Monday, January 31, 2011


[Musical Interlude]

Just felt like sharing this video that Brian found on Aquarium Drunkard today...

It reminded Brian (and me) of the Joe Cocker + Patti LaBelle duet that I've always loved...

Regardless, two classics that are worth watching. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The shed is painted! It took the better part of the day, but there is a coat of paint on it! Below, you can see how far it's come. We started by moving the original front wall back 4' to create a small 'grilling' porch. We replaced all the siding and added battens, as well as giving the pediment the nice horizontal detail. Replaced the roof, poured a concrete floor, and gave it a new door, as well as running electricity out to it. Quite exciting! Brian has dubbed it "the dawg house". Really it's a place to store our bikes and grill, as well as a workshop for tools and such.

And now we have the best looking shed on the block! It's still not completely done because there are battens that still need to be applied to the front (around the door and vent), and we still have painting to do under some of the overhangs, and the upper portion of the front wall. The door hardware needs to be installed, and any lighting. But at least we have a good base!

Once the sun set, we went home to clean up, then headed back to the house to finish the cabinet doors and such in the kitchen, and Brian did some work on the master bath vanity. He also installed the recessed medicine cabinets! Check it out...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

installa[tion] - part 2

We've spent the entire day putting doors on cabinets, drawers in place, and all the pieces and parts that go along with it! A few more still to do, but should be finished up tomorrow! Of course we've found that we are missing a few things, but hopefully they'll turn up. Check it out!

There were also a couple of painters working on trim outside, and 2 of our crew stopped by to take inventory on what was needed to finish out interior trim this week. Paul also stopped by to bring his friend over to check out the project, and to resolve some window/door issues that have come up. Remember this is Saturday, a good sign they are trying to get this wrapped up. He says the slate tile floor will be installed on Monday, interior trimwork will be completed, and there's the potential for the countertops and carpet in the master bedroom to be installed!

Friday, January 28, 2011


We've given in. For months everyone has said, "granite, granite, granite"... and we have resisted until the very end. Originally we wanted to use an eco-product, but cost is an issue. We then considered quartz because we liked the consistent colors that are available. Our contractor gave us the name of his stone guy (Peter), and our neighbor who is also a contractor gave us another name (Thai). We went to visit both of them today, and saw their supplier's warehouses.

We took along a piece of slate floor to get an idea of what the floor would look like with it. After much resistence, we agree that a material with a little more depth may be best for the white cabinets and dark gray floors. So our current decision is New Caledonia from Brazil.

Our next stop was the carpet store to find a remnant for our master bedroom. We can't fit the bamboo floors into our budget right now, so that will come later, but for now we need something on the floor, and carpet will be the best and most affordable option. This is what we are considering:


That is what our bathroom vanity does! It took taking down the door trim to get it in there, but the vanity cabinet is now in place. We will soon install the sink/countertop, and drawers, and eventually finish the plumbing, but for now we are just happy to have it in place!

For those of you who don’t know, we are going ‘hotel style’ on the bathroom vanity, and having it directly off the master bedroom. The bathroom is to the left and my closet is to the right.

On a side note, you'll notice our master bedroom is a little dark. That is because there are no windows installed! The windows were delivered yesterday, but much to our dismay as they were being unloaded off the truck, the delivery guy was trying to carry 3 at once and dropped one. It shattered. In our yard. So that one has been re-ordered. Not sure how long it will take, but hopefully we'll have all of our windows very soon. Check out the fan!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The kitchen installation started on Tuesday, and they’ve gotten all the ‘boxes’ in place, now we just have to install the doors, drawers, shelving, and handles! It is very cool to see it all installed, and to be able to actually feel how big the kitchen is! We can’t wait to see the tile on the floor, the backsplash, and countertops! Of course, we still need to decide on a countertops, which hopefully will happen Friday afternoon! We still have a long way to go, but at least things are taking shape now!

Also, you will notice the light fixtures have been hung as well. The electrician needed them installed to pass his inspection, so they are in place! The hvac registers are also installed, which means there may actually be heat soon?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

assembla[tion] - part 2

The assembly of the cabinets is complete (sans doors, drawers, and door hardware). As of 1am this morning, we finished the actual cabinets, so they are ready for installation!

Monday, January 24, 2011


The biggest news about the house is that it has been painted! Woohoo! It's so exciting to see it after months of having the samples on the wall. The door will eventually be a dark red, but for now it remains the existing orange color. Check it out!

Also, some of the screen and door frame for the screened porch had been left up as of last week, and that was finally removed, so it really opened up the front entry way.

They also levelled out the backyard! There had been a heap of dirt back there for months, so it's great to see it flat again!

And in other news, we have light! They even hung the ceiling fan in the master bedroom. The rest of the ceiling fixtures are going in as the rooms are being painted. Most of the interior priming is done, and then we'll paint as we move in.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Thank you all for the well-wishes for my family after my grandfather's death. It has been a long week, but we enjoyed having the family together to celebrate his life.

On our way home from the funeral weekend, we stopped through Charlotte again to exchange a few cabinets at IKEA. We changed our minds on a few things, like the cabinets above the refrigerator and such. And in the process, we were able to pick up a few other things for the house.

We have gone around and around about the dining room light fixture, mostly because of cost. The fixture I want is about $500, but my budget is more like $50. So we figured we could get something inexpensive for the time being, and then somewhere down the line we'll splurge. So we bought this one at IKEA!

 We also picked up a couple of bar stools that were on sale...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I don't think that's actually a word, but it best describes what we've been doing every weeknight this week. We are putting together the IKEA cabinets that we bought last Saturday, and our only time to work on it is in the evenings, so it's taking extra long. We've gotten to the larger cabinets now, so we are having to build them at the house, by lamplight with no heat. Not fun. Here is one of the corner units all put together.

I believe we only have 4 more cabinets to go, although 2 of those are 6'-8" tall.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


The happiest part of the weekend was that I got to see this on Sunday morning!

We ended up hanging out with the family all morning, then going to lunch with the Sumerels on our way out of town. So we didn't get back to Charleston until almost 5, but it was still daylight and we were able to see the work that had been accomplished while we were gone. The guys finished up the trim work in the addition, and they built the handrail on the front porch.

Fortunately, all the IKEA boxes had been unloaded at the house, and we went in and grabbed a few boxes so Brian could start assembling. He was able to put together four sets of double cabinets and two singles in one evening!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


This morning we got up super-early to travel to Charlotte for our kitchen cabinet purchase at IKEA! We had originally planned to ride with our contractor and his family in their conversion van with trailer attached, however my grandfather isn't doing well, and therefore Brian and I drove separately so we could make the trip to Newton (about 45 minutes from IKEA) to visit my grandfather.

We had a slight delay in getting out of Charleston, since it was the inaugural Charleston Marathon, and since the route is on the street the runs in front of our apartment, we were sucked in to the excitement of it all! And we were able to cheer on our friend Seth as he ran by, which was exciting.
I'll try to make this long story short, but I also want to get as many details in as possible for my own memories! We arrived at IKEA around 11:30am to a packed parking lot. You wouldn't have known there was a recession going on, that's for sure!

Upon our arrival, we went straight to the kitchen area, and found a planning station. Our planner "Amie O" went through the kitchen layout that Brian had so thoughtfully designed in their online computer program. She helped us to layout the filler panels, cover panels, and kick-plates to get everything just right before placing our order. In the meantime, we found an under-cabinet mounted microwave to go above the stove, as well as a kitchen faucet. But in the end, this process took about 2-1/2 hours! So by 2:30 we were done ordering the kitchen, but they would need another 2 hours to gather all the pieces for us to take. So with time to kill, we had lunch in the cafeteria (swedish meatball dinner - 12 or so meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, lingonberry sauce = $3.99). Awesome, and they were running a special this weekend that if you bought $100 worth of merchandise, they subtract your meal receipt from your purchase, so you eat for free! Well, that was covered!

After lunch, we headed back to the kitchen area to grab a few more things, like 38 cabinet handles and a drawer-organizer for the silverware drawer, then on to the bathroom department, where we ordered our master bath vanity, sink, and faucet. Easy. We made our way to the checkout area, and managed to spend enough money that we probably could have bought a small car. Anyway, it was all necessary, so we can't get too down on ourselves! 

We headed over to 'furniture pick-up' and soon discovered that our kitchen alone was 4 large carts worth (think lumber cart at Home Depot). Between waiting on the remaining cart of bathroom stuff, waiting on Paul and his family to check out & pull the truck around, and load the trailer, we were several more hours into the process. With hundreds of boxes and an inventory list, I tried to check off each piece before it was loaded. By the end, we were missing 2 packets of hinges, 2 shelves, and 2 cabinet doors, but the store had no problem getting these pieces for us. Well, except that one employee insisted that he had loaded the cabinet doors onto the cart himself, and as I finally walked out the store without those boxes in hand, but he managed to find us in the parking lot, and had found the boxes leaning against the wall in the storeroom! So hopefully we have all the parts!

When finally getting away from IKEA a little after 7pm, we were on our way to Newton to see my Pawpaw. When we got to the nursing home, my uncle & his girlfriend, as well as my aunt and cousin Michelle and her husband were all there. Brian and I were able to spend some time alone with Pawpaw, and although he was responsive at first, he seemed to be tired and we left him to rest. It was very sad, but well worth the trip to see him. Instead of driving all the way back to Charleston, we are spending the night in Spartanburg.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The day of doors... as the crew inside the house was busy working on doors and trim in the new addition, Brian and I were busy hanging the door on the shed.

We had the door that had been the original 'back door' of the house (when we bought it), so we ended up re-using that for the shed. We still need to replace the lock set, but were able to at least install the door.

As for inside the house, the door on the closet in the laundry room was installed, as well as the double-closet doors on Brian's closet, my closet, and the master bathroom. Most of the trim was completed, but will be done by the end of the weekend. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

applica[tion] - round 4

I've continued to use the 'application' title, since the drywallers have been at the house everyday! Even today, Sunday!

Our task for today, to finish the corner pieces and battens on the front wall of the shed, as well as frame in the door. We accomplished most of this. We managed to finish the 2 front corners, the jambs and trim around the door, and most of the battens on the front wall. I unfortunately don't have any photos of this, as we worked into the dark!

I do have a few photos of the house that show the progress from the weekend...

looking towards dining room from kitchen

master bedroom, looking towards master bath

Saturday, January 8, 2011

applica[tion] - round 3

The task for today was to work on the structure of the gable at the front of the shed. ACCOMPLISHED! Brian had sketched out our collaborative design, that consisted of 1x4's spaced 1" apart in a horizontal pattern, with a center vertical behind to attach to. I've included a few process photos, as well as the finished product.
From inside, looking at Brian put the 4th of 6 boards on.
Brian finishing off that same 4th board.
What it looked like once the trim pieces were on, done!


Saturday morning started with a quick trip to James Island to 1. check on our 'stuff' that's in storage, and 2. visit our home away from home.

Our storage space.
The first of a couple of trips this weekend!

Friday, January 7, 2011

applica[tion] - round 2

We went searching for closet doors and a back door for the house at a wholesale/salvage supply company this afternoon, and it is incredible what the price of doors are! I'm amazed that a 2'0" x 6'8" door for a closet is almost $150! I had no idea. Don't get me started on the exterior door. I know that we are particular, but our tastes are quite simple. We are not elaborate people. We just want to match the character of the rest of the house, and it looks like it's going to cost us! Fortunately, it seems that the cost is already calculated into the budget, so we're good. We'll be ordering doors soon. I'll be sure to post some photos for you! UPDATE (1/8/11): we found three 2'0" x 6'8" doors at Habitat for Humanity, $15 each! Although they are raised panel, as opposed to flat panel like the rest of our doors, they are pretty similar. Woohoo!

Afterwards, we stopped by the house to see what progress had been made, and there were 3 people mudding & taping the sheetrock! It's so exciting. It was our first glimpse of the master bedroom with walls, but with two of the workers on scaffolding in that room I didn't want to be snapping pictures, so those will have to wait! I did manage to take a few photos, and my only regret is that the guy on stilts in our dining room managed to get cropped out of all my shots. Maybe next time. Take note of the ceilings in the living & dining rooms!

taken from kitchen, towards dining room
taken from front door, towards dining room

Thursday, January 6, 2011

applica[tion] - round 1

They've started applying the gypsum board to the walls! It's awesome to stand in an actual room, with walls! Also, the ceilings in the living & dining rooms are up as well, so we can no longer see into the attic without going into the attic! What a concept!

The contractor promises that the job will fly now. Hopefully he's right! Here are some photos of their progress:

Our kitchen!
hallway to master suite

no more separa[tion]

Finally, the wall between the kitchen and dining room is GONE! And in it's place is a lovely archway! Eventually we will have cabinets and countertops that create a peninsula there with the walkway beside it, but for now it's wide open! 


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


When we were faced with the dilemma of whether or not to tear out the closet in the front bedroom, we struggled that the original closet was way too small, and consisted of shelving, and we'd be lacking sufficient storage and space for guests to hang their clothes. Also the closet in question was a second closet that was most likely added to the room in the 70's or 80's, and was made of wood paneling (shown in other posts). We had considered putting sheetrock over it, and at least blending it into the room. But it took up a good bit of space, and truly didn't help the proportions of the room.

The 'appreciation' part of this post is due to the fact that my mom saved us from this dilemma when she offered to buy us the much-desired wardrobe that we saw while visiting Walterboro on a work trip. Three weeks or so after we originally saw the piece in an antique store, we called the shop owner and he still had it! So as a Christmas/Anniversary gift to both Brian and I, my mom & Gene purchased it for us. I will tell you that it is beautiful, and although I haven't had a chance to research it much, I plan to. Unfortunately, it was in Walterboro, which is about 1.5-2 hours from Charleston, but it just so happens that our office has a huge high school project being constructed there, and we were able to sweet-talk the contractor on that job into picking it up for us! He delivered it to the house last night, wrapped in cellophane, and that's how it will stay through the duration of the construction project! So for now, you only get to see a photo of it all wrapped up!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Music Archiva[tion]

A year in review. The music of 2010.

04/19/10 G. Love & Special Sauce
04/28/10 My Morning Jacket
05/28/10 Sunset Serenade
07/16/10 Mofro
07/17/10 Smashing Pumpkins
08/26/10 Jason Isbell
09/10/10 The Black Crowes
09/26/10 Steep Canyon Rangers
09/27/10 The Hold Steady
10/17/10 Bob Dylan
10/28/10 The Futurebirds