23 March 2011

London Calling

How adorable is this bookend?

I ADORE London, and the old red buses, which were a part of London's transportation offerings for more than fifty years, are so iconic of my favorite city. I think these would look great in our travel inspired living room! The London Transport Museum Shop also has bookends of the Gherkin building, the classic black London taxi, Trellick tower, the Battersea Power Station and the red telephone booth.

22 March 2011

Our First Major Project!

 Landon and I decided to take a "staycation" this past weekend to spend some time around the house, working and hanging out with our new puppy!

Our goal: refinish the downstairs half bath in order to bring it into the 21st century.

As with all projects, this was easier said than done. We set our budget, headed to Lowe's (as always) and got everything on our list. We found this amazing vanity and etagere, both on clearance...which we got further reduced just by asking a friendly Lowe's employee how much he wanted to get rid of them. :) They were both still in boxes and completely undamaged. Yay for bargains! We also decided on a light gray paint to go with the black and white vanity and etagere: the finished project will be black, white and gray with punches of bright red.

The old bathroom--note the hideous '80s built-in vanity, the cabinet doors that refuse to close and the non-matching sink and toilet. Sweet.

We ripped out the existing built-in (demolition is SO FUN!) and tore up the subflooring. Then, we replaced the backerboard in the floor and re-tiled the floor where we'd torn it up since the new vanity is smaller than the older one. Landon was really excited about the tile-laying since he's been wanting to try tiling since we moved into the house. We were both really happy that he did such a great job on his first go-round.
New backerboard!
After sanding down the walls, I started to edge the walls in our new gray paint. I'd made it almost all the way around the room when Landon noticed that part of the wall was curling up. Thinking it was just a part of the sheetrock doing something weird, Landon pulled it...and it kept coming. Yikes. We discovered quite quickly that what we THOUGHT was sheetrock was actually painted wallpaper, which was finally peeling up. Ugh. So, instead of painting, we commenced to peeling off the wallpaper (which is oddly satisfying) for two hours.
Darn you, wallpaper.
After getting rid of the surprise wallpaper, we made sure all of the excess wallpaper glue was off of the wall and spackled the few holes that had been gouged as a result of our occasionally overzealous wallpaper removal.While Landon made sure the spackling was drying appropriately, I put the etagere together, a process that was incredibly easy (thank you Phillips head screwdriver!).

Then (and only then), we got BACK to painting. This time, I made it all the way around four times (two coats of primer and two coats of paint) without any other major surprises.
Call me a home improvement dork, but I LOVE a paint roller!
And what does 2 gallons of paint, one vanity, one etagere, two paint rollers, two paint brushes and 60 hours of work get you?

One new, 21st-century powder room!

One of my most prized souvenirs from when I lived in London. This is a legit street sign, I promise!
Taking all of those million photos finally came in handy!
Grey squares--love.
Check out that new sink, new faucet and new soap pump!

21 March 2011

Moving In

I know these are a bit late, but better late than never, right? :)

Look at all of those boxes, just waiting to be unpacked...
The amazing dentil moulding on the fireplace
Glass jars on our mantel, which may or may not stay there permanently

20 March 2011

Workin' on the Living Room

We've been in the house for two entire weeks now, which is hard to believe. It's gone by so fast! The first things we did after moving in were 1) organize the kitchen and 2) work on making the living room homey because those are the two places we spend most of our time...and the places that our guests see first.

There weren't any window dressings in the entire house when we bought it, so we went to Lowe's and got an entire house worth's of blinds. We chose the white faux wood plantation blinds, as these weren't too expensive but still looked WAY better than your regular ol' mini blinds. Behold the faux wood plantation blinds:
not our actual window, but you get the idea
The next thing we did was purchase curtains for the large glass door/ceiling-to-floor windows in the den. We both wanted to make the living room comfortable but modern; I've always loved the idea of the den as a place to showcase all of our travel photos and souvenirs, so we decided to base our world theme around the colors of red, brown, beige and black. I was unsure about the curtains (which are crucial for tying a room together) until one day in Lowe's (big surprise, as we go there at least once a day!) when I found these by Waverly:
They are a darker brown than you see here (see below for a pic from our actual room), and they have a gorgeous geometric pattern on them that is vaguely reminiscent of Moroccan artwork. We opted just for the floor length curtains--no valance for this room. They really bring the entire room together, and we LOVE them. :) The curtains also come in red and black, and we're thinking of putting the red version into the dining area, which is open to the den. That way, the window treatments will be coordinating without being too matchy-matchy.

Landon hangs the brackets for the living room curtains
a shot of the curtains from the couch. We just open the curtains during the day so we can see out onto our (currently boring) backyard.

a close up of the pattern

04 March 2011

The Fun Begins

We are officially homeowners!

In the last four days, we have:
  • Swept the downstairs at least 8 times.
  • Had our new refrigerator, washer and dryer delivered. 
  • Painted the master bathroom.
  • Painted the master bedroom. 
  • Bought a new light fixture for the front door. 
  • Put up all of our kitchen stuff (dishes, pans, pots, etc.)
  • Switched out all of the light switches to white ones--they were every possible finish all over the house.
  • Painted the built-in storage shelves in the garage.
  • Replaced the outdated walkway lights with solar-powered brushed silver ones. 
  • Cleaned the kitchen and all of the bathrooms. 
  • Mopped all of the moppable surfaces. 
  • Had a quote on the cost of the tile install in the kitchen (we're probably going to hold off on this project for now since we have other, more pressing projects).
I've been documenting the process all along, but my camera is at the new house, and my computer is at the old one, so you'll have to wait until they are reunited. Oh, the suspense!