Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hallways/Dining Wall Paint Teaser

I'm more than a little excited about this paint color -- as soon as we put up our first patch, I was *nearly* squealing, it looked so good! In a matter of moments, the entryway was already transformed, and everything is looking so fresh and bright and new. I have to thank my dear friend, P(C)M for encouraging this choice. On the swatch it was just a number, but thanks to the label on the paint can, I can tell you that this is called "A Patch of Blue" (and it's a winner!):

(The "color"-ness of it made me a bit anxious at first, but trust me, it looks fantastic!)

I'll leave the "After" photos for when the second coat is up tomorrow, for more impact! (Mwahahahaha!)

More tomorrow...

Painting - Hallways and Dining Room Accent Wall

I knew we'd finally start talking about something besides the kitchen! This weekend we're painting the front hall, the hallway through to the Master Suite, and the other side of the new wall between the dining room and the kitchen. Before we get started, I just wanted to give some perspective...

You may recall that upon move-in, our front hall was wallpapered like this: 

And then we peeled it off to reveal this:

So that was Before... this is Middle:

And soon we'll be able to show you After!

Originally we were going to paint all of the living room and dining area one (same) color, but we've changed our minds and are painting the dining room side of the new kitchen wall the same color as the halls. The idea is that this will create an accent wall, as well as connect the three physically connected areas (halls, kitchen, dining/living rooms). The three colors we've chosen for these spaces all tie together, so hopefully this will also help to blend the spaces more seamlessly (we hope!)... Now, on to priming away that minty green wall!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

20th Project - February

The six month mark! That's pretty crazy! On the sixth 20th since we've been in our own home, Dave was snowboarding in Wisconsin with his dear friend Troy, and I was celebrating the exciting upcoming nuptials of wonderful friends, Robyn and Dori, at a fabulous bachelorette weekend for the books in sunny Naples, Florida. Two pretty great reasons to miss the actual 20th. So for the second time in the past six months, we weren't home on the morning of our 20th Project. No problem -- in honor of our six months of home-ownership, here's today's view, as our sixth installment of the 20th Project (I took four photos that are almost the same, but they really came out beautifully, so here they are):

It still feels like magic that this is ours!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Stocked and Painted Kitchen

Here it is:

Now that the "work" is done, we can start thinking about other ways to "finish" up the space... pictures we want to put up, details we want to add... Next on the agenda will be replacing the fan/light, and framing a couple of prints to place in the room. This one from our December trip to Israel was pre-selected for the kitchen:

It's fun to finally think about stuff like what photos to frame instead of what BIG project still needs to be tackled in the same room. It'll be exciting to start photographing a different part of the house soon!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Painting! (Day 1)

Yesterday was Painting Day 1. We thought tackling the painting of the kitchen would be fairly straight-forward. Prime in the morning, wait an hour or two, then apply the first coat and you're done for Day 1. Day 2 all you'd have to do is apply the second coat and relax. Not so simple. I made three separate trips to the paint store yesterday. I have to give another shout out to the guys over at Thybony Paint in Andersonville. Not only are they the most knowledgeable and helpful people, but they are just kind, and just a great local business that I'm proud to support. The first trip was right before we primed. We needed another roller, extra roller replacements, more paint stirrers, and additional brushes for edging and corners. So while Dave expertly taped off the kitchen, and boxed up everything on the shelves (again!), I hopped over to Andersonville. Easy. Got what I needed, came home, put on my painting clothes, and joined Dave in the kitchen. Voila! We're primed:

After the primer dried, and Lanie'd had a good walk, we got everything ready to start applying the first coat of actual paint. Dave got out the paint to start stirring it up, and it just didn't look right. There was a layer of watery something on the top, and stirring it did little to make it look convincingly good. Too thin, to liquidy, and certain to create a mess. We stopped, packed it back up, and I jumped back in the car to bring it over to Thybony to see what they thought. They agreed something wasn't right, but thought that whoever had originally mixed it for us hadn't shaken it enough. It went back in the shaker and looked a little better. So, they suggested I take it home and try it, and if it was still too thin, to call them and they'd prepare another can (of better quality! and at no cost!) paint for me to come swap it out for. Home I went, and sure enough, taupe-y water was what awaited us, so I called, gave them the paint color, and rushed back over (they were closing) to pick up another can of Ticonderoga Taupe (Benjamin Moore #992 - that's for our records). They had it ready, and were waiting for me, even though the store was closed. So home I went again, and we got to painting. At the end of Day 1, the kitchen already looked great. I'll save the full-reveal for tomorrow after we've pulled all the tape off and put everything back on shelves and in its place, but here's a small taste, mess and painting supplies intact, of what it's looking like:

(I love it with the blue tile!)
(original plan was to leave the shelves white, but we changed our minds... I think it'll look great!)
We've just now finished with coat #2, and it looks fantastic! Full-effect tomorrow... stay tuned!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cabinet Trim

As I mentioned previously, Dave was also working on putting up finish trim above all of the cabinets. This involved some sawing, as Home Depot only supplied us with rough cuts round-about the lengths we needed. So Dave got to being handy, for a change, and here's the finished trim:

(wide shot)
He also had to do some smoothing and patching to make it look seamless, and then touched it up with paint to make it look like perfection. Here are a couple of close-ups:

(nice corner!)
Every little thing is making such a difference!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Shelf!

It's a stay-inside day here in Chicago, what with the third biggest snow storm in Chicago's history upon us, so, Dave got up bright and early and started hammering and drilling. What else would he do?! He built me a shelf!

For now we put some of Dave's most favored of my possessions (vases) up there... I think they fill the space nicely. I also think it'll look really nice when the painting's done. I'll have to work on the arrangement a bit, but this works for now. Go Dave!

I hear hammering...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vent Hood... and Snow Day(s?) Anticipation...

I didn't get a chance to upload this one earlier, but over the weekend Dave installed a vent hood over our oven. It looks great! And it works!

We're now in the midst of putting up trim above the cabinets to give it a cleaner, more finished look, and hopefully this weekend, we'll be painting. If it snows enough, maybe we'll just start that tonight! Ha!

We just found out that the sliding door in our living room can't be fixed, and needs to be completely replaced, which is going to mean a delay in our next big project (the floors), but we're just adjusting our plan, and hopefully that means we'll have a lot more "quick" fixes to share soon... paint, shelves, pictures on walls... it'll be good.

I expect we'll have more updates as we near the kitchen project's completion (except for floors) in the coming days.

Today is Lanie's "birthday-ish"... Though we normally celebrate her birthday by picking up her best friend, Lucy, and heading to Dairy Queen for a treat, this year, we'll need to be satisfied with storm watching: