New doors! Crown molding! Primer! Sunshine streaming in the windows!
Crown molding! Primer! Painted closet!!! Do you love the color?
Crown molding! Smoke detector! New doors!
New doors! Primer! Crown Molding!
Crown molding! Primer! New can lights! Fixed pony walls! Sconces!
New doors! Sanded fireplace! Sconces!
One-coat of paint!
New doors! New lighting!
So? Looks better doesn't it!!!!
After I took these, I got really excited about our progress. I was excited about how good everything looked. Then, I got home and started going over the 20 page to-do list. And I got really, really discouraged. There is still so much to do!!!
You can see just by looking at the top picture of this blog how out of control our trees were. The house is flanked by two HUGE oak trees and they were in desperate need of a trim. The one on the right was completely surrounded by underbrush and had one huge branch that hung out over the driveway. The one on the left was even worse. It is bigger, bushier and had a wisteria that had grown up all the way into the top branches. It was causing major damage to the roof and was so dense that it created a wall of growth and you couldn't even tell if anyone was parked in the driveway!
There were two ads in the Seminole paper for tree trimmers. We called both and had them come out to make estimates. This was pretty comical. Something about rural tree trimmers...all it takes is a brave soul with a truck, you know?
The price was similar so we had to choose between Crew #1 led by a tattoo covered kid with a mo-hawk in a beaten up truck or Crew #2 led by a one-eyed man in overalls driving a mini-van.
They arrived with a double-man bucket truck which was so cool to see...esp. for the boys! They started right away and were done in just a day! The improvements were so great. Well, for one thing, YOU COULD SEE THE HOUSE!
The guys working on the east oak:
The bucket truck:
The west tree before:
(See the screen? There is a car parked behind there and you can't even tell!
And the after:
Whoa. They took away SO MANY branches. And they took out that pesty wisteria. A part of me was sad to see it go, but it was poorly placed and we just need to start fresh.
I didn't get a good before of the east tree...but here is one taken back in January:
Here's the east tree after:
They did a great job trimming it up and then Brad was able to clear out from under it. No more prickly hedges in front and the greatest difference is seen from inside. Those branches completely covered those two bedroom windows and it made the rooms really dark. Now, it looks completely different with sunlight reaching it!
I am beyond irritated that I don't have the proper before pic for this improvement. I seriously took so many "before" pics. Knowing this was the biggest before and after project of my entire life I walked around that house shooting from every conceivable angle...or so I thought.
To the north of the garage was a chain link fence. Like the ugliest chain link fence you've ever seen in your life. Everyone that visited the house somehow managed to smugly ask, "You keepin' the fence?" in desperate hope that we would bulldoze the heck out of it the first chance we got. It was UGLY.
The summer before my grandmother died she was feeling fiesty and went and got herself an Alaskan Huskie puppy. She was a dog lover and had always had an indoor dog that would sit in her lap, ride in her car, and pee on newspaper that she laid out for it. But she had either lost it, or was craving something different in her old age. So, Natasha, her new one blue/one green eyed beast was her new pet. She was planning on keeping her inside but that lasted all of one minute before she quickly called the fence guy and had this hideous pen put up. In ten years it had completely fallen apart and as we were taking it down, realized he had only put concrete in 1/2 of the post holes. Poor grandma got scammed. But at least it made it easier for us to get that piece outta there!
Hopefully you can see to the right in this pic the yucky fence:
And here's the backyard sans falling over fence:
Now there are still tons of trees to trim...but those two new baby trees are Hazelnuts. We planted one in honor of my Uncle Brad who passed away on March 31st and one in honor of his granddaughter (the light of his life) Hazel.
And because you will probably ask...Yes, that is a bell down there. My great-grandmother Vernie Belle was a school teacher in a one room school house in Western Oklahoma. That was the bell in her school house and when it closed down, my Grandma gave it to my Papa in honor of his mother. It needs to be rehung but will totally remain on the farm!
Our contractor started May 23rd. He has a crew of guys but usually only 2 or 3 are at our house everyday. They are fast, nice, and do really good work. It was so exciting to see them get started. I remember walking in after their first day there and thinking they got more done in one day than Brad and I could have done in a month!
These shots were all taken around the middle of June.
The laundry room:
Wood paneling off, sink out, closet doors off, popcorn ceiling down, countertops off. Still hadn't ripped out the tile floor...
Nothing too exciting here. The countertop is off and the light fixture is removed.
Oh, except this! They removed the Star Trek Command Center...Yep. That was the mother board that controlled the speaker/communication board that was IN EVERY SINGLE ROOM. Hello, dry wall patchwork.
The Office/Guest Room
Yikes. Look how bad it was looking. Turns out termites really liked this room. Thought it was delicious. Mold liked it too. Loved to grow here. Geesh.
So the guys got after this room! It was one of their first priorities and in just a few days it started looking like this:
Aaaah. Better. Mold and termite free sheet rock!
Countertops and sink removed. (Remember this is way back in June. Things look SO different now.)
Remember how I just gave up in a fit of cussing fury after scraping the living room popcorn ceiling for 3 hours and only getting a 1 ft. x 2 ft. square done? No? Well I did. And turns out I was almost redeemed. The guys said that it was so hard they were going to just sheetrock over it. But, I said almost redeemed. Turns out that was gonna be more money. So they had to end up scraping it. Man. I can't believe they didn't quit their jobs that day! I'm glad they didn't though because our smooth vaulted ceiling looks AH-mazing!
They also removed the built-in wet bar in the corner of the living room. The breakfast bar will eventually run all the way to that wall.
Dan got after the shower with a sledge hammer and did some serious damage (read: improvement!) He removed the surround and low bench...plus the rotten drywall!
I know the award for worst rooms is still up for grabs, but the Master Bath was definitely in the running. And man, oh, man just getting that tub and those mirrored tiles out made a world of difference!
The Dining Room:
Probably the first change that literally took my breath away was when they widened the doorway from the dining room to the kitchen. What was a standard doorway size, is now double that and who knew that something so simple could make such a drastic difference!? Now when you walk in the front doors you can see all the way back to the kitchen and the house feels so much more open! They also removed the horrible spindles and the soffet that was above them so the ceiling feels taller, the room feels bigger and everything is SO MUCH BRIGHTER.
And just wait until you see what it looks like now!!!
My friend Micca is just one of the coolest people in the whole world. I love her for so many reasons: she makes me laugh, she's a good friend, we have a blast together...and she has SO much style. Her home is a sanctuary full of treasures and she pulls off farmhouse style with well, style. Everybody that has ever been a guest in her home felt welcome, cozy, and surrounded with love. She inspires me.
The last time I stayed the night I snapped a few pics of some pieces I want to straight up copy. Both were her mama Charlotte's... A lady I unfortunately never got to meet but love any way.
Here's the iconic farm table. It easily seats 10 and more if needed. Brad has his work cut out for him!
And the tractor stools. It was Micca that sent me a text months ago that simply read, "tractor seat bar stools!" I complied and immediately began searching for tractor seats!
I hope mine turn out 1/2 as cute as hers!!!
Because she is so cool she is in the process of renovating a barn in west Texas into a vacation getaway AND a master bath/closet renovation! She is a dreamer AND a doer!!! I love it though because we continue to share ideas, text pics, and compare deals. I am so lucky to know her for so many reasons!
The two HUGE Oak trees on either side of the house got a haircut. Brad has been working away at clearing out all the overgrowth around the house, but these two were beyond his capability. We called around to get a few quotes and that alone was an adventure. Tree trimmers around these parts are a unique breed. The laid-down mohawks, one-eyed overall wearing breed.
We ended up hiring the mohawk's crew and watching them work was fun. They brought a big double-bucket truck and hauled away TONS of branches.
Slowly, the front of the house became visible again!
Stay tuned for the before and after of the front! It totally changed the look!