Kitchen work continues

Remodeling an older home is never an easy task!  Andrew has had to figure out all the old wiring, that were in the walls, as well as the newer wiring done by previous owner.  Next, try to either relocated them to another spot or at least fix what was there.

A couple outlets had to be moved down on the kitchen side, an outlet that wasn't working had to be fixed on the dining room side, the kitchen light switch had to be moved down and rewired in a crazy way (down the half wall, under the walkway to the living room, up the wall by our fridge, and over the the light fixture), and the dining room light switch had to be relocated and rewired (from the half wall side to the other side of the walkway).

My dad has also been busy with getting the header looking nice and smooth again. Mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, etc till he gets the end result he is looking for.   
On the outside wall, the kitchen side of the wall and the dining room side of the wall were at different levels.  I guess the thickness of drywall was different, so that also posed as a challenge to somehow taper it off so it is not as noticeable and hope that the shelves I am putting there won't accentuate the problem.  With the wall there, who have known the difference....until someone had the crazy idea of taking that wall away!  Oh well.  It added to the character of an old home, right?

This is the tedious part, that always makes a project feel like it is taking forever!  Cutting open the wall, seemed to go so fast, because you get big results with each step.  Once we start painting, and installing the counter top, things will start coming together again quickly, and then you start feeling like you are really accomplishing something again.


Kitchen remodel has begun

Remember this post [here] where I talked about sometime in the future removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  I can say with excitement that it is finally happening!  My kitchen will not feel so small anymore and I will be able to see and talk to anyone sitting in the dining room.  I can not wait for it to be done!

We have decided to do this in several stages.  Stage 1 is opening the wall, installing a bar height counter, and some open shelving on the outside wall.  Stage 2 and maybe even 3 or 4 will be working on the rest of the kitchen cabinets and counter tops.

Here are the begining details of stage 1:
We emptied the cabinets and took them down

View from the dining room side

Drywall is down and they are working on the electrical (whatever was in the wall now has to go elsewhere).

We tried to cover things to keep the dust from covering it all, but everything was still covered in dust!  Oh well!  It's all part of having construction going on in the house, while trying to make it livable. :)

Things are looking nice and open already! (What you see hanging down on the half wall is our thermostat, which is currently being rewired and installed somewhere else.)

Another view from the other side.

The drywall and mud is covering the bottom of the header now and down the side.  Even though it will a bit yet before everything is done, this kind of gives you an idea of what the end will be.

The next few steps for completing this first stage of kitchen remodel are finishing the drywall, painting, installing a countertop on the raised half wall, and installing open shelving on the outside wall between the two windows.


DIY Roman Shades - No Sewing

I had the itch to do something creative around our house, as it has been a while, so I thought about areas in the house that could use some attention.  The one area that came to mind, was our front porch.  I really had not done much in there since we moved in and I have been meaning to do something with the windows or walls, but had not really settled on anything that I fell in love with.  But with the urge to do something again, I revisited the ideas, I had going in my head and decided to focus on the windows and what I can do to add a little more life and color to the space.

Here is what the room looked like when we bought the house (Sorry it doesn't give you a good view of the windows.  Some how I lost my 'before' picture I took of what the porch looked like right before I worked on it):

The walls are painted white and there are white mini blinds in the windows.  I had pinned several diy roman shade ideas on Pinterest that I wanted to try someday, so I figured why not try they out now, with the current mini blinds.  Romans shades is the best application for that space, as I have six windows all in a row and I didn't want any rods running the whole stretch, or curtain panels hanging all the way to the floor.  So, I looked through all the tutorials I pinned on Pinterest and decided on {this one} for this project.

Avery and I went off the the fabric store and spent some time looking at all the different colors and patterns they had to offer.  I wanted something that would fit well with the current color pallet I have in the house, while still giving me some flexibility of still working with any changes that I want to make in other areas in the house, in the future.

The fabric we ended up coming home with is a Sunbrella material which is suppose to not fade as fast. 

I wasted no time in taking down the blinds and getting started on them.  I cut the ladder cords, but saved the main pull cord.  I took off the bottom rail, so I could slide off the vanes I didn't need.  Put the bottom rail back on and retied the string at the proper length.  Then I switched my attention to the fabric.

I cut the main decorative fabric slightly bigger than the opening of my window.  Windows were 25"x45", so the fabric was cut to 28"x48".  The extra 1" or 1.5" is what is used to turn over on the other side.  Then I cut the lining fabric to the exact size of the window.  I glued the perimeter of the liner, with special fabric-tec glue, centered on to the back of the decorative fabric.  Then I folded over the edge on one side and glued it in place.  When I went to the opposite side, I made sure that when I turned it over as well, it would measure the 25" that I needed for my width of the window.  Next I folded over the top and glued it down.  Then did the bottom side, again making sure it measured the 45" that I needed.

After I let the glue sit for a little bit, I proceeded to glue the mini blind to the shade.  First starting with the head rail, then moving down with each vane, measuring each one as I went along.  Because I didn't have super tall windows, I only had 3 vanes that I glued along the blind.  Finally, I glued on the bottom rail.  One some of them I has to adjust the bottom rail a bit, as where I have tied the strings, it left them still a little long.  But that wasn't hard to do.

Last, but not least, I hung up my shades and smiled at how much more color they bring to the front porch.  Even Andrew, who doesn't like change, commented that it is so different now anytime he steps up in there!

Well, there you have it!  Super easy, no sewing, roman shades!  The most expensive part of the whole project was the cost of the fabric.  Even on sale, it still adds up quickly!

Have you tried these before?  How did yours turn out?  I would love to see them!