Friday, November 6, 2009

Yellow Kitchen

So, while Roxanne and I were at the Pediatric Emergency Room last night making sure she didn't have a berry stuck up her nose (apparently she either swallowed it or it came out on it's own), Justin was able to paint the kitchen.  We are both a little confused about the end result.  After I painted the countertops a dark gray, we decided that a yellow would look nice to coordinate.  Originally we wanted to do a really light gray, but after the countertops, it would have been like having a kitchen inside a rain cloud.  I really like the trend of yellow, gray, black and white, since it looks so modern to me.  The yellow we ended up with isn't really the right yellow for that palette though.  It's more of a saturated deeper yellow.  It's still very pretty, and I think we'll keep it, but maybe just re-think the accent colors.  The house has so many blues and grays, we both agree that the warmer color is nice.  We are thinking that maybe doing some red accents in the living room/dining room would be neat with the light blue walls (our wedding colors were robin's egg blue and red) and it seems like a little bit of red would look nice with the yellow in the kitchen.  I just don't want it to end up looking like McDonald's in there.  Yikes.  While thrift store shopping last weekend with my mom, I found some great vintage Rubbermaid tumblers in yellow, and they look really cute on the open shelving in the ktichen.  She urged me to get the little teacup and saucer sets in a pretty yellow, for the shelves, and I'm kind of regretting not listening to her.  But, I think because there is a man in the house, the plastic tumblers are a better choice.  

The other problem we are having in the kitchen is the drawer pulls.  I bought some from IKEA that are very clean looking and modern, but they aren't quite the right size.  One set of drawers though had two sets of holes, so I was able to put the new pulls on.  I LOVE them, and now think that I want to drill new holes in all the drawers to accommodate them, but how do you fill holes in laminate?  I have oodles of putty from all of the holes we had to fill in the walls, but wouldn't that look bizarre?  It's probably my only choice for now.  As long as no one is going over and inspecting the drawer fronts, it should be OK.  One thing we are definitely learning as we go is that NOTHING is as easy as you think it will be.  We totally thought we'd be able to change all of the light fixtures in the house last Sunday.  Um, we got ONE changed.  Granted, it was a behomouth ceiling fan from the seventies, but there were five of us working on it, and it still took forever.  And by the end of it, we all had super sore arms and necks from our efforts.  The second lesson is that trying to move and do house projects with a toddler is not easy.  

Oh, and our bathtub upstairs is peeling.  I know that I need to google it and figure out how to handle it, but I'm kind of afraid of what I'll see.  Like when Roxanne gets a rash and I can't bring myself to google it, in part because I can't stand looking at internet images of rashes, but also because I'm always I'll find out that she has some really weird and scary skin condition.  Sigh.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Roof

Today we got our new roof! We haven't really been able to see it yet, since we got home at 6:30 and it was basically pitch black. How depressing. But hopefully it will be light enough in the morning that we can see it when we leave. We opted for a very basic charcoal colored asphalt tile, and we think it will look appropriate on this house. We still need to do some work on the gutters, but at least we should have no more leaks. In a couple of weeks we will start fixing the ceiling where there was some leakage. We were told to wait until the ceiling was totally dried out before starting to fix it. Makes sense to me... Hopefully it won't be anything too complicated.

We finally located our camera charger, so we'll post some new photos soon. Well, I will. Goodness knows Justin doesn't do any blogging...

In between photos from Mike

Mike sent me these photos of the house he took while over here helping us out. Some of them show some of the work we had started. We've made a little more progress since then... But not much...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Before Photos from the Real Estate listing

Hey good lookin'

So, in order to avoid the frustration/heartache/ugh-iness of the Eastway house, I have waited to start a house blog. But hark! We have have now owned our very own first home since October 23. So let the blogging commence. For the stats, this is in fact our very first home. It's a modest ranch in a section of unicorporated Decatur, Georgia. The house was built in 1955, and it has about 1000 square feet upstairs, which includes three bedrooms, a full bathroom, and a semi-open concept dining/living/kitchen area. The house also has a mostly finished basement that is about the same square footage as the upstairs, with two bedrooms and a full bathroom, as well as a kitchen (with a sink and cabinets but no appliances for now). We bought the house using a grant program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which gave us a $14,000 grant to use for our down payment. If we stay in the house for six years, we get to keep those funds. Woot! If not, we pay the money back on a graduated scale. But hopefully the six years won't be a problem. We are also getting our $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit, which will mostly go to cover the cost of our new roof and our new fridge. But that's OK. We still feel like we are coming out on top. And the old roof leaks and the old fridge smelled weird and seemed to have mouse poo in the freezer. Which is really weird, since I don't understand how a mouse could be living in a freezer and pooping in it.

The only information we know about the house is gleaned from the few neighbors we've met, and all of the bizarre things that we have encountered so far. The house was a foreclosure, so it's not like we could chat with the former owners and find out about the little quirks, like the fact that our living room light (spiffy and new from IKEA) has to be shut on and off via the breaker because some dingleberry didn't wire it to the switch on the wall. That being said, we found out that the house was being used as a rental property, which is not surprising given the neighborhood has a fair amount of rentals (sigh) but is surprising considering the weirdness that we are running into now.

When we first looked at this house both online and in person, we thought it looked BIZARRE. Someone had painted the windows on the front of the house with stripes and flowers and other hippy dippy stuff. The landscaping is totally bonkers, with a huge banana tree in the middle of the yard and weird Christmas tree looking hedges along the driveway. And it got even weirder inside. The smallest of the upstairs bedroom was covered in purple paint and foam stickers of flowers and dinosaurs. The largest bedroom was a pale purple with flower decals and a painted border along one wall that read "Isabella" and had a sequence of images including hearts, yin yangs, doggie foot prints, suns, etc. The windows were painted with a floral pattern. The third bedroom was a purple shade in between the others and had a tree painted on one of the windows.

The kitchen featured more artistic flair, with weird stripes and flowers and checkerboard patterns on one wall of the white laminate cabinets. The drawer pulls and knobs were supposed to look like aged hammered copper and the countertops were some kind of green mess that looked like it might be trying to be marble...? The dining room had a totally weird light fixture with glass balls, a metal cage bowl, foil wrapped cords and loops of green ribbon finishing it off. The living room was OK, but the walls were painted an icky sherbet green and the front window was painted with stripes. There was also a large mirror on one wall that had some chips on the edges.

In the basement, things are OK, but the ugly countertops are down there, coupled with ugly cabinets and weird light fixtures. There is dirty berber style carpet in the two bedrooms that has apparently been glued directly onto the floor (ugh). There is a fun green door down there that leads to the backyard and features an awesome guitar shape. That we like. As for the other stuff, I'm not going to get started down there until things upstairs are more under control.

To date, the house is already looking much better. It's stressful to think about how much is left to do, but it's mostly cosmetic. The only structural problem is that we need a new roof. The roofers are coming on Wednesday of this week to get started. About two weeks after they are done, we'll fix the ceilings in several of the upstairs rooms that have sustained some water damage from the leaky roof. We don't really mind this issue, since it's not as big of a deal as the issues with the first house we had under contract (which would also have been an extra $400 a month in payments...yikes). So yes, aside from the roof, we have been doing a lot of painting. We ended up using Ralph Lauren colors, but only because we just could not find what we were looking for withe Behr, and because we opened a Home Depot card when we bought the paint, we got 10% off, which took us close to the price of the Behr paint. We still have to paint some of the trim, the kitchen has to be totally painted, and so does the hall. We have not done much unpacking and have boxes everywhere, and there are no window treatments up. I tried putting up Roman shades that I found at Target (on clearance of course) but the window frames are metal, so I've got to reevaluate that idea. We have taken all of the paint off of the windows, and the cabinets are about halfway done being stripped. It is extremely tiring and tedious to clean the cabinets. Several people have helped me with it (thanks) and it still takes almost an hour to do one cabinet. Ugh. People, DON'T PAINT WEIRD STUFF ON YOUR CABINETS. Someone will hate you later. Oh, and back to the weird stuff, Justin found a lock of hair next to a key in the backyard by the door during the inspection of the house, and in our first few days of getting started with the clean up, he found a tooth. A human tooth. AHHHH!

OK, I'm exhausted. But I'll try to post the "before photos" before I pass out.