remodeling

SURPRISE!!!!

Remember how I surprised Michael last week with his birthday party? Well last Thursday night HE surprised ME.

I walked into the kitchen after work to discover that unbeknownst to me, the kitchen countertops had been INSTALLED!

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WHAT?!?

We’d been working on picking the counter tops and the guy came out to make the template for it a few weeks ago. Apparently, Michael’s plan was to surprise me with it being installed last Friday (the day before his party) but the material had been damaged and they had rescheduled. He hadn’t told me any of this!

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There have been many, many stages for our kitchen remodel. The first stage was the beginning–the ugly, 1970’s decor and dark cabinets with powder blue counter tops. Michael and I were starting to date when the kitchen remodel began. I remember many, many weekends spent at his house demolishing the old kitchen together. It was back-breaking labor but very fulfilling! Demolition was a blast. And there were many Saturday nights where we realized it was almost midnight and we still hadn’t eaten dinner yet because we were so busy with the remodel.

After demolition–complete with removing the floors down to the sub-flooring, then painting, there was redoing the kitchen pantry, and there was also the assembly if the IKEA cabinets. Here is a photo of mid-gutting:

If you look carefully you can see the old cabinets (next to the fridge). And after painting:

A few years ago we installed the upper cabinets as well as the stove vent and the microwave. Then one summer we laid the tile in the humongous kitchen and dining room. Then we hit a wall. We lost steam for a lot of reasons. We got busy with other stuff, training for the Portland Century, traveling, and Michael’s back issues have kept us from finishing. There was also another barrier: there were some DIY mistakes that had to be fixed before we finished the floors.

With Michael losing his job a few years ago, he had time to finish some of the house projects. We hired a professional to fix the tile mistakes and finish the rest of the project: the grout, sealing the tiles…everything! Then…all the construction stopped for like 2 years. Part of that was planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon, etc. We just didn’t have it in us to do house projects amidst wedding planning.

But the last few months we’ve gotten back at it and now we have a kitchen that is 95% DONE!

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What’s next? The backsplash, which we’ll be doing ourselves and then we need to paint and install the baseboards and the trim around the pantry. At some point we’re going to replace all the windows in the house but that’s in the future.

I couldn’t believe that I walked into this surprise. It was amazing. I was so happy to see it done and it feels great to have one thing crossed off the list! It looks amazing and I’m just in shock. And it’s funny that he did this secretly.

Mid-day our dog walker had texted me a picture of Bella:

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I should have known right then and there that something wasn’t right because usually when the dog walker is over playing with Bella she sends me goofy pictures that look like this:

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Apparently Michael had cancelled Amy, took that first picture of Bella and sent it to Amy who texted it to me so that I wouldn’t be suspicious! I seriously had no idea that Michael was home all day preparing this surprise for me!

When I got home the kitchen sink hadn’t been hooked up yet so we had to go out to dinner. We went to Cha Cha Cha for Mexican food:

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I ate half of it and saved the rest for lunch the next day. When we got back to the house Michael worked on installing the kitchen sink and I had to meet up my friends (previously planned) for Book Club. Even though I kinda wanted to just stay home and admire the kitchen counters. 😀

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The book club met at Wine:30 and I had a glass of Pinot Gris, we chatted (sometimes about the book LOL) and then shared some chocolate covered blueberries:

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I’ll post more about the book we read soon. Anyways, I got home and the kitchen counters were still there! I hadn’t dreamed it. I can’t wait to finish up the rest of the kitchen projects and be COMPLETELY DONE!! Woohoo!!!

Like Doing 1000 Squats

Remember how I said we were going to start up some house projects again? Well this weekend we tackled my bathroom!

When Michael first moved in (about a year before we met), he painted over the bathroom with primer. The original color of the bathroom was bright yellow, then at some point the original owner painted it teal/turquoise. So when Michael bought the house he immediately had to cover up the teal–it was everywhere. The walls, maybe even the ceiling because I found some teal paint near the light/vent on the ceiling, the original vanity was white with pink flowers on it and teal counters!

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Ain’t that pretty? Um, not. So he painted the bathroom with primer, probably intending to paint the room at some point but never did. Fast forward 6 years and I was sick of the primer and the yellow and teal where the primer was missed. (I think the original vanity was a little larger than the one we currently have.) We decided the bathroom was a weekend project we could start and finish, mostly, in one weekend. At least the painting part.

BEFORE:

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Saturday morning I got up a little early and decided to postpone the gym for the afternoon when I knew I’d be waiting for paint to dry. I took everything out of the vanity and off the shelves, basically cleaned out the entire room. Michael took out the vanity and part of the toilet.

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Michael took down the ceiling light and the wall light. We decided we might as well update the light from the super cool 1980’s off-white beveled edge plastic. Good god was it ugly. I cleaned all the walls and then we went to Lowe’s to get primer and ceiling paint (which is pink, in case you didn’t know, but dries white!). We ended up going to Lowe’s 4 times on Saturday! Once for primer/ceiling paint and wall samples. Once for getting an old can of paint shaken (which was the color we planned on painting it a two years ago), once for the paint we decided to buy and once more for the new wall light.

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Bella was super excited about all the car adventures! Here are the paint samples:

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Possibility is the top right and it was the one I was SURE I was going to pick. But once it was on the wall it looked super bright white. The left purple one was the can we bought two years ago intending to paint the bathroom with it. It dried really dark purple, which was surprising because the sample was a light lilac/grey…Finally, the gray one is the one I ended up picking. It was the most “neutral” and wouldn’t be too dark or too light nor make it difficult to put makeup on.

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Montpelier Madison White was the verdict! And it dried gray, so I don’t know why they put “white” in the name. Anyways. I did a coat of primer and did the ceiling and then had to wait for it to dry. I figured I had 60-90 minutes for it to dry. Since I had time to kill I decided to go to the gym and do a quick cardio workout. In retrospect I should have skipped it and conserved my energy for the project but I didn’t think about that at the time. And not only that, I was on a roll so had I stopped to take a nap I think my motivation for doing the rest of it would have waned.

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30 minutes on the elliptical and then I grabbed some groceries at the store. Including something easy to fix for dinner! I got home and did the first coat of paint in the bathroom. It was kind of difficult to paint because it looked white (like the primer) when it first went up so I missed a few spots that I didn’t see until after it dried. Here is the first coat of paint:

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I wore my heart rate monitor while I painted the room. Check it out:

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That’s a nice calorie burn for just painting! But boy, by the time I was done with it I was exhausted, getting sore and just over it. Michael cooked a frozen lasagna for us to have for dinner (it said it had 5 servings in it but damn, I could have eaten three servings!). I ate 1.5 servings and had a salad with dinner. Michael slathered BioFreeze on my neck, shoulders and upper back and we managed to watch some Homeland before I just passed out.

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Sunday

I woke up slightly sore but I wasn’t too bad. I did some touch up paint in the spots I missed and did all of the edges before going to the gym. I really, really needed that yoga class and I’m glad I went. When I got back from yoga I finished the second coat of paint. Michael suggested we go out to lunch so we went to Five Guys and I got the Little Cheeseburger (550 calories) and we split an order of fries. I could not get over just how freakin’ hungry I was!

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After lunch we went to Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Target and Lowe’s. I think that made me more tired than anything!!! We were looking for a new shower curtain. First, who in their right mind would spend $50+ on a shower curtain (Kohl’s)? And why was the ONLY ONE I liked the one they were out of (Target)?? Ugh. I hate shopping. In the end I found something I sorta liked but didn’t love at Lowe’s and we ended up buying a new vanity too. While I liked what we got last year it was small and there was a slightly larger on on sale and it would look nicer with the new paint color.

Look at this gorgeous dog I saw at Lowe’s:

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Alright, we got home and after hitting the wall and just feeling tired, run down and cranky, I had a Diet Dr. Pepper to pep me up and Michael got to work re-installing the lights in the bathroom. Then I did the touch up paint once we removed the painter’s tape from the ceiling. Michael set up the new vanity. We slowly put the room back together and I cleaned the best I could.

WHAT’S LEFT? In a few weekends we’ll tackle the floors, which means we have to take the vanity and toilet out completely. We probably need to redo the subflooring underneath the vinyl floors and all of that was just too big of a project to do in one weekend. After the floors are done we’ll paint the door jam, the door, install the floorboards and the bathroom will be 100% finished! At some point we may replace the tile in the shower but that’s not a priority right now. It functions, it’s not falling apart, it’s not moldy and it’s white so it goes with everything. When the bathroom is finished I estimate it will have taken us 3 full weekends of work.

New bathroom: upper back, shoulders and neck are sore. Hamstrings feel like I did a thousand squats (I did do a lot of squatting)…My entire body hurts and I can’t remember the last time I was this tired. Oh my god. And I think we made a total of 10 visits to Lowe’s this weekend…But I am so happy it’s done and I love the way it looks!!

AFTER:

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I wish I could get a decent picture to really show off the pretty color. For some reason it has a greenish and pink tint to it whenever I take a photo. But in the bathroom the walls are gray, as is the shower curtain. The new sink/vanity was on sale at Lowe’s:

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And I splurged a little and bought a new plant to keep in the bathroom:

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I LOVE how it turned out. I can’t wait to have the floors done and then the bathroom will be perfect! It was a back-breaking, difficult weekend but I feel so great now that it’s finished. 🙂