Monday, January 16, 2012

Not So Scary Anymore..

This is actually a project I finished over the summer, but I finally just took pictures of it this week. Between work, other projects and a LOT of cloudy days, I had an excuse every day for months.

You'll remember from earlier posts that this is the room we've dubbed The Twilight Room. When we first viewed the house it was completely empty, except for two Twilight posters. And the walls were a beautiful striped montage of black, magenta, and purple, with a lovely bright blue carpet. Just delightful.

R claimed this room as his soon after we moved in. He took the desk that the previous owner had left and that's where he had his computer. He doesn't use it much.. maybe once or twice a week. The room wasn't really a priority. We have the guest beds set up in the Guest Bedroom, and R didn't really care about the scary walls (which by this point were primed, but you could still see the stripes peeking through).

However, this spring, I was attempting to organize all of the remaining boxes upstairs and realized that I could empty the majority of them if only I had somewhere to put my excess office supplies. I had boxes and boxes full of art and craft supplies, pens and pencils, notebooks.. etc. Plus a bunch of random stuff like our winter coats (downstairs coat closet isn't very high on our to-do list), all of my gift wrap, and what I call my memory boxes (basically plastic boxes filled with mementos). As I was sitting on the floor amid all of this stuff, I realized that I had a huge closet in the Twilight Room, sitting there basically empty.

In April and May I got to work on the closet.. not as easy as you'd think, seeing as it was covered in hand prints.
Once that was done, I started filling it up. That didn't take long. But I managed to unpack almost every box left in the Guest Room! Plus all of the boxes that I had accumulated in the Twilight Room.

The walls weren't that bad. Two coats of the light yellow paint, over two coats of Kilz covered all of the stripes. There are still a couple spots where you can see a little raised line (whoever painted the stripes taped off the lines and there are some spots where there's a raised line of paint along where the tape was), but only if you look really really close. The trim and windows were a pain because the paint was so dark and I was painting it white. I'm still not 100% done with the doors... they're taking an obnoxious amount of paint!!

Over the summer I moved in some furniture I had in the Guest Room. We got R's childhood bed and I had to rearrange the Guest Room, and all of the furniture didn't fit any more. I moved in his old bookcase and  Madison's papasan chair. We also have an old filing cabinet in here that was left in the house. It's broken and not very eye-pleasing, but it's too heavy for me to move out of the room, let alone down the stairs, so it's staying in here until it bothers R enough to move it (it'll be here for awhile).

In the fall I bought some Ikea curtains for the room. The next time R went to use his computer, he was like "What is all of this? What happened to my office? There are flowery curtains and stuffed animals in here!" It had definitely gone from being his room to mine.. My craft supplies take up one whole wall, there are stuffed animals on the shelves there and on the puppy's papasan chair.. there are flowers on the walls and curtains and there are pink stripped tie-backs on the curtains. His wall does have a nice panoramic view of Fenway (I said, if this was my room I definitely wouldn't have hung THAT up!) and all of his books and CDs and This Old House magazines, etc. by his computer still :)

The room still isn't completely finished (what is in this house?). I haven't painted the ceiling yet and we're planning on getting a new carpet soon. I plan on painting the ceiling and touching up the base trim when we get the new carpet. I also need to finish the doors and install the re-painted hardware.

**Picture disclaimer** I broke our camera. Our good, fancy camera. So these pictures are blurry and not the best (after waiting so long to take them you'd think they'd at least be good!). Sorry.
Madison's corner of the room. It's her favorite spot to sleep.
All that's left of R's space in the room
Bought these frames and pictures at Ikea for a total of $3.  I spray painted the frames black to match everything else in the room.
Curtains from Ikea with ribbon tie-backs. I spray painted the existing curtain rods black.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our 2011 Goals... How'd We Do??

First off, here's the list. Most of the finished tasks link to my progress posts.

*Finish the Kitchen I'd say it's 90% done.. we're almost there!
*Landscaping the front yard Instead of doing this, I did a little landscaping in the backyard (my sidewalk)
*Cleaning up the front entrance/porch
*Get the rest of our boxes from our parents' houses
*Buy chickens and build a coop
*Fence in the backyard This is going to be our #1 large project of 2012.. as soon as the ground thaws
*Install new exterior light fixtures by back door They're purchased. That's something, right?
*Install new motion detecting flood light Same here.
*Renovate downstairs bathroom Our plans have changed here. We're now leaning toward just replacing the fixtures and leaving the layout the same. For now.
*Re-work/re-build the back staircase The back stairs/lean-to are a project we may tackle this summer.. it's a big one because we're going to be completely re-building the lean-to and putting in a foundation, so it may get put off for another year...
*Finish off closet under back staircase
*Figure out what to do with my pantry
*Install shelving in Living Room closet It's painted, just not installed. The walls need a lot of repair.
*Figure out lighting solution for Living Room
*Strip paint in Living Room Ended up being a lot more time consuming than I had originally thought (and expensive). I'm working on it though!
*Re-do front Hall
*Install chandelier in Dining Room
*Get a Dining Room table We have a folding table with a table cloth on it in there for now. Better than nothing, right?
*Organize tools in basement They're actually in the basement now, which is Step 1 :)
*Buy bookcases/etc for office
*Make new bulletin boards for office
*Second coat of paint in Guest Room
*Paint Twilight Room
*Re-do upstairs back Hall
*Lighting solution for upstairs Bathroom and Laundry
*Clean out Laundry cabinet
*Install permanent dryer vent

Now here's my disclaimer. I never really made  it apparent on here, but 2011 was filled with a lot of job changes for me. So there was a lot we had planned to do that we weren't able to do (especially the larger projects), because we were figuring out other things. Things are pretty settled for now, so here's hoping to a very productive 2012!

I've also realized there were a lot of things that we didn't include on the list.. like a garden and a dishwasher (though I guess I included in the Kitchen task). I still feel like we got a lot done this year. Just having almost the entire second floor be finished feels good. And have I mentioned that there's a floor in the Kitchen???? :) And of course we also had the unexpected projects.. painting/cleaning the other bedroom closet, the need to do some electrical work in both the back Hall and Kitchen, plus the expensive new chimney cap that we desperately needed!

Our Second Christmas in the House

This Christmas was a little different than last year. I decorated more, for one thing. We had more finished (or semi-finished) rooms. It was also nice to be able to do a lot of baking in the kitchen. Having a kitchen table again definitely helped! I think I made over 25 dozen cookies (some of which I brought around to our neighbors).
And this isn't even all of them! I think I made about twice as many as shown in this picture!
We (and by we I mean me) decided to change things up this year and put the tree in front of the front windows. I love being able to see the tree from the street (which you couldn't really do.. oh well.. you could see it a little!). I've also been wanting to try out a different furniture layout in the room. We moved the loveseat to in front of the fireplace. I like it. R doesn't. I think it makes the room feel larger. The only downside (according to me) is that the coffee table is a little awkward because of the tree.. it can't be centered on the couch, so it's just kinda hanging out in the middle of the room.

I especially loved being able to decorate in the kitchen. Last year at an after-Christmas sale we got these two artificial trees for $2 each. The garland was about $1.
I think this was one of my favorite things in the house this Christmas. I could never seem to get a really good picture of it though.. It looked awesome when all of the rest of the lights in the room were turned off though!

This year at an after-Christmas sale we bough some night pewter and white candles to put in the windows (for $1 each!). We're considering keeping them up all year long. There's another center chimney house across town that does this and I've loved it ever since I was little.