Wednesday, December 16, 2009

everyone I meet says I am one fungi!

GET IT?? FUN-GI??? FUN GUY! ... I guess this would be better if I actually was a guy. Huh.

Cleaning up leaves and the gardens this fall and minding my own business when... wait, what? What is THAT?!!??!

Yup. My yard is infested with alien spores. To be expected. Couldn't just have mushrooms like a normal house. NooOOOoooOOoo. They have to be pods of yellow death in the earth. And everywhere I looked? MORE!

Luckily, they popped right up from their earthly bed without any fuss. But still! And surprisingly? Those suckers were heavy!

Well, here's to hoping I didn't breath in toxic spores....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

unfinished business

Just when you thought it was safe, I went and turned everything upside-down and started myself another project. Or two. Or three.

Originally a kitchenette, ...correction, a gross-kitchenette, I thought to myself "why leave good enough alone?" And, went and made it into a library. Well, making. Making it into a library. First, we extended the floor into the room, making it one one continuous flow. However, funny enough, when the quarter-round was popped off, behold! Mold! You see, when someone removes the plumbing underneath the utility sink, water tends to flood. All over. Yeah. So, we removed the bottom strip of damaged drywall. And the old tile back-splash. And the drywall behind the back-splash.

See there? That awesome floor and the gaping hole?? Yup, pretty amazing, ain't it? Oh, and this was before I got the old washer out of the utility room (for some reason, it's advisable to make the hall opening .04" wider than the washer and/or dryer... you know, for easy removal and new utility installation.) Good news! New(ish) washer & dryer are installed and no longer in the library!

So, once the tile-covering-drywall was removed, and, Surprise! Moldy insulation. Why? Because someone thought it was a good idea to put plain insulation, without any barrier, against the concrete cinder blocks to the outside world. So...

And you know where that stuff goes? It goes here:

Which gives you:

Now, what may not be perfectly obvious, due to the magic of photography and perspective, is that these studs are not equally spaced. In fact, they are nowhere NEAR being standard. This made hanging drywall interesting. Which brings us to this:

The dust is still settling after a bit of clean-up, but the room is almost ready for priming & paint. A teeny bit more spackel and sanding to go and then, voila! ....well, and then molding. And a new window. And a cabinet door for the crawl-space. THEN, 'voila!'

Meanwhile, I got a small little transformation going on.

Ta-da! Staining the fish tank stand "Antique Pine". I did the top lip first, so that I could move the tank around as I worked; stain 1/2 and allow to dry, then shift and finish the other 1/2. I hope to make some serious progress on it this weekend.

And as if that isn't enough hulla-baloo? Take a gander at this:

Mmmhmm. You know what that means... I MAY have a WORKING shower! Sometime!! Madness, I know. The plumbing has been fixed/replaced, and now it's ready to replace the tile.

So, in case you aren't keeping track, that's: 1) almost-done library, 2) in-the-works tank stand refacing, 3) the beginning of the bathroom remodel, and 4) all the other half-finished projects [::cough::garden bench::cough::]. Good thing, too- was getting way too comfortable here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

hold on to your banisters!

Once upon a time, I thought my camera was doomed for death. An unprompted burst of hope had me trying to turn on the device one last time... MIRACLES OF MIRACLES IT WORKED! So now, let the home updates, with corresponding visuals, resume.


There is a metal railing at the base of the steps. Needless to say, it was not in the best shape.

And this is the first thing you see upon walking through the front door; screams "Welcome!", doesn't it? The paint was old, yellowed, and chipping.

... so, we scraped it off! Then, using an oil-based paint in basic white, I repainted that sucker. Took quite a few coats over a few days (allowing for it to dry completely, before more coats).


Ta da! It really came out well, and the white ties to the base molding and the stair molding very well. I am not ruling out replacing this with something more modern later down the line, but for the now this is MUCH better!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the cursed room


Very blue. And the trim? Painted. Blue. See the window in the corner? The window trim is blue. Very blue. The doors are like that too. Trust me. This room gave me the biggest headache, as it REFUSED to look good. The wall color just didn't work. For months.


Now, the idea was to paint this room a light, soft green..... what I got was a very bright, almost neon candy apple. I don't have a picture of it. You'll just have to trust me.

So, then I had the lasts 1/2 of the gallon lightened, and ended with this:

Now, this may not look all that bad. But it was not, how do you say, "good." It was lime sherbet. Minty. Still too much. And the curse continued. On the upside, the trim returned to white!


Sweet salvation!

Alittle softer, alittle more blue, and a lot more perfect! And the best part of this color? The way it flows with the rest of the house so perfectly. The blue-green from the rec room is a darker and dustier color that compliments this perfectly. And the grey and silver from the other bedroom and bathroom? Couldn't be better.

Now, the room still needs to have quarter-round installed, but other than that it's pretty much done! I plan on renting this room, with the grey (gray?) room out, so not too worried about decorating.

**Uhh, my camera is broken. Much to my surprise, it did NOT want to go for a swim. So pictures may be hard to come by until I get a new one/mine restored**

Saturday, June 6, 2009

living large


Let me clarify, these walls are an attempt at khaki/light beige. But, there's too much of a green tint to it to be a good color. What I am trying to say is it was bad. Ugly. And dingy. Sooooo.....

... I had to paint!


This was my most difficult color decision- I went from something neutral to orange to green, and back again. Agonizing, I tell you, agonizing. But, in the end (as, um, you can see,) I went with neutral. Or, rather, "neutral" for me. But I love it! Warm & rich.

The couch and arm chair were a Craigslist steal and the ottoman/coffee table is from T.J. Maxx... and they match! Shag rug from Home Goods, (which is an amazing place to get an 8x10 rug for under $300!!)


It's curtains for me, CURTAINS! .... it's shocking how long I went without curtains. They are a beautiful invention, let me tell you. Anyways, my world is better now that I have these curtains. I picked up the last 2 packs from the Potomac Mills Ikea, (College Park didn't have any in stock), but now I want MORE! Master plan is to hang a matching set in the dining room. ...easier said than done, as the closest Ikea with these curtains is in freakin' Narnia.

This is one of my favorite things. Solid wood carving. And, just to make you jealous, it was $25. Total. That's it. I have a hard time finding jeans for that price, let alone a huge 4ft x 4ft piece of art!
It seems I do not have any pictures of my entertainment stand... huh. Should get on that.

Don't forsythias make you happy? They do me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

weekend update

Craigslist is my favorite. Without it, I think I'd currently be sitting on the floor typing instead of on a plush leather couch. And that would be bad on the back. Anyways, was pointed to a set of chairs for my rec room. My vision was to have four chairs, conversation style. My vision came true:

They rock and swivel (my mom "you had me at 'swivel'!") Interestingly, the blue-green in the chairs, which are wickedly comfortable, matches my walls very nicely. It's a shame, really, that they are a hideous pattern. Real shame. I hope to cover or reupholster these, but for now they're fine. And at only $250 for all four, that is FINE!!

On another note, please never let your window wells go too long without cleaning out.

You see, this well had a good half a foot of leaves accumulated. It's maybe 5ft deep. And not wide enough! Not nearly. In the end, I bested the situation- leaves removed. In the process? Sure scratched up my shoulders. Thank you genetics & swimming.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm floored

First thing in the morning, my uncle shows up and disturbs me from my slumber. So, I put him to work cutting molding. And wouldn't you know, this was the result:

Pretty, huh? It's weird. When we were first laying out the molding along the walls, it took a second to get used to the room looking finished. That is how much I have gotten accustomed to my half-finished house..... I don't think a single room has quarter-round.*

Once my dad and his fiance showed up, we got to work on laying the floor in the front downstairs bedroom. This goes fairly quickly- lay barrier then start locking and clicking. It gets time consuming when you have to cut pieces to fit around doorways (especially abnormal on-a-slant doorways,) closets, and the base of stairs.

See? Took 3 brothers working together.. er.... well, maybe not "together," but it took 3 brothers working.

*Anymore. There was some crappy quarter-round that was removed during demo.

Cooper helps by walking through our work area.

Finished! We got the hallway and front bedroom done, so all that remains is the back bedroom. Oh, and nailing in the molding for the bedrooms. And installing the thresholds across the doorways. But other than that, it's practically finished!

See? Awesomeness!!! And there's a peek at the transformation this bedroom underwent.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Look at my boot tray! My house doesn't have an entry-way, but instead opens straight into the family room. Therefore, I wanted to have a boot tray for ... um... boots. And shoes. You should see the amount of dirt the tray collects! Actually, you shouldn't. Too dirty. Anyways, I saw this idea on a blog & ran with it. Got cheap bags of decorative stone from Ikea to fill the tray- really helps it blend into the room instead of standing out like a sore thumb AND adds a nice natural element. I'm planning on looking into painting the tray, itself, as black doesn't really fit in.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

magician in the kitchen


Notice the fridge out in No Man's Land.


.... ok, so there's not much change other than the addition of stuff. But, if this was in high-def, you'd be able to see how CLEAN it is now! Before = greasy, crumby, and complete with dead mouse. After = CLEAN! Amazing, I know.

LOOK AT MY REFRIGERATOR! Isn't it beautiful? Shiny and black and big and and and.... full of food! As if that wasn't enough, it's now in the kitchen! I tell you, genius like this just doesn't come around every day.

Side Story: This vent was above the stove. I have serious doubts about whether or not this was cleaned. Ever. Since 1960. So, it was gross and old and without purpose. When the drywaller was here, I had him patch this closed. More importantly, he fixed the ceiling next to the vent, which was bubbling and cracking. You'll just have to take my word for it, as I have no photographic evidence of it. Oh, and that is sunlight you see. It's not always an open hole to the sky, I just took this picture when the roofers were a'roofin.


Ooooohhh. Aaaaaahhh. Not much changing here that you can see. Moved the fridge (major); tore up the devil's-made adhesive tiles* (LOOK! REAL TILE!!); replaced dish-washer (not interesting); and replaced sink faucet. And added the orange! Bring on the color.

Imagine I had a picture of the old, standard kitchen faucet that whined whenever turned on high. Then looky here:

Next up: .... I don't know. Living room, maybe??

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

rec (wreck?) room


Let us remember: paneling, drop ceiling, broken window (pretend you can see that), carpet reminent, and general grodiness.

Glad I could revisit this.


First thing's first- remove ugly carpet and drop ceiling. One may ask "Why not replace the open window in your house first?" Well, I'll tell you. Because.... because.... because I like a good breeze early in the morning, don't you?

help from the fam.

Well, there you go. Window solved.

As you can see, there was painting. And there was fiasco. But first! First there was dry-walling. Hired a dry-waller to re-do the previously paneled walls and ceiling, both of which looked strikingly similar to Swiss cheese. So, post-dry-wall, I thought it was a smashing idea to paint the ceiling.... the picture above is the result. This is why I should not be left alone. Not because it ends in disaster, but because there needs to be someone around to witness such hilarity. Humor like this should not be wasted.

You know what's fun? Moving all those boxes of flooring. This is a promise of things to come...

Interesting story about the paint. I had a metallic that I LOVED- it was a shiny blue-green. Sagey. Really cool. But, when I found out that that particular paint required a base coat plus the color top-coat... well, that was the end of that! Later, I went and had the paint men color match regular paint to the metallic sample. Ta da!! And now, for the final reveal...


LOOK AT THE FLOOR!! Go on, look at it! So pretty. So, so pretty. Wanna hear a secret? It's an interlocking, tongue & groove, floating floor. Super easy to install! I'll be running this in the bedrooms, too, as soon as I have the time/ my dad comes to visit.

Yes, that is an Ikea futon. It's a college relic and, in all honestly, very handy for visiting friends!

How perfect is that painting? Love it. The coffee table & the fish tank will be refinished in a darker brown.... eventually. OH! Speaking of the coffee table, take a look earlier & you will see that it used to be taller. I went all mafia on that sucker & now it's shorter... like a coffee table should be. I think it still could loose a couple inches, though. And, in regards to the fish tank, there is nothing currently inside. Plan is to eventually make it home to a bunch of fish, but I'm holding off until the shoe molding is done and the tank stand is painted.

Other plans include: breezy & light curtains, finishing the window (yes, well aware it's not completed,) ceiling medallion above the chandelier, shoe molding, rugs, and changing out the futon. I know, shocking that I'm not planning my decor around that futon.

Next up, kitchen!