Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our New House

We have another house under contract.I should be excited but the best I can muster is "Meh".
The truth is, like the 1st house we had under contract, we selected this one because it was a sensible decision.  It's not where we want to live, it's not a style or era that we like, but the price was right.  We'll do our thing, fix it up, build a garage, etc but it just doesn't have the midcentury charm of our current house (below).
I haven't seen this house in person.  Luke looked at it and took some pictures so I could see what we bought.  But I wasn't in town and since I'm doing all the packing by myself I don't have time to go look at it.  So I'll do my best to give a little tour based on what I know.
It's ugly.  Perhaps that's not fair.  It's plain and lack the mid-century charm I have grown to love.  It was built in 1978, measures in at 1920 sq ft on a fifth of an acre.  It's not a large lot but compared to our yard in Butte it seems huge and the dogs will love having the space.
We're near a school...for the third time in a row.  If Luke ever wants to get any kids out of me we need to buy a house away from a school so I can forget what kids are like.
We don't have a garage so all our tools will have to live in the basement for a while.  However we have a lot of space next to the house and plan to build a garage.
The living room isn't anything fancy.  It has an ancient wood stove in the corner but we're not sure if it is operational.  The only other heat source is electric baseboard, so we need to replace the heating system before we start getting $300 electric bills.
Our "dining room" is this tiny area between the living room and kitchen.  I'm not sure how we will fit our oversized pub table into the space.
The kitchen is especially painful to look at after just completing a brand new kitchen in our Butte house.  It's tiny, about 8x8 with orange countertops and no dishwasher.
The "master bedroom" faces south and we get some great afternoon light, but the room is long, narrow and not very functional.
The 2nd bedroom has better lighting but is smaller.  My brother will be living here while he finishes his last year of college.
This hallway looks really narrow compared to the wide halls we put in our Butte house.  The master bedroom is on the right, the spare bedroom, bathroom and linen closet are to the left.
Speaking of bathrooms, Kermit-the-Frog green is never an appropriate color for a bathroom.  There is a lot of wasted space in here, so we might shrink the bathroom a little to enlarge the adjacent kitchen.
The basement is partially finished. 
We'll probably have to gut the basement and re-do everything but at least the walls are framed and insulated.
Obviously neither Luke or I are excited about this house but it does have several advantages over the first house we tried to buy:
  • Ample parking
  • Decent-sized yard for the dogs
  • Room to build a big garage
  • No mortgage, giving us the ability to build said garage and remodel the house
I probably won't see the house until moving day, but I'll try to get better pictures without all this clutter in the way.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kitchen Before & After

With all these recent posts about the rest of the house it might seem like I have forgotten about the kitchen.  In reality the kitchen has been on the back burner, but not forgotten.  We've been chipping away at it and all those little finishing touches are finally done.  So we're finally ready for a little before and after. 

Kitchen Before

 Kitchen After
(The oven is in the same spot, everything else changed)
 Dining Room Before
Dining Room After

 The old kitchen had a closet on the north wall and also housed the washer and dryer.
 We eliminated the closet and moved the laundry appliances to the basement to enlarge the kitchen.
 The old kitchen was open into the hall.

We moved the doorway into the living room and changed the kitchen layout to an L shape.

 We found the granite tile on clearance.  Because it was very similar in color to the cabinets we decided to use a backsplash tile with a lot of color to create a focal point

I'll be posting photos of the family room tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Living Room Before and After

The living room has been almost finished for quite a while now.  But the last few details like the crown molding and window frames just haven't seemed important compared to all the other unfinished projects.  But as we make our mad rush to get the house on the market we're finally taking care of these last few details.  So after just a few extra hours of work we finally have a room that looks nothing like what we started with two years ago.

The old living room seemed very isolated from the rest of the house.  It was connected to the dining room through the arched doorway.
We opened up the doorway to 9' wide and removed the side door.
The 70's remodel walled up a doorway into the hall and put this weird screen in it's place.  I guess the strategy was to get all the noise of the hallway without allowing convenient access.  Because of the poor patch job you could see the outline of the old doorway.
We reopened this doorway which not only connected the living room to the rest of the house, it also visually elongated the space.
In Process
It looks a little bare, but I'm a minimalist so it works for me.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Master Bedroom Before & After

Now that we're trying to sell the house and move away it occured to me that I never posted finished photos of several rooms including the master suite.  I kept putting it off because we had a little trim and paint work to do, but everything is finished now and I had better post some pictures before it's too late.
When we first moved in to this house we named each of the four bedrooms to eliminate confusion.  We had the disco room, the pee room, the redrum (red room) and the spiderman room.  As you can probably see from the wallpaper border and paint colors the master bedroom was the spiderman room.
Old Bedroom

New Bedroom
Soft gray walls and a bigger window make the room much brighter, but because the room faces North is does not get a lot of sun.  To make the room seem brighter (and bigger) we splurged on mirrored closet doors.  Luke is enjoying having a mirror he doesn't have to duck to see himself in.
Old Closet
 New Closet
In addition to a nicer bedroom we also have easy access to the master bathroom.
Because of the warm weather we're not using the heated tile floor but I can only hope the next owners love it as much as our cat does.