Friday, August 31, 2012

Lost and Found

Forgive the radio silence over here.  I lost my camera for a few weeks and figured, who wants to just read about a house makeover?  Luckily, an accident led to its discovery a few nights ago.  Zeph bumped his head on a sofa leg, on which Patrick and I were sitting and enjoying an adult beverage.  I overzealously jumped up to make sure Zeph was ok (he was), and in the process spilled my beer all over the couch.  When I took off the cushion to blot the wet spot, there lay my camera wedged in between!  Hooray.  So now I give you....three weeks of house updates!  I'll start with the big stuff first.  You may recall our floors being sanded down to their natural state, waiting to be stained a delicious, dark coffee color.

After three nights staying with family (floor stain is stinky stinky), they are now all done and glorious!

 I am smitten. 

As you can see, we have slowly begun to move our furniture in from the garage.  The one teeny tiny detail I did not account, however, is that you can see every little speck of dust, dirt or lint on those floors!  I cannot sweep enough to keep them looking spotless.  I think we're going to have to implement a no-shoe rule just to save myself (and Zeph, who hangs in the carrier while I sweep) from making that chore daily.  My mom recommended one of those Roomba robots, but that doesn't seem like a major priority compared to all the other expenses we have going on right now...we'll see!

Our contractor Jeff has also been working on putting gutters up around the house.  Whenever it rained, the back of the house by the deck would get completely splashed, and there was even a patch of significant wood rot inside!  So we bumped that up on the to-do list. The only issue is finding a Lowe's that carries brown gutters--who knew they'd be such a novelty?  But we've finally got a good dent in those.

 Patrick and I have been rolling out the projects as well.  We are slowly but surely moving things into the house.  The upstairs is completely habitable now that we got the floors steamed.  Most of Zeph's room is completed, we just need to bring the crib up and get him acclimated to having a room of his own (we'll see how that goes over).  The third bedroom is turning into a guest room / sewing room, as I am about to embark on sewing curtains for downstairs.  Look at my fabric!  I loooooove.  This first bolt is for the great room and sunroom.

This is on Zeph's little town rug in his room.

And here is what I picked for the kitchen:

Swoon!  (thanks, U-fab!)  And it was all just $9.99 a yard!  This could well turn into a multi-week project, but grandmas have been coming over to help with Zeph while I knock out some projects (Patrick went back to work this week, booooo!)

Speaking of multi-week projects, the kitchen cabinet doors are finally finished!  They'll be going back up this weekend, so we'll have lots of updates to share over the next few days.  Happy Labor Day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'......

No rest for the weary!  The Bennett Brigade rolled up this morning ready to forge ahead on the kitchen.  My mom primed the front of the cabinet doors while Geoffrey and I rolled some blue paint on those drab walls. 

Here's my mom with her new set-up of 1 x 8's holding up the doors in the future playroom:

This next picture's a bit dark, but you can start to see how bright the kitchen is going to be!  The whole process went really quickly, thanks to Geoffrey's speed-painting skills:

Give that man an iPod full of Morrissey, and he's on fire!

I, on the other hand, excelled in gymnastic painting:

And now for the dismount....

Landed it. :)

I'll take more pics once things dry and we get the fridge back in place.  For now, here's a sneak peek at my new knobs.  They need a few touch-ups here and there, but I couldn't resist testing a few out.

Tomorrow I should be able to put the top coat of paint on the cabinet doors.  Then they'll just need a day or two to dry while I spray the hinges white, then up they'll go and we'll almost be ready to wrap up Phase 1 of the kitchen!  (and yes, there is a Phase 2 :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sneak Peeks and a Weekend Update

Hello, friends!  We tried to take a break this weekend, but instead decided to power on with some projects around the house.  It was particularly inspiring to walk in the door Friday afternoon to....this!

Our beautifully painted great room.  We had Jeff and John paint it since the ceilings are so vaulted.  When I arrived home, I felt like I was on an HGTV show walking in to the big reveal, it was so exciting.  They still have the ceiling to do and the sunroom, which should be done tomorrow.  Then we can move onto staining those floors!

Yesterday, Patrick, his dad and brother James all worked on getting our appliances in working order around the house.  They had a few snags and had to finish up this morning, mostly because of the dryer vent underneath the house.  We knew from our inspection report that the dryer hose didn't extend outside the house, which is a big no-no!  Here is Patrick about to head under into the crawlspace:

Watch out for those spiders, boo!

Here's James in the laundry room, while Patrick is underneath:

Well, I'm not sure exactly what those boys did, but I do know that I now have a working washer and dryer, and even a dishwasher!  Hooray, thanks, guys!

Once all that grunt work was over, the boys took Z-man into the garage while they piddled on the truck.  Best playpen ever:

Shirtless in the back of a pick-up truck: Zeph is officially a country boy!

While I had my hands free, I decided to get to work spray painting our biznasty bathroom mirrors and our kitchen cabinet knobs.  Here are the bathroom mirrors before (the mirror portion is covered with posterboard and painters tape):

That's not even dirt around the edges, it is the DESIGN OF THE FRAME!  Yuck.

And here are the mirrors after I finished with them:

Hello, gorgeous!

They are currently drying out in the side yard, but I'll post another after shot once they're hanging in the bathroom.

My other spray project of the day was the cabinet knobs from  the kitchen.  You may recall we're painting the cabinets white, and the walls a very pale blue, so I thought it'd be fun to punch up these boring old things with some color.  So we've gone from this:


To this!

Hot hot hot!

Tomorrow my mom and brother are coming back to finish painting the front of the cabinet doors, so we should have a finished product by the middle of the week!   I can't wait to see all the pieces put together.  And have a fully functioning kitchen. 

Onward ho!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

We Made It!

Whew!  After months of nail biting, teeth gnashing and endless pity parties (ok, maybe it wasn't that bad), we are FINALLY in our new house!  We closed last Tuesday evening, which had a few hiccups of its own, but here we are.  Not in the least bit settled, we are basically living out of the master bedroom while we and our contractor work downstairs.  The other rooms upstairs are inhabitable, but we need to get the carpets steamed before we move any more furniture in.

Without going into too much project detail, here are some shots from around the house this week:

One of the house's major issues was that the fireplace in the great room had a leak running down the sides and under the house, which damaged some of the floor.  Our contractor and his helper have pulled up the damaged portion and let it all air dry, sanded all of the floors and are now finishing laying the new wood.  We are going to stain both the great room and the sunroom a darker wood color.  Woot!  In unwootiful news, this morning we discovered that a portion of the roof adjacent to the chimney is rotted through and needs to be replaced (and when I say "we," I mean our contractor Jeff).  Luckily, we have leftover materials from the floor that can be used, plus some shingles from the original patch job, so we just need to pay for the labor.  Not the best news of the morning, but certainly not a worst-case scenario (yet).

One of our other major projects currently underway is sprucing up the kitchen.  My mom and brother Geoff have been putting in lots of hours this week sanding and painting those dark wood cabinets and molding in the kitchen.

Geoffrey shows up ready to work.

Remember how dark, dated and dirty the kitchen looked?

Here it is now, at the beginning stages of our makeover:

Patrick noticed I start piddling more right before my mom arrives. His new slogan: "Chris is coming.  Look busy."

We also started to pull up the carpet downstairs.  We thought it had a water stain, but it turned out someone had actually poured some smelly oil on it--straight to the dump it went!

This room has since been turned into our cabinet door paint-space.  Once the kitchen is finished, we'll rip up the rest of the downstairs carpet and replace the floor with vinyl tile. 

In addition to the kitchen redo, Patrick has made countless trips moving our belongings from the storage shed (that's right, down to one!) into the garage.  There have also been several smaller projects to make the place liveable, plus a thousand trips to Lowe's, and oh, did I mention that Zeph started to crawl last week?  Trying to move and renovate a house with a mobile baby is definitely a challenge!  Although he did love rolling on those hardwood floors in his walker!

The last week has completely flown by, and while some days it felt like we made next to no progress, this lovely house of ours is finally beginning to feel like home.  And the sunsets aren't so bad, either.