Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reupholster Your Own Chairs?

I've always loved the look of these chairs that you see at Pier 1 or Pottery Barn.

But with everything going on with our house renovations how could I justify spending over $300 on two chairs? So I got crafty and bit more than I can chew and planned to reupholster my own Wingback chairs.

I found sites online that gave a step by step of how to do this yourself. After finding two Wingback Chairs on craigslist for $100 (with an ottoman), I went to the fabric store for 12 yards of fabric. Luckily my mother in law was in town in August and looking for a project so she helped with the cushion sewing and the ottoman. What a great help! Then I took on the rest and finally finished.

Full disclosure: Rob told me we could get a new sofa once these chairs were finished so that was a little additional motivation. Would I do this again? Never in a million years.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New trim paint

We weren't sure if we had missed the remainder of few decent non-rainy days, but the old wood windows & trim were badly in need of restoration. Luckily, I was thrilled to meet Jeff of Urban Painting Northwest while requesting quotes from neighbor recommendations.

Fortunately, we had just enough sunny & warm days for Jeff and his crew to work their magic. Below are two pictures of the south windows, which were in bad shape. Probably the worst out of the whole house. They did marvelous work sanding and filling. Sanding, and filling. And more sanding, and filling.

Those operable windows have never looked better (as far as we've owned the house, at least!). Below are a few quick shots from my cell phone cam. Apologies if the contrast isn't quite enough to really appreciate the Benjamin Moore Meditation (outside casing) and Frappe (glass frames).

Fantastic job well done, Jeff and the crew at Urban Painting Northwest!! Even Stewie gave her "paw of approval" on the job.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Soft revival

Much like a restaurant's soft opening, a soft revival is order here to gradually resume a stride.

Obviously it's been a while. Based on repeated requests from more people than we imagined interested, it's time for some new posts.

Baby steps...

It's been a busy 7 months since the last informative post in March.

Seems we've been consumed with the "house" topic. After officially deciding against the attic master suite remodel, we continued the house search at a casual pace. We completed the final touches on all remaining projects and prepared our finances to be ready to pounce when the right one came along.

After over 54 tours and 4 unsuccessful offers in 6 different neighborhoods (but still closeby where we wanted to stay), we were convinced we would never find anything that seemed just right. Even Brian was exhausted.


However, one Saturday morning in August while running errands in the neighborhood, we stumbled upon signs for an estate garage sale. It was in a lovely old brick Tudor - the perfect size and location. We asked inside and discovered they were clearing out to sell aging Mom & Dad's house, originally built by the grandparents and whereupon all grown children were raised. They were helping out Mom & Dad with the daunting task to bottle up & cart out all those memories and possessions to prepare to sell in the next few weeks.

Search perfection.

We knew that day it was exactly for what we had been searching. Still weeks before it would be ready to list, I marveled over the property while explaining our case to the agent and family. I detailed how long we had been searching, even outside the neighborhood, and this was a perfect fit while still staying within where we want to be. We knew how much work they faced preparing it for sale, so part of our negotiation was relieving them the bulk that burden. Besides, we already envisioned what we felt was necessary, and it was mostly the old systems that needed immediate attention (refinished hardwoods, electrical system, functional appliances, and simple cosmetics). Simply put - we did not want to change much of that amazing original character. Since we're the do-it-yourself type, we didn't mind, and we got a lot of practice with our last house.

We were thrilled they appreciated our story, and were willing to work with us. We will forever be grateful to carry on the torch by making theirs our home for many years to come.

Since closing in July, we've already completed most of these updates, including the systems updates mentioned above and an entire new kitchen. Details of each will be gradually written about in future posts. We were also able to sell our old house fairly quickly, even in this difficult market, after some aggressive pricing and negotiation.


But houses weren't everything. Fortunately we were able to enjoy the summer enjoying great food and times with great friends. We joined fun birthday celebrations and late night karaoke. We cheered on the Blue Angels from the yard and the flight line at Boeing Field. We are excited about our huge new neighborhood park that finally opened up by the golf course. Allison completed her first (half) marathon, and then it was off to Vegas. Rob even wedged in his first triathlon (with veteran Allison). Just to name a few.... Stay tuned!

Record time!