March 25, 2013

Keeping It Real

It's easy to stare at pictures of beautiful rooms and swoon over their beauty.

It's easy to look at a design element in someone's home and decide to incorporate it into your own.

It's easy to find inspiration.

It ain't easy livin' in the Land of Inbetween.
You know the place ~ the land you live in while taking what you had and turning it into what you want.

It's scary.  And oh is it messy.

In my effort of keeping it real I give you, my friends, the Fiorucci Land of Inbetween.

This was our front porch while we were laying down the new floors.
Not very welcoming is it?

While putting up the new trim, our front living room and dining room was my painting station.
Just want to curl up on that sofa and share a cup of coffee don't you?

The seemingly endless task of painting cabinet doors took over the living room and dining room.

All available counter space was used for stacking drawers to be painted. 
There were plenty of days where it was difficult to find space to simply make a sandwich.

As we did all the work ourselves, we lived in a state of disarray for 3 solid months. 

There were days it seemed unending. 

There were days I thought I would go crazy. 

There were days the only sanity I found was sipping a glass of red wine while sitting on the corner of the bathtub because it was the only clean room in the house.

The only way to live in the after picture is traveling through the Land of Inbetween.

Just don't park there.

Up next, our beautiful revamped kitchen!

March 19, 2013

Projects & Pictures

The list of renovations we decided on doing wasn't too long of a list.

But it was a lot of work.

Here is the much simplified version of all I had yet to do once the floors were completed.

Next up, framing in the dry-wall only doorways!

March 12, 2013

The Birth of New Floors!

After tearing up our old floors we began laying down the new laminate wood flooring.

The first two rows are a tad tricky. 
It isn't until the 3rd and 4th rows do the pieces really begin to feel locked into place and stop moving around.

With just a few rows in place, my excitement was a little, um, over-the-top. 
I'm lucky my family loves me.

Keeping the sub floor free of debris is important and every few rows, I'd fire up the shop vac and suck up anything I could find. 

There may have been a few Nerf bullets inadvertently sucked up.

After starting in the family room, we worked our way into the front entry hall and the coat closet.

The process continues from the front entry hall into the living and dining rooms.

Snap, lock, up, cut, down, snap, lock, up, cut, down.  Repeat 7 million times.

Workin' it from the family room into the kitchen.
All those corners and cabinetry made it, shall we say, interesting.

Moment of honesty :  It is 11:45 pm on News Year's Eve when my husband took this picture.  There is no humanly way possible I could have gotten up the next morning knowing that a tiny section of the house was still left to finish.   I was slightly tired and sore from doing the up-down-cut-snap-lock dance moves and my muscles were a tad unhappy with me.  (Crossfit ain't got nothin' on me!
So on News Year's Eve, my family and I are cutting, snapping and locking the final pieces into place.

Hey, I know how to party.

A future project will be painting those oak cabinets white as well as a fun idea I have of bringing a barn look to a very contemporary home. 

Stay tuned!

March 6, 2013

Up & Out with the Old

The demolition process begins!

During the holiday season, my husband took some time off of work to spend it with our boys.  As any good parent would do, we decided the perfect way to celebrate working so hard during the school year was to have the kids tear up the flooring in our home.

They were so excited.

First we had to remove all the trim around the floors and doorways.  You can see the standard-1990s-builder-oak-trim in some of the pictures below.  Ick.

What appears to be white moulding is really the sheet rock behind the removed trim.  For 12 years I longed for the big thick white moulding to frame my floors and doors.  Finally, I was seeing this become a reality.
This is the carpet coming up in the living and dining rooms. 
To the right is our front entry hall.  More oak. 

Lucky us.

When our home was built in 1999 the really cool snap & lock floating floors weren't designed yet.  These laminate wood planks were stapled into place with the biggest staples ever.  Each staple was then stapled along the edge of each plank about an 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. 

My oldest boy thought tearing out those staples was just awesome.
(Insert sarcasm font).

The only way to get each of those ginormous staples out of the sub flooring was to wedge a screwdriver underneath the top of the staple and then whack it with a hammer. 
The first 276 times were fun, then...not so much.

With the carpet removed from the family room, the boys still had the bedroom hallway carpet to pull up.

Look at all that oak.  OOOO baby.

As soon as I got off of work, I would put on the work clothes and help my Master Demolition Dudes pull up all the carpet staples. 
So.  Many.  Staples. 
A long and tedious project, but extremely important to get them out before laying the new floors.


One of our very first home updates came when we covered up the builder basic (read : cheap) linoleum in the kitchen.  These were commercial grade laminate tile designed to last 20 years.  Or 5, if you have boys. 
This was quite the chore as we had to pull up the tile, linoleum and the linoleum sub flooring. 

The pain of difficulty was eased when we had to purchase a new power tool.

I love a good do-it-yourself project and very rarely become upset during the in between stages.  Before starting any project I can clearly see the end result and it always helps keep me calm during the mayhem.  With all that being said, when all the floors were pulled up and our boys were walking around in pajamas with their shoes on because it was unsafe to be barefoot, I felt like the worst mother in the world.  I had removed the safe environment from my children.

As the new floors went down, their beauty erased those bad parenting feelings. Whew. 

Next time, I will show you our laying down of the new floors dreams coming true.