Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Few Projects

We've been up to a few projects over the past several months. Okay, ever since we bought this house we've been up to some projects!  It's funny because we started to do things I thought I would NEVER do because it sounded unappealing to me.  Our first big project was to tile the kitchen floor.  We planned on having someone else tile the floor, but after realizing the cost for installation alone, we decided to do it ourselves.  That is how most of these projects got started.  We saw that other people were doing them and figured we could do them too. Lee's sister completely redid her hall bathroom last summer.  All by herself.  If she can do tile and a tile tub surround all solo, hey, we could do it too!

A couple of months ago we bought our "first" dining table.  Our other two were both free.  And our second free one we had since 2004.  Now one of my sister's is the lucky owner.  With a new dining table we wanted new chairs of course, but buying 7 or 8 brand new chairs was basically out of the question.  One day as I was riding my bike to the elementary school, I saw 6 dining room chairs at a thrift store that I knew Lee would love.  Lee loves the mid-century modern look.  I'm not really a fan of the look in my home.  I think it is a fun style, just not mine. If I remember right we went there the next day.  I was right, Lee loved the chairs.  And we got all 6 of them for about $40! Too bad they did have a set of 8.  Or even 7.  At the same time we also bought a hutch thing, and a got a small bookshelf.
Oct 24 2013

We started in on yet another project I'd never thought I'd do...refinish furniture. Lee spent some time sanding all of the chairs for me, then I stained them.  The one on the left is already stained and the one on the right is just how we bought it.
Dec 9 2013 dining chairs

Shanna helped me a couple of times with the chairs.  This time she was helping me apply wood conditioner on the chairs before I stained them. 
Dec 9 2013 dining chairs (2)

Dec 9 2013

I did two coats of stain and two, maybe three? coats of polycrylic.
Dec 17 2013 (2)

Next, seat cushions. Whoever upholstered these babies did a thorough job! Check out ALL those staples!!! I removed staples from two cushions and Lee did the other four.
Dec 17 2013 (3)

I used the old fabric as a pattern for the new fabric. I have never spent so much money per yard on fabric in my life!  It was expensive but of course wasn't the most expensive fabric ever.  But at about $20 a yard, it was a lot to spend for me.
Dec 17 2013 (5)

Here is the fabric before I stapled it on. I also bought some clear vinyl to put on top.  I would rather have the cloth covered chairs with no vinyl, but reality right now needs vinyl.  And about a week or so after I recovered the chairs Elden accidentally spilled hot chocolate on a chair.
Dec 17 2013 chair redo

Here they are all finished!  I took pictures of just two of the chairs as all the other ones look like these.  I definitely didn't get the corners perfect, but in general they look good.  Lee screwed the seats back on the chair for me.  We have a little unspoken deal going on.  He does the building, sanding, power tool stuff, and I do the painting, staining, caulking, finishing stuff. The chairs with the arms are a little darker because Lee sanded them down more.  That is my theory anyway.  They all look good together though around the table even with the varying colors of the stain.
Jan 16 2014 Chairs

Jan 16 2014 Chairs (2)

Jan 16 2014 Chairs (3)

Jan 16 2014 Chairs (4)

This next project was easy for Lee as Mike, my brother-in-law, built this bench for us.  Since we don't have 7 chairs we needed something else at the table.  I wanted something that would go with the chairs and the table...something other than our metal folding chairs or the computer chair. The next inexpensive solution was a bench.  Mike did a great job building it.  Thank you so much Mike! Here is it all ready to be stained. I was going to stain it in time for Christmas Eve, but yeah, that didn't happen.
Jan 7 2014

Jan 9 2014

I think it turned out well. And because it was inexpensive we don't mind switching it out in a couple of years for something else!
Jan 16 2014 Bench

Sorry, fuzzy picture.
Jan 16 2014 Bench (2)

Here is its place at the table.
Jan 16 2014 (2)

Something else I did was make pillow covers.  Between buying fabric, pillow inserts and sewing them, I would have been just as well off to look for some deals for $10 throw pillows.  Now that I have the pillow inserts, for two pillows anyway, it will be cheaper the next time around to buy fabric and recover them.  But all of the costs upfront were more than I anticipated. I found a good tutorial online for making the covers and they were really easy to sew.
Dec 5 2013

I took a picture of them tonight.  Behind the pillow is a throw pillow I bought online at World Market.  I got two of them. They are a velvet/cotton fabric and I really like them.  I especially liked them because they were $9.99 each, with free shipping!  I bought two.  I have four pillow for our couch so far.  I know it's better to decorate with an odd number, but oh well.

The thing I am stumped on right now is accessorizing my home.  Granted we are choosing to not allot money for that right now, but I have no clue about accessorizing!  I've realized that Lee and I, in my opinion, have done a good job at getting the bones of the room down.  We've been really pleased with the tile, carpet and paint we've picked out, including a few furniture purchases.  But the little nick-knacks that go here and there I am at a complete loss. Any home accessories that I will do this coming year will come from my "play money" so there won't be a whole lot going on!

Another project that was actually done while I as in Utah was getting our floors refinished.  This was actually one project that we did not tackle.  I did not want to try my hand at refinishing floors.  I might just always leave this one to the pros! Remember the carpet we had?  It was a cheap berber, but it did look fine.  Though carpet in the front entry and dining area isn't really the best thing for a family with kids!  Funny enough, I do want to get a rug to go under our table, ha ha.
7-27-13 Clark's Birthday 6 (2)

Lee ripped up the carpet one Saturday.  And yes Nathan, we had REAL WOOD FLOORS underneath the carpet!  We talked about possibly doing all new floors, but we received a good quote to refinish the existing floors, so we went with that. When I told the guy I wanted a dark finish he was somewhat surprised.  He told me that a dark floor will show everything.  And it sure does!  At least I know right away when my floors are dirty. I still love the dark color though and will put up with dirt being highly visible.

I am not sure if you can tell in the picture below, but the wood planks or slats or whatever they are called, are very narrow.  Just over an inch each. I really like wide wood flooring, but surprisingly we don't mind the look at all with the narrow boards.  The wood looked gross under the carpet.  We lived with it like this for at least a month.  Yeah, yeah, totally whining...poor me, right? Ha ha.  But they were gross. 
Nov 17 2013 (3)

Nov 17 2013 (2)

While the floors were being redone no one could walk on them or go upstairs or into the family room the whole time--four days actually. It kind of worked out well that Elden and I were gone the whole time because it would have been interesting to figure out what to do for four days besides sitting in a bedroom or hanging out in the kitchen the whole time.

It was quite the adventure for Lee and the other four kids while Elden and I were gone.  In addition to not being able to walk on the floors, no one could walk to the kitchen from the bedrooms. It's too far away to jump from the bathroom to the kitchen.  They could jump from the bedroom to the bathroom so that worked well. (Oh and the since the boys couldn't go to their room upstairs, Clark and Cal slept in Shanna and Haley's room for several nights.) Our laundry room (it's really a sunroom addition put on after the house was built) spans the whole length of the back of the house.  Shanna, Haley and Elden's bedroom has its original window that now looks into the sunroom. While the floors were being redone they all crawled in and out of that window into the sunroom so they could get to the door that led back into the main part of the house, straight into the kitchen.  This is overkill I know, but look this image ] .  The bottom part of this symbol that juts to the left is the kids' room.  They would climb out the window, walk up the long part of the symbol, and then turn left to get back into the kitchen. Make sense?  Anyway, it was crazy for them.  Thankfully the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room were all accessible.

Lee took some pictures for me while I was gone to keep me updated on the floor progress.  It was pretty exciting!!!  The first day they did a TON of work.  They sanded the entire floor and patched it up where needed.



Don't they look SOOO much better all sanded??!!

Then that same night they put on the first coat of stain!  I couldn't believe that they put stain on the very first day.  After the stain and the protective coating were on, he also did thresholds and toe kicks for us everywhere.  Well worth the $60 or so for him to do the toe kicks for us!

This picture is blurry, but can you tell how the floor slopes down to the left?  And how the extra trim on the bottom part of the baseboard is getting wider?  After Lee ripped up the carpet we noticed a gap between the floor and the wall due to the house settling over time. Our floors slant the length of the house.  A friend of ours came and look at the foundation in the crawl space and said it was fine.  And that if it were him he would leave the house how it was.  He said it we tried to jack up the foundation to make the floor level that might cause cracks to form in some walls. Due to the slanting floors and the crack getting larger the further left you went, the guy who did our floors thought of a great idea.  He added an extra piece of trim that gradually became wider to cover up the gap. 

He also redid the treads on our stairs too.  And the treads going down into the family room.

Don't they look good?!





We had the guy come back again to fix some of the trim and get some paint off the floor. He was back in a few days and got it fixed.  I have since caulked and primed the baseboards.  Well, I mainly primed where stain got on the door ways.  If you look at the baseboard in the pictures of the finished dining chairs, you can tell that the paint looks blotchy.  I need to go through and paint them now.  I might even tackle that tonight. 
A goal of ours was to get as much done as we could on the house in 2013.  This year, 2014, we have started focusing our efforts on paying off the house.  Thus no accessorizing this year (except with my play money) or redoing of bathrooms, or re-insulating the upstairs.  We want to pay off our house first and then later tackle those other big money projects.  We feel really blessed that we were able to do so much the first 8 months of being in our new home.  We love the changes that we've made and feel so blessed to have done so.  Since we cash-flowed all of our projects, some took longer to accomplish than others.  We weren't sure that we were going to be able to redo the floors before the new year, but it all worked out!  (Which was good too because I would not have liked living months on end with the floor undone!)


andyandsteph said...

Love the post! It's good you put the clear vinyl on the chairs, it wouldn't have been fun to have hot chocolate all over your newly upholstered chairs. I'm glad you guys were able to get the floors done!

Welcome to Our Story said...

Ruth, I LOVE your floors. I can't wait to come see them sometime. They look so good with that dark stain. You are lucky to have had real wood floors underneath. Your chairs look great too. That's a good idea to put vinyl over them. Good thinking! You all really have learned how to do so much this past year, and you have gotten it done rather quickly. Our projects seem to go on and on forever. You should come over sometime and we can make something to accessorize! I have a few ideas of things I'd like to make and it would be more fun to do together!

Risa Stumm said...

Oh my word, everything looks awesome!!!! I can't believe how different everything looks from when I first walked in the house! It looks GREAT!!!!!!!