Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Before + After

As I mentioned, Lord Forbes has been hard at work around the house lately.  We are preparing for a houseful of guests in May!  Of course it's not all for them.  I like having a pretty house even if nobody is coming to visit. 

First on the to-do list: Clean that awful orange spray paint off the driveway!
Back in November, Lord Forbes received his National Board Certification for teaching and we congratulated him with bright letters painted on the driveway.  I mistakenly thought the paint was chalk spray...turns out it was paint.  At least it is water-based and wears off eventually.  Our driveway still had orange letters on it when he pressure washed it a week ago! 

Not only were there orange letters on the driveway, but it was looking a little grubby in general.
You really don't need to know why Lord Forbes is laying on the driveway with a Krispy Kreme hanging above his head.  The photo is just meant to show you the color of the pavement.
Here is an awesome before + after shot to show you how much grub came up!

And After:
The driveway is so much brighter now!  It really makes a huge difference!
Price for project $40 + I am expecting an increased water bill. 

This project would have been free had we not run into a snafu.  We borrowed a great pressure washer from a friend and minutes before Lord Forbes was finished with the the driveway, deck and porch the hose burst.  Of course we replaced the hose for the bringing this project to $40.  Hey it was worth it!

We also laid new mulch in our front bed and side bed (to the right in this photo).  We purchased cedar mulch this year which is lighter in color than last year's but was on sale for $1.80 a bag.  We bought 6 bags and needed 6 more.  The second time they were a little more expensive, so overall we spent about $40.
Bringing the projects inside, Mr. Kummerow hung curtains for me in the dining room and installed a new ceiling fan.  It is amazing what these two very inexpensive additions can do to the overall look of a room.

Unfortunately I do not have a before view of the old ceiling fan, so just trust me when I saw it was awful.  But here is the new one:
The wood matches the dark stain on the coffee table and dining room table, while the light fixture matches the one we installed in the kitchen over Christmas.
The shape is also similar to the new entry light (way in the background above) and is repeated in the shape of our dining room chandelier to pull the two rooms together. 
All 3 lights can be seen above, but only just barely.

I couldn't find very many photos of the before of our dining room.  I really don't like the way the sliding glass doors look so they were never in the background of any photos.  In these photos they were captured only by accident!
(Note the gross deck in the background above.  That will soon be much different as well!)
I have two photos that really capture the doors.  The first one is from when we first moved into the house 2 1/2 years ago.  Since then we have replaced the table and shelves to darker and more modern furniture.
Don't worry, all that beautiful, fresh sunlight still fills the room!  The darker colors just add warmth!

This second photo demonstrates our need for curtains on these doors.  The back of the house faces west so in the afternoons the sun streams through the glass.  In the summer it can make the house mighty hot!  Check out our quick fix last summer!
Beach towels!  Ha ha ha!

So finally, we hung a curtain rod and found a pair of panels to fit our style and taste. 
I am not a huge fan of paint, so these curtains add color and warmth to the room without having to change color of our walls.  The vibrant colors compliment the new chandelier and the dark wood table and shelf.  Here is a better photo of the chandelier we purchased with Christmas money:

It is hard to see, but the curtain rod has a pretty little bird on either side.  I really like the whimsical touch.

Now, I'm not 100% sold on these curtains.  I have a more "floral" theme going on and while these compliment the floral accents, I feel their Indian flare might not exactly match.  I'm letting them grow on me, though.  They were a bargain at World Market and also the second pair of curtains I have hung and then decided I didn't like- so Lord Forbes is hesitant to return them.  He thinks I will never be satisfied.  The ones I really like are here and way too expensive!)
We moved the rug that used to sit under the dining room table back into the living room.  The colors compliment one another, but side-by-side they were clashing.
My inspiration piece for this whole room is the lamp shade you see in the foreground of the above photo.  Now I just have to determine if those curtains really go with the overall look of the two rooms.  Where are the HGTV experts when you need one?

The total cost for the curtains and ceiling fan (curtain rod and fan purchased from Lowe's) is less than $200!  Those two simple changes make a world of difference in these rooms, however.  I think it is well worth the investment!

On my wish list as we continue to slowly decorate our home include a big red (or black) chair and ottoman for the corner where the guitar is currently.  Also, I would like to purchase new rugs and couch pillows.  Rugs are so expensive, those will take a really long time!  But the couch pillows I may be able to pull off this summer.  The ones we have now I have had since my apartment days.  They don't exactly match the house decor. 

Last but not least is my office reorganization.  Before we had all the desks lined up against the back wall taking up every inch of wall space in the office.  Good for the office, not good if you are going to add a blow-up mattress to the room.
The closet was being used as storage for Girls on the Run, so I moved everything out and into the garage and utilized the closet in a different way.
And moved my work desk and file cabinets to the back wall.
So when our guests arrive, we will be able to use the other corner for a large air mattress.
The cost on this project: just some elbow grease and muscle.

So far so good.  The house is finally starting to come together and feel like a home! 

Tell me what you think of the curtains.  Should they stay or should they go?

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