Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Project: 1966 Airstream

We are so terribly excited about our newest (giant) project!  Meet our (currently nameless) 1966 Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht!  Isn't it dreamy?  Our lovely little home on wheels came to us from Boulder... from Minnesota... from Arizona... and originally from California we think.  We are pretty much obsessed.  97% of our conversations revolve around the trailer: oogling over how awesome it is, organizing our schedule to work on it as much as possible, our dreams and plans for the gut job and subsequent rebuilding, and planning the adventures our little family will have when it's done.

We've been researching and scouring Craigslist for over a year in search of the right RV or travel trailer for our family.  Our current dream, (because as I've learned, dreams are constantly changing and evolving), is to take a sabbatical and full-time in the airstream for a while.  In the last few years, the idea of paring down our "stuff" and beefing up our life experiences has really appealed to us.  We love our home and friends where we currently live, but we also dream of running away and becoming eternal nomads.  We've had an awakening of sorts, and don't want to overlook truly living in order to simply make a living.

We initially pictured ourselves in a Class C RV.  Class C's tend to be family friendly because they generally have a bed above the cab (for chillins) and a bedroom in the back (for Mama/Dada).  Then we shifted to the idea of a bunkhouse travel trailer, which offers more space, bunks for kids, and the ability to detach your living space from your vehicle.  We spent a handful of weekends visiting RV lots and checking out Craigslist deals.  We almost pulled the trigger on one of the travel trailers we checked out.

But a few weeks ago we decided that if we're really going to do this thing, we may as well do it right.  And by right, we mean dreamy, beautiful, iconic, and fan-freaking-tastic.  We had to have an Airstream.  We happened upon our little beauty on Craigslist one Saturday morning.  We called up the owners, who turned out to be Matt and Sara, of the Nesting Gypsy blog.  We drove up to see it that very morning and fell in love.  We staked our claim, wired a deposit, and by the next Wednesday, a giant hunk of mobile metal home was sitting in front of our house, begging for a neighbor to file an HOA complaint.

We have grand plans in store for the Airstream.  We're going to gut the whole thing down to the shell and frame, make sure everything is sound, and then build it back up from the ground.  It's going to be a crazy amount of work-- we're estimating between 1-2 years if we really hit it hard.  The line from Runaway Bride has been running through my head since we decided to buy it:

"Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me."

Yep, thats pretty much how I feel about it.  Perfect marriage proposal to an Airstream... (We may as well have proposed for the amount of time and work we're in for!)

Whadda ya think?  Are we crazy or what?  And any name suggestions?  We've got "Tilley" and "Swaggly," both Grant-isms, and both feeling like sad little names for a trailer with such character.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We're Back!

So... we took a lengthy, unplanned hiatus from blogging.  We kept on keepin' on in the project department but got a little lazy on the picture taking and posting side of things.  We've finished a handful of small projects that we'll update you on soon, (laundry room light, kitchen counters, powder room progress, etc.), but we're most excited about a brand new, huge, project that we just decided to undertake.  Seriously, we're talking a good year or more of work....  rivets, demolition, learning Google Sketchup! Can you guess what it is?!

While you're stewing over what's brewing in the Tanner household, Grant & I are headed to the mountains for a few days while little Willister hangs out with his grandparents.  When we get back we're going to hit the ground running. In the meantime, you can oogle over one of my favorite pictures of my favorite boys.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Laundry Room Reveal (finally!)

It's done!  Well, mostly done.  The laundry room is fully functioning these days- it's tidy, and organized, and heavenly.  It almost makes me want to do laundry...  but who would really believe me if I said that?!  The laundry room is in a fairly dark spot in the house.  The one small window faces West so the lighting is not great for pictures.  So apologies for the semi-crappy pictures.  I just got a tripod (hooray!) which will allow me to take some better ones soon.

The ReStore cabinets, in Benjamin Moore's Cloud Cover turned out great.  We used Ikea's FAGLAVIK knobs in chrome and spray painted the hardware with Rustoleum spray paint in Chrome finish.  

We love love love the countertop.  It creates a functional space for folding clothes, keeping laundry baskets, etc.  And that butcher block is just so darn beautiful.  We bought an Ikea NUMERAR countertop in oak, cut it to fit and sealed it.  

We also made some cut outs on the far side of the counter in order to access the water shut off valves as well as the plug-ins for the washer and dryer.  Not the prettiest, but the access was important.  We also used some of Grant's Grandma's old white ceramic pots over the more obvious cut out.  They hold detergent, oxyclean, and one acts as a trash can.

For the open shelving we used a few cedar boards that we've been carrying around since we lived in Texas.  (We were out on a walk one evening and met a family whose fence was taken out by a drunk driver.  They were throwing away the beautiful boards and were more than happy to let us take a few off their hands- score!)  We cut the boards to fit the space and sealed them with a polyurethane spray.  The spray worked okay, but I wouldn't go that route again.  Too much money for not enough product.  Liquid is better.  

The baskets were an old Target clearance buy- they were each around $6.  I wish I had four so that I could add some on the top shelf.  In the future, I may repurpose these two and come up with four different baskets to put here.  But for now, they work great as laundry baskets for random pieces of clothes that get taken off downstairs (namely, Will's pj's almost every day).

We supported the shelves with Ikea's EKBY VALTER brackets, painted with BM Cloud Cover to match the cabinets.

The pantry cabinet works perfectly to hold our vacuum and other cleaning supplies.  We're planning on building a small shelf at the top of that cabinet as well to hold paper towels, etc.

Will is a big fan.  And so am I because the vacuum isn't constantly up in my bizness all day (well, except for when Will drags it out to play clean up... always resulting in the need for an actual clean up).

The far left cabinet houses "diaper station" as well as Grant's collection of cloths.  Give that man a microfiber cloth and you'll make his day.

And the center cabinet holds the laundry supplies (though mostly just extras because the detergent and oxyclean are on the counter below), as well as trash bags and the occasional room-de-smelling item.

We decided to forgo a custom sink cabinet (good call, us...) and bought this Ove Utility Sink Cabinet from Costco.  It was on clearance (huzzah!) for just under $200.  We somehow managed to plumb it ourselves (enter choir of angels) which saved some cash as well.

It feels so so good to have our laundry room back (and fewer tools littering the kitchen and hallway as well...)  I can't believe how it looked before!  All that crap fit easily into the room once there was a little order to the madness.  Well, except the tree... (Which went outside for the summer and even started growing a pomegranate!  Until Will discovered it and promptly pulled it off ... sad day).

While the laundry room is functional, there are still a lot of odds and ends to finish up.  Getting rid of that light fixture is #1, finishing up trim (the plywood holding up the countertop is naked), crown molding, etc. comes in at #2, and a window treatment (maybe faux roman shade?) is #3.

Oh yeah.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Laundry Room Progress

After figuring out the final configuration for our cabinets, it was time to hang them!.  We used these GRK Cabinet screws and they worked out well for us.

We started on the far right with the pantry cabinet.  We wanted the cabinet to sit just a bit off the wall so that the trim from the window wouldn't get in the way of the doors opening.  

We used a few 2x4's to make sure the cabinet was evenly spaced away from the wall.  We screwed through the cabinet wall and the 2x4 right into the studs on the far wall.

Eventually, we'll frame out the gap between the pantry and the wall with a little trim.

Next, we used the long board that previously held up the small shelf to make sure the next cabinets were all level.  We screwed it into a few of the studs, using a level to make sure it was perfectly flat.

Then we just held the cabinet in place on the board and screwed it into the studs.  For most cabinets that meant two screws up high and two screws down low, all inside the cabinet.

For the next few cabinets, we clamped the frames together to make sure there wouldn't be any cracks.  We also used finishing nails on the inside of those frames to secure them together as well. (You can see the cabinet screws on the back of these cabinets.  Unfortunately, the studs didn't quite line up to allow four screws on each cabinet, so we reinforced where we could.)

Wham, bam, & done, the cabinets were up.  (Although a few had unpainted sides because of the reconfiguring we had to do earlier... bummer.) We reattached the doors using the hinges that I previously painted silver.  

Then we took a extended, lazy blogger picture break.  So basically, the next post will be the final reveal (mostly)...  Since the pictures on this post were taken, we have finished the cabinets, painted the walls, installed a utility sink, built and installed open shelving, and finished the countertop that will cover the washer/dryer set.  Phew!  Can't wait to share... if I can force myself to get on top of things and take some pictures!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Parade of Homes: Drool....

Grant & I met while attending college in Utah.  While we were dating, we discovered an amazing little home store that had recently opened in the area, Alice Lane.  We loved going to visit the store and dreaming about our future home.  We even had a chance to meet Adam, half of the husband-wife team that owns and runs Alice Lane.   He told us about his wife's dream to open the store and the inspiring story of how they finally did it.  We've been smitten with Alice Lane ever since, but haven't been back to visit since we moved away in 2009.

But recently, we came across a photo tour of the Utah Valley Parade of Homes that featured a home designed by Caitlin Creer and... Alice Lane Home Collection!  We're a little obsessed with it.  So excuse our drool while we share a few of these amazing rooms. (Photos from

Heavenly, right?  I love all of the beautiful light, clean lines, and mixed mediums.  Wood, metal, white paint, wallpaper... lovely.  We've been scheming up ideas to create a reading nook in our loft like the one pictured above.

I've never actually been through a Parade of Homes home.  But I just discovered that the Denver Parade of Homes starts August 8th! Who's in?!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Giant Wall Map

Grant and I used to fancy ourselves world travelers.  In the year or two before we got married, we each went on trip to Europe.  Mine was a guided tour of Austria and Germany, built around dance performances at some amazing locations.  We danced at a 13th century castle... pretty awesome.  Grant's trip was a backpacking adventure with his best friend, complete with some hefty beards and a short stint in an Italian jail... no really...

Anyway, our traveling ways have died down a bit since we became parents... and poor.  (Poor is all relative I suppose.  Technically we were poorer in college, but didn't seem to care or realize...)  But we're still haunted by some serious wanderlust.  For years, we've talked about putting up a giant map of the world and putting pins on all the places we've been, lived, and dream of going.  

So for Grant's Father's Day present, I finally did it!  I bought a map on Amazon, see here.  It was about $40, but you could probably find one for cheaper at a garage sale/Craigslist/your parents basement, etc. The map measures 73"x49" so it fills a good portion of the wall.  It also came laminated which hopefully will protect against some inevitable "Will-age" over time.  (It already has a small hole in it due to Will throwing a lampshade clamp at it... nice.)

I built a custom frame out of 1x4's which was pretty simple for a go-with-the-flow builder like me.  If I had wanted the frame to be perfect, it would have been very difficult.  But I decided to embrace the flaws and imperfections so I love it.

I cut the 1x4's to size with a miter saw, stained them with a vinegar and steel wool wash, and basically nailed them together with finishing nails.  I tried to glue the frame first, but I didn't have a suitable strap or set of clamps so the glue didn't hold.  So I held the ends together the best I could, used enough nails to make it fairly sturdy and ignored the fact that it didn't line up quite right...

It probably wouldn't survive a cross-country move, but it's holding together just fine on the wall.

Grant loves it! We still need to order pins to mark all of the places.  I'm thinking metallic pins like these to match the vintage feel.  And maybe flags to map places we've lived? 

The bonus: the map covers up the huge holes in the wall left after we decided to take down the giant television.  (Can I add, I love being a no-tv family!  We're certainly not device-free, or even portable dvd player-free, but Will seems to be a little less whiny for television, and family time seems a little easier to achieve.)

And did you notice the couch change and new side table?  I'll be posting soon about this room and the changes we've made.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Entry Way Dresser Table

Our little entry way has been empty since we moved in 18 months ago (I can't believe it's already been a year and a half!).  I've been keeping an eye out for the perfect piece to put there.

I ended up going the Craigslist route and got a beautiful mid-century modern dresser!  This was an unusual purchase for us because the piece didn't need any work.  Usually, we'll buy/inherit/pick up on the side of the road... a piece of furniture that need a little love and a lot of sanding.  It's definitely a lot more work to build a home this way, but it's also significantly cheaper than buying something new.  I feel like it is also a lot more rewarding to put in the sweat equity and create something that's uniquely you.

But mid-century modern is so popular right now that all of the pieces are hard to find.  You have to scour estate sales and fight off "pickers" to find something worth investing in.  So I found a lady on Craigslist who buys mid-century pieces from a picker and revives them to their former glory.  She works out of her house, (a beautiful home in West Wash Park area, built in 1892, ahhh), and sells the pieces on Craigslist.  It ended up being $180; not a steal, but what I felt like was a pretty fair price considering it was display ready.

I bought it in the afternoon and Grant took the trailer that night to pick it up for me. (Thanks babe!)  Luckily he liked it too as Grant tends to be a lot pickier than I am.

It has beautiful lines and looks awesome in the space. It's a nice low profile next to our giant canvas.  It also adds some nice warm wood tones into a room that's mostly cool with cream, grays and blues.

I'm still working on styling the top of the dresser.  I've really never had a piece of furniture that was purely decorative... yeah.  Never a coffee table, never a side table; so styling something like this does not come naturally yet.  But I have a few pieces that I like so far.  The frame was a $10 garage sale purchase.  We're planning to fill it with the builder grade mirror that's currently in the powder room once we find a cooler mirror to put in there.

The frame is a really pretty gold/pewter with a neutral cream fabric inlay.

I also have this elephant that I picked up at a garage sale last week for $2.  I originally wanted to spray paint one of Will's big dinosaurs and use it on the dresser, but this elephant just seems right instead.  And Will loves him too.

And then I have this brass bowl that's half spray painted white... I think it started raining last summer when I was working on it so I never finished.  Nice...  Any ideas on what to fill it with? Well, after it's finished being painted...

What do you think of the dresser?  Any assistance for the clueless in terms of styling?!