Tuesday, July 27, 2010

likes & gripes...

this post is dedicated to lori....because who knows when the next coffee night will really be.
when we started this whole renovation process we were so, so, SO naive. i don't even think that at this point you could consider us "seasoned" re-modelers...but i wish we knew then what we know now....the BIGGEST things i wish we knew (seriously, we knew NOTHING)

oh we were so clueless, yet full of hope....

1. everything takes A LOT longer than you expect.

2. everything costs A LOT more than you expect.

3. there are A LOT more problems than you would expect.

so i thought i would compile a list of the things that i'm super pleased with and things that are not so much.

let's start with the not-so-much:
{rain shower heads} over rated. i don't even use it. it's kind of like all or nothing. you're either fully under the water (water pouring down your face...i feel like i should wear a visor just so i can open my eyes and not get water in them!) or only slightly under water and slightly freezing...i guess there's a reason why people get those body spray things w/those shower heads...it's not a fancy hoity-toity-thing (ok, maybe it is a little) but a keep-warm necessity thing. but if you insist on getting one because it looks super cool (like i did) get a hand held one too for practicality...mount it high so it can double as a regular shower head for you to use when you realize the rain shower head isn't all that great.

see? it would be perfect if the rain shower head was in the area where nolan is standing...

{cabinet upgrades} SO WORTH IT. too bad we didn't get any. seriously, our cabinets have so much dead space it's ridiculous. lazy susans, pantry pull-outs, pull out drawers...worth their weight in gold. too bad they cost more than gold. my advice? find those local people (i don't know why but they all seem to be chinese) that do cabinets for cheap. don't go to home depot/lowes because you're super picky about cabinet color (like we were) so you can afford the upgrades. also....i don't know what they do if you go with those local companies, but if you do go w/home depot or lowes...{TIP for ya:} it is SO much cheaper to buy your hardware from their hardware aisle than it is to order say, thomasville cabinet handles. (HUGE RIP OFF!)

this bag of handles ended up being almost half the price of what it would've cost to order handles w/the cabinets.

{sliding closet doors} i hate that there's always going to be parts of the closet that's not accessible. i hate that. i grew up with bi-fold doors. some may find them old fashion or ugly (nolan) but i love opening them up and seeing the entire length of the closet. that may just be my opinion...."personal preference" (i hate that answer!!!)

{lighting} i hate relying on lamps. invest in ceiling lights.

{medicine cabinets} while i looooove my bathroom. especially my mirror...my pride and joy...the only thing i insisted on....i do miss having a medicine cabinet. easy access.

{dark, wood floors} omg! shows ALLLLL the dust! and so hard to keep nice and clean. you gotta vacuum, sweep, swiffer, then wet swiffer. i'm gonna be the eternal cleaning lady. go with light colored flooring, people! you probably will have to go through the same cleaning steps, but at least the dust doesn't show as much.

sigh....everything my mom was saying is coming back to haunt me. hahaha. she's all about practicality and i was all about looks. moms are always right.

let's move on to the LIKES, shall we?

{shelves} i never thought i could be in love with shelving, but i am. i literally stood in the bathroom staring at the simple shelving we had put in and smiled like an idiot for about 5 min. when we moved in, all the closets all had this type of shelving:
image source: rubbermaid.com

who knows how long they were there but they felt old and sticky. you know that soft sticky rubbery feeling things get when its just....old? i hated it. we kept it in certain small closets, but replaced them in the important areas. i love the linen closet shelves. i love our clothes closet shelves, and i love the entryway shoe "closet" shelves. i love the shelves. so simple, basic, yet i love them so.

{tiled mirror} sometimes you gotta fight for something you want. and although i miss the easy access of a medicine cabinet, i love looking at that mirror.

ollie makes an appearance!

{lighting} i love our kitchen and bathroom lighting. thanks randy! i like the cable track lighting...
nolan approves too...of course he does, he picked those.

{bedding} i LOVE our new bedding. i don't want to get out of bed in the morning. so soft and comfy....cost-per-use really does help justify the investment. ;p spend the extra $$ on the things you'll use everyday. that's what i say at least ;p

{good contractors} we've dealt with both....the kind you love working with...and "the other kind". the-other-kind did our bathroom shower, all the tiles in the unit, and....i'm not sure what else. in terms of quality, the work is good. but i'm not even sure what happened but nolan refuses to talk about it because it makes him super angry. to this day i still don't really know what happened...every time he starts trying to tell me about it he gets super angry and just stops and says nevermind...what's done is done, but we'll never work w/that guy again. the contractor we have now is amazing. so easy to work with. does good work, and you just feel comfortable working with him. you don't always have to worry that you're being ripped off or anything like that. he did all our kitchen cabinets, our shelving, light installation, and a bunch of other things. it's fun to come home to find new things that are installed/works/painted. its great.

i'm sure i'll find more likes & gripes, so stay tuned for more...

Monday, July 26, 2010

let there be light: part two

if you remember back to the very beginning, we found out that we didn't need to only rely on floor lamps for the entire apartment...you can read about it here. many, many, MANY months later, we finally have lighting installed! hallelujah! no more stumbling around in the dark relying on only the kitchen and bathrooms for light.

as you can see, we're still living in a world of chaos...many things still in boxes, without a home...i also am not entirely thrilled with the placement of the surround sound speakers...damn you sprinkler systems!!! and if you look at the other side of the room---more boxes, rolling racks, and our two super UNcomfy chairs while we wait for our couch to come in. (just got word that it won't reach the shores of hawaii until august 15..or was it 18th?) i think we better invest in more comfy temporary seating....

also in progress are our closets! YAY! i'm sick of the rolling racks!

master bedroom closet

bathroom linen closet

my closet

can't wait to say goodbye to these rolling racks!
honestly, i'm not the neatest person in the world...far from it actually...but the mess is really getting to me! i can't wait for the place to start feeling like a "home" and less like a storage unit!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

a communist mess

no, i'm not going to be getting political. i'm actually talking about our condo. security is ridiculous! i guess in terms of our safety, it's ridiculously good. but in terms of freedom to do what you like, it's ridiculously.....ridiculous. they see all. hear all. know all. Nolan is already known as "the infamous nolan" due to things like our floods, silly amounts of contractors, not knowing the rules about these contractors (must be insured, must come during set days and hours, etc), and even where you dump certain types of trash. sigh.
this morning i left for work and found a huge note on the door from security (why not slip it under the door like all other notices?! why did they have to tape it up to the door for all other sixth floor residents to see?!? i felt like hester prynne with a scarlet parking lot violation sewn to my chest) about guest parking is only till 2am and if you did not sign up for overnight guest parking, your car will be towed next time. so attention nolan's friends: no parking in our building if you plan on staying out past 2am. which is every time...so no parking in the building.
these guys are like the danny mccoys of the building...only much less attractive. wouldn't that be great? danny mccoy looking security gaurds?
and about the mess.....
the place is a mess. still unfinished closets---clothes everywhere. sinks still leak---brushing your teeth in the kitchen sucks. using the bathroom in the middle of then night then having to stumble in the dark to the kitchen to wash your hands (because we also didn't install lighting yet) also sucks.
debby downer posts, also suck.
i apologize.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

can't get out of bed...

with sheets this soft!!!

i've been looking for new bedding for two reasons. the first being the chocolate brown comforter doesn't really go with the color scheme of the new apartment. the second being that nolan decided to wash the comforter cover with the white sheets, which resulted our sheets turning into a weird pinky brown hue. i've been searching online almost everyday, but couldn't seem to find anything pretty enough for me, but manly enough for nolan. sigh. and then there's nolan's affinity for hotel collection bedding (which he learned from kristen...he blames all his brand snobbery on kristen). I had seen this collection online but thought it seemed too boring. too plain. but when i was in the store, the display mixed this collection with pillows from the HC spa collection. the decorative pillow (i bought one) matches our paint color PERFECTLY. and the best part? it was all on sale...AND in addition to the sale price, it was buy one get one 50% off! so i bought 4 things and made 2 separate transactions! the deal was a steal!
i only wish i had bought one more decorative pillow...

but it's seriously SO soft i have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. definitely worth the investment :)

i only wish it didn't wrinkle so much. i'm super tempted to iron the bedding. but i hate ironing. so i most likely will not iron it.

in other news....

still living out of boxes
the place is a mess

Monday, July 12, 2010

moving day!

We officially moved into our sixth floor apartment, on Saturday--July 10!
that's pretty much 5 months after we closed. who would've thought it would take THIS long?!?!
we stupidly thought we'd be moved in my april! hahahahaha. i laugh just thinking about it. i laugh thinking about how much we thought we were going to spend too! i remind myself about those hgtv/diy shows where people attempt to flip houses and then go into debt. thank god we didn't get that far!
anyhoo...we hired a moving company, they brought a GINORMOUS truck and five guys. they walk into our place, saw the boxes, and were like "THAT'S IT?!?!?!"

needless to say the actual move went pretty quickly. it was the cleaning and unpacking that is proving to be dificult and lengthy...especially since our closets haven't been worked on yet. boo. rolling racks it is!
i hate to be a debbie downer/negative nancy but i miss the old place. i think it's just because i'm getting frustrated living half out of boxes, rolling racks and finding things that just ain't so great...
let me point them out for you in the event that it may steer you away from certain decisions...
1. our bathroom sinks leak. waiting for them to get fixed, and only using the kitchen sink kinda sucks.
2. rain shower head....very nice! BUT make sure you get it mounted either from the ceiling or somehow get it further away from the wall then we did. it's awkward standing so close to the wall. and it's kinda weird to have to be completely under it, as opposed to coming at an angle as w/regular shower head--sometimes you just don't want your head to get wet! thank god for our hand held shower head that's mounted high enough that it acts as a regular shower head too!
3. parking stall....is tight. i miss my huge single stall....
4. dead space....the kitchen is filled w/dead space! it may look like we have a lot of cabinets, but a lot of it, you (I) need a ladder to reach. not very efficient. everything is narrow and deep...again, not very efficient. if only we could splurge on things like a pull-out pantry or lazy susans. but they charge you an arm and a leg! damn you thomasville/home depot!
ok, i'm done with my rant.
more pictures to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

it has begun...

our pilgrimage to our new condo has begun...
while everyone was bbq-ing and watching fireworks, i was cleaning, packing, and moving all weekend. thank god it was a 3-day weekend!
Saturday was spent cleaning the new condo--there was just so much fine soot/dust all over the place from all the construction going on. six hours of cleaning and 2 home depot runs later, the condo looked more like a home than a construction zone. thankfully, nolan's parents helped me with the cleaning since nolan was in michigan for his college roommate's wedding. i don't even want to think about how long i would have been there if i had to do it all alone!!
Sunday and Monday were spent packing up our current place....
packing and disassembling things...the place is a mess right now as you can see:

we currently have no tv or internet...we are dying! hahahaha.

Friday, July 2, 2010

new couch!!!

i cannot tell you how ecstatic i was when nolan decided to sell his black leather couch! it was a super comfy couch, but it just screamed, "bachelor pad!"---have you ever seen the episode of sex & the city where harry brings charlotte to his bachelor pad? i don't know why but that's what his furniture brings to mind.
anyway, through the magic of craigslist, a young engaged couple are now the proud owners of a black leather sectional...thanks guys! the only problem was finding a new couch! i thought we jumped the gun by selling the couch without knowing if we'd find a suitable replacement that met all the requirements (comfy, budget-friendly, nice, etc.). It was a much more difficult task than i expected it to be. we would either disagree, or it would be too expensive (hello $15,000 couch!), or it would be too big.

i had almost lost all hope when we stumbled upon this couch:

he loved it, i loved it...it was a good size, comfortable, great neutral color, and a great price!!! i said "i like it!" nolan said "i really like it" i thought he was joking...did we really just agree on a couch??? but of course the car salesman in him HAD to try to negotiate....which is how we found out about the mega 4th of july sale they were going to have, so we waited.

and today w/my $100-off coupon in hand, went marching in to inspiration, to go purchase our new couch!!!! probably the easiest sale the guy had all day. (side note: our sales guy asked me how to spell "elevator"...yikes.)

happy as a clam w/my receipt & delivery information sheet

what we're going to do w/that ginormous ottoman is beyond me. maybe it'll go in my "girl cave", but nolan kinda likes it right where it is...hmmm...

what are your plans for the 3 day weekend?
i'll be on cleaning lady duty all weekend cleaning up the place to prepare for the big move!!!

hope you all have a fantastic 4th of july weekend!