The Laundry Nook

Friday, September 22, 2017

Since the laundry room is the closest thing to being finished, I decided to share a little bit of that story.

In the beginning, there was paneling...

I dug deep into the archives for some of these photos.

This is my bedroom when I first moved into the house in 2010.  Note the pass-through from the kitchen and the orangey-brown oak paneling.  See that little bump out thing with the round 1970s semi-flushmount light fixture?  That's what I've called "the nook" for years.  "The nook" is now my laundry room.  Let's experience its journey together, shall we?

This was the bedroom when I first moved in.  The first projects I completed in this house included hanging a door between the nook and the bedroom and walling up the pass-through.  I like a midnight snack as much as anyone, but I definitely didn't need someone to be able to literally hand me the snack without my ever leaving the bed.

Once the pass-through was walled off, the paneling was painted a pale, key lime green.  You can see the reflection of the nook in the mirror.  I changed the light fixture eventually, but the nook remained largely untouched between 2010 and 2016 when I moved back into the Cammack cottage.

In 2016, however, I got my rear into gear.  Part of the deal I struck with my parents was that I would move back into the house and buy it, but we had to structure the deal so that I would be able to make some key changes that would improve my quality of life and the functionality of the house.  Namely, I needed central heat and air, hardwoods in the master bedroom (my asthma had gotten noticeably worse since college and carpet aggravated it), and I needed the kitchen remodeled, which included walling off the nook to create a laundry room and pantry.

Once again, my mother found a contractor through unknown means (remember last time?).  This one built me a wall.  Together with a plumber, they installed the correct hookups for my washer and dryer waaaaay back in January.

Add one washer/dryer combo (because they used to be in my kitchen, they had to be tiny) and one wire storage rack and we've got ourselves a laundry nook!

Fast forward to this week and the floor has been replaced with the same tile that is in the kitchen (so you're going to get a sneak peek of that now) and my new, larger washer and dryer have been installed as well.  They're kind of bigger than I was expecting, but I'm looking forward to being able to wash all the things, like comforters and slipcovers, with ease!

Also, can we talk about how front-loading washers are all left-hinged?  Come on, Whirlpool, let a girl special order a right-hinged washer!  She'd pay extra, she promises!  I'm going see if my contractor can move the washer and dryer to the other wall (he forgot to install quarter round and the baseboards need to be painted, so he has to move it anyway), but it depends on how much I hate seeing the dryer vent as to whether or not it will stay there.

I am waiting to put the pantry back in because there are issues with the grout.  What kind of issues?  Well, my contractor thinks is something called efflorescence, which is basically a process where the minerals in the grout are brought to the surface by moisture and when the moisture evaporates, the minerals remain.  He claims a little acid will resolve the issue, but I remain unconvinced. I guess we'll wait and see.  Honestly, the splotchy grout is the least of my problems, but it is one piece of this renovation nightmare.

In addition to the awful looking grout, do you spy one other mishap?


How about now?  That random tile that is a different color?  Not cool.  It's going to be replaced.

But back to that grout.  Have any of you experienced efflorescence before?  Did it look like this?  What was the solution?  I seriously do want to hear all about it!  Tell me yours looked this bad and that the fix was easy peasy.  Please?

Oh Hey!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's been a minute, hasn't it? So remember that house I was renovating this time last year? Yeah, I sold it and moved back into the original bungalow, which I'm thinking more of as a cottage these days, but whatever. The reason for the sale and move was a good thing - I got a fantastic new job back in Arkansas!

So I'm now less than a month away from my first anniversary at my new job and well into a major renovation of Bungalow #1 (I'm probably going to start calling it a cottage - don't be scared). Remember this post I wrote seven years ago? (Side note - scrolling back through 7 years of posts makes for a very cringy experience but hey, I was still figuring out what I wanted to write about and to be honest, I still am. This blog is basically my diary, and reading your old diary is always cringy, right?) Anyway, in that post, I laid out my long term plans for this house. As a recap, those plans included:
  1. Wall off the study nook in my master bedroom to create a laundry room/pantry.
  2. Get central heat and air and patch the wood floors where the old floor furnaces were in the living room and master bedroom.
  3. Install hardwood floors in the master bedroom.
  4. Install new cabinets and countertops in the kitchen. 
  5. Install new flooring that matches in the kitchen and pantry.
Well, y'all, I'm doing all that and then some right this very minute. I was planning on writing a single blog post on the renovation once it was all done, but so much has happened (read: gone wrong) that I am going to stretch it into several posts to address everything fully. Like with my last kitchen renovation, I will also talk numbers at some point. This kitchen has been more expensive and more complicated than my Florida kitchen because even though it is smaller, it needed more work.

What kind of work, you ask? Well, the biggest thing was that my ceiling fell down. Like, for real. I have pictures. Also, I moved a lot more plumbing and electrical this time as part of moving the washer and dryer into the new laundry room. 

Oh, and I moved a doorway because I'm stubborn and picky, and it ended up causing a minor disaster with the cabinets. We actually just discovered the issue with the cabinets this morning, so there's definitely a lot more to come about this renovation. 

Buckle up, pals. This reno just got bumpy. 

Florida Living (Room)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Thanks to one of my sweet friends asking me how my house was coming (but not in a nagging way, just a sweetly curious way), I was motivated to FINALLY finish up my living room so I would have an answer for her!

For the first few months, it was kind of a mess.  Seriously... I can't believe I'm about to show this, but...

Up until this weekend, my living room looked like this.  For months.  Including that time two friends from work stopped by when the plumber ran late and I couldn't make our lunch date.  Eeek!  So unacceptable.  So messy!  But real talk - sometimes life gets in the way when you move (and sometimes when you don't) and your living room looks like this.  When it starts to stress you out, though, it's time to take off the blinders and deal with it.

So, two weekends ago, I took my too many, too oversized sofa pillows to Goodwill.  I don't miss them.  I had way too many because I was worried my sofas would look empty with just two or three pillows on them.  Of course, with so many throw pillows, you could hardly sit on the actual sofas, and they just ended up on the floor.  And then my couches really were empty!  I swapped them out with these:

and my personal favorite (because tassels! and a camel!)

So much better!

Then this weekend, I got a trash bag and threw away the vast majority of the crap on the table - old mail, part of a light kit left over from repairing the ceiling fan, a copy of The Bluebook...  Ok, that last one, I put in the bookcase.  What if I suddenly have to brief to the Supreme Court?  Obviously, I won't have time to order a new one!

Sort of off topic, but Charlie Daniels, the fiddle leaf fig who you may remember from Instagram, is still clinging to life. He's been on my front porch since I moved and was better off for it. So I brought him inside to kill him slowly and properly in the random niche.  His twin is still soaking up the sun on the patio, though, and I'm sure will be avenging his brother's death in due time. Coming to theaters Memorial Day 2017 - The Black Thumb Part II: Revenge of the Tree Twin.

Ok, back on topic.  Next job? New sofa covers.  The ones that were on there photographed decently, but up close? Nasty.  I love my dogs but their little feet, coupled with the nastiness of a moving truck, meant they just weren't salvageable.  I had the Blekinge white covers for my trusty Ektorp sofas.  They're kind of awesome.  Unfortunately, those covers were discontinued like two years ago.  Because I'm a planner, though, I had a spare set stored under my sofa.  Yusssss.  However, using my spares and tossing my old ones meant - gasp - no more spares.  And I ended up not being smart and having a spare ottoman cover.  Since that's where the girls love to hang out, that was the nastiest.  A trip to Ikea was in order.

Fortunately, Ikea didn't leave us white sofa lovers out in the cold.  Their Vittaryd white covers are a pretty decent match, though they're annoyingly expensive.  The ottoman cover cost $49 - I used to be able to get an entire sofa cover for that price!  Still, white furniture + dogs who are, you know, dogs, means spares were required.  Oh well.

After decluttering, swapping the pillows and the covers, and waiting for some halfway decent light...

[The ottoman and sofa really do look like the same color in person. Not sure what's going on here.]

And then the same thing happened that usually happens - things devolved into a puppy photoshoot.  So I leave you with this:

Winnie says if you're ever in St. Pete, come visit.  She might even let you sit on her sofa.