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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finally!

Well, the big day finally arrived. We closed earlier this week on our first house! My husband and I are already busy with our DIY projects, so the first thing I did when I got to the house yesterday was snap as many pictures as I could of the place in it's "Before" state. First, we have our lovely and bright living room with that great bay window. I've always loved bay windows and now I've got 2 of them (another in the kitchen). 
Here's another view of the living room. I've already got some paint samples up on this wall. I started painting as soon as I put down the camera. The plan is to do the walls in a light grey and maybe a dark grey accent wall where the fireplace is. I can't wait to get our art up on the walls. I started my art collection when I was an adventurous, single traveler, but my paintings and photography have been stored for years because I didn't want to drag it all across the globe to Japan. Then there's the art that I bought together with my husband that has special meaning, too. So I don't think I'll have awkward empty wall space anywhere. 
Here's a view of the living room from the formal dining room. Formal dining room! I'm so excited about that. We have no plans to knock out this wall for a modern open plan because I actually like a more traditional layout. Besides, as the structural engineer whom we hired to check the place out told me, this is a load-bearing wall, so it would be pricey to do away with. 
Here it is, the formal dining room I was just talking about. The red wallpaper and paint (below the chair rail), will be history as soon as I can sponge on some hot water mixed with wallpaper removing liquid and peel away. And that light fixture is being replaced today. I chose something a little more modern (but not too modern), which I'll show you later. I like the built-in china cabinets and won't have any problem filling those. My grandma's china has been stored along with the art and is ready to see the light of day. Then there's our Japanese pottery that really deserves some attention, so we'll have to see what looks right in there. 
Here's a little eat-in area in the kitchen. I thought this light fixture wasn't so bad, but when I looked closer I noticed all these gross bubbles on the painted white surface. Yuck. So that's being replaced today, too. I mean would you want to stare at a bubbly old light fixture while eating your corn flakes? Not me! 
Here's the kitchen. It's small by many people's standards, but not mine. I just got back from Japan where I lived for 5 years. My kitchen there gave a whole new meaning to tiny. And you know what? I liked it. There's something nice and simple about cooking in a compact kitchen. Although I will say that it will be great to have some extra counter space. Our plan here is to replace countertops with black honed granite or soapstone, put up a nice subway tile backsplash,  and replace appliances. Then we have to figure out the floors. The clunky ceiling fan that you can just barely see is being replaced today. 
There's this blue linoleum flooring that's seen better days. The realtor thinks that there is not hardwood underneath, so we're thinking about doing tile. I like a nice white hexagon tile with some little black accent tiles thrown in, but we'll see. This project might have to wait until a) we know more about flooring, b) make sure we're not over-spending and c) live in the place a while and get a better sense of what we need. 
I've already ordered my Energy Star fridge and a very cool (but reasonably priced) range. I thought I had to have a duel fuel, but it turns out that I just liked how they looked (not the ginormous price tag -- not too mention size). So I got me a slide-in gas range and ordered side panels so it can stand on it's own (not so fast... read this before you go out and buy that slide-in). 
How cute is this old thing? I considered having it restored (there's a "danger do not use" tag hanging off it now), but that's more expensive than I thought. It's kind of a clunker, too. This is a really small space for an oven and a fridge, so I had to be careful and order smaller appliances. 
Oooo! A staircase! We looked at some bungalow style houses, but none of them had a nice grand staircase like this. This one needs some work though.
Awww, looks like someone wants to check out the upstairs. Let's go!
I like that cute light fixture at the top. Maybe we'll hang on to that one. It's got a nice vintage feel. Well, forget "feel" I'm sure it is vintage if not antique. I do not like the pineapple wallpaper though, so that's another project.
Here's a peek at the upstairs bathroom. Tiny, but functional and there's built-in storage. 
Bedroom #1. This will probably be our room. Gotta get that blue wallpaper down and get painting. Oh yes, and we're going to stain all the floors in the house a nice dark color. That's actually my husband's project and he is tackling it with such enthusiasm. I know he'll do an excellent job. He showed me a little test patch with the stain and it's gorgeous! What an improvement that will be. The floors are pretty scuffed up in a lot of spots and uneven in color. 
Bedroom #2. Small, but cute. Probably the girls' room. 
Bedroom #3. Another small bedroom, but we considered making this ours because of the great balcony. I love the idea of waking up to some coffee out on a balcony with birds singing and fragrant flowers in bloom. Of course Wisconsin winters will keep us from enjoying it year-round.
This is the door out there, but I couldn't get it open to take a picture! Yeah, it's an old house (70 years old to be exact), so we've got some door issues to deal with along with the painting and other cosmetic stuff. 
Back downstairs there's a half bath. The tile is original to the house, so I'm not sure I have the heart to take it out even though I'm not 100% sure about it. Maybe it will grow on me. 

Sorry to leave you with a picture of a toilet, but I've got so much work to do today! Hope you all have a lovely Thursday. 


 
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