Monday, March 23, 2009

DIY Weekend

My husband is a carpenter by profession, so some people think that means that I have all sorts of wonderful, hand-crafted projects throughout my house. Not quite. See, since he does it for a living (though he's now a commercial carpenter) the last thing he wants to do is come home and work with a hammer and screw gun. Just doesn't happen very often.

When we moved into our house 4 years ago, one of the first things we noticed was the shabby front porch. It was serviceable and structurally sound, but just looked horrible. The wood was covered with indoor/outdoor carpet that was fraying and worn. Yuck. But like other things, it was pushed to the back burner by other projects that were either more important (like needing new appliances) or more for the everyday enjoyment (like the flooring we put in the kitchen). The porch never left our list, just was pushed further down.

Enter Marley. She single-handedly (or paw-ed-ly) moved the porch up to top priority this spring. Why? Oh, because she's a puppy. A puppy with short hair. A puppy with short hair living in northern WI during the winter. See where I'm going with this? During the cold winter months, she didn't always make it completely off the porch before she'd do her thing. Annoying, but a blessing in disguise. Last week when things started thawing out, we realized that the carpet had to go...NOW. The smell was not so pleasant. So we tore up the carpet and deck boards and replaced them with cedar. Ahhh, how clean and refreshing and the smell is wonderful. We're not done yet, we still need to stain the boards and replace the railings, plus get a nice bench for under the star and maybe put a light on each side of the door. And in a few years we're going to be re-siding the house a beautiful dark red...But until then, it's great!

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that my kitchen is an on-going project. We've stripped wall-paper, painted, installed new flooring, replaced all the appliances...and it's still not done. There is still lots of wall-paper to strip and that's a HUGE chore. It's vinyl wall-paper that comes off in 3 layers-the vinyl stuff, then the paper part of it, then the crusty paste left on the walls. I can work for an hour and only get about a foot of wall between the counters and cabinets done. It's awful. We also want to replace the light fixtures and counter tops soon, too.

So anyway, I was looking for some instant gratification in the kitchen this last weekend. I follow two home blogs, The Nesting Place and The Lettered Cottage. Well, Layla at The Lettered Cottage was showing pics of her kitchen the other day and gave me some inspiration. Soooo...I took the double doors off the cupboards above my peninsula. I'll show some before and after pics of this and the porch, because we all know we love B&A pics of anything that's been redone. So far, I think I like it. A lot. It makes the kitchen itself seem bigger, plus it lets so much light into the kitchen from the patio doors in the table-area. And I have some great everyday dishes that I can display now. Not only are they beautiful dishes, but they are all accent colors in my kitchen decor! Add to that the ease that now comes with setting the table or putting away the dishes and it's near bliss. Someday, this kitchen will be done. Someday...

Here is an old pic that shows the beautiful carpet on the front porch (and some furry friends)

Here, you can see how it's fraying at the edges (we're working on all that plant over-growth, too)

And here's with the carpet pulled up (I know I have my garland and wreath still up, as well as my LOVE hanger for Valentine's...don't judge, they're all down now)

My dad, Alayna and Andy screwing down the new boards


And here's an old pic of the kitchen, with lots of before elements...the wall-paper above the cupboards, the dishwasher, the stove, the window treatments, the doors on the cupboards

And some pics taken yesterday


One Crazy Chick! said...

Candy, I love it!

My plumber of a husband can't stand when there is plumbing to do at our house. He moans and complains for what seems like an eternity before actually fixing it.

The porch and kitchen look great!

Mom to 3 Monkeys said...

Ooh I love the changes! That porch is totally fabulous now its all updated! I can see why you wanted it done.The kitchen cabinet idea is great too. Good thing you have pretty dishes!

LeeAnne said...

The porch looks GREAT! I know you will enjoy it this spring!

Layla said...


Do you just love how fresh and airy it feels!?

The Lettered Cottage

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