Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mellow Yellow

We decided on yellow - Mellow Yellow by Behr to be exact:

The old door was the same color as the house - acceptable, but boring and uninviting.

Since we were working on the door, we also gave the hinges a coat of spray paint.

And replaced our lock.  The lock hasn't worked right since we moved in.  It was always pretty embarrassing when someone knocked on the front door and it took me a good 10 tries to be able to unlock it.  I'm glad I can now unlock the door on the first try!

The process of painting the front door was quite simple.  Dan removed the door and all the hardware, then gave the door a light sanding to get rid of the brush marks from the previous paint job.  I used Behr's paint and primer in one exterior paint and gave the door 3 coats of paint.  That's it, that is all it took! 

While I was busy painting, Dan decided to spruce up our mailbox area.  I don't have a before picture because the old mailbox was disassembled before I even knew what he was up to.  He dug out the weeds that were surrounding the mailbox post, removed the old worn mailbox along with the two plastic newspaper boxes, mounted a new mailbox on the post and added rocks around the bottom. 

But projects required a small amount of time and effort, but make us smile big :) 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Help Me Decide

I want to tackle a fairly simple project this weekend - painting our front door.  Right now our front door doesn't look very inviting.  It is the same color as our house and is covered up by a storm door.  To add more interest and make it look inviting, I'm going to paint the door a fun color.  Problem is, I can't decide which color. I *think* I have narrowed it down to two colors, but my mind changes about once a minute so a minute from now I might be back to 6 color choices!

Here is our house

And here is what I have it narrowed down to:


or green

What do you think?  Leave a comment and help an indecisive girl out!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Backyard Fire Pit

Dan has wanted lots of things one thing since we moved in to this house - a fire pit.  We had discussed our projects agenda right when we moved in and we had decided that landscaping/outdoor work was one of those things that was going to wait until next summer.  Until I came home from a weekend away to discover Dan had worked extremely hard all weekend long to start creating that fire pit. 

We started with this:
 If you look at the right of that picture, you'll see all of the plants crammed in to a small space, along with an old wooden, rooting bridge. 

When I returned home after my weekend away, we were left with this:

In the back of this triangle was some extremely tall grass looking stuff that we had decided we wanted to get rid of.  Dan dug all of that out and left the plants for me to take care of.  Yes, in the mean time, he also created a "for now" fire pit for himself -right on top of the dirt/sand.

I moved the remaining plants from the triangle to along the back of the house.   It started out looking like this:

We move the edging out about 1.5 feet to give the plants a little more room

And moved all the plants

They look a little sad, but I'm hoping that next year they come back all bright and colorful again!

As you can see in the pictures above, the edging around the previous plants/bridge was a trianglish shape.  I wasn't fond of the shape, so we used some extra edging that we found behind our shed to make it a square.  And, here I go, failing to take "during" pictures again.  So words will have to do!  After digging out the square, we measured to find the middle.  Then we measured how large our fire pit was going to be and dug a circle that was mostly flat.  From there, we started placing our angled stones in a circle for the first layer.  This had to be the most time consuming part because we tried to pay close attention and make sure all of the pavers were level.  After the first level was down, the remaining two were simple, we just staggered the placement.  While I was stacking, Dan was digging out the middle of the fire pit a little bit and stacking up some of that dirt around the edges of the inside for extra support. 

When we moved in, we also had a sandbox in the middle of the yard.  Dan moved all of the sand from the sandbox over to the fire pit area. 

For now, this is our completed fire pit area.  My mom argued that sand would get messy, but as always, we wanted to do this project on a budget.   I'd say we did pretty good at creating a nice looking fire pit on a budget, here is the breakdown:

- Edging pavers: free, already in the yard
- Sand: Free, came from the sand box
- Wedge pavers: $40 from craigslist.  At Menards they are $1.50 a piece, we picked them up for $.50 a piece - that's one third of the price!  It took around 80 to create the pit.
- Wood to create the fire: Free - from craigslist

We are both very pleased with the way it turned out!

Monday, August 1, 2011

One Room Down, 8 to Go!

We have our first finished room in the house - the master bathroom!  Well, finished until I decide to update the faucets and light fixture.  But, that will be awhile so I'm labeling it finished for now!

When I glazed the bathroom vanity, I also glazed some trim to add to our mirror as a frame.  I debated between an espresso frame and a white frame to match the trim, but I went wish espresso since the counter tops are a very light off-white. 

The process for the frame was similar to adding trim to our bathroom doors. I purchased trim from Home Depot that had the look I was going for.  Then I measured and used our miter saw box to cut each trim piece at 45 degree angles on each end.  I glazed the pieces.  Make sure the glaze the back as well, as the back of the frame will reflect in the mirror.  Once the pieces were glazed, I used gorilla glue to glue them around the mirror.  I finished the frame off by using wood filler in each of the tiny corner cracks and giving those cracks a little glaze. 

The frame was my final step to our finished bathroom.  Ultimately, I'd love to replace the light fixture and faucets, but everything costs money so I'll live with them for awhile! 

Here was the bathroom before we moved in.  Complete with a wallpapered window scene - you can see the reflection of it in the 2nd photo.  

And here it is now:

Here is a rundown of what was done:
- removed the wallpaper and painted the walls Glidden Granite Gray
- painted the trim white
- made a roman shade for the window
- added new towel bars and hooks
- created my own artwork, both the painting and in the frames
- purchased frames for above the toilet from Pier1
- glazed the bathroom vanity
- added a frame to the mirror

It only took us 7 months, but it feels good to have one room completed!