Thursday, November 19, 2009

A few changes to the bedroom.

I painted, hung lamps and hung three pieces of artwork in the bedroom. It's still a plain room, needs a more permanent window treatment and we need a dresser, as well! It will look sooo much nicer in there when we get the trim put up and the carpet squares put in this Spring. I'll be hanging some more artwork or a mirror or something on the wall to the left in this first picture as soon as we know what kind of dresser we will have.

I really love the color of the room now. When I first painted it I picked a blue so light it looked white. I was terrified of painting it any color that would make the room feel smaller, but I think you have to get a pretty dark color to make that happen.

Living Room!

Not too terribly exciting, but I hung this picture shelf today. I was missing having artwork on our walls and am not so good and hanging pictures evenly, so, voila! The shelf! I also like that it will be super easy to swap and re-arrange, etc. We don't have a single wedding picture (yet) so I was wanting to figure out a way to hang stuff while having an easy way to add to the collection.

Here is the front window and our cool IKEA lamp and another photo. This wall faces the wall in the photo above. The front door is to the right in this photo, as well.

I just hung these curtains today, they are to the left when you come in the front door. Our computer desk is right in front of these curtains, as well.

Here is another view of the artwork on the wall. You can see the top of the computer desk there in the corner and a tiny bit of the curtains that are in the above picture. You can just see the very top of an old, gross chair that we have and want to replace. It's a tough prospect because this chair is sooo comfy, but it looks like something you wouldn't really want to sit in. We have to find something equally comfy (and big!) to replace it with.

The Playroom!

I am so in love with this room. It's almost done. We are going to get a futon to put along the wall where the book shelf is now. I am also thinking of hanging something over the sliding doors-- maybe small pieces of the girl's artwork?

I took a picture from each of the four corners of the room.

This is the least exciting angle. Those two doors are the closet doors, where we currently store a bunch of random stuff and Matt's clothes.

The door on the right is the door to the rest of the house. I hung the girl's alphabet cards along the top of the wall and more kid-friendly art on the walls. Where the easel and the bookcase are is where we will put the futon.

So, come and play with us!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Ever since our basement was re-finished I have had "call insurance company about flood insurance" on my to-do list. Today I finally called and was very surprised with what I found out. Well, surprised AND frustrated.

As it turns out, to be covered for a flood you and two of your neighbors need to have flooded, or your home and two acres of surrounding land. Even then, mostly just your appliances are covered in the flood, like a washer and dryer, hot water heater, etc. No furnishings. No flooring. Nothing else is covered by water damage. Not only that, but if we were to just have some kind of random leak in our basement, it wouldn't be covered even if we did have flood insurance. So, we could pay $326 per year for flood insurance in the case of something fairly major happening, or do nothing. Of course, you know what will happen in THAT case . . .

The frustrating part comes from the fact the we never looked in to this before we bought our house. I never questioned what the insurance company would cover. When I heard that flood insurance is separate from regular insurance, I decided I should call, and even then it never occured to me that water damage wouldn't be covered. Learning so, so many lessons from this house . . .

We have done a few things to help protect our basement from water damage, but still, you just never know. Our house is practically 100 years old. The seller was a shady asshole. He absolutely would (and quite possibly did) hide any flooding issues that the basement may have. I take a wee bit of comfort in our basement doing totally fine in the torrential rains that we had last weekend. I know that some people's basements did flood during that, but ours didn't. Clearly one weekend of rain isn't a good measure for an entire rainy season in Seattle, but it's something, I suppose.

I'm frustrated. I think this whole home buying thing is a trial by fire sort of a deal. Every time something like this comes up I think "why didn't someone tell us?!?" but that is no one's fault but our own. We needed to ask.

Here's to the driest next few months (years?) in Seattle's history!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Open concept?

I installed new shelves in the corner of our kitchen yesterday. Here they are:

I'm referring to the ones my bowls and mixer is on. The food shelf is all that previously stood in that empty corner and so now everything is smooshed in there.

I hate our cupboards. They are pieces of junk, need a paint job, need hardware and well, need to be replaced as the shelves in the upper cupboard are all bowing in the middle. Also, when you open the cupboard that is second from the right, it hits the light that hangs in front of it.

After I hung those shelves yesterday I just fell in love with the way they looked. I like the industrial feel. I like seeing my cooking and baking items. It makes me want to run in there and pull everything off and start cooking up a storm.

So, I started having a thought-- what if the cupboards in the above photo were taken down and replaced with open shelves, like the ones I already hung? We could make MUCH better use of that space.

I've started to peruse the interwebs, looking for pictures of peoples who have done this with their kitchens, but the pictures mostly are either completely monochromatic (like ALL white) or extremely sparse and modern or are open shelves just displaying a few special pieces. But what about real-life kitchens? We have nicer dishes, due to a recent wedding, but we still have a few random things, as would any family.

I also read reports saying that open shelving makes your dishes very dirty. One thing is that these cupboards are away from the stove, so that would help with splatters. But what about dust? I can't help but think that we truly use our dishes SO often (I'm a stay-at-home mama, after all) that most things won't really be sitting there long enough to get dirty!

Honestly, the bottom line is a money thing. We want/need to do something different, so what is going to be the right choice?

ETA: as I was browsing some more online tonight I found a blog who has a kitchen I LOVE. The blog is called Nest Decorating and HERE is the post about the kitchen. LOVE.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Plugging along

Not much that is picture worthy, yet, but we've been plugging along on some house projects.

Matt has been doing tons of digging on the north side of the house, as the dirt was so high on that it was covering some of our siding. The inspector suggested that the dirt was 6" lower than the siding, so we've been digging it out, and then digging it even lower further away from the house so the water just doesn't run right back in to the basement! Today as it was pouring rain outside I looked at Matt's little trough, and sure enough, it was collecting water! That's just a five foot wide strip between our house and the lot line, which is a tall fence right now. There isn't much to do there so we were thinking we might just put gravel over that part.

I have been hanging shelves like crazy to try and eek some more storage out of this house. Two shelves in the laundry room went up yesterday, one above a coat hook next to the front door went up last week and four big ones in our kitchen today. We moved in four months ago and today I finally was able to unpack the rest of our kitchen supplies!

My birthday was on Monday and Matt's is coming up soon, so my parents sent us a joint birthday gift of a Home Depot gift card and this book:

I've decided I am now ready to tackle some projects like removing the living room wall sconces from the wall and maybe, just maybe, replacing the faucet in the bathroom sink. We'll see.

I was hoping to finish the painting on the living room walls this morning but it turns out installing shelves took most of my day. As these projects usually do. I'm also about ready for a second, or bigger, toolbox! Yee haw!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now some actual before and afters

Here is the girls' bedroom, the first room in the house I wanted to tackle start to finish. Of course, it required ripping out carpeting, taking down walls, putting in new lights and outlets, replacing windows . . . you get the idea. Here the room was right after I painted it:

Here are the girls' beds. Let's see. The frames were from IKEA, but given to us for free by our old neighbor. I painted them white. The canopies and two lights in this photo are from IKEA, too. Eloise's bed, which is on the right with the trees on the quilt, also has a flower lamp next to it. I will eventually hang a photo above the night stand and likely on that bare space of wall to the left of the flower lamp. Right now all of our framed pictures are carefully packed away and I'm not ready to start digging through them until I can hang most, if not all, of them in their various spots in the house.
Standing at the door, looking to the right. That is our old IKEA dresser, which I like the look of but has forever sworn me off of purchasing IKEA furniture ever again. It's the biggest piece of crap. The white lamp in the corner is also IKEA and was quite the puzzle to put together! It has a really long cord and I can't quite figure out how to make it look more neat. On my next IKEA trip I'll get some big throw pillows to put on the floor under that lamp to make a snuggly reading spot. I moved the table and chairs down from the playroom (there is still another set up there). Not surprisingly, both of those originally came from IKEA, too! The green rug, also IKEA. The two mirrors, IKEA! I got them at a great clearance price, maybe $5 each or something? Hard to see in this picture, but I hung two strings above the table with clothespins to hang artwork from. We had these up in our old home, too. That window will eventually get a covering of some sort, just to add some more fabric to the room. The girls' growth charts are hanging to the left of the closet.

Here's a better shot of the mirrors. You don't even want to know how hard it was to hang these in line with each other! Nothing in this room is square, not the floors or ceiling or edge of the drywall . . . I utilized my trusty level as best as I could, but there are several wayward holes behind the mirrors! I hung a set of hooks for the girls' stuff, as well. That window that is hiding behind the door will get a window treatment.

I got the bed skirts from Land of Nod for crazy cheap.

So that's about it! Next Spring we will get a floor covering, likely carpet tiles, but for now it will stay painted. We'll also get the trim put up in the Spring.