Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Project Retrospective

2012 was a productive year, but blog activity has been light.  Much of our work this year has either been underneath the house in the crawlspace, on the roof, or drywall and other less romantic blog-worthy topics.  Having said that, we did make great progress this year.  The leaves are changing, so it tis the season to close the books and document the progress we've make thus far.

Living Room

In the living room we repainted, installed a new ceiling and finished the fireplace mantle.  After months of planning, we got the fireplace surround tile ordered from Motawi Tileworks and installed by Select Tile.  We're extremely pleased with how it turned out, and this room is really coming around.  There is still plenty of work to be completed.  We have to install the plate rail along the back wall, and we're still planning to install box beams on the ceiling in the living room/dining room.


In the kitchen, we got the tilework installed, including a special medallion over the cooktop area.  We're pretty happy with how it turned out.  We had hoped to make more progress in this area, but other areas of the house have taken priority this year.  There is plenty of work still to be done in this room, but it is very comfortable the way that it is.


2012 was largely about maintaining the garden that we've worked so hard to create over the past 5 years.  Maintenance on the property is no small chore.  I'm pretty sure we pulled at least a half ton of weeds this year.  We did finish planting the rain garden on the North side of the house, and I look forward to seeing the plants start to fill in during 2013.

The following are some pictures of the garden during the 2012 growing season:

Peach tree in bloom.

Sour Cherry tree showing off its full bloom potential.

The Dogwood tree blooms - the first sign of Spring.

The garden really grown in.

Our newly installed greenhouse.
Attic/Upstairs Master Suite

The space before we started. 
This year we really started to tear into our attic-1/2 floor upstairs space to start converting it into a master suite.  This space has always been low and claustrophobic because of the way they flattened the ceiling off at the peak.  To rectify the issue, we tore the ceiling out, divided the upstairs area with a set of french doors, and are slowly remodeling the area.  As of the writing of this post, the drywall guys are at work finishing up this job.  This is the first time that we've hired out drywall work, and that is in and of itself worth celebrating!!  (Really dislike drywall work)  Earlier this year, we installed an opening skylight on the roof to bring in much needed additional light and ventilation.  It is amazing how much that helped open up the space.  We will be installing a second one on the other end of the space sometime in the future. 

Dividing wall installed, and flattened ceiling removed.
The previous owners of the house REALLY liked Ivy and painted it on everything, and by everything we mean everything.  We even found ourself scraping Ivy off of painted windows.  We dream of the day when it is finally all gone!

Room after drywall and skylight installed.


What was previously the garage has now officially been promoted to workshop status.  To do so, we removed the 16' wide garage door, and installed a new set of french doors and windows to replace.  Our workshop is divided into two spaces - the first will eventually be a studio space for "clean" art work projects, such as painting, finishing, etc.  The second space that you enter through the first is our wood workshop.  In here we have lots of wood finishing tools that we have used extensively during our home remodel project.  In the long-term, we'd like for this outbuilding structure to somewhat match the style of our house.  It won't completely, because it has different windows, but we're hoping to install siding and paint it so that it matches better.   We also installed a brick patio in front of the workshop and built some raised beds in the area.

Before the ugly garage door was removed.

Installation of the patio we built from recycled brick.

Our library (formerly a bedroom in the house) was easily the ugliest room in the house, and potentially the ugliest room on the planet.  One quarter of the room was plaster, one quarter was drywall, and the other half was partially painted 1960s panelling.  It pains me just thinking about it.  This room was the victim of a terrible remodel job sometime in the 60s.  We determined that the room should be gutted since there just wasn't enough plaster to preserve.  That's exactly what we did this summer.  We also discovered that this room once had another window that had been removed.  We decided to reinstall the window to bring additional light into the space.  Thankfully we had a window that matched the house from when we installed the french doors in the kitchen.  This room is currently being drywalled, and we hope to have it primed and ready to go by the end of November 2012.  We built a drop-box from the ceiling to install custom built bookshelf cabinetry so that it will have a built-in look.

After all the walls were gutted.


Sharon Kwilter said...

A very productive year. Your yard is amazing!

Kurt said...

Thanks Sharon,
It's great to see it finally grown in.