Archive for category Random
As you may or may not know, John and I bought a house about 6 months ago, and in true Christa fashion have been working to make it our own ever since. Yes this is a different house from the last rehab post (that was a throwback), and yes unfortunately it’s a split ranch… which I’m slowly getting used to. When buying this house I swore to myself to take it slow in terms of decorating and to get a chance to feel out the place. Of course that didn’t happen as I work from home and the first things that HAD to go was the yellow walls in my office. Some may say the color I chose was no better, but a caribe blue soothes me any day over canary yellow. ANYWAY, long winded blog post short, all the walls were painted within 2 weeks of moving in (What? I’m a sucker for a fresh coat). We’ve done a lot of other improvements to the place since the painting, but truly nothing really gets more bang for the buck than a nice coat of perfectly planned out paint. Which brings me to the fence…
We moved in November, so this is really the first month we’ve had a chance to do anything outside to the place. I knew I wanted to pressure wash the house and fence the moment we got the keys. Unfortunately it is not recommended to spray high pressured freezing cold water in the dead of winter, so I had to wait FOUR months to play with our Christmas gift! And truth be told, I wasn’t sure a washing of any form would fix the age and dirt of the side fences that we had:
To my sheer AMAZEMENT, it was like instant success:
By the time it was done and dry it looked like a brand new fence! So after some inspiration from friends in North Carolina who stained their fence Cedar and it looked GORGEOUS, we ran out to the Depot and picked up some mahogany stain (we thought darker may cover the imperfections a little more). It was a one coat stain and it didn’t lie, but it took 2 $44 cans to finish the front and back of these sections.
All in all, for around $100 and 2 weekends, I think this is a project for the books. Just like paint, the bang for your buck is astonishing. One last before & after comparison:
I’m currently in the process of my third renovation and it has brought up
fond memories of some of my past reno experience. The first reno was really my parent’s, but I lived through the hell of peeling improperly applied wallpaper, concrete dust and no kitchen for months, so I consider it as almost my own – even though I didn’t plan or pay for anything. The second reno was definitely one of the largest projects I’ve ever taken on. It was a total gut of a 1921 Colonial foursquare and it was the popper of many of my ‘firsts’ cherries, more about those later…Which brings me to this current renovation, which is basically a total gut and rebuild of the lower half in our new 1980′s raised ranch (for the record, if you would have claimed I would be a proud owner of a split level ranch even 8 months ago, I would have laughed ferociously in your face).
I’ve learned quite a few things along the renovation path, which I’d like to start sharing over the next few posts, but all this construction reminded me that I never posted any photos of that huge undertaking from my Clermont house. So, only 5 years and a short sale overdue, but here was the beast of a project I took on when I was 22. (Please note I have a billion before and during reno, but surprisingly cannot locate all of the afters, so I’ve had to resort to realtor photos from when we had tenants occupying, so there’s a lot of their crap lying around)
This is how we first found this lovely beauty, in need of the most indescribable scrub down. I’m not sure how people occupied it in the condition it was in, especially with 2 children. As you can see in the after, pretty much full inside and outside rehab. We took down the screen porch, and found out it wasn’t even built to code, so had to rebuild the whole darned thing. New roof, paint, pavers, carpentry and landscaping was done in front and back.
We had to redo all the back windows because the previous frame was rotted out (the fun of finding out things after walls are taken down). We also added a back patio with double out swing French doors and larger stairs. Really opened up the outdoor living area.
It turned out when we cleared away the lower tree branches, there was a view of lake Minneola:
And now to the inside. The following series of pictures will show you just how NASTY the conditions were inside the house. In fact, in the below shot, you will see the difference in carpet color on where the couch was versus actual walking area. Just imagine dog and cat piss, candy, dirt, and other fluids all over the place and add a touch of every allergen in the world. This was also lining the air ducts which were soon replaced:
The “Original Heart Pine Floors” underneath weren’t in much better shape. In fact, when someone advertises hardwoods under carpet, rest assured 8/10 times there is something wrong with the floor…
There were also quite a few electrical issues we encountered. I’m surprised their house didn’t burst into flames after all of these years. What you see below is the laundry room setup. Yes that’s right, let’s wrap a non grounded (and old) electrial plug around the water supply. They also were draining the sudsy water onto the sidewalk. Where was Holmes Inspection when I needed him?
Can you see anything wrong with this?
It became apparent a few months into the project that this may have been the house from hell…
So here was the upstairs bedroom we called the blue room. Can you guess why? Turns out under all that blue was lovely 70′s football themed wallpaper. We should be so lucky.
The blue room had a twin, we called it the pink room.
The Master was in dire need of attention, here is the bedroom and back porch view before and after
My dad and I belt and hand sanded all of the floors, and I poly-ed them all… I appreciate anyone that does that for a living.
I couldn’t find an empty after shot, so this is almost finished back porch, just missing trim, and electrical fixtures:
Upstairs bathroom was so large, when we bought it, they had an exercise bike in it. The floor was actually 2 layers of linoleum on top of a thick layer of plywood, it took weeks for me to get it removed as in the kitchen and baths, they nailed the plywood almost every 4 inches. The chair rail around wasn’t even beadboard, but actually inch thick tongue and groove siding. The best part was opening the moulding to find a hot orange and pink bathtub! It’s hard to tell, but the inside was actually a robin’s egg blue accented by those lovely rust stains… again, not sure how these people lived like this (or are my cleanliness standards too high?)
Check out the awesome moldy wallpaper I found underneath
And finally the downstairs photos (again for some reason I cannot find the after shots so I have to default to the real estate listing photos – no way would I ever have this much crap in one room, but hopefully you can still see how lovely the place is)
The downstairs bathroom was a hot mess, they designed it all wrong. The tub literally did not fit in the space so they created a knee wall for it. It clearly needed a gut and replumb. (after photos were hard to take because the space was so small, but you get the gist)
Saving the best for last, here was the kitchen circa 1970, and after. I should note that the floors were so filthy you could skate on them. During reno, and before after comparison:
I think, maybe, I’ve decided I want to start writing, ehhmm, blogging again… It’s been so long and I have so much to say, but what about I’m still trying to figure out. I think I may just post as I see fit and not plan for now. That’s right folks, I’m posting without plans. Keep an eye out, I’m sure it will be slightly entertaining or maybe even insightful. If not, at least it will be a bunch of words, you have my promise
I know and I’m sorry. I miss you guys too…
Be back soon!
Well, I’ve obviously found my new obsession of having a real winter. I know what you’re thinking… It’s snow isn’t it? No, no, I mean the snow is cute. It certainly is beautiful when it’s falling, and I love how it sparkles in the sun. It’s also awesome to throw my cat into it on the porch, run away and close the door (what? oh come on you know I would never do such a thing)
But seriously folks, I’m OBSESSED with ice. Acually, icicles to be precise. I mean how cool are these cold clear daggers of death?! I’ve managed to annoy hubs everywhere we go by pointing out every house, building and sign that has them hanging. I’m particularly fond of the icicle twinkle lights with icicles hanging off of them. So you must know how EXCITED I was to play with this monster:
I was taking a stroll out back and came across this giganto print. It looks like an oversized deer… Do you think? Is it too big? Is it some woman’s crazy boots? I need answers people. In comparison my foot is next to imprint on thr ight. Size 9 women’s nikes. OK people, inform me!
Another in yo face hipsta print – for your viewing pleasure!
If there is any time where my day job and side hobby worlds collide, it would be on a stock photography website. I can’t recount the number of times I was searching for a stock image when I encountered one of the weirdest and most awkward photos I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen A LOT of photos). I even found a website dedicated to these awkward photographs for sale: http://awkwardstockphotos.com/
Therefore, in honor of my WTF Friday, I set out to find some of the most disturbing pictures and I ask “Why, oh why, would anyone purchase these for commercial use?”
There’s nothing like a relaxing, almost orgasmic experience than spending your evening with a cactus, if I do say so myself.
“DIY at home Salon kit”
She’s either having too much fun with her cosmetic surgery, or a funky mummy
Damn Pineapple heads always money hungry!
I could see using this for my dad’s dental site
I call this one “The Heartbreaker”
“So whatcha up to tonight?”, Oh nothing, just heading to the Home Depot, picking up a battery operated drill and killing myself for paying 100k too much for this fixer upper.
I’m pretty sure this was the clown in my nightmare growing up
Family fun entertainment for everyone
I’m just a monkey, hanging out. Wassup?
Anyone need a jump?
Now if this guy can’t sell computers, I don’t know who can!
Probably my favorite, except the monkey. I like monkeys
You think this guy look familiar? He is! You may have seen him in the horrible Lower My Bills advertising
I had no idea what these were supposed to be, until I saw the description “Flowers with eyes”… I still don’t know why.
Am I the only one here? Have you seen these pictures also? Better yet, have you seen them actually USED on websites?
I submitted my designs for Smashing Magazine’s monthly wallpaper post. I figure if they don’t get added, at least you will have a chance to use them here. I’ve included a calendar and a blank one for year round use. Popular sizes available – even iPhone – ENJOY!