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.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Upstairs Done!

Wine of the Day: Angry Orchard - Crisp Apple Hard Cider

The house is finally ours!!!

As of April 16th, the previous owners were moved out and we started to move in!  There have been some major changes going on inside in the past two weeks.  We started with having our painter, Larry, come in and paint the stairway, master bedroom and master bathroom.  We are doing most of the work ourselves but with the vaulted ceilings we just figured it would be easier to hire someone with a tall enough ladder.  He also added crown molding in the stairway and upstairs hall.

The master bedroom had been a beige color paint with some drywall damage and a tv attached to the wall just inside the door.  The bathroom was a dark pink color.

Now the master bedroom is painted a deep plum color (Sherwin Williams - Enigma) and the bathroom is a nice light neutral gray (Sherwin Williams - Popular Gray).  Larry even painted inside the walk in closet for us. 

The stairway was painted Popular Gray, crown molding was added and finally a new light fixture was installed. I don't think the stairs had been painted in the past but now they seem brighter and the fixture is much more our style. 

We are extremely happy with the work that Larry did and the fact that hiring him allowed us to focus on the main floor.  Also, big thank you to my mom for all of her help!

Up next, the adventures in wallpaper removal.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Renovating the Condo Kitchen

Wine of the Day: Vendage - Sauvignon Blanc

Some of you may already know that Brian and I have bought a new house!  We can start moving in Monday next week and could not be more excited.  We have decided to keep the condo as well as a rental property.  In an effort to attract better/high paying tenants we went ahead and updated the kitchen.  The kitchen we have been using was updated years ago by the previous owner and was starting to show some wear and tear.  It also lacked storage for large items like pots and pans and just lacked storage in general for such a large space. These are some before pictures:

We like the white cabinets with white appliances; it really makes the kitchen feel bright.  You can see too that the appliances are all relatively new (the stove is less than a year old) but the cabinets and counters could use some work.  That last picture shows my least favorite of them all.  This one is by the stove and has clearly taken a beating by all the steam.  The second picture shows our only full size wall cabinet.  Not pictured is the wasted corner space between the sink and stove.  Also not pictured is how off center and unlevel everything is.  Another problem I have with this kitchen for a rental is the laminate countertops.  Not only is that my least favorite type of counter, but one hot pot gets set on it and it could be ruined.

So, we drew up a plan and headed to Home Depot!  After purchasing cabinets and counters we called up our contractor, Bill, and he got straight to work.  I came home after one day to this:

All the old cabinets and counters were gone and so was most of the drywall.  He explained that the way the backsplash (that I hated) was installed he basically had to rip all the drywall apart to get it off so he was just going to put up some nice new drywall for us.

We hit a minor snafu with the plumbing but he called his plumber out and got right back to work.  A few days later I came home to this:

We stuck with white to match our appliances but went with solid wood rather than the laminated cabinets.  We also changed the layout a bit.  Moved the stove 6" toward the refrigerator and the sink 8" toward the doorway to get a nice large corner cabinet in there for pots and pans.  We also decided to drop the wall cabinet down over the sink to be flush with the other cabinets.  I was concerned about this at first since typically kitchens seem to have a smaller cabinet above the sink.  However, since we moved the sink over, in order to do that we would end up with only one full wall cabinet and it would be smaller than what we had originally.  The idea being to acquire more storage, this seemed counter productive so we went with two full wall cabinets straight across.  I think it will be ok in the end. 

All the appliances are back in place.  Bill said he just has a few more touch ups to do and then he will be out of there.  Now that the cabinets are set in their final places we have the counter top installers scheduled.  Then Brian and I can get to painting that fresh new drywall and adding a backsplash!

All this time my poor cats have been locked up in a room so they can't get into anything.  When I let them out after work they love to go see what is going on though.  Kahlua has made herself right at home on Bill's equipment.

I can't wait to share the final product with you but even more than that I can't wait to get moved in to our new place and have a functioning kitchen again!!!