Tuesday, November 22, 2011

photos, finally.

here are some pictures of our living room, which is the most finished of all the rooms of our new house. although the warm yellow/gold might be a bit much for some people, i wake up every morning thrilled with the paint color we chose! (bee by sherwin williams, if anyone is interested.)

a while back, i recovered that teal chair
in the corner and i love how it turned out!

my favorite corner of our house right now.

i picked this print up in santa fe this fall and i am so glad i did!

the view from the kitchen sink.

the pass through in all its glory!
(still waiting on barstools and ignore that internet
cable running across the floor. we obviously have a
bit of work left to do--like paint the trim on the pass-through!)
now on to work on other rooms so we can share photos of them!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

initiation situation

we have been properly initiated into the realm of diy homeownership. when we initially considered buying this house i knew that i wanted to open up the wall between the kitchen and living room by creating a pass-through/bar. my dad confirmed it would be "easy enough" so we proceeded with the plan one sunday morning, thinking it might take a day or two. 
this is what the wall looked like on that fateful sunday morning.
one of the first problems we encountered was the plaster (concrete) walls. what we thought would be an enjoyable (dare i say therapeutic?) demoing project resulted in the demolition of two sawzall blades and a heavy dusting of our entire house. and two sinus-infections. the house was built in 1928, so we hope the walls predate asbestos.
the death of the sawzall blade and all we had was a 4" hole to show for it!
the walls in our house also feature lath beneath the plaster, so the demoing didn't go nearly as quickly as hoped because even when we broke up the plaster, we still had these wood slats to remove. as we hammered away, through the gaps in the slats, i noticed a pipe right in the middle of the would-be bar. ugh! i was completely disheartened and thought the project was impossible. luckily brandon knew we were too far in to turn back. he also realized it was just a sewer vent pipe, so no water needed to flow through the pipe and he could handle re-routing it.

our pass-through, looking somewhat like the outline of the lower 48.
me, trying not to be totally dismayed
by the pipe in the middle of our bar.
as i suspect is the case with most diy remodel projects,
this simple pass-through led from one project
to tons of other small projects. 
hammering away from the kitchen side.

brandon totally impressed me with his know-how and expertise.
and his ever-growing list of "required tools."
we bought a counter top at the resource store to initiate this project.
while it was marked $10, we got it for $5!
this was the only cheap element of this project.
the upside of discovering the pipe in the middle of our wall was that we had to cut this pipe above the sink drain and found that the vent pipe was clogged. which explained why our sink was glug-glugging instead of draining properly. my dad suggested that this may have spared us from having future plumbing expenses, so it was nice to have an upside to the pipe predicament.
so gross! 
our entire house was covered in this dust,
in fact, i'm still finding it!
starting to look a whole lot more like a pass-through.
we enlisted the help of heath, who was far more confident than brandon or i.
perhaps because he has done his fair-share of diy renovations.
or perhaps because it isn't his house so he cares far less than us.
i went to albuquerque for a girls' weekend with kemi and sara. when i left the pass-through looked like the photo above. i felt awful leaving brandon with the unfinished mess on his hands. however, he pressed on and finished the project while i was away. i came back to this:
i LOVE it! it opens up the house and makes both rooms feel much larger. we have a fair amount of work  to do on the kitchen side of the pass-through, but we plan to replace the cabinet the sink is in, so i think we are going to live with it for a while. 

the living room is coming together, so i will share photos from that soon. however, when i sat down to put this post together it turned into a total kerfuffle where i thought i lost our 8,000+ photos in our iPhoto library. i managed to resolve the problem, but i am a bit tired of dealing with the computer at the moment. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


i am coming to realize that i have great expectations. not the classic novel, but the condition. and it is a rough one to overcome--daydreaming about just how amazing or perfect something will be doesn't always lend me to actually appreciate the reality of that something. 

for instance, when i am at work i think about how awesome our dog is and totally miss him. however, when i get home and harvey obsessively follows me from room to room, or wipes his post-frisbee session slobber on our new couch, or overly enthusiastically greets friends at the door i get all scrunchy and grumpy. "why can't you be like the dog i think you ought to be?" he is bizarre and obsessive and not everyone's cup of tea, but gosh darn it i love that expressive face and those soft ears of his. why can't i dwell on that? instead i get embarrassed by the way he doesn't match up with my expectations (which are, of course, due to my lack of training, but i digress).

anyhow, i am thinking about the way that i build events up in my mind so much that they don't stand a chance of being great in comparison to my ideal, even if they are great in their own right. so i am working on that. i think that comes with this time of year and the reflection and gratitude it inspires. then on glutenfreegirl.com i found this quote:

Expectations are premature disappointments.

perhaps a bit pessimistic for some of you, but it inspired me to think about the way that my expectations lead me to be ungrateful. there is so much beauty in my life, friendships, marriage, family, even my dog, and yet i have to temper myself against the temptation of thinking of how something could be better. i want to enjoy what is, not focus on what is not.

i've been meaning to post photos of the house now that we are settled. and yet i keep waiting for the house to be clean enough, the lighting to be just right for photos, or some project to be finished first. i'll try to let go of those expectations and take at least a few photos soon. i really love our little house and i want to share it on our blog.