House Update! (with lots of pics)

You may recall a while back I told you about a house that we'd bought to renovate.  Well, after over six years of labor, sweat and tears, we passed our final inspection last week!  We can now legally inhabit our house.

To celebrate, I wanted to share with you a few pics.  I've shared pics before, but I'll link to them here, just for completeness.

Here's an interior tour when we bought it. (It's okay to laugh and know that we were nuts to buy it.  )

Here's some pics of the gutting.

And putting in the new foundation.

The exterior wall repair

Repairing fire damage

This post has pics of painting the walls.

And here's how it looks now:

#1 exterior front (beige and gray, with a dark red door).  The front porch has a "bridge" over the lowered front yard, creating a sort-of moat.  The main floor is wheel-chair accessible.

#2 exterior back (I had a hard time getting a good pic of this).  There's a walk-out basement, and a huge deck off the main floor.  We'll eventually put a second stove out on this deck so that I can do summer canning outdoors.

#3 - #4 Gutting the house removed a lot of old character (it was originally built in the 1890s), so my hubby custom-built molding to re-instate some of the character.  Main floor walls are gray, trim is white.  Exterior doors are dark gray.

#6 Hickory flooring on the main floor.  It's stained a grey-ish mid-tone that is a bit lighter than I thought I wanted, but I ended up loving.  

#7 Kitchen has cream cabinets with dark hardware, concrete countertops, stone-look linoleum flooring, and a stainless steel backsplash behind the stove.  Same gray walls and white trim as the rest of the main floor.  Eventually we'll pop a panel over those holes under the sink....

#8 Second story (there's 3 bedrooms and a big bathroom up there) has very pale greyed out blue-green walls (that I'm mentally thinking of as "Russian sage", because it's nearly the color of their leaves), with light maple floors and teal doors.  

#9 The second story bathroom has dark wood, and eventually will have some color other-than-white walls, but right now they're still just primed.  It also boasts a jacuzzi.  (Main floor bathroom didn't make my pics - it's a very greyed-out lavendar color, with white trim and all white fixtures).

#10 The basement stairs have bright carpet to visually signal that we're entering the kid zone.  Basement walls are where the bright and fun painting is, and where the kids play area will be.  It's officially unfinished territory (we're not adding a ceiling or floor other than the concrete), but I suspect we'll be down there an awful lot.  You can see pictures of most of the fun wall murals here.

The basic themes that we went for in decorating is muted and calm main floor (it ended up with light and mid-tone neutrals, with dark hardware and dark gray doors.  The main colors are cream, white and gray - floors add in a mid-tone brown.)  Upper story theme is light and airy - it's mostly blue-green - very light on the walls and teal doors, white trim and light floors.  The basement theme is fun and kid-friendly - there's murals on the walls, and wild crazy carpet going down the stairs.

Thanks for indulging me with this post - I'm so thrilled with how things are turning out, and excited to move (we'll officially move toward the end of this month - we have to build beds for the kids, do lots of finishing touches and pack up the house we've lived in for the past ten years).


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


A lot of house painting pics (including murals)

I suppose that one of my favorite things about redoing an old house is the wide variety of how things get accomplished.  (For the back story on the house, see here).

This last Saturday we had a "Painting Party", where my husband fixes up a bunch of reasonably nice food (which in our world seems to mean lots of meat), and we invite everyone we know to come join the fun (and by fun, we mean  hard work).  We generally have 15-40 people show up to "join in the fun".  This time we had 25-30, plus the seven of us.

We worked for about 8 hours (people came and went through out the day - only my hubby was there for all of it), and managed to prime or paint (sometimes both) everything but two of the three bathrooms in the house (one we needed to keep functional, while in the other we stored all the stuff that couldn't be in the rooms getting painted).

It won't surprise you that we're overly frugal with paint, so instead of buying the shades we wanted, we bought lots and lots of mistints, and my "can do everything" husband custom mixed shades to my request.  The main floor is a sedate gray, the upper story is a light greyed-out blue-green that I've dubbed "russian sage" after the plant.  There's a bright orange room (why he bought that mistint, I must admit I wonder, but it'll be canning and freezer storage, so much of the wall won't be seen), and about half of the lowest level (a walk-out basement) is in murals.  

Here's the pictures, which are posting in a rather random order:
#1 a tree, painted in the hallway leading to the kids wing
#2 a city-scape painted on the edge of the laundry room (and a planet from the solar system painting which is around the corner)
#3 the city-scape in process
#4 flowers on my older daughter's wall
#5 a cousin, painting a tree outside the basement bathroom
#6 beware of little boys with green rollers!
#7 the solar system on my middle-son's bedroom wall
#8 the tree in progress
#9 The sedate gray of the living room.  This also shows the trim woodwork my husband is installing to reinstate some age and character into the house.
#10 Another shot of the living room gray and trim work.
#11 flowers and butterflies painted by my sister and younger daughter
#12 my older daughter, singing as she paints a mountainscape.  The blue tape line is the level that her loft bed will be, so she'll see the mountains when she's in bed.
#13 Walls weren't the only thing painted.
#14 The closet in the library is red.  It dried darker and bluer - almost somewhere between dark red and dark purple.
#15 Is the painting of the very tall stairwell.  I helped with that until it got to precarious for me.  My hubby got to finish it up on a very tall ladder.  The color going on is the "russian sage"
#16 the pantry.  We've dubbed it the "sun room".  Not because there's any windows, but because it hurts your eyes to look at it.
#17 My office - "Russian sage" walls and the pale maple floor.  There will be white trim added.  I'm loving the combination.

I just realized that I didn't get a picture at all of the biggest mural - a woodsy mountain scene that has rivers flowing down the mountains to a lake.  And one of my kids (oldest boy) opted for a completely solid green wall.  That's also not pictured - it's the color of the roller in #6.  


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →


My turn for House updates

I just wanted to share something big going on in the next few months with you, if you don't mind.

Five and 3/4 years ago (but who's counting, right?), we bought a "fixer upper" house, with the intent to fix it and move in.  It was cheap and old (1890s built) - with so much potential!  We were insanely naive (the house should have probably been bull dozed).  Our idea was that my husband would do the labor himself, and we'd work as we could afford to - and be in the house in a few months (remember, I said we were naive?).

We ended up replacing the foundation, the roof (including the "bones"), three of the four exterior walls, everything load bearing, and most of the interior (we kept some of the subfloors), and all the functional pieces (electrical, hvac, plumbing, gas lines, etc).  Whew.

Monday, my husband's work on it passed the electrical wiring inspection, and yesterday the structure, hvac, plumbing and gas lines all passed inspection.  We are celebrating!  And it seems like the remainder may be somewhat quick because we're hiring contractors to insulate and drywall, and it's looking like we may actually get to move in to the house before six years of owning it have elapsed (that's in April).  After that, it's finish work (which can go on forever, I know) - wood floors, paint and trim, cabinets, fixtures, and bathroom and kitchen stuff....

Soon though, I may also be showing house-in-progress pics if you don't mind!  And what house decorating sites should I read?  


A modern-day historical icon

Amelia Earhart has, for a while now, been an icon of mine - both style-wise and otherwise.  Because of that, I found this article on a modern-day Amelia Earhart intriguing.  Have you others read about this woman? The article makes me smile.


Copying Una - Vacation pics

After seeing Una's wonderful pics of Denali, I wanted to post some of my own.  Yeah - they're not comparable to hers, but we had a really wonderful time :)

#1 The mountains of Utah
#2 Walking up to a lookout point at 12,095 elevation
#3 water splashing into a cave at Heisner park in Laguna Beach
#4 DH carrying the youngest on his shoulders in Bryce Canyon
#5 The lovely South Laguna shoreline (we loved the tide pools)
#6 Dad introducing the kids to the ocean for the first time (Heisner park again)
#7 My older daughter (9) feeling brave after rock climbing in Colorado Springs
#8 the family in Bryce Canyon
#9 more rock climbing in Colo Springs
#10, my older daughter admiring the ocean
#11 my 3 year old "swimming all by himself" in a pool
#12 Me and my 6 year old, hiking.
#13 My 7 year old on the boogie-board.

The kids have decided that our local murky lake water tastes much better than the ocean salt water.  But otherwise, they're ready to move to the beach.  (Never mind that we all fried - the sun is stronger in LA than Nebraska, I think)


Go to the full post to see all of the pictures →