Monday, November 29, 2010

Long time, no see!

Well, we have officially been bad bloggers. Our last update was 6 months ago!! We have a couple good excuses though - a trip to Germany, a month long visit from family and our wedding! We haven't done too many big renovations, but we have been cleaning/purging and making our family room a place where we actually like to relax!

Before family room....

After! New lamps and tv! Still need a grey sectional and a new rug, but it's a start! We are going for a grey/yellow theme.


A couple pics from the wedding :)


We are starting to get the house ready for the holidays. Still need some wreaths - decided we should wait until Dec. 1st to hang those ;)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Great Outdoors (a.k.a - Our Front Yard)

Summer is here and it's hotter than hell again - which means we've put all those miscellaneous interior tasks on the backburner and moved outside to work on the yard again!

Like many of the projects we have completed over the past two years, conceptualizing and implementing what we wanted to do in our front flower bed came together REALLY quickly once we made up our minds that we were going to do it.

First, a big shout out and thanks to our friend Tim Tolle, who not only helped with the design of both the front and back yard, but also put together a thorough list of recommended plants to use. (NOTE: The first line of Tim's plant list literally reads: "Let’s Talk Plants Dude…")

On Saturday, we did a little "ghetto gardening" - which involved digging up plants that we haphazardly planted around our backyard last summer and moving them to the front yard. There were a couple of tall ornamental grasses that we felt would look good flanking the stairs leading up to the porch, so we started there. Next we dug up a handful of coralbells that our friend Stacey (who found the house for us as well) gave to us last summer and moved them to the front.

On Sunday morning, we took a look at our budget, grabbed a couple coupons, and decided to head over to Oakland Nursery (just across I-71 from our house) to buy the bulk of our plants. For those Columbus residents who have never been there, do yourself a favor and go. I'm about the farthest thing from a true "gardener," but walking through Oakland's campus definitely made me consider taking up the hobby more seriously. Their 10-acre campus is an oasis set in the middle of an urban neighborhood, and their selection is unbelievable. Their staff is ridiculously knowledgeable and helpful, but not overbearing. And their prices were pretty reasonable.

Here are a few shots of the finished front bed:

Completed front bed and porch - Hostas and climbing roses (existing) with new gooseneck ground cover, coralbells, white astilbe (2), Jack Frost brunnera (2), Cunningham white rhododendron, and Irish moss (6).

New tree - Petite Blue Indigo Butterfly Bush.

New tree - Close-up of the butterfly bush's flowers.

The front yard came a long way over a short weekend, but it took a lot of hard-work and effort and patience to get things just the way we wanted. So we thought the best way to reward ourselves and enjoy the fruits of our labors would be to install a porch swing.

We actually bought the swing off of Craigslist for $40 two years ago when we first moved into the house, but it was a little hard to justify "relaxing on the front porch" when there were so many other projects to finish first. So we saved it for a special occasion.

Porch Swing - It's actually pretty beat up but photographed really well. We'll be tossing a coat of paint on it sometime later this summer.

Installation - Contrary to popular belief, the trim on a house is NOT solid. Use a stud finder and make sure you tap into something structural.

Success - Swing properly installed and leveled.

The View - Where we'll be spending many evenings this summer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Days 4, 5 and 6

The last couple days we have been priming and painting. We decided to paint the ceiling a dark grey and the walls a later shade of grey. The woodwork will be white. We still need to finish out the closet before we move furniture back in. The closet will be a "built in" bookshelf. Looking forward to finally unpacking all our books!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break - Day 2 and 3

The last couple days have been filled with lots of vinyl spackle and sanding! These are my two least favorite things to do, but I am pushing through since Matt is usually the one doing this messy job. I just hope it turns out as smooth as his work!

No good pics except me and Hudson taking a break! He got his hair cut today - he even let the people at Petsmart trim his nails and brush his teeth. That's what his report card said....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break - Day 1

Project: tear down wallpaper and paint office
Time frame: 1 week

So, we've decided to buckle down and knock out the office before summer so we can focus our efforts on landscaping and painting the rest of the exterior. While Matt was busy doing what normal people do (go to work), I took down all three layers of wallpaper in the office since I'm on spring break.

The walls aren't in too bad of shape. Matt is currently spackling the cracks in the corners of the wall. He is such a perfectionist and detailed-oriented person that the walls come out looking like new when he's finished. There was a big hole in the whole from where an old wall lamp used to be, so he had to fill that in tonight as well.

Tomorrow I am going to get to sanding and smoothing and hopefully painting by Wednesday afternoon! We are going to go with a light grey with charcoal and orange accents. More to come!

Couple pics of the office before we bought the house.

Today's work - no more wallpaper!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Before and After: The Best of

Slow and steady wins the race, but even I'm a sucker for the shock and awe of before and after photos. Here are a few of our favorites:

Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kitchen: The Grand Reveal

It has been a long, long time coming - but the kitchen is officially complete. Blair's dad came over yesterday afternoon to hang the cabinet and microwave above the stove, and everything worked out perfectly.

In an effort to reuse as many pieces from the original steel set as possible, the only cabinet we had left was not as wide as the microwave. So we improvised and create an asymmetrical shelving area using one of West Elm's white "Chunky Wall Shelves" (we used the same shelves in our bathroom and bedroom as well, only in different finishes). We were afraid it was going to look awkward or contrived, but the effect couldn't have been better. I really think it fits in with the quirky, playfulness of the rest of the kitchen.

(The shelf is a great spot to keep things off our limited counter space. With the addition of some framed art or magnetic knife holder, this nook will be complete.)

My mom also stopped by with the custom-made curtains she put together for us using the leftover material from our dining room chairs. They are exactly what we were looking for and really help to unify the kitchen with the dining room.

(Custom cafe curtains made from the leftover fabric from our dining room chairs.)

(A second set of dual curtains on the back door gives us a little more privacy, and the draft stopper from Stacey is a life saver during the winter.)

Next, we got moving on all of the detail work. Outlet covers and switch plates were reinstalled, the tile and countertops were wiped down again, we installed the kick-plates under the cabinets and handles on all the doors. And after all that was complete, we cleaned the entire kitchen.

(We raised the rack above the new curtains so that our cacti get the sun they need ;)

The result is what we consider "modern vintage." We wanted to create a space that was warm and inviting with authentic elements, but include high-end components and materials that you won't find anywhere else. From the travertine tile floors to the solid walnut countertops to the glass tile backsplash, I think we hit the nail on the head - and we are thrilled with the result.

P.S. - Come see it in person this Saturday!