Friday, July 14, 2017

More new house projects

Our new house's front exterior wall has a brick (thin brick) facade and was pinkish. It really stood out, and I didn't like it so we had our contractor paint it. We studied color choices for a while; though some people suggested white (the house is white), we wanted to go for a stone look so we chose gray. Okaaay. So many shades of gray: I really liked Stone Fireplace, but the consensus was that it was too dark, so we looked at a number of lighter shades of gray and decided on Harp Strings. It looks good--certainly an improvement--though it's possible that we could have gone a little darker. However, it was so close to the line that it might have been too dark, so we're satisfied with this. (Often you can't tell until it's done, and we could have spent a lot of time experimenting...) Oh, he prepped it with tsp 'cause it was a little chalky.

The tree trimmers (two men) took down a small tree and pruned back another one in the back yard the other day, and the next day they tackled the big oak out front; since it was such a big project there were four guys and at least three chain saws. The guy who went up the ladder put on a harness for safety; then he began cutting off big branches--some of them trunk size--and dropping them. Some of them really went THUNK when they hit the ground; then the other guys sawed them up and piled everything on a long flatbed trailer. You wouldn't think that all of that would fit, but they trampled it down periodically; the big pieces helped weigh it down too. I watched from a front window--very impressive; and most of the men were older and they carried lots of big pieces of trunk to the trailer. They did a good job of cleaning up too--branches of all sizes--and they also raked. 

I got grass seed (Bahia) yesterday and started planting it 'cause we have mostly weeds out front and in some places out back. I hope it rains on it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Small kitchens (link)

This small kitchen design idea from focuses on an open floor plan. Our new small kitchen already had an open floor plan--it's open to the living room--and we only have room for a small table and chairs, plus a table for the cat food dishes and treat cannister. There is enough room near it for the dog food dishes and two pet food bins (one for cats and one for dogs), and we have a waste basket. So, actually, we have enough room to move around when cooking, though there's not much counter space. Still, it works. (We did have to get rid of our old heirloom table; we used to have a dining room.) For ideas for your small kitchen, see these small kitchen design ideas

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

We have a new roof!

We got our three roofing estimates--all good and known to us, but we chose one that a friend had just used and recommended. Then we had to choose the color (we studied the samples carefully; it had to work with the house) and the type of shingle; we went with Antique Silver (Owen Corning 30 year Ark type). This should stand up to time and hurricanes. (These shingles should stand up to 110 mph winds.) 

The estimate included shingles, flashing, and felt--and removal of old roof.  Repairs are extra and we had to have some work done... The work took almost three days; it was slowed down a bit by storms (rain, lightning, and loud thunder boomers), but mostly the guys kept working. And now it's done. It looks good, and we feel secure 'cause it rains almost every day during our rainy season.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fire pit ideas (link)

Here are some beautiful fire pit ideas from 30 Backyard Fire Pit Designs 

I want a fire pit for my backyard; I think I prefer round to square, and I definitely want a wood-burning one for the look and smell--and toasting marshmallows and roasting wieners.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Downsizing (link)

Here are some helpful suggestions from for when you need to downsize: Things to consider before you downsize

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Outdoor disguises (link)

Here are some suggestions from on how to cover up nuisances outside and improve your landscape: 10 ideas for your outdoors

I need to hide a compost bin; the backyard is too new and bare. Maybe that fake bush would work...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Renovation mistakes to avoid (link)

Measure twice, cut once, etc. Making a plan and avoiding mistakes. From Reno Mistakes That Could Cost You

Yes! And don't gut everything just because you see those flippers with sledge hammers on "reality" shows. And every time you decide to remove something that was trendy back in the day, think twice about today's trends!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Remodeling update

Replacing the carpet in the living room was a really big project. The adhesive was stubborn! Our contractor had to rent a machine and do a lot of manual scraping besides to get rid of it, but the porcelain tile floor is beautiful! It's American Olean Stoneview Sky Gray/Matte; the tiles are 12 by 24 (actually 23,81 by 11.81). It's a wavy gray pattern, and we love it. Oh, the last two boxes of tile had broken and cracked tiles so he had to run down to Lowe's to get more. Fortunately they were in stock!

Then he finished our brick accent wall in the foyer; we had to order more bricks because we ran out. It is impressive; the bricks (1/2" thin brick) are tumbled so it looks old, though you do notice some of the white wall behind it because they are tumbled.... It's on the wall with the door so you don't see it until you turn around. We mixed the colors: Dixie Clay and Boston Mill (separate boxes). Btw, our contractor was James Stewart, who was patient and thorough, and we appreciate his help in making our house a home.

Next up was the screened back porch; that took several days because it kept storming; the guys were often wet, but they persevered and finished up late one night (before dark though). Today we bought two troughs for the downspouts and a door mat for the back screened door. I want to get an outdoor rug or two to dress it up--and a table for eating out there that's weather proof. 

Next up: Choosing a roofer.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Interesting ways to use wallpaper (link)

Check out the variety of ways you can use wallpaper besides on your walls: Wallpaper It 

I don't even want to think about trying to apply it to a ceiling! But I came across some old wallpaper recently that is pretty and subtle. I have yet to figure out how or where to use it. I need to line some drawers and cabinets, but this won't work for that... I'll have to look at it again--and these ideas.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Moving in update

We're keeping our contractor busy as we add extra projects to the original list! The microwave is installed--we didn't have one--but it had to be lowered so I didn't need to stand on my tippytoes to see inside. We had to remove the cabinet doors that flanked the stove top hood for that project so we removed a pair of cabinet doors on the adjacent wall to match that open shelving. That also freed up the cabinet pulls that we were running short of. We now have three different cabinet pulls in the kitchen: bin pulls, bar pulls, and knobs, but they match. (I think it looks cool!).  

Then we had him remove the door to the garage in the kitchen which gives us more room in that corner, and it looks much better without the old door. He had to add trim to hide the changes caused by removing the four cabinet doors; then he painted the trim, the dry wall that replaced the door, and after that he painted the garage walls. The garage is much lighter now; we can see everything better.

We ran out of bricks for our brick accent wall in the foyer, but we've ordered more; and the next big project will be removing the carpet in the living room and replacing it with tile...