Open Shelving DIY Project

I have been dreaming about building an open shelving area to display my treasures for months now. I even started the project months ago (see previous post), but then a lot happened. I even moved! Now that I am settled in a new space I have my dream shelves with charming, curly brackets. May seem silly to some, but having these shelves and knowing I made them myself Рmakes me so happy! Now I have a place to hang my home decor  (basically my prized possessions)! Some pieces I made myself, others were found through flea markets & vintage shopping trips.

I picked out a beautiful pine wood board at The Home Depot. I chose to stain it a warm brown color. My local PPG Paints store custom mixed the stain color in a Zar interior stain to match the hue of the laminate flooring in a previous project.

zar stain zar stain

I had found the studs and laid out the hanging positions previously, but waited until my Dad could lend a hand to help me hang the long shelves. He had the great idea of staggering the shelves ūüôā

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The After, a Pittsburgh House Flip

So remember when my boyfriend bought another house (check out my post from the first surprise house here)? He‚Äôs really getting into the business of flipping small outdated homes and revitalizing them for rental. The Pittsburgh rental market is very active.

He has been working hard on the property since buying it in January 2017, with myself helping on any small projects that I can. I mostly contribute to design choices, painting and heavy-duty cleaning. Plus providing positive moral, and food & drink supplies for the worker bee of course! Working mostly on the weekends, the projects were slow to show progress, but the house is finally done & rented!

Thought I‚Äôd share the after state to show that it just took him a little budget, commitment and hard work to transform a dated, dull house into something livable again. Now it’s rented, providing a home for a family and a sense of accomplishment and future income for the investor. I’m proud of his accomplishments, and admire his commitment and drive towards something more. I know we have both been learning about a lot more than house flipping along the way, especially about how to balance projects, time management and communicating. It’s definitely a challenge to flip a property at 26 with a full time job and limited experience – it’s especially wearing on a personal relationship.

I recently became infatuated with another local couple, successful and established in the house-flipping business the Bennetts of K Bennett Development Group. You may have heard of them from their HGTV pilot show Steel City Rehab. I LOVED the show not just because of the Pittsburgh setting (so awesome to see the city shine), but also because of the couple’s fun, positive energy. They have been through the hard times of starting a house-flipping business, and continue to face serious challenges, but still (appear, I don’t actually know them lol) to have their kind, fun-loving, respectful relationship set as a priority. After their episode aired they posted to their Facebook thanking viewers and welcoming questions. I took the opportunity to ask something personal, looking for perspective for my own relationship during flipping struggles. I asked two questions and really appreciate that Kris and Tara answered with their thoughtful responses.

I‚Äôm curious about the beginning of your house-flipping journey. How did you prioritize getting your business off the ground while still taking care of your personal relationships?

TB: There came a time when we knew we needed to buckle down and give our careers some major attention. Kris had been used to getting checks in the mail for riding his bike for so long, so it was definitely a challenge for us at first. We had a lot of conversations about the business ‚ÄĒ how we need to do what it takes and make sacrifices to get on our feet. We had our daughter and another baby on the way at the time, and we were having a hard time making ends meet. We didn‚Äôt see each other a lot during the first flip. Kris would work until he couldn‚Äôt keep his eyes open, then he‚Äôd go back as soon as he woke up. That went on for at least six months. I did most of the kid and home duties on my own. It was extremely hard, but getting through that first house and watching the process succeed ‚ÄĒ even though it came with major challenges ‚ÄĒ was enough for us to want to do it again. That year was a major marriage victory for us. We realized that we make an awesome team, even when things get tough. We learned how beneficial we are to each other when it comes to encouragement and motivation. There were some days we felt like we couldn‚Äôt do it anymore, but we helped one another stay positive.

Any advice on the work-life-balance struggle as a young couple flipping in Pittsburgh?

TB: Balancing the different parts of your life takes a real effort. Kris and I will sit down and plan our weeks out at the beginning of each month. What are our work hours? When do the kids have activities? When does the gym fit in? When do we want date nights, time with friends, family days, etc.? If we don‚Äôt schedule, we will go weeks without a date night and months without seeing some of our best friends.

KB: Work does take up a lot of our time, but we’re good at prioritizing the other parts of our lives as well. If we feel like something is slipping, we re-evaluate and adjust the calendar. It’s an ongoing thing, but we try to be super-honest with each other about what we need.

Kitchen Before

House Flipping Pittsburgh BEFORE House Flipping Pittsburgh BEFORE

Kitchen After

For the walls I selected the same paint color from our own kitchen. It was inspired by what else other than an episode of Fixer Upper of course! I picked a PPG Voice of Color paint color called Silent Storm, a pale green gray 6 months before I realized it actually truly is the PPG crossover for Joanna‚Äôs color Americana Egg in the Magnolia Homes paint line! A crossover means that Silent Storm is the closest tint formula in the PPG color palette, to the other brand‚Äôs color Americana Egg. This is discovered based on tint and formula data.

silent storm

For more PPG Paint colors similar to those used on Fixer Upper check out this Pinterest board full of Modern Farmhouse collection colors.

pittsburgh house flip after

pittsburgh house flip after

pittsburgh house flip after

 

Bathroom Before

House Flipping Pittsburgh BEFORE

 

Bathroom After

In the bathroom (and bedrooms) we picked a very light grey color called Elusion PPG1005-2. He decided to use the same tile we have in our own bathroom across the shower and floor.

PPG Paints Speedhide

pittsburgh house flip after bathroom

 

Pink Bedroom

House Flipping Pittsburgh BEFORE

 

Updated Bedroom

pittsburgh house flip after

Updated Living Room

pittsburgh house flip after

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House Flipping in Pittsburgh

So my boyfriend bought another house, actually two (check out my post from the first surprise house here).¬†He’s really getting into the business of flipping small¬†outdated¬†homes and revitalizing them for¬†the¬†active Pittsburgh rental market. He’s¬†been working¬†hard on each property since January 2017, with myself helping on any small projects that I can. Mostly just painting and design choices, plus food & drink supplies for the worker bee¬†of course! Working mostly¬†on the weekends, the projects are starting show great progress! Thought I’d share the before state of one of the projects and a bit of the progress he’s made to show that it just takes a little, budget, commitment and hard work to transforms a dated, dull house!

The Before…

A dated green kitchen!

A pink bedroom!

A bedroom covered in Pittsburgh’s favorite faux wood paneling!

And last, but not least, a colorful basic bathroom!

This is a standalone single family home located just north of the city of Pittsburgh. It’s 3 stories with 3 bedrooms and one full bath. The unfinished basement features a Pittsburgh toilet, workshop and laundry area. A lot of progress has been made so far! I am not involved in everything going on, but I do know that the home has received¬†a bathroom overall, all new appliances (kitchen& laundry), new flooring throughout, expanded¬†electric wiring, new paint and lighting; among many other updates. These simple updates have proved to significantly refresh the space.

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time painting lately and per usual¬†have gotten a lot of paint in my hair! I need to learn to always wear a hat when painting.

paint in hair

We’ve used a very strong odor killing, stain concealing and mold killing/preventing primer, as well as Pittsburgh’s hometown paint brand’s¬†PPG Paints Manor Hall, and Glidden Premium.

If you’re interested in trying PPG Paints products here’s a¬†Friends & Family Discount!

PPG Paints friends & family discount 2017

 

 

Paint-Splattered Jean Trend

If¬†you’ve seen my BF or I¬†on the weekends in the past few months, we¬†were probably covered in paint. I just want it to be known that we started this whole paint-covered jean trend, that’s in store now. Seriously go to the mall, multiple brands¬†are selling paint-splattered jeans, from NY& Company to Armani Men’s. Ridiculous. ¬†If you want paint-splattered jeans, come help us paint!

Alice + Olivia paint splattered skinny jeans

paint splattered jean trend

Seven7 paint splattered jeans

paint splattered jean trend

Target’s paint splattered skinny jeans

paint splattered jean trend

Rag & Bone Paint-Splattered Skinny Jean

paint splattered jean trend

Giuliana Rancic’s Splattered Denim

paint splattered jean trend

Free People Paint Splattered Boyfriend Jean

paint splattered jean trend

New York & Company Painted Boyfriend Jean

paint splattered jean trend

Armani Exchange Men’s Paint-Splattered Jeans

paint splattered jean trend

Gap Girlfriend Splatter Jean

paint splattered jean trend

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Hometalk Community

hometalk logo

I’ve been experimenting with cross-posting my home remodeling projects on the DIY home & garden community HomeTalk. I’ve been blown away by the amount of views the postings have received! Plus all the comments that have been written in reply! The community is very active and vocal.

It was so easy to build a post. All I did was pull the copy and imagery from my original blog post content and build it into the Hometalk project form. The postings started getting views and momentum right away. Now my three project postings have a combined view total of 594,000 views and 345  comments on Hometalk! That is truly amazing to me.

Hometalk Community

Some of the comments are nice, sweet and encouraging, while others can be a little bit mind boggling. Here are some of the sweetest comments that actually did make me cry a bit (happy tears).

Hometalk Community

Hometalk

Hometalk

Some ladies dared to say that my boyfriend should propose after the transformation on our kitchen, hahaha!

My postings have even been featured in multiple Hometalk Facebook and Twitter posts! I am grateful for the exposure Hometalk has provided and the feedback from it’s active community. I’ve learn a lot and have received a lot of constructive feedback from the vocal community.¬†I would encourage anyone looking for inspiration or wanting to share the projects they are proud of, to join & become active on Hometalk! I’d love to follow you there ūüôā

Check out my project postings oh Hometalk.com for yourself here:

  1. $150 Kitchen Renew With Fresh Paint & Flooring

  2. Simple DIY Living Room Facelift

  3. Small Bathroom Makeover Under $2,750

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Living Room Flip Project Before & After

Picking out a paint color for the living room flip project¬†was the hardest choice thus far in this tiny Pittsburgh rental flip. I wanted a neutral¬†gray and that was all I knew.¬† The paint color and the flooring was all we had budgeted to change in the living room, so the color was a big decision. I started with about 50¬†paint swatches and narrowed these down to 8 paint colors, all on the cooler gray side. I then took advantage of a 99 cent paint sample jar sale at Lowe’s Home Improvement (this sale happens about once a quarter) and got a sample for each of the 8 colors. I¬†really recommend¬†testing your color on the wall with a sample size¬†before you buy¬†it.¬†Seeing the color in your space makes a huge difference. Take the time to paint a sample of the colors you think you like, and check the test area throughout the day, as the lighting shifts.

Simple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my Mantra Simple Living Room Makeover

Even if you have 8 colors you’re stuck on¬†like I did, the picking a paint color process is so much easier when the paint is actually on the wall. Once I had the grays on the wall I could really see the undertones. I didn’t want something purple or brown, so those undertones were immediately eliminated. My BF wanted something darker, and I wanted a gray-blue, so we went with the darkest bluish gray paint color.

It turned out that we picked a paint color from a brand that we didn’t intend on buying product from. I don’t know what happened, but once we got our gallons tinted at Lowe’s into Olympic ONE, and painted the full wall¬†space, the paint color appeared a lot more blue than gray. A bit of an upset to the BF, but I may or may not have intended it to be more blue than he was expecting ūüėČ We still only have one overhead light fixture in the space, so I apologize for the quality of the following photos, but below is our humble space post paint job. Plus, check out the post sharing on our flooring project.

Simple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my Mantra Simple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my Mantra

Our living room space is actually the only common area in our tiny Pittsburgh rental unit. We use the space as a living room and office, as this is the only place we had floor room for a desk and chair. Our furniture is mismatched, with pieces coming from both my own¬†&¬†my BF’s collection. Being 25 we’ve inherited most of our furniture, still working with what was scrounged up from our college apartment days. My bedroom set, the Derbyshire from Value City Furniture¬†is the only furniture I’ve bought myself as an adult (I cried when I saw how cheap it is now versus when I bought it 2 years ago). The dresser is actually our TV stand now because this large furniture piece did not fit in the bedroom. I just¬†couldn’t sacrifice the storage space, thus my clothes are in the living room.¬†I’ll keep holding onto dreams of a walk in closet (or a closet at all) in the bedroom and separate living rooms & office spaces. Sigh. For now, home is where the wine is ūüć∑

Simple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my Mantra Simple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my MantraSimple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my MantraSimple Living Room Makeover Moscato is my Mantra

Compared to the before the simple update of new flooring, trim and paint color is a huge improvement. The before was terrible. Gross carpet, wood paneling AND lace curtains!?

Pittsburgh Home before renovation Pittsburgh Home before renovation

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