Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Appliance Arrival

Hi all! Just popping in briefly to provide an update on our kitchen progress. Things are coming along nicely. I got the cabinets painted, reassembled and restocked in time for the appliances to arrive yesterday. We were especially worried about the fridge, but each appliance slid into place just fine. {Relief!} This coming week I'm going to paint the other section of cabinets. The light we ordered for above the sink has shipped, so we're looking forward to installing that…and we still need to pick out a replacement for the fluorescent light. {Then there's microwave installation, the flooring, backsplash and counters, toe kick installation…} Baby steps! For now we're just glad to have a somewhat stocked & functional kitchen again!

We're taking a break from the kitchen today & heading over to Andrew's cousin's to watch the ball drop tonight. 2014 has been a really productive year! Thanks for reading our blog and for all of your positive feedback. I'm excited to continue DIYing in 2015, and wish everyone a happy & healthy New Year! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Kitchen. (Alternate title: A War Zone)

This is what our kitchen used to look like:

The appliances came with the house, and they are mismatched. We always said the first thing that broke would give us reason to buy a new matching set. A month ago the dishwasher stopped working, so we stuck to our guns and picked out a new fridge, stove, range and microwave. They'll be delivered in two days.

Before the new stuff arrives, I decided to fulfill my longtime goal of painting the cabinets & adding some bead board accents. The cabinetry is in perfect shape, so we can't justify pitching it. A little paint goes a long way. I'm using the same primer & paint combo as the fireplace. I frequently have paint in my hair these days, but it's worth it. Here are some progress shots:

We labeled the doors and hardware for easy reinstall later.

I listened to the Serial podcast while I worked. So addicting!

Check out the covered up sink. Things are in shambles!

We picked out a new pedant light for over the sink, and we have to make a shelf above the stove for the microwave. Andrew has to do some electrical work there that I secretly hope takes place in my absence.

Once the cabinets have been completed, we'll be able to pick out a new countertop and add backsplash. Not sure about the counters yet, something stone but not granite…? {And we'll be paying professionals to measure, cut & install it} The backsplash will be subway tile, which we can do ourselves. Oh, and remember the Pergo? It's still hanging around. We'll be putting that in the kitchen, too.

Thanks for checking up on us. I'll keep you all posted on the final transformation!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Couple's Hobby Canvas

I was commissioned to paint this canvas back in September. It was to be given as a Christmas gift, hence the late post! The vision behind this project was to create a collection of the couple's favorite hobbies. Painted with a cream background, burgundy, hunter green & gray lettering, the result is an outdoorsy-themed tribute to a fun & active couple. I hope they got a kick out of it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fireplace Facelift

This is how we gave our builder-grade oak fireplace an amazing facelift for under $200:
  1. Plan. Measure from the mantle to the ceiling for the 4 vertical beams. Take 1 horizontal measurement for the top. 
  2. Purchase. Take your measurements to the hardware store and buy your wood. I got plain oak 1x3 beams at Lowe's for $10-$15/each. {Truthfully, I did this backwards. I bought my wood and then measured when I got back home. It was an impulse buy that paid off!}
  3. Prep. Throw down a drop cloth. Cut your wood pieces to size and nail them into place. Andrew did this with the air nailer. I patched the indentations with wood filler. Now prime - I used Valspar Bonding Primer {You don't even need to sand!}
  4. Paint. Tape off & get to work. I gave the fireplace two coats of "Dove White" satin finish.

The paint instantly transformed things. I did it on my day off while Andrew was at work. When he came home, he was impressed. To spice things up, we wanted to add AirStone to the fireplace surround. AirStone comes in three colors. We chose Stone Creek which is a mixture of light & dark grays, and applied it directly on to the existing tile surround.

This part was the most difficult portion of the project. The stone pieces come in various rectangular and squared off sizes, and the box states that you can cut them to size easily with a hack saw. No sweat. Well, it was actually A LOT OF SWEAT. Poor Andrew. I was the foreman of this job and gave him the pieces with measured notches on them, and he had to do the cutting. He probably needs a new rotator cuff now.

Once the stones were cut to size, I used the adhesive cement and applied the pieces. We ended up having to buy two boxes at $26/each. {One box covers 6 sq. feet} We used one entirely & just a few from the other box. I guess we can save the extra and maybe find a purpose for it somewhere down the line.

We are really pleased with the final facelift, and how much character it adds to the family room. Even though the stone was harder to cut than we originally thought it would be, we were still able to get this project done relatively quickly. I wanted the fireplace to be finished in time for Christmas, and we achieved that goal. The paint worked really well, so I plan to take it around the house and paint all of the oak trim, window casings & stair banisters. Which I'm sure will take an eternity…

Thanks for reading about our latest project!

PS: Wondering what happened to the mirror that used to hang over the mantle? We relocated it to our bedroom. It now hangs above our bed and we think it looks top-notch.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our New Deck

 The deck is finally complete. We capped the 4x4 posts, took some photos, and thought about how great next summer will be when we get to sit back & enjoy all of the backyard renovations. 

To refresh your memory, this is what the previous deck looked like:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pergo to the Max

Well, we did it. We officially bought 46 boxes of Montgomery Apple Pergo Max.

For now, the flooring is hanging out in the corner of the dining room. From time to time I walk past the pile to admire and imagine. It's going to look really nice…eventually. We have serious labor to accomplish between now & then. 

We'll need to juggle furniture around to empty one room at a time in order to rip out  the old flooring & baseboards. So that's removal of carpet in the office and dining rooms, linoleum in the kitchen/pantry/half bath/laundry room. The tile in the foyer may or may not stay, we haven't decided.

We hope to begin work on this huge undertaking soon. Technically, we could pay professionals to do the installation. However, the installation charge doesn't include ripping out the old stuff. If we have to rip it all out anyways, we might as well lay the laminate {At least, that is our current stream of thinking!} Time will tell.

The Hanging of the Corbels

The antique corbels have been hung. We used some dabs of wood glue and the air nailer to secure them in place. There was a small period of time where the nailer was malfunctioning and I was standing on a chair holding the corbel in place while the blood slowly drained out of my arm…but that temporary discomfort soon passed. Andrew quickly scanned the manual, corrected course, and we were able to step back & admire the finished product.
{Take a look}

You'll notice the light hanging in the left of those pictures. We do not like it. We want to replace it with a traditional black lantern. It can't be too large or hang down too low or it will bonk people on the head. We've yet to find a suitable option. The hunt continues.

Keep creating, DIYers!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Brown Bag Wreath

$0 Project Alert! This one's free & fun. Just ask for paper bags next time you're at the grocery store. You will have to pay for the groceries…

Wreaths are a pretty way to decorate your home, indoors or out. I never really paid that much attention to wreaths until I had my own house, and then I developed an appreciation. I saw one like this on a friend's Instagram and figured it would be pretty simple to make. Easy, quick decoration for that {limbo} period in between Halloween & Christmas. Especially if you're like me and don't have much Thanksgiving decor. After I put away all of our ghosts & jack-o-lanters, I'm always at a loss. It's too soon for Christmas stuff! To fill the void, I settled on a few of these wreaths and a set of neutral pumpkins for the mantle. This should tide us over until I bust out all of the red & green at the end of the month.

First I cut the cardboard into circles. I traced bowls from the kitchen to make sure the circles were exact. Then I drew 1 leaf on the paper bag and cut it out. I used this leaf as a template to trace the rest. After cutting all of the leaves out, I made a crease in the center of each by lightly folding. Then I began gluing the leaves to the cardboard circle. I started at the top and went clock-wise until I reached the end. To hang, I tied a length of ivory ribbon to each.

I bet making one big wreath for the front door would be really sharp looking, too. Obviously I would need bigger pieces of cardboard for that! {Something to keep in mind for the future} For now, I'm satisfied. And I don't want to go overboard by putting homemade wreaths all over the place in the house - I'll get a reputation!

Thanks for following along.
Keep creating, DIYers!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Costume Party Recap

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! (a few days late)

On Friday night, we went to a party dressed as:
Sheldon & Amy from "The Big Bang Theory"

I think we nailed it. Andrew looked creepishly perfect and people at the party loved him. Luckily for me, he's 100% less odd than Sheldon. And in my opinion, exponentially more handsome! (Hey, when you're dressed up as smart people, you get to use words like exponentially).

I hope all of you had a fun Halloween weekend. Ours was jam-packed! The whole month of October flew by, and I didn't do much DIY. But I have {several} projects in mind for November, so stick around!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Mums the word"

The mums we planted at the end of September are still going strong. This weekend possible snow is forecasted (!!!) so I wanted to capture the color & sun rays now before they are soon gone and replaced by white. I like living in Ohio and experiencing all four seasons, but I will be sad to see my mums go!


Andrew and I have developed a soft-spot for antique stores. It's so enjoyable to stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall shop and sift through the salvage, looking for treasures. We try to keep our eyes peeled for antique spots while traveling. Luckily, there are also some real gems right in our hometown. Marshall's Antique Warehouse is one of our favorites. We went this weekend and scored a pair of corbels & a substantial chunk of walnut molding.

We also checked out a storage locker full of doors, but need to do some measuring at home before purchasing any of those.

My vision for the corbels is to hang one in each of the wide entrances on either side of the foyer that lead to the dining room & office. The molding needs to be tweaked slightly... nothing tool-man Andrew can't handle. A few cuts and then the finished product can hang above our bed as a faux mantle of sorts. We're very excited about these new {old?!} additions to our home and look forward to adding to our collection.

Here are some of the other antiques/salvage pieces we've picked up over the years:

The bedside table in our guest room
Midcentury typist desk in the corner of our office that Andrew uses for fly tying
Old window I haven't decided where to hang - it's heavy!
Vintage travel trunk suitcase (in the foyer under an old library table)
Fly fishing creel - office decor
Wooden locker in our master bedroom

PS: The owner of Marshall's told us that the corbels and molding were salvaged from the Aultman-Harter mansion. Located in downtown Canton, this Victorian estate was home to Cornelius and Katherine Aultman, founders of the hospital where I work.

See what I mean? Treasures!