The House Strikes Back

Our Homeownership Saga

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.

Read the full article »

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 »

Yard Waste

Since the house we bought was one that had gone into foreclosure, the yard had sat for months without any real work being done to it. A company seemed to mow the lawn, but they did as little as possible to get the job done. We went through and trimmed back lots of the bushes to make the yard seem larger. At the same time we wanted to clean out all of the weeds and small trees that had taken over the area by the side of the house. It took a few days shoveling and raking everything out of there, but it ended up looking fairly good.

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.

Kitchen Modification

Chaos of our kitchen cabinets

Our kitchen base cabinets did not have any shelves in them when we bought the place. Which is a bit puzzling and basically meant that we just piled stuff in there as best we could because there was no good way to organize it (see picture). I didn’t really feel like making custom shelves for them at this point in time so, we prowled IKEA for something that would work for now. I had basically come up dry but then while wandering through the warehouse area on the way out, I came across what they called a “night stand” on super clearance for about $3. It was a small glass topped table that would fit nicely in the cabinets. Not a perfect fix, but at $3 a piece I was willing to give it a go.

Read the full article »

Backyard Garden

When we first moved in, there were two “gardens” set up in the yard.  The garden in the front yard is surrounded by stones and we plan on keeping it the way it is for now.  While the garden toward the backyard was surrounded by planks of wood with some cheap wire fencing stapled around it.  We had decided right away that it had to go since it made the yard seem a lot smaller by being in the way.

Backyard Garden Fence

Backyard Garden Fence Removed

As you can see, it had been overrun with weeds for awhile.  It took a bit to tear the stakes out of the ground, but it all came out in one piece.  The wood was torn apart and we took a weed-whacker to all of the overgrowth.  The area still has a lot of weeds that we will do more with next year along with the rest of the “grass” in the yard.

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

Sushi

Another reason we will claim that has kept us away from house blogging is sushi.  We have a small hobby (very small…) of making our own sushi, since the store bought stuff is usually quiet pricy.  So we figured we would throw a picture out there of what we have made.