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This Grey Reno: Kitchen and Family Room

3 Jul

We moved into our house in October 2011 and we knew that over time, we would make changes to the house to make it more “us”. After tackling the pool, outdoor kitchen, and upstairs flooring, the downstairs would be next. We started on May 1st and went solid for 2 months!

It all started because we wanted to take the laminate out of the dining and living room but wanted to replace it with wood look tile. Only problem is that we hated the rest of the downstairs flooring so why not do it all together? And if we are replacing the flooring then shouldn’t we update our kitchen all at the same time? And the bathroom vanity? Oh and the dark furniture we hated? Yeah, that’s got to go too. Might as well install a wine bar… and the last bit of carpet we had on the stairs needed to go…. and the vertical blinds… and time to update the decor! And that is how we got here 🙂 A brand new downstairs!

Kitchen, Nook and Family Room

Here is the Kitchen and Nook before:

As you can see it’s dark. And maple. And black. It wasn’t the worst kitchen but it definitely wasn’t the best either. We liked the overall layout so we opted for painting the cabinets vs replacing them.

And after:

Nice and light! We had the cabinets painted white, leveled the bar top (so glad we did), new granite and backsplash, new floors, installed pendant lights and now have double ovens.


Granite: Thunder White
Backsplash: Floor and Decor
Floors: Silva Ruber from Argentina Tile
Barstools: Target
Decor: Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Pier 1

Here is the nook before:

Nothing great. At all. (Other than Hud of course)

And now!

I pained the buffet server white and Chris made this gorgeous table. Added some new decor and a new light as well.

The family room before:

And after!

Coffee table, end tables and TV stand: Forest Lane Collection from Havertys
Pillows: Houzz
Wall Decor: Home Goods, Kirklands, Ross, Hobby Lobby
Ladder: DIY

Vertical blinds before:

Our pretty new curtains!

Curtains: Arabesque Blue from Amazon
Curtain Rod: DIY! Wooden corbels and black pipe

Kids table before:

And now:

DIY/Ikea Hack table
Chairs: Ikea
Shelf: DIY

Next post: our new dining room! If you have any questions, let me know!



Animal Zoo: DIY Storage for Stuffed Animals!

21 Jul

My daughter LOVES her stuffed animals. She usually has 10+ of them in her bed and then of course plenty more in the playroom. They are all over the place and it drives me NUTS. A while back, I came across storage on Pinterest that would be cute and perfect for my problem. I put the project on the back burner and sort of forgot about it until I was picking up the playroom this weekend and decided I had enough with stuffed animals all over the place. Later that morning, we were at Lowes buying wood, rope and paint.

I think you could make this project as complex as you want but I wanted to keep it SUPER simple and cheap… this was after all going in her closet and at the end of the day….was just holding her stuffed animals. I have seen a lot of these 6 feet tall, however, I wanted to keep hers under 4 ft on purpose. If we get to the point that we have over 4 ft of stuffed animals…. I can tell you some of them are going to hit the road.

We picked up some pine 1x4s and after a few cuts and screws… we had our frame.

Again, I wanted to keep this project cheap and easy so I bought 2 cans of Valspar Spray Paint and Primer (in the color Nautical)

I bought the wooden letters and animals from the kid craft section at Michaels and already had acrylic paint at home.

We bought rope but I have seen where people use wooden dowels. Chris taped the rope where it needed to be cut (helps with fraying) and then burnt the ends. Since we bought thicker rope, he used his air nail gun to hold them in place.

After that, we loaded it up and it is already working perfectly!

It’s that simple people. She can easily get an animal out if she wants to and I don’t have to see these things laying all over the floor in the playroom. I call that a win win 🙂

Have questions? Feel free to ask! I highly recommend this project and it’s a great starter project too! Super simple and and easy way to easy into DIY furniture 🙂

Our DIY Outdoor Kitchen

20 Mar

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

As you know, we live in sunny Florida. When we moved into our new house, it didn’t have a pool but we made sure it had plenty of space to put one in. It took 2 years but we decided to finally tackle the backyard. We started with the pool first last Fall. In case you missed it, you can check out the pool here. The next project on the list is the outdoor kitchen.

This project is not for the faint of heart. This may be one of our biggest DIY projects yet. Thankfully, Chris is handy around a saw and my dad knows his electrical and plumbing. Rather than list every single detail on this post, I will give you more of a guideline on how we (and by we I mean Chris and my dad) build this bad boy.

Before we begin, here is a picture of the back of the house before we moved in. We put the kitchen on the open slab to the left.

 Step 1: Your layout

We had to decide on a layout back when the pool pavers went in. It just made it easier for us in the long haul for them to go ahead and lay the pavers as we would need them. It sat like this for a good 3 months.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

 Step 2: Pergola

For us, our step 2 was the pergola. Obviously, if you aren’t building a pergola than you would just skip over this. It took them about 2 days to put this up. It probably could have been done in one long day but trips to the hardware store and helping out with Kyler slows things down a bit.

We opted for 4×4 pressure treated posts and 2×6 cross beams. Everything is tied into our house so it’s nice and sturdy. We routed the ends to give it the look we wanted.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

 We also took 2x2s and ran them the other way. This made the pergola even stronger.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

The pergola sat like this for about 3 months also. Before moving onto the next step, Chris stained and sealed it.

Step 3: Frame out the kitchen

We were finally ready to tackle this kitchen! The guys took a day and framed out the kitchen. Again, we used pressure treated wood for everything. For us, our kitchen consists of a space for a fridge, sink, 2 cabinets, and a place to wheel a grill into. During this step, you need to know your exact measurements. That means you need to have your grill, fridge and whatever accessories (ie cabinets and sink) picked out so you have true measurements.

You may ask why we opted to skip the built in grill. Well as much as I love the look of a built in, we were trying to keep costs down. Also, I know a few people with built in grills and they don’t seem to last any longer than a stand alone (and can be a lot more money to fix). Who knows, we may retro fit one down the road but for now, we are happy we our decision 🙂

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 4: “Rough” everything out

They took another day and “roughed everything in”. If you don’t know what the means, it simply means to pull wire, run plumbing lines, etc. Nothing is hooked up, just ran and ready to go.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 5: Backer board

Time to seal it up! We choose cement board for this step. Chris took care of this in a short day while my dad worked on the plumbing and electrical connections. Thanks to my dad, we have 2 outlets, a light switch, and hot water!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

I made a decision not to go with permanent shelving. I thought I would get more use out of it with a nice open space. Also, you can see the mini hot water heater here.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

We used Hardi Board for the inside of the fridge space.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 6: Pick out your tile/siding

Well this step was pretty hard for us. We had decided on the siding pretty early on in the project. I love the look of stone but when it’s at least $10 a sq ft., that wasn’t going to work with our DIY budget. We ended up finding this tile from Lowes at $2.42 a sq.ft. Score!

I would have loved a solid surface but everything was just a bit too pricey for us so we went with a tile counter top. At first, we picked a darker grey tile but after leaving the test piece in the sun for about 30 minutes, I quickly changed my mind. Way too hot!

We found a cost effective travertine ($1.99 a sq ft) that worked well. We also picked a marble border to go around it to give it some pizzazz.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 7: Counter Top

Chris took a half day and put on the counter top. We used 3/4″ plywood and then put a 1/4″ of cement board on top of that.

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

For the bar top, he did the same, however, he inserted thick metal steel bars in between to hold up the weight. One of the perks of owning a sheet metal shop 🙂

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 8: Tiling

Time to start tiling!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

To tile this entire thing, it took about 4 days (not full days by any means).

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Tiling at night to get this thing done!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Ready for grout!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 9: Lighting

One of the last things to add into the pergola was the lighting. We opted for 50′ commercial grade string lights. I thought about installing a pendant light or wall sconces but that was going to turn into a lot more work. After installing the string lights, I am not really sure we need anything else. They are great and put off a lot of light!

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

Step 10: Accessorize

Last but not least, it was time to accessorize!

Steel Doors:
Grill: Weber Genesis EP-310 and we removed the wings. We LOVE it.
ridge: Haier Fridge

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

We are THRILLED on how the outdoor kitchen came out and every time I look at it, I can’t believe how great it turned out! I am so proud of all the hard work my hubby Chris did and of course we could not have done it without my dad. We are so excited for spring/summer to begin and are looking forward to many cookouts this year! I have no clue how many we saved by doing this ourselves but I imagine it is thousands. We have 3 other outdoor projects and then our backyard oasis will be finished. Thankfully, those will be much easier 🙂

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

DIY Outdoor Kitchen by

What do you think? What outdoor projects are you starting on?

DIY Christmas Stocking Ladder

22 Dec

I have been looking for a new way to hang my stockings and came across these ladders all over Pinterest. Each one was completely different but it came down to the same thing….. rustic ladder with some hooks. I leaned on my hubby a bit for this project 🙂

Chris picked up some 1×4’s and 1×6’s at the store. We already had the dark stain at home. We determined the height and Chris played around with cutting the ends (to better lean against the wall) and he got to work!

DIY Ladder by This Grey House

The Kreg Jig is a great invest and way to hide all of the screws!

After the stain dried, he took some steel wool to it so distress is a bit.

All assembled

DIY ladder by This Grey House

We installed some hooks (smallest I could find at the store but honestly love how they look on it!)

DIY Ladder by This Grey House

I added some Christmas Garland to spurce it up for the holidays… wreath look familiar 🙂

DIY Stocking Ladder by This Grey House

I love how it turned out!!!

DIY Stocking Christmas Ladder by This Grey House

DIY Christmas Stocking Ladder by This Grey House

DIY Stocking Christmas Ladder by This Grey House

Merry Christmas!

DIY Christmas Stocking Ladder by This Grey House

Also, a special thanks to Chris’ Aunt Cindy for making 3 out of the 4 stockings! Chris’ was made from his Nana. We love out homemade stockings!!

I plan on removing the garland after Christmas and using it to hang blankets pictures frames from it!

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series [Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family |The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt]. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

Pinterest Christmas: Glittered Pinecones

3 Dec

This week, I am going easy on you. This craft is so simple, easy, but yet I love how the finished product looks! Here is the inspiration:

I figured this could be a great craft my almost 3 year old could help with.

First, the supplies! Pinecones, spray glue, glitter and paper bags!

Spray your pinecone all over with spray glue (side note…. if you could pick up a cheap pair of tongs so the glue doesn’t stick to your hand, I would highly recommend it). Throw the pinecone in the paper bag and sprinkle your glitter of choice on it. Try to get it somewhat even. Then, close the bag and shake, shake, shake!

Isn’t she the cutest little helper?

That is it folks.

I picked up this apothecary jar at Home Goods for $12. Seriously, that place is my jam.

Christmas Pinecones by This Grey House

After putting my pinecones in the jar, I was bored with it. I grabbed some old small ornaments I had from Target a few years back, my twine and a snowflake and spruced it up. Much better!

Christmas Pinecones by This Grey House

Glittered Christmas Pinecones by This Grey House

Make sure you head over to the other hostess’ pages this week and see what they crafted up! Also, comment below and show me what you are working on this year or use the hashtag #pinterestchristmas2014 on Instagram!

[Emerald City Diaries | Greg & Maggi |  The Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | Without A Doubt ]

DIY Wood Plank Wall

19 Mar

I love me a plank wall these days. I knew I wanted to install one for the 2nd nursery for a long time now. If the baby was a boy, wood stain it is. If the baby was a girl, it would have ended up weathered grey (hmmm maybe somewhere else in the house???). As soon as we found out baby # 2 was a he, it was time to get planning!

We did some research online and determined we wanted to go with sanded plywood. I love the pallet look, however, I did not want to round-up tons of pallets, worry about splintering of the wood (pallet wood is not the best), and then no know where the wood has been (chemicals, etc).

We opted for 3/4″ Sanded Oak in 4’x8′ sheets. We could have gotten away with 1/2″ but that is what our store had to offer. Our wall took 3 full sheets and we had Home Depot do the big cuts for us (we choose 6″).

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

We took our 6″x 8′ boards (24 of them) and laid them out to stain. We choose to go with 3 similar stains to give the appearances of a rustic and worn wall.

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nurserypallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

We stained 8 boards in each color.

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

Before installing, Chris attempted to find the studs on the wall.

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

We installed the boards on an exterior wall. We have no clue what it’s made of but we are assuming it must be a combo of concrete block and metal straps (reminder, we live in Florida). Because of that, we couldn’t use a run-of-the-mill nail gun. We ended up using a T-Nailer with large nails made especially for concrete and metal. Pro: The suckers don’t move. Con: You can see the nail head loud and clear. We were going to attempt to cover them up, however, A) We didn’t want to ruin the wall and B) Once we moved everything in place, it actually looked fine!

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

As for the cuts, we really just went with where the studs were and there was no rhyme or reason as to what color came next. We just made sure we didn’t go with the same exact color side by side.

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

Getting there!

Finished look!!

pallet wall, diy pallet wall, wood plank wall, world travel nursery

We are LOVING our little man’s plank wall. We have even talked about doing something similar in another part of the house! Any questions? Feel free to ask!

Like new! Refinishing a bed and dresser

5 Mar

I knew I wanted a vintage bed for Kyler’s new big girl room and I wasn’t willing to pay an arm and a leg for a brand new “vintage” bed. I love the Jenny Lind style so that was my first thought. I popped on Craigslist every now and then in search of the right bed and I came across this gem.

I knew with the some new paint and cute bedding, this would make one cute bed. We picked it up for $139 and I was perfectly okay with that.

Next step, was finding a comparable dresser. Again, after searching Craigslist, I decided I was looking for the french provincial style. Now this style tends to have really big dressers so that was another obstacle, to find a 6 drawer that would work for a little girl’s room. After looking and looking and finding plenty (but out of my price range), I was feeling defeated. One day, we were out and about looking at some consignment shops when we drove by one and I told Chris “oh wait, we need to turn around!” I spotted one in the window and it looked perfect driving by. I called the shop immediately and asked for the price. When they responded with “$130”, we turned around and headed to the shop. It was in perfect condition, but again, just needed some paint!


Chris started with the bed first. We thought about just using a deglosser since sanding this puppy would take a while but he ended up hand sanding all the spindles. We just decided we wanted to do it right so why not take the extra time and prep it correctly. It did take A LONG time but it was worth it.

Sanding the dresser was a lot easier. Only took him a day to sand the entire thing and the paint came right off.


For priming, we used Valspar’s binding primer at the suggestion of the Lowes guy. We wanted to ensure that a toddler couldn’t easily scratch up the paint and didn’t want to deal with paint peeling off. It would well!

Again, the spindles made everything take a lot more time. So many little grooves to get into.

The dresser on the other hand was cake!


I knew I wanted to keep the Coral and Aqua color scheme in her room and was dead set on painting her walls a bright Coral. I went back and forth with going with a simple white or a pretty Aqua and decided to go for the color. We settled on the color “Aqua Glow” by Valspar, but went with Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic Interior Acrylic Enamel for the actual paint. Why, you ask? We have refinished furniture with Valspar before and it came out okay, but we really wanted her furniture to painted with a quality paint. I am SO glad we splurged and made that decision. I am telling you, it makes all the difference in the world.

One coat on!

And the dresser

For the hardware, we bought a Metallic Silver spray and it worked perfectly!


Since her bed and dresser will both be used daily, we decided to use a sealer on them to protect the finish. After some research, we opted for Minwax Polycrylic. It went on SUPER easy (thank you water based) and there was hardly any smell.

Aqua Jenny Lind bed!

Aqua French Dresser!

What do you think? Any questions? Just ask!

Inspiration for Hudson’s Room

11 Feb

I knew before I was even pregnant what type of nursery I wanted. As soon as I found out it was a boy, it was time to officially start planning (okay, I MAY have bought a few items for a boy’s room just in case…. it was a great deal at Home Goods and we all know if you see something you want there, you just have to get it).

Here is a mood board I created way back when (before I was pregnant, I told you I knew).

Here are some inspirations for Hudson’s “Tiny Traveler” Room.

We are working on his room now and can’t wait to show you the finished product!

Discount for World Map Decal!!

6 Jan

One of my favorite things in Kyler’s playroom is her big world map decal. I know there are a few map options on Etsy, however, I truly think I found the best shop that carries it 🙂

Lucie from Lulukuku is offering 10% off for ThisGreyHouse readers!!

Just use the code: THANKS10

World Map Decal

They are great at customizing decals and their color section is great so I am sure you can make something work! Thanks Lucie!

Top 10!

4 Jan

A year ago, Apartment Therapy posted Kyler’s playroom on their site. I am proud to say that as of today, there have been 15,000 pins from that post alone! I also excited that they picked our playroom to be apart of their favorite playrooms for 2013!! Thank you Apartment Therapy!

You can read all of the playroom details  here:

A Playroom for Kyler

Our Bright and Fun Playroom: The Details


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