Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Bedroom Redo

The room across from our master isn't one that is easy to take pictures of because it's so small.  Like 6x9 small.  It's a room we've ignored for years as we haven't needed it.  We need it now, so the same weekend we did the mini-kitchen update, we did this bedroom as well.  When we first moved it, most of the room was taken up by a cedar closet which made the room functionally unusable so we promptly demolished.

Most of the plaster had been taken down and the room lived like this for a very long time.  At one point, we slapped up some hideous paneling to pass a refi inspection.

In the initial renovations four years ago, we demolished a linen closet at the end of the hall in order to capture the space for the bedroom closet.  We build decent sized closets in all three bedrooms.  So, in the picture directly above, you're looking at the back of the old doorway that is now covered in drywall.

My same wonderful friends who installed my kitchen also finished up the demo of the plaster and installed all the drywall to get this room ready.

 I and another friend were in charge of mudding which was a new experience for me.  It's hardly a perfect job, but it's not any worse than the job I paid a bunch of doofy guys to do four years ago.  And I work a lot cheaper.  

 Window moldings were in very rough shape and the sill broken.  I have my wonderful handy woman scheduled to come do that work mid August.  
 This door backs up to the hall bath, so we had to build an access panel to get to the plumbing to the tub.  

Today, I have a handy man coming to build shelves on the left side of this closet to act as a linen closet of sorts. Outside the closet, tT\he doorway will be framed out in shelving units that will be built in to give this small room added storage.

See how the closet bumps back from the doorway.  That's the area that will be filled with shelving that will be trimmed out and painted white.  Maybe a fun color on the back side....

 So, once the mudding was done, it was time to paint.  Some people go out and buy samples or pick up swatches and paste them all over and look at them and mull them over and see them in different times of day and all of that.  Not me, or at least, not always.  Nope, walked into Lowes, picked out three or four colors, decided on one I liked and had them mix me up two cans of flat paint. 
 It's Valspar's Woodlawn Sterling Blue and it doesn't photograph well at all.  It's a lovely blue green grey color, very pale, and changes with the light.  I think it will be great once I get all the trim painted a bright white.  
 The window over the transom will be replaced with glass that I made.  In fact, that's down in the basement with a coat of paint drying on it.  I'll try to remember to take pictures of it tomorrow when I flip it to paint the other side.
 All the doors to the hallway are going black.  The hallway is a deep grey color and the doors look really rich with the white trim.  The inside of the door will by the BM Simply White that goes throughout the house.  I love that crispness against the muted earth tones that I adore.  I'll take pics while the shelves are going in today and try to post a final tomorrow.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mini-Kitchen Remodel

So, it's been a bit quiet on the blog, but it's been crazy busy here.  I'm in the middle of two or three fairly major projects.  We are 95% complete with a mini kitchen remodel.  I'm also working on the tiniest bedroom in the house.  And I'm trying to get all the doors upstairs painted black and the hardware cleaned up and reinstalled.  It's been a busy summer.  What else is new.  It cracks me up when people ask if I get bored during the summer.  I wish!  Would love the chance to get bored! Nope, it's always go go go!

But back to the kitchen remodel.  Remember the kitchen looked like this when we bought this house four years ago:

Ugh.  That picture still smells to me!

Then, we replaced the counters, pulled out the wall ovens and stove top, replacing it with the stove.  And we painted.  And it looked pretty much like this for the past several years.

Well, one day, recently, I noticed a small leak under the sink and harried P into looking at it.  What she discovered down there was fairly frightening.  Actually, it was terrifying.  She found some ancient chemicals (DDT anyone?), but that wasn't the scary thing.  She found a pair of ginormous men's underwear....soiled ginormous men's underwear.  EWWWW!  And thankfully, we didn't get any pictures.  

After that, P was convinced the old metal cabinets had to go.  I was all for that because it would me I would get more counter space and a dishwasher.  Yes, I have been dishwasherless for four years.  Agony, especially with how often we entertain.  

So, in preparation for some friends coming to help me install it, I had to get it all demo'd.  Another wonderful friend helped me pull out all the old stuff and get up the old flooring.

Can I just say that I despise the yellow laminate backsplash??  I would love to get rid of it, but it runs behind the upper cabinets.  I can't afford to redo the upper cabs right now, so I live with the laminate.  My friend and I did scrub that gross line for about an hour and got it to be very pale and barely noticeable.
We had to scrub that floor too.  There was a cool difference in the flooring where the refinishing of the floors had created a slight elevation different in the wood. We also pulled out that lame-o drywall too.

We picked up the cabinets and sink at Ikea.  Dishwasher was a floor model that we got for half price at Sears.  Faucet was Amazon.  Labor was amazing friends who drove down from the DC area to install it all.  
 All the supplies waiting to go in...

Building the cabs
 Realized we ordered the counters too short and had to redo them...dammit.

I lurve the apron sink.  It's massively huge and holds everything.  It's bright white and shiny and lovely.  The cabinets are fresh, white, and not scary to go into now.

The faucet is a mixed bag.  I'm not overly thrilled with it style-wise.  It was a decent style at a price I could afford.  My friends installed it with the on-off lever in the center than off to the side and that was a totally happy accident as I love it.  What I do love about the faucet is its function.  The head pulls out and has two functions, a sprayer and a stream.  I originally wanted a more commercial style, but so many of them are so tall (like 24" to 36" tall) and lines were too modern.

 We Craigslisted the old sink cabinet.  

We have since installed the correct sized counters.  The only thing we have left to do is install the panel on the right hand side of the dishwasher.  It needs to be cut down, but we will get to that sometime.  

I also finally got to use the knobs I created.  I need another trip to Ikea to finish the rest of them, but that will happen the end of this week.

I LOVE my new kitchen.  It increases the functionality of the kitchen a lot, and the kitchen was already pretty functional.  I loved the look of the old stainless drainboard, but having the countertops is great.  And, I moved all the flatware to the drawer to the left of the sink and got a new organizer for the big drawer on the other side and that has made all the difference in the world.  

And the final money shot:
Here you can see the side panel that I need to install still.  And you can see that the sink is off center to the upper cabinets.  That will eventually get fixed when I install new uppers, someday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wow...that seems so meager...

Two projects in two years? That's it?  That's all I have to show for the past two years?  Actually, no.  I have at least fabulous vacation to share.  Last summer, we spent 10 days in Paris!  Paris, France!  PARIS!!  It was my idea of heaven.  I loved every moment of it and can't wait to go back.  I could totally see myself going to Paris annually and forgoing every other fabulous destination I've ever dreamed of.  P would never let me do that, though.

I'm in the midst of two or three major projects, but haven't had time to write them up.  In the mean time look at Paris.

It was everything I ever dreamed of.  It was more than I could ever have imagined.  Paris is the most gorgeous city.  The attention to detail is stunning.  Everything is created with an eye to the aesthetic, not strictly utilitarian.  
An inconsequential detail on one of the many bridges.

 The view from our hotel

 The best chocolatier in the city...

 The remains of the cloisters at the Cathedral at St. Germain des Pres

 Famous "lover's bridge" where you're supposed to put a lock with the date and throw away the key.

Musicians everywhere

Fascinating to see an ancient Egyptian obelisk in Paris 

Arc de Triumph 

 Lamp post at la Place de la Concorde (where they used to guillotine the nobility during the revolution)

 Lavender fields in the Jardins des Tuilleries 

 Notre Dame

 The food was heavenly.  It was amazing how flavorful everything was; it was like the French have mastered the art of reducing everything to its essential flavor.  Either that or we are just used to bland factory farmed food.

 Le petit déjeuner

This trip was really an art trip for us.  We spent most of our time at the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsay, and the Musee Rodin.  Spectacular.  I don't have words for the level of awe, humility, and giddiness I felt at seeing the items I've taught about for years.  
The Louvre


 Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

 Venus de Milo

 Some of the most amazing pieces of Greek pottery I've ever seen (and I've been to Greece!)


Borghese Hermaphroditus

 I was as enthralled with the building itself as I was with the contents.

 Probably the most famous piece of Etruscan art.

 Even their warehouse rooms were filled with neat stuff.

 Ancient Glass

Nike of Samothrace

 Inside the clockworks at the Musee D'Orsay

We did one spectacular dinner at the Bistrot du Sommalier.  It was off the charts amazing. 
 A salmon ravioli with fava puree

 Two types of roasted white fish with these tiny mushrooms that simply exploded with flavor.