Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 328 -- Puppetmasters

Today we cleared out Izzy's old room downstairs and converted it into a playroom. That's right, people. We have a playroom. An actual room with a door that will hopefully help keep the toys confined to one part of the house. Since we started this renovation, her toys have been either packed away or shoved into a spot that wasn't really conducive to playing with them. Now she has them all at her fingertips. When Iz came home, we took her downstairs and she was more than pleased. First thing was first: a puppet show with Daddy.

Then it was time for tea.

After playtime, we worked on her room. We've finally purchased some furniture to complete it. We got this simple little desk off of classifieds for $40 and Brian put a drawer pull on it to match her closet doors. I am seriously considering painting it green or maybe pink. Iz would most definitely prefer pink, but I think green would add a little variety.

The other piece we have been waiting for was delivered today. We got this one off of It's listed as a "man's chest". I've never in my life heard of a "man's chest" -- except for the hairy one. But I thought this was a really different and fun piece. At first, I thought that it had a door that opened outward to reveal the drawers inside, but the door on the front is actually a sliding door. It's a great size for the space and is surprisingly well made. I thought we would have to put it together, but it came fully assembled and is pretty substantial. Poppa Orr had to come up and help Brian haul it upstairs. Thanks Poppa!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 327 -- Pocket Door Hardware

Today the pocket door hardware we ordered arrived and Brian installed it. We got one that locks for the master bathroom shown here and one that doesn't for the closet.

I also put up Nate's name on his wall to finish off his room.

Other than that, we spent the day looking for a hanging light for our front porch. No luck. We even bought one and got it home only to find that it wasn't quite what we wanted anyway. This one might have to be an online purchase.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 326 -- Another Home For Another George

Brian got the mudroom shelf put up today. He was almost giddy when I told him to put up the Friberg "Prayer At Valley Forge" print that we were trying to figure out what to do with. According to Brian, this is his favorite new addition to the house. He hated the old back entryway -- if you could even call it that. It was a 3'X3' landing that either went straight up into the hall or straight down into the basement. You barely had enough room to open the door, in fact, if you were opening it from the inside, you had to stand on the stairs in order to do so. To get it to this point, we changed the direction of the stairs 90 degrees, moved the wall and existing stairs up to the hall back by a foot and a half and added the nook for the bench. It's finally a nice little spot to toss your jacket and shoes when you come in the door. Even the window is accessible now!

On another note, I couldn't resist taking a couple shots of the view from the balcony tonight:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 322 -- Nate's Room

Being the awesome dad that he is, Brian busted his butt again today to make sure his new little boy had his very own finished bedroom. He put the white molding up bordering the red, touched up all the paint, put in the hanging rods in the closet, installed the closet handles and (with the help of Uncle Layne) moved all the furniture upstairs to finish off the room. I love the red stripe! The colors all look great with the Goodnight Monkey fabrics in the bedding. We're using Iz's old furniture, but it still looks great.

Here are a few panoramas from different angles in the room:

Here's the room from the hallway as well as the closet. Tomorrow we'll start filling it up.

Nate's already enjoying his new room. Today when I took him in there, it was one of the few times he was wide-eyed and was looking around at all the colors. Thanks Dad and Uncle Layne!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 321 -- Bringing Nate Home

Today we welcomed home our new little one: Nathanael Brian Bennion. We are so excited and thankful to be bringing this sweet healthy little boy home to our new and improved house.

Since we didn't quite get everything done before he was born, we hired out some of the final painting. Nate's room got a coat of blue with a red stripe. Tomorrow, we will be painting some trim white to border the red. Hopefully we will get some furniture moved up here as well. I can't wait to get this room all put together with the crib and bedding. Hope you like it Nate!

I can't tell you how great it feels to have the hall done. It's nice to see a finished product when you walk up the stairs. The painter finished today and Brian put up all the doors and put the lights back together. We just need to get the doorknobs ordered.

The mudroom bench and window was also painted.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 318 -- Strippers, Storage and Sashes

Brian has had a busy weekend. Yesterday, he spent most of the day working on this bad boy. This is the door that we used to have in the hallway that is now becoming the kids' bathroom door. It needed a new coat of paint, but since it had a few coats too many already, we couldn't just slap one on. Some heavy duty stripper, a power sander and a few chemical burns later, this is the result. Ready for a shiny new coat of white.

As if this wasn't enough to accomplish for one Saturday, Brian made another trek to IKEA....are we becoming IKEA people??? pick up some simple storage units to help get us organized in the basement. He then spent the remainder of the night transforming the old toy room/walkway into the storage room we always wanted and needed. We'll be able to nicely stack all our food storage and other miscellaneous crap in one location instead of crammed here and there in every nook and cranny we can think of. This is one of the major pluses of this renovation.

The last thing that was done this weekend was that Brian and I put up the drapes, pictures, mirror and other nick-knacks to make the front room complete. This was my favorite room in the house before we started the renovation and it has been a long time coming to get it back to the state that it had been before the fl**d. It has been 95% complete for a long time now and that had kind of started to be a bit of a burr in my side. it was such a relief to see it finally finished. Thank you Brian, I really appreciate you doing this all for me.

Tomorrow is baby day (scheduled anyway). Amid everything else he's been doing, Brian's also been furiously cleaning and helping me get everything ready for our new little boy. We decided to hire some people to finish painting in the hall and the baby's room due to our lack of energy and time. We're hoping it will be finished by the time we are back from the hospital. It's going to be a different house with 2 kids. Probably even more so than with all these renovations.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 314 -- Getting Organized And Taking Time Out

Over the past week I have had a cold that has turned into a sinus infection and bronchitis so I haven't been blogging. Brian, however, has been working tirelessly on anything that could be done.

One major item on the list was the office. When we started this renovation, it looked like the pic on the right. Lotsa crap shoved in there, oak floors, no paint, no crown, etc. We've had mismatched furniture in there for years and had never really done much with the room. Then the flood happened and it really looked bad. One great thing about the flood, though, was that we got all new floors, paint and crown put in there for free. Below you can see post flood and post paint. Since it has been painted, it rapidly turned into the catch-all room again and looked pretty much exactly like the pic to the right again.

My mom and dad generously gave us bookcases from IKEA as Brian's homecoming gift. Brian put them together and cleaned up the rest of the room (which was no easy task -- especially with his layabout wife staying in bed the whole time). I love the result! We should have done this years ago...then again...the flood wiped out anything we did "years ago" so maybe it's best we waited this long. Mom, Dad, thanks again. You should see how perfect the bookcases look with the "Washington Crossing the Delaware" painting you gave Brian for Christmas. It looks beautiful. We may add some draperies to keep the leather chair from being bleached any further.

Thanks again, Brian for doing all the work and doing it beautifully.

On another note, we have been spending a lot of time upstairs in our new living space. We have hardly gone downstairs at all. The other day, I walked into my room to catch a glimpse of this. Too cute not to post. Iz had climbed up into our dormer window and was taking in the rainy day. She won't be little enough to fit up there for long.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 307 -- Breaking in the Bathroom

Callie and Jason came over tonight and Jason hooked up our sink toilet and shower/tub fixtures lickety-split. It would have taken us a lot longer so the expertise was most definitely appreciated. The only issue was that apparently, the previous plumbers hooked up the cold to the hot and the hot to the cold so now we have hot water in our toilet. We'll have to have them come back and remedy that situation.

Izzypop did not seem to care about the toilet situation. She was perfectly happy taking a bath in her new bathroom.

Thanks again, Jason, for the help.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 306 -- I Love This Color!

Today Brian painted the kids bathroom. Again, I spent most of the day in bed...I think I'm getting a cold (arg!). We decided to go with a little darker color since there is so much white in this room. We chose Valspar "Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue". I love, love, love this color. I am always leery of dark paint, but it works so well in this room.

Brian also put up the medicine cabinet. It looks great too. All that is left is to do some touch up on the paint, and install the toilet, vanity, sink and shower fixtures. I see a bath in Izzypop's near future.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 305 -- One Man Crew

Brian worked tirelessly again today -- this time on the kids bathroom. He got the walls, ceiling and trim primed, and the ceiling and trim all painted with no help from his ginormously pregnant wife (I sat in bed and did our taxes). We also went to Lowes and picked up everything we thought necessary to hook up the toilet, sink and shower. Tomorrow, the goal is to get the paint and medicine cabinet up. Wednesday, my sister's boyfriend Jason -- who happens to be a plumber -- will come up and help us hook everything up right. Trust me, we need expert advice on this one. I am hoping by Wednesday night we'll at least have a working toilet up here. Those stairs 4 times a night are killing me!

Brian also made sure that his little girl was all taken care of. He put in the hanging rods in her closet and took her to Lowes to pick out her very own closet doorknobs. Purple flowers. An excellent choice, Izzypop!

BTW, let me put in a plug for Lowes. We shop there any time we can over Home Depot. The reason is that they give all military members a 10% discount every day. All you have to do is show your military ID. We support them, because they support *US*. Thank you, Lowes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 304 -- Gotta Love Those Swedes

As I suspected, the minute Brian's plane touched down, he was anxious to get stuff done on the house. Yesterday we made a major shopping trip to IKEA. We got a vanity, sink and medicine cabinet for the kids bath, a shelf for the mudroom and a whole closet system for the master bedroom. Today Brian spent the day getting it all installed perfectly. The whole modern system in an old house idea is, I think, one that works. I think it looks pretty cool especially against the exposed brick. Really, though, I'm just happy to start bringing the rest of our clothing up from the basement. The first pic is taken from the master bedroom; the second is taken from the corner of the closet and the third is taken from sitting on the bench inside the closet.

It's so nice to have a big, strong man around the house again. Thanks, Brian, it's awesome. More to come on the kids bathroom.