Monday, March 7, 2011

The Family Room Project

Yes, we are gluttons for chaos. But seriously, the fireplace was 20 + years out of date and the room needed a complete overhaul. What started out as a simple task to make a Toddler Safe Room is turning out to be like all of our other projects -- only this one must go a heck of a lot faster. It's where we hang out. It's where the baby plays.


Here's the tour:

BEFORE: Extremely Ugly Wall

Demolition begins.
This is our grandson Adam, one of the hardest working kids I've ever seen. He's always a big help and be counted on to do an efficient and excellent job.

This isn't a poor exposure. This is all the dust in the air. They put plastic across the doorway, but upstairs my kitchen floor had a layer of dust on it afterward.

Note the lack of insulation once the fireplace is exposed. No wonder this room was cold in winter!

You see our son Jared in ALL of our project photos for a good reason. He can do anything. He has the mind to figure things out and the skill to make them happen. I wasn't set on any particular vision in this project. Kristin and I are designing together, and she's making some great choices. But I did have one little dream I'd love to see happen, and that was to get light fixtures on either side of the fireplace wall. It's happening! We picked out the fixtures and the wiring it all connected.

Here Jared is showing Little Jared how to use the spray foam insulation in cracks.

Drywall is going up now. Next will come tile for the floor in front and around the door that leads from this room to the garage. Little Jared learned to drive drywall screws.

All this was accomplished in a two day weekend - and we all went to church on Sunday! Amazing progress.


Monday, June 15, 2009

This is the kind of picture the casual visitor to my regular blog sees - lovely pics, pretty flowers and cups, so serene and sweet....

But because you, dear friend, dare to go beyond the surface and look deeper, you are witnessing something far darker and more horrible than ever imagined. It's...the kitchen nightmare.

This, gentle reader, is a Paint Mistake.

I've made a few over the years, so I knoweth of what I speaketh.

If you're a follower, you know we've been working on this project for better than a year. We do all the work ourselves (counting Wonder Jared, of course). So when it came time to start on the north end of the room, the cupboards doors came off. That in itself was startling and, well, not so pretty.

And then I got this bright idea to paint the isides before the new doors went on - not plain old white! Anyone could do that. No, something fun and interesting - a little surprise when the door is opened.

Well, the first color was a asurprise all right, but the kind of surprise that wakes you out of a dead sleep in a cold sweat.

But alas, not to be discouraged, I return the first color and try again. This one is better. Much better. We can all sleep this night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another completed project: wood plantation shutters

I had a difficult time taking pictures of the shutters against the daylight, but I adjusted them a little, so hopefully you can see the finished product.

The shutters in the living room have been made, painted and hung. Finally! And the next project is a rod for my lace swag curtains.

After Jay got the shutters finished, he's been painting the stairs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Update: the transom window

It's slow going, but one more thing was finished over the weekend.
We selected the great old window before the doorway was closed over, and Mr. Wonderful made the opening to fit. He took out the original imperfect glass, cleaned it and reglazed - and the living room side here is painted white like all the trim.

We left the kitchen side its original old layered paint color, but he sanded it. I wish you could see how great it looks up close. Maybe I'll try a close up photo on a sunnier day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Top section of the china cabinet is finished!

Since you're here, you can now see the finished top section of the china cabinet wall above. Awesome, isn't it? Here are a couple of pics of Jay putting the latches on the doors. There are plenty more pics, and I'll get those up soon.

South Wall - will be custom china cabinets

Here's are pics of the south wall in its early stages.

These photos were actually taken in March, and I'm just now posting them, because I want to keep the project all together so you can see the progress. And it was progress, even though it didn't always seem like it.

Jay put up tongue and groove beadboard that will be the backs of the cupboards.

The dog hates the air compressor and nail gun, but I worked with him, using It's Me or the Dog techniques (Animal Planet, people) and a lot of cheese, and now it only takes me pointing at him to keep him quiet. Pretty cool.

I selected one of the colors that are in my two-tone parchment walls for the beadboard. I didn't want the color to distract the eye from the items in the cupboards - and there will be a variety of colors.

Pam Crooks and her hubby gave us several cupboards when they remodeled their kitchen. Jay removed the doors and went to town refurbishing them. They'd be white anyway, so paint didn't matter. We figured out how to space them across the wall - leaving open spaces which he could then later fill in.

It seemed like we painted and puttied forever, coat after coat. He had already filled the holes where hinges were. And sanded. And sanded.

Here's Jared putting one on the wall. Everything's a major decision - how high? how low? What kind of doors do we want?

i knew I wanted the doors to look like those on an old cabinet - in fact we had my dream pictures to work from.


Custom China Cabinet Story

Pam sent me a picture of these cabinets when they were in her kitchen.

Lots of painting.

Here they are fastened to wall, but with gaps between. There was more wall than cupboards that would fit evenly in the space.

So then Mr. FixIt does his magic and gaps the space between.

As soon as the top board and trim go up, they'll blend right together.

Here I'm painting the top board and he's figuring out the filler and trim.

These photos are wacky out of order - you can tell because I've already shown you those finished inset walls on the right that aren't yet finished in these pics.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Hutch Story

Because I'm me, I used to have two china hutches. I know, excessive. When we downsized I gave my daughter one of them. All along I planned to use the remaining one, which holds a LOT and simply paint it to go with my cottage look.

It's a great hutch and I liked it a lot.

I wanted a really long table in our now really big kitchen, so I began a tentative hunt. My husband shops for salvage building material at Habitat for Humanity, and I was along with him one day when I saw a table the perfect size. All the furniture that day had come from model homes and was spankin' new.

New is good, if it doesn't LOOK new. Yeah, I know.

So anyway the table was part of a set with yellow-flowered fabric chairs that were so not my thing. I asked if they'd split the set. This was on a Saturday. The manager said if they were still there on Wednesday, they would sell me the table alone. I went back on Wednesday and snapped it up.

I called Jay and he suggested I give the matching hutch a second look. I didn't think it was my style the first time I saw it. But I looked again. Wow, Broyhill. A really nice piece. "Why not get one that doesn't have to be painted and the back removed and all that?" he asks. "And it matches." Well, I'm not all about matching either. In fact, that's not a plus for me. But I decided okay and even talked them down to a cheaper price.

My wonderful husband had to make two trips with his pickup over the next two days to bring both pieces home. Yet more stuff in the garage where my car used to fit.

"Well, " says I. "This hutch has mirror in the back, and I had my heart set on red bead board."

"Okay," says Mr. Wonderful. "I'll take out the mirror and give you bead board."

"And," says I. "It has glass shelves, and glass shelves aren't my style. I need painted wood."

"Okay," says Mr. Wonderful. "I'll take out the glass and make wood shelves."

"And it's white, but it's not the white that goes with the rest of the kitchen. It's not MY white."

"I knew this was coming," says Mr. Irritated. "You mean to tell me I talked you out of the old hutch that needed the back replaced and painting and into a new hutch that was perfect -- just so I could replace the back and shelves and you could paint it?"

That pretty much summed it up. The rest of this story takes about two months.

So I painted the table and hutch fudge chocolate brown. A yummy color. And then I took a candle and rubbed wax over all the corners and edges. I then painted it three coats of white. My white.

And then, with a great deal of elbow grease and determination I sanded off the places where I wanted the brown to show through for a distressed look. I actually love it.

Unfortunately it doesn't hold near as much stuff. :-(

And then there are the awesome knobs. Note the reproduction glass knobs I found. (The wood ones had to go.) I bought them during the refinishing process and tucked them away until the hutch was finished.

CLICK TO ENLARGE to full awesomeness

I never saw them again. Not even after hunting and tearing the room apart. They're somewhere safe I have no doubt. So I bought them again.

And it's now finished. Well, except for a teeny weeny coat of acrylic or polyurethane, so the finish doesn't get scraped up.

ha ha. That was a joke.

Oh, and my son and daughter-in-law got my old hutch. They already had the table.