Tuesday, September 24, 2013

we've been busy

The living room ceiling, it has been painted. And boy howdy does it look better! The room feels so bright, clean and fresh. Next up in there: trim. 
Original beige ceiling. Blech.

Newly painted white ceiling. Yay!

We painted the master bath vanity. It helped lighten up that part of the room A LOT and it was a test run on how easy/hard it will be to paint the kitchen cabinetry when it's time. Turns out it's not that hard. We used Valspar Kitchen and Bath in Rocky Bluffs; it's one shade darker than the wall color (Filtered Shade). I will say that for the first few days afterward, I was NOT on board. I don't know what my problem was, really, but it has grown on me and now I love it. There's still a lot we'd like to do in there, like replace the counter, retile and paint the water closet, and do something with the mirror.
This photo was in the listing for the house and is the only one I have as a before.

Here's the after in indirect sunlight from the water closet on the left. 
You'll notice we didn't paint the kick plate. Doing so would've involved pulling the carpet to get a clean line and then trying to put the carpet back without issue. No thank you. We'll tackle that (and all the trim) when we replace the carpet with hardwoods.

Our front door has undergone quite a transformation. It has a fancy new coat of Valspar Peek-a-Boo Blue AND new vinyl house numbers. It makes me ridiculously happy every time we come and go. I also painted the light fixture and railings with brushed nickel spray paint to coordinate with the door hardware and mailbox.

Shortly after moving in. Yuck.

We replaced the door about a year ago. Much better.

Friday, August 9, 2013

what a difference a year makes

We moved in a year ago yesterday! When we were unpacking and settling in, we (erroneously) thought we'd live in the house for the first year before tackling any projects. Our thinking was that we needed to get the feel of the house and we didn't want to make any rash decisions. Well...that didn't really pan out. In the first year of Schil Haus, we have tackled over 30 projects, both big and small. Things like changing out the front door, installing a fence, painting four rooms, adding insulation in the attic, switching out light fixtures, removing carpet, putting in a dog door and replacing two kitchen windows. We also didn't do things, specifically, we seeded the front and side lawns and let 'em grow. Amazing what some sunlight and fertilizer can do! 

Our project list is alive and well, and we add/subtract things as we go. The first major project we want to accomplish is having a gas line run to the house. That would allow us to then upgrade to a gas stove, switch to a tankless water heater (thus freeing up valuable space in the laundry room), and maybe get a generator. We also want to replace the kitchen counters; the counter choice will dictate what color we paint the cabinetry and walls. I'd like to replace the granite counters with a recycled glass counter. Redoing the bathrooms will happen some day, too. 

Let me be clear: there's nothing wrong with either the kitchen or bathrooms. They're perfectly functional, but the tile colors/patterns just aren't anything I'd choose. They weren't deal breakers at all, and we can live them until the time is right to change them out.

Speaking of deal breakers, as an avid HGTV watcher, I always heavy sigh at home buyers that have a massive list of deal breakers and absolutes. Brian and I each had a list of deal breakers: I needed to have two bathrooms and central A/C, while Brian wanted structurally sound and in a safe neighborhood. We won the house jackpot!

Now, the first week we moved in vs today pictures.





















Tuesday, July 30, 2013

it's a lovely place to work

Say hello to the updated office! We spent the weekend painting the walls and refinishing/staining the hardwood floors. And hoooo boy, did that work make a difference in there.

About a month after we moved in, we tore out the carpet in the office, revealing original - but badly in need of love - hardwood floors. We lived with the bare wood floors for nearly a year, knowing that when we painted the room we'd tackle the floors, too. After a good cleaning and a light sanding, we applied one coat of Minwax Natural 209. Picture us doing the happy dance when it blended seamlessly with the floor in the hallway!

The walls are Rising Tide, from the same color card in this post. Depending on the time of day and the light coming in, it reads anywhere from pale blue to gray. 

The bookcase also got a fresh coat of color, Pantone's color of the year, Emerald. On one of our many visit's to Lowe's, I noticed the sample pots of paint and HAD TO HAVE SOME. At the time, I didn't know where I was going to use it, but that didn't matter. I needed to have that color in my house. I love how the bookcase pops right off the wall now.

I also used this as an excuse to reorganize my office supplies, magazines and crafting supplies. Go figure.

Brian and I share the office, so he needed to be represented, too. The mug on the right features the design he made for a Boy Scout event in 1985. The other two are from different places he was stationed.

There's still some work to do in there, however. We'd like to add crown, some quarter round to the base boards - just to nicely finish off the look - and of course paint all that trim. But those are projects for another day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

getting the beige out

Another painting project can be checked off: the living room. We used Valspar Ultra in Lighthouse Shadows and are in love it.

It's a nice soft blue with a touch of gray, which pairs really well with the orangey red oak floors. 

It's amazing how much brighter the room feels now, too. It feels clean and fresh and OURS.

We still need to paint the ceiling, which is the same beige the walls used to be. Thankfully this is the only room (and hall) that needs to have the ceiling redone. To help the crown stand out - and to keep us from having to redo all the ceilings so they're the same white - we're going to do a half-tint of the lightest color on the paint sample: 

Once that's done, we'll begin the daunting task of repainting all the trim in the house, room by room. I love the idea of crisp, white, glossy trim.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

when you know, you know

My entire world and focus shifted.

The trajectory of my life was forever changed.

Brian and I met five years ago today. Neither of us planned on being at the event, but we were. When I saw him across the plaza, everything and everyone else just faded away. I had to meet him. I had to know him.

We talked for two straight hours before exchanging numbers. I loved his smile and wanted to hear more of his laugh. The way my name sounded when he said it felt like home.

I was 98% sure he was My One later that day when we met for drinks. On our third date - two weeks later - I knew, without a doubt, he was My One and we would be together.

He makes me happier than I've ever been; I am the best version of myself when we're together. Our lives are so different from what they were five years ago, but we wouldn't change a thing.

Brian, thanks for letting me ask you about the bomb suit. I love you.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

recipe review: lamb with easy black mole

It's no secret that Brian and I love Mexican food; we have it at least three times a week. Brian loves to cook, and I'm getting more into it as well, so we're always looking for new recipes to try. One of our best impulse buys was the Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication, Mexican. We have tried five recipes so far and have LOVED each of them. Not only loved them, but in the month since buying the magazine, REPEATED them. Below is our favorite:

Lamb with Easy Black Mole

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1 T minced garlic (6 cloves)
Vegetable oil
1 T ground ancho chile pepper
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups chicken or beef broth 
1/3 adobo paste
3 T almond butter
Brown sugar
12 lamb loin chops, cut 1" thick
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1/4 cup crumbled queso frecso (1 oz)
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

For mole, in a large saucepan cook onion, garlic and 1/4 t salt in 1 T hot oil. Stir in ground ancho chile pepper and cocoa powder; cook for 1 minute. Add broth; bring just to boiling. Add adobo paste, almond butter and 2 t packed brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. If desired, season to taste with salt. (Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add additional broth if necessary).

Trim fat from lamb chops. Coat chops with 1 T oil; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. For a charcoal or gas grill, place chops on the grill rack directly over medium heat.* Cover and grill for 14 to 16 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees) or 17 to 20 minutes for medium (160 degrees), turning once halfway through grilling time. Transfer to a serving platter. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon mole over chops. Sprinkle with pepitas, queso fresco and cilantro.

*Lamb chops tend to be fatty and can cause flare-ups. If necessary, remove chops from the grill and mist the fire with water from a spray bottle. When the flames subside, return the chops to the grill.

Prep: 25 minutes
Grill: 14 minutes
Stand: 5 minutes

We use beef broth and add one chipotle along with the adobo paste. Once all the ingredients have been added, we use the immersion blender to really smooth everything out. This recipe makes enough mole to use for at least two more meals, such as grilled tri-tip or grilled chicken breasts.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"s" is for...

I've been wanting an "S" for the mantle or bookshelf for a while, but hadn't found the right one at the right price until a couple weekends ago.

I found this one at World Market for $8. The right size (between 6" to 10") but I hated the printed paper.

A couple coats of paint would help that, right? I used some white acrylic paint as a primer, and originally thought I'd make the final coat gray.

Unfortunately, the gray looked to flat and sad-faced, so two coats of black acrylic paint later and it's ready to hang on the wall.

The only thing to do now is find the right home. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

before and after: master bedroom

This post is long overdue, given that we did this over my birthday weekend at the end of March.

When we moved into the house, all the rooms were painted the stager's favorite: beige, or as I like to call it  BLEIGE, as in blech beige. This did not go with our gray bedding or give off the feel I wanted for the bedroom. I want our bedroom to be a quiet, calm place, cool and dark and quiet.

Before we got the paint up on the walls, we needed to address this weird little nook opposite my side of the bed. We had thought about taking out my dresser and putting in a "built-in" wardrobe that would allow me to have all my dresses and extensive handbag collection in the same room; at this point they were in the TV room and office respectively. But knowing that at some point down the road we'll be pulling out the carpet and replacing it with cork flooring I wasn't 100% sold on such a major purchase/project.

What Brian came up with instead is installing two shelves above my dresser to display my bags. And really, let's face it, that's what my priority really was. This option also allowed us to keep Joey's bed tucked into the corner practically out of sight.

The braces were painted the same color as the wall, Filtered Shade by Valspar. The shelves were painted Swiss Coffee*, also by Valspar. Here's how the rest of the room came out:

We painted the sink area but not the water closet (just to the left of the sinks) or our closet (to the right of the sinks).  We want to retile the WC with less bleige tile, and the closet...well we'll tackle that when we replace the flooring.

Hello, Ladies. This makes me so very happy.
A husband that will custom build shelves to hold your beloved Kate Spade handbags is most definitely a keeper.
Now our bedroom feels more ours, and has the feeling I was going for. I'm always on the lookout for a midcentury modern dresser for me that's more like the one we found via Craigslist for Brian, something with a little warmer tone to echo the headboard. I'd also love to replace our nightstands eventually, again with something with a more midcentury modern look.

*Slowly but surely all the trim in the house will be repainted Swiss Coffee, too. We used it on the front door trim and fireplace mantle we DIY'd.