Tuesday, September 30, 2014

finishing the kitchen door

Our kitchen feels like a new place with this door.

 That is quite a statement after all that has been done to this room!

From this view, it looks like we are pretty much done here, right?

Not so much.

When the moldings came off, some of the layers of wall and paint came with it. 


Those things have probably been there for 40 years - or at least since the last wallpapering job. Yes, we found wallpaper under the trim. Surprise, surprise.

Hero put the trim back up temporarily until we could get the rest of the job done. Seems like extra work to put them up just to take them down again, but he only tacked them up there easy, no  big deal.

This wall never got done. Remember how we finished the rest of the back splash? We knew we were going to get that door (someday) and we wanted to wait until that was installed to cut the paneling and trim to the right size. 

(It didn't look the very worst because we painted the wall to sort of look like it was what we wanted. The problem with that trick is that you may take FOREVER to get back to it.)

But now that we were ready for one project, we could finally finish the other. Yay!

Much better. 


And the wall is all patched up.

Much better.

I am the trim painter in our house.

Painting trim makes the whole project come together swimmingly. 

Of course it is usually the last thing you do, but there is nothing like pulling the tape off to reveal the freshly painted results.

Much better.

Finishing up a project like this feels so terrific! 

Finally getting it off the list, finally seeing how your vision becomes a reality, and finally enjoying the full results of your work is the best!

So many times I hear of people finishing up un-dones just before selling a house (and honestly, we have done that, too) But don't! Get on them so you can love the result.

Much better.

See that little spot just above the left corner of the window?

It's a bell.

It's from my mom. It makes the best little (meaning not obnoxious) jingle.

I've always wanted a bell on the door. Hero made a little bracket to hang it up. He does things like that for me. Love that man.

I Finally hung that picture up, too.

It is so special to us. Hero's dad found this for me years ago at a flea market. I'm sure he thought it was junk, but he knew I would love it. 

And I do.

It's a concept drawing of some kind of factory.

And it's called "MURPHY & CO."

(Sorry - Hard to take a photo of it.)

I love how the changes and updates we have made make this place feel much more like home.

signature photo teresasig1.png

Thursday, September 25, 2014

kitchen door

After all the outside work we tackled this summer, I am so glad to be back inside.

I like outside. I really do. But outside work feels a lot more like work to me. 

And I usually end up killing plants. It's just one of my weaknesses.

Inside work is still work, but I like it - So it is better.

At least in my mind that makes sense.

We moved to an inside project that we have been just putting off forever - The back door.

Hero and I were absolutely not in love with this door:

There is nothing wrong with this door. Not really. It's a fine door.

But it has a few problems -

One - It's all door, with a little tiny window. It sucked the light out of the kitchen.

Two - It opens into the house. I know this is normal, but we really wanted a door that opened out, because this is what happens when we open the door:

There is no place for the door to go with the cabinet behind it. There is just not that much space in this small kitchen for this to work well. It was like an awkward dance trying to get in and out while closing the door and taking off shoes. It didn't improve things if there was more than one person.

Three - When the door is closed, the refrigerator door will only open so far (A hazard we anticipated when we moved the fridge to that spot, but really - what a pain.)

And Four - This is what we were looking at on the outside:

Could be worse. 

And this thing's mechanism was totally shot - It either didn't close all the way and the wind would bang it around or it would slam shut. We really had to watch our ankles coming in.

So we jettisoned the doors. You know by now, that "we" is code for Hero.

I have the best husband! 

Hero and I like to go on dates. We love to spend time together. We love doing fun projects together.

We called this a date, so we get to spend time together and get a fun project done. 

It's a win - win - win.

Have you ever tried to take a picture like this? You cannot really see much detail, but it's kind of cool  looking. Just thought I would throw it in.

And from the outside.

This door opening is not that big - Just like the rest of the house. 

We scouted out doors and found the best price at Lowe's for the one we wanted. We wanted an out swing door, all glass with the panes and the blind inside the glass. It was about $700. 


I knew from our research that that was the going rate. Hero had two $100 Lowe's gift cards that helped bring the price down, so we were ready to go for it.

But before we did, Hero had a genius idea.

Did you know that one of Hero's hobbies is Craig's List?

That man will look for and sell all kinds of things on Craig's List - cars, bikes, furniture, dish washer - So of course he checked it out to see if by some chance there was the exact door we were looking for out there for our home.

And there was! It was just what we needed and so was much less money. The person who was selling it had ordered the very same door from Lowe's and he got two in delivery by mistake. Lowe's told him to keep them both and he decided to sell one on the List. As a bonus, he was willing to accept the 2 gift cards as part of the payment. Yay!

(You just never know what is out there on Craig's List - This door is not a regular size, it is out swinging and had to open the correct way. What are the chances? You should totally look at other options when you are ready to buy. It might be out there.)

Ever wonder what your house would like like without a door? It might be something like this.

Even without the trim, we are IN LOVE! What a difference!

This door addressed all our wishes - Lot's of light streaming in (except when we don't want it to, then we pull down the shade), it opens out, so there is no blocking the way in or out of the house, the fridge door opens like a champ and it is so great looking:


Here it is with the shade down - It is a piece of cake to bring on the shade.

Holy cow - This door really changed the way the kitchen looks and functions. Sure, we've come a long way on improving the kitchen (check it out here, here, and here), but this door has done wonders for the feel of this space.

Sometimes those projects that get put off make a pretty big impact, and then we wonder why we put it off for so long. Go ahead - finish up the projects that need to be finished! You will get them off your list and you get to enjoy them.

We still need to trim it up correctly and then we can finally put the bead board up on that wall. I'll show that next time.

signature photo teresasig1.png

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Here is where we left off on the saddest, most unfortunate looking tree in the neighborhood:

A four foot stump.

It is an improvement (understatement), but I'm sure all this guy's tree friends are still making fun of him. The squirrels and the birds have abandoned him (not his fault), but we have big plans for this former tree - A tree fort!

The missionaries from our church came over to help Hero get this thing up quick. While missionaries main purpose is sharing the good news of the gospel, they can take advantage of opportunities to help and serve where needed.

I think they were thrilled to come over and build a tree fort - What boy wouldn't love this? Or any girl, for that matter.

Here is how I think Hero made this tree fort happen - 

1. Dreams up some crazy dream like building a mansion out in the back yard on the tree stump. It could have stairs and pulleys and running water, with balconies and secret passages and a satellite system.

2, He reigns that dream in just a touch.

3. Makes a trip to Lowe's "to get some ideas". Comes home with real windows.

4. Combs Pinterest to come up with a fort that is in the budget and doable in a few days.

5. Back to Lowe's for supplies.

6. Grabs the missionaries and puts them to work. They don't have any written out plans, just Hero measuring and cutting and handing things off to be put together.

7. Back to Lowe's for more supplies.

8. Tries a few things, tweaks a few things and nails a few things.

9. It comes together.

10. And he makes it look so simple.

11. Relaxes a bit. Liam gets in on the relaxing part.


(Liam is laying on the hammock pole. It will connect to the tree trunk on the other end.)

I painted this thing up while Hero took a break and went to work. 

So dang cute!

And the grandkiddos love it! Well, only Jett has any awareness of it, but he loves it! He likes to take snacks out there, and toy cars out there and sometimes he just sits out there.

Got a cute little table and chairs set from IKEA to finish it up. 

Now they can dream all kinds of stuff up out there - That they are in a mansion with pulleys and a satellite system.


And after:

All the neighborhood trees wish they were as cool.

signature photo teresasig1.png