Thursday, October 8, 2015

Better Kitchen

It's not fair to post "before" pictures and then make you wait a long time for some "after" pictures. I snapped a few of the kitchen and dining room. It's basically one big room but with a distinct dining area, so I refer to them as separate rooms even though it's all one room. 

I just finished painting the walls last night. The trim still needs a final (or in some places two more) coat of paint after caulking and filling nail holes. We also need to put up some hooks and organize the kitchen entry way so bags and coats can be up off the floor. I also really, really need to wash the mini blind. That's on my list for next week. I plan to take it down and hose it off outside.

I didn't "stage" the rooms at all. I could have done that, but I just don't have the patience for it, so you get to see them as they are.

If you need to refresh your memory on how they looked before and during the work, just go to my previous post. Also, I should clarify, we weren't living here when doing the tearing out and really dirty work. We moved in after the kitchen was installed (sans countertops) and all the flooring was done. Lots of painting and trim work still needs to be done but that can be done here and there without too much extra dust and dirt.

So here is the kitchen. At some point, we'll have some other kind of blind at the window and a custom curtain of some sort. And some day we'll get a new fridge that fits the space made for it, but for now, we are using the one that came with the house. If you look closely at this picture and at the "before" picture of the kitchen, you will notice that we kept the stainless steel counter top that was in the house. We had some guys from a sheet metal shop pick take it and cut a new hole in it so we could have a bigger sink. The previous one was a shallow, single undermount sink. I like undermount sinks but not shallow small ones, and I was determined to have a double sink. So we just got a top mounted sink and had them make a hole to fit. I really, really like it and the fact that we were able to use this vintage piece!

Here's another view of the kitchen. You can see a flooring change from the dining area to the kitchen. This is because there was vinyl flooring in the kitchen originally, and so the builder had just used pine boards instead of oak. Dan spent hours taking off the vinyl and then steaming and scraping the old glue. That's why if you look closely, you can see there are still areas where the glue didn't come off completely, so we have this unique wooden floor. The pine was really light because it was covered up, but we think it's already beginning to darken, which is good, because I'm not really a fan of how the two flooring colors look side-by-side. But we had decided to not stain the pine because it should eventually darken to a similar color. And we're just considering it "character."

Here you can see our little back door entryway. Hooks will go in a row near the top of the wainscoting and I'd like to have some sort of organizational some-thing-or-other below. Suggestions??


 Here's a "before" of this space.

And here's the dining room side. The yellow looks brighter and darker at night. In daylight it's much more pale - which I prefer. As you can see, we have no storage here either, so that's on my list (china cabinet, corner cabinet, wash stand, something practical and nice...?).  I like wood, but with the floors and table, we have a lot of wood. I'm not really a fan of "shabby chic", so I don't think I want to go that route. I keep scouring craigslist and some local antique shops to see what might turn up. I'm open to suggestions! 

 The wrought iron railing came with the house. There are a number of wrought iron features and this is one of them. I'd like to get a bench of some sort to sit where all those baby things are, so that's another thing I've been looking for online. I even made a pinterest page for it! So we'll see. It will most likely look like this for a while.

 Eventually I'll paint that closet door as well. Don't let it's color fool you - it's not real wood but rather something called "graining". It was painted to look like real wood, but it's not. All the trim and interior doors in the house have this. But that will be a project for another time.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. I am really enjoying living in this space. The whole renovation process is an amazing one. I must say, I'm glad we're on this end of it (with the kitchen, at least!)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's Always Worse Before It's Better

At least, that's what I've learned about home renovations. You tear something out, it looks worse than it first did, but then once it's finished, it's better.

I'm really, really glad that I participated in this process before now. Otherwise, I think I'd be in a state of shock.

Let me show you what I mean...

Attic Before:

Attic During: 

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen During:

Sewing Room Before:

 Sewing Room During:

Family Room Before:


Family Room During:

 One of your best friends when renovating a house.

Sorry for the poor quality on some of the photos. I was in a hurry when taking them. I'm just thankful I took some. Chances are if the pictures are blurry, I took them. If they are clear, Dan took them. One of these days, when things are more cleaned up, I'll snap some finished pictures. We finally got trim up in the family room, so it looks much better. Don't ask me when we'll get that trim painted, because it is pretty far down my to-do list. Right now we are trying to finish up trim in the kitchen and dining room as well as paint the old trim and paint the walls. So tools are sprinkled around here and there and almost everywhere.

I've been painting when I can in between school runs, grocery runs, miscellaneous errands, making meals, changing diapers, washing laundry and hanging it out to dry (our dryer is broken), canning applesauce and grape juice, keeping things semi-tidy, reading stories, breaking up sibling rows, watering potted plants, pulling weeds, sitting by the campfire, and relaxing now and then. I keep thinking it's taking so stinkin' long to get this dining room painted, but we are slowly making progress.