Saturday, November 28, 2009

Landscaping - Part 1

First, let us just say one last adieu to my perfect Kits condo ... buh-bye chandeliers! I'll miss you guys most of all!

This week, the cedars were planted. All 105 of them. The wall looks a LOT better now. The yard looks ... well, judge for yourself.

Take a 10,000lb Bobcat:

Cut a swath along the wall and then make a nice pile:


On the plus side, the bamboo is gone!

On the minus side, the yard now looks like this (and this, by the way, is how it will look until the spring when the sod is laid):

The cedars look so nice against the wall. They look like a really long line of Rockettes:

Seriously, Wick? With all the loose dirt, you want to excavate the cedars???

I told the collies that we might have to limit fetch games on rainy days:

Wick did not take the news well.

Bear was more philosophical.

Lou said whatevs, so long as you don't take his leopard-print bed.

The next phase of the landscaping is building a deck. This may happen in the winter, or it might get tabled til spring. Still haven't made up my mind on that one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're moved in!

The dogs and I moved in last week. I have to say ... we LOVE having a house! The dogs actually spend time in the yard by themselves - almost like real dogs! Though it hasn't stopped raining since we moved in, I love the convenience of kicking the dogs out to their own safe, fenced yard, rather than hitching them up and taking them to the park at night. Bear and I have been doing the nightly walk for almost 11 years. I think we're both glad that it's come to an end!

The cedars are going in this weekend, I think. The juniper will be evicted too, and the bamboo forest taken away (only to return in a few weeks, no doubt). The deck is being designed, and the interior is being scrutinized. I think that pretty much the whole house will be changed in some way. Most exciting will be opening up the side of the house that faces the yard, using french doors and lots of windows. That will bring in a lot of light ...if it ever stops raining.

Still waiting for someone - anyone - on the block to put up some Christmas lights. Come on, people! It's almost December! I don't want to seem pushy, being new to the neighbourhood and all, but srsly ... I gotz an inflatable polar bear that has been waiting to be deployed for a month and a half!

Monday, November 9, 2009

First DIY project

The inaugural project: an Ikea TV stand!

Mise en place is very important:

Well, unless the pieces are too big. Then you can fling them around the room:

Halfway done!


Wick can't believe it was done in one shot.

The dogs were very supportive.

Now that we're done with that, can you come out and play with me?

A brief update on the battle of the bamboo. Fiskar shears were procurred:

And the bamboo has fallen. But for how long? Probably a few days. :-(

Monday, November 2, 2009

Clean(er) carpets!

They are still 16 years old. They are still a strange menopause-pink-meets-fiberglass kind of colour. But dang it, they no longer appear to be hosting some sort of grunge festival in their fibers!



And the guy who did it was very fast, very nice, and very fastidious. Citrus-O Carpet Care was who I used. They had good reviews and a good BBB rating - at least the franchise in Surrey, BC, did. $196 to clean three bedrooms, a hallway and the stairs. I think it was a fantastic deal! Now I will not feel the urge to don a haz-mat suit when I have to contact the carpet. BTW, the carpet will be gone soon. I just couldn't leave it like that and let all my pretty stuff sit on it, even for a short period of time. :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Before shots - Yard

I think I've mentioned a few times ;-) that I bought a yard with a house. In case I am overstating things (no, I can't put a few sheep out there), here's some info on my "acreage":
  • Lot is 11,894 sq.ft.
  • Lot is pie-shaped, tapering to a mere 10' at the northernmost end
  • House is squooshed way at the top of the property, taking up very little valuable Chuck-it space
  • Yard has not a lot of grass right now
  • Wick will dig enormous holes in whatever sod I lay down.
Still, I'm very pleased to have found a place with even this yard-to-house ratio on this side of the bridge.

View from beside the deck:

Looking at the sad little deck:

See that weird bulge on the side of the house? I hope to put french doors there instead, and have a deck that wraps around from the back to the front.

The bamboo forest. I am NOT encouraged by the results of my Google search "getting rid of bamboo". Sounds like it could be a battle to the death!

There are some rocks that need to go too.

But on a nice crisp Fall day, I think it's quite a lovely place to be.

The Before shots - Upstairs

At the top of the stairs. I don't think this photo does justice to the true hideous-ness of the light fixture.

And here it is ... the orange room.

In order to prevent me from running screaming from this purchase, I slapped a quick coat of BM Bleeker Beige on the walls. Serenity now ...

The hallway. Ceiling fan, your days are numbered.

The view from the laundry room. That red roof belongs to the fellow who put a 6' tall cement wall around the 20 ACRE PERIMETER of his property. The plus side? One less side to fence for me!

Orange Room has a friend. This is Red Room. Red Room doesn't bug me quite enough to make me do manual labour, but be assured, that red ain't staying.

And here is the master. While huge, it is very boring.

It does have a nice large westward facing window.

And a lot of doors.

Here's the tiny ensuite. My plan is to annex the useless walk-in closet and make a truly nice ensuite, with a shower stall, soaker tub, and double vanity sinks. Or something like that.

The Before shots - Main level

I spent the afternoon at the house. I took some paint from my (perfect) condo to see if I couldn't make the orange room a little less jarring. More on that below.

Here's the front of the house. I would like to replace the doors with something less flimsy/brassy/ugly. In fact, I'd like to replace the doors with one NICE door, but I think the single doors are too big and would knock the banister down. Dang.

Also need to eradicate that aggressive juniper that is taking over the front:

Here's what you see currently when you enter the house. Not exactly the "wow" factor, unless you count "Wow, that carpet sure is grotty".

The living room has a high ceiling and actually is a pretty decent size.

The dining room is just off the living room, in a semi-open floor plan.

This odd little jog in the wall is for the placement of a sideboard, I guess. I would like to put french doors there that open out to the yard.

The view from the kitchen, looking down the hallway. There is a powder room under the stairs.

The kitchen:

The family room off the kitchen. It leads out to the deck via sliding doors. I'd like to replace the slidy doors with french doors.

And here's the little deck.