Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Decorating Projects In Review

Even before we bought this house, there was so much I wanted to do.  2013 has been a good year!!  We accomplished a lot in the house and I'm one happy camper.  I wanted to do a few 'before and after' photos and also show some other projects that were completed this year.

Below is a picture of our tiny living room. We wanted to (and did) knock down the wall to the far left and make our porch part of the house.  We did it right this time!  (Meaning in all of our project history, we did not get permission.)  We got permission from the neighborhood association AND paid a walloping fee to the city to get their permission.  (I posted it in TWO places outside just to prove all the noise and work was legit!  And also because I had paid so much for those pieces of paper, they were way worth putting on display! 

This is obviously during the construction!  It was amazing how great it felt!

One Saturday morning, my husband and I were sitting in the dusty mess and he mentioned something that I had been wanting to do for a long time; tear out the closet under the steps and open them up like they were originally when the house was built in the '80's.  So that we did.  It probably took us an hour, at most, for the demo.  He tore down, I cleaned up. I can't tell you what a fantastic idea that was and how much space we added to our living room.

Below is a before picture.  There is a closet under the steps, behind the wall.

Another before picture.

During demo!

Almost done with demo..

Pretty much done!

Really done and ready for Christmas!

So this before picture is/was our tiny dining room.  We brought our 'beloved' antique dining table, formerly library table, with us from Kansas City.  It's pretty big and weighs about 350 pounds, so the movers said.  We wanted to buy a home that would accommodate this piece that we love so much.  Instead we bought for the our little guest house and our fantastic location.  We knew we could always knock some walls out. It took about two years to be able to do this financially because we wanted to pay cash.  But we did it!

So, again, below is the before picture of our dining room.

Another before pic.

The after picture here is a Thanksgiving toast to our son and his new fiance!  I LOVE this space now.  I couldn't be happier!
And another after picture on Christmas Eve.

The back of the house was also done "right".  We chose to have the once flat porch roof, tie in with the roof line so it looks as if it's always been there. Below you'll see the beginning of the transformation!

It's starting to take shape.

All it needs now is the tile.

And voila!  All we have to do is paint and it looks as though the house were built like this. We need to wait 30 days to paint stucco.  

So, right after Thanksgiving I found this beautiful chair at Goodwill for under $13.  I loved it but thought it looked really dated.  I bought it anyway.  My husband was really hesitant about me painting it!  (He's very, very slowly learning to trust me.  He freaked when I took the carpet off the stairs and told him that I was going to stain the wood and not carpet! It turned out to be beautiful and he loves them.) I wanted to sand it down to light wood, sort of weather it a little and then wax it.  When I began to sand, the wood was an orange-ish.  I believe it's mahogany.  I really hated it and sort of panicked a little.  Although I love painted objects, I do hate to paint over wood.  But now, I had to do something.  Of course my husband said something to the effect, "It's HORRIBLE!"  Which, unfortunately, it was horrible.  So, I got my turquoise Annie Sloan paint and decided to paint it.  It was really scary to do because I truly wasn't sure.  After the paint was on, it still didn't look right.  I went for my gold paint and decided to play around a little. 

Before picture below.

I don't have any 'during' pics, so here are the afters:

Okay, the next project is also one that we wanted since we bought the house. We have a nice little courtyard at the front of our home.  But it didn't have any gates and it looked like it should.  It actually had some originally, but they weren't anything to write home about.  I checked on craigslist for a long time and found some BEAUTIFUL, vintage, iron gates. We went to see them and they just didn't look 'do-able'.  They were connected and laying by a swimming pool. They were also very, very heavy.  They wanted $350 for seven huge gates.  Not bad, but we just didn't have it in the budget.  About a month later, the owners called us and said we could have all of them for $175, and they would deliver!  SHA ZAMMMMMMMM!  Well yeah, of course we wanted them.  two and a half years later we have beautiful gates.  We also have also have five left over for whatever.  Anyway, here is the finished product of our gates.  I LOVE them.  The welder who helped us out said they were hand done.

The last project I'll tell you about is our little guest house.  I wanted to get rid of the carpet because it was showing signs of age.  It was here when we bought the house, and I have no idea how long it had been here before us.  

Below is the before pic.  It doesn't look too bad, but it was, trust me!

We decided not to do carpet, but to tile it.  Neither of us like carpet so the decision was made. 

Below is during the project.

We wanted a sort of, entry way, so we decided on a medallion. 

Almost finished.

Below is the finished project.  However, something was wrong.  The red color on the bed just didn't jive with the feeling I wanted.  It actually was disturbing.  I tried changing area rugs and everything.  Nothing helped.  Then I realized what I needed to do; paint the bed.  UG!!  My husband found a recipe for chalk paint and we made our own.  

Below is the finished product of the bed.  It really does make the room look more restful.  Instead of a cowhide rug, I changed it to a natural fiber rug.  Sort of like a sisal only chunkier. 

So, below is the finished look of our little guest house.

So, what do I want to see for 2014???  Not as much to do and that's wonderful.  But what I'd like is a new master bathtub and sink.  Anything else?  I'm sure I'll come up with something.

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas filled with memories.  Happy New Year!!! Let's believe 2014 for health, happiness and beautiful spaces!!!