The House Strikes Back

Our Homeownership Saga


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.


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

Heavy Lifting 2

A few of you may know that we own an arcade machine. Open Ice hockey, to be specific. We got it for cheap through a local auction about 2 years ago with the intentions of modifying it into a MAME arcade machine. That project has been back-burnered ever since. The hope is that now that we aren’t saving for a house anymore that we can finally put some money into modifying this beast. Anyways, when we first bought it we knew it would be a pain in the ass to move, and it was. When we first brought it to the apartment 2 years ago, we had to force it up a rather steep hill to our patio, then remove the patio doors to fit it into the living room. It was about as much fun getting it back out of the apartment in May. But as bad as it was with the apartment, we were in for a new challenge with the house. We know we have small doorways and were expecting it be tight fit. Here’s how it went…

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.

Porch Window Install

Our porch has a combination of fixed windows and panels of screen. There are 2 large windows on each of the short sides and screen on all the rest. When we bought the place, one of the panes of glass was completely missing from a lower window. This wasn’t much of an immediate concern as we hadn’t had much occasion to use the porch thus far. But with the middle of summer approaching, we thought it would be nice to be able to leave the front door open without fear of an adventurous cat leaping out the window.


Heavy Lifting

We knew when we bought the house that getting a washer and dryer down the basement stairs would be a challenge. Read about our tribulations after the break.


A Much Overdue Welcome!

Before we even bought this house, we had planned to have a blog that would let everyone see what we were up to. We had the name picked out well before closing day. We had the website purchased within a few days of closing. We have over 5 GB of pictures from everything we have done so far. And, I’m saddened to say, we are very behind on sharing it with all of you.

My plan is add a few new entries every week. I have enough material to keep that going for a long time. I had hoped to be adding all of it as the projects were being completed but life got crazy and that didn’t happen. But its all news to you guys, so it’s not really a big deal.

For those of you who haven’t see our house yet, I will be adding plenty of pictures of the interior and exterior, along with, for you design junkies, what my color schemes are.

There are many posts on the main page here for your reading pleasure. But also check out the projects page for some of our current and future projects (link up top or on the side).

I hope you enjoy what you read and continue checking back! Please feel free to comment, we’d love the feedback!

A small teaser of what is still to come on this blog:

  • How we got our arcade machine and washer/dryer in the house (they were a challenge)
  • The gross state of the kitchen floor before I cleaned it
  • New and improved kitchen sink strainers
  • The story of why adding gutters to the north side of the house is so important
  • Some updates on the re-finishing of the porch floor
  • Our many new IKEA purchases and what we did with them
  • Some of our landscaping projects

Continued Cat Escapades

A few nights back we were putting away some groceries and had the cabinet under the kitchen sink open so that we could stash away our plastic bags for later use. While we were doing that, Sam, our 10 month old kitten, was wandering around the kitchen. Sam is a girl by the way; her full name is Samus (points if you know the reference). We finished putting everything away and I started to close the cabinet, when I realized that I hadn’t see Sam in a while. I asked Marc if he had seen where she went, and he hadn’t. So I looked around in the cabinet. I didn’t see a cat but I saw a hole in the bottom of the cabinet where the pipes go into the basement. Knowing that she is still fairly small and very crafty, I got a flashlight to inspect the hole. Upon inspection I found the end of a tail. Somehow she had fit past the pipes and was now between the bottom of the cabinet and the floor. It was several minutes before we could get her back out. Needless to say, the hold was filled to prevent this happening twice. Enjoy the pictures! **In the first picture you may have to click on it to get the bigger version, but she’s there.

Sam Deep Under the Sink Sam Under the Sink Sam Under the Sink

The Purple Paw Print Paradox

On the day I put the first coat of a deep purple paint on the walls of our office, there was … an incident. I realized it a while after the miscreant had left the scene. I came back to discover some suspicious purple markings on the, otherwise beautiful, hardwood floors. An investigation ensued. In exhibits 1-3 we can see the purple markings, thought to be paw prints from an adult feline.

Exhibit 3: Paw printExhibit 2: Paw printExhibit 1: Paw print

Exhibit 4 shows the weirdly untouched wall, a mere foot, behind the “paw prints”. You may also notice the open window, where it has been theorized that a feline creature may have been exploring. It is still unclear if the striped “cat toy” may have been involved.

The Scene

Now the lack of witnesses to this thoughtless activity makes capturing the suspect very difficult. Also, it is still unknown how the purple paint was transferred from the wall to the floor being as there is no direct evidence that the wall was ever tampered with.

We do however have information from an unnamed source ,who states that they saw a feline, Pez DeOtis – age 7 (pictured below), later that day with a purple paw.

The Suspect

Unfortunately, the suspect had cleaned off the evidence before we could take samples or photographs. As such, it is hard to definitively pin it on this particular feline. He does however have a long list of previous incidences (spilled water dishes, knocking items off tables, etc.) that make him seem good for it.

We will continue our investigation into this vandalism, in hopes to get justice for our floors and their horrible defacing.