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Posts tagged ‘home’

One Large Room=Design Dilemma

When we bought this house one thing we absolutely loved about it was the large family room. No worries on whether or not our couch would fit. Instead it was something like will we be able to see the tv? Haha. Not kidding. I’m still not totally sold on the layout, partially because something feels off, and partially because we don’t want to spend anymore money on furniture at this point so there remains large ‘holes’ no matter how you shake things up in there.

Within the first weekend of owning the house we were here, walls painted and Grover carpet in place:20130222-110229.jpg

Then the carpet disappeared: 20130222-110241.jpg

We added flooring and our furniture, homemade curtains, and some color with the pillows and a rug:photo 1

Things felt dark and cramped and something was off. One day, while browsing through pinterest and my Better Home and Garden magazine collection I realized an ottoman with long skinny legs rather than the big steamer trunk would really lighten the place up. The only problem was the room was so large one, unless it was as big as the trunk wouldn’t really help. And I didn’t want something that big. So I needed two ottomans.

The need for two made the possibility of finding something cheap at a thrift store or Habitat for Humanity slim to none. So I turned my sights to Home Goods, Marshalls and TJMaxx. There were pairs galore but I needed something either in a great fabric, or easy to recover that wouldn’t break the bank. Countless single ottomans/benches were great colors. But the price and the lack of a duplicate ruled them right out. Then, I found these relatively easy to recover benches, but they were in a harsh geometric pattern, complete with shiny nickel nailhead trim around them. And the price was exorbitant, $299 a piece. So I kind of gave up on the idea and pushed it to the back burner. A few weeks later I went back to browse and they were still there, taunting me. This time the price had dropped to $149. Still, for both that would be $300 + tax and that too was way more than I could spend. So once again, even while I hated leaving them behind I did just that. I called the store though when I got home and asked what their sales schedule was, thinking I’d plan on coming back in whenever the sale day hit and scooping them up then. They said those two pieces were already marked down as far as they would go. Dejected I hung up. Guess it was back to square one.

Once again, a few weeks later I found myself back at HomeGoods, this time, somehow they were still there (ok well maybe that isn’t so surprising since they were very intense) only now they were marked down, all the way to $69 a piece. Still higher than anything I could have bought at the furniture thrift store, at a savings of $460 I scooped them up and brought them home where I began the task of painstakingly pulling out the nailhead trim and removed the crazy fabric. I did not photograph the process because it was hours of using a flat head screw driver and needle nose pliers to pull out the hundreds of staples and nailhead pins. My wrists ached for days. But to commemorate the crazy fabric:



And the new fabric:IMG_3336

And the new view of the room (granted this one has the Christmas Tree in it):DSC00157

Now I only need to figure out what to put where the christmas tree was. Anyone have any suggestions? Below are two pics to show my dilemma. It can’t be too closed off, because the front door, and the two sets of stairs (up and down) all need walking access.

photo 5



Enjoy the snow day!




The Bedroom Walls: Completed

It is no small feat that our bedroom walls are finally painted. What Was once a warm tan wall with pastel textured wallpaper is no a soothing mint green.

Here is the before, from our second walk-through, the one that sealed the deal that we were buying this house.IMG_1325

Starting in June we began working on the east wall of the bedroom. Stripping the wallpaper (don’t you just love it? I sure did. NOT). We finally got it off after hours (seriously it was ridiculous) of work and our motivation ground to a halt. Other house projects were being worked on simultaneously, and we were pretty darn sick of being in our bedroom. So time ticked by.

photo 1

Finally, after Bryan’s birthday on September 6th, we got ourselves into gear and determined we were getting the whole thing over and done with. So of the course of three days, we did. photo

First we washed the wall (sans wallpaper) to get the remaining glue off and to prepare for the next step, spackling. Then Bryan spackled (to get rid of the gouges from scrapping the paper off and the holes left by hooks, screws, moving curtains and blinds around, scones, the electric baseboards, and old electric boxes that were no longer used for an outdated phone line, and a plug for music output (that also no linger worked/speakers removed prior to us moving in). We spackled and patched 199 holes in those four walls. Seriously, I counted. 199 holes. If you include the holes in the bathroom, we are over 250. But the bathroom is a project for another time. Maybe another year. Probably another year. We don’t want to go there. Not yet. I don’t understand what happened to those bedroom walls but they are finally hole free and ready to rock.


Bizarre, it’s a bad nighttime photo, and there is a weird ghostly light floating in there, but the bed is made and I’m a bit to busy working on these fun quotes for friends to take another… Anyways, this is the view from our bedroom door, the chair really doesn’t cut into the walk way like it appears in this picture. The room is so much larger than we realized, since our bed has literally always been floating 2-3 feet away from the wall where the low wide dresser now is. We do like it much better on the far side of the room, but the floor plan still isn’t great. the dressers may be shuffled around some more, and the chair as well. There would be enough room to fit two chairs in there, so down the line that may be something we add.


Here is a much better view during daylight, the floor is nicely cluttered up with the rods for the curtains in front of the door, and the basket and blanket the cats like to curl up in/on during the day to watch the birds in the bird feeder. Plus there are no switch plate covers in here right now since we want to get some nice fresh ones that aren’t yellowed, or painted over like most of them are. So it’s far from finished in here. In fact, we haven’t hung anything up yet, probably because we don’t want to put any holes in these walls.

It’s amazing how accomplishing something seemingly so minor when I think back to all of the other projects we’ve gotten done in the last 7 months really makes all the difference in the world. This was by far a very time intensive project and the whole house feels that much more us. I can so totally live with the crazy laminate cabinets in our bathroom for a good long while. I can probably even live without art on the walls in our room, or switch plate covers, and the trim and ceiling. I’m just taking in the new color in all it’s glory. The pressure of getting things done around here for the first time has chilled out. Maybe it’s the bedroom walls, and our room finally has some semblance of order, or maybe it’s that the major projects are done. Either way, some relaxing quality time together without feeling like I’m not accomplishing what I need to has been feeling great.

Hurrah. Bryan would like curtains up asap though, so I really need to decide if I’m making them longer so I can hang them from the ceiling to soften the room up a bit and make it seem a bit more cozy, or hang them back at a similar place. Maybe I’ll do that next week.



Bedroom Wall Saga

By now you may have forgotten that in June we began to take down the weird textured  80s wallpaper that was on one wall in our bedroom. Other than that and cleaning the carpets and removing the electric baseboards we hadn’t done much.

Stripping the wallpaper took many many hours. Heat didn’t work, Fabric Softener barely worked. Muscle worked. But then Muscle got tired. We finally got the last of it off and it stayed in that state for a while. We bought the paint for our bedroom, and kept the furniture away from the wall, but I think we had spent so much time in there we were through with it at the time. This week we decided enough was enough and we were painting our bedroom. So Monday night we washed the wall down, removing every last bit of wallpaper glue getting the wall prepped and ready for spackle. Then while Bryan got the last of the glue off the wall I removed switch plate covers that had been painted over 4-5 times and were literally painted into place. Several of those broke from the exertion. And yes, I scored around them to try to speed up the process. I also removed the various picture hanging hardware, and curtain rods. Then, since it seemed there were holes everywhere, I counted them. There were holes from previous sets of curtains, venetian blinds, and hooks. Random holes for cable and telephone wires to come through. We finally took down the old alarm systems control panel, removed an electric box for audio (the speakers no longer existed), removed a box for a really old telephone jack (the 4 prong one), not to mention the 4 holes a piece for the sconces over the bed. That sounds like a lot of holes. But I bet you wouldn’t believe me if I told you there were 200 exactly on the wall behind our bed, and around the rest of the room and the bathroom the total went to 221. That’s a lot of holes.

Thankfully when I got home from work late last night Bryan had already patched the 4 big holes to replace boxes, and the shoddy previous patch job and started on the rest of the holes. They are all plugged up! Sanding and then painting and our room will look like a whole new world. But for now, a glorious picture of our wall. It probably doesn’t show you much, but this picture had to outlet boxes removed and several holes for cords spackled over. photo

Tonight, we sand! It’s hard to believe this saga is almost coming to an end. Sure the faster way would have been to buy the thin drywall, and cover this wall up. And goodness know that in a room this size that wouldn’t be noticeable in the slightest. But we are on a budget after all. Muscles are worth something 🙂

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Summer is one of those season I’m always sad to see leave, especially when August wasn’t as hot as usual. Granted, Fall is the other season I get sad to see leave, but much less so than summer. I am glad I have no part of the ‘back-to-school’ thing this year. So glad not to be getting ready for classes or preparing to teach.

We crammed a lot into our summer though. Countless days on the beach, many days sailing, four weddings, in three different states, only one of them in Connecticut. (One more wedding to go a plane ride away.) Home improvement projects out my ears – window replacement, window cleaning (it counts!), wall paper removal, making a hidden kitty door from the kitchen to the basement for easy cat access to the litter box without a cat door or leaving a door open. New family room rug, rearranging furniture in the family room, power washing the house, stripping 6 layers of paint off the old front door and repainting, adding new door hardware, painting the garage doors (4 coats of paint), adding some new plants, cutting a bedspread down to size and finishing it to match the other bedspread. It’s getting there. Of course all of those summer accomplishments doesn’t count the couple of BBQs we hosted, 8+ weekends with house guests, or the canoe trip with Bryan’s parents or the beach trip with mine. Whew. Busy season.

Still not ready for it to be over though. I need a few more good beach days. Maybe this weekend.

Today I’ll leave you with an updated snapshot of the front of the house. Spoiler- it’s not done yet. Paint has been bought to paint the concrete, and we are casually browsing for a replacement light fixture.


It’s looking pretty inviting for all of you who haven’t come to visit yet! *wink*

Raining Cats and Dogs

I’ve had writer’s block recently. Tons of stuff has been going on but have I been writing about it? Not really. Lets see: college roommate/ friend visited, my family visited, I’ve been working on an engagement party for people that aren’t heading to a destination wedding, house projects, and dog shopping.

Yes, dogs. I knew I was marrying a dog person just as he knew he was marrying a cat person. We never really thought we’d have a dog though. Something’s been changing, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
So we’ve been spending lots of time researching dogs. Good around cats, not to barky, a non-escape artist dog that could hang outside with us, a dog that is a water dog- those are pretty much our top wants in a dog.
Endless pages on endless types of dogs can get overwhelming. It’s a big decision, one that will impact us for at least the next ten years. Probably 15.
Bryan grew up with a golden, and loved her. My parents had a lab and he was a bit to hyper for me. Very typically lab., though. We want a dog that will be happy to see us, but relatively easy to train not to jump up on us.
The funny thing? The dogs I think are the cutest range from West Highland Terriers, to Newfoundlands. Tiny and massive. Not to much in between.
Have any tips? What dog do you have? Have always liked? Would you not put with cats?

So it isn’t really raining dogs, but the possibility of them are pouring down. At this rate we will have so many possibilities to rule out we will never decide.

I’m Seeing Double

Remember this room?

photo 2

It’s bright, colorful, and sparsely furnished. Well, when you buy a house on a budget that’s sometimes what happens. This is our spare guest room, the room that will probably eventually be a child’s room. So we didn’t want to spend a ton of money filling it up with furniture. We had the twin mattress already and walking through Habitat for Humanity shortly after we bought the house we saw this bed. Actually we saw two of them, but since we only had one mattress and they weren’t marked super cheap we bought the one.

Not only do we love the brass bed it means we have beds for three guests. Not a problem when a couple girl friends come to visit, but when my family comes, 5 people needing beds, it means two sleep on the floor. Granted the ones on the floor are boys, and their tough, but as the older sister that makes me feel bad. So imagine my joy when we went into the Habitat for Humanity a few weeks ago looking for a buffet for the kitchen, and the twin to this bed was still there, marked way down. LIke 75% off. So we bought it. Snapped it up more like. And when I had a gift card from Sears from the automotive department to apologize for the employees comments I snapped up a highly reviewed mattress for $50 including shipping and taxes. Nice.

All I needed was bedding. But I didn’t want another crazy colored comforter like the one we had, and didn’t think I’d be able to find it since it was the last one left at Kohl’s in March and it was $9 for the set. So I decided (and Bryan affirmed) that we just needed new, less crazy bedding. But I still didn’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s a spare guest room after all. That’s like a spare, spare room. So off I headed to Home Goods (nothing), Marshall’s cute things, but only ever one twin of anything I liked), Christmas Tree Shop (old lady stuff galore), Bed Bath and Beyond (I was not spending $79 a pop and only had $5 dollar off coupons), JCPenney (sometimes they have coupons), Macy’s (had $50 dollars in gift cards), and Sears (I was desperate). Nothing. I wanted something neutral, with a little bit of pattern. Something that would go with the existing rug, and tone down the colorful walls.

So with an inkling of an idea I headed back to Marshalls. There were three different quilts I liked. Two were neutral with pattern, and one had a graphic design on a white background. But still none had two twins. Two queens? sure. Two kings? sure. No doubles in twins. Then I realized, I know how to sew. I could always cut one blanket down to make a second twin, and bind it to match. The wheels started turning. If I bought the king and a twin I’d have enough fabric to have a matching sham pillow for both beds, without spending the extra $30 dollars. So we went home with two quilts in three different patterns to see what we liked best.

A clear winner made the cut, and the rest were returned. So for $60 dollars we had the material for two twin quilts and two standard shams. That’s a whole lot better than the best fit I had found at BBB which would have been $185 for two quilts and two shams.

Then came the tricky part, cutting the big quilt down to size. First I laid the king quilt flat on the floor, lining up two corners of the twin with the king (okay there was a 4 inch overhang lengthwise that doesn’t bother me) I pulled it taut over the king, leaving approximately 2.5 feet of extra king quilt. I snipped with fabric shears leaving a quarter of an inch extra the whole way down. (If you also do this you may have to change what you cut. I had a quilt where the backing fabric became the binding, so I didn’t need to salvage the original binder of the quilt.)


photo 3

Then, so I would have some binding fabric to fold over (tuck the newly cut edge under and still cover the batting and top layer of the quilt I snipped out that extra quarter of a inch of the batting and top layer.

photo 4

Finally a folded over the raw edge of the binder, covered over the cut edge on the top of the quilt and hand sewed the length of it. It took a while, and my hand stitching isn’t perfect, but I didn’t want to spend time ripping machined stitches, and I’m not fast enough with my iron to press the folded down edge and get it to stay even with pins. It was just to tricky to do any other way. But with a good Netflix movie playing I finished it up in no time. So, as soon as the mattress gets here (delivery tomorrow) I’ll be seeing double quilts and bed frames.


Then it’ll just be one little brother sleeping on the floor. Well once the mattress gets here that is. And Bryan carries the bed frame in tonight. And the sheets and quilts come out of the dryer. (Gotta wash off all the storm germs and kitty fur!)

Not a bad little upgrade to go from sleeping 3 extra people to 4.

$20 for second bed frame

$60 dollars for bedding for both beds

That’s only $80 bucks. And now the purple is toned down a bit, but still goes along with the rich blue of the other bedroom. I’m a fan.

Who’s coming next?




Window Repair…Replacement

We bought a house with wood windows. Some of those windows were in better shape than others. Those others needed peeling paint and bits of rot chipped out and re-puttied, painted and sealed. Being the sensible people we are (ha), we planned to fix the windows to make them last longer until we could afford to replace them. There were two sets of awning windows in the office/library that we hated. Some didn’t open, some didn’t shut; it was a hot mess.

Three weekends ago while I was working on painting the garage doors, Bryan was working on the windows. He’d spent a while scraping everything he could/should off of the windows and was going to start working on the sill. To do so he needed to take out the window sash. Catastrophe struck. The window, though definitely not to heavy for him, was heavier than he expected and it slipped the 5 inches to the deck and shattered. He came out front to get me and show me what happened.

At this point, we were experiencing two very different sets of emotions. He was ticked, angry, annoyed and all bent out of shape because it was (in his words) stupid, aggravating, annoying, and an expensive mistake. I was calm and unruffled. Why? Well I hated the windows as much as you can hate an inanimate object. They were eyesores and ugly. I was excited we’d get to put something nice in their place, but slightly worried about the cost, and how we would go about doing it. I also couldn’t be doing fist-bumps around the library yehawing like a crazy person because Bryan was upset. So I just said, ‘hey, it’s ok. It’s only a window, and we aren’t going to the hospital right now.” Then I added, “besides we didn’t like them anyways so think of it as a good thing.” All the while the Hallelujah chorus is blaring in my head. I kept a straight face through all of this, I have a very good poker face.

Thankfully, even though the glass shattered, they were double pane windows and there was only one small sliver where the glass fell out in both panes, so we packing taped that window up and shut it for the time being.  (Here is where i should have at least one picture, but I deleted them thinking I had already uploaded them. Just picture a large grid (80″ x54″ total) of four windows that crank out. Hideous. Expensive. We knew we didn’t want awning windows anymore, but to replace just that sash from Anderson was $400. Heck no. We could buy a really nice window to replace a pair of awning windows (turning them into one double hung) from Home Depot for $317 (the only option in our size, just glad there was one!), or Home Depot could install one not as nice double hung window for $800). That’s not even getting into what an 80″x54″ inch solid pane window would cost. (We have two of those in our kitchen, praying now they never break!)

So what did the two of us who had never replaced a window decide to do? Watch some installation videos for replacement windows and get to work ourselves. Dun, dun dun.

So Sunday afternoon (never start a major home renovation project on a day when you work the next day) we started on the windows. We decided we’d work on just one window at a time, to make sure we didn’t have a huge hole in the house when it was time for bed. We quickly removed two sashes, and hardware and started cutting center bar of the frame out so the window would fit. We were set to go, our rough opening matched what the window needed. We opened the box and once we got over how much nicer this window was than the ones we just removed we realized this wasn’t a simple replacement window where you install inside of the existing frame (making a smaller window) this was a full frame replacement. And to do this right we needed to remove the entire 4 sash window and lift up some siding and really tear our house apart. At three thirty. And we couldn’t just put the windows back in because we’d taken out the hardware and the crosspiece. It was scary. And overwhelming. And we already had the hole in the wall so I couldn’t just curl up in the fetal position, we had to get to work.

So we re-did our measurements. Watched some Anderson full frame replacement windows for the 400 series windows we had. Bryan sent me off to Home Depot to get some 2x4s to frame out the windows, some flexi seal water barrier, some roofing nails, and a miter box. Right around this time a been-there-done-that couple from church reached out to see how we were doing with the project. I told them we were caught by surprise with the full frame replacement, that I was heading out for more supplies, and if they had any tips we’d love it. They did one better and offered to come help. Not sure if this was a we’d-like-to-come-help offer, or a we-are-being-nice offer, we replied, “we had watched a couple of videos, but would certainly welcome your tips and advice but we don’t want you to make a special trip for it.” They said they were on their way. WOW! We just went from to pretty near clueless and relying on help videos to a veritable pro helping out.

photo 1

By the time I got home from HD, Bryan had gotten the entire window out of the wall, and our friends had just shown up. Not only did Bryan get a hand from someone who actually knew what they were doing, I got to hang out with his wife and two sweet kids. Together the guys installed the windows, getting them to the point they could be left for the night, and we celebrated with some take-out pizzas. Certainly not payment enough for their help, but it’s a start at least.

photo 3

Last night Bryan did the final waterproofing and stuck the existing trim back up. It’s ugly, but it does look a little more finished that totally exposed flexi seal stuff. Though the grubby areas where the previous owners caulked with off-white are pretty bad…. still it’s infinitely better than before! And we are at a good place to figure that out. No holes, no leaks (it’s rained both of the last two nights) We have working windows!


So, in a nutshell, unless you have friends who are going to show up and help who know exactly what you are doing, don’t tackle major home repairs like this one on a Sunday afternoon. Hopefully I remember that. We do have another set of these awning windows on the other side of the room, but they are not broken (well cracked, some still don’t close all the way, or open) so we aren’t fixing them. Yet. Maybe next month. Maybe in the spring. When the budget allows, and we are feeling up to it. It was trial by fire, but I’m sure Bryan could do it again.

Anyone have any crazy, survived home repair by the skin of your teeth stories?

Happy Six Months Little House!


Yes, I was one of those weird people that kept track of ‘versarries’. Date we met, first date, etc. I get a major kick that we got married four and a half years after we started dating. To the day. It’s probably the only way numbers mean things to me. I really was never very into math. But I digress. Today marks 6 months to the day from when Bryan and I became home owners.

It was the morning of the blizzard of ’13. The day we found out the furnace was running, but the blower motor was shot, the day his parents left PA as soon as his mom got out of work at 7 am. The day we got snowed into this house with the windows not all the way shut because we couldn’t shut them from the inside and Bryan went outside in the middle of the night, middle of the blizzard to push on them while I tried to flip the locks. It was the start of the weekend where we went from blue shag, pink walls, and fuzzy wallpaper to a freshly painted (ceilings, walls, trim and subfloor) family room, guest bedroom, guest bathroom, and de papered and re-spackled (removing 3 layers of painted wallpaper removed parts of the plaster walls) half bath. It was the weekend my mother-in-law ran the carpet steamer all weekend long, cleaned all of our carpets at least two times and saved us the expense of replacing them. It was also the weekend of the ‘you’re going to pay for this’ neighbor. Read all about it here, then here, and wrap up here.

Ironically enough the same neighbor is re-cemmenting her garage floor and starting at 7 am all week there has been the glorious sound of jack hammers, big trucks, and who knows what 30 feet away from my bed. Ah well. At least I’m not getting told I’m going to pay for anything.

Looking around, it’s hard to believe what we’ve accomplished in the last six months, it’s also hard to believe what we’ve spent:

Beyond unpacking…


Our Bedroom: pretend the wallpaper is removed, because it is in real life We’ve removed the wallpaper, cleaned the carpet, buy and have installed new 8′ sliding door, added shelves to the closet, switched the ceiling light, recaulked some of the bathroom buy and hang new towel bar, hung some art, rip out 5 electric baseboards. (Admittedly not much was done to this room)


Library: hung art and photos, bought and put together ikea loveseat and chaise, rip out 5 electric baseboards, broke window (oh boy)

photo 1

photo 2

Kitchen: touch up the paint, bought cushions and pillows for the built-in bench, buy, move the electrical ceiling box four feet, hang a new light in the breakfast nook, patch the old lights 2′ x 2′ square hole in the ceiling (not a typo) buy and hang a new light over the table, build the table (yes, Bryan in awesome), buy and put together ikea kitchen chairs hang art, place new rug

photo 5

Half Bath: strip wallpaper, remove and replace the toilet, paint walls, trim and ceiling, stencil walls, buy and add towel ring

photo 3 photo 4

Stairs: Remove all carpet, padding, and tack strips, fill and sand steps, paint steps and trim

photo 1

Family Room: Paint ceiling, walls, floor, trim, buy ans have installed new hardwood floors, sew and hang curtains, buy and put together ikea tv stand, buy loveseat, place new rug

photo 5

Guest Bedroom 1: Paint walls and trim, buy and hang art and curtains

photo 2

Guest Bedroom 2: Remove wall-paper, paint walls and trim, buy bed frame, bedding, art,

photo 1

Guest Bath: Paint, paint, paint. (It took three coats of white paint and primer to cover the chalky pink walls, buy floor mats, shower curtain

photo 3

Art Studio: Not a blessed thing

no photo. sorry not sorry 🙂

Basement & Crawl Space: buy washer and dryer, fix both furnaces (credit from the seller), three times total, buy and have installed new water heater (credit from the seller), catch squirrel in have a heart trap

photo 4

this is definitely a work in progress photo….the doors need a few more coats of paint, the window needs paint, the concrete steps and garage pad needs paint, and the front door needs to be scraped the rest of the way and painted. We do think the mint and blue garage doors will blend better, just wait and see 🙂

Outside: buy and use pressure washer, rip out 16 yards of gravel, rip out old overgrown weeds and trim back bushes, plant new plants out front, mulch the front, build raised garden bed and plant blueberry bushes, peach tree and grape-vine, paint garage doors and scrape paint on front door, fix hot tub, do a ton of electrical work (thankfully we got a credit from the seller), fix gutters, install rain barrel.

The crazy thing is we have done this conservatively, on a major budget. And waited to do a lot of it, or did it ourselves. The sliding door [the old door had a failed seal and was not insulating well], hot water heater [not up to code, inefficient] fixing both furnaces, and the electrical work [electrical panels in bathrooms? duct taped wires externally not in conduits?] were unfortunate necessaries, and things we trusted to the professionals. But we are so relieved they are fixed and working as they should. All the rest makes the house a home. And we love it.

Wow. Just writing this up has made me exhausted. That doesn’t include the hours we’ve spent at our jobs, the vacation with my family, long weekend with Bryan’s, the housewarming party, or the fact that every weekend from May 11th til September 14th had house guests, weddings, or major time fillers that didn’t let us accomplish things except 2. That’s right, 2 of 17 weekends were packed almost solid. That’s more exhausting (a good solid though, we loved having visitors and celebrating happy times with friends and family). And that’s not thinking about all there still is to do. But it is pretty cool to think of where we could be in six more months.

So, there you have it. 6 months down. Who knows how many to go. But I think it’s pretty safe to say the house won’t be changing as fast in the next 6 months. A lot of the other projects on our to-do list involve a lot more money (think bathroom and laundry room renovations), time (think lots of fiddly things like switching out the outlets and switches for ones that match), and time (like having any time to do it all when we both work, and the long list of stuff we have to do). Yes that’s right. Double time and money too.

What did you accomplish in your first 6 months of homeownership?

(Please forgive my slightly disorganized home, I realized mid post I didn’t have enough pictures already on my computer so much of the home is shown how it appears right this second, complete with rain outside, and I was not tidying up the rest of the way without more coffee, likewise for any slightly blurry photos 🙂 )

Now You See it

When you get to a point where you are so overwhelmed, you’d spend ANY amount of money to be finished, that is not the time to be making decisions.

That’s where I was with the windows on Wednesday. Thankfully Bryan wasn’t and he has been a champ with the outside and high up windows. I came home yesterday to the amazing discovery that our old windows actually can be taken out for even easier cleaning! WIndow might be something I don’t despise anymore.

It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel. The sparkly clean windows inspired me to hem the curtains I sewed for the family room so the room is really coming together. Bryan removed the awkward door from the foyer to the family room.

Just a few more to do’s on the list and we can call ourselves satisfied with the family room.

1) hem curtains (half done)

2) sand, fill, and paint trim and door jamb (now that the door is in we have some filling, and the installation of the wood floors nicked up the trim a bit)

3) hang new fan (get rid of the shiny brass and faux wood from the seventies)

4) paint console table

5) loveseat for more seating

6) new coffee table? Perhaps something light and airy.

5) art for the tall wall (behind the tv. this will be an eventual thing, we are definitely willing to wait and see what we need there.

That’s not to shabby. Monday I plan do a post with the curtains hemmed and you can see an up-to date where we are in the family room.

Hope you all are having a good Friday and are ready for a good weekend!


Einstein Moment…

oh goodness, I’ve been diligently working away on stripping this LAME wallpaper off my bedroom wall, and Bryan has been right there along side (gotta give the credit where the credit is due) and finally he pointed out yesterday, not only are we stripping off the wallpaper, but he’s pretty sure we’ve been taking off the paper cover of the drywall and the glue holding it on as well. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. We probably are, since now that he’s mentioned it, I realize there was only one layer of wallpaper, and that top layer came off quite easily. Darn it, I could have been done weeks ago.


shoot I took this picture over a month ago. I have got to get done.

One thing I do know is that we are amateurs, and the only wall-paper stripping experience was the half bath off the kitchen which included three layers of wallpaper, some of which were painted, on a plaster wall. So there has to be some sort of break in there for our confusion. We had no idea it could be really that easy, so we made it harder than we needed to. Who knows, I don’t really care because it’s going to be so nice to finally fill in all the holes in the wall, and paint it. The entire room that is. Five months in and we’ve steam- cleaned the carpet, added some shelves to the closet, took out the electric baseboards, and are almost done with the wall paper removal. Thankfully, we’ve gotten a ton done elsewhere in the house so i’m ok with the progress in here. It’ll get better. And soon I think.

photo 1

The yellow bits are paper still to be removed. A fresh coat of paint will go a long way. And then it will mean we can actually move our bed up against the wall, instead of having it hang two feet out like it’s been ever since we moved in. I’m sure that will make the room feel even bigger than it already does. And then I’ll have that problem to solve. (I guess it’s a problem?) I’m not complaining about the large room or anything but there’s only so much stuff you want in a bedroom. We already fit two large dressers in there, and our queen sized bed, and a way to small trunk at the foot of the bed. My eventual plan is to get a loveseat for the family room and move one of those chairs down to our room, but then we still have all that space, enough for another queen bed practically. Who knows what will happen in there.

Chalk our wallpaper strife up to inexperience, or too much time in the sun(NEVER!), or an slight ‘type A’ that just needs to get it all off, I’m not sure, but we are almost done and I just can’t wait. NO MORE WALLPAPER! Thankfully, this is the end. There isn’t anymore left in the house. Except for the big pile on the floor of course…

photo 2

In other home-improvement news, we finally got rid of the last of the blue shag carpet in Friday’s trash pick up. Wohoo, now we can actually organize the garage.

Am I the only one that has ripped off more than I should have?

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