Archive for January 2009

on my mind...

*all images from flickr

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21 days, close enough?

Well, I said we were taking the entire month of January off from working on the house, but tonight I gave in. I think I've forgotten what to do with my free time. Tonight I came home from work, went for a walk with Mike and the dogs, made dinner, ate dinner, watched some tv, and read a book... and it wasn't even 8:00 yet. Over 2.5 hours until I normally go to bed! So I took the downstairs bathroom door off the hinges and set it up in the basement. I probably haven't mentioned the bathroom door yet, but the interior side of the door is yellow. School bus yellow. You know, to match the rest of the bathroom? It's actually quite horrible, when you're in the bathroom with the door shut it's you are completely surrounded by the yellow.

Since I plan on painting the bathroom a color other than yellow, I wanted to strip the paint off the door. The rest of the doors in the house are natural wood, I would like this one to match. Luckily it's only yellow on one side, and it's the only interior door that has been painted. Of course the other doors are stained different colors, but that's another post for another day. Anyway, I only worked on the door for 45 mins (including almost a 1/2 hour of waiting for the stripper to set), but I have at least started the next project!The first pass removed most of the yellow paint, and the second pass removed most of the white primer. I need to go to Lowes to get some better tools, but I'm hoping if I just work on it for an hour here and there, it won't be too bad.

And don't worry, one of us is sticking with the no work in January plan. Mike is very much enjoying playing video games. He did help me carry the door into the basement though :-)


other house news

You may have noticed some new things in some of the pictures in the previous anniversary post. I've been a bad blogger lately :-) Mike got me a new camera card adaptor today though, so I decided to updated you on some new things we've gotten recently for the house. I'm really excited that we're finally at the point where we can start decorating and making this house more us. It's finally beginning to feel like our home.For Christmas, Santa brought us new white everyday dishes! I'd been wanting new dishes for awhile, we've just had a random assortment of dishes, so I was excited to unwrap these on Christmas morning. They look great on our new shelves! I got the little blue glasses on clearance at Anthropologie. I love that store way too much.

We finally planted some herbs in our white Ikea pots. I got this little greenhouse at Ikea too, I thought it would be great for our window to plant fresh herbs in, plus the cats can't eat the plants if we put them inside the greenhouse :-) We ended up just planting seeds cause we couldn't find any herb plants this time of the year. Beside the herbs, we also started some flowers for our garden. We may have started them too early, but we were excited about it. I've never started flowers like this before, so we'll see how it works out. Last weekend we started working on our picture wall in the living room. I've had this planned for awhile but was waiting on the keep calm carry on poster (I ordered in online, but I really wanted a gray one so I had to wait a little while until a gray one was available). I know that this poster seems to be very popular in the blog world, but I really like it so I got it anyway. Some of the frames still need to be matted, and I need to order some wedding photos for a couple of the frames, but they layout is at least started.I was going to wait until I was finished, but I like how it's turning out so far so I decided to write about it anyway. I can also add more pictures and frames to it over time. The sideways flower picture at the bottom and the statue picture at the top will be replaced with wedding photos. Today we got this new lamp for our living room from Target. Have I mentioned how much I am loving their Home Design event right now? I want almost everything. It's not showing up very well in the photo, but the lamp has a great greenish gray glass base and the lamp shade is very pretty.

Remember how I posted about those gray chairs the other day? We've been looking for a pair of chairs to put in our living room for awhile now, we have people over a lot and we really don't have enough seating. Anyway, we went to Target today to look at the chairs and really liked them... but we also were liking these other woven chairs. Both were on sale and there were only a couple left of each. We felt like we needed to act quickly if we wanted them. So we bought one of each and took them home to decide.
After some back and forth, we decided on the woven chairs. I really liked the gray chairs, but the woven chairs were much more comfortable, and I liked how they have a low back so you can still see most of the window. Plus, I think that in the future, we'll be able to adapt the woven chairs for different rooms in future homes. I also really like how they bring a new texture and natural element into the living room. They didn't come with back pillows, so we also bought the light linen pillows and the small gray pillows at Target too.
I love them! Normally I don't think I would like wicker chairs, but the boxy shape makes them seem very contemporary and I think they look great in our living room. Here's the overall living room picture again, I am just so excited about how it's turning out. We still want to get a coffee table and maybe a new tv stand, but there's no hurry on those things. It's the room we spend the most time in, so I am glad we're finally to start to personalize it.
Wow, I've been writing blog posts for most of the evening... meanwhile, the Steelers are going to the Superbowl!! Yay!!!

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6th month anniversary

Six months ago today, we closed on our house. We went to the closing in the morning, signed papers for what seemed like hours, went to lunch to celebrate, and then later that afternoon, drove over to our new house to pick up our keys. When we arrived at the house, Mom was already waiting for us on the porch (after driving for 7 hours!) and we started working right away. In honor of our 6th month anniversary of home ownership, I thought it would be fun to do some comparisons of where we were on closing day, and where we are now. So here they are, the before and now photos:

Entry - removed carpet, removed wallpaper, painted ceiling, walls, radiator, and the back of the door, and replaced the light fixture.
Dining room - removed carpet and wallpaper, painted the radiator, ceiling and the walls, removed mirror from above fire place, and patched the drywall. And no, the table doesn't normally look like that, we had people over for dinner last night. And yes, we still need to sell that extra couch...
Living room - removed carpet, painted radiator, ceiling and walls, new roman shades, and put up new light fixture.
Kitchen - removed carpet, wallpaper from walls and ceiling (worst job ever), new light fixture, painted radiator, ceiling, walls, and cabinets, removed two cabinets, built-in table, and trash compactor, installed a new dishwasher, put down new flooring, new cabinet hardware, and installed new shelving. I'm probably missing something on that list... :-)
Downstairs bathroom - nothing. I picked out the new paint color, does that count?? I'm hoping to work on this room next.
Stairs - removed carpet and discovered that the stairs need a lot of work. Freaked out. Consulted with Grandpa about how to fix the stairs. Moved on to other projects for now...
Small front bedroom - nothing. This was our storage room for the first few months, but we've basically cleared it out. This is where we put guests when they come to visit (sorry guests!!). It will become our storage room again when we start clearing out the other rooms upstairs to have the floor refinished. Eventually this will be the office.
Our bedroom - removed carpet and wallpaper, painted fan blades, radiator, ceiling and walls, put up new curtains, painted inside of closets. I'm not very happy with the paint color, it's too light, we will probably re-paint it at some point. We still need to hang up pictures and finish unpacking...
Large back bedroom - removed carpet... and then nothing. This is where most of our random furniture is right now, as well as the computer. This will eventually be a tv/exercise room. I guess we're calling it a den.

Small back bedroom - removed carpet and then also nothing. Started removing carpet pad that is stuck to the floor, but stopped. The floor refinisher will remove the rest when he sands. This is now our storage room, we keep the door shut at all times cause it's scary. Sadly, we've been making progress on unpacking boxes but it still looks like we have a lot left.

Upstairs bathroom - removed wallpaper, put giant hole in wall to find window, repaired window, drywall and trim patching around window, removed glass shower doors, removed closet door, removed medicine cabinet, painted closet, vanity, trim, and walls, and installed new light fixture.

We also cleaned the deck and put deck sealer on the entire deck and second floor balcony. It's dark outside so I didn't take any exterior comparison shots :-)

So that's where we are now. It's very easy to get frustrated at times with our progress. I'm getting very tired of having so much of our stuff in boxes still. It's difficult to always be living in a construction zone. All of our money seems to go towards the house. But, after seeing all of these pictures, we really have come a long way in six months. I'm really proud of us and it's a great feeling to have made so many improvements to a house that has so much potential. I can't wait to see where we are in another six months! I think that having the floors done upstairs will be a good start on the work upstairs. And in the spring, we have plans for the yard and some other projects outside. So happy anniversary house, it's been a great first six months!


bad dogs!

As you know, we have 2 golden retrievers, Reese and Cooper. Most of the time they are very well behaved and don't get into trouble. Yesterday, they got into trouble. A lot of trouble...

When we lived at the apartment, we kept them mostly in their crate while we were gone during the day. We had an extra room at the back of our apartment where we could leave the crate up and it wasn't in the way, most people didn't even realize it was there. In the house, we don't have a room like that anymore. Our options for dog crate placement were a bedroom upstairs, the basement, or someplace in our dining/living room. We decided that we would just try and see how they did without the crate. They are 4.5 years old, we've left them home alone out of the crate before and they usually are fine. We tried that for a few days and it wasn't working very well.... they were getting onto furniture, and more importantly, trying to look out the front window by putting their paws up on the window, leaving scratch marks on the woodwork. So then we decided to just gate them into the kitchen. We had done this for probably almost a year at the apartment (gated into the kitchen), and this worked fine until they started chewing on things in the kitchen (always this one doorway). That's when we started putting them in their crate almost every time we left the apartment. Anyway, it's been almost 6 months now that they've been gated into the kitchen at the house when we're gone, and for the most part, they have been fine. They started chewing on this little rug that is by the back door, I was annoyed, but I forgave them. But last night, Mike came home and for some reason, they really wanted outside. Outside before he saw what they had gotten into during the day...

They ate my digital camera case.

The camera was inside the case, and while the case is destroyed, so far, the camera seems to still be working. It's kind of scratched up, but hopefully that will be the worst of it. Everything else in the case is also destroyed. My extra memory cards, the adaptor I need to transfer pictures off of the camera, everything gone. One of the memory cards had all of my pictures from Finland on it, but I think (I hope I hope!) I transferred those onto our external hard drive awhile ago, I need to check on that tonight. I will be so upset if I lost my Finland pictures.

So, it might be a little while before I can post any pictures, I need to see if I can buy a new card adaptor. The strange part is that there is so much food that they could get into in the kitchen, and the camera was sitting on the counter right next to a box of chocolates. Why did they eat the camera instead of the food??

Reese and Cooper know they are in trouble. They know they did a very bad thing. And all last night, while I sat there angry at them, they just looked at me with their very best "I'm the most pathetic dog in the world and I'm so so sorry, please just pet me or I might die" look. And I, of course, gave in... I'm still mad, but really, who can resist that look??

But now I'm not sure what to do with them during the day. Should we give them another chance at just being gated in the kitchen, maybe making sure they have extra chew toys? Should we try to set up the cage somewhere? Any other suggestions??

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Guess what?

We've decided to go ahead and have the floors upstairs refinished!! See, even though we're not doing very much work on the house right now, we're still moving forward! Earlier in the week we joined Angie's List (online site that lets members provide honest feedback on various companies in their city) to see which floor companies were recommended. We set up estimates with 3 companies, but after the first guy came last night, we decided to just go ahead and hire him. We had already had 3 other companies come out a few months ago to discuss the downstairs floors, so we knew what we were looking for. His price is reasonable, he seems to know what he's doing, and most importantly (to me anyway), he's the one who would actually be doing the work and I feel like I can trust him. I'm really excited!! This is an old picture of our bedroom floor, but you can see how it has paint on it. This room is actually in the best shape, the big back bedroom (den) has some kind of weird tape on it, and the smaller back room (to be guest room) is covered with that yellow carpet pad:He'll also refinish the hallway upstairs. The smaller bedroom at the front of the house (office) was the only room that didn't have carpet when we moved in. The floors in that room are actually a different type of wood, we think maybe hickory?, the rest of the floors upstairs are oak. We would like to refinish the office floors eventually, but since they don't need to be sanded and are in ok shape, we're going to leave that room alone for now. Then we can pack all of our furniture from upstairs into that room instead of having to move everything downstairs. The floor guy said he should be able to come back later and just buff that floor and apply a new coat of poly. Since it's a different type of wood, it won't match the rest of the rooms anyway. Hopefully it will all work out, I don't really want to have to move the furniture downstairs, esp. since some if it didn't fit up the stairs in the first place, and had to be brought in through the second story balcony door.

We've also been working on a couple of other smaller projects, hopefully we can finish those up soon and I can post some pictures. I think that now that we have the floors scheduled, we'll probably start working again in the next week or so. We need to do some things upstairs to prepare for the floor guy (he's starting Feb. 9th, did I mention that?) and I want to try to paint the bathroom downstairs and fix up the built-in hutch.

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what do you think?

Does the living room need these chairs??
They are a very dark gray, and I think they would look nice in front of the window seat. I would get 2 and put a little table between them. My only concern is that they might be too formal??


Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas, we spent the week in Columbus, it was a fun week, fully of shopping, eating great food, and seeing friends and family. We received some new things for the house for Christmas presents, I'll have to post some pictures when I am more motivated. Right now I'm enjoying being lazy for a little while...

I can't believe it's 2009 already, Mike and I were just talking about how we clearly remember what we were doing 10 years ago, on New Years Eve. We were in Florida with our high school marching band (yep, we were cool band kids), playing in a bowl game and celebrating the evening at this huge party with a bunch of other high school bands. We were partying like it was 1999! Last night was much more low key and relaxed, we celebrated the new year at a friends' house, watching a movie and just sitting around talking with our friends.

I'm not one for making new years resolutions, but there are many things that I hope to accomplish this year, most of them involving some type of house project (of course!). 2008 was a year full of changes for Mike and I, I'm really looking forward to next year being more settled! Just for fun, I thought I'd list some of our major accomplishments from 2008:

- I started my final semester of grad school, basically spending all of my time working on my thesis and living at studio from Jan-May. I graduated with my Master of Architecture degree in May.

- Mike was promoted, and more importantly, finally found a job that he really enjoys and finds challenging and rewarding.

- I finished my portfolio, interviewed, accepted a position, and started working the week after graduation. I feel very lucky to have a job in architecture right now, many of my friends haven't been so lucky.

- During that time in degree project, Mike and I decided we wanted to look into buying a house. We looked a many houses, and put an offer in on our house the weekend of graduation.

- We celebrated our first wedding anniversary at the end of May. We didn't do anything big to celebrate because we were starting to panic about having to pay a mortgage!

- We moved into our house at the end of July, and well, you know what we've been doing since then :-)

As I think I mentioned in the previous post, we're planning on taking some time off in January, so there probably won't be very many posts for a few weeks. Although after sitting on the couch for most of the day, I'm already feeling like I need to go work on something, so we'll see how long I last before I give up with the time off plan...

And because I feel that everything is more fun with pictures, here's a random picture of Trevi, he was trying to help me when I was wrapping presents by eating all the ribbons:

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