Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Planning Goes On and On...and On...

So while I took a break toiling over selections for our kitchen reno, I put together a board for what I would like to do in my bathroom.

And here's a quick peek at what I'm working on for the kitchen...

We're making final selections right now...it's time to get serious about home renovation!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Refi, Schmefi...

...I don't care what you call it.  I'm just happy that my kitchen is (almost) normal looking!

So clearly, Drew and I are prepping ourselves to refinance the house.  Most of our house isn't too shabby, but the kitchen has always been the bleeding ulcer that keeps me up at night.

Here are a few Before pics...

The Dreaded Wallpaper - Ugh.  So Ugly.

 How Drew could wrap himself in that stuff is beyond me.  
I'm gagging just thinking about it.

The original kitchen before we did anything to it.  So Dated.

These pictures were taken YEARS ago...closer to when we moved in. The kitchen cabinets stayed that way up until last weekend.  The dining room wall, however, stayed like this for the last three years:

Yes, that's right...we lived with old, brown drywall.  Why not just put some primer over it?  Well, there is primer.  It's just that because of the glue residue that the vinyl wallpaper left, we had to use a special translucent milky-purple primer instead of your normal, full-coverage primer.  Otherwise, whatever we put on there would just come right off.

Now, we (and by we, I mean, of course mostly just Drew) have been working on the kitchen and dining room for the last two weekends straight.  And the difference is amazing!

But that's not all we're going to do...oh no no no.  We also need to do something with that gold, pink & glitter speckled, worn-out linoleum floor.  

That fantastic hubby of mine suggested that we put down peel & stick floor "tiles" to give a more finished look to the kitchen.  My reaction, a surprise to both he and I, "I would LOVE peel & stick floors!"  Drew never thought he'd hear those words come out of my mouth.  Clearly, if I'm okay with faux stone tiles going on my floor, I'm desperate for change. 

This is absolutely not what the final kitchen will look like.  Sadly (for our wallets), we have to rip out all of the cabinets so that modern appliances will fit.  But until that can happen, I'm just happy that the kitchen/dining room is somewhat presentable. 

We're hoping to get everything set to have someone come in to evaluate the house within the next week or so.  Not a big deal normally, except, at this moment, school is ending for me and I'm prepping to head to KY for about a month and Drew's work (surprise, surprise) just keeps getting busier.  The stress must be getting to me since I dreamt about getting stuck in Australia for three months.  So weird.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Projects Continue

This weekend, while I stayed in bed with a fever and nasty congestion, that amazing hubby of mine worked on the house.

Remember this post...almost Two Years Ago?  I have gone from looking at this...

To this...

Ahhh...it's a cool breeze blowing on my face today.

And remember when we took the wall out between our living room and family room? Well, Hubby got the drywall up today.  Now I don't have to stare at wires and wood beams.  It may not be complete, but it definitely looks a lot more 'finished.'

As the walls were coming down...

What we've been living with for two years...

And what we have now...

Now we just need to mud, prime and add the doors.  We're getting there...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flea Market Finds & Their Stories

It had been more than a year since I'd made my way to the Alameda Flea Market.  Probably better ... saves me money.  I do give myself a budget when I go, not taking more than a certain amount each time, and never going to the ATMs they've added.

Never-the-less, I still tend to buy a whole lotta stuff.  Here's this month's loot:

Birdcage :: Before

Birdcage :: After
Great little storage for the desk...

 Louisville Stoneware Platter

I can't believe the deal I got on this...$8!  This size platter usually costs about $75.  Oh these Californians ... they had no idea what they had!  ; )

The Girl Scout Handbook :: 1949
This might be my favorite pick for the day.  
I sat down and read about half of it that very day.  It really reads more of a How-To for living life.  It's sweet and encouraging and really makes you want to be a better person.

One of my favorite passages from the beginning of the Arts & Crafts chapter:

"In the beginning, the thing you make will not be as finished as something made by an artist or craftsman, but it will be your own and that is what counts.  If you design it and you make it, you can honestly sign your name to it.  Here are some hints that may help you:

Don't be afraid to try.
Give your own ideas a chance.
Make your own designs, if possible.
Do all the work yourself, if possible.
Take the time to work as carefully as you can.
Use your tools with care & respect.
Keep on improving your skill.
Be interested in what other people have done.
Teach someone else what you have learned."

Two Italian sconces from the 1950s.  Also, a steal, I think.  
When I looked them up online once I got home, I found someone trying to sell something similar for $1900.

I did not pay anything close to that.  At all.  At ALL.

 A photograph that reminded me of the picture of my Grannie Annie.
On the back of the frame, it gave all of her info.
Dorothy Elaine Horner
born 4/4/1911
Daughter of John W. & Augusta C.
married to Fred D. Felter, Sept. 23, 1932
mother of Kathleen Ellen & Stephen John

I, of course, immediately tried to find her online.  And if Google can be believed, she is alive and well in Portland, Oregon.  I wish I could find her address, though, and let her know I found her picture.
Happy Belated Birthday, Dorothy!

Plates from my favorite French vendor and shallow muffin tins.

I don't think I'll eat directly off of them, but they are The Perfect Size for my glass salad plates to sit on top of...which was exactly what I was hoping for.  They will look beautiful at a sit-down dinner.

Easel :: Before
It's not old, but it's a fantastic display piece.

Easel :: After
As Drew says, I've tried to "butch up" his side of the bed: a farm print on the wall & vintage target sheets on the easel. As manly as you can get!  

Not a bad day at The Flea.  I got a lot of compliments on the sconces as I was leaving with them. And one of Gail's co-workers (whom we ran into there) interrogated her the next day about what I was planning on doing with them.  But, in all honesty, my favorite purchase was definitely the Girl Scout Handbook.  And so I leave you with a few words of wisdom from it...

"A Happy Home is one is which all the members of the family take pleasure in sharing their experiences and their abilities.
Your home may be one room, a small apartment, a modest cottage, or a large house with many rooms. Whatever the size, the happiness of the home depends upon the skill and kindliness of the people who live in it.
Homemaking is an art, a profession, and a business.  It belongs to every girl and woman in some degree.  Start now to train yourself."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Delish

Today, I was a-hankerin' for something sweet.  Pulled out a recipe I've already made twice since getting it three weeks ago.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Truffle Cookies.  Heaven on a Plate...

:: Before ::

:: Baked ::

:: Treat ::

C'mon In!

Just last night, my husband promised me something great...something I've dreamt of, but never thought would happen.

You're thinking maybe jewelry?

Think again!  I mean, c'mon...I got excited about getting a dual flush toilet for our anniversary two years ago.

No, I'm so excited because, not only did the Hubs tell me we could get a new front door...he told me we could take out the awful (and kinda random) "window" and put in a brand new entrance-way!  

Check out what it looks like now...
Ugh - so ugly!

Double Doors are Fab!

Do you think the space will be able to accomodate a double door?  I'm not so sure it will.

Since I'm starting to think that a double door just ain't gonna happen, I've come up with two other options.

The Dutch Door :: Drew isn't really excited about this one.  I think it's adorable...

So cottage-y!

But, if I could truly have my way...if all my Door-Related Dreams could come true...I'd get an Arched Door!  I blame this obsession on The Polka Dot Door from my childhood.  (I love how I can blame things on television!)

Seriously, I would LOVE to have an arched door.  Drew has always said no because we didn't think we were going to do any stucco work on the outside.  However, since Drew has said that we can take the brick facade off the front (YEA!!), the possibilities are endless.  

Eek!  How Cute Is This??

Oh My!  This is perfection!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitschy Kitchen

Now, I make no promises that the kitchen is going to be remodeled anytime soon...though, how I wish that it were!  We still need to do the plumbing & electric before anything can happen in the kitchen.  But we've been seriously planning the layout, and I'm actually EXCITED about how it will look now.

We'd originally planned on keeping it exactly how it currently is...a U shape...but I then had an epiphany and realized, "If we're trying to make the house feel open, then we should open this kitchen up!"

Here's what the current layout looks like:
(The doors on the left & right side are pocket doors...
hence why it looks like there are things in front of them.
Also, that open space on the bottom left?  
That's the open space between the dining room and the family room.)

Feels kinda closed in, huh?  I thought so, too.  So here's what we're thinking...

The only difference in the two is the table placement.  The top one is the way I'd like to have it...a little breakfast nook...and the bottom one is the way we'd lay it out for selling it.  Drew made a good point that we're trying to sell to families and families don't always want *just* a nook...they want an actual dining room.  So the nook will not be built in, just pieces put together to look like built-ins.

Here's the general look we're going for:  hardwood floors, white cabinets, dark counters.

Okay, okay...so *I* am actually the one who wants all this.  Drew's not that crazy about the hardwood floors, but I feel like having all of our connecting rooms have the same flooring to give it that open/connected look.  

What do you think?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Post-June Summer Projects

For the longest time now, I've wanted to rearrange my master bedroom because...well, because I was just never happy with the original set up.  At the time it made the most sense for storage.  But recently, with the purchase of a small dresser from a local estate sale, I convinced Drew (twisted his arm) to move the big dresser into the closet where he could hang his shirts and pants and still have tons of drawer space underneath.  Begrudgingly, he obliged.  (He has the entire closet to himself, as I moved all my clothes into the guest room closet.  That whole sharing a small closet thing is never a good idea.  Two separate closets = A happy marriage.)  :)

So with this being the last weekend of my summer vacation (sniffle!), we decided to tackle the rearranging.  It wasn't terrible, actually.  Though we did have to remove every single thing so we could move the rug over.  Totally worth it in the end!

Before ::
The dresser we moved can't be seen here, but it's against the wall to the right in the picture.

After :: 

Because we were able to take a huge dresser out, the room feels enormous now.  But by far the best thing about this redo is the ability to really enjoy the window.  With the bed being right in front of it before, we couldn't easily move the curtains to see our beautiful side yard and neighborhood.

I just adore my newly rearranged room!  Now I just need to paint and then find something to go above the bed.  Not a framed picture...something structural perhaps?

Ideas anyone?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Projects I Should Have Started in June

Such slow progress on this little house of mine...

We are at a stand-still when it comes to major projects and renovations, but that won't stop me from doing a little redecorating and reorganizing!

There's a bench I've had sitting around for quite some time just waiting for a new coat of paint.

Oh good ole Martha always comes through with amazing paint colors...

And it looks just lovely in my Living Room!  

After a day-long project, I figured I could take on something even bigger.  So I decided to try and conquer the Sewing Room.  This room was originally supposed to be a place for me to do my little crafty projects and such, but it really just turned into the "Let's throw it in there and worry about it later" room.

Oof!  My goodness...  This was definitely going to be longer than a day-long project!

But it was worth it in the end!

Ahhh...  It's starting to all come together!