Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fade to Grey

So, whoever came up with the idea that the interior of every house on the market should be painted Bandaid tan is one wacky dude. Our house was obviously not an exception.

The first thing we wanted to do was paint. It was just one of those things we felt would make our house feel like ours and not some stranger's. We started on the kitchen and living room and got them knocked out before we moved in. It's so much easier to not have to work around furniture or move it all around the house. At least I'm assuming it is. This being our first house I've never done it any other way so I guess when we finally get around to painting the bedrooms I'll know for sure how much easier it was. *grimace*

Up first: The Kitchen

We liked the idea of using grey on the walls. It's not too crazy but definitely not just white either. For the kitchen we chose a darker grey from Behr (work related discount FTW).

Yes, that's the paint can on our stove. Don't judge us, it had newspaper under it!

We pulled the stove and the refrigerator out to paint behind them and I was surprised to see they had painted behind them with the tan color too. I don't know why but I assumed it would be one of those crappy jobs where they only bothered to paint things you would actually see. Regardless, despite the size of this room it took forever. With the cabinets, doors, windows, washer/dryer hook-up, and chair molding it felt like it was 80% cutting in. Eventually we got it done though and we were both really happy with the way it turned out. Starting out we didn't realize just how much the darker paint color would effect the color of the cabinets, but we were both pleasantly surprised and actually like them better now.

Pardon the blinding ceiling fixture. I haven't quite figured out this picture takin' thing.

The other side of the kitchen still looks pretty bare. We don't have a washer and dryer yet (which I'm sure will take up plenty of room) and we haven't gotten any chairs for our table, so the kitchen is still very much a work in progress.

In case you noticed, no the quarter round is not attached. We pulled it up to paint it and haven't nailed it back in yet.

Up Next: The Living Room

We went with a lighter grey for the living room. We wanted something that went with the kitchen tonally, but still had some contrast.

Why yes, it is very dark. Let's see if we can't lighten it up a little.

There may have been some painting and moving overlap

In the picture above we hadn't painted the hallway yet. Since this was taken we've painted it the same light grey.

This is a pretty early moved in picture. There was still cleaning going on, cable management to be performed, and those kids chairs were there because I foolishly believed that I could undertake a furniture refinishing project in the midst of painting, changing locks, trying to get a grip on the yard, and a host of other things. Silly homeowner, free time is for kids.

More of our progress will be forthcoming. Such as the bathroom paintjob! *squee* In the meantime, let us know what you think. Or we can take bets on what color the bathroom ended up.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Big To-Do

Alright, so in the fashion of the many bloggers that have come before we have created a daunting "Master List" which will, we hope, be gradually checked off one item at a time.

The Big To-Do:

Front Yard (0/9)

· Paint mailbox post: We want to paint it white to brighten it up a bit.
· Replace mailbox: It's plastic and we'd like something a little more classic and durable.
· Re-landscape small garden beds: Several areas around the trees and what-not are a mess.
· Replace hedges and spread pea gravel: The hedges by the house are randomly placed and don't match.
· Re-gravel driveways: They're just getting pretty sad.
· Cut down two trees: There are two trees that are spreading roots all over and growing into the power lines.
· Build air conditioner "privacy fence": Just to class it up a bit I'd like to put in something like this. (Yes, I totally found this idea and that link on YoungHouseLove)
· Remove bushes at the chain link fence: Some messy looking shrubs are growing up off-camera to the left.
· Remove satellite dish pole and cable: A metal pole left in the ground from some previous owner along with some mostly buried cable. Apparently they loved them some TV.

Back Yard (0/5)

· Grade to get rid of bamboo, re-soil, seed, etc: We're not delusional, that bamboo is going to require a pro.
· Take down three trees and severely trim one near house: There are several more trees back here that just need to go.
· Seal privacy fence: The almost brand new privacy fence wasn't moisture sealed so we need to do that pronto.
· Rein in ivy on trees: A couple trees have ivy attempting to choke them.
· Build shed: Seriously, I need somewhere to put my yard tools, and there's already a foundation hidden among all of that growth.

Outside of House (0/8)

(For kicks we'll show the back of the house, since you've seen the front a million times already)
· Replace knobs and deadbolts
· Paint front door: Eventually I wouldn't mind replacing the whole door and possibly the frame which is one of those "we repositioned the latch and didn't properly fill and then re-drill the holes" situations. It's not really a problem, I just don't like the way it looks.
· Paint porches: Current paint is chipping.
· Replace spicket knob: One of the spickets is missing its knob entirely.
· Replace front porch light fixture: There's a broken pane of glass, which gives us an excuse to get one with a motion sensor.
· Add hose reels: I want to put up something like this.
· Replace shutters: They're these weird vinyl shutters and one of them is warping.
· Solve drainage issues: There's nothing major, but I do want to shore up some of the areas around the foundation where water can pool as well as add some better run-off spouts from the gutters and possibly a rain barrel.

Under House (0/3)

*You don't want a picture*

· Clean and level ground: It's awful.
· Condition crawl: If you don't know what I mean search "conditioned crawlspace" on-line, it's a beautiful thing and great for your house if you live in a humid area like we do.
· Rein in the out of control cables: Holy cow, the last people here had a field day running copious amounts of cable to every corner of the house.

Attic (0/4)

Aaaaah! To be fair the rest of it doesn't look like this.

· Clean out bat nests: Some bats have made some nests outside the screens in the attic vents. Bats are great to have around because they eat bugs and contribute to your yard's ecosystem, but I don't want them in my attic.
· Replace insulation: As you can see from the picture it needs help. I'm thinking I'm just going to replace it all and start over again.
· Replace water heater pan: It's dented and won't be as effective because of that.
· "Finish" the attic: This is an "eventually", but I would love to make this usable house space, both for room to grow into and to increase the value of the house. Right now there are no steps into the attic, but because of how the closets are situated we should be able to put some in without sacrificing too much of our current square footage.

Living Room (0/4)

· Paint
· Hang things: Need pictures! Seriously. After two years in an apartment and a year with family we'd love for the walls to feel like ours.
· Find a rug: We decided we were tired of our old rug and wanted something fresh and colorful.
· Build a TV console: Something like this maybe.
· Redo kitchen and entry threshold: They're pretty jacked up.

Kitchen (0/6)

· Paint
· Paint and reinstall quarter round: Seriously, just the quarter round isn't painted. I'm guessing they removed it when they installed the tile, didn't put it back until they had painted the trim and then decided they didn't feel like painting it. 
· Replace or anchor separate cabinet: The little cabinet next to the fridge isn't properly anchored to the wall. I'm either going to anchor it or I'm going to replace it with something with more storage capacity. 
· Get washer/dryer: This one’s pretty simple. We want white, and I think it's going to have to be a stackable set. 
· Repaint kitchen table and find chairs: we found this basic table at a thrift store for cheap but have mainly just used it for crafting. We want to paint it and also get some chairs to go with it. 
· Re-grout tile: Some of the grout has come up and needs to be redone. Nothing serious. 
· Hang stuff: Once again we just want something on the walls that says this is our house. 

Bathroom (0/8)

· Paint: I think it's going to match the kitchen. 
· Hang shelf: we need somewhere to put some basic toiletries. 
· Install towel rod: Seriously, there's no towel rod. 
· Turn toilet to other wall: I don't know how much this one’s going to cost, or if it's possible, but the toilet needs to be on the other wall next to the sink. I've seen it on the other wall in lots of bathrooms and it's always fine. Where it is now makes it so awkward to use. 
· Refinish the tub: The finish is old and flaking but the tub is nice and real, not one of those fake plastic ones, so we'd like to get it refinished or re-glazed or whatever they call it. 
· Install vent: There's no vent in here to send all the moisture and/or awkward smells away. 
· Fix bad repair job on door frame: Based on my dad's assessment we're  guessing they took out some chair molding and did a horrible job patching up the door frame. 
· Install baseboard trim: Is that not normally in bathrooms? Am I missing something? Or is the bathroom missing something? Namely baseboards. 

Hall (0/3)

Huh, I somehow don't have a picture of the hallway yet.

· Paint: Same color as the living room
· Install chalkboard into recessed wall (maybe)
· Hang things

 Master Bedroom (0/5)

No picture of the master bedroom either.

· Paint: We're not sure about the color yet
· Get a rug
· Find a dresser that will also double as a TV stand: We need something with slightly bigger capacity than what we have right now and it also needs to hold our TV
· Get new TV: We're still rocking a tube TV in there. 
· Hang things: More pictures!

Playroom (0/3)

· Paint: We're not sure about the color. Maybe we'll consult the room's future occupant. 
· Hang things
· Get a toddler bed

 General Home Improvements (0/10)

· Put shelves in closets: There are currently no shelves except for in the hall closet
· Repair all holes in the floor: Every room has a hole in the floor on almost every side of the room. Apparently the previous owners were not only cable junkies but also kept moving their TV around for no reason and not filling the holes. 
· Add crown molding: We'd like to do this throughout the house. It just looks nice.  
· Figure out how to get rid of popcorn ceiling: Any suggestions?
· Paint or replace doorknobs and hinges and install doorstops
· Replace outlet and switch covers
· Hang curtains
· Replace all doors: They're all pretty cheap doors with fake wood grain engraved in them that just doesn't feel right in the old door frames. 
· Replace windows: This is one of those eventually things but we'd just like to get some more efficient windows and also some of the current ones don't have screens. 
· Trim out closets: For some reason none of the closets have baseboards or even quarter round. I know it's just a closet but it looks weird. 

To be completely honest, we've been living here almost a month now so there are some things that we've already done, but I wanted a list that was a good starting point. So, now that we have this we can talk about the things we've already done and start DOING EVEN MORE!