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Last week was very eventful, but not in a way we would like to repeat. I owe you a very overdue 5 month post but I am working through some technical difficulties. I will leave you instead with this picture of our smallest helper collecting water dripping from the ceiling last week.

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When we purchased the house last year, we knew that we wanted to open up the family room and kitchen.  Our house in Dallas had an open concept between these two rooms and it worked really well for our family.  I spend lots of time in the kitchen and with a very active toddler (and #2 on the way), we figured it only made sense for me to be able to see the kiddos playing while I was preparing meals.  In addition, I was able to be part of the action when we had guests and family over instead of being isolated in a different room.  We also wanted to be able to use our kitchen table which has been residing in our basement since last August.

In addition to knocking down the wall that separated the two rooms, we wanted to change the look of the family room.  The previous owners went for a southwest themed look which didn’t really make sense with the rest of our house (and didn’t fit in with our taste, either). Our family room included some distressed faux wood panelling, ceiling beams and built-ins sporting southwest style arches.  There was also very little natural light since the only window in the family room was a sliding glass door that opens onto a screened-in porch.  While we love the porch, we didn’t love what it did for the aesthetic of the room.  During the renovation, not only did we add natural light from the kitchen but we also added addition recessed lighting and a chandelier over the kitchen table to brighten up the room.  In order to get rid of the panelling, beams, and popcorn ceiling we had the room taken down to the studs and new walls built.  The entire process took just over four weeks and we are thrilled with the results.  Here are the before and after photos.  Sorry about the lighting…

View from the mudroom before:

View from the mudroom after:

Fireplace wall before:

Fireplace wall after:

View from the family room toward the kitchen before:

View from the family room toward the kitchen after:

Outside family room wall before:

Outside family room wall after:

And the other half of that wall before:

And after:

And finally, the view from the front door before:

View from the front door after:

What a difference!  We still have to hang pictures on the walls and are planning to add a console table behind the love seat for additional toy storage, but we are loving living in our new rooms!

*In case anyone is interested, the new paint color in the family room/kitchen is Benjamin Moore Baltic Grey and the trim is Benjamin Moore White Dove.

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For Tricia

A certain sister of mine has been begging me to share pictures of some of our house progress. This entry was written with her in mind.  For those of you who come here to catch a glimpse of my adorable 18 month old and learn what household chore he is enjoying most this week, stay tuned.  Those posts will return shortly and there may be a little something for you at the end of all of this house talk.

When we decided to buy this house we knew there were LOTS of improvements we wanted to make.  They ran the gamut from simple painting (if planning to paint EVERY room in your house can be considered simple) to knocking down walls, relocating banks of kitchen cabinets, and cutting doorways between rooms.

The first room we painted was the dining room.  Sadly, I cannot find a before picture to post but it was a rather unpleasant and flat shade of deep, dark red.  It clashed horribly with our dining room furniture and gave me indigestion.  I suppose the stomach upset could have been caused by the pregnancy, but I prefer to blame the paint color. 🙂  I started painting it during naptimes less than a month after we moved in and Keith finished it one Saturday afternoon.  We love the color it turned out, but it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned.  I was looking for something with a bit more green to it and this definitely reads more blue.  Unfortunately, the color doesn’t look great with the rug or chair upholstery, so we will be changing those out at some point, but lucky for us we have hardwoods throughout our house so we have lots of rooms that still need rugs.  I took this picture yesterday while Keith was taking down the chandelier.

Hi Keith!

The color doesn’t come through perfectly (with my photography skills, it never will!), but it gives you a general idea of the new color.

We don’t normally have chairs lining the walls but we moved them in order to move the table, in order to get to the chandelier.  Anywhoo…on to the chandelier.  Isn’t it lovely?  After we moved  I started looking for light fixtures to replace this gorgeous piece.  I couldn’t quite decide what I wanted and with so many other projects we are dying to undertake throughout the house, I decided to get a little crafty.  We bought a $5 can of Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint at Lowe’s and planned to give this baby a makeover.  Yesterday while Jacob was napping, Keith shut off the power, pulled down the light fixture and I prepared to paint.  Right before I started spraying we realized that spray painting may be somewhat hazardous to the littlest Nedell, so Keith decided to take over.  A few coats and a few hours later and we had this.

Again, not a completely accurate representation – the color is darker than shown here and the glare makes the picture pretty awful.  Here is another taken during the day with the light off.

Also a bad picture…are you starting to sense a trend here?

Since painting the dining room, we have tackled the nursery, the master bedroom, the front entryway and the upstairs hallway (thanks, Dave!).  Next on the painting agenda is the mudroom, then likely Jacob’s big boy room and a couple of bathrooms.  We are replacing the tub and re-tiling the surround in Jacob’s bathroom this week, and we are hoping to start knocking down some walls after the holidays.

Well, that’s all folks.   I hope you enjoyed this foray into our home improvement adventures, and for those of you who were waiting for that picture of Jacob, here it is.

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Little Painter

I have been testing out paint samples for various rooms in the house since the week we moved in.  On Thursday, Jacob decided he wanted to help out with the painting process so he commandeered my paint brush and got to work…

 

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All Moved In!

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We all made it to Connecticut safely and are in the process of settling in to our new home. We are still without Internet for a few more days but will hopefully be back to post (somewhat) regularly soon.

And in case you were wondering, yes we did poke some air holes in that box in the picture above.

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Sorry for the long post draught.  We spent last weekend in Connecticut looking at house after house after house (repeat that 37 more times), in an attempt to find our new home.  That’s right.  For those of you who do not already know we are leaving lovely, scenic Dallas and moving to Hartford, CT.  Technically Avon, CT.  Thankfully, our 39 home search was successful and we found a beautiful home on an acre of land so Bailey and all of her humans have plenty of space to roam.  Since our return I have been busy staying out of the house for random inspections and appraisals and have spent my few daily minutes of internet time on Pinterest looking for decorating inspiration for our new home.  

This is the best picture I could take on my phone since there is a wooded area between the road and the house.  When I backed up a little further, I got this

So yeah…the first picture was better, right? 

While Keith and I were searching for our new home, Jacob was spending quality time with his Grammy and Pepere.  I don’t know who was happier about that arrangement but I am told all three of them had a marvelous time playing and taking walks. 

Thanks Grammy and Pepere for taking such good care of Jacob so Keith and I could enjoy a two-day date…er…look at endless houses! 🙂

 

While we were in Connecticut, we spent some time trying to familiarize ourselves with the area.  In addition to eating at some local restaurants and visiting the church that is just around the corner from our new house, we took a couple of walks on the Farmington River Trail (part of a 26 mile series of running/biking trails that were created where the old railroad lines used to run through town).

Smart little guy likes to stay hydrated while exercising.

Jacob walked about a mile both days we visited the trail and wasn’t tired afterward.  I am starting to think that taking your kiddo on walks to tire him out actually backfires and only helps  improve his stamina.   

See, he had enough energy to do squats afterward 🙂

I had to include this shot because it absolutely cracks me up.  Jacob was fascinated the mirrored closet doors in our hotel room and spent a fair amount of time staring into them and kissing his reflection (looks like we need to have a chat about vanity).  I snapped this on my phone right after he asked me to put his shades on him.  I cannot wait to bust this picture out when we meet future girlfriends.  Oh, and for those of you wondering, yes he is wearing crocs over his pajamas. Hotel rooms are dirty! 

Jacob and I flew home on Monday.  Here he is in the airport after walking the terminal for an hour (another failed attempt to tire him out). 

Keith and the video camera will be flying home today so stay tuned…

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