a family visit

last weekend my parents, Colleen and Dwight, came to visit!
we had a really wonderful weekend and loved showing off our new pad and neighborhood

we were able to relax and enjoy our newly set up living room 
and benefited from Dad's expertise to get some projects done, too

we took a walk to Magnolia bluff, which has a beautiful view of Puget Sound
this is also where we got married!

Dad and Matt installed our closet organizer!

there was a small setback
here Matt reads the instructions...
and realizes that some pieces were cut to the wrong length 

 there's nothing else they can do for the closet, so they watch some basketball

looking good and almost there!

Mom had never been to Ikea, so we took a trip on Sunday to pick up a few things
we thought the guys were watching football, but when we got back they surprised us by fixing two leaking sinks, a flushing problem with a toilet, and taken down the drop ceiling!!
We have been wanting to take this down since the first day we saw our house, and what a difference!





the ceiling feels so much higher and the room feels brighter
plus, the lighting is much improved
because they installed new, temporary lights in place of the old fluorescents
wow that is just amazing

Dad also took an in person look at the floors...and the jury is still out
he's not sure they will be worth refinishing because of the amount of patching that would be involved
and all of the work for a soft wood like fir might not be worth the investment 
we will have an expert come by to get an estimate, and then make our final decision


a lovely living room

Another big week for the Butlers!
this one felt like one of the most exciting yet...because we finally have a living room

after a paint pep talk from my sister Danielle that went something like this,
"well you'll just have to choose one...paint is cheap...you can always change it later"
I decided on a color and finally started the painting
thank goodness for sisters (and Matt thanks you too...!)

after two coats of primer, trim, and a coat of paint
I seriously got a blister from painting

we had a crazy snow storm 
& secretly hoped for a snow day so we could finish painting, but no such luck

after a few evenings after work and some help from a friend 
we were able to get all of the trim and walls painted
I really couldn't believe how great the room was looking
the trim came to life with the fresh paint, which helps restore some of its original 1921 beauty

before we could move up furniture, we wanted to clean the floors
we were blown away at how clean they came with a simple wash! 

hard work


Coach B wasn't home the night after I finished painting to help move furniture upstairs
so I worked on a few other little projects, including installing knobs on our new vanity
how handy am I!?

I found these green glass knobs at Anthropologie
 they reminded me of the original style of our home
the color looks great with the greens in the shower, if I do say so myself

Matt had a relatively early night from practice, so we moved furniture

it is so helpful when I take pictures of him while we are trying to work

somewhat ironically for this Alaskan, we went with 
the wall color "alaskan husky"and the ceiling color "mountain peak white"
now that we've painted we l-o-v-e the color
did I mention that those were the first colors I tried...?


hardwood floors, for Dad

the painted hardwood floors in our front room
we have been told that they are fir

these pictures are taken from the same place, 
one looking toward the front door and one looking toward the bay window

Below you can see the patches from the original walls in the home
(there are 3 separate areas with these patches)

same space, different angles

patched area #2
there was vinyl over this patch, which we scraped off...the glue is left
but there seems to be hardwoods underneath

this is a close-up, you can sort of see the the panels in this photo

patched area #3 here, two spots

A close-up photo shoot

I can't see the planks that well, but they seem to have 1/2-3/4 in of thickness?

there is some deeper damage - maybe up to 1/4 in thick

I sanded a small area with a palm sander
there seem to be several coats of paint

there area areas where the planks need to be removed and re-staggered, because there are straight lines where the original walls were

 there are a few places with saw marks

thanks for looking, Dad ! Love you


a useable bathroom & a paint crisis...

Devin came by the day after Christmas to help Matt install the vanity and toilet
they were able to get everything working in one afternoon, and with only two trips to Ace Hardware
he is my new hero 
because we no longer have to go to the basement to use the bathroom


I really did not know how much I could love and appreciate a toilet

next, we got ready to prime in the front rooms 
so our living space is again a hot mess
our friends Jerrimi and Amythst helped us hook up a weekday evening prime, awesome!

we primed over the paneling
this has been a dream since we moved in

Matt cooks for me while I work
we cannot be boxed in by traditional gender roles

I am a priming fool
got a little sloppy here

priming, done.

Currently an all-out paint color crisis is happening over here
We can't find the perfect color, and it is really holding things up...
we can't choose the ceiling and trim color until we know the wall color
and no furniture will be moved upstairs until we paint

As a side story - we're going on a month-and-a-half without furniture
(we eat dinner and watch tv in our bedroom!)
this is still sort of fun - kind of like staying at a hotel
but it is beginning to lose its luster
Yesterday we ate breakfast standing up at our butcher block
our plates were actually set on top of stacks of junk mail, newspapers, and bills
I am thinking of this as a good test for my ability to stay sane in a cluttered environment

now about the paint...
I have officially looked at every paint swatch in the greater Seattle area
on Friday I spent over an hour with the guy at Benjamin Moore, my new BFF
I tried two samples on the wall (one was too green)
I thought this was the one....

most of the time it is a beautiful color, but after a couple of days on the wall I see that it is BLUE
blue, blue, blue.

So, I tried another sample
but the new color is just gray
plain, uninteresting

Amythst helped me go back to the drawing board
we sifted through all of the samples again

So, today I will go buy the 4th sample pint of paint, at $7.11 each
(boothbay gray, I think)

Besides the priming, we have a few accomplishments to celebrate this week
1. Matt installed all of the lights in our bedroom and bath, so we've got light now!
2. We patched and prepped the front room so it is totally ready for paint, once we decide on color
3. We bought a closet organizer:

 soon we can move our clothes upstairs
our coworkers will probably be thankful to see some new items in our rotation

this morning we will fuel ourselves with bagels 
(our new addiction from the grocery store two blocks from our house)
and then start on projects
and later in the day for Matt: grading papers
a very nice Sunday
and hopefully our next post will include pictures of a painted living room!