We went to Home Depot this past weekend to get a stud finder to help in our various projects. They had a $15 one (okay, even I probably wouldn't buy that one) and a $50 one... but Kevin had to have the $99 one by Bosch. Not because it was the best, though that was one of the arguments he gave me. But because it "matches" the laser measuring device that we bought that is also Bosch. The young kid who offered to help us was no help at all, as he completely agreed with this assessment, and also offered up that it finds electrical, too.
Today I went over to Pryor Hardwood to check out their flooring samples. The major decisions we need to make are 1) What type of wood? 2) What size planks? and 3) What colors are we thinking about?
First, the type of wood. Brazilian Cherry seems to be the newest fad in flooring, and it's one of the hardest woods out there. But, it comes from a very wet climate, and so in Colorado, it tends to shrink more with the lack of humidity which causes cracks between the planks. It also fades easily, so if you place furniture or a rug on it, pretty soon you will see a difference in color.
Oak and hickory are the most recommended for our area because of the dry climate. They're fairly hard, though not as hard as cherry. But they take stain well, and retain their color better (though they will still fade some.)
The hickory sample scared me a little because it looks very busy, but I think they purposely used all planks that have a lot going on. The sales lady showed me their hickory office floor and only a few planks have the really showy striations and worm holes.
The next question is: What size planks? Originally I wanted 3 different sizes of planks because I thought it would be more interesting. The only problem is that the wider the plank, the more shrinkage occurs, leaving cracks between the planks. You can see one of those cracks in the photo above.
The final question is: What color do we want? When they come in and install the floor, they are going to lay down some samples for us of different colors so we can see them in our own house. Our main concern is that the kitchen has so much wood in it already, and the cabinets have an orange undertone. So we need something that is a completely different color. We like the look of dark wood, but I'm afraid that it would make the room much darker because we don't have a lot of natural light.
Since our cabinets are a medium color, the only colors that were different enough were the lightest and darkest stains.
And here is the drawer with the hickory floor, with no stain at all and an oil based finish. I think this is my favorite. The natural hickory has enough dark spots that it matches the medium tones of the cabinets and the dark wood trim in the rest of the house.
This is the direction we're moving with the dining room. I ordered the chandelier today (on sale!) My first job is to paint the ceiling before the electrician puts the chandelier up, otherwise I'm going to have to paint around it. I guess that will be this weekend's task.
Check out this website I found yesterday... you can create floor plans online for free! It has a menu of all different kinds of furniture, walls, windows, and doors, and you can customize the dimensions of everything.
Here's our master bedroom with the new king bed... my main concern was how much space we were going to have between the bed and the dresser... I think we're going to be okay.
Okay, a lot lighter. Today we took a long drive up to Ft. Collins to visit the Amish Showcase and check out their furniture. I had bought a bedroom set from there about 5 years ago, but the bed is only a full-size. We wanted to get a king size bed that would look good with the existing nightstands and dresser, and then put the double bed in the guest room. We found a bed that we liked at Furniture Row's Bedroom Expressions, and it actually matched the color of our nightstands and dresser really well. But it just looked a bit cheap for a not-so-cheap price.
So when we got a letter in the mail saying the Amish store is going out of business and having a huge sale, we figured we'd check it out. Special orders are 40% off, which sounds good but is still WICKED expensive. But, if we are going to spend a lot of money on furniture, might as well buy furniture that lasts, and the Amish know how to build it.
Simply Amish is the brand, and what I love about it (other than the unsurpassed quality) is that you can get any piece built with any wood and any stain. So you can mix and match pieces, but make them look like a set. We ended up finding a bed that we liked in the catalog and placed a special order to get it made in the same wood as our existing furniture (soft maple, chestnut finish.)
We had also been looking for a good quality dining table, and had been having major trouble finding anything we liked. So, we priced out a table from the catalog along with 8 chairs, but it was WAY too expensive, even at 40% off. But there was a table on the floor that was being sold in a set with 6 chairs for really cheap. (And when I say it was really cheap, I mean it was not cheap at all, but still way cheaper than the custom order's 40% off price.)
The only thing was the table had a gouge on the corner that they had tried to fix with wood filler. It's really not that noticeable, and for as (relatively) cheap as it was, I was willing to live with it. They gave us an extra $150 off because of it.
"With its rustic beam and pin construction, the trestle table is reminiscent of the beautiful gathering tables you’d expect to see in a Bavarian lodge on a classic English keep. (Ale and serving wench not included.)"
So, we are now the proud owners of one Braden style king bed, a cherry trestle table that seats 10 people with leaves, and 8 chairs in the color "gold dust". (We ordered two extra chairs to match the six that came with the set.) It cost us a pretty penny, but they'll last forever and I'm so glad the search is over.
Today was a very successful day over at the house. I painted samples of the colors we chose for the dining room and they look great! So, it's official: Jersey Cream on the ceiling and Humble Gold on the walls. It really brightens up the room, and looks great with the wood trim and the painting we are going to have in there. The painting looks a little different in real life than it does in this picture, the background is not so orange.
I also primed the inside of the kitchen closet (that was painted hunter green, royal blue, and olive green... I'm convinced the previous owners were color blind.)
Kevin put together the kitchen island we got from Meijer.com. It's a natural wood color, but I bought it with the intent to stain it to match the cabinets or paint it a color that coordinates with the walls. I guess I'll try staining first, and if that doesn't work I'll paint it. But that's a project for later.
It's pretty good quality for being so cheap... it does have a hairline crack in the top, but I can fill it in with wood filler. I love the paper towel holder on the side. The other side has small shelf for spices and a towel bar. The top extends over the back further than the front so that you can sit there with bar stools if you want to. We plan to keep it against the wall most of the time, but it has wheels on it so it can be moved if need be. I will be changing out the hardware at some point, too.
Today I tackled the nasty looking fixtures in the master bathroom. Well, one fixture. I still have two more to go. But you can see the fruits of my labor here (the right side of the faucet is the clean side.) Still trying to figure out how to get the muck around the faucet out of there... it's pretty much become part of the sink at this point.
The whole experience reminded me of field training at Ft. Knox Army base when we were given the task of cleaning a barracks bathroom that hadn't seen a scrub brush in 20 years. The copper pipes on the ceiling were dark green, so we got our Brasso out and went to town on it (standing on chairs while getting high off the fumes... so much for that safety briefing.) I can still hear the drill sergeant's gasp when she walked in and saw those shiny pink pipes.
In other news, our good fortune in discovering that we can keep most of the carpet was slightly diminished today with the discovery that the elderly wood floor in the kitchen and entryway... isn't really wood. Well, it's sort of wood, it's a "manufactured product" of some kind of wood laminate. So, it looks like we'll be having it all torn out... good thing we saved money on the carpet!
I have a lot of ideas on my mind right now... we have so many rooms to decorate in the new house, my mind is just buzzing with excitement! Pretty much every day I say to Kevin, "I had a thought..." Before we closed on the house, he would say "Would you stop having thoughts?!?!? You're going to jinx it!" But now that closing is over, I think it's okay to think again, LOL.
I started a notebook to keep track of all my ideas, that way I can tote it with me to the store and back and forth between the new house and old house. I took a bunch of plain white printer paper and 3-hole punched it. Whenever I find color schemes or magazine pictures I like, I cut them out and paste them in there. I also have some lined paper for notes, a plastic sheet protector to hold small things like paint chips, and a hole-punched two-pocket folder to hold other things.
Another way to keep track of your ideas is by using Kaboodle. Kaboodle is a website that lets you keep track of all your internet shopping finds.
You can create multiple lists, and even create sub-sections inside your lists. I have a list for "House" and inside that list I have sections for "Master Bedroom", "Kitchen", etc. Kaboodle has a handy button you can install on your browser toolbar. As you are surfing the net, if you come across something you want to save, you just click the "Add to Kaboodle" button on your toolbar and it adds it to your list.
One of the best things about Kaboodle is that it will also show you things other people have found that are similar to things you have saved in your list... it's a great way to get new ideas.
Just surfing Kaboodle yesterday and came upon a company called Straight Line Designs. I wonder if hubby would let me have this table, LOL! Probably not, but I might be able to convince him to get the Pet Camper for Sasha. The Little Black Dress is awesome, too... you can see that in the gallery.
Today I tackled the paint spatters on the wood trim in the kitchen. I got this latex paint remover at Home Depot... the guy there said that it wouldn't damage the wood.
All you do is spray it on, let it sit for 60 seconds, and then use a toothbrush to loosen it up. Use a hard bristle brush, I was using a soft and it was working, but not as well as I hoped. Then you wipe it off with a dry cloth, and then again with a wet cloth. It did take off a bit of the stain... probably not enough for anyone to notice unless you were looking for it, but it did look slightly lighter than the areas I did not use it on.
Getting up close and personal to the trim, I discovered that the kitchen used to be royal blue before it was white (egad).
That 70's House
Our new (to us) house was built in 1973... and while the dark wood trim and hickory ceiling beams are part of what drew us to the house, it still needs to be brought into this decade. This blog will document our attempts to update the house, while still maintaining its old-school charm.
Stuff I Like