Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One Room Challenge Final Reveal | Spring 2019

Welcome! What started out as a 6-week One Room Challenge ended up as a ORC x 2 (around 12 weeks!!). But alas, things got a little out of my hands when trades were involved and timelines changed. Finally, I have the reveal of our exterior renovation completed for your viewing pleasure. After all, everyone loves a before & after right? Here we go ... if you've been following me through week 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, you know that we started with a stucco-clad suburban 1989 builder basic abode.


We stripped the stucco in favor of cedar shakes, and it changed everything! Below I'll show you step by step some of the other elements that made this refresh come together.


I screen-shoted from a few video clips I have yet to compile with some 'after' reveal video clips, just to show you another view of the before's. Look at me, so gleefully unaware of all the craziness of the project I was about to undertake ... and just a month pregnant in these photos too! Talk about biting off more than you can chew ...

You can really see the close up of the California stucco, and that old front door and brick here:

So off came the stucco faster than we could say 'exterior reno,' and we decided to change up the 3 windows in the gables to create a more modern look:

Once the shakes were up and the windows and millwork were complete, we had one last job to tackle; the bricks. Upon inspection before purchasing the home, we were told the bricks above the garage were sagging and at risk of falling (as you can see directly below). A few years later, with two babies in tow, we did not want to take that risk any longer:

Since we had to repair the brick, we considered other options and their costs (ie, replacing with a different stone or replacing with more shakes); in the end a simple repair was the most cost-effective option. So we thought, instead of painting the bricks, what if we just re-pointed them with tons of mortar so that if some bricks came tumbling down we could manage to replace them and disguise them if they weren't a perfect match (because surprise surprise, they don't make these yucky 1980's colorways any more). So down the bricks came and up the extra-thick mortar went!

At this point in the job, I think our neighbours were standing by thinking, 'what in the world are they doing to their house?'

You can see in this progress shot the mortared vs. unmortared areas. In week 3 I also explained we had to re-adjust the spot the exterior lights were placed as they were originally at different heights (who does that?)!!





This was probably the best shot I got showing the difference between the overly-mortared and unmortared areas. Some visitors have told us it literally looks like we put up all-new bricks!

I love the window box in a spot that was quite lifeless before:

I left only boxwood hedge without any other plants behind because we need to access a main water tap in this corner, so again a window box was a way to fill the space without impeding on practicality.

Love love love the brass chinoiserie lanterns, and just in case you were curious I've included the Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams paint colors below:

Thank you so much for your patience waiting for this much overdue conclusion to an extended version of a ORC! I hope you had some fun taking a peek at what we've done. I know there are 100 more things I would have loved to do with this reno, but considering we stuck to a budget and squeezed every drop out of the funds we had to get the look we wanted, I'm quite proud of what we were able to achieve! As always, thanks for being on this journey with me. Xo

See all the other fabulous results of the ORC Spring 2019 edition here.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

One Room Challenge Week 5 | Spring 2019

Sorry for my Week 5 delayed post! Not much has been happening sadly and I think I can say with confidence that we won't be finishing in the 6-week time frame. The trouble has been that our masonry repair has been delayed and it's not in our hands! Workers should be on site today but they've put us so behind that I think it's impossible. That's trades work for you, always delayed!!!

So the photo above I've included to show you an "overly" mortared brick on our chimney. Our front bricks will be less so (see below). But this was done heacily on purpose to stop a leak in our chimney, and it was what sparked my interest in lightening up the front facing bricks for a little 'weathered' Charleston charm, like this:

Fingers crossed that in the next couple of weeks I will have the final completed look to post! May be a week or two late, but I have to let go control as I'm not a masonry expert and I've got to wait for the experts ...

In other news we have progress with a painted black fence!

The neighbour let us paint all the way to their side of their home for a consistent look! Always helpful when you have people who see your vision :) Perhaps some pretty white hydrangeas will adorn this side yard in future years, wouldn't that look so good against the black?

Wish me luck to reach the finish line! And in the meantime make sure to be following all the awesome transformations for week 5 and soon week 6!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

One Room Challenge Week 4 | Spring 2019

Week 4 and yet another week where not too much looks visibly different! We are painting the fence up black and will have some photos of that shortly. In the meantime I finally caught a sale on this Mayne Window box and purchased it this past weekend. I'm so excited to see it installed against the crusty looking brick like the inspiration photo above!

This is the spot where it will be installed, we purchased a 5ft long box that will span the width of this window. My only wish is that I had more windows!!

Here's more inspiration against bricks:

And finally, just to keep it real, here was a nice little surprise we found today after meticulously manicuring the boxwoods & their soil bed:

It seems we had a little critter visitor! Ugh. A good reminder that we can only control so much, and we usually can't control nature! :)

Fingers crossed for more pretty to show you next week ... stay tuned & be sure to visit all the other amazing makeovers by the guest participants here.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

One Room Challenge Week 3 | Spring 2019

This week was super slow with progress. Sadly our masonry worker is behind schedule and virtually nothing has been fixed regarding the sagging bricks. But we managed to finish one small but important detail, let me start off by showing you a problem we never realized we had until a year after the purchase of our house:

Sorry for the fuzzy photo but you can clearly see what's happening with the arrows. Our exterior lights are literally not in line with the roof line of the house and the brick arch of the garage!! Can you imagine? The electricians who did the original job seem to have measured from the ground up, going with the sloped gradation of the land and leaving the lights crooked!!! Geesh. So we took a couple of bricks out to balance things before the install of our new lights will happen in the coming weeks:

It took removing 2 bricks, chiselling out one and replacing the one below. We got a new pancake box for the new fixture (thank you to my dad in law for putting that in!), and now we are all ready to go.

These are the new beauties, can't wait to see them flanking the garage:

Some inspiration from the Lake Forest Show House:

And we have the light by our front door already installed (thank you our electrician Chapmann Cheung!), as it's installed onto the shingles and we didn't have to wait for the brick repair to happen. SO at least it's giving us a little taste of pretty to tide us over until the brick work is done:

In case you are curious, we purchased these Acclaim lights via Lowes. I love the Asian lantern shape and the brass finish again the shingles and the bricks. Can't wait to show you more! Have fun perusing some of the other ORC guest participant spaces here.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

One Room Challenge Week 2 | Spring 2019

Here we are in week 2! Lots of stuff on the go, but for this week I'm still going to catch you up on some of the work that was already done prior to the 6 week challenge. I think you'll quickly see there would have been no way for us to get ALL of this done in 6 weeks! But please watch my instastories this week for some-real time action on the brick work!

Let's look back at the garage before, we selected a black (Benjamin Moore Black Magic) for the paint:

Much better! And then we started to test out white for the trim which was originally blue as seen here:

I hinted last week on the fact that we removed all the yucky stucco, and we actually also removed the arched windows for a bit of an updated look:

You can see the windows and how they now look in the Master bedroom (more on that front soon, stay tuned!):

Once the windows were replaced, we got to the fun part of replacing the stucco with cedar shakes, nothing beats the smell of fresh cedar saw-dust on the job site :)

Getting better ....

Good bye blue trim! Hubby took it upon himself to paint the trim Benjamin Moore Oxford white, everything looked 10x better!

Now it was on to removing that mess of a landscape job, we replaced the ruble with fresh soil and boxwoods to create a hedge. We chose Green Mountain boxwood species and I am SO glad we did. In our Pacific Northwest climate these boxwoods grow FAST. This was planted in spring 2017:

 So remember what this front window looked like:

And now:

Look at how those boxwoods grew in only 2 seasons!!!! Hubby removed every plant in front:

Here you can see me standing amongst the original landscape with our little dog Yoki, everything was just a tad bit overgrown and it took up space in the walkway, especially with that funny little cutout in the concrete:

And now, much wider!!

What do you think so far? Thank you for following along, and hop to the ORC webpage for so many more makeover journeys!

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