Musical Chairs

A little over a week ago, I shared that my baby turned one.  But, I didn’t tell you that my parents visited from Minnesota to celebrate.  They arrived on the 24th and stayed until this Saturday.  My dad has had a rocking chair since I was a baby.  He’s addicted to it.  So, he bought one for our house so he had one while visiting.  Well, I think it’s ugly, so when they’re not here, it stays in the large basement bedroom.

Yep, it’s buried under the sleeping blanket we use for our backyard picnics.  Well, we were a little slow to bring it up this visit.  I swear my dad became physically sick because he didn’t have his rocker.  Then, we realized what the problem was, hauled the chair up from the basement and he was completely fine from that point on.  So, for the past week, we’ve lived with our living room disassembled a bit.

The Dolce chair moved to the guest bedroom, the matching club chair took its place and the rocker took the club chair’s place.  Musical chairs, I tell ya.  You might have noticed something is missing, too.  If you haven’t, maybe this picture will help.

Yep, the child’s desk we’ve used for the past four years is gone.  My sister just bought a house, so she asked if we would send our small desk back for her.  Fortunately, that desk was a temporary solution from day one, so we loaded it up and said good riddance to it.  Even though I hated that desk with a passion, I’m sort of missing it.  Without the desk, I have no designated place to surf the web, which is fine because of the laptop, but the cords bug me.  Anywhere I sit, the cord follows.

And yes, our house is messy without my maid mom here.  Just kidding, mom.  Our house usually has this kind of mess.  Check out our living room.

On a really good day, (or really bad, depending if you prefer the mess) our house looks like this.

We always have my family haul things out from IKEA, like a Ribba frame for my new print from Little Brown Pen.

Occasionally, they return home with some goodies, too.  Other than the desk, we sent my parents home with a floor lamp that we were no longer using, a bag of books, and another bag of clothes.

Speaking of giving things away, I’m taking Jen’s 30 in 30 challenge to purge our home of thirty items in thirty days.  Technically, those four items we pawned off in April, so they count, right?  Or is that wishful thinking?  Maybe we’ll count them if we’re short at the end of the challenge…

Now you’ve seen our house strewn with toys and cords and in disarray with chair swapping.  Are feeling the itch to get some spring cleaning done?  Care to join me and Jen to shed our homes of 30 items?  Have you received furniture from a friend or family member recently?  Maybe you’re addicted to a rocking chair just like my dad?

Basement Progress: Small Bedroom

The last you saw of this bedroom, we had installed most of the trim, but nothing else had been done.

After filling and sanding millions of nail holes, caulking miles of seams, 20 gallons of white paint (for the entire basement) and hours of spraying later, we were ready to put real color on the walls.

After painting and installing carpet, we put a king bed on the floor before my family came to visit.

And now, here’s what you see as you enter the bedroom.

The bedding has changed and we’ve added some art recently, but we have tons of decorating to do.

That is the prettiest view, so in the interest of keeping it real, here are some other, not-so-pretty angles.

Here’s our still doorless closet.

I really like the idea of a pink and blue color scheme for this room, but we’ll see.  So, what are your favorite colors to pair with blue?  Any other color schemes you’ve recently fallen in love with?

Basement Progress: Large Bedroom

I have meant to post about the progress of our basement for months now.  I’m a bad friend and haven’t shown you, until now.  We’ll start with the first room we finished down there.  This room is sort of the ugly step-child of our house.  We were given loads of free solid oak trim, so we used it in here.  Now we want to change it, but don’t really care to get around to it.

Anyway, here’s what this room looked like in 2006. 

When we learned we were expecting a baby in 2007, we kick started this project.  This is the view from the entrance.

All the furniture were hand-me-downs from Ben’s boss.  This room is really long, like 18 feet by 12 feet wide.  This is the other side of the room.  The door to the left is the walk-in closet and the door on the right is the entrance.  The window is egress, too.

Last February, while scrambling (I was 8 months pregnant with Ev) to finish the rest of the basement, this room became a storage room for everything that was downstairs. 

Yes, those little legs belong to Vincent.  And yes, our sectional was a pain to get into this room and up on the bed frame.

The next shot is from June 2010, after we cleared the room of most everything.  You will notice a gradual accumulation of stuff from this point on.  Everything that is in this room is left over and unwanted junk from the main level.

We haven’t done much to this room but turn it into an exercise/storage/dumping ground and occasionally, we banish our guests here. 

Yep, not much progress, just junk.  (This is exactly how the room looked before I decided to take pictures.  In the interest of keeping it real, I left the stack of pillows and sleeping blanket on the chair.)  I have decided on a color scheme for this room.  We’re keeping the wall color until we get the energy to replace the trim and paint, but I want to add yellow and grey for a cheery, modern feel. 

Moving the exercise equipment should help, too.  Those boxes are the filled with hardwood flooring for our kitchen, by the way.  See what I mean about a storage/dumping ground?!?

Oh, and our Target rug has found a temporary home until our laundry room is finished.  Who knows when it will make it there.  Also, would anyone be interested in a messy house tour?  Is your basement a warehouse, too?  What do you do with your exercise equipment?

Our Past Four Years…

We have done quite a bit to our humble rancher since Ben bought it back in 2004.  Most you can see, like paint and trim, but others are a little more difficult to notice-if you can see them at all.  So, here’s a little recap of things Ben did before we were married:

  1. Cut out and installed egress windows in basement bedrooms and the office.
  2. Drilled a well.
  3. Installed wood burning fireplace.
  4. Removed siding to add insulation all around the house.
  5. Replaced all upper level windows, enlarging the bedroom windows by one foot.
  6. Replaced the kitchen linoleum with tile.
  7. Knocked down the kitchen wall to create a half wall: 

8.  Closed ½ bath and created ¾ master bathroom.

Changes we’ve made since we’ve been married:

  1. Added trim to the 3rd bedroom and repainted.
  2. Added trim to the guest bedroom and repainted.
  3. Repainted living room and built an entertainment center.
  4. Gutted and refinished main bathroom.
  5. Added oak floors and trim to master bedroom.  Repainted.
  6. Installed a new glass back door.
  7. Finished 1st basement bedroom.
  8. Installed a central vacuum system.
  9. Added trim to the dining room and repainted.
  10. Removed the chain link fence and built a new painted white fence.
  11. Planted 17 fruit trees, boxwood, roses, peonies, lilies, and other flowers.
  12. Installed a larger electric panel and moved it to the laundry room.
  13. Built and hung new shutters and window boxes.
  14. Dug a trench to install the geothermal system:

15.  Gutted and unfinished master bathroom.

16.  Installed a new front door.

17.  Finished office, including built-in bookshelves and cabinets. 

18.  Finished basement living room with painted trim and built-in entertainment center.

19.  Finished basement bedroom with trim.

20.  Finished basement bathroom, complete with 6 foot jetted tub, open vanity and soon to be steam room.

Of course there are several smaller projects we’ve finished, too.

Things I Love About Our House

I’m sure most homeowners at least like their houses.  We love our house, especially some of the features and details.  Here are some of our favorites:

Our deep windowsills:

Our master bath window sill is marble clad:

The pantry above our stairs is great, too, although the doors could use a little love. 

It is huge and holds almost all of our non-perishable food items, paper towels and larger dishes. 

We have added white trim to almost every room in our house.  It seems obvious that we love it, so here are some detail shots:

I love the crown moldings above the doors and windows in our master bedroom.  It is convenient to have the hidden lighting, too. 

The guest bedroom trim is simple, but definitely adds character to the room.

Here’s the plate rack we added to our dining room.  Capped off crown molding and quarter round trim provide storage for large platters, but serves as artwork, too. 

White trim in a basement bedroom brightens up the space and adds interest. 

Our basement bathroom is outfitted with simple trim topped by a shelf, providing a display area and small storage.

What do you love about your house?  Maybe some architectural details?  Lighting?  The layout?