architect Frank Lloyd Wright, hangs to the left of the door. Fun fact: FLW put down roots in the tiny town in which I grew up and proclaimed it the most beautiful spot on Earth. I couldn’t agree more.
We brought in a plush, upholstered headboard and wired two sconces for bedtime reading (My parents are avid readers and when I say avid, my mother frequently checks out books from the library, not recalling that she’s already read them because she’s blown through entire genres.). We also installed a group of outlets on either side of the bed for phone chargers, alarm clocks, etc. One of them houses two USB ports so that a guest can charge sans adapters. Faaaancy!
That black and brass-mmm!
Checkout that gorgeous linen-like fabric. Sigh.
I patched the holes left by the closet shelves and painted the entire nook (walls, ceiling and trim) a deep, moody green-blue known around Ace Hardwareland as Clark+Kensington Stormy Nights (shout out to my Instagram peeps for making the right choice!). Oh and flat sheen, obvs. The saturated hue and low luster sheen give this nook the most velvety, dream-like vibe. Suddenly, I’m feeling envious of my parents…
Real estate on either side of the bed is limited. We built two floating nightstands by taking an 18” pine round and cutting it down the center to make two semi-circles that are supported on each side with simple L-brackets. The wood was stained Minwax Early American-my go-to stain color. Super inexpensive, super effective. I painted the white L-brackets the same color as the walls to help them disappear visually. A vertical mirror was hung behind the door for last-minute beach attire checks.
We took down the valence and blinds and hung a woven Roman shade layered in front of a blackout shade (gotta keep the babies happy). A vintage dresser from The Cottage found a new home here.
The last part of our little makeover in this space was some easy DIY artwork. I had leftover fabric from a shower curtain I used to make curtains in my master bathroom. I removed the circus print from the original piece that used to hang in this room, placed the ironed fabric in the center of the frame and placed the foam backing behind it. We then hung it above the headboard with an anchor, screw and several 3M strips. That puppy ain’t going anywhere. I love the crooked, imperfect look of the fabric against the sleek, brass frame.
We still want to lay hard flooring (either faux wood tile or laminate), swap out the door for a paneled number, beef up the trim and come up with a treatment for the remaining walls. I’m thinking board and batten on the bottom and grasscloth above. Maybe some leaning art and/or photographs flanking the window. We’ll get there eventually. For now, I’m just enjoying the progress and learning to enjoy the process.
Shriek! We made it! And we’re still alive…and (happily) married!!! What a…May 9, 2018