Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016 - First Blizzard in Our New (Old) Home

All last week we were hearing and seeing reports about an upcoming blizzard. I must admit, I didn't believe any of the forecasters when they said "this is the big one". Compared to a lot of other states, PA's local forecasters are notoriously terrible with predictions. I've seen these "monstrous storms" move to our south, dissipate completely, or turn from a predicted 20 inches into a small coating of 2-3 inches.

Well for once they were right. For once.

Friday night it started in a mild manner with a gentle snowfall that barely coated our yard. However, by the next morning we woke up to see a heavier downfall and about a foot of snow!

All through the day it kept going with the rate of snow falling picking up by the hour, not to mention the wind. We never lost our power, thank goodness.

By Sunday morning the snow had stopped and we had beautiful blue well as a little over 30 inches of snow!

It was wonderful to get outside - cabin fever was killing me! After a little while of playing it safe and sticking to where it'd been shoveled, I couldn't help diving into the waist deep snow. Not everyday one gets to do that after all!

Our cars had been nothing but snow mounds before digging them out, poor things.

Of course, some shots of our snow-laden home:

See how far up the windows the snow came from the porch roof?!

It feels like it may take till Spring for all of this snow to melt! I'm rather hoping this is our one and only storm for the winter and it just mellows from here on out. Fingers crossed and here's hoping!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Painted Living Room - It's Not Supposed to be Purple

After all our progress with our floors and then the bit of a break from house projects the holidays provided, this past weekend we were ready to jump back in with the next project: painting our living room. [learn how to prep a room before painting]

For the most part, I feel rather confident when it comes to picking paint colors. I have a good eye, and can usually see any bad undertones in a swatch (greens, pink, etc). Karl as well. Together we've been a force for paints to reckon with.

But if there's one thing I hate, it's picking paint colors for walls. Sure, I know what color I'm looking for, but when I put the sample on my wall, is it ever what I wanted? NO. Decidedly no.

I've even had a sample paint color look brown on one wall and purple on the other IN THE SAME ROOM.


Why can't it be as easy as using milk paints, where you get the color you expect?

If I pick up a medium-gray milk paint, it will be gray. Fancy that.

With latex paints, first you have a bajillion greys to choose from, and that's just from one make. Sherwin Williams, Behr, Martha Stewart, Benjamin Moore - they all have too many...and too few that work.

So you can understand my frustrations when after a ridiculous amount of hours at paint stores later I think I've finally narrowed it down, tried several small samples of colors on the wall and left them up for days, picked one, and then the color mocks us by turning out not to be a nice warm grey, but lavender.

Can I get an amen from other aggravated painters?

The color here was Sherwin Williams Alpaca...and Al-packa-it-up and out the window for its traitorous streak.

The weird thing is this is how it even looks in the pan - looks more grey in it, right? What the heck?

Back to the drawing board...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

We Can Live On Our Main Floor Now! [Floors Got Stained]

Happy 2016 y'all! Hope everyone's year is off to a good start.

So far ours has been a gain in square footage - for the first time since we moved into our home 2 months ago, we are able to exist on the main floor!

With the exception of our kitchen, we have been living with all of our worldly possessions on the 2nd story. One bedroom is a makeshift office with boxes, another is storage for more waiting-to-be-moved downstairs boxes, one we're using as a temporary bedroom, and the last one...

...has been our walk-in closet-dining-office-tv room (aka dorm room).

While we've thoroughly enjoyed walking upstairs balancing plates of food or having to go back downstairs again to retrieve the forgotten salt, all good things must come to an end.

We've been working on a lot of projects downstairs to get it ready for living in, such as tearing out our built-ins and scraping off wallpaper, but the biggest project has been our poor floors that have seen better days.


They were orange in color, scraped and scuffed, the finish was coming off...

...and the stain didn't even match between rooms.

Another problem was that no finish had ever been applied to the middle of the living room.

1. the middle that had no floor finish
2. the area we started a test sanding
3. the non-matching floor stain between the living and dining rooms

After days of our floor sanding and more floor sanding sagas, our heroes stainers came a few days before Christmas and stained and sealed our floors all in 2 days time!

Can I just say how amazing it was to sit back and let a pro handle a job?

Let's see some of that new floor action:

it matches now!

Oh what a wonderful difference. It feels so good to have our hard work pay off!

For those of you wanting all the nitty gritty info, we used a water based stain and finish, which indeed lived up to our expectations of being low on fumes and dried very quickly; we were walking in socks on the floors within 4 hours after the finish was put on. Pretty amazing.

They did 2 coats of stain the first day, then 3 coats of the finish in "satin" the 2nd day. Satin turns out to be a nice medium between flat and semi-gloss or gloss - it gives the floors a nice sheen but also helps hide any imperfections in the wood that would otherwise be more obvious with a glossier finish.

The stain color is "golden brown". If you look again at the samples we had, it's the one on the top middle:

It compliments the dark baseboard trim perfectly and we're so happy with it...and so happy to be done!

We could have waited only 3 days before putting down furniture, but we decided to give it a full week to cure before getting the couch out of our kitchen (cause what's a few days more of shuffling around our couch while trying to know we loved it!).

It's starting to look like a home!

Here's to getting our first major house project done! This coming year we will have many more projects as we tackle each's gonna be crazy. Glad y'all are along for the ride with us!

{Pin It for Later!}

Note: if ever you need floor sanders/stainers in southeastern PA, contact me and I'd be glad to give our floor guys' info! These floor-stain guys were outstanding. Not only did they do a great job on the floors, but they worked with us, listened to our concerns, were on time and courteous in speech, budget-friendly and made sure we were satisfied with the floors every step of the way.

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