Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

10 Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Renovate Their House

I can’t believe it’s been nearly one year since we got the keys for our first house! It’s absolutely insane and to this day, we’re still not done with all of the renovations. By the time that you’re seeing this, it’s only five days short from the one-year mark and boy oh boy. A lot of work has been put into this house and I really want to share more about everything that we’ve learned throughout the long and tiring journey. Before I do that, I want to ask you the readers a few questions. Near the end of last year, I shared a diary of the day by day life with the renovations. It’s part one and I’ve been contemplating if I should do the other parts. I have at least another twenty days of a little short dairy of work we did on that day but I’m not sure if it’s that entertaining. Should I rather just share the highlights? I plan to eventually share before and after pictures but only when I consider the room done and well, not a single room in our house is completely done. Take our bedroom for an example. I still need my dressing table and a laundry basket. We still need to decorate and furnish our lovely attic and the list goes on. I don’t really want to show before and after pictures before I’m actually finished. I reckon that we will only finish with the entire house in two years or so.

We’ve been working on small things around the house these last few months but we’re still nowhere close to being finished. We’re finally tackling our back garden. The hope is that by the end of the year we will have our plants down but even then, we’re still not done. We need to build the fireplace and lounge area, clean out all the extra rubble and replace the last part of our fence. All of this are massive jobs and we’re splitting them up into more manageable bits. We’re also doing some work inside the house. We want to build a really nice storage area in the living room as the old IKEA storage from the apartment just doesn’t fit. This would serve great storage for the vacuum cleaner, cleaning supplies, dog and cat food and any extra products (I like ordering in bulk). Now, everything is out in the open and it adds to the feeling of clutter and mess. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the number of hours we will have to put in when we finally get to our front garden. I want to do it this year but it’s going to be such a big job and after the back garden I doubt I will have the energy for it. The list just goes on and on and on and on. It never stops. I doubt I will ever get to the point where I finally say, alright folks the house is done.

I’m getting slightly off topic. My other question is would you rather just have a blog on the highlights of the renovations? Let me give you an example: We build our own office table. Would you rather see a blog on this instead of more day by day accounts of what our first month looked like? I definitely want to catch up with everything we’ve done so far and share everything but I’m stuck on how I should do it. At the moment I plan to have a renovation blog go up every two months until I catch up with the recent work but yeah. I just need to decide how I want to go about it.

Okay, that is everything I wanted to say. I think it’s about time I finally get started with the actual point of this blog. These are my tips to anyone who wants to renovate.

  1. Clean at the end of the day

I can’t tell you how important this is once you get into the swing of things. There is just nothing like coming to the house the next day and have everything clean and ready to go. I would always give the house a quick broom at the end of the day. I will also wash the limited number of dishes at the house so we could use it the next day. I will take out the scraps outside where we would dump it and just overall tidy up the work area. This way when you come over bright and early the next morning, you don’t trip over the mess from the previous day. Some days there wasn’t much I could tidy up but that was because I just did a quick clean every single day so everything stayed manageable.

  1. Meal prep

We were working on the house for two months before we moved in. In this time, we were at the house almost every single day and obviously, we needed to eat. As I have celiac, I couldn’t exactly rush to the shops and get an instant meal and my options for a takeaway meal is limited. Regular takeaways also quickly add up which will come back and bite you in the ass. So, I always meal prepped. On the days I had to stay in the city for whatever reason, I would cook two batches of meals and have enough food for at least 4 to 5 days for the two of us. It came to a point where I had to cook a meal when we got home at nine or ten at night for the next few days. I mainly made three meals. Bacon, rice, and spinach. Spaghetti Bolognese and chicken pasta. It was all meals that you could easily pop in the microwave and eat straight from the container. There were a few days where Onno would buy ready-made meals from the supermarket if I didn’t have time to prepare more meals. This way I at least still had something to eat.

  1. Budget and bill slips

It’s incredibly important to work out the budget BEFORE you start the renovations. Take a moment to go to the hardware shop and gathering prices of possible materials you will need. Plan beforehand how much money you need for the kitchen and etc. It’s also important to save all the bill slips so you can go back and check where the money is going. We would also just look over the budget every week so we can access where we are and if we need to make any adjustments. By doing this we quickly saw that some things we would have to delay until we’re moved in. We also got quite smart on reusing materials where we could.

  1. To-do list

I found that by knowing exactly what needed to be done, we could stay on track. We have a blackboard in our kitchen where we would write down everything we need to complete. This way I could walk in the next day and know what I needed to focus on. Without a to-do list, I doubt we would’ve gotten to the point where we wanted to be before we moved in.

  1. Research

It’s incredibly important to do A LOT of research before and during the renovation process. Stupid mistakes can cost money, time and energy. One of the biggest mistakes I made in the renovation was painting the door and window frame in two of the rooms in normal wall paint. This is a big no. Removing this paint was an enormous bitch and took days to remove. It was a lot of elbow grease to undo my silly mistake. If I simply took some time to research some of the things we planned to paint, I would’ve known better. Never be ashamed to do that research or ask questions. It’s better to know the correct step by doing your research than to learn it by spending hours correcting the incorrect step.

  1. Rest days

Renovating a house is A LOT of hard work. It’s grueling and incredibly overwhelming. You have no idea just how much needs to be done until you actually get to it. You have no idea how long things will take until you get started. It’s so incredibly important to take one day off every 10 days or so to rest otherwise you’re going to burn out. Although all of my rest days were relatively forced by dentist appointments in the city. Did I mention I had two teeth pulled while we renovated? Fuck, I was in so much pain. I practically lived on my pain meds for a week after every tooth was pulled. I actually bite back the tears at the thought of getting the implants in somewhere this year or next year. Please kill me. Why can’t they just knock you out and wake you up when the work is all done? Why?

  1. Manage your expectations

I feel like this one is incredibly important especially if you’re walking into the renovation with no experience and you’re learning on the job. You’re not a professional and the work you deliver won’t reflect that. So, if you’re looking for a perfectly level and neat job…just manage your expectations. I personally think we did a pretty good job but if you start to look closely in certain spots you can tell amateurs did it. We made quite a bit of messy oopsies with the ceiling Onno took a week to plaster. The finish doesn’t look that great and we definitely need to address this before we sell the house. Then again, we definitely could’ve delivered a better end result if we did more research going into it. We also learned from our mistake so if we would have to redo it now, I can tell you it would look a lot better.

  1. Set realistic time goals

You have literally no idea how long certain steps will take you. I promise you that you will walk into something and think this will a quick job and you will finish days later. You need to be realistic about how long things are going to take. Let’s take painting for an example. Depending on the size of the room, a roof can take you two to three hours to paint. For woodworks, so doors and window frames, you need to sand, prime and paint it. The primer can take 8 hours to dry. Most areas will need more than one layer. All of this can quickly add up and something as simple as repainting the door can take you days. It took Onno nearly a week to plaster the ceiling of the attic in our bedroom and the ceiling in the second room (we call it the blue room). You will be surprised how long certain things take so definitely plan some extra breathing room. So, let’s say you think the project will take ten days, add another five to be safe.

  1. Watch YouTube videos or building TV shows

This is a tip but not really. It’s just an added little bonus. If I were you, while you’re waiting for the keys (so it could be anywhere from a month to six months), watch a lot of building videos. You can learn quite a bit by watching how it’s done. You will probably also find a good number of videos of renovating mistakes. I just started watching this new TV show on Netflix. It’s from 2011 but I’m learning quite a bit. The show is called to build or not to build and every episode they teach you a bit. It can be super entertaining to watch and can kind of welcome you into this new world.

  1. Prioritize living areas or the inside of the house before you move to the outside.

Depending on how much time you give yourself to renovate the house or what work you plan to do, this tip might not be that important for you. So, we bought a four-bedroom house and every single bedroom needed to have work done. Every single room in this house needed to be worked on. We walked into the start of the renovation process with every intention of completing every room. It’s absolutely hilarious to me now because it’s not possible to do that in 2 months. Not only did we have to do so much work inside the house, but we also planned to finish the garden BEFORE we move in. This is so hilarious to me as it’s one year later and the garden is still a sore spot. Anyway, if you want to redo everything, I would suggest you prioritize the living areas. The kitchen, lounge, bedroom and etc. Although there is a certain task that’s efficient to do everything in one go, take painting the walls and ceilings for an example. We also painted all the upstairs doors in one go which was an enormous task which was completely unexpected. We also painted the stairs before we moved in. We also had the floors but that was about it. Two of our bedrooms we’re completely untouched with their feature walls uncompleted. We actually build our office desk and painted it about two weeks after we moved in. I’ve been working on the one room for the last year now (it’s been a slow process as I would only work on the room every few weeks for a day or so and then leave it again) but the old blue room is completely untouched. It still needs a paint job and the attic floor isn’t even in yet. We still want to build a closet. There is so much work we still want to do in this house it’s crazy but just take one step at a time and focus on the main areas and move your way through the house. It’s a slow process but by spreading the extra touches out it gives the wallet some breathing room.

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This blog was a little all over the place but I hope it helped somehow. Writing these renovating blogs is almost equally exhausting as doing the actual work if I’m completely honest. We’re still working on the house so it’s like urgh here we go again. I’m so tired but it’s all worth it. I promise.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

Renovating Our First House: Day By Day | Part 1

Oh my, this blog is so long overdue I’ve reached the point where I can’t help but wonder if I should still even post it. Well, I did go through the effort to document our daily progress on the house throughout the entire renovations so I might as well finish this blog. There are so many things I want to share about the renovations, there are quite a few storytime blogs just waiting to be written. We also learned quite a bit along the way. Alright first, let’s jump right into it. There will be some photo’s of the first ten days at the end of this blog.

Day 1

We started working on the house the very day we got the keys. We knew that we had to make the most of Onno’s week off from work and also the sooner you get started the better. We had two months and incredibly big task in front of us. Nothing could’ve prepared us for the next two months of our life. I was the one that got the ball rolling. After we came home with the keys to our new home, Onno went to throw up (he ate a bacon soaked bread for breakfast that morning) in the bathroom and I took 300 pictures of the entire house. Onno’s parents came through and his mom baked a banana bread. We just talked and enjoyed being house owners for an hour or so. I was itching to get started though. I changed in my work clothes and started ripping up the stage in our bedroom. I started with removing the carpet. This was when Onno came up and started to help. We removed the entire carpet and one piece of wood before his parents called it a day. They promised to help tomorrow and we agreed to meet up bright and early at their place to pick up all the tools. We, however, didn’t want to walk out of the house on our first day so soon. We wanted to do more. We removed the floor in the blue room and carried all the wood downstairs and stacked in a nice neat pile on the one side of the area where it stayed for a month. We also started to remove the wood plants on the side of the wall in the blue room. Oh and we removed the planks on our little patio in the garden. After taking all the trash outside we drove back to our apartment in the city, completely overjoyed.

Day 2

We started our morning bright and early and drove through to Onno’s parent’s place to get those tools. They were just waking up by the time we knocked on their door. We loaded the tools and left for a full day at the house. I removed the closet in the blue room (no longer the blue room but I will always refer it as the blue room) as well as the last wooden planks attached on the wall. I removed the underfloor and I started to remove the floor in the office. We couldn’t remove all of it as the toilet was attached on top of the floor but I removed what I could reach. Onno’s mom helped me by stacking up the planks and taking everything down to throw on our trash corner. She also cleaned the fridge and bathroom which would turn out to be a massive lifesaver. The new floor arrived in the early afternoon and we helped to carry it in. In the later afternoon, I started to remove the bricks in the garden. At that time we still had it in our head that we would build our fireplace in Onno’s week off. I also knew that removing all the bricks in our garden would be a big job. I was right. Onno’s mom helped me and we removed a good 200 bricks. Onno and his dad worked on the roof in the attic the entire day and for many days afterward. The roof was one of our biggest tasks. We started by removing the very disgusting carpet in the attic and cleaned the area. They started to plan on how they would go about the roof and finished removing and cleaning out the entire stage area.

Day 3

Onno’s mom and spend the entire day working in the garden. We mostly just removed all of the weeds and tried to remove as many bricks as we could. It was a terrible job and worked on my arms like nothing else. Onno and his dad worked on the roof in the attic the entire day. They drilled on the planks and then attached the plasterboard (drywall). If memory serves me correctly they did about half of the attic ceiling. I’m not entirely sure anymore.

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Day 4

It was the first full day at the house with just Onno and I. It was also my most productive Monday in history. We arrived at the house 30 minutes after seven and only left around nine. After spending most of the day applying the plasterboard on attic ceiling, Onno started to smooth the edge with the special product we bought. He used the wrong scraper so it was way too thick and all over the place. We thought it would just sand away but that didn’t go as plan but more on that later. I smoothed the one wall and I probably removed bricks but I didn’t really go into detail about what I did that day on the daily notes. We removed the toilet in the office and I removed the last of the floor before we bought 15 bags of sand at the nearby hardware store. It was on sale and we would need 35 bags of sand if not more to level out the patio area for the new paving. We ended our day at the house by filling the back of the van with trash so we could drop it off at the dump the next morning. We also cleaned up a little, mostly just dust and so on. Everything just got away from us.

Day 5 

We finally had a moment to sleep in and boy did we enjoy it. After four back-breaking hard days on the house, we were exhausted. A level we stayed on for months, long after we moved into the house. As the dump would only open after 10am we just took our time. I played with Speculoos and mostly just stayed in bed till the second we had to leave. We left the apartment just before ten and luckily the dump wasn’t too crazy. After we finished at the dump we had to, however, do the little walk of shame and pick up our bicycles. They were removed at the central station for well overstaying their welcome. We’ve been locking our bicycles there for months, heck Onno was at the two-year mark and we always remembered to move them every month but this time around we missed it with two days. We had no choice to spend a pretty penny to get them back. 100 Euros. Onno’s bicycle wheel blew after one use and mine not long after that but who knows if that’s connected. We arrived at the house around early afternoon and after drinking a cup of tea, we jumped right into word. We spend most of the afternoon filling up all gaps and holes on the ceiling in our attic so we could sand it the next day. It was a dirty job and ruined the bit of floor we still had left in our bedroom. One of the few mistakes we made in the renovations process. We also made two trips to the hardware store to get 20 more packets of sand. We emptied them at the patio area. Keep in mind we were still convinced we would build our fireplace and pave that area somewhere in the week. I’m laughing at my past self too. It was a slow day and I felt like we didn’t get enough done. Most of the work we did the day were things that took more time as it was incredibly important to do it properly. We ended our work day by cleaning up the attic in the blue room so we could start with the ceiling.

Day 6 

We arrived at the house bright and early, ready for another big day with the renovations. Time wise we were taking longer with certain things than what we expected so the pressure was on to have the house paint ready by the end of the week. We didn’t mess around and started to sand the attic right after arriving at the house but stopped after an hour when some bits needed more time to dry properly. Onno’s parents got to the house around 10am. Onno and his dad started to work on the roof in the blue room’s attic. While Onno’s mom cleaned downstairs while I sanded some more. The amount of dust is insane. After a good hour and half of sanding, I cleaned myself off as much as I could so I could pop in at the grocery shop. We were running low on our meal prepped foods and I needed ingredients so I could prep once we got back in the city.  Once I got back from the shop I removed the last bit of floor, including the underfloor which was absolutely disgusting. Especially the underfloor around the upstairs toilet. The entire toilet was gross. I removed planks from the side of the wall and Onno joined after his parents left. Future Cassy is laughing at this next part. We’re getting so close to the point of painting which is such a massive milestone. Painting means some of the rooms are ready for their new floors and once the floor is in then our work is done! Past Cassy cracked me up. She was so innocent at this point. She didn’t know. The ladder hasn’t happened yet.

Day 7

We had a late start as I had a doctor appointment at 10am. We arrived at the house around 12pm and had a slow start but eventually spend the next 6 hours finishing the attic roof in the blue room. Afterward, I cleaned up the area and packed the van while Onno started to fill the gaps (so we will have a smooth ceiling once it’s painted). We left around 10pm but we felt quite accomplished.

Day 8

We spend the day at the house. It was our first day since we got the keys that we didn’t work on the house but we both desperately needed to refresh. I also had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and time wise we would’ve been able to go to the house and work for more than 3 hours before we would have to leave again. Onno did go through of the bill slips from the last few days. We wanted to stay on top of all the expenses so we could well stick to our budget.

Day 9 

We spend most of the day sanding the ceilings and covered the last bit of holes. We tied up everything neatly by attaching plinths on the sides to make the overall look nice and sleek. This was all in preparation for my first day at the house alone the very next day. We somehow made it and we were ready to paint the next day. At this point, we also made the decision to put the garden on hold until we moved in. We just had to accept that some of the things we wanted to do before moving in wouldn’t be possible. I mean not only did we want to renovate almost every single room in our new home, but we wanted to redo the entire garden. It was beyond unrealistic. Most of the time it was only the two of us working on the house. Plus later on in the renovations, Onno had work a few days in the week and it was just me getting work done throughout the day. Looking back now I can just say holy shit we worked our asses off.

Day 10

Onno is back to work today so it’s up to me to work my little ass off and paint till my fingers bleed. Well my fingers didn’t bleed but my wrist and arms hurt like hell afterward and I was also out like a light an hour after getting home. I started in the office, the ceiling was an absolute bitch with the riffles. It took me a good three hours to paint and it was torture. I hate painting ceilings. Gravity makes the paint drop everywhere and paint is a monster to get out of your hair. I then went into the first room, the room next to the office, and started to paint that ceiling but had to call it quits after two hours. I couldn’t hold my arms above my head anymore. I also painted on a layer on the door which was one of the biggest mistakes I made. A mistake I wouldn’t realize a few days after I painted more of the doors and wood feature on the wall in the first room with the wrong paint. Something that cost us hours of cleaning up. Like many days to follow, I spend the entire day painting.

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I’m going to cut this blog of here. It’s getting way too long and I want one person to at least read to the end. I won’t get that if I add the other 30 plus days to this blog. The entire process of the renovation was incredibly exhausting. We worked our asses off, there is no doubt about that. We made a few mistakes along the way but we would never trade the experience for the world. For two months straight, my husband and I worked on our first home. Today we can call it our place in the world. Every room has our own personal touch on it. Would we do it again? Fuck no. We will pay someone else to do it.

The next part is Onno’s words and I couldn’t agree more. “If I look back at the whole process of the renovations, there is more moments of excitement and fun than exhaustion. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world because I look back now and I’m proud of our work. In the whole renovations period I only had maybe two moments of like; ‘Oh fuck are we actually going to do this?’”

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

How To Paint A Geometric Wall In Five Easy Steps

This blog is so late, it’s not even funny. It was one of the first things I knew that I wanted to paint in the house way before we even got the house. I’m not even kidding, 2 months before we even got the house, I knew exactly what I wanted to paint in our bedroom and how. I have been beyond careful on social media not to show this wall but well the moment has arrive. Drum roll please.

 

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TA-DA! It’s out geometric feature wall in our bedroom! Isn’t it so pretty? I will pause here and await your compliments and praises in the comment section. Go on now. Shower me honey.

Jokes aside, this wall was beyond easy to paint. All you need is time and patience. Before I start, this is not an original idea. I saw it online once a long time ago and just knew I would paint that sometime. I didn’t follow any instructions however, it was pretty straightforward. I could tell by the picture how they achieved it and well I just followed my gut and this was the end result.

1. Choosing the colors and buying the paint

When it came to choosing the color theme of our bedroom, Onno and I were stuck between two colors. I wanted purple because it’s been one of my favorite colors since I could function and Onno wanted turquoise. As my actual theme on my blog is in the two shades, you can guess why I wanted them both. I pondered on the idea on how we could get both without going the ombré route for a few days, when that old picture I saw online clicked in my head. It was perfect and although Onno had no idea how it would turn out, I could see the end result.

I knew however right of the bat that just one shade of the color wouldn’t look good as a hole. It needed some contrast. So I chose three shades in every color. Dark, medium and light. I then just matched it with the perfect fit in the other color and called it a day. Similar to the ombré wall, I took the paint strips (the samples) and just compared it to other side to choose the complimenting color. Here let me show you what I mean.

paint strips

My main advice is just to take your time in choosing the exact shade because there is so many options out there and you want to be sure of your color and shade choices. Also give some thought about the area/location of the room. What I mean with that is; is your room facing the sun of not? If your room faces the sun then you can get away with the cool color choices. A good example of this is; we painted our office bright sunny yellow because otherwise it was too cool and gloomy.

You’re also going to need a break up color. In my instance I went with grey to match our furniture and our hallway color but you can go with black or well any neutral color you want. You just need a neutral color to break up the colors and give your eye a break. Otherwise the wall is way too overwhelming.

2. Clean surface

This is going to be the shortest step in history. Paint the wall white. The reason for this is that when you pull of the strips of tape, you want the lines separating your colors to be clear and bright white. Our walls were crème so this was critical for us but if your walls are white then well you don’t need this step.

3. Map out your wall

This step is relatively straightforward. You simply stick on the tape. Start of in the one corner of your wall and take it all the way to the other side almost. And then you simply just start to branch out and continue the process. Try to make some type of path. Have short pieces and long pieces. You want to once everything is finished to be able to see a clear line and almost follow it. Similar to those games you used to play as a kid. Where you go through the maze. I’m not sure if my explanation is correct but here is a drawing I did on PowerPoint to show you what I mean.

sample of how

The boxes on the side is simply just to show in the order I made the lines. As you can see the length and directions are all random. It’s all in your own hands. Just enjoy yourself really. There is no right way or wrong way to do this. It’s simply just going nuts and creating a lot of different shapes. Have fun! I sure did!

4. Paint!

And finally the moment has arrived! Painting time! Match your colors and shade. Dark, medium and light matched with the complimenting color in dark, medium and light. Take a moment to study this picture and you will see what I mean.

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You will also see that I used the grey specially to break up the colors if it was too difficult to match it with the correct shade without painting the same shade of color next to each other.

I recommend you work out a system. I opened up all the cans of paint, starting from grey, my purple from dark to light and then my turquoise from light to dark. I had a brush for every color and would just switch between the colors as I went through it. It took me an entire day (8 hours if not more) to paint the first layer. For the second and last layer, you want a smooth layer. No brush strokes. To achieve this I took a dish sponge, the same SpongeBob sponge I used in the ombré wall, to tap in the second layer.

5. Remove tape and clean up

The title pretty much says it all. Simply just remove the tape and clean up the lines where needed with white. It is however very important that you give the paint enough time to properly dry. I only removed the tape the day after I finished the second layer. It had over 8 hours to dry.

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That is it folks! I really hope my instructions are easy to follow. If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comment section below. Don’t forget to tell me what you think! I seriously love this piece. I do want to add that it’s very busy and does almost all the decorating for us in our bedroom. If you’re one of those type of people who can’t sleep in such a busy area, I wouldn’t recommend this for your bedroom. It took me awhile (2-3 days) to get used to it. I do balance out the busy wall in our bedroom with black furniture and curtains. A grey carpet and pillows, etc.

Before I leave, here is all the pictures of the wall from start to finish.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

How To Get A Three Color Ombré Wall In 5 Steps

How exciting! This is my first blog about the renovations! I honestly couldn’t wait to share with you all about the entire experience. I learned so much about well renovation related things and about myself. It was a truly wonderful experience. It was so much hard work but I loved it. The rewards made every second of blood, sweat and tears worth it.

We had a problem choosing a color for our special accent wall in our living and kitchen area. We wanted to connect the two spaces but not limit ourselves with a color scheme. We couldn’t choose between red, green and blue. So I was like hey why don’t we find a way to paint the one wall all three colors in a way that won’t overpower the area and still look nice. So I turned to Google to get inspiration and this is the image I found.

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https://in.pinterest.com/pin/344806915202211342/

Alright so before I tell you how I achieved my own version of ombré wall here is the end result. I’m not going to lie, I feel all type of things about sharing this. I’m like just before this I shared this flawless piece of work and mine is well so homemade compared to it…NO. Mine is beautiful. Screw these insecurities. I LOVE IT!

Gasp. Holy shit. Beautiful. Applause. You all are just too kind. Thank you. But continue with the compliments. This puppy took me DAYS. Also PS We still haven’t made the last finishing touches on the little white wood thing on the bottom. Sorry I have no idea what it’s called.

Step One

Choose your colors. There is endless options but I would recommend you whip out a helpful color match website. Or just use the color wheel. Not every color would look good together or in a ombré format so I wouldn’t go crazy. A black and yellow ombré wall will be incredibly hard to work and I’m not even confident the end result would look so great. If you’re not sure if the colors would work together I recommend you make a quick stop at the local craft store (NL: Action has the perfect set) and get a set of paint with the primary and secondary colors (red, blue, yellow, purple, green, orange, white and etc.). You can then play around with those colors on a canvas and get a clear picture how the colors look together in a ombré format.

Step Two

Buy your paint. You might be wondering why this is separate step from the whole choosing your colors step but you get so many different shades of one color that this can be quite tricky and overwhelming. Go to your closet hardware store and get those paint strip templates. It’s those with about five colors of in the shade family. Get three to four of different shades of the color you want and then take your time choosing the two or three strips, depending on how many colors you want, by putting them next to each other, in the area and just overall experience what strips works the best together. Now depending on how large and high your wall is and if you want to go from dark to light with each color, will depend on how many cans of paint you end of buying.

I ended up buying four different shades of each color shade so twelve 1 liter cans in total. We did buy it when there was a 40% sale on paint and ended up saving 300 Euros. Let me quickly see if I can get the names of all my shades…Okay so I checked. I don’t have the names of all the colors anymore but I can definitely look into it more if any of you REALLY want it. We used the brand Histor for almost all of our paint throughout the house from our wall paint to our wood primer, wood paint and etc. I’m more than happy with their quality.

Step Three

Now it’s time to paint! Or well kind of. It’s time to prepare to paint and what I mean by that is you need to measure out your wall and divide the wall into different parts so you know what color to paint where. I have no idea if that makes sense but luckily I have a picture to help. Also this will be the perfect time to play around with the order of the colors.

Step Four

Okay for real now. We’re painting. This is such a fun part. Alright guys you basically just have to lay down the colors by just painting lines. I would recommend two layers as you really don’t want any white to poke through.

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Step Five

Blending! To have the color blend together into an ombré you’re going to have to well blend. And blend. And blend. And blend some more. It’s a lot of blending. This step is definitely the most time consuming. So how I went about it is by going through it line by line, piece by piece. What I mean with that is, I started at the bottom with the darkest shade of red and then second darkest shade of red, that line in between. Is this making sense? So I used a very airy sponge, think SpongeBob, the more holes the sponge it has the better. I would basically use both sponges, do a little bit in my hands reach in the one shade and then go over the other shade. I would repeat this process like three hundred times till I felt it was blended and moving into the other shade. And then one the little piece is finished I would scoot on over and then do the next piece…and then I will repeat the process for each shade and their lines. It took me forever.

I would also wait for the paint to dry and see if there is a part that needs more blending and go over it again. Also I do recommend if the colors are completely different, pink and blue or green or blue, so basically it’s not a color in the same shade, to wait for the paint to dry before you go over it with the other color. I found that the two shades blended too much while wet and almost created a new color and well you really don’t want a purple in between your paint. The blue and the green wasn’t a big problem but hey I thought I should throw it out there.

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And that’s how I achieved my ombré wall. It really took a lot of time and patience. It was a lot of hard work but boy do I love it so much. I’m really proud of my ombré wall and although if I had to redo it I would choose less shades of the colors but otherwise it looks amazing! I’m so excited to share this part of the renovations and for those who didn’t see my little message on my notice board here on my website, I will be sharing blogs about renovations every Wednesday till I run out of content. Also if some of this didn’t make sense let me know and I will try to explain myself more.

Here is some more pictures of the wall throughout the process.

And also here is Speculoos, he loves the completed wall! Okay I lie. He doesn’t care but it looks so nice! Also when these pictures were taken of Speculoos we weren’t even close to finishing unpacking so excuse the mess and also I still haven’t really caught up with all the laundry. I’m close but boy it’s been a lot. With the renovations it was really difficult to stay on top of the little extra things like blankets that I put on the couch and etc.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Making A House A Home (DIY and more)

Renovation Plans For Our First House

Oh I can’t contain my excitement with this one. So in case you missed it, Onno and I bought a house. We just got the keys and we have big plans to make it our perfect home. I figured why not share some of those plans and ideas. I mentioned in the post where I announced the news that we’re going to do a lot of DIY projects around the house. I will definitely share those on here too but for now I’m just going to throw my ideas out there. There is still a few places we have no idea what to do just yet but hey we will figure it out once we’re in the house.

I’m going to start downstairs from the entry way all the way to the back of the house and garden before I take you upstairs. It sounds horrible but I want to keep pictures of our house limited to the public. It just feels unsafe to go through the entire layout out here. Don’t get me wrong we will have before and afters but for now I’m just going to test my skills as a writer and describe the house.

When you enter the house you have the stairs right in front of you and then on the left side you have the door leading to the living area. This little area is very bland at the moment. I’m definitely going to do something fun in this area but we are limited as the little hall or entry way is a bit narrow. We have a storage space under the stairs and then stairs leading down to the creepy and small basement. Onno is going to hide my candy down there because I’m never going down there. That is a promise my friends. Anyway I’m not completely sure what we’re going to store under the stairs, maybe food (pasta, rice and etc.) but that’s something we will probably figure out. The wall if you can call it that, that covers the stairs on the side is very bland and just sad. I really want to something fun there but I haven’t thought of anything yet. It will probably turn into a big DIY project so if I end up doing something cool with it I will definitely let you know.

Alright now we’re finally going to enter the living area. On the left side at the window facing our driveway is our kitchen. Our kitchen at the moment is going for that old vibe if you catch my drift. It’s yellow and the appliances are outdated. It has a dark stone counter top and a white porcelain sink. We’re not completely in love with the kitchen. I like the layout but it needs to be upgraded. The plan is to replace the appliances with new up to date ones (the dishwasher is still new so it’s going to stay. We’re very excited to have a dishwasher. The only downfall is the front doesn’t have a cupboard so you can see the silver of the dishwasher. Here they hide appliances behind cupboards. If that makes sense. Anyway I’m thinking of sticking a marble or something pretty like that paper on it. I will definitely let you know what I end up doing) and we’re going to repaint the cupboards because the shade of yellow is just horrid. Last but not least we’re going to replace the tiles against the wall (well on the floor too but I will get to that part) and we’re going to build or buy a table slash counter top for the side. You can never have enough work and storage space. Something that I really like is, the previous owners has a school black board up in the kitchen. It’s long and thin and doesn’t stand out in a bad way. We decided to keep it because I just love the idea of writing notes for Onno and it’s great to write down the groceries. I figured the kids one day will love it too.

Now we’re moving onto the lounge and dining room area. Everything is open in case you we’re wondering. So this area is quite large in length so let me just rethink how I’m going to explain this. In the one corner we’re going to have our TV and couch and on the other corner we’re going to have our dining table. We have a fireplace (a gas or electric one I’m not sure) that doesn’t work (we will fix it eventually) in the dining room area. Originally we wanted to put our TV above the fireplace but the wall above it is weak and we don’t want to risk it. We have a large window overlooking our garden right next to the dining table which I really like. Oh so I mentioned that I want to replace the floor tiles in the kitchen. Here they have wood in the living area and tiles in the kitchen but because it’s a open floor plan they cut the two off quite unattractively. I don’t like the look of it so we’re going to put new floors in. I want the same floor all throughout the house (well not the bathroom but you get the idea). I just like the look of it.

Alright now we’re almost walking out. At the door as you’re about to go outside you have an area for the washing machine and then two steps forward you have the bathroom. We have a shower and a corner bath which is something straight from my dreams and a toilet separate. Yes the bathroom is downstairs but it’s one amazing bathroom. I’m counting down the days till I get to climb into the bath and spend hours in it. Magical.

And we’re finally going outside. At the moment we have pavement all the way through and a little storage space at the back. We’re not completely sure what we want to do with the garden or how it will turn out to look but we want a fire pit and a vegetable and fruit garden. I also want a lot of grass and space to be outside. Not much to ask from our garden…I think. We originally liked the idea or replacing our wood fence with a hedge but after watching a garden TV show the entire day two weeks ago we liked the idea of making a living wall and well make a living wall of herbs and whatever fruit and vegetables we can grow like that. We don’t know what can survive here in the Netherlands yet or any of that. When I’m writing this I haven’t gone to a garden center yet but I’m hoping after I’ve gone I will have a better idea or what will work. I also just found out that my neighbors might complain about the fire pit and smoke so we will have to look into it. I know I only get to use the fire pit a few weeks in the year but I’m from South Africa. Cooking on the fire is a massive part of our culture.

Okay now we’re moving up stairs. Finally. We have four bedrooms and one toilet up stairs. The room facing the road with the toilet is going to be our office. For our office I’m not going to go super crazy. We’re just going to paint two walls yellow, get a storage system and get a nice brown board to stick notes on. That’s about it.

The two other rooms are going to be empty for awhile if you catch my drift. Onno and I wanted to get a house we could grow into. When I told this to my parents they both were like so when is the baby coming? It was quite funny. For now I think one of them will be a workout area and the other will just stay empty. The one needs more work than the other one though but it’s not high on the list for us. Maybe we will set up a room for guests but then again we never have guests that actually stay over. The last room is our bedroom. Onno and I was really looking for a house with a big main bedroom. It was important to us. We wanted space for a massive closet and I want a makeup area. I have big and I mean big plans for our bedroom. Behind our bed I want to set up a fairy light feature. I want to try painting a geometric design on the one wall and I want to try my hand in turning out TV stand into a seating place in front of the bed. I have so many great ideas and I just can’t wait to share them.

We want to be smart with our money because well obviously the more we can do with our money the better. There is some things that needs to be done on the house NOW so we plan to do quite a bit by ourselves or call in favours. Hey we found out I have to get a massive dental procedure done that ate quite a bit into the house budget. I had a small rant slash cry about it on my socials but let me quickly catch you up. To remove to teeth and implant the fake stuff is the same amount of money for a nice car. Yes that’s right. we could’ve bought a car with that money but no we’re going to buy teeth. It wasn’t the best news and it knocked the air out of our lunges but there is nothing we can do about it now. Dental hygiene is so important I mean we just lost a car because as a child I didn’t know what a dentist was nor did I brush my teeth. I’m paying quite literally for that mistake now. Also how did house plans turn into a brush your teeth children speech?

I’m so excited to share more about the house. I will definitely share all of our DIY projects around the house with some exciting before and after pictures I’m sure. This year was a rough one but there is definitely some good going around. It feels so good to finally share about the house, I’ve been keeping it under the wraps for so long. Now I can finally tell you about something else…but that’s going to be another post! Probably going to be up somewhere in the next three weeks but for now, guess? I will give you a hint…Speculoos is…nope. I’m not going to give you’re a hint. Go wild with your guesses.

Also before I go here is some pictures of the renovations. I will share more soon!

 

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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