Friday, January 27, 2012

The first day


In a word, lighting can make or break a room, a picture or even a dream!  Changing the lights in a room can make one thing look like another.  That being said, my lights needed some work...

Yeah, not the best, I know.  All 3, yup, only 3 lights in the entire kitchen, were put in specifically for light.  Nothing AT ALL about aesthetics was even considered.  I'v ehad my eyes on these for a while, all with the intention of getting rid of them.  However, in order to kick out the old lights, I needed to know where the new lights should go.  That meant that I needed a more definitive kitchen cabinet plan.  (Nothing in this house is EVER simple.  It's do 3 other steps to get the one step you wanted to do in the first place done!)

You might recall my original kitchen plans from long ago.  I loved 96% of everything I saw in them.  The other 4% I wanted to change and that involved changing some functional cabinetry and redesigning other pieces.  Not fun, but once it was done, it meant that we could install the recessed lights that I wanted to function as the general lighting for my room.  I won't bore you with the hours spent running wires, eating drywall dust and trying to make can connections work.  Instead, here's the new look!

The cans are the basic 6" cans exactly like the ones in the pantry.  They come with the part for the ceiling and nothing else.  From there you can customize to your heart's content, using different baffles and bulbs.  Instead of dropping $15-$20 on a baffle plus the cost of a bulb, I elected to spend a bit more and go with the all inclusive LED light. The cost over the long term should be better and I love the soft warm light it provides.

At just over $30 each, I'm going with the one a month version purchase plan!  Come see me in a year and they should all be in!  And yes, that means that I went from 3 light fixtures to almost 12, if not more!  (That doesn't include accent lighting and more specific task lighting.  And no, you don't need sunglasses when you're in the room.  Instead it looks perfect!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ivories have been tickled

Remember this gem from a while ago?  Once upon a time it was a piano headed towards the dump.  As any good DIY'er we took it down the basics and saved the wood.  There it sat for almost a year until recently.
In the push to get my kitchen to a liveable state, new windows were installed across the back of the house.  When the original paneling and cabinets were ripped out, the window sill was removed as well.  It was part of the backsplash maybe??  I cannot recall at this point.  The main point I'm trying to make in a thousand words or more is that the poor kitchen window was sill-less and sad looking.

So, off we went to the wood pile taking over in my carport.  Out came one of the sides of the piano to undergo a transformation...

Once we had it cut down to size, we took the edge off by running it through the table saw.  The saw still left a poor edge, so we hit it again and again with the sander.  We had to take off the top layers of paint and then the red stain and get the wood back to square one. 

Once the dust had settled, we had to dryfit the sill again to make sure we were on the right track.  It took cutting out some extra drywall mud and removing actual drywall on one side to make it "seat" properly. 

Once the headaches were solved, the finished result was incredible.  I'm guessing I have the only maple window sill in the neighborhood! 

(yes, I know that the caulking needs to be fixed.  I'm on it!  The window installer is GREAT at installing windows, but not so great at caulking.  I have one more window seam to re-caulk and then the blinds are hung and the window is done!!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Missing in Action

Several of you have noticed my blog hiatus and commented on it.  Here's the thing, I don't multi-task so well and when I working on my house I find it very difficult to also blog about my house.  Add to that the holidays and my real job and blogging falls to the wayside.  It happens.  But the good news is that I'm back and I have tons of material to share.  2 of the things I've accomplished were already mentioned in the Winters in Texas post and the Orange Explosion posts.

I jumped rather randomly to my front door redo because I couldn't really work anywhere else in the house.  We'll get to why in a few posts, but I'm excited about it! 

Way back when you and I had last spoken, I was telling you about the last pieces of the electrical work for the kitchen.  Once the kitchen was finally finished, as far as electrical wiring, it was time for the next step.  DRYWALL...

In case you've never attempted drywall, here's a little secret.  It's no fun.  none.  It's dusty dirty work that kills a manicure in nothing flat.  (I don't ever get manicures or paint my fingernails anyway, but it's the point, people, the point!!)  First chore?  Scamming Asking your brother to help you haul drywall across town! 

Once that was done, I scooted out of work on time (!) and headed home to set a record drywalling an entire kitchen with my ever faithful help.  Thanks a TON Dad & Sara.

In one evening, we were able to turn my kitchen from dark and studly (pun intended!) to this!!

This is a HUGE step in the right direction.  It makes a kitchen, my kitchen, start to look like a real room.  After living with a hot plate on a dryer for 2 years, the first signs of a room are a big deal. 

Once all the drywall was up, the next little step was sanding, and sanding, and sanding the mud.  This caused a rarely seen climatic event called Remodeler's Snow. 

Unfortunately, this messy stuff is most likely the only snow I'll see this year...  The good/bad news about this is that it NEVER GOES AWAY!  No matter how many times I dust and clean, there is always another surface covered in drywall dust.  Oh well.

After the dust was cleaned up or at least moved to another room, I put up a coat of paint on the walls and was left with this.  love it!!

I'll explain the arrows next time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No worries

When we last spoke about my front door, several people commented that the color might be too dark to go with the overall color of my house.  Don't worry, my house is NOT staying baby blue and ugly pink forever!  (I love me some pink, but hate the pink of my house, as a side note!)  Eventually, when I win the lottery, the vinyl siding will come down and be replaced by Hardi Plank.  The entire house will then get a coat of taupe/grey paint and trimmed out in black and cream.  My front door is painted to go with that one day color scheme, not the tackiness it's currently rocking.  Just bear with me until I win the lottery, which is going to be quite difficult since I don't play the lottery, and it will be BEAUTIFUL!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winters in Texas

Winters down here can be bad, granted not nearly as bad as those in the upper part of the nation or in Antarctica, say, but bad nonetheless.  We usually have one or two freezes a year and rarely snow, but we do get icy rains.  This ice doesn't usually bother the power lines or even shut down school for long, (darn) but it can and does wreak havoc on tree limbs. This is why I took a slight detour this fall after the ground landscaping work. I have a tree that is basically a junk tree on the corner of my property. It has a rotten heart and a broken limb that taunts my roof every time the wind blows.

So, digging in, I called B&B landscaping back and asked them to come and take a look and give me a bid. Jeff came out and looked not only at that tree but also at the rotting 5 foot stump on the other corner of the property.

After giving me a bid i couldn't say no to, I gave the go ahead for the stumps to be removed. What's sad is that you can't even tell they were ever there. The yard looks great and the eyesores are gone!! I know its not a big difference to anyone else that passes by on the street, but its made a huge difference to me! What do you think?

(This post was originally typed on my iPad, so please forgive any text that looks more like it was texted than typed!!)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An orange explosion...

I am addicted to Pinterest and discover lots of ideas i think I'll have time for (ha!) and want to try. One of those ideas was a faux wood door. I have a plain white Fiberglas front door with great potential. After seeing Rachel's post on Lovely Crafty Home, which I had pinned and thus reminded myself daily, I decided that I needed to bite the bullet and go for it.

I started with a freshly cleaned white door.  While I was at it, I scrubbed the siding and windows as well.  I figured that it had been at least five years more or less since it had been cleaned.

I took my freshly cleaned door and promptly painted it burnt orange.  Home Depot assured me the color was really "glazed pecan," but I'm not buying it after seeing it on the door.

I doubled coated the door, letting it dry between coats. Rachel didn't mention this that I recall, but my one coat was super streaky and messy.

It was holding the quart can for the 2nd time that caused a slight mess. Apparently my hand was cramped more than I thought and all of the sudden it spasmed and let go of the almost completely full quart of paint.

My first thought was d@mn.  My second thought was, can I reach the camera without moving?  Score!!  Believe it or not, this isn't the biggest mess I've ever made with paint. Ha!

(In honor of all my friends who support the Texas Longhorns, I left the orange door for a whole 24 hours.  Let's not mention the fact that I had to because A.) the paint had to dry and B.) it was dark outside and I was working on an exterior door...  Sic 'Em Bears!)

The next day, yeah, patience isn't really my thing, I taped off sections of the door. My door has panels but doesn't have any line where panels would have been joined to make it look like real door.   So, I fauxed them in with blue tape.  I then used a chip paint brush to brush on Walnut gel stain.

Wow! Even after one coat of stain, it gets two, it is amazing the difference in the look. I am in love!

After a week of good weather and another coat of stain, all my door needs now is 3, count them, 3 coats of poly and some custom door numbers.  Does it ever end???  ;)

What do you think?