What is old is new again…

I call it a peacock chair because it sounds exotic and I love peacocks! But there isn’t any blue on this large rattan chair. Instead, the name refers to the large fan-shaped chair back. My mom use to have one in our Orlando living room during my formidable years and I recall thinking it was pretty cool. But I didn’t really like our living room overall– it was straight out of the 1970s with browns and oranges. My parents didn’t change out that hideous furniture, drapes etc. until 2003! Well, just recently I discovered an inspirational photo of a black peacock chair and said to myself “I want it!!” Sadly, my mom’s peacock chair found a new owner during one of her many garages sales so I scoured eBay and Craigslist. The ones on eBay were well over $100 dollars but I did find one on Craigslist for $35.  Next, I picked 4  cans of Krylon gloss black spray paint at Walmart for $2.50 each. Within a week, my peacock chair was updated! It’s going in my soon-to-be black and white color scheme ‘library.’ Just need the Ikea Billy bookcase system now so I can move my book collection in!

before

before

After

After

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Basement Update: Day 6

Here’s a little update on the basement… I leave tomorrow for my big trip to New Zealand so it sounds like the basement will be finished by the time I get back. Right now, they are scheduled to complete the job next Friday. Since my last update, the drywall has been installed and the stairwell has been framed and the walls installed. They also had to sand down the texture on the walls left by the previous contractor (our house was completely rehabbed in 2005). Yesterday afternoon and today, the guys started ‘mudding’ the walls. That task will continue through the end of the week. We did run into 1 slight problem (thank goodness for all the rain!). We need a pump. Water has slowly started coming up through a crack in the floor. No biggie! Better now than this spring when April showers hit! I would hate to ruin the beautiful sason pine floor I picked out.  Pics below.

Basement update

Day 2 and day 3 of the basement finishing project has and gone. On day 2, the workers finished framing the walls and began framing the ceiling. On day 3, they finished framing and started wiring and hanging some insulation. The can lights are installed as well as most of the electrical outlets and light switches. We opted to have 1 custom track lighting fixture in the main room of the basement (where the couches and TV will go). So, the guys wired that for us as well as some surround- sound. Overall, things are going smoothly and we’re able visualize the finished project more and more. Today is day four and boy, there’s a ton of noise coming from down below. 🙂

this will be Xanders play area

this will be Xander's play area

Wasted space no more

Our big project for 2009 is to add more living space to our little house… we are finishing a portion of our basement. Over the weekend, Nick and I cleared out our stuff from the main room of the basement (well, most of it… okay, we just shoved in the far corner). We also picked out paint colors and flooring. I was really getting frustrated with the flooring because I couldn’t find what I wanted within our budget. Luckily, at the 4th store, I found exactly what I wanted in a hidden corner marked down.  It pays to shop around sometimes! Anyway, here are the “before” pictures and “day 1” pictures.

Before photo

Before photo

Before photo

Before photo

Before photo

Before photo

Day-- Framing. New staircase landing. Its wider & has 2 steps now.

Day 1 - Framing. New staircase landing. It's wider & has 2 steps now.

Day 1 - Framing

Day 1 - Framing

Day 1 - Framing

Day 1 - Framing

Nick’s 2008 Summer Project

I think Nick secretly dreads when I say: “I have an idea!” Usually that statement is followed by an activity that involves extreme manual labor, a ton of time, and maybe some blood, sweat, and tears. Okay, no blood or tears yet but definitely a nasty amount of sweat. So what was my idea? A lovely new patio area in our backyard! The back of our house faces west so we have lovely sunset views, but it gets painfully hot and our unshaded back deck and yard are not usable until the sun goes down. In addition, we have poor drainage in parts of our yard so in the spring and after a storm we have a very wet, muddy yard. Now that we have a very active child, I thought it would be nice to have a shaded, brick or cement patio under our wood deck. That way we could use our backyard in the hot summer afternoons or after it rains. I plan to put Xander’s sandbox on the patio and some chairs. It’ll also offer a flat surface for his pool. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Well, the good wife that I am, I suggested we get ‘estimates’ from local contractors. We had several contractors come out to give us a price for pavers, brick, and cement patios. The cheapest estimate was $8,000!! In today’s housing market, that money would be a complete waste so we said ‘no thanks, dudes.’ Instead, Nick got to work. We opted for a patio made of pavers stones. He’s not just setting them on top of the grass. Instead, he’s making the effort to install them correctly (digging down 6+ inches, adding a gravel layer, making slopes etc etc). This summer project has taken up 3 weekends now, and thankfully he has had a ton of help from neighbors and friends. See his progress below.

Back of our house. This is the “before” photo.

We rented this big digger from the local hardware store. Nick felt like a man this day.

The hole. We had piles and piles of dirt. We pawned it off on friends and neighbors.

Next, Nick shovels gravel in the hole with the help of a neighbor. We borrowed his compactor machine to press it down. We’re currently waiting for a second shipment of gravel so Nick can finish this part of the patio-building process!

Stay tuned for more!