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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bark Trio

For a small amount of money (about $13) we were able to up the curb appeal of our house. Casey got a quarter yard of bark to fill the two boxes and small edged area in the front yard.You remember the before from our first post:
Here's what it looked like today before he got started.
Pretty sad and the box Casey made in the below picture looses dirt every winter from all of the rain we get here in Oregon.

Casey got right to work making our house look pretty.

And he likes to do things the fun way. Instead of using a rake like a normal boring regular person, he chose the hang-off-the-railing method. It's controversial, but effective.
 One more wheel barrow full for the rose box

After trimming some of the new growth of the rose to help it grow attractively in a "chalice" shape (he said), he filled the box.  The rose is a beautiful pink and yellow; I can't wait for it to bloom!

With the boxes filled, it is time to mow the lawn while there is a break in the rain (boo hoo). My sweetie is so productive!
Casey wanted to make mowing our tiny front yard a little easier so he suggested that a small trim around the boxes would be helpful. And, we can fill the small edge with the left over bark from our quarter yard!
 Grass and weeds are cut away and ready for a bark fill.

 So much better!

 A little front yard I can be proud of :).

Two Little Words

One big meaning. 
I saw this sign over on Pinterest (my favorite place) and I really wanted to make it to go over our front door. The sign says "Be Kind" and it is the last thing our family will see when we leave the house. This is a great reminder to be kind to each person we encounter out in the world; be it another driver, coworker or fellow student. 

Casey: We started with a piece of oak that I recycled from an old pallet. It was quite ugly before I planed it down to reveal the interesting figuring in the grain.

 Next I cut from the center to get all the cool knots and grain that Gabi wanted for the sign.
 The board was still pretty rough on the edges where it was cut so I gave it a quick sanding job with a rasp. I had to be careful not to knock off the cool knots on the wood so I went slow with light pressure.

 To finish it off I used some 100 grit sandpaper just until there were no more splinters.

 We wanted keyhole slots to hang it by so I routed them with a keyhole cutter. I realize there is a slight chance that you don't have a router with a keyhole cutter so any picture hanging hardware will work.
 Here is the keyhole after it was cut. There is another equally spaced on the other end as well.
Gabi: We found a free font here called "Sail" : I printed it out to use as a reference. I decided to do it free-hand because it is faster and I wanted a more rustic look, but you could use a transfer method if that makes you more comfortable.
 I started by sketching out the letters with a pencil.
 Then I painted with some black acrylic and smallish paintbrush. I finished with a tiny brush to do the details
We let it dry over night.
Casey: Once the paint was dry I finished the sign by treating it with linseed oil. I used oil rather than a lacquer or stain because I wanted to bring out the character of the wood while keeping a very natural, unfinished  look.
I used an old sock to apply the oil and I rubbed the oil into the wood for a couple of minutes. Hand rubbing the oil into the wood pushes the oil deep into the wood fibers. The more time you spend on this process the richer the wood will appear.

Now the fun part! We centered the sign above our front door on the inside so we would see it on the way out when we leave. It seems like a very simple phrase but few things are as important as this.

Monday, March 25, 2013

One House

We are starting this to document our journey as home owners. We bought our house in April 2011 and we haven't made that many improvements yet, but we would like to start. We plan to only live here until we're old. So we want to make it the best possible house for us.

Our home is in Cottage Grove, Oregon. It was a bank-owned home, which was our first budget friendly decision! As you can see it doesn't have a whole lot of curb appeal, but we have some ideas that will remedy that.

We have started a master check list in a word document to keep track of what we would like to do and what we have accomplished. We really want to enjoy the journey and not just long for the end product. 

I don't have before pictures of all of the areas, but I think this will do for now. Here is our master todo list for the entire house and grounds (haha! It sounds like we have a lot of land, which we do not.) Beware: this is a long post.

House To-Do List
·        Blueprints of the house for reference
·        Whole house vacuum system or roombas?

Front Yard/ Curb Appeal 5%
·        Stone Pillars instead of brick
·       Raised yard with rock wall and lower area for pea gravel. daffodils and      irises or miniature boxwoods
·        Small roof line over porch
·        Extend porch out 18”or more?
·        Seating area on front porch with nice chairs and real cushions and a mosaic side table
·        Curved stone steps and path to driveway
·        Paint door black with baby blue decal no 203
·        Nice flower box in front with rose and rotating bulbs 
·        Teal planters with miniature boxwood shrubberies x3
·        Replant front lawn
·        Bark for appearance

·        Side gate with treated wood and arched top
·        Remove maple and replace with tulip tree
·       Move daffodils to front  
·        Small shed positioned between windows
·        De-plant side and add gravel and stepping stones or concrete for a walkway to back
·        Remove paver stones from side yard
·        Remove all shells, wiring, old watering system from side yard, etc
·        New pretreated fencing for whole yard
·        Magenta Peony  
·        Caged Bulb industrial light for porch and garage x2
·        Garden Gnome in front box
·        Repaint house
·        Wooden garage door with arched window
·        Arbor across garage door with blue wisteria growing
·         Rose
·        Dahlias, Glads, Irises, Tulips, Daffodils
·        Remove erroneous cords

Entry 0%

·        Paint to compliment living room and kitchen or accent from door to corner
·        Bench and coat hooks
·        Linoleum instead of tile, or different tile, slate?
 ·     Board and batten up to eye level
·        “Be Kind” over door on the way out and kids photos over board and batten
·        Different Lighting
·        Remove doorbell or find a way to make it more pleasant
·        Frame around peep hole (Friends love!)
·        Wooden crates under bench for shoe storage
·        Remove ugly and ineffective “Coat hanger”

Bathroom 0%

·        Paint Blue
·        Add large waves artwork to main wall
·        Remove mirror and replace with entry mirror 
·        Paint vanity hardware with ORB
·        Wire basket with toilet paper
·        Wall inset storage cabinet for plunger and brush
·        Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
·        Hanging mason jar vase next to mirror

Living Room 9%

·        Paint a cool taupe
·        Beams on ceiling
·        Recessed lighting
·        Built in media, storage, and seating under windows
·        3+ person couch
·        Vignette with chairs to be used at Dining table with fun pillows made out of world market napkins. Recover chairs with versatile fabric for dining room and living room
·        Boat Cleats for blind cord tie backs x3
·    Hang Map Canvas framed in Teak from Hawaii
·        Stand up Piano on closet wall
·        Another versatile chair in corner
·        Different rug
·        Get flat screen TV and hang on wall
·        Bamboo/ burlap shade on small windows
·        Curtains and bamboo/burlap shade on large window
·        Tropical plant
·        Blanket basket
·        Repaint baseboards same as other trim
·        Re-hang Clock higher
·        Children’s’ artwork display painted ORB under clock and above buffet
·        Best placement for photos/ Artwork? Do we want to keep the elephant   artwork here or at all?
·        Move laundry room cabinet down to media built in
·        Steam punk side tables
·        Buffet: home decor store, candles, picture albums, vases, fake flowers, misc decor
·        Transform little closet into downstairs necessary storage, like vacuum, chairs, other cleaning needs, toys
·        Faux Old Book Spine Box on shelf
·        Wood Crates for under bench seat
·        Remove quote on wall
·        Two new screens in small windows

Dining Room 5%
·        Paint to match or compliment living room
·       A really big old farmhouse style table that can handle use, i.e. leaving condensation cups on it, hot plates, artwork, etc
·        Comfortable wooden chairs, some with arm rests, criss cross
·        Extend wood flooring up to island
·        Make built in computer station that recesses into the wall with cabinets, filing and roll out keyboard tray, mount computer on the wall , use upper cabinets for office supplies stationary
·        Stools at island
·        Curtains on Slider instead of ugly vertical blinds, Curtain hold backs, rod rings and clips, table cloth curtains something bold
·        Hide Internet cord
·        Quote banner above slider “I’m Third” or “We’re blessed”?
·        Instead of slider, doors that open out to patio
·        Different lighting
·        Map Calendar above computer area

Kitchen 5%

·        Paint to match or compliment living room maybe warmer color?
·        Linoleum to be kinder to our dropped dishes?
·        Continuous Creamy Counter tops, one color to counter the dark tones
·        Stone piece in window sill instead of wood
·        Bamboo/ burlap window shade instead of blinds
·        Stainless steel appliances with black glass top stove
·        Mercury glass pendants over island, industrial light pendant over sink
·        Paint hardware with ORB
·        Built in next to pantry with counter top, shelves with baskets for napkins,   fruits and vegetables and upper cabinets with storage for cook books, large serve ware etc  
·    Open shelving somewhere?
·   Remove lazy susan from corner cupboard and replace with half shelf
·        Pull out drawers in large lower cupboards
·        Pull out shelves under sink
·        Attractive compost storage
·        Easy to use recycling system
·        Recessed can lights all over kitchen
·        Frames for the refrigerator to clean up the look
·        Blue accents to counter dark tones
·        Hood Vent? Copper? Move microwave to built in cabinets next to pantry?
·        Tiled Back splash
·        Old metal or wooden stools with backs for island
·        Fix Fan and Light over stove

Garage 18%

·        Cleaned out and organized
·        One side emptied for car storage
·        Wall of easy to access stuff for me with vacuum, car cleaners, etc
·        Gardening area with gloves, etc
·        Better lighting
·        Shelving for wood
·        Work bench and pegboard
·        Freezer moved to left for easy access
·        More Shelving
·        Larger drawers and shelves under work bench
·        Fill holes in the Sheetrock and bright coat of white paint
·        Bin Storage shelf

Side Yard 11%

·        Clean and organized
·        User friendly garbage/recycling area
·        Fire Pit
·        Prettied up fire pit area
·        Removed weird small fence
·        Clean and sanitize smoker
·        Hot tub with privacy surrounding and lights
·        Path from back to cement
·        Blacksmithing area with stable building and roof
·        Rain Barrel or two and hose connected for garden watering
·        Remove wood outlines, flagstone, paver stones

Back Yard 9%

·        Different patio and cover
·        Built in brick oven/ fireplace
·        Built in BBQ grill
·        Seating area with comfy chairs and dining table
·        Pergola
·        Garden
·        Trim cedar trees
·        Help honey suckle, trees to grown
·        Reshape garden beds and make the most of the space
·        Play structure for the kids
·        Irises along back fence
·        New, taller fence in back
·        Path along back of house on both sides
·        New grass in places
·        No weeds in grass
·        Paint patio table with ORB
·        Stone rounded stairs
·        Stone patio?
·        Water feature, pond-less water fall
·        Criss-Cross bulb lights over patio
·        Lemongrass
·        Remove scalloped edgers

Stairwell 0%

·        Paint a bright color that compliments entry
·        Privacy covering for window stained glass, frosted with iron scrolled grate or stained glass insert
·        Different lighting Orb light?
·        What to do with weird ledge?
·        Boat cleat for blind cord

Hallway 25%

·        Paint a neutral color, something light and bright
·        Hang artwork in hall, map by laundry
·        Different lighting
·        Mezzanine to attic

Laundry Room 0%

·        Paint a bright yellow
·        White “Wood” Blinds or patterned Roman shade
·        “Wash” burlap word over window
·        Remove cabinets and put in open shelving, rod for hanging on opposite wall
·        Make ironing board pull out from wall
·        Make pull out drying racks on wall
·        Pocket door for added space
·        Large sink for dirty cleanup
·        Raise washer dryer to put shelf below for laundry basket pull out?
·        Artwork above shelves
·        Hexagon Light fixture or different lighting
·        Shelf on washer and dryer to hold stuff and prevent things falling behind

Master Bedroom 34%
·        Paint a cool taupe
·        Crown molding
·        Carved wood head board to match platform bed wood
·        Neutral bedding, fun shams, nautical pillows, quilted blue blanket
·        Nautical foot bench
·        Faux Pottery Bard wood Platform Bed
·        Craft area on right side, use old kitchen table or build criss-cross desk, built in floor to ceiling white shelves, cute chair
·        Vanity area with red coral mirror, white table, nautical themed accessories, apothecary jars, appliance caddy, fun chair
·        Cool old fashioned lamps, painted with ORB and old, frosted glass lamp shades
·        Tropical Plant
·        Matching Steam punk nightstands for both of us
·   Remove star and get rid of it
·        Long short, wooden, dresser, classy looking
·        Nautical accessories on dresser, perfume station
·        Mirror above dresser, hair accessories and earring hanging on wall
·        “Love” moved to board for artwork to hang in room somewhere.
·        Shelving with pictures and accessories somewhere in room
·        Different lighting
·        Bamboo. Burlap Shade, drapes, rod ring clips
·        Window ladder for emergencies


Master Bathroom 0%
·        Paint Blue
·        Soaking or claw foot tub, BIG!
·        Tile shower with glass doors, no bench, foothold and soap dispensers, two shower heads, warming tiles
·        Shorter vanity
·        Wire baskets for towels
·        Towel warmer outside the shower
·        Frame around mirror
·        Different lighting
·    Wire basket for toilet paper
·        Two shower curtains around soaking tub
·        Wall shelving?
·        Frame Tropical Photo and hang
·        New bath mat
·        Paint hardware with ORB
·        Bright green mini fern

Master Closet 0%
·        Paint stark white
·        Artwork or mirror in nook above drawers
·        Upper and lower storage built in shelves plus rods more drawers
·        Fun hardware
·        Pocket door
·        More hardware for drawers

Extra Bedroom 0%
·        Paint lime yellow
·        Move out all craft supplies
·        Set up double bed with bright bedding quilt
·        Remove wall shelves
·        Wooden armoire with tv and drawers for guest storage
·        Add stairs to attic?
·        hangers in closet for guest storage

Hall/ Linen Closet 0%

·        Move games elsewhere
·        Paint inside stark white
·        Add decorative shelf dividers and storage baskets

Kids’ bathroom 0%

·        Paint teal

·        Mount shower curtain up high (new one while we’re at it)

·        Frame out mirror

·        Make wall storage shelves over toilet

·       Different lighting

Peetie’s Room 12%

·        Paint a light Lavender
·        Crown molding
·        Different lighting
·        Mosquito netting
·        Maximize closet, add shelving multiple rods, seating area
·        Window bar for safety and sheer curtains
·        Frame Cinderella photo and hang
·        painted wall treatment on one wall (see pottery barn grey tear out)
·        Sheer Curtain Bed Canopy with lights

Jacob’s Room 0%
·        Paint Grey
·        Maximize closet: shelves, multiple rods
·        My old nightstand and a lamp for reading
·        Different and brighter lighting
·        White Roman window shade
·        Train Table and tracks for play
·        Built in shelving, hat hooks
·        Window bar for safety
·        Star Wars murals on two walls and Clone Wars framed posters flanking window
·        Star Wars Sheets and Comforter

Attic 0%
·        Add 2 gables on front and 2 on back for ventilation and more head room
·        Sheet rock ceiling
·        Flooring and carpet for noise absorption
·        Storage cabinets around the perimeter of the room for plastic bins
·        Stairwell from extra bedroom or current stairwell to save space
·        Mezzanine down to hallway to open up hall space (reroute ventilation system?)
·        Paint a light and bright color to cut down on darkness
·        Add comfy couches and old chairs and a TV system with DVD and VCR, and stereo for entertainment purposes