Sunday, June 7, 2015

DIY - Kitchen Backsplash Complete!

Hi everyone!! Well, after quite the hiatus (nearly a year!), rustyfarmhouse is back and better than ever! It was sad putting the rustyfarmhouse blog to the side for a bit, but after having Walden I realized that having a very young baby around isn't conducive to starting house projects. Or frankly any kind of house work - and that definitely includes cleaning, ha!

Walden is a bit older now (he turned 1 on Mother's Day) and now that he's crawling about I really wanted to address our floor situation. Looking at the floors was the poison ivy I needed to get the project itches going again. Clint also took several business trips and I found that dreaming up new house projects was a really fun way to pass my lonely nights.  :)

The floors, however, were a big project that definitely required discussion with Clint, so before tackling the floors I spent a lot of time thinking about the kitchen. Truth be told, we are lucky to have a really great kitchen with custom cabinetry and amazing appliances. The previous owner of the farmhouse put a pretty penny into renovating the kitchen, and it was definitely one of the things I was most drawn to in the house.

That being said, however, the kitchen isn't perfect (for me) aesthetically. If you read some of the early rustyfarmhouse posts, you know that the kitchen used to be a terrible dirty yellow color that made the blue island look hideous with the red oak cabinets. This prompted me to paint the kitchen blue, and that definitely helped the island settle into the space. After that we threw some stuff up on the walls and called it a day. Here it was:

Recently, however, after looking at the inspiration photos for other kitchen renovations, I decided it was time to take our kitchen to the next level.  All the bones are there, it just needs a bit of sprucing up. The first thing I decided to do was to add a backsplash.

Originally I'd be dreaming of doing a whitewashed brick backsplash around the stove and vent hood, because I just love love loooooooove the way brick looks. I've been obsessed with brick ever since I put this brick backsplash up in my Baltimore condo:

Seriously - how cool is that brick?? But when I thought about it, I decided that whitewashed brick is probably NOT easy to clean and splatter marks would show up very easily. It wasn't a problem on the dark brick as much because I figured if you couldn't clean it perfectly, you probably weren't going to see it anyways. (Is that terrible??) So in the end I decided to go with a white subway tile, which I think still fits the farmhouse motif but is much cheaper, much easier to clean and MUCH MUCH easier to install than brick.  :)

I spent a good couple of weeks just debating *where* to put the backsplash. Originally I just planned to put something up over the stove and around the vent hood, but eventually decided to tile the entire area above the countertops. Why settle for less work when you can do more?!? So the first thing we did was pull everything off the walls, including the vent hood because I didn't really want to bother cutting tile around it. This also gave me a good opportunity to clean it thoroughly, which it desperately needed.

This was actually my very first tiling project, and I was fortunate to get some guidance and help from my father-in-law Tom. He showed me how to put the tile up and helped with the grouting. Fortunately the subway tiles are self spacing, so that saved a lot of time once I got my initial row in and level.

You never really realize JUST how crooked and curvy your walls are until you put tile up. You can see in the corner that the wall on the right actually curves into the room as it goes up, What is up with that? Ah well, just one of the joys of living in a 104 year old house.

But when all's said and done, I think the kitchen looks fabulous - crooked, curvy walls and all. I went with "Platinum" grout, which looked to be a very light almost metallic grey, but it's actually so close to the color of the walls that it matches the blue perfectly.

And here is the final product in natural light! (Please pardon the mess).

The white tile really brightens up the space, making it feel fresh and clean. Although it may not make a huge difference in the pictures, it looked even better after we got the electrical face plates and caulk in as well.

I'm really happy with the way the backsplash turned out, and I think it sets the stage for the rest of the completed and upcoming kitchen changes. So far I've added open cabinets on both sides of the vent hood, and plan to add some floating shelves on the walls around the windows. Lastly, I plan to paint the cabinets (except for the island) white, because I just think a farmhouse kitchen should be white. I'm hoping that the white cabinetry will really make the kitchen feel even brighter and larger, and will compliment our beautiful new (antique pine) flooring better than the oak. I'm very excited to post about all of these kitchen changes and the new floors in the near future!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DIY - Bathroom Completed!

    Ahhh!  Our bathroom is finally complete!  Okay, mostly complete... we still need to add the vent/exhaust fan + light and paint the ceiling, but really for all intents and purposes, the bathroom is done!  It's actually been done for quite some time - just over 2 months as we finished a couple weeks before Walden was born.  But, adjusting to life with a baby has sucked up nearly all of my blog-posting time.  :)

     I am really happy with how the bathroom turned out.  It's so different I can barely remember what it looked like before without the pictures!  We lost a linen closet in the renovation but gained the refinished double-sized vanity (with one really large sink), a beautiful clawfoot tub, tile instead of linoleum, a new toilet, amazing fixtures and a really nice black, white and purple color scheme.  Here's a quick look at the before and after! 

     Here's the finished vanity complete with the anthropologie mercury glass candles that were the inspiration for the mercury glass sconces.  We put a three-pronged antique style cast-iron hook on the wall for hand towels.

     I also found this cute toilet paper holder.  It's not an antique, but it's a nice reproduction.

     Our built-in shelf turned out wonderfully.  We added two more of the cast iron hooks by the back of the tub for easy towel access post-shower.  

     I really love the hardware and shower conversion kit that we chose for the clawfoot tub.  The tub faucet matches the sink faucet perfectly and adding a shower to the tub was a must.  I'd heard that showering in a clawfoot tub was really inconvenient, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how not-bad it was!  The hardest part is getting into the tub because it's quite a bit taller than a conventional bathtub.  Other than that, I barely notice a difference.  I did have to buy 3 shower curtains to fit around the full length of the tub, but I used my sewing machine to shorten them lengthwise and convert them into 2 extra wide curtains.  For the back curtain, I sewed in an overlapped opening so we would have easy access to the toiletry shelf without flooding the back wall with shower water.

     Lastly, even though we got the tub standing on its feet and it seemed very secure, Clint didn't want to risk the tub falling and busting the pipes/tile/etc.  It would pretty much ruin the bathroom if anything went awry, so we built little wooden support stands to go under the tub.  They sit about 1/8th of an inch below the height of the tub so that if the tub were to fall, it would be just barely. I was really concerned about adding something that would look terrible, but they're nearly invisible if you're not looking for them and gave us some peace of mind.

     That's it!  It was a lot of hard work and it took forever (from November until April, working mainly on weekends), but it was definitely worth it.  And although I spent way way way too much time picking out every little detail for the bathroom, I really enjoyed my little venture into the world of interior design!  That being said, I wouldn't recommend anyone take on a bathroom renovation project at ~3 months pregnant...  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

38+ Weeks and A Finished Nursery!

     Well, apparently it has been forever since I did a pregnancy post - 10 weeks ago on Feb 17!!! - and my belly on my last pregnancy post was still so tiny...  And the nursery was still a complete mess filled with bathroom junk!  Fortunately, much has changed in the last 10 weeks, so it's time for some good updates.

Baby Belly

     At about the 31 week mark, I decided to change practices for my maternity care and went from a hospital based midwivery unit (Signature OBGYN) to a birth-center based midwivery group (Special Beginnings).  I was really interested in the option of a waterbirth, and hoping for an environment that would be as conducive as possible to a natural and drug free experience.  One thing that happened with the switch was that Special Beginnings reassessed my due date and pushed it back from May 11 to May 16.  Kind of sad, hehe.  While I'm not a *completely* miserable pregnant lady yet, I am excited to meet Walden and super curious about what he will look like!

     As I was just uploading photos for this post, I *did* find one previously unpublished belly photo from between the Feb 17 post and now, and interestingly I wore the exact same outfit as yesterday. The growth comparison is clear.  :)  The left was taken at ~33 weeks on March 26, and the right was taken at 38.5 weeks yesterday (May 5).  Clearly, my belly has gotten GIANT.  I'm not sure why Walden would want to stay in those cramped quarters any longer! 


Nursery Updates

     The bathroom is basically complete with just a couple of really minor touches left (post coming soon!), so with that done we have recently had a lot of time to dedicate toward finishing up the nursery and getting the house ready for Walden's (hopefully imminent) arrival.  Perhaps I've been nesting because the last couple of weeks I've been on a huge push to get things done, but I'm feeling relieved that things are starting to come together!

     Neither Clint nor myself wanted a very fancily decorated or uber-themed nursery for Walden.  We originally painted the nursery very early (before we knew Walden was going to be a boy), so we picked the gender neutral tan/brown palette and figured we'd just try to make the room look nice.  At long last, after finding out Walden was a boy and naming him (dually inspired by the book Walden and my love for Wall-E), we decided we'd do a very very slight Wall-E/space theme for the room.  This was also fitting with Clint's love of astronomy.  Here's how it turned out: 

I think that Bear Bear thinks the changing pad is for him...

     On the whole, the room is pretty simple but it does have some cute space and Wall-E elements, many of which were gifts to Walden from Clint's mom!  For Christmas she gifted us the beautiful quilt hanging on the crib, and for our baby shower she got us this super cute Wall-E piggy bank and light switch holder.


     She also got us this awesome planets mobile and some matching fabric that I used to make my very first fitted crib sheet with my sewing machine.


     We also found these nifty minimalist Wall-E art posters on Etsy. They were the perfect color scheme for a brown toned Wall-E nursery.

     And lastly, we are borrowing this amazing antique armoire that has been in Donna's family.  It's gorgeous, and is the perfect spot to keep all of my childhood stuffed animals that will soon belong to baby Walden.  :)

     Though it's nothing fancy, we are happy with the way it turned out and hope that Walden will love it too!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Wedding Highlights - 1 year later :)

I can't believe that Clint and I are 
already celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary!
((happy anniversary nugget!  i love you!))

Since I never got around to the original wedding post I was
going to do, what better way to reminisce about our wedding than with a 'wedding highlights' post - a small compilation of 
details and photos of the big day.

The resort:

We had a destination wedding at Couples, Tower Isle
in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  It's an all-inclusive resort for
couples (adults only) and we basically chose it solely because they have private island you can rent for your reception. 
All I can say is that it was amazing!

the island (nude beach by day, wedding venue by night)

The dress:

When my friend +Mira Lynn got engaged and started looking
for dresses, she asked me what kind of dress I wanted. I thought
about it a bit, and drew her a picture of what I wanted -
even though I'd never seen a dress like that.

Then I found it online when looking at dresses for Mira.
A near exact match.  The Alix & Kelly 'Kate' Dress...  I found my dream dress only to learn that the designers had left the dressmaking business about a year prior.

After months of futile searching on pretty much every 
used-dress website known to man (I found tons of people looking to BUY the dress, but no one was selling it), I was lucky enough to find one on ebay - new, never worn and possibly my size! 
(Who really knows with wedding dress sizing??)

So I bought an expensive and unreturnable dress on ebay,
sight unseen, having no idea if it would fit OR look good,
and basically hoped for the best.

Oh wait, did I mention this all occurred before Clint and
even got engaged?  Hehe... Clint (my lovely boyfriend at the time) assured me that if I didn't like it I could always try to sell it, but at least someday I wouldn't be haunted by a
phantom dream dress that no real-life dress
could ever live up to.  (So wise!)

And that was how I ended up with the Alix & Kelly Kate Dress. :)

And while some may think that weddings are all about
the bride, Clint was not to be outdone in his super sharp, super slim Hugo Boss suit.  So sexy...  and look at that tie.
He looked so handsome!

is he a model??

The photos:

For our photography, we went with Justin Lee - 
a phenomenal photographer from San Diego.  He shot the
photos of the resort that sold the resort for me, so I figured
we couldn't go wrong with him!  His photography has a distinctive character - slightly vintage, slightly Americana
and slightly edgy.  We LOVE our photos! 

One of the best things about the resort was that there 
were so many unique areas to shoot - we got a really wide 
array of backgrounds for our photos.  Choosing just a few to highlight from ~700 photos is no easy feat, but here's
some of our absolute favorite shots from the day.


Overall, our wedding day (and wedding week), was 
everything we could have asked for and more.  If we could do
it again, we wouldn't change a thing.

We're so thankful for the friends and family that were 
able to celebrate with us!  We hope that everyone enjoyed the wedding - but who wouldn't love a wedding pool party??
(Did I mention the private island had a pool & pool bar?)

p.s.  big thank you to +Mira Lynn for leaving the party to bring Clint and I some swimwear.  :)  <3