Saturday, October 4, 2014

October Updates - Freezing February Dining Room Re-do

At the end of January, on a shopping trip to Charlotte with my mom and sister, we stopped off at Interior Resolutions of Richburg, where I found the perfect fabric for my dining room drapes and chairs.  I was dreaming of a red dining room to coordinate with the fabric I already had for the living room since the rooms are side by side.  My sister laid her hands on the PERFECT stripe with all the same colors – red, navy, green and gold.  The fabric store has a sewing shop attached and it was a miracle that there was just enough fabric left on the bolt to make 6 extra-long panels, with just inches to spare. 

This began the dining room renovations.  I brought a swatch of the fabric home and decided on Sherwin Williams Antique Red for the wall color.  We used dark gray primer under the red, and even with that, the red took FOUR coats to cover evenly.  (If you’re going RED on any surface, especially plaster, I wish you mountains of patience!)  Luckily, we had 3 more days of snow in February, so I filled my time trapped in the house painting, painting, and painting.   A big thanks to my dad who dared to drive in the snow and came over to help me with a few coats! 

Here’s the dining room before we purchased the house. (Unfortunately this is the only true "before" image I took of this room)...  100% Beige everything and NO light fixture:

Here's some in-between shots of after we had moved in and began working

And here’s some shots of the dining room today:

Since moving in, we’ve bought a beautiful chandelier from The LiteHouse, received Buffet Lamps and a beautiful antique mirror for Christmas and Birthday gifts from my parents, re-covered the dining room chair seats, added beautiful curtain rods (a fun adventure in drilling/hanging things with plaster walls), hung the striped window treatments, repaired plaster, primed/painted walls trim and French doors, and finally re-arranged the furniture after receiving the piano from my parents house. 

Here's a before & after of the dining room chairs... I love re-covering the chair bottoms because it is an easy, inexpensive and quick change that can make a big difference in a room!
Finally, here's the big transformation before & after style.  I have already loved entertaining in our new dining room for our dinner club (we hosted the same weekend I finished painting & hanging curtains), parties, Bible study and a baby shower!

One more dream before I’m ready to call this room complete is art to hang over the piano, suggestions welcome!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October Updates - Kitchen

October is the month where I begin to realize that we are drawing closer to the end of another year.  Recently, I’ve taken a big break from blogging about our life and also from reading blogs in general, but I know I’m going to be sad when I look back at my blog for 2014 and realize that I didn’t document ALL the things we did and accomplished in the past year.  So this month I’m going to try and catch up on updating about the things that have happened to us in 2014.  Most of it has to do with our house renovations, so there will be lots of before &; after photos!

So let’s start back at the beginning!

In January 2014, I finished up our Phase I Kitchen Re-do.  It is crazy to think I was able to stand it for 3 months, but when you’re a one-woman workforce (who also works full-time), progress sometimes goes much slower than you think.  So, let’s take a look back at how the kitchen & butler’s pantry looked when we first viewed the house:

The huge kitchen and glass-fronted cabinets are what made me fall in love with this house.  I knew on first glance that it was going to take some convincing to get Ryan to agree to buying this fixer-upper, but I had big dreams for this kitchen from the start.  We have had SO many compliments about how spacious it is, and I'm already loving the ability to actually have company in the kitchen with me while I'm cooking or cleaning.  (Our old house definitely had a one-butt kitchen -- as in, only one butt could fit in it at a time!)

And here is the kitchen today:

Changes include: No more wallpaper!! Repaired plaster new paint in Sherwin Williams Stucco, all newly painted white trim, cabinets painted in SW Big Chill (upper) and SW Grays Harbor (lowers), new cabinet & drawer pulls from House of Antique Hardware, new appliances from Sears, new table from Nadeau and chairs from Amazon, new light fixture from The LiteHouse, and new blinds to block the lovely view of the laundry porch. 

Here's a Top & Bottom Before & After for the full effect of how much has changed!

More dreams in Kitchen Phase II Re-do include:
-          New Countertops, Sink, Faucet & Garbage Disposal
-          Tiled Backsplash
-          Replace the Flourescent Light Fixture
-          Rug for Sink/Stove Area

Also in January, we had our first snow of 2014.  We had several bitterly cold days, which are so rare in South Carolina and experienced our first ever frozen & busted pipe.  Luckily it was outside in our laundry porch and not inside the house.  The plumber was able to get over in record time and make a quick repair.  We’ve now added extra insulation to the exposed pipes on the porch!   I’ve heard that they’re calling for another cold winter, so hopefully we get by without any more damage this coming year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Updated List

Got my haircut for the first time in 11 months yesterday, so figured it might also be time to update on how the house projects are coming along!  As I write, we have HVAC contractors outside working on our crazy-old air conditioning unit in nearly 100 degree South Carolina heat.  We're still within the 1 year of our home warranty so we were hoping it would need to be replaced completely, but no such luck :(  Either way, we've gotten a LOT done since my last update, so this post is really just to help encourage me to keep on working!! Nothing like looking back at your project list and being able to scratch lots of things off!   Thankfully, paint is an inexpensive way to bring about dramatic changes, so it's lovely to walk around and see what all has gotten a face-lift in the last 7 months.  Promise to post less words and more pictures someday soon!  The "public" areas of our house have had their makeovers and hopefully over the next few months, our bedrooms & bathrooms will also get the once-over!

House Project/Purchase List
Hire(d) Professional

Whole Downstairs 
- Blinds/Shutters
Entire House
-          Electrical outlet additions/updates
-          Change out light switch and outlet plates to match
-          Hardwood Floors sanded, stained and finished
-          Paint/Repair/Replace HVAC registers and floor grate
-          A/C Unit & Duct Work Insulate/Update/Replace
-       Paint doors black!!!
-          Repair Plaster &Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Repair/Sand/Prime/Paint front door (Inside)
-          New Light Fixture
-          Coat closet – add stackable storage
-          Entryway decoration
Living Room
-          Sell old entertainment center
-          Entertainment Center table (from Marian & Curtis)
-          Purchase & Install Ceiling Fan to replace light fixture
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Rug
-          Window Treatments
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          End Table
-          Lamps
-          Update Fireplace/Hearth 
-          Replace/update mantle

Dining Room
-          Repair Plaster &Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Purchase & Install Chandelier
-          Window Treatments
-          Buffet Lamps

Breakfast Nook/Butler’s Pantry
-          Find/Purchase Table & Chairs
-          Repair Plaster &Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-       Vegetable poster artwork
-          Purchase & Replace Light Fixture
-          Blinds
-          Sand, Prime & Paint Cabinetry…
-          Purchase & Replace cabinet knobs

-          Remove Wallpaper
-          Repair Plaster &Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Donate existing appliances to Habitat ReStore
-          Purchase & Change out appliances
o   Purchase Microwave
o   Install Range Hood: buy lightbulbs!
-          Sand &Paint Cabinetry
-          Purchase &Replace cabinet knobs
-          Change overhead light for framed fixture
-          Replace/Re-surface countertops
-          Repair glass pellet hole in window over sink
-          Install backsplash
Laundry Room
-          New Washer/Dryer
o   Replace dryer vent hose with flexible hose
-          Repair leaking shut off valves, replace busted frozen pipe
-          Shelving/Storage
-          Backdoor moisture damage repair
First Floor Bathroom/Linen Closet
-          Shower curtain
-          Frost glass brick window...replace glass brick window with leaded bricks
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Vanity/Sink
-          Light fixtures
-          Hot water heater
o   Adjust water temperature
o    Electrical repair
Master Bedroom
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          Window Treatments
-          Closet – add shelves/storage
-          Purchase Ceiling fan w/ light to replace light fixture
- New bedding
Guest Bedroom
-          Repair Plaster & Paint Walls
-          Sand/Prime/Paint Trim
-          Blinds/Shutters
-          Window Treatments
-          Closet – add shelves/storage
-          Purchase Ceiling fan w/ light to replace light fixture

-          Move gate on side of house so dog can go out porch door
o   Install new latch for gate
-          Sand/Prime/Paint & Re-glaze Exterior Windows
-          Porch ceiling paint
-          Paint front door (outside)
-          Porch light fixture
-          Roof
-          Porch Furniture
-          Tame the Yard/ Hire plant expert to advise... Landscape Plans done, taming in progress
-          Stump removal
-          Storage Shed - remove old
-       Storage Shed - build new
-          Privacy Fence?
-          Bigger Mailbox
-          Exterior Storm Windows
-          Leaf blower!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Feeling like a major blog slacker, but here are a few snippets of what I'm up to...

Listening... to The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty and Insurgent by Veronica Roth... my obsession with books on CD is perhaps out of control.  But, I love them for the car, and also for while I’m busy painting in our house
Eating.... too much junk!  Looking forward to a lunch out with a few of my girlfriends today atGarden Bistro
Drinking... Hot Chocolate... I normally don’t drink anything hot, but recently I’ve been craving warm & sweet, so hot chocolate it is!
Wearing... RED for Women’s Heart Healthtoday…. Also wearing my new favorite bracelet & scarf I got from my sister for Christmas & my birthday
Feeling... Excited for the weekend!

Weather... Cold, but supposed to be sunny today!
Needing.... to find time to re-cover my dining room chair seats… I have the fabric and I just need to buckle down and get it done!
Planning… to paint the dining room red this weekend!  Be on the lookout for some before & after shots soon!
Thinking... I need to get back to running… my running buddy Jennifer & I have put two runs on our calendar for next week… and I’m considering this race in June
Enjoying... our new neighborhood.. ultra convenient to work and church… great streets to walk & run on… and a brand new tree planted for us by the city!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Year in Review

So much happens in the course of a year.  I love to throw together a list of some of the major events that occurred so I can look back and remember them.  It feels like a REALLY long time ago that I ran in the Charleston Half Marathon and it was still less than a year ago.  Of course, we did lots of other stuff in 2013, but here are some of the highlights.....

January 2013
Made some resolutions... more on how things went in a later post
Completed the Charleston Half Marathon with a personal best time!
Spent lots of time visiting my niece in the NICU

February 2013
Hosted a Supper Club Super Bowl Party!
Celebrated my niece coming home from the NICU
Celebrated Ryan's 29th Birthday
Got together with friends to start Nooks & Grannies book club
Found some lovely fabric for re-decorating our den

March 2013
Ran in my first 10K - Get To the Green St. Patty's Day Run
Discovered Thursday night jazz at Hunter Gatherer

April 2013
Spent a long weekend at the beach!
Trained & ran in the Heart & Sole 5-miler
"Ran for Boston"
Celebrated my sister & niece at a belated baby shower
Helped with my JWC's Annual Yard Sale
Played Ultimate Frisbee for the first time (my team was awesome!)

May 2013
Served as a guest speaker for a group of nurses state convention
Spent Memorial Day Weekend at the Beach!

June 2013  
Quit Monthly Menu Planning
Began serving as the President for JWC of Lake Murray
Attended Brandon & Mary Kathryn's wedding!
Went Kayaking with friends... got inspired & bought our own kayaks!
It started raining... and it rained and it rained and it rained.  Longest streak of rainy days in history.

July 2013
Celebrated my nephew's 3rd birthday & my niece's Baptism
Ryan started a new job... I went on vacation to the beach
I completed my PHI Pilates Instructor Certification
Hosted Nooks & Grannies book club at my house!

August 2013
Went on a weekend trip to Greenville
Started training for Georgetown Half Marathon
Taught my first Pilates class
Talked about and decided to put our house up for-sale-by-owner....
Were completely shocked when it was under contract in a quick 2 weeks
Packed liked crazy & searched for a new home

September 2013
Quit training for Georgetown Half (too busy moving!)
CLOSED on the Sale of our first home
Shopped and shopped and shopped for a new home
Moved in with my parents
Put a contract on our new home!

October 2013
Completed lots of inspections & paperwork for our new house
CLOSED on the purchase of our new home
Helped to host a baby shower for my college roommate Elizabeth
Attended Heather & Jeff's Wedding

November 2013
Ryan started another new job... a much better fit!
Moved into our new home!
Celebrated 10 years together (we started dating in November 2003)
Made a big long list of things "to-do" for our house & got started working

December 2013
Volunteered at our JWC 2nd Annual Tour of Homes
Celebrated our 4th Anniversary
Celebrated Christmas & New Years with family & friends
Celebrated my 29th Birthday

Sunday, January 12, 2014

House Progress!

Wow.  It's been more than a month since I posted here... So much has happened in that time period, below are some things that I've gotten to "scratch" off the list!  It is definitely nice to see all the things we've completed in writing since some days it feels like progress is slow-going!  Looking forward to more exciting updates in the coming weeks & months!

Whole Downstairs

-          Blinds/Shutters .... I couldn't stand the mini blinds any longer!  They were so dusty from the floor re-finishing and I had originally planned to wait until we painted all the trim to replace them.  However, they were SO nasty that I went ahead and ordered 2-inch faux wood blinds and we installed them all over the downstairs.  Even though they don't currently match the color of the trim, they block out the sun much better and look WAY better than the minis.  (For anyone who is wondering, we still haven't replaced the blue minis in the stairwell... those are a real gem and will likely be in place until we finish all our downstairs updates.)

Dining Room
-          Window Treatments.... Went shopping with my mom and sister last weekend and found fabric for dining room draperies that coordinates with the fabric I'm going to use in the living room for cornice boards.  Since you walk from one room to the other, I wanted it all to have a good flow!  Also the fabric and the cost of making draperies was amazing at Interior Resolutions of Richburg.  If you're in SC or NC, you should totally check them out.  
-          Buffet Lamps...Christmas gift!

Breakfast Nook/Butler’s Pantry
-          Find/Purchase Table  Chairs... Found the COOLEST reclaimed wood kitchen table at Nadeau, and paired it with metal cafe chairs from amazon.  Looks AWESOME with our dark wood chandelier.  Definitely a more modern look than my usual style, but I'm loving it.  

-          Repair Plaster, Prime & Paint Walls
-          Prime/Paint Trim
-          Sand, Prime & Paint Cabinetry
-          Purchase & Replace cabinet knobs

Kitchen.... Aside from finishing the paint on the walls & trim, the first phase of our kitchen re-do is almost done!  Check out this before & after!  

-          Repair Plaster, Prime & Paint Walls
-          Prime & Paint Trim
-       Install Range Hood
-          Sand & Paint Cabinetry
-          Purchase & Replace cabinet knobs

Laundry Room
- Replace busted pipe from freezing weather.... Here's something we had to add to our list... but luckily our laundry room is on the back porch, so there was no water damage to the inside of the house!

First Floor Bathroom/Linen Closet

-          Frost glass brick window.... Hooray, I can no longer see my neighbors while I shower!


-          Leaf blower! Christmas Gift!