Saturday, July 17, 2010

Before and after: dining room progress

Since I finished reupholstering all of the dining room chairs (after having to go back to Jo Ann's for more fabric... oops), I figured it would be a good time to show the progress in the second most complete room in the house: the dining room.

Lest we forget what we were dealing with, here's the dining room when we bought the house, complete with weird ceiling panels and peeling wallpaper:

And during renovations:
(I know my sis won't be psyched about having this picture up! Sorryyy!)

It was a hot mess, for sure. So without further ado, here is the dining room currently:

Amazing! While there's obviously still a lot to do here, I kind of can't believe how far this room (and the house in general) has come. Beautiful new ceilings, walls, crown molding, paint... it's an entirely new house.

We bought some stain for the solid oak table (which Branden is incredibly attached to), so once it's darkened up a little bit it will blend with the room a lot better. Though I thought I hated them before they were recovered, the chairs are working for me now. The ornate scroll designs on the chairs are actually kind of a nice juxtaposition to the hard angles of the Shaker style table. I'm liking it for now.

Anyway, the chandelier needs to move over a bit and we need some kind of buffet table for the corner, but we're in no rush. For now I just can't believe that it ever turned into a real and beautiful room!

Friday, July 16, 2010

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers...

One of the exciting (and kinda dorky) things that I've really loved so far is discovering what flowers and plants are springing up throughout the backyard. Like the a rogue rhubarb plant that sprouted up in the side yard, for instance. Or the big black-eyed susans along the side of the house. I can't wait to see what else comes to life as the summer moves on to fall.

I decided to take a walk around the yard and photograph my favorite current blooms. Who knows how long they'll be here!




Lucy didn't know what I was doing out there, but she knew she didn't like it.

As a wonderful housewarming gift, Branden's grandmother got us huge hanging flower baskets for all around the front porch. I love them!


They've added such charm to the front of the house. I feel a lot of pressure to keep them alive, and so far this heat wave isn't doing me any favors. I can't wait to get some nice furniture to put out on the porch and really make it inviting. Not that the ladder isn't doing awesome things for the aesthetic of the place, of course. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Before and after: chair re-do

While I love love love the color of the dining room, I haaaate hate hate the fabric on our hand-me-down dining chairs. They've been recovered many times, and the last time was by my sister on a very limited budget. The fabric was pretty hideous (sorry Laura!).

So I decided to finally just go pick out fabric and reupholster them, since I've hated them for so long. Branden and I took a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics and picked out fabric for the chairs as well as for our bedroom curtains. (I've never made curtains before, so stay tuned for how those turn out! Eep!) We ended up picking out the same pattern for both, just in different colors. We didn't even realize it at first. I guess you like what you like!

Here's the chair before:

And here's how they look with some fresh new fabric:

It's such an easy and inexpensive way to give the room a completely different feel. The light green pattern works really well with the wall color, the drapes, and the area rug under the table. The dining room is still in a bit of disarray, so once that's in better shape I'll post a picture of the whole shabang. Until then, you'll have to deal with just this little sneak peek makeover!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Busy, busy bees!

Things have been so busy since we moved in at the beginning of the month! Every day has been devoted to some project around the house, and we still have tons and tons more to do and plenty of boxes to unpack.

One of the biggest projects has been getting the backyard ready to be fenced in and safe for Lucy to roam and eat sticks. Since dismantling the shed that once stood in the back, we've had to rake up endless amounts of debris (nails, glass shards, wood planks, etc.) and build a retaining wall to prevent the neighbor's chain link fence from toppling in a landslide.

Here's the site where the shed used to be, with the retaining wall in place:

You can really see how having it gone has opened the whole place up considerably. Here's a before and after:

We're getting a delivery of 10 yards of top soil on Monday, which we'll spread over the sand. Then we'll be able to lay some grass seed and get some green growing!

Inside, the living room is definitely the furthest along of all of the rooms. We've still got some things to work out and change, but it's the one room in the house that feels almost complete.

We need to get a much smaller chair for the computer and some new throw pillows for the couch to coordinate with the curtains. I'm actually happier with the ceiling lights than I thought I'd be (and they really don't look like boobs as much after they're installed...) I'm in love with the wall color, which changes during the day from a beige to putty to a deep mocha, depending on the light. Since the room is so big (it's something like 20x13) the rich color works beautifully and doesn't make it seem small, which was one of my fears. Lucy loves having all the extra room, and one of her favorite spots to stretch out and sleep is between the tv and the coffee table.

Yesterday, on a whim, Branden started priming the mudroom. This room had dark brown paneling on the walls and needed to be brightened up.

Here's the mudroom before we started painting:

And here's the mudroom currently, with most of the room primed:
Doesn't look great, but it's already an improvement!

There's still tons more to do. And since moving in, we've somehow lost electricity in all of the upstairs bedrooms aaand I put a hole in one of the windows while hanging blinds. Don't ask me how that happened. We'll hopefully be able to get an electrician in this week to figure out what in the world is going on upstairs, and with luck it won't require any major rewiring. The joys of being a homeowner!