Hitting the Ceiling


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We just finished with the kitchen ceiling and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Painting the ceilings in our home has been a labor of love and I’m so glad they are finally D.O.N.E.!

When we moved into our home in 2000, it came with plain vanilla walls and a heavy knockdown plaster texture on most of the ceilings.

Knockdown Plaster

It’s flatter than the sprayed “popcorn” look and I’ve been told, this style is suppose to be a feature.  However for Tyson and I, it has just become a royal pain. The heavy texture requires the use of a very rough nap roller and a TON of arm strength to get into all the crevices. Plus the ceilings have never been painted, so they really suck up the paint, requiring a few coats for full coverage.  On the other hand, we’re uninterested in having the texture removed so we gladly paint.

With our kitchen having high ceilings, we figured it would be no minor task.  For the rest of our vaulted ceilings, we rented scaffolding, but we knew that couldn’t be used in our kitchen. This project was going to require the use of ladders and poles and it quickly fell to the bottom of our “to-do” list.

Vaulted Kitchen

We even had areas where we had painted as far as we could reach and then stopped.

Unfinished Work

Classy, right?

Since we would be working on the high kitchen ceilings, we also included this open area sandwiched between our kitchen and family room that needed to get done too.

Vaulted Ceiling

Our primary goal was to get the high stuff painted while Tyson was on break from work so that when he gets busy again, I can keep this project moving with the lower stuff.

Tyson got everything prepped and was ready to get to it.


Will Work For Music

Maybe it’s because it was the last of the ceilings or maybe it’s because it’s easy to make a mountain out of a mole-hill project, but Tyson was able to make quick work of the last of the ceilings and we both can’t get over how much it has cleaned up the space.

It’s difficult to show good “before and after” photos since the “after” are still a light tan and they pretty much look like they are suppose to.  Probably the best example is the section of ceiling where we had stopped painting.


Unfinished Work


Painted Ceiling

Yup… Looks exactly like it should.  Flat and even. When you are in the space, the texture is definitely down played and it all feels fresh and clean.

The most challenging part of the entire job came when Tyson got paint in his eye. Painting overhead typically means that paint is bound to get everywhere. However, Tyson got paint literally stuck on the inside of his eyelid and it would not go away. A doctor had to clean it out and Tyson got some stylin new protective eye wear.

Safety First

I can’t explain the hammer, but here’s a free tip from us to you:  Paint on the inside of your eyelid is no fun.  Protective eyewear = super fun!

What new paint projects are you working on? Have you tackled any new tasks that you thought would be more challenging than they ended up being?  Have you had to learn DIY safety the hard way?

King of Sofas


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I was going to originally title this post “Sofa King” because Tyson and I are pretty much unable to have a discussion about sofas without one of us referencing the completely inappropriate and wickedly funny SNL skit spoofing a late night commercial for a furniture showroom called Sofa King.  Have you seen it?  It features Shia LaBeouf with a really bad unibrow and the cast sharing such brilliant zingers as “That deal is Sofa King, great!”  Maybe it’s because we don’t use that word or the way that SNL gets away with essentially dropping the F-bomb a dozen times without being censored, but we end up giggling like a couple of 8 year olds saying the word “fart” every time we think about it.  We are so juvenile… I know.  What I didn’t know until writing this is that Sofa King is a whole thing in the Urban Dictionary and there are sites dedicated to merchandising this phrase.  Friends… I’m so naive.  And old.  Good grief… if you’re still interested, read on…

Now that all the Christmas decorations are down, everything in our home looks clean and bare.  Normally I find it a little depressing, but this year I’m finding it incredibly inspiring. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get things looking closer to what we’ve envisioned. 2012 saw us able to take care of some long overdue needs and we are hoping that this year will allow us to enjoy some long overdue wants.  And one such “want” is a new sofa for our family room.

So the Sofa King came up this morning over coffee as we discussed goals for 2013.  Our current sofa is 16 years old and has been a major workhorse.  Could it get us through a few more years?  Probably.  Would it be nice to have something new and updated?  Absolutely.

We spent the morning brain storming ideas.  And just like that, we shifted from goal setting to shopping… because let’s face it, shopping is WAY more fun than financial planning.

Our family room is long and narrow and we’ve decided that we would love to have a sectional in the space.  We are still trying to decide if we should go with an L-shaped sectional or one with a chaise.  I think we are leaning toward a chaise style since it keeps the room feeling more open, but that is always up for discussion.

We are also looking for the best bang for our buck.  We really need something that can handle two large dogs, two teenagers… plus their friends, our friends… you get the idea. We don’t want to pay through the nose and we are still trying to figure out what is “reasonable” for a good quality piece.

We’ve narrowed our style search down to these possibilities:

Sectional #1


We really like the chaise style of this sectional with it’s clean lines.  The color is beautiful, but could be problematic for the traffic it needs to handle.

Sectional #2


This sectional from Crate & Barrel is really cool too.  It feels more like a sofa and less like a sectional and could really work out nicely in the narrow room.

Sectional #3

Pearce Sectional

My butt got to actually “test-drive” this one at our local Pottery Barn and I’m not gonna lie… it was niiiiiice!  It’s more of a traditional sectional so I’m not sure if it will cut off too much of the room, but the fabric is really durable making it a definite contender.

So we could really use your input. Do you have a sectional and how has it worked for your lifestyle?  Have you purchased a new piece of furniture and found a specific time of year is the best time to buy?  Is there an SNL skit that makes you laugh like no other?  Juvenile responses are completely acceptable.

Looking Ahead to 2013



Like so many, Tyson and I have been talking about goals and projects for the upcoming year.  He has been off work for the last two weeks and it’s been fun to brainstorm what we’d like to accomplish next in our home.

Back in November, I mentioned (here) that our hope would be to work on our kitchen this year. It is one of the last spaces in our home that we have yet to add our personal twist on and it is time to tackle it.

When we moved in the space looked like this:

2000 Kitchen-Before

When we first considered buying this house, the kitchen was a definite plus.  It’s huge with tons of storage, vaulted ceilings and loads of light and counter space.  We absolutely love having it.  It is the space where everyone congregates when they come over and even when it’s just the four of us, you can often find us hanging out here.  Not to be cliché, but it IS the heart of our home.  You can see all the main living areas from it and it’s the brightest place in our house.

And 12 years later not much has changed.

2012 Kitchen-Before

We’ve upgraded the lineuoleum flooring to a wood lamenant and changed out the very small island to a much larger one that includes seating.  We’ve also replaced the dishwasher and the refrigerator… which came with us from Tyson’s bachelor days.  However, the major painting, counter and cabinet refinishing are all still on our “to-do” list.

So our goal is to make the Mangelsdorf Kitchen our Project for 2013.  We are optimistic that it won’t take twelve months, but since we will be doing most of the work ourselves, I’m adjusting my expectations accordingly.

To help keep us from being overwhelmed by the mess and project itself, Tyson and I have decided to break it up into several phases that we can accomplish as time and budget allow.

Phase 1 – Paint the Ceilings and Walls

Phase 2 – Microwave Upgrade

Phase 3 – Paint Cabinets and Add Hardware

Phase 4 – Replace Sink, Stove and Countertops

Phase 5 – Add a Backsplash

That’s it.  Shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Okay… don’t answer that.  I’m too excited to have my naïve bubble burst just yet.  And Tyson is already starting in on the ceiling, so here we go!

Have you updated your kitchen?  What tips would you share for us as we begin?  And what about you… what are you tackling for 2013?  I’d love to hear what you are up to.