Monday, April 29, 2013

Progress Report: We've Been Busy!

Thought we were due for a progress report. We have been busy on Purdue Avenue these days! I thought I'd start with one of my inspiration photos for the exterior of our house. I actually taped this image onto our wall to help us try to replicate the color combinations. I knew our house would have a similar salmon hue and I just love the dark color of these shutters against the old brick. And then, of course, I loved the pop of colors from the flowers on this balcony railing. I've been chomping at the bit to get some flowers for the front of our house, perhaps in a nice little window box under our bedroom window. And some day, we'll try to replicate these deep chocolate shutters, too. 
It happened that I went shopping and saw these beautiful hanging vine geraniums. In my experience, these plants are super tough and that's just what I need at our house. Everything has to be extra tough to stand up to the elements, lack of watering and kids.

We're not ready to install any window boxes just yet. We've got plenty of other bigger fish to fry. But, I couldn't resist hanging one lone pot of these geraniums on a nearby tree just to see how the color looked and—voila. That red pops nicely, don't you think? While I don't have those deep dark shutters yet, I do have some kona colored drain pipes. (And we're painting the rest of the house windows with the same exact color.) I have to say I do love the red pop against this house. 

Here's a look at how the kona color is looking. These windows are in the back of our house, facing the garage. The white is just primer. Notice the kona colored drain pipes. (And please disregard that box in the shot, which actually holds a very pretty new toilet.) 

Here are the windows painted with the kona color. We painted all of the south and west facing windows this past week. I hope we did the right thing. We thought of using a gray, a cream and even a blue-green here. But, we weren't sure what would work with the multi colors of the stone. We opted for a little bit more dramatic punch of color. And by using the kona, which is already used on different accents of the house, we weren't introducing yet another color into our palette. The roof is already multi-colored, too. What do you think?

We've also been working on the kid's bathroom. We put another layer of cement into the shower/tub combo. The electrician finalized the wiring for the hot water heater control panel. And we started dry-walling everything. You'll also notice the nice arched opening to the water closet; this is where some nice oak french doors will go. 
Here's another shot of the kids's shower. We had a little bit more of the French pavers, so we made one small step to help the kids and guests get into this giant tub area. It turned out to far bigger than I had imagined it would be. It's going to take a lot of water to fill this baby up, but that's OK. With the sun streaming in, it will be lovely to take a bath or shower in here. 
Here's a close up of the step. That alcove opposite on the stone wall inside will house the waterfall faucet. 

As I mentioned, we painted all of the driveway windows with the kona color. Even those two windows way up top by the chimney. I'm hoping the color grows on me. Until we get the final lime-wash on the exterior stone, I'm not sure if it's feeling exactly right. It's getting there though.
We also mounted those nine foot arched oak French doors I had mentioned. We had those straps specially made, but now we're thinking we should have screwed them into the side of the door, not the front. They would be far less obtrusive in this way and just as functional. But we won't be making new straps for awhile, so we'll have to live with this for now. I have to say these doors, despite how heavy they are, glide like silk on the barn door hardware. Such an improvement over the doors that used to be here!

We've recently been busy stripping all of the old oak doors (we found on Craig's list). They were painted white with brass hardware. They are really beautiful now that the paint has been removed. 

Here is a shot of the door after it's been stripped. The white washed tones of the oak are going to look great with our neutral color palette. These doors will be used for the master bathroom, and then, we'll convert two of them into French doors (cutting them in half and opening with two sides) for the master bedroom and the kid's water closet. We have to do the French door style in order to make them fit. Fingers crossed it works.
We've also been busy doing some desperately needed tree-trimming. We had to bring in the big guns to trim this bird of paradise though. It was so overgrown, we couldn't see out our bedroom window anymore. And while we like having this mature plant provide us some privacy, we also like sunlight. We considered cutting it down entirely, but alas, we didn't have the heart to do it. I confess, my husband and I have a serious tree hugging side. 
Here's an early shot of the cut stalks from the bird of paradise. It was amazing how much we could cut. About five guys worked on this and finished it in about 15 minutes. They were pretty amazing. If Milo attempted this on his own, it would have taken about three weekends and probably 10 green bins to get rid of all of the green debris! Sorry that I don't have the final after photo. I'll post one soon. 

Here's another project that's been keeping us busy these past two weeks--a renovation of our elementary school's pre-K yard. Our daughter goes to Richland Avenue Elementary and I recently volunteered to help organize a "refreshment" of the yard as part of our school beautification. So, this is what's been keeping us busy on weekends--although thankfully, I've got lots of help from other dedicated Richland families and neighbors here. This original mural, which got a paint refresher (and it's not quite finished yet), was so cute that it had to stay--and it's helped us to establish a "farm yard" theme for the rest of our pre-k space. We put in a new vegetable garden, potted plants and have been busily painting away on Saturdays and Sundays while the kids play. It's actually been a blast. I'll post our after pics soon, so stay tuned!

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