2/18/11

Happy Friday Ramblings Part 2.

UPDATE! We got it! We got the couch home, it was quite the adventure, with the rain and all. But I am so happy!!! I was so scared and unsure when we wheeled the thing up to the cash register, worrying about how it would fit and look in our house. The couch looks even better than I had imagined. I feel ecstatic, can't you tell?!

A before shot of the old Kramfors couch from when we first moved in. Bye bye couch, I still love you but you need a new home...

Hello Kivik!


Desmond tests out the new couch.

He likes it!

Happy Friday Ramblings Part 1.

I am sitting on our 3 1/2 year old, second hand Ikea couch on this overcast Friday morning, feeling a little down and overwhelmed by our house renovation...

There was a sofa with chaise lounge at Ikea that we wanted in the As-Is section, marked down by 30%! It was in perfect condition, turned out to be a floor sample. I was so excited, because I've been thinking about it and there it was, on sale, in the color we both wanted. It's called the Kivik. Unfortunately, we didn't have the measurements we needed to determine whether it would fit in our living room or not. We resisted the urge to make an impulse purchase, vowing to come back the next day with the correct measurement to make an informed decision.



If someone else gets to it before us, it'll just mean that the Kivik and us were not meant to be. See, I am trying to be Zen about it. In that case, I will lust after the Karlstad instead. 
The ants are back with full force this morning, crawling all over the stove and counter top. The leaky window is still leaking. Our bedroom door doesn't shut properly. There is an endless list of projects around the house that I can't get to because of the little one. But I have to remind myself to stay positive, because things will get done eventually and the sun will come out again. 

When I think back to where we started almost two years ago with the house search, we had no idea the amount of efforts and perseverance it would take to get to where we are today. We knew that we couldn't afford our "dream house" in turn key condition. The best we could hope for was to get a fixer-upper and build it to our specs. So in a way, this is our dream house for the present.

Anyway all I want to say is that I am grateful to have such a beautiful son and supportive partner. I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads, a house of our own. I am grateful for our families who helped to make our dream come true.

Desmond is growing up so fast...






2/8/11

Projects Around The House

I spend a lot of time at home these days taking care of the little dude which means I spend a lot of time noticing things around the house that need to get done. One of the many things is our patio door, more specifically, the venetian blind on the door. The door has its' own problem, but that's for another post. The first blind we put on made the kitchen area too dark due to its' dark wood finish.

I don't have a good picture of the previous blind with the door installed, but you can see in the picture below the color (brown) of the blind.

So we purchased the same blind in natural, it's the Lindmon from Ikea in case you were wondering. The lighter tone of the wood makes such a huge difference.

The only problem now is the length of the blind, it's way too long. After living with it for a few months, I decided I have to do something about it. I've never shortened a venetian blind before, but I knew that it's probably pretty easy task. A little Google search and I was set.

The extra slats are not attractive and the extra weight they added annoyingly bang against the door whenever the door opens.

Unplug the little stopper and untie the cord to take out the slats until desired length is reached. Do the reverse to secure the blind.

Voilà!

I was able to sneak in this little project while Desmond was taking his nap. I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Sometimes it's the little things that matter in life.

Desmond agrees!

2/6/11

Apartment For Rent

Well, almost...The downstairs apartments are almost ready to be rented out. I posted an ad on Craigslist last Monday to get a feel for what the kind of potential tenants we might get. I got four inquiries and scheduled for two showings for this Saturday. So Saturday came, one person was a no show and the other person was not a good fit for the apartment. She seemed nice enough, but had terrible credit and is self employed as a massage therapist. She also said that she would have a massage table set up in the apartment to use for friends, uh-huh...plus the chemistry just wasn't there.

I've since taken down the Craigslist ad and plan to put up a more polish one with photos later this month, when we feel more ready to give it a go again.

The front apartment is almost done, there are just some paint touch ups and putting up the bathroom mirror and door handles. The back apartment still needs to have the clawfoot tub (we are in the process of refinishing the tub ourselves) and toilet installed.

Bedroom in the front unit.

Front unit bathroom.

Front unit bath. We found out the Lillangen sink cabinet came in two heights, 31" or 36", after we've already assembled and installed one of the cabinets. We purchased the short version instead of the tall one we wanted due to a careless Ikea associate. Argh! 

Front unit bedroom.

Front unit compact kitchen.

This post was brought to you by Desmond at 7 weeks old!

2/4/11

Projects Around The House

For months now, I've been trying to figure out some extra storage solution in the half bath. We need it to put away the extra rolls of toilet paper and anything else that doesn't fit into the space underneath the laundry sink. My original plan was to put up an inexpensive Ikea shelve that we purchased specifically for this purpose. Then I noticed that the Lillangen wall cabinets were on sale at Ikea, so I figured why not, it just be perfect for our half bath. We brought the cabinets home over a month ago. The unassembled cabinets sat in our living room for about two weeks before I found time during one of Desmond's short naps to put one of the cabinets together. Then it took another couple of days before I put the other one together and in my haste, made a glaringly stupid mistake, you'll see in the photo below. Well, I was hoping my dad would help us put them up during one of my parents' weekend visits. Asking for my dad's help turned out to be more trouble than it's worth. He refused to believe that the toggle bolts that we bought to use for these cabinets are right for what we are doing. I told him thanks but no thanks, we'll do the work ourselves. We were able to find a little time one night this week after Desmond went to sleep and before making dinner  to put up the cabinets. Here are the before and afters.

Before

Making sure it's leveled.

This was when Justin pointed out to me that the backs are different colors. I think it was the lack of sleep  that caused me to make the stupid mistake of putting in the wrong side on the right. Opps. Now the question is whether to take it down to fix it. My other idea is to eventually put some pretty wallpaper in there for a little customization. Oh yeah, the left cabinet is longer than the right cabinet, it was on purpose to utilize as much of the wall space as possible.

I love having storage to get organized. And the way the glass doors open up are so cool.

All it needs now is some kind of hanging house plants to go above the cabinet to give the room some life. 

Paint Colors Around the House

I need to write this down so I don't forget what colors I used for the house. Looks like I've already missed placed couple of paint chips...

Ceiling paint - Benjamin Moore Ceiling paint in pure (?) white (this paint was expensive and goes on pretty thick)

Upstairs living room, master bedroom - Benjamin Moore Morning Dew 1493 in eggshell

Upstairs 2nd bedroom - Benjamin Moore Little Dipper eggshell finish

Upstairs bathrooms - Benjamin Moore Snow White semi-gloss

Upstairs interior moulding and trims - Benjamin Moore OC-117 Simply White satin finish

Downstairs living room, bedroom- Behr Cancun Sand 310E-1 eggshell finish

Downstairs bathroom - Behr Rhino 710E-3 semi-gloss

Exterior body - Benjamin Moore HC-149 Buxton Blue

Exterior window and door trims - Benjamin Moore HC-27 Monterey White

Exterior doors and accent - Benjamin Moore - Benjamin Moore HC-156 Van Deusen Blue