Tag Archive | renovation

Mini Monday: Ikea Furniture Assembly

photo 1Well the title of this post pretty much sums it up — Ikea furniture assembly is a true test of understanding directions with no words, boxes with an endless amount of parts and, typically, missing or broken pieces.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A few months ago we decided that it was about time we upgraded from our full bed to a queen. After 7 years, my hubby (who is 6’1″) and I could really use just a little more room — particularly since my body pillow is now taking up more than its fair share of space.

But I digress, we purchased said bed during the government shutdown when my husband had time to go to Ikea during a weekday. Since then it’s been sitting around in boxes waiting for our renovation to be complete and yesterday evening after a delicious, ham-filled Easter meal we finally got the ball rolling on setting up the new bed. (And by “we” I clearly mean “he” got the ball rolling. I *did* vacuum the carpet when the old bed was moved out. Five years of dust bunnies — pretty terrifying!)

Despite not starting the assembly process until around 5 or 5:30 and having a 30 minute interruption when our neighbors came by the check out the house, my husband worked continuously on that bed throughout the evening because he knew how much I wanted to be able to sleep in it. And he ALMOST had it ready for us too, but the screws for some of the support beams were not included… I believe this was discovered around step 48. He kept going and took care of everything else involved in the 53 step process, but we spent our evening in the basement sleeping in our old bed. This morning I was off to Ikea straight away for replacement screws. Fingers crossed that they gave me the right ones! Then we can cross one more thing off our lengthy to-do list.

 

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Mini Monday: Five Month Hiatus

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Hi there! It’s me again. I know we haven’t connected this way since early December … sorry about that! I’m mulling over the list of things I should have been blogging about since then and it’s a good one. So here’s a rundown of what’s been going on and I am hoping with this mini post, I’ll get my blogging booty back in gear!

Since my last post:

• Our house renovation has been completed! And it looks amazing! We are just starting to get used to having (and using) our new space. It’s wonderful to have the extra light and a much more open feeling to our floor plan than we had before the remodel. It’s leading to some interesting projects … more on those in a future post!

• In other “addition” news, my hubby and I found out in January that we are expecting our first little one in September! I’m so grateful that, despite being tired and hungry, I haven’t had any morning sickness or complications so far. At the beginning of the pregnancy the baby was making me so hungry that we nicknamed him/her the hungry, hungry hippo. Hopefully tomorrow our little hippo cooperates and we will find out whether we are having a boy or a girl. I can’t wait to know!

• Okay so back to the house, the contractor’s portion of the work was completed in mid-March. Now we (and I use the term “we” loosely as it is mostly my husband) are still taking care of all the little things — re-arranging rooms, hanging art, putting things away, yard work. Thankfully we received A LOT of help from my amazing in-laws and my mom who were all visiting in March. Quite a few things got crossed off the to-do list during their time in DC — painting, cleaning, hanging new ceiling fans, the list goes on and on. Now it’s just the two of us plowing through what remains of the list, so thank goodness for weekends allowing us to continue making progress!

• After a terribly long winter (it snowed like crazy on March 30!!) spring has finally sprung in DC. While our yard was a total wreck because of the construction, the garden beds have been cleaned up and planted (with the exception of tomatoes and peppers) and we have flowers going in pots and planters, too. The other side of the yard is still in need of a lot of TLC. One thing at a time!

• We briefly escaped DC for a long weekend in Florida, in fact we managed to depart while it was snowing and returned just in time for yet another snow storm. It was great to catch up with the family and friends we visited in the Sarasota/Tampa area and I made a new friend while we were there — Cliff the Penguin!

 

Phew! I told you that we have had a lot going on! It may be a Monday, but I can still say I’m grateful to have ice cream in the freezer (hey, I’m pregnant, don’t judge my four different pints…okay, okay there are five…) and for being able to have the windows open while I work. Hope you are all having a great start to the week!

Mini Monday: Gloomy Weather

Yesterday’s snow flurries started off grand — the fluffy white flakes were falling delicately from the sky, leaving a crisp, clean blanket of snow throughout the city. It was all the more lovely for sharing a tasty brunch with friends and seeing the snow drift past the windows while we were warm inside. But somewhere around midday the precipitation transitioned to tiny balls of sleet and then to icy rain. Ugh. So the pretty dustings of snow were washed away well before we woke up this morning and instead things are crunchy with ice.

I’m guessing that this weather means work on the house will be on hold for the next few days, although on Saturday evening they finished up framing the roof! It’s hard to see in this picture, but I’d have to walk through our icy yard to snap a better shot so for now this will have to do.

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Now I sit in bed listening to it rain and trying to motivate myself to get moving on this grey Monday. At least I have tomorrow’s predicted 2-4 inches of snow to look forward to! I can’t wait to watch the flakes fall outside my office window, while sipping a hot mocha and thinking about the Christmas holiday being right around the corner.

Mini Monday: We Have Walls!

The renovation to our house is starting to take shape. We have moved from just a drawing on paper and a vision in our mind to four complete walls for our basement level storage room! Despite not being terribly interested one way or the other about incorporating bricks from our original pillars into the new structure during the planning stages, I love the way it breaks up the dull cinder blocks and ties back to the rest of the house.

Today, despite very chilly temps (which I am able to experience thanks to an open main level door… brrr…), the guys are hard at work on building the first floor. I am loving watching everything come together, I just need to find my gloves!

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Mini Monday: Random Thoughts

Living in DC, I have to admit that Veteran’s Day seems much more real than when we lived in California — the monuments, the military presence, and the connections that we have formed with so many people who have chosen to serve. Today as a nation we honor the contributions of the many generations of men and women who have unselfishly sacrificed for this country.

On this crisp fall holiday, I am thankfully reflecting on the sacrifices of our veterans. I am also grateful for the extra day to spend more time with my husband, more time trying to get over the world’s slowest progressing cold, and more time getting caught up on things around the house.

Thanks to the previously mentioned cold, I’ve been slacking off around the house since late October, so despite not being back to 100% I started cooking and baking up a storm on Friday. I even made dinner on Friday — quite impressive, I know — and when my hubby got home from work we enjoyed some fresh baked bread and chicken roasted with carrots, potatoes, and onions in brandy. It was pretty delicious if I do say so myself. I also whipped up two batches up mini corn and green chili muffins for a potluck and yesterday we kicked off the gorgeous fall day enjoying a toasty applesauce coffee cake with crumbly topping. Yum. Of course, it was all so tasty that I didn’t snap any pictures before the devouring began…

Apart from all the kitchen time, I’ve been doing my best to capture each phase of the work on our new addition (often by stealthy stalking the guys from the dining room — hey, it got cold last week!). The foundation has been poured and we will have our wall check this week. Hopefully next week there will be some really clear developments as the basement level storage room begins to take shape! Here are a few pictures of the progress:

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Mini Monday: November?!

I cannot believe that it is already November! Where has 2013 gone? After a gorgeous fall weekend full of sunshine and bright blue skies, the weather seems to have decided it is winter today. Just in advance of the cold shift, I managed to harvest a bowl full of cherry tomatoes and seven or eight small green bell peppers from the garden yesterday. There were also a few larger tomatoes, a cucumber, a handful of green beans and some cayenne peppers. We may get a couple more cherry tomatoes in the next few days, but I think that the garden season is pretty much over here in DC.

Front and center on my radar this week is our home renovation project (guessing it will be front and center for quite some time…). We are in the fifth day of active work and our back porches are gone! It has been (mostly) neat to be home while the crew is working so I can take pictures and see the house at all stages of disrepair. Sometimes it has been loud, but so far, I’ve been able to plug away on my own projects while they are tearing the house apart. Here’s the back of our house sans porches — we certainly will not be using those doors for awhile! Also we have never had so much natural light in the dining room — it’s amazing, albeit a bit chilly. It will be wonderful when these windows and the pair in the office above get replaced. They are the final four original windows in the house and single-pane glass from 1937 isn’t exactly the most efficient…

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And It Begins…

After hinting about it for months, today is the day that our back porch renovation finally begins! During the past 12 months we’ve created an amazing plan (and by “we” I mean our wonderful architect friends), I’ve spent more time (and money, thanks ridiculous “exceptional service fees”) sorting out the project permit, and here I am, listening to men demolish a portion of my house. Below are “before” pictures of the upper and lower back porch spaces that we are saying so long to:

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While I am sure the real “after” pictures will be the best comparison, here is an early drawing of the proposed remodel. I can’t wait until it comes to life!

Early After Sketch

I have a feeling that because I work from home and will be a witness to all that is happening during the remodel process, you’ll be hearing (and seeing) renovation stories and pictures pop up often during the next three to four months. I’m already wondering what, if anything, will be left of the space at the end of today?