Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When a Fixer starts to feel like a House

Well, we are officially at 1.5 years into our old home renovation. It's time to take stock of what we've done and see if we stuck to our principles of making a creative, utilitarian life in our old Vic.

The parlor and living area has evolved. We still keep the parlor a fairly flexible space that can function as an exercise room or dining room for a big party. We finally were glad to find a good place for that awesome mirror my sister gave us as well as the old Barbary Coast chest which conceals weights, a media device and other items and seems to fit well with the wood floor and rugs.

The middle room, traditionally the dining room, is most comfortable to us as a living room/tv area. The $300 gas fireplace from HD has done a great job keeping us warm during the cold weeks. We still use our futon as a couch but hope to replace that someday. The white bookshelf is a wild, frankensteinian creation. Originally it was a black bookcase I kept from my college years that has been painted and now wears the crown that was transported from the first kitchen redo. Again, the beautiful Vic chair is from my sister and seems perfect next to the window.

Turning 180 degrees we face the kitchen and bathroom entry way. We furnished the kitchen with beautiful white cabinets that we got for free from an artist over this past xmas. Removing the old cabinets over the sink allowed more natural light to enter the area and creates a more open feeling when doing sink stuff. We replaced the old light with an LCD track system that lets us focus light on various kitchen stations. Throwing a rug we had over the old linoleum hides its ugliness and seems to add a bit of "elegance to the kitchen. That word "elegance" would not be a word I would have thought to think to apply to this kitchen before now.

Watching my wife over this period I noticed how much time she spends at the kitchen sink. Whether it's washing veggies, doing dishes etc., she seems to always be around there. I realized that I too spend time there so we "splurged" a bit here, meaning we spent a lot of time thinking about what we have to do to make this station visually appeal as well as more useful. Click on the pic to see highlights of what we did.

The neat thing about this kitchen (I think) is that we were able to add more cabinetry and do a little re-arranging without disrupting the original structural footprint, electrical or plumbing. We pretty much made everything work within the existing elements.

Nothing new to the master bedroom effort other than removing part of the ugly built in closet and replacing it with this awesome 9ft tall IKEA wardrobe closet that I got for free, in great condition, from a Cal grad. It also happens to be the same color as the bed frame. Really scored on that. Ultimately the bedroom remains the least energy efficient room since there is no insulation top, bottom or sides. We'll probably need to hire a pro to make a roofing frame to make the entire ceiling 9 ft tall and allow for insulation and lighting. But for now, we are looking for a nice piece of art to hang over the bed. Don't you think?

So where do we go from here? Well, we have another 1.5 years to work on this before determining what we will do with this house. We are focusing a bit more on the exterior and yards now and of course there are tons of big things that still need to be done like replacing all the windows and repaving the front area and adding some kind of fencing.

How are we doing so far? We operate in a bit of bubble and would love to know what objective, knowledgeable people think.

Thanks for looking.

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