Monday, December 31, 2012

Scenes From The Last Week Of The Year

Most people slow down and relax the last week of the year.  The holidays are pretty much over, it's time to unwind, rest, and reflect- or at least it usually is for me, but not this year!  Things are still going on with the renovation and little by little the to-do list is getting smaller.  Before I go into that, I just wanted to post a few scenes from the last week of 2012.

A curious little kitty touched one of our newly painted doors and then tracked cute paw prints in the hall.  We cleaned it up, but I was very tempted to leave it.

 Our friends Bo and Becca stopped by to see the house and wanted to try out our tub.  I think we should make all of our friends pose for photos in it.

 Wiener dogs love racing across the nubbly hex tiles in the master bath.

 They also love watching us while we take a shower in our big open shower area.  They come in and look at us like we're crazy, then beat a hasty retreat lest we grab them up and wash them too.

 The cats have enjoyed exploring our new antique mantles.  I suspect the far left kitty is the paw print culprit.

 We cooked our first meal on the AGA.  It was just humble spaghetti with marinara sauce, but it was hot, homemade, and tasty.

It wasn't all fun and games with friends and animals, lots got done around the house too.  Our master bath had it's missing sink recovered and installed.

 Reunited and it feels so good.

The tub got it's cabinetry surround and plumbing installed.

Sorry the photos are so dark.  We run out of good light early these days.

Panel for easy access on the tub. I'm sure there's an "easy access" sex joke in there somewhere, but I'm way too much of a lady to point it out.

The tub also had it's stained glass window installed. The shower stained glass wasn't able to be installed because the window wasn't square. We're working on fixing it.

An artsy shot of the window early in the morning with the sun streaming in.  This photo does not do it justice.

The transom that separates the addition from the old part of the house was also installed.  Astute readers will note that this was not the transom we chose back in the summer.  We were somewhat flabbergasted when this was the one that showed up at our house.  Our stained glass designer has been going through some deep and personal trauma that I don't feel I can go into here.  We love her work and thought that the owl looked pretty cool, so we've decided to keep it.

Stone slabs were delivered for hearths throughout the house.

The one in the office matches the marble we have as our desk top.  Also, way to photobomb vacuum cleaner!

This hearth in the living room was a remnant we found at the stone yard.  The browns in it will look great with the reproduction Victorian tiles we'll be using around the firebox (more on that in a later post).

This is the hearth in the master bedroom.  It's the same granite that we used for our kitchen island.  The stone yard cut it too short.  I'm not really thrilled about this (seriously, how hard it is to cut a fricken rectangle?), but our contractor will add some extra woodwork around the hearth to make it look okay.

The big event for the week was the delivery of the kitchen island.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

It really does sort of look like a map of Middle Earth.  I think Frodo had to take the ring to somewhere in that purple splotch to the right.

That's it for this week folks, and for this year.  Thanks for reading this blog and for keeping up with this crazy renovation.  We've got lots more exciting stuff to come in 2013, but until then have a safe and Happy New Year!

New Year's narcissus bulbs, a gift from a sweet friend.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Beginning To Look At Least Somewhat Like Christmas

Well folks, it's almost Christmas, and just because we recently moved doesn't mean we can't get all festive up in here.  Sadly, I was seriously stressed and running out of gas last week just trying to deal with the move and all the fun complications that ensued.  The thought of having to find/pull out/put up all my Christmas decorations just exhausted me.  Fortunately Shea (the lovely lady who has been doing all of the refinishing on our furniture) had a way to solve the problem.  Shea is quite often hired by people to decorate their houses for Christmas (I didn't know people did this sort of thing), so she offered to do ours.  We quickly agreed and she was off to Target to see what she could find for us.  As you can imagine, the selection was somewhat diminished, but I think Shea managed to score some cool stuff for us.

First up is this little white tree in the front hall.  I've always been a traditional red and green Christmas kinda gal.  I would never have thought to get a white tree, but it does look stunning against the purple accent wall.  I love the neat silver balls and purple snowflakes.

 Here's a shot of the tree lit up at night.  We need to hit a fabric store to get some purple fabric as a tree skirt.  Hopefully we'll have time to do that this weekend.

Here's our main tree in the living room.  Shea chose purple because it looks great with the burnt orange walls (and she knows I love purple).  It's pencil thin, which is nice because it won't block our TV.  I would have NEVER had the guts to do something like this on my own, but I have to say I love it!  It's hard to tell in this photo, but the silver wreaths on either side of the tree have little purple berries in them too.  Neat!

Here it is all lit up.  We want to get the 7' pre-lit tree that goes with this and have them both out next year, but Target is currently sold out of them.  I hope they get them back in stock before the season is over.

 Not to be outdone by Shea, the hubby decided that we needed to decorate the outside of the house too.  He headed to Ace hardware and picked up these very retro chunky looking lights.  I remember decorating with lights like these as a kid.  Remember how hot they used to get?  Well these modern versions are much better.

And here is our house all lit up at night.  I think it looks very festive, and for some reason it reminds me of Snoopy's house when he decorated it for Christmas.

Do you think we'd win first prize too?

That's it for this time folks.  There's still lots of stuff that needs to be finished up at the house so I'll have plenty more to post in the New Year.  Until then, I would like to leave you with my all time favorite holiday song:

From our old Atlanta house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

And We're Back!

Whew, it's been one hell of a week folks.  The move did not go as smoothly as we'd hoped.  The moving company forgot about us and never showed up on Monday morning.  By the time we called them and straightened it out, Atlanta was hit by a pouring rain storm, and it was decided that we should just put off the move till Tuesday.  That's all fine and dandy, but everything we owned was packed up into boxes.  Fortunately, our contractor Brett offered to take some guys over to our rental house and move our bed so we could at least sleep in our "new" house.  Also, it helped that I had a suitcase packed up with clothes, toiletries, towels, and essential electronics (phones, ipods, kindles, etc) so that we could live for a few days without having to unpack boxes.  Delaying the move did stress me out some, because we need to host our family for the holidays.  It's essential that I get the house up and running by then, and losing a day of unpacking just sucked.

The rest of the week has been a flurry of trying to get the kitchen and master bedroom/closet unpacked and organized.  The hardest thing has been figuring out exactly where we want to put things.  I want to get the unpacking and organizing right the first time around because I know that we are just too darn lazy to ever go back and redo it.  Also, I have to wash every dish, pot, pan, plate, utensil, and froo fraa that goes in the kitchen before putting it away.  I know I'm probably being a little overzealous (especially since this is kind of still a construction zone), but I just can't stand the thought of putting something away that was dusty from the move.  You should see my poor dishpan hands!

Yeah, so the construction is not exactly finished here.  Brett and his boys have absolutely busted their humps trying to get as much done as possible before we moved in, but little things kept happening that were out of their control.  For instance, the washer and dryer that we ordered is no longer being made so we had to pick new models (they won't be here till next week).  The slab company lost one of our bathroom sinks so we weren't able to have our final inspection.  They also have delayed coming out to install our kitchen island slab and some of our hearth slabs (for unknown reasons)...sigh.  If this were any other time of year, the hubby and I would have just canceled his vacation time (yeah, he took the week off to help unpack and get us settled, poor guy) and moved our move back date till everything was done.  But, as I've mentioned, we have to host the family for the holiday (for personal reasons that I won't go into here), so we kinda had to be back in our house.  So, we're living in a work in progress here, but that's okay.  Our family won't mind, and we feel like we're in good hands with Brett.  He is out here every day, ticking off every little thing that he can to complete the house.  Seriously, I cannot stress enough how hard this man has worked to try and get us back into our house for the holiday season, or how he has gone above and beyond the call of duty for us.  I cannot recommend him enough as a contractor, and if you live in the Atlanta area and need a contractor, I would be happy to send his information out to you.

I also want to take a moment and mention our wonderful designer Karen.  She has been working feverishly this month trying to nail down every little detail so that our house could be as complete as possible by our move in date.  Keep in mind that she has a full time job (that does not involve designing for us) and a small child and a husband and the holiday season to deal with just like the rest of us.  She has worked herself to exhaustion trying to make sure everything was as comfortable, cozy, and complete for us as it could possibly be before she went on her holiday vacation.  I cannot recommend her enough as a designer, but I can't recommend her to you.  You know why?  She doesn't do residential design professionally.  Karen designed our house for us as a labor of love, and we feel so humble and lucky to have her as a friend.

Well that's it for this week folks, but let me leave you with some "keeping it real" pics of the house RIGHT after we moved in (seriously, the movers had just left when I demanded the hubby take some pics).

 The front hall.  That hutch will not be there permanently.  That's the spot where a family heirloom piano will live, but right now it's in storage somewhere near my parent's house.  Also, that's our wiener dog Sookie sniffing a drill.

The office.
 The guest bedroom.  A lot of that junk is going down to our basement.  We just didn't put it down there that day because of all the mud from the previous day's rain and the fact that our basement is only accessible from the outside (temporarily).

 The master bedroom.  That's a drop cloth we're using as a curtain.  The sweet lady who is making our draperies is working as quickly as she can, but she has a 7 week old baby, and a 3 year old, and there are only so many hours in a day.  I'll post when we get them up.  Can you spot Sookie's butt?

Our master bath.  The stained glass windows aren't in yet, but hopefully will be done soon.  Note the one sink...sigh...

The living room.

 And finally the kitchen, or my personal nightmare this week.

Tune in next time when I share the cool and interesting way I learned to do completely stress free (and adventurous) Christmas decorating!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Furniture

I only have time for a quick post today, but I had to give y'all an update on the house.  Remember back in August, we bought some new stuff for the house at Stanton Home Furnishings?  Well it arrived here a little bit ahead of our move, and I just had to show you guys the photos.

 Our new couch.  The fabric looks like linen, but it's really a very durable indoor/outdoor fabric (with all of our animals we needed it to be resilient).  I think it looks very elegant, and yet it's very tough.  Also, this pic doesn't do it justice.  The neutral gray of the couch looks great against the color pop of the purple wall.

 Our new coffee table. When I saw a big, natural wood coffee table on the TV show The Talking Dead, I knew I had to have one for my living room.  I really love it, but I'm a bit worried that it's a little too small.  I'll reserve judgement on that till we get all of our furniture in the living room.

Here's a shot of all the new stuff in the living room together.  I love our new swivel rocking chairs.  They look very elegant too (again, the pic just does not do them justice).  The lamp is from Anthropologie and the coney wiener dog pillow is from etsy seller pinkbabymouse.

Here are the new, comfortable dining room chairs.  I love our old schoolhouse and ladderback chairs, but they are soo hard on the butt if you are sitting at the table for any length of time.  Keep in mind that underneath those windows, we will also have a wooden window seat with a big comfy cushion.

 Here's our designer Karen testing out the dining room chairs.  Her butt approves!

Here are the kitchen island stools, doesn't that fabric look too lush for the kitchen?  Well, it's actually a microfiber that is durable, stain-resistant, AND cats hate the texture so they don't try to claw it.  The only problem is that we accidentally got the wrong size (they are too tall for you to sit on and work at the kitchen island).  No worries though, they are being replaced next week.  You can't see it here, but the purple of the stools PERFECTLY matches the purple of the stove.  This kitchen is going to look awesome.  Also, note the island top?  Instead of going for granite or marble, we decided to start a hip new trend with plywood.  Just kidding, the granite is actually arriving sometime next week.

In the bedroom, we got our fabulous new king sized bed frame.  I love it!  It looks old fashioned, yet a little modern and it will look great with our bright quilt.

 Here's our quilt with our sweet little wiener pup Molly.  We lost Molly at the tender age of 2 to cancer.  We miss you sweet Mollypups!

 And finally, our office got it's reading chair and lamp.  I am super excited to FINALLY have a cozy little reading nook in my house.  That chair actually reclines and is soo comfortable.  I can see myself curling up there on cold winter afternoons with a good book, a mug of tea, and maybe a kitty or two.  The lamp is from Pottery Barn and looks even more awesome in person.  The colorful thing on the chair is actually the rug for the office.  I'll post pics of it later when it's in place on the floor.

That's it for this time folks.  Tune in next time when we actually move back into the house!  Don't worry, I plan to share lots of pics of boxes and crap everywhere (just keeping it real, yo!).

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Pressure.  Yeah I think it's safe to say that anyone involved with our project at all right now is feeling the pressure.  The hubby and I are scheduled to move back on the 10th, and it seems that ever since we made that decision, any little thing that could go wrong, has gone wrong.  For instance, we thought the city wasn't going to make us bust up that concrete slab, but of course they did, so we wound up having to waste a week's worth of grueling man hours.  The marble slab company lost one of our master bathroom sinks.  This means we can't have our final inspection before we move in (and we'll have to live without that sink for awhile).  Our brand new fireplace in the living room can't be finished because the perfect antique tile we found online was...well they just couldn't find it any more (but would we like this really ugly box of tile that they did find?  no.).  Sigh...we're all trying very hard to roll with the punches, but it's difficult to do when there's so many of them.  If this were any other time of year, the hubby and I would just try to push our move date back, but we desperately need to get at least somewhat settled into our house before the holiday season (we're hosting it for our family this year).  Enough whining, let's focus on some more positive things.   

Our lighting is installed and is now turned on.

Our front porch light looks even more awesome than I hoped.

This Art Deco beauty proudly graces our front hall.  I'm worried that it's scale is a little too small for such a vast space, but if it is, tough titty.  It's gorgeous and it's not going anywhere.

 The sconces are installed and they look lovely.

Elsewhere in the house, the office is almost finished.  We are still missing our mantle in there, our leaded glass cabinet doors, and they have a little paintwork to do, but mostly it's mostly livable.

I look forward to spending the winter at that beautiful granite desk, writing the next great American novel...or surfing the internet, whatever.

In the kitchen, they've finished tiling our stove hood.

 It's inspired by the kitchen in the movie Practical Magic.

 I think ours looks better.

They've also installed our wonderful antique 1930's sink.  The faucet is from Kohler and it's modeled after vintage faucets.

I remember watching my Nan stand many an hour at a sink like this in her 1930's bungalow kitchen.  The only difference is that she had one faucet for hot water and one faucet for cold water.  She had to keep a bucket in the sink so she could mix the hot and cold together to wash dishes.  We decided that we didn't want to be quite THAT authentic.

The master bathroom is almost finished and it looks amazing!

We decided to go with the classic hexagonal floor tiles, but to give it a little texture and interest, we went with the marble tiles instead of just plain.  It's not as costly as you might think.

 Here you can see the floor with it's neato bandito border.  Our designer Karen came up with that to add a little interest to the space.  I think it looks really cool.

As you can see, all we have left to do is a few little details.  Also, we're missing one of our sinks...stupid poopie head marble slab company!

A close up of the one sink we do have.  The hammered nickel bowl is not very historic, but damn it looks super cool!  The faucet is another vintage model from Kohler.

This is what our master bath toilet would look like if it were dressed up as a mummy for Halloween.
 And here's the shower area, almost finished.  We tried to mimic the exposed pipe look from this inspiration photo:

 We couldn't find any fixtures with that awesome grubby finish, and having a handheld showerhead kinda interferes with the antique effect, but I gotta have one to clean all my hoo hoo dilly and cha cha.  Sometimes practicality has to win out.

The hall bath floor has finally gotten it's black rosettes.
And the dry sink is now in place!  Generally, I'm not a huge fan of vessel sinks.  I think the look is too modern and trendy, and I am SO not about the trendy.  But since we are using an actual antique dry sink in there, it seems appropriate that it would have a vessel sink on top.   I love the cool faucet that Karen found.  It looks like an old pump.  I've tried to find a link to it, but I can't right now.  If I find it in the future, I'll come back and modify this post.

 Here's a close up of the vessel sink before it was installed.  It's a handmade pottery sink.  I think it sort of looks like an old bowl that you would use in the kitchen.

The laundry/pantry room is coming along.  It's floor also has black rosettes now and my Grandmother's old washtubs are being installed to be used as an utility sink.

As you can see, they fixed that cabinet, however, we just figured out that the walls have been painted the wrong shade of blue (hey! there's a lot of blue going on in this house, it's easy to make a mistake).  The wall color should match the color in the backing of the cabinet, which I believe is Cosmos by Sherwin Williams.  No worries though, they are going to be re-painting it today.

And now folks, it's time to reveal what we finally decided to do with the front hall floor.  The wonderful and talented Byron Blake who you know from our exciting Semi-Floor-A-Palooza post came up with a design that mimics an old quilt pattern (a nod to my country/primitive tastes).

We swung by the house late one night and caught Bryon working hard on the floors.

Here's what it looked like before they were sealed.  See what I mean when I say it looks like a quilt?

And here it is after it's been poly'd.  The poly darkened the colors a bit.  Love it!

Byron even included a little Serenity symbol, a nod to the hubby's Firefly fandom.

Folks, I cannot stress enough how much we love this beautiful floor.  To me, it is the crown jewel of the house and the first thing you will notice when you walk in the front door.

The view from the front door of our house.  I can't believe I get to live here.

That's it for this time folks.  But before we go, I just wanted to point out that I am full of durp (no surprise there).  Remember the kitchen island glass front drawers?  Well it turns out that they already have a fake back to them, so I won't have to fill up the drawers with gallons of dried beans to make them look good.

Now I just have to figure out what to put in there.  I'm thinking maybe dried beans, dried Indian corn, dried chilis, and maybe some spices?

So what's up next for the house?  Well they are still going to be working on a little more construction.  Our designer Karen is also going to be at our house supervising the delivery of the furniture we bought this summer and the installation of our draperies.   If we have time, we'll try to pop by the house and get some photos of the process.  We have a crazy busy weekend ahead of us including more packing and prepping for the move on Monday, and a birthday party for one of our littlest friends.  I will try to update the blog if I can, but no promises.  If not, I will see you all on the flipside!