Friday, February 26, 2010

Today's Project: Snow Removal

8:30 AM Thursday

12 Noon Thursday

5PM Thursday

8AM Friday

After 1st Shovel - 4PM Thursday

Did I even shovel??? 8AM Friday

After Today's Shovel Out 8:30 AM Friday

And it is still snowing....good thing it's pretty.

Cuz I'm not sure I'm getting out until Spring!

Post Script:
Shovel aftermath

Cheap pleather gloves = black hands

Snow up to and above my knees!

Can you say hibernation???

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the "Home Office" (a.k.a. bedroom #3)

So we did some of the brainstorming while we were on a "high" from our bathroom project.  I had a pretty distinct vision of colors...but not sure they are really going to work as I had planned.  Color is such a strange thing. 

When you pick the color in the store - even under those white lights - you have one impression of them, then you bring them home and they look like a totally different color.  So I thought going with a color that had already proven out - namely, the color of the new chair-rail in the bathroom - would be a great wall color in the adjacent room we use as a home office.

But let's not get too far ahead...let's first talk about (or rather view) the "IS" of this room.

This photo is dominated by the "beeyouteeful" JC Penney rug I bought about 12 years ago.  One thing I'll say for this rug, it has worn like iron.  Other than that, I've got nothing to say. 

It is covering the desperately in need of refinishing or carpeting hardwood floor.  I'd really like to re-finish them but the cold under the floor (over garage) really screams for padding and carpeting.  The question is, will I find a carpet I actually like (color, style, depth, etc.)

And instead of the broken ceiling light/fan, I'm thinking about one of those cool fabric drum lights?  I'm trying to establish clean, crisp lines, but still remain true to the 1920's cottagey style, so I have to be sure I don't go to mod.

The room has two fabulously oversized windows...that scare me to death.  Window treatments are one of my greatest domestic challenges.  I just can't seem to understand (1) how to measure and (2) how to layer the way I want it.  But I have some thoughts on how to do it a little better this time.

This cheap bookcase is another throw-away item that we bought at huge discount, finished ourselves and expected to last about 2 years.  10 years's still in great shape.  But we hope to put something long and low in this corner, get rid of many of the books, and hang Kip's guitars in a display above the low-rise shelves.

There it is.  The best closet in the house.  Cedar plank-lined and filled with C.R.A.P.  This space screams for better organization and either new doors, or maybe just greased skids and new hardware.  If I can live with what we have rather than splurge on these (that I fell in love with in an HGTV makeover room):

I save us $400+ right off the start.  But aren't those doors gorgeous?

So after we finish digging out all of the stuff in, around, above, and under our desks...

...we begin.

First - PURGE and move stuff out.
Second - Paint.

What do you think of this color for the walls? (I know, like you can tell from a photo on my blog...)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is a project room ever done?

Saturday 02.13.10
I feel pretty comfortable claiming that the bathroom is done.  Ok, ok, so I haven't putty'd all the little nail holes and touched up the small areas of paint that were nicked as we finished the last of the installs.  I admit it.  But I'm thinking I'll wait to do that when I get all that gooky stuff out for the start of the NEXT project.  Since I know it won't be a year (more like a week) before that starts up again, I feel quite comfortable with that.

Shut up.  I do.

So what did I learn? 

  1. Plumbing is no small or easy feat.  Essentially we all learned the basics in shop class, but shop class wasn't fitting new to old, and old to older, and also - if the water leaked a little, no big deal.  Here...yeah it's a big deal.
  2. If Kip ever leaves me I'll require a serious handy man on call or a For Sale sign on the house and I'll be back to apartment living with a resident building manager.
  3. If you don't start with a very firm budget...the money adds up fast.  And keep your receipts (which I did) because you can return all those items that didn't quite work out (even if you've opened the packages).
  4. I can envision something and come pretty close to seeing the end result.
  5. I learned HGTV weekend home makeovers are fallacies!  Even if you had your own resident carpenter and crew I'm doubting it all actually works out.
But mostly, I learned to know what "good enough" is when doing facelift type work and there's no reason to put off for SEVEN YEARS an ugly room makeover just because you aren't ready for the big construction investment.

Here is the final before and after.

You know, until I looked at these side by side, I really didn't realize how far we'd come!

Hence my big-ass smile.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Forget DIY....get yourself a plumber...

Thursday 02.11.10

In Progress (DIY)

After (Plumber done)

Still have some finishing touches to do....but the end is in sight!

Stay tuned for more details and final reckoning of costs.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Where Am I???

Wednesday 02.03.10
Last night I returned from sunny Florida and found myself discombobulated on my home projects.  While the house was in fine shape - relatively clean and orderly - those things out of place seemed to scream - FIX ME!!!

Yes, the toilet is still out of place and the plumbing is still undone.
Yes, Kip's new computer has arrived and taken temporary residence in the guest room, dislodging other furniture to allow it to fit.
Yes, the fact that Kip's desk has been moved upstairs leaves a gaping hole in the downstairs home office/den that is filled with the accessories and piles of papers he decided not to relocate.
Yes, the couch in the living room is slowly shedding it's upholstery, giving up to age, wear, and cats.
Yes, the bedding in our master is pilled and screaming for replacement.
Yes, the upstairs bath has a shower rug/mat in need of replacement, bad paint job and medicine cabinet that needs some major overhauling.

But I need to breathe, relax, and focus on one thing at a time.  Kip called the plumber after soaking himself in the freezing garage with the water running from the open/close valve.  We hope to schedule him later this week and as long as he's coming, have him move the shut off valves up to the living floor (under cabinet) where they should be.  Once that is done, we can add the toilet and mirror and be 90% done with the room.  In the meantime, keeping our living space as orderly as possible is the best I can do.

How people live amongst major remodels over an extended period is beyond me.  I think I'd go nuts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Slow Week

Wednesday 02.03.10
It's been a slow week here at the Yellow Cottage.  Tomorrow I fly off to the (hopefully) warm weather of Florida to visit family and have a nice long weekend away.  Kip, unfortunately, is stuck here at home with a major software upgrade project at his work. He will be comforted, however, by the delivery that arrived today.  His very own Mac.  Of course, my plans to start on the home office as the next project doesn't bode well for a happy setup for him.  He will likely be ousted to the upstairs guest bedroom or perhaps the dining room for a month once that is started...but first, we still have to conquer the bathroom.

So in my last entry I talked about running out of steam (and patience).  One thing I learned about starting with a small room...never consider a bathroom a small room.  Also, the concept that I would be able to do 90% of this myself and not have to drag Kip away from his own substantial projects was a fallacy. 

I'm hopeful once I move away from plumbing that I can be more independent, just seeking advice and an occasional tutorial in power tools from Kip, but the fact is we live together in this space and the simple act of prepping, cleaning/purging a space requires both our involvement.

Last night Kip took on the plumbing under the sink again - now with all the right parts - and managed to get very wet when the water was turned back on.  We fear, after all this DIY activity, we will still need a professional plumber to come check it out.  We think some of the pipe or the on/off valve was just too old to survive the activity of the last month and has given out.  Luckily we have a good plumber we can call, but Kip will take one more look at it first.  If he comes, we can take the opportunity to also have him look at the steam radiator in the kitchen that has a leaky connection as well.  It's always something.

I've been reading the House in Progress blog started by Jeanne and Aaron in 2003.  What they took on in that old bungalow certainly makes our house look like child's play.  I'm sure I would have given up within 30 days, but they've kept at it for 7 years....a real lesson in stick-to-itiveness.

So, I'll begin to inventory what we've done and what we've spent on the bathroom thus far.  And just as a reminder, this was a facelift job, not a true renovation or restoration effort.  At some future date we hope to re-configure the space by taking square footage from the adjoining (bed)room and closet to add a shower and at that time, we will put in a real tile floor instead of the inexpensive (but not bad looking at all!) adhesive flooring.

Going dark now....back up next week.
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