Progress Report

It's bad when I already look back at six months ago and think of how naively un-busy I was as a mom and barely-there-blogger. I feel like I had all the time in the world compared to now. And I still only have one kid! I'm in for a real surprise this fall...a real kick in the butt if I think I'm busy now. But where I used to edit pictures and throw them into photoshop with arrows and cool fonts, now I'm lucky to simply get them uploaded off my phone! So here we go. A straight-from-the-iPhone update on the house this week.

So it looks like we are about there with decisions as far as the kitchen is concerned. We bought all our appliances (minus the hood which we're hoping to have custom-made here in KC). And time will tell, but we did buy everything used or slightly imperfect to save money. We even drove two hours to Manhattan, KS to buy the range. The sink had a dent that will be concealed when it's undermounted. The microwave was a floor model. The dishwasher was returned by the original owner because the order was wrong. The refrigerator was straight-up used and is probably what concerns me most as far as what sort of condition it really is in. In the end we saved thousands of dollars - hopefully enough to cover any needed repairs and still come out ahead. 

Anyway, that said, other than a paint color for the cabinets the only thing left to decide is countertops. I went down to Carthage Stone Works and worked with Leslie (who is awesome) to sort through our options. At the end of the day, I know that Carrara Marble will be a solid bet and we'll love it. But I'm seeing it all over the place these days and was hoping to get a little funky without narrowing the market of people who will one day buy the house. I'd hate to go big on something that most people just wouldn't get. And this marble that I found is definitely on the edge. It's called Silver Screen. I love the color. I love the veining. But I don't love the 'jewels'. About halfway down the slab on the left (and very obviously in the picture above) you can see a few white marks - called jewels. Well, those are inherent to the marble and probably why it's not a popular marble. Most people would think they were blemishes - and they sort of are. If not for them, I would have put a deposit down right then. But we're taking a trip back Friday to make a final decision. 

Another big, quick decision to make was a new exterior color. I hated the black/white combo that was existing and like I said before, we got a killer quote from a painter we've used the past and really loved.

We drove around Brookside a lot trying to figure out something in keeping with the neighborhood. I kept coming back to tone on tone trim and stucco. I love how there's barely a difference - but enough.

And with the color of brick we have on our house, I wanted a green-blue-gray. Below is another house color I loved.

A decision like this can paralyze me. I HATE picking out paint colors. But I figured the decision wouldn't be any easier the longer I mulled over it so I pretty quickly and randomly picked out six paint colors and had samples made. Jeff, our painter, put up swatches while the panel of scrupulous judges lounged in the backyard.

We had Jeff throw up the samples in three different areas and thus three different lights. Wow is there ever a difference! And then checking back at different times of day and we were officially thrown. What we loved on the house, we hated on the garage, and what seemed like too much contrast between siding and trim in the morning seemed like the same color in the sunlight. It was way confusing and the closest I've gotten to crying so far in this homeownership endeavor. (Our final color isn't shown below)

The almost-crying was due largely to a clerk at Sherwin Williams who poorly matched a color we chose and mixed three gallons of paint with the wrong base that looked terrible on the house. We had to basically go back and beg them to fix it or we were about to be out a couple hundred dollars. Thankfully years of loyalty to that store (and the sight of an emotional pregnant woman) was enough for one of their guys to graciously work on a custom color using the already mixed paint. We gave him the morning to work on it and were golden by the afternoon. I still wonder if we made the right decision, but that ship has sailed!

The trim color we chose (Intellectual Gray) is the swatch directly next to the dark patch on the far left. The stucco color we went with was a custom color just one step darker.

We think (if the bid isn't outrageous) that we'll be expanding this garage here in the near future to fit two cars instead of one generously. So, we only very roughly painted the garage given the front facade might be torn out soon. Same with not wasting our time painting the door. We will actually go back this weekend and paint the upper black trim but we needed a taller ladder.

So, we've yet to finish and still have to paint and put up the shutters.

But it's a heck of a lot better than looking out onto this:

I drove by yesterday and it looks like Jeff got started on the right side of the house. We, by the way, are painting the vinyl siding addition - because it was completely reachable and required no prep work - and the garage. It was our way of saving even more money and getting things done faster. We're about 50% there with the siding. When it's finished I'll post a picture and explain why that was a heavy-weighted decision as well.

So, in other news, we're slowly but surely working on some things inside. Most has to wait until after the ceilings have been done (which start Monday). And with this pregnancy, my painting privileges have been severely limited. Below though you can see where John has done the primer and first coat of oil based white on the old tile in the half bath. 

The lighting in these pictures is terrible, but we did match the color to the floor tile, so I don't know why the floor looks so gross and yellow. And I stripped the wallpaper in here last week but have some serious wall repair to do before we paint.

Quite the change from this though:

And finally - and most excitedly! - we're certainly making some moves in the kitchen. In a last minute decision we added the window in the middle. The window on the right will shrink to match it and they'll both basically sit on the countertop. Our range will be directly centered between the two.

And for the best decision we've yet made....we took this small doorway (covered in plastic on the right) from the kitchen to the dining room:

...and turned it into this large cased opening...

Between that and adding the window, the whole feel of the house has changed. To clarify, the above picture would be your view standing at the kitchen island. You'd see the dining room and behind it what ought to be the master suite but what we'll be using as a study. Anyway, I'm pumped.

We also took the small doorway into the kitchen from the front entry:

And made it larger...

We didn't go any bigger so we could have more wall space and thus more cabinets in the kitchen.

Whew, too many days go by and these posts are out of control long!

But before I go, I want to throw out a question. We have the chance to convert a small linen closet upstairs in the hallway into a closet with a stackable washer/dryer. We need to move on it fast while the walls underneath are demo'd so we can run water and electrical. It would cost a few thousand dollars when it's all said and done between buying the machine, venting the dryer, replacing the door, running the lines etc. What do you think? Is it worth it? All our bedrooms are up there and friends tell me that hauling laundry down two flights with two little kids tagging along ain't no joke. What do you think? Be spoiled and go for it or save the cash?? Ah! Decisions, decisions!


  1. Go for it! Seriously. Then I can live vicariously through you. We do most of our laundry (in the basement of our ranch) on the weekends when Andrew is home. It's surprisingly hard to find time when both kiddos are sleeping to sneak down and wash a load...and run back down to switch to the dryer...and again to bring it up for folding. Goooo for it.

  2. Kylie, you will love having your washer and dryer upstairs! Do it!

  3. I think it sounds FANTASTIC to have it upstairs ... but I guess it depends on how tight the budget really is. Maybe it would increase the value of the house a bit to have two places to wash and dry clothes? Maybe a 1000$ worth? :)


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