Yard Work Saturday

Disclaimer: this is a pic heavy post.  For better or worse.

With the interior work in a slight lull and with J’s mom offering to come help with yard work, we spend most of today working on the exterior of the house.  Most areas weren’t terrible, just overgrown.  But, goodness, just getting rid of the overgrowth made a huge difference.

front view
Before Yard Work
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After Yard Work

I stayed home with little L until after morning nap.  When we arrived I saw this beautiful sight:

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All the overgrown grass and bushes were removed.  I don’t have a before pic, but it was essentially covered in 3-foot tall wild grass and shrubs.  As you can see, there are now some exposed rocks.  A fun accent rock and kinda random edging rocks.  There were also some extra rocks which were salvaged to fill-in the parking strip.  For some reason, there was a small section of parking strip that was at one point bark but now just dirt.  So J and his mom used the newly-unearthed rocks to fill in this section so now it’s all rock not half-rock/half-dirt.  Ta da!  And now matches the other area that I had already weeded (and have since been routinely killing weeds because I am not weeding it again!).

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We also weeded the front flower beds.  With the weeds and random plants removed it’s bare but better – minimalist instead of neglected.  We will eventually fill it in with a nice landscaped, colorful collection of flowers.

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The area in front of the living room window received the same treatment.  Instead of random growth it’s trimmed back and minimalist.  We also took out a couple smaller aspens that were growing too close to the house.  Another great find!  J’s mom was creating an edging, digging out the lawn that had grown into the bed and actually found some pavers under a couple inches of soil.  Again, this house is just full of finds.  Free pavers!  But more “Why?”  Why are the pavers under the soil?  Whatever the reasons, they were put to good use.  It looks great!

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One last project to report.  Windowells.  What a pain.  Here’s a great before shot.  They were full of random stuff, trash, leaves, and – I swear – each window had a ball.

I jumped into the first well and it stunk terribly.  Rotting greenwaste and trash.  So I jumped right out and switched to raking out the trash, leaves, and sticks.  I also re-purposed the rocks for the parking strip.  One well is full of dirt and needs to be dug back down.  The dirt is level with the window – if you were to open the basement window I’m pretty sure some dirt would fall into the house.  That’s a project for another time.  At least today they are clean.

That’s all for yard work Saturday!

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Paints (plus a bonus entryway update)

With little L spending the day with auntie, J and I got to tackle a variety of jobs around the house.  We also spend a fair amount of time in Home Depot, which is unsurprisingly easier without a restless toddler around.

Floors, Paint Prep

As first time DIYers we are bound to forget some things.  First item on that list: we forgot to protect the floors we are not replacing.  After noticing a few scratches and a nice little chip, I made a point of protecting the flooring before any further work.  It’s fairly affordable — $10 for tape and $20 for paper — and really easy.  I was a bit sloppy with it but it still gets the job done.  Bonus:  we’ll need to cover the floors anyway to paint.

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Paints

While we’re not quite ready to begin painting, I petitioned J to pick out bedroom paints today.  1) It’s a nice change of pace to improve the place instead of destroy stuff and 2) one less thing off my mind.  Since you never quite know what paint will actually look like on the walls, we bought a couple samples for each room.  J and I have our favorites, but please, comment with your favorite!

Oddly enough, the original colors of the kids rooms are what I had in mind anyway just a bit brighter and bolder.

Miss L’s Room

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Left:  Evening Slipper     Right: Cyber Grape

2nd Bedroom

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Left: Undine     Right: Wintergreen Dream

Master Bed

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Heather Sachet

Shutter Makeover

From the beginning, I was not a fan of the black shutters against the white/cream siding.  It seemed harsh and ugly.  We removed the shutters last week to see if we should get rid of them altogether or just switch up the colors.  Without the shutters, the house looked a bit blah so we’ve decided to keep but update the color.  J and I are both a fan of the new blue siding trend for exteriors.  We are not going to replace the siding, so we thought we’d try blue shutters.  I painted a couple today and it’s going to look great!  The blue adds a good amount of color and it really pops with the orange-brown rock (which I actually do like; odd, I know, since most people are moving away from that lovely ’70s rock).

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Obviously the shutter is not staying there, but I still have a little paint to touch-up and the other four to go.  But I’m excited to get them on the house to see the transformation!

Bonus Update: Opening the Entryway

J and I couldn’t agree on just how far to open-up the entryway.  After taking each wall back one stud I suggested we sleep on it before making a decision/trying to compromise.  After talking it over with family, we thought it worth it to remove the drywall to the furthest extreme we would go and just take a look.  Turns out, it looks pretty damn good!  So here’s a couple “during pictures”.  Check out the original entryway post to see the “before” entryway — closet and all.  It feels wide open and so much bigger.  The whole house has kind of opened up.

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That’s all for Saturday.  Adieu until Sunday 🙂