Posts tagged ‘project’

Cheaper By The Dozen

I have a confession to make.  As those who know me can attest to, I am a bit of a pack rat.  Not one of those scary pack rats/hoarders, like on the A&E show Obsessed, but a bit of a pack rat none the less.  For example, I like to hold on to clothes I haven’t worn in a year, just in case (I eventually donate them).  I also like to save old magazines, notebooks and papers from school, and various gifts from well-meaning relatives that I don’t use, but feel bad giving away.  It does make things like packing and moving more difficult (I’ll never have a clutter-free, clean and modern house), and means that I need LOTS of storage space; however, sometimes being a pack rat can come in handy.

Take this example.  I’ve been holding onto a few old calendars that I really liked, and thought were too nice to throw away.  When we moved into our basement suite almost a year ago (before this house), D discovered these old calendars, and tried to convince me to toss them.  I told him that I had an art project planned (I actually had no idea what I was going to do with them, but didn’t. want. to. throw. them. out.)  So I kept them, and packed them up for yet another move a few months ago (to our new house!).  Now, being in a house, and having a lot more empty wall space to fill, I got to trying to think of creative ways to fill that space.  We have some hand me down art, and some beautiful original pieces from the many talented artists in both our families (thanks E, G, and T!), but we still had lots of empty walls.  And finally it dawned on me!  A fantastic use of those carefully preserved calendars that I’ve been saving for years!  And so, last weekend we bought some cheap frames from JYSK, popped in some calendar art, and ta da!

Calendar wall art


I was really happy with how they turned out – they look like real art, and way more expensive than they really were ($12.99/frame).  I still have a lot of empty wall space though, so if anyone has any cheap and creative ideas for filling it, please share!


October 19, 2009 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

More about our kitchen…and dishwashers!

I recently posted about our plans for making some changes in the kitchen.  Well, plans change, and we’ve received so much advice (from our families, and online) about waiting before making any major changes, that we’ve decided to hold off on project “remove annoying hanging cabinets that cut off the kitchen” for a while, until we’ve lived with it for a time and decided whether we can live without the extra storage and/or how much storage we really need.  Once we’ve lived in and cooked in the kitchen, we’ll have a better sense of how truly annoying those cabinets are, or whether they’re something we can live with (at least for now)  Also, we’ve got to save our money for some other projects we have planned, and we don’t want the whole cabinet removal thing to end up resulting in a big mess that will cost a lot to fix (for example, if we end up tearing a giant hole in the drywall or wreck the countertop in our efforts to remove said cabinets).  And, I failed to mention previously that we are also planning on installing a dishwasher as soon as possible, which will cause us to lose even more cabinet space.

Speaking of dishwashers, here is the one we are thinking of getting:

Kenmore dishwasher

It’s currently on sale (but only until Sunday!) which is a plus, and as far as dishwashers go, it seems like a happy medium.  It’s not a fancy stainless steel interior, or expensive brand name, like this Bosch that we would love to get, but it seems like a decent buy, plus, our fridge and stove are Kenmore also, so at least it’ll match!


As for the cabinets, while we’ve decided to hold off on tearing anything apart, we are still planning on doing some painting.  I think a nice fresh coat of white paint and some new hardware will do wonders for updating our little old kitchen.  Besides, if we really mess up, we can always tear the cabinets out later…(ha!)

July 3, 2009 at 5:14 pm 4 comments

Renovation Fever

Isn’t it funny how you can walk into a perfectly liveable house, one that doesn’t NEED anything done, and somehow end up coming up with a laundry list of projects?  That is the case with our new house.  It is in perfectly fine condition…actually, excellent condition according to our inspectors, yet it seems the list of things we’d like to do is endlessly growing.  In fact, I would say that D has caught “renovation fever”.

InsomniaNow, I’m feeling a little bit differently.  At first, when we walked through the house, I looked around and said “oh yeah, no big deal, we’ll just tear this carpet out, throw down some new flooring here, paint this, move that…” and on and on.  But as closing date draws nearer, I’m starting to have doubts.  Last night, shortly before bed, I had a bit of a panic attack, and decided we were in way over our heads.  I made a giant list of all the projects we’ve talked about, and sat and stared at it, getting myself worked up and unable to sleep.  I awoke this morning, tired, but feeling much more optimistic about things. 

I do think we need to take a  step back though, and take things one bit at a time.  It seems easy to let one simple project spiral into a major renovation, and that is what I would like to avoid.  I think for me the stress right now is having to think ahead to all these projects, even though some won’t be happening until later on.  We decided to apply for a line of credit that will then be added onto the mortgage, which means we’ll have some money right away to do things, and our mortgage will only be increased by a very small amount each month, since its amortized over 25 years.  But, in order to do this, we need to get a whole bunch of quotes and estimates to show what we’re planning on doing and how much it will cost, in order to take it to the bank and get things set up.  Which means trying to plan out what we’d like to do, figure out how much it will cost, make appointments to get estimates done, etc.  Since we’re both working full time, it’s proving difficult, both logistically and mentally…but I know it will all work out in the end!  Right??

June 30, 2009 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

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