The House Strikes Back

Our Homeownership Saga

Category: Decorating

The Liquor Expansion

Bar area before new cabinets

Cabinets assembled

Finished and stocked

Bar area afterwards

So my bar area (previously shown here) had become a bit crowded. In fact, some of the lesser used bottles had been relegated to the floor. So it was decided that we should do something to make that look more presentable. It has long been a dream of mine to have a classy display cabinet for my increasing collection of top shelf spirits. Thus another trek to the almighty IKEA was made and several Billy bookcases with glass doors were purchased. Ideally, there would have been a corner one but someone (may or may not have been me) failed to properly measure for it. It took many hours for Marc to assemble, level and anchor them in position. It became very apparent how uneven our floors are being as he had to shim each and every one of them to stop them from rocking back and forth. However, it looks amazing and I am in love with the feel it adds to the dining room. The down side may be that now I have more storage space so I will be more compelled to purchase further fine scotches and whiskeys to fill the space. I won’t say how long my wishlist of liquors is, only that it would surprise most of you.

My glass shelves above the bar area are now dedicated to glassware storage, including my recent addition of Riedel Single Malt Whiskey glasses for proper whiskey tastings. Also, my wine and scotch journals now have a special place on a shelf in the smaller cabinet instead of being wedged by some martini shakers in a corner.

There will be a future update on this project regarding lighting. Marc is working on adding in programming LED lights to each shelf. This would allow us to have the cabinets fade between a rainbow of colors for added ambiance. They will them turn to a white light when the doors open so one can better see the bottles.

A little bit obsessive — yes. But I don’t know any other way to do it!

Love the Vertical Storage

As an addition to our bar area we added some floating glass shelves to store our bar-ware (glasses, martini shakers, jiggers, etc). We didn’t really know what to store on the top shelf, so it holds the wine I have yet to have occasion to drink. I really like the visual appeal this added to the dining room. It really finished that space nicely. Shelves were from IKEA (no surprise there).

Finishing the Porch

The floor before painting

More of the floor before

So you may remember that last summer I had started the project of refinishing the porch floor. That didn’t get much further then removing some paint last summer. So we worked hard to get it ready for this summer’s enjoyment beginning in the spring. End of April or beginning of May (somewhere around there) we finished removing the paint from the floor and filled in some holes that had formed near the door. Then we painted the whole floor with a good porch floor paint. Just that made a world of difference to the feel of the space. But we had many more plans. Read the full article »

Giving an Old Dresser Some Love

Dresser Before

Last fall I got an old dresser from a good friend of ours. She didn’t want it anymore and I fell in love the moment I saw it. So we moved it on over to our place. It wasn’t in the greatest condition when she gave it to me. The paint was chipped and scratched and it needed some serious love. But for a long time it just sat in our dining room waiting for me to get around to it. In the “before” picture there is one drawer that I had painted. Silly me, I forgot to take a picture before I started.

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Behold! A Place to sit and eat!

This is coming quite a bit late. I apologize. We bought the dining room set sometime in early spring 2011. The exact time escapes me at this point.

I was getting frustrated with not only our lack of use of the dining room for anything productive but with having to eat on the couch. So I forced Marc on a trek to, you guessed it, IKEA. The haven for all who seek cheap furniture. I had already looked online and pretty much figured out what I wanted, so it was more a matter of having Marc see it in person and give in to the purchase. He’s not a big fan of dining room tables in general, though I don’t really know why. So for him this was unnecessary and annoying. I’m pretty sure he got over it though. Read the full article »

New Rug

I had been looking for a nice area rug for the living room, especially going into winter, so that we could have a little oasis of carpet. I LOVE hardwood floors but sometimes the comfort of carpet is nice as well. I would like to have a huge, luxorious rug like this beauty from World Of Rugs. However, I don’t have an unlimited budget for rugs, so I went for a much cheaper but less beautiful rug I got from Menards for $40. HA! You thought it was going to be from IKEA, didn’t you? It was actually a set of 3 rugs for $40 (approx. dimensions 5′ x 7′, 1.5′ x 5′, and 1.5′ x 2.6′). It’s a very good deal for some basic floor coverings but they are lacking something in the fuzziness factor. You get what you pay for, as usual. I still haven’t decided what to do with the 2 smaller rugs yet. I think one might go near the front door.

Rug, view 1

Rug, view 2

More Stylish Clothing Storage

Note stack of plastic drawers on the left


New clothing storage

As you can see in the picture we had, next to our nice IKEA wardrobe, a large stack of plastic drawers. They had been hiding in a closet when we lived in the apartment. But now that they were out in the open we were constantly wincing when looking at them. It was not a good look and one of them was falling apart. So we began a search for a more pleasant looking replacement. We ended up getting a bookcase from IKEA (yes, IKEA….again) that was designed to have drawer like inserts that came in many styles and colors. It was a unique route to go with this but it fit the space perfectly. So we got 5 teal colored drawers that are covered in a suede like material. The bookcase is actually a much smaller version of the huge bookcase we added to the living room (seen here). All in all, I think we paid $85 for our new clothing organizer.

Sorry for the bad picture of the new clothing organizer. The Sun was not being helpful.

The Porch

The porch floor has obviously been painted a few times and has started to show it’s age. The areas nearest the windows are peeling and many areas are down to bare wood. It really needs to be taken back down to bare wood throughout and re-painted. This was one of the projects around the house that I really wanted to work on at the beginning of the summer so we could enjoy it. However, many other projects came up and this one got pushed aside. I have worked on it off and on over the summer, slowly chiseling paint off. I think there are at least 2 colors and a layer of varnish on there currently. After probably a good 6 hours of working on it, I’m about half done taking the paint off. I’m thinking at this point I will try to sand the edges to smooth them out and paint over what I can’t remove. It seems to really want to stay on there in some spots.

So at some point when we have good weather and a fresh can of porch floor paint, we will finally have a beautiful floor in there. Maybe I’ll paint the walls in there too. I’m not a liking the dirty blue color much. Any color suggestions?

(the pictures are from before I removed a lot of it, so I’ll try to get an updated picture on here soon)

shows how much has come off on its own

close up of the area near the windows

Kitchen Sink Makeover

A kitchen sink is the central hub of a kitchen. Whether it’s food preparation, washing dishes, filling the tea kettle, washing your hands, or getting a glass of water, it all starts with this commonly underrated fixture. Having a faucet that makes doing common tasks almost effortless is a longtime kitchen dream of mine.
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Day 2

The second day we owned the house was a Saturday and we couldn’t wait to start fixing and decorating and modifying everything we could find. Marc finished installing the new locks and keying them all to the same key for simplicity’s sake. I procured paint for all the rooms so that I could get the project done before we moved in. I had spend the last several weeks trying to find a pleasing palette for the house. Once getting all the supplies, I decided to being with the living room. The living room was painted in a weird tan/brown-ish color that I found very unwelcoming. It was much too dark of a color for the space. So I changed it to a light green (paint chip called it “honeydew melon”). What I didn’t realize was that the old color was too dark for the new color to be able to cover it properly. So 3 coats of paint and 8 hours later I had the living room done. I will show how it turned out in a later post once I have more accurate pictures of the color.