Thursday, March 29, 2012

Project: New Life for an Old Dining Room Table

When we bought this house, I was probably just as excited by the prospect of having a garage as I was about having a house.  And boy did we get a garage! The footprint of our garage is actually only one foot less wide than the house footprint - yet it's only a one-car garage, meaning a LOT of extra space available for hobbies!

Back story: A few years ago my dad and I saved an end table from a certain future in a landfill by plucking it out of our neighbors scraps after a garage sale.  It was in sorry shape. The veneer had peeled off part of the top and it was terribly water-stained due to sitting outside for who knows how long... but with some sanding and some wood glue and a lot of elbow grease and patience, we saved it - and now it sits prominently in our living room.

She's much to pretty for a landfill.
Ever since then I've had a nagging urge to refinish wood furniture - but I've never had the space to give it a shot (that's a partial lie - I've had the space, just not the ventilation or the 'ok' from roomies!), so when we bought the house and all of the sudden I had all this space in the garage, I decided that it was time for me to give it a shot on my own.  So, what did I start with? Something simple like another little end table or possibly a cute little jewelry box from the thrift store? NO WAY - I went big and bought a pretty sad looking table and chairs off of Craigslist.  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cherry Blossoms

GAH! I am SO excited to post about the guest bedroom transformation!! But it has to wait another week until my parents come to visit since I've made it a surprise.  Until then, I'll post a 'progress' picture. Yikes.

On a non-home-improvement note, J's sister and kids were here last weekend for their first visit to DC! It actually ended up being perfect timing because the cherry blossoms bloomed a few weeks early this year due to the abnormally mild winter!  I had to share a couple of my favorite shots from the weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Project: Stairway to...

I was going to title this post "Project: Stairway to Heaven Our Bedroom" but then I decided that was maybe a little weird.

ANYWAY - As I've mentioned before, one of the first projects that we took on after we bought this house was ripping out all of the carpet and redoing the floors.  Most of the time we were giddy with excitement at how beautiful the floors were underneath the carpet... until we got to the stairs.  As you can see below, the stair reveal was a major disappointment.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project: Photo Safari

Last year my awesome aunts bought me a TravelZoo deal for a photo safari with a professional photographer, since they know my secret favorite pastime is photography.  This past weekend I finally got around to using it!  The original deal was actually for a walking tour of the memorials and monuments in the DC area - but those were all booked (probably because of the close proximity to the highly anticipated cherry blossom season.  No worries though! I was able to take tour with the same photographer, only inside the Museum of American History.  This actually worked out perfectly because the lessons were all focused on taking pictures in low light - which I hadn't mastered yet.

It was really a fantastic time - I spent the whole afternoon touring around in the Museum of American History looking at some of the exhibits like I really hadn't before.  I really enjoyed getting home and downloading the pictures... I was pleasantly surprised to see a major improvement from the first few shots through the last couple!  I can definitely say I'm a lot more confident in my ability to take good pictures in low light situations now!

Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Project: Living Room Fast Forward

I figured since the last post focused on the dining room, that I should do a 180 and focus on the other half of our large front room area - the living room!  I do have a proper "before" shot for this one. Note the window boxes - also made from paneling! This guy LOVED paneling!

Note the high-traffic area from the previous owners?
One of the projects that I didn't mention in the last post was the floor.  When we moved in, the entire house was carpeted. Actually, every room (besides the kitchen and bathroom) was carpeted in the same carpet.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Project: Dining Room Fast Forward

I haven't posted in a long time - probably because we've been so busy working on the house and planning a wedding... and probably a little bit because I'm not a very committed blogger.  I'll have to work on that.

This post is dedicated to updating the progress we've made on the dining room.  Sadly, I don't have a nice "before" picture from the living room perspective.  Probably because it was so awful. Seriously - awful.  The living and dining area is one big, long room, and the previous owners made the distinction between the two areas by putting up dark wood paneling on the walls in the dining area, and lighter wood paneling on the ceiling.  And, come to find out, those pretty beams that you see in the next picture are also just pieces of paneling. Yeesh.   This was the very first project that we took on as new homeowners.