Priming and Scraping

Exterior prep work has begun! 

   
   
Just having the primer on is already such an improvement. Hopefully they finish up today and I can post completed after shots soon. 

   
    
   

Exterior Paint Decisions

Painters are coming next week (weather permitting), which means we had to give them our paint color choice for the exterior trim. Right now there’s a whole lot of brown going on. And not in a good way. 

   
   
   
   
The windows are scheduled to be replaced in early June, and they will be white. So a lot of the brown will disappear with the addition of the windows. For the rest of the trim, I was thinking dark gray. I even used Window World’s window mock-up tool to get an idea of how it would look:

  
I did the mock-up before we replaced the lights and removed the screen door so I added a new door just to see the look. 

I thought the mock-up looked good and now it was just time to pick the actual paint colors. I recruited my best helper and headed to Sherwin Williams. 

  

I have such a hard time picking paint colors. I always feel like my first pick is wrong, and I end up wasting money on paint before picking again. But this time there won’t be any second chance opportunities since we’re hiring painters and they’re getting the paint ASAP. Pressure!

So Mini B and I narrowed it down to three (all Sherwin Williams): Black Magic, Iron Ore, and Roycroft Pewter.  Truth be told her initial voice was a deep navy with purple undertones, but I had to veto that. 

   
 The gutters are staying as-is, so the color we pick just needs to have the same tone. I think all 3 would work fine with the existing gutters and downspouts. 

I decided to get test paints for the two lighter colors (Iron Ore and Roycroft Pewter) since Black Magic seemed too dark (side note: SW only sells quart-sized samples for $7, which is a little bit ridiculous. I now have a TON of extra paint).  I’m hoping that decision will be my only mistake in this whole picking-a-color process. In short, I should’ve gotten a sample of the Black Magic, but I’ll get to that. 

Mini B was thrilled to actually help me paint (she did all the Roycroft Pewter herself). 

   
    
 
As soon as Mini B started with the Roycroft Pewter I knew it was too light. It was barely different than the gray paint already circling the bottom of the house. 

I also wasn’t sold on the Iron Ore. It also seemed way too light.  Even after letting it dry, I knew we needed to go darker. 

   
 
All that work to lead me back to my initial gut choice: Sherwin Williams Black Magic. A little googling and I was able to find another brick ranch that used Black Magic on its garage:

 

Looks good to me. Mini B agreed and we let the painters know. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I’ll have after pics for you next week! 

Goodbye Screen Doors

Remember these monstrosities?

 
One screwdriver, a couple hours, and a few close calls later, and they’re gone!

   
   
Those beasts were HEAVY! As in I-was-a-complete-idiot-for-thinking-I-could-take-them-down-myself heavy. At one point I was convinced I was going to drop it on my foot and somehow drive myself to the hospital with a mass of crushed bones. No Bueno.  In the end I was able to get them off, but then I had to leave them for Mr. Bunches to haul to the curb.  Especially the front door because it was so much bigger.  This was as far as I was able to move it:

  
The removal of just those doors has already brought the curb appeal up. With some paint on the trim and new windows, then we’ll really be rocking.  Stay tuned!

  

Lighting Update

Thank you to everyone who chimed in with their two cents on my lighting conundrum. The good news is that the lighting decisions have all been made and everything’s been installed! Of course, there were quite a few departures from my original post.  But first, how about the ones that we stuck with, the outdoor lights:

   
  
And now the rest . . . All different from what I had originally posted about, but sometimes that’s just what happens. First, the kitchen pendant. I decided to buy the West Elm globe pendant but when I tried to get it online, I found out it was back-ordered until June! Womp, womp.  But the good news is I found this one on Amazon for much cheaper ($47.99 instead of $99):

  

  
  

And then the sunroom. Also a last minute Amazon purchase:

  

 
For the entryway I decided to go, as planned, with the World Market pendant. But, once it arrived, I had to finally admit that it was too big. So a last minute trip to Home Depot led me to this beauty:

  

  
In the dining room I just couldn’t make a decision. I wanted something a little funky/different but mainstream enough that most renters could get behind it. In the end I found this industrial barn light for only $29.99 at Home Depot and I think it fits the bill perfectly. 

  
  
I apologize for the picture quality, but taking pictures is an afterthought for me these days. I’m just trying to get as much done as I can each time I’m over there, and I always end up snapping a few photos on my way out and I’m always in a rush. 

We finally found some amazing electricians to install everything and also finish off all the work from the prior guys.  Our previous electricians did a poor job–they cut all the wires in the kitchen which led to almost nothing working in the rest of the house. Our new electricians, Dick and Rick (no joke), were able to finally sort it all out and installed new outlets and switches (all up to code) throughout the entire house. 
One trick I learned from Dick and Rick that I thought worth passing along: install the outlets that are operated by a switch upside down so that you can easily find them in a room.  Genius. 

  
The kitchen counters go in tomorrow and we’ve already got some appliances in.  Next big decision? Exterior trim paint. I’m thinking dark and moody–maybe something to tie into the dark bricks?

  
Think on that and let me know .  . . I’ll post some inspiration photos soon and a little mock-up I did. 

Baby Bunches: 8, 9, 10 Months

As a second child myself I vowed to take as many pictures of Baby Bunches as I did of Mini Bunches (there are literally only 8 pictures of me from birth to age 18 and I wanted to spare Baby B that same disappointment).  And I was doing a decent job of it, especially with the monthly shots. But then the 8-month mark hit and I didn’t have the onesie made, and we were traveling, yada, yada, yada. And then here we are. He’s almost a year old and I’m playing catch up. Such is life. At least I got back on track for month 9.

   
   
Such a good-natured kid. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year.  

He’s getting harder to take pictures of–he’s always on the go and as soon as I pick up my phone or camera, then it’s all he wants. Good thing we only have one monthly left (and yes–there is an 11-month shot, but who knows when I’ll get it done).

Some other shots from his 10-month shoot:

   
    
  

And from his 9-month:  
    
    
 
I could just eat. Him. Up. 

Future Astronauts

We didn’t know exactly when we wanted to make this announcement, but given Sir Branson’s recent christening, we finally decided it was time. You see, we’ve been saving for years in order to give our kids the ultimate life experience: space travel. And now we’ve finally heard from Virgin Galactic and it’s official! Mini B and Baby B are going to be two of the first commercial astronauts!!

  
We’ve taken out second mortgages on our properties and sunk all our savings into their $250,000 tickets, but it will all be worth it 15 years from now when they board the USS Unity and head off on the biggest adventure of the 21st century. 

   
 
So there it is–our secret’s out of the bag. Phew. 

Oh, and one more thing: HAPPY APRIL FOOL’s DAY!!!!

But can you believe that some people really have already spent $250k on this?! 

Lighting Help!!

I need help making some lighting decisions so I’m asking all of you for some opinions. We had electricians working on the house this weekend and they made some serious progress, but can’t get any further without lighting fixtures to install (they replaced every outlet with up-to-code child-safe ones and also put in new light switches everywhere).  And that’s where I need help: we need new light fixtures for the side entryway, the sunroom, the dining room, and a pendant for over the sink in the kitchen. 

We also needed new outdoor lighting, but Mr. Bunches and I bought some new fixtures this weekend (who knew Lowe’s would be open on Easter?). This light for the side entry door (it will be mostly hidden due to the awning; cost was ~$12):

  
And then two of these lights for $39.98 each right by the front door:

  
As a reminder, here’s what the exterior lights look like now. I especially like the upside-down one. 

  
The only lighting decision I’ve made so far has been for the bathroom, where we went with this fixture: 

  
Okay, so that leaves four more decisions. Oy. Here are my ideas, but I’m open to suggestions. 

For the entryway by the garage (the main way the future renters and homeowners will come and go daily), this light:

  
 
It’s the same light that YHL put in their upstairs hallway.  And I loved it when they did it two years ago, and I’m excited to have a place to use it. Now if only World Market could kindly put its lighting on sale in the next few days. 
Next, I’m thinking for the sunroom ceiling light of doing this for $79 plus shipping:

  
Or this farmhouse light for $43 (it’s 16″ wide and can be hung close to ceiling–it’s also available in some fun colors in addition to brushed steel or black):

  
Just a reminder of what the sunroom looks like:

  

So that leaves the kitchen and dining room. The kitchen has four new recessed lights so all it needs is a pendant over the sink. And even though I still owe a post on the kitchen cabinets, here’s a sneak peek just so you can picture where the light will go:

  

 I love this one, but maybe it’s too modern for what’s going on in the rest of the space? My new favorite blogger at Housetweaking used three in her kitchen. The small one is currently $89 but there’s a 20% off coupon code. 

  
Alternatively, I just did a quick google search on “clear glass pendant lights” and came up with this similar, albeit different but much cheaper, option:

  

Or something more traditional but still in glass to keep it from being too heavy-looking, for $50:

  
Or lastly (at least I think lastly, but seriously one Google search for mini pendant lights turns up about 1,836 options in our price range), we could go with one of the lights that we used in our own kitchen remodel (and which we still love 4 years later):

  
  
Can you see how badly I need help?! And we haven’t even gotten to the dining room yet. I think in the dining room we’re leaning away from a chandelier and instead towards some sort of flush mount (or at least something you can walk under). Mr. Bunches doesn’t like the idea of forcing it to be a dining room by hanging a low fixture for a table, especially now that we’ve opened up the kitchen.  So what do we do? Just a plain drum shade? Something more daring? I need ideas people!! Help!

I really wish I had the guts to do something like this in the dining room, but I doubt I do:

  
Image below from Dana Miller of house*tweaking:

  
Okay, so that’s it. All thoughts/opinions welcome. 

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