Monday, August 29, 2016

Adventures in Flooring

Floors. I think they are the number one item that can make or break a house. If done well, they lay an awesome foundation to work from. If chosen poorly, well, you'll be fighting them every step of the way in your decorating journey. The original owners had quite the mishmash of flooring downstairs.

Inexpensive, red toned laminate in both rooms on either side of the kitchen.

And slate? look alike vinyl in the kitchen and entry hall.

To complete the mismatched theme, they finished the living room in something we affectionately called the duck sh*t brown carpet.

The quality was fine, but this room is dark enough.  No need to make it worse with the carpet that was surprisingly close to Pantone's Ugliest Color.

I kid you not, in real life the carpet was THAT color!

It all felt discombobulated and we were fighting to find ways to work with it, even
on a temporary basis. The brick fireplace might be the main focal point
for this house's design, but the floors will set the overall tone.

See that narrow opening and closet to the left in the picture above? We needed to address that before we could put down the new floors.

Ahh, the dark dungeon of an entry after we removed the closet and about thirty inches of wall. Now the opening is centered on the living room. I have dreams of barn doors here. I wanted barn doors long before they were an interior design thing. Our home in 2004 just begged for them between the living room and den. Alas, we sold it in 2007 having never made that upgrade, mostly because the hardware was all but impossible to find. Fast forward a decade or so and I may get them yet.

The work in progress view from the front door. This area started off almost claustrophobic. You practically ran into the hall closet as you walked in the front door.
Nothing says Welcome to Our Humble Abode like running smack dab into a wall, shutting the door and feeling like you're locked in a closet!

Now we have some breathing room. And a lot of drywall work ahead of us. And a new door, please, somebody send me a new door!

We stripped the vinyl out and found what was probably the original linoleum from
when the house was built in 1970. Its still a cave :(
Notice the carpet on the stairs? That is what we have upstairs. Its not horrible,
so we will live with it, for now.

Hubby and the boys are getting it done! Our original plan was to put in the wood look tile, but our subfloors weren't nearly level enough. Plan B, a higher end, textured laminate. It is water resistant if installed correctly and nearly indestructible. Muddy paw prints are a thing in this house. No getting around it with nearly 300 pounds of doggy love.

Until next time...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Shiplap Backsplash

 Happy Friday! I am so ready to go play this weekend! Kind of the last hoorah before Miss K heads back to college and Miss H starts her Senior year. My baby will be graduating in nine short months. WOW!

This is where we left off last time. I found some time to restyle these guys, keeping it functional, but pretty. The rest of the kitchen remodel will have to wait, because we have an entryway to widen, closets to remove, drywall to patch and then floors to install. 

Floors? ...

Yeah, well, never mind. This happened instead. Bye, bye silly 6 inch granite black splash, hello shiplap. The original inspiration was subway tile. Once we really started seeing all the kitchen parts and pieces come together we had to make some decisions. One of those decisions involved the sink wall...

Ahh, the before...
We need more natural light, plain and simple. The upper cabinets are gone, so a larger, pass thru window is on the agenda. I told you I had plans for that extra granite slab from the other side of the kitchen. 

source unknown

It won't be nearly as fancy, but you get the idea. The entire back wall of the house will have a deck, and this pass thru window concept will be part of our design. That project may not happen for another year or so. In the mean time, we needed to do something with the walls. The drywall is original to the house and while its structurally sound, it isn't pretty. Shiplap fit the bill perfectly. Cheap, easy to install (and rearrange later), and it continues our desire to add charm to the box.

Getting there, slowly but surely. The shiplap adds dimension to an otherwise boxy room. The whole area feels just a bit more expansive. I think the subway tile would have been too repetitive next to the brick wall. Don't you?

Back to the fridge wall, notice the original granite slab is now replaced with butcher block? That's the slab that will go outside when we get around to the window project. Waste not, want not, right?
 But, we still have so much to do here. The upper cabinets need to be blocked in all the way to the ceiling and we have trim work to do at the bottom of the cabinets. I didn't want outlets cluttering up the shiplap, so I had hubby install electrical underneath, which meant we needed to cover the wiring. We decided to continue the ship lap up and under for a seamless look. Now it all needs trimmed, and then the cabinets can be painted too. This side will be the same white as the backsplash.

And this side will be a grey tone from  the stone. Have Mentioned how much I love the slide in stove with the new shiplap? It almost feels seamless. A few IKEA shelves to hold everyday cooking necessities help keep the clutter at bay.  A note on using these IKEA brackets... Standard lumber doesn't fit, there is a gap, but stair treads fit perfectly. All you have to do is rip them to size on your table saw. 

Ahh, a better after :) 
Reminder to self, do a post on your appliances because you really do love them!
So, this is where the kitchen is at, we really did move onto floors next. :)

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Industrial Brick Wall

The kitchen has always been the heart of our home. Its where we spend most evenings. When the girls were small, it was about after school cookie sessions. As they entered their teen years, the focus shifted. Friends and Food. We even have a sign :)

New house, new kitchen. Its still the heart of our home. A smaller heart, but no less important. Its been a challenge to go from a rather large kitchen, with a huge central island, dining nook, and massive pantry to a 12 by 12 room surrounded in basic cabinetry. First world problems, I know. The flip side of smaller is that you have opportunities to tell your home's story more succinctly. This brick wall is the perfect example of that story telling.

When we first saw the house, hubby and I were both drawn to the real brick fireplace. Not just the fireplace itself, but the backside of it in the kitchen. It became a focal point to begin adding character to this otherwise 45 year old track home. Focal points are important.

A reminder of its location. All of these appliances are gone, upper cabinets too. Breathing room! But, we still need storage. And character :)

So, Hubby got to work. Drilling into 45 year old brick is no easy task. After this photo we decided that a diamond tipped drill bit was going to be the only way to go.

About $20 later and we were in business!

Its a dirty job. A spray bottle of water to help keep the bit cool was an absolute necessity, but man, did it make for a gunky, sloppy mess.

Progress. Ignore the beer, its the small things that keep him motivated :)

By the end of the evening, this is what we had. The shelves still need stained and properly styled, but its progress. Amazing what a few plumbing/gas line pieces, some stock lumber, and an afternoon of work can create. One of these days, the entire kitchen will come together. For now, we are calling it good enough and moving on to opening up some walkways before laying the new floors. Fun times!