Monday, July 21, 2014

Around the House

We have been insanely busy the last few weeks working on some projects around the house. First on the list were some very necessary repairs involving jacks under our front porch and entirely new gutters - we grind our teeth at having to spend so much money fixing this house but like I said, very necessary, and Steve is still in awe that water now runs off the side gutters and not directly into our basement. We consoled ourselves with some fun projects - one is finished and one is very much still in progress but we figured we would share pictures anyway.

First up in the picture queue is the flower box that Steve built for me on the back porch, outside of the breakfast nook windows. He has had this flower box in his mind for months and finally got it finished, and I decided to fill it up with flowers that specifically attracted butterflies, bumblebees, and hummingbirds. We are so often at the kitchen table between eating and art projects, and the girls love looking out of those window to spot deer, hawks, owls, rabbits, and any other random creatures wandering through the woods. So now we have a beautiful little butterfly garden right outside the window - the girls adore spotting butterflies and bees, and we finally spotted our first hummingbird tonight!

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I think dahlias are so pretty but I never planted them before because they are toxic to dogs. And now I have pink and yellow ones!

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The second MAJOR project in our house is our front sitting room. It's the room right to your left as you walk in our front door, and it's always seemed to be a hodgepodge of leftover furniture. Originally it was a true sitting room where I intended to read, but the light was awful. Then it morphed into a piano sitting room when we were housing SuSu's piano. And then it morphed into a dining room once we built Steve's bar and fish tank stand.

We have been bickering about furniture for Steve's fish tank room for months now, and then one night, I asked him if there was any possibility of moving this massive 120 gallon fish tank. It seemed like we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole with the limitations of the former dining room, and with such a fun thing as a big saltwater fish tank, I wanted the first room in our house to be a showpiece instead of just the leftover furniture room.

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Late-night furniture moving. This project has turned my house into a hot mess!!

We started by repainting the walls Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware (as matched by Sherwin Williams). We tried three or four different colors but instantly agreed on this one!

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Steve's reinforcements are built.

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Starting the very tedious process of moving the tank.

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Do you see Nemo swimming around in there? (Although actually her name is Tink - Nemo unfortunately passed away in the great Dino Gate of 2014 and we are in the process of replacing him).

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Finally filled up and with the new LED lights temporarily on top! Fishies seem happy!

We massively lucked out with Craigslist for the white bookshelves - Steve had been planning to make over his bar, but it was going to require an insane amount of work to get it strong enough and wide and deep enough for the fish tank. I suggested just taking a peek at Craigslist to see if there was something closer to what we needed, and we found this set that had been custom-made for someone in Atlanta. We bought it sort-of-sight-unseen and took a gamble on it, but seriously...it looks like it was made for our space. All Steve had to do was build reinforcements under the main part to support the tank and add a little bit of depth. We've already been working on filling up the shelves and have been having so much fun getting this room finished. It's still quite a ways away from being done but we will be sure to post some good pictures as we go!

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Sticking in some new coral acquisitions.

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A sneak peek of the new lighting structure that Steve built!

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