Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fire 'er up!

We haven't had much of a winter here in Texas, but I'm hoping maybe by the end of the year we'll be able to have a fire in the front living area of our remodel house. Without running the AC at the same time.

The contractors started the process by tearing the gray painted one brick deep facade from the original 1953 fireplace. 

Then they built out a new front facade that deepens it.

So now a split face dry stack stone can be applied vertically to it for a contemporary twist on this traditional hill country material.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Messy Bessies

They admit it. The husband is gonna slosh Diet Big Red on the kitchen countertop and just leave it there. Same with the sophomore. She'll chop strawberries for her cereal directly on the counter and just let the bright red juice linger to dry. So yeah, there was no way I could even consider marble for the kitchen. No matter that it's beautiful and goes with the transitional style of the house. And would look FAB-U-LOUS. 

Fortunately, I found a pretty good replacement for my beloved natural stone. Taj Mahal quartzite is *almost* as pretty. And pretty much indestructible, which is what I need. With white cabinetry and medium range brown hand scraped hardwoods, I think the 11' sea of quartzite on the kitchen island is gonna pop. 

Drinks on Me

It didn't take long. I've about reached that stage in the remodel where my head is spinning from all of the selects - even with the help of our fabulous designer/decorator. Conveniently enough, I'll be able to belly up to the bar in my own home for an adult beverage soon with the addition of a cute little walk-in bar area beneath the stairwell. I'm loving how things are already starting to take shape. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Feeling Blue These Days

I was late to the Pinterest craze. But since we started planning our remodel, I've found it incredibly useful. And yet maybe a bit unrealistic. Because seriously, where are you gonna find a whole cabinet-full collection of this stuff unless your granny or great aunt Agatha was tucking this away decades ago when it was all the rage.

Thinking I'd give it a go, my mother and I drove up to a small town here in the hill country where we knew we could visit several antique shops. Sure enough, I hit pay dirt with some nice buys. I was all over the place - Depression glass, Fenton, Jadeite, hobnail, pressed, plain, and frosted. Now I need to let the decorator get a look at my initial purchases to see how to round out my collection for the open shelving on either side of the informal built-in banquette adjacent to the kitchen for everyday family seating.

Pass the Sledgehammer

Three days into demo and I'm already starting to see how the new configurations will change up the look and feel of our 50s era home. The office isn't a complete overhaul, but it already looks greatly improved. The ugly orangey looking stained cabinetry has been removed and we've busted through the wall to create a new entrance into the master suite. We're going from a U-shaped office to an L. The husband gets the long arm that won't really be seen through the doorway when passing by. However, you will be able to see my short L base area that will always be neat as a pin. You gotta consider stuff like that when you're in the process of making a design really work for you. And be assured the outcome won't make you crazy. Or full of regret.

All Dressed Up and Growing Up

The caboose of our kid train is the 16 year old. Here she is dressed to attend a friend's Sweet 16 party this evening. The theme is black and white, so she went with the B instead of the W. White party dresses are harder to find in February.

Wow - only two more years in high school before she flies the nest for college. We want them to grow up and be independent, and then we mourn the loss of their childhood where we're their everything. So I plan to enjoy having the last kiddo at home, hearing the gossip and staying on top of all the latest trends in pop culture via the teenager.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Or how about some raccoon?

They wrapped up the second day of demo at the remodel and we're seeing progress. The monstrous master bath already looked much improved with the removal of that gosh awful jetted tub.

And the shared kitchen/front living area wall came tumbling down... with the help of a crowbar and some elbow grease. I'm really excited to see this become a wonderfully light and bright open space for entertaining.

The critter evictor dude came out this afternoon and discovered it's RACCOONS nesting in the attic. So a couple thousand bucks later, we've got traps and poison and feces removal and the sealing off of all possible entry points for the masked bandits. And their buds the squirrels in case they got any bright ideas about setting up housekeeping in the rafters, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fried squirrel, anyone?

Today was the first day of demo in the remodel house and it seems we've acquired some new tenants over the course of the past week. The contractors heard some scratching and went into the vintage pink and maroon tile bathroom to discover this mess on the floor.

It seems a couple squirrels accessed the attic and decided to make a nest in the bathroom vent/light fixture.

The exterminator is schedule for a visit tomorrow in order to block access and hopefully keep the furry little rodents from doing any more homemaking or havoc wreaking in the attic space. When I was a little girl, I remember my mom's dad bringing home a bag full of squirrels that granny would cook for lunch - chicken fried squirrel. For real. Thankfully, I don't recall actually eating any squirrel. However, I would certainly be amenable to dropping any further squirrel squatters in a vat of boiling oil.

Monday, February 13, 2017

New baths for everyone... including the dog!

Since we brought cairn terrier Ollie home in fall 2011 to be part of our family, I've fallen into the habit of bathing him every 7-10 days. I can't stand the doggy stink and icky feeling fur for any longer than that. 

The tricky issues with bathing him are the location and water. Bathing him in a large shower with a handheld wand works. Bathing him in a tub with a handheld wand isn't ideal, but I can still swing it. It's trying to get him clean in a garden tub with a big plastic cup since there isn't a handheld sprayer that had me realizing we need to add a doggy washing station in the remodel house.

Last week I needed a sedative after Ollie's bath. My knees and back were killing me and I about fell tail over teakettle on the slippery tile floor. At least three times. It was slippery because Ollie didn't like the standing water in the tub. So he paced the entire time instead of sitting in resignation like he usually does. And then he shook. And shook some more. And usually it was right after I had just poured a big plastic cup full of water over his body so that droplets went everywhere. 

The walls were dripping and so was my clothing. Doggy shampoo flew in my eye several times. It was a pain in the buttinsky and so that's why I just emailed these doggy washing station ideas to our designer/decorator. No more bending over the tub. No more de-doggy smelling the shower after I bathe Mr. Stinky Pants. I don't need anything fancy - just convenient and easy to use/clean.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Before Pics

We signed the demo contract for our remodel house, so now our contractor is in the process of securing permits. Hopefully that means we'll start to see some studs next week... and I'm not talking about construction workers!

The far kitchen wall below (seen below) will be removed to open up the space and make it more of an open concept that flows better.

That open door to the left in the pic below will be the entry to our new little bar that we hope to locate beneath the stairs.

I'm still trying to understand why someone thought it was a good idea to run the fireplace stone halfway up the wall and end in a squiggly line. I like the rest of the rock, but that has gotta go.

The two pics above are the office that is attached to the master. The old cabinetry is being relocated to the husband's workshop so we can set this up as a his and hers office space.

The master bath gives me the heebie jeebies, the nasty looking jetted tub that looks like you'd get sucked under and drown in it. Plus the steam shower that's all dark and Psycho-esque. And undoubtedly full of mold!

High on my excitement list is the laundry room, seen below, where we're adding a built in kennel and waist height dog washing station for Ollie.

Seriously... who installs a bath light fixture like that?

Thankfully the two bedrooms upstairs (one seen below) only need cosmetic updating with paint and plantation shutters, though we are having a reading nook built into the eaves in each room.

The teen's room - she has grand plans for it, including the removal of the little chandelier for more modern fixtures.