Thursday, April 24, 2008

Welcome, Elliot!

Kyle's bro Elliot is coming in today for a week and a half to work on the house! Hooray for little brothers! I'm not sure he knows what he's getting himself into...Kyle has some choice tasks picked out for him, starting with tearing out the remaining plaster kitchen ceiling. But I will feed him well, which will hopefully make up for it! In fact, we won't even be showing him the house tonight, we're going to ease him into things with a visit to his favorite Baltimore mexican restaurant, Holy Frijoles.

Meanwhile, Kyle ordered our appliances today, and of course we received a call from the Visa fairy to make sure it was not a fraudulent purchase! Check out these babies:

A lovely but rather un-remarkable microwave (what can really be that special about a microwave, though?)

The microwave's much hotter and smarter big sister: a duel fuel range with convection oven and six burners!

The sleek and sexy dishwasher with hidden controls that - get this - holds an ENTIRE BOTTLE of dishwasher soap and dispenses according to how dirty the dishes are!! Too bad the china isn't would look nice with the icy blue walls.And the mack daddy of the whole set, this french door, bottom freezer, counter-depth fridge. Complete with internal water dispenser to keep that sleek look going on the outside.

All this from the GE employee website at a hefty discount off retail...thanks, Bob Ward.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

if walls could talk

We have been doing some serious structural work lately. Last weekend, we finished the demolition of the old wall that stood between the kitchen and dining room, completely separating them. The last few studs, and another one on the ladder, are pictured at left.
On Sunday, Kyle, Jeff, and Justin worked on moving a supporting beam to line up better with the floor joyce, or something like that. I tend to zone out when words like that come into play. All I know is that the house did not collapse, so each of their levels of intelligence has increased greatly in my book.

On Monday evening, Kyle and I did some more tearing out of old ceiling plaster, and I had my first serious case of dust boogers- it was lovely. Here is an action shot of Kyle swinging from a nail that was lodged in the ceiling. Also note: no wall!

We also worked on framing a new wall, that will be placed resulting in the kitchen being a foot wider and the dining room being a foot narrower. It will also be open- there will be a bar top on the dining room side, and an arch built into the top to mirror the other arched doorways in the house. We're trying to make the kitchen and dining room feel more like one big room.

I got to use the power saw and nail gun, and now I understand a little more guys' desire for power tools at every holiday. Oh yeah, we also managed to get the power saw cord stuck in the blade. Glad that wasn't either of our fingers.

And finally, last night, Jeff and Brian came over to help stand the new wall up. And Jen and Brian provided the third pizza dinner consumed at the house so far- thanks, guys!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

color inspiration

As many of you know, I am very indecisive - a trait that I proudly inherited from my beautiful mother, pictured with me below. I'll just get it out of the way now, I know, she looks more like my big sister than my mother.

As a result, I have been trying for weeks now to decide on a paint color for our kitchen and dining room. It is going to be more like one large room now, since Kyle is currently in the process of tearing down the wall that currently separates them. To make it feel even more like one big room, I want all of the walls to be the same color. I was set on using a grayish blue color, but when I brought some chips home and put them next to the curtains I want to use, it didn't quite work. The blue in the curtains has more of a greenish tint. So, cousin Jess, Margie, and I went scouting paint colors while they were here last weekend, and picked up a few more chips. I followed Jess' suggestion to hang them on the wall by the curtains and get used to them for a few days, in different lights. I kept coming back to Benjamin Moore icy blue, which was Jess and Margie's favorite, but was still a little stuck on that gray-blue idea for some reason.

Then I was blog surfing today and came across this lovely photo which convinced me that icy blue just might be the one! It showed me that the color can convey a french cafe kind of look, and will work well with both the stainless appliances and the natural colors of the drapes (they are linen).

Here is a swatch of icy blue:

The other obvious advantage is that the color is very reminiscent of the Tiffany box, so I will always feel like a million bucks while cooking and eating. And maybe it will send a subconcious message to Kyle...

What do you think? Love it or leave it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday was our first anniversary, and while it did get a little bit lost in the busyness of buying and tearing apart a house, writing a 15 page paper, and hosting family, it was lovely indeed. We were so delighted to receive cards, calls, and even gifts for this occasion that is a gift unto itself! Thanks to you all, and to Kyle especially, for making it so nice.

My grandmother taught me to always take a picture of the dinner table on special occasions, so here is our dinner last night. It is the same meal we shared together on our very first date, with cousin Doug as our chaperone...aawww. And of course our year-old wedding cake, which was scrumptious! Thanks, Dee!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Let's get this party started!

Closing was a success, we are homeowners! We really had a good time at settlement, and enjoyed meeting the son of the previous owners, who grew up in the house and shared some great history and secret hiding spots with us. You won't find any money in the cookie jar at our house!

Day One of renovations was, in the words of Borat, "great success!" We accomplished in one day what Kyle had scheduled for six! We had some fabulous help- Kyle's parents Margie and Terry, his cousin Corey and Corey's wife Jess, Kyle's other cousin Doug, and our friend Brian. Basically, the men ripped the kitchen out, and the women spent time in the glorious sun working in the yard.

Here is the kitchen at 8 AM:
Here it is mid-morning:

At the lunch break: (and by the way, because it's our anniversary today, I am allowed to say that I think Kyle looks really hot in this picture.)

And, at the end of the day:

And finally, the kitchen is the garage:

And, a shout out to the Day one crew:
The Supervisors/Gardeners/Decorators, Margie and Jess

The laborer/electrical engineer with a constant smile, Brian

The laborer/electrician/ol'man-in-residence, TerryCorey "who says a sawzall isn't a garden tool?" Norton

And I guess that makes me the safety goggle model (we really were working in the second picture).

We're headed back tonight to spend our anniversary working! Don't worry, we're going out on the town this weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

tomorrow is the big day!

Wow, I've really been slacking lately. Is anybody still out there? I promise it's going to get exciting again soon...we're closing tomorrow! So, in approximately 48 hours, this will turn into a home renovation blog.

We had our walk-through on Tuesday night, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful pink dogwood in the front yard. Of course it was there before, but I just never noticed it in the gray and brown of February and March. I can't wait to see what other surprises pop out of the ground this spring! And Kyle can't wait to see what surprises are lurking behind the dropped ceilings in the kitchen and dining room. Hopefully they'll both be new drywall and a few inches higher in a few weeks. Oh, and the same height.

Here's hoping all goes well tomorrow, so we'll have something extra to celebrate on our anniversary on Monday!