Thursday, January 23, 2014

In your face grout...

When we bought this house, it was only about a quarter of the way built. We had the opportunity to pick out almost everything...almost. The tile had already been ordered and the grout mixed, so we had no choice on those. And of course those are the two things I never would have picked out. The tile is in no way my style, but it's never really driven me that nuts, the grout on the other hand, or what is left of it, was dark and just looked dirty all the time. On top of the not so great grout color, it was a complete hack job. They had obviously grouted the floors, but still allowed the other workers (painters, electricians, etc) to walk right over it, before the proper drying time. There were areas were the grout had completely dissipated within a month of living here, spots where it had been applied unevenly, and the rest of it was impossible to make look clean. I say look clean, because I knew it had to be clean after all the methods I had tried, but it never looked clean. I never took a proper before picture, but here's a couple in which I've already started working. You can see the dark and dirty looking grout line, at the bottom of the first picture and on the left in the second:

Yeah, terrible. And it was getting worse. Enter, this little miracle product by Polyblend called Grout Renew, used to...well..renew your grout. At only $11.97, its more than affordable, and here's the actually works. Drum roll please...

Bam! How's that for an in-your-face difference #givesselfhighfive. And again:

We went with oyster gray. The hubby wanted a medium tone (he thought it would hide the dirt better) and I wanted lighter. The oyster gray seemed to be a perfect blend, although it's definitely on the lighter side...ahahah..I win again. It's a light gray, and although it looks more white in these pictures it's definitely a perfect gray in real life.
So what's the catch you may ask? It took over 12 hours (4 hour stints over three days) and a lot of back and neck pain to do just the kitchen....meaning there was still two bathrooms and a large laundry room/mudroom to do. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely.
I didn't follow the instructions on the bottle *gasp*. It recommends using a toothbrush to really get it in between the tiles, and then wipe over the top with a wet sponge, to get rid of any excess. I felt that this wasted a ridiculous amount of the product. I used a small craft brush, painted each individual grout line, and then wiped away any excess that got on the tiles with a dry paper towel. The product dried very quickly so I literally would do one grout line at a time and then quickly follow up to smooth both sides of the seam with a paper towel.
In the end, I'm really happy with the results.
How about you guys? Any looming oddities in your house you hate?
Anything you're dying to change but haven't gotten around to it?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Entryway round up...

A friend of mine is redesigning her entire to bottom...front to back. You can check out what we have done so far here, here, here, and here. She asked me for some help recommending pieces. The first stop was her entryway (literally). The entryway is often neglected, but it's the first and last space someone sees of your home. It should reflect your entire home in just a few small pieces, and should reflect the personality of your family. The first piece we picked was a small bench. Her home has a small alcove under the stairs at the entrance way that is perfect for a small bench/settee/ottoman. Basically a place to sit down and put on/take off your shoes. She wanted some options, and this is what I found:

Entryway round up...

Jonathan Adler bench

Safavieh bench

Blue bench


Angelo HOME tufted ottoman

Right now we're leaning towards the Threshold Settee Bench from Target. She loves the color (as do I) and it's priced really well (very important when you're redesigning every space of your home). What do you think? Pick your favorite and let's take a vote.