Sunday, January 27, 2013


Aside from painting, one of the other "whole house" projects we've tackled on the beach house is flooring. The house previously had sheet linoleum throughout....about 4 different patterns. While super easy to clean, it's a much more "industrial" feel than I wanted....especially in the bedrooms.

Originally I wanted ceramic tile in the kitchen and bathrooms (my husband has done tiling for many years and I have coveted some of his client's floors from afar). Imagine my surprise when he said no. After he explained his reasoning, I agreed.

You see, our house sways. It's on stilts in a hurricane-prone area. Last year we stayed in another house on Ocracoke (right on the Pamlico Sound). A wicked storm kicked up during the night and the house was a-ROCKIN'! And not in the fun way. In the lay-motionless-in-bed-clutching-your-spouse's-arm-envisioning-who-shows-up-at-your-funeral way.

While I was busy hyperventilating, Contractor Husband was attempting to explain to me how the house's architecture is such that swaying is not only OK, but necessary. If the house doesn't flex, it will break.

So, while flexing and swaying are good for the house's longevity, they're not great matches for ceramic tile--which tolerates zero flexing. Cracked tiles, loose grout, and the sound of walking on crunchy eggshells are likely results when you combine movement and ceramic tile.

Sigh. tile for us.

For the bathrooms, we are going with sheet linoleum again. The color choices in this were not great but, again, Contractor Husband nixed the square sheets for being too prone to water damage at all the seams. I'll share the bathroom flooring in a later "Bathrooms Post."

The bedrooms will get a nice gray Stainmaster carpet. That I will also share that at a later date since we're still working on getting installers to the island after the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry shut down due to shoaling.

So enough about what isn't....don't you want to see what is?

For the main part of the house--the living room, kitchen, dining room, and game room--we went with a Pergo laminate. Initially I was worried that it would have that hollow sound, but it seems they've eliminated that issue.

Pergo "Driftwood" Beach House

The color is (fittingly) called, "Driftwood." Look how much cuter than the old linoleum:

Pergo "Driftwood" Beach House

It's pretty easy to install, provided you throw out food for your crew at regular intervals:

Pergo "Driftwood" Beach House

The overall effect....with the aqua paint, the high gloss trim, and the white washed pure beachy perfection in my opinion! What do you think?

Beach House Pergo "Driftwood" Behr "Aqua Pura"

Cute, right? (I mean, minus all the stuff laying around.)

Bonus: It hides tracked-in sand beautifully and shines right up with a little wet Swiffer action.

Like Contractor Husband said, "I couldn't imagine this floor in any other house, but it's perfect here."

What can I say? When he's right....he's right.

(Just don't tell him I said that!)

~Betsy xoxo

P.S. We are almost fully booked for the summer months....only 1 week left in June and 1 week left in August. Grab 'em quick if you want to come have a fantastic summer beach vacation!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

With Apologies to The Stones

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
- Paint It Black, The Rolling Stones
All week I've been humming this Stones song. Only modifying it butchering it to reflect my current situation....which is Paint It White. Not very "rock-n-roll" but pretty darn beachy.

Here is a load of kitchen cabinet shelves, bathroom vanity doors, furniture, and mirrors (with one coat of primer already done) waiting to be sprayed within an inch of their lives:
Furniture/Cabinet painting

More furniture to be painted (in our newly expanded spray booth area!):
Furniture/Cabinet painting
See that little white table up there? The upside down one? Want to see a neat trick for painting furniture like that?
Furniture/Cabinet painting
 If you drill screws into the bottom of your piece of furniture it creates nice little feet. Your piece won't get painted to your drop cloth and you can back the screws out when you're done and no one will ever see it. Neat, huh? (My husband is wicked smaht.) This cute table has metal plates on the legs....that's the tape you see.

And ta-daaaa!

Furniture/Cabinet painting

 Cute, right? I love the little metal pieces on the feet. I think I paid $50 for this table at our local antique store, Cabin Point Mercantile. You could probably find one just like it Pottery Barn for 40 kajillion dollars., thanks.

We also did a handful of mirrors. Here's one before:

Furniture/Cabinet painting

Here's the during:


We don't cover the glass before we paint because it takes too long. We use this laser sharp scraper after it's dried:
It is seriously so fast (and scary sharp). Just get a little corner started...

And viola! The after:
Way easier and faster than trying to curve tape or paper around all those bends in the frames. 
Wanna see some pretty after pics? Eeee...I know I do!

This headboard was pretty beat up. Now it looks brand spankin' new:

And here's a whole load of goodies all decked out in white--looking pretty good against those aqua walls and....oh...yes....on some new flooring!
 Oh my word....I just love it. Do you?

And here....just to keep it a little rock-n-roll edgy....a Paint It Black sunset over the beach:

 Oh, never disappoint!
~ Betsy xoxo

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just keep painting, painting, painting...

Work on the house is coming right along! My husband Chris, his buddy Jamey, and my father-in-law John spent an entire week painting the interior. I was dying to see the results. I tried to convince the family that Santa would find us just fine in Ocracoke....they weren't having it.

Finally after several weeks of waiting (with only a few phone pic sneak-peeks to hold me over) I got to see this massive undertaking in person over New Years.

Oh, mama.

It is fantastic!

All the dark wood is now white or whitewashed, and all the off-white walls are now a pale aqua. The yummiest, beachiest, cleanest, crispest, pale aqua.

I was askeered of that color, too. I hate picking paint colors. Too much variation from the paint chips, too much room for error, too much oh-my-god-now-the-whole-room-looks-like-dooky-and-my-husband-is-gonna-flip-if-I-say-it-has-to-be-redone.

I don't have great pictures of it...we've still got holes where receptacles, switches, registers, etc. are getting replaced, but I can't leave you all hanging, so here's a little sneak-peek:

Whattya think? Do you love it as much as I do?

Those French doors were all brown wood, the wainscoting was all brown wood, the window trim was all brown wood....and it all had the effect of a mountain cabin for me. It also made your eye naturally stop on it. Now your eye skips past and it and sees right out the window. When we're talking fantastic sunsets from the dinner table that's what I want to focus on! 
There is still a lot more painting to be done. This past week we tackled the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, the bedroom doors, and the louvered closet doors.
We started out by creating an enclosed paint booth under the house. Or as I came to know it: My cell.

We laid down a heavy blue tarp over the floor and secured it with boards and cinder blocks. We stapled heavy painters plastic to the rafters to create the walls.
Chris created a giant "easel" for us to lean all the objects against:

Here are all the kitchen cabinets laid out ready to spray:
Even the little spice cabinet and cutting board doors got space on the easel with the addition of a couple extra screws:
When you're mixing 5 gallons of paint a wimpy paint stick ain't gonna cut it. You need the drill with the paint stirrer attachment (I've been told this is actually called a "bunghole mixer".....I....err........right, then):
You also need to protect yourself from all the paint over spray (tiny little droplets that hang in the air and will land on your hair and clothes and in your lungs as you breath). A Tyvec suit and a respirator are not only necessary, but highly fashionable:
As an aside, that sprayer I'm holding (an air sprayer) was abandoned in favor of the big-daddy airless one. It was too cold in our garage and the paint was too cold and thick. We needed the big guns.
Here are the doors before:
That's a can of denatured alcohol on the ground. We prepped all the wood by wiping it scrubbing it with that. It gets rid of all the dirt, grease, and grime that prevents the paint from sticking to the wood.
Here are the doors after:
Bright, glossy white. ::swoon::
We did the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers in a semi-gloss white. I have no after pics of was much too late and I wanted out of my cell.
Next we'll be painting the rest of the kitchen cabinets (the parts still attached to the kitchen walls), the kitchen ceiling, and lots and lots of furniture.
And, if all goes well, we'll be replacing flooring. (Which we picked up yesterday. I can not wait to show y'all the flooring. It's called Driftwood. 'Nuff said? Yes, indeed.)
It's starting to feel pretty beachy up in here!
Maybe it's just the fumes...
~Betsy xoxo