Friday, September 13, 2013

First the ugly pictures then you get the pretty ones

I'm so glad people are still out there following along with us! Thanks for the comments. And without further ado, here are some pictures of how the house looked when the previous owners lived here. It's actually not too terrible, and some of the rooms (okay, just the bathrooms) look the same now. 

 Here is the outside. Isn't it purty??
 We have a little entry/foyer type of thing. This room has been painted a nice clean looking creamy gray. That gold color on the bottom half was worse in person. Oh boy.
 It's hard to tell in this picture, but the walls had a faux paint sponge look. I'm sorry if some of you still like this look, but man alive it is horrible in my book. It makes the walls looks dirty in my opinion. This room has been painted (the first one I tackled) a creamy white. Some people think I'm weird that I painted the walls white when most people hate white walls when they are renting. I love it. It feels clean and it allows me to change up for seasons/decorating whims much more easily. Plus I feel like it looks nice with the dark floors. Another note on this room--it is right off the foyer and has three doorways and a window which makes it tricky to put furniture in it. You can see they used it as a formal dining room. The table sat right in the pathway to get to the kitchen and the whole room felt awkward and crowded. But I can appreciate their dilemma now because now it is my dilemma. :) I am pretty pleased with where it is now. That will be coming soon.

Here we go, I found a better picture of the sponge painting. See what I mean about it looking dirty??

 The kitchen. Oh man, I can't even believe this was what things looked like only a few months ago. It looks completely different now. The cabinets were pretty damaged and of course had the water damage. What you can't see from this angle (but I know I have more pictures of so I will search) is that the sink was WAY off center from the window. It was so ugly and weird and it caused me A LOT of stress when planning. Also stressful was the fact that the stove and dishwasher are right next to each other and very difficult to place elsewhere without incurring a lot of expense. Oh, and do you see that weird strip of white in the floor? That was where the linoleum ran out and they had to put a seam in the middle of the kitchen. HIDEOUS and we were always tripping over it. Also--no pantry! See that tall cabinet at the end there? That was their pantry. No bueno. It was broken too. I really thought going into this house that we were going to paint these cabinets and make it work, but there were so many issues and in the end it didn't make sense not to try and rip it out while we had a rental house overlap of a month and a half. I'm glad we did it, but it was super duper stressful all the same. :)
 One of the things I mentioned we had to do was scrape the popcorn ceilings in the kitchen and laundry room. We only did the laundry room because it was super small and we wanted to see how hard it was to scrape and what it would look like with our amateur finishing powers.
 It was grunt work and the popcorn got everywhere, but the result was worth it. As for the rest of the house, well I would pay a professional to do it if I ever had the money because it makes a huge mess and your arms and back are super sore for days. But since we had to take down the flourescent light fixtures and you could see lines beneath it, we decided to go for it and I'm glad we did. It doesn't look professional, but it looks good enough for me. :)

 Here are those other angles of the kitchen that I knew I had somewhere. You can see that the appliances were actually pretty nice looking.

 Here you can see what I meant about the sink and the window. you can also see how close the dishwasher and oven were. They are still that close (closer in fact with only a panel of wood separating them now) but it kept costs down to keep them together and I felt getting the sink under the window would really help the kitchen look more normal. (Also, can you see the plug right next to the sink. What in the world were they thinking?? Now I have to deal with that. Ugh.)
 There's a nice close up of the floors. Take a close look folks, that there is original linoleum from the birth of this house. It's practically vintage (in the bad way).
 On the other side of the kitchen is this little bank of lower cabinets. I SO wanted to make this all open and change these cabinets into an island into the living room. This didn't happen for several reasons 1. cost (that terrible word again ha)--to tear down the wall and get it to work as an island would have been pricey and probably not even very useful because of the wall that is on the right side. 2. You can barely see that there is a countertop overhang from the window into the living room. I didn't like this for several reasons: it was super tall and my kids would never be able to use it, and it was really close to one of the doorways that you can see through the window. It blocked the flow and made the living room feel small and weird. I thought about filling in the window pass through, but it lets in a lot of light into the living room so I decided to keep it but take out the counter in the pass through portion. I don't know if that makes sense, but it will when I get to the after pictures. :)

Here you can see that I was trying to get an idea of whether blocking in the pass-through window was a good idea. Snowflake tablecloths are very good for that sort of thing.

Who said the Savages aren't scientific?? That tablecloth idea was obviously genius. (hangs head in shame).

Some more photos of the kitchen. I'm sure you're getting tired of them, but I can't get over how different things look now!

It also helps gives you an idea of the size of things and how it all went together. That doorway above is goes into the laundry room and then into the garage.

That, my friends, is a very small eat-in dining room. I knew I would have my work cut out for me because I knew I wouldn't be using the other room as a formal dining so I had to make it work.
Isn't the placement of that tall pantry cabinet so awkward?? I swear it was an add on.

So one night when I was there by myself I just took it down. It was super fun

until I saw this piece and realized that we really did have to replace the floor. Ah the memories.

I originally was planning on keeping the upper cabinets and was going to paint them to save money. That didn't work out because the shelves inside bowed when you put things in the middle. I seriously am unsure how the people before us were able to use this kitchen. It was in sad shape. I was discouraged about losing the upper cabinets for a long while, but we have decided to do open shelves until we can afford to add a couple of upper cabinets in the future.

Here is the laundry room. I was actually pretty excited that there were cabinets in here. We ended up taking a few of them down and installing an ikea pantry in here since it is right next to the kitchen and we knew we definitely needed the storage. The flooring in here stayed for now. Maybe someday it will get a cheap face-lift, but it doesn't bother me for now. :) Painting the room helped.

Now on to the living room. Here you can see what I meant about the countertop protruding into the family room and being really close to a doorway. That pass through window caused me a lot of sleepless nights.

The dark green caused nightmares. Just kidding. It wasn't too awful, just not my cup of tea. The room doesn't get all that much light because outside is a covered patio (which we love) and the room is sort of in the middle of all of the other rooms. So I decided it needed a nice bright color. My Mom and sister are probably shaking their heads in disgust, but I chose a crisp white in here to brighten things up.

 This room has also been difficult to figure out where to place furniture. In fact, I contacted one of my favorite bloggers and asked for her advice and she responded and gave me some great ideas! With all of the doors, windows, fireplace, etc. it was a challenge.

 This is the view coming from the entry. See that tiny bit of space next to the backdoor? That is where the previous owners had their t.v. See below.

 In my opinion it was terribly awkward. It was right in the way of the door and super off center and really far away from the couch on the other side of the room. I was REALLY happy when my sweet new blogger friend helped me out, she's a genius!!

This is the fourth bedroom. It's right next to the entry way, which you can kind of tell by looking up two photos. We are using it as a playroom/craft closet/guest room. You know, the usual. ha!

 The room that became Maddy's room. She begged for a pink room. I really became parent of the year in my book and finally gave in. I know, I know...I'm wiping away tears thinking of how generous I was too.
I called this room the smurf blue room. It was just too vibrant for my taste. I would have never been able to tackle this room's paint color (or Maddy's room, or our Master bedroom) without John's amazing Mom. She SAVED me. I love the color that is in there now.

 The kids' bathroom. It hasn't changed much. My kids like that instead of a lever it has buttons on the top to flush. Fancy.
You would think that me being the queen of white walls these days that I would have left this one alone. I actually strongly dislike white in bedrooms. It feels too cold. I am a blue bedroom girl all of the way and have been for many houses. It calms me right down and makes me feel cozy. So this room got changed. Also, interesting to me is that I think their bed was a king sized bed, but makes this room feel super tiny. We have a king sized bed but we placed it on a different wall and I think it feels bigger. But that may just be in my head.

 Last room on the tour is the master bathroom. Pretty standard stuff here. Someday I would like to paint and do something with the vanity.
 But I love the big tub. I'm a bath lover, so this was a big selling point for us.
 And last of all, here are the pictures of how the backyard looked with the previous owners furniture.

The backyard is actually smaller than the front yard, but is still a good size for us and our kids and we really like it. I haven't really come up with any schemes for making the yard cuter yet as I am still super focused on the house, but I'm sure we'll get to it someday.

WHEW!! You made it! You got through all of the ugly pictures (sorry to previous owners). :) Coming soon are the pretty pictures because gosh darn it, you earned it, and so did we!

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm back!! (for how long who can say)

 I disappeared for a long while. It's kinda weird coming back to tell you the truth. Maybe I should stay away from my blog forever and force myself to use the time wisely instead, but I just love having a record of our lives so I'm back. Besides, I miss it when my friends don't blog. I'm hoping someone out there missed me too! Anyway, we are moved. The house is still plagued by those boxes that are a mixture of good stuff and junk that you look at and feel too overwhelmed to try and dig through/find a place for. This weekend we are forcing ourselves to finish it all up. The garage is SCARY full of junk and I need it all done for my very special brand of sanity/crazy.
 Luckily these two seem to have transitioned pretty darn fine to the new house. I actually think having to do over the kitchen has helped with that because they were over here at the new house a TON before actually moving in so they got used to it gradually. G-money has had a few extra cry sessions, but overall I think we did great. I took them to froyo to celebrate after school the other day. These kids of mine are such keepers. Look at that smile!!
 It's not froyo unless it have twenty pounds of nerds and gummi worms on top. That is Maddy's world outlook.
 I made her come outside and sit on the front porch with me. She got freaked out by the sound of the cicadas. These city kids are gonna have to acclimate to having trees around.
 This is all going to be backwards. I don't have time to make it all beautified for you, as much as I might wish I did. We had to make our fun anyway we could during those last few weeks when most of the toys and stuff were packed.

 Yeah, some days we got REAL creative with the fun.

 Before we got moved over, my Mom and my cutie niece came for a visit. Here is Mads and Lylia having a first day of school picture together. They had the BEST time.
 Where did those long skinny girl legs come from??? (being picky about food is where. Eat, girl!)
 She lost a front tooth a few days before school and I feel like I sorta fell in love with her adorable face all over again. CUTEST GIRL IN THE WORLD alert.

 Grandma reading The Blur a few stories.
 holding hands like BFF cousins should

 Maddy's first grade room at her new school. she is loving it.

 Looks so fun and cozy
 I'm honestly not sure what this was about, but it looks like I've got a couple of yogis on my hands
 Maddy going to Horse Camp this year (courtesy of her Grandma and Grandpa Savage for her birthday) deserves an awesome post all by itself. I will get to that one of these days soon. To say she loved it might be the understatement of the year.
 Also, Grant would cry every time we picked her up because he didn't get to ride a horsey. It is tough being little I tell you what. Luckily Maddy let him try on her oh-so-stylish riding helmet....
 This was Maddy's horse for the week, Rose. Apparently Rose belonged to the teacher and was a pretty exceptional horse because she could do tricks. I was mostly impressed by how comfortable and confident Madeline was on a horse by the end of the week. She rode it around without anyone guiding the horse and could turn the horse, stop the horse, and lead the horse by herself. I'm sure it helps that the horses were probably the most obedient horses on the planet, but still. :)

 Yeehaw! A cowgirl just like her Grandma Savage!
 In non-horse-related news, here are some pictures to make you really jealous of the life I have led these past few months. This was actually a good day. It was the day the professional painter came to paint our living room and kitchen (because they both have pretty tall ceilings and are big rooms and I knew there was no way I would get it done before we moved in). He did an awesome job and now I know why people pay painters. He knocked these rooms out SO fast! Plus he looked sorta like Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins, so I sorta wanted to speak to him with a British accent all of the time and give him hugs like a long lost friend. It was complicated.

Grant sitting on a mountain of ikea kitchen cabinet boxes. That was actually the small pile. Did I mention how SMART it was to hire the ikea professional installers for that job too? All of the sudden I'm starting to realize why professional help is so helpful. It's called, YOU CAN'T GET NOTHING DONE WITH KIDS. Oh sorry, didn't mean to yell. It was more of an hallelujah thing there. I am so grateful we were able to hire people. We would have been stuck up a creek without a dang paddle if we had tried to do it ourselves. But having said that, we did do a lot by ourselves (and will be doing more by ourselves to finish).

 We DIY'ed the heck out of a lot of stuff--like we pulled up the linoleum floor (by we I mean John and some help from his Dad), but mostly John. He must have literally pulled over a thousand staples. I felt so bad for him. He was a trooper! We also scraped the popcorn ceilings in the laundry room and kitchen ourselves, patched, primed, and painted the ceiling (a HUGE job, each step of that). Took down the fluorescent light fixture and a weird kitchen fan. Dismantled all of the kitchen cabinets and removed them. Took down the eat in light fixture and replaced it with a craigslist- find light fixture. And cleaned up fifty million pounds of popcorn ceiling out of every nook and cranny. We also painted (mostly John's wonderful Mom and myself) Maddy's room, Grant's room, the Master Bedroom, the foyer, and the formal dining room. And a partridge in a pear tree. Oh and of course we did all of this plus packing and deep cleaning this place and the rental. was stressful. And my upper thighs are still sore from the lifting and scrubbing and all of that jazz.
 Ah, there you can barely see a bit of the water damage on the wall and floor. I had cleaned some of it up by this point and it's not very easy to see in this picture, but there was black mold in all sorts of places. It was not a happy place.
The kitchen color used to be that pink beige color. It wasn't the worst color. Peach is the worst color. But it was a cousin of peach and therefore almost the worst color. (although the entry way was chartreuse which might be a tie for worst color on a wall).

The good news is that our kitchen already looks MUCH better than these pictures already. We have new floors, new paint on the walls, and new base cabinets. The bad news is that we aren't quite finished yet and it will probably take a week or so to get there. Luckily it hasn't been as horrible as I feared living without a completely working kitchen. We're eating a lot of crockpot and Stouffers frozen dinner meals, but we're doing pretty good considering!

So I've got you sort of caught up. I have more kitchen updates to come and then maybe even some more house pictures if anyone is curious. We have all been working our tails off and I am starting to feel really pleased with how things are turning out. Now we just have to tackle the mountain of boxes and junk in the garage and then we might actually almost be normal again! Wish us luck!