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Friday, August 29, 2014

'Scaping the land.

We spent last weekend attempting to make the front of our house look a little less abandoned.  Since spring arrived, we've been so busy inside the house that we haven't had much time to devote to the outside.  The previous owners were avid gardeners and took many of their favorite plants with them when they moved.  Half empty beds and a vacant house made for incredibly overgrown landscaping, especially after a summer of neglect in favor of indoor projects.  So we finally decided to dedicate time to freshen up the outside!

First things first, we needed to clear out the front beds.  There were lots of basic perennials - hostas, lilies, irises, seedum, etc; and about a million bushes - arborvitae, Japanese maples, different evergreen bushes, and plenty of other things which I have zero clue as to what they are.  We trimmed back bushes, split and transplanted a bunch of the perennials, and cleared the weeds.

Neither of us have the greenest thumb, so we just kinda muddled through.  We also didn't want to put anything into the ground this year, so we worked with what we have.  Some of the bushes look pretty awful, so I trimmed as much of the dead branches off as I could, and we'll see what happens in the spring.

Next step, mulch.  We went with very cheap, very basic cypress mulch.  I wanted something that would provide a nice thick layer of weed protection and add a little more color, without breaking the bank.  It turned out nicer than I had imagined!

We love the outcome!

Friday, August 22, 2014

House tour, anyone?

Well hey there!  I'm alive!  And we own another house!  And we actually live in this one!

I thought I'd sit down for a bit and put together a quick tour of the place we now call home.  Actually, the boys consistently call it "our new house", even though we've lived here for 6 months.  I'm waiting for it to wear off, but not holding my breath!

There she is!  In all her pretty windows, gag-awful trim color glory!  Seriously, I HATE that trim color.  It actually burns my corneas to look at it for too long.  But lucky me, when the bank was getting it ready to sell, they painted right over quite a bit of rotting wood, so we  Brian will have to replace and repaint plenty of it anyway. 

These photos were all taken on our inspection day, so the house is nice and empty.  But I had the wrong lens on my camera, so I didn't get the best, widest angle photos.  Also, they're straight out of the camera, because ... well, just because.  You'll get the idea!

The Kitchen

We bought a fridge for that big gaping hole, moved the faux-green-marble topped island to the side of the room to open up the space a bit more, and added a kitchen table.  Everything else is really functional for now.  I have lots and lots of plans for this space, but they will have to wait for more cash-flow.  

The Living Room/Dining Room

The living/dining area is so full of gorgeous windows and light.  I love it!  For the first six months, this space functioned as a play room for the boys.  Now that the basement is coming along, we moved the toys down there and this space is pretty empty again.  Eventually it'll function as a sitting room and dining space, but since the dining room table is still holding a bunch of boxes in the garage, it might be a little while.

 The Family Room

The kitchen opens up to the family room, and the big windows and awesome light continue.  The high ceiling makes it feel bigger than it actually is, as does the giant mirror above the green-marble-and-shiny-brass gas fireplace.  That weird opening above the bookcase/open shelving is a little peek-through to the landing on the staircase.  I thought it was weird and kinda quirky at first, but honestly, it's insanely convenient to be able to check on the boys if I'm upstairs and they're downstairs.  We have lots of plans for this room too, mainly the fireplace wall - mirror down, stone (or something) up, chunky wood mantle, and of course Brian's dream of the TV mounted above the fireplace.  Again with the cash-flow situation!

 Stairway/Upstairs hallway


Upstairs, we don't really have a hallway as much as an ... open space?  It's actually one of the things I really love about the house.  The house is just very open and airy and full of light!  The 3 bedrooms and the boys' bathroom all open to this area, as well as a little balcony-thingy that's open to the second-story foyer.  And our awesome 90's chandelier.  Plans for that thing too.  Plans, plans, and more plans!  

The photos of the bedrooms and bathrooms are really just beige walls and 90's bath fixtures, so I'll spare you.  But as we carry out some of our many plans, I'll keep updating!