Since we’ve gotten the house, Lauren has been a lot more active in wanting to make home improvements. I keep thinking “things are fine as they are, we’ll make improvements as they are needed,” but Lauren is very observant and seems to have more of a vision for the house. The latest project was the part of the kitchen that was totally unused.

BEFORE: Nothing particularly interesting about this area of the house. It is basically part of the kitchen and I suppose its intent is for a breakfast table. But we weren’t using it for anything except the placement of Baxter’s crate. We also didn’t much care for the light green and beige paint colors. Lauren envisioned a quiet sitting area. I suggested a TV in that area but Lauren is quite firm on her stance of one TV in the house as it distracts from real conversation.

sitting room before

THE MOCKUP: Lauren ran off her ideas for the room, saying it should be a plum color with white accent, a cabinet for wine glasses, a pair of shelves for books, a big rug, and two loveseats. Having spent the last fifteen years using Photoshop daily, I decided to do a quick mock-up of her plans just to have some sort of a visual idea of what we were getting into. Here’s my down-and-dirty five-minute Photoshop job, using the very photo from above.


I just swapped out the green for purple and then searched for some images online and dropped them in. Clearly things are out of whack, but it was just meant to be a crude guideline.

FINAL PRODUCT: We spent all day last Saturday and much of Sunday painting the area purple. We spent a lot of time and money at Ikea on Sunday getting loveseats, a rug, shelves, and China cabinet. We don’t have the coffee table yet, but this is the final product. As you can see, my mockup wasn’t terribly inaccurate, but my sizing was way off.

2013-03-30 09.36.31

In other projects, I broke out our pressure washer yesterday that we bought from the previous home owner and blasted a layer of grime off our stone patio in the backyard. It was fun actually seeing the strips of dirt come off. And it looks much cleaner!


I’m also astounded at how many leaves fall here. Leaves haven’t stopped steadily falling off our trees (and there are a lot of big ones in our yard) since August, and now it’s almost April. It is absolutely impossible to get all the leaves because before I’m even finished with one area a bunch of new leaves have already fallen. Here are dozens of bags packed to the brim with leaves from a couple weeks ago, and this was only the backyard and one of the sidewalks.