Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Windows, New Blinds

I'm finally posting about the new windows!

The windows went in fast in one day, but we lived with them without trim for quite awhile. Things progressed elsewhere in the house. Our contractor had brought the trim somewhere to be spray painted to help speed up the process and leave us with less fumes. We lived without window coverings for quite some time. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed our old sheets... Trim went up fairly fast. They did the whole first floor in one day, which is really only 8 windows. They still need to come back and fix up the holes, do some caulking, and touch up the paint, but they look SO much better...

As a reminder, here is what we started with sans window dressings.

I do not miss that look...

Window photos are insanely hard to do... Especially with all the snow on the ground reflecting more light than there really is.

I'm in love. Period appropriate and they all match.

Just before Christmas was when the trim was installed. We decided to jump in and order custom binds for all of the new windows. We thought it would help keep it all looking new and nice. My hope was also that they house would keep a consistency throughout the house even with each room decorated differently. We have also decided that we are going to go ahead and do the same things in the basement when that's all done as well.

This was a very irritating process. We originally just wanted to grab the same blinds that we had had in the living room for the entire house. Those blinds were by Bali and were just a white faux wood that we got at Home Depot shortly after we moved in. The faux wood blinds there are now a very cheap looking plastic. The only way to get what we had was to order and that also gave us the option to go for the exact sizes we needed.

Blinds arrived sooner than they were expected! But because of Christmas, we delayed putting them in. We still have one to put up but that window is currently blocked by the massive pile of stuff from the basement. The others have actually been installed for awhile now. Love them! Totally worth the cost. We did end up getting a deal on them because everywhere was running a special (Menards, Home Depot, Lowe's, and online vendors). We did end up going with a company online that gave us the best prices, even with shipping. I was a little worried about them fitting, but we just had to give exact measurements, tell the company how we were mounting them, and they figured out how large/small they needed to be. It all worked out great and the company had a return policy for things that didn't fit that we felt we could live with.

Install was pretty basic. Nothing fancy. It's just a matter of making holes for the brackets, drilling, and then screwing the brackets in. The blinds just then pop in and they have that finishing piece that pops onto the metal "bar" at the top to make it all pretty.

So far having the new windows and blinds has been fantastic. I'm enjoying not having windows wrapped in plastic this winter since we moved in. So far, I would say new windows are definitely worth the investment!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Laundry Room Plan.

We are at a point in basement construction where we needed to start thinking about what it is actually going to look like. The family room and bedroom are fairly basic, we really only had to pick out carpet so far. We're doing recessed lighting in the family room, but we did have to pick out a bedroom light (more on lighting another time).

Everything in the laundry room basically came down to the tile. While I found some 12 x 24 tiles that I loved for under $2 per square foot, there is a floor drain in the middle of the floor with a large sloping space all around. We figured that going with a mosaic would work best because there was some movable room within that 12 x 12 space. The problem with mosaics is that most are made for walls and most of them run about $8-12 per square foot. That would add up insanely fast.

After doing rounds at Menard's and Home Depot and becoming extremely frustrated, we somehow stumbled across the Thrifty Decor Chick blog's post about her laundry room floor. Seriously, go check out how awesome her floors turned out! The tiles she chose were something that I had seen and was interested in but didn't really know if it was the style I wanted. At $2.57 a square foot it was really the best option. But seeing her floor installed with the gray grout totally had me sold.

Choosing the tile helped land us here...

  1. KASSETT Box with Lid, Green
  2. PRĂ„GEL Countertop
  3. AKRUM Base Cabinet with Shelves, White, Abstrakt Gray
  4. American Olean Sausalito White Ceramic
We also want to install some cabinetry and make sure that we get a good amount of storage out of the laundry room, so we had been planning on going with Ikea cabinets. I really wanted to decide on the flooring first to see where we landed to choose cabinets that worked well with that. I had been dreaming about Ikea's white Abstrakt doors with shiny red front loaders awhile back. We ended up going with just plain old white front loaders when the time came, but I still love the Abstrakt doors. While they are the most expensive style doors they sell, I got a push from the husband that I should really go with what really want so I don't regret it later. We also want to sneak in a Pax wardrobe too for some hanging storage, as our old house is very limited in the closet department. The Pax wardrobe happens to have shiny gray doors of a different name that come in the sliding style. Perfect.

So, the dark cabinets don't make things too dark (I don't think they will), we plan on topping them off with a simple white laminate counter top. I have some great mint green accessories that I've been gathering in hopes to use in the laundry room, hence the green boxes. I'm not crazy about the style but it helps to give it the right feel and not seem so clinical with the whites and grays at the moment.

Over the weekend, we went and picked up all the tiles we will need. It required a stop at two different Lowe's stores to get them all, but we're ready whenever we can get in and get that done. Let's hope that lands nicely on a weekend (hopefully next!) and we can get it all done.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Finds.

Last weekend, I did a little antiquing with my little sister. While I like it, I think she might be in love with it. We planned a few days in advance and I happen to follow both places we were planning on going to on facebook, Piccadilly Prairie and Hunt & Gather. Both places are in Minneapolis and they happen to be down the street from each other. There are quite a few more great places in the area, but those two are our favorite. Piccadilly Prairie had posted this painting on their page the day before we left and I couldn't stop thinking about it, hoping they still had it by the time we made it over there.

I had to ask if they still had the painting... I had totally walked by and missed it. I still liked it just as much and I knew if I didn't get it, I would be kicking myself later...

Look at all the texture! It's really not my normal style, but I just had to have it. It's a little beat up, but I think that gives it some of its character.

I don't really have a spot for it now, but I believe that I will... Once this basement is all done and I have moved my office down there, I plan on redoing what is my office at this very moment. The plan is to paint it, fix up the wonky baseboards and make it in to a guest room / sewing room / personal office. I guess that's basically what it is now minus my official job stuff, plus a bed. If what envision turns out right, it will fit perfectly.

I also came across these fabulous tins. Again, I'm not really sure where they're going to live. The obvious response is the kitchen... I drink coffee, but not tea. I'm not sure that keeping coffee in that would be that convenient. I think for now, they're just going to hang out where ever until we have a normal home again.

There were a few other things that I found and loved, but was aiming to not spend too much. I might actually run over there right now to see if something is still there... Maybe.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Shopping: Locksets

There are about a million different options when it comes to locksets. We did not spend a ton of time looking for a lockset and just sort of knew when we saw it. We knew we wanted something that was a satin nickel/brushed nickel/stainless steel look to it to go with the other hardware (house numbers, mailbox). We also wanted to make sure that whatever it was definitely worked with a deadbolt. As far as the style, we were open to something that was a little more mid century or a little more modern. We generally gravitate towards things with clean lines, so a set with an 'elegantly curved' handle was not really an option.

  1. Schlage F60 V CEN 619 LAT Century Handle Set with Latitude Interior, Satin Nickel
  2. Samba Exterior Door Set from Rejuvenation
  3. Atlas Exterior Door Set from Rejuvenation
  4. Schlage FB50N V SIE 619 B60 Single Sylinder Deadbolt and F51 Keyed Entry Siena Knob Keyed Alike, Satin Nickel Finish
  5. Schlage F51 LAT 619 CEN Century Collection Latitude Keyed Entry Lever, Satin Nickel
I love the the sets from Rejuvenation but when you add in the deadbolts, the prices become significantly more expensive than any of the Schlage one. Plus we are planning on adding a storm door and that will probably cover up whatever we ended up choosing. So, it wasn't exactly worth it to spend the money on something amazing that was just covered up. We're not all about Schalge, they just happen to make the sets that we like. We ended up going with number 1, the Century Handle Set with Latitude Interior. As soon as we saw it in person, we knew it was the one that would fit our house the best.

Our contractor did voice concern about the styles that have the push down button to open. He said that those tend to fail sooner than any other type. We figured that because no one really opens the front door from the outside, we should be okay. We really only use the front door to grab mail, accept deliveries, and to invite those in that don't know that we normally use the back door.

Overall, we're happy with the choice and everything that's installed. It looks a million times better and like a completely different house so far...

We also decided to go with some similar options for the back door and the garage door.

  1. Schlage F51 LAT 619 Latitude Keyed Entry Lever, Satin Nickel
  2. Schlage B60N619 Deadbolt, Keyed 1 Side, Satin Nickel
  3. Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt featuring SmartKey in Satin Nickel
We purchased the same lever handle for both the back door and the garage door. The deadbolt is for the garage door and the SmartKey deadbolt is for the back door. We're hoping we like the key pad entry... I guess we can really always switch to a normal deadbolt. These guys aren't installed yet... we don't have the new back door in yet and we have to brave the freezing temps to put in the garage ones. But I will definitely update when they are in. So far we love the new front entry set, looks great and works properly (which wasn't the case with the old one).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Shopping: Exterior Lights

Exterior lights were a little easier in terms of picking them out. I knew more of what I wanted and just hoped that I could get Bill to agree. He's usually on board with everything my brain thinks up, unless it is super crazy or strange. He's also really good about seeing the end goal that I might be scheming up.

For the light, it ended up being more about price and size. We also want to add a light to the back of the house, so having a similar light in a smaller, less expensive model was a plus.

We originally tried to buy one brand through amazon, but a few days after I ordered the one for the front (small version for the back was on back order) I got a call from the company selling them that they were on back order until mid January at the earliest. Hoping we would need it well before then, we canceled the order and started hunting all over again.

We ended up going with a brand that Home Depot carries, the Eglo Riga Wall-Mount 2-Light Outdoor Cylinder Light Fixture. We also grabbed its little brother that is slightly shorter and only uses one light.

Home Depot  |  Eglo Riga Wall-Mount 2-Light Outdoor Stainless-Steel Cylinder Light Fixture
This post is real anticlimactic, but I'm leaving it at that. I want to post some other things before I "reveal" it installed because it will giveaway some other things. And we are actually still waiting for the back one to be installed because we had to have an electrician wire for it. Let's just say we are extremely excited to have light at the back door finally, as it is the one we mainly use for coming and going.