Sunday, May 31, 2009

Laundry Room: Before and After

So in the midst of all of these home renovation projects (new floors throughout, new kitchen,
paint...) I decided it would be a wonderful idea to add a pocket door into our laundry area. Previously we had a regular door, and it just took up a lot of space in an already crowded area. Little did I know just how much time and effort was involved in this pocket door. We are talking moving electrical and water lines, new drywall...the works! So I was going to have to repaint the laundry room anyway, and I had one of those "while I am at it..." moments. So since I was going to have to get new paint for the room anyway, I thought why not have some fun with it and add a stripe or something. Then I thought that the shelves were not really doing anything for me, so I decided to get some baskets for them. Then I thought, "you know, those pantry cabinets sure are would fit there I bet...", and it just all spiraled out of control from there. But I am so happy that it did. I love the results, and now laundry isn't such a choir anymore! Don't get me wrong, it's still a pain....but at least I can be in a room I love while doing my least favorite housework!

This was the room before the makeover....

As you can see, the space was (sort of) functional, but not pretty or happy at all!

And now....

This is as you enter the room. Now that we have the pocket door, we had room to add a tall pantry cabinet, which adds SO much storage! I could put crown molding on top of the pantry cabinet, but I really like my basket up there, so I am thinking of leaving it open. Thoughts???

This is the folding counter. I just took the shelf from before and moved it down to about bar height. It is very functional. The washboard cabinet was made by my dad for my Nana. When we moved into our home, she gave it to me. I love it!

This grouping was so easy and cheap! The flowers are fake (I wish I could grow something that beautiful!), the vase I had, as well as the candle and frame. The fabric came in a little craft pack at WalMart, for like 9$. There were 5 fabric squares, about 2 yards x 2 yards each.

This is what I did with the rest of the fabric. Just covered 1x1 squares. So easy and cheap. One of the fabric swatches was polka dots. Really cute, but didn't really go with the room. So I just used the same fabric that I used in the frame again.

This is the grouping on the dryer. The lamp I had, and the tray I had bought on sale at Target a while back for like $5. The "B" has been floating around our house looking for a home since I bought it at Garden Ridge about 6 months ago, and I think it finally found it's resting place! The birdcage I also got at garden ridge (last week) for $5. It was marked off from $20. If you look closely, you will see that it houses our dryer sheets!

If you know me well at all, you know I LOVE baskets! I got these on sale at Michaels and I just love the color and texture of them. I wanted taller ones, but these get the job done, and look great!

Things in our house must have labels (and even then they don't always find there way home!) so I knew I had to label the baskets somehow. I found these tags in the scrapbooking section at the craft store, and just wrote the contents and tied them to the baskets with twine I had at the house! Presto! So easy!!

This is a peanut style jar that reminds me so much of the one my grandparents had when I was a kid! They actually kept peanuts in theirs...I will settle for loose change! Right now, we just have a few loose pennies! Sad!!!!

Hope you all enjoy my beachy new laundry room!!!!


Progress...but not the kind I need!!!

So yesterday was a bit of a bust because my dad had to work on his yard. Which turned out for the best because Cole had to leave early this morning for AT (that is Annual Training for those not familiar with the National Guard...) He had just gotten home late Thursday night from 3 weeks of work in Louisiana, so we got to spend a whole day together on Friday. Something that is a bit rare these days, unfortunately. Saturday he had to go into the unit and work until about 4 to get ready to leave for Ft. Smith. He will be gone to Ft. Smith for 2 weeks, then home for a night, and leave again for 2 weeks. Needless to say, this is getting old for both of us. But a few bright spots in all of this... First, I should be able to get to go up to Ft. Smith and spend some time with him while he is off duty (and I am also sort of hoping that when he is on duty, I can find another wife to make the drive up to Fayetteville with me to go to a home store called Oops, which stocks overstocked home goods). And the second bright spot is that Cole is finally on a contract in Louisiana. Which doesn't mean anything in terms of pay or benefits. It does, however, mean that instead of flying maybe 7 hours a hitch (which is 14 days), he will be flying around 7 hours a day for 14 days. Which will sky rocket his flight hours. He is already around the 2000 hr mark, but should get 2500 before long, which is what he needs for a hospital job (aka closer to home job). It is crazy to me that he has enough hours to fly medevac in an active combat zone with people shooting at him, but he doesn't have enough hours to fly medevac over Arkansas. Oh!

Something else I am looking forward to (and not, in a way) is that Cole is going to be gone mid-July for the final portion of the Maintance Test Pilot course in Ft. Rucker, AL. He will be gone for 5 weeks, which stinks, but (assuming my work schedule doesn't get in the way...) I will be flying out to meet him and drive back with him at the end of the course. We will be driving back by way of the ocean and Louisiana, where I get to see PHI headquarters, which I hear is pretty impressive. PHI, the company that he flies for, is the second largest helicopter firm in the world, so that is neat!

I just would like to ask that you all keep us in your prayers. This summer is going to be an extremely stressful time, between the reno and all of this apart time. Oh, and did I mention we are trying to get pregnant too?!?! Yeah, it's a bit crazy right now, and the stress is getting to me. I broke down yesterday...poor Cole. But he has learned that sometimes I just need to cry it out, and then I am good for a while. Please also pray specifically that Cole will be able to get a job closer to home soon. I really need him here, and this traveling is really getting to him as well.

Ok, on to my house. Like I said, we didn't work any on the house yesterday, but we should be getting to work on it today after my nephew's birthday party. So yesterday while Cole was at work, I did some shopping and found some crosses on sale. I have been wanting to do a "cross wall" for a while, so I figured now was as good a time as any. I have been working on my entry way on the outside, and decided I wasn't happy with the inside either. I know, I am nuts to be decorating in the middle of construction. That is just how I roll!!! :) So I got a few crosses, combined them with the two that I already had, and this is the result....

I know I need another medium sized one on the top left, and a few more smaller ones on the bottom right, but I think it is a really good start. Thoughts? Opinions? I am totally open to suggestions! I will have to take some pictures of my entry and post here too, but I am still waiting on a couple of things that I have ordered before I "unveil" that!!!!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Big Plans...

Well I am sitting here in my PJs, looking at pretty pics online for ideas for my dining room. Our table is great, but now it is the same color as the floors, so I am going to have to paint it. I am not heartbroken about this, as I have been itching to paint it since we got married and it came out of storage. So the table is going black, to match the great Broyhill buffet I got at an estate sale about a year ago, and I am going to get new chairs to match. The old ones are more country than french, and I figure I can get a good price for them at our upcoming garage sale. I have 6 if you are interested??? So that is my big plan for the dining room.

For the laundry, which was one of those "while we're at it" moments, I need to go get another tall pantry cabinet from Lowes, this time in white. I have moved the existing shelf down to bar height to act as a folding table, and it offers some great storage underneath for those pesky laundry baskets. I splurged a bit (although they were on sale) and got some new grass baskets for the open shelves above the washer/dryer. I considered ordering some doors for them, or even replacing them. But we have spent enough already. I had curtains up to block the mess, but they were a pain to close. Things were already pretty much organized in baskets, but they didn't match and that really drives me crazy, even in a room like the laundry room. So the kitchen redo was the perfect opportunity to tackle that room too, since I was going to have to repaint in there thanks to the new pocket door. A few cheap accents plus some I already had around the house, some paint (I used a very light neutral taupe called "Clean Linen" and added a stripe around the room in "Deepest Aqua" to go with my beachy theme) and presto! Done! Well, almost. I still have to go get and install the new pantry cabinet. And I have to go to Conway for that. Uggg. Oh, but I have big plans for the pantry cabinet doors! I am going to sand down the inside panel and paint it with chalkboard paint! Should be a handy little memo board! :) That will probably happen very last! Since it's more of a want than a need at this point. I will post pics soon. Promise.

One big (hopefully last) splurge...and a big surprise for my sweet and understanding husband. He has really been good about letting me pick everything for this reno. Floors, paint, cabinets, counters, backsplash, you name it! He just lets me pick what I want. So I am going to do something for him in the kitchen. He is a gadget guy. Loves electronics. So I found this very nice under-cabinet mount TV/radio/CD/DVD player at Target. It is a bit pricey, but he is worth it, and so part of my first summer paycheck is going to this (the other part is going for new chairs). I just hope he doesn't read my blog and ruin his surprise!!!

The floors are ALMOST done, and so this morning (after blogging of course!) I am preping my quarter-round for painting. I know I have to get some new, but I am going to try to salvage what I can. We still have to finish the dining room (just the bay window area. I hope to knock that out today) and do the hallway and bathroom floors. But at this point, those areas are not the priority. The kitchen is...for my sanity and my husbands nerves! I can't wait to get the cabinets in. I think it will really start to look like progress then.

Well, I guess I am off to prep and paint some quarter-round. Well, maybe after a Sonic run.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Mess

Well, we are hardcore in the middle of our kitchen/everywhere else renovation! This project has really taken on a life of it's own, but I am hoping that it will all be worth it in the end. As I type, I am sitting at my scrap booking desk that is currently the computer desk in our "extra" room. I have lovingly begun calling this the nursery. Cole still calls it the junk room.

So since I am in the middle of my first big home renovation project as a homeowner (and not the kid living with the parents that are renovating...been there, done that too...) I thought I might make a list of some things that I have learned.

*Dads can do just about anything. Well, my dad can.
*If you choose to take on a renovation as a do-it-yourself, make sure you have a FIRM budget and timeline in mind. We only thought we did.
*Keep one room, even if it's a small room, untouched from the chaos. It will be a life saver. Trust me.
*The words "while we're at it..." are the most dangerous and expensive words any home-renoer can mutter.
*Tears are not uncommon.
*There are ALWAYS surprises. Usually not good ones.
*HGTV makes everything look easy. Only about 99% of what they show as an "easy" do-it-yourself project is actually easy. Unless you are Martha Stewart or Bob Vila!!!

Happy Hammering!!!