Monday, November 24, 2008

Kitchen Design

Ok. I've gone through all my magazine clippings and books and spent the morning designing our kitchen (don't tell my boss)! Here's what it's going to look like, I hope. I still need to confirm some measurements and tweak a few things, but I think this is pretty close. The colors aren't exact, but they're an idea (I didn't feel like trying figure out the ideal colors in photoshop).

Stove, hood, and cabinets.

Apron sink, dishwasher, and cabinets.

Fridge, cabinets, and flour bin (bottom cabinet).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Dream Kitchen

I can't stop thinking about our kitchen. I go to bed thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it. Right now it's a blank canvas. We can do anything we want with it. Well maybe only in the land where money grows on trees, but you know what I mean. It's very exciting. The kitchen came with absolutely no appliances and a set of ugly, cheap cabinets, so we have to pick out everything. I found some great Frigidaire appliances that all have a retro feel to them, although they're defiantly not antique looking. It's funny how the older things look, the more expensive they are. I'd love to have antique appliances, but that's WAY out of our budget. My mom has supplied me with enough magazine clippings to last a year, but I'm learning we have very similar tastes which makes researching much easier for me. I bought a great book called Bungalow Kitchens that is full of beautiful, inspiring picture of restored bungalow kitchens. Our kitchen obviously isn't going to be obsessively restored to an original state, but I would like to keep that old bungalow feel. Here are some of my magazine inspirations:

I want wood counter tops and black and white tile floors (not painted wood floors like this picture though).

I LOVE everything about this kitchen, especially the colors.

I like the subway tiles for the bachsplash.

I like the feel of this old kitchen.

Another favorite. Can you tell I like green?

This is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house.

Our fridge!!

Our dishwasher
Our stove. (it's got a convection oven!)

Apron sink from Ikea (there's a single bowl one that I want, cause this might be too large)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


We made a lot of progress this weekend on the floors. My dad finished leveling all the floors where the hardwood is going to be installed, so it was time to put on the plywood. My coworker, who has been nice enough to stop by often to give us advice on what to do with the house, loaned us his air compressor, nail gun, and staple gun. Then Javier and Jose went to work, re-nailing the existing floor boards, cutting the plywood to fit, and gluing and stapling it onto the floors. I think they were extremely happy the have the nail and staple guns, because doing that by hand would have taken forever. It was a long, hard weekend, but it looks great already and now we're just waiting on the hardwood! We also had a plumber/electrician come by to take a look at redoing a lot of the kitchen/pantry stuff before we cover up those floors. It was pretty much a mess under the kitchen and pantry floors, so my dad's been working extremely hard removing rotted wood and making everything stronger. We're definitely goings to have to have a big thank you party for everyone whose helped out so much!

My dad with a piece of rotted, termite infested wood from the foundation.

Javier stapling in the floors.

Jose nailing the existing flooring down to make it sturdier.

Closing up the hole in the floor.

Nailing in the plywood.

Break time.

Cake time.

Our first casualty.

Me, posing on our new floors.

Making the final measurements.

The completed floors with the hard working guys.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Want Chickens!

As soon as we're ready, I'm going to make a chicken coop and buy some pretty little chicks! I want the really cool, colorful kind with feathers on their feet and green or brown eggs. I also want a tortoise, a dog, and a bunny, but I think Jose's not going to go for that. I'll have to settle for chickens...and a dog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm A Stripper

Yep. You heard me. I'm a stripper now. Student by day, stripper by night. How cliche. Each night I come home and strip layer after layer...of paint, that is! Somehow I got it in my head that I wanted to strip the paint off ALL the wood trim in the house! Crazy, I know, but it's going to look great. The house is from the Arts and Crafts era and so it has wide, square trim that lived the window of the doors and windows. It's all original redwood, so leaving it covered in paint just doesn't do it justice. My mom, Chris, has actually done as much if not more of the stripping as I have, which is great because it takes FOREVER! There's 86 years of paint layers on that wood. It is pretty cool though to see what it was painted over the years. My personal favorite is the original light green color under the dark green, under the tan, under yellow, under multiple layers of white. It's going to take a long time to get it all off, but we'll just do one room at a time. I'm not in a rush, I just want it to look good. Once we finally move in I think it will be easier to just come home in the evening and do a little stripping whenever the mood strikes!

The paint beginning to bubble.

It would be great if it always came off this easily. Usually it's stubborn.

Two doors semi-done in the kitchen. They still need a lot of work, but it's a good idea of what it's going to look like finished.

My moms a stripper too!

This is the WORST place to strip. It's horrible.

My mom in action.

Attempting to strip the paint off an old hinge in the kitchen. Why would someone paint over something so beautiful?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That Sinking Feeling.

Our house is old. 1922 old. And with old houses there's a lot of settling that goes on over time. When we first moved in there was a weird lump in the middle of the dining room. It felt like someone shoved a dead cat under the floor or something. It obviously wasn't that (ew, gross) but it was a result of the walls all settling while the center of the floor stayed in place. The whole house had sloping floors, and in some areas the level of the floor was an inch lower or higher than other areas. Some people suggested we do a quick fix and just fill in the low parts when we did the new floors, but nope. With some good suggestions from my dad and my boss, we decided the best thing to do was to squeeze under the house and jack up the house pier by pier and adjust the levels. Well, I didn't go under there, but I think my dad has spent 2 straight weeks under there (probably not good for his bronchitis), along with Jose. They've done a great job, though, and the front windows even open now!! I can't believe how much work they've done on it. How do dads just know what to do?

My dad is under there somewhere.

There's my dad!

House jacks lifting up the joists so the piers can be removed and cut to the right height.

Jose getting ready to squeeze under the floor through the hole in the dining room.

Jose removing nails from the piers.

Our newly leveled floors. (the windows in the background actually open now)


It's funny. Every rental place I've ever lived in had boring white walls that I wasn't allowed to paint. I couldn't wait till the day I got my own place where I could paint it any bright, wonderful colors I wanted. So what do I do as soon as we get this house? I painted over the soft yellow colored walls with WHITE paint! I know, I know. It's crazy. But it's only temporary until I have time to really pick out a great color palette without feeling rushed. We're also stripping all the woodwork in the house (that's a whole other post to come) so I don't want to do the final painting until that's done. And I have to admit, the new white paint does make the place look cleaner, but still, I can't help but find the white paint a bit ironic.

Molly, my sister, painting the front room (or getting ready to stab someone with the paint brush).

My mom, Chris, the expert painter. Note the old yellow wall above her.

The Floors From Hell...dun, dun, DUN

When we first got the house, we were told that the flooring was just vinyl and carpet (gross, ugly carpet). But we knew that houses that old usually have wood floors, so we dug out a little piece of the particle board under the carpet and there it was! A little corner of painted wood floors just waiting to be refinished! We were so excited until we proceeded to rip out one whole room of terrible, terrible particle board nailed every 4" on center with evil ribbed nails. But we were uncovering the wood floors excitedly until...what's that? A glimmer of light peaking through from underneath the floor boards. And that only means one thing. These old floors had no subfloor under them. Tons of little cracks in the floors would let cold air and creepy crawly thing into the house if we used them as is. And so our excitement was short lived, and now we're back to square one. We won't have original hardwood floors anymore and we'll have to have new wood floors installed. Not the end of the world, but old floors would have been cool...and a lot cheaper.

The original dirty, ugly carpets.

Jose ripping out the particle board.

Jose and his dad, Javier, taking out wood scraps.

Molly removing stubborn screws in the floors. (screw drivers wouldn't work)

Javier and my dad, Mike removing the hardest floor of them all in the kitchen. (the shingles on the floor are to compensate for the bad sloping from one side of the room to the other)

Mike taking a break after ripping out the wet flooring under the water heater.

The uncovered original painted wood floors. They would have been so nice :(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Well, here it is... a photo blog all about our adventures in our first home and the land of grown-up! Since I didn't have my camera for a while, my mom has been kind enough to email me all the many pictures she's take so far (thanks Mom!). So, I'll try to be diligent and add tons and tons of photos as often as I can so you can all see the transformation of our little work in progress! It's all been so exciting, overwhelming, stressful, and wonderful and we can't wait 'til we finally get to move in!