Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dining Room Phase 2


Well, this was my baby. I took an extra day off around President's Day Weekend and finished the entire dining room floor in about a day and a half. Here is a "before" pic. The old carpet was pretty bad. It had definitely seen it's better days with wear and stains galore.

It only took me about an hour to strip the carpet off of the foundation. The worst part were the carpet tack strips which had been cemented in! Once I bought a "Wonder Bar" from Stanley Tools, it went MUCH smoother! :)

Here was the hardest part of the entire process: the transition from the kithen to the dining room:

This section took me 2 of the 10 hours I spent on the project! Once I realized that we were not working with identical products (the initial thought/plan) the rest of the process went pretty smooth!

Here is an inprogress shot:

Notice the red underlay; $59 per 100 feet. There was a $25 per 100 feet option, but Home Depot neglected to point that out. ALWAYS ask about pricing options.

Here is the final product, part 1:

The final piece of the puzzle was installing trim to cover the seams between the kitchen and dining room. We used a piece of metal trim and nailed it to the flooring:

All in all, this project was a pretty big success. The more daunting challenge now is to install the trim. YIKES!! :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A little early you say? Never. St. Patrick's Day happens to be my favorite holiday! Why? Well, I absolutely love green, St. Patty's day is a very fun holiday, and it's a low stress day (vs. Thanksgiving and Christmas which usually push me to the brink of insanity). Plus, my fair skin, freckles, and auburn hair have to give me some kind of Irish street cred.

I came home from work on Monday to find these:

Beautiful crazy daisies (amazing because they always last a long time, 2nd to carnations), shamrock vinyl tablecloth (my favorite!), and Kiss me I'm Irish hand towels.

The hubs, he's good. Tim had the day off work on Monday, so he went to Joann Fabrics and picked up these items for me. And, they were on clearance. Could he get any better? He knows exactly how I like to decorate for the holidays! Plus he knows I'm cheap! What a great surprise. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Dining Room Phase 1

You'll recall that before our dining room looked like this:

It was tan, just like every other room in the house. I'm not anti-tan, but we're having a khaki overload in here! We need some variety. Too bad we did the exact opposite of variety for our first move: we decided to continue the color from the kitchen into the dining room. Because we live in a tri-level house, you can see both hallways (upstairs and downstairs), the kitchen, and dining room while standing in either room on the main level. We felt like extending the color would create continuity in the kitchen and dining area.

So step one, we painted the walls with Glidden Wood Smoke. It took two gallons to cover the kitchen and dining walls. We also painted the shelf and doors (not currently installed) for the closet white while we're at it. We used America's Finest semi-gloss white (aka cheap trim paint, also the brand we used for the flat ceiling paitn in our kitchen). We want to use the same kind of paint for the trim throughout the house, again for continuity.

We desperately needed to add some depth to the dining room. Before we selected Wood Smoke, we immediately eyed Behr's Deep Garnet. It's a bold burgundy color. We absolutely loved it! Every time we considered other options, this color kept creeping back into the picture. We couldn't resist. Unfortunately, we thought the color was too dark to paint the entire room Deep Garnet. I didn't want the room to feel tiny with such a dark color enveloping it. Instead, we opted for an accent wall.

We used Behr Ultra Premium Plus Paint and Primer in one. This paint is incredible. We didn't need to use a primer despite this massively dark paint. It went on with even coverage in just two coats! I'm definitely impressed; however, I wasn't impressed with the price tag $35/gallon. If we had to purchase a tinted primer base the project would have been just as expensive if we used a low grade paint (like America's Finest) due to the millions of coats it would have required. Instead, I spent the $35 and my back/arms thank me.

I love the rich, saturated color and the wall really pops next to that semi-gloss casing on the door and window.

Of course, I didn't do it all by myself. Tim is the master roller, while I focus on cutting in trim, corners, and ceilings. I use a flat pad dipped in paint to create a nice line. I first dip a brush in paint and then apply the paint to the pad. Then, I take the pad along the ceiling and a nice long stroke. I give this method a B- rating. It was much easier than applying painters tape around the room, but I didn't get the crisp line like I did in the corner between the Deep Garnet and Wood Smoke above.

And the baby Monk...

... loves helping! Yes, she's always in the middle of whatever project we have going on. In this instance, she pawed at the door handle (her potty signal), then plopped her paws back on the carpet. We weren't too concened because we knew that carpet was hitting the curb soon. More details on that in a future post!
Now, about that Behr Deep Garnet... I bought a quart because the staff at Home Depot said it would be enough for our one wall. Unfortunately, Tim may have mismeasured that wall, so we actually needed a bit more paint. Also, the Behr Ultra Premium Plus paint and primer in one is extremely thick. It coats the wall like pasteurized cheese product slicks on your burger. I ended up buying an additional gallon thinking that a second quart wouldn't be enough. Wrong. Now, I have more than 3/4 gallon left, so I'm dreaming of projects to use this leftover ($35) paint. Any ideas?
Stay tuned for more Dinig Room projects, including that flooring!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kitchen: Before & After

The time has finally come! You've seen the progress over the last 4 months, now it's time for the final product.





We hope you liked watching our progress as much as we enjoyed DIYing it! Stay tuned for more projects.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kitchen Phase 5

The final phase... wall paint! It seemed like this kitchen project was never going to come to an end, but here we are! I had a really difficult time settling on a paint color. The counter includes tan, warm red/tan, black, and grey flecks. The tiles are grey, black, white, and stainless steel with tan grout. Of course the cabinets are white with brushed nickel hardware and the appliances stainless steel and black.

Tim immediately thought grey would be a good choice. He really liked Martha Stewart's Gray Squirrel. It was a light shade that would match everything. I was hesitant about choosing a cool color for the kitchen. Usually people like warm colors that make the space feel inviting.

We went to Home Depot and got a ton of color swatches to test them out in our house. We sorted through them and eliminated any too dark, too blue, or too green options. It seemed like we found the perfect color, Glidden's Wood Smoke. It's grey, but includes some hints of tan (hence the smoke).

The funny thing is we already had a sample of this color! We tried to put endcaps on our countertops, but they didn't fit quite right, were hard to work with, and didn't look nice. Tim decided to take them off and paint the ends to waterproof them. We went to Home Depot and looked through the Glidden premixed samples to find a close enough match for our barely seen ends. We quickly and easily selected Wood Smoke as a close match that tied in all of the elements of the kitchen. As fate would have it, that's the color we chose for our kitchen!

Check out the photos of our freshly painted kitchen:

We do still have our detached dishwasher in the corner. It currently holds my plants while I wait for spring to roll around so I can purchase a plant stand or two. We seldom use the dishwasher, but it is helpful for when we have large groups of guests. Tim has researched installing a dishwasher. With a full sized dishwasher, we would forfeit 1.5-2 cabinets, yikes! I can't imagine losing two large storage spaces. The alternative would be an apartment sized dishwasher. Unfortunately, these cost almost double! At this point, we just can't justify the cost for as little as we use it. Up next: before and after shots!

Lights, Camera, Action!

This is actually a project from 2010 (we were in fact doing projects, just not posting them!). We did a terrible job of taking before photos, so none exist. We'll just say the old lighting was U-G-L-Y, ugly. Home Depot had a big lighting sale back in September/October and we bought new lights for the entire house. When we looked at this house, I knew immediately that the lack of overhead lights would be a challenge for me. I like all of the lights on, all of the time. Just ask my mom, Steve, and Tim. It drives them insane. They were trying to watch tv in pitch black and I turned on all of the lights in their living room! I can't stand it. Enough of my rant, onto the photos.

This beauty came in under $10! We have one in each hallway (leading upstairs and leading downstairs).

We bought a different recessed light for above the sink. When Alex installed them for us, the hole was too large for the light we purchased. Thankfully Alex had this one in his truck (he happens to be an electrician). We plan to install an identical one 2 feet to the right so that the entire counter/space in front of the window has bright lights to illuminate it.

This is the other new fixture in our kitchen. The old ceiling fan had a large wicker ring around it, e repainted the ceiling to correct the ring you can minimally see in this photo. We liked this ceiling fan so much we bought one for our bedroom.
You can also see from this photo that we have CFL bulbs installed. Not only do these bulbs save on energy costs, but they were also FREE! You know I love a good deal! That's right, if you have Duke Energy you can sign up to receive 15 free CFL bulbs. I couldn't believe it.
There you have it folks, the 4 new lighting fixtures in our home. Alex replaced all of the old fixtures in the house, now we just need to add lights where there were no previously existing lights (the 3 bedrooms and the dining room). We have the lights ready and waiting! Because we live in a tri-level home, it would be very challenging (cutting floor boards, joists, supports, etc) to install an overhead light in our living room downstairs, so we're not even going to try.