Terrific Broth

The life of two scientists, creating a small home, in big mountains

Category: Renovation (Page 2 of 20)

Master the Closets

This past week, we put our master closets back in order.

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Inside of the closets (including the ceiling) went Pale bud, which is characterized as an off-white with pink undertones. In our east-facing bedroom, it reads lavender-ish, which I love. It glows quietly behind the grey curtains and gives the best soft welcome in the morning.

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I could not mind to have it in the entire bedroom, but Slav vetoed it as soon as he saw the color – the man wants his white. As the result, the bedroom wall will go SW’s Extra White just like the office and living room. But I negotiated to used it in the closets and I think it is pretty.

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It was hard to cover the pink with clothes and hangers. Fortunately, I have a pretty slim wardrobe so I can still see the pretty walls.

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It is not without challenge to make this 4′ x 2′ closet feeling airy. We are lucky that the return walls on both side are narrow, granting good access. The simple design with a single rod under a shelf works well on keeping everything in a single layer and easy to reach.

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Coats, sweaters, and winter accessories on the left. I have too too many winter coats, but they are given by my parents with the fear of me being cold in a northern state. I think clothes are like an extension of parents’ arms. They are too far to protect us so they keep asking us to wear more layers. Being 6400 miles far away, I keep these pieces as an expression of their love.

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hanging organizer houses tops, shorts, and winter accessories. Pants and dressy items are kept on the right. A big check-in luggage contains the matching carry-on, my computer bag, my only handbag, and a few travel items.

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This is how my closet look like now, in 2018 Spring. I probably have 100 pieces of clothing, including T shirts, pjs, and sport gear. All of them fit into this small closet, which I am very happy about. I’ve been working towards a minimal closet for a few years. Given that where I live has four seasons, I am happy with the size.

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Charlie boy fell asleep while I was putting the closet together. He likes to sleep at this spot, which is quiet and cool. 🙂 If I have the curtain open he will go inside the closet to sleep, which is stinkin’ cute.

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Do you have a minimalist closet? Did you Spring clean it?

Finally, Painting

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The drywall patch is finally finished! Boy, it ain’t easy. It requires not only fair amount of patience and attention to detail, but also skill and experience. This is Slav’s first time doing drywall. Although being a fast learner with good common sense, he spent weeks conquering the steep learning curve.

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The work has been painfully messy and slow. But now it is over, Slav said that he is confident to do it much faster with better result next time. We have lots of drywall work coming up in the basement which I was thinking about hiring out. But Slav insisted on doing it himself. What a trooper!

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While Slav was on repeat of mudding and sanding like an energized bunny, I was busy waving paint brushes. The past weekend was devoted to painting all the trims snow white.

The front door interior trim:

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Bedroom door trim:

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Back to back trims in our small hallway:

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And closet trims:

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All the interior trims around doors and closets got three coats of Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss. I cleaned, patched, and sanded all the trims with 80 and 220-grit sand paper prior to painting. This job gave me the perfect excuse for my dream random orbit sander: the Bosch ROS20VSC. It costs ~$60 and is the perfect sweetener for a tedious job of this size.

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In order to finish painting all the trims, we had to first complete the trim project for Slav’s closet. After reversing the office closet to face the bedroom, we did not put the door jambs and trims back on for weeks.

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Poor guys has to use his closet (left) for a couple months like this:

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With door jamb and header missing, and trims absent:

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We saved the door jamb, header, and trims when we demo-ed the office closet. So I cleaned, patched, and sanded them:

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And made they look like new with some paint:

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I nailed the door jamb onto the opening, followed by the header. All parts fit like a glove, indicating that we did an excellent job framing the opening. 🙂

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Nailing on the trims completed the look.

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It felt like a big change to go from this:

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To this:

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Three coats of semi-gloss trim paint gave the trims a big face lift.

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Now we just need to paint the inside of the closets before we can put our clothes back!

While painting the trims, I also gave all the wood window stools a few coats of fresh paint. We keep plants in clay pots on them and glossy paint shall protect the wood from moisture.

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The window stools were pretty beaten from years of use:

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But with new paint – they look pretty good!

The living room window stool:

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Office window stool:

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Kitchen window stool:

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The bright white color reflects light and gives the green plants a perfect backdrop.

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Late last year, I painted all the wood doors white with some leftover white paint we had in hand. The paint is in flat finish, which did not stand the test of time on doors. I will be re-painting all the interior doors with the same Semi-gloss white this weekend, which should be a big upgrade.

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It will be above 70-degree this weekend, which means I can work on our beloved back patio again. With some podcast and Spring air, painting is not that big of a pain. Despite being the solo painter in the house, I do not particularly enjoy painting. But painting usually means we are close to the finishing line, so I enjoy being at the painting stage.

I’ve been binging on a podcast called “The history of English” and almost at the end of it. With all five doors, 900 sq ft of ceiling, and three rooms of walls to work on, I need to find something new to get through the month of May. Any recommendations?

Spring, Dry Wall, and Allegies

Spring is finally here in the ranch house. In what seems to be overnight, our crab apple tree put out thousand of flowers:

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The weather is still too cold to plant vegetable gardens, but it is warm enough for perennials:

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I selected these sweet white flowers for the spot under the crab apple tree, and paired with them with some color:

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We also planted rosemary and lavender around the mailbox.

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The plants might be small, but I trust them to fill in nicely with refreshing aroma and green foliage in a few years:

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Just to remind you, this is the same spot last year when we moved in:

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We removed all the weeds and transplanted roses from the front flower bed.

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And one of these roses survived. Its new leaves just peeked out of the mulch.

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Our indoor plants are also all happy and growing well:

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I am propagating some succulents I brought back from Southern California, hoping to use them as ground cover someday.

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Spring also means allergy. And I am hit. Flu-like symptoms kept me down, and drywall work inside does not help either.

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It has been over a month since we hung the drywall. So it is nice to finally get them finished. However, the actual work sucks. It is so slow and messy, and because this is Slav’s first time doing drywall, it is slower and messier. I wish we had hired it out – but with just a few seams no professional will take such a small job.

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We would have had all the drywall patches finished it by now, but Slav found black stuff in our drywall compound and it turned out to be mold. Yes, the drywall compound we bought from the local Home Depot is contaminated with mold. 🙁 So instead of having the walls ready to paint, we are chipping and sanding everything off (with masks) and restart.

I have to admit, when Slav told me that he had to restart, I lost it. It has been two weeks since the mudding and sanding started, and now we are back to the starting line. To pick myself up in the midst of this conundrum, I started choosing paint colors.

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The living room and office will stay white, just a brighter white. Our bedroom is more closed off from rest of the space. I am thinking about want to use a subtle pink color here:

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I like the slightly purple/lavender one on the top. We have lots of grey and a blue painting in the bedroom and this color speaks to them. It also looks good in the closet:

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All the trims will go Ultra Pure White. I am 99% sure that we will use SW’s Extra White in all the ceilings and rest of the walls. Now we just need these damn drywall to be finished.

I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I just need to see it.

Page 2 of 20

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