Friday, August 31, 2012

a new friend

Last Friday Brandon brought his 5 year old son with him to the house. While we talked business (concrete countertops, windows being ordered, more electrical junk, and countertops for the master bath) Ben and Des entertained Landon for two hours in the front yard. There was attempted tree climbing, flag making with scrap wood, attempted dumpster diving, and of course lots and lots of football. Then Brandon was happy to show them the bullfrog in the cellar catching a grasshopper and then the tarantula. Ben told Landon it was our pet. Uh, nope. By the time they left, the boys were yelling to each other from the car windows and promising to come to each other's birthday parties. It was adorable.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trim, trim, trim...

I remember during our very first meeting, Brandon warned me how long detail work like trim, baseboards and crown molding took. All the precise cuts, the sanding, the priming, the sanding again, and more priming. There has been SO much time spent on the trimwork in this house, but honestly, it's my very favorite part.

I could not be more impressed with the perfection of it either. Robbie is a woodworking genius. He has taken crooked walls with tricky curves and added huge trim that looks flawless. It has taken forever, but it's gonna be the highlight of the whole house.

About half the trim has received it's first coat of primer. Then they go back and sand away any blemishes before the second coat. It's quite a process!

I decided to keep the built in that was in the hallway...

Here's some door trim, pre-primer:

I ended up keeping the old closet doors in the kids' rooms. My original plan was to chalkboard them for now and then when the kids have outgrown that replace the doors then. Now, I'm rethinking the chalkboard paint and wondering if I should just paint them white. I thought maybe dry erase paint would be fun but it's PRICEY! And what if the kids don't keep the chalk/dry erase on the closet doors and they get it all over the walls etc.? What's your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Office Built-in

Now check this out. My goodness, I love it. This is only about 1/2 way done, but I had to share. The bookcases will have cabinet doors on the bottom two shelves, and there will be crown molding and baseboards added...but it's looking just like I imagined!
The middle section pulls down and there is a place for a Queen-sized mattress. Make your reservations now! :)

I somehow forgot to take a pic of the island shelves so I'll try a remember to do that. But as of this week, all the built-ins will be done, the trim will be finished and primed and painted and we will be moving on to stuff that is MUCH faster! Hooray!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dining Room Built-ins

You may have already caught a glimpse of the window seat in the pics of the tarantula. ew. shudder.

But here it is again...
 And I'm realizing that yep. The tarantula was still there in this pic. gross. This too is kinda hard to see, but just know it is amazing. It looks like it has always been there. the lid lifts up for storage and the baseboards run all the way across the front. It is so, so pretty.

Then the pony walls in the entry are getting to be an asset instead of an eyesore. These cabinets will have glass front doors and big ledges accented with molding. I love them!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Living Room Built-in

The next one that was installed was the media cabinet. It's a bit hard to see because it's already been primered and well, everything is just SO white! I love it! It's actually built just in front of the one that was already there. We kept the design of the lower part pretty much the same and will actually re-use the cabinet doors that were on the old bookshelf. The top 1/2 is just a flat panel that will support the TV and then the middle cubbies have removable back panels for access. It's pretty genius really. 

I really didn't give Neil hardly any direction on this one. I wanted to have the hidden cabinets below and then a flat top. I also was worried about how it would butt up next to the really uneven stones of the fireplace. He did a fantastic job. It looks great and they sanded down the stone so the cabinetry is completely flush to it!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Laundry Room Built-ins

 The carpenter has been very busy lately and I have to say I couldn't be happier with his hard work.

One of the things I was so excited about was all the built-ins that we were adding. I really felt like these would make the house feel more like our own if we could add in a few things architecturally that weren't there before. Plus, who doesn't LOVE built-ins?

I met with Brandon and Neil a few weeks ago on a week-end to discuss my vision. The list was fairly long: laundry room cubby/locker style unit, window seat and 2 china cabinets in the dining room, media cabinet next to the fireplace, a short bookcase extension to the island in the kitchen, AND wall to wall bookcases with a murphy bed in the office. Neil didn't even blink. I liked him immediately!

He built all the units at his shop in Shawnee and then brought them over to install and trim out. The first one he brought was the laundry room and WOW. I was impressed. It looked exactly like I had described to him...maybe even better!

I love the detail of the baseboard wrapping around and the crown molding on the top. I love the little seat that extends out a bit so you can sit to put on or take off shoes. And I love that each kid has a place to drop off all their junk! Yes, I realize that we can't have any more kids! This built-in is like birth control at it's best! :)

The boys love it because they say it feels like a locker room. They want to bring in their basketball hoops and have the laundry room be a basketball gym. It is definitely long enough to be one!

It just looks so pretty!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The roof is going up!

Two weeks ago the roof went up. It was incredible to watch. The crew got there around 9 or so on Monday and worked until dark. Then Tuesday they started again around 9 and were finished by the end of the day! This is a pretty big roof too, with lots of different angles. It was crazy! Not to mention that it was around 112 degrees!

Here are some teaser shots. I went with a dark shingle. They stripped it all the way down and started fresh and also added a bunch of attic vents. Here is the roof stacked up with supplies...
And then here is the new liner paper going down:.

Two-thirds done! Look at the difference!

Picking out a roof from a tiny sample card is SO hard. They give you one square inch of shingle and it looks completely different than the picture that they show you. Geesh!

I'll get some after shots up soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not really what I signed up for...

Yesterday I took my mama over to see the house. She hadn't been there in a while and I was so excited to show her the trim work and built-ins.

When we got to the dining room, the lid on the new window seat was lifted so I walked over to lower it down and when I did I saw a TARANTULA sunning himself!!!!!

Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. I screamed, cried, and somehow managed to NOT drop Genevieve while my crazy mama went over to check him out. Ew.

She didn't want to kill it (because she is crazy) and I certainly didn't want to watch her kill it or trap it. She found a big metal tray to place over it until the guys could dispose of it (however they saw fit) the next day.

I sent them a text with a pic warning them of what they were coming to work to the next day and Robbie joked that now he had something to eat with his sandwich. Yuck. When I told Brad, he was quick to remind me that they travel in herds.

Geesh. I can handle a lot, but tarantulas? I might need to reconsider this whole country livin' thing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lamp Posts

The u-shaped driveway has two entries and each one is flanked by these gas lanterns. The gas line isn't working and I still need to call someone to come out and get those fixed, but I've at least updated them a bit. Just like the pipe fence, these were a pretty boring white. They were really faded and the glass panels were all falling inward. Once Brad painted the pipe fence gray, I thought it would be fun to change up the color of the lanterns too.


I applied a coat of rubbed bronze spraypaint and voila! They look a little black in the pic, but I like 'em!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

East side of house...

In January:

 *Can you find the A/C unit???

And in July:

Oh there it is! GoodBYE brambly bushes!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sonic Happy Hour

When the forecast says 111*F all week's the least I can do.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Every single room had one of those lovely intercom systems. We ripped them out which then left this beautiful hole. The guys had to patch them and mud them and sand them...and they were every where! They had intercom but they also were connected to the mother board that could tune them to a radio station OR the master record player! Pretty advanced I guess for 1974!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Desi shows us some sconce holes!

The sconce holes are drilled in the office, dining room, and living room!

The first time around, Jack the Electrician drilled the holes without asking me where to put them. They were in TERRIBLE places! Thankfully, the guys didn't care too much when I told them they looked bad and they patched the old holes and had me mark where I wanted the new ones to go. Now, the holes are cut in really good spots and the sconces are gonna look great! Even Des thinks so!

The kitchen soffets (in and out)

The space above the upper kitchen cabinets always bothered me. Because the lowered ceiling came all the way down to the top of the cabinets, there was just open space on top. We had the choice of leaving it open, but I decided to have the guys close it in and add molding. I think it will give it a much more custom built-in look.



Friday, August 3, 2012

Office door

In an effort to add a little interest, I am foregoing a new door on the office/guest room and instead installing this old beauty:

My mom has several old doors from an old building in downtown. They were remodeling or emptying it or something and somehow she found out and went down there. They gave her all the old doors and windows and they've been hanging out in one of the barns for years. Because they were old, they were very odd measurements, and this is the only one that would fit anywhere. It is pretty awesome.

I've been sanding and sanding and can't decide when to stop! I want it to have that perfectly aged look but I don't want to go too far. You know?

Then I will frost the glass, shine the knobs, have the guys install it and then open it up for you to come stay!

Yucky Bath.

The guys have been avoiding the guest bath for awhile. It was one of the last rooms they started demo-ing and for good reason. It was so gross. 

They removed the sheet rock surrounding the toilet because it was covered in mold. Not sure where that moisture came from, but don't really want to think about it too much either. 

They also took down both soffets...the one that was above the sink, and one above the toilet. It's a tiny, tiny bathroom, but just this extra space makes a huge difference!

And they took out that nasty little toilet! What an improvement!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The guys.

Meet some of the sweetest guys around that are transforming our yucky old house into a dream home. They have worked all summer with NO air conditioning in one of the hottest summers on record. They never complain about the numerous scorpions, snakes, bullfrogs, or spiders they work along side. They didn't even care when there was a fiddleback on their back! They work in a yucky old house, and even have to pee in that yucky old green toilet. They are covered in dust, and even eat their lunch in this demo zone. And they ALWAYS have a smile for me. 

Here's Dax:

And Robbie:

And Ryan #1:

There's also Dan and Ryan #2. Jack the Electrician, Neil the Carpenter, and Keith the Plumber.

It takes a village to turn this house around! And I like that these guys work hard, like what they are doing, and keep their sense of humor.

*Telling Jack to NOT put a sconce there.


This was one of my favorite days of reno yet! I was so excited to see the fireplace get sandblasted. It had the grossest yellowy glaze covering the stones from years of smoke and we weren't even sure if the sandblasting would remove it. I was hopeful, because it was really our only option other than tiling over it and I didn't want to lose the rustic look of the stones. 

The guys had been waiting on the machine to be ready to rent...but it was taking too long. They finally found another one at a different place and were set to sandblast the Friday before the 4th!

Mimi and G. and I stopped by to watch before we all headed to the lakehouse!

One last before picture of the yucky yellow shine:

Ryan was the lucky one who got to don the suit on this triple digit day. It was rigged with A/C inside the helmet but they couldn't get it to work. Poor guy. The other guys were anxious to head out for lunch and I couldn't understand why they didn't want to stay and watch. But then, the sand started spraying and I quickly understood!

This was after just a couple of seconds...

It was SO messy and SO loud! I couldn't believe it. I watched for just a minute or two and then saved myself. Brandon wasn't so lucky.

And check out the difference!!!

Remember the yellow? Now it just looks like natural stone again and I love it!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The trim arrives

A week or so ago our trim arrived! 8 inch baseboards, 6 inch crown molding, and 4 1/4 inch window and door casing.

I had told Brad and Brandon that thick trim was in the top five of my priority list and so I was a little nervous when it finally got here. We rushed over to see it!

A sample of the baseboard:

Selecting the wall color.

I am painting the entire house the same color. Every room will have gray walls and ceilings and ALL trim/wood will be white. So, finding the right color is pretty critical. I stared and stared at paint chips, clipped samples from magazines, and searched pinterest for months before settling on 5 sample colors. I picked up 5 sample sizes and decided to paint a swatch in every room of the house to make sure I liked the color in all light.

Ben helped me and we painted 5 small squares in every room. Then we brought over gaga and brad and made them vote in every single room. I then tallied the total and #2 sample won with almost double the votes over the others.

It's called Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and I think it's the truest gray of any of them. I think I'm gonna totally love it.