Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Second Project - Master Closet

The second project we decided to take on was our master closet.  Shaun wanted to move all of his clothing in there to avoid the in and out of the bathroom in the morning, since the closet is attached to the bathroom and not to the bedroom. 

First I had to choose the paint pallet for the master suite.  Voila:

From left to right (all Behr paint) Heavy Cream (ceilings and trim), Natural Grey (closet), French Court (bedroom - subject to change, this might be too dark) and Minted Lemon (bathroom).  It may not be super creative, but I like it and I think it suits us well. 

So, from there we started with this:

It worked well enough, but needed sprucing up.  There was a lot of wall damage...

And some of the storage solutions just didn't work for us.  I can't stand over the door shoe racks, for example. 

So we took everything out, patched, painted, installed Closetmaid Impressions storage on both sides, added a new light, a stool for putting shoes/socks on (and a mirror, which wasn't up yet when I took these) and some 5 1/4" trim around the new shelving, and now we have this:


Now we have an organized, functional space for clothing and shoe storage, as well as dressing.  I'm very happy with how this one turned out. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Project - Pool Opening

The outside of this house has been a challenge.  A year of neglect aside from lawn mowing left us with half dead shrubs, a laurel that was swallowing the pool pump and air conditioning condenser whole and three foot high thistles everywhere.  Thanks to a lot of elbow grease and a lot of weed killer donated by my in laws, we came home from St. Lucia to a yard that was cleaned up and ready for pool opening. 

Then the pool looked like this. 

Not pretty.  Approximately 3 days and a gazillion dollars in chemicals later, it looked like this.

Only slightly better.  Finally we called in a second pro to help us out, and we ended up draining at least 1/3 of it.  Finally now, it looks like this.

As much of a PITA as it was, we really do enjoy it... now if we could just get one more good heat wave before it's time to close up...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Before Tour part Two

So let's continue upstairs, shall we?
One of the first things you come to is this funky little closet.  We still haven't decided exactly what to do with this, but for now it's where we store all of our spare cleaning supplies.

Across the hall is the laundry area with linen closet.  This room doesn't need much - a coat of paint and eventually a matching washer/dryer pair.  We left ours behind at the last house, so we're using what was left behind here.  In an ideal world, when we're ready to buy new ones we would also have the gas company out to run a gas line up here for the dryer. 

Just past the laundry room is the "bonus room" above the garage, which is Kayla's room. Everything she owns is currently packed into here; in the future that will change.  Plans for this room include a fresh coat of paint and some carpet.  Perhaps we'll also remove the heavy bag hanger from the ceiling... once I am certain that MMA isn't in her future, of course. 

Now back the other way to the remainder of the stairs (anyone else find it weird that we live in a split level, but it's the second floor that is the split level?  No, just me?  OK, moving on then...).

Kayla's bathroom... this room needs some serious help.  The linoleum is badly yellowed, there are holes in the tub that are repaired with silicone, and there are some other pretty bad holes in the walls.  For now it is fully functional though, and so long as she has her ducky shower curtain, she is happy. 

Spare bedroom number one, in bright fuchsia complete with chalkboard paint wall.  Eventually this room will probably be a multi-purpose room with some of Kayla's toys, and I hope to use it as a bit of a studio space for some photography pursuits... after a coat of paint, of course. 

Spare bedroom number two, in "sexy pink" (I kid you not, that is what it is called).  This room also has a chalkboard wall, and a collapsing windowsill that needs some attention.  This room will eventually be our guest room. 

In order to turn this into a guest room, first we need to deal with this:

It may be maroon, but at least they got rid of the blue/green carpet that used to be in here.  That would have been too much to take.  Kind of like Pepto pink walls... oh.

I love this bathroom.  Honestly, I do.  I wish the shower was a bit bigger, but I love the gigantic tub and that we have plenty of room in our vanity for all of our stuff.  The color leaves me feeling a little dizzy as well, but that's an easy fix.
On the other side of the bathroom is our master closet... that was our first big project though, and the subject of a future post.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Before Tour Part One

So here it is... the house that has become home, despite all of my initial misgivings. 

You'll notice that the front shot in yesterday's post is taken from sort of an odd angle.  Well, that's because from across the street, this is what you see:

Between the crepe myrtle and the cherry tree, the front is a bit hard to
distinguish, which is a shame.  The crepe myrtle will likely stay, but we home to take the cherry tree down sometime next year.  Hiding behind all of that is a rather inviting front porch.

And that, my friends, is where the charm ends.  Well, almost.  Right inside the front door, you will find the formal living room. 

Less than desirable laminate floors aside, this room is a blank slate and the room that probably needs the least work.  We hope to turn this into a formal dining room.  On the other side of the entryway is...
The ugliest wallpaper you've ever seen.  Seriously, these people had an unhealthy obsession with borders.  The wallpaper below doesn't help the cause any.  This room is smaller than our formal living room, so we'll likely keep the small table in there and use it as our everyday eating spot. 

Through the doorway is the kitchen.  Not so bad, right?

Yes, those are blue laminate countertops that are supposed to resemble marble.  With white cabinets.  And black appliances.  Oh, and the knobs on the cabinets?? Those are brass.  Hot.  I didn't even take any close-ups of the poorly done textured ceiling they put up to hide the remnants of a leak upstairs. 

The far end of the kitchen has a little space for a breakfast nook, which we will likely take over with an extension of the cabinets and countertop when we get around to redoing this room.  That space leads into the family room.
Why yes, those are yellow-cream and shit-brown walls.  Thanks for noticing. 

At least the fireplace is nice.  Notice there are no close ups of those walls.  I'd fill a memory card with pictures of the holes left behind. 

The final stop on our main room tour is the powder room.  Aside from the formal living room, this is probably the least objectionable room on the main floor of the house.   

Except for the wallpaper border. *shudder*

Posts to come... the before tour part two, and a lesson on how to destroy drywall by moving out of a house. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Time for a direction change

So during my absence from blogging, I have been doing a lot of thinking.  As much as I love the way this blog began and as much as I still enjoy using it to chronicle the goings on with Kayla, it's just not enough to keep me at my keyboard any more.  I am still going to blog about the family as time goes on, but I am going to switch the focus from Kayla's milestones to what's happening with our new home. 

Right before we went to Saint Lucia at the end of June, we settled on this lovely little piece of the coolest small town in America.  I'll be honest, while I loved the location of this place, that was about all I loved when I first saw it.  It had been unoccupied for nearly a year, and it showed.  The previous owners also had very interesting taste... so I had a hard time imagining ourselves in it at first.  But after our townhouse went under contract on my birthday, we had no choice but to find a place - and fast.  This one, while it needed work, fit the bill quite nicely.  It's large enough that we no longer feel on top of one another all the time, and has a nice fenced-in yard for the dog, complete with pool for the people; that's caused me almost as much heartache as it has joy, but I am glad that we have it.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but I love that we can make it our own over the next few years. 
Often while we're working on something, I find myself going "gee, I should blog about this..." so that's what I'm going to do.  Don't worry, I'm still going to write about Kayla (especially as we hurtle through the next year toward kindergarten) and the other happenings with our little clan, but a lot of what you'll see on here in the future will be what's happening inside the house - so still Outside Looking In. 
Next post... the "before tour."