Second Guest Bedroom

It’s already been a couple of weeks since John finished the drywall in the second guest bedroom. This is a 10′ x 12′ bedroom with a 2  1/2 x 3  1/2 closet. It’s located next to the original master bedroom which will also be a guest bedroom.

I plan to also use this spare bedroom as a crafts/art room.


John used 12′ Sheetrock panels and did the ceiling first using the indispensable drywall panel hoist. We bought all of our Sheetrock at Home Depot.


It took a full day for John to drywall the guest bedroom by himself. He had to measure and cut out the holes in the ceiling panels for the high hats, ceiling fan, ducts and smoke detector. He measures three times and cuts once. Because of this, he hasn’t made one mistake cutting any of the Sheetrock panels.


For the panels on the lower part of the walls, he had to measure and cut holes for the outlets.


Here is the 10×12 bedroom looking out the open west window. The drywall is finished and ready for taping and “mud” followed with sanding. The subfloor will soon have wide plank wood flooring.


BEFORE: Doesn’t the insulation look cozy? Now that it’s hot out, the insulation helps keep the house cool too.


AFTER: Now I can think about what color to paint this room.


BEFORE: The 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 closet on the east wall. This wall backs up to the third bedroom and smallest bedroom which will be my office.


John is ready to cut out the closet.


AFTER: The closet is finished. I’m standing in the bedroom looking down the hallway that has 6 steps leading down into the living room with vaulted ceiling.


If any of you are considering a home DIY project which includes installing drywall, and you’ve never done it before, it is possible to do it yourself or with a friend. This bedroom would be a good size for a DIY project.

For a one room drywall project, rent the Drywall Panel Hoist. If you already have all the other tools required (drill, ladders, hammer, etc), all you will need to buy is the Sheetrock, screws and the tape and bucket of spackle. You’ll save lots of money by doing it yourself.

We had two drywall quotes from two drywall businesses. Both bids were $11,000 for the whole house (2850sf). We have saved THOUSANDS of dollars by doing the drywall ourselves. When it’s all finished, I’ll give you the exact amount that we spent on material.




Throwback Thursday: Sitting in Singapore

Where: Singapore

When: Ten Years Ago

Why: We got bumped from a flight to Thailand and then hopped a flight to Singapore

What: It’s all about the chair; I would love to have one just like it! What is the name of this chair?

Singapore 138

Painted Stairs Using Moroccan Stencils from Royal Design Studio

For many years, I have been admiring Melanie Royals extensive line of all over wall stencils available on her website Royal Design Studio.  And then just the other day I stumbled upon an inspiring photo of black and white stenciled stair risers. Sure enough it was stenciled by California-based Royal Design Studio.


The Moroccan patterns were actually stenciled on precut pieces of wood which were then installed on the stair risers located in Morocco.


The uplifting, bright yellow stair risers in this photo were stenciled by Carol Leonesio, owner of Paint It in Watertown, MA. She started her project by alternating between solid yellow and solid white paint on the risers, and then alternated four different Moroccan stencils on each riser. Carol actually stenciled directly on the stairs. To hold the stencils in place, she used repositionable spray. After the stenciling dried, Carol added a water-based urethane topcoat to protect her work of art from scuff marks.

With four sets of stairs at Brick House 319, I most definitely will use Moroccan stencils on the stair risers to the new master bedroom wing and the stair risers in the basement leading to the lower ground level.

Photos: Courtesy of Royal Design Studio





Today’s Visit to Ikea in Minneapolis

Today I worked a trip to Minneapolis so I decided to pay a visit to Ikea. I haven’t been to Ikea in YEARS. There’s a humongous Ikea in Newark directly across from Newark Airport, but for some reason, I never stop in.

So what to do on a layover… I told the crew I was headed to Ikea, which here in Minneapolis, is directly across from Mall of America (it’s actually in Bloomington).

I saw plenty of durable, stylish and reasonably priced Swedish furniture. I couldn’t believe the low prices. It took me all of one hour to walk through the showroom and the warehouse. There were a couple of things I would consider buying when it comes time to decorating Brick House 319.


I took the following photos; a lot of the things I saw would work really well in dorm rooms or apartments. There was a 270 square foot apartment on display. It was amazing how they utilized the tiny space and turned it into a cozy apartment.



A couch with easy to wash slip covers for $399; I was amazed at this price.


A kitchen for a studio apartment…


Here’s the 270 square foot “micro” apartment with a bathroom to the left of the kitchen. It’s Ikea’s “Urban Living” design for single people living in a city. This reminded me of when John and I lived in the same size studio apartment in Philadelphia in 1987. I don’t think Ikea was around back then though.




For $299, a daybed with 3 drawers.


I couldn’t believe this duvet cover was only $29.99.















In a nutshell, everything is affordable at Ikea.


And right across the road from Ikea is Mall of America, the largest enclosed shopping mall in the United States. It’s home to 520 shops.