Monday, March 26, 2012

Digging out...

"If you look at your entire house as one unit of junk,you'll never do anything because the job is too overwhelming. Take it one drawer at a time." -Janet Luhrs

On Friday the movers came, unloaded the truck, and then left, leaving boxes upon boxes in their wake. I (and, Rob, too, when he wasn't distracted by March Madness!) have worked almost all day, every day since then trying to unpack.

There's been a lot of trashing and weeding out as well, but suffice it to say, we've got a lot of stuff. And, especially since we're downsizing a bit... where does all of this stuff go?

And, while it may not look like it (you still have to watch your step... there are boxes, both full and empty, everywhere), I promise we're making a little bit of progress.

More to come soon...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A towel conundrum...

“I only sing in the shower. I would join a choir, but I don’t think my bathtub can hold that many people.
-Jarod Kintz

As we're wrapping up the toilet re-install and bathroom stall makeover, we're ready to actually begin using our master shower. However, one thing has us stumped. Where do we hang our towels??? [Granted, I realize that this is totally a first-world problem... and we wouldn't die if our towels lay on the floor, but... a girl can't help but want some pretty in her house.]

So, all-knowing internet, help me out! How and where would you store at least two bath towels in this set-up?

The challenges are that the shower door opens clockwise, so that the 12" of wall to the left of the shower is behind the door, while the 12" of wall to the right of the shower is extremely short. The ledge is narrow... maybe 8". The wall of the shower that faces the tub is glass, so you can't exactly attach a towel bar there. That door to the left of the shower leads to the master closet, which I foresee rarely being closed all the way.

I'm hoping that there's some obvious answer that I've just overlooked... Please share any suggestions you have and/or ideas you've seen. Discussion begins... NOW!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Best seat in the house...

“The flush toilet, more than any single invention, has 'civilized' us in a way that religion and law could never accomplish.”
-Thomas Lynch

Rob's big project for the week was remodeling the toilet stall in our master bathroom. What started out as "let's check and make sure this stain on the floor doesn't mean a leak" turned into  "while we're at it, let's install new flooring, paint the walls, and rebuild the toilet itself."

The process via my Instagram feed: 1. It's fun watching them do all of the work; 2. A hair dryer works wonders; 3. The trash pile is growing; 4. Our toilet's in the middle of the bathroom; 5. Painting white trim white # ohtheexcitement; 6. No wonder I feel like im going crazy... I've been staring at a blue wall and sniffing paint fumes for two days straight.

It helps to see where we started. Just a nothing-too-special little room, with khaki walls, a stained linoleum floor, and a broken foam toilet seat.

And, here's what it looks like now. Amazing, huh? Hardwood-like vinyl floors, fresh new trim paint, blue walls (paint color: Olympic Smoke Blue), fixtures spray painted oil-rubbed bronze, and a brand-new toilet seat.

Not only does it have an updated look, but it looks pretty fancy inside the tank, too.. Rob installed a dual-flush mechanism to save water... press the flush handle up for liquid waste and down for solid waste. Hooray for a high-tech toilet!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laundry room love...

“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”
-E. B. White

As mentioned in the last post, the laundry room was my area to decorate (with no complaints from Rob!). It was all mine.

When I pinned this herringbone laundry room (pictured below) from Design Build Love, I knew I needed this funky pattern in mine, too. And, it was also a perfect excuse to participate in the Winter edition of the Pinterest Challenge.

I mocked up the pattern in Illustrator before I started... didn't want to find myself stuck in the middle of the project not knowing what to paint next. My wall is 6ft by 8ft, and I divided it into four columns and 8 rows. I gathered a bunch of paint swatches and compared them to the khaki walls already there. I bought a quart of semi-gloss paint in each of the following colors: Valspar Tequila, Valspar Colony Sand, and Olympic Summer Breeze. (A quart was more than enough, but the smaller sample cans were not available in semi-gloss. Boo.)

On Friday afternoon, this is what my laundry room looked like. Boring, sad khaki walls... don't worry, I'll rescue you.

I used 1" Scotch brand Edge-Lock tape to create my paint boundaries. I used the string/weight technique that I've seen Young House Love use to get perfectly straight vertical lines. I'm a believer... it worked!

I used a small roller to roll each color into its designated area. I let it dry overnight, and then the next morning, did one more quick swipe over areas that needed a second coat.

On Sunday afternoon I peeled back the tape, oohing and aahing as the pattern emerged.

We hung the shelf back up, and now I'm just waiting for the washer and dryer (it's delivered with the rest of our furniture next Friday). In the next couple of weeks, be on the lookout for a couple more "pinspired" projects to finish it up!

If you want to check out some other projects in the Winter edition of the Pinterest challenge, click on over to Katie’s, Ana’s, Erin’s, and Sherry's.

Heard 'round the house...

"I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby."
-Nancie J. Carmody

We have many projects currently in progress or on our to-do list. But, this is the blank slate which we're working from. As we make progress and dream about the future, we are gaining a new sense of appreciation for home maintenance as well as a new sense of humor as the DIY projects take on a life of their own.

Here is a sneak peek of our new home (most photos are from our first tour of the house), as well as some snippets of recent conversations around here...

J: (while washing windows) I'm not sure I ever washed the windows in our old house. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever washed windows this thoroughly in my entire life.

R: (randomly while walking downstairs to get a screwdriver) I really love this floorplan.

J: You can decorate the garage however you wish, but the laundry room is all mine!

R: You know what the good thing about having a window in the closet is... when you wake up and don't know how to dress for the weather, you can just look outside.

R: I like to leave all switches in the "off" position.

J: [After noticing that Rob installed the deadbolt on the garage door backwards] So, we need to have a key to get outside, eh?

R: I love having a utility sink in the garage... that's why we bought this house, you know.
J: I know.

R's coworker: I saw you at Lowe's on Saturday.
R: What time was it? I was there at 8 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, and 6 at night.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In two words...

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
-Dr. Seuss

Knowing that home improvement and DIY projects were spinning around both Rob's and my heads, I wondered if our visions were compatible. Inspired by The Handmade Home's fill-in-the-blank question, I sent Rob a challenge question during our daily iChat conversation over lunch.

What two adjectives would you use to describe how you want our home to feel?
My home is _____________ and ____________.

He was quick to respond, and surprisingly our answers were not too different from each other.

Sources: 1 & 2
Sources: 3 & 4
Disclaimer: These visual translations are completely my own... Rob hasn't seen them, and I recognize that he may not agree with my interpretations.  

How would you fill in the blanks?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

So... we bought a house...

"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
-Henry Van Dyke

After months of real estate woes, it was a little anti-climactic... but we signed the paperwork on our new home in South Carolina yesterday afternoon. (Or, to be exact, Rob did... being unemployed doesn't exactly help your credit score!)

After the last swoosh of the pen, we made our first trip to Lowe's and then headed to the house to replace the locks, reprogram the garage door, and scrub the bathrooms. 

We've got a couple of weeks left on our apartment lease, so we'll have some time to do some sprucing up and slowly migrate over.

Give us a month or two and we'll be ready for visitors! The door's always open!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Own Li'l Journal...

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
-Maya Angelou
You know that quote project I hinted at the other day... wanna see more? Well, here it is. Or at least the start of it.

Right about the same time that I chose the word, "create," to reflect on throughout 2012, I was also inspired by several art journal projects that cropped up in my blog reader (Ashley's and Emily's) and in my real-life conversations (Callie's).

For the last month, I've been saving meaningful quotes and doodling in a small square spiral-bound journal. When you put the two together, you get my own li'l journal. It's an excuse to pull out my markers and paints. There's no pressure to create the perfect page. I'm not working from front to back, but randomly choosing pages from the middle. I can't wait to see how it evolves.

I've got many more pages to go. Any favorite quotes that you've seen lately?

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