Google+ Nine Red: Warming up the Nest

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Warming up the Nest

Alright, last week was wild! We've had a ton of work going on around the house, getting ready for the inevitable winter. So we sprang for it, hiring a few people to do a few jobs we admitted we couldn't do ourselves. Gotta know when to call it, right? Mainly the retaining wall & a forced air heater.

The retaining wall in our driveway has been on the ever-growing to-do list since day 1, but as we began to dig at it... we realized it was a job for a professional. This puppy was going to be about 5 feet tall, and hold up a huge hill... not something you want to mess up!  So we sprang for it, and this guy is doing an amazing job in 1/100th of the time we could have done a so-so job.
This is at the top of our driveway, which is already up a steep hill.  They're only half done, and still need to add the stairs so we can get in this side of the house. But wow...
It's been fun to watch (and learn) as they dig & build this wall, and I'm happy we chose a pro. That's a huge hill! I feel confident we could do much, much smaller ones around the yard.. mainly for creating level areas for planting.  I can't decide if we'll paint this wall white like we did with our other retaining walls... (from this post).

While all this digging & building was going on, we also had our heater installed. We have not had a normal, forced air heater in.... 10 years? 12 years? It's always been wall heaters, and let me tell you - this is amazing! It feels SO GOOD to not be typing to you right now with gloves on. Ha! My favorite, favorite part about the system.. is the Nest thermostat.  I knoooow, expensive thermostat, but you know what? They were going to charge us $150 for a traditional thermostat that are SO confusing to use.  The Nest? Easiest thing ever... and was only a little more.  Disclaimer, I am NOT being paid or compensated to talk about the Nest, I'm just seriously thrilled with this thing... 
It's sleek, it's easy to use (turn the dial!) and it programs ITSELF. Yep... using algorithms and motion sensors, it figures out when you are & aren't home, what temperatures you tend to set it to & when, and eventually just starts doing it all by itself.
Oh... and it's on our WiFi network.  My nerd side was thrilled when we realized we can access this thing from our phones, tablets, laptops... and from anywhere.  Coming home early? Tell the nest to get the house warmed up.  Ah... technology.. ! 

So while all this work was being done, we felt pretty restless and decided to start tackling our really gross downstairs.  I've talked about the issues downstairs before (see this post) - mainly, it acts like a basement, and gets moist & stale, bleh.  Plus, whoever built this place made some pretty interesting decisions. For starters, the bathroom:
I am not proud of this bathroom, and I'm only showing these pictures in hopes that once we are done, we'll have a beautiful AFTER picture.. For now? yikes.  Those squares on the wall were a crooked particle board mirror cabinet, and some ridiculous towel & spice rack combo that held absolutely nothing. Note the gorgeous fluorescent light fixture. You know how I love those.... *barf*
Do you love our dirty peel & stick floor? Do you love that there is no door? Exactly.  Hey, I have nothing against peel & stick floors, they've come a long way, but this one was done wrong, and there are gaps, etc. etc.  The door thing?  There used to be a dirty.. dirty...(don't want to even think why) plastic accordion door here that we should have torn out once we signed the papers on this place. Magically it lasted a year here, because Ralph & I pretty much pretended this part of the house didn't even exist.  But with our stairs missing on the side, we've been entering this room (technically our first floor, and future front door) so it's been brought back into the mix.

With that, I'm going to wrap this up so I can get down there and tape. This is a before & after work type project, so every minute counts.  We're heading down the dark grey, light grey, whites & woods road with this one. Keepin' it clean but still a little dramatic, and a pop of yellow! We want to give it a new look, for a low price, without having to change anything major (plumbing fixtures are stayin' put for now!). Check out my Pinterest board if you want to browse the inspiration, here's a snapshot:

To Do List:
We have a lot of work to do, but it's cold out so we're inside anyway.  Nice & toasty inside might I add, finally! What are your upcoming fall & winter projects?

Have a good one, 

-Jesse


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