Master Bath Remodel

When we purchased our first home in August of 2011, it came with some interesting decor, pink walls, and one UGLY master bathroom.  We considered postponing the remodel until after our wedding, but Julie said she wouldn’t shower in that bathroom until it was changed.  Sam didn’t see the need to change the room for a few years.  We had a stand off! What was a couple to do??? Well apparently we only had to wait a few weeks and the shower would answer the question for us.  One day when Sam was putting away his clothes in the master closet he heard a crash in the shower.  A panel from the shower had fallen off the wall.  Sadly (all sarcasm intended) when Mr Fix It tried to glue it back into place, the piece snapped in half.  Darn our luck!


 Thus our remodel was expedited.  Team Julie for the win!

Here are a few more before shot.

Too much white!!!!

Too much white!!!!

Look at all the different white sized white tiles.

Look at all the different white sized white tiles.

Look at those "awesome" gold fixtures.

Look at those “awesome” gold fixtures.

Since our bathroom gave us no choice but to update it, off we went to look at samples.

We weren’t in the store very long before we had an agreement on what would go where.  After that it was time to gut, install and enjoy.

We left the cabinets bc they are all real wood built by a carpenter from down the road.

We choose cultured marble for the shower and bathtub surround along with marble for the vanity.



The floors are an Italian porcelain from the company Happy Floors.  All our fixtures are Kohler from Lowes.

Check back soon to see the latest update from August 2013!

Radio Silence

I know it’s been a while, but I have a good excuse.

This happened!


That’s right.  My wonderful husband is officially retired from the Air Force as of September 13, 2014.  I am so proud of his 21 years of service and his dedication to our country.  He makes the uniform proud!

His old group commander (seen in the picture above) did the honors of presenting Sam with his final awards and retirement plaque.  This was very exciting for Sam since his old commander recently put on General and became Brigadier General Charles Chappuis, assistant adjutant general.  To all the non-military folks, that means he is the man.

As General Chappuis was pinning Sam with several new awards, he made the comment that I have made to Sam many time, “You know what you look like now?” The answer is a Mexican General.  I’m so proud of Sam for all his awards and all his hard work.  We are looking forward to having all our weekends back and spending time enjoying our newly remodeled house (if we can ever get it finished, but that is a post for another day).


During the ceremony, Major Ireland presented me with this lovely bouquet of flowers. It was in appreciation for my many sacrifices, but some days I feel like I don’t deserve the respect I get from people for my “sacrifice.”  Sam reminded me the night before his retirement, that in the 4 years we have been together, he has missed every one of my birthdays and our 2nd anniversary. Drill has also caused us to miss out on many activities that I/we would have really enjoyed to participate in. Plus there was that hurricane last year.  I guess it never really felt like a sacrifice because at the end of the day, I knew my airman loved me with all his heart, and really that’s all I could ever ask for.

Half Bath Remodel

As y’all can recall from a previous post, we have an extensive list of house tasks.  I’ve decided I should break it up into smaller and more manageable posts, otherwise I may get overwhelmed and just list my house for sell.  Here is the half bath list:

remove wallpaper



 paint baseboards & crown molding

paint ceiling

add wainscoting

change flooring

add cabinet

new countertop & sink

Downstairs we are lucky enough to have a half bath for our guests.  It’s a nice size room, but the previous owners had chosen some brown and shiny gold wallpaper with an angel border.  It also can with some “Awesome” gold fixtures.  While Mr. Ireland was working one weekend, I attacked the wallpaper… then I realized I probably should have okayed it with him first. Oops!

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Luckily he was okay with my progress when he got home that afternoon.

After Mr Ireland primed the walls, the room sat untouched for many months until we did our massive remodel in the last half of 2013.

Because the room had be neglected so long, I wanted to give some TLC to the room.  Since we were adding a few cabinets in several other rooms, I decided I wanted to get rid of the pedestal sink in exchange for a cabinet with some extra room.  After some brain storming, I decided I wanted to add a draw to the bottom that can be pulled out as a step for children.


(Please excuse the horrible iPhone pictures.  For some reason, I never took any with my camera.)

Our carpenter was able to turn my vision into reality which left us with the problem of no countertop.  I wanted something very durable and easy to maintain. Off to Stine’s we went, and I feel in love with the idea of quartz countertops.  Yes they are the most expensive countertops on the market, but we plan to stay in this house forever and I don’t plan on having any more major remodels after this.

Mr Ireland and I both lean toward classic and timeless finishes so that they won’t go out of style.

We chose the quartz company Cambria after we fell in love with the shimmery look of the Whitney design.

Cambria Whitney Quartz Countertops

Cambria Whitney Quartz Countertops


So lets recap what we have left to do on the list:

remove wallpaper

prime & paint


 paint baseboards & crown molding

add shoe moulding

paint ceiling

add wainscoting and paint

change flooring

add cabinet

new countertop & sink

As you can see, we still have several tasks to complete on our list.  We plan to put the shoe molding back this weekend, and I am going to try my hand at adding the wainscoting.  I’ve been hooked on using the miter saw lately🙂

Then we will have our painters come in and do their thing.  The end is in sight!!!!

Laundry Room Remodel

When we did our previous major remodel, we gutted the laundry room and replaced it with all new cabinetry and a mudroom set up.  This is the first room we generally walk into when we get home, so I wanted it to be welcoming and sleek looking.  I always really hated the breaker box being out in the open, hence the need for a complete gut.

This is what the laundry room looked like before.

The view from the breakfast nook:


This was our makeshift effort at making the laundry room more functional.


And this is what I designed with our carpenter.  The upper cabinets are quite taller than the older one, so that it could completely hide the breaker box.  The lower cabinets are 2 hamper drawers.


This is our new mudroom area.  I like a place to drop my keys when we first walk in the door, it has stopped the race for lost keys that was happening all too often.


This is the finished product.  Mr Ireland likes to brag that we have the only laundry room that is decorated, but I love that I found a place to display some of our treasures from our many trips.


With the new beautiful laundry room, doing laundry no longer feels like a chore.  With the extra room in all the cabinetry the laundry room stays clean and welcoming, which is just what we were hoping for.

Stay tuned to see the progress in this room as well as the kitchen and the half bath.  The tile is being installed late next week!

Kitchen Remodel

In June of 2013 we undertook a major remodel.  We added some new cabinetry and painted almost the whole house.  that meant a lot of packing.

Packing the whole kitchen up.

Packing the whole kitchen up.

The kitchen took several days to paint.  We had the painters use the oil based paint Benjamin Moore Dove White.  Our painters did a great job of taping everything off and getting right to work.




Because we have adjustable shelves, we had the shelves and doors strewn out all over the house.  IMG_0191rt





Now that the dust has settled and we have mostly forgotten the pain of remodeling, we are getting ready to do it all over again.  This time, the object of our attention is the backsplash and countertops.  As many of you have probably heard me whine  mention, we have pink countertops and white and pink 4 inch backsplash tiles.


 I am not a pink kind of girl, and you can guess Mr Ireland could do without the color pink all together.

Some of you may not know, but we like to watch the DIY channel, but apparently I (Julie) have been taking it a little too seriously.  After meeting Mr Ireland for lunch one day, I (with permission this time) attacked the backsplash.

backsplash rt

I was surprised at how easy it was.  So I continued…



When Mr Ireland got home, he helped me clean up.

Next step is pulling up the counter top and doing a little sheet rock repair, but I will give y’all a sneak peek into the colors we have chosen.

Cambria Whitney Quartz Countertops

Cambria Whitney Quartz Countertops

GBI Tile & Stone Inc. Gemstone White Glass Mosaic Subway Tile

GBI Tile & Stone Inc. Gemstone White Glass Mosaic Subway Tile

Happy Floors Kaleido Nero

Happy Floors Kaleido Nero

The quartz countertop and subway tile backsplash both have a sparkle to them that is hard to see in these pictures.

Fireplace Update

When we purchased our home, there was A LOT of grandma gold as we call it.  The door knobs, the cabinet knobs, the chandeliers, the faucets… You get the picture.  As of August 2014 we had eradicated all the gold.  New aged bronze (read: almost black) door knobs had been installed along with brushed nickel cabinet pulls, aged bronze chandeliers and silver faucets.  We still have a few chandeliers to update, but those are too high to be a quick fix.

But today, I (Julie) found a spot of gold that could be a quick fix.  Our game room fireplace was black and gold and UGLY!!!!

Game Room Fireplace circa June 2013

Game Room Fireplace circa June 2013

In June 2013, we resurfaced the mantle.  Removing the fluted molding and the dental molding transformed the fireplace to Ireland style.



Now that the mantle had been updated and painted, we decided it was time to quit procrastinating and just slap a coat of paint over the gold.  While Sam was at drill, I decided to surprise him with something cross off our to do list.


 Here is the final product!

IMG_5066 retouched

 I’m happy with the results and even happier with the price.  We spent $6 on spray paint and we have the paper and painters tape hanging around the house.

Now it’s time to move onto the next item on our to do list.