The Kitchen Island

18 Oct

We are still plugging away working on the house.  It has become much more difficult for me and I am having to tone it down quite a bit which makes me nervous because I feel like everything’s still going to be a mess when the baby gets here.  Here are some updates:

The kitchen island

Before (I should have taken the before pic from the other angle) and After


We painted the cabinets, installed a new dishwasher, changed out the hardware, had granite counter tops installed and changed out the faucet.

Here are some pictures of the bathroom floors the contractor installed.  They look WAY better than the marked up linoleum floors that preceded.

For the guest bathroom we decided against the slate because of the upkeep and instead went with a faux slate.  For the master bathroom we chose a beige marble.  You will notice nothing else has been done in the bathroom (no painting including the molding).


The Family Room

12 Sep

At least one room is 95% complete.  We need to iron and put up the valance, find a small bookshelf for one of the walls and a free standing lamp.  Other than that one room is finally complete!  It looks almost exactly like our living room at our townhouse did, but we still love it.  Plus it’s twice as pretty because of the wood floors.  Now we just have every other room in the house to go lol.

A partial room shot taken from the stairs

Old to new (peach and wood to to a warm brown/beige and clean white molding)

The living room is maybe 85% complete.  We still have a bit of molding work to do, paint touch ups and art pieces to find.  Here is a picture of me at 23 weeks pregnant in the living room in front of one of the art pieces we found and fell in love with.

Jeff and I are utterly exhausted but we are pushing forward.  It took the majority of the weekend doing the family room.  Other projects this week will be the molding in the living room and some more painting either in the entry way or the dining room.  Next week we have to pressure wash the outside of our house as well.  Yard work has taken up some of the renovation time, but we have to do it to avoid HOA fines.  Hence why we HAVE to pressure wash our house.  I think we only have until the 24th to get it done.  Sigh.  We need more time until baby comes to get everything done:)

Appliances and more floors

11 Aug

This weekend we had our stainless steel appliances installed.  See the pictures below.  This means we actually have been able to use an oven again.  Woohoo!

This week on his days off Jeff and our friend Chris finished laying the hardwood floors in the dining room and family room (aside from the finishing touches i.e. quarter inch molding and t-molding finishes.)  As you can see we still need to do cleanup.  In fact, if you think our entire house looks like a construction zone, you would be correct in that assumption.  It’s actually really difficult (for me the germaphobe) to live in a disaster zone, but I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end.  Right now, we can’t even use our master bathroom because the marble floors are being laid.  I will post a picture of the bathroom floor once it is complete.  On a not so fun note our contractor is clueless on the slate flooring we want in the hall bathroom and so we are either bringing in another contractor to install that or we will just install it ourselves and get a refund for the labor once the contractor is paid by the bank.  It’s frustrating (our contractor kept insisting slate wasn’t used in a bathroom even though I insisted I see it done every other day on HGTV…grrr).  You can even look up “DIY how to lay slate tile in a bathroom” on the internet.  It’s been a battle, but we will get the floors we want…eventually.

Installing floating engineered wood floors

3 Aug

This past weekend was very busy.  Jeff and I had a little of help from a couple of his friends (which was a lifesaver considering there is no way I would have been able to lift all of the heavy things that needed to be lifted.)  Jeff and his friends cleared out the living room and family room while I painted the baseboards white.  Then they tore up the carpet.  We laid one entire room of floating engineered hardwood floors which proved to not be as difficult as we expected.  A little measuring, cutting, glue, a few taps of a hammer and presto chango…hardwood floors.  Okay, so not quite that simple.  It took several hours of hard work but it was well worth it.  We now have the floors in the living room complete (aside from nailing in the quarter inch molding…so just the finishing touches).  Jeff has begun to lay the floors in the family room.  It is exciting to start to see things coming together and our hard work is becoming more apparent.  Excuse the pictures as they are blurry but this will give you an idea…

Eeek!  So that’s what the room looks like without floors!

Our beautiful cherry engineered hardwood floating floors in progress

Where is all of our stuff right now as we do the floors?  Piled into the dining room and garage.  It makes for an interesting maze when trying to find things.

You will also notice that in the pictures the wood bead board is now white.  It took 3 coats of paint per side (again lots of hours) but I think it looks great.

Other awesome developments this week… our pool is done!  We got to take a quick dip this weekend to cool off from our hard work and it was wonderful.  Our backyard is still a jungle, but at least the pool is functioning.

Also, on Thursday our kitchen appliances will be delivered.  I can’t wait for a functioning oven! (Or maybe Jeff can’t wait since he’s the one who cooks lol).  Hallelujah!  Maybe it won’t feel like “camping out” in our house so much once our rooms become more usable.  I will update with pictures of the kitchen’s progress after the appliances are delivered.  By the way we decided to stray from antiquing the cabinets and leave them off white.  I think it was the best choice.  It wouldn’t have really fit with the direction we are going with the decor anyway.  Plus we came up with a new idea which I will discuss later.  Until then…lots more renovating.

Week #2 & Week #3

18 Jul

I will admit that renovations are going a lot slower than expected.  Being that Jeff and I work full-time and the fact that I am growing a child and am lucky to keep my eyes open past 8:30 right now, things are coming along slowly.

Jeff and I are continuing our work on the kitchen cabinets.  We have now painted the majority of the island cabinets and are now working on the shelves and doors.

The above pictures are a cabinet door and drawer with antiquing.  I am not sure what I think of them yet.  I want the antiquing to stand out but I’m wondering if this is too much.  This is so hard for me because I am a complete perfectionist and the whole point of antiquing is to not have solid lines and precision which has been hard for me to look at.  If I bought an antiqued cabinet from the store I probably wouldn’t be quite as critical about it but I guess when I paint something I want it to look “perfect.”  Does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this?  Does it look okay and I am being obsessive as usual or do we need to go back to square one and figure this out?  We have only antiqued one cabinet and two drawers thus far and so there isn’t a whole lot to redo if our decision on this changes.

You will also notice the new hardware that we chose for the cabinet doors.  I did not include a picture of the handles for the drawers since we haven’t installed any yet but they have the same elliptical design, only as handles.

We also painted the area above the kitchen cabinets that was previously a light beige/cream color to a gray-green color.  The color is called Filoli Carriage House from Valspar.  We think this color will look great with the backsplash we have chosen and I think it carries over well into the living room, but it is getting nerve-wracking seeing everything in pieces (I am thinking it will come together beautifully, but having no reassurance that it will lol).

Our contractor has yet to be at the house and is in the process of buying the materials.  He has however, sent out pool guys to repair the pool.  They have spent a couple of days repairing the pool (draining the water on the pool cover, draining the water from inside the pool, repairing the liner and scrubbing out the bottom of the pool).  We are hoping they will be filling up the pool this week and so we will have a functioning pool so that we will no longer be in violation of city code.  Our pool was previous filled with thousands of tadpoles and several frogs and I’m glad that I wasn’t home to see what they did with them.  It makes me sad thinking about it, but our pool was no place for them to be:(

Anyhow, that’s where we are thus far.  I wish I could muster up the energy to work a little faster but at least the contractor has been slightly delayed which gives us more time to complete our projects before counter tops are installed, etc.

Home Renovations Week #1

5 Jul

On the evening of June 24th we closed on our first home (just barely!) validating all of the blood, sweat and tears thrown into lengthy and complicated paperwork, unhelpful mortgage processors and just a whole lot of stress.  But we did it (not to say without complaint lol) and hence became excited first-time homeowners.  Note:  We did a 203k loan which includes the cost of renovations in our loan which is why I will get to post about our incredible home transformations.

We moved our belongings into the house that weekend and finally moved in ourselves on Monday, June 27th despite not having gas and resorting to taking sponge baths for a couple of days until the gas company decided to grace us with their presence.  It was a rocky start but we are now in a fully functional house albeit the mountains of boxes filling each room which will continue to go unpacked until downstairs renovations are complete.

We didn’t waste any time in putting ourselves to work to make our house into the cliched dream home.  The first order of business became to paint the wall that the TV was to be mounted on in the living room.  I know this seems a rather trivial first task, after all a television is not a necessity, but after I nearly put my foot through the screen of the TV we realized that perhaps we didn’t want to be forking out the cash for a new TV.  My clumsiness was reason enough to get that TV out of the way and up on the wall.

In the above picture Jeff is taping off the living room wall.  We painted the wall (above the bead board only) the color Frappe from Valspar.  I will not show the color just yet as a partial wall does not a room make.  You will see what we are doing with the living room in a later post.  Let’s just put it this way…we aren’t in a log cabin and we don’t want it to feel that way and so there will be some dramatic color changes going on.

While everyone was enjoying their Fourth of July weekend we were painting (not to say that can’t be enjoyed; it’s just exhausting).  Before we have our contractor come in within the next few weeks and install our new granite counter tops we decided that we needed to take care of the kitchen.  We worked through Saturday, took a little bit of a break on Sunday and did the majority of the painting on Monday.  Monday morning after my 10-15 minute ritual of heaving, I again picked up my paintbrush and went to work on the kitchen cabinets.

Once again you will notice the wood theme continued into the kitchen, the not so lovely green and white striped wallpaper and the outdated stove (the refrigerator is new and thanks to a delayed closing we were able to pay it off through Sears layaway, which can I say I am in love with Sears? lol).  Obviously the refrigerator looks very out of place, but that will change in the next month or so.

Already looking better?  This vibrant Cream Delight paint color from Valspar makes this kitchen go from drab to fab.  It takes four coats (yes a ridiculous four!) to make these cabinets look like they were always meant to be white (ugh…okay off white, but the beige color above, which will be on its way out in the next couple of weeks, makes it look a little more white than it is).  First we had to prime the cabinets (coat number one), then add thorough second and third coats of paint and finally what I like to call a touch-up paint coat which isn’t quite so rigorous as the first coats.  The doors have yet to be completed (they are on coats two and three) and still need antiquing done to them, which I will also show in a later blog.  We also need to do the entire kitchen island which we have not touched, not to mention the shelves and so we have quite a few hours of painting ahead of us.  But, in time our beat up old cabinets (literally faded, covered with water streaks, etc. which you could not see very well in the picture) will have a new life to them and we are so excited for that.

Other projects we have completed in a weeks time?  We painted the inside of the walk-in-closet in the master bedroom before we moved in our clothes, and steam cleaned the closet floors (who knew a closet could look so incredibly beat up?)  We also painted the walk-in pantry in the kitchen (again beat up).  Occasionally we also tear down pieces of the kitchen wallpaper.  The kitchen walls now resemble something out of a haunted house, but for some reason I just have to tear it off because I dislike it so much lol.  I have also found that it feels almost good to tear off the wallpaper.  It feels rather destructive which says something about me I guess.  Maybe the human race in general has something innate about wanting to destroy, who knows?  I won’t get to tear down a wall or anything extreme in our home renovation and so I have to get my destructive zealousness out somehow and tearing wallpaper is good enough for me:)

So that’s week one of our renovations…a little work down and a lot more to go, but the outcome will make it all truly worth it.


1 Jul

Welcome to Barber’s Under Construction.  Over the next six months follow our updates on our home renovations and our growing family.