Sunday, August 28, 2011

Front Yard Makeover

This weekend we got lots of work done! In the front yard, we put up new house numbers over our garage door and added shutters on our front kitchen window. It's looking a lot different (to us) than when we first bought the house.

Here's a photo from right before we closed on our house, in September 2009:

And here it is today, August 2011:
 The shutters, exterior lights, trellises for the clematises, and house numbers really make a difference for us. The shutters were surprisingly easy to install. We followed the directions and had them up in under 15 minutes. Super easy!

I have a four-day weekend for Labor Day next weekend, since my company gives us Friday off as well as Monday (awesome!). This means I have lots and lots of plans... we'll see how many get finished. Number one on the priority list, though, is painting the front door — the same dark green color as the shutters. We already bought the paint, so I'm all set! We originally had a screen door on the front door too, but it was damaged beyond repair in a big storm this spring. But once we took it off, we realized how ugly and in need of TLC the front door was.
It probably wouldn't hurt to upgrade our welcome mat, either!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Installing Our Last Door!

Here it is: our brand new guest room door!

Today we installed our last (new) door! We've been working on this project for over a year, starting with the bathroom door in early 2010. We still had two to go and were able to wrap them up over the last two weekends. Now our office and guest room also have matching six-panel white doors:

On the right, you can see the non-paneled door to our linen closet, which we painted last week after finally finding the correct paint color. We are planning to paint all of the similar closet doors to match instead of tearing them all out, since most of them are not in terrible shape, and it will save money over buying new ones. Here's what they currently look like (this is our kitchen pantry door):

Next, we'll be painting all of the trim white to match! I'm excited for this part (I like to paint stuff), especially since I think we will see a big impact for a low cost.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Fun

It's already starting to feel like fall--the last two days have been in the upper 70s instead of the 90s! But we're still wrapping up our super busy summer. We headed up to Rockford on July 23 for Art and Becky's wedding, where Adam reunited with the Posse:

Adam then went to Madison for a few days for a work-related seminar, while I hung out in Roscoe. After that, we headed up to Three Lakes, Wis., for some vacation time with his family. Now we're finally back home and not planning on traveling any time soon... this summer has worn us out. Luckily, other people seem to be traveling in our direction (Anne and Brian, Becky and Sam)!! Which is always super exciting. 

On the home improvement front, we've been stalled for some time due to travel and financial constraints. But now that we're back for a while--and since we've had a long break--we're excited to get started on some more projects. We have two more bedroom doors to install (we've been at this point for... approximately a year. Oops. See our first door installation here). We probably would have had them done by now, but when we went to Menards this weekend, they were sold out of the ones we needed! Instead, we spent last weekend buying paint that matches our existing doors so that we can make the trim the same color. We're also going to try painting some of the doors we don't want to replace: our linen closet, pantry, and entry closet doors.

We're using Pittsburg Paint for these, since that was the brand that the pre-painted doors came with. It matched wonderfully (even though it wasn't exactly the same), so we went with it. Seems to be working so far: 

We did prime before we painted, although we just went with a water-based primer... we decided that the doors weren't "real" wood (they're hollow and plywood-y feeling. Yes, that's the technical term.), so we just winged it with water-based primer, since it's soooo much easier to deal with. The bleed-through hasn't been bad so far (sometimes you can still see wood-colored stains through the paint, unless you use an oil-based product), so I am hoping that it will stay that way. I just finished the final coat of paint on that door, which is for the linen closet, so I am hoping we can put it up tomorrow and see how it looks!