Kitchen & Living Room Progress

While we've been trying to focus all of our free-time and efforts outside, we have spent a few moments here and there trying to chip away at the kitchen.  It doesn't look like much since I last wrote about it, but we've actually made some good progress in here.

This is where we left off on the last progress report:

If you remember, we took out that wall and had a structural beam put into the ceiling (something we hired out) and then we put up new drywall and started mudding the joints.  After hours spent mudding ourselves, we realized that we just weren't that good at the whole process and it was taking us way longer than it would take a professional, so we decided to pay someone to finish that up.  Plus, we had an area between one of the beams in the den that was hastily repaired (we think there was water damage from the a/c unit in the attic that had to be fixed some time ago) and then covered with popcorn ceiling texture, which hid it's horrendous defects.  We had our guy mud the new joints and also do a skim coat over that repaired area.  It took him about five hours within the span of two days...something that definitely would have taken us hours over the span of weeks.  It was well worth spending the cash.

Anyway, enough talk about drywall mud, here's what the kitchen looks like today:

How We Organize Kids Clothes with Four Kids in One Room

Our kids are all still sharing one room.  We made that decision almost two years ago now and even when we moved again, they got moved into the same room again.  They LOVE it.  Last week I mentioned to Anthony that maybe we should consider moving Sebastian and Gianna into their own room since the girls have been wanting to stay up later ("since we're older") and we're almost getting closer to the point where they could stand to have their own space with some privacy.  But you guys, they really love it so much that we both came to the conclusion that it's not quite time yet.  

So, in the same room they stay.  But, as you can imagine, it's not the easiest as far as logistics go.  Their room isn't tiny but it's definitely not huge either (I think the measurements are around 12' x 13').  The two sets of bunk beds fit fine plus the long dresser that holds most of the clothes but that's about all that fits.  And really, that's all we need to fit in this room.  Next door there's a dedicated play room (that will eventually become Sebastian and Gianna's room and even farther into the future, just Sebastian's room) and all of their toys are corralled there, so there's no need for a toy space in their bedroom.

With four kids though, comes a good amount of clothing, as you can imagine.  I have really purged and learned to intentionally buy clothes they really need in the past few years so their stash isn't as big as the twins' once was - they had a whole lot in their first years.   We're not minimalists (yet?), more capsule-wardrobe fans, so I can truly say they don't have an over abundance and it feels really good.  And, it's the only way this whole set-up would work without having to overflow into another room.  :)

The Dark Side

We tried something new on for size.  It regards the front of the house.  We've got plans for it and if you missed them, you can read all about them in this post I wrote last year.  But, as the planning has gotten more serious and we're closer to actually putting those plans into motion, we've been trying to really nail down details and maybe changed a few things up.

Before I go into details...  

Here's a (blurry realtor) photo to jog your memory on what the house looked like when we bought it.

I wrote a one-year-in exterior update here but in a nutshell, we took down the shutters, replaced the glass in the windows, painted the front door, replaced the overgrown jasmine along the sidewalk with pretty white flowers, laid bricks along the sidewalk, and transplanted a few more plants from the backyard in front of the left side of the porch.  

Getting there.

A few months back though, I was reading an article about the new black house trend and I got really excited.  I love that look.  Love it so much I really thought maybe we should change our plans and go black or charcoal instead of white on the exterior trim.  And so, I made it happen...

Patio Plans

We have been spending a ton of time outside on our back patio.  The weather down here has been really mild - 80's during the day but without the humidity that hangs out most of the year, it's been oh-so enjoyable.  So, naturally, I've been doing a lot of dreaming about the direction I want to go on our patio.  (Shhh...don't tell Anthony.  He always thinks I should focus on one thing at a time...ha!)  It's not the biggest space but we got lucky in that all of our (secondhand) outdoor furniture fits really great and creates a cozy atmosphere that just needs a little nudge in the right direction to amp up that coziness and make it a bonified, outdoor living room.  

table and chair set //  The brand is Tropitone and is still made - we were given this set from friends who had it handed down to them.  So, it's probably 15+ years old and still looks great.  Needless to say, if you want to invest in an outdoor set that will last, grab something from this company.  Here's their collection on Patio Living.  
umbrella* //  If you don't mind waiting, check clearance at the end of summer!  That's how I found this one!
sofa //  similar from eBay  I've found that bamboo furniture like this is often found on secondhand sites, at least around here.  I got both of these for $45 total! 
loveseat //  similar*

It's always really helpful for me to use Photoshop to create a mock-up so I can visualize my ideas.  I'm not even close to a pro when it comes to Photoshop (I use an older edition so I'm definitely not a pro...haha!) but I'm good enough to create a good glimpse, even if I need to squint to make the after even more realistic.  ;)

Here's what I came up with for our patio:

About a Door

About a door that only took us a whole entire week to hang.  Lemme explain.

Outside on our back patio we have a small closet of sorts that houses our water heater.  Right?  A closet outside for the water heater?  I thought it was weird too when we saw it but it turns out it's actually pretty common down here in the deep south.  The door on that closet was in major need of repair or replacing though - the bottom part of it was all rotted from the elements and since we moved in, a couple of the slats had fallen out.

Not the prettiest sight.

Not even with our outdoor furniture and a quick power wash helping to disguise its falling-apart state.

It's never been a priority to replace it but when we were painting this part of the exterior trim a couple of weeks ago, we decided to just remove and replace the door with a new one.  Neither of us felt like painting a crumbling old door was a good use of paint.  We had braced ourselves to spend at least $150 on a new door to match the old but then, guess what happened?

Depending on how well you know us, you might have guessed it.