New Home — Week 40 Update

9Little Patio -- A Pinch of Joy

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared a peek of the projects going on as we make this house our home.  Here’s just a few of the things we’ve been doing. . .  *  means a tutorial will follow.  Eventually 🙂 Dining Room Curtains and Rug - A Pinch of Joy

While there was still snow on the ground, we added some rugs to the tile floor.   This one is in dining room and looks like  the one in the back entry.  It’s a fun contemporary pattern.  The big front entry rug uses the same colors but in a more traditional pattern.  I’ve had a difficult time finding curtains.  These lined tab top curtains* are made from tablecloths!

Basement Builtins -- A Pinch of Joy

We also began a big project in the fully finished basement, adding a wall of built-ins* to the  game room and a bigger one in the media room.  This one in the game room is almost finished and the storage is in use.  The media room storage is partly done.  Once the weather made it possible to work outside we put it on hold.  The outdoor work needs to be done, but putting storage construction on hold means the furnace room storage space is about to burst — seems we have hobbies  and other interests that demand space!  We do have our belongings at one address, however!

3Office Curtains - A Pinch of Joy

We kept the theme of black and white curtains in basement.  This is Bytes’ office, his bedroom has a black and white chevron and the game room window (above) has a black and white Greek key design.  The game room will be Wheel’s territory, with a file cabinet (already full to overflowing!), bookcases (stuffed) and a big worktable.  I’m hoping he will continue to share the worktable with me.

Storm Doors - A Pinch of Joy

Our first outdoor project was to add two storm doors* to the deck. With 55 mile an hour winds on a somewhat regular basis during any given season, they were definitely needed!   Bytes and Wheels installed them — an easy project.

5Pergola for Pentagon Shed -- A Pinch of Joy

The Green Pentagon Shed got a black pergola to frame its door.  I am looking for white climbing roses but haven’t found any.  Or any ideas of a vine that looks great all year round would be welcome!  We reworked the entry to make it a ramp so the lawnmower is easy to move in and out.

7 Planter -- A Pinch of Joy

We built planters* and  planter screens*.

Raised Bed Planters -- A Pinch of Joy

And more planters!  The raised beds on legs were built from kits — we’re sort of experimenting with them.  This spot gets six hours of sunshine and has so far worked out really well for “salad” plantings.  The bigger bed* is sixteen inches high and so far has escaped the notice of the resident bunny.  It has 2 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers and a pepper plant.  It was a rainy spring so we were rather late getting them planted.

9Little Patio -- A Pinch of Joy

This little patio is right outside the back garage door and is also the entry for the west gate.  We built it* to 1) help solve the serious drainage problem on this side of the house and 2) provide a spot to work out side for potting plants, painting or other such projects.   It makes a nice little hangout space too.

Pathway and Dry Creek -- A Pinch of Joy

The pathway* and dry creek* were also built to help solve the drainage issue.  It’s still a work in progress, however.  We had very heavy rains two evenings in a row this past week, which clearly indicated a need for expansion and reinforcement. Done and done.  Hope the problem is solved!

10Before -- A Pinch of Joy

This is what the space looked like in early spring.  We moved that innocent looking and very large pile of dirt on the right one shovelful at a time!  Many, many shovelfuls!!   It contributed to the drainage problem 🙁   We also built the big garden bed around what was left when we ran out places to put shovelfuls of dirt 🙂

11Drainage wall and stepping stones -- A Pinch of Joy

On the east side, we also corrected some drainage issues with the little retaining wall.  Then we added stepping stone and plants to work with the existing Japanese maple.  I used pine bark mulch because I like the look with the stone on the house. However, it was quickly obvious that anything lightweight was not going to be ideal mulch material.  Did I mention it gets really windy here?   The stepping stones go from the patio to the east gate.

12Prepping Garage for Next Project -- A Pinch of Joy

There are still lots of projects, indoors and outdoors.  We try to prioritize among the many on the list.  Getting the garage in order is the next step.    The guys are prepping the space so we can make it function better* and fit Wheels’ vision.  The cabinet matches the ones in the kitchen — it was sized incorrectly so has lived in the garage since the house was built, but I have plans for this baby!

New Home updates:  Changing colors      Solar tubes    Painting Progress     Home Update Week 7    Home Update Week 11    Week 19 Painter’s Progress   New Home Update Week 22  

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!   Follow:    Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and   pinterest.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!






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Garage Entry Reveal

Garage Entry -- A Pinch of Joy

Garage Entry -- A Pinch of Joy

We’ve spent quite a bit of time on the garage entry. Why??    Well . . . . .the garage entry is visible from the living room and several other places in the house. It is the place we most often use to enter our home, the passage way to storage and trash disposal and most importantly, Wheels kingdom in the garage. Our coats and outdoor gear are stored in the closet on one side and the other side has a drop zone cupboard and bench. It’s multifunctional and gets used a lot! For such an itty bitty space, it has a big impact.  As we made first one change and then another, I realized they fit into three inter-related categories.   We wanted this space to be 1) Functional  2) Good looking  3)  A supporting player that does not draw attention to itself. Since we are making this house “ours”, this is the perfect time to think about all these things.  So excited to have one space completely done!!!    Even if it is a small space!


Drop Zone Cupboard -- A Pinch of Joy

The drop zone cupboard has some built in features, including this charging station. Cubbies hold cellphones, sunglasses, on the go chargers. On one shelf is an inbox for Wheel’s paperwork, like car wash coupons or receipts. The door has the trash schedule taped to it. Our master calendar is here and other utility pieces that are out of sight. Oh yeah, and Wheel’s collection of five thousand sixty three flash lights – just in case.

Keys -- A Pinch of Joy

Keys go on the hook in the corner cupboard when you walk in the house. I stick them in my pocket, because I ALWAYS come in the house with my hands full. But at least, I know where to look when they are missing 🙂  And you know, I moved the pack of gum and a handful of receipts and appointment cards for this pic!

Good looking

Cushions on Bench -- A Pinch of Joy

The garage entry is visually an extension of the living room.   The cushions say “ furniture”, which help tie it into the living room. You know the karate chop that designers leave in the top of the cushion to show it is soft and cushy and quality? Well, draw your own conclusion. 🙂 But the colors were perfect!  Since the living room door frames the entry,  colors were chosen to go closely with the living room.   The wall color is Sherwin Williams Topsail.   The lower part of the bench is SW Popular Gray which is the same color as the living room wall.  The bench top is just a bit darker, SW Versatile Gray.

A Supporting Player

  Garage Entry Before -- A Pinch of Joy

This is what we started with: The tile is a given in much of the house and makes a strong statement by itself so it is always number one consideration. Besides the tile, there were five different wood patterns in this small space. First thing we did was to take down dark crown molding on top of the birch cupboard.   I painted the shiny metal door with its fake woodgrain and  mdf frame the same color (SW Nice White). And finally painted the bench to cover the very distinct and large grain pattern.   The oak closet door on the other side is pattern #5.    The goal is to be able to walk by the room without it drawing attention or competing with any other part of the house. It just needs to be there doing its job and lookin’ good!

And the results . . . .

Garage Entry 4 -- A Pinch of Joy


Garage Entry 3 - A Pinch of Joy

Garage Entry 2 -- A Pinch of Joy

The winner in the hard working, good looking, supporting player category . . . .

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New Home Update — Week 22

Garage Entry Door Painted -- A Pinch of Joy

Garage Entry Door Painted -- A Pinch of Joy

A new coat of paint — well, several coats actually — changed that shiny, yellow faux oak but really metal fire door between the house and the garage into this.  I love it!  Although it may get a darker, grayer coat eventually because it does get a lot of traffic.  We’ll see how it holds up.  It makes the real oak wood closet doors look better too. Thanks, Chris, for the suggestion to paint the frame!  Lots more changes coming to this small space!   It’s where we enter our home most frequently and is quite visible from the living area.  I see the wreath drifted off center —

1Garage Storage 4 cabinets and some cubbies-- A Pinch of Joy

We added four new cabinets to the garage for storage.  Second from right has painting equipment.  So glad to have it out of the house and organized!!  We topped the four cabinets with the three cubbies we brought with us.  Wheels was exulting over all the storage space — won’t be empty long.  Here’s the story behind the works for him and works for her cubby storage.  Needs black and white labels.  That’s Deputy Frog on top of the cabinet; walk past his motion sensor and he goes “ribbett, ribbett.”  Bytes and his brother delighted in hiding that thing in the most unlikely places just to see me jump.  At least it is over my head now so I can walk by without setting it off.  I thought it was long gone, but seems he surfaced in time to make the move.  Be afraid, Deputy, be very afraid.  One ribbett and the trash can is just six feet away!

Hooks in Laundry Room -- A Pinch of Joy

We added a rack of hooks across from the washer and dryer in the laundry room.  Works great to hang clothes right out of the dryer.

Laundry Room Backsplash - A Pinch of Joy

I added a utility backsplash behind the laundry room sink.  This sink gets used for dirty jobs and we anticipate that use will increase.  There was a lot of splashing on the wall and this seemed the most effective way of dealing with it.  Today the spider plant is getting emergency therapy.  Yesterday the furnace registers got a scrubdown.


We’ve done mundane things like caulk all the windows where ever they needed it .  . .

3closet shelves

remove too high  hanging rods and add a shelf.   A new rod is waiting to be installed here, once the support is painted.  We’ll do this to all the closets.

Organized Pantry -- A Pinch of Joy

It took two days to organize the pantry.  I was disappointed to find that the shelves are not only NOT adjustable, but, in fact, the supports are glued to the wall.  Just did not want to add drywall replacement to the list right now so I worked with the way it is.    I reworked the things in kitchen cabinets and basement storage, putting some things in the pantry and putting  things I had in the pantry in cabinets or storage.  That is definitely still a work in progress.  I like the way the pantry finally pulled together though.  I stock up at sale time so its nice to have enough space to see what we have at any one time.

The Shark Tank -- A Pinch of Joy

We made a Shark Tank behind the pantry door.   I’m thinking of hanging a plaque to my sister Vee, who recommended the Shark vacuum and steamer.  Love, love, love them both. Never been able to find a light weight machine that really worked before.  These are great!  Should I be annoyed that the last person to use the vacuum didn’t empty it?  I’ll just be glad they vacuumed!  

Big project

We brought the big outdoor table into the basement game room so I could spread out for this big project.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew this time, but stay tuned I’ll show you the results and how I did it in a future post.  If it works out — .  I hope you’ve enjoyed these little peeks at our new home while we are settling in and making it “ours”.   Thank you for your patience  while we do!!!  I can’t leave today without a couple of these pics . . .

Snowstorm 2016 -- A Pinch of Joy

The Blizzard of 2016.  Eighteen inches of snow and gusts of fifty mile an hour wind.  Severe snowstorm with winds over 35 mph and visibility of less than a quarter mile for more than three hours — that’s the definition of blizzard.  We had that, for sure!  This photo was about halfway through the storm Tuesday.  That’s a six foot privacy fence!

Blizzard 2016-- A Pinch of Joy

The view out the front door this morning.  That’s an almost eight foot tall tree.  Three neighbors came over to help Wheels and Bytes shovel out early Wednesday morning.  Front end loader, snow blowers and snow shovels made really quick work of the four foot deep snowdrift that filled our entire driveway.  Welcome to the Great Plains!

New Home updates:  Changing colors      Solar tubes    Painting Progress     Home Update Week 7    Home Update Week 11    Week 19 Painter’s Progress   New Home Update Week 22  

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