Original image: Hyperbole and a Half, Modifications: me


This is basically the mantra for the bathroom.  The vinyl is nasty, the wood is in sorry shape, and the wall color is just plain unfortunate.  Because I don’t know when we’ll have the budget for a full gut job I’m pretty much painting every square inch of this room.

After I tackled repairing the window trim, I moved on to demo-ing the closet shelves.  Their configuration was bizarre and they’d be annoying to paint around.  Unfortunately as I removed them I notice the paint on the inside of the closet was peeling badly.  Bad news: it will probably need to be skim coated.  Good news: it’s the inside of a closet so I probably can’t fuck it up too badly.

Luckily, skim coat or not, priming everything was the first step. Ok, second step.  First I scraped off all the really lose bits with a putty knife and filled in what I could with spackle and then primed everything in sight.


Doesn’t that already look so much better?  The beigey vinyl was absolutely disgusting and even just seeing it primed makes a huge difference! The tub base got primed too since it is certainly not staying it’s previous dirty-beige color.

Personally I think it’s easier to paint trim first.  My dad disagrees so this is a clearly a personal preference thing.  Coat #2 for me though was all the vinyl and trim.  You don’t need to worry about a clean edge, just a smooth edge.  Basically any paint you get onto the next surface you’re going to paint make sure you feather out so you don’t see brush lines or blotches. The trim, vinyl, and closet interior are all Clark + Kensington (satin) tinted to Benjamin Moore Simply White (mostly because I had it to use up… I was unimpressed with Clark + Kensington for trim*). The trim did get a second coat of Benjamin More Advance too.


Aaaaannd now for some blue (Behr tinted to Benjamin Moore’s Opal Essence to be exact).  MAN this was a long time coming! This is just a sneak peak for you.  The bathroom’s not quite done yet–we have a new vanity and faucet to install, closet shelves to rebuild, and additional shelving to add.


Up next we tackle our pretty dismal counter space issue.


*Still love it for walls though–that and Behr are my go-to for walls, but BM Advance has won my heart for trim, cabinetry, and furniture.

Weekend Report

This was the weekend o’ bathroom painting.

  • Coats of white paint: 2
  • Coats of blue paint: 1
  • Smudges left on the shower curtain: 1
  • Painty foot prints on the bathroom floor: 2*
  • Times hit in the head with a roll of paper towels: 1**
  • Hardware store trips: 1
  • Christmas decorations purchased: not enough


Starting to look pretty good, huh? It still needs another coat of blue and the trim could probably use another coat too.


*I caught them while still wet so they cleaned up nicely

**I asked Matt to get me more paper towels so I could clean up the aforementioned painty foot prints and he just threw the roll at me while I wasn’t looking.


Long Weekend Progress Report

We had Monday and Tuesday as vacation days so Matt and I used our long weekend to Get Shit Done.

Day 1

  • Replaced micro-bath light
  • Replaced micro-bath light switch
  • Replaced mudroom light
  • Replace mudroom light switches
  • Replaced burnt out GU10 bulb in the kitchen (annoyingly difficult)
  • Took down Halloween decorations
  • Scraped off loose paint in bathroom closet
  • Patched holes in bathroom closet
  • Broke my upholstery hammer :(

Day 2

  •  Primed (most of) the bathroom
  • Replace dining room light switches
  • Replaced entry light switch

 Day 3

  • Trip to DMV
  • Trip to hardware store
  • Finished priming bathroom

Day 4

  • Eye Exam
  • Craft store run
  • Replaced bathroom ceiling light and added fan*
  • Replaced treads on basement stairs**
  • Insulated porch windows
  • Got splitting headache and took a nap

In other news, I also created a dedicated Flat-Pack & Vintage Facebook site instead of piggy-backing off my jewelry site.  If you want little mini updates and rambling or sneak-peak photos that aren’t quite classy enough for Instagram, that’s your place.



 * Hired out.  It’s also very annoying to find someone to install a bathroom fan when one does not already exist.

**Also hired out. Matt had dreams of completely ripping down the stairs and rebuilding them himself.  I squashed that idea because I’m a jerk and it turned out we only really needed to redo the treads..



Bathroom Prep

Hey look!  It’s progress!

Besides patching the giant fracking hole in the wall there were a few other areas that needed some TLC before we could paint.  The most noticeable of these was chunk of window trim that someone cut out to fit in that nasty old light fixture.


We’ve acquired a number of random wood scraps from other projects and luckily the 1×2’s were the perfect depth for the trim.  Unfortunately they were just a hair too wide… and the only power saw we have is a miter saw.  No sane person is going to put their fingers that close to the blade to shave a 1/4″ off of a 1×2. I could have picked up a hand saw, but it would still be difficult to safely hold a piece of wood that narrow while cutting.  Instead I screwed a few pieces of wood together to lengthen the piece I needed to cut and keep my fingers well away from the blade.


The wood got cut and I still have all my fingers.  Win.  It’s a little too small, but I can hide a gap a lot more easily than I can hide a too-wide piece of wood.


Then I picked up a couple little strips of craft wood to mimic the raised edge detail on the out edge of the trim.  It was a little too high so I used my palm sander to knock it down a bit.


After that it was a just a matter of evening everything out with wood filler.


The only thing left to do now is paint it since there’s no way you can stain over this patch job and have it look good.  Luckily I wanted white trim anyway.

There was more work still to be done on the window frame though.  When we moved it we ripped out some glass shelves that were built in across the window. This left some glue residue behind and exposed some foam insulation along the window frame.  Not so great to paint over.


I started by sanding off the glue residue.  Next I cut down some quarter round to hide the exposed insulation. Based on the other windows in the house there should be a larger piece of trim here (that would actually cover all the damaged wood) but I didn’t think I could find something that would work without a lot of custom cuts and routing and I just don’t currently have the equipment for that.


We pulled off the closet door earlier too, opting for a curtain instead (the cat box is in the closet so it needs to be very easily accessible).  Unfortunately the hinges were glued in place so we had more glue residue to contend with.  I scraped and sanded the glue off, but left the holes.  The curtain should hide them well enough and if we (or future owners) decide to swap the door back in it will be way easier.

I also ripped out the old shelves in the closet since they’re rather haphazard.  The closet’s getting painted too and I’ll be putting up new shelving so it looks more organized.  I’ve also added the person who installed these shelves and painted over the screws eleventy-billion time to the People I Want to Punch list.  There’s a fair amount of peeling paint I’ll need to scrap off the walls too. Urgh.

Everything else was just a matter of patching the normal holes, cracks, and gaps that you encounter when painting.

So this just happened….

I have the day off today (yay bank holidays!) and was catching up on laundry. Spencer followed me into the basement since the cats aren’t really let down there too often.  I shooed him back out with me when I went upstairs and closed the door.  A little while later I heard a small crash and wondered what the hell the little furballs had gotten into now.  I made a cursory inspection but didn’t see anything amiss except that Schmutz was no longer sleeping on the bed.  Whatever, she probably just got freaked by the noise, right?


I go back to the kitchen to make tea and hear a weird scratching noise.  Ugh.  Stupid cat apparently snuck into the basement and I closed her in.  I open the door to find both Schmutz and a dead mouse on the top step.  I don’t handle surprises well and screamed like a sissy (despite the fact that I actually don’t really mind mice, I just don’t really want wild ones living in my house) and slammed the door as soon as Schmutz was out.

Poor baby, she was really proud of herself since she’s never caught anything other than bugs before and I reacted rather badly.  She’s now pitching a fit since the door is still closed with her trophy on the other side since I need to find something to dispose of it with.


Updated: I went to go dispose of the mouse and discovered that it had very clearly been dead long before Schmutz got to it. Oh well, she’ll still probably prove herself as a mouser sometime in the future.

Weekend Report

Is the end of Daylight Savings Time messing with anyone else?  It’s 8:00 and I’m already in my pjs and vegged out in front of the TV.  Around 7 I was convinced it was nearly 9 and lost all motivation.

  • Bags of leaves removed: 9
  • Bags of leaves remaining: 5
  • Sawdust kicked up in the bathroom:  A good cubic foot*
  • Swear words used to describe the idiots who inflicted unspeakable horrors on our bathroom: Eleventy-billion
  • Hours spent agonizing over light fixtures: 3
  • Boxed unpacked in my study: 6 (!!!)
  • Concerts attended: 1**
  • Photos organized: 319***

Nothing interesting to photograph this weekend (bathroom updated coming soon!) so have a photo of Prague.  Because Prague.


*I’ve been attacking the window trim.  There’s a chunk that needed to be patched and another two chunks that needed to be sanded down completely to removed glue, yes glue, residue.

**SPCO who rallied amazingly after their violin soloist got injured and they had to redo 2/3’s of the program at the last minute.  This included a guest conductor who conducted Beethoven’s 7th from memory with no score in front of him.

***I’m about 1/2 way through getting our Europe photos organized into a book, but I’ve uploaded so many (since I upload them all and then edit so I can see what fits well where)I think I’m about to crash Shutterfly any second now…


The Book Whore’s Guide to Bookshelf Styling

We’ve all seen the perfectly styled bookshelves right?  Magazines, Pinterest, Blogs… they’re often heavier on the decorative objects than reading material, which is all well and good, but what if you’re an obsessive book hoarder like moi?


This is what’s been sitting in our living room for months.  I got as far as grouping the books together and then just petered out.  With guests coming this weekend I figured I should get cracking again.

I started by grouping the books in a way that made since to me (by loose category, by author, and by personal preference). I once caved and experimented with organizing by color but it was very much not for me (but hey, if that’s your jam you do you).



Don’t get stuck with perfect rows of books.  I stacked mine in multiple directions, partly because otherwise I’d run out of room, and partly because it adds some visual interest and leaves some space for accessorizing.



Once you’ve got your books organized fill in with things you love.  If you’re not a tchotchke collector you can leave it at the books, or add in some family photos or art.  You don’t have to go overboard since you’ve already probably overloaded with books.  Top some vertical stacks, use heavier objects as bookends, layer smaller items in front of the books.

Don’t worry about making it magazine perfect, make it livable.  First and foremost you want to be able to find your books.  The secondary purpose (for the book whore anyway) is displaying your collectibles.

These shelves still have a ways to go–I want to redo the back and make them built-ins  with more substance–but it’s a solid start at least.

Happy Halloween!

As a follow up to my #lazygirl fall/Halloween decor round-up I thought I’d share how I decked out our house for Saturday’s party.


I cut zombie hands out of black poster board and taped them to the porch windows.  Then I tacked up some “creepy cloth” I picked up from dollar store (I had another idea in mind for it at first so didn’t buy enough for the porch so it looks a little wussy… next year I’ll pick up a bunch of cheesecloth instead) and topped it with some Halloween lights I got on sale at Joann’s.

  • Poster board: 50 cents
  • Cloth: $1
  • Lights: $6

Total: $7.50



I didn’t do much in the entryway.  I was sooo tempted to try the floating candle ceiling, but I opted for sanity this year.  Instead I found that awesome skull candle holder on clearance at Michaels since it was “broken.” I added an LED tealight (love these instead of open flames).

  • Skull candle holder: $3.50
  • Tealight: $1

Total: $4.50



I put more effort in the bar because booze.  I topped it with a leaf garland (Micheals) and a battery powered string of wire globe lights (Target).  For a festive Halloween flair I painted  laser cut craft wood pieces from Michaels and hung them from the top shelf.

  • Leaf garland: $3
  • Lights: $3
  • Halloween cutouts: $1.50

Total: $7.50



And of course, the food spread. It’s lacking in food in the picture because the cats would go after anything unguarded so we had to wait until the very last second to put anything out. Schmutz still managed to make off with a tortilla chip and Spencer pilfered a turkey-cheese pinwheel that some of our guests brought.  The tablecloth I picked up wasn’t labeled and ended up being round instead of rectangular.  Oops. The pumpkin bucket was from target and cage-like candle holders were more Michaels clearance (they’ve got all their fall stuff at 70% BEFORE Halloween).

halloween5The bookcases flanking the table got a general fall treatment that will get left up through Thanksgiving. The gourds were from Target and moss vase filler were all from the dollar store.  The garlands were more Michaels clearance.  I already the vases and branches.

  • Tablecloth: $3
  • Cage candle holders: $6
  • Pumpkin bucket: $3
  • Gourds: $4
  • Leaf garlands: $6
  • Candles: $4
  • Glass candle holders: $4
  • Craft moss: $1

Total: $31

That’s it.  The entire house got a festive air for right around $50 and the majority of the decor is reusable for next year.

Weekend Report

I’ve gone into Halloween Party Mode lately.  We’re having people over next weekend since Halloween is my Favorite Holiday Ever (costumes, candy, pumpkin carving… what’s not to love?).  Matt’s still been in productive mode adding attic supports and insulation.

  • Hardware store trips: 1
  • Rolls of insulation crammed into a compact hatchback: 5
  • Craft store trips: 1
  • Pounds of Holiday crap bought: 5*
  • Party menus planned: 1
  • Grocery trips: 2
  • Costumes sewn: 2
  • Felt hearts cut: 24
  • Feet of lights strung: 24
  • Faucets replaced: 1
  • Swear words while replacing said faucet: lost count**
  • Girly(ish) mirrors added to bathroom: 1
  • Cats pissed we’re not leaving the door to the porch open: 2


This is literally 1/2 of the downstairs micro-bath (with new mirror and faucet!).  You can sit on the toilet and wash your hands at the same time.  It’s still really nice having a second bathroom.

*Just an estimate.  Joann had Halloween stuff at 70% off so I stocked up on candy corn colored lights, LED tea lights, table cloths, foliage, and plates. The only problem was that the tablecloth I bought wasn’t actually labeled and ended up being round instead of rectangular.  Oops.  I’m just going to make it work though. And we stocked up on Halloween candy since we have no clue how many kids we’ll get trick-or-treating

**We replaced the faucet in the micro-bath and there’s barely no space between the sink and the toilet so it’s really awkward to access anything under the sink.. It was also the first replacing a faucet with a drain stopper too.