Monthly Archives: October 2014

Every Step Forward is a Step Forward {even little ones}

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Although, truthfully, this has actually been a pretty big week with forward-moving.  We’ve decided to hire Pop to do some stuff for us, and it’s like magic.  We leave for work, then come back eleven hours later and stuff is done.  I can’t tell you how exciting it is.  😀

Okay, so, updates.  First off, last weekend we spent some time looking at doors and trying to decide what we wanted to do with the bedroom doorway.  It has been a weird doorway because originally only the left-side door actually went into the bedroom, from the weird tunnel hallway that no longer exists.  The right-hand door was actually into a closet that also no longer exists.

(The door has also been doubling as a clothes-rack)

(The door has also been doubling as a clothes-rack)

That left us with a weird-sized doorway, as both doors are narrow trailer doors.  Plus, we had that lovely post in the middle of everything.

Originally, we talked about making the doorway just regular-door width, which would mean filling in the wall a bit on either side of the door.  But when we were at Home Depot last weekend we found doors we fell in love with – our dream plan was to put French doors in this doorway (now that it’s a one-bedroom house, it just doesn’t seem to matter if that single bedroom has doors with windows), and Home Depot had these perfect doors on sale for only $37 each!!!

Perfect!!

Perfect!!

Of course, we’ve always been told to never buy doors that aren’t pre-hung.  We came home and chatted with Pop about what kind of work would be involved in hanging the doors ourselves, since getting a pair of these doors in a pre-hung doorway was $275.  He seemed (of course) confident, so we went with the doors.

Big project #2 for this week was demolishing one wall and building another.  Remember this picture from last week?

Someday I'll learn to tidy first, then take pictures to post on the internet.

Someday I’ll learn to tidy first, then take pictures to post on the internet.

The wall you see straight ahead, with the bookshelves in the doorway, was scheduled for demolition.  Taking the picture, I’m standing at the foot of our bed.  We decided to make that end of this unnecessarily long, skinny bedroom, part of the kitchen instead.

So, we came home Wednesday night to a couple of changes:

No post!

No post! (…or doors…)

New wall!!  (...almost...)

New wall!! (…almost…)

Super exciting!!!

On Thursday, the changes weren’t as dramatic, but they were still nice – electrical work!  New outlets all along one wall (since the old ones were faulty and not grounded), plus wiring for our new little tv stand in the bedroom.

A working light switch, too!

A working light switch, too!

Today, Tom and Pop have worked together to make some huge strides.  I’ve been working, too, but it’s the boring stuff – unloading bookshelves, moving bookshelves, loading bookshelves.  Repeat.  Actually, I’m procrastinating on loading bookshelves right now by writing this blog post!  😀

Anyway, the doors got hung!!!!

!!!

!!!

Now they just need painted and the hardware – actually, I got these perfect glass doorknobs that I’m super excited about.  They’ll be dummy knobs since we used a ball-catch at the top of each door to keep the doors closed.  There’s still some finish work, mostly trimming in and building the back stop to keep the doors from swinging too far backwards, plus the hardware, but definite forward progress on that project!!!

While Pop was focused on the doors, Tom was working on wall demolishing.  Every single time we’ve removed a wall around here, it’s been the right thing to do, and today was no exception.

The hutch needs painted, too...  the painting NEVER ends around here!

The hutch needs painted, too… the painting NEVER ends around here!

In progress...

In progress…

No wall!!!

No wall!!!

So, now that little nook will hold the dining room table and the  hutch, while the love seat (which has only been used as a clothes drop in the bedroom), got moved where the dining room table was (and so did the big bookshelf).  It’s already improved the flow of the  house.  Plus, now the hutch isn’t blocking half the French door, letting in more light.

Standing in the bedroom looking at the new dining area.

Standing in the bedroom looking at the new dining area.

The closets on the right are the current bedroom closets.  Eventually, when we redo the entire back half of the house – laundry and bathrooms – we’ll build a master closet.  For now, clothes will be stored in the weird back closet and back bathroom-that’s-not-being-used-as-a-bathroom-because-it-doesn’t-work-and-it’s-super-tiny-and-cramped-anyway.   That whole closet area that you see is going to turn into the most awesome pantry/kitchen storage area that I’ve ever had, and I am super stoked.

Trust me, it looks great.

Old dining area…

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…now the new sitting area!

Also pictured:  Bookshelves I should be filling right now and Tom’s ridiculously huge plant.

So yes, busy week!  I really like the way things are coming together.  Hopefully soon we’ll sketch out our final (ish) kitchen layout, because that is where we are headed next – woohoo!

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So the last month has definitely been a busy one, but mostly with little projects and much puttering.

For two weekends in September, we spent a lot of time outside enjoying some much needed R&R.  For the first, we were mostly local.  We live close to a section of Wayne National Forest, so we’ve been exploring trails and forest service roads whenever we get some decent weather combined with spare time.

Pruitt can attest to our adventuring.

Pruitt can attest to our adventuring.

The second weekend we headed to West Virginia and backpacked a section of trail along Otter Creek.  The trail followed an old rail bed, so it was fairly level and easy to follow, although it did involve some creek fording.

It's a super happy creek.

It’s a super happy creek.

We definitely want to go back there again sometime.

Back home, projects have been tooling along.  The biggest change since my last post is definitely the walls.  Some of you will remember that during the July flurry of pre-move-in-madness, we painted everything white – ceiling, walls, and floor.  While this definitely made the house lighter, cleaner, and larger, it was a bit…  sterile.  I spent a LOT of time agonizing over colors, especially since our ever-more-open floor plan means that you’ll almost always be able to see two rooms’ worth of walls at a time.

I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed.

I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed.

Yeah, remember that pile – and that was when I we were still back at the apartment!  I’ve been thinking about this for months.  (Yes, I realize I thought about it too much.)

In the end, we trended towards light, cool colors.  The lower room got painted pale green in August (Pale Moss Green to be specific).  I really want to post pictures of the colors, but we’ve been getting our paint at Menard’s and their website is really terrible when it comes to showing colors, but it’s 10C-2 if you happen to be at Menard’s and want to look.  😀  I think I also already mentioned that all the trim throughout the house is Dutch Boy’s White Lullabye (actually, I’ve been getting all Dutch Boy paint, even the Menard’s colors).

For the upper level of the living area, we went with a mid-grade blue, Cosmic Rays.  It’s a slightly greenish-blue, so actually looks really nice against the green of the lower room.  For the bedroom, I used the darkest color on the same blue card, Colonial Aqua.  I was afraid it may be too dark, but it’s actually perfect and I love it, even in our small bedroom.  Eventually, the bathroom will be the palest blue (Pistachio Cream) and the  bathroom will probably be the darkest green (Quaking Grass), but that’s all in the future.

Here you can kind of see the blue and green together.

Here you can kind of see the blue and green together.

My house, while it feels light, is kind of dim for taking pictures, so the colors don’t show up terribly well.

Trust me, it looks great.

Trust me, it looks great.

Someday I'll learn to tidy first, then take pictures to post on the internet.

Someday I’ll learn to tidy first, then take pictures to post on the internet. (Also, this is actually the bedroom, and only the wall on the left has been painted since the wall straight ahead is slated for eventual demolition.)

Because yes, we still have walls to take down/move about.  Actually the wall above is probably going to be the next big project.  We’re planning to move it back about to where the dresser and love seat meet, making the bedroom much smaller, and turning that end of the room into a dining area, since straight through the pass-through is actually the kitchen.  We’re still playing with a lot of ideas to try and utilize the space we have, and that spot, despite the love seat, is really just dead space for us.  Currently, the main bedroom closets are there on the right.  We’re planning to leave that closet area, but put shelves in it and use it as a pantry instead.  The bedroom closet will probably be on the new wall.

Last weekend we also spent some time carefully drawing out our current floor plan.

And by "we", I of course mean Tom.

And by “we”, I of course mean Tom.

The plan is to get this laminated, and then we can draw on it with dry erase markers and try to figure out how we want to configure the back end of the house.  The back closet/tiny bathroom that doesn’t work/laundry room/current bathroom area is going to somehow all be combined into one bathroom/laundry room of awesomeness once we figure out how we want to make it work.

One other project to update – super long curtain rods.  In the lower room, we have two windows that are 8′ across, and two that are 7′.  Grandma has volunteered to make the curtains, and we’ve actually purchased the fabric.  However, she has been patiently waiting for the rods to go up so she could finish the curtains.  The problem, of course, is that curtain rods that long are ridiculously expensive.

Originally, we tried dowel rods.  However, we couldn’t find them longer than 8′, and we need some overhang.  Tom tried piecing them together to add the extra part we needed, but it weakened the rod too much.  Last weekend, we went with a  more viable solution – conduit.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

The other reason the project has taken a bit of time is because Tom wanted to build the shelf unit you can see holding the rod in place. It looks even nicer close up.  Eventually, we’ll trim off the ends of the rods and Tom will probably take them to work and paint/bake them (he’s an automotive refinisher), but for now I think we’re finally ready to call Grandma and get those curtains up!

All in all, things are coming together.  It’s still really small steps, but they’re small steps forward.  Meanwhile, the bank account is recovering so we can get ready to hit the next big-money project – the kitchen.  *cue dramatic music*  That’s going to involve a lot of wall-moving and new cabinets/countertops (any suggestions for DIY in those areas would be appreciated!).

The last few weekends have been busy with circumstances beyond our control, but things seem to be settling back down, and I think we’re heading into another weekend of puttering (trim and organizing/unpacking, most likely), so life is, as always, very good.