Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Plan: Laundry Nook

I mentioned before that we're planning to renovate the Laundry Nook downstairs. I worked with my sister, April, to create a mood board, and I'm super excited about it!

We'll start with the layout of the laundry/mudroom area:

That's a basic idea of the layout of our laundry room (just imagine a window in that door - it leads to the outside). While looking at this (we'll call it a rough before picture), imagine ugly green marble-ish vinyl tile, and really old dated appliances. Now add a few cob-webs (we avoid this space if at all possible) and some yellowing on the ceiling and door. That should do it!

Moving on.

Remember how I mentioned that my sister helped make a mood-board for me? Well, I tend to enjoy drawing things out for dramatic effect, but I think I've done that enough for one day... or have I?

Okay okay, without further ado - here she is!
Sarahs Mood Board_Laundry Room

(If you click the pictures, you should be able to see them enlarged.)

Isn't this exciting?! I can't WAIT for the finished product. Should only be a few weeks (depending on availability and free time, that is).

Alright - that's enough excitement for one day. I would LOVE to hear what you all think of the plans (and I'm sure April wouldn't mind hearing what you think of her awesome mood board).

PS: If you have any advice or recommendations, BRING 'EM ON!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yet Another Renovation

McStudly and I are expecting our tax return any day, now. Actually, it'll be deposited on the 12th, according to the e-mail we received after we e-filed.

(Sidenote: Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy doing our taxes? No, I'm being serious. I really, thoroughly enjoy it! Okay... I know I sound crazy, right now. Movingrightalong...)

Well, this year we're planning to finally renovate the laundry area downstairs. Can I hear a "woot woot"?! Yeah, it's pretty exciting...

When we bought the house, we figured the laundry area would eventually need to be updated, but it was pretty low on the list. Even though it came with the original washer and dryer, they still worked. That was over a year ago. Not long after we moved in, we realized that it took running the dryer about 1.5 times to really get things dry. Now that we've lived here for a while, we're up to running it 2.5, sometimes 3 times just to dry the laundry. And on top of that, we can't really wash a whole lot of clothes at one time - these aren't exactly high capacity appliances, ya see.

Along with old, dated appliances, we have this really crappy vinyl tile on the floor. By really crappy, I mean poorly installed, and horribly selected (obviously not in that order). It's this really gross green (again with the green... this woman was nuts for it!) and half of the tiles don't even stick anymore. It's just... not cool.

So here's what we're hoping to get done, down there:

1 - Appliances: New Washer/Dryer set. We were originally planning to go with a regular top-load washer and electric dryer, since we're not huge front-loader fans. However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized we'll need as much additional storage and work space as we can, down there. So now, the plan is to probably go with front-loaders (more info on that, later).

2 - Walls: There's this gross geometrical-style border just above the baseboards that needs to be removed. Then, we'll clean and paint the walls - probably the same color (by Valspar, Eddie Bauer's "Wicker") as the rest of the living room, to give the house a flow.

3 - Flooring: That old non-sticky vinyl tile has to go. So we've been researching a few options that will stand up to the high traffic and use of the laundry room (it's also the only passage to our backyard, so we're always taking Austin out through that space). Right now we're between regular tile (which wouldn't be easy to keep cleaned in that space), vinyl hardwood planks (looks just like hardwood, and water resistant, but not a "selling" feature), and really anything else is still a possibility. But we also need to replace the carpet on the stairs, so we're actually planning to put in some outdoor carpet (to stand up to the mud our dog sneaks in with occasionally) in a dark-ish color (to help hide the dirt Austin seems to track in with each trip outside).

4 - Railing: The stair railing that is going down those stairs is... eh... not good. It's wood at the top, and partially painted white near the bottom. And now it's gotten worn down from when Austin was little and we tried keeping him down there instead of in his crate (it didn't work out, since he chewed on the railing and tried to pull up the stair carpet!). So we originally thought about refinishing that railing, but have since nixxed (is that a word?) that. We'll be replacing it with a new railing that will eventually match the railing upstairs (when we get around to replacing that one).

5 - Door: The downstairs door does it's job... but that's about it. It's yellowed (thanks to our chain-smoking previous owner) and isn't the prettiest. So we're going to try maybe painting it and hanging blinds in front of the window (but secretly, I'm not above just replacing the thing!).

6 - Heater: We have a baseboard heater downstairs, and it makes me nervous. It's old (though it does still work) and it's an ugly brown/tan color. Ideally, I want to replace it, but I'm not sure if we can. And honestly, I'm not sure that we could find anything safer to put in it's place. Baseboard heaters in general make me nervous, so getting another one probably won't make me feel any better, but I'm wondering if we can get one that at least won't be such an eye sore and will look a lot better when we go to sell in a few years.

7 - Storage: We have NONE! Unless you count putting stuff on top of the dryer, there's no where to put anything. This may seem like it would have a simple solution, but unfortunately it's not that simple. On the left wall is a set of three water valves that need to be easily accessible. In a perfect world, we could hang a shelving/cabinet unit and cut a hole to fit the valves inside... we have a fuse box on the right side. So we can't just cut a hole for something like that (obviously) and definitely can't make it hard to access. And hanging something just to the left would look awkward (take my word for it), so that's not really an option, either. So we basically have one solid option: shelves. I'm good with this option. I am. BUT (you knew there'd be a "but", didn't you?!) just hanging shelves means that you'll have to look at those water valves and fuse box, also. I'm pretty sure they'll stick out even more once the walls have been painted, too, so we're researching a few options for covering those bad boys up.

Anywho - that's the plan, for now. It's a big one, but it's still doable (that's what she said). Hopefully in a month or two, we'll have some after pictures to show you all (not without some good before shots, that is). In the meantime, my sister is helping me put a mood board together (and by "helping", I mean I'm giving her the info, and she's making it... just to clarify), so look for that in the next few days. Hopefully, having this info and the mood board will convince McStudly that my plan is awesome and my genius shouldn't be doubted.

...a girl can dream, can't she?!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Holy Goodness!

Where in the WORLD (is Carmen San Diego!) has the past month+ gone?? Oh my word, I never intended to take that kind of a blog-slacker-"vacation", but it happened.

I'm officially a bad blogger (not that I was all that fantastic to begin with, if I'm being honest... but hey - it's my blog, so we'll just go with it, mmkay?). Really, though - what happened to me??

Oh THAT's right. Work got completely nuts, on me... as did my schedule outside of work... and then there's that marriage of mine that I'm trying to maintain... and a house to at least attempt to keep up with (which I'm not all that fantastic with due to the other bazillions of things). Mix it all up, and what do we have? A pretty good excuse for skipping out on the not-so-necessary stuff, like blogging.

Well, needless to say - a lot has been going on. Unfortunately, I can't write about a lot of it because, even though this is my blog and it's for my personal babbling, it's not really all that personal. And as much as I love being honest and up front, I'm not really one of those people that can put something out there, knowing it could hurt some one's feelings if they read it. So we'll be keeping a whole lot of stuff off the blog, BUT I will give you some good stuff to hopefully make up for it.

So where have we been - Ah yes. Christmas vacation happened - it was fabulous! But of course was over way too quickly. There was some confusion in our return date and we ended up staying a day longer than we all originally thought, but ah well. It was much needed (we were already packed up and got to purely relax the next day... ha ha!) and much enjoyed. I really enjoy getting to spend time with McStudly's family and look forward to his mother hopefully coming to visit us again sometime soon (woot woot!). :-)

Then there was New Years. The FIRST New Years Eve that McStudly and I could finally spend together... and we didn't. :-/ I was bummed, but ah well. I guess I'll get over it. He went to a party with our Young Adults group at church, and I helped out with the Youth event (which was awesome, btw) at church. I was POOPED afterwards... ask any of the other leaders. It was nothing but evident on my face. I am SO glad our Youth pastor doesn't do lock-ins or all-nighters. (Plus, I just realized that I may officially be an "old fogey", now, with that statement... Nice!)

Birthdays! Mine wasn't super fantastic, but it wasn't horrible. I actually had a great time going out to dinner with some ladies from church. It was nice! Just a couple ladies that I enjoy being around and some food that I love Love LOVE! So, good times. McStudly's birthday was pretty uneventful... well, there was a football game and some guy time while I hung out with a pal, and then we went out the next day (thanks to a nice and needed holiday from work) to celebrate together, just the two of us. Good times, again!

Let's see... what else is there...

Ah yes - the Clinic! Remember way back in THESE posts when I said I was going to train to be a volunteer counselor for a Pregnancy Clinic? Well, I did. And I am. It's a pretty long process, but I am LOVING it!! I'm not almost up to week 5 of my internship. There's SO much to learn, but thankfully I have an amazing Senior Counselor that I'm shadowing. She really is great. I'm learning SO much and with every session that I observe and even the ones we just discuss, I get more and more excited about the work we're doing. And I'm seriously amazed with how much information I'm picking up and absorbing. *sigh* It's really great.

Well, I can't think of much else to catch you up on, currently. Wait - that was a lie. I have plenty, but to be honest, I'm tired and have quite the headache. Not a fun combination, especially when you and your husband have an agreement to go to bed together and he's in the middle of a very intense (as opposed to...??) video game online. I do have some things I'd like to think out and type up to clarify, but I don't think it's going to happen right now. Perhaps being snowed in will give me the chance to do a bit more of that?

...then again I have a LOT that I could be getting done around the house...