Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Down the Plastic

 This past weekend was quite a whirlwind between our friend visiting, working on the house and hosting our first BBQ at the new pad. To say we were quite busy is a huge understatement but it was totally worth it. Saturday was our most productive day working on the house. My Dad was down so while Ryan worked on the subfloor, my Dad and I worked at building a frame for the bathroom.

Beginning of the day:

And here's what the place looked like at the end of Saturday:

Bathroom frame!

Subfloor almost complete

Sunday, Ryan and I were determined to unwrap the living room so that people could sit inside (with the air conditioning) if they didn't want to be outside. It was quite a task, especially since Ryan had us move all of our rather heavy appliances across the room but so incredibly exciting.

Sunday morning:

Before- quite overwhelming
Taking down the plastic- I was rather giddy with excitement


You can see floors again!!

The contained kitchen

I can't even big to explain how exciting it is to be able to sit in your family room after three months of living upstairs. Last night, Ryan and I must have mentioned atleast fifty times how awesome it was to be able to watch TV on a couch versus a bed. Oh the little things we take for granted :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sans Death Trap

Well, for the most part atleast... Ryan took a half day yesterday and spent it finishing up prep work to lay down the sub-floor and laying most of it down. I was pretty excited when after a long day of work and volunteering I walked in to the house and saw these beauties. And you know what else it means? No more walking the plank! Score!

Stable floors!

It's amazing what it feels like to walk on solid ground again :) I also made a decision on the tiles that we'll be putting down. Since they're travertine, we need to actually put a second sub floor down before we can lay them but I'm pretty excited about how they'll look. Ryan was a little worried because the tiles will make the kitchen a few inches taller than the wood floor (which in turn made me worried) but after much input from my lovely friends, I think I'm okay with it (or atleast I hope!). 

Here she is (after much debate, commitment issues anyone?):

Oasis Walnut

I ended up choosing her (and she's definitely a her) because Oasis grade is the highest grade (of the ones I was looking at atleast) so the color will be fairly consistent and there won't be any dark spots. There's also a very limited amount of fill required. Since we couldn't get it in the pattern I wanted, we're going to make our own pattern by cutting some of the pieces in half. I'm pretty excited and pretty very lucky that Ryan goes along with my crazy ideas :)

So although we might not have a livable first floor tonight, when our friends arrive, we're certainly on our way!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guests... eeekkkk

Another gorgeous weekend has come and gone and although I'd like to say we enjoyed it frolicking in the arboretum or getting drinks around the neighborhood, in reality we spent a lot of that time indoors... working on the house. You see, I have this countdown until my old college roommate is coming to stay with us and as of today, that's t-minus 3 days (yikes!). And I refuse, yes, REFUSE, to have her sleep in a pseudo kitchen. So, to say the least, we've been busy.

Saturday I finished my chair re-do. I bought this chair for $40 on craigslist and gave it some TLC.

Before (I swear my walls are grey)

Some spray paint and new cushions later (that I sewed, thank you very much!), we now have a whole "new" chair to do some reading/eating/sleeping on.

It wasn't the cheapest DIY project but I love how it turned out and I did score some good deals! I picked up the pillow insert at goodwill for $.85! It had a horrible cover on it but I knew I was going to sew a new one so it saved me somewhere around $10. I got the foam for the seat at JoAnn Fabrics and used a 40% off coupon so it ended up being around $14 (note to readers: I just pulled up a coupon code on my phone and they took it). The fabric was from fabric.com and I had a 20% off coupon. I didn't even use the full 2 yards I bought but at $15/yard, it was my priciest piece of the makeover (minus the chair) but TOTALLY worth it :) Plus now I get to mark off another thing on my to-do list, check check!

Bedroom to-do list:
Buy white blinds (wood or faux?)
Measure window for fabric measurements
Buy fabric for curtains (use groupon for G street fabrics)
Make curtains- in progress
Buy curtain rod
Hang curtains
Frame life sized mirror
Hang life sized mirror
Get artwork for above the TV
Frame artwork for above the TV
Hang artwork for above the TV
Spray paint wicker chair
Make cushions for chair- fabric purchased
New bed for Monkey- possibly make

Ryan was a trooper and spent all of Sunday leveling out the joists so that we can lay down a sub floor in the kitchen.  He also had his first accident in the kitchen but after some Advil, he just kept on working.

Sistering the joists
He also had to replace yet another joist (if you're counting that makes 4 out of the 11, brand new). Needless to say, that floor is currently a death trap for anyone but Caley. 

Cutting out the old joist

We were hoping to put the sub floor in Sunday night but with the latest joist surprise, that did not happen. Fingers crossed for a floor to walk on for our guests this week :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Holey Floors

Last night, Ryan and Clark finished installing the last two joists. Woohoo! 

Three new joists!

In the process of doing that, they had to remove our temporary sub-floor so the kitchen now looks like an even bigger hole than it previously did. It's also verrrry hard to walk across since the three new joists aren't cemented in yet. Caley on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a problem ;)

Leveling the joists.

They also started leveling the joists out so we can put in a new subfloor. Oh, how I can't wait to have a floor to walk on ....

While they were busy with the floors, I scraped out the old mortar in the bricks that we're going to expose. Sometimes I have to earn my keep ;)I still have a small portion to do on the right wall but we're almost done. 

Notice the sink pipes?
We're trying to do everything dusty now so that we can move the plastic and just cover up the kitchen. I can't even imagine having part of the first floor to live in again, it's going to be marvelous :) 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Labor of Love

The weekend has come and gone and no, we have not unwrapped the family room but we Ryan did make a lot of progress on the kitchen!

Saturday my Dad came in to town, so while Ryan worked on the kitchen, we headed to Ikea to pick up some of our cabinets. Although most of our cabinets are being delivered, there were a few that were only in stock at the store so we would have to pick them up. Clearly,we knew that they would not fit in to the mini so when my Dad offered to come down we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pick them up. Of course, we also came home with a few frames and other miscellaneous items and boy was it interesting fitting everything in the 4 door sedan, especially since it included our 88'' tall pantry. When we got back to the house, we arrived to a huge hole in the back room. Apparently, Ryan had been hard at work removing the window (the window that looked directly in to our neighbor's backyard, talk about awkward). While I worked on putting together our Ikea purchases, my Dad and Ryan boarded back up the hole. You know, for security reasons....

Dad helping to board back up the window.

Although I was certainly no help with the manual labor, I did manage to finish our curtains and decorate a shelf over the TV (that had been previously driving me insane). Clearly, Ryan had to help me hang the curtains and the shelf but the rest, the rest was all me ;)

You like?

I went through a few versions of the shelf items but in the end, I chose pictures that were meaningful to us and ended up framing the newspaper we found in the floors (from 1920!) to give it some character. I'm pretty close to being done my bedroom list and that is verrrrry exciting.

Bedroom to-do list:
Buy white blinds (wood or faux?)
Measure window for fabric measurements
Buy fabric for curtains (use groupon for G street fabrics)
Make curtains- in progress
Buy curtain rod
Hang curtains
Frame life sized mirror
Hang life sized mirror
Get artwork for above the TV
Frame artwork for above the TV
Hang artwork for above the TV
Spray paint wicker chair
Make cushions for chair- fabric purchased
New bed for Monkey- possibly make

Sunday, Ryan worked on replacing the floor joists that had been damaged (and by damaged I mean drilled through by the previous owners). He didn't finish but he made a whole lot of progress.

I picture him thinking: "What the hell did I get myself in to?"

One new joist in, two to go.

The plumbers are at our house, again today, to hopefully finish up. Once they're done and we get these floors in, I'll be one happy lady. Currently it's like walking the plank to get to the back of the house, oh the joys of home ownership :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Attack of the Plastic

As promised, (and because we don't let many people in our house these days) here is a tour of our first floor. 

Walking down the stairs to the first floor. Like our curtain?

View from the front door. Do you spy the plumber's supplies?

Looking towards the front door from the laundry room. Yep, those are our floors and yes, those are our appliances to the left.

Anyone need a tool?

Looking from the "kitchen" to the front door.

Although these pictures may look depressing, the next one, oh, the next one is certainly not.

Water pipes. 
That's right, we can now have a working sink.... it's the little things.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two and Half Months Down...

(Hopefully) only another month to go... We'll ignore Ryan's estimate of 7 weeks that he gave last weekend :)

I apologize for my lack of posts this week, it's been crazy. To think that I am going to have to add classes (twice a week none the less) on top of everything else, gives me a mini panic attack :)

In kitchen tile news, Ryan didn't like the edges of my original sample tiles so we were forced to keep looking.  So, last weekend, we made it to our first tile store. I'm still stuck on Travertine tiles so we pretty much only looked at those and we did find some that we really liked. The only problem with them is that they aren't made in the pattern I want so Ryan would have to cut them all (which he says he doesn't mind) but they're also more expensive then the samples I originally ordered. Who knew tiles would become such an issue?

I like the top ones (Stormy) and the bottom ones (Tuscany Noche).
Before we go ahead and order the ones we saw at the store, I decided to order some more samples online that aren't cut in the pattern hence don't have the rough edges. They should be coming in today or tomorrow so we will see. Big decisions here people. Once I finally decide and the tiles are installed, I expect you all to make a huge deal over how incredible they look (just kidding... kind of).

In other exciting news, Ryan told me this morning that he thinks we'll be able to unwrap our first floor at the end of this weekend. We have the plumbers in there today and tomorrow doing all of their work so once Ryan finishes the brickwork, there shouldn't be any more dust. I can't even tell you how excited I am to be able to (sort of) live downstairs again. The kitchen would still be sealed off but it's the little things, like being able to get in to your coat closet again...

Family Room/ Living Room

That picture is actually from when Ryan originally covered everything up. When I get home tonight, I'll take a picture of what it looks like now.... it's about ten times worse with plastic falling down, holes in the paper covering the floor (from our lovely cat) not to mention there is now a dishwasher, microwave, oven and fridge sitting in there. Oh, joy. 

Friday, May 6, 2011


Don't you just love Fridays? There's something about walking in to work on a Friday that makes the day just that much better. Maybe it's the jeans, maybe it's just the anticipation of two days with nothing a crap load to do but either way it's definitely my favorite day of the week. In other good news, Ryan got our building permit today. Woohoo! The building permit allows us to start building back up our house versus the postcard permit (or whatever it's called) which allowed us to demolish it. I can't wait to have me some floors! Speaking of floors, I got our tile samples in. It's hard to tell but they're pretty awesome, they're thick and just good quality.

I'm not sure these samples helped with my color choices...
It's hard to tell how the samples would look in a bigger picture since the none of the tiles would be completely uniform so I'm going to try and check out a showroom to see a bigger picture. I took some pictures off the website just to give you an idea of what they would look like.

Mina Rustic
Meandros Walnut
Philadelphia Antique
Navona Light
Denizili Beige

Now to decide which one to choose. Since I want my counter tops to be light, I'm leaning towards the Mina Rustic. Decisions, decisions....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do I smell progress?

On Monday night, we picked up a pretty awesome "prop" for our engagement shoot. We drove about thirty minutes outside of the city so you know it has to be good (plus borrowed our friend and his car). Granted our photo shoot, isn't until October but this deal was too good to pass up! Ryan thinks I should keep some things a surprise so I shouldn't blog about it and this doesn't count (in my book, atleast). So I guess you'll just have to wait until October for the big reveal... 

I also got Ryan to hang up a shelf I bought for over the TV. I haven't finished putting the whole thing together so I figured I'd wait to show any pictures but I did finally take a some what decent picture of our bedroom , I think that's progress. Maybe my camera phone is starting to come to an agreement with my horrible camera skills... maybe.

yellow + grey = happy me

In kitchen news, Ryan also made it to the permit office this morning and should be getting the permit on Friday. Yippeeeee! And I ordered some tile samples. Some how I managed to ship the first samples to our old apartment and they never turned up so I just re-ordered them. I'm pretty excited to see if I like them as much in person. I have fallen pretty hard for them... and how can you not?

I mean look at that floor? What a beauty!
I ordered five different samples so I'm not sure I'll go with ones that are this light but I love the design. Swoon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Plans

First off, I wanted to show off Caley's new "nails". They basically glue on and they're pretty fantastic (and fabulous all at the same time).

I think gold is definitely her color :)

She was clearly helping me work from home on Friday ;) On Friday, I also managed to run out to Home Goods and pick up an outdoor set for out front. Since the weather has been nice, we tend to drink outside on our front steps and I thought we could class it up by at least sitting on some cute chairs while we drink!

New set

The chairs actually fold up so I figured they could really be used inside or out back if we needed more seating. We also managed to make it to Ikea both Friday night and Saturday morning. Yes, we live a very exciting life these days, like I said 27 going on 47. Ikea trips always stress me out because A. it's Ikea and they have so much crap it's overwhelming and B. we always get there like thirty minutes before it closes and have to hear the Ikea voice counting down until the store closes. Friday we managed to run in and finish our kitchen design but we got the slowest Ikea worker helping us check out that she couldn't finish it before the store closed so we had to return Saturday morning. 

Ryan finishing up our design. On a positive note they did have cheese and crackers...
It was the last weekend of the cabinet sale so, as you could imagine, it was quite a mad house but we made it out alive and the cabinets arrive May 21st. Anyone want to help put together like 50 something cabinets? Oh, no? You have a life. Yeah, I used to too.... sigh.

When we got home Ryan went back to work on the brickwork. He said he found like 3 more skeletons in the wall. Yikes!
Re-building the wall
While Ryan was working on the brickwork, I was working on the bedroom. I finished our valances and I'm pretty happy with how they came out. They definitely soften the windows and add some nice color.

Done did.

I also bought a chair to replace Monkey's crate, since she's a big girl these days.

New rocking chair!
I want to make a cushion for it and I'm thinking about painting it white... or yellow. I can't decide. Ryan thinks the yellow would drive me crazy but for $40 plus spray paint I think it would be fun... Those pillows are actually from my bed but I was just seeing how they would look. Still loving grey and yellow :)

So, we've been officially living upstairs for just over two months and I'm starting to go a little insane. I made a whole chicken in the toaster oven Saturday and it was a disaster. Well the chicken was actually good but the mess it made wasn't worth it. I need a (working) oven and a kitchen.... soon enough, right?