March 30, 2011

Technical Difficulties

I know everyone in the blogosphere has been waiting anxiously for my next post of our house progress---uh NOT!--but I've been having problems uploading pictures. Everytime I try to upload a window comes up and says the web address cannot be found. Some kind of HTTP Error 400 or something. So no pics.

We have made great progress on the house though. The floors are completely done, and they look incredible! A new shower surround is in, plus new sparkling toilets too! Niiiice! (We got a great deal on the toilets on craigslist--both for $200, when one retails for about $260!) The most beautiful appliances in the world are also installed! I am seriously in love with the new range!!! I cannot wait to fire that thing up. We also have blinds in all of the windows on the front of the house and all of the newly painted cabinet doors and drawers in.

Some items still to do are tiling the backsplash in the kitchen, putting in the vent hood and microwave, doing some tiling in the master bath, putting bars up in the master closet, putting down baseboards and shoe moulding in some rooms, and lots of touching up and finishing off.

Our ETA at this point is exactly 9 days from now appropriately on Brian and mine 5th Wedding Anniversary! What a present--I mean who else has ever gotten a house for their anniversary! I am a blessed woman for sure! The house won't be in pristine condition at that point, a few of those to do's will be done after the big move in, but I'm excited that 1. WE'LL ALL BE TOGETHER AGAIN!!!!! 2. Our house will be 99% done and move in ready meaning Brian can take a break and 3. I can be there TO HELP!!!! I'll get to do some painting and assisting and maybe even some cutting with the chop saw???? :) Ok, maybe not that last one, having all my limbs is pretty important to me. But I will get to do a few fun things, plus get to live with and be with and cook for my entire family again! I can't wait!

As far as pictures on this here blog go...I'll keep trying. I have some good ones of the outside of the house rarin' to go.

March 12, 2011

We Have Floors!!!

My dad and I went to Starkville to help Brian today and it was great getting to see the house! Brian already had the living/dining room floor done, so I got a great view of what the wood looked like in the rest of the house. He did a great job and I'm in love with the way it all looks!

Workin hard.

Dad used one saw to cut the baseboards and shoe moulding, while Brian used the other to cut the floorboards to fit. They got a ton done! I, on the other hand, helped here and there and took some great pictures. :)

Brian laying the floor.

Brian also had the foyer done when we got there. Lookin' goooood!

I helped Brian do the playroom floor. I love how the floor makes the rooms look so finished!

And here's the living room lookin' great!

The next things on Brian's list are laying the floor in the bedrooms, finishing the baseboards and shoe moulding, and putting the shower surround in. After that there's a little tiling, some more painting, and switching out of faucets and lights, some finish work and we're DONE! Can't wait!

March 10, 2011

Floor Plan and Our To-do list

I thought it would be fun to post the floor plan of our house so that the most-likely confusing descriptions I wrote in the before tour would be straightened out.

Keep in mind this is a ROUGH floor plan and I made it in Paint, so it's not very high-tech.

I also wanted to post our exhaustive to-do list of "we wish we could one day do all of this" things for the house:

Already done:
Patch cracks in walls
Paint EVERYTHING inside
Fix attic ladder
Clean gutters
Take out wall pantry and make into shelves
Get pan for water heater
Build closet around water heater
Trim countertop and/or furr out wall to make room for refrigerator
Cut off desk
Paint fireplace brick
Get flu cap for fireplace
Enclose "drive through window"
Insulate interior walls
Rework electrical
Take nasty wall cabinets out of bathrooms and laundry room
Replace cabinet in laundry room
Rip out nasty carpet and linoleum
Lay tile in kitchen and laundry room

To be done before we move in:
Install new appliances
Replace master bath shower surround
Level living/dining room floor
Trim hedges
Replace cabinet hardware
Replace some lights
Install mantel
Replace switchplates
Do something to kitchen counters
Replace faucets throughout
Install laminate wood in rest of the house

To be done one day:
Build mudroom bench in laundry room closet
Install recessed lighting
Enclose carport
Paint exterior brick (maybe tan or light gray)
Paint shutters, trim, and outer doors(front door red, shutters and other doors dark charcoal gray, and trim crisp white)
Build privacy fence around backyard
Build a desk where the old one was
Build built in shelving in play room

That's a HUGE list! And I know that there are a few things that I've left off for sure!

As of last night Brian has started installing the wood floors, and though the start was a little rough, it got better as he went, so he'll be working on it the next few days. Also, I'm sooo excited because my dad and I are going to Starkville Saturday to help Brian. So not only do I get to see my hubbie and my house that is newly painted, but I get to HELP!!!! I can't wait! I'll be sure to get some pics--maybe even some action shots. :)

March 8, 2011

During Part 3: BIG CHANGES!!!

Unbelieveably this is my FOURTH post in two days! I guess I'm on a roll. Actually, the kids have been playing really well--Jack is building and rebuilding forts, Ali Grace is taking her baby to the doctor for a shot, and Kate is taking a nap--so I'm using the time I have to get this done while I'm excited about it.

Let me say a little bit about paint here: IT IS HARD TO PICK!!! Seriously, I've always thought of myself as pretty decisive (Brian is rolling his eyes and laughing at me right now) at least when it comes to design choices. I just knew that I'd be the type to pick out all of the colors in one fail swoop, hand them over to Brian way before he needed them, and move on. BUT NO! I did find great colors, got samples, painted squares of posterboard, and brought them to the house on closing day fully prepared to love them and that would be it. BUT they all looked awful and my confidence in picking paint colors was shattered! SO dramatic and tramatic I know!

So I picked myself up off the floor and started over. What really helped was that I found the paint colors that several of the bloggers I love used in their homes, looked at their pictures, and then did a google images search of those colors and some similar. I was looking for a gray/blue/little bit green color and shades similar to that for most of the house and one blogger in particular ( had those very colors in her house!!! So I went to Sherwin-Williams to find the colors she had, and lo and behold they were perfect! So that's the long story of how I finally found my colors. Look online and then find the swatches in the stores--that's my new method.

So then two weekends ago Brian stayed in Starkville to get the house painted, and thanks to his hard work and the help of our great friends--Thanks Butch, Danny, Kane, and Hayden!!!--he got it all done in about 2 1/2 days! WOW! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the colors!

The kitchen color is Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams. It is the lightest color we used, and it is just what I wanted--something airy and bright, but not too baby blue.

The cabinet/trim/door color in the whole house is Gypsum by Olympic at Lowes. I wanted a creamy white without too much yellow, and Brian said the paint mixer put verrry little tint in it--he had to check that it even mixed right because it looked so similar to the base color. It looks so clean and fresh to me! I absolutely adore white kitchens and I'm so excited about having one!

Brian really wanted a dark gray for the living room, but all of my previous choices were way too blue (I was still sorta trying for a gray-blue) but once I just went all gray and found this color it looked much better. The color is Gray Matters by SW. I love the contrast of the gray and white, especially with the fireplace which looks 100000000% better!

Here's another wall. I was scared that the gray would be too dark, but once we get all of our furniture in here I think it will look great!
By the way, we're going to use this room as the living room and dining room. The back part in front of the fireplace will have our new white slipcovered sofa, TV, and eventually 2 chairs, while the front of the room under the chandelier will be the dining area.

The "front room" as we've been calling this is going to be our playroom/craft room/homeschooling room. I want to have some shelving for storage, a craft table, a huge chalkboard, a small sofa, and a children's table in here. I'm super excited about this room!!! I've always wanted a devoted craft/school room!
The color in here is one shade darker than the kitchen color, it's Comfort Gray by SW.
In the middle of the room you can see our new dining room chairs--we got a GRRREAT deal on these babies! They are wood country style with upholstered seats and used to be at the Walt Disney World Carribean Resort. We found them on Craigslist for $25 each! SCORE! We're going to paint them white.

The hall is the same gray as the living/dining room.

Jack's room was a little shocking for me--a little bright. :) But I'm rolling with it and I have plans for it that might help a little. The color is Acapulco Cliffs by Olympic.

The girls' room is a light pink called Irish Lace by Olympic. Very subtle and sweet.

Our Master bedroom color is the darkest shade we used on the same swatch as the kitchen and playroom colors called Oyster Bay by SW.

And this, my friends, is the brand-spanking new tile floor in the kitchen! Brian and Butch tiled it Friday night. Butch stuck it out until almost midnight, and Brian finished at around dawn Saturday morning. We chose a really dark charcoal color with some copper, blue and green accents in it. It looks incredible!

That is what the house looks like as of today. I am blown away by the progress that Brian has made in such a short time! (We closed on January 21, and today, March 8, we are almost done!!!!) All that is left to do is install laminate wood floors in the rest of the house, do some tiling, and replace things like faucets and blinds. Then we can move in!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!

Thanks for sticking with me through these crazy long posts! I'm just so excited and want to document each step of this awesome tranformation and all of Brian's great work!

During Part 2: Reconstruction

After getting all of the ripping out done, we had to decide what to build back and what to leave for later. It has been a challenge balancing what we want done with what HAS to be done so we can move in. Especially after being apart for so long (it's been almost 10 months as of today) we wanted to make sure we wouldn't be getting in over our heads and have too many complicated projects going, making the renovation last waaay too long.
So Brian and I sat down and wrote down every.single.thing. we ever wanted done to the house and then we scaled back and prioritized the most crucial and less extensive projects to be done now. We decided that painting the outside of the house, enclosing the carport, and replacing all of the panelling in the house were all things that we could do one day while insulating interior walls, changing some electrical, painting, and new flooring were all things that were more necessary right now. And so the reconstruction started.

I have to take a minute here to brag a little on my wonderful husband. He is talented in so many ways, and he has single-handedly done demo, electrical, sheetrock, insulation, cleaning, building, plumbing, painting, tiling, and probably a ton more that I don't even know about! I am so thankful for him and all of the effort he has put into this house for us! He works hard all day and then goes to the house and works until late at night every day, even sacrificing some weekends seeing us so that he can get things done. He keeps his eyes on the goal of getting our family back together as soon as possible, and works at it as hard as possible no matter what. I love him and boy I can't wait to live with him again! :) :) :)

So here's some of that talent in concrete form:

The living room in a little chaos.

The drive-through window is GONE!!! Though the trend today is to open rooms as much as possible, we decided that this opening was too odd and poorly done to keep. It looks much more complete and polished without it.

We also decided to put more of a doorway and less of an opening between the kitchen and living room so we could use two different paint colors and make it match the rest of the house. (The opening here was the only one of its kind in the whole house.)

Here it is with the paneling up.

Once the wall oven was gone we weren't sure what to do with the huge hole in the cabinetry. When we decided to get rid of the microwave that served as the vent hood, we decided to get a counter microwave and put in where the oven had been. Brian built a shelf for it, and the lower part will stay open for some display space.

Here's the kitchen side of where the drive-through was. Once it was closed we had to decide what to put below the teeny cabinet that had been over it--rip it out? leave it? build something? We finally decided to build a shelf below it to make it even with the rest of the wall cabinets. More display space for some pretties. The refrigerator will be to the right of the shelf on the way out of the kitchen.

In the laundry room we needed to enclose the water heater so that "someone" *cough-AliGrace-cough* wouldn't maybe blow up the house or something one day when she wanted to play with the water heater. Of course none of our angel children would do that. :)

So Brian built a closet.

And here is the mater bathroom with some added insulation. The other side of this back wall is the living room and there wasn't anything between there, so a little added sound insulation was a nice addition. He also insulated the other bathroom, and between the bedrooms. Being able to hear less noise is always welcome in a house with noisy babies and kids.

With the reconstruction done (this all took a few weeks) all of us were super eager to paint and see some dramatic change happening! I'll post some pictures of the painted rooms in all their glory soon.

March 7, 2011

During Part 1: DEMO!!!!

The first order of business was of course to get rid of as much of the 70's as possible! Brian ripped out, took off, and tore up everything that we didn't want, starting with the carpet.

After finding out that the lovely wall oven didn't work, the glass on the oven door was cracked, and the dishwasher was going to have to come out to paint we decided to take them all out and start over.

I am using the word "we" very loosely, since Brian has done 99.99999% of everything in the house. :) However, a couple of weeks into the demo my dad and I were able to go up to help Brian clean and clear up all of the debris. We also got to wash down all of the walls and cabinets to get ready for painting.

Originally I wanted the desk just chopped off even with the wall behind it, but once Brian got started cutting there was no way any of it would work so now the whole thing is gone. And it looks so much better now.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh No more carpet! And no more disgusting 30-year-old drapes.

The drive through window is on it's way out.

The front room lost its lovely drapes too.

Here's the master bathroom after taking down a huge 3 part medicine cabinet framed in gaudy goldish metal. We're thinking about keeping the light fixture, it is an antique after, nevermind.

We had to take all of the shower wall tile because a lot of it had leaked behind to the sheetrock. This is all that's left.

Next post I'll put up pictures of some of the new construction, and that will get us almost to what it looks like now.

The New and Soon to be Improved Chisholm Casa

It's been a loooonnng time since I've posted anything, and I have a good excuse! This whole living with my parents/apart from Brian/not having our own house and space/trying to sell our house/buy a new house/etc... thing has been a little distracting and made me very unfocused to say the least. But I realized today that we'll be moving into our new house in a matter of weeks and I'll probably be even more scatter-brained once we're there, at least for a while. So I got together all of the before pics of our new house to show you, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll post a couple of batches of "during" pics, and then ultimately the !!!we're moved in!!! celebration "after" pics.

The funny thing about this house is that the first time we looked at it we were dead set on buying another house, so I wasn't too fond of this one, and didn't pay close attention to it. Then later when the other house didn't work out this one came back on our radar and we ended up buying it before I even saw it in person again. Needless to say, there was a little nervousness--and a LOT of questions on my part ("Was this the one with the leaky roof and the weird door to nowhere?" "No?, OK good.") but I trust Brian completely, and when he gave me his seal of approval I was all in! And now that improvements are under-way I think this house is THE PERFECT ONE for us!

Without further ado....Our new casa...(minus pics of the exterior, we don't have any yet)...

The carport door(on the left) opens into the kitchen, this will probably be the door we use the most. The house came with beeeautiful avocado appliances, brown vinyl tile, and chipped white painted cabinets in the kitchen. Niiiice!

The door on the right leads to the backyard, and the tiny sliver of a doorway you can see behind the open carport door leads to the laundry room.

The other side of the kitchen. Loooove the fun "drive-thru" window looking into the living room! The doorway to the right is into the dining room, that we call the front room, and the one straight ahead is to the living room. That island/peninsula/desk extension gave me hives as soon as I saw it! It has to GO! :)
I really love the space in the kitchen, and can't wait to use it without that hideous desk sticking out into the middle of it! It feels very homey to me, and it has good flow with the laundry room on one side and the living room on the other and access the to front room too. I also really like the exterior doors in here, I have been imagining the kids running in and out through here as I cook and watch them out of the window over the sink.

Laundry room. Avocado and Harvest gold live on! Or at least they will for a little bit longer!

Blog friends, meet hideous thirty-year-old lime green carpet. Carpet, meet friends. Don't you love it? Don't you want some? I know you're jealous. It's ok. :)
Yeah this stuff covers about 80% of the floors in the house. Another case of love and first sight for sure.
Oh yeah, that's the living room. I love how big it is--lots of potential--great fireplace, french doors, and nice big windows. The back part of the room past the beam thing in the middle was an addition, and I'm so glad it's there, it makes this room!

Another view of the living room. The door straight ahead goes the the hallway and there is a doorway leading the the foyer just the the right of the hall door.

The view from the living room into the kitchen. The "drive thru" again and the other end of the weird desk thing.

The front room. I think they used itas the dining room, but it's a HUGE room, something like 23X12, so we'll probably use it differently. This is the view when you're standing in the kitchen right next to the desk.

The other end of the front room opens into the foyer, so it's the first room you see when you come in the front door. Lots of room! I can't go on without commenting on the curtains in here. I mean I thought the avocado/harvest gold combo was bad, but this lime green/dusty pink takes the cake for sure!

The smallish foyer. One of the oddities of this house is that the door on the front of the house is a double door, so you expect a big foyer, but when you get inside you realize that one side is a faux door and you get this entrance. I was a little confused the first time we walked through here. But I really like the double doors on the outside, and I'm glad we're not wasting too much square footage on a foyer we probably wouldn't use, so it's win-win.

The hall/kids bathroom is on the left side of the hall. It's small, but actually bigger than the one in our last house with much more counter space and storage.

The first bedroom on the right with lovely linoleum and scalloped roller shades.

The second, and last, bedroom on the right with the ever-present lime green carpet and another roller shade.

And finally the master bedroom, carpet again, odd and ugly window treatments. Niiice! It does have a large-for-this-era walkin closet and a master bath, but I don't have pics of those yet. It gets a fair amount of light though it doesn't have the nice big windows that the front of the house has and I think there will be enough roon for our king bed. We'll see! :)

So that's our house--or it was our house--it has undergone several changes since these were taken a month and a half ago. Sadly, most of the rooms actually looked better stripped down and torn apart. I'll make a very big effort to have some "during" pics posted soon so you can see the vast improvement concrete, bare windows and stud walls are on 70's decor! I know you can't wait!