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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kitchen Preview

As mentioned last week, our kitchen cabinets were installed this week.  But instead of showing you guys what they look like in the bare kitchen, with no countertop, and no tile backsplash, I thought I'd just give you a little sneak preview of what the cabinets look like. 

But before we get to that, I thought I'd share with you how we came to choose our kitchen cabinets. I had lots of inspiring images of what I wanted our kitchen to look like.  It was pretty important to me to consume as many images of kitchen and baths as I could.  Gathering photos from websites like Pinterest and Houzz and magazines like Country Living and This Old House, helped me see a pattern in things that I was drawn to. 

Here are 3 things that kept catching my eye. 
1. White shaker style cabinets! They are fresh looking, and simple.  Which, to me is a recipe for a timeless kitchen.

2. Inset Cabinets. I never knew there were different profiles for cabinets until I really started paying attention. I kept being drawn to this slightly more "custom" looking cabinet.  

Traditional Kitchen by Vancouver Home Builders Rockridge Fine Homes

Here is an image that I found that shows the difference.  See how the inset door sits into the face of the cabinet and how the overlay door sits on top?
I was worried that having the door sit inside the face would decrease the amount of storage in the cabinet, but it doesn't really affect the storage space. This is because the overlay cabinets rest on the lip, inside most cabinets, and you can't store anything on that lip anyway.

3. Having a different color island than the perimeter cabinets. 
Read This Before You Redo a Kitchen

To me, this kitchen has it all.  The white inset cabinets and a dark island - oh the island. It makes. me. swoon.  I love the dark island and how it grounds the space.  And I love the added texture with the bead board.  

So with those basic inspirations in mind.... I give you, a glimpse of our cabinets

Perimeter Cabinets

White Inset Cabinets :-)

Island Cabinets

Black Inset Cabinets with Bead Board Inlay

back side of the island

We are soooo pleased with how the cabinets turned out! Every time I walk in and see them, it usually takes me about 10 minutes of starring and smiling before I can get myself together and do what I came there to do.  Its really has become a problem when I'm just walking through to get something out of the garage.  I guess I need to just start allowing myself more time if I know I'm going by the kitchen. #newkitchenproblems

I'll save talking about the bathroom inspiration for another day! Hope you all have had a great weekend! 

I'm helping Saint Steve install windows this week! Exciting!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Blank Canvas

As I mentioned last week we finished up priming the walls and ceiling of the drywall.

So with the walls looking clean and bright, it was finally time to turn our attention downward... to the floors.

Remember when we got the floors patched and they looked like this?

Well no more! The first step was to sand down the floors about 1/8 inch.  They looked like this.

Bare. Naked. You can still faintly see where the old wood was stitched together with the new wood - and don't worry, there's absolutely no sign of it now that the floors are completely refinished.  Once the floors were ready to accept the stain, we had to pick one! I had picked up a bunch of stain sample colors from Hoosier Hardwoods and narrowed it down to three choices. We wanted to go with something warm and semi-dark.  I nixed anything with too much red in it like any of the mahoganies.  I also nixed any of the walnuts (if you've been reading the blog for a while, you probably remember our history with walnut trees).  The walnut shades just seamed a little too muted, and not warm enough.  So we decided to test Antique Brown, Medium Brown, and Jacobean on our floors to see what they looked like in our home.

Right away we knew we had to nix the antique brown.  It felt too muddy compared to the other ones.

Then it was a fierce competition between the medium brown and jacobean.  I loved both of them and the medium brown really appealed to us since it was slightly lighter (something my mom was really pushing for since she has lived with hardwood floors for many years and warned us that it would help hide the dust/dirt). 

But in the end, we decided on jacobean.  (Side note: is it Jack-Oh-Bean? or Jay-Co-Be-Ann?  we had a good long discussion. No conclusion made.) It was my favorite and first choice.  And as much as I wanted to choose the practical and safe choice with the lighter, medium brown, my eyes just kept going back to the jacobean.  And, with the support of my husband and mom, they encouraged me to "go with my gut" and forget about practicality.  Besides, what a horrible feeling to walk in and be disappointing with the floor stain color because I settled for my second choice.  Nah, not going to do it.  So, thanks for the support Michael and Mom!

And needless to say, we've never looked back from jacobean.

  It was hard to photograph the floor because of the glare from the windows, so one of my favorite photos is of our closet.  It shows off the warm brown and the black grains beautifully.

 We love them!  We couldn't walk on them until Saturday morning.  So Saturday morning I was standing outside the door for a good 10 minutes with my shoes off acting like a frightened skydiver, waiting to take the plunge.  And then I did.  I walked around with a stupid big grin on my face and all I wanted to do was roll around on them and pretend to do snow angles.... Did I say I wanted to do that?  Well I meant I actually did do that!  Surprised?  You shouldn't be.

 Yep! That happened.  And it will probably happen again. 

So with the drywall primed and the floors refinished, I think that officially puts us in the Blank Canvas phase of phase 1.

For 3.5 months we have been tearing our house apart  and trying to get things back together to make this place to resemble something that looks like a house.

Here are some pictures to help you remember the journey we've taken these past months.

From Foyer Looking In:


 Master Bedroom:

And because our new floors are so beautiful, we decided to cover them all up with cardboard. 

I'm thinking of keeping this look around in the future, who needs area rugs when you've got cardboard!? I'm just keepin' it classy. 

Our kitchen cabinets are being installed this week! Can you believe it? And all of our tile was delivered today for our bathroom.  I'm just a big ball of excitement!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Heart of a Home

When Michael and I first set out to find a house, we had a wish list of things we wanted our home to have.  And like many websites suggest, we organized the list into negotiables and non-negotiables :


-Front porch
-Space for lots of parking


-Built prior to 1940
-Curb appeal/potential
-Garage/space to build garage
-2 full baths
-3 or 4 bedrooms
-livable kitchen and baths that need updating
-Within 20 min of work

And, of course, like any first time home buyer, we had high expectations and were not really willing to negotiate.  But obviously, we did.  You can see that we did NOT buy a home built prior to 1940, nor did we buy a home with a livable kitchen/bath that only needed a little updating.  BUT, every other hope and wish for our home was, or will be, a reality.  If you are interested in learning more about how we came to buy our house, you can read this blog post.  

But above any feature our home has/will have, Michael and I wanted to make sure there was one absolutely non-negotiable element to our home.  We wanted to have a home that is open to people. 

If you know us, you know we are highly social people.  We love to have parties (especially themed ones!).
So it is a big priority to be able to open our home for this purpose.  We want our home to be functional for us, but more importantly to be welcoming to others. We want to host small groups, throw showers, celebrate birthdays, house out of town guests.  We love the idea of being THE house that all the kids congregate at.  Look at this picture below from the home of one of our mentors in college.  This is in their house at an annual Christmas party.

10 points if you can find Michael and I
I love that! So many people and so much fun! In college, we lived in married student housing which translated to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 500sq ft apartment.  I think our record was 25 people in the main living area.  It was so wonderful.  We loved that place. 

In our P-Ville Apartment (2.5 years ago.  Crazy!)
With all that in mind, that is one reason we were so excited about our house.  It has the potential to open up the living space between the dining, kitchen, and living room.  It has a great basement that will someday be an awesome space to hangout in.  And the river provides a great opportunity for fun outdoor activities.  
No joke, these people were tubing on the river last night.  It didn't look like very much fun-at about 10 miles per hour.  But whatever floats your boat! (Chuckle.) I also love the kid in the front seat with his hands up in the air. 

Having this purpose of a people centered home, I have started to pray through our home.  Sometimes when I get worn down by the task I am working on whether it be demo, sweeping, or painting, I pray for the room I'm in.  For the future people that will be in it.  For the future events we will have there.  It helps to keep my eyes fixed on a higher purpose for our home- more than for our home to just look pretty.  It keeps me grounded in what we set out to do originally with our home, which is to love people and to welcome them in. 

Even already, before we've been able to move in, we have been able to enjoy people in our home. 
Our Friends Emily and Cory kayaked to our house

My nephew Max enjoying the fireplace and PVC scrap.  (Somebody better move that utility knife!!)

Out of town family photo-op in our back yard

The many work days family and friends have helped with

We are a thankful couple, that's for sure!  We are so thankful that God has been listening.  And we know He will continue to listen and bless us, through people coming into our home and lives.

Progress update:
We primed all the drywall this last weekend.Thanks to our moms for pitching in and to our friend Kara for helping out! We are so thankful!

They are starting to refinish our floors today.  We'll have a blank slate of a house by the end of the week!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Ditch Diggin' Husband

This is him, my ditch diggin' husband.  He dug a ditch.  From our house to the river.  Just him and his shovel.

Just kidding. We rented a Ditch Witch.

 What in the world is a ditch witch?  I don't know, but when I googled it images like this popped up:
 Michael picked up this bad boy from Four Star Rental for a measly $120-you'll see later why I think $120 is measly.  He, along with my Uncle Steve, got right to work.  Thank goodness for "Saint" Steve (which I will henceforth be referring to him as).  He worked all week on our house, late into the evening to get the drywall done and what does he do?  Volunteers to help Michael dig ditches on Saturday.  He. Is. A. Saint. (Therefore: Saint Steve). 

Anyway, I missed out on all the fun because I was sleeping during the day due to working the previous night.  But as soon as I was woke up, I was out there to see what they had been up to.

Ditch #1

Ditch #1 goes from the river to the house.  This ditch is to accommodate the drain for our geothermal system.  If you don't know what in the world I am talking about, you can learn more about our geothermal system by reading this blog post

When they got down to the river's edge, Michael did have to dig the rest of the ditch manually because they didn't want to get the Ditch Witch stuck in the muck. Then would it be called a Muck Witch?  That doesn't have the same ring to it.

And here he is with the final product.  The black drainage pipe is going to be buried up until it gets to this cement (concrete?) block.  This is where the water from our geothermal unit is discharged into the river.  That sounds a little sketchy, huh?  Don't worry.  We got the go ahead from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and our local DNR.  The water is exactly the same water that comes from our well.  No more, no less - although possibly a degree or two different from the temperature of the river water.  But even still, there is no environmental impact by discharging the water into the river! Woot!

I think Michael had a really good time getting this project underway.  Here's why I think that:
1. He got to use a cool piece of equipment (i.e. the ditch witch)
2. He got to wear waders and get all muddy.. I mean if that ain't a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, I don't know what is!
3. He got to explore our property in ways we haven't been able to yet.  (see below)

That's Michael, standing in the river where the water comes up to his abdomen... trusty shovel in hand so he doesn't get stuck.  Because I told him, there was no way I was coming out there to rescue him!

Ditch #2

 Ditch # 2 is basically boring.  There's not much else to say other than we dug it to bury our internet wiring.

Which leads me to the next topic...

Why is $120 spent on renting a Ditch Witch considered measly?

Because we saved a ton of money doing it ourselves.  New Paris Cable alone said they would charge us $350 to bury the internet line for us.  So we already made back our money from that.  Plus we saved money by not having our Geothermal installers dig the ditch for the geothermal system which we estimate they probably would have charged us >$500.  Woo hoo! So we saved an estimated $730! That is super helpful since we are about to purchase the tile for our bathroom!

 And check out this awesomeness! That's a completely dry walled entryway - looking at it from the living room.

The mudder/taper is finishing this week! But more on that later!

Plus! What do you all think about the face lift for the blog?! I'm diggin it... ha! Appropriate pun!

Have a great week everybody!