Friday, April 8, 2011

Updating our new-to-us house

Ignore the dying snowman, just focus on the backyard.
I really love our house - it's the perfect set up for us. There are 4 extra large bedrooms all on a single level. The kids' bathroom is huge and has a skylight to boot! The master bedroom has double closets and a private little deck with a hot tub (that needs to be fixed). David's favorite part is the shop in the back yard with plenty of space for anything a guy could ever want to do out in a shop. We think our yard is the best! It's fenced and private with plenty of room for the kids to run, ride their bikes, AND room for a huge garden. The house is set back from the street in a private little cul-de-sac so there's zero traffic and the only noise we hear is the occasional braying of the sheep next door. We live within walking distance to two grocery stores, a theater, gas station, library, and the CHURCH! Oh yeah, and the family room is over-sized with awesome, huge, passive solar (south facing) windows.
See all those awesome windows? (This is before we finished the floor).
After - the other half of the wall-o-windows.

There are just a few things that I'd like to update though. Can you guess what decade our house was built? I'll give you a few hints...
Exhibit A: Exterior Lights at front door and garage.

Exhibit B: Plain Jane flat panel doors and tiny trim.
The old carpet was sculpted blue.

Exhibit C: BLUE bath tub, blue toilet, and blue sink bowls in the
kids' bathroom with yellowed and stained linoleum.

Exhibit D: Pale blue counter tops and the plainest cabinets
you have ever seen.

Someone was obsessed with blue, I think. A later owner (during the 90's I'll bet) was obsessed with pinks and mauves. We have mauve blinds in all the bedrooms and the "neutral beige" wall paint had a distinct mauve undertone, I swear! There are other lovely things that tell the history of this house, but I don't have pictures of everything. Did you guess it was built in the 80's? 1984 to be exact and it hasn't seen too many updates along the years. The family room / sun is an addition that was added in 1988 (the year was stamped on the floor boards!) The wood laminate in the kitchen and dining areas is over 10 years old, and it sure beats the linoleum that is still underneath - we have remnants of it under the water heater and under the kitchen sink. The master bathroom was remodeled a few years ago to accommodate the previous owner who was mostly confined to a wheel chair. It's modern and clean-feeling, but I'm just not very appreciative of the roll-in shower because being able to easily roll-in a wheel chair means that the water can also easily roll out - and it does, unless we put rolled up towels along the edge. Besides, it also means there's no tub in there. Which leaves just the tub in the kids' bathroom as our only soaking option - it works, but it's tiny, permanently water stained, and blue. 

So, I do love the overall structure of the house, the layout, the yard, etc. but I would like to update a few lot of the little details. Here is one such project that I tackled today:

Before - our exterior lighting. I am beginning to think the person who built this house must have not liked anything fancy. He (or she?) chose the simplest, most plain, and stream-lined fixtures, trim, cabinets, counters, and accessory-type things throughout the whole house.
So, I've been wanting to update these lights (there's one at the front door, and two flanking the garage), since we moved in, but I didn't want to spend $30-50 per light fixture to do it. Well, this week I was browsing around the Salvation Army for something else when I came upon 3 exterior light fixtures! Two of them were identical and the other one was a close match. I snatched them up and was thrilled to find out they only wanted $2.50 each for these babies:
Isn't that awesome?! This is one of the twin/matching lights. Well, I had plans for these things. Sure, the white and brass was an improvement over what we had, but I thought I could improve on them. Meet my new friend, Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint:
It's great stuff if you ask me. I've used it on a few door knobs and a chandelier that I'll show you soon. This afternoon while the babies napped and the older kids were in school, I got busy washing down that fixture and taking it apart. Then I covered all the metal parts with a few coats of paint, let it dry, and installed it. (It was soooo easy to install!)
And now, here is one of our new exterior lights

The is the one next to the front door - so it's the odd one, but looked very similar to the others (white with brass). I think it looks much classier now, don't you? I just need to find some exterior house paint to touch up around the corners.

So, for less than $10, I'm going to have new looking light fixtures. =) I'm happy about that, especially since I stare right at this light fixture from the window across from my kitchen sink.

Another before:

And After:


Momma Miles said...

Love it! Isn't spray paint the best?! I don't know why you don't love the blue, it's so... peaceful or vomit- inducing depending on when you were born.

Timber said...

Yay for fixing up the house! We always had big ideas of how we were going to update our house in nashville, but almost none of the fixes ever actually happened :P Way to go!