Friday, November 30, 2007

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

If there's one thing about the new house that really fires me up - it's that damn pee stain.
The entire wood floor is gorgeous EXCEPT for that damn pee stain.

I cleaned that thing about a hundred times to get the smell out.
Then I researched how to get that damn pee stain out.
Then I scrubbed for weeks with Hydrogen Peroxide to try and lighten that damn pee stain.
Called in the big guns and even tried bleach on it.
It became the epic battle known as "Woman v. Pee Stain"

Well my friends, I am proud to say I won. (Did you have any doubt in your mind?)
My solution? The floor people painted over it before they polyurethaned it. Brilliant!
Let's take a look at the before and after! Here it is, in all it's glory:

After weeks of elbow grease it finally lightened to this lovely shade:

And then finally the support troops came in and helped me win the war against the floor!

It doesn't actually look as light as it does in this picture - I think the flash made it brighter.
And it didn't cost anything extra because they are trying to get people to use this new "stain masking" service they are offering - so it was free! We figured, Hey the wood is ruined anyway so let's give it a whirl.
You put the rug up next to it, and in the daylight, you can't even tell!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Sneak Peek...

... at the new dining room. What do you think? The wall color is called Martini Olive.
I am going to make a book when we're all done of before and after photos. It's amazing the facelift this old house is getting!!!

Maybe I am coming down with a fever...

For those of you who know me - this is going to sound strange.
I finally finished painting the Master Bedroom... and I chose... BEIGE.
I don't know what I was thinking but it is such a departure from the norm for me! I love colors and usually go crazy with the wall color.

But after I was all done with the bedroom, I looked around and just thought - God this looks so sad!! I have a great image in my head though, inspired by a page in a Pottery Barn catalog - so I've got to stay true to the design!! I'm sure it will look great when it's all done. I've got a orange quilt and a orange sunset picture that's going on the wall - so I'm getting my color fix through accessories!!

Anyone need some firewood?

The tree is gone - no fall out yet from that 30 ton crane. I think we maybe have avoided disaster! Anyway - it created alot of firewood - too bad we don't have a fireplace!...... and it was 81 degrees on Monday!

Anyway I thought this photo was funny - we had half the street blocked off with tree limbs! They did eventually come and haul it away...

Floors - done!

The wood floors look GREAT!!! Thank you Mr. Sandless! We decided to go with them and I am SO glad we did. Cost half as much, and it was done in 1 day.
Of course they are not perfect - they never will be. They are old wood floors. The only way you can get all the scratches and little imperfections out would be to strip and sand them down very far and then get them refinished the old fashioned way.
We didn't have that kind of time - or money - and I kind of like the old look in a house! Why be cookie cutter? Do your own thing!!
So here is the before:

And the after:
And Dave is making nice wooden thresholds for all the doorways!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Goodbye Dead Tree!

God sent us a huge wake up call in the form of a dead water oak.
It's been getting quite chilly here in Florida... and a week or 2 ago we had a nor'easter blow through with high winds. I think it was the weekend of Florida/Georgia.... we were so preoccupied with the game and the all day tailgating that we had started to neglect Ardsley Manor. I think we went about 4 days in a row of not even checking up on her! Well the day after the game I was feeling restless (and sad :( Damn you Georgia!) and said to Dave, we've got to get back to work!
So we dragged out defeated butts out of bed and made it over there by early afternoon. What we found shook us to the core. A huge tree limb had cracked and fallen off the dead water oak that is hanging over our house. It missed our roof by 2 FEET! It's not a branch - it's a limb. We can't move it is so heavy.

Dave and I were racked with guilt - What if it had fallen through our roof, leaving us a big hole - while we're off drinking beer in a parking lot? So we decided that was a big sign from the man upstairs - "You two need to prioritize! Protect your family first - paint chips are non essentials!!"

The tree company is coming Tuesday to take it down. There is no way to get to the backyard, so they have to get a crane to reach over the house. I am getting a nervous stomach just thinking about it. They'll be carrying these huge branches over the house!!!! EEk! And they will have to take out some bushes on the side to get the stump grinder back there.

It's going to cost alot - and probably mess up the yard - but you know what? We'll be alive at the end of the day! And there will be no chance that sucker could fall through the roof in the middle of the night!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Paint me a river.

We are finally ready for color in the dining room and master bedroom! It's been a long slow process, but we really wanted to get those 2 rooms done right, since we spend a lot of time there.
The master bedroom had some lovely wallpaper on it, you might recall. Pale blue, pink and yellow stripes - all you needed was a crib and voila! Instant nursery!
Dave and I decided that we've still got a few years before we can tackle another very expensive time consuming endeavor (children) so the nursery paper had to go! We contemplated the Trading-Spaces-quick-fix-paint-over-it philosophy... but in the end we had to strip it. The previous owner had papered over nails and tacks and picture hangers!!! So there were these big bumps in the wall - it was a mess. So I spent about a week stripping the paper and washing the walls. Then my dad came over to help mud the imperfections and Dave puttied holes. Then Dave sanded, vacuumed, and wiped down the walls. Then I went in and primed with Killz. So it's FINALLY ready for some color! It was ALOT of prep, but the walls are sooooo smooth you would not believe it. You can't even tell they're plaster. They look like drywall.
After seeing the amazing results, we are kicking ourselves that we did not do that much prep at the Belmonte house!! If you've been to our other house, you've seen the bumpy plaster walls. (Why didn't we think to do some prep there instead of slapping paint over it?)
Anyway I guess that's water over a bridge - or a bridge over troubled water - whatever. Needless to say we had to do the same thing to the dining room - couldn't bear to do a half assed job there. So we stripped the wallpaper - found the nicotine stains - washed walls - mudded - sanded - vacuumed - wiped - and last night primed. But this time used oiled based Killz because of the smell. Which if you've never used oil based Killz smells like gasoline and gets you high like a crackhead!!! Good lord that was an interesting evening! We tried to get as much ventilation as possible in there - but we ended up talking about some weird stuff and Dave was laughing... I got very cranky... my eyes started watering, so much so - I'd say it was more than when I watched The Notebook.
But it was worth it - both rooms look fantastic and are ready for some color!!