Tuesday, February 20, 2018

New Job, New State and New House!

Hello, there gentle readers. It's been quite a while since we've bumped into one another and it's not at all your fault. I've been a bit preoccupied for the past what...two years?! You see my entire universe went and rearranged on me and my family back in July 2016. That's when my husband suddenly found himself laid off from his, what seemed like a steady and forever job, after 9 years of hard work and loyalty. We suddenly were left scratching our heads wondering what went wrong. Scrambling for a new direction for our lives. Eventually, we found ourselves packing up our family of six, selling our beloved home in Utah. We left all our family and friends behind to move across the country to upstate New York for a new job.

At the time I was also pregnant with our last child and our first little girl. So this only made the upheaval all the more stressful. Needless to say, my writing career and all other work, besides keeping my family afloat during this tumultuous transition, got put on hold. When we first arrived in New York we got a modest little apartment to get us settled while we looked for a house. Having bought and moved into our first house only a week before our first son was born we had never before experienced apartment living with little kids. We did not enjoy it. Children need lots of room to run around and play, inside and outdoors. We had neither in our apartment. Then we went and added a new baby a couple months after moving. Our daughter Lucy was born last April! :)

The housing market in this part of New York is really crazy. We lost three of the four houses we attempted to buy. Unfortunately, this meant it took us 6 months to find the right house for us. Finally, we moved into our new home in September the day before the new school year started. Ahhhh! It was nuts trying to get moved in and get my three oldest sons registered for school all at the same time. Somehow we managed it though. I wish I could say that was the end of our trails but alas our new home was only new to us; it was anything but in reality. Built-in 1960 and bought from the original owner who apparently updated very little over the 58 years they lived here, it was as outdated as a house can get! However, the house has great bones. It has four bedrooms to fit our large family. Large family room and living room and three bathrooms. Add a killer master bedroom with a master bath and it was nearly perfect. It also came with a separate room for an office totally secluded from the rest of the house. Did I mention I've always had to have my desk in someone's bedroom? Well, I have. So having a real office was a huge plus for me! The house is also located in our ideal neighborhood with friends only a few blocks away and right next to the school. So the house had loads of potential, but we simply couldn't live a moment in this dark, dingy grandma house the way it was.

Between my design background from my time attending The Art Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, and my husband's clean freak tendencies, the two of us put our creative energy together and embarked on the reno! Right away we started painting walls and tearing out the world most disgusting carpets. Amongst the first things to be redone was our rather ugly front entryway.


As you can see it wasn't pretty. The tiles were a strange beige color with brown veins throughout. Random blue and yellow floral tiles stuck out with a black dirty grout backdrop. The hexagon-shaped tiles were kinda neat though. My first instinct was to rip it all out and start band new, but my husband was intimidated by tile work and the potential cost involved. The next thought was to paint the tile, which would be much more cost-effective. It also meant no demo and would be more time effective, too! My original plan was to paint it all white and then stencil an Augusta pattern in blue over top. However, this kind of pattern is usually done on square tiles and wasn't ideal for a hexagon tile. :( While I scoured Pinterest and the rest of the internet for a stencil for a hexagon tile my husband stumbled upon another good option. As beautiful as my original idea would've been it was going to be tedious to accomplish. With five little ones in the house we needed a design solution, we could execute fairly quickly, especially if we didn't want little feet trampling paint all over our brand new carpet! So as much as I hated to admit it, my husband's idea was a pretty darn good one. So we went with his concept instead.

My original design plan
Jonny's design solution
To execute the project I got Behr premium 1-gallon deep base gloss enamel exterior Porch and Patio Paint in grey, white, and blue. We decided to trade black for blue in the pattern to better suit our homes overall color scheme. After a good cleaning with soap and warm water, we did a light sanding of the floor. (It's recommended to clean the floor with mineral water or vinegar to help the tile be more absorbent of the paint) Next, we painted the whole floor white. This gave us a blank canvas so to speak. Also, we had decided to have white grout lines. Next, we painted random tiles grey. Since I have a very steady hand and I don't trust painters tape we didn't use any tape to keep from painting outside the hexagon onto the grout. Lastly, we painted blue tiles at random to complete the spontaneousness of the pattern. We did this all late at night after the kids were all asleep to ensure we wouldn't be interrupted. This still didn't keep our crazy wild toddler from trying to get on it while it was still wet. (he's not a good sleeper - *sigh*) Luckily he caused very little damage to the paint. However, even after it dried the paint felt a bit tacky. It turns out that the paint was completely set up right because of the cold weather. Since we were painting in an entryway right next to a door it would've been ideal to have waited until the weather warmed up to paint. Fast forward a few months, and we're now seeing bits of the paint scraping off. We believe this is due to it not setting up right at first. As soon as spring arrives we plan to do touch-ups. In the end, we're very happy with our new entryway! We get lots of compliments on the floor and the kids think it's fun too. It also ties in all the colors form the adjoining rooms.

This isn't the first time I've given a Pinterest pin a try and it certainly won't be the last. But that's a story for another blog. And yes you can expect to see more DIY blog post intermixed with writing, art, and stay-at-home-mom-posts. Have you had a similar experience with a Pinterest that inspired a project of your own? If so, please share it with me in the comments or on my facebook page. 

So in closing, we've been living in New York a year now and time has certainly flown by. We've been in the house six months and there's still so much work to be done. But we're excited to see the process unfold and claim this old house as our own one room at a time. In the meantime, thanks for visiting my blog and having patience with my long absence from the blog sphere. :) It's been a pleasure sharing all the news of the past couple years with you. I hope to visit with you again really soon. I wish you all the best of luck in all your endeavors till we read again...

- R.J. Craddock

(Inspiration pics courtesy of Pink little Notebook and Cutting Edge Stencil) The paint used in this project can be found here.