Sunday, September 22, 2013

Painting the Garage Eaves

Ding dong the witch is dead. And by witch I mean garage eaves. And by dead I mean painted white. See where I'm going with this?
 In the picture below, you can see how bad the eaves were. Lots of exposed wood and chipping paint. The overhang on this side is actually wrapped in metal flashing, so that's why it looks so nice. And then the corner post there was recently painted when Chris and my dad installed our new garage door. So my goal was to make everything look like those portions.
 And boy did I ever have my work cut out for me ...
When I was finished, it definitely looked a lot better. I even washed the metal flashing so it would be bright white like the painted parts. If I was really going for style and weatherproof points, I would go around and caulk in all those gaps. But, honestly, this garage is kind of a piece of shit, so let's not go overboard. Perfection + old house = not gonna happen.
Moving along to the sides, the chipping was even worse. And I had the added joy of scraping and painting those rafters every two feet. Although actually, it was nice to gauge my progress by them. "Ok Callie, you've painted the first four rafter sections, and you've only got six to go. Six more and you can finally get off this later and take a shower. And if you paint two more, you can go inside and sit in the air conditioning for a few minutes." haha I love taking these in bite-size chunks.
 Here's a good shot of my process. The section on the right has been scraped and painted, the middle section has only been scraped, and the right section hasn't been touched yet. It's sort of discouraging to make it look worse before you make it look better, but it's a crucial step if you don't want the paint to peel right away.
 Also, that band at the top is metal. So it probably didn't need to be painted for the sake of weatherproofing, but it was a little rusty/dirty in spots, so I decided to just go over everything to give it a nice clean look.
As always, I've renamed these photos as I've uploaded them to our server. I usually just pick a short word for the whole post of pictures and then number them. Incidentally, this photo is named "eaves6". I got a kick out of that. Maybe it's just me ...
Almost done! Can you see that one rafter near the end that was painted yellow? How random is that? The last painter must have gotten confused. Oh, yeah, and I still need to do something about that rusty hanger there ...
 All finished!
Here's what the back looked like before my paint makeover. Pretty rough, huh? I especially liked that piece of rusted metal that was used to cover up a tiny hole and was now more of an eyesore than whatever it had intended to mask.
You can see in the picture below that the entire piece of overhang trim was just bare exposed wood. No need to scrape that baby. It was ready to go.
Love this shot. You can really see what a difference the paint makes visually. And obviously it's helping protect everything too.
Sadly, on the front and back, my little step stool just didn't cut it. So I had to break out the big ladder and use my step stool as a table to hold my paint.
This is the point where I ran out of paint. Yeah, so close to being done. Last side, last section. Oh, and did I mention I was sitting on the shed roof? The space was so narrow that my ladder was almost vertical, so I had to balance on the shed to keep from falling. Let's just say running out of paint did not improve my happiness.
But after a quick trip to Lowe's where everyone stared and laughed at me (had paint splatters on my face, hands, clothes ... pretty much everywhere) I had the rest of the paint I needed. And about 45 minutes later, we had this.
Cue the angels singing. Ok, I know it's still a shitty garage, but just let me have this one moment, will you? haha

But at least the white trim matches the house now. So that's something, right?
The sort of crappy part is that from the angle where we see the garage the most - looking out from the back steps - it doesn't look different at all. haha
Oh well. It wasn't one of my most favorite projects to DIY, but I definitely was able to save us some money instead of hiring a professional paint contractor. And hopefully this will help extend the life of that wood a little longer and no one who stumbles into our backyard will think this is an abandoned building. lol
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Checking in on My End of Summer To-Do List

Remember my To-Do list of things I wanted to finish before the end of September? Well, we're about halfway through the month, so I figured it's time to check in and see how well I'm doing.

Shall we?

  • Weed and add plants to the front yard garden
  • Weed and divide irises in the side yard gardens (mostly done - 1 small bed left)
  • Add grass seed to bare spots in the back yard
  • Transplant ferns near the shed
  • Transplant plants that did poorly this year to new locations
  • Do something with that compost bin
For the yard stuff, I did put grass seed down in the bare spots around the yard but nothing happened. The seeds just died. So apparently that Weed & Feed stuff I put down just killed any potential for life. Then I had an idea of how to cross off another item on the list. I ended up using the compost to cover the bare spots and hopefully add nutrients back so grass will be able to grow there in the spring. But before I got rid of the compost bin, I did pick these two guys, that were growing our of it. haha

Oh yeah, and see those bottle terrariums looking all cute next to the tomatoes? Check those off the "Inside Projects" list!

As for the irises, I had to jump on that train because I had promised to give some of them to my coworkers when I divided them. So here's what we're looking at now.

The bed pictured above used to only have irises just past that bush to the right of the bird feeder. I divided all the irises and had so many left over that I was able to pull up the weeds in the rest of the bed and plant irises there too. So now the irises go right up to the ground cover, which lines the rest of the driveway. Yay for getting rid of weeds!
Unfortunately, my back was too sore to continue on and address this mess of a garden bed. Still more irises to divide (and sooo many weeds and grass).
But I also had enough irises from the driveway bed to move a bunch to the front garden (which is also in desperate need of weeding and mulching, though that's probably not gonna happen until spring).

Other Outside Projects
  • Paint the eaves around the garage (3/4 of the way there!)
  • Finish up the back porch trim
  • Add house numbers to the front door
So I've already posted the results of the back porch trim and the house numbers projects. Both were pretty successful and easy-ish to check off the list. The eaves are a bit more of a bitch, to be honest.

I should be out finishing up the garage eaves right now, but what can I say? I just didn't want to. But I've only got one side to go, so it will definitely get done before September is through. Here's what I'm working with:
See Mr. Spider in the picture above? Yeah, those guys have been a pleasure to work with. I'll do a full post with before and after pictures as soon as I finish up painting.

Furniture I'm Going to Paint/Makeover
  • Black china cabinet with mirrors (remove doors, add shelf paper, drawers?, paint)
  • Pink desk (paint white with gold dip look)
  • Old white chair (reupholster and paint to go with the pink desk's new look)
  • Small bookshelf (paint, maybe shelf paper)
  • Apothecary unit (going to look for new hardware, maybe sand and stain a darker tone)

Other Inside Projects
  • Stuff pillows and hem the sides (mom made two pillow covers from leftover materials)
  • Totally empty the kitchen, clean, and reorganize
  • Finish up the new terrariums
  • Caulk the gaps around the living room's ceiling trim
I've still got two full weeks to go (and I suppose I can continue this into October when I have free time) but I don't see everything getting crossed off. Such is life.

Oh, but do you see how I didn't cross of anything under the furniture section? Well, sometimes inspiration strikes and you gotta just go with it. So instead of painting one of the pieces I had planned on doing, I did this:
I've actually had this table for years, ever since I found it next to the dumpster at our old apartment. The handle was broken and it was filthy, but otherwise, it was a cute little table, complete with little casters (that exactly match the casters on my new nightstands).

This table ended up being one of the first pieces of furniture I ever attempted to makeover. The maps that cover the top, the shelf, and the front of the drawer are from our trip to Europe in 2008. I added the half-moon handle and then painted the whole thing brown. Yep, brown. Not sure why I did that, other than because I wanted it to look like wood but was afraid to stain it, I guess.

I've gotten rid of some of my freebie furniture finds over the years, but this one always stuck around because of the maps. It was like a trip souvenir.

When I saw the cover of the September 2013 HGTV Magazine, I fell in love with that teal color on the headboard and bedspread. And since our room already has a lot of soft pastel teal accents, I thought it could use a shot of something richer. And wouldn't ya know it, I already had a teal-colored test pot of paint leftover from a failed idea for our half bathroom. And then I remembered that brown paint on the map table and it was like lightning stuck.
And it worked out really well, I think. Not exactly the same color as that headboard in the magazine, but it cost $0 and took about 2 hours. So what more could you want for those numbers? And it totally revives a piece of furniture that I didn't want to let go of but didn't totally love anymore, either.

But I did have some other test pots I considered using though. 
 I liked the idea of the orange with my orange owl blanket, but after I painted a few test spots it seemed like it would be a bit much. So I'm saving that one for a small accent to put on the table maybe.
Anyway, I'm pretty please to have it go from this: (who paints furniture brown anyway? Me.)
To this:
Much happier. Plus, it's actually the exact color of the knobs I added to my nightstands. Didn't realize that until the paint was dry, but what a happy accident! I hadn't really planned to keep the table at the foot of the bed like that, but now that it matches the room so well, I'm kind of digging it. It may only stay there for now, but I'll definitely enjoy it there while I decide where it fits best.
Keep an eye out for that post on the garage eaves. I'm sure the motivation to wrap that project up will be hitting me soon ... I hope.
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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Syracuse Parade of Homes 2013

Today, Chris and I spent a couple hours snooping through other people's homes. And no one even yelled at as to stop trespassing. haha That's because we went to the Parade of Homes, where home builders show off their talents and capabilities and I get to gawk and take pictures of pretty decorating ideas. Win win.

There was a total of 8 homes, and they all had pretty different styles. The houses are staged by different companies, so it was neat to see what they all came up with. I definitely didn't take as many photographs as I needed to document the houses well, but since Chris was sweet enough to come with me, I didn't want to stop every three feet to take another picture. Instead, I mainly focused on things that really caught my eye that I thought I may be able to use/look for/create in my own home or future homes.

I figured I'd have fun at this event after reading this post about a similar type of home event in Richmond.

So without further ado, I give you my house snooping pictures.

The Beth Ann
This house had some really sweet details. I loved this dresser they had set up right when you walked in the door. Such a pretty design and a great storage piece for an entry way.
The half bathroom downstairs had a really cool finish on the ceiling with gold paint in sort of a quatrefoile design. The walls were painted either a very deep blue or a black. It was hard to tell which.
And I loved the copper sink bowl and old-style faucet. So pretty.
How freaking cool is this little boy's room? I totally wanted to plop my nephew Jackson down in here (he had a pirate themed birthday party this year). I love the dark accent wall that matches the painted headboard. And how about those curtains and that swath of fabric in the corner? Too cool.
The little girl's room in this house was a bit more elegant, but still so adorable. The putty grey walls with the soft pink curtains is a fantastic combo. And that chandelier is about as cute as can be.
But it may have been the master bedroom that stole my heart the most in this house. Check out the accent wall and that mirrored mosaic art above the bed! I heard someone say this looks like Liberace's bedroom, (haha) but to me it came across more as old Hollywood glamor.
The stepped ceiling has an interesting paint technique that sort of made it looked like hammered metal. (Aren't you jealous of the built-in speakers in the ceiling. The whole house was wired up and there were control pads in every room so you could stream your favorite Pandora radio stations!)
Totally loved that the nightstands were both mirrored and the same height, but otherwise didn't match. You know me, if I can get away with not matching, I'm all for it.

The Waterford
Ok, this house was bananas. At 5,814 sq. ft. it was a beast of a house. Huge deck, open concept design, and this behemoth of a walk-in closet just off the master suite. Don't worry, it kind of makes me angry too. Just unfocused rage that this closet exists and isn't in my home. haha
I did love this little detail in the master shower. I'm not a big fan of the black tile or the diamond design, but check out those rhinestones that break up the stripe pattern! I guess I was all about the bling today. But what a special little detail in the shower!
Ok, my picture of this terrible, but I'm using it as a reminder about the decorating trick I spotted in here. The wall is a pale mustardy shade, and the ceiling color is actually a few steps bolder and richer. I pointed it out to Chris and he said he never would have picked up on that. But I think I get why they did it: the room was very cozy because it was like a cocoon of color, but it also still had dimension because the colors were a little different. The ceiling popped, but you didn't quite know why. I'm definitely going to try this in a bedroom sometime.
Another bad picture but a neat decorating idea. They used the same rough stone on the back of the island as they did around the stove and behind the range. Such a pretty detail that tied to room together. I believe the backsplash was a similar color but in a tile with a smooth finish.
The most ... amazing? ridiculous? over-the-top? coveted? room in the whole house (in all of the homes, really) was the 15-seat theater room with an actual stage and even a backstage area. That's right. Huge screen, 10 recliners and 5 bar-height chairs, curtains that closed off the stage, and a door on either side of the stage that connected into a little backstage area. So you could put on productions and have somewhere to change costumes or store scenery or whatever. Can you believe that? I'M. SO. JEALOUS.

The Santa Barbara
Let's move on before I actually turn green with envy. This house was a little bit of an odd ball. It was a very contemporary design that was totally unlike any of the seven other houses.
I love this coat rack that was in one of the bedrooms. What a fun idea. And if you could find the right kind of spring, it might not be too hard to make. It's really just three long boards with a short board on each and a little bit of detailed cutouts.
Another room had a travel theme and I was in love with the accent wall with airplane wallpaper. Subtle but special too. The ridiculous number of globes in that room was kind of obnoxious though. Chris said he would never be able to go in a room like that because one wrong move and he'd break half the crap in there. haha
Check out the shower. I love the large grey tiles on the wall with the smaller multi-toned tiles on the floor. And those cutouts in the wall have another type of tile, arranged in sort of a floral, organic type of pattern. So sweet.
Here's the main living area in this house. It was not my taste (who needs two flat screen tvs in the same room??) but it was interesting. The floor was concrete, which I don't think I'd like at all. Not very cozy. I was watching this little two-year-old walk around near the glass table and the metal framed couch and I was just cringing hoping she wouldn't fall, because there wasn't much that was soft in this room. 

The other odd thing about this house was that the main living space and kitchen was downstairs from the front door. There were plenty of windows, so it didn't feel like a basement, but it didn't feel like a normal living room either.

The Oakhurst
This guy had a pretty craftsman style from the outside. Inside, it was decorated in a beachy theme, which isn't usually my taste, but there were some elements I admired.
This bathroom had pebbles in grout for the shower floor. I thought this was a really fun option if you don't like all the grey rectangle tiles that seem to be in every other bathroom in these houses. Something a little more personalized, I think.
Outside the shower, this whale was hanging on the wall. I really wanted to take him home with me. Also, how great is that striped material for the curtains?
I liked the way they strung pieces of driftwood together to make a chain of them. I didn't like how the driftwood chain was just floating on the wall there, but it could be cute as garland on a Christmas tree or strung from a mantel or around a doorway. It would even look cool framing a mirror or a large photo on the wall.

The Stewart
We were told this home was named after Jimmy Stewart, so they tried to tie in different elements from his films when decorating the house. We definitely picked up on the Christmas tree and the sign in the living room that read "It's a Wonderful Life" but otherwise we didn't notice anything. But then again, It's a Wonderful Life is pretty much the only thing I know about Jimmy Stewart. lol
This was probably my favorite chair in all of the houses. Leather. Tufted. Bucket seat. Matching ottoman. Pretty much everything I want in a piece of furniture. The fact that it was sitting in front of a cozy back deck, on a pretty oriental rug, next to a Christmas tree was all just icing on the cake. I'm actually sort of disappointed that I didn't check out the tag for this piece. Everything in the houses was for sale, and while I'm sure this was out of my price range, I would have like to know where I could find it. Even if I could only go to the store and sit in it and pretend it was mine. haha
Here's my chair again in the pretty living room. This house definitely had a cozy vibe to it. Loved all the textiles and that pretty arched lamp.
As you were leaving the living room, this adorable little piece of furniture was tucked quietly in the corner, adding wisdom and history to the space.
And speaking of aged pieces, this was pretty nice too. I love that the sides of the front aren't even. Like pieces of the door had broken off and they just left it. Although I would have been sad if I found out it was from Pottery Barn or something.
The kitchen was very pretty but not too over the top (most of the kitchens in these houses were wayyy too fancy for me). I could cook in here and be very happy. I like the little glass-front cabinets with interior lights and all that counter space. 
Here's that little back deck again. Super cozy and this house had a nice lot with lots of trees around it, so you weren't just looking at the neighbor's house or anything. I could even see coming out here on a winter evening with a big blanket and a cub of hot cocoa to watch the snow fall on the trees. Picturesque.
This little metal tray with the pansies in it was pretty cute. It sort of looks like they took a safe deposit box or something similar and cut out the spots for the flowers.
The dining room had this awesome centerpiece. Just a wooden trough and a bunch of green apples. It's so simple but it really had a lot of impact, especially when paired with the bright citrusy candles and fruits and the fall themed table cloth.
So every house had stairs with wood treads and white risers. I've been debating doing this to our stairs at home (which are all wood now) and I think this one may have finally convinced me. It's such a classic look.
Another thing this house did really well was the kid's rooms. I would have killed for a room like this when I was growing up. The paint color is fun, the built-ins are amazing, and the overhead light is super cool (it had lace detail in addition to the paper style).
And then, the kids had their own bathroom, which was painted in the style of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." There was a growth chart behind the door with big pieces of fruit that had bites missing. Some lucky kids will get to enjoy this bathroom every day.
And speaking of lucky kids, this little guy had a fort in his bedroom!
Check out this dresser. Love the type and the stripes on one side.
And how cute is the banner on the tent and over the window. Can you possibly think of a better window treatment in a little boy's room?
Back downstairs with the grownups, I spotted this mason jar light fixture in the laundry room.
And this half bathroom just screamed country and sophistication all at the same time. love the wall color, the flooring and that mirror!

The Clairmont
One of the first things I saw when I walked in this house was this guy. I fell in love with this little white dog at TJ Max a while back and I totally regret not buying him. He is so sweet! After seeing him again, this time perched on this little stand, I'm thinking maybe I should go back to the store and see if he's still there. Who wouldn't want a little white dog next to your armchair?
This was sort of neat in the dining room. You all know how I love a good tree painted on the wall. And I liked the off-center grouping of pictures that shared the wall with the tree painting.
The table was also pretty fantastic in there. It looked like a single solid slab or wood, with little imperfections along the edges.
And I gotta say, the last thing I thought I would get inspiration for in these houses was Halloween decorations, but there it was just waiting for me in the living room. I am totally putting sequins and glitter on my pumpkin this year. Me and Liberace, we'd be friends, I think.

House Number Seven
Somehow I didn't end up getting a paper on this house, so I can't look up the name of it. We probably missed it because we were having a long talk with the greeter about the front door situation on this house. Check it out. Front door on the right, but what's that on the left? It's actually a door that leads into the mudroom, so you don't have to track through the whole house (and the pretty entryway) to take off your gear. It's a cute idea, but I did think the two front door situation was a bit confusing. I mean, where would the pizza delivery man go?
Moving a little closer, you can really see that mudroom door. But above that, see that little balcony? That was off of the master bedroom and I was in love with it. Just a tiny little space with two chairs and a little stand. It would be better if it overlooked a backyard full of trees instead of the neighbor's houses, but I'd take it anyway.
Here's the view from that balcony. Not too bad. Chris said it would be a good spot to wait for your daughter to come home at night to freak out her boyfriends. lol

The real front door had this pretty arch and really nice molding detail.

The half bathroom had that same pretty grey tile in a mix of sizes and colors again. it seems to be the new classic. And how cute are those little mirrored tables? I also love that putty grey color.

In the living room, these little end tables were so interesting and detailed. Those candle holders are pretty great too.

This house also had a pretty open floor plan. The banquette was the topper, though. So awesome (although I'd probably swap out that fabric for something a little less country looking).

The master bathroom had these cool back-lit mirrors above the sinks. That was a fun detail and would be nice for when you  have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and don't want to blind yourself with full bright lights.
Another stunning walk-in closet. I think it's bigger than my childhood bedroom. Same boob light, though. And I also had the access to the attic in my room. Damn. I think I might have lived in a walk-in closet.
The bedroom was very cozy and comfortable. There were two ways to get into the room from the hallway. One was directly from the hallway and the other one you walked through the laundry room and then came into the bedroom. And then there was also the door to the balcony, and the door to the bathroom. I guess it's good to have a lot of emergency exits?
This room also had the stepped ceiling and it was even lit up around the edges. Pretty snazzy. And the painted details were so sweet too.
The baby's room was super sweet. Check out those curtains! They had elephants along the top and ruffles at the bottom.
The stripes on the wall were actually a pretty neat paint technique. It looks like they dragged some sort of textured comb or other object along the wall to make the larger stripes. And they probably taped off the edges to keep it all straight and clean looking.
And little baby even has her own bathroom. Although you would think a baby's bathroom would have a tub instead of a shower. But this would be nice for older kids.
There were also two rooms for boys, which were separated by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. And the sports theme dominated. Like the football nightlight and the referee stripes.
Here's one of the boys' rooms. I like the basketball accent wall. It was sporty and bold, but sort of subtle too. I didn't realize immediately that I was looking at a basketball mural.
And the other room was baseball themed. I liked these three little pictures hung on a sliver of wall. It was a nice reminder to turn even tiny spaces into something fun and personal.
Finally, back downstairs, I loved this little organization station. If you can't read it, one of the boxes says "Responsible Grown Up Stuff" and another says "Things I'm Never Going to Look at Again" and the other says "Controlled Mess." Way to be honest about the way you live, right?

The Naples
The last house in the Parade was built all on one level. The people who bought it expanded into the basement and put more bedrooms down there, but technically everything you needed was all on the ground floor.

The dining room had a cool coffered ceiling and a really pretty light.
You can see what makes the light so neat in this picture.
The master bedroom had a door that opened up to the patio, where you could walk right out and jump in the pool. How nice would that be? Just wake up, roll out of bed and hop in the pool to swim a few laps in the morning.
And what a pool it was. (Insert whistling noise here). It'll be really great in a few years when there's trees back there instead of a Parade of Homes parking lot. 

The other door that opened out onto this patio was from the main living area. But it had a little roof over it and the sides of the house came out around it too, so it was this little sheltered cubby before you stepped all the way out. I really liked that. It would be great for keeping an eye on kids in the pool if you still wanted to be in the shade or out of the wind.
The master bathroom also had an unusual feature. There was a tv behind the mirror. So you could watch tv and get ready at the same time. Or maybe pretend that you're on tv. I dunno.
And I just liked the wall color and the tile on the floor in here. Pretty pretty.
The dining room had an accent wall made of either stone or wallpaper that looked like stone. I didn't touch it, so I can't be sure. But it was kind of a neat way to divide up a big open floor plan.
Below you can really see the openness of it. Chris said this would be a great party house.

One thing I hate that all the houses had was a tv over the fireplace. That's a terrible idea for so many reasons. The heat isn't good for your tv, the angle is terrible for viewing from the couch (the tv should be eye-level), and it just makes your fireplace look less awesome. So a lot of these houses wouldn't work for me with the furniture layout they had planned. I would totally tuck that tv in a corner or on a wall (at eye level when seated!) somewhere else and arrange the furniture accordingly.
Ok, so 71 pictures later, that completes our tour. Obviously there's a TON I left out, so if you're in the area at all over the next few weeks, I totally recommend checking it out over in Jamesville Grove. Admission is $10 per person, but I definitely feel like I got a bunch of good ideas and had fun snooping around for longer than it takes to watch a movie. And if any of you have been to one of these in your area, share the pictures or link up your blog in the comments. I'd totally love to see more (and I'm so excited to find out what the folks at Young House Love come up with for the house they're decorating for their local house event!)