Sunday, January 25, 2009

"The next house I buy will be move-in ready."

Progress. It's being made, and despite feeling like we're never going to be finished with this project that has convinced me we are not "do it-yourself-ers," these photos suggest that we are getting there.

Before: The kitchen had some NICE wall paper. Enough said.

Now: Yes, I realize that the kitchen looks like more of a mess than before, and it is, but the wall paper is gone. A lot of dish soap, water, fabric softener, and putty-knife scraping made that feat possible. Also, you'll notice there's a new wall where there used to be cabinetry. That made a laundry closet possible in the hallway. A loss of some counter space, but completely worth it.

Before: The master bedroom had a "lovely" wall-paper border, and the walls were a cool shade of BLAH.Now: Wall paper border gone. Walls? A warm amber.

Before: The living room matched the dining room in a bright fuchsia. A fireplace attachment made a nice addition to the space, and our floors glistened like a gymnasium.

After: Walls a warm neutral. Fireplace attachment non-existent. Mantel being prepped for paint. Floors refinished, but covered until all the painting's done (but don't worry . . . the shiny finish is gone, and they're a beautiful shade).

Before: The breakfast room had, yet again, a fantastic border, which concealed a nice patch of water damage. Carpet that looked like it had seen some better days.

After: Border gone. Water damage fixed. Carpet out, and floors awaiting tile. Walls? A shade of green that was meant to be sage. It's not. It's a beautiful color, but it looks nothing like the sample I put on the wall. It might be changing. We shall see.

Before: The guest bedroom had a vine growing through the window, and was an unidentifiable shade of dirty white.

Now: Plant and air conditioning unit have been removed, and the wall color is a deep taupe.

Oh, and P.S., the bedspread that will be accompanying this room looks like this:
Despite finding a shower curtain that looks like this:

I decided against going with that wild horses theme we discussed in a previous post.


The previous owner had planted spruce trees right next to the house. They were obviously much too large to be so close to the house, to the point that one was about to block the front door. Chad's dad was kind enough to rip them out for us one Saturday while we were working inside.

Here's the result:I think it's a huge improvement! Plus, you will notice that all of those ugly papers announcing to the world that our house was a foreclosure are now also gone. The yard is obviously far from done, but at least you can see our front door now.


An obnoxious flower border wrapped around the entire dining room, in between cheap molding to create a make-shift chair rail.


The wall paper border has been removed, along with the cheap, imitation chair rail.

And, the outrageous fuchsia has been replaced with a classy, deep red.

Before: The laundry area was an accordion-doored closet with exposed piping that could only house a stack-able washer and dryer.

Now: Not at all a photo that really shows the progress that has been made, but do you see those little folding doors jetting out in the hallway? Those one up to a full-size laundry closet.

More improvements not yet pictured coming soon. All the ceilings are painted. All the hardwood is refinished. Bathrooms are prepped for the final renovations. Crown molding being installed this week. We're getting there!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I've discovered another difference between Utah and North Carolina. It deals with something white that falls from the sky. You guessed it, snow. On Tuesday, we woke up to this:

In Utah, if I woke up to that on a Tuesday it would mean one thing: Leave for work extra early, try to avoid imperative death on the freeway, and pray it didn't get any worse before my commute home. Last year, when I taught in Lehi, there was a day they closed the freeway at the point of the mountain, none of the buses were running, and we STILL had school. Real safe.

In North Carolina, waking up to snow meant a phone call from the superintendent telling me to stay home, even though it was a teacher work day. That meant we could do this:

We had a blast playing in the snow, enjoying hot apple cider, and curling up in front of the fireplace.

Oh, and don't worry. Work was canceled on Wednesday too. It felt like extended Christmas Vacation. I could get used to this. Here's our house in the winter wonderland:

Christmas in North Carolina

It feels strange to blog about Christmas when it was a whole month ago. If you want details, you can visit my sister-in-law's blog here for a play by play. In a word it was wonderful. What's not to love about fudge for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Add a few handfuls of peanut-butter balls, and some other fabulous goodies, and you've got one great Christmas vacation. We did eat, but that's not all we did of course. There was sleeping in, movie watching, reading curled up in front of the fireplace, gazing at the Christmas tree, and baby holding.

This is all of us on Christmas morning, waiting to come downstairs and see what Santa brought.

This is our favorite present from Santa, our painting from Rome framed. Now if we can just finish our house so we have a place to hang it!

And this is us with our beautiful niece, Mackenzie Joy on her blessing day. Is she not the MOST ADORABLE THING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE? I know. I miss her little coos, giggles, and smiles.

We had a great Christmas, filled with family, peace, and rest. We have so much to be thankful for.
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