Posts tagged ‘home renovation’

February 16, 2012

This Little Light of Mine

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Ok – confession time. I’m not perfect. I may be a professional, but that doesn’t mean I always make the right decision the first time around. Especially on my own house! My mind gets clouded by the same obstacles that everyone faces when renovating – money, time, amount of work, etc. But I guess that’s the point of blogging – to share all the ups and downs. And let me tell you, renovating the half bath has been chock-full of them!

See that round hole & painter’s tape on the wall above the mirror? That’s where a wall-mounted light should go. Around Thanksgiving, Ethan and I were desperately trying to finish this room before our holiday visitors arrived and finding a light was on the short list. So I did a quick internet search and bought this guy. It seemed to work with the faucet and it was cheap. Sold.

{pocelona chrome two light bath fixture via bellacor}

Then it arrived and I wasn’t so sure. It looked cheap and cheesy (go figure). But we installed it anyway. And guess what? I absolutely hated it. Ethan described it as “medicine-cabinet-y.” And that wasn’t doing it for me. This is the only photo I snapped of it, as I was running out the door in search of a better solution.

I headed straight for Circa Lighting (my absolute favorite lighting store!) and found a great fixture – the large cabinet maker’s picture light in a bronze finish. It costs twice (maybe 3 times?) as much as the ugly one, but I got a great deal on some other pieces in the room, so I figured I would just splurge!

{circa lighting cabinet makers picture lights}

The Houston store didn’t have the finish I wanted in stock, so I headed home to take some measurements and “make sure” before I ordered it online. It wouldn’t arrive before the Thanksgiving visitors, so my sense of urgency kind of disappeared.

During my “make sure” measurements, I realized the backplate on this light was rectangular, and the mounting plate we had on the wall was round (and much larger than the light backplate). If I wanted to install this cabinet maker’s light, I needed to find a new mounting bracket. Ethan and I were more than capable of pulling it off, but I just didn’t want to deal with it! I did a little searching for another light, but was never really happy with anything I found. So I decided to be indecisive and sit on my hands until the perfect solution magically appeared.

Yesterday was my lucky day! The Rejuvenation catalog showed up in my mailbox, and while I’d never heard of the company (you’d be amazed by the number of mailing lists I’m on), I thumbed through their catalog and found this beauty.

{turner light via rejuvenation}

You know the best part? The backplate is round and the perfect measurements for my already-installed  mounting bracket. I’m not sure if that’s lazy, resourceful, or purely a stroke of luck. Whatever it is, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping this fixture solves my bathroom lighting dilemma.

Want a quick piece of advice about bathroom lighting? Stay away from the ones designated “bathroom lights.” You can get a much more sophisticated look by using a decorative wall sconce or even a picture light (like the Circa lighting one). I knew this, but for some reason, defaulted to the chintzy bathroom light anyway. Why can’t I listen to my own advice??

Oh well. The Rejuvenation light is on its way, along with this gorgeous mirror that I’m beyond excited about! Stay tuned for install photos!

January 25, 2012

Some Project Updates + A House Tour

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

There have been some odds and ends happening around here for the last few months, none of which seemed worthy enough for a full blog post. So here’s a rather random assortment of progress pics…

The half bath is about 95% done. And I’ve yet to find a good angle to shoot it from. Sitting on top of the tank was the best I could do…

We still need to address the above-sink lighting situation, dress the window, and accessorize. But I’m LOVING the current space. It’s come a long way – can you believe it used to look like this?!?

We’ve also been painting the laundry room. It’s not completely done (don’t you love those yellow cabinets?), but I’m really excited about finishing the trim and back door. It’s amazing the difference a few coats of paint can make!

And the living room is beginning to feel a little more home-y since we bought our leather club chairs. One of these days I’ll get around to sharing all the space planning ideas and how we eventually ended up with this furniture layout.

PLUS I’m really excited to announce that our house tour page is up! Stop on by to check out “before” and “progress” photos of every room of our home! About time, right? :)

January 14, 2012

Countdown to Carpet

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Over our little break at Christmas, Ethan and I discussed the things we wanted to get done around the house in 2012. There’s nothing like a new year to get me in a goal-setting mood! After throwing around lots of projects and ideas, we realized the one thing that is way overdue in this house is new carpet.

There’s only one thing stopping us from pulling the trigger on that big (and expensive) improvement – a whole lot of painting projects. We want every surface that touches carpet to be painted before the new stuff goes in. Because the last thing either of us wants on brand new carpet is a bunch of paint splatters. Makes sense, right?

Well, since I’m a list-making kinda gal…I made a list (big surprise there!) And since we have the tendency to dive head-first into projects and leave that room a complete mess for months on end, we broke the list up into tiny bite-sized pieces. Projects that we can complete in an evening or Saturday afternoon, and feel a since of accomplishment. So here’s the master list.

DIY painting project list

Just in case you can’t read it, here are the super exciting projects you can look forward to over the next few months. We’re aiming to have new carpet by June, which seems completely manageable.


  • Paint hall closet
  • Paint closet trim
  • Finish (painting) closet door

Dining Room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Texture walls
  • Paint walls
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint trim (including wainscot)
  • Paint French doors

Master Bedroom

  • Touch up trim and window sill
  • Paint doors
  • Reconfigure Melissa’s closet (there’s a ton of wasted space in there)
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim


  • Paint trim


  • Paint doors
  • Touch up trim
  • Paint closet shelves/trim
  • Paint attic door
  • Paint bookcase?? (we’re still deciding on this one)

Guest Bedroom

  • Touch up doors and trim
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim

Middle Bedroom

  • Touch up walls
  • Touch up trim/sill
  • Paint doors


  • Paint trim
  • Paint doors
  • Paint closet walls
  • Paint closet trim
  • Touch up walls at ceiling (we were messier painters back then)

Oh, and funny story…I made this list and put it on the refrigerator on Monday. It took until Friday evening for Ethan to notice it. :) Anyway, guess what we did today? Not one, but TWO of our projects! I just love to cross things off my lists.

Project #1 – Paint hall closet

All of our closets are just dingy – 25+ years of scrapes and scuffs that need to be freshened up. We just used Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White (our ceiling color) because we already had it on hand.

I know it looks like I did all the work, but Ethan was in there the longest, cutting in the edges and tight spots with a paint brush. I just jumped in at the end to rolls the walls.

Project #2 – Paint dining room ceiling

Since we already had the ceiling paint out, we tackled the dining room ceiling too. This one is real exciting, let me tell you.



I know – not a huge difference. But stand in the entry with me for a sec and look up.

Do you see it now? The old ceiling is a dingy beige color. And our new trim is Super White (that’s actually the name), which makes the dingy beige look even worse. So all our ceilings need a fresh coat of bright white paint. It’s one big domino effect.

So, there’s our Saturday. Not exactly glamorous, but who said DIY was? Is anyone else painting this weekend, or is it just us?

December 15, 2011

Buh-bye Burnt Orange!

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

I’m sure you guys are sick to death of our half bath renovation by now. Especially since it’s been draaaaging on since this time last year! (I can’t believe it – where has the year gone?!) Since our little powder room is fully functional these days (we’re just lacking a light, a mirror and a handful of accessories) and my work load is finally letting up a bit, I’ve decided to tackle our final burnt orange room!

The laundry room has been making me crazy since, well, the week we moved in. It’s actually more of a mudroom since it’s our only path to the backdoor/garage. And since we have a corner lot with the driveway/garage on the side, all of our friends and family walk right through it.

But function really isn’t on my list to tackle right now. Rather than jump into this room and attempt to do a complete overhaul (like we did in the bathroom), I’ve decided I’m going to take it on one little project at a time. I’m hoping for small victories to give me an ongoing sense of accomplishment. We’ll see how it goes…

So my first project was to freshen this room up with a coat (or three) of paint. Rather than labor over the “perfect” paint color, I went with my throw-down decorating method…choosing a color we already had in “stock” over here. Turns out, we had 3/4 gallon of Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl leftover from painting our bedroom. Works for me!

(Side note: This is a much more accurate representation of our laundry room. Clothes, tools and dog accessories everywhere. Just figured I’d keep it real for you guys! :))

After painting a couple test swatches, I realized that primer was a must. Especially if I wanted to use my “free” paint.  So I got to work…

And here’s a shot tonight with a couple coats of Gray Owl paint. You might notice that I got started on the ceiling as well (it’s a different color – Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White – which is so much fresher than the beigey color up there now). I’ve determined that it’s easier to paint the ceiling first (and get paint onto the walls), then cut in the edge with the wall color. I have much more control of my brush on a horizontal, smooth surface!

And did you notice the cabinet pulls? The previous owners must have LOVED that burnt orange color because when they painted the walls, they painted the pulls too. Crazy.

Now that the walls are painted, Ethan and I can’t get over how terrible the trim and doors look. Guess what my next project is going to be!

September 3, 2011

The Forgotten Room

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Hi there. I know most of you (if there’s anyone still reading this) think I’ve completely forgotten about this little blog. Well I haven’t. Life has just been incredibly busy and blogging/renovating have fallen pretty low on the priority list. But since we have a long weekend ahead of us, with absolutely nothing on our schedules, Ethan and I thought a little DIY work might be a good idea!

Remember this room?

{oh yes, we do have a half bathroom!}

Well, truth be told, Ethan and I kind of forgot about it. When you have two other bathrooms in your house, and the door is just closed to this one, it pretty much disappears. But last night, we opened it back up and FINALLY sealed the floor after grouting it back in June. (Tip – Marble is super porous…it’s a real good idea to seal it, so you don’t have problems with discoloration down the road).

Here’s our June grouting adventure. Dad helped/instructed since this was our first tile job.

And after some buffing (which took much more elbow grease than I expected), the floor looked like this. It pretty much looks the same now that it’s sealed…just a little shinier.

Well, we’re off to Lowe’s to purchase trim (since we ripped it all out in our gut-job)! Maybe by Monday this room will be operable again…you know, with a sink and a toilet? Fingers crossed!

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