Friday, July 29, 2011

The Search for a Table is Over!

So we finally took the plunge and bought a dining room table.  I can't believe it, it's like we're adults or something.  Going to actual furniture stores and buying actual pieces that we won't be throwing over the balcony after finals (I kid, we never did that in college, well at least I didn't).  I just don't know what's wrong with us.

Here is our little dining nook before the table arrived.  We installed those fun hanging lights for over the table, but everyone hits their heads on them without a table.   Side note, we plan on replacing the glass shades on this light with red or brown glass shades.  These were just ones we had and free is good for now.

But I digress.  After a long search through the ads on craigslist and every furniture store we could think of, we've finally found a table to fill that little dining nook. 

Here is the nook from in the living room.  An empty space that needs something to pull everything together.

And you can see in this picture that I hadn't painted the wall yet.  Yoda is supervising, she's more nosy then the cats at times. 

 And here is our new table in the nook. Pretty right?  The sales guy threw in the tufted parsons chairs for free (after our 20% off coupon).  I'm in love, swoon.  

The light is not centered over the table as of right now.  We're debating if we want to swag them to the center or just move the light.  As we thought about it more, none of the lights in our house are centered.  They are all in very interesting places.  Oh well, we can fix that easy enough.

The best part about this table - the leaf.  That means we can have a bunch (okay, maybe not a bunch, but more then two) people over for dinner.  Love it.

That's the table with the leaf in it. We can easily seat 6 people.  Oh how I can't wait to finish up the house and start inviting people over.

And you can see in this picture I've finished painting the living room side of the door way.  Just a few touch ups are needed and that's done.

And here is a picture of the table with some crap on it.  I probably won't leave this set up like this, but it needed something.  Those are my thrift store find silver candle holders and pewter stein.  Gotta love the thrift stores.

My plans are to make a table runner for the center and possibly different place-mats.  And make or get a table cloth to protect our new beauty from any remodeling scars or even rowdy friends in the future.  

J and I haven't enjoyed a meal together at this table yet (hey it's restaurant week here in Mad-town), but we will.  I'm so excited to have this, and it really brings the room together.  Now I'm off  to paint some more of the trim work, see you on the flip side.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Kitchen Redo - The Doorway

So as some of you might have guessed, we decided to extend the door way.  We decided that we wanted it a floor plan that was open as possible and we might as well do it now while we had help.

This was a little bit of a longer process then we expected, well longer then what J thought it would take, but with the help of his parents we had it done in short order. 

It was also a lot of work for an extra foot and a half of space, but it was worth it.  The house is so much more open.  It's going to be so nice when we have people over. 

And here is our new door way.  Look at J, this is only the second time he's mudded a wall, so proud of this boy.  And you might have noticed that we replaced the old door bell with a less noticeable one.  I didn't mind the old one, but the chimes we all dented and bent, so it needed to go.  We're still working on getting rid of that light.  You can also see me lovely temporary shelves.  Hey it's better then keeping all our food in a box until this is finished.     

While we were replacing the old drywall, we've noticed that someone had replaced some of the drywall around the door already.  And they used 1/2 inch, which would be fine if the house wasn't built using 3/4 inch.  So instead of ripping out all the newer drywall, we're just trying to patch and hope there won't be too much cracking, if there is, we might need to replace, sad face :(

Here's a view from the dining area.  I can't wait for all of it to be done, so excited.  And of course, Nacho is supervising in the background.  God forbid anything happen in our house without her knowing about it. 

And after three layers of joint compound and some texture, the door way is done.  Now we just need to paint.  And this coming weekend we plan on pulling up that floor.  The original floor is still intact and I can't wait to show you some pictures of that.  It's very interesting that's for sure.

And the cabinets will be sanded and stained as soon as this heat wave ends.  I'm not going to be outside sanding in 90+ degree weather and I'm sure not going to sand in the house.  Oh I can't wait to have some finished pictures.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Kitchen Redo - Demo

We started demo on our first day of vacation, okay, our second day.  J had a gig on the first day.  But you get the idea.  We made short work of demo and it was bulk pick up that week, so everything was lugged strait to the curb.

Here is that wall without the cabinet and breakfast bar.  So much more room already.  It's wonderful.  I can just picture the refrigerator over there.  And more counter space.  A place to put my stand mixer and bread maker and my dehydrator, okay you get the idea, I have a lot of kitchen gadgets (and I use all of them).

Here's J taking that pesky cabinet out.  Bye-bye cabinet.  Now I don't have to duck to talk to J.  We planned on trying to save the cabinet and move it to the other wall, but our house is older and the cabinets were built in.  So we just had to take it down and get rid of it.  Fortunately the cabinets are simple, so we can make replicates easily. 

Here's what the kitchen is starting to look like without the cabinet.  So much more open then before.  We've thought about hanging the pan rack here, but we're not sure yet.  That's something that can be decided when we're done doing the remodeling part.

Here is that pesky hole with all the trim off.  Yup, the living room was once a bright yellow color.  Oh thank god that it's gone.

Now the dilemma is do we patch the hole or do we open the door way up to that hole.  Hmmmm, it would be nice to do that but a lot more work then we had planned on doing.  We wanted this to be an easy update and not a full remodel.  But a larger door would be oh so nice.  We'll just have to see.  ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Kitchen Redo Started

So J and I took a little "vacation" at the beginning of the month.  I use quotes because it wasn't a real vacation, we took a week off of work to start some of our larger projects.  So we didn't visit any exotic places or sit one white sand beaches, we worked, and worked hard.  J's parents stayed with us and we did get a lot done (entry way).

We started our biggest project to date; the kitchen.  We went back and forth about if we wanted to update the kitchen or the bathroom first.  But in the end we decided to do the kitchen since it's the first room you see when you walk in.

Here is a picture of the first side of the kitchen.  You can see the blue walls and ceiling that need to go, and you can't tell in this picture, but the blue and white cracked tile back splash needs to go as well.  We are sanding and staining the cabinets a nice walnut color.  We're using a gel stain, so that means we don't need to strip the cabinets down to bare wood.  I approve of this method.  The walls are going to be painted the Latte color that the living room and dining room are painted.  And we're going back and forth in weather we want to do a white/off white back splash or a stainless steel one. 

Here is the wall that the most of the work will be done.  The breakfast bar needs to go (you can see that's where I keep my bread maker).  The corner cabinet is history; we don't have china and we want the space for counters and storage.  The lights needs to go.  The doorbell needs to go.  And why the hell is there a hole in the wall at groin height?  Okay the hole is for a land line phone, but again, why is it at groin height, weird.

This cabinet has to go.  It blocks the whole view from the kitchen in to the dining area and living room.  And since we're adding storage on the far wall, I won't be missing this guy.

Here is a view of that cabinet from the front door.  Except for the fridge (which is moving), all you can see is that cabinet (and that damn hole).  If we want a more open concept, it seriously has to go.

Oh and that floor has to go.  The self stick "wood" floor is coming up in multiple places and well, it's just not very pretty.  We're going with a groutable vinyl that is almost a match for the entry way.  We don't want to rip out the floor to the subfloors, so vinyl it is.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of day one; demo, the most fun part of remodeling.  Since we are trying to save as much money as possible, the cabinets will stay and be refinished, the hardware will be painted (god I love to spray paint stuff), the counters will stay (they were put in right before we bought the place, and the sink will stay (again new).  And if we save enough money, we'll get some new appliances; some pretty stainless steel ones.  We've been shopping the scratch and dent sections waiting for something to come along.

I also have plans for that lower cabinet.  Hint, we'll be putting in a small bookcase and some bead board.   

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finally Back!

Wow, it has been a long time since I've posted on this blog.  Well It's been a long time since I've done anything online.  The reason; my old computer died on me before I was ready.  I thought just maybe I could get a couple more months out of it.  But alas, I could not.  So today my new shiny computer showed up at my door.  It's exciting.  And I can't wait to update everyone one some of our progress.

So lets just jump right on in.  I'll start with our tiled entry way that we tackled during our "vacation".  

So as some of you might remember (or not) this half wall that existed when we bought the house.  We took this wall down almost immediately to help open up the living area and make it easier to move some of furniture into the house.

When we took it down we had this; a hole in the floor.

Okay, so it's a little hard to see in this picture, but we had a wall sized hole in our beautiful hard wood floors.  It made us a little sad, but we expected it to be there.  And we have been planning to put a tile entry way in for quite some time.  And check out that nice butt, I've learned I always seem to snap pictures while he's turned or bent over, hehehehe.   

After a trip to the Habitat ReStore, we had some new tile.  All for under $20, awesome. Okay, so this took a lot of trips the the ReStore to find the perfect tile.  We had even started to give up on picking some up there.  But during one of our last trips there, they had so many good deals, and the perfect tile was one of them.

And after a little help from the in-laws; that's J's dad one the floor helping pull up flooring.  We carefully pulled up the hardwood floor and saved all the good pieces for patch work we have to do in the future (hint=kitchen redo).

And look at that collection of tabasco bottles.  We love our hot sauce and for some reason J has decided to keep all of the old ones.  I guess he plans on making oil lamps or something out of them in the future.  Someday :-)

Here is the trusty tile saw that J's dad bought the day before.  His parents just had their offer on a new house accepted, so they plan on using this baby a lot.  And we also plan on using this baby for plenty of projects, even if we'll have to fight it away from them :-)  And we can always borrow my mom's, she is also redoing a house she just bought.  I wonder where our love of this came from????

And here is our tiled entry way.  Lovely isn't it?  We went with a nice warm brown grout color and picked up some trim that matches the floor beautifully.  And lets all give it up to J, this was his first ever tile job.  Looks pretty damn good.

Now all we have to do is seal the border tile, put in the trim and this project can be crossed off the list, YAY!  It looks so nice and cost us less then $100 to do.  Fantastic.

Now on to all the other projects.  I'll update you on our current kitchen project right now.  We decided the kitchen remodel was more important then the bathroom remodel since the house is open concept and the kitchen is one of the first things you see when you walk in.  It's a mess right now, but will look so unbelievable when done.

Also while I was away from this blog, J got his acceptance letter for grad school.  I'm so proud of him, come this fall (next month), he'll be the newest UW Madison engineering grad student.  Way to go boy.  Love you!