Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our house to yours :) ...!
PS - We've owned this home exactly ONE year - oh, the things we have learned and adventures we've had!

A paper chain for the window ...

A little magic for the holidays = a paper chain hanging in the window!

Make one at your house:
Cut each strip 1 1/2 inches wide by 10 1/2 inches long ... tape together!
Hang in the window. Enjoy!

A moment with the laundry ...

Check out the old cinder block walls down in the basement ... :) We have plans for this part of the house and we're working on it this weekend - yahooo! For the record - I love my new washer and dryer. And I love that they stack because it saves room!

Winter Mode.

Welcome ...

I love how the snow piles up on these old windows ...

More burrrrrrrr ....

More snow piles in the windows ...
Little note: We have 2 chimneys in this house - one the pipes out on the middle floor and one in the basement. One of these years - we'll get a pellet stove going! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking back ... (with AWE and appreciation!)

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
- Victor Hugo
I think we can ... I think we can ... I think we can! Check out that old place - we can make it GREAT! :)

Oh the things we've learned!!

The dining room (the way it was) ...

The first time I walked through the house - I snapped a few photos ... This is one of them!
I remember thinking - "Lots of potential ... and wow, too much brown!"

Ripping up the old carpet in the upstairs hallway - The old carpet was so gross!

It was great to see the hardwood floors underneath the old carpet - they were so thrashed and worn out. Part of me wanted to salvage the floors and leave them wood but after refinishing the floors downstairs and in 2 of the upstairs bedrooms, my husband and I decided carpet was the best option! And we love it.

The hardwood floors (finished in the dining room) .... This was by far the hardest part of our restore and restyle project! :) But we love how they turned out!

Look at those floors - distressed and oh so beautiful!

During the refinish process - we had to sand them at least 5 times and the vacuum ran non-stop for about a week. I can still hear it ... And the sand/dust was unbelievable.

The stain, the tray, the sticks, the gloves, the wool application mop ... a mess and a ton of work!

My Hero! This amazing husband of mine works harder than anyone I know. He truly inspires me! We refinished 2 bedroom floors upstairs and this was one of them. I love that he is not afraid to dig into something and figure out how to make it work!

The dust from sanding the floors - it went everywhere. This was the biggest mess ever!

We rented a few machines to help us refinish the floors - they were loud, and created such a mess. I think the entire neighborhood could hear the noise and see the dust flying from the windows.

Choosing the stain/finish for the floors. We ended up using English Chestnut ... and love it.

The floors ... Before we refinished them.

When you refinish hardwood floors, you have to remove the previous seal/stain or the new stain will not adhere to the floor. We used a variety of machines to strip the old stuff off.

The basement stairs ... before carpet.

The tile floor in the kitchen (before grout)

Putting down the sub flooring ...

Texture day ... we textured most of the walls in the house and love how new and fresh it made the place!

We built an entry way from the living room to the dining room ... At this time, we had no working lights in the house! We used one big utility light to work at night ... It was cold and dark :)!

The mud, the tools, the mess ... amazing when I think back on how crazy it was at times!

This brick wall had to come down! This was a crazy adventure and I thought it might crush me! Luckily, a neighbor was home to come help Tory and I get it down ... It crashed to the floor!

800 pound brick wall - going down.

Digging up the kitchen floor. There must have been at least 2,000 nails in this floor and about 4 layers of old flooring. Our goal was to dig it all up and lay new sub flooring. This project took about 2 weeks! I can still hear the hammering and see the mess!
The floor at level 2 - this was a huge job.

The kitchen cabinets - drying in the front room. :)

We pulled all the carpet off the stairs going up ... The wood under the carpet was old and too thrashed to restore them. We left the tack strip on so it would be easier for the carpet guys to put down the new stuff. It was a bit crazy for a few months - "Watch out for that tack strip! Don't step on it!"

The kitchen. I love how this old kitchen turned out - it is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house!
The bathroom - all torn up!

We didn't like the popcorn ceiling in the front room and dining room so we took shovels and scraped off as much 'popcorn' as possible. Then my husband, Dad and my brother Rob stayed up late one night mudding the entire ceiling.

Old contact paper from the kitchen cabinets ... bye bye old stuff!
The front room - in the midst of change!

The kitchen ... going through a major makeover.

New windows! :) This was such a magical day...!

Look at those new windows ... beautiful!

Working in the kitchen :) ... I love how this kitchen turned out!

The way it was ... :) Check out that old front door.

Yipes - digging into the kitchen walls ...
This old (new) house of ours has been a great blessing to our family in many ways and I am so thankful for all the things we have learned through it together. We love this old place and feel so grateful for how it is turning out!

Amazing the stuff you can accomplish with a dream and a lot of hard work :) ...

And to all of you who follow this blog - thanks for stopping in - I appreciate the encouragement!
PS: There is still a ton to do on this old place ... so stay tuned!