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Hardwood Throughout

December 3, 2013

Having hardwood floors throughout the entire house has been on our wishlist since day one and six years later our wish came true.  So this is a major milestone as far as our house is concerned.

We chose laminate floors for the upstairs.  They are a nice rich dark brown “hand-scraped” laminate floors. The color is close enough to what we already have on the main level and we are extremely pleased with them.

It took about 4 days to install the floors. Here is the breakdown,

  • Bedroom – less than a day

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  • Landing – One and half days for this tiny little area!

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This was definitely the hump of the project.  This area has sooooo many angles and countless door jams.  Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but those suckers added so much time to this project that you’d think there were at least a few thousands.

  • Office – less than a day

The office also had its challenges. See, we had already installed laminate flooring before we installed the bookcases and this meant that before we could install the new floor we had to take the old floor out. It was definitely not an easy task; We had to “lift” the cabinets up just enough to get the weight off the cabinets so that we could slide the old flooring out but thankfully it wasn’t too terrible and we were able to get all off the flooring out without any major damage. I wish I had pictures but I was too busy helping Bill that I completely forgot!

As you can imagine, the other issue was to install the new flooring under the cabinets. Before we begin the installation, we thought that we could just install the floors up to the cabinets and save some flooring so that later on if we needed to remove the cabinets we could “patch” in the floors.

Luckily,  after removing the old floors we had just enough wiggle room to slide the base out to install the new floors.

IMG_0312Notice how we took the base out

Although the cabinets were screwed into the wall, they started to sag due to lack of support so we literally had to grab my car jack and jack the cabinets up so that we could slide the base back underneath the cabinets. It was crazy but it all worked out and the cabinets are safe and sound, phew!

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  • Guest Bedroom- less than a day

As I am was typing this, we are were installing the last part of the bedroom, and I innocently typed “this is the easy part since its a rectangular room” so of course I ended up jinxing us!  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. We kept having to re-adjust the floors because they were shifting and we almost ran out of flooring.

…I learned my lesson though!

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We could not be more happy with the results. Yes we had to spend our anniversary installing floors which is obviously less than ideal, but the fact of the matter is that we are extremely lucky to be able to this. Not everyone has the ability, or the money, or the time to spend their thanksgiving break embellishing their home so I am extremely grateful for this.

So for now we are just enjoying our floors and recharging for what is next.

To Do List

  • Install the stair treads
  • Paint the raisers
  • Install shoe mold

When Design Clashes with Real Life

July 8, 2013

Hope everyone had a very red, white and blue weekend! We spent our holiday weekend grilling out and shooting fireworks.  We also spent some time checking things off  of our spring (summer?) cleaning to do list. Which consisted of items like,

  • cleaning under the washer and dryer
  • cleaning blinds
  • cleaning baseboards
  • cleaning windows/doors
  • cleaning the sliding door track
  • AND cleaning this dirty old ugly ceiling

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This ugly thing is what started it all. Admittedly, it was waaaay over due for a cleaning and when a couple of balloons got caught in it we were forced to tackle this dreaded task.

I had already planned on spray painting the blades and gold accents white in hopes of making it “blend in.” Of course just until we figured out what we wanted to replace it with.  However, once I saw the thing come apart, I realized how bad it looked and how much I want it gone but before I could go any further Bill quickly reminded me that the fan is a very efficient way to keep the air circulating and requested to keep the fan under consideration.

I’ve looked endlessly for some inspiration pictures where a fan fits into the design and I just can’t find one.  I think it is also much more difficult for us because our living room has 17′ ceilings and a fireplace with a mantle that goes all the way up to the ceiling. So, I always feel like the ceiling fan is stealing the show, and not in a good way, from the fireplace and the two-story ceilings.

For now, though, the fan is back up because that is our only source of lighting but this may just be the thing that we sacrifice for design. Don’t judge we’ve all done it! 🙂 As matter of fact, I’d love to hear what you have sacrificed in the name of design or even fashion.

Floor Plan – 1st Floor

July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July Ya’ll! Most of the fireworks and events have been cancelled here in Atlanta because of the torrential rains we’ve been getting. Okay they are not torrential rains but we have gotten so much rain that the metro Atlanta area is seeing some flooding. So we are spending our fourth grilling out in the rain with friends but not before showing you the floor plan of the first floor of our house.

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I was super excited to draw my floor plan with the free online software from floorplanner.com and see the house from a bird’s eye view. It was a bit tricky at first, I think I spent about 4 hours mapping the first floor, but eventually I got the hang of it so I’m hoping that the second floor will go much faster. Speaking of faster, I measured the whole house with this really cool device that uses a laser beam to take measurements. Have you guys every seen it? It was very easy to use!

Oh, question! Is there a formal name for the kitchen eating area? What do you guys call it? When I googled it I found, “kitchen eating area”, “kitchen eat-in area” and “eating area” so it doesn’t seem like there is really an assigned name for that space. Perhaps because its a new concept? Bill & I are always calling it the kitchen table or whatever comes to our head at that moment.

It Takes Time

July 1, 2013

After five years we are finally getting to a point where we are feeling pretty happy with our home’s curb appeal. In fact, sitting in our front porch or hanging out with neighbors has become one of our favorite things to do.

When we purchased our home five years ago the house had no curb appeal. I almost didn’t add it to my list of houses to see. I don’t know if this photo does any justice but the house needed to be painted. There was some major wood rot and the paint was fading big time on the sides of the house. We weren’t also crazy about the front flower bed. Those gorgeous privacy trees were unfortunately planted in the wrong place.  The shrubs were high maintenance.  They grow taller than 10 feet, do people not pay attention to the tag that comes with the plants?, and had to be cut back each year to keep our front porch from disappearing.

Pic 040BEFORE

I think it was within the first year after we bought the house that we bit the bullet and hired someone to paint the outside of the house.

DSCN0327WITH BROWN FRONT DOOR/SHUTTERS

( Not the best picture to show the after but that is the only pic I have )

We picked our colors from an inspiration picture we found in a Benjamin Moore store.  We loved the color of the siding and the trim but we were not so crazy about the chocolate-colored front door and shutters but decided to leave it alone until we found something else.

That something else came when I saw a house in my mom’s neighborhood that had a purple front door and purple shutters. It was a pretty shade of purple and it really caught my attention because the idea sounded like such a bold move but somehow it just looked good not bold crazy like you would have imagined. Yet, when I mentioned the idea to anyone, including Bill, they automatically thought of Barney and dismissed my idea and called me crazy. But I believed that as long as I stayed far away from Barney purple and stayed closer to a shade of an eggplant we could pull it off.  Bill eventually got on board and so off I went to the paint store to search for the perfect shade of purple.

I bought two samples from Martha Stewart’s paint line that resembled the shade of purple I was after but once we tried the samples, I am guessing because of the bright outdoor light, none of them looked quite as deep and dark as I had hoped. Nonetheless the samples did not resemble Barney and Bill encouraged me not to back out and to go with my gut feeling.  After all if we didn’t like it, we could just paint it back. So with much needed support, I chose Griddle by Martha Stewart and I am so happy I did because I just love the end results! (Thank you Honey!) Funny enough, no one ever notices that the front door is painted purple.

The results encouraged us to finally tackle the front bed. We pulled out the old overgrown shrubs and replaced them with dwarf shrubs and a gorgeous dwarf butterfly bush. The privacy trees were taken out the first year we bought the house and the tree came down that same year due to a storm.

So that is the story of how our house went from this

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to this,

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Can you spot the yellow Dahlias?. Here is a close up of the front porch

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Blinds & Curtains

June 28, 2013

The house came with very nice and upgraded faux wood blinds and while I really like that you can control the amount of light that comes through just by twisting a dowel I decided not to replace the blinds that my lovely Azul had broken. Why? Because dusting and cleaning them can be such a tedious and annoying process.  Plus the blinds are not cheap.

So instead we installed a double rod and hung a sheer fabric for privacy in one and plan to hang a decorative fabric in the other. So far I’ve replaced the blinds in the master bedroom and in the dining room with IKEA’s sheer curtain called Matilda and I adore them. I can’t wait to add the second layer of fabric. It is going to look fantastic!

Check out the progress in both rooms.

MASTER BEDROOM

Master Bedroom-BeforeBEFORE

Master Bedroom - WIPWIP

Can you see the potential?!

DINING ROOM

Pic 082BEFORE

(…blinds were broken and during floor installation)

IMG_0268AFTER AZUL BROKE THE BLINDS

IMG_0275OUTSIDE VIEW OF THE BROKEN BLINDS

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Not bad, right?