Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Trim Is Done(just a sneak peak)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trim and Door Choices

Often I have to refer to my catalog of inspirational photos when building our house or making decorating decisions. This time it was for window and door trim and doors.

I hate the "typical" trim that is in most houses(like ALL the houses I've lived in). It looks wimpy and cheap. I love the trim that is in old houses. Large, but not ornate.

I love how it give a new home an older craftsman look. And yes, it does cost more. But this is the one thing I can't/won't upgrade at a later date(not like a light fixture or faucet). And with a big picture window in the living room with our couches centered in front of it, I'll be staring at the trim everyday, either loving it or hating it. So, while we are pinching where-ever possible(lighting, plumbing, flooring, cabinets, countertops, rugs), I decided it was worth a little splurge to really upgrade our house into something really special looking.

As for interior door options, our supplier had these:

I liked the simple clean lines of the circled one. Again, I really don't like the typical 6-paneled doors. General rule-of-thumb: If everyone has it, I don't like it.

Since it was the "smooth skin" kind, I searched for pictures of doors in my inspiration rooms, so see what those people had in their houses. Funny part is, no one takes pictures of their doors. So it was really hard to find a door photo in a real home. I did find one picture of something close to this door. It has the smooth skin(instead of that fake wood grain texture), but ours has raised panels. I prefer the one in the photo, but ours are fine too. You can barely see it in the far right of the photo.

So, this is a larger version of our door selection(already installed in our house):

We actually only have 3 doors(master bedroom, bathroom, and pantry). We're not installing a door in our walk-in closet. I'll hang a curtain to save space. We really don't want to be fighting a door in our small room. The second bedroom doorway is a double wide(accessed through the master), which we are keeping opened for now. I love how much light it lets it. It makes our bedroom feel so much bigger and you are surrounded by windows. Lastly, the laundry closet needs bi-fold doors which WILL be the standard solid 6 panel doors because our style door doesn't come in bi-fold style.

Selecting the exterior door(our front door) was not so simple. I had a few functional requirements. The main one being that there was a window on the top, low enough for me to see out of on tip toes, but not low enough for people standing outside the door to see in. The door is positioned in the hallway in the middle of the house, so say one of us is in a towel in the bathroom or even living room and there is a knock on the door. Well, you have to walk past the window to get to the bedroom for clothes. Not good.

I found several from the vender that I liked. Three with the proper window, two with bigger windows.

I love the two on the end with the larger window, but I don't think I can live walking past that window all the time(and the stairwell is hidden, so there won't be any sunlight coming in anyway). So out of the first 3 I like the 2nd one best. I even made a little diagram showing what it might look like next to the bi-fold closest door(they're right next to each other in the short hallway).

Ok, now I like the 3 panel even more. I told our contractor to order it.

Then, he found out the price and told me....


They are all $500.

So they all got scrapped and we are getting el cheapo from Lowes with the yucky arched window.

It's fine. It's normal. So I don't like it. But it's $200, so it's ours. In reality it won't be seen that much and won't show from the outside from the outside of the house, so it's not worth the extra moolah to get a fancy one this go-round. Save that for our next house. So much for all that time and thought.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two Part Kitchen Update

Part I: Primer
My parents came Tuesday to help me prime the house, and with 3 of us working, we got it done in a day and a half! I couldn't believe how fast it went!

With 12 ft. ceilings, I knew it would be a challenge for me to try and paint them. I couldn't even move the 10 ft. ladder. And since my dad is over 6 feet tall, he took the day off and came to help last minute. What a difference that made! He did all the ceilings on Tuesday. Mom and I didn't even have to step on a ladder. The living room and two bedrooms were finished the first day. The second day, all that was left was closets and bathroom, which we finished by lunchtime.

Here are the cabinets camped out in the middle of the room:

I have to say, the media goes kinda crazy when the weather is as hot as it has been. "It's going to be record breaking highs today, so stay inside!" There was once a time(not that long ago) when no one had air conditioning and people still lived. People STILL live! Lots of people have outdoor jobs and work in the blazing heat and blistering cold all day everyday. We are a society of wimps. But I wasn't scared. I wasn't scared until the weatherman said it could reach 100 degrees that day. Then I was scared.

But Matt's parents had an old window AC unit and my dad brought two fans. The AC unit didn't make it cold, but it knocked off about 10 degrees. So it was only 90 with lots of moving air. It really wasn't that bad! It's amazing what moving air can do.

The final coat of paint will happen next week.

Part II: Cabinets and Fridge Position
If you remember, we moved the cabinets in last week. And yesterday we moved them into position(sort of).

But first, we had to get the fridge up the stairs. Matt took advantage of having my dad in town but he called his friend Zach for extra hands(this was a 3 man job). We found a great deal on a fridge on craigslist back in December. So it's just been hanging out until now.

The doors came off to take off some weight and to help it clear the doorway.

Matt and I went back a few days later to carry up the stove and dishwasher. *side note: who knew that an oven door weighs like 30 pounds?? That with the awkward size/shape it was all I could do to carry it upstairs! Give me a kitchen cabinet any day!*

Remember our kitchen layout?

Here's a little refresher:

And here it is in actuality(from a slightly different angle up on a ladder):

We have no corner cabinets, so we'll have to have some custom work done to extend the cabinet shelves into the corners. Since we got these cabinets at a liquidation sale(2 or 3 years ago), for $400, we chose the largest set of matching cabinets, not really considering what they look like. Retail cost would be $400 for each large cabinet, so we kinda got a deal. Even Ikea cabinets would be $1500-2000. Yeah, just a little deal. Then, after we move in, I'll paint everything a cohesive off-white color(gotta love a white kitchen!). We don't even have an over the microwave cabinet, so once one is built the white paint will make everything blend in.

The downside is we had to work with what we had. Which made the layout very difficult in the beginning. But I finally got my "work triangle" perfect.

Perfect, until we tried to open the fridge.

This fridge has those extra deep doors that hold gallon sized jugs. And the door only opens 90 degrees before hitting the pantry wall. Functional, but just barely. And really, it wasn't good enough. Even someone as skinny as me couldn't get both arms in there. So no two-handing casserole dishes!

Matt and I threw around some ideas. Or rather HE threw around ideas that were just bad(no offense, honey). But I just knew the "solution" would bug me more than the "problem".

1) We could move the dishwasher to the "island", but that's my work area, and the dishwasher really needs to be next to the sink for loading.
*Update: forgot to mention, that this would make me lose a whole cabinet of storage(all my baking dishes).

2) We could move the dishwasher to the other side of the sink. But that would put my pots way down by the fridge. Too far from the work counter and stove. And we can't slide the sink cabinet down anyway(has to stay centered under the window), so that would help anyway.

3) We could get rid of the dishwasher, since I've never been in the habit of using one. But I was looking forward to having one that actually(hopefully) CLEANS the dishes! Maybe I'll start using it. And everyone has told me how much I'll need one once we have kids and bottles to wash.

Matt came up the a solution. A solution so simple it wasn't obvious at first. And, while I don't LIKE it, it's the lesser of two three evils. He simply turned the fridge on an angle, and VOILA, problem solved.

A little annoying, right? I makes me want to go over and push it back. But the ease of function really can't be beat. What do you think? Could you live with it like this? What would you do if it was your kitchen?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Moving the Kitchen Cabinets

Now that the drywall is done in our house, we had permission to move the kitchen cabinets out of our living room(where they have lived for the past year) and into the new house. Sunday, Matt borrowed a trailer from his parents and Matt and I(yes, just the two of us) loaded the cabinets into the trailer AND carried them upstairs into the new house.

For those of you who would have liked to see me moving these babies up the stairs, sorry, I didn't have any other hands. I'm not that talented. But it was HARD work. The bathroom vanity isn't shown, but it is the largest and heaviest to move.

Also going on: We've had several deliveries.

-On the back wall with the swirly pattern, is the bead board plywood for the deck/porch ceiling.
-On the back left is leftover drywall and a box of window screens.
-The middle is leftover concrete and misc. tools of ours.
-On the floor near my feet is hardiboard siding for the stairwell.
-The long boards near the toolbox are the baseboards(there is actually a whole other stack, not pictured, of window and door trim)

Matt and I worked Saturday on some random stuff like patching the garage bathroom floor around the pipes:

It's not very professional looking, but it will do. It will lighten up once it's completely dried. I'll probably end up painting the floor anyway, so it will blend in.

Then we stayed late to burn stuff. We didn't have enough time to cut up and burn all the trees we needed to. Lucy has done great hanging out loose at the land. She only explores the opened area(has yet to go off into the woods), and comes back to the house regularly. But once it got to be dusk and Matt cranked up the chainsaw and started throwing stuff onto the big fire, we wanted to make sure Lucy didn't run off. We had some rope laying around and some carabiners. I cut it to about 40 ft so she could still walk around and looped it around a tree. She stayed safe and out of the way.

This was once a fire-pit. Now it's a jungle. We haven't had a fire all season and it's totally grown up. In the background the weeds some weeds that are over my head. Not to worry. There is still a ring of rocks around the fire, and the grass was very lush and wet. It really couldn't catch on fire. That would be impressive.

4th of July

I know I'm a little late, but I wanted to share some 4th of July festivities. Every year since, before I can remember, my family has met up at my grandparents lake house. The attendance changes every year now that all the cousins have grown up and gotten lives and jobs. But it's always fun when a lot of us can make it up there for the long weekend.

It was Lucy's first trip to the lake. I wondered how she would do with a big house to roam around in, 3 other dogs, and huge yard with no fence. As far as we know, she didn't have any accidents in the house. She played until exhaustion with her cousins. And when they went outside, she mostly stuck by their side.

Warning: this is a picture heavy post. Full of the highlights of our weekend. I don't think there is a single picture of myself. Funny how that works.

Here are some dog highlights:

Big ol' Alf with Lucy's little pink bone:

My mom thinned out her mom's jewelry. We went through the huge bag to see if there were any goodies for the taking.

I think my cousin, Daria, found her "Official Lake Earrings":

I think we did this a day early, but we had fun making flashlight pictures at dusk over the lake(in lieu of sparklers).

It says "July 4" if you can't tell.


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