Monday, August 31, 2009

I think my weekend DIY was a DI-Don't

Ryan and I found a great dry sink on Craigs List right before we moved. It was in pretty good condition it just needed the hardware changed and re-stained. I was thinking this would be fairly easy to do. So Sunday afternoon while Ryan was doing yard work I decided to get started. We have a hand sander so I didn't think it would be to bad to do. We were thinking we just needed to get the shine off the wood so the stain would stick. I sanded it all down and then we wiped it with a damp rag to get all the dust off. We had some stain left over from our new steps so we decided to use that instead of buying more, it was just a nice medium tone. The dry sink did not take the stain well, it looks terrible! I'm not really sure where we went wrong, so this week we are going to go to get a darker stain to try that. Hopefully I'll be able to post photos once we get it right.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Upcoming Bedroom Makeover

I know it seems a little soon to be saying I'm giving our bedroom a make-over, I'm not sure what else to call it though. I never really took the time to make our master bedroom really great at our townhouse, I knew we wouldn't be there for that long so I never really put the effort into it. Now that we are in our house I really want to make our master bedroom special. I love the shabby chic look but I know that can get a little to feminine sometimes, so since I need to make the room for Ryan too I can't go overboard with it. I've been searching for bedding for awhile now and went shopping with my Mom last week and found the perfect set. Target has their great Simply Shabby Chic line and I personally love just about all of it. This is their Damask Bedding Collection


Monday, August 24, 2009

We Can't Call Anyone

I don't know why this hit me today, but being that we now own our home (since we are "renters no more") we can't just call to have something fixed, we have to do it. There is no landlord for us to call, we have to fix it. Granted at our townhouse they were a little lax in the maintenance department, but there was still someone to call. Take bees for example, last summer they were building a nest in our screen door, we had maintenance spray and take care of it. This summer yellow jackets were building a huge nest in our front siding, we had to get (and pay) an exterminator to come and take care of them.

It feels good to have our own house but sometimes I wish we could still just call maintenance.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kitchen Re-Do Update

Ryan and I got the kitchen painted!!!! The previous owners had a weird sponge paint technique in there and we couldn't stand it. We decided we wanted a bright, fun color so we went with a bright blue. When we first started to put it up on the walls I wasn't sure I liked it, but now that we have it put back together and are starting to get things on the walls in there its growing on me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good-bye Leaf Carpet

When we decided to purchase this house we knew we needed to replace all the carpeting. It was all older and worn plus they had some weird color picks (the master bedroom had leaf print carpet). We were planning on being in the house for about three monthes and then choosing and getting new flooring installed. To our suprise we ended up getting it before we moved in. Our contracter (yeah for him!!) came up with a solution for us to stay with-in our budget but solve our flooring issues. He suggested just replacing the carpet in the bedrooms since it seems like they were in worse shape then the main living area (the main living area carpet was also a very high quality that we would not be able to match on our budget). He would also rip up the carpet on the stairs and replace the steps with new oak ones. He also suggested if we wanted to purchase laminate flooring he would install it for us, very inexpensivly, in the main living area so that there would be new flooring throughout. We decided to do the new carpet and laminate so that everything would be fresh and clean for move in.

To help save on costs we ripped out the carpet ourselves, it only took a few hours to do. When we started to pull it up we knew we made the right decision to have everything come out. It was so dirty and stained. Some of the rooms actually smelled as we ripped it up.

The living room with no carpet

The carpet we picked for the bedrooms is called "Peanut", its a very neutral beige shade. In our budget we did not have a huge selection of colors and its not the highest quality carpet but at least we know its new (and clean).

These are the after photos of our floors

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our work in progress kitchen is almost done

When we purchased our house we knew the kitchen needed work but didn't realize how much until we started working on it. The previous owners had painted the cabinets off white, added new hardware to them, put in new counter tops and a ne
w stove, oh and they also did a blue sponge paint motif on the walls. We loved the counter tops, they are corian in gray with flecks of white, black and gray but the rest of the kitchen needed some work. We think the cabinets were the original ones (the house was built in 1979) that they painted and tried to reconfigure themselves, and left a lot o
f gaps where there should be cabinets. They didn't even have attached tops on the upper cabinets, there were just pieces of laminate laid over them and a lot of the doors and drawers didn't close correctly. So we decided new kitchen cabinets were one of our top projects that we wanted done as soon as possible.

Here is the kitchen before any work was done. In the photos the cabinets don't look so bad but in person they were a mess. The paint was chipping and uneven and they were not a great quality.

We had a friend ours who owns a custom home building company come over and look at the kitchen to see what he could do to make it a little more functional for us. (Note this friend will be mentioned over and over again in my blog because he has now done a ton of work for us that all looks great. We are so thankful for him because without him helping us out we would have only been able to have a fraction of the work done and probably not as nice. ) He came over and brought us two choices of cabinets that would fit into our budget, Ryan and I both really like the same one as soon as we saw them. In addition to putting in the new cabinets he was going to move the stove over so it would not be right next to the fridge, which is not good for the fridge or the electric bill. They were able to save our counter tops, which was great because they were brand new.

Here are the after photos of the cabinet installation

On this side of the kitchen they added a cabinet where the previous owners had a large gap that they had put a shelve in and had their microwave below the counter.

We purchased a micro-hood to match the stove (this was actually my anniversary present from Ryan and I was really excited about it). When installing the cabinets they added the drawers to the side of the fridge and moved the stove to make it more energy efficient for us. Overall this new cabinet set up gives us so much more storage.

This weekend we will be painting the kitchen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Mouse in the House

Gross, Gross, Gross!

When Ryan and I got home from work today he went down to the basement to use his computer (he has his office set up down there) and he found mouse poop on his desk. He thought he found some the other day under a night stand in the bedroom, but we weren't sure. We are super clean so I'm not really understanding why they want to live in our house. Now we need to decide if we should call an exterminator or just try to solve the problem on our own. I know if I see one I'm probably going to freak out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Picking Paint Colors

One of the first things we knew we needed to do was to paint the whole house. All the colors that the previous owners had picked were not our taste in colors at all. Plus all the rooms looked like they had been painted several years ago and were in need of repainting. Since we had to do the entire house we decided to make it easy on ourselves (and the family helping us) and use the same color for most of the house. We ended up using all Color Place brand paint from Walmart, since we had so much to paint it was the best value for us. So far we've gotten everything painted except for the kitchen and the bathrooms. The kitchen we just finished this week and we got the paint for it this weekend (before and after will be coming soon). The main floor bathroom needs some major cosmetic work done to it so that will be a project we will tackle this winter.

For the basement we went with the color Sweet Basil with white for the trim. On the swatch it was a light, warm green but on our walls it came out a little more yellow then we thought it would.

For the main floor of the house we decided to go with a color called Spanish Chestnut, its a warm beige. Here it is covering up the terrible gray that was painted in the living room, dining room and halls. It made it look so much lighter in every room.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Room by Room (or the "before" photos)

These are some photos of the house that we took during our home inspection. As you can see from the photos the previous owners had a lot of stuff to move out, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.

The Outside

The Bedrooms

Spare bedroom, this will become our guest room

Spare bedroom number two, this will become a craft room

The master bedroom

This is the master bedroom carpet, it really is a leaf print, we can't stand it!

Main Living Space

The bathroom on the main floor


Other half of the kitchen

The dinning room

The living room

The basement and basement bathroom

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Search For Our Home

Ryan and I had been looking for a house for about eight months before finding one that would work for us. We probably looked at about 25 properties plus met with a home building company. We just weren't finding anything that was in our budget that was right for us. Some of the places we saw were alright, but a lot of weird layouts since we were looking at older homes. One even had two giant snake tanks (with live snakes in them) and smelled like a pet shop, another was bright aqua. We knew we weren't going to get a perfect house for our budget and would have to put some work into it but what we were being shown was way more work then we were thinking.

So in May we decided we needed to switch Realtors. With the original realtor we were using we just didn't feel like she understood what we wanted in a home, so we went on the recommendation of a co-worker of Ryan's and had a meeting with her and decided she was right for us. On the first day she took us out to look for homes we mentioned a house that has just come on the market that week, she said since we were in the area we should try to get in to see it, about 20 minutes later we were there for a showing. When we walked in it just looked like a house for us. It wasn't perfect but had a lot of the features we were looking for. We decided right then to put an offer on it (and this was about 5pm on a Sunday night). We were able to get our financing done that night and after going back and forth with the sellers a little we had a house by Tuesday night. Once the offer was accepted we had 30 days until closing and to get our inspection done.