Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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Scott and I have a certain...style. A lot of people like to decorate their homes with things that describe them. Some will seek out super low key chic items so that they can make themselves more comfortable in their space. Unfortunately, there aren't many blogs or magazines that show gorgeous living spaces with Spartan helmets from Halo or TARDIS cabinets hanging on the wall. We would like to be the exception to the rule.

I am a graphic artist, photographer, and model builder who enjoys science fiction, video games, and craft beer along with my husband (who is a computer programmer and developer). Rather than hiding all of our specialty pint glasses and comic books away, though, I have been striving for years to integrate the geek into the chic. I'd like to make our home a reflection of us, but still relatable enough to make our guests comfortable.

For example, when Scott first moved into the apartment that we're currently in, I made him a personal, yet fun, piece of art for his wall.

It's only made of our favorite movie quotes, but honestly, they're some of geekiest quotes you'll ever read. This wasn't as geek-tastic as the next thing I made for his apartment, though.

Yeah, he's a little STARK (pun totally intended. I'm really into puns, too). There is honestly a lot of things that show our true Star Wars, Dr. Who, Star Trek, video game lovin' colors.

A wooden statue of Bender the robot that I built with my father and brother.

My store all Weighted Companion Cube from Portal.

The Four My Little Ponies of the Apocalypse.

There is also my Evil Penguin. He is an interpretation of another favorite penguin or two, but he sits on my desk and makes sure I get things done.

We have a pretty extensive bar as well. It wasn't on purpose, it just grew. We started collecting pint glasses from a local restaurant (every Wednesday for a couple of years). Then we became the hub for a lot of hanging out between friends. Before we knew it, we became the drop off for bottles of odd liquor as well as the keeper of weird glassware. To accompany the collection, I decided that the red British phone booth cabinet from Hobby Lobby had to come home and help us out. But not without a coat of paint.

The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension in Space) is the space ship from Dr. Who with a broken chameleon circuit (That's why it's a phone booth, if you've ever wondered). The joke is that it's "bigger on the inside", which, in this case, really helps our storage issues. It hass all of our wine glass markers, bottle openers, and odds and ends.

With all this love of science fiction fandom seeping from our pores, we just couldn't keep it out of the wedding. The cakes that I designed as well as the cake toppers my father and I made really made it feel like Scott's and my wedding.

 Not to mention, the groom's cake was practically playable.

I guess the reason I wrote this up was a warning. Not everything we do is going to look like you can pick it up and put it in anyone elses house. This is going to be a blog about home decor and do-it-yourself shenanigans that will help us really live in our new home. That will occasionally be accompanied by some bad puns, terrible movie references, or horrible jokes. There might be a space invader right next to a soft gray sectional couch, or you might encounter a coffee table with some well used Xbox controllers on it.

Is your home set up like a geeky wonderland or have you hidden away your "shame"? Do you have a weird hobby that you love to display or an odd collection? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Inspector (of) Space Time!

I couldn't help myself with the title. If you aren't a fan of Community, it's one of our favorite references.

Anyway, aside from non-trademarked versions of Dr. Who, we have been watching something else today: our home inspectors findings on the new house!

It really wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be. He was there for 3 hours, during which he crawled through the crawl space and hoofed it on the roof. Thankfully, his findings were pretty much what we expected.

+Possible drainage issues in the backyard
+Ungrounded outlets in a couple of spots
+Bad ventilation in the attic to the outside

The worst parts were:
+Plumbing under the house was done with galvanized pipes, so it needs to be replaced.
+Roof is pretty old. Probably needs to be replaced in the next 3 years.

He also pointed out a couple of things that we might want to patch or fix, just to keep us from further problems later on.

+Fix the piece of wood that catches water above the outside door
+Replace some piping where there is some corrosion
+Fix under the kitchen sink where the pipes are attached "out of order" (more on that later)

So not too bad. There are a lot of things that he brought up, none of which really surprised us, so it actually went pretty smoothly. It also made us feel pretty good to hear him say that we had one fiiiine specimen of Bedford stone! Nothing like a nice compliment like that to really make you feel better about a big purchase.

Overall, I'd say we had a great inspector and we will definitely be able to use the information he gave us for our future upkeep of the place. 

The pest inspector was also there too at the same time. He poked and prodded through the house and was able to determine...NO termite damage! Huzzah! He was also able to show me holes in the cement floor of the garage where the foundation of the house had been treated, which made me feel even better.

He did have a few warnings himself, though. One of which was that, "In Kentucky, it's not 'if' you have termites, it's 'when'", which was then followed up by a short lecture on the amount of wood surrounding the home and how there is essentially a termite feast laying in wait. The seller enjoyed her flowerbeds, as you can see, but she contained all of them using wood, which wasn't a great idea (and they're everywhere, and they're huge).

So we are thinking that they, along with the possibly termites they may bring, must go. It will really open up the yard to have them gone, though, and I'm sure that the pups will really appreciate it.

The pest inspector also pointed out that the wood surrounding the paved patio area was also of no use and could also be taken out. That was made even more apparent when we discovered that the previous owner had actually cut a hole in the wood for drainage because the wood was higher than the patio itself. They shouldn't be too difficult to get rid of though (she says crossing her fingers).

Other then that, the inspectors said things were pretty hunky dory. We received the pest inspection report immediately following the inspection and we receive our home inspection report tomorrow. Of course, as I was walking around my possible future abode, I started seeing more things I'd like to do. One of which is get rid of the cat door to the garage so Samus doesn't get her head stuck in it (Or raccoons don' find their way in...either way).

Along those lines, getting rid of the peek windows might not be a bad idea, either. The girls love to bark. By girls, I mean Leela, the basset hound. Besides, the gates aren't hung correctly, so they act more as "wall with hole" then "usable gate mechanism".

Thankfully the other side still looks pretty good. It also has a fun stain pattern that we might carry out through the rest of our fencing.

Neat, right? It might be too much to do the entire yard, though.

What do you think? Have you had better or worse inspections then this? Let us know in the comments!

TEASER: Did I mention that the master bathroom has some mirrored medicine cabinets?

It makes the room feel a little bit like this, specifically at mark 1:20:

Stay classy, Lexington!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Come and Knock on Our Door

Three's company, too! Or, in this case, two's company. Scott doesn't seem to share my enthusiasm for the bright orange door. He thinks it's a little too bright.

As a reminder, this is what we're (possibly) working with.

Right now, the landscape and the door color have a lot in common. They are both hushed greens. This guy is a whisper compared to what I'd like to do to it.

Yesterday I put up a post with two options that I had seen that really caught my eye. Professor Orangy and Eric the Red.

I was immediately met with a "Not THAT color orange", which I thought was odd from my husband, who has roots in Tennessee (But don't worry, graduated from the good ol' UK). He apparently was thinking of something more like this.


A more burnt color. You know, "subtle". I say "blah" on 'subtle'! So today I put forth all KINDS of options for front doors! Check out all the different colors and see what YOU think!

 Mr. Dark Green

 Mrs. Ocean Blue

Miss Leafy Green

Captain Sunshine

And if that isn't enough for you, there are so many other colors that look great that I can't even begin to describe them!

What are you thinking? I'm still a fan of the orange, but so many of these are delicious. This post seriously looks a bit like a candy store! Let us know in the comments your thoughts: subtle and boring, or bright and fun!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Planning Possibilites

Well, It's T-minus four days till our inspector takes a look at our possible new abode. We're pretty stoked. In lieu of an improvement project, I figured I'd tell you more about the house and our plans that we're dreaming of one day being a reality. Sorry folks, this might be a long one.

Here is my rough sketch floor plan for what we'll be working with. When I say rough, I mean ROUGH. I haven't been able to really take any exact measurements yet, but the ratios are pretty accurate.

(The top of the image is the front yard, the bottom is the back)

First thing we'd like to tackle? The kitchen. It's not in bad shape actually.

The cabinets are in really good shape and the layout isn't too bad (Though I'd love to eventually move the stove to the peninsula), so we're going to save some money and work with what we've got.

I'm pulling inspiration from images like these.

I love how open these kitchens feel, but they still have a nice touch of modernism with the gray bottom cabinets. It makes it feel clean, yet cozy, and very user friendly. Scott is a big fan of having pendants over the peninsula (and I agree!) to give some additional light to the space. An issue that we are having to remember in this field of dreams that we've planted is that there is no direct sunlight into the kitchen due to the addition/ bonus room (which was built where the window USED to be).

That's why we're hoping that using a light gray on the bottom and having the white upper cabinets will open up the space a bit rather than closing it off with a darker color or wood grain. We also plan on eventually adding task lighting to help open up the workspace under the cabinets. We love to cook, so we are pretty excited about the possibilities here.

The PINK guest bathroom, which I keep calling Pinky Pie in my mind, is also something we'd like to make less offensive sooner rather than later. I've honestly considered painting it for the time being....as in, the wall and the wall tile, just to make it a little less.....eye-burny. It's a difficult room, to be sure. Remember this image?

Yeah, sorry to send you into claustrophobia without warning there. I'm actually standing on top of the tub to get the picture, so your eyes are not deceiving you; it's small. And Pink. After trying to Google Search small bathrooms, I realized that the general person's perspective on a small bathroom is that it's about the same size as the two we currently have in our apartment right now. I hate to burst their bubble, but they should be more thankful for the space they've got. Anytime someone does this to a wall switch, you know they're hurting for room.

I finally found a bathroom that had space issues much like Pinky here, but was a more modern, clean look.

We love the glass tile around the tub. Most of all, the dark, large slate tiles that make up the flooring really set off how light and airy the rest of the bathroom feels. To get this look, we've got quite a list of things to conquer first:

+Tear out all of the pink tile walls
+Tear out the wore white/pink tile floor
+Get the bathtub either refinished or replaced (right now, it matches the tiles. More pictures to come)
+Put up new backboard for the tub and most likely, the rest of the bottom portion of the walls.
+Make sure that any bear drywall is painted white.
+Eventually tear out the master bedroom closet to make the bathroom bigger and more livable.

They all seem like pretty doable tasks. The last bullet may have confused you, so let me explain.

The Pinky is, of course, pink. The master bathroom is in blue. We have a plan to take out the master bedroom's closet and move it so that it goes into the guest bedroom. There will still be plenty of room in the guest for this to happen. It will also allow the pink bathroom to be more square instead of T-shaped, which will mean we can move the toilet out of the weird cubby and give it some breathing room.

The master and guest bedrooms are in good shape, so that's a relief. We are having carpet installed before moving in because Scott and I both feel that carpet makes bedrooms feel cozy, but we're only having it installed in the bedrooms, so we can keep the clean lines the wood floor has for the rest of the house.

The front room has a large window, so we hope to capitalize on it with a nice bright green color scheme, tan small couch, and some inviting chairs.

Beth, one of my best friends and fellow blogger at Over on Dover, has been waiting for us to find a new home so she can tackle one of her favorite things: painting the front door. A fun and unique front door color draws attention and welcomes guests to your home rather than blending in and looking like the rest of the neighborhood.

I'm torn between two colors for this house. Currently, it looks like this:

But these two are really catching my eye:

Orange or a sunset red? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments which one catches YOUR fancy!

That's kind of it for right now. We have way more plans, but I don't want mood board those until we've figured out more on how we'd like them to turn out. That just means you'll have to wait for another post! Oh noes!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teal, Doggonit!

Even though we don't have a house yet, that doesn't mean that there aren't still things I'd like to change about our decor. The issue at the moment is that we live in an apartment which, like most apartments, doesn't have a yard...or garage...to work in or on. We have a patio, yes, but it's cramped with the seating that's there (Which also doesn't make it spray paint friendly).

But I make due. Large pieces of cardboard are never thrown away. They're perfect for covering the grass right outside the patio and allow me to spray paint smaller objects (and itch that decorator's itch!).

Our awesome friends Leah and John gave us these adorable bookends for Christmas. If you don't know us very well, we're big on the hounds, especially the bassets and beagles, so these were PERFECT for us.

Unfortunately, because they were a shiny black, the details of their faces (and general adorableness) were pretty obscured.

That's when I spotted this color when I was perusing the isles of a hardware store. BAM, it hit me...the bassets shall be teal! It'll be bright enough to liven up the book shelves and show off their details. This Valspar was a great color, could spray from any angle, and was plastic/metal/wood/whatever-other-surface safe, too, which meant better coverage in general.

First, I found the smallest grit sanding sponge I could find in our ahem organized storage room. I honestly don't think it matters exactly the grit, the piece just needs to be roughed up a bit to take the paint better. Even if the paint IS safe for all surfaces, that doesn't mean that a light bit of sanding won't make it last longer and cover better.

I roughed up those puppies, real good, yeah. Well, I roughed up the bookends. The sponge was great to use because it allowed me to get into the nooks and crannies and knock off that glossy exterior.

See? Not so shiny. I only got the parts I could reach, so under his belly wasn't as roughed up, but is also more hidden, so it didn't matter as much. Before breakin' out the color, I wiped both pups down with a paper towel. Using a paper towels allows you to get rid of any of the dust from sanding, but is also rough enough to not buff it and undo your sanding.

I then grabbed my cardboard, pups, and paint and headed outside.

And realized just how familiar the bookends are:

Then FINALLY came the painting, huzzah! First, a light coat. This made them look a little marbled, but I knew that after a couple more coats, they would get really high quality color with an even shine. Coat #1:

It really helped bring out those details in the face. It was starting to look even MORE like someone I know.

Coat #2:

Coat #3:

Coat #4:

And they're done! I let them dry for around 40 minutes, which was just enough time to take the real pups outside, eat a couple corn dogs, and throw in a load of laundry. They are so much brighter and they look great on the shelf!

Now I just want to paint everything! Ironically, I also want to un-spray something, so there may be a post in the future about to to remove spray paint.

Have you ever had anything you loved, just not the color? Let me know in the comments section!

House Update: We met with our wonderful loan officer last night who had us sign a mountain of paperwork, but made us feel better about the length of the process. Next week I'll have to let you know how the inspection went!