Vintage Trailer Renovation

Vintage Trailer Renovation Happiness On Wheels

I am delighted to announce our new summer project!  Our summer renovation-menu will include the main dish of canned ham with a side of retro.

We bought a 1970s Rancho El Rae vintage bumper pull trailer.  The appliances and electrical are all in good working order.  So we will be fixing it up cosmetically.

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

The first thing we’ll be doing is an exterior paint job.  I’ve been pinning like crazy to this new board.  Here are some ideas of paint jobs I’ve found:

Vintage TrailerVia

Vintage TrailerVia

Vintage TrailerVia

This project is a dream come true.  It has been a bucket list item to makeover an old trailer.  The great thing is, it’s still usable while we work on it.  We already have plans to take it out over Easter.  It was difficult to photograph, but here’s what the interior looks like:

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

It sleeps 5 (squishily).  The couch folds down to a double bed.  Above that, is a pull down double bed.  The table converts to a single bed.

Vintage Trailer Makeover, 1970 Rancho El Rae

To say I’m excited is the biggest understatement.  This is going to be a good time.

Oh Darling, Let's Be Adventurers

Great Room Reveal: Open Concept Living/Dining Room & Kitchen

This post is brought to you by the blood, sweat, tears, and sanity of Aaron and Mekenzie Crowder.

We planned this renovation long before I was pregnant.  And we started demo before I was pregnant too.  And then I got pregnant, and going through a major renovation just about killed all three of us.  I laid most of the flooring by myself while 5 months pregnant.  We finished the week before Thanksgiving, with a little time to spare before the arrival of Evelyn Faye.

God bless all the pregnant women who go without a kitchen sink in the middle of summer.  I truly empathize.

I happily present to you, the reveal of our other baby, The Great Room.

Here’s the brief overview if you forgot where we started.

Great Room Renovation for a small house

Great Room Renovation for a small house

 

Let’s dive into the details.

 

The living room is sporting:
a painted fire place, with bead board and a red brick hearth
tall board and batten
painted curtains
entryway table made from scrap wood and a trunk
a new banister & newel post
gordon tufted chesterfield sofa
1970′s Scandinavian luna chairs
diamond shag rug
“Christ Walking on the Water” painting (1901) by Russian landscape artist, Julius Sergius von Klever

Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Open Concept Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Board and Batten around fireplace

Rustic industrial living room accents and accessories.  Painted pillows and curtains, DIY entry way table from a trunk.

Rustic Industrial living room furniture

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

The dining room is made up of:
a bargain Restoration Hardware table
the perfect orb chandelier
IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic dining room with round table, orb chandelier, yellow accents, and white cabinets

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

Industrial rustic living room accents

Industrial rustic dining room.  Circle Restoration Hardware table with leather chairs.  Orb chandelier, yellow accents.  Ikea cabinets

White IKEA Lindingo Cabinets

Open concept for small house. Living room dining room flow.  Integrated industrial design.

Yellow kitchen accents

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Open concept renovation for small house.  Industrial rustic design with Rockport Gray paint, board and batten, and IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Kitchen is made up of:
pebble stone granite counter tops
white subway tile back splash
tabouret metal bar stools
chalkboard back door
IKEA stainless steel appliances: range, dishwasher, refrigerator
barn style pendant sink light

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Kitchen Chalkboard Art "I Can Do Hard Things"

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.  White cabinets and subway tile backsplash.

Kitchen accessories

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Budget kitchen renovation for a small kitchen.  IKEA white Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic living room accents

We absolutely love how the 3 rooms flow seamlessly together for one big cohesive feeling.  It’s my favorite place in the house to be.  In the next post I write, I’ll be publishing the cost breakdown, since I’ve received so many emails regarding how/where our money was spent.

Now can someone please point me in the direction of club membership for those who survive a kitchen renovation?

Banister Shenanigans

Are we ready to get back to the great room?

When we planned out our renovation, a new banister was not part of that plan.  The deeper we got into it, the more that hideous chunk of metal stuck out.  I knew what I wanted.

Expectation.mary-poppins-gif

Reality.

stuck in banistervia

The demo of the old banister happened so fast that I did not get any good before pictures.

Banister

Aaron got to work installing the newel post.

Newel Post

It was a very Clark Griswald-y night.

Newel Post

 

Newel Post

A proud man and his newel post. #innuendo

Newel Post

 

Just like I mentioned with the subway tile backsplash, time was running out to complete our projects on time.  We called in the big guns to help finish the banister.

Redbeacon

 

Redbeacon.  Seriously, the 2nd time using the service.  And just like the first time, it was exceptional and reasonably priced.  For those of you new here, Redbeacon is a free service provided by The Home Depot, where you input your job description online, and get several competitive bids from licensed contractors.  Each contractor is held to a high standard, background checked, insured, and rated by customers.

When I posted about the backsplash, Redbeacon contacted me about offering a discount to all my readers.  Use the promo code “KenzFriends” to get $10 toward trying out Redbeacon!  This post is completely un-sponsored.  I just love the service, and they love giving a good deal.

I knew I could stain and finish the banister, so we had him just put it all together for us.  Since we had already bought all the supplies, and had the newel post in, it didn’t cost that much :)

Banister

I taped up the shoes and got to work staining.

Banister

Banister

Banister

Banister

Before:

Banister

After:

Banister

Banister

I kinda think we’ve surpassed level Mary Poppins, and entered into a whole new realm.

Banister

White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am 12 blog posts behind of where we’re at with our house.  Thanksgiving week was a week long version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  My mom’s side of the family is Greek, and when the Pulos Family gets together, things get cray, in the best way possible.

My Big Fat Greek Family

When we started our kitchen renovation, our goal was to be finished before Thanksgiving.  My family was hosting a baby shower for us in our house Thanksgiving weekend, and we wanted to be 100% done by Thanksgiving so we wouldn’t be worried about unfinished projects floating around when Baby Crowder was born in December (WHICH IS THIS MONTH!).

Since we started at the end of July, Thanksgiving seemed like a completely reasonable deadline.  However, certain projects have taken longer than other projects.  The main time-taker has been the fence.  I haven’t said much about it on the blog yet (again, another post I am behind on) but when I write it, you’ll understand.  It’s like when you’re watching Labyrinth and the Goblin King fast forwards the clock…  but in real life you don’t get the joy of singing Dance Magic Dance.  And that’s a hard life.

the-goblin-king

We purchased our tile & supplies back in August, but the backsplash kept getting pushed back because of the need to get the fence finished.  When November hit, I knew there was no way we could get it done.  I really really wanted to do it myself.  But you know, something about being 8 months pregnant using a tile saw… We can’t all be Katie Bower or Pretty Handy Girl (and all the other many DIY bloggers who have bravely installed a backsplash.)

I had every intention of doing it.  But I had to call in some help to be finished on time.  (We DID finish everything before Thanksgiving, I’m just that behind on blogging.)

For the overwhelmed DIYer:

Redbeacon

I called Home Depot, and learned about an awesome service they have called Redbeacon.  This post is completely unsponsored, just a great experience I had.  Redbeacon is a site where you upload pictures and information about your project, and you get email bids from several licensed contractors.  All the contractors have been background checked, carry insurance, and have Home Depot’s stamp of approval.  They all have ratings and reviews you can read on the site as well.  It was so easy to use.  I stated that we already had our supplies, and just needed it installed.  We got very competitive bids and fair prices.  As soon as I picked a contractor, he started the next day.  It was very inexpensive since we already had our tile and supplies.  You even pay through the Redbeacon site.  For the overwhelmed DIYer, I highly suggest using Redbeacon to finish up projects, or those little projects (like drywall!) that you never feel like doing.

And here’s the tile, simple and clean.

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

It has been a very busy summer around here, but the major projects are coming to an end.  And it feels a lot like success kid.

sucess kid twitter

-Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

-New roof 

-Build Fence

-Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten

-Banister

-Counter top install

-Backsplash 

Board & Batten with a Sprinkle of New Furniture

This isn’t going to be an informative tutorial on how to install board and batten or baseboards.  Just an editorial of a ugly duckling turned swan.

We didn’t go with traditional baseboards because they are curved on top.  We knew we would be doing board and batten, so we wanted something flat to work with.

Primed MDF boards for baseboards and board and batten were the best route to go.  Baseboards are pretty easy.  Cut them on a 45 degree angle and use a brad nailer to secure them to the wall.  Easy.  That’s your baseboard tutorial.  End of tutorial.

Baseboards

My dad brought over his laser level to make sure my chalk line was straight.

Board and Batten

AS AN ARROW.  I don’t need no laser level.  I don’t want a part of your country club…

Board and Batten

The top rail was super easy.  My dad and I did it in an afternoon.  Same as baseboards.  Make cuts on a 45 degree level, and nail the to the wall.  Make sure they’re level.  End of top rail tutorial.

Board and Batten

The slats were easy too.  Measure, make straight cuts, put some calking glue on the back, level them, and nail.  End of tutorial.

Board and Batten

Look how wicked cool my dad is.  He’s all the good parts of Norm Abrams mixed with a dash of Bob Villa, and the good looks of Scott McGillivray.  But most importantly, he’s a bunch of fun wrapped in layers of awesome dad jokes.  Like your resident Phil Dunphy.  I’m always the luckiest when him and Aaron team up on projects.

Board and Batten

And for dramatic purposes…  Here’s the difference simple board and batten molding can make.  Before.  (Oh hi Chester!  Welcome to the living room.  Hope you like our bums your new family!)

Board and Batten

After.
(It was a rainy day=bad bad light.  Sars not sars.)

Board and Batten

So much pretty.  We did our boards 30″ apart.  I think 2 and a half feet was the perfect spacing for the scale of the room.

Board and Batten

And the stairs wall before (including the coconut gumball light) …

ENGINEER-PRINT

A sexy after (with the orb-licious light).

Board and Batten

Oh, and we got our new couch and rug.  This trunk came from grandma’s garage.  And those chairs are borrowed from the basement.  We’re trying to decide if we want them to live upstairs, or if we’re still going to shop for the perfect piece.  So far, nothing has jumped out.  The trunk is going to get a better “coffee table makeover,” including legs and glass.  But for now, it’s a good place to toss your tired feet.

Board and Batten

Oh, and the board and batten isn’t 100% done.  It needs to be caulked and painted still.  But, you know, I really just couldn’t wait.  You know, bloggers and their patience.  Do those words even belong in a sentence together?

And for the sake of drama, this picture was begging to be included.

Board and Batten

Can you believe how far we’ve come?!  We are almost done-sies.  Seriously, we have TWO inside things left to do.  TWO.

-Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

-New roof 

-Build new fence (STILL in progress!  But the leveling, post setting, and retaining wall part is done.  It should be a breeze from here on out)

-Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten

-Build new banister (Newel post is in, if you gathered that from the pictures above)

-Counter top install

-Back splash (Tile and supplies are bought, just need to do it!)

The Great Granite Counter Top Love Affair

What good is a kitchen without counter tops?

About as good as Dunder Mifflin without Jim Halpert.

We lived without Jim for 2 and a half weeks.  It’s a hard life.  No one to make you smile.  No one to play pranks with.  Our beautiful cabinets were a sad sad Pam.  Alone.

But not for long.

Pam and Jim

Our counter tops were ordered through IKEA.  They subcontract to a local company in Salt Lake called Aspen Counter Tops.  And the way it works is this:  they won’t even think about sending out the templater until the cabinets are 100% installed.

Cabinets- NO COUNTERS :(  FOR 2.5 WEEKS. :( x 2.5

IKEA Cabinet Installation

And AFTER the templater has made the template, it takes 2 weeks minimum for them to fabricate it and install it.  It’s a horrendous wait… like waiting for Jim and Pam to FINALLY be together.  Yeah.  I know.  It was a rough 4 seasons.  But worth it?  You tell me.

HOME_TOUR_KITCHEN_SMALL_KITCHEN

Granite Counter Tops

HOME_TOUR_KITCHEN_SMALL_KITCHEN

(This is a temporary microwave, and this is NOT where the real microwave will live when we get it!)

Granite Counter Tops

How to Renovate A Small Kitchen on a Budget

Granite Counter Tops

And lest we not forget:

DAMASK_DINING_ROOM

Granite Counter Tops

For this reason alone adding the extra footage of counter space was worth it:

Granite Counter Tops

If this isn’t an epic love story, then I don’t know what else is.

-Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

-New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress)

-Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten (supplies purchased)

-build new banister (in progress)

-Counter top install

-Back splash (supplies purchased… did you weigh in on the opinion-fest on Facebook?)

How To Install Laminate Flooring… for dummies and pregnant women

Remember when I told you about this amazing deal on flooring I scored?  If you’re new, that post covers the reasons we went with laminate and the amazing price we got it for from Lumber Liquidators.  Let’s just say that it cost less than a mounted microwave.  With NO compromise on quality.  :)

Laying laminate flooring is so easy a 5 month pregnant lady on bed rest could do it.  A literal statement.

Each box of flooring had a diagram of instructions in like manner to IKEA.  Aka, no words.  It’s pretty straight forward.

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

how to install laminate flooring

Okay.  The biggest thing to be learned from the steps is to make sure to put a doormat down.  You never know when the destruction of ghost feet will find you (as referenced in step 19).

We bought a flooring installation kit for about $15 and I highly recommend you do the same for your flooring installation.

how to install laminate flooring

The spacers go around the edges of the room.  Don’t be worried about gaps.  Your baseboards cover that.

It’s a pretty ingenious idea from IKEA to have the toe-kicks snap on and off.  We ran the flooring under the cabinets and were able to just snap the toe-kicks back on and it looked AMAZING!

how to install laminate flooring

The picture below shows the underlayment we used.  It’s called Traffic Master, and I picked it up at Home Depot.  I bought 600 sq ft for $28 total.  Which is a heck of a lot cheaper than Lumber Liquidators wanted to charge for underlayment.  They wanted to charge $0.40 sq ft.  Almost as much as the flooring itself.  So keep that in mind when pricing flooring.

how to install laminate flooring

When you start a new row, cut a random length, so you get a lovely staggered look.

how to install laminate flooring

The next piece snaps to the previous row nicely, but it’s almost impossible to avoid a gap between the next-door neighbor piece.

how to install laminate flooring

Which is where THIS GUY comes in handy.  Beat it with a hammer a couple times and…

how to install laminate flooring

BAM.  No gap.  Pretty sure this method crossed my mom’s mind a few time when considering braces for us children.

how to install laminate flooring

For the odd shaped pieces that needed to be cut (like for vent holes) we used a jig saw.  It was pretty simple!

Having the same flooring run throughout is like the day I realized wearing make up shouldn’t look like you’re wearing make up.  Bye bye white eye liner.

how to install laminate flooring

And to remember how bad that metaphoric white eye liner really was:

Laminate Flooring

how to install laminate flooringq

Check-in time:

-Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

-New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress)

-Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring 

-Baseboards + board & batten (supplies purchased)

-**newly added to the list** build new banister (supplies purchased)

-Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash (supplies purchased… did you weigh in on the opinion-fest on Facebook?)

We are getting close to being done.  Our new furniture has been arriving.  We have all the rest of the materials purchased, so we are ready to buckle down and get it done!

How To Build A Brick Hearth

Did you have an enchanting Labor Day weekend?  We enjoyed a nice little holiday up to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.  It was most excellent to have a break from working on the house.

We did all our hard laboring the previous weekend.  With the completion of paint, I was all riled up to start flooring.  But Aaron buzz killed reminded me that we needed to decide on a hearth before we laid flooring.

The previous hearth was tile.  And not just tile, but tile that had the pattern of dirt on it.  I wasn’t too keen on having tile again.  #PermaDirt

DIY Brick Hearth

We kept tossing back and forth the idea of doing the same tile as whatever we decided on for the backsplash.  But I didn’t want it to be too matchy matchy.  I told Aaron he could 100% decide.  And then I immediately regretted it when he said “Red brick.”  He knew I was really hesitant, and said we could white wash them if I wanted.  However, I didn’t really want to.  I know every other blogger is all about painting and white washing brick these days… which is kind of why I didn’t want to.  I just needed to trust him on this.  A task much easier said than done.

We have a really great friend who is a brick mason who volunteered his time to help us with this project.   The total cost of this was less than $60, and we way over estimated the amount of brick needed.  We needed bricks, mortar, and wire meshing (lath).

The bricks were $0.42 in the store, the mortar was about $5 a bag, and the lath was about $7.

We used 1.5 bags of mortar for our hearth.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I was really bummed they wouldn’t let me help… but you know, 5 months pregnant and everyone feels like they can boss you around.  Apparently there is only one type of “brick laying” I should be doing, and that should be happening in the bathroom… so…

The first thing they did after telling me I couldn’t help, was nail the lath to the subfloor where the brick would be laid.  We put a layer of the same underlayment we would be using for the rest of the flooring under the lath as a moisture barrier and extra layer of protection.  It’s not necessary, but recommended.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Then they mixed the mortar in a bucket.  Joel had a fancy beater, but if you didn’t have one, I’m sure the old “shovel in a wheel barrow” method would translate.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

There is no exact ratio of water to mortar mix.  It should be thick, but wet enough that it sticks to the brick.  It’s hard to explain what exactly that is until you start working with it.  But you’ll know if you need to add a little more water, or a little more mix.  Just think of it as cement frosting.  It’s always easier to start with much less milk… otherwise you’ll be adding powdered sugar til the end of time.  (Which is usually what happens in this house)

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Buster supervised.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

We used a spare piece of plywood as a trough.  Anything you want to dump the mortar on will do.  Use a trowel to spread a thin layer of mortar across the lath.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

After this step, it was go-time for laying the brick.  It’s definitely more of a craft than you would expect.  We were so glad to have Joel here to help.  He was able to teach Aaron and I some tricks of the trade that we wouldn’t have known.  There were a couple bricks that needed to be cut.  Like a tile cutter, you can rent a brick cutter at the home improvement store.  Luckily Joel brought one along.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

You mortar the sides of the brick that you are sticking to something, and level as you go.  It’s a lot of squishing and wiggling it around to get it to fit.  Much like getting into a pair of skinny jeans after the holidays.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And Indy just sat upon my lap while I watched.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

They worked from the outside to the middle.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

We told Joel that we were thinking about white-washing the brick.  He said we could get a more authentic look if we were a little “messier” with the mortar.  It would give it a worn 100-year-old brick wall look.  Perfect.  The more I thought about it, the more I loved it.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

The last step Joel did was use a little tool to even out the mortar between each brick.  And smile, of course.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I was extraordinarily pleased when it was done.  I surprisingly LOVED it.  It has just the right amount of rustic touch.  And we decided to leave it as it.  NO PAINTING!

How To Build a Brick Hearth

It takes a full week for the mortar to dry and the color to be what it will actually look like.  A week later, this is where we’re at.  (AND you get a bonus taste of the flooring )

How To Build a Brick Hearth

How To Build a Brick Hearth

I obviously need to clean the inside of the insert… since you know, it hasn’t been cleaned since BEFORE we did a crap ton of dry walling up in this business.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And when Buster saw the camera out, he wanted to be in on the action.  He put on his best Tyra face.

How To Build a Brick Hearth

And for the sake of enjoying a good before/after shot… I give you:

How To Build a Brick Hearth

Let’s review the list:

-Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

-New roof 

-Build new fence (in progress!)

-Paint ceiling & walls

-Install flooring (in progress!)

-Baseboards + board & batten

-**newly added to the list** build new banister

-Counter top install (done but you haven’t seen it yet, unless you creep on Instagram)

-Back splash

Rockport Gray Paint: Open Concept Color

Rockport Gray - Paint color for open concept living room and kitchen

Did we all survive the weekend?  Are we all ready for next weekend already?!  Yep.  Thought so.

Let me take you back to a time when the world didn’t make sense. When the living room, dining room, and kitchen were 3 different rooms… with 3 different wall colors, and 3 different floorings:

Eclectic Living Room

I’ve been really looking forward to painting and making it one cohesive space.  We polled you on facebook, and dang!  You are all very opinionated when it comes to paint color.

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Irons In The Fire

It’s FRIDAY!  I feel like we should all hug.  It’s been a rough week, huh.  Today I’m guest posting over at my friend Beth from Sawdust & Embryo’s blog.  She is A.MAY.ZING.  I’m figuratively jumping up and down over the fact she let me guest post.  A huge THANK YOU to her!

I feel like if our kitchen/summer renovation extravaganza was a fire, all the sub-projects would be irons.  And there are many many irons up in that fire.  And… the fire might be a little out of control.  So much so, that it is time to send some hot fire fighters into the scene.

Fire fighter

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