Guest Room Progress

Guestroom - Ready for guests #thissarahloves


Our guest room has finally reached the stage where I am A) not totally embarrassed to have guests come stay and B) can share at least some of it on the internet.  We actually haven’t done too much in there since moving in the bookshelf & adding the beside lamps, but somehow hanging up the art made all the difference.

Travel Prints - Ready for guests #thissarahloves



Aren’t those prints fun?  They don’t really match the beetle pillow, but I’m running with it for now!

We also make sure that our guests have a (correctly set) alarm clock, some magazines, the wireless password, a map of DC, and a water carafe and water glasses.

Guestroom - Ready for guests - Water and Glasses


There’s still a long list of things to do in here, the first of which is paint, but until we get the basement project wrapped up, this will do.

Guestroom - Ready for guests - Bed #thissarahloves

Sarah Signature


Sharing at The Makers!



Design Collaboration: Patio in Orange and Teal

Today I’m back with a fun mood board. Janie from FindingFabulous picked a this bright inspiration picture for us to work with.

Inspiration Picture


I had fun dreaming up a lively outdoor space! Our backyard/patio needs a ton of work before we’ll be ready to decorate out there. Andy’s busy ripping out some overgrown shrubs that took up about half of our small yard when we moved in. Once we get the over-sized shed removed & a fence installed, we’ll be ready to create a backyard oasis (in 2015 or so!). Until then, a girl can dream, right?
Outdoor Patio in Orange and Teal - #thissarahloves

I’ve pinned all the items to my Favorite Finds Pinterest board. And feel free to check out other mood boards here.

 Rug ~ Coffee Table ~ Mason Jar cups ~ Chair ~ Flamingo Fabric ~ Diamond Fabric ~ Palm Tree Fabric ~ Sofa ~ Curtains ~ Umbrella


Stop by and check out all of these other lovely ladies’ ideas! You can see all of our mood boards (present and past) on Pinterest.

Carissa Miss

Finding Fabulous

Living Pretty

Sarah Signature

Sneak Peek: Basement Remodel

Last time I reported on our progress in the basement, I shared that between the wallpaper glue and the sheet vinyl glue we were feeling a bit defeated.  After a lot of back and forth, we realized that there was no saving the walls. Since the drywall hadn’t been primed before the paper got put on the walls, we could not get it off without damaging the drywall.  We tried everything and finally realized we had 3 options: (1) keep scraping and pay someone to skim coat the drywall to hide all the damage, (2) pay someone else to deal with it entirely, (3) cover it up somehow.

Planking - Basement Walls - Sneak Peek 1

And (no?) surprise! We went with option 3.  After browsing Pinterest & all my favorite blogs for some inspiration, we decided to plank the walls with super-thin plywood cut into 8″ strips. The kind of plywood we found is pre-primed, about 1/4″ thin and ran us less than $15 per sheet, taking our primary inspiration from House of Smith’s gorgeous dining room.

We’ve been slaving away, nailing planks to the wall a little at a time. We still have a LONG way away from it even resembling our inspiration pictures, but we’ll get there (in a month or two). I’ve primed the first wall, and this weekend we added planks to wall 2 and most of wall 3.

Planking - Basement Walls - Sneak Peek 2

I’m hoping that I’ll find some time in the evenings to prime the next two walls, but of course this week promises to be a busy one at work, so it may have to wait until Friday evening.  Oh and did I mention that we have guests arriving on Sunday morning?  Hope they don’t mind our basement not having a real floor…

Sarah Signature

So Clean and Fresh

What a difference a coat of paint makes!  I’m sure most people already know about paint’s ability to transform a space, but this has to be one of the best examples of how going from off-white to pure white completely changes the look of something. Here’s how our stairs have looked for the last too-many-to-count weeks. (Catch the first few steps of the stair transformation here.) Painting the Trim - Before And here are the stairs after a little more than an hour’s work, with a my short handled angle brush and a gallon of Behr’s VOC free paint in off-the-shelf ultra pure white in semi-gloss. Painting the Trim - Progress   Look at that difference. Here’s a side-by-side so  you can truly appreciate the difference. Painting the Trim - Side by Side   Up next, every other piece of trim I can lay my hands on, just as soon as I give the stairs a second coat. Sarah Signature


Psst, sharing at The Makers!

Basement Renovation: Defeated by Glue

In the relatively short time we’ve lived in our house, the basement has now had 3 different floor coverings. We pulled out the lovely blue carpet before we even moved in, to reveal some vintage sheet vinyl. Unfortunately the vinyl was in pretty bad shape, so we knew part of the basement reno would involve replacing the floors.

2013-10-12 16.29.36-1


We knew we didn’t want carpet in the basement, so we were off to try to find some basement-approved easy to install ourselves floor covering. After lots of research we picked some gorgeous peel and stick wooden planks from Lowes.  The only tricky part with the peel and stick is that you need a smooth clean surface. And thus started the removal of the sheet vinyl.

It cam up in great big chunks. Apparently they only glued it down in some spots.


Lifting up the Linoleum - Part 1


We (and by we, I mean Andy) used a razor scraper to take up the vinyl. Below you can see some of the glue spots we found.Lifting up the Linoleum - Part 2 - The glue

Now let me reiterate, we needed to remove ALL of this glue to 1) ensure that new glue bonds with the cement floor correctly and 2) ensure that our new floor doesn’t create an imprint of the glue spots.  So we started on the glue removal process.

Scraping with the razor did nothing.  So then we tried the wall paper remover steamer. Nada.  After some googling we poured boiling water on and scrubbed.  Well that took a few teeny tiny pieces up. So we added some Mrs. Meyers to the mix, which improved the smell of the job, but did nothing more to dissolve the glue.  Next we tried: vinegar, goo gone, nail polish remover. None of these things helped. At All.

So despite reading all about how you shouldn’t use adhesive remover, we thought we’d give it a try. Heck it says it will take the adhesive off right in the name, right?  So we got the kind that’s made to remove the backing paper and glue (since we have some of both).  Below you can see what it looks like when you’ve got it on the glue.

Lifting up the Linoleum - Part 3 - Getting off the Glue

We followed the directions, waited, scrubbed, reapplied, scrubbed, and almost cried.  It was clear that it was NOT going to do much more than any of the other methods we had tried. Here’s that back corner spot after the adhesive remover has dried.  (Actually, I’m pretty sure if my cousins weren’t doing that last round of scrubbing and scraping there really would have been tears! Thank goodness for family that like to get their hands dirty!)

Lifting up the Linoleum - Part 4 - Failing to get of the glue


So since we’re apparently stuck with the glue we have a few options: skim coat of cement, plywood underlayment, or a different type of flooring.  Since we’re trying to keep the budget to a minimum, and I’m 100% sure we cannot do the cement ourselves, we crossed that option off the list. After LOTS and LOTS of research, we decided that plywood on the floor in the basement seems like a terrible idea (even if it is a dry walkout basement). So that leaves us with a different type of flooring.  Any suggestions?

We’re currently consider a floating vinyl floor (made to go over situations like ours and sticks to itself, rather than to the floor).

But we’re definitely open to other suggestions.  The task for this weekend is to deal with the walls. I’d like to have the floor in by the time my uncle and aunt arrive for their visit on the 29th. Nothing like a hard deadline to make sure you encounter countless obstacles…

What projects have you pulling your hair out?

Sarah Signature