As I mentioned during my post on 2014 home goals, one thing I am pretty excited about working on this year is the dining room. It has sat mostly empty for the almost 3 years we’ve lived here and I’m ready to do something about that.
It’s not a huge room (wide angle lenses can be deceiving) at about 12 ft x 13 ft, so finding an appropriately sized dining table was a little difficult. After deciding that we didn’t really want to drop $5K on furniture from Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen, we ended up finding something we liked at Rooms to Go (shocking, right?). Here is a mood board I put together a while back:
The furniture and curtains (actually different from the ones shown above) are arriving this week, but there are a several other elements that I am still trying to figure out (lighting, art, end chairs, and possibly a new rug).
Woo, more black interior doors! While the outcome doesn’t seem overly fabulous, the effort that it took to get here was kind of substantial. Taping off NINETY itty bitty windows (6 door sides total, 15 windows per door) was awful. And painting each door was no quick task. I think I spent roughly 12 hours on this project from start to finish. Yikes, I’m just glad it’s done! In hindsight I wish I would have used my paint sprayer…
Take a trip in the time machine with me back to closing day:
And here’s now:
We’re getting there folks. Still left to do for the basement painting spree is painting above the chair rail, fixing the crown molding in a few spots, painting the gym, and painting the baseboards. Ok, maybe we’re not quite at 66% yet!
One of my home goals for this year is to get the basement painted. I plopped down on Sunday afternoon for a few hours and knocked our the section below the chair rail. I just used leftover paint from the master bedroom and my office (Eddie Bauer Limestone). Still TBD on a color for above the chair rail, but essentially something a tad lighter than what’s below it. The current off white color really doesn’t photograph well, does it?
The pool table room got the same paint treatment, but I’m refusing to photograph that right now because of the lack of natural light. One day I will figure out how to photograph that room. Next up will be painting those french doors black…
No, this is not a continuation of Snowpocalypse 2014, but another separate snow/ice storm. Boo. Thankfully this one was handled better than the last one, with plenty of warnings and schools closing very far in advance.
It wasn’t much to look at until a layer of snow fell down on top of the sno-cone layer that had accumulated the previous day. Ice + snow is quite pretty, but really I’m glad it’s melting quickly. We’re getting a little stir crazy around here…
Something about trees + ice + snow + gray skies + black and white…I <3 this photo
My least favorite part of home ownership is spending money on maintenance and non-cosmetic fixes. They say you can expect to spend 1% of your home’s value on maintenance per year. Yikes! I guess we are well on our way there with this roof repair coming in at a cool $1400 bucks… That could buy a really nice camera lens…or some dining room furniture! Too bad. At least we won’t have an unexpected sky light/swimming pool in the dining room in the near future.
The crime scene. Water has been coming through the ceiling and down the wall separating the dining room from the entryway.
The damage we woke up to yesterday morning. Before it was a smaller crack, but something about the snow melting or humidity (it was 70 degrees on Sunday!) must have weakened the already weak drywall. Not shown is the huge puddle of water that was directly below this. Luckily the floors are fine.
The destruction. They had to rip out a whole area, repair the underlayment, and install new shingles.
Honestly I am just glad it is done and we don’t have to worry about it any longer. We’ll also need to have someone come out and repair the drywall on the ceiling, and then I will repaint the ceiling and maybe the walls too. Maybe a slightly darker blue…the jury is still out…
Snowpocalypse 2014…or more formally, “Winter Storm Leon”. I feel very lucky to have made it home from work in ONLY 3 hours. David was in his car for 3 hours, and then walked the remaining 8 miles home. Many, including my in-laws and several friends, were stuck in their cars or places of work overnight. Thankfully things are warming up and melting, albeit very slowly.
Here are a few photos from the last 24 hours. This was Gauss’ first time experiencing snow and he absolutely loved it, mushing his face in it frequently and chasing/trying to eat snow balls.
Firetruck with chains over the tires driving thru slush. The black SUV on the left is abandoned.
Historic Southern home blanketed in snow
Although I didn’t quite complete ALL of my 2013 home goals, I thought it was a good way to keep me accountable for the things I wanted to do. Shall we do the same thing for this year? Here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Paint ALL THE THINGS. It’s a little embarrassing that we have lived in our house for almost 3 years and there are still unpainted rooms. This year I’d like to finally finish painting:
- The basement (media room, pool room, gym, and stairs). Below the chair rail I’ll be using the same color from my home office (Eddie Bauer Limestone). I need to find a good coordinating lighter color for above the chair rail (and maybe carry that color into the gym too?). This also means addressing some the crown molding that looks like it is falling off the wall (yeah, not cool…).
- The 2 sets of french doors in the basement. I’ve wanted to put a coat of black on these for-ever!
- David’s office. The paint job in here is pretty horrible. This room won’t be too difficult to paint because there isn’t much wall space, but I’d like to just get this over with so it doesn’t look so gross.
- Re-paint the powder room. The walls in here took quite a beating after our floors were refinished. I don’t think we have any leftover paint, so I’m thinking I’ll just pick up a similar color and put a new coat on. Yes, I have already been putting this off since April of last year…
Obviously a very old photo…
- Refresh the front door and hand rail in the garage using gel stain. The only 2 remaining spots in our house that still have the orangey-oak finish! I’ve seen a lot of nice before and afters on Pinterest using gel stain, so I will test it out on the hand rail in the garage first and see how it looks before tackling the front door.
2. Organize a few disastrous clutter zones. It’s time to purge certain clutter collecting areas of the house. Namely the garage, the storage room, and bedroom closets. I get anxiety just thinking about these areas.
Envision this space filled with crap that we never use…
3. Finally furnish and decorate the dining room. This is one item I am really excited about. I feel like our house will feel so much more finished with dining room furniture, curtains, and art. It’s one of the first rooms you see when you come in our house and I am really excited about the plan I have for it. I’ll share details soon…
4. Update our kitchen counter tops. This one might not happen this year since we are spending quite a bit of $$$ in other areas (roof repairs, large vacation, new car for me, a few out of town weddings) but it would make such a big difference in our open layout home to put in a shiny new counter top to complement our newly painted cabinets. Who knows, maybe it will be our Christmas gift to each other (ugh, this solidifies the fact that we are old, right?).
So, that’s the plan! Honestly I’d be thrilled if half of these things got done this year, but it’s better for goals to be slightly out of reach instead of easily attainable, right? Wish me luck…
Well, I’m finally done painting the kitchen cabinets. Let’s get straight to the before and, most importantly, afters!
Way Before (listing photos):
Later Before (after the walls had been painted and the floors refinished):
And finally, after:
And now for the important stuff…why did this take me so long?
- Prep: I removed all of the doors and hardware and labeled each door with a number on a piece of masking tape. Instead of making an awkward spreadsheet that said door 1 = left side bottom drawer by sink, I just took a photo of the kitchen and overlaid the door numbers on top of it. All 35 doors and drawer fronts and cabinet frames were cleaned with Krud Kutter. The insides of most of the frames were taped off (although I’m not sure how necessary that really was), along with the areas around the appliances and where the baseboards meet the floor. I also filled in imperfections with paint-able wood filler and used caulk for gaps in the frame.
- Sanding: Doors and drawer fronts were sanded using a combination of Ryobi handheld detail sander, sanding blocks, and sand paper sheets at 120 grit. Each door took about 30 minutes due to all of the tiny crevices and details. This was followed by an application of deglosser, and then finally I used tack cloth to remove all of the remaining sawdust before priming.
- Priming: For the cabinet frames I used a 4-inch high density foam roller to apply 2-3 coats of Zinsser cover stain oil-based primer. For the doors and drawer fronts, I used the same primer but in a spray can. Home Depot sells a 6-pack of these cans online only, but it’s a good deal because each can is 16 ounces (opposed to only 12 ounce cans available in stores for about the same price). I ended up doing 2 coats of spray primer, and even 3 coats in some places due to tannin bleed and trying to cover the grain. After I was done priming, I used 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand away any final imperfections before painting. Of course that is again followed by tack cloth to remove any surface residue.
- Painting: Finally the fun part Each side of the doors and drawer fronts received 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Advance paint in White Dove (satin finish). I applied it using my awesome HomeRight Finish Max HVLP paint sprayer. This sprayer was appealing to me because it is very reasonably priced (~$65!) and doesn’t need an air compressor. I was pretty happy with it and didn’t have any issues with drips or runs. I didn’t need to thin the paint at all and only had trouble with globs when I forgot to regularly wipe the air tip after paint had began to dry around the nozzle. There are some tiny air bubbles, but I’m not really sure if that was from the sprayer or the paint itself. In total I used just under 2 gallons of paint (a little pricey at $55 per gallon, but worth it).
- Hardware: I replaced the brushed nickel knobs with oil rubbed bronze ones from Home Depot to add a little more contrast. I debated keeping the brushed nickel, but the pantry door has ORB hardware and hinges.
So now that the cabinets are done, the counter tops look not so awesome. They are not in the best shape either (they’re Corian, but have a ton of stains and stratches). It’s an endless cycle, isn’t it? I would love to get honed Absolute Black granite and under cabinet lighting, but literally everything else in the house seems to be currently falling apart. That will be on the back burner for a little while until we can stop the rain from coming through the roof :(.
This project was a crazy amount of work, but I am happy with the outcome. But really, next time when I tell our Realtor that I want white kitchen cabinets, I am going to stick to my guns…
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In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, half the US has been consumed by the POLAR VORTEX. We didn’t get any (real) snow, but it got down to around 8 degrees here. My terracotta pot out front apparently dislikes the cold as much as I do.
After googling, I found out the cause of the crumbling was from the extreme cold. So sad! I guess I’ll be repotting this weekend. Lesson learned And here I thought that the plant would die before the pot it sits in!
One thing David and I have been talking about forever is taking a big trip to Europe. What better occasion to do it than our 5th wedding anniversary! We are early in the planning stages right now, but so far the plan is to go to London, Paris, and Rome. I would have loved to get to Santorini, but we’ll have to save that for our 10 year anniversary.
We have never been to Europe, and our only trips out of the country have been to fairly American-ized places (Vancouver, Saint Lucia, and Mexico). I got a few Fodor’s and Rick Steve’s travel books for Christmas and have been digging through them pretty slowly, but it is overwhelming!
Any advice for planning a big trip like this? Any suggestions for must-see attractions or places to eat?
P.S. I’m in the final staging of finishing the cabinets, so hopefully I will have photos to share late next week! Yay!