Cuttin up...wallz

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When we first moved into the ranch, the kitchen and eating area was like a shotgun shape that ran parallel with the living room, which was also a shotgun shape, long, narrow, confining to the free spirits. It was only a matter of time before we busted lose... like Kevin Bacon in that one movie. PS; I am one degree away, no big deal. I hate that I just said PS by the way.


Here ya go sledgehammer lovers, and free spirits alike:

View from the living room, back when the bookshelf was there. That doorway you see leads to the kitchen.

Sweet side view of my overflowing bookshelf.

View from the kitch, I demoed the existing peninsula- island while Andy was at work (Andy and I have been debating on whether it was a peninsula or an island, I say island and don't argue with me but, agree to disagree) and moved the stove to this wall to get an L shape kitchen layout. I did hire someone to move the stove because we have a gas stove and I didn't feel like blowing us all up. 

Here is what it used to look like.

So I moved the stove to where the fridge is in this pic and moved the fridge to the other side of the doorway shown here.

 See...Oh and that's my dog turned bumble bee, that's his bumble bee Halloween costume. He doesn't like when we take the suit off him because he wants to BE a bumble bee. I'm serious, he loves it like he loves kibble. He has been wearing it nonstop except when I give him baths or wash his suit. Anything to help him complete his evolutionary journey is apparently what we will do.

View through the doorway of the kitch into the living room. Bumble Bee making yet another appearance. He is such a show off.

 Other side of the fridge with the dining area in place

Long shotgun with one outlet to the livingroom, which totally gets in my way when I am slaving away at the stove cooking for everyone.

The bookshelf side with the sheet-rock cut.

 I made the opening higher than the standard size doorway. I did this because I didn't want it to be a doorway necessarily, I wanted it to be a pass through.

You can see in this pic it is about a foot higher than the door on the other side.

Framing in the original doorway.

view from the livingroom with new doorway cut open and old doorway framed in.
Tip: it's always more dust then you think it will be so cover up the furniture with plastic or you will hate life.

Looking into the dining area, so much more lofty now.

Through the doorway to the fab widows in the living room.

Another view from the living room.

Bookshelf view, now I have a sweet hole to fill in the wood floor where the wall once was.

Hello you sexy pass through, you make my ranch feel like a loft.
I trimmed it out and cased it in simple square wood molding and painted it white because this is a modern house and I need modern molding. 

Funny story about that umbrella you see in the backyard, we strategically placed that high class gem there to block my neighbors window because we don't like them looking at us, and the best way to fight rude is by being rude.

I will eventually change out those curtains to something more mod and functional, and that ugly swag light will get a nice trip to the dump. As soon as I can afford an electrician.

I put those lips on the fridge because...why not.

This is where the sweet bookshelf used to be, I moved it to fit my new hobby. I hung those shelves to accommodate the overflowing books.
Andy's little sister painted that picture of our house and yes, that is a UFO above it. 

The old doorway, we salvaged an old piece of wood paneling to fill it. One day it will get covered with overhead cabinets and back-splash, when I can save up enough money. In the meantime I am using old bookshelves to hold my our crap.

 The L shape kitch is so much better for cooking and so much more open. I got those cream cabinets for free from a job-site because they were damaged, and I put mahogany wood boards on top that I stole from my dad's garage. They are all temporary.

 The rug you see on the floor is where the old peninsula-island used to be. I still have to repair the floor there.

 So much more to go but, the layout is set and I am happy. I love this house and I love all the sunlight that comes through.

New Fireplace At The Ranch

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Finally making some progress over here at the ranch. Andy and I decided to take a break from updating the house over the holidays and it has taken me this long to get around to starting up again.

Now, I am normally all about a DIY and trust me, I have had my fair share at the ranch, but my birthday is next week and I was like, no, I am hiring it done!

I am so glad I did.

Here is the ugly before.

Dated, dirty, and stupid.

I have always liked how the hearth goes all the way to the wall but the scale is wrong, it seems off balance to me. The goal is to make a small seating area, the neighbor boys call it the "VIP section," around the fireplace next to the dining table so people can converse and hang out while I slave away making dinner in the kitchen.

Quick story about that chandelier in the pic; I bought the frame super cheap because it had no crystals on it so I have been slowly collecting the prisms, I am only...400 prisms from completion. Why can't I buy something that isn't a project? I will never know. Eventually I will center it over the dining table but for now it is just hanging there mocking me and telling me what a loser I am at finding replacement prisms. 

This is a close up of the tile I picked. I wanted something modern but also something that was respectful of the time period this ranch was built (1969.) It is a 6"x24" natural slate plank that has groves cut into it.

Oh yeah, another reason to tile this thing was that the hearth had like, a major crack in it and the inspector said when we were buying the house, that we needed to get it fixed before we lit a fire otherwise fire might drop down in that crack all the way into our crawlspace and start a fire under the house. I thought that was a little dramatic but, don't compete with people on your own team!


Step 1:
Skim coat that mother. 

The dude we hired did a skim coat of thinset (tile cement) over the fireplace so he would have a flat surface to work with. 

 Yup, you guessed it, I am taking the tile all the way up to the ceiling and all the way over to the corner. Time to make a statement baby! You have been in the corner too long, and no one, puts the get it.

The tile dude took the crown down for me too so that the tile would go all the way up to the ceiling, the brown strip you see next to the ceiling is the color of the original wood paneling that was under the crown molding before I painted the walls white.

Meanwhile I was wrestling the laundry pile that made me cry, yes, it gave me a temporary mental breakdown. The kid was like "We would win the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest laundry pile ever."  Thanks kid, I sort of feel better now.

Step 2: Tile
I went with the flat side on the hearth because I felt like it would be weird having all those groves on a horizontal surface and not easy to clean. 

Making it level.

Step 3: Vogue

 Pose for me baby! Vogue! I went with a linear stacked look, no grout on the face but grout on the hearth (I still have not grouted the hearth.) Those wood supports in the picture are there until the stuff fully drys. I know I should have taken them down for the pics but I was just so excited!

 The fireplace has balance now, the tile totally transformed the look of the space and anchors that side of the room.

Thanks to my dad for hooki'n me up with an awesome tile guy and for the leftover tile from one of his jobs. Thanks to my mom for helping me with the laundry pile that almost got me committed. 
I love you guys.