Two Projects Started

Whoo-hoo- we’re on our way to checking off a couple of projects on our 2011 To-Do List!

Notice how I wrote on our way and not finished.

Hey, we’ve got to celebrate the baby steps around here. It might take us longer to do-it-ourselves, but it eventually gets done, even if it’s 6 years later- like the laundry room (um, not done, in case you’re wondering).

Remember this list of the Top 10 Things We Learned About DIY Remodeling? Well, it’s all still true.

But I digress- this is about celebrating projects that are starting! (Gee, I hope this isn’t sounding desperate.)

Project number one: Kitchen mini-makeover.
This will include repainting cabinets in a brighter white, new wood counters and sink, bead-board backsplash, and getting the microwave off the counter.

Now it doesn’t look like much progress was made in this picture… and, I have to be honest, not much was. All we’ve done is remove the cupboard doors.

BUT, it’s in preparation for this:

An over-the-stove microwave. It’s the first step towards our goal, and just purchasing this was a step in the right direction. I’m really excited.

Why isn’t it up? Well, the cupboard above the stove is too big and this baby would hang down too low for me to use a canner and large stock pots. Amazingly, I have seen some put this low- with the handle of the teapot almost touching the bottom of the microwave! But we’re planning to do it right and cut out the bottom of the cupboard and move it up 8 to 10 inches.

And of course we’ll keep you posted. *smile*

Oh- see that beautiful dresser the box is sitting on? An equally beautiful friend gave it to me last week when she came for a visit! It’s got great lines and after I refinish the top I’ve got a place for it in mind. Yeah, she’s a pretty special friend.

Project number two: Tear off the back deck and replace it with hardscaping, stairs, and an herb garden.

This deck has been slowly rotting for about two years. It’s a monstrous 24′ x 24′ and so slick when it rains that it should probably have it’s own insurance policy.

Oh, and have you heard it rains a lot in Oregon? Yeah…so we pretty much stay off this thing, or tiptoe very carefully across it, 7-8 months of the year.

Honestly, I just don’t get a deck a foot and a half off the ground. It’s expensive to put in, lasts only about 10 years and that’s if you spend a lot of time in cleaning it and coating it with preservative.

Can you tell I’m happy to see it go?

This space is going to seem a lot bigger now, with areas for walking, dining, sitting, picking herbs, with wide steps from the French doors to a gravel patio.

My dreams were much bigger than this (of course…). I envisioned a screened porch with a peaked roof leading to a slate patio.

The budget calls for gravel and stairs, so I’m going to work those gravel and stairs to the best of my ability.

There was also this stuck in the corner of the huge deck. There wasn’t much I could figure out what to do with it when it was part of the whole deck, but the wood is pretty protected under this, so we are keeping it and creating a gazebo-like structure out of it.

I’m seeing a Pottery Barn-type place with canvas “curtain” panels, and a daybed piled with outdoor pillows. Maybe even a rug and outdoor chandelier?

Stay tuned.

But no bets on when this all will happen.

We’re sure to lose.






  1. says

    Jami! We have a deck too, and living here in Oregon, I feel ya on the slippery-ness! I would love to tear it out and pour a fun stamped concrete patio! I can’t wait to see your transformations! Oh, and we are tackling our kitchen this year too… fun times!

  2. says

    Hi, Jami
    I can’t wait to see the outcome of you and your families hard work.
    The wooden butcher block counters are those coming via of Ikea?
    Have you visited The CountryFarmhouse? Trina is a great gal and a wonderful blogger.(also the mother to two beautiful infant twins) Her kitchen
    which is white with wood counters is being featured in a national mag. I have forgotten the name – maybe Food and Wine??
    Faithful reader,
    Chris Ann

  3. says

    My Grandma and Grandpa’s house had a screened porch on the back of their house, with a ceiling fan and a rocking chair with broad arms. That was the place to go in the evenings after dinner and most of the hot afternoons. I’d love to have a screened in porch, but it wouldn’t do me much good here where it’s cold most of the time. Maybe I should say I’d love to live in a warm climate again, with a screened porch. Is that gazebo thing big enough to screen? Maybe not… Look forward to progress reports!

  4. says

    Hi! I am really enjoying your blog, and I wanted to let you know that I actually nominated you for a blog award! I had to pick 15 blogs that I would recommend people follow and yours was on my list. I would love it if you would pop over to my blog and see the award I have nominated you for. Good luck with these projects I bet they will be amazing when they are finished. Thanks for such a great read! Lynn

  5. says

    Those sound like great projects–best of luck! We put in a gravel-floor pergola dining area last year, and the gravel is really great. It provides excellent drainage, so even in rainy conditions your shoes will not be muddy out there. Another tip: We made friends with a neighbor who is a landlord, and they often end up ripping carpeting out of their houses and replacing it. He was happy to give us some of his old carpeting, and used it to line the floor of the pergola. I haven’t found that landscape fabric does much to keep the weeds out, plus it’s expensive, and the carpeting is much thicker and water permeable, and it worked great. We just put some bigger-1-2″-rocks we had on the property on top of the carpeting, and then put the gravel on top of that. We had some old bricks a neighbor gave us, and used that to make a decorative and flat floor area for the table and chairs. It’s been a really useful and pretty area of the backyard.

  6. says

    Those projects look amazing…and I think that gazebo-like structure would be a neat place for tea. Not sure if you do tea or not, but it might be a lovely spot to have a drink of anything :) :) How many people can fit underneath that? Definitely keep us updated on progress. I LOVE the idea of a beadboarde backsplash. I think beadboard adds a nice touch of vintage to any home :) :) now I’m thinking of adding som e cute vintage wallpaper to my linen closets, to pretty them up a bit. I don’t think my apartment manager will mind!!! Have a lovely week. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  7. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    One Thrifty- We’ll have to encourage each other to finish our similar projects, then. :-) Thanks so much for the blog award- I’m honored!

    Chris Ann- Yes, the counters are coming from IKEA- we put them in one of our bathrooms and really like it, plus we had wood counters in our other house (not IKEA, though), so that’s what we like. Thanks for the blog recommendation- sounds just like something I’d like to check out!

    Shelly- Hmmm- screening the gazebo-thing: I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll have to put it into my idea-book and see if it’s a possibility!

    Lynn- Wow- thank you for the blog award- (two in two days! I’m amazed. :-)

    Athena- What great ideas for the patio. I remember seeing your great dining pavilion and thinking that’s what we were wanting to do. Good idea about the bricks under the table- I was wondering about how the table and chairs would work on the gravel. That’s probably a good idea! I think we’ve got some recycled brick around here somewhere…

    Heather- That sounds great to line your closets- I love having something beautiful that I look at all the time. And we are a tea family- often on Sundays. Wouldn’t that be fun to have it in a pretty gazebo? Nice!

  8. says

    We have a microwave that is hanging too low. We have been trying to figure out how to adjust the cabinet above to install it right, but for now it is up. I have to pull the stove out in order to use my canner. Frustrating!

  9. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Jennifer- Oh, that would be frustrating! Definitely something I’d like to avoid. :-) Hopefully what we figure out will look nice and not be too complicated, which would make it much easier to share!

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