30 January 2010

moving day

(This is an experiment, since we're without home Internet service until Friday (the horror! The horror!) I'm testing an iPhone app that may or may not work ... fingers crossed.)

We moved yesterday. We have to go back over this weekend & clean, so that the landlord will give us at least part of our deposit back -- but we spent last night in our new house. Good news: the heater works brilliantly, and the roosters at least shut up at night. Bad news: we NEED to finish the closets so we can start putting stuff away!

So: good-bye awesome Thai place on the corner, hello awesome Mexican place 2 blocks down. Good-bye screaming kid & neighbor learning the trumpet, hello very enthusiastic roosters across the street. Good-bye apartment ... hello house!

Also, I really hope the contractors get the shower done soon. Otherwise this could get smelly.

27 January 2010

tile story

I alluded to Tile I no longer want in yesterday's post ... allow me to explain: I started off thinking that we "had" to have glass tiles in the shower, preferably in the subway style pictured here:
And then we started pricing the stuff. The cheapest we could find it in a color we like (similar to the above pic, actually) was $17/square foot. Yikes! So in a dazzling display of design flexibility, we've changed course: we're keeping the shape, but changing the color & material. Ceramic tile in matte white (for some reason I'm really digging the non-shiny finish) like this:

only costs $4.50/square foot**. Much better.

I had the idea to get penny tiles for the flooring, which will now be non-white, so as to avoid making the bathroom resemble a surgical theater, like these:

which we found for a very agreeable $8/square foot. And then the Mr. got totally excited about a river-rock style for the shower floor, like this:

except in a charcoal-y black shade that I couldn't find a picture of. And they feel pretty sweet under foot. Plus, they're almost exactly the same price as the other floor tiles, so it looks like we're going for it.

Once we can reassemble the walls & floors, and therefore get accurate measurements, that is. Is there drama around that? Funny you should ask ... more to come.

**(All the prices I've quoted are from United Tile in L.A. -- no website (again!), but you can find them here. They have everything, and they're really reasonable.

26 January 2010

2 steps forward ... 2 steps back

That's not a scientific rendering of the number of steps we've taken, in any direction, by the way. I'm just sitting here humming Paula Abdul songs (and now, so are you. You're welcome.) And yes, I know I keep fiddling with the heading of this here re-purposed blog. It's a work-in-progress. Also, I'm indecisive. But moving on:

We have a fridge! Check it out:
That's the Mr., a) looking cute, and b) showing off our excellent handiwork in getting all the shelves/drawers/etc. properly situated. I had no idea fridges were so complicated. Here it is from the outside:
Pretty! We got a sweet deal -- it's a brand-new last-year's model, courtesy of a giant warehouse out in the porn end of the valley. No website (?!?!), but they're at 8930 Mason Avenue, Chatsworth 91311.

We're also pretty much sorted on lighting, at least as far as fixtures go. We made a trip out to the Restoration Hardware Outlet in Camarillo, where we found this:
Ours has the brushed nickel finish, to go with the rest of our hardware. Also, that's totally the tile I've decided I no longer want! (But more on that later.) Again brand-new -- probably an internet return (so now you know where stuff goes when you buy online & return it: Camarillo) and they were giving an extra 20% off bath stuff "just because" that day, so outlet + sale = $51. Or as I prefer to call it, 25% of retail. Woo effing hoo!

After much more dithering about styles that one of us loved & the other hated-with-vehemence, we found these at Ikea:
Calypso, for the bedroom; and one that they don't have on the website yet but it's pendant-y & white & fun & cool, for the office. I'll post a pic once we've hung it. And by "we" I mean "our awesome handy-hombre".

So that's the cool stuff. And then, from the Dept. of Destruction: guess what was underneath all that tile in the bathroom?
MORE TILE!! We now officially have more tile than a Mexican restaurant in this house. And while I don't really dig the colors, the stuff they covered up was actually nicer than the stuff on top. Aaarggh!! Who the eff were these people? (Answer: the same people who cut through supportive studs to install windows & doors where-the-heck-ever they pleased, and did it without permits of course, which our guys now get to fix. Thank goodness for flat-fee contractors.) I'll get some more pictures of the mayhem tomorrow, but in the meantime:
Why yes, that is a demo'd bathtub on our front porch. And we're happy to see you!

23 January 2010

ch-ch-ch-ch- changes!

Finally! a few images of what's been up with Isabelle. (Yes, that's the house's name.)

In the Living Room: out with the vomit-tan, in with the greige (dammit! I miss Domino) and blue ceiling detail. Drapery to replace awful vertical blinds = a work in progress.

In the kitchen, we've secretly replaced the "oak" cabinets with these:
Let's see if she notices! But seriously ... the Mr. just finished stripping the icky varnish off the doors, so the next steps are: sand, paint, & re-attach those.

And in the hallway, just a few adjusted hinges away from completion:
Our built-ins! Here's the doors that are awaiting their pretty satin nickel hinges:
Aren't they pretty, with their non-paint-encrusted hardware? I know!!

Oh, and referring back to this entry's title ... and just because her name rhymes with Bowie:
It's Zöe**!! Wearing the shirt we got her for her birthday. (She's the most fashion-y fashionista I currently know. Girl changed her outfit 4 times that night!)

{** NOT OUR DOG!! That's my friend Bayleigh's dog. Stop congratulating us -- we just bought her a damn t-shirt!!!}

More pics on the way -- the contractor is coming!1!!

22 January 2010

stop the presses: we agree on something!

Actually, we agree on 2 things: 1) the kitchen, as purchased, was atrocious; and 2) these light fixtures:
As of today, the kitchen is the most un-changed room** ... BUT! after emailing him 15+ (at least) ideas for light fixtures, I stumbled upon the ones pictured above, to Our Mutual Delight. They're available at Shades Of Light (which is in Virginia, and therefore charges no sales tax in CA -- haha!! Screw you, Ah-nold & the Legislature!) and we're eagerly awaiting their imminent arrival via FexEx.

** why yes, I DID re-paint the entire house myself. NO, I don't need a hobby -- thank you.

Also, after talking to four (4!) contractors, two (2!) of whom deigned to flatter us with a bid, we're moving forward with our remodeling plans. Up next: a brand-new, shiny bathroom & LOTS of rugs to cover the hideous floors.

Oh, and some pics. Eventually. Really, I swear.

18 January 2010

progress report

Okay, I promise to try to get some more up-to-date pics to post tomorrow ... but, in the meantime, here's some of what we've been up to:

The Bad:

No, really, I didn't want to just un-screw that old hardware. I much preferred using a razor blade to slice through 8 layers of paint (and I'm especially curious about YOU, oh Chooser of Acid-Trip Green) ...

The Good:
We both have a place to park;

We've removed the Gross/Tragic medicine cabinet from *the bathroom
(*awaiting further destruction)

the Ugly Kitchen Cabinets being carted outside. That's our handyman -- small in stature, but 18-feet tall in awesomeness.

Our shiny new outdoor light fixtures. They're replacing the Fuctard-Installed Non-Outdoor ones that our predecessors provided. Sadly, all the accompanying rust has been sacrificed on the alter of "WTF?!?!"

The Ugly:

Have you been paying attention?! ...

Good stuff to follow, as soon as I'm not too distracted to remember I need to take pics before dark.

on being distracted

Number of dishes in the sink: lots.

Number of days I've been wearing my husband's socks: 2

Number of days I've not made the bed, thinking that would make me change the sheets, only to exhaustedly fall asleep in the wrinkly, dirty ones: 4

Number of days since I washed my hair: ain't telling.

Laundry situation: He's out of underwear, and I've been getting dressed out of the basket full of clean laundry for a week, rather than putting it away -- which is why I haven't done another load (I need that basket to carry it to the laundry room).

BUT: the house is starting to look like somewhere I'd want to live. In reality, as opposed to that theoretical "as soon as about 50 things change" sort of way.

Pictures soon. But right now I have to go back to getting paint in my cuticles.

04 January 2010

my new best friend

Yes, thing are going swimmingly at the Un-Casa. (That name sucks. I'll work on a better one. But meanwhile ...) The locks have been changed, the interior doors have shiny new doorknobs, and the paint samples from Ralph Lauren arrived today & were promptly smeared on the relevant walls. I'm not sure in which parallel universe one pays for 2-day express shipping on December 29th and receives said order on January 4th, but I plan to take that up with the dear people at RL first thing tomorrow. And frankly, I'm too excited about getting my hands on Pretty Colored Things to let it bring me down. Even better news: the Mr. and I are in agreement on colors for 3 rooms -- we're 60% of the way home, and still speaking to each other. Woo hoo!

But getting back to the semi-caustic substance in the spray bottle: it all began with our Mission Statement: Replace Ugly Crap With Nicer Stuff ... On Budget. To wit:
In a perfect world, I'd get rid of the ugly "oak" cabinets & start over. But in Our World, we're going with plan B. (No, not that Plan B. Nobody knocked up our cabinetry.) Plan B started out as "Let's just paint them white," but has since turned into "Let's get an electric sander & some varnish remover, so that the white paint we apply will a) stick, and b) not be lumpy." So while the Mr. has learned how to use varnish remover & not die (it involves gloves, a face mask, and not taunting the substance), I've been tackling the insides of the cabinets.

Fun fact: other people's shelf paper is disgusting! Especially when combined with All The Dead Spiders (see previous post -- free shipping offer still applies!)

Also, the previous owner's Stupid Plumber Tricks has led to 2 of the lower cabinets being rather mildewed. I discovered this as I was systematically scrubbing the living daylights out of them, and the ick-factor jumped from an 8 to a 10. At that point I stopped reaching in with my sponge and just basically sprayed & ran. That's when the miracle happened.

I came back the next day, and it was better. Dramatically better. It went from "Maybe we should just replace that" to "The patient is ALIVE!" I kinda wish I had a "before" picture to post here ... but then again, I wouldn't want to make anyone spontaneously kill themself in horror. Suffice to say: it may smell like the devil and wreak havoc on your cuticles, but I LOVE me some Lysol anti-mildew spray.

Back tomorrow to check the paint samples in better light. And yes, I will absolutely be addressing the ceramic floor tiles that go halfway up the walls -- count on it.