Mini Bar // Big News

If you follow me on Facebook (if you don’t, YOU SHOULD so you don’t get left out!) then you heard the big news.

Interiors By Kenz First House Sold

We sold our house!  It has been an immensely emotional process to close this chapter.  I’m going to write a more detailed post on our selling mind-set and process.  But that’s not this post.  The reason I brought it up, is because selling played a big factor in decisions made about the mini bar project.

When we recently replaced our water heater, we learned that the drain was buried under the carpet, right outside the utility room.  This is majorly against code.  In the event you need to drain the water heater, it’s going to be a problem if the drain is on the other side of the wall.

Water heater drain misplaced

We knew that wether we stayed in our house or sold it, we would need to correct this problem.

Water heater drain misplaced

Built in mini bar

After Aaron extended the utility room to include the drain, we were left with a much smaller “nook” in the wall.  We were faced with a couple of options.  We narrowed it down to a wet bar with a sink, or a mini bar sans sink.  The idea of a sink seemed pretty good, but then we realized with plumbing, we wouldn’t be able to fit a mini fridge below.  We also had to consider resale value.  Since I’m a real estate agent, I’m pretty in-tune with the market surrounding our area.  I knew that we would not get back the money we would invest in having plumbing ran to a sink.  So we settled on making it a dry mini bar.

Built in mini bar

Built in mini bar

I think the new homeowners are going to have some pretty good parties using this area!


Nook Under The Stairs REVEAL

This post has been over 2 years in the making.

Sometimes you watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition and wonder how the crap they build a house in a week, when it takes over two years to finish taking out a wall.

When we moved into our house, this is what the basement family room looked like.  It was so kind of the Salvation Army to leave their furniture.  (We literally bought our house from The Salvation Army.)

Basement Design

This was our first DIY project in our whole house, ripping down this wall.  I had lofty dreams of exposed stairs and a cozy reading nook under them.

The Nook will go here

The wall was load-bearing, so we put a beam into place to allow for the nook.  During framing we planned out storage for Christmas decorations, storage for blankets and movies, a built-in for the media, wiring for sconces, surround sound, and a projector.

Build A Nook Under Load Bearing Wall Stairs

This was the first time I learned to drywall, mud and tape.  And now I know what is the WORST DIY.

We finished the 2×4’s into wood pillars, where I then had a major staining incident with wood putty.

Carpentry Detail on the Stairs

Exposed Stairs

I built barn doors out of our old fence, and learned how to hang them the hard way.

I made a no-sew cushion.

But I’m excited to tell you, over 2 years later, it’s finally finished.  We finally finished the bead board, trim, paint.

Pictures don’t do the nook justice.  It’s HUGE.  Bigger than a twin sized mattress.

Nook Under The Stairs


I sanded the pillars down and re-stained them.  It wasn’t worth its own post, but just know I did 🙂

I love this room as a whole.  This one wall has gone through a complete transformation.  It’s the most lounge-y family room you have been in.  With the couch and the nook, SO many people can fit in there.  It’s perfect for all sorts of movie parties.

Nook Under The Stairs


Even though this project was full of more frustration and re-do’s than I care to admit, I’m really grateful for the lessons learned along the way.  It just goes to show that a person with no real DIY experience CAN have a vision and end up with a beautiful result as long as giving up is not an option.

Nook Under The Stairs


Shower Re-Tile

I bring you the next phase of the bathroom makeover.

On last time’s episode we talked about the ugly spoiled milk colored vanity.

Today we have bigger fish to fry.  Broken tiles in the showpow.

Broken Tile


Let’s take a step back.  The tile in the shower was in really rough shape.  There were a few cracked tiles allowing water to sneak through.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


There was also a deck which was not sloped properly.  The water would pool and not run off like it should.  The tiles were attached to a soggy moldy piece of rotting drywall.  It was so bad I won’t post the pictures of what was under the tile.  I’ll tell you it was horrific.  Rated R.  And we’ll leave it at that.

Tile Removal


Within an hour of getting home from our Easter campout in our stunning Myrtle, we were tearing down tile and wall paper.  Bathroom make overs are serious business.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover

This happy wallpaper makes me think of a better time.  It makes me wish I was with Michelle from Decor and the Dog in Hawaii over Easter.  It was pretty hard to take down such a lovely design element… But you know… I can do hard things, so…


Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


The backer board got a new coat of waterproofing.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


We found a great deal on tile at Home Depot for $1 a square foot.  The entire shower ended up being 60 square feet.  Instead of doing the deck piece with tile, we decided to have a custom cultured marble (marble dust and resin) piece made.

Even though the tiles were square and not rectangle, we decided to lay them in the same pattern as the subway tile to help tie the kitchen and the bathroom together.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


The deck piece was a major improvement over the nasty broken moldy tiles.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


I love the larger brick pattern of tile.  It looks like a dream.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


And suddenly, the light fixture was looking reallllllllly bad.

Dated Bathroom gets mini makeover


Next time!

Great Room Reveal: Open Concept Living/Dining Room & Kitchen

This post is brought to you by the blood, sweat, tears, and sanity of Aaron and Mekenzie Crowder.

We planned this renovation long before I was pregnant.  And we started demo before I was pregnant too.  And then I got pregnant, and going through a major renovation just about killed all three of us.  I laid most of the flooring by myself while 5 months pregnant.  We finished the week before Thanksgiving, with a little time to spare before the arrival of Evelyn Faye.

God bless all the pregnant women who go without a kitchen sink in the middle of summer.  I truly empathize.

I happily present to you, the reveal of our other baby, The Great Room.

Here’s the brief overview if you forgot where we started.

Great Room Renovation for a small house

Great Room Renovation for a small house


Let’s dive into the details.


The living room is sporting:
a painted fire place, with bead board and a red brick hearth
tall board and batten
painted curtains
entryway table made from scrap wood and a trunk
a new banister & newel post
gordon tufted chesterfield sofa
1970’s Scandinavian luna chairs
diamond shag rug
“Christ Walking on the Water” painting (1901) by Russian landscape artist, Julius Sergius von Klever

Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Open Concept Living Room with Chesterfield couch, board and batten, fire place, painted yellow curtains, trunk coffee table.  Rustic industrial design.

Board and Batten around fireplace

Rustic industrial living room accents and accessories.  Painted pillows and curtains, DIY entry way table from a trunk.

Rustic Industrial living room furniture

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

The dining room is made up of:
a bargain Restoration Hardware table
the perfect orb chandelier
IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic dining room with round table, orb chandelier, yellow accents, and white cabinets

Open concept for a small house. Living room and dining room.  Rustic industrial.  Restoration Hardware table, board and batten, redbrick hearth, white cabinets.

Industrial rustic living room accents

Industrial rustic dining room.  Circle Restoration Hardware table with leather chairs.  Orb chandelier, yellow accents.  Ikea cabinets

White IKEA Lindingo Cabinets

Open concept for small house. Living room dining room flow.  Integrated industrial design.

Yellow kitchen accents

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Open concept renovation for small house.  Industrial rustic design with Rockport Gray paint, board and batten, and IKEA Lindingo cabinets

Kitchen is made up of:
pebble stone granite counter tops
white subway tile back splash
tabouret metal bar stools
chalkboard back door
IKEA stainless steel appliances: range, dishwasher, refrigerator
barn style pendant sink light

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Open concept kitchen renovation.  Industrial rustic inspired.  White Ikea cabinets and subway tile back splash.  Rockport gray paint, and white board and batten.

Kitchen Chalkboard Art "I Can Do Hard Things"

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.

Budget Kitchen Renovation.  IKEA Cabinets and granite.  White cabinets and subway tile backsplash.

Kitchen accessories

Industrial rustic kitchen accessories.  Yellow accents.

Budget kitchen renovation for a small kitchen.  IKEA white Lindingo cabinets

Industrial rustic living room accents

We absolutely love how the 3 rooms flow seamlessly together for one big cohesive feeling.  It’s my favorite place in the house to be.  In the next post I write, I’ll be publishing the cost breakdown, since I’ve received so many emails regarding how/where our money was spent.

Now can someone please point me in the direction of club membership for those who survive a kitchen renovation?

Banister Shenanigans

Are we ready to get back to the great room?

When we planned out our renovation, a new banister was not part of that plan.  The deeper we got into it, the more that hideous chunk of metal stuck out.  I knew what I wanted.



stuck in banistervia

The demo of the old banister happened so fast that I did not get any good before pictures.


Aaron got to work installing the newel post.

Newel Post

It was a very Clark Griswald-y night.

Newel Post


Newel Post

A proud man and his newel post. #innuendo

Newel Post


Just like I mentioned with the subway tile backsplash, time was running out to complete our projects on time.  We called in the big guns to help finish the banister.



Redbeacon.  Seriously, the 2nd time using the service.  And just like the first time, it was exceptional and reasonably priced.  For those of you new here, Redbeacon is a free service provided by The Home Depot, where you input your job description online, and get several competitive bids from licensed contractors.  Each contractor is held to a high standard, background checked, insured, and rated by customers.

When I posted about the backsplash, Redbeacon contacted me about offering a discount to all my readers.  Use the promo code “KenzFriends” to get $10 toward trying out Redbeacon!  This post is completely un-sponsored.  I just love the service, and they love giving a good deal.

I knew I could stain and finish the banister, so we had him just put it all together for us.  Since we had already bought all the supplies, and had the newel post in, it didn’t cost that much 🙂


I taped up the shoes and got to work staining.










I kinda think we’ve surpassed level Mary Poppins, and entered into a whole new realm.


The Perfect Orb Chandelier

We were able to save some extra money on our kitchen reno budget, so we were able to splurge a little with our light fixtures.

I knew I wanted a nice orb chandelier.  I felt like I had seen them all over the place, but when it came to actually looking for one to buy, they all went into hiding.  Just like Amanda Bynes.

I found several styles, in different variations.  But none of them were quite right.

This one from Restoration Hardware was obviously too expensive, $1195.  But what I did like was how many lights it had.  Our previous chandelier was a 12 arm, and we knew we needed something that would really light up the whole area.

Restoration Hardware Orb Chandelier

Shades of Light had a few different options, but this one was too jewel-y.

Shades of Light ORB chandelier

This one was too twiggy and not enough arms.

Shades of light Orb

This one comes from the Young House Love line of lights, and I really like the price, but it only had one bulb.  That wouldn’t do much for our big area.

Shades of Light YHL orb

And of course, there are DIY versions of this style of light out there.  This fantastic tutorial comes from Tatertots and Jello.  But, we all know my recent failure at DIY light fixtures.


I found the perfect balance of price and style for an orb chandelier on Amazon.  I actually needed two chandeliers, one for the table, and one for the stairs.

Orb Chandelier

It’s the perfect scale for our dining table.

Orb Chandelier

I’m going to come right out and say it, I’m a light fixture harlot.  I love them so much.  I feel like light fixtures are jewelry for a room.

Orb Chandelier

I’m kind of obsessed with the way the lights look.  It’s joyous.

Orb Chandelier

Orb Chandelier

And from one orb to another… This picture was at 35 weeks.  Now we’re at 37 🙂

Orb Chandelier

And there was light!

White Subway Tile Backsplash

I am 12 blog posts behind of where we’re at with our house.  Thanksgiving week was a week long version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  My mom’s side of the family is Greek, and when the Pulos Family gets together, things get cray, in the best way possible.

My Big Fat Greek Family

When we started our kitchen renovation, our goal was to be finished before Thanksgiving.  My family was hosting a baby shower for us in our house Thanksgiving weekend, and we wanted to be 100% done by Thanksgiving so we wouldn’t be worried about unfinished projects floating around when Baby Crowder was born in December (WHICH IS THIS MONTH!).

Since we started at the end of July, Thanksgiving seemed like a completely reasonable deadline.  However, certain projects have taken longer than other projects.  The main time-taker has been the fence.  I haven’t said much about it on the blog yet (again, another post I am behind on) but when I write it, you’ll understand.  It’s like when you’re watching Labyrinth and the Goblin King fast forwards the clock…  but in real life you don’t get the joy of singing Dance Magic Dance.  And that’s a hard life.


We purchased our tile & supplies back in August, but the backsplash kept getting pushed back because of the need to get the fence finished.  When November hit, I knew there was no way we could get it done.  I really really wanted to do it myself.  But you know, something about being 8 months pregnant using a tile saw… We can’t all be Katie Bower or Pretty Handy Girl (and all the other many DIY bloggers who have bravely installed a backsplash.)

I had every intention of doing it.  But I had to call in some help to be finished on time.  (We DID finish everything before Thanksgiving, I’m just that behind on blogging.)

For the overwhelmed DIYer:


I called Home Depot, and learned about an awesome service they have called Redbeacon.  This post is completely unsponsored, just a great experience I had.  Redbeacon is a site where you upload pictures and information about your project, and you get email bids from several licensed contractors.  All the contractors have been background checked, carry insurance, and have Home Depot’s stamp of approval.  They all have ratings and reviews you can read on the site as well.  It was so easy to use.  I stated that we already had our supplies, and just needed it installed.  We got very competitive bids and fair prices.  As soon as I picked a contractor, he started the next day.  It was very inexpensive since we already had our tile and supplies.  You even pay through the Redbeacon site.  For the overwhelmed DIYer, I highly suggest using Redbeacon to finish up projects, or those little projects (like drywall!) that you never feel like doing.

And here’s the tile, simple and clean.

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

White Subway Tile Backsplash

It has been a very busy summer around here, but the major projects are coming to an end.  And it feels a lot like success kid.

sucess kid twitter

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build Fence

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten


Counter top install