Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hummingbird House

We are now very happily settled into our new home! I think every house needs a name, and so after much thought, the "Chatada House" is now being rechristened as "Hummingbird House." All throughout our months of work on the house, Kate and I saw so many hummingbirds from our new backyard, and one of our first purchases for our new home was a hummingbird feeder for this reason.

I wanted to capture our process in a photoblog. I have so many fond memories of working on the house and making the aesthetic ours. Here we go!

This first picture epitomizes our work days: I would come over with Kate, play with her and get her to nap, settle her on the one couch we moved over, and then help to paint like crazy in the few hours she was sleeping. We would often have Subway sandwiches (which Uncle David is eating). There is a Subway within walking distance, so we would walk over there sometimes. This was an overview shot of the living mom and I were busily painting one of the upstairs rooms that day (the guest room, I think).

Right before we moved in, Uncle David surprised us by building the play structure we ordered. I didn't think it would be built until after we moved in...but Uncle David knew how nice it would be to have it ready for us. It was sweet of him to do it so quickly.

Whee, Uncle David!!! Uncle David tries out the new slide. We love having this right outside...

On one of our work days, we brought paint clothes for Kate. She helped us paint the hallway.

Paint Kate, paint! She loved helping. I love that we have all of these memories here.

More painting.... Most of the entryway, living room, downstairs hallway is pale blue-grey. The palette warms up in the dining room and family room and kitchen. Altogether, there are 12 colors/shades in the house, including our use of white.

Katie looks on as Grandpa and Uncle David prepare the paint machine. They used it for all of the blue. Most rooms have between two and three coats of paint. It was hard work...

Katie helps Grandma (Amie) paint the door a hunter green. I love having a dark green door...

This is a "before" pic of Bill's office. I don't have an "after" pic yet. We changed the color to a pure white (the only white room in the whole house, which makes it stand out). We threw a rug down and put Bill's desk and bookcases in there. I am still taking a few of my items out...then I can take an "after" pic. His window looks onto some roses and onto the "RV parking" which, really, we are going to turn into something more useful for Kate. I want to paint a four square and a hopscotch there and maybe find a picnic table for art projects.

Part of the master bedroom, before renovation.

After: a sitting area surrounded by books, with a peaceful view.

The view from the sitting window: we can see the meadow and the hills in the distance. In the winter, we will be able to see snow. The street down there is one on which my friend Angie and I used to ride bikes. The patio cover (the wood you see there) still needs to be painted white. We had to rebuild it and get rid of the rot.

A view of the master bedroom, now redone, from the doorway.

Our bed. We keep the windows open at night, and we wake to birds in the morning.

Before: the playroom.

After: Katie's playroom, which is just outside her room/bathroom/the guest room. We have it painted a buttery yellow (same as the kitchen and laundry room). Amie found the table and chairs at a garage sell, really good consition. We draw there. I also have my laptop/desk set up in the room with Kate. I love being able to pay bills there, for example, while she plays.

The other side of the playroom. We are surrounded in books, music, and toys.

A shot of the guest room, before our work.

A view of the guest room, redone. We went for a soothing palette in here: whites, silvers, grey-greens, like mist rising.

I put my childhood desk in here.

My mom made the valance; indeed, she made all of the new windowcoverings in our house. She is an awesome seamstress.

A view of the nook before renovation commenced.

A view of the kitchen before we redid the whole thing.

The kitchen now: we redid the island, replaced the hazy mirrored backsplash with tile, repainted the cabinets and added drawer pulls and knobs in brushed silver, and in general, tried to make it lighter. Through the kitchen, you go through a door and the red you see is the dining room.

The breakfast nook. Mom made the valances and hung the plates (from a thrift store). I love having so much more space for Kate's highchair. The French doors lead to the backyard; I love to keep them open in the morning.

Another view....I love the yellow...with accents of red and green and white. It's a totally different feel from the blue, yet the family room colors help the transition and make it all cohere.

Jumping back upstairs for a moment: for some reason I can't find a "before'" pic of Kate's room. But here it is "after." She has a very old-fashioned, very girly girl room now---because now I know her better and I know it fits her. You can see the playroom couch from the door...

Kate's glider and ottoman. Behind the crib, we wallpapered to give the room some texture. Her room was one of the first we completed, and everytime we came over to work, she would run upstairs and run over to her wallpaper to say hello.

Kate's new room, a view from the door looking inward.

One more of Kate's room. I love her new room. Unlike her old room, this one feels right for her.

Kate's first official dinner in her highchair on the first night of the move. We had some Peony dinners here with David and Evelyn during the renovation work, but we were still on the floor/couch/folding chairs.

One of our work days, walking into the family room.

Playing on the family room hearth...

The downstairs powder room before work.

My mom did all the wallpapering in the house. She is very precise, and I love this bathroom!

One of the early days: a view of the dining room...

Kate loved the dinining room the day it turned red.

The dining room now. Mom made the draperies, of course, and she found the most awesome rooster rug online. I love this room. Love it.

An early shot of the living room (not a very good one).

An overview of the living room now.

Before: the family room. Very much not to my taste. I had serious doubts about the whole house based just on the family room. Combined with the kitchen, the whole area felt daaaaaaark. But the rest of the house (especially the yard) had so much potential that we tried to figure out what we could do...

Another view of the family room...Again, it was almost a deal-breaker for me. The TV is supposed to go over in that cut-out. But for my aesthetic and sense of house-flow, I really didn't want it there.

Now: we painted a leafy green, threw down a rug, and added my mom's cozy valances.

We moved the couch in and backed it with a table. The TV is now over in the corner (toward the direction Bill and Dad are looking), by the hearth.

Our cozy reading chair.

My handy dad designed built-ins for the old TV space. Now we have more space for our books and some of our pictures, and there is a cozy pathway behind the couch from the kitchen to the hallway. I am surpised at how cozy this room became. I love it, especially with the kitchen.

So, there is a bit of a preview and photoblog of what we've been up to the past few months. I am obviously lacking pictures of the entryway/bar (which we are using for Kate's art supplies and as a buffet for entertaining), the laundry room, Kate's bathroom and our bathroom and more of the backyard. But we're planning on several parties this summer....this house is an absolute dream for entertaining. I can't wait! I am so thankful for this house and to be back in my old neighborhood. My family really, really put in so much labor on this is amazing. I hope to make it a place of family, friends, and peace.
Hummingbird House, we are ready for memories...