Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dining Room Update

  So we pretty much worked on pretty-ing up (totally a word) the dining room at the same time we were doing the kitchen.  Truth be told we were having one of our first shindigs in the house and wanted things looking better by the time a decent-sized group of people saw the house.  The only thing that we've really done so far is paint and hang some stuff, but it made a huge difference.  Here's a shoddy picture of a corner of the room from our original house tour:

The room isn't big at all, I'm standing pretty much in the back corner.  This used to be the eat-in kitchen!  That, by the way, accounts for the strange outlet placement (all but one are on the upper part of the wall).  What you can't see is the other area on the linoleum where the previous owners apparently used some heavy-duty carpet tape to hold down small rugs, and the peeling painted fruit border.  Ugh.  And don't you just love builder's grade brass light fixtures?  I know I don't!

Well here's the view from the opening into the kitchen:

I'm not a huge fan of the light fixture in here, I'd like to get something that fits the room better.  Jed loves it, though, and there's not really anywhere else that it can go right now.  If we can't afford a new one, I thought about tackling the brass one that was in here with some spray-paint and seeing what I can make of it. 

The frames in the back are from various places; Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, mostly Goodwill.  All but the long skinny mirror had to be spray-painted either black or silver.  I hope to eventually get more as I find them and fill the wall up a little more, I think it looks a bit sparse.  I did try to get a bit crafty with a couple of them, which went both good and bad.  On the bad spectrum, you have the oval shaped frame, which is is desperate need of something real to go inside of it.  I'm not going to post a close-up of what's in there now because it's just a mess.  Let's just say that DIY stenciling with spray-paint did not go well.  On the good end, I wound up with this:

The ceramic bowl in the middle is our ring bowl, that we used in lieu of a pillow for our wedding ceremony.  Super-fancy frame, spray paint, scrap-book paper, some jimmying, and there you have it.  I love it, it's my favorite thing in the room.

And from the other side:

The sideboard from Ikea was an awesome find, got it in the as-is section for $140!  It was a nice splurge.  Right now it's holding our "wedding china" (from Target) and fancy glasses.  I want to change up some of the stuff that's on top,  as the French-themed stuff in the front isn't my favorite anymore, it's just what I was able to dig up out of the basement.  I also feel like maybe there's too much going on, but I have a need to fill up every space with stuff, just stuff everywhere.  Not good in a small house, but dammit I love my knick-knacks and random crap. 

I also feel like something needs to go above it, as there's just a big block of space.  I did think about waiting for a bit, then hanging some empty frames to hold random bits of future toddler artwork as seen all over the internet.

I'm realizing now that it's hard to tell the color of the lower walls here, but it's a deep plum, like the color of...
These pants.  Like that.
 There's still obviously stuff to be done: I'm still deciding whether or not I want curtains in there, and it's yet another room that needs the flooring completely ripped up and redone.  Still, it's in way better shape than it was!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Updating the Kitchen

So it's been slow going over here when it comes to our house updates.  I say update rather than renovation because really we haven't much in regards to "tear it down, put it back up".  It's all been about paint jobs and cleaning up so far, plus there's all that time and especially money that's needed.

Our kitchen wasn't really horrible, I mean, it was completely functional once we put some appliances in.  But seriously, that countertop?  The sponge-stenciling?  No thanks.

This probably looked great in 1987.
It's a bit of a strange kitchen, I guess.  The kitchen in this house used to be in the dining room, which when you see that you'll understand why they put this in!  It used to be a breezeway, the door behind Jed there is actually the garage door.  Here's a look at what it looked like when we first saw the house:

I did not have a pic without Jed wandering around looking surly.

They did some things that we would have done differently, such as moving the sink underneath the big back window.  Plus, the location of the dishwasher means that you can't be in front of the sink when you're loading it, which is kind of a pain.  It's also freezing in there!  We had to put a space heater in this winter to keep it somewhat comfortable.  But, we do have awesome brick walls in there, and vaulted ceilings, so there's that.  Also, those stencils above that little cupboard in the back?  Cats and fish.  They had to go.  So one paint job and a new countertop later:

You can probably tell that these are not the most recent pictures, as it's a nice sunny day outside but really it's January and we just got 3 inches of ice or something (also, I needed pictures of my kitchen looking tidier than it does today).  Hopefully I'll be able to get some better ones too when we do something else to the room.

I'm kind of going for a funky-retro vibe.  I buy accessories in bright colors like hot pink, lime green and orange to complement the colors.  The countertop is laminate, but it's black and textured (and thanks to a former work connection of hubs', free!), so I don't knock it.  We also removed the cabinet that was above the microwave.  It was just completely useless, I actually had to sit on the countertop to get in there, and I'm pretty tall.  We still have plenty to do, the main things being replacing the lighting (ceiling fan and track lights), painting the cabinets (white), adding shelving (above the sink, where the cabinet used to be, and maybe above the "cat corner") and replacing the flooring.

Another big project that I've decided I want to do in there is to add a built-in kitchen bench in the corner where the small table is now.  We would need to take measurements to make sure it fits, but I really think that it's feasible and might help with resale when the time comes for that.  Damn you Pinterest, you fill my brain with too many ideas!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trying To Ignore the Shiny Objects

So, apparently I'm not very good at this blogging thing.  I obviously haven't posted in a bit, for a myriad of reasons.  I get anxious about what to write about, about whether it sounds right, about whether it's something that people will want to read at all (all like, 2 of you).  And I'm just lazy.

Maybe lazy isn't the right word.  I think it's more like completely unmotivated, which unfortunately seems applicable to many facets of my life.  So, with that, it's January and with the new year comes a slew of goals that are normally abandoned before anyone even starts wondering whether or not it's a leap year.  The majority of my goals are family goals, though, something Hubs and I both want to work on to generally improve our lives.  It's kind of sad how basic they are:

-Keep the house clean
     I hate cleaning.  A lot.  A lot lot.  But we've started making an effort to actually do the dishes at night (what?!)  and pick up the toys (I know!), even do a load of laundry and put it away (shocking!).  As for the rest, Jed's sister is on our cell phone plan, needs a way to help pay for it, and does cleaning on the side- win win, right?

-Eat healthier
    We know how to eat healthier, we just don't do it.  I want to try making some freezer meals, using my crockpot more, etc.  This is my goal before I get to working out, I know that if I try to radically change something all at once I will quickly give up.  And we have to stop eating out so much!  Which leads to...

-Fix our money
     Pay bills.  Don't spend it on stupid shit.  Should be easy enough, right?

-Grow the business
     Jed basically took over his dad's remodeling company after he lost his job last year.  Things weren't working out when he used to work for him, but he's really motivated to make something more out of it this year.

So those are the basics.  We really want to turn things around this year, at least get started on a good path (

-I tried to come up with some yellow brick road analogy, but that particular road just led to a discovery of lies and "Oh, I had it all along," but guess what, I don't have a pile of cash and carrots and Mary Poppins hiding anywhere.  Great movie, though.