Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Next

My house and my brain are in perpetual states of "what if".  I always want to do something but I need to come up with cost efficient ways to do so. We've had tons of company lately.  Some of the sleep over variety (which was fun) and some just for dinner which was also fun.  The sleep over company made me really get my act together.  The third floor of our house gets the least amount of attention from me so I spent quite a bit of time up there cleaning and organizing and throwing things out.  We managed to score a futon frame for free and I bought a mattress from Amazon so we had something for people to sleep on.  There was no way I was taking in a second hand mattress.  That stuff just screams bedbugs to me.  Ick.  Anyway, after I got that all figured out, I started working on the ugly, gross bathroom.  I scrubbed it until it sparkled and I bought a new, non squishy, toilet seat as well as a new shower curtain and some pretty bath mats.  It still doesn't help the ugly floor but at least it's usable.

My real goal is to get a dormer put in up there but unless I win the powerball that is probably not going to happen.  Last time I got an estimate it was $12,000.  If I want the bathroom redone, which I do, it would probably be another 10k.  I think if I did redo the bathroom I would opt for a double vanity and a stall shower but all of this is just dreaming anyway.  I have two kids to put through school so it's doubtful that any of this will happen any time soon.  Probably the best I'm going to get is to paint the ugly green trim white.  That I could afford.  And maybe a new light fixture too.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If I knew then what I know now...

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the kitchen, but as with most things, hindsight is 20/20 and there are a couple of things I would probably have done differently.  The biggest thing is that the refrigerator area lost about 3 inches between the plans and the actual building.  Because of this, when you open the freezer door, it bangs into the wall.  Plus you can't really open it all the way which will be a problem should I ever need to pull out the bins, etc to clean.  Knowing me, that won't happen often.  The other thing I would like to have changed is that the refrigerator door bangs into the dishwasher door if it's open at the same time.  This could all have been alleviated if only I had chosen a top/bottom fridge/freezer instead of a side by side.  But it wasn't supposed to be this way so there was no way to know that.  I also would have gotten an electrical outlet in the utility closet in the laundry area.  I'm going to have it put in because you need a place to charge up the little hand held vacuum and stuff.  Speaking of electrical, I would most likely have gotten the dimmer switches over by the desk instead of by the dining area.  It's a tiny thing but I tend to use the ones by the desk more and I like to have all of the switches either up or down.  It's a stupid thing but it's my ocd tendencies! 

Probably the biggest thing is that I might have gotten tile in the kitchen area instead of wood had we known that there was going to be a threshold in the floor the way there is.  See, another thing that couldn't have been helped.  Really, the only reason I would rather have less wood is because the dog is going to wreck it with his stupid nails.  He can't walk without spazzing out and he digs his toes in and makes scratches.  Lots of scratches.  We will have to save up so that when he dies we can have the floors refinished the next day.  The living room is so bad I finally had to take stain on some qtips and paint the deep scratches because they were so unsightly.  I was thinking of getting a runner in the kitchen but it's likely he would wreck that or I'll get it all greasy from cooking.  Hard to say.  I love the wood though and I hate cleaning grout so it's probably all for the best. 

Anyway, here are some pictures from the real camera:

This is what you see when you walk in through the dining room and pantry area

If you turned around, this is what you would have just walked through.  Pantry on the right, powder room on the left.

This is the family room.  The coffee table is temporary but will probably still be there next year.
   Someday I'll hang up the pictures.  It's such a committment.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School

I'm always anxious to get back to school but there's something sort of sad about it as well.  My oldest started high school yesterday.  I find it hard to believe that he's that old.  The other sad thing about school starting is that my lovely husband has to go back to work and I kind of enjoy when he's home over the summer.  There are never any dishes in the sink when I get home and all of the annoying painting gets done.  This year it was the railings on the porch.  They look really nice too.

We've really been enjoying the kitchen too.  I can't explain how much nicer it is to have space and pretty cabinets with tons and tons of storage and a gigantic island.  Of course there are a couple of things I would change if I could go back but that's a post for another day and the list is really small.

Finally...and why it took me so long to say so.

I'm very, very, very belated in posting this but it's official.  The kitchen is done.  19 weeks and 3 days.  136 days or 3264 hours.  It was officially finished when the painter came for touch ups on June 21st, which was a Thursday.  We had two lovely days of peacefulness and then we were to host my inlaws for Father's Day dinner.  You know what they say about best laid plans?  Yeah, we had a huge monkey wrench thrown at us.  Suffice to say it was a really bad extended family medical problem that required rallying all of the troops to get things done the best we all could.  It's been ongoing since mid June.

Also, I was waiting until I could actually get my stuff together to post pictures at the same time.  That took an additional couple of months.  I finally gave up trying to remember to have everything clean and take pictures with the good camera.  I will someday but this is the iphone version:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

19 weeks and still almost done

Someday we'll be completely finished.  I can't believe it's taken so long but little details keep popping up and my contractor is a perfectionist so I'm very pleased even if there are people in and out of my house all the time.  It doesn't really matter since they aren't bugging me.

Last Friday they picked up all of the trash that was left in the back yard.  There were huge blocks of field stone and the sad remnants of my demolished marble mantle back there.  Everything was so heavy that even if I had thought of something to do with it, we would have never been able to move it so I listened to my husband (a first!) and had them cart it all off.  It's sad and I wish I could have used it all but it just wasn't feasible.  They fixed the driveway and mulched around the house.  It's nice back there.  We still need more landscaping but you can only do so much.  I would love to plant those arbor vitae trees around the perimeter of the house but I haven't gotten around to it.  We have some but we could use a bunch more...especially on one side.

We have the floor guys there again today.  A couple of spots by the chimney and pantry area were a little messed up so they've been trying (so far unsuccessfully) to fix them.  Hopefully they'll get it today.  Then I really think we are only waiting for the painter.

We did buy a couch and a chair from Ikea.  I decided that spending lots of money on those things was not smart and the things I bought fit well.  Plus they had a deal where you could get a gift card rebate of $90 on the couch and $40 on the chair so it wasn't bad.  I still need a rug but haven't found anything I like.  I don't want an expensive one.  The kids and evil Sid are rough on the floors.  I got a coffee table off of craig's list.  We're picking it up tomorrow so I'll see how it looks.  Might need paint.

I did end up choosing to spray paint the windsor chairs I have for the kitchen table.  They are now a lovely semi gloss black and look really nice.  I need a rug for under the table as well.  I've been perusing because they are cheap and that's what I'm looking for but I want to visit homegoods again before I make a final decision.

I'll have to take some pictures again soon.  I keep meaning to but the end of school is busy and I just haven't had the time.  Maybe the end of the week when everyone is done.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is it over yet?

Nope.  Still not done.  It's really only tiny bits of things that need to be finished.  All of the cabinet doors were installed in the laundry area as well as the few that were missing in the kitchen.  I got kitchen stools for the island and the desk and we bought a sofa for the family room.  I'm waiting on a new window that I realized was broken when I went to wash it.  Also the cabinet pulls need to be installed on the new doors.  I need a mirror for over the powder room sink and a chair and some rugs.  We have lots of art work to hang too but I have to wait for the painter to come to do touch ups first.  I figure all in good time but I would really like to not wonder who will be coming into my house every day.  And maybe the dog could stay home for once.

It's been a very long haul but I would do it again in a heart beat.  A nice kitchen makes spending time in it a real pleasure.  There are very few things I would change if I had the opportunity.  I'll have to get things together and post some updated photos when everything is done.  Today is kid #1's 14th birthday and the other one is with the entire 6th grade at camp until Friday.  I hope he has fun.  Kid 1 already is.  He's getting exactly what he wants for dinner (finally) and he already got his big gift this morning.

Monday, May 21, 2012

4 solid months...

We're pretty much done.  It's officially 16 weeks gone tomorrow but I think by the end of the week, it'll be finished.  Maybe a tiny touch up here or there but besides that, all done.  I finally moved everything back into the kitchen this weekend.  I spent the whole weekend washing things and trying to figure out where to put everything.  I can really fill things up quickly.  I still have a little open space and I'm sure I'll rearrange things as I go along.  I'm still missing a few cabinet doors but they are coming on Thursday.  Here's what it looks like now:

The backsplash was installed on Friday and grouted today.  It looks great.  I'm really happy with it.

The electrician must have been here too and all of my dimmer switches were installed and everything looks done.

It's been a really long 4 months but I couldn't be happier with the results.  It's such a pleasure to cook in a kitchen that has space.  I love it so far.

We still have a lot to do.  We haven't put the kitchen table back together and I have to decide whether to repair one chair or paint 4 chairs black.  I'm also waiting on the counter stools which are supposed to be here this week.  We need some rugs and some family room furniture but I need to be conscious of budget constraints.  It'll all come together someday soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week 15 - What's happening now

Things are really winding down at this point.  There are only a few details left to deal with.  The really BIG problem I'm having is getting my cabinets done.  There are things that are just left hanging and the cabinet guy isn't really moving very fast.  He was supposed to come yesterday but didn't.  I'm getting a little tired of excuses at this point.  I just want it done.  He's promising Thursday.

We do have all of the plumbing up and running.  The sink has the faucet, an instant hot water dispenser, an air button for the garbage disposal and a soap dispenser.  I don't understand these soap dispensers.  They come with this really tiny bottle.  You'd have to fill it up all the time.  I bought this thing:

It's pretty great so far and it was only $10. 

The backsplash tile will be here today so hopefully that will get put up this week.  My contractor is really great with scheduling things quickly.  I was home yesterday and saw one of the foreman and told him of a couple of problems with the electric and the phones and within a couple of hours, the electricians were there and fixed everything really quickly.  It's great.  I have electricity in the island and I put the microwave in yesterday.  It fits perfectly and I don't think I'll mind having it down there.

Most of the handles have been put on the cabinets too.  The only one that doesn't have one is where the trash/recycling is which could possibly be the one cabinet you would really like to have one.  Murphy's law in action.  There are a couple of pieces of baseboard that need to be put on and the painter will be back to touch up here and there. Besides that, it looks great and little by little I have been moving things back upstairs.  It makes the basement even more horrible now that I'm used to a little light.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's happening

Not much.  I was expecting plumbing to be done today but it wasn't.  Here's some pics of what's going on.  We've gotten a lot of cabinet doors and pull outs and stuff but there is a lot more to do.  It probably doesn't take all that long but I'm getting a tiny bit impatient.  I really wanted to move some stuff back in place this weekend but it may have to wait.

I should also mention that I survived my 10 mile race on Sunday.  Quite a bit slower than I would have liked but for a first time I'm relatively happy.  I got lots of blisters though.  I think I'm going shoe shopping on Friday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The end of week 14

We are at the tail end of week 14.  We got counter tops on Friday and the refrigerator was delivered. As soon as they put the counter top on the island I noticed that it's off by just a smidge.  I think they can fix it fairly easily although now it will be heavier.  You should see these guys putting in the granite.  That stuff weighs a ton and it's really nerve wracking to watch, hoping they don't mess up everything else.  Plus I can't imagine how they actually manage to pick it up.

 The radiant heat in the floor was worked on but they have to come back to finish.  The rest of the painting was done this weekend as well.  I'm really hoping that the rest of the cabinets will be taken care of this week.  If not I'm afraid I may go into a homicidal rage.  Could be dangerous.  At least for the cabinet maker.  Besides that, we need the plumber and the electrician again.  The floor needs another coat of polyurethane and I'm sure there are other details that need to be addressed.  I actually just typed a list of for the contractor.  It's nothing major, just little things.

Who knows what will happen in week 15.  I really need to be done because there's a good chance we will have to host mother's day this coming sunday for my mom and the inlaws.  Could be messy.

Pantry - No handles yet but pretty

It's getting there.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Midway through week 14

So week 14 officially started Tuesday.  By the end of Friday I should have counter tops and a refrigerator.  Today I came home to find that the lighting had been installed.  At first I was really surprised that they figured out where they all went but then I found that they saw my notes on the coffee table in the living room.  I guess I'm happy about that but they could have called or texted and I would have told them where they were.  All in all, it doesn't matter because it's up and it's fabulous.

I also got the ovens installed and the washer and dryer.  The washer may or may not have a dent in the front.  I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like that or not.  I'll find out tomorrow.

I can't wait to be done.  Have I said that before?  Lately?  I bet I have.