Monday, March 3, 2014

So, Here's Why I Haven't Been Blogging Much

The odyssey of our home transformation (of sorts) started late last year. After our house finally started edging into the black after having been upside-down financially for several years, we started both a) feeling a little pride of ownership again, and b) feeling a bit sour about things that had been  the same since forever.

Though we've been planning on several tracks, our first step came out of a bit of sideways thinking while looking for something else. On a whim, I drove up to the RC Willey outlet store, on a quest for nothing in particular, but with an appropriate vehicle for bringing something back. I ended up buying a glider/recliner that would replace a very old green armchair. More than merely replacing old furniture, this chair allows both myself and The Other Half to read comfortably together in the same room. Perfect for a long, luxurious weekend day when we have nothing on the agenda.

Around the same time, we knew we'd have to replace our old bar stools around the kitchen island (our only permanent eating space). The old ones were very high quality, very sturdy chairs with arms, but they were hopelessly stuck in the early 90s. No amount of resurfacing and reupholstering would bring them into the 2010s, so they were kicked to the curb. We actually found the ones we liked at Sam's Club, and as luck would have it, three were obtained as returns! Woohoo, a few saved bucks!

That done, we decided that our old rattan chair needed a makeover or a replacement. We found a seamstress on Craigslist, and went the recovering route, and ended up with a nice change, a hipper fabric that went better in the room. So far, so good! Excess fabric has been sent to a relative for some throw pillows in the near future, along with some valances. That will be the finishing touch, sometime soon. Meanwhile, the really big change, was the granite.

A little bit of luck struck us with a bit of trade (along with a little of our own funding) from a friend, allowing us to install some amazing granite in our kitchen, and in our bathrooms. We went with a Crema Bordeuax in the two biggest rooms, and a scrapyard remnant in our guest bath. Surprisingly, the scrap is nearly as lovely as the higher-end stuff! It really looks great. Of course, you can't just put the old sinks and faucets back, so we needed some basins and hardware.

We settled on three sets of identical bathroom faucets in brushed nickel, and a big, sturdy nickel one in the kitchen. We opted for rectangular basins in the extremely long vanity in the master, and a nice oval in the guest bath. The kitchen got one of our more extravagant purchases, a seamless 60/40 undermount stainless deep kitchen sink. And don't forget the new garbage disposer!

All of this was finished by the middle of last week. Juggling work and remodel, I arranged to have some friends around to fill in the gaps, and make sure everything got installed just right. And by all rights, by Tuesday night, I should have been finished. Well, except for restocking the shelves and drawers in the kitchen and bathroom, since we'd cleared everything out before the contractors got here.

But we weren't done. We had those ugly "Hollywood dressing room"-style bathroom lights, builder-quality from 1996. And we had mostly the original, standard bathroom hardware (towel racks, toilet paper holder, etc.) from the same year.  Think: every apartment you've ever lived in, much like our original sinks and countertops. So, over the weekend we purchased and installed (2) towel rods, (2) hand towel loops, (1) toilet paper holder, (1) halogen decorative light fixture, (1) dimmer switch and (2) standard light fixtures!

So, obviously, we're spending money as though we have it (which may pinch for a few months, let's be honest), and though we're basically finished, there are still a few tasks, some optional, some crucial. The biggest one is that The Other Half has been splashing paint around, getting a feel for new colors. So, we're basically committed to repainting some rooms. The dimmer switch I bought is not
the push-on type, so I'll be switching that out. There may be some adjustments to rugs and towels, and maybe a few other accessories. And by year's end, probably some kitchen lighting changes. Other than that, we're just about done!

So, hopefully after all of that, you can see why I haven't had a lot of time for blogging!  But I should be back to full strength--such as it is--by Monday evening. I will try!

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