Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thanks Mom

On Monday my fabulous mom came over to help fix up our yard.  Now I knew our front yard wasn't beautiful but I didn't know it was that bad until after my mom finished cleaning it up. WOW it looks good now!!! It only took her ALL DAY to fix it up!  It just needed some TLC.  My mom also came up with the idea to put mulch around the tree in our yard to hide the extension cord that is hidden under the ground but pops up right next to the tree for the Christmas lights.  Ryan and I couldn't be happier!!!!

On the left you can see the stones we lay on the yard.  It was to section off that small zone because there is a little bush there that hides the water main.  It just cleans up the yard nicely!

THANKS MOM!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why Didn't We Do This Sooner????

I'm going to admit I thought I would NEVER say the phrase "I love my basement".  Our basement was that super creepy basement that no one ever likes to go in, it was dark and dingy. Not to mention cold!!!  Here is a sneak peak at what it looked like when we moved in.  The black thing on the wall was actually a window!! There are 2 windows down there that they had covered up because some idiot drilled speaker wire through the window frame to get sound outside... Needless to say we still need to get new windows BUT we at least uncovered them to let in some light!
We ripped up the astro turf carpet (no joke) when we first moved in and just lay down some area rugs on the concrete floors.

After painting the wood panelling a nice 'eggnog' (by Behr) I painted the zee brick the same colour as I mentioned in this post. I still have one wall yet to finish but I'll hopefully get to that this week. That really helped to lighten up the basement.

Then we got some carpet from my parents place when they replaced their carpet. We didn't install it we just lay it down on the floor as a temporary solution.  Then 2 weeks ago we decided it was time to actually install it! We got everything we needed and started to lay it down only to find a few problems.  First off the 2 pieces of carpet had been weathered from the sun shining through the windows at my parents place and we quickly found they were 2 different colours... one a pinkish brown the other a grayish brown. That I could have lived with.  The second problem was that Ryan and I had serious measuring issues that day and when we cut the carpet we somehow (still have no idea how because we measured 3 times) short cut the piece by 5 inches which meant we had this tiny little strip of carpet down the one wall.  And thirdly... we are NOT carpet installation experts... we did a horrible job (mostly because we didn't have the proper tools).  SO after getting half the carpet installed we stopped and thought about it for a week.  We had planned on returning the laminate we bought for upstairs as we decided not to install it in the kitchen. I measured out the basement and was happy to find we had MORE than enough flooring to install it in the basement.  On Saturday Ryan's mom came and watched Norah as we installed the flooring. It was surprisingly SUPER easy and a lot of fun!!!  Ryan got to use my dads table saw and cut all the pieces while I measured (5 times sometimes just to make sure) the pieces.  AND here is what it looks like now!!!!
You can see where the window is... new windows should be coming before winter which will help brighten it up too!!!!
I need to add some lighting to the back area but this is the sitting area.  There will be a tv above the electric fireplace soon enough.
Look at those nice new baseboards!!!!!
And this section at the bottom of the stairs will be Norah's new play area!

It isn't finished yet. I still have to finish painting the zee brick behind the wood burning stove.  The baseboards need to be caulked, sanded and painted.  I somehow missed a small section of zee brick in the entrance to the laundry room (you can see if above).  I also want to paint the gate in the picture above the same colour as the walls.  Ryan and I LOVE IT!!!! I just can't wait for new windows so it makes the place brighter... and warmer!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wallpaper Steps

I have been busy lately with many projects around the house... I just haven't had a chance to tell you about them yet. SOOO here is one of the many things I have accomplished in the past few weeks.
Remember our back stairway... this is what it looked like before we moved into the house... grey, dirty and disgusting. See the nastiness here.
Well we ripped up the carpet before we moved in and painted the walls bright yellow (same as in the kitchen). And it looked GREAT!! As seen here.
WELL after 3.5 years of renovations in the basement and carrying dirt and concrete from the basement bathroom upstairs. And trying to fit furniture in the basement and just everyday wear and tear those yellow walls were NOT yellow anymore!! I also stupidly painted it with a flat paint.... I have no idea why anyone would ever want to buy flat paint... you can't get ANYTHING off the walls!!!! I had asked for a non glossy paint (in my mind meaning 'eggshell') but I got flat paint and didn't really care until I realized I couldn't clean the walls at all!! NOTHING would get the marks off the back wall. SO lesson learned!! I knew I needed to paint it and instead of keeping it the yellow I decided to lighten it up. Now I love the yellow in the kitchen because its bright and cheery but in the back stairwell it seemed dark and not as cheery. I opted to go with the same colour as the basement and the upstairs hallway a lovely 'Eggnog' colour by Behr. AND this time I went with the eggshell finish! On top of that the back of the stairs was never finished because we ripped off old yellow tiles and there was glue residue we couldn't get off. So for 3.5 years we have been humming and haaing about what to do to fix it. Then while browsing my own blog I came across this post I did awhile ago about wallpaper and realized I could wallpaper the back of the stairs. I still had a bunch of the blue wallpaper from our kitchen left over so away I went. I LOVE IT!!! Look at how bright it looks!!! It helps that there is a happy smiling Norah at the top of the stairs! I'll have to take another picture going down the stairs but that will come later.

I promise to update the pictures later. Can you see how crooked our stairs are?? It made for an interesting time measuring for the wallpaper!!