Wednesday, December 4, 2013

That's ADoorAble.

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Back when I first bought my house in 2008, there were a number of things that I didn't quite care for about the joint. For instance the abundance of faux-wood paneling, because if you're going to fake it. Fake wood. 

Ew.

Clearly the house is a far cry from what it was before...



The faux paneling has either been replaced with bead board or just repainted with white to make it fresher, and more modern. Heck even some of the doors have been updated!

Still crushing on my blue-gray front door. So classy...



And the front entry closet... okay well only closet, got a nice white a couple of years ago.


However... most of the doors and the jambs have remained the same faux wood style. Same as the day I moved in.

It's ugly.


However this crap is hard to paint. This is two coats of white semi-gloss (even after primer) and it's sort of like painting plastic.


It just classes so obviously with the upgrades I've made throughout the house. For instance here's the secondary bedrooms with their original ghetto doors.


I really think it looks odd. All the other trim, ceiling, cabinets, counters, and walls have been updated with neutral modern colors. Except for the doors. The reason? Well. Largely because the individuals that owned the house before me covered each of the doors in contact paper. Seriously. Like the kind you put on your shelves to line them. Why you ask?

To cover gigantic holes. Indeed. Lovely! I'm pretty sure the door on the right in the above picture is the only one that did not receive this particular, er, treatment. I know for sure there is one door that I will probably have to replace.

I would love to get pretty paneled doors for the entire house, and it wouldn't be horribly expensive, but one thing I have learned with home ownership is to make sure you can get a return on your investment and if (such as in my case) you can't, at least don't over spend.

Here's what I'm thinking:

{photo found via google search. I couldn't find original source.}

I absolutely loveeee how my front door turned out with doing a darker color on the inside. I think that I want to continue that on the bedroom doors. Doing a darker color on the living room facing side, and a white on the bedroom facing sides of the doors. Depending on the damage. I think it would add a lot of character!

My father would probably disagree, good thing he has accepted the fact that I am far trendier than he. Plus he lives a few states away. (Hi, Dad!)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Office Progress

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Wow! It has been awhile since I have posted any updates! My deepest apologies. Teaching is a marvelous profession but it is also time consuming, strenuous, and hectic. But holy crap I love my job! I feel like I have found the profession to which my heart belongs and I have extremely grateful for it.

 However I am still in the process of figuring out the balance between the demands of a personal life, and the demands of a burgeoning career. Unfortunately that means blogging and DIY has fallen down the list with sleep and work rising above the rest. Have I mentioned though that I love my job?

Anyways!

Since a couple of months ago I haven't had any roommates except for my sister, which I don't really know counts. So I've been working on turning the third bedroom into an office/guest room space. 

Here's what we've got so far:


I freshened up the stripes and repainted quite a few of them. With my Dad's assistance we were able to replace some of the damaged trim and drywall pieces, years of roommates  had caused a few to be sacrificed along the way.

Eventually I am hoping my desk will go along this side wall. I'm still stuck between moving the one from my room in there or building one.


Yeah. I know. Remarkably unimpressive. Here's another one of those doors that I want to finish off and make prettier before the holiday season. I want to paint the inside of the door white to match all the trim and make it lovely. This is one of the only doors that the previous owners did not cover with shelf-lining contact paper. So it will probably be the only one easy enough to paint.


I'm also going to upgrade all the door handles when I get to doing the doors. These rooms came with keyed entry handles. But no keys. It's been a real problem before. Plus some of them are busted, again from hard use with roommates. 



The Guest Room/Office To-Do List:


  • paint the door
  • replace the handle
  • finish painting the trim
  • get a bed frame 
  • buy more pillows 
  • move/build desk for computer and grading
  • organize random crap
  • hang some desperately needed wall art. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Really, I'm Not a Fan.

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Happy Friday! I'm so glad that it is finally Friday! I love this day. I still have to work both jobs today but! It is Friday of our homecoming week. Kids are crazy for this homecoming stuff. 

For real.

Anyways! One thing that has always struck me as odd at my house is the fact that the previous owners installed only ONE ceiling light in the entire living room/dining room space. That particular ceiling light being a ceiling fan over the dining table. Let's get real here bro.

That's ah-nastah. (nasty)

Here's the view from the front door.


I couldn't be going around with that anymore. About 4 years ago I spray painted the original gold ceiling fan to make it passable until I had the money and the desire to replace it. Since I've upgraded the kitchen, the barstools, the entertainment center, the cardenza, the wall color, and the wall art, it only seemed fitting that I ought to finally fix the light.

I found this beauty on clearance at Lowe's for $129.00 down from $259.00. I mean that is definitely a good price for a 9 light chandelier but as an employee I was able to get it for $65.00. Sliding into home base with a steal!




Here is a final parting view of the ceiling fan, I got rid of it in true trailer style. Free sign on the corner! It was only out there for about five minutes. Nice right?


This dude came with SOOOO MUCH packaging it was insane. But I love the oil rubbed bronze look, and it really connects with the kitchen quite beautifully.


I had to paint that funny chunk around the light hole. Let's just say taking this sucker down and putting him up was not easy, I read the directions but they were remarkable unclear about all the wires and the cords and the chains and all that noise.


After several hours, my trusty assistant, Lucy, and I completed the task of hanging and swagging this beautiful light over. It was hard! But dang it looks sooooo good.



Here it is again!


Okay one more close up! I still have to fix the cords but it looks so awesome. I love it.


I love clearance! Especially since I get such a good deal on stuff working at Lowe's, working two jobs might be hard but it can be worth it!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Changing Perspectives

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My biggest complaint about living in my neighborhood is often the fact that my neighbors don't care for their homes the same way that I do, or even really that they care at all. The neighbors who back up to my house are very nice people and work very hard but they don't spend much time on their yard or exterior. Expect for painting it like a pumpkin.

Here's the view out of my dining room window:


Glorious isn't it? And of course they built this gigantic shed so if you look a little to the right...


Lucy is a pro photo bomber.

 A few years ago my parents bought me some exterior blinds, which were honestly the easiest things to install. My grandpa also bought me a ladder! He felt like standing on a bar stool to do installations was a bad idea. Live dangerously grandpa, live dangerously.


Notice that gigantic tree in the back ground? That has to be chainsawed down. Boo.


They don't look half bad either. I'm contemplating getting another small one for the kitchen window and for my bathroom window also.


Here's the view from inside! It helps to cut down on some of the hot sun that pounds into that window which has kept the house cooler during the summer, plus it lets me open my curtains which hasn't happened in awhile.


You can still see through the blinds but there is way less pumpkin trailer impact on the eyeballs. It's pretty awesome and I'm very excited that I finally put them up. Hate to rush things you know.


I've finally gotten into the swing of working two jobs and managing my time better. I'm hoping to find a better balance between work and play because holymolycrapoly I absolutely love being a teacher. There's hard days but it has been so impressively rewarding I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thank you everyone for bearing with me. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

It is an Office-al Start.

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I've officially been teaching about a month now, which is very exciting! I love my job and my school, plus I've got some great students that always rise to the occasion. I told everyone a couple months back that I was going to be working on creating an office/guest room combination.

Check out my mad progress!


Okay so I haven't done anything but put a rug in there. Partly because I was looking closer at my lovely stripes and realized that they have been so thoroughly abused by roommates that I really can't save them (painting stripes is a crazy amount of work so I was contemplating not doing them but.. alas.) 

I am going to be doing stripes again and I've been contemplating a few different selections:


I love the bold white and grey colors. I think I may even have some grey that I could reuse from previous projects. And if not... I mean I do work at Lowe's after all!


I also like the greige tones of this one. I sort of wonder though if that would be too much like what is in the living room? I wouldn't want them to look that close. It's nice to have some difference in the rooms.

What we want to do (by "we" I mean my sister and I, but mostly me) is set up a double desk along the window side of the room. We're thinking maybe something that has a similar look as this:


We think using filing cabinets that are redone all pretty and some wood on top would look awesome. But we have to incorporate a bed somehow, so here's some ideas:


I really like that the bed is on the opposite wall, obviously the space is a bit different but I like what they did. I would have to have a queen size bed because my dad is 6'3" and my brother is 6'1" so there is no possible way they  would fit on an adorable day bed. 

Damn it.


If you follow me on Pinterest you may see that I've been pinning like crazy a bunch of different types of office and guest room ideas. Feel free to tell me how you decided to set up your space. What do guests even need in a guest room? Should I get a set of towels to keep exclusively in there? Toothbrushes? 

Here's one last look at the current room:


(omit the desk and tv stand, those aren't in there anymore, I sold the desk and moved the tv to Ally's room)



Hopefully I can make this a warm comfortable space for family and friends who come to visit!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let There Be Light!

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My dear lovely reader and blogger friends! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get a post together for you, but this time there are happy reasons for my slacking. I am pleased to announce that I received a full-time teaching position at a local high school! I teach 10th grade English and I love it! However I only got hired about a week and a half before school started, which was August 12th for us this year.

It was a mad scramble for paperwork turn in, get to the training days, set up a classroom, and start planning stuff for kids to learn. All while working 20 to 30 hours still at Lowe's, taking care of a house, and being a single puppy mama.

It's been crazy. 

But awesome! Hopefully I will be able to share my classroom photos with you but! In the meantime I do have a curb appeal post for you that's some real detrashing the hood action!



Please meet my exterior light, Creepy Cobweb Light:


I've had that light since I bought the house back in 2008 but it is not a good mix for my house. It is stuffed full of cobwebs and the top was so close to the awning thing that you couldn't change the bulb. It wasn't bright either, so safety was something that definitely concerned me.

Since I work at Lowe's I get a discount on items in the store, even clearance items! Of course I also work with people, like my lovely friend Cory. Cory gave me these lights that he had gotten on clearance for $5.00 but was never going to use. Check out how cool they are!


It is sooooo bright too! It lights up the entire porch at night which is great!


It upgrades the entire look of the place, giving it a more modern feel and making the entry area so much prettier and more "me." Which I of course love. A lot.



Here's a snapshot of the overall effect. My flowers are looking awesome also, I loveeeee the sweet potato vines. That's happening every year from now on. Definitely.


Total project investment: $0.00

That's a budget even my dad could love!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Trailerhood Curb Appeal

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I'm still working hard on fixing up my trailer in order to get some serious "detrashing" done. We've really made some progress so far. If you're just joining our mission check out where we started by going herehere, and here. The overall mission is to embrace the trailer. Can I get some "whooosaaahhhs?" 

Anyways! One of the biggest things that makes a trailerhood a trailer park is the fact that traditionally the exterior care of a home is lacking. Like severely. So that's what we've been working on here.


Every year I set aside about $50.00 to spend on flowers (no more than that because annuals die.) But check out the difference some well placed potted plants make when you're walking up the front steps. I bought all of my plants at a local nursery called Bookcliff Gardens. Those are sweet potato vines and spreading petunias. I think. I am not a flower expert. They were pretty. 


Last time I talked about taking the time to repaint your porch and anything else. Check it out. No peeling paint. Makes a difference. Want to see the before again? Look in the bottom left hand corner...


And now:


Totally better!

Another way to help keep your trailer (or any home really) looking sparkly is to maintain flower beds. Don't let the weeds take over and make things all nasty. Also, ignore all the hoses, I don't have a sprinkler system, too much concrete separating each of the sections of grass. Not worth it. Another thing to do is to change out the mulch once it starts looking nasty. Too expensive you say? Well at Lowe's we tend to have it on sale 4 bags for $10. That's like $3.00 a bag. It's cheap.



Keep your outdoor furniture maintained. For me that means making sure the furniture on my front porch are spray painted thoroughly every couple of years (didn't have to this year, thank all things happy) and my bench outside. This year it needed a lot of work because most of the paint was peeling. But now it looks fresh and pretty!


Maintain your hedges and keep weeds from growing up along the chain link fences that are notorious in trailer parks. Don't have a weed eater or lawn mower? Believe me there is probably a nice elderly couple who is upset about how your yard looks that would let you use theirs, or heck even do it for you. Make friends.


If you have to store stuff outside put it in cute and clever storage containers. Don't pile your garbage outside, interior furniture should stay in the interior, no one wants to see that ugly couch outside.



Feel free to add any other tips or comments about lawn maintenance. What tricks have you learned during your home-ownership adventures that may help us out?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DeTrashing the Trailerhood: Strip it Down

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Part of de-trashing the trailerhood is focusing on keeping the exterior looking good. Let's face it, whether it's a stick built home, brick house, or mansion; peeling paint, destroyed furniture, and garbage never look good. At all. 

So keep it clean. That means more then just putting the trash in the can, though that is certainly a great step.


Here's what my front porch looks like all kinds of naked:


A few things that I need to do out here:
  • sweep off the carpeted part of the porch (though that carpet needs to be replaced badly)
  • wash off the patio furniture
  • get the cobwebs out from around the door and by the rafters
  • clean the deck 
  • scrap the peeling paint and repair (a Realtor told me that peeling paint ANYWHERE hinders your appraisal value)

Check out how dirty this is. Gross.




I just used soap and an old rag to scrub down the porch prior to painting, since paint and dirt never stick well together. Here's an example of where the porch is peeling paint:


I have had this same gallon of exterior white paint since the first year I lived in this house. It cost me $15.00 and I use a little bit of it every year repairing the damage from the winter season. I can't stress how important it is to do this type of maintenance every year. It adds value to the property of course, but it also makes you feel more invested.


It rained when I was trying to do my "after" pictures. I'm talking rolling thunder that shook the house rain (thankfully my paint was totally dry) so I'll be back soon with those also! But it is looking way better then it was!

Feel free to comment with any other tips and tricks you may have for de-trashing a trailerhood!


Oh, and just a side note update. The reason that this post was so late was because I lost out on another teaching job and was super duper sad about it. (I'm talking 6 pack and cookies while watching movies sad.) I've interviewed for three different teaching positions and haven't gotten any of them. :(  The secondary English market is pretty competitive where I am at, so I appreciate any prayers, finger crossing, rain dancing, etc. that something might open up for me here soon. It also means I may not get to have an office because subbing isn't enough to live on.