My house-purchased in April 2012! How many differences can you detect?
My house-purchased in April 2012! How many differences can you detect?
After viewing the lovely Spring exhibit at Phipps Conservatory on Saturday with my mother and aunt, it was time to address my own garden. On a very rainy Sunday, my mother and I ventured to the local Home Depot on a very important mission-to obtain mulch, boxwoods, and some perennials that would give my garden a more permanent solution. Seeing that my plant knowledge is extremely limited, consulting the mother was an absolute necessity. As we trekked around a very wet, outdoor portion of Home Depot, she helped choose beautiful flowers that she knew would compliment my house.
With two full carts, we headed to the car, hoods up and soaked with rain. Nevertheless, we arrived at the house and began to plant. I have read mixed views about gardening in the rain. It was only sprinkling and the ground was not flooded so we went ahead with it. Audrey the poodle was very excited about the addition of flowers. For some reason, she has always loved them.
Mother and I planted and planted until everything was in the ground. We finished it off by mulching the beds. This made all the difference.
I still need to buy another bag of mulch to finish the deed, but I am happy to say that the front yard looks lovely. The grass will be coming in soon enough to cover the muddy spot, and hopefully at some point I can finish the beds off with some nice stones to edge.
Next project-BACKYARD BRICK PATIO-stay tuned!
After a cold and drab winter that lasted way too long for my taste, I am happy to finally say that SPRING IS HERE! I love Spring-the colors, smells, sights, temperature, sounds, the anticipation of all that follows. You may remember that in the fall, my dad and Adam helped remove the way-too-thick, concrete slab that had been situated beneath one of my circus awnings. Once the concrete was removed, and the gap was filled with dirt, it left an unsightly blank spot in my yard. You also may remember from last year, my beautiful annuals that Aunt Kip had given me as a house warming gift. These flowers flourished and took over the world, at least, the world of my garden. Amazingly, they continued to bloom all the way into October. One day, they turned into a giant pile of dead and I pulled them out, seemingly in one tangle, and proceeded to lazily throw them into my lower flower bed (the dumping ground).
The winter brought a fair amount of snow, and when the ground was covered, my house undoubtedly looked like a greeting card. But, once that snow melted I was left with a barren wasteland of death. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. As soon as we began to experience better weather, I attempted to plant grass on the large rectangular area of the former concrete slab-No luck to start but in the past 2 weeks, I have begun to address the issue again and little by little the grass is peaking through the rough, mostly clay ground. When I moved in last April, my yard was in bad shape. There were several stumps that my uncle and cousin were nice enough to remove, outdated railroad ties lining the garden, and terrifying, alien-like spike weeds invading most of the yard. This year, I am happy to say that the grass is noticeably healthier both aesthetically and by touch. I mowed the lawn for the first time this season two weeks ago, which was rather exciting.
Over the past week I have been making small changes to my family room and boy have they made a difference! Since I moved in, I have not been satisfied with the family room. It is really hard to configure a room, especially in an old house with furniture that I inherited. My previous post shows the change that I made to the fireplace screen. I must say, it now looks brand new. I am quite pleased with my $5 fix, but the screen just wasn’t enough. I have been keeping my eyes out for something to put above the fireplace for some time now, yet I knew that it was not in my budget. I didn’t want something overwhelming that would make the place feel cluttered. So, while I was at my dad’s the other day I spotted a large mirror that was not in use. A few days later I asked if I could try it out in my family room. Well, I’m happy to say that my fireplace finally looks complete. It may not be ideal but I worked with what I had and ta da!
Once the mirror went up, I realized that the opposite wall was blank. I read somewhere that a mirror in a room should reflect something interesting (like artwork) on the other side. So, I took the decorative plate that had been sitting on the fireplace mantel, and hung it on the opposite wall. It was no simple task. I made a plate hanger out of two thick wire hangers. So, next on my list is gardening and the patio construction.
I was sick of looking at my brass fireplace screen but just couldn’t spend the money on a new one right now. So I put on my thinking cap and headed to Home Depot in hopes of finding a high heat spray paint that would work on metal. I was excited by the number of choices of spray paint. The chalkboard paint would be really fun to do on something.
Anyway, I decided to go with black. I started by moving the screen to the garage. It was very cob-webby and rather disgusting. I washed it with soap and water and then used steel wool on it. Finally, I slapped on a mask and began spraying.
Ta da! Quick-fix. I also sprayed some of my crappy brass doorknobs silver. They didn’t turn out as nicely as I intended but they will serve their purpose.
Congratulations to me! I finally replaced all of the remaining original windows in my house (except the basement). This is extremely excited. New windows make a huge difference in aesthetics, sound, and energy efficiency. I am anxious to see how they end up effecting my utility bills in the future.
Things are extremely busy and hectic right now.
I like to think that I have a solid head on my shoulders and a good sense of reality, but when it comes to certain things, I think that making a hasty decision is the most effective option. In particular, PAINT. I know that my last few house projects have involved this. When the study was still contractor’s beige, I thought that it was fine but that a warm, darker color would really bring the room together, creating the cozy, eclectic look that I desired. However, amongst all of the brown paint samples laid one that I later decided did not belong. This, of course, ended up being the color that I chose to paint the study only a few weeks ago. At first, it seemed brown until the next few days when I really noticed the purple undertones and realized that instead of a warm brown, I had chosen a cool plum.
While friends and family said that it looked good yet understood my dilemma, I insisted that I needed to take action. Paint is such a great product. I have said before that simply adding a color to a room can completely change the atmosphere. Needless to say, I took a trip to home depot on Saturday with my dad to grab a few of those actual mini-paint samples. Being unsure of the color, I did not want to make the same mistake and spend hours of effort painting the room only to decide that I changed my mind. I brought home 2 samples: a warm, reddish pumpernickle brown and a very basic, straight brown. I had a fun time painting these on various walls and making a mess of the room. Both colors seemed appealing but I decided to take a chance and go with the warmer of the two.
I am happy to say that the color turned out spectacularly; it is exactly what I had imagined in the first place. I am getting a little bit better at painting. At least,
I have figured out the importance of excellent prepping since it saves so much time and grief in the end. Some good tunes certainly help the process along, so I recommend turning up that stereo before you start. As usual, I moved all of the furniture by myself.
I finally decided to paint my bedroom. Again-I tend to paint on a whim because if I put too much thought into it, I will end up talking myself out of it. However, in this case I had this color in mind for my bedroom even before I moved into my house. It is called “Cornflower Blue,” making it subtle with purple undertones. It’s a soothing, beautiful color. In a bedroom this small with a cape cod style ceiling, I think it’s important to choose a light color. The contractor’s beige is slowly phasing itself out of my house. Then again, I do like the neutrality of the color. The paint though is such a low quality that anything from water to cleaning spray can stain the wall.
Paint is great. It can really add to or transform a room. With that said, I am not satisfied with the color I chose for the study so I will be changing it very soon. Chances are it will still be brown but it will be a warmer brown with orange undertones rather than purple (whoops).