Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Home Tour: The Highlights

First of all let me just say how incredibly gorgeous Louisiana is.  I seem to fall in love with it more and more on a daily basis.  Its hard not to with views like the gorgeous Caney Lake that Jimmie Davis State Park is situated on.  This is just a short drive down the way from our home, and Louisiana is chalk full of a plethora of other incredible scenic views, friendly people, and great food.  I do believe that Louisiana and I will get along just fine.

Now on to the rental.  Let me just say that we were blessed to find our rental.  The price and size were right, but lets be honest our last house will be a hard act to follow.  So I thought I would share some before pictures with you all before I start making very many tweaks.  Lets just say this place will be super duper awesome when I'm finished.

Lets start with the Living Room.  Where should I start.  I mean there's the blue carpet with mystery pet stains, and the sea foam green walls.  The girl horde was clearly enjoying it pre-furniture.

Also in the Living Room is the front door.  I happen to really love this front door.  It doesn't have hideous stained glass, and the frosted pattern on the window is really rather lovely.  That being said the previous residents managed to paint it the exact color of dinge.  As in dingy, or old bandaid if you will.  Of course the rose and cream linoleum really compliments the old bandaid paint color choice that is repeated Through Out The House.

Then there are the nice blinds in the Living Room with this faux finish.  Up close its not so bad, but from a distance it just makes them look dirty.  Thats right folks old bandaid paint accents, and permanently "dusty" blinds.  Did I mention the curtain toppers in there that match the old bandaid paint too?

Yup.  Those are holes.  All I can say is if this is how my cable provider ran my cable I would be LIVID.  However, this to can be fixed with a little bit of spackle and paint.

These little built in bench seats are actually pretty cute (old bandaid paint aside).  They flank the front door, and are the prime spot for pretend naps for the 6 and under crowd that hang out around here.

The best thing about the Living Room is the fire place (something our last home lacked).  It actually makes this room feel narrow, but as you can see there was joy that Santa will for sure find us this year.  Be sure not to miss the awesome french doors painted guessed it, old bandaid.  There must have been a sale on that color or something.

This is what is covering all of walls in the dining room.  I'm going to be really honest here folks.  Other than the fact that this style and pattern was only popular for like a nanosecond during the 90s it also gives me a headache if I look at it directly.  So, much like the sun, I don't recommend full-on retinal exposure with out worrying about permanent damage.

My master bathroom makes me want to go sailing.  Not sure why...

The only thing classier than the 90s-tastic dusty blue counters is the crackle painted counter surround.  I would suggest that before attempting this at home that you might want to brush up on your math skills because this here folks is a prime example of how to use math in everyday life.  If you don't measure, and cut precisely you might end up with weird gaping corners...

The guest bathroom is covered in, wall paper. <sigh>  The mirror in this bathroom, however, does have an adorable white frame, a nice neutral white tile, but nothing is perfect as is evidenced by the rose veined faux tile linoleum.

Now on to the bedrooms.  This dingy wall is in our master bedroom.  It is clearly where a wall paper topper had been, but has already been mercifully removed.

There's that old bandaid paint again, but the ladies couldn't have cared less.

The lacy curtain toppers add just that special touch of whimsy that this room needed to set off the wall color...said no one ever.

All joking aside however, this home has incredible bones.  The trim work in this house is beyond compare, and all of it is absolutely beautiful.  I've also learned that I'm far to fickle a woman to handle wall paper.  I've always steered away from tattoos because I get tired of paint colors and furniture styles after a few years so I'm pretty sure that I would hate body art just as fast, but then I would be stuck.  My new philosophy is that wall paper is the tattoo of the decor world.  It makes a statement, yes, but its incredible difficult and time consuming to remove.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

We're Here!!!

Well for those of you that have been following along we have moved from my beloved East Texas to...

Northern Louisiana, and we brought the wrath of the weather with us.

This was it rolling in.  Little did we know that a little further north this storm produced a tornado that caused so much havoc, but we discovered it when we decided to make a post storm trip to Monroe.  If you look closely in all of the pictures below you will see that they are all pictures of downed power lines.

Storming aside there has been a bunch of super fun stuff too.  We were blessed to have our house sell very quickly, and it closed a week earlier than we had planned.  Our rental wasn't going to be available for a week so we had to find someplace affordable for our family to chill for a week.  We priced out a hotel, but with our family size that was going to be an expensive week.  Then I got the bright idea to check out the state park situation.  Just a little heads up.  Louisiana has some fabulous state parks.  When you have an entire state of beautiful lush greenness, um, everywhere, I would imagine that you would want to share that with the public.  What I found for us was a cabin at Jimmie Davis State Park.  This place was wonderful, and half the price of the hotel option.

It was right off Caney Lake.

There was a porch swing that you can see was a big hit with the littles.

Rocking chairs for Ma and Pa.

Did I mention that the porch was completely screened in...NICE!

There was a living area with a wood burning fire place with satellite tv.

A small kitchen with a full sized fridge, microwave.  With cooking and eating supplies provided.

Dining for six.  It was also our classroom while we were out.  The girls hated that I brought our school work to the cabin.

This was the only down side of the cabin.  This my friends was a queen sized bed.  On a whole not a bad size, but when you have been sleeping on a king for the better part of 6 years it seems like the end of the world.  I like to snuggle when its a choice not an obligation.

A bunk room!  Perfect for a family with a buttload (technical term) of kiddos.

Look what Louisiana is trying to bring back!

Destructo Girl swore she wouldn't get to close to the water on the private pier that came with our cabin.

She was clearly a trend setter though.

Senor Hotness...the ladies man!

Mommy needed a picture too.  

Then it was time to move into our rental.  Thats when we discovered it.

  No cell service...unless you go stand in the grassless spot in the back yard.  That, however, will only buy you about 15 minutes for a phone call.  Which I do twice a day to have a adult conversation with Señor Hotness.  Makes me feel like I'm living in Green Acres, but honestly a grassless backyardspot is better than having to scale a telephone pole.  There is also no internet service to speak of at the new house either.  I'm writing this blog at Señor Hotness's office.  Just one of those things we deal with to continue to still be in the country.

The rental came with a series of ugly curtain toppers, but thank goodness they sewed beaded fringe on these. That was really the pop of fancy that my master bedroom needed.

The school desks are currently on the screened porch, and have served as an occasional dining spot while I try to unload all the boxes currently clogging up the actual dining room.

Pretty Miss P was SO happy when she found the shooting ear muffs, and wears them all day long (and occasionally during naps).

Until we got their beds reassembled nap time was kind of tricky, but I won out everyday.  

Daddy's back is the best seat in the house when its time for family prayer.  If you look far in the background of this picture you will see the glory of the awful wall paper liberally spread throughout this rental.  I've been told I may remove it and paint if I so desire.  Lets just say I desire.  Because all those custom painted pieces I have look super stupid in this house.

But alas projects continue...

and Senor Hotness is playing a major role in the revamp of a new bed for our master bed room.  So stay tuned to see how that turns out.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Moving On...

I should be honest.  I am an adventurer at heart, possessing no small amount of wanderlust.  I blame this on living in the same small town, and in the same house for the first 18 years of my life.  Growing up my family went on epic road trips.  Our road tripping activities weren't the norm.  You see we didn't hit Disneyland/Disneyworld we hit Civil War battle sites, and other sites of historical importance through out the country.  Its made me a bit of a history nerd.  Most importantly on our travels we rarely stayed in one area/state for longer than a night.  So growing up traveling around the country created in me a desire to experience those areas on a more permanent basis.  

Señor Hotness and I sat down a figured up that we have moved on average every 2 years (sometimes within the same area).  The longest we have ever lived in the same area has been right here in East Texas.  We have lived here a whopping FIVE years (3 moves within the area).  My very best friends live here.  Some friends really are like so much like family that we have decided to adopt.  As much as it kills me to leave my beloved Texas is time for our next great adventure.

So it is with sadness that we leave the home of my heart to relocate our family to Northern Louisiana.   I can't wait to learn more about the culture and history of Louisiana which I can tell you from my recent research seems to be varied and rich.  So it is onward we go.  Our move date has been moved up by a week, and we have a week of family time scheduled in a cabin (internet-free) in a state park in Louisiana.  So this is me signing off for now.  Catch you on the flip-side.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Home Tour: Master Bath Before and After

Ok so our house is under contract now with a super awesome family, and we are thrilled to be selling to them.  They remind us so much of ourselves.  Thus why they are awesome.

Ok so I am going to be doing some quick before and after posts because I feel like it would be creepy to be posting before and afters of someone else's house after is sells.  So I am going to be packing like crazy, and I hope that you all don't miss me too much.

So I will tell you that the master bath was a scary room (much like the entire house honestly).  It had a weird and crazy configuration.  There was a little niche that the toilet sat in, with what felt like a ridiculously low hanging shelf above it.  All covered in what can only be described as grime.  The sink sat under a window.  But wait!  How did they see how well they had their teeth brushed, or make-up applied?  Biggest design flaw ever!   Okay, maybe not ever, but certainly short-sighted.

Don't be jealous ladies.  I know you will all be sad to know that we didn't keep that toilet.  Also the walls in here weren't wallpapered.  It was some kind of patterned panel board.  I demo-ed this room mostly by myself, and I won't even begin to tell you all the junk that was happening in here.  I will tell you though that there was some seriously unsafe wiring, and I could have easily electrocuted myself  when I was prying crusty paneling off the wall with a pry bar.  Luckily Señor Hotness and some awesome electrician friends from church completely rewired the house with brand-new wiring. PROBLEM. SOLVED.

Mmm.  I'd like to believe that this was solely from overflowed toilet mishaps.  Something tells me though that this, much like an awesome woman, had mysterious qualities and was more than meets the eye.  We did some crazy things in this room...other than completely gutting it.  <hint hint>  The toilet isn't still sitting here when we are done.

Apparently we didn't get a good picture of the sink area, but as you can see it was an unfortunate shade that screamed that it hailed from the same era as the Brady Bunch.  I, unlike Mama Brady, do not find green sink counters groovy so this to didn't survive the executioners ax either.  Now to address the elephant in the room.  I'm sure you are all asking what we asked.  What is going on in this weird closet area?  The sheet rock in here was installed backwards.  There was a capped drain in the floor, and if you look very carefully, there is wire strung across the top for what I can only assume was clothes storage.

There is a better view of that strangely placed drain.  Just a little fun fact.  When we fully demo-ed this room we discovered that this drain went no where besides the ground beneath it.  So I'm thinking this was planning ahead?

I don't know where to start in this picture.  The heat lamp still sporting a bandaid from who knows who that had been covering who knows what?  The serial killer light attached to the wall, or the fact that the twist air freshener that you can see on the wall there was one of 8 found in the room.  They were almost impossible to remove.  They came out with the paneling.  

Just to show you the classiness up close.  Here is the shelf that is just made to crack your head on.  Also I LOVED the crooked switch plate, and you can see through the doorway to the window in the master bedroom that was busted.  So fun.

So instead of having a drained closet we opted to put in a shower because having to share bathing facilities with the horde wasn't something I wanted to do.  We scored this shower 50% at a local builders surplus store.

This room is super tiny.  It isn't really big enough to comfortably have two people in there at the same time so the wall that was here before made this room feel even smaller and cramped.  So we got rid it during the remodel.

Notice how this niche is suddenly toilet-less.  I'm sure thats a word.  It made so much more sense to place the sink here in the niche, and the toilet where the sink had been.  It allowed for the space needed when stepping out of the shower.  The cabinet, granite sink/counter, and faucet were all also purchased for 50% off at the local builders surplus store.

On a whole I generally don't care for medicine cabinets, but this room was all about being pretty and funcational.  Since this was such a small room already, we needed a place to keep our toiletries off the sink.  I will say this isn't your grandma's medicine cabinet though.  

Generally I wouldn't recommend taking toilet pictures, but this one was a super nice one.  Señor Hotness insisted on this model because he found a video that showed that it could flush an entire bucket of golf balls.  I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to why that might be important.

Other than showing you our super dirty cabinet this picture is pretty significant.  This is where the window was in the room originally.  Being such a small space also meant, in my opinion, that we could sacrifice natural light for more wall space to allow for more storage.  I knew that we would need a behind the toilet cabinet, and I'm not really a fan of covering up a window so we removed it.

This is how we light up the niche.  Its a really pretty cream stone mosaic light fixture.  

I noticed after I snapped the picture that one of these lights is burned out, but these are the other fixtures that handle the lighting for a little windowless room.  The bigger round fixture also doubles as a surprisingly quiet exhaust fan, and the light above the shower is a LED light.  These lights and the niche light are all switched separately as is the fan.

Again, this room being so tight on space meant, we weren't going to be able to have a towel rod.  So instead we installed this row of hooks.  Its pretty and practical. 

So in the end I gave up quality, drainable closet space for a shower,  a toilet niche for a sink, a towel rod for a row of hooks, and a window in lieu of extra storage.  If all of that meant that I was going to have private showering and my own place to potty I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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