Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kitchen Remodel - Ceiling

Our Kitchen remodel is coming along. It's slow going, but it's still moving ahead, which is the important part. I have the upper cabinets all stained and ready for poly. This took a little bit longer then planned, but it was a learning process. I think I've got down gel staining and I've ready to take on the rest of the cabinets. That's this weeks project.

Over the weekend though, I finally got around to painting the kitchen ceiling.  Now it's pretty hard to see in this picture, but our kitchen was blue (big surprise there since 90% of the rooms in the house were blue).  Now I'm all for a painted ceiling, but I'm trying to brighten up the kitchen as much as possible.  We don't get a ton of light in the kitchen, so it needs all the help it can get.

So cue the white ceiling.  I know, I know, a boring white ceiling, but I think it will definitely work.  This is after coat one of the white.  It needed two coats to cover up the blue.  It's still wet in this picture, so that's what all the reflective glossiness (is that a word) is.  And another reason why it got a make over.  I seems like flat paint and gloss paints were the previous owners preference.  Now both have their place, but I'm just not a fan of a room painted in gloss.  It's just too much.

 Ahh, that's much better.  A nice crisp white ceiling (again, it's still wet).  I might change it up a bit when we start putting in the crown molding, go with a nice warm color to contrast with the white molding, but for now it really brightens up the room.  There is plenty more that needs to be done, but it's smaller things that can be done over the course of the next few weeks.   

I can't wait for it to be done.  It already looks so different in there, so much more updated, so much more our style.  I'll continue with the latte color on the walls and white trim.  Then it's back-splash time.  Glass tile, stainless tile, or ceramic tile?!?!  Decisions, decisions.  Oh and then new lighting.  I can't wait for new lighting.  :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kitchen Redo - Almost There???

Ugh, what a crappy picture.  It's sort of embarrassing to show off our kitchen when the house is that big of a mess, but that's how renovating works.  Look at how different our home looks when you walk in the front door. A total change from only a month ago.    

Here's a reminder if you don't remember what it looked like before we started this "much larger then expected" project.  It looks so much better then this.  So much more open.

We still have plenty to do, but we're on our way.  The lighting needs to be done; we're thinking of putting can lights in and then some nice industrial looking hanging lights over the sink.  I can't wait to get the lighting in, yay!

And look at that pretty tiled floor.  I'm really loving this groutable vinyl tile.  Lets hope it stands up to the test of time. It has really helped in brightening the room up.  And the color is so pretty.  I'm in love.

But I do have to say the flexible grout was interesting to use.  It was very dry and sandy, but it was the product the tile manufacture recommended, so that's what we used.  We had to modify our grout applying technique a little bit, but we managed.  We also let the tile sit for 48 hour before using it or moving the appliances back, even if the bucket said 24.  We just wanted to be sure.      

Now we just need to finish tiling the corner of the kitchen, and I need to get my but going on staining the cabinets.  I don't want to stare at the inside of the cabinets forever.  The weather is supposed to be in the 70s this weekend, so perfect weather for staining, now I just have to convince myself I want to do it. :-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A little here, a little there

This is what the outside of our house looked like when we bought it.  Okay, not quite because it was winter when we bought the house, but you get the jist. 

You can see that our house doesn't have the most desirable curb appeal.  It's not horrible, but it's not that great either.  There is zero landscaping, the tree out front is over 70% dead, the lawn is dying, and I hate the front door (plus the color of the house, but that's for another day).  J actually didn't even want to look at this house because of the lack of curb appeal, but I talked him out of it and boy am I glad I did that. 

We've been so busy with the inside of the house, that sometimes we forget about the outside.  We'll tell ourselves things need to be done ever time we see the outside, but then we scurry into our house and enjoy our lovely living room and forget about the front yard once again.

We both decided that no major outside projects would be taking place this year, but I was determined to at least dress up the house a bit, even if my budget was very limited.   

First to go was that tree.  It practically fell apart when we were cutting it down.  It was so rotten and probably diseased.  And I don't want any tree disease spreading to the rest of our plants.  The neighbor across the street even told us it was time for that unsightly tree to go.  Unfortunatly this was as far as we have gotten because the chainsaw crapped out on us and we're waiting for J's uncle to come and help us finish.  Hopefully that will be soon.

I planted some "bargain" plants beside those awful stairs (they will be replaced eventually with a nice little front porch).  These were some of the cheapest plants I could find, and most of them cost me less then $1 a plant.  The white fuzzy plants are slowly taking over and the bunnies are eating a lot of the others, but it still looks nicer then before.  I also added our solar lights to give it a little something more.

I then added one of those plastic boarders to the front.  This replaced a boarder of patio blocks turned on their sides.  This drove me nuts and I couldn't wait to rip them out.  Once they had settled, they started to fall over and become uneven.  The plastic's not the most desirable, but it's better then what was there.  I didn't even take a picture of the before because they were so horrible.

We plan on putting in raised beds eventually, so I needed to keep my plants simple and moveable.  The pots in the foreground were picked up at goodwill for under $10 for the set.  Less then $10 for three ceramic pots, awesome.  The larger pots in the background are those resin cheap pots, so if they only last a few seasons, it's okay.  I also snagged some hanging baskets and shepherds hooks at Menards when they were on sale last.  I have some gladiolas planted as well as a bleeding heart plant.  Not really much to look at right now, but it's something.  And ignore the white garbage bin, that's the extra soil for when the tree is taken down.

I picked up some window boxes on a run to Jo-ann's.  I can't wait to put those up.  I'm not sure where yet.  But we got them for 70% off, so we decided that it was too good of a deal to pass up.  We'll find somewhere to put them.  I hope :-)

Okay so it's not much, but it's better then it was before.  Hopefully the tree stump will be removed soon and then in turn, the white trash bin will be long gone.  Then I can figure out if I want my flower boxes up front or on the back porch.  Slowly our house is becoming ours.  :-) 

Monday, August 1, 2011

How we spend our weekends

You might think that a young couple, one in a band, one an artist, would be living it up every weekend.  Wild parties and late nights.  Well we've got the late nights covered, they just aren't what most might think.  

This weekend we started the kitchen floor.  We were going to wait to do this until we (okay we all know this means me) stained the cabinets and painted, but J was gung ho on getting the floor in.  His theory was we have the supplies we might as well start.  Umm, okay, fine by me.

We pulled up (okay J did all of this) all of the old faux parquet floors.  Not even a laminate, just cheep self stick tiles.  That went quickly with our new heat gun, thanks to a gift certificate from my boss.  We leveled out the subfloor and started laying tile Sunday afternoon.

We moved the stove and fridge to the other side of the room and got to work. We decided to go with a groutable vinyl floor. We decided to do this to cut down on the time it took us to lay tile and also this didn't require us to rip up the floor down to the original subfloor. If we went with a stone tile, lets say slate, we would have quite the step up from the living room to kitchen and the only way to remedy this was to rip of all the old layers of flooring. Well we're not quite at that point right now. Maybe in a few years (J keeps telling me quite a few years) when we do our full kitchen redo we'll do this.

Here we are a few hours later; over half of the floor is tiled. We decided that we would go ahead and try installing the tiles on the diagonal. I haven't decided yet if this was a mistake. There are going to be a lot of cuts, but oh well, it looks good.

This groutable vinyl is pretty easy to use. It has a self stick back and is nice and thick. You just peal and stick the tiles with spacers between them. Then you use a flexible grout to fill in space and you're good to go. You can also use them without grouting, but we decided to do the extra step. One of the best parts about these little guys is how well made they are. The printing is done really well, you can barely see the print dots when you get right up close to them. They have a nice little pearl sheen, and no two tiles are alike; just like stone.

And while J was working on all of this, I was sanding the cabinet doors and prepping them for the stain.  I also primed and painted the trim for the front entry way.  Just one or two more coats of paint and those should be ready to put back up.  I'm holding off on staining the cabinets until it's a little less toasty out, it was 92 here today.

It was a very productive weekend.  We even skipped a party we were going to go to to finish up the floor (Sorry Dan).  Boy we sure are a swinging young couple; get out of our way, we're crazy!

And here is the floor all ready for grout.  Yoda approved.  Look how nice that looks, almost like real stone. I'll try to get a close up of the tile after we grout.  I sure hope this stuff holds up.  I'm in love with it right now.  :-)