Saturday, May 17, 2014

What have we been up to?......

This post is so long overdue its embarrassing!  So I'm apologizing up front that this post may be a bit lengthy but I'm trying to fit in what should have been 5 or 6 posts all into 1......hang in there with me though and I promise you won't be disappointed as I have my most exciting project saved for last.....

I can hardly believe May is already here....not only is it already here its already almost over.  So I ask, "where's the warm weather?".  We had a couple nice days this week but with that came awful storms and a crazy amount of rain.  I know I told you all that landscaping was in our plans for this year and I am eager to jump in and get some plants planted, I just need the weather and my work schedule to finally cooperate so I can get things going.  I am determined to get some life into the outside of our house this year!!

So what have we been up to this winter?......well not as much as we had hoped but we did manage to accomplish a couple of things I'm excited to share with you.

First, my husband painted the stairway, and upstairs hall.......I LOVE IT!!  I can't believe we waited so long to get some paint on those was a huge and drastic improvement to the flow and feel of our home. We used the same color paint we used in our entry ways, its called Jute and its made by Olympic paint.  I was afraid it would make the hall really dark since there really isn't a lot of light in that area to begin with but it didn't.  It really made it feel warm. Love it!

 So a few weeks ago we had a little issue with our dishwasher and our sprayer on the sink.  We went shopping thinking we would just give in and buy a new dishwasher.  I don't know about you but the one that came with the house isn't my favorite.....its loud and half the time it seems like it doesn't wash the dishes very well....makes me crazy!!  Well after looking around and picking out a couple we liked which seemed to have some pretty hefty price tags to go with it we decided perhaps we should take a second look at the one we have and see if we can't make it work a little longer.  I should mention our car had just broken beyond repair and we had just bought a new one to replace it so trying to save a little where we could seemed to be a better plan at the time.  But on our wish list is a new husband took the entire dishwasher apart and was able to find multiple issues (mainly dirt/plumbers putty clogging hoses etc.).....once he cleaned it all out and put it back together it runs like a champ......still loud but it works much better than it had previously.  As for the sink sprayer we could have simply replaced it but we have never been huge fans of the sink we invested in a new one.  Again....I LOVE IT!!  It has the sprayer built into the head of the faucet which now let us install a soap dispenser where the old sprayer used to be.  The best part is I love the height of it....makes everything from filling pots to watering plants so much easier!

 Speaking of sinks.....what about under the sink?  In our kitchen that is usually where we keep our trash can so it is out of sight as well as some frequently used cleaners.  Well every day or so taking the trash out and putting the can back in has made the finish on the bottom of the cabinet not look as nice as it once did when we bought the house.  So I saw an idea on Pintrest one day I thought may make it look better and serve as an easy to clean alternative to the cabinet base.  We found some inexpensive stick on tiles that matched our kitchen and installed them on the cabinet floor.  It has been fantastic for keeping things nice, neat, easy to clean, and a little pretty too I guess.

Another small project in our kitchen was adding an additional storage rack to our pantry.  You'll remember I mentioned we had installed one on the door a time looked like this:

 Well we just needed more space so we added another rack and it has made a world of difference.  We have so much more space in our pantry when I can store more things on the door.

 So speaking of doors......we also did a small but big impact project on our garage door.  When we built we did not opt for the hefty price to have a pretty garage door put on our house.  Although I love the look of the carriage doors, I still don't regret not having one put on our house.  So to spruce up the door a bit we added some simple hardware to the outside.  It was cheap and I think it gave our door a bit of character......not exactly carriage door character but its a start.

So we've lived here for almost 3 years and have yet to paint the kids rooms.  We've painted the master bedroom and the guest room but the kids still have those plain white walls and its killing me to get some paint on them soon.  Kids rooms should be fun while they are young!! I've got some ideas on how I want to decorate their rooms and I've decided to work on the boys room first since I seem to have a better vision with where I want to go with it.  We recently tried something new in the boys room to see if they would go for the idea and not only were they for it but they LOVED IT!!  They were originally sleeping in bunk beds and we decided to take them apart to see if they would like having twin beds in their room.  Although they have less room to play and it took some getting used to everyone seems to like this set up much better.  So I've started their room decorating process and I think we'll be seeing some big things getting done in the near this is where we started:

.....and this is where we are at now:
Last but definitely not least I have one HUGE project I am VERY excited to show you.  So as you are all aware I get some crazy ideas in my head sometimes.......I'm a dreamer what can I say?  Thankfully my husband is willing to give things a try even if he's not 100% sure how to approach them....he researches and he makes it happen for me......I Love him!!  So last year I had some crazy ideas I actually mentioned in a post once but never really thought much about since then.  Well recently we decided to tackle the dining room.  Originally I wanted to install board and batten like we did in our front entry way:
But visually I was afraid it would look too heavy on the molding on that half of the house (those who know me well know I have to have everything very symmetrical in appearance).  I wanted something elegant, with a dramatic effect, and that would bring an architectual interest to the room.  So I hemmed and hawwed about the board and batten and then suggested an old idea to my husband.  It was an idea like none we have ever tried before and he said lets go for it!!.....Let me just tell you I have NEVER EVER had a project make me so nervous before.....from start to almost the end I would really get myself worked up sick over it.  I don't know if it was because I wasn't 100% sure I was going to like it because I couldn't fully visualize the completed project or if it was because it was such an unfamiliar and big project for us that if we hated it I knew it wasn't going to be an easy or cheap fix to return the room back to the way it was.  I am so glad we stuck through with it though as it turned out awesome!!  So believe it or not this is where we started:

Yup those would be just folded pieces of paper in different ways........I know, we're very technical in our planning you know why I was so worried....ha!  Any ideas on where I may be going with this?

So I needed to test out our ideas with some not so permanent visuals that I could easily see and change in different ways to see what we liked and worked best in the room......

Why yes that would be drywall any guesses now with what we may be doing?

So once we had a pattern we really liked, which was actually harder to work out than we thought it would be, we bought the supplies and my husband went to work......

He actually did an amazing job with this project......want to see the end result?

So here is a before picture of our dining room (this was taken last fall):
Can I just say it is very hard to get any good pictures of our dining room....

.........and this is what it looks like now!!........
 Maybe you guessed it.....My husband installed a coffered ceiling in our dining room!!  He did beyond a fantastic job and so far everyone who has seen it has loved it and been amazed my husband did all the work himself.  So there still needs to be a second coat of paint applied to the ceiling but my husband was trying to get it mostly done in time for us to enjoy a mothers day brunch in our dining was such a treat and I LOVE IT!!!  He also painted the dining room a beautiful shade of blue which is called Blue Willow by Olympic paint.  So now that its almost done I can start decorating and looking for new wall decor (the picture currently on the wall is not staying).......

So what do you think?.......

Well thanks for visiting our blog and I hope all of you out there in the blog world are doing well.  What have you all been up to this winter?  I would love to see your projects as well.  We have some more fun projects in our pipeline and hopefully we will get to them sooner than later.....until next time, take care.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Something I wish I had thought of when building

Happy New Year!  I just realized its been a couple months since my last post.  Guess that is what happens when life happens.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying all this winter we've been having the last couple of weeks.  I don't know about you but I am beyond eager to have spring show up sooner than later.  I would love to be able to feel my fingers and toes again! Unfortunately I know that is wishful thinking and we are stuck with winter for a couple more months....UGH!!  So yesterday as I was getting into my car in the garage and tracking all the slush and smudge both into the car and into the house it occurred to me I wish I had asked to have a water spigot put inside our garage.   Then from time to time we could just spray out all that smudge from the floor instead of having to shovel and sweep it out and drag the hose half way around the house from the outside spigot into the garage to clean the floor.  I know my neighbor had one in his garage and at first I thought it was odd but now I think he was pretty smart.  So I just wanted to share this thought with all of you that still have time to make any changes or who are just starting the building process.  Its just one of those things you don't think of until afterwards when you wish you had it!

So do any of you have any project plans in the making?  This is the time of year when I start making my lists of projects I'd like to accomplish this year and I have got a pretty good list started already. Hopefully that will mean some pretty good posts this year.  I'd love to see what you all have been up to and what you are hoping to work on this will help with my inspiration!!

Take Care!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

To blog or not to Blog....and some little updates..... I'm feeling like our little blog is loosing its purpose. Originally we started it to share our building process with family and friends, then it was to obtain ideas and what we should and shouldn't do or things to look for when selecting our options and going through the process, then it turned into how we have decided to decorate and issues we've had along the way since owning our house.  While I have really enjoyed reading everyone's blogs I feel like the purpose of the blog is no longer valid nor really looked at anymore. It feels like many of the original bloggers have even left the blogging anyone still out there?  So I debate whether I should continue or just let it go (snif, snif).  I do enjoy it to be honest.  I like seeing the progression of our home and recalling the good and bad days or issues we overcame and seeing how far we've really come in the last two years, but it does take some time (which I feel very short of these days), and I feel like nothing really results from it we shall see......let me know if you'd like us to keep going.

So little updates.  My husband has been super busy.  He finished the garage...its all sparkly and pretty with new paint from ceiling to floor and its on its way to becoming really organized.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture because we had the cars in there and he was also working on some things.....but maybe next time when its all done I'll get some pictures.

Probably the biggest project that was recently finished is our sidewalk and patio.......I was debating over the sidewalk a couple posts ago and I love what we came up with.  I completely went in a different direction than I was originally thinking only because I have a new idea that was much more cost effective and would work better than the plans we were previously debating and would still serve the purpose I was looking for.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out.  The guy who installed it for us did an amazing job!!  He did the patio and sidewalk as well as the landscaping at our last house, as well as the hardscaping at many of our friends and relatives homes.  He does really great work and has received many compliments from our neighbors.  So take a look at whats been done:

I love the little design he put in the sidewalk just before the are a couple close-ups:

Anyways we are very happy with both the sidewalk and the patio and looking forward to many years of enjoyment on them.
So we decided to wait and do the landscaping next year but my husband did take this opportunity to carve out some landscaping beds and he put top soil and mulch over them before winter gets here.  He also planted a redbud tree in our backyard and a japanese maple at the side of our house near the a little start I guess.

In other updates, my husband also painted our yesterday he painted we're still debating if we like it or not........and I think we are leaning towards we do.....just want to rip out the floor and add some finishing take a look:

The color is Sandy Shell by Valspar which ironically was the same color we had our bathroom at our last house but it looked much different.

So let us know what you think and hopefully we can keep blogging.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeling Blue

So I know sometimes I post some messages that seem a little bummed, a little confused, and a little unsure.....this however is not one of those posts despite the fact its all happy, all good, and ALL EXCITED!!

School is back in session....Yippee (ops I mean boo hoo) all actuality its a little of both.  I finally have a bit of peace and quiet to myself again, a chance to go on a breakfast or lunch date with my husband, a moment to get something accomplished, the ability to run a quick errand and actually get it done quickly, and a fairly clean house again (we're still working on this last one!)....its awesome!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and love being able to spend so much time with them but a little bit of peace is needed and greatly appreciated now and then.  This year we sent my littlest one to Kindergarten which was a very hard day, to say the least, and is taking some adjusting to get used to but on the opposite end I have really been enjoying "the peace"!!

My husband has also been enjoying the peace.....the first opportunity we had to have a free day together we ran around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do with ourselves.  We went on a breakfast date, roamed stores (many of them actually) with no agenda, and just enjoyed being able to do something together again.   So after the novelty of having a free day together wore off my husband has been back in project mode.....again very awesome!!  Anytime he sees a free day coming our way he's asking what shall we do next.  Since school has only been in session for about a week we obviously haven't done a whole lot of things but they are a flying down the pipeline!!!  I'm sure you'll be hearing about them in the near future.

One thing he did accomplish, and rather quickly I may add, was our "little living room/music room/kid free adult talking room" get the idea.  I have been toying with colors for months and had settled on one particular color that I really loved from the beginning.  So on our date day (aka first day of school) we of course go to the paint store, and because we didn't have kids with us nor a time deadline I was free to roam the store all I wanted....BAD IDEA!!!  Suddenly the color I was 100% certain of became a "ohh look at this color, ohh maybe this would be better, do you think the light makes this color look different"....yup I was all kinds of changing my was a complete disaster.  Needless to say we left the store with no paint, and a ton of new samples for all sorts of rooms we weren't even considering at the moment.  So the next free day my husband headed back to the paint store and ultimately picked up the color I had originally wanted.  By dinner the room was done.......

At first glance I loved it, then I thought oh boy its too dark, then I loved it again, then I had to play with the curtains and change things around, and in the end I DO LOVE IT!!!  So here is how it looked before....

And here is what it looks like now.....

For those wondering the color we went with is Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue.  It looks lighter in these pictures than it actually is on the wall but I think it works well with the furniture colors and other colors in our house.  We have also LONG debated the ceiling light for this room.  If I was to build again I don't think I would have added a light for this room and just used lamps as it was hard to find something that worked well considering there is a ceiling lamp directly in the I toyed with the idea of doing a ceiling fan.  My husband was able to re-wire/re-mount the electric box so we were able to put a ceiling fan there and I love it!!  Its the perfect thing for that room.  Since the blue was a tad off from our old curtains I had to put the blue curtains back in the dining room and gold curtains back in this room to make it work.  In addition we added the mirror for more light, and put the pictures that were there before (that were really too small for behind the couch anyways) in the morning lots of switches throughout the house I guess.  So I still have some ideas left for this room including crown molding, a built in cabinet with shelves for the "nook" area, paint the ugly vent...all which will come with time, but for now I'm enjoying our new blue room......

Let us know what you think.......

Monday, August 26, 2013

Help & Opinions Wanted!!!

I know, I know...I have been MIA for almost three months now.  Wasn't yesterday June something or other?  It has been a CRAZY summer.  It was one of those summers where we had a laundry list of things we WERE definitely going to accomplish before school goes back in session and then now a week before school starts we look back and realize NONE of them got done.  We had fun though and I guess that's all that really matters in the long run anyway. :-)

So even before school ended we had started on a big summer project that we thought would have been finished by now and honestly its still not even in the beginning phase.  We wanted to get our landscaping done and have a patio and new sidewalk installed.  We had actually gotten several quotes for both landscaping and hardscaping before the end of June....but in the end we decided that accomplishing both this year was going to be a little much so we decided to just focus on the hardscaping this year and hopefully do the landscaping next year.  We decided to go with a landscaper we had used in our previous house to install both landscaping and a patio and sidewalk.  He does FANTASTIC work and we LOVE working with him.  Anyways his schedule was quite full so it hasn't been until now that he can begin working on our project.  He is coming by again this week to finalize plans and I'm starting to second guess our original ideas.....this is where I need all of your help.

The patio is a definite in terms of the plans......I love what we have come up with but the sidewalk believe it or not is causing me great frustration and indecisiveness.  Originally I was just going to have a regular paver sidewalk installed.  However, one day as my mom and I sat outside in the grass in patio furniture watching the kids ride their bikes she mentioned it would be nice if there was a sitting area out had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure how to implement something like that without it looking odd.  We always said our next house would have a front porch and then when we built this house we decided to forego the porch I'm wishing I had that and learn I guess.  SO I turned to pintrest (of course) for some inspiration.  This is what I came up with:

I LOVE THIS!!!  I thought it would be the perfect solution to our front yard sitting area issue and it wouldn't look out of place.  We would just have a rounded wide area prior to the stoop attached to the sidewalk and then we can put a couple of chairs to the side to sit and enjoy our neighborhood from.

WELL, then I started seeing other ideas like these:
  patios in front yard - Google Search

A sunrise landscape patio in WI needs extra heat to extend usability.  It may be the next rage in front porches in sub-divisions that have forgotten the street and their neighbors.  By Chad Cornette at Cantilever Studio

Front Patio with gas firepit - after,  Go To to get more Gossip News!

Erin's 2 Cents: New Front Patio

yard design ideas - Front Patio!  I love the idea of a low wall that has a built in bench - bench could be on the top of the wall OR on the interior of the wall and use the wall as a back rest.  Fire pit in the center.

These pintrest postings all had the sitting area off to the side of the sidewalk in their own little private space but still in the front of the home.....And not that I specifically LOVED any one of these but they got me to thinking.  SO we happened to be driving through the neighborhood one day recently and one of our neighbors just did a beautiful job on their landscaping and of course don't I see they also have a sitting area off to the side of their sidewalk in front of their house but surrounded by landscaping so you could hardly tell it is there....BEAUTIFUL!!!  So now I'm debating....big round area in front of the stoop or sitting area off to the side.  Now you would think thats the end of the debate....BUT you are goes beyond that (I know I make everyone crazy with my "what if" and "I was thinking scenarios".....thats why I need all of you to help me)......

Here are the additional dilemmas:
If I went with the giant circle in front of the stoop...technically I could only put the chairs on the right side of the circle faxing west or one on each side of the stoop which wouldn't be good if holding a conversation with someone (see diagram below...the x is chair spots and the O is a small table) otherwise you would have to walk through them to get to our front addition it would be weird just being able to really look one way down the street rather than have a view of the entire back would be facing the entrance to our street and I would basically be looking towards the dead end section of our street (well I guess I could turn the chairs around but if my kids were riding bikes I wouldn't have full view of the street either way) I'm not sure this is the best use of this space nor the most comfortable BUT it would look nice with our landscape plans and the center entrance appeal of our house I think.....and if we decided not use the sitting area it wouldn't look awkward.
Now my second dilemma is if I do a side patio do I place it on the right or left of my sidewalk.......If I do it to the left (see diagram below), I think it could be difficult to conceal the space with landscaping since the sidewalk would be in front of it....and I'm not sure everyone would like to look at a sitting area walking to my front door, I think they would prefer to see landscaping....but it is a cozy nook there in the corner.
I like the idea of placing the sitting area to the right of the sidewalk (see diagram below) so that I can conceal most of the area with landscaping and I can view the entire neighborhood from that location but I would have to conceal the entire area with landscaping and it could be an awkward space off to the side of a center entrance colonial that has a pretty symmetrical appearance (I like things symmetrical). Plus I want our house to have cub appeal and if we ever decide to sell I don't want someone to look at that space and have it deter them from considering our home.....this concept of a front patio seems somewhat new to me.  Do you like the idea of a front patio or do you think its wired?  What do you think would work best and look the nicest?  I just need some input, thoughts, preferences, opinions, ideas.....what ever you got throw it at me!!!
So there it is folks.....our huge project dilemma.  Please let us know what you think so we can make make some adjustments and considerations before our plans are finalized this week.  Would love to hear from you before Wednesday night if possible!!!  So let us know what you think!!!

(PS  I hate posting things from other websites so my disclaimer is they are not my ideas or my photos and were taken from pintrest from the sites listed on the picture itself or from other pinners.....and sorry for the long blog post again!!)