Posts Tagged ‘new house’

Exterior House Painting Reveal

It looks so different. If you ever want to meet your neighbors, paint the exterior of your house. I think I’ve talked to nearly everyone on the street – and so far everyone likes it, albeit with opinions.

Remember when you were pregnant and people asked about your birth plan? Haha, painting your house is kinda in the same category of public opinion and knowledge. Not that I care, really. I have had so much trouble and anxiety on selecting colors, that I’ve actually SOUGHT help.

Months ago I found a photo in a color swatch brochure of a house with a similar roof line as ours.

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I used it as an example when we replaced the roof last fall.

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I was still on the fence about the colors, so I took our painting company’s advice and met with a painting consultant to confirm swatches several weeks ago, and she reaffirmed my selections, saying that it would “look great.”

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Then the dreaded waiting period began. I kept asking friends and family if they thought I was making the right choice – I mean EVERYONE is painting their homes GRAY and NAVY. This is a completely different spectrum! I feel like everyone was being nice about it and assuring me it would be fine. It didn’t keep me from waking up at night, though.

On Monday, the painting crew arrived for a walk through and began prepping for the week. We were assigned a team of foreign exchange students, who were friendly and enjoyed playing with Wes and the dogs. They instantly loved them back.

Steven was out of town for the day, and the Reynolds came over for dinner to celebrate Jovia’s belated birthday, get sweaty in the bounce house and watch the painting crew. It was a perfect day, really.

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Tuesday was the first painting day. When we approached the house after work, it was impressively different. The way the sun hit the tan color, though, made the color look yellow, and I started to have major doubts. But the back and side of the house looked great, so I bit my lip and literally prayed that I would learn to love it.

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Wes certainly did. “Mama, look! I like our yellow house!”
Facepalm. It’s not yellow! It’s tan! My fingers were crossed that the warm white trim color would help soften the yellow tint. After work on Wednesday, we came home to this:

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By now, everyone in the neighborhood was in it. I watched people point and drive by slowly (do they hate it? what are they saying?!); I spoke with people I hadn’t in months: “It looks AWESOME!” and “You really hit the nail on the head.”

There were also several questions – even months before the painting began – on whether we’d paint the brick. Though Steven has little opinion about color choices, this was one decision we made together: not to paint it. There are several houses with similar features as ours in the neighborhood that have successfully pulled off a single color for both the siding and brick, and they do look nice. And though there are some places around the house that show water/paint run off on the brick that could have been covered up by paint, it wasn’t really a debatable decision.

We actually like brick and its variances. We left the family room fireplace unpainted as well because we like it. It’s nearly impossible to restore to its original coloring after its painted, too, and who knows? Maybe red brick will come back in style in the next few decades…and we’ll be trendy!

Back to Wednesday’s progress: So far, so good. And the weather had held off its forecasted thunderstorms.

Until Thursday. There were a few scattered storms, but the guys got the trim done and started on the doors and porch. Wes enjoyed waking up each morning to see his new friends.

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Mom and Dad were in the neighborhood to return a borrowed ladder at a friends’ house on our street, so naturally they stopped by to check out the handiwork. I asked if it was weird for them to witness their house of 26 years change colors, but they seemed pleased with the outcome thus far.

We had hoped to complete the project by Thursday, but the crew needed another half day to finish the porch and touch up random places. We semi-grudgingly went to bed knowing that we’d have one more day to dodge and avoid certain windows while getting ready in the morning.

I was a little nervous to come home on Friday because of conversations at work about the porch (floor) color. Apparently people don’t paint porches anymore, but we couldn’t just leave the blue-gray floor, and an all-white porch seemed like too much. And shutters? I kept going back and forth. But my prayers (seriously, I did pray that I’d like it), seemed to work, because approaching the driveway was beginning to be fun.

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After the final walk through, I attached a handful of white painted shutters before hopping in the car to see Wesley’s last preschool 500 bike “race.” It was just as adorable as you can imagine.

IMG_3771We spent Friday evening on the freshly painted front porch, then had dinner on the back patio. Wes was clearly enjoying himself, as he looked up at the house, then the porch umbrella, and announced, “It’s really nice to spend your life with people under the umbrella.”

Sure is, buddy.

The paint crew gave Wes his very own painting t-shirt, which is now a coveted item. As I’m looking more closely at areas they painted, the quality of painting around specific areas (door frames, mainly) was mediocre, but they were great to our family, and at least I didn’t have to climb up a ladder with a paintbrush.

And yes, I’m still debating the color of the garage doors (should they be tan? red?), and I couldn’t get all of the shutters properly installed. But that’s ok because I’d like to replace them with wooden (maybe functional?) shutters in the somewhat near future. Everyone knows that a project like this is never fully finished.

THAT ALL SAID — the photos are misleading; it really does look warm and inviting in person, which is exactly what we were going for.

The day we moved in:                                        Today:

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Instead of grays and dark blues, we’ve opted for browns and reds. I’m sure we’ll still get asked when we plan to paint the lower brick portion, too, haha. Despite my uncertainty, we’re starting to really like the “finished” product. It’s the Shattuck way to be different, I guess.

Come by and visit!

Posted: May 29th, 2016
Categories: Leah
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10 Months Later

IMG_3134The house. We’ve remained pretty busy during the colder months, and as of last week, we completed last year’s summer project list with the fence repair! Whew. It felt so good to cross off that last, important item.

2015 Unfinished Summer Projects:
Repair rear fence
Remove wallpaper: 1/2 Bath ([still] TABLED: Steven has hinted enough that he actually likes the wallpaper!)
Remove wallpaper: 3rd Bedroom
Paint: Master + Bath, Entry/Stairwell, Dining Room, Family Room

Sofa slipcover in Living Room

In January, Steven had the wallpaper removed in the 3rd bedroom and the walls painted for the beginnings of my own craft/painting room. Because the room gets the most amount of sunlight than any other in the house, I picked the same soft white paint color as the entry – mainly so I would have enough extra paint to do the family room myself. I still need to organize some things, but doesn’t it look like it has potential??
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In March, I decided to jump into the thick of it and start painting the walls and trim in the family room – the only room in the house with original brown trim and crown molding. The project took 2 weekends and nearly 20 hours, but it was so worth it. I found dried paint in my hair two weeks later.
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For giggles, this is what the family room looked like when I was a kid.
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(Yeah, so there’s a story behind the photo on the right of my sister and I. My grandma, who had dementia, was in a goofy mood that day; she posed us and then snapped this pic. Great memories.)

THEN Steven and I went to find new bedroom furniture for Wes. We found the best set(!) that he’ll use for ages and ages, and it looks great in his room. Here’s an adorable photo of Wes spinning around in his room right after the furniture truck left.
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While we were shopping for bedroom furniture, Steven spotted this wonderful small sectional and fell in love. After we bought the bedroom set and left the store, I called them back and added this piece, because why not? I hate that we said goodbye to the beloved couch of my grandma’s (which for the life of me I couldn’t find a slip cover to fit!), but it was a good time to move on.
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And now the fence is fixed! We didn’t want to replace the whole thing – just the sections with holes to keep the dogs contained. I mean, you can clearly see where the new sections start, but nothing a little spray paint can’t hide.

Now that we’re “done”… naturally I need to put together THIS summer’s project list, right? Believe me, it won’t be nearly as aggressive. Here’s what we’d like to do this year, and we’re already off to a good start.

Summer Projects:
Paint: House Exterior, Porch, Trim, Doors
Replace porch furniture
Kitchen Drawer Pulls
Weeding & landscaping
Replace interior doors

We’ve been outside every nice weekend day and weeknight to start cleaning up from the winter and clear out some overgrowth. Some of the “weeding and landscaping” is/will be fairly extensive – removing old roots, stumps and dead ash trees. I’m not planning on planting much of anything new this year, but will instead get ready for next summer’s possibilities.

I guess the exception is Wesley’s new addition to the yard: Tree-Rex. We received this baby Shumard Oak from the Indiana Earth Day Festival last weekend, and we planted it where an old fir tree had been removed. Wes is in love with this little tree and even gave it its own birthday party.

We hired a company to paint the exterior of the house in June, which is super exciting and nerve-wrecking. I feel like picking the right colors is essential. Did you know that painting consultants exist?! Sherwin Williams is scheduled to come to the house this week to look at the roof line, other homes in the area and our building materials to help me choose paint colors.

It’s amazing what some elbow grease and new furnishings do to make a place feel like home. Our evening walks have started up again, which helps us meet more neighbors and feel even better about our decision to move into this space. We’ve definitely settled in to a rhythm here – our little place in this city. We’re loving it.

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Posted: April 27th, 2016
Categories: Leah
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(500) Seconds* of Summer

*8.3333 minutes

I’d love to say that we spent a fantastic summer visiting the beach or picking up new hobbies. But truthfully, it’s been a hot mess. That’s not to say we haven’t enjoyed family time, birthdays, anniversaries or our home adjustment. I just feel like I blinked (or sweat) it all away.

Here’s the last 6 weeks in a nutshell.

Wesley’s birthday:
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T-Ball practices:
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Yardwork:
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Painting the Dining Room, Entry and Stairwell:
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See those frames in the dining room? To remember our first home, I pressed and framed a few clippings from our former garden.

Multiple trips to home improvement stores:

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Indiana State Fair:
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Visiting family:
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Lots of grandparents and cousins and Grandma’s new condo pool.

8th Wedding Anniversary (on the same day we sold/closed on the old house):
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Fondue takes forever to eat, especially after a long and draining day of house closing.

Family time:
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Wes made mac n’ cheese! He learned chess! (Look at that crazy wall in the background before it was painted!) Jake loves sitting at the dinner table, and that might be my favorite photo of the summer! Ice cream for ages!

Lounging, in between everything else:
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Summer Projects:
List old house on the market
Stage old house for showings

Old house upkeep and maintenance
Repair rear fence (TABLED: Maybe it’s a spring project…)
Remove wallpaper: Entry/Stairwell

Remove wallpaper: Family Room
Remove wallpaper: Dining Room – in progress
Remove wallpaper: 1/2 Bath (TABLED: Steven has hinted enough that he actually likes the wallpaper!)
Remove wallpaper: 3rd Bedroom – in progress
Weeding & landscaping – in progress
Paint grout in entry
Paint: Master + Bath, Entry/Stairwell, Dining Room, Family Room
Buy dehumidifier for basement
Additional runner for upstairs hallway
Sofa slipcover in Living Room (TABLED: I’ve had enough people tell me it’s endearing to see Grandma’s old sleeper sofa in all its 1995 patterned glory. It will stay for now.)
Replace entry light fixture
Replace toilet seat in Master Bath
Remove bee nests on front porch
Poison ivy removal
Recover kitchen banquettes

Here’s what I’ve learned this summer:
1) I wore my hair in a ponytail every day.
2) I am spoiled to think that a vacation=summer. Look what fun we did have!
3) I miss painting canvases. A few times I was able to tear myself away from “being productive” and have started a different sort of anniversary collage painting.
4) I underestimated our ability to pack up and move on so smoothly. No, not that it wasn’t hard to physically move and get settled, but we haven’t been sappy or remorseful over our decisions.

And now, look at this giant boy who started PreK-4! Trudging onward.
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Posted: August 28th, 2015
Categories: Leah
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Week Two

IMG_1240Last Monday, we put our house on the market. Our realtors are a husband-wife team my parents’ age, and they sold our neighbor’s house 3 years ago within 2 weeks. They are no-nonsense, and we like that. They told us what to expect and what not to expect, gave a few pointers on what we should do rather quickly to the old house, took some photos and listed it that same day.

While we were taking family photos outside by the for sale sign, several neighbors and passersby asked questions about the house, complimented our front garden bed and wished us well. I’m hoping that’s a good sign that we will have several inquiries and showings! I did hear today that we indeed had a showing on Wednesday, and while their only complaint was the small dining room, it was enough for them to keep looking at other properties. Can’t really do anything to change that; we “survived” 8 years with it!

The week itself was fairly uneventful because it rained ALL THE TIME. Wes has been super antsy and cabin feverish from the weather, making up new words to songs, “Rain, rain, go away. Don’t ever come back!”

If you ask Wes about the new house, his response is nearly always about the garage doors. He is fascinated with them. The conservation goes something like this: “We have a loud and a quiet garage door at the new house. The garage doors are blue. The quiet one isn’t as fast as the loud one. And the loud one is really, really loud!” Uh huh.

Outside of getting connected with internet again (it was dreadfully painful without it!), we unpacked boxes, tried pieces of furniture in different rooms, and I researched kitchen breakfast nooks. Note: Amish-made breakfast nooks are the best quality, but they’re pricey. You can find cheap particle board sets within $300-500 online, but luckily I scored a used (and weathered) L-shaped bench/banquette on Craigslist. The seats desperately need to be recovered, as if I don’t have enough projects!

Ballard Designs Coventry Corner Bench: We actually placed it into the opposite corner after trying it out for a day

Ballard Designs Coventry Corner Bench: We moved it into the opposite corner after this photo was taken, and it looks much better. Maybe I won’t be lazy and will post the updated look later.

We spent much of the weekend attempting yardwork once it finally ceased to rain. All this precipitation has made the weed population go crazy over here. I spent four hours weeding out the front beds of approximately 30 square feet and nearly another hour clearing out random weeds, trees and other plants that have popped out of the lovely English Ivy in the side yard.

Steven has cut the lawn twice now, which is nearly triple the size of our past yard. Wes was so excited to cut grass with Daddy at the new house, but he didn’t quite keep up – he came in drenching in sweat, hair matted to his head, and out of breath – “I think I’m done.”

Probably the most worrisome project is problematic poison ivy and night shade. The night shade is actually pretty easy to pull, but it’s creeping up everywhere, and it makes me nervous that the dogs and Wes are so close to it. Yesterday evening, I attempted to pull as much poison ivy out of our back side garden. There are three more bad areas in the yard that I am well aware of, and I’m afraid I’m likely to miss a bunch.

IMG_1251Rachel came over on Saturday, and she helped ease some of my anxiety about paint swatches, project priorities and time frames. She suggested we place all the unhung decor and unpacked boxes in the unused guest room so that I can’t see “unfinished projects.” Decor is the LAST thing to accomplish, and it’s been stressing me out that we don’t have things on the walls. Rachel also helped take down window treatments to allow more light into the house, and we even attempted the dining room wallpaper! I also have to give a shout out to her husband Nate for hauling the kitchen nook across town for me. 🙂

My plan was to use my PTO day today to finish removing the dining room wallpaper and clear out more poison ivy. I was able to spray weed killer and get halfway through the dining room before a massive storm hit and wiped out our power for 4 hours. Wes decided to stay home with me today, so we hunkered down in the basement with candles and tried to fight our boredom until the sun came out and the lights came on. Way harder than it sounds!

Summer Projects:
List old house on the market
Stage old house for showings – in progress
Old house upkeep and maintenance – ongoing
Repair rear fence
Remove wallpaper: Entry/Stairwell

Remove wallpaper: Family Room
Remove wallpaper: Dining Room – in progress
Remove wallpaper: 1/2 Bath
Remove wallpaper: 3rd Bedroom
Weeding & landscaping – in progress
Paint grout in entry
Paint: Master + Bath, Entry/Stairwell, Dining Room, Family Room (retouch & trim)
Buy dehumidifier for basement
Additional runner for upstairs hallway
Sofa slipcover in Living Room (original purchase looked terrible this week)
Replace entry light fixture
Replace toilet seat in Master Bath
Remove bee nests on front porch
Poison ivy removal – in progress
Recover kitchen banquettes

In other news, WES TURNS FOUR THIS WEEK. In fact, today is my original due date. We’re having our first company over on Saturday to celebrate. We’ll see how I do!

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Posted: July 13th, 2015
Categories: Leah
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Moving on Up

It wasn’t supposed to happen this quickly. I had given myself until next spring to get accustomed to the idea of leaving this little house that we’ve called home for 8 years. This little house that, when we moved in, I never fully embraced and thought of a temporary location, truly began to feel like “home” over the last few years. I started to see the mark we’ve left in the creaky floors, itty bitty kitchen and hallway of multiple doors.

What was supposed to happen in a year has been crunched into a handful of short weeks, and I’ve had my moods shift from sadness and loss to frustration to a more consistent, “let’s do this.”

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Since 2012 or around, Steven and I had thrown around the idea of buying my parents’ house on the northeast side of Indy once they had downsized into a condo. There was never any urgency given that Wesley likely won’t start Kindergarten until fall 2016 (or maybe even 2017), when we would hope to be settled into another township for school purposes. And in a house with more than one bathroom.

This past winter, we and my parents decided to plan for spring 2016 as our moving time period. The weather got warmer, and for fun, my parents started looking at available condos in communities in which they had interest. A few came and went quickly, so they knew that the areas they were looking at were desirable.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, a condo went up for sale that was in the neighborhood they liked best, and after a walk through, they knew it wouldn’t last on the market long. They acted quickly and put in an offer. Within a handful of days, their offer was accepted, and a couple weeks later, they claimed the keys.

The last 6 weeks have been crazy – my and Steven’s birthdays, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, Vacation Bible School, losing a coworker and hiring & training a replacement. Meanwhile, Steven spoke at four different conferences at various places in the country. (He’s really very good. Need a speaker for your next event?)

We really haven’t begun to pack until now. Some boxes are easier to pack than others. I’ve only shed a few tears, and the momentum is moving forward – we’re ready to move now. The plan is to help Mom and Dad move big stuff out this week, and we will move our big stuff in next week. From there, we will likely list our house to sell.

I had Wesley help me create a video tour so that we can always remember our little house – especially him, as he’s likely to forget the place he spent the first few years of life.

Pros – big yard, lots of house space, established & safe neighborhood, quick commute to jobs and church

Fears/Cons – having more rooms to clean and the fear of accumulating more stuff, missing our eastside friends and neighbors and businesses, making my childhood home into OUR home

I’m sure this won’t be my last post about making our way into a new home. Stay tuned, friends. I’m also sure I will be needing help choosing paint swatches and decor and everything else!

Posted: June 21st, 2015
Categories: Leah
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