Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Throwback Project: Our Old Livingroom
I added this picture in just for fun. We took this early on during our projects and were commenting on all of the things that have changed since. The only things in the picture that have remained the same are one of the framed pictures above the fireplace, the wall color (will be changed this summer though), the old Mac is still is kicking, and we still have our dog Brin. The fireplace, trim, floor, and the decorating have all been updated or refinished (including the dinosaur Blackberry phone).
Popcorn is typically thought of being paired with something fun like a movie or the state fair, but that is not always the case. Over the past couple weeks we have been working on scraping the popcorn off the ceiling in our living room and hallway. This is a project that we could have done years ago when we first purchased the house (or any day after that quite frankly), but we decided to blow it off until right before we embark on our large addition. I began the process because I know that if we don't take care of some of these smaller projects before the addition, we are likely to blow it off for another five years. The day I started the project, Tor was at his brother's helping with their baby nursery before their son arrived. I sent him a picture via text and received no reply. What this meant was that Tor was not happy about the way I was doing something so I needed to get it done before he got home. Alas, I did not succeed on that front, but I did get a substantial area cleared and cleaned up the mess afterwards.
I did, however, begin the hallway this past weekend and finished before Tor got home. He didn't have to do anything at all. I try to help where I can given that I am severely lacking on the home improvement skills and am in school and working full time. I do love helping out on the house since I learn a ton of new things. Waking up in a house where I can look at every corner and see things that we have done together is an incredible feeling. While other couples regularly seek out date nights and vacations to help foster their relationship, Tor and I bond the most when we roll up our sleeves and work on making our house our home.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Oh…. the fireplace. This project, although small in comparison to other projects in the house, has been quite a lot of work. The work, however, has not been applied as much to the fireplace, but rather to our ability to communicate with each other. As typical with other things in marriage, the conversations about what we wanted to do on the fireplace took place in our heads rather than through the use of our mouths. In the end, it turned out beautiful and strengthened our relationship. The smell of a fire burning is one of my favorites in the whole world and now we get to experience that whenever we want!
Tor takes great pride in his work and does not cut corners. Our living room floor is slightly slanted towards the right corner. In order to make the tile appear level compared to a slanted floor, Tor slanted the sub structure so that the tile and floor would be flush.
We went back and forth about which tile to use, but landed with this. We plan to paint the room white once the new windows are installed and we thought the fireplace should make a statement in the room, but also not over power the room. We purchased our tile from the Tile Shop in Minnetonka, MN.
The wood frame was made from a Douglas Fur timber with 3 coats of poly. The three sections were joined together by biscuits cut out by the fancy new tool I gave Tor for Christmas two years ago. It was exciting to finally see that tool be used!
Wednesday, November 10, 2014
Tor is taking advantage of having the siding off the exterior house by working on some wiring. This allows us to get in the walls without having to cut into any finished surface. Here is what was once the light switch in the living room. He is adding a switch to control the exterior outlets that he is planning to put in. We have never been able to hang Christmas lights since we didn't have a way to plug them in outside.
Here is Tor hard at work installing a new light switch.
This is another picture of the whole project. You can see where Tor has cut out the wall to work on wiring. Each of these spots is where we have an outlet on the interior of the house or where we plan to have an outlet on the exterior of the house.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Fresh New Paint with Smooth Ceilings
Ever since we bought the house we wanted to get rid of the popcorn ceilings that were in a few of the rooms downstairs. We should have just done it right away when we bought the house, but we didn't. Anyway, fast forward 6 years and we finally got around to it. We hired out the sheetrock for the kitchen so we got the other rooms skimmed too. We also took out the small window on the south wall since it looks into the garage addition.
Here is the finished product. We aren't completely done with this room yet though. We need to get the blinds ordered, reinstall the trim around the front door and paint the interior side of the door. Hopefully we can finish these projects soon and officially call this room finished once and for all!
Sunday, January 31, 2016
New (Old) Chairs
I got lucky one day when a family friend called to see if I was interested in purchasing two Danish chairs that her sister had owned for many years. Her sister was moving into assisted living and didn't have room for them anymore. I said yes without even looking at them. She sold them to me for $50 total since there was damage to the chairs and the cushions were in need of replacement. I spent $50 on fabric and hired a woman from Limes Springs, IA to work with the cushions. In total I spent $327 for both chairs from start to finish. I did the refinishing of the wood myself.
Pictured above is the first chair as I sanded off the original finish. The chairs were oiled not stained which meant I didn't have to strip them. The picture to the left depicts the first chair after I had oiled it once with the original condition of the second chair in the foreground. I sanded first with 150 sandpaper making sure to move in the same direction of the grain. I then sanded with 220 to buff out anything minor still showing. I used mineral spirits to clean the chairs off, letting them sit for a few hours before I applied the first coat of teak oil. I did two applications of oil using a dry cloth to clean any residual oil between coats.
Here is a final picture of the project. Both chairs turned out great, however I wasn't finished with the second one by the time I took this picture. They will ultimately be placed together in the basement when we finish that space. I chose the blue fabric to depict our love for Scandinavia (and to match our front door).
Friday, March 11, 2016
The windows are getting dressed up these days. We decided to go without traditional casing and just sheetrock the internal window opening with the exception of the sill. We went with maple and applied three coats of poly. We also installed slate colored light filtering roller shades from the Shade Store at www.theshadestore.com. If you are interested, they seem to have a winter sale each year of 20% off store-wide! These are well made so they are worth the money, but a sale is always a good thing.