House Projects Or I’m Officially Crazy

On Monday (15 days before baby is scheduled to arrive) I looked around our living area and decided that I was tired of the wall color. I also decided that while we were at it, we should go ahead and paint all of the wood trim white. Oh, and I’ve dis-liked the popcorn covered soffet (is that what it’s called?) above our cabinets since we moved in 7 years ago.

So with Mark’s blessing, the children started moving furniture and prepping the walls and I headed toΒ  Lowe’s for some paint.

Two days later and our walls in the kitchen, dining, living, entry way and hall are all a delicious brown/gray color with a touch of lavender in certain lights. The popcorn is gone in the kitchen, we removed a door and the trim is all primed white.

I’m currently eye-ing the family room….

Here are some before and after pictures of the paint changes as well as our wall removals and kitchen construction.


Changes: New paint color on wall and stair rail and rearranged decor

Living Room:

Before we took down the walls in our living room we swapped the furniture from the family room into the living room, so the couches in these pictures are also different. (Is anyone else like this? I’m forever moving furniture and decor around.)

For a good idea of what this whole area looked like before, visit my living/entry area home tour post.

The wall with the bookshelves is the one we removed.

Changes: Wall removed, different paint color, different furniture

Changes: paint color and furniture switch

Dining Room:

To see more before pictures of the dining room and kitchen visit my Kitchen and Dining Room Home Tour post. This is the room where we previously had the chalkboard wall and magnetic wall.

I really miss my large magnetic wall. It was terrific for displaying lots of kid art. I still have a small wall in the kitchen that is magnetic, but we’re considering doing another large one in the family room….later.

Magnetic wall BEFORE

Changes: Paint, wall removed, half wall removed to kitchen, built-in cabinets, dining chairs re-painted

We’ve always had a mis-match of chairs up to our dining room table. Most of them acquired at various garage sales. Several months ago, my friend suggested painting them different colors. The idea scared me a bit, but I knew that I didn’t like what we had going and since I only had about $5 in each chair and could always repaint, I decided to go for it.

I painted them using acrylic paint (you know the small bottles of paint found at any craft store) mixed with Plaster of Paris in my own version of homemade Annie Sloan chalk paint. Then I sanded to give them a distressed look and finished them with dark wax. Much better than before we painted them.

Here’s how they look in the space without the gaudiness of the flash:

Chairs in context


When we took down the half wall between the kitchen and dining room, we lost all of the top cabinets on that side of our kitchen. To compensate we built these terrific custom cabinets on the dining room side of the half wall. I ended up with more total cabinet space.

Custom cabinets and bar

My goal was to keep the kitchen and dining room spaces defined. We made a few decisions to accomplish this.

  1. We made the bar high (it’s about 46 inches) so that when we are sitting at the table we don’t have to see dirty counter tops and dishes.
  2. We designed the cabinets so they don’t look too much like kitchen cabinets.
  3. We stained and polyurethane-d the cabinets while our kitchen cabinets are white.
  4. We used hard wood flooring for the bar top. This makes the space look nice and warm.

Wooden bar top

The wooden bar top is one of my favorite details!


Changes: half wall removed, paint, new tile on back splash

Can you believe that is the same space???? This was such a great change.

A special thanks to my friend Tisha for suggesting that losing those cabinets was not a deal breaker (she gave me the courage to seriously consider this and I’d always discounted it by saying to myself that we NEEDED that cabinet space). And a tremendous thanks to Seth who put in many hours and made actually accomplishing this in less than 17 years possible!

See the popcorn above the cabinets?

Yeah, never liked that…

It took me less than 10 minutes to remove. Seriously, we’ve lived here and it’s bothered me for 7 years and it could have been fixed in 10 minutes!

Changes: Popcorn gone and new paint

I’m so thankful that I’ll be able to sit down and nurse this baby in these beautiful surroundings. God is good!

What do you think?


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26 Responses to House Projects Or I’m Officially Crazy
  1. Vickie
    August 8, 2012 | 11:35 am

    You’ve done a wonderfully beautiful job. I love it. I sit here in my house thinking, how can I do that too πŸ™‚


  2. Susan
    August 8, 2012 | 11:37 am

    It looks great! Love your new wall color, and by the way, you are definitely nesting! πŸ™‚
    Praying for you.


  3. Trooppetrie
    August 8, 2012 | 11:39 am

    how long ago did you do the chairs. We tried repaintng our chairs and they peeled. Our chairs do not match,so it would be fun to have fun colors


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    It’s been a couple of months since we painted the chairs.

    The point of using the chalk paint is that it’s supposed to avoid the problem of needing to prep before painting. It’s supposed to go over every finish without peeling. So far, so good for us.


  4. Crissi
    August 8, 2012 | 11:50 am

    I’m thinking I need to nest like you do. Or better yet, you can come “nest” at my house and help me on some projects! lol It all look FABULOUS!!! Very jealous here! :o) Now maybe I can find some extra time to fit in some redecorating here.


  5. Tesa
    August 8, 2012 | 12:14 pm

    Beautiful!! It looks so open and inviting. I love reading about how others are able to arrange their homes to better suit their large families. By American standards, we have a very small home (and expecting baby #6 any time now), but I have been praying that the Lord would continue to open my eyes to simple changes we can make that will make our home stay comfortable for us. Sometimes I am amazed at what comes to mind!!


  6. Mischelle
    August 8, 2012 | 12:35 pm

    I love it! The wood flooring as a counter top is so creative! We have had to do a lot of re-modeling and re-arranging our home for the 5 years we have lived in it, so I know the thrill and calm that comes with the changes…esspecially when there is a new baby on the way


  7. Elizabeth
    August 8, 2012 | 12:40 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for some time but never comment. Just wanted to say hi and I think you have a beautiful home.


  8. Heather
    August 8, 2012 | 1:12 pm

    I think it looks fabulous!! Enjoy your hard work!


  9. Anita Chamblee
    August 8, 2012 | 1:18 pm

    We are trying to finish up our kitchen renovation in this month. Jeff mentioned using flooring on the bar and I couldn’t picture it. Thanks for the picture!! I’ll have to show that to him. I’m assuming you’ve got something under the flooring. Can you give me some direction? Our bar area is not as long as yours.


  10. Michele
    August 8, 2012 | 1:20 pm

    It is beautiful! I love all you have done and consider you brave for tackling so much before a baby is due! Now you can just sit back and relax, right?! πŸ˜‰


  11. Elizabeth Hamm
    August 8, 2012 | 2:18 pm

    Really love what you have done! Where did you get your inspiration? Or did it just hit you? I know when I am in my second and third trimesters things like this start happening to our house as well. I love being able to change things as long as everyone is ok with the change. That doesn’t make us crazy does it? Either way everything looks fantastic! Praise God for a little change!


  12. Christin @ Joyful Mothering
    August 8, 2012 | 2:37 pm

    WOW! Would be an understatement!!! That is phenomenal!!!!! Great job! I love it!


  13. Homeschool on the Croft
    August 8, 2012 | 3:13 pm

    I love the chairs and you definitely did the right thing getting rid of the … what did you call it … above the units. The units are transformed by doing that, with the lovely paint above them πŸ™‚


  14. brenda
    August 8, 2012 | 4:16 pm

    I think it all looks great!


  15. Heatherlee
    August 8, 2012 | 4:29 pm

    Fun! I have the painted chairs in my plans, too. We use benches currently but I want to go with some chairs and a bigger table. We cannot fit other people to eat with us now.


  16. Rachel E.
    August 8, 2012 | 5:34 pm

    It does look wonderful. You have such a lovely kitchen anyway. The bar idea looks great and I like the painted chairs. They look very cheery.


  17. Elizabeth
    August 9, 2012 | 6:10 am

    WOW! This looks FABULOUS!!! πŸ™‚
    You are one Impressive lady! Talk about NESTING! You are one Serious Nester! LOL! Not that I haven’t done the exact same thing many times before!!!! πŸ˜‰

    It will definitely be an encouragement to you when you sit and nurse that precious new baby, to be surrounded by new colors and decor that make you feel happy! I highly recommend that! And enjoy every minute — I so miss having a baby to nurse! πŸ™‚


  18. Ruth
    August 9, 2012 | 7:00 am

    Now that’s some SERIOUS nesting!

    Everything looks wonderful!


  19. Jamie Z
    August 9, 2012 | 2:26 pm

    I love all the projects. I’m a little over halfway through this pregnancy with Baby #4 and our home is mid-remodel. I’m hoping for your nesting tendencies for me and hubby πŸ™‚
    I’m wondering about your custom cabinets in your dining room: Did you build those yourself or have someone else do it? We need to build some cabinets in our laundry room and I’m looking for tips. Thanks!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    My husband and boys helped our friend Seth build them. He’s good at that type of thing and has access to the right tools.


  20. Nikki
    August 10, 2012 | 2:06 pm

    SOOOOO beautiful! I love the changes. I LOVE the hardwood floor as the bar top. It’s gorgeous and strong. I love what a difference the darker railing around the stairs looks.

    And the colorful dining chairs are so fun! I’ve got a mixed assortment of chairs (I guess that happens with large families). Maybe I can convince Danny to paint them. Or maybe I’ll just paint them now while he’s deployed– after consulting with him via Skype, of course.


  21. Jama
    August 11, 2012 | 10:43 pm

    Yes, I think you’re crazy! πŸ™‚ Glad baby didn’t come mid-project. Everything looks great. My favorites are the dining room chairs and the painted railing around the stairs. Just wondering, do you use the living room more now than before? Is it where you spend most of your time in the evening instead of the family room?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Well, I suppose you KNOW that I’m crazy, because you know me and have for a long time.

    Yes, we spend most of our time in the living room now. The family room has become more of a place for projects, playing and laundry. It’s nice to have a separate place for those activities that make more of a mess.


  22. Jolene (Homespun Heritage)
    August 31, 2012 | 8:04 am

    We have been blessed with 4 children, thus far, I am 36 weeks with my next child and my husband is in China right now bringing home our next two blessings! He will come back less than two weeks before I am due!

    Yes, I am in complete denial over how difficult this is going to be. No, actually, I am not! The freezer is stocked with premade meals, I am about to get the pantry restocked, get baby stuff organized, I have our homeschool year figured out for the most part.

    What I cannot plan for is how the adjustment will be for everyone. For two children who do not speak English nor have they known the love of a family. I expect grieving and testing….I expect my 7 yr old with severe anxiety will either step up and be the big brother or emotionally step out due to fear of the unknown. I expect to seek help from family and friends even if my pride says no.

    This season will be difficult and trying as we adjust and work on bonding/attachment but in the end it will be priceless to see these two new blessings blossom out of a history of abandonment and even abuse/neglect.


  23. Mary
    February 11, 2014 | 12:20 am

    I like the color of the new paint you used for the walls around the entry door on the first picture. Can you tell me the brand and color.



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