house projects

Kitchen Renovation Phase 2

Kitchen Kitchen Ya Ya Da Da

Hey, hey, heeeey.  So, a lot has been going on this summer, but we are finally entering into a couple weeks of normalcy.  Perfect time to give a kitchen update!  This is the phase where we really saw what the overall layout of the kitchen come to life.  Let’s get visual shall we?  More pictures, less words.  Nobody has any time for that.

So here we go clockwise around the room.

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Fridge cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Sink and Cabinets

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Custom Cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Kitchen Breakfast Bench Nook

Got all that??  I threw in some pop-up video action for you too.

Anyone have any time left for an update on what’s been going on lately?  Don’t worry we’ll stick with the more pics less words thing.

Mom and dad came to visit right after the last time I posted…

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Mom

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad and Nick

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Me and Mom

Nick had a birthday!!!  Mabel says “I’m yo pwesent”  “My mom made me”.

Nick Birthday - Mabel Bloodhound

 

And I made him this delicious Lemon cake from this recipe

Lemon Cake

Which we brought on the new sailboat and then went out on the lake to raft up with friends and watch the fireworks!

Nick and Emily on the sailboat 4th of July

 

4th of July Lake Murray Fireworks on Sailboat

 

4th of July Fireworks Lake Murray

 

Nick also opened his presents which he should have known were for Cobalt

The next weekend we went up to Rochester, NY for the actual 4th of July with my family.  Cobalt helped us get there.

Cobalt mini dachshund sleeps in the car

After he slept a lot.  Here he goes.

Rochester 4th of July roundup…

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The last picture was the trip home where Emily had to pee and Nick made her go at South of the Border.  Cobalt was not happy.

I think the dogs had the best time of anyone.  Mabel went fetching in the water for the first time…

And Cobalt stole bread from the coy fish, some of which were bigger than he is.  We’ll go ahead and call that your Complimentary Cobalt of the Day….

CCOTD:

 

 

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Re-staining a Railing & Dogs in Pants

It’s another snow day in South Carolina…what in the world??  We’ve got a few inches of icey-snowy mix on the ground, and it’s still coming.

Cobalt says nevohmind, I don’t hafs to go dat bad.Cobalt says no to snow

I worked from home today, and no one is supposed to be on the roads except for emergency purposes.  Well, we were out of coffee.  Lucky for me, and for those who have to come into contact with me today, I live with a member of the emergency services.  What a hero.  You can’t have a snow day without coffee, and I was JUST talking about that, and other related Lorelai Gilmore girl-crushness with a friend yesterday, so I was extra looking forward to it. Phew, moving on.

There’s so much I want to share from our move and our house and everything in between, but I had to finally realize I can’t possibly share it all, and I should focus on some actual DIY projects instead.  Or maybe I need to just rename this, Emily’s ramblings and a little bit about what you think you’re going to read…

Gilmore Girls Luke's

First up – the stair railing!  This was a relatively small project, but one I was itching to tackle right away because it is one of the first things you see when you walk in our house, and I was tired of letting it hit me in the face with it’s ugliness.  Because I did this project soon after moving in, I failed at taking before pictures, but I do have some accidental pictures that include the before railing in it.

It is hard to see what it looks like up close, but the stain is really worn and scratched up in a lot of places.  I originally snapped this picture to capture Captain Cleanliness in action.  I like things nice and all, but I can also be accepting of the fact that our kitchen is being worked on and we’ll have drywall dust/etc. everywhere for the time being. Nick, not so much.  He cleaned it up constantly, knowing it would be back in a day or two.  I’ll take it 🙂

stairs railing before

What the stairs looked like at move-in – banged up railings, old carpet, old paint on the walls.

stairs

To start out, the long railing was already off of the wall from when we painted so it made that one easier.  The other railing required taping off and protecting the new carpet that was put in by the time I did this project.

I used Minwax Polyshades in Tudor after browsing similar projects like this one from my favorites at Young House Love, and this one from Centsational Girl.

Minwax Polyshades Tudor

All I did for the railings and large post that I stained was give them a light sanding and 3 coats of the stain.  I waited a day between coats just to make sure it was dry, and I could have done just 2 coats but I wanted an even darker color.  After the first coat, I was a little worried that I didn’t choose a dark enough stain but after the second coat it got much deeper I was really happy with it.

First coat of stain on banister

That’s after the first coat of stain – see why I was a little worried?  It was a little light and still showing some splotchiness underneath.  P.S. this is what our garage has looked like for the past 6 weeks during kitchen reno.  Here’s the other banister after one coat:

20140104_182718

20140104_122412

Much better after another coat!

Railing after second coat

I did a 3rd coat for good measure and let it dry.  The next day I tackled the spindles. At first I thought a light sanding by hand would be fine before paint, but as soon as I started painting I knew it would be prone to chipping.  So, I sucked it up and sanded the spindles all the way down to the wood using a Mouse Detail Sander.

Sanding stair railing spindles

Cobalt knows how to be the center of everything.  Some might say he get it from his mama.

Sanded stair spindles

All sanded and a big mess to vacuum up.  Nick wasn’t volunteering this time.  Selfish.

Stair spindles ready for paint

Cobalt said he’d help though.

So, I got all the sawdust cleaned up, taped off the carpet, painted 3 coats of white (same color as the trim in all the rooms), and just like that (or 4 days and a little more work than I expected later), the railing was done!

Restained and painted railing

Until I realized that the hardware for the wall banister was still old looking.  So I took care of that with a few thin coats of Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

To go from this:

banister hardware before

To this:

spray painted banister hardware

To – hung!

firefighter hangs things       restained banister

Finally, because it’s more fun to do a before and after this way, and because I already had this made from sending a certain sister-in-law sneak-peeks…

Refinished banister

SO. MUCH. BETTER. I think that qualifies as my first actual DIY post.  Cheers to that 😉 It’s wine wednesday after all.

AND this also qualifies as complete spoiler of the carpet I chose for the upstairs.  Shit. Should we just skip that post altogether?  Do you care what I almost chose?  Or how annoying of a process it was?  Cobalt says, Wutevoh mom, move on to moh of me aweady.

CCOTD:

In honor of today’s snow day, a throwback to December.  The image text I just entered, “Cobalt snow pants”, made me chuckle.

Cobalt snow pants

That’s my brother Ben and his marsupial.  I’ll even throw in a rare appearance from Miles…

Miles snow pants

Yes, we do in fact have another dog.  But apparently I am some kind of evil stepmother because I supposedly love Cobalt more.

Alright, off to do the snow pants dance for another snow day tomorrow!!

Cobalt’s Mom is Old…Plus a House List

So last time we spoke I was 28 and talking about doing more.  I’m sure you thought I quit this thing by now, but actually I just got the dreaded plague that’s been going around.  When I’m sick I feel like anything that takes any effort will likely kill me and I should only lie around and do nothing.  But fear not, I survived.  I also survived turning 29, and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought. Turns out, next year is going to be the one that sends me over the edge.

I was also lucky enough to turn 29 with an already 29 year-old pretty bestfriend of mine 🙂

best friends

Lorryn and Daniel live in Savannah which is one of my favorite places in the world and only a couple hours away now, so we have been trying to make the most of that.

All-in-all, turning 29 was great because for one, it meant Lorryn declaring she totally knew how to wobble, and proving it:
lorryn dancing

Plus it was one of the last chances to act like this:

birthday boss

birthday shots

No, that’s not a birthday crown.  It’s worse.  It’s a hat that says “BOSS” that was put on my head by Lorryn, who took it off the sweaty man I’m dancing with.  Who is not Nick.  Don’t tell Cobalt, he would be weally ashamed.

OK, getting to the point of this blog already,
Me and Nick birthday dinner

I think we left off with me saying that tomorrow I would post my intentions, aka house list, aka liste de maison if my mom was making my practice my french.  Well tomorrow ended up being a week later.  Woops.  Here goes.  This is an actual list that I wrote up one day that I am using as a starting point for this most official blog list.

house to-do list

Lay off, I realize I misspelled furniture and maybe other things.  I’m talking to you Dad. And Theresa.

Big/possibly contractor worthy stuff:

Renovate kitchen
Replace upstairs carpet
Close off small back door for french doors and open up tiny hallway
Hide TV wires behind wall (vertical studs in the way of drilling it ourselves)
New fireplace mantel
New kitchen door to garage to swing opposite way (want it to swing out into the garage instead of into the kitchen so we can make use of the small wall it swings in toward now)
Renovate master bathroom
Move washer/dryer laundry situation to upstairs hall closet (in the garage now)

DIY Projects

Painting part 1 – living room/stairway/upstairs halls & master bedroom
Painting part 2 – kitchen, dining room, guest room, office
Re-paint front door
Replace teeny tiny fans in the bedrooms
Replace living room fan
Remove kitchen fan
Refinish dining room table (This was Aunt Karen’s)
Find or refinish small round table for kitchen
Remove way-too-big mantel
Re-stain stair railings and paint spindles white
Whitewash brick fireplace and paint decorative trim white
Replace counter tops & paint vanity bases in Harry Potter bathroom (powder room/half bath that is basically under the stairs) and guest bathroom
Remove wall paper in HP bathroom & mater bathroom, and paint both (Maybe beachy white planks in HP bathroom?)
Fix peeling guest tub
Replace master bathroom vanity
Add shelves/storage to all 3 bathrooms & replace hardware
Paint and organize all closets
Replace all light-switches and outlet covers (current ones are all spray painted navy blue)
Maybe one day replace all the door knobs
Refinish or replace some bedroom furniture to better coordinate – would love a big comfy winged headboard
Finally invest in some chalk paint and paint the random pieces of furniture that have been on my to-do list forever

  • Guest dresser
  • Small bedroom dresser (did this once with regular paint and it is slowly showing layers underneath)
  • Mirror
  • Entry table
  • Hutch (This was Aunt Lulu’s)
  • Office shelves

Smaller crafties/decorating

New guest bedding
New pillows/pillow covers for living room
Remove outdated fireplace cover
Get fireplace tool set
Choose fabric for kitchen bench cushions & get custom made to fit (maybe DIY but that might be ambitious for something I want to last a long time)
Frame pretty fabric for some wall-art
Paint at least 2 of my own paintings and 1 drawing for the walls
New pictures for frames/fill ones that currently, seriously, have been hanging up with the artwork that came in them…for about 6 months now.
New lights for living room

Yard

General yardwork in front and back yards
Get new hanging plants for the front of house
Remove leftover parts of a treehouse in the backyard
General yard sprucing, and mayyyybe plant some herbs??
Power-wash house and back deck

Alright, before I go into some full blown anxiety, I’ll just stop now and reserve the right to add to/edit as needed.  Did anyone actually read this whole list??  Thoughts/advice?  I definitely struggle with the whole getting overwhelmed and freezing up and doing nothing instead of just doing something…thing.  Hopefully this will hold me accountable and keep me motivated.  Speaking of…I’m going to the gym after work tomorrow, even though it’s going to be late.  Hopefully next time I write that won’t have been a lie.

Finally, before this old-tima bids you adieu….

CCOTD:
“Oooohhhh bohfday pwesents!!!  Must be fo me!!!”
Image

Any guesses who wrapped them? 😉  And yes, Cobalt opened both of them all by himself, which was far more enjoyable than me doing it.