Monday, November 23, 2009

Before and After: Bookcase

The first picture is the "blank slate" picture of the bookcase we made over. The picture with the furniture in it is what the room looked like the first time we saw the house while the previous owners were still living here. A lot of hours later and the "seen-better-days" bookcase (and our first major project) is re-vamped! Paul had the brilliant idea of adding those white curtains at the bottom so we could hide cords and anything else we wanted to have access to but didn't want to be seen. Paul worked so hard (with the help of his dad, Peter and a little bit from me) to get the tv cut-out perfect and to get it painted to my standard of "finished" and now it serves great purpose and makes our family room look quite cozy in my opinion! I used to not know how we were going to use the family room because the first time we walked through the house the room looked so tiny and dark, but now it is my favorite room in the house!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Late-night Unpacking

This is what happens when Paul starts bringing in boxes from the garage at 10 o'clock at night! And to think we are supposed to have company over tomorrow! Looks like we have a full day ahead of us!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fun shopping!

I never really knew about TJ Maxx until the past year and I have since discovered it is one of the best places to look for home decorating accessories! They have an awesome selection of stuff and are always getting new and different items in since they just happen to get whatever was on closeout somewhere else. On a recent visit here were three of my favorite items I brought home: a green glass vase for the downstairs family room (that I got for only $4!!), a tall blue vase (I love the textured glass), and a turquoise garden stool that we may use in the formal living room as an end table. I'm not sure if it will go with what we are doing in there yet since it isn't all put together, but I had to buy it because they only had one of them and once it sold they wouldn't get any more in so at least it will be good to try it out in our space and see if it works.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Major undertaking: The bookcase

Here are the glorious (or hideous) before and after pictures of our most recent big project: the built in. Everyone is wanting more storage space and built-ins are huge for resale value right now, but not when yours looks like ours did before! It sucked all of the light out of the room and made it look very dark and dingy in a garden level room with rare high ceilings and large windows. The photo with all of the books on the shelves is what it looked like when we first saw the house. It didn't look like it belonged in the room and actually made it look really small when the space is really a pretty decent size. I didn't have the vision that Paul did when I first saw them and I wanted to take them out completely, but I am glad my wonderful husband saw their potential! Him and his dad worked hard to plan how to cut out a space and rearrange shelves so that it could actually be used as our entertainment center. Once all the cutting and sanding had been done, we got to painting. With the help of our good friend Peter, we painted the backsplash a light mocha color and painted the shelves and all the edging with the Swiss Coffee we used on our trim to make it look much brighter in the room. Obviously we still have a ways to go (the next thing I am going to tackle in the room is going to be those roman shades! Those ugly colored stripes have got to go!) but the major bookshelf renovation is complete!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Small projects

Hooray! I have learned how to upload more than 5 pictures at a time! Okay, moving on...

Here are a few pictures of projects that Paul and I have been working on recently. Not all of them have worked out quite the way we planned! As you notice in the picture of the window treatments the paint is a light blue that, in small amounts, looked great, but on and entire wall looked terrible. The picture of Paul standing on the ledge (or on top of our kitchen cabinets) is him vacuuming the cobwebs from the ceiling the night he stayed up till 3:30 in the morning painting our walls blue. We didn't realize the awfulness of the color until we saw it in the daylight the next day but by then it was two late. 3/4 of a gallon of paint and many hours of painting later and it was all for naught! So the picture of the two window treatments (one of which I have re-covered with a new fabric-the tan and white cherry blossoms) has samples of other paint colors on the wall that we were trying to decide on after seeing how the blue turned out. We ended up going very neutral. We painted Glidden's Natural Wicker on one wall and Glidden's Water Chestnut on the three other walls. More picture of that to come at a later date. Also, Paul has become quite the handyman when it comes to re-wiring light fixtures! There is a before and after picture of the fixture he recently replaced in our downstairs family room. He also replaced the one in our front entry way with the same fixture.
The other two pictures are of my latest project. A mirror to hang above our sofa table (once all our walls are painted and floors done!). We got it at TJ Maxx Home Goods store for $18!! It was $60 before but the original bronzed edge had some nicks in it which is why it was discounted. An hour of painting it and some nice Swiss Coffee paint and it looks brand new and much more updated! I can't wait to start putting the accessories ON the wall instead of cluttered around on our floors! One step at a time I suppose!

Let it snow!

Denver received half of its annual snowfall amount in two days in the month of October! We got almost 2 feet of snow! Paul got an automated call at 5:30 in the morning from Jeffco public schools saying that school was cancelled and shortly after that I received an email saying that my Regis class was also cancelled for the day. We thought we were pushing our luck in praying for another snow day after that but that's exactly what we got! Paul got some painting done and unfortunately I was parked on the couch the entire time doing homework, but Paulie did build me a nice fire in our fireplace each day to help motivate me. A couple of these pictures are from the first day and the rest are from the second day. Paul did spend a good deal of time shoveling our ddriveway to perfection and cleaning off my car (that still doesn't fit in our garage because we haven't fully unpacked yet). Can you see the look on his face that shows just how much fun he is having with the realities of homeownership?? :-) I honestly did want to help him with the shoveling but lesson planning consumed me for those two days!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On a whim at midnight Paul and I decided to try and redo the window above our kitchen sink. I made the curtains with the leftover fabric from the seat cushions I reupholstered-the color looks much different in the lighting under the cabinets! So we took out the old blinds that were discolored and falling apart-yuck! and Paul took out the 20 year old light fixture that was above our sink. We picked this pendant light up at Home Depot the other day because we've been keeping our eyes open for one that was a good price, and this one was the least expensive we've seen! So in just 1 hour Paul and I got rid of another dated window treatment and one more dated fixture! Many more to go, and lots of painting to do still, but it always feels good when we finish a mini-project!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here are some before and after photos of our staircase. We primed and painted the railings with about 4 coats and then we coated them with a clear polyurethane to keep the paint from chipping off. The carpet on the stairs is new and the carpet on the main level is still the blue, as you can see in the picture. The edges of the stairs are done "Hollywood" style! We know so much more about carpet and paint now than we did 5 weeks ago, that's for sure! And I love the name of the paint color "Swiss Coffee". It really just looks white to me, but if you've ever looked for a "white" paint, you know that there are about 50 shades of white! We're happy with the way it turned out though, it really gave our banisters an updated look!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We bought a dining set on craigslist that I made my project to refurbish. When Paul was sick with the flu I kept myself busy by sanding off the old, light colored finish on the top of the table and re-staining it a dark mahogany color. Then I painted all the chairs and table legs with fresh paint and "distressed" them just a little. I also recovered the seat cushions to go with our color scheme in the kitchen. From previous pictures you can kind of see the old 1980's window treatment on the sliding glass doors-so glad to be rid of those! One window down, many more to go! There are some before pictures of the chairs too. They were supposed to be "distressed" but these chairs looked far too distressed for my taste. The whole project doesn't sound like a lot but it took me a week to complete! It has 6 chairs and a leaf so we can extend it when we have extra company, but without the leaf and just 4 chairs, it is the perfect size for our every day needs-it turned out great! The last picture is of the first snow at our new house! It was taken from the sliding glass door in the dining area looking into the backyard.

I love this huge window in our Master Bedroom! One of my favorite things about our house is all of the natural light! There are two skylights and lots of big windows, even in our garden level family room. The picture from the family room looking into the dining room/kitchen was taken when we came to view the house so it has the previous owners' furniture, but it gives perspective of the openness between rooms. The picture with the book case is in our family room area. We've recarpeted down there since and Paul and his dad cut out a space in the bookshelves to mount the tv but the project isn't completed yet.

Our dinette area that has a huge sliding glass door to the backyard. I love having the shades open during the day and there is already so much greenery planted back there!

These are pictures of the day we moved into the house, hence the messiness of the place! The fireplace is in the main living room as soon as you walk into the house. The view of the stairs and dinette area is from standing by the fireplace. So far we have installed new carpet upstairs and downstairs (the family room-don't have pictures of that up yet) and we have begun to paint the banisters and trim white. In the next couple of months we will be installing wood floors on the main level, so until then we still have the lovely 20 yr. old stained carpet!

The picture to the right is of Paul and I on our closing day-celebrating at Happy Hour! We closed on September 25th and are still not completely settled in the house yet, but it's a work in progress. We are very ambitious with the projects we want to accomplish, but neither of us have lost steam yet and I don't think we will any time soon. That's why we work well together as a team because when we set our minds to accomplishing something, we don't mess around!