Vintage light fixture reveal with HomeAdvisor.

This poor stair wall has many identities over the past years.

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But believe it or not, I think we may finally be done with this space (but don’t hold me to that).
I posted about the installation of the planks (part 1, part 2) a couple of months ago thanks to some help finding a great carpenter through HomeAdvisor.
The space was almost complete but there was just one more thing that would take it from good to great in my mind.

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When we we renovated the home about 4 years ago I tried to think of everything we would have needed and wanted in this home.
Lighting is tricky…you know you need lights but what kind?
Cans? Pendants? Flush Mounts? Sconces?
Fast-forward to 2015.  The space looked fine and perfectly functional but from a design standpoint the stair well needed some visual interest.
I tried art but it seemed to make the space feel claustrophobic because it’s so narrow so instead I decided a light fixture might fit the bill.

I found this vintage barn enameled shade on Etsy.  It was perfectly imperfect with the dings, rust, scars and scratches.

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My sweet Mr. wired it all up and got it ready to hang.  Only problem is the can wasn’t centered over the stair well.  I decided to call a few electricians to see how much they would charge to move it a few inches.
Enter HomeAdvisor.
If you’ve ever tried to find good help you know how difficult it is.  Trying to even get someone to pick up the phone or return messages feels like pulling teeth.  Bids are often all over the map and customer service is non-existent in many of my past experiences.  Then it’s always a gamble if the work will be up to par.

HomeAdvisor has been my best tool in finding good quality home improvement specialists.  You type in the services you need then it matches you with home improvement people in your area.  It’s like a dating site but for home improvement.

In my latest search I was looking for an electrician to move the electrical box in the ceiling about 10 inches then switch it to be able to accept a hanging pendant.  I called four people from the site.  One never called back, one was booked out a couple of weeks, one quoted me $250. (too high) and the last one was sent by an angel.
No literally, when he arrived he had a glowing halo above his head.  He was awesome (RELCo Electric).
How many times have you ever said that about someone coming to work on your home?
He was going to be late on the day of our appt so his scheduler called to ask if that would be all right or if I’d like to reschedule.
People. That is RARE to receive a phone call if they’re going to be late in this field.
He showed up right when his scheduler said, was courteous, knowledgeable, put a drop cloth down, cleaned up after himself, and charged me less than what he originally quoted (about $90.).

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I shouldn’t have been shocked.  I read his reviews before I called him and they were all stellar.  That’s the best thing about HomeAdvisor is the reviews and he had six pages of them.

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You can get a pretty good idea of what you can expect by reading other people’s reviews.

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To save money we opted to patch the hole (tutorial on that soon) and hang the pendant ourselves.  Drum roll…

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I love how it turned out and I’ve gained a new electrician for life.

If you’re looking to hire some home improvement help you should first start with HomeAdvisor.
It’s free to use and the reviews are the most priceless piece of information you can get before hiring someone.

You can also follow HomeAdvisor on their site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Laying an interior brick wall

I have an obsession with marble and brick.  I’ve pretty much clad as many surfaces with marble in my home that I can think of and now I’m moving on to brick.
Brick can be tricky though.
You have to be careful where you put it or it can look out of place.
Brick is typically used on fireplaces or outter walls…or older buildings or lofts but that doesn’t apply here.
I would put brick on every wall of my home but that would be overkill. Plus I live in a 1970’s rambler and they didn’t typically do interior brick walls back then. I like to try and stay within some kind of character style of the home (most of the time). But because my home has an all brick exterior I figured applying brick on an outer wall wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Capiche?

If you follow us on Instagram I showed a little teaser pic…here’s how the application went…

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This is the outer wall of my son’s room (and me trying to duck out of the way for the picture).  On the other side of the wall (outside) it’s all brick.  I wanted to carry that theme as if it were one big thick brick wall to the interior.  I found an online company called Brick-It which carries reclaimed brick from old buildings.  They cut the brick down so it’s 1/2″ thick veneer.  The back is smooth and the front has all that old worn character.  I ordered their New York Used brick veneers to apply to this wall.

The application process is SOO easy.  You first apply these Designer Metal Grids to the wall.

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It was pretty straight forward and my 10 year old helped out a lot.

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We first tried to cut down with some nipper scissors.  We then found that using a metal cutting blade was a lot quicker.

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Once the whole wall was covered with the DMG system we were ready to apply the bricks.

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Using a caulking gun you apply a line of glue (which they sent) on top of the grid then lay they bricks right in the panels.  I’m telling you it was SO easy.  This little man did a good majority of the brick laying (I mean it is room, he should do some work in there, right?).  :)

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Doing this much brick took just under an hour. I’m loving the perfectly imperfect look.

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We need to go rent a wet-saw to cut the bricks around the window then put the mortar in.  Stayed tuned for that step but all in all it has been a pretty fun project so far.  I’m still debating whether or not to white wash them which was my original plan.  I’m leaning toward doing it because the room is starting to feel heavy with the navy wall and now red brick.  Three people who have seen the wall say “NO” but we’ll see.  We’re hoping to wrap things up and have the room completely done in the next two weeks.  Yipee.

*I received product to try with no obligation to blog about.*

Glad Press’n Seal For Your Toolbox.

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Glad, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pressnsealhacks.
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My little-big man’s bed is done-zo.   I scored this vintage bed off of KLS Classifieds (Salt Lake City’s version of Craigslist).  The women who sold it to me didn’t want to let it go but said she needed the space.  Before she’d even let me come take a look at it she said, “You’re not going to paint it are you?” I promise at the time I hadn’t planned on painting it.  But when I brought it in to the room and looked at it…it was just too much traditional wood sitting right in the middle of the floor.  I tried hard to knock the little devil on my shoulder off who planted the “PAINT IT” seed but he eventually won and I gave in.  I feel a little bad going against her wishes but I hope she’d approve if she saw the final result.

Instead of painting the whole thing I decided to go for a two-tone application for a modern twist on a traditional piece.

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I used oil based paint because of it’s durability.  The problem with oil paint is you can’t wash your brushes out with plain old water.  You have to use a strong chemical like paint thinner and I just didn’t want to mess around with that between coats.

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Instead, I found that using Glad Press’n Seal which I picked up at Walmart worked perfectly for keeping my brushes from drying out between coats.

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I pulled out one sheet, folded it over itself, sealed the edges as close and possible around the brush and it formed an air tight seal.

I used the same hack when I painted some feathers a few weeks ago.

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I’ve you’ve ever attempted painting projects with kids you know there are a lot of interruptions, breaks, messes, etc.  Instead of washing out all the brushes when I know I’ll be coming back to the project in an hour or so, it’s much easier to sandwich the brushes between two sheets of Glad Press’n Seal, roll ’em up and there’s no worry about brushes drying with hard crusted paint on them

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Glad Press’n Seal is one of those miracle products with a ton of uses inside, as well as outside the kitchen.  Check out more hacks here.  Do you have any Glad Press n’ Seal tips and tricks?