Monday, March 4, 2019

Almost A Year

Next month we will have been in our house a year already.
Does time go faster as we age?  
I am beginning to believe so.
And yet, the year has been full of life.
When I think of all that was packed into this past year
I wonder how it could have possibly happened in that short period of time!

As you know, we moved into an unfinished house
and it probably will come as no surprise to you to find out
that it is still unfinished!
BUT we are making progress.
Actually, Warren got a lot more accomplished this year on the house 
than what I had hoped for.
He always amazes me.

This was soon after moving in

I will share with you a couple of projects that were completed.

When the house was being built I had them frame in three built in "bookshelf-cabinet" areas.
One for our entertainment area (TV and components)
One for a bookshelf with closed shelves for photo albums and scrapbooks and
One for a china hutch..

My idea behind this is that I wanted a simple European farmhouse look.  
Plaster walls, little embellishment,  matt finishes on the wood with a look of patina from use...

With that being said, we couldn't stay on budget and have an authentic looking European farmhouse!
So...what's a person to do?  
Add the word "modern".  
"Modern European Farmhouse"!!!

As much as I would have loved the thick exterior stone walls with a huge stone fireplace, 
real plaster walls, hand scrapped beams....and the list goes on.... 
that just wasn't going to happen.
 And that's okay.
I am loving our home's "modern" touches.

Here you can see the fireplace unfinished too.

We decided we didn't want a wood stove or propane fireplace
but I still wanted a "fireplace".
We decided on a lineal electric built-in.
We, on the whole, are very happy with it 
BUT I will point out that when we went to install it
I was beyond disappointed for this reason:

For months I had researched electric fireplaces 
because I didn't want one that was anymore fake than it had to be :)
I also wanted as wide a one as I could fit in the space 
(and Warren would agree to)
We decided on the 60" Touchstone.
Well, people, the only difference between the 50" and the 60" 
is that the black glass surround is 5" bigger on each side of the 60"!!
That's right, for $150 more I got more black glass!
The flame viewing area is the same.
My bad.  
I should have read more carefully.
Otherwise, we are happy with the looks of the flame and the fireplace itself.
It took me a while to get over it though....

Here a solid slab of absolute black honed granite has been put around the fireplace. 
We had professionals do that!
AND a bigger TV!

Fnished for now!
I am sorry this picture is so light.  Too much light coming through the windows.

I added wallpaper in black and white behind the TV so it wasn't so stark 
next to the tv and to add some pattern.
Warren made a simple (he said the most simple I had ever had him make!)
waterfall, knotty alder mantle. 
The doors in the built in cabinet are made out of real wood bead board that came out of my aunt and uncles old house.  (that they had actually gotten it out of another old building in town years ago)
I love that!
The wood is a knotty pine which I limed and waxed.
The knobs are from Anthropologie.

This bookshelf is on the other side of the living room.
All though these doors are smaller you can see them a little bit better here.

This is (of course) the dining room built-in.
I had the framer leave off the sheetrock in the back because 
one of my design customers had given me
the old bead board that had come off of the ceiling in one of her old porches.
(their home was a generational farmhouse)
It was dirty white from age and when I started sanding it to clean it up a bit
the beautiful green started coming through.
I love the color and I love knowing where it came from.

I had these old European grain sacks that Kellie and I had found 
while we were out and about one day.
I decided this was the perfect place to use one rather than have wood doors.
It's a good thing because there wasn't enough of the wood to make these doors too!

Anyway, these are really just a few of the projects we have been doing around here.
I think I hesitate to post because I am so bad with the camera
and besides,
I would rather just have you come visit!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Two posts in one week?
Can't believe it myself.

I decided that I would NOT wait until everything is done 
(like I did in the last 2 houses)
before I post pictures because then I NEVER post them.

You have to use a little bit of imagination.
We have yet to move into a house that is completely finished.
We just can't stand it.
We have good intentions
but as it gets closer to the time
I say "if the toilets work - I'm moving"
Well, the toilets don't work,
and yet, we have moved!

Yep, we are using an outhouse and an RV
while we wait for the septic and well to be hooked up to the house.
The mobile home had to be moved (it is)
and now we wait for the subcontractors to come and do their thing.
It's suppose to happen Monday.
We shall see....

Anyway, it was one of the easiest moves to date
as I put things in a box and walked next door.
Put them away and walked back.
Over and over again!

So, I am going to put aside my desire of blog worthy pictures
 and show you some snapshots
of my house unfinished, kinda the bones of it all.
I wish you could see in my head
what it looks like finished....


See my wonderful range hood?
I helped (mostly watched and held things!) Warren make this.
You can't believe what it takes structurally (and time wise)
BUT I knew he could do it even when he told me he couldn't!

My pantry.
I wanted a big walk in pantry.
A girl can't have everything she wants 
and we just couldn't make it happen...
How can I not love this though?!

Things you should NOT notice:
No crown molding or finished toe kicks.
No handles on the faucet (did I mention that I have no water?!)
Dishwasher is not installed...
No island yet.  (I know exactly what I want- of course -
 and it will be unpainted wood)
No back splashes.
It will all happen I just don't know when....


Looking into the dining room from the living room.
Out of those very windows there use to be a view of the mobile (very close).
It still looks strange (wonderful) without it there.
I made the chandelier when we lived in the Boise house.
This is the 4th house it has lived in.  I hope it can stay awhile!

Inside the front door.
See in the lower right corner is the dining room chair
and above that is the hall into the "guest wing"
(that sounds like a mansion, doesn't it!!!
it's not!)
The house is U-shaped so the guest area is off to itself.

The living room.
To the left is the double entry doors and to the right is a wall of windows.
Obviously the fireplace is not done,
nor is the entertainment center
and the furniture is a hodgepodge because
I sold a lot when we moved
but I DID warn you that we have 
a lot to do and it's not going to happen over night.

Well, Warren said he's off to bed
and I've got painting at the church to do again tomorrow.
(We bought a building that we are remodeling!)

I hope you"ll continue to join me 
as we finish one project at a time....

Monday, March 26, 2018

Decisions That Matter?

We have remodeled many, many houses. 
 I love the process  (not always the mess that goes with it!)
There are a lot of decisions but they are made over time, one room at a time.  
Details matter to me and when the pace is slower
 I can concentrate more on individual things.

We have only had one other house built. 
 I knew what I was getting into. 
 I've seen it over and over with some of Warren's customers.  
By the time they get to the final stage of the finishes they are tired of decisions.  
They are ready to hand them over to someone.  
Like a couple of weeks ago -
"have your wife pick out our hardware.  I am sure they will be fine."  
(she liked them!)

So, with the build, I was determined to know what I wanted 
and have everything picked out and bought BEFORE they were needed on the job.  
We had a storage container still on site from when we built the shop 
and had decided to keep it there for this very thing.  
Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, and other specialty stores 
should have known my address by heart by the time we got done!

guest bathroom floor

I also did some shopping local and even some 2nd hand stores.
And the majority of the time I stayed on top of it.

There are tons of decisions:
What pitch do you want the roof?  What kind of eave vents do you want? 
Siding - smooth or woodgrain?  Real or fake?  
How do you want to trim everything out?  
Paint colors?  
Any wall faucets? (any type of wall faucet needs to be decided by the rough in stage)  
What finish do you want on the concrete?
Where do you want the towel bars? (there needs to be backing behind the sheetrock)
Do you want ceiling fans?  (different wiring needs)
What are your cabinet layouts (plumbing and wiring needs)
What type of materials are you using for the floors?
Where do you want outlets? Switches?
You get the idea.

Master Bath floor

This is literally all I had left!

The tile came in 12" squares with a mess backing, HOWEVER;
 because I nearly ran out,
 I actually put each piece down individually around the toilet.  


 fireplace/entertainment center

Double doors for the entry. 

I tried 12 samples of paint 
before I painted them with a color I hadn't sampled.!
Still don't think I'm in love with the color :( 

At this very moment this tub still isn't installed.

I can't wait to use it!

Master bath cabinet.

I added this photo so you could see the detail work Warren has done for me.
I can't say enough how he amazes me every time
(wait until you see my range hood :)
I wanted a more "simple" door style this time 
but felt a little bit of detail was needed so I requested the bead
around each door and drawer.
   They turned out just as I had envisioned.
Even though we are painting them
they are made out of knotty oak. 
 I wanted the grain to show 
and a little bit of "rustic-ness"

Do not judge Warren for the white melamine interiors -
 he does that at my request!
I like the brightness of the white interiors and the ease of cleaning the melamine.
I cannot get him to make the drawers out of it though! 
 They are made of wood for quality and durability sake.

The basic cabinet before the "frills"

kitchen cabinets in process.

Yes, they are BLUE!!!
I had been thinking about blue cabinets for the last two house
but always chickened out.
Even at this point I was a little bit nervous but now that they are finished I love them.

If you look closely you can get a hint of the range hood!

front door hardware

There is suppose to be a set on the other door too
but when we went to put them on we realized they had not drilled the door for them.

I'll try to be good about getting some more posts
so you can see it come together.
We will be doing the finishing things for some time yet.
And the grand "finish" will probably never come
as we are project people
and there is always something to "try"

We are splitting life right now in the house and an RV
while we wait for our septic and well to be hooked up.

The building experience has been hard/good.
We are tired but we are smiling.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Answered Prayer When You Didn't Pray In Faith

A couple of days ago (Oct.31) we had our 4 year anniversary here in Idaho! 
Time goes so quickly and yet, in other ways, it seems as though
we have been here for a very long time - maybe 
the 4 moves in four years have something to do with that!

We started in Boise where we lived in an apartment for 4 months.  
Oh yes, I even painted a couple of walls in that place!

Then we bought a house in Boise by the foothills.  
It was built in 1973.  
Although I painted like crazy the year we lived there we didn't do any major things 
and it is one of the few houses that didn't get the makeover that I had dreamed for it.

During the time we lived there Warren started a cabinet shop in Caldwell 
that made for a much longer commute than what we wanted for him.  
We found a foreclosure in Nampa that I fell in love with and Warren decided was a good buy.
Made an excepted offer.  Bought that house.  Started the "big" remodel.  
What I didn't get to do in Boise I made up for in this house!  It was major.  
I love a good before and after!
After a few months of having it set idle with little work being done on it 
(we had other irons in the fire) 
we put our house in Boise up for sale thinking we would have some time to work on the "project"
before it we would have to move into it.   
We had multiple offers the first day!  
Yay for good realtors!!!!  (Monica & AJ Lehman)

I wish I had been better about taking pictures of these houses.  
I'm just not the best with a camera....

The house in Nampa took about 4 months of really hard work 
and two years of work now and then.
It was an old house, built in 1923, that I would call 
about as close to my dream house as I have come.
I love old houses.  
I spent a lot of time praying that Warren would come to love it too 
so we could retire there and finish out our years!
 In all fairness to him, he had told me before we made the offer on that house 
that we would not being staying.  It would be a "flip". 
He wanted to be out of town on a small piece of land.

It was a fun, beautiful, old house with enclosed windowed porches,
a built in buffet with leaded glass doors and beveled mirrors, 
enormous cast iron tub with a rounded foot, 
inlaid wood floors and built-in closets.  
And we made that house proud.
 She sparkled when we moved out. 
And God knew my heart because she went to new owners that maybe even love her more than I did.

I must tell you now that even while we were working on this wonderful house, 
Warren had his mind on property.  
And I LOVE to look at property!  
We looked at several and actually made 2 offers.  Both rejected.  
We were not so much disappointed as we were surprised.  
We thought we had made good offers with excellent terms.  
BUT we had been praying and we didn't want to be somewhere where we weren't suppose to be....

Then one evening, when Warren and I were praying together about what was next, 
I added
"and you know how much I love water views, Lord"
My faith is small, let me just say that, and I really didn't have any expectation of some great "view"
as a matter of fact we were praying about another foreclosure at the time 
that I just couldn't wrap my brain around.  
"if we were younger",  "if funds were unlimited",  "if it wasn't so far from EVERYTHING"
were a few of my concerns. 

Let me interject here that between our last rejected offer 
and my prayer there had been some changes in our lives.  
Warren had been asked to be the worship leader for a church plant in a little town
outside of  Caldwell called Homedale.  
I had been praying for a ministry opportunity for Warren.  
Having left Brazil and then Tennessee we had had a hard time connecting with a church 
and we missed fellowship.  
However, a church plant wasn't what either of us had in mind yet it felt like the Lord 
and we thought it was temporary..... !   
We love our church and that happened quite quickly SO our two rejected offers?  
They would have been in the wrong location!!!!  
It's almost as if God knew!  (sarcasm)

The day after my "water view" prayer our piece of property was listed.  
We happened to have our realtor (as our friends!) over for dinner that night and Kellie was visiting.  
I mentioned it after being asked "are you still wanting to look at property"   (well, by the way....)  
We drove out to look at it that evening.

Warren still says I didn't even notice the old, crappy mobile home
that smelled before you even opened the door.  
Or that the garage was one of the uglies things ever that sat smack in the middle of the property.  
No, I didn't notice that it didn't have my old, dream kind of house with glassed in porches and wonderful built-ins....   
I just saw the river.  The water view.  And I think I cried a little.

More to come.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

3 Houses - 3 Years: This and That

Wow - I've been lazy!  

We have moved 3 (yes, you read that right) times since I have posted!!!

First we bought a house in Boise that was built in 1993.  
We didn't get to do all that was in my heart for that house before we moved exactly a year later.

Then we moved to Nampa 
where we bought a house that was built in 1920.  
Love that house.
We pretty much redid that house and, I must say, she's looking pretty fine these days.  
Yes, we still own her but we are planning to put her on the market soon.

Now we are living in Marsing.  
In an old double wide mobile that stunk so badly 
that a person literally couldn't stand to be in it for long....
well, we have remedied that :) 
and we've done some fun, cheap things to make it livable until we build.  
But I must say, it's just not a bad little place to call home 
and I have had a lot of fun with her.

So....I thought I would just post some pictures 
of some of the random things I have been up to. 


I just bought this old industrial storage shelf unit.  
Warren and I reconfigured it for this entertainment unit.  
It was more time consuming then we though (of course) but it turned out to be a fun piece.  
I'm loving it for now but when and if I get tired of it, it can be used in multiple other ways.

My brick wall - in the mobile!  

Bought some of that brick board at Lowes ($27 for a 4x8 sheet) and painted it white.  
It looks really great and it covers a hole where the hood vent had gone through the wall!

The kitchen 

Warren made melamine cabinets for this room because the old ones were so gross.  
A cheap fix - when you're in good with a cabinet maker!  
The "tile" is actually painted on the wall - grout and all. 
 I thought I would do this for two reasons: 

1.  would I get tired of so much pattern?
                  2. I would never buy tile with color because it's too 
             permanent and styles colors change to fast.
This way I could try out both and I am so glad I did.  I love what it adds to the kitchen.

A close up of the "tile".  
You can see in this picture where I have started
 to cover (edge) the butcher block laminate
with marble contact paper!  
It works and so far is holding up well.

Here you can see where we are putting down our "wood" peel 'n stick floor! 
We got it for .59 a square foot.  I ordered it from Lumber Liquidators.

We just wanted a quick, easy fix. 

When we started putting it down we were surprisingly pleased.  
It really does look great and is easy to clean.


I have been wanting a herring-bone floor so what better time to try it out but on a quick, cheap floor!  It wasn't "quick" but it was fun and I am so glad I took the time to do it because it makes me smile just to see it  AND  it breaks up all the flooring in otherwise a boring hallway.

Of course, 
 there has been more project than what I am showing you here


I know you would probably rather see pictures of our 1920's house!
Maybe those will come....
or maybe this is a once every 3 year post!!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A New Place

Most of you probably know by now that we've moved!  

A little over a month ago we packed up our Element and a little u-haul trailer 
and made the trip acrossthe states to Boise, Idaho.

I must admit, it was harder to leave Cleveland, TN than I expected.  
Of course, we left kids there, and that was brutal, 
but also we left many good friends 
and a church body that we had come to love.  
We still miss them all....

With that being said, we are settling nicely into Boise living.  
We have a little 2 bedroom apartment that is right next to the greenbelt.  
Even though it is cold here right now we have taken advantage of it for walks. 
It goes along the river and a small lake just steps from our parking lot!
  Just beautiful.
 We are looking forward to spring weather so we may take even better advantage of living so close.

Our apartment itself is nothing special but it was plain and neutral with a good floor plan.  
Since we hadn't brought any furniture with us, 
I spent the first week shopping antique and used stores with my sister.  
Such fun!  

I'm not finished with the whole place yet
but enough that we are able to enjoy being here.

Today I'll show you the most completed room:

The living room

This isn't entirely the before but it is the beginning! 

The bookshelf is the only piece of furniture
we had brought with us.
  And that was because it went in the first!!!! 
 Everything else got taken off the
list as we filled the trailer up!  

My Mom and I had already painted the wall on the right.
it had been a dark brown-green color
and the room gets very little light because of a huge tree
outside.  It made such a difference!

I'll show you the "after" of the stand the TV is on in a minute.
The office chair is just that - in our office now
as is the "wood couch"

looking down the hallway.
the kitchen is to the right.

Here is the TV stand after!
I sanded and then lime-waxed the top
so that the oak is more gray instead of orange
and painted the base.

The living room after.
This is what you see as you come in the door.
I ordered the love seat online from Home Decorators.
It has a natural linen slipcover.
The two chairs are from World Market
and they are called "The Vanity" chair in flax.
The wicker coffee table is vintage and naturally grayed.

Here I am standing by the hallway....

The basket in the corner holds the TV components.
The picture is "Goodwill".
The lamp is from Target and the shade is World Market.
The curtains I had bought several years ago in Twin Falls, Id.
at a second hand store for $6 a panel!  
They are crewel, lined and amazing!

Here is a closeup of the two things I based the living room on.
The pillow I took out of our master bedroom in TN
and the curtains.

looking toward the hallway

I bought the bench to go outside by our front door
and then liked it here :)
The locker baskets are ones that I had brought along.
Our carpet looks orange in these pictures but really it is a nice
medium brown...

a closer look at my area rug...

I'm sure as time goes on I'll tweak it now and then
but for now this is our living room.

We are feeling right at home.