Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, from our house to yours!


Study Beginnings

She Says:

The next room we're tackling is the study/spare bedroom.  We're working with a pretty small room (9x12) so storage and organization will be the keys to making this space multifunctional.  

Here's the before shots:

It's got a nice sized window that looks out onto the back yard.

There was also a decent closet, but we conscripted that space for the hall closet.  So all the storage has to fit inside the room itself.

It's currently serving as a makeshift study and catchall... there's a lot of bills to pay when you're building a house!

The sheetrock is in good condition here, so this room doesn't have to go down to the studs like most of the rest of them (yay!  No gypsum dust everywhere!)

Let's get started!


The Closet That Wasn't

She Says:

I have a confession to make.  Or maybe we've already mentioned it, I can't recall, and I'm not going to read through the whole blog to figure that out.  My confession is this: we are addicted to reno.  This renovation is only phase one.  Once we tear down this entire house to the studs and rebuild it, we have plans for an addition.  Gluttons for punishment, I know.  But we are having too much fun.

The reason I bring this up now is that there is a portion of the hallway that is currently unused and walled off, because eventually that will lead in to the fabled addition.  But I need storage space *now.*  So we decided to build a "temporary" closet out of the unused space, nothing fancy, and cheap.

Here's the hole we're starting with:

We bought a $50 door, built bracing for it, and installed.  We patched the drywall, but didn't float it because this will all come out later anyway; like I said, temporary.  I guess that was about $20 in drywall and materials.

HoneyDo installed some $49 track lights, and I painted the whole thing with some leftover Ultra White from the spare bath.

I laid the floor, continuing the hardwood from the rest of the house.

Then we installed a $120 wire closet system.  I added a small bookcase that we didn't have any other use for; it makes great extra shelving.

We mounted a $20 Ikea Grundtal towel rack on the opposite side, for scarves (I've warned you before about my scarf problem).

And here it is, fully loaded!

I now have space for things that didn't have a home, like rags, aprons, and the vacuum cleaner.  Plus, it really frees up a lot of space in the master closet: blankets, sheets, and coats of every size and shape were moved in and are feeling right at home!

I already owned the baskets and boxes (I think I've also mentioned my basket problem as well), so no cost there.  That brings us to a grand total of $259!  Not bad for an entire new room!

I have to admit, at least once a day, I just open the closet, look around and sigh happily.

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Red Buds in Bloom

Happy Spring, everyone!


Kitchen: Done (Mostly)

She Says:

So the kitchen is mostly finished... mostly.  Fully functional, there's a lot of little touch ups to do, crown moulding, some task lighting and the like, but we need to get on to the next room.  So we decided to call it good at this point.  Would you like to see?

Here's where we started:

And here's our after:

A word on appliances: if you're patient, you can find some really great deals.  We've been haunting the local Home Depot, Lowes, and even Best Buy watching for deals, discounts and floor models.  We chose all stainless steel appliances (except the wine fridge, which we found on sale for $100) including the sink.  The range hood is an Ikea find, 50% off.  The range is a slide in, and we got both the range and microwave 20% off at Lowes.  The fridge was the most difficult find: a stainless look, counter depth, 15% off.  I found the dishwasher, which was a 50% off floor model, in perfect condition!  

We ordered some of the cabinets without front panels and had specialty glass cut to fit:

Installation isn't difficult (as long as you measure carefully and order the right size glass pieces!)- we caulked a strip of silicone into the frame, laid the glass in and used a glazing point gun to mount the glass.  We found this gun on Amazon for $30.  
It will also come in handy when we finally get to the point where we can start decorating and hanging things on the walls (oh happy day, will you ever arrive?)...

I think this is my favorite part: the coffee and wine bar!

 Everything you need for the perfect cup of coffee, or a great glass of wine (or something stronger)!

And here are a couple of close ups of our custom island:

A space for loose spices, vinegars, cookbooks, and extra hand towels- I can never have too many towels around, especially during a reno!

So now that we have a real, live kitchen,  I'll probably post a recipe or two every now and then... HoneyDo and I really love to cook, and we've missed it terribly.  Stay tuned!

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Our Own Private Island

He says:

The kitchen is a large space, and we knew we wanted an island.  We have never had one before and so we were excited about building it.  We also wanted an "eat-in" kitchen and so we wanted the island to serve as a breakfast/lunch table as well.  After the kitchen cabinets were finished, we measured the available area and decided on a footprint for the island.  We could not obtain a matching piece of granite within our budget, and contrasting surfaces on islands are "in" so we decided this surface would be butcher-block.  It took a month of stalking the local IKEA to actually snag a piece large enough for the job.  The alternative of ordering a top from Lowes or HomeDepot was 5X more expensive, so we were patient.

The island is built around a 24" base cabinet, to which I added a top table-frame, legs, a narrow shelf for vinegar and oil bottles, and 4 deep shelves for cookbooks.  Everything was placed on a 2x4" base screwed to the sub-floor and all glued and screwed together.  The top was installed and oiled several times with food-safe oil  A quick polish with #000 steel wool made the top shine.


Foggy Morning

Even our "bad" weather is beautiful here!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

Ni Hao Yall


Making a (Back)Splash

She Says:

Next came the backsplash in the kitchen.  As with our previous tiling escapades, things get a little too... intense... to take photos.  Because there's so much actual wall space (relative to the cabinets... it felt like acres of wall space while we were tiling) in this kitchen, we decided to tile everything except part of the area behind the coffee/wine bar.  (That's right, a coffee and wine bar.  Jealous much?)

He says:

Tiles recommended for a backsplash have one thing in common:  They are easy to cut around electric outlets.  We overlooked this and chose a 3" square glass tile.  This left us needing to make some complex cuts and this is exceedingly difficult to do with a glass tile this large.

She Says:

But they're so pretty!

These are hand painted glass tiles, by Bellavita Tile, the Bamboo Series, camel color.  You have to use a white thinset or mastic behind glass tiles so that the thinset doesn't alter the color of the tiles.  We used Mapei's Straw color grout.

Despite the cutting difficulties, we did get it done, and here is the result:

This is a view of the bar, cabinets are primed.

We went up and all around the garden window, and it looks fantastic!

And here's the the side opposite the window.  

BTW, besides picking a tile size that was difficult to work with, we also chose (and painted) the cabinet color before choosing our tile.  We *really* lucked out and found a tile that we loved which just happened to match our particular paint color.  Not smart, but all's well that ends well, right?

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