home improvements

Thanks to the glorious weather that is bestowed upon the Pacific Northwest in the late spring and summer the home improvements we were in the midst of this winter have taken a backseat to fun outdoor activities. Progress on the painting front has been very slow lately because Lorne would rather be outside doing something than inside painting, and who can blame him. But, this past long weekend he decided to take a little time out of our fun 4th of July adventures to finish up the living room/dining room painting that had begun months ago. It isn’t totally complete yet as the circular wall around our staircase still needs to be painted, but the rest is done and it looks amazing. I am especially fond of the dining room with the gray accent wall. Thanks Lorne, you did a great job yet again ;)

Dining Room

Living Room (still needs new furniture)

It is truly amazing how much of a difference a little color on the walls can make in a room. It looks like a grown up living room/dining room :) I can’t stop walking in these two rooms and admiring them. I can’t wait to see how it all ties together once the big circular wall is painted!

Paint colors, in case you are interested, Shaker Beige and Duxbury Gray both by Benjamin Moore. The circular wall will eventually be Lenox Tan also a Benjamin Moore color.

We have begun the arduous task of painting our very white walls. Every room in the house, with the exception of the girls’ rooms and the lovely wallpapered half bath, is white, so boring. We met with a color consultant a few weeks ago and had her help us narrow down a color palate for the house. Since Maya’s room was blue, a fact our pink and purple loving 5 year old was not to happy about, we decided we’d start with her room.

Knowing the choice we likely be pink, we decided to be daring and let Maya pick out the color for her walls. She of course, choose pink. We gave her a few parent approved pink swatches to choose from so we wouldn’t end up with pepto bismol walls. She opted for a lovely shade of pink called “Faded Rose”. She was so excited that her room was no longer going to look like a boy room!

After 2 weekends of hard work on Lorne’s part thanks to an endless amount of oak trim circa 1980s that needed to be prepped and painted white the room is finally complete. I love it, it looks like the perfect little girl’s room. Most importantly though, Maya loves her pinkatastic room!

We are in the midst of a big backyard makeover. Lorne has been busting his butt for a couple of months now. Things are finally almost done. The huge old tree is gone, the yucky old patio and the pathway to nowhere are gone, the yard has been properly graded so that water flows away from our house, and the biggest thing of all is the brand new, gorgeous patio is done.

One of the things that made me fall in love with this house last year when we bought it was the backyard. It is huge, and shaded by gorgeous mature trees. I had grand visions of beautiful gardens and dinners outside on a new patio. The backyard was everything I was looking for, once we did a little work of course.

Before

Last summer, right after moving in, we got down to business working on the backyard. The first order of business was getting rid of the ridiculously large amount of pesky ivy growing in all the flower beds and up a huge elm tree. It took months of hard, like really hard, work but I eventually got it all pulled out. I held my breath to see if it would return in the spring and I would have more work to do. Luckily, I am, apparently, a badass ivy remover because none of it came back!!

So, with the ivy gone we had to decide what to tackle this year. We knew one of the main things we wanted to be able to do in our backyard was sit out on a nice patio and eat dinner, have a few drinks, watch the kids play, etc. So, that meant doing something about the old, falling apart, unusable existing patio. After much research and deliberation we settled on putting in a new stone paver patio. It would require a lot of work, mostly on Lorne’s part, but we (or rather he) was up for the task.

First things first the large elm right out our back door was removed along with a ton of roots. Next Lorne rented a jackhammer and removed the weird little pathway to nowhere that started at the patio and headed part way into the yard. Followed, of course, by removing the existing patio (thank goodness for craigslist and people willing to do work for free stone pavers!). Once all that was done the next order of business was getting the yard ready for the new patio. That involved hiring a guy with a bobcat and getting the area for the patio dug out and a huge portion of the yard graded. Our backyard was such a mess, it was so hard to keep the vision of why we were doing this and that one day it would look nice again.

Midway Through

Once everything was pulled out and our backyard was at its worst it was finally time for the new patio. We picked out our stones, had them delivered and Lorne and our lawn guy who he hired to help out set down to business. 3 full days of work later and the patio was in place. It is gorgeous!

After

There is still work to do. Lorne is busy right now filling the dirt around the patio and throughout the area of the yard that was dug up for the grading. And, of course, next spring we’ll be very busy putting in the garden beds around the patio. But, we’ve already eaten dinner outside on the new patio a few times and enjoyed sitting outside just enjoying our backyard space. The new patio is exactly what I had envisioned and once the gardens are in place next spring the backyard will be a perfect replica of what I envisioned the first time I saw the house and started picturing myself living here.

 

 

 

 

Now that the weather is cooler we have started tackling some indoor home projects on our new house, namely painting.  So far we have painted our living room/dining room/hallway and our kitchen.  This past weekend it was Maya‘s turn.  We painted her bedroom to spruce it up a bit and make it more her own.

Before it was a little drab.  Even though all her stuff was in there and I tried to make it look cute there was only so much I could do since the walls were a very boring off white sort of cream color.

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The color we choose for her room was a really pretty green to compliment the green and pink bedding and lady bug accents in her room.  It looks so cute now.  Maya loves it.  She was napping while Lorne was painting her room and when she got up and saw her room she walked around it saying “It’s amazing” over and over again.

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The green turned out to be the perfect color, exactly the look I as going for.  I”m so glad she loves it.  Her room is the perfect little girl’s room now. Goodbye boring and drab cream, hello funny and pretty green :)

Buying a new house equals project time, well for us anyway!

As I write this post I am sitting in my family room, which is blocked off by plastic, with Maya, my two cats and a bunch of extra furniture (including our bed) while a crew is busy sanding and staining our hardwood floors.

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Last Monday we had a flooring company come out to give us a bid for refinishing our hardwood floors.  At that time all the rooms were still carpeted, except our spare bedroom.  The plan was just to see how much it would cost so we could weigh our options and decided when we wanted to tackle the floor.  Somehow by Tuesday we had decided to go ahead and have the floors done now and made arrangements for the crew to get started today.

For the last week we have been busy every day pulling up carpet, tack strips and about a million little staples.  But once all that was done we weren’t quite finished with the back breaking labor.  We then had to move all our furniture (that we just moved in mind you) into our kitchen, family room and basement.  To say our backs, knees and hands are sore is an understatement.  Lorne and I both pretty much collapsed with exhaustion last night.

With all the hardwood floors exposed we are ready for the refinishing to begin.  The crew showed up this morning, bright and early, and have been hard at work ever since.  Here are a few before pictures.  I’ll post some after pictures when the project is complete.

Living Room

Living Room

Hallway

Hallway

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Spare Bedroom

Spare Bedroom

Luckily, this is the only day I’ll have to be stuck in this little room with too many people and animals, and too much stuff.  Tomorrow Maya and I are heading to my lovely and very gracious friend Heather‘s house.  We’re going to stay there for a few days while the stinky part of the project is being completely.  Hopefully when I return Thursday evening it will be to a house filled with beautifully refinished hardwood floors.  Assuming all goes to plan the last coat of polyurethane goes on Wednesday, which means by Thursday evening it should be ready for us to start moving our stuff back in (fingers crossed).

I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s all done :)