Saturday, April 25, 2015

Paint prep

Now that the bathroom is done, we're working on getting everything painted upstairs. While we're itching to bust into the kitchen, we have to finish things in order. So we talk and plan about the kitchen and shop appliances and dream and put cardboard mock ups together, while we drag our feet about finishing the upstairs.

Previously, the stairs had been carpeted. I know because there are little red tufts stuck to the painted skirting boards. They have bothered me for as long as we've lived here.
I finally took a paint scraper to them and they disappeared faster than a magic eraser. It felt so good to say goodbye to those little carpet reminders!
We even got the stairwell walls painted, so we're working slightly out of order here, but we can't get any further out of order, the masking would be too much of a burden in the bedrooms if we do walls before trim, so it's time to get the trim prepped and sprayed!
We're motivated now to keep moving on the upstairs because we got a slot on Super Jim's calendar (that would be our wood floor guy).  Brian was working the doors while I prepped the built in dresser.
Paint prep isn't very exciting, but progress is! We'll be able to see something more exciting than a lack of red fuzz within a week or so.

I spent some time working the kitchen planner - I wasn't able to export an image, but the tool allowed me to learn that we don't have sufficient space for double wall ovens. I was a little sad about that until Brian found me a range with an included steam tray. Now I feel like making up some bread dough!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring on the Shore

We had our final visit to the condo, and enjoyed some fun time on the shore while we were there.
The weather was typical spring - different every day.  We had snow, cold, cloudy, sunny, warm, windy weather that week. We were determined to not spend too much time indoors there (because we would get bored without projects going on).  We hiked the Oberg peak loop. The trail was covered in ice; crampons would have been helpful.  There were usually places to get by the ice, or rocks and roots sticking through to keep some traction.
There was frost in all the trees making for some beautiful vistas.
When we crossed the windy side through the trees, the frost was actually falling out of the trees.  It was a new weather phenomena for us - kind of a cross between a blizzard and a hail storm.  The larger bits of frost had some mass to them.  We tried to hurry through that area, but of course, the snow packed trail made that challenging.
Have you ever been in a frost storm?

One day it was 50+ degrees, so we spent most of the day outside.  We got our biking gear together and packed a picnic and played around near Beaver Bay.  The intention was to bike much farther, but with the warm temps, came a strong wind...  We turned back after only 5-ish miles, took the requisite giant chair picture, and went exploring.
We took some time at a beach and river confluence for a bit.  There were rock treasures to hunt for and Noah didn't want to leave the beach.
Then we went up into the woods to try to hide from the wind some.  We hiked up to high falls on the Baptism river.
 Took the happy family photo on an overlook.
 Got in to see the falls up close.
 One thing about hiking to waterfalls along the north shore is that the hiking trails around them usually have large staircases going from top to bottom.  We counted stairs - one of the sides of the falls we went to was 180 stairs (we went up and down).  I don't take the stairs at work to the 7th floor, but in my vacation time, I willingly do the ultimate stair workout!
In spite of the wind, it was a beautiful spring day!  Best day of the week.

How many stairs do you climb for fun?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Plans, big plans...

So, we've been living for a few weeks with a large cardboard box in th middle of our kitchen. We're trying to simulate a kitchen island, without breaking down any walls or tearing out anything functional.
Here she is In all her glory. Noah thought he would be helpful and started to cut it up, so it's not quite as tidy and semi-functional as it first was.
We tried it going the other direction for about 5 minutes, like if we were to have a peninsula. The flow was terrible like that, so we learned that we definitely don't like that idea.
Now imagine in place of that sheet of cardboard, a sheet of gleaming granite, and while you're imagining, paint the cabinet faces white and replace that awful range and hood with something pin-worthy.  And, add light, lots more light!

Here's a rough drawing of the most challenging areas in this house, compliments of Floorplanner.com, where I only wasted about 3 hours playing to get this result.


This isn't perfectly to scale, but you can see that we have a pretty big kitchen. We call it the 10 step kitchen, that's how many steps between the fridge and the sink. Boo.  The flow is not cook friendly at all. The space is just a bit too big for function, but not really big enough for the typical new construction kitchen. It was last updated in the late 1980s with fairly high-end cabinets and very basic of everything else.
I'll try to get some images of what I'm thinking up here, if the Ikea kitchen planner takes fewer hours than floorplanner, and has an export option, I'll show you what I come up with.  Don't expect this all to come together quickly... We need to paint the upstairs and entryway before we can move into kitchen/dining. At the rate we work, it could be a year before I'm cooking in a functional and stylish kitchen.

And, do you see that main floor bathroom?! I have plans for that too!  Maybe we'll start implementing work weekends like what got us through the condo project at a reasonable pace. In the meantime my Pinterest board is nearly overflowing with kitchens, tiles, appliances...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Move-out clean

After a lovely relaxing week, we had the opportunity to clean up and leave the keys on the counter at the condo. I took some final walk-out pictures.

First, Noah's room.



And the "main bathroom".


The kitchen, living, dining. Ooh, we want to make another pretty kitchen like that!



Soak up those views! The sun was making sparkles on the water when I was grabbing these last pics.




And, the "hotel room" side.







You can even enjoy a view from the parking lot!


Sure was fun for awhile! Time to go shopping for the next fun project!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Full bathroom!

Here she is in all her finished glory!
You mostly saw this last time, but we added the shower curtain.
And... Whoop, here's the sink side!
Light, bright, clean, and open!
This shot might not look like much, but here, you can see the little set of buttons next to the light switch. We have a timer for the vent fan, so it can run longer than a shower to clear the humidity, without someone forgetting to turn it off.
Do you remember what we started with? The glass shower doors cut the room almost in half. The toilet had a permanent old house smell. The light fixture was as yellowed as the tile accents and it barely let any light through. The vanity cabinet blocked most of the heat vent, so it blew at hyperspeed into the tiny little space. 

Warning, pedestal sinks installation is not for amateur plumbers! It was pretty challenging getting that darn thing into place and making connections that we could barely reach behind the pedestal!

What's your favorite feature? I'm kinda thinking the bead-board walls and pedestal sink.