Dads by Design

Husbands. Dads. Sharing Our (Mis)Adventures in Home Renovation and Parenthood.

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Throwing Our Annual Oscar Party

Our Oscar Party has become a tradition. We love movies. They’re our thing. Well, at least one of them. Since we see a lot of movies our Oscar party is a natural extension of things we love – our friends and movies.

Our party includes Oscar bingo and a prediction contest, of course. (Shout out to my coworker, Brian, who beat me at in our party’s predication contest. That’s actually the first time that’s happened! Maybe I should blame the Oscar producers…)

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Rehabbing Our DIY Dog Gates

Before I start, let me just say that all that mouse poop I found in the ceiling a couple weeks ago had me slightly worried for a hot second this week. For a minute, I thought those jerks may have given me hantavirus. But good news, I’m alive and well and dragging Brian into doing more projects. 🙂

President’s Day weekend was the perfect time for another project! Up this time, updating the DIY dog and/or baby gates that the previous homeowners left with the house.

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How We Decorated Our Mantel & Learned a Communication Lesson in the Process

Now that we’re getting a bit more settled, it was time to decorate our mantel  in our living room. Although we had a fireplace in our first house, we didn’t have a mantel.

We wanted to make sure it had balance, movement and tied in with the rest of the room.

Here’s how it went:

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A Tale of Basement Demolition, Dead Mice and a Design Dilemma

So far the projects in our new home have been easy (read: mainly just painting), but while Brian was out of town at a conference this week I started demolition on our biggest project: the basement.

I affectionately call the basement a dungeon. While it’s not quite an underground prison, it’s not the most inviting space (wood paneling and drop ceilings, ftw!). Currently, it’s framed out to include a recreation/family area, two bedrooms,  storage room, laundry room, 3/4 bathroom, two cold storage pantries and other storage.

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Housewarming Welcome Sign

How We Threw Our Housewarming Party

Now that we’ve been in our house a little over a month (and painted almost every room) it was time for our housewarming!

It was nice to finally have our friends over. Plus, I know Brian was thankful to not have to work on house projects for a weekend!

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Changing the Lights in Our Family Room (and Freaking Out Our Goldendoodle in the Process)

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the lighting in our house is terrible. We have great window lighting, but the overhead lighting comes down to: track lighting or ceiling fans. We’re in desperate need of recessed lighting, but until then, the first project was swapping out a pair of ancient flush mounts in our family room.

If we learned anything from our last house — it’s that a new light can completely transform a room. These lights aren’t on that level, but they’re a big improvement on what was there previously.

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Kitchen Update: From Navajo Sand to Basic Brown

Our kitchen paint job is the least dramatic of our recent updates. The previous homeowners chose a color called “Navajo Sand,” which although you can’t really tell from the images below, came off as almost an orange-brown. It had to go.

I really don’t like brown. Especially for wall colors. It’s SO boring, but again, we’re just working with what we’ve given right now. And as you can tell the previous homeowners LOVED THEM SOME BROWN.

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The Power of Gray(skull) Compels You: Our Family Room Goes Gray

As promised, we painted our family room and dining space gray too. Just like our living room. The results are a bit more dramatic in person, but you might not be able to tell in the photos 1) because the overhead lighting in our house is pretty awful right now and 2) I really need something better than an iPhone to take photos.

Anyway, here are the before.  More beige! (Yuck.) You’ll notice how the previous owners painted the support beam dark brown. Why they’d call attention to a feature like that, I’ll never know.

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What a Difference a Gray Makes: Painting Our Living Room

When we moved into our new house one of the first orders of business was painting the boring beige walls. Our solution? Lots and lots of gray.

First up? The living room. This post will be short and sweet.

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From Mid-Century “Blah-dern” to Funky Fresh

Like most new homeowners one of the first things we’ve done since moving in to our new home is paint.

One of our first projects was our upstairs bathroom. Boy, did it need work. Here are some before pictures.

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