Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Few Pictures

Happy Wednesday, friends!!

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, but we have been working nonstop trying to get things done before Chuck has to go back to work, which is next week, so the crunch time is on!!

I have never done so much painting, staining and varnishing in my life!! lol I’ve painted the Kitchen, Family Room, stairway, a section of the Rec Room, stairway ceiling, two entry doors, Kitchen cupboards, plus other little odds and ends! I’ve stained and varnished over 40 pieces of trim, the inside pieces to all of the cupboards, plus 4 sets of louvered bi-fold doors!! And to top it off, all of the pieces that got stained, other than the cupboard pieces, had 3 colors applied to them – a few years ago, when we installed new windows, I had to use the 3 colors to match the color tone of the wood floors and the other existing trim. What I thought would take one day, took 3!!!

Well . . . . we’re finally about done with our Family Room!! All we have left to do is the base board trim, which we’ll do after the Kitchen is finished, and LOTS of decorating!! I have many projects planned to make plus a lot of other things that need makeovers, so I’ll have plenty of pictures to post in the future.

We are so thrilled with how this turned out!! It has made such a big difference!! To see some pictures of our Family Room before the renovations, click HERE.

This is a little peak at what my utility room looked like before we removed and built new walls, drywalled, painted, wallpapered, and installed a drop-ceiling:


Can you say “ugly painted concrete blocks”? I have lived with these ugly walls since the day we moved in 22 years ago!! I even had to deal with painted concrete floors!! Ewwww!! It was the perfect “mud” room for dealing with 2 dogs after they came in from inclement weather and a husband that comes home from work looking like he either got caught in a dust storm or was playing in the mud! lol I was too embarrassed to ever show pictures of my utility room, especially after seeing so many wonderfully decorated ones posted in blogland! And that is why I’m only showing you a small glimpse of the “before”! lol

This is the view from the Family Room looking into the new section.



( I forgot to “fluff” the recliner before I took this pic! )

Eventually, I’ll replace this chair below with a Wing chair, but for right now, I’m going to buy a slipcover to put over it. We have a 13 year old Dalmatian that, for some reason, has started drooling in the last year or two and it’s nice to be able to just take them off and wash them. Plus the plaids “kind of” clash! lol


Below shows our “creativity” with the stairs. We didn’t have enough carpet left from what my mom and dad gave us to completely cover the steps and Chuck had already ripped out the old stuff. The fronts of the steps were pretty beat-up, so Chuck cut strips of 1/4” birch plywood and I stained and varnished them and then attached them with PL400.


This is our new laundry area. I have a couple of projects that I’m working on to hang on the pegboard and I need to repaint the bench. There’s a little door that’ll be installed in the opening in the stairwell – it’s all ready to be installed whenever Chuck gets to it.


I have a shelf that I want to make for above the benches and the tree will probably get moved elsewhere. I’m not happy with the display on top of the dresser – I don’t know what I want there yet. The lamp ( I need to paint the base piece!) and the picture are staying ( I think. lol)


This area below is where we’ll come in and take off our coats and shoes. Also where Sam (our dog) will stay at night and when we go away.


On the opposite side of the door is our freezer and bi-fold doors that lead into our furnace, hot water tank and storage area.


And now for a couple of pictures of my kitchen!!! I’m having one heckuva time trying to get decent pictures!! They either come out too dark or there’s too much lighting and everything’s a bright haze and I haven’t had the time to play around with the lighting to get good ones. These are the best I have right now – just a few to give you a glimpse of what we have done so far.

This is my new tin-punched light that’s hanging over my sink. I’m searching for either new curtains or fabric to make new ones – I’m having a tough time finding something that I like. IMG_2512

This is a shot of the cupboards to the left of the sink area. Chuck made a boo-boo in the doors for the cupboard on the left, so he had to make new ones. They’re done, they just haven’t put put on yet. I like the look of having my spongeware exposed and wished I would have had a larger cupboard in the center for my spongeware and have 2 smaller cupboards on either side with doors. Oh well . . . . hindsight’s 50/50!

The color is called “Cottage Hill” by Ralph Lauren. It’s kind of a unique color – depending on the lighting it has an olive green tone, a brown tone and even a charcoal gray tone. Unfortunately, Home Depot has discontinued carrying that brand and I bought one of the final gallons of paint that they had left on the shelf. I was kind of panicking because I’ve already used 1/2 of the can just painting the upper cupboards and still have the bottom ones to paint yet. On the last of our many, many trips to Home Depot, I spotted a couple cans of the Ralph Lauren paint sitting on the shelf. As luck would have it, one of the cans was the base tint I needed for the color I’m using, so I bought another gallon to be safe!


This is our new over-the-range microwave that we’ve installed. Oh my gosh, it is so much quieter than our other one!! You almost don’t even hear it running!! Eventually all of our appliances will be replaced with stainless steel. (When we hit the lottery!! – Boy, those things are expensive!!)


Chuck has been working diligently on the base cabinets this week. Like I mentioned before, he starts back to work regularly next week, so the crunch time is on to get them done. They won’t get installed right away, though, because the existing concrete countertops need to be broken out and removed and then new ones will be formed and poured, and Chuck won’t be able to do all of that until we have a free weekend and if the weather cooperates. I’ll post pictures of the process when that happens.

It’s amazing how your body changes as you get older!! In our younger days, we could stay up as late as we wanted and just keep working away on projects to get them done.

Now. . . . this is how we feel at the end of the day!! lol Pooped out!!! With all of the renovations we’ve been doing, plus our regular daily chores of cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, etc. - we are worn out!!! lol


Ahhhh. . . .To live the life of a cat! This is Lucy. Isn’t she a cutie?

Well, friends, I must get back to work!! I will be back on Friday with a wonderful recipe that my daughter, Kory, and her class made for all of the parents for a Spring “Break”fast, plus a simple, easy-to-do project.

Until Next Time. . . .Kris

Friday, March 26, 2010

Did you hear the BIG NEWS?????



Coming August 2010!!


A Primitive Place website has been growing by leaps and bounds since October 2008 and now we have the biggest news yet! Starting this fall, APP will have it’s very own prim magazine with never seen before home tours, decorating ideas, garden tours, recipes, crafts, and so much more! To find out all about it including what’s inside the first issue, how to subscribe and how to advertise, click HERE!

Isn’t this exciting? Make sure you click on the link and sign up for a subscription so that you don’t miss out on the first issue!!

I’ll be back Sunday evening with more pictures of my Family Room and Kitchen!

Until Next Time . . . .Kris

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WHEW!!! I’ve Been a Very Busy Girl!!

Well . . . . where do I start?!  In my last post I mentioned that we’d begun making our kitchen cupboards.  Well, that project snowballed into a much larger renovation!!  Things have been moving so fast and we have been working so hard to get things done before Chuck has to go back to work that I haven’t had time to make any posts, much less, even be on the computer!!

It all started after we removed a brick wall in the kitchen.  After tearing down all of the brick and drywall, my hubby decided to remove all of the drywall in the stairway leading downstairs.  There was an ugly swirl patterned stucco on it and we had talked about one day redrywalling the whole thing.  His thinking on the matter was, since we already have a mess, what’s a little more?  So, all of that drywall came down, too.



About a month before we started all of this, as we were sitting downstairs in our dark, dreary family room, we talked about one day possibly removing the walls from the lower half of the stairs and opening up the family room and the utility room.  Between the light from the door at the top of the stairs and the window in the utility room, we thought it would brighten up the family room a lot.

So. . . . . since we already had a big mess. . . . .guess what we did?  lol

IMG_2433(I guess I didn’t take a picture of the “before”.  This is after the stairway has been drywalled)

Besides removing the lower part of the walls, we also removed the wall at the bottom of the stairs on the right that leads into the utility room.

With the removal of the walls, some of the electrical wires and light switches had to be moved.  So. . . .since Chuck had to do that, he decided to run wiring over into the family room to places we had planned on putting recess lighting (some day in the future – along with a new drop-ceiling).  All of that wiring would be going to the light switch panel that he was installing, so that portion of the project would be done - all he would have to do was connect the wiring to the recessed lighting when we decided to install them.

After he removed a few of the old ceiling tiles to run the wiring, he got annoyed with all of the cable wires and phone lines that were dangling down in his way.  So. . . . he decided to take down all of the old tile and untangle and then coil up and tack all of the wires in place.


“You know, instead of putting all of that old ceiling tile back up, why don’t we just go ahead and tear down all of the old framework and put  up a new ceiling with the recessed lighting?!” . . . . Okay, honey!! . . . .

So many things were going on at one time and we have been so busy that I forgot to take pictures of the progress as it was happening.

Here is what we have done so far . . .IMG_2475

We framed out and drywalled an area for our washer,  dryer and laundry tub.  We removed the old cabinets above our washer and dryer and built shelves.  I painted the entire interior white.  We had a big double-door armoire standing where the red bench sits that held all of my power tools, sand paper, nails, bug sprays, cleaning supplies, etc.  It was a total disaster area!!  I went through everything and got it all organized and then put it on the new shelves.



This view is from standing on the stairs. As I mentioned before, we removed the wall/doorway at the bottom of the stairs the led into the utility room.  We extended the back wall – starting from about where the dresser ends – which still gives us a little area to come in and take off our shoes and hang up our coats.

I was lucky to have almost a whole roll of wallpaper left from when we had refinished our family room a few years ago!  I had just enough to finish the extended wall, plus the wall  in the new section that can be seen from the family room.  I wasn’t fortunate enough to have any of the border left, so I had to remove all of the existing border and then I repainted all of the walls.  The color that I used before is no longer made, so I chose “Mesa Tan” from Sherwin Williams.



My Mom and Dad are installing hardwood floors in their Great room and since their carpet was still like new, Chuck brought it home with him after he helped my Dad and brother remove it.  We had enough to do all of the family room plus the little area in the new section.  We ran a little short to cover all of the stairs, so we had to get creative.  We had enough to cover the stair treads, but not the fronts, so we cut 1/4” thick boards and will nail those to the fronts  (pictured above).  It’ll work for now and then in a year or two, we’ll have new carpet installed.  The cap pieces to the stairs and the front pieces aren’t nailed on yet – they need to be stained first. IMG_2479

This is the little area as you come in the back door.  We replaced our solid steel door with this 9-lite door.  What a big difference!!

Today, since the weather is suppose to be nice, I’m staining the bi-fold doors for the laundry area, the chair rail moulding, the window and door frame moulding, and all of the pieces for the stairs.  Then tomorrow, while Chuck is nailing all of the trim pieces on, I’m going to paint the back door and then install vinyl tile in the coat area and the laundry area. 

The only thing we’ll have left to do downstairs is the base board trim, but that’s going to wait until after my kitchen gets finished, which somehow got put on the back burner!!

Speaking of my kitchen. . . . . we have the wall cabinets installed, along with a new stainless steel over-the-range microwave, under-cabinet lights and my new punched tinware light that hangs over my sink.   We still have to put  the trim moulding on top, but that should be done by this weekend. The pictures I took and were going to post didn’t turn out. . . some were blurry and the others were so dark, you couldn’t even see my cupboards!!  I didn’t have time to take new ones and I wanted to get this post in since it’s been so long since my last one. 

I sure can’t wait until  everything’s done!!!  We have been living in total chaos for the last few weeks.   Most of my kitchen stuff was sitting in my dining room and even though I tried to leave out things that we used every day, I still found myself digging through boxes looking for things.  We had very simple meals like sloppy joes and french fries and spaghetti and meatballs. . . .things that were quick and easy!!  lol

My downstairs was all torn up and my rec room was a disaster area!!  All of the materials we used got stored in there!  And the drywall dust!!!!. . . .  As much as we tried to cover things up, it still seemed to find every nook and cranny in my house!  lol  I have been doing a lot of cleaning!! . . . . I think I have finally conquered it!   (I hope!!)

On Monday, Chuck and I are taking a well deserved day off and heading to Amish country.  We’re starting with breakfast at Rebecca’s Bistro and then stopping at my favorite antique mall along with a few of my favorite prim shops.  I have a loooong list of things I’m in search of to decorate my family room and kitchen!

I’ll be back sometime next week with more pictures of my family room completed and with some new decor!!  Also, better pictures of my kitchen!!


Until Next Time . . . . Kris



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