Back here, I remarked that a certain loved father-in-law of mine promised me he’d help us oust the blocked in windows that are to either side of our fireplace.

The man came through.

Way more beautifully than anybody could have hoped.  That’s not to say we had low expectations of him, that’s to say he does beautiful work.

In Laws revealing the windows

In Laws revealing the windows

Windows boxed up so we can paint the trim.

Windows boxed up so we can paint the trim.



So I know these have Christmas decorations in them so it sort of distorts it. BUT… Its tradition that I put my tree up on Black Friday while the rest of the Country is out pulling each other’s hair out and generally forgetting the values of the day before.  So I had to do it.  I hate breaking tradition.



Thanks again to my in laws… they are endless and incredible help!  Looks so amazing.





Then & Now – Living Room Edition

The end of November & beginning of December brought a lot of rapid fire changes to the living room area.  It was an area that basically remained stagnant from when we finished the painting and ripping up the floor.  We filled it with furniture we already owned and went on with life.

Here’s what it looked like at our first walk thru.  When we “fell in love” with our diamond in the rough.

Living room - February 2012 (before we bought our home)

Living room – February 2012 (before we bought our home)

Gross carpet, ugly blinds, brassy fireplace cover. But also- beautiful fireplace, huge window, great bones.

Now here it is on Thanksgiving Day 2012 (about 9 months later)

Living Room on Thanksgiving 2012

Living Room on Thanksgiving 2012

So what’s changed in the last 9 months?  Well the obvious – it’s been painted and the carpet was ripped out.  We put our own furniture in it.  But also, Kevin used high heat paint (its actually marketed for a grill – Rustoleum makes it) in flat black to paint the fireplace cover.  How much better is that?  Seriously amazing.

We have a lot of plans for this space.  All in all from the wall in the left of the photo to the window is about 12 feet.  From the fireplace to the wall that I am standing beside when I took this picture is either 19 or 20 feet.  I don’t remember exactly.  So with where the couch is the living room is about 12×10 roughly.

Here’s the living room plans-

  • Paint fireplace grate
  • Buy new curtains
  • Possibly buy a new more fashionable blind
  • Buy an area rug
  • Box out the windows hidden in this photo
  • Probably buy a new couch
  • Build built-ins on each side of the fireplace that are mantel height & the TV can be hidden in
  • Paint the trim glossy white
  • Paint the front door (can’t see it here)
  • Mount the artwork (I made that) above the fireplace (it’s just leaning in this picture)
  • Pare down on the houseplants.  (actually we accidentally killed them.. so that was an easy step…unfortunately)

It’s basically a whole whole bunch of buying.  So that’s why it’s coming along slowly.

Luckily though, a lot of this list was knocked off over Thanksgiving weekend… Thanks Billionaire (thats what I call my father-in-law, Bill)!

Ceiling Changes

The initial plan (as you can see here by the paint samples on the ceiling) was to paint the walls and the ceiling in the kitchen the same color.  We used the technique in our bathroom reno (here) to make the space feel taller and bigger.  However, we ended up choosing a bright (I say cheerful) shade of green and felt that having it on the ceiling would be too much.  Also, a white ceiling will help our dark kitchen appear even brighter than ever.   So on the white ceiling paint went.

Kevin Painting the Ceiling

Here’s Kevin cutting in the paint in the little nook.  The door in front of him is the door to our patio and the unpainted door behind him is the door to the basement.  The kitchen floor actually steps down in this little two-door nook, so thats why Kevin is doing the cutting in here.  I can’t reach – even on the step stool – and I don’t do ladders.  So everywhere else it was business as usual – me cutting in and Kevin rolling.  We didn’t bother taping off because the walls were the next to be painted.  We were just extra careful to not get any paint on the cabinets or countertops (we covered those up) and we taped off the big ceiling light.

Here’s a before & after.  Look at all that reflecting light! Yum!

Before & After Ceiling Paint

Before & After Ceiling Paint

So yesterday’s post didn’t update the checklist, so lets have at that.

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets. (we opted to not seal)
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Re-do the countertop AGAIN (surprise!)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving (just have to add the shelves back in – more on that later)
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high gloss white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

It’s coming along.. and needed some updating now that we have to re-redo the countertops.  Progress is progress!

A “taste” of what’s to come

I’m so punny.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled kitchen updates for a preview into what I hope is Kevin’s addition to this blog!  He “claims” he’d like to add about his homebrewing to this blog, so to get him started, I uploaded the ridiculous homevideo of us both trying his first batch for the very first time.  Cue awkward dog scenes!

The Case of the One-Sided Window

On one of our multiple visits to our new home before closing, somebody noticed that there were windows visible from the outside with no trace of them on the inside.  From the walkway to the patio, you could see two glass block windows, one on each side of the chimney.  From the inside, nothing framed the fireplace.  My father-in-law asked me if I’d like windows there and I replied.. well, why not.  So he got immediately on that…

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As you can see, he actually just poked a hole in the wall and stared into it before covering it up with masking tape.  I think I even have a picture of him and my hubs doing just that.  He promises the window boxes are on the way and it’s a fun thing to tease him over.  So for now, we just have masking tape painted to our wall, but I believe him that one day he’ll deliver and we will have light boxes.  Until then, let the teasing continue.

Wait… aren’t there windows there?

I can’t seem to find a picture of it, but on one of the few tours before ever closing on our home, we realized there were glass block windows visible from the outside, but not on the inside.  You can see them on each side of the chimney from the outside, but when you come inside, theres no trace of them framing in the fireplace.  My father-in-law asked, “would you like windows there?” to which I replied.. well why not!

Let me show you the beautiful windows he framed in for us…


Window Hole Up Close

Window Hole Up Close

Window Hole from Afar

Window Hole from Afar

Yeah, so it’s not quite windows yet… which is the running family joke.  We like to give Kev’s dad a hard time about it, but we do appreciate that maybe, someday there will be windows there.  After all this time talking about them, I sure do hope we like them haha

When you’ve had too much family time…

We recently (Read: two days ago) came back from a long two week vacation with my husband’s family.  On top of that, I am in the process of setting up a home business.  Needless to say, it’s been chaotic and busy here so I apologize for the lack of updates.  I am hoping I can take some time today and schedule some fresh posts.  For now, here’s a picture from about a week after we moved in.  It’s suiting to share now since we just got done with another marathon family time. haha  It’s all in good fun, I promise.

When you've had too much family time...

When you’ve had too much family time…