Well, it's been a full 6 months since we moved into our very first house! Adam and I have been married for 2 years now, and we have lived in 2 places together... hmmm... so far we are on track with Grandma and Grandpa! Hahaha!
When we were looking for houses, we knew we wanted our home to be a home for many years. Therefore, we needed it to be large enough to grow into, but also something we can afford at our current salaries. We BOTH knew this was the house from the first few moments inside! Not only were the colors charming and fun, but the condition of the house was clean and surprisingly great for the age of the home (built 1985, as old as me!). The price, in the end, was also about 50K less than what we could technically afford, so a fabulous deal for us! Upon moving in, there were a few main projects that popped out as PRIORITIES:
The SHUTTERS and DOORS
The DECK and BACKYARD
The DINING ROOM
Let's start with the front of the house, the SHUTTERS and DOORS, which actually is the last project completed thus far! From the very first look, I really hated the burnt burgundy color used on the shutters and doors. It seemed so DULL compared to most of the colors inside of the house, plus, it just wasn't our taste! We ended up purchasing the paint and the stain for the deck within the first couple of weeks after moving in, so when we were finally ready to paint, we were ready! I really LOVE the result and think the blue is a wonderful happy pop for the front of our home... WELCOME!
The very first project we (and by we, I mean, mostly Adam!) tackled was the DECK and BACKYARD. We began with that because it was very necessary! After raking up 50+ bags of leaves, we saw that the deck was in desperate need of major help. The deck seemed to be original to the house, and not very well maintained. We thought we could just sand it and re-stain it, but when Adam started , the boards were splintering and almost peeling... so, with one wedge of a crowbar, and a little frustration, the first board was thrown into the yard. Adam had never really built anything before... but, with a little help from our wonderful new neighbor, one board at a time, he re-built the deck! He worked for several weeks, pretty much every weekend and every weeknight, often in the rain... it became a mini obsession! But the results are amazing! Once the deck was functional and almost done, we began thinking of how to EXTEND the space so we can seat at least four people at an outdoor eating area. The size of the deck just wouldn't fit a four person table, so we found a cute two-seater bar-height table and a chimnea (for a lovely fire on a brisk night). We enjoyed that together and brainstormed the thought of a patio space. At that moment, the project grew! One truckload and 4 card loads of concrete stones, one truckload of dirt, a pallet of sod, gravel, paver stones, a diamond blade in our neighbor's magic saw, lots of dirt pounding, and golly knows a bunch of sweat later... our patio emerged! Accompanying the new deck, the patio, complete with a fire pit and a cute round patio space for a cute table, was ready and we were enjoying our new outdoor space in a matter of about 4 months! I am so proud of what Adam accomplished and I am still a little in awe of how he was able to do it! And I bet you are wondering, what the heck was I doing? Well... I helped stain the deck (sheepish smile)... and supplied moral support and cold beverages! And a small comment on the blue color of the deck... We imagined blue color scheme to bring in the blue from the shutters. Honestly, it seemed a little weird at first when we started staining (kind of a "whuh oh, what have we done!?" moment), but once all finished, we have grown to love it. It's different, but so are we!
Ok, so before you think Adam did everything... Me, myself and I redid the DINING ROOM! I HATED the dull green of the dining room. Certainly not keeping with the fun bright colors in the rest of the house, so, I took a bit of color from the light fixture and VOILA! Lovely! Then, I hand cut and liquid nailed each little box to the wall under the chair rail to add a little bit of a formal feel to balance out the fun of the color. I think they turned out near perfectly! I also used some silk taffeta I've been saving for years to make the curtains. My mom and I found the fabric for the seats on the chairs and a little bit of GOLD spray paint later (inspired by the Master Blogger herself!) the dining room made me happy!
And finally, a few update photos from the first visit from Grandma and Grandpa several months ago. The bed frame in our bedroom has been painted white and new bedding from TheCompanyStore.com makes the room much brighter. New pillows and shelves in the living room and we painted the chair rail white in the kitchen. Nothing earth shattering, just little stuff!
SHEWWW! We are tired! We've learned a lot from these projects, but mainly this one lesson seems to stick out: Come up with a figure of how much you THINK the project will cost, and then TRIPLE it! Estimate how many trips to the hardware store you will make, and then, TRIPLE it!
Knobs on the cabinets in the kitchen
Furniture for the guest bedroom upstairs
The Man Cave SHED!
But for now, we are enjoying the summer and taking a BREAK from house stuff!
Erica, Adam and Pete Kitty
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