Monday, May 19, 2014

Yard Work

Wine of the Day:  Fat Bastard - Cabernet Sauvignon

Since we got back from the honeymoon the weather has been warming up and we have been doing a ton of yard work.  Both the front and back yards needed some TLC. 

We started in the front by tearing out three 20 year old bushes and their broken planter box.  The center bush had started to die while the other two became overgrown.  We thought about salvaging the planter to plant something else but it appeared to be beyond repair so the whole thing had to go. 
Next we moved onto the tree.  For reasons unknown the base of the tree had a mulch area three times larger than necessary.  You can see in the picture how it spans almost from one side of the yard to the other.  We decided to take that down a bit to be a more reasonable size. 

We now have a beautifully grass seeded front yard that is starting to be green again!
Onto the back yard...

This is what we were working with.  A lot of dead plants, old mulch and some sort of ivy that was taking over one corner.  We also had an AC unit that was about 2" underground, but as you can see that was already taken care of.  Our row of houses has been known to flood too so we wanted to elevate more towards the house and have the land slope away gradually.  We also have a deck on the second floor that shades some of the yard too much for grass to grow.  We decided to use the white marble chips around the deck and then have grass our in the yard where it is not as shady. 

The white rocks give it a much cleaner look and feels like an extension of the deck.  We also added about 20 feet of gutter to keep the water away from the house and drain at the back of the yard.  Last fall we significantly cut back the bush in the corner because it was overgrown and unhealthy looking.  So far it has come back looking great and I can't wait to see what color the flowers are (I think they're purple).  Grass seed has been planted and has started to peak up through the hay!
The cats don't go outdoors but they would sit in the windows and watch us work. 

Now we need to invest in a lawn mower and get the decks washed and stained.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rearranging the First Floor

Wine of the Day:  Vendage - Merlot

Brian and I have slowly been working on finishing touches for the house.  The wainscot is up and painted and completed! 

After seeing how great the final product looked we also decided to rearrange some furniture.  We moved the book shelves out of the dining room and into the back room by the kitchen to create more of a den.  This also allowed us to hang more of our wall art and our wine rack up.  We had been struggling to find the perfect place for the wine rack and the chalk board but now it seems we have found them the perfect homes.


We also received bar stools we had been wanting for Christmas to create the perfect breakfast bar/ hang out spot.

The wood color ties in perfectly with our dining room set and bookshelves.  It's also become one of Brutus's favorite places to nap. 
We have temporarily moved the loveseat into the living room but plan to rearrange the living room once we finish the basement.  For now we have a cat nap trap...

We've also caught Bria sitting on the chair.

And, I came home one day to see this owl perched on our deck railing.

After the wedding we will get all of our new light fixtures hung; also Christmas presents. We also plan to get the basement painted and furnished ASAP!

Cheers, k

Thursday, October 31, 2013

First Halloween at the New House

Wine of the Day:  something festive like blood red wine

We have been doing a lot of yard work that should be blogged about but since it's Halloween I will instead show you pictures of our decorations.

I made this for the front door.  Thank you pinterest for the idea and youtube for the bow tying tutorial.
Pumpkins lead the way to the candy!

Of course I also had to get a mum.  My goal is for it to still be alive come Thanksgiving.
Finishing touch is the purple lights going up the banister.
Can't wait to see all the costumes tonight! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Miscellaneous House Projects

Wine of the Day: Vrabewood '13

I've mostly just been posting about the larger projects going on but we do have some small ones too. 

This was going on in the basement bathroom:

The walls seem to have been left the builder grade off white but then dark blue and green sponge paint was added.  We are painting it my favorite neutral gray, adding a new framed mirror and towel ring to match.  Much more like home now!

Then there was this in the 3rd bedroom upstairs:

As big of fan as I am of Barbie pink nail polish, I am NOT a fan of Barbie pink closets.  This is getting painted white like a normal closet and Brian installed a new shelf too.  It is now fully functional!

Lastly, we have the dining room wainscot. 

We already have chair rail in the dining room with a white on white striped wallpaper below.  We decided to spice it up a bit though by adding wood panel wainscot.  Color is still TBD but Brian has been doing an excellent job installing it!

Blog posts wouldn't be complete without a few cat pictures.  Enjoy!


Brutus and Lucy

Bria Ball


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Condo Kitchen Done

Wine of the Day: Dirty Martini with Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives

It just occurred to me that I never posted the "after" pictures of the condo kitchen renovation.  With everything that has been going on, I completely forgot to even take pictures of it.  Lucky for me, my mom remembered! 

So there it is; gorgeous white wood cabinets with solid surface counter tops.  The corner cabinet adds a ton of extra storage as well as the second full size upper cabinet. 

Our contractor, Bill, did a fantastic job for us.  We ran into a little trouble with the faucet but thanks to my dad's handy man skills it quickly got resolved.  Brian and I even got in on the renovation action by adding the drawer pulls and painting the space.  I decided to paint it a neutral color rather than the green it was before; the new color is the same as the living room.  I like keeping the space neutral for renters since not everyone will love the bright colors like I do.  Lastly, we hung new blinds in the window and returned the butcher block to its rightful home in the corner.  Tenants moved in earlier this month and I hope they are enjoying it! 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Getting the House Furnished

Wine of the Day: Korbel - Sweet Rose

A lot has been happening over at the Kitty Compound!  We are all settled in and thankfully no more cats in the vents mishaps.  We've gotten some more furniture and started to hang art work so it officially feels like home. 

 Starting with the main floor:

We have the living room.

This is looking toward the foyer.
Then the dining room.

This is looking toward the living room.

This is a view of the buffet in the dining room.
 And finally the kitchen.

Crab clock!
The "study".

We've also done some more work upstairs:

The guest bedroom has been painted and is ready for guests!  We redid the inside of the closet, painted the walls and trim and hung new blinds in the windows.  

Guest room Eiffel Tower art work.
Lastly, we added artwork to our bedroom.

These frames were in the living room at our condo but I thought the colors in the art work were perfect with our new bedroom. 

Speaking of the condo, we are officially landlords! We had our first renters move in earlier this month and so far so good.  The kitchen turned out great and has so much extra storage in it; I wish I had done it sooner.  

The cats have all settled into the new house nicely too and they all love having the extra space.  Brutus loves to run up and down the stairs, Bria can get away from them all when she wants, and Lucy and Kahlua still like to be on whichever floor we are on.  I did find them hiding a few times when I was hanging the art work though.  I guess they don't like the hammering.

I wonder where Lucy could be?

Lucy, where are you?

Oh, there you are!

Any movement under the covers results in Brutus pouncing.

Up next, the deck.  A structural post needed to be replaced to we decided to go ahead and resurface it as well.  Can't wait for bbqs and crabs out back!


Friday, May 10, 2013

So Much Done - So Much Left To Do

Wine of the Day: Winery at Olney - Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel

Brian and I (with help from Mom, Dad and Jon) have made a lot of progress on the new house! 

- Kitchen wallpaper is GONE
- Coat closet and pantry have had shelves taken out, been painted and had shelves put back in
- Half bath was painted, new mirror and towel ring have been acquired
- Living room and dining room have been painted (with the exception of where we plan to install wainscot)
- Kitchen is painted
- Move complete

This is what we were working with:



Living Room

Bathroom pink - being converted to gray
Pink striped kitchen, pink bathroom and a light seafoamy green living and dining room.  When we bought the house we thought "this is in great condition, we only need to update a few cosmetic things".  However, we learned the hard way why contractors charge by the hour to remove wallpaper.  The whole process was very tedious and time consuming; I plan on never doing it again and would advise you not to try if you haven't already.  After a few days the kitchen looked more like this:

Then after about a week and a half it looked more like this:

 THANK YOU MOM!  She stuck right there with us tearing it down and washing to glue off the walls with us.  She even was over some days without us.  But, eventually we got to the fun part... painting.  (Yes, after tearing down wallpaper painting IS considered fun.)

I had already picked Sherwin Williams - Popular Gray for the living room and dining room but before we started in the kitchen I decided to go with a different color.  We agreed on Sherwin Williams - Ivoire; it is a light yellow neutral about the same shade as the Popular Gray.  Here is the almost finished product:

You can see in this last picture that we also went ahead and purchased a new range and microhood.  This is officially the first microwave I've owned and no, I haven't used it yet.  The new appliances really help the whole space feel updated.  We also have new blinds in all the front windows.  Then, we also had a new wood step installed in the dining room and all the carpets cleaned. 

I know that dark colors can make a space feel smaller but I was amazed at how much bigger the kitchen felt after removing the wallpaper.  It was so worth it.  Now our home is light and bright and ready to be lived in.  We have officially moved in and gotten all the cats moved in last weekend.  Everything is going great so far with the exception of Bria's one indiscretion. 

Bria somehow managed to pop a vent cover out of the floor in the master bedroom.  When I got home from work one day I discovered it on the floor next to where it was supposed to be.  Of course I immediately start panicking and calling for her.  Sure enough, she was down in the vent and I could hear a faint meow.  I was so worried she was hurt or had fallen or was stuck... thinking the worst of course, so I went running all over the house trying to find a flashlight and looking in other vents calling for her.  I finally ran into the guest bedroom at the complete other end of the house, popped off the vent cover and she crawled right out.  Then she had the nerve to act like nothing happened.  So, now we will be screwing those into the floor.  Here is little Miss Dust Bunny herself:

You can see how gray her tummy fur is.  At least we have a nice clean vent now, right?  All I can say is "thanks for the heart failure, you better not do it again".

Next up, the basement.