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!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tile and a Tree

You know there's a party coming when we go to a pottery sale, cut down a Douglas Fir, hang exterior lights, install curtains in the kitchen, decorate the entire Christmas tree, and install glass tile backsplash in the kitchen all in one weekend. Progress pics...

More photos will be uploaded tomorrow of the fully decorated tree and the grouted tile.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Par-tay

Chances are good that if you frequent this blog, you've already received a copy of this invite...

But in case you haven't, all of our friends (online and off) are more than welcome to join us for food, drink and dance next Saturday, December 19th starting at 8PM. So bring your holiday spirit and a friend, and celebrate the season with some of the best company in Columbus!

(Click to enlarge.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Wait is Over...

Just 11 short months after buying the walnut for our counter tops, a friend who runs the wood department at work came over and helped me finally install them atop our cabinets. Here are the progress pics:

And the final product:

Now it's time to order the tempered glass and find someone to install the 1" clear glass tile along the backsplash...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dining Room: The Grand Reveal

As I look through the old photos of the dining room, I am overcome with a sense of nostalgia. I can actually remember the first time we walked through the house, and the musty scent of the wallpaper. I can remember how the walls felt and the way the sunlight had outlined the picture frames on them. And I can remember standing in the kitchen, talking to The Millers about purchasing the house.

Removing the wallpaper (three layers again).

The strange part is that there is really no reason for me to feel nostalgic or "attached" to these old photos. We had never lived there or created any of our own memories in its previous state. Yet there was something inherently familiar about the house as soon as we stepped through its doors. While the wallpaper was dated and worn, we could tell that the home was always well cared for. We could tell that it had been loved.

Now, eighteen months later, this house really feels like our home. We absolutely love it, and we hope you do to.

Votive candle holders from a shop in London, Ohio (thanks Mom!) and a bottle of celebratory bubbly from our neighbors (thanks Erin & Dave).

Turning Old into New

I had a chance to look back through our blog entries today, and it's fun to see how far the house has come since we first bought it. Exactly one year ago, we were getting ready to re-install the then newly-refinished kitchen cabinets. Ironically, it has taken us nearly 11 months to have the counter tops officially installed (that happens tomorrow) - but we have obviously been working on other projects since then.

The tricky thing, we've found, about renovating a home is the "good enough" syndrome that sets in. It seemed much easier in the beginning to take on huge tasks because leaving them unfinished literally meant we had no where to shower or no kitchen to use. Nowadays, putting off a project usually means that a room or piece of furniture is functional even though it may not look exactly how we want it.

Lucky for us, we're hosting company and another holiday party at the end of this month which means we've got some motivation to tie up those pesky loose end projects. One of those projects was reupholstering our dining room chairs.

Last month, Joann Fabrics had a great 50%-off sale on their entire inventory of fabrics. As usual, we found something on the pricier side and that needed to be custom ordered. So we took our measurements, placed the order, bought some new 2" foam, and waited for our shipment to arrive.

This past weekend, we picked up the order and got to work. Below are some progress shots of the process:

Chair with the old 1980's pastel print and piping.

Old foam and wooden seat beneath the fabric.

All of the cushions stacked up together.

New "leaf" based fabric to soften up the room.

View of the entire pattern.

Laying the seat atop the foam upside-down.

Tracing the shape of the seat onto the foam with a permanent marker.

Making sure everything is aligned and oriented correctly.

Electric carving knife from Blair's dad. These things work incredibly well; we highly recommend using one if you plan on cutting your own foam.

The final seat cushion, trimmed to size.

After looking through our photos, we realized we didn't take any progress pictures of us wrapping the seats with the fabric. We did them ourselves (I promise!), but it was a two-person job and there wasn't anyone else to document while we worked. In case you are interest or want to reupholster your own chairs, here's a link to the video we used that showed us how to complete the project (thanks ReadyMade!).

Photos of the finished chairs will be included in the final dining room reveal (to be posted tomorrow!)...