Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let's try this again....

Well, I had all these wonderful intentions of chronicling all our home improvements and then somehow I not only stopped blogging but I also stopped doing any improvements.  Basically, we ended up painting the house and not doing a whole lot more than that.  I have an enormous list of things I *want* to do though, so maybe if I start this blog back up it will motivate me to get my ass in gear and actually do some of the things I had planned.

The most exciting news is that we got married!  We had our actual wedding ceremony on Coronado Beach and our reception in our backyard.  It was basically a dual housewarming and reception, and I think it went really awesome.  We ended up getting a food truck to park out front and we rented a tent and some tables & chairs to give people a place to sit.  Here's some pictures just to show what the house and yard looked like. :)

This is the view into our office from the dining room.
The backyard.  The people to the right are standing in front of the entrance to the studio space.  Yes, our grass is dead.  We have 3 dogs and it hasn't rained in San Diego in months!
Another angle.
Cutting the cake out in the studio.
Front steps. 
One of my favorite details, the door on the studio space.  It has a little door that you can open to talk through it. :)
Our living room has been decorated but I'm still not satisfied with it.  I just don't have a lot of concrete plans for it.

I think that we may get rid of the aquarium, or move it to another space.  It's just not attractive enough and I could put the three living fish in a much smaller tank somewhere else. 

We still have this hideous chandelier.  I'm trying to find something to replace it with, but it's tricky.  I'm thinking it needs to be some kind of non-hanging light since we're not putting our dining room table underneath it (it just doesn't have enough room to walk around it.)

I'd like to find some nice low shelves to go in the corner under the windows, but I have yet to find something affordable and attractive.  I would still like to mount the TV as well, and I want to paint this table white.  And get some kind of curtains or something at some point.....

Friday, November 16, 2012

From Mint to Gray

The biggest part of our transformation is almost complete: the living room.  Luke and I made pretty good time last night and got the living room and dining room near done with the exception of the wood beams which still need to be painted white.

Unfortunately, the tape on the hardwood floor ended up pulling up some of the stain from the floor when I removed it in the living room, dining room, and hallway.  It makes me sad because the color underneath is such a nice light wood color.  But I'm going to buy some replacement stain and patch up the places where the tape pulled up the color.  It might be tricky to find a color that looks exactly the same, but since the floor isn't a uniform color throughout anyway, it should be okay if it isn't exact.

At some point, we're probably going to do something blasphemous and get laminate flooring throughout.  It's not going to be cheap though, since it's not a good DIY project for us with all the rounded corners on the walls.

Remaining work to be done:  Bathroom in it's entirety, a couple doors and doorframes, spot painting some areas where boo-boos occured, and painting the wood beams. Four more days until Move In Day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Painting Continues....

I'm kind of enjoying this dual life of having two different houses to spend time in.  Sadly, all of my time every day in the new house is spent painting and prepping and getting up on ladders and getting down off ladders and bumping my head on the ceiling and getting covered in paint.  It's all exciting work though (building character, right?) but my muscles have ached solidly since last Saturday and I've about had all I can stand.

The only rooms completed are our office, kitchen and the bedroom.  That Sherwin-Williams 'Frolic' color?  Going to be too bright for our initial plan of painting an accent wall in the living room with it.  So, Frolic will remain but only in one room in the office as a testament to how funky and bold we are.  Meanwhile, the living room will all be Mindful Gray for now, and we can toy with the idea of a hip wallpaper or wall decal at some point in the future. It will also not limit us on whatever new couch we end up buying.

The kitchen is just about complete, and the color we chose (SW Celestial) is simply gorgeous.  Pictures make it look so dull and pale blue, but in reality it's this gorgeous bright bold-yet-soft blue that looks stunning against the dark cupboards and the white backsplash.

The bedroom is also now completed, and it's a lovely purple (SW Ash Violet) and lighter gray (SW Repose Gray).  I'd show pictures but the ones I took were as the sun was going down and they definitely don't show off the colors well at all.

Last night we also purchased our washer and dryer from Best Buy, and decided to go with the LG Graphite Steel ultra large capacity set.  Looks good, great reviews, and I can wash and dry TONS of things at a time?  Sounds good to me.

Today we need to sand and paint all of the wooden beams in the house.  We decided to paint them because the wood color doesn't match the floor and they don't seem to be original anyway.  Luke also wanted an excuse to buy an electric sander, so, yeah. 

So here's our painting checklist:

Bedroom: Done
Office: Done
Kitchen: Done
Dining Room: Not Done
Living Room: Not Done
Bathroom: Not Done

Getting closer, and we move in 5 days!  So much packing left to do as well....yikes!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Painting, Round 1 and 2

We only closed on our new place on Friday, and already the sweat and hard work has started.  Saturday and Sunday were spent prepping, taping, painting, and swearing.  We managed to get most of the office done, our bedroom is 3/4 done, our living room is started.  We still have to paint most of the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom.  My body is sore from head to toe, but it would be worse if we didn't have the help of our friends.

Our office is awesome.  It's going to have this nice soft gray color (Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray) and an accent wall in this chartreuse color (Sherwin-Williams Frolic), which is the same color scheme as our living room too.  It definitely looks more yellow than green when it's on the wall, but once it dries it should look closer to the paint swatch.

Our helpful friends, Dustin and Jasmine

The Beginning

On November 9, 2012, my fiance and I closed on our very first house.  We're incredibly excited about this next step in our lives, and in particular we're looking forward to customizing our new house to make it truly ours.  I decided we should start a blog right now in the very beginning so we have a historical look at the progress we make over time.

We got really lucky because we didn't think we'd find a house in a neighborhood that is hip and upcoming because of the house prices in San Diego.  Luckily, the market was still buyer-oriented this fall and we were able to get what we consider to be a good deal on our new house.  The owners had been renting it out, so it has some 'renter syndrome' in that not everything was cared for with the loving hand that owners often have.  But this means for lots of little projects in which we can work over time to make our new purchase the perfect place for us.  The location is Normal Heights, a little area in San Diego known for its artsy community, restaurants, and coffee shops.  Hence where the name of this blog came from!

The main house was built in 1941, is 1,259 square feet and consists of 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.  The house has it's original hardwood floors, which are in need of refinishing and some TLC.  The kitchen and baths were both upgraded within the last 5 years or so, though the craftsmanship of the work wasn't necessarily up to the standard we'd hoped for.  So, we'll likely be making tweaks here and there to improve the places where it's needed.  A couple of the windows have been replaced, but most of them need new windows. 

The 1 car garage in the back has been converted to a full studio apartment with a bathroom and a kitchen.  It's actually really nice out there, with laminate flooring, slightly vaulted ceilings, a beautiful bar and cabinetry and a stone shower.  At this point we're not sure what that space will be for.  We could rent it out as a Airbnb, rent to a friend, use it as an office space, or just have a spare area for visiting friends & family and use it for parties and BBQs as a bedroom and entertaining space.  It would make a pretty rad board game night space actually.  We'll see!

The house is kind of funny because it's a bungalow style but clearly someone felt like it deserved a Spanish charm kind of feel, which is evident by the colors chosen for the exterior paint and the tile front stairs.  I'm not 100% sold on the look, but we are definitely tackling the interior before moving to the exterior.  The house kind of has a bit of an identity crisis, so we'll be giving it some serious thinking to determine what kind of feel we want it to have.

So here we go!