acreage renovation: entry/laundry/mud room

January 2021. That’s when we first began renovations on this well-used room in our home. May 2022. That’s when we finally finished it! Here is the road to how we ended up here.

Although our home obviously has a front door, we never use it. Our front yard is all grass, and no one had ever made a stone path from the driveway to the door. This is on our list of things to do, but we have yet to do it. Thus, the only entry that we and guests use it the one directly off of our driveway and closest to the garage- the side door.

Now our original side entry was a narrow strip of about 3 feet x 8 feet. Anyone who did come in had to enter in single file. With a wall and pocket door to the left and a kitchen to the right, there was nowhere to take off your shoes or hang your jackets. Once you did remove those items, you then had to walk through a pocket door to the small laundry/mud room, with yellow walls and a huge, dated washer and dryer, where you were able to put your gear in an overcrowded and open closet.

I forgot to mention that the side entry was also very red and very dark. We absolutely hated it and were quite embarrassed by the two cramped ketchup and mustard rooms. So we decided to open them both up, and to add a window and new exterior door for more light.

We chose a small black window with grids to keep with our modern style. It was installed in only one morning, and helped immensely with letting in the morning light. It also gave the room the feeling of being more open. Most importantly, we are now able to look over our driveway, side yard, and down the road as it is literally the only window on the east side of our house!

After we had the window installed, my husband started removing the ketchup wall and pocket door. I think that also only took him a morning to do so.

We were left with beams from the attic space and a lot of electrical in the old closet wall. We hired my cousin’s husband, who is an electrician, to come and remove all of the wires and outlets that were there. He did, and charged us nothing! That was an unexpected treat.

After the electrical was removed, we hired another contractor to install a new door that consisted mostly of glass. Between the new window, new door, and removed wall, our new entry/laundry/mud room already felt like a changed room! We didn’t care that it was half ripped apart, because it felt much brighter and more open. So we lived with it for a long time.

In the meantime, we renovated our basement, got pregnant, moved the dog run, built a clothesline, remodelled our living room, and the kid’s bedroom, and had a baby. Finally, almost 1.5 years after starting the project, we were ready to finish it.

The first thing we did was choose flooring. We wanted to stay away from tile, since that’s what was already there and it was evident that it would crack and lift in such a wet and high-traffic area. Hardwood and laminate were also out for they cannot handle moisture. What we were left with was vinyl, so we chose to go with a click system option.

We wanted the room to look clean and modern. I brought home several samples of white flooring, and from there we chose the one that had the least amount of texture and was bright and somewhat warm (to match our brown wood floor next to it). It’s called Matisse by Beaulieu. Then we measured the room and made sure to also get enough for my bathroom as well as the kid’s bathroom.

We had initially booked flooring installers, but to make a long story short, they ended up cancelling. We decided to tackle the install ourselves instead. My husband had to install all new subfloor consisting of varying dimensions in order to ensure that it met the height of the hardwood floor in the kitchen.

Geoffrey also had to move plumbing. We were given a quote of nearly $1000, but he was able to do it himself for less than $100.

He capped off the two overhead beams as well.

Then shiplap. So much shiplap. It was an extremely time-consuming process for Geoff to put it on all of the walls, the ceiling, and the attic door and have it line up perfectly. He did a really great job, though!

After the shiplap came painting. We chose our favourite ‘Falling Snow’ by BEHR. I helped out with this, since we were rushing to get it done in time for Beau’s baptism.

Once painting was completed, it was now time to install the flooring. We had never done any type of floor ourselves so we didn’t know what to expect. We talked to family members and watched a lot of videos. To our surprise, Geoff did the entire entry way and bathroom in a day and a half. It involved so much cutting and pounding, but it went in securely and beautifully.

The trim work followed the installation of the floor. Geoff did it all, siliconed it, and painted once again. Here is the result!

I purchased both the entry light and laundry room light from Amazon.
 

Our drying racks are also from there, as well as our shoe lockers. We needed something nice, big, and functional for our shoes and I can’t recommend them enough!

The bench is from JYSK and the area rug is from Amazon.

We decided to reuse our kitchen cabinets for the laundry room in order to create a good flow between the two rooms. We did purchase a laminate countertop called ‘Arctic Snow’ from Lowe’s, and new cabinet handles from, you guessed it, Amazon.

Finally, we swapped out our old washer and dryer for a compact combo unit by Haier. Now a lot of people have never used these 2 in 1 appliances before, but we swear by them. This is our third now, and I would say that it’s the brand that has worked the best so far. Because it is a non-venting condensing dryer it does take longer to dry your clothes than a traditional dryer. However, where it lacks on drying time it save you immensely on space. Plus, you can wash and dry a load without ever needing to remove wet clothes in between the cycles! How great is that?

That concludes our entry/laundry/mud room renovation. While we had never intended on it taking nearly two years to finish, I’m glad that it did. I had changed my mind about so many things along the way that if we rushed it, we wouldn’t have made it work for us in the way that it does now. It’s open, bright, and highly functional. It’s a lot of things in a small space, and it delivers in every aspect.

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

don’t make these mistakes when borrowing money

Some people say it is never a good idea to borrow money, but that is not true. There will always be times when you need to borrow money, whether it is to buy a house or a car or to pay a bill that came out of the blue. That is not a problem as long as you borrow money the right way, compare credit, and do not make some of the big mistakes that many people make in this situation. Here, we look at some of the worst things you can do when you borrow money.

image

Getting by with credit cards

Life has a way of throwing you curveballs, and when it does, your monthly expenses end up being higher than your income. In this case, you might want to look into getting a credit card to make sure you can pay all of your important bills on time. In an emergency, that is fine, but some people depend on their credit cards to live or make more money every month.

This is not a good way to manage your money because you usually end up paying off the balance and then using the money right away. All you are doing is wasting money on interest payments. If you always have to borrow money or use your credit card at the end of the month, you need to look at your budget again and change how much you spend. That might mean giving up some luxuries until your money is in order again.

Getting the wrong kind of loan

When you get a loan, you should look at your options to find the best loan for your needs. Because it is often something that needs to be taken care of quickly, many people rush into it and do not make the best choice.

For example, if you want to start a business, you do not need a personal loan but a loan for a business. But if you want to fix up your house, you should look into secured property loans because you will get a better interest rate most of the time.

Taking out more money than you need

Borrowing money for non-essentials is never a good idea, but even if you need money in an emergency, you might be tempted to borrow more than you need.

The lender may tell you how much you can borrow when you ask for a loan. People often end up borrowing more money than they planned to because they think having more money will make their lives easier.

But that is only true in the short term. Once you have to start paying back the loan each month, it will be much harder to stick to your monthly budget. Before you apply for a loan, you should figure out exactly how much money you need and stick to that amount.

Getting money from family and friends

If you are having trouble paying your bills and are behind on a lot of payments, you might find it hard to get a loan or other credit because you have a bad credit rating. In this case, you might decide to borrow money from family and friends. If they can afford it, they will probably be happy to help. But that can be a huge risk sometimes. When you borrow money from family or friends, it can change your relationship with them, and if you can not pay it back, it can cause a lot of tension and fights.

If you have no other choice but to borrow from friends and family, you need to set clear rules to protect everyone. Think about it like you would any other loan, and make sure paying it back is your top priority.

** This was a contributed post.

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

our most pinned diys

Hey guys! 

I recently added a widget for my top blog posts. Since then, I’ve been noticing how a few of them change almost daily while others remain constant in those coveted spots. Because Pinterest is the main catalyst behind their numbers, I thought that I would share my most pinned posts, how they held up over time, and provide updated photos if I can!

Here we go:

Spare Bedroom
(8000+ clicks)

I am almost embarrassed of this post now. I published it nearly 8 years and 4 houses ago. I was showing my favourite bedrooms on Pinterest and how they influenced both of our own spare bedrooms in our home, Little Green. The trend was very early 2000s- colourful, eclectic, and home-made. Almost everything was thrifted. Not at all what our style is now.

That said, I must say that the house did sell very quickly and we made more from the sale than we did with any other home. It’s also my most popular DIY. So I guess there’s something to be said about busy bedrooms?

Wood Pallet Playhouse
(3000+ clicks)

Although the spare bedroom post is currently my most popular, this post that I published 2 years ago on how to build a free wood pallet playhouse is quickly going to surpass it. I am very proud of this project. It was a labour of love for our children and is definitely one of the things they use the most when playing outside.

So how did it hold up after being outside for the last 700 days? The wood pallet platform that it initially rested on only lasted until the end of the first summer. By then, the wood had buckled and split so badly that we ended up getting rid of it. That makes sense though, right? If you were to leave wood laying flat outside for months on end, of course it’s going to warp from all of the precipitation.

What we did instead was create a base of river rocks for the playhouse instead (pictured above). This is something that I recommend highly. We removed the grass, laid down plastic, and then filled it with bags and bags of rocks, as well as larger ones that we collected from neighbouring fields. The river rocks were somewhat pricey, but it ensures that we don’t have to move the playhouse to cut the grass growing inside and around it.

Other than that, the playhouse itself has stood the test of time! It has survived several wind, rain, and snow storms. It hasn’t moved an inch, and hasn’t fallen apart. It is my favourite free DIY to date!

Rocky Mountain Decals Wallpaper
(2000+ clicks)

This wallpaper.

The back story was that I had contacted Rocky Mountain Decals through their website when we were about to renovate our living room. I wanted a wall of wallpaper, but because it would have been several hundred dollars to purchase it all, I thought that there would be no harm in reaching out to companies asking for a collaboration.

They were the first and only company that I ended up contacting with. As luck would have it, they accepted my application and told me to send my top 3 wallpaper preferences along with the wall dimensions. I did, they narrowed it down to one, and a few weeks later I received about $800 worth of wallpaper!

Now applying it wasn’t the issue. I was able to do it easily enough, alone, while five months pregnant. It only took one morning and it looked fantastic. Where the trouble came was afterwards. You know how flooring expands and contracts after installation? Apparently the same goes for wallpaper. What you get as a result in your perfectly smooth application is air bubbles. Bubbles on bubbles on bubbles.

When I first noticed this I thought ‘no big deal, I’ll just smooth it out and they’ll go away.’ I did, but they didn’t. What I came to realize is that air bubbles never just go away on their own. Once they form, you basically need to cut them out. Thus, I spent the next few weeks making slits in the wallpaper wherever I saw a bubble, then very carefully lifting and gluing the backside of the paper down, and finally smoothing it out once again.

The entire process almost drove me to tears. At a few different points, I told Geoff that I wanted to just take it all down. However, he convinced me to leave it up. You really can’t notice the lines that I cut, but I know that they are there.

So what is the verdict? Wallpaper is beautiful. It is a quicker albeit more expensive alternative to paint. Would I wallpaper another wall? Probably not. I am too much of a perfectionist and the bubbles drove me crazy. But if I did, I would have no problems with using Rocky Mountain Decals again. It really is thick and durable wallpaper. Just expect bubbles (with it and with any other brand)!

Tongue and Groove Ceiling
(600+ clicks)

Although this post doesn’t have my highest views, it is the one that I receive the most emails about. Unfortunately, I am unable to answer the questions that I receive about it. Let me explain why.

When it came to this ceiling, it was our contractor’s idea for the wood and for the stain. I had assumed that we were putting up drywall, but he had insisted on tongue and groove. Because he had already budgeted for it, we went ahead with his vision.

He asked us to pick out stain for the ceiling. So we did. We went to Home Depot and picked out a grey Minwax stain. I cannot remember the name. We assumed that he would cover the ceiling in it and that would be the end. However, when we went to the house and saw it, we noticed that it wasn’t stained in the grey that we chose. It was a mix of the grey and a brown. We loved the finished look so we didn’t care that he had made the change without consulting us. When I asked him how or why he did it his reply was, “don’t ask.”

I didn’t press him on the matter. That said, I still get several emails per year from people telling me that they absolutely love the colour of the ceiling and they’d like to know the name of the stain that we used. Unfortunately, aside from the brand, I can’t help them!

Nevertheless it remains my most popular post on The Little Barn on Pinterest.

Reclaimed Pallet Dog Bed
(500+ clicks)

We made a bed for our pets and subsequently published this post over 7 years ago. It was a fairly straightforward DIY that served us very well!

While we went on to make more (and even sell a few on Kijiji), we ended up removing the casters from the bottom of the bed given that our dogs at the time were so small. However, I still suggest using them, especially if you are wanting a more elevated bed for your pets!

Gender Neutral Nursery
(200+ monthly views)

I think that this is probably the room that we have renovated most in our home. And renovated, and renovated, and when Wilder goes downstairs in less than a year, will be renovating one more time. Oye.

But it is also one of the rooms that I love most. While I did mention in the post that we have already changed a few things, it has mostly stayed the same.

It is a super cute and functional space and for that, it is one of our more popular DIY remodels.

Additionally, here a few other posts that turned out really well and have remained really popular on Pinterest. Our Pop-Up Camper, Culverts, Dog Run, Exterior Doors, Jungle Gym, and Hallway Staircase.

I hope you enjoyed this update! Let me know if you would like another popular pins post.

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

5 valuable lessons you can learn from renovating your home

Unsplash – CC0 License

Renovating your home is something that is almost inevitable, particularly if you own your own house, and especially if you live out on the prairies. And, like everything in life, it’s something you can learn from. 

We’re not just talking about the practical DIY skills you learn, either. Carrying out a home renovation can teach you things you never knew about yourself. 

In this post, we look at what you can learn from home remodeling and how it changes you for the better. 

It Teaches You Patience

Home renovation projects rarely work out how you want them to the first time around. There are almost always glitches, delays, and installation problems. 

Because of this, remodeling teaches you the art of patience. You learn that if you want to get something right, you need to work late into the night after work, perfecting your work so that it looks professional. You also learn to accept that not all building materials will arrive on-site exactly when you plan them to. There will always be problems and unexpected delays. 

You Learn About Smart Changes

Unsplash – CC0 License

Big, showpiece upgrades make you feel good for a while (and will have everyone in the neighborhood talking), but once you become more experienced, you start to learn that it’s the smart changes that make the biggest difference to your quality of life. 

For instance, as leafcogutters.com points out, adding protection to your gutters is a small change, but it negates the need to clean them out every couple of weeks in the fall. 

Similarly, adding refrigerated drawers to your kitchen or an ice maker can make cooking and preparing meals much simpler, all at a low cost. 

You Discover How Fearless You Really Are

Transforming your home takes a lot more courage than many people imagine. In many cases, you have to completely destroy what’s there right now so that you can replace it with something better.

During this process, you discover how fearless you truly are. While you have some trepidation initially, you find that you actually feel quite comfortable with a hammer in your hand, or when applying paint stripper to the walls. You don’t get freaked out as much when things look bad after a tear-down day. In fact, you view it as a sign of progress. 

You Should Always Be Prepared

Going into any renovation, you always need to be prepared. Think carefully about what could potentially go wrong, and then cook up some contingency plans, just in case. 

Preparation could involve working with multiple suppliers, collecting all the tools you need, surveying your home, and ensuring that it can accommodate the changes that you want to make.

You Can Be Adaptable If You Want To Be

Lastly, we sometimes forget just how adaptable we can be, according to www.scientificamerican.com. However, you soon rediscover your ability to cope with change when renovating your home. It’s like you learn about a creative side of yourself that you never knew you had. In turn, that makes you feel more confident to pursue projects in the future. 

** This was a contributed post.

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

happy mother’s week

Yesterday was Mother’s Day! Because I didn’t publish a post prior to the holiday, I wanted to post one today, and to dedicate the entire week to mothers everywhere.

Personally, this has been my greatest job and the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. I sincerely hope that you all had a wonderful day, and were celebrated at some point!

And to those who are still waiting to become mothers, I see you.

Have the most wonderful week!

Emory

Hello, Followers:
Blog // Instagram // Pinterest

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (three on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

  • May 2022
    M T W T F S S
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
  • let's cuddle in the spare bedroom and discuss decor
    covid renovation: wood pallet playhouse
    renovating our bonair pop-up camper
    make this: wood pallet dog bed
    why you shouldn't worry about these common pregnancy fears
    more tiny homes
    tlb: our tongue and groove tale
    how to: propagate aloe vera leaves
  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,866 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: