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Thursday, December 31, 2015

end in sight....

I wish that was able to blog more about every step and detail on the house, but it is all I can do to fit in a few posts here and there. A lot has happened in the last 2 weeks. Paint, floors, cabinets, tile, trim, and muscles so sore I can hardly move! I really am not sure I have ever worked to hard in my life. The results are amazing (at least I think so) and well worth the work, but we are very ready to be done. A normal schedule to start the new year off sounds amazing.

lets start with the floors. Most of the house had hardwood floors already. The bedrooms, hall, and living room, all had wood in great shape, however, from the kitchen back, there was a mix of linoleum, parquet, and carpet. We took all of the last 3 out and needed to patch in  the wood from the kitchen to the living room where we took out walls.

I am so excited about how well this turned out. It was a ton of work, most of which you do in a squatting position! Ouch! The wood we purchased was "rustic" oak.  As in, "Hay, I am super cheap, you should buy me"oak. It does not have the same fine a finish as the existing oak. I really like the rustic better, and once we got it all in the old and new blend just fine. besides, most of the old will be covered by a huge rug. All of the "rustic" will seen.

It seems that every job we finish, a new one waits to take its place! Each job taking 3-4 more days than we promised it would take, but, all being equal, if it looks great, I am happy. 

I was sent to please, please buy a new hammer. All 4 of our goods ones went missing. It is truly amazing how your tools walk off.

remodeling with toddlers. Haha.. The story of our life. Baby walkers and compressors...

Yes, we did all of this with the kitchen cabinets and appliances in place. We still need to pull the appliances out and poly behind them; we just didn't want to move every thing to the garage and then back. In my experience, every time you move an appliance, something gets damaged. Maybe not the most efficient way to do it, but it worked.

I will post pictures of the finished floor soon. My phone and computer are not speaking right now. Oh technology how I dislike you sometimes..

Wishing you a very happy New Year! May mine be filled with rest, relationships, family, and whole lot less Ibuprofen!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

DIY Drywall Pros and Cons

When we started the demo part of the house, we didn't realize how much of the house we really where going to have to take back to the studs. We ended up with about 65% of the house down to studs including walls, floors, and ceilings.  We really could have kept going in a few spots, but decided we had to stop somewhere. We decided we would just have to patch plaster in the rest of what was left of the house and hope for a good finish.

Even after new subfloor, I have to admit it was a little scary at this point.

Time to put everything back together!  I ordered a lot of drywall, tape, and mud and called in all the reinforcement we could find. Thanks to lots of friends we got the heavy ceiling pieces up and a good start on the walls.

Because we are not pros, there where a few "not so nice"places, but trust me, mud covers a multitude of mistakes!
I realized pretty quickly that hanging the drywall was not my thing. I kept making mistakes, cutting it wrong, hanging it the wrong direction,  or not lining it up with a stud.  Drywall is also pretty heavy, and made it  hard for me to hold in place and put the screws in. So, I just let the guys finish hanging the drywall and I did all the taping and mudding. It took a few minutes to figure out what I was doing and the best way to do it, but once I got the hang of it, it was not to bad. I had heard horror stories about how difficult it was so I was braced for the worst.  Really, it is not so hard, just a lot of work, and very time consuming. I am still waiting for feeling to return to my right hand, and I discovered muscles that I never even knew I had. 
 Our contractor was pretty sure that we would not be able to achieve a smooth texture on the walls and ceiling , but we were equally determined to try our best to make it happen. We ended up using an orbital sander to sand all the joints. We also sanded really well between coats. They say you really don't have to, but I think it really helped make the second coat of mud go on better, and smoother. 

I also came to the conclusion that I prefer the mess tape over the paper tape. I started out using just the paper tape. As the seams dried, I had trouble with a few of them sinking into the seam and a few of them bubbled up. After that, I switched to mesh tape for all the open seams on the wall and paper tape for the corners and spot where the wall meets the ceiling. Once I figured that out, I was golden. I think I used about 10 gallons of mud in all!

My wonderful husband figured out that if you hook the shop vac up to the sander you end up with little to no dust!

Finished wall in the sun room. WE DID IT! We achieved a smooth wall!

In the bedrooms  we had to patch plaster that already had a sand texture on it.  We added play sand to the primer and it really matched almost perfectly. Once the paint when on, you couldn't tell at all.

patched bedroom wall.

So, overall, I have to say that it was worth doing it ourselves.

* It was hard work, took a little time, but very doable.

*It saved us quite a bit of money.

*Trial and error are just sort a part of the project. You have to figure out what works for you. I watched a lot of  Youtube videos and asked my contractor lots of questions.

* I love the finished product! It looks great and like a pro did it.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Making a house a home

Every once in a while you have the great fortune to run across an amazing, life changing book. The Nesting Place was that book for me.  It really help me to change my perspective on decorating. I had always felt like decorating, my style, and my budget where at odds. Making them all mesh together and finding what I really liked seemed impossible.  I needed someone to give me permission to try and fail, to learn, and to have fun on any budget. 
This book did that for me. 

Decorating your house is so much more than the decor you pick. Its the spirit, the people, and the attitude of the home maker that make a home. Some of our favorite memories are from homes where I sponge painted a wall (gasp, what was I thinking), picked crazy colors for the walls, and had a 0$ decorating budget. 

God has helped me to see the beauty in many things. He has given me creativity that I can feel free to express. Yes, I will make many more mistakes along the way, but the learning and journey are amazing. 

I feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to create our new home from the studs up.  Every time I walk in, it feels a little more like home. Ian ran straight to his bedroom this morning and announced that it was his room. He was even ready to take a bath.
We have put some sweat, blood, and yes, a few tears into it.  It will never be perfect and for that I am grateful. I will make some mistakes, but I will also learn. I will enjoy the journey with me family, and I can't wait to share it with friends.

The bathtubs are in and we passed the plumbing inspection!

The wall between the living room and kitchen is down. The post you see will be wrapped in reclaimed oak and stand right at the end of the island

Master bath

Bathroom tile.
 The large slate grey 20x20 tile is for the floors, and the limestone is for the shower walls. I'm still debating whether to lay the limestone in a traditional brick pattern or go for the herringbone.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Demolition is exhausting. We have been hard at it for a week now. I typically have loads of vision, but I am really being challenged by all the mess and disarray. I keep going back to the beautiful pictures of finished kitchens and bathrooms just to keep my sanity. All that being said, it is also very fun and exciting to be doing a project like this. I am so glad I get to design, adjust, change, and create the style of this house. We are making lots of memories. 

Lately I have been totally in love with Rafterhouse. They have been the inspiration for a lot of my design choices. I am modeling my stove hood after this one.

                       White shaker cabinetry, carrara marble counter tops - by Rafterhouse.:

You really should follow them on instagram. 
Happy Thursday

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Demo is well underway!  We have had so much help. My family rocks!

Quentin taking down the awning. Yay for more light! 

All the plaster off the walls. We went ahead and took down the ceilings as well.  The wall straight ahead is also down now. We decided to move the bathroom wall out about a foot to give a little more room for both bathrooms and the closet in the master bedroom.

my helper

He ended up with stitches later that day...A piece of flying porcelain! My Brave little man.

Cousin help

More cousins

Bathroom wall down. Now that is open concept. Haha

 All of the sub floor in the kitchen and family room was rotten! It is all coming up to make room for new.

Josh came all the way from New Guinea to help!

Everything is a little overwhelming right now. Because of the move of the bathroom wall, I have had to totally rework the kitchen layout and move the placement of the french doors. I think it will be well worth it in the end, but right now it seems a little crazy. Glad that I haven't ordered the kitchen cabinets yet!