Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One year later


A little over a year ago, Alex and I bought this house!  That is us on the day after we got the keys to the house.  We already had our work clothes on and work was in progress.  I remember the feeling on the day of closing when I had the keys in my hands; there was just a realization that I could do anything I wanted to the house!  It was mine!  Boy did Alex and I have plans.  Bear with me; I'm going to share the journey, so far, with you.  No doubt I'll forget some things


This was part of the sunroom before.  The other half was bright orange


Needless to say, we toned it down.  Still needs some work but it's much less loud now.  We also removed the dated 80's style track lighting and updated it


The dining room is one of my favorite transformations.  This was it when we moved in.  Carpet, wood paneling, wall-papered wood paneling.  It had to go

We took the paneling down to find the drywall behind it was trashed so we put up new drywall

We still need to put up the crown molding but this is the room today.  We did the hardwood floors, drywall, painted and added wiring in the ceiling for the light.

 This was the front living room.  To the left are the stairs to the top floor and to the right of the stairs is the entrance to the kitchen.  It was a little bland

First on our list was to remove all the carpeting because of Alex's allergies.  I actually lived in the house alone for about a week and 1/2 while I got the carpet up and the house aired out.  Luckily Alex was able to sleep at our apartment


Here is a picture of it today taken from the kitchen.  It's a bit different; crown molding, baseboards, hardwood floors, new paint, etc.  And yes, we painted that mural on the wall

The Pepto Bismol room...yikes


In progress; walls neutralized...this became our storage room for some months


Here it is today; a nice guest bedroom.  It will be changing again in a couple weeks when we get the carpet replaced.  I can finally say goodbye to the remaining pink

This was the master bedroom within the first week while I was ripping up the carpeting


Sans carpeting and oh so empty.  Once Alex did move into the house, we slept in a smaller bedroom until we got the master bedroom ready; which took quite some time


Master bedroom painted and us in the process of installing the hardwood floors.  This was an incredibly time-consuming process and I'd probably never do it again but it looks so damn good


The bedroom today


The "green room" where I found the infamous booger-wall. 

The green carpet is still there but I sanded and painted the walls with a neutral color.  The carpet is less obnoxious than the pink so it can still for a while

My office...blah

My office today; BAM!  A colorful spot to help get the creative juices flowing!

The really rough looking front porch before we moved in

The recently repainted and spruced-up front porch!

The thing Alex and I deemed the "boat dock" because what the hell else do you do with this thing??  Note all the wisteria growing out of every crevice.  If you walked on this thing, it swayed like crazy. 

Here is us taking it down.  It was in such bad shape that it literally took us 20 minutes to destroy this thing


What it looks like today.  While it doesn't look that nice, we do have plans to put a stone walkway back to the deck (which we also have plans of replacing someday). 

This is the pass-through from the master bedroom into the "changing area/makeup table" and then the bathroom to the left, closet to the right.


This is the "changing area/makeup table".  I don't really know what to call it...


This was the master bathroom.  Pretty droll, eh?  This bathroom was pretty much this way when we moved in; not usable at all.  Alex and I closed the door to this bathroom for many months because we just didn't know what to do with it


Then we got an idea to open it up and add plumbing for a second sink!  You are looking at where the "makeup table" used to be and where the opening is to the right is where a door and wall used to be. 


And then with vanities, drywall and tile!  This is pretty much as it stands right now as it's still in progress.  My favorite part about this bathroom is the fact that we put in heated floors.  It is amazing!


Here's a picture of the new entry into the bathroom from the master bedroom.  There actually is a door there now but I haven't taken a picture yet.  This means we stopped flashing the neighbors!  Go us!

Last room I will talk about is the hall bathroom upstairs.  This was our first bathroom renovation (we did this one before starting work on the master bath).  There was so much wrong with this bathroom; the peel and stick, fake wood floors being one thing.  Note the vanity drawers missing their fronts?  Yeah, they were gone when we moved in.

Cramped quarters for sure!  Hard for two people to use this bathroom at once

And this is what it looks like today!  We replaced everything.  It feels much more roomy and modern.  Phew!  We were pretty happy with this bathroom


So, now that I've recapped the major projects we completed (or started) in our first year of home-ownership, I will talk about our future plans.  In our near future is, of course, to finish our master bathroom.  It's close, we just need to put together the shower.  We are a bit apprehensive, hence the delays.

Next will probably be to rebuild our deck in the back with all composite materials.  We have a bit of a delay because we have to get our plans approved by our HOA...first would be to put together the plans!  We are going to be knocking down the current deck (if a swift breeze doesn't do it first), expanding the size, adding built-in benches and flower beds and two sets of stairs that descend into the back yard.  At the same time we do this, we will be taking down the gigantic antenna mast that DWARFS our house.  I'm not sure what someone was doing this with antenna but it's gotta go (ham radio, perhaps?).

At some point we will be attacking our kitchen.  I didn't include a picture of the kitchen because nothing has changed.  What we want to do is paint all the cabinets a creamy white, replace the major appliances (especially the ones from 1985!), replace the vinyl flooring, new counter tops to replace the current blue, faux marble, new lights over the island (because fluorescent just isn't cutting it!), and open up a portion of the kitchen into the sunroom to add a bar with stools.  That will be a  pretty major project so it may not be in the so-near future. 

Lastly is to landscape.  The house has zero plans and we'd like to change that.  First things first and we have to improve the grading around the house because right now, all the water drains in to our basement.  Once we fix the drainage and grading, we can work on finishing the basement into a media room (much later).

So, as you can tell, we are absolutely insane.  If there was any question, this should remove all lingering doubts.  Alex and I (with the help of my family and his) have done all the work ourselves.  Oddly, the only thing we've had "professionally" done is having blinds put in our skylights; that's all.  We are extremely fortunate to have helpful families that live nearby and are knowledgeable. 

So there you have it !

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Busy weekend!

I went home this weekend to give mom a hand with getting the house ready for wedding guests.  I always forget how lovely the wisteria at my parents' house is in the spring


It really grows everywhere!  Alex and I fight this stuff at our house but my parents channel it in just the right directions


This is an awesome picture of one of my relatives.  I took a picture of it because it's not in good enough shape to be scanned.  She is so beautiful!


Here's mom and I all dressed up for Kyle's Bridal shower

Mimosas with pink champagne...yes, I think so!

Bride to be and the officiant/long time friend/bridesmaid's mother

A wonderful spread by Kyle's mom!  Lots of quiche, cookies, deviled eggs, shrimp, chicken salad...the list goes on!


Sam is totally ready for our trip to the vineyard!


And ready to party! (after the limo driver finally allowing us to pop some champ in the limo, geez)

The bride to be and her ladies at Hillsborough Vineyard


I could have totally taken a nap in those chairs

Such a lovely vineyard



Adorable cupcakes made by a friend of Kyle's mom


Sam is our model for the "can you recall what was on Sam's apron" game

I did pretty well but forgot the melon-baller...dang


Last challenge was to draw what the couple would look like on their wedding day.  I won with a drawing of a canon and the newlyweds!

The bride to be!

Hard to believe it's only a bit over a month away

All the ladies!

The wedding party again

Lovely view!

Sorry for the extended post but, as always, I took a ton of pictures.  Check back this week for my one year round-up of what Alex and I have accomplished on our house.  On Saturday it was one year since we moved into our house.  Hard to believe it's been so long!