Sunday, September 30, 2012

As of last Friday...

They are cutting in the gray paint around the cabinets!

They are almost done tiling the master bath! (we ran out of bullnose and have to order more.)

They are getting far tiling the hall bath!

And there is more adorable art on the walls!!!

For G's room?

I canNOT find a light fixture that I love for Genevieve's room. Her ceilings are only 8' so something huge, or dangling, won't really work. Plus, when I find something that is cute like the basket pendant above that I sorta like, it just bothers me that it is always so expensive. I start to think, well, I could make that...I dunno. Have you guys seen any cute light fixtures for a little girls room lately?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dining Room built-in update

The guys are scrambling to finish up every last bit of trim so they can finish painting and put in the floors sometime next week!!!!

The topper to the dining room built-ins was some of that last trim. Turns out it was a bit harder than just laying the trim on top and nailing in some crown underneath. There wasn't enough height above where the cabinet doors would rest for the crown to fit so instead they had to build a base to bring the topper up. 

And THAT left enough room for the crown detail underneath. Nothin' comes easy it seems...especially when remodeling!

That crazy old door...

I've shared a pic of this door before, as I've worked on it here and there for awhile. I finally sanded enough that it got to a point that I liked (or I was just tired of sanding it!) and then I frosted the glass. This is the door that opens into the guest room/office so it needed frosting for privacy! Last week-end I propped it up here on this column so I could finish it up by putting 3 coats of polyurethane on it. I loved how it looked and couldn't wait to see it in the house.

Ben was really proud of the door and took this pic of me "because I did a good job."

And then Monday came and with it came some strong winds. Robbie called and built it up so scary that I was relieved when he finally told me the news. "Lauren, I have some bad news. I think this might just ruin your day. I'm really sorry to have to tell you this..." When I started thinking the house was burnt to the ground and he told me instead that the wind had knocked over my door and shattered the glass I had to laugh.

So now I've got to take it to the glass shop in town but that is much, much better than a burned down house.

Master Bath tile and countertop

Here is a peek at the progress in the Master Bath. I love how the tile looks with the concrete. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Secret Message

We are so lucky to have such an awesome team of guys working on our house. They always have a way of making me smile. Here's their latest trick:

This is our concrete countertop in the master bath. It's a message carved in the concrete under where the sink will sit. It's their signatures, a funny face, and the sweet message "brad + lauren forever"! Aren't they so sweet!?

primer, primer, paint, paint, paint...

I haven't been able to show you the finished product of the concrete countertops because they've been wrapped in plastic for painting purposes. These poor guys have been priming and painting these cabinets for so long. There are so many of them and turns out there was quite a bit of repair that needed to be done to them. Knicks and cracks and poor installation caused the guys to have to spend a lot of time caulking and filling which then led to more sanding! If only I had a tally of how many hours have been spent on the trim and woodwork in this house! They been rolling, brush-painting AND spraying on multiple coats of primer AND paint and I will tell you, they are looking AH-mazing. The craziest part to me is that when they were so dark, and the ceiling was so low I had no perspective of just  how much storage there was or how big that kitchen really was. It felt so small and insignificant. Now it's already the highlight of the house and it's not even finished. Like they always say, it's crazy what a little paint can do!

Another countertop!

Oh my gosh I love this thing. What seems like forever ago (but was just a couple of months or so) I picked this guy up at Habitat for Humanity. I was looking at some Quartz there that I was thinking about using in our Master Bath. The remnants of granite etc. there is only $7 a square foot and there was this shiny black beauty leaning against the wall. It was so hot outside and you couldn't even touch the black granite because it burned the skin! But I loved it. I grabbed the tape measure hoping that it would fit in my task area...and it did with literally a 1/4" to spare! To top it off, the warehouse guy took a liking to me and what was supposed to be a $65 piece of granite, he wrote up for 20 BUCKS. I drove home on top of the world.

I was so excited to show Brandon and he brought me back to reality a bit saying that it would cost us a bit to get it cut and polished. So it was a tad bit more than $20. Then he was concerned that I would even like it because I already had 2 other countertop materials going in that room (concrete and butcher block). I had a bit of a melt down and called my mom. She voted for the shiny black and I am so glad I listened to her. It adds such a bit of glamour to the room! It is gorgeous!!!

And to snaz it up even more I'm having a shiny piece of metal installed behind it for a magnetic board. Woo eeee!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shower floor

Tiling is well under way. And because there is hardly any of it, it shouldn't take long! Here is the hall bath's shower floor...

The Septic Tank

Another huge check on the ol' to do list happened last week. We got our septic tank installed. 

Just for posterity's sake, I'd like to share a bit about it. When my grandparents built the house, my civil engineer Papa thought he would try something cool and install a lift station that would take the waste from the main line uphill to the city's main line that is literally a mile away. It never worked right, the pump was always broken and eventually they just let gravity take over and let the waste just run downhill and empty, who knows where. There was a tank under the lift station but being 40+ years old we weren't sure if it was even worth keeping.

I've been putting this task off because, well, it was gonna be expensive and who wants to spend money on poop-tanks? 

But I finally called Jimmy, he showed up that very day, took a quick look and tried to explain lateral lines and such to me and then said he would start that week. Wow.

Sure enough they showed up Wednesday with back-hoes galore and dug the largest whole you've ever seen. They didn't get finished in a day like he predicted and he didn't put the tank in the spot he had planned for, but after a quick two days we had a $6,000 new septic tank and a grass-less backyard.

This is definitely one of the unglamorous moments of renovation, but hey! If you ever need a place to potty, come on over to our house! We are now properly equipped!

The hall bath vanity.

This has been such a fun project for me, but I've come to a place where I need your help! Let me give you the back story first, because I think it's just hilarious. Remember that auction I went to back in June? I went hoping for a trinket to remember a friend by and returned at the end of the day with truckloads of goodies? Well, this was one of the treasures I captured:

I was so enamored with the auction process that I really did get caught up in the fun of it all and just began bidding on stuff I never would need. Then when the auctioneer (who was goin' bout a mile a minute...taking bids and callin' them outloud....any John Michael Montgomery fans out there?) got to this piece NO ONE even made a starting bid. It was an old record player piece. The front doors slide open (super cool) and the top has two lids that lift up (super duper cool). I thought it was dog ugly but when the auctioneer was getting irritated that NO ONE would even bid, I started to feel really sorry for it. Like it was a puppy at the pound and it just needed a good home. I shouted out $5 hoping that I would spark some interest and somebody else would take it home for six bucks. They didn't. I got to keep it. My first thought was, "my husband is gonna kill me."

I had NO IDEA what I was gonna do with the ugly thing. I mean look at this hardware...and that caning background. ew.
 But then it hit me. It was the PERFECT size for the vanity I had been hunting for in the kids' bathroom! It was long, and low and might just be amazing with a little creativity. I began brainstorming and before I even left the auction, I had a plan! I would remove the caning and add radiator metal. I would rough it up and paint it and make it look a lot older than the 70s era it really was. Some new hardware and topmount sink would really spruce it up. And the sides that lifted to store old records in? I would replace them with built-in baskets so the kids could store their toothbrushes et al in there!

*totally scored that record for free!*

So, I had a plan. And that was back in June. And I've been busy and it's been on my to-do list ever since. I finally got Brad to help me move it OUT of the dairy barn (that is stuffed to the rafters with our stuff) and into the gray barn so I could have some space to work and I bought the supplies and started on it last week. 

Step 1:
I had to demo it. Ripping out the speakers and the caning was harder than I thought. I finally took a sledgehammer to the front and got them out. The sides where the records and player were hidden (under the lift up flaps) was the hardest part to demo.

Step 2:
I took a sander to it. It was HIGH varnish and I could feel the chemicals settling in my lungs. All for the sake of DIY. :)

Step 3:
I painted it a really quirky mauve/lavender color. My vision was to have a really old crackled paint job of antique white with some eggplant purple coming through the cracks. I found this pint of paint on the mistint shelf for $3 and fell in love with it. Over 2 days I managed to get 2 coats on. I'm telling you, life is just not NEARLY as productive with kids. I would have done this entire project in an afternoon back in the good ol' days!

Step 4:
I thought they made a crackle-finish spray paint, but I wasn't able to find it at Home Depot. Instead I found a crackle kit at Ace Hardware here in Seminole. It was $25 which was hard to swallow but I kept thinking how I was only in it 8 bucks. Last Saturday, the Pokes were off, so we had a productive day at the farm. Desi wanted to help me so I figured, what the heck. He applied the crackle finish...both on the vanity...and his hands.

Step 5:
Then I painted on just a single coal of "bone white" paint. I started with a regular paintbrush which wasn't working too well, so I used a sponge brush like the crackle instructions called for. I didn't think it worked very well either. It came out super streaky, and the crackle didn't seem to be working at all. I kept going and hoped that time to dry would make it better.

Step 6:
I needed to do a little reconstruction to the piece. It needed a new floor and some prep for where the baskets would sit.
Feeling a little frustrated with the streakiness of the white, I set off to find a piece of wood for the bottom of the vanity. There was a weird piece of screen in the center of the floor of it which I assume was for sound purposes? Anyway, it needed a new floor and I was determined to use some power tools and do it myself. I needed a piece 59.5" long and 16" wide and as I wandered through the garage and back porch I came across a really nice piece of plywood that looked about right. As I measured I literally could NOT believe my eyes. It was 59.5x16!!! I squealed outloud! I ran it over to the barn and it fit PERFECTLY. Whoa.

Step 7:
The last step on the crackle paint instructions was to apply an antiquing agent which would basically just add a brownish hue to the paint. I was still unsure how I felt about the piece and thought, well, what the heck. I applied just a bit and focused mainly on the edges and the carved detail. I started to think, well, maybe I do like it...

I told my mama, it's like if I saw it in an antique store I would love it...but because I did it maybe I think it looks like a fake. I'm just not sure. The streaks are really obvious but it is supposed to look kinda junky.

I haven't put on the polyurethane topcoat yet because I need someone to just tell me what to do. Should I leave it? Or should I paint on more white and then sand some off? If I did that much less of the purple would show through...hmmmmm.

Once I decide I will install the baskets under the top lids and then glue on the radiator metal to the front 4 doors.

So, what's your vote?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The gutters are DOWN

Our roofer sent a couple of guys over last weekend to take down all the gutters. He told us he wanted them for scrap metal...but they left them on our driveway so I'm not sure what's going on with that...Anyway, the house looks a lot better now without the sagging, rotted, pea green things!

Now that they are down, the guys are sanding and prepping the trim for paint!

*Brad thinks I should replace the header photo with this newer pic, but I kind of like seeing what we started with and being able to compare the before and after...what's your vote?

Concrete Countertops Step 2

After the concrete board was placed the guys screwed the molds into the edge of the countertops, placed the wire and rebar in the mold and poured the concrete. It looked fabulous and I was so excited!

Laundry Room:


Above you can see an up close pic of the black mold that forms the edge of the countertop. We decided to go ahead and do the breakfast bar in concrete, and then after I saw them installed I liked them so much I went ahead and had them install it in the master bath too!

Once the concrete is set, the black edge just POPPED off! Then they had to sand up the edges and seal it and it was done. The day that they had to seal it was a bit stressful for me. I wasn't sure if I wanted them to do it. I loved the look of the raw concrete and didn't really know how I felt about the shiny coat. Turns out, without the shiny coat, stains are really eminent. Even a water glass would leave a ring! So I went for it and I'm glad I did because they look amazing!

It's the last week of September!!!

Do you know what that means? That means that if my contractor is telling the truth, we will be moving into the house next month! what?!?! 

I'm not really all that inclined to believe him. I mean the house is looking great...but by no means is it near finishing. Maybe he means business though because he has had his entire crew over there this week and they are getting busy! He has two guys starting the exterior (woot!), two guys finishing the final installation of trim (finally!), two guys painting (still!), and two guys tiling, (wahoo!) It feels big time and every day walking in there I can hardly contain my excitement!

It's totally motivating me to get my butt in gear too. So, get ready for a stream of updates. There's a lot to catch you up on!

I went in today with the intention of photographing every room so you can see what the house looks like right now. As usual I got about 1/2 way through and then started chatting, answering questions, and gawking at the house and completely forgot the second 1/2. Oh well, it happens every time. :) Here's what I got:

The laundry room, (duh, 'cause it's the first room you walk into!):

The task area:

The guest room/office:

The pantry:

The big dining room window (It got it's trim work! But you can hardly see it because I'm a terrible photographer.)

And THAT is as far as I got! There were guys working in the rest of the rooms, and I was answering questions for Brandon, and I was rushing because I left all three kids in the van, and my honey walked in on his lunch break, and I was smiling because it all looked so good, and...well, I just forgot. :)

But, there are a ton of updates for you coming!

Another big purchase...

Did I mention that three weekends ago we went to the city and bought 3 appliances? Do you have any idea how expensive appliances are? Geesh.

We were sent to pick out at least our dishwasher and microwave so the guys could finish up the cabinet trim around these two areas. They needed to know the size etc. to make it look finished out. While we were there, we saw the amazing refrigerator I've been eyeing for months and it was on sale! I called Robbie and asked if he thought it would fit and we decided it would. We took the plunge and bought it. Well, they delivered it Monday and it is way too deep. It comes out so far that with the doors open they nearly touch the island! Oops! 

So, we have to somehow get back up to the city to exchange that...and you know the one we need will be twice as much. Grrrrrr.

Now I'm a little skittish about purchasing ANYthing! I hate shopping online when I can't touch the thing, or let's be honest, really see it at all. But I've been on the hunt for a looooooooong while now for the perfect rod iron bed for our bedroom. I love so many and because of that, I can never really make up my mind. But today in a fit of panic that I just NEED to start checking things off my list, I took the plunge.

Here's our new bed:

I hope I like it as much as I like it on the screen. I'm gonna do all white bedding and accent with quilts. There is a million beautiful sets of white bedding out there, but I'm kinda leaning towards this one...

Agh. All these decisions give me heartburn...