Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let there be light... and curtains!

This weekend, we had our in-laws visit on Sunday to help us with the house. One of the things we accomplished was new outdoor lighting for the decks (main level and basement). I spaced out on taking a before picture, but just imagine a 1980s outdoor halogen light that had seen much better days (and for that matter didn't even work). After J and my father-in-law installed the lights:
Yay! We can now see on our deck at night. I also didn't pay attention to the steps involved with doing this, so I cannot give many helpful how-to's on this, but I do know they turned the circuits off before wiring. :)

My father-in-law also finished the spray painting, and I ordered a new outdoor umbrella for the deck for my birthday from my in-laws! Pictures to come once everything is in and I can put it all together!

My mother-in-law and I spent our time gardening in the front. However, I haven't taken any pictures yet. We planted some impatients that my mom bought, and they look very pretty in the front. Stay tuned for more gardening updates. And next time, I will have mosquito repellent (I was eaten alive!)

The next day, my new curtains arrived for the kitchen! They are navy striped and look amazing! So excited about them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The brightening of the kitchen

This post is utterly dedicated to my mother. She came down to visit this week while J (my husband would prefer his full name to not be mentioned, so this will work) was on travel for work. She asked if she could help by painting while I was at work. J and I had decided on a pale yellow color in order to brighten the color from darker beige. I am planning the pale yellow with blue accents in the kitchen.

First, let's start with a before shot (it was actually darker than this photo suggests):

After priming, I felt like I could finally see in my kitchen while cooking (yes, the lighting also needs to be fixed):

My claim to fame was the the behind-the-fridge work which I did after I came home:
My mom then painted the next day. I think it turned out more white than yellow, but it certainly accomplished the room brightening, which was the plan.

Of course, now that the walls are so pretty, I want new stainless steel appliances... Ahhh... it never ends! I will post with all the decor once we have a kitchen table, our blue and white curtains and a hutch. :)

Caution: don't breathe in the fumes!

So, it started out innocently. I just wanted to change the color of our deck furniture...

And to my credit I almost succeeded. 

First... I created a space to spray paint, which included multiple drop cloths and cardboard boxes on our deck. 
Step 2... I sanded down the furniture. This removes the rust (or mostly gets rid of the rust) and creates a clean, smooth surface. (Below pic is pre-sanding)
Step 3... I primed with a rust-protection spray paint (Rustoleum works, but I used stuff by Sherwin Williams)
Step 4... Spray paint, I sprayed the chairs about 6 inches away from the chair in circular motions to cover the chairs and server. And I loved the results.

So, what's the problem you ask? Well their were 2: the amount of time spray painting to get good coverage and also the amount of spray paint necessary in order to get everything covered because of all the holes in the furniture. I wore a mask. And I was outside, but I managed to seriously hurt my entire sinuses. I actually did everything except for one of the chairs and the table before I just couldn't spray paint any longer. Long story short... I had to go to the doctor who informed me that I should not spray paint any longer. So, although the improvements are fantastic, my father-in-law volunteered to finish the job for us (hubby is getting over a sinus infection). 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finally moved in

Finally moved into the new place after the painting, tile work and some late night carpet work. As well as an internet and TV install. Our carpet was installed on the 4th before our cinco de mayo move-in. Our awesome carpet installer was working with nailing down floorboards, installing carpets and putting the finishing touches on until 11 pm! But the result was amazing. We are thrilled with our new carpet. The moving was pretty painless too using Fairfax Transfer and Storage. They did a great job, and by the end of cinco de mayo, we were eating chipotle on our couch in our living room. Our new guest bed was delivered Friday and our new pool table on Saturday (boy, was the hubby excited -- about the guest bed of course - haha). My parents came on Saturday - Sunday and helped us with a few other things - including installing molding around our attic pull-down stairs and trimming our large tree out back away from our deck / house. (Thanks parents!) We also installed toilet paper holders in 3 / 4 bathrooms in a brushed nickel finish and 1 hand towel holder (sorry didn't get pictures for step-by-step instructions but it was pretty straightforward). We also hung our pretty pottery barn curtain rod and drapes. Throughout the week, we have been putting stuff away and are now officially all unpacked! Yay! And this past Saturday, we officially handed over our apartment keys and no longer have to worry about renting.

And now some pictures of those beautifully painted room... Unfortunately I only have night shots. I need some daytime ones.
master bedroom

master bedroom

master bedroom

guest bedroom

guest bedroom

After having seen the results of our painting, we definitely want to paint almost every room in the house. But that may take some time. 

And also, we have a few shots of the almost completed tiling work. We still need some baseboard finishing work, caulking, and the frameless door installation. I am also planning on painting the vanities a deep brown color. Just to add to our lengthening to-do list. Sorry about the shadows. :) 

Monday, May 2, 2011

A mess

Nothing like christening a house by destroying your upstairs... well - ok - not really. But, we decided to tackle the upstairs floors prior to moving in. While making a mess, we thought about doing a thorough job of it and also re-doing the shower in the master bedroom. This is what happened:

In all serious-ness, the tiles are very beautiful, and I am excited to see the final results. Snapped a photo of the tiled hallway today:

He couldn't get into the hallway as the tile is being set. Looking forward to seeing the final results (and the new carpet) on Wednesday. Photos to come...

And in a side-note, I noticed that the contractor left a light on in the bathroom... Awesome. Do you think I could charge him for 2.88 kJ of energy for that? 


Painting is rough work. A lot more time, money and energy than I had expected. But -- the results are worth it in the end. My mom came down for a 3 rooms in 3 days type of effort (including ceilings). Day 1 was the ceilings, which was honestly the most tiring thing I had ever done - even with my husband and I trading off on it. The trim wasn't too bad, but the rolling was pretty tiring... I think the results look pretty good though.

A picture of our protected ceiling fan.

Day 2 was painting. My mom and I worked on the trim while my husband went to get supplies from home depot. Then, he went to work on rolling. Turns out that priming would have been a good idea. We had thought that maybe the owners had painted the whole house beige to sell it. We were mistaken. The paint went right into the walls. Oops. So, all in all- it took 3 gallons and three coats to cover the beige. Oops. Now, it is really hard to show the gray-blue color that we ended up with in the master bedroom, but here is my best shot at it.

We also tackled the guest bedroom, but only got three walls painted. The plan was three walls in a light (almost white) lavender and one in a deeper lavender with white bedding. I think it will look really pretty when completed. We ended up working pretty late and getting all the light purple on the walls along with the trim, which was actually pretty difficult the way our windows work in the guest bedroom.

Day 3, we finished up the guest bedroom's accent wall and covered some of the light purple that we didn't get quite right the night before. Overall, the results looked really quite beautiful, and I am quite happy with the results:

We also added one more coat of paint to the master bedroom, which made the final color really look great. Now that I have recovered from the exhausting act of actually painting, I am excited about eventually painting more rooms in the house, especially the kitchen, which could use some lightening up as it gets quite a bit of shade from our tree outside. After some teaching from my mom, I feel much more confident about the technique and tools to use. :) And no better time than when you are about to replace the carpets!