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Detours off Britta Blvd

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State of the Brittahytta
remodeling
brittadotcom
It's that time again! New year, new projects! Last year was the most intense project year at my house...whew! I got a LOT done! I love my new kitchen, and I really like all the charming brick pathways, especially with my new little flowerbeds...but if I never bash any more tile floors or haul or pound any more brick for the next 5 years, that will be perfectly fine with me! ;)


Dec 2005 to Aug 2009 - what a difference!

Since it's good to keep track, here is my project list for last year...


Brittahytta home & garden improvements in 2009:

  • planted blueberries January 2009, but unfortunately scorched by the early spring heat wave, so hoping they survive
  • reupholstered dining chairs with aqua & neutrals tapestry chenille
  • painted living room - "wheatland beige" paint purchased 3 years ago with hand-rubbed "warm oats" topcoat - finished January 2009
  • painted dining area - same paint as living room - finished January 2009
  • painted hallway - same paint as living room - finished January 2009
  • digital photo frame as new "kitchen computer"
  • finally fixed the darn linen closet doors that have never shut properly since I moved in - started Project Weekend 2009, refinished paint March 2009
  • installed new kitchen light - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • installed old kitchen light in garage laundry area - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • paved front porch to match new pathways - finished Project Weekend 2009
  • installed proper drainage from 3 downspouts under pathway - Project Weekend 2009
  • cracked out existing concrete pathway before city cleanup - finished March 2009
  • bought new fridge! - removed cabinets early so larger fridge would fit in March 2009 - scored a great deal at the EXPO closing sale!
  • new front brick pathway dryset in sand to match back & new front path - April 2009
  • rebuilt back garden wall with new concrete scrap - April 2009
  • new brick pathway from porch to gate to meet original brick pathway - May 2009
  • old kitchen cabinets repurposed as garage storage
  • side yard vegetable garden again planted in March - had tasty tomatoes and peppers for homemade salsa again!
  • refreshed bark in flowerbeds for entire front yard
  • new HD projector for Cinema Brittahytta - tested new projector & speakers on June 9th with first audience of the summer
  • sew outdoor cover for movie screen - extra-long zipper wasn't long enough for first attempt, so to be continued in 2010
  • ripped out living room carpet, hallway tile AND kitchen tile and replaced with laminate wood flooring everywhere except bedrooms & bathrooms
  • BRAND NEW KITCHEN - hooray! new cabinets that reach the ceiling, new sink, new counters, stone tile backsplash, walk-in pantry, new dishwasher, new range
  • decorative wall shelf in dining area - garage sale purchase 3 years ago & never found a home until it very closely matches the new kitchen cabinets!



  • finally finished stain treatment on painted beams in living room in August - started 3 years ago! Before then finally after:



  • fireplace mantel completed by Halloween! Custom-made from two pre-carved griffins + scored on fancy wide crown molding & baseboard at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in April
  • planted pumpkin seedlings under quince tree July 5th, grew & bloomed well but no pumpkins ever set - will try again this year in a different location
  • arranged river rock better & finished flowerbeds along newest brick pathways
  • upgraded to 60" plasma HDTV on articulating wall mount, HD DVR, and PS3 for Blu-ray and Beatles Rock Band!



    Since my parents are coming again in late February for Stitches Project Weekend, I've been organizing my thoughts for what I will do by myself & what might be good projects for Dad & me, whether just for transport using their van or actual work those couple days they'll be here. Since I'm so late in posting this, several projects have already been completed in January!


    Brittahytta home & garden improvements for 2010:

  • custom center speaker bracket for TV - since TV is wall-mounted, nowhere to set center speaker - already done - used bendable pre-drilled metal strips cut to length using my dremel with existing threaded holes in back of TV



  • another decorative shelf in dining area to help hide thermostat - already done for $14 but was so cheap & such poor design had to MacGyver it into submission & only VERY lightweight items can go on it!



  • repair coatrack - kitties attacked it enough the posts cracked so reglued - already done with supplies on hand

  • custom crown molding shelf above pantry door stained to match cabinetry - already done for $8 + leftovers, including same stain to match kitchen cabinets



  • coatrack shelf in office - already done, was a garage sale purchase for foyer but changing plans for that area so in office instead for guest hangers plus cat-safe display area

  • sand stains & blemishes off kitchen table & repaint - already done with supplies on hand

  • window arbor for hardenbergia vine by front door to shade side window - already done with leftover Habitat for Humanity door casing + leftover exterior paint + $13 for 2 wood brackets



  • reseal all skylights from roof side - 2 started leaking this winter - waiting until completely dried out

  • take down old DirecTV dish since new HD dish installed in different location - lame they just leave the old dish there! Will set out for "Crap to the Curb" week in March

  • run ethernet cable from office into living room - shortest run is outside house under eaves since I have no attic or crawl space

  • new 6'x8' shed in back corner behind trees - need more storage!

  • fix some dripping faucets (guest tub, garage sink, front & back hose bibs) - probably wasting lots of water over time

  • sew outdoor cover for movie screen - extra-long zipper wasn't long enough for first attempt, so to be continued...

  • rearrange setup for movie nights - use my previous inside receiver to finally use the center speaker channel, lower projector location to play Rock Band as pre-movie entertainment

  • refresh retractable front screen door - kitties finally figured out they can walk right through it since the screen comes off the track easily *sigh*

  • better custom handles for fridge or give up & put ugly stainless ones back on - my quick hack job is fine for my daily use, but guests keep ripping them off accidentally



    2009 ended up being the Year of the Kitchen...now it's looking like 2010 is perhaps the Year of the Patio?

  • new patio speaker solution - new HDMI receiver only has multi-zone support if I sacrifice my back 2 channels of my 7.1 surround sound in the living room :(

  • refresh patio flooring - reconsidered the outdoor sisal carpet, so will go back to original plan of patched & painted concrete but not until after Mardi Gras

  • new patio screen door - kitties have completely trashed the old metal one so they can pull it open whenever they want! I found a wood door at Home Depot but couldn't get it home, so on the list for Project Weekend 2010


    ...and last but not least, the biggie for this year is...

  • wet bar for patio! - plumbed from existing garage sink through stucco wall, drain into cleanout plug, in-stock cabinets from Lowes, leftover EcoTop counter, leftover stone tile backsplash, copper bar sink, cutout top doors to add glass to see liquor bottles & glassware that won't get dusty! :)

    Watch for the patio improvements to be completed before I leave for Australia for three weeks in April! :)

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